Tag Archives: Norman Vincent Peale

52 Bible Verses for a Joy Filled Year – Week 30

(Author’s Note: It is Monday 7/17 as I write finalize this post. The day this post goes live, an event will have already happened. I am attempting to keep a positive mind set about what the future holds, but given all the false reassurance from people over the past few years,  I am nervous. So here’s to a good event happening this week – whatever it is.)


For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
    and what I dread befalls me.

Job 3:25

When I saw this verse included in Norman Vincent Peale’s 52 Weeks To A Positive Life, I thought

“Now this is not very positive.”

However, the verse is intended to be a warning. Guard your thoughts. You are what you think you are, you become what you think you will become, you think evil will happen and it will because you reap what you sow. It’s not just the result of your actions that come back to you but the result of your thoughts as well.

It’s like the secret to a good yard – feed the grass. The grass will choke the weeds.


Feed your mind good thoughts and read positive material and you will choke the weeds out of your mind and good things will happen.


Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives by seizing new opportunities. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com because one blog is not enough.

52 Bible Verses for a Joy Filled Year – Week 12


Time for a new verse to focus on this week and see how God uses it in your life.

For those of you new here, this series is based on a set of scripture cards written by Norman Vincent Peale. I take the verses from the cards and add my own thoughts. Once I did some research, I started wishing I could find the card for this week. Not sure what I did with those cards when I cleaned.

This week’s verse:


If God be for us, who can be against us? 

Romans 8:31 

My initial response to this week’s verse is – it does not matter if God is for us, there can and will be people against us.

However, because God is for us that their evil, nasty plans will not succeed.

Now that might not be the official interpretation from those who have gone to seminary but it is how I interpret it. Remember, I do not always see things the way you normal people do.

It’s why photography and I get along – I see things from different angles.

Personal Application

I should be reciting this verse over and over as life has gotten tough since unemployment ended a couple weeks ago. There  is no income but a lot of bills to pay, so I have a lot of enemies against me. The verse should provide me with comfort and encouragement.

But wait! There’s more…

Official Version 

I did an internet search on this verse and it follows a verse about predestination. Upon reading this, I started banging my head on my desk. God has a sense of humor as predestination (some people being created for heaven) and double predestination (some people being created for hell) is a hot topic in Bible study, hotter than President Trump’s immigration executive order – I’m not kidding.

What I always believe about salvation has been turned upside down and left me with a lot of questions.

Not sure I find this verse comforting and encouraging anymore.

May God show us how this verse applies to our lives this week.


(There may be a post about predestination and double predestination once I sort things out.)




“40 Days Of Joy” Black Friday Book Shopping List

Here is your Black Friday Book Shopping List. There is something on it for everyone.

All links (blue) are non-affiliate links, which means I do not receive any compensation. They will take you directly to the author’s website.  The others can be found on Amazon.com


“Postcards from the Widows’ Path”  (Ferree Hardy) (widowschrisitanplace.com) –  I bought this book earlier this year and found myself having a hard time putting it down.  Each chapter begins with a postcard written by Naomi, Ruth, or Orpah. Then Ferree tells the tale of the three women, while weaving in her own experiences as a widow.  For example, in Chapter 5 she explains the 2 needs of widows – “kindness and rest.”  This chapter resonated with me the most. As a widow, these quickly became short in supply – especially “kindness.”

The book of Ruth affirms that God is with widows and cares for us even though at times it does not feel like it.

Thank you Ferree for this wonderful book.

“Healing After Loss, Daily Meditations on Working Through Grief”   (Martha Whitmore Hickman)

This is the book Joe’s Aunt, who is a nun, gave me at the funeral home.  April 17th, is the day I started reading it and the devotion for that day really spoke to me.  I began to have hope of surviving my grief journey.

“Through A Season of Grief, devotions for your journey from mourning to joy”   (Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard)

A devotional based on GriefShare, a Biblically based world-wide grief support group.  I was a participant for a year and then co-facilitated the group for 4 years.  I have lots of sticky and handwritten notes in the margins.

“Finding Hope In Times of Grief”   (Preston and Glenda Parrish)

A moving story of how hope in Christ got Preston and Glenda through their son’s unexpected passing, and how they discovered Jesus is enough.  It is not just for parents whose child has moved to heaven as there are lessons for everyone in this book.

Thank you Preston and Glenda for sharing your story.

Job Seekers

“The Character of Leadership, An Ancient Model for a Quantum Age”  (Philip H. Eastman II) LeadershipAdvisors.com

The only book on leadership you will ever need.  Mr. Eastman’s model for leadership is based on 7 character elements. Read and put into practice this model and you will distinguish yourself from other employees once you land a job.  Use this model while volunteering during your career transition and you will stand out from other job seekers.  Don’t let the title fool you, it is a brief and easy read.  One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Mr. Eastman and can be found at the bottom of the link to his website.

“The challenges we face today are not economic, environmental, social, or legal; they are challenges of character and leadership.”

 “Careerealism, the smart approach to a satisfying career”  (J. T. O’Donnell )

Want a satisfying career? Start here.  J.T.’s methodology will help you figure out if you are on the right path or if you need to switch careers.  The book is great alone but better if used with Careerealism.com and/or CareerHMO.com


“Positive Living Day by Day” (Norman Vincent Peale) – Short one page devotions designed to lift your spirits. There is no year to the dates, so you can use this book every year.

“Positive Thinking Every Day” (Norman Vincent Peale)  – Inspirational one or two liners for every day.

November 17th – “Be bold, and mighty powers will come to your aid.”

How will you be bold today?  (Standing in line at Walmart for Black Friday deals does not count.)

“Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn’t Enough”  (Kay Warren)

This is a book I have marked up a lot with hi-liter, pen and sticky-notes.  It is very uplifting and heart-warming.  It affirms the thought I had of joy being a deeper emotion than happiness.

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.” 

(pg 31)

Here is scripture from the beginning of Chapter 6 “Believing Even In Darkness.” May it speak to you today and every day.  

“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace. 

Luke 1:78-79 (“The Message” version)

There you have it, my list of books to buy for those on your shopping list. And remember to add one or more for yourself as well.

3 Books Michele Reads Daily (Well Almost)

There are 3 books that I read daily (sometimes I run a day or two behind). Now these books are great for everyone not just widows. So whether you are grieving or tackling one of life’s other nasty events, pick up one or all 3 and dive in. These books bring me comfort and encouragement and help maintain a positive outlook.

May you find comfort and encouragement as well.

The 2nd Time Around

Positive Living Day By Day – Norman Vincent Peale (Guideposts – New York, New York)

I used this daily devotional last year and am using it again this year.  Each day has Scripture followed by a devotion by Dr. Peale. I dare you to be discouraged after spending a year reading and meditating on each devotion. Dr. Peale’s writing is authentic and practical and will be for years to come.

It is one of those books filled with pen, hi-liter and sticky notes. Not only do I have it in paperback but it is also on my Kindle, so whenever I am in need of encouragement, this book is there.

The 1st Time

Positive Thinking Every Day – Norman Vincent Peale, Designed by Hyun Joo Kim, (Simon and Schuster)

I added this book this year since I loved Dr. Peale’s other book. You read one page per day containing 1 or 2 sentences which will give you inspiration for your day or give you a quick pick up at lunch. This book would be perfect for someone in their first year of grief, since each day’s thought is short and sweet. During the first year you do not need anything that requires a lot of thought.

This book is also on my Kindle and will be used every year.

Time For Joy

Choosing Joy, A 52-Week Devotional for Discovering True Happiness – Angela Thomas (Howard Books)

I started this book around April or May of this year. It is grounded in scripture. There is a devotion for Monday – Thursday and then 1 for the weekend (Friday – Sunday). Angela’s writing is also very positive and uplifting. I am enjoying this book and combined with Dr Peale’s books, these 3 are a great way to start each day. This one is not on my Kindle – at least not yet.

Bonus Book

NIV New International Version Holy Bible (Zondervan)

I do not have a particular reading plan but refer to it when I want to read the context surrounding a verse from “Positive Living Day By Day.”  Plus I will read the scripture that our pastor is using for his weekly sermon.  Although I soon may start reading the book of Ephesians. Yes, this too is on my Kindle.

I Hope

I hope you will make at least one of these books a part of your daily reading.

May God bless you with a joy filled day.

(Coming next Tuesday – How Michele Gets A Good Night’s Sleep)

(Disclaimer: I did not nor do I receive any compensation for any links in my posts.)

The Giant Within

I know there are people out there who need this quote to help them through grief, unemployment, broken relationships or any other nasty life event.

There is a giant in every person, and nothing can get this giant down unless that giant is kept down by himself.

From “Positive Thinking Every Day”

Norman Vincent Peale 

Quote for February 26th

Spend this weekend restoring the giant within.

Electrifying Weekend Wisdom

There is great value in disaster.  All our mistakes are burned up.  Thank God we can start anew.

Thomas Edison

From the  October 2nd  devotion in

Norman Vincent Peale’s   “Positive Living Day By Day”

Published by Guideposts

The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and physical energies to the problem at hand – without growing weary. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it….

Thomas Edison


Edison’s favorite piece of poetry was stanza nine from Thomas Gray’s Elegy To A Country-Churchyard, which he perpetually recited within earshot of his many associates: 

“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”


Job Loss Grief & 3 Helpful Resources

Grief is experienced whenever a relationship ends, including a relationship with an employer.

Just as in the death of a spouse, the loss can be anticipated or unanticipated.


You see it coming.  The company has done poorly ever since the economy tanked or maybe the company is moving to a location where commuting is not cost effective.

Someone in these and other circumstances have a chance to prepare and grieve in advance.  This shortens the amount of time they spend in grief after they lose their job.


Everything is going well but to be more lean and mean the company decides to downsize and today ends up being someone’s last day.  This person is going to grieve longer than someone who saw the handwriting on the wall.

No Perfect Way

Whether it is job loss or spouse’s passing, there is no perfect way to grieve.  Each person’s grief is unique and their recovery will take different paths.  That is good, because what one person learns during their journey can be shared with someone else also going through a job loss journey.


So many people’s identity is chained to their job and suddenly their identity is downsized along with their job.  The grief can be overwhelming.

For me job loss grief was tough but figuring out what to do professionally was more overwhelming than grief itself.  I did collections for 13.5 years and now had no idea if I wanted to continue doing that or go in a different direction; so many options, so many choices.

Single vs. Married

Stress from unemployment takes a toll on everyone whether single or married.

If someone is single, they are the sole breadwinner and now the income is gone and there is no one in the household for financial or emotional support.

Marriages do not always survive one spouse being unemployed.  A reduction in household income tests the marriage, especially during extended unemployment.

Your Identity

Do not let the terms “unemployed” or “in-transition” become your identity.  Job loss grief is a profound experience but it is not your identity.   This is where personal branding comes in.   For example:

I am a Communications Professional and recipient of multiple awards for my WordPress blog, JoyReturns.com. It is a cheery and uplifting site where widows and those not grieving learn that, while not easy, joy does indeed return after a spouse’s unexpected move to heaven.  It is one tool I use to change people’s perception of widows.  By the way I am in transition and looking for a company who needs my blogging and other social media skills.

Putting “in transition” at the end puts the focus on what I do and what I have achieved.

Decision Time

There are two choices in grieving, no matter the source of grief:

  • To Heal
  • Not To Heal.

3 Helpful Resources

  • “Positive Living Day By Day” Norman Vincent Peale – Uplifting Daily devotions. (Guideposts)
  • “God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting” Robert W. Kelleman, PH.D – This book is for someone suffering grief whether caused by death, job loss, divorce or other life circumstances. (BMH Books)
  • “Healing Is A Choice: Ten Decisions That will Transform Your Life & Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them” Stephen Arterburn, M. Ed – I read chapter 1 and it really got me thinking about making connections. This book is also applicable not matter the circumstances you are facing. (Thomas Nelson)

Final Thoughts

May you decide to heal from job loss grief.

May you decide to do the work necessary to heal.

Do not let job loss grief (or other grief) hold you back.

Instead use grief as an inspiration to better yourself.

God is with you.  Everything happens according to his plan, not ours.


My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.

Philippians 4:19

Irish Proverb:

“The future is not ours to know and it may never be so let us live and give our best and give it lavishly.”