Doing Business in Great Waters

There is a scripture that has been one of my all-time favorites for years.  In fact, my pastor used to preach and teach from it often and it has always inspired me.  It not only applies to our lives spiritually but I believe it holds practical application in the arena of leadership and life as well.

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It is found in Psalm 107:23-24.  Take a look at it with me:

23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

As I looked closer at this passage of scripture, three things came to my mind that I want to make sure I incorporate into my own personal life.  Hopefully they can inspire and help you. We are all called to be and do!  That is our divine privilege and with the help of God and His word, I believe we can arrive at that destined destination we have been given.  Here is what I thought:

  1. You Have To Commit - Nothing starts in your life without a commitment to begin!  I like what the scripture says; they that go DOWN to the sea in ships, that do BUSINESS in great waters.  They had to commit to the most unstable element that exists – the element of water.  Living in San Diego, I do my best to try and find the time to go over to the ocean and just watch the waves.  The waves and the sea are unstable and constantly in motion.  In order to do business out in the deep, one first must commit to the process.  You cannot just think about what you are going to do – you have to get out there and put your boat in the water so to speak.  This leads me to my next point:
  2. You Have To Launch – Just sitting on the side of the shore gets you nowhere.  The only thing you have is a view, or can I say “vision.”  Having a vision is great!  Nothing wrong with having a vision but at some point you must understand – the business I need to conduct is out on the water, not here on the shore!   The only thing you can build on the shore is a sand castle and eventually the waves are going to tear that down so you have to commit to the sea!  The commitment you make now leads to you doing something about it.  You have to launch that idea, that program, that ministry, that ???  I will let you fill in the blank.  I meet a lot of people with a lot of good ideas but they never get past the shore.  Their uncertainty about the launch will cost them MUCH!  Don’t be afraid to push away from the comfortable and the serene.  It is in the DEEP where you begin to see the WORKS of the Lord and His WONDERS!  The prize is always out in the deep!
  3. You Have To Weather the Storm – This is probably where most people, once they commit and launch, experience the most pressure to turn around and go back.  They experience a bump in the road or they come across a tough patch in the journey going out into the deep.  The pressure to turn around and go back is real but there is no reward in that.  You have to be committed to the journey and realize that in order to succeed you will face some very difficult times.  It is part of the process. I will be honest and say that there have been several times in my own life that I have felt like giving up.  Having only one hand has produced some moments that I didn’t think I could make it.  But I have kept moving forward and tried my best to weather the storm that I faced.  You can do the same thing!  In fact you have what it takes and there will be times that it will be easier to look at the size of the waves as it is to look at the size of your God!  DON’T!!!  God is bigger than the storm and God’s plan for your life is greater than the waves.

I hope this has helped someone today.  I believe we are called to move forward and achieve great things in our lives but it always comes at a price.  Don’t be afraid to COMMIT, LAUNCH and WEATHER THE STORM!

See you in deep waters,

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3 Attitude Attributes For A Successful Life

The path to success is often one of treacherous footing.  The potholes and challenges along the way of life can sometimes be many and full of difficulty.  We tend to look for some secret formula out there which will help us maneuver our way through the challenges life so often brings our way.  The truth is, there is no “one-stop solution” that guarantees victory in living a productive & successful life.

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However, I do believe there are some principles or what I call “attitude attributes” that can help you live a more meaningful life.  Now understand this; these are not some get successful quick scheme that I have come across.  These are simply principles I believe are necessary to help us achieve what God placed us on this earth to become.

I am very confident there are many more than just these three, but these are a good place to start in establishing a forward direction of productivity in your life.

Allow me to dive into what I believe are the top 3 “attitude attributes” one must possess: 

What Defines You?

So many times we come up against circumstances in life that truly test our resolve and ability to keep moving forward.  I often find that many people do not know what to do when they are faced with some sort of challenge.  How do I get through this?  What steps do I take to overcome what is in front of me?  These questions and many more invade our thoughts during trying times and if we are not careful, will stop us from seeing the obstacle as what it really can be; an opportunity.

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In The HandBook: Five Forces To Form Your Future, I discuss a very impactful truth that I have had to live by and it is simply this:

MY CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT DEFINE ME.  I CHOOSE TO DEFINE MY CIRCUMSTANCES!

The very first step anyone needs to take in times like these, is to properly see the challenge for what it is.  Unfortunately, too many people live their lives defined by the circumstances they are up against or the obstacles that are in their path.  I speak to hundreds of students each year and although most of them may not have a physical “handicap” like some say I do, they are dealing with situations that are keeping them from moving forward in the direction they were created to go.

The very first thing you must do is properly identify the circumstance as something that has been placed in your life to make you a stronger, more focused and better individual.  Whatever “IT” is, it does not and cannot define you.  The power lies in your ability to see it for what it is.

For instance, I have told this story across the globe and it has even been briefly mentioned here on my blog, so let me give you a cliff-notes version.  You can read it in more detail by clicking on the link above if you want to.  When I was 19 I began to date this girl and it started to get somewhat serious.  Several months into the relationship I was presented with a decision I had to make when one day she told me:

You are a freak of society!  I constantly notice that people stare at you because of your arm.  I’m not sure I want to be married to someone who only has one hand.  I may one day want to know what it feels like to be held by a man with two arms!

EXCUSE ME?!!!!  What did you say?  At that moment I had a choice to make.  I could accept her opinion of me and see myself the way that she did or I could dump her and move on reminding myself that I am not the one with the handicap – she was – and refuse to be defined by my circumstance or her opinion.  Thankfully I chose to dump her and move on with my life and not allow her definition or my condition define who I was.  I chose to define it, not the other way around.

I challenge you at the beginning of this week, no matter what may be in your path, don’t allow your circumstance to define you – you choose to define the circumstance and watch what will come out of the murky waters of that obstacle; an opportunity to become someone that has a very unique understanding of who they are and where they are going.

Refuse to let anything stop you!  Now go after it…

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dasarg2dLooking for resources for your student ministry or young adult group?  Don’t forget to opt-in to get my FREE Resource Guide to Student Ministry.  Just click on image to download. Enjoy!

 

 

How have you dealt with challenging circumstances and overcame them?  Comment below and tell us about what you have had to overcome and how you were able to move forward.  We would love for you to share your insight.  

Introducing Student Ministries Network

I am SUPER EXCITED to announce the formation of Let Me Give You A Hand Student Ministries Network here at darinsargent.com!  This is going to be an incredible resource for those that are in the trenches of student ministry.  Just for opting in you will receive my FREE “The Ultimate Resource Guide to Student Ministry: 10 Tools That Will Revolutionize Your Student Ministry.”  You got to check this out!

JOIN STUDENT MINISTRIES NETWORK

dasarg2dWe all can use a “helping hand” (no pun intended) in youth ministry, and the Student Ministries Network is a great place to connect with other youth ministries and gather resources for your students.  We will be notifying you shortly about some cool stuff that will be made available very soon that I think will be a great addition to your ministry, so stay tuned and enjoy this resource guide plus another freebie you will discover once you opt-in.

For Students,

Darin Sargent

 

 

Do You See What I See?

I know we are still a few months away from the Christmas season and I haven’t yet started to sing carols, but I thought maybe this title would grab your attention allowing me to give you a few things that I have been thinking about lately.

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We have all heard it and it remains true: How you see your life, shapes your life!  One of the greatest obstacles to achieving or becoming anything in life is how we perceive what is going on around us.  How one sees or perceives what they are dealing with and what they may be facing, is the very thing that can either move them forward or push them back.  We have so many biblical examples of this principle but there is one that captivates my attention more than any other.

It is the story of the 12 spies that were sent by Moses to spy out the land of promise.  Now, before we go much further we must understand something; this was a land that God said He was going to GIVE to His people.  However, a problem arose once 10 of the spies allowed what they saw to become greater than what they heard.

All 12 spies heard what God had told Moses.  All 12 spies saw the same

The Path of Resistance

I love blogging!  For me it is an avenue to express myself and at the same time work on my writing skills.  But to be honest, writing doesn’t always come easy to me.  Sure there are days I wake up with an idea for a post, a chapter in a new book I am writing, or a lesson I am preparing and I can knock it out in no time, but then there are days like today, where I find it very difficult to come up with anything at all to say.  And I don’t think this is something that is just exclusive to me – I think many “so called writers” struggle with this.

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So what do you do when you don’t have any inspiration or do not know what to write?  How does one get past the “barrier” that seems to be between you and a finished product?  This doesn’t just apply to writing by the way.  It applies to many things in our lives and if we are not careful we can allow the “barrier, fear, resistance…” whatever you want to call it, keep us from doing what we know we are called to do. If you are struggling in this area, allow me to introduce you to a book that I have found extremely helpful.  It is titled; The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and it is a great encouraging and challenging book.  I highly recommend it.  In it Pressfield says:

Most of us live two lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands Resistance.

The challenge we often face is the resistance that tries to keep us from moving forward or producing what we know we are to be producing…