5 Bad Family Habits To Get Rid Of

By Ivana Pejakovic 

You may or may not have noticed but your family as a unit has its habits. And your family’s habits are a mix of your individual habits. This is why your family’s habits are different from another family’s habits.

Family habits are one reason some families are more successful and get along better than other families.

While habits are extremely important and help you function from day to day, they are only good, if they enhance your life. Likewise, your family habits are only good if they promote family health.

To keep the family functioning well, you need to recognize which habits are holding you back from functioning successfully and in a pleasant way. Once you identify them it becomes easier to change them. The best part is that all it requires is for one person to change his/her behavior and the rest will be affected by that person.

Here are 5 family habits you may want to consider eliminating.

1.   Complaining
Many people complain, for no other reason than to complain. They never actually take any steps to change what is bothering them, but they do complain. Complaining is a contagious habit that wastes time. It can also ruin relationships when directed at other people. Instead of complaining, be proactive and change what isn’t working in the family. Don’t complain to your partner and to your kids about their actions. Be aware of how your own actions affect their behavior and change your actions so you bring out the best in your family.


2.   Over-scheduling
Both parents and kids tend to have too much on their plates. The workload leaves everyone running around and having little time for each other. If this sounds like your family, I encourage you to have each family member drop an activity per week. Prioritize and decide where your family falls on the scale of importance. In the years to come, your kids will remember and appreciate your family time more than any other activity.

3. Chaos in the home

Because people are constantly on the go, it leaves very little time for cleaning. Since housekeeping services can be expensive it leaves many homes in somewhat of a mess. The more disorder there is in the home the less safe and comforting it’ll feel for you and the kids. Reduce unnecessary clutter and make a conscious choice to clean the house once a week. The trick is to get everyone to participate (the boys too!). The more they do for their home the more they’ll appreciate what they have. The first cleaning will be the hardest and longest. After that, it’ll only be upkeep….easy breezy!

4. Yelling

Saying it louder doesn’t make it more right or clearer, it doesn’t get it to sound better, and it’ll not improve your kids’ listening skills. Yelling is a sign of disrespect, powerlessness, and poor communication. Unfortunately, it’s also contagious; as soon as one voice escalates so does another. Instead of yelling, practice sharing your feelings, and speaking in a respectful way. If the kids are still not listening to you, try listening to them. This way you can get an idea of what they are telling you and it’ll allow you to meet their needs. When they feel listened to, they’ll be more likely to listen.

5. Going off to do your own thing

Some families are not as busy, but unfortunately, they don’t use some of their free time to spend together. Instead, each family member goes into a different room to do his or her own thing. Although having personal time is healthy, it’s also important to have family time. Spending about 1.5 hours (length of a movie) on 1 to 3 different occasions per week with your family will benefit everyone. Go for dessert, play family games and sports, go on a picnic, walk the dog together, just sit together and talk without electronics around, etc. The physical proximity will build an emotional closeness.


Best wishes to you and your family on your path to breaking your bad habits!

About the Author:

Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA, Life Coach in Toronto motivates teens, young adults, and families to approach life with desire, confidence, and passion. Her areas of work include identifying negative thinking patterns, body image issues, mother-daughter relationships, low self-esteem and self-confidence, bullying, and goal setting.

For more information visit http://www.lifecoachintoronto.com

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Successful Leaders Top 10 Skills

By Jim Allen 

Struggling to achieve success?

Maybe you need to hone some skills.

What skills exactly?

 Well, after some intensive reading and study of successful leaders in business, industry, government, and personal development, I’ve found that there are 10 core skills that the most successful leaders all share.

While these leaders may not be masters of every particular skill, they have, at least, a basic knowledge of them.


Anyone looking to achieve higher levels of as a leader, in business, volunteering, or even just at home, would be well served by strengthening their abilities in each of these skill sets.

 1.    Critical Thinking

Successful leaders all have powerful critical thinking skills. The ability to quickly survey and analyze a situation then identify the core issues that need to be dealt with is key to business success. As is, the ability to understand new issues and factors that impact one’s goals and designs.

 2.    Creative Thinking

These leaders also have varying abilities to think, well, differently. They have the ability to step out of rigid mindsets so that they can explore potential new ideas that others may consider risky, crazy, or silly.

 3.    Listening

Great leaders are great listeners. Experienced at focusing their energy to the task, this includes listening, so that when they listen, they are very focused on hearing everything that’s being said so that they can make well-informed decisions.

4.    Reading

The ability to read is vital to lifelong personal and professional success. Leaders in any industry or area all tend to be good readers who are exposed to large amounts of information through reports, newspapers, white papers, books, etc. While they may not be speed readers, they are excellent at grasping the main ideas and context of the material they do read. 

5. Writing
They may not write often. And they may not write a lot. But when they do, successful leaders are clear, concise, and to the point

6. Speaking

Perhaps the most important language skill, the best leaders are also good speakers. They are able to present their ideas verbally to audiences of all types and sizes, as well as easily change their presentation style so that they meet an audience’s needs. While it may not be a skill that a leader is ever completely comfortable with, she understands that if she can’t speak about the issues her business faces, nobody can.

7.  Motivating

Skilled leaders are superb motivators. They understand that each of us is propelled by our own, personal, motivations. These leaders are able to apply all of their language skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) to create powerful group goals and visions that spur people to give 110%.

8. Networking

Successful people have successful networks. They have contacts, associates, and friends in a wide array of fields who they can call on for ideas, input, and assistance. These leaders actively cultivate and grow their networks all the time.

 9.  Delegating

To some, this may not seem like a leadership skill, but it is. Leaders who excel are leaders who don’t try to take everything on themselves. Indeed, they understand that they can’t do everything. They easily delegate all but the most important of tasks to their employees, assistants, and networks. They create systems so that they are available to focus on the most important issues at any moment.

 10.  Evolving

In evaluating successful leaders, I think this is the most powerful, yet most difficult skill to master. Evolving is the ability to adapt, quickly, to the newest technologies, styles, and modes of thinking that create success. It is a skill requiring a supreme sense of self-confidence coupled with extreme humility. For leaders, it is a skill applied not just for personal success, but also for the success of their business, their workers, and their families. It provides those who can master it, the opportunity to achieve life-long success in all areas of life.


Which of these skills do you already excel at and which do you need to work on? Evaluate yourself and hone your abilities in order to be a truly great leader.

About the Author:

Jim Allen, the Big Idea Coach and the SelfGrowth.com Official Guide to Success Coaching, helps you make your small ideas big & your big ideas real. For more ideas, subscribe to his bi-weekly ezine, THE BIG IDEA, by visiting: http://www.selfgrowth.com/guide/jimallen.html


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allen’s corner II

allen's corner II

my interests, my past-time and my pleasures
for growth and development
to become a better person and…
be the best that i can be
for God’s glory!

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my collection

my collection

some of my collection and interest

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daddy jun & mommy allen’s pillows


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Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care
By Shelly and Miller

I.     What is Spiritual Care?

 Spiritual Care enabled nurses to do what they first become nurses to do – serve God and help other people.

  • Spiritual care is a special aspect of ministry.
  • If there is physical body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:40-44)
  • Our bodies are extremely important.  We are to care for our bodies (Eph. 5:29) and for the physical needs of others (Luke 10:37) but not be obsessed with them (Matthew 6:25).  They are the temples of the Holy Spirit and means for glorifying God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
  • Spiritual Care involves facilitating relationships.  Christian spiritual care focuses on helping others to establish and maintain a dynamic personal relationship with God by the grace through faith.
  • The 1st RULE of Spiritual Care should be the same as for any medical intervention – DO NO HARM.
  • Spiritual Care for the Christians includes only those approaches that will deepen and enhance a person’s relationship with God.  It includes worship, compassionate presence, prayer, Bible reading, a vast (huge, enormous, measureless, boundless, gigantic, colossal, stupendous.) treasure store of Christian literature, human touch, music and love and support of the Christian community.

 II.    Why is spiritual care so important?

  • 1st – because illness, emotional trauma and simple discouragement can cloud our relationship with God.  A person in crisis is vulnerable and often desperate.  Without the support of caring Christians, anything that promises to help will seem attractive.  Good SC keeps a person safely in the arms of Jesus.
  • Romans 12 instructs us to exercise spiritual care toward one another:

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor…..”

  • By doing so, our spirits reach out and touch spirits of others to encourage them in faith.  We represent Jesus to others.
  • Spiritual Care is the responsibility not merely pastors and church leaders but of every Christian who supports others through illness and crises.  It puts our physical care and emotional support into a context of faith and hope.
  • The key to spiritual care is gentleness and respect.


What is Spiritual Need?

  • It is anything required to establish and maintain a dynamic personal relationship with God.
  • We need to have our lives make sense and be purposeful.  The need to be needed is spiritual need.  We find meaning and purpose through our relationship with God and his people, and through the love and forgiveness we experience from them.
  • Spiritual needs may seem elusive (tricky, puzzling). Although we may observe the effects of unmet needs, they can be difficult to pin down or to measure.  Yet there is a deep yearning in the heart of each person to seek God and, in doing so, to find love, and forgiveness and hope.
  • 3 Basic Spiritual Needs:

1. To be loved and to love in return

2. To experience forgiveness and extend it to others

3. To find meaning and purpose in life and hope for the future

In Spiritual Care: the Nurse’s Role, Shelly and Fish defines a Spiritual Need as “the lack of any factor or factors necessary to establish and/ or maintain a dynamic, personal relationship with God.”

  • Although spiritual needs have a horizontal dimension (in relationship to other people), they are primarily vertical (in relationship with God).
  • These include the need for faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13), for confession and forgiveness (Jas 5:13-16).
  • God meets spiritual needs; we don’t.  But God works through people, including nurses, to communicate his grace to others.


  • Christian spiritual care means facilitating a person’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
  • If we truly believe that we claim to believe, salvation through Jesus Christ is the only cure for spiritual sickness.
  • Spiritual Care means putting people in touch with God through compassionate presence, active listening, witness, prayer. Bible reading, and partnering with the body of Christ (the church community and the clergy).  It is never coercive or rude.
  • Spiritual Care can be appropriate in both secular and Christian settings and for both Christians and non-Christians.
  • In practical terms Spiritual Care is usually well received when it is offered in a spirit of gentleness and humility.
  • Christian nurses have often provided Spiritual Care in secular settings w/o encountering any resistance from either patients or hospital administration.
  • The exciting part of Spiritual Care is seeing God at work, for ultimately it is not use but God who meets spiritual needs.  Once you get started, it becomes an adventure in faith and in seeing God’s overwhelming love and sufficiency.


  • The purpose is to determine the nature of a person’s relationship to God and other people, and to give the person the opportunity to accept spiritual support.


1)    Observation – observing the person and the context that surrounds the person.  Use your eyes and ears to find clues about spiritual concerns.

1a) Look around the room.

  • Is the TV on?
  • Is it just background noise, or does the person you are visiting have
  • difficulty taking her eyes off of it long enough to talk?
  • Is a Bible or other religious literature handy?
  • Does it look as if it has been read much?
  • What other reading material lying around?


Notice the picture displayed

  • If you see religious art, what does it seem to convey about God?
  • Does the room seem warm and inviting or stark (grim), uncomfortable and disheveled (frightful, horrible)?
  • Do you see any odd objects?

1b) Explore the things you observe.

  • Ask about the people and places in photographs displayed.
  • See if there is a special memory attached to particular pictures.
  • Ask about specific reading material, favorite Bible verses, devotional guides.
  • Inquire about the history behind a unique piece of furniture or décor.

1c) Note effect and attitudes.

  • Does the person appear lonely, depressed, angry, anxious or agitated?
  • If so, he or she on medications or receiving counseling to help – or might that be contributing to the problem.
  • The SE of some meds. can cause mood swings or depression; chronic depression can often be helped considerably by antidepressant.
  • Don’t assume that every emotional problem has a spiritual component, but don’t rule it out, either.

1d) Be alert to behavior that might indicate spiritual need.

  •   Does the person appear to pray before meals or at other times?
  •   Does he or she read religious literature?
  •   Does sleep seem to be a problem?
  •   Does he joke inappropriately?
  •   For e.g.: On the night before his open heart surgery, Edwin began telling  jokes about hell and remarking that he might go there – a loud cry for  spiritual help!!

1e) Listen carefully.

  • Does she mention God, prayer, faith, church or religious topics (even briefly?)
  • Does he want a visit from the pastor?
  • Does she express fear of death?

1f) Notice interpersonal relationship.

  • How do family member interact?
  •    Who visits?
  • How does the person respond to visitors?
  • Does the person appear to be a loner?
  • If so, does that seem to be a deliberate choice or the result of poor interpersonal skills?
  • Could the person be a victim of emotional or physical abuse?

2)     Interpreting

  • The next step in the nursing process is discovering the meaning behind your observation.  Observations can be deceiving.  They need testing.
  • Asking open-ended questions about item surrounding a person may reveal surprises or allow for further discussion.
  • We cannot assume that what we observed on the surface is really what is going on in a person’s soul.
  • E.g.: The most pious (religious, self-righteous) church member may be sitting in pyramids or hiding ceramic gods in the closet.  The foul-mouthed rebel may be desperately seeking God.
  • If you are caring for someone as a nurse, pastor, church visitor or mentor, it might be helpful to work though a written spiritual assessment guide to clarify spiritual resources, needs and concerns.
  • An Assessment Guide provides a review of the strength and meaning of a person’s religious practices that can open doors to helping the person establish and maintain a dynamic personal relationship with God.
  • This is not the time to make judgments or give instructions; it is simply a time to gather information.
  • You will then be able to intervene more specifically at the person’s level of faith and understanding.


Remember, we are all spiritual beings.  We can bury our spiritual needs beneath a veneer (facing) of composure but the needs remain.  Deep down inside, most people yearn for spiritual care and support from others.  Don’t hesitate to offer spiritual care to others when their spiritual needs do not appear obvious.  Assess carefully.  Keep your eyes and ears open for cues.  Avoid pressuring others, but remain available, even when your offers for help are rejected.  We are much more likely to err (to make a mistake, be incorrect, act in bias) on the side of caution than to be offensive in our expressions of caring.


1)    Hidden NEEDS.  Needs may not appear obvious – either because people hesitate to express them or because we fail to hear them when they do.

2)    Fear of treading on private territory, thereby offending the other person.  Inappropriate topics – sex, politics, and religion.

3)    Lack of time.

4)    Feeling unprepared or ill-equipped.

How can we get beyond the FEAR FACTOR in meeting spiritual needs?

  1. Find a prayer partner.  Pray together regularly.  Share what you are learning from Scripture and how it applies to your daily life.
  2. Join a small BS or prayer group.  Learn to share your own spiritual struggles, as well as listening to others.
  3. The next time someone asks you to pray about a concern, ask, “May I pray for you right now?”  You can even do that over the phone.
  4. When someone asks, “Why did God allow this to happen?”  follow-up on the question.  You don’t have to provide the correct answer – God knows that.  Ask more about what your friend is feeling and how that affects her relationship with God.

  How can you make time for spiritual care in hectic schedule?

  1. Put your relationship with God first in your own life.
  • Get up earlier to spend some quality time with the Lord in prayer, meditation and bible reading.  Or find a time during the day when you will be undisturbed.
  • Convince yourself that this time is important – confirm your commitment to God in prayer.
  • You can’t offer to other what you do not have yourself.
  1. As you develop a plan for those in your care, put spiritual needs at the top of the list.
  2. When you assess a spiritual need, follow up on it.
  3. When you find yourself thinking, I don’t have time for this, stop and pray about how the Lord would have you use the time you do have.

IV.   Doing Spiritual Care

    1. Compassionate Presence

1)        Listening

2)        Empathy

3)        Vulnerability

4)        Humility

5)        Commitment

6)        Boundaries

  1. Prayer
    1. When to pray?
    2. How to pray?
    3. Can we ever pray for healing?
    4. The Bible
    5. The Power of Touch
    6. Caring for the Caregiver
    7. Caring for The Family
    8. Caring for Yourself

 How does spirituality affect our health?

  • The research shows that religion is good for our health.  Recent medical research at respected institutions such as Harvard and Duke has appeared in both the professional literature and the popular media.  It indicates that the regular church attendees:

1)    live longer;

2)    have a lower risk of dying from arteriosclerosis, emphysema, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide; and

3)    recover faster when they do get sick.

4)    their diastolic pressure are lower than non-attendees,

5)    their mental health is better and

6)    their marriages are more stable.

  •  Furthermore, studies show that prayer “works”.  God wants us healthy and instructs us to pray for healing

  What does the bible say about health and healing?

  • The biblical understanding of health is closely linked with the Hebrew concept of shalom.

Shalom – often translated as peace, it is much more than the absence of conflict.

  • It refers to God-centered community where people live in good relationship with their neighbors, caring for another’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, economic welfare, social interaction and environmental safety.

v  The biblical concept of health is closely r/t the concept of salvation, for the goal of salvation is to bring us into the Shalom of God (Isaiah 53:4-6; 61:1-4; John 14:27).

v  The Greek word sozo means both “health” and “salvation”.

v  E.g.: of this in Matthew 9.  First Jesus healed a paralytic by forgiving his sins; then he demonstrated that healing had occurred by telling him to get up and go home.  The woman who had suffered with a hemorrhage for 12 years touched the fringe (edging, border) of Jesus’ clothing, believing he would heal her.  He turned to her and said, “Your faith has made you well (Matthew 9::22).  In both of those situations, the persons healed found more than relief from physical symptoms.  They were restored to the worshipping community.  They received both salvation and physical healing.

Jesus gave us mandate to care for the sick and needy (Luke 10:9, 37).

Called to Care: A Christian Theology of Nursing by Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller

Spiritual Care: A Guide for Nurses and Caregivers by Judith Allen Shelly

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