Saturday, January 28, 2017

#2 Goal To Live By

Goal #2-Be Generous

 Sometimes I hear people say that they don’t get involved in non-profits or charities because they just can’t afford it.  Or they say things like, “I just don’t have anything to give.”  I think we can all feel that way from time to time but I am going to challenge that belief because everyone has something to give.  Whether it’s to a lonely neighbor, a troubled teen, or an organization that feeds and shelters the homeless; giving back is critical to our well being.  Being generous with the gifts that God has given you will make you a healthier person in emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  It will create in  you a more grateful heart as you learn of the unique plights of those in your own neighborhood. Giving of your time and your talents is very helpful for others but just as critical for you.  Even a smile or a kind word can make a huge difference in the life of another.  It's also important to remember this:  it’s not all about the giving of your finances, although not valuing our money over human need is an important attitude to live by. I like the saying, “use money and love people but never use people and love money.”  At the end of the day it’s all about love.

“The emotional benefits [of generosity] are that we cultivate an internal sense of plenitude, enjoy positive feelings from those within our community, and experience an improved self-esteem. This goes for time, love, and attention just as much — if not more — than for money,” says psychologist Chloe Carmichael, PhD, who has a private practice in New York City.
The benefits of giving back don’t just apply to adults. A 2013 study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics examined how volunteering might affect the physical health of adolescents. Researchers divided 106 tenth graders into two groups — one group regularly volunteered one hour a week for 10 weeks, and the other group didn’t volunteer at all. After 10 weeks, the students in the volunteer group had lower levels of cholesterol and inflammation, and lower BMIs than the other group. 
Generosity improves our self-image, lowers our blood pressure, gives us better heart health, and improves our outlook, empathy, and intimacy towards others. Over and over we read about the many benefits of volunteering so make sure you put that towards the top of your list of goals for 2017.  Your children, grandchildren, and anyone in your sphere of influence will also benefit as they witness your example.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:38

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year's Goals-Goal 1

Goal #1 for 2017-Be Curious

Curiosity is tied to intelligence and health in body, mind, and soul in multiple ways.   Remember when you were a kid and you drove your parents or your grandparents nuts with all the questions?  You had to ask those questions as you developed as a person in order to know how to get by in this world.    What happens as we age is most of us lose that childlike quality of wanting to know "why?"  Sometimes we just aren't paying attention or other times we just aren't interested.  It could also be that we don't want to come off as being dumb or uneducated.  No ones knows about everything so the first thing I want to encourage you to do is to start asking "why" and "how" questions.   After doing so hopefully you will comment about some of your experiences so all of us can learn from it.
Being a curious person means that you have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to explore subjects and places that may be foreign to you.  Delving deeper into your faith life, learning a new language,  starting a garden,  finding out about the planets or the stars, or learning just about anything out of your comfort zone will help your life grow and prosper.  Curious people tend to have better and more intense relationships with others as well.   As an example there are many studies that show how studying anything new will help you prepare for a test, no matter what the subject.  Click here or here if you are interested in learning more.

Out of the "8 Goals To Live By In 2017" my first is to encourage you to learn something new.  If it frightens you to do so then that's probably a good thing.  The main thing is that you step out of your routine and learn about a new subject, start a new hobby,  travel to that far-away place you've always dreamed about,  or write that book you've always said you would write.   

Next time I will be sharing how generosity is one of the keys to happiness in 2017 and beyond!

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Romans 12:2

**Make sure you join me on The Call on January 15th at 6pm Pacific time.  Dial 641-715-3865 and key-in 642848#   Can't make it this month?  Join me and my husband any month on the same day and at the same time.   Talk to you then!
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(the above post was from a very popular series I did in 2015 so I decided to re-publish it)