The Joy IS in the Journey


I know a man who taught me a valuable life-lesson that is based in hope. At the time he shared this with me I was 27 and clueless. I had my own idea of how life was supposed to be and I was working hard to realize my dreams. I was living well but I was always caught up in some type of chaos I was creating due to my inability to find the joy in the journey. My friend must have realized this and shared this lesson with me.

A Journey Called Life
The joy IS in the journey. The journey is life. Destination?

He had been a mail carrier for the USPS for decades. It brought financial security and marital stability along with a lifestyle that was envied by his family. He described his experience as what he thought were “the best years of his life.” His circumstances changed when he became ill. He lost his job and all of the financial security. He became unemployable and homeless. He found himself alone, needy and hopeless. After a major hospitalization caused by his apparent demise brought about by his “seemingly hopeless case of mind and body,” he heard, through a series of interactions with people who survived the same problem that was killing him, there is a solution. He stayed the course of a particular treatment plan wherein he found a constant presence of hope within. His life gradually began to change for the better. He became employable again but he dealt with serious blemishes in his history that deterred many potential employers from hiring him. Frustration ensued but willingness prevailed. A training program with the regional transit authority yielded him favorable results and he once again had work. He found unspeakable joy day after day as he struggled to establish himself again. He gained a new life that was exponentially better than “the best years of his life.” His joy still remains to this day as he is living better than ever in the second half of his life.

As I reflect on this life-lesson I am blessed today to realize that I now understand the value of his story that never abandoned my memory and I have used it to generate hope in my own hopelessness. God is always present. His realized presence provides an unlimited source of hope to carry us through life situations with a constant spirit of joy that positively affects our lives and the lives of others. As long as we are willing to show-up for life each day, we can live through any circumstance that materializes victoriously. This is a virtuous reality based in an Conqueror lifestyle. THE JOY IS IN THE JOURNEY!

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Breaking Through Your Fears


Words of Faith

by Alta Payne on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 7:35am

I remember years ago I went to the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference and throughout that week I attended a series of seminars that educated me on how to be an effective leader. One of the seminars that I attended was called “Breaking Through Your Fears”. The speaker gave a presentation.When he finished he asked us to do something a little strange. The instruction was to pair up with one someone next to us and prepare to learn how to break through a wooden board. I remember thinking “I signed up for seminar not a Martial Arts Class.This cat must be out of his mind!”

Most of us were intimidated by the task at hand. We felt that it would take great strength to break through a solid wooden board. All kinds of questions and doubts arose in our minds. I remember whispering to my partner, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it!” “What will I do if I break a finger or fracture my hand?”

We really didn’t have a choice in the matter. The entire group was required to at least try. The instructor spent the first few minutes teaching us the proper technique for hitting the board. Once we got that down pat, it was time to give it a shot. My partner went first. I held the board and she broke right through it on the first try.  The first time I hit the board it didn’t break. The instructor was standing there, and he said, “That’s o.k.Try again, but this time I want you to look through the board”. He said, “Don’t look at it, look through it and visualize your hand going through it.”  What he told me sounded a little weird. I was still a teenager and I lacked maturity and wisdom in this area.

Nevertheless, I listened to what he said and I hit the board a second time. I broke that board in pieces. But I didn’t realize until later in life that what the instructor taught me that day was a very valuable lesson.  I learned not to focus on an obstacle. In order to get through the obstacle I have to excercise faith to “Look Through It, to Get Through It.

You have to see yourself on the other side of it. He also taught me that it’s not always about strength, but it’s about vision. When you run out of Strength, it’s Vision that keeps your hopes and dreams alive. The vision is a result of faith. Even though everything around you may look dim, it is faith in God that will allow you to see a ray of hope. Fear is only an obstacle. Faith is how breakthroughs begin.

Loss IS Gain


Satellite View of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29
Satellite View of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29 (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

Revised on 10/31/2012

I watch my television shows and there are constant advertisements to make you want to shop for something – clothes, shoes, jewelry, toys, electronics and even food.  It’s everywhere.  This time of year has become so severely commercialized that we as a nation have lost touch with its current financial structure.  Devastation presides throughout the Eastern seaboard. Citizens are hungry, cold, destitute and overwhelmed with loss. The nation is in unprecedented debt, homelessness and poverty are at record highs, unemployment is ravaging the homes of Americans who are splitting up for various reasons – drugs/violence/pursuit of individual career opportunities/crime/suicide –  and it goes on and on. Yet, Madison Avenue is doing a great work at pushing product. People are shopping in droves.

Not all people.  There are many people that are not able to even begin to understand how they are going to make it through the day. Whether their dilemma is of a socioeconomic origin or not, what is a fact in this great nation is this: people are loosing everyday during this holiday season.  How do you appeal to them during this huge commercial event that is sweeping our nation?  Do you just ignore the fact that they exist? Do you count your blessings, focus on your “haves” and forget about the “have nots”?  Or, do you do anything and everything that you can to make a difference within the lives of this large sect of Americans.  I pray that you are in agreement with the latter.
Isa 66:1  Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 
Isa 66:2  For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 
Psalms 24:1 The LORD owns the earth and all it contains,
the world and all who live in it.
The essence of reality in these scriptures is that EVERYTHING you can put your hands on or get your hands on is HIS. Working a good job, managing a thriving business or incurring a comfortable lifestyle is possible because of Him.  Too many people get that twisted.
 Humans put stock in the idea that you have gains because of who you are. You’ve been deceived. You are who you are ONLY BECAUSE OF THE GRACE OF GOD.  What makes you any different than the man that is confined to a wheelchair/the woman that is addicted to drugs and living on the streets/the child who is homeless, hungry and alone?  GOD’S GRACE. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from the Father above.”(James 1.17)

If you want to experience maximum gains that are ETERNAL it begins with a decision.

Mar 8:34  Following Jesus  
Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar 8:35  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.
Mar 8:36  For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?
Mar 8:37  What can a person give in exchange for his life?
Mar 8:38  For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” 
Conquerors make a difference in the lives’ of others any way that they can.  Loss is gain.