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 🙂


Remember the Feeling

October 6, 2014

I was watching a sermon from Joel Osteen last week. As usual, he said something that really made me think about how following this advice can enhance the quality of my life. I share it with you in hopes it can do the same.

Joel reminded the audience of how many blessings we have received from God. However, he also reminded us how we often take these blessings for granted. We feel great when we receive them, but as time passes, we lose the gratitude and positive feeling towards the great gifts we have received in life.

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly relate. I do appreciate the blessings in my life, but I often take them from granted as well. Just as I was thinking this, Joel then challenged us to focus on some of these blessings specifically and remember how we felt when we received them. He suggested to feel the same feelings of gratitude, love, and closeness with God that we felt at the that time. It was a very enlightening experience!

I pass this challenge on to you. If you are like me you sometimes take these gifts for granted. For example, I love my wife and kids. However, I admittedly take them from granted at times. I have a job that I had only dreamed about before. Yet I often find myself complaining about its difficulties instead of cherishing the opportunities it provides to positively impact young lives. I am sure you can think of blessings you’ve received where your attitude is the same. If so, follow this advice and put yourself back to when you first received your greatest blessings. Focus and re-live the wonderful joy and gratitude you experienced at that time. Carry it with you and keep that feeling in your heart.

I can tell you that when I practiced this (and continue to do so), it affected my entire world. I went back to the time I realized I had met my dream partner and how thankful I felt. I re-lived the joy of holding each of my girls in my arms for the first time. I remembered the joy of purchasing our dream home and the gratitude I felt for God removing all of the obstacles to do so. Even little things, like watching my high definition TV for the first time, or driving my new car, or whatever gift I’ve been presented.

Why is this process so powerful? I believe it is for two reasons. First, it helps maintain an attitude of gratitude. I know that when you are thankful for even the smallest things, God provides a stream of even greater blessings. Also, when our feelings and emotions are strong and positive, it affects our energy. When our energy and vibration is high and positive, it sets us up for the amazing blessings God has in store for us and they start pouring in. I believe that is what I experienced this past week.

Once again I challenge you to spend time each day noticing and appreciating the great things you have in life. Spend a few minutes re-living the joy, gratitude, and enthusiasm as you did when you first received your blessing. Retain this feeling and gratitude in our heart and refer to it as often as possible. Then watch the blessings flow. Enjoy every moment 🙂

 

 

 


Increase Your Expectation

July 2, 2014

I start with a couple of stories to prove the point of today’s post…. I was somehow reminded of a period of my life where I had problems finding dates. I was an attractive, intelligent male, yet I had difficulty finding females that were interested in going out with me. One day, I heard a friend complaining that he hadn’t had a date in over a week. You can guess my reaction. A week?! It’s been months for me and I see no end in sight to this drought.

Another time in my life I was just starting in my career and my income was low. I was at a party and the low life, drunk husband of one my co-workers was advising us about careers. He told us…”don’t go for any of those $40,000 jobs. You’re not going anywhere in life unless you’re making at least $75,000″. There was also another time in my life where income was low. A millionaire investor friend of mine was visiting and we met with a friend of his. This other friend was concerned and seeking ways to ensure he could maintain his lifestyle (already making hundreds of thousands of dollars).

What’s the point of these stories? They are reminders to me about the concept of expectation. I was having problems meeting and dating women. I had no expectation that this would end, so months without a date didn’t phase me. The other person’s level of expectation was different. He EXPECTED to be dating on a regular basis, and was out of sorts that it had been a whole week without the company of a female. I’ll give you one guess as to who had the next date. Hint..it wasn’t me.

Going back to the drunk and obnoxious husband, he had a point. How could he say not to go for $40,000? My friends and I all agreed that we would dance in the streets for $40,000. If we strived for it, eventually we would receive it. However, the lesson I’ve learned is that if we strived for the $75,000 we would ultimately receive that. So why not shoot for the top? Same with the investor. He saw nothing less than a hundred thousand dollar lifestyle as an option. He was expecting this income and nothing less.

The lesson that I remind you of (as well as myself) is that we receive according to our level of expectation. Jesus Himself said “according to your faith it is done to you”. He also said that if you believe you already have what you want, you will receive it. If you are single and you expect a date every week, you will rarely be alone. If you expect to make $100,000 instead of $50,000 you will receive it. If you expect to run 5 miles instead of 1, you will accomplish it.

The bottom line is that if you want more in your life you need to raise your level of expectation. God has an unlimited supply available, and He is waiting for you to ask for it. See… How To Increase Your Blessings – Get a Bigger Container for more information about this. Know that you are worthy and you can have what you desire. Simply have this faith, pray for it, and see it as already yours. EXPECT that you will receive it and you will. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

 


The Power of Asking

February 5, 2014

I recently completed another year of carrying on a tradition in my Spanish classroom. My students always look forward to the unit on issuing commands in Spanish. This is because, if they say it correctly, I allow my students to command me to do things. It gets a little crazy as they command me to do all kinds of crazy things. For example, I have had to sing songs by Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, perform the latest dances (I’m one of the worst dancers on this earth), and put a garbage can over my head. I don’t give money, but I have obliged with reaquests for candy, pizza, and ice cream.

This year was nice too because one student simply requested a lunch fiesta outside of the chaos of the cafeteria for her and four of her friends. She was very suprised that I obliged so easily to her request and those of others.

The above lesson is the one I wanted to convey to her, my classes, and now to you. Many were surprised that they received some nice rewards simply by asking. Knowing that they can receive such things, it’s a wonder that every 8th grader didn’t ask for something. However, it’s quite ironic that very few students asked. Part of this was because they didn’t know how to say it, or did not want to speak Spanish. I would think though, that some didn’t feel like they had the right to ask. They figured that they were not worthy of asking for even a large candy bar or cup of ice cream.

The above mentality represents many people in our society today. They don’t ask for or seek great things, simply because they don’t feel worthy. At one time I would put myself in that category. However, I learn more that to receive the blessings I am seeking, all I have to do is ask! That was my life lesson to these students. You can receive great gifts in life simply by politely asking. This was proven as students enjoyed the wonderful goodies they gained simply by asking for them.

Please know the same is true for you. Many times you can receive what you want simply by asking. People have received raises at their job simply by asking their boss. Many others receive blessings by asking God. Speaking of God, how many times does He promise in the Bible that He will bless us if we would only ask? Remember, you have not because you ask not.

Do you always get what you want just by asking? No, but that’s a good thing. I did not comply with all of my students’ commands. This was partially for budget reasons, but one of the guidelines is that the command won’t be harmful or embarrassing to someone else, or interrupt the learning environment in other classes. However, I still encouraged students to ask for anything because the worst I could say was no, but there was a chance they could receive what they wanted.

It’s the same for you. You may ask for something and will be told no. Still, why not ask? You never know the answer until you do. God will even say no to some of your prayers. If He does, please know it’s to avoid you or someone being harmed or embararrased. And please realize…unlike me, God has no budget! Know that He can do and provide anything for you. Many times He is simply waiting for you to ask.

Hopefully you get the message. If you want to receive or accomplish something, it is OK to ask! So please…ask! As my students found out, you can receive some unexpected gifts simply by asking for them. Since I have learned this, the blessings are multiplying in my life. They will for you too if you simply ask God in humble prayer, or if you ask people who can help you. We don’t need to get greedy, but we do need to know that it’s OK to ask for the things we want. And it will be more OK when we receive them. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


How To Pray Effectively In Two Seconds Or Less

September 26, 2013

We are all familiar with the power of prayer. Miracles have happened, simply because people prayed and believed.

My question is, if it’s so easy to do and we are all aware of the wonderful power prayer brings, why do so many people avoid doing it? There are two main reasons I can think of. One is that they simply don’t know how or don’t know what to say. This can be intimidating for those who don’t know they can talk freely to a God that is always listening. The second reason is that they don’t make the time. Life gets busy, and prayer gets put on the back burner until it eventually gets squeezed out of the daily schedule.

I will say that I understand both of the above reasons, although I strongly believe that it is extremely important to put aside some time for prayer. The solution I present takes care of both problems. It is pre-scripted and it takes seconds. Ready?….here’s the simple, yet powerful prayer you can say in a second or two….Thank you!

Too many people think they have to bring a long list of requests to the prayer table or prepare  a sophisticated presentation in order for prayer to be effective. However, nothing can be further from the truth. When you are short on things to say and pressed for time, just say thank you. If you want to extend your prayer longer than a few seconds, think of several things that you are thankful for and make that your prayer. A simple “thank you for…” will do wonders.

When you are thankful and express your gratitude to God, you are setting yourself up for greater blessings. You are being faithful in the little things, and will be given even greater things to be thankful for. Also, a feeling of gratitude affects your life in so many other ways, such as feeling more peaceful, positive, confident, and loving just to name a few.

The next time you are not sure how or when to pray, take a few minutes and simply say thank you for the blessings in your life. It is time well spent. Besides the blessings you will see added to your life, you will look forward to more of this gratitude time because it will eventually become natural, and a regularly scheduled part of your day.

I will follow  this advice with you, my cherished reader. I need to leave quickly, so I will say…thank you for reading : )


Faithful Consequences

July 26, 2013

I very much enjoy listening to popular preachers, and I have learned a great deal from them. One of my favorite’s has always been Charles Stanley. He is full of wise statements based on God’s Word.

I was reminded of something he said that grabbed my attention when I first heard it year’s ago, and it has stuck with me for years. His message is this…have faith, obey God, and let Him take care of the consequences.

What’s the big deal with that, you may ask? Many human beings try to have faith. They want to do the right thing and take action towards achieving their goals and desires. However, many don’t take action and fail to reach their goals simply because of fear of what might happen. For example, I once knew a woman who was overweight, and wanted to lose weight and improve her overall appearance. It was a strong desire, but nagging fears held her back. For example, she was afraid that some people would think differently of her and would not accept her new look. She was afraid that she might receive unwanted advances from guys she wasn’t interested in, something she hadn’t had to deal with in her current situation.

This is a minor example, but it is a clear example how we sometimes avoid moving forward, even when we strongly believe God is prompting us to do so. This is simply because we fear what might happen.

I will say that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t follow through and let your fears get the best of you. You are simply robbing yourself of major blessings and potential miracles, that’s all. Think about it though. What if Moses continued to tell God that he wasn’t good enough to lead the people out of Egypt? What if David thought going against Goliath would be too difficult? What if Jesus’s disciples listened to those who forbade them to spread the word of Christianity? How ordinary and purposeless their lives would have been! Where would we be today?

I can’t downplay these fears. After all, sometimes obeying God’s call will cause consequences. You may lose friends. It may cause family problems. It can cause loneliness and initial difficulties. However, please know that God’s plan is always the best plan, and even though you may have these difficulties and obstacles initially, know that you will win in the long run. And you won’t just win by a point or two. You will be blessed beyond what you could have ever expected if you faithfully follow through with God’s call and whatever desire you believe He has planted in your heart.

Which consequence would you rather have…some initial resistance from other people and initial obstacles, or the consequence of knowing that you missed a major opportunity to add greatness and blessing to your life, all because you were afraid of what might happen?

I will say again that I understand your fears, especially because I’ve been there many times myself. However, I  challenge you to live in faith. Know that if God is for you, no one can be against you. Know that if He has something great set up for you (remember, He promises that He has great plans of blessing and prosperity for you),  He will handle any consequences that come your way because of it. Have faith in that promise, and move forward with the confidence that great things are on their way in your life. Enjoy the blessings : )


Feeling Better About Yourself Is As Easy As ABC

July 21, 2013

Throughout my life I have been lucky enough to be able to travel and drive long distances to see relatives, the country, etc. Each time we take another trip new memories are created, and old ones are brought to the front of my mind.

There is a game that we often played, and still sometimes do today. It’s called the alphabet game. The object is to pick a topic, like animals, food, movies, or whatever, and name one that starts with A. Then the next person says one that starts with B, and so on.

I was having a very difficult day a few days ago (yes, even the best of us positive, optimistic people struggle sometimes). I was looking to find something to bring me back up, and I found a gem.

The article I read suggested using the ABC game to come up with positive words about yourself. It may be difficult for some, but contrary to popular believe, you ARE allowed to say nice things about yourself. I tried it, and didn’t have too much difficulty coming up with words for each letter of the alphabet. Even X was usable, as I improvised with words like xtra special, xtra nice, etc.

Does this exercise work? Yes, and it works almost immediately. I went through two rounds of the game, thinking of positive words starting with each letter of the alphabet to describe myself. Within minutes I felt far better about myself, and was right back to being my normal, positive self. I did this in mid-afternoon, and the rest of my day was happy and pleasant. In fact, according to theme of the article, this is exactly the purpose of the game…to help you feel more positive emotions about yourself, and about life as a whole. The reason being is that when you are at a high emotional level, you set yourself up for the positive outcomes you seek.

I share this exercise with you and challenge you to use it. Use it if you are feeling down, but also when things are good. This morning I used this as a gratitude exercise and came up with with words from each letter of the alphabet of things I am grateful for. The positive feelings surfaced quickly and easily, and now remain as I go through my day.

The more things you can be positive about and think about, the more things will go your way. The more you maintain positive emotions, the more you will set yourself up for blessings. I am constantly looking for ways to do this and to share, and as mentioned earlier, I believe I hit the jackpot with this one.

What great things do you have to say about yourself? Answering that question should be as easy as ABC. Enjoy the blessings : )

If you are interested, here’s a link to the article…http://www.discoveringpeace.com/abraham-hicks-and-the-emotional-grid.html