Tag Archives: life

Abundance – Living Life From the Inside Out

Experience Abundance - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Are you looking for joy in all the wrong places? Perhaps your joy is merely hiding because you don’t have an abundance mentality mindset living life from the inside out? It has been 30 years since Stephen Covey coined the term abundance mentality in his best-seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In his book, he defines the term as a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others. During the last 30 years gaining an abundance mindset has become known as one of the best means to grow as a person.

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Navigating – Utilizing An Expert Guide

Navigating Life

Navigating Life - Life needs a Navigator. A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Navigating life is sometimes a rather tricky thing to do. What do you do when the unexpected occurs? Do you have a plan in place or a guide that you immediately turn to? Life, like the sea, can harbor dangerous hazards along the route and it is important to know experts that can help. This past week it was reported just how dangerous a day at the beach can be, even in situations where it is totally unexpected.

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Delicate Balances of Life: Fully Commit

Struggling with the Balance

Delicate Balances - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Do you struggle with the delicate balances of life? I know that I do. Caught somewhere between trying to trust God fully and yet trying to take over at the same time. Patience may be a virtue but most days I don’t think it belongs to me. Often when things go wrong or not the way I think they should, I immediately go into action. That appears to sum up my week as I struggled to find a delicate balance of control and patience while time breathed down my neck. If you have ever set up new electronic equipment you fully understand the frustrations that can occur.

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A Life of Thanks: The Gift that Never Ends

How do You Give Thanks?

a Life of Thanks - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageDid you celebrate Thanksgiving really big this year with lots of thanks? Do you feel you celebrated so much that your family might be responsible for a slight but measurable shift in the earth’s axis? Perhaps like some, you thought the paramedics may need to bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you from the dinner table? Or maybe you feel that your next cholesterol screening will yield gravy when they prick your finger? However big or small you celebrated, most importantly, did you offer thanks? For as the Lord’s chosen servants, our gratitude is due more than once a year.

Many times, in our day-to-day lives, we forget that our thanks to God are a great truth that should radiate out each day and not just be a once a year celebration. For God is our only source of life and wisdom. Our relationship with Him must be part of our ongoing life pursuit and as we learn more we must show gratitude for all God gives us in our daily life. But it is to be recognized that the greatest gift that He offers us is the gift of eternal life through belief in Christ.

Too often, in the midst of trouble and trials, when things aren’t going our way, we lose sight of our gratitude and our thanks just don’t seem to come forth. It is during these times that we must be like the little boy whose father asked him to pray for dinner. Before he bowed his head to pray, he looked at the suspicious dish. Then, closing his eyes, he prayed, ”Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I’ll thank you and eat it anyway.” When we approach life in this manner it combines both an action and an attitude.

Actions and Attitudes

It is of utmost importance that we remember that without God we have no life. He doesn’t expect us to be grateful for everything that happens to us. But instead through whatever life may throw at us we learn to be grateful and offer thanks depending on Him. For it is our Lord who made us and breathes the breath of our initial life and it is through Him that there is life eternal. Remembering that all good things come from God, allows us to approach life with both the action of obedient thanks and the attitude of gratitude.

God, the Lord created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. Isaiah 42:5 (NLT)

As the beginning of the Christmas celebrations prepares to bombard your life, take time to remember that God is greater than all things. No matter, your approach to this time of year, reflect who designed you and where you come from. You can give thanks for God’s presence in your life and know that whether your life is packed with pleasantries or unpleasantries that God will only accomplish good from it.

Your action of thanking God daily builds your attitude of gratefulness. This acknowledges your dependence on God for life. Your joy and thankfulness must not wax and wane with your circumstances or feelings. But instead, they should remain constant through a conscious decision to follow and depend on the Creator. Seek to do His will in your life. It is through this action and attitude that you will find it easier to be thankful, grateful, and joyful.

Every Day Thanks

Let us always be full of thanks and hold attitudes of gratefulness. Even though Thanksgiving Celebrations are laid to rest continue your thanks as Christmas Celebrations begin and life moves on for there is always something to be thankful for. 

Even though I clutch my blankets and groan when the alarm rings each morning, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are those who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord that I can see. There are many who are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off the physical effort of rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedfast.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our table never looks like the pictures in the magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced. Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no work.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.

Unknown

Christmas Brings the Hope of Life

Challenge yourself every day to thank God for the life you live, no matter your circumstances. Remember through your convictions that it is only through God that you have life on earth and eternal life is possible. Be motivated in knowing that all good things come from God. Seek out the good in your daily life that creates a Thanksgiving Celebration every day. Find comfort in knowing that God cares for you so much that He provides all that you need. Know that He turns all circumstances too good for those who love, trust, and believe in Him.

Christ offers life, so choose to celebrate the birth of life through Him focusing your celebrations directly on the gift that never ends. It is only through Christ that you have the hopes and joys of life. Through Him, you can hold both the action of thanks and the attitude of gratitude every day.

May all your days be days of Thanksgiving!

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder that which I don’t have.

Hellen Keller

Extra Study

Job 27:3; 32:8:33:4, Acts 17:25, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are Your Thoughts?

Do you give thanks every day for your life? Is your life a reflection of both the action of thanks and the attitude of gratitude? Share your thoughts on the importance of giving thanks every day for your life. How can you incorporate this thanks and attitude in the upcoming Christmas celebrations?

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Life Philosophy: Learning to Conquer the World with Costly Love

Life Philosophy?

What is your life philosophy? Do you take the Peanut’s comic strip character, Sally’s attitude?

Peanuts © (1988) Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Peanuts © (1988) Peanuts Worldwide LLC

It seems that in our world of constant bombardment that a lot of people take the ”Who Cares?” and ”Forget It!” attitudes. But an overwhelming amount of us really identify with Charlie Brown’s attitude of ”Why Me?” Do you ever have ”Why Me?” days or weeks? Continue reading Life Philosophy: Learning to Conquer the World with Costly Love

Confident Hope Even When All Else Fails

Hope Always Remains

Confident Hope as Spring is to Winter - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageLife is tough and some days tougher than others. How do you make it through the day-to-day grind that often knocks you on your feet? The ancient world knew about confident hope. Just read through the Greek myth of Pandora. Here the mythology tells of a lady filled with all the charms of life. She comes to earth with a little jar she is told not to open and we all know what happened. Her curiosity got the best of her. So, she peeked into her container and what escaped was every conceivable kind of evil. She quickly closed her jar, but it was too late for only one thing remained, hope! This was the way ancient writers explained how important hope is and not just any hope but confident hope.

It is confident hope that kept the Israelites going from generation to generation. This confident hope is what energized the crowd on the day that the word spread that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. It is this day we celebrate on Sunday, known as Palm Sunday. It was on this magnificent day that He was met with an enthusiastic crowd waving palm branches while shouting with hope for a new leader;

Praise God!

Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hail to the King of Israel!

John 12:13

Fading Confidence but Hope Still Remains for the Faithful

Unfortunately, God’s plans weren’t what the people had longed for and as the week passed many turned against Him because Jesus didn’t fit into the mold they created to fill their hopes. They held a weak hope and not the necessary confident hope that God would supply what they needed. And it is this confidence that makes all the difference between life, death, and a wishy-washy grey area. Because it is only with the confident hope of God’s promises that you can hold joy because you are saved through Christ for eternal life with Him.

When you hold confident hope, you know without a doubt that you have eternal life and it is this gift that sustains you through life on earth. With confident hope, you gain the strength and ability to hold patience even during times of trouble or problems. It is through this confidence that you know that God will work all things for the good of those who love him and are called to His purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)

Giving Yourself as a Living Sacrifice

When we give ourselves to Christ as living sacrifices we follow the standards of living through our personal responsibility to God. We can live as redeemed people in this troubled burdened world and we can do so with the confident hope of Christ. It is in this way that we can hold our patience and wait upon God while continuing to pray without ceasing knowing that He will and does answer prayers.

In Charles Schultz’s, Peanuts Comic Strip, we see Snoopy thinking to himself: ”Yesterday I was a dog, Today I am a dog. Tomorrow I will probably still be a dog. Oh”¦there’s so little hope for advancement.” Thankfully it is with the confident hope in the power of Christ that we know our life can change because of His sacrifice for us. Because of Him, we do not have to live in the yesterday and instead can change and live our life for Him today. All of which radically shifts our tomorrows and creates the confident hope of eternal life.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 (NLT)

Securing the Joy of Confident Hope

Finding joy no matter the circumstances requires you to know with confidence that God is aware of not only you but the life you lead. It is knowing that no matter what earthly problems you may have that a problem-free eternity awaits secured for you through your belief. This is trusting fully in God and not in worldly treasures. It is knowing that your security lies in heaven and not earth. It means that no matter what you may endure on earth that your faith remains confident that God is always with you.

Stepping out in faith to sing with joy though isn’t always easy. But it is through Him that both strength and endurance sustain those who do not give up. It is this trust of confident hope that builds leading to life eternal. But it is with this trust that you must also recognize that there are no guarantees with this life on earth. For even, the most passionate worshiper may experience suffering and even death. No matter what faith level, whether deep or nonexistence; random problems, violence, and disasters can occur.

God doesn’t always answer your prayers in the way you want Him to and this can cause not only confusion but wavering faith. It is during these times that you must acknowledge that He knows more than you. Jim Denison said proficiently that God has a plan for His great glory and your great good. It is through His strategies that He uses you as His partner for His divine purpose.

It is with only confident hope that you can turn to Him with or without pain and ask Him to do what is best. And it is with this confident hope that you can wait in patience for His purpose to be filled.

The Challenges of Hope and Security of Easter

Won’t you take the challenge today to step out in faith. To land in a pile of joy knowing that your future is secure? Let your convictions support you in full confidence to not give up and to continue to wait patiently for His help knowing that He cares about you deeply. Be motivated in knowing that there is a joy to hold in the future of hope. Find comfort in the knowledge that God is always with you no matter what your circumstances may be.

Confident hope is faith in the promise that the miracles of God will prevail when the darkness makes its attempts to win with the cries of anguish. That confident hope is a gift of God. It strengthens us to reach for and live a life that believes the best is yet to come and that tomorrow can be better. This confident hope resurrects life and draws us to the love that Christ gives us. The light of God that walks out of the grave to pave the way for everlasting life for all.

As you ride the wave of the emotions of Holy Week let the confident hope of your faith prevail. Celebrate on Easter Sunday that He is indeed alive and that makes all the difference and provides your confident hope!

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

Desmond Tutu

Extra Study

John 16:33, Romans 8:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

What are Your Thoughts?

Do you have the necessary confident hope in Christ you need to live day-to-day in a troubled world? Has your faith faltered in the face of adversity? Share your thoughts on the need of confident hope to live your faith in the present moment.

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Stress-free Living: Green Meadows and Peaceful Streams

Dreaming of Green Meadows and Peaceful Streams

Dreams of Utopia - A Stress-free Life - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageI am not sure about you but after this week I could sure use some rest in a nice green meadow with a peaceful stream. A stress-free life sounds like a utopian dream sometimes and the promises of heaven just too far away. Is it possible to experience a stress-free life on earth? Perhaps to tackle the stresses of life we need to examine the characteristics of a stress-prone personality. Continue reading Stress-free Living: Green Meadows and Peaceful Streams

Secrets of God: Is Today the Day?

The Secrets of Life

In His Time - Secrets - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageDo you like secrets? Frankly, I don’t really care for them. I like to know what is going to happen when, so I can be prepared. I don’t really like surprises for the same reason since they also warrant something that I am not aware of. Now, there are some people who over prepare but I don’t consider myself part of that tribe. I just like to hold some loose knowledge of the plans. But there are just some things we aren’t given privy to. Continue reading Secrets of God: Is Today the Day?

Details – The Importance of Every Tiny Piece

Detail Delight?

Tiny Details - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageDo you delight in the details of things? You often hear the phrase, ”The devil is in the details,” but did you know that proverb is a modern variation of another and that it only came about around the 1960’s? The modern version twist of the original phrase speaks of problems and difficulties that arise when the details go unexamined. As if the details are some hidden catch waiting to trip you up if you’re not paying attention.

This modern variant derives from an earlier German proverb ”“ ”Der liebe Gott steckt im detail,” which translates as ”God is in the detail.” This proverb spins a positive where it points out that big rewards come in the small details, so it is important to pay attention to them. As an artist, I recognize how important the details are to my work. Sometimes this can be a downfall for me as I often get caught up in the details that no one else would care about. But, I also know the differences made through adding a small detail to a work. Even the slightest curve of a line or the darkening of a shadow makes a tremendous distinction frequently resulting in what once seemed adequate, now just right. Continue reading Details – The Importance of Every Tiny Piece

New Life for a New Year- Are You Ready?

Does the Past Control the Future?

the Winter brings Spring. Something New is Coming. A Studio 1-37 original imageThe new year is underway, did you set a goal or goals for a new lifestyle? Will you have a new life in the new year? Are you viewing life this year from a new and different perspective or are you allowing your past perspective to control your future?

Studies show that people often allow their past and its experiences to set their future life. So, if a person lives daily in the darkness of a painful past they essentially set their future to be no different. Negative thoughts that ruminate most often project out into the future. As we expect them to be true tomorrow, the next day, and so on. This sets the stage to create the same experiences over and over proving to ourselves that we are this past person. Continue reading New Life for a New Year- Are You Ready?