It’s August 23, 2018. What an amazing summer of warm temperatures and sunshine we’ve had. We are so blessed. Hello my J of H friends. I hope this post finds you all well. Today I thought I would focus on the notion “dare to be different” as well as an attitude of gratefulness and appreciation.

I think that when we begin to follow our Lord in a personal intentional way, our lives do become different. Our world view becomes different, we become more conscious of seeing our world through the lens of how Jesus is calling us to live, to relate to others and to make a difference. When we start to follow God’s commands, when we consciously consult Him daily through prayer about our life’s decisions, when we ask for guidance and clarity surrounding our problems, when we acknowledge gratefulness for our blessings, protection and healing for our family and friends, it means we see and do things differently than others.

It means, instead of being offended, we chose love. Instead of trying to be right all the time, we build and lift others up. Instead of insisting on our way, we serve others. We are called to be different. We’re called to rise to a higher bar. Many times we will fail and that’s ok. We are all works in progress. Just keep trying. We’re called to be examples of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. It may or may not make sense to others, but that’s ok.

Joel Osteen says that he once heard someone say, “It’s not that life is too short, it’s that we wait so long to begin living”. He says that if we want to truly enjoy this journey of life, we do have to stop and smell the coffee. Do you appreciate the people you love? Do you hug your children before you leave each day? Do you kiss your spouse or partner and tell them you love them daily? When was the last time you called your parents to tell them how much you love and appreciate them?

I want to leave you with an inspiration I found by Mahsa A. This message ties in with an attitude of greatfulness and appreciation for our life’s many great blessings.

A woman overheard a very elderly mother and her daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. They hugged goodbye and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough”. The daughter replied, “mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough too mom”. They kissed and the daughter boarded the plane.

The elderly mother watched as her daughter left and standing by the women observing the mother daughter encounter she said, “did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever”? The woman said, “yes I have, but why in your case is it forever goodbye”? “I am old, ill, my daughter lives far away and the reality is that her next trip back will be for my funeral”.

The woman said, “I heard you say ‘I wish you enough’. What does that mean?” The elderly lady said, “my parents used to say this phrase to us that was handed down from other generations. When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then the elderly woman recited it from memory:

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye”. She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

God will bless you when you commit yourself fully to Him. God will bless you when you are grateful for all He has given to you. God will bless you when you appreciate the folks He gave you to love. Don’t live a life of mediocrity, live a life of excellence for our Lord. Live a life pleasing to Him and don’t be afraid to be different. Some of this post was taken from Joel Osteen’s thoughts. God Bless you all. MJ xo

MJ

MJ

Program Facilitator

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