Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grandkids

Our granddaughter celebrated her 3rd birthday today. She and her cousin cozied up on the couch and watched a video together while she snacked on snap peas and carrots...weird kid!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vacation in Cancun

We met some new friends in Cancun, Rob & Wendy. We took them to one of our favorite restaurants, La Habichuela in downtown Cancun.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

50 Things I've Learned in 50+ years

Author Unknown
1. Its better to sing off key than not to sing at all.
2. Promptness shows respect.
3. You cant avoid offending people from time to time. When you dont mean it, apologize. When you do mean it, accept the consequences.
4. The first person to use the expression Get a life! in any dispute is the loser.
5. The medium is not the message. Those who issue blanket condemnations of any form of communicationbe it TV, tabloids, text messages or blogssimply arent paying attention.
6. The most valuable thing to have is a good reputation, and its neither hard nor expensive to acquire one: Be fair. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Be generous. Respect others.
7. Prejudice and bigotry is hard-wired into us. You cant overcome it until you acknowledge it.
8. Dont be bothered when people dont share your tastes in music, sports, literature, food and fashion. Be glad. Youd never get tickets to anything otherwise.
9. Cough syrup doesnt work.
10. Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act.
11. The Golden Rule is the greatest moral truth. If you dont believe in it, at least try to fake it.
12. Keeping perspective is the greatest key to happiness. From a distance, even a bumpy road looks smooth.
13. You cant win arguing with police officers or referees, but every so often you can fight City Hall.
14. Its not political correctness that dictates that we try not to insult others beliefs and identities. Its common decency.
15. It may not feel like it, but its good luck when you have people at home and at work who arent afraid to tell you when youre wrong.
16. Its 10 times easier to fall in love than to stay in love. And no matter what the sad songs say about romance, broken hearts do mend.
17. Dont waste your breath proclaiming whats really important to you. How you spend your time says it all.
18. Keeping an open mind is as big a challenge as you get older as keeping a consistent waistline.
19. Its never a shame when you admit you dont know something, and often a shame when you assume that you do.
20. Wounds heal faster under bandages than they do in the open air.
21. Fear of failure is a ticket to mediocrity. If youre not failing from time to time, youre not pushing yourself. And if youre not pushing yourself, youre coasting.
22. Anyone who judges you by the kind of car you drive or shoes you wear isnt someone worth impressing.
23. Grudges are poison. The only antidote is to let them go.
24. If youre in a conversation and youre not asking questions, then its not a conversation, its a monologue.
25. In everyday life, most talent is simply hard work in disguise.
26. Great parents can have rotten kids and rotten parents can have great kids. But even though biology plays a huge role in destiny, thats no excuse to give up or stop trying.
27. Four things that most people think are lame but really are a lot of fun: barn dancing, charades, volleyball and sing-alongs.
28. Two cheap, easy self-improvement projects: Develop a strong handshake and start smiling when you answer the phone.
29. When something that costs less than $200 breaks and its not under warranty and you cant fix it yourself in half an hour, its almost certainly more cost-effective to throw it out.
30. Most folk remedies are nonsense, but zinc really does zap colds.
31. Physical attraction is nice, but shared values and a shared sense of humor are the real keys to lasting love.
32. To keep dental visits regular, schedule your next appointment on your way out from your last appointment.
33. The 10-minute jump start is the best way to get going on a big task youve been avoiding. Set a timer and begin, promising yourself that youll quit after 10 minutes and do something else. The momentum will carry you forward.
34. Laundry day is much easier when all your socks are the same and you dont have to sort them.
35. Candor is overrated. Its hard to unsay what youve said in anger and almost impossible to take back what youve written.
36. Goals that you keep to yourself are just castles on the beach. If youre determined to achieve something, tell people about it and ask them to help you stick with it.
37. Mental illness is as real as diabetes, arthritis or any other disease, and no more disgraceful. Its the stigma thats disgraceful.
38. In crisis or conflict, always think and act strategically. Take time to figure out what the winning outcome is for you, then work toward it.
39. All the stuff you have lying around that youll never want, need, wear or look at again? It just makes it harder to find what you do want, need or intend to wear. File it, donate it or throw it out.
40. Exercise does not take time. Exercise creates time.
41. Almost no one stretches, flosses or gives compliments often enough.
42. It pays to keep handy a list that includes a trusted plumber, electrician, locksmith, appliance repair specialist and heating contractor. When you really need one is no time to start looking.
43. The store-brand jelly, cereal, paper goods, baking supplies and pharmacy products are good enough.
44. When you mess up, fess up. Its the fastest way, if there is one, to forgiveness.
45. When youre not the worst-dressed person at a social event, you have nothing to worry about.
46. Be truthful or be quiet. Lies are hard to keep track of.
47. Your education isnt complete until youve learned to take a hint.
48. Theres a good reason to be secretive about your age. People tend to assume things when they know how old you are. Oh, hes turning 50, they might say, for example, probably full of cranky self-lacerating aphorisms that he thinks qualify as wisdom.
49. Whatever your passion, pursue it as though your days were numbered. Because they are.
50. Readers love lists. You got to the bottom of this one, didnt you?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Promo Video

Check this out and join the Advent Conspiracy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun Friday

Man & Wife

It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them. Some are overly sensitive, and there's nothing worse than an over-sensitive woman.

My name is Jim. Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Peggy. When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Peggy to get a full-time job, along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age.I usually get home from the golf club about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the club, so eating out is not reasonable. I'm ready for a home-cooked meal when I hit that door.

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

Another symptom of aging is complaining. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think tact is one of my strong points.

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me too.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Peggy. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other. Jim

EDITOR'S NOTE:Jim died suddenly on May 27 of a perforated rectum. The police report says he was found with a Calloway extra long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II golf club jammed up his butt, with barely 5 inches of grip showing and a sledge hammer laying nearby. His wife Peggy was arrested and charged with murder. The all-woman jury took only 15 minutes to find her not guilty, accepting her defense that Jim somehow, without looking, accidentally sat down on his golf club.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stressless Saturday

I recently had a client that just couldn’t say no. She struggled with family members, co-workers…even her pets. Her teenaged kids were walking all over her, her co-workers dumped all their work on her desk, and the dogs wouldn’t stay off the furniture!

As we started talking about assertiveness she looked at me like I was an alien from a far away planet. She just couldn’t see herself saying no. To her it seemed like too much work, and she worried that people wouldn’t like her. My question to her was, “Do people like you now, or do they just like that they can use you?” Ouch. I could tell that the wheels were turning and she was beginning to understand that it might be more important to like her self and get respect from others. She didn’t have a clue how to get started. I pulled out an old book from my bookshelf. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook introduces a useful approach to assertiveness with its LADDER mnemonic.

LADDER describes a six-stage process for handling problems in an assertive way. These are:
L – Look at your rights and what you want, and understand your feelings about the situation
A – Arrange a meeting with the other person to discuss the situation
D – Define the problem specifically
D – Describe your feelings so that the other person fully understands how you feel about the situation
E – Express what you want clearly and concisely
R – Reinforce the other person by explaining the mutual benefits of adopting the site of action you are suggesting.

Although this is only a beginning in becoming assertive, it is a beginning! Recognizing a problem is the first step to finding a solution!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Office

I finally found some office space in Bourbonnais! This has been an interesting transition with a new church, new house, new office. I haven't been blogging much because I have felt very unsettled. Maybe now that I have the last piece of the puzzle in place I can get back to posting on the blog! Here's a picture of the new office building.

201 Park Place, Suite 3 Bourbonnais, IL 60914

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day


“It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.” Francis Bacon, Sr.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day: Attitude

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Chuck Swindoll

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Church

I have been in church since I was a baby. My father was a Methodist minister before I was born, and even though he got out of the ministry, church was a given in our family. We were there every time the church doors were open. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any other nights my parents had meetings at the church.

Over the years I ahve been involved in many ministries in the church...children's ministry, choir, adult education, church librarian, counselor, board member...you name it, I probably did it! For over four years I served on the staff of a large church as the Pastor of Adult Ministries and Counseling. Suffice it to say that I know how to do church. I know the joys of belonging and the weaknesses of the organization.

Lately I have been wondering about the state of the church in America. Maybe it is because the church I am currently attending seems to be blowing it in some pretty critical areas. But it is not just this church. As a counselor I talk to people about their deepest hurts, and unfortunately, some of those hurts are caused by churches.

Psychologist Larry Crabb receives letters every week that say, "You're talking about a kind of community where I can be nurtured. Is this a pipe dream? Is there any place where this is really happening?""People are aware as never before of their longing for community, for encounters with a supernatural God, for reality beneath the mess," he said. "They go to church thinking this is going to happen, but the deepest need of their soul is missed." The Church's Walking Wounded - Christianity Today

I remember teaching a Sunday School lesson one time about the need for community. I made the statement that "Churches can be the loneliest institutions in the world." The long time church members couldn't believe that I made that statement until I continued..."I could walk into a bar and tell the bartender that my life was falling apart, or my kid was on drugs, or that my husband walked out on me and he would say 'Let me get you a drink, and tell me all about it,' but in the church if I was honest enough to admit those things some would wonder why my relationship with God wasn't strong enough, or what kind of sin I had in my life."

There is a saying that "the church is the only army that shoots it's wounded." It is sad, but true in too many churches. I think part of the problem is that we expect churches to be better. We are not surprised that we can't trust people at our jobs or community, but we walk into church, hear all the messages about how trustworthy God is, and how Jesus longs for a relationship with us, and we mistakenly assume that the people of the church will be Jesus in skin to us.

The church is a microcosm of our community. There are good people, and bad people that make up our congregations. Some churches are like big dysfunctional families. We get into trouble when we look to people to meet our relational needs instead of God. Many times we put the leaders of our church on a pedastal and expect them to love us like God would, forgetting that they are human beings without the capability of loving unconditionally.

I guess I really don't have any answers...but I have had to reconcile my feelings of dissapointment about the church and decide to become part of the solution rather than give up on the church. We are all the church...and that includes me. I want my contribution to the church to be one of holding out the hope of Jesus Christ to a hurting world. I will start by being friendly in a church that seems unfriendly, and by being a blessing to those that God brings across my path.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Invisible Woman

To all the moms who wonder if what they are doing is important.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do." Dennis Waitley

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"The secret to productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we've already achieved them." Denis Waitley

Friday, August 8, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stressless Saturday

One of the keys to stress management is perspective. If you can look at a problem from a different perspective you may be able to solve it, or at least see the humor in it. Many times in counseling I ask clients to keep a "gratitude" journal. I ask them to write down three or four things that they are thankful for at the end of each day. In writing down what they are grateful for they begin to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. I usually give them this reasoning; Have you ever bought a new car and as you are driving home you see your particular make and model of car everywhere on the road? It is not that there are more of those particular cars on the road, it is that you have just started to pay attention to other cars. It is called selective attention. We attend to the things that are important to us. So...if you begin to look for things you are thankful for you will improve your perspective on life. Try it!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fun Friday

At Saint Mary's Catholic Church they have a weekly husband's marriage seminar. At the session last week, the Priest asked Luigi, who was approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he had managed to stay married to the same woman all these years. Luigi replied to the assembled husbands, 'Well, I've a-tried to treat-a her nice, spend the money on her, but best of all is that I took-a her to Italy for the 20th anniversary!'

The Priest responded, 'Luigi, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell us what you are planning for your wife for your 50th anniversary.' Luigi proudly replied , 'I'm a-gonna go and get her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life Stories

Before my father died in 1999 he would call me and tell me stories about serving in WWII. He was a cook in the army and many times he would tell me about the dishes he cooked. He shared recipes, talked about the huge quantities of food he prepared, and talked about the men he served.

Although he often repeated his stories, I knew they were an important part of his stage in life. He was almost 80, legally blind, a diabetic, and unable to drive. His life was spent remembering days gone by. According to Erik Erickson's personality theory, individuals in later life face "integrity vs. despair." This stage of life is when an elderly adult begins to review his or her life to see if it was a success or failure. They tell stories as they reminisce about the things that were important to them.

Often children of the elderly get impatient because of the repetition. They don't realize that by listening they are validating the importance of their parent's lives.

While in grad school one of my projects for a class on psychology and aging was to do a video interview with an elderly friend or relative. I chose my father. Although he suffered from depression, his eyes lit up as he told stories about his childhood and youth. I learned things about him that I had never heard before. But more importantly, the stories he told didn't get lost in his death. Answering the questions about his life gave him the opportunity to show that his life mattered. It also gave me the opportunity to understand how he became the man he was...not just the father he was.

Our stories may not be page turners, or thrilling adventures, but by sharing them we create a legacy. It is in the knowing and being known, and loving and being loved, that our legacy lives on.

“Live your life fom your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls.” Melody Beattie

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day


“Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you.” Aldous Huxley

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day


"Champions know there are no shortcuts to the top. They climb the mountain one step at a time." Judi Adler

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"Might there be something about information -- the speed with which it comes, the sense of control it gives us -- that can truly become addictive?"Kevin A. Miller, Surviving Information Overload

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stressless Saturday: Information Overload

Have you ever opened your e-mail account and wanted to scream because of the sheer number of new e-mails that came in over night? I recently changed my e-mail address and it has been a great opportunity to rethink my e-mail habits. For instance, I had to decide whether or not to rejoin some of the e-mail subscriptions that I had. Some were very informative...most of them were, actually...but I just had too much information being dumped into my inbox every day.
My subscriptions included (not an exhaustive list):
The American Association of Christian Counselors
Spark People (a diet subscription that I never opened)
Christian Counseling Journal
TGIF (a great workplace devotional by Os Hillman)
Kohls
JCPenney
Overstock
Vista Print (a great way to get business cards or postcards very cheaply!)
Pay Pal
Freecycle (in two towns)
Bank (I get a daily update on my balance)
Google alerts (I had daily updates on 5 different topics of interest)
Picasa Web (they updated me any time one of my friends posted new pictures)
Comcast
Church Prayer Chain
Church Newsletter
Client e-mails
Office Depot
Office Max
Staples

I'm exhausted just looking at that list! I began the process of paring down my e-mails by making the list you see above. Then I decided which ones I really opened and read each day. I still get many of them, but I have modified them. I changed my subscription from freecycle to the daily digest (once a day listing of everything offered instead of multiple e-mails a day) and limited myself to one town. Google alerts come to me once a week now instead of every day. I decided that although the Os Hillman devotional was great, I never actually read it...so I didn't inform them of my new e-mail address. Spark People was a no-brainer since I never used it. I get flyers from most of the stores listed in my Sunday paper, and since I don't usually order things online from them I cancelled those e-mails.

Well, you get the idea! Once you have eliminated unnecessary e-mails use the "Do, Delegate, Dump, Delete" process on the remaining e-mails in your inbox.

Do - if there is something that needs your attention or a reply do those first.
Delegate - forward e-mails that need to be taken care of by someone else
Dump - If there is information that you need and want to keep, dump it into permanent storage by making a hard copy or by saving it as a document.
Delete - they say 80% of e-mail is junk...don't be afraid to hit the delete button!

We DO have control over some aspects of information overload. Take a look at your inbox and get started!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fun Friday

One Sunday a cowboy went to church.

When he entered, he saw that he and the preacher were the only ones present.

The preacher asked the cowboy if he wanted him to go ahead and preach.
The cowboy said, "I'm not too smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I'd feed him."

So the minister began his sermon.

One hour passed, then two hours, then two-and-a-half hours. The preacher finally finished and came down to ask the cowboy how he liked the sermon.

The cowboy answered slowly,

"Well, I'm not very smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I sure wouldn't feed him all the hay."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dress for Success

There were times when I worked as an employee that I wore my “power suit,” a red blazer with black pants or skirt and a white blouse. My friends knew that when I put on my power suit you had better watch out! I usually only wore it when I needed to confront my boss or a board member about some injustice in the workplace. They say that “clothes can make the man,” and I think that is even truer of women. We often put on clothing to make us feel good, fit in, and change the way we feel.


An interesting story came across my computer a few weeks ago about barn swallows. It seems that a team of researchers found that by artificially coloring the breast feathers of male barn swallows the testosterone levels of the birds increased. Now the barn swallows didn’t have mirrors to tell them that their feathers were colored. They depended on other birds reactions to them. It seems that the female birds are more attracted to male barn swallows with darker feathers (because they have more testosterone). The interest of the female birds made the male birds “feel” better and their biology changed because of it! Don’t you wonder what those male birds were thinking about themselves with so much attention? It makes me think of my oldest brother standing in front of mirror as a teenager telling himself “I’m cool!”

As I sat thinking about the barn swallows and my power suit, I wondered how the way we dress, and the way we talk to ourselves, effects the way we feel. It may be a stretch to compare ourselves to the barn swallow, but I think there is a lesson in the story! In a book by Virginia Richmond, Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Relations, Richmond states, "The way we dress communicates a great deal of information about us, who we are, our relationship to others, our values, attitudes, preferences, goals and aspirations." So what do your clothes say about you? And what do you say about yourself? Sometimes change has to occur from the outside in. Dressing for success isn’t just a catch phrase…it may be true!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Life Rules

I was sitting in church yesterday when a young family, who were obviously new to the whole church thing, broke the unwritten rules for church behavior. They walked in late, crossed one whole row of seats and an aisle to sit down, got up repeatedly during the service, and returned one time through the side door at the front of the sanctuary where they could be seen (and heard) by all in attendance. At one point I looked over and mom was nursing her baby without covering herself with a blanket or burp cloth, and then dad proceeded to throw the baby up into the air and catch him…much to the amusement of the many rows of people behind them.

At first I was a little irritated that these people didn’t know the rules! And then I started thinking about how we learn the unwritten rules in life. Where do these unwritten rules come from? And if they aren’t written anywhere, how do most people know them and follow them? Did they grow up in a churched family like mine where the rules were taught (or caught) from early childhood? Most of our life rules are based on social standards, and they are unique to different situations and places. It would not have been out of place for a young family to get up repeatedly or cross a row of seats to find the best seat at a sporting event, but in church it seemed inappropriate, and definitely broke the rules for proper church behavior. Like most “life rules” we don’t even know we live by them until someone breaks one.

I often ask my clients to write their life rules as a homework assignment. It isn’t until we define our life rules that we can begin to understand how we think and then, by accepting them or changing them, take control of how we live.

Virginia Satir, renowned psychologist, used this story in her workshops and her book Peoplemaking:

"Once a woman was preparing dinner, and her husband, watching, asked, “Why do you cut the ends off the ham before you bake it?"

"My mother always did it this way."

He knew better than to comment further, but he one day asked his mother in law. "Why do you cut the ends off the ham before you bake it?"

"My mother always did it this way."

Luckily, the grandmother was still living, so he had a chance to ask her: "Why do you cut the ends off the ham before you bake it?"

"My roasting pan is too small."

Many times our life rules are just as crazy….but we follow them blindly just because that’s the way it’s done! So, what are your life rules? Do they make sense for the life you want to live today? How do you feel when someone else breaks your unwritten life rules? Try writing out your life rules as you think of them over the next few weeks. Your may be surprised that you live your life by so many unwritten rules!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other Wordless Wednesday pictures here and here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Positively Speaking

One of the trends in modern psychology is a field called “positive psychology.” Founded by Martin Seligman, it is a “new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. His research has demonstrated that it is possible to be happier — to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances.” (http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx)

Although motivators such as Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar talked about the power of positive thinking, and Martin Seligman started the positive psychology movement, one only has to read through the Bible to see that “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc. 1:9). I have found throughout my studies in secular psychology that the truth that is found there is found first in the Bible.

It has been said that we have between 50 and 60 thousand thoughts a day. When we engage in negative thinking, those negative thoughts begin to carve a groove in our brains that make it difficult to break out of negativity. We are influenced by what we hear…even the words we say to ourselves. So, let’s look at some of the verses in the Bible that speak of the power of our thoughts and words.

Proverbs 18:21 "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose." (The Message)

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)

Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 5:2 "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 - 14 Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. 13 At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness- 14 and the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming— who can tell him what will happen after him?" (NIV)

Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (NIV)

In Romans 12:2 we are encouraged "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Thinking positively is more than just saying positive affirmations or editing how we talk to ourselves and others. Positive thinking and positive speaking occurs when we allow God to transform us into the kind of people whose words give life and bring healing.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.— Unknown

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other WW pictures here and here!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other great pictures here and here!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stressless Saturday: Goal Setting


Want to rapidly see changes in your life? Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker, success and goal setting guru offers this great technique; Every morning when you when you get up this month, write down your top ten goals for the upcoming year. Do not look at you wrote the day before. You will begin to notice what is truly to important to you. On the last day of the month, transfer your most important goals onto a 3x5 card. Review them every night before you go to bed. You will be amazed to see your life starting to take a focused direction.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fun Friday

Air Traffic (out of) Control

During a taxi, the crew of a US Air departure flight to Ft.Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose-to-nose with aUnited 727. The irate ground controller (a female) lashedout at the US Air crew screaming, "US Air 2771, where are you going? I told you to turn right on 'Charlie' taxi way; you turned right on 'Delta.' Stop right there. I know it's difficult to tell the difference between a C and a D, but get it right."

Continuing her lashing to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically, "You've messed everything up; it'll take forever to sort this out. You stay right there and don't move until I tell you to. You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about a half hour, and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you. You got that, US Air 2771? Naturally, the "ground control" frequency went terribly silent until an unknown male pilot broke the silence and asked, "Wasn't I married to you once?"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Where is God?

I recently had someone in my office who was at the end of her resources. As an unemployed single mother she had her utilities cut off and was about to lose her home. She was making phone calls to find help but either the agencies she called were out of money or they wouldn't help her because she owned a home.

As a new Christian, this young woman asked, "how do I keep my faith when God doesn't seem to care about my circumstances?" It seemed a valid question...."Where was God?" Did He really think it was best to allow a baby Christian to be pushed to point of despair? I really didn't have many answers for her - except that God is in control, that He does care, and that He is never late...or is He?

I was reminded of the story of Lazarus. Mary and Martha, his sisters, surely thought that Jesus was too late! Lazarus was sick, and they sent for Jesus. Lazarus died and was buried, and THEN Jesus showed up. Four days too late.

I'm sure they were angry. They knew that Jesus could have healed their brother if he had just shown up on time!

In his book When God Doesn't Make Sense, James Dobson says, "Jesus then performed one of His most dramatic miracles as He called Lazarus out of the tomb. You see, the Master was not really late at all. He only appeared to be overdue. He arrived at the precise moment necessary to fulfill the purposes of God - just as He always does. With no disrespect intended, let me say that what happened there in Bethany is characteristic of the Christian life. Haven't you noticed that Jesus usually shows up about four days late? He often arrives after we have wept and worried and paced the floor - after we have sweated out the medical examination or fretted our way through business reverses. If He had arrived on time we could have avoided much of the stress that occured in His absence. Yet it is extremely important to recognize that His is never actually late. His timetable for action is simply different from ours. And it is usually slower." pg.52.

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."
James 1:2-4 New Living Translation.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day


"Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine Kind words and kind deeds” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Fun Friday

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10." Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fun Friday

Mid Life Crisis

After being married for 44 years, I took a careful look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 44 years ago we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but Igot to sleep every night with a hot 25-year-old gal."Now I have a $500,000.00 home, a $45,000.00 car, nice big bed and plasma screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 65-year-old woman. It seems to me that you're not holding up your side of things."My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find ahot 25-year-old gal, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV. Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve a mid-life crisis...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Marriage Monday


Communication


Have you ever felt like you and your spouse have a hard time communicating with each other? Like everything you say is taken the wrong way, or your spouse just doesn't understand your feelings? Communication is difficult at times because we communicate with more than just words. Research shows that more than 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. If a message is misunderstood, it may be because of the nonverbal messages that are being sent through your tone of voice, hand gestures, facial expressions, eye contact or posture.

At times our nonverbal messages contradict the words we say, and may actually more accurately convey how we REALLY feel and think. So, how can we learn to communicate effectively?

1. Become aware of your own thoughts and feelings
2. Share those feelings in a caring, respectful way by stating what you feel without blaming
3. Focus on your spouse - try to imagine how they might feel about what is being said
4. Look for nonverbals - notice what is not being said but may be communicated through your spouses body language
5. Think before you speak - filter your words by asking yourself "how will my partner feel if I say these words."
6. Express appreciation - A simple thank you can make your spouse feel valued and appreciated.
7. Practice forgiveness - we all blow it sometimes and say things we shouldn't. Try to be the first one to apologize and the first to forgive...it will be reciprocated!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

Press on- nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away"
Anonymous

Friday, April 25, 2008