Every Life Matters…Everyone has a Mission!

Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission Zig Ziglar

Why You Need to Tell Your Story to the World

Who are you? I bet you have a story to tell. Will you tell it? What would be the cost to you in your life if you choose not to tell your story? What would you like to share with the people who know you- and those who don’t?

Of all the things that you can do to make the world a better place, few things are more valuable and beneficial than telling your story. Great platforms such as this one, right here on Medium, blast the doors wide open to affording people, like you and me, this privilege. No one can tell your story better than you can. Chances are, you will help others and yourself in the process.

Where have you been and what have you learned? What do you hold dear? What have you endured and what has made you tougher? How have your experiences enlightened you and in turn, inspired and informed you to produce positive change for others?

Is your story a sad one, a trial of difficulties and hurtful experiences? If so, plenty of people will want to empathize and learn from the battles you’ve fought. And when you’re ready to tell that story, you’ll find that opening up to a person or community that you can trust, will allow a big weight to plummet from off of your shoulders.

The World Has Much To Gain From Your Story

I, for one, would love to know the values that you cling to; what matters in your life. Why and where you’re going to the places you are, and how you plan to get there. Do you realize the power that your words and actions have and how you can impact others, whatever your chosen path is in life?

Past, present and future, we have adventures, trials, failures, journeys and epic wins to share with people. There isn’t an excuse, really, if you don’t let others know your story. There’s so much to gain from the knowledge you possess. You will know your story- and the lessons that accompany it- better than anything else you’ll ever know in this world.

We waste time on websites like Twitter becoming followers, on Facebook being fans, all while we could be leaders today. The worst mistake we can make in life is thinking that other people don’t care what we have to say.

As I’ve consulted with business leaders, coached professionals and students, and learned from others, I’ve realized that each individual has a tremendous amount to contribute to humanity. Everyone can make a positive difference in the world through storytelling.

Stories of interest, humor, intellect, science, art, sport, love and more.

Our stories are unique, genuine and real. They are better told when we have the stage alone to ourselves. It certainly takes courage to tell your story- or any great story for that matter. There’s so much to lose by living in fear and passing on the opportunity to impact the lives of others. When we tell stories we’re excited about, we get excited and animated. We deliver them like they’re impassioned pleas to rejoice in the experience!

If you’ve never tried, I hope you’re willing to take the first step.

Find The Courage

Five years ago, a very good friend of mine invited me to join the young adult community at his church. Not long after, there I was, nervous as can be, sharing my personal story with a room of 40 strangers. I went into detail about my upbringing, my values, my family and my “why” for living. I shared the story of my life, how important faith is to me and the aspirations that drive me to be the man I am.

It was positively liberating!

I certainly didn’t deliver a Steve Jobs-like effort and believe me, it was no, “I Have a Dream speech.” But I got my message across in a manner that was sincere, honest, authentic and open. I may have influenced the lives of people in that room and maybe I inspired others to pursue their dreams more fervently. I don’t know that for certain. But it certainly made me feel better and I received very genuine, heartfelt praise afterwards.

That moment served as a springboard for me to want to share more of story and my journey with others.

The important thing is that I took the first step: I told my story- I gave it a shot. I encourage you to tell your story, when you feel the time is right. Trust me when I say, people want to hear it. As I have learned, the world is demanding it! The world needs you to tell your story.

Go forth in confidence and watch as the wave of positive emotions wash over your life and the lives of others.

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God’s Not Finished with You Yet!…

Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes in life, we experience brokenness that impacts us so greatly, we feel as if we are finished. The life we once dreamed about is gone, and now our life is never going to come close to all we desired. It may be a result of a physical struggle, an emotional battle or a change in your life that you never saw coming, and now you find yourself discouraged and struggling to make sense of where you are right now.

I experienced a life-changing brokenness when I least expected it. I was happily married to a handsome man who was my first love, first hand hold and my beloved husband. We had three little baby boys together, and I felt like I was living out my dream of being a wife and a mother. Then one day, I kissed my husband goodbye and told him I loved him as he was leaving for work, only to receive a phone call several hours later that my healthy, 30-year-old husband suddenly died as his heart went out of rhythm. I remember so clearly sitting there in that hospital hallway, trying my best to grasp the magnitude of the devastating news that had been given to me. But in a way that was beyond my own strength, I found myself saying, “The Lord gives and takes away, He is so good.” I instantly became a widow at the age of 25, with three precious boys under the age of three, walking a road I could have never imagined. My dreams and my reality shifted in a moment, taking the breath out of me. I found myself asking God to give me the strength to make it minute by minute, even when I couldn’t see the road He had in front of me. As I waited, I held on with everything I had to the hope that God was greater than my grief.

In the months following my husband’s death, I often found myself in the middle of night trying to soothe my newborn baby, as I claimed the hope from God’s word over my family – but it wasn’t easy by any means. I still remember the way my tears of brokenness and grief would fall on his sweet little cheeks. Honestly, there were moments when I felt finished, that life as the happy full of life woman I used to be was gone forever. How could I dream again, when the person who was in those dreams was gone? I remember crying out to God one night saying, God what do you have for me? How can I still have life ahead of me after this? Jesus whispered in my heart, “Hold on, there is joy ahead. I am not finished with you yet.” As I began to press into the truth of God’s word and His mighty promises of Hope, He began to heal my broken heart through His precious presence, and showed me even though I didn’t understand it, He was using this pain for His purpose, if I would just hold on.

I watched as God started to do what He promised. He kept writing my story – not putting me to the side saying you are finished, but saying “You are part of a story that is bigger than yourself and I will bring it to pass, just keep obeying me.” He cared so much for me and precious little fatherless boys, and He kept writing our story with an overwhelming amount of grace. He heard our cries for Him and He truly became enough for us. It was not Jesus plus something, but just Jesus. He brought us through the places of being so worn out from grief to a place of life and hope. He began to do a good work in me.

I started a new chapter in my life, one filled with healing. I began to see in very real ways that God was not done with my family yet, and I continued to hold on to that truth. I decided that I could either stay treading in the waters of tragedy, or I could start swimming for the shore of triumph. And it was in that time that I stopped searching for the WHY and started looking for the WHAT that God had for me here. The “WHAT do you want me to do with this?” question became me plea to God to use this story that I never asked for to bring Him glory, because it was too painful to be wasted. It was during that shift in perspective that God began opening doors to encourage others who felt like God was done with them, and that their stories were over because of the pain they were drowning in.

As I was reaching out to one family in particular, another widower with two small children was encouraging the same family with the truth of God’s word. God started to show me His plan, and He began writing a new chapter in my life. Here was another person who could have been consumed by their circumstances, but was choosing life even when faced with the tragedy of death. God began to write a love story that was precious and filled with much joy – an answer to prayers I hadn’t even prayed, but a physical example of God being a great Author, and one who writes the best stories if only we surrender to Him. It may not be a story we imagined, but it will be one that shows He is always at work, even when we don’t see or feel it.

Two families marked by pain, 5 children, all with one parent in heaven and one on earth. Their stories didn’t stop at pain, but instead were joined together when sorrow and joy collided. As a result, the Brooker Bunch was formed. We still have chapters in our lives marked with sorrow and hardship, but we also have them penned in grace and mercy. God didn’t give up on us when we’re at our lowest. He had a purpose for our lives and we had to trust when we couldn’t see.

If you are reading this right now, you are living and breathing. That means that God has a purpose for YOU, and your story is still being written. God is not done with you. Your life is not over, and God sees and cares about all you are facing – even the hidden things. Your story is not complete, so don’t give up when it’s only half written. I remember so many times, my boys would ask me why they couldn’t go to heaven right then. I would look them in their bright blue eyes and tell them, “Jesus isn’t finished with you yet.” God’s word tells us to run this race with endurance and to keep our eyes and hope fixed on Jesus the whole way. The same is true of you and me. God is not through with YOU. He has a plan and it is good. Keep taking the next breath and believing in His truth that gives life to your weary heart. Keep holding onto hope even when it hurts. Keep trusting that He is at work behind the scenes in your life, even when you can’t see or feel it. His stories are always good – even when they are not always easy or comfortable. He is the good God, and the best story writer. You will see His goodness in the land of the living, because He is the life-giver. God’s not done with you yet.

Today’s inspiring story was written by Brittany Price Brooker and is shared from the following website: https://www.liveoriginal.com/blog/2017/gods-not-done-with-you-yet

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And There Were in the Same Country…

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night Luke 2:8

A Christmas Reunion – True Story

By Pastor Rob Reid

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18th they were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19th a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm – hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?”

The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, which was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

Today’s inspiring Christmas story was shared from the following website: http://www.inspire21.com/stories/holidaystories/christmasreunion

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Let Gratitude Enable Your Ability to Soar!

TriumphI am always saddened by others who habitually feel sorry for themselves…not because they usually don’t have good reasons for their “blues” but because my experience has taught me that their lives would significantly improve just by taking the time to recognize their blessings. No matter how difficult our lives are, I know that we each are blessed! I believe that searching for and recognizing our blessings enables us to feel the strength of God with us more abundantly… that in itself is a wonderful blessing!

I hope you will enjoy today’s inspiring story!:

The Peace of ‘Enough’ During the Holidays

During this season of bounty, how should we define “enough?” Is there such a thing as enough love? Enough laughter? Enough money? Enough calm?

At first glance, we might be tempted to say, no—those positive things can never be truly fulfilled or completed to the point where we would say, “enough.” But if we reflect more deeply, we can imagine important boundaries that each one of those calls for in a positive, meaningful life.

Believing we can be loved “enough” means trusting the love in our lives rather than always feeling the need to chase or question it.

Laughing with deep, authentic joy is neither possible nor helpful to attempt all the time. Without “enough” laughter, we’d crowd out our other emotions, including the smiles that come from quiet joy more than giggles or guffaws.

While we all strive to better ourselves financially, finding contentment in the resources we have is an important part of living positively. If you still question the idea of “enough” money, just ask lottery winners, whose windfalls are found in multiple scientific studies not to affect overall senses of wellbeing.

Cultivating calm is a lifelong pursuit, but if we never feel calm “enough,” we will never find the motivation to act, to move or to assert ourselves in ways that free us to explore new possibilities for our lives.

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, strikes me as the perfect opportunity to reflect on the balance between “bounty” and “enough,” both in the contexts of the delicious Thanksgiving foods that we look forward to all year long and the emotional surge many of us experience during the holiday season.

As we tuck into our leftovers today, let’s remember to be grateful for their delicious gifts, but also for the deep peace that comes from knowing how to experience the feeling of being satisfied—knowing how and when to say “enough.”

Today’s story was written by Holly Lebowitz Ross and is shared from the following website: https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/life-advice/the-peace-of-enough-during-the-holidays

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We Have a Dream to Dream and A Life to Build…

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them Walt DisneyOne of the things that I know and understand as a result of my near-death experience is that our heart shares the voice of God with us. I have been shown in dreams some wonderful things. I know that those dreams are meant to become reality.

However, there is a catch. Until and unless I do something to manifest those dreams, they will never come true. I must exercise faith and effort for my dreams to come true.

What about you? Do you have dreams? Is there a desire in your heart that has been placed there by God? Is there something special you are meant to do with your life? I believe the answer to both questions is YES!

We all have special work to do during our lifetime. We all have our hearts speak to us of those special tasks that are ours to manifest. I hope you will enjoy the article I share with you today and that you will dare to dream YOUR DREAM!:

Grow Great By Dreams

The question was once asked of a highly successful businessman, “How have you done so much in your lifetime?”

He replied, “I grow great by dreams. I have turned my mind loose to imagine what I wanted to do. Then I have gone to bed and thought about my dreams. In the night I dream about my dreams. And when I awoke in the morning, I saw the way to make my dreams real. While other people were saying, ‘You can’t do that, it is impossible,’ I was well on my way to achieving what I wanted.”As Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., said: “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.”

“As Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., said: “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.”

They see things in the soft haze of a spring day, or in the red fire on a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nourish them through bad days until they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.

So please, don not let anyone steal your dreams, or try to tell you they are too impossible.

“Sing your songs, and dream your dreams, hope your hope and pray your prayer.”

Today’s inspiring article is shared from the following website: http://www.pravsworld.com/grow-great-by-dreams/

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