October 25, 2011

Fear Not

READY… “Fear and faith cannot live in the same body.” ~ Judy Cokonougher

AIM… This past week, the Lord called home one very special lady, Mrs. Judy Cokonougher. Judy was like another mother to me. She was loving, encouraging, supportive, accepting, and interested in my life. She always had an opinion or advice to share with me.

Over the past five months, Judy battled stage four thyroid cancer and the attack it waged on her body. Fortunately, even though physically her body was weakening, her heart and mind were still focused. Judy loved Jesus as her Lord and Savior. As a result of her great love, she found comfort in the promises of heaven and wasn’t afraid of her inevitable death. She knew her faith was stronger and more powerful than any disease or physical ailment. Judy often said to people, “Fear and faith cannot live in the same body” and she is correct. If you have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, you can trust that God will be with you, work His plan in your favor and will unconditionally love you. Why in the world, if those are God’s promises, would any of us ever experience worry or fear?

Yes, Judy is now dancing in heaven without pain and suffering, and I’m sure she has an eternal smile on her face. We should all take Judy’s advice and apply it to whatever circumstances we may face in life. Fear and faith cannot live in the same body if you know Jesus is fighting the battles of this life with you and for you.

FIRE! Examine your life and pinpoint one area that causes you worry or anxiety. Take that specific situation and pray for God to take control and release you from fear. Then, have faith and believe God’s promises to replace your worry with peace.

Be Excellent!

October 18, 2011

This Side UP

READY… “Life is fragile, handle it with prayer.” ~ Arthur Christopher Benson

AIM… I’ve heard from many of my friends lately that they are finding it is very difficult to carve out time in their busy schedules to pray. I can relate because it seems I’ve been looking for that dedicated time in my crazy days, and I just can’t seem to be consistent or disciplined enough to pray at the same time every single day. Outside of mealtimes and bedtime with our children, anything and everything is vying for each moment we have to offer. It’s so easy to give in to all the other demands and opportunities we are presented with. So, what’s a busy gal or guy to do?

1Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” Seems simple enough, right? The best way I have found to deal with my dilemma is to literally pray without ceasing all day long; to steal short moments and send my thoughts UP to heaven. I do my best to try and find small moments to pray at different times during my day instead of feeling bad about not dedicating a half an hour to continuous prayer. For example, I pray in the shower; it’s my alone and quiet time. I pray in the car while driving because I can turn down the radio and be silent with my thoughts and concerns. I pray in thanksgiving when I am scrubbing toilets for running water inside a warm house. I pray when good things happen during the day and share my gratitude with God. We make something as simple as prayer so complicated when really God just wants to join us on this journey called life. So remember, life IS fragile, handle it with daily prayer.

FIRE!   Find a trigger during your day that will serve as a reminder to pray. Maybe it’s brushing your teeth, taking a shower, stopping at a red light or grabbing a cup of hot coffee. Whatever you choose, make an attempt to be consistent with your snippets of prayer time and watch your blessings overflow.

Be Excellent!

October 12, 2011

Hit The Mute Button

READY… “A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?” ~ Anonymous

AIM… A friend of mine recently had an experience where she was trying to explain a difficult situation to a gal on the phone from another company. The other gal kept interrupting her and simply wasn’t getting the gist of the scenario my friend was trying to help her understand. At that moment, when she was most frustrated and the lady on the other end of the line was starting to get belligerent, my friend wished she could just reach across the phone line and hit her mute button. Then the other woman couldn’t be heard anymore and would have no other choice but to listen to my friend’s instructions and truly hear the points she was missing.

Effective communication is SO important in our daily lives. We must remember that being a good communicator isn’t always being a good talker or being the chattiest; being a good listener is even more important. If only we would remember to be a good listener first, perhaps our conversations with our family, friends, co-workers and even those pesky bill collectors would be less volatile and kinder because we properly HEARD what they wanted to say, before we responded in defense. Next time you are having a heated discussion and wish you could hit the mute button, pause and just listen to the other person; then ask him to please listen to you completely before he makes any comments in return. More than likely, you will have both calmed down and effective communication will be achieved.

FIRE!   Be an excellent listener. The next time someone wants to tell you a story, stop and really listen to him; look him in the eyes and give him your full attention. Let him tell you all the details before you even make a remark. He will definitely feel your care and concern, and you will be amazed at how much of the world you have been missing.

Be Excellent!

October 5, 2011


READY… “A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is - full of surprises.” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

AIM… I LOVE surprises! Good ones, of course. However, I know several people who absolutely hate being surprised. Truly, you just have to be relaxed enough to go with the flow and enjoy the happiness others are trying to demonstrate to you through their surprise.

Here’s a hilarious example of why some folks probably don’t like surprises. However, more than anything, it’s a great reason to enjoy a hearty belly laugh – out loud. I know I did!

“Why I Am Now Divorced”

Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up on that morning.

I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my husband would be pleasant and say, 'Happy Birthday!', and possibly have a small present for me.

As it turned out, he barely said good morning, let alone ' Happy Birthday.'

I thought.... Well, that's marriage for you, but the kids.... They will remember.

My kids came bounding down stairs to breakfast and didn't say a word.

So when I left for the office, I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.

As I walked into my office, my handsome boss Rick, said, 'Good Morning, lady..and by the way Happy Birthday! '

I felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.

I worked until about 12:30, when Rick knocked on my door and said, 'You know, it's such a beautiful day outside, and it IS your Birthday, what do you say we go out to lunch...Just you and me'

I said, 'Thanks, Rick, that's the greatest thing I've heard all day. Let's go!'

We went to lunch. But, we didn't go the place where the staff normally goes. He chose instead a quiet bistro with a private table. We had two martinis each and a lovely wine and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.

On the way back to the office, Rick said, 'You know, It's such a beautiful day... we don't need to go straight back to the office...Do We?'

I responded, 'I guess not. You're the boss'

He said, 'Let's drop by my place, it's right around the corner.'

After arriving at his house, Rick turned to me and said, if you don't mind, I'm going to step into the bedroom for just a moment. I'll be right back. Make yourself comfortable'

'Ummm...O.K.' I nervously replied.

He went into the bedroom and, after five minutes, he came out carrying a huge birthday cake with lit candles... followed by my husband, my kids & a dozen of my friends and co-workers, all singing 'Happy Birthday'.

And I just sat there....

On the couch....


FIRE!   Choose someone to surprise this week. Send flowers, drop off a dessert, pay for their lunch; do whatever you think would simply surprise her and make her day.

Be Excellent!