A Bear of Positiveness! …Hello weekend readers. I’m guessing many of you are getting ready to do something on our July 4th holiday weekend. As a camp-host, we are ready for the surge! Every size RV, car, truck, boats, etc., flock into our campground and our recreation area where they access beautiful Lake Abiquiu. For many, it may be the first time they have camped—those folks are always interesting and for others, July 4 is sanctuary and they come every year. The whole weekend can really be exhausting but it is also fun and very positive. And that brings me to ‘the bear’ …well, Bear Grylls, that is.

Bear is one of my favorite people and I set my DVR for Running Wild. A few weeks ago, I read a story about him, his faith, and his new book Never Give Up. That title truly sums up Bear’s life and attitude and I thought we could use a “dose of the Bear” so I got permission to share some of his positivity and faith.

Bear lives and breathes positive thinking. He loves the stormy sea adventure with Jesus and the disciples—it’s one of his inspirational sayings “storms make us strong.” When people ask him how he does it in dangerous situations he says “I know this won’t last forever, and how I act in the storm defines me. Difficult moments become opportunities when you have faith.”

You may be surprised that Bear has fears—like skydiving and heights, yet he does it all the time! He takes to his faith in things he finds out of his comfort zone and continues to take to the skies because he has learned that, with God, he can manage his fear.

Bear always stakes out an area he is in to make a “go-to-place-to-pray.” Whether it is at his bedside or deep in some jungle, it is prayer that centers him and he can ask for help, ask for forgiveness, and practice the gratefulness God has given him. He learned this from his grandpa growing up and it has never left him.

He also has a thing for chocolate! He’s not a chocolate-snob, either. In an Arctic expedition he was charged with sourcing out sweets—for Bear that meant one thing-chocolate! The only thing he could find was 500 Dairy Milk bars but everyone was happy and no one complained.

Because of his adventurous spirit, many people ask him what was the hardest thing he’s ever done. His answer caught me by surprise: it was being selected for the British Special Forces! He said it the hardest 11 months of his life at 19 years old and he failed the first time. But it was that failure that reminded him he was trying to do something on his own, he had not invited God into the adventure. The next time he didn’t fail and he knew why. In the end, only four out of 120 passed. That was a cornerstone for him to have grit and determination laced with prayer and the strength of God.

For Bear, a daily spiritual well-being comes first. It often includes his family as well and he hopes his children learn that faith is also a life-long adventure you never want to give up on.

Because Bear loves to teach, he has pursued an initiative called BecomingX, which empowers young people with skills that can help their lives. Not just academic but real-life skills so you can deal with failure, resiliency, finances, how to be a team player and build relationships, etc. The movement has caught on and many young lives now have a path for their future and faith to accomplish it.

So, what is positive in your life today? Are you sitting in your own pity-party of negativity, waiting for the “Henny-Penny-sky-to-fall? Perhaps you should get Bear’s book and find some positivity, get an awakening for a new outlook so you can get off your couch! It’s worth the read, I guarantee you.

Perhaps it’s time we go “to war” with our negative thoughts. One verse in Scripture, for me, sums it up well from Philippians 4:8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Yes–easier said than done but necessary if we want to move forward. The Apostle Paul would never have accomplished what he did had he lived with negative thoughts. Instead, he embraced a powerful exercise and shares it for us today: “We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.”

We may not be a ‘Bear Grylls’ going out on death-defying adventures, but imagine what we could do if, like Bear, we would live with a positive attitude? AMEN!