When there is a storm ahead…

When there is a storm ahead, some wise folks would advice us to avoid it by staying inside; waiting till the storm passes our area; or postponing any outdoor plans.

This week, however, I learned that sometimes it is also okay to go forward in the storm because it will not last long. This became clear to me when I stepped outside of my house and it looked as if a rainstorm was about to pour out of the sky. I was tempted to postpone my plans, but decided that I am not going to let the storm deter me. Surprisingly, the dark clouds rolled back in matter of minutes to reveal a bright, shining sun. I could not believe my eyes. But the lesson about going forward, even when there seems to be a storm ahead was quite clear.

June 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Don’t Wait for a Crowd

 

Pursuing your passion is not always an easy task. Sometimes you won’t  get a lot of support from your friends, family and community. Nevertheless, don’t let that deter you from moving forward with your plans.

I remember when my mom was starting a book club at her church, not many people showed up to the first meeting. Then one of her friends told her, “Don’t wait for a crowd.” She encouraged her to continue the project, even if it’s one person in the group.

I thought that was great advice because oftentimes we think we can only pursue our passion when we have a crowd following behind us. The truth, however, is that there are going to be days when you will not have everyone’s support. There may be some days when you have to cheer yourself on. And if you are in sales, there will definitely be days when you have only two or three clients.

Even so, never give up. Simply do what you love, while learning how to get more people involved in your work. That’s the only way you will get the satisfaction of pursuing my passion.

May 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

There is virtue in the struggle

Compiled by Noreen Malcolm

There is virtue in the struggle

Everyone wants to be a winner. And rightly so! There are often many prizes to gain such as monetary compensations, fame and just the good feeling of accomplishment.

What many people neglect to understand, however, is that an individual may experience bouts of struggles before reaching the goldmine of success. Even so, they should never fail to celebrate the struggle or effort because that is the virtue of all pursuits (not necessarily the prize), according to Dr. Chris Thurman, author of The Lies We Believe.

 “So many times, our efforts don’t result in what we hoped they would,” states Dr. Thurman in his book. “The salesperson invests tremendous amounts of time in making an important sale to somebody, but it doesn’t come through. The athlete trains diligently for a major competition but doesn’t place in the top three. Parents put their all into raising well-rounded, healthy children, yet one of them makes numerous self-destructive decisions totally out of keeping with the way he was raised. Life is full of these situations where our efforts aren’t rewarded with a successful outcome or at least aren’t as successful as we had hoped.

“In these situations, most of us would feel that we had failed and that there was no value in our efforts,” he continues. “Our struggle would not feel worthwhile to us because prize never came. [However], let me suggest that the truth we need to face is that the virtue is always in our efforts, not in what they yield…It creates more willingness to try and less resentment and bitterness if our efforts do not turn out so well.”

So, if your dream is not going the way you expected it to, keep trying. Don’t give up!

For inspiration, here is a list of people* throughout history who experienced struggles as they pursued their passion, but their consistent efforts afterwards reaped bountiful rewards:

  • After his first audition, Sidney Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” It was at that moment, recalls Poitier, that he decided to devote his life to acting.
  • Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “sub-normal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He did eventually learn to speak and read. Even to do a little math.
  • Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he succeeded.
  • R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York City caught on.
  • Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
  • Michael Jordan and Bob Cousy were each cut from their high school basketball teams. Jordan once observed, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.

*To learn more, click this link.

Suggestion: You may want to get books about the individuals listed above to verify the information for yourself.

Works Cited

Thurman, Chris. The Lies We Believe. Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 1999

April 28, 2010 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

Treasure in Your House

by Noreen Malcolm

Let’s face it: we all have some sort of debt to repay. Some of us may have credit card bills with skyrocketing interest rates; phone bills with over-due balances; unpaid school fees; a magazine subscription or gym membership that WE have conveniently forgotten to pay simply because there was not enough or no cash.

 Believe it or not, the answer to acquiring (extra) funds for repaying debts may be found in your house. No kidding!

 In II Kings 4: 1-7 (NIV), a compelling story is told about a poor widow in debt whose creditor has threatened to “take [her] two boys as his slaves.” So, she finds Elisha, a prophet of God, and cries to him for assistance. Though seemingly sympathetic, Elisha does not dish out money to the widow-probably because he did not have any. Instead, he greets her and asks, “Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

 “Your servant has nothing there at all,” the widow says, “except a little oil.”

 Elisha, then, instructs the widow to borrow empty jars from her neighbors and to pour oil into them. Once each jar has been filled with oil, Elisha commands the widow to “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

 We, too, ought to follow Elisha’s instructions if we need quick help-financially. But we must first answer the question, “What do I have in my house…to sell? What is my oil?”

 It is my hope that you will take an inventory of your profitable talents or things in your house. Consider cleaning out the many clothes or shoes sitting motionlessly in your closet. You may also want to go through those old college textbooks- some you may have barely touched! Or you can search your collection of CDs, electronic devices, house-wares, unnecessary furniture etc. Surely, you will find something to sell and earn funds to pay some of your debts.♥

April 11, 2010 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

SCARE the Crows Away…

By Noreen Malcolm

A few weeks ago, I watched “The Wiz,” a musical based on the all-time favorite children’s book, The Wonderful  Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

 In this show, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross captivated the viewers’ attention with their singing and acting talents. Jackson played the role of Scarecrow, a character who thought he had no brain; while Ross played the role of Dorothy Gale, a 24-year-old school teacher who became lost in an unknown world and wanted to “go home.” As co-stars, they brought out themes that are helpful for anyone who is thinking about or actively pursuing his/her passion.

My most favorite scene is when a group of crows taunted the Scarecrow. They told him he had no brain and was good for nothing. The taunts were followed by the “Crow’s Anthem,” entitled, “You Can’t Win.” Scarecrow was the soloist- NO SURPRISE! That’s symbolic because the Crows convinced him so much that he can’t do anything and this was the song they used to persuade him to believe that he has a “social and mental disability.” The Scarecrow was so convinced that when Dorothy scared the crows away, he still believed he had no brain and couldn’t do much for himself.

As I watched that scene, I couldn’t help but to think of the real Crows walking up and down the earth. They tell children that they will fail. They tell certain ethnic groups that they will never get to a certain level of achievement. They also steal people’s dreams by telling them that “no matter how hard you try…you can’t and won’t win.”

Therefore, people who want to pursue their passion have to arm themselves with what I call “Crow Fighters.” That is basically someone or something that can scare the crows away. This will allow the individual to have more positive energy to fully pursue his/her passion.

After all, as someone once said…”our thoughts affect our actions and our actions will determine our destiny.”

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Just in case you want to learn more about crows, here is a link for you: Facts about Crows

Remember to visit the website at http://www.pahsion.com

March 19, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Roadblocks are our blessings

By Noreen

 On the road of life, roadblocks are inevitable. For many of us, we run into roadblocks yearly, monthly, weekly, or even daily. These roadblocks could come in the form of financial deficiency, disappointments, failure in completing a mission or passing a test, divorce, rejection letter, and much more. Regardless of what causes a person’s roadblock, one thing is sure: the roadblock will make most people uncomfortable.

Just think of a time when you were stuck in traffic because of a roadblock. How did you react? As for me, I can recall being uncomfortable, worried, and a bit impatient. There was also much anxiety in my flesh because I didn’t know what was ahead…except for a roadblock.  

One day, however, I learned that roadblocks are blessings (in disguise). It gives us more time to pause, and think more critically. It gives us more time to recreate and redesign our plan(s).  It also gives us the opportunity to “stretch” our faith and allow God to work miracles in our lives. At least, that’s what I have learned from the roadblocks in my life.

They’ve truly helped me to believe more in the promise which says, “All things work for the good to those who love the Lord” (Romans 8:38 NJKV).

How has a roadblock been a blessing to your life?

Please share your experience.

Remember to tell your friends about www.sabbathschoolforum.com  and www.pahsion.com

February 13, 2010 at 12:42 am 2 comments

Bible Promises for 2010

Happy New Year!

 This is certainly the time of year when many folks make new goals or recommit to the former goals they had been pursuing. Regardless of what your goals are for this year, I’d like to share some of God’s promises that can encourage you throughout the year (these are the ones I happen to like too):

 Put God first.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6: 33

 Serve God.

If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. –Job 36:11

 Seek good counsel.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1: 1-3

 Remember God in all that you do.

But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. –Deuteronomy 8:18

 Obey God’s laws.

Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. –I Chronicles 22:13

January 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm 1 comment

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