Friendship and Love…

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love Hubert H. Humphrey

I have been touched recently by the importance of friendship. I am very blessed to share my life with my best friend. He is my husband and sweetheart 🙂  Because I am blessed with that constant arrangement, I have often been more lax about developing and maintaining other friendships in my life.

It’s not that I don’t value friendship – I do. It’s more like I put those relationships on the back burner more than I should have because my needs were already being so well met by my husband and family.

I don’t know what exactly penetrated my heart recently, but I have become more intimately aware of the great family, we as a human family, are. We need each other and we need to support each other.

We all have a profound impact on each other – both small and large.

Friendship, in whatever forms it presents itself in our lives should never be taken for granted. It is a gift that once given, must be guarded like a rare jewel and nurtured like a priceless garden. I am making it a goal in my life to be more friendly to strangers and to reach out more often to my friends that I am blessed to have.

What about you? Has it been too long since you have talked to your best friend? …or have you been in contact recently, but have not taken the time to let them know how important they are to you? Are your best friends your spouse and children? Are they halfway around the world and in harms way? I hope you will take just a brief moment and reach out to a friend today!

Today’s story shares the importance of unselfish friendship. I hope you will enjoy!

A Touching Story about Friendship

A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island.

The two survivors who have been a good friends, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.

After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.

Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island.

He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?”

“My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”

“You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”

“Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”

“He prayed that all your prayers be answered “

Moral: For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us (Congregational Prayer). Value your friends, don’t leave your loved ones behind.

Today’s story is shared from the following website: http://www.videoinspiration.net/blog/short-stories-about-friendship/

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Why Our Unity is So Important and Beautiful to God

Unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything Anonymous

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” JN 17.20-21

The night before Jesus died he prayed that his disciples would be one. Why was the unity of his followers so on his heart?

In college, I majored in painting and still enjoy painting. I love color. I have around 20 tubes of different colored oil paints. I like Pthalo Blue and Cadmium Yellow and Alizarin Crimson and Yellow Ocher. I like them by themselves but they’re 100 times more beautiful when mixed together and juxtaposed next to each other in a thousand surprising combinations. What makes a piece of art beautiful is the harmonies and relationships of the shapes and colors. A canvas that is all one color is boring.

In “Eyes Wide open: Enjoying God in Everything” author Steve DeWitt says that the amazing diversity in unity that we see in the creation points us to God. A stunning sunset, the glories of the Grand Canyon, the beauty of sunlight in a forest – the thousands of combinations of color and light and shape in nature, a symphony orchestra or a sports team working harmoniously – all the variations of diversity and harmony we see in the world – point us to God. Especially when we enjoy harmonious relationships.

“We enjoy holidays (the coming together of family), weddings and anniversaries (celebrations of the union of marriage), and Fourth of July parades (the unity of community and nation). Coming together feels great! Relational unity is humanity at its supreme and highest ideal. Have you ever wondered why the greatest memories of our lives or not things we bought or sites we saw or the foods we ate? Think about your greatest memories. They probably have something to do with times of closeness with a parent, a child, a spouse, or a friend. Relational unity is beautiful because all the experiential harmonies of this world whisper of the wondrous beauty of the Godhead’s relational threeness and oneness.” – Steve DeWitt

Relational unity is beautiful because all the experiential harmonies of this world whisper of the wondrous beauty of the Godhead’s relational threeness and oneness.”

All the relational diversity and harmony we see on earth – in nature, music, sports, art, in family celebrations– points us to the love and harmony of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons in one God.

That’s why it is so important for us to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph 4.3). That’s why we should seek to be reconciled to one another and work out our differences as quickly as possible. To forgive one another and bear with one another. Because our unity in diversity in our families and churches reflects and points to God.

Do you have strained relationships with fellow believers? What can you do to promote love and unity in that relationship? Are you unreconciled with anyone? What can you do to seek reconciliation?

I know that relationships even among Christians can be messy. We often sin against one another and hurt each other. We have misunderstandings and offenses. But as much as it is up to us we should forgive, love and pursue the unity of the Spirit with every brother and sister.

Remember, when we love one another it is a reflection of the beautiful love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for one another and for us. O Lord God, grant us unity, love, and harmony in our families and churches!


Today’s article was written by Pastor Mark Altrogge and is shared from the following website: https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/mark-altrogge/why-our-unity-is-so-important-and-beautiful-to-god.html

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Ideas and Consequences: The Power of Positive Example

A good example is far better than a good precept Dwight L. Moody

As an academician and former professor who taught at the college level for seven years, I feel that being with students again is much like coming home. There is much about the academic environment that shines as a beacon for the rest of society—not the least of which is the principle of genuine intellectual inquiry—tolerance, an openness, and indeed, an encouragement of new ideas and a wide range of perspectives.

An institution of higher learning is a marketplace of ideas, where ideas are shared, discussed, debated, sometimes debunked, but always treated with respect, never dismissed without thought or reason, and never feared. In the spirit of true academia, truth is not advanced by stereotyping, by shallow epithets, by innuendo or insinuation, or by suggesting that those with different views should not be heard. Those who labor and study in our centers of learning must be made of stronger stuff than that. If they are not, the prospects for a free, virtuous, and compassionate society as a whole are slim. We should judge ideas as we should judge the people who bring them to the marketplace—on their merits. The thing I have always found refreshing about the traditional academic environment is the premium it places on thinking. True thinkers can disagree without being disagreeable. By nature, they reject the thought police.

Graduates, you are about to step into a world you will shape for years to come. I know it’s customary, maybe even hackneyed, for commencement speakers to say at least a dozen times in their address: “You are the future.” We all know that. What I would like to prompt you to think about is, How do you want to shape that future? How do you want your influence to be expressed?

I would like each of you to close your eyes for just a few seconds and think of one or two people who have motivated you, encouraged you, spurred you on . . . . Ask yourself, was it because of what they said, or what they did?; how they talked, or how they behaved?

My guess is that for most of you what those people did and how they behaved—in other words, the example they were (or are) for you—has had the more lasting and meaningful impact. Certainly, no one is inspired in a positive way by the hypocrite or by the unprincipled. Paraphrasing Emerson, “What you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you’re saying.”

If you reflect further, I believe you will agree with me that each of us is inspired far more by the power of positive example than by command or threats. This is not to say that those who have wielded great power at the point of a gun have not had a profound impact. But doesn’t it mean so much more to us to earn the respect of others as opposed to commanding it? How much have we really won, if others pay attention not because they want to but because they have to?

I can think of so many things I wish more people would do. I wish they would value education more highly and read to their children. I wish they would show more concern for those around them in need and do something about it. I wish they would work harder at being the very best at whatever they’ve chosen as their life’s work. I wish they would take more seriously the responsibilities of being free citizens in a democratic society. I wish they would show more respect for the lives and property of others. I wish they would be better neighbors, more caring friends, more honest politicians, more responsible business associates.

I suppose we could devise all sorts of laws that would attempt to coerce more people in these directions and that would penalize them if they failed to comply. But that approach, frankly, leaves me with a feeling of hollowness. I don’t want a society in which people do the right thing just because they have to when they really don’t want to. And I believe strongly that the most effective teaching method and at the same time, sadly, the most underappreciated teaching method—is the power of a positive example. It isn’t a quick fix, it doesn’t promise instant gratification, but in the long run, it makes all the difference in the world.

Forcing a person to go to church doesn’t make him religious any more than forcing him to stand in a garage makes him a car. You don’t make a person truly loyal by forbidding disagreement. You don’t make a person charitable by robbing him at gunpoint and spending his money on good things.

The test of a true leader, it’s often been noted, is not how many people you can coerce into submission or intimidate into silence, but how far others will go to follow you because they are attracted to your mission of their own free will. The attraction is the power of your example.

The late Leonard Read, the founder of The Foundation for Economic Education, was fond of relating a story which I would like to paraphrase here and apply to myself: I’m terrible at golf, but I golf anyway. When I show up at the course, not surprisingly, no throngs appear. No one watches me to see how it’s done. But let a Palmer or a Nicklaus or a Watson or a Trevino show up, and instantly the crowds gather, seeking his tutelage. The British statesman Edmund Burke once said, “Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” I especially like the way Mark Twain said it, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

I am sure that no one here is entirely happy with the world the way it is. To some extent, all of us are would-be reformers of the world, whatever our personal philosophical inclinations may be. What we sometimes forget in our haste to reform the world is that we must first reform ourselves, one at a time and none of us has yet done all we can in that regard. We chronically underestimate how much influence for good we can be by simply being better individuals—not pontificating about doing good, but actually being good—and doing it with our own resources, not someone else’s—living it, serving as an inspiration for others. By underestimating our ability to shape the future of society by shaping ourselves first, we sometimes meddle in the lives of others while allowing our own to fall into disrepair.

In recent years, we have been treated to a great deal of public moralizing from some who have postured as our self-appointed moral authorities. But moralizing and morals are two different things and sometimes are not found in the same person. Individuals who preach about the morals of the rest of us while living their own lives to the very standards they prescribe do certainly exist, but I suspect that the greatest influence for good comes from those quiet folks who make morals, not moralizing, their vocation.

An item from a newspaper caught my eye some years ago because it made this very point. The story came from the little town of Conyers, Georgia. When school officials there discovered that one of their basketball players who had played 45 seconds in the first of the school’s five postseason games had actually been scholastically ineligible, they returned the state championship trophy the school team had won a few weeks before. If they had simply kept quiet, probably no one else ever would have known about it and the school could have retained the trophy.

The really amazing thing was that the team and the town, dejected though they were, rallied behind the school’s decision. The coach was quoted as saying, “We didn’t know he was ineligible at the time . . . but you’ve got to do what’s honest and right and what the rules say. I told my team that people forget the scores of the games; they don’t ever forget what you’re made of.”

In the minds of most, it didn’t matter that the championship title was forfeited. That coach and that team were still champions, and in more ways than one. We should ask ourselves, “Could I have mustered the courage to do the same?”

I suppose some of you might be thinking, “Okay, so he’s telling us to be good. So did Mother. What else is new?”

What I’m saying is, keep your youthful zeal for doing good and for changing the world. Some may call you idealistic, but progress is never made without ideals, and those who champion them are the examples we most admire and remember.

Resolve that you will indeed make your mark and shape society for the better, but understand that it is not enough to preach to others, no matter how good it might make you feel inside. It is not enough, indeed it’s almost always counterproductive, to try to shape the world by the use of force or political decree. You have it within your power to wield great influence. Just recognize that how great that influence will be, is in direct proportion to your ability as a shining example to attract others to your cause.

Graduates—with the degrees you’ve worked long and hard to achieve, you have a head start on success in life. Now it’s up to you to rise to the duty of becoming the very best examples you can possibly be in every aspect of all that you do.

Today’s article was written by Lawrence W. Reed. Lawrence W. Reed is president of the Foundation for Economic Education and author of Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. This article is an adaptation of the commencement address delivered on May 7, 1994, by Lawrence W. Reed to an audience of 6,000 at Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. This article is shared from the following website: https://fee.org/articles/ideas-and-consequences-the-power-of-positive-example/

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11 Things You Must Do to Create the Life of Your Dreams

Look closely at the present you’re constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming Alice Walker

An ugly duckling.

Diana (pronounced DeeAnna) was told as a young girl by her mother that she was ugly, and lacked the beauty her younger sister possessed. First of all, I can’t imagine a mother saying such a thing, and repeatedly reminding her daughter of her wretched opinion, but what Diana Vreeland did with her mother’s lack of love and support (emotionally) is what is inspiring. She created a life that was uniquely her own. She created her own unique signature style and became respected for being authentically herself. Now I’d say, she redefined the definition of beauty.

Over the past weekend I had the opportunity to sit down and watch two documentaries I have been eager to see: The Eye Has to Travel which spotlights the inspiring life and talent of Harper’s Bazaar columnist and former Vogue Editor-in-Chief Diana Vreeland and Makers which I spoke about a few weeks ago regarding women in America and their fight for equality.

Both were inspiring and a dutiful reminder of the responsibility we each have to create the life we wish to live, rather than become an effect driven by someone else’s expectations or assumptions of how our lives should move along.

It’s hard to dream of a life that may never have seen modeled for us. How we are nurtured as we grow up, the media we are exposed to and the world and times we live in have a profound influence on what we believe we can achieve for ourselves. But once we realize that so much of what we already believe was instilled in us through nurture, not nature, we become aware that we hold the key to creating the life we desire from that moment forward.

Much like the brave women who refused to be treated as second-class citizens or denied the same rights already afforded men, it is our responsibility to stand up and become willing to work for a life that can materialize if we refuse to live silently in somebody else’s idea of a fairy tale.

Here are eleven must-have inner tools that one must find within themselves in order to create a life that creates a feeling of tranquility, fulfillment and true contentment.

1. Be brave. A life without bumps is a life spent following the dictates of those around us (spouses, parents, friends, the world, etc) as to not disappoint, disrupt or anger anyone. But in doing so, one loses themselves and tosses aside the gifts that the world can only discover from one such unique individual – you. (Click here to learn 8 ways on how to be brave.)

2. Be willing to let go. I’ve spoken quite a lot about the importance of being able to let go (thoughts, stereotypes, people, the past, etc), but in order to create the life you want, you have to let go of what is holding you back. And the only way to do that is to be honest with yourself. Are you wrapped up so tightly with the rules your friends have engrained in you regarding how you should spend your evenings/weekends/etc? So much so that to dare to do something they may laugh at or tease you about causes you anxiety? Part of any similar anxiety is not accepting what you’d rather do as absolutely acceptable. Who cares if they laugh? You’re creating a life that you enjoy living, not one your friends enjoy being a part of. Whose life is it anyway?

3. Speak up for yourself with intelligence and composure. The key to speaking up is knowing what you are speaking up against, having a sound solution and being able to keep your emotions intact. The last necessary key is often the most difficult because often we are speaking up about something that we value greatly or have great passion for. However, similar to the success of the American Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and endless other long-fought successful battles, those who chose to speak up and keep speaking up until a wrong was corrected relied on understanding their opponent and becoming clear about all of the tools that were at their disposal.

4. Use fear to your advantage. Fear of taking a path that few others have traveled, if any, can be very daunting. And even just the thought of stepping down such a road can stop us in our tracks. However, find strength in feeling the fear in this situation because it is telling you that you are indeed on the right track. Your fear is actually built-up excitement anxiously wanting what you desire to come true, and fearful that it won’t. If you weren’t a bit fearful, it would signify that you didn’t have the passion within you to put forth the effort to make it your reality.

5. Become savvy to others’ attempts to manipulate, guilt or cajole you away from what you know is the right path for yourself. It may be a parent who refuses to support you, a sibling who inflicts a tone of voice when you say “no” to their requests of babysitting their children that you’ve elected not to have for yourself or a friend who keeps nagging you to head out every Friday night when you’d rather go to bed at a decent hour so you can get up bright and early and keep puttering away on your project – slowly, but certainly making progress. Once you are able to recognize what they are doing (whether they consciously realize it or not), let their attempt to deflate, derail or cause you to doubt your direction roll right off your back. Do not expend energy toward someone who doesn’t truly wish to see you happy, but instead wants you to fit inside a box that makes sense for their life and their limited understanding and perspective.

6. Seek knowledge and become able to distinguish propaganda from truth. Propaganda has been around as long as there have people wanting to gain something from other people – power, money, control. The key to successfully navigating the many different messages our minds are bombarded with in any given day is to know what the truth is and what is fiction disguised as truth. Keep educating yourself.

7. Show gratitude. No matter how rich or poor you may define yourself to be, you have something to be thankful for every single day. We all do. After all, we are here – on this planet earth with an opportunity to leave it better than when we found it in whatever way we are capable.

8. Refuse to accept limits. Limits are for people without vision, determination, and creativity. On your way toward your dream, there will be barriers to push through, obstacles to climb and lessons to learn. Often we are the ones putting the limits on ourselves based on what we believe we should do or cannot do. Remove the blinders, broaden your horizons and stop saying you can’t . . . because whatever you think you are capable of doing, you’re right.

9. Find regular moments of stillness and choose to listen to what you hear from within. With constant access to news, the internet and other people’s social networking pages, it seems even when we are alone, we’re not truly alone. While there are many benefits to technology, the ability to be still with our thoughts is free therapy. A moment to help us evaluate, assess how to move forward or get back on track. Take it. More is not always better and faster is not always better either.

10. Remove yourself from situations and people who can’t, or refuse, to accept you as you are or are striving to become. The aesthetics of your life help to create the life you wish to live. If someone causes you to feel uncomfortable, inferior, less confident, remove yourself. If, on the other hand, you are inspired, supported and loved for exactly as you are and applauded for the improvement you wish to make, foster these relationships and environments.

11. Trust yourself. As a young girl, one of the many quotes I was drawn to and have since kept with me to this day is “Trust yourself, and then you will know how to live.” I didn’t always know what this meant or what “trusting yourself” would look like, but what I’ve come to discover is that we each have an inner compass. However, often it is drowned out by the exterior noise that we place ourselves in trying to fit into someone else’s vision of what a “good life” looks like, or we ignore it because we realize that it is pushing us to do something many people around us aren’t, and that can be frightening.

The good news, based on my experience, is that even though it may be frightening, the results surpass following anyone else’s definition of true fulfillment. Recognize that even when you trust yourself, you will have moments of fear, but then revert back to the advice given in #4. And always keep in mind, the life you wish you could be living is waiting for you to begin living it.

“Whoever you are, whatever your dream, you have to be strong in your head and strong in your heart. Be strong. There’s no quitting in the person who wants it bad enough.“
– Carly Patterson (gymnast, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist)

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Live with Purpose – Define Your Life Mission and Life Vision

You are here for a special mission. There is a purpose of your life. Find that purpose of your life, work on it, and live your life happily Raaz Ojha

A man must live with purpose if he wants to Become a Force of Nature. Having a Life Mission and Life Vision will give you that purpose.

Life Mission

A Life Mission is a lean and simple set of overriding principles by which you will live your life. They will be at the core of everything you do from this day forward. You’ve had plenty of time to coast, but those days are gone. Now is the time to set your Mission in Armor.

Dig deep and decide who you really are when you are at your best. If you haven’t been at your best lately, just brush that aside. Don’t ever doubt it: you are a unique creation put together for a purpose. All men have personal greatness in them. All men have the tools they need to succeed at their Life Mission.

Think for a moment.

When all is said and done, who do you want to become? When it comes time to meet your Maker, what true principles and character do you want to carry under your arm into that meeting?

In contrast to your Life Vision, your Life Mission can never be complete. This is something you will pursue for the rest of your days no matter the situation.

In fact, your Mission is of most use when times are tough.

Forge your Life Mission so that some day when you are getting clobbered or in the middle of a Life Storm, you will be able to cope on pure principle.

There will be also be the usual days when your head hits the pillow and you’ve taken a pounding. If you can honestly say you lived your Mission that day, then that’s a high standard you can hold on to.

No one said your life was going to get any easier in your pursuit of excellence, but now you will have an ironclad set of principles to guide you.

My Life Mission:

I will pursue God, Excellence and Quality.

Here is a quick explanation of what my simple Life Mission means to me.

I will stay on the right side of God in my remaining days on this harsh broken planet. I’m no do-gooder or evangelist, but I will attempt to become the best I can be as a tribute to my Creator and I will avoid behaviors that will separate me from God.

I will also pursue Excellence and Quality in all that I do. You’ve heard the maxim: “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Even all the little things. It all adds up, day after day until excellence and quality become a habit.

In the long run, your habits will define you. I would like excellence and quality to be the standard I am defined by.

It doesn’t get any more complicated than that for me.

Feel free to copy my Life Mission if it suits you.

Life Vision

Your Life Vision is the ideal lifestyle and the tangible results you have yet to attain.

It is your wish list for day to day life. It is everything you have yet to become and achieve.

You now have a Life Mission, principles which will guide you in this life and into the next. It’s time to bring in the concrete and chase after the good stuff in the here in now.

I say “yet” above, because every man has had high ambition and desires for his life. Have the courage to bring these ideals back to the fore of your consciousness if you’ve given up on them. Heck, once you get rolling and develop the abundance mindset of a true Force of Nature, you may scoff at your initial limited thinking.

Do not hold yourself to your current state of affairs.

For me, regret is already a thorn in my side. I for one am not going to limit myself again. I personally will achieve my Life Vision, no matter the time and effort. Life is good, but I am not yet there. Even if it takes me twice as long as I expect it will be glorious.

Imagine for a moment you achieve your Life Vision in 10 years rather than 5. Do you think for a moment that 10 years from now you’ll look back and say it wasn’t worth it? Trust me, the reward will be just as sweet, maybe more so. Especially if you lived your Life Mission all the way through, never compromising. Sweet indeed.

This will be living up in the High Country, where all rugged men of self-mastery live.

My Life Vision:

  • A high energy passionate life with my woman
  • Achieve specific monthly equity gains in my operating business
  • Achieve specific personal monthly savings goals
  • Stay shredded and gain 10 more pounds of explosive muscle
  • Earn the freedom to fish in glorious fashion
  • Purchase my American muscle car all cash for weekend fishing
  • Five long weekends a year for vacation with my woman
  • Become location independent for income
  • Spend 2 years each living in various locations all over North America

There you have it.

Make no mistake gentlemen, my Life Mission will be pursued and Life Vision will be attained. The throttle is down and I will never stop.

Join me on the road to living up in the High Country.

All the best,

Max Panzer

Today’s post was written by Max Panzer and is shared from the following website: https://maxpanzer.com/live-with-purpose-define-your-life-mission-and-daily-vision/

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