When My Focus Is On You

IMG_4332Heavenly Father, every day brings its share of challenges and joys, uncertainties and blessings. When my focus is on the You, the One who controls the heavens and the earth, it is then that I realize how blessed I am, and I know that when I keep my eyes on You I will never be alone. 

40 great tips for a great life!


Life is made up of good and bad lessons we accumulate along the way. In order to understand it, we must separate it into a few domains, each with its own lessons to teach us. This list of good advice was given by a group of people from all ages. So here are 40 great tips for a great life!

1. Drink a lot of water
2. Eat your breakfast like kings, lunch like princes, and dinner like beggars
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods made in factories
4. Live your life according to the TEE principle: Truth, Empathy and Energy.
5. Make time for contemplation and/or prayer
6. Involve more game playing in your life
7. Read more books than you read last year
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes a day
9. Invest at least 7 hours of sleep every sleep
10. Take 10-30 minutes to walk somewhere each day. Smile while you walk.

11. Don’t compare your lives to those of others. You have no idea what their journey really looks like.
12. Don’t waste time on negative thoughts or things you cannot change. Instead divert your energy to a positive moment in the present.
13. Don’t exaggerate in your actions, keep yourself in check.
14. You don’t have to win EVERY argument. Agree to disagree.
15. Don’t waste your energy gossiping.
16. Dream more while you’re awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You may already have all you need, but if not, envy won’t get it for you.
18. Forget past events and don’t remind your partners of their past mistakes. It will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life’s too short to hate people. Don’t hate in vain.
20. Make peace with your past, or it will destroy you at present.
21. No one is responsible for your happiness but you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you’re here to learn. Problems are just a part of learning, but the lesson they teach will be with you for life.
23. Smile more. Laugh more.
24. Don’t take yourselves so seriously, no one else will! Community
25. Call your family often.
26. Every day give something good to another.
27. Forgive everyone, for everything.
28. Spend time with people over 80 and under 6 – it will teach you a lot.
29. Try to make at least 3 people smile, every day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your concern.
31. Your work won’t take care of you when you’re sick. Your family and friends will. Don’t cut ties.

32. Do the right thing. It pays in the long term
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or brings you enjoyment.
34. Pray, pray for everything.
35. Forgiveness heals all wounds.
36. No matter how good or bad the current situation is, it’ll change.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you wake up alive in the morning, don’t take it for granted – embrace it.
39. The secret of secrets in your heart is that you CAN be happy – so be happy.
40. Never forget to enjoy the time you have, the moment you are in, and the people that share these things with you!

be a blessing

Make The World More Beautiful


Everyday the onlookers shake their head, laugh, and wonder why the young man feeds a stray dog, helps the elderly lady, gives what he can not afford to the homeless little girl, smiles to the sadden faces, tends the garden of the hopeless and forgotten. Everyday

What does he get in return for doing this every day?

He gets nothing.

He won’t be richer. Won’t appear on TV, still anonymous and not a bit more famous.

What he does receive is emotions.

He witnesses happiness.

Reaches a deeper understanding.

Feels the love.

Receives what money can not buy…

a world made more beautiful.

And in your life?  What is it that you desire most?

Better yet, “What does God desire most in your life?”

Father, let me be your feet today.  Wherever you chose to send me I will go.  In my actions and in my words let them see You! Today, through you, I will live my life for a more beautiful world.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

be a blessing

5 Valuable Things You Can Give that Do Not Cost a Thing

While money supposedly makes the world go ‘round, individuals and groups can make an impact without using any form of currency. Learn about five cost-free ways to contribute to yourself, others and the planet. This list comes to us from goodnet.org
Social media is a great outlet to make a difference, by making your opinion heard and gathering attention around a certain issue.
To amplify your voice, check out Thunderclap which allows a singular cause or message to be shared in mass, flash mob-style via Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

THE BASICS: Time is one of the most valuable commodities out there and giving it to others can be a priceless gift.
WHERE TO TURN: Get your volunteering on with VolunteerMatch, a top notch search engine which finds volunteer opportunities in your area according to your interests.

THE BASICS: Acting in a kind manner does not cost a thing, with studies revealing that good deeds and kind acts have a ripple effect that increase the amount of positivity surrounding us.
WHERE TO TURN: For a bit of inspiration, watch this video by the nonprofit Life Vest Inside which demonstrates the way kindness spreads. On an everyday basis, simple acts like smiling at a stranger or holding the door open for the next person are don’t require much effort and can make all the difference to someone else.

THE BASICS: Living in a cleaner and greener world is something that you can bestow upon future generations.
WHERE TO TURN: Picking up stray pieces of litter that you come across is an important contribution that can be made into a daily routine. Take it a step further by posting your trash on Instagram’s Litterati which serves as a useful tool to identify what type of garbage is accumulating and where.

THE BASICS: Being in good health means that you can be around to enjoy life and spend time with those who are most important.
WHERE TO TURN: Here is a list of five apps to get you started paying attention to your nutrition by helping you choose healthy foods. For those looking to improve their physical activity, enjoy these five fun games you used to play as a kid to get your heart pumping, and monitor your fitness progress with the free app RunKeeper.

photos via morguefile.com

“But YOU Promised!”


photo via Lydia Nichols, art.amplifiedversion.com

It had been many years since his people had been released by the great Persian King Cyrus to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem and nearly a decade since his successor Artaxerxes empowered the priest Ezra to lead these people in worship and society.

But Nehemiah had remained.

He had what might have seemed to onlookers as a swank palace job, but he brought to it his blue-collar ethic and intuitive sense that work is essentially a spiritual discipline. So day in-and-out he literally risked his life for the sake of the king who had done so much for Nehemiah’s countrymen.

But when his brother returned from the homeland after all those years of new found hopefulness he reported that their beloved city—the Jerusalem they’d heard such fantastic tales about from their grandfather—lay in ruins.

Nehemiah collapsed weeping.

He mourned for days.

Because Nehemiah knew the promises of God. He knew that God had promised to deliver the people from this captivity, and he had only assumed that this most recent return to the promised land must have been the fulfillment of that promise.

But now he didn’t know what to believe.

For decades he’d continued in absolute service of this foreign king, honoring him as an essential piece in the fulfillment of God’s covenant.

But now the covenant, the promises seemed to mean nothing at all.

In the midst of the mourning he let God have it.

Sure, he knew they had sinned. He admitted that. His ancestors had disregarded the Law and followed other gods. They’d even worshiped with child sacrifices and temple prostitutes.

He knew that’s why they ended up in exile.

“But YOU promised!” he cried, ”even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon you’d return them to their promised land!”

So now what?

And even as Nehemiah approached the king for help—this time risking his life from his monarch rather than for him—he exhaled one last prayer to this God that now seemed so distant, who had left him feeling so forsaken, with the hope that maybe, just maybe this God was still real.