Tuesday, October 26, 2010
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV
In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures, Paul encouraged the Corinthians about temptation. He said that
(1) temptations happen to everyone, so don't feel you've been singled out;
(2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you;
(3) any temptation can be resisted because God will show you a way out.
God will aid you in resisting temptation by helping you
(1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble,
(2) run from anything you know is wrong,
(3) choose to do only what is right,
(4) pray for God's help, and
(5) seek friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted.
Running from a tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory (see 2Timothy 2:22).
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
Your life is a part of God’s grand design. God has known about you and had a plan for your life since before time began. He knew everything about you before you were even born (Jer. 1:5). God predetermined that you would become like His Son. Your life, therefore, has a destiny. Christ is the model upon which the Father is developing your life. You are meant to have a relationship with the Father that is as intimate as the relationship between Jesus and the Father (John 17:21). Every event He allows into your life is designed to make you more like Christ.
God’s call came when He invited you to join Him in the process! His call was extremely personal, designed specifically for your response. How wonderful to realize that at a particular moment in history, almighty God spoke personally to you and invited you to become His child!
Because of your sin, you could never live blamelessly. But God forgave your sin and justified you, declaring you righteous. All the spiritual debt you carried with Him was forgiven, and you were freed to enjoy God and to serve Him for the rest of eternity. In Biblical times, the glory of God’s people was His presence. You, too, are glorified because the fullness of God now dwells within you, and you will one day be with Him (Col. 1:27; 2:9). He invites you to join Him in working out His will in your life—conforming you to His image (Phil. 2:12).
9A praise you in this storm
Saturday, October 23, 2010
PRAYERS BY ABIGAIL WURDEMAN
Open my heart, so I can see
the truth around me.
When I am shown anger,
help me see the hurt that sparked it.
When I am shown arrogance,
help me see insecurity.
When I am shown aggression,
help me recognize the fear beneath it.
And when I am confronted with hate,
give me the strength and wisdom
to respond with relentless love.
Today, please give me the wisdom
to know how to care for myself.
I want so much to be a blessing
to those around me,
to my partner, family, and friends.
Help me remember:
I cannot take care of them
if I have not cared for myself.
Today I ask for the courage
to recognize my own needs
and the strength to offer myself
the same love I offer those around me.
As we gather together today,
we praise you for
the diversity among us,
for the many experiences
and perspectives that make
our group complete
and make our mission possible.
Restore my health.
Restore my energy.
Restore my spirit.
Bring peace between my mind and my body,
so that each cares for the other,
supporting and sustaining.
Draw me into good health with a gracious heart,
to bring You praise
for the blessing of a healthy body.
What a wild burst of energy today!
I woke this morning
to Your beautiful sunlight,
to Your blue skies,
and a world of possibility!
I am motivated.
I am ready.
I am Yours.
ask that you make me Yours—
not only your child,
Your wayward lamb—
but also Your instrument,
Your agent of change.
Teach me to surrender not to the darkness,
but to the light of possibility
as Your strength sustains me,
and Your wisdom guides me.
For once, I will not shrink
into the fear of insufficiency.
I will stand and face the darkness,
assured of your support,
praising You for this blessed duty.
Let me give not only of my resources,
but also of my spirit.
May the kernel light of goodwill within me
be made greater with the giving,
passing from fingertip to fingertip,
each kindness kindling another.
May every hand learn the warmth of fellowship
to receive in need and to give in prosperity--
passing the flame ever forward
until all the world is awash in the brilliant light of giving.
The friends You have given me
bring explosive joy.
They bring laughter and hope.
They hold and support me
through trials and uncertainty.
They give me a sense of purpose
by allowing me the opportunity
to be an encouragement to them.
Through my friends,
You have given me
the unparalleled gift of community.
I thank You now for the love
I have received today–
for Your love and my friends– love,
which are in so many ways
one and the same.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." 2 CORINTHIANS 4: 7
"Knowing God and having Him reside within you is a treasure of infinite value. Jesus likened this value to that of a perfect pearl. The collector would readily sell everything he had in order to possess this one matchless pearl (Matt. 13:45-46). Your relationship with God places an immeasurable value on your life. The treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge are available to you through Christ (Col. 2:2-3). His love now fills you. His incomprehensible peace surrounds your heart and mind (Phil. 4:7). When Jesus dwells in your life, everything available to Christ dwells within you (Eph. 3:19).
Paul was comparing our lives with the clay pots commonly used in his day. The contents of the earthen vessels, not the containers themselves, were of great value. The jars would become chipped and broken and would deteriorate over time, but nobody thought of the jar - they were interested in its contents. Paul noted that our great possession is that which God has placed within us. When people focus on us they see a frail, imperfect, and deteriorating vessel. Nothing that comes from our flesh is worthy of praise. Our bodies are aging and losing strength (2 Cor. 4:16). Only as we allow God to fill us and renew our inner self will people see a treasure of immeasurable worth.
Don't focus on outward appearances and physical strength, for these deteriorate. Rather, allow the Holy Spirit to convince you of the infinite treasure that is within you because of God's presence.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Webster's Dictionary defines "consistent" as marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity. Too often we fail to achieve a goal we've set simply for lack of being consistent in our efforts. We commit to getting in-shape and so we work-out and eat healthy for a few days, but when we don't see a huge weight release in this short amount of time we allow ourselves to get frustrated and give up. Or we make a decision to finally get our home organized, but after only a few hours effort we're bored, or feeling overwhelmed, and we allow ourselves to become easily distracted by other things we think are more important - which is really just a way of creating a diversion so we don't have to follow through on what we started. And again we're left frustrated, trying to figure out why we don't have what it takes to succeed at our goals and dreams.
So, what are the top 4 things we can do to ensure we complete what we start and achieve that goal we've set for ourselves?
1. Consistency & Commitment
This is where most people begin to fail. Well, even if you've dropped the ball a hundred times before it doesn't matter. Today is a new day and you can get, and stay, consistent with your efforts. Design a plan, on paper - on paper is the important part because if it's just floating around in your head it's not likely to happen, and you need something concrete to refer back to whenever you get off track - and post copies of this plan where you'll see them on a regular basis (above your desk, by the bathroom mirror, on the visor of your car). Make sure your plan details what actions you plan to take on a daily basis to move you forward to your goal, how many hours you're going to devote to these actions each day, and exactly what time each day you'll work towards your goal. Now, I can already hear some of you groaning, "I don't have any time". But the truth is, if it's important to you, you will make the time. Give up an hour, or two, of tv or computer time, give up something in your schedule that is no longer important to you, give up an hours sleep - find the time. Once you've designed your daily "consistent" action plan, the next step is to commit to it! Tell yourself you can and will do it! If it's truly important to you then remind yourself of all the reasons it is important to you and commit to taking the necessary action, whatever that my be, on a consistent basis so that you can reach that oh-so-important goal and truly live your dreams and priorities!
Top athletes and dancers use visualization techniques to get a picture of themselves taking the necessary actions and achieving their goals. If it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for you. There is such value in seeing the end from the very beginning. In order to envision your goal you need to get a clear idea of what it is you're going for. This is where you allow the right hemisphere of your brain to go to work on creating that picture - in detail. What does the end, the completion of your goal, look like to you? Where are you? Who are you surrounded by? What are you doing? What do you look like? How does it feel? The more real you can make the image, the more likely you are to achieve it. And don't stop with just picturing the end result, also allow yourself to create a visual of what each action step of the jouney will look and feel like. I also recommend journaling these images, thoughts and feelings to get a solid hold on them. Spend some time each day focused on your visualization and you will reach your destination.
3. Never Give Up
One of the most important things we can do when striving for a goal is to commit to never give up. There will be trial and error. You may slip occasionally. Get back on the horse, and DON"T GIVE UP! Giving up and jumping from one thing to another just leaves us with a boat-load of unfinished, or what we view as "failed", projects. We're left feeling even more frustrated and defeated which takes a major toll on our self-esteem and confidence levels. That may even roll into negative self-talk which further inhibits our ability to reach our goals. So shelve any negativity from past failures, stand up, and promise yourself that this time you won't give up! Even if you find yourself struggling, even if your first attempt isn't a success, it's okay, you're learning. Stand back up and get back on-track. The quicker you stop beating yourself up and begin again, the quicker you are going to realize your dreams. Don't be afraid to fail. It's how we learn, and the most successful people in the world got there by failing forward. I once heard someone say, "If you haven't failed recently, then you aren't taking enough risks." Learn from a failure and then move .. forward. And NEVER GIVE UP!
4. Be Accountable
One of the things I love about working with my own personal life coach (yes, even life coaches have personal coaches) is that I have someone to be accountable to. Someone who knows what I'm trying to achieve and the steps I've laid out for myself to complete in order to get there, and she expects me to report in on whether or not I've followed through and done what I've committed to doing. I know that it would lack integrity for me to not follow through on what I've said I'll do, and I'm much more likely to take action when I know I have to be accountable to someone. Never be afraid to ask for help. There may be someone out there who has more knowledge and experience than you do in the area of your goal. Or maybe you just need that accountability. Seek out someone who can help you create a road map for where you want to be, and who will expect you to stay accountable until you achieve that goal.
So, what is your dream? Your goal? Big or small, make the decision today to go for it! Make your consistency plan, commit to following through, get a solid picture of where you are going and how you're going to get there, take consistent action, find someone to be accountable to and you will achieve your goal. Go for it! It's the only way to get where you want to be.
Viki Stanley-Hutchison Life Coach Life Transitions for Women
What Are Your Consistency Zappers?
The greatest challenges you must be prepared for are YOUR excuses.
· “There are a million other things I have to deal with. It’s impossible for me to focus on just one.” (It’s too difficult.)
· “It’s hard for me to be consistent because I’m just so busy.” (I’m overwhelmed.)
· “Sure, __________ was important last week, but my priorities are constantly changing.” (I’m not control.)
Do any of these sound familiar to you? It’s ironic to think that our excuses are the biggest challenges we must overcome to be consistent in doing what is required of us to achieve our goals. Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s the excuses we allow that sabotage us from achieving our goals.
I have fought this battle of excuses enough during my career to know that the only way my excuses won’t keep me from being consistent is if the goal is important enough to me.
Seven Ways to Increase Your Consistency
1. Make a commitment. After you identify the activities you need to do to accomplish your goals, make a commitment to do them consistently—without fail or excuse. Make that decision as to when and what you will do in advance, rather than waiting until the time you plan to do it.
2. Set up routines. Establish a routine to do your daily activities. For example, if you are going to exercise every morning, set up a routine. Allocate the amount of time you will need to do each activity up to and including your exercise period—such as getting out of bed, dressing, morning chores, and travel time.
3. Don’t allow excuses. Resolve right now that you will not permit yourself to make excuses.
4. Take advantage of your peak energy state. When is your energy level at its highest? Whenever possible, use these times to devote to the activities you need to be consistent about. It’s much easier to do what you know you should do when you have energy than when you are exhausted!
5. Do the challenging tasks first. I have found it is always best to do the most important activities first. If the tasks that will drive your results and help you achieve your goal are hard, do them first. It’s too easy to put off the things we don’t enjoy.
6. Review your goals often. After writing down your goals, consider writing a commitment letter to remind yourself why your goal is important and to list the reasons you want to achieve it. Review the letter anytime you find yourself procrastinating or rationalizing that something else is more important.
7. Commit to 21 days in a row. It takes 21 consecutive days to make something a habit. Consistency will be easier once it becomes a habit for you. Will you do what is required of you for 21 straight days?
How to Win the Race
· Look at your goals and decide what you need to do with consistency to achieve them.
· Determine which of the seven suggestions above apply to your situation.
· Put together a daily action plan.
· Set a consistency goal that you can maintain over an extended period of time.
· Be realistic. Biting off more than you can chew will only result in frustration.
You are in control of your life and how you spend your time. You can achieve any goal you set if you will be consistent in doing the correct activities correctly.
by Todd Smith
“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.” ~Â Brian Adams.
A lack of patience is probably the single most important reason that people give up on achieving their goals.
If you want to change your life in any major way, it takes time. Time is the critical element of success.
Against this backdrop it is no wonder that we are impatient with our goals. If something as insignificant as an online chat frustrates usÂ when we have to wait 5 seconds, how much more frustrating is it when we have to wait weeks or months or even years before we can realize goals that are so important to us? For this reason it is important to recognize our impatience and practice being patient.
Appreciate the Goal Achievement process
Also remind yourself that while you have an end-goal, you are also learning some valuable lessons in this process. You are learning to be patient. You are learning to be persistent. You are learning to be consistent. You are learning to successfully handle obstacles and frustrations. And these skills will serve in achieving your other goals more easily and more consistently.
Be Patient with yourself
You must also be patient not just with the process, but with yourself. No pathway to a destination is smooth. You will falter at some point. You will feel discouraged and disheartened and want to give up. Every single person who has ever achieved a goal has lost hope at some point in their journey. Every one has felt doubt and wondered, even briefly, if they could ever achieve what they set their mind to. This is normal and natural. So be patient with yourself.
Combat Impatience by renewing your resolve to succeed
. The frustration and doubt is actually part of the process of success. At this point, you must remind yourself of why you want to achieve this goal .You reinforce your determination to succeed. You make the choice all over again to achieve this goal. This is a useful step on the way to success. Be patient with your doubts.
The key to succeeding in spite of the occasional poor decision is to get back into your plan immediately. Go back to doing what you need to do today to achieve your goal.
The keep to maintaining your resolutions and achieving your goals is to keep the big picture of your eventual success always in mind, keep moving always in a forward direction and remember that success is inevitable once you keep trying and never give up.
Lieslnet Personal Development Bookstore.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
“Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more–a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
– George Herbert
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer
“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks”. — Unknown
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
“Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach
When we become more fully aware that our success is due in large measure to the loyalty, helpfulness, and encouragement we have received from others, our desire grows to pass on similar gifts. Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us. The spirit of gratitude is a powerful energizer.” — Wilferd A. Peterson
“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” — Ralph H. Blum
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” — Denis Waitley
“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. ” — Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear
“Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” — Author Unknown
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” — William A. Ward
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