7 Practical Ways to GET UNSTUCK – Part 4

This week, we are continuing with part 4 of our series "7 Practical Ways to GET UNSTUCK." So far we have learned about: 1. Focus 2. Belief 3. Selt-Talk photo Today we are coming to one of the most important aspects, UPLOADING THE CORRECT PICTURE in our mind. With other words, the proper way to renew our mind through REPLACEMENT PICTURES. In order for a behavior to be corrected or a habit to be altered, it is not enough to just tell ourselves, "I am going to stop tomorrow!", or "No more, I am not going to do this any more..." (Please listen to the video I shared with you in part 3 if you have not done already). Our mind is created to seek images; those images when vivid enough (both positive and negative) create a new reality in our mind as we meditate on them. Whatever is the predominant image in our life, that is what we naturally intend to do the next time we find ourselves in a similar situation. When you find yourself in a situation that you are not performing at your best, tell yourself, "I am better than this, the next time I intend to..." and now fill in with descriptive words how exactly you intend to handle the situation next time. REMEMBER, if you want to change the old 'black and white picture,' the new one needs to be in vivid colors. Words are powerful. Choose words that create emotion, that connect to your heart and that bring vividness to how your "Next Time" in dealing with this situation will look like. Unless you have a new descriptive image of what you will do better next time, your thoughts will naturally recreate the old picture. You are the only one in control of your own thoughts - words - actions! It's time to UPLOAD A NEW REPLACEMENT PICTURE!
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Phil. 4:8-9 The Message) Written by Ceitci #GetUNSTUCK™
 
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7 Practical Ways to GET UNSTUCK – Part 3

We are continuing today with part 3 from "7 Practical Ways to GET UNSTUCK." a-self-talk Yesterday, I asked you to write down various limiting beliefs that are causing you to live in bondage. I hope you took the time to think and identify those beliefs. If you have not, please do it today. Here is why this is important: Our beliefs are usually acquired. However, by giving sanction to the words and thoughts that pass through your mind or are spoken to us, they become a permanent part of our life. This can serve in both positive and negative ways. "Once you establish your beliefs, you behave like the person you know yourself to be." - Lou Tice Today, I would like to focus your attention on SELF-TALK. This quote states it well: Be careful how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening. (Lisa M. Hayes) Your SELF-TALK affirms when you do something right and it also affirms when you do something wrong. Have you asked yourself "How can I be so stupid?" or "What's the matter with me?" or told yourself "I am so forgetful, here I go again..." Click this link Video with Lou Tice on Self-Talk to find out how our negative self-talk can be changed. You are on your way to GET UNSTUCK! Written by Ceitci #GetUNSTUCK™
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7 Practical Ways to GET UNSTUCK – Part 2

Donkey Today I would like to share with you # 2 of the "7 Practical ways to GET UNSTUCK," a series we began yesterday. 2. "Beliefs regulate performance" - Lou Tice/The Pacific Institute We act, behave, and perform not according to the potential we have inside, but according to the beliefs, or what we hold as 'truth' in our minds. Negative beliefs lead to low self-esteem, poor performance, inability to reach goals, and being stuck. Ask yourself today: what beliefs have I adopted in my life that are not the ultimate truth, yet, they are keeping me in bondage. Identify them first by writing them down. Tomorrow we'll find out what to do next. Written by Ceitci #GetUNSTUCK™
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7 Practical Ways to GET UNSTUCK – Part 1

IMG_2179 Feeling Stuck? This week we will be posting "7 practical ways to GET UNSTUCK." Check in daily for new info: Ever lose your keys or can't find them? Do you know what your brain is doing? - Your brain is STUCK! Research shows your brain won't let you multitask or may not even let you find your keys. Click here to find why. First practical solution: Challenge your thinking process. Ask yourself, "What am I leaving out that I may not be seeing?" Written by Ceitci #GetUNSTUCK™
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Easter Poem

THE VICTORY OF EASTER 

Color in the gloom, a little bud does bloom. Long night turns to longer light. The shiver in the air – a puff of warmth it does bare. After winter’s harsh perusal, comes RENEWAL. What once seemed only dead now has life ahead. That silence within so long has a song. Heart frozen for years, soul full of tears, and here now NEW. This promise of new life so TRUE. On this Easter morn our sorrow is shorn as we are reminded again that HE conquered death and sin – over all darkness we win. by Krinda Joy - Creative Arts @CDM Image by troymarcyphotography.com  
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BULGARIAN SNAPSHOTS SERIES: Story 4

 PASS IT ON

This is our last installment in this series – for now. It’s been a month since I started these stories, and the courage of these children has truly touched me.  Also, their plight wretched my heart.  For them, these aren’t just stories, they are real life.  They are their lives. The story here is an encouragement that the program we have in Bulgaria IS making a difference in more lives than we know… Last month, our partners in Bulgaria visited the home of three sisters who are in our Strajitsa program.  The youngest is 5 years old, and was home at the time while her sisters were at school.  The girls have the privilege of living with both parents and their grandmother.  Even though it was a tight space in the house, there was a warmth there.  The dad works to support all of the 5 women.  On our visit, the girl’s mother was very proud and told how her older daughters are doing well in school, and even behave well at home.  Then, she went on to say how much they love coming to the church program we have.  They always come home happy, and enjoy learning from the “teacher”; they also come home and become the teachers.  They tell their mom and grandma all about the educational things they learned, as well as the stories from the Bible and about God.  The girls are leading the way.  They are passing it on, and their home is changed because of it.  Their little sister will grow up with all these stories of love and hope… Isn’t that why we’re all here on this earth still?  To pass on the love and hope we’ve found?  And, to pass on stories like that of these children of Bulgaria, so they will no longer be forgotten. For every child that learns about Jesus, there are more people that are touched through them. Like I spoke about in the last blog, we change the world one story, one hug, one message of love at a time. This message is simple. Short. Just… Pass it on. Written By: Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Team
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BULGARIAN SNAPSHOTS SERIES: STORY 3

PARENTS AND PLACE

A parent’s love and affirmation is unmatched. It can inspire a child.  Give them hope.  Give them vision. Ultimately, it gives a child a secure place from which they can dream, and believe those dreams are possible! Last week, I wrote the story of Adjano – a sweet but scared little boy, displaced in this world.  This week, I want to talk about Tinka.  I want to talk about the difference parents, and knowing you have “a place,” makes. Unlike many of the families we work with in our Bulgarian Program, Tinka’s parents are still together.  They are also warm and inviting – truly thankful for the church and the Changing a Generation program Tinka attends.  They love their daughter so much and they do whatever they can do give her the things she desires.  Awhile back, Tinka’s father was going to buy a good, cheap car he had found.  Then, he discovered his daughter wanted a computer, and chose to use the money for that instead.  This was a big sacrifice now that both parents are unemployed.  Tinka’s mother used to work in a hospital, but got fired.  The dad often goes abroad to work, as there are more opportunities, but he always comes back to be with his family.  Tinka is now 14 years old and in 7th grade.  Her parent’s proudly talk about how smart she is; she learns quickly and does well especially in English.  She even plays the guitar – a gift they saved up to give her some time ago.  Since high school in Bulgaria is only available on an acceptance basis, Tinka’s parents are having her apply now to continue her education.  They dream of a better future for her, and want to send her to the port city her older sister lives in.  In that city, there’s a good Naval High School.  Tinka would really like to work on one of the big ships.  Her parents are doing everything they can to make that happen. Tinka will make it. She will be okay because she always has a place she knows she belongs in this world.  She has a place in her parent’s hearts where she can find inspiration, courage, and affirmations that she is important.  She is loved.  Tinka does not live afraid of being kicked out, of being sold or abandoned by her family. I wish I could say the same about every child we work with in Bulgaria.  But, the sad truth is, many are like our story of Fenya, where her father left them and her mother had to go out of country just to support them.  Or like Adjano, whose mother simply disappeared, and whose father hasn’t come to see him since.  They have family around, but not their parents.  They’ll never know the love of a mother, or the protection of a father.  They are like orphans.  To me, this is where we come in.  We are the harbor for “orphans” to come and find a safe place – to receive affirmation and courage.  We help to inspire dreams. I can guarantee you, somewhere in your life there’s an orphan.  There is a child that needs a “place.”  They may life in a nice home and have nice stuff, but there’s an absent father, a missing mother, or both are gone and they live with grandparents.   Every child can’t have “parents” in the true sense of the definition, but we can step in and provide that love, that affirmation, and place.  Whether we sponsor a child, or choose someone in our church/neighborhood to shower love on, or adopt in a literal sense, we have a role to play. We may not have a lot. Tinka’s parents do not. But they have love. And, we do too. Written By:  Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Team
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BULGARIAN SNAPSHOTS SERIES: STORY 2

DISPLACED

Home is one of those things we take for granted. A place to live.To sleep.To call our own. Even if it’s a small apartment, or the basement, or a little room in someone’s house, it’s a place we know we can rest our heads for the night. Family is another of those things we undervalue. For those of us lucky to have a family, or a few close people we call family, we find security in that.  THEY are our home.  They are where we can relax, feel safe, find our place in this life.  But what if the place you call home and the people you call “family” wasn’t any of these things… Little Adjano, in our Bulgarian Program, has neither a real home or secure family…sure, he lives somewhere and has a bunch of people who share some DNA with him, but that’s all.  When he was about 2 years old, Adjano’s mother disappeared.  After that, his father signed over the parental care of Adjano to the boy’s great grandmother, then left to work abroad. He hasn’t been back to see his son since.  That was 10 years ago.  Adjano’s now 12. Two years ago, Adjano’s great grandmother passed away without signing over his care to anyone else.  Instead of social services moving him into the system, however, they left him with other members of his family.  Ten others to be exact.  Adjano’s grandparents, her two other sons, their wives, and his cousins all live under one roof.  Of all these people, only the grandparents work and bring in money.  Adjano is stuck under the “temporary” care of his aunt in the house.  There’s constant noise and smells in the tight space with only two members out working. Adjano is so nervous all the time.  He’s nervous he doesn’t belong.  He’s nervous they’ll one day decide to kick him out.  He has virtually no parents, no papers that identify who he belongs to, and no real home.  Every week, when we serve sandwiches, Adjano asks for extras; and when we give out pajamas to the children in the program, he wants any additional sets.  He takes these all home, gives them as an offering to the other guys in the household – hoping that it will keep them from stealing his; praying it will be enough to keep him in the family, at the house…to keep him from being displaced. This story hit my heart hard. There are times I’ve been displaced.  I’ve lived off couches and out of my car – I’ve been the “new” person too many times to count and had cultural shock moving around.  But, I have family I can always run to.  And, no matter what, I’ve always had a little corner to call mine – be it a couch or a little room.  Little Adjano does not.  And, I’m so thankful he’s a part of our program.  At least, when he comes to hear about Jesus, get a little education, do some crafts, and eat some good food, he knows he’s loved.  He knows he belongs there – and that he’ll always get a hug.  This is the part of the story that makes me smile.  Even if Adjano is displaced in his own home, he has a place in Changing a Generation and in the arms of Jesus. Written By:  Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Arts Team
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BULGARIAN SNAPSHOTS SERIES: Story 1

FEAR OF TAKEN

The Taken movie gathered a large audience when it first released in 2008. The father’s unrelenting love for his daughter, the fact that he would stop at nothing for her rescue, captured viewers. Now, there’s the second installment in the series.  I understand why they made a sequel, but the thought makes me sick.   I’m sick with the fact that reality turns entertainment so fast for me, for us, for the world.  But, until I started working with Changing a Generation, I never realized just how REAL Taken is.  Now that I hear stories constantly about the fear our children in Bulgaria experience over the possibility, or experience, of being taken, I just can’t watch it on the big screen.  Not that the movies are “bad” at all, it’s just too real… Fenya and her brother Anyan attend on of our programs in Bulgaria.  Fenya is 16 and Anyan is 14.  They live with their grandma because their father left them when they were very little; their mother lives in a different country so she can make money for the family.  She calls everyday and sends cash – it’s the only way she can show her love from a distance.  The siblings are lucky in this:  they have family that loves them dearly.  However, this doesn’t always protect them from others.  Fenya’s grandmother expressed her distress and fear all last year about a boy that was hanging around her granddaughter.  Most in the United States would just be afraid of a bad influence, or premature relations, but what the grandma feared was this boy taking Fenya.  It happens often.  So, she was constantly watching.  When the boy stopped coming around, the grandma was relieved. Last fall, volleyball season started up again for Fenya.  Both she and her brother played on separate teams.  Fenya was very talented.  Her grandma came to a few practices and noticed that at them, there were many boys loitering around and watching.  The grandma’s fear ignited again, knowing they could have been “scouting” for good candidates to take and either use or prostitute.  So, Fenya’s grandma pulled her out of the program.  Anyan still plays. “Sometimes,” the grandma expressed, “I regret taking Fenya out of volleyball.  She liked it.”  At the same time, she’s doing everything she knows how to protect her granddaughter from being stolen, kidnapped, trafficked….taken. What an awful reality to live with every day:  that your beautiful, shiny-haired granddaughter could be taken from you at any moment.   Yet, this is a part of the Bulgaria our children live with.  There are so many stories of fear, of pain, of abandonment, and of hope or victory that we hear every week from the children in our program.  Fenya’s story is just one.  Through the next weeks, I want to give snapshots of their stories – to be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.  These stories keep us from forgetting that there’s more than just our lives to care for, but that the children of the world need a voice.  And, we can be that voice. Written By: Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Arts Team
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Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Graduation Speech

This is one of our staff's favorite videos:  
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