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Steph
Steph works in the Cenacle Ministry office.
Hope is ...
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Steph  »

“Hope is not blind optimism.

It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight.

Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.

Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

- Barack Obama

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Power To Shape Minds
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Steph  »

“Gratitude is like fertilizer for the mind”

Robert Emmons, PhD

According to studies conducted by Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, gratitude is like fertilizer for the mind. When practiced, it activates multiple brain systems in ways that support mental and emotional well-being.

In a series of experiments, Emmons found that when people focused on their “blessings,” as opposed to their hassles or complaints, they significantly increased feelings of joy, happiness, and overall well-being.

What makes gratitude so powerful? Like an amplifier, gratitude pumps up the volume on the good in our lives, Emmons says. Our minds take the shape of the thoughts and emotions that flow through them.

What is shaping your mind today?

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Law of Giving
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Steph  »
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Quick to Listen
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Steph  »

The scripture says in James 1:19, “Be quick to listen, and slow to speak …”

It’s simple enough in principle, but nearly impossible to live. Too often we act on the opposite principal, slow to listen and quick to speak. We all do this …passive listening. We are so focused on what we are going to say next, we miss out on what the other person is trying to say.

Every person has a deep need to be valued and respected. One very important way to show love and respect in your relationships is to listen attentively with intentionality.

Are you quick to listen?

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Nothing Gold Can Stay
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Steph  »

 

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

                                                   Robert Frost, October 1923

 

This is one of my favorite poems, so simple, yet so profound. Brilliant poems leave interpretation up to the reader. Since the publication of Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay, the essence of these eight lines has been studied extensively. Academics, students, and poets alike, have noted the deference to metaphors, allegories and biblical undertones all essential to understanding the subtleties in each verse.

Frost famously stated that his poems were not about nature. Scholars have connected the verses of this poem to everything, from the fleeting nature of beauty to the inevitability of loss, the fall of man, politics, and war.

When I read this poem, I think about life’s precious moments. And regardless of what is happening, I make sure to pause and appreciate the simple moments; listening to my children talk about their day, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, sharing an inside joke with an old friend…

What does this poem say to you?

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