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Monday, January 28, 2008

Law of Attraction - They Are All Making You Poor

There is one very important step that is often overlooked by most people who are working hard to apply the law of attraction. That step requires that you surround yourself with the sort of people who already have what you are trying to manifest in your life.

Have you ever heard stories or witness people who change dramatically because of the new crowd they were associating with? Perhaps you have noticed yourself developing certain habits after having the company of certain friends. If all your friends complain about money every day you may begin to realize that you have several complaints about money that you previously did not have before. We become like the people we surround our selves with.

I knew a man who was working tirelessly to create financial freedom in his life. He worked diligently with the law of attraction in keeping his thoughts clear and positive as well as to maintain a deep focus on his goals. Each day he was able to see great success until one day he came in contact with an old friend. Within a few short weeks he realized that his new found joy and personal power began to head south and he was feeling very discouraged about life. All his business ventures began to suffer and it seemed every thing around him was about to crash.

After taking sometime to reflect on what had suddenly gone wildly wrong with his life he realize the source of his failing business and personal life. His new friend, although a source of fun was a complete pessimist. Every single time they met his friend complained excessively about everything and doubted everything which seemed to be good. He complained about the economy and he complained about those who had acquired any sort of wealthy.

These conversations began to creep slowly into the mind of the first man and slowly his outlook became tainted by the dim view of reality that his friend was drilling into his head. Although he tried to maintain a brighter outlook his own thoughts were in conflict with the thoughts that his friend was presenting to him.

With law of attraction you manifest what you speak about or focus on with great passion. Often times people do not realize how much time they give to listening to others whose outlook is quite dismal and just how much those dismal thoughts do influence your ability to successfully apply the law of attraction to your success.

Do you know that there are ancient techniques that can increase your manifesting intentions and attract what you want even faster than ever? Visit http://www.cosmic-wealth.com to learn more about these secrets teachings. Daniel Hinds is the author of the powerful ebook Magic Money.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

7 Steps to Receive a Refreshing by Brenda Jefferson

Greetings, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Welcome to 2008! This season is ripe with unlimited possibilities. Indeed, this is a time of refreshing and your year to be revitalized. Acts 3:19 says, Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Therefore, in order for you to experience this new day and a new me, Christ will come. And, in order for sins to be blotted out there has to be a change.

 

There are things you must do in order to get your refreshing. Examine your actions.

 

If you say you attract all the wrong men/women where are you looking? If your finances are not in order, where are you planting your seeds? If you find yourself constantly grinding away to get ahead but are slipping further behind, where are you placing your energy? You are to plant your seeds on good ground based on biblical principals (Genesis 27:26-33).

 

Ask yourself, where is my life? If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done. Ephesians 3:20 states, Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Thus, everything that you desire from God is already in you. Now, all you have to do is open your mouth and claim it. Have faith and speak it into existence!

 

The following is a guide to help ensure that 2008 and your latter days are greater than your past:

 

1. Rededicate your life back to Christ. Make a new covenant with the only one with the power to make all things possible. Consider Psalm 51:10 which says, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

 

2. Spend time with God in daily prayer. By communicating with God, you open yourself up to a bounty of understanding and blessings. For Jeremiah 29:12 states, Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

 

3. Spend time daily in the Word. Not only will you gain understanding, but God will also reveal keys to succeeding in life. For we are to, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, according to 2 Timothy 2:16.

 

4. Thank and Give God praise for things to come. Consider what Paul prescribes to the Gentiles in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 

5. Each day is a special occasion - live each day as if it were one - peacefully. Walk in that unspeakable joy that encompasses you when celebrating a birthday or special holiday. Share that same peace, love and hope with friends, family, strangers and enemies. Consider Leviticus 19:18 which states, Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge, against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.

 

6. Wisdom can not be bought with money; be willing to work for your goals. Become like a sponge and soak up droplets of knowledge from every opportunity. Proverbs 1:3 says, A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. And consider Job's parable in Job 28:12-13 when he asks, But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

 

7. Write down your goals and vision for your life and it will surely come to pass. Create a blueprint for your goals to foresee upcoming challenges and triumphs. Consider Habbakuk 2:2-3 which states, And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

 

Finally, don't walk into 2008 carrying extra weight. Let go of past pains by casting your burdens upon the Lord (Psalm 55:22). Allow God to bring you to a place of pure serenity in His presence; for there is where you'll find a time of refreshing.

 

Choose the Next Refreshing CD Single! Wanna help select the next single from Brenda Jefferson's debut CD A Time of Refreshing? We're releasing the second single to radio on March 1 and we need your help. Find yourself humming along with Javen on Time of Refreshing? Do you like the soulful tune Great God with Beverly Crawford? Are you feeling Lacresia Campbell's yearn for God's Strong Tower? Or, how ˜bout the neo-gospel duet Shake Yourself featuring Jamie Jones (lead singer of All-4-One) and gospel newcomer LaRue? Wanna hear more? Visit www.brendajefferson.com.

 

A Time of Refreshing is an innovative compilation CD that offers a powerful smorgasbord - from stirring traditional gospel tunes to funky, neo-gospel tracks. It's jam-packed with so many soon-to-be chart-topping hits that we need your input. Let us know which song you like the best. The most popular track chosen will be what you hear on gospel radio! Email: promotion@brendajefferson.com .

 

Stay Tuned for Refreshing Videos Check out the video Oh Clap Your Hands featuring Lisa Page-Brooks from the smash compilation CD A Time of Refreshing on BET, Word and TBN. The hot-selling CD is taking the airwaves by storm proving that the multi-talented Brenda Jefferson is one of the leading songwriters and music producers in gospel today!

 

About the Author

 

Brenda Jefferson is co-pastor at the beautiful campus of Deeper Life Christian Church in Tampa, Fla., with her husband and founding pastor, Bishop M.B. Jefferson. She travels extensively around the world as a torchbearer, delivering life lessons that bring hope to the hurting and light to the lost.

 

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect but Visualizing Perfects

These tips are copied from my Oct article but it's the perfect time to bring them up again. Print them and use them to take you into the New Year.

Now it's the Christmas season and as if you didn't have enough distractions, you have to get all the family and friends stuff done as well as prepare for the New Year.

Have you planned for the New Year in your business? Whether you're the owner or the employee, you have to plan ahead for changes that you'd like to see. Changes happen but why not make them happen the way you'd like them to.

Practice your skills.
Everyone needs to practice, even Tiger Woods. The best golfer in the world practicing every day? Well I read or heard that Tiger has taken to reduced actually practicing hitting the ball and spending more time on visualizing hitting the ball. Mentally planning his technique and game management.

Put those great ideas together. Focus on the plan. You do have a plan don't you..

You have probably sat down and with some thought, found that you've strayed from your actual main business.

It's time to get out your business plan.

It's time to get out your written down goal.

It's time to FOCUS on what it is you really planned to do.

Focusing is not as easy as it sounds. You'll have to force yourself to FOCUS. You have to make yourself focus.

Take time out in your day on a scheduled basis to consider what it is you are actually doing.

Maybe you haven't even got these things written down. If not, make some notes on these 8 things to do to create focus.

1.- Identify your strengths

2.- Clarify your specific goals

3.- Watch your time and productivity

4.- Identify your mission

5.- Eliminate negative self talk

6.- Daily or immediate goals first, longer term goals next.

7.- Believe and practice

8.- Stay in the positive zone.

These few simple tips should keep you on the straight and narrow. Practice these skills. Everyone needs to practice, even Tiger Woods. The best golfer in the world practicing every day? Well I read or heard that Tiger has taken to reduced actually practicing hitting the ball and spending more time on visualizing hitting the ball. Mentally planning his technique and game management.

You should do the same. Practice your thinking, planning, sales pitches purchasing habits, elevator speeches and podium speeches. Practice everything you do. Don't think it will just happen because guess what? It does just happen but not always the way you wanted.

The best salesmen in the world, practise their presentations. Perfect their approach. Plan everything. No longer relying on a big smile and strong handshake.

When you go to a networking event, practice talking to many people, collecting and trading cards, learning something about your contacts and following up afterwards.

You can also practice going to your customers office, the bank, the suppliers shop, etc.

You get the idea, just practice everything you do, don't let it just happen to you otherwise you may not know what happened.

Keep in touch, follow up on quotations and presentations. Don't think those people are discussing you or your plan while you're not there. You be the driving force in helping your clients make the decisions they need to make. They'll be glad you followed up. You help yourself by helping others.

But that's another story.

Do I do all these things in my Promotional Products business? I try my best, I think about it a lot but certainly I'm a long way from perfect. Sometimes you know all the right things to say and do but because of time constraints or just plain lazy, the rules are forgotten and things don't turn out the way you planned.

Visualize your presentation and your plan.

Rod Winning is the president of Winning Fairways Inc. Promotional Products for Success Rod has a background in business. http://www.winningfairways.com

Rod Winning is the president of Winning Fairways Inc. Promotional Products for Success Rod has a background in business. info@winningfairways.com

Friday, January 18, 2008

9 Activities To Help Improve Your Working Memory And Concentration by Creator

by Creator
 
You are capable to remember an extreme amount of facts. But your short term memory can always hold only a limited amount of things. But the working memory could actually be the very core of our intelligence. And it doesn’t matter what kind of education you’ve had, everyone can improve their mental capabilities. This article contains ten activities to help improve your working memory.

Activity 1: Eat Imagine you bought that brand new car you’ve dreamt about. But instead of putting some gasoline in the tank, you fill it up with diesel and casually throw in a handful of sand. You probably won’t be surprised when the car doesn’t really get far. Your brain also needs the right fuel to work at its best. Try eating a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fats, antioxidants, (brocolli, blueberries spinache and berries for example). I also recommend eating more frequently, it prevents large dips in your blood sugar, the main source of energy for your brain.

Activity 2: Turn on the music Psychologists and scientists have been looking at the connection between the music and the working memory for many years and many studies have found that music, especially classical, improves the storage and recall of information in the human memory.

Activity 3: Reduce stress. Stress does not physically damage the brain, but it can make remembering things more difficult. Even temporary stresses have a negative effect on your working memory.

Activity 4: Pay attention Often we fail to remember things, not because our memory isn’t good, but just because we weren’t paying attention. Many people encounter this when they forget peoples names. If you deliberatly try to remember things, you’re more likely to succeed

Activity 5: Group things It’s hard to keep a random list of items in your head, did you ever forget something when grocery shopping? But you can make it easier for yourself. If you can remember that three of the things you needed were vegetables, you would probably also remember what they were.

Activity 6: Think Back Here’s another great mental exercise. First of all, relax comfortably in an easy chair or on your bed. When you are really relaxed, start the exercise. Start by mentally paying attention to yourself. Then go back and think of yourself going into the room. Keep on going back through the memories of the day. Every time you do this, it will be easier, and you can remember more and more details every time.

Activity 7: Strengthen your neural connections This is an exercise can even create new neural connactions. Grab the mouse with the hand you normally don’t use it with. It’s probably harder to be precise and accurate with your motions. You could easily try some of these exercises everyday. It is important to challenge your brain to learn new tasks, especially processes that you've never done before. - Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth - Dial the phone or operate the TV remote. - Draw symtrically by making the same movements with two hands

Activity 8: include more of your senses in an everyday task: Get dressed with your eyes closed Wash your hair with your eyes closed Share a meal and use only visual cues to communicate. No talking.

Activity 9: Walk Walking is especially good for your brain, because it enhances the blood flow, which results in oxygen and energy reaching your brain more efficiently. As walking isn’t intensive, your legs also won't use up extra oxygen and blood sugar. Walking can create a clear head and improve your working memory. ----------

About the Author

I'm a student who has been into accelerated learning for many years discuss the article here: http://www.xomba.com/10_activities_to_help_improve_your_working_memory_and_concentration

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Turbulence Training Review - Find Out What The Turbulence Training Is About

By Daniel Jonson

Turbulence Training has been developed by Craig Bellantyne, he is a strength & conditioning coach and a member of the training advisory board for men's fitness magazine. His experience goes back to the mid 90's in the gym as well as doing researches. He has been coaching and working with hundreds of clients in training sessions and he has combined his years of experience and latest scientific research to ensure your exercises leads to the best and most pleasing results.

Turbulence Training is a high intensity workout that combines interval training and resistance training to build muscles and lose body fat at the same time. The methods can be used by both men and women. You work out three times per week 45 minutes each session.

The e-Book is 86 pages, with illustrations and explanations of the multi-movement exercises. The first 30 pages covers the essential parts of training, basics such as, 25 nutrition tips for fat loss, good and bad food choices and goal setting. The rest of the e-book covers the essential Turbulence Training guidelines and workout schedules from the beginner to the advanced. The training package is including a lot of bonus material, one of them is a nutrition manual witch I found very interesting. It comes with a lot of bonus workouts for body-weight only, for muscle building advised fat loss, and a female specific bonus.

If we were to compare Turbulence Training with other courses, this one has big advantages, the author lays it out in great detail and the bonus material is great, the basic edition comes for the price of $39.95 USD. the deluxe edition costs $97 USD, it comes with a hold bunch of extra material that you might want to look in to. Both versions is backed with a 8-week money back guarantee.

The material is very easy to follow, it is backed with detailed illustrations and photos. It is a quick and efficient workout designed for people with very little time to spare. There are no complicated calorie formulas

this course has been developed by an expert, that is obvious. I thought it was very easy to follow and fun to. The picture illustrations made it very easy to comprehend and a 45 minutes workout 3 times a week suited my schedule perfectly, the results so far have been very pleasing, and when it is put to good use with no cheating, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Found this review on Turbulence Training useful? If you want to learn more, feel free to get more detailed information and directions at the following site: http://turbulancetrainingreview.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Battle Beneath the Grave - Resting in Peace or War!

By Basil C. Hill

I accidentally discovered the "key" to understanding the roots of legal and social hassles over people supposedly "resting in peace." People who die financially poor do not have relatives fighting over their legacies after they die. I made the amazing discovery, quite accidentally one day while doing hospital rounds.

I noticed one patient in a community ward staring at the ceiling. Next to him was an old rancher I knew as a child. Even though he was a bit of a flirt and had many children with different women (some of which he did not support) it was heartening, I thought, to hear some of those siblings say to him that they forgave him for the wrongs he did to them and their mothers. I watched the children hugging each other praying for papa. Next to him was the ceiling gazer.

"No relatives?" I asked. "The difference between me and him is that I blew all my money; I have nothing left for anyone to fight over." That hit me hard.

One day, I asked the stargazer: "Have you ever lived abroad?" "Been in New York for many years"-he replied. That was it. In the waiting room outside, I made an imaginary phone call.

"Joe Blow," not his real name "is in a public hospital. Didn't he work for the Long Island Railroad for over 25 years? Aren't they one of the companies that pay pensions to their employees' survivors for at least 10 years after their employees die?"

Within one week, family and friends appeared almost literally out of the woodwork. His sudden receipt of flowers, fruits, and health-juice cocktails obviously puzzled him. How could I tell him about my imaginary phone call? Did someone overhear? Guilt confronted me daily. The fact that I could not confess my error because of possible ramifications made things so much harder. Every time I went by the hospital, Uncle Joe had too many visitors; that made private conversations impossible.

One day, the former stargazer got worse until his speech was hardly discernible. I leaned over intending to confess my mischief. Since all eyes were on me, instead I whispered within hearing distance of one of the hospital attendants, "I hope he made arrangements for his pension and social security payments to be transferred for all of his years in New York." He opened his eyes immediately. As if the sudden realization of what I said injected him. He either coughed or laughed a mischievous laugh or both. I became a chicken and left.

Did he have a pension plan? -I don't know. Did I lie- maybe yes or maybe no. I never found out. He died in his sleep one night-hopefully peacefully.

TEN YEARS LATER. About two months ago, a missionary friend of mine asked me to accompany him to a nursing home. A self-employed taxi driver had been diagnosed with cancer. The home was filled with people whose faces were the portraits of pain and resignation. None seemed willing or desirous of continuing life's journey. All appeared in different stages of readiness to face an inevitable destiny. All seemed prepared-I thought-until we found our former taxi driver. He was scared; he was frightened. He shivered and trembled uncontrollably. He kept repeating how much pain he was in and lamented on the fact that no one came to visit him; he had no one to turn him over. He wept openly. It was sad. Immediately I reflected on one of my grandfather's sayings: "once a man twice a child." Here was a man who was at every ballgame. He was a regular at all the live shows. He was popular; had lots of female admirers. He was in his 60's; but looked like a forty-five-year old prizefighter. He ate heartily, not sensibly. I would run into him at restaurants-females in tow. His meals were lavish steaks, lots of butter, and the best and most expensive drinks deprived his saliva of their natural functions. As the reels of memories spun slowly from the video of my mind, I stopped the film in time to see a shadow in front of me--a shadow of who he was-diapered and bedridden. He accepted our offer for prayers, and even though the Lord took away his pains, he still cried himself to sleep. It was sad. The last words we heard--the nurses also--- were "Just imagine all I did for people and now, not one of my friends is here to turn me over."

I am comforted that the prayer he accepted was what Catholics call the prayer of confession, and what Pentecostals call "the sinner's prayer"-a prerequisite for eternal salvation. I firmly believe that every person should visit a hospital or nursing home at least once per month. When trains are rolling, it is easy to become complacent. With the aggressive competition for our time, space, and energy, most times we are too busy to think of anything except the "now" and immediate future. Since we do not hold the keys to tomorrow, it cannot hurt to peek behind different curtains of possibilities. It might come as a surprise, but not because we say "Rest in Peace" means the departed obey us. Sometimes their destinies are already sealed.

Suggested readings: "The Golden Fleece Found by Basil Hill--http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Fleece-Found-Basil-Hill/dp/1412043190   

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nine Secrets Of A Long Life - Anti-Stress Living Habits

Everyone wants to live a long and happy life, but not everyone is successful in this pursuit. In case you have been wondering what you have to do in order to be both healthy and happy, I would like to share with you some tips for living a long, healthy and meaningful life.

1. Don't eat unless you are hungry

If you eat when you are not hungry you risk getting constipation and indigestion. Fermented and undigested food poisons the blood, weakening the organs and makes you susceptible to any of thousands of various acute and chronic diseases. To properly eliminate wastes, your digestive system should be rested by sufficient gaps between meals.

Try to find your natural rhythm and listen to what your body tells you. Overeating is also the cause of many illnesses. The yogis advise you to think of your stomach as having four parts, of which one part is still empty when you finish eating.

2. Sleep when you are tired

This means that you should go to bed when your body tells you, and not continue to lie around after you've woken up. As far as possible, conform to your natural rhythms. Sleeping during the day and staying awake at night when you are tired is said to be one of the causes of cancer.

3. Get out of bed before sunrise

Each day has a rhythm - like a wave. If you get up too late, you miss the wave and spend the rest of the day struggling to keep up. If you get up early, the wave is behind you, and carries you through the day. Some hours of sleep before midnight are said to be twice as valuable as sleep after midnight. Once you are habituated, the dawn hours are the best for meditation and personal development.

4. Take a half-bath or shower before meditation, food and sleep

Water has tremendous therapeutic value. By doing a half-bath (splashing cool water on all the limbs plus the face and neck) before meditation, eating and sleeping your body and mind become refreshed and relaxed. Yours activities will be performed at their optimum level, deriving maximum benefit. As far as possible, take a refreshing complete bath at least twice a day, certainly at least once a day. Water temperature should not exceed body temperature.

5. Practice meditation and yoga regularly

Regular meditation and yoga tune the body and mind so that they waste much less energy. This means your body and mind will last longer because the allotted amount of energy will carry you further. It is said by some that each person has a fixed number of breaths to their life. When you slow down the breathing during yogic practices, you extends the duration your life.

6. Eat raw food and yoghurt

Life depends upon on "Prana" or "Vital Energy". Raw fresh food is full of life-giving, vital energy (zing!!) and this is more important than the nutrients in food. Enzymes enabling perfect digestion are present in raw fruits and veggies, but are lost during cooking. And raw food contains all of its fiber undiminished by cooking , which is so important for maintaining regularity in bowel movements, which should be as many as the number of meals you eat. Yoghurt is an easily digestible complete protein which contains bacteria that aids digestion. Milk products are also good for mental development.

7. Fast at regular intervals

During fasting, the body is not burdened with absorbing and metabolizing nutrition. As your digestive system rests, it shifts into healing and cleansing mode. Thus, during fasting, toxic dead and diseased cells are swept out - a sort of house-cleaning process, which is fundamental for achieving and maintaining good health. Fasting is the best and quickest means to cure most diseases.

Fasting also purifies the mind. When you are not distracted by food, your mind naturally turns inward, creating a good environment for contemplation and spiritual thoughts. At the same time, it overcomes guilty thinking, clearing your conscience and giving you a fresh start.

If you fast once a week or at least once every two weeks you will be able to get many benefits without weakening your body or disrupting your daily life. Care should be paid to eating, light, easily digestible and juicy food before and after fasting.

8. Engage yourself in physical labor or exercise

Regular exercise strengthens bones, muscles, organs and joints. Your lymphatic system is operated by motion. Inter-cellular fluid also depends on motion to enable it to channel nutrition and waste materials to-and-from cells. Without adequate exercise the body degenerates. As long as we have a body, it needs to be regularly worked and exercised, even bodies of the elderly. A certain amount of physical work is good for the mind also, releasing built up tensions, maintaining a harmonious link with body and environment, and giving a break to the overworked mind.

9. Drink enough water

Natural-therapy does not speak of needing merely eight glasses daily. Rather it specifies that everyone needs at least three to four liters (12 to 16 glasses) daily. Sick people need four to five liters. Those with skin trouble need even more. But you should not drink too much at a time, except in the very early morning on an empty stomach. And you should drink water between meals, not while you eat.

There you have it, nine steps that will help you to live a long, healthy and happy life.

Dada Dharmavedananda has been teaching yoga and natural therapy for 35 years. He is a senior teacher with the Ananda Marga meditation society and is the founder of the Ananda Marga Wellness Center. The Center provides in-patient naturopathic treatment and education to overcome all sorts of chronic conditions. Visit http://www.amwellness.org for more information.

Manhunt Written By Janet Evanovich

Manhunt is a very humorous story of a rich woman, Alexandra Scott, who makes an exchange of her lavish condominium in New York for a cabin and hardware store in the Alaska wilds. Was she crazy? Sometimes she wondered but since most of what she owed on her condo was still mortgaged, she thought this as an adventurous but satisfying transaction.

When she gets to Alaska, Bruno, her huge dog falls into the water at the docks, followed by Alexandra also falling into the water dressed in her New York finery, has her dog rescued by someone who's identity she has no idea of, then drives off in her sports car into the back wilds of Alaska.

Alexandria wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, enjoy quiet time, and maybe find a husband that would share her quiet life. She is quite taken back when she finds her cabin at the end of a rutted road that her car could not traverse. As she looks over her rustic cabin with its tin roof and very weather ravaged walls, she is unaware that someone is standing nearby looking at her and wondering what this woman was doing here near his cabin. It just so happened that this man, Michael Casey, was the same man that had rescued Bruno at the docks.

Casey and Bruno follow Alex into the cabin and Alex discovers that this cabin only has one room, a loft for sleeping, boarded up windows, and a mess that very much looked like no one had lived there for years. Casey's cabin was only one-quarter mile away from this mess of a cabin but Alex was determined she was going to stay in it and live her wilderness life. Since the inside was so bad, she decided to attempt to sleep in a small tent that first night. Between the bear and moose stories that Casey had told her and the noises she kept hearing, she didn't last long in the tent.

Eventually Alex got to see her hardware store and its strange clerk who lived in a back room of the store. It was filthy and had so little merchandise that a hardware store should have in stock that she started making plans for what she would do to this store and it's antiquated clerk.

Manhunt is filled with page after page of gut wrenching humor along with romantic adventures encountered by Alex in her wild wilderness. It is a fast but terrific read for anyone liking humor and deep woods romance. I have read many of Janet Evanovich's books and have enjoyed them but the humor makes Manhunt one of my favorites.

Reader review by Cy Hilterman.
Reviewer of many types of books.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Statement by Brian Moore

The Statement by Brian Moore is a little more than a pursuit thriller. I stress a little more because it genuinely transcends the "who's going to do it" genre, though overall it misses an opportunity to address some important and potentially fascinating ideas.

Pierre Brossard is the original, but not the only name of a politically right-wing Frenchman who worked with a wartime fascist militia in Vichy France. As part of his duties he was responsible for assisting the transport of Jews to Nazi concentration camps and at least once he organised killings, in particular a massacre of fourteen individuals. He was later tried and convicted, though years later a Presidential pardon meant that he was no longer a wanted man. Still one the run, however, he was convicted of a crime against humanity via a judgment and indeed a jurisdiction that not everyone in France either respected or recognised.

Pierre Brossard's rediscovery of his Roman Catholic faith provided him with something more than solace. Through confession he could secure effective pardon, both within his own and also his sympathisers' minds, where forgiveness was not needed. But also he secured effective support within the minds of sincere devotees of the faith, who often declared themselves more interested in a believer's soul than any debt to history or even the human race.

So, on the run for years, Brossard found haven in a series of religious houses where, in effect, he could come and go incognito, almost as he wished. Meanwhile cheques supplying his financial needs arrived regularly from both known and unknown donors, some connected to societies within the Church, societies that also sympathise with a more traditional form of the faith than that emanating from Rome. Brossard is pursued by the law, a faction of which wants to bring him to justice, whilst another wants to protect him. He is also hunted by an untraceable Jewish group that hires contract killers to do away with him. Paradoxically, the faction of the police that wants to bring him to justice also wants to arrest him to protect him from the assassins. And all this in just over two hundred pages.

And that, perhaps, is the problem. Though the book is well written, well set and constructed, the characters, including Brossard, never attain much more than cameo status. Several of the protagonists express strong opinions about race, culture and faith, but we are never presented with a probing analysis of their motives or identities. The role of the Church in supporting, or at least turning a blind eye towards fascism is mentioned, but not worked through. The schism represented by the Lefevre faction in 1980s France is mentioned, but its ideological foundation is glossed over. The existence of Masonic-type societies within the Church is mentioned, but quite who they are, what they want to achieve and how they operate is largely ignored. Even Brossard's own identity is effectively taken for granted, once we have been introduced to his racism, his anti-Semitism and his ruthlessness.

The Statement of the title refers to a typed sheet carried by Brossard's would-be assassins. It is their intention to pin it to their victim's corpse, thus claiming closure of the case of the wartime massacre of Jews in the village of Dombey.

The plot, as ever in a "who does what", eventually works its way out. I will, of course, not reveal the detail, because with The Statement that would remove the prime reason for reading the book. If some of the other themes the book touches upon had been worked through - even just a little - the book would have provided a more substantial, subtle and sophisticated experience and it would be an interesting read even if the reader knew all the plot. As it is, it fills a couple of hours in an enjoyable, mildly informative and mildly stimulating way.

Philip Spires
Author of Mission, an African novel set in Kenya
http://www.philipspires.co.uk

Friday, January 11, 2008

Six Ways to Achieve Your Resolutions Through Public Speaking

Most New Year's resolutions are about health, fitness, money management, time management and ending bad habits like smoking. And more than half of people who make resolutions have given up by summer.

However, "people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions."**

You may not explicitly make resolutions about public speaking, but here's how public speaking might enhance your 2008 resolutions.

1. Resolution: Get a better job/advance your career

Building public speaking skills can help build your career. You might wish to speak up more at work, or feel more confident when running staff meetings and delivering reports. You might want to get better at networking, develop leadership and communication skills, or provide in-house training to new employees.

Building public speaking skills, gaining confidence in your abilities and taking on new and more advanced roles at work can help you realize your goal of moving up in your field.

2. Resolution: Make more money/get out of debt

Get paid for speaking! You don't have to be a high-powered professional speaker traveling all over the world to make some cash doing it. Believe it or not, you have knowledge that people will pay for.

First, figure out what you know. What are your areas of expertise? What life experiences or stories can you share? How might you be able to help people with your knowledge? Be sure to focus on the benefits to your audience, not just the features (what you know).

Determine your target audience, and then figure out where you might find them. Where do they hang out? What do they read? What groups do they belong to? Start talking to your contacts and looking for events, trade shows, conferences, adult education programs and other venues that use paid speakers.

Finally, don't forget to re-package your materials into audio, video, e-books and other digital media that you can sell online or at the back of the room at speaking engagements. Before you know it, you'll have a nice side income from speaking.

3. Resolution: Volunteer for a local non profit

Community outreach is a critical part of a non profit's work, and because of tight budgets, the more volunteers who can provide outreach, the better!

Nonprofit organizations are always on the lookout for volunteers who make good advocates and educators and can speak clearly, concisely and passionately about the organization's mission, goals, and programs. Public speaking skills can add to your role as a volunteer, and make you a more valuable asset for just about any organization.

Most organizations provide volunteer training, so don't worry about already having expertise in the cause that you want to support. Your enthusiasm, ability to learn, and willingness to give your time are like gold to a nonprofit.

4. Resolution: Learn a new activity or hobby

What better time to take on your fear of public speaking than now? Some people want to jump out of an airplane or climb Mt. Everest, but strong public speaking skills are infinitely more practical and applicable to our lives - for most of us!

Look around your community for adult education classes in public speaking. You're also likely to find more than one Toastmaster club where you can learn basics and practice in a supportive and encouraging environment. And when you're ready to move to the next level, work on your individual issues and boost your skills big time, there's always coaching.

5. Resolution: Start your own business or grow the one you've started

An entrepreneur uses many tools to build her or his business. You want to spread the word about your company, you want to educate the community about the benefits of your product or service, you want to build a client base. One way to achieve all of these goals is through public speaking. Don't forget to include it as one of your marketing efforts.

Improving your skills will help you feel more confident when approaching buyers, negotiating with vendors, speaking to the media, dealing with your customers, talking to bankers, networking, and promoting your business in just about any setting.

6. Resolution: Lose weight and get in shape

Okay, I confess that I can't think of a way to make a connection between weight loss and public speaking. If you think of something, let me know!

When you start to notice how ingrained public speaking is in our daily lives, you realize how often you're doing it without even thinking. Why not make a *conscious* effort to improve your speaking skills and achieve some of your 2008 goals at the same time?

**Auld Lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers, by John C. Norcross, Marci S. Mrykalo, Matthew D. Blagys , University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 58, Issue 4 (2002).

Lisa Braithwaite works with individuals to uncover their challenges and build their strengths in presenting themselves confidently as speakers. Find your voice with public speaking coaching! Sign up for the Presentation Pointers newsletter or a free consultation at www.coachlisab.com. Check out the 7-Week Shortcut to Public Speaking Confidence e-course and the Speak Schmeak blog.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Five Reasons to Sing Out Your Stress

When people find out that I'm a music therapist, the comments I hear most often are "I wish I could sing!" or "Oh, I love to sing, but I'm not good enough to do it in front of anyone". Some of these people tell me that, as children, a parent, teacher or someone else told them that they should just mouth the words because they didn't have a good enough voice.

Singing is our birthright! Singing is a natural and pure expression of how glad we feel to be alive, and the way we show our love of music. Here are my top five reasons to sing:

1. To connect with your body: We sing with our whole bodies. Because singing is so connected to closely with breath, singing helps us "be in our bodies" and let go of the thinking (or worrying) we do much of the day. Singing can be a joyful activity and can release endorphins (those feel-good chemicals that the body creates).

2. To connect with yourself: Meditative toning, singing along to a favourite song or simply humming to yourself are all ways to tap into your inner landscape and see what's going on in there.

3. To connect with others: Singing with other people - in meditation, prayer, at a sing-along, at a concert, or even over the telephone or Internet - helps us experience in a very deep way that we are all truly connected.

4. To express your feelings: Many times a singer, songwriter or composer has expressed our feelings in a way we could never have – if there's a song that expresses what you want or need to say, try singing along (keep in mind that this is just for you and it's not about "sounding good").

5. To boost your good feelings: Whatever you focus on, you'll invite more of into your life. You can choose uplifting, joyful and celebratory songs to sing.

So sing out! Be proud of your own unique voice. Experiment with what works for you – keep a journal of what you notice in your mind and body when you sing specific songs. Then you can choose the right song for the right moment and make use of the power of singing in your own life.

(c) Copyright 2006, Linda Dessau.

Linda Dessau, MTA, CPCC, is a self-care expert, accredited music therapist and certified life coach. Learn more about using singing for stress management, personal growth and spiritual development at http://www.singoutyourstress.com, where you can download the FREE report, "Top 10 Ways to Sing Out Your Stress".

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

5 Ways To Manufacture Good News!

I found myself looking in the mirror this morning, monitoring my energy and creative juices, and I felt light, suddenly.

"I'm going to hear some good news about my book proposal!" I heard myself saying to myself.

And with that, I found there was bounce in my step, and I observed the morning sun, streaming as it was through the kitchen and dining windows, and it was beautifully yellow, and piercing.

In fact, all of my senses were suddenly sharpened, and the feeling of the gas heat rising like a cozy blanket from the floor grates, was very soothing and welcoming.

"What a nice morning!" I thought.

This is the power of good news to change our attitudes, to rouse us from that netherworld of miscellaneous, unnamed aches and pains, and half-emotions.

Good news can bring us back from the undead.

However, there's only one small problem: we don't seem to get good news as regularly or as consistently as we need it.

That's why we have to take special measures to MANUFACTURE it.

It is simply too important to our mental health to be allowed to occur merely by chance. And it is too powerful to place entirely into the hands of other people.

So, how can we create good news every day?

Here are some tips:

(1) Remember past successes. Get that sweet taste of what it has been like to achieve your goals. Savor these memories.

(2) Consider everything for which you can be grateful.

(3) Think of all of your current initiatives that can pay off. Imagine them, one by one, doing so.

(4) Think of at least one new initiative that you can inaugurate, today.

(5) Mentally see yourself harvesting seeds that you have planted long ago, that are dormant, from which you've seen no visible signs of growth. Sprinkle them with your attention, now. Select one or two to nurture with your current energy, knowledge and abilities. Imagine it blooming into something magnificent.

Good news wants to happen, and we want it and need it!

So, if you don't feel it's imminent, for any reason, manufacture it!

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com , is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone®, You Can Sell Anything By Telephone! and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: gary@customersatisfaction.com.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Self Confidence - Expressing Your Uniqueness Is Important and Necessary

The most critical characteristic in achieving any level of success in life is self-confidence. It is the secret to succeeding in both the business world, relationships and personally in your life. But unfortunately, confidence and low self-esteem problems are all too common in society today, and leave many individuals without the necessary self acceptance and strength of character to live their life on their terms.

So what does it mean to "live life on your terms?" This means expressing your natural strengths and attributes without fear or trepidation. And it is only through expressing what is natural in you -- your innate skills, characteristics and desires -- that you can really "succeed" in any area of life.

The opposite of expressing your personal uniqueness is to be found in many people suffering with self-confidence problems. These individuals -- often unknowingly -- have a habit of attempting to "cover up" who they really are, and deny their true personalities. When this happens it is a real loss not only for the individual affected, but for the rest of us as well. Here's why:

Each of us is unique -- we have our own unique strengths, weaknesses, preferences, talents and points of view. When we attempt to hide or cover up our uniqueness, we deprive both ourselves and those around us of an important part of nature. That's right; I used the word "nature."

You see, who you "naturally" are is important, both to you and to the world at large. Think about the old biblical quote encouraging you to not "hide your light under a bushel." This means, don't hide who you truly are from the world, because who you truly are is an important part of the overall whole. It can be no other way.

The problem is that we live in a world where a competitive mindset is rampant. This mindset assumes that you must conform to certain social norms in order to have any value. Hogwash! You have value simply because you are a part of nature and you are here. You can stop your internal dialogue right there -- no further explanation is necessary.

The secret to success in life is to be MORE of who you already are. This means expressing your uniqueness to its fullest, or letting the whole world see your light. Self-esteem issues often cause people to fear rejection, and to believe that they will not be accepted if they let the world know exactly who they are. This belief is one the primary cause of poor self-esteem and confidence issues.

And it is important to keep in mind that when a person subjugates their natural characteristics in an attempt to "fit in," they make themselves miserable, and they make the world a poorer place. Why? Because they are denying the rest of us what is unique about them.

What I'm trying to say is, we (the world) need your uniqueness. The world needs my uniqueness, and every single person's uniqueness. It is critical that we each understand that our natural characteristics and unique qualities are important to the world. Once an individual understands this, self-confidence issues tend to fade rather quickly.

After all, it is difficult to maintain a poor self image when you understand that who and what you are is important to the life of the world.

Jon Mercer is the director of UltraConfidence.com Build Confidence Quickly Using "Positive Brainwashing."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Unusual Traits Of Highly Successful People!

We've all heard about the successful people of this world. We've heard of people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobbs, Richard Branson and so on.

We have also heard what it takes to be successful like these people. We heard you have to save, you have to start your own business, you have to own properties, you have to be prudent with your finances and so on.

While all these are true (they are time tested), there are other traits that I've noticed about many successful people. They are traits people don't notice. They are traits people don't talk about. Traits that make them succeed where many others have failed.

I'm going to share those traits with you today. Make sure you learn from them and more importantly act on them.

Trait One: Successful People Are Always Learning

I was at a seminar not too long ago and I was seated beside a fine gentleman. After the seminar, I gathered he was a multi millionaire that specializes in importing goods from China. I know a lot of people will wonder why someone who is worth over hundred million dollars will be doing in a seminar.

The truth is that most successful people are permanent learners. They always want to learn new things that will give them new ideas as well as new insights into how things are done.

Trait Two: Successful People Always Ask Questions

I've never met any successful person that claims to know it all yet I've met many average people who claim to be experts on all issues on the face of this planet.

Most successful people ask questions about many things. They don't pretend to know it all. In fact, they don't attempt to know it all. That is why they surround themselves with attorneys, accountants and so on.

Trait Three: Successful People Desire More Success

I've met many people that say they will stop working or stop trying to achieve things once they make a million dollars. Most successful people don't think like that. They are always looking for new challenges.

I bet we've all heard of poeple who sold their companies for millions and then start a new business from scratch. That is the spirit and that is why they seem to be forever successful.

I stongly believe these little tricks can help all of us move towards our dreams of becoming extremely successful. Let us make use of them.

We Can All Succeed!

Akin Alabi

Become An Incredibly Magnetic Person Who's Loved, Desired And Admired Everywhere FAST. Visit http://www.ConversationMaster.com For Details.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Healthy Self Esteem Allows You The Pleasure Of Enjoying Success

If you remember anything from this article, please remember this: Healthy self-esteem allows you the pleasure of enjoying and appreciating success.

You can acquire years of education, accumulate wealth, win prestigious awards, be blessed with the most loving relationships and still self-sabotage. Outside barometers of success and happiness won't satisfy you unless and until you like and approve of yourself.

Unhealthy self-esteem sabotages education, wealth, awards and relationships. You'll only achieve what your healthy or unhealthy self-esteem allows you to achieve.

Healthy self-esteem is the backbone of your success. Your self-esteem determines the level of success in both your personal and professional life.

Healthy self-esteem is not an automatic in life. It comes from how you are judging yourself as competent in the important areas of your life. Current self-esteem is based on what you're holding out to be important in your life today.

When working toward your goals, healthy self-esteem allows you to strive for greater success by:

* Giving you more energy and enthusiasm

* Accepting constructive suggestions with an open mind

* Controlling emotions to come from a stronger place of empowerment

* Allowing you to choose how you're going to achieve your goals

* Being a more accepting person

* Knowing who you are and what you want in life

* Having more self-confidence in yourself and your ability to succeed

Why are all those attributes important?

Let me share a story I remember reading a few years ago.

A few years back, during a figure skating championship, a highly ranked skater took a nasty fall at the every end of her original program. The crowd reacted negatively and she quickly became embarrassed, discouraged and disheartened.

Her coach was alarmed by her negativity and took her to a sports psychologist for a battery of tests. After several psychological exams it was reported to the media that each exam showed she was suffering from poor self-esteem.

During the second round of the competition, this magnificently talented skater lost her flair for the dramatic. She refused to try anything too risky and settled for safe. It was amazing how one fall changed the perception she had of her ability as a champion.

She ended up finishing far below her expectations, natural abilities and talents despite many flawless performances in the past.

A retired champion made an interesting observation. He said that if you want to be a champion, you can't allow outside negative forces to influence the mental picture you have of yourself.

He went on to say that this highly talented skater not only allowed the reaction of the crowd to affect her skating performance but, more importantly, she turned out to be her own worst enemy.

Food for thought: No opinion of you is more important than your own.

What's the internal picture you have of your ability to succeed and thrive? I'll say it again; healthy self-esteem allows you the pleasure of enjoying and appreciating success!

Sharon A. Michaels is an e-mentor to women who want to work for themselves. Sharon has over 20 years of business, speaking and writing experience on issues of ending self-sabotage, living in abundance and wealth and making money in network marketing. Sharon offers books, webinars and tele-conferences on how to give yourself the power to succeed.

You can learn more about Sharon Michaels at http://SharonIsMyMentor.com

Sharon A. Michaels is also the Editor of the Abundance and Wealth site on http://www.BellaOnline.com To read more of Sharon's articles and sign up for her weekly newsletter go to http://abundanceandwealth.bellaonline.com

Copyright Sharon A. Michaels - When using this article please give full credit to Sharon Michaels and use the bio as written above.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Build Confidence Without Struggling or Years of Effort

There is a commonly held -- but false -- belief that it takes many years of struggling and hard work to build confidence. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Confidence is not something one gains by "working at it," or studying their behavior and mannerisms over many years. Confidence is the product of the subconscious mind, and can be improved in the blink of an eye -- assuming you use the right techniques.

The problem is, many people assume that confidence comes from simply working harder at being confident. This would make sense if your level of confidence and self-esteem was determined by your conscious mind -- but it's not.

To build confidence, your subconscious mind must undergo a change. It matters very little what you consciously say, think or believe about yourself, because it is the all-important subconscious mind that defines the self image and establishes a person's level of confidence and self-esteem.

So how do you affect this change in the subconscious? Research shows that repetition is one powerful tool to change subconscious assumptions. Think of it this way: when you were first learning to drive a car, you thought about every aspect of driving consciously at all times. At this point, chances are you were not a great driver because you were "over-thinking" things.

But through repetition and practice, you likely got to the point where you did not have to think very much about driving -- it was simply something you did. Once a driver gets to this level, the subconscious mind has taken over and they become very smooth, effortless drivers -- without thinking much about it.

Building confidence works exactly the same way. If you have to give a great deal of conscious thought to your behavior and mannerisms, you will likely not appear very confident to anyone, especially yourself. But through repetition of the right messages, you can reach the point where you are "running on autopilot," just as you do when you drive a car. This is the point where confidence and high self-esteem come naturally to a person, and they seldom have to give it a second thought.

We learn any task or behavior by repetition, and "extreme repetition" will speed up the process immensely. This is how you learned to speak as a child. You were surrounded by people speaking your language, and this extreme repetition bombarded your subconscious mind until it was inevitable that you could speak the language too.

This is also why the best way to learn a new language which is to live in a country where it is spoken. Being surrounded by, and bombarded with, a concept over a period of time ensures that it absolutely will become a part of your nature and personal characteristics. This is exactly how we build confidence. Immersing yourself with confident ideas, suggestions and messages using extreme repetition builds confidence quickly, without years of struggling or "hard work."

Although there are many confidence building programs out there, as a personal development and confidence coach, I always advise clients to steer clear of programs that claim to be able to "teach" self-confidence over a period of time. Self-confidence is not something we "learn." It is something that we mimic, just like language. That's why struggling or working hard for years to build confidence often fails.

The proper way to create a subconscious shift in how you "see" yourself is to use a total immersion program with "extreme repetition." Programs such as the UltraConfidence System use this type of technique to overwhelm the subconscious mind and create a new confident self-image.

Remember, what you consciously think, say or believe doesn't make a whole lot of difference. And you don't need years and years of training to be a confident person. You can bypass all those false assumptions and build confidence without struggling by immersing yourself in a program that uses extreme repetition of concepts and suggestions to create a new "reality" of a new, more confident you.

Jon Mercer is the director of UltraConfidence.com Build confidence quickly using the UltraConfidence System.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Are You Praying Effectively - Part 3

By Mark E. Baker

In the last few studies we have been learning about prayer, and how to pray, and the different types of prayer. In this study we are discussing hindered or unanswered prayer. What hinders your prayer?

We must first realize that God does not hear the prayer of a sinner. The only prayer from a sinner he hears is the prayer of salvation.

John 9:31 "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

This may seem hard on God's part but you have to remember that God restored us to fellowship with Him through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus. The acceptance of this gift and being born again is what opens the door and gives us the right to pray to God as children asking for your rights. You are born again when you accept Christ and become a new creature and joint heirs with Christ. Then and only then do you have the right to go to the Father in prayer for your needs.

There are specific reasons Father God does not hear our prayer, let's look at each of them.

-- Living Bible

Psalms 66:17-19 For I cried to him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it!

Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

God does not hear our prayers if we come before him with unforgiveness in our heart. we are to forgive as we are forgiven.

-- Revised Standard

Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

We are taught in the Lords prayer-- forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. (Mt. 6:12)

When we pray we need to ask the Father God to forgive our sins, both those we know about and those we have committed unintentionally. Intentionally and unintentionally. Too many times we come to God when we need answers, but we concentrate on our needs and not on our relationship with Him. We are to be holy even as He is holy. If you need something in prayer be sure your heart is clean when you go to the throne of grace!

Another reason our prayers may not be heard is unforgiveness toward others. Just as we learned before, we are to forgive others as we have been forgiven. If someone hurts you intentionally or unintentionally, then you need to forgive them. Unforgiveness will block our prayers, and must be dealt with before we can receive the answer to our prayer. How can you listen to God if you are letting anger, resentment, and unforgiveness control your thoughts?

However, this also applies to our own actions, if you have done something that has offended someone either intentionally or unintentionally, you need to go to your brother or sister and ask forgiveness. This is important for several reasons, you cleanse your heart and actions, and you help them receive forgiveness also, so that both are restored in fellowship.

Fellowship with one another as well as fellowship with the Father, so that your prayers are heard.

Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Don't let unforgiveness and strife stand between you and God!

We are to love one another, this is the commandment that Jesus gave us. If you have unforgiveness in your heart, or have offended your brother, then you are not walking in love. Therefor you are not pleasing to God.

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'' Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. In other words, you are not keeping count.

Another reason our prayers are not heard is if we are not praying according to God's will, or in line with His Word. Remember God's Word is His will!

-- Living Bible

Colossians 1:9 So ever since we first heard about you we have kept on praying and asking God to help you understand what he wants you to do; asking him to make you wise about spiritual things;

As we have learned before, we must study God's Word, learn it and know it intimately. When we know His Word, we know his plan for us, and we can remind Him while in prayer of His promises, and He will keep them. God is faithful and He does not lie! He will keep His promises always, but we must stay in a place where we can receive them.

Everything we need, all of life's questions, have answers in God's Word. Learn His promises, lean on Him, and remind Him of His promises and He will hear and answer them.

Jeremiah 1:12 Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

One of the things we need to realize is that we should not pray selfishly. Even if you know God's Word and remind Him of it, if you are praying with the wrong attitude, He will not hear it.

-- Living Bible

James 4:2-3 You want what you don't have, so you kill to get it. You long for what others have, and can't afford it, so you start a fight to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it. And even when you do ask you don't get it because your whole aim is wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure.

We need to examine our hearts! Are we asking God for something we want or need? Are we asking out of selfish reasons, or are we asking because it will make us look better in someone else's eyes, and make us seem more important? Are we asking for something we really want out of selfish motives, and not out of pure motives? Are we demanding an answer in our time and not God's time? Are we asking for worldly reasons and goals and not God's reasons and goals? Are we asking for something that will glorify us and not God?

-- Simple English

Galatians 6:7 Don't be fooled! You cannot mock God. A person harvests only the things which he plants.

Finally are we praying in faith? When we pray we need to believe God hears us and not just hope He does.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

Believe God for the answers, He will give them to you. Don't undo your prayers with doubt. After praying, many people undo their prayer by speaking doubt and unbelief. Speaking doubt and unbelief will undo your prayers. After you pray, keep your confession in line with God's Word. Don't say things like, I wonder if God heard me? God never answers my prayers. This glorifies the devil not God, and opens the door for the enemy to work and shuts the door for God to work. If your prayers are not answered, this is one of the main reasons why! We must keep our words in line with God's words. If we are constantly talking doubt and unbelief, then we are meditating on the things of the enemy and not of God.

After you have prayed, every time you think of the need, you need to thank God and praise Him for the answer.
Pray with forgiveness in your heart, asking God to forgive you of your sins.
Pray and forgive others. Forgive others as Father God has forgiven you.
Pray for the forgiveness of other that you may have offended, and make it right with them and God.
Pray according to His Word.
Pray in faith.

Prayer

Father God, Thank You for Your son Jesus, who gave everything for me. Thank You for His redemption. Thank you for my new life in Christ. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit who will lead me and guide me unto all truth, so that I may pray according to it. Father forgive me for my sins, intentional and unintentional. I purpose in my heart to walk in love toward others, and will forgive others that my prayers will not be hindered. Father I believe Your Word, and believe You will hear my prayer and meet my needs. Thank you for teaching me to pray believing that I have the answers, in Jesus name I pray. Amen

I was raised Catholic, and was born again at the age of 17. I received God's call into ministry at the age of 19 and began to prepare for ministry. I graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in 1979. The Lord has called me to teach. My desire is to help all that are seeking the truth to come into a deeper understanding of what God has done for us through Christ Jesus. Olive Branch Ministries is an outgrowth of that desire. Please feel free to visit us for more free studies and resources to help you in your search for the truth. Mark Baker http://www.olivebranchministries.us

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Stress Management - Your Financial Stress Level and What to Do About It

Financial worry is one of the biggest stress-producers around and it is a multi-level challenge.

Obviously, there is the imbalance between spending and saving, and perhaps heavy debt. Then you are dealing with your emotional frustration and worry about how to make ends meet, whether you are merely living from paycheck to paycheck or fending off collection agents. At the high and severe levels of stress, you are almost certainly experiencing guilt and shame, because you judge yourself for creating this mess. You may also judge yourself through the eyes of your parents, society in general, or God.

At all levels of financial stress, I have noticed people experiencing self-judgment around their decisions, their spending, their lack of discipline, their greed, and so forth. If debts are high, or they are frequently overdrawn, they often seem to have a subconscious guilt related to "stealing," or using money that isn't really their own.

Check out your level of stress related to money and take in the tips below for help with getting your finances under control for less stress.

In these scenarios, stress-reduction will come mainly from solving the financial problems that you face! For each level of financial stress, you will need a step-by-step approach to regaining control of your spending, debt and savings. Taking positive action will begin to reduce your level of stress and consistently following your plan will eliminate most of the financial stress. Your ultimate aim is permanent habitation in the category of Low Financial Stress.

In addition, whatever your level of financial stress, with all of the tips below cultivate an attitude of self-compassion. Be kind, gentle and loving with yourself. Judging yourself and your previous decisions will only make your stress levels worse. Forgive yourself and focus on moving forward with wiser choices. Accept that you got yourself to your current situation and you can get yourself out of it. You might as well be loving with yourself in the process!

Low Financial Stress: Do you save money from every paycheck, pay bills on time, have zero credit card balances each month and have a substantial financial cushion stashed away? Congratulations! Keep up the good work. Encourage your friends in the following categories to follow your good example!

Moderate Financial Stress: Do you worry about how to handle the bills every payday? Do you squeak by with no savings or cushion for unforeseen expenses? You need to take control before finances and stress levels spiral out of control! Here are some tried and true tips:

1. Create a budget and stick to it. At bill-paying time and before shopping, consult your budget. For daily expenses, consider the old-fashioned method of cash in envelopes -- so much for each category for the week and that's it.

2. Each payday, pay yourself first with a deposit to savings. Create separate savings plans for special needs such as a new car, a college fund for kids, a vacation, or Christmas gifts.

3. Write out your spending patterns in great detail. Then find ways to cut your expenses. Involve the whole family in planning and tracking your success. There are a number of great websites with creative tips for frugal homemakers and budgeting strategies.

4. Consider temporarily increasing your income by moonlighting, to build up a nest egg.

5. Create a vision for yourself and your family for the benefits of having money in the bank and spending according to your prioritized plan! If everyone focuses on a mutual goal, you can have fun in the process of creating a solid financial base.

6. If you practice a religious faith, turn your financial intentions over to God on a daily basis.

7. Build in small, low-cost rewards for yourself and family members to celebrate taking control of finances and reducing worry and stress. You should feel significant stress relief knowing you have steadily growing savings and you are in control of spending.

High Financial Stress: Are your credit cards maxed out? Are you making minimum payments and paying high interest? In addition to the tips above, try the following:

1. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can get your finances back on track. Imagine how it will feel to be in financial control again -- relaxed, confident, stress-free, peaceful. Get a vivid sense of what that will be like for you and envision this low-stress financial success at least once a day. Focusing on your goal will help you hold true to your intentions while taking the needed actions.

2. Call Consumer Credit Counseling (1-800-355-2227) or another non-profit consumer credit agency if you want help with budgeting.

3. Create a debt-elimination plan and stick to it. The best advice I have seen is to pay off smaller loans with high interest as fast as possible and then apply that amount of money to reduction of the next high interest loan, etc. I did this some years ago and can say that ridding yourself of debt feels great and definitely lowers stress!

4. Cut up all but one credit card and put it somewhere difficult to access, to be used only in case of a genuine emergency.

5. Change your thinking about money. If you have spent freely without keeping track, begin to track your spending ruthlessly. Carry a small notebook and write down every penny you spend. Ask yourself before making a purchase if it is something you really need. If not, walk out of the store (or away from your computer!) and cool off. Again, reward yourself for these small successes and savor the instant reduction in stress with each wise decision.

Severe Financial Stress: Are you behind in payments and getting calls from collection agencies? Are you facing foreclosure?Are you considering bankruptcy? In addition to all the tips above, you need to do major problem solving to get back on track.

1. Check with a couple of bankruptcy attorneys to get their opinions and fee structures. But before you file . . . .

2. By all means, call Consumer Credit Counseling (1-800-355-2227) for assistance. They may be able to help you prevent bankruptcy.

3. Depending on your income level, there may be local agencies that can help your family avoid homelessness, keep the utilities on, etc. Call your local United Way or social services agency for referrals.

4. If you are a shopaholic, join a support group or get professional counseling. If you gamble, join Gamblers Anonymous.

5. While relaxing may be the last thing you think possible, it is important right now to relax as much as possible. So, go for a walk, take a hot bath, watch a movie, have a nap. When you relax, you are usually able to see more solutions and have energy to take positive action. When you are doing all that you can to meet your challenges in good faith, you will feel less stress.

You will begin to create a positive, upward-spiraling effect.

6. If you experience Severe Financial Stress, probably the most important thing you can do is reach out for help. In this time of advertising hype promoting credit over-use, you are far from alone in your dilemma. Act now to get assistance, so you know exactly where you stand and exactly what you need to do to turn your financial situation around. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has a 24-hour automated line (1-800-388-2227) with office listings around the country. When you realize help is available, and you can see a workable plan, your stress load will lighten.

Depending on your level of financial stress, try the tips suggested here to create new directions for less stress and greater enjoyment of life. Resolving your money issues is almost guaranteed to lower stress and increase your sense of fulfillment and personal peace. Remember to be compassionate with yourself as you go forward, as this will also help to lower stress while you work through the practical steps to financial well-being.

Meanwhile, if you want more stress reduction tips, I invite you to sign up for my free 17 Simple Stress Solutions, at http://www.powerofpersonalpeace.com/optin.htm Check out my articles on success, less stress, and my Ask Dr. Ilenya advice column at my blog, http://lovingyoursuccess.blogspot.com

Dr. Ilenya Marrin is a spiritual counselor, inspirational speaker and author of ebooks The Power of Personal Peace: Reducing Stress by Loving Yourself from the Inside Out and 77 Loving Steps for Success.

Career Change - From Teaching to a Road Map to Success!

Many times after a few years teaching, teachers begin looking for a career change. Often the planned change may mean a breakaway from the stress of face to face teaching, or insensitive administrations and at times uninterested parents.

The majority of teachers find their jobs rewarding and the interaction with their charges fulfilling and satisfying, but some find the changes to the schooling environment leads to stress and the feeling they could be doing something better. After a few years, these teachers will begin looking for a career change.

A career change for teachers can mean a move sideways in their field. There are openings for teachers to change their field without really leaving their chosen occupation. From face to face teaching there are opportunities in distance education or in writing training books and developing the overall curriculum. Private tuition and tutoring are other means of finding a career change for Teachers. Then going behind the scenes and helping create the resources for the syllabus could be the direction to take.

If the career change for teachers is prompted by a need to leave the teaching field altogether, then the teacher can look at various other venues of employment that will utilize their specific skills. A teacher has a range of skills that will translate well into other fields. Good communication skills, research abilities, administration experience and people skills can help a teacher find new employment in another industry.

Teachers can find new careers in any field, if they need to hone skills required for a new career a good approach is to attend college locally while teaching. Distance and internet learning are other viable options.

A career change for teachers might involve getting away from interacting with students and concentrate on interacting with the public, or with the elderly. They may look for a career where they can work with their hands, creating things rather than sculpting young minds. The tactile thrill of woodwork, horticulture, art or writing might lead to a career change for teachers, with great results.

A teacher already has demonstrated skills in so many areas they are likely to find other employment relatively easy to find. So many areas of employment will necessitate some training. When a career change for teachers comes along, after finding employment the teacher could well find their special skill in communication and teaching becomes a bonus to their new employer. They can help train new employees, teach courses in customer service skills, demonstrate the company's products at trade shows and other venues, and add other information to the employee's knowledge base.

A career change for teachers can lead to a job where they are less stressed and likely get paid more. They can still use the skills they have developed and the knowledge they have stored over years of teaching experience. The outlook for a career change for teachers is good, if they have done the training to become a qualified teacher they are highly employable and will not find work hard to find in any field in which they have an interest.

John Groth is a former HR executive and career coach. On his web site find Career Change Ideas ,valuable articles and a Free seven day career planning guide. Discover up to date career and recruitment strategies at our Employment Ideas Guide all to assist you in advancing and managing your career.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

10 Brain Health and Fitness New Year's Resolutions - Train Your Brain

You have survived the 2007 shopping and eating season. Congratulations! Now it's time to shift gears and focus on 2008...whether you write down some New Year resolutions or contemplate some things that you want to let go of from last year and set intentions and goals for this year - as is a friend's tradition on the winter solstice.

To summarize the key findings of the last 20 years of neuroscience research on how to "exercise our brains", there are three things that we can strive for: novelty, variety and challenge. If we do these three things, we will build new connections in our brains, be mindful and pay attention to our environment, improve cognitive abilities such as pattern-recognition, and in general contribute to our lifelong brain health.

With these three principles of brain health in mind - novelty, variety and challenge - let me suggest a few potential New Years resolutions, perhaps some unexpected, that will help you make 2008 a year of Brain Health and Fitness:

1. 2008 Primaries and Elections: If you haven't yet done so, register to vote - active participation is good for your brain health. But, before rushing out to vote, take some time to think through the criteria you want to set up to evaluate who deserves your vote. Don't let politicians and their spin doctors set your agenda. Ask yourself, what matters most to me? What type of President do I think we need? Why? I personally find it quite intriguing that no candidate so far is resurrecting the "It is the economy, stupid" mantra, and proposing solid plans to get our economy back on track.

2. Next time out shopping: Don't let advertisers treat you as if you were Pavlov's Dog - remember the dog that was trained to salivate automatically every time a bell rang. There is a whole industry out there trying to make you buy stuff on impulse. Notice your reactions to a movie trailer or a TV ad Resist. Be the true "Decider". For bonus points, once you learn to identify and manage your own buying impulses, try explaining this to your kids...

3. Reading habits: If you usually read non-fiction, try something new this season. Pick up a good fiction book. Or vice versa. For bonus points, subscribe to or simply read a new magazine, perhaps one that your partner craves? It will help you understand another perspective.

4. Learn about the Brain: Pick up one of the books in the Science section in your bookstore. In the unlikely scenario that you read as many brain-related books as I do, pick up some Russian poetry book and let's discuss this instead.

5. At work: Find, or create, an intellectually and socially stimulating new job for yourself at your current workplace or a new one. Engaging work has been shown to contribute to lifelong cognitive performance. At the very least, go out of your way to make whatever job you have more stimulating: try talking to a new colleague or client everyday and learn a new thing about them. You will not remember everything, but surely more than if you don't even try.

6. Gratitude vs. the Subprime mess: With increasing coverage of economic woes, the subprime mess, recession risk, the falling dollar and a ballooning deficit, it is easy to lose perspective and become depressed. Which doesn't help anyone, much less our brains. To put things in perspective, it pays off to devote some time to keep a Gratitude Journal and simply scribble a few notes a day. For bonus points: do this while you are watching TV news and share your notes with your partner.

7. Cultivate your Critical-thinking abilities: Ask yourself, "Where is the evidence?" at least once a day - see points 1&2 above. Don't just believe this article. Even if it had been endorsed by 20 Harvard Medical School researchers and doctors, nothing substitutes your own brain in action. And the more you practice, the more you refine your judgment.

8. Participate in creating a better environment. Our planet, our families, our communities, our schools, all can benefit from our help. What project do you care enough to commit some of your time to in 2008? If you have school age kids, have you considered joining the school board?.

9. Computer-based programs: With the growing number of "brain training" products, you may be thinking of giving one a try, either for you or for a loved one. As mentioned in point number 2 above, it makes sense to do some research before making a purchase.

10. Where to start? OK, now you have read many suggestions, resolve to keep at least one of them...which one will you choose?.

Enjoy a Happy and Fruitful 2008, for you and your loved ones!

Copyright (c) 2007 SharpBrains

Alvaro Fernandez is the CEO and Co-Founder of SharpBrains.com, which provides the latest science-based information for Brain Exercise combined with fun Mind Teasers. SharpBrains has been recognized by Scientific American Mind, MarketWatch, Forbes. Alvaro holds MA in Education and MBA from Stanford University, and teaches The Science of Brain Health at UC-Berkeley Lifelong Learning Institute. You can learn more at http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog