I Encourage You to Explore
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
— Isaiah 41:10
In continuing with our 2015 theme of laying of solid foundation, we are focused on the rhythm of the OHI program, which is inspiration , encouragement/exploration , reflection and integration.
In our Spring newsletter we talked about inspiration and how it can start as a tiny tug, deep in our heart. We feel we’re being “called” to do something, whether it’s learning a new skill, initiating new friendships, or sharing our gifts and beliefs with others. While this nudge is exciting, it’s also a bit unsettling. That uneasy feeling can easily and quickly discourage one from taking action. Because to act on the excitement that is coupled with apprehension would require us to leave our comfort zone, and invite the judgment of others.
Therefore, the next logical steps are encouragement and exploration . Sometimes, all it takes is knowing that God has our back and will “uphold us” to encourage us to take that leap of faith. God works through us, inspiring us to encourage each other. In fact it was Barnabas’ support of a transformed critic of Jesus that changed the course of Christianity forever.
Connecting the Optimum Health Institute Community Summer 2015
The New Testament Book of Acts teaches us when Saul first approached the disciples, wanting to join them, they held back. They were afraid that this man who had so stridently opposed Christ’s teachings hadn’t truly converted.
That’s when Barnabas, whose name literally means, “Son of Encouragement,” stepped up for Saul. He had seen him passionately preaching the gospel in Damascus, and urged the disciples to believe that Saul’s transformation was genuine. The disciples accepted him into the fold, “Saul” became “Paul,” and he went on to be the first to preach the Gospel to non-Jews. Many of the books in the New Testament are attributed to Paul. Yet Paul’s inspirational deeds and works would never have happened without the support and encouragement of another.
This summer, I’m encouraging you to explore those deepest desires of your heart, those whispers from God that steer you in the right direction on your spiritual path.
Too often, it seems, we can get so engrossed in the day-to-day demands of our personal and professional lives that we forget to notice God’s presence in each moment. Every sunrise and sunset paint a masterpiece across the sky. A baby’s laughter melts the coldest heart. Every random act of kindness creates a ripple effect of spiritual connection and compassion.
Whether from being in a rut, or fear, or lack of self-confidence, how many times have we failed to notice divine synchronicities manifesting right in front of us? How many fascinating opportunities have we missed because we stopped looking at the world with the insatiable curiosity and wonder of a child?
Alison Gopnik, a psychology and philosophy professor at University of California, Berkeley and a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, said it beautifully: “Successful creative adults seem to combine the wide-ranging exploration and openness we see in children with the focus and discipline we see in adults.”
It’s when we combine that child-like drive to explore with worlds of joy, fulfillment and love. Spiritual disciplines, like meditation, prayer and journaling, are keys to opening up our hearts and minds to magnificent new things.
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
— E.L. Doctorow
In this newsletter, we’re encouraging you to explore and expand your consciousness to tune into yourself, your dreams, your fears and your goals. We’re holding up a mirror, and taking a look at how centered and balanced we all feel in our lives, our relationships, and our spirituality.
We’ll share how to create Affirmations that truly support your desire to grow and transform non-beneficial behaviors. We’ll tell you how your anger can actually be a good thing when you learn how to direct it. Small changes can lead to major progress –we’ll tell you why. And we’ll show how being able to discern the truth from assumptions can completely change your life by putting you back in the driver’s seat.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
— 1 John 5:14
It takes courage to change and grow, and we’re there with you, every step of the way. With just a little encouragement and support, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
May you and yours experience the wonder of discovery. Together, we can make this a magnificent summer of transformation.
Yours in Prayer,
Robert P. Nees, Jr.
Senior Pastor and Chairman
Optimum Health Institute of San Diego and Austin