Dedication Inspiration

This month we’ve been talking about dedication. Much of what I’ve learned this month has come from some wise thoughts from others.  Here are some of my favorites:

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a persons determination.” Tommy Lasorda

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” Helen Keller

“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” W. Somerset Maugham

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” Vince Lombardi

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas Edison

“He who never made a mistake never made a discovery.” Samuel Smiles

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.” Marlon Brando

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” Cecil B. DeMille

What about you?  What inspires you to accomplish what you do?

2011 in Words-Dedication

This month our theme has been dedication.  I’m dedicated to sharing hope this year with as many people as I can, so I blog, tweet, post and communicate hope in many different ways to hopefully encourage you.

I see a lot of people dedicated to getting by in whatever means necessary (prostitution, stealing, lying, cheating etc).  Why are these people so dedicated to that solution?  Why do they see only one direction they can take in their life?

As dedicated as I am to sharing hope, I don’t limit myself to saying I can only share hope on Twitter or I can only share hope with spiritual people.   I think that limits your success to that which you are dedicated and doesn’t let God use you in the ways He could if you released your boundaries.

I think it’s healthy to have something you’re dedicated to, like losing weight or getting/keeping a job.  But when you become narrow minded in your dedication, you lose a lot of the passion and momentum behind your focus.

If you’re dedicated to finding a new job, building a relationship, loving yourself, losing weight or something else, I encourage you to take a look at how you’re living out that dedication.  Are you being narrow minded or are you open to other possibilities of how that dedication will manifest?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights.

Saving Sayings

We’ve all put our foot in our mouths.  I used to be particularly skilled at that, but I’ve worked on it and have gotten better.  Psalm 19:14 says “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

What are some good things that should come out of our mouths?

Words like:

Thank you

You’re welcome


I love you

Bless you

and you’ll share:




You’ve got a choice with what you say, and I hope that you will do your very best to speak in a way that you’re proud of, and also helps (not hurts) others.  Work on it one day at a time and soon the words that come out of your mouth will not only come easily, but you’ll also think better things too.  Your words and thoughts are two keys to not only a great attitude towards life, they’re also the key to great relationships, success at work, and satisfaction with life.

What about you?  What words do you share on a regular basis that help others?  I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Steps of Gratitude

World Gratitude Day has come and gone, and where are we?  Are we more grateful?  More alive?  More hopeful?  Truthfully, we should be grateful all year long, not just on September 21st and Thanksgiving.  What can we do to be more grateful and express our gratitude more often?

-be intentional with notes.  Placing notes around your house and workspace can help you remember to be grateful.

-look for things to be grateful for.  You’ve probably missed many opportunities to be grateful, because you weren’t looking.

-keep a gratitude journal/blog.  Writing it down will help reinforce that it’s important to you.

-discuss it around the dinner table or before bed.  Sharing the things you’re grateful for with someone else is a special opportunity to share and connect.

-say it more often.  Try saying “thank you” at least 3 times every day, even if you have no reason to say it at the time.

-teach it to your kids.  Even if you can’t get your kids to say “excuse me” when they burp, reinforce how important saying “thank you” and being grateful is.

-don’t fake it.  As much as you should be grateful when there doesn’t seem to be anything to be grateful for, don’t do it sarcastically or rudely or with a bad attitude.

But remember, gratitude is a lifestyle, it doesn’t happen overnight.   So on this 23rd of September, what are you grateful for?

Thougths of Fall

Fall can be a discouraging time for many, the change of seasons from warm summer to cold winter, the loss of sunlight to the light of snow, long dark nights and short days.  Fall is full of beauty though, gorgeous colors on the trees, busy animals on the ground, life is very busy in fall.  But focusing on the arrival of spring and summer after fall and winter means you’ll miss out on the season of life that fall brings to us.

What can we do to make the most of fall?

-look for good things in each day

-plan for the extra dreary days.  Have a basket of goodies at home where you keep craft supplies, fun movies, books and other rainy day type activities.

-have something good planned for each day.  You don’t have to have a fully booked day, just one fun or interesting thing you can look forward to each day.

-subscribe to encouraging emails/blogs.  This will help you focus on the good, not the bad.

-spend as little time as possible with negative people.

-spend time outdoors.  Fall is a great time to be outdoors hiking, walking or playing fetch with a dog.

-visit the library and coffee houses.

-get involved in the community by joining a soup kitchen, animal rescue shelter or church.

-get a hobby.  What’s one thing you always wish you had time for but always say you don’t?

-do yoga and easy exercises at home.  This will help your body produce and release endorphins which will help you feel better.

-cook.  If you love food, the cooking time is therapeutic and you can also make tasty snacks and meals that are good for you too!

So what about you?  What are you going to do this fall to seize the day each and every day?

Grateful for Blessings

September 21st is World Gratitude Day.  This week we’ll be talking about gratitude a couple different ways, both here and on my Family, Business & Life blog.   Let’s start our gratitude talk with thoughts from Jabez, a rather mysterious man from the Old Testament in the Bible.  In 1 Chronicles 4:10 he prays:

“Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!”

We’ve talked about this verse before, and we’ll be talking in depth about it in the Fresh Perspectives newsletter.  It’s pretty clear that Jabez died a very grateful man. God helped him transform his life from being named about suffering to being so blessed that the blessing was recorded in the Bible.   Jabez didn’t just deal with his life the way it was, he chose to ask for more.

Why did Jabez get his request and so many others don’t get their requests answered?  I think he asked the right questions.  Jabez didn’t ask to be a millionaire, he didn’t ask for all his bills to be paid, he didn’t ask for a complaint-free marriage, Jabez asked to be blessed-but only if God was with him.

So why was Jabez so grateful?  Because God was with him and blessed him.  What about you?  Are you asking for God’s blessings, whatever He deems them to be, in your life?  Are you looking for things to be thankful for each day?  Try it this week-look for one or more things each day you can be grateful for.  I think you’ll be surprised what turns up in your life.

A Life of Fortune

Wisdom can be found in lots of places.  Today we’re turning to the humble fortune cookie for some insights into life.

“Your future will be happy and productive.”

“Seize every second of your life and savor it.”

“Those who walk in others tracks leave no footprints.”

“Failure is the mother of all success.”

“Difficulty at the beginning usually means ease at the end.”

“Do not seek so much to find the answer as much as to understand the question better.”

“Your way of doing what other people do their way is what makes you special.”

“Friendship is an ocean that you cannot see bottom.”

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist.”

“Our perception and attitude toward any situation will determine the outcome.”

“They say you are stubborn; you call it persistence.”

“Two small jumps are sometimes better than one big leap.”

“A new wardrobe brings great joy and change to your life.”

“The cure for grief is motion.”

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

“A human being is a deciding being.”

“Some men dream of fortunes, others dream of cookies.”

“Your failures will lead you to your success.”

“In order to get the rainbow, you must endure the rain.”

“Beauty is simply beauty. Originality is magical.”

“Let not your hand be stretched out to receive and shut when you should repay.”

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

“You don’t need talent to gain experience.”

“A focused mind is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.”

“Be patient! The Great Wall didn’t got build in one day.”

“Wisdom is on her way to you.”

“The best is yet to come.”

“Be direct, usually one can accomplish more that way.”

“A single kind work will keep one warm for years.”

“Ask a friend to join you on your next voyage.”

“In God we trust.”

“Stop searching forever, happiness is just next to you.”

What words of wisdom have you heard lately?  Would you share them below?

A Honey of a Food

Honey is one of the best foods for eating and cooking with, so for National Honey Month, let’s share some of our favorite honey foods.

Breakfast & Breads:

Honey wheat rolls, honey oatmeal bread, honey shortcake biscuits, honey oatmeal muffins, honey orange butter, honey banana bread, pumpkin walnut biscuits.


Greek Honey Dough Balls (Loukoumades), honey lime fruit salad, honey caramel corn, cinnamon twists with cardamom-honey sauce, oatmeal peanut butter energy bars.


Acorn squash and honey pies, carrots with ginger and honey, salmon with honey-coriander glaze, honey nut stir fry, honey sweet potatoes, spicy honey wings.


Honey cake, spice bee cookies, honey gingerbread, honeyed fruit tartlets, honey-walnut pie, honey apple cake, honey bun cake, date nut bars, honey shortbread, spicy honey peanut sauce, sweet beehive cake, sauteed pineapple with nuts and honey.

What about you?  What do you like to do with honey?  Share your favorite recipes and memories below.

Dedicated to God

Throughout the Bible there are individuals whose lives are dedicated to God.  They’re given the task of leading God’s people through a specific challenge or to reach a specific goal.  Some parents have their babies dedicated at churches as a promise to raise them as people who follow God.

What does it really mean to be dedicated though?  One definition describes it as being “set apart.”  We’re asked to dedicate a lot of things these days.  TV networks want us to dedicate our time to nightly programs, bosses want us to dedicate our focus at work to work and not Facebook or the internet, kids want us to dedicate our attention to them when we get home.  But what about God?  What does God want you to be dedicated to?

I think God wants you to be dedicated to Him: to living the purpose He’s given you, to trying to live right and asking for forgiveness when you don’t, to sharing His good news with others, and to spending a little time each day with Him.

It’s not about guilt-tripping and doing these things because you have to, you should want to be dedicated to each of those things.  Part of the definition of dedicate is that you’re wholeheartedly committed.  You don’t do something wholeheartedly if you don’t want to.

This week I encourage you to spend time with God the way that makes you happy.  If you’re happy to pray this week, do that.  If you’re enjoying reading a book by Max Lucado or Jack Hayford, do that.    If you’re enjoying your Bible time, do that.  If you’re enjoying meditative walks with God, or sitting in nature, do that.  Connect with God in a way that you enjoy.  What will you do this week?  I’d love to hear your comments.

Inspiration of Grandparents

I’m blessed to still have one grandmother in my life.  She’s a sweet woman who successfully raised 3 children, was married to her husband for over 50 years until he passed away a few years ago, and has navigated health challenges of both her husband and herself for many years.  It’s not easy growing old, but I’ve certainly learned a few lessons from her over the years.

-be patient.  Whether you’re the young talking with the old or the old talking with the young, patience is a necessity.  I may hear her share about the same things a few times, and she has to be patient enough with me when I don’t make the time to call her every week.

-slow is ok.  I don’t think it’s always about slowing down, as much as it is being ok with taking your time in life.  She still has deadlines (doctors appointments, church on Sundays)  to make, and she knows to go early so she’s not rushed.  I’ve learned that it’s actually ok to drive the speed limit, be early for appointments and the pleasure of sitting and enjoying life.

-never give up on life.  It can’t be easy getting old, but something keeps her going.  I know that it is in part because of her faith, but I also know that she’s happy to be alive and loves hearing from her sister, brothers, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  It has been challenging for all of us the past few years, but if we have learned anything from the generation who survived the Great Depression and WW2, it is that there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

This Sunday, September 11, will you join me in appreciating our grandparents?  I’d love to hear about the special grandparents you’ve had in your life too, share your story below.