Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours: Blog https://www.refocus1.com/blog en-us (C) Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours (Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Sun, 09 Jan 2022 09:56:00 GMT Sun, 09 Jan 2022 09:56:00 GMT https://www.refocus1.com/img/s/v-12/u767415558-o204692075-50.jpg Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours: Blog https://www.refocus1.com/blog 80 120 Virtual Business in a Covid-19 World - part 1 https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2020/5/virtual-business-in-a-covid-19-world---part-1 What happens now?

Answering this question seems to be an ongoing, revolving door of ambiguity. Once you think you are ready to exit the revolving door of the Covid-19 dilemma and move forward, the door gets jammed up with another complication. The CDC, NIH, FDA, task force, president, governor, county health officer, mayors...they all seem to want to grease the axel of the spinning door but instead drop the proverbial monkey wrench into the exit plan. BTW, arguing hasn't seemed to help change the cycle!

One thing we all have in common in the emerging post pandemic phase of life in America - caution. Most of the people I know are taking a more cautious approach to going out, touching stuff, socially interacting, and exploring. It sucks, but it's real. 

I do a lot of virtual tours in the residential and commercial real estate space in the San Francisco Bay Area and have found that the more exposure potential clients have to a space before they physically explore it - the more prepared and less fearful they are when they arrive. Preparation is a big part of good decision making and ensuring your potential clients are prepared for what they are going to see in person will help mitigate the fear of actually showing up in person. 

I hate fear! In fact my family has a saying, "fear never chooses here." It's on a sign one of our girls painted and put on the mantle of our fireplace where we see it everyday. I also have a habit if pointing to my heart when I say it, because for me, that is where fear does the most damage. 

Virtual tours give our potential clients a chance to be cautious while refusing to allow fear to choose their next step. Help your clients get informed about your business space, apartment building, residential or commercial listing. Let your business meet the new post pandemic caution with a 3D solution that takes fear out of the equation.

Matterport Virtual Tours are an affordable tool to connect your space to the new world. Reach out today to schedule your virtual tour!

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 2 360 aerial/drone architecture Area Bay commercial concert covid19 covid-19 DJI Estate event Francisco home homes Matterport Mavic Nikon of pandemic partner photographer Photography photos portrait post-pandemic Pro Professional real realtor return San service to tour tours travel virtual vr work https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2020/5/virtual-business-in-a-covid-19-world---part-1 Fri, 15 May 2020 19:29:48 GMT
Bridging Change https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/12/bridging-change Bridging Change

I took this picture of a bridge over the Merced River in February 2018 and while it’s not my best technical work, it is an image that represents much of my 2018 – change from what is familiar to what is not. 

As each year winds down I invest some time looking back at what I have written, spoken about, taken pictures of, basically who and what I have invested time in and the outcome of those investments. 2018 has been a full year of improvements, failures, successes and changes. 

My change list from 2018 is about 30 items long.  Each change for me represents a bridge Jesus has built or led me to and asked me to cross with Him. Some of these transitions were really challenging because I fought the outcome. I didn’t want my landscape to change. In fact, I flat out grieved having to cross some of my 2018 bridges. 

Bridges are supposed to lead us over obstacles that would otherwise be impassable. My reality check; when Jesus brings me to a bridge in life, He expects me to cross it, not pitch a tent in rebellion because I prefer the landscape I know over than the landscape I can only partial see on the other side. Jesus never flinched at my reactions to change, He just kept building bridges for my path. Jesus does not stop preparing us for the future because we stop wanting to change.

Jesus will never ask us to walk across a broken bridge, scary bridges into unknown places, but not broken bridges.  As we cross the bridge from the hopes and dreams of 2018 into the uncertainty of 2019 keep this in mind – the unexplored territory on the other side is an adventure not an accident. Jesus is already in your tomorrow as He calls you today!

Action Items: 

  1. Write down the successes, failures, and improvements of 2018 
  2. Write down the names of new people or new relationships from 2018 
  3. Write down 1 goal, 1 improvement and 1 change for 2019
  4. What are the otherwise impassable obstacles to your goals, improvements and changes? 
  5. Start praying for new bridges!

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 2018 2019 bidges bridging change goals improvements Jesus Merced pray River tomorrow transitions Yosemite https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/12/bridging-change Fri, 07 Dec 2018 17:09:27 GMT
To love and serve the most diverse population on the planet https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/11/to-love-and-serve-the-most-diverse-population-on-the-planet Please continue to pray for Holy Spirit leading and direction in response to the most recent disaster in Paradise, CA.

The human tragedy in this rural community is just coming into view; 9700 homes destroyed, 450 business destroyed, 71 confirmed deaths and just over 1000 people unaccounted for or considered still missing.

How do we respond? What comes next? The Holy Spirit knows what step we should each take next. Here are some prayer ideas:

1. Please pray for the weather as firefighters are still battling in some very difficult wild lands. Firefighters, and all ancillary EMS fire and disaster response staffing - wisdom, strength, resources and skill.

2. Pray for people who are living in shelters now (just over 50K) from Chico to Yuba City as Noro Virus outbreaks have begun, healthy food, clean clothing, safe shelter, and winter is on its way…Pray for the churches that are rightfully giving time, space and resources to support sheltering needs. Those churches still have bills to pay and staffing responsibilities as Sunday approaches and they are modifying their services to accommodate accordingly.

3. Housing and jobs for the 10,000+ people who cannot return to their homes, jobs, etc. for the foreseeable future. Are there 10,000 hotel rooms between the Oregon boarder and Sacramento to house everyone displaced?

4. CA leadership. As we transition from Governor Brown to Gavin Newsom our state leadership will need more prayer! Pray for unity in problem solving and for the dissolution of demonic strongholds of greed, power, blame shifting, manipulation and rampant divisive lies - none of that helps solve the human crisis we are facing as a state. Our US Senators and congress people seem to be more focused on political wrangling and back biting than on the on ground needs of the people of CA. Hundreds of thousands of CA residents are in dire need right now, beside the millions being squeezed by the economic challenges of a site our size - please intercede for our leaders to be pressed hard to refocus on meeting the needs of the people living in CA right now! 

5. Housing, housing, housing - 20% increase to the current annual home building demand in CA in 1 calendar year from Northern CA alone.

  • October 2017 4,400 homes were destroyed in Solano/Napa County (Napa, Santa Rosa fires), Resilient City Fire Recovery says right now, 421 homes are in construction, 321 have the permit review in process, and 140 have permits and are awaiting construction. 
  • July 2018 Carr Fire 1100 homes destroyed in Shasta County, 0 rebuilt (finished) as debris removal will be finished by December 2018 and Shasta County building department is doing their best to keep up with permitting, but are challenged by build regulations and home owners are finding they were woefully underinsured. Few qualified contractors in Shast County due to more lucrative home building in other CA communities. 
  • November 2018 - Camp Fire 10,000 homes destroyed - so far counted. 
  • Northern CA fire related home rebuilds - 15,000+. 
  • Per the California Department of Housing and Community Development, developers are building about 80,000 homes per year in CA (statewide) the need per CA housing regulators is 180,000 to just cover the need of 400,000 people moving into the state annually.

5. Pray for people to give toward on ground assistance of those displaced. 

Not only have people lost their homes, but people have lost their jobs. Over 500 businesses in Northern CA have been damaged or destroyed by fire in 2017-18. As a small business owner, I can’t imagine having to go back into debt to start over after the trauma of loosing what I invested to build. Many who lost their homes are finding they were underinsured and are having to access more loans to rebuild what was damaged or destroyed, while still being responsible for the original mortgage shortfall. How do you afford to start over? Red Cross and FEMA help, but not to the extent needed locally. Red Cross and FEMA are national organizations that have huge demands on their resources from hurricanes, floods, fires, etc. Over time there is very little accountability for the allocation of funds given (Haiti and Katrina are good examples of little long term accountability for billions in disaster relief donations).

When you choose to give - look local. Take 10 minutes to look up the organization to make sure they are legitimate and have a good track record of investing in what they say they do. Locals are the most committed to local the needs of local people! 

National Organizations with strong local, financially ethical, thumbprint where you can give right now: 

1. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/volunteer/

2. https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/volunteer/

3.https://leader.foursquare.org/prod/FoursquareLeader/Ministries/Disaster_Relief/FoursquareLeader/Content/Ministries/FDR.aspx

These organizations are well developed and easy to access, but if you really want your giving to have a local impact - find a reputable non-profit that helps with getting people into adequate housing, caring for seniors, counseling for trauma recovery, local healthy food resources, getting kids school supplies and modified learning schedules, helping teachers that are directly engaged with kids in recovery areas with supplies, books, learning manipulatives, etc., financial assistance counseling, and the list goes on. Fire recovery from the last 14 months in CA will continue for years to come - invest in the future of CA residents by investing locally. 

Please pray with us for a 2 Chron. 7:14 move of God upon our state - for God to heal our land - no politics, no media, no partisan BS! Pray for people who are called to live in the most populated state in the union and love and serve the most diverse population on the planet. ~ Dennis Shillingburg

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Brown California camp Carr church diversity fire Gavin housing Jerry Newsom Politics pray recovery https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/11/to-love-and-serve-the-most-diverse-population-on-the-planet Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:39:44 GMT
30 Days Toward Greater Faith - Acts 5 - Opposition https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-5---opposition Acts 5:38-39 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

When did it become the Christian way to believe opposition was abnormal or that complaining about resistance helped resolve it? If you are a follower of Jesus and an American both your spiritual and physical experiences were birthed in conflict and resistance. Jesus was hunted, falsely accused and brutally killed by government and religious leaders, Peter and John were thrown in jail by civic leaders twice in the first five chapters of Acts for preaching and healing people and the United States was birthed in conflict as we broke away from Imperial Britain to form the greatest national experiment in the history of the world – people living under the premise of freedom.  

True and abiding freedom will always meet resistance by those losing control. This is evident in personal, spiritual and organizational arenas. Whether you are a parent with teenagers transitioning to adulthood, experiencing spiritual battles in the wake of salvation and lifestyle changes, or an organization or government built upon suppressing or oppressing people, knowing when and how to release control is difficult. 

For the freedom seeker, opposition should be expected. It’s the response of the controlling force that will define the origin of its cause. Gamaliel understood this principle and spoke godly wisdom when he counseled the ruling leaders to stop the rhetoric and jealous behavior. Wise people choose to look through the noise and rhetoric to the source. Gamaliel referenced Prov. 21:30in his advice to these leaders, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” 

After Gamaliel finished and sat down, Peter and John were flogged for their trouble, verbally threatened to never share the gospel again and released. The disciples were not surprised or deterred by the opposition they faced, instead they rejoiced that they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name of Jesus and went right back to proclaiming the Good News and serving the poor and broken in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

How do you respond when feeling like you are losing control? 

Has fear of retribution or opposition silenced you or kept you from sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ? 

Do you see any practical application of Gamaliel’s wisdom in your experience or circle of influence? 

30 Days Toward Greater Faith

1. Wait? - Acts 1

2. Amazed - Acts 2

3. Pick Up Lines - Acts 3

4. Ordinary and Astonishing - Acts 4

5. Opposition - Acts 5

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) amaze amazed amazing America ask astonishing astound awe Beautiful biblical church conflict control courage disgrace disrespect faith Gamaliel greater healed heaven Holy honor influence intelligence intelligent Jesus navel now oppose opposition oppress ordinary patience pick-up respect retribution Spirit suffering wait waiting wisdom https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-5---opposition Thu, 06 Sep 2018 03:12:00 GMT
30 Days Toward Greater Faith - Acts 4 - Ordinary and Astonishing https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-4---ordinary-and-astonishing Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

What is the difference between ordinary and astonishing? Normally, the ordinary blend in and extraordinary stand out, but what stands out? What stood out in the eyes of these religious leaders was courage and intelligence they had seen before, in Jesus. Peter and John were operating more like Jesus than ordinary, unschooled men. The Holy Spirit living in them and moving through them had fundamentally transformed ordinary into astonishing. 

Astonishing is often in the eyes of the beholder. What seems ordinary to one may seem completely astounding to another. This ambiguity of definition can cause a lot of grief in people searching for validation. The very human search for significance can disintegrate into the pursuit of compliments, admiration and recognition? Peter and John were not looking for any of these when they chose to live what Jesus taught them. 

Their courage and intelligence in the face scrutiny is what stood out to the leaders they were facing. In fact, these officials saw the one person they could not oppress shining through in Peter and John, Jesus. The disciples didn’t disrespect the authority in front of them or dishonor the path behind them as they stood for what they believed in. Their behavior and speech are what astonished the leaders attempting to oppress them. America can learn a great deal from this biblical, 24-hour interaction between ordinary, astonishing people and those in authority. 

How do you respond in an environment where your beliefs are called into question?

When you disagree, do you resort to disrespect, gossip or belittling of those you disagree with or do you courageously and intelligently display the power of the Holy Spirit through your words and actions? 

30 Days Toward Greater Faith

1. Wait? - Acts 1

2. Amazed - Acts 2

3. Pick Up Lines - Acts 3

4. Ordinary and Astonishing - Acts 4

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) amaze amazed amazing America ask astonishing astound awe Beautiful biblical church courage disrespect faith greater healed heaven Holy honor intelligence intelligent Jesus navel now oppress ordinary patience pick-up respect Spirit wait waiting https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-4---ordinary-and-astonishing Tue, 04 Sep 2018 12:35:00 GMT
30 Days Toward Greater Faith - Acts 3 - Pick Up Lines https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-3---pick-up-line Acts 3:6-8 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

On their way to church Peter and John dropped the greatest pick-up line ever. “Silver and gold, I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” For some reason they were looking for someone to pick up and take to church with them. These guys had just experienced the grace of the Holy Spirit moving in them and instead of just getting themselves to church on time they were looking for someone else to bring. The person they found just happened to be too broken for church. In fact, this guy had been sitting outside church most of his life hoping to get something from the church goers, never expecting to actually go to church. Peter and John were not going to let this man’s reason for not going to church stand in the way. They asked God to remove the barrier for this man and God fixed the reason the guy couldn’t enter. The broken guy finally gets to walk into church under his own strength and everyone there recognizes him saying, “isn’t that the guy who has been sitting outside the building all his life?”. Yes, in fact he has been waiting all of his life to get into the church, but for some reason nobody picked him up. Two guys who were just filled with the Holy Spirit finally picked the guy up in the name of Jesus and now everyone at church is amazed. What a cool way to start a service.

When I read this story, I wonder which person in the story I am. Sometimes I feel like the guy who is too broken for church and other times I feel like the people at church who are amazed this guy came in on his own two feet. The person I want to be is the one who slows down enough on the way to see the ones who believe they are too broken, believe God for a miracle, pick them up and go to church together. This is the power of the Holy Spirit continuing the ministry of Jesus through normal human beings like Peter and John. Had Peter and John not spent three years with Jesus and then waited in Jerusalem to be filled with the Holy Spirit after the resurrection, we would have never heard their names. These two guys would have been just like the billions of other people who move thorough life day by day, but that was not God’s plan for them. This is the first healing miracle after Jesus left the planet. Peter and John were trusting what Jesus told them, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and letting God display heaven on earth on their way to church. They didn’t wait to get to church to see if God would move through someone else, they believed God would move through them. 

Who do you relate to in this story? 

  • The man too broken to go into church.
  • The people who passed him by amazed that he came to church.
  • The two who stopped to pick him up and bring him to church.

30 Days Toward Greater Faith

1. Wait? - Acts 1

2. Amazed - Acts 2

3. Pick Up Lines - Acts 3

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) amaze amazed ask astound awe Beautiful church faith greater healed heaven Holy navel now patience pick-up Spirit wait waiting https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-3---pick-up-line Tue, 04 Sep 2018 03:12:00 GMT
30 Days Toward Greater Faith - Acts 2 - Amazed https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-2---amazed Acts 2:12 Amazed and perplexed they asked one another, “What does this mean”?

When was the last time you were amazed? Has television, technology and the tireless pursuit of entertainment in America made it nearly impossible to astonish? It seems exploits recorded and posted online via social media are growing in danger, weirdness and frankly, stupidity, hoping to incite or provoke extreme reactions - aka go viral. Maybe it’s the pace at which life comes at us that has dulled our senses to the normal everyday wonder of living in relationship with God and others. 

In Acts 2, the entrance of the Holy Spirit into normal everyday life turned ordinary into extraordinary. The Holy Spirit began doing things God has purposed in the world that we are not otherwise capable of. The disciples could have done something dangerous or provocative enough to capture the attention of the onlookers, but they didn’t have to as the Holy Spirit entered their lives and put Heaven on display. The purpose and intent of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to make Heaven’s resources accessible on earth. Whether your need is comfort, direction, assistance (John 14:16), healing, encouragement, love, or insight (1 Cor. 12-14); motivation, understanding, faith (Romans 12); friendship, companionship or partnership (Acts 2-4), the Holy Spirit is ready to resource your life from Heaven’s storehouse. 

Heaven’s resources are on display in the simplicity of a child’s laugh, the comforting touch of a friend, the colors of sunset, in the eyes of one you love, in helping those who refuse to surrender to despair, in the taste of a ripe peach exploding into a happy dance in your mouth, or the sound of the ocean reminding you how vast the creative order of God truly is.

Have your senses been dulled by an earthly search for spectacle, seemed lost in the despair of suffering in isolation or actively tuned by the Holy Spirit to recognize heaven’s remarkable entrance into everyday life? 

Amazing is available for the observant.

30 Days Toward Greater Faith

1. Wait? - Acts 1

2. Amazed - Acts 2

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) amaze amazed ask astound awe faith greater heaven Holy Holy Spirit navel now patience Spirit wait waiting https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-2---amazed Sun, 02 Sep 2018 22:20:00 GMT
30 Days Toward Greater Faith - Acts 1 - Wait? https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-1---wait Acts 1:4 Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you heard me speak about. 

Are you good at waiting in line at the store, at the doctor’s office, for a table at a restaurant, or for a prayer request to come to pass? Though lines seem longer and time seems shorter there is one thing we do not have to wait for, because someone else waited for us. After the resurrection Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the gift God the Father had promised them, the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, they waited and received what was pledged. I love that because they waited I don’t have to. That may seem odd to some, but it’s the truth. Because the disciples obediently waited you don’t have to wait to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, you can ask and receive right now. 

Are you still waiting for the Holy Spirit? Perhaps today is the day to ask, believe, commit and receive this gift offered to humanity. Who is waiting for whom? Is the Holy Spirit waiting for you?

See Matthew 7:7-11

30 Days Toward Greater Faith

Acts 1 - Wait?

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) ask faith greater Holy now patience Spirit wait waiting https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/9/30-days-toward-greater-faith---acts-1---wait Sat, 01 Sep 2018 22:11:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 31 - Excellence https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-31---excellence No matter your gender, age, ethnicity, connectedness or status, excellence is realized in consistently developing your best. 

What is your best? For some, “personal best” is unfortunately found a web of perfection and comparisons while excellence for the more balanced is interpreted as consistently living and offering your best, now. Excellence is not perfection, but a willing pursuit of your personal best.  

Perfectionists are hard to live with because few things are ever good enough to satisfy. The pursuit of flawlessness can be habitually driven by fear that a mistake will expose personal or professional inadequacies and bring harsh critical judgement. Perfectionists are as critical with themselves as they are with others. The inner conversation of a hairsplitter can be unforgiving and personally disparaging. Perfectionism is often a consequence of growing up in a world of reactionary, vicarious, or performance-based families. If you grew up in a home with an alcoholic parent or with a family member who tried to live a second childhood through you, you may have been conditioned to believe perfect was the only path toward full acceptance and family peace. 

Hypercritical expectations of yourself, no matter how well you hide them, leak onto others through the way you speak, perform, participate, develop excuses, think through and work exhaustively toward a failure-free experience, struggle to make decisive decisions, or react to not meeting your own expectations. Excellence is not perfect!

Proverbs 31 details four arenas of investment of those pursuing excellence.

  1. Parents of excellence invest in their families – love that yields time, grace, discipline, fun, resources and equipping
  2. Exceptional employees or employers invest in their business models to develop – a future, profitability, work ethic, and continual growth opportunities
  3. Exemplary neighbors invest in their communities – recognizing real need and creatively and generously serving people who are struggling or hurting.
  4. Outstanding people– invest in themselves to grow in wisdom, confidence and an identity that expands their capacity as a parent/spouse, employee/employer, neighbor and human being of distinction. 

You won’t find much about developing faith in Proverbs 31 because it is assumed that this person is guided by wisdom that is only found in a God who has given them a capacity for excellence. 

Col. 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25
  26. Discernment - Proverbs 26
  27. Conflict - Proverbs 27
  28. Confession - Proverbs 28
  29. Teachable - Proverbs 29
  30. Observation - Proverbs 30
  31. Excellence - Proverbs 31

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build capacity change cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose coachable code confess confession conflict consequences contrast counter craving cravings cream creation creative criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies design desire diligence discern discerning discernment driven earned encourage equilibrium excellence excellent exemplary exploits failure faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal healing health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intelligent intend intentional iron Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mercy mirror motivation mouth necked new observation observe of old order outstanding pause peace peace-maker perfect perfection perfectionism permanent planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Prov. Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restoration restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame sharpens signs silent sin skins slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stiff stop surrender take teachable temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward transformation trust up warning Washington wealth wine https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-31---excellence Fri, 31 Aug 2018 18:40:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 30 - Observation https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-30---observation The intricacies of the universe remind us we don’t know everything. Proverbs 30 is a collection of observations driven toward a simple conclusion. Insight regarding human nature (v16), hidden creation (v18-19), relationships (v21-23), focus (v24-28), and behavior (v29-31) reveal that wisdom is often discovered through observation.

Are you perplexed when you see a person walking on a beautiful day with their eyes fixed on their phone. How much do you think that person will miss? It’s as if our phones have taken the place of creations wonder and ability to capture and amaze our senses. The suns reflection off of a city fountain, following as if to say, “I’m with you”, two people walking hand in hand reminding you that you need to show her you love her more, birds in flight as they flow on the breeze moving between buildings turning the invisible into something practical that carries them to safety or the homeless man who can encounter hope through a shared lunch and simple conversation. 

I don’t know if photography encouraged me to observe more or my observations led me to capture meaningful moments with photography. Either way, being fully engaged when in creation is one way I recognize the magnificence of God’s design and the vastness of His love. What motivated God to wire us with the senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell? What inspired God to design such a diversity of colors, sounds, tastes, aromas and textures within creation?  Perhaps to reveal how much He loves us and wants us to engage with Him in the mysteries of His design. Being a more thorough observer helps me to recognize God in the minutia of detail, the normalcy of everyday (sunrise, sunset) and the subtle divine intersection of relationships. The Bible tells me that God is always with me and that I am not alone, but observation is how I know. I know I am called to walk by faith and not by sight, but my faith is often fueled by the creative voice of Jesus I experience in His creation (Genesis 1-3; Proverbs 8; Colossians 1:15-20; John 1). 

The message of Proverbs 30: wisdom is often discovered through observation

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25
  26. Discernment - Proverbs 26
  27. Conflict - Proverbs 27
  28. Confession - Proverbs 28
  29. Teachable - Proverbs 29
  30. Observation - Proverbs 30

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build capacity change cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose coachable code confess confession conflict consequences contrast counter craving cravings cream creation creative criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies design desire diligence discern discerning discernment driven earned encourage equilibrium exploits failure faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal healing health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intelligent intend intentional iron Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mercy mirror motivation mouth necked new observation observe of old order pause peace peace-maker perfect permanent planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restoration restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame sharpens signs silent sin skins slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stiff stop surrender take teachable temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward transformation trust up warning Washington wealth wine https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-30---observation Thu, 30 Aug 2018 16:54:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 29 - Teachable https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-29---teachable A person who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed -without remedy. Prov. 29:1 

A friend who was on her way into major heart surgery turned and asked me, “why me, why didn’t God stop this from happening?” I knew in that moment I needed wisdom that lovingly reveals the truth. I don’t believe God makes people sick and I cannot find anywhere in the ministry of Jesus where He saw the value of sickness and in turn made someone sick or left someone sick who invited Him to heal them. 

I asked how many warning signs she had had over the last 20 years. She thought for a moment and replied, “many”. She shared how for years, during monthly visits, doctors counseled her to change her eating habits, lose weight and get her blood sugar under better control, how aches, pains and weariness were symptoms of being overweight with poorly controlled diabetes and how much better she felt after getting in shape for trips. However, after each warning she ignored or vacation she went right back to her old eating and life-style habits. 

My friend heard there was impending danger, but didn’t permanently change lanes to avoid colliding with it.  It was as if God had been using doctors, biology and fun events in her life to bring about course correction, but she remained stiff-necked – unwilling to turn her head toward a new direction so the rest of her life would follow. We prayed, and she came through the surgery with an amazing recovery, but six months later was back to the old habits and within a year, back in the hospital. 

I can relate. I have lost and gained 100 pounds three times in my life and am currently down seventy pounds on a permanent course correction.  

The goal of all teaching is transformation. When I am unteachable because I think I know better, naively believe it can’t happen to me or am too busy, broken or arrogant to recognize the blind spots my friends, family or the Holy Spirit point out, I am being stiff-necked and unteachable. What do you think is the outcome of not listening or responding to those warning signs? 

In Luke 5 Jesus says He will not put new wine (the fruit on new changes) into old wine skins (those stuck in old habits). What warning signs (spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, financial, professional) have you ignored that you now need Jesus help to permanently respond to? He is faithful and ready to help when you are ready to ask. Like me you may have to ask daily, but Jesus is faithful and will respond as you remain teachable. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25
  26. Discernment - Proverbs 26
  27. Conflict - Proverbs 27
  28. Confession - Proverbs 28
  29. Teachable - Proverbs 29

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build capacity change cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose coachable code confess confession conflict consequences contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discern discerning discernment driven earned encourage equilibrium exploits failure faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal healing health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intend intentional iron Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mercy mirror motivation mouth necked new of old pause peace peace-maker perfect permanent planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restoration restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame sharpens signs silent sin skins slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stiff stop surrender take teachable temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward transformation trust up warning Washington wealth wine https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-29---teachable Wed, 29 Aug 2018 13:50:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 28 - Confession https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-28---confession Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy (Prov.28:13). 

To conceal means to attempt to hide, cover up or decorate in order to disguise. Fear is in control when we decorate our failures with excuses instead of owning, confessing, and renouncing them. How many times have you lingered in shame, guilt or personal humiliation because of a mistake? Or, are you the person whose ego is so fragile that denial, blame and excuses are your go to in failure. Our unwillingness to clearly admit and take steps to not repeat sin keeps us from experiencing God’s intended outcome in failure. 

What if Adam, in the Garden of Eden, had immediately refused to make excuses for his behavior or blame Eve? What if he had asked God to forgive them and renounced his choice to do what he knew was wrong? The rest of the Bible reveals that God would have shown them mercy (2 Sam. 12:13; Ps. 32:1-5; Is. 55:7; Dan. 4:27; 1 John 1:9). This does not mean sin has no consequences. But, confession takes sin from our hands and puts it into God’s where He can change the impact of the aftermath (Romans 8:27-34) and heal us from our fearful need to decorate our sin with excuses (James 5:15-16). 

Every time we yield to the temptation to deflect responsibility for our actions or decisions, we give in to the soul crippling foe named fear. Failure or sin is inevitable, that is not an excuse, but how we respond to sin is where true prosperity is discovered. 

Refuse to allow fear to choose the direction your life takes. If you are stuck in sin, find someone trustworthy to confess and pray with, because mercy that heals is waiting on the other side.

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25
  26. Discernment - Proverbs 26
  27. Conflict - Proverbs 27
  28. Confession - Proverbs 28

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build capacity cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose code confess confession conflict consequences contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discern discerning discernment driven earned encourage equilibrium exploits failure faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal healing health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intend intentional iron Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mercy mirror motivation mouth of pause peace peace-maker perfect planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restoration restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame sharpens silent sin slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop surrender take temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward trust up Washington wealth https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-28---confession Tue, 28 Aug 2018 15:32:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 27 - Conflict https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-27---conflict How do you respond to conflict? A friend, who is a peace-maker recently told me her boss counseled her to stop walking away when things get heated and stay in the conflict. Do you believe, that being a peace-maker means you should walk away from conflict? Proverbs 27:17 encourages healthy conflict, “As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another”. This is a reference to conflicting opinion, theology, vision, strategy, etc. 

Sharpening iron is not gentle and does not happen if one piece of iron is not available and in the blacksmith’s hand. When one piece of iron is skillfully struck against another pressure, sparks, heat and noise are created. For sharpening to occur this process has to be repeated, often. When Jesus used the term “peace-maker” in Matthew 5, he wasn’t talking about the co-dependent desire to make everything “ok” for everyone else. Peace is not the absence of chaos, it is the manifest and recognizable presence of God in the midst of conflict. Effective peace-makers stay in the conflict, because they know as long as they are in the chaos, the power of God can move through them to bring genuine and lasting peace.

When you engage with people who challenge your opinion, theology, vision and strategy, know you are in the expert blacksmith’s hands. He is sharpening and honing your character and wisdom, so you become more effective at cutting through confusion, manipulation, fear and deception. Next time you want to exit the room when the sparks fly, smile and choose to stay in the conflict so the master blacksmith can forge His peace through you. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25
  26. Discernment - Proverbs 26
  27. Conflict - Proverbs 27

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build capacity cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose code conflict contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discern discerning discernment driven earned encourage equilibrium exploits faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intend intentional iron Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause peace peace-maker perfect planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame sharpens silent slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop surrender take temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward trust up Washington wealth https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-27---conflict Mon, 27 Aug 2018 20:54:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 26 - Discernment https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-26---discernment Discernment is the ability to recognize the dissonance between right and wrong, good and evil, or light and dark, coupled with the capacity to appropriately respond. Perhaps you have heard a friend or family member say, “I knew something wasn’t right” just after experiencing the frustration of proceeding without heeding that internal warning. Discernment is often described as a feeling and perhaps that is a method the Holy Spirit uses to communicate, but discernment is evident in acting upon those feelings. You wouldn’t say the person who is attempting to recover from financial failure due to a crooked partnership, was financially discerning in that situation. You would probably say they were a victim or gullible. 

Discernment is the voice of the Holy Spirit attempting to be a light unto our path and a lamp to our feet (Ps. 119:105). Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit will show us what is to come (John 16:13). Having the ability, through the Holy spirit to understand the path in front of you coupled with the capacity to positively respond is a wonderful gift that will preserve your strength and minimize failures.

How often do you know what you should do, but for some reason choose not to do it? 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25
  26. Discernment - Proverbs 26

 

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build capacity cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose code contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discern discerning discernment driven earned encourage equilibrium exploits faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intend intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame silent slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop surrender take temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward trust up Washington wealth https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-26---discernment Sun, 26 Aug 2018 20:54:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 25 - Humility https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/32-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-25---humility You will know if you have a servant’s heart by how you react when treated like a servant.

Humility is a condition of the heart evidenced by action over words. In fact, words are often the enemy of humility, because the more we talk the more likely it is we will talk about ourselves. Youtube, GoPro, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, the selfie and many other advancements of modern technology have been developed around recording and displaying personal exploits. While there is nothing wrong with cataloging adventures on modern technology or being proud of what you have accomplished, when we believe sharing them makes us more valuable or desirable as a human being, humility is soon sacrificed at the altar of ego.  

The temptation to impress can be intense, after all who wants to appear underwhelming in a world where so much value is placed on fame. Big picture; the more I lift myself up the harder it is for the Lord to lift me. Perhaps attempting to carry glory never intended for me makes me more difficult if not impossible lift. God can lift up anyone, but He chooses to lift those who prefer not to lift themselves. 

Practice humility today by applauding the successes of others and remaining quietly engaged as the conversations around you migrate toward exploits. Be cautious when sharing your adventures with people, choose something to hold just between you and the Lord, something for Him to applaud when you meet face to face. 

  • Psa. 149:4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
  • See Matt. 18:4; Mark 10:42-45

 

31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity - Proverbs 24
  25. Humility - Proverbs 25

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure all Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose code contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discerning driven earned encourage equilibrium exploits faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal health healthy humble humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intend intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restore reveal righteous righteousness Servan servant serve shame silent slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop surrender take temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne to Toward trust up Washington wealth Wisdom wise words yearning https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/32-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-25---humility Sat, 25 Aug 2018 15:10:48 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 24 - Tenacity https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-24---tenacity Tenacity is developed in the crucible of struggle. The deepest desires of the tenacious are not like a river that mostly moves in the path of least resistance. Tenacious people are bull dozers, driven toward what they believe possible, often criticized because they are not comfortable sitting still or waiting for other people to make decisions that impact their path. 

Each person, through their response to adversity, builds determination that enables them to push through hardship even when others are giving up. There is a point where wisdom mandates moving in another direction, but how many give up on their deepest desires because reaching them seems too challenging or difficult. Just because someone says something cannot be done, does not make it true (sounds a little like Winnie the Pooh). God’s playground is at the intersection of possible and impossible. That is where His glory is on display for all to see, but if we value comfort over fulfillment or ease over freedom, we will miss experiencing the crossroad where what we can do becomes what only He can. With God, all things are possible and when you are in Him that means possible for you too. God can do anything, but do you believe He can do it through you? 

Biblical tenacity is revealed in people who push through adversity, pain, frustration, silence, isolation and personal limitations into the realm of the impossible where God’s glory meets them in victory. Don’t give up on your dreams or the vision planted in your heart – push through today because God’s glory is waiting to meet you. 

See Hebrews 12:1-3

31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23
  24. Tenacity

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose code contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize D.C. Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discerning driven earned encourage equilibrium faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations George gift goal goals good grace Greater grow heal health healthy humiliation humility ice impossible infinite inheritance intend intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans playground pleasant possible practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop surrender take temperament tenacious tenacity thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Washington wealth Wisdom wise words yearning https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-24---tenacity Fri, 24 Aug 2018 14:23:11 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 23 - Cravings https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-23---cravings Proverbs 23 is filled with contrasting cravings. Solomon starts with caution over desiring what the wealthy and powerful have, because setting your heart on something you don’t have at the expense of what you do, is foolishness. How many television shows promote craving for wealth, comfort, delicacies and toys we do not have. It’s entertainment, but longing for things we cannot afford produces bloated debt, financial and emotional bondage and a yearning for a life out of reach. 

According to a Yale University study in 2017, chocolate is the most craved food in America, closely followed by Ice Cream and French fries. If you yielded and regularly based your diet on chocolate, ice cream and fries, what would your health look and feel like? The pleasure of chocolate dancing on your taste buds may be amazing, though momentary and when repeated too often, harmful. Such are the cravings for wealth, land, sex, and adult beverages listed in Proverbs 23. These items are not bad or evil in themselves, but unchecked they become toxic. 

On the other side of the craving contrast, Solomon lists the desires that produce a blessed and healthy life; discipline, truth, the fear of the Lord, wisdom, understanding, instruction, knowledge, and righteousness. Each one of these passions bring balance intended to support physical, spiritual, emotional, relational and financial health.

As you move through your day test your cravings, put them in check and only allow your eyes to focus on the things that will help you grow as a healthy human being who cultivates and enjoys the blessings you do have instead of craving those you don’t.

Brooklyn Bridge and New York Skyline any 8x12 300 dpi resolution.Brooklyn Bridge and New York Skyline any 8x12 300 dpi resolution.

31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
  23. Craving - Proverbs 23

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful chocolate choice choose code contrast counter craving cravings cream criticize Days decision decisions decisive delicacies desire diligence discerning earned encourage equilibrium faithful faithfulness family fear focus food French fries generations gift good grace Greater grow heal health healthy humiliation humility ice infinite inheritance intend intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up wealth Wisdom wise words yearning https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-23---cravings Thu, 23 Aug 2018 13:08:01 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 22 - Intentional https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-22---intentional Are you the type of person who lives hoping for the best today or do you live intentionally, taking advantage of every opportunity? Do you procrastinate decisions because of the unknown or do you embrace the moment of change as opportunity for God to release greater blessing into your life.  

Living intentionally requires a sense of humility that focuses on excellence in the tasks of today instead of fantasizing about the potential of tomorrow. Purposeful people never forget about tomorrow, they just choose to invest their energy in excellence today, believing quality today is the key to greater opportunity tomorrow. Jesus teaches this principle in Luke 16:9-12 stating, “He who has been faithful with little will be trusted with more.” 

Living intentionally applies to every facet of our lives listed in Proverbs 22: reputation (v1), humility (v2), risk (v3), respect (v4), parenting (v6), finances (v7), generosity (v9), discipline (v10), speech (v11), training (v12), work ethic (v13), associations (v16), justice (v22-23), friendships (v24-25), lending (v26), honesty (v28), and work skills (v29).

Step into life today, humbly focused on excellence, trusting God is faithful to perform His Word on your behalf. Intentionally faithful today, more opportunity tomorrow.

31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20
  21. Plan - Proverbs 21
  22. Intentional - Proverbs 22
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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast counter criticize Days decision decisions decisive diligence discerning earned encourage equilibrium faithful faithfulness family fear focus generations gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite inheritance intend intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect reputation respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-22---intentional Wed, 22 Aug 2018 14:22:08 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 21 - Plan https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-21---plan Proverbs 21:5 The plans (creation of new ideas and thoughts) of the diligent (those who constantly cut away distractions to stay focused on the present issue) lead to profit as surely as haste (giving in to the urge to rush through decisions) leads to poverty. 

Planning is a really important skill to learn at any age. The ability to focus on a desire or challenge and develop a creative course of action will have a dramatic impact on the outcome. How many times have you given in to the urge to make a compulsive purchase or hasty decision and recognized later you should have planned and researched better? Retailers and marketers count on people to not make well planned choices. Television commercials, internet click advertising and even political campaigns are often structured with the hope you will not research the mid and long-term implications of your decisions. Wisdom in Proverbs 21 encourages us to stop compulsive decision making and start creating plans for; business (v5), relationships (v9,19), speech (v23), spiritual development (v30), and overcoming obstacles in life (v31). A prayerfully created, well-researched and executed plan will be the difference between profit and poverty in all aspects of life. Perhaps today is the day to stop leaving so much to chance or to the blind hope that decisions made in haste will just work out. 

Jesus reminds us to, “seek first the Kingdom of God” and then all things we need will be added to our lives. Prayer is a great place to invite the Lord into creative new decisions.

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast counter criticize Days decision decisions decisive diligence discerning earned encourage equilibrium faithful faithfulness family fear focus generations gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite inheritance intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-21---plan Tue, 21 Aug 2018 15:26:30 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 20 - Legacy https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-20---legacy Have you thought about what you will leave behind for those who follow? A biblical legacy leads successive generations toward a heavenly inheritance built by Jesus. Leaving an earthly inheritance is godly and encouraged in the bible, but wisdom suggests we should invest as much in the soul of our successors as we do their assets to ensure the next generation has the heart to build a heavenward legacy of their own. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19
  20. Legacy - Proverbs 20

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast counter criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage equilibrium faithful faithfulness family fear focus generations gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite inheritance intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn legacy light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-20---legacy Tue, 21 Aug 2018 05:10:10 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 19 - Balance https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-19---balance The first step a child takes on her own is a big deal, it's a mile stone called balance. Did you know that walking is actually the practice of falling forward and catching yourself over and over again? Do you recognize when an area in your life is falling out of balance and naturally equalize as quickly as when walking? When a child first learns to walk we expect them to fall a lot, but as we grow, our ability to quickly respond to imbalances improves, and hopefully we fall less. How is your work to family, earn to give, focus to fun, love to frustration, serve to receive, or godly to worldly equilibrium? Are you falling in one, while attempting to sprint in another? God has given us natural ability to rebalance while learning to walk and spiritual ability to do the same in life. How is your balance? (See Hebrews 13:5 and Romans 12:2)

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18
  19. Balance - Proverbs 19

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware balance beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast counter criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage equilibrium faithful faithfulness fear focus gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebalance rebuild redeem reflect respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stability stable stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-19---balance Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:09:49 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 18 - Pause https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-18---pause Do you have a tendency to answer before fully listening, interrupt finishing someone else’s thought, or get impatient while listening once you have developed an answer? My mouth has gotten me into so much trouble simply because I didn’t pause to think before I started to speak. The Psalms are filled with pauses called Selah’s. Selah is a Hebrew word that means to pause before proceeding. I wonder what the world would sound like if all of us chose to pause before proceeding to speak. Can you think of a person you can use the Selah technique with? Imagine the wisdom the Holy Spirit would introduce if He had the space to inspire during your pause? James addresses this challenge by encouraging everyone to be slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Consider if, when mad, you paused and became slow to speak. How many arguments would lose momentum if the Holy Spirit had space to intervene before you responded in anger? Selah – pause before proceeding.
 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17
  18. Pause - Proverbs 18

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn light Listen longing love mirror motivation mouth of pause perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem reflect respond restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-18---pause Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:54:02 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 17 - Pleasant https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-17---pleasant Do you know people who seem to live like they have woken up on the wrong side of the bed; grumpy and frustrated? Maybe you act like that before your morning coffee, until noonish, when hungry, tired or stressed. Proverbs 17 lists a bunch of phrases that describe a healthy, pleasant disposition. Words like cheerful, even-tempered, discerning, selfless, loving and integrity. The writer also uses contrasting words to clarify his point on temperament; strife, malicious, contempt, gloating, arrogant, merciless, quarreling, grief, and bitterness. I know which side of the mood equation I want to be on, but sometimes people or circumstances just get in the way.

In a world where brash, shocking and unthinking are mixed with hyper-sensitive, confrontational and entitled people, you are bound to have some grumpy, frustrated days. However, living grumpy or frustrated will eventually ooze out of your mouth and body language and in the end lead to loneliness and isolation because who volunteers to spend time with a frustrated, grumpy complainer? 

Being of pleasant disposition requires thinking before you speak, being thankful for what you have, and thoughtful to others. Quarrelsome, ungrateful and deceitful may seem more common today, but who do you want to be? Your disposition will positively or negatively impact the depth and authenticity of your relationships. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16
  17. Pleasant - Proverbs 17

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn light Listen longing love mirror motivation of perfect planning plans pleasant practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile solitude soul source speak speech spirit stop take temperament thankful think thinking thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-17---pleasant Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:08:31 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 16 - Motivation https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-16---Motivation What motivates you to get up in the morning and grind until your head hits the pillow at night? All a person’s ways may seem innocent to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord (Pr. 16:2). Many strategic business and relational models ask the question “why” before “how” or even “what”. Why do you wake up and invest the limited twenty-four-hour cycle of your day the way you do? Have you recently answered the why of your habits, choices, relationships, and work? Have you honestly dug into why you are frustrated at work or why you struggle with relationships? The easy answer points why at someone else, but a friend once told me, "if you are frustrated the first place to look is the mirror." 

Learning to live without regret begins with answering the question why – regularly. What motivates you?

 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15
  16. Motivation - Proverbs 16

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation humility infinite intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn light Listen longing love mirror motivation of perfect planning plans practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile soul source speak speech spirit stop take temperament think thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-16---Motivation Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:01:09 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 15 - Temperament https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-15---temperment What are you most known for; grumpy complaining or a cheerful, calm influence? I know the greater stress I feel, the more stressful I become. A gentle answer, a cheerful heart, a patient and calm perspective are available because of what Jesus has accomplished and given through the Holy Spirit. However, it’s our job to get it from our heart into our day, because a cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones (Prov. 15:30). Look in the mirror today and smile before you leave the house, the car, the bathroom or your office because the joy you have in your heart really wants to come out through your face to bring cheer to someone in your path. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14
  15. Temperament - Proverbs 15

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware beat beware Bible build cheer cheerful choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation infinite intentional Jesus judgement laugh laughing learn light Listen longing love of perfect practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander smile soul source speak speech spirit stop take temperament think thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-15---temperment Wed, 15 Aug 2018 13:43:54 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 14- Thoughtful https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-14--thoughtful Thoughtful – Taking a beat to stop and think through the impact of our actions, words or plans is evidence of good judgement, because there is a way that seems right on the surface, but unchecked by wisdom, leads to destructive outcomes. A second thought before speaking or reacting takes only a moment but may save more time than you have for damage control or reconciliation. Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore, don’t be foolish, take a beat to understand what the Lord’s will is before you act. (see Eph. 5:15-17 italics added by author).

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13
  14. Thoughtful - Proverbs 14

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) a Application aware beat beware Bible build choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence discerning earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift good grace Greater grow heal humiliation infinite intentional judgement learn light Listen longing love of perfect practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander soul source speak speech spirit stop take think thoughtful throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-14--thoughtful Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:31:44 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 13 - Longing https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-13---longing Longing – Have you recognized two types of longing in your life? One that deeply desires the eternal presence of the Lord and the other that longs for more temporary things related to life now. Longing of the spirit and longing of the soul. Each type of longing has its rightful place in our lives, but spiritual longing is fulfilled by grace through faith, fueled by hope and facilitated through prayer. Soul longing, on the other hand, is often realized through unflinching vision and tenacious action engaged in prayer. Both require a commitment to prayer, but spiritual longing according to Proverbs 13:12 when fulfilled produces something eternal, poetically called a tree of life described in God’s presence in the Garden of Eden, Wisdom and The Paradise of God in Revelation. Soul longing when fulfilled seems more temporary and when fulfilled, called sweet to the soul (your mind, will and emotions). How quickly does bitterness of soul return to our lives once a soul longing is fulfilled? Bitterness of soul can be represented by anger, frustration, fear, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, unchecked disappointment, etc. Wisdom, in Proverbs 13 suggests we need both spiritual and soul longing and that we should wholeheartedly celebrate the fulfillment of both, but be careful to keep what you are longing for in the company of prayer as that is where our vision is sharpened, tenacity refueled and grace is realized. Perhaps today is a day to write down what you are longing for and confidently take that before the Throne of Grace.

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12
  13. Longing - Proverbs 13

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Application aware beware Bible build choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift grace Greater grow heal humiliation infinite intentional learn light Listen longing love of perfect practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander soul source speak speech spirit throne Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-13---longing Mon, 13 Aug 2018 12:06:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 12 - Speech https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-12---speech What we say has the power to heal or wound, build up or tear down and reliably reveals the content of our hearts. Pay attention to your words and you will recognize the impact of things spoken to you that have mended or harmed, for the Holy Spirit is a heart healing specialist committed to rebuild what has been broken in you. Does your speech open a window to your brokenness or a doorway that restores for those who hear you? (see Pr. 12:18; Luke 6:45; Phil. 1:6)

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11
  12. Speech - Proverbs 12

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application aware beware Bible build choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence earned encourage faithful faithfulness fear focus gift Greater grow heal humiliation infinite intentional learn light Listen love perfect practice prayer Proverbs rebuild redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame slander source speak speech Toward trust up Wisdom wise words https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-12---speech Sun, 12 Aug 2018 12:24:00 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 11 - Righteousness https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-11---righteousness Righteousness is a standard that cannot be earned, but a gift that is received bringing blessing to all who pursue and practice using it.  (see 2 Cor. 5:21)

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10
  11. Righteousness - Proverbs 11

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application aware beware Bible choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence earned faithful faithfulness fear focus gift Greater grow heal humiliation infinite intentional learn light Listen love perfect practice prayer Proverbs redeem restore reveal righteous righteousness shame source Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-11---righteousness Sun, 12 Aug 2018 04:25:51 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 10 - Contrast https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-10---contrast Day 10 - Contrast

The contrast between right and wrong, good and evil, or love and hate can be difficult to perceive in the moment but are proven over time by what they produce. However, the distinction between light and dark is immediately recognized by what is revealed. The longer we keep our hurts, habits and hang-ups in the dark the more painful the process can be when the light is revealed, as the light can become momentarily painful when we have adjusted to dwelling in the dark. Jesus is the light that has come into the world and as we walk in the light with him, we become less fearful and more confident recognizing this light has come to reveal, heal, and redeem, not humiliate, criticize or reject.  

How many beautiful details of your life remain muted and hidden in shadows cast by fear or shame? 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9
  10. Contrast - Proverbs 10

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application aware beware Bible choice choose code contrast criticize Days decisive diligence faithful faithfulness fear focus Greater grow heal humiliation infinite intentional learn light Listen love perfect prayer Proverbs redeem restore reveal shame source Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-10---contrast Fri, 10 Aug 2018 18:27:09 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 9 - Learn https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-9---learn Learn - Wisdom becomes a recognizable attribute in those who never surrender the course of learning through every season, to be wise. Whether you read the tides, weather, soil, poets, historians, scientists, philosophers or the Bible there is life to learn because the Lord, who is infinite, is the beginning of wisdom and the source code for understanding. If you have stopped learning, you may have stopped living. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8
  9. Learn - Proverbs 9

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application aware beware Bible choice choose code Days decisive diligence faithful faithfulness focus Greater grow infinite intentional learn Listen love perfect prayer Proverbs source Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-9---learn Thu, 09 Aug 2018 14:57:38 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 8 - Decisive https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-8---decisive Decisive - In every decision wisdom and understanding will raise their voices to be heard by all who will listen, making indecisiveness the product of an underdeveloped ability to understand and apply what we are seeing and hearing as we approach choice. Not all choices are simple and many are incredibly frightening, but wisdom is waiting like a friend with every step we take toward choosing. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application  - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7
  8. Decisive - Proverbs 8

 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application aware beware Bible choice choose Days decisive diligence faithful faithfulness focus Greater intentional Listen love perfect prayer Proverbs Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-8---decisive Wed, 08 Aug 2018 16:16:11 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 7 - Aware https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-7---aware 31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 7 

Aware - 

Be aware, not beware. For does not have the right to choose your direction in life. Choose not to be manipulated by the fear of being alone, never having enough, falling behind or being different. Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18) and you are perfectly loved by God - no matter what! So, guard your heart, venture out, and pursue wisdom that brings greater freedom and stability with each choice.

Toward Greater Wisdom:

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithful - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6
  7. Aware - Proverbs 7

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application aware beware Bible Days diligence faithful faithfulness focus Greater intentional Listen love perfect prayer Proverbs Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-7---aware Tue, 07 Aug 2018 16:04:41 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Proverbs 6 - Diligence https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-6---diligence Day 6: Diligence

Diligence means being willing to go the extra mile, invest the extra energy, and finish each day strong whether you feel like it or not. These are the work habits God can bless and multiply as diligence today will produce greater opportunities for your future (Luke 16:10; Col. 3:23). 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithfulness - Proverbs 5
  6. Diligence - Proverbs 6

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application Bible Days diligence faithful faithfulness focus Greater intentional Listen prayer Proverbs Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---proverbs-6---diligence Tue, 07 Aug 2018 15:40:28 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Day 5 - Faithfulness https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-5---faithfulness Day 5: Faithfulness 

Faithfulness means to put God first, so your relationships, family, job and personal character remain unclutter by mistrust and broken promises.

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
  5. Faithfulness - Proverbs 5

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application Bible Days faithful faithfulness focus Greater intentional Listen prayer Proverbs Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-5---faithfulness Sun, 05 Aug 2018 11:06:20 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Day 4: Focus https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-4-focus Day 4: Focus

Distractions are inevitable daily challenges that grow like weeds when unchecked by focus and intentional prayer.

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3
  4. Focus - Proverbs 4
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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application Bible Days focus Greater intentional Listen prayer Proverbs Toward trust Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-4-focus Sat, 04 Aug 2018 17:25:26 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Day 3: Trust https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-3 Day 3: Trust

I understand I have trust issues, so I push myself toward the things I fear, address my reactions, and intentionally choose to trust my Heavenly Father to walk me through those fears to victory.

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2
  3. Trust - Proverbs 3

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-3 Sat, 04 Aug 2018 04:37:50 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Day 2: Application https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-2 Day 2: Application

Perhaps making a commitment to simply repeat what you know about exercise, love, patience, integrity, or discipline will help jump start the transformation you are seeking. 

Challenge: Read one chapter of Proverbs from the Bible each day this month (August) and come up with a one word summary you want to take into your day. Follow that one word with a one sentence explanation for application. I am posting my one word summaries each morning. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1
  2. Application - Proverbs 2

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 Application Bible Days Greater Listen Proverbs Toward Wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---day-2 Thu, 02 Aug 2018 12:27:56 GMT
31 Days Toward Greater Wisdom - Day 1: Listen https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---one-word Day 1: Listen

We should not listen to everything being spoken in the world, but listening to our family members, each other, wise teaching, history, and people who challenge the application of our beliefs in a respectful way will help us better connect with Jesus and each other.

Challenge: Read one chapter of Proverbs from the Bible each day this month (August) and come up with a one word summary you want to take into your day. Follow that one word with a one sentence explanation for application. I am posting my one word summaries each morning. 

  1. Listen - Proverbs 1

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) 31 days greater Lighthouse listen Proverbs toward wisdom wise https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/8/31-days-toward-greater-wisdom---one-word Wed, 01 Aug 2018 12:23:00 GMT
A Curious Observer - Being Mostly Wrong https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/a-curious-observer---being-mostly-wrong Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges 16x9 resolutionBrooklyn and Manhattan Bridges 16x9 resolution Have you ever been mostly wrong, most of the time? The kind of wrong where your best educated effort at right is still pretty much wrong. I have spent the last four days in New York City. This is not my first trip to New York, but it is the first trip that I have made the time to explore. Here is what I’ve learned; it’s easy to be wrong in New York City. 

I can navigate with a topo map and a compass across vast landscapes – on unmarked trails, but in New York City I walked a mile to find a grocery store 100 yards from my starting point. I looked right passed the store and decided to go the other direction, as if I knew what was in the other direction. 

No matter how many times Uber told me to go to the Northwest Corner of blahh and blahh, blahh street I could not find the correct corner. Finally, frustrated to action, I loaded my backpack up with camera and a trusty water bottle and set out on foot in search of how I could be so wrong in New York City. 

Determined to be right at the first corner, I pinged the maps app and confidently made the wrong choice. Thankfully the little ball on my phone (not much help until the ball moves the wrong way) recognized I was going the wrong way. Nearly each corner I crested I had the opportunity to greet those on the street…twice, once going the wrong direction and once after correcting. You might think after twenty or so blocks my navigation skills would click in and I would start making more right directional choices. Nope!

I invested 7.5 miles that day (with my 35 pound backpack) to following the blue dot on the maps app. I ended up exactly 2.1 miles away from the residence, an idea of how much backtracking I did. 

Still determined, the next day I set out for Central Park, a big target two miles from the residence. Once again at the first corner, I went the wrong direction and had to back track, this time only one block. After about 40 minutes of following the blue dot on the maps app, I arrived at the north edge of Central Park – nearly missing a park that is three miles long. Getting closer to right with each step, I entered the park and proceeded to head south, at least I thought I was heading south. I meandered back and forth across the park hoping to find the Central Park Zoo to photograph the resident polar bear. Once again, I backtracked my steps so frequently that my fitbit told me I had walked 6.5 miles to cross a 3-mile-long park. Ridiculous, right?

Frustrated, I hit up Uber and was again wrong attempting to find the southwest corner of the meet intersection. I’m surprised I didn’t get run over or ticketed for all the jaywalking I did in New York City. 

Finally, the reason I was so often wrong became clearThe change of environment required me to change my tactics. I had to stop relying on what I knew worked in other places and change the way I approached navigating this new environment. The details of my environment became much more valuable as I zoomed my maps app in to see the names of specific businesses on the street and not just the name of the street. Instead of calling it the northwest corner I found the business located on what my app called the northwest corner. The change in tactics took me more time, but helped me start confidently making more right choices. 

Using familiar tactics unsuccessfully in an unfamiliar and different environment? Perhaps it is time to intentionally seek new solutions to ongoing, unresolved challenges. Is it time to zoom in on where you are and adjust your approach based on your current surroundings? 

Setting our hope on a life that once was when we last felt comfortable or confident in it is a recipe for frustration, disappointment and a whole lot of wrong turns.  Life, like time, only knows how to move forward. We cannot change the past, only live today in a way that positively impacts our future. What navigational choices will you make today to ensure your future is less frustrating than your past?

Jesus gives us some insight on this in Matt. 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

It is never too late to ask Jesus for new directions. 

~Dennis Shillingburg

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) change direction future habits navigation New NYC past transformation wrong York https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/a-curious-observer---being-mostly-wrong Sat, 30 Jun 2018 20:14:17 GMT
A Curious Observer - Contagious Joy https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/a-curious-observer---contagious-joy
On my last trip to Kenya I met a new friend who chooses to live in the contagiously joyful moments of life. Have you met someone like that? Probably the best description of Savannah is, she has a contagious personality syndrome. Some personality contagions I don’t want, but this type of naturally contagious joy, I definitely want. 

One afternoon my new friend found a group of kids in Kenya sitting outside a church on the grass and spontaneously organized a game of duck, duck, goose. It took her several attempts to explain the rules because the kids didn’t understand why they would tap someone on the head and call them a duck or why a goose would give chase on command or ever be expected to catch anyone who was really running. Finally, she just said, “watch me”, hopped up and started around the circle of kids tapping each child as she went calling, “duck, duck, duck” and then joyfully shouted “goose” over the biggest kid in the group, motioning for him to jump up, give chase and catch her. While she ran around the circle of kids focused on sitting down in the spot the chasing boy vacated, the boy chasing went right through the circle of kids and tagged her. The kids were roaring with laughter and she, stunned by this unexpected show of literalism, broke out in laughter that caught the attention of all who were in the vicinity. Suddenly, all the kids in the area wanted to play “duck, duck, goose” so she simply made the circle bigger and started again, this time choosing a much smaller child as the goose – who still caught her. 

I have found there is a certain fearlessness that comes from joy, because joy is a product of peculiar dependence upon the Holy Spirit. A peculiar dependence Jesus describes in John 16:24“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”.Jesus is saying, ask and your joy will be filled to a measure without deficiency. Are you a little joy deficient? Not only is joy contagious, it is inspiring. For two weeks I kept wondering, “how does she do that”? How does she find people to drop organic joy seeds on everywhere she goes? The answer; ask Jesus to fill up your joy deficiency and depend upon the Holy Spirit to keep you living in the moment. Who turns a little stream of water into a superhero action opportunity? A person who chooses to live in the contagiously joyful moments of life.

So in our pursuit of righteousness and peace, essential elements of faith in Jesus; let’s not forget about pursuing joyin the Holy Spirit, a contagious character attribute that will help you live in the moment.

~ Dennis Shillingburg

Romans 14:17; Gal. 5:22-23; Romans 15:13; Jude 24-25

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) central contagious curious duck fun goodell goose hero joy kenya kids observer savannah super https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/a-curious-observer---contagious-joy Thu, 14 Jun 2018 18:49:42 GMT
The Curious Observer https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/the-curious-observer The Curious Observer

Are you a curious observer? The person sitting on the bench at Disneyland watching people stream through the round at the end of Main Street or perhaps you sit with your book poised to read while waiting for your delayed flight, more intrigued by the passersby than the who done it resting in your lap. I am a curious observer. I took this picture of these kids to remind me that I am not the only curious observer in the space where I live. 

We had just started an informal soccer match with some school kids in a rural village in Central Kenya. So many kids were playing, and laughing, it was really fun.  Being a curious observer, I went for a walk around the school yard to see what I could see. As I turned the corner around one of the school buildings I saw these kids, curiously observing the mzungus playing soccer with their school mates. These kids were not casual observers, they were actively assessing the game, the play, the people. I watched them point, laugh, and shuffle positions on the wall as if anticipating a personal invitation to enter the pitch and play. It didn’t take long for one of our team (a mzungu) to personally invite them to come and run in the soccer game with him. All it took was, “hey, I need you to come run with me” and the wall was cleared six more kids entered the game – laughing and chasing my friend. 

A simple invitation to participate in something that connected two cultures, two languages, unfamiliar with each other. These six kids in this picture will remember the day the mzungu came to play, because he stopped to invite them into his life; to run with him. The ensuing joy was mutual. 

God has placed people around your life who are curiously observing. I hope this picture encourages you to stop for just a minute and invite them to step off the wall and into your life, they may just be waiting for a personal invitation to run with you. You are not responsible for their response, just the invitation. BTW, the invitation is where the Great Commission begins!  ~ Dennis Shillingburg

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:4-7

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) central curious football kenya kids observer school soccer https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/the-curious-observer Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:38:51 GMT
Anna and the Art of Discipleship https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/anna-and-the-art-of-discipleship When Jesus calls us to Go and make disciples of all nations, He calls us to more than the didactical retelling of his words. The call to go and make disciples – baptizing and teaching is our fundamental and personal mission on this earth as followers of Christ. These last words of Jesus on earth are a clarion call for all those who would hear and respond – to salvation, not just those unique few who are called to vocational ministry. 

When Jesus called Peter, James and John to follow Him, He was revealing the Art of Discipleship; to follow. Follow what? To follow Jesus’ example of love, communication, compassion, joy, patience, endurance and adventure.  When we follow Jesus, responding to his call, this is the beginning of discipleship. 

I recently took this picture in Kenya as I was struck by the simplicity of this example of discipleship. The lady in the picture is a new friend named Anna, who is an adventurer for the Kingdom of God. Walking through the central Kenyan village of Baraka, Anna encountered these two Kenyan girls and very much like Peter, James and John with Jesus – they began to follow her. Throughout the several hour walk through Baraka these two girls watched Anna stop and greet people along the road, pray for the sick and suffering she encountered, encourage passersby, consult with other team members on directions, and share the Good News with people who were curious. This is the Art of Discipleship, following someone who is following Jesus example of leading. I am confident that Anna was not thinking about discipleship when these two girls grabbed her hands and bookended her travel that day, but discipling is what Anna was doing. Anna was revealing the love, communication, compassion, joy, patience, endurance and adventure of Jesus on that three hour walk through Baraka. Those two Kenya girls will not soon forget the day they walked and watched a young woman from America live the call of Christ – to Go and Make Disciples. 

Are you ready to be a disciple making adventurer of the Kingdom of God?  

~Dennis Shillingburg

Mark 1:17; Matt. 28:18-20 

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) adventure commission communication compassion discipleship endurance fishers great joy love men of patience https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2018/6/anna-and-the-art-of-discipleship Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:03:31 GMT
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Raising https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2017/8/hurricane-harvey-relief-fund-raising Hurricane Harvey: How Will You Help Rebuild?

100% of all profits from the sale of images at www.refocus1.com to be donated toward residential relief from damages caused by hurricane Harvey.

One of the worst natural disaster in U.S history is running up the gulf coast tearing through the lives of millions of people. We have all seen the television footage of the thousands of people who are residing in temporary shelters across southern Texas. Harvey’s human toll is tremendous; homes, jobs, material possessions, transportation, clothing, and the restoration of food supply chains, general stores, financial systems, insurance claims, banks, and local businesses – notwithstanding risks caused by the hoard of con-artists that manipulate the desperation of disaster victims and generosity of Americans.

Commit Local-

I love that the Houston Texans cancelled their pre-season game against the Dallas Cowboys this week so the Team could participate in relief efforts in Houston and continue the fund-raising of JJ Watts a Texans football player. Watts’ goal is to raise ten million dollars to assist Houstonians in rebuilding their lives. The generosity of America is amazing! Though most people cannot commit ten million dollars, and in the midst of a probable 100 billion dollar Harvey relief and rebuild effort your investment can make a difference when kept local, providing healthy food, clean water, funds for clothing, school supplies, replacement of household items, funds for local transportation and much needed post-disaster counseling resources.

Americans learned a great deal about the distribution and disappearance of donated funds after hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti. Study after study has proven immense relief funds never made it to the people rebuilding their lives. Private and public institutions have concluded the most effective management of resources for rebuilding after a natural disaster is found locally in accountable businesses already serving the community.  While a great deal of the rebuilding from damages caused by Hurricane Harvey will be covered by insurance, that process takes time and has limitations. Immediate needs; food, water, shelter, clothing, transportation, hygiene supplies, healthcare and medications, trash disposal, mold abatement, etc. are best met by the people who are locally known to the community and neighborhoods.

Refocus is committing funds to local relationships with reputable organizations who have been serving the needs of Houstonians and surrounding communities long before Hurricane Harvey ripped through the lives of Southern Texans.

Through October 31, 2017 Refocus Photography is donating 100% of profits generated through the purchase of online images to the following organizations who are committing 100% of every dollar given to the people who are rebuilding their lives:

Organizations to fund:

Life Church in Angleton, TX

Foursquare Disaster Relief

Dennis Shillingburg - Owner Refocus Photography

 

 

Some data to support enclosed conclusions regarding giving toward relief efforts.

Immense Cost of natural disasters

https://www.thebalance.com/hurricane-katrina-facts-damage-and-economic-effects-3306023

Over half of all resources pay for emergency systems and not rebuilding.

http://www.datacenterresearch.org/data-resources/katrina/facts-for-impact/

1 Billion dollars of fraudulent waste after Katrina:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jun/15/hurricanekatrina.usa

700 million in Katrina Funds missing:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/700-million-katrina-relief-funds-missing-report-shows/story?id=18870482

Where did the relief money go after Haiti Earthquake?

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/01/12/376138864/5-years-after-haiti-s-earthquake-why-aren-t-things-better

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2017/8/hurricane-harvey-relief-fund-raising Thu, 31 Aug 2017 01:02:55 GMT
Mama Gloria - Mary Wanjiku village school - Nyahururu Kenya https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2017/4/mama-gloria---mary-wanjiku-village-school---nyahururu-kenya Rural Village School – Mary and James Wanjiku – Nyahururu Kenya

Our vision begins with a pastor and a teacher who have lived and farmed on the same land for three generations, James and Mary Wanjiku. James and Mary (AKA Mama Gloria), have committed their lives to serving their rural village near Nyahururu Falls, Kenya. For nearly ten years, Mary and James have been leading a local church and building a school to educate village kids, including learning and physically impaired children in and around their village. They have personally shouldered the cost of school materials and rented facilities on their own. In 2014 Lighthouse Pacifica went to Kenya with a team from Global LIFE and met Mary and James. It was then we recognized who orchestrated our meeting. The friendship was immediate and partnership would soon follow. As her students danced and sang, Mary asked us to pray for them and shared how children in Kenya are tested and all who fail to meet the academic standard (3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th grade) are not allowed to proceed any further in their public education. There are private boarding school options, but they are costly and most rural villagers are very poor and cannot afford the tuition. Mary is providing education for all children in their village, learning impaired, handicapped, those who meet the academic standards and those who do not. Mary and James are so well respected in their village, the village elders came to our second meeting in May of 2016, publically endorsing Mary as their village educator. This conversation inspired the following plan to partner with Mary and James to educate all children in their rural village regardless of ability to pay, impairment or testing.

Phase 1 - Provide financial resources to ensure the following kids can be educated;

  1. those who cannot qualify for public education (testing, learning impaired and disabled),
  2. kids who do not have access to public education (school are too far),
  3. families who cannot afford public education (200 schillings monthly),
  4. whose parents want their children educated in their local village

a.40 kids at 200 schillings monthly (Kenya mandatory fee)  - $960.00 US

i.$1,000.00 US for curriculum, writing tools, paper, musical instruments, arts supplies, meals (three daily), etc.

ii.$2,000.00 US Annual Operation without salary (funded through January 2018)

Phase 2 - Raise funds to purchase ten acres of land for the school - $20,000.00 (completed April 2017)

Phase 3 - Raise funds to build a multi-room school with concrete floors, aluminum roof, wood walls and electricity. $20,000.00 US dollars (fund-raising in progress)

  • All buildings are built by locals in the village – providing local jobs as resources are constructed

Phase 4 - Raise funds and build a dormitory on property for weekly boarding of kids who cannot travel to and from school, are too far by foot or have no transportation options to get to school.

Lighthouse Pacifica has an account established for Mary’s School and wire money as plans develop and needs arise. All donations are tax-deductible through Lighthouse Pacifica.  www.lighthousepacifica.com

Refocus Photography also partners with Mary and James donating 25% of all art sold on their website to building rural village schools in Kenya. www.refocus1.com

Video of Mary and the Kids in Action

Thank you for partnering to educate beyond poverty and build hope now.

Dennis Shillingburg

Pastor, Lighthouse Pacifica

Photographer, Refocus Photography

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(Refocus Photography & Virtual Tours) Beyond Poverty Mama Gloria Mary Wanjiku Nyahururu https://www.refocus1.com/blog/2017/4/mama-gloria---mary-wanjiku-village-school---nyahururu-kenya Thu, 06 Apr 2017 18:54:17 GMT