Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief 

Boy.  It's been a long time since I wrote!  The older I get, the faster time flies.

But I wanted to take the time to discuss belief.  Believing in someone, something or some goal is empowering.  I believe in collective belief.  Many people believing is awesome.  It brings energy and power to a situation that might not be there.  Telling someone you believe in them means all the world to your goals and expectations in life.

Let's start with belief in my life.

I believe in God.  I am empowered that others believe in God.  I believe that I have a purpose here and that God has me in this place in my life for a reason.  I believe that God believes in me.  I believe that God believes in all of us.  We all have a purpose and a call.

My mother believed in me.  She believed that I could be a nurse, even with a hearing impairment.  In fact, I cannot think of a time that my mother has not believed in me.  My mother has always, ALWAYS believed that I could do anything I put my mind to.  She is never surprised when I am successful, rather, she always tells me she knew I would be successful.

My husband believes in me.  He supports me through this writing journey.  He supports me in my goals.  He believes that I am a good wife, mother, friend and colleague and therefore he empowers me to be even better because of his belief in me.

I have people who believed in my writing and were not afraid to say something about it.  Their belief lifted me up when I wasn't sure I was writing the right thing, doing it the right way, or just wasting people's time with my thoughts, coaching and verbosity.  Their belief in me is paying off in a big way now.

I believed in myself.  I believed that I could change my health habits to overcome illness.  I believed that if I just stuck with a plan, I could run farther than I had before.  I believed that if I just practiced, I could lift more weight than I thought. I believed that if I made changes one step at a time, that eventually I would get there.  I believed that if I did not try, nothing at all would happen....

I have learned that belief is powerful.  Ask the cancer patient if they want people to believe they can overcome this illness and get into remission, or if they would rather have people believe that they have a terminal illness.  They will say they want you to believe that they can live and defeat their cancer.  Ask someone that has had a spinal cord injury if they want you to believe they can walk again.  They want you to believe that it's possible.  Ask a parent that has lost a child if they want you to believe that their child is in a better place, at peace and without pain.  They want you to believe their child has life everlasting.  These are things I believe. Belief brings powerful energy to a situation.

Sometimes, you need to tell people that you believe in them.  Words are a powerful way to share your belief energy with a friend or loved one.  Belief in someone can lift them up.  Belief can transform their self-doubt into self-actualization.  As a Christian, I express my belief through prayer.  Different people will do this in different ways, and that's ok.  It's far more important that you do believe than not.

For my friends that have goals that you have shared with me, I believe in you!

For those who have believed in me, thank you!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lent vs Christmas

Lent is not like Christmas. People drag their feet towards lent rather than the eager count down to Christ's birth.   Lent reminds people that they need to change. While the gift of Christ is freely given, it comes at a cost. The cost of the crucifixion. The crucifixion is also freely given, yet it reminds us that we need to be better people to honor the gift of death in order that we might have life ever lasting. 

When I was growing up, I used to say Christmas was my favorite holiday. My father would always say that Good Friday and Easter were his. This always made me scratch my head. 

As  I have gown older, the gift of Easter grows each year and I have come to think of it as my favorite holiday. I use the Lenten period to prepare myself mind, body and spirit to receive the gift of God and strengthen my skills to use myself in Gods calling in my life. 

Lent is not something to drag one's heels. Rather, look with anticipation the coming journey and the change God can make within you. At the. End if this forty days. You WILL be a changed person. 

Christ Walk with me. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sometimes you need someone else to do the praying

Life is rough. Life can be full of challenges, frustrations and situations that you feel incapable of handling.   It's easy to think that being a Christian comes with a free pass at an easy life. After all, we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, right?  On the contrary, Christians are often some of the most conflicted people out there. We struggle with every day decisions, doubt and the push/pull between the godly life we try and lead and the world around us.

As my friend says, "this is the human condition."

Most religious people I know are good people. There are always exceptions to this, but my experience has been that people with faith try hard, mean the best, and are quick to repent when they have been erroneous in their ways. We are all just trying to do the best we can with the tools we have. 

This is awesome news because that means the majority of people are trying to be better people every day!  *fist pump!*

However, life happens to the best of us. The human condition of feelings, frustrations, angers and stress happen to us all. On a good day, we are balancing these conflicts through prayer, work, physical exercise, meditation, love and all things that God has shown us to be right about the way we live. 

And then the times come, when none of these habits are happening for us. There are days that even the best intentions and the strongest beliefs are overwhelmed by our humanity.   These are the times I have to call in prayer warriors that can do the praying for me, when I feel that I cannot articulate it myself. 

Case in point: I had a disagreement with an individual. This happens, however in this case there were many small frustrations that built up to this disagreement that finally tipped my patience and loving approach. I was mad. I think you could probably call it, "spitting nails mad."  I was right about the situation, I had done nothing wrong and yet, I was made to feel like a bad person time after time when I was only doing the right thing over and over. Based on my experience with this person, there would be no convincing them I was right, or change their opinion, so I knew that I need to let this go, and give it to God.

But I was mad. MAD.

My heart was beating fast, my blood pressure was up, my face was flushed and I felt like my hair was standing on end. MAD. Madmadmadmadmadmadmadmad.

And I was having a really hard time letting go of being mad. I was so mad, I couldn't formulate a prayer to give it to God so I could pass on from this situation and move back to greener, calmer, cooler, pastures. 

And so I called on a prayer warrior. I told my friend I knew I needed to pray and let this go, but I was having difficulty doing so, and I needed her to articulate those prayers for me in a way I could not. 

And she wrote me the most beautiful prayer. And she prayed it. And I felt it. She reminded me that my frustrations and angry were like rocks in a suitcase. Did I really want to lug them around with me on my journey?  No, I did not. And through my friend's prayer, I was able to start pulling the rocks from my suitcase one by one, and my emotional suitcase was so much lighter. 

Thank you Mary for your prayer. Xo. 

When you can't pray yourself, don't be afraid to ask someone else to do it for you.

If you don't know who to ask, comment below and I'll do the paying for you. It will be my version of paying it forward. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In-Dependent Military Network

I was the guest blogger on the In-dependent military network today. Check out my post and the terrific work of this organization here:

Friday, February 7, 2014

An Introduction to Christ Walk

The “Christ Walk” book is a framework for individuals, groups, bible studies, and churches to use to incorporate physical health and fitness into the spiritual growth and development of the individual and organization. “Christ Walk” provides a daily guide including daily reflections on health: mind, body and spirit. As a self-guided or group-guided spiritual fitness plan for any age group, Christ Walk is ideal for bible study groups, women’s groups, men’s group, Lenten Devotionals or other special events geared towards integrating spiritual, physical and mental health. I like to think that I wrote the book so that you feel that I am right there by you on your journey.

“Christ Walk” was designed for you and your church to get healthier. It allows individuals and groups to set goals towards improving their physical and spiritual health and offers questions for group discussions at the end of each chapter. “Christ Walk” can be purchased in bulk for groups by contacting the author for a discount code through the publisher, CreateSpace.

I believe that churches should nourish not only the spiritual health of the congregation but also the physical and mental health. Only through balance in our life to we find the path to holistic well being. “Christ Walk” will get you and your church there on this journey towards spiritual fitness.

I really encourage people to do “Christ Walk” with another individual or in a group. Journeys in life are rarely traveled alone. The impression a journey takes depends on the people that travel it with you. A journey can be such a positive experience when it is share freely with a friend or loved one. When you make a commitment to the “Christ Walk” journey either individually or with other people, you make a commitment to work on becoming healthier. Change is hard, but change is very worthwhile. When we do “Christ Walk” as a group, we commit to loving each other through the ups and downs of our journey and support each other through these struggles. There is nothing more important than the commandment to love one another. If a “Christ Walk” 40 Day Challenge starts with love, everyone will be successful.
#fitness #church #biblestudy

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Story of Simeon and Anna

This week’s gospel story was from Luke.  The gospel reading was the telling of the prophet Simeon meeting Jesus for the first time at his presentation at the temple.  From this meeting arose the “Song of Simeon:”

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

(From the Book of Common Prayer)
Aert de Gelder's early 18th-century painting Het loflied van Simeon (Simeon's song of praise).  From:

Simeon has been waiting his whole life to meet Jesus.  When he has that moment, he feels complete.  He is now able to die at peace.  I think we all yearn for that moment when we meet Jesus.  When we know our salvation, we are able to pass from this world in peace. 

The second person to meet Jesus at his presentation at the temple is a prophetess named Anna.  She is also able to declare the glory of the Lord after being in the presence of the child Jesus.  Evidently, Jesus’ holiness was quite visible to those who see.  I am always struck by Bible stories and the descriptions of the holy transformation of individuals.  They just look different. 

I love this story.  My brother and I are named after these two individuals.  My father named my older brother, “Simeon,” and I was named, “Anna.”  It has special meaning for me that we are named for people who saw and recognized Jesus and were able to proclaim his sovereignty. 

This story validates my personal calling as a member of the body of Christ.  Each of us, in our own way, proclaims Jesus’ sovereignty in our life.  We choose to live a life of God.  We choose when we sin.  We choose what we put in our mouths.  We choose when we get off the couch.  We choose when we look the other way.  We choose our responses to events and situations.  We choose whether to recognize the Christ spark around us all.  If we are to depart in peace in this life, then we must recognize Christ in us, around us, and in the light of others each day.  When we recognize Christ and our lives can proclaim his presence, then we too, will be able to depart in peace.