Bird Waking

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In his book The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale told of a successful businessman who was always in a rush. Each morning he jumped out of bed and hit the ground running. He was in such a hurry to get the day started that he made soft-boiled eggs “because they slid down fast.” Then one morning as he looked outside his window, he noticed a bird waking from his night’s sleep. The bird slept with his head under his wing and his feathers pulled around his little body. As he awoke, he pulled his bill from under his feathers and stretched one leg. Next he wrapped his wing like a fan over the leg. Then he repeated the process with the other leg. Resting a bit more, he laid his head on his feathers for a quick nap and then poked out his head again. This time the bird threw his head back, stretched his wings and legs and sent up a thrilling, melodic song of praise to the day. After hopping down from the limb, he dunked his beak in the bird bath and then started looking for breakfast. The high-strung, tense businessman said to himself, “If that’s the way the birds get up, sort of slow and easy like, why wouldn’t it be a good method for me to start the day that way?”

What can we learn from our fair feathered friend about starting our day?

He woke up slowly.
He stretched.
He paused for a meditation.
He sang a song of praise.
He refreshed himself with water.
He went in search of food.

“This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Let’s remember to wake up slowly with a time for meditation and praise to our creator.

Hole in the Wall Prayer

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Norman Vincent Peale, in his book The Power of Positive Thinking, tells the story of a man who opened a small New York City business and described it as a “little hole in the wall.” In order to grow the business this man vowed to fill the “little hole in the wall” with prayers and optimistic thoughts. He used his own creative thinking and a curious formula that he credits for his very successful business operation. The formula for this three-point prayer method is...



The man practiced a daily system of creative prayer. When he encountered a problem, he talked it over with God by praying without ceasing. He conceived God as being present in his home, his office, and his car. God was as near as his closest friend. He discussed everything with God in a natural, normal tone of voice. God's presence dominated his conscious and unconscious thinking. Living by prayer, he "prayerized" his life. By prayerizing his mind, he was able to influence his actions.


The next step of the “curious formula” was to “picturize” the future. In psychological terms Peale called this type of visualization a “realizable wish.” The belief is that when success or failure is picturized, it tends to actualize.

This idea has been expressed throughout the ages:

  • Proverbs 23:7: “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
  • Psychologist-philosopher William James: "Belief (confidant thought) creates the actual fact".
  • Clergyman William Ellery Channing: "Secret study, silent thought, is the mightiest agent in, human affairs. What a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward Thought.”
  • Rev. Jonathan Edwards: "The ideas and images (thoughts) in men's mind are the invisible powers that constantly govern them
  • Henry Ford: "Whether you think you can or think you can't-you are right."

Today, psychologists refer to Peale’s picturizing as creative visualizing or imaging. With this strategy a person doesn’t just think about success, he or she sees success.

Peale was quick to point out the importance of praying about a matter and testing it according to God’s will before picturizing it happening. When considering this technique, it’s important to pray for God’s direction and will. Then, once you are convinced that you are moving in God’s will, imprint a picture in your mind as if it is happening. Surrender the picture to God’s will and follow his guidance in his timing at his pace. When picturizing, we must remember to do our part to achieve success in the matter.


If you have petitioned God’s help in the situation and visualized it getting resolved according to God’s plan, you will be amazed at how the picture is actualized. Peale’s belief was that what we prayerize and picturize will actualize when we invoke God’s power on it and give ourselves fully to its realization.

A realizable wish + God’s power + your power = actualization.

Is there something that God is asking you to do that you need to actualize? Why not try to prayerize and picturize it?

God's Tempo

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One of my favorite family vacations when I was a little girl was to Callaway Gardens. I experienced the thrill of life under the big top watching the “Flying High” Circus show. I was mesmerized by the skill of the swinging trapeze artists as they executed their dynamic tricks swinging from bar to bar. Their movements required precise timing and made me gasp and then “ooh” and “ahh!” These artists knew the art of synchronization.

What does it mean to be synchronized? Synchronization is a timekeeping mechanism that keeps a system in unison. The conductor of an orchestra serves to keep the orchestra in time. If the orchestra goes faster than the conductor, the two systems are not in sync. The orchestra will finish before the conductor if the two systems don’t work together on their pace.

In our spiritual life we need to practice synchronization too. We need to be in sync with God’s tempo. God is our conductor who serves to keep our body, mind, and spirit in time. Our lives function best when they’re lived in God’s rhythm. God’s rhythm is seen in his pattern of growth and rest. To create his masterpiece, God spent six days working and then had a day of rest. God’s rhythm often requires us to slow down in order to get in sync with him.

The big challenge is to get our rhythm in sync with God’s. Sometimes musicians use a metronome in order to establish a consistent tempo. A metronome is any device that produces regular, metrical beats. These ticks represent a fixed pulse; some metronomes also include synchronized visual motion like a pendulum or a swing. What can be use as our spiritual metronome? What can we do to understand and get in rhythm with God?

We can observe the tempo of God’s creation. Listen to the melodies of the birds, frogs, crickets, and cicadas. Take note of the steady rhythm of their songs. We see his rhythm in the consistent rise and fall of the ocean tide and in the dependable rising and setting of the sun. God created nature to move in these predictable and steady beats. He created us to follow his steady beat also.

God’s beat is found in his Word and through communication with him. Scripture tells us the pace we are to live.

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19 & 20)

He orders our steps at his pace. He directs our paths at his pace. He leads us by the way we should go at his pace. He teaches us the way to go at his pace. He guides us continually at his pace.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord … ”(Psalm 37:23)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalm 32:8)

“For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.” (Psalm 48:14)

“The Lord will guide you continually …” (Isaiah 58:11)

God makes everything beautiful in his time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Let's find his tempo.

Divine Energy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Isaiah 42:29.

You could make a pretty good case that there are really just two kinds of energy: potential and kinetic. Potential energy is stored and ready to be used. It is energy available for work. There is water in the pipes in my house. The water in the pipe is available but not being used. As long as the water stays in the pipe, it is only potential energy. When the valve is released, the water flows and is in use. This is kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the application of energy. While potential energy is “energy-waiting-to-happen,” kinetic energy is “happening energy.”

My legs hold potential energy. When I take a step forward, they become kinetic energy. When a student holds a rubber band in his hand, he is holding potential energy (as well as the potential for a trip to the principal’s office!). When he releases the rubber band as a missile toward the teacher, he is demonstrating kinetic energy (and is also on his way to the principal’s office!).

I enjoy eating at The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. As I sit at the large picture window, I see the Old Mill and the beautiful rock filled stream. The water is potential energy. Once it goes into the water wheel at the mill, the wheel begins to turn producing work grinding corn into meal which eventually becomes corn meal. As long as the water is outside the wheel, it is potential energy. The water is beautiful to observe or wade into, but it is not being used in work. It is only when the water enters the wheel that it becomes kinetic. The water goes from a state of rest to a state of action.

God gives us this same type of energy flow. It’s Divine Energy. In fact, God created all the energy in the universe. The Creator is the source of all energy and can provide us all the energy sources we will ever need. The Holy Spirit is available to fill us with God’s power and energy.. We just need to have our heart and mind in tune with God in order to have our vessel filled. Simply by asking him to dwell within us, he will fill us with his power. As long as we keep the Spirit bottled up in us, we are not expending that potential energy. Once we choose to use that energy, it becomes kinetic, active.

In him we live (have vitality), and move (have dynamic energy) and have our being (attain completeness). Acts 17:28

The key is to stay connected to the energy source, for we will lose our spiritual energy if we don’t. Let’s choose to live and move in him this week!

Dear God, I get my vitality and energy from you. You make me complete. I ask the Holy Spirit to dwell within me. Fill me with Divine power and energy to do all things pleasing in thought, word, and actions today.

(Art work by Robyn Webber.)

Biblical Affirmations

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One of my favorite childhood stories was The Little Engine that Could. In the tale a long train must be pulled over a high mountain. Various larger engines are asked to pull the train, but for different reasons they refuse. Then the request is sent to a small engine, who agrees to try. The engine succeeds in pulling the train over the mountain while repeating the motto: "I-think-I-can." The book is used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work.

By repeating the motto, “I-think-I-can,” the train convinced himself that he could do a feat that seemed impossible. By repeating affirmations, we too can learn to can think positive thoughts that will help us achieve the seemingly impossible.

Affirmations are short positive statements that target a specific set of beliefs. They challenge and undermine negative beliefs and replace them with positive beliefs. It is a kind of "brainwashing" only you get to choose which negative beliefs to wash away. The idea is to focus your mind on an aim and to build an image in your conscious mind which will affect your subconscious.

Affirmations evoke positive images in your mind and are always stated in the present tense. Making statements in the present programs you subconscious mind to believe that what you affirm is already happening. Your mind is helping you to make the circumstance actually happen.
Affirmations help us knock out the feelings of insecurity and create a positive pattern of ideas. Instead of thinking thoughts of defeat and ineffectiveness, we can think thoughts of faith and courage.

Long before the New Age movement began promoting the use of affirmations, the Bible instructed us to think on these things: whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. These are biblical affirmations. Scripture is filled with life affirming principles that encourage us in our daily walk. These passages remind us that when we face life’s uncertainties, we have the constant presence and support of God.

I encourage you to use the following biblical affirmations to remind you that “nothing is impossible with God.”

I believe nothing is too hard for the Lord. Gen. 18:14
I believe the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are acceptable to you. Psalm 19:14
I believe the Lord is my light and my salvation, so I do not need to fear. Psalm 27:1
I believe the Lord is good and am blessed because I trust in him. Psalm 34:8-9
I believe you will show me the path of life. Psalm 16:11
I believe in your presence there is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11
I believe everything has a season. Eccl. 3:1.
I believe there is time for every purpose under heaven. Eccl. 3:1

I am content with such things as I have. Heb. 13:5
I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind Mt. 22:37
I believe when I pass through the waters the Lord is with me. Is. 43:2
I believe when I pass through the rivers, they shall not overflow me. Is 43:2.
I believe when I pass through the fire, I shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch me. Is. 43:2.
I believe He who is in me is greater than He who is in the world. 1st Jon. 4:4.
I believe God is pouring out on me such a great blessing Mal. 3:10
I believe my blessings are great and there is not room enough to receive it,
Mal. 3:10
I am of good cheer and not afraid Mt. 14:27.
I am walking before God in truth and with a loyal heart. 2nd Kings 20:3.
I am doing what is good in the sight of the LORD 2nd kings 20:3
I believe the LORD’S purpose is prevailing in my life Pro. 19: 21
I believe with God, all things are possible Mk. 10:27
I believe the Lord is fighting for me Ex. 14:14

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