“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.”
– Leo Buscaglia
My life hurries, and my time passes, and for others, the world becomes more lonely! For this reason, I am moved to write about friendship. Proverbs 27:9 declares that “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” I strongly believe that this is the truth.” A true friendship can refresh and revive the barren parts of your heart; it can resurrect the dead places of your soul. Growing up attending church, I learned the hymn, “A Friend in Jesus,” and I know that I do have a friend in Him! As I look into the beautiful faces of those individuals that God places in my life, Iam reminded of that gift! Amid a hurried and lonely world, we must be reminded of this truth! The need for friendships of the soul has always existed through the beginning of time. We long to know that we do not walk the path of life alone, and indeed we are not. In retrospect, as a teenager, I discovered my favorite Christian artist and songwriter, the one and only –Michael W. Smith.
He released a beautiful song called “Friends,” and it spoke to my heart. As a Christian, he spoke from a place of deep love, claiming that Friends are given to us by God and that friends truly never leave us. Yes, “Friends are forever when the Lord is the Lord of them.” I think this is so important to remember because in a world that is ever-changing and people are pulled apart by the demands of life, this ideology still holds. So, decades later, I realize that the so many friends I thought I lost, I never truly lost them at all! God holds us together! Now in more recent times, I spend time praying for those in our newer and present generation. I try to listen to their music and hear their voices; I may, for a moment, look into their beautiful faces. Well, I realize that simply nothing has changed; their faces also say, “I need a friend.” We are in a world filled with technology and endless advanced forms of communication;Yet we are forever lonely, wondering who will be there. Or better yet, does anyone know I am here in this place at all?
We can begin to feel invisible to others, but this is the greatest lie of all! If we believe that we are alone and invisible, then we also forget that God has given us a purpose! As I thought about this, I remembered the song of a young talented artist named Justin Bieber called “Company.” He represents the voice of so many in the present generation, and for this reason, I pray for him. Justin presents the most important question of all – to a world where reaching out and spending time together in friendship has disappeared in so many ways: “Can we be each other’s company?” Undoubtedly, the need for true friendship and connection is ever-present. So, go find your company and your friends! Today, I want to thank you on behalf of “My Seven Blessings” for not just following our website, but for being our friends and company. I do not long to create another site filled with followers; I hope that we can be a genuine network of friendship. May you know that as I start every day, I thank God for the world that I live in, and I thank Him for you! I think about all the potential friends that I have all around this world, and I pray for God to bless them truly. As you go about life, know that we are here for you, and that is our greatest gift to call ourselves your friend! – Your friend Forever, Lisa & My Seven Blessings
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”
– Carol Burnett
Motivation is one of the greatest psychological aspects that significantly impact our spiritual and self-development. Therefore, we must work on motivating ourselves daily; for instance, an athlete needs to always strive to win different accomplishments, which is symbolized by medals. Ultimately, these medals envelope all the hard work, long hours, and sacrifices they endure; this is how they measure their success. In other words, this is how an athlete motivates themselves by attaining a symbol for their success, so what symbol do we accomplish by motivating ourselves? What symbol do we seek?
All human beings have open areas, hidden areas, blind areas, and unknown areas. Ultimately, the wider the open area is, the greater openness and transparency they generate when they interact with others, so what do I mean by this? That we all have something we have yet to find; for example, there was once an adolescent named Jack, a boy who stopped believing in love, Jack passed through various phases of depression and heartaches. Yet, He still decided to open his heart to another relationship. Although, he was still afraid of giving his love due to his past experiences, and because of that, though, he was able to experience something extraordinary. At first, it was difficult for Jack to avoid bringing his heartaches and melancholic experiences into the new relationship, without feeling those pesky insecurities, and those doubtful thoughts about his partner.
Nevertheless, he eventually understood that sometimes people come into our lives to either destroy or make us into better visions of ourselves. There are various blind areas in a relationship, where we must communicate our will, without measuring the impacts or implications, without mediating the opposite messages that others may perceive. Ultimately, a form of relationship where what matters is my vision, interests, challenges, and objectives. Where others are part of my environment, but they are not my priority. There is no area in between.
Foremost, we must understand that our communication with God isn’t left in open areas. Instead, it is in the zone where we can always enjoy his presence, solely devout to him. From our commitment to the holy and pure, we know that we do not live the full promises of his love. Therefore, we must keep expanding our values and self-development and keep searching for other options to light our torches within our hearts to parish all the darkness that plague our hearts. We must be reborn at the stake of faith and merge into the crucible of his love. If you look closely at Jack’s story, you will see that his purpose was to find someone honest, loving, and caring in his life. Unfortunately, he went through various painful phases in his life, yet he persevered despite all the obstacles; Jack kept his vision to find someone who genuinely loved him and wanted to start a family.
Ultimately, we can all achieve what we set our minds and heart to do; we can do much more than we can ever imagine. However, we can only achieve this if you have a vision and can endure all obstacles and various forms of suffering. If this becomes our mentality, we will destroy the barrier known as “limit.”
“Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns it calls me on and on across the universe.”
– John Lennon
Hello everyone, my name is Tyler Cardenas, and I’m fortunate to say that my soul has been fortunate to experience nearly 25 years upon this beautiful world, and the crazy thing is my perception of life would’ve been entirely different if I had been typing this story last year. Since my early stages of life, the universe seemed to be on a mission toward making sure my subconscious and mindset were regularly tested each day that faded by. As a result, this led me to find excuses to shun and laugh at any aspect of life involving spirituality, I just kept focusing on the negatives instead of realizing the positives that come out of every situation, pretty much I figured my life would just turn upside once a glimmer of light would try to poke it’s way through. For almost 25 years, I was oblivious toward the bigger picture of this reality that we currently take part in, and yet it’s crazy to think that it took meeting/ losing somebody close to wake my consciousness up. Because of this, I had an awakening and have been on the most serene, euphoric journey ever since.
In retrospect, it’s pretty ironic how life works, but sometimes people need to fall to a bottomless abyss before they’re susceptible to significant change. If it weren’t for everything leading up to today, I know for a fact I wouldn’t have received this fantastic opportunity! To be a part of a loving community, one that actually wants to heal the world, one day at a time. I’m excited to hopefully work with all of you because now I see a more significant purpose. In other words, the bigger picture, that each and every one of us needs to manifest love in various forms, and sometimes it’s up to our own selves to remember that we can help spread that message across the universe. One of the best quotes I have come across “Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens FOR YOU. We’re all here to ascend our consciousness and bring back peace and love toward everything that surrounds us and creates us. I’m truly blessed to be given this opportunity to grow with all of you.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
– Dr. Seuss
When I think of Love…My favorite quote from the legendary Maya Angelou comes to mind: “Love recognizes no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps, fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” And believe me, I think a lot about Love! By those that know me well, I am referred to as “The Hopeless Romantic! But in all honesty, I believe that I am just hopeful because I strongly believe in the power of Love. So strong is my belief in the power of Love that I either watch a love story based movie or I read about it every single week. This week reflecting on my favorite love stories, I remembered the award-winning movie, “The Titanic” starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio. In one word, I truly found this love story absolutely mesmerizing, so much so that I must have watched at least a good 30 times! The love story of Rose and captured my heart and inspires me to think of all the reasons that love still matters! However, it wasn’t until this week that I truly realized why I love this movie like I do, and that is because it reminds me that Love saves! Yes, it does! And I believe it saves us all!
In the movie Titanic, there is an unforgettable scene when Rose meets Jack for the first, hanging from the back of the ship. Rose is seen frantically running through the boat until she reaches the end, with tears and desperation, she concludes that this too is the end of her life! She believes that there is no other way out for her, but to simply leave this world! Rose is convinced that no one cares, that is ultimately invisible and that she is truly alone! Yet, just in that perfect moment, suddenly appears Jack Dawson to save her! Amazingly, he is the only one present on that side of the ship laying on a bench looking up at the stars, until he is startled by the sound of Rose running and crying through the dock! He both sees and hears the astoundingly, beautiful young woman! Jack approaches Rose with caution, fearful that she just might jump off the ship into the deep ocean. He immediately realizes that the lovely, rich, and classy girl has come to the end of herself, but only he can help her! Jack reads her emptiness and the lack of Love in her life.
Have you ever felt like that? You look inside of yourself, and there’s no purpose or reason to live? You wake up one day, and you can’t even breathe, so you begin to run…and you run! Well, and yes, you run from your life, from the people around, but most of all—From Yourself! Indeed, I know that I have in my own life! Undoubtedly, I have been in moments that seem endless and that I genuinely believe that my heart will never go on! Yet, these were the moments where I also saw God appear the most in my life. These experiences taught me that God both sees and hears what no one else can, and that is able to love me in my brokenness, and I feel like absolutely no one.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:7-21 that God is Love and that we are called to Love if we know God, because He loved us first through His Son Jesus. Love is powerful and in many ways like God cannot be reasoned or put into words. God’s Love transforms us, changes us, draws us close, and can even interrupt us! There is no mistake in Love it just exists, and gives us the strength we need. So again, we see this power of Love in “The Titanic,” when Jack comes to Rose’s rescue and interrupts her plan to just end it all. He did not make his presence to Rose optional, in that dramatic scene, he says to Rose, “I am sorry, I am involved now, and if you jump, I am going to have to jump in the water and get you!” In other words, I am in this problem with you, and I am definitely not leaving you. I will do everything I must do to save you! Until Jack convinces Rose to receive his hand and turn around to simply look right into his eyes. The eyes that reflect the Love and hope that she so desperately needed in her life. These are the same eyes that mark her soul, and she remembers them until the moment at hat she takes her last breath into heaven. But as with most turns around in life, it was not that simple, Rose is caught, loses her balance and slips off, only held by Jack’s hand. She is convinced that she will die! Yet, Jack knows differently and calls her, saying, “Look at me, Rose! I got you! I won’t let go! His reassuring eyes that say, I can save you and bring you to safety. I think just like Rose, we all need a Savior that gets us back on the ship. God’s Love is also that strong for us! He loves us and saves us right where we are! God runs to find us and jumps after us just to get us back to safety! The eyes of Jesus looking back at me have given me a fresh start so many times, and His Love has even saved me from myself at times! God’s Holy Spirit has definitely come to my rescue, also when much like Rose, I would just say go away and leave me alone! I do not understand it most of the time, but somehow, Jesus always shows up and just stays with me until I finally decide to look into His eyes and accept His Mighty Hand!
In the movie’s love story, we know that Jack’s Love transformed Rose’s life so much that he died so she could live and gave her a new last name by the end of the story. Rose expresses these wonderful words: “Jack saved me in all the ways a person can be saved, and she realized the power of Love helped her to find herself so that her heart could go on! We know that she was only able to keep Jack in her memories and in her heart, but through it all, he was there with her as she lived her life.
This is an example of God’s powerful Love in our own lives because we cannot see Him, but His Love is always there! God always remains even when our own lives disappear with time. You may be asking yourself, well asking yourself, and how exactly does Jesus show up in my life? The answer is simply this, look at into the eyes of the individuals that just suddenly walk into your life when you are at your worst in life. Or maybe, those you ask to go away or you run away from because they look different or sound different than you? Can you see the Jack in your life? Ready to Jump, Ready to Listen, and Ready to Love you no matter what! Our own Jack’s teach us and lead us to discover, know, and live out God’s amazing and endless Love that sacrifices everything and never leaves us until we return home! With Love, Lisa Camacho
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” Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. “
Are you ready for a once in a lifetime get-away! Are you feeling the dread of the work week! Do you ever feel like your life is a dull mindless routine! Well, think again! With our exclusive vacations, all your problems will go away! No more depressive thoughts! Call now to receive this once in a lifetime deal plus a gift card of your choice to spend in anything you want! This is basically what every get-away commercial is based-off emotion appealing benefits. Therefore, our mind is tricked into creating a beautiful reality where we envision ourselves enjoying in beautiful sandy beaches without a worry in the world and sipping on frosty piña coladas while watching our picture-perfect family. Don’t get me wrong this is an excellent thought to have, especially since modern-day marketing models many of its advertisements from these elements. Additionally, vacations are romanticized throughout social media, many of us posting these nicely edited photos to make our holidays seem nicer than what they are. Unfortunately, this sets our expectations higher, allowing more space for disappointment and shortcomings; this can significantly affect our vacation experience, which defies the whole purpose of a vacation.
So, what is a vacation? Why do we have them? Often, we insinuate vacations with pricey hotel bookings or that we must set aside so much money to enjoy ourselves thoroughly. Unfortunately, having this mindset doesn’t allow us to enjoy our vacation. By planning more, we experience less essentially, and I know to this might sound ridiculous, but in many cases, it’s quite factual. As humans, we always like things to go our way; we feel distraught when things don’t go as planned. Now you can imagine how a family feels when their flight is canceled or when an incident prevents them from enjoying the rest of their vacation. Although, vacations are for enjoying ourselves and releasing accumulated stress which is why we look for different ways to do that; therefore, the hospitality industry takes advantage of this problem and creates all sorts of attractions to attract a wide array of demographics. As a result, of our increase in workforce and business growth, also don’t forget our populations demand for material possession that has created numerous jobs; all of these factors, demand more hours from workers, more hours cause fatigue which then makes the worker look for ways to relax. This is the backbone of most hospitality businesses which is why many emphasize the customer service component; hospitality businesses are aware of the demanding jobs many of their patrons undertake which is why they want to create unforgettable experiences. However, this cannot fix our deeper issues, which is what we need to differentiate when we travel or go on vacations.
We are the same person every place we go, see we look for happiness in these beautiful places that we find on social media. We create an illusion in our mind of how happy we are going to be or create these massive expectations that are bound to collapse at any unplanned misfortune. Ultimately, a vacation can be anywhere; anywhere our mind can feel at ease, anywhere where we can reconnect with our spirituality. We don’t have to spend much money to achieve this; instead, we need to invest in ourselves to enjoy a vacation. In other words, if you are feeling sad now and depressed anywhere, you go that same feeling will follow, we cannot deceive ourselves with changing our personalities or behaviors just because we are going on a pricey vacation. One thing we always need to remember, incremental lifestyle changes sustained over time is what impacts our overall vacation experience.
” All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God.”
– Thomas Browne
Lisa Ivette Camacho was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and blessed with a loving and giving family; who raised her with a strong belief in God and that all things are possible if you develop a strong faith-based mindset. However, many of my childhood memories are bittersweet; likewise, many of us, when reflecting, have experienced this feeling. After being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of just two years, my parents promptly decided to move to Orlando, Florida, seeking greater medical advancements to provide me a better future. Unfortunately, These efforts required endless hospitalizations and rehabilitation services, which amassed to staggering medical fees. However, my family’s sacrifices and prayers paid off, and I am delighted to say that I am living a healthy life without complications. In retrospect, my childhood experiences have instilled my faith and my eternal gratitude for the Lord’s blessings so that in turn, I could bless others in this world.
As a young Hispanic woman, I promised myself to create a dream for my life, run after it, and make it happen. Therefore, I can genuinely say that after two decades of hard work in many ways, my life dream of helping others has come true. One of my most excellent mentors in leadership and my career is the legendary Mary Kay Ash, and she wrote: “The definition of successful people is simply ordinary people with extraordinary determination.” These words describe my own story, my identity, and my pursuit of becoming a leader in this world. In other words, I am an ordinary woman determined to create an extraordinary difference in this world.
In 2002, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work, and I have dedicated my life to serving in the areas of medical case management and hospice services. Social Work has taught me about the complexities of human behavior in an often chaotic world. Thus, healthcare is one of the most critical organizational industries that continue to impact people, and they’re well- being around the world. Additionally, the adventures of social work have taught me about the physical, emotional, and socio-cultural aspects that develop and impact human beings. Honestly, Social Work has given me no greater satisfaction than to see individuals thrive in diverse cultural environments, whether this entails environments filled with struggles, violence, victories, or pursuits. Ultimately, Social Work has prepared and led me to believe in the power of leadership and how it can shape communities, build organizations, and strengthen human development.
As a medical social work leader, while working with the issues of death and dying, I understood that for humans to reach their highest potential, an individual needs to become aware of his/her spirituality. This longing to understand how people develop in their spiritual life also led me to complete a Master’s of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in May 2017. My theological studies have empowered me to help others find community and faith. So, in addition to working as a full-time medical social worker, I also volunteer in my local church serving as a coordinator of the Hispanic Ministry and as a minister in the Orlando community, where I teach Bible studies at a Dunkin Donuts weekly. Every month, the ministry attendees are also collectively able to enjoy various social activities and individually reflect on their spiritual growth through my devotional writings and dialogues. As a result, I have watched so many people become empowered in their faith journey with God and their relationship with others. I feel blessed to have been given the gift of influence and leadership, but not for any personal gain of power, but to serve as an instrument to help others achieve more and greater success.
For me, living the dream of leadership has only just begun, and I believe that the doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership can and will help me complete that dream. My greatest passion has been to merge my two careers in medical social work and Ministry. As a result, by understanding the components of business and various organizational leadership structures, I believe that I will accomplish the dream, and it can only strengthen the vision by expanding my horizons and knowledge. As part of fulfilling that passion and vision; ultimately, I plan to use my skill sets in the field of missions work on a global scale.