Without question, life and living are not without troubles or its accomplice, worry. Sooner or later, they walk through your door. Sometimes we worry about issues that do not directly concern us, but if they affect people that we love, they naturally becomes an extension of our lives.
Flowers, particularly roses can be calming / soothing. Although they don’t wash our troubles away, roses brighten up our space.
They are such beautiful flowers and come in an assortment of colors. Often, I think that roses, particularly red ones, have magical powers. A dozen delivered to my door can heal emotional wounds and bring instant joy and jubilation. A delivery of two dozen once made me jump through hoops.
To its recipient, roses show thoughtfulness from the giver. They can definitely liven up your day and spirits with their fragrant delight.
As beautiful and fragrant as roses are, rose bushes have thorns. The piercing of a thorn against our skin hurts. When that happens, we have God’s healing hands to give us relief.
Sure, life is not a bed of roses, but thank God for his mercy, love, grace, protection, and covering.
Thank God for continuing the breathe of life in us and our loved ones. Thank God for a tomorrow!
As we feel the smooth petals, smell the fragrant scent, and adore the beauty of red roses, we can digest God’s words and take in the beauty of his garden of life that is filled with many flowers along with life’s varied assets.
As we stand, sit, and walk in God’s rose garden, we are provided with all of the necessities that we need in this life. Oh yes, we are truly blessed! James 1:12 tells us – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
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Miracles … God’s incredible miracles … We have all heard and read about them.
Our faith brings these ancient miracles to life. Visually, because of faith, you can see them take place in your mind. Spiritually, the power of the Lord and all of his greatness is right before your eyes as the scenes lie buried in your heart. Let’s walk back in history and see God’s greatness in the form of miracles.
This list looks at ten of the more amazing miracles described in the Bible.
*Jesus Exorcises Legions.
*Ten Plagues of Egypt.
*Jesus Walks on Water.
*Balaam and his Talking Donkey.
*Crossing of the Red Sea.
*Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.
*Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead.
*Joshua Stops the Sun.
*The creation – “Let there be light.”
10. Jesus exorcizes legions.
There was this particular demon-possessed man as he calls himself, “Legion, for we are many.” The Son of God simply tells them to leave the man. They beg to enter a nearby herd of pigs, and Jesus permits this. The herd goes insane and swarms off a hillside into the sea, all drowning.
9. Ten Plagues of Egypt
This one has been subjected to scientific analysis, but we know that it was the power of God. The interesting part is that the first plague is blood. The Nile runs red, and all the fish die. This could have been red toxic algae (red tide), or a volcanic eruption depositing red-colored earth and silt into the water. Once the fish die, the frogs, leaving the dirty water, would die on land. Then the flies would increase terribly to feed on the frog carcasses. Then the livestock would die from fly-bites (anthrax, malaria, etc.). Anthrax transmits from cattle to human in the form of boils and sores. Then fiery hail, perhaps from the volcano eruption. Then locusts descend to feast on whatever crops are left after the hailstorm destroys them. Then darkness, perhaps via eclipse or the locusts themselves. The death of the firstborn is not easy to explain, but the oldest child of a family, at that time, was given first choice of food, which by then, would certainly all have been diseased. Although there is this scientific analysis; for certain, it was definitely a miracle from God.
8. Jesus walks on water
It is one of his most famous miracles. Jesus does it to show his Disciples that they can do anything, if only they will believe in themselves as his Disciples. Imagine seeing a man walking nonchalantly 3 miles across the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee at night, and arriving at his Disciples’ boat just before they reach the other shore.
7. Balaam and his Talking Donkey
Balaam tries to curse the Israelites 3 times, and 3 times God changes his curses to blessings. But this is after he has a vision of an angel standing in the road. Actually his donkey sees it first, and refuses to go near it. Donkeys are quite smart, and this story is written quite accurately to that end. Three times the donkey refuses and three times Balaam beats her. “Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’Balaam answered the donkey, ‘You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.’The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?’‘No,’ he said. Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, ‘Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.’”Imagine sitting on the roadside and seeing this all happen. Only the donkey, and then Balaam, can see the angel. But the donkey plainly opens her mouth and speaks Hebrew! With proper grammar! Priceless.
6. Crossing of the Red Sea
Perhaps, this is the most famous miracle in the Bible. Cecil B. DeMille instilled it in the household imagination with his fine 1956 epic with Charlton Heston. But this depiction is not quite right. The parting occurs immediately in the film, but in the Bible, the Egyptian and Israelite armies oppose each other all day and night, separated by a pillar of fire and smoke. All that night, a strong east wind, thus blowing into the backs of the armies, forward across the Sea, blows back the water and creates a narrow path, until by dawn, the seafloor is dry ground and the water stands up like walls on both sides.It would definitely have been an awesome spectacle. The Egyptians were just a tad foolish for following the Israelites down between the walls of water.
5. Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
It is in all 4 Gospels, so the writers must have considered it important. In Matthew 14:13-21, he feeds 5,000 men, not counting women and children, which might have placed the number at 10,000, maybe more. He has only 5 loaves and 2 fish (7 total), after which, his Disciples collect 12 basketfuls of uneaten leftovers (12).He does this a second time in Matthew and Mark, feeding 4,000 men, besides women and children, with 7 loaves, a few fish, and collecting 7 basketfuls of leftovers. The number 7 is interpreted as perfection. 12 is the number of the Tribes of Israel. It certainly would have boggled the mind to anyone watching closely. How did he continue to reproduce the food? There was no description of manna and quail from Heaven. He simply blessed it, broke it, and had his Disciples distribute it.
4. Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead
Imagine if you were standing in Bethany, just east of Jerusalem, among the crowd of mourners. Jesus is walking in, and another crowd is following him. But Lazarus has been dead for 4 days. Jesus is too late to heal him. Yet, he breaks down and weeps. The best part is when Lazarus’s sister, Mary, tells him, “My Lord, he has been dead for 4 days. There will be a bad smell.” Yes, the smell of rot. Jesus isn’t perturbed, but tells her to have the tomb opened. He commands Lazarus to come out, and he does so, wearing his burial linens.
3. Joshua Stops the Sun
Joshua does battle with the Amorites in Gibeon, somewhere north of Jerusalem. Not only does Joshua and his army rout the enemy army, but as they flee the field, God Himself rains down hailstones on them, which kill more of them than the Israelites kill. The fight apparently seemed to Joshua as if it would take so long, given the huge numbers of men, that Joshua entreated the Lord to stop the sun and moon, so the day would last long enough for the Israelites to do their thing. Most importantly, Joshua had arranged his army to attack with the sun at its back. Classic field tactic.Imagine 12 hours of midday sun, no shadows, and then: it doesn’t go away! 12 more hours of midday sun! And then the next day begins anyway, so: the Lord acquiesced to stop the rotation of Earth.
2. The Resurrection
You do not need to believe it to understand the awesomeness of what it means. There are, according to the Bible, only two people who did not suffer the bitterness of death: Enoch and Elijah. The first simply walks with God and is no more. The second is taken to Heaven in a fiery chariot and whirlwind. Jesus actually does die. But he is the only person in the Bible who revives himself. For three days, he is dead to the world. 3 days later, his spirit returned to his body and he got right back up. He Goes Home. He defeats death.
1. “Let There Be Light”
It has been depicted many times in films, educational programs, etc., as a massive burst of light in all colors, quickly forming into galaxies, stars, later planets and such. But, the creation of light never made a sound.
What a mighty God we serve!
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I awoke this morning listening to my favorite singer, Aretha Franklin.
Nobody can touch my soul in song better than the Queen.
As I listened to the best selling song ever for Columbia Records originally recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1969, my soul was filled with Aretha’s rendition.
You see, she and I have been on first name basis for years though we have never physically exchanged pleasantries.
Songs have always been life’s rhythm put to words accompanied by music.
So, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” was written to provide comfort.
That it has done for me this morning!
I trust that its therapeutic effects are comforting to you as well.
Be inspired by Matthews 6:34.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
“Until the lion learns how to write every story will glorify the hunter” is an
African Proverb which refers to the “unknown part of the struggle between the lion and the hunter because as we know a story is never complete until one hears from both sides. The one who does not have the voice is often the loser. It is in these circumstances when one voice dominates the other that this proverb is often heard.
The world only know about the truth written by the hunters since they are in authority.
The hunter’s story may not be 100% accurate as people tend to slant their story from their point of view.”
The lion has no voice. It is no secret that people tell their side of the story to favor them.
The moral of the story lends itself to who will you believe.
Who is telling the truth when it’s one word against the other?
Do people tend to believe the more influential person?
Don’t sell the lesser person short.
Prominence, power, and wealth are not synonyms for the word – truthful.
It is not always how it looks!
Looks are deceiving.
It may be wise to hear both sides, weight the facts, gather the evidence, and reach a probable conclusion.
My thoughts …
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For those who study numerology, it is known that the number 12 symbolizes completion or perfection.
Interestingly, the number 12 is used 187 times in the Bible.
Not to overload your circuits but just for the fun of it, let’s review 12 Things to Remember,
12 Processes of Successful people
and a few tidbits about Happiness.
12 things to always remember:
1. The past cannot be changed.
2. Opinions don’t define your reality.
3. Everyone’s journey is different.
4. Things always get better with time.
5. Judgments are confessions of character.
6. Overthinking will lead to sadness.
7. Happiness is found within.
8. Positive thoughts create positive things.
9. Smiles are contagious.
10. Kindness is free.
11. You only fail if you quit.
12. What goes around comes around.
After you remember those 12 things and if you crave success, you need to know the composition of successful people:
Successful people do these things:
1. They create and pursue focused goals.
2. They take decisive and immediate action.
3. They focus on being productive, not being busy.
4. They make logical, informed decisions.
5. They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.
6. They work outside of their comfort zones.
7. They keep things simple.
8. They focus on making small, continuous improvements.
9. They measure and track their progress.
10. They maintain a positive attitude as they learn from their mistakes.
11. They spend time with the motivational people.
12. They maintain balance in their life.
No matter what we try, whether we succeed or fail, we want to be happy. The Happiness Rules are simple and they do not number 12. Take a look.
1. Make peace with your past. Don’t let it disturb your present.
2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
3. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
4. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is about.
6. Stop thinking too much. It’s okay not to know the answers; they will come to you when you least expect it.
7. Smile. You don’t own all of the world’s problems.
Are you tired of reading?
I know that it is a lot to absorb, but if we integrate a few, some, most or all of these things, we will be happier campers.
Sometimes, we have to keep reminding ourselves that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Thus, we didn’t get where we were over night. It is imperative that we keep our eyes focused on our journey and stop overly watching other people. It can become too distracting.
Keep pursuing positive things; your actions will reflect them. Remember the good not the bad. I close by saying when someone does something wrong, don’t forget the good things that they have done.
Keep a opened mind and an aura of equilibrium. They will provide balance. Sometimes, you have to step back and ask, “Will this matter in a year?”
And by all means, if nothing else – remember the frog!
Photo credit: www.pininterest.com; Source: www.twitter.com; www.en.paperblog.com; www.pininterest.com
When I think of personal finances, I am reminded of the words that many working women in Mississippi as they picked cotton … would say, “Child, I’m just trying to make ends meet; to get by.” Honestly, those words meant nothing to me as a child, but their meaning became clearer as the years went by.
Just what does this expression mean, “To make ends meet.”
I’m glad you asked.
Here’s the dictionary versions:
* To manage so that one’s financial means are enough for one’s needs. The ends, it is assumed, alludes to the sum total of income and expenditures.
* To have just enough to pay for the things you need.
* To have enough money to cover expenses; to get by financially; to get through the pay period (sufficient to meet the next payday).
Defining it was just a matter of strolling my fingers to a dictionary, living with it – well that’s another thing. It’s a daily struggle for many. The upside is this – there is hope. Those same old women who told me about making ends meet, also told me that, “hard times don’t last always.”
I share with you a few other inspiring and motivational quotes that will move you to act; to change your condition; to move you from point A to point Z. Here we go.
* God first. Family second. Career third. With life in that order, everything works out.
* Every man’s the same; he wants the sunshine in his name.
* If you change nothing; nothing will change.
* Just when you think you can make ends meet, somebody moved the ends.
* Don’t let your struggles become your identity.
* Keep the faith, hold on. Things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.
* People aren’t always going to be there for you. You have to learn to handle
things on your own.
* You create your own opportunities.
* Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.
* Don’t count the days. Make the days count.
* Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in your pockets.
So what do you do? How do you change your condition? You must “keep on a climbing because life ain’t no crystal stairs!”
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Building trust is a hard task. Of course, we know how difficult it is to trust in our personal relationships.
Elevating that same trust factor to business associations takes us to another level. Without question, the average person likes dealing with someone that they like and can trust.
When in your business relationships, trustworthiness affect your bottom line, it becomes a very serious matter.
When it determines how much money we make and how much is directed elsewhere, it takes on a completely different meaning. When money is involved, so is seriousness. It becomes a different ball game; totally.
There are seven concrete actions that build trust in a business environment. “These actions build trust primarily through sincerity, reliability, communication, commitment, consistency, and competence. Let’s take a look.
1. Demonstrate that you trust others.
One way to do this is to be generous and forgiving when someone else makes a mistake or disappoints you in some way. People who always jump to the worst conclusion about a person’s competence or motivation inspire wariness, not trust.
Most people don’t set out to be mean or stupid, so give them the benefit of the doubt until you have contrary information that proves you wrong. You’ll feel better about them, and they’ll trust you for your generosity.
2. Create relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Customers, coworkers and employees all want to believe that they are making the right decision to work with you. This takes a lot more than clichés and platitudes. Customers should clearly understand the value of your products and services to them. Likewise, employees should feel good about taking ownership, which introduces an added measure of accountability and demonstrates the level of trust you have in them.
In other words, trust is about showing people that you care about them. In turn, they will care about and trust you.
3. Directly address issues.
Ruffled feathers are inevitable in any relationship. How you deal with concerns and problems is what instills trust and loyalty. In the course of a busy business day, it’s easy to get distracted and become disconnected with what’s happening on the front lines.
Customer trust develops from the first contact and extends through service delivery, implementation, care and support. At each step, you can either damage or enhance this experience for your customers. That’s why it’s so important to deliver on promises if you want to be trusted.
If you want people to trust you, you have to care. Address complaints fast. Share information. Gain their confidence. Exude pride and passion about your business. Resolve conflicts quickly. These actions separate you from the pack, while also building and maintaining trust.
4. Tell the truth.
Let’s say that one more time for good measure — tell the truth.
Never assume that certain people can’t handle the truth. Be as honest with your employees and customers as you expect them to be with you. If you get caught in a lie, no one will trust you. You don’t often get a second chance to make a first impression, so don’t count on it.
Keeping your promises is also a part of telling the truth. Don’t commit to a promise you can’t deliver. Think about what’s realistic, and do your best to live up to your word.
5. Be flexible and patient.
Be tolerant of mistakes, and don’t be an inflexible judge. Meet the other person in the middle. Be considerate of events and negative experiences that may have affected one’s ability to trust. Make exceptions to the rules when common sense dictates. Consider unusual alternatives for problems that can’t be resolved by typical methods.
Remember, trust is built over time, especially when you deal with someone who isn’t fortunate enough to have experienced trust in his or her own life.
6. Respect their time.
I believe that people in our society are losing their sense of civility, courtesy and respect. To get people to trust you, you will be well-served to raise your awareness of other people’s time, personal schedule and needs. This means you should:
Promptly return phone calls
Promptly reply to emails and thoroughly address all points raised
Be on time for meetings, and log on to a scheduled call two minutes in advance of start time
Hold fast to estimated call end times, and inquire if attendees are free to keep going.
7. Deliver the unexpected.
The best way to deliver trust is to surprise and delight clients and customers. Give them what they asked for, but on top of that, deliver more — more service, more time, more convenience and more sensitivity. Delivering more than they expect goes a long way and adds real value and trust. As a bonus, customers will tell others about how you delivered more. This should net you more business.
George MacDonald, the nineteenth century Scottish author and poet, said “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” In business, that’s the kind of compliment you can take to the bank.”
Now if you can master these business trust factors professionally, you can exercise many of the same forms of engagement in your personal life. I’m sorry. That may be more challenging since you find it hard to trust anyone! So I close with this question. Where is the balance when you expect others to trust you when you will not allow yourself to trust anyone? Just asking!
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In 1978, as I was having my car serviced, I caught the bus to work. I ran across the street and fell. Oh my goodness! Although I knew no one on the bus, and I wasn’t physically injured, I was totally embarrassed. I remember another occasion during my teenage years when my Mother furiously walked across the street in her apron publicly chastising me in front of my peers. Embarrassed I was! I have other incidents that I could relate as I’m sure you do. Most of us have had those embarrassing moments that we will never forget. Take a look at some of the top ones.
“Embarrassing Moments that we never want to happen
1. Swiping, waiting and having your debit card come up declined is one of the most stomach churning moments you’ll ever experience. When this happens it’s a lose-lose scenario because if you don’t have the money in the bank, you’re now exposed – and even if it’s your account that’s malfunctioning, defending yourself and appearing bamboozled will still be greeted by funny, judgmental looks.
2. Pushing doors that are built to be pulled and vice versa. It enrages me that I have a 50/50 shot, yet I consistently guess wrong.
3. Slipping and falling in rain. I don’t have an official statistic, but this has to occur like, 94% of the time at store entryways. Seriously, next time it rains, kick your feet up and enjoy the show because at least one person will take a tumble. I’ve done it myself, take a step, slip, suddenly you’re staring at the sky for a moment, then splat — you greet the pavement.
4. Being out and unexpectedly having your flip-flop/sandal break. This is probably karma for laughing at the folks who stumbled in the rain, so just deal with it. Besides, it’s nothing a little super glue, or a lot of Elmer’s can’t solve.
5. Making awkward eye contact with someone as they enter a foul-smelling bathroom, because you know they think you’re responsible, whether you really are or not.
6. Silent room stomach growls. You know how your stomach is. It always waits until the quiet part of the movie, the silence at the table or any moment of stillness to let its rumbling roar be heard at an opportune time.
7. When someone else’s actions are beyond ridiculous but they don’t have the social awareness to sense that they should be embarrassed, so you have to feel humiliated for them.
8. Going to the wrong classroom and sitting there for a lengthy period of time before realizing that the topics of discussion don’t fit and now you’ll look like a bad-mannered student, exiting class just as it began.
9. Accidentally mentioning something to someone that was never actually told to you, but was discovered via your lurking social networks.
10. Confusing a person for something they aren’t. E.g. thinking that someone’s wife is their daughter, or mistaking a beer belly for pregnancy.
11. Falling on a treadmill. If this hasn’t happened to you, feel blessed. Not only is this terrifying, but it’s equally painful on your body and ego. One second you’re running, the next you look down and you’re further back then anticipated. The machine’s speed is too fast for your steps and suddenly you’re slammed against a hot, moving conveyor belt that swoops you off of it like a humiliating ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet mixed with a mechanical bull.
12. Locking yourself out of your car because not only is it embarrassing, it’s a ginormous hassle that we’d rather not deal with. And neither would the unlucky holder of your spare key.
13. Playing DJ and having your iPod land on one of many humiliating, guilty pleasure songs that occupy your gigabytes.
14. Talking to yourself on the road and realizing that the people in the car next to you are staring, terrified of and amused by the nutcase next to them. (A good save is to make your phone visible and pretend to be utilizing speakerphone.)
15. Being scared by ninja runners. When you’re on a peaceful jog and the music blaring through your headphones sucks you into your own little world, you completely forget about your surroundings.
16. Eye boogers, nose boogers, food in the teeth, stains on clothes – any type of visually off-putting monstrosity that you unknowingly wore all day. Especially terrible after a long day of coming face to face with a lot of people who you just know saw it up close and personal.
17. The unique ringtones set for special people in our lives going off in quiet settings never fails to warrant some shame. From the confines of my own home, I love having “Me So Horny” blare when you call. But in the library? Not so much.
18. Doing something odd when you’re all alone, then thinking “what if” you’re currently being recorded? It’s even more embarrassing when you realize that you seriously considered the possibility that a camera was taping your solo shenanigans.
19. Spilling your alcoholic beverage whether in a bar or at a friend’s home. Either way people are going to cry “party foul,” and make a spectacle of your clumsiness.
20. Accidentally “liking” a Facebook status or double tapping an Instagram image. The moment directly after doing so feels capable of inducing a heart attack. I’ve reconsidered mobile social networking because that’s typically when it happens. We just want to undo what we’ve done hastily, without anyone actually noticing.”
What’s your most embarrassing moment? Stop laughing! It may be funny now, but it sure wasn’t funny at the time! Ha ha!
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When I was a student at Moore’s Elementary school, I had a teacher named Miss Ross.
A petite woman, she was stern and
had an iron hand.
There were several things that were mandatory assignments. You had to learn them or face Miss Ross!
Everyone including me dreaded looking her in the eyes or feeling her black belt on your behind. In Mississippi in the early 1960’s, corporal punishment (as we called it) and religious teachings were still permitted in the classrooms.
If you were disciplined by Miss Ross, you couldn’t turn her in to your parents because in those days teachers ruled – unanimously; no questions asked! My parents felt that if I was punished, it was justified! Go figure!
One of Miss Ross’ mandatory recitations before the entire class was King David’s Twenty – Third Psalms. You had to say it over and over again until you got it right.
Today, I thank you Miss Ross because Psalms 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd” has helped, guided, and uplifted me in so many ways!
Miss Ross put those powerful words in my head; I put them in my heart.
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Recently, I heard a pastor say that “the riches in life are not found in money or possessions, but in relationships!” Perhaps to those who revere their bank accounts, real estate holdings, and stocks/bonds, a statement of this magnitude would hit them like a ton of bricks.
Truly, it is our relationship with God foremost and our loved ones that bring us riches!
Being there for people in their time of need is one of the greatest gifts that you can give.
Don’t ignore them when you can help them. They may not know of your resources, but God does!
When you give of your time and resources, you will receive back more than you gave.
Be blessed in your relationships!
Be blessed in your life!
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