Adam Delery

Adam Delery at age 7

By Alan Delery

In my last post titled Chicken Fight,  I shared a story about how I thought I was going to die by drowning. Just the thought of it brings panic to my mind. I was forced underwater while playing the water game Chicken Fight.

We don’t normally think much about our breathing until it becomes obstructed in some way, then nothing else matters. Feelings begin to arise as we are forced to come to terms with our dependence on air. Any threat to this primary need of human existence can make us desperate. I’ve heard that a drowning person would grab for a double-edged sword in an effort to save their life.

The way we are breathing at any given moment can also be an indication of how we are feeling. Interestingly enough, I’ve been taught that we can control our emotions, as much as 40%, by controlling our breathing. On the day of the Chicken Fight, my emotions were 100% affected by my breathing or lack thereof.

While your life may not feel threatened by the way you breathe, I’d like you to start taking time to become more aware of your breath. Controlled breathing can help us manage the stressors of life. Both good and bad.

It shouldn’t surprise us that breathing has such an influence on how we feel. After God formed man from the dust of the ground, “He breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” (Genesis 2:7) He gave us breath so that we could watch over His creation. Along with our breath, He gave us emotions to help as a motivating force as we live and fulfill His plan for our lives.

Every time I slow down to notice the breath in my nostrils I am reminded of this miracle of life and become more attuned to me and my creator. Healing and restoration happen in my body and mind as I become more conscious of my breathing and my dependence on Him.

As I conclude, close your eyes and take a couple of deep cleansing breaths and remind yourself who your source is.

Now go back to work.

Stay peaceful.

Chicken Fight

Posted: May 1, 2019 in Adventure
Tags:

Poolby Alan Delery

It’s approaching summer and I’m looking forward to having fun with some outdoor water activities. I’ve been taking special effort to get my pool ready for family and friends. It reminds me of a game that I used to play growing up. We called it Chicken Fight.  You’ve probably heard of it or played it yourself. One team member gets on the shoulders of his/her teammate and the object is to knock a person off of the shoulders of their team member. You can have as many teams as the pool has room for. The last team with the partner on their shoulders is considered the winner.

There were occasional scratches and bruises as people tried to knock one another over.

In most of these experiences, I can remember the shoulder and neck pain I would feel the next morning after an evening of Chicken Fighting especially when I spent most of my time as the bottom person.

I have many memories of Chicken Fighting over the years, but today’s story is from when I was a young adult playing in a river during a camping trip. I had my nephew on my shoulders and to this day he likes to recall what transpired. — Without going into all of the details, let’s just say that I almost died. He was being knocked over but refused to release his legs from around me. I ended up being pulled underwater and unable to lift myself up while he continued to wrestle with an opposing team member.

While he was refusing to release himself from my shoulders, I managed to get my head up for a brief couple of seconds long enough to say, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” I don’t know how I got loose after that, but my response seemed to amuse him for some reason. I was angry with him for not letting go sooner and he thought it was funny.

I guess it’s a matter of perspective.

The moral of today’s story is have fun this summer, be safe and make memories that you can talk about years later. Most of all, remember, sometimes it’s good to let go.

Stay peaceful

“A” is for _______________

Posted: December 29, 2018 in Faith
Tags: ,

Several years ago, I introduced an annual focus for my church group as we moved into a new year. What I thought would be a theme for the year has turned out to be a running emphasis that I have accepted as a life guide. I woke up this morning with a new addition. A point of clarity may be a better way to put it.

To begin, I want to list the guiding principles for those who aren’t familiar with what they are. I extrapolated them from my study of the life of Abraham who is known as the father of faith. These guiding principles of life are Vision, Work, Rest, Accounting and Worship.

To summarize: We all should have a vision from God that helps prioritize work that we are involved in on a daily basis. It is just as important that we maintain balance in our lives with proper rest. (Note: There is a time to rest.) If we are working, we should expect a harvest or fruit of our labor. An accounting of our harvest helps us to divide it for various uses. Finally, we should never assume that what we have is simply the fruit of our own strength and ability. We should worship God in every phase of our journey. Thank Him for the vision, rest, the harvest and the wisdom to know what to do with every portion of our harvest.

Now back to my new edition to these guiding principles for life. For some reason, I always struggled with including Accounting as a guiding principle. This concept seemed less obvious to me when I related it to the life of Abraham. Including it required more explanation as if it didn’t quite fit with the others. Despite grappling with including it, I was ultimately satisfied that it did fit and had great importance in the entire process.

While we all could struggle with applying any one of these life principles, I believe Accounting is the most underrated life practice of a believer just as improper accounting is often the downfall of a promising business.

Money, opportunities and other resources can go unnoticed and become underutilized or even stolen from us if we don’t keep a careful watch over them.

We must learn how to protect, invest and manage all of our possessions, including spiritual gifts if we want to enjoy the bountiful life that God has for us. This moves me to expand on the concept of Accounting by introducing another closely related practice that also starts with “A.”

This “A” is for Auditing. As much as many people don’t like accounting, even fewer get excited about the idea of an audit because with an audit comes responsibility and accountability.

Some might ask, what’s the difference between accounting and auditing.

From a bookkeeping standpoint, when the accounting process ends, auditing begins, for the purpose of determining the true and fair picture of books of accounts.

This is when the results of our habits and what we allow in our lives start to manifest.

Thank God we are not saved by works, but that does not exempt us from walking by faith just as Abraham did. We are called to follow the same principles of faith that we observed being practiced by Abraham and all of the heroes of faith we read about in Hebrews 11. (It would be worth your while to read all of Hebrews 11 as you walk into the New Year.)

I will elaborate more on my new “A” word in my next post. In the meantime know that Audit is not a bad word. It’s a useful word for those who want to grow beyond their current harvest.

May God richly bless you in 2019.

prescription

By Alan Delery

Whenever I still myself long enough to reflect on things, I usually get clarity on life. Past, present and future. It gives me a great sense of peace when I am able to celebrate my accomplishments, forgive myself for my mistakes, enjoy the moment and plan for the future.

When I am not intentional in my practice of reflection, I can easily spend the majority of my life stuck in the unproductive or even harmful thoughts in my head. I noticed this issue when I decided to spend extra time to reflect on and celebrate some accomplishments of my day. I decided to spend 1 minute during a mindfulness practice to simply treat myself by enjoying thinking about and celebrating one particular accomplishment.

While I had a sense of which accomplishment I would enjoy for one minute, I had a hard time naming it in my head. My mind continued to wander on other things. It was like I was determined to dwell on things that I still had to do rather than enjoy the moment of my accomplishment. I began to reflect on the moment that I first completed my task and realized, even then, I hadn’t given myself 1 minute to celebrate. I had done a mental check off the list and quickly moved on.

I got lost in the criticism of myself for not allowing myself to savor the moment. Our minds are good at that. They are always thinking and we have to train ourselves on what we will think on. I was determined not to judge myself and managed to settle on the target of my intention. I regained focus and tasted the satisfaction of my success. It may have only been a minute but it was more than I had allowed myself to do before.

This exercise should be a part of our mental health like lifting weights should be a part of our physical health. There is a physical exercise expression that says, “No pain, no gain” but I’d like to add another one that says, “When we don’t train, we feel pain.”

I am in physical therapy right now for pain that I had been experiencing and after just 2 sessions, I am noticing relief. I thought to myself that if I had simply been doing these exercises sooner, I would not have been in the pain that I was in for as long as I was in it. Some of us are in mental distress because we don’t practice mindfulness or take time to be aware of our thoughts as we think them.

Your mental therapy prescription for today comes from Philippians 4:8-9 and says,  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Stay Peaceful.

P.S. Don’t forget to read our previous post  “Cause for Dogs” and support our youth in their fundraising effort to provide heart-worm treatment for dogs that are eligible for adoption at the LA-SPCA.

Positive Impact Shirt 3 (1) copy

2017-18 Youth Service Learning Project

Identified Need – This year the youth decided to focus on a population that cannot speak for themselves — animals. They brainstormed lots of ideas on what they could do to help address the needs of vulnerable animals in their community and landed on raising funds for heartworm treatment for the adopt-a-dog program at the Louisiana SPCA.

Purpose – This plan will help 5 dogs that are in need of heartworm treatment, which is required before adoption.

Outcomes – We expect to raise enough money to treat 5 dogs. The cost per dog is approximately $350.

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Support our cause by making a  donation safely and securely online HERE.

Every Day​ is Game Day

Posted: January 22, 2018 in Positive Impact
Tags:

Some people don’t have a problem receiving instruction and discipline from an athletic coach but seem to have a problem with a pastor or life coach. Some have a problem with receiving any type of coaching and wonder why their life is a mess. May we each have someone we can follow who has experience in life and can give us some pointers and encouragement to pursue our calling.

Get off of the sidelines, find your position and discipline yourselves so that you can be the “Most Valuable Player” in your game of life. It’s only when we commit that we find opportunities presenting themselves for us to play and have success.

Finally, I hope you don’t mind me slightly contradicting my title. Don’t forget to take necessary rest and recovery days. This is an instruction from our heavenly life coach. Learn from Him and you will have good success.

Study Matthew 11:28-29 in the playbook.

Have a blessed day and stay peaceful.

Uh Oh!

Posted: January 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

I was sitting down working on the computer while my granddaughter was in the room.  She was getting into just about everything she could see and get her hands on. She would even try to climb up to things she couldn’t reach. I was continually redirecting her as things came down, were turned on, were handed to me or found resting on her head or around her neck.

Ever so often, I would hear her say “uh oh.” I would look over and see a new mess. I began to think how this is the story of some people’s life. Uh oh is a phrase used to express alarm, dismay or realization of a difficulty. This is one of the first expressions that a child learns. It’s a good thing to have a curious and exploring spirit throughout our lives but as we mature we should have fewer uh oh’s as we learn to think before we act.

If uh oh is the story of your life, maybe it’s time to grow up a bit. Be willing to be corrected and learn from your mistakes. Have fun, be adventurous, be willing to make mistakes; but to whatever extent possible, prepare, count the cost, and consider the impact of your actions on yourself and others. It makes life a lot easier for you and those around you.

Have a blessed day. I’m going help someone clean up their mess.