THE MAN

Charlie Williams (pictured below), is a wonderfully talented man, wrote and shared this poem with me this morning. I’m happy to call this man my friend! I hope it moves you as much as it moved me! Happy 4th!

The Man

charlie williamsI watched a tall willowy man, with a shock of radiant white hair
He was knelt in peaceful silence, deep within his prayer
His prayer was spoke for unity, in this embattled world
For all the goodness that’s within us all, to be universally unfurled
More patience and understanding, more kindness was his hope
More helping hands to those in need, a loving embrace to help them cope
A prayer for no more bloodshed, to be spilt by hatred deeds
A prayer to calm those with anger, which grows deep within their seeds
The cry for help to be answered, from the child that has no food
For we, are all responsible, no one, should we preclude
Let all the disenchanted know, that deliverance is very near
There’s no need to live in terror, and no need to dwell in fear
For we all can live together, let good hearts show us the way
Changing a life, one at a time, each and every single day
Blessed peace and harmony, should be the objective of us all
Eradication of discrimination, build a bridge, knock down a wall
Let the weary know relief, may all the abused slaves be set free
May happiness and joy be the glorious light, the blind can clearly see
Then a glow of light surrounded him, he was cocooned in the purity of love
The brightest, whitest light emanated from him, and lit up the skies above
He stood and turned and looked at me, the beauty of his eyes calmed me to my core
My heart swelled with exultation, Exquisite love raised me off the floor
For serenity, compassion and gentleness was mine
For now I was bestowed the secret, and its everlasting Love, divine
His prayers were now within me, and I will live them out each day
I will spread the word of Love and kindness, to all I meet along my way
A smile of love will be my weapon, for it is far greater than any sword
For I have gazed into the eyes, the loving eyes of My Sweet Lord.

CDW © all copyrights reserved.
7/2/15

Battle Weary Soldier

Soldier for ChristWhen I looked at this picture on the morning of August 12, 2014, my soul was stirred.

You see, I had just heard the news that Robin Williams had passed away. I do not know what went through Robin Williams’ mind when he chose to take his life on that day, but I vividly remember endless days when I felt lonely, isolated and full of despair. I had been betrayed in one of the worst ways an individual can be betrayed and at the end of it all I wanted to take my own life. Fortunately for me, thoughts of my daughter flooded my mind and that kept me from harming myself!

For a fleeting moment, I thought again about just taking the same shortcut and immediately spend the rest of my life in eternity with Jesus. But I could not do it.

Because of the battles I’ve been facing (along with several of my closest friends) I have wanted to throw in the towel more than once these past few months! Instead of wearing a clean white dress (as shown in this picture) and holding my battle sword, I feel as though my outer clothes should really depict what is going on in my life. The white dress should be pictured with blood stains and be frayed, ragged, tattered, dirty, and torn.

The truth is . . . I feel “Battle Weary”! The term battle weary is used to describe soldiers who have been on battle lines too long and are tired of being there; it is also used to describe someone who has been doing any difficult job for too long.

Life is more than difficult and trials last much longer than I would like. Right now, I feel beaten, torn down, dense, depressed and non caring. When I ask the “why” question in my prayers I get no answer. When I ask the “when” question in my prayers I get no answer. When I ask “what am I to do” in my prayers I get no answer. Why do I keep getting up day after day after day when God is silent? I guess it boils down to trust. I know God loves me. I know He cares for me. I know that He knows everything that is going on in my life. To be honest, somewhere deep down inside of me I have hope in my soul. I also sense a lighted candle that silently says “keep going”. “Maybe today will be the day for breakthrough”. “Maybe today will be the day for a miracle”. Just maybe. God’s timing is perfect. Although I can’t see it now, I know He’s working everything out in a way that will bless me beyond what I could ask Him or even imagine!

Yes, I am a soldier in the army of my God. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer. The Holy Scripture is my code of conduct. Faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare. I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire.

I know my God is the author of unfailing love – steadfast love. The psalmist in the Bible says ““Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8).

If you, like me, are a soldier who is weary of the battle, I pray these verses uplift and encourage you as they have me:

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

FOR STRENGTH:

Psalms 18:31-36 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

FOR TRUST:
Deuteronomy 31:8 “… It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Isaiah 41:10 “… fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

I’ll end with this quote by Charles Spurgeon:
“The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”

I hope all of you will stay on the battle field with me and claim the promise I continue to stand on:
Psalm 27:13: I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

REFLECTIONS ON JULY 4th – INDEPENDENCE DAY

freedomLike millions of Americans, my mind is on the Fourth of July holiday and what it represents: our freedom as a nation. The freedom we enjoy in the United States of America is a precious thing, bought with the sweat, toil and blood of the countless Americans who initially fought to obtain it (Revolutionary War), as well as those who have fought to secure it in the centuries since that fateful day in 1776.

Gratitude without measure wells up in my heart when I consider the brave men and women of the American military who, this Fourth of July, are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to combat the tyranny of terrorism. These soldiers stand in the train of valiant warriors who fought in the Revolutionary War (mentioned above), the Civil War, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Each of these conflicts—while unique in themselves—share the common goal of protecting American freedom. Today’s battles are no different.

But even as I value my freedom as an American, I am moved to consider a greater freedom—the freedom I found in Christ. It is the freedom that comes with being a disciple of Jesus Christ. “If you abide in my word,” our Lord declares, “you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

Unfortunately, many Americans take “freedom” for granted. We place trust in our career, in money, in doing good works for others, in associations, etc., etc.

On July 4th, I ask myself, “What do I trust in?”. While I reflect on the freedoms I enjoy living in this country, I also remembered that my true citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and that my freedom in Christ is, indeed, of infinite worth!

REFLECTIONS ON MEMORIAL DAY

Memorial Day for Facebook - 2 pics togetherI’m realizing how quickly time passes the older I become. The days, weeks and months disappear all too quickly and I now realize that the years seem to be accelerating. We’re told in James 4:14 NKJV, “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Mortality is a given . . . all of us will die.

When a soldier leaves home to serve his country they are literally putting their lives on the line for us, Americans. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, it comes with a price, a price that our forefathers understood and our soldiers understand today.

Ronald Reagan said it best, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”.

Today as I reflect on the price of liberty my heart goes out to the families of the men and woman who have served our Country, those who are currently serving our country and those who didn’t return home, who paid the ultimate price and left their earthly lives on the battlefields across the world.

As you enjoy your time with family and friends, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what Memorial Day really means and remember those who have gone on before you.

God bless you!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

dance like no one is watchingPsalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (NIV Bible)

Do you ever look in the mirror and wished you were different? Maybe you are too short, or too tall, or too thin, or too heavy. The list never seems to end. Even the super model seems to be preoccupied with the one slight imperfection that nobody else even notices. It seems that most of us, in varying degrees, are not happy with the way we were made.

For some of us, it might physical dissatisfaction, while for others it might be that we’re not be smart enough, or outgoing enough, or etc. etc. etc. Our society has believed a lie that says we have to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted. Even those who make up the standards of acceptance feel unaccepted deep down in their hearts. No matter how hard we try to change our outward appearance in order to gain love and acceptance, I am afraid that it will always elude us.

True love and acceptance does not come from changing ourselves to become more loveable, for according to Psalm 139, we all already loved just the way we are. In verse 14, the psalmist cries out “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” When God created us, He made us exactly the way He planned. When He designed us, before we were even in our mother’s womb, He planned our size, the color of our eyes, the color of our skin, everything about us!
Just as He proclaimed His creation good in Genesis 1, He proclaims that we were made perfect in His site. When we believe the Hollywood lies that we are not good enough, we are in fact, disagreeing with how God made us. Your Father in heaven does not make junk! You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God’s work in your life is wonderful! You do not need to conform to somebody else’s image of success, but only ask God for ears to hear His delight in your creation.

The next time you look in the mirror, don’t be afraid of what you see, for you were made in the image of God, and He declares that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

So choose today to live your life this way:

DANCE as is no one were watching!
SING as if no one were listening!
LOVE live you’ve never been hurt!
LIVE each day as if it were your last!

Waiting

WAITINGWaiting is difficult . . . crawling behind a car that is going well below the speed limit in a no-passing zone, tapping your foot in line at the coffee shop as someone scrounges up exact change, anxiously waiting for the mailman so you can get your hands on that check that was promised weeks ago, and, of course, trying to keep a great attitude in church on the very Sunday that you planned to meet friends for lunch at 12:30 and your pastor decides to include next week’s sermon in with this week’s. Maybe the toughest waiting is when we ask God for direction on an important life decision.

No, waiting is not easy, but God tells us to wait patiently for Him: His choices, His answers, His news, His guidance, His perfect spouse for us, His desire for our vocation, His Love, and yes, even His coming again. Waiting patiently means trusting God knows what is best for us because we are His children.
God desires us to wait for Him because when we acknowledge Him in all our decisions, we truly begin to walk in wisdom.

Dear God, help me to overcome doubts and the temptation of impatience. Help me to trust You with the choices and decisions of my life because You know what is best for me. Amen.

YOU ALREADY KNOW THE SOLUTION TO YOUR BIGGEST PROBLEM

untie knot
“We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots.”

– Jean Toomer

The thing that I’ve come to see over and over again when I meet with people is that they already know what they want. Many of them already know what their dreams are. They already know what they have to do, and yet they don’t do it.

And it can be a very intense process to break through all the limiting beliefs that hold people back from creating their dream life.

Here are some:

I’m too old.

I’m too young.

I’m not smart enough.

I don’t have enough education.

I have too much experience.

I’m overqualified.

I’m under qualified.

I don’t have enough time.

I don’t have enough money.

There are millions more, but those are some of the most common ones that I see. And what’s fascinating is that these beliefs can overtake people.

It’s always a miracle when I see individuals who begin to understand that they are not their beliefs, but their beliefs are simply patterns. So it’s not so much about learning to change who you are as it is learning to change certain patterns within you.

Scripture tells me: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 NLT

Or, you can simply look at it this way:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

I’ve always believed that when I have a limiting belief, it’s true in the moment, but not ultimately true.

There have been several times when I have had almost $0 in my bank account. My limiting belief was, “I don’t have enough money to start a business.” And while that might be true in a sense, what was also true is that people have started very successful businesses with less than I had in that moment.

And so I realized that perhaps a lack of funding was an opportunity to get creative.

So no matter what your limiting belief might be, that circumstance might be true in the moment, but there is always another way of looking at problems and circumstances so that you can call forth more resourcefulness and creativity than you thought you had.

While our circumstances might not be ideal, who you really are is FAR greater than that. Circumstances never ultimately dictate how far in life we go. Rather, it is how we respond to our circumstances that determines our path.

We are always responsible for how we respond to life.

In everyday life when you don’t get that promotion at work, or if you have been laid off (like I was last year) or fired from your job, you may feel like it’s the end of the world. It’s NOT!

Look at these people who were “failures” and then rose above their circumstances. They used the talents God gave them and came out on top! These are people are commonly known as “Famous Failures”! They remind me that “Failure” is just another stop on the road to success. Circumstances could have easily made them give up, but they didn’t! Their stories encourage me!

1. WINSTON CHURCHILL failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every public office role he ran for. Then he became the British prime minister at the age of 62.

2. THOMAS EDISON’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison also famously invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked.

3. HARLAND DAVID SANDERS, the famous KFC “Colonel,” couldn’t sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him. But then one did, and today there are KFC restaurants bearing his image all over the world.

4. STEVEN SPIELBERG was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times. He sought out an education somewhere else and dropped out to be a director.

5. MARILYN MONROE’s first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress. Monroe kept plugging away and is one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time.

6. SOICHIRO HONDA was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota and left unemployed. But then he began making motorcycles, started a business and became a billionaire.

7. VERA WANG failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. She began designing wedding gowns at 40 and today is the premier designer in the business, with a multi-billion dollar industry.

8. WALT DISNEY was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most childhoods wouldn’t be the same without his ideas.

9. ALBERT EINSTEIN didn’t speak until age four and didn’t read until age seven. His teachers labeled him “slow” and “mentally handicapped.” But Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel prize in physics.

10. SIR ISAAC NEWTON was tasked with running the family farm but was a miserable failure. Newton was sent off to Cambridge University and became a physics scholar.

11. OPRAH WINFREY was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen. But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. She’s also a billionaire.

12. VINCENT VAN GOGH only sold one painting in his entire life, to a friend. He sometimes starved in order to create the 800 paintings he’d eventually do. Today, his works are priceless.

13. DR. SEUSS’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He’s now the most popular children’s book author ever.

14. HENRY FORD’s first auto company went out of business. He abandoned a second because of a fight and a third went downhill because of declining sales. He went on to become one of the greatest American entrepreneurs ever.

15. J.K. ROWLING was unemployed, divorced and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel. J.K. Rowling is now internationally renowned for her 7 book Harry Potter series and is the first person to become a billionaire from writing.

16. STEPHEN KING was initially so frustrated with his first novel, Carrie that he threw it in the trash. King’s wife found the manuscript in the trash and took it out. To date his 49 novels have sold 350 million copies.

17. MICHAEL JORDAN was cut from his high school basketball team. He went home, locked the door and cried. He is famous for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. He is also famous for his amazing leaping ability during basketball slam dunk contests; this ability earned him the nick names ‘Air Jordan’ and ‘His Airness’.

18. THE BEATLES were rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said, “We don’t like their sound – they have no future in show business.” I guess The Beatles showed them!

So the question is, if you are experiencing limits in your life, how are you responding? Are you responding with a more limited view, or can you broaden your horizons and see that in this moment there is a greater opportunity for more creativity and resourcefulness than you thought you had?

And if that were true, what would you do?

Matthew 19:26 ” . . . With God all things are possible!”

THE MOST POWERFUL HUMAN QUALITY

choiceThe most powerful human quality is “CHOICE”! I believe that “choice” is actually more powerful than Love because we get to CHOOSE to BE LOVE and GIVE LOVE. Love is not a state of happiness all the time.

As we’re told in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Love is a verb and we get to choose TO Love. The word “love” is thrown around a lot as a term of affection for everything from shoes to music, but real love demands action and commitment. Love is dedication . . . not just a chemical high in the early stages of a romance.

This brings me to the most powerful human quality we have, which is choice. Many teachings will tell you that you are 100% responsible for your circumstances. Now – I’m not totally on board with that assessment because it’s hard to think about starving children and believe that they chose that, or that someone would “choose” to be violated or taken advantage of or worse. I think life is a combination of events, outside of our control, happening, plus our taking independent action to change the events, or the meaning of the events, to empower us.

I’m not going to say that we are 100% responsible for the events of our lives, but I will say that we are at least 80% responsible for the circumstances of our lives, and that boils down to choice. Sure, crazy things happen, sometimes even “evil” things happen; but once they happen, how WE deal with them will determine the outcome. And every moment we are choosing our way into the next moment, and in every moment, as things happen we are giving those events a meaning. And when we become aware of the fact that we are choosing ourselves into every moment and that our minds are the meaning makers of our lives, we get to see the MAJOR role we play in how our lives turn out.

Sure, tragedies happen. But some people thrive afterwards and some don’t. Why? It’s because each person gave the event a different meaning. Some people have abusive parents and then become abusive parents. Some people have abusive parents and then never abuse their children because they don’t want them to go through the same torment.

Throughout our lives, many of us will face circumstances that are unfair, painful and traumatic. And, in the moment, that is true. But as we grow, we get to see that once we accept what happened, we now have the power of choice to be able to redefine the meaning of the event. Was it GRACE, or was it a disaster? Was it the worst thing that happened to you or was it an amazing lesson? Was it a tragedy or an opportunity for you to be able to see how loving you can be? Was it a dark chapter in your life or was it that the events had to happen in order for you to discover your light?

When we realize we are the meaning makers of our lives, it doesn’t mean that everything was/is or will be hunky dory. But it does mean that we can accept and eventually rise above our circumstances because we realize at our essence we are a child of God and that we have the power to CHOOSE how we are going to respond, interpret and live our lives.

I’m reminded of the story of Ruth. When I re-read the first chapter of Ruth, I see that Ruth CHOSE to love Naomi, even when the consequences looked bleak and hopeless. If Ruth turned back and left Naomi, she would have had an easier time remarrying, which was crucial to a woman’s worth in those times. She was still young. She could have really done something with her life if she had just stayed with her own people … and that is what Naomi urged her to do. But Ruth responded:

Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me. Ruth 1:16-17

In verse 18, I read that Naomi finally realized that Ruth was “determined”. Any lesser love would not have been enough. It took a deliberate, almost stubborn love to prove to Naomi that Ruth was serious about her commitment. Naomi was almost all the family that Ruth had left. Maybe she was not the family member that Ruth would have chosen to love, but Ruth chose to love her anyway.

We have all been put on earth together for a reason, and the difficulty of love is exactly what enables it to be so powerful. When we have no choice about who to love, love becomes harder. Perhaps we need to stop waiting for a feeling of love. The fact is, when we can’t choose the people we love, we choose to love the people we have, and that is a far richer experience. And in doing so, we reflect the love of God, who chose to love us before any of us loved Him.

1 Peter 1:22 says, “. . . love one another deeply.” This kind of love is not a noun, not an adjective, it’s a verb. It’s a very deliberate action.

The truth is, we live in a broken world full of broken people and we get to CHOOSE how we respond to every person and every event in our lives. So, if you are the meaning maker of your life, and if choice is the most important quality of human behavior, what meanings are you giving the events of your life and what are you choosing to create? If it’s not what you want, ask yourself if you would you like to change that?

A DAY TO REFLECT AND BE THANKFUL

thanksIt has become a time-honored and treasured tradition of mine at Thanksgiving, to simply stop and purposely reflect on the events and people who have influenced my life. 

That means you . . . Yes, you. The person reading this. Because if you found your way here, then that is a blessing for which I am truly thankful.  And I’m here to remind you how truly special you are.  I am thankful for every connection I have because each and every one of you brings something wonderful to my life. You bring you.

I have met so many amazing people this year.  People who have accepted me into their lives with warm and welcoming arms.  People who have believed in me and who have been there with me as my life continues to change.  People who have been beacons lighting my way.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Scweitzer

There are some of you who have been there for me when I’ve  needed a friend. Whether in times of sadness or of celebration, I am grateful for your presence in my life.

It is the unfeigned friendship, the harmony and the unmistakable happiness and joy that marks our get togethers and makes our time together so very special. You have each earned a special place in my heart.  And even when I cannot manage to tear myself away to join you, just knowing that you’re all out there warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.

Wherever I find myself on Thanksgiving Day, I like to bring my own tradition and go around the dinner table and take turns expressing that for which we are all thankful.  This year, I can honestly say, I am thankful for everything.  The good, the bad, and the ugly, because it is what continues to shape me into the person you know today.

There are so many very special people who have touched my life deeply this  year, and those closest to me know who you are. 

I am not sure I can express with mere words, the gratitude I feel for having you in my life.  All of you saw something in me that I didn’t know was there (oh so many years ago), and you believed in me until I learned to believe in myself.  My heart is full and overflowing with love and gratitude.  My soul is bright with light and grace.  You have not only been my closest friends and allies, but also an inspiration. I believe in your faith, your courage, your compassion, your integrity and your strength.  I believe in your goodness. You live your life by leading with your heart and making a difference to others every day.  I am so grateful  to count myself amongst them.  You amaze me with all that you are, and all that you do. You have touched my life and I am forever changed.  I love you, my dear friends.  I always have. I always will.

There are so many others who have made a difference to me this year, family and friends. People who matter to me.  People who inspire me. People whose blogs I read.  People who have reached out to me. And people I have been honored to reach out to.  I have a long list of individual thank you notes to send out because I believe it’s important to let people know how much they mean to you.

I am so blessed to have so many people amazing people in my life who love me.  People who I too love dearly.

I am truly thankful to have happened upon each of you along this adventure through life. 

This has truly been the best year of my life despite its challenges and the changes looming on the horizon.  It’s all in the way you choose to look at things.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. “ ~ Melody Beattie

My life is so very blessed.  I feel the magic. And I can now throw my head back and laugh at how perfect it all is.

I think most of all, I am thankful for today and every day that I have the opportunity to make a difference.

I choose to live my life with purpose and with passion, and I intend to make the most of every moment.  I choose to honor my calling and I choose to help as many people as I can along the way.

My heart is full of love, and when I share it, it replenishes itself anew. My gratitude is boundless.

Within every one of us is a wellspring of love and abundance.  We all have beautiful gifts to share.

Wishing each of you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving – with a special thank you for being who you are. You matter to me.  And you DO make a difference.

With Much Love & Gratitude for you in my life!

special

Keeping an Open Mind

200260581-001Keeping an open mind is one of the true keys to happiness and success.

I heard a saying yesterday that everyone is a “beginner” when they get to the next step and I actually had an “aha” moment! It reminded me of what we’re told in Matthew 18:3 NIV “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In other words, start thinking like a child. Let me explain.

When you are new, like a baby, you are flexible and open. Being stiff is a sign of old age and death.

This has nothing to do with age. Flexibility and openness are a choice. You can be stiff in a young body or flexible in an old body.

But, if we are to engage life and learn, grow, give, share and rip away the layers and beliefs that hold us back from being simply ourselves, newness is the key.

Matthew 9:17 NIV tells us “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

How do you be new? If you ever hear the voice that says, “I know this already” – you are being stiff (aka dead). If you ever hear the voice that says, “All men or women are (fill in the blank)” you are being stiff (aka dead). If you hear the voice that says, “I’ll never be, do, or have (fill in the blank) – you are being dead. This list goes on and on.

The goal is to renew our mind: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV) When we do this, we become open and available to life and its changes.

In this state of openness and receptivity, we actually allow ourselves to be transformed. We are transformed out of the death of the thoughts that held us back. We are transformed to be able to be in a new, healthier body, job, relationship, career or business.

I love what Jesus says in Revelation 21:4-5 KJV, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…” If we’re supposed to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2) and God says “Behold, I make all things new (Rev. 21:5), then we must do our part and leave behind that which is still, inflexible and dead. These are the beliefs and patterns that prevent us from feeling or experiencing newness.

My life continues to change as I remain open to listening to new ideas and, more importantly, when God speaks to me. Instead of focusing on “why it can’t work”, I strive to focus on “I know it doesn’t seem possible, but if it did, what would I think?” My job is not to know how. My job is to be open, and receptive.

Do you ever ask yourself “Why must I change?” Because if you don’t, you will miss out on beauty, love, success, excitement, family, friends, success, connecting to God, being of service and truly being able to share the gifts you have with others.

There’s an old saying that says: “If nothing changes, nothing changes!” Or how about the definition of “Insanity” . . . doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!

Question is: Do you want to change? Do you believe change is possible? If so, what would change look like to you?