Monthly Archives: June 2016

Impromptu Hike, Vol. 1: Lessons of the Hill

My family and I went on an impromptu hike. Now, if you know my family well, you know we don’t belong on a PLANNED hike… much less a no supplies, no water, flip-flop wearing… impromptu hike. We are more of your leisurely stroll in the park with 2 scoops of our favorite ice-cream piled high on a sugar cone kind of a family. We definitely belong in the fitISH category.

Having been in the car all day, we noticed cars lined up alongside the road. Needing to stretch our legs we pulled off the road to see what all the fuss was about. A sign that read “Stillhouse Hollow Falls” beckoned to us. The kids have never seen a waterfall! This would be FUN!

Stillhouse.jpgNot far into the trail, we saw a sign that read 0.7 Falls, 0.3 Overlook, and 0.2 Trail. Wow! This is OUR kind of trail! Not too far and beautiful scenery promised at the end. Encouraged, we walked on!

We were accompanied by others on the trail. I, being the observant one, began to notice their choice of footwear and gear. Hiking shoes and water packs. I was starting to get a wee-bit nervous that my trusty Teva flip-flops were not appropriate! (Not to mention, my son was walking in broken shoes, because apparently, on a long road trip, picking your shoes apart is a fun way to pass the time). Seeing the concerned look on my face, a fellow hiker smiled at me and encouragingly said through gasps of air, “It’s ok! You got this!” Um… Your words tell me one thing, but your shortness of breath is conveying quite a different message! Yet, we walked on.

That’s when my husband and I saw them. A young, FIT couple on their way back from where we were heading. The young man stopped and bent over gasping for air. My husband and I just stared at one another. It suddenly registered with us what we were doing! We decided this hike was over and it was time to take our family back to the safety of our car and our air conditioning.

We had only gone about 0.3 miles down the trail. D.O.W.N the trail. Yes, the trail had been completely downhill. It had given us the complete misconception that our unprepared family could successfully complete this hike. Then we looked UP. On the way back UP my husband made the observation, “Isn’t it crazy. We are NOT that far from our car. Incline makes a huge difference. 0.3 miles on flat ground would be nothing.”

That’s the thing about going downhill. The steps are easy and the lack of exertion makes you feel as if you can easily return. Then, you turn around.

There is no such thing as a “short distance” when we walk away from God. Every step we take away from God is downhill. I recently had a conversation with a friend who said, “We are all one weak moment away from destroying our lives.” It’s a sobering reality and it is profound truth. Intentional living is necessary because when we take off on “impromptu hikes” we can find ourselves grossly unprepared and desperately in need.

When we find ourselves heading down the wrong path and we turn around with a repentant heart we can often time be discouraged with the reality that God asks us to still CLIMB back UP with Him. Not TO Him… but WITH Him. The breathtaking reality is, the very moment we cry out to Him, he is there. He arrives with an appropriate pair of tennis shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, a visor, water, and then He extends His merciful hand and looks deeps in our eyes and says “You ready!?!”

The reality of our glorious God is that He climbs WITH us. It is in the struggle of the climb back up that He knows we will gain strength and build stamina. So be encouraged today, friend, if you find yourself out of breath and tired. Because sometimes… He even chooses to carry you on the way back UP.

When they suffered, he suffered also. He sent his own angel to save them, because of his love and kindness, he saved them. Since long ago he has picked them up and carried them.
– Isaiah 63:9

Erica Pearson, ericalovesbooks@gmail.com

Why we fail at becoming better future versions of our present self

The way I see it, the future you will either thank the past you or want to beat the past you.

That’s right. The future you will either be pleased with how you spend your time in the present or be upset or disappointed with how you wasted your time, resources, opportunities, and potential.

At a professional trade association conference for direct selling I attended in Phoenix, I was captivated by the messages of the keynote speaker. He was Daniel Burrus, who titles himself a Business Strategist and Global Futurist. And by all accounts, he is good at what he does. He is founder and CEO of Burrus Research and author of a number of books. What I found even more interesting was he is known as a technology forecaster. In other words, he basically spots and predicts technology trends to help his clients make the most of unforeseen opportunities. It’s cool stuff.

He said many things that made lots of sense, but when talking about predicting future trends, he made the following statement:

“How you view the future shapes
how you act in the present.”

While probably common sense, this statement was very adept. The reason being, many people do not act in the present like their future outcomes depends on it. I’ve found this to be true many times over. So here’s a question: do you live in the present only, or are you living in the present with a purpose – that purpose being the future?

It matters because the next second will be the future, making the present no longer the present… it’s over. It becomes the past. All we do should be in consideration of our future. Just like Mr. Burrus made reference to: our view of the future should determine how we act in the present. Should. This is not always the case, is it? We often fail at becoming better future versions of our present self for the following five reasons:

  1. Complacency – We get comfortable with our present situation without consideration of how our current satisfaction affects the our future growth. Ruts in our life become accepted mediocrity.
  2. Self-centered – Being selfish has the chance to ruin opportunity. It wrecks the overall development of service to others by focusing on ourselves.
  3. Lack of foresight – Also known as a lack of vision, this tends to hold us back. When we do not have a plan, we can not have goals and vice-versa. This short-sightedness stunts who we will one day be.
  4. Lack of confidence – When we fear both the known and unknown, we shrink from challenge. Fear, doubt, uncertainty, and apprehension are all culprits for not reaching our potential. Confidence is the gateway to overcoming obstacles.
  5. Lack of faith – This is a big one! Whether it is not believing in our self or not believing in our Creator – we are destined to walk a lonely walk. Faith is the greatest attribute a Christian can have when it comes to who you have the potential to become – in this world and the next.

Future you quoteSo, there you have it. The greatest thing about the future is it is not yet determined. Mr. Burrus has it right. If we change our actions, we change out future. These five items can be altered so the future you does not hunt you down in the event time travel is ever possible. God gave us a mind to think, to learn, and produce. It’s a disservice to Him and ourselves to waste our potential and our purpose.

Contact: email treycampbell1010@gmail.com or comment below.

A change of view can expand your perspective

The thing about a change of view is it doesn’t have to change your perspective (though it certainly can). But rather, it should expand your perspective.

I appreciate this fact with the simple pleasure of two of God’s greatest works of art: sunrises and sunsets.

My family and I moved into a different home last week. Besides the address, zip code, and floor plan, something else changed – literally the direction of our view. In fact, a 180-degree difference! You see, our old house was on the top of a hill and had a western view of the most beautiful, God-inspired sunsets. It was one of my favorite parts of where we lived. Conversely, our new house is also on a hill, but now has an eastern view, which gives us sunrises that rival any exotic destination.

This change of view did not change my outlook on life or present a challenge in my perspective on the beauty of God’s creation, but it did open my mind to appreciate how the God of light both begins and ends the day with one-of-a-kind strokes of artistic brilliance on a sky canvas.

SunsetSunrise

My literal change of view did not change my perspective, but it expanded my thought process as to the particular subject matter, in this case – a change of direction. Throughout the span of our lives, we will be presented with many changes of direction that will alter our viewpoints and challenge our mindset. Will you let it serve as amplification for perspective or suffocation of growth?

Oh, and speaking of lights from above, we will face change in every direction. One thing that does not change? The Artist himself.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

– James 1:17

Contact:
Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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