Sunday, May 11, 2008

Live & Thrive Quotes Emerson & Churchill

Some days thriving is not what seems possible. This is one of those days. When stumped I am one to read and hope for a thread of wisdom to pull me back on track.

Today Ralph Waldo Emerson inspired me with:

"To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded."

I am in the dumps and I had to stretch to see that I have one of all the above. Yes, I agree I am succeeding and I am thriving; even if pain is part of that journey.

Now, Winston Churchill is one my favorite "wordsmiths," so I have read much of his writings and speeches. This little quote eluded me until now, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

I'm having to pull myself up by my bootstraps to find my enthusiasm today. I'm usually the one with zip and fire, but grief and some other downers have pushed me to want to withdraw and be very still and sober. I have held onto Churchill's ever famous line, "Never, never quit..." Seeing and focusing on my enthusiasm for life is inside me; and I am deciding right now to keep on keeping on in my choices to be about expressing it on and on.

Thrive or just getting through one more day is a mindset. I'm setting my mind on thriving no matter what.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Quiet day, but still thriving

Today is a quiet day spent at home alone. I'm the live wire loving having people all around me. It is good for me to be still and have time to reflect on deep things in God. I sense I need to do the routine unexciting necessities quietly.

Thriving is discovering that elusive "balance" in life. Having enough of the quiet and the lively.

I recall a favorite pastor telling me God will usually call you to work that pushes you to what is uncomfortable. He told of one Christian college friend who was uncomfortable speaking to groups and speaking to crowds of people. God called him to preach and manage large churches. Then he recalled the fellow who loved action, people and something going on all the time. You guessed it, he was called to a quiet position of writing (mostly alone), and much time in research in libraries.

Relying on God and believing He is directing my steps on this path I am rejoicing whether I'm up to that activity that suits my "bent" or if I am pressing through the things that stretch me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pain Lessons and Abundant Living

Heartbreak is a crushing pain. A young friend just phoned to share his pain of breaking up with someone he had hoped to marry. C.S. Lewis' teachings on God's classroom of pain came to my mind as I heard my friend lament his anquish. Lewis maintained that some lessons can only be learned in pain. I am convinced that none of our pain is wasted in lives totally surrendered to Jesus Christ. When I'm pierced by pain there are two key questions I cry out to God:
1. What do You want me to learn?
2. What do You desire for me to do with my newly found wisdom and understanding?

I encouraged my friend to hold on and remember that this pain will pass. Pain is not a destination, but a place to pass through.

Pain doesn't line up with our American "be happy" concept of life. But when we read the Bible we soon discover that God calls us to significant living far more significant that personal convenience and happiness. Keeping us "happy and pain-free" is not the object of the Kingdom of God. Joy and peace that passes all understanding is our promise. Participating with God in eternal works that will never die is the amazing privileges of being one with Christ. When we look at Jesus' pain in His life we must realize that this extraordinary journey with Christ will have some pain. Throughout the Bible God's greatest heroes endured great pain and hardship as they developed into the giants of the faith. Thriving Christianity is the focus of this blog. Even if pain is necessary to thrive and live abundantly would any of us want less in life?

To any readers, please know I want to hear how you thrive in your Christian life. If you desire to thrive, but feel like you're just dragging through your days, I need to hear from you also.

My hope is that we all grab the adventure Jesus Christ has secured for us and LIVE.

Good Morning World I'm Alive

Christians, are we "thriving" yet?

I hear more negative and gloom than hope or adventure on the airwaves, in conversations and most places I go. Believing that God is in control I have all hope to live a passionate faith-filled Christian life, but I will have to know I may not have a majority of folks agreeing with me.

Scientific experts say that there are many health benefits to hopeful living with optimism. I tripped onto a Scripture today "A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the'bones'." Proverbs 17:22 RSV.

If I focused on some issues in my life I could feel like a modern Job. He felt his stresses and losses so that his "friends" said that sin of the spirit and bones: tremble so badly that all his bones shook Job 4:14; his bones would cleave to his skin (19:20; he had continual strife with his bones (33:19). But Job proclaimed that those who are blessed by God, will enjoy good health..."wholly at ease and secure, his body full of fat and marrow of his bones moist" (21:24).

Thriving in gratitude for life is my choice. St. Paul commanded his disciples: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."Phi. 4:8.

Some days this is a mind struggle for me. The worries and "what if's" want to hang around my thinking. I've read that many scientific studies hold it to be true that those patients who have hope and a healthy approach to illness, chaos, and stressors heal easier, and there is less susceptibility to disease.

So bones...I'm not trusting in "my" ability to embrace the goodness of this day. No, I rely on the Spirit of the Lord to empower and direct me. In Christ I can hope for all that Scripture promises. Again Paul lights up my fire: "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and "body" be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thess 5:23

To all of you reading this post take your Rx from the Lord and delight yourself in Him. Your "bones" will thank you.
© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.