You Are What You Focus On: The Strength of An Unstoppable Mindset

The FinerMinds teams shares this:

“It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.” – W Mitchell

Not many people have been as unfortunate as W Mitchell – or so it would seem.

He’s been involved in two separate serious accidents – one of which left him with burns covering most of his body, and the other that left him wheelchair-bound for life.

As a result of such disabilities, many would give up. But because of his firm belief that success is not dictated by what life deals to you, but by what you do with the challenges you’re dealt, W Mitchell re-trained himself to fly a plane, become a famous international speaker and an environmental lobbyist.

In this 4-minute video, he reinforces the fact that we become what we focus on, and how once he started focusing on how powerful and innovative he was, he not only changed his life – but the life of those around him.

Go to the source of this quote: You Are What You Focus On: The Strength of An Unstoppable Mindset

American Minute for December 21st

Cover of "John Newton (Men of Faith)"

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.”

These were the words of John Newton, a former slave ship captain, who died DECEMBER 21, 1807.

At age 11, his mother died and he went to sea with his father.

He fell in love with Mary Catlett while on shore leave, but overstaying his visit, he missed his ship’s departure and was pressed by a gang onto the HMS Harwich.

His reckless behavior caused him to be traded to a slave ship.

While on a West African plantation buying slaves, his employer enslaved him.

He was rescued, but continued his immoral life, deriding Christians with blasphemy that shocked even sailors.

During a storm that nearly sank them, he first prayed.

He read Thomas a Kempis’ ‘Imitation of Christ,’ left the slave-trade and became a minister, preaching the rest of his life against slavery.

Having encouraged William Wilberforce to end slavery in England, his tombstone read,

“John Newton, Clerk,

once an infidel and libertine,

a servant of slaves in Africa,

was, by the rich mercy

of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

preserved, restored, pardoned,

and appointed to preach the faith

he had long labored to destroy.”

via American Minute for December 21st.

 

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American Minute for November 7th

, American religious figure.

He wanted to be a baseball player, but after attending a revival at age 16, his life changed.

He has addressed crowds around the world and is unprecedented in having friendships with U.S. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.

His name is Billy Graham, born NOVEMBER 7, 1918.

At a news conference, March 21, 1956, President Eisenhower stated:

“This is what I see in Billy Graham – A man who clearly understands that any advance in the world has got to be accompanied by a clear realization that man is, after all, a spiritual being.”

Ronald Reagan introduced Billy Graham at a California rally, saying:

“Why is a representative of government here? To welcome with humble pride a man whose mission in life has been to remind us that in all our seeking…the answer to each problem is to be found in the simple words of Jesus of Nazareth, who urged us to love one another.”

Upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996, Billy Graham said:

“As we face a new millennium, I believe America has gone a long way down the wrong road. We must turn around…If ever we needed God’s help, it is now.” via American Minute for November 7th.

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As A Flower To The Sun

Curated from Steve McSwain @ Mindful Living on Huffingtonpost.com who writes:
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Benjamin Whichcote said, “The human soul is to God as a flower is to the sun; it opens at its approach; it shuts when it withdraws.”

Today, I will approach the sun; I will open to all that is divine. And the approach? Well, it’s just a simple acknowledgement, perhaps a thought, the awareness of desire, attention to a tiny inclination. It’s like magic really. There is no effort whatsoever.

It was Jesus who purportedly said, “Look at the flowers of the field … they neither toil nor spin … and yet, your heavenly father sees them … knows them” (Matthew 6).

No flower ever struggled to open to the sun. It simply turns and looks — and then, it freely shares its color and fragrance with the world.

How beautiful. I think I’ll be the same. Why must I make knowing God into a struggle? Why would I allow the religion within which I was raised continue to hound me inside my head with a catalogue of reminders of what I must do in order to be? No, instead, I’ll lay aside that narrow conditioning and just do nothing but be. I feel such freedom when I’m doing less and being more — more of who I am: a beautiful human flower, simply and effortlessly, opening to the sun.

Ah, that’s it for me. Which reminds me of something Thomas Merton once whispered: “As soon as a person” — that’s me and perhaps you, too — “As soon as a person is inclined to be with God” — as I am and, again, perhaps you are, too — “As soon as a person is inclined to be with God, they are … no matter where they are … in the monastery, in the city, in the woods.”

“Furthermore,” he continued, “Just when it would seem as if he (or, she) is in the middle of his journey” — and, for me, that’s like, most of the time — “Know this: he has actually arrived at his destination already.”

Already? You mean, I’m there now? In the sun? That this thought of God, this inclination for God that I feel from time to time, that’s all it takes and I’m in full bloom already?

Wow! What a Divine thought! Thank you Thomas. Thank you Whichcote. How could I not thank you? Whisper more, my friends. And do so often, this and every day. I’ll be listening for your reminders.

Will you, too? Yes, you, reading this. Can you lay aside the need to judge, to critique, to complain, to express your disapproval and so, temporarily suspend the insatiable need to evaluate the world — to fix, as if you could, what’s wrong with it? Can you release, at least for now, the impulsive need to see who’s reading what you’ve written, commenting on what you’ve labored over? Can you stop doing long enough to simply be? To look? To listen? To blossom?

I have to remind myself of this often, driven as I am to produce, to please, to proclaim, to complain, to impress, to make certain I’m heard, read and, mostly, admired by somebody — anybody. Even a critic and his criticism is better than nothing.

Today, however, I intend to do nothing. Instead, I plan to listen, to observe, to be open to perspectives other than my own, to watch for the divine reminders. They’re everywhere. But they usually come as whispers and are easily missed.

The same is true for you. Know that the sun is shining and you, my friend, are blossoming into Life itself. You are the color on the canvas of creation that creates what’s beautiful about this world. You are the fragrance that makes all things better. You are the flower that blooms and, in the end, what else could possibly matter more?” via Steve McSwain: As A Flower To The Sun”

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Remain in Jesus

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

The most famous verse in the whole Bible is probably John 3:16, which says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

You’ve undoubtably seen it on signs at sporting events, written on t-shirts, posted on billboards and even on drink cups at some fast food restaurants. And for good reason, it’s an amazing verse! Here’s Jesus telling us about why He came, who sent Him, and what happens for those who put their faith in Him. It’s a great snapshot of the Gospel message. If you’ve never begun the habit of memorizing Scripture, start with this one.

While John 3:16 is an amazing verse, John 3:17 is just as compelling. Jesus continues by telling us,

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

That’s a reassuring statement! Look at the two verses together; first, God loves us enough to send us a Savior, next, if we put our faith in Jesus, if we trust Him as our Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life, and Jesus wasn’t sent to condemn the world as some would have us believe, but to save the world.

That’s where the power for a changed life comes from, from the Savior of the world. Jesus gives us the power for a new life, for a life of freedom from our hurts, hang-ups and habits, but we have to bring them to Him and trust Him to heal us. As we go through Celebrate Recovery we need to ensure that Jesus is the center of our program. We can not do this on our own power. To find change, lasting change, we need to depend wholly on Jesus.

Today, ask yourself, have you been relying on Jesus’ power or your own? If you’ve been relying on Christ’s power, keep it up. Don’t get distracted, don’t stray from the path. But if you find that you’ve begun to rely on anything other than Jesus, a relationship, willpower, a new habit, anything, don’t wait to refocus your attention to Jesus. We all have the tendency to take our eyes off of Jesus, but when we realize we’ve done that, we need to turn to Him in prayer and ask Him for His help to remain focused on and in Him.

Later in the Book of John, Jesus tells us:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Jesus isn’t a part of recovery, He is recovery. If we want to live a new life, a life free from hurts, hang-ups and habits, we must remain in Jesus. It is only by and through Jesus that you and I can have new lives here on earth, and eternal life in heaven.

Today, what can you do to make sure that you remain in Jesus?

If you find that you have begun to focus on anything else, are you ready to make today the day you focus on Jesus as your Lord and Savior, as your Higher Power?

Don’t put it off any longer. Remember, Jesus didn’t come to condemn us, but to save us.” via Remain in Jesus.

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Combating Shame

Melody Beattie writes:

“Shame can hold us back, hold us down, and keep us staring at our feet.” Beyond Codependency.

Watch out for shame.

Many systems and people reek of shame. They are con­trolled by shame and may want us to play their game with them. They may be hoping to hook us and control us through shame.

We don’t have to fall into their shame. Instead, well take the good feelings — self-acceptance, love, and nurturing.

Compulsive behaviors, sexually addictive behaviors, over­eating, chemical abuse, and addictive gambling are shame-

based behaviors. If we participate in them, we will feel ashamed. It’s inevitable. We need to watch out for addictive and other compulsive behaviors because those will immerse us in shame.

Our past, and the brainwashing we may have had that im­posed “original shame” upon us, may try to put shame on

us. This can happen when we’re all alone, walking through the grocery store or just quietly going about living our life. Don’t think . . Don’t feel…. Don’t grow or change… . Don’t be alive. . . . Don’t live life. . .. Be ashamed!

Be done with shame. Attack shame. Go to war with it. Learn to recognize it and avoid it like the plague.

Today, I will deliberately refuse to get caught up in the shame float­ing around in the world. If I cannot resist it, I will feel it, accept it, then be done with it as quickly as possible. God, help me know that it’s okay to love myself and help me to refuse to submit to shame. If I get off course, help me learn to change shame into guilt, correct the behavior, and move forward with my life in immediate self-love. via June 27: Combating Shame.