Soulful Voices











{January 27, 2007}   Soulful Relationship

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If you’re not married , share  this with a friend. If you are married, share it with your spouse or  other married couples and reflect on it.

An African proverb states,  “Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one  eye.”

Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don’t let  lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a  low self-esteem, make you blind to warning signs.  Keep your eyes open,  and don’t fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see  as faults aren’t really important.

Once you decide to commit to  someone, over time his or her flaws, vulnerabilities, pet peeves, and  differences will become more obvious. If you love your mate and want the  relationshi! p to grow and evolve, you’ve got to learn to close one eye and  not let every little thing bother you.  You and your mate have many  different expectations, emotional needs, values, dreams, weaknesses, and  strengths.

You are two unique individual children of God who have decided  to share a life together.Neither of you are perfect, but are you  perfect for each other?  Do you bring out the best in each other?   Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare,  and control?  What do you bring to the relationship?  Do you bring  past relationships, past hurt, past
mistrust, past pain?

You can’t  take someone to the altar to alter him or her. You can’t make someone love  you or make someone stay.  If you develop self-esteem, spiritual  discernment, and “a life”, you won’t find yourself making someone else  responsible for your happiness or responsible for your  pain.

Manipulation, control, jealousy, neediness, and selfishness are not  the ingredients of a thriving, healthy, loving and lasting  relationship! Seeking status, sex, wealth, and security are the wrong  reasons to be in a relationship.

What keeps a relationship  strong?

Communication, intimacy, trust, a sense of humor, sharing  household tasks, some getaway time without business or children and daily  exchanges (a meal, shared activity, a hug, a call, a touch, a note).   Leave a nice  message  on the voicemail or send a nice  email.

Sharing common goals and interests. Growth is important. Grow  together, not away from each other, giving each other space to grow without  feeling insecure. Allow your mate to have outside interest. You can’t always  be together. Give each other a sense of belonging and assurances  of commitment.

Don’t try to control one another.

Learn each  other’s family situation. Respect his or her parents regardless.

Don’t  put pressure on each other for material goods. Remember for richer–or for  poorer. If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as  resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and pain replace the  passion.

The difference between ‘United’ and ‘Untied’ is where you put the I.

Source: Rev. Ronald McFadden



{January 22, 2007}   Start Over

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When you’ve trusted God and walked his way
When you’ve felt his hand lead you day by day
But your steps now take you another way …
Start over.
When you’ve made your plans and they’ve gone awry
When you’ve tried your best and there’s no more try
When you’ve failed yourself and you don’t know why …
Start over.
When you’ve told your friends what you plan to do
When you’ve trusted them and they didn’t come through
And you’re all alone and it’s up to you …
Start over.
When you’ve failed your kids and they’re grown and gone
When you’ve done your best but it’s turned out wrong
And now your grandchildren come along …
Start over.
When you’ve prayed to God so you’ll know his will
When you’ve prayed and prayed and you don’t know still …
When you want to stop cause you’ve had your fill …
Start over.
When you think you’re finished and want to quit
When you’ve bottomed out in life’s deepest pit
When you’ve tried and tried to get out of it …
Start over.
When the year has been long and successes few
When December comes and you’re feeling blue
God gives a January just for you …
Start over.
Starting over means “Victories Won”
Starting over means “A Race Well Run”
Starting over means “God’s Will Done”
Don’t just sit there …………..
START OVER

– By Woodrow Kroll



1. Never apologize for pursuing what makes you happy. Even if you need to quit your job, transfer schools, or move across country, always do what you really want.

2. Never apologize for using proper English. Keeping it real doesn’t mean speaking Ebonics.

3. Never apologize for giving your best in a relationship that just didn’t work out.

4. Never apologize for being successful. Only haters want to keep you at their level.

5. Never apologize for crying. Wear waterproof mascara and express yourself.

6. Never apologize for ten pounds you need to lose. People who truly care about you will accept you as you are.

7. Never apologize for being frugal. Just because you save your money instead of blowing it on the latest fashion emergency doesn’t me! an you’re cheap.

8. Don’t apologize for being a single mom. Babies are a blessing.

9. Never apologize for treating yourself to something special. Sometimes you have to show yourself some appreciation.

10. Never apologize for leaving an abusive relationship. Your safety should always be a priority.

11. Never apologize for keeping the ring even if wedding bells won’t chime.

12. Never apologize for setting high standards in a relationship. You know what you can tolerate and what simply gets on your nerves.

13. Never apologize for saying NO.

14. Never apologize for asking for what you want in bed. If you don’t, then who will?

15. Never apologize for wearing a weave. You bought it so it’s yours.

16. Never apologize to your new friends about old friends. There’s a reason she’s been your girl from day one.

17. Never apologize for ordering dessert. Or more than one dessert.

18. Never apologize fo! r dating outside your race. Just because you found Mr. Right across the color line doesn’t mean you don’t love your brothas.

19. Never apologize for not knowing how to cook. Even if you can’t burn like Grandma you know how to order good take out.

20. Never apologize for your taste in clothes. It’s your style.

21. Never apologize for changing your mind.

22. Never apologize for exercising your right to choose. It’s your body and your right.

23. Never apologize for making more money than your man, you work hard and you deserve to get paid.

25. Never apologize for being you! “KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD”



{January 1, 2007}   20 Tips for a Powerful New Year

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. Buy a TIVO, tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is to___________ today.
5. Live with the 3 E’s. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2006.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea & plenty of water and eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least 3 people smile each day.
13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished____________.
19. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
20. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Energy Tips by Jon Gordon, The Energy Addict. For additional tips, visit www.energyaddict.com — Jon is also the author of “Becoming An Energy Addict”.



{December 30, 2006}   Don’t Throw Away What You Have

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Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don’t have.”Bro, this girl in my office is a Real Looker,” many a husband will say. “But it’s not her Wynona Rider features that got me. I’m head over heels with her because she’s also understanding, intelligent, tender– so many things that my wife has not.”

Sure.
Guys, trust me on this. Somewhere along the way, you’ll find a woman who will be more charming. More alluring. More thoughtful. Richer. Be abbetter cook. Have greater sex appeal. Be a more efficient housekeeper. And you will find a woman who will need you and pursue you and go loco over you more than your wife ever did.

Because no wife is perfect.
Because a wife will only have 90% of what you’re looking for. So adultery takes place when a husband looks for the missing 10%.

Let’s say your wife is melancholic by nature. You may find yourself drawn to the pretty clerk who has a cherry laugh no matter what she says: “I broke my arm yesterday, LOL…” Or because your wife is a homebody in slippers and pajamas, smelling of garlic and fish oil, you may fall for a fresh-smelling young sales representative that visits your office in a sharp black blazer, high heels, and a red pencil-cut skirt. Or because your wife is the quiet type (a rare find), your heart may skip a beat when you meet an old college flame who has the makings of a talk show host like Oprah.

But wait! That’s only 10% of what you don’t have.
Don’t throw away the 90% that you already have!

That’s not all. Add to your wife’s 90% the 1000% that represents all the years that you have been with each other. The storms you have weathered together. The unforgettable moments of sadness and joy as a couple. The many adjustments you have made to love the other. The wealth of memories that you’ve accumulated as lovers.

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don’t have. But faithfulness happens when you start thanking God for what you already have.

But I’m not just talking about marriage.
I’m talking about life!
About your jobs. About your friends. About your children.
About your prayer groups. About your lifestyles.

Are you like the economy airline passenger that perennially peeks through the door of the first class cabin, obsessed with what he’s missing? “They have got more leg room! Oh my, their food is served in porcelain! Wow, their seats recline at an 80% angle and they’ve got personal videos!”

I guarantee you’ll be miserable for the entire trip! Don’t live your life like that. Forget about what the world says is first class. (Do you know that there are many first class passengers who are miserable in first class — because they’re not riding in a private Lear Jet?)

My main message: If you start to bee thankful for what you have right now, wherever you are is first class!

You have wealth under your nose. Be Thankful.

By Bo Sanchez
From his book: You Have the Power to Create



{December 23, 2006}   Scars In Life

Some years ago, on a hot summer day, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole that was behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks,and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

In the house, his mother was looking out the window. She saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed, and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms, just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began a very incredible tug-of-war between the two.The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim,and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. On his arms, there were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh, in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked the boy if he would show him his scars.

The boy lifted his pant legs. Then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter,”But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly, and have caused us deep regret.

But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.  In the midst of your struggle, He’s been right there, holding on to you.

The Bible teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you, and provide for you in every way. But, sometimes, we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril ~ and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That is when the tug-of-war begins. If you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He will not ever let you go.



{December 12, 2006}   Attitude

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Harvard and Stanford Universities have reported that 85% the reason a person gets a job and gets ahead in that job is due to attitude; and only 15% is because of technical or specific skills. Interesting, isn’t it? You spent how much money on your education? And you spent how much money on building your positive attitude? Ouch. That hurts.

Now here’s an interesting thought. With the “right” attitude, you can and will develop the necessary skills. Perhaps if more people knew how simple it is to develop and maintain a positive attitude they would invest more time doing so.

So here we go.  
Five steps to staying positive in a negative world:  1.Understand that failure is an event, it is not a person. Yesterday ended last night; today is a brand new day, and it’s yours. You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and then you can expect to win.

2.Become a lifetime student. Learn just one new word every day and in five years you will be able to talk with just about anybody about anything. When your vocabulary improves, your I.Q. goes up 100% of the time, according to Georgetown Medical School.

3.Read something informational or inspirational every day. Reading for 20 minutes at just 240 words per minute will enable you to read 20 200-page books each year. That’s 18 more than the average person reads! What an enormous competitive advantage . . . if you’ll just read for 20 minutes a day.  

4.The University of Southern California reveals that you can acquire the equivalent of two years of a college education in three years just by listening to motivational and educational cassettes on the way to your job and again on the way home. What could be easier?

5.Start the day and end the day with positive input into your mind. Inspirational messages cause the brain to flood with dopamine and norepinephrine, the energizing neurotransmitters; with endorphins, the endurance neurotransmitters; and with serotonin, the feel-good-about-yourself neurotransmitter. Begin and end the day by reading or doing something positive!

Remember: Success is a process, not an event. Invest the time in your attitude and it will pay off in your skills as well as your career.

Think about it……. “If you like breaking the rules and generally don’t follow them… don’t make it hard for those who do.”



{December 8, 2006}   The Caller ID

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God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
  
Isn’t it amazing how God works in our lives! On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his  wife  before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn’t answer the phone.

The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a  few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her  why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their  house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which  was the phone that he’d used that Saturday night.

The man  that he  spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn’t figure out what the man was talking about. Then  the man said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.”

The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized fordisturbing him, explaining that he’d  intended to call his wife.
The man said, “That’s, OK. Let me tell you my story.You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do  this, give me a sign now.’ At that point my phone started to ring. I  looked at the caller ID, and it said,

‘Almighty God’. I was afraid to  answer!”

The reason why it showed on the man’s caller ID that the call came   from “Almighty God” is because the church that the pastor attends is  called Almighty God Tabernacle!!  



{December 7, 2006}   Simple Wisdom

Our task is to strike a balance,
to find a middle way,
to learn not to overstretch ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupations,
but to simplify our lives more and more.
The key to finding a happy balance in modern lives is simplicity.

Source: Sogyal Rinpoche



{December 7, 2006}   A Pound of Butter

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.

The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, amour Honor, I am primitive. I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.” The judge asked, “Then how do you weigh the butter?” The farmer replied “Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker.”

What is the moral of the story?

We get back in life what we give to others. Whenever you take an action, ask yourself this question: Am I giving fair  value for the wages or money I hope to make?

Honesty and dishonesty become a habit. Some people practice dishonesty and can lie with a straight face. Others lie so much that they don’t even know what the truth is anymore. But who are they deceiving? Themselves— more  than anyone else.

Honesty can be put across gently. Some people take pride in being brutally honest. It seems they are getting a bigger kick out of the brutality than the honesty. Choice of words and tact are important.



et cetera