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Going Through the Valleys
By Chris Brady
I would like to share something I read recently from pastor and theologian Charles Swindoll in his excellent little book Perfect Trust. Perhaps it will be helpful to any of you who find yourselves experiencing the trials of life. Swindoll gives us four great points with which to interpret what happens to us, to help us put things in perspective, and to understand God's grace as it applies to his believers:
1. God allowed me to get into this situation
2. He will give me His grace to get through it
3. He will make a blessing out of this trial
4. He can bring me out again
We make choices and decisions that put us in certain situations. We are responsible before God for our lives. We also get hit with external circumstances. But through it all, God has a plan for his children, and His will for us is perfect and good. God always knows what is best for us.
The real question isn't "Why is this happening to me?" but rather, "Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior? Do you live your life for Him, or for yourself?" I would like to recommend a fantastic book for anyone who is unsure about this topic: Be Sure What You Believe, by Joe Nesum. It was very helpful to me in the early days of my spiritual journey, and I trust it will be for you as well.
May God bless and guide each of you, to His glory, as you make your way through life's difficulties.
Are you a Basket Case?
By Terri Brady
Have you ever had one of those nights when you can’t sleep? There have been times when I have fallen asleep in exhaustion, only to lie awake a few hours later, because the conflicting thoughts are back into my head. 2:18am, 3:18am, 4:18, maybe I should just get up…no! I’m tired! I doze before the morning alarm rings, but wonder, “Did I ever sleep?” I think my body collapsed and my mind stayed vigilant all night.
After moving to a new state, I went to general practitioner for a “meet the doctor” appointment, and I’ll never forget one of the questions he asked: “What do you do to manage stress?”
He didn’t say, “Do you have stress?” nor “Do you feel stress?” he asked how I handled it.
I suppose that must be true of most lives: it’s not IF we have it, it is WHAT WE DO with it when we DO have it.
I don’t handle it.
One of my favorite Biblical illustrations to which I have clung for a decade is that of a mother, found in the second chapter of Exodus. Jochebed, one of the Israelites (who were at the time brutally enslaved by the Egyptians), gave birth to a son. In an attempt to reduce the power of the growing Israelite population, the Pharaoh had ordered ALL male Israelite babies to be killed.
I think of this woman, and think of her 2:18am’s and 3:18’s and 4:18’s. Did she stay up thinking “what if?” all night? During pregnancy, did she wonder if she was carrying a boy? Had she hoped something would change –the law, the slavery, anything? Did she cry? After the birth, knowing it was a boy, did she cling to him as if every breath were his last? Did she have nightmares of the Pharaoh’s soldiers coming? Did she hear phantom horses’ hooves of the chariots? When did she “plan?”
Because she did plan. We are only given a glimpse of it in a couple verses of Exodus 2:2-3: “When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide
By Dan Hawkins
Here is a true story by Jaye Lewis that describes the power for good that teachers/mentors have in a person’s life.
I have been able to experience so many rewards from the LIFE Leadership business because of the great mentoring in LIFE. Orrin Woodward is someone who invested in me so I could accomplish more and reach my full potential. I can remember with such clarity the words of encouragement fed to me from Orrin such as, “Dan you are already good enough win here, when you believe in you like I believe in you, you will win!”
It is hard to explain the feeling when you know someone truly believes in you!
If you are in a leadership role or influence others I hope you take this story to heart. First find a mentor to believe in you and then become a mentor who believes in others. The human potential to make a difference is truly endless.
“How many people can count on you to believe in them?” – Orrin Woodward
Steve, a twelve-year-old boy with alcoholic parents, was about to be lost forever, by the U.S. education system. Remarkably, he could read, yet, in spite of his reading skills, Steve was failing. He had been failing since first grade, as he was passed on from grade to grade. Steve was a big boy, looking more like a teenager than a twelve year old, yet, Steve went u
VISUALIZE THE CHANGE YOU WANT
By Bill Lewis
Reading Orrin Woodward's book Resolved gave me a new insight into visualization and a different angle on how to use it to effectively change. We have all heard of the power of visualization. In Orrin’s book, he goes deep into the power of not just visualization but connecting your ant ( conscience ) and your elephant ( sub – conscience ). If you can figure out how to harness this power you can really accomplish anything.
Author Vince Poscente in The Ant and The Elephant, describes the difference between the conscious and the sub-conscious mind, teaching that the conscious mind in one second of thinking stimulates 2,000 neurons, while the sub-conscious mind in a second imaging stimulates four billion neurons. That’s 4,000,000,000 neurons to 2,000 neurons ; literally two million times more neurons are stimulated in the sub-conscious than the conscious mind in a second of mental activity. This is why you will hear every performer at the top of their game talking about using visualization as a powerful weapon to their success. In Resolved, Orrin gives 2 examples of this, olympic athletes and Will Smith, and how they used the power of it.
Most of us think about this elephant and mental picturing only from one angle. That angle is to picture what we want. Weather that is a material reward, helping some cause, paying off debt or eliminating a job. I never thought about using this tool to change myself. To change my attitude, how I react, what I say, or even how I think. I was trying to do those things but I was using the ant method instead of the elephant method. I would write down 3 things that I wanted to work on and change about myself. I would put them on my mirror in my bathroom and my steering wheel so I could see them and read them regularly. This process did work and it still works but now I have realized that using elephant method is a much more effective way of making the changes that I want to make.
GREAT LEADERS - GONE - NOT FORGOTTEN - WITHERSPOON
By George Guzzardo
Another great historical figure who is hardly recognized in today's modern world is John Witherspoon. Witherspoon helped influence colonial thinking during the period known as the Great Awakening and had an impact on the American Revolution. He was the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who was both a clergyman and college president.
Born in Scotland in 1723, he studied and became a Presbyterian minister. He came to the colonies where he rose to prominence as the 6th President of the University of New Jersey ( Princeton ). As an example of how the classics influenced the mindset of the early colonists, the Princeton entrance exam required "the ability to write latin prose, translate Virgil, Cicero, and the Greek Gospels, and a commensurate knowledge of Latin and Greek grammar". There he trained many leaders of our early nation. Some of his most well known students included James Madison, who studied ethics and Hebrew under him, and Aaron Burr. An example of the classical influence on Witherspoon was his naming his country home "Tusculum" after Cicero's villa. It is said that he used Princeton University as a coalition builder during the Revolution by explaining that political liberty and evangelism were linked. He said, "The knowledge of God and His truths has been chiefly confined to those parts of the earth where some degree of liberty and political justice were to be seen." He argued that people who did not fear God would do whatever they could get away with until anarchy reigned and a fearsome government arose in reaction. Yet, he did not require establishment of a particular doctrine, though he was Calvinist.
As a Declaration of Independence convention delegate, he represented New Jersey where he debated separation from England, "For independence was not only ripe for the measure, but in danger of rotting for the want of it". He lost two sons in the revolution.
He was admired by