47 episodes

From her corner of the Internet, Carol will bring you motivation, focus, productivity, and success stories to get you out of your comfort zone and to become all that you were meant to be. Once a month we will also talk about technology tools to help you toward your goals.

Purpose For Your Life Carol Bremner/Online Media Trainer and Strategist

    • Health & Fitness

From her corner of the Internet, Carol will bring you motivation, focus, productivity, and success stories to get you out of your comfort zone and to become all that you were meant to be. Once a month we will also talk about technology tools to help you toward your goals.

    [Podcast] Our Perception of People Governs Our Actions

    [Podcast] Our Perception of People Governs Our Actions

    I’ve been thinking these days about how our perception of people changes when we allow ourselves to get to know them.
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    I read about a woman who was wrongly convicted of murder and spent a number of years on death row. She said the guards weren’t allowed to speak to her because if they got to know her as a fellow human being it might have affected how they treated her.
    As I’ve volunteered with ex-offenders and with those in prison, my perceptions about them have changed as well. Whatever poor choices they’ve made, or harm they’ve caused, they are still made in the image of God, and over the years I’ve seen many people become the men and women God meant them to be.
    When we get to know someone as a person, I think it changes our level of compassion, often in positive ways. For instance, many years ago, when one of my granddaughters was a young teen, she decided to make sandwiches and give them out to the homeless in downtown Toronto. I walked with her, but every time she saw someone sitting on the street, I tried to talk her out of approaching them. I was afraid they might yell at her for giving them food instead of money. It took my volunteering at a homeless shelter to realize what kind and gentle people many of the homeless are, and to realize their situations sometimes are the result of years of neglect and abuse such as I could never imagine. Today I count it as a privilege to be able to serve them.
    That’s why I was so bothered to hear that someone in our area went to one of the homeless camps out in the bush near the city and set one of the tents on fire while a homeless couple slept inside. They were able to get out safely, but why was that necessary? Do people really think the homeless prefer to live outside in the middle of a cold and snowy Canadian winter?
    True, some are drug addicts or are mentally ill, but we need facilities to treat them, rather than ignoring them or hoping they will go away. We also need to see those on the street as people. Why not smile or say hello as we walk by a homeless person? Sure, they might ignore you, or ask you for money. Or if they feel delusional they may yell at you to go away. Then again, they may smile back, and all of a sudden you see that man or woman the way God sees them – and your perception is forever changed.
    Have a wonderful day and be a blessing to someone else,
    Carol

    • 3 min
    [Podcast] The Troll Under the Bridge

    [Podcast] The Troll Under the Bridge

    When we bought our house it was listed as a fixer-upper since it was so long since it had been properly cared for. Once we started cleaning, we discovered many high-end feature that the builder had included, but because of neglect and abuse, it was hard to tell.
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    The book ‘Misfits Welcome’ by Matthew Barnett tells such a story, about a broken man named Barry.
    Barry had an abusive childhood. He had been locked away in at attic until he was seven years old, having his food brought to him and being cut off from the rest of his family. Barry didn’t find out until later on in life that he had been hidden away because the family felt disgraced because his birth was the result of incest.
    As a result of the neglect, Barry was experimenting with drugs by the time he was eleven and became a teen addict. In spite of the drugs, Barry still managed to get a college degree and a good job, got married and had a family. But the drug use continued and eventually Barry lost everything. At the age of 40 he was homeless and living under a bridge. Under the bridge became his home for 17 long years. Kids called Barry the Bridge Troll because he had hair down to his waist, a long beard, and was very dirty.
    Then one day someone saw Barry and cared. They took him some food and invited him to church. He went and his life took a turn. Six years later, Barry went to Bible school and now cares for the homeless and shares his story. Barry was the kind of man we would pass by and say “He is too far gone to change,” but God created him as a beautiful masterpiece.
    Barry’s story reminded me of the day we received some pears from our neighbour’s tree. I didn’t want to eat any of them. They were misshapen and marred looking, not appealing to me at all. But I hated to throw the pears out without at least tasting one, in case I was ever asked how I liked them. As I peeled away the outer, ugly layer, the pear began to look better. Yet I was still nervous about taking a bite. How could anything so ugly taste any good? But when I bit into the pear, it was delicious. Ripe and juicy, exactly right. And then God reminded me how often I look at the people I meet in the same outward and judgmental way, deciding without knowing all the goodness that might be inside. How much I am missing by doing that?
    Have a wonderful rest of the week and don't forget to see those around you the way God see them,
    Carol

    • 3 min
    [Podcast] Not Shaken By The Storm

    [Podcast] Not Shaken By The Storm

    These days, many of the conversations around me center on questions about Covid. What are the numbers for today? What phase are we in? What about school and work? What about..? What if ….?
    I don’t know about you, but those conversations make me feel like I’m on a little, storm-tossed boat and the circumstances are going to be the end of me.
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    Even though God has said He will never let us be shaken, it’s so hard to cast our cares on the Lord when we feel so weak and small and the problems attacking us are so big.
    I was encouraged this week when I read a story in the Old Testament, in 2nd Chronicles, chapter 20.
    It goes like this:
    When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, an army came to start a war against him. He was afraid and decided to ask the Lord what to do. Jehoshaphat prayed “God, they have come to force us out of your land. We have no power against this large army that is attacking us. We don’t know what to do. So we look to you for help.”
    Then one of the priests stood up and said “King Jehoshaphat, the Lord says don’t be afraid or discouraged because of this large army. The battle is not your battle. It is God’s battle”. Then the king and the people were told they didn’t need to fight, just stand strong in their places and they would see the Lord save them.
    The next morning, King Jehoshaphat reminded the people to have faith in the Lord their God and stand strong. Then he placed singers in front of the army and as they began to sing and praise God, the Lord set ambushes for the enemy army. Instead of waiting to fight against the people of Judah, the enemy army all turned on one another and began to kill each other.
    By the time the men from Judah came to the area where the enemies were camped, there was no enemy waiting to fight. All they found were dead bodies lying on the ground. King Jehoshaphat and his people won the victory without raising a hand.
    I'm wishing you a worry free day, filled with singing,
    Carol

    • 2 min
    [Podcast] Different

    [Podcast] Different

    Have you heard of Jessica Cox, the world's first licensed armless pilot, as well as the first armless black-belt in the American Taekwondo Association.
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    Jessica was born in 1983 and due to a rare birth defect, she was born without arms. In spite of that, Jessica flies airplanes, drives cars, and otherwise lives a normal life using her feet as others use their hands.
    Jessica’s mother often said, “There are no limits to what you can do and who you can be.” Jessica was enrolled in the public school and learned to adapt to her situations until she found a way to do things herself. She was participating in gymnastics by age three, swimming by five, tap dancing by six, and taekwondo at the age of ten.
    As a teen, Jessica stopped using her prosthetic arms and learned to use her chin and shoulders and with a lot of practice, her feet and toes started doing much of what a hand and fingers could do. Taekwondo helped in learning creativity, gaining dexterity and building her confidence. At 14, she had her first black belt in Taekwondo.
    To Jessica, the word ‘impossible’ really means I’m possible, and as a motivational speaker, she reminds her audiences of that fact.
    Jessica gives herself time to reinvent how things are usually done, calling it ‘Thinking Outside the SHOE’.€ That acronym stands for: Self-imposed Limitations, Habits, Over Complication, and Excuses. It means getting rid of the fears, excuses and false limits we place on ourselves. To make the absolute best of all we’ve been given and live our lives to the fullest. To express our gratitude daily because we have so much to be grateful for.
    One of the things that impressed me most when watching Jessica’s videos is the fact that she mentions people’s reactions to her difference. Not to her disability, but to her difference. I appreciated that because I have a daughter who was also born with a difference. In fact, many years ago I wrote a poem for her and in many ways it encompasses the view that Jessica Cox has taken towards her life.
    Different
    I don’t know how to tell you
    Just what to do or say,
    When thoughtless, shallow people
    Turn their heads and look away.
    They take their health for granted,
    Their eyes and ears and limbs,
    And when they see you’re not the same
    They sigh and sing their hymns.
    I’m sorry you were born this way,
    I’d like to make you whole.
    But imperfections of the body
    Have no bearing on the soul.
    There will be times of darkness
    When you will sit and cry.
    The cruel, heartless staring
    Will make you want to die.
    They don’t know what it’s like to be
    A babe born incomplete.
    So raise your head and wipe your eyes,
    You won’t accept defeat.
    There’s a world out there to conquer.
    You can make it if you try.
    Don’t let self-pity swallow you.
    My child, hold your head high.
    © Carol Bremner

    • 4 min
    [Podcast] When the Banks Closed

    [Podcast] When the Banks Closed

    I'm reading a book about the Depression called 'We Had Everything But Money'. One chapter is titled 'When the Banks Closed, Our Hearts Opened'. Even though the hard times our world is experiencing right now are different from those of the depression, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from the courage and endurance of the people in those days.
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    Hard times forced many to sell apples on street corners to support their families. Those who still had jobs did their part to help by buying the produce. In story after story, the hard circumstances that people found themselves in gave birth to a real care for their families and for one another.
    For example, a farming family deposited a check for about $1,200 that they'd earned for the full year's crops, keeping out only $5 for groceries. A few minutes later, the bank closed - permanently - and that $5 was all the family had. To make matters worse, their six-year-old tried to find something in a dark closet by lighting a match and although he got out safely, their home burnt to the ground.
    The family temporarily moved in with relatives. Soon after, all their friends and neighbours got together and brought whatever they could spare from their own homes so that this family could be encouraged and begin their lives again.
    There were no jobs in the 1930's, even the farmers weren't hiring. Thousands rode boxcars in hope of finding work. Thanks to the generosity of those who shared their food, many of those men didn't go hungry.
    Here are some of the stories and comments from the people who lived through that time in history:
    * "As we look back now on those long-ago years, we realize they weren't all that bad. We not only survived, we may well have become better and stronger people for the experience."
    * "Depression years, yet I always remember them with a smile."
    * "In both good times and bad, our parents always had time for us. We never had much money, but we had all the love any parents could possibly give their children."
    * "My grandparents taught me a lot about life, They taught me not to judge a book by its cover, and that money means nothing compared to decency and character. When someone wandered by and needed a meal, they found some small task for that person to do so that they could feel they'd worked for their food."
    * "The Depression was terrible in some ways, but taught many Americans a better way to live. We began to not only think more about others, but to help them."
    * "I'll never forget those years, neighbors helping neighbors, sharing whatever good fortune came their way, doctors rendering services regardless of patients' finances, and worship with friends whose faith far outdistanced their troubles."
    I hope in spite of the fear and violence and uncertainty about the future that's swirling around us today, that we can learn to love and have faith for what lies ahead. Just like the generations before us learned to do.
    Have a great day,
    Carol
     
     

    • 4 min
    [Podcast] Victory Over Fear

    [Podcast] Victory Over Fear

    60 years after the war ended, two old men emerged from the dense jungle of a Philippine island and declared they were soldiers. What does that have to do with us today?
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    The Japanese men, both in their 80s, said they had been hiding on the island after being involved in fierce battles with U.S. forces.
    The soldiers had remained in the jungle and mountains since then, unaware that the war had ended 60 years before, and afraid that they would be charged with desertion if they were found. They were afraid and hid, year after year, until their lives were almost over.
    Today we have a world-wide epidemic of fear. Many of us have been hiding for months, afraid to leave our homes or even hug our families. Afraid of an unseen enemy that could take our lives.
    As an older person, part of the vulnerable population, I also stayed in my home for a long time. Constant negative news and social media updates allowed the fear and despair to creep into my life.
    When I finally went out to do some shopping, seeing the people around me with their masks on fed that fear. I could see it in other people too. The young masked woman with her masked husband, pulling him back whenever he got anywhere near someone else. Or the older man walking home with his groceries, not another person in sight, yet still wearing his mask. Or the lone driver of a car, wearing a mask even then.
    A recent conversation with the mothers of teens made me realize how many young people are afraid of the thought of going back to school and of taking the school bus, even though their age demographic are less susceptible to the virus. Are we raising a generation full of fear?
    I understand that fear, but I refuse to hide any longer, letting my life slip away inside the four walls of my house. My times, and yours, are in God’s hands. I’ve read about people who have been in house explosions and should have died, but they didn’t. Or the freak accidents that never should have caused a death, but they did. No matter how careful we are, how much we try to take care of ourselves, there are no guarantees in life.
    And that’s why I choose to leave my home, to greet the people around me, to live while I have the opportunity. If I’m required to wear a mask, I have a face shield. That way I can smile at those I meet, and maybe, just maybe, that smile will chase away the fear that is threatening to swallow them up. We need each other so much, especially in times like this. Why not go and encourage someone today?
    Have a wonderful day,
    Carol
    Your Chief Encourager

    • 3 min

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