Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quick one....

"The Grand Essential of Happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." ~ Allan Chalmers

To sum it up in the words of Shanen: "Hope for something you love to do." or "Do something you love to hope for." or "Love what you hope to do." .... anyway, you get the point. :)


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Amen and Amen!

"Our comfort zones are for ourselves, but the dream, the calling God has on our lives ~ is for others. That is why we have to walk it out, go for it, because we never know whose life we are going to change with the dreams God has put in us. "

~ I would normally give credit where credit is due, but I do not know the author of this quote.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oh, the goodness!

I want you to read this. Please. Just as you start to skim the words and skip over its meaning, stop and actually read it. It gives me goose bumps!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
(The above speech by Nelson Mandela, but was originally written by Marianne Williamson)

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Goodbye Mountains!

I receive a lot of my inspiration from my amazing sister-in-law (Jenni) who sends me terrific emails that encourage me to grow in the Lord.

Case in point: this email that she sent back in February, and I had it marked to read again, but I forgot to, until now. I’m not sure who wrote this, but I love it. (I feel like I always say that!)

So here it is... I hope it encourages your spirit. Happy Friday.

"And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying
trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig
tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea,
it will be done" (Matthew 21:21, AMP).

Today's Word from Joel
We've all had seasons when the challenges of life feel overwhelming. During those
times, it's easy to be tempted to talk about how bad things are. Maybe you
received a bad medical report, or maybe you're facing a financial obstacle. But
the more you talk about something, the bigger it becomes in your mind. Instead,
you've got to dig your heels in and say, "No, I am not going to give life to
that defeat. I am not going to speak sickness over myself. I'm not going to
speak lack. I'm not going to speak fear. I'm choosing a different report. I
believe the report of the Lord which says I am blessed. I am favored. I am
prosperous. I am healthy. I am whole. I'm a victor, not a victim."Remember, even
if you don't see how things could ever work out, God does. You've got to speak
to those mountains in your life and declare favor over those situations. Instead
of talking to God about how big your problems are, talk to your problems about
how big your God is! As you speak to your mountains, they will be moved, and you
will move forward into the victory God has prepared for you!

A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word which is life to my
spirit. I receive Your strength today and choose to speak to the mountains, so I
can move forward in the victory You have in store for me. In Jesus' Name.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Read it a couple times

"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." ~ Frank Loyd Wright

I had to read this a couple times to finall get it. But once I did, it was an "aha" moment. :)

What are you really believing in?!!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Work-Life Balance

I wanted to share an exceprt from a book I have. I’ve not actually read the book yet, but I am on the author’s email blast, and he emailed a part of it today.

I thought it would be good to post, especially, since I hear so many discussions about “work-life” balance. I like what he has to say about it. Now.... if only our bosses felt this way!

Find the Balance Between Work and Home

There’s no such thing as work-home balance.

That might be a strange way to start an article called “Find the Balance Between Work and Home,” but there really is no such thing.

I meet with corporate leaders every week, and I’m asked many of the same questions again and again. The CEOs want to know how to help their employees have more “work-home balance” because they think it’s a magic formula for increased productivity.

If you’re happy, are you going to be a better employee? Absolutely. Are you going to be better at being a dad or a mom or a friend? Of course. Does it have anything to do with punching a time clock, or the number of hours you work in a week? No way.

There’s no such thing as an artificially created “balance.” There isn’t some formula you can plug in that says you need to be at work for eight hours, then at home for ten before you can work another eight hours. It’d be nice if the real world was orderly that way, but we all know it isn’t.

In real life, you’re always either heading for a crisis or coming out of one. That’s just as true for a Fortune 500 company as it is for a family. My own family had to deal with health crises that included two blown-out knees and a broken back in a thirty-six-month period.

The balance that comes in The Good Life is more like the kind you use to ride a bike. You’re always pedaling, and if you start to tip a little bit to the left, you lean right to restore your equilibrium. If you overcorrect, then you need to lean a little more left to get back in balance.
If you let your work control you […] and if you keep saying to yourself, “I’m going to make just one more call, even though I said I’d be home before seven,” you’re losing sight of what the Good Life Is. If you committed to a big organizational meeting with your team at work, and you decide to play hooky so you can hang out with your son, you’ve also lost sight of what the Good Life is. Your job is not to work more hours nor is it to break your promises to the people in your professional life so that you can spend every moment at home. Your job is to get done what needs to be done—both at work and at home—with the time you have. It’s not a matter of finding more space on the schedule. It’s a matter of picking the right things to be on the schedule and having them on there at the right times.

This month’s article is an excerpt from my newest book, “The Good Life Rules,” which was released in January 2009 by McGraw-Hill. I can’t thank you enough for all the positive feedback that we have received from the book and for all the companies that have bought thousands of copies for their employees. If you haven’t read the book yet, go to
my online store or any local book store. I promise you will not regret it.

The Good Life Rules! BY Bryan J. Dodge

Now, this guy is pretty crazy if you see him in person. The Lavender Lilly and I had the opportunity, er, uh, pleasure to sit in one of his meetings before. He’s a little quirky, but I liked what he said. (Even if it was hard to see past his wild enthusiasm.)

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From the mouths of babes....

This was on Ashton Kutcher's Twitter page today (what a "babe").

I had to share. I like it!!!!!!

“I think good things come to those who want something so bad they can't sit
still.” ~ Ashton Kutcher

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Christ displaces worry - hooray!

I don't have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to share this verse that encouraged me this morning. I was having a pretty bad day, and then a friend of mine posted this verse on his Facebook, and it once again, reminded me of the big picture.

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message Bible)
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. "

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Starbucks Inspiration #26

Today I HAD to have coffee! I'm so tired all the time. Getting up for boot camp at 4:30 am, and keeping myself very busy until 11:00 at night, is really kicking my butt.

Anyway, so I thought I would give myself a boost to this blah day, by rewarding myself with a tall, fat-free caramel macchiatto from Starbucks. This time, however, I actually read, and enjoyed the quote on the back of the cup, and thought I would share:

"The Way I see it #26"
Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. If your'e successful at the wrong thing,
the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever.

~ Po Bronson (Author of stories, screenplays and nonfiction,
including 'What Should I Do With My Life?')

Ah! What a great reminder to live in your sweet spot. (If you don't know what I mean by Sweet Spot, read the heading to my blog!) I have to remind myself not to look merely at money or praise, but at what brings my heart and soul satisfaction.

What is it that makes you tick and dream??!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trials that Bring Joy!

On the way to work this morning, I heard an encouraging word from Bruce Wilkinson, author of the Prayer of Jabez.

He was speaking on James 1:2-4; verses I’m sure we’ve heard many times. Typically, when I hear the words of these verses, I think “Yeh. Yeh, God. Easier said than done.” So, here’s the verse I’m talking about and consider your reaction afterwards...

James 1:2-4 (NIV)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I heard these verses in a new light today, and I hope it encourages you. Usually I read it and my heart stops listening at the end of verse 2. I’m thinking to myself, “consider it a joy when trials come my way? Whatever, God!” But, as Bruce pointed out this morning, there is an all-important word that connects verses 2 and 3... “because”. So there is a reason why I’m to consider it pure joy when trials come my way? Yes! “BECAUSE” of verses 3 and 4! First of all, it's because the testing of my faith develops perseverance. Before I go on, let me share the definition of perseverance:

per⋅se⋅ver⋅ance –noun
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose... in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Synonyms: doggedness, steadfastness. Perseverance, persistence, tenacity... these imply resolute and unyielding holding on in following a course of action. Perseverance commonly suggests activity maintained in spite of difficulties or steadfast and long-continued application: Endurance and perseverance combined to win in the end. Persistence implies unremitting (and sometimes annoying) perseverance. Tenacity, with the original meaning of adhesiveness, as of glue, is a dogged and determined holding on...

Isn’t that the reason our trials are so hard for us in the first place? Because we’ve lost our “perseverance, persistence, tenacity”? Our endurance is gone? We have no determination to hold on? Well, that is why I love the “because” of verse 3. Each trial we go through, God is building the core of perseverance, persistence, tenacity, and endurance in us. This is joyful news (referring to verse 2)! Why??? Because the next time we go through a fiery trial, we will be stronger than before! God is continually giving us the strength and endurance to make it through any trial, so that we will not find ourselves unprepared when the next battle comes. So, the second reason this is joyful is news is because of verse 4; we will be “lacking nothing.” (Nothing!!!!!) There is absolutely NOTHING we are lacking that won't get us through our current trial. No matter the circumstance!

We are not promised a life without difficulties, hardships, or trials. But, it brings joy to me knowing – that my faithful Father will never leave me unprepared or unequipped when it does come!

In true Shanen-style, here are a few more translations:

James 1:2-4 (The Message)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4 (Amplified Bible)
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Much Love,

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Believe for big things!

I hope this encourages you today to believe God for BIG things in your life!

Ephesians 3:20
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."

Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message Bible)
"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!"

Ephesians 3:20 (Amplified Bible) – I cut out some portions of this version for readability
"Now to Him Who, by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]"

Could you imagine what our lives would look like if we really believed Him for this!?

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