The Ultimate Compliment

October 12, 2020

One of my greatest goals in life is to make positive impacts in the lives of other people. That is one of the major reasons I have this blog. One thing I have realized over time is that one doesn’t have to work hard to make these impacts. In fact, there are times in my life where I felt like it was almost automatic. Here’s a situation to demonstrate.

I was at the annual Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. This was a time in my life where I had become infatuated with the city of Toronto (it’s still one of my favorites today). I was raised on Long Island, so I never knew much about the city. Then I had gone to college about 3 hours away from there and had several opportunities to visit during my college years I learned about the city and fell in love with it. This was also a very exciting time for me because, since I had left college, I felt God calling me to move from Long Island to Buffalo New York. During this trip which was about three years after graduating, I was staying in Buffalo making final preparations for my move there. And of course one of the things that attracted me to Buffalo was its close proximity to Toronto!

Anyway, I was feeling great as I was in my favorite city with some great friends, and I felt very close to God as He was leading me in this period of my life. Here’s one part that really made it special. At the exhibition, a woman was handing out Christian tracks. She asked if I wanted one. I smiled and said yes. The woman looked at me and said, “you’re already a Christian, aren’t you? I can definitely tell.”

When she said that, I was surprised in a way. I’m not usually one who broadcasts my faith, even though I would consider myself to be a strong Christian. However, I quickly realized why she said that. As mentioned, I felt very close to God during that time of my life. This situation showed me that, during those closes times, He not only brightens my world but shines through me to brighten others as well. For me, it was the ultimate compliment that made my day. In fact, it might have made my year. Through my normal actions and just being me without saying anything, someone could tell I was a Christian.

Through this experience, I learned that I don’t have to work hard at letting God’s light shine through me. In fact, I believe this moment was so special to me because it showed me I can let the light shine through me in a way that is most comfortable for me. I’m not one that you would find handing out tracks or broadcasting my faith as I mentioned earlier. Instead, I prefer to lead by example. I like to work with the quote by St. Francis which says, “preach the gospel. And if necessary, use words.”

Through this experience, I realized that for me, you, or anyone else to make positive impacts on the world, the only real effort it takes is to remain close to God. Keep in close contact with Him, realize He is totally in control of our lives, and allow Him to take that control. Follow the advice in I Thessalonians 5 16-17 which provides a simple 3 step process to be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. People who study the Law of Attraction closely would say to keep your energy vibration at a high level. It’s the same idea. I believe they go hand in hand because the three concepts from that Bible verse are the highest energy vibrations of joy, gratitude, and closeness with God.

I know that all three of the above ideas were part of my being on that beautiful day in Toronto. I was full of joy. I was thankful that God was leading me. And as I mentioned before, I was in prayer with Him on a regular basis. I present these keys to you if you would like to effortlessly bless those around you. Please know that I am not saying it is wrong to proclaim your faith or to be someone that regularly uses words to preach the gospel or to affect people around you. We need you to do that! I am just saying that, if you want that blessing that I received of having someone know instantly that God’s light is shining brightly in you, it is as simple as the 3 steps above. Be joyful in all things. Thank God on a regular basis for what you have, and even for what He is bringing to you. And stay in contact with God on a regular basis and allow Him to lead you in your life. When you do this your life with be blessed in ways you can’t even imagine 🙂

 


I Don’t Deserve This

December 26, 2014

I was sitting by the fireplace on Christmas Eve (ok, I admit I don’t have one and I’m talking about the fake one on TV). I was relaxing at the end of another beautiful Christmas Eve celebration, listening to the Christmas songs, not quite ready to go to bed. I began to reflect on the many wonderful blessings in my life….my family, the reason for the season, and the many other great things I have in my life. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude as I reflected on these.

After some time, I began to almost feel guilty. I thought about how I’ve been blessed in amazing abundance, yet I really didn’t deserve it. I thought of how, even though I am a good person,  I had really done nothing to warrant the wonderful gifts in my life. However, before I became too involved with these negative feelings, God quickly intervened. I felt as if He was saying…”That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s called grace.”

At this point the negative feelings disappeared and were replaced with peace and the joyous, thankful feelings I felt a few minutes before. It was a wonderful reminder that I share with you. God would tell us we indeed do not deserve the blessings we receive. He then tells us it’s ok. He also tells us He gladly floods our lives with His greatness and unending favor regardless of how unworthy we are.

You may have the same thoughts at times. You feel like you have done nothing to deserve potential blessings or those you have already received. I can assure you that God is still very willing to share His great favor, love, and goodness with you, regardless of how unmerited it is. It’s called grace, and it’s a free gift from Him. Your job is simply to accept and share it. Have a wonderful day 🙂


The Ring of Favor

May 28, 2014

It’s been some time since I’ve had the opportunity to write. Life has been a bit of a whirlwind and I’ve let some things get in the way of what I really like to do. However, through it all God continues to speak to me and I continue to listen and learn.

All of us crave God’s favor, don’t we? I know I often need to be assured that God is with me, (especially during these busy times) and I’ve learned that he wants to generously pour out His favor on us.

I’ve been shown a Bible verse that has really inspired me lately, and I cling to it through all of the recent craziness. Psalm 5:12 says “surely Lord you bless the righteous and you surround them with your favor as with a shield” Psalm 84:11 says basically the same thing… “for the Lord God is a sun and shield; He bestows favor and honor, and no good thing does He withhold from those who walk righteously”.

I find this very comforting and hope I can bestow some of this upon you. I am surrounded by God’s favor. I am told it’s like a shield around me. And if there is any doubt about my righteousness? I’m far from perfect. However, I am a Christian, and I believe that I am righteous because of what Jesus has done. As a result of this righteousness, I qualify for this freely given favor of God.

Freely given favor of God. It’s for me and anyone else simply for the asking, and simply for the knowing that it’s there. We are surrounded by it. My challenge for me and you is to constantly be aware of this ring of favor around us. Sense God’s presence and bask in the blessing of this favor. Now as crazy as life gets, we can know it’s all for our good, and greater things are on the way. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Why Would I Not?

January 16, 2014

Why would I not pray to the God who created me and the entire universe, has control of absolutely everything, and is ready and willing to provide abundantly?

Why would I not remain completely focused on the fact that God’s all-powerful and all-knowing spirit is the main part of my being, when I am promised that if I seek Him first I receive everything else?

Why would I not spend the time visualizing the success I crave, when I have read hundreds of books on the topic that ALL tell me how powerful this process is?

Why would I not tell myself the things I need to hear, knowing that positive affirmations are effective and powerful in changing my beliefs and increasing my faith?

Why would I not be eternally grateful for the blessings I have received in life, knowing that the more thankful I am, the greater blessings that will show up?

Why would I not serve and give to others, knowing that everything I give returns to me tenfold?

Why would I not take the actions necessary to reach my goal when I know God has not only set them up for me, but has set me up for success?

I can keep this list going with many other similar questions. I share these because these questions came to mind this morning. I know that I can’t even imagine the level my life would reach if I simply followed these actions. Yet I still often remove my focus from these areas and dwell on what I don’t have, my current struggles, and doubts that stop me from moving foward. I have grown signifcantly and am very thankful for how far I’ve come, but it still happens too much for my liking.

I share this because I know many other people have the same difficulty. When I thought about this and prayed about it this morning, I realized once again that I have full control of the quality of my life. I realized that I should only be focusing on those ideas mentioned above, and I pledge to keep my focus there. I share this as an inpiration to take as many people with me as I can. Why would I not?

Have an awesome day 🙂


How To Increase Your Blessings – Get a Bigger Container

December 20, 2013

I once read an excellent analogy about the power of expectation. Author Robert Anthony shared that the amount of blessings a person receives in life is in direct proportion to their level of expectation. For example, in the ocean of expectation, some arrive with a spoon, some with a bucket, and some with a large barrel. Obviously the person with the barrel will get the most from the ocean. They are aware of the vast abundance available and take as much from it as they can.

Today I read a similar story from John Bevere in his book “Relentless”. He provides the secenario of a sever famine hitting a part of the world. Then a generous country in a different part of the world brings barges and cargo planes full of fresh, healthy food. They release a statement to the citizens that they can provide as much food as the people can carry. As a result, people line up to take advantage. One person arrives with a picnic basket and gets two days worth of food for him and his family. Another brings a large sack to carry enough food that will feed his family for a week. Another person comes ready with a huge pickup truck and loads enough food for him, his family, and several neighborhoods for a month.

The lesson of this story is this…God’s blessings are unlimited and ready for us to receive. He is telling us to come and take as much of it as we can carry. Will you arrive with a small basket, a sack, the pickup truck, or the huge triple decker ship? The choice is yours, and your level of blessing will be in proportion with your level of readiness and expectation.

I also advise this…don’t let anyone talk you out of pursuing the greatest blessings in your life. In the above story, the people with the small baskets were resentful towards those that drove by with the big trucks. Did it do them well? I would say not. In the end, those who prepared for and expected the greatest blessing were the ones who ultimately received it and reaped the benefits.

I share this with you because at one time I was completely guilty of going to the ocean with a spoon, and bringing a small basket to the unlimited feast. I have learned though, that God is hoping I will come with the biggest container possible to reap His greatest blessings. He is actually disappointed when we arrive with the smallest container to take the least amount of His great gifts.

So where’s your large sized truck today? Drive to the place where you will find the greatest blessings and take all you can carry. Enjoy : )


Making Room For The Blessings

December 9, 2013

How much clutter do you have in your life? If you are like me, certain parts of it or certain places are filled with it. Our garage for example, is a disaster area. People have offered us some very nice items that we’ve had to wait or completely reject simply because we have no more room.

Unfortunately, when our lives are filled with too much clutter, the same thing happens. Potential blessings and gifts are lost, literally because there is no room for them. For example, your mind can be cluttered with negative, inhibiting thoughts that leave no room for positive edifying ones.

I am learning more and more the value of removing the old clutter for new blessing. It happens in nature every year. We just went through Fall here in upstate New York. The old, brittle leaves have fallen off the trees. We need to wait several months, but the bareness will soon be replaced with beautiful, green, fresh growth.

I have been reminded often lately that if we want something new in life, we need to get rid of the old. Want new clothes? Get rid of the pile of old, unused ones you have stored away. Looking for more money? Spend and give away (within reason of course) the money you have instead of hoarding it. Want to be happy and free? Get rid of the negative, unforgiving thoughts that are harboring in your mind.

The above examples are a few of many. Regardless of what blessings you want, you need to make room for them. Clear out the stuff you don’t need or that’s holding you back, and you will be a witness to blessings pouring into your life. It’s the way life works. When you give something away, you are making room for more of it to arrive. There’s plenty of room for those blessings to come into your life, as long as you keep making room. It’s a lesson I’ve been blessed to learn. Have a great day : )


You’re Being Set Up

August 13, 2013

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being set up for something? It can be scary, right? I am here to tell you that you are indeed being set up for something. That something is greatness and blessing. I can assure you that it’s nothing to be scared of!

The more I read the stories of the Bible, the more I see how God uses every circumstance in our life to set us up for greatness. Yes, even those negative situations that are driving you crazy and stressing you out. Everything that is happening in your life is setting you up for the greatness that God has planned for you.

What’s your responsibility? Just realize it. Instead of complaining or getting down when things don’t go your way, or taking the good things for granted, be thankful. I’ve said it before…an attitude of gratitude takes the strife out of life. Be thankful that you are being set up for greatness. Think positive thoughts and pray about what steps to take. Then take them, once again knowing that you are being led to where you need to be.

Remember, you are being set up. Set up for greatness as long as you believe it and follow along. Enjoy the blessings : )


The Look On His Face

March 26, 2013

I am very much enjoying the special series “The Bible” that is airing on The History Channel. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a 5 part series of the history of the old and new testaments. It is very interesting to watch as stories of the Bible come to life on the screen.

The other day I was watching the part where Jesus first begins His ministry. Peter has been out fishing all night and has caught nothing. Jesus then invites Himself onto the boat and tells Peter to go back out and cast the nets again. Peter argues that they had been out all night without results. However, He still takes the advice and goes back out fishing with Jesus on the boat. As He does this, he is still shaking his head and looks at Jesus like he’s crazy.

It is the next part of the video that completely caught my attention. Jesus knows that Peter is looking at Him like He’s crazy. However, Jesus has a look of anticipation on His face. It’s a look like, “just do what I say, because I know exactly what’s going to happen. You’ll see”. It’s the very next part that really hit me. Jesus is now looking at Peter to see his reaction as the miracle occurs. If you don’t know the story, Peter ends up catching so many fish that he can barely pull the nets in. Jesus is just sitting there watching with joy as Peter experiences the miracle.

As I mentioned, I was very touched by this scene and it really made me think. You should have seen the look on Jesus’s face as He watched His disciple reap the benefits of this miracle. I then thought about it and even said it out loud to the people I was watching with. My exact words were..”that’s the exact look that Jesus has on His face when He sees us reap the benefits of one of His miracles. That’s so cool!”

It is cool, isn’t it? It’s not His burdensome job to provide miracles for us. It’s His joy and absolute pleasure to do so. Invite Him onto your boat and ask for the miracles you are looking for in your own life. Then imagine the look on His face as He watches you enjoy the benefits of it. If that’s not something to live for, I don’t know what is. Enjoy the blessings : )


The Number One Way To Distinguish Yourself

February 16, 2013

Do you ever have days or weeks where certain words and phrases are constantly thrown in your direction? It seems like everywhere you look you see those words. I’ve learned by now that, when that heppens for me, I need to pay attention.

One such word is “distinguish”. I keep seeing this word in books, blogs, tv, my job, you name it. Ok, so God is telling me I need to distinguish myself. So what does that mean? I looked up the exact definition of distinguished, and it says…made easily seen or noticed by excellence. In other words, someone who stands out and rises above the average or just getting by. Instead, they are noticed and known for their excellence.

Wow! I was blown away by that definition. I prayed..ok, God how do I get to that level? I will simply say that when you ask, God answers. He led me to one of my favorite books, “Relentless” by John Bevere. I like to re-read this book every once in a while, and as I did, the words on page 49 jumped out at me. It talks about the story of Daniel in the Bible and how he distinguished himself (that exact word used). It is defined in the book as “he completely outclassed the other leaders”.

If you know the story of Daniel you know how true this is. How did he do it? The answer is a few lines below. It says he was totally connected to God. The book adds, ” he was disciplined in staying in close, continual touch with the Creator.”

Therein lies the secret of distinguishing yourself; of standing out and rising above the crowd. The more you are in touch with your Creator, and rely on the unlimited power He provides, the more you will distinguish yourself. When you “seek Him first” (Matt 6:33), everything else falls into place.

I challenge you to seek and follow your creator today, and to stay in close, continual touch. You will be blessed as a result. Have a great day : )


Following The Yield Sign

December 19, 2012

When I was very young, I quickly became familiar with some of the signs of the road. I wasn’t driving of course, but I was proud to know that the green light meant go, and red meant stop. I learned that the octagon shaped, red sign also meant stop. The yellow signs meant I needed to be cautious of pedestrians, animals, or slippery conditions. However, one sign always confused me. It was that read triangle one that said yield. What does yield mean?, I thought to myself. It was weird. I couldn’t figure it out because sometimes people stopped, sometimes they slowed down, or sometimes they just kept going without changing their speed.

Today I am fully aware of what the yield signs. I learned that it ultimately means giving the right of way. Sometimes I need to stop completely. Somtimes I just need to slow down, and other times I can keep going at pretty much the same speed. However, recently I have learned the importance of yielding  in life. Not so much to other cars, but more to other forces.

What am I talking about? Specifically, I am talking about yielding to God’s power in my life. His power and wisdom is readily available to me. It’s a part of me. It’s part of you. The key is to give it the right of way. We often don’t do that. Life gets so busy and we get so caught up in its fast pace that we go right through the sign. We try to do everything in our own power. However, that often makes things more difficult.

My challenge now is to yield to the true power that is in us. Get out of the way and let God’s power take over. It knows the answers and actions to take. It can accomplish far more than we ever could. It is the power blessings and miracles are made of. Once again, it’s all part of us, waiting to manifest. It’s just a matter of us stepping out of the way and letting it do its work.

I don’t know about you, but I’m done getting in the way of the great power that is in me and wanting to work in my life. It’s time to yield to God’s great power and depend on it instead of relying on my own ego and limited power. I challenge you to do the same. Sometimes you can go ahead, sometimes you need to move slowly, and sometimes you may need to stop completely. The key is to obey the yield sign and yield to the power of God that is part of you. Let it do its great work and watch the miracles take place. You will be blessed in a major way : )