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Mark Batterson: Win the Day

How to Win the Day 

Mark points out that by the end of any given January, 75% of people have failed to keep their New Year’s resolutions. “Why do so many problems remain unresolved? Why do so many bad habits remain unbroken? Why do so many goals remain unachieved? Nine times out of ten we’re so overwhelmed by the size of the problem or the habit or the goal that we give up before we even get started.” A question a friend once asked Mark offered a simple solution: “Can you do it for a day?” He says we’d be far more successful in accomplishing what we desire if we focused on daily habits versus daunting, long-term goals. “The odds of success get greater as the time compartments get smaller. If you get it down to day-tight compartments, anything is possible!”

The seven cleverly-named habits Mark expounds in Win the Day are:

  • Flip the Script: Bury your past and change your signature story. 
  • Kiss the Wave: The obstacle in your path is the way (not the enemy).
  • Eat the Frog: What’s the one thing you least like to do, but you feel best about it afterwards? That’s your frog.
  • Fly the Kite: How you do anything is how you’ll do everything.  
  • Cut the Rope: Playing it safe is risky; take the right risks to chart a new course. 
  • Wind the Clock: Time is measured in minutes; life is measured in moments.
  • Seed the Clouds: Sow today what you want to see tomorrow.

Kiss the Wave 

Mark cites many instances of intense suffering in the lives of believers, including his own wife’s battle with breast cancer, and a friend’s constant migraines. He then quotes Charles Spurgeon, who said of his ongoing battle with depression, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” Mark explains that moving past the pain of suffering does not mean denying, ignoring, or hiding it. Rather, he says, accepting the storm leads us to the question, “What have you come to teach me?” Looking to the Lord for that answer, he says, “has the power to enrich your life in a way that nothing else can. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be painless,” he believes, “but if you lean in and learn to kiss the wave, you can come out on the other side stronger and kinder and wiser.”  

Eat the Frog 

Mark Twain is purported to have said that if one ever has to eat a live frog, it’s best done first thing in the morning; that way, one can go through the rest of the day knowing the hardest thing is behind him. Batterson builds on the idea. “What to-do list items are you most tempted to procrastinate on? What goals have you had forever but not taken the first step toward? What difficult decision have you been delaying? That, my friend, is your frog! Give yourself a deadline; then get started on it.” To succeed in this habit, Mark goes on to discuss the importance of morning routines, time with God, how to form good habits, break bad ones, and set boundaries.  

Seed the Clouds 

Mark uses of an example from nature to explain this habit. “You’ve got to sow today what you want to see tomorrow.” He points to three personal traits that each of us can develop to “seed” the clouds of our lives: humility, positivity, and generosity. Humility is evident when we’re seeking to glorify God, not ourselves, he says. Then God will lift us up and give as grace, as James 4:6 tells us. Second, Mark says, positivity based on the express promises of God, not mere positive thinking, often based on our own desires, produces the fruit of those promises. “You’ve got to celebrate what you want to see more of,” he believes. Negativity based on doubt and unbelief seeds the clouds too, but will produce a storm that we won’t like. Lastly, when we’re generous, we honor and emulate God, he says, who blesses us in return according to His will.  

More About Mark 

Born in Minneapolis, Mark grew up in Naperville, Illinois. He was just five years old when his parents took him to see a movie made through Billy Graham’s ministry, called The Hiding Place.The film significantly impacted Mark and he gave his life to God. When he turned 19 years old, he realized that he had been asking Jesus to follow him instead of following Jesus. 

Mark went to the University of Chicago on scholarship, playing basketball and majoring in pre-law. After a prayer walk through a cow pasture, he felt called to full-time ministry and ended up at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. Mark also holds a Doctor of Ministry from Regent University. He is the author of 20 books including his first published title, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and The Circle Maker, a New York Times Bestseller.

The Battersons moved to Washington, DC in 1994 to direct an inner-city ministry. He has served as Lead Pastor of National Community Church since 1996. Under his leadership, NCC has grown from a core group of 19 people to one church with seven locations. 

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