Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
1875-1961, Swiss Psychiatrist
Perception is all important in determining ones path in life.
Our thoughts & beliefs create our perceptions. The outcome of every circumstance that we confront is dependent upon this knowingness.
If we awaken each morning with the thought, oh God another day, then it will surely be a drudge from beginning to end.
On the other hand if we awaken thinking, thank God another day, then we open the door for countless adventures & a plethora of small wonders to enjoy.
One might say; well, this sounds good but sometimes I wake up feeling bad.
We must recognize that our emotional state is ultimately the result of the same
thought- belief system that creates our perceptions. Our thoughts can be not only influenced, but guided as well.
It is widely agreed that the thoughts you have as you drift off to sleep have a profound influence on your thought- emotion state upon awakening.
This is a time that we need to guide or direct our thoughts, doing so by reading something positive, praying, meditating, remembering all that we are grateful for. Insuring that the positive has a chance to work on us through the night.
Again looking at specific thoughts; if we face life’s difficulties with the thought, oh this is so difficult, why me? Then we set ourselves up for failure, we place ourselves in the role of the victim.
The opposing thought is to welcome these difficulties as challenges meant to build, mold, & shape us into all we can be. In this way we alter our perceptions & confront them head on instead of with the poor me attitude that leads to depression.
Take charge of your thoughts. Do not be guilty of allowing them to simply exist. Recognize that you have the power to create your own reality, your emotional state.
The attitude with which you face life will determine your eventual outcome.
Be a responsible gardener planting the seeds of success & happiness.
Make life an adventure where you are continuously discovering the potential within.
Those that won't be counseled can't be helped.
1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat
There is not a one among us so wise that counsel is not needed.
One of the saddest & most destructive lies that has been spread in our culture is that we are a nation of self made success stories.
Not a single man or woman has risen to the top solely through their own efforts.
Wisdom is knowledge coupled with the ability to use that knowledge in an
If we are going to become effective, vital people then we must recognize that we need each other, we need fellowship, we need to seek & follow the counsel of those who have traveled the path before us.
Lewis & Clark did not go into the wilderness without the help of guides who knew the way, who had been there before. We are no different, we need guides to help us as we discover new territories, explore areas of ourselves that have been hidden, as we seek to become whole, complete people.
Many of us have gone through life thus far without a clue as to how the game of life is played. How to communicate in a healthy, positive manner. How to utilize the principles available to all for successful living. How to take charge of our lives creating a wholesome reality.
We need seek wise counsel by first watching & listening. When we see a man or woman who walks the talk, who is reasonably balanced then we must break free of our self imposed boundaries of independence & ego driven belief systems that separates us from our fellows and reach out to them. If they are truly walking a path of grace & dignity they will recognize the great opportunity before them and joyfully share themselves.
We are like a man who has been blind his entire life & suddenly receives sight.
This man will need someone to define & give meaning to the world he is seeing for the first time. Look, there is a car, this is a rose, there, that’s a skyscraper & so on. While the man knew the words he had no real sense of what they represented until another shared them with him.
Eyes wide open, mind freed of the lies & ½ truths, heart ready to receive. Seek out the counsel of others, be discerning & follow the path that has been prepared by those who have gone before you. Join hands with your brothers & sisters, rejoice in the journey, not alone, but in concert with others.
The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping .
All of us want to be accepted, appreciated, & loved. Many of us allow ourselves to fall victim to the idea that our value is closely associated with the level of acceptance we receive from others. When we do not receive it, we begin to compromise our values, we slowly begin to relinquish our true selves in order to please others.
Unfortunately most peoples level of approval or acceptance is based on how they are feeling at the time & what is in favor one moment is apt to be gone the next.
It is normal & natural to desire the sense of belonging & unity with our fellows, however, it is unhealthy to surrender our sense of self to the receiving of it.
If we are to have wholeness, walking in peace & harmony then we must recognize the truth of this, happiness is an inside job. The most assured way to develop & maintain a friendship with another, is to be a very good friend.
The path to having the approval & acceptance of others that is not subject to whimsy, is to live without judgment & condemnation, to walk always in complete forgiveness.
One of the many ½ truths that we have been taught is that opposites attract, while this is true with the magnetic energies, it is not true of people. We attract that which we are.
I have spoken in the past of the rarity principle & reinforce it now. Place your value of self in your rarity, not the approval of others. Be the best you, you can be. As the saying goes, “to thine own self be true.” I believe with all my heart that within each of us is a powerful force of inner goodness that when nourished properly cannot fail to shine forth creating a world of positive energy around us that cannot be extinguished.
Do not give the power of you to others. Be faithful to what is right & just. Where you will not get the approval of some, others will rally to your side & the fellowship you will experience will be based in truth, honesty & goodwill. It will not fail.
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence, your praiseworthy deeds, recognizing the glory of God in you.” Matthew 5:16
Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.
Hope is our greatest ally & friend in this natural world. Many believe that at one time or another they have experienced hopelessness, yet if that were true they would have ceased to exist. Hope had to flicker within them to endure the trial or tribulation they were facing at the time.
It is the experience of not having our hopes instantly materialize that causes the sickening fall into depression and morose contemplation. It is vital that one combine hope with faith, and faith with patience. In this way we recognize and trust that the things we hope for will be realized in time.
Hope is the elixir that ultimately brings the full potential within to come to complete, mature fruition. Nothing is as precious or so well concealed as hope. While logic would dictate the truth that if there was not hope, chaos would reign, we allow it to lie dormant, unrecognized, hidden beneath the masks of disappointment & discouragement.
Hope like a fragile seed must be nurtured, so that it has the opportunity to create that which is hoped for. As a people who are becoming intelligent cultivators of their gardens it is necessary and beneficial to identify the hope within, so that it can be properly utilized, purposefully implanted where it will accomplish the utmost.
There are undeniable positive & negative energies working in our world. These may be called spiritual powers, or powers of light & dark. It is self evident that hope is a positive, light filled energy & that it is the negative, dark energy that would snuff it out.
Where there is hope there is life.
Hope fosters all great human endeavors, it is the unifying force that binds all great causes & peoples towards a common goal. Hope is the birthplace of tomorrows promise, & today’s goodness. Embrace & do not relinquish your hold on the hope that resides within you. In so doing nothing of dignity, integrity, & rightness will be denied you.
There is no such thing as a lack of faith. We all have plenty of faith, it's just that we have faith in the wrong things. We have faith in what can't be done rather than what can be done. We have faith in lack rather than abundance but there is no lack of faith. Faith is a law.
If there were any signpost on this journey called life that would assist us in our travels more than any other it should read, Faith Required.
Faith means that you do not, cannot see the outcome, yet stand firmly knowing that
it will be for good.
We have faith in many things.
We flip a switch in the faith that a light will come on.
We turn a key in the ignition in faith that an engine will start.
We go to a restaurant in the faith that we will be fed.
We board an airplane in the faith that there will be a pilot who is trained & capable of guiding it to a desired destination.
Etc., Etc., Etc.
The Apostle Paul stated, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1).
So then, it becomes clear that faith is a growing energy that is first birthed in hope.
We hope that there is a God.
We hope that the Universal Spirit cares for us.
We hope that our prayers are heard.
It is now that faith begins to take on a profoundly new & wonderful character, for as we recognize that by hoping, seeking, & praying that our lives have changed, our prayers have been realized,
It is now that our hope becomes much more for it is based in
experiential knowledge. It is like learning that 1 + 1 always = 2. There is no deviation, no changing it. When we add 1 + 1 we know without doubt that the answer is
& will always be 2. Now as we begin to seek, to pray, we do so expectant, with confidence.
Our Wonderful Creator does not require or even desire blind faith. In truth, it is faith birthed in hope, experienced through a growing & developing relationship that is most effective, most desired & appreciated. You do not see the hydro-electric plant producing the electricity that powers your lights, yet you flip the switch.
Flip the switch to your hope so that your faith can be turned on.
For what is the best choice, for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.
BC 384-322, Greek Philosopher
Within each of us there is a wonderful potential. Abilities & talents just waiting to be discovered & realized. It is a strange mystery why this potential lies dormant until we
stop thinking of self & begin to think of others yet it is a truth. The moment we begin to consider how we might utilize that which we are for the good of humankind, the door opens to what lies within.
Humility & gratitude are key ingredients in becoming all that we can be, by remembering always that what we have is a gift not of our own making & giving constant thanksgiving for the opportunity to share this most excellent journey we immediately transcend all obstacles & elevate ourselves into a new realm of existence, a new way of living.
Sharing that which we are is the reason for our being. All of the great spiritual leaders taught this principle, "give & it shall be given unto you" was a central message of Jesus, (Luke 6:38 The Bible), "help one another in virtue & piety" was a primary theme in the teachings of Muhammad, (Qu'ran), denial of selfish want & desire is prevalent in the eastern philosophies, how can we possibly not consider these clear & divine messages to all peoples as the path to happiness.
To deny self is difficult, the flesh, the mind tells us that our needs our wants are paramount, this is the battle. We need do that which is opposite of our nature. We must utilize the many principles of success that have been previously discussed, i.e. prayer, patience, perseverance - courage, commitment, consistency - desire, determination, diligence. By developing these characteristics, making them an integral part of who we are & how we approach life we overcome & win the war.
So, while we may have a sense of the potential within us, it is most often not within our knowledge to know the depth of what we can accomplish. The only way to find the fullness of the potential within is to say break free of the self imposed limitations that prevents our growth. We must step beyond the opinions of others for they will deny our potential just as they deny their own.
We have been held in bondage by selfishness. To liberate ourselves, to become all that we can be, to achieve our highest calling means changing the way we look at the world & our circumstances. This is terribly difficult, but if we embrace the wisdom of our great teachers it is more than attainable.
Patience in the present, faith in the future, and joy in the doing
Developing the discipline of patience is required for anyone who desires a life of peace & serenity.
It seems to go against human nature to wait patiently, for many instant gratification takes far too long. Quicker, faster that's the ticket. Our microwave society has geared itself for a fast paced life, there simply is no time for patience.
It is once again time to reflect on the spiritual principle that manifests in this natural world without exception. That is the law of seedtime & harvest time. One does not plant a seed one day to awaken to a blossoming rose bush the next. From the planting time of seed until the harvesting of a desired crop many things must take place.
It is important to recognize that the seed first must die to itself, (think & meditate on this), it cannot remain a seed if it is to realize the potential within. Consider an apple seed, within that one seed there is the potential to become an orchard of apple trees.
First it dies to itself becoming a seedling, a sprout, then it breaks through the soil & begins to transform into a fragile sapling. Over many seasons it eventually becomes strong enough for its limbs to carry the weight of new apples.
Within those apples are more seeds that if planted & cared for as the first will produce more trees that will in time birth more apples that contain more seeds until eventually there is an orchard. All of the trees that now make up the orchard were brought forth from the first seed.
For all of this to take place requires the most important ingredient of all.
Time must pass!
Once this principle is recognized & accepted a natural fruit that
will be harvested is patience.
It is equally important to recognize and embrace the truth that patience does not mean inaction. There is much doing that must accompany the process of realizing the potential within. The planting, the nourishing & protecting, then the harvesting. All of these things require careful attention & purposeful exploitation of the resources available.
The end result of following the simple formula of adopting a vision, planting a seed, carefully tending of the garden & patience equals a rich, sweet harvest that can be shared with all. There will always be more than enough for within each seed there is an orchard producing a bountiful crop.
You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
~ Barbara De Angelis ~
The trend today is to seek a life of ease without trials & tribulation, a life free of difficulties or challenges.
How utterly boring the world would be if we did not have circumstances that
create a bit of discomfort, or that tests our faith.
If we were to go through life without obstacles to overcome we would never know what we are capable of. We would have no opportunity for growth.
Instead of looking at difficult times as hindrances meant to defeat us we need adopt a new perspective of them, we need to view them as opportunities for developing & increasing our sphere of influence & personal power.
The idea that life is supposed to be a cakewalk or that our paths should be smooth without pitfalls is an illusory concept birthed in impatience & promoted by others who lack wisdom & discernment. This is especially true when it concerns relationships.
Relationships require times of testing in order to become strong, storms will come & the ship must be seaworthy if it is to weather the tempests that inevitably arise.
Enduring & prevailing over adversity while standing beside another is what creates trust, it is persevering through hardships that molds & shapes the foundation of success.
Instead of shying away from the storms, welcome & embrace them. Greet them as friends that have come to clear away the dross. For a garden to be healthy, producing a bountiful crop, it requires constant & continued weeding, The overcoming of difficulties is what brings forth a rich harvest of love that will be both enduring & strong.
By adopting this perspective, by changing the way you view life & the world you change your reality. You immediately begin to overcome & to begin the process of becoming a perfectly developed person who will lack nothing of true value.
(Based on James 1:1 though 1:5)
If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.
~ Robert Conklin ~
I love the word potential. It contains within it a rich and wonderful capacity for greatness.
Webster's defines potential as an ability not yet realized.
Think of it, a potent (powerful) ability that lies within & has not yet been brought to life.
Just imagine a world where we appreciate & value one another not on the basis of what we have accomplished or own, but on the potential within.
Placing the characteristics of value & potential together it is not difficult to discern that we would begin to encourage & foster the realization of that potential.
To value means that it is important to us, it is something that we protect, even cherish.
The things we value the most are those things that we guard jealously, with fervor & diligence. If we valued the potential within others would we not immediately begin to honor & respect each other.
Parents most especially would be impacted in the way they treat their children. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings or failures of their children they would praise & promote the potential within. Verbal abuses would vanish, all harmful behaviors would cease & the dark cycle of pain, fear & anger would be alleviated.
Teachers would no longer be frustrated by the weaknesses of their charges but would concentrate their attention on the truth that each of their charges possesses strengths that need to be brought forth with patience & encouragement.
The result would be a world filled with individuals who are striving to be their very best,
while also helping others to do the same.
Instead of jealousy & lust there would be a rejoicing at the success of our fellows.
There would be no need for anger & resentment for there would be no harm.
Selfishness too would vanish, we would be able to see that there is more than
enough for all.
Patience & tolerance would prevail, we would be free to recognize that an integral part of achieving all that we can be requires making mistakes. Mistakes & shortcomings are a normal & natural characteristic of humankind.
Know this, within you is an unlimited potential for good. It is often not within our capacity to know or see clearly what that true potential is, so let us mirror for each other that potential by appreciating & valuing the essence of what is possible, that which lies deep within us all.
"If there is to be peace, it must begin in the hearts of each of us. It must become a way of life, a seed that grows like a beautiful flower spreading its fragrance throughout the whole garden."
Joseph F. Girzone "Joshua In The Holy Land"
Peace truly comes from within. A person whose heart insists on holding bitterness & resentment will never know peace & cannot promote anything other than hatred & discontent.
So many people refuse to let go of their hurts & pains rationalizing that they are justified in maintaining their attitude of unforgiveness & self righteous indignation.
Like a cancer the acidity of this antipathy erodes the very fabric of life, destroying all joy & prohibiting love from stealing forth into the world. It infects all whom it comes in contact with. The devastating effect is countless lives that become enmeshed in the awful cycle of pain,
fear, & anger.
If we are to stop this devastating cycle, we must embrace the discipline of love, for a primary characteristic of love is forgiveness. Forgiveness will not allow the negative energy
of bitterness to erode the essence of a life that is based in love.
It is absolutely necessary that we adopt a deep & abiding concern for not only our own well being but the well being of all. We must completely commit ourselves to this cause expecting resistance at every turn. Others will suspect our motives. Many will ridicule. Others will mock. Love these just that much more, knowing that they are lost in darkness.
Let your light shine forth into this hurting world, do not allow discouragement & disappointment to deter you from your chosen path. Persevere for this cause is just & will prevail. Light always overcomes the darkness. This will require tremendous effort for we will be overcoming old ways of thinking & behaving.
These old beliefs are deeply embedded & need constant attention. An unremitting self awareness is needed if we are to overcome the hatred that has been perpetuated over countless generations.
Capture all thoughts of prejudice & contempt for they breed greater misunderstanding & pain.
Loathing promotes loathing.
Jealousy & envy promotes discontent.
Hatred promotes greater hatreds.
These combined cause discord.
Love & forgiveness promotes healing & harmony.
All peoples want to live in peace & safety. Ignorance of divine principle has prohibited this from becoming a reality. This ignorance has created deep wounds in the fabric of our human family, infection has set in, the only antidote is for you & I to live totally in love, giving patience, kindness, trust, understanding, & forgiveness, never allowing pride, arrogance or self seeking to sway us from the purpose we have set upon.
Everywhere we set foot, everyone we meet provides opportunity to sow seeds of goodwill.
Let no opportunity pass you by without planting the powerful seeds of love.
It is within us to create a new world, a new way of life, a life based on the well being of all peoples, all nations. Let it begin here, now, in full view for all to behold.
"Father, we thank you for one another & our friendship. Bless this delightful food which you
have provided for our pleasure. Bless the work to which we have committed ourselves. May
our efforts bring peace to our people & draw them closer to you. And Father be always by
our side & in our hearts.
Joseph F. Girzone "Joshua in the Holy Land"
There is much confusion when considering prayer & most especially about using the male terminology Father. It is so very important to understand that much of the resentment or resistance towards the use of Father when referring to God is birthed in the unpleasantness & or limitations associated with our human fathers.
It is also important to recognize & understand that much meaning & flavor is lost in the translation from the original Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek . The essence of the word Father comes from the root words "ab" (Hebrew), "abbah" (Aramaic), "Pater" (Greek). These words are meant to indicate God as the source of all things, a provider of rest & safety, not maleness.
God is infinitely more than male or female as we perceive them in our limited human terms & understanding. It is self evident that God displays both male & female characteristics. It is far more important that we approach the divine power with humility, gratitude & sincerity.
Jesus, who is the embodiment of Gods' love & wisdom said in this manner are you to pray.
1. Our Father who art in heaven Recognize God as God
2. Hallowed be thy name Give God honor
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven Yielding our wills to Him
3. Give us this day our daily bread Reliance upon Him for this day
4. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive
those who trespass against us Seeking Gods grace and mercy
5. Lead us not into temptation but deliver
us from evil Asking for protection
6. For Thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory Giving of praise and thanksgiving
7. For ever and ever Recognizing God as eternal
It is promised that if you seek earnestly & diligently, you will find God. Ask & you will receive. If you honestly want to know God, & ask for divine revelation, the love & compassion of the eternal presence will not be denied.
The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable.
J. S. Buckminster
It often seems that the world is filled with uncaring, unsympathetic, selfish, uncharitable & hardened people. This perception however is a reflection of who & what we are.
It acts as a rationalization or justification system by which we discount our own responsibilities for giving charity where & when it is most needed.
Think about it, doesn't a thief rationalize to himself that everyone is a thief?
Does not a liar console himself with the thought that everyone tells lies?
This is how the denial system works in the very complicated mind of humankind.
It is a way of thinking & believing that alienates us from one another, this in turn
causes suspicion, mistrust, fear & anger.
It is a basic spiritual principle that to accomplish anything in life the first step
towards achieving a goal is to surround yourself with others of like mind,
This works whether you are endeavoring to achieve a positive or a negative.
Again think about it, a thief will surround him/her self with other thieves.
An addict will envelop themselves with other addicts.
Spiritually minded individuals who have determined to be a positive influence in the world
cloak themselves with other spiritually minded people.
Those in the recovering community fellowship one with another as a powerful source
of strength & encouragement.
Another way we humans rationalize & justify our selfishness, inaction & lack of compassion
it to stand in judgment & condemnation of all those around us. We point our fingers at the
church goer & say look there goes my neighbor in church today, tomorrow hell be yelling at
his kids, there goes the guy that owns the grocery store, tomorrow hell be raising his prices to make more profit than he should etc. What we fail to see or acknowledge is that at least for
that moment they are in a place where healthy positive seed is being planted, they are
walking the path towards becoming the best they can be.
We attract that which we are. If you want to know caring, kind, compassionate, charitable people
the obvious rule would seemingly be to become a kind, caring, compassionate person. This requires work, it comes as the result of purposeful conscious thought.
It has been my experience that when I began to put aside the old ways of thinking adopting a new more positive character I soon found multitudes of others who are loving, caring & in the process of making the world a far better place to live, one life at a time.
What You Have
If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying. Would you sell both your eyes for a million dollars… or your legs… or your hands… or your hearing? Add up what you do have, and you'll find that you won't sell them for all the gold in the world. The best things in life are yours, if you can appreciate yourself.
Dale Carnegie (1888-1955, American Author, Trainer)
We all possess such wonderful gifts.
Taking the time to stop & reflect on the many blessings we have been given is paramount if we are to walk our paths with grace & dignity.
It is far too easy to look at the material wealth of others & feel deprived or lacking in some way.
We mustn't allow ourselves to fall prey to this type of thinking. It inevitably leads to jealousy, lust, discontent & anger.
There is such beauty in the world that if we were to relax & truly appreciate it all we would be in a constant state of awe & wonder. The dark, negative energy that pervades this world would have us focusing on only the things we don't have, this robs us of our joy & causes tremendous damage in our interactions with others.
Rejoice in the success of your fellows, be content with the treasures you have been given.
Recognize that wealth only provides comforts, not necessities.
Take the time to absorb yourself in a sunset, walk along a beach at sunrise & ponder on all the power at work that makes it all possible, take your loved ones to the park for an unplanned picnic, enjoy each other.
Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Practice the art of giving thanks.
Center your heart & mind on the small miracles provided each day for your pleasure.
Think not of your perceived lack, embrace the wealth you already possess.
Develop a passionate awareness of all that your world holds.
The greatest gift of all will be your effect on those around you.
While it is not within our power to alter another’s reality, we do have the ability to influence & guide others to new truths & perceptions.
You will become a source of strength & inspiration making the world a far richer place for all.
"Each of you is a masterpiece of God's creation. You were made special and
are precious to God. God works each day quietly, calmly within you, weaving together the apparently disconnected strands of your life. Your youth was a preparation for your life
later on. As you grew older, each moment was part of the carefully planned training that God was putting you through, each day building on another, each of you being drawn along a path
different from everyone else, because each of you are special to God, with a special mission to accomplish for God in this world, and a special message to preach though your life."
Joseph F. Girzone "Joshua In The Holy Land"
Many peoples of the world have been damaged & turned away from God by mans insistence on formalizing spirituality turning it into dogma or religiosity.
Throughout history wars have been fought, murders committed in the name of God, if people would only stop & think about the characteristics of God, the qualities or nature of God they would recognize the ludicrous nature of their attitudes & behaviors.
It is universally taught in all doctrines, theologies, & religions that God is Love.
Love, is nurturing, patient, kind, gentle, persevering, unselfish, hopeful, encouraging, respectful. How could God who possesses these qualities look down upon the children of creation who murder one another in the name of their Holy One. It is not logical.
The religious doctrines, the rules & ceremonies, the legality that man has created out of Gods success principles creates confusion, bitterness, resentment, judgment & condemnation.
While each of us has a very special & unique purpose that God has created us to accomplish, we also have a universal purpose that must be realized before our individual course can be determined. That universal purpose is to learn how to love one another. Until we dos nothing else is possible.
Those who live in love do not create dissension, they build bridges of understanding.
They do not & cannot hate, they live in patience & tolerance of their fellows.
They do not promote discord, they strive in all their actions to bring forth the fruit of understanding & harmony.
True spirituality is realized through a life based on principle.
It is a disciplined life that manifests though the practice of loving.
It is the daily practice of prayer, study, patience, kindness, gentleness, encouragement, hope, respect & generosity towards others.
It is our duty, our only path to true inner peace & harmony.
We must plant seeds of loving kindness everywhere we go, in every life we touch.
We must commit ourselves to this cause, persevering towards its realization regardless of how others respond, regardless of the negative reactions of others.
True spirituality is a way of living life. It is not generally taught or promoted & will at first feel quite unnatural. It will take time to mature & bear the fruit of a spiritual life. Again, be steadfast,
be diligent in carefully tending the garden of your mind, pulling the useless weed seeds that do not produce edible fruit. Painstakingly care for the seeds that encourage your ceaseless giving of love this will produce a life of abundant goodness for all those whose lives you touch & yourself.
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
Abraham H. Maslow
1908-1970, American Psychologist
Possessing & practicing the art of looking at & considering the rights, needs, & desires of others is a fundamentally sound & wise tradition to adopt if one is to succeed in life.
Insisting within ourselves that all things are meant to transpire just the way we want them to, is foolish, unrealistic & self defeating.
The person who is always swimming against the current inevitably becomes weary & eventually flounders amidst the daily trials & tribulations we all face. Recognizing the truth that one of the rare constants in life is change. The only logical way to benefit from change is to alter or adapt ourselves to function at optimum levels within that transforming reality.
Flexibility within the normal realm of life's endeavors & challenges is necessary in order to walk with any sense of peace & tranquility. This does not mean that one compromises fundamental faith, success principles, rather it means that we find ways to utilize those principles in new & effective ways.
For a carpenter to successfully build a house requires that he utilize many different types of tools, he cannot use only a hammer. If he recognizes that there is error or defect he certainly does not accept that condition but steps back, evaluates, plans & uses the proper tools to implement the appropriate corrections. Likewise if we experience an uncomfortable or unhealthy circumstance we must step back, calmly assess the circumstances & determine what tools we possess in order to rectify the situation.
The success of any relationship is dependent upon ones willingness to sacrifice their own wants in order to fulfill the needs of their partner. This of course must be a two way street, complete & total self sacrifice borders on codependency & is unhealthy, it leads to resentment & bitterness that will in time be reflected in damaging interactions, ultimately causing an unbridgeable chasm.
Balance must be maintained. Careful, purposeful thought must be given to every circumstance followed by the utilization of the tool most appropriate for the job. Practice & develop proficiency with a variety of tools, keep your tool box open, ready for all situations. Remain vigilant, always cognizant of the truth that change is inevitable. What will determine your overall state of mind & being is how well you adjust, adapt & mold yourself to that change.
As soon as sacrifice becomes a duty and necessity to mankind. I see no limit to the horizon which opens before him.
It is a strange dichotomy in this life that in order to become rich
we must first be poor. In order to be first we must be last.
In order to become a master of life we must first become a servant of all.
All successes are birthed in self sacrifice.
This is true of business ventures, relationships, & child rearing.
To live a moral, ethical, life requires sacrifice of many
perceived needs & desires.
Discipline requires the sacrifice of
There is no way to avoid the offering of sacrifice.
To bask in the presence of God requires the sacrifice of praise.
Offer up to God the sacrifice of praise. (Hebrews 13:15)
In Your presence (God's) is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)
To become a whole, complete person requires that we endure
many trials & tribulations. These are the building blocks of our character.
They mold & shape us, creating a perfectly developed person
lacking no good thing.
Webster's defines sacrifice as the act of depriving oneself of something for the
sake of attaining a goal, or for the sake of someone else.
Ones willingness to sacrifice is a good measure of how committed one is,
how deeply one desires a given end.
So in the end it becomes clear that to gain that which one desires involves
first giving up time, energy, & selfishness.
We have become a people deeply entrenched in an attitude of me, mine, more.
The end result has been unhappiness, discontent & failed relationships.
Isn't it time to try a new approach? Time to walk different path?
Time to embrace a life of loving sacrifice, to God & to each other?
Empathy & Understanding
To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed -- That can make life a garden.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe ~
There is a well known saying that "we should never judge a man
until we have walked a mile in his shoes."
If we are to create a world built upon the foundation of peace,
kindness, & understanding then we need to remove the
practice of judging our fellows.
Before we make a decision based upon the actions or inactions
of another we must recognize that the judgment being made is
based in our own limited understanding.
It is clouded by our own past, the fault we find in others is
quite often the fault we find in ourselves.
No one of us has been void of error. We have all either unwittingly
or intentionally caused pain & confusion in the lives of others.
As we walk through this life we come upon many who are filled
with pain, fear, anger, remorse, guilt & shame, they are incapable
of altering their negative behaviors until they face this devastating
state of mind & being.
Let us purposefully end this habitual tendency to judge & condemn.
Let us instead practice the disciplined practice of giving
empathy & understanding, of walking in forgiveness.
Judgment & condemnation bears an attitude of superiority & by
its very nature creates dissension, confusion, turmoil & anger.
Let us build peace by embracing the standard of understanding,
let us elevate our own thought - belief system by which we view
the world & others learning to consistently share empathy & compassion
with all we encounter.
Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never
allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and
the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success.
Never again. There is a better way.
1923-1996, American Motivational Author, Speaker
This moment is what you have. There is no other time that matters.
The choices you make here & now, in this present moment determines
each moment that will follow.
This moment in time is like a brick in the foundation of the rest of
your life. If you are going to have the life you desire then you must give
100% of your attention & energy to this instant in time.
This may sound obvious, or easy to accomplish but it is incredibly
difficult requiring diligent effort & awareness.
Our past disappointments & hurts coupled with our fears based on these past
experiences cloud our ability to clearly interpret the present, they create a
fear of all that is to come which also confuse our interpretations of the now.
As long as the past circumstances that have caused us pain remain unresolved
we will be bound to the fear they have created, our choices will be dictated
by past failures, the unpleasantness of scorn, abuse, judgment & condemnation
that we have experienced.
In order to become practiced in the art of nowness which allows us to
clearly focus & interpret the moment we are in requires that we face our
demons. We must learn to live in forgiveness, it is the only anti-toxin to
the poison of bitterness & resentment that is reflected in the present.
Recognizing that it is interaction with others that has caused the scars
creating a veil through which it is impossible to see through clearly,
gives us the direction towards which we must focus our forgiveness.
We must forgive those who have hurt, disappointed, rejected,
neglected, or abused. Leo Buscaglia said "Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain.
They steal your energy and keep you from love." They also keep you
out the now, anchored to the pain of yesterday & the fear of tomorrow.
Live in the now, develop the consciousness of nowness. Let nothing
deter you from this endeavor, it is the pathway to oneness with God,
the world, & inner peace.
Of One Mind
Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. [Philippians 4:2]
~ Bible ~
Harmony instead of discord
Love instead of hate
Forgiveness instead of resentment
Kindness instead of indifference
Generosity instead of selfishness
Serenity instead of turmoil
Just imagine a world united in spirit & mind, committed to the cause of making the world a place of peace & prosperity for all. For a moment think of all the accomplishments that unified peoples have realized in the past. All of the great civilizations came into being as a result of those who shared a common vision.
And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) A basic success principle in any endeavor is to join with others who have a similar goal or vision.
One of the problems we face today is that we are taught a belief system that promotes alienation or division. We are taught to focus on the differences between us rather than the similarities. We are taught to turn our eyes inward focusing on our own perceived needs & wants. This inherently results in dissension & creates a chasm between us that becomes incredibly difficulty to bridge. It creates a sense of aloneness.
It is self evident that if we are to accomplish a positive change in the world it must begin with our beliefs, our perceptions of self. It is a truth that deep within us is a place that cannot be touched by another, a place of solitude, a refuge that is distinct to each individual. It is also a truth that interwoven into the fabric of all our lives are many common threads upon which we can bond & build towards a desired end.
To change the prevailing attitudes & beliefs of all the peoples of the world appears to be an overwhelming task, impossible for any one person to accomplish. It is not!
"If one desires a change, one must be that change before that change can take place." Gita Bellin. "We must become the change we want to see." Gandhi.
Let us who are sharing this message each individually adopt & embrace a new belief, let us adhere to the principle that together of one mind we can accomplish the seemingly impossible. Let us incorporate into our daily practice the following:
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Henry Drummond
Let us tear down the walls that separate us, joined in mind & spirit, committed to this cause. Let us become that threefold cord consisting of you, me, & God. Let us say when we leave this earthly life that we made a difference, we did our utmost. Let us leave an empty vessel having given our all, leaving a legacy of peace & prosperity for all the children of the world.UNITY
In union there is strength.
~ Aesop ~
Together we can accomplish the seemingly impossible. As we walk through life
it is imperative that we have communion with our fellows, that we assist each
other through the difficulties common to all.
Developing, maintaining & cherishing relationships is valuable beyond measure.
No endeavor regardless of how noble or just is accomplished without sharing
the vision & responsibility of working towards a desired end.
With rare exception the human experience necessitates interaction in order
to have balance, or completeness. It is a truth that "no man is an island unto himself,"
we are social creatures, we need each other.
When I was about sixteen I wrote the following:
Friendship is in deed the most precious gift
one may offer another.
If I may call you friend then I am
Time has proven that the best way to insure having a friend is to be a friend.
The most assured way to have help in times of need is to offer a helping hand
to others as they face life's trials & tribulations.
It is a sad truth that we have a tendency to take our relationships for granted.
We must acknowledge that it is a privilege to interact with others, to have the
opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of all we encounter.
If we adopt & embrace the truth of our need, recognize that everyone is rare
& unique, therefore valuable. Cherish each other as precious jewels then we will
begin to know unity of mind & spirit.
I can't, we can.
All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.
~ Epictetus ~
Even though he was born a slave in Hierapolis and endured a permanent physical disability, Epictetus held that all human beings are perfectly free to control their lives and to live in harmony with nature.
To accomplish any goal in life requires patience, perseverance, & sacrifice.
Nothing, absolutely nothing escapes this principle of successfully obtaining
the vast riches available to those willing to work for them.
So many in today's world believe themselves to be victims, their lives
determined by outside circumstances. This is essentially a form of denial
that eliminates personal responsibility for the choices made during the
course of ones life.
While it is an inescapable truth that circumstances influence our immediate
state of mind & being, we have the ability to determine the course of our
thoughts & our choices, thus determining the path we will follow & the
ultimate reality of our lives.
Becoming the master of our own destiny involves a logical process.
The first step is to Take responsibility for our thoughts, & our actions.
Think the thoughts necessary to achieve that which you desire.
The second step is to recognize & accept the fact that life is difficult,
there are no shortcuts to success.
M. Scott Peck in his book "The road less traveled" states that "this is one
of the great truths, possibly the greatest truth."
The third step is to determine the destination one desires, then mapping
a course that will eventually lead there.
From here the results are dependent upon ones willingness to abstain from
those things that would hinder or prevent one from reaching the goal &
sustaining the right level of active choice to realize the desired end.
In the final analysis it becomes clear that our reality is determined by
our thoughts. Our thoughts dictate our perceptions of the world, our choices &
the eventual consequences.
Change your view of the world, & you change your world.
The only moral lesson which is suited for a child, the most important lesson for every time of life, is this: "Never hurt anybody."
~ Dennis Breeze ~
This is our greatest responsibility. It is the true legacy we leave for our children.
Counselors are taught to do no harm. Parents would be well advised to reinforce
this message to their children until it becomes a deeply ingrained belief system
that cannot be compromised.
If this principle had been taught generations ago to all peoples the likelihood that
we would have experienced the great world wars, Korea, Vietnam and the current
state of affairs around the globe becomes next to impossible.
If there is ever to be a world of peace, where all are treated with dignity, respect,
& kindness then it must begin with the children, they are the future decision makers,
the heirs of all our choices. It does not require a great deal of thought to recognize
the truth that all things on the planet earth are interconnected.
Humankind is dependent upon the ecosystem of the entire planet.
We must stop existing as a mindless virus consuming & destroying everything we
come in contact with. We must learn to become responsible caretakers
of the oceans, the forests, the air we breathe, the children who are the future
caretakers. They will carry forth only what they are taught.
Do no harm! Not to anyone or anything.
To do so creates guilt & shame,
guilt & shame creates fear, fear creates anger,
anger creates separation, separation creates misunderstanding,
misunderstanding creates suspicion, suspicion creates isolation,
isolation creates apathy, apathy creates inaction,
inaction creates carelessness, carelessness creates greater harm.
The cycle of destruction will accelerate out of control, until we annihilate
the human race out of ignorant indifference.
Teach the children of the world to care, to be responsible, to do no harm.
Recognize the truth that every word, every action has an impact on their
forming belief systems.
Speak & act responsibly. Everything we do influences those around us.
Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.
~ Wayne Dyer ~
Trusting that there is meaning & purpose to our lives & those things that occur
is often times difficult. It is all to easy to fall prey to the negative thought, belief
system that random chance has dictated our circumstances.
If we allow our thoughts to descend into the abyss of negativity then depression & hopelessness inevitably follows. Discerning that there is a power, or an energy
that is flowing throughout all that exists & maintaining a conscious connection
with that power is accomplished only with determined effort.
We can be likened to a lamp that has the ability to brighten our entire world,
the lamp needs to be plugged into an energy source before it can function properly,
before it can illuminate the path of proper direction.
We know that for every action there is a reaction, that the principle of cause &
effect is based in truth. There is a source to the negative energy that works in our
world & a source of the positive.
The responsibility of determining which source we plug into is ours & ours alone.
We have the power of choice. We can either choose to plug into the dark, negative
source that leads to stagnation & destruction or we can choose to plug into the
positive, life giving source.
We have the power within us to govern the direction of our lives. Our realities hinge
upon the source that we decide to connect with. I would rather believe that there is
a conscious, caring, benevolent power available who has only the very best in mind
for me than to think otherwise.
Experience the wonder, that is generated by choosing the positive source. Do not allow the negative energy to drain you of the goodness & love you have. Trust that as you face
each day that the path will be revealed that will lead you to peace, truth, serenity & purpose.
"For I know the thoughts & plans I have for you says the Lord, thoughts & plans for good & not for evil to give you hope of your final outcome." Jeremiah 29:11
I am responsible for my own well being, my own happiness. The choices and decisions I make regarding my life directly influences the quality of my days.
It is so very important that we make choices & decisions that result in
the well being of ourselves and others.
We must be careful to be on constant guard against making any choice
that could possibly create guilt or shame.
Deep within each of us there is a moral barometer that determines how
we truly feel about the consequences of our actions.
We may rationalize or justify negative behavior on a conscious level,
however, on a subtler subconscious plane we are aware of & profoundly
effected by the choices made.
If we make decisions that have a negative effect on others then the image of
self is damaged, we ultimately end up judging & condemning ourselves.
This judgment & condemnation causes severe damage to our psyche, we
begin to see ourselves as failures often spiraling downward into self loathing.
There are three things that need to take place in order to combat this insidious
process from destroying the love & goodness within us all.
First we must recognize that we are not today, this moment, the choices we
have made in the past. We need recognize that mistakes are part of the human
Second we must live in forgiveness of others & ourselves, learning
from what has transpired in the past, if we learn then their is value to be
salvaged from the experience.
Third we must understand that we have been taught many 1/2 truths & lies.
One of the most devastating lies is that we can't love others until we love ourselves.
This lie prevents us from doing the very thing that makes us lovable.
To be lovable by others & ourselves requires that we be loving. As we allow love to
manifest in all we do, giving it to all without any want of reward we become lovable.
The most self loving thing one can do is to love others. This is the universal purpose for us all. To learn to love. To love freely, without hesitation or reservation.
In so doing our inner self is transformed & we begin to recognize that we are empowered by an endless source of goodness that cannot be depleted. A goodness that is an integral part of who & what we are.
Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect praise or reward.
~ Achaan Chah ~
There is a principle that reasonably insures self respect, cures most instances of depression and elevates the worth of a person to all. That principle is selfless
service to others.
When coupled with humility the act of service to others lifts the spirit and
renounces all criticism.
We can be of service to one another in many ways, primary of which is
to share our time with others. Often just listening, or being with someone
who is in distress promotes healing.
The prevailing ism of the day is to gather riches, material wealth at any cost.
This leads to discontent for there is never enough to satisfy the desires of the flesh.
A far more spiritual approach is needed if we are to realize fulfillment.
Doing for others without seeking anything in return is contrary it seems to
the needs of self, however, it is far easier to lay ones head down at the end of the
day knowing that you have been a contributor to the well being of others
rather than when your thoughts have been centered on self.
Letting go of the need to be recognized for what we do is undoubtedly difficult.
As Mother Teresa says "it's not between you and another person, it's between
you and God."
Which is more rewarding, to receive praise and adulation from men, or to
walk in the knowingness that you have done your best to be pleasing to God?
This is the spiritual path, to treasure not what you receive from man but
what you receive by selfless acts of kindness.
A prayer requesting only that you be a vessel through which the spirit of the
universe works is the worthiest of prayers. Prayers that offer the heartfelt
and sincere desire to be used in this way are invaluable and lead to the
realization of true gratification.
Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
~ Richard Bach ~
It sometimes seems that life is a continuous stream of goodbyes.
Relationships that become precious to us are gone before we have an
opportunity to become all that we could, or hope to be.
Many times those we have come to know and cherish seemingly vanish
without warning, here one day, gone the next.
This provides no opportunity for closure. Feelings of abandonment
ensue and we must continue walking our paths with a sense of loss
For those that I have known and who have become a part of me, I owe a debt
of gratitude. You will always be in my heart. I pray that though
in my humanness I have made mistakes that you will remember me with
kindness and understanding.
Goodbye is oft the hardest damn
thing to say, it seems so permanent,
so final that my heart rebels
at its saying
So if the time for parting comes
upon us, allow me to simply say,
fare thee well my friend until
we meet again
The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains
While it may seem that I am obsessed with the topic of love as it is a
recurring theme in Daily Seeds. The truth of the matter is that
I believe in every fiber of my being that love is the answer to all
of our earthly problems.
As we learn to love we open ourselves to a new and wonderful way
of life that leads to the realization of all our dreams.
It is the path to realizing our full potential. To live in love frees us
from the bondage of fear, bitterness, hatred, anger, and unforgiveness.
Love is a choice. It is a doing, a way of approaching all of our relationships.
No matter how seemingly unimportant or short lived our interactions with
another may be, we have an effect upon that person. Love nurtures & encourages.
Love fosters growth and builds a bridge of understanding.
Loving persistently, consistently and without the need or desire for it to be
returned will alter everything it touches. Given the time and effort it will change even the most embittered heart. The key is to not abandon our efforts, to not give
up because we do not see immediate results. We must remember that love
is patient, gentle, and does not give up.
We must apply all of the success principles at our disposal
if we are to accomplish a life based in love.
The principles of:
Prayer, patience and perseverance.
Courage, commitment and consistency.
Forgiveness, faith and fortitude
Desire, discipline and determination.
Hope, honesty and humility
"Love is life. If you miss Love, you miss life." Leo Buscaglia
Embracing love is embracing life. We each of us has the capacity to love
in an unlimited capacity. Love is like a river that never runs dry. The more we give,
the more we find we have. The only thing that keeps us from living a full life is
our unwillingness to completely give ourselves to love.
The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
~ Aristotle ~
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. [Galatians 5:23, 24]
Morals, ethics, values held above all else are the characteristics that determine
the true self, these are the guideposts of success.
Virtue is righteousness, goodness, steadfastness. Virtue is the reward of self
control, determination, and self awareness.
The goal then need be established for me to be the most virtuous human being possible, allowing the fruit of love to manifest in all I do.
To challenge myself, setting my eyes upon that singular goal of becoming
the very best I can be for the welfare of others.
These are the lofty goals that establish not only the path we will travel, but also
the way we will conduct ourselves on the journey, and the final destination
upon which we will come to rest.
To look in the reflection of the past and see that the highest morals, the utmost
ethical conduct was valued before self gratification brings an inner peace and
serenity that cannot be achieved in any other manner.
We are all Gods children.
Each of us unique individuals, valuable beyond measure.
We are accountable for the choices we make, for
the way we influence the lives we are privileged to touch.
When the time comes for me to leave this earthly plane my prayer, my hope
is that I will be remembered as a man of virtue.
It has not always been so, in my ignorance and youth I made many
mistakes, caused much pain, stumbled many times. The only way that I
can make amends today is to be responsible, determining to be the most
positive, encouraging, loving person I can be.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
~ Mother Teresa ~
If you have not often felt the joy of doing a kind act, you have neglected much, and most of all yourself.
~ A. Neilen ~
It is impossible to show a kindness, to give love & care to another without leaving
the giver & the receiver with a sense of joy, without a renewal of hope being
birthed in the giving.
This is the wonder & the beauty of kindness, it rewards all those it touches.
It need not be of great magnitude in order for it to have great impact.
The fruit of spiritual maturity contains may seeds. These seeds are meant to be
planted so that they in turn can produce more fruit with more seeds for future
planting. Kindness is but one of those seeds.
Each of us has within us the ability to bestow unlimited kindness upon all
whom we touch. It is the purposeful giving of it, despite all the negative
circumstances of this world that bears much fruit.
Kindness is manifested in a word of encouragement, a listening ear,
an unsolicited helping hand in time of need. The giving of kindness is a
discipline, a principle one consciously adheres to.
Kindness given in true humility blesses, fortifies, renews, uplifts and is
the active presence of God in the human heart.
By the giving of kindness one experiences the presence of God, shares &
communes with the awesome creator of the universe.
There is no such thing as a small kindness, all kindness has an energy that
circles around promoting more of its giving. Like a wave that builds upon its
own power eventually cascading upon the shore, kindness surges forward
compelling greater kindnesses.
Give kindness, be generous in its giving, experience its benefits as it returns
to enrich your life.
"Sometimes what we think we need isn't what we need at all,
and what gets thrown in for good measure is that which fills
Phillip Gulley Minister - Author (Home to Harmony)
Our perceived needs are often hindrances to achieving that which
will bring us true happiness.
Allowing God to work in our lives requires faith that transcends
and overcomes those things that we think are best.
Getting ourselves out of the way and allowing Gods divine plan
to unfold means that we must trust that despite appearances
that plan is filled with purpose and will ultimately bring us to a
place that we cannot possible comprehend or envision from
where we are at this point in time.
As long as we allow ourselves to be controlled by our desires
we will know only discontent, for the flesh cannot be satisfied.
We will never know true peace and serenity.
Weariness will set in, happiness will always seem as if it’s always
around the next corner.
As long as we believe that our needs are outside of ourselves, to be found
in material possessions or accomplishments, happiness will remain elusive.
The physical world is contrary to the spiritual. The inner self is a spiritual
self. It is where fulfillment and contentment is to be found.
Our focus must be on obtaining and maintaining spiritual awareness,
flowing within the stream of an unseen, yet powerful energy.
My best thinking led me to one failure after another. Pain, fear, and anger
were my constant companions. It was not until I gave up on the idea of
self reliance and turned to the spiritual that I slowly began to know peace,
which in turn led to a fairly stable sense of meaning and purpose.
Recognizing and accepting the truth that my best efforts led to self loathing,
self condemnation, and utter desolation was the first step towards achieving
balance and harmony.
Living in the knowingness that “I can’t, God can, so I’ll
let Him,” has proven over time to be the only path that always leads to
that which is truly best for me.
Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.
~ Samuel Smiles ~
In this life hope is the fuel that fires our imaginations, and kindles
within our innermost self the will to carry on.
Hope is of a fragile nature, it is easily extinguished by circumstances that
are seemingly insurmountable.
Without hope we would fall into the darkest depths of despair.
It is hope that carries the burden of keeping us alive.
Hope is precious beyond measure, for without it, the will to breathe in
and out would cease.
The Apostle Paul said, "faith is the substance of things hoped for" (faith, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.)
Oh, how terribly difficult this is. Having been born into this physical world, being dependent upon this physical body, requiring solid food, clothing, housing all of these are needed, necessary for survival. To stand firmly in faith and hope when these bare necessities are threatened becomes nearly intolerable.
Yet it is in the darkest of times, when all seems lost that Gods love is proven.
This then is the hope, that despite all appearances, despite not having the means readily available to provide for these minimal requirements that God will provide an escape, that within the invisible spiritual realm the answers will be given.
Hope is a refuge, a sanctuary, a beacon of light that pierces the darkness.
Blessed are the Trials
God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.
~ Peter Marshall ~
It is truly only through God's grace and His working in the hearts of others that I am able at this time to carry forth this message. There are times that each of us faces fiery ordeals that we have no answer for, no indication of the right path to follow.
I have of late been facing such an ordeal. I am sad to say that it has crippled me mentally and emotionally, my faith has been weak and my purpose unclear. I have held tightly to a tenuous thread of hope and faltered in my attempts to think clearly. Nearly immobilized by doubt, and fear of what tomorrow will bring I have allowed myself to fall victim to the greatest of sins, missing the mark and forgetting God's promises.
Faith, by its very nature means that we do not know what the end result will be. We do not know where the road will lead but we trust and embrace the hope that God's plan and purpose is unfolding. We must do this without doubt or hesitation, my flesh has faltered but the fact is I am still standing, still trusting, still hoping in Him. (Hebrews 11:1)
Just as Paul of Tarsus who struggled with many trials and tribulations at the hands of men, I follow his lead, his example and press forward towards the hope that God's plan and purpose are for good and not for evil to give us hope in our final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The greater the trial, the higher the mountain, the greater the reward.
While it is not within my scope or ability to be happy in these trials I can rejoice in the knowingness that it is necessary for my faith to be tested, this testing produces patience.
Patience must have a complete and thorough work in me so that I can be perfected, lacking in no good thing. (James 1:2-4)
Peace to you all, may God's grace and abundance flow like an unending river of goodness and love in all your lives.
Each of our acts makes a statement as to our purpose.
~ Leo Buscaglia ~
This principle is never truer than when we are facing adversity.
If we continue in our old ways of self indulgent, self pitying, negative
behaviors (actions) then it is logical to conclude that we will
experience time proven results.
Remaining positive during trials and tribulations requires an inner
strength that is rare indeed. The only way I have found to insure even
the remotest optimism during these times is to rely on prayer. Not asking
for things, but rather guidance, strength and wisdom.
These when coupled with service to others inevitably leads to a place
of peace, contentment and understanding.
James the brother of Jesus said to “consider it a joy when we face trials
and tribulations, for they test our faith and produce patience.
But we must let patience have a complete and thorough work in us so that
we be found perfected, lacking no good thing.”
I personally find great comfort in knowing that there is rhyme and reason
for going through difficult times. I remind myself of this daily when times
are toughest. I don’t pretend to have accomplished the art of rejoicing
during hard times, but in reminding myself of the promise that I will one
day lack no good thing I am able to bear burdens today that would have very
possible destroyed me in the past.
Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.
1792-1870, French Poet
So many in today's world base their sense of happiness and well
being on the getting and having of "stuff."
In our society we have a strong tendency to closely associate our
self esteem (value of self) upon the accumulation of material possessions.
Attaining the titles, the cars, the houses, the perfect companion seems
to define for many the level of their success.
The problem with this is that all of these things can be taken from us in
the blink of an eye. Cars, clothes, wear out, houses are lost to many factors,
companions change and choose different paths for themselves.
If we have established our sense of self within these parameters then our
sense of self is diminished or non-existent when they are gone.
Jesus taught that we should store up treasures in the spiritual realm,
not in the things that rust or that can be eaten by moths (Matthew 6:20).
If you have life and health then you have abundance.
If you recognize that you are one of a kind therefore incredibly valuable.
If you awake sober (balanced) then you are truly rich.
This combination of truths is wealth beyond measure.
The state of happiness is not dependent upon what we possess beyond
our needs, these things are comforts - niceties.
It is not and must not be dependent upon the acceptance and praise of others
these come and go as quickly as the seasons.
Happiness is the ability to shake ourselves from the focus of what we want,
gratitude for what we have and a growing awareness that each new day is
filled with power packed potential.
Live by the principle, the doctrine, that any blessing received is given
so that you can be a blessing. Share you with others and truly great
things will come to pass.
First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.
(1379-1471, German Monk, Mystic, Religious Writer)
The problems and circumstances we all face each day can easily become
all consuming, causing frustration and at times even a sense of
It can seem that our every effort is met by opposition & even greater
In the 12 step fellowships we are often reminded that recovery, hence
our lives is an inside job.
Never is this more evident than when determining how we interpret the
circumstances (trials & tribulations) we encounter as we journey
Establishing ourselves in the discipline of developing and maintaining
an “attitude of gratitude” becomes paramount.
The old adage that we “need to stop & smell the roses” is vital if we are going
to be healthy, happy people.
Taking our eyes off the problems & focusing on the solutions is the only
way to preserve our sanity & the drive needed to succeed.
We must remember & accept that “life is difficult” & that “we do not
experience any difficulty that is unique to only us,” every human to walk the
planet has faced both good times & times that stretched there abilities, their
faith & their sense of meaning & purpose.
Attitude & Discipline, Attitude & Discipline, Attitude & Discipline.
We must discipline ourselves to create the attitudes that will generate a sense
of well being & contentment.