Change Your Words, Change Your Life

“I have a dream” Martin Luther King.
 “Never, never give up!” Winston Churchill
 “Four score and seven years ago,” Abraham Lincoln.

These famous words so eloquently delivered, influenced nations in a powerful way and will live forever in our memories. Three men were motivated by their passion, conviction, determination, and courage. These were  also men of great faith who believed in the principle of freedom.

Words  have a magnificent and awesome power to effect change. The words you and I use have great power as well. Words can heal or harm, build up or destroy, uplift or tear down. All of us can remember words spoken by parents, siblings, and classmates, that affected us strongly in some way.

The effects of our words have much more impact than we realize, because they carry energy which is either positive or negative. In his book, “Awaken the Giant Within”, motivational speaker Tony Robbins talks about the power of words. He suggests we maximize positive words to increase pleasure and minimize negative words to decrease pain. For example, instead of angry say disenchanted. Instead of confused, say curious. Say unstoppable rather than confident. Robbins encourages us to use “transformational vocabulary” with the goal being to minimize our negative feelings.

In my opinion, the greatest motivational speaker of all time was Jesus Christ. Think about his words and the impact they had on people he encountered:
“You are forgiven.”
“Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
“Your faith has made you well.”

His words healed the sick and the blind, the down-trodden and the outcasts of society. The Bible refers to Jesus as “The Word” (John 1:1) which relates back to ancient Greek philosophy and refers to divine wisdom, reason, and creative power.

What kinds of words are you speaking out? To your kids, your friends and coworkers and more importantly, to yourself? And to God?

If you want to transform your life, I encourage you to start changing the way you speak. Instead of saying “This —- is going to kill me” say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  Instead of saying “I feel fat, ugly, old” say “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” It is true. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). 

Write and share what one phrase you are going to stop using this week. Let’s all speak words of life and faith and watch our lives be transformed.

Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

Ariel

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Has Easter Lost Its Meaning?

What will you be doing this Easter Sunday? Spending time with family and friends? Sharing a meal? Or perhaps you’ve chosen to take a vacation. If so, you are blessed. But there are many who do not have family and friends. Others don’t have money to put food on the table much less take a vacation. Some will be working hard this Sunday. Theirs is quite a different Easter.

Statistics show church attendance continues to drop, yet the innate hunger we feel to be spiritually fed and comforted is still within the human heart. We search for avenues to assuage our guilt, our pain, and our shame. Many hide under a facade of fancy clothes, a big house, or the latest techno gadgetry. But God sees the heart. He sees the pain, the shame, and the guilt that burden us. He wants to set us free from all of these and that, my friends, is the meaning of Easter.

Easter is a time for renewal and for forgiveness. It is a time to let go of the old, and embrace the new. It is a time to let God heal our heart, by filling it with the great love he has to offer us through His son, Jesus Christ. It is up to each of us whether or not we choose to receive this love.

As a soul who has endured much pain in this life, I am thankful for the love of God, for His great grace and mercy in my life. I am not perfect. I sin many times, sometimes daily. But I know, through the blood of Christ, I don’t have to bear that burden into tomorrow. My life has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; so in a spirit of humility and thankfulness, I offer some reflections on what Easter means to me, and I trust that they will encourage and comfort you. When we pause to look at the cross, somehow it puts our “light and momentary afflictions” in perspective.

Easter reminds me that:

– I have another opportunity for transformation and change

– miracles still happen if we have eyes to see

– God’s grace is sufficient for me

– Jesus paid the price for all my sins and mistakes

– God is always there no matter how far away I drift from Him

– no matter how dark it may look on Friday, Sunday is coming

– when I wonder “Does God really love me?” all I have to do is look at Jesus’ outstretched arms on the cross and hear him say “I love you this much”

– when I am suffering, I know Jesus has suffered so much more than I ever will and that makes my pain more bearable

– no matter what I have lost or how much I have been hurt or mistreated, God can bring me healing and peace

Easter still has meaning for those of us who choose to visit the cross. Yes, it takes courage. Yes, it takes boldness and strength, but remember the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi who wrote these words:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O
Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

May this Easter fill you with the love of God, heal your broken places, and make you new.

Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel

The First Step to Transformation

Are you happy with your life? It is all you’ve dreamed of? Or, is there something about it you would like to change, some area you would like to grow in? Some would like to improve their appearance. Others would like to pursue a new hobby, career, or financial goal. Those who are more relationally-oriented would like to find inner peace or improve the relationships in their personal life. Contrary to what some say about old dogs and their tricks, I do believe most people are interested in growing, changing, and improving their lives, no matter how old they are. Could this be you?

But perhaps you don’t know how to go about it or where to start. As with any journey, the first step is always the most important. Now you may be thinking the first step involves some sort of action. But I want to challenge that perception. What you may or may not realize is this: the first step in any journey, change, or forward movement in life begins with a decision.

That’s right. A decision. What really determines whether you are going to succeed or fail in your endeavor, is the commitment to your decision. In other words, it is the strength of your resolve to your decision that energizes you to take action.

The key is commitment. So what do you have to have in order to commit to something? What is the one thing you absolutely have to have in order to follow through? I think you may know the answer to this question. The answer is this:

FAITH. 

You need to activate the power of faith in order to make a commitment to anything in this life. We must believe in ourselves, in others, and in the power of God to make things happen. Nothing, and I do mean absolutely nothing happens without faith. Faith is the key ingredient in any successful undertaking.

If you’ve tried before and failed, join the club, but don’t throw in the towel. Check out this video on famous people who have failed miserably in life and see how it makes you feel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y6hz_s2XIAU

What is it that you would like to accomplish in your life? What change would you like to see?
If you want to transform your life, start by activating the power of faith. You’ll be amazed at the results! Until next time, keep looking up!


Transformation

Easter has come and gone. Do you feel any different? I don’t know about you, but I sure do. I have spent much of the Lenten season fasting and praying for God to transform me and boy oh boy has He been faithful. Well, let me be clear,He is in the process of transforming me.

I asked Him to reveal things in me that need to be changed and He sure let me have it. Funny, most of them are coming from my youngest son. I guess God is using him because he is closest to me and knows me better than probably anyone else on this earth.

Interesting how we parents spend so many years teaching our kids and then, boom, one day the tables are turned and they are teaching us. The question is are we ready to listen to them?

Transformation is a process. If we allow it, and sometimes, whether or not we realize it, we all are in the process of being refined by the great Potter. He is removing the dross and making us so like Him, that He can see His reflection in us. Isn’t that a beautiful analogy?

Today, dear one, will you allow yourself to be transformed? What impurities are there in your character that need to go so that you can be more like Christ? Ask for them to be revealed and they will be; I can assure you! But fret not, being transformed is like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly and then is set free from his cocoon. Do you want to be set free?

Transformation

Easter has come and gone. Do you feel any different? I don’t know about you, but I sure do. I have spent much of the Lenten season fasting and praying for God to transform me and boy oh boy has He been faithful. Well, let me be clear,He is in the process of transforming me.

I asked Him to reveal things in me that need to be changed and He sure let me have it. Funny, most of them are coming from my youngest son. I guess God is using him because he is closest to me and knows me better than probably anyone else on this earth.

Interesting how we parents spend so many years teaching our kids and then, boom, one day the tables are turned and they are teaching us. The question is are we ready to listen to them?

Transformation is a process. If we allow it, and sometimes, whether or not we realize it, we all are in the process of being refined by the great Potter. He is removing the dross and making us so like Him, that He can see His reflection in us. Isn’t that a beautiful analogy?

Today, dear one, will you allow yourself to be transformed? What impurities are there in your character that need to go so that you can be more like Christ? Ask for them to be revealed and they will be; I can assure you! But fret not, being transformed is like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly and then is set free from his cocoon. Do you want to be set free?

Easter – A Time of Renewal and New Life

Happy Easter and Resurrection, friends. What does Easter mean to you? To some, Easter is no big deal. To me, and to many of you who are interested in personal and spiritual growth, Easter has a huge meaning.

When I contemplate what Jesus overcame at the cross and the Resurrection, it fills me with hope. Because Jesus conquered the grave, I, too, can conquer those things that try to defeat me. Easter represents a chance for renewal, for casting off old habits and harmful behaviors, and being born again to new life.

This is the glory and the beauty of the Resurrection; that we who are believers in Jesus Christ, have the power thru His Holy Spirit dwelling within us to become new creations. I don’t have to succumb to my fears and weaknesses forever. I know that there is power accessible to me that can change, yea, transform me. I have seen it in myself and in my loved ones and it is truly a modern day miracle.

My prayer for you is that this Easter you will be renewed and transformed. May you be filled with power from On High to overcome that which holds you back from being all that you can be. Blessings and Joy to you all and glory be to God!

Easter – A Time of Renewal and New Life

Happy Easter and Resurrection, friends. What does Easter mean to you? To some, Easter is no big deal. To me, and to many of you who are interested in personal and spiritual growth, Easter has a huge meaning.

When I contemplate what Jesus overcame at the cross and the Resurrection, it fills me with hope. Because Jesus conquered the grave, I, too, can conquer those things that try to defeat me. Easter represents a chance for renewal, for casting off old habits and harmful behaviors, and being born again to new life.

This is the glory and the beauty of the Resurrection; that we who are believers in Jesus Christ, have the power thru His Holy Spirit dwelling within us to become new creations. I don’t have to succumb to my fears and weaknesses forever. I know that there is power accessible to me that can change, yea, transform me. I have seen it in myself and in my loved ones and it is truly a modern day miracle.

My prayer for you is that this Easter you will be renewed and transformed. May you be filled with power from On High to overcome that which holds you back from being all that you can be. Blessings and Joy to you all and glory be to God!

As A Man Thinketh

What are you thinking about right now? Stop and take a moment to check in with your thoughts. Are they positive or not? Are your thoughts moving you in a forward direction in life or are they holding you back?

As James Allen, the author of “As a Man Thinketh” puts it “A noble and God-like character is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts.”

We all have long-ingrained thinking patterns that may be distorting reality. Perhaps a certain person in our lives triggers us to react, or we get frustrated when we don’t get our way. Maybe we see ourselves as fat, ugly, or stupid. Maybe we feel rejection from our parents and that we must earn approval and acceptance – all lies and deception to keep us from the many promises of God for our lives.

I have developed a habit of asking myself “How can I look at this differently?” and I find that this helps tremendously reduce the amount of suffering and pain I perceive.

Romans 12:2 encourages us to “Be transformed daily by the renewing of our minds” and “not to be conformed to the likeness of this world”. But this takes effort on our part. It is not going to just happen on its own. We must renew our minds with God’s truth and believe it in our hearts.

Today, dear ones, slow down a bit to contemplate what goes on in your mind. We can choose what we think about and how we react to what goes on around us. Remember that the irritations in life are tests that the Lord is using to refine our character and make us more like Him.

Remember how much Jesus loves you that He gave his life for you and ask the Lord to help you renew your thinking so you can move forward in your life.

As A Man Thinketh

What are you thinking about right now? Stop and take a moment to check in with your thoughts. Are they positive or not? Are your thoughts moving you in a forward direction in life or are they holding you back?

As James Allen, the author of “As a Man Thinketh” puts it “A noble and God-like character is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts.”

We all have long-ingrained thinking patterns that may be distorting reality. Perhaps a certain person in our lives triggers us to react, or we get frustrated when we don’t get our way. Maybe we see ourselves as fat, ugly, or stupid. Maybe we feel rejection from our parents and that we must earn approval and acceptance – all lies and deception to keep us from the many promises of God for our lives.

I have developed a habit of asking myself “How can I look at this differently?” and I find that this helps tremendously reduce the amount of suffering and pain I perceive.

Romans 12:2 encourages us to “Be transformed daily by the renewing of our minds” and “not to be conformed to the likeness of this world”. But this takes effort on our part. It is not going to just happen on its own. We must renew our minds with God’s truth and believe it in our hearts.

Today, dear ones, slow down a bit to contemplate what goes on in your mind. We can choose what we think about and how we react to what goes on around us. Remember that the irritations in life are tests that the Lord is using to refine our character and make us more like Him.

Remember how much Jesus loves you that He gave his life for you and ask the Lord to help you renew your thinking so you can move forward in your life.