“The APPROVAL OF OTHERS”

THE APPROVAL OF OTHERS …

Written by Tim Storey 

"Approval from Others"

“The Approval of Others”

Just imagine with me for a moment, that special day when everyone notices all your hard work, praises you and makes sure you know it.  What exactly do you expect will happen that day?  We spend an incredible amount of time and energy planning and working for that day, but why? It will never arrive, and even if it does, it’s not clear that anything special happens.

Perhaps the approval of every person in the entire world doesn’t need to be the goal of your life. Perhaps there is something more important. Perhaps your life has value with or without other’s approval.

Praise temporarily fills the void created by the feeling of not being loved and we experience pleasant emotions. Because we don’t know how to close this void we figure that we can only be happy when others approve of us.

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.” - Andrew Carnegie

The scriptures speak of the power of wise councel. There is a difference between listening to sound counsel and seeking the approval of others. Wise counsel will always direct you to finding your purpose and living it out. Wise counsel will always be more about you and your life’s direction and less about them and their agenda.

CHALLENGE: Consider today, living your life beyond the borders and limitations of those who surround you. Consider who you seek counsel from. Consider who you seek approval from. Consider rising to the challenge of being you. You have a purpose that is uniquely yours. Don’t you think it’s time you lived it out?

This is my little brother Tim… He is one of my heros! He is a very generous person and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.  I was there when the Spirit of the Lord called him into what he does today. He has traveled across the world to Encourage, Inspirer, bringing healing to people both physical and spiritual. I’m so very grateful that he is in my Life…

I spoke in Stockholm and Tim was there to support me!

 

Only God gave us the "Dream"!

Only God gave us the “Dream”!  And we followed it!

Power to the powerless…

Written by Berna Swodeck

It all began with a train ride from New Mexico to California. I was still

He gives Power to the powerless

He gives Power to the powerless

being housed by my mother, feeling safe midst the chug, chug, chugging, and the sounds of the wheels riding along the train tracks. I was to be born any minute, and mommy was desperately trying to hold on to my birthing, hoping to make sure the train pulled into the station in time to make it to the local hospital. Palm Springs was the destination, with my Aunt Lucy anxiously waiting with the car to transport me and my mommy to a safe delivery. Breathing heavily all entered the hospital corridors just in time.
Berna Lee was born. She was healthy, with a full head of hair, and sweeping eyelashes. Most of the relatives were still in New Mexico, including her daddy. He would soon follow and they would be a family again. As part of his husband duties, daddy secured a nice little apartment in the city. His 6 foot frame, flashing blue eyes and wavy black hair allowed him to place a deposit for a rental immediately, as the landlady favored him! Mommy and I arrived a few days later. A few borrowed baby items were strategically placed for a family to settle in until spring came. After a little while, there was a knock on the door. The landlady who was so gracious to daddy, asked him a question with a somewhat stern voice, “Who is that lady with the baby that you brought to ‘my’ apartment? “ He answered, “She is my wife and this is my new little daughter Berna Lee!” “Well” she said, “You all can’t live here! No Indians allowed!” So, by the next morning, all packed up, my parents proceeded to another apartment above a store, on the ‘other side’ of town. There was not enough room for a bassinet, or especially a crib, so for the next three months my head rested each time I slept in a cozy dresser drawer.

 

Life for these 61 years has been spent pursuing my dreams, while I have also felt the reality of someone else’s decision – halting any hopes I might have had. Kevin Spacey recently said in House of Cards that power is greater than money. Although I never chose to have great power, I did find the secret of God’s amazing infusion of power in relationship to Him. Being settled in my heart as a friend of His has given me the capacity to live these years of my life at times powerless to change man at times, or to influence him for the good, but able to remain powerful enough to choose how I would respond. A beautiful bassinet was the dream, but the dresser drawer proved to be a place of comfort. A rejection in life simply became a catalyst for kindness, love and grace. The decision to choose well, the determination to pray and believe, and the perseverance to continue when all else may fail is power, in its greatest form!

 

Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (New Living Translation)

 

Berna Swodeck is my older sister that helped raise me when I was growing up. She as been more than an inspiration to me, she has been a light. I love her creativity and wit, often enjoying good food and long talks! You’ll enjoy more blogs from her, this will be one of many!IMG_2532

 

 

 

 

 

His Faithfulness Is our shield

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Written by Paige Junaeus

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life- when he has provided food, family, health, and happy situations.  But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

I’ll never forget where I was and what I was doing when my husband said to me, “honey you got a phone call.” It was my brother Tim on the other end, barely holding it together. With a crack in his voice he said to me, “We lost the battle!”  Our brother has passed away, he’s gone! That was a very difficult thing to hear.  He was in the prime of his life with a hopeful future ahead of him.

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant. ‘Yea, sounds good on paper, right! I wish I could have told you, ” that’s exactly what happen to me”. But I would be fabricating the truth if I did.

You see, in real times of loss and feeling that God is at a distant, separated or maybe even silent.  Can be a real experience of emptiness in a human heart.  In the case of my brothers death, I was hurt, full of questions and holding on to my faith, all at the same time.  I thought in my mind, God where are you? As I finally found my place of prayer and cried out to the Lord, I immediately knew of His Presence, and realized that He was holding me together. His faithfulness is our shield! His healing is everlasting!

Be encouraged!

Relationships with our children…

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Written by
Paulette Suzanne Cloutier
Relationships with our children;
Speak to them~
A blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. Your children need to hear you say:  I love you…I’m proud of youYou can do it!
Touch them ~
Isaac called Jacob close to him, touched him and kissed him. Whatever form it takes (a kiss, a tickle, a wrestling match on the floor), the simple act of affectionate touch between a parent and a child communicates volumes. Jesus knew this, too. We learn from Him that “He took the children in His arms and He put His hands on them and He blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
Encourage your children~
Encourage your children to be all they can be in life; help them reach that potential by enlarging their vision of a God who always does things in abundance; find out their dreams and dream with them.
Remind your children ~
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Use your words to change your children’s future.
Give your children a blessing~
Thank you Paulette, your such an inspiration to us all!
Paige

“Let’s talk over a cup of Coffee!”                          

Do you take cream or sugar?

Do you take cream or sugar?

‘Spring brings change!’

 

Written by Paige Junaeus

 

“Spring is officially here!” Winter season across the world is about to change. The snow is beginning to melt, the sun is shining brighter each day, and we are storing away our boots and heavy sweaters. People are restoring or planting new gardens in their homes bringing beauty and color to their environment.

This season is a time when we may all rise up from whatever is keeping us down. It’s a time when we can rise above our own weaknesses, limitations, and challenges.   We all can embrace the opportunities that present themselves to us. With the right people around us combined with daily disciplines, you can accomplish all of your expectations and goals.

Through self-discipline associated with will power, hard work, and persistence you can do it! Self-discipline can be defined as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state. There are some days when I just don’t want to work out at the club. However, when I write it down in my daily journal, I take it from my brain to pen on paper.  When I do that, ‘It’s documented!’  I drive myself to the club in spite of my negative emotions and thoughts. Surprising, after my first warm up I’m feeling the environment of the gym, and I continue to work out! Let’s face it, we all love the results that labor through hard work completes.

Willpower is the strength and ability to carry out a certain task, self-discipline is the ability to use it routinely and even automatically. In most cultures, it has been noted that self-discipline is the ultimate path towards success. Step by step, you will succeed!

“Start planting your garden”…

 

 

 

Written by Paige Junaeus

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

The Greatest Story ever told…Jesus is Risen, so he is the “Messiah, and therefore he is the world’s true Lord; Jesus Is raised, so God’s new creation has began-and we, his followers, have a job to do!  Jesus is raised, so we must act as his voices, announcing his lordship to the entire community, making his kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven!  Your message, the message of the love of Christ ….Is in your story! Share it today! That’s all I do….

Inspired by NT Wright

“Surprised by Hope”

He is Risen...

He is Risen…

 

 

THE CRUCIFIXION …GOOD FRIDAY

Written by Paige Junaeus

As N.T. Wright commentated, “Crucifixion was a powerful symbol throughout the Roman world. It was not just a means of Liquidating undesirables; it did so with the maximum degradation and humiliation. It said, loud and clear: we are in charge here; you are our property; we can do what we like with you. It insisted, coldly and brutally, on the absolute sovereignty of Rome, and of Caesar. It told an implicit story, of the uselessness of rebel defiance and the ruthlessness of imperial power. It said, in particular; this is what happens to rebel leaders. Crucifixion was a symbolic act with a clear and frightening meaning.” -Jesus and The Victory of God

When Jesus was crucified, the general impression in Jerusalem that day must have been that he was once more in a long line of would-be, but failed, Messiahs.

However the story doesn’t end there, does it? In the death of Christ laid a hidden reality of “Life.” And in those three days of death, Christ was changing our reality forever! He was changing all of creation, time, space, and matter. He was creating a new and “Living Way” for all! This is the greatest story ever told … join me in sharing your life with others. Telling your own story can and will change the minds and hearts of people around you. Ignite your world through the story of hope, guided by the Spirit of Christ. Be gentle and kind, because you never know where people have had to walk. The Spirit of God has been poured out upon all flesh. You will see “Him” in the mercy.~

Good Friday...

Good Friday…

The Celebration of the Resurrection is coming…

Join Me on A Whole New Journey

Everywhere I go, I meet women of influence, inspiration, ideas, creative women, impacting their families, friends and communities. My last visit to South Africa has left her imprint on my heart. Since then, I’ve prayed that I would return to this amazing continent, to be an inspiration to both men and women that call Africa their home. They are living examples of how to move forward in life with God’s grace, elegance, and compassion. They are filled with God’s love, making the difference in others. They sure made a difference in me.

South Africa Tour 2013

Preparing for the South Africa Tour in 2013…

Well, today my prayer was answered … I’ve been invited to come back and speak across South Africa this year 2013! Very excited… I’ll keep you posted on dates and itinerary.

 

 

turn2 a Devotion today…

Written by Paige Junaeus 

“He is the Father to the Fatherless”

Psalms 68:5 (NIV)

A father to the fatherless,

a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.

He is the father to the fatherless...

He is the father to the fatherless…

 

 

 

 

There are many kinds of earthly fathers in the world; some are loving, supportive, merciful, and faithful. The reality of today is that more and more have abandoned the forms and ideals of marriage and parenthood. This may result in society break down which often produces abusive, angry, and   disconnected fathers.

 

My father suffered from alcoholism for many years. So growing up in that environment caused me to develop trust issues and feelings of abandonment. During my adult life as I was seeking the scriptures for healing, so when I read those words with great joy, “He is the Father to the Fatherless,”  I began to realize that God loved me as his own. He was one that I could trust with my past, present and future. He was my very foundation and I wanted to know His Presence.

 

In the book of Matthew 6:9, Jesus directs us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven”. These words bring to us the hope that God is our Father.  He is faithful to those who ask of him, and he knows our frame and how we were brought up. He sees our wounds and our weaknesses with eyes of compassion and mercy. He provided a way to know Him through Christ and empowered us by His Spirit.

 

No matter where you came from or what you have done, you have a Heavenly Father that waits for you to call out for him. And that is one prayer that He will hear, that you may be granted the experience of His loving Presence.

 

Prayer Optional

 

Lord I’m here, to seek your face, to know your voice and find my life in you. As I wait for you with a heart of anticipation, trusting that you are here with me. ‘Cause me to find rest in your Presence’.  Restore me by your Spirit, teaching me your ways. Bless me, ‘Oh God’ that I may know you as Father.

 

"Battle Ground, Holy Ground"

“Battle Ground, Holy Ground”

 

Battle Ground, Holy Ground

Written by Paige Junaeus 

 

Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)

 

(v1) The Lord is my Light and my salvation-whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my Life-of whom shall I be afraid?

(v2) When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

(v3) Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

 

David was a man after God’s own heart. He understood how important it was to have the Presence of God with him. He won many battles as King over Israel, and each one of them he gave God the honor. He also experienced many challenges and personal failure in his own life. At one point the scriptures describe how he cried out to God in prayer, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” The psalm goes on to describe that life can go from bad to worse, each battle stronger then the last. However, in our battles there is still hope in Christ. The psalmist continues, “even then will I be confident” and ‘not give up’. Why, because He is my Light and my Savior! It’s a daily decision in our hearts that causes us to be stead fast, walking in the grace that only He can and will provide day by day.  His Presence through Christ is with you, you can be sure of that!

 

Several years ago I was facing personal battles. I could not see any way out. I finally retreated to prayer. I began to Practice His Presence in worship and prayer, using Psalm 27 as my compass, learning how to go from the battle grounds of life to the Holy Ground of God. A supernatural confidence arose in me and the battle was subdued in my heart before the actual battle ended – and it did!

 

In the Holy Ground He will guide you, open up your sight, and give you confidence and rest. He will prepare you for the battle grounds of life, teaching you His ways step by step.  David’s life was one of passion and courage. Take courage in His salvation.

 

 

Prayer Optional 

 

I come before you Lord as a student in the midst of the battle. I need you as my truest source; therefore I bow in worship and humility. As I hear the enemy’s voice and plans, I am afraid, until you are my salvation; therefore I wait in your presence until the rise of my fear becomes confident in you, my God. Once fortified, I move ahead, in faith, believing that your power will be set upon the battle field from on high, and that truth and justice shall prevail.