The more I notice …..

A few weeks ago friends on Facebook started talking about closing their account because all they saw was negativity. I couldn’t relate because at that time I saw none of that. This past week has changed everything. It’s been a struggle to find the diamonds in all that black coal, but listen – I’m still trying. I’m not going to quit trying either.  I’m not going to close my accounts or stop using Social Media. The negative things of this life will never go away, but they don’t define me or my attitude.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: God, clear my mind of any negative thoughts today, so I may see the designed plan You have for my life. Amen!

I’ve noticed a lot of hate and I silently pray for the haters. This is my response to what I’ve noticed although I could think of more:

I’ve noticed the more I think of others, the less I think of myself.
I’ve noticed the more creativity I practice, the more creative I become.
I’ve noticed the less I compare, the more content I am.
I’ve noticed the more I try to find the good in every day, the less I feel like the world is bad.
I’ve noticed the more I focus on joy, the more joyful I am.
I’ve noticed the more positive my attitude, the less my heart is darkened by doubt
I’ve noticed the more I pray, the less I worry.
I’ve noticed the less I worry, the more faith I have.
I’ve noticed the less I think about what others think of me, the more I like who I am.
I’ve noticed the more I focus on what I have, the less I focus on what I’ve lost.
I’ve noticed the more I develop my strengths, the less time I waste on things that are futile.
I’ve noticed the more I trust God, the stronger my faith becomes.
I’ve noticed the more I love God, the more I love all people.
I’ve noticed the better I am at putting God first in my life, the more I stay on track.
I’ve noticed the more I stay on track, the less I feel like my life is a train wreck.
I’ve noticed the more I think about things that are good, honorable, pure, and lovely, the more peace I have.

What about you, what have you noticed lately?

Philippians 4:5-9 “Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Dear Lord, God, Help me to remember that everything I have comes from you. Impress on my heart a true spirit of gratitude. Please give me pure thoughts, a gentle spirit, wisdom to know your will, and discernment to make wise choices. Keep my eyes on you, my heart from idols, and my mind steadfast against perils of the world. Shine your light on my path and give me feet that follow you. Give me opportunities to show your love to people who feel like they don’t matter. Help me to notice when things aren’t right and give me courage to correct them. Every day is a gift, dear God. Please help me to treasure it. You deserve my best. Help me to notice when I’m selfishly reserving the best for myself. Be my true north, Lord. Thank you for my family, my friends, my life. Thank you for nature, thank you for holding everything together with your power.  I love you, Lord. Amen

Kari Jobe: The More I Seek You


Wired for Authenticity – book review

Lately I’ve been reading and hearing about authenticity. I don’t mean on occasion or now and then. I mean every day. So when I saw the title of this book I was intrigued. Wired for Authenticity, really? This book is full of lessons on the truth of how to live your life in authenticity. You can’t be your authentic self if you are trying to emulate someone else. You just end up being the second rate version of someone else. Wired for Authenticity Book CoverNow the author, Henna Inam, had my full attention because I already believe that. I settled in to find out more about this subject of being authentic.
Why do we even care about being authentic? Authenticity sees inside your hard shell exterior and opens your eyes to what you really want from your life. Authenticity means you aren’t exhausted trying to be the person you think you must be instead of who you were meant to be. Authenticity means you can trust yourself – others will trust you too.

Before you even finish reading this book you can start to practice authenticity. Read the review here


Let’s get started!

Overcoming an Imperfect Boss – book review

Why is it so hard to work for someone else? Karin Hurt attempts to answer that in her book Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. “The boss-subordinate relationship is unnatural by design. We look to a person we have not chosen (whom we may or may not respect) for affirmation, evaluation, and reward. Then we have to figure out what will make that person happy. Further we take this unnatural structure and make it even more awkward through performance feedback systems.”

Let’s admit right off the bat that your boss might be flawed. Nobody expects perfection in a boss or in a subordinate, but there are ways to ease the tension and work through the issues anyway. Karin describes some ways to help navigate the labyrinth of boss-subordinate relationships and in the process build a better workplace.  I won’t cover all of them in this short book review but when you read the whole book you will recognize that you have lived in nearly identical situations.

Speaking from her knowledge as a boss and as a subordinate, Karin’s presentation of experiences will grasp your attention and, like me, you won’t want to put the book down.

Read the full review here.

Breaking Through: Discovering the Riches Within – Book Review

When this book was given to me, I didn’t realize how well I would relate to the author’s story. From the first page, I recognized it as one of those books that has all the elements of a memorable experience told as though I could have lived through it myself. It was a tough book to read at times because the story tells the life story in raw detail of a man whose life revolved around alcohol even though he had a family, home, and steady employment. At many points I wanted to say “Wake Up! What are you doing?”

This book really tugged at my emotions, but not in a sappy sort of way. I didn’t grow up in an abusive home ruled by an unstable mother, and alcoholism never became a personal demon, but I witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of lives in turmoil by disease and mental illness triggered by addictions. I hope you read the book because it’s infused with hope that there is possibility of a new beginning to those who are tormented and being destroyed by addictions. This is inspiration with instruction – a book that really does travel the path from tragedy to triumph and proves that an amazing life is possible on the other side of addiction.

Read the full review here.

You Are What You Tweet – book review

I was given a copy of this book to read and was immediately drawn in. If there’s a book that covers the topic of social media, especially Twitter, in so many aspects, so far it’s unknown to me. I’ve been reading books and writing reviews for a couple years but until today have not posted them on my personal blog. Why not? It’s a mystery. I’ve never considered it until now.  I hope you take the time to read the full review posted here.

If you are overwhelmed by Twitter or social media in genera this book is for you. Germany Kent recognizes that the world of social media is dynamic and pushes more at us than our minds can absorb. If overwhelm is a word that describes your experience with social media this book is for you. Through it readers are taught how to use the powerful platform of social media to discover how to share their individuality through self-expression.

You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life by Germany Kent

A lens not made for me

“Janie, can you bring me my glasses? They’re downstairs on my desk.” In that simple request was a complicated lesson. My dad was a minister and spent hours out of every day studying scriptures and reading commentaries to prepare him to share the gospel in teaching and in living. He also shared his skill as a carpenter and mechanic for people in need. Daddy’s glasses were not single strength lenses for a linear focused guy, they were trifocals necessary to accommodate the vision stages of close-up study, distance ahead, and a hammer and wrench length away.  When daddy sent me to fetch his spectacles, I went down the stairs wearing my own lenses, but ascended the stairs wearing his.  Thump, stumble, thud, rumble, rumble, thud, thud, ouch, ouch, bruised arm, bruised legs, and battered ego.  The steps on ascent wearing trifocals were fragmented and nothing like they were when wearing lenses fit for me.

The memory of that incident replays often, reminding me that things aren’t always as they seem, there are countless perspectives on the same problem, and the source of a situation is the closest element to leveled truth.  Wearing multi-vision trifocals not made for me, caused faltering and stumbling on steps that seemed broken and lopsided, even though they were level and symmetrical. This same lesson can be applied to what we hear, but don’t experience; what we read, but don’t verify; what we believe without knowledge. Do you see the illustration? This memory returned to me this morning when praying for God to protect my mind from distraction and not get pulled off track into destruction.  Psalm 25:5 “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” The enemy of my soul wants nothing more than to devour every truth and confuse my thoughts.

When thoughts are altered, so are the acts that follow. How often do we crave truth? Proverbs 23:23 says “Acquire truth and do not sell it—wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.” I might have it all wrong, but doesn’t this mean that truth is the embodiment of wisdom, discipline, and understanding?  In Isaiah 59:14, there’s an interesting parallel to this “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.” At this time people were rebelling and turning away from God. They had no conscience for truth. When we blindly believe hearsay, when we don’t investigate the facts at the source, any hope for honesty is gone and truth is nowhere to be found (vs 15).

When I put on those lenses not made for me, what I believed was altered truth. The only remedy was removing the offense, putting that aside in favor of my own glasses whose lenses let me see clearly the way things were. The source, my own glasses, produced the truth. To have the right perspective on issues, we need to look at them through the lens of God’s word. There is honor in seeking the truth, not falling prey to deception. The Message translation of Proverbs 16:13 says it well “Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.” Don’t take my word for it though. Go to the source – the word of God and you’ll have truth, satisfaction, and honor. Psalm 91:14-16 ”The Lord says, “Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me. When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him when he is in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him honor. I will satisfy him with long life, and will let him see my salvation.”