Serenity of Faith

Calmness of mind, body and soul is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of placing faith, trust and your entire being in the hands of a loving and all powerful Creator. Peace in the being of a believer is an indication of ripened experience, coupled with faith in Someone bigger than that of self and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of faith.

A person becomes calm in the measure that one understands themselves as a God-created being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of all things were created, and as one seeks wisdom from a loving Creator and a right understanding of morals and values seeing more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, one ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene in God’s love and inner peace.

The calm person, having learned how to let God direct his or her paths, knows how to encourage others; and they, in turn, reverence their spiritual strength in a once and forgotten faith, and feel that they can learn of them and rely upon them. The more tranquil and God-dependent a person becomes, the greater is their success, their influence, their power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find their business prosperity increase as one develops a greater knowledge in God’s will and accepting His peace in their souls, for people will always prefer to deal with a person whose demeanor is strongly stable and at peace about matters.

The strong, calm person is always loved and revered. They are like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life – a life that dwells in the ocean of God’s truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the eternal calm!

How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of character, and make bad blood! It is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness by a lack of a God-control flow few people we meet in life who are well-balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character!

Phil 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: …” (KJV)

Jn 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my Peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (KJV)

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In Spite of the Odds

*Shared Story

**’Dedicated to all the courageous Dad’s and families in the world.’

Early in 2003 Fred Evans fell and broke his hip. Not unusual for a man of 88. However, it was the events over the next few weeks that showed the world what this man was made of.

The next day he had an operation which turned out to be a total hip replacement.

Within a few days he was sent to a Rehabilitation Hospital, with all the usual hopes for a complete recovery for a man of his age and situation: ‘absolutely none,’ said the medical experts and nursing staff!

Funny about that, absolutely no hope at all.

My first conversation with Dad was a few days after his admittance to the Rehab Hospital in Sydney.

‘A bit of pain Son,’ he tells me … ‘but I’ll be okay.’

‘See all of these other old blokes in here, most of them have been in here for between 3 and 6 months, with no hope of ever going home.’

‘”No way will I end up like them!’

‘I will go home to your Mom within the next few weeks!’

Because of the distance between Newcastle and his Rehab Hospital, I didn’t get to see him every day, but phoned regularly. I got to see him each weekend.

On my next visit I stopped at reception on the way to his ward. The duty nurse gave me a ‘rave review’ of his progress, saying that they didn’t believe what they were seeing. ‘Your Father is a walking miracle,’ I was told.

As I approached Dad’s bed I saw him getting something from the other side of his bed as he was swinging himself into a position to get up and spend some time with me. Walking sticks.

‘Thanks for coming in to see me Son, it’s good to see you, come for a slow walk with me,’ he said.

He proudly assured me that he was okay to do it on his own, but it would be nice if I were right there next to him as we ‘walked.’ Sure enough, he had been so determined to get home to his wife of 62 years, he had been training hard every day!

So we went for a stroll around the corridors of his prison, and was he proud of his ability to conquer the odds? You bet he was!

Only 3 weeks after being admitted to that ‘depressing place,’ he walked out without any assistance from anyone. Just as I had been told – a walking miracle.

He only had one motive, but a very powerful one. To get home to his beautiful wife of 62 years, my Mom Margaret … he missed her. His determination, courage, and incredible love and devotion towards my Mother (after all that time together) was an inspiration to me that can’t be overstated. I thank him for that!

Fred Evans was a gentle caring man, with the courage and inner strength of a lion, and the heart of a Saint.

I had only recently grown to appreciate that I was so lucky to have such a mentor, and to realize that I was absolutely blessed to have had that experience. It wasn’t too late though. I got to tell him how much he meant to me, and to thank him for being who he was, and to share some amazing moments with him towards the end of his humble, quietly-lived life.

Over the next few months his fate occurred- common medical complications took him from us, but he left us all with memories of what it’s like to spend some time with someone special. Thanks Dad.

May this inspire you to overcome some form of adversity in your own life by showing some courage – despite the odds.

Credit: Philip E.
This is a true story. Thanks Philip for sharing.

Rev 3:2 “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

 

Ideas for Living Your Dream

1. Stop doing things just because others expect them of you.

Your heart must be in it to finish the race. When we do things just because we ‘should,’ we eventually reach a place of resentment, anger, and rebellion.

2. Get your priorities straight.

Spend your time, talents, and resources with the people, activities, or things that are meaningful to you. Stop wasting these on people or things that are not adding value to your life or that keep you from moving forward towards what you want to be or do.

3. March to the beat of your own band.

The most satisfying experiences in our lives are when we are engaged physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or intellectually. Life is meant to be effortless. If you’re tugging and pulling, and everything feels like an uphill battle, then you’re doing the wrong thing.

4. Do what you’re good at and the money will follow.

Whether you’re a brain surgeon or a dog-walker, be the best you can be at it because you love it. Your enthusiasm and love for what you do is what will make you successful in the long run. Enthusiastic and positive people attract others to them who want that too.

5. Share your dream with others, but be discerning.

Realize that not everyone you share your dream with will be thrilled for you. Avoid the nay-sayers and focus on those people who can support you even if they don’t agree with you.

6. Stop making excuses and just do it.

The reason (excuses) for why you have not taken that first step does not matter. What matters is that you take that first step NOW.

7. Determine what your ideal life looks like.

Most people’s initial response to this is ‘I don’t know.’ If you did know, what would your ideal life be like? Who would you want to live with, who would you like to meet, where would you like to live, what activities/shows/parties/places would you like to experience or be with?

8. Identify the stumbling blocks that can be turned into stepping stones.

Your past experiences and adversity can create opportunity for you. It’s all in how you look at life and how you choose to use those experiences so that you eliminate the blocks and move on in spite of them. Victory is yours!

9. Reduce your learning curve.

Learn from the experiences and mistakes of others. Instead of reinventing the wheel, take what you can apply from the trials and challenges others have overcome then tweak the process to fit your own situation.

10. Align yourself with a role model/mentor.

Having someone who’s ‘been there and done that’ is one of the best ways to get yourself on track with what you want to accomplish or be. A mentor will be supportive, offer the benefit of his/her expertise and knowledge, and will listen to you when you need the support the most.

Have You Learned What Success is Yet?

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All our lives we have been told that we must work toward something. Whether it be good grades, a career, our goal has always been to make it happen and growing up, we have been groomed to chase “A dream.” But let’s be honest! Nobody’s mother or father ever told them, “Honey I want you to waste away your life watching the grass grow.”

I grew up with wanting success just as much as the next person only I thought I knew what success meant. I realize now that I had not the slightest clue what success meant.

We have all defined success by the jobs we hold, the money we make, the adventures we feel we need to take and then post it online for the world to see. Sadly though for some, we have allowed the things we own and the things we do before the world to define us in several points in our lives. I am still chasing “the dream” but in a different way.

SUCCESS to me is not what I make, show, say or do – it is what I leave behind.

I want to stand for something and make a difference where it counts. I realize that personal growth is not ABOUT ME.

I am a wife and a mother and I realize that I grow everyday in the smallest way. I watch my child, this extraordinary miracle that I was blessed with, and clarity comes to me like a slap in the face. I no longer mope around the house thinking I am useless to the world because I am not at work making money. I am doing what every mom wishes she could – being an active participant in my children’s life! I walked into this situation blindly but I am not blind to it. I remind myself that I am blessed everyday. THIS IS SUCCESS TO ME.

I look at my husband, when he does not know I am watching, and it amazes me how much in love with him I am. Never has a day gone by that I have not learned something from him. I know that I have found who God wants me to be with and I will never be alone again! THIS IS SUCCESS TO ME.

Success is doing what you love the most; what you were meant to do. Success IS personal growth. Success is the knowledge that YOU are NOT alone in the world. It is a loving family and friends. Success is health – to be able to do the simple things in life like BE HAPPY, TAKE A WALK, BREATHE…

I know that I am not done learning to be successful. As I grow, my definition of success will grow with me and God has given me the power to share and DEFINE success. SUCCESS is in my knowledge is that I DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE WORLD’S PATH.

Life is my lesson and I am it’s humble student.

Credit: S. J. & Moraldiplomat

Thanks S.J. 🙂

Proverbs 31 Woman

Beautiful happy blond girl in shirt looking up

 

A Story Of Transformation

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I wasn’t going to post this; but I don’t know, somehow, I could relate to the following to some degree,…maybe many degrees- Maybe you will too; thanks Evan.” –Moraldiplomat

 

“There was a time in my life, a long time ago, when I felt very lonely in the world. Do you know what it is like to feel you will never be loved ? To never feel truly understood? To feel that when people see you, they are not seeing the real you – and they don’t even try to see the real you. It is like the real you is invisible to everyone but yourself – and everyone thinks you are somebody you are really not. To be next to a person and feel so far away. That kind of loneliness is even more lonely than being just by yourself. At least by myself, I can just be me. I can feel who I am.

I felt as if my life had no real value to anyone, and thus no value for myself. For me, this was worse than “death”, because death seems a relief from loneliness.

The tears of loneliness are one of the most painful experiences I have ever felt in my life. They are not tears of the body, but those of the soul. I wondered, why live when it seems so much easier to be dead?

lonely1

To be born into the world with so many people, and all your life feel alone. The present and the future seemed to stretch out into one long eternity. To tell you the truth, I did think of ending my life. But my heart told me, “That is against the law of both nature and God.” Were I to end my life, I think I would have only been creating more suffering for myself in the next life. But if an angel had come in those dark times and asked me if I wanted to leave this world, I would have gladly gone with her.

And that is how I knew I was in hell. If heaven is the place where you never want to leave, then hell must be the place where you always want to leave but can’t. The place worse than death. And for me, loneliness is such a place, and it is one such a hell. Always wanting to leave, but not knowing how, seeing no way out, and no one to save you. And this hell was inside me, and I carried it everywhere I went, all the time, unable to be free. If only I could be delivered, for I did not know how to deliver myself.

But an angel never came. Nobody came. Nobody came to save me. Nobody came to understand. The only person in the world, it seemed, was me. I was all alone, as it had always been, and seemed it always would be.

And in this darkness, I saw the only way out into the light… love. Love can save you. Love is the only way out of hell. Not someone loving you, because you can never expect anybody to love you. But you loving someone else. If no one loves you, at least you can love someone else. Love, without expecting love in return.

lonely2

And God, Who is love; He saved me! He will save you too, if but in your loneliness you call out to Him.

There are others who are suffering in the hell of loneliness – love them so they need not suffer as you have suffered. Live so that others need not experience the hell you have experienced. A gentle eye, a kind word, a helping hand, a patient ear, a ministering heart, a generous smile… these are the free acts of love you can give to ease the suffering of others. These acts of love take away loneliness – both their loneliness and yours. And they add to love – both theirs and yours.

I can’t guarantee anyone will ever love you back in the way you need to be loved. Love is always a choice, made freely by people and by fate. But I can guarantee that the love you choose to give freely, returns to you freely to live inside your heart. As love lives, so you live in love. For in the love you give to others, lies the seed of heaven. The hell of loneliness you once felt gradually fades away into the past. Love has the power to transform hell into heaven.

If you don’t understand any of this, then you are blessed, because you have not experienced the hell of loneliness, and so do not understand its language. Perhaps you live surrounded by love – or perhaps you feel you do not need love. But if you do understand the hell of loneliness, then know you are not alone. I know it may seem no one cares, but I care. That is why I write this for you. To let you know that you are not as alone as you may believe. And you need not envy those who never seem to have been lonely, for you are blessed too.

Yes, you are blessed too, even though you may not see it now. You are blessed because you have the chance to be stronger than others, for true strength is born from the ability to accept life and love and overcome weakness. You have the chance to know how to love, for those who have never been loved have no choice but to love others – or die.

The chance to always carry and feel love inside your heart, for that is the beginning and ending place of all love. To be a true survivor, for only those who have suffered can be said to have survived, and it is only the survivors who can become the true leaders and ministers of faith, hope and love. It is you who are blessed, because you have the chance to gain the power to transform hell into heaven, for only those who have been to hell can transform it into heaven. ”

Credit: Evan L.

Thanks Evan

Remember, even in times of loneliness, God is only a prayer away. He will never leave His own.

Heb 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. ”

Deut 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Rom 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD!
1 Sam 30:6 “…………………..but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

Rom 13:8 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

The Master of Many Things

content_with_life

*shared story

‘As a child growing up, I always thought by the age of 50, I would be the master of many things. I would have traveled around the world, perhaps become famous, have a house in the country and one by the sea. I’d spend my days painting in the garden and my nights researching a cure for some disease.

That child has long since grown up and 51 years quietly embrace me. And while I shall never be the master of many things, I am leaving my mark;

I belong to a family who has proudly survived many terrible illnesses and war. A family whose humor and affection stand strong.

I am indebted to my friends who are a true joy – encouraging me, cherishing me, accepting me.

I am blessed to have an amazing mentor who guides me with wisdom, kindness and experience.

I work at a job where I can share my heart and make a difference. A job where I am surrounded by people who have truly changed my life for the better.

And so I travel not the world, but the roads in my small town, famous only to my friends, living in a house not by the sea but filled with a remarkable family. I spend my days satisfied with my work and my nights grateful and eager for what comes next.

I am content. ‘

Heb 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

1 Tim 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

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Sunflower

sunflowerincement

One cold November morning I noticed a sunflower coming into bloom on my patio. It was growing up from a crack between the house and the paving stones underneath the bird feeder.

The little flower stood straight up. It had a thin stem with mottled green leaves and a small, round burst of bright yellow on top. It would never have made it into any flower shows, that’s for sure. It was stunted, its bloom a crush of petals squashed together around its center. They stuck up and out like a spiky-hair-do, the biggest one no more than three-quarters of an inch long. It was a scrawny, misshapen little flower, and to me it was beautiful.

Beside it stood its much larger, and at one time, much grander sibling. A big, broad, perfectly formed flower once adorned the main stem. Five perfectly formed miniature versions of itself branched out below like accessories accentuating its beauty. But now, its leaves were crinkled and brown, the stalk yellowed like hay, the dry wilted flowers hanging down in petrified stillness. It had a different beauty now.

I sat and looked at these two flowers, and I wondered why I enjoyed them so much. I asked myself what they meant to me. The answer was very clear. They were a reminder to me of the mighty, unstoppable power of the life force. I looked at the little flower standing so proud and thought about will and determination, the carriers of that force. I remembered that struggles can be won and great things can be achieved against all odds… summer sunflowers do grow outside in the cold, dark days of early winter.

Looking at the splendor of each flower, I saw the glory of life past and the promise of life now, and I was reminded that renewal is a necessary part of life. It is what keeps life on this planet vibrant and alive. I was reminded renewal is a constant. Life never stops. And as I watched the bright splash of yellow dancing with abandon against the gray, windy skies, I remembered that renewal carries with it the seeds of hope and great joy.

In this world there is strife. There is hardship, and there is suffering. There is inequity. There is injustice. There is also abundant beauty amidst it all. And within that beauty there are reminders tucked away everywhere, encouraging us to persist, to strive, and to bring our visions of another world, a world to come. We have only to open our hearts and look, and we will see them.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

2 Peter 3:13

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”