Friday, August 22, 2014

[Stay Strong] Follow your Guide!!! Regardless....

"Whatever you do, you need courage.

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.

There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right."

            - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unfortunately it is simply human nature and a fact that people will certainly try to talk you out of something you want to accomplish.

Some people have genuine concerns and your best interest at heart, but others simply do not want to see other people do well for various reasons..sadly!!!

Do not let those people dissuade you or distract you from whatever it is that you are pursuing or dreaming!!!

It is not easy to do this but once you gain that Faith in yourself and truly understand that ONLY YOU control your destiny and your actions as you pursue your dreams,  the doors to better things will open wide for you!

How many times have we withdrawn from a pursuit only to witness someone else stick with it and succeed?

How many times have we taken advice from others who discouraged us to keep moving forward or threw doubts into our idea to start a pursuit only to look back and realize we should not have listened to those people?

Well, regardless of the past, (and sometimes people will never look at you as a "new" person) do not waver from the path you set!! 

Chalk the past up to the PAST! 

We must learn from mistakes but not dwell on them as they are history now and YOU are the only person remembering and keeping them alive!
Faith and Courage are the keys!! 

It is not too late either! Lose the worry and fear that your ship has sailed because there is ALWAYS plenty of time to change our attitude and outlook!!

You are on the right path and where you are meant to be right now...whether struggling with grief, unemployment, fear, divorce,  illness, etc. or simply sailing in calmer seas ....and you must trust and BELIEVE thay greater and better things are in store for you!!

The tide has turned step up and seize the courage to ride the wave to happiness and joy!!!

Believe it!!! Trust your inner voice!!

Do not let anyone talk you out of it!!!

Stay Strong!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

[Stay Strong] Never Forsaken

"God is the hardest taskmaster I have known on this earth, and He tries you through and through. 

And when you find that your Faith is failing you or your body is failing you, and you are sinking,  He comes to your assistance somehow or other and proves to you that you MUST NOT lose your Faith and that he is ALWAYS at your beck and call, but on His terms - not on your terms.

So I have found, I cannot really recall a single instance when, at the eleventh hour, He has forsaken me."

     - Mahatma Gandhi

Whatever your current challenge, the single most important factor in keeping your peace and coming through it stronger is your persistent, unwavering adherence to your Faith that there is a grander plan and that all will be ok!

It is not easy to do at times.

As Gandhi points out above, we WILL be tested and we WILL be tried in this life!

None of us is exempt or immune to this fact!

You are not alone in your struggles!!

Many of us are going through storms as we speak that no one on this earth would want to experience and there doesn't seem to be a harbor in the tempest just yet!

But that Harbor is there and you will reach it!!!

It is not IF - it is WHEN!

You cannot give up and you cannot turn back now!

The ones who do not lose hope, faith or heart will be the ones who can soldier on forward and gain from this life what is intended for all of us!

However, in order to do this we have to truly believe and put our trust into this concept for it to matter.

Therefore, stay the course - and recall what Longfellow once famously proclaimed;

"The lowest ebb is the turn of the

The tide is turming in our favor as we speak and you will get through this - and you will be Stronger and Wiser as a result of your faithful journey!

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

[Stay Strong] Patience, but total Faith

It appears that a large amount of our frustrations and dissatisfaction, as well as doubt and skepticism regarding prayer comes from our "perception" of the results we experience.

Undoubtedly, every one of us has prayed for something in our lives  and on more than once occasion we have found ourselves asking "where is the answer?"

I am beginning to understand that the answers to our prayers do not always come like a thunderbolt into our lives!

Often we pray for something we feel we need in our lives, or something we really want! 

However, we have to understand that there are things we want that are not in our best interest - that do not occur because they are not in line with the plan for our lives!

There is a saying that "God answers all of our prayers, but sometimes the answer is No".

This is true but I also believe that if we are patient and have deep Faith then we WILL get the answer to our needs and they willl be in line with the best plan for our lives.

Daily, especially when the day seems to be pointing toward a negative start or trending toward a bad day, I pray to the Holy Spirit for strength, for guidance, and for inspiration.
This strength, guidance, and inspiration rarely comes within minutes of my request - HOWEVER it ALWAYS comes to me and it sweeps over me like a wave.

Every single time it hits me it changes my outlook, my attitude, and I feel deeply reinvigorated and inspired to drive forward - and I am CERTAIN that it is a direct result of my request!

Ask and you shall receive!

Knock and the door will be opened!

Dare to Ask!!!

Have you really even asked for what you want or think you need??

So when praying for something, be patient yet remain confident that what you are asking, no matter what it is, it WILL be answered although the result may not be exactly what you picture it to be and it may not happen that very same instant.

When I begin to fret or worry about anything in my life, I am always struck by the example in the Bible of the birds on this earth.

"Look at the birds in the sky. They don't plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren't you?". (Matthew 6:26)

If we can believe this and have Faith and patience, we should not have a care in the world!

Enjoy this magnificent day, take stock and count all of your blessings - even if your storm still rages and dawn seems like it will never come!!!

Stay the course because light is breaking! 

You are not alone on that bow and this too shall pass! !

Stay Strong!!!

Sun PC- Joan D! :) Thank you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

[Stay Strong] Tempest

"The main thing is to suffer without becoming discouraged."

     -  François Fénelon

We all suffer.

Some have more suffering in their lives than others, some have less.

Some have greater degrees of suffering than others and make our daily issues look like blessings.

Many of us are going through tough times, personal strife and situations that are full of fear and anxiety.

Some of us are struggling to keep hope alive as we move through our challenges and try to keep on charging forward.

To quote one of my all-time favorite movies,  "The Princess Bride";

"Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who tells you differently is selling you something."

We cannot avoid pain and suffering in this life and the sooner that we can grasp this and accept our struggles, trials,  challenges as they arise,  the more peace and fulfillment we will experience.

The key is indeed to not become discouraged as we fight these battles and push forward!!!

No matter our current circumstance - no matter what it is we are facing this very moment -  if we can remain hopeful, faithful, and do not allow ourselves an ounce of discouragement or quit - whatever we are undergoing will surely pass!!!

Persevere - with courage and faith that you are EXACTLY where you are meant to be at this very moment - good or bad - and know that whatever your struggle may be it is merely temporary!!!!

It will get better!!

The best is yet to come if we promise ourselves that no matter how rough the seas get or how strong the current may seem to be against us - NOTHING CAN DEFEAT US if we persevere - if we resolve to never quit!

We must TRUST and BELIEVE that this test of our strength and faith will not only pass, but it will also take us to much higher ground and one giant leap closer to peace and joy!!

You are not alone in your strife and trials - so put your head down and keep charging forward - never doubting the reward and prize that awaits us as we overcome and persevere through this current, temporary Tempest!

Even the darkest and longest nights yield to the breaking sun - you are never alone in your battles and you will make it to the dawn!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

[Stay Strong] Move on!!! Permission granted!!

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."
     - Henry David Thoreau

There are 3 things that are a complete waste of time for all of us as human beings:

# 1 is Worry!  Worry is a proven waste of time and energy!  Don't cave into it. Move away from worry when you identify it and shift to asking yourself ''what is the worst that will come from the current issue?"

The answer is usually manageable and not worth the worry. 

Focus on the solution and take action in confidence and banish worry!

Numero dos is Anger!  There is nothing more damaging and wasteful than harboring anger toward someone or some circumstance! 

The only person that suffers from anger is the person who cannot move past it and cannot forgive - YOU!!!!

Shame on us if we foolishly let anger fester inside us and waste valuable time in that state. 

Forgive right now and move on!!! 

Otherwise you are doubly damaged and rooted in your current state!

Lastly - #3 is "The Past"! 

I don't care what you did yesterday!! Nobody does!! 

And neither should you! 

So you made mistakes and made some poor choices,  decisions, or actions.

Bad and unfair things happened to you! 

So what?  That is the life we have been given!  We are all in this together and no one escapes the Storms of life!!

What can we do about it now?


The beauty of this very short life is that we can change our course and path in an instant IF we use our minds and forget the past! 

We cannot change it BUT we can learn from it and take corrective action today to alter our present and future!!!

We as humans can rehash and torture ourselves for decades on an event or decision that lasted 2 minutes - and occurred over 20 years ago!!!!! 

Think about that!! 


We can sincerely change our direction and path in life this very instant but we have to declare it and have the discipline to stick to it!!!

Let the past go!!!  It is foolish to waste another second on the past!!

You are forgiven and have permission to re-start over again!!!

NOW is all that matters and we control it!!!

What is your choice going to be today?

Choose to LIVE in Faith and Hope and Love!!

Accept it and the rest will turn your way!!!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

[Stay Strong] Shame on us..

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and your strength.

Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself."
      - Tecumseh

What an accurate quote!

We all have such abundance and blessings compared to the rest of the world.

It is staggering and criminal what we all take for granted every single day! 

If we but reflect for a moment on what other human beings in other countries, and even in our own backyard, lack, have to endure on a daily basis, and can only dream about, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for taking these precious gifts for granted!

Therefore, endeavor to give thanks for all we have and thank the Lord we live where we do, in the time that we do, and with all the opportunities that we have afforded to us.

We all have our struggles,  challenges and storms that we must navigate.

Some have worse storms than others right now.

I know some of us are in the fight of our lives, feeling adrift at sea in complete darkness with what seems like ceaseless waves continuously battering our ship - with no clear view of light or land right now.

Hope is a fragile and seemingly elusive concept at times like these!

Regardless, you have to stay at the helm and vow to never lose sight of the fact that light is about to break!!

The wind and rain will soon subside and open up to clear skies and sunshine!

This is a Fact!! 

Help is on the way! Relief is in sight!!

The key thing to remember is that with Faith and Hope there is NO storm that can capsize us unless we allow it to!

Please offer prayers to those less fortunate than all of us who face unimaginable, daunting challenges of staggering proportions every minute of every day!!

Regardless of our current trials, worries and challenges, we have no idea just how truly blessed we are!

Stay at the helm - Resist Fear!  Rely on Faith and the dawn and clear blue skies are imminent!!

Stay Strong!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

[Stay Strong] Gratitude even in times of struggle....

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which read:

"I am Blind, Please Help."

There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat.

He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words.

He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words he had written.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.

That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came by to see how tihngs were.

The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?  What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the Truth. I said what you said but in a different way. I wrote,

'Today is a Beautiful Day but I cannot see it."

Both signs told people that the boy was blind, but the second sign reminded people that they were so fortunate to have their eyesight and should count their blessings.

Is it any wonder that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story? 

Give Thanks to God for what you have TODAY!

Be Creative. Be Innovative. 

Think differently and positively.

When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile!

Face your past without regret and handle your present with Faith, Hope and Confidence. 

Prepare for the future without Fear!

Remember, the most beautiful thing in the world is to see someone smiling  - and it is even more beautiful knowing that you are the reason behind it!!

  - Source Unknown

Today IS a beautiful day and many do not have the blessing of being able to experience it.

We owe it to their memory to put our own daily challenges into perspective and give thanks for what we all have today!

Whatever you have going on, remember it WILL pass and although that does not seem to be of any comfort at this time, it is a fact.

You are not alone in your battles and you will come out the other side of this temporary darkness STRONGER and better for the experience.

You just need to cling to Faith and Hope every minute of every day and you WILL make it!

Stay Strong!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

[Stay Strong] Endure!!!!

"Every calamity is to be overcome by endurance."
     - Virgil

It is so true!!!  And oh so simple when you think of it.

We all have our own battles going on as we speak.

We all have a reason in our minds to stay in bed every morning and give up the good fight!!

That would be very easy to do and many people choose this route at times!

However, we all MUST fight off that feeling of being overwhelmed and despair and keep an eye on the big picture goal here.

If we can just remind ourselves daily that life here is so much more than our own little issues and challenges and that we have a purpose and a mission to fulfill, we would be able to rise off the mat and get back on our feet more easily!!!

The only goal when life knocks you down or hits you with a haymaker is to gather yourself, get back on your feet and ENDURE!!!!


Like Sly Stallone in Rocky, the secret to success is to just put your head down and keep moving forward!!!! 

Take the punches with a smile and have FAITH that you will get through any and every battle - No matter the severity or perceived lack of hope!

Do not not not give in to the easy temptation to just roll over and let the waves wash you away!!

You may not know it, but every one of us have so many people pulling for us - people who need us in that good fight!!! 

We all NEED you in that battle!!!

We are ALL with you in your battles! !!

So meet the bell, shake off the feeling of defeat and get back into the fray with the rest of us!!!!

Endurance and Perseverance are within our control ...and ALL we need to succeed!!!!!!

So soldier on!!! 

Peace and Joy are imminent - they are right around the corner!!!

Do not quit now!

Stay Strong!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

[Stay Strong] Storms...

And there arose a great storm
    (Mark 4:37).

Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. A senseless tragedy.

Some come slowly.

They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man's hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.

Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest.

When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm.

The history of manhood is always rough and rugged.

No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer:

"O God, take me, break me, make me."

We all have our daily battles and challenges. 

Some are minor and some are more serious, but at the end of the day the bottom line is that one fact remains true always - this too shall pass!

You may not see the clearing of the storm just yet and all hope might be close to lost, but you have to live to fight one more day!

There may not be any answers or reason for the storm.

But remember that it will get better.

It is a fact - not just a hope!

Time will help heal the painful wounds of today - even if we cannot seem to imagine the day where things will resemble any normalcy.

You will get there.

You are not alone.

Stay Strong!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

[Stay Strong] Back to Basics

It is amazing how quickly life can become so complicated - often in the blink of an eye!

That is why it is so important to prepare mentally - in advance -for the overwhelming events life can throw at you.

It is critical to keep positive in both your mind as well as your heart.

Our minds are the control room of our emotions! Think about it - the old saying "ignorance is bliss" is not just a saying - It is a guiding principle in behavior and emotion!

I am not saying bury your head in the sand and ignore life's curveballs and you will be thrilled - but I am saying that there are people in this world who have nothing at all to be joyful about in their lives - I mean downright tragedy and misery - yet they walk around as if they do not have a care in the world!!

How do they do this??

How do people with psychiatric issues seem and actually are happy and joyous?

Why can't we do this???

The Mind. Period!

We can control our happiness and emotion if we can train our minds to focus on the positive! Focus not on a current problem but on the solution.

Infuse all of our thoughts with Faith and Hope.  Tackle Fear head on and choose Faith over Fear!

Get back to the basics - recall what truly matters to you -not shoes, cars, homes, clothes, jewelry, etc- not those material goods that will disappear as quickly as they come (as will their allure).

I mean getting back to why it is we exist - to assist, and support, and love one another!!

Focus your mind of being there for others, on what is next after the storm, the joy that is sure to follow the pain you may have now -- because it always comes back to love!! Always!!!

And we know for a fact that the storm ALWAYS passes and provides us all an opportunity to be Stronger, Wiser, Kinder, more compassionate, caring, and loving!!

With every ounce of pain and sorrow there are pounds of happiness and peace that will follow -you just have to know it, Believe it - and see it through!!!!

It is not always easy but the reward is well worth it if you soldier through it daily.

You will get there - and you will get back to the heart of who you truly are and who you are meant to be!

God Bless and Stay Strong!

Monday, August 4, 2014

[Stay Strong] Tipping Point

"The first step towards the solution
of any problem is optimism."
     - John Baines

We must be vigilant and careful in recognizing the moment we allow our attitudes to drift into negative territory!

It is a never ending battle for all of us to avoid and stop the flow of negative thoughts that bombard us constantly!

If we are not focused on maintaining a consistent,  strong and pervasive attitude of optimism,  positivity,  and unwavering faith and hope, we are putting ourselves at a tremendous disadvantage on a daily basis!

Regardless of our situation and our trials and daily strife, the fact remains that ALL WE CONTROL in this short life is OUR ATTITUDE AND OUR OUTLOOK!

So why not give ourselves a leg up each day and start out every morning with a positive outlook and hopeful stance?

Why would we want to assist the negative cascading thoughts that become our biggest nemesis and drain in our lives???

Take up the battle of emotions TODAY and arm yourselves with a positive and strong vision of what is in store for you -  by forcing yourself to be Hopeful, Faithful, Thankful, and Optimistic about your next steps in this journey!

There is a "Tipping Point" we all can reach whereby we practice being positive and hopeful so much, we make optimism and faithfulness such a core part of our daily discipline that we cross over into that mood permanently and the negatives begin to lose their ground against our positive thoughts!

This is where we want to get!!! 

That is the goal - beat back the fear, the doubt and the uncertainties and replace them with hope and goals!!!

We can all get there but it takes work and faith that everything is going to work out for us  - and the strife and labor we encounter daily only serves to remind us that we are that much closer to our goal and our well deserved Peace and Joy!

Stay Strong and make this happen!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Faith at work

"A young lady told me she divorced her husband after years of struggling in their marriage.

She had done her best to keep it together, but it just didn't work out.

"At least now I'm surviving," she said.

She was happy that she made it through, but I could tell the wind was out of her sails.

This beautiful girl had lost the sparkle in her eyes.

I told her it was good that she'd put the bad marriage behind her, but I added, "Now, you must leave that survival mentality behind you, too.

God has new seasons in front of you.

He has new doors He wants to open.

He wants the next part of your life to be better than the first part.

But you can't make the mistake of just settling and thinking I've been through so much. I'm just glad to be where I am."

A survival mentality will keep you from God's best.

You must shake it off.

Pray for God's help: You promised that what was meant for my harm You would use to my advantage. I may have been through the fire, through the famine, through the flood, but I know it's my time for favor. It's my time to see more of Your goodness in my life.

Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive.

You will thrive in spite of it.

Bad news may come.

The economy may drop.

Your health and relationships can hit hard times.

The good news is that no matter what happens to us, God is still on the throne!

There are no recessions in heaven.

God does not cut back because of high gas prices.

He's never short on food and water.

I am happy to report that all is well in His kingdom.

Here is the key: As long as our Source is okay, we will be okay.

If we stay connected to the vine, keeping God first, believing and expecting His favor, then as His branches, we will not just survive, we will thrive!

Still, you have to keep your faith out there.

Negative voices will try to steal your dreams and talk you into settling for life as it is.

If you let those words take root, you will be stuck in survival mode.

If you expect less, you will get less.

I want you to expect more.

Expect that God will increase you in a greater way.

Expect this to be your best year ever!

Really, it's not that impressive to be blessed and promoted when the economy is strong, business is great, and everybody around you is being blessed.

Some might say you are just benefiting from a strong economy and good times.

But when times are tough and the news is dark and still God shows up and does something extraordinary— that is a great testimony to the faithfulness of our God.

When God prospers you in the desert and people see you increasing even though they're stuck, that's when they'll know it makes a difference to serve the Most High God.

My father had a friend who was a very successful orange grower in Florida. He owned hundreds and hundreds of acres of groves. One winter forecasters predicted a hard freeze would hit.

Such cold was rare for his part of the state. He and other growers feared a freeze would destroy their orange trees and wipe out their businesses.

Still, this grower was a man of great faith.
He believed God could do anything.

Just before the freeze, he went into his grove and marched around his trees, praying out loud: "God, I'm asking You to protect my crops and keep them from freezing."

His friends and fellow growers thought he was behaving strangely.

But later they wondered if he knew something they didn't.

The big freeze lasted more than twenty-four hours. Other growers worried the whole time that their crops would be destroyed.

Our friend just kept thanking God for protecting his crops.

When the freeze ended, the groves all around his were destroyed. Every tree was dead. But his groves were untouched. Big healthy oranges hung on his trees. It looked like God had put a big blanket over his property.

The other growers were amazed.

Those who'd made fun of him for praying in his groves said: "Next time, pray for our crops, too!"

God is well able to take care of us. He can prosper us even in the desert if we'll just be bold enough to believe.

Scripture says: "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper."

Disappointments and setbacks will come. But you don't have to get down and go into survival mode.

Stay in faith and believe that God will protect you supernaturally.

Believe that you will see His unprecedented favor.

Maybe you are trying to sell your house in a neighborhood where all others are going unsold for months.

Why don't you be bold like the orange grower?

Believe for favor.

March around your property and pray: "God, I know I'm not supposed to simply survive. I'm supposed to thrive. So I'm asking that Your favor would cause my house to stand out."

Maybe business is slow. Others in your market are struggling. Why not thank God for bringing you new clients, giving you new opportunities, opening up supernatural doors?

Instead of getting discouraged and thinking, Oh, man, the bad economy will hit me hard. My business will probably go down, try thanking our Father for bringing you the best year ever!

You might as well get ready for promotion, for divine connections, for supernatural breaks, to have your best year so far, to thrive, and not just survive.

You might wonder: Does giving thanks really bring favor?

My sister Lisa and her husband Kevin found a new house that met their needs, so they decided to sell theirs.

Most homes in their neighborhood were taking three months to a year to sell. They prayed and asked God for His help.

On the first day their house went on the market, a woman called and said she wanted to buy it. Not only that, she said, "If you'll take it off the market right now, I'll pay you more than you have it listed for."

That is unprecedented favor.

A bad economy does not limit God's power.

What goes on around us does not limit Him.

God is limited only by our thinking.

That is why it is so important that we don't fall into survival mode and start thinking, My business can't expand. The economy is too slow. I'll never sell my house because no others are selling. I'll never get a promotion when the business is cutting back.

God likes to show up and show out in hard times.

He likes to do the extraordinary because it brings Him more honor.

When we spread the good news of what God has done— I had my best year in a bad year. I sold my house when no others were selling. My crops survived the killing frost— our words bring God more honor than just bragging about His goodness.

Get ready for God to show up and show out in your life in a greater way.

God wants to do the extraordinary.

He wants to make you an example of his goodness.

If you believe to barely get by, you will barely get by. If you believe that you will have a tough year, your faith will draw that in. So I encourage you to believe that you are blessed— not that you will be blessed— but that you are already blessed. Believe God's favor surrounds you in a greater way.

You may say: "Joel, I don't really feel blessed. I don't feel like I have favor. I never get any good breaks."

This is what faith is all about.

You must believe it before you see it!!!

You need to act like you're blessed, talk like you're blessed, think like you're blessed, dress like you're blessed, walk like you're blessed, treat people like you're blessed.

That's your faith at work.

You will draw in the goodness and favor of God.

And that's a whole lot better than fretting that the value of your home dropped $ 10,000 overnight, or that your company is downsizing, or that the price of groceries has gone through the roof.

Don't dwell on your problems.

If you have a poor mouth, you will have a poor life.

Jobs may be disappearing, but you are still connected to the Vine.

A relationship may fall apart, but God is still on the throne.

You may not see a way out because your resources are limited, but God owns it all.

Stay in faith.

Make the decision that you will thrive, not merely survive."

- J. Osteen

Stay Strong

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don't just survive. ..thrive!

"Challenging times have served as catalysts for creativity, innovation, and accomplishment throughout human history.

Yet when times grow tough and things aren't going our way, it's tempting to just hunker down.

Thoughts of increase and moving forward are put on hold.

News reports of a sinking economy or personal problems of our own can tempt us to think: If I can just hold on, maybe I can make it through another day, another month, another year.

If we're not careful, we develop this survival mentality.

We stop releasing our faith.

We stop believing we can rise any higher.

We just try to maintain the status quo, to keep our heads above water, to break even.

But we're not supposed to break even.

We're supposed to break through to a new level, to more of God's favor, to increase, to promotion.

I've known people who have been through tough times— maybe a relationship didn't work out, or they experienced some kind of disappointment— and even though things improved, they never stopped thinking of themselves as survivors.

I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that said, "I survived Hurricane Katrina." I wanted to congratulate him for surviving one of history's worst storms, but then I wanted to tell him that you can't stay in survival mode.

You can't always be the victim: I just have to hold on.

No, you are not just a survivor.

You are more than a conqueror.

I realize some seasons are more difficult. Not every season is harvest.

Sometimes we go through trying times where it seems like things are drying up and getting a little more challenging.

Part of the problem is that we've heard so many stories about victims and survivors. Yet there are conquerors in every situation.

A scripture in Jeremiah says if we'll give the Lord our trust and confidence, God will prosper us even in the desert.

He'll prosper us even in difficult times.

That means when others are going under, God says you will go over.

When other people are losing clients and business is slow, God is bringing you new clients.

When companies are laying off employees, God is opening up supernatural doors for you.

When others are pulling back, worried and afraid, you are pushing forward in faith, believing, expecting good things.

That is what it means to have a thriving mentality.

Deep down we know that even when we're in the desert, even when things are slow financially, even when we get a negative report, God is still on the throne.

Our job is not our source.

The economy is not our source.

We know God is our source.

It's time for favor.

In one sense, it doesn't really matter what the stock market does or doesn't do. It doesn't matter how high the price of gas goes.

God always has the final say.

If hard times hit, God can still bless you in a greater way.

"I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread," David says in the Psalms. And Matthew 6: 33 promises that if you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all essential things "shall be added unto you."

Still, sometimes we get talked into thinking like survivors.

We see so many negative news reports, we begin to worry: It's so bad. How will I make it?

No. I want to talk you into thriving and not just surviving.

I realize we need to be wise and use the wisdom God has given us, but I don't believe you are supposed to pull back and not pursue your dreams, not expect increase, not believe in favor, or just try to hold on.

That is a survival mentality.

Times may become difficult.

You may wonder how things will work out.

But remember this: As God took the five loaves and the two fish and multiplied them to feed thousands of people, He can multiply what you have. God can multiply your time and help you to get more done.

He can multiply your wisdom and help you make better decisions.

He can multiply your finances so your money goes further.

God is in complete control.

When tough times hit, don't hunker down and think: Oh, it's so bad. I just have to hold on and try to make it through.

No, dig in your heels and say: "I will not just survive. I will thrive. I will prosper in spite of this difficulty."

- J. Osteen

Stay Strong!

[Stay Strong] Amen - Daily Guidance!

Happy Friday and Happy August!

If you have not read this little piece below yet, I urge you to print it out and keep it on your nightstand,  or at your desk at work or anywhere you can read it as you start your day.

To me it is an amazingly transformative and powerful set of words that unfailingly sets my mind and attitude straight every time I recite it.

I hope you can feel the same!  :)

Stay Strong - we are all in this together!! 


"Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost;  drink in the sunshine;

Greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp.

Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies.

Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then without veering off direction, you WILL move straight to the goal.

Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfilment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs.

Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into the particular individual…

Thought is supreme.

Preserve a right mental attitude — the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer.

To think right is to create.

All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered.

We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.

Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high.

We are gods in the chrysalis."

— Elbert Hubbard