Reclaiming A Godly Legacy of Confidence in the Bible

A Special One Day Conference to Help Families Save their Next Generation from the Pied Piper of Secularism

DO YOU WANT TO BE EQUIPPED TO EXPOSE THE DISTORTION OF BASIC BIBLICAL TRUTH IN THE POPULAR MEDIA TODAY?

ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN YOUNG PERSON, YOUTH LEADER OR PARENT, CONCERNED HOW TO PREVENT YOUR CHRISTIAN FAMILY FROM BEING LED ASTRAY BY THE “PIED PIPER” OF SECULARISM?

This special one-day event is designed to inform and equip alert parents and leaders to change the trend that is literally captivating and ensnaring the next generation of children who would otherwise be learning to fully follow Christ so they can expose the fallacies of the secular world.  See the details at www.ReclaimYourLegacy.com/GenesisLegacy and share the event with your friends at https://www.facebook.com/events/568393846925396/ — reserve seats at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/genesislegacy-tickets-50054218515?aff=efbeventtix –> see the announcement also here –> www.ReclaimyourLegacy.com/GenesisLegacy

Listen to the complete announcement by clicking the start button below

The so-called millennial generation and others are being overwhelmingly deceived by “high-sounding” ideologues of Secularism.  It’s no secret that the world of news media and the big government business of education has the whole society subjected to their indoctrination. They even have many esteemed church leaders ‘charmed’ into thinking they can’t defend the Bible with intellectual honesty.  With God’s help, this alarming situation will change… but only when fearless Champions of God’s INERRANT WORD take seriously the challenge to Renew their minds by testing the vain imaginations of those who willfully ignore the knowledge of God that the Creator has made evident for all to see.

What do students learn when they patiently “test all things?”  What do they see when they investigatively  “speak to the earth?”  What do they discover when they deliberately “ask the beasts” of the world?  What amazing insights are gained when they “inquire of the former age” about the “world that then existed” before the Flood? (more…)

12 Life Changing Dynamics you can start today

12 Personal Development Dynamics that will Enhance Your Life so you can Enhance the lives of others

by Dennis Petersen

Imagine you just got a direct message from God that your efforts in a critical area will soon be rewarded!  You’re excited… Are you ready for your marching orders now?  Imagine that his next download to your brain is this: “Take action today on that excellent thought you just had.”  That’s a pretty straight forward simple command.  Are you ready to take his command to heart?

Listen to the complete program here.

Let’s be honest with ourselves.  Within the providence of our Creator, the only way you can truly prosper in life is to bring benefits, advantages, profits or blessings into the lives of others.  Once we grow up enough to realize that in order to harvest a crop you have to plant and cultivate a seed, we can be free to focus on others and not be so worried about ourselves and our self interests all the time.  But that takes some extraordinary self control and openness to adjust our natural tendencies to fear everything around us that appears to threaten our personal prosperity and peace of mind.

Think about it.  Do you want to get off the vicious cycle of self-centered anxiety that tends to make us think we have to dominate others or trick them into giving us what we want?  There are reasons why more than 90% of the people around our society are anxious about temporal things continually and lacking the abundant life that we were designed by our Creator to experience.

Have you heard the basic principle of the law of the harvest?  The Golden Rule?  If you want to make a change in your destination you have to make a change in your direction.  As you take the high road of developing yourself and becoming more of what you were created to be, you are then able to help others do the same and experience more of the abundant life that is available to them.

And because we were put into a tangible world filled with stuff to be developed and expanded with the touch of our own creativity and resourcefulness, we inevitably have to get mature about the use and management of the stuff that is on loan to us for this fleeting ‘vapor’ we call our life.

I believe that these suggestions will help you accomplish more, discover more, profit more and add more to whatever your business is about… even inviting more people to your cause, your project, your business and your community. (more…)

Preventing Slavery by Defending Truth

How Can We Assure Our Kids Will Not Be Made Captive Slaves of the Enemy?

Can a confident and obedient disciple of Jesus ignore some of the Word of God in today’s world and not have their children be led astray?

“therefore my people go into exile (become slaves) for their lack of knowledge.”

Isaiah 5:13

 

“Beware – see to it – that no one takes you captive (makes you a slave) through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Colossians 2:8

Without God you cannot know anything.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

Prov. 1:7

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Ro 12:2 KJV

How do you do that?  To deliberately stop thinking like the world and be transformed, you must train your mind with the Word of God, right?  How else can you prove God’s perfect will?

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15  ESV

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Romans 8:7  ESV

“do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

James 4:4  ESV

Claiming to be “neutral” is a declaration of hostility to God!  Disciples devote themselves to sound doctrine.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”

Luke 6:40 NKJV

Should we be surprised if we send our Christian students to secular trained teachers in either public or private schools that they come home to us with their minds well trained in pagan thinking?  Don’t you think their behaviors will follow?

What does your Bible instruct you to do as a believing teacher who influences your children and others around you?

“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

Titus 1:9 ESV

Jesus made the separation even clearer, saying:

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Matt 12:30

No wonder the Apostle Peter strongly insisted that Christians…

“in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

Do you think that ‘being prepared’ requires some careful study and preparation?

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”

2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB

Does that sound like the language of passive, post-modern, sloppy-agape?  OR does it sound like a battle plan for warriors who know they are in a deadly conflict that demands training?

The ‘verity’ (truth) of God makes it possible to KNOW things… the profoundness of that truth makes science (scientiae… to know) possible.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (scientiae – VUL): but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7

If you reject God and His knowledge, you refuse instruction and are a self proclaimed ‘fool.’  Why?   Well, consider one of the most exclusive statements in the Bible:

“..in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:3

If the Bible were not true, you could not prove that anything is true.  Logic originates from the Creator of senses and incredibly complex DNA information that allows you to process intelligence of any kind.  In the beginning was the ‘logos’ and nothing was made without Him.

We all rely on:

  • Laws of logic to make thinking possible
  • Uniformity of nature and natural laws (i.e. gravity)
  • Absolute morality to establish ethical judgments of right and wrong

Mature followers of Christ are Biblically charged with the job of refuting…

  • Relativism… “there are no absolutes”  – How can you be absolutely certain of that?
  • Empiricism… “truth must be observed” –  Can you observe that claim?
  • Naturalism… only physical reality can somehow cause itself to exist
  • Neutrality… when your enemy is determined to eliminate what you know to be true from the discussion, attempting to appeal to neutrality or compromise is admitting defeat and refusing to provide the tools of knowledge of the truth that would allow the Holy Spirit to convict and convince their hearts if God were to give them the gift of repentance (2 Tim 2:25).

The secularist is in self-denial (delusion) and he will deny that he is in self-denial.

“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”

2 Peter 3:16 ESV

“And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’”

Matthew 13:52

Why are secularists and even most of today’s self-proclaimed Christians blind to the obvious?

If you want to see an excellent presentation about the truth of God’s Word, I highly recommend the following presentation by my friends David Rives and Bruce Malone.

click here.

Barna polls recently show 50% of Christians claim they don’t believe the whole Bible is true.  So what do they base their faith on?

Jesus said,

“If they do not receive Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even though one rise from the dead.”

Luke 16:31

Do you believe Jesus spoke the truth?  Do you believe the Old Testament Scriptures of the Bible can be trusted to be 100% true?

“And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female…’”

Matt 19:4 (NASB) also Mark 10:6

(note: does the Bible leave the topic of ‘gender’ open for discussion?  What happens when those who say they follow Jesus and His truth refuse to stand for the truth when the enemies of truth use intimidation to prevent people from even discussing the truth?)

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.’”

Matt 22:29  NKJV

“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.”

Luke 16:17 NASB

 

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

2 Timothy 2:16 KJV

If a man does not believe that the Bible is true, does his unbelief make the Bible’s Word any less true?

What are we to do to help a man overcome his mistaken belief that the Bible is not entirely trustworthy?

“the Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach… with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition (to themselves), if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth, that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”

2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB

What does a man lose if he forfeits his belief in the truth of the Word of God?

“..we see that they (Israelites delivered out of Egypt) were not able to enter (Canaan-the promised land) because of unbelief.”

Hebrews 3:19 NASB

What confidence did Jesus have in the Old Testament?

“But if you do not believe his (Moses’) writings how will you believe My words?”

John 5:47

“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

Matthew 13:58 KVJ

Remember how Jesus rebuked his disciples about their unbelief when they could not deliver a lunatic man from the demonic power that ruled him.

“O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I put up with you?”

Matthew 17:17 NASB

The bitter fruit of Unbelief

Could it be that our present perverted generation is experiencing the woes of a condemned culture for the same reasons that condemned Babylon, Rome or Israel?

Is not the most basic foundation of faith in God the belief of who He is as the Creator and the communicator of His clear Word about the beginning of everything?  And how do we come to understand that fact?

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:3 NASB

Notice that understanding comes from faith.  That applies to every human no matter what his belief system is built upon.  You have to believe in somebody’s words!  If you have a choice between man’s words and God’s words, which will you choose?

Is not that same degree of faith required when we come to God in repentance to ask for His mercy and favor?

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who (diligently) seek Him.”

Hebrews 11:6 NASB

Belief in something that is antagonistic to God does not reward you with anything but confusion.  Believe in God’s Word. You can trust Him above all others.

 

(more…)

What is the most important thing you have ever learned?

the miraculous quality of childlike meekness - By Dennis Petersen

When you think about taking a proactive change of direction to reclaim your legacy, what do you think is the most important thing that you have personally learned in your lifetime so far?  With your focus on making a positive influence on your children and grandchildren – your next generation – what truth or idea have you discovered that is such a powerful influence on your own life that you would have to include it among the very top dozen or so important things that you have ever learned in your life?

Who is the one man to influence generations for God’s kingdom?

I recently read a sermon delivered by a gospel preacher who lived over 250 years ago before America became a nation.  He was born in Gloucester, England, in 1714 and is often referred to as the greatest English preacher who ever lived.  In both England and the American Colonies, he passionately gave himself to proclaiming Christ mostly in open air outdoor meetings heard by thousands of people at a time.  One historian estimated that he preached a thousand sermons a year for 30 years.  He was perhaps the most influential single person God used to create the society-transforming phenomenon of the middle 1700s called “the Great Awakening.”  He became an early example of modern evangelists acquainted with the notable English pastor, John Wesley, who became best friends with one of the most influential men in the founding of America – Benjamin Franklin.  Who was this unique man? (more…)

Reclaiming Your Legacy of Thanksgiving

by Dennis Petersen

reagan-1st-congress-prayerMuch has been researched and written lately about the proven personal benefits of expressing genuine gratitude.  It turns out that thankfulness is not typically a result of being happy, but rather the opposite is true.  People who deliberately and openly confess their thankfulness to others are the happiest of people.  And isn’t it interesting that those who recognize that their lives have a purpose are the ones who are prone to give thanks to their Creator and to those around them.

Have you discovered your purpose?  Do you have a clear reason why you’re excited to get up in the morning?  If you have a mission to drive your daily goals, you’re a much happier person than those who are just being driven by survival mode.

We’re a nation of people that has a centuries-old tradition of celebrating annual solemn days of Thanksgiving.  Yet, it seems that our current generation has almost no concept of the deeply personal conviction of the importance of gratitude.  And it’s pretty obvious that that gratitude should most deservedly be directed to the Almighty Giver of every blessing and perfect gift in our lives.

It seems like everybody is scrambling frantically to demand that their comforts and material desires be accommodated.  How often we see people so ungrateful that complaints and cynical dissatisfaction has become society’s normal?  Things haven’t changed much in 2,000 years have they?

Remember The Sin of Ingratitude in Luke 17:7-19?
Jesus healed ten men of leprosy.  One of them was a Samaritan man.  He was the only one of the ten who came back to Jesus and humbly thanked Him for healing him.  Jesus asked him: “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Sadly, my missionary friend in Africa reports that barely 10% of those they help will bother to express their gratitude with even a word of thanks or a note card.  Gratitude may be rare, but those who express it discover the most enriching lives on earth.  Instead of loneliness, poverty and depression, they are the ones most inclined to be enriched, energized, inspired and transformed

Gratitude goes counter to the ‘victim mentality’ that has deceived so many who think they are entitled to everything at the expense of others in our culture.  When we give thanks sincerely, we acknowledge that we have received a benefit that is unearned.  We can’t help but look beyond ourselves.

When you are stunned with the reality that you survived what could have been a fatal event, how does that make you feel?

After the victory of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, November 1, 1777.  How did they express their feeling?  Here’s what they wrote in the proclamation:

“The grateful feeling of their hearts… join the penitent confession of their manifold sins…  that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance… and… under the providence of Almighty God… secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”

If we want to reclaim our true history, we are going to have to work at telling our children about our real history.  It isn’t being taught in most schools and colleges today.  Thomas Jefferson was the governor of Virginia in 1779.  What did he chose to proclaim for his State after Admiral John Paul Jones captured the British ship HMS Serapis?  The Continental Congress declared a Day of Thanksgiving, which

“Congress… hath thought proper… to recommend to the several States… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for his mercies, and of Prayer, for the continuance of his favour… That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel; That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth… I do therefore… issue this proclamation… appointing… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God… Given under my hand… this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779… Thomas Jefferson.”

 

Hear what that same Continental Congress proclaimed after Benedict Arnold’s traitorous plot to betray West Point was thwarted.  It was a Day of Thanksgiving, October 18, 1780:

“In the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution… it is therefore recommended… a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer… to confess our unworthiness… and to offer fervent supplications to the God of all grace… to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.”

After British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, October 11, 1782:

“It being the indispensable duty of all nations… to offer up their supplications to Almighty God… the United States in Congress assembled… do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe… the last Thursday… of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”

After the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, Congress recommended that the States declare a Day of Thanksgiving.  Massachusetts Governor John Hancock, the former President of the Continental Congress, proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, November 8, 1783:

“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and Gratitude to the God of their salvation… I do… appoint… the 11th day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate… that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel… That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish… and to fill the world with His glory.”

After the U.S. Congress passed the First Amendment, it requested President George Washington issue a National Day of Thanksgiving, which he did, October 3, 1789:

“Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness; ‘Now, therefore, I do recommend… Thursday, the 26TH DAY of NOVEMBER … to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be… That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble Thanks… for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government… particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”

On January 1, 1795, President George Washington proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving:

“When we review the calamities, which afflict so many other nations… the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed –    the recent confirmation of that tranquility by the suppression of an insurrection which so wantonly threatened it – the happy course of public affairs in general –  the unexampled prosperity of all classes of our citizens; our circumstances which peculiarly mark our situation with indications of the Divine beneficence towards us.  In such a state of things it is, in an especial manner, our duty as people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience…  I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States,  to set apart…a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer: and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of Nations.”

 

the-first-prayer-in-congress-september-1774After hearing those inspiring proclamations from national leaders – which, by the way, were entirely inspired by the attitude of profoundly committed preachers in the churches of the American colonies – doesn’t it seem about time that the pastors of our Bible-believing congregations lead the way for reclaiming our lost legacy for the current generation?  Should they not humbly call for days of contrition, repentance and sober thanksgiving?  We have such excellent Biblical and historic precedents to guide our way.

 

Taking God’s Blessings for Granted
Dr. Martin Luther observed: “The greater God’s gifts and works, the less they are regarded.”   It seems that the blessings of life, health, freedom and food are not really appreciated unless they are lost, or threatened. Sunrises and sunsets occur daily so they are taken for granted aren’t they?

Consider the Stars
Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that “If the constellations appeared only once in a thousand years, imagine what an exciting event it would be. But because they are there every night, we barely give them a look.”

The Blessings of Being Hungry and Lonely
Have you noticed that the blessings of rain are barely appreciated unless one has been through a drought?  A hungry man is more thankful for a tiny morsel than most affluent Americans for their table full of choice foods. A lonely woman in a nursing home will appreciate a visit more than a rock star with a crowd of fans. A Christian who has suffered under persecution for decades and receives his first copy of the Holy Scriptures is more thankful for one book than we are for all the Christian books, Bible translations and magazines that overflow our shelves.

You Should Experience Blindness for a Few Days
Helen Keller said: “I have often thought that it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days for some time during his early adult life. It would make him more appreciative of sight and of the joys of sound.”

A Biblical Command
There are at least 138 passages of Scripture that deal with the subject of thanksgiving. We are commanded: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.” Psalm 100:4.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8.

“Give thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

Joyful, Prayerful and Thankful
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Plainly it is God’s will for us to be joyful, prayerful and thankful.

A Sacrifice of Praise
“Therefore, by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” Hebrews 13:15.

What makes praise a sacrifice?  Could it be that when the blessings we are thankful for have not yet manifested themselves in God’s providence?
A Good Habit
“It ought to be as habitual for us to thank as to ask.” C. H. Spurgeon

The Parent of All Virtues
It has been said that a thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.

What is the Root of Sin?

“The wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness… for although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Romans 1:18-21.  Look!  The failure to give thanks to God is the root sin that leads to futile thinking and foolish, darkened hearts.  Think about that.

One of the Worst Sins
In 1 Timothy 3:1-5 the apostle Paul gives a list of some of the most terrible sins including: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, traitorous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.”  Did you see that ungratefulness is listed in the middle of a list of horrible sins?

A Fruit of Character
What’s one of the first lessons good parents teach their children is to say? “Thank You”. It takes character and courage to admit being in debt to others. It is humbling. However, those who cannot admit their indebtedness to others cannot learn, nor can they seek forgiveness.

Maturity
Failure to express gratitude is more than immaturity and rudeness, it is ungodly. We are commanded to honour our parents, our elders and our leaders. It is a sign of maturity to acknowledge indebtedness.  Have you learned anything?  Then you’re in debt to somebody else, aren’t you?  We are all in debt, first, and mostly, to God Himself, for our life, health, food, talents, family, friends, opportunities and for our salvation itself. We are also in debt to past generations who have sacrificed for the freedoms we now enjoy: Reformers, martyrs, pioneers, missionaries, soldiers, parents, teachers, pastors and so many others have sacrificed for our benefit.
An Attitude of Entitlement
Instead of the Christian character of gratitude, our present culture prefers to promote an attitude of entitlement. This is the very opposite of gratitude. It builds on pride and covetousness. It is fuelled by bitterness, greed and envy. All too many in the present humanistic society take things for granted, demand to get, rather than seeking to give.  It is sheer wickedness, and is a sure road to being led astray by all sorts of empty promises and destructive ideas.

An Attitude of Gratitude
A grateful mind is a great mind. “Be thankful, therefore, for the least benefit and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater.” Thomas a Kempis.  Start giving thanks to God and the humblest of servants like your garbage man for the little blessings in life.  Start today to write notes of sincere gratitude to people who have blessed you in any small way.  Ask God to guide your thoughts.  Partner with a friend to hold one another accountable in your new habit of expressing gratitude.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; To declare Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1-2.

Pride, Ingratitude and Unteachability
Those who do not take advice do not think they have anything to learn. They are often the same people who have a problem expressing a genuine heartfelt gratitude to others. It is a sign of pride to be ungrateful.  It reveals an unwillingness to acknowledge a debt to others.  By God’s grace, when we are humble enough to admit our wrong, He is powerful enough to enable us to change.  We can be a thankful person.

 

Let’s Make this season a Turning Point for expressing Thanks-giving.

List 7 things you are thankful for in your personal life today.

Call 2 people who you can honestly thank for something they contributed to your life.

Privately talk to God about the gratitude you have for His saving grace.

Take 2 minutes to begin pondering the incredible blessings you have to live now.

Promise yourself you will thank the next 10 people you encounter for something they did for you, even if it’s just a common courtesy.

The results of gratitude?

You will become healthier.  Recent studies suggest that gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality, and reduces inflammation in the body.  Grateful people are also more inclined to eat better and exercise which obviously increases your wellness.

You will become a more compassionate person.  When you make a routine of expressing gratitude to God and to others for tiny courtesies, you are looking beyond yourself.  You will be kinder.  You will be more forgiving. You will find joy in serving others and be willing to bear others’ burdens without expecting anything in return.

 

When you appreciate what you have, it’s impossible not to share it with others.  On the other hand, you can’t give something away when you’re empty yourself.  When you don’t know how rich you really are, you can’t take delight in sharing little insights with others.  The more aware and thankful we are of the good things in our lives, the more we are able to give to others.

 

Your relationships will deepen.  When you relate more gratefully to others you will draw closer and bond more deeply to the people in your life.  When you express gratitude to the people you love, you become more satisfied with your relationships.  You will reach out to others more easily.  You’ll be more generous.  You’ll be more forgiving and less judgmental.

A grateful heart is more content, more happy no matter what his circumstances are like.  And a happy heart focuses more on the really important joys of peace and little blessings that make life worthwhile.  That’s like a healing ointment to restore your health even when modern medicine can’t do it.

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known among the nations what He has done… Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:8,34.

A single Word to delete from your Vocabulary

ben-franklin-excuse-makingDo you want to make one of the most important decisions that can positively change your life starting today?  Could this make more of a difference in your future than almost anything else you can do?

I’m completely convinced that many of us and those around us are far more capable of being much more productive, more influential and happier than they ever dreamed.  Is it possible that just one word can ignite a beacon-light of hope for you today?  Is there a word that can make a 180 degree change in your future?

Just to rattle your cage a little, let me ask you something.  Do you want to completely sabotage your life, destroy your potential, and ultimately look back on a life of wasted years with intense regret? Of course you don’t. No one WANTS that. But for many people, their actions — and more importantly their attitude — are leading them down a road of self-destruction that will ultimately lead them to such an undesirable final destination.

That road’s name is “I Can’t Boulevard” and it’s full of millions upon millions of unsuccessful, complacent, and mediocrity-filled men and women.

Yes, many of these people are also good-hearted and well-meaning, but unfortunately they’re stuck in a big fat rut with their health, their body, their income, their marriage, their career, or their relationships. They are stuck because their attitude is so affected by the phrase, “I can’t”.

Have you ever heard self-defeating statements like:

I can’t achieve a body like that. I don’t have the genetics.

I can’t make a six figure salary. What skills do I have?

I can’t fix my marriage. It’s too far gone.

I can’t be an entrepreneur. That’s too risky.

I can’t be forgiven by God.  I’ve done too many bad things.

This negative “can’t do” mentality is holding them back.

As employees, when a problem arises, they’d rather tell you about every potential solution that WON’T work instead of spending their time focusing on finding the one solution that will work.

Whine.  Complain.  Negative thoughts.  Negative words.  Negative action.

Fact is, when it all boils down, how you handle the problems and obstacles that arise in your life will determine whether you excel and soar like an eagle, or if you remain grounded in a chicken coop full of other self-limiting thinkers.

You see, problems and obstacles are OPPORTUNITIES for leaders. Are you a leader? You can be a leader, if you learn to RESPOND like a leader.

Leaders fix problems. Leaders learn from problems. Leaders grow from problems. Leaders become BETTER LEADERS because of problems.

Will you chose excuse making or leading yourself to victory?

Other folks, however, let problems and obstacles consume them, control them, and serve as the fuel for rationalizing their many excuses.

“I can’t eat healthy while traveling. It’s too hard.”

Yes you can. FIGURE. IT. OUT. Thousands of people do it (while hundreds of thousands don’t). What separates the few from the many? Simple. You can’t just “wing it” and hope it all goes well. Of course, if you do that, you’re going to fail. You have to have a plan – a plan for success – and you need to map it out in advance. Know where you’ll be and when you’ll be there.  Create options for success.  Creating a plan is creating a blueprint to solve your problems.

“My spouse and I can’t get along. My marriage is going down the tubes.”

Start with yourself and change the things about YOU that cause your spouse to react negatively to you. If you deal with the needs of your spouse, you will automatically have a much happier relationship and in turn you’ll find that conflict becomes less frequent. But, that’ll never happen as long as you’re pointing fingers in any direction other than back at yourself. Before long, once they see your changes, your spouse will also want to change to please you. Why? Because the relationship now becomes one of meeting each other’s needs again.  Isn’t that the way it once was?  I guess most relationships begin in a place of mutual admiration don’t they?   The first step begins with you; your spouse will follow.

“I can’t have a successful business. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

FIND OUT WHERE TO START. What does that even mean? Do you think anyone who has a successful business magically knew where to start? No, they didn’t. Talk to people who have done what you want to do. Hire a coach. Get the support you need to succeed. OR, just stop being negative long enough to do a little research on your own. That’s where you start. (more…)

10 Transformations that will Redirect your life for the better

Growing Confidence You Are on the Road to Glorifying God by Pursuing Your Purpose

Butterfly transformations

Have you ever gotten ‘fed up’ with the way things are going for you to the point where you finally just said you’ve had it?

Why not take stock today of some things that need to change?

Why not decide today to intentionally work on some personal habits that are guaranteed to make you a happier and more influential person?

Are you willing to Stop the self-destructive things to regain your joy?

  1. Stop making excuses: If you are really serious about reclaiming your legacy then you have to realize that you’re entering the realm where you know good and well that NO EXCUSES ever fly! Why do we come up with excuses? Because they deceive us into thinking they are easier than actually achieving our goals. But excuses are just a waste of time, and we know it.What draws us into a negative path? Rather than growing and working on improving ourselves, we get stuck, lying to ourselves.  We use all kind of excuses.  And 99.9% of those excuses are not even real.2. Stop the blame game: When you blame others for what you don’t have or for what happens to you, you actually give your power away. Life should never be only about what happens to you.  How are you going to handle the situations in your life?  Only you can make the choice to take right actions.

    3. Stop your resistance to change: Change is good. Change will help you make improvements in your life.  Working with change you can also help lives of those around you.  Embrace change – don’t resist it. There is a great book:Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson – read it!

    4.  Stop complaining: You are the only person responsible for your attitude and your reactions to things! So stop complaining about people – You can’t change them.  Stop complaining about events – they happen to everyone.  Situations can only make you sad, angry and bitter when YOU allow them to. No one wants to be around someone who constantly complains.

    5. Stop trying to impress others: Stop trying so hard to be something or somebody that you’re not… especially if you’re doing it just to make others like you. It doesn’t work anyway. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.  Not all people… of course.  Just the people who you really want to connect with anyway.

    6. Stop being a control freak:  Yeah, sure… I know this is hard, but when you are willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you, miracles seem to happen.  Situations, events, and people – Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – all these things are out of your control.  Admit it.  Just allow them to be.  Your stress level decreases tremendously.

    7. Stop the criticism:  For some of us who tend to be perfectionists this is hard… but there’s wisdom in the old saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”  Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. Everybody wants to be happy.  We all want to love and be loved… and we all want to be understood.  So why not practice the habit of highly effective people that Stephen Covey talks about in his book: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

    8: Stop Judging: Stop judging people, things and events just because you don’t understand them. Just because something seems “weird” or different does not mean it is bad or wrong.  If you need to help your kids understand good judgment in a discussion that’s fine, but you don’t need to get into a personal ‘issue’ over what you disagree about.  Let God judge them.  Let go of it and let God handle it.

    9: Stop with the need to always be right: There are too many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right.  We do this even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be happy?”

    10. Stop trying to live your life up to other people’s expectations: Way too many of us are living a life that is not true to our own personal calling and purpose.  When we try to live our life according to what others think is best for us, we develop all sorts of inner tension and frustration. Some people spend their whole life trying to live according to what their parents think is best for them.  What a shame to allow what your friends, or even your enemies think is best for you to control your decisions!  For way too many men and women, the popular media has projected a false reality that they try to live out.

Don’t ignore the inner voice of conscience and the inspiration of your Creator to guide you.

Remember “Desire” and “inspire.”   Remember your inner calling. We are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that we lose control over our lives and forget what makes us happy, what we really want, what we really need.  We all have just one life to live. Own it.  Don’t let other people’s opinions mislead you.

I can honestly share with you, since I have made a conscious effort to stop all of the behaviors above, I have never been happier. And when I see myself slip – I acknowledge that behavior and work on adjusting my thought process.

Remember we cannot change, fix and improve on what we have not yet acknowledged.

So if you need it (and who doesn’t?), find an accountability partner who has your permission to call you out when you slip. This way you can reflect on what made you say or act in a certain way. The more aware you are of your actions, the easier and faster you can improve them.

What are you passionate about?

What drives you to put your feet on the floor before dawn every morning?  Some pious person might say: “just doing God’s will” or “living for Jesus” or some trite saying that is so vague and evasive that it really doesn’t give anybody a clear picture or roadmap of what is truly the passion that guides your agenda.

Some might say that “I just aim to please my boss” … or “serve my customers” … or “be faithful in doing my job” … but what are you passionate about?

May I tell you what I’m passionate about?  I’m passionate about changing lives… about helping others discover the best ways of reaching their goals, accomplishing their purpose, fulfilling the purposes they were created for and enjoying every day life.  And that encompasses a lot of things… things like: discovering insights, finding better ways of doing things, and applying practical solutions to life’s challenges.

In the hectic pace of modern living today, it’s common for us to be so busy doing all the things that we have to do that we don’t have the time to search out the best solutions to many of our deepest challenges.  Unless I’m a fatalist, when I stop to realize what’s going on, it hits me that nearly all the problems, heartaches and difficulties common to mankind are explained by one ageless principal.  Once I discovered it tucked away in the writing of a well known ancient Hebrew king, I began to see that everything in life is part of our Creator’s blueprint for us to fulfill our purpose.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”

You don’t need to stumble and fall into confusion about choices. Why not just do something?

1Corinthians 10:31 “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

It’s vitally important for the believer to have confidence that what he is doing is blessed or at least sanctioned by the overarching truth of God’s providential will.

Deuteronomy 8:18 “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

 

Curiosity-Key to Influencing People & Who Can you truly help?

Galileo discover truth quoteWhat is the key to truly influencing people?  And who can you really help?

Have you heard what Galileo Galilei, the father of modern science, said about this?

“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

He’s right.  If we want to make a difference in people’s lives we have to get their attention enough so that they will really want to ‘buy into’ what we have to share.  You have to find out what arouses their curiosity.

Curiosity is an important trait of a genius. I don’t think you can find an intellectual giant who is not a curious person. Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein—they were all curious.  They were all genius.  And if we’re honest we eventually realize that every human has some element of genius in their makeup, begging to be activated.  What is the curiosity ‘ticket’ that will cause another human to engage with you on whatever it is you would like to influence them about?  What will make them actually want to draw out from you the discoveries that you have made?

“The important thing is not to stop questioning… Never lose a holy curiosity.”

Albert Einstein

 

Why is Curiosity Important and How can we Develop It?

Let’s look at four reasons.

1.. It makes your mind active instead of passive.

Curious people always ask questions and search for answers in their minds. Their minds are always active. Since the mind is like a muscle which becomes stronger through continual exercise, the mental exercise caused by curiosity makes your mind stronger and stronger.  Curiosity really does require some energy.  You have to put yourself into it.

2.. It makes your mind observant of new ideas.

When you are curious about something, your mind expects and anticipates new ideas related to it. When the ideas come they will soon be recognized. Without curiosity, the ideas may pass right by you and you’ll miss them entirely because your mind is not prepared to recognize them.  Just think, how many great ideas you may have lost due to lack of curiosity?

3.. It opens up new worlds and possibilities.

By being curious you will be able to see new worlds and possibilities which are normally not visible. They are hidden behind the surface of normal life, and it takes a curious mind to look beneath the surface and discover these new worlds and possibilities.  There are possibilities just waiting to make a huge difference in your life TODAY.  Just think.  You’re one person, one greeting, one meeting away from having a totally different life.  If you’ll be curious enough in your daily coming and going, you’ll anticipate an exciting new adventure every day.  Who is the Lord going to bring across your path today?  What new bit of information you discover today is going to revolutionize your life forever?

4.. It brings excitement into your life.

The life of curious people is far from boring. It’s neither dull nor routine. There are always new things that attract their attention.  There are always new ‘toys’ to play with.  Instead of being bored, curious people have an adventurous life.

There’s a lot going for being curious, isn’t there?

 

Who Can You Truly Help?

Whose lives can you influence with positive benefits?  Who are the people you want to talk to?  Who are the ones most open minded to what you have to share with them?

To everyone who absolutely loves to help other people – unless you love ‘beating your head against the wall’ and constantly feeling like you are in the business of ‘convincing’ people against their will – you must finally come to grips with the fact that there are really only a minority of the people out there who are even interested in hearing what you have to say.  Who are they?  You can find them easily because their mind is actually working— and working in their favor.  It kind of reminds you of a parachute… It only works when it’s open!  It’s the open-minded people who are actually willing to discover something that they don’t know and are willing to really admit that they don’t know what they don’t know.

Open minded people are curious people. They are the ones who discover new things that are life-changing.  Do you want to know how to spot those who are open-minded?

Open-minded people are constantly excited about their personal discovery of new things.  But more importantly, they’re eager for developing their life.  They’re serious about improving their health.  And they truly want to be better stewards of their resources.  They’re not afraid to be ACTIVE receivers of the blessing of the Apostle John’s wish where he said, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2).  That’s a ‘multi-dimensional’ objective.  It includes your soul, your body, your physical situation… it’s our life.

How can a person honestly say they want to receive the goal of that prayer IF they’re unwilling to do their part to adjust their attitudes and behaviors that will enable the desired result to manifest in their own life?

Have you noticed that our society has unfortunately promoted a rather negative and cynical attitude that easily rubs off on many people who are inclined to be more pessimistic than optimistic?

Now I realize that you have to try your best to get along with everybody.  But does that mean you have to ‘spin your wheels’ wasting much of your energy and time with people who really don’t want to better themselves?

Identify the humble-hearted

There’s an important lesson we need to learn from the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, who said that you need to “shake the dust off your feet” and move on.  Imagine that.  Even when you’ve got the most life-changing and positive message to give someone, if they don’t receive what you have to say, pack up and find someone who is OPEN.   There’s a reason it says “the humble shall inherit the land and delight in abundant prosperity” – the humble one is the one who knows he doesn’t know it all and is open to hear what you have to say – explore undiscovered realms of life-building insights.  That’s what the humble person wants to do.  I hope that is YOU.  Are you willing to discover new things?  Things that you don’t know that you don’t know?

It isn’t a bad idea to start out a conversation with someone and ‘take their temperature’ to see if you’re going to have a short conversation or if they’re someone who you might want to dive a little deeper with.  Try something like: “Hey, I thought of you and wondered if you’re open to see what I’ve been discovering lately.”  If they respond with cynicism, sarcasm or condescension, just tell them, “Oh, that’s okay, did you hear the weather forecast for next week?” and move on to other topics.  Don’t even try to engage their mind.  It’s not working anyway!  Remember the parachute?

 

Questions that Naturally open their minds

On the bright side, don’t let their pessimism wear you down.  Be encouraged with the hope that there really are a lot of people out there who are plenty happy to hear what you have to share with them.  Start asking questions that reflect your honest care for people.  Ask them what would make them happier than they are right now.  Ask them if they’re open to a new idea.  Ask them if they’d like to make a difference in the lives of those they themselves care about.  Ask them if they have taken the course you just learned about on how to …be healthier, …save more of their hard earned money, or …leverage their time to get more done and have more time to do the things they like to do.  Ask people if they would be open to talk with you about your new discovery.

With some people, if you’re brave, you might even be able to ask them, “You wanna know what I learned about people that are open?  … Turns out that they are the same people who like to better themselves, improve their health and make more money so they can do more good in the world!”  Then you could follow up with another question like, “Can you think of anybody who thinks like that?” … and laugh with them if they seem to be good natured enough to engage with you.  Just dialog.  Help them get intrigued and curious about your new ideas that you’d like to influence them about.

You might think that everybody wants to solve their problems and find solutions for the things that cause them pain in their life.  But think about that.  If they really did want that – solutions for their problems – then why aren’t they actively pursuing it?  How often do you find even yourself in the same old ‘rut,’ doing the same old actions, and getting the same old results?  Doesn’t that seem like what Albert Einstein defined as ‘insanity?’  Unfortunately, that is where all too many of us are today.

A major lesson of life

Sometimes we have to rekindle the hope, inspire the optimism and rebuild the curiosity that makes people want to discover new things.  Just be careful not to ‘cast your pearls before swine’ if you know what I mean.  For an energetic young optimist, that’s one of life’s hardest lessons to learn.  The only ones you can help… really help… are those who really want to be helped.  You ‘gotta wanna’ have the results bad enough to exercise some initiative to get what you want.  And if a person doesn’t respond to you with some energy …some interest …some sincere curiosity, you must not let them drag you into an argument that goes nowhere.  Your time is to valuable for that.

So, don’t forget this one.  It’ll save you a lot of wasted time and energy.  Test the waters.  Ask some good questions to see if they’re open.  Don’t be afraid to taunt them a little bit if you have a good rapport with them.  But don’t ‘show your hand’ too soon.  See if they’re ready to activate their mind.  And when you’re confident that they are ready, just give them a few nibbles to see if they really want more.  Make a plan with them to talk again later and see if you have something that really can help them.  Let the curiosity factor ‘work’ on their subconscious.  That way they’ll be ready to hear you with both ears when you’re with them again.

Be sure you have some good reasons for the person you’re wanting to influence to continue their interaction with you.  Don’t give them the whole ‘truckload’ of information that’s on your mind in your first dialog.  Help them establish curiosity to hear more from you at another time.

 

Now, knowing the importance of curiosity, here are some tips to develop it.

  1. Keep an open mind

This is essential if you are to have a curious mind. Be open to learn, relearn, and unlearn. Some things you know and believe might be wrong, and you should be prepared to accept this possibility and change your mind.  Some of the opinion and ideas we grew up thinking and believing are just simply wrong, inaccurate or downright untrue.  That’s why the Bible urges us to “test all things.”  Hold fast what is true.

  1. Don’t take things for granted

If you just accept the world as it is without trying to dig deeper, you will certainly lose the ‘holy curiosity’. Never take things for granted. Try to dig deeper beneath the surface of what is around you.

  1. Ask questions relentlessly

A sure way to dig deeper beneath the surface is asking questions: What is that? Why is it made that way? When was it made? Who invented it? Where does it come from? How does it work? What, why, when, who, where, and how are the best friends of curious people.

  1. Don’t label something as boring

Whenever you label something as boring, you close one more door of possibilities. Curious people are unlikely to call something as boring. Instead, they always see it as a door to an exciting new world. Even if they don’t yet have time to explore it, they will leave the door open to be visited another time.

  1. See learning as something fun

If you see learning as a burden, there’s no way you will want to dig deeper into anything. That will just make the burden heavier. But if you think of learning as something fun, exciting and adventuresome, you will naturally want to dig deeper. So look at life through the glasses of fun and excitement and enjoy the learning process.  Who knows what discoveries lie ahead that you never thought of before?

  1. Read diverse kinds of reading

Don’t spend too much time on just one world; take a look at another world.  It will introduce you to the possibilities and excitement of the other worlds which may spark your interest to explore them further. One easy way to do this is through reading diverse kinds of reading. Try to pick a book or magazine on a new subject and let it feed your mind with the excitement of a new world.  As a believer and follower of Christ, why not ask God, “guide me into good, wholesome and productive things that will make a difference, not only in my life, but in the lives of others whom I touch.

When you do that there’s no telling all the benefits, the development and the character enrichment that will go on in your life, not to mention the ability to influence others in positive ways.  You’re going to make a difference to see some changes in your life in the very near future, as you wait on God to bring experiences into your life.  But make sure you actively pursue them.  Don’t just sit there.  Take action.  Take the course.  Read the book.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Talk to somebody.  Go to a meeting.  Attend a new special event.  When you do, your life will change.

 

10 Decisions that will transform your life to make you truly happy

Have you ever gotten ‘fed up’ with the way things are going for you to the point where you finally just said you’ve had it?

Why not take stock today of some things that need to change?

Why not decide today to intentionally work on some personal habits that are guaranteed to make you a happier person?

Are you willing to Stop the self-destructive things to regain your joy?
1. Stop making excuses: If you are really serious about reclaiming your legacy then you have to realize that you’re entering the realm where you know good and well that NO EXCUSES ever fly! Why do we come up with excuses? Because they deceive us into thinking they are easier than actually achieving our goals. But excuses are just a waste of time, and we know it.

What draws us into a negative path? Rather than growing and working on improving ourselves, we get stuck, lying to ourselves.  We use all kind of excuses.  And 99.9% of those excuses are not even real.

2. Stop the blame game: When you blame others for what you don’t have or for what happens to you, you actually give your power away. Life should never be only about what happens to you.  How are you going to handle the situations in your life?  Only you can make the choice to take right actions.

3. Stop your resistance to change: Change is good. Change will help you make improvements in your life.  Working with change you can also help lives of those around you.  Embrace change – don’t resist it. There is a great book:Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson – read it!

4.  Stop complaining: You are the only person responsible for your attitude and your reactions to things! So stop complaining about people – You can’t change them.  Stop complaining about events – they happen to everyone.  Situations can only make you sad, angry and bitter when YOU allow them to. No one wants to be around someone who constantly complains.

5. Stop trying to impress others: Stop trying so hard to be something or somebody that you’re not… especially if you’re doing it just to make others like you. It doesn’t work anyway. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.  Not all people… of course.  Just the people who you really want to connect with anyway.

6. Stop being a control freak:  Yeah, sure… I know this is hard, but when you are willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you, miracles seem to happen.  Situations, events, and people – Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – all these things are out of your control.  Admit it.  Just allow them to be.  Your stress level decreases tremendously.

7. Stop the criticism:  For some of us who tend to be perfectionists this is hard… but there’s wisdom in the old saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”  Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. Everybody wants to be happy.  We all want to love and be loved… and we all want to be understood.  So why not practice the habit of highly effective people that Stephen Covey talks about in his book: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

8: Stop Judging: Stop judging people, things and events just because you don’t understand them. Just because something seems “weird” or different does not mean it is bad or wrong.  If you need to help your kids understand good judgment in a discussion that’s fine, but you don’t need to get into a personal ‘issue’ over what you disagree about.  Let God judge them.  Let go of it and let God handle it.

9: Stop with the need to always be right: There are too many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right.  We do this even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be happy?”

10. Stop trying to live your life up to other people’s expectations: Way too many of us are living a life that is not true to our own personal calling and purpose.  When we try to live our life according to what others think is best for us, we develop all sorts of inner tension and frustration. Some people spend their whole life trying to live according to what their parents think is best for them.  What a shame to allow what your friends, or even your enemies think is best for you to control your decisions!  For way too many men and women, the popular media has projected a false reality that they try to live out.

Don’t ignore the inner voice of conscience and the inspiration of your Creator to guide you.  Remember “Desire” and “inspire.”   Remember your inner calling. We are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that we lose control over our lives and forget what makes us happy, what we really want, what we really need.  We all have just one life to live. Own it.  Don’t let other people’s opinions mislead you.

I can honestly share with you, since I have made a conscious effort to stop all of the behaviors above, I have never been happier. And when I see myself slip – I acknowledge that behavior and work on adjusting my thought process.

Remember we cannot change, fix and improve on what we have not yet acknowledged.

So if you need it (and who doesn’t?), find an accountability partner who has your permission to call you out when you slip. This way you can reflect on what made you say or act in a certain way. The more aware you are of your actions, the easier and faster you can improve them.