Wednesday, 15 July 2020

P Power of Positive Faith

Count Your Blessings

The words that have resonated with me lately come from an old song. The words state: "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings; see what God has done...”

Recently, we experience an ice storm in Dallas and many of us had been stuck in our homes for at least 3 days (those braver than me ventured out). But as I sat for my morning prayer and Bible reading time, my mind must have gone to a place of thinking that I hope I can get out of here today. I started smiling to myself because all of a sudden, I could hear that song playing in the background of my mind. I smiled to myself because I knew immediately that it was a way that the Holy Spirit was saying to me to stop it.

You see, I really believe the Holy Spirit was urging me to think about what I was subconsciously thinking about!  You see so many times we are not aware of what we are thinking about. We just go with the flow. We allow seemingly innocent, insignificant thoughts flow through our brains every minute of every day without giving any consideration to the consequences of those thoughts.

I got to tell you, I am one who is high on watching your thoughts propaganda.  Why? Because that's where we determine whether or not we will be positive or negative people; whether we will be victims or victorious; whether we will be those who are snared by circumstances or whether we will be energized by them.

To go back to my original thought of counting our blessings, that particular morning, in my quiet time of reflection and reinforcement, I could have allowed my mind to wander; to think how awful it was to be stuck in the house for 3 days. I could have thought that I had done all the Christmas decorating that I could; that even if I wanted to do more, I could not go out and buy the red or green rug I wanted to decorate the guest powder room. Let me tell you, that I could have gotten on a roll too! I needed more Christmas cards, but I couldn't get to the store to purchase them! There were many things that could have begun to unravel in my mind and if I had allowed it, it would have turned into a plethora of secret complaints of being stuck in my house.

Instead, that song came to mind and it brought with it warmth. That warmth brought a smile that brought joy; that feeling caused me to think not of what I could not do or have, rather, it created in me an attitude of reflection on being thankful. I looked around the room I was sitting in and looked out through the windows of that room into the ice cold of the trees. I could see the ice sickles on the branches and thought, you are blessed beyond measure. I then begin to think about how grateful I was to be sitting in a lovely, warm and comfortable home. I thought of the trip I had just returned from in Cuba where people did not have 1/4th of what I had, but they were happy. Just thinking of them changed from attitude about me and my situation to others who brought me joy just thinking of them. I thought of how blessed my life had been and is right now; that kind of thinking clearly brought me happiness.

You see what happened don't you? I turned what could have been a negative and grumpy morning to one of joy, happiness and thankfulness.

I want you to think of how important it is to be intentional in guarding your minds. In Philippians 4:8, we are cautioned to do just that.  “Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about these things."

You see, if we are not aware of the smallest things that affect our thoughts, like allowing our minds to innocently go to places where it can cause us to complain, eventually our words and actions will follow those negative thoughts. God wants us to be aware of ourselves and to be aware of the devices that can leave us vulnerable to deception and negativity.

Don't feel bad if you see yourself in this; I found myself in this and had to take control of my thoughts too. I don't like being uncomfortable; I don't like not having conveniences; none of us do. But we can learn to be okay when we are inconvenience. Whether we are up or down, with electricity or without; can go shopping or forced to stay at home, we can find something good, true and positive about any of those situations as long as we are willing to check our attitudes to make they are positive.

Remember, we are not asked to thank God for everything; just in everything. Watch your mind and you decide where it will wander off to; don't let it default to a negative place. God wants us to trust Him to help us do what we need to do and think how we should think, How? Intentionally turn your mind and your thoughts over to Him.

Now go ahead....count your blessings, name them one by one....

Columnist: LaSharnda Beckwith

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Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, PhD, MBAA, MA, BPS, is an Empowerment Advocate, personal life coach, motivational speaker & leadership expert. She knows that in order for anyone to experience success in their personal or professional lives, there must be a fundamental change in attitude. One cannot be or think negatively and expect positive results. In addition, she loves to interact where she can encourage, enable, empower and energize others.  She is a retired executive of more than 26 years with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. She retired as Vice President of Eastern Operations. She is currently a Professor in the School of Management at Texas Woman’s University. She is an author and talk show host. Her new book, When You're Happy With You focuses on helping others find value, build self confidence, self-esteem and confront issues that may be holding them back and is currently available online through Xulonpress.com/bookstore, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.  Her radio talk show “Living Happy Every Day with Dr. LaSharnda” can be heard on www.LATalkradio.com, channel 1.

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