Who Are You?

Photo by Lasse Kristensen

Re-post from April:  Who doesn’t at some time in their life ask the question, “who am I, why am I here, and does my life matter?” Very valid and extremely important questions; and depending on our beliefs, will explain a lot about where we are in our life right now.

So, are you where you want to be in life? Are you making a positive difference in your part of the world? Are you contributing to and making a difference in other people’s lives? Are you living abundantly? Do you enjoy your job? Are your relationships going well? Do you get up most days filled with gratitude and joy excited about the day ahead of you? Are you happy most of the time? Do you live your life with passion?

With the amazing God given potential each of us possesses we should be able to answer yes to each of the above questions. Yet for some reason, few of us ever move beyond mediocrity and live that kind of life. Most people blindly accept whatever circumstance happens their way, and accept is as if it were their destiny?

WHY is that? Is mediocrity what God wants for our lives?

Often from a very young age we are programmed by those people and situations around us to believe our lives are limited. They don’t do it on purpose, but they themselves have limiting belief systems passed on to them by others with limiting beliefs. Most people just accept, that whatever life they are born into, is their lot in life. That could not be further from the truth, and I can prove it.

Please check out this short video by a gentleman named Nick Vujicic, it’s only four minutes and so worth the time.

Another person to check out on YouTube is Sean Stephenson, please take the time and watch. Both of these gentlemen will prove that you do not need to be a victim of your circumstance.

Have you ever read the quote by Henry Ford that says, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”? There is so much truth in those words. If you believe you can accomplish something, you will push yourself until you succeed; nothing is going to get in your way. If you don’t believe you can, you will quite before you really even try; and once again prove to yourself that you can’t.

Can you imagine the life Nick Vujicic or Sean Stephenson would have if they accepted defeat and didn’t believe in themselves?

Our lives so often become self-fulfilling prophecies, and as long as we keep telling ourselves that we can’t do this or accomplish that, that is exactly what we will attract into our lives. If you focus on defeat and failure your life will be filled with defeat and failure. On the other hand, if you fill your mind with the belief that you can accomplish anything you truly desire, your life will take on a whole new direction and meaning.

We were not put on this earth to just exist and try to make the best out of whatever life throws at us. We are in training here and are meant to grow, develop, overcome, and become the best we can be. That means we don’t settle for whatever life throws at us, it means we overcome, and forge ahead and allow ourselves to grow to our full potential. It means we are supposed to be living an abundant life.

Now, when I say abundant life I’m not just talking about money, but abundance in your relationships, in health, in joy, in happiness, and so many other things. God wants nothing but the best for you. Would you as a parent want any less for your children? Why would anyone believe that God would?

You were given a great gift when you were given life, and you were given the ability to make a difference in this world. You have so much potential that it’s almost unfathomable. You need to realize that you are in training for an amazing future. The question is, are you willing to step out on faith and believe that your life can be so much more?

Changing our beliefs and overcoming past programming and self-sabotage when they’re deeply ingrained is a process that takes time, but it can be done. It starts with getting rid of limiting thoughts and beliefs and accepting the truth that God does not wish for any of us to live a life of mediocrity. He wants us to live happy, productive and meaningful lives.

Our lives should be about making a difference and becoming lights in a dark world. Of course, it’s very hard to be a light when you don’t think you deserve to shine.

You also need change your hoping for the best to BELIEVING for the best. It’s about faith!

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Criticizing and Complaining

Photo by EngelFish

Let me preface what I’m about to say with saying, we all complain and criticize sometimes. We all get disappointed and frustrated and need to vent a bit. What I want to talk about today is people who make complaining an art.

Do you know anyone who consistently criticizes and complains about everyone and everything? You know the one I’m talking about, they can’t even have a short conversation without finding fault in something or someone.

People nor life ever seem to live up to their expectations, and in turn they are never quite content in their lives. It doesn’t matter how positive, enthusiastic or cheerful you are; they will find a dark cloud somewhere and squeeze some rain out of it. It seems some people are just not happy being happy.

Why is it so hard for some folks to look for and find the good in others? What is it that makes some people see mostly darkness in life? What is it that makes some of us so cynical and jaded?

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Philippians 4:8.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Where does it say, whatever things are false, whatever things base, whatever things are unfair, whatever things are vile, whatever things are ugly, whatever things are negative, whatever things are worthy of condemnation – meditate on these things? Nowhere in scripture does it tell us to do that, yet that is exactly what some people do.

I am an eternal optimist, which makes people who complain a lot both a challenge and an enigma to me. I realize life is not all sunshine and rainbows, but there are a whole lot of good things to think about. Now, I know people will disappoint us, and do things we don’t agree with. People will fall short, and not live up to our expectations. Who doesn’t?

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

I will have to admit that I am one of the chiefs of falling short before God and many times before others. I’m just grateful that He’s much more forgiving and better at overlooking my shortcomings than some people I’ve known.

I don’t think most people who complain all the time really want to be that way. Some of them may not even realize how habitual their complaining and criticizing are. I suppose people become that way for various reasons.

Maybe they were raised always hearing about the wrongs in the world, or about how bad people can be; and their perspective on life has become jaded. I think some people just expect too much from others, and lack the patience and understanding to overlook their shortcomings.

I’ll admit that in some cases it can be very easy to criticize others; after all, some people make it very easy to be critical of them. But, that is not the way we’re supposed to roll. We are called to be a light in a dark world. You cannot be a light while condemning others for their shortcomings or lack of understanding.

Matthew 7:1-3 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

Lately, every time I start talking about someone or something in a judgmental way that scripture pops into my head. If I don’t cut other people slack, I can’t expect God to cut me any. I have far too many faults and weaknesses to be judging others. After all, I am going to need all the grace and mercy I can get. How about you?

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Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Photo by hofstrauniversity

Gosh, who to vote for? What a decision to make. I mean, I’m really glad they have these debates so I can figure out from what they say, what they will really do for our Country.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe should I vote for the man who promises to do all the things he knows I would like? Or the man who promises hope and change for real this time, if given another four years? Gosh, what a tough choice. Can I believe either one of them?

Question, “how do you know when a politician is lying”? Answer, “When their lips are moving”. In my many years of voting, I don’t think there has been but one or two presidents that I believe were sincere and really cared about our Country. I’m not saying they were perfect, but I believe they believed they had our best interest in mind.

Most politicians are self-serving and will promise us anything that the millions of dollars’ worth of psychologists, pollsters and advisers tell them we want to hear.

I don’t believe a man or woman with real character, or true concern for the people of this Country can get elected. When I think of what’s really going on in DC I am reminded of the scene from the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy and her three companions first meet the all-powerful Oz. They walk in; Toto goes over to the curtain and pulls it back revealing the one who’s really talking.

You may be thinking right now, oh no, a conspiracy rant. Maybe just a little one.

It’s said that Baron M.A. Rothschild said the following “Give me control over a nations currency, and I care not who makes its laws.” Did he really say that? I don’t know, but it makes a lot of sense to me. After all, who doesn’t believe the multi-national corporations and banks don’t have substantial pull in Washington? Does anyone believe that our dollar isn’t being manipulated, or that there has not been a move to redistribute the wealth of this country for some time now?

As much as people love or hate Barack Obama, does anyone really believe that a man who hardly anybody knew, with very questionable associations, and no political experience could rise to power and become president on his own? I believe he’s a puppet for those behind the scene who hold the real power. Granted, he can be rather charismatic, but he doesn’t have the right stuff to be president. Very few men do any more.

If you doubt that there is a conspiracy to destroy our country, and steal away this great experiment and blessing our Country is; think again. We often look at really evil people who commit heinous crimes and think, wow, Satan must be influencing them.

Now, I don’t doubt that many evil people are influenced by demonic spirits, as well as, insanity; but is that the only place they try and play?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Now, do any of us believe that Satan only attacks or influences people in the church? Satan wants to destroy mankind and all the blessings that have been bestowed upon him. Am I saying the Satan is whispering in Barack Obama’s or Mitt Romney’s ears? I have no clue if he is or not, but I do believe there are men and women of great wealth and power who Satan is whispering in their ears, and they have the ears of those in power throughout this world.

Who you vote for is totally up to you. There are those who won’t vote for conscience sake and I respect that. There are those who will vote on strictly party lines, race, what they believe either one of these men will do.

I’m going to vote this time, not in hopes of getting a moral or honest president; I don’t think either of these men can deliver that. I am voting in what I hope will be a slower trip down the toilet.

Neither one of these men really holds my convictions, hopes or dreams. I don’t get the impression that either one of these men is truly a follower of Christ. Remember, just because you stand in a garage and call yourself a Cadillac, it does not make you a car. You shall know them by their fruits.

I wish I had a more positive outlook for our country, but I don’t at this time. That’s not to say I don’t have hope, it’s just not in men to fix things. Not all, but much of our society has told God He is no longer welcome, and now I believe God is pulling His hand back and allowing man to try and do it his own way.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Whatever your beliefs are, whatever your political persuasion is, remember these are just men. Put your faith in God and trust Him to lead and bless your life, because neither one of these men has yours nor my best interest in heart.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

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10 Ways to Change a Bad Day Into a Good One!

Photo by ambrosialove

Re-post from April 2012. We all have bad days from time to time. These bad days can overwhelm us, they can cause us to become discouraged, they can even make us feel depressed. Sometimes it’s cause by a conflict with someone else, but many times it’s caused by things just not working the way we hoped or expected.

When life knocks us down or overwhelms us we can do one of two things. We can choose to let it get the best of us, and eat away at our joy and happiness; or we can fight back and turn it around.

Now you may feel justified in being mad at someone, and they may very well deserve your wrath. You may even feel justified in feeling sorry for yourself because some situation isn’t working out the way you hoped. Ok, maybe that’s true, maybe you’re right. But let me ask you, “How’s it working out for you”?

Is it making the situation any better? Is it improving things in your life?

Now I would never tell someone they don’t have the right to be mad or sad over some situation. It’s only natural to feel that way at first. The trouble is, when you hold on to bad feelings it affects you in many ways, and none of them good.

Not only does it affect your thoughts and how you treat others, but it also affects you physically and spiritually.

When you hold onto anger, hurt and sadness, you are causing harm to yourself. It can cause you to feel sick, unmotivated, and separated from God. It just steals the joy out of your life.

So, how about if we look at 10 ways to make your bad day, into a good day.

  1. Stop re-living the situation that has upset you. Stop having the same argument, or visualizing the scene of your upset, over and over and over in your head. Let it go. When it comes back, as it will try, push it away and replace it with something better. “See ideas in the suggestion to come”.
  2. Talk to someone who encourages you and makes you feel better. Call or Skype a friend or family member and enjoy their company.
  3. Do something nice for someone else. Go to http://daretobeanangel.com and you will find all kinds of things that you can do for others. When you make someone else feel good, you can’t help but feel good yourself.
  4. Make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for. Most of us are so blessed. Sit down with a piece of paper and pen and start writing down all you have to be grateful for. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food to eat? Do you have family and or friends that love you? Are you reasonably healthy? Are you free of major physical trials? I’m sure you can think of many.
  5. Re-frame the situation. I learned this exercise in a Tony Robbins audio. If someone has been mean to you or has offended you in some way. Re-picture the scene in a different way. Visualize the offending person with big elephant ears and big clown shoes. Imagine them saying the things they did with a super high pitch voice and ridiculous makeup on. When you see the offending person in that light, the things they said or did will have much less impact. Try it, its fun and will definitely make you laugh.
  6. Read encouraging quotes. Go to places like www.brainyquote.com and www.inspirational-quotes.info. They are filled with quotes that are bound to inspire you and make you feel better.
  7. Watch encouraging videos on youtube.com. Go check out lifewithoutlimbs.org and if you are not encourage by Nick Vujicic, you must be in a coma. 🙂
  8. Listen to upbeat and inspirational music. Listen to music that truly lifts you up and makes you smile. You don’t even have to own your own music anymore. You can listen to many radio stations like Jango or Pandora on line. You can tell them what kind of music you want to hear, and then just sit back and listen.
  9. Read and mediate on Philippians 4:8. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  If you focus on that scripture, and follow what it says, it will wipe away any anger and sadness you may have.
  10. Pray for peace of mind, for a forgiving heart if necessary; and for peace and strength to carry on no matter what the situation is. Remember Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

Do you have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

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Let’s Give Faith a Chance

Photo from The U.S. National Archives

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Trials are a part of life and they are what help shape and develop our character, which in turn, helps us to be more like Christ. I think there might be something in the above scriptures that we often overlook though; I certainly know I did for years. That thing I’m talking about is praying in faith instead of praying in hope.

For years when I prayed about trials that I or someone I knew were going through, I found myself praying with a caveat. Or when I was praying for something that I felt I really wanted or needed I prayed with that same caveat. That caveat was, “if it’s Your will”.

Now I know that the scriptures tell us to pray according to God’s will, and we should. I wonder though, how many times it’s God’s will to heal us or to answer a prayer, but we pray with meekness hoping He will heal and bless us, instead of believing He will; thereby making our prayer of no avail.

Why do we do that? I think the answer lies in our fear that if we ask really believing and He doesn’t answer our prayer; our faith will be shattered, and our spiritual lives will be filled with doubt. It doesn’t have to be that way.

If you have children and have told them no about something they really wanted, did their faith in you become shattered, and forever hindered their relationship with you? Of course not! Then why would we believe that if we ask in faith; and are told no, or are made to wait, our spiritual relationship with God will be hindered.

Peter is a good example of a man who struggled with doubt in the beginning. Remember when Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat and come to Him. He was fine until he let his human nature take over, and became filled with doubt and began to sink. I think it’s the same with us. We’re afraid God’s answer might be no, so we begin to doubt and sink in our prayer.

Now I will grant you that sometimes God’s answer is no, and He certainly has a good reason for that. But I do wonder how often we hinder Him with our own doubt. Also, just because God doesn’t answer right away, it doesn’t mean He won’t; it might just mean that He will do it at the right time, and according to His purpose.

When you go through a trial, and God hasn’t answered a particular prayer, or hasn’t healed you of some illness right away, don’t give up. Keep asking with faith, believing He will answer.

God has promised healing and blessings for us, we need to claim those promises.

Like I said, sometimes God’s answer is no, but let’s throw out the caveats, get rid of doubt, stop asking in hope and have the faith to trust God.

After all, He wants whats best for you and me, and that’s not being sick and unhappy for most of our lives.

To slightly change a quote from John Lennon, “Let’s give FAITH a chance”!

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“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend yourspiritmindandbody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”.  Please also check out my Facebook page and give me a like at http://www.facebook.com/YourSpiritMindAndBody.

 

 

 

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