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    Who are the underminers

     

    How many of you had the experience growing up of being told in various ways to limit yourselves from being all you can be? The movie “The Incredibles” is a wonderful metaphor for this. In this movie, the superheroes – the people with extraordinary powers – are restricted from using their powers. When I was growing up, I was not supported in being all I could be. “Boys don’t like smart girls,” “People will be jealous of you.” I learned to hide good grades and talents, for fear others would be threatened. If I wanted to “fit in,” I needed to be like everyone else. Being extraordinary was considered “weird.” In the movie, the superheroes are finally allowed to use their powers because they are needed to save the planet. This, too, is a metaphor. We are each extraordinary in our own ways, and this planet needs each of us to fully express our gifts and talents. We need extraordinary people to step up to the plate to guide us away from fear, greed and manipulation and into caring, compassion, and personal responsibility. Fortunately, many more young people today are encouraged to be all they can be. At the end of the movie, a horrible monster arises from the earth, saying something like, “We are the underminers. We undermine happiness, peace and joy. We are always beneath you.” Who are the underminers? Underminers are both within and without. Outer underminers are those people who do not have your highest good at heart. They are the people who want to use you, blame you, manipulate and control you, and try to limit you. They are the people who are threatened by you being all you can be. They are the people who want you to care-take them rather than take responsibility for yourself. These people can be family, friends, or co-workers – anyone in your life who does not support you in being all you can be. It is sad and lonely when the people who say they care about you, instead do all they can to control and limit you. However, as adults it is the inner underminers who cause the most damage. The inner underminers are the wounded parts of ourselves that hold our limiting beliefs – the lies we learned about ourselves, others, and God. These underminers shout lies to us that cause our fears and anxieties and keep us from fully manifesting all that we are. Paul is a very competent man, yet every time he gets a new idea of something he wants to do with his work and his life, his underminer says, “You can’t do it. You will fail.” His underminer keeps him immobilized and “safe.” Julia is a talented writer, yet has never submitted her writing for publication. Whenever she starts to move toward submitting her writing, her underminer shouts, “No one will listen to you. No one wants to read what you write.” For a long time, Joanna has wanted to leave her job and go back to school for further training. Yet whenever she contemplates this, her underminer sneaks in with the lie that stops her every time: “If you leave your job, you will never find another one. God will not support you in doing what you want to do.” Robert is unhappy in his relationship. His girlfriend, Marian, just wants to be taken care of. She is often very angry at Robert when he wants to spend time with friends or even time alone, and does not support him in what brings him joy. She is an underminer, yet it is his inner underminer that keeps him from leaving. “You will end up alone and be more miserable than you are now.” Suzanne was the “smart one” in her family, while her sister was the “pretty one.” Her parents undermined her by telling her over and over that she needed to learn to take care of herself because no man would want her. Now, a successful and attractive woman, Suzanne’s underminer constantly tells her, “You will always be alone. You are not meant to have a relationship.” Because of her underminer, Suzanne approaches relationships with a chip on her shoulder, creating the rejection she is hoping to avoid. “You can’t.” “You will fail.” “You are inadequate.” “Who do you think you are?” “You will end up alone.” “You are ugly.” “You are alone – God does not exist.” “Spirit will not support you because you are not good enough.” The underminer – undermining your happiness, peace and joy. Why not be a superhero and stop listening to the underminer?

         
    Who made the first new year s resolution

     

    What is it that makes people stay up until the wee hours of the morning one night out of the year? My primary objective in life is not to see how late I can stay up, but getting up in the morning. If I can get up each morning, it is a major accomplishment that I should celebrate with eggs, bacon and a hot cup of coffee — which is about all the celebrating I can handle. I’m not anxious to see someone drop the ball on New Year’s Eve. I do enough of that myself throughout the year and believe me, nobody cheers. One thing I am most careful to do each New Year’s Day is make out my resolutions for the coming year. New Year’s resolutions represent one of the most ancient of human rituals. I say “human rituals” because it is not known whether the animal or plant world enjoy such exhilarating rituals. The evidence at this point in time is inclusive. Perhaps Mark Twain was correct when he observed, “humans are the only animals that blush — or need to.” I have not always held such high and lofty views of the New Year’s resolution. Once, when I was young and did not know any better, I completely ignored this yearly ritual. My good friend and mentor, the Reverend Frank Simmons, set me straight on this important issue. My early pastorate was close to Frank’s and we spent much time together. I learned so much from him, things they do not teach in college. Each New Year’s Day we would spend in each other’s society. One year Frank and his wife would entertain us at his parsonage and the next year my wife and I would reciprocate. It was at our parsonage one year when I made the casual remark that I did not believe in New Year’s resolutions. As far as I was concerned, a New Year’s resolution was a useless attempt to interfere with scientific laws. My best resolve is not going to change much in the long run. Besides, I can’t run that far these days. My mind is bigger than my legs. For example. Have you ever noticed that a New Year’s resolution is stronger at its birth than any subsequent period? My best intention in January is a long faded memory by July. Most New Year’s resolutions are simply lame attempts to apologize for the past year and a promise of better behavior in the year ahead. People spend so much energy in the creative act of coming up with a good set of New Year’s resolutions that there is no energy left to actually keep them for more than two consecutive days. Frank allowed me to dig my hole as deep as possible and then in his unique way, let me know that I was wrong. I always took criticism from him very seriously. “Can you tell me,” he asked with a mischievous twinkle, “the origin of the New Year’s resolution and who made the first one?” Of course, he caught all of us off guard with this one. My good wife suggested that maybe it was Samson who resolved to give up female barbers. Everyone had a good laugh at that one. Frank especially enjoyed it, slapping his knee and roaring with laughter. My thoughts turned to the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 KJV.) In my mind, a vow is the same thing as a resolution. As important as it is to make a vow, or resolution, keeping it is more important. If you cannot, or will not, keep it, better not make it. A resolution is not an opportunity to boast. It should be done very carefully and sincerely. Many people at this time of the year make resolutions such as attending church more regularly, reading their Bible and praying every day, and giving more money to their local church. Such resolutions are music in the ear of every pastor. The problem is, the band stops playing in mid-February. If everyone who made such resolutions actually kept them for an entire year, most pastors would have heart attacks by September. Thankfully, there is no actual medical danger for the cleric population. Back to Frank’s intriguing question. “Can you tell me the origin of the New Year’s resolution and who made the first one?” During our lively discussion of the subject Frank kept quiet. He just leaned back in his chair, listening to the deliberation with a devilish grin playing across his face. Gradually, the rest of us grew silent and directed our attention toward Frank. “All right,” I finally begged, “tell us. Where did the New Year’s Resolution originate and who make the first one?” Frank knew he had us right where he wanted us. “Not many people know,” Frank began, “that the New Year’s resolution has biblical roots. It began with Adam.” He certainly had my attention and I leaned forward to catch every word. With great deliberation Frank explained, “As the first couple began their second year in the Garden of Eden, Adam turned to Eve and said, ‘Honey, this year I’m going to turn over a new leaf.’”

         
    Why do bad things happen to good people

     

    This is a question that most people grapple with from time to time and it has largely been on my mind this past week. You see one of the best people I know -- my Uncle Carl -- had a very bad accident this week. While working on the wood lot with his son, his hand got caught in a log splitter. In the end the damage was so severe that his left hand had to be amputated. Although no longer a young man, my uncle is very active and enjoys working with his hands. He is right handed but clearly the use of two hands was an important part of his former life and just as clearly that will have to change. I was devastated when I heard the news and am still shaken by it -- even more so when I think about how much worse the accident could have been. My whole family is upset, especially Uncle Carl's wife and children, most notably my cousin John who was with him at the time. As I worked through my worry and grief I kept asking myself that question: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? I know people often say this when tragedy occurs, but this is not simple lip service -- it is fact. My uncle is a good man. He is a very strong family man who is still married to his high school sweetheart. He loves his four children as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a devoted son when his parents were alive and is loved by his siblings, nieces and nephews. He and his wife opened their home to many children and young people over the years and continue to open their home and hearts whenever family, friends, or community require it. He has worked hard all his life -- using his hands to service the land and master machinery and using his broad shoulders and strong muscles to complete every task set before him. He has played an important role in his community serving as a volunteer firefighter as well as a cornerstone of his church congregation. Yes, he is a good man, but his life has not been easy though and I had to question why one more burden needed to be added to his heavy load. Many Christians will say that God sends us trials to test us. And there might be some truth in that. Many of us are stronger than we think and it takes difficult challenges to make this clear. But I didn't think this applied to my uncle -- he has had many challenges over the course of his life and I think he has a good handle on his own strengths. However loss also highlights what we have and perhaps have taken for granted. Yes, my uncle has had a difficult life but he has also had a tremendously rewarding one. I don't think there really is much that my uncle wishes for or envies in others. Yes, his siblings may have more money and professional success, but I am confident that Carl would not trade his wife and family for that money any day of the week. And I secretly suspect that if he did in fact have more money that it would be spent in large part on his loved ones. And he is greatly loved by a great many people. Not just by his immediate and extended family but by the many people whose lives he has touched. I know there are prayers on his behalf winging from coast to coast. I don't think he'd trade that love and the respect that accompanies it for all the professional success his siblings have enjoyed. We can grieve with him for the loss of his hand, but we can't pity him when we look at the many gifts that God has given him. What is more, when you step back and take a look at the man he is then you do not even notice the missing hand. He is so much more than the simple sum of his parts and in the end it is the size of his heart that one notices most. It is important to note that it was his right hand that was preserved -- the very hand he has extended so many times to others to offer love, friendship, and help.

         
    Would you rather fly or be invisible

     

    Recently one of my son's favorite TV stations conducted a survey of children. They asked kids which superpower they would rather have: the ability to fly or to be invisible? To me it seemed to be a no-brainer--to fly most definitely! First of all, I think the ability to fly offers a lot more opportunity for fun, adventure, and freedom. Just think about being able to go anywhere, anytime you want, without worrying about traffic, road conditions, or gas money! While being invisible offers a range of opportunities as well it just seems so sneaky to me that I feel uncomfortable even thinking about it. My son agreed with me. He thought flying would be a lot more fun. No surpise there as he is a physical child who enjoys being on the go. Then I really started to think about the question. What does our choice say about us? I think I would really want to know why a child would choose invisibility over flying. I would fear that a child who chose that option either already felt invisible or wished they were. I would worry about their self-esteem and security in social interactions. Of course, on the other hand, there are certain practical considerations. There are a number of instances where invisibility could serve many purposes for good on a small or large scale. Apparently this question has been around for some time. A public radio station did a program on superheroes some time ago and took a survey asking which power their audience would prefer, the power to fly or to be invisible. Men overall, voted that they wanted to fly and women that they wanted to be invisible. Why? So that the men could fly their kids to school and soccer instead of fighting traffic and women wanted to be invisible so that they could sit in on conversations and hear what was being said about them. No one wanted to use the super power to help others. I find that survey even more disappointing than the one for kids. But not surprising. I am not a cynical person (except when it comes to my students' excuses for not doing their homework) in general but more often when I hear some act of courageous good I am surprised rather than affirmed. So while this could certainly appear to be a superficial question, something like the Barbara Walter's "If you could be an animal, what would you be" type, but I think it could lead to a much deeper discussion. What do you think? Which would you rather be? Which superpower would you rather your child have? Stop by Words of Inspiration Online and vote in our poll!

         
    You are empowered by god

     

    : © 2006, All Rights Reserved Did you know God has provided ways in His word to empower His children? Did you know there are specific things you can do to contribute to answered prayer, good health, a peaceful life and more? It's true! Once we are saved, we don't just float through our days hoping to catch God in a good mood when He is willing to answer prayer or provide for our needs. His word gives us many things we can do continually to set His hand in motion. Covenant Promises Open your Bible to some of the verses where God states the promises He is willing to bestow on His children. For instance, Deuteronomy 28 is filled with blessings. What do you notice about how this chapter begins? "Now it shall come to pass, IF you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God…" Then, at the end of the blessings section of this chapter (verse 13) what do we see again? "And the Lord shall make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only and not be beneath, IF you heed the commandments of the Lord your God…" If we do what God instructs us to do then He will give us all He has promised to give. This if/then type of promise is called a covenant promise. It operates the same as when an attorney draws up a contract between two people. One party agrees to do a particular thing and - after it is done - a second party agrees to do something else. God empowers us to have control of certain circumstances by offering us these covenant promises or blessings. You Go First God usually wants us to take the action He has laid out in His word before we are rewarded. He empowers us to do what we should then rewards us once we have done it. Luke chapter six holds other good examples of ways God has empowered us. In verse 37, Jesus instructs, "Judge not and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you shall not be condemned." Verse 38 continues in the same way by saying, "Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over; men shall give unto your bosom. For with the same measure you use, it shall be measured back to you." Again, we go first. If we give, we shall receive. Whatever measure we use to give to God, that's the same measure He will use to give to us. We have the control. We make the first move. I Peter 3:7 shows yet another good example. "Husbands, likewise, dwell with [your wives] with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered." When husbands treat their wives as God says they should, they give more power to their prayers. The husband's prayers are not hindered because of his actions. If he treats his wife in an ungodly manner, his prayer will be hindered. In this example, the husband has the power. As you read through your Bible this week, make note of the times God empowers us. You may want to make a list or mark the verses in your Bible as you find them so you can remember when to act and what to do to release God's best in your life. Many times our actions are all that stand in the way of answered prayers. Is God waiting on you?

         
    You are empowered by god in your finances

     

    : © 2006, All Rights Reserved In the first article I wrote dealing with empowerment ("You Are Empowered By God"), I outlined several principles that pertain to God's word with relation to answered prayers. We saw how God makes covenant promises (contract or agreement promises) and how we are empowered by God Himself to bring about many of the blessings that are mentioned in the Bible. Now let's look at how Father empowers us specifically in the area of finances. We Are No Longer Under Law, But Under Grace When we, as Christians, discuss finances the subject almost always goes toward tithing. One of the most popular scriptures quoted in relation to tithing is Malachi 3:10 which says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." The word "tithe" used here literally means "tenth." Under the Law, we were required to give a tenth of our first fruits to the Lord. But we aren't under Law since the resurrection of Jesus. Galatians 3:13-14 tells us, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." That should make it easy, right, since we are no longer obligated to give a tenth? That depends on your point of view. Since the time of Jesus, we have been empowered to control much of our financial blessing from Father. Basically, He has setup more of a reward system than a system of requirements. It works very simply: the more you give, the more He blesses. Look at Luke 6:38 which says, "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” With the same measure we use, God will measure back our blessing. If we give a tiny amount, our blessing will be tiny. If we give graciously and generously, Father's reward will be great! That scripture proves beyond a doubt that you cannot out give God. Here's another one from II Corinthians 9:6-8: "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." What happens when we sow bountifully? We put God's word into motion and God is able to make all grace come our way. The use of the word "able" suggests that God requires us to make the first move and give. When we give generously, God will also make sure we always have all sufficiency in all things. That's a lot of "all's!" Don't live by the world's standard of penny-pinching and greed. Don't limit God's flow of financial blessing by strictly giving only a tenth of your first fruits. Instead, give in abundance and you'll release God's power so that you can receive in abundance, too!

         
    You are magic

     

    “Magic (ma-jic): an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source”. The attempt to define magic is difficult at best. It is used more as a word to define, than one that can be defined. The same can be said for who you are. We attempt to define ourselves, yet no adequate words exist to describe the complexity of who we are. We can describe what we look like, the type of work we do, our ethnic heritage or gender. Yet, that comes nowhere near the truth of what animates your being. You are a mystery. You are magic. Historians, philosophers, scientist and theologians have been searching for the origins and meaning of existence since the beginning of time. Various religions have been born out of an attempt to define the indefinable. We often engage in the endless pursuit to define who, what and why we are. We measure ourselves against others and their accomplishments. We are deluged each day with media images of what is acceptable or unacceptable. There is an ongoing quest to explain the unexplainable. You are who you are and that is ever changing. You are deliciously indescribable. Each moment you are remade. Every morning when you open your eyes, you begin a new journey. The choices and decisions that you make color and change “who” you are. You are an indefinable, magical being. Have you forgotten this? Have you allowed the world to take away your magic? Each time you have a thought or task and give it life - you are creating! From preparing a meal for your family or painting a picture. Everything you do adds a different dimension to who “you” are. Life is a mystery and by accepting this fact you become one with it and more able to maneuver though it. Think back and remember the last time you were really “in tune” with something you wanted to accomplish. Remember how easy and enjoyable it was to put together all the pieces of the puzzle to create the final outcome? You were not anxious or the least bit concerned about what other people were thinking or doing. You were one with the energy of your creation. That same dynamic is possible in all aspects of your life. By becoming one with the magical energy of who you are, you create. You can also create your own limitations by putting up walls of fear and inadequacy. Embrace your power; consider what you create each and everyday. If you can put together the ingredients to make an apple pie, you can use the same recipe to create anything else you desire. Create a recipe that works for you. Be in harmony with the energy of what you want to bring into your life. If you have made several attempts with no apparent success - try another way. Add or remove something from the recipe. Be in tune with the Universal force of magic. Where is your energy at this moment? Are you focusing on life affirming activities or caught up with what someone else is doing or not doing? Is your energy directed on how to get someone else to change or do what you want him or her to do? What is the topic of most of your conversations? Think about the last conversation you had - were you sharing hopes, dreams and ideas or were you complaining about how things are not going the way you want them to? A large percentage of our words, thoughts and energy are given to what is going on around us. By understanding that you are a powerful, magical being - you regain the power that is wasted on things you cannot control. You cannot control another person’s emotions or actions. If someone is in your life and they are causing you distress - it is because of your choice to remain part of their life. If you are not happy with the situation you are in, it is your choice. You are not your past. You are not what someone did to you or what was taken from you. The events and people in your life have served to shape “who” you are at this moment. The events of today, will further hone who you are tomorrow - and so on… To become a truly empowered being, you have to reach down into the magical place inside of you and utilize your own power. It is not important as to what your spiritual or theological beliefs are. What is important is that you understand the fact that you are a creator. What do you want to create? Peace, harmony and joy or chaos and drama? Are you always feeling angry and frustrated? Being angry or frustrated is only beneficial if it serves to steer you another direction. Conflict can be an incredible catalyst for change if you use the energy to move. Choose to take a different path or look at things from a different perspective. It does not matter how you do it, the important thing is that you get into a place that you want to be. You are who you are and that is “magical”. Do not allow anything to diminish and cage your personal power. Allowing your inner self to grow and blossom is a process. Magic happens when you leap into mystery and become that which you desire to be. Like attracts like - to manifest magic, you must be magic. Just as you cannot adequately define the mystery of life, do not attempt to define “you”. Embrace the undiscovered parts of who you are. Set out on a course to reveal the mystery that dwells within you. If you must define yourself, you are magic. Paula Picard is a Professional Psychic and Spiritual teacher who utilizes her intuition and 20 years of experience to assist you in co-creating the life you want. Paula believes that within you is the power to manifest your desires. To learn more about Paula Picard and her Powerful work paulapicard or you can contact her at [email protected] net Paula Picard 314.308.2053 paulapicard

         
    You are the actor or actress of your own story

     

    : Many thinkers and writers, both past and present, have described human beings in this world as actors and actresses on a big stage, this life, to one great play. Ask yourself, what role are you playing? Who's writing your script? Are you acting out your own story? Or are you simply going through the motions in someone else's play? We each have a set of ideas or beliefs about ourselves that define us as a central character in a "story" that we're living out. All of the elements of the story have been passed down as part of our culture or upbringing, taught or ingrained, or simply fabricated in our own minds. We then go about enacting our stories as if they were true. The thing is, most of us don't even realize that we're enacting a story, much less someone else's story. Because of this, we're completely at the mercy of the story and its writer, how it unfolds, how we react to certain events, and the eventual course our life takes. If we don't take the time to construct our own story, we'll continue enacting our current one, even if it isn't working for us and even if someone else is holding the pen, or typing the keys. So how can you discover the story you're enacting and decide if it's time to create your own spin-off? Here are some pointers: 1. Assume you are in fact enacting a story. Uncover the elements of your story. Be a detective, hunting for clues. Look at all your behaviors and describe them piece by piece, until the "whole" story emerges. 2. Assess your story. Are you happy with it? What would you change, remove, or add to this story to make it more satisfying? Re-write your story - become the author of the grandest story you can envision - a story that truly inspires. 3. Share your new story with important people in your life. Talk about your specific role in the story and why it appeals to you. The more you talk about your new story, the more it will become a part of you. 4mit to living your new role in some way. Make at least one change that is in alignment with the new story. Finally, explore how your new story fits into the bigger story of your family, organization, corporation, country, and the world. What contribution can your new individual story make to the bigger story? Remember, you are the author and you can write your own story any way you wish. And lastly, you time is limited. So do not waste it. Spend it wisely! Joshua Poon is the webmaster of inspiring-quotes-and-stories. Visit Inspiring Quotes and Stories for inspiration.

         
    Your mediocre mind

     

    : Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~ A. Einstein I've always had a love affair with that particular quote. Today, while doing some organizing I came across my favorite quote again. As I looked at it, a higher level of awareness sang out a deeper meaning than I'd ever recognized in the past. Realizing we are spiritual beings, we each have a Great Spirit within us crying out for a well-lived life without fear, without compromise, without limitation. You recognize that deep inner desire, don't you? It's greatness is specific to you, your desires, mine is specific to me, my desires. Initially, our spirit is always battling opposition from the opinions of others, media, peer pressure, and family obligations. Then I realized that there is more. Just like that, a flash of insight revealed something I had never seen before. My Great Spirit has encountered violent opposition from my own mediocre mind! I was stunned with the insight. Our mind is a tool for the body and for the spirit. Identifying ourselves with the mind we entrap ourselves and the spirit becomes enmeshed in a battle for freedom! Wow! What a revelation I realized as I became aware of the mediocrity of my choices based upon my mistakes, my lame-brained thoughts of defeatism, poor self-esteem, bad-hair days, and so on. All of a sudden, I see that I won't rely solely on the thoughts and opinions of others. I won't rely on the intellectual capacity of my mind, the same mind and intellect that can offer up rational excuses to not achieve just as easily as it can offer up excellent reasons to go for the gold. This is also the same mind that can perpetuate the emotional state of despair so the emotions will further feed the negativity of the mind. It is such a trap. The mind, in all of its intellectual prowress is mediocre on its own. Here on in, I will engage in spiritual awareness, having command over the mind and the emotions. The spiritual awareness will harness these tools, the mind and emotions, and the Great Spirit within will inspire action and achievement like never before! What about you? Best wishes, Lee Make a Difference

         
     
         
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