2www.WorkWithRanda.com“Get Your Mind and Spirit Right”Now that you have your surroundings in order we can now move on to getting yourMind and Spirit right.When I say getting your Mind and Spirit right, I am talking about the beginning steps tocreating the life of your dreams. We all have dreams and aspirations for our lives, butthe problem with having dreams is that once we wake up, we don’t take any steps oractions towards obtaining them.We think of it as having been a wonderful feeling at that moment, but now back toreality. But the reality of it is that your dreams can always become your reality if youtake the proper steps and implement the required planning to reach your goals.This week is designed to help you do just that. We will be working on learning how toset attainable goals, staying focused, developing a spiritual regimen and holdingourselves accountable.Begin to develop a daily spiritual regimen. No matter what your religion, you shouldaspire to become closer with your God.Make it a point to get up 15 minutes earlier each day and pray, read a scripture andmake a to do list for the days goals.Time after time when working with my clients I see a pattern of behavior that seems tostagnate their lives. People are carrying around either guilt or grudges for experiencesthey have had in their lives.Once you are able to either forgive someone for the pain they have caused you, orforgive yourself...........You would be amazed at how much weight can be lifted andyour journey can become much easier.You cannot expect to be forgiven if you refuse to forgive.
3www.WorkWithRanda.comLet’s Step into our Greatness.......Are you ready?Since self-discipline is so important, how do you develop it? How can parentshelp their children develop it? Here are some practical tips that Ive foundhelpful:Start with small things. Clean your room at home or your desk at work. Train yourself to put thingswhere they belong when they are out of place. Make the old adage "A place for everything andeverything in its place" your motto. After youve cleaned your room or desk, extend that discipline ofneatness to the rest of your house and workplace. Get yourself to the point where orderlinessmatters. Learn how to keep your environment clean and clear so you can function without a myriad ofdistractions. Such neatness will further develop self-discipline by forcing you to make decisions aboutwhat is important and what is not.Learning self-discipline in the little things of life prepares the way for big successes. On the otherhand, those who are undisciplined in small matters will likely be undisciplined in more importantissues. In the words of Solomon, it is the little foxes that ruin the vineyards (Song of Sol. 2:15). Andwhen it comes to a persons integrity and credibility, there are no small issues.A famous rhyme, based on the defeat of King Richard III of England at the battle of Bosworth Field in1485, illustrates the importance of concentrating on small details: For want of a nail, a shoe was lost,For want of a shoe, a horse was lost, For want of a horse, a battle was lost, For want of a battle, akingdom was lost, And all for want of a horseshoe nail.Get yourself organized. Make a schedule, however detailed or general you are comfortable with, andstick to it. Have a to-do list of things you need to accomplish. Using a daily planning book or apersonal information manager program on your computer would be helpful. But get organized, even ifall you do is jot down appointments and to-do items on a piece of scrap paper. The simple reality isthat if you dont control your time, everything (and everyone) else will.Dont constantly seek to be entertained. When you have free time, do things that are productiveinstead of merely entertaining. Read a good book, listen to classical music, take a walk, or have aconversation with someone. In other words, learn to entertain yourself with things that arechallenging, stimulating, and creative. Things that are of no value except to entertain you make a verysmall contribution to your well-being.Be on time. If youre supposed to be somewhere at a specific time, be there on time. The apostle Paullisted proper use of time as a mark of true spiritual wisdom: "Be careful how you walk, not as unwisemen, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15-16). Beingpunctual marks a life that is organized. It reveals a person whose desires, activities, andresponsibilities are under control. Being on time also acknowledges the importance of other peopleand the value of their time.Keep your word. "Undertake not what you cannot perform," a young George Washington exhortedhimself, "but be careful to keep your promise." If you say youre going to do something, do it—whenyou said you would do it and how you said you would do it. When you make commitments, see themthrough. That calls for the discipline to properly evaluate whether you have the time and capability todo something. And once youve made the commitment, self-discipline will enable you to keep it.
5www.WorkWithRanda.comLimiting beliefsHave you become addicted to limiting beliefs? Do those limiting beliefssoothe you and comfort you while at the same time holding you back?In the short term, it can be much easier to tell yourself you cant do it. Yetwhen you look at the big picture, its much better to go ahead and do thework of achievement.You can comfort yourself today by believing that your lack of progress is notyour responsibility. However, youll soon be paying for that short-termcomfort with long-term regret.It is difficult work to acknowledge and follow the best of your possibilities.And it is well worth the effort.For your dreams are calling to you, and theyll never be satisfied until you dosomething about them. You have what it takes to reach them, and theyknow it.Break free of your dependence on limiting beliefs. And achieve the greatthings that only you can bring to life.-- Ralph Marston
6www.WorkWithRanda.comGet Your Mind RightBy Dianna HobbsHave you ever heard the expression, "What you see is what you get?" Its true. What you see really iswhat you get. Theres no way around it. Perception is reality. "What You See Determines Who YoullBe." Never forget that.Until you get your mind right you’ll never be able to get your life right. Why? Because nothing in yourlife can exceed your level of thinking. Your reality cannot supersede your mentality. So, if you wantbigger and better results, then you’ve got to get a bigger and better vision for your life. You can thinkyour way to a whole new plateau or to an all-time low. Which will it be?You can’t constantly think thoughts of doom and gloom and expect sunshine and growth. That defies God’snatural laws. You see, whatever you plant will determine your harvest. If you constantly sow negativity throughyour words, thoughts, and actions, you’ll reap a negative harvest. However, if you sow optimism byconsistently choosing to embrace a bright and positive outlook, you’ll produce better results in your life.What you see truly is what you get.So, let me ask you something. When you look at your circumstances what do you see? Think about itnow. It’s important to examine your thought life. Are you too negative? If so, ask God to work on yourmentality.Remember, mind transformation always precedes life transformation. “. . . but be transformed by the renewingof your mind” (“Romans 12:2b NIV).I know that all your circumstances may not look favorable right now. But how do you expect things tochange if you consistently speak death, destruction, doom, and gloom over your life? Stop poisoningyourself with your tongue. Stop diminishing your sense of worth. Stop stifling your creativity. Stopcursing your future.Change the way you look at things. Rather than always seeing the glass as “half empty,” begin seeing it as “halffull.” Focus on the good things. Stop expecting the worst while praying for the best.I want to leave you with this encouragement today: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever isright, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent orpraiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).Your future hangs in the balance. In which direction will you swing the pendulum? Toward thenegative or the positive? Only you can decide...
7www.WorkWithRanda.comFirst Steps to Spiritual GrowthHow to have meaningful time with God By Rick WarrenOnce you’re convinced that a daily quiet time is necessary for spiritual growth, then how do you go abouthaving one? You may be motivated to do it but may not know how.You need to consider four essentials elements of a good quiet time:• Start with the proper attitudes.• Select a specific time.• Choose a special place.• Follow a simple plan.START WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDESIn Gods eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do.On one occasion God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks atthe outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7, NIV*) It is quite possible todo the right thing but with the wrong attitude.This was Amaziahs problem, for “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord but notwholeheartedly.”(2 Chronicles 25:2)When you come to meet with God in the quiet time, you should have these proper attitudes:• Expectancy - Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time offellowship with Him and receive a blessing from your time together. That was what David expected:"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You." (Psalm 63:1)• Reverence - Dont rush into Gods presence, but prepare your heart by being still before Him andletting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world. Listen to the prophet Habakkuk: "The Lordis in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him." (Habakkuk 2:20; see also Psalm 89:7)Coming into the presence of the Lord is not like going to a football game or some other form ofentertainment.• Alertness - Get wide-awake first. Remember that you are meeting with the Creator, the Maker ofheaven and earth, the Redeemer of men. Be thoroughly rested and alert. The best preparation for aquiet time in the morning begins the night before. Get to bed early so you will be in good shape tomeet God in the morning; He deserves your full attention.• Willingness to obey - This attitude is crucial: you dont come to your quiet time to choose what youwill do or not do, but with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do.Jesus said, "If anyone chooses to do God’s will he will find out whether My teaching comes from Godor whether I speak on My own." (John 7:17) So come to meet the Lord having already chosen to doHis will no matter what.SELECT A SPECIFIC TIMEThe specific time has to do with when you should have your quiet time and how long it should be. Thegeneral rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day -when you are the freshest and most alert. Dont try to serve God with your leftovers (leftover time).
8www.WorkWithRanda.comRemember, too, that your best time may be different from someone elses.For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus own practiceto rise early to pray and meet with the Father: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesusgot up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed." (Mark 1:35)In the Bible many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were:Abraham - Genesis 19:27 Moses - Exodus 34:4Job - Job 1:5 Hannah and Elkanah - 1 Samuel 1:19Jacob - Genesis 28:18 David - Psalms 5:3, 57:7,8(See also Psalm 143:8; Isaiah 26:9; Ezekiel 12:8.)Throughout church history many Christians who were used most by God met with Him early in themorning. Hudson Taylor said, "You dont tune up the instruments after the concert is over. Thatsstupid. Its logical to tune them up before you start."The great revival among British college students in the late 19th century began those historic words:"Remember the Morning Watch!" So we need to tune ourselves up at the start of each day as weremember the Morning Watch.If Jesus is really in first place in our lives, we ought to give Him the first part of our day . We are toseek His Kingdom first (see Matthew 6:33). Doctors tell us that the most important meal of the day isbreakfast. It often determines our energy levels, alertness, and even moods for the day. Likewise, weneed a "spiritual breakfast" to start our day off right.Finally, in the morning our minds are uncluttered from the days activities. Our thoughts are fresh,were rested; tensions have not yet come on us, and its usually the quietest time. One mother setsher alarm clock for 4 a.m., has her quiet time, goes back to bed, and then rises when everyone elsein the household gets up. Her explanation is that with kids around the house all day, early morning isthe only time when it is quiet and she can be alone with God. It works for her; you need to select atime that will work for you.You might even consider having two quiet times (morning and night). Dawson Trotman, founder ofthe Navigators, used to have code letters for his night quiet time: HWLW. Whenever he was with agroup of people at night or home with his wife and the conversation seemed to be ending, he wouldsay, "All right, HWLW." HWLW stood for "His Word the Last Word;" and he practiced that through theyears as a way of ending a day with ones thoughts fixed on the Lord (Betty Lee Skinner, Daws,Zondervan, 1974, p. 103).Stephen Olford, a great Christian and minister in New York for many years, said, “I want to hear thevoice of God before I hear anyone else’s in the morning, and His is the last voice I want to hear atnight.”David and Daniel even met with the Lord three times each day (see Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10).Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar; make an appointment withGod as you would with anyone else. Make a date with Jesus! Then look forward to it and dont standHim up. A stood-up date is not a pleasant experience for us, and Jesus does not like to be stood upeither. So make a date with Him and keep it at all costs.The question is often asked, "How much time should I spend with the Lord?" If youve never had aconsistent quiet time before, you may want to start with seven minutes (Robert D. Foster, SevenMinutes with God, NavPress, 1997) and let it grow naturally. You should aim to eventually spend notless than 15 minutes a day with the Lord. Out of 168 hours we all have during a given week, 1 hourand 45 minutes seems terribly small when you consider that you were created to have fellowship withGod. Here are some additional guidelines:o Dont try for a two-hour quiet time at first. Youll only get discouraged. Youmust grow in this relationship as you do in any other. So begin with a consistent seven minutes and
9www.WorkWithRanda.comlet it grow; its better to be consistent with a short time than to meet for an hour every other week. oDont watch the clock. Clock-watching can ruin your quiet time faster thanalmost anything else. Decide what you can do in the Word and prayer during the time you haveselected; then do it. Sometimes it will take longer than you have set aside, and sometimes less time.But dont keep looking at your watch. o Dont emphasize on quantity, emphasize on quality. There isnothing super spiritual about have a two-hour quiet time. Its what you do during your time - 15minutes or two hours or anything in between - thats important. Aim for a quality relationship with theLord.CHOOSE A SPECIAL PLACEThe location where you have your quiet time is also important. The Bible indicates that Abraham hada regular place where he met with God (Genesis 19:27). Jesus had a custom of praying in theGarden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. "Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, andHis disciples followed Him." (Luke 22:39, emphasis added)Your place ought to be a secluded place. This is a place where you can be alone, where its quiet,and where you will not be disturbed or interrupted. In todays noisy Western World, this may takesome ingenuity, but it is necessary. It ought to be a place ...o where you can pray aloud without disturbing others; o where you have good lighting for reading (adesk, perhaps); o where you are comfortable. (WARNING: Do not have your quiet time in bed.Thats too comfortable!)Your place ought to be a special place. Wherever you decide to meet with the Lord, make it a specialplace for you and Him. As the days go by, that place will come to mean a lot to you because of thewonderful times you have there with Jesus Christ.Your place ought to be a sacred place. This is where you meet with the living God. Where you meetthe Lord can be just as holy as the place where Abraham met God. You dont have to be in a churchbuilding. People have had their quiet times in their cars parked in a quiet place, in an empty closet athome, in their backyards, and even in a baseball dugout. Each of these places has become sacred tothem.FOLLOW A SIMPLE PLANSomeone has said, "If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it!" To have a meaningful quiet time, youwill need a plan or some kind of general outline to follow. The main rule is this: Keep your plansimple.You will need the following three items for your planned quiet times:o A Bible - a contemporary translation (not a paraphrase) with good print,preferably without notes. o A notebook for writing down what the Lord shows you, and for makinga prayerlist. o A hymnbook - sometimes you may want to sing in your praise time (seeColossians 3:16).• Wait on God (Relax). Be still for a minute; dont come running into Gods presence and start talking
10www.WorkWithRanda.comimmediately. Follow Gods admonition: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10; see alsoIsaiah 30:15; 40:31) Be quiet for a short while to put yourself into a reverent mood.• Pray briefly(Request). This is not your prayer time, but a short opening prayer to ask God to cleanseyour heart and guide you into the time together. Two good passages of Scripture to memorize are:o "Search me, OGod, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is anyoffensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24; see also 1 John 1:9) o“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law [the Word] ." (Psalm119:18; see also John 16:13)You need to be in tune with the Author before you can understand His Book!o Read a section of the Scripture (Read). This is where your conversation withGod begins. He speaks to you through His Word, and you speak with Him in prayer.Read your Bible ...Slowly. Don’t be in a hurry; don’t try to read too large an amount; don’t race through it.Repeatedly. Read a passage over and over until you start to picture it in your mind. The reason morepeople dont get more out of their Bible reading is that they do not read the Scriptures repeatedly.Without stopping. Dont stop in the middle of a sentence to go off on a tangent and do a doctrinalstudy. Just read that section for the pure joy of it, allowing God to speak to you. Remember that yourgoal here is not to gain information, but to feed on the Word and get to know Christ better.Aloud but quietly . Reading it aloud will improve your concentration, if you have that problem. It willalso help you understand what you are reading better because you will be both seeing and hearingwhat you are reading. Read softly enough, however, so that you wont disturb anyone.Systematically. Read through a book at a time in an orderly method. Do not use the "random dip"method - a passage here, a chapter there, what you like here, an interesting portion there. Youllunderstand the Bible better if you read it as it was written - a book or letter at a time.To get a sweep of a book. On some occasions you may want to survey a whole book. In that caseyou will read it quickly to get a sweep of the total revelation. Then you need not read it slowly orrepeatedly.o Meditate and memorize (Reflect and Remember). In order to have theScriptures speak to you meaningfully, you should meditate on what you arereading and memorize verses that particularly speak to you. Meditation is "seriously contemplating athought over and over in your mind." Out of your meditation you might select and memorize a versethat is particularly meaningful to you. o Write down what God has shown you (Record). When Godspeaks to youthrough His Word, record what you have discovered. Writing it down will enable you both toremember what God revealed to you and to check up on your biblical discoveries. Recording whatGod has shown you is the way of applying what you see in the Scripture that pertains to your life. oHave your time of prayer (Request). After God has spoken to you through His Word, speak to Him inprayer. This is your part of the conversation with the Lord.
11www.WorkWithRanda.comCONCLUSIONWhat if you miss a day? Dont worry about it if it only happens occasionally. Dont go on a guilt trip."There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)Dont get legalistic because missing one day does not make it a flop. BUT dont give up. If you miss ameal, it does not mean that you should give up eating because youre inconsistent. You simply eat alittle more at the next meal and go on from there. This same principle is true with your quiet time.Psychologists tell us that it usually takes three weeks to get familiar with some new task or habit; ittakes another three weeks before it becomes a habit. The reason why many people are notsuccessful in their quiet times is because they have never made it past that six-week barrier. For yourquiet time to become a habit, you must have had one daily for at least six weeks.William James had a famous formula for developing a habit (Selected Papers on Philosophy, E. P.Dutton & Co., 2000, pp. 60-62):o Make a strong resolution (vow). You must always start with a strong initiative. If you beginhalfheartedly, youll never make it. Make a public declaration by telling others about your decision. oNever allow an exception to occur until the new habit is securely rooted inyour life. A habit is like a ball of twine. Every time you drop it, many strands are unwound. So neverallow the "just this once" to occur. The act of yielding weakens the will and strengthens the lack ofself-control. o Seize every opportunity and inclination to practice your new habit.Whenever you get the slightest urge to practice your new habit, do it right then. Dont wait, but useevery opportunity to reinforce your habit. It does not hurt to overdo a new habit when you are firststarting.To these suggestions I would add one more:o Rely on the power of God. When it is all said and done, you must realize thatyou are in a spiritual battle, and you can only succeed by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. So praythat God will strengthen you and depend on Him to help you develop this habit for His glorywww.workwithranda.info
12www.WorkWithRanda.comBible Reading PlansDay Theme Passage1 The Fall of Humanity Genesis 3:1–192 A People for God Genesis 28:10–15; 32:22–283 The Ten Commandments Exodus 20:1–174 Sacrifices Required Under Law Leviticus 5:14–195 Punishments for Sin Under Law Leviticus 20:7–276 Obedience From Love Deuteronomy 11:13–217 Cycles of Disobedience Judges 2:10–198 The People Demand a King 1 Samuel 89 Saul Fails and Is Rejected 1 Samuel 15:17–2310 Many Kings Fail Jeremiah 1–1711 The Sin of the People Ezekiel 20:5–2612 An Eternal King Promised Jeremiah 23:1–6; Isaiah 9:6–7; Zechariah 9:9–1013 The Promised King Is Born Luke 2:1–2014 The Word Became Flesh John 1:1–1815 Signs and Miracles of Authority Matthew 9:1–8; Luke 13:10–1716 Jesus Fulfills the Law Matthew 5:17–20; Romans 8:1–417 Jesus Teaches About New Life John 318 Jesus Willingly Taken John 18:1–1119 Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Luke 23:44—24:1220 Christ a Sacrifice for All Hebrews21 God’s Wrath Explained Romans 1:18–3222 God’s Judgment Explained Romans 2:5–1123 Righteousness by Faith Romans 3:9–2624 Life Through Christ Romans 5:12–2125 Life by the Spirit Romans 8:1–17; Galatians 5:16–2626 Living Sacrifices Romans 1227 Walking in the Light 1 John 1–228 Living for God 1 Peter 1–1129 Love for one Another 1 John 3:11–2430 Promise of Eternity 2 Corinthians 5:1–10; Revelation 21:1–4
13www.WorkWithRanda.comGetting To Know JesusDay Theme Passage1 Jesus Foretold Isaiah 532 The Birth of Jesus Matthew 1:18–253 John the Baptist Prepares the Way and Baptizes Jesus Matthew 3:1—4:114 Water to Wine and the Samaritan Woman John 2:1–11; John 4:1–265 Jesus Rejected in his Hometown Luke 4:14–306 Jesus Calls his Disciples Luke 5:1–11; Matthew 9:9–137 Sermon on the Mount Luke 6:17–468 A Centurion, a Widow’s Son and a Sinful Woman Matthew 8:1–13; Luke 7:11–17;7:36–509 Encounters With the Pharisees Matthew 12:1–13; 22–4510 Parable of the Sower, Weeds and Seeds Matthew 13:1–4311 Jesus Calms the Storm and Later Walks on Water Luke 8:22–25; Mark 6:45–5612 Jesus Heals a Man, Woman and Girl Mark 5:1–4313 Feeding of the 5000 John 6:1–1414 Peter Identifies the Christ and the Transfiguration Luke 9:18–27; Luke 17:1–815 Healing by Faith Mark 9: 14–3216 Teachings and Parables Matthew 17:24—18:2017 Teachings and Parables Matthew 18:21—19:1518 The Rich Young Ruler Mark 10:17–3119 Disciples Sent Out Luke 10:1–2420 The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25–3721 Jesus Teaches how to Pray Luke 11:1–1322 Jesus Revives Lazarus John 11:1–4423 Jesus Comes to Jerusalem Matthew 21:1–2724 The Last Supper John 13:1–17; Matthew 26:17–3525 Comfort for the Disciples John 14–1526 Jesus Arrested and Disowned Matthew 26:36–7527 Jesus’ Trial John 18:19—19:1628 Jesus Crucifixion and Death John 19:17–4229 Jesus’ Resurrection and Appearances John 20–2130 The Great Commission and the Ascension of Jesus Matthew 28:16–20; Luke24:50–53