Archives For faith

sundown-at-the-bayI often blog about the importance of being optimistic, or to put it another way, to have faith. Some call it a Positive Mental Attitude. But no matter what you call it, everyone seems to agree that your life will be better in many ways if you are optimistic. The following is from a free ebook I recieved from Mayo Clinic (one of the best hospitals in the world). The name of the ebook is “Live Longer, Live Better”

As you make your way through life and the various transitions it brings, you’ll find that an optimistic attitude can make your days more enjoyable and less stressful. But did you know that your attitude also plays a role not only in how well you’ll live but also in how long you may live? Your mind and your body are closely intertwined.

Optimists live longer

Increasing evidence suggests that being an optimist or a pessimist has an effect on your health. One particular Dutch study found that older adults with an optimistic disposition — people who generally expected good things rather than bad things to happen — lived longer than did those who tended to expect doom and gloom.

At the beginning of the study, more than 900 participants filled out surveys that assessed their well-being, including their sense of optimism. The survey asked participants to respond to statements such as “I often feel that life is full of promises” and “I do not make any future plans.” After accounting for factors such as age, sex, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, socio-economic status and marital status, those who scored high on the optimism scale had a 29 percent lower risk of early death than did participants who scored low.

In this study, a positive outlook appeared to be particularly protective against death from cardiovascular problems. Highly optimistic participants were 77 percent less likely to die of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event than were highly pessimistic participants. These results held true regardless of whether the participants had a history of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.

A study conducted at Mayo Clinic reported similar results. Researchers examined the relationship between explanatory styles — how individuals explained the causes of life’s events — of more than 800 participants and the group’s mortality rate during a 30-year period. The researchers found that individuals who had a more pessimistic explanatory style died younger than did those who were more optimistic.

Participants who were classified as optimists tended to believe that the causes of bad events were temporary, not their own fault and limited to the present circumstances. Pessimists, on the other hand, tended to blame things on themselves, felt that the current situation was going to last forever and felt that the bad event would undermine everything.

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What faith can do

Brad Stanton —  October 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

0000000Matt17 20This 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. 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.”

summer_1100013185-1013intThey didn’t believe

Over 3000 years ago Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. They saw many miracles in Egypt before they left—the ten plagues. They were showered with gifts by the Egyptians as they left Egypt. At the Red Sea they saw the Egyptian army descending upon them. They doubted God. They didn’t really believe God was good. They didn’t believe that God really cared about them.

Then they saw the Red Sea swallow up their enemies as God protected them. They were able to go to the Promised Land. It was a land of wealth and abundance. There were houses already built and crops already planted. They could take the land, God promised, and live in houses they didn’t sweat and labor to build and eat crops they didn’t burden themselves to plant.

But they didn’t really believe God was good. They didn’t believe God cared about their finances, even though He showered them with gifts from the Egyptians.

Henry Ford said “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, either way you are right.” We can learn from super successful people like Ford. He helped the allies win World War 2. Most people thought it would be nearly impossible to design a factory to build heavy bomber aircraft at a rate of one a day. Germany had done it, perhaps, but they were far ahead of the US in the war effort.

Henry Ford designed an aircraft factory but it didn’t build one heavy bomber a day. It built one every 55 minutes. Hitler couldn’t believe it was possible. The massive output of bombers helped the allies defeat Germany.

So what Ford was saying was that if you believe you can, you will have the faith to do it. Jesus talked a lot about faith. Many atheists believe in the power of faith. East Germany had more Olympic gold medal winners per capita than any other country because they knew how to instill faith in their athletes.

So the Israelites stood looking at the Promised Land. They didn’t really believe God would make them rich like he said he would. Since they didn’t believe it, they didn’t get the blessings God had in store for them.

Do you believe God cares about you? He knows how many hairs are on your head. He cares about every detail in your life. Over and over the Bible says that he wants you to be happy. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…Romans 15:13. Deuteronomy 16:14  1 Chronicles 15:16  2 Corinthians 2:3   Galatians 5:22   Colossians 1:12   Romans 12:12   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always…

The Bible also says God cares about your finances. Click here for more info.

sundown-at-the-bayA mayor of a city and his wife were driving down the street when they passed a gas station. The mayor saw a man who had dated his wife before they were married.

“Wow!” he said. “Just think, if you had married that man you would be spending your life with a gas station owner. You might be pumping gas now” he said grinning.

“No” his wife said. “If I had married him, he would be mayor.”

Maybe she was right.

Do you build up your loved ones? Do you encourage them and help them become the very best person they can be?

What would you ask your father/mother for if he/she was mayor of a city? What if he was governor of a state? What you ask for if your parent was president of the US?

What if your father was king of the universe? What would you ask him for?

If you really believe your father is the king of the universe, you can pray really big prayers. Jabez was called more honorable than his brothers because he prayed big prayers.

I Chronicles 4:Jabez was more honorable than his brothers… 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Jesus said faith is the key to answered prayer. In fact he said that about three dozen times. A few times he said that God’s will is important when you pray. Why did he mention that so seldom?

Matthew 21:21Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

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.”

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.

It took the apostles three years of full time study with Jesus to build their faith. Mountain moving faith is not built overnight. More verses about faith.

I wrote a book about the power of prayer. In it I list some things the Bible says hinders prayers. Click here.

.More than three thousand years ago several million people were released from slavery and they traveled to a land that was promised to them. But because they had “grasshopper mentalities” (we are not tough enough or good enough,, we are like grasshoppers compared to them) they didn’t have the confidence to fight for the land and instead wandered aimlessly in the desert, living a very austere life. Abundance and wealth was just beyond their grasp, they could have had it if they had faith enough to fight for it, as was proved forty years later when they fought for and took the land.

Finish reading here Grasshopper mentality causes problems