Affirmation: the comforter is always walking with me at this any every moment. 

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. Malachi 3: 1

To the ancient peoples the idea that God was going to send a messenger would have been met with great fear.  They certainly understood from their past experience that whenever God sent an emissary that something was about to happen.  I think as we read this passage today we forget about the fear factor. And I think that fear factor is important.

God is sending a messenger and this messenger doesn’t come without a real and vital purpose, so it must mean that I am going to be challenged.  I am about to be asked to look at my world and my place in it and to recognize that some changes will need to take place.  Where perhaps I have become all consumed by my daily rushing about with my life and have allowed doubt and worry to overwhelm me, I am once again being reminded of the need to pause and connect again with the Divine Spirit that is reaching out to speak with words I have needed to hear.  I am to be reminded that the comforter is always walking with me at this any every moment.  For me, the messenger says, be not afraid, but remember the healing presence of God is always as close as your very next thought.

When I think of the messenger I am reminded that we are to be each day of the year challenged to discover God’s beautiful and life-changing message of unconditional love, grace and salvation that is being offered.  At last it is possible to let go of our anxiety, emerge from the darkness of doubt and to walk boldly with God’s unfolding and mysterious Spirit, awakening still new revelations of this perfect presence.  What may have begun in fear gives way as the messenger reminds me to look, to see, and to understand that God has always been with me, even though my vision has been clouded and dimmed by feelings of being all alone.  Jesus is always right here and walking me through the valley of the shadow of my doubts and leading me back to the healing still waters of new life and possibility.

The message has been given, the stage has been set, it is now up to me to decide which path I choose to take.

Prayer: Thank you God for reminding us that we are never alone for your loving presence is always right where we are at this and every moment.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time.  Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

 

 

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Recognizing The Answers To Our Prayers, No Matter How They Might Show Up

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Early last evening while I was driving to church for a Bible discussion I noticed that there was a fly in my car and that it was banging up against the front window in an effort to get free.  I certainly didn’t wish to harm the fly so, even though it was cool outside, I lowered my side windows hoping the fly would discover the other way get out.  I had a two-mile drive before me, so I thought the fly would surely finally find its escape.  But guess what?  Even though there was the answer to meet the wishes of this fly to get free it just simply continued to bang against the front window, with the same result each time. No freedom.  Even my trying to motion the fly toward the window didn’t work.

I started thinking about prayer, our answers and how we recognize them.  We were going to discuss this later at church.  As silly as this may sound watching this fly was a perfect example of how we all too often wait for the answers to our prayers to be revealed.

We prayed, we know the outcome we desire and we know most often that is followed with a period of waiting.  But I have realized, certainly in my own life, that the answers to my prayers that I seek don’t always come in the way I thought they would.  I, like most of us, expect the answer to show up in a particular way.  We keep looking for it to come in that way and when it doesn’t we think we are just not getting an answer. We sometimes then begin to plead for the answer, thinking that if we beg just right, use the right words, or make God enough promises perhaps then it will come.  But suppose the answer we seek has already presented itself, it is right before us, but it has come in another way – from another direction.  Because we are so focused on seeing the answer come in only one way we think we have been forgotten by Spirit/God.

I know the fly story may be silly, but when you stop to think about it the answer for the flies freedom was there, it was just too focused on how it had to come, or how it had to look.

This is why I like to always suggest that when we pray that we add at the end of our prayer, “and I will recognize the answer when it appears, however it may come.”  Affirm that we will be open to miracles coming from ways we had previously never even considered. This awareness of Spirit’s mysterious and wondrous ways often can show us that our answer has been with us all the time.  We were just not seeing what was already there.

Affirmation:  “And I recognize the answers as they appear, however they may come.”  Wow!

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time.  Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

 

 

Tradition, Legacy and What’s Next.  Reconciliation, Unity and Community

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Recently I attended what I have called “A Cousins Reunion.” Five of our 8 cousins (along with three spouses and one cousins son) met out in West Texas in a little town named Quanah.  None of us have ever lived there as we all grew up in and around Washington, DC, but our maternal grandparents met there in 1911.  What was fun about getting together in this little town was that it gave us an opportunity to not only to be where they met and to visit their gravesites, but to spend some time telling stories about our family legacy.

Our grandmother lived near us in Washington, DC and as the oldest of the cousins she and I would often travel around the country on the train.  It was not only great fun, but it was a chance for her to tell me many, many family stories.  So, at our weekend reunion we each told the stories we remembered, how our mother’s and grandmother ended up in Washington, DC at the start of WWII and about all the relatives that had come before us, who they were, what they did and to celebrate the branches of our family tree.

Knowing these stories, sharing them and remembering the rich legacy they have left us was so beautiful.  As we visited the cemetery in Quanah we told stories of those whose gravestones we saw. Seeing these markers sparked our memories and soon we were off recalling the things that shaped their lives and that would eventually shape ours as well.  They were all people of strong faith, active in their churches with some members leading the music, and even a preacher here and there to add spice. The local historical society even found a church bulletin from April of 1912 in which two of our great aunts were listed, as choir director and pianist.  That was a real thrill.  Our great-grandfather had founded that church and today it still exists, although in a beautiful newer building.

I think what I learned from this the most is that we each come from a tradition and legacy that has in many ways helped to shape our lives today.  What our ancestors gave to us is not necessarily a life we choose to copy, but it has been for each of us a jumping off point from which we can shape our lives today.  Our grandparents had their jumping off point from what they had experienced, and we now have ours.  What we choose to do from this moment on is up to us.

Where do any of us we wish to go from here?  It is no surprise that each of the cousins is very different today, just as in many ways we are similar.  The family sense of humor is very much alive within us; as well as music and, yes, a preacher.  (That would be me).

We each get to decide, and that goes for you who are reading this as well, how we choose to process the traditions and legacy from which we have come.  Like it or not that is our family DNA.  We will carry this whether we like it or not. This may be our jumping off point, but we have understood and received that birthright in many different ways and we will each go forth to our next endeavors with different expressions of life.  Just as with a GPS device we can recalculate our journey and forge exciting new paths for ourselves through our positive, life affirming desires.  We can let go of any negative influences, make the conscious choice that we will not allow those things to taint our present and future and we can chart new journeys that forge an exciting life.

We will always be connected with what has come before us, and that is meaningful.

Yes, there are always things that may be unpleasant, or painful, but how we process those experiences and how we proceed forward today need not emulate the negative, but can certainly help us to make better choices now.

I know each cousin will have something exciting and new to bring to our next gathering, and I do hope there is one.  I can’t wait.

We each and every one of us have a core make-up that provides a rich place from which we can build community.  My cousins and I have a core DNA that binds us together, however, all of God’s beautiful humanity also comes from a common place.

We are each spiritual beings, created in the image and likeness of Perfect Spirit/God. Presently we are having a human experience, but at our core we are, and can only ever be, spiritual beings.   The DNA of Perfect Creative Spirit that is first and foremost the foundation of who we are unites us all as fellow travelers who are seeking a rich and meaningful human experience.  When we remember to move forward in life from this place of spiritual kinship with one another, with the whole of humanity, we come a long way in helping to co-create a world of peace, justice and togetherness in which we all would hope to live.  Seeing Spirit within others, as they see Spirit within us, is what will build a future of reconciliation, unity and community.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time.  Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

 

God says to us, “Look and see. Look and see. You are going to be amazed at what I have in store for you.  You are going to love this.  Look and see.”

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“Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?”     (Psalm 139: 7)

The answer to the question posed in our scripture is “nowhere.”  There is absolutely nowhere we can go that the presence of God is not.  This I find extremely comforting, for no matter what we are experiencing we have the assurance that God is right where we are. Not only is God experiencing with us what we are feeling, but God is also present to move us through that experience should it be one we wish to release from our life.

I have a stack of Angel cards that I love. Each card has a word on it and I like to pick one of these each day.  Some of these words are abundance, peace, health, joy opportunity and understanding. It is from whatever word I choose that I often meditate, or direct my thoughts from time to time throughout my day.   The word I chose today is “Be.”  I especially love this one.  To “be” is to recognize our true Spiritually created self.  To always have a consciousness that affirms that the fullness of all that we are is a creation of God.  This is a “being” that affirms that life is truly stacked in our favor, but we must live our life as though that is the truth about God being active in our lives.  Whatever is happening, God is right there.  In the good times, as well as in those times when life can be a struggle, God is always right there with us, sharing that joy or that pain with us and continuing to move us forward into the Light and experience of a still greater good.

We can examine our belief in the presence of God in our lives by looking at the thoughts we are having right now.  Are we affirming that God is providing for us and blessing us right now?  Do we look at our life right now and affirm those things we really want to experience? Do we constantly see lack, limitation and not enough?  Or do we see possibility, opportunity and the light of a brighter future? Do we come from a place of fear and mistrust and with an angry and accusatory nature, or do we look for and recognize the goodness in others, their worth and their beauty?  Do we go through life with a frown on our face, or do we greet the day, and others with a smile?  Our thoughts today will create our tomorrow.  If we want a full and blessed tomorrow we must look no further than what we are thinking today.  Affirmative God thoughts today will be the seeds that bloom tomorrow.  Put quite simply, a smile freely given to others will brighten everyone’s world.

Shakespeare wrote, “To be, or not to be.”  The choice is ours to be all that we have been created to be.  When we live that truth God says to us, “Look and see.  Look and see. You are going to be amazed at what I have in store for you.  You are going to love this. Look and see.”

Created in the image and likeness of Perfect God/Spirit we are to “Be” all that we were indeed created to be.  We are never “not that,” but our acceptance, and experience, of all that we are rests within our living each day from this beautiful truth.

Affirmation:  “Today I affirm that all that I am is the creation of a loving God.  I will live that truth in all that I experience and I give God thanksgiving that it is so.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time.  Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

Where we place our focus is where we will find we are living our life. What thoughts are you planting today that will become your tomorrow?

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If you have faith the size of a mustard seed.”    (Matthew 17: 20)

Faith is a powerful word and idea to contemplate.  We can have faith in many things, we can have faith in people, and we can have faith in God. All too often it has been people who have let us down and because of that experience we come to the false conclusion that Spirit/God will also let us down.  We begin to see God in the image of humans, with capricious intentions, instead of seeing God as the steady, forever constant, Divine Essence of all good. Personally I have never understood how people who don’t believe in the power of God in their lives make it through each day.  Yes, I have grown up as a believer, as a churchgoer, and as a Christian for my entire life.  I have constantly seen and experienced how the power of God has gotten me through some pretty tough times and delivered me to the other side of those mountains. Affirmations of Spirit’s presence and Light remind me that I am not now, or ever can be, alone on my journey of life.  Scriptures that speak of having faith and continuing to trust in God have also become my mantras in those difficult times.  One of my favorites that has always gotten me through the tough times, is Isaiah 41: 10. “Do not fear, for I am with you, be not be afraid, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”  Those words and those powerful thoughts have often been on my mind, as they are yet today, for there is much going on in our world that could discourage and defeat us. We are not charged to have great faith, but even just a little, like a mustard seed.  These seeds that take root in the soil of our thoughts grow into amazing structures of possibility, reaching for the sky in magnificent grandeur.

Feel as though your faith is lacking today?  Feel dehydrated of the Spirit of God in your life?  Take some time to sit in the quiet, to imagine the presence of God within you.  Visualize the seed of God’s possibility deep within and trust that God is at that very moment blessing you abundantly.

Faith is our belief in the things that are not seen scripture tells us. Faith, the assurance that joy always comes in the morning.  Faith, our knowing without a doubt that as beautiful creations of God we need not fear, for indeed, God will uphold us with Spirit’s victorious right hand.

Affirmation:  “Today I plant seeds of exciting possibility.  Allowing those thoughts to grow and multiply I move forward with a new spirit and resolve.”   

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time.  Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

How thankful are you feeling today?

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“I will thank you forever, because of what you have done.  In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.” (Psalm 52: 9)          

My mother’s mother, my beloved grandmother, was perhaps my best friend when I was growing up.  When she died we went through her apartment and we all picked out items that had been special to her and that would forever be treasured keepsakes for each of us.  My grandmother, who was always impeccably dressed, loved purses and had, what seemed to me, quite a collection.  What we discovered was that in the bottom of every one of those purses she had placed a penny.  One penny in each purse.  I remembered later that on one of our special days to luncheon together, usually at the Peoples Drug Store lunch counter on Dupont Circle in Washgigton, D.C., which she loved, she was beautifully dressed as always with hat and gloves and I probably looked as preppy as ever (not much has changed).  During our conversation she showed me the single penny in the bottom of the purse and explained why it was there.  It reminded her of the Great Depression years when things were lean and how God had walked with her through those dark times and blessed her.  She said that as long as she had that penny in the bottom of her purse she knew she would never be broke, that she was abundant, that God was always providing all that she needed and things were good. Her example of being thankful for even the little things has always stayed with me.  She taught me that our gratitude opens the door for us to see even more blessings all around us.

An attitude of gratitude is a phrase I often hear and, though it may seem like a simple idea, when we practice it, it becomes a life changer. Our focus on life shifts to the blessings of God and the fullness of God’s love for us.  When we begin to focus on the seed of possibility in our lives we create a powerful starting point to experiencing renewed growth in our faith.  What may seem a simple shift in our thinking to the recognition and understanding of God right where we are at every moment, is in reality a beautiful prayer unto itself. A prayer of trust and a wonderful prayer of gratitide.

Affirmation: “I am forever supported by God’s unconditional love and grace.”

 Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time.  Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

 

Our habits, either positive or negative, will shape the future we experience. Choose wisely.

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Unless the grain of wheat dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it will bear much fruit.” (John 12: 24)

We are in the midst of the 64-day Season of Nonviolence. This was launched by the United Nations in 1998 and extends from the anniversary date of the death of Mohandas K. Gandhi on January 30 to the anniversary date of the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4. This season serves for all of us as a wake up call, a time to not just recognize, but be that force for change in our violent and destructive world.

We have to die to the things that cause violence in our world. Unforgiveness, pettiness, false claims and judgment. These may seem like little things, but they add up. They multiply as they become the motivation and direction our lives take. They grow as they become so familiar to us, so much business as usual, that we don’t even know we are still locked in that place of negativity. They grow as we so often unconsciously teach these ideas of violence and hatred to others. We weren’t born with these ideas, they were taught.

But we can burn off those feelings, those judgments. We can burn off that negativity and one by one as we set before us a new direction and new intention for good we can change the world. We can set forth at this very moment to change the course our world is on.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with ME. Now is the appointed time to start. Now is the appointed time to make a commitment to make business as usual one of love, peace, joy and abundance. Now is the appointed time to see God’s light shining for all.  We never undertake this new direction alone, for the fullness of Spirit/God surrounds and moves through us at this and every moment.  This powerful energy and vibration for good, for peace, for justice and for reconciliation will always let us know we are supported in every way.

Affirmation: “I let peace, joy, love and possibility for good be the guiding force of my life and I watch as this idea grows and changes our world.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

Seeing Miracles For Others Until They Can See Them For Themselves

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“I thank God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you.”    (Philippians 1: 3-4)

One of the most beautiful acts we can perform for another is to lift them up in prayer. It is something we can do at any time, in any place, and in doing this we can realize God’s beautiful presence not only in their lives, but also in our own.

In the midst of the “stuff” going on in our lives it can be so difficult to see the truth of God’s blessing and answer. I know this for a fact, for I have felt it on many occasions.   The burden seems especially heavy, the sky seems unusually dark and the pain feels as though it has come to stay. In these times, as much as I know God is right here with me at every moment, and I am never alone, it can be tough. We all feel those emotions of being overwhelmed at times, not knowing how we should go forward, or even what words we ourselves would want to say in prayer.  Turning to someone we trust to lift us up in prayer can have a powerful effect for us in knowing we are not alone.

There is such power in having others lift us up to God in sincere and faithful prayer. As others lift us up they can see beyond our concerns and burdens and they can see the reality of God’s blessing for us. I have always found it helpful to know that another is “holding that space of perfection, of truth and of healing” until I can see clearly enough to recognize it myself. When we pray for another we have a wonderful opportunity, and responsibility, in holding that sacred space of Gods truth for them.  In our prayer for another we are to be crystal clear in our own minds that the power of God is present and moving in that, and every situation. We must absolutely know that the answer to this prayer is already known in the mind of God and that it is revealed to the one for whom we are praying in a way that is clear and that they will be able to recognize. The more belief we, as the prayer, have in the power of God’s blessing, holding that space in absolute truth, the more we will be able to help those with whom we pray begin to see that truth as well.

My friend Rev. Amy Butler has written, “None of us ever does the work of the Gospel community alone.” How true, and how magnificent. With one another, and with God, the miracles we seek for another become a gift to us as well.

Affirmation: “The truth of God’s beautiful miracle is at hand. It is revealed to me perfectly and I am ready to receive it.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

The Sounds and Joys of Silence

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So many people tend to think that when you enter into meditation and into the silence that the silence is empty and a void. That in this silence we are meant to experience nothing and just be.   However, nothing could be further from the truth. The silence is not empty, it is filled with God. We live in the midst of silence even though we probably think that we do not. In between each and every one of your thoughts, there is silence. No matter how fast you may think your mind is spinning there is a space between each and ever thought you have. In between each and every word you speak, there is silence. Between each and every breath you take, there is silence. What happens is that because those periods of silence are so little known and experienced by us we miss a great opportunity to experience the fullness of God. When we stop and allow that silence to be elongated, to be stretched out and become a more intentional experience, we are able to absorb more of that beautiful Spiritual presence and truth in our lives.

Why settle for a thimble full of Spirit when you can have a bucketful? Why settle for a little experience of God in your life when you can experience a miracle? Why limit the presence of Divine Action in your life when you can see the unlimited, omnipresence of God/Spirit create for you the life you truly desire?

Dwelling in the stillness, in the silence, is the most pure form of contemplation we can ever experience. The indwelling and all encompassing silence of God being Its fullest self deep inside of us, connecting us fully with the truth of who God has created us all to be.

Presbyterian minister and author James Finley has written, “When engaged in contemplation, we rest in God resting in us.”

“Abide in me as I abide in you. ”   (Luke 15:4)

Affirmation: “Each moment is filled with all the wonder of God. When I stop to dwell in one of those moments my life becomes so much richer and more meaningful.”     

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. We were not born that way.

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One of my favorite lyricists, but maybe even one of my favorite theologians, is Oscar Hammerstein II. Mr. Hammerstein has taught us through so many of his words in great musical theatre works how we can live life and live it abundantly. Have a challenge facing us? He would teach us to climb every mountain the challenge has presented before us and to know that we can overcome these obstacles and find new life awaiting us on the other side. (The Sound of Music) Afraid that we are on our own as we live our lives and left to our own devices as we seek to move forward? He would remind us that “You’ll never walk alone,” that Spirit/God is with us each step we take, providing all that we need, just when we need it, to help us get through. (Carousel)

We see so much hate, distrust and abuse going on in our world. Turn on the news and you cannot escape it. Looking at other people and labeling them based on their sexuality, color of skin or country of birth is the worst form of destructive dual thinking. When we have to put other people down so that we can feel better about ourselves we have a serious problem.

All of God’s great creation are fashioned in love and mirror the essence of all that Spirit/God truly is, the unconditional loving, affirming and giving presence of strength, dignity and grace. What seems to be happening is that instead of seeing, really seeing, the truth of who one another are we see the illusion and the false persona of others based on the scenarios we have created in our minds of them by those who taught us to react in a negative way. When we do this we are seeing with dual thinking. They and us.  We are also not seeing that which is truly in front of us, we are seeing what others would tell us we are seeing.

Mr. Hammerstein expressed this so beautifully in his song “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” from the musical South Pacific. We have allowed ourselves, and then perpetuated the myth, that those unlike what we believe ourselves to be are less than we are. We are taught to hate them, fear them, persecute them and rid them from our midst. We are taught this, this is not how we were born. We were born in perfection, each and every one of us.  We have been tainted by false teaching from a very early age that not everyone was born that way.

Mr. Hammerstein asks us to examine our thinking, our beliefs, and so change the course of our prejudiced thinking. He would also invite us to do so before we find that it is too late.

There may always be those around us who would ask us to jump on their bandwagon and believe the lies, the fears, the hates they preach.  But we must remain clear and steadfast in knowing these are indeed monstrous lies. With the help of Spirit/God showing us the way to true seeing and relationship we can learn to experience our walk as human beings on this earth with the thoughts of heaven. This is exactly what Jesus, our great teacher and way-shower did. He lived on earth with the thinking of heaven.

Just as we may have been taught one belief we can learn another. We can learn a greater truth that all humanity is precious and valuable to the well being of all. The truth will always overcome the lie and the light will always dispel the darkness.

Thank you, Mr. Hammerstein, that as I listened to your lyrics today I have been enriched and reminded that never walking alone, climbing over any challenge, and changing ones mind will change the world.

Affirmation: Releasing the old false teachings of yesterday opens the space to receive new truths for today. It’s a great way for each of us to do our bit toward changing the world.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.