The Fight is On(Money Matters)

So you’ve decide you’re getting your money together, improving your credit and getting your finances on track! You are SICK of being “broke, busted and disgusted”! What now?

You pick up extra shifts, work a second job! Try to increase your income and decrease your expenses.

But…..3 months later and you still need money at the end of the month. Let me tell you something… when you get in the boxing ring with Benjamin “the money game” Loot, you’d better know you’re getting in the ring with a knockout King.

Let me give you a few tips for the fight.

1. Tracking finances after you’ve spent them is an amazing way to see how you can spend more wisely. Setting a budget however will help guide you in wise spending because you see where the money NEEDS to go vs just where you WANTED it to go! These must be done in conjunction with one another.

2. You will get frustrated! Oh yes! Money is touchy and can easily reach our emotions. Especially when the budget tells you to rent a red box movie and grab a box of Orville Redenbacher instead of hanging out with the crowd of people that believe they have “money to waste”!

Facing how much debt you have, money conversations with your spouse and trying to figure out how to pay some things off is mentally draining but incredibly rewarding.

3. That being said, make a full commitment that you are going to change where you are financially, fully understanding that you will make mistakes along the way. Be patient with yourself understanding that reaching financial wellness is a process!

4. Celebrate every single win! Take a breather and reflect on each one. Then get started on the next win!

You got this!!

Aquila T Carmon

Can I Get a Witness

Matthew 10:32-42

1. Being an effective Witness first means we must Confess Jesus! Confession refers to Acknowledgement and Covenant. We aren’t just talking about Jesus in passing or by nonchalant mention of His Great name but to make it known that Jesus is a part of our lives. It is demonstration and expression of him in conversation and in action.  

I remember when I used to smoke and cuss but when my father came in the room people saw a different, better behaved me because my dad was present. So it is when Jesus is present in the heart and mind of a believer and not Jesus at certain times but at all times. We must acknowledge and present ourselves as His, as followers, as believers, as people who have been touched and changed by the grace of God. 

Jesus is teaching the disciples in Matthew 10 to “confess me before men” meaning in front of them, openly and without shame!  In other words…stand up for me and my name. We can not be intimidated by people who do not believe and refuse to follow Christ. 

God promises in turn that he will confess us before His Father. We would stand before God and Jesus will vouch for us. 

To be a witness you will have to confess Christ in front of the masses and never bow to someone else’s ideals about faith or the lack of faith. You must have an objective view of your faith meaning you can’t even be spinned around by the opinions of others or your own opinion or feelings at times but stand wholly on the truth of God’s Word. 

2. Your commitment to Christ must be greater than your commitment to the people you love.

One of the greatest tests of faith will be your willingness to follow Jesus even if it means being alone.  How much more do you desire to do God’s will than your desire to be in relationship with people? 

A commitment to Jesus requires you to let go of reputation, popularity and comfortability. It requires you to embrace discipline, rejection and sacrifice .  

-The ministry of Jesus began with 40 days of Jesus bringing his flesh into discipline.

– The ministry of Jesus endure Rejection of Jesus teaching and his claim to be the Son of God

-The ministry of Jesus and all that he did would have meant nothing had he not been willing to give up his life and his life become the atonement for our sins. 

Jesus said if you’re not ready to love me more than you love them or love me more than you love it then you are not worthy of me. 

3. Giving up who we think we should be for the sake of Jesus being the glory in our life is the way that we gain our life

It is a difficult task but one that takes a made up mind to put our own image or ourselves away and seek after who God has called us to be. The life of Jesus is a clear demonstration that our purpose can not be fulfilled without self-sacrifice. In all that we do, we must do it to the Glory of God and for no other reason. 

Are you a Witness? 

I’d love to chat with you about this. Leave a comment below and share this thought with somebody you know! 

Aquila T Carmon 

Short Distance Champion

One of the keys to success is successful planning and strategic goal setting. Jim Rohn, an American writer and successful entrepreneur, would teach people aspiring to succeed to plan your day, week, month and year.

This can be a challenge in our super busy lives but it truly is one of the challenges that gives us a leg up and positions us to reach our goals.

Why is that? Have you ever met an marksman that became an expert at firing his weapon without a target to aim at? Of Course not. Hitting the mark in everyday life is no different!

We have to work to become “Short Distance Champions” before we can ever achieve the Long distance goals. If you meet daily goals you can meet the weekly goals that align with those daily goals.

Today set your goals for the day and the week. Take the time this week to identify your goals for the month, then set them in three month increments until you’ve set them for the year.

A great thing to remember is that missed goals still stretched you to make progress especially if you have focused on Championing those short distance goals.

As always, Don’t you lose hope!

Aquila T Carmon

A Thing Called Perception

perception+

So for the first time in years I completely cleaned out all five of my emails! It’s amazing what you find when you clean up all the clutter and boy did I find something good!!

A story my brother emailed to me six years ago about a little old lady who was still driving at the age of 80! It is hilarious and profound at the same time. The story speaks to the power of perception. The way your mind comprehends a situation, opinion or problem could determine what fuels, motivates and encourages you.

This little lady had the right perception. Take a peak!!

*Grandma’s Letter

*She is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car.

*She writes: *

*Dear Granddaughter, *

*The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a

Honk if you love Jesus bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy

that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting. *

*So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. *

*Boy, am I glad I did, what an uplifting experience that followed. *

*I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in

thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. *

*It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed. *

*I found that lots of people love Jesus! *

*While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, *

*’For the love of God! ‘ *

*’Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!’ *

*What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! *

*Everyone started honking! *

*I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. *

*I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love! *

*There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. *

*I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. *

*I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. *

*He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something .. *

*Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. *

*My grandson burst out laughing. *

*Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! *

*A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. *

*I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. *

*So, I waved at all my brothers and sisters grinning, and drove on through the intersection.

*I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared. *

*So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the

Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. *

*Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!!

* Will write again soon, *

* Love, Grandma *

I love it!! And I love this Grandma!!

Aquila T Carmon

What’s The Process?

I read this article this morning that read:

“The most effective leaders are those who develop processes to help their organization reach and stay on top. Habitual systems help people run at their peak without overexerting mental energy when moving into uncharted territories. However, without systems in place, people tend to fall back into their default setting, which can include bad habits. To be an effective leader, it’s important to acknowledge bad habits and replace them with healthier, long-lasting habits, creating a new default setting.”

I find this to be true in my household, my business, my workplace and church organization. Developing systems that work and are tailored for your specific goals can be tedious, even frustrating. On top of that, the processes may require developing new habits to practice. This same thing can be true for new relationships, marriage or bringing home the first kid from the delivery room. Systems can keep you on track and on pace. Systems can reduce stress and increase the effectiveness of your activity.

I encourage you to take some time to evaluate the processes you have in place or even areas where you may need to implement and develop new processes and work to be the most productive in all you do.

Aquila T Carmon

3 Things To Remember About Making Changes

3 Things to Remember when it’s time to take action as make big changes.

1. It will cost you in the beginning.

It will absolutely cost you! Money, time, energy and sacrifice will be inevitable in order to see progress and success. Taking action is not easy but it is necessary for self development. Positive action adds positive value via increase of knowledge, wisdom and experience.

2. If you don’t take action things will stay the same for you but continue changing around you.

If we are not willing to take action we are subjected to watching things change around us and nothing big ever changes for us. The risk in that, is experiencing how changes in our career, family and life will either slightly benefit us or cause damage forcing us to change anyway. Don’t wait to see what happens, make moves to create changes that will benefit you!

3. Everyone will not approve or agree.

It is absolutely ok that people won’t or don’t get what you are doing. It may be someone you expected to support you like a best friend or a spouse. But develop an “oh well” mindset. Oh well, thanks for listening. Oh Well, this is still something I have to do. Oh well, it’s risky and I might lose in the beginning or I know it’s going to cost me in the beginning but I’m going to do it anyway.

Aquila T Carmon

A Measure of Faith

What does it mean that God has dealt to every man the measure of faith? Pondering this causes me to ask questions like….How much faith did He give me? How does it compare to the faith of others? Will this faith only get me so far vs the faith of great leaders?
Romans 12:3 says:
“For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Let’s be honest for a moment. Walking by faith is scary when you don’t seem to have the faith it takes but at the same time it takes faith to accomplish what we are called to.  It takes faith to walk into ICU and believe God will heal sickness.  It takes faith the bury our closest loved ones and believe God will give us the grace to keep going. It takes faith to encourage someone that it will work out. It takes faith to look into the eyes of a parent who lost their child and believe God will strengthen them.
It takes faith to make marriage work, start a business, serve with people who often disagree with you, maintain beneficial relationships and to raise children against the waves of negativity, darkness, distraction and disaster that crashes into our minds every single day. It takes faith to know that you can be who God created you to be. 
What did he create you to be? Powerful beyond the strength of your enemies. Wisely armed with the Mind of Christ. Unstoppable with the force of the Holy Spirit working in you day by day, leading you to and through victories great and small.
So the measure of faith that we are given is a tailored, measured, calculated portion of faith that is meant to work in and through you actively assisting you to your predestined call.  You Measure of faith is directly proportional to who God, as a man, measured you up to be. It is not to be compared and it is not to be doubted. It is an activator that will drive you into prayer and then into action. If you were a vehicle, this measure of faith is premium gasoline, high grade oil, fluids and regular maintenance for you life. If you have the faith to believe enough in yourself and believe enough in God then you will see that all things are possible.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen” Hebrews 11:1 Your measure of faith is only meant for what God intended to achieve in you and through you. So don’t just keep the faith, Use the Faith!
Bless you,
Aquila T Carmon

The Necessity of Change – Introduction

I woke up on Sunday Morning and my son busted into my room, his little wet body shivering, wrapped in a towel saying, “daddy where are my clothes.” I woke up from my sleep as I heard the door open and half way surprised asked him, “Did you already take a shower?” He replies “Yes I did”! Both of us were proud as I told him “Awesome…Now go back downstairs and find some underwear!”

Wow….only six years ago I was changing pampers on him and his twin brother. Most of us do this but when did you last think about how much time changes things? Seasons are in and out seemingly faster as we age, almost as if seconds tic faster on the clock nowadays.

Time isn’t waiting for you is it? Nope, so what are you waiting for. Opportunity is not only telling you to find it but opportunities are searching for you.  Open your eyes and see the chance to do something you haven’t done yet. Change!

For too long, our days become so routine and predictable that we could feel the need to change in our heart, soul, even in our bones. Change is calling us out! When we feel there has to be more, like we have to do better and begin to sense there is more for than this, guess what. There is! This feeling of unsettling means we have now engaged with the necessity change.

Why? Because purpose and destiny are on the line! Who you become, who you are becoming, depends on the steps you are taking to improve, develop, build, learn and grow. You don’t have time to waste or to procrastinate. The Almighty Phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll start on Monday” is a life snooze that will put you late for your appointment with purpose. Don’t WAIT!

Start the business, ask her to marry you, set up the budget, get your Credit fixed, go to the beach, read the book, take the classes, apply for the grant, build the church, move to the other state, MAKE A POWER MOVE and watch God be faithful when you act in faith!!

Aquila T Carmon

5 Principles of Progress

There are quite a few principles that drive us in the direction of progress and success in our lives. It’s wise to reflect and see if we are putting those principles in place. Today I’ll share five of those values with you that caused a huge difference in my life and catapulted me from literally a place of depression and distraction to determination and desire for greater achievement. These principles are relevant for spiritual, financial, career and personal growth. Let’s jump into it.

The first one is PRAYER. What is one of the secrets of having great focus? Having direction! Having a really good sense of destination sets our sails on course for an amazing and purposeful journey. Like any journey though, Inevitably,  we get lost or sometimes even lose ourselves. Prayer brings us back to a proper head-space, heart-place.  Prayer keep us grounded and in connection with God. Praying for God’s guidance, strength and peace essentially aligns us with God’s will through our convictions, His grace and gives us clarity even through the clouded and crowded times. Jesus spent hours praying because He understood that not only external but also his internal needs came from a Spiritual source, His Father in Heaven. It is wise to consult with the Lord about where we are headed and what we should accomplish before consulting with men.  God knows the ultimate purpose for our lives and there could be unnecessary frustration when we allow our intentions to supersede God’s divine direction for our life.

The second is PERSPECTIVE.  How do you see where you are? We should see our challenges like a weight lifter sees a weight that is too heavy and consider how we will build up to clearing that weight. Problems can make us better problem solvers, trouble can build patience, tragedy can push us closer to our Source of strength, pain builds our ability to endure greater pains, hurt and broken trust wises us up. You get the idea. Don’t see a wall as a wall, but a teaching objective that will force you to reach, stretch and think more critically or trust God more consistently.  See your problems from the perspective of every problem has a solution. Remember that God will never put more on you than you can bear.

Next is PLANNING. Yes, strategy is vital in this game of life. I hear you….” Things never go as planned” I’ll say that is True and False. The wrong perspective may tell you this, simply because the whole plan didn’t go as planned. Get this. If you create a plan to meet your goals and only 10% of your plan worked out, then the plan is working because the plan was really to make progress.  A plan is a safeguard. It’s like putting the bumper rails up at the bowling alley to keep you from rolling a gutter ball. Planning may not get you a strike, but it should at least help get you some points on the scorecard.

Fourth is PERSEVERANCE. The ability to move forward when you are ready to quit. Perseverance is the internal characteristic that you can train yourself to put in action. Deciding to walk when you cannot run, crawl when you cannot walk and stopping only to catch your breath, to re-strategize, to pray, to reflect on your perspective but never stopping because you quit.

Lastly to Acknowledge and Celebrate PROGRESS. Seeing and realizing that even though this was small progress that this is a BIG moment. If your plan in laid out and you have made progress toward that goal, then you must realize within every goal is the goal of making progress. If your church didn’t grow by 20 members but it grew by five, celebrate the progress. If your business income didn’t grow by $5,000 but it grew by $1,000, celebrate the progress.

Remember that “The race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end.” Your life doesn’t need to be in competition with anyone else. So, kill all those comparisons and work towards your goals. Stay focused, stay positive, plan every aspect of your life and Celebrate along the way.

There is Hope,

Aquila T Carmon