The Choice of Honor

I’ve been reading through the books of Samuel and Kings in my Bible reading times over the past few weeks.  This week I read 1 Kings 10:1 which says: “When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.”

What really stood out to me about this verse is what Solomon chose to do with his life and fame.  He chose to use it to bring honor to God.  So often I hear people question others motives and honesty, and given what we’ve seen in the past 10 years, there’s often good reason to ask questions.  But with Solomon, it was clearly evident that he was living in a way that brought honor to God.  Today I have 2 questions for you:

Are you living your life in a way that honors God?

Are you honoring God with love in your life?

Each day we have a choice to get up and either live in a way that helps others and shows we want to do the right thing, or totally disregard others and what God has given us special abilities to do.  When you decide in favor of living in a way that honors God (and the purpose that God has given you), you’ll be living a life that makes a positive impact on others, it helps them and it helps you earn their trust.  When you decide to live a life of love, you’ll make better decisions because they will not be based in fear or worry, but in love and hope.

And you know what?  When the queens of Sheba do show up to ask you questions, your life choices for love and honoring God will speak louder than anything you could say.  And even though Valentine’s Day is past and we’re moving quickly on to another chapter in 2011, I encourage you to devote yourself to loving every day of the year.

What choices have you made in your life?  Be encouraged, it’s never too late to start making the right ones.  Share your thoughts and insights below 🙂

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Transforming Broken Hearts

This month we’re talking about love and transformation.  Today I thought we could talk about the ever fun topic of broken hearts.  We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point in time, whether from a ended relationship with a significant other, sudden death of family member or pet, or by a friend who was disloyal.  Those times, well, suck.  It’s tough being human because we’ve got these fragile things in us called hearts, and we can either choose to build walls like Fort Knox around them, or leave them open to others and accept the possibility they may get cracked or broken.  As painful as it is to have our hearts broken or cracked, I would rather work through the pain of a broken heart, than never have the opportunity to have love in my life. That being said, it means that I have a couple choices to make.

The first choice I’m going to make is to be thankful every day for the relationships I do have.  While no relationship here on earth lasts forever, I am determined to be thankful for the ones I have while I have them.  I commit to doing my best to care for and be responsible in those relationships.

The second choice I have to make is to be grateful for the endings.  When things end, it means that something wasn’t working right at the time.  You may reunite in the future and you may not.  But the last thing anyone should do in life, relationships or at work is continue on even when an ending is necessary.  I’ve been sharing on my newsletter about endings recently, and shared two resources.  One from Jack Canfield and one from Dr. Henry Cloud (long version).  Sometimes endings are very necessary in order for us to grow as people or do better things.

Third, I have to decide that I will learn from that experience all I can, and move on.  It does me no good to stew about what happened or didn’t happen.  What does do me well is to consider what I learned, how I grew and how I will use this experience to transform and uplift my future.  So I learn and apply what I learn to my future, to my next relationships and to helping those in my life.

These are 3 choices I’ve made about myself and how I deal with endings, broken hearts and life’s tough moments.  I encourage you to make these 3 choices in your life too.  Be thankful, be grateful for when what wasn’t working ends, learn from your experience and move into the future.

What are your thoughts?  Have you made choices that have helped you deal with broken hearts or endings?  I invite you to share them below.

Friendship Wisdom

Today I have some quotes about friendship to share with you, share your favorites too!

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”  Aristotle

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.” Maya Angelou

“If a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.”  Edgar Watson Howe

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”  Walter Winchell

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”  Albert Camus

“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” Muhammad Ali

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”  Albert Schweitzer

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”  Oprah Winfrey

“One’s friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.” George Santayana

When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.”  W. Somerset Maugham

Did you learn something?  Were you reminded of someone? Share your thoughts and any favorite friendship quotes you have below.

The Transformation of Joy

Today I want to talk about a topic I have been considering for several weeks now: joy.

Joy in what is, joy in who we are, joy in what we do, joy in where we live, joy in who we’re with, joy in being alive.

Each and every day should reveal to us another reason to be joyful.   The great thing about joy is that it’s infectious.  It is kind of like that commercial where people see another doing an act of good, and it prompts them to do their own good, helpful action.

There’s two really great things that can happen when you experience joy.  One, you will be transformed.  Because you’ve chosen joy, instead of focusing on the problems you will look for those moments of joy.  Two, if you share your joys with others, they will be transformed too!  By simply choosing joy, your life can become better, happier, and more loving than it is now.

Believe me, I do know it can be very hard to keep that joy alive though.  If you’re struggling with joy right now, I want to encourage you to join me this week as I share each day on Twitter what I’m joyful for.  Share with me and with the world your joy.  Is it essential to share it?  No. But when you declare your joy to the world, the world sends that joy and support right back to you. What joys will you discover in your life journey this week?  Those very joys can bring you to even greater victories!

Share your thoughts and joys below!

Lessons from Black History Month

Today I’m continuing to share some thoughts and inspiration in honor of black history month.  (Check out Wednesday’s post here)

Lessons we can learn from great African American leaders:

Keep going: Whether you look at Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King Jr., you will see one thing that ties all of these movements together: persistence.  They’ve shown the kind of persistence that small business owners, families and great leaders need to show.  They’ve dedicated their lives and passion to living a great life.  They’ve done what was necessary, and often peaceably, to accomplish their goals.

Don’t give up: What if Martin Luther King Jr. had not done his March on Washington?  What if Barak Obama had given up before the election and dropped out?  What if Jackie Robinson gave up on his baseball dream as a child and didn’t pursue it?  What if Nelson Mandela gave up in prison?  These individuals all had plenty of opportunities to give up and not continue pursuing their dreams.  But they didn’t.   The world is a much better place because these 4 individuals and countless others didn’t give up on what they dreamed and knew was possible.

Share the work: None of these individuals was responsible for the whole Civil War or Civil Right’s Movement.  Everyone had others that they relied on, trusted and worked with.  It was essential for they to have the support of others, whether emotional, physical or vocal, in order for the movements to have the effect they did on history and life today.

Share your faith:  Throughout history we see examples of the faith of African Americans.  From their spirituals they sang while working, and Harriet Tubman being a modern day “Moses” to help other slaves, to the famous Azuza Street revivals and Martin Luther King Jr’s expressions of dreams and a better tomorrow, it’s evident that everyone involved in either the Civil War or the Civil Rights movement were strengthened and motivated by their faith.

These 4 lessons are just a few of the many lessons that can be learned from our world history.  I’m thankful for these brave individuals who did what was necessary then to give us the opportunity to have the world we do now.  What other lessons can we learn from great leaders?  Share some of the lessons you have learned or realized over they years below.

Black History Month Inspiration

Today I’m sharing some inspiration from some of the amazing African Americans in America and the World’s history, in honor of Black History Month.  Share your thoughts on them below!

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” Barack Obama

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Jackie Robinson

“There is no bitterness.  If I was bitter, that would mean they won.” Rubin Carter

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind has been made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” Rosa Parks

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Ella Fitzgerald

“If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass

“99% of all failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” George Washington Carver

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

“Truth is powerful, and it prevails.” Sojourner Truth

“The measure of a country’s greatness is it’s ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.” Thurgood Marshall

Learn more about these great people and others at Biography and History.com.

Do you have a favorite quote, or are you inspired by one of these?  Share your thoughts below!

Why Worry?

Today’s spiritual inspiration comes from Matthew 6:34: [Jesus says,] “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I really love this verse.  It really ties into what I’ve been experiencing in my life and what I’ve been sharing about in some of my blog posts.  I don’t know if you caught it on one of my other blogs, about family, life, business and organizing, but last week I shared about accepting what’s going on in your life and taking advantage of the situation.  And on this blog I shared recently about the choices we can make to live with more freedom.  Today, I’m going to continue talking about both of these thoughts and their connection to worry.

Let’s start with a question: what good does worry do you?  Does anyone make money when they worry?  Does anyone grow relationships when they worry?  Does anyone feel happy when they worry?  So then the question must be asked: what good is worry? The short and long of it is that worry really doesn’t do anyone any good.

If we decide to not worry about tomorrow and focus on today, it gives us the ability to better deal with what happens in that day.  It also means we’re more able to participate in our relationships and at work.

When you start accepting the volatility and changes in your life, you’ll be better prepared mentally for any situations that would have caused you to worry.  When you live your life making choices that give you the flexibility and freedom you desire, you’ll have built into your life systems and supports to give you peace of mind in situations that would have caused you worry.

If  you do catch yourself worrying, instead of worrying, sit down and put plans in place to help you overcome the potential problem.  After all, there is a big difference between worrying about tomorrow and preparing for tomorrow.

What would help you worry less? Share your thoughts below and I’ll do my best to discuss them in future blog posts.