Wednesday, January 16, 2013

God Owns All the Chips

I absolutely LOVE this video!  One of my friends, Stefanie, shared it on Facebook yesterday and I enjoyed watching it so much that I just HAD to share here.  Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the popular book, "Purpose-driven Life", was on Oprah's Lifeclass recently and shared how to "maximize the hand you're dealt with." He explains, "The cards we are dealt are the things we don't have control over. I didn't choose where I was born, when I was born, I didn't choose my gender, my parents, my race, my natural abilities, my natural weaknesses, but a wise player can even play what seems to be a weak hand, and win the game. There are ways to take what you are given and make the most out of it." 

One guest that was present in the audience was a perfect example of how to deal with the cards you are dealt.  He was dealt a pretty bad hand with the first 4 cards, but was able to to turn the hand into a pretty great one with the wild card.  Watch here or below and be inspired:

A summary of the five cards we are dealt (from
The first card represents the body people are given and the chemistry that makes up their physical characteristics. Warren said we have no control over how we were created physically by God.
The pastor said we were made to be in relationship with others. We are wired to be connected together with others.
We have no control over who our parents are or where we were born. Warrens said we give this card way too much power. Circumstances are what we can't control.
This is the card you have when you talk to yourself. It is the story you tell yourself. When it comes to this fourth card, Warren explains:
"Your consciousness is the story you tell yourself. All of us have things we want to change in our lives. If you want to change the way you act, your start back with your thoughts. If I'm acting depressed, it's because I feel depressed. You can't change a feeling – but you can change a thought."
Oprah reacted when the pastor said the key is not to resist temptation, but to replace it. Warren further explained:
"Not to resist, but to refocus. You have to renew your consciousness. If you want to break a focus, you need to refocus."
This fifth card is the only card that you can control. It is the card that can either make or break the entire hand. It is the wild card in the deck.
Only you have the power to change the direction of your life.
Nick Vujicic has such an inspirational story.  After watching this, I was so thankful that God chose me to be born of such wonderful, caring, God-fearing parents who are, to this day, so encouraging.  It was also an excellent reminder to me to glorify God in all things.  If I glorify God in all things, the choices I make (which are the only things in my control) will keep me on the perfect path.  My favorite words on this video are the ones that Nick used when he said, "God owns all the chips!".  God is sovereign.  He is control.  How can you not be at peace knowing that?   
It reminds me of one of my favorite Psalms, which popped up again in my devotional Bible-reading app:
New American Bible version of Psalm 139:
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all. Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me. Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.
Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee? If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too. If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea, Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light"—Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.
You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them! Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity.
If only you would destroy the wicked, O God, and the bloodthirsty would depart from me! Deceitfully they invoke your name; your foes swear faithless oaths. Do I not hate, LORD, those who hate you? Those who rise against you, do I not loathe? With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own.
Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my concerns. See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths. 

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