Archives For Holy Spirit


35224_european_bistroWhen I was about five years old I had my first encounter with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God. I felt the incredible love of God as I walked through a forest with my Sunday school class. The teacher had talked to us about how much God loves us, and how we can see him in the things that he made, the trees and brooks, the wind and the leaves.

Today I was thinking about the incredible beauty of the love of God. Anyone who has felt it will always want it. Then I heard a sermon about it.

The sermon I heard tonight went something like this:

You might be in a low point in your life. You might be in the pit of despair. You might be feeling very depressed right now, or maybe you are doing fine, maybe you are going through a happy time in your life. But no matter what, God’s love is washing over you, taking care of you much more than you know.

Thousands of years ago, in fact even before anything existed, God already thought of you and decided to choose you and love you. God has been waiting your entire life for this moment, where he could get you to sit still for one minute and say this to you:

“You have no idea how much I love you. I have always loved you. There was never a moment of your existence when I didn’t love you. I planned that fertilization of the two cells that came together to make you. I planned your conception. I allowed that conception. I wanted you alive so I could love you because you are special to me. There is no one else like you, you are completely new and unique to me. I heard your first cry, there was no moment of your life that I didn’t love you. Through all your celebrations and difficulties, your sadness and happiness I loved and adored you even more than you loved yourself. I wanted good things for you even more than you did. Whether you realize it or not I have been gazing upon you in love because I made you to love you.”

How would your life change if you knew how much God loved you? Think about how it would feel if you got up in the morning and the first thing you felt was that you are deeply and unconditionally loved by God. What if you felt the love of God as you got out of bed to brush your teeth? And in the car on way to work or school you felt the love of God. What would it be like if you felt God’s love unconditionally, knowing that no matter what you do or don’t do, you know that God loves you? No matter what you do or don’t do, God will still love you the same amount.

Your first and most important calling in life is to let God love you. What happens if you accept this call?

You feel accepted rather than ashamed or condemned. You feel totally accepted, and that will change your life. Many avoid God because they feel ashamed or guilty. Maybe you feel guilty, criticized. God is perfect and I’m not. Why would I hang out with a perfect God to remind me of all the ways I’ve failed?

But God did not come to condemn the world but to save it. If you feel God is down on you, guess what? You are totally wrong. God is not down on you at all, he is totally for you, totally cheering you on, bragging to the angels and even the devil about you. He certainly did that about Job in the Old Testament.

You have spent your entire life in order to get peoples approval and love of other people. You dress the way you do to get approval. You wear your hair the way you do to get approval. You talk and act the way you do to get love and approval. You have been trying to get approval from some unpleasable people your entire life and you are not going to get it. Realize you don’t need the approval of other people. Most of your life you have been worried about what other people think because you don’t feel unconditionally loved by God. When you realize how much God loves you, criticism doesn’t bother you. You will no longer need other people’s approval to be happy. This idea will set you free.

The man who spoke these words is Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life.


281774_140105412736176_2166789_nThe Bible says to rejoice in all circumstances. Be joyful always. If your situation seems bad, realize it will work together for good (Romans 8:38) if you trust in God for good things. When the Bible talks about hope it doesn’t just mean hope for salvation. It means to trust God to do good things in every area of your life.

But if we worry and fret and feel sorry for ourselves when bad things happen it tends to make the very thing we fear come true. Example: a man gets moved to another group at work and doesn’t like it because he feels it is a demotion. He gets a bad attitude and starts to criticize and complain. Because of this his boss feels he is not doing a good job. Faith is more than just believing in God. It is trusting God to take care of everything in your life.

Romans 5:2 And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 2 Cor 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which come from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

In heaven we have a lot of glory. We will reflect God’s glory. It is like the moon. It doesn’t shine by its own power but reflects the light of the sun. But the moon is beautiful. That is how we will be in heaven. We will reflect God’s light, his glory. The Bible says that the whole creation is groaning with anticipation, longing to see us Christians.

Here on earth many people have dreamed of glory. Many a boy has dreamed of catching the game winning pass in the end zone to win the homecoming game. What a hero he would be, what glory! Everyone in school would be grateful to him. Another example is a fireman rescuing a little girl from a burning building while dozens of citizens stand watching. The high school girl dreams of becoming the homecoming queen. What glory she would have as she wears the crown and sash and stands beside the home coming king. Or the girl who dreams of winning a gold medal in Olympic swimming or a famous singer with thousands of adoring fans gathered to hear her sing.

But all these things are glories that last only a short time. Not many people can remember more than a few, if any, names of last Olympic gold medal winners.

Yet the glory we will have in heaven will last forever and ever. Ten thousand years after we arrive in heaven will be like we have just got there. All kinds of creation, from angels to other Christians to some of the heavenly beings mentioned in the book of Revelation will stand in awe when they see our glory, the reflection of God’s glory.


hygdfsThere have been several movies about faith that have been shown to thousands of people around the world. One of them is The Jesus Film. Another is a movie called The Secret. This is a quote from the book The Secret:

“As the film swept the world, stories of miracles began to flood in: people wrote about healing from chronic pain, depression, and disease; walking for the first time after an accident; even recovering from a deathbed. We have received thousands of accounts of the Secret being used to bring about large sums of money and unexpected checks in the mail. People have used The Secret to manifest their perfect homes, life partners, cars, jobs and promotions, with many accounts of businesses being transformed within days of applying The Secret. There have been heart-warming stories of stressed relationships involving children being restored to harmony.”

So my question to you, dear reader is, do you believe in miracles? I certainly do because I have seen so many in my lifetime. When I was a missionary to China I began to spend a lot of time praying and I saw many amazing answers to prayer. Actually many of the miracles I saw and heard about happened in the USA.

Another question, do you believe that a movie or book like The Secret, which expands on Jesus’ teaching of faith, can really inspire miracles? This movie is free to watch on youtube.com. Please leave a comment. Let’s get a discussion going here.

Many people pray and don’t get answers, so they feel Jesus was not accurate when he taught about prayer, or that they are misunderstanding what Jesus said about prayer. But what if the problem is that they have not been trained to have strong faith? Over two dozen times Jesus said the key to answered prayer is faith.

John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 16:23 Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Remember, it took three years of full time study with Jesus for the apostles to learn faith well enough to perform miracles. Don’t expect to suddenly have mountain moving faith. It takes time. But never give up. Keep building your faith. http://bradstanton.com/2013/06/03/faith-takes-years-to-develop-but-it-is-worth-it/

I wrote a book about prayer. In it I include a number of things you can do to strengthen your faith, including memorizing Bible verses about faith. Another is an acrostic FAITH
F  Find a Bible verse that addresses what you are praying for. This is easier to do than it seems. For example, you can do a word search in Biblegateway.com to find a verse.
A  Ask God in faith
I   Imagine you already have the thing you asked for. This is amazing, it really strengthens faith
T  Thank God for it as if you already have it. Don’t beg, that shows a lack of faith. Once you place your order in a restaurant you don’t keep asking for it do you?
H  Hold on and be happy while you wait for the answer to your prayer.

Every penny I make from my book “Keys To Powerful Prayer” goes to spread faith, hope and love to people around the world through this blog and charity. https://www.createspace.com/4540174 Doing the research for this book really changed my life for the better. CreateSpace is an Amazon company. You can read sample pages of the same book as an ebook on Amazon entitled “Amazing Power of Prayer.” The ebook is the same, it just has a different title. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EOCODK

Strange Magic

Brad Stanton —  February 27, 2014 — 2 Comments

Snapshot_20120128_5This is an ancient story with a powerful moral for a better life:

The wife of a dead man cried out to a powerful man, “My husband is dead, he owed money to people. Now they are coming to take my two boys as slaves to pay off the debt.”

The powerful man replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

He said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

I heard this story when I was young and said to myself, wow, what would I have done if I was in that situation? If I had a lot of faith in what the powerful man said, I would get dozens of empty jars. The more jars I got, the more oil I would get, and therefore more money.

What would you do if a powerful man told you to go get empty jars and fill them from one small jar that you had in your house?

Some would not believe magic would happen, they might get mad at the powerful man and say “Hey, I asked you for money and all you do is tell me to pour out my oil into other jars? What a waste!”

Other people would go to the store and spend every penny they had on jars, and ask every friend for their jars too. Other people would be somewhere in the middle, getting half a dozen jars or so.

What would you do?

Jesus said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed nothing will be impossible for you. Seems hard to believe, doesn’t it? Very few people believe it. Very few Christians believe it.

I have had the privilege of seeing countless miracles around the world. Seeing all those miracles made me realize there is enormous supernatural power in the world. Some call it magic.

So if you want to be honest about the answer to my question, what would you do if you were that woman, you would look at how you respond to what Jesus said in Mark 9:23 “Everything is possible for one who believes.”  Or John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it. If you believe these words, you probably would have gotten lots of jars. But if you believe these words, you can still get lots of “jars.” If you have faith, opportunities to do great things for God will present themselves to you. You can not only serve God and help others, but you will be rewarded here on earth and in eternity (forever). If you have a choice between blessings that last forever or last for a short time, pick forever. You are probably thinking, “Duh Brad.”

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you

John 16:23  I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

The problem is we have prayed dozens of times, maybe hundreds of times and didn’t see answers to our prayers so we assume the words of Jesus are either untrue or we are misunderstanding them. But stop and think about it. The apostles spent 3 years with Jesus, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It took them that long to develop faith that enabled them to perform miracles. If you think you can spend just 30 minutes with God each day and get that kind of faith in just a few years, you are pretty arrogant. Sorry to say it that way. Faith takes years to develop. But it is worth every single minute of the time it takes to develop faith because Jesus really did mean what he said in John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

I have seen enough miracles that I can promise you these words are true. When I pray, I see more and more miracles every year.

Every penny I make from my book “Keys To Powerful Prayer” goes to spread faith, hope and love to people around the world through this blog and charity. https://www.createspace.com/4540174 Doing the research for this book really changed my life for the better. CreateSpace is an Amazon company. Or read sample pages of the same book as an ebook on Amazon entitled “Amazing Power of Prayer.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EOCODK


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神 爱 你,并 且 为 你 的 生 命 有 一 奇 妙 的 计 划。

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” ~Jim Elliot

“No matter where you are, no matter how difficult things might appear to be, you are always being moved toward magnificence. Always.” Rhonda Byrne

God adores you and is guiding you and communicating with you every hour of every day. In fact, his Spirit, the Holy Spirit is helping you every second of every day. Of course he speaks to you through the Bible, but he also guides you with your conscience. It is through something that we feel, or that we know is true or right that he guides us.

Contrary to what some people think, God is not judging you. We know from the Bible that God is bragging on us in heaven. That’s what he did for Job in the Old Testament. Sure, God does discipline us sometimes, but just because it is for our good. He is a heavenly father who loves us more then we love ourselves.

Love, joy and peace are some of the fruits of the spirit. When you don’t feel joyful it means you are thinking about things you don’t love. When you think of things you don’t love it ruins your peace and causes negative emotions.

Tune in to communication with God as much as you can. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more often you can do it. God is always there, loving you and guiding you, but you have to listen.

It has been said that God cares more about your character than your comfort. But he cares more about your happiness than you do. Just as an earthly father makes a child get up a go to school even when it is cold outside, God disciplines us to do what is best for us.

Does this sound selfish? Well, if all we care about is ourselves, then yes, it is. The only way to truly be happy in life is to love God because that is the purpose for which we were created. A man usually doesn’t like wearing women’s clothes in public because he was not created that way. A greyhound doesn’t like being in the house all day, he likes to be outside where he can run. Fish don’t like being out of water because they were created to be in water. If you don’t love God, you are not doing what you were created to do and it leaves an empty hole in the soul. It leaves discomfort or loneliness, dissatisfaction of some kind.

Loving God puts you on a higher plane. It not only pleases God, but it also makes your spirit stronger. Your spirit lasts forever, your body only lasts for a short time. Jesus told us to store up treasure in heaven because it lasts forever and we don’t have to worry about losing it.

When I was a kid I would spend all my money on fireworks on the 4th of July. All the money I saved would be blown up in a matter of days. It was fun, and it seemed worth it, but now I want to save treasure that will last forever. It would be foolish to work only for money or fame or anything that lasts this lifetime only. This life is over as quickly as the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things.

Every penny I make from my book “Keys To Powerful Prayer” goes to spread faith, hope and love to people around the world through this blog and charity. https://www.createspace.com/4540174 Doing the research for this book really changed my life for the better. CreateSpace is an Amazon company. Or read sample pages of the same book as an ebook on Amazon entitled “Amazing Power of Prayer.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EOCODK

Hope and attitude

Brad Stanton —  February 21, 2014 — 3 Comments

200 (5)Step 5: Hope and attitude. These two are very important. Most big US companies realize that attitude is one of the most important qualities in a person. People with hope and a good attitude are the ones that do a great job.

Hebrews 3:6 NIV But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

Hebrews 11:6 NIV And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Attitude
Chuck Swindoll
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude to me is more important than facts.
It’s more important than the past, than education, than money,
than circumstances, than failures, than successes,
than what other people think or do.
It’s more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
It will make or break a company, a church, a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day
regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me,
and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you.

Persistence
Author Unknown
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not…nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not…unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not…the world is full of educated derelicts.
The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

The Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Neibuhr-1926 (maybe)
God grant me
the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference;
Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it:
Trusting that you will make all things right
if I surrender to your will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.

Goals. I write about this because after studying goals I found that people who have clear, definite, written goals are the ones who are successful. A study showed that the 5% of people who graduated from Harvard with clear, definite goals were more successful than the 95% who graduated without goals.

First, pray about your goals.

Second, write them down. A goal is not a goal unless you write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often. More in two days.

My book “Keys To Powerful Prayer” is now in paperback. https://www.createspace.com/4540174 Doing the research for this book really changed my life for the better. CreateSpace is an Amazon company.


The little guy is Jericho who was left at the orphanage about a month ago.

The little guy is Jericho who was left at the orphanage about a month ago.

Miracle after miracle happened to me on my trip to the Philippines for the Street Kids Project.

I believe without a shadow of a doubt that God has amazing plans for your life, fantastic plans. He wants to empower you to do great things that will glorify Him and thrill you. Don’t get stuck in a rut in life! Realize that God is lining up all the people and things you need to be successful in your relationships, serving Him, and other parts of your life.

The first answer to prayer came while I was sitting in the car with my girlfriend, stuck in traffic. We had gone to the beach and were returning to her family’s house. The trip should have taken 2 or 3 hours, but was taking much longer. We were in a traffic jam and were stopped more than moving. When we did move, we only went about ten or twenty miles an hour.

I began praying silently that God would break up the traffic jam so that we could start moving again. Nothing happened. I prayed a few more times over the next half hour, still nothing happened. I sat there thinking to myself that in the Old and New Testament, everyone who got answers to prayer spoke the prayer out loud. Jesus taught all his followers to say the prayer in a commanding way, such as the apostles prayed in Acts 3:6 “In the name of Jesus, get up and walk!” Acts 14:10, Paul told a lame man “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

So I sat there in the traffic jam and stretched out my hand and said out loud, “In Jesus’ name, this traffic jam is relieved.” Within a couple of minutes the clogged street opened up and we began moving quickly again. I realize that some would say this is a coincidence. But after about an hour, we got in another traffic jam. I spoke out the same prayer and within a couple of minutes we were moving again.

A few days later, in a traffic jam, I said the same prayer. Within a couple of minutes the traffic jam cleared and we began moving.

One day, in the Philippines, I realized I was short of money. I couldn’t get cash from the ATM like I thought I could, so I prayed for a little more money, enough to make it without borrowing. I had counted the American dollars in my billfold twice and found two twenty dollar bills and a ten. Later, after praying, we found an extra twenty dollar bill, just what I needed to squeak by.

The next morning I began thinking about it and decided that I had probably miscounted the money. I got out of bed and began reading a book written by a preacher there who started an orphanage. I randomly opened to a chapter in the middle of the book and began reading. In the first page I read, the preacher had been asked for money, gave away all he thought he had in his bank account, and then found there was more left. The same day, he gave away almost all the money in his wallet, and then found more money. I felt God was telling me that I had not miscounted the money after all.

At the family’s house where I stayed,  the bathroom door got locked with no one inside to open it. I felt bad because I was concerned the family would be inconvenienced by this. So I spoke out a prayer, “In Jesus name we will get this door unlocked.” Within a minute or two someone found the key and the problem was solved.

Before I went to the Philippines, I had decided I wanted to help street kids there. After I arrived, my friend gave me a book written by the preacher I mentioned above. He started an orphanage and used his magazine to raise the money he needed to build the orphanage. In the book he wrote about how he started it. It was just exactly what I needed to know, and was glad that this blog you are reading now can be used in the same way his magazine was used. I felt that God was giving me just the right information I needed to help the street children.

Not only did I learn the things I needed to know about starting an orphanage, I also was introduced to the kind of people I would need to work with in the future.  Some of them were lawyers with connections in the right places in local government and other areas that would make the work much easier.

Also, I have been praying to lose weight. On the trip I lost almost 15 pounds in two weeks! What a joy that was.

After a few days in the Philippines, I got diarrhea. I spoke out a prayer and the next day I was fine. However, a couple of days later it was back. I prayed again. This time it didn’t go away completely. I wondered why God didn’t answer my prayer fully. Now I realize that the diarrhea was helping me to lose weight. It was very mild and didn’t cause any problems anyway, so I guess God decided it was best for me at the time.

You can have powerful prayers. I have been spending about an hour a day for the past 3 years learning about faith, which Jesus said is the key to answered prayer. I am amazed how so many more of my prayers are answered now than in the past. I do faith exercises, like recite Bible verses about faith such as Matthew 9:22, 9:29, 17:20, 7:8, 21:22; Mark 9:23, 11:24, Luke 8:50, 18:1 and John 14:14, 15:7, 16:23. I work on gratitude, because being grateful strengthens faith. I imagine answers to prayers because that is a technique that not only strengthens faith, but it also programs the subconscious mind which is much more powerful than the conscience mind. By the way, visualizing is used for athletes and many other high achievers. I often say affirmations.

My book, The Amazing Power of Prayer explains more of this. since the book is not edited well, I am selling it for a low price. Once it is edited, the price will go up. 100% of the profits from my book go to the Street Kids Project. Buy it here http://bradstanton.com/buy-ebook/

That is me in the blue shirt below.

With Grace on the trip. I'm down to only 250 pounds, still need to lose more.

With Grace on the trip.

At the orphanage in Manila.
At the orphanage in Manila.

This little guy was left at the orpahnage about a month ago. His name is Jericho.
This little guy was left at the orpahnage about a month ago. His name is Jericho.

Goodness is flowing to you

Brad Stanton —  November 30, 2013 — 5 Comments

Stream

Stream (Photo credit: wwarby)

There is a stream of love and goodness flowing to you from heaven. (I’ll explain what I am talking about later in this post.) Some people know how to tap into this flow, others don’t. Those that know how to tap into the river of love get all sorts of good things in life. The only things that really matter in life come from the stream. Everything good, nothing bad flow to you from this invisible stream. All love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control flow to you from higher realms. (Galatians 5:22 But the Spirit of God produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control.)

The more you meditate on God and pray, the more of these good things come into your life.

So how do I know there is a steam of love and goodness flowing down to you? Well, the Bible promises it. Romans 5:5 God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Some people accept the stream of goodness and let it into their spirit, and then it flows out to other people, generating love and good things for them too. John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Some people believe that God is only a God of wrath, not a God of love. But actually, God is your father in heaven. A loving father does not want anything bad to happen to his children. He only allows good to happen. But then why do bad things happen to us? Well, they seem bad, but actually they are blessings in disguise.

I am a father, and sometimes I have to make my children do things that they feel is suffering. When they were little, they felt I was torturing them if I made them go to bed on time, or eat vegetables that they hated. Sometimes they didn’t want to get out of their warm bed and go to school, but I made them go because I knew that it was best for them.

When I played sports in high school, sometimes a coach would make us run until I was so uncomfortable that it seemed like torture, but looking back on it, I know that it was good for me.

So we have a promise that goodness is flowing into your life. You can accept it by faith or reject it. Some people just don’t believe that anything that good could happen to them, so they reject this idea. But I have found over and over again, that these verses from the Bible are true, if I put them into practice by spending time with God in prayer, meditation and obeying Him.

There is a wonderful world out there for you to grab ahold of; a life of victory. In fact, the Bible promises us that we are winners. We are victors. Romans 8:37 “… we are completely victorious through God who showed his love for us.” Nothing can separate us from God’s love, from this stream of goodness and well being.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father (God).


Prayer Space.JPG

Prayer Space (Photo credit: bhsher)

Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. What was the best sound you ever heard? For me it was more than one sound, it was like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month praying after work, a new thing for me. I spent time talking to God, not really asking for anything, just talking to Him.

I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….

It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.

They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.

I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to pray and meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.

I started out praying for 30 minutes because I had nothing to do, due to the fact that my friends were gone. Then as the days went on, the prayer stretched into an hour, then two hours. There were some days that I prayed for three hours at a time in the evening. That brought me close to God, and brought me a lot of joy. I wasn’t praying to seek anything from God, just to be close to Him.

Sometimes after an evening of prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for anyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.

Even nowadays when I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan or my neighbor’s air conditioner humming, these sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times. But most of all, I learned the joy of the Holy Spirit, the incredible wonder of being close to God.

This is from my book The Amazing Power of Prayer  http://bradstanton.com/buy-ebook/

Listen

Brad Stanton —  October 20, 2013 — 4 Comments

Morse Code Straight Key J-38

Morse Code Straight Key J-38 (Photo credit: Whiskeygonebad)

Back when the telegraph was the was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator.

Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.
Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

We live in a world that is full of busyness and clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks in creation, in the Scriptures, or in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Are you tuned in to God’s voice? Do you hear Him when He speaks to you? Are you listening? “This is my Son, whom I love . . . Listen to Him!”

The most incredible joy

Brad Stanton —  September 2, 2013 — 5 Comments

Cathedral of Holy Spirit, Minsk, Belarus.

Cathedral of Holy Spirit, Minsk, Belarus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Practice the Presence of God is a book written by a man who interviewed Brother Lawrence to find out how he was able to have such incredible joy in every situation of life. I once met an old man in China who had been jailed for more than 20 years for his faith. I expected him to say that it was great suffering, but instead he said that those years with Jesus were very sweet, like a honeymoon. He had plenty of time to practice the presence of the Spirit of God, and received incredible joy from it, similar to Brother Lawrence.

I have rewritten the first chapter of Practice the Presence of God in my own words because it was written hundreds of years ago in French and the only English translation I could find is difficult to read.

Practice the Presence of God

I met Brother Lawrence on August 3rd, 1666. He told me that God had done him an incredible favor by converting him into a relationship with God at the age of 18. It happened one winter, when he saw a tree that had lost all its leaves during winter. But he realized than in a relatively short time, new leaves would begin to bud and then flowers and fruit would appear. This gave him a very high view of the loving guidance and power of God which he remembers very clearly to this day. It is etched in his memory, his soul. This epiphany, this revelation had set him loose from the world and kindled such a love for God that it had not become less at all in forty years.

He had been a footman to Mr. Fieubert, the treasurer, and that he was a very large, awkward fellow who broke everything.

He wanted to work in a monastery, thinking that it would be a punishment for his faults and sins, and in that way be a sacrifice to God. He wanted to give up the pleasures of life, but he found nothing but satisfaction at the monastery and felt rather disappointed that he did not suffer for God the way Jesus suffered for us.

He said we should establish within ourselves a sense of God’s presence by continually talking with Him in prayer and that it was shameful to stop praying and to spend time thinking of  worldly things that were of no lasting importance.

He said we should feed and nourish our souls with high thoughts and meditation of God which will yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.

That we ought to enliven and build our faith. That is was unfortunate that we had so little faith and that instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct; people amused themselves with trivial devotions which changed daily. That it was faith that is the true spirit of the way of Christ, and that it would bring us a high degree of perfection.

He said that we should totally and completely give our lives to God, not only the worldly life but also the spiritual. He said that we should seek happiness only one way—to fulfill His will and therefore the more we fulfill His will, the happier we become. And it doesn’t matter that He sometimes leads us through suffering and sometimes through easy times, all are the same to a soul who is totally devoted to God. [Since the fabric of the Holy Spirit is woven together with the fabric of our spirit, anything we do to serve God, or even sacrifice to God, we are doing partly for ourselves anyway. It is impossible to serve God without helping yourself.]

He said that sometimes a prayer time of an hour might seem dry and boring, but if we continue to pray we eventually achieve a breakthrough and find that every minute is a precious blessing. [I remember a summer when I was going through very difficult times and began to pray an hour each evening, then two hours, then sometimes even three, and those times became one of the very best times of my life. The suffering turned to joy, and it was the best joy I ever experienced. Once you experience the incredible feeling of being in unity with the Holy Spirit, you realize it is the best thing that ever happened to you. It is a taste of heaven here on earth. More about that summer here http://bradstanton.com/2013/07/20/happy-no-matter-what-2/



Angel screenshot from the opening credits. Tak...

A friend on facebook sent this. I believe it is true because things like this have happened to me.

A young man had been to Wednesday night chat group. The leader had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice. The young man couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?”

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God…If you still speak to people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.”

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He didn’t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn’t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, “Turn Down that street.” This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half-jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will”.

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

“Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.” Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.”

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?” Then the door opened before the young man could get away.

The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. “What is it?” The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.” The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, “I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?” The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man’s hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.

This is so true. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that God asks us to do that cause us, if we are obedient to what He’s asking, to be able to hear. Please listen, and obey! It will bless you (and the world). Phil 4:13

Seeds of greatness

Brad Stanton —  March 15, 2013 — 1 Comment

163917_16 - CopyYou have seeds of greatness inside you that enable you to achieve the goals and dreams in your life. When you plant a seed, you probably water it often, weed it, and put fertilizer on it. The more you cultivate it, the better the harvest will be. In the same way, your seeds of greatness need cultivation to grow and cause you to be extraordinary.

Your goals may be a happier marriage, a promotion at work, to get out of debt, or better health. These are all possible goals and dreams.

Some ways to cultivate your seeds of greatness are to think positive thoughts instead of negative. Set goals and believe that you can achieve them. Be persistent, diligent and enjoy working for the dreams and goals in your life. The more you enjoy working toward the goals, the better you will work. You will end up working smarter instead of harder. Thomas Edison said he never worked a day in his life because he enjoyed it so much it was fun, not work.

Faith, belief, optimism are powerful forces that help you achieve the extraordinary. Most people don’t even think about becoming extraordinary. They don’t believe they can do it, so they don’t even try.

Affirmations are one way many people achieve success. The famous story of the Little Engine that Could is an example. The little engine was faced with a task that seemed impossible, but he repeated “I think I can, I think I can” over and over until he mustered the gumption to pull a heavy load. He accomplished the task and all the other engines cheered.

If you are a Christian, there are plenty of powerful affirmations you can use. One of them is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil 4:10

The problem is, accomplishing big things takes lots of time, sometimes years. It is easy to get discouraged along the way and give up. But you have never failed until you quit. The old saying really is true: winners never quit and quitters never win.  http://bradstanton.com/2013/03/09/amazing-coincidences/


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Matthew 17:20

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
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It really is true, if you have faith, nothing is impossible for you, you can do anything! If you don’t believe this, then it is not for you. Only those who believe it have faith.
There are many things you can do to build stronger failth.
1. repeat affirmations (verses) on faith http://bradstanton.com/2012/08/15/faith-bible-verses
2. thank God for what you pray for, don’t beg for it, thank for it
3. imagine your prayer answered, this builds strong faith
4. hold on, it sometimes takes a long time
5. enjoy your life while you are waiting.
6. it took the apostles three years studyiing with Jesus full time, don’t expect powerful faith in just a month or two.

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A woman walked out to her front yard every day and said out loud “Thank you God for the new day.” Her next door neighbor didn’t believe in God and told her so often. He teased her for praying to an imaginary God.

One day she was very low on money so she went out and prayed “God, please send me food to eat.”

Her next door neighbor heard her say this, so he decided to play a trick on her. He went to the store and bought two bags of groceries and put them on her front porch before she came out to pray. When she came out she saw the groceries and shouted “Thank you God, for the food.”

Her neighbor said, “Ha, I was the one that put the groceries on your porch, God had nothing to do with it!”

She turned her face to the sky and shouted “Thanks for the food, God and thanks that you made the devil pay for it!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, that is a joke, but I have heard of people praying for food and getting it a number of times.

Once in Asia a woman was working on a new concept for water purification system. She perfected it for more than a year and patented it. She wanted to market it but she didn’t have the money.

She went to banks and asked for a loan. The economy was down, so the banks turned her down. She kept trying, and went to more banks. Finally she went to a bank and made her pitch to the banker. He really liked the idea but he was hesitant to loan her the money because of the bad economy. Finally, after she tried to persuade him, he said jokingly “OK, if the stock market goes up tomorrow I will give you the loan.”

The stock market had been down for over a year. But she went home and prayed that the stock market would go up.

The next day the stock market went up a lot. So the banker gave her the loan. She marketed the concept very well, and now she is one of the richest women in Asia. She gives large sums of money to help people and various ministries.

Was it a coincidence that the stock market went up the day after she prayed? I don’t know, but I do know that prayer makes amazing coincidences happen.

The problem is that most people don’t pray the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray, the way all the powerful prophets of the Old Testament. When the disciples saw a lame man they said “In Jesus name, get up and walk!” They did not say, “Oh God, if it is your will would you heal this man?”

Most people don’t get their prayers answered because they pray wimpy prayers. see more at a previous post http://wp.me/p2rHBL-WT


644049_505547829486539_1221714831_nThis idea I am writing totally changed my life for the better. I am much more optimistic and happier now that I understand faith. A couple of years ago I didn’t fully believe in prayer. I had prayed many prayers that didn’t get answered and I didn’t know why they didn’t, so I began to lose faith in prayer.

The Apostles spent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the best teacher ever, Jesus Christ. After three years they still didn’t understand prayer very well, and had several false starts trying to get answers to prayer. If it took them that long, don’t expect to have powerful prayer faith over night! It takes a lot of time to build your faith.

Then I wrote a book on prayer and spent several hours a day studying faith and prayer for a year and still study the idea of faith almost every day. It really changed my life for the better. Now i realize that most people don’t pray the way the Bible teaches us to pray. For example, In Exodus 14:15, Moses was trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, crying out to God for help. God told him to quit praying and take action:

15 Then the Lord said to Moses,“Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” Exodus 14:15

God told him to stop praying and do something, because God had already given him the power he needed.

In Acts 3:6 we see that the apostles didn’t stand around praying for a lame man, they spoke to him, not to God, and said “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

In Matthew 17:22 Jesus told his followers to actually speak to a mountain (mountain could mean problem), instead of praying. He said 20 “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” No need to waste time praying to God over and over again, I found I only needed to pray once, after that I needed to thank God for his answer to the prayer (Col 4:2; Phil 4:6), and speak to the problem. For example “In Jesus name, I am healthy!” That was to get healed. If you think about it, if you have faith, why would you keep asking for it? If I go to a restaurant and ask the waitress for water, I don’t ask her again for it unless I believe she is not going to bring it to me.

I found the reason many of my prayers did not get answered is because I was praying sissy prayers, I wasn’t speaking to the problem, I was talking to God about it and he had set a precedent way back in the time of Moses. No wonder all the great people of God used props the way Moses did when they performed miracles. Elisha used his jacket to strike water and it separated, he threw some flour in a pot of poison to make it safe.

In James 5 the Bible tells us that Elijah was a man just like us, he was not some superman that we can never be like, he was an ordinary human being that had faith, so that God used him. James 5 says that our prayers can be just as powerful as Elijah’s.

I find I have many more answers to prayers when I speak out to the problem like Jesus commanded us to do, and like the OT people did, and the NT people did also. The prayers taught to us in church are NOT Biblical prayers, they are taught to us by people who don’t know how to pray—no wonder we don’t get good results!

So I set about to increase my faith. I began to memorize Bible verses about faith. I said them every day. I read about modern day and Biblical Christians who had powerful prayers to find out how they had such faith and just to increase my faith. I used the FAITH steps http://bradstanton.com/2012/08/15/faith-bible-verses/  to have stronger faith. As time went on, I was amazed how many of my prayers were answered. I am not saying all my prayers are answered, I don’t have that kind of faith yet, but I am growing in faith every day.

Something that really amazed me was that many scientists proved scientifically that faith is powerful and truly changes things. A psychologist and pharmacist named Emil Coue used faith to cure his patients. He told them to believe they were getting better and they did get better! He told his patients to say “Every way and every day I’m getting better and better.”

Coue had results much better than other psychologists because he gave people hope and faith.

It is amazing to me how many scientists and business people understand faith and do amazing things because of it.

Matthew 7:7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 8:13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Matthew 9:22Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 9:29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored.

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Matthew 17:20 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Joe Spinell at BFSB

Faithless people lost a good chance

Years ago a man named Joe Wright told me that he had a gasoline card that he prepaid and could go to the petrol gas station and fill up his car with gas. The card was going to expire at the end of the year and after he filled his tank there was still almost a hundred dollars left on the card. Since it was the last day of the year, he knew he couldn’t use the money so he walked over to a woman who just pulled into the gas station and asked her if she wanted to use the card. She looked startled and asked him what the catch was. Joe explained to her why he was giving her gas, but she refused. Apparently she didn’t believe she could get something for nothing.

Later a man drove in and Joe motioned for him to roll down his window. The man opened it a crack and Joe asked him if he wanted to use the card for free gasoline. The man said no.

Joe didn’t give up and asked one more man who gladly accepted the offer and thanked Joe profusely. There was still money left on the card, so Joe waited and asked other people. Most didn’t believe they would get something for nothing. A few who had faith got rewarded for their faith.

Do you have faith?

If a rich person came to you and said he would give you a million dollars to write a song, would you do it? I certainly would, but it probably wouldn’t be a very good song. Yet hundreds of people write songs and make millions of dollars off their music. They had to start with the belief that they could write a song that many people would like, they had to have faith. Most people don’t try to write music or books because they don’t think they can do it well.

My blog posts are all about how to be successful in anything. But it all starts with faith. Jesus said everything is possible for one who believes (Mark 9:23). Jesus spoke of the power of faith about 40 times in the Gospels.  Buddha said similar things, so do virtually all the success coaches and many psychologists. .

The problem is that it is very difficult to maintain faith in your ability to reach your goals and dreams. Here are some things that help:

Say affirmations every day.

An affirmation is simply a short phrase that says you have achieved your dreams. Jack Canfield, the writer, used this affirmation daily: “God is my infinite supply and large sums of money come to me quickly and easily under the grace of God for the highest good of all concerned. I am happily and easily earning, saving and investing $100,000 a year.”

Jack went from a very low salary to becoming a multimillionaire with this affirmation and a lot of hard work.

Change happens

Your life can change for the better at any time. Suddenly a goal you have been working on can come to fruition. Stay optimistic, you really can reach your goals and dreams in life!

More on affirmations. http://wp.me/p2rHBL-lb Or scroll down the right hand column to “Posts by category” and click affirmations.


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 “I will be faithful with the talent, time, and opportunity God has given me.02a14

 I realize that when I make the most of what I have, God will multiply it and give me more.” ~Victoria Osteen

I will fill my thoughts with things I love and like, because that not only makes me stronger, more loveable it also makes me happier. Thinking about things I don’t love (worry, anger, lack of forgiveness, fear) only make me weaker and bring more bad things into my life.

I will live my life doing the very best I can today, because I know my thoughts and attitudes shape my actions and my actions determine my destiny.

I will spend time helping people around me, my friends, co-workers, loved ones, because I know a person always reaps what they sow, if they reap good things, they will sow good things.

I will do my best and do everything I can because I know that God will do what I can’t do.

I will focus on the good things I have and really enjoy them instead of thinking about what I don’t have.

I will constantly expect good things to happen and look beyond where I am now, believing that good things will always flow to me in life if I have faith. “Surely good things and mercy will come to me all the days of my life and I will live with God in paradise forever.” Psalm 23:6

I will always keep in mind that everything, whether good or bad, will turn out for good. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. “Romans 8:28


Wordpress, Technorati, GBC stickers

WordPress, Technorati, GBC stickers (Photo credit: Titanas)

“Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.” ~Michelle at WordPress

Self-deprecating self-talk is not healthy

I got this daily prompt in an email from Michelle at WordPress. I’m so glad she encourages people to say something good about themselves. Most people are too self-deprecating.  It doesn’t make them a better person, in fact it does the opposite. Most people seem to be better at putting themselves down than building themselves up. Maybe we feel this is the humble thing to do, but it can be very self-destructive. I used to be that way, always putting myself down. Then I read that it makes a person weaker, not stronger when they do this, so I changed my self-talk, and my life is much better because of it.

They say that people who are self-deprecating are more likely to talk to others the same way they talk to themselves.

Toot my horn?

So I am supposed to toot my own horn. OK, here it goes. My favorite thing about myself is that I absolutely love helping people. It makes me happy. I get many comments on my blog saying that a post really made a person’s day better or helped someone solve a problem or feel better about life. I feel so good when I read comments like that.

So as you look through my blog posts, I sincerely hope you will find something that will motivate you or just make you feel happy and optimistic and make you stronger. That is my goal.

Affirmations

I find that self-talk is very important for people to accomplish their dreams and goals in life. Most people achieve far less in life than they are capable of because they don’t believe in themselves. Affirmations can give people the confidence they need to survive the discouragement that derails many dreams. Here is a simple affirmation that I use sometimes:

“I am happy, healthy, wealthy, wise and good looking.”

When I start to feel pessimistic I sometimes use an affirmation from one of the best loved poems in the world:

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…” Psalm 23:6

Affirmations http://wp.me/p2rHBL-lb

Faith is powerful

Brad Stanton —  December 21, 2012 — 7 Comments

English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About 4 dozen times, Jesus says faith is the key to answered prayer. Here are just a few of those:
Matthew 9:22 Jesus said “Your faith has healed you.”
Matt 9:29 according to your faith it will be done to you.
Matt 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer
Mark 9:23 everything is possible for him who believes
Mark 11:24 Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours
Luke 8:50 Don’t be afraid; just believe and she will be healed
Luke 18:1 Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up
Luke 18:42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you
John 16:23 I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Matthew 7:8 for everyone who asks receives.

What do you think about this? Leave a comment please…….

I’ll be happy when…

Brad Stanton —  December 8, 2012 — 33 Comments

It is easy to get into the habit of thinking “I’ll be happy when…

I get married00014
I have kids
I get out of this marriage
my kids leave home
I get a promotion
I get well
my kids behave better

Why not be happy today? Psychologists and success coaches say that the thoughts you are thinking right now and today are creating your future. The feelings you are feeling now and today are creating your thoughts and actions that create your future. Emotion causes motion, in other words, when we feel strongly about something, we take action.

Nothing positive ever came from thinking negative.” ~Many people

Many good things come from thinking positive. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote many books and traveled around the world giving speeches about the power of positive thinking. He saw many people changed for the better by the power. He himself was a very timid person until a college professor took him aside one day and told him to get rid of his timid nature. The professor told him that he was smart and hardworking, and would go far in life if he would get rid of his pessimism and timidity. At first, Peale was very upset about what the professor had said. But after he let the words sink in, he began to realize the professor was right. Peale began to slowly change, and never forgot how important it is to believe in yourself, to have faith in your abilities.

In the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, James Scott Bell writes about meeting Dr. Peale. He said it was a day that changed his life. Bell and his wife came to a point in their life when they began to wonder why everything was going wrong. Then Bell began thinking about positive thinking and shared the idea with his wife. They both began to think positive instead of negative and soon their life had turned around.

I realize that some people’s problems are so difficult that a little positive thinking won’t help. But maybe a lot of positive thinking will. Morris Goodman, who was seriously injured in an airplane crash, could not breathe without a machine, or swallow, walk, talk or do anything except blink his eyes. But he had extraordinary faith that he could walk out of that hospital by Christmas. No one believed that he could do it, especially not the doctors. But because of his amazing faith he learned how to talk, eat and swallow, walk and live a rather normal life.


Photo of Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday pa...

Photo of Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday party at Hotel Bel Air (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi to a poor unwed teenaged mother. She was raped when she was only nine years old, an experience that must have been very traumatic. She ran away from home at age 13 after suffering years of sexual abuse from a cousin, uncle and a family friend. She gave birth to a baby boy who died in infancy when Oprah was only 14 years old. She moved to Tennessee to live with a man she calls her father. When she was still in high school she got a job in radio and began co-anchoring a local evening news show when she was 19 years old.

People enjoyed listening to her emotional ad-lib delivery of the news and she eventually got promoted to the daytime talk show on a third-rated Chicago program. She put so much passion into her work that she brought the show to first place. With that success behind her she started her own production company and was internationally syndicated. I think it is very likely that her passion sprang from her difficulties that she faced earlier in life.

“Few people would have bet on Oprah Winfrey’s swift rise to host of the most popular talk show on TV. In a field dominated by white males, she is a black female of ample bulk. What she lacks in journalistic toughness, she makes up for in plainspoken curiosity, robust humor and, above all empathy. Guests with sad stories to tell are apt to rouse a tear in Oprah’s eye [...] They, in turn, often find themselves revealing things they would not imagine telling anyone, much less a national TV audience. It is the talk show as a group therapy session.”  “Oprah Winfrey: Lady with a Calling” 8 August 1988. Time Magazine. Accessed 2010-19-17

The talk show made incredible money and she became a millionaire when she was 32. She was so popular that she eventually made a nine figure annual salary by 1994.

She says that one message she has tried very hard to share for 21 years is that “You are responsible for your life.” She told Larry King in an interview that in 1985 she was obsessed with the book “The Color Purple.” She thought about it all the time and says the Law of Attraction helped her. She prayed and prayed to get a part in the movie they were making on the book. She auditioned but didn’t hear anything for months. She said she was fat at the time, at a fat farm to lose weight. She prayed and cried and prayed more. She was walking the track singing the song “I Surrender All” a song about surrendering all to Jesus. She said she had drawn “The Color Purple” into her life by focusing and praying about it so much. It changed her life when she got the part in the movie.

She said the thing that transformed her life was that she learned you can change your own reality based on the way that you think and that YOU are responsible for your life.

Better to be rich or poor?

Brad Stanton —  November 29, 2012 — 16 Comments

English: President Reagan presents Mother Tere...

English: President Reagan presents Mother Teresa with the Medal of Freedom at a White House Ceremony, 1985. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russell Conwell was a writer, lawyer, orator, university founder, philanthropist, and Baptist preacher about 100 years ago. He delivered one speech over 6000 times, called “Acres of Diamonds.” This speech was about a man who traveled to the Middle East and heard his guide tell a story about a man who left home looking for wealth. The man didn’t find it and became so discouraged he killed himself. Later, someone else found acres of diamonds on his land, right under his feet. The dead man would have found them if he had bothered to look for wealth right where he was.

Many say this story means that true wealth and happiness are right where you are if you know how to find them. Tens of thousands of people heard this speech and many were so moved by it that they found motivation to seek wealth right where they were. One man, for example sat listening to the speech and saw a lady with a hairpin that looked rather difficult to insert in the hair. The man sat thinking of a way to improve the design.  He did and made a fortune selling the new hairpin.

Another man used the few pennies he had to buy needles and thread to sell on the street. He didn’t sell the products and realized he should find out what people want to buy before investing in the product. He observed that many were buying certain kinds of clothes and he invested in them. He began to sell his wares very quickly and after some years became the richest man in New York City at that time.

Conwell believed strongly that anyone could become rich if they had strong desire and worked toward that goal. He said

 “I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich…. The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly .. . ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men. … … I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small. To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins … is to do wrong…. let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings. …”

I don’t fully agree with Conwell’s statement, because people are poor for many different reasons including poor health, living in an area of the world where everyone is poor, mental retardation, and some choose to be poor to spend time helping people, such as Mother Teresa.

Some feel it is a sin to be wealthy and some people even believe Jesus taught that. I believed that for awhile, but while reading the Old Testament I saw over and over again that God promised prosperity to everyone who followed his commands and did certain things. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; Deuteronomy 30:15; 1 Kings 2:3; Psalm 37:11; Psalm 25:12-14 Proverbs 8:17-19; Proverbs 19:8 Jeremiah 29:11 are a few examples of many promises in the Bible. But unfortunately, they have to be accepted by faith, which is extremely difficult. Also, it can take years, and lots of hard work for promises to come about.

I find that in general, rich people can do more good for the world by donating money and time than people who are not rich. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it usually is. Poor people who have lots of free time could become very powerful prayer warriors, but most do not. They could spend time helping people, some do, but I find most don’t. It is usually the wealthier people who do this. Strange, but that is just what I have observed.

I know many will disagree, feel free to leave a comment expressing another viewpoint.

The invisible world

Brad Stanton —  November 9, 2012 — 15 Comments

Rainy day people always seem to know when it’s time to call. ~Gordon Lightfoot

Have you ever been feeling down and someone who cares about you calls out of the blue even though he had no way of knowing you were down? It is as if they could sense your sadness even though they were not with you.

“When I saw the policeman at my door, I knew my father had died.”

Many years ago a friend told me that one day she was at school and she suddenly felt that something terrible had happened. Later a policeman came to the door of her house and she knew without a doubt what had happened. Her father had died. He was killed in a car wreck. How could she know? Was there a “disturbance in the force” like they talked about in Star Wars? Is there really a collective unconscious, as so many psychologists believe?

I remember another close friend who moved away from the town I lived in to Cape Canaveral, Florida. She said that she actually felt closer to our little circle of friends after she left than before. She said it was as if she was with us in spirit.

The invisible world is much more beautiful than the one we can see with our eyes. Faith, hope, love, joy, peace and people’s spirits are in the invisible realms. We can’t see love, but sometimes we can feel it. Just because we don’t feel it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Napoleon Hill studied 500 extremely successful people such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, US presidents, Andrew Carnegie and others and found that a common belief they had was that there is something like a collective unconscious available to give us insights into the secrets of the universe and ideas for success. Isaac Newton, the most brilliant scientist that ever lived, died long before the term “collective unconscious” was made by the psychologist Carl Jung, but he believed that God gave him insights into the secrets of science.

One day a girl was walking down the street in Seoul, South Korea. As she walked she felt that something was telling her to go to a house down the street. She had no idea why she should do that, except that she felt she was supposed to pray for someone, she didn’t know who. She timidly walked up to the door of the house she had not been to before, not knowing who would answer. A lady answered. The girl asked if anyone in the house needed prayer. The lady said,

“My son is in bed. He is dying. Would you pray for him?”

She went to the boy’s bed and prayed for him. He began to recover. He later became a pastor and through powerful faith built the largest church in the world. His name is Dr. Cho.

In John chapter seven Jesus says that Christians are one with God and with each other. I suppose that means we are one in spirit. The more we tap into the oneness of spirit, the more we can learn the secrets of the universe. Our spirits are set free, we love others more and more, and we can experience more love, joy and peace.