Monday, January 25, 2010


“It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” ~ Dale Carnegie

My pastor, Steve Dixon, told us about a ski instructor who advised that when you are skiing to focus on where you want to go, not the obstruction in your path. For instance, if there are two trees in front of you with room to go between them, then focus on that space, NOT the trees. Why? Your brain will take you to the place of your focus. And in this case it will take you to a place you do not want to go—kissing a tree.

I know a person whose mind is fixated on revenge. This person’s quality of life is on steady decline and the poor soul is losing everything in an effort to “get even.” This mind-set is eating at this person’s sanity.

There is a proverb that says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

What thoughts fill your mind? Are they focused on the obstructions in your path? Are they taking you where you want to go? If not, retrain it to think on good things. Good things about life, people, hope, dreams, and of course, yourself.

This may be an exercise in faith. But as you know, exercise produces healthy bodies and in this case, a healthy mind and a happy life.

Monday, January 18, 2010


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~ Maria Robinson

Many people let the pain of their past define them. The shadowy valleys are where they stay in deep regret allowing the shadows to penetrate their souls and darkening their lives.

It is mind-boggling to hear how evil can influence one person to hurt another, leaving a permanent scar on its victim and robbing them of what others consider a “normal” life.

We cannot change the past, but we can redefine our future.

Think of a painting. It is the shading—the shadows—that deepens, adds character, creates dimension, and makes the highlights even brighter. If we decide that we want out of those dark places and into the light it will be up to us.

How? One step at a time.

First – we  must look to the future. How do you want it to be? Write it down to keep your focus.

Second – don’t look back unless it is necessary for your healing.

Third – help others who are suffering the same thing. No one can help someone like someone who has been there.

Last – forgive. Whoever said, “forgive and forget,” didn’t know much about our brains. We cannot forget. But we can forgive. It isn’t easy and it isn’t always instant. But it is a choice. Picture the offense as a ball that you throw away from yourself. Sometimes it is thrown back at you. Dodge it! Do not continue to allow the offenses or the people who’ve hurt you continue to do so.

I made a decision in college that forever changed my perspective. It is when I gave my past, present, and future to God and accepted the gift of life from Jesus Christ. For 36 years, he has led me through the dark valleys, giving me his "eternal" perspective and teaching me how to forgive.

Let faith, hope, and love define you. Move forward. By reaching out to others and doing things to make your community a better place, you will step into a brighter future.