Weekly Thoughts

25 Signs You’re Succeeding At Life (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It)
We’ve all had days, weeks, months and — for some — even years of dark days and depression. Whether we fall into ruts of self-sabotage, loneliness or insecurity, leading a happy, joyful life can sometimes feel like a chore.

I often tell my students and coaching clients they’re doing so much better than they give themselves credit for.

Most of us are so busy trying to dodge life bullets, we forget to stop and appreciate the little victories.

Consider for a moment that you’re doing a tremendous job at life. Living isn’t an easy thing to do, but it can be enjoyable when we start to see the good instead of focusing on the bad.

You are actually living a good life by recognizing these 25 signs:

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they use to be.

2. You may not have as much money as you want but you live a rich life.

3. You’re not afraid to ask for help and support.

4. Where you live feels like home.

5. You’ve raised your standards.

6. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.

7. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.

8. You’re working on limiting your inner critic and consciously choosing more positive thoughts.

9. You’ve learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.

10. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.

11. You hear “I love you” often, from friends, family or a partner.

12. You’ve accepted what you can’t change, but change what you can’t accept.

13. You don’t complain much, but instead focus on solutions.

14. You don’t blame your parents, and accept them for who they are.

15. You stopped caring about what others think of you.

16. You’re happy for your exes when they move on.

17. You can celebrate others’ successes.

18. You allow yourself to feel your feelings and are comfortable sharing them.

19. You have passions that you pursue.

20. You’re able to accept compliments without deflecting.

21. You have things to look forward to.

22. You have goals that have come true.

23. You have empathy for others.

24. You feel connected to your work.

25. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.
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The Language of God: Still small voice
Here is a series you might enjoy: The Language of God. In the bible, God spoke in a number of ways to His people, or the announce His presence, or His displeasure. Weather was one of the ways He spoke. Since God is the same today, yesterday and forever, it stands to reason that He might be speaking in the same way today. But do we hear Him through the clutter? Do we listen for Him to speak in these same ways? The world has changed, but He has not.

Today we will examine the Language of God: The Still Small Voice!

It is a given that God is powerful. He has spoken in a number of ways that are loud! Thunder, hail, lightning, earthquake and fire are very noisy. You can’t miss hearing those! In addition, Psalm 29 shows us from His own Word more ways He speaks:

Psalm 29, various verses–

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, “Glory”

The cedars of Lebanon were sturdy trees up to 130 feet tall. It would take a mighty voice to break those!

But then there is this voice: “Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)

The LORD breaks rocks! He topples cedars! He quakes the earth! The LORD is mighty, there is no doubt about that. But He is a personal God, too. He is not remote, dwelling on Olympus remotely and capriciously messing up men’s affairs for their own entertainment’s sake.

He is with us, that is His name: Emmanuel, God with us! When He wants to speak to our soul, to our heart, He speaks in a still small voice. He is loving of all humanity and He seeks to speak to us in the quiet of our hearts via the scriptures. To hear Him, though, a person should be quiet themselves. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)

Though we pride ourselves these days on multitasking, we are really overdue for a de-cluttering. Multitasking simply means that we mask God’s voice.

All that noise drowns out God’s still, small voice by distracting us from His word. When we start listening to other things besides God then the still small voice that penetrates the clutter will be satan’s, hissing, “Hath God really said…?” Once our ears are plugged up with noise, then our eyes are taken off God and we drift away from the straight and narrow path. Get your attention away from the tumult of the natural and unnatural world, and carve out a quiet space to listen to God by reading your bible. One way we do that is in the prayer closet. When you pray, you talk, but then how much do you listen for a response? Do you stay in a pose of quiet contemplation, focusing on the attributes of God while you wait on Him? Or is there music going on in the background? Television? Is your cell phone on?

Another way to hear His still, small voice is by reading the Word. Again, make sure the tumult is off. Read, and when you feel an impression, or when it seems that you want to ponder a verse for a while, it may indeed be the still small voice calling attention to a deeper truth He wants to impart from what he has already revealed.

I’m amazed by the speed and noise of our world today. When I was little, 40-35 years ago, the number one television program was Little House on the Prairie. If you watch it now, it seems unbearably slow and too stodgy and quiet. That is because it isn’t fast-paced, it didn’t have jazzy music and the editing preferred long slow scenes instead of quick cuts. But 35 years ago was not that long ago. Nowadays if something isn’t happening on the tv, DVD, Playstation, Wii, cell phone or twitter it seems like life has stopped.

Our God is a personal God. He speaks to us in the quiet. Shhh.
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I feel that the greatest opportunity for doing
is the opportunity to do more.
-Jonas Salk

So then, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to everyone.
-Galatians 6:10
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Slow down the mouth,
and speed up the ears.
-Unknown

Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
-Proverbs 19:20
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The first duty of love is
to listen.
-Scott Peck

Listen my beloved brothers, has not God chosen
those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith,
and heirs of the Kingdom, which He has
promised to those who love him?
-James 2:5
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It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest Dreams are born and God’s greatest gifs are given in compesation for whatyouhave been through..”IT IS WELL”

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Building Blocks of LIFE
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE

Your thoughts are the building blocks of life. You build your future thought by thought.

Most people are clueless about how to make a life. For them, life just happens. From the time they get up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night, they are adrift on an Ocean of Ignorance. They don’t design their life; it simply happens by default. They lose the opportunity to build the life of their dreams.

A few people build their lives on great thoughts. These folks know that the thoughts they put into their mind create the foundation for their dreams. Life happens one thought at a time, and they want to choose their thoughts.

These are the types of thoughts that they select:

1. Thoughts of excellence
2. Thoughts of love
3. Thoughts of joy
4. Thoughts of greatness
5. Thoughts of abundance
6. Thoughts of God’s favor and love
7. Thoughts of strength
8. Positive thoughts

These are the building blocks for their lives. It’s no wonder that they live their dreams, because these are the thoughts from which dreams are made.

Don’t waste your life in default mode. The thought factory is always open, and you can select any type of thoughts. Choose your thoughts well and make your life into an awesome adventure.

There is no limit to how good your life can become.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

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“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain.”
— William Jennings Bryan
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“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”
— Ronald Reagan
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The Seven “C’s” of Success by Brian Tracy;
1. Clarity; be clear on who you are and what you want
2. Competence; be excellent at what you do now
3. Constraints; obstacles and hurdles make you better
4. Concentration; focus on one thing until it is finished
… 5. Creativity; Flood your life with ideas
6. Courage; do what you know is right
7. Continuous learning; keep your mind active
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If God took you to it, He’ll get you through it.
Exodus 14 records the story of how the Hebrews escaped from bondage and slavery in Egypt. On their way out of Egypt, they camped in the desert near the Red Sea. They thought God was leading them out of Egypt. However, Pharaoh led the Egyptian army to where the Israelites were, and he trapped them against the sea. The Israelites must have felt betrayed by God, for it looked as though he didn’t follow through on his plan to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. But God was faithful to his word — he didn’t let his people down. He led them through the Red Sea and delivered on his promises.You have probably faced times when you thought that you could never do something, never complete a particular task, or never make it to the finish. However, if God has promised you something, then you can be confident that God will get you through the difficult times in order to bring about his promise.

This is true in Joseph’s life. God took him through years of pain and suffering for an ultimate benefit; Joseph realizes this and, in Genesis 50:20, says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” God had a bigger plan for Joseph’s life, and God didn’t let him down. God led Joseph through his struggles.

This principle is also true in your life. Even though you may be going through extremely painful times, do not fear for God will get you through the hard times you face (see Psalm 23:4). If God took you to it, He’ll get you through it.
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There’s this quote that says, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.

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The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
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“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It’s that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.”Annonymous.

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How to Be a Proverbs 31 Husband
by Stu Gray
The last twenty-one verses of Proverbs 31 are about a good and virtuous wife.

There are some great character qualities for women to think about there – hardworking, generous, passionate, caring, industrious, a sacrificial heart, a good speaker, loves to laugh, and she enjoys her family.

When I look at these verses, I notice that the husband of this woman is mentioned 3 times.

Lets look at those 3 mentions and see if we can glean something for husbands today:

1. vs. 11 – Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.

This husband trusts his wife. One version of this passage says that with her, “he has everything he needs’ . There must be Trust.

Not controlling. Not manipulation. Trust.

Do you believe that she has your best interests in mind? Do you believe that you are on the same team with her? Are you together on the some of the “biggies” in marriage – SEX, MONEY, CHILDREN, COMMUNICATION and INLAWS?

This husband trusts her and she enriches his life. When you are on the same team with your wife, it allows her to bring fullness to your life. When you trust, you allow her to be all she is, you build her up and allow her to grow and blossom into a beautiful woman. If you don’t trust, she is unable to thrive.

Wives – Do you give your husband the opportunity to trust you? Do you keep the things he tells you in confidence? Do you build him up, or tear him down with your words?

2. vs. 23 – Her husband is well known at the city gates where he sits with the other civic leaders.

This husband is respected by others. These section in Proverbs talks mainly about the woman being industrious and hardworking, but in this verse, we see that the husband ain’t no slacker. He’s involved with business and work going on in the city.

This is something we should all strive to be. Men who care about the decisions that are going on where we live. Our Villages, cities, states, nations…we should be involved, we should care about what is going on where we live.

The phrase – “Behind every good man is a good woman” comes to mind. Because of the wonderful relationship that this man has with his wife – he is free to be a decision maker, a mover and a shaker. She is such a woman of great character, that he is able to excel in the marketplace.

Together, this husband and wife are an amazing team.

Hubbys: Are you the kind of man that she can believe in?

Wifeys: What can your hubby do to help you believe in him?

3. vs. 28,29 – …Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

This guy knows how to give a compliment. “Other women are nice and all, but Sweet Lips – YOU are the cream of the crop.” (that’s the SGLT version – Stu Gray Living Translation)

We need to compliment our wives. They take care of so many things. My Beautiful Wife™ is a great “administrator” person – she’s good with the bills, she’s good with the organizing of the house, the laundry, the scheduling, the food we eat… and how much do I acknowledge that?

Not nearly enough.

The compliments and encouragements have to be real. They must be heart felt, and they can’t be generic. Think of something specific that your wife does and that makes your life easier…

Then tell her!!!

To be a Proverbs 31 Husband we should:

*Trust Our Wives!

*Be a Man Worthy of a Good Woman!

*Praise Her More Often!
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Weekly thought~ Want to really be somebody?
Don’t dream about athletic achievements or business success or political power. Be an encourager. You’ll have a far more lasting impact on the world around you. Encouragement comes in many forms; a smile, a telephone call, a thoughtful e-mail or note. Make these uplifting acts a habit, and you can change the world at least a little part. Even though you may never know all the effects of your encouragement, be assured that others will remember you as somebody special.
…let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1John 3:18
Weekly prayer~ Dear God, thank you so much for giving me this day to live for You as an opportunity to touch someone through something as simple as living. I pray that You will be with me and help me to love out loud. Grant me Your Spirit and the courage to take this step and make a difference in somebody’s life today. In your name I pray. Amen,
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QUOTATION OF THE WEEK

Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will break our hearts.
–Robert Fulghum

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

The destructive power of words is massive. When we use them to strike back out of frustration, they can cut deep and leave lasting scars. When we use them in anger, we enter a battle with the sharp sword of words slashing and tearing apart relationships. Words can do so much damage, but they also can bring much healing. Try a little exercise. When you find yourself in a heated conversation and you feel a “button” being pushed, instead of lashing out with words of anger or defense, look for something positive in the discussion. Perhaps you can acknowledge a grain of truth in the words. (Be honest with yourself for there is often some truth in criticism.) Find something about the other person and their feelings that you can compliment, or at least acknowledge. Let those words be your first reply. That might defuse the attack that you are feeling . . . or it may not! Regardless, you may have planted a seed of change in the atmosphere. If you can continue in this vein, you take the steam out of an emotional exchange. Rather than focusing on your “button,” you have acknowledged feelings and perhaps brought a little calmness and reason to the discussion. It is very difficult for a battle of words to take place if you refuse to participate in the attack. A spirited exchange of words done with respect and true listening can be very positive and fun, but a mean spirited, hateful exchange filled with personal attacks can only bring destruction to relationships, sometimes to the point that rebuilding is very difficult if not impossible.

It is interesting how we witness people living their lives regretting words: both the said and the unsaid. We are quick to bring words of gossip, negative thoughts, and anger into our conversations but reluctant to bring in the words of support, positive thoughts, or a simple “thank you.”

Pick a day and commit to using only positive words in any exchange you have. Refuse to participate in negative gossip. Refuse to allow anger or harshness to be a part of your discussions. Put a rubber band around your wrist as a reminder and use it to “snap” yourself out of the use of negative words when you feel them rising. You may find this very difficult and find yourself resisting the plan, which may be a sign of just how much you use negative and angry words. Or you may find it refreshing and enlightening. Either way, it can be the beginning of a change in the way you use words.

One final note: Never, never, never use email to resolve an interpersonal problem, particularly one that involves high emotion. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be very helpful, but do not hit that send button.

Blessings and love,
Allen Schmeltz

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A weekly thought from our contributors – Editor’s Choice

A WOMAN (SELFLESS CHARACTER)

Proverbs 31: 10-1 asks “A woman of noble character who can find? She is worth far more that rubies”.  But, during the  Mau Mau movement before the country of Kenya got independence, women were involved.  They were fighters that no one talks about.  They went to the forest with other men.  They were the unsung warriors”.  They made sure that people in the forest were fed, the sick were taken care of and women raised money, stole guns, stole medicine, transported all kinds of goods into the forest, and brought it to the men at night. When the Patrol fell asleep after midnight women took advantage of this.

One of the women “Field Marshall Muthoni” was trapping wildlife to cook.  She went to fight alongside famous worriors of the forest like Dedan Kimathi Waciuri.  In fact, Muthoni was one of the last to surrender from the forest upon independence, and she was not sure surrendering was the best way forward until she saw the African flag.  She is still alive today.

Thus the women with a Noble character.

Another woman warrior Wambui Otieno – Mbugua joined the fight for independence from 1950.  She joined Mau Mau at the start of the Emergency in 1953, as a Scout and urban guerrilla, moving through the rank until she had taken all 15 warrior oaths.  In many instances she reported directly to the movement’s War Council.  She was jailed and detained many times.  After 1956, Wambui became a member of the resurgent trade union movement and worked closely with Tom Mboya and other trade unionists, becoming notorious for her activism against the colonial government.  This was a woman of selfless character.

Another woman Wangari  Mathai Noble Prize Winner – denied herself and refused the beauty of our City Nairobi to be destroyed.  She solely dared the Authority, the President of that time, and protected Serena (part of Uhuru Park) she exposed women abuse and pressed on, urging all of us to plant a tree each day whenever and wherever to protect our environment.  Surely a Noble character.

A woman, precious and rare:-

Her character as a wife, Her Devotion as a Homemaker, Her Generosity as a Neighbour, her Devotion as Home Maker, Her influence as teacher, Her Effectiveness as a mother, Her Excellence as a Person.  Esther humbled herself and said if I die I die, called for a prayer and fasting and approached the King with tears for her people and nation to be rescued. (Esther 4:15-16).  At such a time like this, we call upon women the virtuous Women, Esther to stand with our Nation Kenya in Prayer and Fasting.  She can laugh at the days to come, because she has inner strength that gives her confidence.   It only comes from the woman who fears the Lord, because her wisdom comes from seeking HIM continuously.

Written by:  Catherine Wachira

Chairlady, Kenya Christian Fellowship in America, Women’s Department in New England

Boston, MA

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