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Abundance Flows From Dependence…

I entered another powerful moment during some meditation time this week while going through Jesus Calling. The small devotional thought did a good job of reminding where abundances not only comes from, but what it is. We equate abundance with stuff, things & wealth…when it is really far beyond such tangible and temporal things. Take a moment and slowly chew on the following:

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Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe Proverbs 29:25

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Living in dependence on Me is the way to enjoy abundant life. You are learning to appreciate tough times, because they amplify your awareness of My Presence. Tasks that you used to dread are becoming rich opportunities to enjoy My closeness. When you feel tired, you remember that I am your Strength; you take pleasure in leaning on Me. I am pleased by your tendency to turn to Me more and more frequently, especially when you are alone.

When you are with other people, you often lose sight of My Presence. Your fear of displeasing people puts you in bondage to them, and they become your primary focus. When you realize that this has happened, whisper My Name; this tiny act of trust brings Me to the forefront of your consciousness, where I belong. As you bask in the blessing of My nearness, My life can flow through you to others. This is abundant life!

*taken from the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young*

Launching and Landing

There are  many factors that affect the way we engage in and experience our daily life. Conscious and unconscious forces are at work and we are responding to their taunts, whether good or bad, throughout the day.

Conversations that you had before you left the house, or  the motorist who cut you off on the freeway causing you to spill you 1/2 caff caramel machiato are a couple of examples of events that shape our attitude, and as Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.”

Have you ever wondered why sometimes your mood just tanks and you don’t know why? Or, sometimes you feel great for no apparent reason? There are invisible forces at work that are shaping those feelings. Once you understand that you have the ability to affect those forces, the journey of life takes on a radically different, more positive, form.

Here are three simple things that you can do today to begin changing your sense of joy, peace and happiness throughout the day.

1. First Thoughts

The attitude and shape of your day begins before your feet even hit the ground. It begins before your first perceived thought. Your first perceived thought is intimately linked to your first semiconscious thought. It is here, the moment of your first thoughts, that you have the ability to shape how you will feel and engage the day.

Do you remember what your first thought was today? This week, keep a journal or spiral notebook by your bed. As soon as you begin to become aware of the place the exists between dreams and awake, write down what those rapid fire thoughts were in your notebook.

As you begin to see what thoughts you are thinking as you begin the day, you can choose to change and replace them with better, more positive and more powerful ones. This is also a great time to have a good morning conversation with God where you can speak a creative word with Him about your day. Developing this powerful habit will change your attitude and outlook. Instead of saying, “Good Lord, it’s morning…” we change it to “Good morning Lord.”

Invite God into the journey of your day asking Him to empower you to think, act and speak differently.

2. Last Thoughts

The last thoughts you think before you go to sleep are also attitudinal and life shaping thoughts. Many of us go to sleep battling the anxieties, stresses and worries of the day.  If you go to sleep with those destructive thoughts, they will invade your subconscious dream life which sets you up for a miserable “First Thought” the next day. It truly can be a vicious cycle.

An end of day review is a powerful way to look over the events of the day. Note the good moments, the moments when God was most present in your actions. If there were some interactions that were hard or painful, this is the time to release them to God, placing them in His care and ability to heal.

The end of day review can also help you see what you need to do differently tomorrow, and with God’s help, you will begin moving in that direction even as you  enter the world of dreams with a healthier plan for the next day.

Intentionally reviewing your day… setting your expectations for tomorrow….Releasing all your thoughts to God will prepare your mind for restful sleep and positive thought resetting while you sleep.

3. God Thoughts

Perhaps what is most important is that a relationship with God is the ultimate need of every human being in order to experience true peace, true joy, and a soaring attitude. We try so many things to find joy and happiness. You are aware that there is circumstantial happiness and joy…when we buy something we have wanted…when someone gives us an “atta boy”…or even when we find that extra 20.00 in our pats pocket. However, the downside to circumstantial happiness and joy is that it is tethered to an object or thing that is limited and short lived…in otherwords, the happiness and joy always fades.

There is, however, an intrinsic sense of happiness, joy and attitude that comes from a divine source, not  a circumstantial happening. I think that C.S. Lewis said it best:

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

In order to experience true, lasting, intrinsic joy…you must be tethered to God, who is by very nature, joy and goodness. To tether to anything else will affect our first thoughts and our last thoughts.

This week, note your first thoughts and change them into God-saturated positive thoughts.

This week review your day, celebrate the good moments and determine with God’s help to do better tomorrow. Then, release the anxious thoughts to God.

This week, tether your hope to God and nothing else, for God longs to give you happiness and peace, but in order for Him to give those to you, He must give you Himself as the source of all things good.

Monty

Sometimes We Need a Double-Dog Dare

Reminders are a good thing. I have found over the years that most people don’t need some new teaching, rather, they need an encouraging reminder of what they already know to be true, but the truth has faded into the thick mist of busyness. I came across this thought by Steve Maraboli today that had some good, encouraging reminders in it…so I double-dog-dare ya to be light this year!

Monty

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Dare to Be 

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”

Joy and Sorrow: Gibran

The-prophet I was reading through "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran on my hike today. Kahlil is considered to be the third most read poet right behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu. Gibran was born in Lebanon, but his family immigrated to the U.S in 1895. His most famous work "The Prophet" has been translated into over 40 languages. As you read his ability to paint with words you will know why.

Relax and read as Gibran waxes poetically about the connection between Joy and Sorrow.

~M.C

Joy and Sorrow

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow." And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.