The Storms of Life

As I sit here working from home, the sun is shining and it’s a hot summer day. All of the sudden it seems the clouds move in, the skies darken, and then the storm begins – wind, thunder, torrential downpour. Just that quickly. Five or ten minutes later it’s all over and the sun is out again. Then another burst of stormy weather and so it goes throughout the day.

Isn’t that how life can be sometimes? We’re going along on our merry way and Boom! Out of nowhere comes a storm: something that gets our attention and perhaps even causes us to fear or be anxious, something we didn’t see coming.

How do we react when the storm comes? Do we get anxious and fearful, worry and stew or do we pray and trust God?

I’ve lived long enough to realize that storms come and go in my life. Some are short and some are long. If I begin to feel anxious, I lift up a prayer. Phil 4:6 instructs us not to be anxious but to pray about everything and I have found that indeed this works. I have learned that God is faithful. I ‘ve learned that when I need to take action, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later or mull about it for even a day. Anything that steals my peace and clouds my mind needs to be dealt with promptly.

Are you ready for the next storm in your life? Prepare yourself by memorizing scripture. Know that God allows all things for His purposes and glory. Do what you have to do and then look for the sunshine that is sure to follow.

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The Storms of Life

As I sit here working from home, the sun is shining and it’s a hot summer day. All of the sudden it seems the clouds move in, the skies darken, and then the storm begins – wind, thunder, torrential downpour. Just that quickly. Five or ten minutes later it’s all over and the sun is out again. Then another burst of stormy weather and so it goes throughout the day.

Isn’t that how life can be sometimes? We’re going along on our merry way and Boom! Out of nowhere comes a storm: something that gets our attention and perhaps even causes us to fear or be anxious, something we didn’t see coming.

How do we react when the storm comes? Do we get anxious and fearful, worry and stew or do we pray and trust God?

I’ve lived long enough to realize that storms come and go in my life. Some are short and some are long. If I begin to feel anxious, I lift up a prayer. Phil 4:6 instructs us not to be anxious but to pray about everything and I have found that indeed this works. I have learned that God is faithful. I ‘ve learned that when I need to take action, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later or mull about it for even a day. Anything that steals my peace and clouds my mind needs to be dealt with promptly.

Are you ready for the next storm in your life? Prepare yourself by memorizing scripture. Know that God allows all things for His purposes and glory. Do what you have to do and then look for the sunshine that is sure to follow.

The Power of Words

Ever think about the words you use on a daily basis? See if you can catch yourself using the same words or expressions and then think about how they impact your mental state or that of a loved one. Our words can build up or tear down. The words we speak to others and to ourselves have more power than most of us realize.

Imagine if you meant to say to your son or daughter “What’s bothering you?” but instead you said “What’s wrong with you?” Think of the impact that would make on them.

In his book, Awaken the Giant, Anthony Robbins talks about changing the words we use to describe our feelings to either diminish negative feelings or intensify positive feelings. For example, instead of saying, “I am angry” he suggests toning it down by saying “I am peeved”. Instead of “I am anxious” say “I am a little concerned.” To increase our positive feelings, try “I am fabulous”, “I am captivated”, or “I relish the idea” instead of “I’m okay”, “I’m interested” or “I like.” Notice the difference?

Proverbs 18:21 says “There is life or death in the power of the tongue”. James 1:19 implores us to be “Quick to listen and slow to speak.” My mom used to say “Think before you speak.”

What words are you speaking to those you love? Are they words of encouragement and edification? I know I can use some work in this area. How about you?

The Power of Words

Ever think about the words you use on a daily basis? See if you can catch yourself using the same words or expressions and then think about how they impact your mental state or that of a loved one. Our words can build up or tear down. The words we speak to others and to ourselves have more power than most of us realize.

Imagine if you meant to say to your son or daughter “What’s bothering you?” but instead you said “What’s wrong with you?” Think of the impact that would make on them.

In his book, Awaken the Giant, Anthony Robbins talks about changing the words we use to describe our feelings to either diminish negative feelings or intensify positive feelings. For example, instead of saying, “I am angry” he suggests toning it down by saying “I am peeved”. Instead of “I am anxious” say “I am a little concerned.” To increase our positive feelings, try “I am fabulous”, “I am captivated”, or “I relish the idea” instead of “I’m okay”, “I’m interested” or “I like.” Notice the difference?

Proverbs 18:21 says “There is life or death in the power of the tongue”. James 1:19 implores us to be “Quick to listen and slow to speak.” My mom used to say “Think before you speak.”

What words are you speaking to those you love? Are they words of encouragement and edification? I know I can use some work in this area. How about you?

Are You Happy Now?

“I will be happy when the kids grow up.” “I will be happy when I lose 10 pounds.” “I will be happy when I retire.” “I will be happy when I find a partner.” “I will be happy when I earn x$”.

Ever hear yourself saying something like this? We are expecting some external circumstance to make us happy. The truth of the matter is that we really don’t need ANYTHING to make us happy. Happiness is a mental state of mind that we CHOOSE. As long as we structure our lives on something we cannot control, we will experience pain and unhappiness.

Things will never be totally perfect in our lives. There will always be some area, some relationship, some problem that needs attention. The key, I think, is to not dwell on what is wrong with my life, but what is good in it. Today I went for a walk, took a dip in the pool, and had a nice lunch. These simple pleasures give me great happiness and I am thankful for them all.

Abraham Lincoln once said ” People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Life is too short. Today, will you make a choice to be happy?

Are You Happy Now?

“I will be happy when the kids grow up.” “I will be happy when I lose 10 pounds.” “I will be happy when I retire.” “I will be happy when I find a partner.” “I will be happy when I earn x$”.

Ever hear yourself saying something like this? We are expecting some external circumstance to make us happy. The truth of the matter is that we really don’t need ANYTHING to make us happy. Happiness is a mental state of mind that we CHOOSE. As long as we structure our lives on something we cannot control, we will experience pain and unhappiness.

Things will never be totally perfect in our lives. There will always be some area, some relationship, some problem that needs attention. The key, I think, is to not dwell on what is wrong with my life, but what is good in it. Today I went for a walk, took a dip in the pool, and had a nice lunch. These simple pleasures give me great happiness and I am thankful for them all.

Abraham Lincoln once said ” People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Life is too short. Today, will you make a choice to be happy?

Eat Pray Love

Have you seen or read the newly popular book out by Elizabeth Gilbert, entitled Eat Pray Love? It’s a simple title, but it encompasses the basic human needs we all have.

I picked up a copy at the library last week. It is the true story of a married woman whose husband is ready to have children. She decides she no longer wants to be married, divorces her husband and packs up to travel for a year: to Italy to enjoy the pleasures of food and language and forget about her weight, to India to pray and connect with God, and finally, to Bali,Indonesia to find love.

As I read the book, it struck me how we are all on our own journey; to find out who we are and what we really want out of life. Isn’t it true we all have these same basic desires- pleasure and enjoyment of the good things in life, finding and connecting with God, and finally true love?

Each of us is on our own path and we all go about it in different ways. I know my life has taken quite a few detours. But I am still searching. I won’t give up in my quest to find true love here on earth. I enjoy the pleasures of life and I make time to regularly connect with God. But in the end, I want to be remembered for being a loving person. Today, who can you reach out to in love? Ultimately, isn’t loving each other the highest commandment of all?

Eat Pray Love

Have you seen or read the newly popular book out by Elizabeth Gilbert, entitled Eat Pray Love? It’s a simple title, but it encompasses the basic human needs we all have.

I picked up a copy at the library last week. It is the true story of a married woman whose husband is ready to have children. She decides she no longer wants to be married, divorces her husband and packs up to travel for a year: to Italy to enjoy the pleasures of food and language and forget about her weight, to India to pray and connect with God, and finally, to Bali,Indonesia to find love.

As I read the book, it struck me how we are all on our own journey; to find out who we are and what we really want out of life. Isn’t it true we all have these same basic desires- pleasure and enjoyment of the good things in life, finding and connecting with God, and finally true love?

Each of us is on our own path and we all go about it in different ways. I know my life has taken quite a few detours. But I am still searching. I won’t give up in my quest to find true love here on earth. I enjoy the pleasures of life and I make time to regularly connect with God. But in the end, I want to be remembered for being a loving person. Today, who can you reach out to in love? Ultimately, isn’t loving each other the highest commandment of all?

Practice Makes Perfect

Funny isn’t it how when God wants us to work on something He gives us all kinds of opportunities to practice?

So, I’m working on this empathic listening skill, amongst other things. I agreed to meet my oldest son after work yesterday to go look at some houses. He kept mentioning how hungry he was so that was a tipoff to be even more careful with what I said. I’ve learned that when men get hungry, their tolerance level is much lower than normal for women’s questions.

We looked at the houses and then decided to have dinner together. So far so good. After he had eaten a bit, he started to open up. I was very careful to avoid the ineffective communication techniques Covey mentioned in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I tried to paraphrase and understand what my son was feeling. I really had to slow my responses down to do this.

Wow, this must be working. He is really opening up.

We had quite a good conversation overall and I think He felt understood. I felt like we connected at a heart level and isn’t that what good communication is all about?

Who is it in your life that is difficult to communicate with? Maybe all they really need is someone to listen to them. After all God did give us two ears and one mouth, didn’t He? I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to practice.


Practice Makes Perfect

Funny isn’t it how when God wants us to work on something He gives us all kinds of opportunities to practice?

So, I’m working on this empathic listening skill, amongst other things. I agreed to meet my oldest son after work yesterday to go look at some houses. He kept mentioning how hungry he was so that was a tipoff to be even more careful with what I said. I’ve learned that when men get hungry, their tolerance level is much lower than normal for women’s questions.

We looked at the houses and then decided to have dinner together. So far so good. After he had eaten a bit, he started to open up. I was very careful to avoid the ineffective communication techniques Covey mentioned in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I tried to paraphrase and understand what my son was feeling. I really had to slow my responses down to do this.

Wow, this must be working. He is really opening up.

We had quite a good conversation overall and I think He felt understood. I felt like we connected at a heart level and isn’t that what good communication is all about?

Who is it in your life that is difficult to communicate with? Maybe all they really need is someone to listen to them. After all God did give us two ears and one mouth, didn’t He? I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to practice.