Welcome to Positive Life Principles. I’m Karol Ladd, and I want this website to be a source of inspiration and strength to you as you serve and love the people around you. You will find resources to refresh you and help you use your gifts and talents to reach out and touch the lives of others. Sign up for my blog below in order to stay connected and receive an uplifting weekly message from me.  

Life Lessons Learned from Newborns

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Last week, my daughter and her husband welcomed their first baby into the world. As Grandma Kay Kay, I had the opportunity to spend a week with this new family of three. My main responsibility consisted of holding the baby while the sleep-deprived parents grabbed a few winks. Can I just say, there is no greater or more precious  in the world than holding a newborn baby. His sweet coos and dreamy facial expressions kept me entertained for hours. As I studied this delicious gift from God, several life lessons seemed to pop into my head. Here’s a few thoughts we can glean from a newborn:

Unique Design – When we look into the face of a newborn, we can see beautiful and individual characteristics, both physically and emotionally. No two babies are exactly the same, but rather they are a reflection of our creator and His extraordinary handiwork. As we consider the people in our lives, may we never lose the wonder of this divine masterpiece. Let us look at every human as a blessing, worthy of respect and love, even those humans who don’t agree with our opinions or viewpoints. And let’s not forget that we too are thoughtfully designed by Him.

Trusted Rest – I loved rocking my grandson till he fell fast asleep in my arms. Holding him close, I thought about the many scriptures that encourage us to rest in the Lord by placing our trust in Him. How comforting and caring are our Heavenly Fathers loving arms! Often in our busyness, we fail to rest in those arms and enjoy His care, strength and love. We scurry and try to solve all our issues on our own. May we take a lesson from these little ones to trust and rest, casting our cares on Him, and allowing Him to hold us.

Expected Growth – As much as I love this tiny bundle of joy, I know he is not supposed to stay this way forever. He is expected to grow, day by day, year by year.  He has a whole future ahead of him, filled with potential and learning. He’s not frustrated with himself because he doesn’t know how to feed himself yet. It takes time to grow into who he will be one day. We too have the potential for growth, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Instead of living with frustration because of our mistakes, may we learn and grow from them. Let’s be patient with ourselves and recognize we are works in progress. We don’t want to be stagnant in our growth, but rather continually growing and learning to be all that God created us to be.

Remember, God is not finished with you yet. The apostle Paul wrote, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Relish the unique way God designed you, trust Him and allow Him to develop you into the wonderful person He created you to be.

 

The Joy of Meditating on His Word

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Meditation is where God’s Word meets our hearts. Perhaps the reason so few people meditate on God’s Word, is because it means we must slow down and be attentive to it. Let’s admit it, our society today is going in the opposite direction. Most of us would describe our lives as busy and distracted, with a huge deficit of still time and attention to people and God’s Word. So how do we do it? What does it look like in a practical sense to meditate on the Scriptures?

Meditation is a continual action; it’s a bit like breathing. Breathing out our cares and selfish concerns and breathing in the truth of His Word. In both the Joshua and the Psalms passages, we see the implication of meditating day and night. Even the passage from James speaks of the continual action of looking intently into His Word. Think about it this way, when we go for a swim, we are actively swimming and breathing. But when we stop swimming, we are still breathing (hopefully), and we continue to breathe day and night. As we read and contemplate passages from the Bible during our daily swim, we can meditate on the passage by continuing to think and ponder it throughout our day.

Let’s experience what I’m talking about right now. Stop for a moment and be still. Breathe out your cares and worries that you are possibly carrying around in your mind and heart right now. Give them over to the Lord in prayer and thank Him for His care and His presence. Now let’s breathe in a truth from His Word. Thoughtfully read the following passage several times. You may even want to say it aloud if you are by yourself.

 

I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness

(Jeremiah 31:3).

 

Think about each word. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and speak into your heart. Ask Him to show you something fresh and new from this passage. Write down the thoughts that come to you on the lines below.

 

What simple truth can you take with you throughout your day today?

 

How does this truth change you personally?

 

Simply put, meditation is being attentive to what the Scripture is saying and breathing it into your daily life. I encourage you to consider and ponder on a thought or phrase from your daily swim (your daily Bible reading). You may want to write a verse or phrase on an index card and carry it with you during the day. The thing that sets Christian meditation apart from all the other types of meditation is that our meditation is centered on God’s truth, the Bible.

 

This is an exerpt from Becoming a Woman of the Word.

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Life Lesson Learned from the Super Bowl

 

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If it weren’t for the commercials, I would have turned the Super Bowl off after the third quarter. Honestly, I enjoy watching the commercials more than the game, so I kept the TV on even though it seemed the Falcons were destined to win. Who would have thought that the Patriots could make such a powerful comeback from a 19-point deficit?

 

This year’s Super Bowl provides an important life lesson for all of us – don’t lose hope even when it seems as though the game is over. Hope is a powerful word. It drives us forward and turns us away from despair and defeat. It reminds us that no matter how bleak a situation, there are always possibilities.

 

What is it in your life that seems like a defeat? Maybe you are discouraged, tired or feel afraid that the game is over. Press forward, my friend. Look for the possibilities and do what you can do with the time and gifts God has given you. Your victory may not look like a Super Bowl win, but your perseverance can push you in a new and positive direction.

 

One of my favorite NFL coaches, Tom Landry, put it this way, “A champion is simply someone who did not give up when he wanted to.”  You never know what is around the corner. Ask for God’s wisdom to navigate the challenges. More important, ask for His strength to persevere with hope when the game seems over.

 

The apostle Paul could have called it quits many times, as he was jailed, beaten and persecuted for preaching the gospel. Yet, he continued to discover hope as He turned His focus toward God’s purpose for His life. He wrote, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

 

When our goal is centered on God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we can always press forward despite the challenges. Let us continue to look at what is ahead and not behind us. Let us look up and not down, and remember we are never alone. He will guide us and give us He strength.

Anything but Boring

 

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Where are you with the Bible? Perhaps you’ve tried to read it and just haven’t connected with it. Or maybe you simply didn’t know where to start. On the other hand, you could be that person who has gone to Bible studies for years, and yet your interest in it has grown a little stale. Perhaps you’ve never had any interest in the Bible at all. When it comes to the Bible, we are all at different places. No matter where you are, my hope is that this book will bring you to a place of connection – connecting your life with the greatest book that has ever been written.

I was first introduced to the Bible when I was a little girl living in Detroit, Michigan. Yes, it was very cold (I mean the weather, not the Bible). We went to a church in downtown Detroit where our car was broken into more than once while we were attending services. The thing I remember most about the church was not the break-ins, but rather the kindness of our Sunday School teacher who gave us Bibles and taught us how to look up passages in the Holy Scriptures. She led me to memorize Psalm 23, even though the Bible was completely new to me. This teacher sparked a love in me for the Bible and ignited a desire to get to know this sacred book.

As I grew through my teenage years, I found great comfort in the scriptures to help me weather the storms of life. As I went to college, the Bible gave me hearty doses of wisdom and direction in daily living. When I got married the Bible became my companion in working through relationship and communication issues. It taught me that God understood my feelings even when my husband didn’t! As a young mom, the scriptures reminded me that God was my strength and would give me everything I needed. It taught me to not worry, but rather in a very real way to cast my cares on the Lord. There were also times when I felt distant from God’s Word as the busyness of life choked out my interest. Yet, as I look back over my life as a whole, the Bible has been my steady guide, teaching me about God’s unfailing love for me.

There are some people who may think the Bible is irrelevant or doesn’t pertain to our lives today, but I’m pretty sure those people haven’t read it! What could be more relevant than a book filled with stories of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, all reflecting the human condition and the desperate need inside each of us for love and redemption? The beautiful theme throughout the entire book is not how bad we are, but how good God is. Every page is infused with God’s grace.

The Bible is a book about messed-up lives and God’s unmerited favor. There is no other book on earth that conveys the abiding love of Almighty God toward His people. Why wouldn’t you want to read a book like that? Throughout the centuries it has given strength and inspiration to artists, businesspeople, authors, musicians, athletes, and world leaders. It has offered hope to the ailing in hospitals to the suffering on the battlefields, and to the starving in poverty. Yet, to be honest, true poverty is the “poverty of the soul.”

How sad to have all the comforts that life can offer, yet be empty or starved spiritually. The Bible is food to feed our hungry hearts, bringing fulfillment and nourishment to our soul. This is why we read the Bible—because like food—we need it for our very existence. It is filled with life-giving sustenance for those who hunger to know God’s grace and love. Cultural blogger Jim Denison wrote, “This hunger for the God of grace is universal. How could it not be? We were designed to need food, and will hunger for it until the day we die. In the same way, we were designed to need our Designer.” Yes, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

 

My hope is that you will explore the truths of the Bible and get to know what it has to say about God and about you. I know you will find strength, courage and hope as you read and meditate on the inspired words on every page. Thomas Manton wrote, “We can never exhaust all the treasure and worth that is in the Word.”

 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Matthew 24:3

 

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This is an excerpt from Karol’s book, Becoming a Woman of the Word. To learn more about reading the Bible and getting to know God’s Word order your copy today. For more info click here.

Are You Enjoying Life?

In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests.   – John Ruskin

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In music, as in life, a rest or a pause is a part of the making of the music. There are times when we must take a deliberate pause from the activities of life and the rapid pursuit of our dreams in order to rest and be still.

 

Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii with his work. I must admit, at first I felt guilty for enjoying such a beautiful respite. As I sat by the pool reading one of Chip Ingram’s books, Good to Great in God’s Eyes, I came to chapter 8 entitled, “Enjoy Great Moments.” In this chapter, Chip expressed the importance of balance and the beauty of enjoying life. He wrote, “If heaviness is always the tone of your life, you’ll be out of balance, and a lot of other areas of your life will be negatively affected.”

 

He went on to say, “Here’s a question many Christians will never ask you: Are you enjoying your life? Are you deeply satisfied, drinking in rich experiences with people, places, and circumstances God is providentially surrounding you with?”

 

How kind our God is to allow me to read those very words as I took a rest from the rush of daily life and ministry. I needed a fresh reminder that it is not only good, but necessary to embrace the respite God provides in our lives. Yes, He leads us beside peaceful streams as our Good Shepherd (Psalm 23).

 

This week, I want to encourage you in two ways:

  1. Be deliberate about times of rest in your life. Don’t be afraid of the pauses, rather embrace them and allow yourself to enjoy them.
  2. Rejoice in the Lord. No matter what your circumstances, you can take joy in the fact that your Heavenly Father is with you and cares for you. He never changes. Take joy in Him and the love He has for you. The joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

Chip reminds us, “Being happy and finding satisfaction in life are gifts from God.” Don’t wait to enjoy life, embrace the blessings and great moments God gives you each and every day.

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