Where ‘ya headed?

You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself. – Eleanor Roosevelt

By Definition:

Influence in medieval Latin was influentia, meaning ‘inflow’.  Further study gets into defining fluency and its origin. Let’s suffice to say that the word influence describes an effectual capacity or power on/over something or someone.

Before trying to define it I just thought of influence as either positive or negative. Because it is something that flows back and forth, we must be prudent in how we influence others and how we let others influence us.

image "ask for directions"

Asking For Directions

If we get off track, it is imperative that we stop, check our course and get our bearings.  Not only can we spare ourselves forty years of wandering but we can also spare those that we influence.  Solution 1: Ask God for directions

Giving Good Directions

Literally speaking, direct others along the same route you would soberly and conscientiously map out for yourself.  It is easy to forget how the direction we are headed and the vehicle we use to get there, can profoundly impact others. Solution 2: Ask God for directions

“Success is always dangerous, and we need to be alert and avoid becoming the victims of our own success. Will we influence the world for Christ, or will the world influence us? ” – Billy Graham

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” – Soren Kierkegaard 

“If  people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.”   “It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves.”  Bill Watterson

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

image quote Matthew 28:19

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Those tuna sandwiches

Daydreamer or Visionary?

It’s not enough to merely daydream about “stuff you’d really like to do.”  You need to have a determined goal — a Vision. A vision won’t take shape until you have a plan, and without a plan, there can be no course of action. Without action there is no change. Without change no growth…

Begin where you are – With what you have

God will multiply when you begin where you are, with what you have. In the sixth chapter of the Book of Mark, we find Jesus, feeding thousands of people who were hungry; both in body and in spirit. The miracle of the loaves and fishes reminds us:

  • God always has a plan.
  • God knows what we need.
  • God is compassionate.
  • God provides resources.
  • God gives us opportunities for excellence.

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.  -Michelangelo

Make a sandwich!

bread-1281053_640

The key to beginning is faith. Step out of your comfort zone! The key to increase is diligence and persistence. Diligence is a focussed pursuit and persistence is a resolute determination towards purpose, regardless of difficulty.  Purpose is our why.  

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed. – Mark 6:41-44

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. – Proverbs 19:21

and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – Exodus 1:3

image of girl with bible

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:14-16

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”

“How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”  They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”

Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.     – Mark 6:30-44 

I’ll Try to Pencil You In

 There’s a saying, I’m running on empty…

That never made sense to me. Yet, I still would throw it out into the atmosphere like it would somehow give me more clarity about what I had to do next. Many of us find ourselves with too much day and not enough time.  Just how many activities would it take to empty my tank?

Are you running to, for, or from?

I would be hard pressed to not encounter someone hurrying, literally, everywhere I go. In fact, just today I found myself hurrying through several tasks after experiencing  unexpected delays. We hurry through breakfast, signing report cards, dropping our kids at school, driving to work, getting groceries, stopping for gas, and even through family time at the end of the day. We hurry through every task so we can squeeze more “stuff” into our day.

image- Joyce Meyers Quote

Run with Intent

A good run requires a good rest. If we are going to run well we need to rest well. God did not create us to be busy. He created us to flourish and grow and share and love and fellowship with Him and with one another.  Our run must first be to the throne of God where we can lay down our burdens.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  –  Jesus

If we are to run the good race and persevere, we need to run with intent. We need to Run the Race of Faith We look forward to the finish line but our race is practiced, paced, persistent, and unhurried.

The Rest Improves the Run

Rest with Intent

Good rest improves the run. Our rest must be as intentional as our run. Just as there are seasons of growth in Spring and Summer and seasons of rest in Fall and Winter, we must recognize the importance of the Rest that prepares us for our Run.

I am guilty of running without purpose and then collapsing without resting. But God has been speaking to me about that, and I thought I would share it with you. ❤

Scripture reference

Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 12:1-2

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Ever notice how we are always waiting on something?

Waiting can be annoying. Waiting can be painful. Sometimes, waiting is an excuse! We wait in line to order our coffee, or food. We wait for our order to be filled. We might be waiting inside the lobby or we might be in the drive-thru, but either way, we are waiting.

What about those times when our self-doubt causes us to wait? Like: Wait until we feel more confident. Wait until God gives us another sign. Wait until the timing is perfect.

The only timing that is perfect is God’s timing.

Stepping out in faith will never ever be in our earthly view of perfect timing. It requires a deep and intimate relationship with God; praying and reading His Word. Trusting God is tough 24/7.  Just remember, God delights in us and He gets the glory when He works miracles through us and equips those He has called.

Fear of failure is crippling. God wants to get up and walk. So, what are you waiting for?

#forwardprogress #sureandsteady #onestepatatime 🐢The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5) 🐢I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)

 

365 wonderful words like: puppies and ice cream

Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is. -Anne Frank

A collage of puppies and ice cream
Who doesn’t love puppies and ice cream?

We all have amazing potential

Can anyone say puppy or ice cream without smiling? How about stringing those together such as, the adorable puppy loves sharing my ice cream. Those are the kind of words, and word strings, that easily create a pleasant atmosphere in one’s mind. Words are very powerful and depending on the words we choose, can either encourage or discourage.

Why should I encourage?

Encourage is described as a verb to stimulate spiritually. Its many synonyms include: applaud, brighten, cheer, comfort, console, embolden, energize, enliven, excite, exhilarate, fortify, gladden, praise, reassure, refresh, restore, revitalize, and strengthen. Our vocabulary is rich with words that can trigger a smile or joyful thought. Imagine what an immediate change there could be if everyone spoke kindness. Here are simple and very basic ways to incorporate encouragement in your daily routine (remember to smile):

  • Say thank you, to the grocery clerk
  • Say good morning, to your co-workers
  • Greet as you hold open someone’s door

But I am often discouraged!

Discourage is defined:to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit. Words of discouragement break down both parties in an exchange. Whether it is texted, published, sung, or spoken; discouragement destroys. It is like a cancer to the giver and receiver. Encouraging others lifts your spirits. My personal go-to is the bible, and I read the promises that belong to all His Creation.

Here is a very interesting 94 second video that briefly explains a fascinating scientific discovery about how words affect a water molecule!

Try it, you’ll like it!

Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason a water molecule responds positively. We each possess the power to encourage rather than discourage. When given a choice to build up or tear down, it is beneficial to both the speaker and the hearer, to speak in a way that is encouraging. Look for ways to speak words of encouragement every day of the year, everywhere you go, because so many in this world are hurting. Who knows, you might end up with a puppy or an ice cream!

an image collage of pleasing florals and kind words
Everyone has the potential to be be encouraging!

VIDEO: From Idea to Accomplishment

Community Orchards and Gardens: A Growing Affair!

image of Fresh citrus and pomegranates

Give a man a fish. Teach a man to fish. Stock the pond for all. – Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

A “growing” affair

Picture a few parks, parking lots and sidewalks nearest to your home, work, or school. Now imagine fruit trees in place of the existing ornamental trees. Think about seasonal tree ripened fruit like, sweet figs, crunchy apples, juicy pears, thirst quenching oranges, tart pomegranates. Your mouth is watering. Maybe you skipped breakfast, or lunch. You reach up, pick one for now and one for later. Sounds great but how could that work? Glad you asked!

Pear image
the beauty of fresh fruit

How it works

Publicly or institutionally maintained areas provide grounds that are already landscaped, watered, and cared for. Plumbing is already in place for drinking fountains and small wash stations can be installed nearby. Maintenance crews would use safe and compliant pest control. That reduces harmful pesticide exposure to humans and pets. It also reducing pesticide runoff. Planting fruit trees in place of ornamental trees would still provide shade and beauty. The edible resource is the ultimate benefit.

image of an urban garden
making use of decommissioned train tracks

Where it works

  • Public and neighborhood parks
  • Community gardens and orchards
  • Campus gardens and horticulture plots
  • Shopping and inner-city parking lots
  • Youth clubs
  • Parks and recreation facilities
image of a community garden with a large cityscape in the background
cityscape community gardening

Why it matters   

Communities adopting and implementing this concept might be more open to urban gardening and promoting gleaning at nearby farms. It addresses the two main reason for food insecurity; the lack of income and access to healthy food. The model fosters community cooperation, and contributes to a beautiful, cleaner and more functional environment

How it helps

Established Programs

Orchard Keepers Learning Series 

Baltimore Orchard Project

Philadelphia Orchard Project 

Portland Fruit Tree Project 

Copely Community Orchard

Urban Food Forestry 

Los Angeles Community Garden Council 

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Agricultural Programs

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Urban Gardens

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture and learning about community gardens

Urban Food Forestry-Increase to Food Security  (PDF download)

Orchard People Learn to Grow Fruit Trees

School Gardening Sponsorship 

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