Your Path and Your Provision

I want to let you know that you can now get my mini-eBook “Your Path and Your Provision” for free when you sign up for email updates.Your Path & Your Provision book image.pngHere’s an excerpt.

Did you know though that God has a path just for you? It is a life that was designed just for you. It’s your life of significance, and only you can live it to the fullest. It’s a life that God has tailor made for you and only in this God designed life can you reach your full potential.

I want to show you that you can discover God’s plan for your life. You can find your path of significance. You can find out what you were meant to do with your life and you can begin on that path today!

Ephesians 2:10 We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are His workmanship.

God created you. He crafted you to the finest detail. Psalm 139:14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. God put into you grace, gifts & equipment to make you effective in your life. His giftings are tailor made for you to do what He created you to do. God built you to be “High Performance” in the life that He’s ordained for you. God created you on purpose and for a very special purpose! He did not create you with all your awesome gifts just to toss you out there to see what would happen. He built you in a precise and specific way.

I hope you enjoyed this.

Always remember, I respect your privacy and I will never share your email with anyone.

Hello, My Name is ___________.

Name tagWhen I was about 18 years old, I was helping one of my uncles roof a house.  The house was owned by a man that I had known since I was a small boy.  My dad worked with him many years ago.  When he saw me, he immediately knew who I was.  He walked right up to me to say hi and ask how I was doing.  The second sentence out of his mouth surprised me though.  He said “Your daddy was one of the nicest men I’ve ever met, but I couldn’t believe a word that came out of his mouth”.  Wow! I just stood there.  How do you react to that?

Another time not too many years later, a step dad of one of my friends, a man who had known my family for many years, said “I’ve never met a Mills who’s ever had anything”. Now, I’m pretty sure he’s never met all of the Mills family.  There are a bunch of us.  But the real point of his comment was that he thought I wasn’t going to amount to much because in his mind, the Mills family doesn’t amount to much.  This kind of prejudice says way more about him than it does me, but the point was clear.  To these two people, my name had not been well represented.

“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.  Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”  Charles Spurgeon.

You may be facing some of these same prejudices in your own life.  Maybe some people don’t like your color, or you came from the wrong side of the tracks, maybe your family is poor, or maybe you really were what they say you were but you’ve changed and now you need a break.  You have a choice to make. Are you going to continue to become what they say you are, or will you find another way to define yourself?  For me these comments became the catalyst for change.  I made a decision to defy the odds.  I was now faced with the challenge of living down a negative perception and a reputation I did not create.

The invisible thing called a Good Name is made up of the breath of numbers that speak well of you
~ George Savile (also attributed to Lord Halifax)

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver or gold” – Proverbs 22:1.  If you’ve ever thought that you were powerless to change the image, perception and reputation tied to your name, I have good news for you! In this very powerful verse in the Bible, pay close attention to the one word, CHOSEN!  This means that not only can you choose to have a good name, which for some is excellent news, but that really ONLY you get to decide what kind of name you have!  You do not have to be shackled with the name or the reputation that was handed to you.  You alone decide who you are going to be.  This verse actually gives us a roadmap that will lead us out from under the negative prophecies of our past.

  • Choose a GOOD name.  Your name is your identity. It’s the culmination of all that you are, and it’s tied directly to your word.  You will not have a man who has an excellent spirit who is also a liar.  If you will have a good name, you will have to be a good man! Kenneth Copeland said it this way in his series “The Image of God in You” when he said “A man and his word are inseparable”.  You can’t have a bad man who’s word will be consistently good or a good man who’s word is bad.  When I say good I mean honest, trustworthy and reliable.
  • Choose it over money.  A good name will serve you longer and in better ways than money can.  The honor that comes from choosing a good name over great riches answers a deeper need in all of us than just having money.  A good reputation will win when money can’t. People of honor will not be moved by your money but they will by your reputation and your good name. Just last night an associate of mine was telling a story about some college students from New York who bought an old sofa for $20 at the Salvation Army thrift store and started finding envelopes full of money in different parts of the couch. According to the article, they immediately started asking “What kind of boat are we going to buy?” or “Where are we going to go?” but then they found a deposit slip with a woman’s name on it.  They almost immediately reached a consensus and decided to track the woman down and return the money.  “It’s her money” they said in an interview.  It turned out that she was a 91 year old woman who didn’t trust banks and had hidden her money in this couch.  While she had an extended hospital stay for a broken hip, her family had donated the sofa to the Salvation Army.  She gave the honest young ladies $1,000 for returning the money.  What they gained by their honesty will go far beyond what the money would have bought.  It also demonstrated that they care about people.
  • Love and pursue favor rather than money.  Rev. Tad Gregurich is the Dean of Rhema Bible Training College in Broke Arrow, Oklahoma, and an associate pastor at Rhema Bible Church.  In a recent message he stated “You can do business on nothing but the name of some people.  Their name is so honored and respected that the name alone is trusted in business.  You don’t even need a hand shake”.  Don’t you just long to have that level of favor?  I strive for it everyday.  I want people to be able to have such a level of trust in my name that when someone comes along and starts talking bad about me, everyone that hears it immediately doesn’t believe it.

Ecclesiastes 7:1a says “A good name is better than precious ointment…” Imagine, even the mention of your name could bring healing, reduce pain & reduce discomfort in the person who hears it.  Does the very mention of your name cause heaviness to lighten in others?  Will others smile and be comforted when your name is brought into the conversation? They can be.

“I’d love to work with an Asian guy named Wu Hu, because just saying his name would get me all pumped up and excited.”
Jarod Kintz, There are Two Typos of People in This World: Those Who Can Edit and Those Who Can’t. 

Rev.  Bob Yandian from Grace Church in Tulsa, Ok. mentioned in his series “One Flesh” that whenever you read the words “My Son” in the book of Proverbs, the message that is really being conveyed is “Builder of the family name”.  Adapt this for yourself.  Realize that what you say and do really does matter.  Rise above the labels that people have tried to chain you with and render their words untrue.  You can do it!

What prejudices have you faced and how did you live them down?  I would love to hear your comments.

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Are people trying to hold you back? Here’s what to do.

traffic cone When I was a younger man, I was an angry man. I had a thin skin and I took everything to heart. I lived in a constant state of being offended because someone didn’t take me seriously enough, or mocked me in some way. Even when my friends would joke around with me, it was always a gamble as to whether or not I would take it the right way or get upset. Remember what I said in a previous post? We all want everyone to always at all times think the very best of us. I realize I’m not alone in this. Many of us struggle with this same thing.

I thank God that I worked with one man who had the guts to be direct with me about this. He came to me one day and said “You need to deal with your attitude. No one likes working with you and you might get fired”. In my opinion, he was a pretty nice and well liked man. I also knew that he didn’t want me to get fired. I knew that his words were coming from real concern, so I asked him for help. One of the first assignments that he gave me was to read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It started me down the road to changing myself and helped me immeasurably. I now try to read this book at least once every two years.

I began to really apply myself to be better in these areas and I began to really grow. Some years later, the son of a co-worker was working with us as a general worker over the summer. I was working near him one day and tried on several occasions to start a friendly conversation to no avail. He would not converse with me. I have known this young man since he was in grade school and he was a good boy. As far as I could remember, I had not done anything to hurt him. I didn’t understand why this happened. It’s hard to endure that kind of treatment and not get “sharp” with people, but I didn’t. I thought about it a lot though. After calming down and thinking about it logically, what I realized was that I was not spoken well of in his house. I worked with one of his parents and they, unfortunately, were still seeing me as the angry young man. This young man wasn’t seeing me for who I am, he was seeing me through a bias that was put into him long ago.

I realized that even though I had changed (and I had dramatically), I was not going to be allowed to redefine myself to these people. To them I was always going to be an angry young man. They were going to see everything I did through that lens.

We see that God told Abram to get out of his country, away from his relatives, and away from his father’s house and God would make of him a great nation (Gen 12:1-2). The Bible isn’t specific about this but I wonder if in order to make Abram a great nation, God first had to get him away from people who would not let him change. What if staying there would have kept him from ever reaching out to receive God’s will and plan. Abram may have had a relative that “put him in his place” every time he saw them.

Not even Jesus was immune to this. Mark 6:1-6 tells us that He went into His own neighborhood and began to teach in the synagogue but His friends, neighbors and family were astonished. They said “How’s he doing these miracles? And who taught him this stuff? He’s doing all these miracles, where did he get this power? Isn’t this the carpenter’s boy? Didn’t he fix the spoke on my ox cart just the other day? My boy has a crush on his little sister! His momma lives right over there!” The Bible says that even though they acknowledged that He was healing people and teaching wonderful things, that they were still offended by Him. The Bible says that He marveled at their unbelief and couldn’t do any mighty works there because of it. They were unwilling to let Him change! It was God’s will but that didn’t matter. They knew who He really was…or so they thought.

So what do you do? Sometimes the people who want to hold you back or hold you down are people that you really care about. How do you deal with it? The best way is to do what Jesus did.

    1. Identify it. Jesus called it out and pulled it into the light of day. I think it’s worthy of note that according to what Jesus said; a Prophet has no honor in the same places that God told Abram to leave. Country, kinfolks & father’s house. The people who know you best are often the ones who don’t like it when you are growing. Jesus pointed this out to them.

      If you want to maintain these relationships, you will need to address your situation directly. If these people truly care about you, they will adjust and be supportive.

    1. Don’t let it stop you! Jesus didn’t let it stop Him. He still laid His hands on a few sick folks and healed them. Even in the face of opposition that was trying to get Him to back down and get “back in His place”, He kept on doing what He knew was right.

      You need to make a quality decision that you will not stop doing what’s right just because others aren’t recognizing or accepting it. I am fully persuaded that a person should act according to their own decisions and not always just be reacting to what others do to them. Make the right choice and then dig in and stick to it.

    2. Work toward correcting the situation. Jesus went around the villages teaching. Even if only a few would listen, the seed would grow and the message would spread. He set about to build faith in the people. 

      You will need to become your own evangelist so to speak. Begin walking it out. So you’ve changed? Prove it! Every day with every step and every word.

    3. Set yourself apart. Abram left his whole identity behind in order to become what God had for him. You may not need to be that drastic, but you may need to leave some relationships behind. In drug and alcohol treatment, one of the things you must do in order to be successful at recovery is to Change Your Playground. The recovering person has to find friends that will not be sticking the addiction in their face all the time. Very often, if someone relapses, it’s because they started hanging out with old friends again. Changing your playground can be very painful but in order to move forward, it may be necessary. It also doesn’t mean that you have to amputate certain people, It may just mean that you have to keep them at arm’s length for a while.

When you start moving forward and begin to pass the limitations and boundaries that were holding you back, many will be supportive, but some won’t. The important thing is that you move in the right direction and that you fortify yourself to stay the course. Don’t let the negativity of others hold you back and continue to define you.

Join the conversation. How did you overcome the resistance from others who wouldn’t allow you to change? I would love to hear your comments.

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Want to know why I am the man I am today? Here’s why.

Windmill Cookies croppedWhen I was in about first grade, my mom started going to church.  Mom grew up catholic and my grandparents attended a catholic church.  I however, had not really gone to church much before first grade.

It wasn’t a very big church but I remember it had lively music and some people in the congregation would play tambourines during the songs.  It also had old oak church pews with no cushioning at all.  I remember that we had a lady Pastor who carried a huge purse.  All the ladies carried these purses back then, you know, they had kind of a cinch sack top and you could carry a bowling ball in them if you wanted to.  I also remember a lot of the ladies used to wear their hair up.

It didn’t take me long to make a friend at church, his name was William South.  William was a little older than me and knew a few things.  For instance, William knew that if you could find a tambourine cymbal that may have come loose & rolled near you (they occasionally did), then find a lost bobby pin, which wasn’t that difficult because all the ladies wore their hair up, and if you happened to have brought a rubber band with you to church, you could fashion yourself a fine sling-shot that would send a tambourine cymbal flying far and noticeable!  I have often thought since then that William and I should have just packaged that idea and called it “Whippin’ in a can”.  Whether it was that, or some other scheme that I invented to keep from being bored in church, the results always seemed to be the same.  I got spanked when I got home. I have since joked with my mom that it’s a wonder that I’m a Christian today considering all of the times I was punished when I got home for being rowdy during service.

Not long after that, my dad also recommitted his heart to the Lord and began to go with us.  Together, they set out to show us that what they believed was worth believing.  It was worth instructing their family about.  My mom meant business when it came to God.  She was not fake about her Christian walk. Her and dad conveyed to us that we could have a relationship with God for ourselves and that He was worth having a relationship with.

“There never was a woman like her. She was gentle as a dove and brave as a lioness… The memory of my mother and her teachings were, after all, the only capital I had to start life with, and on that capital I have made my way.”
– Andrew Jackson

I am convinced that I am the godly man that I am today because of what my mom put into me.  She formed me in two distinct ways.

  1. The things that she taught me. I remember when I was in third grade my mom used to take me into her bedroom with her and pray with me.  This was her prayer time and she would pray for an hour.  She was teaching me to pray and also trying to build into me a habit of prayer.  I thought later that I should have hid army men in my parents’ bedroom so I could have something fun to do during this time.
  2. The way that she lives.  I also remember the elderly mother of a family friend came to live with us.  My sister and I called her “Grandma Davis”.  My mom took care of her for a while.  This was right after my little brother, also known as “the breaker of my toys” was born.  I remember because mom would order me to watch him while she would go help Grandma Davis.  Mom was not only willing but glad to help out this way.

“My mother never gave up one me. I messed up in school so much they were sending me home, but my mother sent me right back.”
– Denzel Washington

I am grateful for the faithfulness of my mom.  Through the hard years she stuck it out when no one else did and did her best.  All of her children are grown now but she’s still there to help when she can.  I am so grateful that she paid attention to the person I was becoming and disciplined me when I needed it.  I am living proof of Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. 

I honor my mom with every breath and every heartbeat. I want to live my life so as to cause glory to fall on my mom and I thank God for her.

Mom, I love you and you really are my hero! Happy Mother’s Day!


My life seems stalled! How do I fix it?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were stalled and just didn’t know what to do?  I have – a bunch of times.   So many times as you grow up and try to find your way, you run into these “walls” where you just don’t see what to do next.  You can’t see any options.  You’re stuck!  You may have never had to come down this road before and you don’t see the next step. What do you do?

dash lights & Tach


Not long after my parents divorced, my mom needed stuff done to her car.  She didn’t know what else to do, so she asked my grandpa, her dad, for help.  My grandpa took me, little Artie, out to the garage that day (I was 10) and I thought “Oh awesome, Grandpa’s going to let me help him”.  Grandpa helped me get the front end in the air and break all of the nuts & bolts loose, and then sat on a stool in the garage and step-by-step talked me through the process of performing a complete brake job on my mom’s car.  He only got up to check the torque on the nuts & bolts and to help me “slowly” get the car down.  That was the first of many times that grandpa helped me do things like that.

That marked me that day.  I began to watch him. He probably didn’t know how closely I was noticing the things that he said and the choices that he made.  He had an entire wall in his breeze-way that was made of brick and had a fireplace right in the middle of it.  He built the whole thing.  I asked him one day how he did it and he replied “I went to the library & got a book, then I went to the store & bought a diamond edged saw”.  I can’t even begin to estimate how much he helped me and imparted wisdom to me over the years.

The Bible says in Leviticus 19:32 (BBE) “Get up from your seats before the white-haired, and give honor to the old, and let the fear of your God be before you: I am the Lord”.  As I grew and matured I began to realize that the Elders that God had put in my life were and are a wealth of wisdom to me.  I can think right now of some very significant people in my own life that gave me excellent counsel in my difficult times.

  1. Grandparents – Never sell them short.  Your grandparents have seen things and have the wisdom to help you navigate some pretty sticky situations.  Besides that, they are probably your number 1 fan and love you. They are on your side.
  2. Teachers – I have not had many, but there were a few teachers that reached further & demonstrated that they cared more than the others.  I have on occasion gone to them with questions about how to get past road blocks in my life.
  3. Counselors – I have had the pleasure of knowing some great people in this area.  Nearly all of them were interested in helping young people.
  4. Elders in the Church – This is true even today.  I have received some of the best counsel and advise from older gentlemen that I have submitted myself to.  They have been down the road, and have probably seen what you’re facing before.
  5. Elders at work – Most of the time I have found that co-workers are not that close.  There are occasions though where an older co-worker will become like a mentor to you and help you steer your career.

In all of these relationships, the key to receiving wisdom and advise is to ask. You must be willing to receive the help.  Again, I can’t stress this enough, you must humble yourself and be teachable.  Remember, God hasn’t left you twisting in the wind.  He has provided help for you.  Honor the Elders in your life and listen.  They have lots to say.

Join the conversation.  How has the wisdom of the Elders in your life helped you?  Please post your comments.