Wisdom – Will it Find Me?

For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.Proverbs 2:6 

Are we naturally wise? Do we automatically become wiser with age? Can we gain wisdom by doing nothing other than just living? Does experience count as wisdom?

Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. 

Wise or Experienced

One could argue that by simply experiencing life we will gain wisdom. The experiences we have in our life by themselves will make us more wise than we were before. There is a small amount of truth to that premise in that by just experiencing life, we will gain additional knowledge that we previously did not have. 

Does this count as wisdom or does it just make us expereienced? Experience alone while valuable does not make us wise. A life of negative experiences without learning from them, leaves us prone to repeat previous mistakes and prevent us from growing and learnign as individuals.  

To be wise one needs to have not only experience but also knowledge. Knowledge can be gleaned or learned from the experience. Incorporating this knowledge into our future experiences demonstrates growth as individuals. Using this knowledge to better ourselves and others illustrates good judgment. The combination of these attributes is what makes one wise. 

Good Wisdom/ Bad Wisdom

Can wisdom be bad? 

Wisdom as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary  is the “Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, especially in practical affairs.

From this definition it appears that wisdom cannot be “BAD” as contained within the definition are a couple of key notes. Firstly the definition states wisdom is “the capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct”. If your judgement is skewed and you are making poor decisions or bad decisions by definition you are not acting wisely.

Secondly the definition goes on to state that wisdom is using “sound judgment in the choice of means and ends”. If you are making poor or bad decisions you would not be exhibiting sound judgment thus you would not be accused of making wise decisions or displaying wisdom of any sort. 

Learning From Our Experiences

Every experience that we have contains vital information crticial to our spiritual, emotional and even physical development. We grow as individuals when we reflect on our experiences, both good and bad. 

From our bad experiences we learn what did not work and what we should refrain from doing in the future. If we have a negative experience but choose not to reflect on it, take anything away from it or resolve not to do it again we have essentially stayed the same. We have not grown, we have not matured, we have not incorporated anything in our lives to prevent this negative experience from recurring. 

Positive experiences can also go either way. Upon reflecting on a postive experience we once again have the choice of learning what worked well, what helped this experience be positive and what we should do in the future to keep our positive momentum rolling. After all we really don’t want to experience negative things so why not grow, mature, learn and position ourselves to experience all things positive. 

Our Guide for Wisdom

Today we are fortunate because knowledge is literally at our very fingertips constantly. Smartphones, tablets, portable computers we are so plugged into knowledge that often times we take for granted the opportunities in front of us and squander our time on social media, gaming, chatting or simply passing time watching without really engaging. 

The internet has a wealth of information, not all of it good of course but even still the amount of good, solid, healthy knowledge out there is remarkable. Our experience both good and bad can be researched, discussed and analyzed without even leavign the house. 

Peers, elders, youth – our counterparts in sharing wisdom. The human element of wisdom is priceless and can be found on the internet per the paragraph above. However actual interaction with another human being, that conversation, the sharing of memories, experiences, things learned with someone the same age, older or younger can provide us with additional wisdom. We all have different experiences. What I have done in my life can be relayed to my wife, kids, colleagues, sharing the things that have worked and not worked may very well help someone avoid a disastrous situation. 

The oftern overlooked and sometimes less credited book of wisdom, the one guide we should all live our lives by, the one with all of the answers has been around for thousands of years. There are many variations, many differnet interpretations, many different beliefs however the guiding principles, the WISDOM contained within it’s pages has remained the same for thousands of years. 

To this day the WISDOM contained within can be applied and learned to grow us as individuals, to help us navigate the troubled waters and savor the wonders provided to us by our one and only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The pages of the Bible have all the answers, all the wisdom, the roadmap and instructions for a life well lived here and beyond. 

Conclusion

A WISE man once told me “It’s important to know what you know, It’s even more important to know what you DON’T know. 

Life is a constant learn, we have to continue to grow, continue to mature physically, emotionally and most importantly spirtually. 

Our personal experiences will provide us with a good base of knowledge. Applying that knowledge to our lives, helping us to make sound judgements is part of gaining wisdom. 

Sharing that wisdom with our peers is beneficial for all mankind. Sharing the message of our Lord and Savior, sharing the wisdom of all wisdom from the only guide we ever need to live our lives is critical to preserving our eternal lives. 

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.James 3:17 

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.Colossians 4:5-6

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.James 3:13 

 

Is Dying Final – The Hope Ever After

One of the most difficult circumstances to face in life is the death of a friend, family member, pet, anyone or anything that holds a specail place in our heart. Is dying final, is it the end, is our existence here on Earth all there really is? Is there hope for a life after we perish from this world? 

Because of our mortal existence we must all face the reality that the time of our cherished friends and family is finite, there will be an end at least from this earthly world. Having recently attended the funeral for the father of a very good friend of mine, it was never more apparent the heartache associated with losing someone so close to you. 

What are we to do, knowing that we are going to lose the people we love? Hope that we go first? Keep from getting to close to anyone? Live like there is no tomorrow? I believe the answer is not as simple as answering “YES” to any of those questions.

The Sting of Dying

Whether we like it our not we are all going to perish. We have a finite amount of time here on Earth to live. During that time we are going to suffer the unbearable hurt that coincides with losing a loved one. Unlike some things that get easier the more we do them, grieving a loved one is not one of those. 

With the passing of a loved one, the greatest hurt comes from the knowledge that we will no longer see them. We can’t interact with them, converse with them or spend time with them. Death is so harsh and so final.

Depending upon your beliefs, there can be some comfort in the passing of a loved one. If there was a particularly difficult and painful illness that preceeded the passing, we often exclaim “They are in a better place now, there will be no more pain”. If you don’t believe in anything beyond our world, the finality of death must be excruciatingly harsh. 

What Death Means to You

What do you believe? Is death the final chapter in our entire existence or is it the beginning of  the next chapter? Once we have taken our last breath here on Earth, what happens next? Does anyone really know for sure?

I think there are people from all different facets of beliefs. Some believe in nothing, our existence is simple, we are born, we live, we die and for approximately 70 years we experience what this life has to offer. At another branch of the sepctrum are the people who believe we are reincarnated, once this chapter is over, the page turns and suddenly we are someone or something else. I personally believe that in death we are blessed, our earthly existence may have ceased but our faith brings us to the eternal life we are meant to spend in the house of our Lord.

Your beliefs are just that your beliefs and it is not for me or anyone else to judge. 

In Death There Can Be Peace

If we knew for certain exactly what was going to happen to us and how our life would unfold would it be as exciting? If we knew every detail would we strive to be the best we could be or would we coast along? Chances are if we knew the outcome in advance we would not seek to excel, continue to better ourselves and live for a higher purpose. 

Faith by definition is “the complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. How can faith bring us peace in death? By having an undying faith in God, giving your life to him, living for him you are giving yourself hope and peace. There is a calmness and inner peace that comes with knowing no matter what everything is going to be alright. God will always love you and provide you with everything that you NEED, not always what we WANT but always what we need.  

This same faith will comfort us when we are broken, it will lift us up when we are down and console us when we are grieving. The understanding that our loved one has left our earthly world for a place in the house of the Lord helps to mend our broken heart. Knowing that there is no more suffering, no more pain, no more illness for the sick and downtrodden provides some much needed comfort when we say our last goodbyes. It is in this faith that we find PEACE when life hurts the most. Death still hurts the ones that are left behind, there is no cure for that finality. There is however comfort in knowing that we will meet again some day. We will meet in the house of our Lord, a house that our loved ones before us have gone to help prepare.   

A Few Verses to Share

Isaiah 43:2 – “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.”

Romans 8:18 – The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.”

Joshua 1:9 – “Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous.”

Isaiah 41:10 – “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Psalm 62:1-2 – “My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation.”

The Ever After

Our time will come, we will all perish from this Earth, our humanly form will cease to exist. Where we go next is up to us. For me the choice is easy, I believe that I will be reunited with all of friends and family that have passed before me. I will share this joy in the house of the Lord and it is with this FAITH that I am able to be at peace here on Earth. Knowing that there is a place for me in eternity creates a calm that can not be stirred by even the finality of death.

Roku Streaming Media Player – Cutting the Cord

Roku Streaming Media Player – Cutting the Cord

Product:           Roku Streaming Media Player

Price Range:   $ 33.75 – 97.00 (Amazon)

Models:            Roku Express+ ($ 33.75), Roku Streaming Stick+($ 68.97), Roku Ultra ($ 97.00)

My Rating:      4.5 out of 5

Product Overview:

For some time I have been contemplating cutting the cord or getting rid of the exorbitant cost of cable and satellite TV. With the enticing introductory pricing, the large cable conglomerates lure you in and keep you caught in their “only game in town” marketplace. With the advent of streaming media players, the cable television industry is rapidly becoming a dying industry as more and more people switch their television viewing practices. Devices such as the Roku family of streaming media players make it simple and cost effective to leave behind the shackles of your cable television relationship.

Cable vs. Streaming

For far too long in most areas of the country, particularly rural areas, cable or satellite television has been the only option. We have been programmed to believe that in order to watch the channels that we want we have to buy into a “PACKAGE”. A “PACKAGE” that gives us more channels that we don’t want to watch than the channels we do. As there has never been an option, it was a love/hate relationship that perpetuated. One of the large media congolomerates would offer an introductory rate or package to try and lure you away from their competitor. Unfortunately the end game was all the same, after the introductory rate expired, your package rate would increase and continue to increase regularly. Once they had you subsrcibed to their package, you could no longer get the sweet introductory rates they were advertising to new customers unless you wanted to constantly switch back and forth.

With the advent of streaming services, more and more a la carte tv options were popping up. You were no longer required to subsribe to a bundled package just to watch the channels you liked. You can pick and choose exactly what you want to watch and when you want to watch it. Roku has managed to provide a medium that allows you to search, explore and find all of your viewing pleasures in one place. There is no monthly fee necessary, however you can subsribe to some reasonably priced services from individual providers if you want to further customize your viewing experience. Streaming offers you unlimited choices, channels, apps that you can fully customize to your preference.

Roku – Flexible and Easy to Use

Roku devices are ready to go out of the box. They are simple to set up, easy to navigate and infiinte in the channels and programs that you want to view. There are literally hundreds of content specific channels that you can browse through. Peppered with free trials, you can test drive channels at no initial cost, if you like it you can subscribe. Personally there are so many free options that we have elected not to subscribe to anything other than Netflix, which we have been subscribed to for some time now.

With so many options, it can be overwhelming but there is so much help out there, you can google anything and help is immediately on its way. Google will return numerous articles, videos and how-tos helping you make the most of your new streaming experience. Roku as well has a wealth of information available on its website and on your tv to further help you maximize your experience.

      Roku – Roku support

Channels – Roku Channels

Change the Channel

Thousands of dollars later and many months, maybe even years of reluctancy we thankfully made the switch. We turned in our cable cord and haven’t looked back. Streaming television has never been simpler and the open competition is constantly providing new opportunities and selections to maximize your viewing choices while minimizing the impact on your wallet.

The Patience of Time

We live in a world that is travelling at a faster pace each and every day. Our daily hustle and bustle pushes us, drives us, motivates us to constantly do more and do it quicker. We are driven by time or lack of it, in a society of instant gratification we seldom have the time to stop, take a deep breath and smell the real and proverbial roses planted and grown by our forefathers.

Life was simpler in those days, or was it? Understanding the pressures created by a multitude of time consumers in our daily lives gives us insight into what tries our patience. Losing our patience as a result of time constraints is common today.

How are Time and Patience Related

Stress and time
Stress and Time

Time – we know it as a measurable entity in our lives from the hours to minutes to seconds.

Patience – its something we usually wish we had more of, its our ability to stay calm, to not overreact but glide along effortlessly with the ebb and tide of life. How are the two intertwined?

Have you ever noticed that when you are running short on time, the pressure is mounting, you have to get somewhere or get something done right now, your patience is almost in direct relation to the time you have to do something. That is as your time decreases so does your patience. When you have hours to complete a task, your patience level is high, take the completion time for that task down to minutes and your patience level has also decreased, move the completion time to seconds and your patience is hanging by a thread if you have any left at all. Thus, the phrase “the patience of time”.

Our Daily Time

Time through the hourglass

Let’s be honest life is hectic. With the technology we have today, our lives should be simpler and they are in some respects. The downside of all this technology is there is no escape, no break, we have access to our work, email, the internet, movies, music, friends and family 24/7.

With the invention of the smart phone we are now plugged into all areas of our lives without interruption. From the time we wake until the time we close our eyes we have the ability to stay connected. With that connection comes a tremendous amount of pressure to do more, just check one more thing, read one more email from work, check in with one more friend on social media. Without any down time, we are constantly in a “Go-go-go” mode. Then we turn our phones off seconds before going to bed and lay awake wondering why we can’t instantly go to sleep, our mind is still racing at a full sprint.

Our Daily Patience

There are days when I am amazed that I have kept my composure, remained calm and patient past the first sip of coffee first thing in the morning.

With everything pushing and pulling us constantly in varying directions, the ability to keep one’s patience is almost a super human feat. How can we remain calm, we have so much to get done. The more we have to do and the later it gets in the day, the shorter our fuse becomes.

If any of you live near Murphy (Murphy’s Law) you understand the old adage all too well – “anything that can possibly go wrong, does”. For me personally it always seems to go wrong when time is also running out. Naturally the more that goes wrong the more time it takes and the more time it takes the more my patience disappears.

It is truly a vicious cycle where we sometimes start out with zero patience and make it a day to remember as time will invariably not be on our side.

Keeping Your Time and Patience

I will be blatantly honest, I have not invented a time machine, I don’t know how to stop or turn back time, sorry to those of you hoping for that miracle.

So if time is out of the equation because we cannot really control it to any degree and there is a limited amount of time each day, you cannot add any extra, what do you do? If time is fixed each day, what can we control…Our Patience.

We can have as much or as little patience as we want or work at keeping. Are there days that we are going to be ready to throw in the towel or throw our coffee mug across the room first thing in the morning, ABSOLUTELY!!

Surprisingly the more patience we have the more time we seem to have, it may be an illusion or there may be something to it. If we keep our cool, stay calm, exhibit patience we don’t waste time and energy getting upset.

How do you keep your patience when the world seems to be against you? First take a deep breath, slow down your thinking, realize that by rushing you are putting yourself in a position to create more issues. If you can keep calm, stay focused on what you need to do, you significantly reduce the chance of something going wrong. Secondly recognize that the people in the situation are not a target for your lack of patience. We often lash out at those closest to us when our patience has left the building. Thirdly and honestly firstly, trust in the Lord, believe that where you are and what you are doing at this very moment was meant to happen, both the good and bad. Accepting that life has its moments and those moments are meant to happen, takes away the disappointment and destructiveness. Your faith and acceptance of the situation as its meant to be, all components of it will give you an inner calm, you will be overflowing with patience, time will be on your side.

Conclusion

Our forefathers did not have all the technological distractions we have today. They had other constraints that affected their time and most certainly tried their patience. Time never changes, there are only so many hours in each day, the demands of the day will try our patience. Losing control of our patience will cause us to waste valuable time on excess emotions. There is only one inner calm that can bestow upon you the patience necessary to survive our hectic, fast paced and demanding lives. Trust in God as God has trusted in you!!

Trust in God

 

Coping With the Loss of My Dog Marlee

Marlee

One of the hardest moments we as pet owners must face is that fateful time when our beloved pets have come to the end of their loyal and faithful lives. Their lives are spent pleasing us, entertaining us, loving us, all without condition or expectation. Their love is pure, true, no strings attached.

How do you prepare yourself for that difficult day when the decision must be made to ease their suffering, to allow them to pass on with dignity and self-respect? When is the right time, how will we know?

My Dearest Marlee

This blog was inspired by the recent passing of my dearest canine friend and companion of 14 years…Marlee.

She was a beautiful black lab. Her loyalty knew no limits, her love knew no boundaries. She lived her life the way every dog should, with unconditional love. We could learn a lot from the love and loyalty of our faithful canine companions.

She never whimpered or complained even in her waning years. She lived to play fetch, chasing a stick, a ball anything that could be thrown with relentless pursuit. She would jump in the car or truck not caring where or how far we went as long as she was there. Happy to share any food or treat you were having, maybe even placing her muzzle on your knee if she thought you didn’t quite notice her.

Her morning routine was to walk the outskirts of the property to make sure everything smelt right to her, sometimes rolling in anything that had a particularly gruesome odor. She always came back, she was always there, she greeted you every time you came through the door with the same enthusiasm. Gone for 5 minutes or 5 days made no difference to her, she might bark at you a little bit if you were gone too long as if to say “what took you so long?”.

One look into her eyes revealed a depth of love and loyalty we as humans should seek to replicate. Even when she was suffering from Geriatric Vesitublar Syndrome one night in her latter days she still tried to get up and greet us. She lived her life for us and nothing else. A truer friend you will not find.

On her last fateful morning she obediently laid down on the perfectly positioned blanket at the veterinary’s office. Peacefully her eyelids closed, her breathing slowly faded away, never a whimper, never a complaint, just a quiet and peaceful transition into the afterlife. God Bless you Marlee, I will forever miss you until we meet again.

“What we have once enjoyed, We can never lose;

All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

Thinking of Them First

Commonly we find ourselves wanting to extend the lives of our pets because we are not ready to let them go. They quickly and profoundly impact our lives, why would we want to lose that? Unfortunately the length of their lives is much shorter than ours which means as lifelong pet lovers we are faced with the prospect of losing many pets over our lifetime.

It never gets any easier, no matter how many times we must face the impending death of our beloved pet. We selfishly hold on to the hope that they are doing okay, they have just slowed down a little. While the desire to keep them around is overwhelming, they will let us know when things are not going well. Somehow without words they will signal it is time.

Sad as it may be, putting their best interest first and thinking about them in the context of not suffering helps ease the decision. Focusing on what they may be going through for pain and suffering is more than enough to re-establish our priorities.

All Dogs Go To Heaven

While there is substantial religious debate about the presence of animals in the afterlife, my personal opinion and belief is that animals are in fact present in God’s kingdom. There are several bible verses that touch on the subject and lead me to believe that one day, given the fact that I accept Jesus into my life, open my heart and soul to his love and forgiveness, I will be reunited with my pets that have gone before me.

Much like our loved ones that pass away, knowing and believing that my beloved Marlee has gone to a better place gives me comfort to get through each day. One day I will see her again, she will be at her very best, running and jumping, playing and loving as she was born to do.

Conclusion

Live your life with the same love, loyalty and faithfulness that our canine companions do. If you believe as I do, rest assured that one day we will all be reunited with our lost pets. They have gone before us to live in God’s kingdom helping to prepare his eternal kingdom for the day we too come home.

 Rainbow

2018 – A Positive Year

2018 - A Positive New YearWelcome to 2018, we have officially survived 2017 and put it behind us. We are eagerly planning, setting goals, making resolutions and promising that this year will be different, we are going to accomplish all the things we wanted to last year but everything got in the way. More often than not we get in our own way. Our attitude and mindset predisposes us to a specific outcome.

Is the glass half full or half empty? Your answer to that question says a lot about who you are, the attitude you have each day and your propensity for fulfilling your New Years’s resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions

What is your New Year’s resolution? We start each new year with a breath of fresh air, we erase the doldrums, stress and anxiety of the holidays with a leap into a new/ improved us, a laundry list of self-improvements designed to whip us into perfection.

Essentially we set ourselves up to fail, we set unrealistic goals, we make promises to do things that we don’t really want to do but feel pressured to accommodate. The New Year begins with a bang, we sprint out of the gates, setting the world on fire, much like a sprinter however our burst is short-lived, we quickly run out of steam, we become overwhelmed and little by little revert back to our old habits, before you know it we are back in the same circumstance we were at the end of the previous year.

Sustained Momentum – Progressive Resolutions

What if we approached our New Year’s resolutions like we would a large, complex project at work or at home?

MountainWe wouldn’t even attempt to complete a project of any magnitude in one step, one day or one month. So why do we set ourselves up to fail by attempting to scale the mountain in a single day?

We create these grandiose plans that sound great, make us look motivated, make us feel good about a New Year, a new beginning. Most times however our plans are unrealistic and unsustainable.

What if we set more modest, incremental goals? Each week, each month reevaluate your progress and reestablish your goals. Successfully reaching your modest goals will build momentum, create a positive perception of your New Year’s resolutions and that momentum will catapult you forward to the next goal, the next step. Like a snowball rolling down hill you will gain momentum, picking up speed as you go.

Setting Goals – Baby Steps

How do you determine what is a realistic goal and what is an impossible goal? You have to be honest yourself, be realistic, be specific.

If your New Year’s resolution is to join the gym, there is a good chance that because of the vagueness of the goal, you will join and within a month’s time stop going. Why? Because you never reach your goal, you shoot for the moon but without a tangible, measurable goal you never achieve anything.  You feel good when you join but from there on out it is a let down.

What happens if you break it into small, manageable, measurable goals? Let’s say you do not go to the gym at all right now, is it honest or realistic to believe that all of a sudden you are going to go to the gym 5 days a week? You might do it the first week but chances are you will start to miss your goal early on and with each missed goal, negativity sets in, you become discouraged and your resolution slowly fades away.

Would a more realistic goal be 1 or 2 days a week to start with very specific items to accomplish while you are there? For example on week 1, I am going to the gym 2 days this week and I am going to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes each time. My goal is more than what I am doing now, 2 days a week is realistic given I do not attend the gym at all. At the end of week 1 I will feel better because I have been to the gym twice and exercised for an hour. I reached my goal, I improved my lifestyle by exercising, I am feeling good. Week 2 keep the same goal or slightly increase it, maybe I go the gym 2 days and walk for 45 minutes or an hour each time.

With each completed goal, you build momentum, are inspired to take the next step and before you know it you will be going to the gym 5 days a week, working out and not even realize it. Your physical and mental health will skyrocket, you will be full of positive energy, eager to set and conquer the next goal.

Looking Forward

We have a tendency to look back at the past, the things we didn’t do or achieve. By doing this we create negative thoughts, focusing on all the things that we didn’t accomplish.

Why should we look back? We aren’t going that way. When you are driving your car, do you constantly look behind you when you are moving forward, of course not you would run into something. Same thing applies in life, we cannot go back in time, we cannot change anything that has happened, so why do we focus or get caught up in the past? Keep your focus in front of you, set goals, achieve them, keep moving, keep growing, don’t worry about what has already happened, it will only do one thing, drag you down.

Conclusion

Always put yourself in a position to succeed, always focus on goals that are positive and attainable. Be honest and realistic with yourself. Setting yourself up to succeed puts you in a positive position, it is so much easier to stay positive and upbeat if you are succeeding, winning, conquering your goals. With each small goal attained, you propel yourself through the next goal and before you know it, you have achieved your ultimate goal. Be the best you, you can be, you will be satisfied, you will be happy, you will be positive and from there the positive momentum is unstoppable. Best wishes for an AMAZING 2018!!

Sweet Success

 

 

 

 

Positive Thinking and Anxiety

Dark DayAnxiety can be an extremely debilitating disorder, causing very real distress, preventing the sufferer from accomplishing even the simplest of tasks. Like a slow spiral out of control, anxiety takes over the situation and the more out of control the sufferer feels, the more anxiety that is present. Ration, logic, basic functions are cut off, shut down, the sufferer becomes paralyzed and essentially loses the ability to function. They cannot focus on anything other than what they perceive to be an insurmountable task, there is no escape, no solution, just despair and hopelessness. The good news, changing our perspective, focusing on the positive, allowing ourselves to have hope and faith can overcome the feelings of despair. It can head off the slow out of control spiral.

Conquering the Beast

Conquering the beastsBefore we can begin to travel the path to positivity we have to understand where we are currently. Anxiety as defined by “Google” is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Not knowing what is going to happen, worrying about the “what ifs?”, preconditioning ourselves for the worst possible outcome and not begin able to allow ourselves to believe there are any options or alternatives, provides a perfect storm for anxiety. We spend much of our lives worrying about things that may never happen and most times never do. What if we had that time back to be constructive, to focus on the things that are happening in the here and now, wouldn’t that be ideal? The center of this inner peace and unequivocal strength is our Lord and Savior, it all starts with him. Cast your worries, your doubts, your fears on him, he will provide you with an inner calm that you have never known.

Erasing the Worry – Building the Positive

We awake each day with a clean slate, a new day, a new set of events. If we are living with anxiety we awake with a sense of foreboding, a very real fear that something bad is going to happen. What if we awoke with a sense of calm, a sense of peace, a sense that whatever happens today was meant to happen and happened for a reason. What if we believed that we are never given more than we can handle, what if we believed that God will always provide for us. He will give us everything we need to navigate through whatever events and obstacles arise in our lives. If you put your faith, trust and love in God you will have all of these things. You will have an inner peace, a calm among the greatest of storms that cannot be understood or described until you live it. I can tell you personally that this transformation is real, it can happen and it can happen to anyone regardless of circumstance. He will give you everything that you need, not necessarily what you want but what you NEED to handle whatever life throws at you.

Surviving the Storm

Being caught in a rain storm without an umbrella is very unpleasant and sometimes unavoidable. What if you could carry with each day an umbrella to protect you from life’s storms. What if that umbrella never faltered, never failed and always protected you. Would that umbrella provide you with a sense of security? Would it enable you to stop worrying about life’s storms? Would it ease your anxiety, give you peace of mind and calm in your soul? God’s love and forgiveness are all of those things, it is unfaltering, unwavering, solid, immovable, impenetrable, impossible to defeat or overcome. Pretty hard to be negative when you have that type of protection on your side.

Today is The Day

What better day than today to change your perspective, to change your faith, to ease your anxiety, protect yourself?

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

The first step in changing your perspective, to get yourself on the right path, protect yourself from the evils of this world, ease your anxiety, restore and inner calm and peace, fill your heart and soul with positive energy, hope, love and purpose.

Eternal Positive Hope

Anxiety is the fear of things to come, an uncertainty about the future, future events. By its nature it creates within us an uneasiness, a fear that things are not going to turn out well. It predisposes us to negative thoughts and actions. How can we overcome this fear, how can we push through the anxious thoughts and feelings? By placing our trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our faith and commitment to him will provide us with an inner calm, an inner peace that is impenetrable, undefeatable and immovable. It will provide you with a tranquility you have never felt or experienced before in your life. What do you have to lose? God Bless!!!

 

 

 

Positive Words of Encouragement During the Holiday Season

Christmas Tree DecorationsMerry Christmas, my personal preference, Happy Holiday, however you want to say it, the holiday season is upon us. A season that can be especially difficult and discouraging for many. The reasons people find this time of year difficult are as varied as the people who are experiencing a difficult time. A positive word or words of encouragement can make all the difference in the world to someone hanging on by a thread. First and foremost, remember the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ, remember to approach everyone, each situation positive or negative from a position of love. Treat everyone with the consideration and thoughtfulness you wish to receive in return.

The Reason for the Season

Christmas signifies the birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ, delivered into this world as a human to forever exalt as from all of our sins. When we remember the true reason for this season it facilitates our ability to remain humble, modest and grounded. From a modest and humble position it is easier to give thanks, appreciate all that we have and ultimately provide positive encouragement for the weary, downtrodden and overly discouraged. Remember, everyone has a story and it could be your words, either positive or negative that profoundly impact the next chapter of their story. Stress and anxiety are exceptionally high this time of year, a solid foundation of faith will help you navigate the difficult waters. Your faith can serve as a buoy for those in need of spiritual and emotional help.

Friends and Family

The holidays should be shared with those we love and care for most. Making memories, savoring the time spent with both young and old. Unfortunately too often we are consumed with stress and anxiety leading up to the magical day. Tempers are as short as the winter solstice and words often as hot and fiery as the ash from a freshly burned log. If only we could in those moments of weakness, step back, take a deep breath and remember what is truly important. Christmas day will come and go regardless of the presents purchased and wrapped, the food prepared and cooked or the arrival and departure of our loved ones. Cherish the moment, live in the present, give yourself to staying positive, treat everyone with love and kindness. Our fellow friends and family may need your strength and resolve more than they acknowledge or even realize.

Presents, Presents, Presents

“The power to love is God’s greatest gift to man, for it will never be taken from the Blessed one who loves.” – Khalil Gibran.

The greatest gift you can give anyone is your love. Whether it be children, adults, friends, family or enemies, love is priceless. It cannot be forced upon us or forcibly given to us, we cannot buy it online or in a store. Precious though it may be, it’s strength only marvels its fragility. Loving patience may be the most important gift you give. Be patient and kind with yourself, your friends, your family, those most important to you. We all have moments of question, moments of doubt and weakness, times of uncertainty. Our faith and resolve during these times will carry us through and hopefully propel some along with us.

We all love to receive gifts, praise and love, reluctantly we sometimes wait for others to give first before we reciprocate. Be generous with your love, be kind with your words for it is not “how much someone got or spent” that matters but how much we have freely given of ourselves to those around us. Share the love this holiday season, be the first to say “Merry Christmas”, be the first to offer praise, your gift of positivism will return multi-fold.

Give yourself the greatest gift of all, spread the love, give from your heart, let people know how much you care, how important they are to you and why this holiday means that much more having them be a part of it.

The Next Step

With each day that we wake with hearts full of appreciation, thankfulness and love we add to our solid foundation. We are building the foundation for what will become our strength in moments of weakness, moments of self-doubt, uncertainty. At the center of this foundation, the main pillar of strength is Jesus Christ. Whether it be through prayer, devotion, attendance at your local church, a small gathering of like-minded people. It is important to put your faith in trust in the Lord. It is not enough to just say you believe, or attend a service without being spiritually present. God knows what is in your heart, he is waiting for you to trust in him, to give your worries and troubles to him. Each step shortens the gap to the next, changing our attitude was a great first step, an excellent step would be placing your absolute trust and faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is no special test, no application required, no specific course of actions other than asking for forgiveness, giving your heart and life freely to him, cast upon him all your worries and troubles.

Merry Christmas – The Beginning of Your New Life

Merry Christmas, God bless you all this holiday season. There will be moments of uncertainty, you will feel overwhelmed at times, unsure which direction to turn next. Keep your focus on the reason for the season, put your faith in God, cast your worries upon him, he will carry you through whatever may be sprung upon you. May you have a peaceful, positive, loving Christmas and holiday season. Enjoy your friends, family and loved ones, give them the most important gift of all, a gift from the heart, your gift of love and appreciation.

 

 

 

 

Happiness – It Comes From Within

Snow HeartHappiness, what is it, where does it come from, how can we find it? Why does it seem easier to focus on the negative, why does life seem so difficult some days? Why does everything have to be so hard? I used to find myself asking those questions, some days I still do. The difference between then and now… I found the secret to being HAPPY, I found that life can be whatever we make it, true happiness comes from within, it can’t be found in a store, on a phone, with another person. We seem to endlessly search for happiness in all the wrong places. Material objects, other people, activities all provide us with a temporary satisfaction yet leave us wanting more. We are constantly pursuing that next satisfaction, that next moment of happiness, when true happiness does not come from a thing, person or activity. True happiness, inner peace, living in the moment all comes from inside you. The secret to this inner peace, comes from a positive mindset, an unwavering spiritual faith and a belief that everything will work out exactly the way it is supposed to.

What makes you happy

We pursue the latest fashion trend, newest tech gadget, hottest new car, biggest house in hopes that it will fill that insatiable void inside of us. These things are temporary but society has programmed us to believe they will make us HAPPY. They do provide temporary satisfaction and a momentary sense of fulfillment. They make us HAPPY, or what we think is happy, for a short time. After the temporary happiness subsides, we look for more, we want more stuff, someone else to make us happy, bigger, better, MORE!! It is a vicious, never ending cycle. We want, we get, we are satisfied and the cycle repeats. We can all be happy, we can all be positive, we can all have inner peace and harmony, we just need to know where to look.

The Center of Life

We go through phases were things are going well and everything is running smoothly. Feeling pretty good about where we are and what is going on at the moment. The good times are just that good but what happens when you fall from the peak, where do you turn when things are bleak, times are dark and the whole world seems to be against you. Without a solid rock, solid foundation, it is difficult to see how anything good can happen, you are trapped, stuck!! Our Lord and Savior can and will turn any situation into something positive, he will lead you exactly where you need to go. With God as your center, the primary focus, foundation of your life, it will not matter what life throws at you, your faith will guide you through the darkness and deliver you into the light. There is no magic elixir, no secret recipe, no elaborate combination of steps needed to turn your life into something positive, productive and satisfying. Letting go of the material world’s vices, changing your attitude, re positioning your focus, believing in God and searching for the positive in every situation will set you on the path to happiness.

Negative vs. Positive

Negativity is highly contagious and destructive, it can create a blindfold that prevents you from seeing the good things in life. It will consume your energy, make you feel tired and erode your drive and ambition. Changing your mindset to only focus on the positive is a lifelong pursuit. I won’t lie to you, it is very challenging some days, other days it comes very easy. The choice that we have to make in focusing on the positive is a conscious one, unfortunately we live in a very negative world. We are constantly inundated with negative energy coming at us from all angles, our phones, TVs, internet, other people…on and on. In the course of a single day, the negative energy we experience is multi-fold compared to the positive energy we encounter. The contrast is the strength and potency of the positive energy. The powerful effect of a heartwarming story, an encounter with a person with a love for life, a simple smile or kind word from a stranger can change your entire day, spin you around 180 degrees, put you on top of the world in the blink of an eye.

Where do I Start

“A journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Start small, take manageable steps, it is a marathon not a sprint. It will not happen overnight or in the blink of an eye. For me personally, it started with positive reaffirmation, give thanks for the blessings in your life. When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself “What am I thankful for today?” Start with a single thing today, add another item each day, before you know it you have a whole list of things to be thankful for, blessings you used to take for granted are suddenly at the forefront of your thought. When something happens during the day, look for the good in the situation, walk away from the bad, disregard the negative. When you go to sleep at night, ask yourself what were the good things that happened today and focus on them. Close your eyes at night with a smile on your face and peace in your heart.

Conclusion

Happiness is a choice, we cannot control the things that happen to us each day. The only thing we can control is how we react, how we choose to see the world and the outlook we have, be it positive or negative. There are no good days or bad days, there are just days, we decide within ourselves if they are good or bad. Life is a choice, how will you choose to live your life today, what will you be thankful for, what are the blessings in your life? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I only hope that I can help someone who is having a difficult time take that first step, because all starts within you. Have a great day, God Bless!!!