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JR Gladden Tag

I met Erin Brooks & her family last week.  Erin is a 9-year-old future surfing champion and an amazing young lady.

In last week’s surf competition she came in 3rd.  I was impressed with Erin and her entire family; and the tremendous support system they’ve built. Her father had a great perspective.  While he could have listed the legitimate reasons she was at a disadvantage, he focused on the character that was being developed as part of these trials and errors, these wins and losses.

From the moment you said yes to Jesus, you were meant to be amazing.  Your setbacks are merely preparation along the way.  You can choose to let the setbacks drag you down or choose to look beyond them and see that God’s plan is still at work.

God has big plans for you, but our attitudes will either carry us on to our destiny or cause us to miss it completely. So carry the Brooks family perspective with you, always.

By the way, if you want to cheer Erin on, you can find her on Instagram & Facebook @ErinBrooksSurf.

To Brexit or not to Brexit, that is the question

Having just returned from the UK, by my informal survey the exit vote has the momentum.

The voices arguing for remain are focusing on potential economic fallout. What they seem to miss is that after the great recession, people don’t feel like the economy is amazing.

More importantly the British public is more concerned with the free movement within the EU. The perception is that this allows immigrants to come in and claim benefits as well as leaving an open door for Islamic terrorists to make their way to England.

An out vote would still require a 2 year negotiation of new terms before Great Britain left.

Until the vote is concluded next week, prepare for potential volatility.

I’m currently in Amsterdam and had dinner with Memos Sakallariou a pastor friend from Athens, Greece. To put our conversation in context, Greece has suffered from a massive economic downturn, refugee influx from Syria and political turmoil.

Currently unemployment for those under 35 is running in excess of 53%. People are struggling to get by. Suicide is rampant.

Memos also shared with me how God is being faithful to HIS people. Their church is working. People have jobs, even the young people. If someone loses a job, they pray and get a better one.

In these kinds of circumstances it is easy to become fearful and depressed. Memos and I made a commitment to each other. Instead of being afraid, “we were going to live until we died!”

God has big plans for his people…only fear can hold us back.

Mr. Gladden firmly believes that Christians can and should create a legacy for their family to carry forward in life, and more importantly impact the world around them.

Randy reminds families, “As His children we need to start realizing that even though we don’t fully know what God’s plans are, we need to set out on the adventure and start living life with expectation.

God wants to provide you w/ purpose and passion and Randy wants to show participants how to use tools and techniques to help cultivate your dreams and desires while building the spiritual and financial legacy He has planned for you.

Wrapping up a whirlwind trip to New Orleans. We have been at a conference searching out and reviewing different strategies and opportunities for Christian’s investments to succeed even in challenging times. We are quite excited about things we have seen.

Along the way we were able to celebrate my birthday and get a new recipe for chargrilled oysters. Next week off to Alaska to encourage some pastors and connect w/ some clients.

There is much debate at the moment over where the price of oil should be. Some analysts are convinced it will rocket to $50 or more shortly, while just as many are sure that it will drop back to $25 any time now. Let’s not lose focus on the one underlying issue: Not that long ago oil was trading for over $100 per barrel. Roughly speaking for every dollar the price of oil drops equates to roughly $1 Billion extra that consumers have to spend. So whether oil is at $25, or at $50 there is significant savings for the average American whenever they stop to fill up.

This savings is slowly being translated into higher savings rates, accerlarated debt reduction and more cash available to enjoy. While the lower price has resulted in less employment in the oil industry, ultimately the greater benefit is to the general economy. At either price, the American public wins.

“Strength is measured in commitment and faithfulness.” J. Randall Gladden

Society would have us believe that strength is purely physical. We are presented with images of muscular toned individuals. Even I am impressed with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Real strength in reality is quite different.

Real strength is the ability to face life’s challenges head on. Amazing strength is the ability to encourage those around you while facing the challenges.

So how do you get this kind of strength? You can’t exercise or take a supplement. Will power will only carry you so far. So what is the ultimate source?

In preparation for entering the promised land, God instructed Joshua over and over “Be strong and of good courage”. They were about to enter a season of challenges and battles to receive the blessing that God had prepared for them. It wasn’t handed to them. They had to fight to get it.

The biggest battle wasn’t with the inhabitants. It was against their own fears. God had a plan. God had their back. When they went to Him, He showed them how to succeed.

God allows us to face challenges for a number of reasons. In the process we are transformed. He is glorified. Lives are changed. Paradigms are destroyed.

Our battle is not against the challenges we face. It is with our own fears, concerns and emotions. Strength is realizing that the Lord God of the universe has your back.

I have a quote one of my staff gave me years ago that I keep in my office. “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”.

Life presents us with a series of great opportunities to trust God and achieve amazing things. Our only requirement…remind ourselves that the Lord God has a plan.

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