God is always speaking and teaching. His sovereignty is exemplified in the masterful ways He reveals Himself and in the way that He teaches His children.
The entire Universe is His classroom.
The LORD gives instruction in any place, at any time and about anything. The issue is - are we paying attention to the lesson(s).
A few days ago, while running personal errands I noticed a young woman in front of me at the ATM. She appeared to be in her early 20s. Her arms, from shoulder to wrist were covered with tattoo art. In great detail and superior skill, literally on every inch of her arms was a unique, elaborate design. Her toned, smooth arms no doubt provided a wonderful canvas for the artist.
As I marveled at the artistry, a question came to mind...how her arms will look in 40 or 50 years. I wondered if she would be as proud of her youthful self-expression when she's a senior citizen. How much would she regret her earlier actions?
She may have already started to experience negative consequences. I imagined that her career and wardrobe choices are already greatly affected and perhaps severely limited. Had she considered the potential cost of her creativity?
Class was now in session.
“There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.”
Proverbs 14:12 (Amplified Bible)
Wisdom should be the foundation of every decision you make. Some things are so vital that they can impact the rest of your life. Seeking God’s counsel and vision is imperative.
It is important to focus on the present and live in the moment but failure to carefully consider what may seem like a benign choice today - could become a catastrophe in the future.
Even in our dietary considerations, some thought should be given to the potential, long-term consequences. Today’s meal may affect tomorrow’s mobility.
Permit the Teacher to lead you.
And be teachable!
“Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.”
Psalm 25: 4&5 (New King James Version)
Do You See...
...What I See
Some say "Seeing is believing". The question is, does the accuracy of attentiveness influence perception? In this Conversation with V! you'll receive 8 vision enhancers to sharpen your awareness for greater life abundance.
Have you ever wanted to have a full blown pity party? You know…in those moments when no matter how hard you try, things are just not going your way. In the times when it seems like you are channeling “Badluck Schleprock” (a character from one of the Flintstone cartoon series), a pity party may seem quite apropos.
Imagine that as you begin to prepare all that’s needed for your celebration of haplessness including inviting the company that misery lovingly attracts, your pitiful plans began to falter as well. As you try to ruminate about all the misfortune that you’ve experienced, you are interrupted by countering thoughts. While you’re diligently trying to encapsulate yourself in an ambiance of hopelessness – and an uninvited guest has crashed your party. A sense of strength has crept in and the atmosphere immediately shifts. Your perspective has changed and the party is canceled!
Yesterday, I heard an absolutely amazing Message by Bishop Eddie Long, New Birth, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This life-changing teaching centered on not permitting a “Bad Moment” to become a “Bad Life”. In encouraging us to maximize moments of challenge by adhering to strategically positive responses, he shared a video about “Inattentional Blindness”.
In the video there were two teams passing balls. The task was to count the number of times the team in white passed the ball. After sharing the correct number of times the ball was passed the announcer asked, “But did you see the bear doing the moonwalk in the middle of the circle.” When the scene was replayed, while the teams were passing the ball around, a black bear actually came into the circle and danced. It was prolific! Suffice it to say that the sky literally opened up for me.
I am a student of cognitive psychology but I have never thought about the spiritual applications of perception psycho-dynamics. Now that I can see more accurately, the phenomenon of Inattentional Blindness clearly has implications and influence on faith, focus and fortitude.
Faith grows with positive sensory stimulation. Encouraging words and experiences generates a stronger internal constitution. Focus is sharpened when distractions are diminished. Fortitude emerges by living a virtuous life filled with honor, justice, service and praise.
Sufficiency, survival, serenity and success are enhanced when we protect the things we most value. Your acuteness of vision will be enhanced by better protecting your thoughts, dreams and goals. Be mindful of what you permit to get your attention. No matter how bleak things may seem, get in a better light so that you can see beyond the eclipsing shadows. Seeing from a vantage point of strength will cause your hope and confidence to soar.
Indeed, there is “more than what meets the eye”. Seek after and surrender to Divine insight. A Heavenly view reveals a beauty-filled panoramic picture of your life and destiny. You are a Master piece. Abundance surrounds and fills you. No matter what kind of moment you may be experiencing, there is something dancing in your midst. See the wonder. Share the joy.
Consider these eight vision enhancers:
1. Unclutter your life. Perspective can change by putting things in their proper place. Prioritize. Clarify what and who is most important.
2. Be clear, certain and committed to achieving your goals. Confidence increases with conviction.
3. Properly interpret obstacles and opposition. Understand that adversarial things and people actually validate and confirm your greatness. The wealth of your presence in the earth can never be ignored, defeated or destroyed.
4. Make adjustments as needed. Distraction, discouragement and deception are your greatest enemies.
5. Refuse to agree or align with anything that violates your true worth and value.
6. Diligently guard your thoughts. Acknowledge your divinity. Resist negativity and you will attract that which builds and beautifies your spirit.
7. Own the now! Learn to live in the moment. Connect to the power of being present. Do not be so distracted by wanting to get out of a situation that you fail to focus on (see) the benefits you can get out of the experience.
8. Open your eyes and your mind will follow. Envision your growth. Expand your expectations – your attentiveness to the greater picture will generate more abundance in your life.
At times your journey will be rough and dark. The arduousness of certain points on your path does not alter the reality of all exists within you. Awareness produces assurance. Know that there is much more working for you than you could ever imagine.
Reservoirs of potential and possibilities are available to you. Strength can be drawn at any time. Joy, peace and love are decisions. So is your well-being. Choose wisely. See accurately!
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Globally we are facing tough times. But even in the midst of misery, you can have the confidence in knowing that no matter what happens – you can make it! – you will stand!
In order to stay focused and fruitful during life’s rough spots, it is critical to build an infrastructure that will support you through the storms. There are certain choices that you are going to have to make that will greatly affect your outcome. How you respond to your tough times, will determine how you come out and where you’ll end up.
To regain your focus and footing for your ultimate and certain successfulness, please consider employing these simple but effective success steps.
First and foremost, no matter what you are experiencing, you must have an appreciation for the good you have. Avoid the temptation to complain. Connecting to a sense of gratefulness during hard times can seem contrary but by choosing to be thankful, you gain access to a better vantage point to be able to see your possibilities beyond the present problems. Always acknowledge the good in your life – it will attract more goodness.
Set a date to celebrate! Affix a time table to some intermediate goals that you can work toward. Remember to be smart in setting your goals. Be consistent and diligent in applying yourself as your day of celebration approaches.
On the designated day, ponder your progress and do something special for you! Even if you have not accomplished everything that you set out to do, appreciate yourself for what you have done and make a commitment to keep going in the direction of success. By striving to be your best; you are guaranteed to become a better, more appreciative person in the process.
There is a direct correlation to your level of success and the quality of your relationships. To have a successful and fulfilling life, internal confidence is important and interpersonal competence is essential. The best way to improve how you relate to and get along with others, is by working on improving yourself.
Having the internal fortitude to honestly look at the ways that you can change your attitude, your approach and your actions is so empowering.
If you had to choose yourself as a friend, a mate, a colleague or business partner – would you be a good choice? Being truthful about your own strengths and weakness will enable to you accentuate your positive traits and alter the things that are not so nice about you.
It is equally important to encircle yourself with people who bring peace and positive energy. A hallmark of highly successful and powerful people is that they are very discerning about who is permitted access to them. There is intense security and protection around the president. You cannot just walk up to the Queen of England. Even celebrities have layers of protection from people who may do them harm.
Likewise, you should establish some clear criteria for who you grant access to you. By access, I mean who you permit to influence and affect your happiness and harmony. Some people can be so negative that when you see them coming you just want to run in the other direction. Learn how to diplomatically limit the access and audience that you give to people who do not support your success.
I emphatically oppose the adage that counsels us to “keep our enemies closer”. It is completely counter-intuitive to give a “hater” an opportunity to sabotage your success. You may not be able to scream for “Security” when a malcontent approaches but you can and must put up your internal force-field. Do not allow their negative words, opinions and attitudes to penetrate and contaminate your peace or your plan for pervasive prosperity.
Build associations that are mutually positive, they will promote and propel you into your good future.
Your words have creative power. Like the Divine Creator, you can speak into darkness and light will manifest. When you are in a dark moment because of life, career or health challenges you are experiencing, you can illuminate your atmosphere by declaring power-filled words.
What you say will have a great impact on the life you live. Your words are like a thermostat – they actually set your atmosphere. Greatness has been placed within you. Listen to the voice that speaks in your heart that echoes your promised potential.
Agree – Align – Affirm!
No matter what is going on around you, it has the possibility to get better. Make declarations, proclaim your victory, and post affirmations on your walls – the walls of your mind, heart, spirit and yes, your office or bedroom. While brushing your teeth in the morning, read out loud a motivating proclamation..like…I am going to have my best day ever today!!! And mean it. It will happen for you.
Much more is required of you! Your purpose and potential resonates in the Universe.
Affirm your great attributes…I encourage you to make declarative statements about yourself in the following areas….
6. Openness to new ideas
For example, every day for more than 30 years, before I begin my day – I affirm and declare that my words and actions will enrich, encourage and empower everyone I encounter. At the end of the day, I am delighted to reflect upon the lives that I have touched and hopefully transformed by having done or said something that inspired their spirit.
As I refresh others with positive words, my garden is also watered. And I am able to be more fruitful.
Much more is also required of me!!!
Consider setting these affirmations in motion in your life. I cannot overemphasize the importance of activating your atmosphere with positive words…
Remember – your words create your reality!
Here are some of my favorite personal affirmations………
• I will have a heart!
• I will believe the best about myself!
• I will use my unique gifts to inspire others with all of my might!
• I will be dedicated to myself, my future and my potential!
• I will reflect upon and be responsible for all that I have been given!
• I will stand up for what’s right!
• I will be rewarded for choosing the right thing!
By Val McLeod
Paths of life ~ A journey ~ Points of
wilderness and wonder...
New steps, stages and places
Embracing your heart; I’ll treasure
forever your velvety face.
What lies ahead remains in view
Encounters, experiences ~ contributions from you.
A daddy’s dream is a daughter’s hope
Going farther, climbing higher ~ always knowing Dad is tightly holding my rope.
I will continue this journey…Are you by my side?
I will never forget that Love~beheld
shine in your eye.
I was with my greatly Beloved Dad when he passed over into Eternity at 8:53 a.m. on Friday, April 30, 2010.
The room was saturated with pure Love!
I witnessed the glorious gleam of awe ~ it was absolute amazement in his eyes.
Undeniably, the most beautiful moment
I have ever experienced!
It was his last ~ but greatest earthly gift to me.
In consideration of the myriad challenges to having an enriching and enduring relationship, it seems practically oxy moronic to use “healthy, romantic and relationship” in the same context.
As a human relations expert, I am often asked, “Is it possible to have an “ideal relationship / mate?” The desire to have that special someone who compliments, comforts and fulfills us is a fundamental human need. In pursuit of the desire for intimate emotional connection, the primary focus tends to be placed on identifying the qualities that an “ideal mate” must have in order to be acceptable to us. This approach often results in disillusionment, disappointment and resentment. The truth is, the onus for having a healthy relationship should not be focused on a potential mate, it actually relies on you being a healthier you.
Having healthier relationships is one of key elements to having a centered, balanced and well-adjusted life. Being clear about what you want in a romantic relationship has to be seen through the spectrum of what you offer that facilitates having and maintaining a functional, fulfilling relationship. Therefore, taking an honest inventory of yourself is essential.
In order to have a healthier, happier and more harmonious relationship you must be willing to be the partner that you desire to have.
Are you willing and able to apply these Six Guiding Principles…..
© Understand & respond as best you can, to your mate’s needs.
© Never be disrespectful or dismissive of your mates or your own feelings.
© Initiate attention, affection and apologies.
© Tell the truth! Loving truthfulness builds trust and togetherness.
© Enjoy each other. Do fun things together. Laugh with one another…often.
© Do not hold grudges! Forgiveness is the cornerstone of lasting relationships.
Remember that the best relationships are never stagnant. They are a succession of ever-changing, progressively-developing personal encounters. There will be times of great challenge in every relationship. By responding in an appropriate, constructive way, naturally occurring conflicts will not be an obstacle but an opportunity.
During times of conflict, it is important to focus on the issue(s) at hand. Most importantly, understand that your mate is not your enemy! It is easy to turn on one another especially when both of you are charged with emotion. Anger and hurt are extremely deceptive and distortive. Give yourself a moment to calm down you. When the atmosphere is calm, you will see things from a different, more accurate point of view.
Take the initiative to embrace unity, resist divisiveness and seek points-of-agreement so that you and your partner can enjoy the healthy, gift of love that you have in one another.
Great news everyone!
I just learned that Caron Butler has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks! In the starting shooting guard position, he has his signature #4 again and is ready and well able to contribute to the Mavs success.
In an interview he said of the his new team:
"Let's make something beautiful happen"
"The window of opportunity is NOW!"
"I'm looking forward."
Wow! Don't you just love him!!!
I am a true Miami Heat fan but I will be keeping my eye on what's happening in Big D.
I wrote this article about the phenomenal success story of NBA Forward, Caron Butler, approximately 7 years ago for Teen Vision Magazine, a publication of a South Florida Teen & Family Empowerment Program~ ReCapturing the Vision International under the leadership of Dr. J. Del Rosario.
Sound principles of success are timeless!
Focus on the 11 solid V! ~ Tips - Like Caron, You can achieve the results to which you aspire.
Read and Apply these success strategies, they are proven 'overcoming-all-odds' empowerment principles.
A Winner 4-Life!
It was Wednesday evening, June 16, 2002. The energy at the American Airlines Arena was charged as we watched the 2002 NBA Draft prepare to kickoff. There were lots of conversations, debates and even contests about who the first round picks would be.
I was sitting in Club Chivas with other Miami Heat fans musing over the prospects. I daydreamed about how wonderful it would be for our hometown team, the Miami Heat, to get Caron Butler. This was not likely because Butler was projected to be one of the first to go, and Miami had the 10th spot. Only a miracle or some serious dealing by Coach Riley would bring Caron Butler to Miami.
C. Butler was a top pick for many reasons: his athleticism, his speed, and his courage. And above all, the kid has “real heart”. I wanted Caron to come to Miami for all those reasons, and there was something special about him that caused me to have my fingers and toes crossed with hope. To me, Caron was already a winner, extraordinaire!
Against all odds, he is young man who has completely turned his life around. Caron story was like the classic tragedy of many inner-city youth, who find their place in the streets. Gangs, drugs, guns and jail are often the culprits of destruction that lead to the derailed hopes and dreams of many talented teens. Caron Butler’s life path seemed to be destined for the same road to certain destruction. But, the course of his destiny would take a dramatic turn.
While serving a sentence in a youth offender prison at the age of 14, Caron made a choice. He chose to defy the odds. He was going to become somebody in life, and he purposed in his heart that he would turn his mother’s tears of anguish into tears of joy.
This amazing young man made some tough decisions while in solitary confinement. His decisions and ensuing actions established a real-life example that no matter what your past has been, it may never be too late to turn your life around. It’s all up to you. Like the position he plays, Caron looked FORWARD and took the necessary steps to come into his destiny.
Others can follow his example and realize their own goals and dreams......
Hang in there…4-LIFE!
VMC for Teen Vision Magazine
Caron continues to excel in life. He is presently a starting forward for the Washington Wizards.
In addition to applying these principles yourself, please share and discuss Caron's phenomenal story with teens and young adults who need to believe that NO Matter What ~ they can achieve great things in life!