The Magic of Inspiration

Most of us grew up hearing the fairy-tale story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and how Jack traded the family cow for some magic beans.  Initially, it appeared that a con artist duped Jack, but the wealth he and his family obtained from this wild happenstance proved to be just what they needed.  The spirit of wanting something better and the yearning to take care of loved ones drove Jack to put aside fear and doubt in order to make his desire a reality.

Imagine the intense anxiety that Jack must have felt while climbing that huge beanstalk.  He had no idea where the climb would lead him or what he would discover once he arrived at his destination, but his determination was not swayed by apprehension.  He continued moving.  Even when he came face to face with the giant, he did not allow that humongous obstacle to stop him.  He had a purpose.

Jack’s motivation stemmed from basic survival needs – an attempt to purchase food and supplies and take care of his mother.  But once he began the long trek to the top of the beanstalk, his sense of adventure took over.  And, his aspirations became more than just basic needs.

Read more »

Secrets to Answered Prayer – What Does it Mean to Ask and Receive?

One of the greatest hinderances to answered prayer is when we ask with the wrong motive. Understanding God’s nature and what He wants to do in response to our prayers will help us pray and receive answers to our prayers.

In Luke 11:9 Jesus tells us, “Ask and you will receive.”

I don’t know about you, but I have had times when I’ve asked and have not received. Since God’s promise is pretty clear, and nothing is impossible for Him, then the problem may not be with the giving, it may just be with the asking.

James 4:1-3 tells us that the reason we don’t have is because we don’t ask. That sounds pretty simple, and it agrees with what Jesus taught in Luke 11: “Ask and you will receive.”

But then James goes on to say, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). James seems to go from giving us a blank check to placing a major condition on our prayers. In order to understand what he’s telling us, we need to look at the context of what he is saying.

James is writing to people who were so consumed by their covetous lusts that they were willing to murder people in order to take what they wanted. The problem wasn’t that they wanted things; the problem was that they wanted their neighbor’s things. They weren’t happy with just having more, they wanted to be sure that everyone else had less.

As we look at our universe, one thing becomes very clear: God loves to create. Our world shows us that not only is God continually creating, He has placed within every living thing the ability and drive to create more.

Read more »

Power of Prayer

Prayer was utilized by Jesus, the Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers and beyond as a powerful weapon to achieve limited and localized repair, reconstruction, restoration and repossession of God’s creation and thereby thwart the prince of darkness and the forces of evil.  Physical healing was commonplace in the early Christian community.  But many Christians, in the 21st century, have become so sophisticated and jaded that they doubt the power of prayer.  They view individual prayer as a useless anachronism in our time.

What about corporate prayer by the body of Christ?  Curiously, most churches have little commitment to united corporate prayer and even less inclination toward confession of individual sin while praying.  Prayer has become a tired ritual which is performed with no real expectation.  A prayer may be offered during worship service to accommodate tradition.  Then, if nothing happens, the Health, Wealth and Prosperity advocates ask, “Whose un-confessed sin caused God to ignore this prayer?”  The Calvinists ask, “Was this prayer ignored by God because it was inconsistent with His unchangeable blueprint established before the world was formed?”  In any case, no one really expects a response from God.  Most churches preach and teach the importance of praying together as a united body of Christ but these same churches don’t really believe it and seldom do it!  In fact, it is difficult to identify a church whose foundation is corporate prayer.  But what if all the church ritual prayer, musical entertainment and baby food Sunday School lessons were replaced by congregational corporate prayer from men and women yearning to be led by the Holy Spirit down a path of confession, remorse, repentance, faith, obedience, humility, forgiveness, sincerity, purity, persistence, restoration, truth and worship?  What if the Sunday sermon, crafted for entertainment, was replaced by one intended to make us better able to give a reason for the hope that is in us?  Who knows what would happen.

Read more »

Self-Help Tips For An All-Around Better Life

Yes, it’s true. Nobody really wants to think that they need to help themselves improve, especially, since it involves planning and working hard. Of course, it also involves thinking about the consequences you can face if things don’t change. Still, it’s important to know what you need to do to make things better. That’s what the tips below are for.

It is time to take your problems into your own hands. No one can help you better than yourself. Are you dealing with bullies or a difficult relationship? Part of the problem could come from how you carry yourself. Read these tips to find out how you can feel better about yourself and be accepted by others.

A great self help tip is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. People that are sleep deprived tend to have low energy levels and are typically depressed. By making sure you get at least eight hours of sleep every night, you’ll have more energy and you’ll be in better spirits.

Keep a gratitude journal. This is a great way for you to realize that your life isn’t as bad as you think it is. Come up with 10 things every day to feel thankful about and write them down. After a while, you won’t have to think so hard because you’ll begin to develop an “attitude of gratitude” that makes you appreciate your life.

Research and learn from others. When you are working towards a goal in your life, seek out others who are either working towards or have already achieved your goal. Not only will they be able to provide support and answer questions, they can be used as examples illustrating exactly what you should or should not do to succeed.

Read more »

The Power of Your Words

Most of us underestimate the power of our words. We sometimes miss how our words set a tone. A few words can make someone’s day, or shatter it. Words can inspire someone to buy, or to go away without buying. Our words can move someone to do their best work, or to work against us. Your spoken words serve either to build up or to tear down.

They serve to empower and inspire, or to disempower and hurt. Words are either life affirming or destructive. For this reason we should choose our words carefully. “The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human…like a sword it has two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.” (The Four Agreements, Don Miquel Ruiz)When you are talking to someone ask yourself this question: “Who am I being and what is the impact of my words on the people around me?” The power of your words lies in the intention behind them. Is it your intention to create a resolution or to be right? Do you intend to help the organization accomplish its mission or to satisfy the need to take someone down? We communicate best when we are clear about who we are and what we intend. This kind of clarity prevents us from saying words that are harmful to ourselves and others. It may prevent us from engaging in harmful gossip and complaining.

Gossip is usually destructive. It is often a careless use of our words. We just aren’t thinking about how we are affecting others. Sometimes gossip is mean spirited and intended to cause hurt. Whether gossip is careless or intentional, it causes pain. We may be hoping for a little humor or self justification, but the results of gossip are anger, suspicion, embarrassment, and fear. These creations of gossip negatively affect morale, service, and productivity. You cannot both care about someone and gossip about them. If you think back to the last time you either heard or offered gossip, it probably didn’t make you feel good. Gossip disempowers us.

Similar to gossip is chronic complaining. Complaining about people and situations makes us feel and look powerless. Managers who complain in front of their employees lose credibility as leaders. Chronic complaining leads us into a dead end street where there is nothing to be done. We become victims who are powerless to change anything. While venting frustrations to a trusted friend can be helpful in releasing negative feelings, complaining to everyone tends to reinforce negative feelings. Like gossip, chronic complaining disempowers us.

Our power to do harm is exceeded only by our power to do good. A simple, sincere apology (given without expectation of return) can heal a relationship. An uplifting word at the right moment can change a life, launch a career, or convince someone to go beyond perceived limitations. By consciously looking for evidence of greatness in others, and by using our words to tell them, we help others to build confidence. When we sincerely speak well of others we uplift ourselves.

There is great power in making the commitment to keeping our words as positive and life affirming as we are able. As an affirming presence our influence grows. We feel better about ourselves. Constant negative speech imprisons us and prevents us from finding joy and success. Developing the habit of speaking well of self and others frees us to enjoy life more. We become a blessing to ourselves and to others.

Read more »

Powered by WordPress
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap