Archive | April 2013

How to Let Go of Fear

 

Fear is one of the most awful things in the world. When we live out  of fear, life is not what it’s meant to be. Fear cripples us. Fear steals the joy of living. Fear paralyzes our inner beings. Exactly the opposite what God designed for us.

Every bad decision I’ve ever made can be traced back to fear.
Whenever I’ve made a decision out of fear it has led to a disaster.

Whenever you say yes because you fear that this is your last chance ever and not because you think it is the right thing to do…you act out of fear. Whenever you agree to something because you might never otherwise get married/get a job/find a house, you act out of fear. Whenever we get tired of waiting for God’s plan, we take the matter in our hands and act out of fear.

But any decision made out of fear is not what God had designed for us. Sure, God can use even our bad decisions to create something beautiful out of them. But it does not diminish the fact that fear is Satan’s way to get us out of God’s plan. Like Rick Warren has said “fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.” 

What to do then when you are fearful? How to let go of fear?

First of all, remember “the presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.” (Max Lucado)

Second, we can “move against it with the weapons of faith and love.” (Rick Warren)

Third, “Begin to rejoice in the Lord, and your bones will flourish like an herb, and your cheeks will glow with the bloom of health and freshness. Worry, fear, distrust, care-all are poisonous! Joy is balm and healing, and if you will but rejoice, God will give power.” (A.B. Simpson)

It’s not enough that we hold Christian truths in theory. We need to live them daily. You see, if I am not empowered by the Holy Spirit every morning, there is no way I would stay Christian very long. Because anything in theory only does not hold my interest very long. If Christian faith was just a collection of beautiful life lessons, I’d be the first one to let go of that religion. But Christian faith is much, much more than that. Christian faith is a living companionship with God.

That’s why the only way to not to live out of fear is to live with close connection to God. It means that in order to be hope-filled and fearless I need to abide in God and read his word daily. If we all remembered this, there would be so much less heart-ache. If we are ready to receive, God is happy to lavish us with his gifts: peace, joy, and boldness.

Also, do not stop reading the Word or leave God’s presence until you are fearless and grace-empowered. Sometimes it takes a little more praying and assurance from God to let go of fears than other times. Just know that God is always with you and he will strengthen you. Just don’t run away until you are enveloped with perfect peace.

Don’t fear, because I am with you;
    don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you,
    I will surely help you;
    I will hold you
    with my righteous strong hand.
(Isaiah 41:10, CEB)

Letting go of fear takes practice. The more we experience God’s help, the more willing we are to let go of fear in daily basis. But leaning on God is the only way to proceed with boldness. Because life is confusing and messy. But if if we are centered in God’s love, we can – by God’s grace –  stop living out of fear and experience the true freedom in Christ.

 Gracious God,
We praise you for your constant help and support.
Thank you for always being there for us.
Show us how to let go of our fears and
how to live out of your generous love.
Empower us with your grace to live boldly.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Marianna Frangen Stalnacke

http://www.flowingfaith.com

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The Boy Who Had Cancer but No Love

 

There was once a guy who suffered from cancer… a cancer that can’t be treated. He was 18 years old and he could die anytime.

All his life, he was stuck in his house being taken cared by his mother. He never went outside but he was sick of staying home and wanted to go out for once.

So he asked his mother and she gave him permission. He walked down his block and found a lot of stores. He passed a CD store and looked through the front door for a second as he walked. He stopped and went back to look into the store. He saw a young girl about his age and he knew it was love at first sight. He opened the door and walked in, not looking at anything else but her. He walked closer and closer until he was finally at the front desk where she sat.

She looked up and asked “Can I help you?” She smiled and he thought it was the most beautiful smile he has ever seen before and wanted to kiss her right there.

He said “Uh… Yeah… Umm… I would like to buy a CD.” He picked one out and gave her money for it.

“Would you like me to wrap it for you?” she asked, smiling her cute smile again.
He nodded and she went to the back.

She came back with the wrapped CD and gave it to him. He took it and walked out of the store. He went home and from then on, he went to that store everyday and bought a CD, and she wrapped it for him. He took the CD home and put it in his closet. He was still too shy to ask her out and he really wanted to but he couldn’t. His mother found out about this and told him to just ask her.

So the next day, he took all his courage and went to the store. He bought a CD like he did everyday and once again she went to the back of the store and came back with it wrapped. He took it and when she wasn’t looking, he left his phone number on the desk and ran out…
!!!RRRRRING!!!

The mother picked up the phone and said, “Hello?”

It was the girl!!! She asked for the boy and the mother started to cry and said, “You don’t know? He passed away yesterday…

“The line was quiet except for the cries of the boy’s mother. Later in the day. The mother went into the boy’s room because she wanted to remember him. She thought she would start by looking at his clothes. So she opened the closet. She was face to face with piles and piles and piles of unopened CDs. She was surprised to find all those CDs and she picked one up and sat down on the bed and she started to open one.

Inside, there was a CD and as she took it out of the wrapper, out fell a piece of paper. The mother picked it up and started to read it.

It said: Hi… I think U R really cute. Do u wanna go out with me? Love, Jacelyn
The mother opened another CD…

Again there was a piece of paper. It said: Hi… I think U R really cute. Do u wanna go out with me? Love, Jacelyn

Love is… when you’ve had a huge fight but then decide to put aside your egos, hold hands and say, “I Love You”

 

 http://www.christiansinspirational.com

What is your Passion?

 

On a particular Wednesday morning, I was waiting for a tram, after consulting with a client. A lady walked up to the tram stop, while pushing a walking aide. As soon as we looked at each other, we smiled. In a recent edition of my newsletter – Ideal Insights, I spoke about the power of a smile, which is an exchange of positive energy. I started a conversation with her, and then we boarded the tram. I sat next to her, and we spent the next 20 minutes, having a friendly chat.

This lady’s name is Patricia; she is 73 years old, looks very vibrant, very energetic, and was a pleasure to talk to. On that particular day, she was on her way to her choir rehearsal. As it happens, she sings for the ‘Choir of Hope and Inspiration’. How appropriate, I thought!

She goes to choir rehearsal twice a week, and travels interstate to perform. Now, you could be saying, she does all this at age 73? Yes, even at age 73, she has such a contagious positive energy. Her vitality was obvious in her speech and her actions.

You see, Patricia is so happy, vibrant, and energetic because of the passion factor. She has such a passion for what she does, and that is the reason why she catches public transport, with a walking aide, in the middle of winter, to her choir rehearsals.

I see through my work in the self help industry, that people like Patricia are in the minority. The masses of the population have given themselves permission to miss out on living with passion. Choose in favour of your passion. If you feel passionate about something, make a decision based on what you are passionate about. Doing so will be beneficial in the long term. If you are passionate about something, that passion can be used as a driving force to face any challenge ahead.

Passion is defined as a strong feeling towards something, an object of enthusiasm. To do something properly or to your liking, you must be passionate about achieving your desired end result. The more passionate you are, the more you will be emotionally attached to getting to the result that you seek. Being passionate can mean becoming so consumed by what you wish to achieve, that in your mind, there is no room for compromise or settling for less. This is a great starting point in the process of bringing to fruition, what you seek.

Aristotle said that passion is one of the causes for all human action. Be that as it may, you would be wise to direct more passion into your actions which lead you to the result that you seek. In other words, whatever you are doing to get what you desire, do it passionately.

Anything that you put your passion into, you will be good at. It is a simple universal law, applicable to everyone, at all times. When people ask me why I love what I do, and I do what I love, my response is simple ‘I am passionate about creating lasting positive changes in people and organisations.’

So, come and join the Patricia’s of this world, and allow yourself to be driven by passion. After reading this story, please ask yourself the following questions:

1. What is your passion factor at the moment?
2. How can you unleash more passion in your life?
3. How will living with passion support your personal growth?

What better way to end this story than with this quote from Mac Anderson . . . ‘You can’t fake passion. It is the fuel that drives any dream and makes you happy to be alive.’

Inspired by passionate Partrica and written by Ron Prasad

http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au

If it’s meant to be, it will be!

 

As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked inside to find some identification so I could call the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and a crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.

The envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it was the return address. I started to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline -1924. The letter had been written almost sixty years ago.

It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting on powder blue stationery with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a ‘Dear John’ letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael and said that the writer could not see him anymore because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him. It was signed, Hannah.

It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way except for the name Michael, that the owner could be identified. Maybe if I called information, the operator could find a phone listing for the address on the envelope.

‘Operator,’ I began, ‘ this is an unusual request. I’m trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can tell me if there is a phone number for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?’

She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated for a moment then said, ‘Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can’t give you the number.’ She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain my story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect me. I waited a few minutes and then she was back on the line. ‘I have a party who will speak with you.’

I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped, ‘Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!’

‘Would you know where that family could be located now?’ I asked. ‘I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago,’ the woman said. ‘Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to track down the daughter.’

She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living. I thanked them and phoned. The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.

This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was I making such a big deal over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?

Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told me, ‘Yes, Hannah is staying with us.’

Even though it was already 10 p.m., I asked if I could come by to see her. ‘Well,’ he said hesitatingly, ‘if you want to take a chance, she might be in the day room watching television.’

I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large building. In the day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah.

She was a sweet, silver-haired old timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye. I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, ‘ Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael.’

She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said softly, ‘I loved him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor.’

‘Yes,’ she continued, ‘Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you should find him, tell him I think of him often and,’ she hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip, ‘tell him I still love him. You know,’ she said smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes, ‘I never did marry, I guess no one ever matched up to Michael.’

I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the elevator to the first floor and as I stood by the door, the guard there asked, ‘Was the old lady able to help you?’ I told him she had given me a lead. ‘At least I have a last name. But I think I’ll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet.’

I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, ‘ Hey, wait a minute! That’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anywhere with that right red lacing. He’s always losing that wallet must have found it in the halls at least three times.’

‘Who’s Mr. Goldstein?’ I asked as my hand began to shake. ‘He’s one of the old timers on the 8th floor. That’s Mike Goldstein’s wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks.’ I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the nurse’s office. I told her what the guard had said. We went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed that Mr. Goldstein would be up.

On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, ‘I think he’s still in the day room. He likes to read at night. He’s a darling old man. ‘We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, ‘Oh, it is missing!’

‘This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?’ I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, ‘Yes, that’s it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward.’

‘No, thank you,’ I said. ‘But I have to tell you something. I read the letter in the hope of finding out who owned the wallet.’ The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. ‘You read that letter?’

‘Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is.’ He suddenly grew pale. ‘Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me,’ he begged.

‘She’s fine … just as pretty as when you knew her.’ I said softly. The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, ‘Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow.’ He grabbed my hand and said, ‘you know something, mister, I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I’ve always loved her.’

‘Mr. Goldstein,’ I said, ‘comes with me. ‘We took the elevator down to the third floor. The hallways were darkened and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to her. ‘Hannah,’ she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting with me in the doorway. ‘Do you know this man?’

She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn’t say a word. Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, ‘Hannah, it’s Michael. Do you remember me?’

She gasped, ‘Michael! I don’t believe it! Michael! It’s you! My Michael!’ He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and I left with tears streaming down our faces.

‘See,’ I said. ‘See how the Good Lord works! If it’s meant to be, it will be.’ About three weeks later I got a call at my office from the nursing home. ‘Can you get away on Sunday to attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!’

It was a beautiful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed up to join in the celebration. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their best man. The hospital gave them their own room and if you ever wanted to see a 76-year-old bride and a 79-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had to see this couple.

A perfect ending for a love affair that had lasted nearly 60 years!

http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au

 

God won’t ask

 

  1. God won’t ask what kind of car you drove; He’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
  2. God won’t ask the square footage of your house; He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
  3. God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet; He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.
  4. God won’t ask what your highest salary was; He’ll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
  5. God won’t ask what your job title was; He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of our ability.
  6. God won’t ask how many friends you had; He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
  7. God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived; He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.
  8. God won’t ask about the color of your skin; He’ll ask about the content of your character.
  9. God won’t ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation; He’ll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven and not to the gates of Hell.

I’ve learned

 

That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
That money doesn’t buy class.
That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
That love, not time, heals all wounds.
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
That I wish I could have told those I cared about that I love them one more time before they passed away.
That one should keep his words both soft and tender because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
That the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

http://varietyreading.carlsguide.com

Learned from a bird

 

I once watched a most incredible thing. I watched a small bird trying to gather string, which I presumed would have gone into the building of a nest. It is amazing that this little creature acting on instinct alone would gather this kind of material for building. You see, a bird cannot reason, “A piece of string would be nice to use for building my nest, so I’ll take it.” God has given this little bird the natural instinct to function.

You probably are thinking, “What’s so incredible about watching a bird do what it naturally does?” I watched as the bird made several attempts to gather the string. She would pick up one end of the string in her beak and fly upward, but the string would fall, and she would try again. This activity went on for several minutes. What made this so incredible to me was that the other end of the string was attached to a boat sitting on a boat trailer.

I thought of the bird’s PERSISTENCE in her efforts. No matter how many times she failed, the bird kept on trying. How often do you and I show this kind of persistence in our endeavors? Even though the odds of getting that particular piece of string were greatly against the bird, I found myself hoping that she would succeed.

I thought of the bird’s FOCUS on the string. She was oblivious to the fact that the string was attached to an immovable object. All she saw was the string, and she went after it. How often do we keep a singular focus on a particular goal? Too often we allow our focus to scatter to several objectives, and then we wonder why we don’t succeed in achieving any of them.

I thought the bird had great CONFIDENCE. Her intention was to get that string. The bird was not deterred by the fact that a large boat was in her way. Watching the scene unfold as time and again the bird would try to fly away with that string, I almost expected to see the boat lift off the ground.

We need to be PERSISTENT, FOCUSED, and CONFIDENT in our efforts as we serve the Lord. I am sure we will find more success in our endeavors.

http://varietyreading.carlsguides.com