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Dr. Craig L. Oliver

Dr. Craig L. Oliver

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”          

  • Mahatma Gandhi

How can walking in forgiveness be a tactical strategy for walking in victory? When we consider the strategy of the overcomer, the concept of forgiveness does not immediately come to mind.  I propose, however, that forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons that the believer can have in their arsenal.  Forgiveness brings a restorative freedom in the life of the child of God shedding light in areas that would otherwise be consumed by darkness.

“It’s worth taking a risk when motivated by faith in God.”

  • Ruben Barreto

Faith is a fundamental virtue in the life of every believer.  In order to victorious we must have faith that God is who He says He is, can do what He says He can do, and that He is efficacious in accomplishing everything that He has planned for our lives! Faith is critical to our status as WINNERS!

The Bible declares in Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” If we are going to be successful in this journey of life then by all means we must begin with faith.  It takes faith to please God.  It takes faith to access the grace that allows us to even receive the free gift of salvation.  The Christian journey begins from a posture of faith!

“When you enter His presence with praise, He enters your circumstances with power.”

  • Anonymous

Praise is one of the many tools that positions us to access the grace that enables us to be victorious in every aspect of our lives! Praise is man’s response to who God is and as such it solicits and invokes the Presence of the Lord becoming an indomitable force employed by the believer.  Praise literally infuses the essence of who He is into our everyday circumstances! We can’t help but win when we praise our God!   

Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.

  • Samuel Johnson

We have a choice that has been set before us.  We can either be victims who are overwhelmed by the circumstances of our lives or we can be victors who triumphantly overcome in every context of life.  Regardless of the hand that you were forced to play I want you to emphatically proclaim Better is Before Me and allow that to serve as the impetus behind your perception of yourself. 

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

Generally speaking, our Western understanding of the meaning of hope has been relegated to a feeling or desire for something favorable to happen.  But there is so much more to hope that makes it an essential commodity for victorious living.  Unlike a wish or longing, hope actually implies real expectation of obtaining what is desired.  The Hebrew word for hope is tikvah defined by Strong’s as a cord, expectation, and hope.  In this sense, hope is not something that is abstract, but rather, it is something that is tangible enough for us to grasp it with our proverbial ‘hands of faith’. 

The sooner you step away from your comfort zone, you’ll realize that it really wasn’t all that comfortable.             

  • Eddie Harris, Jr.

As uncomfortable as breaking out of our comfort zones may be, the benefits of doing so are undeniable.  The fear of the familiar can be quite formidable, but it can be surmounted through strategic and intentional methods.  Over the last two weeks we have discussed the benefits and strategies of breaking out of our comfort zones via an article that I shared from LifeHacker.com by Alan Henry entitled The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should).    We will conclude our discussion this week through the final portion of the article that concerns itself with utilizing balance in breaking out of our comfort zones and making it a habit to stretch ourselves.  As I’ve indicated throughout the time that I’ve shared from this article, I believe that it practically addresses the issue of stretching ourselves and will challenge us in a practical way. 

Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.  #ebcBETTER

Why It's Important to Return to Your Comfort Zone from Time to Time

You can't live outside of your comfort zone all the time. You need to come back from time to time to process your experiences. The last thing you want is for the new and interesting to quickly become commonplace and boring. This phenomenon, called hedonistic adaptation, is the natural tendency to be impressed by new things only to have the incredible become ordinary after a short time. It's why we can have access to the greatest repository of human knowledge ever created (the internet) at our fingertips (on our smartphones) and still get so bored that all we think of is how quickly we can get newer, faster access. In one way it drives us forward, but in another it keeps us from appreciating the subtle and the everyday. Here are some ways to break out (and by proxy, expand) your comfort zone without going too far:

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.        

  • Neale Donald Walsch

There is no doubt that humans are creatures of comfort who seek out ways to remain in a state of comfort.  By natural design it would appear that we avoid that which is uncomfortable and readily embrace that which brings us comfort.  Equally true, however, is the construct that holds that in order for us to reach an optimal level of performance we must learn to go beyond our comfort zone.  In other words, we must learn to be comfortable becoming uncomfortable.  As indicated last week, I read an article on LifeHacker.com by Alan Henry entitled The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should) that I believe speaks to this matter in a practical way.  Once again, I will share a portion of it with you that I believe will challenge and inspire you in a practical way.   

Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.  #ebcBETTER

How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Outside your comfort zone can be a good place to be, as long as you don't tip the scales too far. It's important to remember there's a difference between the kind of controlled anxiety we're talking about and the very real anxiety that many people struggle with every day. Everyone's comfort zone is different, and what may expand your horizons may paralyze someone else. Remember, optimal anxiety can bring out your best, but too much is a bad thing.

A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.           

  • Anonymous

One of our biggest impediments to living a BETTER life is not a diabolical satanic force plotting or scheming against us, but our susceptibility to remaining attached to that which is familiar.  I read an article on LifeHacker.com by Alan Henry entitled The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should) that I believe speaks to this matter in a practical way.  This week and next week I will share portions of that article with you.  I pray that you are able to lean into the simplicity of its message and practically apply it to your life.   

Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.  #ebcBETTER

You've seen inspirational quotes that encourage you to get out and do something strange—something you wouldn't normally do—but getting out of your routine just takes so much work. There's actually a lot of science that explains why it's so hard to break out of your comfort zone, and why it's good for you when you do it. With a little understanding and a few adjustments, you can break away from your routine and do great things.

Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged people who kept on working!      

  • Anonymous

Though it may not be a popular thought, the reality of discouragement is one of life's absolutes. Throughout the course of one's life there will certainly be times of discouragement.  Whether that discouragement comes as a result of people, circumstances, or a mixture of the two is simply a matter of how the Sovereign Lord has allowed it to play out.  The challenging valleys of life are as necessary to our lives as the enjoyable mountain top experiences.  For it is only from the lowly view of the valley that we can appreciate the expanse of the optimal view of the mountain.  In other words, moments of joy and inspiration have their best meaning when measured against moments of discouragement. 

“If we want God to teach us His ways, we must first stand in total submission to His holy will.”

  • Nicky Cruz

One of the most powerful things that we can do as sons and daughters of God is to get into agreement with the Word of God.  To agree with the Word of God means that we walk in step with its directions, ordinances, and trajectory.  It means that we choose His will over our own even when our emotions would lead us elsewhere.  Children of God recognize the utter futility in trying to live a life contrary to God’s Word and conversely understand the power involved in aligning oneself congruent with it. 

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