Success: what they don't teach you
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One of my strengths is called Input. I crave to learn as much as possible about things I’m interested in. So, I read and research voraciously on those subjects. I write down key points. Then what I learn I have to teach/tell my husband about it first (thanks Ethan for the rapt attention!). And then I always end up helping/educating/ telling others about this knowledge because what I put in has to come out. I want to help others with this knowledge grow so they can experience the abundant life God has planned for them! Hence why I blog, am a Certified Health Education Specialist, was a client advocate, an unofficial counselor, an unofficial librarian, researcher, you get the picture.
The book I’m currently reading is called Integrity: The courage to meet the demands of reality. How six essential qualities determine your success in business. By Dr. Henry Cloud. This is an affiliate link. I may earn a small fee if you click the link.(You may have heard of the popular book Boundaries that he wrote.) I’m reading this book because I want to learn as much as I can about business, marketing, e- commerce, etc. This is a very good book and I highly recommend it. I’m learning so much about integrity and my character. This book is a must read to achieve success in every aspect of your life. This isn’t just for business owners or employees.
I started reading this book first, because I like Dr. Cloud, who’s a Christian Psychologist, second, I want to know more about succeeding in business. And third I am so tired of reading, watching webinars, and reading posts and blogs from these “business experts” on the web that all have the same tired advice! I wanted to read from a source that I know of and have confidence in.
The “business experts” advice is missing the point about being successful. Success comes from having certain character traits. These traits are learned from childhood, experience, the Bible, learning from mistakes, good role models and other factors. This is not taught in school. Some of these traits are trustworthy, honest, being focused, empathetic, gaining knowledge and humbleness. Basically, all of the fruits of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).
The meaning of success is a favorable outcome, doing what was desired or attempted; an attainment of wealth or fame or position (Oxford American Dictionary). Everyone wants to be successful at something(s) in their life. Being successful to some doesn’t always mean having money! I want to be a successful parent and raise godly children of good character. A pastor’s success may be in how many people he can help know Christ. A successful wife wants to be pleasing, loving, patient and kind to her husband.
God wants you to prosper at life. How he wants you to prosper is far from what is falsely taught of prosperity. Prosper means to be successful; to thrive (Oxford American Dictionary). When I looked up the word prosper in a topical Bible search there were many meanings: success, thrive, victorious, triumph, completeness, soundness, to advance, to bless! Aren’t those same breath taking definitions? I want my life to be all of those, what about you?
How can you be prosperous in life? By trusting Jesus as Lord and savior over your life, fully trusting and obeying God in all things and reading and meditating on the Bible, using the wisdom it has and living in the Spirit. There are countless scriptures about how to be prosperous:
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it. Psalm 34:11-14 (NLT)
These are just a couple of scriptures on being prosperous and successful!
I just gave you the secret to success!! Just kidding, it’s really no secret. God has given us this knowledge in the Bible. I pray for everyone to realize and believe how much God loves us and wants us to live a prosperous life to be a blessing to Him and others. What do you want to be successful in? Leave a comment, I love to hear from you!
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Thank you to everyone who submitted a title for my short story. They were all good titles, so it was hard to choose.
There are two winners!
Nicole's title - "Light Hath No Fear" and Ada's title - " A Light From Within"!
These titles will be combined to "A Light From Within Hath No Fear"
Both titles conveyed how Veronique wasn't afraid to receive and use the light. The title will be used on the short story blog posts!
This was fun to do, so I will be sure to have different contests in the future.
A Light From Within Hath No Fear - short story
Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a beautiful 10 year old girl named Veronique. Veronique lived in a land of darkness. Lord Lucien was a ruler over this land of darkness called Luciendia.
She was a peculiar girl according to the other kids. She was quiet, sweet, kind, liked to help others and also liked to give hugs. Most of the people and kids were rude, greedy, liars and selfish. She didn’t know why they made fun of her. She looked the same as all the other kids; had beautiful brown skin, almond shaped eyes and the tightly curled black hair.
Her mom didn’t know too much about true love because it was frowned upon. Her mother never showed it to her and she didn’t see it being shown in their kingdom. She loved Veronique in her own way but didn’t hug her too much. She was always at work and doing things for Lord Lucien
Veronique’s’ mom like all the other kids’ mothers did things for her own pleasure. That’s how Veronique got here, because of her mothers’ pleasure seeking. Veronique has never met her father. She imagined her father was Lord Lucien. Little did she know he was actually a palace guard.
One night while Veronique was asleep she heard a voice calling her. It was a sound like she has never heard before. It sounded like bells ringing, birds singing, and joy all rolled into one. She woke up and saw a glow of light surrounding her bed.
“Veronique, my child. Wake up,” the beautiful soft voice said.
“Come child, follow the light. It’s safe.”
Veronique uncovered herself and got out of bed. She followed the soft candle like glow onto her bedroom’s balcony.
She shut the door softly turned around and saw the most beautiful woman she has ever seen! She was very tall, brown skin like hers, beautiful face, surrounded by hair that had curly braids tumbling down to her shoulder. She was wearing a white dress with lace, pearls, diamonds and bows. And she had white wings peeking above her shoulders and from her back.
Veronique was speechless! The woman stood there with a smile on her face.
“Are you my fairy godmother?” Veronique asked the beautiful woman.
“No,” the beautiful woman said with a little giggle.
“There is no such thing as fairy godmothers. That lord Lucien deceives you all,” Gabrielle says sadly.
“What?” Veronique says astonished.
“I am an angel of the Lord most high. My name is Gabrielle,” she said.
“The Lord most high?” Veronique asked with a confused look on her face.
“Yes! There is other kingdoms and lands out there that you know nothing about. Lord Lucien has kept you all in darkness for so long. The sun shines more than only 4 times a year!”
Lord Lucien and his kingdom celebrate the sun’s solstice 4 times a year. It is only on those days when the sun shines its golden glow and warmth down on the land. It is those days when everyone experiences true joy. The people of Lucien’s kingdom are kept in literal and physical darkness the rest of the 361 days of the year.
Veronique is so confused about all this. She’s trembling and shaking her head side to side. Gabrielle gives her a minute to take it all in.
“Veronique, I need you to calm down and listen. We only have a few minutes.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Lord Lucien has been keeping things from you all, he doesn’t want you to know the truth.”
“The truth?” Veronique asked again.
“Yes, I need your help. You have that special something in you, I was supposed to find you and use you for the most - high God’s plan.
“Tomorrow gather up all the children 18 and under and go to the dungeon. Meet me there at 1 PM. I will put a sleeping spell on all the adults.”
Veronique looked up and nodded quickly.
“I will do that.”
“Thank you. Please don’t tell the adults. They won’t understand you yet. There is much work to be done. I will see you tomorrow. Go rest my child,” Gabrielle said.
Veronique ran over to her and gave her a big hug turned around and went into her room.
She climbed back in bed and laid there with the biggest smile ever. She finally fell asleep and had the happiest of dreams
The next day Veronique went around and told all the children about the angel and the meeting. There was much excitement in the kingdom. She told them to not tell any adults, it is a special secret only for the children on the kingdom.
At 1 PM the kids met in the square. Surrounding them was so many angels. Handsome men and beautiful women angels stood there with their magnificent wings held out. Almost as if they were shielding the children.
Gabrielle ran over to Veronique and took her little hand.
“Veronique, thank you for all your help. You were made for a time such as this,” Gabrielle exclaimed.
Veronique beamed up at Gabrielle. Proud of helping this angel.
Gabrielle told Veronique to start heading over to the dungeons for this special meeting.
The kids started to move forward and down the dungeon steps. The angels brought up the rear. Gabrielle was first behind the kids.
When they were in the huge dungeon room the kids sat down and the angels surrounded them. Gabrielle stepped into the center to face the children.
“Hello all you beautiful children. I am Gabrielle an angel of the most – high God. And these are some of my fellow angels. You have been deceived my children.”
There were gasps and murmuring all around the room. Veronique was nodding her head and put her finger to her mouth to silence everyone.
“Dear children we are angels of the most high God. We worship God all our days, we help protect his children and help to send blessings to those who love and trust him, too. The next few days we are on a mission to help get you out of Lucien’s kingdom of darkness,” Gabrielle said.
“You were all created by God and made in his image. You are beautiful and precious in his sight. You were made with a purpose – to know him, love him and worship him in the true kingdom. You were made to operate in love, not in fear like Lucien makes you believe.
God has plans for you all. The main one is to defeat Lucien and his kingdom of darkness.”
There was such a commotion. Some kids were shouting others were crying. There was as shift in the atmosphere. Veronique could feel it and some of the kids were quieting down and looking all around them.
“The most – high God wants to use you children because you haven’t been deceived long. It is harder to get the adults to believe because they have been under Lucien’s spell for so long. God’s kingdom depends on you.”
All of a sudden, the ground starts to shake. The kids were screaming and running to the angels. The angels picked some up and put their wings out to shield them.
“I think Lucien has found out about our meeting place. Michael, Henri, take your unit with you and prepare for battle,” Gabrielle commanded them.
Michael and Henri nodded and did some type of sign language and their unit followed them up and out of the dungeon.
“Children I need you to quiet down and listen to me. The spirit of you all are very great and strong. Strong enough to help us defeat Lucien and his army of darkness. But first you must believe in the most - high God and his sacrifice of his dearly loved son. His son was sacrificed a long time ago for you and all the adults. Many believed and was part of his kingdom of light.
Then Lucien who was banished to another world, came to this land for revenge against the most - high God. He wanted to have all the power and glory of the most – high God. He’s recruited others from the kingdom of light by deception, false trust and greed. The deceived came to this kingdom for freedom from all the “rules”. Little did they know they are slaves to Lucien in this world.
You all are slaves and the most – high God has already set you free. We have come to give you the truth, fight for your freedom from Lucien and take you to the kingdom of light. The most – high God loves you and we do too. Do you want to experience the sun more? Feel that warmth and joy that solstice parties bring all the time?” Gabrielle asked.
The children were curious and excited. More sunshine? More joy? More warmth? Those are things they hunger for daily. A ripple of whispers and giggles were coming from them. They looked over to Veronique with hope in their eyes. Veronique searched their faces and started to shake her head up and down.
“Yes. Yes. Yes! Gabrielle, we want to feel that! And learn more about this God you speak of!” Veronique shouted over the children’s’ excited voices.
All of a sudden, the angel Henri came running down the steps over to Gabrielle with a look of grief on his face.
“Gabrielle, Lucien and his legion are stronger than us. There isn’t enough time for the others to come over from the kingdom of light. Some of us have been maimed and badly hurt – wings have been severed!” Henri said.
“Oh most – high God please help us defeat Lucien and his legion. Please help us get these children to the kingdom of light,” Gabrielle pleaded head angled up, eyes closed.
All of a sudden Veronique heard a still small voice. It felt warm like sunshine, it sounded calming like a babbling brook, it was as powerful as a lion’s roar, yet she was not afraid.
“Veronique,” the voice whispered in her ear, heart and mind.
“Yes,” Veronique whispered back.
“I love you, I love you all and you need to get out of this dark kingdom. I am the most – high God and I sense you are not afraid of me.”
“Oh, no I’m not afraid of you, I felt at peace when you whispered my name.”
“Good my child. You are going to help defeat Lucien and his legion.”
“What? I’m only ten years old, small and fragile. I can’t defeat the mighty lord Lucien,” she said.
“Yes, you will. I have breathed love, light and life into your heart, mind and soul. Right now, it is stirring to help in this battle. It will make you more powerful and stronger than Lucien and his legion. All you need to do is feel it and believe it,” the most – high God commanded.
Veronique took a deep breath and felt a warmth and stirring in her bones. It started at her heart and slowly moved across her chest. She was standing there with her eyes closed, breathing deeply and had no clue what was happening around her.
“Henri look at Veronique,” Gabrielle said. “I think He spoke into her.”
Henri turned and looked at Veronique. All the children were surrounding her now.
Veronique had a soft glow emitting from her chest and slowly creeping down her arms. Beams of this soft golden light started shooting from her fingertips unto the floor.
Some of the children were gasping, others were crying. Gabrielle spoke softly and told them not to be afraid. The most – high God had spoken to her.
Veronique felt the warm light coming out of her fingers and starting to well at the bottom of her throat. She has never felt such power before! She opened her eyes and saw how the other children surrounded and looked at her. The circle of children slowly opened, and Veronique started to walk towards the dungeon stairs.
She slowly walked up the stairs keeping her fingers pointed down and her mouth closed. The power was thrumming ready to burst forth and do damage. The screams, shouts and clangs of steel against steel were getting louder as she climbed.
I have love, light and life within me from the most – high God. I will help save the children from this kingdom of darkness. She said in her mind.
She reached the top of the steps and walked towards the castle. Veronique stopped and looked around her. Feathers, broken wings, wounded angels (angels are immortal), dead guards and adults lined the cobblestoned streets.
Veronique kept on going to finish this. She had no fear just a strong sense of peace surrounding her. The golden light was shining out of her.
When she passed the angels and baals (that is what Lucien’s legion is called), stopped fighting. The angels had smiles on their faces and the baals were starting to smolder and shriek.
“AIIIIEEEEEE! She has the golden light!” The baals screamed running from her towards the castle, leaving smoke in their wake.
Veronique had a little grin on her face and started jogging towards the castle. The angels that weren’t wounded fell in behind her. What a sight to behold.
They came upon the barricaded castle doors. Veronique reached her hands out and they burst open.
The castle was in chaos. Screams and shouts everywhere, all silenced when Veronique and the angels walked by heading to the throne room.
They reached the throne room and there sat Lucien on his throne with a look of rage on his face.
“What is this? How dare you come into my castle,” he shouted at them, black spittle flying through the air.
Veronique stepped up to the dais with the angels behind her. She reached her arms out to the side threw her head back and opened her mouth and screamed. The pulsing, powerful golden light flew from her mouth, chest, hands and feet lighting the throne room as bright and as hot as the sun.
Lucien tried to run but couldn’t get away from that hot and powerful light. It tore through him, melting off his darkness and power.
“AIIIEEEE! NOOOO!” He screamed while rolling on the floor. He was slowly transforming back as the handsome angel the most – high God created Him.
“NO, no, no. Not this. Please kill me!” He shouted before passing out. He’d rather die and turn to dust than be brought before the most – high God.
While all this was happening the kingdom of darkness was transforming outside of the castle. The clouds rolled back, and the sun shone down on the land. All the baals were dead. Most of the adults had the darkness removed from their hearts and minds and the children were dancing in the sunshine.
Inside the throne room a few of the angels picked up the limp body of the transformed Lucien to transport him back to the kingdom of the most – high God. Where he will be judged, condemned, put in chains and sent away for eternal punishment.
Veronique stood there, head bowed, the golden glow dimmed low but not completely out. Her light will never stop shining.
Thanks for reading! Please sign up and comment a title for this short story. You might win a tee from the Love Letter Collection! Winner will be picked Tuesday October 23,2018.
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Christina Leeman MPH, CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) emboldens Christian women to live lives worthy of God.
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