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Step into His Goodness

For the Lord God is a sun and a shield;

the Lord gives grace and glory;

no good things does He withhold from

those who walk up rightly.

Psalm 84:11

Many of us have a warped perception of God. We see God as a domineering father figure who is ready to strike us down when we do something wrong. To the contrary, God is the opposite. He is loving, benevolent, generous, and caring. God does not pay us lip service when He says that only He is good. He has given us ample evidence to demonstrate that. He shows us his goodness through nature, the way that he cares for us, and through His Son Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, the evidences for God’s goodness permeate our everyday living. The natural blessings that we take for granted on a daily basis. For example, we take for granted waking up every morning, having good health, and experiencing the seasons of life. God is good enough to give us food when we need to eat, clothes when we-re naked, comfort when we feel afraid, and music to soothe our very soul. God delivers us from everyday troubles. He delivers us through the ups and downs that we go through when we experience life’s trials and challenges.

When we understand the goodness of God and we take it to heart, the Spirit of God will move us to repentance because we often doubt that God is good and that He has a good future for us. Once we have God’s goodness in the right perspective, the mind will be renewed, will have the confidence to pursue a different direction; and as a result, we will begin to see the Holy Spirit change our lives. In addition, when we understand the goodness of God, we will not be surprise when adversity comes. As a matter of fact, we will be excited to take big risks and step out on faith. Deep down we know that God will never ask us to do anything that will hurt us. Everything He asked us to do is to transform us to the likeness of His Son.

Psalm 84:11 is a good example of God’s goodness. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly.” “The Lord is the sun” – your source of power energy and resources. He’s a shield – your protector. “The Lord gives grace and glory” – your comprehensive source of resources and blessings. “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly” – if you live your life God’s way, he will make sure that you lack no good thing.

Here is a prayer by Chip Ingram taken from God: As He Longs for You to See Him that will be a blessing to you if you decide to meditate on it.

Oh Lord, full of goodness and mercy, as I look into the

face of Jesus and ponder the goodness of the cross, grant

that I might 

repent of my unbelief and ingratitude,

rest in your goodness even in the midst of trials, and

risk trusting you in every area of my life like never before. 

I praise you that I live under a friendly sky, that you are for

me, and that I need never be afraid of the future because

you are good!

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

 

Dr. G

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The Confidence to be UNSTOPPABLE

I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Why are many of us so lackluster, insipid, or perhaps dead in the pursuit of life as God would have us live it?

I think the answer to this question for the most part is a lack of confidence in the promises that God has given to us, our inability to receive them, and the fear that we may not be get it right.

It is not enough to know the promises; we must accept them, study them, internalize them, and put them into practice.

We know that fear is not from God, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Therefore, confidence is having a divine perspective to do what God has equipped you to do knowing that He has your back every step of the way.

We see this confidence when…

Hezekiah trusted in, leaned on, and was confident in the Lord… (2 Kings 18:5).

Peter answered, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water (Mathew 14:28).

Esther entered Xerxes inner court uninvited (Esther 4:14). Not only did God preserve Esther’s life, but He also eliminated the threat of extinction for the Jewish people.

God has our backs no matter what. It is up to us to do what He has equipped us to do. We can do it all because he is right by our side giving us all we need to take every single step.

How will you be UNSTOPPABLE today?

Dr. G

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Six Dynamic Ways Parents Can Help Children Grow into Leaders

In my professional experience, I have had the opportunity to work with children in educational settings as well as in the criminal setting. Although these experiences provide a number of windows to parenting, I have learned that the majority of parents strive to do their best for their children. Through that experience I have learned many positive and negative parenting behaviors. As a mother of three, I have learned that all the love and comfort in the universe provides no immunity to unintentional bad parenting. We mean to do the best by our children. However, many times we hinder them from thriving, obtaining independence, and fulfilling their potentials as leaders.

The world is tough and at times unforgiving. Therefore, it is imperative that we give our children a dose of the real world empowering them to confront and resolve any situations that they may encounter as adults.

1.      Allow them to engage in genuine risk-taking

The world is a scary place. We are not safe in our homes. We are not safe in our schools. We are not safe online. Therefore, we have become so preoccupied about safety that we prevent our children from experience genuine risk-taking. There are many adverse effects as a result. For example, as adults these children may suffer from low self-esteem and the inability to cope when things seem out of control. So, it is important to allow our kids to problem solve according to their abilities. Do not rush to pick them up when they fall during a sport’s game. Do not rush to save them when they get in trouble at school. Allow them to take in the fullness of the experience. That entails that they will process the situation, take positive action, and accept the consequences.

2.      Allow them to solve their problems

As parents we have to resist the urge to save our children the moment they experience hardships.  I remember as a young mom feeding the children breakfast, lunch, and dinner wrecked my nerves. I had so much to do. The kids were taking forever to finish their meals. I had a bright idea. If I fed them, the task would be over quicker. Little did I know that I was developing a situation that would become problematic in the future. It is through difficult situations that we become who we are. So why wouldn’t we give our children the opportunity to navigate through unpleasant and sometimes painful situations? That is how they develop self-leadership skills that would be priceless in their future lives.

3.      Praise them when they deserve it

Have you ever heard of the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality? This mentality is rampant in little leagues everywhere. The kid may never show up to practice or help win a game, but he is a winner nevertheless. Well, that is what we do all across this country and this mentality comes with some negative consequences. We praise our kids too easily and for little effort. As a result, they are not grounded in reality. And when things get tough they will turn to unspeakable behaviors such as cheating, exaggerating, and lying just to get that pompous rave from you. Eventually, they will find that they cannot trust you as parents because no one else can see what you see.

4.      Don’t let them manipulate you with guilt

Some parents feel so guilty when their children experience disappointments, so they spoiled them with material things. “No” is a two-letter word they cannot bring themselves to say to their children. They can’t bear the fact that their children may not love them even if it is just for a moment. The problem with this type of parenting is that these spoiled children will grow up believing that they do not have to fight for what they value and need. This will serve as a negative weapon that they will continue to use with those who enter their lives. We must teach children that success is a direct reflection of their actions and decisions. The goal is to develop that intrinsic motivation which would allow them to achieve whatever they put their minds to.

5.      Share our pasts with them

Parents are responsible to help their children navigate through the many stages of development. One way we can do that is by sharing our own relevant and similar mistakes that we experienced during the same age. That will help them to learn some positives lessons from the people that they trust the most. We can share with them how we faced a certain situation such as a bully, the specific steps taken, and the lessons learned. This will allow our children to see us as “real people” whom they can come to for all the problems that they may be dealing with.

6.      Be a role model to them

We are our children’s first model. We are the ones to teach them how to make good choices and decisions. We model character, dependability, and accountability for them. We model every day what kind of leaders we are in our homes. Therefore, we must practice what we preach. We can’t sneak in a little white lie whenever it suits our needs. We can’t cut corners, and expect them not to learn that from us. We cannot say “bad words” and expect them not to follow suit. Quite a few times my children would come to me at ask, “Is it okay for adults to say bad words?” My answer has always been an emphatic “No.” I know that they will hear certain things from other adults that they are not supposed to hear. But, I want to make it clear that in our home, we do not talk this way.

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Are You Mentally Strong?

Executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders from all businesses have been primarily concerned with physical health, but now they are learning that mental strength and health is even more important. As leaders we always encourage our people not to give up, to be optimistic, to tenaciously persevere until the desired result is reached. We can also identify mentally strong people by what they refuse to do. Following is a list of put together by a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Amy Morin. I am sharing her list with you along with my thoughts on how you can apply them to your everyday reality.

  1. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. Life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people. Mentally strong people have this keen sense of awareness concerning this very subject. Therefore, they do not spend their precious time throwing pity parties because their circumstances are not what it ought to be. Mentally strong people take responsibility for all that happens in their life without playing the blaming game. Most importantly, they don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves for they have dissected that experience, learned from it, and decided that they are stronger having been through it. Now, they have resources to help them when the next unpleasant situation comes their way.
  2. Give Away Their Power. Have you ever been told that you cannot do something when you know full well that you are more than capable? Did you give in or did you stand up for yourself? Mentally strong people are very aware of their power. They know that they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to others’ intent on making them feel inferior. They know that how they respond to certain situations is the key to keeping their power rather than giving it away to those who have less than good in mind.
  3. Shy Away from Change. So many work hard at escaping change and feel at home in their comfort zones. Not the mentally strong. They welcome change and all that comes with it. They thrive on change knowing that if they do not change then they are not growing. Change becomes a mental work out for the mentally strong providing opportunities for creative and challenging work and play.
  4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Have you ever been caught in a traffic jam? Have you ever had a flight cancelled? These things are out of our hands—they are out of our control. As a result, mentally strong people do not spend any of their valuable time throwing a fit about them. They acknowledge that the only thing that they can do is control how they respond to such situations.
  5. Worry About Pleasing Others. Many people struggle in this area. The people pleasers go out of their way to please others while being unpleasant to themselves. Mentally strong people behave differently. They treat people with respect, kindness, and fairness. They do not please others at their expense and they are not afraid to speak up. They understand how to navigate through difficult situations gracefully.
  6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks. What is life without risk? Risk makes everything interesting. The risk that is researched, studied, well-thought out are calculated risks. Mentally strong people welcome those risks, they know what they stand to benefit, and are ready to handle the worst-case scenario.
  7. Dwell on the Past. The best is yet to come. It does not matter if you had the best life. It does not matter if you had the worst life. What counts is today. Mentally strong people learn from the past and avoid getting stuck there. Instead of dwelling on the past, they spend their time and energy in creating the future that they desire.
  8. Makes the Same Mistakes Over and Over. If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten. We can’t expect to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect to get a different result. That is insanity. Mentally strong people do not get caught up in these dire situations. They take responsibility for the past and learn as much as they can from it. Successful executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders reflect on their pasts to learn, grow, and become more productive.
  9. Resent Other People’s Success. Who makes up your circle of influence? People who are more successful than you or those that are less successful than you are? Mentally strong people admire those who are more successful than they are. They have no place for jealousy and resentment. However, they are ready to learn from their more successful peers lessons that will help them create their own success.
  10. Give Up After Failure. Failure is the gateway to success. We have to be willing to fail time and time again as long as these failures bridge that gap between where we are and where we want to be. Mentally strong people recognize the value in failing that is why they repeat it more often than not. They recognize that if they are failing that means they are proactively working to accomplish their goals.
  11. Fear Time Alone. Some people fear the thought of spending time alone. However, the mentally strong cherish such a time. It is a time to reflect on things that they have done right as well as thing they can improve on. It is a time to review their plans and make adjustments. It is a time to be creative and productive. The key is they are responsible for their own happiness. They welcome the company of others but they do not demand it.
  12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Executives, entrepreneurs, and employees everywhere have learned especially in this economy that the world does not owe them anything. They are certainly grateful to have a paycheck. Therefore, they know that they have to be thoroughly prepared to succeed in such a competitive market.
  13. Expect Immediate Results. Are you in it for the long haul? No matter what the goal is whether or not it is starting a new business, writing a book, or starting an exercise program, mentally strong people are in it until they have achieve the desired result. They understand that anything worthwhile takes time. Change is not easy; therefore, they practice their “staying power” to get the results that they expect.