12 Quotes to Inspire Your life!

image quoteI’m a pretty big optimist when it comes to life. I don’t walk around with a big grin on my face all the time, but I’m a happy person. The reason I’m a happy person is I put a lot of effort into controlling the things I focus on.

Now, I have my share of trials and problems; but I choose to focus on solutions to problems rather than problems themselves. It makes a world of difference! I have also found that being grateful affects how you view things as well.

So, how do we get to the place where we start changing what we think about, and become more positive people? Well, there are three things that have really help me. Those three things are reading scripture, reading affirmations, and reading great quotes.

I have written about affirmations in the past, I shared some very uplifting scriptures in my last post; so today I would like to share 12 really good quotes to help get you focused in a good direction. I hope you enjoy them.

1. If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves. ~~ David Allen

2. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~~ Helen Keller

3. Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. ~~ Oprah Winfrey

4. In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. ~~ Tony Robbins

5. It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving. ~~ Mother Teresa

6. I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy, I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy. ~~ Mother Teresa

7. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~~ Aristotle

8. The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. ~~ James A. Michener

9. Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. ~~ Pat Riley

10. Paint a masterpiece daily. Always autograph your work with excellence. ~~ Greg Hickman

11. Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary. ~~ Warren G. Bennis

12. Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude. ~~ Ralph Marston

Life is what you make of it. If you focus on bad, you will see all the bad life has to offer, if you focus on good, you will see all the good that life has to offer.

So, the choice is really up to you. I hope you will choose to focus on the good, and that the above quotes help.

Do you have any favorite quotes you’d like to share?

12 Scriptures That Should Light You Up!

bible opened up I hope you find the following 12 scriptures as encouraging, and inspiring as I do. God has promised us so many wonderful things if we will only walk with Him.

You might even want to print these scriptures out for a regular reminder of how blessed we are!

1. Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

2. Psalm 5:11 – But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.

3. Romans 8:14-18 – 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

4. Psalm 103:12 – 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

5. Romans 5:8 – 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

6. Romans 8:1 – 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

7. Matthew 7:7-8 – 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

8. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 – 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

9. Proverbs 3:9-10 -9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

10. Revelation 3:21 – 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

11. Romans 8:38-39 – 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 – 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Do you have any favorite encouraging scriptures you’d like to share?

10 Guidelines to Effective Prayer – Part 2

man praying before a mealToday’s post is a continuation from my post of yesterday, 10 Guidelines to Effective Prayer – Part 1. If you have not read that already, I would suggest doing that before reading Part 2.

Prayer is such an important issue, that none of us should take it lightly. I hope you enjoy part 2.

6. If you want results in your prayers, do not be negative. Positive results come from positive prayers. Instead of praying, oh LORD, why are you letting this happen to me, pray, oh LORD please show me how to make this situation better. And as always, pray in faith, not in hope!

James 1:6 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.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Also, an important aspect to prayer is praying according to God’s will. Praying for a car, if you really need one is a reasonable prayer; praying for a brand new Mercedes might not be. Just saying!

1 John 5:14-15 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

7. Remember, that sometimes God’s answer is no. We don’t always understand why, but God does know best. Keep in mind there are times when we might ask God for something, but He might have something much better in mind. There may also be circumstances to our detriment we are not aware of, but God is. This of course, is not an excuse not to pray in faith; just in case God does not answer our prayer. Don’t ever let unanswered prayer shake your faith, always believe for the best.

As you can see from the next scriptures, Paul asked God to remove something from Him three times, and was told no. God has His reasons, and we need to accept that.

2 Cor. 12:7-9 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

8. After you have prayer, put it in God’s hands. This doesn’t mean God is going to do everything for you, but if you are in His will, He will bless your results. If we do our part, God will certainly do His.

We must trust God, and not let our own fear overrule our faith. Remember, when you bring a problem and put it before God in prayer, make sure you don’t pick it back up when you’re done praying.

Psalm 112:7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

Trust God, have faith!

9. Love your enemies. Not love as an emotional feeling, but love as a commitment and way of life. We must pray for people we don’t like, or who have treated us badly. Anger and resentment are a cancer that will eat away at us and short circuit our prayer.

That doesn’t mean we try to lie to God. If we’re angry at someone, we need to tell God, David certainly did. The thing is if we ask God to help us overcome that anger, He will do just that. But the decision to want to forgive has to come from us.

Luke 6:27-31 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him, who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

10. Make a list of people you want to pray for. The more you pray for others, the more positive results you will get from your own prayers. We need to live our lives in a spirit of prayer. Prayer isn’t just something you do, but a spirit in which you live your life. Say silent prayers for people all throughout the day.

Prayer costs us nothing but some of our time and the benefits are beyond measure. If you don’t feel as close to God as you would like, pray, pray and then pray some more.

I pray these guidelines will help you to develop a deeper and richer prayer life!

10 Guidelines for Effective Prayer – Part 1

a man praying before a mealPrayer is such an important part of our relationship with God, that I wanted to share some guidelines that I believe will help. Now, I have no idea on how many people pray every day, how often throughout the day, or even the quality of their prayer. But, prayer is about communication, and without effective communication you have no relationship.

Can you imagine trying to have a close relationship with someone and rarely if ever talking to them. Or how great of a relationship would we have with our children or spouses if we talked to them for only 5 or 10 minutes once a day, and ignored them the rest of the time?

You’d be amazed at how many people I’ve heard say, “I really don’t have much time to pray”. Really? Prayer isn’t something we find time to do; it is something we need to make time to do. Without regular prayer your relationship with God will be limited.

So following are the guidelines that I believe will help make your prayer life better.

1. Set aside a few minutes every day just thinking or meditating on God’s will and His Word. This in itself will begin making your mind more spiritually in tune with God.

Let’s look at a few examples of this from the Psalms:

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Psalm 63:6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
Psalm 77:12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.

2. Pray to God as if He was your very best friend. Don’t use lofty words; just speak from your heart. Tell God everything that’s on your mind, He will understand. Keep your prayer conversational as if you were sitting down having a heart to heart with someone. A good format for prayer is the model prayer.

Matt. 6:9-13 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

An important point about the model prayer, it is a model. It’s not something God wants us to say word for word, over and over. It is an example of the way and types of things we should pray about. Also be sure you’re praying for others.

3. Pray as you go through your day. Just stop and close your eyes, whenever you get the chance, to shut out the world, and whisper little one minute prayers. The more you do this every day, the closer you will feel to God. You can even pray while you’re driving, just don’t shut your eyes. 🙂

Even in a busy world, we should be able to find a minute here and there throughout the day to communicate with God. If we truly are God’s people, we must make time for God and not fit Him in when it’s convenient. God deserves our first and our best!

4. Don’t ask for things for yourself every time you pray. Be sure to be praying for other people, as well as, your community, our country, our leaders, the soldiers in harm’s way, Christians who are being persecuted in other countries, and so on.

Much of your prayer time should be devoted to giving thanks to God for all the blessings in life.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

5. Pray in faith, believing that God answers sincere prayer. So often we pray hoping God will answer, but without faith prayer becomes impotent. So, when you ask God to put a hedge around you and your family, ask Him in faith and He will honor your prayer. Look at Job.

Job 1:10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
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You can look forward to part 2 of this post within the next day or two. Have a prayerful and fantastic day!

Do You Have What it takes to be a Spiritual Warrior?

man kneeling pulling sword out of a stoneFirst, being a Spiritual Warrior isn’t for the faint of heart. To be a Spiritual Warrior, you must be solid in your walk. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, tells us what we’re up against, and what we need to be doing.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Some of the traits or aspects of character that are essential to being a Spiritual Warrior are:

  • Awareness
  • Courage
  • Discipline
  • Commitment
  • Compassion
  • Love

A Spiritual Warrior is always aware of his or her surroundings. They are aware of the tricks of the adversary, and are on guard against them. Our adversary never levels a frontal assault, but attacks our minds and hearts through situations, other people; and all the sensory stimuli around us.

A Spiritual Warrior knows the scriptures, and is able to see what kind of person someone is by their fruits. They are also aware of their own personal weaknesses, and stay on guard to not let those weaknesses be attacked.

Next, a Spiritual Warrior must have courage, and the only way to have the courage needed for standing against our advisory, is to fully lean on Jesus Christ. Man may have courage to stand against another man, but to stand against spiritual attacks takes God’s strength and courage.

The Spiritual Warrior must also be disciplined. They must read the word regularly and know what’s in the scriptures. They live their lives with a heart of joy and gratitude, as well as, in a spirit of continuous prayer. They also go through their day seeking to do good whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Commitment is something the Spiritual Warrior lives by as well. They are committed to the service of God, and are willing to lay down their life in God’s service if need be. They may be blindsided from time to time, but they quickly recover and get back to God’s business. They are unwavering in their faith and commitment, and will stand for God until the end.

The Spiritual Warrior must also have compassion. They must be strong in spirit and character, but they must also be gentle and humble. The Spiritual Warrior should be able to bring strength to those who are afraid, and be able to weep with those who weep. The Spiritual Warrior must have a heart for people, and must be willing to put others first.

Most importantly, the Spiritual Warrior must have love. There is no character trait or power that is greater than love. This is the kind of love that is given no matter what. This love is a commitment to God that you will stand in the gap for anyone you have an opportunity to help.

It’s giving without any concern for self. It’s the kind of love that Jesus Christ has for all of us, that although we are sinners, He laid down His life for us. As unworthy as we are, He loves us anyway. That is the example we’re given to follow.

Being a Spiritual Warrior is about living for and serving God and His people. It is something that we cannot do on our own; we need God’s help in this battle.

So like all good soldiers, we must put on our uniform and take up our weapons. The weapons we use as Spiritual Warriors though are not the same weapons that man uses.

In order to be a Spiritual Warrior, we must put on the armor and pick up the weapons of God.

Ephesians 6:10-18 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

As I said, being a Spiritual Warrior is not for the faint of heart. It’s a commitment to a way of life that is often more difficult. When you become a Spiritual Warrior, you leave behind a life of self-serving and self-gratification. When you make this commitment, your life is no longer your own, but belongs to God.

So let me ask you again, do you have what it takes to be a Spiritual Warrior, and are you up to the challenge?