Adversity – It Is Not What Happens to You…

It is not what happens to you but What happens Within you that counts

We all have adversity in our lives. Admittedly, some have greater loads of adversity to carry and to deal with in their lives but no one escapes the grasp of adversity.

Yet, it is adversity that makes us strong, that teach us lessons, and that can reveal the masterpiece that lies within each of us.

As you read today’s story, I hope you will remember the amazing potential that lies within you!:

The artist Michelangelo often stirred up the opposition of the contemporary artists of his day. Many of them envied his magnificent abilities. One example was the architect Bramante.

Pope Julius retained Michelangelo to build him a splendid tomb. Michelangelo gladly accepted the project and spent eight months in a marble pit personally cutting and selecting the most perfect stones. When he returned, he found the pope had second thoughts. Bramante had turned Pope Julius against the project. The Pope cancelled it.

Later the idea for another special project entered the Pope’s mind. Bramante saw the project as a time consuming trap for which there would be little public recognition. Bramante recommended Michelangelo for the job.

The great artist saw the trap. He knew what Bramante was up to. He wished to turn the project down but did not want to refuse the Pope’s request. So Michelangelo went to work. He spent many years doing the slow and tedious labor the project required. It was the Sistine Chapel.

The inspiration that flowed through Michelangelo can likewise flow through any human being. That is what the inspiration wants to do. It cannot be stopped. It is a living, powerful river that easily circumvents all obstacles.

Michelangelo collected his inner forces for a complete victory. Likewise, we must not fear to face the trickery of some people and expose it for what it is. This is not negative, but intelligent protection and spiritual perception.

In his many books on inner development author Vernon Howard refers to Michelangelo several times. He quotes him as saying, “The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows.” And, “I released the statue from the stone.” He chiseled away all that was unnecessary, and David emerged.

By: Tom Russell

Story shared from the following website: http://www.inspirationalstories.com/7/715.html

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The World Has Enough Beautiful Mountains…Be Grateful!

the-world-has-enough-beautiful-mountains-beautiful-1694880Does your world have enough beautiful mountains? Does it have enough to make your happy? Are you grateful for what you have?

Do you look for your blessings? As you look at today’s meme, can you see the beautiful mountains that are depicted on the woman’s face? Or, without looking closely, did you assume you were seeing a five o’clock shadow?

As we enter the holiday season – I like to think that Thanksgiving is a fitting beginning of our celebration because it starts the festivities with being Thankful and having Gratitude. Recognizing our blessings is a huge component of finding happiness in life.

If your wealth was determined by the amount of time, love and energy you shared with others, how wealthy would you be? If your happiness was dependent on your ability to recognize your blessings – would you be happy?

In reality, our eternal wealth is dependent on the amount of time, love and energy we share with others and our happiness is directly connected to our ability to recognize our blessings and be grateful.

Today, I want to share a portion of a post from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. I think it provides some good food for thought 🙂 !

Are you thankful no matter what? Perhaps you have lost your job recently, as the economy has continued to struggle. Or you may have lost your health, or a loved one. Such circumstances can be tremendously difficult. But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at the story of a man who had every right to be bitter—but wasn’t.

The next footsteps in the corridor, he knew, might be those of the guards taking him away to his execution. His only bed was the hard, cold stone floor of the dank, cramped prison cell. Not an hour passed when he was free from the constant irritation of the chains and the pain of the iron manacles cutting into his wrists and legs.

Separated from friends, unjustly accused, brutally treated—if ever a person had a right to complain, it was this man, languishing almost forgotten in a harsh Roman prison. But instead of complaints, his lips rang with words of praise and thanksgiving!

The man was the Apostle Paul—a man who had learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. Earlier, when he had been imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).

Think of it: Always giving thanks for everything—no matter the circumstances! Thanksgiving for the Apostle Paul was not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily reality that changed his life and made him a joyful person in every situation.

Thanksgiving—the giving of thanks—to God for all His blessings should be one of the most distinctive marks of the believer in Jesus Christ. We must not allow a spirit of ingratitude to harden our heart and chill our relationship with God and with others.

Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.

In the ancient world, leprosy was a terrible disease. It hopelessly disfigured those who had it, and it permanently cut them off from normal society. Without exception, every leper yearned for one thing: To be healed.

One day 10 lepers approached Jesus outside a village, loudly pleading with Him to heal them. In an instant He restored them all to perfect health—but only one came back and thanked Him. All the rest left without a word of thanks, their minds preoccupied only with themselves, gripped with a spirit of ingratitude.

Today, too, ingratitude and thanklessness are far too common. Children forget to thank their parents for all that they do. Common courtesy is scorned. We take for granted the ways that others help us. Above all, we fail to thank God for His blessings.

Ingratitude is a sin, just as surely as is lying or stealing or immorality or any other sin condemned by the Bible. One of the Bible’s indictments against rebellious humanity is that “although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him” (Romans 1:21, NIV). An ungrateful heart is a heart that is cold toward God and indifferent to His mercy and love. It is a heart that has forgotten how dependent we are on God for everything.

From one end of the Bible to the other, we are commanded to be thankful. In fact, thankfulness is the natural out-flowing of a heart that is attuned to God. The psalmist declared, “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving” (Psalm 147:7, NIV). Paul wrote, “Be thankful” (Colossians 3:15, NIV). A spirit of thanksgiving is always the mark of a joyous Christian.

Why should we be thankful? Because God has blessed us, and we should be thankful for each blessing.

Post is shared from: https://billygraham.org/story/how-to-be-thankful-in-all-things/.

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Stand up for America…. My spirit

Blue American Background Illustration. Statue of Liberty, Flag and City Skyline Illustration with Copy Space. American Events and Celebration Backdrop.

When I grow up, I wanna be just like my father. I wanna be just like the Father who is the creator of my soul. My mortal body has finished growing – it may get a little heavier but it has hit its maximum height. However, my spirit is another matter. My spirit has lots of “growing up” to do. It has lots of way in which it needs to grow and lots of ways that I need to “become”. One of them is how I represent my country – my sense of patriotism. Because I am a citizen of the United States, I need to stand up for America.

I have had a few life experiences which have taught me about the blessing of being an American. The first was my trip to Russia during the Kosovo conflict with my husband to adopt our two youngest children, Armed guards waiting as our airplane landed in two of the three airports we landed in and being locked in a room at one of the airports taught me a healthy respect for personal freedom. It only took those few times of having my freedom removed to instill a very strong desire to return to the soil and freedom of my native soil. The second was my near death experience.

That experience is a little more difficult to describe because I have not been allowed by God to remember all that I was shown. However, the feelings of that experience have very much remained and though I cannot tell you why, I returned to my body a new being with patriotism seared into my heart.

I have always believed that I was blessed as a result of living in the United States of America. However, since my near death experience, that belief has grown exponentially. I believe that very few Americans fully realize God’s impact in our lives and in the freedoms that we as a country enjoy. It may seem strange that a near death experience would engender patriotism but, having had that experience, I can tell you that God’s influence was seen by our Founding Fathers and that the desire to be free is a natural component within our hearts that is a God given gift.

When God’s influence is allowed, a people will be free and they will be a self-governing people.

It is my prayer and I hope that you will pray with me that this country would be blessed to continue to be a free nation and that, as a people, we would ever be both self-governing and aware of our many blessings!

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Let Your Vote be Heard this Coming Election!

US_Flag_HangingBanner3a_outlineThere is a lot of coverage being given now to the U.S. presidential election. Rightfully so! I think that I may have a perspective about that campaign that is held by few others You may wonder what a near death experience has to do with politics? It has everything to do with politics and with life!

I know that the United States of America was founded under the influence, guidance, and protection of God – the Creator of us all. I also know that God will continue to protect us and our freedoms if we continue to serve and obey Him.

Some seem to be of the opinion that God blesses His children the same regardless of their behavior and choices. That is not true. God loves His children regardless of their choices and behavior but He does not bless them the same irregardless. What kind of parent would reward their naughty child the same as the obedient child?

I saw in heaven the evil that is a part of Satan’s work. His work carries on in this world to the extent that we choose to serve him and not God and/or ignore that Satan exists altogether. We each count and we each have important tasks to accomplish with our lives. Who we elect matters. The lives of unborn children matter, families matter, freedom as defined in our constitution matters, receiving blessings from God matters, and most of all – God matters. There is not such thing as a perfect candidate. For too long, our country has voted for individuals who “look good or are popular” according to standards that are light years away from God. Please join with me and let your voice be heard with those that follow God this coming election day!

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The World is a Dangerous Place….

the-world-is-a-dangerous-place-banner-1158838As election day draws near, please make your voice is heard! Do not be apathetic! There are no perfect candidates – please join your voice with mine and vote for those candidates who will protect our constitution, the rights contained thereon and the unborn children who are not given a voice. If we want to make the world less dangerous, we must vote for those who look to God for their answers.

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