You may not realize it, and at times it won’t feel like it, but God’s not finished with you

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image created by Matt Gould

I honestly believe one of the greatest lies we believe in life is that we can find fulfillment with anything other than God. Money, relationships, job satisfaction, living comfortably, they’re all a temporary fix to distract us from the only one who can completely satisfy and leave us feeling fulfilled.

I’ll let you know right now, I’m writing this from a head and heart that hasn’t figured this out yet. …


What God might be trying to tell you in quarantine

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Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

I’ve never had a clear-cut miracle before. I always wanted one, but it’s never happened. Through all my years sitting in church and even leading a church myself, I would hear stories of people being healed of sickness, having addiction broken off their life in an instant, or a relationship restored at the snap of a finger. It was amazing to witness and occasionally be a part of, but I’ve never personally had one of those moments. …


Stripping back the dressing up

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Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

“What shirt are you wearing tomorrow for church?”

The words that made up that question linked together to make a perfect sentence, and yet my brain took awhile to catch up.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Exactly what I said.” Replied my wife, clearly hoping I would have figured out and settled on the idea of wearing a shirt to church the next morning.

“But, we’re not going anywhere?

“So?”

Quarantine has revealed some interesting character traits I never knew I had before. For example, I never realized how much I enjoyed having a simple conversation with a friendly check out operator until I wasn’t able to do so, due to the large piece of Plexiglas that had been put up to protect them. I never realized how much I enjoy my morning commute to work, enjoying worship and time with God, even while completely stopped in rush hour traffic. And, I never realized I dressed up for a church service to impress other people, until I was forced to watch an online church service with only my family. …


Squeezing the very best out of your introduction

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Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

I’ve made myself a fresh squeezed glass of orange juice from scratch, maybe three times in my life. Honestly, I feel like the effort it takes to walk to the store, buy a bottle and spend $4 is far less tedious than the chopping, juicing, cursing because the damn juice got me in the eye, and finally cleaning up the sixteen pieces of cutlery I somehow managed to dirty just for a half glass of lukewarm orange juice.

I get it, there’s value in juicing an orange, a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction that you just saved the world from one more empty plastic bottle that will never be recycled properly. But it’s still a pain in the ass, it still takes work and it still feels like the effort wasn’t worth the output in the grand scheme of things. The more I think about it, the more I realize that maybe it is worth it though. Maybe there is some value in putting in the work. Maybe it could be worth the effort to clean up. Why? Because ultimately it saves other issues for other people that I don’t see. Sure, the benefit I receive from simply buying a bottle of OJ once a week is the convenient path I want to take, and it has the best overall result for me. I save time, I don’t spend a lot of money, I’m putting in minimum effort and getting maximum results, especially from the goodness of the juice itself. But what about everyone else? One bottle of juice each week is 52 empty bottles each year, and the $4 dollars I spend works out at $208. Both the bottles and the money don’t seem like huge amounts, but multiply it by the number of people who think exactly like me, which I would argue is probably a majority, and suddenly we’re talking crazy amounts of wasted plastic and money that could be used for something worthwhile, or spent on helping people in need. …


The greatest public speaking tip I was ever told

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Photo by Shoeib Abolhassani on Unsplash

I can’t remember a time before or after that moment when someone stared so painfully blank at me for such an extended period of time. It still causes me to cringe slightly with embarrassment whenever I think of it. The Turkish Takeaway we sat in was warm enough, but there was nothing except pure ice running through my veins as I waited for what felt like an eternity for him to respond to the verbal diarrhea that had apparently spewed from my lips.

The day before this, my boss had told me that my favorite international speaker was going to be in the office, and to my absolute adulation, he wanted to have lunch with me. I was a mixed bag of emotions, that kind of excitement mixed with nervousness which, when paired, made you want to throw up just a little bit. …


Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you’re right

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Photo by Mojo Jojo on Unsplash

Why do people put knives in burgers? Seriously, it’s not going to run away. It’s far to excessive to simply hold it together. Also, what kind of psychopath needs a knife to eat a burger anyway? God gave you a knife and a fork at the end of each of your arms, they’re called hands, use them.

Wow look at that, I’m already off topic.

Okay, roll with me for a second. I want you to start imagining your favorite burger. Beef, chicken, vegetarian, whatever you prefer, I’m not judging. What is it about that burger that makes it so good? Is it the freshness of the ingredients? The sauce? Maybe the type of cheese they use right? Picture that burger in your mind and take a second to really appreciate how good it looks. One questions, in your admiration of that glorious looking beast, did you at any point think about buns on either side? I’m sure you pictured them, naturally selecting your preference of bread, lettuce or some other alternative. But did you actually think about it? I imagine that’s a no for most of us, myself included, because that’s not the bit tastes the best right? …


win the crowd, one person at a time

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Photo by William White on Unsplash

I’m constantly speaking to speakers about speaking…funny that. For some of us, speaking sparks something in us that gets the blood pumping and the brain working in the best possible way. For others, it’s a necessary part of what we do to ultimately bring in the bacon.

Whatever your stance on speaking, our focus tends to be more on what’s being spoken and less on who’s being spoken to. It makes sense right? Regardless of how passionate we are (or aren’t) about speaking, we all want to do our best when we get the opportunity to do so. There’s so many aspects to our speaking that we have to think about — presentation, voice projection, what the heck am I meant to do with my hands? …

About

Matt Gould

Christian // Husband // Father // Consumer of Coffee // Artist // Musician // Speaker // Follow me on Twitter @mattgould_nz

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