“If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.” Cavett Robert
When was the last time you “caught” having a bad day from somebody else?
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal. 5:14; NLT)
Happy Labor Day! I sincerely hope you are not having a bad day today…or any day for that matter. As I was looking over some resources and thinking about starting a new series of DGs, I recalled the blog post that is today’s link, “12 Ways to turn a bad day into a better one.”
I recall when I read it a couple of weeks ago that I was struck by the wisdom of the message and the attendant list. I don’t want to minimize the author’s list, but as you read through it you will see that the list is simply a list of a dozen effective ways to get your eyes off of yourself and focused onto someone else. And isn’t that the real secret to not having a bad day?
Think about that for awhile. That kind of reduces having a bad day down to a choice. We can choose to have a bad day by focusing our attention on ourselves and on the rotten circumstances we’re experiencing (likely even brought upon ourselves by an earlier unfortunate choice–remember the Law of Seed and Harvest a couple of weeks ago?); or we can choose to not have a bad day by focusing our attention away from ourselves. My oh my! That’s a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, isn’t it? Kinda takes the fun out of looking for someone to blame.
So, whether you have one way to change your mood, or a dozen, or even several dozen, the key to a better day and a better life is to use them. Don’t keep walking around having a bad day…they’re not only no fun, but they’re also highly contagious.
BTW, my favorite tip from the list is #5. If you have any left over, remember my address.
Lord, we thank You that you have given us the power and ability to overcome our unfavorable circumstances. Grant us the grace now to use that power and ability as required.
Link of the Day
12 Ways to turn a bad day into a better one
Blessings on you as you purpose to eliminate bad days!
“Vibrant and colorful raspberry vinaigrette is a great choice to serve on a nutty or fruity salad.” Jolinda Hackett
What is your opinion of a raspberry vinaigrette dressing on your salad?
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. (Gen 1:11; NIV)
I’m not sure when I first started hearing about raspberry vinaigrette for a salad dressing. I’ve always loved this luscious little berry. I like everything about it–the brilliant, reddish-pink color, the sweet, almost perfume-like taste, and yes, even those tiny, little seeds. So, making a dressing using raspberries and putting it on my salad seemed like a wonderful idea. Several years ago I began seeing bottled raspberry vinaigrette in supermarkets. If you’ve read many of my musings you can imagine that I wasn’t too pleased with the ingredients in the bottled dressings. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar along with distilled vinegars and artificial colorings and flavorings.
I began looking for raspberry vinaigrette recipes. Another disappointment. Containing various forms of sugar and other artificial ingredients was not what I was hoping to find. The sophisticated recipes used raspberry vinegar. I actually thought about making some raspberry vinegar. However, before I did that, I read many recipes and then began concocting ingredients in the kitchen using other vinegars to see what I could come up with. Today’s recipe is a variation of some of those early attempts. I use organic balsamic vinegar and organic brown rice vinegar. Both of these are readily available now in health food sections of supermarkets. Non-organic balsamic vinegars can contain sulfites and artificial colorings and flavorings.
All summer long the Sam’s Club near our home has offered beautiful, plump, organic red raspberries in a “bigger than normal” size container for a very reasonable price. I bring some home with me every time I go! Some times they actually make it into a dressing or a smoothie. Most of the time they make it into my mouth as a sweet treat. Jerry’s not fond of “the seeds,” so I get to indulge myself with one of my most favorite fruits.
Frozen raspberries work just as well as fresh in this recipe. A key to making this rich and creamy dressing is to drizzle (pour slowly) the olive oil into the blender while the blender is running. This will incorporate the oil and thicken the dressing. The dressing can be strained to remove the seeds should you desire.
Have a “berry” happy day!
Father, we thank You for all of the wonderful flavors and tastes in the food that You have so abundantly blessed us with.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you enjoy some raspberries.
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Jim Rohn
Why do you think it is prudent to work smarter instead of working harder?
Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. (Prov. 12:24; NLT)
In 2001, Jack Serra, a regional VP for Harvest Evangelism and founder of The MM Connection, wrote and published a book called “Marketplace, Marriage, and Revival.” The key message for that book is, “The businessman’s ministry in the marketplace will only advance to the extent his marriage permits.” (See 11/21/07 DG)
The logo for The M&M Connection is 3 overlapping circles. One circle represents your work, another your marriage, and the third your relationship with God. Jack points out that these three circles are not mutually exclusive. At the center of all 3 is Jesus. Jack teaches that your work and marriage are just as holy as being in church or spending time alone with God.
The point of all this is that God intends for each of us to live fully integrated lives — to remove the masks. I am who I am, and that’s a child of God and ambassador for Jesus, whether I am at home, working, on a date, on vacation, or doing some hobby.
If you’re married, you’re sweet spot is the center part of Jack’s diagram, where the 3 circles overlap — marriage, work, and your relationship with God.
My sweet spot in the marketplace is the combination of wellness, coaching, and most recently, social marketing (Web 2.0). In coaching, I specialize in two things — training leaders to coach others and coaching people for determine and begin to pursue their destiny.
As I’ve mentioned on several occasions before, Dr. Randy Peck has been my top mentor over the past year. He clearly manifests the “Go-Giver” mentality. As you undoubtedly know by now, Randy and I recently launched a webinar-based program to combine the disciplines of journaling and destiny coaching.
Now Randy and I are combining our coaching, journaling, and web talents to train others to work smarter, not harder — to prosper in the marketplace using the Internet. Isn’t this the principle of discipleship — training disciples to make other disciples?
Tonight (Wed., Sept 3) at 7:30 pm EDT Randy and I are launching what we are calling the Empower 2000 bronze membership. This is an affordable membership program (just $50/month), allowing members to meet with both of us online each week for 45 minutes. Our topic during September will be “UNCOMMON Social Marketing (Web 2.0).”
If interested, just send me a quick reply or give me a call and I will make sure you get the details in time for you to join us for tonight’s launch.
Lord, we thank You for Your continual blessings upon us. And we further thank You for for fresh and innovative ways to “pass it forward.”
Link of the Day
Working Smarter, Not Harder!
Blessings on you as you purpose to find ways to work smarter rather than always just working a little harder.
“Salt is one of the most misunderstood nutrients.” Dr. David Brownstein
What one thing can you do, starting today to eat less processed food?
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Col. 4:6; NIV)
I just came home from a quick trip to the nearest supermarket…and I didn’t buy anything! Actually I was looking at food labels for the sodium content of some packaged foods. Since Jerry and I eat a diet of mostly whole foods, I’m less aware of how much sodium really is in prepared foods. I stopped using regular table salt many years ago and always use unrefined sea salt instead.
Natural News states that “standard table salt is highly refined, chemically cleansed, and unfriendly to the human body. Unrefined sea salt, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring complex of sodium chloride, which includes major minerals such as calcium and magnesium and a complete complement of essential trace minerals. This is the form of salt the body is designed to utilize — having been the salt of choice since humans first walked the earth. Refined table salt, on the other hand, is a modern invention, artificially designed to look white and pour easily. The human body doesn’t like it.” I couldn’t have said it better.
A common table salt ingredients label lists, salt, calcium silicate (anti-caking agent), dextrose, and potassium iodide. Another brand listed salt, sodium silocoaluminate, dextrose, potassium iodide, and sodium bicarbonate. Ummmmm good! NOT! Why is sugar in salt, you ask? Good question. Perhaps food manufacturers are “playing” with our taste buds?
The average milligrams of sodium per day per individual should be between 1000 and 2500. A low sodium diet is supposed to be 2300 milligrams or less of sodium per day. Various sources say that Americans are eating anywhere from 3500 to 6000 milligrams of sodium per day! On my little jaunt to the grocery store, I jotted down some sodium content of packaged foods. One half cup of prepared Hamburger Helper contains 770 milligrams. One half cup of prepared macaroni and cheese contains 550 milligrams. Campbell’s Chicken N Noodle soup contains 820 milligrams of sodium per one half cup. Vegetable beef was 890 for one half cup. One half cup of that soup is over one third of the day’s suggested amount of sodium! A frozen Hungry Man Dinner contained 1300 milligrams. Eat two of those and you’re over the suggested limit of sodium for a day. Processed and canned soups, ready-made gravies and sauces, snack foods such as chips, and smoked and salted meats are some of the highest sodium content foods. How good are you at avoiding those?
Father, we are so blessed by Your goodness to us. We thank You for Your hand of protection and guidance on us each and every day.
Link of the Day
Too Much Salt May Worsen Asthma
Blessings on you as you make a shift toward eating more whole foods.
“The greatest gift is a passion for reading.” Elizabeth Hardwick
What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed? Why did you enjoy it so much?
This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. This will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel. (Deut. 17:20; NLT)
Reading! If you know me, you know how much I like to read. Frankly, I’d would probably pick reading over most other activities that I can think of. (Is reading an activity? Or a pass time? Or both?)
I get frustrated when there are so many things to read and so little time to do it. Then I remember that reading is not just books anymore. I find myself doing a lot of reading on the Internet and of course, a lot of my e-mail buds, send me things to read. I just can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t love to read.
Yes, I know that statistically that makes me pretty weird. I wrote a DG back on 3/12/08 that gave some alarming statistics about reading, e.g., almost 60% of the adult population never reads another book after high school; more than 40% of the college graduates never read another book after graduation. That’s almost unfathomable to me. However, I’m also convinced that if you’re subscribing to our Daily Grams that you must like to read…at least a little bit. So at least I’m among friends who understand me.
I came across an excellent blog post the other day that lists 50 reasons to read more. 50! Can you believe it? As much as I love to read, I would be hard pressed to list 20 reasons. And this dude came up with 50! I think it’s a pretty good list and wanted to share it with you. Seems timely as the new school year gets underway again.
So, since it’s Friday, I’d like to suggest that you go ahead and make some plans to spend a little time reading this weekend. After all, here are 50 reasons why you’ll be glad you did. Have a great one! See you on Monday morning.
Lord, we are so thankful that You have given us the ability to read. That makes our species quite unique. It opens so many avenues of growth. We are truly blessed!
Link of the Day
50 Reasons to Read More
Blessings on you as you purpose to start or finish a book this weekend.
“Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television’s message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom, and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth and fresher breath.” Dave Barry
What standard do you use to measure yourself against?
Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. (Gal. 6:4; NLT)
A couple of weeks ago, one of the nine irrefutable laws the I featured was the Law of Comparison (8/22 DG). Basically, the law stated that “nothing can be considered big or small, fast or slow, unless it can be compared with something else. This law shows that all things are relative.”
When you get right down to it, the “need” to compare is driven by the ego. It can be a very destructive force. it can also make for a very wild ride…up one minute and down the next. One minute you can feel very good about yourself as you compare yourself to someone who apparently has less and the very next minute find yourself feeling very bad about yourself when you discover someone who apparently has more or better. (There will always be some with more or better…or so it seems.)
We will never overcome this tendency to compare ourself with others until we are able to fully believe, at the heart level, that our worth is not based on how we compare to others in looks, material items, achievements, or social position. When we compare what we have or who we are to someone else, we often find ourself becoming envious, ashamed, discouraged and desiring things that are not in our best interests to be or have. That also totally ignores the pursuit of our own God-given life purpose or destiny. The key to success in life is never to get in alignment with someone else’s assignment.
Is comparison ever useful? Absolutely!!! Compare yourself to yourself. Where are you now compared to a year ago? Six months ago? Are you going in a desirable direction? Compare your current reality with your desired outcome. Do you need a course correction? Compare what you know now versus what you knew last week. Have you learned anything? Have you grown? You may not always like the answer, but it’s always an answer that you have the power to control. Comparison is not only good, but necessary to make sure you’re still on the right path.
So bottom line, use comparison as a tool of empowerment rather than as a tool of disempowerment and destruction. Today’s link is a delightful and poignant little story that really drives home the proper use of comparison. Enjoy!
Lord, forgive us for so readily engaging in the improper and destructive use of comparison. Like so many other things, the ability to compare is a capacity you built into us to be used for our good, but we have turned it around for our destruction. Teach us to use it properly.
Link of the Day
Why Weren’t You Zusia?
Blessings on you as you start this week comparing yourself to yourself.
“Energy, like the biblical grain of the mustard-seed, will remove mountains.” Hosea Ballou
When did you last choose a different dressing for your salad? How was it?
It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. (Mark 4:31; NIV)
I’ll stay with various salad dressing recipes for the month of September. Honey mustard dressing is another one of those rather new concoctions similar to raspberry vinaigrette. We’re not sure when they started to arrive on the salad dressing scene but they have quickly become front-runners. I’m finding that people use honey mustard dressing as a dipping sauce as well as a salad dressing.
I’m also learning that there are multitudes of recipes out there. Since the bottled, prepared dressings contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, and various objectionable sweeteners, why not make one in your own kitchen? Making this honey mustard dressing is very simple and takes only minutes to create.
Begin exploring various greens when making a salad. Hopefully, you’re not using iceberg lettuce. It has virtually NO nutrient value at all. Sorry if that’s news to anyone. The darker greens such as romaine lettuce, various field greens, and spinach all contain high amounts of life-giving nutrients. For busy schedules there is now pre-washed organic field greens (or spring mix) available. Our local Sam’s Club carries large containers of organic spring mix and organic spinach for a very reasonable price. That ensures that we have a salad at least once a day since washing and spinning of the lettuce isn’t needed. I also put organic spinach in our smoothies. And no, you can’t taste the spinach.
Having several recipes on hand for great tasting dressings will give new flavor and taste to your salads. May I challenge you to have at least one more salad in this next week?
Father, our readers are so special and wonderful! Thank you for blessing them with healthy bodies, clear minds, and strong spirits.
Link of the Day
Honey Mustard Dressing
Blessings on you as you enjoy trying a new dressing recipe.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein
What do you do when you are having a bad day?
Our courts oppose people who are righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth falls dead in the streets, and fairness has been outlawed. (Isa. 59:14; NLT)
Life has it’s ups and downs. As I’ve been sharing over the last several months, I learned that whether there are more ups than downs or vice-versa is really a choice that we make based on what we choose to think about the most. I’ve seen this work time and time again in my life and in the life of others.
However, there are days when things just seem to creep in out of nowhere and all of a sudden we’re knocked for a loop. Maybe we’ve learned (or are learning) how to keep those times to a minimum, but when one of them hits, it can be quite disillusioning.
So now the trick becomes, what to do in order to minimize the effect of the unexpected situation. Again, we have a choice. We can choose to just ride our emotions out and live with the emotions for as long as that takes, or we can pro-actively take action to minimize both the effect and the time duration of the unwelcome event. Anytime we choose to just take things as they come, we’re playing the “victim” and as we’ve seen before, give up any hope of resolving the situation in a positive manner. On the other hand, by stepping up and taking responsibility for our attitude, we at least have a fighting chance to see the issue resolve to a favorable outcome. And a fighting chance is infinitely better than no chance any day of the week.
Today’s link gives 15 tips that you can use to stay positive when a negative situation occurs. Now, they all probably won’t work for you, but maybe a small handful will. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Dear Lord, there are times when we just can’t muster a good attitude in our own strength. Especially at those times, please meet us at our point of need and give us the grace to glorify You through our words and actions.
Link of the Day
15 Tips to Stay Positive in Negative Situations
Blessings on you as you remember that things are hardly ever as bad as they first appear.
“Nutrition labels often leave us feeling less informed about the product.” Kathy Thames
How well do you understand the ingredients list of the food you eat?
For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Prov. 2:6: NIV)
Nutrition and ingredients labels on food can often bring more confusion than clarity. When eating a diet of whole foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, fresh, lean unprocessed meats and fish, ingredient labels are of little concern. On the other hand, food labels containing nutritional information and ingredient listings are found with varying degrees of disclosure on processed foods. Even the most dedicated healthy eater has difficulty avoiding all processed foods. So, learning how to interpret some of this labeling is necessary for optimal health.
The ingredient list on food labels is actually the most important bit of information on the label. What is actually in that box, bottle, jar, package, or container? The ingredient list is often hidden under a flap of packaging material in very tiny print, just barely visible to the naked eye. I’ve searched and searched for this information when looking at some food labels.
Once you find the ingredient list, the first clue is the size of the list. If it’s only two inches wide and two inches long, that’s a good sign that this food is quite processed. If it reads like a chemistry book and you can’t pronounce over half of the ingredients, that’s also a clue to keep on searching for something better. Can you recognize what this food was in the original state? Do you see anything familiar on the label that looks like real food?
Ingredients are listed from the most to the least, according to weight and/or quantity. So, the largest quantity or the heaviest ingredients will be listed first with the smaller quantities listed last. In the case of sugar, it may not be the first ingredient listed, however if you add up the various forms of sugar such as dextrose, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup, it may well be the predominant ingredient. Avoid anything with the words “hydrogenated” in it. That would mean the food contains hydrogenated fats or trans fats which are extremely deleterious to our health. Enriched usually refers to flour that has been “altered” or refined by removing the bran and the germ portion of the whole wheat, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. To compensate for the removal of approximately two dozen nutrients, 4 synthetic nutrients are added. You’re no doubt familiar with these terms: niacin (vitamin B3), reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (synthetic vitamin B1), and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Also beware of the “ites”, “ates”, and “ides.” Words ending in these three letters such as nitrates, sulfites and diglycerides are usually unhealthy preservatives and food additives to avoid.
Become a label literate consumer!
Father, we are so thankful for the wisdom You so richly supply to us. May we never take it for granted.
Link of the Day
Trailer for Food Matters The Film
Blessings on you as you become a label reader.
“The word ‘appreciation’ means to be thankful and express admiration, approval, or gratitude. It also means to grow or appreciate in value. As you appreciate life, you become more valuable-both to yourself and others.” Sara Paddison
When did you last express your appreciation to someone who played a key role in your life?
Even the animals– the donkey and the ox– know their owner and appreciate his care, but not my people Israel. No matter what I do for them, they still do not understand. (Isa. 1:3; NLT)
Next Wednesday is a big day!!! Hmmmm, “What’s so special about September 17th?” you may ask. Well, next Wednesday is the one-year anniversary of our first Daily Gram. And I’m proud to say that we haven’t missed a single issue. Hallelujah!!! Some days were pretty hard, others were easy and fun. Frankly, it’s a journey that I wasn’t at all sure we were up to when I committed to do it. But, we’re coming up on a very big milestone. Going for two? We’ll see.
All that is not to toot our own horn, but as a segue to express our appreciation for all of you faithful readers. Many of you have been with us right from the start. We truly have a very loyal bunch of friends. We appreciate you very much. We appreciate your loyalty; we appreciate your forwarding our DGs to your networks; we appreciate your many words of encouragement and comments; in short we appreciate everything about you.
Thinking of appreciation, I did a little research and found that the there seems to be more written about the word as it applies to increase in value rather than as an expression of admiration, approval, and/or gratitude. It is the latter sense of the word that I am writing about here, but I really like the way Childre and Martin tie the two meanings together when they wrote in their now famous The HeartMath Solution, “Generally, appreciation means some blend of thankfulness, admiration, approval, and gratitude. In the financial world, something that ‘appreciates’ grows in value. With the power tool of appreciation, you get the benefit of both perspectives: as you learn to be consistently thankful and approving, your life will grow in value.”
Frankly, this whole line of thinking was triggered last week when Mac Anderson’s Simple Truths newsletter came out promoting the short movie which is today’s link. I strongly urge you to invest the few minutes it will take to enjoy this little under-three-minute video. As Mac said in his newsletter, “Whether you’re a boss, a spouse, a mom, dad, or friend, The Simple Truths of Appreciation can make you a better person. You’ll get great ideas on how you can choose to make a difference.”
The video especially spoke to me as we have just returned from a short visit with Sharon’s Dad and Mom, both of whom are in their mid-eighties and battling with an increasing number of health challenges. I can really relate to the touching words from the video, “…My friends are all gone. My family’s gone.” While it is not quite that bad for Mom and Dad, I can certainly see how the number of family and non-family calls and visits have decreased exponentially over the last couple of years. It’s a tragic situation that we will all face one day.
Dear Lord, we ask You to bring to our minds the handful of people that have made their mark on our lives and we would ask for the grace to reach out to them and express our appreciation for how they contributed to our lives.
Link of the Day
The Simple Truths of Appreciation
Blessings on you as you make a list of those you appreciate this weekend.