What does it mean to have glorious opportunities? Yes, you did attend one of the best universities in the United States and received an outstanding education. Having landed a top job at a prestigious law firm, you’re moving up in your career. What else did you achieve? You married the woman of your dreams and are a parent of three wonderful children. You like taking chances, so you bought a raffle ticket, and hit the jackpot. What else has enhanced your life of dreams? You have become a well-known motivational speaker with numerous engagements. Having met life’s challenges with success, you conclude that you have been blessed with God’s goodness.

Turned Upside Down

Sometimes a misfortunes has a strange way of changing a life. You didn’t expect to be diagnosed with dementia. You became like British retired medical professional, Dr. Jennifer Bute, who was diagnosed with this same disease. In “Dementia – A Glorious Opportunity” by Kreativity on Vimeo April 26, 2011, Dr. Bute told the public of her remarkable years as a General Practitioner, and all the wonderful things she did, for her patients. Talking about her disability – not with discontentment, she now views her affliction as a glorious opportunity from God, to do a lot more good for people. Will Joe too, be like Dr. Bute?

Joe’s dreams, plans, and fortunes have been thrown into disarray, and everything seems to be turned upside down. His whole life’s landscape was re-arranged and transformed. What sort of dilemma has his situation become? His life was blunted and everything seems as though it was changed for the worse. Some of his friends misunderstood his misfortune, but how is his affliction bad? Loving friends and neighbors rallied around him for being a superb role model, in his church, and community.

There’s by SIX Cycle Mind – a Filipino band of alternative music that sings about Joe’s phenomenon in having his world turned “Upside Down.” The band released two albums by Shine (2003) and Panorama (2005). Presently, Joe’s situation can be likened to a person that now has to do metaphorical handstands, headstands, and somersaults to get through life. For he’s contemplating life changes like those of Dr. Bute, to cope with the new person he has become.

Missed your Chance?

Some may feel Joe has missed the chance of a life time. You yourself may experience emptiness while afflicted with a debilitating disease. But it isn’t right to see when one door closes another opens? It’s essayist, philosopher, and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), who observed, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” Viewing your situation as gain, and not a loss, will bring untold benefits in your life. Why don’t you be like Dr. Bute?

View your life as having a new meaning, while imagining new ways of thinking, and coping. It’s like starting over one’s life from scratch, and assuring oneself everything will work out, for the better. Strange as it may seem, dementia like that of Dr. Bute’s and Joe’s may be a blessing in disguise. A person must realize that he or she is bearing this cross for the long haul. It’s good for them to

reflect on their newness of life, for God sees them as complete persons. Every sufferer will have to consider himself or herself as being a valuable member of society. For in life, we have to be calm and confident in the face of our trials.

Quality Of Life

Promoting general well being when living with dementia is important. It’s necessary to become more physical. Let a friend accompany you for walks and live in a life-affirming community. Challenge yourself in new ways. Monitor your ability to read and if you can’t, find someone who will read to you. Be certain to gear all activities, to the growth and development of your emotional, physical, and mental health. As the disease progresses, be sure that your finances, and social aspects of your life are in order. It’s author, salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar (1926 – 2012), who pointed out, “Fact: If standard of living is your number one objective, quality of life almost never improves. But if quality of life is your number one objective, standard of living invariably improves.” As a person with dementia your life like other patients will improve, because your focus and priority will be based on treatment of quality.

Blessed Joy

Seek a blessed joy, illuminating your path to happiness, and letting it vivify your spirits, with ecstasy. Necessary though, is having contrite hearts, clean minds, and generous spirits. This is what such gifts from the Almighty is all about. You’ll be true lights which are ideal for a Christian walk, in patience, and perseverance. Barack Obama (b. 1961), 44th President of the United States and first African American to hold this office, says, “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress.” Undoubtedly, walks of faith will lead to bliss and enlightened hearts.

Not the Joy of the World

The joys of this world are fleeting, don’t adapt and adjust. True joys are weapons of the spirit, defeating the terrors of men. In our world, there’s degradation, sin, and fear of the future. In the eyes of Christians, their future appears bright. They live according to the promises of God, are faithful, and kind to men, and women. Nevertheless, like all sinners, they do face temporary hardships which are like pin pricks, compared to the glorious lives, awaiting them in heaven.

Our world is buffeted by an array of hardships. If it isn’t war, murder, or crime, much of it, is found, in sensual excesses. Many earthlings hold their heads high, walk with their chests up, and are puffed up. At best, this is a sure display of vanity. Time and time again, as people face struggles, they suffer broken hearts, while continuing to pretend all is well. It must be remembered for true comfort, we can’t depend on the temptations of this world. We often hear and see in media, empty praise, and double talk. As if bound by fetters, worldly types, live by the winds of fickleness. Poet, essayist, and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) observed, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Being true to yourself, must be the aim of every Christian, who lives in countries dogged by scandals.

Spreading Joy

It’s right and just that Christians go about spreading joy and hope. To be true, Christians are to live joyfully. Sustained by the Holy Spirit, it’s for us to evangelize, and minister to persons constantly. As lights of the world, and with humble hearts, walk confidently, as a peacemakers, in the midst of wolves. Embracing the ecstasies of your hearts and minds, you must love faithfulness, fly freely, and with elevated spirits, teach, and proclaim the truths of things, seen, and unseen. With our walks, we’ll be completely filled with riches, from God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Robert H. Schuller (1926 – 2015), Christian televangelist, pastor, and motivational speaker, testified to such a walk, when he said, “God flourished my ministry and my career of creative thinking, communicating and writing back 50 years.” Over time, it was Schuller’s belief, that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, blessed his life’s mission in distinct ways.

Comforting Joy

In the Gospel of comforting joy, it’s best to review the teachings of Jesus, his disciples, and their apostolic zeal. Their testimonies are like stars which mirror lights of Christian life. Having shields of faith, be steadfast in your understanding of the Word. It must be remembered that on the day of judgment, we’ll have to account about how we’ve lived our lives. After, Christians of true faith could look forward to this heavenly consolation. Their sins will be washed away and they will become whiter than snow. This is the spiritual fervor and beliefs we must hold dear to us. Be sure to be comforted daily with blessedness, pure hearts, and clean minds. It’ll be right to claim our ascension to the sublime heights by the love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Ann Landers (1918 – 2002), Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist, reminded us, “Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself; the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass.” For Christians, such realizations are inevitable, for they also know the victory has been won, and supreme greatness awaits them in heaven.

Be The Best

How can you refine your personality to be the best? Some persons might think that you could do so by taking care of your exterior. They might think one thing you must do is dress well, by wearing a suit, as you sit in important meetings. Having don a tie, put on a piece of jewelry, and wear a fashionable wrist watch, to match. A religiously inclined person might display a necklace, with a cross dangling on his or her chest. Others might pay attention if their hair, is it black, brown, or blond? To be sure they are well-groomed they might even wear a pair of the latest style shoes. Such attire is undoubtedly beautiful, might strike some as having an air of respectability, however, there’s a lot more to being the best you can.

What about you having a well-rounded education? Your goal ought to be growing emotionally, intellectually, and physically. With improved speech, you’d be able to score points. To be kind and courteous are goodness to have. These qualities will make you an actor in the world. You might want to view your personality, as a mask of different colors. Ezra Pound’s Personnae (1909) literally means “masks of actor,” for we’re basically actors on the world’s stage. Some persons might even consider more favorably, if they are blessed with intelligence, cleverness, and happiness.

Imperfections as Gifts

One thing is certain. That is: we’re all imperfect. By working hard to improve ourselves, we might still find that we are dogged by imperfections. In considering our attitudes toward such defects, is viewing our imperfections as important gifts. Don’t worry overly about them, but embrace them for what they really are. You might be an alcoholic. What then should you do? Recognize your affliction and take responsibility for it. Seek treatment, join Alcoholic Anonymous, and be open to others about your disease. Share your story as a blessing in disguise and see the stigma melt away. This gift you once regarded in such a hateful way might well be the catalyst, for helping other alcoholics.

Through afflictions, Christians and non-Christians alike, have been known to develop a deeper love, and understanding of God. By being an inspiration, saints have been able to mature more deeply, in their faith. Cancer patients in remission might end up giving alms to suffering patients at hospitals. They might view their newly found afflictions as a vocations. Their outlook would inevitably become more than coping with ailments. Their afflictions might appear gloomy and hopeless to many, but they might well discover what they do as valuable. We must always praise such sufferers and their commitments to ailing patients. Their services must be applauded, for some will be able to find hope, encouragement, and strength through them.

There are some that might view having imperfections as bad. American comedian, actor, writer of the TV series “Roseanne,” Carrie Snow, observed, “Technology … is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” Could Carrie be referring to the conflicting faces of our media – good and bad? In the media we learn about some opinion leaders, their glorious achievements, contributions, and after awhile, their names are dragged through mud, by the same commentators who were praising them. Like media as in life, we’re presented with the good, bad, and ugly, but the wise would still learn from these situations. Technology, whether radio, TV, cable, or the Internet, has its imperfections, but must still be viewed as precious gifts. Imperfect gifts though they might be, but those which present us, with different faces, some of which we might dislike. God-faring people will always benefit from what’s best in the media.

With Care & Respectability

Why must we be flippant connivers? We are entrusted at birth with a myriad of gifts. Even a brain-damaged child has gifts to share with us. The tramp that might be ignored is also gifted. In God’s providence we are all his caretakers. Law abiding citizens dislike criminals running rampantly in their cities and will do anything to stop them. Why don’t we do away with anxieties we nurture about people? Don’t be too upset about situations you can’t control, for God’s always in control. Life can be a struggle, but we’re blessed with grace, and goodness, to see problems through. A lot of situations aren’t as menacing as they appear, they need prayer, understanding, and handling them wisely. We have to be sure to promote honest values and morals in our world.

Refine your personality by laughing a lot, be good-humored, about little, and big things. With fortitude and persistence we would touch what’s authentic about life. Be good Samaritans, help the less fortunate, and focus on Our Good Shepherd, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for men and women are basically good. Allow Christ to refine your personality, and you’ll know what it means to be whole again. Every day when you sit down for a meal, especially on Good Friday, do so in commemoration of the Lord’s Supper, for you could only become the best through him.

Be Happy Again

Are you a damaged human being? What are your ailments? Constant headaches, low energy, aches, pains, tense muscles, or are you nervous with cold and sweaty palms, walking around with clenched jaws, and grinding your teeth? Do you suffer heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, ulcers, and are known to have violent outbursts of anger? Do you have a mental health problem, eating disorders, or are you obese? Then, you might well be worn out by the demands of the world.

You might have a lack of appetite, hooked on alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. Maybe you are pacing the floor, fidgeting at home, and work. You just can’t seem to settle down. Because of this behavior, you might be unable to marshal your thoughts, and focus at work. With such afflictions, you might also be afflicted with chronic diseases – diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic renal failure, or congested heart failure. These might all be symptoms that you are burnout, bored, emotionally overloaded, and unappreciated.

More signs showing that you are worn out with the world, are when you don’t sleep well at night, have no sexual desire, and fear going to work. This could all be because of the rat race you are a part of. Constantly popping pills, suffering from frequent colds and infections, you don’t seem able to keep away from the doctor’s office, because you’re so unrelentingly stressed.

Do you have a competitive spirit? That’s what the world taught you from childhood. “Be the best that you can. The sky is the limit.” You were coerced in joining the bandwagon of competitors. You’re now in overdrive, working 16 hours per day. Hooked on your technological devices – smart phones and laptop computers, you just can’t even find time, to read a book. Although being overweight, with bad eating habits, physical activities aren’t a part of you daily routine. You fail to take the warning from the quotation anthologist, Terri Guillemets (b. 1973) who says, “If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched.” So, now you are paying the price.

How can you be happy again?

It was the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) who observed, “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” You’ve always felt this way. There’s a huge price to pay with trying to keep up with the Joneses. Your life is now in disarray. It’s time to slow down and smell the roses.

The first step is to continue seeing your doctor for treatment, take medications as prescribed, and follow his advice . It might be that you should be having counseling, but remember not to keep God, out of the picture. Pray to him. He’ll provide for your every need. You’ll find that knowing our Lord and Jesus Christ will profoundly bring to your life, peace, love, joy, and hope. It isn’t that you will no longer have problems, but with his spiritual grounding, he’ll defend you from bad experiences, you have been having.

It isn’t that you will not become ill, but through our Lord’s grace, you’ll be able to put matters in their proper perspective. It’s true, Christians do suffer. Some saints did so willingly, for redemptive purposes, but others have prayed for healing, and were healed. It’ll be important in your Christian walk to bring all things – good and bad, before the Lord. Then, your life will have the basics of purposeful= driven living. Bear in mind that we were never meant to be competitive by the way we live. All gifts in the Lord’s eyes are equal. Talents could be observed in every part of the body of Christ. An eye can’t say to a foot, “I’m more important than you.” We’re all important and talented in our own way. This is what you ‘ll discover in living successful lives.