Sign up to receive these devotions in your inbox daily!
* indicates required

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Virtual Book Tour: Mrs. Garcia's Class Visits the Hospital

Mrs. Garcia's Class Visits the Hospital is the first book written by author and former elementary teacher, Kristy Taylor. The book is an exciting career day adventure with a diverse group of characters where the students in Mrs. Garcia's class visit the local hospital for their class field trip. While touring the hospital with Mrs. Garcia and Dr. Johnson as their guides, the students learn about over twenty different healthcare careers, and they have lots of fun along the way!

Supplements: An additional student activity is also available for purchase. The activity guide features games, resources, quizzes, and worksheets that will challenge children to think critically about Health Science career options. This guide is a great resource for teachers and parents to teach children about careers in Health Science. The guide also includes a free PowerPoint presentation featuring glossary terms and pictures from the book.

Excerpt: “Eric introduced us to Michelle, the phlebotomist. “What is a phlebotomist?” asked Haley. “A phlebotomist is a person who specializes in drawing a patient’s blood for testing,” said Michelle. Suddenly, Nathaniel got an interesting look on his face and raised his hand. “Yessss,” said Michelle. “Is your job sort of like being a vampire?” Nathaniel asked. The entire class laughed and turned to look at Michelle. “No,” she chuckled.

“I learned about all of the different areas that doctors could specialize in, for example, Dr Herrera was a podiatrist, and he specialized in treating patients with feet problems. Dr. Osborn was a neurologists; she specialized in helping patients with nervous system disorders. We also met Dr. Chadwick, the hospital’s pharmacist; she helped patients get the medicine that they needed in order to help them feel better.”

About the Author:

Kristy K. Taylor is a fulltime Health Science Professor, author, and founder of Kid Medic, LLC. She has over seven years of teaching experience in the field of health science education, and she spent two years as an elementary school teacher in Brackettville, Texas. Prior to becoming an elementary school teacher and accepting her current position at Palm Beach State College in Florida, she spent six years on active duty in the United States Air Force as a Healthcare Administrator and teacher for the Community College of the Air Force. Kristy holds an associate’s degree in Healthcare Management, a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Resources, and a master’s degree in Health Science with a focus in Health Education. Kristy is also currently pursuing her doctorate in Health Science with a focus in Global Health at A.T. Still University located in Mesa, Arizona. She holds several certifications to include:

*Texas EC-4 Generalist and EC-12 Health Teacher
*Certified Wellness Coach
*Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
* Certified in Instructional Design (through the Community College of the Air Force)

In the past, Kristy has worked with students by providing them with career exploration tools and resume help. She is also currently working on her Career Coaching Certification through the Professional Association of Career Coaches and Resume Writers. Kristy enjoys teaching and working with students to help them achieve their goals. She started Kid Medic because she believes that children can reach their potential only when they are properly taught, nurtured, and engaged in a manner that inspires them to expand their horizons through reading, thinking, exploring, and discovering the world around them.

Related Information: 

Genere: Children, YA, Career, Education, Health
Children’s Book: Ages: 10-12, Grades: 4-7
Publisher: Kid Medic, LLC
Website and Purchase Link:
Price: $12.oo includes S&H
Excerpt/Preview Link:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

As we stand here looking
At the flags upon these graves
Know these flags represent
A few of the true American brave

They fought for their country
As man has through all of time
Except that these soldiers lying here
Fought for your country and mine

As we all are gathered here
To pay them our respect
Let's pass this word to others
It's what they would expect

I'm sure that they would do it
If it were me or you
To show we did not die in vain
But for the red, white and blue.

Let's pass on to our children
And to those who never knew
What these soldiers died for
It's the least we can do

Let's not forget their families
Great pain they had to bear
Losing a son, father or husband
They need to know we still care

No matter which war was fought
On the day that they died
I stand here looking at these flags
Filled with American pride.

So as the bugler plays out Taps
With its sweet and eerie sound
Pray for these soldiers lying here
In this sacred, hallowed ground.

Take home with you a sense of pride
You were here Memorial Day.
Celebrating the way Americans should
On this solemnest of days.

© 1999 by Michelle Keim

Friday, May 25, 2012

An Interview with Christian Author, Acacia Beumer

Today I am pleased to post the following interview with Acacia Beumer, author of Launch Out Into the Deep.  Acacia has quite a testimony and is living proof that God can use anyone in His work, no matter their circumstances.  Acacia has made it her mission in life to offer hope to the hopeless.

Welcome, Acacia. To begin with, would you please tell us a little about yourself and, in doing so, also share your testimony. 

 Hi Dana! Thanks so much for this opportunity! My name is Acacia Beumer and I am presently in graduate school studying Marriage and Family Therapy. I am in the final stage in my course of study, and am more than half way through my one-year internship as a social worker at a local behavioral health hospital for teens and adults. I am and have been happily married for almost five years to my husband John, who is presently serving his country in Afghanistan. We have two beautiful daughters: Jana Grace is 3 years old and Jaci Marie is 1. I will answer the question about my testimony in one of your other questions.

Tell us about Launch Out Into the Deep. What's it about?

Launch Out Into The Deep is an in-depth devotional that will challenge the reader to answer the question as to where they truly are in their faith in God. In the words of a reviewer, “It is important for a religious book to make the reader feel comfortable, and Acacia Slaton Beumer does exactly that, leaving us, the reader, to make up our own minds, unlike some paperbacks that boast and force into accepting just one point of view. By making US ask the question, we eventually find the answers in ourselves.” – J.F. Shaw,

What inspired you to write this book?

Dana, at the age of 15, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. My former psychiatrist told my parents that I would never be normal and function in society. Prior to this experience, my mom said, “Acacia, you can’t get to heaven on my salvation. You will have to know Jesus for yourself!” I found myself in a situation that my parents could not deliver me from; the doctors could not heal me. My back was up against the wall and that’s when I came to the realization that I needed a savior. At the time I wrote this book, I was working at a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. These youth were in seemingly hopeless situations and were plagued with diagnoses that limited them from believing they could live a happy and healthy life. I wrote this book to inspire those who are in hopeless situations that they see no way out of!

How long has the book been out, and what kind of responses has it gotten in both the religious and non-religious market?

Dana, the first edition of Launch Out Into The Deep was published in 2006. We recently came out with a new edition that was published this year. Many readers commented on wanting to hear my testimony and believed the book would be great for group discussions. Based on this info, the book was republished with a chapter-to-chapter discussion guide for personal study and reading circles, and also includes my testimony. The book is also available in audio and e-book. Most of the reviews on Amazon are from individuals who describe themselves as not religious. Dana, I am sure you are aware that the market is presently flooded with devotionals and inspirational books of all kinds. I believe that Launch Out Into The Deep is a gem in this generation – a diamond in the rough. Among those who have read it (believers and unbelievers alike), some have commented that they were not expecting much but were pleasantly surprised with the message and how it was relevant to their situation. In the words of one reviewer, “I was in a confused state with my religious beliefs. Now I can't wait to further my knowledge and understanding of my relationship with God. I want to make peace with myself and others. I truly feel like a totally different person after having read this book. I feel like I have taken the first step to receiving salvation.” – Katia, 

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

My desire is that this book will make Christians stronger in their faith and will be a step towards salvation for unbelievers or those who question the Christian faith.

How do you feel about many of the wishy-washy "Christian-living" books on the market today that are filled with fluff and feel-good messages but very little truth?

 Dana, that’s a good question! I feel that some Christian writers are so focused on writing books that will appeal to the masses (for Christians and unbelievers alike) that they sugarcoat their message in order not to offend or decrease their ratings. Also, a person can only write at a level of where they are spiritually. So, if there is not a strong spiritual conviction to walk in holiness in their personal lives, then it’s not going to be relayed in their message.

 I noticed that your book has over 60 reviews on Amazon. I'm sure many fellow writers (such as myself) would like to know did you procure those reviews from reviewers and review blogs or are the reviews from faithful patrons who purchased your book and chose to write a review?

First of all, let me say that getting reviews is no easy task! My reviews have come through a combination of readers and mostly blog sites. I’ve given away over one hundred copies of my books and have written to over one hundred blog sites requesting reviews in exchange of a complimentary copy of my book. Let me say that most of the responses were “No.” But let me also point out that these “No’s” were with good reason, as reviewers are constantly bombarded with authors (like me) who request book reviews. Persistence pays off. It’s also good to consider publications that have access to lots of reviewers. So I have subscribed to publications of these sorts and was able to advertise my book and get requests from interested reviewers. There are a number of publications and resources online that will point you in the right direction. Do your research and be willing to give out copies of your book knowing you may not get a response. I’ve recently sent out over 20 books and have not received responses, but hope I will hear something soon as they go through all the other hundreds of requests they’ve received from authors like myself who hope and pray that their book will stand out amongst the hundreds and thousands that are published each year. I hope this helps!

What plans do you have for the future?

 I would like to have an opportunity for speaking engagements. I believe that my background in counseling and my book will open many doors for ministry. I know that the Lord has birthed a message within me and I am totally trusting Him to open doors that have been closed.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our blog audience today?

Yes, Launch Out Into The Deep has recently been awarded the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12 plus and is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for the Most Outstanding Religion and Spirituality Book! Thanks for this opportunity, Dana! Readers, you can learn more by visiting my site Sign up for your newsletter and receive 2 free sample chapters from the book, 2 audio readings (from the audiobook) not featured on our site, and a free animated screen saver based on the vision behind the book cover.

Disclaimer:  My participation in this book tour does not mean that I have read and/or agree with the work being promoted.  Typically, unless I'm doing a book review, I do not have the opportunity to read the books before promoting them. The purpose of virtual tours is to help fellow authors promote their works, and while I am very particular about who and what I promote, I cannot guarantee that the beliefs and views stated in any specific book are my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May I Help You?

I read an inspiring story this morning of an Olympic event held for those with special needs.  Ten contestants lined up at the starting line of the 100-yard dash.  When prompted, the race began, and the ten took off, though one could hardly call it a dash.  Before long, one boy stumbled and fell head over heels on the asphalt.  As his sobs rang out, the other nine contestants stopped, looked back and then turned around.  All nine turned back to help the sobbing boy.  They gathered around him, offering him kisses and words of encouragement.  When his crying ceased, the ten contestants linked arms and proceeded to the finish line.

How often in our Christian race are we like the nine contestants who turned back to help a fallen brother?  I fear many times we are too busy with our own cares and concerns to notice the plight of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sometimes the race is a struggle to put one foot in front of the other, and we become so focused on the finish line that we lose sight of all else.  While it is important for us to be focused on the finish line, it's also imperative that we take notice of our fellow contestants. 

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Exhorting one another.  That means lifting each other up, encouraging, helping.  Yes, we long to reach the finish line, but don't we want to help others reach it too?  May we not become so consumed with our own race that we fail to reach out a helping hand to those in need.


What are my favorite foods?  What inspired me to write The Delaware Detectives?  What's my idea of a perfect day away from work?  Find out the answer to those questions and more by reading my interview at Books Are Cool.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Prayin' and Complainin'

The other day as I was running errands, I was throwing myself a bit of a pity party. Since Jason's promotion at work, I've hardly seen him. He's gone most of the day, and when he is home, he's either working on scheduling appointments or he's so tired he's zombie-like.

On this particular day, I was pouring my heart out to the Lord of how much I miss my husband and how I hate that he's having to work so much overtime. Just as I was really getting started, I passed a church sign that grabbed my attention. It read, Don't pray for rain if you're going to complain about the mud. Ouch, and double ouch! Talk about God sending me a sign!

My mind immediately went back to all the prayers I had prayed that God would help us out financially. I thought of all the tears I've cried because there was more month at the end of the money. Then I thought about how God had answered that prayer by giving Jason a promotion and pay raise. And my response to His answer? I was complaining!

Why do we do that? Why do we ask God for something and then complain when He doesn't meet the need exactly the way we think He should? Don't we realize how disrespectful we're being? It's almost like we're saying, "Well, God, thanks for trying to answer my prayer, but I'm afraid You didn't do it right."

I'll be the first to admit that God's ways don't always make sense to me. In fact, God's ways don't usually make sense to me. But whether they make sense or not, He is still God. He is in control, and He knows best. My job is to have faith and then sit back and watch Him work in ways I never imagined. . . and to praise Him instead of complaining! After all, a little mud might be good for me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Dr. David Clarke

After years of marriage, many couples find their relationship at a standstill.  In the routine of everyday life, they begin to feel more like roommates than spouses.  With jobs to work, errands to run, and kids to raise, who has the time or energy for passion and romance?  And so, passion and romance dwindle, and in the process, emotional connections are severed.  Is it any wonder then that there are so many divorces in today's society?

In his book, Kiss Me Like You Mean It:  Solomon's Crazy in Love How-To Manual, Dr. David Clarke, an esteemed Christian marriage counselor, deals with passionless marriages in a very blunt, head-on fashion.  To be honest, he stomps on a few toes, but I'm here to tell you that his counsel is wise and effective.  My husband and I have read through many devotional books for couples.  Most of them were okay, but they didn't really make a mark.  We read the devotion, said a prayer and then went about our routines, vaguely aware of what we had read.  Their messages, while pertinent, were rather shallow.  Dr. Clarke's message is not.  He digs down deep to uncover the hidden reasons for lack of passion and romance in a marriage.  And while I don't agree with everything in the book, I have to admit that our marriage has improved greatly since reading it.

The thing I really liked about the book was that Dr. Clarke went beyond the philosophy of "men and women are different, so deal with it".  He explained how we are different and how to better understand one another.  He has several chapters dealing with communication and how to get to know each other on a deeper level, even if you've been married for years.  One chapter presents a "passion test", that I'm sorry to say my husband and I failed.  We were perpetuating our "roommate experience" without even realizing what we were doing.

After following Dr. Clarke's advice, we are now having devotions together daily, as well as communication times (no interruptions allowed).  We have also committed to one date night each week, which can consist of staying in and watching a movie, playing putt-putt, window shopping, going to see dramas, etc.  It doesn't matter what we do, but that we commit to the evening together.  No phones.  No computers.  No cancellations.  It's our night!  We've also put into practice our new communication skills and passion principles.  It's amazing the difference it has made in our relationship.  We feel like newlyweds again!

Allow me to stress again that I don't agree with everything Dr. Clarke says.  His book deals mostly with passion and leaves out vital information about building a strong friendship and marital bond.  That being said, I still think it is a good book for any married couple to read, whether you've been married for six months or sixty years.  There was a lot of valuable information, and unlike many other "spiritual" books, Kiss Me Like You Mean It is written in a comical, conversational tone that is sure to have you laughing while you learn.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Came Over the Wall

Do you ever feel like you're in a maze?  As a person seriously lacking in navigational skills, I can tell you that sometimes I feel like I'm wandering aimlessly through life.  Is this the way to go?  Is this the way out of my troubles?  Is this the way the Lord is guiding?  And many times, I find myself facing a brick wall.  In fact, sometimes it seems like no matter which way I turn, I'm facing a brick wall.  It's like my life is a giant labyrinth, only there's really no way out.  And so I turn and turn, wasting time and energy trying to figure out which way to go.

Wouldn't it be great if we could walk through walls?  You know, like Jesus did when He showed Himself to the disciples in the upper room after His resurrection.  Locked door?  No problem.  Thick wall?  So what?  Poof!  Here I am!  Wouldn't that be awesome?  With that ability, we could free ourselves from the maze.  Forget trying to go around and around.  We'd just go straight through.

Well, according to David the Psalmist, we have an ability that's just as good.  Look at what he says in Psalm 18:29:  For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.  As far as I'm concerned, leaping over the wall is just as good as going through it.  And David says that with God's help, that's exactly what we can do.  No walls can hold us back.  No maze is too difficult.  Not if we trust in God and listen to His direction.

Facing a wall today?  Not sure which direction to go?  Ask God for His guiding hand, and get ready to take a leap of faith.  Before long, you'll find yourself on the other side of the wall and back on your journey.  Superman may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but only God can help His children leap over ordinarily insurmountable walls.  Why not let Him give you a boost today?  It sure beats standing there staring at a wall!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Is God in My Failures?

For over 14 years, Jason and I, along with the two dogs, have shared a love seat.  That's right.  For years now, our living room has consisted of a love seat, a big round chair (claimed by the dogs) and a glider.  The round chair was the favorite of the dogs, but neither Jason nor I found it comfortable any longer.  The glider was comfortable for certain things, but stretching out was not one of them.  The love seat was very comfortable, but was a tight fit for Jason and I, especially when one of the dogs (whichever one hadn't gotten to the chair first) insisted on joining us.

This year, the Lord allowed us to get enough of a tax return to purchase a full-size couch.  In fact, we found an excellent deal on a sectional.  It is a three-seat couch with a full-length chaise lounge attached to the end.  As I type this entry, Tippy is curled up at the far end of the couch, I am stretched out on the chaise, and Mitch is lying on the couch beside me with his head in my lap (a little tricky for typing, but hey!).  If Jason were home, he could easily fit between Tippy and Mitch or even at my feet (not that he'd want to).  The point is we can all sit together and still be comfortable.  It's great, and I love it!

What I didn't love was the preparation that had to be made before we could bring the furniture home.  The old furniture had to be dealt with.  A few things had to be rearranged.  And a lot of cleaning and organizing had to take place.  Not my forte, but I knew it was the price I had to pay if I wanted the new furniture.  So, I cleaned and organized.

During the process, I came across several things from previous business ventures that we had begun and failed to see through.  Each of the businesses held great promise, or so we thought.  And so we invested money and time only to find ourselves deeper in debt and more discouraged when our dreams crumbled before our eyes. As I stumbled across more and more material, my heart sickened.  If only we hadn't spent all this money. . .  If only these business ventures had been successful. . .   Maybe if we had tried a little harder or a little longer. . .  And on and on the thoughts wandered.

The next day, I was describing the process and feelings to my mother-in-law, and I made the statement, "Yeah, it was depressing stumbling across all these things that we thought were the Lord's will but turned out to be major failures instead."

Her response stunned me.  "I understand.  We've had our share of endeavors-turned-failures, but I firmly believe the Lord was in them."  She went on to explain that she believes God used the experiences to prepare us for other things in life.  For example, even though the various businesses Jason and I began flopped, I am still using many of the skills I learned through them in my writing business.  Is it possible I never would have learned those skills if not for the businesses?   As I listened to her explanation, I was amazed.  Could God really use my failures for His glory?  Furthermore, could my failures all be part of His master plan for my life?

Then I remembered the Sunday School lesson I had recently taught on Psalm 10.  Verse 17 says, Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.  "Thou wilt prepare their heart."  How does God prepare our hearts?  Through trials and tests, through successes and failures, through sorrow and joy.

I believe my mother-in-law is right.  Just because we fail at something doesn't mean God wasn't in it.  It could be that God is using it for our betterment.  It could be His will for us to acquire the skills to use for another job or ministry.  It could be His will for us to suffer failure so that we will know the sweet taste of success when it comes.  I don't know.  God's ways are not our ways, and I know I can't possibly comprehend the mind of God.  But I'd like to believe that He uses our failures to "prepare our hearts" for something better yet to come.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

That's Not What I Had in Mind!

I have a personal fitness trainer.  His name is Mitchell.  I know some of you are thinking, Isn't that your dog's name?  Yes, it is.  Coincidence?  Hardly.  You see, the dog is my fitness trainer.  Every morning between seven and eight o'clock, I am awakened by a 90-lb shepherd hovering inches from my face and panting on me with his hot breath.  His eyes are bright.  His tail is wiggling.  In fact, his entire body is wiggling.  His perky ears are tilted forward, ready for any sound to indicate that I'm actually awake.

You must understand.  Mitch and I have very different thoughts about exercise.  For Mitch, exercise is fun.  Walking is great, hiking is better and running is best.  On the flip side, the only justification I can come up with for running is if I'm being chased.  Otherwise, just let me sleep!

But no matter how long I "play dead", Mitch is ever persistent.  If his hot breath doesn't get me moving, he'll nudge me with his nose.  If that doesn't work, he'll flop down beside me and wiggle his entire body until he literally pushes me off the bed.  From there, he howls until I pull my clothes on, he leads me to my shoes and "helps" me tie them.  He grabs the leash, and out the door we go.  Then, to ensure I get a proper workout, he urges me to do intervals.  Walk, run, walk, run, walk, run.  He loves it and looks forward to this routine every morning.  Once I'm going, I don't mind the walking, although I'm still not overly fond of the running.  But getting me going in the morning is another story.  First thing in the morning, the last thing I want to do is get up and run.  I want to sleep!  I want to be lazy.  I want to putter around the house until I can get my body awake.  Yes, without my trainer/dog, I wouldn't get anywhere near enough exercise.

The funny thing is that for years I've prayed for God to give me the motivation and discipline to stick with a good exercise routine.  In my own strength, I just can't make it work.  I don't like to exercise.  I don't want to exercise.  But I know I need to exercise.  "Please, Lord," I would pray, "help me to find the strength and motivation to find a program and stick with it."  I've prayed and prayed, and it finally dawned on me that God had already answered my prayer.  "Dana, meet your motivation.  His name is Mitchell."  How about that?

I'm reminded of the story of the man who was trapped in his house by an incoming flood.  He prayed for the Lord to deliver him from the catastrophe.  Before long, a man came by in a row boat and offered the victim safe passage.  "No thanks," replied the man.  "The Lord will save me."  As the waters rose, another boat passed by the man's house, and once again, the man was offered a ride to safety.  But once again, he refused, saying, "No thanks!  The Lord will save me."  The rising water finally forced the man onto his roof.  As he sat there, clinging to the chimney, a helicopter flew in and hovered inches above him.  "Grab my hand," a man in the helicopter cried.  "I'll pull you up."  "No thanks, the Lord will save me," the man replied.  The next thing the man knew, He was in Heaven standing before God.  "What gives?" the man complained.  "I asked you to save me from the flood, and you didn't answer my prayer."  "What?" God questioned.  "I sent you two boats and a helicopter.  What more do you want?"

The story is humorous, but I think too many times that's exactly how we think.  We pray for something and already have in mind how we want the answer to come about.  But when the answer doesn't manifest itself the way we expect, we either get angry with God for not answering the right way or we accuse Him of not answering our prayers at all.  While living the Christian life, it is imperative to remember that God's ways are not our ways.  He has His own plans, His own agenda.  And regardless what we may think, His ways are best.

Are you waiting for an answer to a prayer today?  Could it be that God has already answered, and you simply didn't recognize it as such?    Could it be that you did recognize it as God's answer, but because it wasn't the answer you wanted, you chose to ignore it?

God will answer our prayers, but He will do it in His time and in His way.  Our job is to pay attention and spot His answers when they arrive.  Then, whether we like the answer or not, we should praise the One who hears our cries and who loves us enough to give us what we need even if it isn't what we want.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Do You Hear Voices?

Every now and then, I'll hear a song that just makes me nod my head and say, "Yep, that's me!"  One such song is "The Voice of Truth."  It speaks of trying to funnel out the myriad of voices calling out to us and to focus on the only voice that matters:  God's voice.

I've been thinking about that song a lot this week. The thought process began earlier in the week when Jason was reading through some of the funny t-shirt sayings he found on a website.  Many of them referred to "the voices in my head."  One of my favorites was "Four of the five voices in my head recommend chocolate."  Of course, if I were really going to own that shirt, it would need to read, "Five of the five voices in my head recommend chocolate."  Anyway, there were several comical sayings about the voices.  I laughed at each one, but inside I was cringing a little.  I do hear voices!  I hear them all the time, and some of them are not nice at all.

The voice I hear most often is the voice that Karen Scalf Linamen calls "the inner Eeyore".  You remember Eeyore, right?  The donkey from Winnie the Pooh.  No matter how beautiful the day or how bright the circumstances, we could always count on Eeyore to be gloomy. . . just like my inner Eeyore.  You might have an inner Eeyore too.  Do any of these statements sound familiar?

* You just can't do anything right, can you?
* Face it, you're never going to get it all done.
* Yes, this is as good as it gets, so forget trying to enjoy it and just endure it.
* It's too late to make changes in your life.
* You don't have what it takes to make your dreams come true.
* You'll always be broke.
* You'll never feel better, so get used to it.
* You're fat, unorganized, undisciplined and unmotivated.

Oh, did I see a few heads nodding?  So I'm not the only one who hears voices, huh?  It's tough to admit it, I know.  After all, if we start talking about the voices in our heads, we might end up in padded rooms, right?  But I think it's important to acknowledge this inner Eeyore.  Why?  Because if we acknowledge that it's there, we might be able to start making progress toward getting rid of it, or at the very least, ignoring it.

Motivational and health coaches worldwide will tell you the importance of motivating statements.  These are sentences that you repeat to yourself over and over again throughout the day to help you stay on track in your motivational and/or health program.  Why is this necessary?  Because many of us have our minds filled with inner Eeyore thoughts, and it's imperative that we start focusing on positive thoughts that will empower and motivate us.  Some coaches provide motivating statements for their clients, while others suggest the clients come up with their own.  As Christians, we have it easy.  God is our coach, and He's provided an entire book full of motivating statements.  No matter what our inner Eeyore throws at us, we have a positive voice to listen to instead.

When the inner Eeyore says, "you're just going around in circles; you'll never get anywhere," the Voice of Truth says, "And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not."

When the inner Eeyore declares, "nobody cares about you; you're all alone," the Voice of Truth promises, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

When the inner Eeyore criticizes, "you're pathetic," the Voice of Truth compliments, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."

Oh yes, there are definitely voices in my head.  My inner Eeyore joins forces with Satan's minions, and the battle is on.  And to be honest, sometimes it's get hard to determine which voice is which.  I know I should listen to God's voice, but sometimes it's so drowned out by the other voices that I can't determine what He's telling me.  Thankfully, I have His Word, so even when I can't think straight, I can read His promises and determine His will.  It's pretty hard to truly read His Word and listen to other voices at the same time.  Yes, as He promised, He has made a way of escape for us, but it's up to us to make use of it.

Eeyore!  He's a cute little fellow and admittedly one of my favorite Winnie the Pooh characters.  But let's make every effort to keep him out of our thoughts.  He has no business being there "glooming the place up."

If you're looking for some great motivational statements from the Word of God, you can find them in my book, There's a Verse for That.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Can You Do Today?

Have you ever thought about how much one single act of kindness on your part could improve someone else's day? I thought about it a lot this morning while out running errands. At one store, the man behind me in line had two items while I had a cart full. I allowed him to go ahead of me in line, and he was filled with gratitude. It may have cost me an extra minute, but the joy I felt at improving someone's day was worth it.

At the next stop, the lady behind me had forgotten her Ingles' card. I still had mine in my hand, so I just handed it to the cashier who quickly swiped it then went on with the checkout process. The lady was so grateful that she thanked me several times. No big deal, but it felt good. After unloading my groceries into my truck, I went to put my cart in the cart return. There were three other carts there, but they had been thrown in there with no regard to the person who would have to come and collect them later. I took about 30 seconds to flip the carts up and slide them into each other. I didn't get to see the reaction of the employee who got stuck with the job of gathering carts, but I'm sure he/she will be relieved that someone cared enough to do things right.

I'm not bragging, mind you. In fact, more than once I've been guilty of just doing what needs to be done to get by. I've ignored the person behind me in line because I had "too much to do." Today, though, I was following the Lord's leadership. The truth is that with all three acts of kindness the Lord allowed me to display today, I got home within five minutes of the time I would have been home. It really didn't take much time at all.

I challenge you today to strive to make someone's life a little easier. Pick up that piece of paper. Return your cart to the proper place. Allow someone to go ahead of you. Lend a helping hand. One little act of kindness really goes a long way towards improving someone's day. Don't believe me? Think back to a time when you were the recipient of that act of kindness. Didn't it make you feel good? Didn't it brighten your day? Pay attention today to the ways you can show kindness to others. That's what Jesus would do!