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FAITH: Be an instigator of inspiration

Rev. Brad McKenzie

I have always been inspired and motivated by powerful quotes, dynamic statements, and generative appeals.  There is something helpful and transformative in realigning thoughts, biases, and assumptions to guide not only our personal life, but also with the intentional benefit of influencing others for good.  Some of the word art I have most appreciated over my life continue to run like a song on repeat, but sometimes I turn down the volume to attempt to do things “my way!”  Thankfully, I tend to come back to these phrases and continually add to the catalog guiding principles.

While attending the Kiwanis International Educational and Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City this week, my notebook has become filled with many new thoughts and actions I hope to intentionally add to my life process.  Several are going to become part of my vernacular immediately.  One of them is “Be an instigator of inspiration!”  This my friends is something any of us can do, no matter our frame of mind or world view.

I have become more and more convicted of how my life impacts others, both in positive and negative ways.  Specifically, my wife and children are very much impacted by how I think, speak, and present myself, especially in situations which are stressful, difficult, and tension filled.  As my wife and I come to terms with how quickly our children are in our care and under our influence, it has become imperative for us to not waste a single movement to express our love and mold their mind, heart, and values before they are launched into the world.  If I can instigate inspiration in my children, maybe they can in turn can become instigators of inspiration in the world where they will have influence and leadership!

So where does this leave you and I today?  Another appeal I am bringing back with me is “choose optimism!”  I feel these statements not only work in tandem, but also allow for each to be legitimate possibilities in our lives.  I’ve told you before how I grew up in a chaotic and often negative home due to a terminally ill parent.  Yet, through the amazing influence of my incredible wife, and the gracious maturation continuing to take place in my inward being, I have been converted into someone who wants to paint positivity, optimism, and inspiration to all I have access.  You who are reading this today can choose to do the same, you just must choose.

Life is not fair, equal, and it is not easy, but it is valuable, lovely, and at times more than we could ever have imagined or dreamed!  Let us choose optimism in Orange County as we are instigators of inspiration.  What could it hurt?  The benefit may even impact you!  You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.