Monday, December 31, 2007
Happy New Year! May God bless us richly in 2008! I hope we spend this coming year happy with who we are and accepting ourselves, faults and all. Loving ourselves as wonderful creations of God will help us to grow socially, physically, and emotionally according to Joel Osteen in Chapter 11 of Your Best Life Now. He also admonishes us to quit wishing we were something different and not to compare ourselves with other people. Hopefully, this is the year that we will choose to no longer see any value in comparing ourselves to others. When we find ourselves comparing who we are with who someone else is, we can now recognize that not only are we being unloving to ourselves, but we are setting the other person up as our enemy. Admiring someone's abilities and aspiring to them as a positive role model is quite different from drawing comparisons and judging ourselves or the other person. As we look for and find everyone's uniqueness and support them where they are, we can also appreciate and enhance ourselves. God made each of us an original. Joel says, "We should not feel badly because our personality, tastes, hobbies, or even spiritual tendencies are not the same as another person's......Be happy with who God make you to be." We need to be determined to be the best we can be. "Let each one examine his own work," says Galatians 6:4.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Joel asks us to "step up to God's dining table" and enjoy the fabulous banquet of "joy, forgiveness, restoration, peace, healing----whatever you need". That's where I will be for my Christmas dinner. As we read chapter 10 this holiday week, may we tap into the holiday spirit and realize our abundance and prosperity with great gratitude.
The link below has the beautiful Christmas song: Mary, Did You Know?
Monday, December 17, 2007
This chapter starts out with a story about a man who froze to death in a boxcar because he THOUGHT the temperature was below freezing....when in reality, it was 61 degrees! Jerry Jampolsky, a psychologist whom I quote a lot, says that as you change your mind, you change your life. He says that no matter what the problem, love is the answer. He also says it is our own thoughts that create the world we are experiencing so by changing our thoughts, we can change what we are experiencing, which means we can choose peace over conflict and love over fear. We can become love givers instead of love seekers, and love finders instead of fault finders. That's pretty powerful. Joel Osteen says that when we encounter tough times, we need to expect that we will come out of those situations on top. He says not to plan for failure and give up in frustration, but rather believe in victory and let your faith help you overcome any obstacles that come in your path. This last week before Christmas, let's remember that Christ came to earth so we can have a good life, a life filled with love, joy, peace, and fulfillment. Joel says, "That doesn't mean it will always be easy, but it does mean it will always be GOOD." Awesome!
Monday, December 10, 2007
The following is a story by Eckhart Tolle that I think illustrates our intrinsic value:
A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old
baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger. Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing,” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been
sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There’s nothing there.” “Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation,
he saw that the box was filled with gold.
We have everything we need to walk favor-minded and do great things with our life. It's all INSIDE! My granddaughter is about ready to see what is inside her Christmas package in this picture. Let's see what is inside us! I bet we will find pure gold b/c God created us.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he told me: "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ's power will live in me.
Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It's clear that when I'm weak, I'm strong.
I like the analogy of you are the portrait that you paint. I have a hard time with this one and I need to work on this but I do believe it is true. Losing weight has always been a struggle for me and the times that I have lost weight have improved this self image a lot. Now I know that God is on my side and doesn't care how big or small I am. Improve your self image and move the bar up for your expectations and good things will happen - I'm sure and I'm going to work on it!
Want to hear an inspirational message from Joel on this topic? Click Here
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Chapter 6, Living Favor-Minded, emphasized the meaning of PATIENCE. We sometimes forget the old saying, Patience is a virtue. My posts would be incomplete without a quote (I just love quotes!) from Mark Twain. He said, "A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes."
We sometimes forget that not only does God know what is best for us but he also knows when it it best for us (if it ever is!). Live favor-minded, expect the best and if it comes be sure to thank God for blessing you. If it doesn't come then exercise patience knowing when the time is right God will indeed answer in whatever way is best for you. I don't know who said it but the true blessings are the things that you wanted and didn't get! (Kinda like the hard luck stories of people that win lotteries) Hard to imagine but with our narrow minds and lacking the vision that our Lord has for us we must have faith that he knows what is best for us.
On a personal note I am taking the theme living favor-minded quite literally and have pre-purchased my birthday present to myself (have to give God the credit on that one)! Joel Osteen is coming to KC on Feb. 22 at Kemper Arena and I purchased tickets for Patty and myself for this eveving. Ticket prices were not too bad at $16 a pop but by the time the rip -off Ticketmaster takes their mickey mouse fees it was closer to $24 a pop. Still not too bad as compared to Madonna or Elton John tickets! I think I will feel better after several hours listening to Joel versus watching Madonna - just a hunch! Hope all of you are having a great and glorious Holiday Season. Take it easy and don't stress and remember, live favor-minded!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Psalm 8:5
Declare God's Favor. I love Chapter 5. We don't do this enough and it is because we lack the faith. Rozan, I am so glad you brought up the movie, Facing the Giants. I absolutely loved it and besides being an awesome football movie it is a great movie about life. My favorite quote from the movie is when the coach is mired in self-doubt and the somewhat fanatical supporter gives him this piece of advice:
Coach: I prayed so hard, but I still can’t seem to win.
Mr. Bridges: I heard of a story of two farmers praying to God for rain to come. Both prayed but only one prepared the land. Who do you think trusted God more to send the rain?
Have you prepared your land for the harvest? If you haven't prepared it then don't blame God when the rain doesn't come.
You do your part and God will do His!
Monday, November 19, 2007
I am here! I just haven't found my book since I left on vacation! I was reminded of a book my son called about however, as I read Jeanne's blog tonight and the quote of MLK reminded me.... I got him the book by Stormie O'Martian "Just Enough Light for the Step I'm on." He called and said that we need to read it, that he had just finished it, and really found it to be of help to him. We also watched "Facing the Giants" this weekend, and I am raving about it, as others have before me. It is incredible. I cannot say enough about it. Now I am going to go look for Joel's book! God is moving in incredible ways in our family right now, and I am just hanging on for the ride, watching the wind fill the sails!
Happy Thanksgiving! This is a picture of our family from last Thanksgiving. We were missing Chad and Carissa, but everyone else made it last year. Chad is coming this year. I feel so blessed and in God's favor when our family comes home. This is an awesome chapter to study for Thanksgiving! Joel points out in this chapter that as God's children we can live with boldness and confidence. I declared God's favor today. I had a technology project due after school today so I just used my faith to call up just the right circumstances to be able to complete my project. It was amazing how everything fell into place! First of all, the technology teacher happened to be at the very school in which I was teaching today. Her office is at the administration building, but she happened to be at Central Jr. High today. I don't think that was a coincidence! Second of all, I had 2nd period plan, but there was a notation that I might have to take another teacher's class. I prayed that wouldn't happen so that I would have time to finish my project. Well, I didn't have to take another teacher's class. Praise God! Lastly, I had wonderful classes today so while they were doing their work, I did mine. Awesome! I am indeed grateful. I really feel that gratitude plays a huge part in increasing our favor with God. Joel says, "If you love God, He's working in your life to your advantage, and it will all work out for your good." Let's start out the week by being thankful. 'Tis the season. I think we will see the favor of God in our lives is proportionate with the amount of gratitude we have.
Monday, November 12, 2007
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
The mind is a very powerful tool but you have to use it right. Roger Bannister didn't let people tell him what he couldn't do - he did it. After breaking the four minute mile 336 people did it again within 10 years - why? Because they knew it could be done and they went out and didn't believe all of the negative input and they did it.
Proverbs 13:20 says, He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Surround yourself with people that tell you not what you can do but with people who believe in you and support you in what you want to accomplish in your life.
We need to address our own four minute miles and breakthrough just like Roger Bannister did over 50 years ago. Enlarging vision involves not only visioning what you want for yourself but also being gratified in what we have and giving thanks. We all have plenty to be thankful for but we sometimes dwell on what we don't have.
Friday, November 9, 2007
We blogged a lot about chapter two. Hopefully, we've had time to read chapter three as well b/c we'll want to start discussing chapter four on Monday or whenever we get around to it. I liked what Joel said in chapter three about God being our source, and "His creativity and resources are unlimited!....One idea from God can forever change the course of your life.....God can do anything, if you believe." I think that I recognize life-altering ideas from God. One of them is that I have a choice about my attitude and my feelings. I had always thought that whatever happened in my life was the reason for my feelings, but I now realize that circumstances cannot dictate how I feel. No matter what happens, I really try to stay in the present moment and not let outer events rob my peace. I try to stay grateful for the blessings in my life, making them bigger than the negative things that happen. For a little over a year now, I have tried living this way, and I must say I'm a lot happier b/c of it. I'm a lot more excited and enthusiastic about life.
Love and Light,
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I made it on the blog!!! I overcame my little problem, and I'm proud. Frank, I like Dr. Martin Luther King's quote also "Take the first step in faith.. You don't have to see the whole staircase..." We don't know they why's and maybe we won't know until we get to heaven. But we have to have faith and believe He knows what is best for us.
I'm trying to have a better focus and more positive outlook, I have been verbally put down for a number of years, that I can't do anything right or it wasn't ever good enough. I've tried to reverse the way of conversation by doing more praising, and seeing the good side, hoping it will rub off. I can't say enough how I love this book, and I've only gone through chapter 2, which I loved so much, I'm re reading tonight.
Monday, October 22, 2007
One of the verses in the first chapter of Your Best Life Now is Isaiah 43:19. I've always liked that verse. God says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?" I think perception is the key to living a good life. I find "Enlarging Your Vision" to be an empowering chapter. I read a while back in Jampolsky's Love is Letting Go of Fear that we have a choice in determining what we perceive and even what feelings we are going to experience. I was so awestruck by that! For the first time, I realized I had a choice about whether I could be happy and peaceful. I had always thought I didn't have a choice. He went on to say, "Perception is a mirror, not a fact. As I think, so I see, because angry thoughts project an angry world and peaceful thoughts extend peace to the world. I will remember that what I perceive and experience are the result of projecting thoughts in my mind outward. The lens of my own past experiences filters all that I see, and this appears outside me. What I perceive out in the world is actually my thoughts made into images, projected outward as if looking into a mirror. As I recognize the reality in this, I can then look back inside myself and see where I am holding on to unforgiving, attacking thoughts about myself and others. As I choose to change my thoughts, my perception of the world also changes." Wow! That's powerful stuff, isn't it?
Love and Light,
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Joel Osteen's website
If anybody would like to go out to Joel Osteen's website the link is above. He takes a lot of heat for his positive message but makes a lot of sense! The old way of thinking that we must feel bad about ourselves and endure much suffering so we can truly know Christ is one that is hard to understand and accept for many people which may be why so many people are flocking (and sending him money!) to hear his positive, renewed spirit that he backs up with scripture at every step.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
I really like the verse Matthew 9:17 and what Joel Osteen reflects on its meaning. If you pour new wine (your passion, faith and enthusiasms) into old wineskins (your "old" expectations) they will burst and fail. For this to work (and for your life to unfold the successes that God wanted for us) we have to get some new wineskins (new expectations without limitations). It is kind of like the old adage, "If you do what you have always done, you will get what you always have got!" Think Big, have faith and do your best and blessings will be forthcoming. In doing some online research on this verse another verse came through on a cross reference and I thought I would share it - Psalms 40:5 - Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.