Your Gift To God

October 29, 2013

I share with you an excellent quote I read today… “God’s gift to you is more talent and ability than you will ever use in one lifetime. Your gift to God is to develop and utilize as much of that talent and ability as you can, in this lifetime” – Steve Bow

i reflected on the part that talks about giving to God. One great thing is that, even though He gives us everything in unlimited supply, he doesn’t expect much from us. However, the least we can do is follow the advice of the quote. You have God-given gifts. When you use them to the fullest as often as possible and for as many people as possible, you are in turn giving a big thank you and shout of praise to your Creator without saying a word.

What are your greatest gifts and talents? Consider the answer to that question and let them shine brightly and naturally as you go through your day. You will have great impacts on others and will feel like a million bucks, all by simply letting your best self express itself. That creates a world of blessings for everyone involved. Enjoy : )

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Painting A Beautiful Picture

October 26, 2013

I have been blessed by God in that I have been given several talents. However, painting and art is not one of them. You are reading a post from the absolute worst artist in the world. I will challenge anybody on that. In fact, one of my students who claimed he was the worst artist challenged me to a contest to see who was the worst. We created our stick figures, and he nodded his head. He said…”you know what? I agree…you are worse”.

Anyway, I share this because no matter how bad of an actual artist you are, you can still create a beautiful picture. God has provided us all with a wonderful gift called imagination. With it, you can create the most beautiful pictures and scenes you can think of.

I share this because I have learned of the power of creative imagination, also known as visualization. I have been reminded of this because, in my incredibly busy schedule, I have had difficulty finding the time to visualize the success I am seeking in my life. However, like other things I am used to in life, I began to miss and crave this visualization experience. I had some down time last night, and once again enjoyed this wonderful experience. This horrible artist painted an incredibly beautiful picture : )

Why is visualization so powerful? Because it affects the subconscious part of your brain. This is the part of your brain that ultimately affects your actions and results. Here’s the key…your subconscious cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined event. If you continually visualize success, your subconscious believes you are successful (even if you have failed continually) and leads you to successful actions.

Here’s more good news…it doesn’t take a long time for your subconscious to be convinced and your frame of mind to be changed. I read one report by Abraham Hicks that it can take as little as a minute and a half visualization to positively affect the mind. Obviously, the more you can focus on the positive results you seek, the better. However, hopefully knowing that it doesn’t take a long time (remember, even just over a minute is highly effective) can provide the incentive to take advantage of this wonderful gift.

I have long been aware of the benefits of visualization and have shared about it plenty of times before. However, I got away from it for a while and was recently reminded of the benefits and experienced them again. I recommend the same for you. Take a few minutes to consider what success you want to achieve. See yourself experiencing it in your mind, and feel the positive emotions. Your subconscious will see it as real, and lead you to the actual experience. That’s a beautiful picture that even the worst artist can paint. Enjoy the blessings : )

Here are links to some of the other articles I’ve written about the same subject…

How Do You Feel About Your Wishes Coming True?

An Extremely Helpful Visualization Technique

5 Step Visualization Process

Can We Fool Ourselves To Success?

Can You Imagine?…See Yourself Living Your Dream Life


The One And Only

October 24, 2013

I was doing some reflecting recently as I celebrated an anniversary. I spent the first 25 years of my life in the New York City metro area, and now have spent 22 years here in Buffalo. I did some reminiscing of the music, sports, and events from that time and listened to some of the songs that help me remember my first days here.

There was one song that was not very popular, but I loved the sound and message. It’s called “The One and Only” by Chesney Hawkes. It was very popular in Europe at the time, but never went too far here in the U.S. However, the song was all over the waves of the small radio stations between New York and Buffalo.

The chorus of the song goes like this…

I am the one and only
Nobody I’d rather be
I am the one and only
You can’t take that away from me

Not only have I been reminiscing about my feelings during this move 22 years ago, but this theme has also been especially prevelant on my mind. God is clearly showing me that I am a unique creation of His that He is very proud of…even during the times where I am not so proud of this creation.

I challenge you to think this way today. Be joyful that you are a one and only creation of the Creator of all things. Rremember that no one can ever take that from you.

I am not recommending that you see yourself as better than anyone else. We are all unique creations. Simply see yourself as God sees you and be proud that you can be called a son or daughter of God. No one can be a better you than you can. Once again…no one can take that away from you. Enjoy the blessings : )


Why Do We Even Have To Ask In Prayer?

October 19, 2013

I absolutely love when I receive answers to questions I’ve had for a long time. I received another such answer recently. I know many others have the same question, so I will share this revelation with you.

Many people wonder why we have to pray. After all, God knows what we need before we even ask. He already knows we want or need what we’re asking for, and He already knows He will provide that desire or something better if not exactly what we ask for. He even knows we’re going to ask even before we do.

So the question again…if God already knows all of the information beforehand, why pray? I’ve received other answers to this question before. For example, I’ve been told prayer is simply a way to keep in communication with God. All relationships grow through communication, so this makes perfect sense. I’ve also heard that God will deliberately wait for us to pray sometimes, simply to test our faith. Once again, I completely agree.

The information I learned the other day was the best revelation yet regarding reasons for prayer. I read this in the Life Application Bible. The verse is Jeremiah 3:3 which says….Call on me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know. The study note says that God can certainly take care of needs without hearing from us, but here’s the key….when we ask, we are acknowledging that He alone is God, and that we cannot accomplish in our own strength all that it is in His domain to do. In other words, we cannot accomplish anything in our strength, without Him.

In a way, I’ve known this for a long time. I know that with Him I can do all things, and without Him I can do nothing. However, I have never really considered this in the realm of prayer. However, it can’t be more true.

So why do we pray, even though God knows our needs and requests and the outcome before we even ask? Even though He doesn’t even need our prayers? Simply because we acknowledge that we can’t do it without Him. When we realize this and surrender our desires and needs to Him, we move ourselves out of the way, and allow His blessings and miracles to pour in. It’s up to us to be aware and wait for direction, then obediently act on that direction. However, we are leaving the rest up to Him. And when you leave it to Him, there are no limits to the greatness you can receive in life.

Knowing this, why not take some time and pray to God, communicating your needs and desires. Be sure to thank Him for what you already have, and for what’s to come. Then acknowledge that all is in His hands and in His control, and ask for what you are seeking. In one way or another you will find it. Enjoy the blessings : )


An Abundance of Abundance

October 17, 2013

I would like to share this reminder from “The Secret” with you today… “All abundance begins to shine through a mind that is aware of its own infinite nature. There’s enough for everyone. See it. Believe it. It will show up for you”.

How much can you have? As much as you can imagine. I challenge myself and my readers to be aware of the great abundance of this universe and to know that you are part of it and it is part of you. You can be and have all that you can imagine. Enjoy this wonderful abundance : )


The Good Thing About Bad Situations

October 16, 2013

Is there such a thing as good coming from the bad? If you’ve known me long enough, you know I completely believe the answer is yes. I would much rather not face negative situations at all, but if we have to deal with them, it’s nice to know something good can come from them.

Today I share with you good news and bad news. The bad news is that negative situations are unavoidable. We are told by God not that we may face trials, but that we WILL face them. Even the best, happiest, most successful people on this earch will face negative situations at times.

The good news is that these situations can be used for our good. In fact, this is also written in the Bible. Everything happens for our good, even if we have to take some bumps and growing pains along the way.

How can negative situations make things better for us? I believe there are many ways. Here are a few:

  • I have found that in almost all cases, the negative experience made me a better person.
  • They caused me to learn something that perhaps I wouldn’t have learned if I hadn’t faced that situation.
  • They have resulted in blessings. I am always reminded of the Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers”. I would not have some of my greatest gifts and blessings now had I received what I wanted and didn’t have to go through the trial I endured.
  • They force action. It’s easy to procrastinate…except when your back is completely against the wall. Then you are forced to act. Many times this action ultimately results in the success you are looking for.
  • They bring an additional perspective you may not have had before. This perspective can a major help sometime down the road.
  • They bring you closer with someone else. I hate interpersonal conflicts and will do all I can to avoid them. However, many times these conflicts, when handled correctly, enhance relationships because the air is cleared, and necessary feelings are communicated.

I can go on with a much longer list. Hopefully you can see that, as much as we want to avoid them, negative situations can be good things. Here’s another list of how you can use negative situations to help you. Once again, the list can be much longer than I’m making it, but I find these suggestions very helpful, and hopefully you will too.

  1. Learn from it.
  2. Here’s one that really helps…deliberately meditate on all of the good that comes from a particular adversity. For example, I struggled with money for most of my life. It hasn’t been fun, but in my quest to earn money I have learned so much about so many other things besides money. For example, I learned to trust God more, to use the power of my mind, and to be content with what I have. I would have never learned those things had money just been a regular part of my life.
  3. It changes your thinking patterns. When you focus on the good that can come from negative situations, you take your focus from the bad and place it on positive thoughts. It is often said that you receive in life what you focus your primary thoughts on. When you focus on the bad situations, you will only see more of them. However, when you focus on the positive and appreciate the good that comes from any situation, you are more likely to see the good manifest in your life.
  4. Take action. As mentioned before, negative situations often force you to take action. The key is to take advantage of the opportunity.

I invite you to add to these lists. How have negative situations helped you in the past? How have you used them to improve your life. I would love to know, and appreciate you sharing them.

Once again, I am sure we would all rather not face and experience bad situations. However, even though we can’t avoid them, we can make the best of them. That’s one way your life gets taken to a higher level in a hurry. Enjoy the blessings : )


Who Cares What Other People Think?

October 15, 2013

On the way to church the other day, my daughter and I were talking about her Sunday school teacher. He’s is a rather good teacher, even though he’s only about 20 years old and has no formal training in teaching. He was simply asked to do it, and did so without hesitation. In fact, that’s what the main part of this conversation was about. We admire this person because he will do anything (within reason) without worrying about what people might think.

OK, I know I can’t see you right now, but raise your hand if you’ve spent a significant amount of your life holding back because you are worried about what people might think. I know you can’t see me, but my hand is raised high. Many of us do it. Part of it is human nature. After all, we want to make people happy and we don’t want to disappoint anybody. However, after many years, I have found that the only person I am disappointing in these situations is myself.

It is only recently that I have avoided relying on the opinions of others. I will say that sometimes it even causes some resistance. Yes, I may disappoint some people. However, I find found that, the more I rely on my own intuition and “the voice of God”, the more I am led to where I want to be.

I will take a time out here to say that you don’t want to completely disregard the opinions and advice of other people. If you believe moving in a certain direction is going to hurt someone close to you or make things very difficult for them, then obviously it is probably best to make the sacrifice and find a different way to get where you want to go. Also, if many people are telling you the same thing about where you’re falling short or even where you are excelling, than you may want to pay attention and listen to what they say.

The problem is that people get too hung up on what other people say. What’s worse is that they get hung up on what they MIGHT say or how they MIGHT react. Nothing’s even happened yet!

Someone once told me….don’t worry about your reputation because for as many people as you know, you have a different reputation for each one of them. It’s so true. Whether you have hundreds of people, thousands, or millions in your life, you are being judged differently by each one of them.

Knowing this, the best advice I was given is to control the reputation that I can control. That is the judgement of two…me and God. It’s up to me to see myself as God sees me, nothing more and nothing less. It’s also up to me to act in a manner that it pleasing to God. That’s it.

I will say that one of my goals in life is certainly to make people happy, and avoid disappointing people. However, I am done holding back from pursuing my goals and enjoying life to the fullest in fear of what people might think.

I share the same advice with you today. Be like my friend from church who (meant in a positive way) will do anything without fear of the way things will turn out or that people may laugh at or ridicule him. If you are inspired to do something, and firmly believe it’s the right thing that won’t bring anyone down, then by all means move forward and do it. You will find life so much more joyful and rewarding. I can certainly attest to that. Enjoy the blessings : )