Sunday, June 12, 2011

Garbage In, Garbage Out

"I do not allow into my presence anyone who speaks perversely. Whoever acts shamefully I hate; no such person can be my friend. I shun the devious of heart; the wicked I do not tolerate. Whoever slanders another in secret I reduce to silence. Haughty eyes and arrogant hearts I cannot endure." Psalms 101:3-5

"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2

"Everything is lawful for me," 5 but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is lawful for me," but I will not let myself be dominated by anything." 1 Cor. 6:12

"Everything is lawful," but not everything is beneficial.  "Everything is lawful," but not everything builds up."
1 Cor. 10:23

"So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds." James 4:7-8

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

"But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be." Matthew 6:22-23

"How can the young walk without fault? Only by keeping your words. With all my heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commands.  In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your laws. With my lips I recite all the edicts you have spoken. I find joy in the way of your decrees more than in all riches. I will ponder your precepts and consider your paths. In your laws I take delight; I will never forget your word." Psalm 119:9-16

"Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." Romans 14:13

"that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on 9 the new self, created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth." Ephesians 4:22-24

Bible Song:
O be careful little eyes/ears/hands what you see/hear/do
O be careful little eyes/ears/hands what you see/hear/do
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

Would you watch an R rated movie or listen to a song with questionable lyrics if God or Jesus were standing in the room? Is what you are doing up to God's standards or something that Jesus would want you to do? You should be careful about what you hear, what you see and the places that you go. You live in a world today that is highly sexualized, and the media reflects this Godless culture with cursing, nudity, violence, crude humor and horror. Therefore, you will be in a constant battle with your mind to stay focused on things that are moral and decent, pure and holy to avoid sin. When you are a follower of Christ, you are given the Holy Spirit to live in you to guide your conscience and lead you in truth.

It is easy for you to be influenced by TV, movies, music, magazines, books and the internet. All these forms of media might play into how you think or can affect what you believe because what goes in is what may come out. It can be like a mind virus that will infect your thinking (especially when you hear a stream of cursing now even on television programs). You may think that you like the beat or your music and don't really know what the words are saying but your subconscious mind remembers everything you hear and see, whether you understand it or not. Images you may see and words you may hear can make you stumble on your spiritual journey, and any images or thoughts can stay with you and really damage your soul. Remember, anything that does not help you grow in Christ will only draw you away from Him. As members of the Body of Christ, you should be a holy example of what God has done in your life.

There is no doubt that you are affected by all that is around you like the books you read, music you listen to, and the movies and TV you watch. But it is also true that you are influenced by the friends you choose to hang out with and what society finds acceptable for you to wear or who to look up to. Not only will it affect your mind but also your soul. You should seriously note what you are putting into your life if you watch TV, movies or listen to music that has bad language or other vulgar or obscene content. It will be harder to have the power to overcome temptation if you are weakened by sin. You should instead feed your mind with the things of God, especially by reading the Word of God and looking at the world through the eyes of Scripture. You are moving toward God or away from Him every day and if you do make a mistake in your judgment, you can run to Jesus and ask for his mercy and forgiveness that He has promised all Christians.

God's Word will direct you on how to live in the world today and give you the holy values to guide you in your understanding. You will probably need filters to see the world through the eyes of God. Remember that the Holy Spirit is living inside of you and He sees what you see, hears what you hear and goes where you go. Do you really want to force the Holy Spirit to listen to any filthy music? Just remember in these situations to think, "Is this somewhere where the Holy Spirit would want to be Himself or are my thoughts or principles taught in line with God's Holy Word?" You might think the Bible is full of sin but these stories show the consequences to those who went against God's ways.

There will be a spiritual warfare in your life, and the devil will be at constant attack of your mind. The good news is that you can guard against temptation. It is easy to become addicted to looking at things you shouldn't like pornography. Guys are stimulated by what they see while girls are by what they hear. You need to carefully consider your actions so that they might be pleasing to God. You should think of yourself as an ambassador of God's kingdom and live your life like you are being watched in everything you do. If you truly love God, you will live a holy life and not put garbage into your soul.

You should be imitators of God and not let unholy talk come out of your mouth but only use words which are helpful in building up others when they listen. Then as you grow, you can start making the decisions of what's appropriate or not. You will be able to create your own standards and develop you own ideas on what is right and what is wrong instead of allowing others, the media or society telling you something is okay. You are taught to be in this world, not of this world and just because something is popular does not mean that it is acceptable. So be careful about the things you fill your mind with and monitor your eyes so you will sustain the good values and strong faith beliefs that you have been taught and help you make wise decisions when you have the freedom to choose you own entertainment.   Remember, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


"We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all."
1 Thess. 5:14
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a wish fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." Matthew 5:43-44

"I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." John 16:33

"Kindness is a virtue that could stamp out bullying.  If more children are taught to be kind, bullies will have less support and be fewer in number." 

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." - The Golden Rule

Did you know that bullying is a rising problem in schools and can happen anywhere in other places as well such as the park, on sports teams, on the bus and other places where there is little adult supervison?  Kids get bullied every single day so if it's happened to you, know that you are not the only one and you haven't asked for it. 

Kids can be cruel and mean and want to hurt a person's reputation or harass others though personal attacks that are not good natured.   It may be in the form of verbal name-calling, teasing, gossiping, insults, threats, spreading rumors or leaving you out of a group activity on purpose.  It can also be in physical ways such as hitting, punching, shoving, and kicking.  

Why do bullies act this way?  Bullies use aggression to have power and often they do not feel good about themselves and long for attention.  They may think it's fun to hurt others' feelings.  They may think that bullying will make them feel important or better about themselves.  They use hurtful behavior because they want a feeling of superiority and security.  They may even be acting out against the anger and loneliness that they feel at home.  Words can hurt even if they aren't true much longer that a black eye. 

Besides verbal and physical, there is another type of bullying - cyberbullying.  This form of bullying can can occur over the Internet, social networking sites and instant messaging.  A cyberbully might broadcast your personal information with the purpose of embarrasing or hurting you.  Cyberbullying can also take place with text messages, cell phones and chat rooms.

Bullying is wrong and should not be tolerated.  Bullies should in no way cause you physical harm or violate you in any way.  They like to intentionally play into any insecurities you may have about yourself.   Bullies usually have pain and inadequacies and need to feel like they have power so they belittle others.  They may tell you you are ugly, that you're no good, make you feel small and try and take your joy away.

You can learn some techiniques to handle a bully ridiculing you and show that you are not taking the attacks personally.  These kids usually are seeking an emotional reponse. You should try to stay calm and not react to the teasing (count to 10 to avoid an emotional reaction).  You can ignore the teasing, pretend the bully is invisible, act like it doesn't bother you, do not care what they have to say and are even amused or surprised by the bullying behavior.   You can try and roll with it and blow it off.  You should never tease back but you can develops tactics to throw off the bullies and confuse them.  You can use the comeback, "Thanks for telling me", "And your point is"? and "Really? I hadn't noticed ... I would have gone around all day without knowing!"  You can try and act more confidenly by practicing those mentioned phrases, saying them calmly and assertively each time.  Standing up for yourself in this manner will maybe help convince them to leave you alone.  You can work on building your confidence back up and learn to trust again so you can feel safe with other kids again.

You shouldn't ever believe a word of the abuse that bullies dish out.  Bullies are never justified in their actions of picking on you and making your life miserable. You need to know that you didn't do anything to deserve it. While they will try to make you afraid and even doubt your abilities, have faith in the fact no one is superior or inferior to the next person. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; everyone is incompentent in lots of areas.

Bullies make a moral choice to harm you and will have to answer to God someday. Fighting back or retaliating will only make the situation worse and doing so will make you just as bad as them. After being bullied, you may not feel safe in the world, you can develop fear and intense anger and a need for revenge. You shouldn't treat the bullies in the same way they treated you. You don't want your behavior to be controlled by the bully. If you treat them like a friend when they treat you like an enemy, you will be controlling them. You need to learn to resolve arguments without violent words or actions and walk confidently, standing up for yourself.

If adults shrug it off and make excuses, telling you that it's part of life, stop being a whiner, be strong or keep a stiff upper lip, then you need to go to a repected person who will listen and help.  This is just too big of a problem to solve by yourself. Having close friends can be a good safety net for you.  There is strength in numbers.  Bullies like to single out their targets.  They don't like confronting a group.

After there has been repeated abuse by the same person(s) and you've taken the advice of not letting them get you down, ignoring them or having a funny retort or strong comeback, you must tell your parents or another authority figure to put a stop to it even if the bully warns you not to.  You will not be able to rescue yourself if there are serious threats which are leading to physical aggression.

Adults have a way of intervening and making it sound like you didn't snitch or tattle on them. Chances are there are other kids they are harrassing so they wouldn't even know the source. You should be so proud of yourself for speaking out against a bully and do it even if you feel afraid that worse things will happen. You can air out your thoughts, feelings and frustrations about the situation to someone who will listen and take it seriously. When the bully is warned or punished, that will hopefully make the bully think twice about ever taunting or laying a hand on any other kid.
It doesn't matter what bullies think of you. You are special, loved and valued.  You are God's creation and you need to turn to Jesus, see yourself through His eyes, trust your life to Him and pray.  God is with you even when you are being bullied and He understands completely how you feel.  God will help you resist fear when facing bullies.  You can talk to Jesus anytime and He will listen and encourage you.  He certainly understands persecution so knows exactly what you are going through since he experienced such ridicule and abandonment  in His suffering. 
If you have an anger where you want to seek revenge on your tormenter, you can give your anger to God.  You can go to confession and seek forgiveness for that deep resentment you are feeling.  If you don't control your anger, it will probably spill over and be misdirected to relationships with your family members.  You will be able to eventually forgive the bully with Jesus' help so you won't allow bitterness to control you.  He will see you through, give you courage and help you to have peace when others are mean.  So remember to see yourself as God sees you and turn it over to Him.  Then you may even start to feel compassion for the bully and someday may even make them a friend.

Even if you've never been harrassed, it is your duty to tell an authority figure if you see it happening around you. You're just as guilty being a bystander if you don't speak up in some manner. You don't want to be a coward when you see a classmate or friend get bullied. You certainly don't want to go along with it and join in on the aggression in order to avoid being targeted yourself. You can honor God by using your voice to defend the timid and encourage the weak by standing up for the victim or telling someone in authority so they can intervene.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


"God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground." God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:25–27

"The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." Genesis 2:18

"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame." Genesis 2:24-25

"Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God." 1 Corinthians 11:11-12

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

"For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with injustice, says the LORD of hosts; You must then safeguard life that is your own, and not break faith." Malachi 2:16

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others." Philippians 2:1-4

"So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband." Ephesians 5:28-33

"The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom; at the cost of all you have, get understanding." Proverbs 4:7

"Like a golden earring, or a necklace of fine gold, is a wise reprover to an obedient ear." Proverbs 25:12

"Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, 11 slow to speak, slow to wrath." James 1:19

Marriage is supposed to be a wonderful and joyous experience where you can feel total acceptance by your spouse. It is also the hardest thing in life that takes constant work and attention. It requires intentional effort and persistence. You will need to learn to love each other and become love for one another after the “feelings” wear off. You will also need to learn to build a trust level, lean on each other and bring 100% to the marriage. Marriage is a public vow you make as well as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman with God being in the center of your relationship as you remain committed to the other for a lifetime. Marriage is meant to be a representation of Christ and His love for the Church, and your marriage should reflect God's image. It should allow you to depend on God's power to build your covenant marriage on trust, and a total commitment to Him.

The Church speaks of marriage as an intimate community of life and love founded by God. It is a strong relationship which forms the foundation of the Church, and we as Christians need to prevent the Church from weakening with dysfunctional and unhealthy marriages. God's ideal plan is that both partners in a marriage know Him personally, that they are first a part of His family before they try to build a family of their own. He created you to give yourself totally to your spouse for the rest of your life. A marriage is built when the two of you deny your selfishness and yield to Jesus Christ for the purpose of loving and serving your spouse. Jesus Christ will begin the process of building your home if you let Him and allow you to use all of the resources and tools He will equip you with.

The Lord offers his spirit of love and grace to establish this kind of communion or oneness. If you don't allow the Holy Spirit to guide and empower your lives, you will lack the power to build your marriage with the oneness God intends. The Holy Spirit will help you control your temper and impatience as well as the hurtful words that you will later regret. And as you submit to Holy Spirit's control of your life, the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, etc., will move you toward oneness.

Satan wants to destroy marriages and the connection between the two of you. He likes it because it causes so much hurt and pain to everyone, to each spouse, the children, the rest of the family and friends. He plants thoughts in your mind, and he sends the wrong people onto your path to get you to think about other things. He does this to distract you from your marital commitment; he does this to doubt yourself and your spouse; he does this to threaten your moral fidelity. So you don't want to take your eyes off of Christ and open the door for Satan to step in. God hates divorce and would prefer you to work through your issues and restore your relationship.

If you put your marriage in God's hands, you'll be amazed at what He can do. God doesn't just want you to get through your problems; He wants you to grow through them. It is God's will that you enjoy marriage and He will meet your needs if you ask Him and allow you to grow together and get each other to Heaven. If you don't give up and continue to press on, your commitment, love and compassion can continue to grow for each other. You need to remain committed to your sacred covenant obligation because your children's marriages, your legacy, and the strength of the Church all depend upon it. Once you have given up and broken your marriage, it will be that much easier to break the next marriage. This is because what you are searching for will never be found in an individual or within yourself but will only be found and satisfied with a real relationship with God.

To help you understand God's role in marriage, you have to realize that God is the source of marriage, and you need to acknowledge His part in designing men and women, despite their differences. A godly marriage has at its center “agape” love (as opposed to the sexual kind called “eros”). Agape is unconditional and is demonstrated best by Christ's love for the Church. This is the kind of love that God wants you to build as a foundation of your marriage. And you don’t “fall in” agape. It is purposeful and unconditional love that requires commitment and shouldn't change based on life's circumstances. Adam accepted God's gift totally—he received Eve as God's gift to Him. He trusted God totally, knowing this woman was God's answer for his needs. Many marriages today are insecure and breaking down because the husband and wife have stopped accepting each other and have stopped trusting God. Instead each spouse may be focusing on each other’s differences and weaknesses.

Marriage is God's idea and some choose to redefine marriage because they don't believe in God’s standards. We should let principles taught in Scripture define marriage instead of letting the culture do it. Marriage requires “leaving and cleaving,” a choice to leave your parents, join together with your spouse and build a relationship. This enables a husband and wife to become united, to become one flesh and experience a type of oneness. Then a true unity of body and soul, a total commitment to God and to each other can be allowed to form. When you learn to draw close to Jesus, He will redirect you back to your spouse so you will be dependent on one another, experience companionship and complete each other. God wants you to learn to become the husband or wife He created and intended you to be.

Being united to your spouse means forming a permanent bond. It means committing yourself to a lifelong marriage. Unfortunately, commitment is the missing ingredient in many marriages. Many want out when the relationship changes or becomes more difficult. Remember the vows you spoke to each other and to God – “Through sickness and health, good times and bad, rich or poor … 'Till death do us part"? It is not some kind of social contract-something you just "do" for as long as you both shall "love."

Respect, constructive communication and forgiveness are essential to a marriage. Selfishness can threaten a marriage. While dating and all through your engagement, you may do everything to attract and please your spouse-to-be. Then, once we are married, selfishness and pride can get in the way. You need to set aside your selfish interests for the good of each other as well as for the good of your marriage. Instead of wanting to be first, we must be willing to be last. Instead of wanting to be served, we must serve. You must love your neighbor (our spouse) as much as you love yourself. Instead of thinking about a relationship being a 50/50 plan, think of it as a 100/100 plan which would require a 100 percent effort from each of you to serve your spouse. Rather than, "You do your part and I'll do mine," each spouse needs to say, "I will do what I can to love you without demanding an equal amount in return. I am committed to this relationship for a lifetime, and I will do whatever it takes to make our marriage work and keep the family going." It is impossible to determine when your spouse has met you halfway so you shouldn't base it on your spouse’s performance. Giving 100%, treating your spouse with the respect they deserve, staying connected, accepting change, supporting growth in yourself and your spouse, sharing parental and housework duties, and listening are ways to bring on a more loving relationship and friendship for you and your soul mate.

You'll have to stop seeing yourself as the victim or "good one" and leave the bitterness in a marriage behind. You need to let go of the expectations and see the good in each other. Change the way you respond to your spouse no matter how it hurts. Your positive behavior and humility will be contagious and encourage cooperation. Both of you need to take responsibility for your actions and learn from your human mistakes since you are bound to hurt each other even in an unintentional way. That is where forgiveness plays in and you have to sincerely apologize and correct the problem for the future of your relationship or to restore your marriage. And know that you may have to wait on and pray for a long time for this change of heart for yourself or your spouse. You can use the hard times in your relationship to grow from the experience and improve who you are as a person. Criticism, comparing your spouse to others, being defensive, using a snippy, attacking tone of voice, taking the other for granted and having apathy can also harm the relationship. Instead, practice common courtesy, respect and be sensitive to the others needs and feelings.

You can pinpoint the exact problems and list quarrels and conflicts among yourselves and communicate your expectations so you have a clear understanding of the issues. Then identify the solutions, write them down, make them measurable, achievable and don't forget to put them into action and become solution focused. Since men and women are wired differently, you must live with your spouse’s differences and appreciate them, and may even have to compromise and negotiate on matters. You must honor your spouse and learn the male and female differences in communication. Men may have to learn to listen attentively with empathy and try hard to understand your wife's feelings without retreating; women may have to stop thinking they can solve your husband's problems and refrain from giving advice unless they are actually asking for help. You can ask your spouse what they need or ask what you can do for them today. Clearly let them know what your needs are so they can be met.

It is so easy to focus on surface issues and focus on one another's weaknesses than their strengths. Don't keep a running tab on your spouse’s mistakes and wrong choices. This will only lead to resentment and bitterness. It allows you to finger point and blame your spouse rather than looking at yourself and take personal responsibility for your role in the marriage. Instead of thinking about all those little surface issues that you think are “so bad” about your spouse, think about those deep qualities of your spouse. Think about the character of your spouse, their parenting skills or their good work ethic, their devotion to you - .those things that really matter in a relationship. Those are the characteristics and qualities that make them who they are, that attracted you to them in the first place and made you fall in love. You should have a mentor to emulate and pattern your relationship after. Making yourself accountable to a friend and surround yourself with others who have been there.

Incorporate forgiveness since Jesus has shown us how to forgive. He gave us the grace and unconditional love so continually make an effort to accept each other. Only Jesus has the power to change your heart and put you in right-standing with God. There may be times when you can't imagine even touching or looking at our spouse again, but then when your emotions calm down, you can see how you overestimated your little irritations, annoyances and frustrations. Unfortunately, some spouses continue in that cycle over and over until the bad thoughts and strong feelings win and call it quits.

Follow these tips to make your marriage more rich and meaningful, fuller and rewarding:

Practice the challenging discipline of prayer together as a couple as well as on an individual basis. Pray for each other, and the relationship for God to protect your marriage. This can be quite the spiritual discipline but making it a daily habit can help you resolve conflicts and keep the communication lines open and your dependence on Christ. When you invite God into your marriage on a daily basis, He will change things. Since he initiated the relationship, isn't it fitting that you bring your struggles and concerns to Him? Daily prayer prevents divorce and makes marriages stronger. Couples who pray together frequently (at least three times per week) have higher levels of marital satisfaction than those who don't. You will benefit by growing closer to each other and God, while strengthening your values and having a more intimate relationship. You could pray spontaneously, read from the Bible, do devotionals or Liturgy of the Hours together or even hold hands and have silent meditation.

You can learn a constructive conflict resolution/management style. The speaker can speak for themself, keeping their statements brief,l while stopping to let the listener paraphrase. The listener can parrot talk back and focus on the speaker's message without rebutting. Remember not to start difficult conversations late at night or when you are short on time. Model honor and respect as you relate to one another in your marriage, and as you relate to your children. This doesn't mean you won't argue with each other on occasion, but let the kids know that you have a differing opinion on a matter right now. That will help you settle down and it also assures them that you love, honor, and respect one another. In some cases your might want to postpone the remainder of your "conversation" until later after the children were in bed.

After you have acknowledged that there is a problem, clearly define it and discuss how serious of a issue it is to both of you (on a scale of 1-10). You must follow the steps of agreeing where to start, considering your contributions to it, clarifying who will do what, discussing possible solutions and come up with a mutually acceptable one. Then pray about it and put your plan into action and see if it works. If you can't agree on a solution, flip a coin or bargain some of your personal needs with some of your relationship needs. You may even find later what you thought was a big problem is just a miscommunication. Be sure to not use personal attacks, bring up past mistakes and failures, or "You always/never" statements but understand your spouse’s perspectives. Really listen, hear and have empathy and express your concerns in a healthy, mature fashion. You can also improve your skills in adjusting to your differences, resolving conflict, communicating expectations while speaking the truth in love, listening to each other and forgiving each other. You'll realize that your spouse and your relationship are not perfect but you can still have the joy which come from strengthening your marriage to work through the problems together and in the process learn to respect, listen, love and honor each other while increasing understanding and intimacy.

Spend focused time together by scheduling regular dates with your spouse. Plan a weekend getaway away from your usual environment and demands of the ordinary grind to catch up with each other and share from your heart. Put your date night in writing once a month and even aim for two. Make it fresh, fun and interactive. It will be an opportunity to evaluate your marriage and parenting and, if necessary, redirect your family plan. Without any of the everyday distractions and demanding schedules, you can concentrate on romancing each other, cultivate the often forgotten-art of holding hands and find each other again. Show affection with small gestures of hugs and kisses and verbally tell them you love them on a daily basis. Have sex regularly even if you have to schedule it in and talk about your sex life. Avoid sharing your personal problems and pressures with someone of the opposite sex since this closeness could lead to intimate emotional and a physical relationship. Also, avoid pornography which leads to addictive behavior which leads to unrealistic expectations and will only destruct your marriage.

Invest in your relationship by carving out some time for each other on a day-to-day basis. Make your spouse first, do not get too busy and over schedule yourself. Spend more time with each other and less time on the computer with shopping, e-mailing and networking. Dedicate 10 minutes of uninterrupted time every day focusing just on each other with undivided attention by dropping what you're doing, making eye contact, and genuinely being interested in what your spouse is saying. Have meaningful conversations about your day, current events, memories and your dreams - just don't discuss your marriage at these times. You'll feel closer, renewed and stronger. You need to give each other encouragement and words of affirmation, acts of service, speaking of their strengths, catch them being good and give one compliment a day. After all, the most effective way to modify your spouse’s behavior is to reinforce or positively reward them when they are doing what you want them to do. You need to find commonalities and the same interests to also enrich your marriage. Always go to bed at the same time allowing for some pillow talk. Play and have fun and remember to build, nurture and tend to your marriage one day at a time. You'll have a greater love, and it will be worth the process of extending grace to them and start making your relationship a priority. So turn your combative heart into a collaborative heart and watch your marriage transform.

Monday, February 21, 2011


"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." Mat. 5:6

"Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."  John 6:53-55

"I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name--he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you." John 14:25-26

"So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." John 17:21

"For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11

"For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering; For great is my name among the nations, says the LORD of hosts." Malachi 1:11

"Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Cor. 5:7-8

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf." 1 Cor. 10:16-18

"For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes." 1 Cor. 11:23-26

"I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship." Rom 12:1

'"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." Rev 3:20

Did you know that Catholic Christians believe in Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist? When Jesus told His disciples of this at the Last Supper, they found it difficult to accept. The Church has taught this for nearly 2000 years. The Church is the People of God and the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit gathers you with your parish family and with Catholics all over the world. Because you have sinned during the week, it is a time to become right again with God and others. So by gathering as the Body of Christ, you are strengthened so that you will live faithfully when you leave.  

Eucharist means “Thanksgiving.”  Each time you participate in the Eucharist, you are invited to show your thankfulness to God. You should not regard the Eucharist as merely a symbol or symbolic reminder of the Last Supper celebration as other faiths may believe. The celebration of the Eucharist unites all of history as well as joins heaven and earth. You go to Mass to share a meal with Jesus. As you know, sharing a meal brings people closer together; a special meal is sometimes called a banquet or feast. The Eucharist is the Church's special meal, and you gather at the Eucharist to celebrate God's love for you. Gifts of bread and wine are brought to the altar for the priest to bless and make holy. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. Because Jesus is the Bread of Life and is celebrated in the meal of the Eucharist, you share in the life of the Risen Christ.

When we celebrate the Eucharist, God changes the bread and wine so they become Jesus Himself. It still looks and tastes like bread and wine, but it is really Jesus in the form of bread and wine. He comes in the form of bread to remind us of His body and in the form of wine to remind us of His blood. It is a memorial of Jesus' death, a celebration of His resurrected life and an expectation of His coming in glory. It is the transformation of the bread and wine into the "bread of heaven" and "the cup of salvation," or in other words, the Eucharist becomes the Body and Blood of Christ ... the actual flesh and blood of Jesus which we receive in Holy Communion.  Going to Mass every Sunday, no matter what, reminds us that amid all of the uncertainty and changes, we gather to give our week to God, to praise and thank God for all the gifts we’ve been given. Going to Mass every Sunday, reminds you that even though there may be uncertainty and changes in your life, you gather to give our week to God, to praise and thank God for all the gifts you've been given. It’s about praising God and taking part in the meal that reminds us who we are: the Body of Christ. That gives us new energy to help transform our world.

Jesus wants to be very close to you. He wants to become part of you and for you to become part of Him. The Eucharist helps us to be more like Jesus.  Every time you recieve the Eucharist your soul becomes clean of any venial sin (a lesser sin that does not completely separate you from God) you committed through the week.  God really comes to you in a special way in Holy Communion. When you receive Jesus in the sacrament of Holy Communion, you are expected to bring Jesus to others. You not only receive Him but He receives you. You are having an intimate dining experience with Jesus during Mass It is a celebration offered all over the world and unites all believers to the Lord's sacrifice. All those participating from east to west in this perfect sacrifice are bound to the Lord and to one another. In this sacrificial offering, God is glorified, you are sanctified, and the Catholic Church is built up. Jesus, our Paschal Lamb becomes sacrificed at this banquet and is a worthy offering to God the Father. When you take the cup of salvation it means Jesus offers you to God as you offer yourself through Him to His Father.

The priest acts in the person of Christ, following His command to "do this in memory of me," but it is really Christ's action that causes the consecration or transubstantiation or the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is when the priest lays his hands over the hosts and wine that it becomes the very person of Jesus. It is through the power of God's Word and the Holy Spirit as well as the actions of the priest that the bread from earth becomes living bread from heaven.

In the Eucharist you become one body. You are filled with God's grace and love. You go forth to serve others and help those who need your help. This is how you love and serve Jesus. By eating and drinking of his Body and Blood, you proclaim the Good News and God's mighty works. With Christ in you, it will be food for the journey of your faith life. You will see that the Eucharist will satisfy your spiritual hunger. You are nourished so you may feed others and bless others with Christ's presence. He wants to feed you with the bread from heaven and quench your thirst with the cup of His salvation every time at Communion so you can spread God's message of salvation. After the last blessing in Mass, you are sent into the world as disciples of Christ and treat one another as Jesus would.  The Eucharist gives you the strength to live your life in a remarkable way.  You are called to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus in our world today.  The church has  a mission to send you on, the mission is to make this world a better place, a place more like the way God would have things.” You just we need a community to accompany us and send us forth, which is exactly what the Mass does each week.  The Eucharist must lead to action and this is how the power of the Eucharist can transform or change the world.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Redemptive Suffering/Offering it Up

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, " Col 1:24

"If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy." I Corinthians 12:26

"Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." II Cor 12:8-10

"We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you." II Corinthians 4:8-12

"More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection and (the) sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:8-11

"So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name." Acts 5:41

"Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope" Romans 5: 2-3

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us." Romans 8:18

"For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering." Heb 2: 10

The Catechism of the Catholic Church encourages and reminds us of our vocation: "By His passion and death on the Cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to Him and unite us with His redemptive passion" (#1505).

"Once you are joined to the Lord, you become as omnipresent as He is. Instead of offering assistance in one particular place, doctor, nurse, or priest, in the power of the Cross you have the ability to be everywhere at once. At every scene of misery. Your compassionate love, drawn from the Redeemer's Heart, can take you in all directions, allowing you to sprinkle on every side the Precious Blood that soothes, heals and redeems." (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD)

"Jesus did not come to do away with suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His presence.” Paul Claudell

Do you know what the words “offering it up” mean? When you endure suffering or any painful experience, you shouldn’t waste it but make it mean something. Offering up your sufferings in love of the Lord and uniting yourself to Jesus is also called redemptive suffering. We can give Jesus the gift of our redemptive suffering by offering up to Him your not so fun or easy trials. This will bring you closer to Jesus because He allows you to unite or merge your difficulties with Him like when Jesus redeemed us from sin with His death on the Cross. Christ also allows you to help Him in his work of repairing souls and bring more people to Him. Jesus invites you to share in His life or enter into His suffering so you can make up for the sins you have committed. It can be done with any small thing from having a headache to a disliked chore. So if you have an annoyance with your brother or sister, offer it up to God as a sacrifice and put your suffering to good use so you won’t feel like a victim but instead do it joyfully for the Lord!

Every hardship and weakness is an opportunity for God to display His redemptive and saving power in your life. The Passion of the Lord on the Cross was how we were freed from sin. That is why the hardships and trials of daily life are considered your crosses to bear in life. Know that the hard times are all a part of your Christian journey and you should welcome your crosses in your life since they will only make your faith stronger to become His disciple. A cross can be physical pain, disappointments, humiliations, sickness, sadness and delays for example. Just think how many opportunities of spiritual growth and for helping others are wasted in complaining about the crosses in your life. So try to willingly accept without complaint the little irritations, frustrations and inconveniences that come your way. This way you can be collaborators in the work of Christ's redemption, building up His Kingdom in the world around you with not only your prayers and good works but also your sufferings.

Your walk with Jesus is not about explaining the mysteries of this life but understanding the truth - the truth being that you have a God who loves you so much He sent His Son to die for you. You live in a world that is filled with problems and struggles from which none of you can escape nor can you completely explain. In those hard times, you can cry out to our Heavenly Father for comfort. He is with you, walking with you, carrying you through all of life’s struggles. So you have a choice. Do you dwell on struggling to find the answers to the "why" or do you look to our Lord and place your trust in Him? You cannot understand what God's purpose or plan is for you. He has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you and comfort you. You are called to look towards Him and know that He is with you and will never go through your struggles alone. The Lord does not want you to not get caught up in trying to explain the mystery, but to focus on Him. So when you cry out why, He alone will give you peace and rest.

God can handle the tears, the screaming, and the groaning from our hearts. He’s big enough. He loves you and is the closest to you at those times. He is not done with you yet. God is using your circumstances to recreate your life. In tough times, God gives you opportunities to see how big He really is. If you look closely in the midst of troubles, you can see that God is not finished making you stronger, deeper and more reliant upon Him.

In suffering you may be tempted to lose hope and faith in the Lord’s love and in His desire for your eternal life with Him. But that same suffering can teach you, if you let it, to turn to God and place your hope and trust in Him. You'll develop a better character while learning some of the fruits of the Spirit ... .love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control...

So remember the promise and hope that the Lord is walking with you the entire time in the midst of your pain and struggles. He will not leave you on your own to handle things by yourself. He is walking with you, guiding you, strengthening you and helping you build character and perseverance so you can remain strong. You shouldn't always pray that others may be delivered from their pains, but rather pray to God that He would give them strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases.

So what are some ways to "offer it up?" You could say the Morning Offering every day when you wake up since it dedicates your entire day to God. Or you can stop at a moment of stress, or as you enter into a situation that you know will be stressful, and make the Sign of the Cross and say something like, "O Jesus, I offer up my struggles and sacrifices today for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory." Or after you may have gone to confession and are truly sorry for your sins, you can help living people that are in need too by offering up your bad time to them, winning them grace from God. You may ask that your suffering be applied to a special petition for someone. God will use them for the good of the Church when you accept the pain of stubbing your toe or having to wait in line a long time. Of course this act is hard to do but will make your suffering meaningful for another. You will then reduce your sin penalty, repairing your soul so you will be rewarded in Heaven.  So don't run away from suffering since it will only strengthen you, humble you and set you on the path to becoming a saint.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Self Esteem/Confidence

Self Esteem/Confidence

"You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them! Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity." Psalm 139: 13-18

"Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7

"My son, with humility have self-esteem; prize yourself as you deserve. Who will acquit him who condemns himself? who will honor him who discredits himself?" Sirach 10:27-28

"I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me." Philippians 4:13

"For we are the handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them." Ephesians 2:10

"Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

"For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body." Eph. 5: 29-30

"They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint." Isaiah 40:31

"Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life."
2 Cor. 3: 4-6

"I rejoice, because I have confidence in you in every respect." 2 Corinthians 7:16

"Not that we dare to class or compare ourselves with some of those who recommend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. For it is not the one who recommends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord recommends. 2 Cor. 10: 12,18

"Beloved, if (our) hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God" 1 John 3:21

"I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned. Rom. 12: 1-3

Self esteem is how you feel about yourself and confidence is the assurance that God is with you in whatever you do or say.  How do you feel about your looks, personality and abilities? Your opinion of yourself usually depends on how you have learned to think of yourself from the important people in your life who love you or the opinions and beliefs of strangers as you grow. You have to remember that you are loved by God your Creator and you must honor him by loving Him, yourself and others. You were designed for greatness. You shouldn't settle for less than what you are truly worth.

Despite what the world says, your worth is not the sum of your appearance, your abilities and how rich you are or how the culture thinks you should fit in.  How do you see yourself? Do you define yourself by how many trophies you have or how much you have in the bank?  It's not about what the world values with looks, brains, wealth and talent but God looks at your character, your attitude, your generosity and your faithfulness. Are you more concerned about looking good or doing good? You need to do the best you can with what the Lord has given you. You also need to try and live for Him and less for you. You have to realize that you can love and be loved and you need others as they need you.

You exist by the will and wisdom of the God who made you for Himself to know, honor and enjoy Him forever. God should be the most important person in your life because He not only made you but he cares and loves you more than anyone can imagine. You need to think of yourself as the person God says you are to reshape the way you think about yourself.  He alone can give you every reason to feel good about yourself. You need to accept your imperfectness, limitations and what you cannot change. You can rise above your problems and circumstances and take control of what you can but let God do the rest. Even though we have weakness and are flawed by human nature because of original sin with our first parents, Adam and Eve; in God's eyes you are adequate, likeable, valuable and needed.

You should have a good, healthy, high self esteem but one with humility and not have too high of an opinion of yourself.  To achieve this, you need to understand your dependence on God and on one another. You need to put your confidence in God and not just yourself and the opinion of others.  If you feel you have nothing to offer then you'll probably act like you don't, if you think poorly of yourself and think you're going to fail, then you will  act poorly. On the other hand, if you know you have something to offer in life, then you'll make a positive difference in others lives. You won't back away from relationships and you'll have what it takes to handle any challenges that come your way. You must think well of yourself to meet your own goals and expectations.  Self-esteem and confidence are something you need if you expect to grow in your faith. Getting on a bike for the first time showed that you had confidence in yourself and in the person helping you. Jesus wants you to place your confidence in Him, for He is your strength and will carry you through any situation in life. Just like you didn't learn to ride a bike in a flash, you need to wait patiently for Jesus to fulfill your needs.

In your walk with Christ, you can by His Spirit be anything He wants you to be, do anything He wants you to do and say anything He wants you to say.  But Jesus also wants you to put Him ahead of every other relationship. God sees everything more clearly than you do so you need to trust Him for your needs. If you completely rely on God, you will find dignity and self-acceptance. It is normal to feel discouraged by your failure because that shows that you care about yourself. You were made to serve God and feel good about the privilege of being one of His servants. If you serve anything other than God, you will feel empty and unfulfilled. You just need to depend on Him to resist temptation and overcome the struggles and obstacles in your life.

Your soul and spirit can only be filled by giving of yourself. It's not about having or getting the latest and greatest's about contributing and not acquiring things. So you can try and do something for someone every week, thinking of others rather than yourself. Other ways to boost your self-esteem are to think positively about yourself and catch yourself when you say something negative about yourself and replace it with an affirmation or something good. Satan sometimes will have his hand on the recorder in your brain....with his themes of shame, guilt and defeat. But hearing the true voice of God and seeing God the right way, you will always triumph in making wise decisions and choices with His help.

Furthermore, you can write down a list of reasons why you are valuable and put it on a mirror and read it every day. Also read your Bible and you'll renew your mind with the words and thoughts of God. There you will find self-respect, self-acceptance and see yourself from heaven's point of view. And don't forget that trying new things, exercise and getting outdoors have been proven to boost your spirits as well. You must give up your own will and follow the will of God. Believe you can do anything God enables you to do. If you are faithful to the plan God reveals to you, you will be successful. And as you succeed by figuring out His plan for you, your self-confidence will soar.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Being Positive instead of Complaining

"Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus," Philippians 2:5

"Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world," Philippians 2:14-15

"Be hospitable to one another without complaining." 1 Peter 4:9

Do you know anyone who complains and thinks nothing ever good happens to them? They might groan, roll their eyes and stomp their feet a lot. When things go wrong, how do you react?  Do you ever feel down, grouchy, lazy, hateful, mean, or just want to act ugly?  Then you are a victim of a bad or negative attitude. God wants you to trade those bad attitudes for better ones. He tells you that we should not trust your feelings. Feelings lie to us. Jesus has a good attitude and the cure for this syndrome. You need to ask yourself when you feel like moping, "How would Jesus act?"   We should think in the same way that Jesus thinks. This is not always easy for us but He can help. You just need to work on your attitude and change the way you think. It is a daily challenge. Match up your attitudes to that of Jesus and see if they looks like His. Acting as Jesus would can bring joy
back into a bad situation! Seek God out and he will help you have an attitude that will honor Him. 

Complaining is very common and problems happen all the time in everyday living. But it doesn’t make it right to complain if you feel you are suffering a hardship or being inconvenienced. And who really wants to be around whiners who can rub off on you, lead you to pout yourself and pick up a bad habit? But did you know that the gripers and grumblers of the world don’t have any more problems than anyone else? And did you also know that complaining will not change anything or make the situation better.  You might have heard that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.  Having a bad attitude will cause you to feel bitter inside and make you think that the whole world is against you and in turn hurt those around you. Your only hope is prayer and cooperation with God to have a positive attitude.

You need to have an attitude like Jesus and handle situations in your life like He would. He should be your model so you will be a positive Christian example to all those around you. There will be a lot of stress, disappointments and frustrations that you will face in life and family and friends can really let you down. You have the choice of either making them get you down or not. It's how you react to disappointments and act when you don't get your way. It's all in how you handle it! When you feel sorry for yourself and blame others or think that you don't deserve it, just rise above it and choose to repond in a more loving way instead of getting all hurt and angry. It is not easy to free yourself of these feelings but God wants that for you. If you complain too much or focus on all the negative things and all the things that go wrong in your life, you can forget all the good things God does in your life. You can waste your time complaining or you can find a way to make things better, remembering all the others things God has done for you.

A bad attitude can turn you away from God and may lead you to make wrong choices. A happy, positive person can do God’s work and teach others about Him and others will listen. The good news is that you have control over your emotions and can decide your reaction. Having a good attitude and remaining positive will let Christ show in your life. You don’t want to show discontentment with the life God has given you and dissatisfaction with what He is doing in your life. After all, aren’t you supposed to show God’s love in what you say and what you do?

Negative attitudes come from negative thoughts. When negative actions and words come from negative thoughts, your body and mouth will follow with what you are thinking. So all you need to do is turn any negative thoughts you have into positive responses. Every day is a balance of doing what you really want to do and what you feel you have to do that you might not enjoy. When your mom asks you to do something, you can say in a nice tone, "Okay mom" and when you know you did something wrong, just say,“I’m sorry" and when you can’t do something and get a "no" for an answer just say, "Okay, maybe next time."  Saying any of those words may feel forced at first but with practice it will become easier and more natural to you. You have a choice every day on what attitude you will have for the day.  You are in charge of your attitude.

When you feel in a complaining mood, you can stop and think before you speak and tell yourself that you need to take a deep breath and calm down. You could make a list of the positives and negatives in your life and then focus on the things you wrote on your positive list. This may require a lot of work on your part to pull you back into the positive mode when you think you are slipping into negativity. So try and seek the good and learn to be okay with the bad and then look past the bad to see the good in life. If you can keep a positive attitude then you can manage difficult situations that will creep up in your life. And I bet you can still find the good in those challenging times because God’s blessings are right in front of you. 

The opposite of complaining is being grateful and thankful to God because you have to trust that He is only working out His plan for you in your life. And being strong in your faith will make the trials easier and keep you from the temptations of Satan. Put on a new attitude because you belong to God. You can choose not to get mad, or ugly.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you act in kindness and love.  No one is stronger than God! The Holy Spirit will show you His power as He helps you change your unpleasant attitudes. When you ask for God's will to be done in you, even your own will is not stronger than His. He wants you to choose to do what is right and use His Holy Spirit's power to help you change the way you act. So remember not to gripe and whine but ask God to help you change and He will give you the grace to overcome complaining and move forward.