Taunet Nelel means 'New Beginning.' This blog is about finding purpose and living in purpose. It seeks to inspire hope and help you live a fulfilling life. One with "No Regrets, No Fear, No Shame and No Anger."

An Unfinished House - Count The Cost

Thursday, October 25

Back as a kid, there was a house on the way to school that lay unfinished for the longest time. It seemed that the owners were so burdened, they could not finish constructing their house. From afar, it was a seemingly beautiful mansion,  but when you took a closer look the house was abandoned and inhabitable.

How many unfinished houses can you count in your neighborhood?

"Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish."

Count the cost.

These three words give us the answer to unfinished houses.

Do we count the cost?

photo credit: bbcworldservice via photopin cc

An "unfinished house" is one which could be better, whose potential has been untapped, whose glory is hidden and whose treasure is unexplored. It could be a person, a relationship or areas of stagnation.

Using the concept of unfinished houses, lets apply that to our personal lives and use three areas in your life that could probably be unfinished:

  1. Your personal life:

Have you ever considered that you are under construction? That probably you walk around with the sign, "Under Construction" on your forehead literally.

DaveArnold puts it this way, “The truth is, there are a lot of hungry people in the world. They’re hungry for meaning, hope, belonging and love. ”

I wonder if all these hungry people are getting filled from the right sources. I presume hunger would naturally as it does, prompt us to look to get filled. Sometimes we end up eating junk and ultimately junk is all that we produce.

We may find it expedient to go through the motions in life at the expense of what really matters. It is quite easy to stay defeated by other people's opinions. We can throw our hands in despair to say, “It cannot be done.” Quickly an assumption is stamped as the truth.

Can we afford to walk through life with our hands in the pocket? Count the cost.

  • Question assumptions you have made. Pass them through the test of truth, do they hold water. Jessica Cox holds a Guinness World Record 2011 as 'The First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License.' What are your perceived limitations?
  • Choose to frame your questions differently. You have to realize that asking the right question prompts a correct answer. 5 + 5 = ? is a question that closes your imagination while ? + ? = 10 opens up your imagination to endless possibilities.
  • Rather than pointing out problems, seek solutions. You can the missing link. Be the change.

  1. Your relationships:

Our relationships are “Under Construction.” Since man is not an island, we can safely say that at any one point you will be dealing with other people.

How you relate with other people mirrors how you relate with yourself. They say that a wife mirrors the husband. The children mirror the home. A team is as strong as its weakest member.

“When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you are constructing a house, you start work with the architects drawing. It is a blueprint of what the end product will look like. People are similar. Treat them as potentials and they will blossom.

  1. Areas of stagnation:

Stagnation is a sign of death. I know quite a strong statement but true nonetheless. “Unfinished houses” are stagnant. There is no change, you walk by from day to day and it is just the same. Frederick Douglass said, “Inaction is followed by stagnation. Stagnation is followed by pestilence and pestilence is followed by death.”

Familiarity breeds complacency. Whenever comfort begins you had better seek to move, since comfort borders so much on the danger zone. When everything is okay, they might not be okay after all.

Are there areas in your life that you perceive stagnancy? It may not take a day to change in that area. Begin with small steps. Ask the tough questions. Any area of unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, lying – you name it – needs to go for real growth to take its place.

I love how Floyd says it here, “There are times in life that we do the same thing; we ignore reality… It’s done with small things and bigger things alike...That’s the easiest thing to do isn’t it? Pretend it’s not there.”

It may not be easy, regardless choose to face reality today. Face your fears and choose to change what has been stagnant. Then you will begin to move past the familiar. Take action now.

What do "Unfinished houses" mean to you? Are you under construction and do we need to Count the cost? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

James 1:24

The Message (MSG)
22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

Don't Waste Your Life

Thursday, October 4

You have only one life, spend it wisely. Don’t Waste Your Life!

It could seem obvious to everyone at first, but getting down to it personally: “How am I spending my life?” is a question we need to ponder on. What will matter, when you are no more – not breathing anymore? Will it be the wealth you accumulated, will it be the number of friends you made or even enemies?

Randy Travis sang about it in Three Wooden Crosses – “It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you; it’s what you leave behind you when you go.” Michael Josephson wrote about it in the well known poem, “What will Matter.” John Piper dedicated himself to find the opposite of a wasted life. Jesus lived a ‘NOT WASTED LIFE ‘and he offers us too the invitation to not waste our lives.

photo credit: pchow98 via photopin cc

I just celebrated my 2-Something birthday :) 25th Birthday to be exact and God has been gracious. This year for me has been one of endings, new beginnings and molding of character.

More than anything, I desire a life that glorifies God in me.

I will share 7 lessons I have learned in the two decades of my existence and I would only hope that it will resonate with you as much as it does with me. Michael Josephson says, “What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.”

1.    It’s not about ME.
Who do you look for first in a picture of you with family and friends? Don’t we all point to ourselves? “That’s me” we seem to say. In relationships, we always want to fight for our rights while fleeing responsibility. When something goes wrong, we first take it personally before analyzing to see the root causes.

•    It didn't happen to you as much as for you: We get engrossed in what happens to us, so much so, that we forget that it could be for our sake. I’ve learnt to ask more “What is the lesson?” questions instead of “Why me?” questions.
•    What doesn't break you makes you: Whatever trials we face are meant to build our character. If we forget that, it becomes a discouragement, instead of a growth moment. Every rejection we face is meant to push us further into lives of significance; we just have to choose to seek the opportunities instead of problems.
•    For so long, I prayed for God to change my circumstances: It was only until I agreed with God that I needed to change first, did I notice my circumstances start to change. I learnt that the weather didn’t have to change. I had to change my perception of the weather first and later notice that rain was also good weather.
Who is it about then, glad you asked…

2.    It’s about God and other people.
Jesus gave two great commandments and both have to do with love. Love for God, love for self and love for others.

Love is the essence of who God is and He loved us even when we were unlovable.

I have learned that only God loves perfectly and He can teach me to do the same.

You cannot give what you don’t have. We obtain a healthy self worth from what God says about us and then treat others as such.

Treat them as we would want to be treated.

3.    It’s never too late to dream again.

Dreams don’t die – we just bury them alive.

Dreams are given to us by the Creator. The creation cannot seek meaning apart from seeking answers from the Creator.

Sooner or later, you dream your childhood dreams again, after a season of mediocrity. The catch is you have to act on the dream – pursue it. Contend with your fears again and again. Risk failure. Risk success. Fail forward, and don’t give up.

Seek God during the process and be intentional in your pursuit daily.

4.    Forgiveness frees the forgiver.
This one was not an easy lesson for me personally. Especially because those closest to you: “deserve to know when they have hurt you and must say sorry at the very least.” At least, that is what I thought.

I learned it the hard way. If I don’t forgive, the prisoner held hostage is me. The biggest loser is me. Even when my offenders are not sorry, I have to love myself enough to forgive them.

Only then will I be able to claim my love for them and live beyond the hurt. Every other lesson I have learned is pegged on forgiveness.

I would hope that you would analyze your life too and ask whether you harbor any bitterness or anger against anyone even if it’s God. Deal with it now or it will deal with you.

Whoever said time heals wounds, didn’t consider that it is also a personal choice. You make the choice to forgive, not time.

5.    Failure is never final.
Both the moon and the sun know what time to shine and we should too. It takes patience and perseverance. Your time to shine will ultimately come but you have to put up with making numerous mistakes along the way.

We seem to learn more from the struggles and the failure than what we perceive as success.

Don’t give up. Quit. Fall. Rise up and try again.

The difference between try and triumph is a little bit of "UMPH!"

6.    Learning never stops, if it does you stop living.
We don’t literally die when we stop learning. No, life just stops making much sense. Pieces in the puzzle don’t seem to fit. And rightly so.

No one knows everything if you ask me. That is why we need to keep learning.

And you will never know everything. That is why you decide to put your energies into one thing and become great in it.

Obstacles to learning include pride and ungratefulness. Develop a teachable spirit and life becomes an easier journey for everyone.

7.    Be grateful.
Do you notice that breathing is a reflex action which you do not get to choose? Waking up from bed healthy is a gift.

Every day is a present you do not deserve yet you have.

I don’t know about you. Personally, saying ‘Thank You’ and really meaning it makes life worth living.

It pushes me to live a life of significance – where mere existence is pushed in the backseat and making a difference becomes priority.

When we say thanks often, we become humble. It keeps us in the know that life could not be lived on our own and for ourselves alone.

Regrets – they are just a waste of time. Learn the lesson and move on living in the present and looking to the uncharted future.

Fears only stall our progress if we let them; courage is not the absence of fear but the conquest of it.

Shame leads to a mediocre life – Jesus was shamed more than anyone in this life and yes He rose again.

Anger – only stifles your growth more than the offenders’. Life for them may just be getting better while yours is dwindling.

Choose a new beginning with no regrets, no fear, no shame and no anger. This is what this blog is all about.

We are all here to learn and to teach. Please share your lessons as well in the comment section. What is a wasted life to you?

Matthew 16 Amplified Bible (AMP)

25 For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].

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