Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, God Speaks, Leadership, Parenthood, Patience, prayer

The Gift Within

I Timothy 4:14

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…..

Everyday I see people come in and out of my life.  My contacts may be from the Church we pastor or the Juice Bar that I own and operate.  What I do know in the many people who I see or talk to, is that they are people and people desire relationship with someone who is going to give them hope.  They also desire someone they can do life with, to share experiences and dreams with.  They want people to inspire them, encourage and pray for them.

Just this past week, I had a customer come thru the doors with tears streaming down her face, crying.  I gave her a glass of “happy berry juice” and also a smoothie as she waited patiently for me to finish.  Then upon leaving, I hugged her and prayed for her.  She gripped me tightly as she explained her grandmother was on her death-bed and that she knew it was a matter of time. This saddened me also.  Her hug was so deep and tight, she needed comfort, like a child with a mother.  This touched my heart deeply.  The ironic thing, this is not a one time experience for me.  It has happened several times.  Ministry…..

I experienced life of stress and parenting in my twenty’s and thirty’s.  In my forty’s I felt like I was searching for significance and career as well as my identity since I was no longer raising children in the home.  It has taken me over 54 years to discover this.  What I have inside me is a gift.  A gift to give to others.  There is no one like me and there is no one like you.  We all are created unique and we all have gifts to give to others.  I do not expect others to be like me nor act or think like me.  Sometimes I think I am a little hyper in my mind.

Although I involve myself in many outlets, I enjoy what I do.  I enjoy serving others.  How about you?  What is your gift?  What is your purpose?  How can I help you?

This is my link if you want to discover your hidden possibilities in what God has called you.  Let’s discuss!

Continue to use your gifts and let your light shine!  Someone out there needs you!

In His Service

Melissa

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Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, marriage enrichment, prayer

There Is No Condemnation

Romans 8

There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  …. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…. to the spiritually minded is life and peace.

This morning, I was thinking of a coaching session I had yesterday.  The barrier with my client wasn’t that she didn’t believe God wanted to do it for her or couldn’t do it for her, but that the enemy put up a wall to prevent her from reaching her goal she was trying to receive.  She reacted out of fear that God either didn’t want her to have her goal reached because she may have more responsibility after attaining the goal or too much freedom and act foolishly.

After digging deeper into the issue, I explained that our heavenly father WANTS her to have the freedom she is trying to attain.  He is not keeping it from her.  The issue was that the enemy had told her a lie.  A lie that was embedded out of condemnation and a works mentality.  We cast out the lie, her mind is renewed but the thinking will have to be re-directed for a time so her habits will change.  She no longer needs to be fearful of changing for the better.  God wants her better!

Condemnation gives you no hope.  Conviction from the Holy Spirit gives you hope.  She had no hope of reaching her goal because of the lie.

If you are struggling with something today, ask yourself the question “Am I hopeful or do I feel as though I cannot reach a state of peace about a subject.”  If it is the latter, then cast out the lie and re-direct your thinking.

Continue to walk in peace of His perfect love because it will cast down the fear.  Boost your faith by believing God not only wants you to have peace in every situation but He wants you blessed.  I want you to be blessed and find hope to live abundantly!

In His Presence be blessed!

Melissa

Abundant life, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Practicing Gratitude Daily

One of the things my husband has always said, “Be grateful”.

If you are not grateful then it limits your potentials.  Practicing gratitude unlocks your potential in everything including your peace of mind.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

I found this article from Anna P and wanted to share.

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Practicing gratitude leads to forgiveness, which honors love and compassion. Love is the true healing energy, and it always starts with self-love. It always comes back to the self.

We, us, you and me, as long as we really love ourselves, will live life from a place of gratitude. Words are submissions of intent, and even when we are not aware, we are sending out a message to God.

The energy of gratitude is a pure love energy. It is the vibration of constant positive change.

The 10 rules of practicing gratitude:

  1. Honor what you have.

Whenever you find yourself wanting something to change, start by being grateful for what you already have. There is always something to be grateful for. Even when we are down, feeling lost and depressed, we can search for the inner feeling of gratitude.

  1. Order more.

Being grateful is the same as ordering more to be grateful for. If you want your health to change, we must embrace and love the work that the body is already doing. Feeling gratitude for our breath, our vision, our hearing etc. If we want a better house to live in, we must be grateful for the home that we already have, or the couch that we are offered by a friend. No matter the status of our current shelter – giving thanks for what is already there, is inviting in more to feel grateful for.

  1. Say thank you out loud.

In your daily life, gratitude starts with mindfulness. Once you are mindful, aware of everything around you, you will be able to see the little things that will create a feeling of “thank you”. Those magic little big words, thank you. Start by giving thanks for the things that are beautiful around you, that you see every day. The flowers that you pass, and the air that you breathe. The subtle things like, thank you for these comfortable shoes or the sound of that bird I just walked by.

Giving thanks is the ultimate act of gratitude, even though it is merely an honoring of the energy through words. The power is in the feeling behind the words that we speak and behind the intention thereof.

  1. Be aware.

By being more aware, the gratitude effect will grow, slowly and steadily. From the self-talk and the awareness, there will grow an inner compassion for life as it is. What we put our attention towards grows, and what we hold as our inner energy will draw to itself more that will match it perfectly.

The Change will show itself as having a more positive outlook on life, wanting to give more, faster healing, depression, and anger disappears and more things to be grateful for keeps showing up.

  1. It is natural.

Being grateful is natural. When we strip ourselves of our hurts and our clutter, when we get back to our true balance, gratitude is a part of who we are. The trick is to be able to tap into that naked and honest bliss, even when we are preoccupied with life and its busy schedule.

Even when in the middle of what we might see as chaos, we can condition ourselves to feel the grace and the appreciation for all that we have. We can step into it like a state of being, knowing that it is truth.

  1. Gratitude is truth.

Anything leading us away from gratefulness is a lie. The hardest thing for many, and I know it was for me, is to stop measuring where you are when you are going after a dream. It is easy to get caught up in where you are at this moment, forgetting that every step along the way has value and something to cherish. I was so hungry for health, I often forgot to appreciate how much further I had gotten, or that I was alive and breathing. Keeping the eye on the ball, always looking ahead can also keep us from seeing what is right in front of us.

  1. Be in the NOW.

It is always about this very moment. The magic of the now. Someday, one day, soon, when only, are outlooks keeping us from seeing that this moment is the only one there is.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
  1. Gratitude comes from the heart.

Gratitude doesn’t come from the mind. It is not a thought, it is a feeling, a state of being. It is a heartfelt feeling, and it fills the entire body with a nurturing, positive, healing energy. It is very similar to love, but it is directed towards the recognition of all that is. We can be grateful for every single thing in our lives, good, bad and ugly.

  1. Gratitude will show you your true potentials.

Gratitude opens the heart, and it opens the portal for rapid healing and nurturing manifestations. The magic of life will flow towards us, and every cell in our body will align with this vibration.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. – Willie Nelson
  1. True freedom.

Look at gratefulness as a gateway to freedom. The simplicity is mind-blowing. Everybody can do it, feel it, practice it and reap the benefits. The simple yet profound truths are the most powerful there is. We are all capable of tapping into that magical feeling of grace and appreciation that will change our whole lives. Nature reveals its truth by keeping it simple.

Let nothing take away your gratitude towards the life you are living right now. It is a gift. It is the light that will keep on shining when everything else seems lost and dark.

The challenge is this:

Gratitude does not come from the mind.

It is not a thought, it is a feeling, a state of being.

It is a heartfelt feeling, and it fills the entire body with a nurturing, positive, healing energy. It is very similar to love, but it is directed towards the recognition of all that is.

A few tips for practicing gratitude in your day:

When you feel alone, feel grateful

When you feel sad, feel grateful

When you feel hurt, feel grateful

When you feel discouraged, feel grateful

When you feel lost, feel grateful

When you feel defeated, feel grateful

When you feel hopeless, feel grateful

Whenever you feel lost in your own drama or chaos, stop and be still.

Take a moment and pull yourself back. This is not your truth, only your play. Connect with everything you are grateful for, and let the rest go. Let it center you and keep you focused on what really matters. Your center comes from a news and propaganda-free zone. No fear, no blame, no lies and drama is wanted. Keep it simple and keep it true.

Write of gratitude in your journal.

Such a simple and easy tool.

Express your intent.

As you keep looking for things to be grateful for, express them, live them, feel them and be them. Allow this feeling to come through you as you honor and acknowledge it. Incorporate it in your everyday life. Say hello to every day with the intent that it will be yet another day filled with gratitude and wonder.

Not that it is anything new at all. It is the language of God, from pure love. It is the connection to truth, unfiltered. It is not a thought, an idea or a philosophy. It is a state of being. It is a brainless place where we know that there is something so much bigger than us. Something bigger than life.

Saying thank you is not the same as being grateful.

Saying I love you is not the same as loving someone.

Saying I will, is not the same as doing.

Saying I forgive you is not the same as forgiveness.

Gratitude cultivates an appreciation for all things. It can be trained, by practicing every day.

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faith, Fear, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation

Shannon’s Story of Forgiveness

How many times does our Father or Mother’s sin effect our life as we grow up as children?  Sometimes we carry around the sin, the guilt, the blame and yes the feelings of rejection and un-forgiveness in life or even deal with the battles our parents never conquered.  This story was made purposely not to expose one family’s faults but in some way we may all have experienced this or know someone who has.  The ultimate goal of the enemy is always to kill, steal and destroy, however as Shannon met her sister for the first time upon her father’s death bed, Shannon found something she had been looking for her entire life….freedom and forgiveness.

Watch as Shannon tells her story of forgiveness…..

Matthew 18 Living Translation

21Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

 

faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation, Sermon Notes, Supernatural

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Valentine's Day Flowers is a great way to show you love someone

Last night I got the opportunity to speak at our church about the facets of Love.  Since Valentines day is tomorrow and everyone seems giddy about the event planning on flowers, chocolates and cards, I decided to teach about Love.  Here are my sermon notes and in a few days, I will upload the sermon link so you may also hear the message.

I John 4:16 –

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

This type of love that comes from God :

Daily Live in Love

There is love that is perfect love

Pursue it

Is forever love

Is Greatest love

Brings unity

Brings peace

Shows kindness

We have to receive it and put it on – abide in it

Sacrifices for sake of others

Love is a choice….

Greeks had terms of love:

  • Storge – affection that parents have with their children, (putting up with family members) Storge Lovers: life long friends
  • Philia – mental love of give and take – loyalty to others – general shoulder to shoulder friendship, Philia Lover: Philos love is a mutual, “give-and take” relationship,
  • Eros – Physical love – passionate love with sensual desire – love at first site – looks. It is based more on “self-benefit”.  Pure emotion without the balance of logic:

Erotic lover wants to know everything about the beloved from the first moment of their RELATIONSHIP, all of his or her experiences, joys and sorrows, who else he or she has loved in the past, how much and in what ways.  like to wear matching T-shirts, identical bracelets, matching colors, order the same foods when dining out, find out that their blood types are the same; they typically want to be identified with each other as totally as possible. Breakups are explosive and painful. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.

  • Agape – spiritual love – true unconditional love, expecting nothing in return –  no self benefit: Agape Lover: forgiving – “not a fall in love desire” but this love is always available for the opportunity to show that love.  They are patient, have the ability to wait indefinitely for the behavior of their love to change.

Other types of LOVERS:

  • MANIA (Possessiveness and Intense Dependency) (Eros and Game player )Mania is an obsessive love that, intimate  and intense, often includes jealousy, possessiveness and a lack of communication. Maniacal love can lead to domestic violence.   The constructed ideal of this type of lover is obsessed to where they are unable to sleep, eat, or even think logically around the loved one. The manic lover has peaks of excitement, but also depths of depression, with very few periods without a high or low, jealous – irrational.

A manic lover cannot tolerate loss of contact , even for short periods of time, and is distressed by a lack of the lover’s presence .

* crushed by real or fancied rejection, possibly to the point of suicidal ideation.

* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,

* do not tolerate separation at all well.

The manic lover has a tendency to review past relationships and speculate about what when wrong – high level or anxiety,  have problems related to anxiety and associated with low self-esteem and a poor self concept.

  • Pragma (logical – sensible) a person who is unable to invest love in “unworthy” love objects. (You DESERVE ME) The pragmatic lover is keenly aware of the comparison level for alternatives that he or she has. Pragmatic lovers are inclined to look for a “deal – good bargin” A pragmatic lover typically assists the loved one to fulfill his or her potentials; for example, such a lover might make sure the love object finishes school, asks for deserved promotions, gets the attention or that he or she “deserves” from physicians, stockbrokers, or employers. And everything is planned – family
  • Ludus (game player) A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long-range plans. Self-centered and won’t listen

The Types of Love are explained.  The Agape is the highest form of love however culture continues to seek self gratification instead of selflessness.

1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel.

Three primary styles:


1. Eros – Loving an ideal person

2. Ludos – Love as a game

3. Storge – Love as friendship

Three secondary styles:


1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love

2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love

3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

The human brain supports falling in love, which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another.

Most people want love but believe self gratification is in there too.

  • make me ‘feel good’
  • Love  MUST nourish it. : feed it, to take care of it, to value it.

 True love is not about what you feel, it is about what you do.

*Euphoria Stage.  Emotion and feeling based but can be a long term with different value if love grows.

The more time you spend with a person the more you learn about their character and personality. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

*Offense stage comes swiftly after the Reality stage because the relationship was built based on the feelings felt in Euphoria as opposed to a solid friendship.

The Offense stage is different from having hard times in a relationship.

The Offense stage: constant conflict and tension because of false expectations.

*Reality stage it’s not about how you feel, it’s about a choice.  The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

Humans have evolved three different brain systems to encourage mating: sex drive (lust), feelings of attachment (trust), and romance (being in love). Each of these systems plays a role in desire.

Lust. Sex drive is associated with a class of hormones called testosterone (even women have it) Playing competitive sports have been shown to trigger testosterone production; in fact, women get a bigger boost than men during a competition. Making love can also create the same effect. Studies have shown that sex raises testosterone levels, so the more sex you have, the more sex you desire.

touching someone brings more feelings of love because it releases a chemical in your brain to promote love

Trust. Feelings of trust and attachment are fostered by the chemical oxytocin. You can stimulate oxytocin naturally with touch. Hold hands while you watch TV, trade massages, or sleep in each other’s arms. Oxytocin, the love/hate hormone
.  Human and animal studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding;

While affecting positive behaviors of trust and bonding, it can also affect opposite behaviors like jealousy, envy, and suspicion. when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments”.

Love. The third chemical that drives relationships is dopamine, a key player in the brain’s reward regions that’s been found to promote romantic love. Research shows that —taking risks or trying something new—can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.

 SONGS: MRI and PET scans reveal that when you listen to music that excites you, your brain releases dopamine during the most exciting moments of the song and even in anticipation of those moments.

Some things a person does can produce so much dopamine that over time, the dopamine response lessens, which means you can lose the ability to feel any kind of pleasure at all. The usual culprits of this dopamine dulling effect are things like cocaine and heroin, which is good news for the great majority of us who are not addicted to illicit substances. The bad news is that if you’re addicted to fatty foods, the same thing could potentially happen to you. If you let rats eat as much cheesecake, bacon, sausage, and other fatty foods as they want, not only will they become obese, but their dopamine responses will start to attenuate over time. So while a small slice of cheesecake once in a while may get your dopamine flowing, overdoing it may have negative consequences on your brain.

Feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to—at best—three years.

Brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months. Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups: Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.

Sacrificing Love:  It is the foundation to every key relationship in life.

Revolutionizes marriage

Fortifies friendships

Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers

Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better

Love is sacrifice and has a lot more to do with being a servant than with being a hero. 

When you are concerned about the well being of others, you sacrifice.

  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Give up plans
  • Give up independence
  • Give up privacy
  • May have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.

Hard because our Culture teaches exact opposite – Logic thinking doesn’t make sense or logic, it’s not fair.

True personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification but opposite.

The right type of love never fails…. all other types of love will have you wanting but never satisfying.

 

Mark 8:34-35

Deny yourself

“Put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross and follow me closely.  If you insist on saving your life you will lose it.  Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

Matthew 20:26  … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (throughout the gospels: the one who rules is the one who serves)

Luke 22 :28  The one who stands beside me in trials.  (Through everything you love)

It is only when we give ourselves to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

In marriage = a lot of sacrifice

  • A good marriage enhances the life of each spouse, making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage did not exist.
  • Loving marriage help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than squelching either persons dreams
  • Loving spouses put the other persons needs above their own

The highest form of love…..do you agree?

In friendship = willing to make investment in someone’s life

Why is it so hard?  Commitment

Try it – keep giving and giving – good actions not a feeling…. Some do good but then what happens when people come to the point they are running on empty? They get angry at people: how do you know, people become problems. (hermit)

God tells us not only to live sacrificially but also steadfastly. (persistent, loyal, consistently)

“I am done!”  I am burnout….

How do we get refilled?

Spending time alone with God – He is source of love.  Jesus did this many times, leaving the crowd and go pray.

(can’t depend us getting love from another person) Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Want peace? 2 Corth 13:11 :  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God

Burn out 3 ways.

  1. Spiritually :  Love tank is low – daily time with God before the day starts. Listen to Christian music
  2. Emotionally: Feel uninterested in others – Life itself happens (bad days) . replenish yourself through relaxing or recreation
  3. Physically:  Won’t listen, no serving, no confront or encourage people, no energy, easily irritated, critical, short fused, defensive and negative.  It is hard to love others and equally hard for others to love them.

Act as Jesus would act and do in all 3 areas.….

I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

I Corth. 13:1 : If I had knowledge, if I gave to the poor, moved mountains, but If didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not always want nor boastful, is not conceited, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

slow to anger when abused, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge when affronted; but exercises forbearance, suffers long, and bears much, and is ready to forgive:
Agape love is the highest form of love.  Do you think you could reach it?

Love suffers long.


Love is kind.


Love does not envy.


Love does not parade itself.


Love is not puffed up.


Love does not behave rudely.


Love does not seek its own.


Love is not provoked.


Love thinks no evil.


Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


Love rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things.


Love believes all things.


Love hopes all things.


Love endures all things.


Love never fails.

So what does Love Got to do with it… Everything… because without love you are nothing…

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation, Soul Winning

God Showers Us With White Snow

Backyard snow showered by God's loveJehovah is KING!

Let all the earth rejoice!  (The song keeps playing over and over in my head as I look across my back yard in the beauty of the white snow covering everything.  There is flurries swirling about as if God is sprinkling everything with powdered sugar – sweetness!) 

Back to center, back to roots, devotion first thing so I won’t get distracted with my social media, my writing and my business.  I love giving God time, the house is quiet and everyone is still asleep.  In fact all you can hear is the typing of my fingers and an occasional howl of the wind.  The smell of coffee, the warmth of the cup and the taste of God being with me warms my soul.

My reading comes from Psalms 97 today.  I read out of the Living Bible.  Its my favorite with it being paraphrased it’s like stepping into a story book and coming alive.  🙂

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne….his lightning flashes out across the world, the earth sees and trembles.  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth, the heavens declare his perfect righteousness every nation sees his glory.

The Lord loves those who hate evil; he protects the lives of his people and rescues them from the wicked.  Light is sown for the godly and joy for the good.  May all who are godly be happy in the Lord and crown him our holy God……

 God is good all the time – righteous is from Him.  When we allow Him to come into our lives, our thoughts are righteous and our actions our righteous.  All of creation knows this.  God is not mad or evil.  There is no evil in God.  I sometimes hear people say, God did this to me to teach me a lesson or He put this burden on me.  This is not true.  God allows things to happen to us to bring out the glory of Him and the good in us.  It is us to choose righteous behavior or actions during the trial.   

Let us be thankful for the good and the bad because no matter what God is King and He is righteous.  We declare that by allowing Him to be in us, protect us and rescue us through life.  Will you let Him?  

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Salvation, Soul Winning, Weird Stuff

Contagious Smiling

Smiling is contagiousLast week I got to experience the film Compelled By Love starring Roland and Heidi Baker’s story.  I was proud to say that my son, Lyle was featured in the film.  The emotions I felt, the awe of being totally sold out to Jesus is truly phenomenal.  At the beginning of the film is an artist who starts painting a picture and you will see this throughout the film the stages of the piece, then at the end you see the final work.  The final picture is of Jesus with a contagious smile!  It makes you feel as though Jesus is happy, that He loves you and He wants you to smile.  Not only for His sake does He want you to smile but for your sake and the sake of others.  It’s contagious! Annalise Roth Phillips my granddaughter loves to smile!  Her smiling makes me smile.

Annalise our granddaughter is only 4 months old.  There is such a love connection when she totally trusts you to take care of her.  She looks at you with those blue eyes and as you talk to her and smile, she crinkles up her nose and smiles so big with her gums showing.  She smiles with her eyes.  It makes anyone talking to her want to get her to smile.  It is a smile that is rewarding even if it only last for just a few seconds.  I am looking forward to hearing her laugh and giggle throughout the house.  A smile, the emotion of trust and total happiness.

As a leader/pastor I love smiling.  I love smiling at people as I pass by, taking time to look into their eyes as if it is Jesus smiling back at me.  What a difference we can make if we just stop for the one regardless of how we feel at the time and smile.  Sometimes its hard for me especially because I am so caught up in the task or in my own thoughts of what I must get done I forget to look at the person in my busy schedule, however it is never my intention to ignore and I am learning to slow down and take time to the most valuable source on the planet… people!

This experience has made me realize how important smiling is.  It is important for at least five reasons according to Michael Hyatt.

  1. It helps others relax. When you scowl or look too intense, it creates a primal reaction in others. Their defenses go up. They become protective and guarded.

    This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you are trying to influence them. A smile communicates that you are safe and can be trusted.

  2. It draws people to you. Have you ever noticed how you are attracted to people who smile and laugh a lot? The positive energy is contagious. You instinctively smile in response.

    The simple fact is that people naturally want to be around people who are happy. If you want others to follow you, you can start by smiling more.

  3. It enables you to connect. Smiling is one of the best, quickest ways to connect with anyone from any culture. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile is universally appreciated.

    It opens the door, welcomes people into your world, and communicates acceptance. Even if people are frustrated or angry, a smile can often turn them around. In that moment you forge a connection.

  4. It creates positive culture. If you want to change the culture of an organization, change the behavior of its leaders. People naturally play “follow the leader.” When leaders smile, everyone smiles.

    Smiles communicate that your organization is a happy place to work. And who doesn’t want to work where people are smiling and happy?

  5. Why is smiling important for you to do?  Find out here! It elevates your mood. This is one of the surprising benefits of smiling. I had no idea. It literally affects you at a biological level, releasing endorphins and serotonin.

    Smiling has numerous physical and psychological benefits, including relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. And it’s much cheaper and healthier than drugs.

Seriously, set a goal to smile more this year. Recruit an accountability partner. Set reminders. Whatever it takes. As a leader, it will help ensure you have a positive impact on the people you are leading.  Relieve stress from your daily life right now… smile!

John 10:10…. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness”.

Jesus is smiling always…. so why can’t we?…be contagious!

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Salvation, Soul Winning, Supernatural

Your Behavior is Linked to Values

your actions are determined by your valuesLeading like Jesus my husband says, “If you live for Jesus hard, it is easy” but “If you live for Jesus easy, it is hard”.

Everyone of us must have a vision to know where we are going.  Most of us can have goals and try to achieve them in life.  Hopefully for all of us, our vision is heaven.  However in life we get distracted by life or get caught up in life we forget the ultimate goal.  Now don’t get me wrong, we should have life goals and achieve them, but we also should have a life full of peace and joy as we live it to see things accomplished .  Not only in that sense but to leave a legacy.  How will people remember you after you are gone?   Yes, life is not all peachy and roses but it is thru the tough times, Christ is there with us, leading us along the way to make right choices.  Those choices are determined by our values.

Seeing the ending in mind means we have a vision.    An element to the vision is our values, because values is linked to how you behave.  Values are nonnegotiable principles that define character in a person regardless if you are a leader or not.  Values is what drives behavior of all of us for our purpose and picture of the future.

true valuesIn Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus ranked two values and He put them in order.

  1.  Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.
  2.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

These are great principles for life but unless they are translated into behavior it won’t happen and they become good thoughts or just words on a paper that we all should live by.  In fact many people say they do live by these words, maybe not daily but try to.

We all  must make good choices and sometimes that means change.  Some of us are hot-wired for change and can adapt very quickly when others, change only is seen by heartache and pain.  We all want to be great leaders, in some form or fashion but to lead as Jesus, these two values must be put above everything else even if it means changing your environment.  The appropriate response for your circumstances will depend on what God has in mind for you.  Since we don’t know what tomorrow brings, that is hard I have to admit.  You see Jesus knows what is best for us regardless on how we feel, nevertheless He gives us a choice.

Our life and leadership are all about choices and the choices  made are based on our values.

I always said, “you are where you are right now in life because of the choices you made yesterday”  What do you stand for?

Before you can reach your goal, you must have a vision and the vision must compel and drive you to reach it.  Nothing should stand in your way.  Not circumstances, not change, not feelings or emotions, not hurt, nor life itself.  It’s called Living For Jesus Hard.  It’s being sold out to the cause.   Is it tough? Yes.  Is it hard to stay strong? Yes.  Do you feel like giving up? Yes.  Is it hard to keep the flesh under control and live by the Spirit under the name of a Christian. Yes.    what values do you hold

It is staying focused.  It is COMMUNICATION with the Most High and with people.  It is doing the right thing and having the wisdom for direction.  It is putting others first before yourself.  It is looking into the future to see the outcome: bettering people’s lives in reaching the ultimate vision.  It is determined by values.  Your choices in life always reflect your values.  Your behavior that you show has your value written all over your face and everyone will see it.

actions determine values

What values do people see written on your face?  They may not see it at first because of the mask, but they will see it in your actions.  Actions will always determine if you reach your vision (goals).   What is your life’s goals?  Do they reflect these two commandments?  Are you doing the right things in your behavior?  It’s kind of funny because sometimes I am hard-headed and aren’t we all sometimes when it comes to listening to the voice of God! Ha!.    Ultimately, I pray that my values will shine upon and through my life for the betterment of more people in influencing more than just a few.  How about you?

Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Weird Stuff

How to Read Your Dog Just by Watching Her Tail

Roxie wagging her tail....Roxie is so cute and she just turned 10 years old Christmas Eve.  She drives me crazy sometime when she barks for no reason.  I thought this article was worth sharing and now I am going to start paying attention to her tail.  lol….

By Dr. Becker

New research suggests dogs send messages to each other through tail wags.

According to a study published in a recent issue of Current Biology,1 the direction of a wag is quite significant. What looks like just another friendly wag to you or me is actually communicating important information to other dogs.

As it turns out, when dogs are feeling stressed they tend to wag their tails to the left. The reason for this, according to the study’s lead author, Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trento in Italy, is that tail wagging is a reflection of what’s going on in a dog’s brain. Activation of the left-brain causes the tail to wag to the right, and activation of the right-brain produces a wag to the left.

 

Tail Wags to the Right Signal Openness, Wags to the Left Signal Wariness

In an earlier study, Vallortigara and his team demonstrated that dogs wag to the right side when they encounter something pleasant (like their owners). When they see something threatening, for example, a strange dog exhibiting dominant behaviors, they wag more to the left side. Those study results raised the question of whether dogs notice another dog’s tail wagging and use the information to decide whether the dog with the wagging tail is friend or foe.

For the most recent study, Vallortigara and his team used videos of a dog or dog silhouette wagging its tail mostly to one side or the other, or not wagging at all. The only thing moving in the wagging videos was the tail.

The video was shown to 43 dogs, including mixed breeds, Rottweilers, Beagles, Boxers, Border Collies, and German Shepherds, who were equipped with heart rate monitors. When the video dog wagged primarily to its left, indicating a negative response, the dogs in the study tended to have faster heartbeats than when the video dog wagged to the right or not at all. The dogs’ response also suggested a higher degree of stress.

Left-brain activity in dogs resulting in tail wagging to the right means they are having a positive response that invites another dog to approach. Right-brain activation suggests a negative withdrawal response.

 

Study Concludes Dogs Read the Tail Wags of Other Dogs

The study concluded that dogs who see another dog wagging to the left experience anxiety and elevated heart rates, whereas dogs who see another dog wagging to the right remain relaxed.

The researchers don’t believe the dogs are intentionally sending signals with their tails, but rather the tail wagging is a consequence of the inner workings of the canine brain. Tail-wagging behavior results from the way in which different emotional signals activate different parts of a dog’s brain.

“These results suggest that dogs have perceptual and attentional asymmetries,” says Vallortigara. “So for example, if you are going to visit a dog, if you are vet, there will be probably a side which is better with respect to the probability to evoke a more friendship response or to evoke a more aggressive response.”

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony

Run Toward The Light

I walk in the light
Remember those scary movies you watched as a child?  They would always say, “Run toward the light!” if they were in some limbo area to crossover between death and life.  I find it kind of ironic now for we pursue the same thing knowing what the “Light” is.

We all are on a journey called life, and we really don’t fit into this world, yet we pursue the light.  As we pursue the light the less important things seem to be in this world and character shapes us to who we become.  The light is not darkness, the light is love.  The light is doing the right things.  The light is forgiveness.

If we fail to look closely at our thoughts, motives, attitudes and priorities we will relate with others in unhealthy ways.  The type of person we are is a clear reflections of the condition of our inner life.  Either we walk in darkness and chaos or we walk in light with peace.

images-3

We all have difficulty looking honestly at ourselves and it is easy to overlook our own flaws but oh how easy it is to see the flaws of others.  Can you love others regardless of the flaws?  We tend to blame circumstances for our behavior rather than taking responsibility for our responses.  Right character requires making right choices and disciplining ourself daily.

When we are not running toward the light we will:  react in unhealthy ways of being impatient, unkind, judgmental.  We will fight the wrong battles thinking it is our responsibility to change others.  We will rely on our natural ability to love, however no matter how hard we try our ability will never be enough without God’s help.

I don’t know about you but running toward the light is a daily action and though process.  It is taking time to be thankful for what you have.  It is being kind despite the circumstances.  It is showing and doing right things to others and to yourself.  It is having peace and choosing peace in your household.  So with all that said…. “Run toward the Light” it is your answer to get through this world!

I John 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.