Happy Oblivion

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We live in a world of happy oblivion. We don’t know what our neighbors are going through and we would rather it that way. To know would be a burden… A cloud on our otherwise easy life. 

Now before you write me off and before you stop reading, let me explain. Today on my way into the grocery store, I was stopped by a lady asking if I could help her buy some food. She was in a car with her family of 5 including a newborn. My first reaction was to tell her I didn’t have time or money to do so. But the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 25:40 went through my head. “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” This was followed quickly by the words of Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  She wasn’t asking for money or anything big, just some kind of food. 

After I returned with some food, I was able to say a prayer for them. I don’t know if it meant anything to them, if they had even ever heard the name of Jesus, or if knew who I was praying to, but then again, maybe it could change their life. 

I was walking away when I realized, we live world of oblivion… Happy oblivion. There are people all around us in need of help or just a kind word. We rather not know, because then we have to make a choice. Ignore or take action! 

Whether you see it or not, I am telling you now, your neighbor is in need. Now it is your choice ignore it, or take action, but no longer is oblivion an option

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Headline Goals

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What are your goals in life? How long will they last? Can they disappear? Can they be lost? 

  One of my professors was teaching about decision making and what he said stuck with me. “Is the action you are taking something you would want or at least be ok with being headline news?” Wow!! I am not sure that I would want some of my actions put on the front page. 

  I have also realized that this does not just apply to action, but inaction too. If would I want to world told what I did not do?  What might the headlines say. Haley Failed to Help Another In Need. Haley Too Preoccupied to Be Greatful. These may not be “earth shattering”, but they are not wonderful either. 

  I think everyone seeks validation and notice from others. We want people to see what we are and think we are something wonderful, talented, beautiful, smart… So many things. But what if we focused more on character. To be worth knowing, not well known. Sealing each day to set goals and live a life worthy of the headlines. 

 

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Walls

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The difficulty of our situation is NEVER too big for God.

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Your Story

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Dr. Seuss

I have been to many places and seen many things, from the Normandy beaches, which reminded me of those who fought for freedom, to the tropical island of Fiji where I saw God work in miraculous ways. Each new place, every new city, all the people I have met; change my life. In England I learned the value of loving my work, Africa taught me the joy of quietly observing.

If asked which was my favorite place… honestly… I couldn’t say. I loved every country I visited, each had something new and different to offer.

Different.

Often people stereotype about this country’s culture or that country’s food, but they are supposed to be different. If each place or person were the same, life would be incredible boring!

You don’t have to leave the country or even your town to find someone different than you. At school, work, the grocery store, we encounter a multitude of people. Do we stop to consider… Who are they? What is their story? What makes them unique?

I don’t understand society today, we don’t want to talk to people, we don’t want to share who we are, but we will post on Facebook or Instagram what we had for breakfast. Does this really make sense? We go around not knowing people and not caring enough to ask.

I wonder what would the world be like if we took the time to care?

If we took the time out of our day to stop and ask, what is your story?

What makes you…well…you?

I could visit every country in the world and every city each country and never find two people who were the same. Each person is unique with their own story and from each person’s story we can learn and grow. So, I would like to know.

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

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Testimony

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A Testimony is “an open acknowledgment or a public profession of religious experience.”  For many years I thought that a testimony was only about when I first came to know the Lord, when I made my confession of faith.  Recently, I have been brought to the understanding that a testimony is not just about that one time, but anytime that we see God working in our lives.

At church and in my small group we have been discussing the power in sharing our testimonies.  Many people are scared to share what they have been through, to be that open. In the church today, we share our edited testimonies.  We share what has been good, the beauty of our lives, but we don’t share the struggles.  It is important to realized that each testimony is as different as each person and each is powerful in a different way.  No matter how small or insignificant we think we are, the truth is we have power in the Lord.

It is time that we share our testimonies.  Time to share the TESTs that we have been through.  When we share, we impact those around us, we change the lives of others.  When we step out of our comfort zone and become open about where we have been and what God has done, there is power.  God is the only one who can take our tests and our trials and turn them into something good.  He turns what we would call a difficulty into strength and power!

Challenge:   What is your testimony? Have you shared your testimony recently? Will you share it now?

 

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Good Morning!!!

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good morning

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Ok, I know that it is not morning right now, but today I was inspired by the morning.  I will tell you right now, I do not like early mornings.  I am a night owl…going to sleep at midnight is pretty much normal.  Part of this is because my brain functions better at night, so I do all of my studying then.  What is the point?

This morning my alarm sounded at 6:30am and boom my day started.  While this is not something I want to do on a regular basis, it was a good morning for me.  Early mornings are so different.  The birds are waking up, people are just leaving for work, the world starts to stir.   The look, sound and feel of mornings are different than other parts of the day.

By doing something different, I was able to see the world in a new perspective. It makes me think… the people who do this every morning, do they appreciate this beauty?  By changing our actions, our habits, we take a fresh view of the world.  The routines that we have make life mundane.

Challenge: At least once a month, change your routine… get up early, stay up late, eat something different… whatever it is for you, change.  Different is not bad, it is just unusual, but there is good, even good mornings.

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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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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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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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