Friday, November 29, 2013

How Did You Spend Black Friday?

Black Friday is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year, at least for some people.

I've never shopped Black Friday, nor do I ever intend to start. I don't have anything against it, but I think that people go crazy over the darndest things.

Over the years, I've noticed that Christmas has become over commercialized, and holidays have turned into spending sprees.

There is no more creative giving, no more giving from the heart, but rather so much emphasis on how cheap you can get something.

If it can't be bought, it's not worth anything, or so it seems. The saddest part of this? There are so many people excluded from this day on the calendar every year. There are those that haven't an extra dime to spend on Christmas gifts due to lost jobs, disability, and even those that just feel they can't even leave the house for fear of being pummeled for the best deal of the day.

Now, I say all of that to say this; I don't disapprove of Black Friday and I don't dislike friends and family that shop on this day. I don't even intend to become an anti-shopping campaigner, or be one of those crazy people that try to boycott it!

However, I do want you, the reader to really think about what is happening today and ask yourself; "Is it really this important?" I find that if I stop and ask myself if something is important ten minutes from now, and my answer is no, that it won't change anytime soon.

Especially when it refers to buying something. Spending just isn't that important in the grander scheme of things. I hope that you feel the same way. It's time to reach out to others, and after all, Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we already have.

It seems odd that one day we are thankful for what we have, but the next day we have to have more. We have to accumulate and spend as much as we can. It's quite maddening, isn't it? Where do you stand on Black Friday?

I am not asking you to stop shopping on "Black Friday", or even to discourage others. What I am asking you to do is consider what matters most in your life. Think about those that could use a visit in the hospital on your day off, or how about sitting down to send out cards to those that are ill?

There are so many other ways that we could use our time, rather than seeing how much we can spend on ourselves, or even on Christmas gifts in general. What say you? It's time to be different, and live courageously!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What Are You Thankful For?

What are you thankful for?

You may feel that this is a loaded question, or perhaps you are in a tough situation right now in your life, and you just don't know what to do.

I've been there. I've had a lot of money, and I've had none at all. The key here is to be thankful no matter what.

I know that when I sit back, relax, and take a deep breath, I can find a voluminous list of things I am grateful for. The list can run so long, it is almost never ending. For starters, I am thankful for:

  1. My eyesight
  2. My ability to hear
  3. My ability to touch 
  4. My spouse
  5. My cats 
  6. My unborn baby due in March 

What are you thankful for?

There are so many things that you can honestly say that you are thankful for, even when times look bleak. I know it's not easy by any means. I don't expect you to jump up and down and run around in circles if you lost your job, and no, I don't expect you to do this if you just lost a loved one to cancer.

However, what I am challenging you to do, is to look at the blessings in your life that you still have? What about your health? Do you still have a job? Don't let the unfortunate cloud your view of what is good in your life. It's easier said than done, but it's so necessary.

What are you thankful for?

if you are struggling today with something in your life, and you just aren't sure where to look or what to do, then keeping a gratitude journal is a wonderful idea. As tough as it may be, remember it's focusing on the good that can change your life for the better. ALWAYS!

Don't allow any negativity to cloud your thoughts, and most of all, continue to pray and seek God's best for your life. So, as we go into the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, be sure to reflect on, "What are you thankful for?"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anti-Bullying Legislation Presented in Orlando-Should it Pass?

If you are the parent of a child that has ever been bullied, then you may be aware of this anti-bullying legislation that is being pushed to passed in Orlando, Florida. Not only should it be passed, but it should pass without the need to be pushed.

Tricia Norman, the mother of a young girl that committed suicide after being bullied is working hard for those kids that won't speak up for themselves or that can't speak up for themselves. It's heartbreaking but true. She is asking lawmakers to consider passing this new state and Federal anti-bullying legislation because the current laws just don't do enough.

Her daughter Rebecca was only 12 when she jumped to her death at a concrete plant last September. At the age of 12, what young woman thinks about doing such a thing? How could this possibly be what our youngsters have to think about these days?

Shouldn't she have been thinking about going to boy band concerts, studying and doing homework, and dreaming of her future? This is what most teenage girls do, but for Rebecca the struggles were very different. Hers were deeper, and something no young woman or young man should ever be thinking about.

Just a few months after her death, the Sheriff arrested two of her classmates for aggravated stalking that they believe led up to her death. It's a fear that not only could your child be bullied, but it's also sad to think that your child could be the one doing the bullying.

If you read our post a week ago about Demi Lovato and what she is doing to take a stand against bullying, and to reach out to those that have had this experience, then you will hear that she too is in support of this anti-bullying legislation.

Although the girls were taken into custody and questioned, the girls were let go with insufficient evidence. As a mother, I am sure that Tricia Norman gets no rest, and the fear is that the message being sent out is that this is acceptable behavior.

Would you vote for this anti-bullying legislation? I know I would, because there isn't enough being done. The parents want the school to raise their children, and the teachers don't want to deal with the changes in students because it's overwhelming.

We would love to hear from you! How do you feel about this issue? Where do you stand on bullying with teens? Would you vote for this "anti-bullying legislation"?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Courageous Choices Encouraged by the Pope

If you have been following our blog, then you know we love to share stories about folks that have made courageous choices.

A few stories really touched us regarding the Pope, and that is because the new Pope has been on a mission to share with the church his heart of giving and helping others.

Pope Francis has made no mistake in letting people know that his heart and how feels about giving and how we as human beings treat each other.

With each homily, it's seems that the Pope makes abundantly clear that faithfulness is of the utmost importance even in tough times.

What does this mean for you? It means that no matter how bad things get, and no matter how difficult things are, you need to continue to live a life of integrity and continue to treat others with love and respect. The Pope expressed this today as "a treasure to the Church."

There are tons of examples of Martyr's in times past and today. He gave examples like Daniel, and his faithfulness to God to walk into the fire despite what he was being offered. Daniel wanted to make the right choice despite being offered the finest food, access to the finest comforts anyone could experience in the King's palace, but yet he still chose to follow his heart and follow God's commands.

For this, Daniel walked right into the fire; not something many of us would be willing to do. Daniel and his friends were all in the face of a time in life when they had to make courageous choices.

What about the poor widow in the Gospel? She had only her young son, an two coins to offer in faith that God would provide. She gave all of her earnings in a time when she could have held back out of fear.

Instead, the widow gave what she had to God, and allowed God the opportunity to perform a miracle on her behalf to show her He is faithful in her tough times too. These are indeed courageous choices that we still need to be making today, but how often do we make these choices?

If we live with no courage, how can we truly inspire others? How can we live with ourselves if you don't live the way God called us too, but making good choices everyday in the face of trials. No matter what happens, we should be making "courageous choices" that not only enhance our life, but encourage others to do the same.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Will You Live Your Courageous Life in 2014?

As times get tough, will you still continue to live your courageous life as we head into a new year? Closing out this year may feel a little premature, but it's right around the corner. 

In fact, it's time that the Christian community come together and make some heartfelt decisions about how the church can do better by being more, doing more, and reaching out to those that have been ignored for far too long. 

I hear a lot of Christians stating that they are being persecuted for their faith, but that is something God already told us would happen. 

There was no secrecy in His Word to us. It's up to us to decide whether or not we'll believe what He says and stand up for it. If we do, then we do so without merit, complaining, or even regretting it. 

Will You Live Your Courageous Life Now?

God never called us to a life of poverty, discontent, anger, sadness, and hate. If we have those things, they are merely a result of our own doing. This isn't to say persecution doesn't come because again, God said it would. 

If you truly are living your courageous life, isn't it an honor to come against that when it does happen? If we really are living for God, then anything we suffer for Him should be a privilege. 

We should also share the thought that persecution is coming against religions as a whole in our universe, not just the "Christian faith". Furthermore, we as Christians often like to tear down those that don't believe as we do, namely:
  1. The LGBT community 
  2. Other religions
  3. Those from foreign countries 

This isn't the life God called us to live; He called us to live a better one. God has called us to live in freedom in Him, and to share that message with others. He never asked us to be His minions running around judging others, nor did He ask us to NOT speak to others because they are different from us. 

As God's children we should be simply taking Christian to mean, "Christ like", and follow what God teaches us in His word. Could it be any clearer that we have completely failed at this? 

As we go into a new year, we need to bring awareness that the only way to live is to live courageously. It's time to stand up for what God's Word actually teaches and not what denominations have broken it down to believe. 

It's time that we come together, focus on loving others and give our brothers and sisters a real chance to receive our message. Love is powerful, and as the world around us seems to get angrier, let it be a time for us to be different. We are in the world, but we don't have to be "of the world."

Will you join us today and vow to live your courageous as we head into 2014? 

PS-Did you enjoy the insights brought to you today in this article? Did this inspire you or give you something to think about? We want to hear from you! If you would love to start living "your courageous life", please comment below, and be sure to find us on Facebook under Courageous Life! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Motivational TShirts and the Fortune Cookie Message that Inspires!

Have you checked out our motivational tshirts HERE? We have still been on the search for more stories about what motivational apparel is doing for people as we continue to expand our apparel line all for you! 

We came across an interesting story today about Kristen Golden out of Massachusettes and her mission to encourage others by putting fortune cookie messages on tshirts. 

As an avid collector of fortune messages from her fortune cookies, Golden decided that it would be a good idea to share those messages on tshirts where more people could see them and enjoy them. 

Her motivation for doing this was her realization that even a message tucked into a fortune cookie could motivate her to make better choices because it made her stop and think about it for a second. 

In her mind, if only a moment was more than enough to inspire her to get to work on these shirts. 

As most folks do, she looks at the messages she gets as if it is truly speaking to her. Have you ever had that moment when you cracked open a fortune cookie and the message inside just seemed to fit? Golden has had the same experience. 

Not only did Golden take her idea to market, but back in July of this year she inspired several women at a business pitch event that she won. The contest is known as "Count Me In for Women's Economic Dependence". 

Golden is taking her motivational tshirts to a whole new level, and she is part of a business accelerator program that aims to help women get their businesses to $250,000 in sales yearly. Not bad eh? 

Golden's story is more than just motivational tshirts though. Her story is one of years of working as a Director of Safe Passage with women coming out of violent circumstances, poor family influences, and more. What she learned from these women has motivated her to do more and be more for herself and for others. 

This is her true passion behind everything she is doing,but her desire to build a business was there along with a good idea that has turned into a great idea! She knew that if these women could be resilient, so could she. Her inspiration to all those women around her is amazing, and we would like to do the same here for you at Courageous Life! 

If you are seeking some "motivational tshirts" for you and your family and friends, stop at our SHOP LINK, and take a look at how you can promote living courageously! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where Does Your Motivation Come From?

Where does your motivation come from? If you were to take a look within yourself, where would it lead you? Your answer is different from mine I am sure of it, and not to mention that it's okay. :-)

Each of us have our own likes, dislikes, and of course getting up in the morning. What is it that drives you? Loving another? Taking care of your family? Living your best life each day! If you are creative, then it could be something you are doing to use your talents that makes you get up each day and go at it again.

The key to this is "what is your WHY?" You need something to drive you in life, otherwise you can really lose sight of your purpose, and thus end up feeling less than the light that you truly are. If you were take just a moment and think about all of the things you love to do and those you've inspired before, what comes to mind first?

Your motivation daily is what drives you to be or not to be, and that is the question. Is it getting your bonus check? Hopefully it's something a bit deeper, because a lot of people are driven by getting a paycheck and monetary gifts.

It's time that each of us take a deeper look inside as to how we can contribute to the lives of others, and how we can bring positive change to the lives of others. Can you help others meet a need in their lives? If you are able, why not see to it that others are getting their basic needs met, and perhaps it's time to give to those that are less fortunate.

The holidays aren't that far off, and with that in mind it's time for you to consider how you can help others live their best life. It's time to remove the focus from you and join those that are living courageously. Does this shed light on changing your motivation?

PS-Did this blog inspire you today? What have you decided to change? Be sure to check out our entire website here, and don't leave without taking a look at our inspirational and motivational apparel. Live Courageously!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Manny Scott and His Motivational Message to Children

If you don't know who Manny Scott is, chances are you'll hear about his motivational message to children before the year's end. Recently, Scott set out on a mission to share his message to encourage children that are being raised in neighborhoods stricken with poverty.

Not only is Scott on a mission, but he sheds new light on the message about poverty, and where the root of it really comes from. The message is that it's really the access to people that can help you make positive change in your life. That isn't specific to any race or particular neighborhood unless you allow it to be.

Scott tells his personal story about how beautiful his family was, but they were lost to drugs and alcohol. Growing up in Long Beach, California might sound glamorous but for him it wasn't when he was living with these family issues and living homeless.

Missing nearly 90 days of school each year between elementary and high school, Scott was merely roaming the streets, believing that there was no hope for him, and no life beyond what he was living. At the young age of 14, Scott dropped out, and his best friend was murdered.

One day, Scott was sitting on a park bench, when a stranger sat down beside him and engaged him in conversation about turning his life around. Would you say that this stranger was possibly an angel? Quite possibly, but what is so amazing is what happened after this. No doubt, he was overdue for a motivational message.

Scott ended up in the classroom of Erin Gruwell, the teacher made famous in the movie "Freedom Writers". If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. This movie isn't just about teaching English, but it's about a teacher that chose unconventional teaching methods to reach her students, turning them into college bound students that developed a passion for both reading and writing.

Because Gruwell took the time to reach out to her students, show them love and help them build their skills, she was instrumental in doing more than she could have ever imagined, especially in the life or Manny Scott.

This is what courage is. It's not being afraid to share your motivational message, especially when you have something to offer. There could be no better way to help others change their lives than to reach out and teach them something of value.

Are you willing to reach out and help others? Are you willing to do what is necessary to encourage another and motivate others too? If you have a "motivational message", we want to know! You can leave a comment below, and you can also connect with us on Facebook by going HERE!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Demi Lovato and Her Thoughts on Bullying

If you didn't catch GMA (Good Morning America) this morning, you missed out on what Demi Lovato had to say about her life, experiencing bullying, drug abuse,  and how she chose to make her life better.

Demi was on GMA this morning to share insight into her new book "Staying Strong" and where the heart of it came from, and how it has helped get her message out about her struggles to help others. Demi wrote the book as a way of encouraging her fans that have faced similar issues in life.

Her battle with depression was just one of the challenges, but her use of drugs to cope with it was leading her down another path; a path not so bright. In fact, even Demi testifies to the fact that her past was somewhat dark.

Being in the spotlight she knows that most people assume her life has been so much different, and in most ways better than hers just because she's a pop star. The shocker for most young girls is hearing that Demi faced a lot of bullying growing up.

She wasn't popular and she wasn't unlike most teen girls struggling with eating disorders, drugs, and alcohol. Her mission is simple; to help others. In her own mind even at a young age, she believed that those that bullied her did so because they were unhappy with something in their own lives.

As a result, she took the time to reach out to the young woman that was bullying her, and found out that this young woman was struggling just as much as she was. Demi says that her bully personality was her outlet of letting out the pain, and a way of crying out to ask for help.

Have you been bullied? If so, are you courageous enough to take this something bad and turn it into something good? At Courageous Life, we believe that everyone needs a helping hand, some encouragement, inspiration and motivation.

We welcome folks from all walks of life, and we know that all of you have a story to tell. We invite you to help us help others, and to make a difference. We want to promote more anti-bullying efforts, and we would love for you to join us in this endeavor.

Please stop by our website today HERE, and check out our stories, videos, and our apparel that you can purchase to share a positive message. Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog post about bullying and what we can do to stop it.

Live Courageously!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fresh Inspiration from Who I Run 4

If you need a little inspiration today, then check out what this organization is doing to help special needs children. Who I Run 4 is a unique organization that pairs runners with children with special needs.

Even if you feel it's tough to find the motivation to exercise, think again. These children will change everything for you, and how you feel about exercising. Nothing is stopping them from getting in their runs!

The best part is that this organization also offers these special needs children the chance to have runners run for them when they cannot. Should a child wish to participate in a charity race or some other event, they can have someone run for them.

Truly, it would give you the motivation to run for a young child that wishes they could, am I right? The founder Tim Boyle, started this organization when he connected with a man with Down Syndrome and a crippling hip condition that prevents him from doing much of anything in terms of exercise.

Boyle had posted a photo for his upcoming run in a 5K, and this gentleman with Down Syndrome commented on it. When this man, Michael Wasserman commented on Boyle's photo, he simply said, "You can run for me anytime, Tim!"

That comment stuck with Boyle, and as a result he got the idea to start this organization to get folks to do just that and run on behalf of others.

To date, more than 3,000 matches have been made and it's encouraging more people to participate and get them motivated to move! Can you say inspiration? Take it a step further, and let's take a closer look at how these runners communicate the children they run for.

Runners post letters on Facebook, photos of medals they have won for them, and these runners are also wearing t-shirts with the children's names on them. Does it get more touching than that? Boyle's only concern was that he would have tons of kids looking for runners to connect with, but instead the turnout for runners looking for children surpassed what he ever thought would happen.

This is truly an inspiration, and it's something we can all learn from in how we can help others still live out a dream or get encouragement through an alternative idea. It's simply amazing. Would you pair up with a child if you were approached about an opportunity like this?

Don't wait for "nspiration" to find you; be courageous and go out there and get it!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

LGBT Inmates in Texas County to Get Special Protection

Recently, an announcement was made that a Texas county was planning to grant special protection to LGBT inmates in one of it's prisons.

This comes as no surprise as there has been a lot of talk surrounding the LGBT community and the need for resolution on many topics.

While some of you may frown on this just because you don't live the same lifestyle or have the same preferences.

I want you to consider how sad it is that anyone would need special protection in a prison cell. Think about it for a second; prison?

Who has the right in prison to judge another human being? Nevermind the fact that judging others is wrong all around, it certainly doesn't seem right for an inmate to hurt another just because they have a different sexual orientation.

Who in a prison cell is ever justified? We are NEVER to pass judgment on other people, but it just seemed so odd to me to find that an inmate would want to hurt another simply because they live a different life. It never made sense to me that an individual's choice to love differently would cause fear in anyone. Hmmm.

These LGBT inmates have obviously had their share of struggles with this very issue in prison. They have been open about who they are, they choose to be authentic, yet they are being judged horribly by others that have killed others and who knows what else.

It just doesn't make sense.

Thankfully, this law being passed will prohibit inmates from having just cause to hurt another based upon their sexual preference. The same goes for anyone that works in the prison too. There will be no toleration of injuring another or even speaking ill of another simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

It's time that got real about this issue and stop the discrimination. It's never okay to discriminate, and it's never okay to physically or verbally abuse someone because of the choices they have made.

Houston has the third largest jail, after Los Angeles and Chicago's Cook County. It seems that all three of these prisons have had to take a hard look at what is happening behind bars with their inmates. I say, "It's about time."

It's time to be courageous, and take a stand for our LGBT inmates. Rather than passing judgment or allowing them to suffer at the hands of others, let all of them be safe and treated equally. These are people, some with lost souls that could use some encouragement, direction, guidance, and most of all a love that transcends what man has to offer.

Be Courageous!

PS-How do you feel about the issue with "LGBT inmates" and what they face? We would love for you to leave a comment below!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gossip is Like a Cancer

Gossip is like a cancer, and it's killing families, friends, and worst of all our children.

It seems that people have a real gift for talking about others rather than talking to others; the end result is devastating.

No matter who is doing the talking, it can be devastating, and the end result can be a lack of trust and love between family members as well as between friends.

It can feel like the whole world is crashing down when those you believe are the most supportive of you really aren't.

This is why we all need to make a concerted effort to put an end to gossip. We often don't realize the ramifications it can have, but it's something that we shouldn't be doing at all-PERIOD.

Why People Gossip 

There really isn't a reason need as to WHY people need to gossip, but there are reasons that people do it. Oftentimes, I find that people do it to make themselves feel better about themselves.

Many times people just have the itch to tell something they have heard, and the thing is, they don't even know if it's true. You can read all of the psychological mumbo jumbo you want, but in reality the reason for gossip is usually to feed this need to feel better than others or to try and elevate ourselves above others.

This really isn't the same as sharing stories or memories folks, this is backstabbing and talking about others that aren't present. You can call it what you want, but the reality is that people are so busy filling voids in their own lives that they lose sight of how they are hurting others in the process.

So, how can we make a courageous effort to STOP gossiping?

It would be wise for us to:

  1. Talk to others directly 
  2. Ask questions if curiosity is really there 
  3. Always respect others enough to ask if it's okay to ask 
  4. Pray for others and let them know we are available if they have a need 

There isn't any reason that we should be gossiping about others, and it's time that we took a stand as adults to show our children a better example of how to act and live with one another.

Be Courageous!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why Motivational TShirts Are Getting Attention

Have you heard that motivational tshirts are getting criticism in the Wall Street Journal. This isn't being taken lightly, in fact the writer of the article, Chad Stafko takes a harsh standpoint about these tshirts being worn by runners. 

The idea? That runners boast about what they do, and if wearing tshirts that boast they are runners isn't enough, they also have bumper stickers devoted to sharing how far they have run. Hmmm. What about those that wear stickers on the day they gave blood? 

Does that make them overzealous about it? Not necessarily. In fact, it can help to encourage others to give blood as well. Even if the decals state the number of miles they run per day, perhaps someone will see it and get motivated to take better care of themselves. Right?

The writer didn't see it that way, but at Courageous Life we look at things a bit differently. We believe that what you wear says a lot about you and what you stand for. In fact, the message on your shirt can cause someone to smile, or even change their outlook on the day completely. Would you agree? 

We aren't saying that tshirts are life changing, meaning completely, but consider the impact they could have even for a moment. Think about how great it is that someone could recall what your tshirt, hat, or even your decal said. They could even share that with someone later on in another conversation. 

Motivational tshirts aren't something that people wear to brag, but in my opinion they often encourage others to do an activity. Inspiring others to take action is what leadership is all about. The writer even states that a study shows that there were 15.5 million people participating in marathons in 2012 versus the 13 million in 2010.

So, the idea that wearing these tshirts doesn't work is simply not true. As runners wear their marathon shirts in races and as they are out and about in public, they clearly just want to share a message. We want to share ours too. 

Our message is one that states positive thoughts and at least gets others thinking about how they can inspire others too. If you want to check out the article just out of curiosity sake, you can go here:

If you would like to check out our motivational tshirts and see what we have to encourage you as well as those around you, go HERE to learn more! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Courageous Life as a Soldier

Credit: Associated Press Photo
If you know anyone in the armed forces, then you know how courageous these men and women are.

These men and women are brave and they have no reservation about standing in front of bullets for their brothers and sisters in combat.

Today, we came across an article in The Spokesman Review about Ty Carter.

This young man is a brave soldier that has experienced loss in his own personal life, and portrays the true meaning of protecting his brothers in combat.

Mark Carter, his father, made no hesitation is sharing the story with the writer of the paper, and opened up about the personal loss and how many soldiers experience pain and suffering on a regular basis. They do it willingly without complaint.

The story of Ty Carter is one of a courageous soldier, brother, and friend.

What Makes Ty Carter Courageous 

What makes Ty Carter so courageous isn't necessarily his willingness to serve this country, but to carry out the true actions of what it means to be a soldier. Carter, while away in combat lost his brother Seth to a bad path in life.

When Carter came home to help identify his brother, the tears could only fall but it was too late. Seth had died due to being shot at a party, which a drunken friend states happened on accident. Nonetheless, it left a void in the life of the Carter family that couldn't be filled.

Ty was devastated, and in his mind he vowed to never lose a brother again. This is where the courage settles in folks. This is where a soldier looks at those around him he fights in combat with and says, "Not on my watch." For Ty, it was this way.

On October 3, 2009, Ty made a decision that would change his life forever. While stationed in the Afghani Mountains, at the Combat Outpost Keating, he walked into a shower of bullets to fight alongside his brothers in combat.

Ty showed no concern for himself as he did so, and delivered ammunition and medical care to his brother in battle. The numbers showed 8 were killed that day and  25 wounded, Ty Carter included. Yet, he never blinked an eye at walking into the battle to help his fellow brothers in combat.

Ty was determined to never lose a brother again, and as the result of his heroic effort, Ty was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in August of 2013.

While Ty received this honor, it didn't lessen the battle with PTSD which affects nearly a half million men and women in the military. They don't feel courageous, but they most certainly are.

Today is Veteran's Day. Have you thanked a veteran today? If you have not, please do. Show a veteran you care; buy them a cup of coffee, let them share a story, and above all give to The Wounded Warrior Project. While you are at it, connect with us too!

It's time for you to be courageous!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Be Courageous and Touch the Untouchable!

Has anyone ever told you to be courageous and talk to the people that you normally wouldn't talk to? What about touching people that are what others would call unclean in their dress and in their appearance? 
This photo credited to Washington

It seems that at times we hear the most remarkable stories of those that are willing to reach out to those that we normally wouldn't approach, and we hear about public figures like Mother Theresa that reached out and touched the lives of the poor and needy. 

You may not have ever found yourself doing this type of work, or maybe you think about it but it somehow always seems to escape your mind. Pope Francis decided to be courageous when he reached out to touch a man and pray for him. 

The man he touched to pray for is severely disfigured and his face is covered with tumors. Who would touch this man besides the Pope? Not anyone that I know of, and I would find myself shuttering at the sight of such a thing if I were up close and personal with them. 

Pope Francis has called for courage and compassion from the Catholic Church, but it sure wouldn't hurt the rest of us to show compassion and love to those that we normally wouldn't consider talking to or even touching for that matter.

The church, no matter what denomination is called to be "Christ like", and this means that we are to live as He lived, and to walk as He walked never passing judgment on others for what they look like, do or even say. 

When people are hurting, they simply need someone to be courageous and show them a better way. They just need to see love, they need to feel love and above all they need to know that people genuinely care and are reaching out to them in prayer or any other capacity. 

What will you do with this information and insight today? Will you reach out to those in need or do you intend to avoid the topic altogether? Whatever your feelings are right now, remember it's always right to be courageous and do what others won't. 

PS-Were you inspired by this blog post today? Did you feel compassion for someone you know right now that could use your help or maybe even a hug? If you have a story to share, we would love to hear from you! We would also love for you to connect with us on Facebook, which you can do by doing HERE

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peer Pressure Causes Increase in Teen Smoking

Peer pressure has been around for years, but what is so sad is that it's driving teens to continue to make poor decisions that not only impact their life but their health too.

We were shocked to find out that there is still a growing interest in teen smoking, and all because it's deemed as cool. Although cigarette smoking had in fact declined, it's back on the rise and at huge numbers we just didn't expect to see.

Not only is smoking now a way to look cool in college, but this is now affecting teens in high school. Over the last several years, the addiction to smoking has increased dramatically for these high school and college students because it seems teens and young adults are still struggling with finding a place in which they can connect and feel as though they belong.

It's sad that they turn to smoking as a result of this inner conflict and that is is being turned to as a social outlet. While this is just one of many ways in which peer pressure affects teens, it's one that can lead to poor health down the road, meaning cancers of many kinds.

A study done in the UK by the Cancer Research Center delivered statistics that state that 207,000 teens from ages 11 to 15 start smoking each year. Not only are the numbers of these teens staggering, but the age bracket is such as shocking.

What can we do to change this?

If you are reading this and you are a parent, you need to talk to your kids about smoking. Furthermore, if your children are newborn or young toddlers, be sure that you start working on how to encourage them and build up their self-esteem so that they understand there is no need to turn to smoking or other bad habits.

There is so much talk of addiction to drugs, hazing incidents, and more that teens are doing to cope with peer pressure and the pressures of life, college, and even relationships.

Consider kids that are being bullied for their personal beliefs, or better yet, how about their sexual orientation? Bad grades, being a nerd, and not dressing well are only the tip of the iceberg for your children. When is the last time you took the time to sit down and talk with your children about what is happening at school and what is going on in their life?

Don't wait too long, peer pressure is daily challenge for teens and they need your love and support. These teens need to be filled with self-esteem and they need to know that you care and that you love them enough to listen and help them no matter what.

Reflect back on what your days in school were like, and if you were ever picked on it hurt right? Now is the time to be courageous, and start taking action against "peer pressure"!

PS-Do you have a story of amazing courage, inspiration, or motivation to tell? If so, we would love to hear from you. You can connect with us on Facebook, and while you are here, be sure to check out our hats, decals, and apparel to help show your courage!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Inspiration from Autistic Twins in NYC Marathon

If you need a little inspiration, you won't have to look much further than Alex and Jamie Schneider, the autistic twins that ran in the NYC marathon.

Human beings have a great way of putting limitations on their own life, and if you have been looking for a glimpse of hope, then this story is what you need to read. The marathon isn't just about the twin brothers, but its a family affair.

These twins have been running from the time they were young, and it's been a great way for them to connect with their parents. These parents aren't disappointed at all, but rather proud that their sons are running this marathon despite the odds.

Have you ever experienced the birth of a child that doctors said wouldn't do much in life? Was your child limited by what doctors had to say about their physical well-being?

The twin's mother say that they are non-verbal most of the time, however, this was the one way that they were able to connect with them when they loved to be chased and chase their dad when they were little. Something so simple turned into a way for the twins to interact and connect with their parents despite their autism.

This story has brought inspiration to millions, and was aired on Good Morning America the morning of the NYC marathon. It was also made known that their was a club that has volunteers that offer to run with individuals with disabilities. What a great organization, and as you can imagine this organization is much loved by the Schneider family.

Did this story give you some inspiration as well? Have you put limits on yourself because of what others say or do to you? Do you allow the opinions of others to rule your actions in this life? It's time to be courageous!

No matter what you might be facing today, just watch this video of the Schneider twins, and be sure to share this with others too. You won't be disappointed, and you may crack a smile! Please check back often for more inspiration from Courageous Life, and if you would love to follow what we are doing to help others, you can connect with us on Facebook HERE!

PS-Want to share your courage and motivation with others? Be sure to stop by our website and check out all of the great t-shirts, hats, and decals we offer for men, women, and children when you click HERE!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Mother and Her Courageous Choice

Do you think mothers are courageous? We sure do, and we believe that they are courageous all of the time. Mothers make decisions that always put their children first, at least in most cases I know of. The mother we wanted to talk to you about today is no exception. 
In fact, she is the model of what makes mothers awesome. The New Zealand Herald published an article earlier this year about this mother, and the decision she made to have her baby despite what doctors told her. The news?

Toni, this young mother was told that the baby she was carrying would only live for a short time if the baby survived. If you have been following our blog or have joined our community, then you know the stories we share not only reflect courage in the lives of others, but we share miracles. 

This story is nothing short of a miracle, and you'll love sharing this with your friends and family too! 

Courageous Choice Over Doctor's Recommendation

Toni was pressured by her doctor to terminate her baby early based on what they say were anomalies that showed up in the ultrasound. Toni was told that her baby girl had many problems physically that not only cause her to live a short time, 

She was told that there was no amniotic fluid around the baby, and that the baby's brain was growing out of sync. Plain and simple, she was told there is no hope. The condition she was diagnosed with, occurs in 2 out of every 100 pregnancies. 

This Premature Rupture of the Membranes was the overall diagnosis for Toni, which is what doctors say causes the baby to suffer physically. Toni made a courageous decision to NOT follow the doctor's advice and carry the baby despite the pressures. 

As a mother, Toni never feared giving her baby a chance at life, and when the baby was born, none of the complications she was told she had were evident. Her baby girl was born only with what is referred to as a horseshoe kidney. 

Is it possible that God rewarded her for her decision? We can't answer that, but what we can tell you is that it's always right to be courageous. Life is precious, and we value it. We believe you should too! 

If you love what we have shared with you today, please leave a comment below! 

Live a Courageous Life! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Discrimination is Wrong for Any Reason

Today, you probably heard the noise about the anti-discrimination bill in the workplace against the lesbian and gay community. The thing is, any employer isn't allowed to discriminate right now, or did I miss something?

Over the past few years there have been tons of debates over black and white, lesbian, gay and straight, and whether or not everyone has the right to this or that.

When did any of us become the police of each other? Since when is it okay for any human being to tell another human being that they can or cannot work somewhere?

The facts released that 21% of the lesbian/gay population say they have faced workplace discrimination. It's appalling.

Why would it even matter? While these debates are still happening in the hearts of Americans, Congress shouldn't have the ability to even enter this debate. It doesn't look pretty, and this is on the heels of disapproval ratings of the President.

If we are going to stand up for people and give equal rights, shouldn't they always be the rights of the people? Why should there ever be a time when we have to say that people "should be able to work where they want?" Isn't it the right of every man  and woman to earn a living?

It's' time for Americans to stand up against discrimination and to live out the dream of a free country, where equality is real and exercised with every man, woman, and child. It's also time for us to stop labeling people as "okay" or "not okay".

It's time for Americans to reach out a helping hand, and to exercise love rather than judgment on their fellow man. While Congress can continue to present ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, there is no need for people to turn anyone away for work ever.

There is no need for discrimination of any kind, whether it be due to the color of someone's skin or their sexual orientation. We all get to make our own choices, and live our own lives. Do we not? This is America, let's take it back!

If you support the equal rights of all men and women, and you believe that it's courageous to do, won't you join us? You can connect with us on Facebook, and if you enjoyed reading this blog, please feel free to leave us a comment below!

Be courageous!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Would a Superman T Shirt Help you Fly?

When you were a kid, did you wear a Superman t shirt? Did you ever grab your cape and pretend to be flying off of the couch just like Superman or Superwoman?

I can remember those days as a kid, and yes it was fun for both boys and girls!

It's funny to look back into the past and think how a t-shirt or a costume could make you feel so empowered in that moment.

Did you really believe yourself to be different? Did you really feel as though you had super powers?

I know I did. I had that cape on and believed that I could do anything at any time, no matter who said what. Somehow, that changed as I got older.

What a shame, right? We begin to lose our imagination and we start letting life get in the way and we begin to think negatively rather than believe we really are great.

How do we ever lose that? Is this why we have such a call to buy clothing that is inspirational and motivational in nature?

We may not sell you a Superman t shirt, but we do offer great motivational and inspirational apparel. We offer hats, decals, and yes, tons of t-shirts for children, men and women.

Would you be willing to wear something that you knew would make people smile? What about just having something in front of you to keep you smiling and encouraged? It's a wonderful thing, isn't it?

We have our own version of a Superman t shirt, and it's our full line of Courageous Life apparel that you can find HERE!

PS-Were you inspired and encouraged by what you read today? Are you looking for a community of people to help you be encouraged and stay encouraged? If so, you can join us on Facebook, and please feel free to check out the rest of our site while you are here!