Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Simplicity

The pure joy of life is found in simplicity! As a professional photographer, I have studied under some great masters of imagery. Without exception, the true artist in almost every expressive medium will tell you that simplicity is their most powerful and trustworthy tool. As musicians, artists, photographers, writers, we all understand the value of simplicity. However, it is the most often overlooked element in the creative process.

The power of simplicity is that it overcomes confusion and wisely communicates clarity. ~ Fred Hughes ~

Simplicity is not just reducing something to the lowest possible existence. It is much more akin to highlighting or bringing contrast to what is important. Identify the intended subject of the image, description, sound or concept. Simplicity skillfully presents clarity. The only major challenge with simplicity is that it is often dismissed or overlooked because it is so simple!

Just because something is simple does not mean that it is not complex or profound.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Simple, but very profound with huge impact! A seven-year-old child can understand and receive the benefits of this powerful but simple Scripture. This 67-year-old is still amazed by the depth of its meaning.

Simplicity: it clears the clutter and reveals the main focus, so the true value can be seen.

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Taking that leap of faith!

Actually, the Bible says that it is impossible to please God without faith! Therefore, faith is something we should operate in. The problem is: how or what we choose to base our faith on. One of my friends back in school was always quick to leap. His big issue was that it was almost always a leap of stupid! Reckless abandon is not faith.

Faith is acting upon the truth.

However, facts are not always the truth. We work hard at gathering facts to base our decisions upon but sometimes fail to search the truth. In order to discover the wisdom we need to actually make the right choices, we need more than facts can provide. We need a peace that surpasses our human understanding — something that is the truth and trustworthy at the deepest level even though we cannot see it physically at the moment!

Facts are not always the truth! That is a bold statement. Let me give you some examples: Someone may have told you, “You will never amount to anything!” That may have been a fact based on that person’s view of you at that moment in time. Was it the truth? No, it was not! Your bank statement may say in a very loud voice, “You’re Broke!” It may be a fact right now, but has it said that to you before? Then things happened, and some prayers were answered. Something turned around, and the truth is “Broke” is not permanent!

Truth trumps facts every time!

When truth and facts agree, it gives us the confidence to take that leap of faith. How then do we tune-in to the truth? I am glad you asked, because I do have the answer for you. Let me introduce you! His name is Jesus. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The meaning of the word “know” is to be intimate with. The truth that you become intimate with, that is the truth that will set you free. Jesus is the truth. His word (The Bible) is like a tuning fork. It will tune you in to the truth that trumps facts!

The doctor said you have cancer! That may be a fact, but the truth says, “by His stripes you were healed.” The CPA may say you are in trouble! That may be a fact, but the Bible says, “Let the poor say I am rich. It also says, “My God shall supply all of my needs in Christ Jesus.”

Facts are subject to change, but the truth never changes!

You see, when you find the truth and believe it, it will trump facts all day long. Taking the leap of faith becomes a lifestyle of grace rather than a fearful risk! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Leap into the Word. Leap into the truth. He will set you free!

Blessings,

Fred Hughes

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www.byfredhughes.com ~ www.decision1.org

Worry & Hurry

Everyone already knows that stress is the leading cause of killer diseases, yet we seem to be unable to curb our appetite for worry and hurry.

Why is that?

I would suggest three key reasons why people ignore what seems to be reasonable thinking. We used to call it “Common Sense” operating from the assumption that every reasonable person would both know and practice this. One of the big reasons we miss it so sadly today is that our general population does not possess such practical knowledge anymore. Here are the three key reasons I believe we have so little in common.

We have an Identity crisis. We simply do not know who we are! What do all Americans have in common? As a country, are we united under any set of solid ideas that every single one of us would charge hell with a water pistol to uphold? Once common among us all were our morals, beliefs, standards, and basic values. What do we have in common today? Because we do not know who we are, we worry and hurry.

We live in an ocean of lies. Integrity is almost totally gone. Words mean nothing at all. There was a time in our history when someone gave you their word you could literally bank on what was said. Commerce actually transpired upon a man’s integrity to the point that a verbal contract was binding. Today it is accepted and expected that whatever is said means nothing! This desensitizes us to the truth and sets an expectation of deception and dishonesty. Trying to sort through all the lies, we worry and hurry.

We are self-centered to a fault. Our pursuit of rights instead of righteousness is refocusing the fabric of our nation. Selfless service and goodwill charity have become something more often scorned than praised. The attitude of the World War II generation versus today’s mindset is markedly different. One group united under hard times and rose up to a common cause and a world crisis. Would this generation be capable of the same? That thought is far from most people’s mind, yet our world is extremely volatile. Focusing on self is a way to ignore other issues, but it causes us to worry and hurry.

Please understand that I am not condemning our great country. I fully believe in our capability to rise to greatness, but I see the 3 things listed above as very destructive to us a nation. America was founded on unity, faith, and family. I am not suggesting that we return to those times (even if we could). I am suggesting that we return to some of those values and unifying principles the nation was established upon, grew and prospered under. I am sure of one thing: worrying and hurrying will not get us there.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? look as verse 27, Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Add one inch to your height.) verse 31, Therefore, do not worry…

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your cares (Worries) upon Him (God) for He cares for you.

Worry leads to hurry and hurry always makes the dumbest choices.

Don’t Worry! Don’t Hurry! Trust God … He will make a way, He really does care!

Fred Hughes, M.Photog.

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3 Basic Principals

Almost all business ventures have 3 basic components that cannot be ignored.

1. Identity

  • Who are you? If you do not know, you will have a hard time convincing anyone else. Branding is part of it…. not all of it!
  • What goods or services do you provide? Why are you providing them?
  • What quality level can be expected at what investment level?
  • What availability and timely deliverables or completion rates will be provided?
  • What do you give back to the community? Are you an asset to the public or simply a partaker?
  • Identity for your employees may be the single most important part of your success and future strength. Never under-estimate the power of unity with-in your company or organization.

2. People

  • Who is your Avatar, Tribe, Target Group? Whom are you trying to reach and serve? Who exactly is your audience, you need to know more than simple demographics.
  • Who are your team members, both in-house and resources?
  • Who are your supply and support affiliations and who are your second choices?
  • What are our people saying? (employee testimonials)
  • How are you helping people discover the value you are offering?

3. Integrity

  • How do you stand behind your products and services?
  • What makes you trustworthy?
  • Why should anyone do business with you more than once?
  • Do you have current, customer/client testimonials, and industry testimonials/awards?
  • How you honor people, community, and your industry reveals your intentionality and integrity.

If you regularly check on these three key elements, your business will have a much greater chance of succeeding. Success, especially in the world we live in today, is elusive, to say the least, but not impossible. These three business components are worthy of your attention and can be factors that affect your bottom line much more than branding, SEO, credit scores, marketing style, and funnel design. Sometimes you just have to get back to a little common sense, my friend!

Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom, and in all your getting, get understanding.

Fred Hughes, M. Photog.

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Desert Experiences

When challenges loom larger than life.

Life has a way of bringing issues that are seemingly so vast and insurmountable that hopelessness arises quickly to steal vision. “Dream Dashers” or “Desert Experiences” I would title the books that could easily be written by almost any entrepreneur, writer, artist or ministry. All of us face this same formidable foe at one point or another, and it is no small task that must be overcome.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Whatever you do, do it as though you are employed by God. Knowing that He will give both strength and provision to accomplish what He has called you to do. Rest assured that what things stand in the way are big compared to you but small compared to God.

If there were nothing to overcome, how could you become an overcomer?

Consider this perspective: if an obstacle arises to block my progress, I can seek wisdom from either of two sources, God or the world. Both can provide a game plan for me to follow. Take note of this Bible verse with that in mind.

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

Our faith! In other words which choice do I believe and act upon? Which choice will make me a victorious overcomer? I desire for my ideas, choices, and decisions to be born of God. God ideas, not just good ideas. Sometimes the world actually has good ideas, but God ideas are out-of-this-world better!

Rejections, disappointments, failures, lack, and the list goes on of “Desert Experiences” that we face and need to be able to overcome. The good news is that God never runs out of ideas. Our lack of faith to believe those God-ideas is the only real “Dream Killer” that will keep us from overcoming whatever the world throws at us.

3 Keys to Overcoming “Desert Experiences”

1.) Deserts are dry! So, you need the Water of the Word: Jesus is the living water.

2.) Deserts are a place of temptation! The enemy will come and test your commitment levels offering what looks like alternative good ideas. Testing of the original “Born of God” idea will reveal your faith.

3.) Deserts are a bad place to wander around for 40 years. Without water and without the God Idea, wandering in the desert is what happens. Some die out there, so avoid wandering and get started being an overcomer. All the God-ideas come with a good set of instructions.

Your challenges may seem bigger than life, but they are never bigger than God.

Fred Hughes, M. Photog.

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photo-By Lionello DelPiccolo (Large)

Speaking To The Mountain

We experience opposition in life on many levels. We find resistance and push back on our ideas, decisions, actions, goals and dreams; this is actually normal! How we deal with the voices that oppose us is critical to a successful life. When we face towering, ominous mountains that seem to proclaim death to any hope we have of being successful. How we handle these very convincing voices of opposition and the mental pictures they paint is so vital to our becoming victorious overcomers!

There are volumes written about how to win over these opposing forces. Loads of self-help books and videos are available showing you the 3-winning ways and the 6-step method to climbing the mountain. Unfortunately, most offer no substantial assistance, because they are more about marketing than revealing real truth and wisdom.

Listening to the one true voice will empower you to overcome. Nothing is impossible for God. The Holy Spirit is our advocate, our “ever present help in time of need,” and the voice of God in our lives. Holy Spirit is the Voice of Truth and will never speak contrary to the Bible.

Matthew 17:20 And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

This scripture says we only need a little bit of faith, so it is not necessarily a lack of faith but rather that we do not use the faith we have. We do not say or speak to the mountain or problem and command the solution we need to manifest. Sometimes we pray and ask God to do it for us when God has given us the authority and power to overcome the troubles we face.

1 John 5:3-5 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

As believers, you and I have been given the victory, and we are called overcomers!

Don’t speak to God about the mountain. Speak to the mountain about your God!

 

“Well, I hope we at least break even this next year!” Does that sound like the voice of victory or failure? You need to understand, how we speak matters! How you see yourself determines what you say. Those voices coming from the mountain are saying, “You are defeated from the start! You will not make this work! You should have never started this!” Statements like these will defer your hope and make your heart sick. Hopelessness will come, and failure will soon follow. However, with only a little faith rising up in you to say, “No! I am more than a conqueror. My God shall supply all my needs. I am going to overcome these things that are in my way, because the wisdom and power of God is inside of me. When I agree with what God says, I know He will cause it to manifest. How do I know that? Because Jesus did it two thousand years ago so that I could have it now! It is already done, and the minute I believe it, it is mine! When I know whose I am, I began to get the revelation of who I am and what I have in Christ. I can then boldly proclaim “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” “Mountain, move out of my way!” ” I’m going over I’m not going under!”

You see, the Greater One lives inside of you, and nothing is too difficult for Him. This is not merely a positive mental attitude or positive thinking. This is knowing without any doubt the truth and power of a Child of God… an overcomer! It is from a position of authority and power like that of a king sitting in a chair called a throne, and he speaks or decrees something, and all of the forces of the kingdom rally to accomplish it. Speak to your mountains, and you will discover God has already moved them for you. Opposition and resistance are easily broken with words of faith! You move in the faith and power of the Holy Spirit and walk in victory, not defeat.

Take your little faith and start telling those mountains to move over, you are coming through! No matter what your age, race, gender, economic status or abilities are, if you are a child of God, you are an overcomer! Moses was old, and a foreigner, but he asked God for another mountain to overtake! Timothy was young and inexperienced, yet he was handed great authority and leadership. Paul worked two jobs but he was a great overcomer. Time to get it all done seemed to be multiplied for him, and revelation came to him that still amazes us even today.

It may feel a little silly, my friend, but find time to pray, and then start speaking out loud to that mountain – Addiction, Lack, Debt, Fear, Sickness, whatever name it has. SPEAK to it. Tell it about your great God, and command that it move! You do not have time to mess with it! You have bigger mountains to climb!

Fred Hughes, M.Photog.

Read more posts like this one at our website blog page or listen on our podcast page. You can also find and subscribe to our podcast using iTunes, iHeart Radio, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn, Spreaker Radio, Soundcloud, and YouTube. Search for “The Fred Hughes Show” and “The Decision Ministries Show”

www.byfredhughes.com ~ www.decision1.org

 

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Now

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“Now”

 

2 Corinthians 6:2 or He says: “In an acceptable time, I have heard you, And in the day of salvation, I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold,now is the day of salvation.  NKJV

Awesome is the word NOW!

Nothing worthwhile ever happens anywhere except NOW. (Can now be a place?)

Tomorrow never arrives until NOW gets there. Yesterday once was NOW, but not now.

Simplistic, I understand, but a powerful reality none the less.

NOW is the time! The person who has control of his/her own destiny understands how important Now really is. The time is now to adjust your thinking in a productive fashion. How you think in the Now is what you will be doing in the Now, tomorrow. Conversely, what you did in the now of yesterday manifests in the Now of today.

Living in yesterday or tomorrow is the enemy of NOW!

OK, enough of the double talk. Now is the time! Today is the day of salvation! I don’t know about you, but just about every day I need to be saved from something! Often what I need to be saved from is myself. Taking advantage of “Now”is where I am lacking. Today and planning what I need to do “Now” tomorrow! Oops! I’m double talking again. Planning is a “Now” event that schedules your “Now” for tomorrow. Without a plan, “Now” seems to vanish. My friend live in the “Now.” It is the most productive place you can be. By the way, your relationships are always located at the corner of Right & Now. Your relationship with God, your spouse, your children and your coworkers will always happen in the “Now!”

The Right Time Is Now!

If you have a challenge with your spouse, the right time to make it right is “Now!” If you have trouble brewing with your kids the right time to resolve those issues is “Now!” I submit to you, lay down the law of love, and insist you are going to clear every conflict with people in your life, before the Holidays. Say to yourself “I’m going to do that Now!” Then when you are in the Now of the Holiday, you can tell yourself “I am so glad I did that, because this is a wonderful Now!”

It only happens if you do it NOW!

Romans 15:13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  NKJV

Have a great Now!

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Lighting The Way

photo-credit-joey-cyber-largephoto-credit-joey-cyber-largephoto-credit-joey-cyber-largePhoto Credit – Joey Cyber

Lighting The Way

by Fred Hughes

The opportunity to blaze new paths and explore new exciting advancements in almost every area of life is available to more people than ever in all of history! Our civilization is advancing and yet decaying at the same time. How do we reckon with the divide? How do we build on the good and deconstruct those things that are breaking down and giving way to darkness rather than bringing light to this world?

As usual, I seem to have more questions than answers. But these are very important things to consider. When I look at some of the fundamental root causes of the major issues of our day, I see an absence of light (illumination of truth)! Science and education have so polarized their versions of the truth, opposed to Christianity’s expression of Truth, that there is a great divide between the two. In the early existence of our nation, we printed, “In God, We Trust,” on our coins, so that we would not forget the truth about what made our country great. Today, “Global Warming and Man-Made World Peace,” seem to be more of a religion than the Gospel of Christ! Light that reaches into a person’s life and illuminates the heart to true understanding and knowledge is what we are missing today.

We have The Truth, God’s Word, which is altogether true. But, you see, even that truth can not set anyone free! It is the truth that we believe and act upon; that truth is the truth that sets men free! When a person or a nation believes in and acts upon the Truth of God’s Word, the person or nation will be set free. The freedom that the Bible and our founding documents speak of will then come and set men free! “Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!” The Light of the founding fathers of this country was Christ! They undertook a great experiment that free men could live in freedom together. There was no argument as to who they agreed that Light was ( John 1:9 -13). There was no argument as to what light would be taught in their schools. There was no argument that a single Christian denomination should rise above another and become a state church, as the Church of England had done. There was no argument as to what would be the standard to which our newly founded government would comprise the laws and moral ethics by which all free men should live. There was no argument as to how marriage or family should be comprised; they followed the Truth. The Word of God clearly defined those standards. There was Light in the land! That Light is what built the land of the free and the home of the brave! That Light is what men fought and died for. Light, not Darkness and Tyranny, but Light guides us as citizens and countrymen in the ways of uprightness before the one and only true God. The “In God We Trust” of the USA. The Light of the Gospel of Christ!

Are we so arrogant that we think we have advanced beyond the light of God? “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14) That is an awesome promise! But we must remember, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

The problem is not that God has stopped caring for us! The problem is that we stopped caring for Him! We must rediscover the Light our forefathers were following and pursue Him with all due diligence.

My prayer is for our great country to once again be the world leader in Lighting the Way! We can not afford to lose hope for greater days ahead. Let me leave you with this:

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

by Fred Hughes

www.byfredhughes.com ~ www.decision1.org

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When Life Comes Crashing Down

A photo by Anton Repponen. unsplash.com/photos/1CxphuiFS7Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

When things are crashing down upon you – Have Fun! Ride the power of what God says about your life, rather than what circumstance are trying to convince you of.

Joel 3:10b Let the weak say, “I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul goes on to say this, in 2 Corinthians 13:4: For though He (Jesus) was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

When things in life start to unravel we have some choices! Let’s consider a few!

1) We can do what a large number of people elect to do; respond in a knee-jerk reaction often filled with rage, fear, cursing, hopelessness, and even bitterness. The unfortunate result of this choice is the collateral damage. Someone close by gets hurt or offended by your response, and almost always your temper tantrum brings nothing of benefit into play. Like quicksand, the more you do, the deeper you sink.

2) Go quiet and bottle it up hoping in time it will all blow away! Ignore it! Hide it! Don’t deal with it at all! Granted, not as much collateral damage, but, oh, the emotional destruction it does to you personally. And still, there is no resolve to the issue. The pressure cooker builds pressure and will at some point blow up! It will blow up your relationships, your health, your job, your “whatever.” Something is going to blow!

3) Wait, plan, Attack! After mentally calculating all possible defensive positions, intellectually assess the situation, and assault verbally and physically, if necessary. You emerge victorious and prove yourself right, or righteous. It does not matter who you destroy.

4) Actually, there are a few other scenarios that we can choose. If you fit in one of them, you will automatically know. I do not have to spell them out. All of these options fail to produce the peace, health, and prosperity we desire. So how do we respond in a fruitful manner?

Choice # 5

5) When we realize our weakness, our inability to really be able to deal with it (whatever it is) and seek help! Help sometimes is found in just adjusting our own attitudes from a road-rage level to one of quiet resolve and cooperation. Other times we need a real friend or co-worker who can help us find the strength we need. But life has a way of crashing in so hard that the only answer is God intervening in our lives.

When we seek Him, we will find Him! He is always there! When we are weak, He is strong! When we need a hiding place, He is our strong tower, our safe place to run to.

According to Hebrews 12: This is a race we must endure until the end. Jesus said, “Low I am with you until the end! To the end of your race and to the end of these things bearing down upon you right now. He is with you always. He never leaves you or forsakes you. What He will do is something like, hand you a surfboard, so you can ride the waves or walk on the water. He can handle the crashing waves by commanding, “peace be still.” He can still keep the Red Sea open until you cross to the other side, my friend! What pursues you is no match for our God.

The answer is Jesus! Choice #5 needs to move to Choice #1 with no other options! Turn what the enemy has meant for harm in your life into a joy ride! Let the weak say, “I am strong!” In Christ there is great strength and joy, so Have Fun! Let God do the heavy lifting. Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

by Fred Hughes

www.byfredhughes.com ~ www.decision1.org

5 Directives that can reshape your life

 

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We live life in a body. We have a soul (mind, will & emotions), and we are a spirit (God breathed His life, or Spirit into us).  My focus is on the will.  The will is the area perhaps least talked about, but just like the mind and emotions, it has much to do with how our lives and relationships operate.  What I will to do, or not to do, can carry me away as a captive, or propel me into wonderful places. God himself will not take my will from me.  He is the one who gave it to me to start with.  Therefore, it is my choice how to direct it.

Directive: A statement, or declaration, that provides direction for an action to be taken.

If my soul is being lead by the Spirit of God, then my mind, will, and emotions align with one another.

  • My Mind — I can have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).
  • My Will —  By the Word of God I can know His will for me and can agree, or not agree with it!
  • My Emotions — The emotions will then follow the rejoicing, or the rebelling of my mind and will.

With this in mind, there are five directives that I personally choose (or will) to do.  Each of these brings unique benefits to my life.

1.)  I Will to ………. Love!  Love God and love others (1 John 4:8-17).  For those who do not love me, I will love them anyway!  Love never fails (1 Corinthians 15)!  I can and will count on love.

2.)  I Will to ……….. Be a giver, full of generosity and gracious at every opportunity.  John 3:16 says, “For God so Loved the world, that He GAVE …… Giving is simply Godly!

3.)  I Will to ……… Listen closely and learn.  Listen to God.  “My sheep know my voice,”  John 10:14, 27.  I will listen to the voice of God and be taught by men with wisdom.  I will not cease to learn good things.

4.)  I Will to ……….. Be joyful and live a happy, fruitful life, because I am blessed! I am a friend of God (James 2:23, John 15:15).  I am blessed going in and coming out.  I am going over and not under.  I am blessed and not cursed.  I am redeemed, bought with a price, and a child of God (Romans 8:14).  I have every reason to walk in Joy and Fruitfulness!

5.)  I Will to ……….. Speak only what is good and what I desire in my life.  I will not allow my words to be filled with anything but blessings, faith, goodness, joy, peace, and love.  I will speak the word of God, and He will empower His words coming from my mouth.  I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15).  I am His Ambassador in this earth.  “As he is, so are we, in this world,” 1 John 4:17.

Direct your will, just as you direct your mind and your emotions. You are given a soul to rule over.  Designed directives will help you transform your life.