June 25, 2013

Pressure Destroys Or Creates Precious Diamonds!

Pressure touches the lives of everyone but our individual experiences of pressure are unique & our response to pressure will either allow us to become as brilliant as a diamond or it will make us crazy!

May our lives shine like diamonds which makes this world a much better place!

The pressure the Miami Heat have endured over the last 3 years has been intense but pales in comparison to people making a difference in the lives of others in areas that are physically dangerous such as El Salvador during a war or in the "barrios" of Medellín, Colombia which was the murder & kidnapping capital of the world for several years, places that "Paisas" avoid but I was filled with joy, love, & peace, allowing me to have peace throughout my journey!

"Courage is grace under pressure." ― Ernest Hemingway

Each & every trial prepares us for what lies ahead & knowing that we are in a process of becoming a brilliant diamond will result in blessings for ourselves & for others.

"Without a whole lot of pressure, a diamond is just a piece of coal." ― Miriam Darnell

"Every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will 'turn the necessity to glorious gain." ― C.S. Lewis

"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself & know that everything in this life has a purpose." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"We are not necessarily doubting that GOD will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." ― C.S. Lewis

"Hope knows that if great trials are avoided great deeds remain undone & the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted." ― Brennan Manning

"The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment & the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter." ― Paulo Coelho

"Writing is like a lump of coal. Put it under enough pressure & polish it enough & you might just end up with a diamond. Otherwise, you can burn it to keep warm." ― A.J. Dalton

"Character cannot be developed in ease & quiet. Only through experience of trial & suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, & success achieved. ― Helen Keller

"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes." — Alexandre Dumas

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle & shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them & their value will never be known. Improve them & they will become the brightest gems in a useful life." ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"We think sometimes we're only drawn to the good, but we're actually drawn to the authentic. We like people who are real more than those who hide their true selves under layers of artificial niceties." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"Trials are medicines which are gracious & wise. A physician prescribes because we need them; & he proportions the frequency & weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill & thank him for his prescription." ― Isaac Newton

"It's only when we truly know & understand that we have a limited time on earth  & that we have no way of knowing when our time is up  that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"GOD allows us to experience the pressure of life's trials to make diamonds out of the lump of mess we may be in. Your shine is determined by the way you handle the pressure. Breathe & don't be afraid to be still. Being still is an action. Just do it." ― Beth Payne

"GOD has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. HE knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial HE makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, & the bench all at once. HE always knew that my temple was a house of cards. HIS only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down." ― C.S. Lewis

"Diamonds are found only in the dark bowels of the earth; truths are found only in the depths of thought. It seemed to him that after descending into those depths after long groping in the blackest of this darkness, he had at last found one of these diamonds, one of these truths, & that he held it in his hand; & it blinded him to look at it." ― Victor Hugo

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, & have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, & an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, & a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, & animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life & form the character of the hero & the statesman." ― Abigail Adams

"Only under extreme pressure can we change into that which it is in our most profound nature to become. That is what people get wrong about transformation. We're not all shallow proteans, forever shifting shape. We're not science fiction. It's like when coal becomes a diamond. It doesn't afterwards retain the possibility of change. Squeeze it as hard as you like, it won't turn into a rubber ball, or a Quattro Stagione pizza, or a self-portrait by Rembrandt. It's done." ― Salman Rushdie

"It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do. Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, & you will never have lived & you will not have a pleasant death." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

There are only two possibilities in life:

1) Things don't always go the way you want, & you don't understand why you're having trouble; yet there is a hand of providence behind everything & a purpose for all that happens. 

2) Things don't always go the way you want, & you don't understand why you're having trouble; but there is no hand of providence behind everything & no purpose for all that happens. 

The first possibility gives hope in the midst of trials, the second produces only despair― Fred Klett

Readers may be divided into four classes:

1) Sponges, who absorb all that they read & return it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtied.

2) Sand-glasses, who retain nothing & are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time.

3) Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read.

4) Mogul diamonds, equally rare & valuable, who profit by what they read,  & enable others to profit by it also.

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic." — ISAIAH 28:16

So . . . what must we do to not only keep pressure from destroying us but to allow it to make us flawless & precious diamonds?

I am thankful to have experienced a wide variety of pressure & even though I am not quite a finished product, my wife & I hope to create an environment that will be conducive for people to become precious diamonds!

"Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you've been & remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are." ― H.G. Wells

Will you remain a lump of coal or will you become a precious diamond?

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