Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Focus for the New Year - Stop the Negative Talk!

Although I think that goal-setting is important, and that we should all know how to determine, develop a plan, and work to attain our goals, I must admit that I gave up setting New Year’s Resolutions year ago.  Too many times our resolutions end up falling by the wayside for whatever reason, and I certainly don’t believe that does a lot for our self-esteem.  But this is the time of year when our minds begin to think about bettering ourselves in some way, having a clean slate, incorporating some kind of change, starting over, or beginning something new.

I heard someone talk this week about a New Year’s “Focus”, and I like that idea so much better.  The devil tries to keep us focused on how much we have failed, or how miserable we are – but we need to take a good look BACK and see just how far we have come and how much we have changed.  As Christians, we will never be completely transformed until Christ’s return, but we do need to learn how to shift our focus.

Just like any other bad habit, the habit of negative thoughts and words is a very hard one to break.  I challenge you this new year to begin with baby steps.  I challenge you to stop gossiping and stop your negative self-talk.  In fact, don’t even dwell on the negative thoughts when they come into your head.  Begin to learn how to “counter” those negative thoughts with positive ones.  Remind yourself how special you are and how much Jesus loves YOU.  Get up and (physically) do something in order to get your mind off of those thoughts and on something else. 
Ask the Lord to help you and to convict your heart when you speak words that are not pleasing to Him.  He will do it!  And when He does bring that conviction to you – in mid-sentence make yourself stop and change the subject.  Ask God to forgive you.  As you continue to do this, you will eventually find that He will begin to convict you even before you start to talk negative or gossip about someone else.  When I was trying to break myself from gossip and always being so negative, I would stop mid-sentence and say out loud “Father, please forgive me for gossiping (or speaking negatively) about so-and-so.”  That way the other person that I was talking to knew that I was convicted of it and then I could usually successfully change the subject. 

If you are in a group of people who are being very negative or are talking about someone else and you speak up but it doesn’t seem to help – walk away!  You do not have to stay and participate in that conversation.  If you have a friend that is ALWAYS in a negative frame of mind – you may have to have a talk with him/her to let them know that you are trying to break this bad habit and need their help.  I have actually chosen to end friendships with people because it seemed that they did not want to be anything other than negative all the time!  I found that I needed to surround myself with people that encouraged me to grow and strive to become a better person – not people that were constantly bringing me down or causing me to think and speak negatively. 

In closing, I would like to leave you with two wise old sayings.  One you’ve probably heard from your mother, and the other is from the Bible:

If you don’t have anything nice to say – say nothing at all!

...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family!

May God richly bless all of you in 2011 and may He give you the desires of your heart as you seek, follow and serve Him....


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What an exhausting week!

Wow!  What an exhausting week!  The week-end before my State Board Medical Exam for my massage license, I moved!  Now, the move was only from the Gahanna area to the Westerville area, but whew - I'm glad that it's over!  Thanks to some GREAT FRIENDS and members from my small group at church - I was able to get it all moved between Friday evening and Saturday!  And the best part is that after 2 weeks of bitter cold weather, GOD made sure that the temps on Friday and Saturday got up to almost 45 degrees!  I was able to move houseplants and all. 
I was then able to spend Sunday and Monday studying for my test which was on Tuesday at the Fairgrounds.  It was bitter cold in the Celeste Center which had a concrete floor and very poorly heated!  But I feel good about the tests and think that I passed both of them.  I'll know in about 4-6 weeks because it takes that long for the State Medical Board to get the exam results back to us. 

Now I can relax and begin to get my apartment in order.  It's small, but cozy.  I can't wait until I can get it together and have company over!!  

Friday, December 3, 2010

What gift are you going to give Jesus for Christmas this year?

Several years ago I read about a woman that “gives” a gift to Jesus every year.  She prays about it, and asks Jesus what He would like for Christmas.  And He tells her!  In the article, she was sharing her testimony of the different things that He has told her over the years.   That just blows my mind!  Not so much the idea that I could ASK Jesus what He wants, but that He would tell me AND THEN I COULD GIVE HIM THAT GIFT!  We often ask our family and friends “what do you want for Christmas?” and I’m challenging you to pray and ask that question of Jesus this Christmas Season.  

 So I ask you Jesus, what would YOU like for Christmas this year from me?  I love you with all of my heart and want to give you a very special gift of self this year.  Please speak to me and tell me what You want this year for Christmas.  And help me to hear and understand what You are telling me.  Amen.”

Please leave a COMMENT and let me know what YOU are going to give to Jesus this year! 

And, like the cute little song says, "Happy Birthday Jesus". 

My Christmas Prayer:  “Jesus, lover of my soul, You are the real reason for this season.  Help me this Christmas to really LIVE a life that shows others the peace and joy and love that I have because of You.  I pray that Christmas this year is about more than just decorations, more presents, hectic schedules, family drama, and more credit card debt.   Help me to have more patience and to show more of YOUR love – not only with my family, but with every stranger that I meet in the mall or at the Customer Service desk, or driving on the road.