Heart Choices: 2008-06-22 -->

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Character Development

How do your choices impact your life? How many times have you looked back and thought about some of the choices you made in life? If you're anything like me, there are some good and wise choices and some that I'd like to forget.
Lysa TerKeurst, a Christian speaker and author, shared a statement with me recently that I found very helpful. She said, "God is using all of your experiences, both good and bad, to develop your character to match your calling."
WOW - how helpful was that? And how comforting to realize! I had to stop and write that one down.

There are seasons in our lives. Some may be very difficult and challenging and other times may be more carefree and fun. But as I think back, I realize that I seem to learn more from the difficult times. Maybe that's because I know I can't make it on my own and I feel the need to pray more. Sometimes helpful words can give you a different perspective. I can't change the past but it's comforting to know that God uses those experiences to develop my character. I think I am more sensitive to situations in others lives when I've experienced that difficulty myself.

Never Too Old to Encourage

My friend Jamie emailed me this picture taken on a recent visit to Colorado. Two of her daughters are taking a walk with her grandfather. What a precious sight to see! The contrast between a well worn hand and the smooth small hand of an innocent child looking up at great grandpa. I can just imagine the conversation. Having met this man myself, I'm sure he is thoughtful in what he says. I see Mary coming up from behind as she explores a bit on her own. After all, she is growing up. How many older people take time to encourage and teach the younger when they have these opportunities; the times when they are open to listen and learn?
Proverbs 22:6 says "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Don't waste those precious opportunities we are given. Make the heart choice to be an encourager, no matter how old you may be.

Become An Encourager

How do other people see you? Are you an encourager or someone who always seems to find faults? Life can be tough and I for one, love to surround myself with encouragers. I feel good around them and it motivates me to continue on, despite the challenges. I am grateful for friends who will listen to me not only when I'm happy and enjoying life, but also when I am discouraged. I'm amazed at how energized I can become from a phone call, an email or a card just when I seem to need it. Friends can be like that! It motivates me to try to treat others that way too...to come alongside someone who needs a shoulder to cry on or to laugh with.

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

I made the choice to attend a reunion of many of my high school classmates. Although I graduated from Lindenhurst High School on Long Island, New York, many of my friends had since moved to Florida. Between email and the Classmates website, a weekend event was organized for all who lived in Florida or simply wished to fly in for the event. Since my dad, sister and brother all live in Florida, I thought I would combine a visit with them and spend time with old friends and was I ever glad I did. Since I graduated in 1971 (I know it was a long time ago!) we all had obviously changed since we last spent time together. But I have to say that everyone was so glad to see each other and we all seemed to revert back to our teenage years very easily despite our outward appearances. Gone were the high school cliques...everyone was happy to see each other.

Ron Pastore and Liz Aiello were the main organizers for the event. Here is Ron with his guitar, entertaining our group.

And here are some of the guys from my high school - Jack, Ron P., Ron D, Fred, Steve and Tim. I couldn't believe how quickly we all reverted back to our teenage years. Although many people may elect not to go back, I love to visit with old friends who knew me when I was so young. I even spent time with girls who knew me in grade school and Girl Scouts! What a trip!

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