Archive for "Life articles"

Choices in life

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Summary: Poem about choices. Poetry about the choices of life. My life is – my life; my choices.

Some People

Some people SIT - some people TRY
Some people LAUGH - some people CRY
Some people WILL - some people WON’T
Some people DO - some people DON’T

Some people believe and develop a plan
Some people doubt, never thinking they can
Some people face hurdles and give it their best
Never back down when faced with a test.

Some people complain of their miserable lot
Some people are thankful for all they have got
And when it’s all over, when it comes to an end
Some people lose and some people win.

We all have a choice, we all have a say
We are spectators in life, or we get in and play
Whichever we choose, how we handle life’s game
The choices are ours; no one else is to blame.

Anonymous

Make a wise choice today!
Click here
for a cartoon flash presentation that will help you be all you can be.

Parents Guide on How to Parent

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Parents Guide on How to Parent by Garry Mac

Parenting is seasonal and sequential and with every new season parents need to change hats. Parenting styles, ideas and tips…

No one can parent a six month old baby the way they parent a teenager. This may sound overly simplistic but it is incredible how many parents seem to suffer from lack of clarity when it comes to the season they are in and the style of parenting it demands.

The Nurse Hat

When your little bundle of joy comes home there is no chance they will steal the car, take illicit drugs, or start hanging out with a bad crowd. There is just a lot of sleeping, eating and awake time when you would like to be sleeping. This phase of parenting lays a strong foundation within a child of deep security, safety and connectedness to parents. There are a lot of tricks that can make this season a little easier but every family needs to find their own equilibrium of what works for them.

The Disciplinarian Hat

No one can deny that there is a point when a child’s own independent WILLl starts to really kick in. This is usually around the time when they start walking but it varies from child to child. This is when the real work of parenting begins in earnest.

Some kids are incredibly compliant and require very little in the way of correction in order to learn to respect and honour the authority of a parent. However, many others are incredibly WILFUL and so (like it or not) it JUST WILL be a battle of the WILLS for a few really important years. Of course parents will be wearing the Teachers Hat a lot during this season too but it is often a surprise to a lot of people how much focus must be on discipline during the toddler season. Any child who does not learn to honour and respect parental authority will ultimately struggle to honour and respect other forms of authority.

The Teacher Hat

In a world of hard core internet pornography easily streamed in high definition to a phone handset, parents need to step up and teach their kids about life early. As a child graduates out of the toddler season and into what is meant to be the innocence of childhood. The parenting hat needs to read TEACHER more than any other during this season.

Child hood is when parents can fill kids up with wisdom and understanding about what lies ahead. In the years getting closer to the teen years parenting ought to be full of discussions about what to expect as a teenager and how to handle every situation. One of the best things you can do for your child is involve them in serving the community and expose them (in measured fashion) to society fallouts.

The Coach Hat

It is very difficult to play ‘catch up’ on past seasons once a child hits puberty. If a parent fails to teach a toddler to honour authority and how to be respectful in disagreements the teen years can be tough for everyone. If parents fail to teach their kids about the real world and expose them to the real ‘fallout’ firsthand, teens can be unprepared to face the very real challenges and temptations of the season of youth.

The lead up to seasons is vital but so too is the HAT change of parenting into the teen years. Teens simply do not need their parents primarily wearing the DISCIPLINARY HAT as they face the peer pressures and insecurities of the superficial teen universe. They need the constant encouragement of a COACH who believes in them.

Teens neither need Mum and dad to be wearing the TEACHERS HAT all the time lecturing them on everything. The smart parent will understand the power of older mentors and position their teen around the right people.

The teenage years are that slow journey from childhood or dependence into independence.
It is a time when your teen can rest in the knowledge that you are there to help them succeed in life.

The Friend Hat

Hopefully in all seasons families can remain the very best of friends. However, for any parent there can be nothing greater that to see their child grow to become a functioning, mature and independent adult who they just like to spend time with. Parents need to change Hats here and let their child run their life the way they see fit and just enjoy the friendship.
Hopefully this short article might help you just a little in your parenting journey so when that time eventually comes your kids still like you.

Article can be read in full in the Go Magazine.

If you weren’t able to effectively change hats in your parenting journey and now feel guilty, struggling to know how to handle your child’s behaviour. God loves you and has made a wonderful provision to remove all your guilt and shame. Discover how in a cartoon flash presentation.

A good story about a dog

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I love this quote: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” This story of a man and his dog will be one of those moments that will take your breath away.

It’s a beautiful story that shows how much God loves and cares for us. Click here and see how much God loves you.

A Father, a Daughter and a Dog by Catherine Moore

“Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!” My father yelled at me. “Can’t you do anything right?”

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

“I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving.”

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts…. dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reviled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered gruelling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone..

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counselling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, “I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article..”

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odour of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied
each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. “Can you tell me about him?” The officer looked and then shook his head in puzzlement. “He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.” He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror, “You mean you’re going to kill him?”

“Ma’am,” he said gently, “that’s our policy. We don’t have room for every unclaimed dog.”

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. “I’ll take him,” I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch… “Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad !” I said excitedly.

Dad looked and then wrinkled his face in disgust. “If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don’t want it” Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. “You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!”

Dad ignored me.. “Did you hear me, Dad?” I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like dualists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw..

Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad’s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne’s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyennelying dead beside Dad ‘s bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad ‘s peace of mind.

The morning of Dad ‘s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

“I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel,” he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article…Cheyenne’s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter, his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

God answers our prayers in His time……..not ours..

Soul Surfer Film – The Surfer Who Survived a Tiger Shark Attack

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Soul Surfer: A Thought-Provoking Film for the Whole Family By Meg Korpi and Rusty Wright

Kauai, 2003. A 14-foot tiger shark bursts through the waves and tears off 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton’s left arm. She loses 60 percent of her blood, and faces the end of her pro surfing dreams. Three months later, the unstoppable young teen is surfing competitively again.

If you’re looking for inspiration to thrive in tough times or to appreciate life more fully, Soul Surfer – the movie based on Hamilton’s brush with death and remarkable comeback – will knock your socks off. The Sony Pictures release, starring AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and Carrie Underwood opens across North America April 8th.

Fantastic Surfing, Tough Competition, Heart-stopping Tragedy, Strong Character

The film’s breathtaking surfing footage and heart-pounding athletic competition will entertain sports enthusiasts. But Bethany’s true story of gut-wrenching tragedy, driven character, and hard-won victory is what makes Soul Surfer worth seeing.

Pre-attack, Bethany (Robb) is a lighthearted kid and skilled surfer. (At 13, she ranked #2 among 18-and-under females in the USA.) After the attack, Bethany emerges as poised and determined, with a well-grounded spirit. Where does a 13-year-old gain the fortitude to overcome a missing limb and rebuild athletic prowess, while remaining surprisingly good-spirited?

Why This? Why Me?

After the attack, Bethany struggles with the mundane (ever try slicing a tomato with one hand?), the profound (how could God allow this?), and the young-teen weighty (will a boy ever like her with only one arm?). But in addition, as a champion surfer, driven by love of the sport, Bethany confronts the likely loss of her career: How could she possibly paddle a surfboard, one-armed, through the impact zone (roughest part of the surf), much less re-conquer championship surfing maneuvers?

I don’t need easy; I just need possible

But a love of God also drives Bethany. Her youth group leader, Sarah Hill (Underwood), helps her gain perspective after the tragedy. Gradually, Bethany learns to rely on the biblical assurance: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘…plans for good and not for harm, to give you a future and a hope.’”

At the film’s NYC premiere, director Sean McNamara offered insight. “Her faith was amazing, I watched her overcome adversity and [attribute it to her] faith in Jesus Christ … I’d been through years of Catholic school, but it’s different when you actually see someone walk the walk and talk the talk.”

With remarkable determination, Bethany decides to tackle surfing again. She seeks her father’s help. “It’s not going to be easy,” he cautions.

“I don’t need easy,” replies Bethany. “I just need possible.”

Inspiring Role Model

This film will not please moviegoers who expect dark drama and gore from a shark-attack film. Skeptics will likely scoff at the portrayal of Bethany’s resilience and positive attitude as too good to be true. In fact, the filmmakers appear to have toned down the real Bethany’s indomitable spirit for fear audiences would find her unbelievable. “They tried to portray her as being sad in the hospital,” Bethany’s brother Noah told us, “but she wasn’t like that. She was always upbeat.”

Good teen role models are hard to come by. Thirteen-year–olds who inspire adults to act more courageously are virtually unheard of. If you’re humble enough to accept that admirable and wise-beyond-their-years youth do exist (and we’ve met one), you could learn a lot from this movie – no matter what your age.

Soul Surfer is thought-provoking PG entertainment. The Hamilton family’s strong faith is portrayed as integral to the characters, not preachy. The shark-attack scene shouldn’t upset the squeamish. We found the movie hard to leave in the theater, and instead carried it in our heads for days, reflecting on the individuals’ choices, wisdom and character.

Some of the real Bethany’s insights are so selfless and profound they are indeed hard for the rest of us to understand. She once said,

“If I can help other people find hope in God, then that is worth losing my arm for.”

View a cartoon flash presentation and see how you too can find hope in God!

Amazing. Grace.

Meg Korpi studies character development and ethical decision-making through the Character Research Institute in Northern California. She holds a PhD from, and formerly taught at, Stanford University.

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com

Protected by an Angel – My Angel Story

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angels advice 288x300 Protected by an Angel – My Angel StoryAre angels real? Is there an angel of love? Is there an angel of the light? Are we protected by angels? Was it an angel who rescued me?

My Angel Story – by Wilma Watson.

I’ve said many times, “You’re an angel.” What I mean is, you have really helped me and I appreciate you.

Today we have angel mania. People are fascinated with ‘angels’. Perhaps we are longing for someone or something to relieve our pain and rescue us. I sure needed rescuing. This is my angel story…

Just months after I was married in my mid-twenties, I was all alone in the dark traveling on a mule in a very isolated area in the middle of Africa. Hyenas were circling around me and, without some intervention, I knew I was in trouble.

Now I can hear you saying to yourself, “What on earth was she doing in the middle of Africa alone in the dark?”

My husband, Bill, and I arrived by small plane on a dirt remote airstrip in south-west Ethiopia. I was providing medical assistance, while Bill was involved in educating the people. Although we faced many challenges during our 15 years there, it was very rewarding.

One of those challenging times was when I needed medical help and the plane was not available to take me to the nearest doctor. We had to go overland instead! The problem was that there were no roads, only walking tracks.

As Bill had a motorbike before going to Ethiopia, one of the first things he did when we arrived was have a motorbike flown in. I believed him when he said he could use a bike on the walking tracks!

What normally would take two and a half days by foot, to reach an American medical doctor, took us one and half by motor bike. Actually, for most of the first day I walked while Bill struggled to keep the bike upright!

Not long into our journey we discovered that due to the rain runoff from the mountain terrain, plus the heavy traffic of cattle and people, the sides of the trail were too narrow and deep for a bike. As Bill was continually stopping the bike to shovel his way through, I decided it was easier and quicker for me to walk.

After the doctor’s report though, Bill insisted that for my return, I not walk during the final stage over the steep, difficult mountain terrain. A mule was hired and Bill arranged for an Ethiopian who knew the tracks and spoke English to escort me. Sensing that the bike could take longer on the difficult sections than the mule, Bill decided to go ahead, expecting me to catch up to him.

The mule ride, however, took longer than anticipated. It was late in the afternoon and fearing the possibility of having to spend the night in an unknown Ethiopian hut, I decided to run the mule so I could get back before dark. Unfortunately, my Ethiopian escort was unwilling or unable to keep up with me, hence I rode alone.

Everyone, including animals, go into their huts after dark due to the hyenas. It was now dark and hyenas were beginning to circle around me. Alone along the way, I discovered that there were many walking tracks to choose from and now the foreboding fear of taking the wrong track and being lost gripped me.

I called out to God for help and immediately the mule came to a stop and refused to move forward (as the saying goes: “stubborn as a mule”). It was as if someone or something was standing in its way. I could see in the moonlight that there was definitely nothing there, so I released my hold on the reins and the mule turned itself around. It was as if the mule was being led! We travelled back along the track a distance and then the mule took a sharp turn onto another track. Could it have been an angel that led me and the mule home that night? I believe so!

There are a few things I have learnt about angels. Although in the Bible we read of times where they have been given the ability to reveal themselves in the form of human bodies, in the book of Hebrews they are described as ‘spirits’. “What are the angels, then? They are spirits who serve God and are sent by him to help those who are to receive salvation.”

Angels were created by God to be his helpers.

In God’s kingdom there are good angels. God is love, therefore his helpers are angels of love – they perform loving actions.

In Satan’s kingdom there are bad angels. The Bible says Satan robs, kills and destroys. He seeks to deceive us into believing that the bad angels are good for us! “Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light!” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

I needed rescuing from a dark, dangerous situation in the middle of Africa, but in reality we all need recuing from the darkness of Satan’s kingdom. The Bible says God wants to “rescue you out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and bring you into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13)

God loves you and wants to set you free. Click here to view a cartoon flash presentation that will show you how God can rescue you!