The Power of a Smile

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Smile TwitterThe world can be depressing. Each day, the news reports seem to just get worse…things don’t make sense. But one thing can change it all… A Smile.

I have been learning American Sign Language and it reinforced for me how important our facial expressions are. In ASL your face can make the difference between a polite answer and a real one, your face is used to actually describe how you are feeling.

You might think that a smile cannot change anything in your life, but this simple act has an amazing effect. A friend of mine says that a smile is “A SUPERPOWER!”

Lets look a little deeper into this… Roger Dooley of Forbes magazine says, “Decades of research bear out the basic truth: your mood is elevated and your stress is reduced if you plaster a big smile on your face, even for a short period of time. (Frowns have been shown to have the opposite effect.) The smile doesn’t have to be based on real emotion — faking it works.”

It has also been shown, when we smile, other people are happier and smile more too. A smile is contagious and spreads happiness. The song When You’re Smiling really captures the impact of a smile.

Smiling Lyrics

It does not have to be a big, teeth showing smile, even a small grin works. Smiles change life, yours and others… For me, I often have to make a conscience effort to smile and when I do, my day just brightens.

 
Challenge: Learn the power of a smile.

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All Around Us

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In the world we live in today, we take many things for granted.  If we go to a restaurant, we want quick service, correct orders and a nice server.  This is just one of the things we have come to expect out of life. But consider this…Be ThankfulWow!! What a challenge!  If you are anything like me, you immediately started to list off things that you are thankful for… my family
my house
my car
my education
my friends
my bed
my clothes

Then I realized: I was being petty.  I have so much to be grateful for, things which everyday I take for granted.  My health, the trees, the sky, the sun, everything on this earth… but even more so, my very existence and my salvation.  God sent his only son to die for my sins.  Even if I were the only person on this world, He still would have died for me.  Nothing I ever say or do can be enough to be worthy of this gift.  This is just one of the many reasons that I am thankful for God loving me and saying all I have to is ask and receive the gift He has given.

Challenge: everyday, be thankful for the great and wonderful gifts which are all around us, given by our loving Father in heaven.

 

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Choices

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Smile or frown

The technological world of today takes away many emotions. We have tried to add them back with emoticons. And to some extent it works. This set of symbols is a challenge to me though. I can choose to be happy or choose to not be. It is the same situation, it is my perspective that has the biggest impact.

It has been called many things, being an optimist, seeing the glass as half full not half empty. But I think that it is a choice. Each day we can choose to be positive or we can choose to be negative.

James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” It does not say it will be all easy in our lives, but that we should count it as joy. I see this as choosing joy. Joy is a choice, it changes everything.

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Think Before Speaking

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Challenging thought for the day. It makes me realize how many things I say without thinking. Speaking

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No Excuses

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I signed up for a challenge today.  It is a challenge to workout 1500 minutes in 31 days… No Excuses.  This comes out to less than 1 hour a day, something that is doable for everyone.  But time gets away from us, we have work, school, family, a social life and then we look back and realize… it has been months since I have been to the gym. (Yes, this happened to me).

No excuses is great for working out, but it is also great for each situation in life.  When something happens, we have two options, make excuses or take action.  According to Benjamin Franklin, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

We should live each area of our life with no excuses. We push forward and get the job done.  We make time for each of the important areas of lives and each action we take is our own.  Challenge, try to live each day with NO EXCUSES.

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Words are Powerful

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In a recent Geico commercial a principle is taught, it is done in an interesting, comical and slightly confusing way, but it is there.  It is based off the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

The fact is, words can be more hurtful than sticks and stones.  Words change lives for the better or worse.  A bruise or bone will heal, but soul wounds, made by words, could exist your entire life.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”  The words that we speak, once spoken can never be taken back.  We have an immense power, the power of words.  In the United States, we have law set to protect our right to these words, written, spoken, private and public.  If words mean nothing, these laws would not be in place.  It is because of the great impact that words can have that the right to them has to be protected.

Recent studies also show that words effect us physically.  Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman in their article “The Most Dangerous Word in the World”, talk about how the effects of negative words on people.  Using an MRI, they watched the effect of the word “NO” shown for less than a second. The results were amazing, stress hormones and neurotransmitters were immediately activated by this word.

Words can hurt everyone, the listener and the speaker.  “If you vocalize your negativity, or even slightly frown when you say “no,” more stress chemicals will be released, not only in your brain, but in the listener’s brain as well” (Newberg & Waldman).

Now we are relying on science and technology to show us the effects of words, but this is not a new idea.  Matthew 15:18 teaches, “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.”

Words change our lives, we must consider each thing that we say and effect that it will have.  Words are powerful, use them wisely.

 

 

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Overcoming the Odds

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The story of this father and son is so inspiring.  This makes me think, if this father will do this for his son, what greater things is our heavenly father willing to do for us.

You can read more about this family at http://www.teamhoyt.com/

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Support Israel

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Representative Mark Meadows and Israel Ambassador Ron Dermer
Representative Mark Meadows (left) and Ambassador Ron Dermer (right)

We in the United States live very posh lives.  How so? We live in a nation where we do not live in fear of a missile hitting our home or an attack happening everyday.

As of 11am this morning, there had already been 96 missiles fired at Israel.  Many people find this shocking.  However, this is not uncommon.  In the picture above, Israel’s ambassador is discussing with Representative Meadows the app Red Alert: Israel.  This app sends a notification each time there is a missile threat.

Each and everyday there are missiles shot at Israel and yet very few people are even away of this.  America’s support of Israel is important and it takes the people united to bring this support.

Congress represents us.  Our opinion does matter.  We must call, e-mail and talk to them about our opinion. Find your representative’s contact at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Let your representative know to Support Israel.

 

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Work For It

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Success is EarnedToday, I did not want to get out of my bed.  It was warm and soft and my puppy was curled up beside me.  The idea of getting up and going to the gym or going on a run was not appealing at all.

However, after a little bit, I did drag myself out of bed and go to the gym.  I can tell you know that I feel so much better than if I had stayed in bed.  It may not have been my best workout ever, it was better than nothing.

You may not feel like working out, you may think “I can’t do it.”  But just get up and go.  Sure it will be hard and some days will be better than others, but even if all you do is walk on the treadmill and watch TV, it is better than sitting on the couch.

Success is something that is earned.  In everything in life, it takes hard work and persistence to achieve your goals.  Push through, step by step.  One day you will look back and be amazed at what you achieved. So work for it!

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Let Freedom Reign

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Air Force

Happy 4th Of July!!!

For many people today is about fun, food, fireworks and time off of work.  While I love these things, I was reminded today about how much more we celebrate.

Walking around the Capitol today, there were people of all types, but there was also a large quantity of military.  The different branches had all come in for the 4th of July parade.  Each of these men and women have promised to serve our country, to protect our country and are willing to give their all to keep this promise.

I think back to a few hundred years ago… the 4th of July was the start of a new time… a new nation.   Today, we should remember that we have been blessed with liberty and that we must preserve it.  I know, because I am part of it, that the young generation thinks freedom is a given.  However, we must remember what Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” 

As we celebrate today, I am challenged to remember each one of the lives that has been given for us and the people who serve everyday.  Our freedom is not free and today of all days, we should remember and be thankful.

1000 Gifts…#3 Freedom.

 

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