Thursday, October 16, 2014
Use these five steps to help you reach your dreams.
By Richard H. Schneider
Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
Since man first cowered before the dark unknown, God has understood our timidity. That’s why He Himself goes with us. He wants us to be bold for Him, to live our lives to full fruition, to fulfill His plan in the world. Keeping that in mind, try these five steps to boldness.
1. Is it right with God?
We can attain conviction by first seeking God’s will in all that we wish to accomplish. Ask God if your goal is right. If you sense affirmation, then take the next step.
2. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.
Commit yourself by biting off more than you think you can chew, rather than letting fear of failure stop you from trying at all. Those “mighty forces”? They are energy, skill, sound judgment, creativity, even physical strength and endurance. Boldness creates a state of emergency to which these powers respond.
3. Don’t look over your shoulder.
If you do, as baseball’s great Satchel Paige said, “You may see something gaining on you.” That something could be the fears you overcame at the start. So keep up your momentum.
4. Make the leap of faith.
In Jesus’ parable of the talents, the servant who buried his employer’s money was criticized for failing to put it to use. The servant’s alibi sums up too many people’s attitude toward life: “I was afraid to risk it.”
5. Don’t duck the spotlight.
The next time you hear a call for volunteers or see someone who needs assistance or spot a wrong that needs righting, strive for the boldness that shouts: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”
This article is excerpted from Guideposts Daily Planner 2015.
This is great advice for all of us no matter what we are trying to accomplish.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
This is one of the bromeliads we planted last summer. We are finally getting blooms.
More blooms-double this time!
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see." "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?
Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
May we all be COFFEE!
Thursday, September 11, 2014
By Michelle Medlock Adams, September 10, 2014
September 11th will forever mean something different since the unimaginable tragedy that struck America in 2001. If 9/11 taught us anything as a country, it taught us to cherish our loved ones a little more and slow down long enough to appreciate the life around us.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I watched news coverage almost non-stop–numb, shocked and heartbroken. And I specifically remember how one of the newscasters signed off that night.
The Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.With a shaky voice and tears in his eyes, he said: “Like you, I am devastated. And like you, I am shaken. But I know one thing. I am going to go home and hug my wife and my children for a very long time tonight and tell them how much I love them. I suggest you do the same…”
I bet you did, too.
In the days following September 11, our nation came together in a way I’d never seen. No one seemed to care whether you were a Democrat or a Republican. We were all just Americans. And for a season, we were all united.
Everyone wanted to help in some way. People from all over the country took their vacation time from work and headed to New York City to see how they could help at Ground Zero.
School children wrote letters to the NYC firefighters and police, thanking them for their service. Churches all over the world held prayer vigils in hopes that more survivors would be found in the wreckage, while others prayed diligently for the families of the victims. People stood in line to give blood as a response to the urgent need in New York.
My own girls, who were only 8 and 6 at the time, were even moved to help. They set up a lemonade stand in our neighborhood and over several days raised almost $100 which they excitedly donated to the American Red Cross.
School children in Colorado sent teddy bears to the children who lost a parent as a result of 9/11.
And, a group of students at Forest Hill Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, started the “give up flowers for the towers” drive as part of their school’s homecoming, encouraging students to take the money they would have spent on flowers for the dance and to donate it instead.
By the end of the homecoming dance, the students had raised more than $4000 in donations for the American Red Cross.
The spirit of giving and intense patriotism lived in every corner of America. Neighbors helped neighbors. Strangers reached out to strangers.
Suddenly, age, race, economic status, political party, denomination–none of those things divided us anymore. The flag meant something more after 9/11, and we wore red, white and blue with great pride.
Though it was one of the darkest days our country has ever known, what the devil meant for harm, God used for good (Gen. 50:20). Out of devastation and death, we rose up with renewed courage and strength.
Yes, it’s been more than a decade, and yes, we’re not as united as we once were. But, we can be again. Let’s take this September 11th and do more than just remember–let’s pray.
The Word says, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
I hope you’ll take time to pray for those who lost loved ones on September 11, and for our nation and its leaders.
In fact, why wait? Pray with me now:
Father, we are thankful that you are our God, and the God of this nation. We ask today that you bless our country and unite us once again. Father, we ask that you give our nation’s leaders direction and wisdom, and we pray protection over our men and women in uniform.
We also pray that you comfort hearts around this world that are still hurting from losing loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001. Touch them, Lord, and let them know that you haven’t forgotten and that you love them very much.
And, God, help us not to take even one moment of life for granted and to love like there’s no tomorrow. Heal our land, Lord. In the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.
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