Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jabez appointments

I recently had the pleasure of reading The Prayer of Jabez by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. I will be the first to admit that I am not overly religious. I give thanks and praise to God, a higher power, but I struggle with the societal need to classify myself as Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Scientologist, etc. I have studied many different religions and philosophies. I was raised as a devout Catholic and married a Muslim. My years of research and exploration have bought me to one conclusion. At the core of every faith is a central truth. There is a belief in a higher power greater than us that we should give thanks and praise. There is also a set of principles built for the greater good of humanity that guide us to live our lives in humble moderation and free of sin. I believe in doing unto others and living selflessly. I find inspiration through all things and all people. Remember that even Christ walked amongst the wretched and did not judge. I believe that I am not better than anyone else because we are all the same and part of a universal consciousness.

Ok, disclaimers out of the way.

The Prayer of Jabez is a very powerful Christian based book by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. It is based upon the Old Testament passage 1 Chronicles 4:9-10:
"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, 'Because I bore him in pain.' And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested" (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
What Dr. Wilkinson found powerful about this passage is that in this chapter of the Bible they were naming many names telling the story of heritage. When they got to the name Jabez, they expanded upon his history with this anecdote. The author sought to understood why Jabez held such significance and the greater meaning in his prayer.
Wilkinson claims that this is". . . a daring prayer that God always answers. . . . it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God,"

I testify to the power of The Prayer of Jabez and have watched the miracles and favor it has bestowed upon my friends after I shared it with them.

There are 5 parts to the prayer that I recommend you enact in your daily prayer life.

1. And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed.
- So often we call on God and pray for other people and things going on around us and many other factors not in our control. I think that unselfish prayer is one of the most powerful gifts we can bestow.
However, if we are talking to our Father, the Creator..why not we beg him to bless us indeed? There is nothing wrong with asking God to bless your specific goals, and grant your innermost wishes especially when He says "Ask and ye shall receive"...we have all heard the saying "You have not, because you ask not" Much like a child appeals to their parents, I believe we must humbly go to God and ask him specifically for what we need and beg that he give it to us. (If it is his will of course) Stop being scared of asking for what you really want..God knows what lies in your heart..He is just waiting on you to give him the power to bring it into your life.

2."and enlarge my territory"
We are all guilty of telling God what we don't have the strength to do and pleading with him to ease our burdens. When is the last time you asked God to give you more?? By praying to God to enlarge your territory, you are asking him to give you more opportunities to do His work. To me, this is the most powerful and most gratifying part of The Prayer of Jabez. I cannot tell you how many "Jabez appointments" have come to me since I begin earnestly praying for this. People from all walks of life, color, creed will come to me and they eventually all say the same things "I do not know why I am telling you this, I have never told anyone else this before, I just don't know what to do....." I smile and know that they were sent from God to hear my words and inspiration. So often when I speak to them..I feel like the words are coming through me and find myself amazed at the things that emerge from my mouth. I have seen grown men come to tears from my insight..and I thank God for the opportunity to serve. The ironic thing is...the more I ask God to give me more work that I can do for him, the more abundance he brings into my life. Its a win-win situation. Let that marinade :)

3. " that Your hand would be with me"
Are you a control freak? So often we think we have all the answers. We stress ourselves out trying to control our environment, the people in it and constantly make things worse by attempting to manipulate circumstances to our favor. I have found much more peace now that I have been able to "Let go and Let God". Let God be in control of your destiny. (News flash...He already is). Ask for his blessing and for his will to be done in your life. Ask for his guidance and trust that he will lead you to make the right decisions.

4. "You would keep me from evil"
I used to ask God to please make me strong enough to resist the devil. I do not think that's an efficient use of prayer. If it were that easy for man to overcome the devil we would all be in a harmonic state of living and no one would live in misery. The fight between man and the devil is one that has existed through the ages. If you look around at divorces, adultery, fornication, lying, addiction, etc. you can see that it is a battle not easily won. Instead of praying for more gunpower...why not ask God to keep you away from the war altogether? Its a much more effective use of your prayer time. (In my humble opinion)

5. "that I may not cause pain"
Seek to bring joy and happiness to all those encounter and the universe will deliver love back to you. Sincerely asking to not cause pain will enable you to bring blessings and abundance to the people that support you and will guide you away from making adverse decisions will irreparable repercussions.

This book has helped and inspired me tremendously and I sincerely pray that this book and my words manifest your innermost desires and bring you health, wealth, peace, love and abundance.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Would Obama Do???

In order to be successful, I believe you have to seek out mentors and role models. Find people that you admire and emulate their sucess. Immerse yourself in positive idealogy and notice the shifts of consciousness that begin in your life. I am proud today to watch and learn from Barack Obama. He is the pinnacle of all I can hope to achieve or instill in my children. He is a fearless leader, eloquent speaker and his example as a husband and father should make men everywhere take notes.

I was riding the plane back to Boston on Thursday and was talking to a friend on the phone regarding the election process and sharing the sentiments of my disgruntled Republican co-workers. When I hung up the phone, the gentleman beside me said "You know, I didnt mean to eavesdrop but everything you said was right." He went on to say "I have been a Southern Christian Republican all of my life. About 2 mos. before the election I decided to vote for Obama." I was amazed and probed further. "What was the deciding factor that made you change a lifelong of ideals?", I asked. He said to me with sincerity, "Well, Sarah Palin was a poor choice. She failed as an accurate representation of women and the party. I tired of the consistent Republican negative attack ads. I didnt like that they kept trying to associate Obama with terrorists. At the end of the day, once I abandoned tradition and looked at the issues, voting for Obama made sense. I agreed with his healthcare plan and his ideas for this country. I enjoy the way he delivers complex information to the masses with ease. Most of all, I admired his integrity. He handled everything with poise and grace. I too felt like it was time for change."

We can learn so much for Obama about dignity and and acting with integrity. I have compiled the following quotes that I hope inspire you as much as they have me.

A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.' Barack Obama

Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do. Barack Obama

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. Barack Obama

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. Barack Obama

I don't take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House. Barack Obama

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions. Barack Obama

I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody. Barack Obama

If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost. Barack Obama

If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. Barack Obama

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? Barack Obama

Issues are never simple. One thing Im proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues. Barack Obama

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today. Barack Obama

It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. Barack Obama

Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference. Barack Obama

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington. Barack Obama

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. Barack Obama

Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military. Barack Obama

The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable. Barack Obama

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. Barack Obama

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America - there's the United States of America. Barack Obama

This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Barack Obama

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Barack Obama

Today we are engaged in a deadly global struggle for those who would intimidate, torture, and murder people for exercising the most basic freedoms. If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction. Barack Obama

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation - not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago. Barack Obama

We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen. Barack Obama

We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible. Barack Obama

We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated. Barack Obama

We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent. Barack Obama

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential. Barack Obama

You know, my faith is one that admits some doubt. Barack Obama

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fail Forward Fast

Einstein once said: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

This week, I have talked to several friends facing what I like to call the New Years rut. They make all of these grandiose resolutions and plans about how THIS year is their year. There is no clear cut plan other than the fact that this HAS to be it! With so much unbridled excitement about 2009 you would assume their optimism would be delivering to them the best that life has to offer. Quite the opposite..and why? They insist on bringing the drama of 2008 forward with them and wondering why they are not getting anywhere. Most often drama is not even a conscious choice. In a rational state, I am sure my friends would not choose to induce their lives into a constant state of chaos. We can blame our exes, our spouse, our boss, our childhood, the universe, God,etc. Sadly, in most cases we are in fact our own worst enemy. Why do we sabotage ourselves? Why do we want more for ourselves, yet stay in a comfort zone of mediocrity?

I can relate to this because I use to be guilty. I thrived in chaos. In fact, when things were going bad in my life and the odds were against me...I could quickly rise to the top and outperform any and everyone. It was like I needed someone to be against me or to tell me that I couldn't do something in order to motivate me to "show them". When things were calm in my life or I had a reason to be happy...I used to be panicked and have terrible anxiety. I did not know how to handle bliss. I was scared someone would take it away. I worried about what would happen why my house of cards came crashing down. I was much more comfortable in a state of disarray and I had to have control over my own destiny, negative or not. When things would go well for me, I would subconsciously create "drama" to bring me back to the chaos which had become my state of normalcy. I was stuck in a rut of choosing the same cycles and patterns and then being upset that I was continuing to get an unwanted outcome. What fueled this backwards way of thinking?? FEAR. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, fear of being abandoned...

"Our thinking and our behavior are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based." -Deepak Chopra

In order to truly accomplish our goals we MUST get out of our own head and have prevailing faith. Faith by definition is simply believing in something that we cannot see. When we make plans, goals, and resolutions we have to BELIEVE with everything possible that it will happen for us. We also must KNOW in our hearts that there is nothing to fear. This is a perfect universe and everything happens for a reason. Worrying about something does not prevent it from happening. Giving off negative and doubtful energy often attracts to us the very thing that we were trying to avoid in the first place. Learn to accept the moment and live in the present. Be grateful for the NOW and open your eyes to explore coincidences and the infinite realm of possibilities.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1
Life comes in seasons. Just as a farmer must plant seeds to harvest...you will reap a season of increase and you will plant in a season of decrease. They say when life hands you lemons..make lemonade. Well I say when you make the lemonade...sell it!! Sometimes we go through things in order to make our misery our ministry. I believe we are all here for a reason and were given special gifts and talents to be able to serve. Even in your moments of weaknesses look for opportunities that allow you to share your experiences and perils with others. We should not worry about all of the negative events that have happened, can happen or will happen to us. When life inevitably throws us an unexpected curveball, we must immediately learn to take a unfortunate situation and turn it into a positive. When life brings us blessings, we must also believe that we are worthy. We must accept the bliss with gratitude so that the universe will continue to deliver us more of the same.

If you were trying to jump your highest, sure you could jump from a standing position. However, if you really wanted to touch the sky...you would bend your knees in order to give yourself some spring and be able to rebound off the ground. This is my analogy for life...sometimes in order to reach heights you never imagined..you have to be forced down and given the opportunity to rebound and go higher than you did before.

I challenge us all to fail forward fast. Don't be afraid to take a risk and fail. A failure is really a success because its one more way we have figured out that something cannot work. In moments of failure we learn the most. Fail fast, so you have time to recover for your next attempt or next business venture. There is no easy straight line to financial independence.

“Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold. The height of my goals will not hold me in awe though I may stumble often before they are reached. If I stumble I will rise and my falls will not concern me for all men must stumble often to reach the hearth. Only a worm is free from the worry of stumbling. I am not a worm. I am a man. Let others build a cave with their clay. I will build a castle with mine.”-Og Mandino

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Friday, January 2, 2009

In 2010...how do you want to be remembered for 2009??

Michael Murphy sent me this and I feel like it is a wonderful exercise that I wanted to share with my loved ones. I know how much my vision board helped manifest my dreams in 08 and I feel like this will help guide to similar success for 09. Wishing you peace, love & prosperity!!!

(By the way...if you are on Facebook...I highly recommend you join Michael Murphy's group Positive Attitudes for Success. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://tinyurl.com%2F8x6qog)

It is January 1, 2010.
No? Well, imagine 'as if'it is.
Look back on 2009.

What did you accomplish?

What successes did you experience?

What did you do that you'd always wanted todo?

What changes did you make that you've always thought about making?

What actions did you take that caused those positive changes?

How happy are you with your life on Jan. 1, 2010?

What is making you smile and feeling amazingly grateful as you think back over the past year?

Now, get you a notepad,legal pad, steno notebook, journal.
Write it all down.
Start carrying this withyou and reviewing it often.

Let it be your constant companion.
If anyone asks youwhy you're carrying itaround, tell them,"Oh, its just a blankbook (pad) that I'm fillingup with some prettyamazing things. That'sall."
Or, like a friend minesays, "Oh, its just myroadmap."
Then, leave themwondering what you'reup to.

I'm seeing amazingthings happening inyour life, looking'back' on 2009! :) I'm seeing dreamsfulfilled.
What are you seeing?

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