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.
In our house, my husband is the one who does the decorating. I love the fact that he enjoys the hunt of finding just the right items to make our house an inviting environment for us as well as our guests. Curt loves to visit antique stores. I must admit here, before I met Curt I had never stepped foot into an antique store. Now, its become a regular routine.
Antique clocks grabbed my attention when we first started visiting old shops. Unique and beautiful, most of the rare clocks we purchased had long since stopped working. But that didn’t matter – they made lovely accents to the ambiance of our home.
There was one clock that I especially loved because of it’s classical design and features, yet this clock was old and of course, not ticking. I wanted to fix this particular clock because I had a feeling the chimes would add beautiful music to our home. I asked myself, “What do you do with a broken antique clock?” I suppose I could try to fix it myself, but I don’t have any knowledge of the inside workings of an old clock.
I tried to take it to a clock repair shop, but the repairman told me, “I’m pretty sure the only person who can fix this clock is the clock-maker himself.” Hmmm…..Since this was one really old clock, I am pretty sure the clock-maker is no longer available. Currently, the clock sits on our shelf as beautiful and silent decoration.
When it comes to fixing antique clocks, I know I’m out of my league. In my case, the only one who could repair the clock was the one who made it. Isn’t it interesting that when it comes to clocks, I recognize my limitations, but when it comes to people, I often think I can fix them. When will I realize that I can’t fix broken people, but I can lead them to the gentle touch of their Maker?
Consider who you are trying to “fix” right now in your life. It may be one of your kids, or a co-worker or your spouse. Could it be that you are not equipped to fix them? Maybe, instead of doing it yourself, you could consult the Maker and point them in His direction.
When we pray for the broken people in our lives, we begin to have a fresh perspective. And as we use our words to point people to the Lord, we give them hope beyond what we can provide. Let’s begin taking people to the Clock-maker, rather than trying to fix them on our own. God may give us the insight and tools to help them on their journey, but only God can do the greater work in their hearts.
Besides, aren’t we all broken in one way or another? Don’t we all need the Lord to do a work in our lives?
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. – Henry Ford
How well do you bounce back from failures or mistakes? I want to encourage you today, that setbacks and discouragements often pave the way on the journey to growth and learning. William A Ward reminds us, “Failure should challenge us to new heights of accomplishment, not pull us to new depths of despair. Failure is delay, but not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” For me personally, some of my greatest disappointments have pushed me down a better path. As I observe the men and women God used in the Bible, every single one of them faced discouragement or even failure in some way. Yet God allowed these circumstances to shape them into humble and powerful vessels for His purpose.
Possibly the greatest life lessons we will ever learn are discovered in the classroom of brokenness. For it is in this humble classroom that we recognize our complete and utter need for God. In our arrogance, we may think we have it all together, but in our brokenness we recognize our need for God, and His redemptive work in our lives. When we make a mistake, we can choose to live in the defeat, continually beating ourselves up for what we could have done. Or we can move forward growing and learning from our mess ups. My friend and fellow author, Victorya Rogers, often says, “Your greatest challenge can be your greatest impact.”
What about you? Are you allowing your challenges to be your enemy, or are you growing through them? It’s a choice we make and a perspective we pick. The “Bounce Back” effect can lead to bigger and better opportunities in our lives. We can learn to thank God for our flaws and failures, for through them He expands our understanding and teaches us new and marvelous truths. Let’s Allow our mistakes to strengthen us, teach us and turn us into wiser more resilient people.
- Admit when you have made a mistake and take responsibility for it.
- Grieve it and leave it. Don’t continue to replay your mistakes in your mind.
- Seek God’s direction first.
- Turn from sin and live a life of moral purity.
- Allow your set-backs to turn your focus back toward God’s goodness.
- Thank God for your mistakes and the opportunity to grow.
- Look for new opportunities or ways to do things differently.
- Write down the lessons you have learned.
- Use what you have learned to help others.
- What would you consider to be the biggest blunder or failure you have experienced in your life so far?
- What are the lessons you have learned or can learn as a result of this frustration? In what ways can you thank God for this situation?
- Is there someone you can reach out to and encourage who has experienced a set back?
A portion of this blog is an excerpt from Karol’s book, Positive Leadership Principles for Women on sale now for $5. Click Here for more info.
Sometimes in the day to day minutia of life, we lose sight of the bigger picture of why we are here on this earth. Have you ever stopped to ponder the question, “How does God want me to use the unique gifts and talents He has given me?” I’m not talking about a job or career, or being a mom or a wife, but rather an overall mission in life that reflects who you are and why you were created.
Lately, I’ve been thinking and praying about my own personal mission statement. Here’s what I’ve put together so far:
My personal mission in life is to reflect the light of Biblical Truth as I encourage the hearts of others through writing, speaking and serving.
Now, I may adjust it or tweak it, but generally speaking, that’s what I’m all about. I encourage you to create your own personal mission statement. Think about the spiritual gifts you have, and prayerfully consider the passion God has placed in your heart to use those gifts to bless others.
As you create your mission statement, don’t be afraid to share it with others who can encourage you along your path. Your statement also helps you in making decisions, so that you are not saying “Yes” to every little activity that comes your way. Instead, your mission helps you stay focused and on track, keeping the bigger picture in mind.
Let me know your personal mission statement. I’d love to encourage you too!
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted…”
When is the last time your plans were thwarted? Given any day and our plans can be redirected, realigned and reworked. But not God’s plans. No purpose of God’s can be thwarted. He is un-thwartable! We cannot mess up His purposes. Job declared God’s un-thwartableness after he had been through some of life’s worst tragedies. He lost his possessions, his children and his health. Surely there was some mistake and God’s purposes for Job got mixed up with someone else’s blueprints – right?
Not according to Job. As he wrestled with understanding why this happened, God made it clear that His plans and purposes are much bigger than what we can see. He is in control of the entire universe. Nothing slips through His fingers. Nothing messes up His plans. He is able to bring redemption from even the worst of situations. His ways are not our ways. No one can take away the purpose He has set out for us.
This is an excerpt from Karol’s book, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places
This week as Americans reflect on what happened 16 years ago during 9 /11, we also face the current challenges of fires in the west and hurricanes in the east. Many questions are floating around social media asking, “If God is God, then why doesn’t he prevent such difficulties and loss?
Such a complex question is not easily answered. In fact, as I read the book of Job in the Bible, it is clear that we cannot understand all of the ways of God. We may not know all the answers to why God allows tragedy, but we can know some of the answers as to who God is and how He works in our lives. We can learn about His attributes as we look to the Bible for guidance, wisdom, comfort and strength.*
One thing I do know, the Bible doesn’t promise us a storm-free life. If God allowed the tragedy of His own Son dying on the cross for the purpose of redeeming His people, then there are reasons beyond our understanding as to why He allows pain and suffering through hurricanes, fires and attacks.
Even as we mourn what happened in 9-11, we see that God brought good out of loss. We know that through our sadness, He strengthened our character and our unity as a nation. We were humbled, yet we grew in courage and perseverance. Now, through our current tragedies, we have the opportunity to grow in compassion and unity as we love and serve one another.
Instead of asking why, let’s turn our question to how. How can we serve and help? How can we pray and give? How can we grow through the challenges we face? May each of us turn our hearts and minds upward at this time, seeking hope, direction and strength from Him.
*This week, on my facebook author page, I plan to examine some of the attributes of God from A.W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy. Be sure to follow us, so you won’t miss out.