A Fast Way To A Remarkable Life

April 1, 2013

I’ve been away for the past few days. I attended a Fine Arts competition in Syracuse NY. Members of our church participate regularly, but this year was extra special for me because my 13 year old daughter participated for the first time. A group wrote a song, and she was invited to sing it for them. We were very proud as she did a great job, especially for her first performance in front of a public crowd. If it went well enough, she would have the opportunity to compete in national competition in Orlando. Exciting stuff!

As it turns out, my daughter did not receive the opportunity to move on. Why not? After all, I said she was very good, right? Very true. However, as we waited to see who would move on, the top acts performed again for the large crowd. It was here where I realized why they were moving on. It’s because they stood out from the rest. Some sang, some played instruments, some preached, and some acted in skits. Many performers were very good. In every category, these top performers were different from the rest. They all did something and had something that the others did not. This is why they were so remarkable.

I am lucky that I am able to do several things in life well. Some I do very well. However, through this experience I realized that, for me to take my life to the next level, good and well is not enough. I need to stand out in whatever area I want to take to a higher level. For example, I am a good teacher. My students learn and generally enjoy my classroom experience. However, in order to excel as a teacher, that can’t be good enough. I need to ask, what can I do to make this experience memorable and at the highest level possible?

I love to write, and believe I am a fairly good writer. However, it is my goal to stand out and touch thousands of lives a day. In order for that to happen, I need to stand out in some way. I need to constantly ask myself and others how I can do that. Only in that way can my writing be its absolute best and positively impact as many people as possible.

I challenge you to do the same. What is it that you want to excel at? What part of your life are you seeking to be truly remarkable? To make it happen, find out how you can stand out. What can you do that others can’t?

You may be wondering, “how can I answer that question”? I certainly don’t have all the answers. What I usually do is pray for divine guidance. God has all of the answers. He can and will direct you if you need help. Ask in prayer what you can do to stand out. If you truly seek answers they will come. Then act on the inspiration you receive and make it happen. Keep in mind that, especially when you pray and invite God into the equation, you are actually inviting His light to shine through you. All you have to do is turn on the switch. When you let His light shine, people will definitely notice as His grace is manifested. Another thing that works is to seek answers online through articles, other blogs, and videos. It’s amazing how much you can find out from others with the same concerns and goals.

My daughter and her group performed very well. They were good enough to move on. However, they didn’t because there were other groups that simply did more to stand out. If you don’t already know, please realize you have many talents and many things you can do well. If you are seeking to make your life remarkable, I challenge you to figure out what to do to stand out. Then do it. I have much more focus on this challenge of standing out and letting the Spirit of God manifest through me. I will say that it’s a fun challenge, and I invite you to enjoy it as well.

I would appreciate it very much if you would share what works for you and how you stand out in a particular area. I am sure there is plenty of valuable information and assistance I am leaving out here. It would certainly help other readers if there is any input you can provide. Many 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 : )


Trust In The Silver Lining

March 24, 2013

A friend of mine posted this on their Facebook page the other day. I felt the strong need to share. If you think your day is not going well, this will help you think differently…

Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Me: Promise You won’t get mad
God: I promise
Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Huummm
Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

This is not a conversation I actually had. However, in many ways, I have already had it numerous times. Not everything goes our way all the time. If you’re like me, you may sometimes complain about it and wonder why God has abandoned you or let negative things happen. I challenge you that, whenever you feel that way, think of this conversation and remember that God has you covered in every way : )


Let God Handle It

March 20, 2013

Why do we often struggle through our day, trying to do everything ourselves and stressing about all of the obstacles we face? It’s a battle I faced for a long time, until I realized the value of surrender. I realize that I often have very little control of some of the obstacles that enter my life.

I can certainly control how I handle the difficult situations. But why should I? There is a God who is more than willing to handle the difficulties, obstacles, and whatever negative situations enter into life.

I was reminded of this fact after reading a quote in a Wayne Dyer book. He said there is a sign in his house which says the following: “Good morning. This is God. I will be handling all of your problems today. I will not need your help, so have a miraculous day”.

I am fully confident that God keeps His promises, so why not just step out of the way and let Him do His thing. Let go and let God. Go where you feel like He is leading you, but leave the stressful details to Him. It’s a great way to remove stress and get things done. In fact, much more gets done through His power than trying to do everything on your own. Not only will you will be less stressed, but you will be more blessed!

I am thankful for this quote, because there are still days where I forget, and I try to do too much. If you do too, remember to leave the problems and difficulties to God. They will soon disappear, and you will be very thankful for it. Enjoy the blessings : )


How To Eliminate Your Fears…Now!!!

March 16, 2013

Fear is the number one thing that prevents us from reaching our goals and taking the steps to bring our life to a higher level. If we let it rule in us, we may never get to the point we want to get to. It especially bothers me because fear is the opposite of faith. When I fear, it means I am not demonstrating faith, thus not allowing the God who can do all things to impart blessing in my life.

You may feel the same way. You want to take the next steps and move to the next level in your life, but some type of fear is stopping you. Perhaps you are afraid you will fail, or you fear what other people might think or say. Maybe you even fear that the goal you are seeking is not even possible, so why even pursue it if you know you will only be let down?

These fears are natural, but I am here to say now that they are totally unnecessary. There’s a God who is in your midst, waiting for you to remove your fear and instead have the faith to know that all things are possible. That time has arrived.

So what’s a great way to immediately eliminate fears? I have learned that the best way to remove your fears is to keep your mind focused on the present moment as much as possible. It seems too simple, but it cannot be more true. What is fear anyway? Fear is simply the worry about something that your mind believes could potentially happen. Has it actually happened yet? No!!! You are worrying about what people MIGHT think, or about what MAY happen. It is all simply a negative process of the mind. In fact the mind is the only place where fear actually exists.

The key is to fully focus on the present moment. When you focus on the present, fear is nearly impossible. The present moment is the only time you actually have. You cannot live a past or future event at this exact moment, can you? Yes, we need to plan for the future. However, when do you do things that affect your future? Now! Anything you do to make up for your mistakes in the past are done now as well. I will say it again…this present moment is all we have.

I understand that there are some fears that are beneficial to us. This is based on things we have learned in the past. For example, I fear touching a hot stove because when I did it before I was burned. I fear going into a dark alley in the inner city because I have heard how dangerous it can be. These are realistic fears. The problem is that most of our fears are simply imagined. It is these fears that hold us back from living the life we want to live.

I challenge you again to live as much as possible in the present moment. Right now, replace those thoughts of worry and fear with thoughts of faith and success. Visualize yourself living the life you choose free of fear. The thoughts you are thinking now play a big part in the way life manifests in the future. In the present moment, your fears have not played out yet. If you stay in the present moment, they will never play out because you are taking the steps towards success instead of retreating in fear.

As always, I thank you for reading. I pray for your goals to be reached and your dreams to come true. Enjoy the blessings : )


Expect A Miracle

March 5, 2013

I mentioned in my previous post that my mother in law lost her husband last week. As a way to support her, my family and I decided to join her at her church this past Sunday instead of going to our own. We very much enjoyed the service.

There was one part of this church that stood out most to me. As you walk into the church you see a big sign above the altar. In big letters it says, “Expect a Miracle”. At that instant, this church had my attention for good.

In my opinion, it’s an absolutely perfect message for a church to have. After all, we serve a God who is full of them, so what better place to “advertise” miracles than the church.

I am a firm believer that we receive in life exactly what we expect. If we expect failure, we’ll certainly get it. If we expect greatness and success, we will receive it. I’ve read this in several books, but it says if you were to go and gather water from the ocean, there are several ways you can do it. You can go with a tea spoon, and you will get what you expect. Instead you can go with a cup, or a bottle, or a barrell. Who will get the most water? The answer is obvious. In each case, you will receive the amount of water you expect, based on what you brought to collect it in. the key is for your level of expectation to be high!

I was inspired by that church sign, and now I pass the inspiration to you. Go through life expecting to be blessed, and expecting to succeed. If you expect success you will receive it. Then it has a snowball effect, and your life will be marked with blessings and miracles, all because you had the faith to expect them. After a while, it becomes natural to expect the absolute best.

God always works in great ways. You may not receive things as you expect, and some you may not get at all. However, keep in mind that God has only your best in mind. If you don’t receive one miracle, you will receive something better instead. The key is to believe and expect, and you will receive and be blessed. So what miracle are you expecting? Feel free to share. I will be happy to pray for its manifestation, and enjoy the success with you : )


Leaving A Legacy

March 4, 2013

I’ve been away from writing during the past few days due to a death in the family. My wife’s step father passed away earlier this week.

Accepting the death of a loved one is never easy. However, it is easier to take in some situations, specifically this one. First of all, Paul was a strong and devout Christian. He took seriously the responsibility of spreading the word and helping people live the Christian life.

The greatest thing about Paul is the wonderful legacy he has left. He has had positive impacts on many people. His strong example has trickled down to his three daughters, their spouses and kids, and many other people around him. The wake and funeral were packed with people from all walks of his life; his family, friends from church, neighbors, work and class mates, and many more. The funeral was easily the most positive I have ever attended. Yes it was still sad to be discussing his greatness under these circumstances, but it was very uplifting. We know without a doubt where he is spending eternity, and one by one, people came to the stage to share Paul’s positive influences on them and other people.

These events make me think, and I will relay my thoughts to you. What will people say about you when you are gone? For me, I would love for people to say the same things they did about Paul. I would want them to discuss how I was a model of the Christian life. I would want them to discuss the many lives that were positively impacted because I allowed God to use me according to His will. I would want that just the mention of my name would put a smile on their face.

I will say this without offense…Paul was not at all perfect. He didn’t always make people happy. At times he was quite outspoken, and ticked some people off as a result. However, I say this as an inspiration because even though he wasn’t perfect, he still touched many lives and leaves this great legacy.

I challenge you to live your life so you will leave a great legacy when it’s all over. It is my goal, and I share it with my readers. Let us be great examples of love, positivity, joy, kindness, and all of the fruits of the Spirit. Even though we are not perfect, we can be a great example to those around us and leave a great legacy. This is definitely something Paul accomplished. He will certainly be missed.


What Are You Talking About?

February 27, 2013

Does it really matter what comes out of your mouth? Seriously, do words make any difference at all? I am learning more and more that words definitely make a difference.

There are several Bible verses that back this up. I was recently reminded of my favorite one recently…do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it would benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

What should we say? To me it’s very simple. Don’t waste your words! Also, avoid saying anything that would bring someone down. I understand that sometimes we need to tell someone things they don’t want to hear. However, there are ways of doing it that will not tear them down. The verse says specifically to use words that will build others up. Compliments and thanks come to mind (please be careful to avoid false flattery though). Also according to the verse, carefully thought out words that would be helpful to anyone who hears them would be considered the right ones to use.

In addition to using the right words towards others, I have been reminded often lately that we must also use the right words for ourselves. We should not be tearing ourselves down with negative self talk, but instead should be using positive words to build ourselves up. I will end with the words a guest speaker at our church left with us a few weeks ago…my mouth makes me miracles or my mouth makes me miserable. From my experience, it is far better to take the first option and follow the advice from the Ephesians verse. You and those around you will be much better for it. Enjoy the blessings : )


What Do You Want Me To Do For You?

February 24, 2013

I very much enjoy reading the miracle stories in the Bible. There are plenty of them from cover to cover. However, certain ones stand out.

One such story jumped off the page at me the other day. It’s in all of the gospels, but I pariticularly like the version from Mark 10:46-52. It’s the story of a blind man who was begging on the side of the road in town. He was just living his life, doing what he normally does and accepting his lot in life.

Things change when Jesus arrives in town. Somehow, this man already knew about Jesus because as soon as he finds out Jesus is there, he starts shouting out, asking that Jesus have mercy on him. The people around him tell him to be quiet and to stop shouting. However, he continues to shout out until Jesus acknowledges him. Jesus asks, “what do you want me to do for you”? The man says he wants his sight. Jesus says, “your faith has made you well”. It then says the man immediately received his sight.

I love this story and its happy ending. However, I see it as more than that. I see it as the exact recipe that, if you want miracles in your life, you can follow and receive them. Here’s why:

1. This man refused to accept no for an answer. As soon as he was aware of Jesus’s presence he did not stop until he had his attention.

2. He did not listen to other people. They tried to quiet him and get him to stop, but he refused to let them get in his way.

3. My favorite part of the story is when Jesus asks “what do you want me to do for you?” Jesus knew darn well what the man wanted. So why did He ask? I believe He wanted to hear it directly from the individual. He wanted the man to present the need to Him personally.

4. He had faith. He immediately perked up when he heard Jesus was there because he had 100% faith that He was the one that could heal him.

5. He let Jesus do His work.

There you have it. A 5 step recipe that I believe anyone could use to see miracles in their life. Are you looking for a miracle? Then I challenge you. Start seeking it now and don’t stop until you are fully convinced that you have God’s attention. Don’t listen to other people that try to stop you or say it can’t be done. Pray and let your request be known. God already knows what you want before you ask Him, but He still wants to hear it from your lips of prayer. Have faith and KNOW that He can and will answer. Remember, even if it’s not exactly what you are looking for, it will be something better. Then let God do His work.

The great thing about the miracle stories is that I never saw any where Jesus said no. People asked in faith and were given what they asked for. He will do the same for you if you follow this way of thinking. Please share here when they happen for you because I would love to hear about it. Enjoy the blessings : )


The Gratitude Chain

February 21, 2013

I am a firm believer in the snowball effect. For example, a person does a good deed for someone, then the recipient does something for someone else, and so on. The result is that the lives of many are blessed in a major way.

During the past few weeks, I have felt the desire to spend my life in constant gratitude for the blessings in my life. I have always been thankful, but I am really focusing on being thankful for even the smallest things, like the air that I breath, the clean water I drink, the heated home that keeps me warm, etc. It has really helped me appreciate my life more, and has brought me even closer to God. Also, many little things that would bother me (someone driving way under the speed limit in front of me) barely even come to mind.

I am trying to spread this attitide of gratitude as far as I can. On a daily basis, my family and I write down the things we are most grateful for and reflect on them. I have shared this with other people close to me as well. However, I want to take it further. I asked God how I could do it, and this idea came to mind..

I would like to start a gratitude chain. I will start by sharing 5 things I am very thankful for. I will also ask for your input. If you have a few extra seconds, please share your top 5 thankful list here, and I will pray for you that each one continues and multiplies. I also challenge you to start your own list and get as many people as you can to share their gratitude list. Let’s see how far we can take this : )

Here’s my top 5 list:

1. I am thankful for God for His love, protection, blessing, grace, and everything!
2. I am thankful for the great parents and siblings I have, my wife and kids, and my extended family.
3. I am thankful for great health.
4. I am thankful for my job…the one I have and the dream job He is providing.
5. I am thankful for my house, cars, and all of my material possessions.

When people pay good deeds forward, many are blessed, and if people did it consistently, it can literally change the world. I have read in several places that, even when one person changes from a negative to postiive state of mind, it has a major ripple effect, and can change the world around them. The same is true for feeling gratitude. Not only will people feel better about themselves, but it will have a snowball effect on the world around them, and make a major turn to the positive. My sincere prayer is that God makes it happen today. I appreciate your participation and pray for major blessings for you as result. I look forward to seeing what you are thankful for!