Monday, November 30, 2009

What If You Rewrote Your Life's Story?

The following is an article by Dr. David Hawkins. In it he gives advice on how to change the thinking patterns that are holding us back from fullfilling our dreams or changing into the person we desire to be.

The Power of Rewriting Your Story

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." (Proverbs 23:7a KJV)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Could You Be An Ugly Duckling?

This entry is inspired from a sermon preached by Minister Kimberly Nelson. In the sermon she related the story of the ugly duckling. I did not know that the ugly duckling went through so much before becoming a swan. (If you would like to read an account of this story, click here.)

First of all, the ugly duckling was picked on by its family members and those that should have been protecdting it. The taunts, jeers, and rejection was so bad until the duckling ran way. There were moments in which the duckling's life was in peril. Let's not forget the time the old woman's hen told the duckling it was crazy for wanting to swim in the water. What a preposterous idea!

Finally, after harsh winters and an incredible amount of verbal or physical abuse from others, the ugly duckling encountered three swans. The following is what happened during that encounter:

“I will fly to those royal birds,” he exclaimed, “and they will kill me, because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them; but it does not matter: better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens, pushed about by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with hunger in the winter.”

Then he flew to the water, and swam towards the beautiful swans. The moment they espied the stranger, they rushed to meet him with outstretched wings.

“Kill me,” said the poor bird; and he bent his head down to the surface of the water, and awaited death.

But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck’s nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan’s egg. He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.

Although "The Ugly Duckling" is just a fable, can you relate your life to that of its main character? If so, my question for you becomes,

"Could you be an ugly duckling?"

"My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything." (James 1:2-4 .NET Bible)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How Are You Spending Your Time?

The following is from Dan Miller's 48 Days Newsletter. What are you doing to build up your hours?

The 10,000-Hour Rule

The second chapter in the new book Outliers is titled The 10,000-Hour Rule. Author Malcolm Gladwell shares his research that shows few people get to the top of their game without putting in at least 10,000 hours of preparation.

”The closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.”

Whether it’s Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, the Beatles, Yo Yo Ma, Mozart, or Warren Buffet, it appears no one gets to the top without putting in their 10,000 hours. If you put in 40 hours a week, that’s 5 years. If you only find 20 hours a week to work on your area of excellence it will take 10 years. If you’re just squeaking out 5 hours a week – it’s going to take 40 years. Talent will only take you so far; it’s the hours of work that will separate you from the pack.

The problem is that we have become an “instant” society. We have been spoiled with email, cell phones and microwaves – and become impatient with the nanosecond required to load a new web page. College graduates expect the $100,000 job and the $500,000 house instantly. Talented musicians and athletes expect fame and fortune long before investing 10,000 hours in practice. Writers give up after writing their great novel in a weekend and after a month of searching for a publisher. Christians are often confident their idea came from God, thus assuming success will be easy and instantaneous.

So where have you put in your 10,000 hours? If you are in a job that you hate, have you been investing hours in an area of excellence that will give you a new opportunity? Or do you just waste the hours away from work, hoping for something more fulfilling to appear? If you are a writer, a musician, a landscape designer, a web designer or a husband, have you put in your 10,000 hours of concentrated preparation to be great in that area?

I trust this is an encouraging bit of information. You don’t have to regret having average talent, or not having the highest IQ, or being born into the wrong family. Just find your area of excellence and put in 10,000 hours of preparation. You’ll bypass those with more “advantages” and find success that others only dream of.

If you would like to read the remainder of the newsletter, please click here.

"Go to the ant...consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV)

Monday, November 9, 2009

In Life, How Would You Like Your Cake?

So, the beginning of your time of change was exciting. The thoughts of what could be brought a glitter to your eyes and a spring to your step. Such thoughts filled you with both anticipation and dread. The outlook for your new future was promising.

Then the waiting period came. Who knew that waiting would take THIS long? What happened to the growth--in your spiritual walk, in how you perceive things, etc.--that you were experiencing previously? Why does everything seem to be at a standstill? Is it a possiblity that your choice to experience a time of change was a bad one? Has it all been a mistake?

You could look at it that way or you could take a different look. Ask yourself this question: Does everything in life come quickly or instantly? Let's focus on a cake. In order to experience a cake's fluffiness, decadence, or what have you, it has to be prepared properly. Too much or not enough of an ingredient can change the cake's texture or taste. On top of that, a cake must be baked for the proper amount of time at the right temperature. If it is taken out too early, the results are typically disappointing.

In your time of change the same principles hold for us. After we have been prepared for the baking process, now we must wait to bake. Either we can wait patiently while we're baking or we can try to come out of the oven early.

We have come this far. Why should we settle for less than the best cake we can create for our lives?

I am hoping for you much encouragement during this waiting stage.


"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time..." (Ecclesiastes 3:11a KJV)