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Monday, December 18, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – MONDAY’S HEART STARTER #23.

Kevin Carter could never escape his continent's turmoil. For a decade, the photographer captured vivid pictures of repression and strife in his native South Africa. Last year, he went to famine-racked Sudan and came upon a starving toddler stalked by a vulture.

He photographed the scene--an image that won this year's Pulitzer Prize--then chased the vulture away. As the child resumed her walk to a feeding station, he lit a cigarette and wept. Last week, at 33, he killed himself with carbon monoxide pumped into his pickup truck. Explained his father: "Kevin always carried around the horror of the work he did." - U.S. News and World Report.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. - James 1:2-4.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our subject today is STRESS…

Traits characteristic of the stress-prone…
1. Plans day unrealistically.

2. First to arrive, last to leave.
3. Always in a hurry.
4. Makes no plan for relaxation.
5. Feels guilty about doing anything other than work.
6. Sees unforeseen problem as a setback or disaster.
7. Is always thinking about several other things when working.
8. Feels need to be recognized and overextends because of this

What to do…
1. Recognize aggravating aspects of your job and accept them rather than fight them. Wisdom to discern what can and cannot be changed, attempt to change the first, and accept the second.

2. Identify your emotional needs and find ways to meet them.
3. Practice listening, it is more relaxing than talking.
4. Be sensitive to change, sense it coming and make adjustments. This makes change manageable rather than insurmountable. - From Leadership.

Responsibility for others is one of the chief causes of tension in executives. To prove this idea, an experiment was conducted some time ago with two monkeys. Scientists devised a method of giving one of the monkeys "executive" training under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.

The monkey chosen for executive training was strapped in a chair with his feet on a plate capable of giving him a minor electric shock. Then they put a light over the desk and turned the light on 20 seconds before each shock. A lever was placed by the monkey's chair. If he pulled the lever after the light came on, the light would go out and there would be no shock. The executive monkey learned to avoid the shock very quickly.

The scientists then placed another monkey across the room with the same setup, except that the second monkey's lever didn't work. However, the monkeys soon learned that the first monkey's lever would work for both, turning off the second monkey's light and protecting him from shock as well. This made the first monkey an executive, since he was now responsible for preventing shock for the second one.

The first monkey was intelligent. He quickly took over, protecting both himself and his colleague from shock, responding to both lights or either light without difficulty. There was no outward change in either monkey as the experiment continued, but after awhile the executive monkey, responding to the stress of responsibility for another, developed stomach ulcers.


The second monkey's health remained unchanged. – Source Unknown.

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely, it seems beyond strength;
Pressed in the body, and pressed in the soul;
Pressed in the mind, till the dark surges roll.

Pressure by foes, and pressure by friends,
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.

Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into tasting the joy of the Lord;
Pressed into loving a Christ life outpoured.
- Author unknown.


Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and thank the Lord for our strength in Him, and also for the power of the Holy Spirit, that helps us in times of stress.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board some of the advice that I have read, and to avoid the stress of unrealistic situations in my life. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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