Restoring Joy to Giving

November 26th, 2013

[With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I thought it would be good to re-focus on giving and gratitude in the articles over this next week.]

People with religious tendencies are often profuse givers. Depending on your personality, the desire to give can be so compelling that it easily gets out of balance, causing feelings of resentment when receivers respond with a lack of gratitude.

Many of us are easily moved with compassion for people in need, desiring to respond with help in whatever way possible. When you are a personality type that is easily compelled to give, it is not uncommon for this desire get out of balance, causing feelings of resentment when receivers respond with a lack of gratitude. These feelings of resentment are compounded when you still feel compelled to give though you yourself have come to a point of being in need, from either stressful and exhausting circumstances or the void that has developed from those you give to rarely giving in return.

Compulsive givers frequently feel guilty when they try to back out of getting involved even though their own exhaustion is necessitating it, or when they allow someone to help them with their own needs. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

October 29th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success to focus more on your goal than the obstacles that come against you, or even the steps to achieve it. 

(This is Part 2 of a two part post in which we’ll share quotes from historical figures on goal focus, as well as how  focus affects your spiritual goals.  Part 1 of this post covered reasons, results, and benefits of focusing on your goal. If you missed Part 1 of this post, please click here to read Part 1 now.)

For generations, famous literary authors have encouraged people to “focus on the goal.”

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson is well-known for his quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” encouraging people to enjoy each day of life as opposed to only allowing oneself to enjoy achievements, he also promoted keeping one’s destination in view.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orison Swett Marden, known for his philosophies on one’s thoughts influencing  life and circumstances, pointed out the determining factor in the success of focusing on the goal:

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1

October 25th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success is to stay more focused on the goal than your present obstacles, or even the steps to reaching it.

I was reminded of this principle while working toward the completion of all the necessary seasonal responsibilities in my garden. I have quite extensive gardens with a large variety of plants, including over 30 antique rose bushes. Though I have always enjoyed gardening, this time of year’s seasonal requirements get very overwhelming as it takes about 3 months to complete due to other life responsibilities. The care and upkeep is probably too extensive for this time in life, but, when we designed and planted it 15 years ago, it was not possible to foresee the changes in career, family responsibilities, and physical energy that would take place in the future. It is a temptation to cause myself continual displeasure by solely viewing all the tasks yet undone rather than staying focused on the end result, or enjoying the present pleasures in my garden during the process of the oiling, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching to reach the goal; my garden will become a healthy, lush one that is a delight to the eyes and a joy to share with friends and family.

Here are some results of staying more focused on the end goal than the present obstacles or process:

1. You will maintain more steady levels of joy and fulfillment, knowing the end of the process will come; you will live the joy of the goal’s future fulfillment.

2. By having a clearer focus of your future goals/objectives, you will be more effective in Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 2

October 3rd, 2013

Table of contents for Personal Power

  1. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 1
  2. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 2

(In Part 1, we discussed the motivation, validity, and purpose of power. In this post, we’ll cover pure power and power’s ultimate safeguard.)

The Proof of Pure Power

What then is the proof that someone is using power in a pure way, as opposed to a corrupt way? The proof is, first, in their lifestyle and, second, in the consistency of it. Is the person’s lifestyle replicating or reproducing the positive effects on humanity that the power of Jesus did? If so, is the person doing good with consistency as Jesus did?

Jesus made an outstanding statement regarding the opportunity for His power to work through us, but it is conditional.

I will do for you whatever you shall ask in My Name. If you really love Me, you will obey My commands. Jn. 14:14,15

God is willing to let His resurrection power work through us, doing whatever good we ask, as long as we truly love Him, which is shown by living in obedience to His commands. God’s commands are intended for the provision and protection of a happy, fulfilling, and effective life for each of mankind. Any desire, thought, or action that would violate an “abundant” life for yourself or another person would be in violation of God’s commands. Limitless power is not safe in the hands of someone who violates God’s principles; therefore, God makes the stipulation that His willingness to do whatever we ask is based on Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 1

October 1st, 2013

Table of contents for Personal Power

  1. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 1
  2. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 2

Many People are on a Search for Personal Power.

No one wants to feel helpless. It is not uncommon for people involved in searches for personal power. The validity of such a search or desire for power is often questioned. Everyone has seen situations in which power corrupts. One may wonder whether power can ever be good. In Part 1 of this post, we’ll answer that question, as well as motivations for power. In Part 2, we’ll define pure power and power’s ultimate safeguard.

The Validity of Power

There is a type of power that we are all to experience, a power that is to be influential in each of our realms of existence. Though this is revealed through several quotes, I’ll use the most direct one first.

I pray that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which God has called us…His immeasurable, unlimited, and surpassing power in and for us who believe. It is the same mighty power He used when He raised Christ from the dead. Eph. 1:18-20

This quote is by the apostle Paul, author of the majority of the New Testament and considered by theologians to be the greatest leader in the Early Church. His prayer was that each person would have a greater understanding (some translations “enlightened”) to know that the same immeasurable power that Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 2

August 27th, 2013

Table of contents for From Rejection to Self Esteem

  1. From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 1
  2. From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 2

In rejection recovery, realize that negative thoughts cannot be changed without replacing them with positive ones.

This is Part 2 of a 2 part post.  If you missed Part 1, please use the series link above to read it first as Part 1 covers the two initial steps for recovering from rejection.

To overcome the negativity that is overrunning your thought life as a result of the rejection, you must actively make yourself think on thoughts that will move you forward to the productive life you should be living. There are 3 main ways to replace thoughts of rejection.

1. Base your value on God’s value of you. With all the beauty that exists in creation, with all the billions of people, God still loves you and considers you precious and honored in His sight (Is. 43:4). Scripture describes that God saw your unformed body before you were born, already knew all the days of your life before it began, and that His thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand–because He thinks so often about you. (Ps. 139:15-18) Throughout the up’s and down’s of life, it is essential that you base your value of yourself on the value God sees in you. This is the only way your value of yourself can remain constant. It cannot be based on people because people come and go in our lives, even if it is by death. Your value cannot be based on your career or other abilities because, one day, you will no longer be able to do those things.

2. Be your own cheerleader. This is a self-help tip that I’ve heard Joel Osteen say many times and it is worth repeating. Every day, get up in the morning and be your own cheerleader. Say good things about yourself to yourself! Speak to yourself about God’s value of you. Throughout the day, remind yourself of your value and your abilities. And, it doesn’t hurt to Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 1

August 22nd, 2013

Table of contents for From Rejection to Self Esteem

  1. From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 1
  2. From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 2

Rejection comes to each of us, but we can take steps to heal and move forward with the productive life we deserve and desire.

Many readers have asked for help in dealing with rejection from parents and other relationships. Whether rejection comes from a family member, friend, co-worker, or even a mere stranger, it leaves us with a wide variety of emotions, such as pain and guilt, and questions as to why someone would feel that way about us. Let’s cover several steps that help us to heal and move forward to a happier life.

First, don’t spend a great deal of time questioning why.

Unless the person broke off the relationship due to a major personality flaw on your part which they directly communicated to you as the cause of the rejection — and you already know you need to work on that aspect — quit questioning why. If there was no such communication on the offender’s part, speculation will not help you for the following reason. If the cause was a personality flaw on your part and they were not willing to communicate in such a way as to allow for healing and reconciliation Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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God’s View on Poverty Part 2

July 26th, 2013

In Part 1 of this post, we discussed, “Does God desire anyone to be poor?”, what God says in Scripture about His view of poverty, and how poverty came into God’s creation.  If you missed Part 1, please use the above Series link to read it first.  Again, it would be impossible to cover the subejct in its entirety here, but we believe this series will give you some clear answers.

Why do so many religions associate poverty with piety?

It is easy to see where the view of poverty and piety developed because any type of crisis usually causes a person to look for help from Someone greater than him or her self. This does not make the crisis good or “from God” just because you need someone else to help you. Another common religious connection between poverty and piety developed from people seeing those who were wealthy living in ways that were prideful, selfish, and abusive. However, wealth is not in itself evil or make people evil as there are many wealthy people in the world who spend their lives as philanthropists, using their wealth to help the needy.

A multitude of Scriptures show that God does not desire anyone to be poor.

Before you misunderstand that statement, remember that God is our perfect Father. Just as a loving parent would never wish poverty or any other crisis or harm on his or her child, neither does a loving God desire anything harmful on the people who are the focus of His unfailing love. Due to the corruption in the world from the fall of man, poverty can come to a person from so many sources — government corruption, natural disaster, economic collapse, mishandling of money, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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God’s View on Poverty Part 1

July 16th, 2013

Table of contents for God's View on Poverty

  1. God’s View on Poverty Part 1

An often asked question by readers is, “Does God desire people to be poor?”

Scripture does address God’s view on poverty. Though I cannot cover all possible aspects of poverty in one post, I think this article will give you some clear answers.

God specifically mentions His watchful care over the poor.

It is important to realize that this is not a matter of favoritism, because God speaks against that and promises His unfailing love to all who seek Him, but a matter of special reassurance. The poor are often neglect or forgotten by the societies in which they live. Anyone who has been in poverty understands the struggles with the feeling of abandonment, hopelessness, and that there is no one who cares. Fully understanding a person’s circumstances, God specifically speaks to remind the poor that He cares, is paying attention, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Depression Help – 4 Steps to Recovery

June 25th, 2013

Reading Level: Gratifying

Depression is the result of external pressure getting inside and weighing down your thoughts/emotions.

There is a depression that has its root in physical causes, such as a deficiency of certain naturally occurring chemicals in the brain, the 3 main ones being serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Sometimes, in mild cases, these chemicals can be replaced by protein drinks with tyrosine and phenalylanine. I read that the late Dr. Atkins has such a diet available. If you suspect you’re your depression is physically related rather than from circumstancial pressures, you may want to see your doctor for a blood test to determine a proper course of treatment. Probably the most common form of depression, however, is due to allowing the pressure of circumstances to conform one’s thoughts. I’ve mentioned this quote before, “Above all else, guard your heart [mind and will], for it is the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23).” We must admit to the absolute necessity of controlling our thoughts for the wellbeing of our lives. Another passage says, “For as the thoughts of man’s heart are, so is he (Prov. 23:7).”

Thoughts form our emotions.

The other week I referred you to a new book out, called “Eight Steps to Create the Life You Want.” I quoted the premise for the chapters in this book of how the whole course of one’s life starts with the positive or negative words we speak; those words form our thoughts; our thoughts create emotions, etc. I’ll reference the post below if you still need to read it. The eight steps in this book illustrate how the whole direction of one’s life is altered by words, thoughts, and Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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When is Pain Good?

April 5th, 2013

In the physical fitness arena, the phrase “No pain, no gain,” is quite common. For your emotional “fitness” in relationships and boundary setting, “No pain, no gain” is also a necessary practice.

People who repeatedly allow themselves to be hurt or harmed by others, physically or emotionally, have difficulty setting boundaries. They bring a continual flow of harm into their lives due to not setting boundaries, or not making clear what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior mainly due to a fear of the other person’s response. They fear the other person’s anger or they even fear hurting the other person’s feelings. Often, the boundaryless person fears hurting the controlling person because of an “over-identification with loss.” He or she hasn’t dealt with their own personal losses, especially those caused by the harmful relationship, so there is an unrealistic, over-emotional response to the thought of hurting the other person. It is a tragic thing to see destruction rule throughout a person’s whole life when restoration and abundance is attainable — all because he or she fears boundary setting will hurt the other person’s feelings. In such cases, pain is a good thing!

First, realize that it is possible to hurt someone’s feelings by “doing what needs to be done” to be responsible with your gift of life.

I’ve referred before to the Boundaries book by Cloud and Townsend when discussing relationship issues of this type. You do what you need to do to be responsible with the gift of your life though it may hurt the other person’s feelings. This is not a matter of being inconsiderate. You think through and evaluate how the boundary will likely hurt the other person’s feelings; that’s being empathetic and “taking into account” the other person’s feelings. But you still set the boundaries to stop the harm to your life; otherwise, you are being irresponsible to the gift of your own life. The other person will likely Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Crisis Management – The Means to Long Life

March 19th, 2013

How you deal with crises or tragedies affect the length of your life as well as the daily quality.

I once heard a report on the news about a study done with people over 100 years of age.  They were expecting to discover a common health link, something those seniors did or did not eat, or some type of exercise routine.  Much to the astonishment of those doing the study, there did not appear to be any common denominators in health habits.  Obviously, health habits will affect the quality of one’s physical life, especially as you get older. However, the sole common denominator in these seniors who lived to be over 100 years of age was how they dealt with crises or tragedies;  they had a commitment to move forward or move past the tragedy and continue to find enjoyment in life. In their view, it was worth living just to be alive, regardless of the events they experienced.

A perspective that sees value solely in being alive will benefit one’s daily life as well.

Though it wasn’t discussed in the part of the report I heard, I would imagine that people who outlived their peers due to a commitment to move beyond tragedy had also lived their daily lives with the same perspective– ”This too shall pass,”  “Life goes on…,” or whatever applicable saying you have heard.  If one has a view to be able to enjoy life just because he or she is still alive, regardless of even facing tragedies, imagine how much less that type of person stresses over the typical daily struggles.  During those times in life when daily struggles start coming at you from every side Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Crisis Management – The Means to a Long Life

February 7th, 2013

How you deal with crises or tragedies affect the length of your life as well as the daily quality.

I once heard a report on the news about a study done with people over 100 years of age. They were expecting to discover a common health link, something those seniors did or did not eat, or some type of exercise routine. Much to the astonishment of those doing the study, there did not appear to be any common denominators in health habits. Obviously, health habits will affect the quality of one’s physical life, especially as you get older. However, the sole common denominator in these seniors who lived to be over 100 years of age was how they dealt with crises or tragedies; they had a commitment to move forward or move past the tragedy and continue to find enjoyment in life. In their view, it was worth living just to be alive, regardless of the events they experienced.

A perspective that sees value solely in being alive will benefit one’s daily life as well.

Though it wasn’t discussed in the part of the report I heard, I would imagine that people who outlived their peers due to a commitment to move beyond tragedy had also lived their daily lives with the same perspective-“This too shall pass,” “Life goes on…,” or whatever applicable saying you have heard. If one has a view to be able to enjoy life just because he or she is still alive, regardless of even facing tragedies, imagine how much less that type of person stresses over the typical daily struggles. During those times in life when daily struggles start Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Manifestation: Achieving Your Restoration

February 1st, 2013

Whenever you set goals, the manifestation of the best goals-your goals for the ultimate restoration of your life-are achieved through a very common process: writing it out!

I recently mentioned to a friend about a common denominator that I came across while studying the success stories of people whose lives had endured complete collapse financially, physically, and career-wise. The recovery or life restoration of every person I have studied, both in the secular and religious worlds, resulted from a commitment to writing out a clear list of life goals. It sounds so simple. In many ways, it is. Yet it is absolutely vital to seeing the manifestation of your restoration. Whether the purpose of your goal setting is the complete restoration of a collapsed life, the reaching of some childhood dreams, or accomplishing your destiny, a clearly written list is still an absolute necessity.

This practical illustration reveals why the manifestation of your goals must go beyond just visualization.

Many people have probably seen the photos of the beach communities in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. The devastation looked must like that of an earthquake. Nothing could be seen for miles except complete rubble. Among those people who lost their homes, there was bound to be at least one architect or contractor.

An expert home builder may know all that there is to build himself a new home, but he will never begin the rebuilding without “writing it out,” without a blueprint. An expert builder who lost his home in that disaster may be able to see the image in his mind of the new home for the rebuilding, but he will not rebuild without that blueprint, without putting it in writing. And, to further the analogy, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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From Devastation to Greatness

December 19th, 2012

Most every person goes through a season in life of devastating circumstances in which he or she cannot even visualize restoration taking place.   

I wanted to share with you a word of encouragement I heard recently. 

There is a very unusual illustration in a rarely referenced book from Scripture, the book of Ezekiel.  The nation of Israel was in a state of devastation after war.  Ezekiel had a vision of a valley full of disassembled human skeletons.  The skeleton bones represented the complete state of devastation of the people of Israel. The following are some of my own thoughts, as well as a few from a talk I recently heard, that I believe will give hope and encouragement to those of you facing devastating circumstances. 

You may be in circumstances that are so visibly bad that you feel like the chances of your life being restored are as non-existent as that of someone long dead. 

The dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision represented the present life circumstances of God’s people. Circumstances were so visibly bad, it was “beyond dead.”

-Though few people would have hope for it, if it were a valley full of dead corpses, it would have been easier to believe for life to be restored to normal, but it was not.

-Not only was it not a valley of dead corpses (with flesh and skin), but they were not even Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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