Article by Jeanne Tessier

 

God has a great sense of humor.  I came to this realization late in life, but now am frequently reminded of the reality of this (for me) quite unexpected truth.

 

I was raised with a God of wrath and admonition and believed from an early age that I was a creature too unworthy to be loved, much less played with and enjoyed.  Yet all the while, unknown to me, God laughs.

 

Here’s a recent – and personal – example of how God’s loving humor enriches and challenges me.

 

I had been thinking abstractly about getting a dog again “someday,” having been pet-free for seven years.  My brother Bob’s lovely border collie, Hannah, gave birth to seven pups in late fall.  Bob and his wife Kath began advocating for me to take one.  On New Year’s Day, Bob drove up from southwestern Kentucky to see me and announced that he and Kath had picked out one of the pups for me, a little one – last of the litter – they called Tough Guy.

 

I said I didn’t really want a tough guy, that I’d thought for years that if I ever got another dog, I’d want to name it Spirit.  Bob asked why, and I told him of a book I read years ago by Watchman Nee in which Nee talked about the importance of getting up every day and taking one’s spirit out for a walk.

 

Bob said he’d go home that evening, go out to the pups and call for Spirit, and whichever one came, that would be the one.  Well, that same night I dreamed … I was seated at a large gathering, where suddenly a dog came and planted itself directly in front of me, and stared intently into my face. Read More »

Posted on 25 April, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Making the Day Count
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Article by Kevin L. DeWitt

 

I constantly have to fight my own personality.   I tend to be a perfectionist.  My family is probably laughing as they read this, because they think that even this is an understatement!

 

However over the years I have been trying to step back … and understand that being a perfectionist actually prevents achievement in many instances.  For example, never starting a project because we cannot envision the end result … or convincing ourselves that the idea isn’t “good enough.”

 

All too often, many of us we are striving for our version of perfection.  We are looking to create that perfect document, play the perfect song, grow the perfect garden … or some other perfect expression of our creativity.

 

It’s understandable. We all want to do things well.  But does it make sense that we are aiming for perfection?  Should we be aiming for something else?

 

I suggest another perspective … aiming to be diligent. Read More »

Posted on 23 April, 2010 in Balance, Motivation, Productivity
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Article by Malcolm Marler

 

If you have ever had a catastrophic event happen in your life where everything was fine one day, and the next day your life was changed forever, you understand.

 

If you have ever loved someone with your whole heart and s/he died suddenly without warning and you lived in shock and numbness for weeks, months, or even years, you understand.

 

If you have ever had a friend or family member suffer with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, or any other illness that caused an enormous amount of suffering for the patient and for the caregiver, you understand.

 

If you have ever had the hopes and dreams of a marriage crumble before your eyes even when you tried to do everything you could do to save it, you understand.

 

If you have ever put your trust in someone completely without reservation only to find out that you had been misled or lied to, you understand.

 

If you have ever been hungry, or without a home, or suddenly without a job, you understand.

 

If you are ever been so overwhelmed by debt that you could not pay your bills, you understand.

 

If you have ever pretended to be one type of person to the world when you were another, you understand.

 

And what do you understand if you have experienced any of these things? Read More »

Posted on 20 April, 2010 in Gratitude, Making the Day Count, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

 

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 Kevin L. DeWitt

 

How often do you receive an email, text message, voice mail, Facebook post, or some other message?  For the sender of these messages, they are most often urgent … and always important … to them.

 

But are they important to you?  Are they helping you achieve your important work goals, or, do they pull your focus away from what is important, forcing you to react to others all day, every day?

 

It seems that every second, more communications are being sent our way.  And our normal response is to try and stay current with all of the communications.  It’s human nature to want to respond quickly … to keep our “in box” free of clutter.  So we reply to the latest communications as quickly as possible, letting others control our work lives and our schedule. 

 

And since the flow of communication never ends, we find that we spend most of our life reacting to others instead of being proactive in working to achieve our own goals. Read More »

Posted on 15 April, 2010 in Career, Productivity
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