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Mornings with Ellis, Tyler and Tracy…A positive way to start your day!


Today’s Positive Thoughts

Give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:31 NIV

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NIV

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Hebrews10:24 NIV

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Today’s Positive Thoughts

August 30, 2016

God created your inmost being; He knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13 NIV

All that we have accomplished, God has done for us.
Isaiah 26:12 NIV

Encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:8 NIV

Creative Arts as a way to Reduce Childhood Anxiety

This has been a challenging time in our community, complicated by bad news coming from some part of our country every day. Children are aware of emotions, even if they can’t express them in a way their parents can hear or understand. So how can you tell if your son or daughter has experienced high levels of traumatic stress, leading to the dangerous symptoms of acute stress syndrome that affects emotional and physical health?

Look for the following symptoms to determine if your child is affected.

  • “I feel dizzy”
  • “I feel tired”
  • “I have a stomach ache”
  • “I don’t feel good”
  • “I feel pain in my arms and legs”
  • “I feel pain in my joints”
  • “I feel weak in my body”
  • “I don’t feel well”
  • “I have a headache”
  • “I feel sick”
  • “I feel shaky inside, (or outside)”
  • “I feel like throwing up”

(For a longer list check out the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1, 31-47).

 

While it is normal for children to feel any of these physical symptoms at times, (like the first day of school or after a pet has died), the combination of multiple physical symptoms after a community crisis could be an indication of dangerous stressoverload being internalized, which can lead to harmful symptoms that might hurt your child.

Start by checking out your child’s physical health symptom with your pediatrician, that’s smart and if you have a relationship with a trusted child therapist you might schedule an appointment for a specific fearful event, (like parents who are divorcing or a grandparent with cancer).  There is peace in knowing that a professional has checked out your child’s symptoms to see if there is something else going on.

However, for many of the unspecified symptoms listed perhaps use creative arts to reduce the stress or worry your child may be feeling inside to teach them how to express and manage the scary emotions they may be experiencing.

Artistic and emotional expression is a powerful way to release pain. Try any of the following to help your child develop coping skills to identify and process their own emotions during scary situations.

  • Finger painting
  • Coloring books
  • Free drawing
  • Writing Poetry
  • Cutting out paper
  • Creating a mobile
  • Creating a craft
  • Working with clay
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Playing with blocks/Legos
  • Singing or learning new songs
  • Planting flowers or gardening
  • Painting on paper or canvas

You may not think of these simple creative arts as a powerful form of reducing dangerous stress and anxiety; however research shows when you are totally immersed in creativity that your blood pressure and heart rate go down.

It is peaceful for your brain to move from chaos to calm through creativity – and the best part is you can enjoy the creative calm along with your child. Try it!

 

About the Author – Dwight Bain helps people rewrite their stories with transformational counseling and coaching from his hometown of Orlando. Follow him online atwww.DwightBain.com or on social @DwightBain

Managing Angry Moods of Children with Greater Compassion

A 2005 study of psychiatric disorders estimated 1 in 5 children will have temperamental mood disorders which can be expressed in many ways. It can feel overwhelming for parents, especially when it can be so hard to determine what triggers it. When you can identify the triggers, it is easier to identify the source. Psychologists have created a common list of angry warning signs. As you read through them think of your child, and what might trigger their angry moods.

Which of these sounds like your son or daughter?

___  Easily Irritable

___ Frequently loses temper

___ Highly Impatient

___ Easily Annoyed

___ Verbally Defensive or Verbally Aggressive

___ Sulks, Pouts and acts out in a passive-aggressive way

___ Often ends up expressing frustration

___ Starts quarrels, arguments in a defiant manner

___ Pushes for conflict in an overly aggressive manner Overly aggressive

___ Violent and hostile language including swearing or name calling

___ Violent threats, spiteful, vindictive actions- including rage episodes

___ Violent acts against people, animals or property, or violent acts against oneself

Once you identify the triggers, then consider the root factors. Which of these sounds like your child? (circle)

Selfishness, rejection from friends or siblings, modeling anger seen in parents marriage relationship, low self-esteem, loneliness, grief or sadness over parents divorce, shattered trust, poverty, body image issues, insecurities, academic failures, poverty, disappointments and the resentment cycle.

Resentment cycle – 

Hurt of some kind, (often from misunderstanding)

Deep Disappointment

Resentment

Bitterness

Hatred

Rage

Revenge

These temperamental emotions are common, but highly destructive. When you discover your child facing these symptoms please take action to create positive change and one of the most positive steps you can take is to model forgiveness. When a parent is able to say “I was wrong” it sets the child free to do the same. Trying to use talking, listing words, writing or art to draw out the root issues in your child allows her to learn to process emotions, instead of stuff them. Begin to use this philosophy in your home,  “If we can talk through it – we can get through it.”Because the greater your ability to keep the conversation moving forward instead of simmering in resentful silence, the greater you will experience deep peace in your home.

Home should be the safest and happiest place. Sparking the conversations to let the temperamental moods out to be discussed is a major step to move forward to make that happen. Breaking the angry cycle will change your home forever, so please take bold action to set your family free and do it today. You will never regret reclaiming peace and stability your home.

About the Author –

Dwight Bain is an author, counselor and certified life coach who helps people manage major change. Follow his daily posts for wisdom on Twitter or Instagram @DwightBain orwww.Facebook.com/DwightBain or www.LinkedIn.com/DwightBainor www.YouTube.com/DwightBain or at this blog with over 800 special reports accessible at www.LifeworksGroup.org

Parent’s Guide to Overcome Childhood Fears

Parent’s Guide to Overcome Childhood Fears

Fear is a normal part of childhood – learning how to manage it is an important part of growing up

Everyone feels fear. From six years old to sixty people worry and feel afraid. There are classic symptoms all children face, (listed below), which are indicators of the levels of anxiety a child may be facing. And did you know fear is such a common theme that the Bible has over 300 verses dedicated to facing fear and not staying afraid?

Emotional maturity takes place when a child learns to face their fears by managing these negative emotions through talking, praying, writing them out in words, drawings or other expressive arts. The more a child can learn to ‘replace’ their fears with facts or faith, the more confidence she will gain, and when she can learn the power of deep truth, like, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear… for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you”.(Deuteronomy 31:6)  When anxiety and fear is replaced by greater faith a child begins to grow into the confident adult they were designed to be.

What does childhood fear look like?

Feeling afraid is a normal part of childhood, and can even be a protective emotion that can be an early alarm to warn of danger. The challenge is when a child feels anxious or nervous for no apparent reason, because those insecurities feed their fears as their confidence diminishes, leading to feeling weak and scared instead of developing greater self-confidence and emotional security. Because so many new experiences for children are tied to their school or sports performance, anxiety becomes a major roadblock for academic or social activities, and for some children will become a major roadblock in their personality development.

Is Childhood Anxiety Normal?


The short answer is yes. Researchers have found that up to 90% of children ages 2-14 feel some degree of being anxious at specific circumstances or experiences. These emotions are a normal part of their expanding world. Children who lack the ability to flow with these fears can become immobilized and unable to function or move forward. This becomes a real problem for more introverted or insecure children who remain silent when scared.  That is why tuned in parents find ways to help their children manage emotions. A simple illustration of this process can be seen in the Disney/Pixar film “Inside Out” (http://movies.disney.com/inside-out ) which demonstrates in very simple ways how a child thinks, and more importantly how to take control of negative emotions by replacing fears or sadness with greater joy.

Can my Child’s fears Affect their Health?
Absolutely; when a child is overwhelmed by negative fears and doubts it can affect them in many ways, including physical symptoms like excessive sweating, tummy aches, headaches, bladder or bowel challenges, racing heartbeat or the complete inability to fall asleep at night.  When a child learns how to flow with the normal emotions of childhood, especially new experiences,(remember how scared you were on the first day of school?) they mature and grow into the next stage of their development.
Common Childhood Fears and Anxieties

Birth to 2 years, (Toddlers) are scared by loud noises, separation from parents, strangers, some large objects or costumed characters can also create fears at this age

 

3 to 6 years, (Preschoolers) are scared by fearful imaginations like monsters, ghosts, masks, shadows, the dark, sleeping alone, meeting new pets – especially large ones like dogs and extreme weather such as thunder and lightning

 

7 to 16 years, (School age) have increased fears across many areas like being left home alone, experiencing a parent or teachers anger, illness, shots, dentists, fear of parents divorce, spiders, snakes, bullies, peer rejection, failing at school and the more realistic fears of harm such as automobile accidents, someone in the family on drugs/alcohol, bullies and world events like terrorism.

 

Manage these fears with Replacement Routines

 

Birth to Toddlers need security and predictability. Have routines, rituals and similar patterns like bedtime, meals or story time or singing the same lullabies to create a predictable environment. Limiting the number of people who are in very close contact can help avoid a child being overstimulated.

Preschoolers need guidance on controlling their expanding imagination to know there are more than just monsters in the dark. They can learn to use their wonderful imagination to think of what isn’t in the dark, or what isn’t at the bottom of the lake. It’s just as easy to think ahead together about what is good, pure and right as it is things which are negative or hostile. Here is where parental example can shine in modeling and teaching self-control.

 

School age children are faced with incredible pressures from grades, to peers, to parents to rejection, to body-image to their parent’s marriages to loss of a home in foreclosure to theft or crime or school shooters. It can be an overwhelming time, so it is especially important to manage growing fear with growing faith and positive coping skills. Children in this group may benefit with professional counseling if anxiety symptoms become unmanageable.

 

Managing Fear with Maturity and Faith

 

At any age you can help a child understand the source of their fears, and when possible to use the phrase, “If you can talk through it you can get through it” so they can let their parents know what is going on inside. Here are some other techniques to guide your child out of fear by managing feelings with facts so they can grow past their fear with greater faith.

 

A simple way for younger children is to have them draw two pictures. One of them in the fearful situation, then to replace that fear in a second drawing showing them in a picture overcoming their fear. Some children respond better through writing, so helping them craft journals, prayer lists or even a happiness list of where they replace their fearful thoughts with happy and peaceful ones. Simple steps can take emotions bottled up inside in a new direction, which helps the child feel stronger and the parent feel more connected  to their son or daughter.

 

Sharing stories of how you managed childhood fears are a good conversation starter, but it’s just to create a connection that you are human too. The goal is for the child to express what’s inside and to know her parents understand how she feels. Keep it short and ask the question, “what else” to allow her to express as many negative emotions as possible so they don’t stay inside where they can hurt her.

 

Telling a child they have nothing to fear doesn’t actually make their fears go away – it makes things worse s0 learn to validate his emotions as ‘normal’ to help him move through the anxiety since all other kids his age are facing some of the same fears, (remember oral reports in English class – terrifying!)

 

Be creative with stories, films, songs, books or even stories of how your parents or grandparents faced major fears. Courage isn’t the absence of fear – it’s feeling the fear and moving forward. A girl who knows how strong her grandmother was in similar circumstances will find greater strength for a lifetime when she knows that strength runs in her family tree.

 

Drawing, prayer, music, scriptures, expressive arts, sports, youth group, even role playing with stuffed animals can help a child move past their fears. Try it all with a single goal in mind – how can I help my son or daughter get stronger?

 

Some fears may always be present, like public speaking, so focus on the things your child can control like her emotions. Learning to replace fear with facts, (Wikipedia says that millions of other people are just as scared as I was when facing the same situation), or replacing fear with greater faith like this promise from Isaiah 41:10,“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

Mastering the journey from childlike fear to adult like faith is what we would want for our children at any stage of life. Learning how to manage fear is the path to a life of confidence and calm. It’s a good path, but uphill all the way so let me challenge you to get started.

 

About the Author – Dwight Bain is an author, counselor and certified life coach who helps people manage major change. Follow his daily posts for wisdom on Twitter or Instagram @DwightBain orwww.Facebook.com/DwightBainwww.LinkedIn.com/DwightBainwww.YouTube.com/DwightBain or at his blog, accessible through www.LifeworksGroup.org

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How Entitlement Thinking is Destroying Your Kids and Their Future Success in Life

There is a disease affecting almost every child in America, and it can’t be treated at any hospital. The disease is Entitlement Thinking and it crosses into every corner of our country with the attitude of being served and being given more and more to create happiness. Entitlement is the belief that someone automatically deserves special privileges and special treatment and can be identified by one or all of the following symptoms –

 

Signs of Entitlement Thinking: 

  • I want Everything now.
  • I don’t want to Work for it.
  • I don’t have to clean up my Mistakes.
  • I want things because Everyone else has it.
  • I expect someone else to Fix all my problems.

Psychologist Leon F. Seltzer wrote this description of the disease in Psychology Today: “Those ‘afflicted’ with a sense of entitlement demonstrate the attitude that whatever they want, they deserve- and automatically at that, simply because they are who they are. So anything they desire, whether material or relational, should be theirs. It’s inherently justified; there’s no need to actually earn it.” We all want what we want-and we want to have it now, please. In our culture of plenty, immediate gratification is very much a reality. We can make our dreams come true on multiple levels.”

Are you beginning to see the picture? Children who are given too much, or who are protected from responsibility are actually blocked from experiencing the confidence that can only come from effort. No effort – no internal strength, so when a parent feels pity for a tired child and sends them to bed while they stay up and complete the child’s science project it actually hurts the child because they don’t learn anything; (except that their mom will rescue them if they don’t plan out their time for school projects properly).

 

While it is important to remember that Entitlement Thinking can affect any age, it is most visible in those under the age of twenty. Author Jon Krakauer describes it this way, “It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it.”

 

No one wants to parent an Entitled Child, especially when they are at great risk of growing into an Entitled Adult living off of their parents for financial support. It’s embarrassing and difficult to break this pattern, that’s why it’s important to seriously address issues as young as possible, and to set and enforce boundaries that bring emotional strength instead of weakness.

 

Remember, it is not a sign of bad parenting to confront issues, set boundaries and use the word “no”. In fact it may save your child’s life at some point because they have learned the strength of having internal standards against the pressure of their peer group. Parents sometimes cave in because they want to become a friend to their child, instead of an authority source. Lisa Earle McLead, wrote about this process in her book “The Triangle of Truth” where she observes that, Childhood happiness has become the scorecard by which adults measure their success or failure as parents… Constantly striving to please your kids turns them into your boss. Their happiness becomes your performance review.” You are required to be the parent, and often that means setting the standard to bring strength, instead of being the buddy or pal.

 

Parent Coach Amy McCready from Raleigh, North Carolina is a national expert on the issues of breaking Entitlement Thinking. Here is her list as a reference point of what not to do if you want to see your children succeed in avoiding the entitlement trap.

11 Ways to Raise a Child Who is Entitled and Rude

  1. Make sure your kids have access to all the latest iDevice’s anytime they want
  2. Do everything within your power to prevent your kids from feeling pain
  3. When things aren’t going your way, point to the shortcomings of other people
  4. Give them money whenever they ask for it
  5. Pay for as many enrichment activities, tutors, and the best sports teams you can afford
  6. Give your kids a break any time they ask to be excused from a task
  7. Refuse to consistently enforce bedtimes
  8. Confide in your kids as though they are your close friends
  9. Don’t insist kids write thank you notes
  10. Make sure they never have to do an entry-level or minimum wage job
  11. Above all, let them get out of doing any chores around the house

Do you see the absurdity of this type of parenting? While it sounds silly, there are millions of homes that operate under the mindset of protecting children from growing up by shielding them from taking on any type of adult responsibility. This doesn’t help a child – it only makes them weaker. Amy goes into this danger in her excellent book, “The Me, Me, Me Epidemic” where she says, “Entitlement isn’t just a problem in our homes; it’s a societal problem as well. Teachers and coaches report that students expect to get A’s for C effort and a starting position on the team just for showing up. When the test doesn’t go well, the “teacher doesn’t like me” or the “test was unfair.” Friendships and relationships suffer as kids with a “me, me, me” mentality lack empathy and a willingness to put others first. Employers struggle to hire teens and young adults with the people skills and work ethic to be successful. The bottom line is that entitled kids will one day grow into narcissistic adults, demanding spouses and high-maintenance employees. That’s certainly not what we want for our kids!”

She coaches and challenges parents to take bold action to break the pattern of entitlement thinking before it becomes epidemic. In traditional marriages, and especially blended familiesentitlement thinking shows up in a multitude of behaviors. Do any of these situations sound like what life in your home is like?

 

         You find yourself exasperated at your children’s demands but caving anyway.

         You’re exhausted keeping up with the house, but everyone’s too busy watching TV to help.

         You can’t make it through the grocery store without buying a treat.

         You’re frequently supplementing your kids’ allowance.

         You take responsibility for your kids by doing things for them that you know they should be able to do for themselves.

         You resort to bribes or rewards to get cooperation from your kids.

         You frequently rescue your kids by driving forgotten items to school or reminding them about their deadlines.

         Your child frequently takes issue with rules and expectations at school or in    activities.

         Your child is quick to blame others for anything that goes wrong.

         Your child tries to manipulate others to get his way.

         Your child commonly sulks or pitches a fit when she doesn’t get her way.

         Your child often complains of being bored and wants to be entertained by you.

To learn more from Amy McCready and get free parenting tools, visit: www.PositiveParentingSolutions.com or www.AmyMcCready.com

“Never do for a child what he can do for himself. A “dependent” child is a demanding child…Children become irresponsible only when we fail to give them opportunities to take on responsibility.” – Rudolf Dreikurs and Margaret Goldman

A significant part of success in the adult world is learning how to earn income based on effort, instead of on continual gifting where no effort or work on the part of the child is involved. Here are some essential truths to begin teaching your children to break this negative pattern and protect them from economic or financial hardship from not knowing how to earn and manage their finances wisely.

         Money doesn’t come easily.

         You need to have Compassion for others (developing world problems)

         People work hard to earn money; it’s a necessary part of life for adults

         If you want something, you need to work to earn it.

         You are not entitled to things you haven’t earned.

         Happiness does not come in having more money.

         Responsibility for Actions: there are consequences and rewards for our financial behavior that can go on and create hardship for many years.

 

The disease of Entitlement Thinking is common in our culture, but devastating to relationships and even can block our spiritual connection to God. Listen to these words from Pastor Charles R. Swindoll, “I’m here today to warn you: I want you to watch out for the adversary. Guard yourself from any spirit of entitlement.” Or listen to this even more direct confrontation from Psychologist John Townsend, author of “The Entitlement Cure” who wrote; “While your child may be better in ability, she is no better intrinsically. In the eyes of God, she is no better than anyone else, as the Lord is no respecter of persons, (see Acts 10:34).  

So, what can a parent or grandparent do to break this dangerous process of Entitlement Thinking? There are five areas to develop and reinforce to move your child toward success instead of continually dependency on their parents. They are:

  1. Attention – praise instead of compliment

“Instead of communicating “I love you, so let me make life easy for you,” I decided that my message needed to be something more along these lines: “I love you. I believe in you. I know what you’re capable of. So I’m going to make you work.” – Kay Wills Wyma

 

  1. Affection, Gratitude and Affirmation

 

“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”  – Brené Brown

 

  1. Acceptance – you matter to God and you matter to me

“Humility is simply accepting the reality of who God is and who you are.” – John Townsend

  1. Authority – in God instead of setting yourself up as a “god”

 

“Legalism breeds a sense of entitlement that turns us into complainers.” – Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus + Nothing = Everything

 

  1. Accountability – responsible to authority and rules, especially those of Scripture

God expects us to spend time and energy carrying our loads of responsibility for family, finances and other challenges. That’s how life works. – John Townsend

 

When you are able to build on these 5 “A’s” in the life of your son or daughter, you will be completely on track to guide a child into becoming an adult, which will give them success in life, while making you one of the unusual parents who cared enough to guide their child on a different path than others, but one that guarantees greater success and happiness because it is built on effort and hard work. John Townsend described it this way on the television show “FOX and Friends” last week, where he said, “The Hard Way is the entitlement cure. It is a path of behaviors and attitudes that undo the negative effects of entitlement, whether in ourselves or in others.”

You have more power to change than you realize and when you begin to read, think and perhaps even reach out for some counseling or coaching you can see tremendous change as you watch an entitled child become an empowered child on the path toward adulthood. They may not thank you now as you implement boundaries to build strength, but as King Solomon wrote so long ago in Proverbs 31:28, “They will rise up and call you blessed.” You know you need to make some changes, so step up – because it’s time to get started.

About the Author –

Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Life Coach and Author who founded the Lifeworks Group over 32 years ago. This group is one of the oldest Christian counseling centers in Florida and has helped over 15,000 families find hope, help and healing. Access over 850 free Blogs and YouTube training videos designed to solve stress now by giving you and those you love greater strength at www.LifeWorksGroup.org   

See You At the Pole: 7 Day Challenge

Day 1 (Thursday): “429” Your Principal Day

“4:29” is a code word taken from Ephesians 4:29 for building the school principal up with your words and/or actions. Write an administrator a note of appreciation. Thank your principal for “See You At The Pole.” The administrators have a tough
job and rarely do they get any notes of “Thanks.” Hand deliver the note, drop the note off at the school office, or mail it.
If you know one of the administrators, you might feel comfortable asking them if you could pray for them and any needs at the school.
Think about how the school is a better place because of the leadership of the administrator you’ve chosen to write to.

Day 2 (Friday): “429” Your Teacher Day – Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Galatians 6:6

Write a note to let a teacher know he/she is special and that you prayed for him/her today. Teachers help people, so pray a prayer of thanksgiving for them.
Teachers have a hard job, so pray a prayer for them to have strength and wisdom. Teachers work long hours, so pray that God would strengthen and bless them ‘4:29’ one of your teachers. Hand the note to the teacher and job ‘teaching’ something that could cause such dispute say, “This is for you…Thanks.”

Day 3 (Saturday): “429” Your Parents Day – Honor your father and mother… that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Ephesians 6:2-3

Do something nice and caring for, and with, your parent(s). For ideas see the illustration below. From an Advice Columnist: “I’m a 16 year old teenager who is a nervous wreck from getting yelled at. All I hear from morning to night is; stop being mean to your brother, get off the phone, hang up your clothes, do your homework, and clean your room!” The Advice Columnist’s answer: Stop being mean, get off the phone, hang up your clothes, do your homework, and clean your room.
Do something for someone today that will demonstrate the love of God to them. Remember that unconditional love is the best way to witness for Christ.
Well, you get the idea… spend time with Mom, she’ll love it! Do some chores your parent needs done without her having to ask.
• How about giving a “I Love You Mom” or “I Love You Dad” Card.
• “Thank you Mom for loving me, for all your sacrifice, for listening, and giving those special hugs.”

Day 4 (Sunday): “429” Your Pastor Day – The elders who direct the affairs of the church well—are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17

Write your Pastor a note of appreciation and encourage him/her. Thank him/her for being a leader you can follow. Thank him/her for preparing a special message the Sunday your friends came to church. Offer to help anyone who could use assistance. Write a note thanking him/her for being God’s Shepherd for your church. Let the Pastor know you’re praying for him/her, his/her family, and the church. Write him/her a note so they have it in writing. Thank that individual for all that he/she does. Let your Pastor know that you’re praying for him/her.

Day 5 (Monday): “429” An Outsider Day- …the kindness of God leads you to repentance… Romans 2:4b

A secular society leads to generational confusion. The bible says that the kindness of God can lead these people to repentance. They may think that they could never be a Christian, or that Christians don’t like them. Many of these students believe that Christians hate them and that God may hate them too. But God offers love and forgiveness to everyone who repents and puts their trust in him. And He gives freedom from the things that keep us in bondage to sin.
Think of someone at school who might feel out of place at a church.
Make time today to talk to them and show them through acts of kindness that God loves them. Be kind, without compromising your biblical moral beliefs. Ask them what they think about God. Explain how God loves them and wants them to know and follow Him.

Day 6 (Tuesday): “429” Your Mentor Day – Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:7
Write a note or call the person who influenced you to follow Christ, and thank them. If you’re unable to get in touch with him/her, then write or call the person who has most recently impacted your life for Christ. Write down your story of how you became a Christian. Write a note or call the person that most influenced you to follow Christ. If you can’t contact him/her, then write a note to the person that most recently has impacted your life for Christ.

Day 7 (Wednesday-one week after SYATP): “429” Your School Day – Serve whole-heartedly, as if you were serving the Lord and not men. Ephesians 6:7

Did you realize could help you fulfill your community service hours for school? Service projects are fun and meaningful for all involved. You need to get this day organized with your youth leader in advance. Clean up a local street or vacant lot around the school. Start a canned food drive at your school to fill your school’s food pantry. Almost every school in Seminole and Orange county has a food pantry for hungry students. Plant flowers or trees at your school.

 

Praying for Payton

Our friend, Payton, is now a Marine! Straight out of high school to boot camp. We had a chance to talk with his momma. Here’s the audio.  Would you please join us in praying for him, his family, and the rest of his group? Also, please let us know who else is serving that we can be praying for.

Listen Here.

Update on Ellis

Your prayers for Ellis right now would mean so much. He’s in the hospital. If you haven’t heard what’s going on, feel free to take a listen to this update from Ellis and Tyler.

Finding the Path Out of Bad Days and Angry Moods

Ever have a terrible day where NOTHING was going right? You know, the kind of day where the clock doesn’t go off, you miss breakfast, then get stuck in traffic, show up late to work and get yelled at by your boss. Sometimes life is hard and absolutely nothing is working out; still it seems everyone knows a friend who never has a bad day, then others who live in chaos. Why do some people handle unexpected problems and stress better than others?

  • Are they stronger?
  • Is it because they look better, or have more money or live in a bigger house?
  • Do they have an easier time because they are just lucky?
  • Is their marriage partner or mother working overtime to solve problems for them?
  • Does God like them more than you so He protects them from experiencing pain?
  • What is it that makes some people less moody, temperamental and upset than others?

Listen – it’s not strength, intelligence, beauty or wealth – Simply put your mood is triggered by a mindset. No matter what is happening in your life you can control your thoughts and when you do it totally changes your mood. You may not think you have the power to control your thoughts and impulses after a tough day, but you do. Listen to the wisdom of King Solomon, “A Man without Self-Control is like a city broken into and left without Walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)

If you are above the age of five you have the mental capacity to think before you react in anger or frustration. If you want to determine the psychological age of the people around you – watch how they manage irritation when things don’t work out. Blowing up over your name being misspelled by the barista at Starbucks indicates a very low threshold of self-control; yet sometimes the person with no tolerance for problems in their own life expect everyone else to cut them some slack and show compassion. Your moods are an indicator of EVERYTHING going on inside you- your character, your maturity, your personality and even your faith in God. The way character and maturity is expressed through difficult circumstances was described by John Burroughs as, “Temperament lies behind mood; behind will, lies the fate of character. Then behind both, the influence of family the tyranny of culture; and finally the power of climate and environment; and we are free, only to the extent we rise above these.”  

Want a better day? Learn to manage your moods. Here’s a quick formula I’ve found that helps everyone to live out the teaching of Jesus, who said, “I am come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10) Jesus didn’t promise a life without problems, rather, the promise was for a meaningful life. The more you learn to manage your moods, the better your life will be- here’s how.

  • Start with your Belief system, because
  • Your Beliefs shape your Thinking, and
  • Your Thinking triggers your Feelings, then
  • Your Feelings determine your Mood

The more you can challenge, and change your belief system, the more you can manage your moods. In fact, if you want to look into a “time machine” to see what your future is going to look like, just look at how you are managing your moods now. This is because mood management is one of the key indicators of your success in relationships, family, work and personal success.

If you are stuck in an angry mood – don’t fire your family or quit your job. Work on you. Change you. Find strength in the teaching of your faith and the wisdom of your mentors. You can change and you can rise above being moody and upset and you can teach your kids and spouse to do the same.

You have a choice on the worst days to remember how good God has been to you and those you care about. It’s been my experience as I meditate on the blessings and then focus on answered prayers that my moods soften, my expectations change and instead of making life miserable for the people around me, I can become a source of strength to help them through tough times. It’s a powerful source of healing to everyone you are in relationship with when you can move from being temperamental to modeling self-control. I promise you there will be an opportunity today to choose joy over sadness, peace over panic and acceptance of others over judging them. When you can manage your moods your whole world will be better and the world of everyone around you will be better and that’s a good trade– try it!

 

About the Author  Dwight Bain helps people rewrite their story to move from stress to satisfaction as a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach in practice since 1984. He partners with media, major corporations and non-profit organizations to make a positive difference in our culture. Access more counseling and coaching resources designed to save you time by solving stressful situations by visiting his counseling blog with over 850 complimentary articles and special reports atwww.LifeWorksGroup.org.

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