How You Can Finally Make a Real Difference In Your Life

During Sunday School Mr. Jones had Monopoly on his mind.

Every Sunday after church and a good meal, the family would gather around the table for their weekly round of the famous board game.

He absolutely loved this American pastime and knew much trivia about the game. It first originated in 1933 and is now played in 47 different languages in 114 countries.

Jones even counted the amount of money in a Monopoly game to realize it is $20,580. He also knew the longest recorded game. It lasted 70 straight days.

During World War II, escape maps, compasses, and files were inserted into Monopoly game boards smuggled into POW camps inside Germany. Real money for escapees was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.

He must have had the game and other things on his mind when one morning Mr. Jones stood up and said “I’d like us to pray for some smiling faces in this church.” Then, in typical fashion, he added, “I think more people would want to go to heaven, if they weren’t afraid it’d be like church when they go there!”

“Church shouldn’t be fake.” he suggested. “It’s not about entertainment, comfort, or fads. Church should be a place to bring your joys and your sorrows and connect with others who want to find God and be loved. Fog machines, exotic coffee, and specialty groups will never meet those needs the way the core truths will. Let’s focus on what will not change: God, His Word, and our need to love each other.”

“I grew up in a church, back in the sixties, and we only sang hymns,” Jones continued. “Then came the contemporary praise movement in the seventies and I thought, wow this might be better than the old hymns. And we all know the rest of the story. It seems my nine-year-old granddaughter will never know the great hymns like I do. And to be honest, that makes me sad.”

“Contemporary music can mean a stronger focus on individual performance rather than group worship as a whole,” he suggested. “New music should not be forgotten as it is necessary to express current burdens of the culture in song, but we should be congregation-ready and free of commercial trappings.”

“I just want to quit worrying and pay attention to the sermon,” he continued. “There is no get out of jail free card. Do not pass Go and do not collect $200.”

“What was all of that about?” his family asked, after the services. He gathered his thoughts and explained when they arrived home.

Life, according to Mr. Jones

Life is like a game of Monopoly. You may own hotels on Boardwalk or you may be renting on Baltic Avenue, but in the end, it all goes back into the box. The next generation will be getting out all of your stuff and playing with it or fighting over it.

The Small Stuff

The small stuff is what makes up the larger picture of our lives. Many people are like you. But their perspective is distorted. They ignore ‘small stuff’ claiming to have an eye on the bigger picture, never understanding that the bigger picture is composed of nothing more than—are you ready?—‘small stuff.’

Have you ever been bitten by an elephant?  How about a mosquito? It’s the small stuff that’ll get you!

You Choose

At this very moment, you possess the power of perspective. You can choose to see your life becoming whatever you wish. If you choose, you can move the mountains in your life’s path with the eventual help of those who will come to love you and learn to respect you for what you are becoming.

Happiness and Charisma

You must become a person that others want to be around! This is far and away the greatest success secret in existence. This is the person who gets the chance. The second chance and the benefit of the doubt. You should ask yourself this question every day: What is it about me that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I dress that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I act that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I talk that other people would change if they could?

You WILL Make a Difference

One day, you will look back on your ‘worst time’ in your life as a fortuitous event. Even your worst times have value and can become, in retrospect, your best times. You will make a difference. Now, what kind of difference? That’s up to you.

Just keep smiling and roll the dice. When you get a chance, sing a good ‘ol gospel hymn now and then.

In God We Trust

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12 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce in America

What percentage of marriages end in divorce?

Based on the findings of law firms, it takes up a fairly high percentage. And the figure progressively grows in succeeding marriages.

In 2008, the marriage rate was 17.9 per 1,000 women; a decade later the figure was 16.6 per 1,000 women. The decrease in divorce rates was even greater. It went from 10.5 per 1,000 women in 2008 to 7.7 per 1,000 women in 2018.

This raises the importance of marriage counseling and good communication between couples. But a fairly recent trend suggests that the divorce rate is on a downslope, and so are marriage rates. As such, couples are being more mindful of the responsibilities of marriage before upgrading their relationships. And in the same way, married couples are finding ways to make their relationships work for the long haul.

Couples decide to divorce for different reasons, but there are a few common ones. Some of the main reasons couples decide to divorce include lack of commitment, infidelity, arguing too much, and growing apart, according to the Institute of Family Studies.

🔹An estimated 41% of first marriages end in divorce. (Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, 2020)

🔹That number goes up to 60% for second marriages and 73% for third marriages. (Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, 2020)

🔹In 2019, the divorce rate in the United States hit its lowest point in 50 years. (Wang, 2020)

🔹However, the marriage rate also reached its 50-year low in that same year. (Wang, 2020)

🔹Meanwhile, the average total cost of a divorce is $12,900 and the median cost is $7,500. (Michon, 2021).

🔹An uncontested divorce costs an average of $4,100). (Bieber, 2020)

🔹This figure increases to $23,300 if there are two issues, like child support and child custody, contested. (Bieber, 2020)

🔹It normally takes one year to complete a divorce. (Michon, 2021)

🔹The average attorney’s fee for divorces is $11,300. (Bieber, 2020)

🔹The average hourly rate of divorce lawyers is $270. (Michon, 2021)

🔹Conveyor and winch operators have the highest divorce rate among all jobs at 22%. (Morris, 2021)

🔹Meanwhile, physicians have the lowest rate of divorce at 2%. (Morris, 2021)

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QUIZ–What Do These Photos Have in Common?

What began in 1893 became a huge tradition reflecting the hopes and wishes of many Americans.

Spanning the years 1910 through 1994, photos from this collection consisted of seasonal influence and tradition.

Baby Boomers will be more apt to guess what these pictures all have in common. Can you?

Long before there was an Amazon or Etsy or even a dot.com, America had a Sears catalogue…or “Wish Book.”

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What is the Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Muscle Recovery After Strenuous Exercise?

 

Courtesy of Green Pasture

🔹Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) due to physical exercise reduces the ability to perform intensive physical training and participate in sports at high levels.

🔹Omega-3 fatty acids may provide a partial protective effect against development of DOMS and may accelerate recovery after damaging exercise.

🔹Because cod oil produced through fermentation contains natural bioactive compounds such as Vitamins A and D along with omega-3 fatty acids, it may assist in the recovery from DOMS. 

Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Muscle Recovery After Strenuous Exercise

By Dr. Subramaniam Sathivel

Physical exercise, particularly resistance exercise, often results in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that peaks 1-2 days after the exercise and takes up to 5-6 days to get resolved. 

DOMS has shown to reduce the ability to perform intensive physical training and to play sports at high levels.  

There is evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids could provide a partial protective effect against development of DOMS and may even accelerate recovery after damaging exercise. 

The main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

EPA and DHA, in particular, may reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines while raising anti-inflammatory markers. Some researchers have reported that omega-3 supplementation decreases the soreness after exercise. They found that individuals are able to perform a specific type of exercise at increased levels after omega-3 supplementation, and concluded that omega-3 supplementation could decrease the severe localized soreness due to this type of exercise.

Based on these findings they believe that omega-3 supplements could be beneficial to athletes, especially athletes involved with high-intensity strength training. Other researchers have suggested that fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids could be a natural anti-inflammatory.

Researchers have investigated the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on muscle soreness over three days in competitive soccer players. Their findings showed that the soccer players experience muscle damage due to the high demand of physical activities during soccer games and were able to show that combining omega-3 fatty acids with a multi-ingredient supplement resulted in protection of the muscles from damage during exercise and reduced muscle soreness in recovery.

They speculated that a possible reason for these desirable effects is that the omega-3 fatty acids improve the structural integrity of the muscle cell membrane before exercising. This could lead to protection of the muscle fibers in the active muscles from developing DOMS.

In a study done by a group of researchers the effect of a high dose and low dose of EPA on the recovery from muscle damage induced by exercise was looked at. 

Twenty-seven physically active males participated in this study. They used 100 plyometric drop jumps to induce muscle damage. The participants were tested for muscle soreness and isokinetic muscle squat jump performance.

The researchers found that those who took the high EPA dose were able to return to their baseline performance faster.

Another group of researchers investigated how muscle soreness in 20 professional Rugby players was affected by the consumption of a protein-based supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids. They observed a moderate beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acids in reducing fatigue. 

The researchers concluded, “The moderate beneficial effect of adding fish oil to a protein-based supplement on muscle soreness translated into the better maintenance of explosive power in elite Rugby Union players during pre-season training.”

Fish oils, including cod liver oil, contain these beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. With that in mind, cod liver oil may be useful for muscle recovery from intensive exercise.

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What Does the Bible Say to Our Youth?

🔹Youth is a good time to develop a relationship with God. It’s in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 12:1, TLB.

“Don’t let the excitement of being young cause you to forget about your Creator: Honor Him in your youth before the evil years come—when you’ll no longer enjoy living.”

🔹God is more interested in willingness than in age. It’s in the Bible, I Samuel 2:18, TLB.

“Samuel, though only a child, was the Lord’s helper.”

🔹What does God expect of children? It’s in the Bible, Colossians 3:20, NIV.

“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

🔹One of God’s commandments is for children to honor and respect their parents, It’s in the Bible, Exodus 20:12, NIV.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

🔹How long are children to respect their parents? It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 23:22, NIV.

“Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

🔹Prompt discipline is an expression of parental love. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 13:24, TLB.

“If you refuse to discipline your son, it proves you don’t love him; for if you love him, you will be prompt to punish him.”

🔹Youth can be Christ-like examples. It’s in the Bible, I Timothy 4:12, NIV.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

🔹Children should learn from their parents. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 1:8, NIV.

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

🔹Living a reckless life dishonors parents. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 28:7, TLB.

“Young men who are wise obey the law; a son who is a member of a lawless gang is a shame to his father.”

🔹It is wrong to take unfair advantage of parents. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 28:24, TLB.

“A man who robs his parents and says, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ is no better than a murderer.”

🔹Young people should be selective in choosing their friends. It’s in the Bible, II Timothy 2:22, TLB.

“Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts.”

In God We Trust

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Using Neuro Linguistic Programming to Modify People’s Thinking

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.’

Powerful Winning Hacks That Take Venom Out of Angry People

During a job performance review in the 1990s, my boss, H-E-B Food-Drugs Vice President Ralph Mehringer said something that I remember to this day.

“You have the unique ability to take the venom out of angry people,” he noted. “You quickly de-fang them.”

I liked that.

Ralph is a keen observer and calls it as he sees it. His words were motivating, so of course, it reinforced my learning and practicing.

I became interested in studying Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP for short. Eventually I became a certified NLP Practitioner.

It helped immensely in leadership and dealing with others through powerful techniques such as “anchoring,” reading body language and facial expressions, “reframing thoughts” and building rapport.

As the years progressed, “de-fanging” became natural and automatic-like.

Here are some tips I learned along the way and continue to use today:

1. When someone is angry and confrontational, stand next to them, rather than in front of them. You want to appear not to be much of a threat, after all you’re physically on their side, and they eventually calm down.

2. Slow the pace of speech.They are likely to be yelling or talking rapidly. It’s critical not to engage in a like manner. When it’s your turn to reply, do so in a deliberate, kind, quiet and slower tone.

4. Rephrase what the other person says and repeat it back to them. In that slower, quieter voice, this helps you understand their concern. This makes them feel you care and are listening to them. It shows your genuine interest in them. It validates them and helps you. Note: Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to appear condescending.

3. Open with “I need your help.” Most people don’t like the guilt of not helping someone out. When asking for a favor from someone, begin with “I need your help.” It GREATLY increases the chances of getting the favor done. But best of all, it can be used as an opening line to someone very irritated about something. Usually I act innocently not knowing why they’re upset. It’s a good precursor to leading them out of their anger towards a better outlook.

5. If you want someone to agree with you, nod while you talk. I learned this as a door-to-door insurance salesman in the early 1980s and discovered it works well with group presentations too. When you notice them beginning to change their attitude, or better yet nod back, you’re on the right track. They are beginning to subconsciously agree with you.

6. If someone doesn’t like you, ask to borrow a pencil or pen. This is called the Benjamin Franklin Effect. It’s just a small favor that actually helps nudge them to like you. Not as effective, but still good, is to subtly touch someone’s upper arm when you ask for a favor.

7. Mimic them without them realizing it. It’s called mirroring and takes some practice. It has to be subtle and with finesse. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it try folding your arms in a non-threatening way. It helps to determine their interest. If someone is observing you, they will likely mimic you.

8. Repeat a person’s name many times in the conversation. Don’t overdo it, but it helps you remember their name, and makes them like you more.

9. If the person is a child, bring bubbles. Hint: this can work for adults too. Bubbles are magical mood changers.

Please note this article begins a series on posts offered to help our readers understand how NLP can not only help you in everyday life and business practice, but reveals the ways politicians, propagandists and others can manipulate your thought process to change your beliefs.

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Simple Respect at Marine Vet’s Funeral Lifted Family’s Spirits

“Yesterday during my Daddy’s funeral procession, led by the United States Marine Corps, my family noticed the man in this photo pulled over on the side of the road,” posted Rona Wallace. “His hat was in is hand and his hand was over his heart, honoring my father and our family as we passed by.”

“His respectful act touched my family and the entire procession so deeply,” she noted. “We passed many other cars along the way that simply went about their day.”

“Since his license plate showed in the photo, my daughter did some digging and we found him!!!”

“His name is Ernest Boerlin and he is also a veteran – US Navy,” she continued. “When I messaged him privately to thank him for honoring my father, he said:”


“It was an honor to show my respect for a fellow serviceman and their family. Please accept my prayers and condolences to you and your family for your loss. Fair winds and following seas. God bless.”


“Thank you, Ernest. Your act of kindness and respect touched our family and friends very deeply and we are grateful. May God bless you and yours as well,” she commented. “Let’s thank Ernest for his service and show him some love, y’all!”

In God We Trust

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What Does the Bible Say About Giving?

God is pleased with personal giving. It’s in the Bible, Exodus 35:22, TLB.

“Both men and women came, all who were willing-hearted. They brought to the Lord their offerings of gold, jewelry—earrings, rings from their fingers, necklaces—and gold objects of every kind.”

God is pleased when we give generously. It’s in the Bible, Ezra 2:68-69, TLB.

“Some of the leaders were able to give generously toward the rebuilding of the Temple, and each gave as much as he could. The total value of their gifts amounted to $300,000 of gold, $170,000 of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.”

God is pleased with regular sacrificial giving. It’s in the Bible, II Corinthians 8:2, TLB.

“Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, they have mixed their wonderful joy with their deep poverty, and the result has been an overflow of giving to others.”

Generosity takes preparation and planning. It’s in the Bible, Leviticus 19:9-10, TLB.

“When you harvest your crops, don’t reap the corners of your fields, and don’t pick up stray grains of wheat from the ground. It is the same with your grape crop—don’t strip every last piece of fruit from the vines, and don’t pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and for those traveling through, for I am Jehovah your God.”

Giving can be an act of worship. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 2:11, NIV.

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

Gifts should be given willingly. It’s in the Bible, II Corinthians 9:7, NIV.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Each person should give as much as he or she is able. It’s in the Bible, II Corinthians 8:12, TLB.

“If you are really eager to give, then it isn’t important how much you have to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you haven’t.”

Much is required of those who have been given much. It’s in the Bible, Luke 12:48, NIV.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Giving tithes and offerings assures the blessings of God. It’s in the Bible, Malachi 3:8,10, NIV.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’ In tithes and offerings…Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Generosity comes back to the giver. It’s in the Bible, Luke 6:38, TLB.

“For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

God is the ultimate example of giving. It’s in the Bible, John 3:16, TLB.

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

In God We Trust

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Does This Mean We Let Freedom Ring At School Bells Across America?

.

In God We Trust

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What Does the Bible Say About Friendship?

🔹Real friendship involves loyalty. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 17:17, TLB.

“A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

🔹The best friend to have is Jesus. It’s in the Bible, John 15:15, NIV.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.”

🔹Choose friends who love the Lord and have pure hearts. It’s in the Bible. II Timothy 2:22, TLB.

“Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts.”

🔹What characteristics make you a good friend? It’s in the Bible, Philippians 2:3-4, TLB.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing.”

🔹Gossip can destroy friendships. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 16:28, NIV.

“A gossip separates close friends.”

🔹Friends are worth keeping. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 27:9-10, TLB.

“Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s. Then you won’t need to go to a distant relative for help in your time of need.”

🔹A friend cares enough to be honest with you even if it hurts. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 27:6, TLB.

“Wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy!”

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The Art of Being Happily Poor

Today, many people are suffering just to make ends meet. Once, I was considered somewhat wealthy compared to most. Life experiences changed that.

Not many know this, but I was actually homeless for a while. I took a retirement job at a golf resort. This allowed me to sleep safely in my pickup, shower in the locker room, eat healthy and make wonderful friends. Homeless was only temporary, but I learned plenty about life and happiness. Each day at work for 9 years my goal was to make 100 people smile or laugh. I counted them daily.

For many years it has been a personal ambition to make others feel better about themselves and have a positive outlook when they walk away. It makes me happy.

After a long successful and busy career, I counted on my investigation and writing skills to earn more money. It became natural to just look around for every little thing I could be grateful for in my life. The main secret to happiness is to appreciate what we have. I became rich in my own way.

There are many ways to live a happy life. These are things that make me the happiest I have ever been:

🔹Stay creative.

🔹Help others.

🔹Do free or low cost activities. For us it means enjoying a walk, swim, bike ride, library, community center, attending classes, hiking, camping, gardening, and picnics. We don’t watch TV or spend hours on social media. It is similar to being a child again, full of wonderment and discovery.

🔹We made changes. Instead of spending every night in an expensive hotel, we take our tent and gear to ocassionally camp out overnight. It’s healthy and beautiful outdoors. We have no Internet at home. I don’t even know what internet and cable/satellite TV costs these days. We take our garbage to the local dump less than two miles away. We average $18 a month. Our nearest neighbor spends $45 to have someone pick their trash up.

It’s a simple and awesome existence. Less stress.

I learned that you can be happy when you don’t have the means and money you once had. In fact, some of the saddest people I know have plenty of money. They pay taxes on their homes and real estate. Their lives are complex. Ours is simple and cheap. We don’t spend and accumulate “things” much anymore. We survive and accumulate memories. We laugh and smile a lot.

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Sound Advice From a 75-Year-Old Mentor

A good mentor doesn’t necessarily tell you what to do. They don’t give you advice, either. A good mentor helps you think through problems based on their experience so you can come to your own conclusions. 

Here is some good wisdom from a 75 year old mentor’s experience:

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