If You Want to Recognize Opportunity, Pay Attention.

Notice What Others Overlook and You’ll See Opportunities they Don’t.

Notice What Others Overlook and You’ll See Opportunities they Don’t.Notice What Others Overlook and You’ll See Opportunities They Don’t.

Seems simple.

but you know as well as I do that people are oblivious most of the time.

We walk around in a vacuum, navigating the smallest encounters on autopilot, looking at our phones instead of looking people in the eye and missing the sunset for months.

Not only do we miss opportunities that would bless us, but opportunities that would bless others.

From fleeting opportunities to encourage someone to huge missed opportunities to…

connect with someone,
learn from someone,
even receive help from someone.

When we don’t pay attention, we miss identifying all the disconnected things we encounter in our day, which means we forfeit opportunities to recognize ways we can connect them, leading to new ideas that might solve our problems or inspire us to take a step in a new direction.

Try it. Just for today. Pay attention to as many things as possible – small and large, in your direct line of vision as well as in your peripheral vision. Listen to words and sounds you overhear in the background and stop tuning out direct messages as noise.

If you are a person of faith, pray.
Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you. Nudge you. Call your attention to whatever He wants you to notice today.

What opportunities can you recognize?

#memoryverse Jeremiah 32:17 ~ nothing (nobody) is too hard (headed) for God.

Jeremiah 32 17 waterfall background#memoryverse

“Ah, Sovereign LORD,
you have made the heavens and the earth
by your great power and outstretched arm.
Nothing is too hard for you.”

Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)

I’m a fixer.

When I see something that needs fixed I want to fix it, whether it be a crooked picture on the wall or a broken relationship. But some things are beyond my capabilities, especially if the thing that’s broken isn’t seen as broken by people “in charge” of it.

In many cases, the first thing that needs to be changed is a mindset.

That’s a whole lotta vague, isn’t it? As I read back over it, I see application in multiple situations. In each of those situations, someone either doesn’t see or refuses to see that there’s a problem in the first place.

And before anyone even goes there, I know I’m one of those people, so as you read, know that I’m including my own oblivion and denial and not just pointing at someone else’s. I need to consistently ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me problems I don’t see.

And in those situations where I want to help but the people I want to help don’t think they need any help, I need to pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to them the problems THEY don’t see. If someone has blocked out all possibility for constructive criticism and/or surrounded themselves with “yes men” and rainbow blowing yea-sayers, there’s no avenue for me to help because there’s no perceived need or even an openness for possible improvement. In those situations, there’s absolutely nothing I can say or do to make someone aware of a problem, much less motivate them to explore and implement change.

And again, I’m including my own oblivion and denial when I say that.

That’s when I need to rely on God. God can do ANYthing, even open a closed mind, dedicated to the self-preservation of being “right.” For a while now, I’ve been asking the sovereign and almighty God who made the heavens and the earth to do some things I know can’t do on my own:
(1) reveal to me that my perception of some problems is incorrect,
(2) bless me with a peace about doing nothing to intercede,
(3) and/or reveal to someone that there are problems and provide me an opportunity to help.

Because standing by and watching is beyond frustrating.

#memoryverse Psalms 121:2 ~ decisions and steps.

Beth Moore quote Where God can go with a scared ill equipped vessel#memoryverse

“My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:2 (NIV)

Are you at the door to an opportunity but haven’t taken the step through because you don’t have confidence in your ability to succeed?

Pray.

Make sure the opportunity is within the moral will of God as revealed to us in scripture.

Pray.

Seek counsel with wise and objective brothers and sisters in Christ who don’t have anything to lose or gain from your decision.

Pray.

Genuinely ask the Lord to exponentially increase your desire to move forward if the path IS within His will for you.
Ask Him to pursue you relentlessly if it IS His will for you.

Genuinely ask Him to lessen and remove your conscious thoughts of this possible path if it ISN’T His will for you.
Ask him to re-direct your thoughts to a different course of action if this one ISN’T His will for you.

Pray.

And then take action.

Don’t wait for Him to say “GO,” take one step after another while diligently and prayerfully watching for Him to say “NO.”

Remember, if you could do it alone, you wouldn’t need His help. Remember where your help comes from.

#memoryverse Psalms 121:2 ~ muse. shmoose. I need the Holy Spirit.

God has not calle me to be successful but faithful Mother Teresa#memoryverse

“My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:2 (NIV)

In the fall of last year, I began leading two Bible/Discipleship studies and after taking a break over the holidays, I’m seeing more people sign up to join us as we start back next week. My first thought was “EXCELLENT!”

Followed immediately by a humbling shot of “uh oh. WHAT am I going to say for 17 weeks? What if I run out of “stuff” to teach?”

And then the Holy Spirit nudged me: “Yeah, you’ll run out of ‘stuff.’ If you teach all by yourself. You need to depend on ME.

I know from experience that if I stay grounded in close fellowship with God and continuously offer my preparation as a living sacrifice, He will give me HIS message every week, from the timeless truth of scripture to the practical application of it in our lives today. From the supporting stories to suggestions for personal challenges.

I know that if I continuously pray for the people participating in the study, HE will incline their hearts and minds to HIS message and He will draw each one closer to Himself in a way that is unique and needed for each and every one of them.

Time and time again – when I’ve depended on HIM as my source and my guide – He has led me to share something very specific to meet someone right where they are that day, that moment.

I know that if I’m obedient in planting and sowing the seed where and how he leads me, He will send the rain and the sunshine and harvest in His own perfect timing.

I’ll need the Holy Spirit to remind me of that last part again and again because I know my natural tenancy is equate responses from people as affirmation that the messages I relay are “effective.” In reality, I’m confident He’s reached people who have never given me even one ioda of feedback that something I’ve shared has spoken to them or impacted their choices.

I need to remember – persistently – that HE is the source of all I ever teach, or speak or write. Without Him, my voice is a “clanging cymbal.”

#memoryverse Psalms 121:2 ~ knowledge and wisdom.

Psalm 121 2 My help comes from the Lord pastel bkg#memoryverse

“My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:2 (NIV)

For as long as I remember, I’ve believed that knowledge can help me solve problems and overcome obstacles. It’s one of the reasons I read so much non-fiction.

Authors are teachers.

Witnesses.

Mentors.

You may have heard me say this before, but I don’t believe I’m all that special. I believe that any problem I face has been faced by someone else before and most of the time, I’ve found that at least one of those people has written about it.

So when I find myself face to face with a problem, I research. I learn.

But I’ve found that knowledge isn’t enough. I need wisdom.

Two very different things.

Some have said “knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.” There’s a whole lotta truth in that. But in my experience, wisdom is the effective application of knowledge. Some say that wisdom is derived from experience and intuition. That’s giving me WAAAAY too much credit. I can take the credit, don’t get me wrong.

But I know better. I know where my help comes from.

Every time I find an answer, I know the Holy Spirit led me to it. I can take the credit for finding it all on my own, but I know better. I know where my help comes from, regardless of whether it’s the discovery of information or my ability to apply that information effectively in a given situation.

One of the most common reminders of God’s leading in my life is when I can freakishly recall something from my distance past that will help me in my current situation, whether it’s something I read or saw, something I experienced or a conversation I had with someone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been completely stumped about what to do or say and after silently praying, right in the middle of an active conversation or challenge, God has revealed an answer, a word, a thought.

If not for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I wouldn’t remember half of what I learn and I wouldn’t be able to apply diddly or squat of it in the conversations and interactions of my daily life.

I know where my help comes from.