How Can You Be A Person Of Influence?

August 29, 2016
UnSplash

UnSplash

Who is a person of influence?

What do Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Billy Graham have in common? They have been leaders of influence. All had vision, integrity and faith.  Ronald Reagan “pursued peace through strength.” Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in loving your enemies and pushing away fear. “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” Billy Graham believes in vision. In one of his speeches he said, “when there’s no vision then the people perish.”

 

Merriam-Webster defines influence as “the power to change or affect someone or something.” 

Can you think of people who have made an impression on you through your life? Perhaps it was your parents, grandparents, teachers or friends. Why are these people important?

Why be a person of influence?

  • To encourage others
  • To encourage moral principles
  • To lead others to a stronger faith

“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” Isaiah 55:4 KJV

Martin Luther King had courage to speak out for racial inequality. Ronald Reagan communicated with passion about family values and freedom. Billy Graham spoke of personal faith and belief in God. These leaders affected millions of people. They spoke with boldness about their beliefs. They shared these qualities.

 

  • courage
  • passion for freedom
  • personal faith

 

How can you touch the lives of others?

 

You don’t have to be a leader recognized by the world to impact others. Know what you believe and why. Be willing to share some of your wisdom.  You can have an effect on your family and friends by standing true to your convictions. As our culture drifts morally and spiritually, it’s important to stand for integrity.  Encourage morality. Demonstrate faith.

 

In my own life, my grandfather encouraged me to think for myself. He worked his way through college and became an ordained minister. To support his family, he farmed. Current events and politics were frequent subjects of conversation and he was an active member of the community. Later in life, he was honored for his work and given a “This Is Your Life” award. Attending the ceremony made a lasting impression on me. It demonstrated that hard work and deep faith in God can make a difference.

 

How have influences of others affected your life? Can you be a mentor or an encourager to someone?

 

What Are the Simple Rewards of Owning a Pet?

August 22, 2016
Pexels

Pexels

According to statistics from the ASPCA, “70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States.” What is it about man’s best friend or a cat that captures the heart of many Americans?

 

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” George Eliot

The Benefits of Pets

  • Comfort
  • Companionship
  • Unconditional love
  • Protection

 

After my mother’s death, I bought a Boston Terrier puppy. The times I needed comfort, I could rely on my dog to give me a slurp across the face. Her eyes seem to light up when I return from an errand. She jumps and whines as if she is saying “I love you, love you love you.” She rests beside me in my recliner and is always eager to play ball.

When my mother was in Hospice, she especially enjoyed visits from the pet therapy dog.  Mother delighted in petting the dog and talking to her. A friend’s mom lives in assisted living with two cats. She thrives because of her pets.

Dogs offer protection. According to one study, intimidating and/or yapping dogs offer protection from burglars.

Pets teach children responsibility if they participate in the dog’s care. Children learn to respect animals instead of fearing them.

 

The Downside of Owning Pets

  • Expense
  • Training
  • Environment

When buying a dog it’s important to consider the cost of vaccinations and preventative care. Vet bills can add up quickly.

Since I’d owned a Boston Terrier before, I knew some of the basics about the breed. They are lively, playful and a bit stubborn. Obedience training is recommended. My puppy completed 2 sets of classes, and to this day I’ve never had regrets.

If you live in an apartment, you probably need to consider a small dog, since larger dogs need space to romp and play.

 

Do the homework if buying a pet.

  • investigate health record
  • buy from a reliable breeder
  • consider your living environment

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t research my puppy’s history and soon discovered she had a multitude of skin issues. Of course, when I made the discovery, I was already attached to the pup. No way would I demand my money back.

 

It’s a good idea to check your lease before buying a pet. One of the big reasons people are forced to give pets up for adoption is, restrictions in a lease.

 

 

 “Good people take good care of their animals, but the wicked know only how to be cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 (ERV)

 

The beginning of Genesis, reminds us that God created the animals, and man has dominion over them. Pets are loyal and trusting. They are of great value to us in giving companionship and unconditional love. Do you own a pet? What benefits have you received as a pet owner? Any funny stories you’d like to share?

 

 

What Is Awesome Courage When Facing A Goliath?

August 15, 2016
Unsplash

Unsplash

Most of us have had some type of challenge in our lives where the odds seemed insurmountable.

Situations such as a cancer diagnosis or death of a loved one, require an abundance of courage. Conflicts with family, friends, and others call for bravery. What is your definition of courage?

There is an incident in the Old Testament that will help clarify the meaning.

Facing A Threat

Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Philistine army had a champion. But the terrified Israeli army had no one willing to face the warrior.

The Enemy

The Israelites had good reason to fear the giant. Goliath stood 6 cubits and a span. According to the Expanded Bible, his height measured 9 feet 4 inches. The armor worn by this hulk weighed 125 pounds. The wooded part of his spear was the size of a beam.

The Israelites must have been quaking in their sandals!

Goliath in his big booming voice dared the Israeli army to send a warrior to fight. He taunted them with the fact that if he won, they would become slaves.

The Unlikely Champion

David a young shepherd happened to be in the Israeli camp, delivering food to his brothers. While David visited, Goliath shouted his challenge as he had for the last 40 days. David couldn’t believe the giant taunted God’s army.

The soldiers told David the king offered a great reward to anyone who would kill the giant. David’s older brother overheard the conversation. He scolded him for leaving the sheep. He accused David of being prideful and wicked in heart.

No brotherly love there.

David refused to be put off by his brother’s rebuke. King Saul summoned David who offered to battle the giant. The king discouraged David because of his youth and lack of experience in battle. But David convinced the king.

The king agreed and offered his own armor.  David refused. He needed his own equipment, a sling shot and few smooth stones.

On the battlefield, Goliath taunted David.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17: 45 

With one stone, David slew Goliath.

How did David possess such courage? He was loyal to God and trusted Him.

To have courage, you have to develop these 4 characteristics.

  • strength
  • confidence
  • integrity
  • good judgement

 

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you think makes up courage? Are you currently experiencing a situation that requires courage?