Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

God’s promises are released in our lives by prayer.  The book of Acts, through 31 instances, passionately conveys the stories of early believers being transformed as they prayed.

 

These accounts connect to our 21st world as we lean into God’s presence.

 

Aligning our will to a prayerful awareness of God’s will becomes the key for successful decision-making.  As our human will seeks alignment with God through prayerful intimacy, our lives are altered by the prayerful insights received and by the actions we take after saying “Amen.”

 

Our desire for intimacy with God is a common desire.  Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until we find rest in thee” (Confessions 1.1).  We hunger to live intimately with God.  Prayer enables us to know more of God and to know that we are known by God.  Prayer enables us to walk with, talk to, and listen to God. Read More »

Posted on 19 April, 2010 in Motivation, Spirituality
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Article by Jennifer Snelling, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Several months ago, someone shared a quote with me that essentially said no one is able to succeed without a support group.  I’ve struggled with this quote since.

 

Of course, you can define your own support group in many different ways.  It could be a literal group of people that encourage you … it could be your family … people you see socially that are interested in what you are doing and lift you up … or it could even be strangers who see your work and offer you praise for it.

 

Today I read a small passage about a young girl who was trying to sing a solo without accompaniment when she was suddenly stricken with stage fright.  She continued to sing, but her voice tightened and went weak.  Someone in the audience compassionately began to hum the tune along with her and was soon joined by a few other people.  With the support of various people in the audience, the girl finished her song with newfound confidence. Read More »

Posted on 19 March, 2010 in Goals, Motivation, Spirituality
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Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, edited by Dee DeWitt

 

“Do you still enjoy what you’re doing?” I asked Theresa as she changed out camera lenses.

 

Funny you should ask.  I have been re-thinking some things,” she replied.

 

“Really?  How long have you been a photographer?”

 

Well, I started when I was 17 and I’m 52. What’s the math on that?”  I was intrigued.  Theresa seemed so established in her work, why would she be “rethinking some things?”

 

While Theresa moved adeptly about her photography studio, checking lighting, adjusting backgrounds, she told her story. “This economy, it’s been hard on everybody.  I just never thought I would have to worry about my livelihood.  But when folks don’t know how they’re going to pay the rent or buy food, they sure aren’t gonna be paying for pictures.  It’s been tough.”  I shared some of my own experiences with professional challenges and we exchanged that look of mutual misery.

 

I told Daddy just the other day, ‘I realize these last few years I’ve been grieving.‘ Mary, it just isn’t like me to be depressed.  But I think between the digital age and the economy, this has all hit me real hard.”

 

We stood silently shaking our heads in agreement. “But you know what, I’m getting ready for a career change.”

 

My head popped up, “You are? What kind of career change?”

 

Well, I’ve decided if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  I’m taking classes on how to design websites.  I LOVE it! I LOVE working with the computer!  Imagine how great it would be to have someone who could design your website and take professional pictures to put on that site!  Also, I’m teaching classes for folks who want to learn how to use their digital cameras better.  Some for beginners, some for advanced.  I have more energy than I’ve had in years.”

 

Astounded, I stood watching Theresa, inspired by her ability to listen deeply to what life was offering her.  How often do we feel a sense of sadness over things changing, a desire to hold on to “what has been,” and struggle to find a way forward? Read More »

Posted on 4 March, 2010 in Career, Motivation
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Do you ever envy other people’s talents?

 

Dr. Michael Saag is a friend and a world-class HIV researcher and physician.  But it’s his ability to quote entire dialogues from movies he has seen that makes me laugh hysterically.  Especially comedies…

 

He can have an entire room rolling on the floor by quoting a scene word for word.  I just shake my head in disbelief at his photographic memory.  Sometimes, I can’t even remember a movie’s title I watched last night!  Woe is me.

 

What talents do you envy in others?  Maybe it is someone who can sing, or play an instrument, or some other gift you wish you had?

 

The more we envy the talents of others, the more likely we will miss and devalue our own.  Envy is a marvelous distraction from self-discovery.

 

I Corinthians 12: 12-26 says that … all persons who claim to be a child of God are all connected to one another like the human body, and all parts of the body are equally important.  The hand doesn’t say to the foot we don’t need you, or the ears have no right to envy what the eyes can do … And so it is with our talents and gifts.

 

So how do I know what my gifts are?  How do I identify my gifts so that I can use them to further the work of the Creator?

 

For me, a starting place in discovering my own gifts is the answer to this question:  “What do I love to do in helping others?” Read More »

Posted on 26 January, 2010 in Helping Others, Motivation, Spirituality
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Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Most likely, everyone knows how destructive viruses can be to our computer.  Virus protection is important to keep our computer healthy and working as intended.

 

Yet many times, we’re not so careful when it comes to protecting our own ourselves … our own minds.  Destructive, negative thinking can have effects that are every bit as devastating as a virus is to a computer.

 

The more serious of these thoughts can lead to mental health problems such as loss of confidence, mild or moderate depression, self esteem issues, and a distorted perception of ourselves.  Science has shown that there is a link between physical and mental well being and positive attitudes in life.  When we are happy and content with life and our thought processes are working correctly our brain releases endorphins, which is our brains’ way of dealing with pain and making us feel happier.  Our brain also releases Gamma Globulin to strengthen our immune system and another chemical called Interferon which combats viruses, infections and even cancer.

 

So how then do we fight destructive thoughts and protect ourselves in order to stay mentally and physically healthy?

 

One answer is to simply make ourselves aware of our own thoughts, and recognize when action is needed so that our own destructive thoughts won’t lead to a downward spiral of negative emotion resulting in mental and physical problems.  Here are four ways to control the viruses in our mind: Read More »

Posted on 19 January, 2010 in Goals, Happiness, Motivation
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