God’s Plans For Your Life Are DOPE!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

God’s plans for us are always in our best interest, for our good and ultimately His glory (beauty). This staple verse is quoted by Christians across the globe regardless of their denominational affiliation and plainly tells us that God’s thoughts, plans, desires and advice for us are DOPE and AMAZING! More, in context with this passage of Scripture, the prophet Jeremiah lets us know that the Lord’s plans for our lives are ALWAYS greater and broader than our eyes can see.

At the time of this writing, the children of Israel were being enslaved by King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon. God allowed them to be carted off into slavery as part of his judgment toward them due to their rejection of him and his word. The plans that the people of God conceived for themselves led them into bondage and away from the One whose plans ultimately mattered. Likewise, we can get so busy and caught up in planning our lives and setting goals that we neglect to ask God what his plans are for our lives. Or once set a course of action without him we’ll ask him to cosign or bless efforts, and I’m pretty sure he’s obligated to do such a thing.

In a general sense we know God is for us and his plans for us are not evil. But in a more specific sense (in context) regardless of where you are in life – whether you’ve made your bed in sin, walk with folk who mean you no good, have made terrible decisions that you’ve regretted, or fell in love with other gods; God’s plans for us are still good. Last, it is not to late to hop on the gravy train of plans he has for your life.

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:12-14

Hindsight is 2020

WE must understand that our “Right Now” and future are better with God than without him. The only thing the people of God had to do was look back at their history and see that the very God who brought them out of Egypt and supernaturally led them through the desert to the Promise Land was the same God who had more in store for them than their “Right Now”.

When I look back over my life
And I think things over I can truly say that I’ve been blessed
I’ve got a testimony

– Rev. Clay Evans

Don’t Neglect the “Right Now”

Your “Right Now” is an important part of the process because it points to the reality that where you are today is a direct result of the decisions you’ve made. Decisions are sparked by thoughts and plans that produce and set the course for your life. Your “Right Now” should be a place that leads you closer or back to the God you left for the smokescreens of greater riches, things, other gods and people.

Turning from your ways to His ways

God has some DOPE stuff waiting for us! But the passage calls us to repent, pray and seek him with everything that is within us in order to experience those DOPE plans. The result of this course of action sets the stage for God to:

  1. Bend his ear toward Earth and hear us
  2. Make himself real to us again so we can see him as he his
  3. Restore our fortunes and the things we lost
  4. Piece back together what was broken
  5. Break us out of Bondage

My prayer is that we’d trust his will and plans for our lives more than the plans we’ve declared for ourselves.

Experience his DOPENESS. You can also check out the “For I know the plans I have for you” video here.

The Inspirational Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

Tony Gaskins Jr. is a motivational speaker and relationship coach who focuses on emotional healing, self actualization and giving practical advice to others so that they can become the people that God has called them to be.

If you’ve heard of him, it’s probably because you’ve seen his quotes flying around social media. And if you haven’t heard of him prepare to be awed by his story. His inspirational messages are often reposted, reblogged, retweeted and shared across multiple platforms by the hundreds of thousands of fans and followers that are ALL pushing in the same direction as him. I’ve been following Mr. Gaskins’ work for a while and was very encouraged when he and his team responded with a “Yes” to my interview.

I am excited to give you another look into life and service of Tony Gaskins Jr.

Name
Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

School
I have a PhD from Mistakes University.

What do you do?
I am an Author, Celebrity Life Coach, International Speaker, Bestselling Author, Spoken Word Artist, Ghostwriter, and a Business Consultant. Those are the things I receive a check from, but they break down into over 20 streams of income. I do anything I feel gifted at and know that it can impact someone’s life.

What started you on your journey?
I wrote my first book at 22 years old as I was looking for a way to use my gifts.

When did you realize you could achieve your dream?
Two years after publishing my book and pitching myself to media, I got a call from the producers of Oprah about a pitch I’d sent in. When they brought me on her show I knew then that somehow I would be able to get my message to the masses.

What is a quote you live by?
[inlinetweet prefix=”RT” tweeter=”” suffix=”#dream #build #empire”]If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs. ~ Tony A. Gaskins Jr.[/inlinetweet]

What is a tough lesson you learned? And how did you recover from it?
At 23 I was robbed and I lost my car and was put $30,000 in the hole. I learned that fast money isn’t smart money and that if you try to take short cuts in life you will be cut short. I rededicated my life to Christ and started living by His teachings. Those principles changed my life.

What advice can you give aspiring, entrepreneurs, leaders, influencers, artists and dreamers?
Do it for the right reasons. Don’t let money be your main motive. Don’t chase money, chase purpose and the money will chase you. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Look within and birth the brand that’s on the inside of you and you’ll never have to worry about going broke.

What’s next?
Too much to list, but more of the same of what I’ve been doing. I hope to get a TV show of some sort in 2015 to help expand, build my brand and reach more people.

How can people get in contact with you?
Web: www.tonygaskins.com
Twitter: @TonyGaskins
Facebook:@TonyGaskins
IG: @TonyGaskins

Click here for more interviews on the lives, dreams and habits of successful people.

The Hardest Thing Is Starting – Part II Vision

Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919, the year WWI officially ended. He was the youngest of 5 children, grew up in poverty and raised by a single mother. More, he endured and overcame racism on a local and national level in a time when. Mr. Robinson defied many disparities and became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball and the first to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. He became an icon, type and model for people of color to look towards as a catalyst, inspiration and a springboard to produce great works.

He excelled in most everything he put his hands on inspite of “not ideal circumstances”. I believe he knew what he wanted out of life and wasn’t going to let the affairs of life and fear impede his progress. He not only achieved his goals through a strong will and determination but paved the way for others civil, political and social liberties through his influence. He found a way to start! [inlinetweet prefix=”RT” tweeter=”@jeremyqbutler” suffix=”#purpose #work”]#Vision[/inlinetweet]

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@jeremyqbutler” suffix=”#vision #turnup #life #entrepreneur”]Vision is a preferred future.[/inlinetweet]

You have to be laser focused on accomplishing your vision, even if you don’t know how you’ll get to your destined places. Here are some things to consider as you start moving toward them today and not tomorrow:

  1. Vision expands and grows with time and your maturity
    1. You can’t rush the development of vision much like a child
    2. It requires change
    3. Prepare yourself because action before preparation usually spells disaster
  2. Trust that God will send the right team your way to help you accomplish your vision
    1. You don’t have to have all of the the T’s crossed and I’s dotted
    2. You will not necessarily be the expert builder
    3. Jackie Robinson was heavily influenced by his brother who was awarded a Silver Medal in the 1932 Olympics behind Jesse Owens’ Gold Medal run
  3. Adversity is temporary and can do a few things to you and your vision
    1. Give you an excuse to be CORRUPT
    2. CAUSE  you to give up
    3. CONSTRUCT a mindset of laziness
    4. CREATE an inferiority COMPLEX
    5. Or increase your CHARACTER, make you stronger and refine your vision
  4. Pursuing your vision will benefit and give life to others because it
    1. Evokes passion
    2. Provides motivation
    3. Gives direction
    4. Aids purpose

Starting requires a vision. So what’s your vision and how do you plan on making it happen?

Form Follows Function

Form follows function is an architectural concept that means before the shape of “something” is created or built  the builder needs to take into account the “something’s” intended purpose or function for the duration of its life.

The way something looks should be determined by its purpose. -Smashing Magazine

For example:

  1. If you want to build a gymnasium you need to think about the purpose the gymnasium will serve. Will you build it for children? For patients who need physical therapy? Or for World Class Gymnasts?
  2. If you want to build a set of headphones you need to think about the purpose the headphones will serve. Will you create the headphones for Athletes? Musicians? Race Car Drivers?

You get the picture.

Now, It is only after the builder takes into consideration the purpose or function of the “something” and all of its intended uses that the builder can build the “something”.

How does this apply to your life?

Well, do you understand the Builder’s intended purpose and function for your life?

Which brings me to a larger idea.

Why were you created, birthed, formed, designed and or built the way you are with all of your talents, abilities, intelligence, personality or lack thereof, gifts and talents? Skin complexion, gender, hair texture and body shape? Family dynamics, societal status, city of origin and place of residence?

Here are some Quick Takeaways and Discussion Starters

  1. Who is your Builder?
  2. What is your intended function or purpose right were you are at?
    1. With your family?
    2. With your place of employment?
    3. With your goals and ambitions?
    4. With your community?

Wrapping Up

The key to understanding what you need to do in life (purpose or function) is by understanding your Builder’s intended use for your life. Simply put, however God formed you is how you’ll function.

Write your feedback in the comments below!

Breaking Free From The Insane Asylum

At the beginning of Batman Begins Bruce Wayne, A.K.A Batman, is struggling with his identity as a man who has lost his way. His heart is so sick that he can’t even utter words without wearing his emotions on his sleeves and alienating those who love him. He is stuck between the person he is and the person he desires to be. He knows it’s in him to become something different. However, he doesn’t know what that something he needs to become looks like until the middle of the movie. More, at the beginning of the movie he appears to be worthless, pitiful, maybe insane and mad at the world. He loses sight of his value, morals, worth, talent and skills he brings to the table of life. Nevertheless Alfred asks him, “Why do we fall bruce“?. He’s locked in the Insane Asylum of his mind.

Hence, he goes on a journey to rediscover who he is in light of his past, history and bad judgment calls.

In Drake’s song Light Up off of the Thank Me Later Album, the edited version of course, Jay-Z says,

“But I would’ve went insane had I remained the same me…”

This is an interesting thought because if Bruce wouldn’t have changed he would’ve never become the Batman we have come to know and love by reading the comics and watching the cartoons and movies on the big screen. He would probably still appear to be insane and wondering, searching and never coming into his full potential.

Is it possible to change and transform into something that you were never created to be? That’s another blog. Again, The key here is Change, Transformation and Becoming something other than who you are right now. I am not talking about lifestyle right now… that’s another blog. Here are 3 thoughts from the basic idea of Breaking Free From The Insane Asylum and taking Change and Transformation serious:

DEFINING TERMS

Bruce/Batman had to come to grips with the literal situation. He was jacked up and wanted an out but was confronted by what he was running away from. He was running from hurt, pain, misunderstanding and responsibility and found out that it followed him because those things were embeded in his heart and human condition.
Know and try to understand where you are in life
Don’t deny the difficult situations and circumstances of life
Don’t get superspiritual

DEFINING YOUR IDENTITY

Bruce connected with a group of men who taught him how to fight and stand up for what he believed. RETRIBUTION, overcoming failure and defending Gotham from those who seek to harm it.
Who are you learning from?
What do you stand for?

If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for everything… Jellyfish.

DEFINING PURPOSE

Bruce Wayne as Batman became a symbol of hope for the people of Gotham. When Bruce understood his situation and identity his purpose in life came instantly.
Do you know what your purpose in life is?
If yes, #leggo!
If no, what’s stopping you?