Turning the Tide

Negativity 3

It Starts with Vision

I have been spending more and more time trying to help people change their mindset about what’s possible, trying to get them to believe in themselves and achieve more in life. At times it’s like pushing a boulder uphill. For reasons that are hard to explain, some people tend to cling to the negative nurturing they received growing up or experience in the present. As long as those dark clouds of self-doubt hover over head, it’s difficult to escape the shadows.

depressed man

So much of what we believe  shapes our reality. We think negatively about a situation, the outcome is rarely if ever good. When we harbor dark thoughts, when we doubt everything, the doo

rs to possibility remains closed. I actually know some people that intentionally reject what they hear or see because they’ve been taught to be skeptical and negative.

This kind of limiting cognition is a real death spiral and leads to nowhere. So how is someone to break free of this kind of thinking? How does one escape the dark circumstances of a life their own thoughts created?

Vision. Human beings are very visual. Our vision is probably one of the first senses that shaped our evolution and set us apart from the rest of creation. When I say vision, I am not just talking about what we see with our eyes. There are animal species with far sharper visual acuity than man, but they don’t build skyscrapers or Mars land rovers! The vision I speak of does include what we see with our eyes but more importantly, it includes what our eyes cannot see! The vision I am really writing about is what happens in our mind’s imaginative eyesight.

Our minds are the creative engines of this world, fueled and sparked by the divine. What we imagine, we can create. What we imagine in our mind’s eye becomes a reality we can shape. As long as we limit ourselves to negativity, an atmosphere of negativity is all that will be created. Our subconscious mind is always busy creating so when we are consumed by the hurdles and challenges in front of us, our creative mind undergirds those barriers!

Vision - Eye

So we have to change our vision. We have to engage our imagination to create positive outcomes. We have to think and deliver to our subconsciousness the material it needs to create a whole new world of possibilities. So instead of seeing rejection, see approval. Instead of imagining that you cannot start your own business, see yourself opening a new store, developing a new product or service, or launching a business plan. Instead of seeing failure, you have to see success in your mind. You have to imagine that you are (not will be) a successful business owner! Take a first step here. Watch this presentation, see yourself making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and chase those clouds of negativity away!

 

Moms, You Are Amazing

Moms

Calling All Moms, Calling All Moms

Moms are the driving force behind innovation in the home and this is why you are a perfect fit for this work from home opportunity. Give us a chance to show you how to make significant income while at home attending to the greatest, most difficult job anyone will ever have. At Financial Education Service we want to unleash your potential to make unlimited income and support your family. No more dividing your time and attention between a job outside the home you hate and the little ones that just want to be where you are. You have the skills and you understand work ethic. Why not put all that talent to work for you while you care for your family.

Mothers are undervalued and often unappreciated. Many times people that work outside of the home have this impression that being at home and tending to the family needs is not real work! Delusional?? Yep, my thoughts too!! No one works harder than moms and most of the time there is no compensation for this sweat equity other than the smiling faces and warm hugs and runny noses of bright little faces that adore you from head to toe. Even with this, you deserve more, much, much more and FES can help you get there.

Slugging it Out

sweet_temptation

I can’t really explain how this thing works or how it begins.  I mean I have read the books and been privy to some very good teaching on the subject.  Heck, I’ve even taught a few lessons myself.  None of that really helps right now though because even though I know what to do, there remains a stubborn inner desire to experience the release and the estacy that erupts when I let lust run its course.  I feel like I’m slugging it out everyday just to survive.

Honestly, I do have accountability partners and I do know how to pray and fast but none of that removes the taste, the desire, the inner drive to let my flesh have its way.  At times its so dibelitating and confining.  It shapes what I do or what I plan to do and it makes me feel so empty, so guilty and ashamed.  I know that I have the cross of Christ to bear my burdens and I also know that His helping hand is just a prayer away, but for some reason the need remains ever present.  It’s like a fungus that just grows and grows no matter how I try and clean and scrub and sterilize things.  It just keeps coming back and I for one feel so foolish having to constantly ask for forgiveness.  But I do anyway because I want to live and not die beyond His grace. I have to keep slugging it out!

I do understand that God’s grace is sufficent for all my needs, for my every weakness, but I really do want to stand on my feet and hold my ground for once.  I want to walk away from it and know that I got the victory, that I didn’t bend or break, that I held fast to His unchanging hand through my temptation.  I want to be as strong as Christ was when He was tempted in the wolderness.  I want to be like Him and refuse to give in to the tempatations that were presented.  He is my hero and I mean that in a real way.  He suffered so much but He made it through and sometimes He made it look so easy.  I know, I know, He was God manifest in flesh but He was also very human thanks to Mary.

I’m just venting tonight because I’m tired of losing and coming up short.  I believe I am more than a conquerer.  I just have to learn to be more like Him and trust Him.  I have to keep slugging it out no matter the cost.  Actually as I sit and contemplate this even more I realize that what it comes down to is a slug fest, a brawl, a knock down, drag out fight to the finish.  It’s not about playing nice or being honorable with my opponent.  I can’t fight fair in this thing.  I can’t afford to.  I have to utilize everything at my desposal.  I can’t even take prisoners!  It just too dangerous to let anyone but me survive this fight.  This I believe is the mental attitude I have to have.  I have to think this way because if I only approach the fight in a half hearted way, myy enemy will see my weakness and rip me a new one.  I already have enough of those and don’t care for any more.

So yes, I may be down for now but I am definitely not out. I have to keep slugging it out. I have to go nuclear.  I have to use all the weapons God has made available to me.  This is what I haven’t been doing.  I have been making assumptions about my future based on past victories.  I believe this was a grave error on my part.  Everyday is a new day and lessons are learned afresh.  I have to change my mind set to break from the past notions that what I achieved before is sufficient high ground for me to stand upon today.  I cannot fight tomorrow’s war with my flesh using my past victories.  Don’t get me wrong.  Past victories are very motivating and help me remember that He who delivered me before yet reigns and is able to do so again.  But I have to make new commitments, new promises to myself and new affirmations that I can live victoriously through Christ. So I will continue to slug it out and survive even though I may fall from time to time.

I know that my Savior lives.  I just have to make sure I act like that every day.

Sharing Is Caring

Sharing is Caring

Sharing Is Caring

I have been reading and listening and contemplating many of the discussion outlets and forums concerned with the Affordable Care Act.  Arguments are all over the map.  Passions for and against are high and all parties seem unequivically solid in their conviction about the good or bad of the new healthcare law.  Common ground is extremely rare in many of these discussions, but I want to point out that sharing is caring and that is what we should be about as an evolved and compassionate society.

What seems to be missing from many of the discussions I have seen is compassion, compassion for the guy or gal next door, the single parent, the child of that single parent and so on.  There doesn’t seem to be much room for inclusion of the least among us these last days.  The discussion always seems to center on an objection to paying for something that doesn’t directly benefit me…the individual.

I was listening to a radio discussion on the Diane Rehms show on NPR and they were talking about how many people were upset about having to buy a healthcare policy that included benefits not directly related to them or their condition, i.e. a guy having to buy a policy that covers child birth.  I can understand the confusion but I think the point is being missed.  United we stand but divided we fall remember and sharing is caring in my book.  Having compassion for someone other than yourself is what I deem a signature facet of a superior society.  It’s the healthy society that survives the longest and when we get to the point where we only think about what’s in it for me, well then we’re on our way to oblivion.

I believe we are stronger when we consider the whole and not just the individual.  I believe we are most ready to stand the tests of time as a society, as a species, if we ensure that there is no weak link in our chain of humanity.  So yes, it may cost more to buy a healthcare plan but in the long run it is actually cheaper for the whole of society because it’s always been easier to stop the bleeding when a pin prick is all we have to deal with vice a severed artery.  When we don’t take care of the least among us, we will over time have to tend to those who have been gravely wounded via neglect at grave cost, a cost that could have and should been avoided.  In today’s world can we really afford to not care about one another?

Personally, I would just like to give the new healthcare law some time.  The program website certainly needs some major help but I’m an optomist.  I believe it will get fixed and eventually we will all see some good results, results that will benefit the whole and not just the individual.  Sharing is caring and that is a joyous message that we might want to remember especially during these holidays.

Vision and Dreams

write-the-vision3

Vision and Dreams

How many of you make it a habit to write out your vision and dreams?  I believe that there are probably a great many of us that believe this is important to do but don’t.  We understand the theory and the promise behind this exercise but often times when it comes right down to putting it into practice, we fail big time!  We fail to take advantage of what’s offered in our vision and dreams.  Maybe not all of you… ok well, just me then (smile)!  I want to take a quick few minutes to talk about why (If you’re like me about transformative envisioning), it is vital to the process of growth that we write out our vision and dreams and make them plain.

I honestly and truly believe with all my heart that when God’s word tells me that as a man thinketh, or believes about himself, so is he or so he will become.  I believe this.  I take it literally because it comes from the Word of God, but I also believe it because there have been too many respected scholars and philosophers who have affirmed this basic, fundamental principle through various teachings and writings.  We experience visions and dreams for a reason.  Our minds really don’t stop processing information when we close our eyes at night (see Nature, The Journal of Neuroscience).  I believe our best work occurs when we focus and experience vision and dreams.

Now, I believe that this essential truth is often mislabeled or misapplied by the secular world but there is no denying how true this is (see Nature 2).  For example, scientist can explain the color of the sky but I believe its hue comes from the finger of God.  Does this mean that the science is wrong?  Of course not.  We may quibble over attribution and credit but the central tenant remains true, the sky is blue!

So when the Lord says that I am what I think, that my thoughts have the power of transformation, I believe it completely.  When He says to me that the power of life and death is in my tongue, I don’t quibble with that statement.  I take it as fact.  When He says that salvation is as near as the words out of my mouth, that if I will confess Him as Lord and Savior, I will be saved, I doubt nothing!  I rejoice!!!  I see the evidence of this every time I look in the mirror and recognize that but for the grace of God…

Yes, this all works fine and dandy for Christian believers but what if you’re not of that belief?  What if you haven’t come to that revelation of faith? What should I know or care about vision and dreams?  You can still be transformed by the things you say!  The tone of your day is often set by the very first thing you experience or say in the morning.  Have you ever stubbed your toe getting out of bed or walking to the restroom?  Do things tend to go downhill afterwards?  Think about it.  What was your reaction when you stubbed your toe?  Those words shape what follows!

This is what this post is about and this is why I say to you that vision and dreams are very but what you also have to put into motion are your words!  Faith without work is dead!!  The work affirms your faith and gives substance to your faith.  You put your words into motion by writing!  Write your visions and dreams out.  Write down your visions and dreams and revisit them often.  Make it a daily habit to write WHAT YOU want to SEE HAPPEN.  Your visual cortex is directly impacted by what you write and vice versa.  One reinforces the other and when you write the vision you really do make it plain.  In other words, making it plain actually means to make material, to make real, to bring what was invisible into the visible realm.

Write_the_Vision2

This is what I want you to do every morning and it is very simple…even a caveman could do it (sorry if I have offended any local Neanderthals).  After you pray, meditate or conduct your devotion, sit down for a brief moment in peace.  Don’t get started on the next thing, just give peace a moment to settle on you.  Take out a piece of paper, tablet, cell phone or any device that will allow you to write.  Think in your mind of one thing that you really want to see happen, be completed, or achieved in that day.  One goal, start with one and write it down.  Concentrate on that one thing and nothing else.  Don’t worry about any other aspect of what you want to see happen, i.e. what it will take to accomplish, how much, how long, whom will need to get involved, etc.  Now write your thought out just as it was formed in your mind.  Write it a second time.  Write it five more times for a total of seven.  Try to keep the vision to a sentence or two and later you can expand that as needed.  By keeping it short you don’t get distracted with unnecessary verbiage.  Short and sweet and to the point!

What you have just done is given your vision and dream some preliminary form.  As you see it and read it, your vision will continue to gain clarity and that is what you need.  The clearer the vision the stronger the transformation from the immaterial to the material will be.  This is why when we sometimes ask God for help or assistance, our aid doesn’t seem to come or when it does come it is in a form that we hadn’t even imagined.  Of course, when we get the help we seek, we’re probably satisfied to get it in whatever form it comes!  What I am sharing with you is how to achieve specifically that very thing you hope for with specificity.  You have to be specific and focused when it comes to receiving the thing you want.  If you ask God for anything, any kind of way, then don’t be surprised to receive whatever!

Our Master said to ask and it would be given, to seek and it would be found, to knock and it would be opened (see Matthew 7:7).  You have to ask specifically for the specific thing with specificity.  You have to seek with intensity in order to find exactly what you want.  Last, you have to knock on the door, the right door, in order to enter the room you intend to be in.  All of these things come from a focused clarity and intent.  This is how you begin to actualize your vision and dreams.  Write them down, revise them with specific intent and focus on the dream some more.  The vision will continue to become clearer and clearer until what you are writing is laser focused and on target.  After that you’ve done the most important part.  In the past perhaps you did not receive what you asked for because you didn’t ask and when you did you may have asked incorrectly.  It’s time to change all of that!!!  Gain a strong foothold on your future and write the vision, make it plain.  Once the vision has taken form and become material, it’s much easier to run with it and receive it!!!!  Vision and Dreams have a real purpose in your life so don’t neglect the gift that God has given to us.

Write_the_Vision

Dreams

Dreams2

                                                               Dreams.

If you’re not dreaming, you’re not living up to your full potential!!  Dreams are the essential lubricant for positive results in life.  You can’t really perceive all that’s possible while you’re awake and conscious.  As human beings we’re limited that way.  The mind just can’t process everything that you are capable of when the hand of God is upon you!  So God sends us dreams and has given us the ability to Dream so that we can truely be all that He has purposed us to be.  There are literally no limits to what’s possible which means it is up to the realm of the imagination to close the gap between what you don’t have and what you have.

You are what you can imagine!  Your imagination is a true gift from God.  It is in the capacity to imagine a thing that the creative process really takes off.  Dreams are a safe way to receive the powerful word of God in a process that allows us, mankind, to stay sane.  No man has seen God at any time outside of the body and person of Jesus Christ.  I think this is why Dreams serve such a vital purpose in the communication process between God and His creation.  It is through our Dreams that we come to see in a vision what God wants to communicate to us.  Our dreams serve as a language medium between the material and immaterial.  Our Dreams also allows us to craft material with which the Holy Spirit of God can work with.  It is part of the process in any event.  I will discuss other elements in another post.

More precisely, Dreams help us envision the impossible.  Dreams help us see our way into greater heights and possibilities without the distractions of naysayers and negative people.  In our Dreams we can do anything and be anything and achieve anything.  This kind of positive enegry is very powerful.  It sets the stage for an environment of real change because once you receive this positive energy you can step off more easily on faith.  You can reach for what you have envisioned without doubt and with great confidence!!  With no one dragging you down you can do all things through Christ!!  This is the great benefit of Dreams.  They really help you walk in confidence and trust because in your Dreams you are victorious.  It’s not just a slogan!

So don’t let anyone crush your Dreams.  Those Dreams are essential in the creation process.  Your tomorrow and the successes you see, the victory you’ve claimed, and the prizes that are awarded to you are depending on the health of your Dreams.  Don’t let anyone steal that from you.  Just remember that those Dreams are your private communication with the Master Creator and they are meant for you.

So I say Dream big and Dream often.  Meditate on the visions that the Almighty has given you and don’t worry about how those Dreams will come to pass or be realized.  That’s not your job.  Your job is to Dream it, live it, and walk in it with confidence!!

Encourage Your Child

Blog Pic-MeEncourage Your Child

How many of you remember saying to yourself way back when you were knee-high to a wolverine (not that you ever go that close to measure) that you would never do this or that to your children when you became a parent?  Statements like this may have been made in the moments after a butt whipping or chastisement as we say in today’s vernacular.  You may have felt wronged for the punishment you received, and of course because you were just a child your ability to see the big picture extended only as far as your toy box or TV!  The reasons we were punished never made sense since all we were doing was having fun…true, the cat or neighbors dog paid the price but we’re not talking about that right now!

Most of the time after we were disciplined (whupped as we say in my house) and went to sleep, a normal side effect of a good whupping, we would be fine and all was forgotten.  It was again time to play.  Who had time to remember what we were disciplined for.  Day light was burning!  There were girls’ hair waiting to be pulled!!!

But there are also those times when the discipline can go too far, not just in terms of physical abuse, at least not in my case, but in terms of the emotional pain inflicted.  Punishing or disciplining in the heat of anger is always a bad idea.  For one, the risk of doing actual physical harm increases.  Two, when words are spoken in anger they can be just as harmful, hurtful, and painful as the physical discipline.  It is usually the words that are remembered the most and have the longest effect on a young mind.

So perhaps a change in tactics is called for.  I know, sometimes it’s hard to keep your temper in check and this kettle will refrain from describing the pot as black in color!  And yes, I understand that stress can play a huge role in how we react to different things.  When our children get in trouble we tend to fall back on what we experienced growing up.  We do what we saw.  We say what we heard and it’s almost instinctive.  We may even know subconsciously that there is a better way but our first reaction is normally what we go with unless we train ourselves to do differently.

I remember saying to myself after receiving my punishment that I wouldn’t do my kids this way.  I would treat them differently.  I would do this or that better.  I was not concerned with the purpose behind the discipline or the love that spurred it.  At the time I couldn’t see that my mother’s efforts were keeping me out of jail and an early grave.  I was a selfish child and only understood my point of view and my immediate goals.

When I became a father by the grace of God, I started disciplining the same way I was.  I was going to put the fear of God into my children.  I was not going to spare the rod and spoil them.  I didn’t know that there was another way, even though I promised myself growing up that I would do things differently.  Then it dawned on me…my greatest improvements, my best achievements, always occurred after my mother lavished praise and encouragement on me.  I always did better when I knew my dad was in the stands watching me play football and cheering me on.  I always rose to the occasion when I needed to take tests because I knew it would make my mother smile to see my name on the dean’s list!  Encouragement and not fear was the difference.

I still believe there is a place for stern discipline, but I have also come to understand that encouraging your child can be just as effective as the rod of correction.  I wouldn’t say throw away the rod, but I would say we need to balance its use with the following ratio: 1:7, that is, for every application or occurrence of the rod pour on seven doses of encouragement or praise.  As a rule, if you can’t think of seven things to praise your child for, then put the rod away as the instrument of discipline and find another way.

You can encourage your child to do better, be better and aspire to greater things.  Speak encouragement into their ears, into their spirit, into their whole lives and you will change them for the better.  Your words have power, use this power for good and not evil.

Guard Your Prosperity

Guard your prosperity 4Guard Your Prosperity

Seeing your way through a major problem isn’t always easy and once you do, you should work just as hard to preserve your victory!  Often times people do not want to see your success.  They may mouth the words that say otherwise but many times hard feelings are formed against what you have achieved.

I can’t pretend to know what is in every man’s heart, but actions speak louder than words.  Just look at your circle of friends and acquaintances and ask yourself whether there is a change in the air when you come into great success or break throughs. What happens when you share your good news with others?  What words are spoken into your ear?  Do they affirm your blessings or do they naysay?

When you have fought hard to form a positive self image, a new answer to a persistent problem, or some vision of health and wealth for you and your family, don’t let the enemy snipe at it.  Don’t cast these pearls before those who despise good things.  Guard your prosperity, make sure that no one tears down what you have fought to build up.

In your mouth are the keys to change and faith.  In the mouth of those not aligned with your vision are the keys to your demise and that of your dreams.  You have to learn to distance yourself from those whose dreams run counter to your own.  Two people cannot truly walk together unless they agree.  Make sure that you walk the path set before you, the one you have envisioned, the one that leads to greater prosperity and purpose.  If someone is walking with you but is speaking and believing counter to your purpose and destiny, your own path will become confused.  You may even find yourself straying from purpose, your purpose, and walking in someone else’s path.

I think this is what often happens.  People get lead astray and start adopting someone else’s vision, then they get despondent when their life is convoluted, unproductive and indebted.  How can you prosper following someone else’s vision and purpose?  If you do this, your own prosperity will languish and so will you.  You won’t live up to your own potential.  This is what you often see when you encounter complainers and people full of bitterness.

Guard your prosperity 3

So I say Guard your prosperity.  Protect it, cherish it and nurture it by devoting time to concentrate on what you have envisioned.  Build a habit of reaffirming your vision and don’t share it with everybody.  People can see your prosperity from afar and learn from your methods after the fact, but while your developing your vision guard your prosperity carefully.  If you have a vision board, great, but don’t post it or display it for public scrutiny.  It is your vision.  Make sure you see it.  No one else needs to see it.  I say this because when others see what you have envisioned for yourself, they ask questions.  These questions can sometimes be very negative and demotivating.  This is because they don’t understand your vision and how do people react to things they don’t understand?  They oppose them, they strike out against them and attempt to dismantle them and make you feel silly for having such passion and vision.

Questions from these type of people can have a real debilitating effect on your spirit and your vision.  These questions can appear to be harmless at first.  Someone might ask, “do you really think it’s a good idea to see that job making $350,000 a year”, or “why buy a Mercedes?  People who buy those care only about image.  You don’t want to be that person do you?”  When you hear questions like this what does it do to what you have dreamed about?  It is deflating.

Guard your prosperity 6So cast off the naysayers and guard your prosperity.  Your dreams are yours and they have come into your life just for you.  Relish them and see yourself walking in the prosperity God intended for you to have.  Let the naysayers sit and spin!!!  You roll out in your Mercedes filled with the knowledge that $350,000 is sitting in the bank at your disposal!!!

Dealing with Life’s Disappointments

Dealing with Life’s Disappointments

Don’t you wish that each and everyday of your life was nothing but joy and happiness, no valley lows, just mountain highs?  Well, that might get old after a while and you might not experience growth of any significance, but aren’t there days when you just wish it was always sunshine?

Disappointments 4

This roller coaster we call life can sometimes get the best of us.  Many times you might wish life could just cut you a break and dish out a bed of roses instead of thorns.  On the face of it, this sounds fantastic.  I mean who wouldn’t want days filled with nothing but bliss?  No worries.  No concerns other than the next laugh, the next hug, the next ray of sunshine.  What would we look like if our present realities reflected this?

A life without stress of any kind would produce what?  A longer lifespan some might venture.  After all, isn’t stress one of the biggest killers in America now.  Isn’t stress one of the greatest health concerns we have?  So if we could eliminate all stress, what kind of people would we be?  Honestly, I don’t think we could exist without it!

Difficulties, hardships, challenges all have purpose in our lives both physically and emotionally.  Each time we put stress on the physical body what happens?  It changes.  The body responds to stress.  Ask any weight lifter about what his goal is in the gym and he…or she, will say that they are looking to breakdown muscle fibers in order to create new growth.  Tear down the muscle and the body begins to repair and rebuild, and it will generally rebuild sufficiently to meet the new strains being placed on it.

In Marine boot camp, our drill instructors put us through hell…and they enjoyed it!  They made us do things that had nothing whatsoever to do with combat or the new job skill we would be learning.  The stress was put on us to develop mental and emotional toughness.  Our drill instructors tortured, humiliated and pushed us beyond our limits to test us and prepare us for what might possibly happen on the battlefield.  I hated my drill instructors but to tell you the truth, after it was all over I knew that I could do anything, face anything if I had to.  I was mentally and physically stronger after going through the process and this helped me a great deal once I hit the fleet.

I think life is like this too.  We go through things, harsh things, troubling things, the kinds of things that you would only think happen in nightmares…but those things are not without purpose.  I can’t pretend to understand why we suffer what we suffer.  Everyone has a different trial to face, but I do know this that we are never alone as we face our challenges.  It might feel like that sometimes, like you are the only one suffering financial collapse, relationship troubles, health issues, etc, but you are not.  Even if no one close to you or far from you knows what’s happening in your life, God knows which means you are not alone.

Next, if you believe what I’m saying then you should also know this that your trial has purpose!  The key is to make that purpose a divine purpose!  A purpose tied to His will and not your own.  If you believe that God has oversight of your trial, then you can draw strength from knowing that God’s plan is not and has never been about your destruction!!!!  He has always wanted what would prosper you and elevate you to the place He intended you for all along.  If we can get our heads around the fact that He cares for us, then our trials won’t be viewed as burdens but opportunities for growth!!