THE BEAUTY OF SMALL-TALK

Small Talk Isn’t Really About Talking

When you first meet someone your job isn’t to blow them away with your brilliant conversation skills. If you can, then great. But don’t feel pressured to be Mr or Ms Profound with someone you barely know. In the early stages of conversation, your job is to send and to look for those subtle signals that tell you someone is comfortable with you, and open to moving beyond light conversation. The small talk phase is all about body language. People waste so much time trying to come up with interesting topics to talk about, but it almost doesn’t matter what you say, as long as it’s light, polite and politically correct. The conversation part of small talk is really just a very small part of the bigger picture. What matters more here is how you act, how warm you appear, how much charisma you exude and how interested you seem in the other person. The truth is small talk isn’t supposed to be captivating, it’s just an excuse for two people to throw empty words at each other long enough to get a good feel for each other’s energy. Are you cool? Do you like me? Are you psychologically stable? Are you going to stab me if I turn around to reach for my drink? These are the kind of questions subconsciously running through a strangers head when you initiate conversation for the first time. So don’t worry so much about finding interesting topics of conversation, just smile, stand up straight, ask a lot of questions and try not to nod too much (it’ll make you look too eager).

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. – The Holy Bible

THE ART OF FLEXIBILITY

How Being “Flexible” Will Change Your Life?

There a good many of us who really don’t like change and we certainly don’t like to have our plans or our routines interrupted. It can even make us feel somehow insecure when the things we are used to doing or the way we are used to doing them suddenly change. Adversity: illness, children growing up and leaving the nest, best friends moving away or having to move can all be unsettling at the least and even traumatizing in the extreme.

And then there is our personality or our temperament. Some of us may be more rigid than others. Some of us don’t deal well with conflict or “messy” personalities at work or school. Some of us panic if things change too much in our environment. Others prefer to crawl into their “cave” rather than have to deal with difficult situations. 

There are a number of positive outcomes from being an “adaptable/flexible” person:

  1. It Increases the Trust that Others Have in Us : When we are able to adapt to new situations or changing circumstances, it is reassuring to others when we are able to flow with the change and not ball up in a panic. Others will see us as a stable ship that is not tossed every which way by the changing winds. They will put more trust in someone they can count on to be present and stable no matter what happens.
  2. It Helps Us to Adapt to the Ups and Downs of Change More Easily : Being a flexible or adaptable person helps us to take life messiness with a grain of salt. With this skill or trait, we are not bound by our perceptions or thoughts, but we can adjust the way we think and change our expectations accordingly, the ups and downs of life or the hills and valleys will not have as much of a devastating impact on us because we accept and move forward.
  3. We Become Better at Taking Initiative : Being an adaptable person also means that we are more willing to take risks and open up conversations. We are more willing to try and more willing to fail. It becomes a lifestyle eventually because by taking initiatives and risks, we become more confident and empowered. It is liberating and exciting. Being a flexible person willing to try new things sets us free from being locked into the same old, same old.
  4.  We Develop More Confidence in Ourselves and Our Abilities : As stated earlier, having a flexible mindset can help us to be more confident in ourselves and abilities. This confidence comes from being willing to let go of our routines and step out of our comfort zone to explore new zones. The more we are willing to try and fail, the more we will develop our confidence.
  5. We Develop an Increased Capacity for Creativity : Increased creativity goes right along with a flexible mindset.  A flexible person is not held down by “the way we have always done things” and are open to new ideas and creating new ways of doing things. More and more organizations are seeking out people who are creative and willing to explore new possibilities.

 Flexibility is a fine line.  When do we flex and when do we hold the line? We need to set limits, have boundaries and some semblance of structure and direction. Then, once these are in place, we can use our judgment as to when to bend and when to hold tight.

ANGER MANAGEMENT

STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU CALM DOWN

Failing to manage your anger can lead to a variety of problems like saying things you regret, yelling at your kids, threatening your co-workers, sending rash emails, developing health problems, or even resorting to physical violence. But not all anger issues are that serious. Instead, your anger might involve wasting time thinking about upsetting events, getting frustrated in traffic, or venting about work.

Managing your anger doesn’t mean never getting angry. Instead, it involves learning how to recognize, cope with, and express your anger in healthy and productive ways. Anger management is a skill that everyone can learn. Even if you think you have your anger under control, there’s always room for improvement.

Why Manage Anger?

Anger is an emotion that can range from mild irritation to intense rage. While many people categorize anger as a solely “negative emotion,” it can be positive. Angry feelings may spur you to stand up for someone or they may lead you to create social change.

But when left unchecked, angry feelings can lead to aggressive behavior like yelling at someone or damaging property. Angry feelings also may cause you to withdraw from the world and turn your anger inward, which can impact your health and well being. Anger becomes problematic when it’s felt too often or too intensely or when it’s expressed in unhealthy ways, which can take a toll physically, mentally, and socially. For this reason, anger management strategies can be beneficial and can help you discover healthy ways to express your feelings.

Anger Management Strategies

Your thoughts and behaviors can either fuel your emotions or they can reduce them. So, if you want to shift your emotional state away from anger, you can change what you’re thinking and what you’re doing. Without fuel, the fire inside you will begin to dwindle and you’ll feel calmer.

  1. Identify Triggers – If you’ve gotten into the habit of losing your temper, take stock of the things that trigger your anger. Long lines, traffic jams, or snarky comments, are just a few things that might shorten your fuse.
  2. Evaluate Your Anger – Before you spring into action to calm yourself down, ask yourself if your anger is a friend or an enemy. If you’re witnessing someone’s rights being violated or you are in an unhealthy situation, your anger might be helpful.
  3. Step Away – Trying to win an argument or sticking it out in an unhealthy situation will only fuel your anger. One of the best things you can do when your anger is rising is to remove yourself from the situation if you can. When a conversation gets heated, take a break. Leave a meeting if you think you’re going to explode. Go for a walk if your kids upset you. A time-out can be key to helping you calm your brain and your body.
  4. Manage Your Thoughts – Angry thoughts add fuel to your anger. Thinking things like, “I can’t stand it. This traffic jam is going to ruin everything,” will increase your frustration. When you find yourself thinking about things that fuel your anger, reframe your thoughts.
  5. Explore Your Feelings – Sometimes it helps to take a moment and think about what emotions might be lurking beneath your anger. Anger often serves as a protective mask to help you avoid feeling more painful emotions, like embarrassment, sadness, and disappointment. When someone gives you feedback that’s hard to hear, for example, you might lash out in anger because you’re embarrassed. Convincing yourself the other person is bad for criticizing you might make you feel better in the moment because it keeps your embarrassment at bay. 

For many people, angry outbursts serve a purpose. Yelling at someone may get them to comply with your demands. But while aggressive behavior may get your needs met in the short term, there are long-term consequences. Your words might cause lasting damage to the relationship or even lead to its demise.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – The Holy Bible

TO BE PERFECT – YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT

As a Church we might be tempted to think we can merely provide some biblical content and maybe some “how-to” tips and people should grow spiritually as a result.  But, more goes into helping people grow than providing knowledge. We also need an environment that is conducive to spiritual growth. Find out the Outcomes, if you are not placed in the Right Environment.

  1. If the Leader is not Right , The Followers will not be Right.
  2. If the Parents are not Right , The children’s won’t be Right.
  3. If the Teacher is not Right, The students won’t be Right.
  4. If the Pastor is not Right, The Believers won’t be Right.
  5. If the Rulers are not Right, The Authorities won’t be Right.
  6. If the Life Partner is not Right, Our Life won’t be Right.
  7. If you do not follow the Right Deity, Those who follow you won’t be able to reach Heaven.

Think , Where are you Positioned now? In the Right Environment or the Wrong Environment?

Find out and start Fixing. Your End Result will depend on Today’s Action.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. – Ephesians 4:15

WISE AS SERPENTS AND HARMLESS AS DOVES

To be wise as a serpent relates to being prudent, careful, and intelligent. It has the connotation of street-smart, or able to deal with the likely challenges or dangers of life in a potentially threatening place. To be harmless as doves has an association of gentleness and peace; but the Greek term also relates to purity, innocence, and simplicity.

Here are three ways to be both wise as serpents and harmless as doves:

  1. Relate: Invest time to befriend and build relationships with people where you live, work, study, and play. When we invest time to befriend and build a relationship we learn about people. We discover some of their interests, circumstances, triumphs, and tragedies. Wisdom helps us to create margin by making changes in our lives so that we can develop relationships.
  2. Respect: Doves evoke a sense of peace and gentleness. To be harmless as doves requires us to relate to our community with a gentle and humble spirit that displays respect. We are to respect people as God’s image bearers. We are called to listen and discover another person’s worldview with respect. Too often I have found myself not listening well or with respect. I can be talking with a person and interrupt them, or be rehearsing in my mind the rebuttal as they are speaking. Or perhaps trying to show the folly of their philosophy and my worldview is correct. If my motive is pure, to display God’s love to my neighbors where I live, work, study, and play, and not to simply reduce my interaction with a person to an evangelistic project then I’m more likely to display respect.
  3. Resist: Resist the rant (I’m aware of the irony of my rant about the rant). Ranting on social media, or any other platform, in regard to the perceived immorality of the unbelieving culture is generally neither wise nor harmless. The seduction of the rant is the tendency to be affirmed (i.e. likes on social media) by those who share your worldview. But it is unwise and harmful because it tends to repel the people we are called to reach. It seems wise and harmless to be known for Who and what we are for rather than predominantly known for what we are against.

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – The Holy Bible

THE WORST OPPRESSION

What do you say to a man who constantly battles feelings of inferiority, thoughts of suicide, or habitually hearing voices telling him he’s a loser who will never measure up as a husband, dad, son, or child of God?

He tells you he’s prayed, fasted, memorized Scripture, and studied his Bible, but the ideas, accusations, and voices never release their paralyzing grip, at least not for very long.

Do you tell him he just needs rest? That it’s a chemical imbalance? Do you assume he’s schizophrenic because he says there are voices in his head? Or might this battle be something more than physiological or psychological? The Devil Accuses us and oppresses us in many ways, Let’s see some of his tactics.

  1. Listening to the Scriptures and realising it , but still he won’t allow you to dedicate yourself.
  2. Even if you dedicate yourself , He won’t allow you to Confess and Preach about him.
  3. He will not allow the Name of God to be Glorified.
  4. Paul declared himself to be the chief Sinner among all Sinners.
  5. David confessed that , I have sinned against the Lord.
  6. When Jesus himself said that no one is good , Except the God the Almighty.
  7. When Peter was Preaching, The peoples who were listening realised their sins and confessed, Then they asked What should we do ?

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Confess what you Know, Confess what you have learnt, Confess and Repent of your Past ways. Only then will the name of the Lord will be Glorified.

In the last two studies, we saw that there are very real unseen enemies and a battle in which we are engaged, whether we realise it or not. We also began to see who we are and the authority and power that God has given us through the cross of Christ. The Lord has not left us unequipped for this battle. He has given us all that we need to take our place in the fight and be victorious against our foe. As Christians, we are called to wage war against the enemy whether we see ourselves as spiritual warriors or not. If we are to fulfil the Great Commission to preach the gospel to the world and to make disciples of all nations, we will have opposition. Although there are different gifts and callings in the Body of Christ, we are all drawn into this cosmic conflict and called to be victorious with Christ. No one is left out of the battle.

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THE UNSEEN SCARS OF EMOTIONAL PARENTAL ABUSE

Finding freedom in positive self-talk.

For many people, even entering adulthood does not release them from the scars and pain of growing up in an emotionally abusive environment. Emotional abuse can range from having a parent who simply ignores you, to one that criticizes everything you do. When the people who gave you life consistently point out how you are no good and lack whatever important attribute they deem to be necessary, the pain seeps in and can live there for a lifetime. Emotional abuse is such a difficult problem to treat.

More importantly for children, it’s hard to share with anyone what you are living with—the teacher at school might contact your parents, who laugh it off and say, “What a coward” you are; “Why do you need to talk about how easily hurt you are, anyway?” and many times a religious leader will tell you that you “just need to understand how hard the job of parenting really is .” 

What is emotional abuse? A simple definition: the debasement ( The action of reducing the value of something ) of a person’s feelings that causes the individual to perceive himself or herself as ineffective, not cared for, and worthless. While the definition is short and to the point, the resulting pain and feelings of worthlessness are not. After all, if the people who theoretically should care the most about you in life—your parents—consistently find ways to debase you and point out how ineffective you are, it’s hard to believe that it isn’t true.

Many people may spend years trying to work through these feelings of worthlessness and find ways to secure a true and lasting self-confidence. The scars of emotional abuse are often unseen until they rear themselves with outbursts of anger, or feelings of sadness or depression. Anxiety and worry are often outcomes of living through an emotionally abusive childhood. There is no easy fix when you’ve grown up with emotionally abusive parents or guardians. One of the biggest problems is that the words you’ve learned repeat over and over inside your head, and those voices continually tell you that your mother or father was right about you: “You will never succeed. No one will ever love you. You won’t get that raise or that job. You are ugly, fat, worthless.” The list goes on.

The self-talk that results from these constant refrains will follow you as you grow, unless you catch yourself repeating something that you were told—and recognize that it isn’t true. Becoming aware of your negative self-talk and deliberately changing your refrain is a powerful way to release yourself from the prison created by your abusive upbringing.

So, choose to become aware of what your mind is telling you that stems from something you were told as a child growing up. You can catch these negative refrains and replace them with a different language that builds your confidence and gives you a chance to see another viewpoint. If you recognize the negative refrains, you can choose to cancel them out. When you hear those negative refrains playing in your head, have a more neutral refrain ready to go: “My parents were compromised people who might have thought telling me I’m no good was a way to inspire me—the problem is, they were wrong. I have a lot to offer and I’m finding ways to do so.”

Negative self-talk gives life to the emotional abuse and keeps it alive. While being a child may have made you feel trapped and longing to be a grown-up and free, once you are a grown-up, you can allow your own mind to help you find freedom. Those voices can’t have ongoing life unless you give it to them—change the voices to something that frees you to be the confident person you were always meant to be.

Come to meall you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – The Holy Bible.

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SPIRITUAL BONDAGE

The word bondage is defined as: “the state of being a slave.” So, the term spiritual bondage would essentially mean “the state of being a spiritual slave.” In general, we could use the term spiritual bondage to refer to anything that keeps us from being fully submitted to the lordship and power of Jesus in an area of our lives.

The devil has bound many of the Saved Christians , in various forms of Bondage without their knowledge , Let us discuss few of them in short.

1.Spiritual Infertility : These are the ones who do not gain souls for His Kingdom ,

2.Spiritual Blindness : These are the ones who cannot see , what God has prepared for them Beforehand.

3.Spiritual Deafness : These are the ones who do not know how to hear the voice of the LORD.

4.Spiritual Dumbness : These are the ones who cannot sing and worship the LORD.

5.Spiritual Paralysis : These are the ones who do not know how to walk in the way of the LORD.

6.Spiritual Babes : These are the ones who walk according to the world, ( According to the lust of their flesh ).

7.Those who have died in their Spiritual Life : Those who got Backslidden in their Spiritual Life ( They are the ones who deserve Hell ). The list goes on and on

The Above mentioned kind of Peoples can’t function Properly for Christ because , they are in a form of Bondage . Nothing can be done to them , unless they are freed from the Grip of the Devil. Instead of being bound by sin, believers should actively walk in the righteousness and freedom that God has provided for them.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Who are you going to Glorify ? The LORD or The Devil ??

For Prayers and Spiritual Counselling , Contact .

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RESTORE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Mental illness is one of the major health problems of today’s society. Medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment, and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can affect anyone at any time, and it’s likely that many people in our community have been affected. Depression is one of the greatest problems in the world today. It has been called the common cold of mental illnesses. There are very few things as destructive to our mental health as worry.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that depression (by bringing down life expectancy) would be the second leading cause of death in the world by 2021. WHO predicts that by 2021 mental illness will go from the 20th to the 2nd largest illness worldwide. Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social (not forgetting spiritual) well being and not merely the absence of disease. Many mental illnesses can be prevented, and the Bible provides helpful information to that end. After all, it is a handbook from God on what we should think and how our minds should work. If we want good mental health, we should discipline our minds to avoid a degrading mental diet. We live in a culture that is constantly feeding us stress- mostly negative information. None of us are immune to stress.

 The Bible says: “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) God destroyed an entire civilization because of their thought life. (Genesis 6:5) If you think in a negative way – you’re going to feel depressed. Your emotions are caused by how you interpret life. That’s one of the reasons the Bible says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” The fact is that our emotions are controlled by our thoughts. “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”(Romans 8:6).

Many New Testament passages offer comfort and reassurance to those who are feeling anxious or disturbed. For example, Jesus Does Not wants us to Be Anxious. He said “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life,”…. (Matthew 6:25-34) when Jesus said, “never be anxious,” he was advising his disciples to avoid undue worry—an excessive fear of tomorrow that can take the joy out of living today. Jesus gave a compelling reason for avoiding undue anxiety: It is useless. “Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?” asked Jesus” (Matthew 6:27) Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way: “Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.” How can we avoid anxiety? First, trust in God. A relationship with God is fundamental to overcoming our anxieties and fears.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

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LET US DEVELOP THE ART OF LEARNING

There is a proverb that goes like this known is a drop , unknown is an ocean. But there is much harm because of people who know little, but pretend to know everything. Great scholars, thinkers and achievers in life have remained in the habit of learning. When we stop learning we stop growing. When progress stops, the destruction starts at once.

A scholar said, “Growth is the only evidence of life”. There is no necessity for a person to learn everything. but we must learn the things connected with our vision so as to be successful.

Former Chief Minister and a great politician of Tamil Nadu Mr. C.N. Annadurai was once suffering from severe cancer. The doctors decided to operate immediately. When asked about his consent, he requested them to do it the next day. When they questioned him for what he was afraid of? He replied, he was not afraid of the operation but , he was reading a book which was only half read and added, that if the operation won’t profit him good, he might not get the chance of reading the whole book.

Spend money on learning and books, it is not only for you but it is an investment for your future generation.