Make Your Life Better

20 Jun Church Universal

5 Things To Do Today

On those days we must turn to the scientifically proven rituals that are within our control and guaranteed to improve our well-being. Here are 5 habits to do every day for a better life, and none of them cost more than a few dollars to get started.

1) Give Gratitude

Being grateful should not be limited to Thanksgiving. As The New York Timesreported, “having gratitude has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.”

It’s tempting to let one’s cynical nature reject the idea. I almost did. I grew up relatively poor on a farm just outside of Stratford, a small city in Ontario, Canada. We lived frugally, wore hand-me-down clothes, and clipped coupons for groceries. This upbringing left me with a scarcity mindset until my early thirties. When I was first introduced to the concept of gratitude, I was skeptical and wanted to reject it. But I gave it a try and added daily gratitude journaling to my habits. It’s become one of the most important parts of my life, and will add to yours as well.

If you don’t already have a copy of the Gratitude Journal we created, please get one here. It takes just a few minutes to fill out. You’ll simply list the people, things, and activities you are grateful for, and the achievements you made each day. If you are going through any type of health, financial, or marital struggles, I promise gratitude journaling will give you the right perspective on life.

 

2) Meditate for Minutes

How much would you pay for a pill that promises less anxiety, more focus, improved patience, greater creativity, and a better memory, all without side effects? All of these benefits are freely available to you through meditation.

It does not take long, nor is it difficult to experience the benefits. As little as a minute of slow, deep breathing calms you down and lowers blood pressure, and just a few minutes per day delivers an incredible return on investment. Click here for a 3-minute meditation program.

Admittedly, it’s not an easy habit to keep. I started and stopped several times before finally making meditation a daily habit in 2013 and it’s now been almost 1,000 days in a row I’ve meditated for at least 5 minutes. The secret is to effortlessly incorporate it into your daily routine, and that will likely mean doing it within the first thirty minutes of waking up.

Sit comfortably, either in a chair or on the floor (with your hips elevated on cushions to make it comfortable). Bend your arms, palms up, touch your index finger to your thumb, close your eyes, and breathe slow and deep. It’s okay if your mind races. If that happens, return your focus to your breathing. When I began meditating, I counted the number of breaths, and tried to do one more breath each day. Do whatever it takes to get started, and eventually you’ll come to love the internal benefits of feeling calm and being better able to control your emotions.

Start with just a minute for the first few days. If you can go longer, that’s fine. Next week aim for two minutes. Build up to at least five minutes, and preferably 15-20 minutes per day. It will make a world of difference in your physical and mental health…for free.

3) Write a Thank-You Card to Someone Every Day

My father, whom I loved dearly, was a bitter, jealous man, and I’ve fought all my life to escape the shadow of his demons. Two summers ago I found myself jealous over the success of a good friend. Feeling ashamed of these thoughts, I decided to turn bitter into better. Instead of envying my friend, I wrote him a note thanking him for being an industry leader and congratulating him on his success.

Writing the thank you card was a big mental breakthrough. It lifted a burden of guilt from my heart. A big smile crossed my face as I dropped it in the mail knowing it would arrive as a surprise. Now I write a thank you note every day because this little act of appreciation has made a big difference in my life.

4) The 3 Es: Exercise, Eat Right, & be Early to Rise

We are incredibly fortunate to eat whatever and wherever we want. One of the greatest meals I ever had was a rich, five course lunch at the Antinori winery in Tuscany. But tempting as it might be, we can’t eat like that everyday. It’s fine to enjoy one or two meals of your favorite food and drink in moderate amounts each week, but history proves a rich diet is a recipe for gout, diabetes, and an early death. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to eat delicious meals made from nutrient dense, organic foods.

When it comes to exercise, you don’t need a $5,000 treadmill or $2,500 weight machine set-up in a dedicated home gym. You’ll look and feel better – and younger – from a simple program of walking and bodyweight exercises.

Finally, it pays to be Early To Rise. My longtime mentor and ETR’s founder, Mark Ford, shared one simple tip for giving me more energy. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. When I took Mark’s advice on this, after ignoring him for years, it was like finding the missing piece of my daily energy puzzle. Gone were the 2 o’clock energy slumps, the Monday morning blahs, and the desire to hit the snooze alarm. It’s so simple, yet so effective.

5) Think Big

You don’t have to be told this twice. As an ETR reader, you’re already successful, and you’ve been thinking big since the day you were born. But there are benefits to formalizing your big thinking.

James Altucher, best selling author of Choose Yourself, suggests writing down 10 big ideas every morning. I recommend doing this before or after your morning meditation session. All you need is a journal and a pen. Add this exercise to your day to ward off the complacency that might be creeping into your life. It will help you make big breakthroughs on any problems in your business and personal life.

These five activities remind me of my great fortune every day, give me the energy and enthusiasm to keep on pushing on during trying times, and form the foundation of my spiritual and physical wellbeing. I am a lucky man, fortunate to count you as a friend and to have had success in business, and these five habits remind me of that everyday. Add them to your daily routine and I know you’ll get as much from them as I do.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-ballantyne/5-things-to-do-today-to-m_b_10527872.html

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By the death religion has been defended, faith increased, the #Church strengthened;

15 Feb

Blessed Feast of the Martyrdom of the 21 New Coptic and Ethiopian Martyrs of Libya!

“By the death of martyrs religion has been defended, faith increased, the Church strengthened; the dead have conquered, the persecutors have been overcome. And so we celebrate the death of those of whose lives we are ignorant. So, too, David rejoiced in prophecy at the departure of his own soul, saying: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.’ He esteemed death better than life. The death itself of the martyrs is the prize of their life. And again, by the death of those at variance hatred is put an end to.”

+ St. Ambrose of Milan, On Belief in the Resurrection

Read more:
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=575617979279521&substory_index=0&id=151740721667251

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#Prayer and #Politics #ChurchUniversal #God #Jesus

11 Feb

Arizona legislator Steve Montenegro has his own definition of prayer.
Arizona legislator Steve Montenegro has his own definition of prayer.

The Arizona Legislature has a new policy when it comes to prayer.

House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, a Republican, adopted an invocation policy Jan. 27 that defines prayer as a "solemn request for guidance and help from God."

Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, an atheist, said the policy makes him feel "disenfranchised."

Here’s the expanded statement in a memo Montenegro sent to state representatives:

"Prayer, as commonly understood and in the long-honored tradition of the Arizona House of Representatives, is a solemn request for guidance and help from God.

"A Member’s request to lead the prayer, or to invite a member of the clergy to lead the prayer, is an avowal that the request is for the stated purpose. Members who wish to observe a moment of silence, recite a poem, express personal sentiments or speak rather than pray, should rise to a point of personal privilege to do so."

Given the complexity and interpretation of prayer, we can’t put Montenegro’s statement up for a fact-check. But we had a hunch that not all definitions of public prayer included requests made to a higher power.

Not just the man upstairs

Arizona House of Representatives press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Montenegro wanted to give members written guidance on prayer during meetings. Before his policy, she said, invocations varied with leadership.

"In the absence of a written policy, the majority leader wanted to give members written guidance, that guidance is based on controlling U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the First Amendment," Grisham said.

She cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, in which the court, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld prayer at public meetings in the town of Greece, New York.

"Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government, to alter or define and that willing participation in civic affairs can be consistent with a brief acknowledgement of their belief in a higher power, always with due respect for those who adhere to other beliefs."

However, the operative word there is "can."

Kennedy also made it clear in his opinion that restricting religious speech to certain "religious words" such as "Lord God" would be unwise:

"Because it is unlikely that prayer will be inclusive beyond dispute, it would be unwise to adopt what respondents think is the next-best option: permitting those religious words, and only those words, that are acceptable to the majority, even if they will exclude some. The First Amendment is not a majority rule, and government may not seek to define permissible categories of religious speech."

Montenegro’s memo suggests that any prayer that does not involve God, such as a moment of silence, isn’t a prayer.

American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler said Montenegro is redefining prayer with his memo.

"The Supreme Court says people should be able to pray the way that they want to pray," Soler said. "They shouldn’t have to fit into a definition of what prayer means, which is exactly what this memo does."

While the memo notes that "no particular faith will be excluded," it restricts moments of silence to "personal privilege," which is when a lawmaker is able to speak about a personal topic without discussion or debate.

Montenegro’s policy precedes the Phoenix City Council’s removal of verbal prayer at their meeting last week, instead opting to start the traditional invocation with a moment of silence.

The move allowed the council to avoid having The Satanic Temple, which signed up to do the invocation at the city’s Feb. 17 meeting, from doing the invocation.

In conclusion

Montenegro’s policy is his interpretation of prayer, and that’s contradicted by other governmental definitions.

According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, prayer during public meetings can involve God or a higher power, but it is not a requirement.

However, whether Montenegro is right or wrong, like prayer, depends on one’s beliefs — or lackthereof. He can see his definition as fact while others may see it as an opinion.

Read More: http://www.politifact.com/arizona/article/2016/feb/11/can-prayer-only-include-higher-power/

politifact%2Fphotos%2FAZLegislature.jpg Can prayer only include a higher power?
http://www.politifact.com
The Arizona Legislature has a new policy when it comes to prayer. House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, a Republican, adopted an invocation policy Jan. 27 that defines prayer as a

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#PopeFrancis To Meet With The #Russian #Orthodox #Church

5 Feb Pope-Francis-to-Meet-with-Russian-Orthodox-Church

Pope-Francis-Prayer-Church

It will be the first meeting between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches in history, since the split between Eastern and Western Christianity nearly 1,000 years ago.

Lombardi called the meeting “beautiful news.” It will take place on February 12 in Cuba, as the Pope heads for Mexico, he said Friday.

The meeting will come less than a year after Francis’ first visit to Cuba as Pope. He played a key role in the recent thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba, which reestablished diplomatic ties last year.

The Russian patriarch was set to visit Cuba this year, according to Russia’s state-run Tass news agency.

The press for greater unity between the two sides of Christianity has been going on for more than 100 years, CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen said.

“This was the apple of John Paul’s eye, this was his dream,” Allen said, referring to Pope John Paul II. “He wanted to go to Moscow and meet the Patriarch of Moscow.”

A joint news release from the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow said Francis and Kyril will have a “personal conversation” at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana and will conclude their meeting by signing a “joint declaration.”

It’s yet another foray into diplomacy and global affairs for the Pope.

Francis used his papal encyclical last year to issue a sweeping critique of economic injustice and environmental exploitation.

Read More: http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/05/europe/pope-francis-patriarch-kyril-meeting/index.html

#Victory Over The Evil One! #HappeningNow #KGBN #Vision2020

2 Feb

I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name. You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers—such vitality and strength! God’s word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

Children, time is just about up. You heard that Antichrist is coming. Well, they’re all over the place, antichrists everywhere you look. That’s how we know that we’re close to the end. They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong. But you belong.

The Holy One anointed you, and you all know it. I haven’t been writing this to tell you something you don’t know, but to confirm the truth you do know, and to remind you that the truth doesn’t breed lies.

1 John 2:13-21 MSG
http://bible.com/97/1jn.2.13-21.MSG

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Get the other NATIONS out HERE And READY! #HappeningNow

1 Jan

Church-Universal-Game-Changers-Vision2020-POTUS

Isaiah 43:1-21 (MSG)
1  But now, GOD‘s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
2  When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
3  Because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
4  That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.
5  “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you. I’ll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west.
6  I’ll send orders north and south: ‘Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places.
7  I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child Whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.’ “
8  Get the blind and deaf out here and ready— the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes) and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears).


9  Then get the other nations out here and ready.

Let’s see what they have to say about this, how they account for what’s happened. Let them present their expert witnesses and make their case; let them try to convince us what they say is true.
10  “But you are my witnesses.” GOD‘s Decree. “You’re my handpicked servant So that you’ll come to know and trust me, understand both that I am and who I am. Previous to me there was no such thing as a god, nor will there be after me.
11  I, yes I, am GOD. I’m the only Savior there is.
12  I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene. And you know it, you’re my witnesses, you’re the evidence.” GOD‘s Decree. “Yes, I am God.
13  I’ve always been God and I always will be God. No one can take anything from me. I make; who can unmake it?”
14  GOD, your Redeemer, The Holy of Israel, says: “Just for you, I will march on Babylon. I’ll turn the tables on the Babylonians. Instead of whooping it up, they’ll be wailing.
15  I am GOD, your Holy One, Creator of Israel, your King.”
16  This is what GOD says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves,
17  The God who summons horses and chariots and armies— they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
18  “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.
19  Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
20  Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’ —the coyotes and the buzzards— Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose,

21  the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.

#God #Confidence: The #GameChangers

14 Dec

Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.

The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us. A triple testimony: the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement. This is the testimony in essence:

God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion.

And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening.

And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.
1 John 5:4-8, 11-15 MSG
http://bible.com/97/1jn.5.4-15.MSG

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