The Challenge for this Week: Trust God, be kind to strangers, and watch God move mightily in your life….

Sunshine in the amIf I could describe this week, I would say that it has been a “challenger”…. Yet, through it all, I was determined to trust God in all things. And, as I trusted Him (surrendering my will, in exchange for His will); God has been blowing me away with favor in unexpected ways. Well, this morning the favor kept flowing… The person ordering in front of me paid for my breakfast in a Chick-Fil-A near me. I was sooo surprised, humbled and immediately recognized God at work in this situation.

It was soooo awesome, that I am encouraging everyone to do something nice for someone today. You never know how you can uplift, encourage and/or bring clarity to someone’s life with just a little bit of kindness.

I hope everyone has a great day! And, remember, God is watching over you, He loves you, and the people around you. So, be kind to one another. ~ Love you to Life!

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding”

~Proverbs 3: 3-5

#angels #thankful #Godsightings #actsofkindness #Godisincontrol #alpha #omega
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Before Inauguration, I Pray that You Know Who You Are…

Before Inauguration, I Pray that You Know Who You Are…

After watching Hidden Figures this weekend, I had a renewed resolve as to why my grandmother constantly educated me (in her own way) about the civil rights movement. In the movie, each African-American woman had her own discrimination struggle to deal with at NASA.  Yet these courage ladies – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson served as the brains behind one of the  greatest space operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

 My grandmother, like many African-American women who lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, was one of many “first” to work in Corporate America. She endured many days of hardships of discrimination, being talked down to, and not being given the proper tools in many instances to do her absolute best on the job.  Yet, she kept a cool head, persevered and brought lessons learned home to her family. My grandmother would say things like, “You can be anything you want to be, if you put your mind to it”; “No matter what other people are doing around you, make it a point to be excellent – because greatness is in your blood.”; “If you are going to be successful in the workplace, you have to learn how to play the game.”; “The small things you do, add up to big things in the end. So, be careful to always do your best, maintain your integrity, and do the right thing.”

However, one of the most memorable things that she constantly told me was, “God made you sooooo funky, that no one can hold a candle to you. You are such a designer’s original, that no one can do what you do, the way you do it.” Because of her, I really don’t have any inferiority complexes about the color of my skin, my intelligence level, or anything else that would keep me from being who I was born to be. 

As we move forward in the coming days, I want you to know that whether you are African-American, Caucasian, Mongolian, Native American, etc, etc… – God made us all unique, and we all have something special to contribute to this world. No one is better than the other. At the end of the day, we all bleed red blood, we all have feelings, we all want the best for our families, and we are all  human beings.

We have the power to change the world through prayer, our own thought life and how we treat one another. Don’t let the negative talk of the coming days stop you from doing what God has put in your heart to do.  If God is for you, who can be against you?

Above all else, continue to learn who you are, let your actions bring Glory to God, and teach your children how to love one another. 

With Love Always,

I am, T.R. Hopson
Editor-in-Chief
Optimal Living Magazine


Join Us for the “Official Girlfriends Get Away Weekend” for 2017!!!

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Our guest speaker, Ms. Queing Jay lost 102 lbs in 2 years through compassionately loving herself. To learn more about her journey, meet her at Fit, Fabulous & Full of Faith! 

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Who’s Adding Value to Your Life??

By Tanisha Hopson
Relationships can take you to the greatest heights of your life or bring you down to nothing. The 6pm news is filled with examples of how this works every evening. As you examine the happenings of your environment today, ask yourself: who is adding value to my life?  If you intend to go where God has purposed for you to go, this question is a key factor to unlocking your greatest potential.


Proverbs 13:20 says,” He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” I can name countless times in my life where my friends have helped to steer me away from trouble which could have changed the course of my life. I was truly blessed because they could see further than I could at the time. I thank God for these people because they continue to encourage me to do and be better person.

 
Your “walk” is your life’s journey. Who have you allowed to walk with you? Are you benefiting from the people closest to you? Who is feeding your soul and spirit? Are these people constantly withdrawing from you or depositing something positive into your life? If you are walking along your journey and find yourself slipping backwards from God’s best for you, you should stop what you are doing right now and examine who is on your team.


TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Take inventory of who is in your circle of “friends”. Is there a mutual exchange of benefits in these relationships?  Are these people draining you or enhancing your life with goodness, words of encouragement, good/godly advice, etc.?  Are these people assigned to help you become your greatest self?  Ask God to bring people into your life that will help you to continually produce good fruit in your life. If your life is not being enhanced by your circle of “friends”; re-evaluate the relationships and take appropriate action in love.

 

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happy_woman_in_flower_field-300x200

Did you know that God has a standard, a will, and a specific purpose for your life? Yet, many people have no idea how to pursue, perceive and/or walk out God’s purpose. Fulfilling your life mission doesn’t “just happen.” No, no, no! It is to be discerned and pursued with all of your might!

Here are five ways to help you get started!

#1. Become a partner with God.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God loves you, and He is working everything out for your good. Get on one accord with God through His Word and prayer. Get God on your calendar of important people to talk to on a daily basis. When you become a partner with God, everything and everyone around you will benefit.

#2. Change Only Happens through the Power of God. Before we can effectively do what God specifically purposed us to do in the earth, it requires us to change in how we think and how we see the world in our hearts. You can’t change yourself…True and long lasting change only happens over time and through the power of God. If you are going to do what God is calling you to do, it is going to require you to submit to Him, and humble your heart – so that you can hear Him with ease. Ask God for change in your inner being and stay committed to it.

#3. Be Strong in the Power of His Might. Ephesians 6: 10 – 11 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil God wants us to be strong in Him.” Be sure to strengthen your inner man, even when times are good. Get into the zone of renewing your mind, your spirit, and your heart.

#4. Make a decision to pursue your purpose and stick to it. The most successful people in life are not “the smartest people in the world”, but the “most determined”. Once God tells you what you were made to do – you must be determined, committed and willing to stick with it, no matter what happens. Stop letting others distract you. Get focused, get determined and pursue all that God has for your life!

# 5. Be Kind to Others.   It doesn’t take much to be kind to others. In fact, the way you treat people is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside of you. Wilson Mitzer says, “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” Galatians 5:22 – 23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”

When you are living according to God’s standard for your life, the benefit is a sense of fulfillment, joy and a continuous flow of God’s peace in every area of your life.

Let’s keep this conversation going… Please share one change you can make today towards pursuing your destiny. How does this change reflect your core values?

Optimal Living Magazine now has certified Life Coaches available to assist you with living your best life and mapping our your purpose and destiny! Visit our website: http://www.optimal-livingmagazine.com/lifecoach, and write us at: upgrademylife@optimal-livingmagazine.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute Life Coach session. Some of the areas we focus on are:

  • Clarity, Focus & Direction to Achieve Your Goals
  • Ways to Enhance Your Career, Family & Personal Life
  • + Much More!

 

adultery

Yesterday on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, a man asked Steve Harvey, “What should I do about finding out if I am the father of an unborn child with a married woman?” Steve proceeded to tell him that there is no future or anything good that can come out of this situation, and to walk away from the situation. As the man kept talking, I was shaking my head and thinking “how did this man get himself in a situation like this to begin with?” He was so blinded spiritually by this situation that he couldn’t see the consequences of possibly losing his own life, by pressing the matter with the woman and her husband.

Many times people choose blessings or curses for their lives by making simple choices. Adultery has the potential of destroying one’s wealth, body, soul, and reputation. Forgiveness is possible (1Cor 6:9-11), but many affects of adultery can sometimes continue throughout someone’s life. No matter how appealing a person makes him or herself, it is never okay to  even consider a married person for a romantic relationship.

For this reason, I wanted to re-post one of OLM’s Relationship Thursday articles titled, “Are You Married, But Living Single?” Please copy & paste the following link into your browser to view the article: http://eepurl.com/USjxf

* What are your thoughts on how people can safeguard their marriages from adultery? How can single people stay away from the trick on getting caught up in affairs like this?

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DISCLAIMER: Upgrade My Life Blog is an inspirational blog, founded by the Editor of Optimal Living Magazine. Any content or advice dispensed through Upgrade My Life Blog is solely for informational purposes and should not be reprinted without the consent of Optimal Living Magazine. Visit http://www.optimal-livingmagazine.com and never miss our blog posts!

 

                                      By Hasani Pettiford

Hasani Pettiford

The tenth habit of successful people is valuing relationships. Someone once said that 90% of your success or failure is determined by who you choose as a spouse. The same principle can easily be applied to all personal and business relationships. People have the power of doing one of four things in your life: add, multiply, subtract and divide. Successful people only associate with people who add and multiply blessings of opportunity to their lives.

Successful people are very discriminative with whom they allow in their immediate surroundings. Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, hold no standard for their personal and business relationships. Many people reside in a place of mediocrity because of wrong associations. There are people who feel it is their responsibility to convince you of why something can’t be accomplished. Often, those closest to you feel that they have a special calling on their lives to try to talk you out of everything you try to do.

Simply put, your relationships will either enhance your vision or choke your dream. Proverbs 13:20 states, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Your ability to form meaningful personal and business relationships with positive people will be critical to your success and achievement. All it takes is one person to open up a door for you that will change your life forever.

Successful people have a knack for continuously networking and developing mutually beneficial relationships with people, not just contacts. Successful people network to gain access to resources. They realize the more people they know, the more access to resources they have. Developing relationships opens doors to resources, money and opportunity. These are often opportunities that set people up for success. An old proverb in business is: “If you want to be prosperous for a year, grow grain. If you want to be prosperous for ten years, grow trees. If you want to be prosperous for a lifetime, grow people.”

Make a list of all the people you know and identify key people in your life. Develop a plan to establish a higher quality relationship with them. Determine to meet as many people as you can that can assist you in your journey. Understand, the key to networking is being a go-giver as well as a go-getter. Give of yourself first. Offer any help or assistance that may be needed. Eventually, the tides will turn. The more you give of yourself with no expectation of return, the more that will come back to you from the most unexpected sources. Networking works when you understand that there is very little that you can do or have in life without working with other people.

As an award-winning author and speaker, Hasani Pettiford has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation. For over a decade Mr. Pettiford has been a recognized authority on human sexuality, interpersonal relationships and personal growth and development. Hasani has directly impacted the lives of many nationwide with his best-selling books and speaking engagements. Much of Pettiford’s work has been featured in major media outlets, including national publications, television and radio programs.

For more information, visit: http://www.hasani.com.
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Tanisha Hopson

beautiful-living-room-ideas-4 = wholeness starts at home

When I was growing up, if someone was acting out foolishly in the streets– the more “seasoned women” in my community would say, “Hhhhmm, that person has no home training”… The term “home training” implies that a person has manners, respect for others and displays acceptable social etiquette. However, I would go a little further and say that if a person is acting out of character or in a foolish manner, he or she might not have gotten what he/she needs at home and could be broken in spirit.

My grandmother (like many wise old school grandmothers) taught me that home is where the heart is. She was always sure to share that your home should always be a place of healing, restoration, nurturing, and rest for your soul. It should be clean, well swept, pleasant smelling and in order – much like your spirit. Home should be the place where God can freely speak to your heart in preparation for whatever the day has in store for you. If you are constantly getting the proper spiritual vitamins from home, your soul will reflect a confident, whole individual who will have a Word from the Lord and smile to brighten someone’s day.

Here is a special Motivational Monday nugget from Isaiah 26:3: “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

If we keep our priorities straight spiritually, mentally and physically – everything else cooperates with us. Let’s get back to the basics of putting first things first in our relationship with God, family and home. Remove the clutter of unnecessary material things, unresolved relationships and unforgiveness. If the world is going to be a better place, it starts with you. As you head out to take on the world today – remember that wholeness starts at home. You have the power to make it an awesome place!

My wholeness confession for today: “I have peace, power, love and a calm and well-balanced mind because I trust God. I don’t worry about anything, instead, I pray about everything and God blesses me by giving me His peace. I am well equipped to handle any problem that comes my way, because God is with me and my soul is in perfect peace.”

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