Ten Things That Can Distract You From God

Isn’t it hard to keep focused on God? I have tried so hard throughout my life to stay focused on Him. I so often say “this time I won’t fail”, but at one point or another, something always clips me from behind, and keeps me from exceeding!! Why?!

Well, I think it has to do with what we allow into our lives that can distract us from God. Not all of these things are “bad” in their nature…in fact, a lot aren’t, but they become a problem when we allow them to distract us from looking at, and to God. You know those things I’m talking about; they can be anything from a job, car, or movie, to fantasy football, Xbox Live, a magazine, or even church. There are so many things in this world that fight for our time…and when we allow them to take too much…well…we lose our focus. The answer is not necessarily to cut these distractions out entirely (in some cases it is), but to realize that they can distract us…and we need to keep them in check.

In the following paragraphs, I have listed 10 common things that can interfere with our walk with God.

1. Money

Money. I’m sure you all could have guessed this one would be on this list. Unfortunately the world and those in it believe we need it to live in this world. If you thought hard enough, you’ll know that this is not true. We must not however, be owned by it if we are to be not of this world. Money itself is not an interference in our walk with God…the love of it is. I think the following passage sums this up quite nicely (its long, I know…but when I read it, I felt all of it applies to this topic): Matthew 6:19-34

19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

So in a nut shell, if we trust God, He will take care of us. That doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs UNLESS God directs you…we just need to realize that God is more important, and is far more capable of taking care of us than we are. Money might be the blood flow of the world, but it is not the blood flow of those who are in Jesus…faith is.

2. Media

Another big one; the media. This is probably one of the biggest distractions for me personally right now….I mean, just the other night, I realized I haven’t spent that much time praying this week…but instead of going and praying, I said to myself I’ll do it later because Star Trek (re-runs) are on and Perry Mason comes shortly thereafter.

It is easy to get caught up in the media. And when I say media, I’m referring to the Internet, TV, movies, music, video games, newspapers, magazines…all of it (broad, I know…but hey, I’m only making a list of 10 things here, so I can be a bit broad, right?). Like I said before, the media is dangerous because it is so easy to get consumed in it. Everywhere we turn, some sort of media is right in our face. And the worst part; it’s littered with filth.

Almost every commercial on TV, and every advertisement on the Internet is trying to convince us that we are missing something, and they are the ones that can fill the need. Our young girls and women are bombard by the media with how they should look, feel, and act…movies, music, TV shows…they all are horrible influences on us because they can subliminally tell us how to live, whats right and wrong, etc.

And video games…ahh, video games….give people the right one on the right week, and they won’t spend a free second with God.

I could literally go on and on about the media, and how distracting it is. The key to overcoming the media is to be wise in what we watch, read, play, etc, and in how much time we spend with it. We should always be willing to give it up, and quite honestly, some of the things we indulge in (in the media), we need to give up. If something is pure filth, we shouldn’t be giving it any time to influence us, no matter how funny, sexy, or “cool”, it is.

3. Church/Religion

Church, or religion. Believe it or not, these can be HUGE interference in our walk with God. Church does not do this intentionally, (Albeit, there are exceptions) but we can easily let it hinder our relationship with God. Why? The main reason I see is that it can be easy to pursue church, and beliefs about God, but forget to pursue God Himself. It is easy to go to church to…well…go to church, when the real reason we should be going church is to refuel for our week by coming together with fellow believers to worship and meditate on God hopefully on the same page about things.

Also, somewhere along the way, at so many churches, people have gotten the idea that we need to pretend to be perfect at church. That if we show our weaknesses and struggles, we’ll become outcasts…and since so many people parade around in this stained glass masquerade, if one person does reveal their weaknesses, they’re easily looked down upon. This is opposite of what church is supposed to be. Church is really the body of believers. We are supposed to help each other, hold each other accountable, pray for each other, and love one another!

To keep church from becoming a distraction from God, make sure you are pursuing God before pursuing “beliefs” about Him, or church/religion. We need to get past religion and into a relationship. It starts with you! Love your brothers and sisters, be open to people, and DO NOT CONDEMN others when they fail!! Condemn the sin, not EVER a repentant brother or sister.

4. Relationships

Relationships. I’m sure you knew this one would be here. Every kind of relationship falls into this category; friends, parents, siblings, spouses, girl/boy friends, children, co-workers, bosses, etc. We can allow any of these relationships to distract us from God. It is our relationships that are our connection with the world, and it is our human nature to have them, but when we allow any one of these relationships threaten to become more important to us than God…well, they become a distraction. Remember, God calls us to love one another (1 John 3:11), so when we do, it is an act of obedience to God. But don’t forget about God in the process. We need to make sure we are giving God ample time everyday. We were created for His pleasure, not our own.

I would have to say the relationship with the most danger of becoming a distraction from our walk with God would be that of a boy-friend, girl-friend, or spouse. These relationships in their nature, demand the most time, and that is why it is extremely important that they are centered around God. If they aren’t, you will see your walk with God spiraling downward. In a dating relationship, don’t compromise your morals.

In a nut shell, relationships are extremely important, but our relationship with God is of the utmost importance. Remember that!

5. Routine

Routine. This is a common thing I allow myself to get distracted by all the time. The most important thing is that spending time with God should be in your routine! Far too often do we just squeeze God in when we have down time (I am extremely guilty of this). Its so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do, like work, posting (blogger) on the internet, eat, sleep, etc. I often find sleep getting in the way! I mean, if I didn’t spend that extra hour sleeping in, I would have a whole hour with nothing to do but seek God!

So make sure spending time with God is a part of our routine. And also, make sure you are willing to abort your routine, and let God have complete control.

6. Work

Work, work, work. What a distraction this can be! And I’m not just referring to a job, I mean everything from a job, to leading worship, a bible study, or anything! I personally have often allowed this site and my websites to become a distraction from God. I want it to bless people, I want it to look good, I want it…I…I..I…but all that I should really be worrying about is that I am doing it as God wants me to, if I do that, He’ll take care of the rest. I love this following Scripture:

38 “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42

It is easy to get caught up on our duties, but the most important thing is that we do it entirely for the Lord. They are to glorify God, not ourselves. That being said, sometimes the duty we have is not as important as doing something else. We always need to be flexible! This falls in line with routines as well. We can have great motives behind our work, but sometimes we let the work become more important then “listening to Jesus”. Listen and be flexible!

7. Our Hobbies

Hobbies. I love hobbies! I have a huge rang of them; from fixing things, doing research, to cooking, and watching movies, digital photos, and numerous other outdoor enjoyments. The dangerous thing about them is that they can consume a lot of our time. A great way to keep them in check is to do them with God in mind! Like worshiping God with music. Also, we can play video games or sports, etc. with people to develop relationships. Having hobbies is a great way to get yourself around people to be a godly influence…so keep that in mind.

8. Desiring a blessing from God, more than God Himself.

Desiring a blessing from God, more than desiring God Himself. I have to be honest, this is easy to fall into, at least for myself. It can be real easy to pray for a specific thing over and over again, but forget about spending time with God. And FYI, we should NEVER ask God over and over about a topic, everyone that asks, receives. When you are repetitive, that doubt.

Anyway, and example: would be like a husband wanting that special “perk” he gets from his wife, without wanting to give any time to other parts of their relationship. Remember, its “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. ( Ref Matthew 6:33), its not “first seek all these other things” Amen or oh me?

9. The Pastor

The Pastors! What!? Whats this doing on the list!?…Well, to your relief, I don’t mean your pastor exactly (at least I hope not). What I’m referring to is becoming dependent upon your pastor- this includes the TV ministers; that for the most part, as I have seen are not teaching proper doctrines. See the following video here > V I D E O 

This can be a really deadly interference in our walk with God. It is not our pastors responsibility to feed us all we need to be spiritually healthy…it is our responsibility. A lot of people fall into the habit of only giving God Sunday morning and those false ministers on the boob tube. This would be like only eating once a week! If we did this, we would be horribly malnourished! And sadly, this is the case for many spiritually. The pastor is a, or should be, great leader, but he should only be that…nothing more.

10. Ourselves

Ourselves. Us. The last one on the list of distractions, and possibly the most likely to distract us. We are, by nature, sinful (the old man’s left over resin), and if we live by the old man’s nature, we will not get close to God. That is why we need to die to ourselves, and live in Christ (Romans 6:11). But no matter what we do, there will be a constant battle within ourselves between Spirit and flesh (Romans 7:15-21). That is why we need to constantly allow God to search our hearts, and purify it (Psalm 139:23-24). The first step to overcoming ourselves is being aware.

So there we have it. A list of 10 common things that can distract us from God. There are more that could be added to the list, or somewhat in the lists here already; but suffice to say, these are the BIG one’s.

It is a constant struggle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to not become distracted by the passing concerns and things of this world. But if we are aware of what can, and does, interfere with our walks with God, we can begin to take the necessary actions to prevent them. Remember, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you (Matthew 6:33), let God take care of the rest. Do your part, and I know He’ll do His!

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

 

Dark Clouds (it’s no secret)

*Survival thoughts

Today, millions of Americans say they believe the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression. But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for this to happen.

The sad truth is most Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes. Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that.

Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble (thanks to the hidden elites) about like a drunken frat boy. All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war (or an ongoing war to increase), a terror attack (false flags), a deadly pandemic (CDC controlled release) or a massive natural disaster (or HAARP weather manipulation) to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge.

Just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants (big box stores, grocery chains, etc) ? Do you have a plan? What is plan “B” for you and yours? Who are you trusting now for your needs?

Unless you already live in a cave or you are a complete and total mindless follower of the establishment media, you should be able to see very clearly that regardless of how many positive thoughts you think or meditative moments you have, society is more vulnerable now than it ever has been.

We have a world that is full of lunatics in positions of power, and if one of them decides (and they will one day) to set off a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in a major city it could paralyze an entire region. War could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment, and if it does the price of oil will double or triple (at least) and there is the possibility that much of the entire world could be drawn into the conflict.

Scientists believe a massive high-altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast could send large portions of the United States back to the stone age in an instant (that might be interesting). In addition, there is the constant threat that the outbreak of a major viral pandemic (bio-weapons) could kill tens of millions of people around the globe and paralyze the economies of the world (which is the hidden agenda from behind the scenes).

But even without all of that, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse one day; or dramatically change as so that not everyone would benefit equally. So just think of what will happen if one (or more) of those things does happen on top of all the economic problems we are already having.

If you’re not trusting God-Jesus Christ to get you through, you better have plan “B” God WILL supply our needs without bondage to the world. And what you might need right now IS the Lord; He’s still listening for a plea from you. As long as you draw breath, there is time!

Mk 13:13 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. ”

Rom 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Credit: more so to Frank M.
Certain Additions by Moraldiplomat

You Still Have Hope

If you can look at the sunset or a cloudy day and smile, and find beauty in the colors of a small flower, then you still have hope.

If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, and if the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.

If you can see the good in other people, and if the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.

If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, and if the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.

If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, and if you give people the benefit of the doubt, then you still have hope.

If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, and if receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.

If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and encourages you to pray and if you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope.

If you look forward to a time or place of quiet, reflection or time with God, and if you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.

If you can look to the past and smile, and when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile, you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase … ‘yes, but I believe God’s Word over ….’ Then you still have hope.

Hope is a marvelous thing. It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides, but rarely does it break. It sustains us when nothing else can. It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we’d rather give in.

Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage. Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it. Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused of the direction.

Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and nurtured and something that will refresh us in return. It can be found in each of us and it can bring light into the darkest of places. So never lose hope.

1 Cor 13:7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

1 Pet 1:21 “Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

1 Pet 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, …”

Heb 6:19 “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; …”

Rom 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Rom 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Anarchy- Four Thoughts

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” ~Antisthenes

Anarchy is a confusing term to most people, but it doesn’t have to be. It simply means no masters, no rulers, the absence of political authority. Sadly, most people think it means chaos and disorder. That’s due to statist propaganda and a kind of Orwellian doublespeak that keeps the masses ignorant and confused.

Because of a simple misunderstanding about the human condition. Most people assume, either due to cultural conditioning or political brainwashing, that they need to be ruled over, forgetting the very obvious fact that people are fallible, including the people who would rule.

People fall victim to the classic logical fallacy-appeal to authority; while also getting caught up in a vicious repetition of the same ideas – people are bad therefore they need to be ruled by people are that are bad if not worse…on and on, ads forever and ad arguments to the point of nausea. It’s all psychological. But people don’t need rulers, they need leaders. Sadly, this United States does not have any. Only perceived, and self-proclaimed.

That said, here are four things you probably didn’t know about anarchy.

1. Anarchy Implies Freedom

No man is free, who is not master of himself.” ~Epictetus

If self-rule is the foundation of anarchy, then, freedom is its cornerstone. We cannot call ourselves free if we are a statist, for statism implies that one fall under the overreaching power and outdated laws of the state, which is the opposite of freedom.

Under a banner of anarchy one can consider himself free because he falls under the laws of reason, the non-aggression principle, the Golden Rule, and a cosmic law if you will. As long as these vital laws of social survival are not violated, one can call himself free and an anarchist. As long as they are violated, one cannot claim freedom, only delusion, corruption, violence, and immorality.

Freedom works both ways. One must not only fight against becoming a slave, one must also fight against being a master or ruler. He who is caught up in being a master or ruler becomes a slave to his own tyranny. Slavery anywhere-whether soft or hard, whether one is a slave or a master, is a threat to freedom everywhere.

2. Anarchy Implies Non-Violence

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” ~Voltaire

The non-aggression principle is another cornerstone of anarchy. One need not be violent in order to be a free, self-ruling anarchist. One need only apply self-defense when needed, while making sure not to succumb to offensive overreach or of lording one’s power over others.

Freedom is paramount, including the freedom of those who think differently. That doesn’t mean people are free to kill or injure or steal. It means people are free as long as they are upholding the non-aggression principle while also upholding a stout and vigilant self-defense against these few who would kill, injure, or steal.

Statism, on the other hand, does not honor the non-aggression principle. It blatantly violates it. it uses the monopoly on violence to keep its non-free statists in line and obedient. yet again it is clear that statism is the opposite of freedom.

3. Anarchy Implies Courage

He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy.” ~Socrates

The typical statist reaction to an anarchist rant is to either be reduced to ad “personal” attacks or to say one of two things: “But what about my roads!” Or, “If you don’t like it here then move.” As ignorant as these comments are they are coming from a place of blind patriotism and naive xenophobia. What the statists who say such things don’t realize is that no matter where one goes, one will be a victim of a nation state. This is because statism is a pandemic psychosocial disease and a worldwide religion that trumps all other religions.

Better to remain in the place where you were born, rise up with your sound anarchist principles in hand, and defy the immediate state with your blatant self-rule and your “in-your-face freedom”, than to go to another state that you are not familiar with and potentially drown in culture shock. Better to fight for your own sovereignty where you were raised, than to interfere in a place you are unfamiliar with and have to worry about survival before sovereignty.

4. Anarchy Implies Adherence to God’s Laws

There is nothing in the law of God that will rob you of happiness; it only denies you that which would cause sorrow.” -C.H. Spurgeon

Anarchy is the natural default social governing system, for healthy human beings otherwise there is oppression, slavery, and/or tyranny. Anarchy is not only how healthy and free human beings “govern” each other, but how they act in accordance to God’s indwelling knowledge of right and wrong. For in order to maintain one’s freedom, one must not violate God’s laws lest the backlash of those laws cripple one’s freedom due to the collapse of moral aptitude in action.

A true anarchist understands that he or she is a vital independent part of an interdependent whole. Everything is connected, to include the action of the individual.

When it comes down to it, the concept of anarchy does not need to be confusing, unless you are purposefully trying to keep people ignorant. But in the age of information there is no excuse for remaining ignorant- especially regarding such an important topic as anarchy. And especially in regards to the statism that threatens to consume us all in its unhealthy, violent, and all-consuming mouth.

And one more tidbit: You may discover that you’re more of an anarchist than you realized. It’s worth the research; for all of us.

Credit in most part to a fallen soldier- Gary M.
*Thanks Gary for sharing your thoughts for compilation and modification. Additions by Moraldiplomat

A true anarchist believes in God as ruler over the affairs of men and not that of men over men. We would rather obey God, than man.

Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

As Christians we know that we are to not resist gov’t and not to speak evil of dignitaries; however, what exists now is nothing short of a beast system (anti-God), in place and has neither dignity nor the best interest of man, with God’s laws and statutes (grace) in mind. That said, any gov’t or so-called ruler or set of laws should not be adhered to or honored as it may conflict with that of obedience to God and what is right and acceptable before the Lord. Discernment should be used in analysis of any and all edicts of mankind.

Jas 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Jas 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Eph 5:10 “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Eph 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; ...”

 

The Wild Wild West

In the old days, it didn’t matter if one was homesteading a farm, building a town or starting a cattle ranch, survival in the “Wild West” was the name of the game. Ultimately, everyone in that first generation of settlers had to know how to survive and use those survival skills daily.

Those who came along behind had it easier, but that first generation had to depend on their survival skills — or they would not last.

Communities grew out of the need to survive. Mankind realized early on that gathering together gave them the ability to help each other survive. While there were those in the Old West who were loners, many wanted the company of others around, as well as the security of being able to depend on them if there was ever a problem.

By working together in a community, the westerners leaned that they could make their survival tasks easier. One could concentrate on specific needs, in the knowledge that others would be taking care of different needs. They would share with each other, either through bartering, sharing or outright selling.

The lesson is: Community can save you.

Living in hardship, the people of the West were quick to help each other out. When a family was in need, others would gather together to assist. It didn’t matter if it was the loss of a family member or the need to raise a barn; the community was there to help.

This extended to all walks of life. A man drifting through could always count on a meal and a bed, even if the bed was nothing more than the hayloft. Travelers would often pay for this kindness by doing some chores around the homestead, but that was not necessarily expected of them. Those who did were doing so voluntarily.

The lesson here is simple: Help each other out!

In this, the Old West was somewhat different from the modern prepping movement. We tend to think of just taking care of our families, and no more. There is good reason for that, as there is no way that a family can stockpile enough to take care of their whole neighborhood.

But at the same time, a day may come where we need to extend a hand to those who haven’t prepared. In doing so, we will be following in the footsteps of those who settled the land before us.
Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank M.

*Thanks to Frank; when things get tough, we can combine our forces for a just and common good…each other!

 
Phil 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Get Started

Chris’s parents were proud of him when he graduated from college. But it’s been six months and he hasn’t gotten a job yet. In fact, he hasn’t looked seriously. He has no idea what he wants to do and he’s thinking of grad school.

He’s living at home with his parents and things are getting tense, especially with his father, who accuses Chris of being lazy and afraid to enter the real world.

Chris thinks his dad is being totally unreasonable. After all, he’s only young once and he needs some ‘space.’ During a recent argument, Chris said, ‘I’m not you, Dad. I have my own way of doing things. I want a job I enjoy.’

His dad replied, ‘That’s a nice idea, but in the end they call it ‘work’ because it’s about making a productive living – not having fun.’

There are many youngsters like Chris who are having trouble getting started with a serious job and becoming self-reliant. Some, like Peter Pan, just don’t want to grow up. Some are afraid of making a wrong decision or of being rejected. Others are victims of what psychologists call ‘magical thinking.’ They believe that when the time is right, everything will fall into place. So they wait for opportunity to come knocking or until they feel inspired or excited about their next step.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. What’s crucial is to begin. Things happen and opportunities appear most often when we’re moving, not standing still.

Momentum is vital. Basic physics says it’s easier to alter the course of a moving object than to start movement initially. In the end, it’s not really about finding yourself. It’s about making yourself.

The first steps are the hardest, but the key to success in anything is getting started.

Heb 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, ….”

Gift Exchange

‘I just got back from the gift exchange,’ she said.

‘Did someone give you something you didn’t want?’ I asked.

‘No, not at all. I got more than I thought I would,’ she replied.

‘So you had too many gifts?’ I asked.

‘Oh, no. You could never get too many,’ she said so seriously.

‘Then, I’m confused. You were returning a gift that you received and didn’t want because you had more than you could use, but never enough of whatever it was,” I said. Of course I had no idea what I just said, but it was what I heard.

‘No. I wasn’t returning anything. I was giving it away,’ she said.

I felt like I was watching an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ with Ricky Ricardo and Lucille Ball.

‘Let’s start over. Where were you?’ I asked.

‘I went to the nursing home. I volunteer to visit people there,’ she said.

‘You said you went to the gift exchange.’

‘Oh, I see your problem. That’s what I call it, the ‘Gift Exchange’ – I go to the nursing home to spend time with some of the most fascinating people. I’m only in my 40s. These people are in their 70s, 80s and older. They have so much to offer. Their stories are special gifts to me. Their life experience and lessons are so incredibly valuable. I learn so much from them,’ she said.

‘So, that is the gift exchange?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I give them my time, they teach me about life.’

What an incredible way to look at it. All these years that I have been writing, all these people that I have met along the way were all a part of the ‘Gift Exchange.’

Why not join us. Take time to speak to someone at the Mall today. Make time to stop and say “hello” to someone in your neighborhood. Attend a church function and meet new people. Visit a local nursing home. Phone someone.

You have so much to give and so much more to get.

The ‘Gift Exchange’ is open 24 hours a day.

There’s always one near you!

1 Pet 5:5 “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”