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At 5:00 a.m., I was awakened by a horrible storm. Tornadoes were said to be wrapped in rain and air traffic was halted. People were reportedly stranded in airports. The streets and highways were not suitable for traffic, according to a weather report.
My plans for my trip would take a miracle for me to get to my destination.
This trip is one of importance; it is our annual extravaganza. I am the sponsor and speaker. This is a 4 day event of fun and excitement: Fashion & Talent show, Musical, Items for sale, door prizes, Games, and lots of food and drinks.
Today is Thursday. My plans were to leave at 5:00 a. m. I have several vans packed with equipment and other things needed for this event that is scheduled in the great state of Texas! My family is asking, “Shall we start unpacking?” They believe it is hopeless. “The storms are not going to allow us to travel.”
I am not ready to give up. So, my decision was to wait until 8:00 a. m., and see if it is possible for us to leave. While we are waiting I am praying for a miracle. The rain stopped completely at 9:00 a.m., the weather report informed of scattered thundershowers ahead.
We left Kansas at 10:00 a.m. There were some lightning and thunderstorms along our journey. We arrived in Texas in the very late evening; thankful to God for a safe trip, a nice hotel and good Texas food to eat before retiring for the night, and looking forward to a great event with family and friends, and meeting lots of new people and old friends.
My Speech: The Storms of Life
On the first night of this event, I opened with a prayer and testimony. Everyone has a story to tell. I want to hear their stories. Many of their stories were very sad ones. My purpose is to listen, and to determine how best I can help each person. After listening to their stories, I chose to speak about The Storms of Life.
Storms will come and there is nothing we can do to prevent them. However, we can pray and patiently wait for God to get us safely through the storms. Just as the weather related storms cause disasters and harm and will halt our plans. So does the things that occur in our lives; such things as sickness, accidents, loss of financial income, divorce, problems in relationships, family problems and other reasons for unhappiness. We have a choice; give up or endure.
Hope comes from prayer. It gives us strength to endure and to persevere.
“He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increase strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
With wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40: 29-31 (King James Bible)
__ Ellen J. Barrier
1 cup KARO syrup (light corn)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla flavor
2 cups pecan halves
2 tsp. butter (melted)
1 cup chocolate chip morsels
1 tsp. homogenized milk
1 tsp. flour
1-9 inch unbaked pie crust
Combine syrup, sugar, vanilla flavor and butter. Mix well in a bowl. Add milk, and flour, mixing well. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Arrange pecan halves in circular motion to form a design. Place chocolate chip morsels over pecans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” ~Muhammad Ali
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will he heareth us. And if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14 & 1 John 5:15 (King James Bible)
Things we Desire: happiness, good health, prosperity, success
When we closely examine God’s Purpose for our lives, we find that he wants us to be happy, successful and prosperous, and to be in the best of health: those are his blessings with purpose for us. He doesn’t receive glory and honor for his greatness by seeing his people suffer. He has given us many things to use to obtain our desires. He has provided us with talents and educational tools to become successful and prosperous.
Muhammad Ali, who I very much admire for his confidence, has given us some words of wisdom to follow is quoted, “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”
Talent and Education: When it comes to competing with the best and brightest in whatever your talent or educational skill is, you have to have the confidence within yourself, that you are able to “Bring it!” I used this term because this is basically, what the writer in this Biblical statement is saying, when he used the term “Take his portion,”
“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power, to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God Ecclesiastes 5:19
God’s Purpose for our Life: Prosperity, good health, success, and happiness
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2
“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” Ecclesiastes 2:24
Riches and Wealth: God has given us talents and educational tools, to obtain riches and wealth. We can take our portion of the good things in life that we are endowed by our inalienable rights from God, if we have the confidence it takes within ourselves, to compete and to succeed, by being willing to fight for them.
___ Ellen J. Barrier
It is best to get into physical fitness, long before a holiday. Some will wait until a few days after the holiday, to jog or try and lift a few weights. This is not a wise thing to do. It can cause the body to reject the pressure that is being put upon it, and resist. Why?
The heart, muscles, and joints, are not in the proper condition. And neither is the mental status, of such an individual. It’s like getting in a vehicle and immediately, placing your foot on the gas pedal and pressing it to the floor. You will lose control and hurt yourself or someone else.
Those who don’t take proper care of their health, causes damage to their body, which results in very poor health. When sickness occurs, those who need family assistance, causes others to spend time caring for them. That often results in sacrificing time from a job or other important activities, in their lives, that they are forced to neglect. And if the sick person, doesn’t have enough medical coverage, or none, others will have to pay for their medical expenses.
Eating the proper foods, drinking lots of water, fruit juices, and exercising on a regular basic throughout the year, is the best way to accomplish physical fitness, before the holidays.
__ Ellen J. Barrier
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon on flickr
July 06, 2012 Weak job report came out:
84,000 jobs reportedly were added in June. Many are disappointed.
“Very seldom will a person give up on himself. He continues to have hope because he knows he has the potential for change … Yet people are very quick to give up on friends, and especially on their spouses, to declare them hopeless, and to either walk away or do nothing more than resign themselves to a bad situation”.
Hugh Prather (Life Quotes Lib)
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5 (K.J.V)
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 (K.J.V)
Hope is the strength that everyone needs to persevere in the face of unpleasant news. It is a waste of time and energy to focus on unpleasant news, when one can best help themselves and others by thinking of ways to deal with an unpleasant situation, in a positive manner.
In regards to the economy, we have to work together and help each other. Blaming someone else for the slow growth of the economy, won’t help it to grow. There are too many other reasons for the cause of the economy to be weak; some of them are beyond our human ability to understand.
When each of us look within ourselves as having the ability to change things, and is willing to work with others to bring about positive changes, we are a powerful force. With God on our side, nothing can stop our success.
__Ellen J. Barrier
Recipe by: Ellen J. Barrier
3 boxes of vanilla Jell-O Pudding Mix
3 bananas chopped (small round circles)
1 box of vanilla wafer cookies
1 container of cool whip topping
Milk (measure according to instruction on box)
1. Prepare pudding mix according to directions on the box.
2. Place a cup of vanilla wafers in the bottom of a bowl and cover with pudding.
* Continue following step # 2:
(cookies/pudding until all of the pudding and most of cookies are used).
3. Place the bananas and remaining cookies on top of last layer.
4. Add whip topping and serve
Note: Pudding will be easier to pour while warm.
“My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day.
I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”__ Tom Waits
(From the Bible)
WHY boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou loveth evil more than good; and lying more than righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee forever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
Psalm 52:1-5 (King David)
The Foolish, Pride, Self-righteous, and Vain People, Status with God
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed this with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
God’s Righteous Judgment:
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
St. Luke 18:9-14 (King James Bible)
“And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”
_ Tom Waits
Although the author of this quote was criticized, and poked fun at for being different, as was the publican in the parable that Jesus gave, the two men were achievers. We find that being different can work for the individual who are comfortable with themselves, and most importantly work hard to achieve greatness. In the case of the publican, who prayed to God for help, many others do the same.
To be and achiever in the face of criticism, one has to stay focused on their goal. Failure comes when negative thoughts are allowed to enter into the mind. Avoiding negative influences while working on a goal, is the best approach to take, in order to become an achiever.
I have been confronted with criticism many times, and told, I couldn’t reach my goals. My message to those who criticized me was, and remains, I will never give up!
Some people view my work as strange. Like the author of the quote, I am growing stronger and stranger every day. I am humble, and prayerful to God daily for his mercy to me.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Scriptures: King James Bible