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> Staying Optimistic, How do you stay optimistic?
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 11-Jan-2006, 08:44 AM
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ZodiacOak

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Discouragement and frustration can sometimes overwhelm the strongest Christian. Share with us your experiences, and how you've managed to keep your hopes alive!

I'll start off with something I'm dealing with right how: we're trying to sell our house because we want to move out to the country. We've found a sweet place with 5 acres, made an offer & its been accepted by the owners - BUT our place hasn't sold yet so we can't finalize the deal and move. Talk about frustrating!! Frustration overwhelmed me about 2 weeks ago & I broke down, crying & feeling like there was going to be no end to the roller coaster ride: a potential buyer comes to view the place, looks, leaves and makes no offer.
But I noticed that day I was wearing a silver bracelet I bought during my first (and only, so far!) visit to Ireland... visiting the UK was something I'd wanted to do for oh, like 20 years - what a wait, but when God did allow it to happen it was under the most perfect circumstances that never would have been in place had the trip happened earlier in my life. Waiting on God paid off; I could not see all the details He was lining up, but He was setting up the perfect situation!
So see, I had to wait - but wow, was it ever great when it finally happened! My New Year's Resolution was to keep that same Irish silver bracelet on 24-7 until the day we finalize the sale of our place. Seeing the bracelet on my wrist every day reminds me to be patient because when God's got the situation all set up for us, its going to happen.

Now its your turn! Tell us how you're struggling to stay optimistic, or how you've learned ways to keep your hopes up during discouraging times....


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"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king..."
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haynes9 
Posted: 11-Jan-2006, 09:43 AM
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Great topic and truly a challenge. I sure would like to say that I never get discouraged, but lying is a sin angel_not.gif !

Years ago I was given a little saying that has helped me immeasurably. It went something like this. Nothing bad can happen to the Christian in the light of eternity. When I first heard that, I had to stop and consider whether or not it was true. It forced me to try and look at things from God's point of view. Even when I feel like everything is out of control, He is always in control. Nothing takes Him by surprise and He knows what is best for me. I have to admit, I have to think this on purpose, because it doesn't come naturally.

I was teaching out of Hebrews 12 at our church last night about the chastening of the Lord. It's never fun to get a "whippin'" but the Lord knows what He must do to make me more like Christ. He always loves me even in the darkest hour. Hard to stay discouraged when we meditate on these things.

Have an encouraging day!


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Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. -- John Quincy Adams

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less - Robert E. Lee

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved - Romans 10:13 (KJV)

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him - Nahum 1:7 (KJV)
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Raven 
Posted: 11-Jan-2006, 11:44 AM
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When you consider the hope we have as Christians in eternity, the trials in this life are but a pebble in our shoes.

It is hard not to be frustrated in the moment (i.e. someone steals $30,000 worth of PA gear from me this year, daily pain and agrivation that goes along with being an insulin dependent diabetic for 30 years, various problems with band personel no matter how hard you work at it.......the list goes on) smile.gif

When you don't focus on the negative and look for the positive it doesn't change anything but I personally am able to see good in all of this if I don't continue to dwell on the negative aspect.

My new traveling PA rig is much easier to transport and set up (probably this had to do with God's plan for my life in some way also) smile.gif I could go on but my fingers hurt from my bike accident 2 months ago and the infection that I got from a cat bite 1 1/2 years ago smile.gif

Keep your chins up kids, it makes a better target that way tongue.gif

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Mikel


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 12-Jan-2006, 01:01 PM
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Nice topic and replies!

For me, remaining optimistic is very simple, and fundamental in respect of Christianity. As some scriptures become overused (do not judge lest you be judged), people will often become callous to their meaning, particularly when they are misapplied. However, for me it is "all things come together for good" that keeps my head up.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well sometimes the lemons are rotten, and no one likes rotten fruit. So, true it is that while we can be optimistic, or even believe our trials will eventually amount to something good, we do not have to "like" our tribulations. It's ok to frown, or to cry, or to feel the pain. These two realizations are what has kept me from getting so frustrated or discouraged as to give up. I know all the bad I endure will one day be for good, and glorify God's kingdom.


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The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
~Mark Twain
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Raven 
Posted: 14-Jan-2006, 11:32 AM
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Just an addendum

I earn my living doing sales in the Music Industry. That is how I put food on the table and pay to be a professional musician smile.gif

I look as everything that happens as a part of God's plan but that doesn't help many times when you are in the trenches slugging it out against bigger opponents with much greater resources. The odds are that on any given day of calling on potential customers who have never done business with me that I will talk to 10 people to get 1 potential new customer. You just have to keep plugging on a day to day basis and eventually you end up on top (????) hopefully smile.gif


The same with my passion, music. I realize that statistically more people will not like our music than will like our music. It is just the way it is even for the most poplular bands and even with in our genre (Celtic)

I don't know if this helps anyone but it helps me to keep in perspective that people are more likely to not like you than to like you and things are more likely to go wrong than right. It may not seem to be very optimistic, but the expectation verses reward factor is tremedous when you keep this in perspective.

BTW in my profession, I am the top rep at my company by a 25% margin over the next (we have 10 reps total) and I sell 25% of the companies entire gross at the highest margins. My sales in terms of my industry as a whole would make me in the top 5% of even the biggest companies that we compete against and anyone will tell you that sales are 90% attitude and 10% product.

I know my pragmatic approach may even seem negative to some, but it helps me tremendously when I get knocked down again and again to keep getting back up and jumping into the ring to get knocked down again.

I hope this helps smile.gif

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Mikel
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 17-Jan-2006, 02:55 PM
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Raven, you are being very pragmatic here and its the only way to survive! Your comment: "...I realize that statistically more people will not like our music than will like our music. It is just the way it is even for the most popular bands and even with in our genre (Celtic)" really touches a nerve with me. I'm a visual artist, and during 20 years of exhibiting my artwork at outdoor festivals & exhibits I know what you say is true: more people will NOT like your work than do like it. I always painted or drew subjects I felt passionate and inspired about, not subjects that were popular or in colors that the decorators said would match sofas that season. So, I'd sit there and watch some people buy print after print from other people - often because it was in the colors that matched their sofa!! rolleyes.gif That's just the way it is. I therefore found it particularly meaningful when somebody reacted very strongly to art that I had created; it was then a sharing thing, a way to make a connection with somebody that felt the same way I did about a subject... like sometimes I'd paint a landscape, someone would see it at a show and recognize it as being a place they'd visited, and they'd buy it to take home as a happy reminder of a good experience.

That just doesn't happen all that often, but man when it does its wonderful!

The pragmatic part of me came to the forefront a week ago, when I was offered a job as secretary to a local church. I said yes, and went to my first day of work on Monday. I am going to really like it there - and I'll sure like that little regular paycheck too!! And best of all, its part time so I still can spend happy days in the studio.
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Celtic cat 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 02:25 PM
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When life gives you lemons,take them and be happy that they are free...life is so expensive. smile.gif



I was probably the most pessimistic person a few years ago. I would have literally gotten upset over a pebble in my shoe. But my boyfriend and his family are very close to God and have been helping me work my way out. I get reminded about the sparrows alot.

.....and Raven sorry about all those pebbles you have that seems very rough.


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Raven 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 04:18 PM
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It could always be worse CC they could be rocks wink.gif Please tell me you like my music tongue.gif

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Mikel
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