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11/5/05

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

ASK MONA: Insights into perplexing questions

Dear Mona,

During a routine water baptism, our young, dynamic and much-loved pastor was electrocuted. If God is so good why did he let him be electrocuted? Why did God not intervene?

Sorrowful congregant

Dear Sorrowful,

My deepest concern for you and your fellow parisioners.

May I start off with an insight: When God created the universe, he put certain laws into effect and they work regardless of who uses, or misuses, them. One of those principles is that electricity and water does not mix. This principle was in effect before it was discovered by man and before being harnessed into electricity. Note Benjamin Franklin and the key and the lightening.

God is good and he is fair, even though we may not understand or agree. God gave each of us the wonderful gift of a free will and he chooses to not take our choices away from us regardless of the consequences. To do so would make him a bully. We often question the goodness of God when difficult things happen, but take it for granted at all the blessings received. We do not question him as to why he is so good to us.

It is easy to remember the resurrection and overlook the cross. God did not spare his own son the effects of the ravages of sin. God is so fair, he allows sin to show its ugly head so it will show itself to be what it truly is – evil and destructive.

God is always with us in our suffering and he shares our pain, even though he does not try to
explain it. Never forget the suffering Jesus went through and how God’s heart was broken. To deny suffering is to deny who Jesus is.

May you rest in God's comfort,
Mona

1/15/05

Positive Attitudes to Cultivate

Attitude - everybody has one, good or bad; often a combination of both. Attitude is the way you feel about something, your frame of mind, your disposition. Attitudes can make you or break you.

Attitude affects everything you do. Attitude affects who you are, what you do and who you become. The right attitude is a tool to make your relationships more equal. It is not “getting your way”, not “getting back at”, not “one-up-man-ship”, not “one-down-man-ship”, not “manipulation”, but equality, a balance of power. Attitudes are choices. A healthy attitude toward yourself and others allows you to make changes and to request change without demanding.

Here are some positive attitudes to cultivate. Check the ones you frequently use and place a star by the ones you want to work on developing.

__ positive expectancy - look for the silver lining and anticipate something good is going to happen

__ positive reality - see the roses and the thorns; appreciate the beauty and respect the danger

__ positive motivation - dwell on rewards of success not penalty of failure

__ positive discipline - TNT - today, not tomorrow powerfully eliminates procrastination and dread

__ positive esteem - realize you are a person of innate worth, value and dignity, with gifts and talents

__ positive awareness - be open-minded, objective and have a learner's spirit

__ positive image – it is not who you are that holds you back, but who you think you are; see yourself as successful and bring that picture into reality

__ positive direction – be goals oriented and continually steer toward them

__ positive dimension – healthy self love and a willingness to give of yourself to others

__ positive respect – choose to give respect to others while earning respect from others; display manners and consideration and have faith in yourself and others

__ positive reverence – see the preciousness of the wondrous gift of life and yield rights

__ positive humility – humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less

__ positive control – be in control of your thoughts, actions, emotions, choices, responses, your life!

In Paradise Lost, John Milton wrote, “The mind is its own place and can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.” Regardless of what your words say, your choice shows through your attitude.

“With the right mental attitude, all the problems in the world will not make
you a failure. With the wrong mental attitude, all the help in the world
will not make you a success.” Warren Deaton

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself; ‘I, not events, have the power to
make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead,
tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am going to be
happy in it.” - Groucho Marx

Mona Dunkin, owner of Solution Principles, is a professional speaker, trainer, and personal success coach. She can be reached at 254-749-6594, or visit www.monadunkin.com.

Negative Attitudes to Eliminate

A bumper sticker proclaims, “ATTITUDE. A little thing that makes a BIG difference.”

An attitude is something we all have; sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not so good. Our values and beliefs contribute to our attitudes. Sometimes we slide into a negative mood without even realizing it until it is brought to our attention. With an open mind and a tender heart, evaluate how many of the following attitudes prevail, or sometimes show up, in your life, then put into practice the suggestions for overcoming.

* The “Somebody owes me” attitude. It is the thinking pattern of “I did not ask to be born, so somebody owes me. Mom does. Dad does. Siblings do. Neighbors do. The school does. My job does. The government does. Somebody owes me.” This irrational thinking leads to an attitude of being unthankful and unappreciative. Overcome by verbally naming – one by one – your blessings. Start with the gift of life, sunshine, shade, food to eat, a shelter in which to sleep, your job, family, friends, rain, an umbrella…

* The “Poor little me” attitude. This is the thought pattern of “everybody its against me”, “I can’t do anything right”, “nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’ll just go out in the garden and eat worms.” This attitude sets one up to be a victim. Look deep inside and activate the victor that overcomes victimhood.

* The attitude of not wanting to grow up. I call it the Peter Pan Syndrome. “I don’t wanna grow up. I don’t wanna grow up. I don’t wanna (stomp foot) grow up!” Having a childlike attitude is wonderful; remaining childish is not. Not wanting to grow up is to remain immature, na├»ve and gullible. It is destructive to success. Step up to bat and accept your responsibilities like a man or woman of courage.

* A “know it all” attitude, sets us up to be unteachable, closed minded, stubborn and dogmatic. There is so much in life to know that there is no way we could ever know it all. Develop the attitude of “I do not know all the vast wonders of the universe. I have not read every book. I have not experienced every thing. I do not know how you feel. I do not know your thoughts. As a matter of fact, I am not real sure I know myself.”

* Another negative attitude is being conceited. It is having an over-inflated ego; being prideful and arrogant. It has been said, “Conceit makes everybody sick except the one who has it.” It also pushes success away from you. Overcome through the do-it-yourself job of developing humility. Others can humiliate you, but only you can humble yourself. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

Next time we will look at positive attitudes to cultivate.

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELATIONSHIPS

I. You shall speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful greeting.

II. You shall smile at others. It takes 72 muscles to frown and only 14 to smile.

III. You shall call people by name. The sweetest music is the sound of his name.
IV. You shall be friendly. He that would have friends must show himself friendly.

V. You shall be cordial. Act as if every thing you do is a genuine pleasure. It will be.

VI. You shall be interested in other. If you try, you can like some thing about every one.

VII. You shall be generous with praise. And you shall be cautious with criticism.

VIII. You shall be considerate of others feelings. It will be appreciated.

IX. You shall be thoughtful of the opinions of others. There are three sides to each
controversy – yours, theirs and the right one.

X. You shall be alert to give service. What counts most in life is what you do for others.
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