One Great Way to Discipline Yourself for Success

Below is a little guide I put together. I call it “One Great Way to Discipline Yourself for Success.”

1. You must master your moods.

Proverbs 25:8 – Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

2. You must watch your words.

Proverbs 13: 3 – He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

3. You must restrain your actions.

Proverbs 19:11 – A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.

4. You must stick to your schedule.

Ephesians 5:15-16 – Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

5. You must manage your money.

Proverbs 21:20 – The wise person saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.

6. You must maintain your health.

I Thessalonians 4:4 – Each of you should learn to control his own body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect …

The above Bible verses offer a Bible-based, common sense approach to success.


Photo Source: Pixaby

Good Friday and Easter – My Personal Christian Testimony

Being good doesn’t get you to heaven. Being “saved or born-again” does. Here’s my story of “being saved.”

On July 11, 1977, my life changed. If you look up that date in history, you will find nothing historically significant happened on that Sunday. It was a remarkable day for me. Sunday, July 11, 1977, was the watershed event in my life.

July 1977 found me on active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Army. I was serving as Battalion Maintenance Officer, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. Life was good. I had a beautiful, intelligent wife. I had a new son born in January that same year. My career was going great. I had just received a commendable rating during an Annual General Inspection in maintenance and Department of the Army General Inspection (DAIG). It was the first commendable rating since the division had returned from Vietnam.

Because of the DAIG commendable rating, I received a special officer evaluation report with addendums from my battalion commander, brigade commander, assistant division commander for support, and division commanding general. I with Named an Outstanding Junior Officer of the Ninth Infantry Division because of the commendable rating. I was branch transferred from the Infantry to Ordnance Corps to better utilize my giftedness in leading support maintenance. I received an offer of a regular army commission. I was asked to be assistant division commander for support’s aide.

I always tried being the best I could be and doing what was right. I was a perfectionist, high-achieving, and a workaholic. However, after all of this, I still had an empty, unsatisfied, void, and alone feeling.

Beginning in my college years I tried drinking, women, materialism, partying, and hanging out with the right crowd to fill this unexplained need I had. I knew something was missing from my life.

I was attending First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Tacoma, Washington. I noticed a group of men that seemed to have what I was missing. I attended a Bible study with them.

Here I found that God has given us an essential manual for life — the Bible. He has the answers to the problems and emptiness we may face. I found out I was here for a purpose, and not by accident. I learned Jesus loves me and desires to have a personal relationship with me. However, sin separated me from Him.

I realized I had a sin problem. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 But no one is perfect! We have all sinned and therefore cannot save ourselves by just living a good life. Why?

I learned there was a penalty to be paid for my sin. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

I learned God gives us a promise. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

I learned that God made a provision for me. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10

I prayed to accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus. I prayed, “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave so that I might have eternal life in Heaven with You. I willingly repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart and life. Take control of my words, thoughts, and actions. I place all of my trust in You for my salvation. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and this free gift of eternal life. Amen.”

Since then my life has not been perfect. It’s been far from it. I’ve messed up from time to time, sometimes failing miserably in my decisions and choices. However, I have had direction and purpose in my life. I know where I am headed. I have the Bible to give me the principles for daily living. I am never alone. I have had real peace for the last 40 years.

How about you? Have you ever been “saved”? You can do like I did.

Romans 10:9-10, 13 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Why not pray this simple prayer and accept Jesus Christ today.

Devotional: Christmas Bells

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

About “Christmas Bells”

“Christmas Bells” is a minor, yet well known, poem written by a very melancholy Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas morning in 1863 during the midst of the Civil War. It is anti-slavery poem as well as a seasonal favorite.

The poem was written six months after the battle of Gettysburg where 40,000 soldiers lost their life. In addition to despairing over the bloody war, Henry was also mourning the death of his beloved wife Fanny Appleton Longfellow. Fanny died in a tragic fire the same year that the Civil War broke out. In November of 1862 another personal tragedy added to his pain. His son, Union Lieutenant Charles Appleton, was wounded in the Army of the Potomac.

On Christmas morning in 1863, while sitting at his desk at the Craigie House in Cambridge, MA, Henry was inspired to write a poem as he listened to the church bells pealing. Their constancy and joyous ringing inspired him to write “Christmas Bells.” In spite of his sadness, Longfellow expresses his belief in God and innate optimism that indeed:

God is not dead; nor doth he sleep
The Wrong shall fail;
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!

Sometime after 1872 Longfellow’s poem was adapted into a Christmas Carol. John B. Caulkin (1827-1905) was a famous English composer who set the lyrics to a gentle, melodic tune which is reminiscent of bells ringing. The carol is entitled “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Alternative tunes have been written for the lyrics but Caulkin’s melody remains predominant.

I lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1966 – 1967. I was in the seventh and eighth grade. My father was in the United States Air Force at the time. As a student at Portsmouth Junior High School I took field trips to both Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow was a Bowdoin College graduate and was a faculty member before moving to Cambridge to teach at Harvard. We placed great emphasis when I was in junior high school on a classical education with understanding and appreciation of the arts including poetry.

How to Hang On

Hang On
Hang On

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. — 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Is life getting you down? Do you feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Here are seven Biblical principles on how to hang on when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope.

Principle One: I must not forget God loves me.

  • Don’t lose heart! – Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. — 2 Corinthians 4:1 (NIV)
  • I am what I am – But by the grace of God I am what I am, … — 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
  • It’s not who we are. It’s whose we are! – Remember our performance does not give us our worth.
  • God’s grace gives us the power to start over. – Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. — Romans 8:37

Principle Two: I must keep a clear conscience.

  • Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
  • We must have integrity.
  • We must have character.

Principle Three: It is not about me.

  • For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. — 2 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)
  • Your ego will only take you so far.

Principle Four: I cannot do it all.

  • But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. — 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
  • We must pace ourselves. Life is a journey, not a sprint.

Principle Five: Love, love, love.

  • All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV)

Principle Six: Take time to refresh, renew, and revive.

  • Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. — 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)

Principle Seven: I must keep my eye on the goal.

  • For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)

Remember — You cannot create if you do not face your troubles and hang on until you reach your goal.

Devotional: How to Get a Grip on Your Temper

AngerHow to Get a Grip on Your Temper

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32
1. Remember the Results
A hot tempered man gets into all kinds of trouble. Proverbs 29:22… Anger causes mistakes. Proverbs 14:29 People with hot tempers do foolish things. Proverbs 14:17The fool who provokes his family (or friends) to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left. Proverbs 11:29

2. Reflect before acting

A stupid person gives free reign to his anger; a wise person waits and lets it grow cool. Proverbs 29:11

When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Smart people will ignore an insult or a hurt. Proverbs 12:16

…when someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it. Proverbs 19:11
People who stay calm have real insight. Proverbs 17:27

Remember – nothing can make you mad. You choose to be mad as you respond to situations.

3. Restrain your remarks

If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say. Proverbs 21:23

A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up. Proverbs 15:1

4. Anger is contagious.

The fruit of the Spirit is … patience. Galatians 5:22

Closing thoughts:

  • Every minute you are angry you loose 60 seconds of happiness.
  • A man’s wisdom gives him patience.
  • When you are threatened, afraid, or your self-worth is attacked you get angry.
  • Blowing your stack creates air and noise pollution as well as leaving a bad impression.
  • Use sweet words. Eventually, you will have to eat them.

Devotional: Life and Problems

Life Problems

Are you facing problems in your personal life, business life, family life, relationship life, creative life, spiritual life? We need to realize that life is a series of problem-solving opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you. It all depends on how you respond to them. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”. Ask God what He is trying to tell you from this.

1. God Uses Problems to Direct You – Proverbs 20:30. Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.

Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts. Proverbs 20:30

2. God Uses Problems to Inspect You – James 1:2-3. When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this test will give you patience. Caution! Too much self-analysis is dangerous! It leads to “why me Lord syndrome”.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. — James 1:2-3

3. God Uses Problems to Correct You – Psalm 119:71-72. It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. — Psalm 119:71-72

4. God Uses Problems to Protect You – Genesis 50:20. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. — Genesis 50:20

5. God Uses Problems To Perfect You – Romans 5:3-4. We can rejoice when we run into problems … they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  — Romans 5:3-4

Conclusion: Problems when responded to correctly are character builders. God is interested more in our character than in our comfort. You relationship with God and your character are the only things you will take with you into eternity see Romans 5:3-4. God wants to make changes in your life where you can make a difference!

Devotional: Remembering To Remember

RememberPsalm 103 teaches us to remember.

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is withing me, bless His Holy name.” Psalm 103:1
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7

1. Remember His Forgiveness – Psalm 103:2, 10

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” Psalm 103:2.
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103:10

Never minimize the forgiveness of sin in your life.

2. Remember His Healing – Psalm 103:3b

“and heals all your diseases,” Psalm 103:3b
“By His stripes we are healed” Isaiah 53:5

Remember who is The Great Physician.

3. Remember His Redemption – Psalm103:4a

“who redeems your life from the pit” Psalm 103:4a

Remember who is your Redeemer.

4. Remember His Steadfast Love – Psalm 103:4b – 5

“and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:4b -5

Remember who loves you unconditionally.