How Life is Best Measured…

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

I am all about stewardship – in my mind, that means responsibility to create a meaningful life for myself and to be a meaningful part of the lives of my family, friends, and fellowman.

While that includes being responsible, it does not mean that life has to dull and dreary!

I know that it is hard to comprehend, but heaven is truly amazing and enthralling and worth our very best mortal efforts. Life is not about what’s in it for me, me, me. If it is to be meaningful for the duration – both mortality and eternity – it needs to be about what’s in it for us.

None of us knows how much time the Lord will grant us to live on this earth, but I know that we all inherently sense that this gig (called life) is important and is not to be wasted.

The article I am sharing today takes a few minutes to read, but do it anyway. Your life deserves it! Take a few minutes and contemplate on how you can improve and make your life better! I promise you will be blessed for your efforts! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

45 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest

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Changing Your Life…It is Always Possible!

To change your life, you need to change your priorities John C. Maxwell

Oh how I wish that I could take you with me and that we could visit heaven for just five minutes together! Just five minutes there and you would get what I want with all of my heart for you to know.

We talk of God being perfect but it is impossible to explain or even comprehend what perfect is as a mortal being. Understanding God’s perfection is as much an experience as it is an understanding. As I met with God during my near-death experience, I could feel His perfection and sense His utter and complete “wholeness”. We are talking here about a being who is without gap, crack, or lack in His intelligence, comprehension, and capacity.

That very same being who is whole and complete and utterly perfect is your Father and my Father and He is completely aware of you and He understands, in its entirety, your level of knowledge, wisdom and capacity. He wants nothing more than for you to realize your potential and for you to understand your worth. He is not attempting to produce clones of His children. Instead, He works diligently to help us, as we allow Him, to become the unique and special individual we were each designed to be.

He knows we are not perfect. He knows our mistakes. He never NEVER gives up on us. He loves us perfectly and completely in spite of our failings and flaws.

If you are as hard on yourself as I suspect you are, I hope that you will reach out to your Creator today. Ask Him to please communicate your worth to you in a way that you can accept and understand. I know He will answer your prayer if you make that request.

There may be no greater tragedy in this world than that of an individual believing that they are of no worth or nothing special or that they cannot be forgiven.

We each are wonderful and special and are meant to bring a positive contribution to this world that we have been made a part of. I hope you will allow God to speak to your heart today – I hope today’s story will inspire you as well!

Value

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $20 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

200 hands went up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

All 200 hands were still raised.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.

He picked it up, and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

All the hands still went up.

“My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

Value story shared from the following website: http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short stories#5%20Motivational%20and%20Inspiring%20Short%20Stories%20About%20Life,%20Stories%20that%20Will%20Make%20You%20Smile.

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Learning….It’s Meant to Be for a Lifetime

Ignorance is  voluntary Misfortune   Nicholas LangLearning is meant to be a life-long endeavor. I witnessed during my near-death experience, that learning is a desire that we inherently have. Even in heaven, it was our desire to learn and the increase in intelligence.

I believe that it doesn’t matter whether our learning is through formal schooling or from self-study – it is all valuable. In today’s “Information Age”, all of the information can be a little overwhelming. Yet, my experience has shown me that, with God’s guidance, we are guided to all that we need and all that we can be benefited by.

I hope that you will commit to being a life-long student! Please enjoy today’s story!:

How and Why to Become a Lifelong Learner

For the first twenty-two years or so of our lives, our main “job” is learning. The bulk of our time is spent in classrooms acquiring new knowledge. And then, once we graduate, we feel like the education phase of our lives is done and now it’s time to go out into the world. Have you ever thought about how odd that idea is? That only a quarter of our lives should be devoted to learning, and then we should simply rest on our laurels for the remaining three-quarters of it?

It’s an erroneous idea – but one many have absorbed, at least subconsciously. But school need not be your exclusive provider of learning. Just because you’ve finished your formal education, doesn’t mean that your education is over!

Many, perhaps most, of history’s greatest men were autodidacts – those who devote themselves to self-education, either in addition to or as a substitute to formal schooling. A fantastic example of this is author Louis L’Amour. L’Amour was one of America’s most prolific and manliest fiction writers. During his career he cranked out over 120 dime Western novels as well as several collections of short stories and poems. What makes Louis L’Amour’s story all the more remarkable is that he was almost entirely self-taught.

Louis L'Amour sitting in chair drinking coffee cowboy hat

Lifelong learner Louis L’Amour

Due to family hardships, L’Amour dropped out of school when he was fifteen and spent the next eight years traveling around the American West working odd jobs on cattle ranches, farms, lumber mills, and even mines. To earn extra money L’Amour boxed in small prizefights around the country and earned a reputation as a formidable opponent. While in his twenties L’Amour became a merchant marine and traveled the globe via steamship.

During all this time, L’Amour was voraciously reading books. As soon as he set foot in a new town, he’d locate the local library. If libraries weren’t around, he’d skip meals so he’d have enough money to order books from catalogs. He was also working on his craft as a budding writer, scribbling notes in cheap notepads that he kept with him all the time.

All of his experiences while traveling, all the books he read, and all the notes he wrote laid the groundwork for his later successful career. But even after L’Amour became an established writer, his pursuit of learning continued and rewarded him greatly. He is a perfect example of the fascinating life one can create for himself when he makes the commitment to be a lifelong learner. (If you want to learn more about L’Amour’s lifelong self-education, pick up a copy of his autobiography, Education of a Wandering Man. Super inspiring read.)

 

Not only can becoming a lifelong learner help you earn more money in traditional employment, autodidacticism can be the gateway to self-employment and starting your own business. There are countless examples from history of famous folks who learned how to create thriving businesses without any formal education: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford to name just a few. Countless not-so-famous business owners became successful without ever earning a sheepskin too, simply by teaching themselves what they needed to know and relentlessly tinkering.

You’ll be more interesting and charismatic. Those who met Theodore Roosevelt were always greatly impressed with his ability to hold a conversation with anyone regarding any subject imaginable. Scientists were blown away with Roosevelt’s knowledge of complex theories, socialites were smitten with his witty insights about the latest piece by Oscar Wilde, and cowboys out West respected the “Eastern Dude’s” understanding of desert wildlife. How did Theodore Roosevelt become such a charismatic, conversational dynamo? By developing the ability to speed read and then devouring books like a hungry lion feasting on a fresh kill. While in the White House, he would read a book every day before breakfast. If he didn’t have any official business in the evening, he would read two or three more books, plus any magazines and newspapers that caught his fancy. By his own estimates, TR read tens of thousands of books during his lifetime, including hundreds in foreign languages. As a result, he could connect with anyone, from any walk of life, on something that truly interested the other person.

You’ll be a better leader. Being able to connect with others doesn’t just make you more interesting. It also makes you much more influential. The greater your knowledge base, the more you can meet people where they are, and the greater the stockpile of solutions you have at your disposal to tackle problems and overcome challenges.

You’ll be independent and handy. One thing I admired about my grandpa growing up was all the cool stuff that he knew. He was always tinkering, and it seemed like he knew everything about everything. How to hunt, how to shoe a horse, how to garden (he grew grapes), how to make awesome pancakes. Even after he retired, my grandpa was always learning new things and acquiring new skill sets. For example, he learned how to restore antique horse carriages and old phonograph players. He got so good at it, in fact, that he started restoring antique phonograph players as a small side-business.

Because of my grandpa’s diverse range of skills, when something broke or he needed something done, he could do it himself. He didn’t have to call and pay an expert to do it for him. If he didn’t know how to do it, he went to the library, got some books on the subject, and figured it out.

Lifelong learning keeps your brain healthy. Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Nearly 100 years later science is validating Henry Ford’s quip. Margie E. Lachman, a psychologist at Brandeis University who specializes in aging says, “Education seems to be an elixir that can bring us a healthy body and mind throughout adulthood and even a longer life.” Her research has shown that the more education an elderly person has – whether obtained formally or informally — the better they performed on cognitive tests than other elderly folks who had less education.

Learning new things can also help stave off old-age ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s. One study has shown that older folks who stay cognitively active and curious about the world around them are 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s than those who let their minds lie fallow.

You’ll feel more satisfied with life. In his book Drive, author Dan Pink argues that we need three things to feel motivated about, and satisfied with, our life: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Becoming a lifelong learner fulfills all three of these psychological needs.

When you’re an autodidact you – not your parents, not your professor, not your boss — get to decide what you’re going to learn about. Instead of being a passive consumer of knowledge, you’re actively choosing what you’re learning. In other words, you’re autonomous. As you learn new skills, you’ll enjoy the positive feeling that comes with mastery. And you’ll find yourself with a renewed sense of purpose in life as you set goals for your self-education.

The satisfaction that comes with lifelong learning doesn’t stop there. The more you know about the world, the deeper you can plunge into it, and the more levels of it you can experience. Whether you’re traveling, having a conversation, visiting a museum, watching a movie, or reading a book, your library of knowledge helps you make connections that you would never have otherwise perceived. The more you learn, the more you realize how many references and meanings you’ve missed because the author/speaker simply took that background knowledge, that fluency in cultural literacy, for granted.

Inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/03/18/how-and-why-to-become-a-lifelong-learner/

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Life is Not About Waiting for the Storm to Pass…

Life is not about  waiting for the storm to pass ...it’s about learning to dance in the rain

I love learning about individuals who have overcome difficult obstacles.  What makes them inspirational to me is that they have been willing to endure tough moments, overcome doubts, and work at their skill set until everything has come together in a positive way.

Today’s story involves a young woman who has endured tough times and come out on top. I recognize that not everyone will succeed in just the same way.

For some of us, success may mending a relationship. For others, success may be an accomplishment in spite of a handicap.  For yet others, it may be nothing more than not giving up.

We all have difficulties and obstacles. My prayer is that, collectively, we will all endure the hard moments and wade through our difficulties and find that place in our hearts where love and peace and hope can eternally dwell. I hope you enjoy today’s story. For further enlightenment, go to YouTube.com and enjoy listening to Charice as well!

The Story of Charice Pempengco

Charice Pempengco’s dream of becoming a singer began halfway around the world in the Philippines. She found a following on the Internet after a stranger posted her jaw-dropping performances on YouTube.

Oprah’s producers were among the 13 million people who logged on to watch this 16-year-old sensation sing songs made famous by artists like Celine Dion and BeyoncĂ©. Then, in May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

Millions of viewers were moved by Charice’s powerful voice—including Gayle King. “That evening Gayle called me,” Oprah says. “She said she fell off her treadmill when she heard that girl.” Oprah says the performance blew her Manolos off!

Charice’s voice wasn’t the only thing that impressed Oprah. “One of the things I love most about Charice is that no matter what obstacles she’s faced in her life, she’s never given up on her dream of something better,” Oprah says.

In the small Filipino village where Charice lived as a child, there wasn’t much to sing about. When Charice was 3 years old, she says she remembers seeing her father fly into a fit of rage and take out his anger on her mother. She says she watched as he choked and attacked her.

Charice says the argument escalated, and her dad grabbed a shotgun and pointed it at her mom. “My dad was about to shoot my mom, and I couldn’t do anything,” she says.

Neighbors heard screams and broke down the door just in time. Fraternidad, a former neighbor, remembers it clearly. “The gun [was] pointed to the mother and then the children are crying,” she says.

Charice and her mother escaped with their lives. “We left my dad, and after that, I never saw him and I don’t want to see him,” she says. “I’m just singing now for my mom. I didn’t help her before. That’s why I want to help her now.”

When Charice was just 4 years old, her mom discovered her talent for the first time. “She thought the radio [was] playing,” Charice says. “She went to the living room, and she saw me singing and she was, like, ‘Oh, my gosh. She’s singing.'”

A few years later, Charice entered a singing contest. “Some people [were] saying that I’m not good enough and I’m not pretty,” she says. “I just wanted to prove that they’re wrong.”

When Charice first decided to enter competitions, her mother was working 16 hours a day, six days a week at a garment factory. Charice signed up for more than 80 contests to help support her family. “I really want[ed] to help Mom,” she says. “When I’m joining singing contests, and I won some $50, she was, like, ‘Okay, we’re going to have some food for one month, and we’re very happy.'”

After years of struggling financially—even being homeless—Charice has been able to use her contest winnings to help her mother pay for an apartment in a nice neighborhood. Charice now has her own room where she can draw, sing, play the guitar and continue to dream. “I think this is a big improvement because we’re more peaceful, and we’re happy,” she says.

In her bedroom, Charice has a notebook where she keeps drawings of the singers she idolizes, like Celine Dion. “I can say this is my dream notebook,” she says.

Charice can now say her dreams are beginning to come true, starting with an introduction to one of the most famous names in the music business. After hearing Charice sing, Oprah just couldn’t get the little girl with the big voice out of her head.

Instead of flying back to the Philippines after her appearance on The Oprah Show, producers pulled Charice off the plane and brought her back to Harpo Studios. Then, Oprah called legendary producer David Foster to see what the starmaker could do for Charice.

David invited Charice to join him in Las Vegas for a PBS special called “Hit Man: David Foster & Friends.” Backstage, Charice ran into some of show’s headliners, like Josh Groban and Michael BublĂ©. “I’m so glad I don’t have to follow you because that would suck for me very badly,” Michael said to Charice. “Because no matter how good I am, I know that you’d kick my butt.”

Charice then took the stage and sang three songs, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to a crowd of 10,000. Her soul-stirring performance brought the audience to its feet. “A star is born tonight,” David said.

Charice’s summer of dreams didn’t end there—after her performance, she received a surprise call from world-famous singer Andrea Bocelli. Within weeks, Charice was on her way to Italy to meet Andrea and sing a special duet with the renowned tenor. “That’s really a dream come true for me,” she says. “I really love Andrea Bocelli because he’s my idol. When I was younger, I’m always drawing some things like me singing with Celine and me singing with Mr. Andrea Bocelli.”

More than 8,000 people gathered in the Tuscan countryside near Andrea’s hometown for the exclusive concert. Together, they sang “The Prayer,” a song that holds special meaning for Charice. “I think that God is always listening to all my prayers, and I have so many dreams in my life,” she says. “That’s why I’m always praying that someday I’m going to achieve all my dreams.”

“The first song that I learned was ‘My Heart Will Go On,'” Charice says. “Of course I want to sing with [Celine Dion] soon, I wish, someday.”

After her performance, Charice learns she has a fan who’s been waiting to speak with her via satellite. She’s a working mom with a 7-year-old who also loves to sing. She also happens to be one of Charice’s idols—Celine Dion!

Celine says watching Charice sing left her speechless. “I can tell you that we have lots of things in common. I was very shy too. And I also had a mother—still have a mother—who is my strength,” Celine says. “You have more talent than most people. You can sing. You can speak and sing with your heart. You can play guitar. You can draw. And you can have dreams.”

Because Charice shares so much of her talent with others, Celine wants to give Charice something in return. “I’m going to be singing at Madison Square Garden, and I would love to ask you to come and sing a duet with me,” she says. “Maybe we can sing ‘Because You Loved Me,’ and maybe we can dedicate this song to your mother.”

Now it’s Charice who’s left speechless! “Thank you, idol,” she says.

Today’s inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/teen-singing-sensation_1

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When We Have Health, We Have the Most Important Tool for Success!

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything Arabian Proverb

There once was a time when I was sick – 24/7. Each day, for approximately 15 years, was  spent coping with a migraine headache that never ended. Due to the incessant pain, the last 5 of those years included severe depression.

I look back on those years now with gratitude. I am so very grateful for the healing that I was allowed to experience. Even more, I am grateful for the strength that I was granted by the Lord during those grueling years.

During some of those years, I dealt with a busy household of 6 children – 4 of them being teenagers. Along with that busy household, my husband and I ran two businesses.

There eventually came a time when I could no longer cope but the fact that I was able to function as well as I did for so many years is nothing short of a miracle.

As a result of those experiences, I have gained a passion for health that is rarely gained by being healthy. My eyes and heart have been opened to effectiveness of many alternative therapies and relying on the Lord’s guidance. I have also seen the pervasive failures found within the walls of western medicine’s sick care. Additionally, my near-death experience has taught me the priceless gift that life is for each of us.

There is so much more to being healthy than popping prescription pills! Our thoughts, our mindset, our attitude, our movement (or lack of), the foods we eat and the company we keep all contribute their important part to our health! Stay tuned…I am going to be sharing more in the future about my journey back to health.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Be sure today’s inspiring stories about two wonderful people who found health and healing in their lives!

Stamatis Moraitis

Stamatis Moraitis was a Greek war veteran who was living in the United States when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told he had only 9 months to live. He was offered aggressive treatment, but after 9 doctors apparently assured him that it wouldn’t save his life, he decided to save his money, decline treatment, and move with his wife back to his native Ikaria, a Greek island where he could be buried with his ancestors in a graveyard overlooking the Aegean Sea.

He and his wife moved into a small house on a vineyard with his elderly parents, where he reconnected with his faith and started going to his old church. When his friends got wind of the fact that Stamatis was back home, they showed up with bottles of wine, books, and board games to entertain him and keep him company. He planted vegetables in a garden, basked in sunshine, savored the salty air, and relished in his love for his wife.

Six months passed, and not only did he not die, he was actually feeling better than ever. He started working in the untended vineyard during the day, making himself useful, and in the evenings, he’d play dominos with friends. He took a lot of naps, rarely looked at a watch, and spent a lot of time outdoors. At one point, 25 years after his diagnosis, Stamatis went back to the United States to ask his doctors what had happened. Apparently, the doctors were all dead. Stamatis finally died this year in Ikaria. He was 102 years old.

Anita Moorjani

In her book Dying To Be Me, Anita Moorjani tells the story of how she was dying of end stage Stage 4 lymphoma when she experienced the classic “white light” near death experience many have described. As she traveled to the other side, she was able to look down upon her loved ones, even though some of them were not in the same room with her. Her heart was filled with a feeling of profound unconditional love, and she was happy to be free of her dying, tumor-riddled body.

Then she was told that she had a choice. She could stay in the white light and die, or she could go back and share her story with others. She didn’t want to come back. Her body had been in so much pain, and her soul had been suffering. But she was told that if she came back, her cancer would be cured. She believed what she was told, and felt called to come back so she could share her experience.

Anita’s cancer was gone within several weeks. This all happened under the care of her bewildered doctors, who documented her spontaneous remission. Anita is now on the Hay House speaking circuit with me, spreading the message that death is nothing to fear.

Today’s inspiring stories of restored health are shared from the following website: http://lissarankin.com/6-stories-that-will-make-you-believe-in-the-power-of-your-mind-to-heal-you

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