A New Beginning


Love the Lord Your God

2018 has come and gone.  All that was brought to pass is done – and it cannot be undone.

Time to look ahead.   I want 2019 to be the best year yet for my family, my friends, and myself.

I pray that we will all make 2019 the year when we commit to love God with the very essence of our being and that we show love to others in such a way that they will, without a doubt, see the love of Christ.

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Me – Cynical?


cynicalDictionary.com defines cynical as “distrustful or contemptuous of virtue, especially doubting selflessness in others; believing the worst of others, especially believing that all acts are selfish.”  Doesn’t really sound like someone I would like to spend a lot of time with.  How about you?

I know it’s difficult not to be cynical given what we see in society.  Politicians and corporate executives who are driven by greed and power, creating an economy that seems to be spiraling ever down.  Violent acts against innocent victims Or maybe we are cynical because of our own personal experiences;  someone has hurt us deeply or broken our trust.  But our cynicism isn’t going to fix those problems.  Cynicism just breeds more cynicism.

Yet, I fear there are times when I am guilty of judging the motives of others in the worst possible light, being a cynic of the worst sort.  But of course all my actions are based on the most virtuous of motives!  Not!!

When I find cynicism rearing its ugly head in my life, here are four steps I take to overcome it.

  1. Focusing on my purpose.  I believe my ultimate purpose on this earth is to glorify God and do good unto others.  How would it be possible that cynicism could have any part of that purpose?
  2. Recognizing that it’s not up to me to judge the motives of others.  Only they know their hearts.  I am responsible for my actions and choices.  I have to answer for me.  So let me  make sure I have the best of motives.
  3. Stopping the cynicism!  I know – that sounds oversimplified. But it’s kind of like Nike’s “Just Do It”.  I am choosing the negative thoughts and comments.  Only I can choose to stop them.  No one else is going to do it for me.  It’s like any other habit.  At first it’s hard.  But the more I replace a cynical, negative thought with a positive one, then the less cynical I am.
  4. Giving others the benefit of the doubt.  For me this is the hardest one.  I just know “they did that because (insert selfish motive here)”.  Do I really know that?  Can I read their mind, do I see what happens behind closed doors?  Have I walked in their shoes?  The answer to all is “no”.  So assume the best instead of the worst.  At first it hurts, but after a while it actually feels pretty nice.

These are only four things.  There are countless others, I’m sure.  Trust me.  Practicing these will change your attitude and you will be less cynical.  I don’t know this because I’m a behavioral expert, but because when I practice these behaviors, I become less cynical.

Lord Michael Hastings Commander of the British Empire and KPMG‘s Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity avowed that the single most effective way to change the world is overcoming cynicism.  Give it a try.  Changing your little corner of the world is the first step!

Dirt on a Donkey


One of my Twitter followers shared this with me, and I found it so inspiring I wanted to share it with my readers.  I hope I can be like this little donkey and use the “dirt” in a positive way!

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One day a farmer‘s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

You have two choices… smile and close this page, or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson .

She Didn’t Say 5 Words to Me


Let’s just suppose for a moment we found out we could only say a limited number of words to any one person today. We could talk to as many people as we wanted – just couldn’t say more than 5-10 words in our interactions with them.

What would you think about that? What words would you choose? Of course, “I love you” comes to mind for those we are closest to. You might say things like “good job” or “way to go” to co-workers. For me, this would be a real challenge. I would first want to explain to them why I was saying so few words, which would of course instantly put me over my  word limit!

Aren’t we lucky? We don’t have to worry about limiting our words. We have so many we can choose from to express our thoughts and feelings.

But did you ever think maybe we should limit our words at times? If we really did find out our word count was limited, would we encourage with words of kindness instead of discourage with words of criticism? Appreciate with words of thankfulness instead of complain with words of grumbling?

The wisest man of all said “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Apparently, there is evidence to support the health benefits of honey, especially the honey directly from the honeycomb. Words can be sweet and healing, which I think we all understand from experience.

Today, I’m challenging myself. I’m thinking about my words. I’m choosing them as if I’m limited in the words I can say, so I’m making sure I’m using sweet and healing words.

Blessings

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