We Are Spiritual Beings Full of Promise!

The mind in its natural state can be compared to the sky, covered by layers of cloud which hide its true nature Kalu Rinpoche

Finding Your Purpose

Most people struggle with three basic issues in life. The first is identity: “Who am I?” The second is importance: “Do I matter?” And the third is impact: “What is my purpose in life?” Over the years, I’ve noticed that even many couples serving together in ministry often struggle with clarifying these issues. But the answers are found in understanding God’s five reasons for creating you and putting you on earth.

God’s purpose for your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It will last longer than your family, your ministry, or even your dreams and ambitions. To know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.

The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point – ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like: “What do I want to do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, and my dreams for my future?” Focusing on yourself will never reveal your life’s purpose because the Bible says in Job 12:10, “It is God who directs the lives of His creatures; everyone’s life is in His power.”

How then do you discover the purposes that you were created for? You only have two options. Your first option is speculation. This is what most people do. They conjecture, they guess, they theorize.

Dr. Hugh Moorhead, a professor of philosophy at Northeastern Illinois University, once wrote to 250 of the best known writers, philosophers, scientists, and intellectuals in the world, asking them, “What is the meaning of life?” He then published their responses in a book. Some offered their best guesses, some admitted that they just made up a purpose for life, and others were honest enough to say they were clueless. In fact, a number of famous intellectuals asked Professor Moorhead to write back and tell them if he discovered the purpose of life!

Fortunately, there is an alternative to speculation about the meaning and purpose of life. It’s revelation. We can turn to what God has revealed about life in His Word. The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it. The same is true for discovering your life’s purpose: ask God.

God has not left us in the dark to wonder and guess. He has clearly revealed His five purposes for our lives through the Bible. It’s our owner’s manual, explaining why we are alive, how life works, what to avoid, and what to expect in the future. It explains what no self-help or philosophy book could know. The Bible says in 1 Cor. 2:7, “God’s wisdom… goes deep into the interior of His purposes… It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest – what God determined as the way to bring out His best in us….”

God is not just the starting point of your life; He is the source of it. To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths. Ephesians 1:11 says, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.”

This verse gives three insights into your purpose:

  • You discover your identity and purpose through your relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • God was thinking of you long before you ever thought about Him. He planned your life before you existed, without your input! You may choose your career, your spouse, your hobbies, and many other parts of your life, but you don’t get to choose your purpose.
  • The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity.

Because of the brevity of this article, let me suggest five questions that will help you get started in thinking about God’s purposes for your life. I urge you to set aside some time to seriously think about the answers to these questions. They will affect not only the rest of your life, but your eternity.

Life’s Five Greatest Questions

1.  What will be the center of my life?

This is the question of worship. Whom are you going to live for? What are you going to build your life around? You can center your life on your career, your family, a sport or hobby, money, or many other activities. These can all be good things, but they don’t belong at the center of your life. None is strong enough to hold you together when life starts breaking apart. You need an unshakable center.

In 2 Chron. 14:4, King Asa told the people of Judah to “center their lives in God.” Actually, whatever is at the center of your life is your god! If you have committed your life to Christ, He moved into the center, but you must keep Him there on a daily basis. How do you know when God is at the center of your life? When He’s at the center, you worship. When He’s not, you worry. Worry is the warning light that God has been shoved to the sideline of your life. The moment you put Him back at the center, you’ll have peace again. Philippians 4:7 says, “A sense of God’s wholeness… will come and settle you down”. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

2.  What will be the character of my life?

This is the question of discipleship. What kind of person will you be? God is far more interested in what you are than what you do because you are going to take your character into eternity, not your career. Make a list of the character qualities you want to work on and develop in your life. You might begin with the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22-23 or the Beatitudes of Jesus in Matt. 5:3-12.

3.  What will be the contribution of my life? 

This is the question of service. Knowing your combination of spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences (your S.H.A.P.E.), what would be your best role and how can you make a difference? To be balanced, you need both a “ministry” to believers and a “mission” to unbelievers. You serve in both the church and the world. What will be your ministry in the Body of Christ?

While you’re shaped to serve others, even Jesus didn’t meet the needs of everyone while on earth. You must choose whom you can best help, based on your shape. You need to ask “Whom do I have a desire to help most?” Jesus said in John 15:16a, “I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last.” Each of us bears different fruit.

4.  What will be the communication of my life?

This is the question of your mission in the world. God not only has a mission for your life, He has a unique life message that He wants to speak to the world through you. Who needs to hear your unique story of faith? If you’re a parent, part of your mission is to raise your children to know Christ, to help them understand His purposes for their lives, and to send them out on their mission in the world.

Of course, our lives must support the message we communicate. Before most unbelievers accept the Bible as credible, they want to know that we are credible. That’s why the Bible says in Phil. 1:27 “Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ.”

5.  What will be the community of my life?

This is the question of fellowship. How will you demonstrate your commitment to other believers and connection to the family of God? To which church family will you be joined as a functioning member? The more you mature, the more you’ll love Christ’s body and want to sacrifice for it. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.”

 What Will God Say?

I once heard the suggestion that you develop your life purpose statement based on what you’d like other people to say about you at your funeral. Frankly, that’s a bad plan. At the end of your life, it isn’t going to matter what other people say about you. The only thing that will matter is what God says about you. 1 Thessalonians 2:4b says, “Our purpose is to please God, not people.”

One day, God will review your answers to these life questions: Did you really put Jesus Christ (not your ministry) at the center of your life? Did you develop His character? Did you devote your life to serving others? Did you communicate His message and fulfill His mission? Did you really learn to love His family, the Church? These are the only issues that will count. As Paul said in 2 Cor. 10:13, “Our goal is to measure up to God’s plan for us.” This is what purpose-driven living is all about.

Today’s article was written by Rick Warren and is shared from the following website: http://justbetweenus.org/faith/spiritual-growth/finding-your-purpose/

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Every Morning We Are Born to a New Beginning

Each morning we are born again What we do today is what matters most Buddha

To many, especially those advanced in age, starting over is a scary proposition. To some, this forecasted mountain of challenges proves to be too crippling to attempt. And they wither under the weight of change. In this piece, I offer a story of my mom’s tumultuous journey and the many start-overs she endured to show that it’s not too late to begin anew.

My Family’s Story Is Proof: You’re Never Too Old to Start Over Again

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

– John F. Kennedy

I waved goodbye to the sleepy neighborhood. It was 4am and not a soul was stirring except for the five of us and the bus driver. It would be our last day in Vietnam.

I don’t know if I could describe what I was feeling at that point. Fear, excitement, and a slew of other emotions — but mostly, I was numb. As we rounded the corner, I shed a tear watching the house I grew up in fade out of view.

But whatever emotional rollercoaster I was on during those first few transitional days from Vietnam to America could never compare to what my parents must have been experiencing. I was young enough that the effects of this new beginning didn’t debilitate me. I could make new friends quicker, learn the language easier, and assimilate to life in America faster. Starting over wasn’t as significant a barrier to me as it was to them.

My parents were in their late forties; their road to societal integration wasn’t as smooth. They struggled. Yet, somehow they managed to rise above the rubble and became contributing members of society within months. Perhaps, they were forced to do so. Fight or flight, you know? And they fought. But, I think a major factor for this quick turnaround had to do with their positive mindset toward change. “It’s never too late to start over,” they would tell me.

And started over they did, for the umpteenth time.

To fully illustrate this point, I will give a brief summary of my mom’s many start-overs in her life and how she never shied away from them.

From the change you never choose

When she was very young, her family moved from the countryside of North Vietnam to the cosmopolitan South. Back in the sixties, North and South Vietnam were as different as night and day. She quickly assimilated to life in South Vietnam and soon became a top student in school.

Then, just as becoming a judge came within reach, the ravages of the Vietnam War caught up with her. South Vietnam fell. Leaving everything behind, she and her new husband fled the city to go into hiding — my father was a ranking officer for the Southern Army at the time, and his life was in imminent danger.

He was captured soon after and sent to “re-education” camps for six years. And just like that, my mom was reduced from a position of honor to one of a countryside daughter-in-law, farming the fields as a quasi-peasant. Even then, she thrived in that environment. Being one of a few educated people in the area, she became a teacher and a respected member of the community.

Through twists and turns

Some years later, on my second birthday, my grandfather from my mom’s side visited us, and appalled by what he saw, plucked us from the farms and brought us back to the city. By then my mom had fully embraced the rural life.

She started over again.

The former Soviet Union and Vietnam were relatively close allies back then. There were a lot of Russian military personnel in the South — and their wives. My mother soon became a somewhat famous seamstress for these Russian women. But just as soon as life stabilized, we got the call from the U.S. embassy: “You’re going to America.”

To a(nother) new beginning in America

In the US, she went back to school at the ripe young age of fifty, received an associate’s degree and soon became an admired team member for a Fortune 500 company. Yet just as soon as life stabilized and the joy of homeownership was upon her, the housing bubble popped. She lost the house she so proudly and deservedly earned.

She was shipped off to Oregon to start over with a different division in the company. By then I, the youngest of three kids, had graduated college and started to earn a good living. To her, her “job” was done, and she retired. And I suppose retirement could be considered “starting over” as well.

Triumphing through change

All said and done, my mom’s life is comprised of many abrupt changes, but through them all, she triumphed. She triumphed because she didn’t let the emotional weight and strain of starting over erect an impenetrable wall before her. She embraced each change, and in doing so, found ways to overcome these hurdles.

Now, when faced with the possibility of starting over, I channel my mom’s fighting spirit to move steadfast toward the future.

So what I’m trying to say is… it’s not too late. You’re not too old to embark on a new journey. The obstacles you see are indeed tangible, but they’re not insurmountable. You might not have that pep in your step anymore, but as long as one foot can go in front of the other, strive forward! My mom’s journey is a testament of that.

Today’s inspiring story was written by Hung Thai and was shared from the following website: https://www.goalcast.com/2017/08/07/my-familys-story-is-proof-youre-never-too-old-to-start-over-again/

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You Have the Power to Change Your Life in Positive Ways!

A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying Mother Teresa

I am proof that anyone can turn their life around: How to battle your demons

AFTER battles with anxiety, alcoholism and homelessness BETH BURGESS, 32, explains how she won the fight with her demons.

I have a vivid memory of myself at 20 years of age sitting in a stranger’s bath. I don’t know how I got to that house but could vaguely remember getting into a car with three men the night before.They’d promised me money and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in return for a “party”.

I felt so down the next morning that I looked at a razor blade and seriously considered ending it all.

Instead I just lay there while the men I’d come home with were in the next room drinking and smoking drugs.

As a young girl growing up in the suburbs I could never have imagined sinking so low.

Even though my parents divorced when I was 10 we were a normal, loving family. After the split my dad went to live in Wales and I stayed with my mum and older sister in the south of England.

When I was about 14 I started smoking and drinking with friends. Sometimes I took amphetamines and LSD. It was stupid to get into drugs but I just saw it as normal teenage rebellion.

 NEW START: Beth at the peak of her addiction

I was seriously addicted to alcohol

However, at 16 I started to develop deep feelings of anxiety. Now I know they were part of a condition known as social phobia but I couldn’t cope as a teenager and I started self–harming.The pain helped distract me from my emotions. I couldn’t turn to my parents because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I just felt ashamed and embarrassed.

By the time I got to sixth–form college at 17 I was smoking 20 cannabis joints a day. It helped to ease the anxiety, as did alcohol.

I can’t pinpoint the cause of my problems though the family break–up probably didn’t help as I always felt different from everyone else as a child.

I left home to go to University College London to study English literature and German when I was 18 and I dreamed of being a teacher or a writer.

By this time though I was seriously addicted to alcohol and would carry a bottle with me everywhere I went.

During the first year of university I got glandular fever and was too ill to carry on so I had to go back home and live with my mum.

I’d hide booze under the bed and got away with appearing sober.

In my second year I had to apply for house shares but kept turning up to interviews drunk.

After one disastrous meeting I picked up a man in a bar and he offered me a place to stay. With a fair amount of alcohol inside me, it fair amount of alcohol inside me, it seemed a reasonable thing to do and I lived with him for five months.

Over the next few years this became a habit. Men would give me money for the night or take me in.

I’d more or less given up with university as I was too ill. They eventually awarded me a degree on the basis that if I’d been well enough I would have passed.

I was desperate to find out why I was so unhappy and needed to drink. I tried everything from cognitive behavioural therapy to antidepressants but nothing worked. NHS alcohol services couldn’t see me because I always came in drunk.

Things eventually got too much and at 21 I attempted suicide by overdosing on paracetamol.

When I woke up in hospital the next day mum and dad were standing by the bed.

They had no idea how I’d been living. They told me that if I didn’t admit myself to a mental hospital they would have me sectioned.

they would have me sectioned. I had no choice and went to a place in London. I was put on an addiction programme but they threw me out after a month for smuggling in alcohol.

AT 23 I was drinking a litre–and–a–half of gin every day and my GP told me I had a year to live. At the time I didn’t care and would have been happy for my life to end.

Eventually mum told me about NLP, or neuro linguistic programming, which she had read could be good for treating anxiety and phobias.

I had no idea what it involved but was willing to try anything.

The 90–minute session consisted of visualisation techniques and tapping areas of the body to break the pattern of thoughts.

I learned that phobic responses are triggered by memories (usually stored as pictures, mental “movies'” and sensations). For me, if I thought about going outside I immediately saw a “movie” of the last time I did. I would feel the same terror it had caused, accompanied by a tight feeling in my chest and then panicky thoughts about going out again.

NLP interrupts that process by breaking the association between the memory and the phobic response. Practitioners calm the memory’s effects by changing it, such as interrupting the movie with tapping, or by changing the colours or sounds. This causes the body to respond more calmly.

I walked out of the practitioner’s feeling so much better. For some, NLP can take away anxiety instantly and for the first time in my life I wasn’t scared and felt hopeful. I almost skipped home.

However, although it can help elements of addiction (reducing cravings, for example) it can’t cure it and I was still drinking heavily.

Then my dad told me about another form of therapy, DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy). It teaches you to change negative into positive thinking.

Despite earlier relapses it was a combination of DBT and the support of Alcoholics Anonymous that enabled me to stop drinking for good in 2010.

Being sober has completely changed my life. I’m so much happier and healthier and it’s amazing to be able to think clearly and make commitments.

The best thing about the new me is that in 2010 I qualified as an NLP practitioner.

Since 2011 I’ve also qualified in life coaching, EFT (emotional freedom technique), hypnotherapy and mentoring.

I’m very lucky and things could have turned out so differently but I’ve written a book about my experiences and I am determined to give others hope.

The Happy Addict: How To Be Happy In Recovery From Alcoholism Or Drug Addiction, by Beth Burgess (Eightball Publishing, £9.99) is available on amazon.co.uk

Today’s story is shared from the following website: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/417321/I-am-proof-that-anyone-can-turn-their-life-around-How-to-battle-your-demons

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Every Day is a New Beginning!

The beginning is the most important part of the work Plato

A Very Special Bank Account

Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day!

We all have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back.

There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.

Today’s inspiring article is shared from the following website: https://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories

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Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year 2018 Every moment is a fresh beginning T.S. Eliot

Happy New Year Everyone! May this new year be filled with the changes you want and the blessings the Lord desires for you!

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