Tag Archives: success

Pruning: Cutting Out Things to Become Stronger and More Productive

Pruning: Cutting Out Things to Become Stronger and More Productive

Pruning: Cutting Out Things to Become Stronger and More Productive

I love being and working outside, especially this time of year with planting and gardening. Plants make me happy. I might even describe myself as an amateur gardener. However, I use this “gardener” term very loosely! Over the years I’ve learned a lot about God through the planting process. In fact, the bible is full of gardening and agricultural analogies, being they were so prevalent in that culture.

Because I love gardening so much, it’s easy for God to talk to me and for me to understand in gardening terms. For that reason, it happens a lot. Just this past week in fact I was reading John 15 where Jesus is describing himself and the vine, us as the branches, and God (the Father) as the gardener.

During this particular reading, the pruning process stood out to me. I think this was because of what God has been speaking to me about lately. Specifically, this made sense with regard to removing distractions when spending time with and listening to God. I mentioned last week that I was being “corrected” in this area! Therefore, pruning distractions fit right in the theme of what I was already learning.

John 15:1-8 (NIV)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Bearing Fruit=Being Successful

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Start the Day Right…

Start the day right...Here's an example of how this really shifted my mood from bad to good!

Start the Day Right…

“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

Success magazines and self-help sites are loaded with “start the day right” theories, especially this time of year with New Year’s resolutions in full swing.  I’ve gotta say though, this “start the day right” thing really works!  I know…why am I so surprised that this actually works!?  I’ve been teaching this for years, and I’ve even experienced it on more than one occasion.  Nevertheless, I still surprised myself last week.  I’m going to tell on myself…

Eric leaves for work before I even get up most of the time.  Sometimes, not always, he gets on these kicks where he sets his alarm for super early but then hits the snooze button.  Consistently.  Over.  And over.  I’m a pretty light sleeper, and it typically takes me a while to even get to sleep.  I’m also a pretty cranky person if I don’t get enough sleep or if I’m overly tired.  Oh, I did I mention that he often doesn’t wake up to the sound of his alarm so I have to wake him and tell him that his alarm is going off…every 9 minutes…for sometimes an hour.

Needless to say, this occasional morning snooze habit of Eric’s tends to make me a little angry drive me insane.  I promise I really try to stay calm and not get angry.  Really I do.  This particular day was not one of those days.  This morning it was all I could do not to take his alarm and knock him over the head with it.  I’m telling you, I was thinking some very bad words in my head!  However, I was proud of my self-control because I did not utter a one of them out loud (ashamedly, that’s not always the case!).  That being said, I still was extremely angry and cranky.

I didn’t FEEL like getting up early to read my bible and have my quiet time.  I didn’t FEEL like playing praise and worship music.  Nevertheless, I sucked it up and got up regardless of my feelings.  I made a decision to start the day right, even though it went against every grain in my body that day.

I went into the kitchen Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2015

Happy, Healthy & Prosperous Top 10 Posts of 2015

Top 10 Posts of 2015

“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered” Psalms 105:5 (ESV)

This week I’m sharing the Top 10 Posts of 2015I like to take the first of the year to recount some of the top or most popular posts of the previous year.  I like to share them for a couple of reasons…

First, there are several new subscribers/followers who may not have seen or read these posts and might find some of them to be helpful.

Secondly, looking back also helps me to remember what God has done and is still doing through this website (that I oh-so-reluctantly started…and sometimes still reluctantly continue!).

Lastly, it helps me (and hopefully you too) know how to pray based on what the current need or demand is, and when I know that I know how to continue to pray for others.  For example, 3 of the most popular posts have to do with leading someone to Christ or praying for someone to come to Christ.  For starters this makes me SUPER excited to know that people are actively seeking these types of websites out.  To me this means that the body of Christ is continuing to grow, and I know to continue to pray for the people who have come across these posts to have boldness to lead someone to the Lord and to agree in prayer with them that their unsaved loved ones will be saved and grow in their relationship with God.  Another example, is that the posts about being unloved and unwanted are overwhelmingly popular…which makes me so sad to know that there are so many people feeling unloved and unwanted.  I continue to pray that they will know and fully experience the love of God and of others.

Take Some Practical Steps:

  • As you look through this list of most popular posts, please take a minute to pray for one or more of the topics that stand out to you (like my examples above).
  • Please click on and read or re-read one or more of the posts from which you feel you may be able to receive some benefit or of which you might need some reminding.
  • Pay it forward…if one or more of the following posts has benefited you, please forward it/them to others you feel they may benefit (you might prayerfully consider who to share them with), or consider sharing them on your social media channels (sharing links are available at the end of each post).
  • Lastly, please pray for me this year to #1-continue to help others, #2-for me to have to right words at the right time, and #3-for the right people to be directed to my site for God to help them.

Top 10 Posts of 2015

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Mistakes Can Turn Into Success

Mistakes Can Turn Into Success. Look at these examples of bad turned good…


Mistakes Can Turn Into Success:  Look at these examples of bad turned good…

In last week’s post we talked about how our failures and mistakes can contribute to some of our insecurities.  We tend to beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make.  It never ceases to amaze me though how God can take our disobedience and mistakes and turn them into something beautiful.  He can take something that I completely jacked up and then turn it around to be a blessing to me and to others.  

Did you know there are several products and inventions that came from mistakes?  To name a few…the Slinky, Penicillin, plastic, chocolate chip cookies (thank goodness for this mistake!), potato chips, the pacemaker, silly putty, safety glass, microwave ovens, corn flakes, Post-it notes (another one of my favorites!), x-rays, superglue, popsicles, vulcanized rubber (i.e. tires), and matches.  Here’s a fun read about the 20 Most Fascinating Accidental Inventions all originating from mistakes.  I personally believe many of these mistakes turned success were probably God-inspired.  There are stories throughout the bible of mistakes turned success too. 

We can see an example of how this played out for Jonah in the bible.  Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2014

Happy, Healthy & Prosperous: Top 10 Posts of 2014

The New Year is here!  We had a stellar year in 2014 (of course with ups and downs).  This time last year this blog was just a passing thought in my head.  OK…it was actually a suggestion command from God that I reluctantly accepted over several months (didn’t get my site up and running until July!).  Overall, though I’m so glad I obeyed God.  I feel honored to be used to speak into the lives of people and hopefully share a little bit of insight of practical ways to achieve Godly success in a variety of areas.  This past week I did a year-in-review and checked on my site’s progress.  This week, I thought I’d share the Top 10 Posts of 2014 with you in case you missed any or would like to revisit them.

TOP 10 POSTS OF 2014:

  1. What Does Your Price Tag Say? A Message on Self-Worth…

    What Does Your Price Tag Say? A Message on Self Worth...

    Top 10 Posts of 2014 #1

Our value is not determined by labels that others put on us or by even by labels we put on ourselves.  This post gives some resources and tips on overcoming the negative labels we wear and some tips for creating new ones.

  1. 9 Common Causes of Insecurity

    9 Common Causes of Insecurity

    Top 10 Posts of 2014 #2

Most people deal with insecurity in one form or another.  This post addresses 9 common causes of insecurity with examples of each in scripture.  I share some of my personal struggles with insecurity.

  1. How to Apologize Effectively

    How to Apologize Effectively

    Top 10 Posts of 2014 #3

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7 Tips for Remembering Names

Bad with names?  Here are 7 Tips for Remembering Names...


Bad with names?  Here are 7 Tips for Remembering Names…

Do you know that feeling of panic when you see someone you know, but for the life of you, you can’t remember their name?  I’ve been there a few times.  I’ve typically done one of two things in this case.  I either try to carry on a conversation without even having to say their name and without admitting I forgot, or I go ahead and admit that I have completely forgotten their name, beg forgiveness and ask them to remind me.  Oh…there is a third thing that I hate to admit that I’ve done…I just flat out hide and/or act like I don’t see them.  I know!  I know!  That’s terrible!  Don’t act like you haven’t done it though! 🙂  On the receiving end of this situation though, I think I’d really prefer the other person to just admit that they don’t remember my name.  I actually respect people more for this.  Remembering names can be tough!

It does feel really great though when someone remembers your name, especially if you don’t expect them to.  I had this happen recently.  I was volunteering at church and had to check in at the front desk.  The girl working there said “Tracy, right?”  That made my day!  I have probably only seen her a handful of times, and I don’t think we’ve actually ever had a conversation.  You also have to understand, we have thousands of people that attend our church and hundreds of volunteers, therefore making it extremely difficult for remembering names!  To me, it was highly impressive that she could remember my name.  It made me feel really good.

I’ve also been on the flip-side where I run into a person that has met me several times yet still doesn’t remember my name.  This makes me feel Continue reading

What Does Your Price Tag Say? A Message on Self Worth...

What Does Your Price Tag Say?

What Does Your Price Tag Say?  A message on Self Worth…

The value of something is based on what someone is willing to pay for it or exchange for it.  Eric and I occasionally like to watch Pawn Stars and Storage Wars.  We also love to go to auctions together to find “treasures”.  We’ve learned a lot about valuation processes.  We often find it amusing on Storage Wars when the cast are making their appraisals of the contents of their storage lockers that they just purchased.  Every so often someone (usually Darrell) will inflate the worth of an item or two, and we say, “It’s not worth that!  There’s NO WAY anyone is going to pay that price for that!”  We also find it entertaining when someone walks into the pawn shop on Pawn Stars asking for some super crazy amount for something that they are trying to sell.  Their asking price is obviously declined.  Then they’ll often say, “Well, online this is selling for x-amount”, and Rick usually replies, “That’s what people are paying or that’s the price they are asking for it?  There’s a difference.”  The point he’s trying to make is that it doesn’t really matter what the list price is or what the label says.  If people aren’t willing to pay the price stated on the label, then it is probably not a correct valuation.

The same is true for us.  Our value or worth is Continue reading