Saturday, February 28, 2009

Change Your Attitude

Sometimes you get so caught up in the everyday activities that you feel like your on auto pilot. I can't tell you the number of times I passed the street I'm supposed to turn on because I wasn't focusing. A million things running through my, basketball practice, meetings, doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, the list is endless. I think we all tend to go through life this way. No wonder we are all so stressed out. Our brains are on overload. By the time the weekend rolls around, we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and defeated by all the things that was not accomplished on our endless lists! There is a all begins with your attitude.
By Francie Baltazar-Schwartz
Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut way all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."
I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.'
"I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breathe and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them. 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
Remember to start each day with the right attitude. Look at what's right in your life. When problems arise, focus on the solution, not the problem. Remember...your lists are SELF-MADE. You've put all the pressure on yourself. If something doesn't get completed...there's always tomorrow, besides, look at all the things you did accomplish (ATTITUDE GOES A LONG WAY).
"But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food." Job 36:15,16

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Believe In Yourself

The older we get the more we tend to look back and ask, "Have I achieved my goals? Have I pursued my dreams? I know that I let fear rule my life ever since I can remember. I would put on a very confident, somewhat aggressive exterior but what was happening deep inside was completely different than my public persona.

I never tried to achieve my hopes and dreams because I was afraid of failure. I would rather play it safe than look stupid. I've decided to finally reach for those dreams...I'm not going to let fear control my life any longer. I found the following story very inspiring.

Author Unknown

I recently heard a story about a very poor lady in India who had a child. The Dr's said he would never be able to walk. The lady loved her child and made a box, tied a string around her waist and pulled the baby everywhere she went. The child got bigger and started shaking the box. It would tip over, the mother scolded the child, picked him up, put him back in the box, and went on again. Eventually the child shook the box so hard it tipped over and broke. The mother went to pick the child up...but the child began to crawl over to a wall, and pulled himself up. The moral of this story is, SHAKE YOUR BOX!

You were made to accomplish great things. Find your life purpose and do not let your past control your future. Remember to shake your box are so close to achieving your dreams.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed." NIV
Proverbs 16:3

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." NIV
Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Push Ahead

Some days we feel as though everything is stacked against us. We wonder how and if things will ever change. We cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel. But you need to realize that God is walking right beside you. When it's too dark to see in front of you, but something keeps telling you to push's God letting you know that he knows the way and you can trust him to guide you out of the darkness.

By: Lisa Petrarca

Your courage and strength is your crowning glory
They can never take away your personal story
You and God determine your destination
Push ahead, without hesitation

Try as they might to break your spirit
Your heart and faith will keep you in it
Believe in yourself and your path will be clear
Push ahead, your dreams are so near

Fear and doubt will creep inside
You sometimes want to just run and hide
You’re scared of failure and all it entails
Push ahead, and you will not derail

The road ahead seems long and tough
The twists and turns sometimes seem too rough
Your goals are worth the struggle ahead
Push ahead, your hopes and dreams are worth the tread

Reach high above and look toward the sky
It sometimes takes just one more try
Your steps are sure and your way is clear
Push ahead, and you’ll overcome your greatest fear

Perseverance is what it will take to shape and mold
You alone will decide what your future will hold
All your dreams inside are about to unfold
Push ahead, the story of your life has yet to be told

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Storm

Life can be overwhelming, our walls close in on us, breathing becomes labored, our nights are spent tossing and turning. If this sounds like you, you've come to the right place...sometimes we all just need a small bowl of inspiration to put us back on track.

--Author Unknown

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's Pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest Minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the Pastor told the congregation that the guest Minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, the elderly gentleman stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

"A father, and his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast," he began... "when a fast storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story...

"Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the end of the life line? He had only seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.

As the father yelled out 'I Love You, Son!' he threw out the life line to his son's friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black night. His body was never recovered," the old man said sadly.

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old Minister's mouth.

"The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed is son to save the son's friend. How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us? Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son so that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service."

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The Pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. But, within moments after the service ended, the two boys were at the old man's side.

"That was a nice story," politely stated one of the boys, "but, I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other would become a Christian."

"Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. As a big smile broadened his narrow face, he looked up again at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But, I'm here today to tell you this story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His only Son for me. You see... I was that father, and your Pastor is my son's friend."


This father gave up EVERYTHING. He did not know for certain if his son's friend would ever come to know Christ. But he didn't want to see this child die without having the opportunity to know Jesus. He had complete FAITH that the Lord had a plan for this young boy. How many of us would save another over our own child? It seems incomprehensible to have even been faced with a decision like that!

We face situations daily on a much smaller scale, yet we find it hard to have faith that the Lord has us in the palm of his hand. How do we overcome our doubt and fear? How can we gain the faith we need to make it through our trials? It is very simple, yet we never fully grasp the simplicity of it. Our human minds have a hard time understanding that God can and will take care of us. That is why we need to grow closer to the Lord so he can transform our minds and change us. How do we grow closer to the Lord? The answer to all our questions is found by reading God's word daily and praying (talking to him) throughout the day.
Not just in the morning or in the evening...but every time the enemy tries to take hold of your thoughts. Call on your Father in Heaven to help you...he can and will be your rescue line.

"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
Luke 6:46-49

Let's continue to grab our rescue lines, the Bible and Prayer, so that we will have a strong foundation when the storms come. We will be built upon the rock of God and his only begotten son Jesus Christ's love and protection.