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Be Grateful – Remain Positive – Become Happy

God First………..everything else after.

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My wife and I grew up in Catholic households.  My wife and her family are more strict about their faith.  Me and some of my family members, not quite as much.  However, regardless of the particulars, the one certainty is that we always do our absolute best to keep God number one in our lives no matter what is happening.  

Let’s face facts for a minute.  We all have things going on in our lives.  Some of us have to worry about losing a job because of the current market conditions.  Some of us are dealing with lost loved ones due to cancer while others are trying to fight and beat cancer.  Some people are living, day by day, in a toxic and abusive relationship with a spouse or significant other and there seems to be no way out.  There are so many things going on with so many people, the list would go one for days.

My wife and I had so many things going on individually and as a couple that we could literally write a book.  My wife was adopted as a baby and dealt with many challenges that came along with the territory.  When she was in her low twenties, she had two large blood clots in her right lung to which she had been told that it’s simply amazing and a miracle that she even lived after that.  From emotional, mental and physical challenges, she still remains living a happy life putting God first.  Maybe putting God first is the reason why she made it past certain challenges in life.

My parents split up and divorced when I was younger.  Now that I am older, I feel that it was for the better.  They both remarried and ended up with spouses that are perfect for them and are now in a happier life.  At least for one of them.  My mom’s husband ended up committing suicide by hanging himself.  It was one of the most devastating moments in our lives.  He was such a wonderful man to my mom.  He treated her so well as if nothing else mattered in the world.  He was truly an amazing man to everyone.  I was working for my step-dad at the time and we worked from home.  I had just left my career of five years to work for his company as a client services manager.  So I moved back home with them and my wife and I made plans at that time for her to move down from Michigan to Florida so we can start our lives together.  At the time we were not married.

July 12, 2013 was a day I’ll never forget.  My step-dad was taking the money he was making from his already established and successful company and funding another company he was trying to start up with a partner in Chicago.  He put so much money, time, resources, energy, and everything else he had into both businesses.  He kept getting hit with curve balls every which direction and he just felt like he couldn’t get ahead.  Instead of paying for his mortgage, boat payments, association dues, the current month’s electric bill and other miscellaneous things that needed to be taken care of, he placed all of his cookies in one basket with a weak bottom which fell out from underneath him.   The late morning of July 12th he had hung himself.  He wrote a note explaining that he just couldn’t do it anymore and how sorry he was to have done such a terrible thing.  I honestly think that he did not have God in first place in his life.  I think he tried so hard to make other things come first, including my mom, his own sons and me plus his businesses that God wasn’t allowing him to prosper.  I truly feel that if he’d just take some time to pray a little bit, talk with God like He was your best friend, I bet dollars to doughnuts that things would have turned out a little different for him.

As for me, I ended up finding him that morning.  We had to be on a conference call to which I discovered him in his room.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at the time.  My body and mind just became paralyzed.  I had no idea what to do.  Not only did I lose a family member, I lost an employer, a career, a mentor and a piece of myself that day.  I wasn’t the same for a while.  My wife had moved to Florida two weeks after all this took place.  We didn’t let the current events hinder the original plan.  We kept moving forward and would try to make it work.  My wife and I had the worst year you could ever imagine after that happened.  I wasn’t myself for the longest time.  I was angry, upset, confused, numb and basically all the above.  She was dealing with the same loss as I was.  We all were.  We almost split up a few times because of it affected all of us in different ways.

As time progressed, I started reading the bible more.  I started to write in my gratitude journal more often and basically just wrote to God saying thank you for all the many blessings in my life.  I decided to start praying before meals with my mom and my wife.  We were still living in the same house he died in for almost a year after his death.  It was hard being in that house sometimes.  However, I started to make God number one.  I started putting God in first place and let me tell you something.  Amazing things started to happen to me and us as a whole.  We ended moving out of that house.  My wife and I were able to afford to be out on our own with two good jobs.  My mom was able to find a new home and started a higher paying job.  So many things started happening slowly but surely.

By making God first in our lives was and will always be the most important thing we will always do.  The more we make God a priority in our lives and put Him first, the more of his blessings we will start to experience.  Without God, you have nothing else.  Unfortunately, I lost one of my good friends because we disagreed on beliefs on the existence of God.  I’m not saying he is a bad person because he would give the shirt off his back for you.  He, sadly to say, feels that God is a made up fairy tale to make people feel good when bad things happen in life.

Regardless of your religion, if you put God first in your life, I truly feel that you will be blessed in so many areas in life, it will overtake you in the best way possible.  Remember, keep God in first place.

T R U S T Y O U R I N N E R L I G H T ! ! ! ! !

InnerLight

What we often take for granted…

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What we often take for granted is something others cherish.  When I say others, I’m talking about our servicemen and women.  Fortunately, we live in a time where the draft doesn’t exist.  The only reason the draft doesn’t exist, in my opinion, is because of the patriotic men and women who believe in fighting for what is right and what they believe in.  We as American’s truly do not know how good we have it in this country.  Sure, do we have presidential administrations that we may not agree and be a big fan of?  Of course.  Can some parts of our government need improving?  It sure can.  Do we have to agree with everything the United States of America does?  Absolutely not. 

Do you understand the kind of questions I was just asking?  If you were to freely express what you truly thought and said about your country and government in other countries, you could be condemned to punishment or even death.  This is what makes America, AMERICA!  This is one of the many reasons our soldiers offer themselves up for one, two, three and sometimes four different tours overseas.  They volunteer themselves, so you don’t have to.

Many of us, including me, often forget that we have soldiers constantly being rotated in and out of the Middle-East fighting the war on terror.  Some of you may not agree with what I’m writing.  That is perfectly okay with me.  You have that right.  All I am saying is do not take what we have for granted.

Our troops are away from their homes so you can reap the benefits of coming home to yours.  They are away from their families for long periods of time so you can come home everyday to enjoy yours.  They are punching in the ultimate time-clock for work over there, so you can be guaranteed to punch out after your day ends.  Do you catch what I am trying to say?  Take nothing for granted that we are offered in this country.  If you see a veteran, go up to him or her and give a sincere “Thank You”.  Let them know that they are appreciated and we do not forget what they did so we can have what we have.

The next time you are cooking out in your backyard or going out to dinner with your friends, at the very minimum, pay your respects to our troops and toast a drink in their honor.  I think they’ve deserved that.  Do you?

Giving Leads to More Receiving

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Weather the Storm

 

In life, we go through many storms. We go through actual storms we see on the weather channel. However, we go through “life’s” storms. Challenges rise up against us. Set backs come out of nowhere and blind side us like a rogue wave. We find ourselves in certain situations and wonder, “how the hell did I get here?”

Sometimes we don’t have a direct answer to these questions. In most cases, we don’t think we will ever be able to weather the storm. One thing you MUST remember; a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. We cannot go through life and not have setbacks, challenges, detours, rogue waves, and gusty storms and not learn from them. It is through these storms of life that teach us what we should have done differently. What direction we should have gone in the first place. Sometimes, it’s to help us figure out who we are on the inside and where we are going. There are many rhymes and reasons as to why we go through storms.

At the end of the day, you must understand that these storms and rough seas we go through are for a reason.  It helps build character, it develops more strength, and in time it helps you become wiser.  The stronger the storm the more you will be able to endure with flying colors.  Remember this; no wave is too big, no storm is too strong, and no wind is too gusty.  You will be just fine in your life as long as you learn from the storm and rough seas of life.

God Bless!

 

Water Your Side

 

Often times, we as people tend to think that the grass is always greener on the other side.  We tend to think that maybe if we get that job transfer and move to a different department, you might have a better manager.  Maybe leaving the spouse that you have to go find a different person might lead you to a better relationship.  Just maybe, if you had been born with a silver spoon in your mouth with an infinite supply of money, life would be great. 

Listen, nobody has the perfect life.  That’s fact number one.  From the outside, seeing somebody with a ton and a half of money might seem like they have, “the life”, as some would put it.  In reality, that person might be screaming on the inside because they don’t know who their true friends are and who they can really trust.  Maybe they might have a gold digger for a significant other.  You never know.   Read the rest of this entry »

Your Move First

In today’s society, it appears that most people, not all, want want want and want some more. There is nothing wrong with “wanting” things and opportunities but, most people do not want to make the first move toward achieving what they desire. This is particularly true with the younger generation but, also applies to a select few in the older generations as well. 

I was raised with the fact drilled into my head of, “if you want something bad enough, you will have to work hard for it and ask for it.” Nothing in this life comes easy without a little sweat equity put forth by the one who benefits from those things. I love this part in the King James Version bible in Matthew 7:7.  It says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

I’m not an expert on the bible but, if I had to take a pretty good guess in interpreting this message I would have to say that nothing comes without you making the first move. All in all, the point I’m making is this. Whether or not you think and feel nothing is going your way and what you want isn’t manifesting into your reality, make sure you are asking, seeking, and knocking.

 

The Question of Patience

Often times, I catch myself asking internally or out loud, “When is this going to happen or why not now?” I usually have to put myself into check and tell myself to wait and be patient. Aside from just waiting, I need to put in the sweat equity myself in order to achieve whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish. I usually want things to happen, “now”. Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works in the real world. No matter how hard and how much you work at something, sometimes you just have to wait and let God put you where he needs you to be. It took me quite a while to figure this out. However, now that I have figured it out, it has helped me become more patient. I still have my moments when I want it now, but I know that in God’s good timing, I’ll have it.

So, if you find yourself asking God, “when”, just remember that he has to put together the other pieces of the puzzle around you first in order for you to proceed to your ultimate goals. In the meantime, work hard, be patient, and wait. The rest will piece together in good timing.

 

God Bless and remember, always give gratitude to the One up above. Enjoy your day, friends!

The End of Every Storm

As we venture on our journey in life, we encounter storms. It’s much like taking a road trip. You may be fortunate enough to have perfect driving weather. Every now and again, you will drive up on a dark storm cloud. No matter how much you try to avoid it, it’s inevitable that you will just have to drive right through it. I use to travel a lot on the road for the job I use to have as a gym promoter. I traveled to both coasts of the United States and went as far north as International Falls, Minnesota and as far south as Corpus Christi, Texas. Some storms are mild and last only a few minutes. Other storms are severe and long lasting, much like a hurricane.

The photo above is one that I took with my iPhone. I was visiting friends in Dallas, Texas one Memorial Day weekend. I had to drive back to Portales, New Mexico where my marketing promo was located. When I left, there wasn’t a cloud to be seen and there was nothing but wall to wall sunshine. After spending two hours in the car, I came up on a very severe and dangerous looking storm. There was definitely no escaping it. For the first time in my life, I was able to see actual storm chasers in a convoy of vehicles with yellow flashing lights chasing this storm. 

I am a South Florida resident, so I am use to driving in heavy rain. Every afternoon, we experience a strong but short storm during the summer months. However, the rain this storm poured out was nothing I’ve ever seen before. The lightning that came from this storm was so fierce, it was as if God was mad at this part of the world. Words can’t describe the intensity of this storm. I, for one, love seeing storms. I’ve always had a fascination for storms, tornados, and hurricanes. This storm on the other hand, I was actual scared for my life while I was driving through it.

The point I’m making is, just like a road trip you will experience storms in your own life’s journey. Some days you will have sunshine and feel like you are top of the world. Some days you will feel like it’s cloudy and things aren’t as perfect as you want them to be. Then there are those days where something happens that you don’t want it to and it feels much like a strong storm is overtaking your life and you have no control. Remember, storm clouds eventually run out of rain. The wind will die down and the clouds will open up to give you that ray of sunshine you’ve been headed towards. Do not lose hope. Just weather the storm and keep pressing forward. You might be very surprised at what you’ll see and experience on the other side of that storm.

– Jason M Jones