Archive for May, 2011

When Do You Say Grace?

May 31, 2011

A gratitude habit generates countless reminders each and every day that you are amply wealthy in all the ways that matter most.

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
G. K. Chesterton

Inevitably, you find yourself expressing gratitude not (more…)

The Greatest of Virtues

May 30, 2011

It is a virtuous circle. The blessing of God’s perfect care naturally elicits gratitude; every expression of gratitude heightens your awareness of God’s presence; the stronger your attunement with divine consciousness, the more you recognize life’s blessings.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

Nurture your gratitude practice by carrying a gratitude icon—a rock, coin, or other small object—in your pocket. Every time your (more…)

Rejoice In the Way Things Are

May 29, 2011

Everything that comes your way presents an opportunity to learn and evolve, which further expands your capacity to receive.

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Lao Tzu

When a desire surfaces, examine it objectively and learn what you can from it. If a desire leads to (more…)

Senior Moments

May 28, 2011

A few weeks ago, I held open the door of a McDonald’s in Cloquet, Minnesota, for an elderly man who was shuffling toward it at a glacial pace. When he realized I was holding the door for him, his face brightened and he thanked me as if I were a long-lost friend. He told me he was ninety-three, just a shade older than the 1918 Cloquet fire that laid waste to most of the city. He offered a few more kind words before heading to the counter to place his daily order. I got the impression that he didn’t get to talk to people as often as he would have liked. I found myself wondering if he had outlived most of his friends and loved ones, and if so, what a lonely existence that must be. For a brief moment, I had opened the door to his world and let a bit of sunshine in. I received something of equal value in return: a grateful smile and a genuine moment of human connection.

That encounter triggered a memory from nearly ten years ago. As a hospice volunteer, I do massage on terminally ill patients. One Sunday I (more…)

Growing Happiness Under Your Feet

May 27, 2011

Fulfilling your desires can produce occasional bursts of happiness, but the pleasures of the material world are both fickle and fleeting. Getting exactly what you want may make you happy today, but it may be the opposite of what will make you happy tomorrow.

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Instead of fretting about having what you want, you will be happier and more peaceful if you focus on wanting what you have.

The foolish man seeks (more…)

There Are Only Two Tragedies

May 26, 2011

It sounds contradictory, but a prosperity consciousness and material abundance may be mutually exclusive. True prosperity is recognizing and appreciating that you already have everything you need to fulfill your calling in this life.

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.
J. Brotherton

If wealth will help you carry out your life’s work, then by all means build your bank account.

See where your own energy wants to go, not where you think it should go. Do something (more…)

An Unexpected Family Reunion

May 25, 2011

I love stories of wild coincidences—and this story, written by Adam Hunter in a Guideposts e-letter, is about as wild as they get! Billion-to-one odds doesn’t do this reunion justice.

Click here to sign up for Guideposts‘ free Mysterious Ways newsletter. You’ll also be able to download a free e-book, Mysterious Ways: 9 Inspiring Stories That Show Evidence of God’s Love and God’s Grace.


Long-lost brothers Rick Hill and Joe Parker

In the tropical paradise of Hawaii, a family vacation and a surfing lesson led to an astonishing meeting between two men who shared a common bond…

Waikiki Beach wasn’t on their vacation itinerary, but Rick Hill, his fiancée, Maureen, and their three children—in Hawaii for a sunny week away from their Lunenburg, Massachusetts, home—decided to make a quick stop.

Joe Parker, who grew up in Leominster, Massachusetts, but moved to Hawaii years ago to escape a troubled past, wasn’t supposed (more…)

A Package You May Not Recognize

May 24, 2011

Every prayer is answered. Heaven’s response, however, is often misinterpreted because the universe responds to the essence of your request rather than the specifics of it. Therefore, what you asked for may be delivered at a time you may not expect and in a package you may not recognize.

Be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your answers.
William Culbertson

If you pray for a romantic relationship, for instance, perhaps what you truly desire (more…)

Neil Fullard: The Singing Doorman

May 23, 2011


Neil Fullard steps into the spotlight at forty-two

I love shows like Britain’s Got Talent because every so often somebody unexpected emerges from the shadows of obscurity to shock the world with their talent. Neil Fullard was a forty-two-year-old club bouncer who had never sung in public when he auditioned in 2010. Yet the moment he began singing, I thought, Whoa. This guy would (more…)

Turning Points, Take Two

May 22, 2011

Ten years ago, I wrote an article for Twin Cities Business magazine called Turning Points. I asked prominent Twin Cities businesspeople to tell me the behind-the-scenes story of a pivotal moment that led directly to their success. Click here to read excerpts from that story. I was happy to be asked to produce another edition of Turning Points for the May 2011 issue. I hope you enjoy the stories!


At any moment, life can uproot and redirect us. A chance conversation, a pivotal meeting or an unexpected hardship can rearrange priorities, divert careers and lead to uncommon accomplishments.

The dozen business and political leaders profiled here share the personal, and often poignant, turning points in their own lives. R. T. Rybak transmuted the fear and anxiety of unemployment into a long-dreamed-of political career. Don Helgeson established Gold’n Plump Poultry by sticking his own neck on the chopping block. Manny Villafana climbed out of a swimming pool and into an idea for a multibillion-dollar company. Expecting a life of farm labor, Margaret Anderson Kelliher ended up representing the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party.

Here are their stories.

CEO of Plymouth-based Clearfield, Inc., a provider of the tools that telephone and cable TV companies need to deliver fiber connectivity. Beranek is one of four women who cracked the top 100 highest-paid executives of public Minnesota companies, according to a list compiled by the Star Tribune in 2009.

Cheri Beranek

I was working in the marketing department of a $50 million tech firm in the late ’80s. After my boss left to lead a division in another city, I was the most senior member of the marketing staff. I was essentially running the operation without the title. Soon after, I was walking down the hall past the president’s office and heard him say to the COO, “A woman will never run marketing in my company.” I was shocked. I knew he was talking about me. I took a deep breath and (more…)

Your Feeling Is the Prayer

May 21, 2011

When you ask the universe for something, it’s important that you feel throughout your body—physically and emotionally—every aspect of what you are praying for and visualizing.

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

The unified field—that grid of conscious, living intelligence we call creation—responds far more vigorously (more…)

Twitter + Baseball = Once-in-a-Lifetime Thrill

May 20, 2011

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and Connor Echols

Cincinnati Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips gave a fourteen-year-old fan an “Are you kidding me?” thrill when he showed up at his youth baseball game on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Man, oh man, if Rod Carew had showed up at my Little League game, I would’ve passed out!

Here’s the story from Yahoo Sports:


When it comes to youth baseball, players are sometimes responsible for bringing postgame drinks and snacks for the team. Connor Echols, however, recently put a new spin on the tradition and brought an All-Star from his local Major League Baseball team, instead.

In what may well represent the pinnacle of modern technological achievement, the 14-year-old Cincinnati Flames third baseman (@cecholzz) was able to lure Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips(notes) (@datdudebp) to his U-14 select team game last week by issuing a simple suggestion over Twitter …

@DatDudeBP should (more…)

If You Need It, You Can’t Have It

May 19, 2011

A prosperity consciousness is the cause and financial abundance is the effect, not the other way around.

The best time to practice being rich is when you’re feeling poor.
Alan Cohen

If you feel you need wealth to feel wealthy, you will never feel wealthy no (more…)

Jason’s Choice

May 18, 2011

If your beloved were killed in an accident by another driver’s carelessness, how would you react? In the May 2011 issue of Guideposts, Jason Hotchkiss of Durango, Colorado, surprises even himself when it comes time to decide the driver’s fate.

After his wife is fatally injured in a car accident, a husband
experiences spritual growth by forgiving the other driver.

The lava rocks glowed red in the fire pit inside my backyard sweat lodge, but I saw only the dark outlines of Chip and Shannon, friends I had turned to for support. A Connecticut Yankee, I’d come to value this sacred Native American tradition, how the intensity of the heat can bring focus and clarity. It was where I’d often felt closest to God. But now I wasn’t sure I’d find him here. We weren’t exactly on speaking terms since the accident six months ago that killed my wife Cassandra, a beloved Navajo activist.

“Lord,” I prayed, my plaintive voice filling the small tentlike enclosure, “please (more…)

Farewell, Harmon Killebrew

May 17, 2011

As an eight-year-old baseball nut in Minnesota, I naturally idolized hometown hero Harmon Killebrew. The Minnesota Twins slugger died today at the age of seventy-four from esophageal cancer. His death was not unexpected. Four days ago, he released a statement that he was discontinuing treatment to enter hospice care, where he would live out his final hours in peace and comfort, surrounded by his loved ones.

While the news that Harmon was near the end may have been a shock, it was no surprise that he would reach out to his fans in this way one more time. Harmon was known for his kind heart, gentle nature and rapport with fans, who still cherished the memory of Harmon Killebrew launching yet another blast into the bleachers.

I was fortunate to meet Harmon twice as an adult. Around 1986, Harmon was making an appearance at the Shinders bookstore in Burnsville. I worked at a different Shinders location on the weekends but was given the honor of helping to oversee the event. I was standing next to Harmon, who was sitting at a table signing autographs for his legion of adoring fans. I mentioned that he had hit 583 homers. “No,” he cheerfully corrected me. “573.” I was mortified. Like a golfer (more…)

You Will Cast Just Two Votes

May 15, 2011

Aligning your free will with God’s will presents an intriguing paradox. On one hand, the more attuned you are to divine consciousness, the more accessible are the riches of the universe. On the other hand, the material things you longed for before you put God first in your life now seem like insignificant trinkets.

Riches, like glory or health, have no more beauty or pleasure than their possessor is pleased to lend them.
Michel de Montaigne

Your soul yearns not for what is external but for what (more…)