Accomplishments…Plan, Promises and Personal Power

Every Accomplishment begins with a decision to try. John F. Kennedy

Every day is a gift! An opportunity to start anew or to continue to grow in knowledge and understanding! Every day is another chance to accomplish something worthwhile. The catch is that we must make the decision to try – to do something – possibly to do something we have never done before!

Any worthwhile accomplishment will present difficulties. Yet, every worthwhile accomplishment can begin – with a decision to try.

During my near-death experience, I watched many of us choosing the life experiences that we would have on earth. We were making plans and promises and we understood that we would always have the gift of personal power to make those plans and promises come to fruition. We knew that with God’s assistance, our personal power made it possible for us to keep every promise we made and realize the accomplishment of each of our plans.

You might be surprised to know that our plans did not include things like a vacation to the Bahamas or a brand new Mercedes in the garage. Our plans and promises were designed to make us, those around us and the world we live in better. They were eternal plans and promises.

Those promises might be as small as expressing love to our loved ones and as ambitious as successfully sharing our loving influence with the entire world.

Those plans and promises reside in our hearts. When we listen to our hearts, we will know what we are to do. If you haven’t already, I hope you will make the decision to listen to your heart and start accomplishing those plans and promises starting today!

I hope you enjoy today’s story!:

Regret City

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. This is my annual “Guilt Trip.”

I got tickets to fly there on “WISH-I-HAD” airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my “baggage,” which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was loaded down with a thousand memories of “what might have been.” No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

As I checked into the “Last Resort” Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event — the annual “Pity Party.” I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the “Done” family; you know, “Should Have,” “Would Have” and “Could Have.” Then came the “I Had” family. You probably know old “Wish” and his clan. Of course, the “Opportunities” family; “Missed and Lost,” would be present. The biggest family there would be the “Yesterday’s.”

There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Of course, “Shattered Dreams” would surely make and appearance. “It’s Their Fault” family would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in their life. Each story would be loudly applauded by the “Don’t Blame Me” and “I Couldn’t Help It” committee.

To make a long story short, I went to this depressing party, knowing full well there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that this trip and subsequent “pity parties” COULD be cancelled by ME!

I started to realize that I did not have to be there. And I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as being encouraging.

Knowing this, I left Regret City immediately, and didn’t leave a forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no way to undo them.

So, if you’re planning a trip back to Regret City, please cancel all those reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a nice place called: “Starting Again.” I like it so much that I made it my permanent residence. My neighbors, the “Been Forgiven” and the “We’re Saved” are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around the heavy baggage anymore either. That load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. But don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself.

– Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-6.html

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Friendship…The World Needs More Love One Another

The World is Round so that Friendship may encircle it

I don’t understand bias based on color of skin or religion. I have been a victim of prejudice many times and every time, it has seemed silly to me. When my spirit left my body – I noticed no color. I’m pretty sure that Good and Bad – Selfless and Selfish can be found in every race and every religion. Friendship is a gift that is best received when given.

I think a better way to judge people is by their ability to love. We are all connected more than most can even imagine. When we love each other, we improves our own lives and we improve the lives of those we share this world with.

I love today’s story! It embraces the true meaning of friendship! I hope you enjoy!:

Friends in Heaven

— Author unknown

An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse.

Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight. Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’

‘This is ranch, Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.

‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.

 ‘Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’

As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, ‘Can I bring my partners, too?’

‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. ‘Excuse me,’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’

‘Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.’

‘How about my friends here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

‘Of course! They look thirsty, too,’ said the man.

The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog. When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. ‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.

‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.

‘That’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’

‘Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.’

‘Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?’

‘Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’

Story is shared from the following website: http://www.inspire21.com/stories/friendshipstories/FriendsinHeaven

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Love is the Most Powerful Force in the World…

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., I wanted to share one of his quotes today.

Love is truly the most powerful force in the world! It is also very misunderstood. Many people believe that love can overcome anything. The truth is that it can’t. I saw a battle in heaven during my near-death experience and if love could overcome anything, that battle would have never taken place.

There is no being or person more loving and more perfect than God and there is no place more infused with love than heaven. If God’s perfect love could not overcome in heaven – love cannot overcome everything on earth either.

However, having said that, I do not wish to diminish the power of love in any way. We all need love and we all need the joy of loving. Love can turn enemies into friends and it can heal terrible wounds. Love can melt cold hearts and love can revive lives, communities, and countries. Love is a gift and should always be cherished!

In that light, I share today’s story, I hope you enjoy!:

Making Friends, Losing Enemies

About five years ago I started at a new school, when my family moved to Iowa. I was just a little excited, but I worried I would never fit in with the other sixth graders.

Lucy, a girl in my class, who I thought was not ready for change, didn’t like me from the start. In fact, I was pretty sure she hated me. I would ask her a question, and I could tell she thought I was a total idiot.

My teacher made us sit by each other for the last semester. Lucy was horrified.

I didn’t wear make-up, and I didn’t wear those awesome bell-bottom pants. I didn’t exactly look like the coolest girl. But, I kept smiling at her, though she rolled her eyes, and I kept telling her she looked beautiful, even if she sighed in irritation.

Eventually, Lucy let me talk to her, even in sight of her ‘cool’ friends. She started telling me how beautiful I looked. I still remember that first time when she smiled at me saying that, and I smiled right back, telling her thanks. Lucy invited me over to her house for sleepovers, and talked to me all the time instead her other friends. Lucy, the girl who hated me, called me her best friend. After that, we still were good friends a whole year later.

I may have moved to Arizona after that, but I will never forget Lucy. It’s funny– I still remember her birthday. She was a great friend. And to think, she considered me her enemy at first. Though it was hard, and it felt like I was wasting my time, and losing my dignity, I still smiled at Lucy when she made fun of me. I’m not stupid, I didn’t think she was right in doing those things, but I still put up with it. And we became great friends. We became inseparable.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.values.com/your-inspirational-stories/230-making-friends-losing-enemies

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Coming Together, Keeping Together, and Working Together…Creating Unity

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping Together is progress. Working together is Success. Henry Ford

Coming Together, Keeping Together, and Working together is the mindset that I found prevailed in heaven during my near-death experience. Can I just share that the atmosphere and love that existed in heaven was more glorious than words can describe?

I think it is the glorious conditions there (in heaven) that make so many of us who have had a near-death experience want to return and/or never leave. But earth and life on earth has a purpose. We have come here to learn to love, support and grow ourselves and others.

Yet, that never happens successfully where there is conflict instead of love, lashing out instead of support and shrinking from challenges instead of growth.

The media has been sharing and deliberately creating lots of division in the last several months. Perhaps it originated with the presidential election and the various elections throughout the country. Perhaps it started much earlier.

I would not normally hone in on the media but from my vantage point, the division in this country does not seem to be between the citizens of my community. Nor does it seem to be with those I call friends and acquaintances who live far away from me. Instead, it seems to be mostly prevalent on the various forms of media where it appears that extraordinary effort is made to find divisive stories.

The power of unity lies with each of us. We can build unity with our families, we can build unity in our workplaces, we can build unity in our communities and in the world. We must be the ones who come together, keep together and support each others successes.

May we each choose to be a part of a unified world and may today’s story inspire you to be a part of the teamwork called unity!:

Teamwork in the workplace can be difficult. Teams at work often consist of a variety of conflicting personalities and styles. Getting to a point in which a team can collaborate and work in harmony can be a difficult task for a leader and takes time.

I love the following metaphor on teamwork from Steve Jobs I recently found.

He tells the story of a widowed man he had gotten to know in his eighties who lived up the street from him when he was a young boy.

One day the older man said to him, “come on into my garage, I want to show you something.” He pulled out a dusty and old rock tumbler that consisted of a motor and a coffee can with a little band between them, Jobs recollected.

He then invited him to the backyard where they collected some very regular and old ugly rocks. They put them in a can with a little bit of liquid and some grit powder. The old man then closed the can, turned the motor on and said, “come back tomorrow.”

Jobs remembered the can making a big racket as the stones went around in the can.

He came back the next day and when they opened the can and took out the rocks they were amazingly beautiful and polished. He states, “The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing against each other like this (clapping his hands), creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out these beautiful polished rocks.” Teams, he states, are like these stones.

Individually we can be fairly normal, ordinary and even a bit rough. But through the process of teamwork we can end up in a very different state.

Jobs states that teams consisting of incredibly talented people who are passionate and are working hard towards something often times bump up against each other, argue, sometimes fight and make some noise. By working together they polish one another and their ideas and in the process create beautiful stones.

I love this metaphor. Have you built up enough trust on your teams to allow bumping up against one another and passionately arguing on occasion?

Passive, “follow the leader” types of teams are destined to fail. Each member of a team brings something unique. They are unique in their gifts, ideas and arguments. Team members must feel like they can express themselves without embarrassment or retribution.

Leaders who embrace the process of “tumbling stones” on their teams create more efficiency, better ideas, better problem solving and ultimately better teamwork.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.teamworkandleadership.com/2014/10/teamwork-and-collaboration-a-powerful-metaphor-and-story-to-share.html

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Making a Difference in the World – We Can Be the Difference!

The Difference between what we are Doing and what we’re Capable of Doing would solve most of the world’s problems

Can you imagine how dramatically our world would change if we all recognized and believed that WE CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE!

It’s true! We can be the difference that the world needs! Change does not happen overnight but we are the only beings on earth that God has entrusted to be the change that the world needs!

Every positive choice we make makes a difference! Every mind aligned with truth becomes the catalyst! Every positive action makes the world a better place – no matter how small!

We have been born to create! Ours is the power to transform!

Just think of the difference one positive, hopeful, person with faith in God can make – then realize the synergy of hundreds, thousands and millions choosing to live a life of difference!

It you are willing to make the world a better place, think about what you can do:

  • Share a sincere compliment
  • Say thank you to everyone who provides service to you (even if they are getting paid for it)
  • Smile and say hi to everyone you meet (even strangers)
  • Give a hug to your loved ones!
  • Be courteous in all of your interactions
  • Laugh and share a blessing that is a part of your life
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for doing something right rather than berate yourself for something you didn’t do just right
  • Volunteer to give someone a ride or to sit with an invalid so their family member can run errands
  • Express your love to a family member or someone special in your life

Everything we do and everything we say makes a difference! What difference are you going to make today?!!

Today’s story touched my heart – I hope it will touch yours as well!:

Making a Difference

Here is a story of an elementary teacher that happened many years ago. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners … he is a joy to be around.” His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.” His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.” By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets.”

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.” Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

(Contributed by Dr. Andrew Jenkins, Central Washington University)

Story shared from the following website: http://www.pelinks4u.org/articles/inspire/ins102599.htm

 

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