Note To Self

1. Live authentically

2. Work ambitiously

3. Choose courage over comfort

4. Money makes me feel secure, not happy

5. Everyone thinks they’re right

6. Alcohol feels good at first and becomes a burden later

7. Worrying is praying for your worst nightmare

8. Material luxuries are best when limited

9. Keeping expectations low is a good strategy

10. It’s never right the first time

11. Everyone who is vulnerable is interesting

12. Most things distract you from realizing it’s easy

13. Trust what you want, not what you think you will work

14. Walks exude inspiration

15. Over time, I get better at everything and take it for granted

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Killing The Ungodly With The Godly: Breaking Bad Habits

By: CHRISTINE LAILANI GINETE – ROME

Human skull and crossbones drug addict concept

Are you struggling with breaking bad habits and addictions? Here are 5 strategies for breaking bad habits that will help you finally break free.

When it comes to breaking bad habits, there is no denying we’re all guilty of them one way or the other. They can range from severe to mild. For the mild ones, they are easier to overcome. But for the severe ones, this is where the struggle is real. How can we overcome bad habits through God’s grace accompanied by our own efforts?

Breaking Bad Habits with God’s Help

1. Determine if the bad habit is severe or mild.

Or in other words, is it an addiction or just slight misconduct? If it is the former, this might require medical intervention with a professional. But, accompanied by spiritual guidance through mentoring or coaching sessions.

If it is the latter, this will involve a change in the lifestyle or interests. One possible way is to look for other meaningful hobbies if, let’s say, you have this habit of spending most of your free time on social media. Though social networking has its good side, it also has its bad side. Or if it has something to do with chronic lateness in everything, then a shift in the lifestyle might be required. Creating a calendar of activities or a to-do list, for one, might be able to help.

2. Create a resolutions list.

Or much better, a faith goals list. When we hear the word “resolutions,” often nothing happens. But if these are faith goals, we are not just believing in ourselves that we can make them happen, but we believe for God to work on our behalf. As the Bible says,

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:17

3. Connect with a spiritual family.

The spiritual family is one of the best groups to go to when it comes to therapy sessions. Because for those dealing with extreme cases of addiction, the healing needs to be deep within. There is no best way to go when it comes to spiritual healing except for the source of life – God.

4. Involve your closest support system.

This support system is your family and friends that are closest to you. We call them your “accountability partners.” They will check up on you if you’re making any progress at all. Ask for their feedback, too, but be open-minded when they give you suggestions including a rebuke. Often, being rebuked because the truth is too painful more than the addiction or bad habit, itself. But we can always remember they are “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) because they care.

5. Apply a reward/punishment system.

Having a system is a good approach if you’re aiming to reinforce good behavior and eliminate the bad. Progressive schools apply this concept to children as a way of teaching discipline. Reward yourself if you were able to meet some of your faith goals. But it is also necessary to list down and apply the consequences/punishment to yourself if you fail to achieve the targeted goals. You may do this either by fasting or removing something you can’t live without every day. For the reward, you may treat yourself by buying that new jacket you’ve been eyeing on lately or go on an out-of-town trip.R

All in all, these strategies when it comes to breaking bad habits won’t be helpful if not accompanied by self-discipline, self-control, and lots of quiet times with the Lord. We all deal with our inability to control and discipline ourselves in some areas of our lives. But this is the perfect reason why there is a God, and we need Him. If we need to change and break habits, we need an even more powerful force to help us subdue them. Only God can change hearts because nothing is just too hard for God; even when it seems impossible for man (Matthew 19:26).

If you want more, you’ve gotta give more.

If you finally made it to where you think God has called you, hold on tight because you’re about to be moved forward again. The moment you are comfortable, is the moment for advancement.

God takes you from season to season because in each season you learn more and grow. Once you’ve learned enough to move ahead, through your willingness to serve, He moves you forward. We become comfortable because we have learned all we can learn in that season, therefore, it is pointless for us to stay there. If we stay in our comfortability, we will become stagnant and we will not continue to grow or learn. Comfortability leads nowhere fast. You may be in the place, setting, job, season, state, relationship, etc; that you know God has called you to but with no new challenges or opportunity to grow, you are literally limiting yourself. If you’ve officially reached your life-long goal and you have no goals or plans to follow that, then you’ve capped your growth right then and there.

Let’s be honest, the only thing God asks us to do is be obedient. He gives us more than we could ever need or deserve and yet what are we giving Him? Are we giving of our time, money, or even our lives? If yes to any, how much are we truly giving? Are we giving to the extent that makes us comfortable or are we truly stepping out in faith and giving God EVERYTHING we have. After all, all that we have is from God’s tremendous blessings in the first place. I heard a song that said “You can’t take away what the world didn’t give” how awesome is that? Just try to wrap your brain around that concept for a moment. Only God has the power to take away what He has given, so if we belittle and devalue what He has given us, what’s to say He doesn’t have the power to take it away?

If we’re totally honest, it is kind of depressing when you give someone a gift and at the next special event you see them re-gift it or even worse, give it back to you. How do we think God feels when He gives us a gift and we don’t put any value on it, receive it, or even give it away? When we show no care and put no effort into it, I’m certain God feels the same as we do in those moments. We have to remember, God created us in His likeness, so our emotions resemble His, therefore, He has all the same feelings and emotions we do. With no doubt, His emotions are to a greater extent because we are His children. When God gives us a gift, He wants us to receive it, put value on it, and invest in it. When we put nothing into it, there is no reason for Him to give us anything else. Yet, for some reason, we pray relentlessly asking God for something, He answers our prayers, we receive the gift, and then after the monotony sets in, we devalue this gift we unceasingly asked for. God sees us pushing this amazing gift aside and He also hears the prayers of us asking for more. Eventually we stomp our feet, we yell and shout God down, as if He isn’t listening to us, and we wonder why we aren’t getting anything more.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at this from God’s perspective. He gave us what we asked for, we pushed it aside, we can’t even appreciate and grow in what He gave us, why would He give us more? So we could throw that to the wayside as well?

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” -James 4:3

It’s all about give and take. God can give and God can take away. If we devalue or put a gift above God, He has the power to take it away.

“I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May His name be praised!” -Job 1:21

He is a jealous God who only asks for our willingness to obey His commandments. Why do we complicate everything so much and ask “what’s in it for me”? What if; we asked God for something, He gave it to us, and we gave that thing 100% of what we have? Whether it be time, energy, love, ect… Just watch and see how God blesses your faithfulness, obedience, and diligence.

The concept is simple, if you want more, you’ve gotta give more. Not out of selfish desires but true obedience, love, and passion to do all you can for God. When obeying God, strap yourself in because He will take you on the most exciting journey, throughout your entire life and walk with Him.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” -Colossians 2:6-7

Finding Jesus Through Addiction

I’m positive there will be people who read this with no clue how to understand what the article is about. I apologize to you in advance. My prayer is that there will be a few individuals who either suffer from addiction themselves or have someone else they are close to in which this article will produce a little peace and patience for those being affected.

You may or may not agree with the message I have in this article. This has simply been my experience and the message I have been led to share after spending time in prayer about the subject.

How many of us have ever been at a 12 step meeting and laughed when the one person makes the comment? “No one grows up telling themselves that they want to be an alcoholic or a porn addict, or a drug addict when they get older, or my goal in life is to one day be an alcoholic or a sex addict”

I tricked myself into believing this one thought was my curse for most of my adult life.

From my earliest childhood memories in Lagos/Abuja, I can remember my mummy telling us that our father was an alchholic and a smoker. Thank God for Jesus in his life right now. I can also remember being 19 years old on a Saturday afternoon with several of my friends, and a couple of his buddies.

We were all on the field chatting and gossiping about girls, sex styles, pornography actresses, some of my friends were even drinking beer, and smoking some weed and so on. Everything was skenchy that day. No one had any problems or a care in the world. It’s the night I specifically remember making the comment to my friends. “If this is what being an addict is, then this is exactly what I want.” Lord have mercy!!!

I spent over 10 years believing that saying those words is what created my problem. I now know the truth. Nothing I have ever said could have the power to give me the blessing of being an addict.

I now know that I have this precious gift because my life was planned long before I was born.

Every single person who suffers and recovers from addiction has been hand-picked by God. He chooses us because normal people could never live through the horrible lives we create through our addiction and survive to help others carrying the same cross. Normal people could never handle the broken families, loss of jobs, or seeing our children go without in order for us to get another buzz.

Having family and friends grow to the point where they want nothing to do with us. Sleeping in cars, begging people who pass by on the streets for change, just to get another beer, or data to watch porn is something you have to experience in order to relate and provide comfort. There is no doctor, college degree, medicine, or self-help book that could ever help a person recover from this. Only Jesus and the special ones of us that He picks, who have lived through it ourselves.

God blesses us with gifts.

He also gives us the opportunity of killing ourselves with them or using them to point others to the cross. He allows us to make a choice of going to meetings, fellowship, or gatherings talking about our struggles with others, and going out of our way to encourage or inspire another person who is having a more difficult time than we are. God allows us to admit when we are wrong and make amends to those we have wronged in the past. He places people in our lives who can teach us how to serve Him first and others second. Only then will He bless us. God chooses us to be addicts.

If you are suffering from addiction, there’s absolutely nothing I can tell you about your struggle you don’t already know. There’s one thing I can tell you. The feeling is amazing once you’re finally able to stare Satan in the face and laugh at him. This only happens once you have learned how to allow God to fight your battle for you.

The other part of the problem

This message is also for the person who looks down on those who are suffering. Addiction is a life-threatening matter. It’s not as simple as not drinking or using, or watching, not at first anyway. The battle we face is real. You staring down your nose at something you don’t understand might be what ends up pushing someone over the edge.

Since when does the Bible say to love your neighbour, unless they drink too much? Is there a verse that says give to the poor, unless they watch porn? If someone is suffering from addiction enough to ask you for change, trust me when I tell you that you have no clue how bad they need a drink, substance, or means to watch porn.

This doesn’t make them a bad person. It doesn’t mean that God loves you more than He loves them. It means they were created in His image and you’re to love them the same way you would anyone else. I am not saying buy a 12 pack and start handing them out to the homeless. I am saying, when you give away change you know it will be used to buy alcohol, say a prayer for the individual while walking away.

Drop your comments if you have anything to add to this write up.

God bless!!!

Comparing Your Life to Other People’s Lives – It’s a Trap!

Man comparing two measurements

It’s easy to get caught in thinking you are the only one facing a momentary challenge in your life or long-running adversity, the only one with unanswered questions, or the only one who hasn’t figured out how to create the balance, health, relationships, finances or career success you want.

But that’s actually not the case.

Everyone faces challenges!

Everyone has unanswered questions of some sort. Everyone is working out how to create what they want. Everyone is evolving in their own unique way, at their own pace.

One way you are conditioned to feel like you’re the only one with challenges is that you are led to believe everyone else “has got it together” because most people are only showing the sanitized and happy aspects of their life to the world – on social media, in social situations, and in conversation.

Many people keep the dark moments to themselves or sharing only with those trusted and loved people closest to them. That is natural and of course in many cases quite appropriate. But it leads you into a false perspective of your own situation in relation to others.

You can easily get lost in comparison, and end up feeling alone and isolated in your challenges from this perspective. Comparing your worst day with someone else’s best day will never bring you peace.C

No one else on this planet is going to unfold in their life like you are. No one. No one else is uniquely like you. You cannot be compared. What you most need to understand when you go into comparison mode in your mind, is that you channel all of your energy away from your own creative processes. Instead of focusing your thoughts and feelings and actions on creating outcomes for yourself, you focus all of your attention to someone else and what they are creating for themselves. This leaves you no power and it is also a complete waste of your precious energy.

Just because unhealthy comparison doesn’t serve you, does not mean you can’t genuinely observe and admire the success of another person. This is actually uplifting – feeling joy for all they are being and creating. You may well feel inspired into the ongoing possibilities for yourself by witnessing them flourishing. You may see opportunities to learn from what they are doing. You may be able to apply that learning in your own path, in your own unique way, aligned with your passions, inspirations, and intuition, to aid your success.

And… you will always clearly know the difference between this form of positive observation and learning, versus pure painful comparison. The former leaves you feeling uplifted and excited, and the latter leaves you feeling sad, frustrated and deflated.

Listen to the messages your feelings are giving you.

Finding The Why When I Face Failure

How do you find the courage to persevere in the face of failure? I’ve discovered the secret to perseverance in “Finding My Why”…

Do you want to know the secret to deepening your relationship with God? What if I told you that the secret was failure? I have failed. I have failed more than a dozen exams, a handful of classes, and various projects. I’ve failed as a student. I have let people down as a leader. I have failed my friends and family. And I have failed more times than I can count. But, here I am. I am still alive and persevering. I have learned, grown, and seasoned on this audacious adventure.

If I’m serious about the matter, when God made it clear what my path was in life, I had no clue what it would take out of me.

As a young boy, I was naive and optimistic, driven by a passion and zeal for God at some point. Years later, I am far less naive, cautiously optimistic, and driven by… love for God. As the years’ pass, passion and zeal give way to a stalwart love; A love that is solid in its foundation – you’d have an easier time moving a mountain.

As I reflect on the past years of my walk, I look back at the decisions I’ve made, and I see a lot of decisions for God – sprinkled with some foolish decisions that were against God. This was the path to “Finding My Why”, finding out why I put myself through this, why I subject myself to consistent and un-relinquishing failure. Finding My Why is the best thing that ever happened to me because it made me decide; every failure led to a feeling of emptiness inside of me, and a choice. The choice was simple, what do you want to fill that void with? Do you choose to fill it with God, or do you choose it with superficial things – music, food, beer?

I wish I could say that I chose to worship God in that moment, but I didn’t.

Instead, I chose to leave town to attend and help with a wedding, hoping to find happiness. I came home exhausted and depressed. That was a valuable (and painful) learning experience, and yet to this day, I have not fully learned this lesson. Men are stubborn and prideful like that. Your “Why?” is found when you realize everything you do in this life is to serve God’s master plan. A plan which stretches for thousands of years. Through this daunting trial of life, we constantly have choices. Choices that amount to nearly every problem and every solution in this world. What will you do when you feel empty? Will you pursue God and fill your void with his presence, or will you fill it with other superfluous pleasures?

Every day, people choose to fill their void with the world.

Look at the way our world works; people mend breakups by going out and “rebounds”. Rather than dealing with father issues, young men assert their masculinity by breaking the hearts of women. To cope with the void, young women everywhere turn to social media for a bit of temporary affirmation. If this is hitting close to home, I’m sorry. Just kidding, I’m not sorry about that. Just know that you are a great person and that the love and grace that God has for you is so much larger, even better than the notebook (which I’ve never seen). No man, woman, or item can ever fill that pit.

It is in these difficult times in life that you find your why.

When you have to look deep within yourself, when you want to quit, when you feel inadequate, when you give everything, yet you fail. You still choose to listen to worship music, watch a sermon, and read your bible. If you are going through this right now, you are in the process of finding your why. Your why could be spiritual, it could be for your family, it could be the community you serve. Failure is not necessarily a sign that your anointing has left you, it could be a sign that your anointing is upon you. Find your why, dig deep, press into God, and push forward. I leave you with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, who said it best in a speech he gave called “The Man In The Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Drop your comments and let’s know what your thoughts are on this post.

Thank you!!!

The Greatest Success Possible

The Greatest Success Possible: Self-actualization. Self determination. Hard work. Achievement. Success. A pleased God. Reward.

I was on a church retreat recently that spoke on Jeremiah 2. During a quiet moment with the Lord, surrounded in a world of self-actualization and self-determination, a sudden hard truth impressed me. Regardless of your primary purpose or calling or destiny in this life, you’re actually incapable of doing it. Doesn’t matter what it is, you are incapable of performing the one thing you are created to do by design.

Despite your most intense focus, intention, and effort, you cannot glorify God. By your own efforts, you cannot please Him. Think about that and let it sink in. How could a finite and defective being, even one that’s been redeemed by Christ, ever please an infinite and perfect one? (Isaiah 64:6) By your own efforts, you cannot stop sinning. You cannot add one day to your life. And you cannot achieve anything at all truly great. You simply lack the capability to do so on your own.

We may immediately think of some superstar celebrity names that achieved greatness. Well greatness by our standards. Truly I tell you if they did it on their own then whatever they achieved was far less than what God designed them to be. They failed. Funny, the one thing we all were ultimately created for: to glorify God, is actually the one thing we are most incapable of doing.

Depressed? It may seem sad, but it’s by design.

“My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water. They have been for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13

The harder you try to make yourself under your own power a usable cistern, the more useless you become to God. Even when grace saves you under Jesus, if you continue to power forward under your own might, you’ll fail to please Him.

Only God can glorify Himself. Only infinite and eternal can satisfy infinite and eternal.

So the only way you can please God, your actual ultimate destiny regardless of what your calling may be, is to be as humble as possible. Be honest with your inner core of your condition of a being as useful as a broken cistern, sinful and useless under your own strength.

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart O God.” – Psalm 51:17

It is through humbly becoming as much of a shell and clearing out your own determination, drive, and passions that God can finally fill Himself in you as a usable vessel. This is in stark contrast to our current culture’s understanding. It’s by breaking yourself down into a limp puppet that God can finally attach His strings. He brings you to true animated life. Then and only then when you have “self-actualized” yourself to what you really are (nothing) and have identified your greatest capability (completely incapable) is when God can finally assume control. He uses you for your real destiny. This will now be 100% by His hand alone and not one iota of your humanity.

Related Post: The Greatness of Humility

Logically, the only thing we humans are ever in control of, is the first step: removing our pride. We were never in control and capable of anything. Under God’s rule and measurement of true success, our own power and strength exists for the sole purpose of removing our own power and strength. We are to make room for *His* power and strength. Hence, the greatest thing we could ever actually “do” for God is to “undo” ourselves.

This post won’t be possible without the inspiration and support of Jesse Hunter.

Please drop your comments, and share…

Two Major Obstacles To Success

We are familiar with the two agents to success. Which are fear and doubt. It is first of all the fear of failure, poverty, loss, embarrassment, or rejection that holds most people back from trying in the first place.

I remember back in 2013, I was blogging for an entertainment blogger. That period was my first experience in the blogging path. I was learning at the same time trying to venture into mine. After a year blogging for someone else, I decided to start my own and create my own path. First of all I was really motivated in starting my own entertainment blog which I did. But at some point I was scared and decided to fall back a bit. Fear of the unknown came knocking at my door, dropping some doubt about me starting my blog. How I was going to make it famous, how will I get my readers from, there are too many entertainment blogs out there, how are you sure you gonna make it. Different thoughts came to my mind. At some point I decided to go back and work for the person I was blogging for. In all I overcame and my path to blogging from then till now started.

You know because of fear of failure and rejection, an average number of times that people try to achieve a new goal is less than one. As soon as they think of the goal, these fears overwhelm them and, like a bucket of water on a small fire, extinguish their desire completely.

The second mental obstacle, closely aligned to fear, is self doubt. We doubt our own abilities. We compare ourselves unfavourably to others and think that others are some how better, smarter, and more competent than we are. We think, “I’m not good enough.” We feel inadequate and inferior to the challenges of achieving the great goals that we so much want to accomplish.

Fortunately, if there is anything good about doubt and fear it’s that they are both learned emotions. Have you ever seen a nagative baby before? Children come into the world with no doubts or fears at all. And whatever has been learned can be unlearned through practice and repetition.

The primary antidotes to doubt and fear are courage and confidence. The higher your level of courage and confidence, the lower will be your levels of fear and doubt and the less effect these negative emotions will have on your perfomance and behaviour.

I leave you with this:

Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. The phrase “fear not” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.

The Weight Of Worry

By: Kaytie Zimmerman

The times in life when I find myself worrying the most, I know I’ve lost a level of trust in God. Recently I entered a season of worry and found myself trying to plan out problems that were more than a year away. More than a year!Close-up of distracted guy with glasses Free Photo

I realized how silly it was when I was playing forward scenarios that are not a present problem. Further, they were crossing my mind daily, weighing me down.

That’s the thing about worry. Not only does it put space between Christ and myself, but it places weight on my shoulders that doesn’t belong there.

What Jesus Says About Worry

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Did you catch that? I’m carrying a weight, or a heavy yolk, while Christ wants to trade me for His easy and light burden.

What does this look like in my life? For me, it has to become a daily practice of consciously releasing the topic of my worry to God and breathing in trust in Him.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34

There’s so much freedom when I can let go of my future worries and focus solely on trusting God to walk me through today. We were not designed to be a ball of stress, worry, and fear. We were made to walk side by side with a Savior who sees all and knows all. Rest easy knowing He has told us He will take care of our needs.

Stop taking the easy road of distraction, and choose the more challenging path of obedience.

At first glance, when reading the title of this blog, it may seem that the two words “distraction” and “obedience” do not have much of a correlation. It would make sense to say that if a person is distracted, then they are not choosing to disobey. In other words, is a distracted person willfully choosing not to obey if they have never actually heard a command?

I would argue that the answer is yes. If you don’t agree with me, then consider this example. A boy comes home from school, and knows that most days there is a list of chores on the kitchen counter or the fridge for him to complete. The mother leaves the list in the kitchen, because she knows that her son goes in there every day for a snack when school is over. One day, that child wises up and realizes that if he just doesn’t go in the kitchen, then he won’t have to do any chores. He decides that he can forego his usual snack, and then he can go up in his room, lock the door, put headphones on, and play video games. Then he won’t be able to hear his mom when she is calling for him to come do the chores. The crazy part is that he actually thinks that this will somehow relieve him of his responsibility, and that his mom won’t come up stairs and knock on that door until he answers. In fact, she will probably kick it in if he keeps her waiting too long.

How often do we play this same game with God!? Personally, I am so guilty of this. This is something I have to constantly rely on God to help me with. When things start to get hard, and He is maneuvering me into areas that are getting more and more uncomfortable, I have a tendency to want to distract myself so I don’t hear his voice. I will distract myself with good things! Then I reason out why it is okay to be so distracted, because I am distracted by things like work, ministry, Christian movies and Christian music. At least I am not distracted by bad things like drugs and alcohol right?

The hard answer to this is that distractions are distractions no matter what the form, especially if they are keeping us from God. If that thing is keeping us from hearing His voice and obeying, then it is not benefiting us. It is merely a distraction that we are purposefully giving our attention to, because we are afraid of what God has for us.

For example, God might be impressing upon you that the most important thing in your life right now is to have that uncomfortable conversation with a friend or family member where you need to apologize and ask forgiveness for some hurt you have caused. Or maybe He is telling you to forgive someone for the pain they have caused you. The easy road for you could be to just join another serving team at church, and make yourself so busy that you don’t have to hear God’s voice encouraging you to do this.

Another example might be that God is asking you to communicate the gospel to a friend who is lost. But out of fear, you replace that with something like giving a little extra in the offering on Sunday.

I say all this as someone who really struggles with distraction. My default distractions are busyness and accomplishment. God starts pushing me into areas that are too uncomfortable, and I immediately start making my to-do list of good deeds. I need to pray for these 3 people, give to those 2 people, and serve on one more team at church. It’s as if somehow I believe that these things will fix the internal imperfections that I don’t want to face by moving forward in what God has for me. It is easier to run around completing tasks than it is to stop and listen for God’s instruction.

But we are so blessed to have such a loving Father who is patient with us, and will continue to pursue us. Just like the mother in the earlier example who knocked on her son’s door, our God says to us, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).

God loves us, and He knows far better than we do what is best for us. He wants to see us flourish. He is not encouraging us to take uncomfortable steps in our lives so He can watch us struggle. In fact, He promises that He will take those steps with us, and that we don’t have to be afraid. Today all I am asking you to do is STOP! Put aside the distractions for a minute. Put away the cell phone, the laptop and whatever else has your attention. Lean into God, and listen long enough and intently enough for Him to direct your steps for the day.

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me” – Psalm 81:8

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” – Luke 9:35

If Money is Everything, Why Did Solomon Ask for Wisdom?

God offered Solomon anything he wanted. So why did Solomon ask God for wisdom and yet in Ecclesiastes 10:19 he said, “…money is the answer to everything”?
Where in the bible do we ever see God’s people praying for money, or worldly riches? Well, we might say they didn’t have bills in biblical times. I have to argue that they had financial responsibilities because they had economies. They were using gold and silver to buy fields. They brought treasures into the house of God. Slaves were bought and sold. There was currency, as well as trade by barter, and a need for it. So what has changed? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God’s provision has never been in question.

  • Manna fell from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16 NIV).
  • 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes were used to feed over 5,000 people who had come to hear Jesus (Matthew 14:13-21 NIV).
  • Elijah and the widow at Zarephath had enough to eat in the drought until the rains came (1 Kings 17:14 NIV).
  • Psalms 23 begins, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything.
  • The apostle Paul reassures us that God shall supply all our needs (Philippians 4:1-9 NIV).

Then where does money come in? What is going on with us?

If we don’t read and understand the manual (Bible), how can we make use of the machine. Back to our scripture, Solomon didn’t ask for riches, he asked for wisdom. 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 NIV says, That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given to you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

Solomon’s strongest desire was to do God’s work right.

He wanted to govern God’s people in a way that would be pleasing to God. That’s all. The book of Proverbs urges us to stop being simple and receive wisdom. But what is wisdom? Job 28:28 NIV says, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. Reverence for God is wisdom. What would our lives look like if we had reverence for God?

There are so many verses that describe the choice that Solomon made. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33 NIV). Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4 NIV). When we truly honor God with all of our lives, he grants us the desires of our hearts. The hard question to continually ask oneself is, am I truly honoring God?

The beauty and majesty of God is He is always waiting on us to turn away from living according to the world and in faith obey Him. Like the prodigal son, our return is celebrated in the kingdom. What a merciful God!

So what will you ask of God today?

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8 Signs You’re Not Stuck, You’re Just More Comfortable Playing Small

Sometimes, the problem isn’t that you’re incapable of going after what you want, or that you’re being held back by some other force beyond your control.

Sometimes, the biggest issue in your life is that you’re more comfortable playing small even though you know you’re capable of a lot more. Here, the telltale signs you’re underplaying your potential in a really significant way.

1. You’re vague about what you do.

It’s not that you don’t know what you do, rather, you subconsciously eschew details because you’re afraid of being judged.
When you create grey area, there’s space to go back, correct yourself, adjust yourself to someone else’s expectations and needs. But it all comes at the cost of being untrue to yourself.

2. You have a lot of internal conflict.

You’re stuck in a sort of limbo that only happens when you at once know everything you could be doing, and yet, at the same time, are attached to playing safe.

3. You see your peers capitalizing on their skills in a way you know you’re also capable of.

You recognize that there’s so much potential for you to create a life you really love and are proud of, and you know because you see others doing it all the time.
However, for some reason, you just can’t quite motivate yourself to join them yet. You’re still too filled with doubt, or you’re really attached to being a lesser version of yourself, because you imagine that person to be better liked.

4. You work yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Truly successful people don’t do this, because they know three things:
— How to manage their time.
— How to delete responsibilities.
— That they do not need to prove their importance or worth.

5. You don’t have a top 3 goal list for this year.

You’re more or less just floating, and seeing where life takes you, rather than having a set of specific, overarching goals your daily routines are moving you closer toward.

6. You don’t know your personal “tagline.”

You should be able to summarize who you are and what you do within a sentence or two. Not because you are so uncomplicated that you can be distilled down into a few words, but because true, complete clarity is absolutely essential to success.

7. You’re afraid of being “seen.”

You still carry around the fear of what other people from your past would think of your future successes, and you resist putting yourself, or your work, out there out of fear that others would disapprove.
The fear of being “seen” and standing out from others is natural and normal, but it doesn’t come up unless you already know you have something that sets you apart, something that would absolutely get people’s attention.

8. You have as much anxiety about being successful as you do failing.

For as much as you worry about potentially not succeeding, you likewise have as much anxiety about what it would mean to have everything you want.

Whether it’s the fear that you could lose it, or that other people would begin to dislike you, or that you’d simply leave your comfort zone, it’s imperative to realize that successful people grant themselves permission to be successful. They intentionally allow their lives to be good. It’s definitely an adjustment, one that deep down, you know you’re ready to make.

10 Practical Ways To Stop Involving Yourself With Negative Things

10 Practical ways to stop involving yourself with Negative Things

Good morning guys, trust your night and weekend was great. Welcome to a week of productivity and results.

I was going through my pad and sae this old post I initially wanted to post but probably forgot. It’s a post originally written by Brianna Weist

1. Be with people you can be honest around, or don’t be around them at all.

If you trace the beginnings of the ends of any relationships you’ve been in, I guarantee it probably had something to do with someone cutting off honesty and/or communication. (The two go hand-in-hand.)
The second you cannot say to someone “I think what you’re doing is wrong,” “I’m upset with how you’re treating me,” “I’m scared and here’s why,” “I’m having doubts and these are what they are,” or “I love you but I don’t love this thing you do,” is the second it’s going to fail.
You end up expending all of your energy pretending to be someone you’re not, and it’s not helping anybody. Only ever telling people what they want to hear verbally placates them into their same old habits, their same old ways, and nothing changes. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude. This doesn’t mean to throw effective, healthy communication out the window; there’s a difference.
If you cannot be honest with someone and have your thoughts and opinions heard, be around other people who you can. They’re out there.
If you pretend for long enough, you only end up losing yourself.

2. Stop keeping things in your life because you just don’t want to go through the stress or discomfort of letting them go.

Up to and including: friends you don’t genuinely want to spend time with, on-again-off-again flings that won’t amount to anything other than your own pain, exchanges that leave you exhausted and frustrated, resentment over things you can’t change, subscriptions to magazines that make you hate yourself, social media connections that do not add anything to your day, the phone numbers of the people you always have to text first (if at all) and love for the people who will never love you back.

3. Stop ruminating on the old and start building the new.

The second a negative thought or crippling memory crops up, don’t entertain it and allow yourself to sink further down the rabbit hole of all things could-have-been and should-have-been. Analyze what about the situation makes you uncomfortable, and figure out how you can apply what you wish you would have done to your life now. Don’t just “vow” to be different, figure out how you can actively, consciously do so. If you apply it correctly, it’s the healthiest, most effective coping mechanism around.

4. Play by the “if you’re going to forget about it in a year from now, don’t waste your energy worrying about it now” rule.

If you look back on your life, you will probably realize that you have mentally divided it into segments during which you worried compulsively about the outcome of something that either worked itself out or wouldn’t matter in a relatively short period of time.
Simply: if you look back, you’ll realize that no feeling was ever final, and you wasted your time concerning yourself with issues that weren’t either.
It’ll give you the perspective to work cultivating that mindset now, before you’re looking back on these years and thinking the same things.

5. Don’t allow your “no” to be the beginning of a negotiation.

You get as much respect as you demand. You teach people how to treat you. If you don’t feel that your wants or needs are being understood or respected, find a way to communicate them better, and then learn what it means for you to draw lines — even if that’s as serious as completely walking away. It’s not a matter of giving up easily, it’s a matter of knowing what you’re not going to permit.

6. There’s not one person on this planet that’s like, “yeah, this is exactly how I thought it would go.” Stop projecting a future based on what you believe in now.

The unknown is scary. So scary, in fact, that we decide things about our futures based on what we can conceive of being possible now, and the fault in this is that we get attached to an outcome that isn’t necessarily most right for us.
We tend to be surprised by what we get in place of what we thought we wanted. Even the concept of relinquishing future control just comes across as another elusive platitude, but it’s really, really important. It’s the only way to free yourself from impending suffering.

7. Learn what it means to view everything objectively, in light of what it will ultimately amount to in the bigger picture.

This whole world isn’t indebted to you, but nor is it out to get you. People aren’t usually “against” things, they’re just for themselves. People think of you far less than you worry about them doing so. Your perspective is just one of them. You are a speck in the span of infinity. Remember how small you are.

8. Don’t expect to receive that which you don’t communicate you want.

You get what you have the courage to ask for.

9. Don’t let one thing define you.

There is not one decision or day or instance that makes you who you are. You are what you repeatedly do. The only thing that isn’t normal is to pretend that you never struggle, have never suffered, never feel anything but happiness, etc. You’re supposed to ebb and flow, you shouldn’t want it any other way. It means you’re alive, you’re invested in things that matter, you made mistakes but you made an effort regardless, and you’re not emotionally or otherwise stunted, as would be the case if you didn’t feel remorse or sadness or grief.

10. Realize that the problem is always you.

Now that sounds harsh, and I imagine a slew of you will want to rise and disagree, and I get that, but to be really honest with you, that’s the problem.

Here’s the thing: you are the only thing you can control. If you are upset with a situation, you cannot force people into changing to suit your wants and needs, so you have to change what you can control: whether or not you’re removing yourself from it, asserting yourself, or changing your mindset about how you’re going to approach it.

If you aren’t doing so — the problem is you.

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Getting Sucked Into Comparing Yourself To Societies Norms

笑う女性と悩む女性

Have you ever observed people or yourself feeling taunted by social norms?

I’ve noticed the history of this for myself, spanning back to childhood, and I’ve noticed it time and time again for others I encounter in my work, where people have fallen into the hole of comparing themselves to others and comparing themselves to socially accepted norms and measures of ‘success’. Granted, it’s a pretty darn big hole, so actually it’s not that hard to fall into! When I’ve witnessed this Comparison Conundrum as I like to call it, it’s like hearing a cry echoing from deep within the hole, which sounds a bit like this:

  • Everyone else is married now, and I’m not. Something’s wrong.
  • Everyone else is buying houses now, I guess I should too.
  • I’ve got this job but it’s not really a career like other people have.
  • They’ve found their passion, I still don’t know what mine is.
  • I’m falling behind.
  • I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
  • I want to ‘switch lanes’ in life but I don’t want to go backwards. It’s too risky.
  • They are successful and did it that way; I should do it that way too.
  • They are thinner/more attractive/more fashionable/more successful/braver/stronger than me. I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough.
  • I’m not capable like them, I guess I’m just not destined to have a life like them.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This hole is so easy to fall into because often we’re invited into the hole, with our mind reinforcing that we’re falling behind via negative thoughts, supported by well meaning people telling us that we should do this and that. So of course we’d then end up in the hole when everything points that way. Our mind reinforces what we see and hear, telling us it is true and if only we could figure out what we need to be and do in order to be like everyone else, then everything would be fine, right?

Except, you’re not everyone else. You’re you. No one is like you. No one. You make your own decisions about what you need and want, and when it feels good to you. If you want a house right now, buy one. If you don’t, don’t. If you want to travel, travel. If you want a big career, have it. If you want to do volunteer work, do it. If you want to be single, be single. If you want kids, have them. If you don’t, don’t. Do what feels good to you, not what others tell you that you should feel good about. And when I say others, I primarily include in that all the advertising, all the propaganda and all the mass media messaging we see day to day that conditions us in a way that we don’t even consciously realise. Start listening to the one thing you can trust – your soul. Your soul is your true self, below any rampant negative thoughts that are leading you astray.

And you might say, “I can’t hear my soul. I don’t know what it’s telling me!”

To which I would suggest that you be still and quiet as often as possible. Listen without fear to what rises up from within you. You do know what you want and need. You do know what makes you feel good. And, let your signals guide you home.

Listening to the advice of others, proffered from their own paradigm, will never triumph over your inner knowing and divine guidance.

  • Do you compare yourself to others?
  • Do you compare your situation and status to that of others?
  • What prompts you to do that?
  • How does that make you feel?

If you’re feeling sad, alone, disconnected, lacking, not enough or plain old exhausted from it, then give it up. Chose to let it go and be open to exploring who you are and what is important and meaningful to the real you – that is, the you below any negative thoughts, any conditioning and any fear. We all have negative thoughts, we have all been conditioned and we all have fear. If you are alive, then you have experienced all of this, it is impossible not to. But now you are awake, and you have the choice to either be defined by these things, or to break free.

Being someone you are not, in an attempt to live up to social norms, means that signals will eventually intervene to help you. As Marianne Williamson says, “The universe is self organising and self correcting”. If you are not aligned to who you really are, your true self, the natural order of the world in which we live will eventually assist you to see this. Intervening signals are not always pleasant, but they are signposts to help us head in a new, better, healthier, more beneficial direction. When things in your life ‘turn to custard’, it could well be because you are not in your flow, you might have accidentally swam into someone else’s flow. So, get out of their river and get in your own

Here is my final word on this subject, and when I say it to you, know that whatever I write is really a message to myself as much as it is to you. For in saying it to you I am reminding us both:

  • NEVER compare yourself to others. EVER.
  • NEVER try to be someone else. EVER.
  • You were born extraordinary and unique.
  • Any time you compare yourself to others, trying to be something else or like someone else, you deny the beautiful individuality that you were gifted when your soul chose to come into this life.

Create your own norms in life. The norms of society have no bearing on you unless you choose them. At all times, be yourself. There is nothing more magical, perfect and beautiful than you being you.

Credit Source:  BERNADETTE LOGUE

How to Overcome Frustration: 3 Simple but Effective Steps

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Frustration. It winds you up and can take so much out of you.

Because it not only sucks energy but also distracts you and can steal quite a bit of time.

So what can you do?

Well, sometimes that frustration can actually be positive and can give you a new idea or angle on things. Or it can give you the power to keep going just a little bit more until you reach your goal.


But when you start going in circles, when the frustration just makes you mad or your mind foggy and the day is starting to slip through your fingers then there are steps you can take.

High Five Sports Bar GIF by Originals


There are ways to turn such a state of mind or day around.

Into something better. Into something more helpful. And into something that will make you feel better again.

Step 1: Be here now.

When you are frustrated then you are often somewhere in the future in your mind. Somewhere you wish you would be. Or you are reliving a stumble or failure from your past.
Snap out of those headspaces and calm down by focusing your mind and attention on what is now, right here at this moment.
You can do so by for example:
Focusing on your breathing. Sit down, close your eyes and just focus on the air going and out of your nose for 1-2 minutes. Take calm and slightly deeper breaths than usual and breathe with your belly and not your chest.
Focus on what is around you at this time. The sun shining in through your window. The kids playing out in the street and the cars and people going by.

The smells and feeling of the clothes and warmth of the sun on your skin. Do this for 1-2 minutes to get your attention back to the present moment.

Step 2: Appreciate what you do have.

After you have pulled your attention back to where it can be most helpful focus it on what is still positive in your life.

The quickest and easiest way to do so is to focus it on appreciating what you do have.

A favorite of mine during this step is the important things we may sometimes take for granted. Like for instance:

  • A warm home and a roof over your head.
  • Plenty of drinkable water.
  • Not having to go hungry.
  • Access to the internet (and perhaps
  • your own place to express yourself ).
  • Your friends and family.

Spend a few minutes on this and you’ll find much to be grateful for.

Step 3: Focus on what you can do right now.

With your attention in the present moment and your mood a more grateful and positive one it is now time to get constructive about what frustrates you.

You can do that by asking yourself:
What is one small step I can take right now to improve this situation?

It may be to see what you can learn from what frustrates you and to try another path towards your goal.

Or it could be to try one more time and to keep going (because not all things in life will come to you the first, second or third time you try).

Or it could be you simply realizing that you may have taken on a bit much lately or things have been tough and that you need to take this evening or a few days to just relax, take care of yourself and perhaps simplify a bit.

So that you can recharge and then get back into moving towards what you want out of your life in a more focused way.

Bonus Tips

Make note of your triggers and see what you can do about them.

What triggers your frustration?

Is it when your partner doesn’t take out the trash as you had agreed? Or when you’re not making progress as fast you like with your career or hobby? Or when your phone’s interrupting your work all too often?

Whatever it might be, first ask yourself:
What can I do to prevent this trigger in the first place?

For example, put your phone in silent mode or airplane mode and then get back to people during 1-3 scheduled times throughout your workday.

If you can’t prevent it then ask yourself:
What can I do to reduce the frustration caused by this trigger?

For instance, if you get frustrated with delays or waiting time while on your daily commute then ask your friends or google for answers for how others handle this common issue.

You may discover that one helpful solution is an audio book or podcast to listen to divert your attention and to get something good out of the situation while you’re waiting.

Remember: you’re human (and so is everyone else).

Perfectionism towards yourself or others does most often lead to plenty of frustration and disappointment. So set your standards both for others and yourself at a human level rather than at perfection.

Accept that sometimes you will make mistakes, have setbacks and not reach your goals when you’d like to. And so will people around you too.

Source Credit: HENRIK EDBERG