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!

 

 

 

Fix It!

*More Survival Ideas

For most people, purchasing enough food, water and supplies to get through a major disaster can be very difficult financially. The average person doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to put toward such a big investment. If you’re like most people, paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head is hard enough as it is.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help save a little money to put toward your prepping needs and we’ll discuss some of those things here. Every dollar you can save on household utilities, the grocery bill and so on can be put into your prepping.

Be a MacGyver and become a fix-it guru. Before sending that broken appliance to the garbage heap and replacing it with something new, try to fix it yourself. There are many web sites (www.fixya.com, http://www.instructables.com) that offer lots of how-to’s for fixing everything from your laser printer to your espresso machine. In addition, you can find service manuals for many products on line at the manufacturer’s web site.

Another thing you can do is call the manufacturer’s customer service number. Often the company will guide you through troubleshooting steps or even send you free parts. I have found that this works especially well with plumbing issues.

Move fashion to the bottom of your priorities list. Choose function over fashion. This is difficult, I know. But think about the item you intend to purchase and how it is going to be used. A fancy, Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer may look great on your counter, but if you only cook the basics and bake only simple items, a $15 hand mixer may be all that you need. This same concept applies to lots of things: clothing, TVs, jewelry, you name it. Yes, this even applies to cars.

Do it yourself. Mow your own lawn, clean your own house, give yourself a manicure, wash your own dog. Now if you truly hate to do something, don’t do it if you can afford to hire it out. Or better yet, trade a chore you detest with a chore that someone else dislikes. You both get the job done without spending a dime.

Take advantage of freebies. Use public beaches, parks and trail systems for recreational activities. Use your public library. Go online and download geographically specific recreational guides and even preparedness manuals from your state and county web sites. None of these are technically free because your taxes have paid for them, but they are free in the sense you have no additional out of pocket costs.

Speaking of libraries, have you checked yours out lately? Most libraries now have a robust collection of eBooks, audio books, audio book players, music CDs, DVDs and more. If you don’t have a library with downloadable materials, there are many that will let you purchase an annual non-resident library card. You can do a web search or start here to find a library with a large collection of downloadable materials.

Get out of debt. This is obvious. Sure, you may have a mortgage payment and possibly a car payment. But credit card debt? I hope not, but, if you are saddled with credit card debt, come up with a one or two- year plan to pay them off then toss them in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless there is a dire emergency. The old mantra “use your credit card . . .it is the same as cash” simply does not work anymore. It never did.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!

Future Provisions

*Survival knowledge

One of the main reasons for studying how people survive, whether economically or physically, is to find lessons we can apply to our own lives and circumstances. For many years, economists have been predicting an economic collapse here in America. If you are one of the 93+ million Americans who are out of work, your own personal economy has already collapsed.

Now it’s time to consider how you will earn money, whether you are currently out of work. In the days of the Great Depression, it was common for grocers and landlords to provide credit to their customers. Today? That would be a rare occurrence.

Our ancestors would be sad to see their children (us) toiling over these uncertain times. This was suppose to be a land of freedom and a new start. What happened?

From the Depression, there is an abundance of stories of neighbors and church families showing up at the door, laden with bags and boxes of food for a needy family(this act of kindness now is becoming illegal in many cities). When a desperate mom was asked by her child, “Mama, what’s for dinner tonight?”, the response was, “Whatever the neighbors decide to bring us!” I wish I could imagine that happening today, but our communities and families have become so fractured over the past few decades it would be a rare event.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Great Depression is the ingenuity of the Americans who lived through those tough times. Many continued to find ways to earn money, even when their own circumstances were dire.

To earn money, people made homemade fudge, pies and bread and sold them. Eggs could be sold for 25 cents a dozen. If a family lived near water, they could catch and sell fish, clams and crabs(this act too is becoming more and more strict). Some families grew, picked, and sold homegrown produce, and some even started lunch truck wagons (regulation of growers are also under attack).

You could also earn money selling newspapers on the corner(almost a thing of the past). Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself(no loitering now!). Odd jobs were also a popular way of making money, washing windows, loading coal, even sewing and altering clothes(days of money under the table are wearing thin).

In every case, it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.

So, what skills do you have that might offer a service during a severe economic downturn? What knowledge do you have that would be helpful, even vital, to others? What products can you produce? What skills can you teach?

Ingenuity is something which can never be stolen by thieves, confiscated by a government, or lost to flood or fire. It is possible to survive during even a newer Great Depression and there is plenty to learn from those who lived through the last one.

Find a book, read, use the internet, take notes, watch videos from people who know, from those who’ve done it. Knowledge is a good thing if used to help others. And there are plenty out there who need help.

We are all in this (and will be in the future) together; let’s help one another keep going when the SHTF!

*Thanks in more part to :Frank M.

 

Remember – An Alternative View of Memorial Day

Remember…the following video should give you a slightly different perspective on Memorial Day and the wars of bloodshed on all continents. It’s a only a little over 6 minutes long so share it with someone so they too will remember……………………..-Moraldiplomat

PS..Thanks to TheVoxRox at the utube for posting it.

The Secret

The old man shuffled slowly into the restaurant. With head tilted and shoulders bent forward, he leaned on his trusty cane with each unhurried step.

His tattered cloth jacket, patched trousers, worn out shoes, and warm personality made him stand out from the usual Saturday morning breakfast crowd. Unforgettable were his pale blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds, large rosy cheeks, and thin lips held in a tight, steady smile.

He stopped, turned with his whole body, and winked at a little girl seated by the door. She flashed a big grin right back at him. A young waitress named Mary watched him shuffle toward a table by the window.
Mary ran over to him, and said, ‘Here, Sir . . . let me give you a hand with that chair.’

Without saying a word, he smiled and nodded a thank you. She pulled the chair away from the table. Steadying him with one arm, she helped him move in front of the chair, and get comfortably seated. Then she scooted the table up close to him, and leaned his cane against the table where he could reach it.

In a soft, clear voice he said, ‘Thank you, Miss . . . and bless you for your kind gestures.’

‘You’re welcome, Sir.’ She replied.

‘And my name is Mary. I’ll be back in a moment and if you need anything at all in the mean time, just wave at me!’

After he had finished a hearty meal of pancakes, bacon and hot lemon tea, Mary brought him the change from his bill. He left it lay on the table. She helped him up from his chair and out from behind the table. She handed him his cane and walked with him to the front door.

Holding the door open for him, she said, ‘Come back and see us, Sir!’

He turned with his whole body, winked and smiled, then nodded a thank you. ‘You are very kind.’ he said softly.

When Mary went to clean his table, she almost fainted. Under his plate she found a business card and a note scribbled on a napkin. Under the napkin was a one hundred dollar bill.

The note on the napkin read . . . ‘Dear Mary, I respect you very much and I can see you respect yourself too. It shows by the way you treat others. You have found the secret of happiness. Your kind gestures will shine through to all those who meet you.’

The man she had waited on was the owner of the restaurant where she worked. This was the first time that she or any of his employees had ever seen him in person.

Your Best

SHARED STORY

We built an addition on our house. Contractors did the bulk of the work, but to save money, I did a lot of work on my own. I did the siding, including the original part of the house. I put down the parquet flooring in the new section – 1000 square feet of it. In front of the fireplace, I glued tiles that matched the color of the blue stone.

The old part of the house was done in paneling. I replaced it with sheet rock and did the crack filling too. I sanded wood, painted walls, and cut and nailed moldings and baseboards. In the new master bathroom, I cut and glued Formica.

It took more than a year to get the house the way we wanted. I wasn’t a carpenter or a builder. I didn’t have a clue how to do any of it; however, there were how-to books to study and friends to ask.

I made many mistakes during our year of construction. Above the kitchen cabinets, was a portion of sheet rock I couldn’t reach with my drill. A section of it dipped down from a piece beside it. I cracked-filled the gap as best as I could, but it was visible to anyone with a keen eye. To cut the moldings for the windows and doors, I used a wooden miter box. It isn’t as accurate as the modern miter saws the builders use now. I made mistakes and cut some pieces too short. One corner of a window or door would have a gap between the moldings.

There were areas around the baseboards, where gaps could be seen, because I failed to cut the parquet flooring correctly.

‘Michael!’ Georgia would yell, ‘You made a mess of that!’

‘Hun, it’s in the corner! Who’s going to notice? If someone sees that, then they’re too nosy. No one is going to notice!’

Five years later, I was living in a different city. Georgia was back home, trying to sell the house, so she could move to be with me. Potential buyers would come, see our house and notice the mistakes. They walked away. My mistakes were small. I thought no one would notice. They saw every one of them.

We lead good lives and do good jobs, but we make mistakes. Will anyone notice? I thought no one would notice mine, but they did. One day we are going to be judged. We’ll have to admit, we didn’t do our best.

Are you settling for less than Your Best?

A Man Who Sold Hot Dogs

There was once a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing so he had no radio – he had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers and of course he didn’t look at television. But he sold very good hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway telling everyone how good they were, he stood on the side of the road and cried out to all that past ‘buy a hot dog, they are the best in town’.

And people bought his hot dogs and he increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of all the extra business. He finally got his son to come and help him out with his business.

But then something happened, his son who had been well educated said . . . ‘ Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio or reading the newspapers or watching television? There’s a big recession happening right now. The current business situation is terrible in this country – we have problems with unemployment, high living costs, strikes, pollution, the influence of minorities and majorities, the rich, the poor, drugs, alcohol, capitalism and communism ‘.

Where upon his father thought, ‘ well my son’s been well educated, he reads the papers, listens to the radio and watches television, so he ought to know ‘.

So his father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down all his advertising signs and no longer bothered to stand by the side of the road to promote and sell his hot dogs, . . . . and his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.

‘You’re right, son’ the father said ‘we certainly are in the middle of a recession’

THINK ABOUT THIS VERY CAREFULLY- SHARE IT! AND……….KEEP SELLING HOT DOGS! (well, you know what I mean 😉

Don’t let the so-called bad news and propaganda inspire you to become like what you hear and see. Stay committed to doing your own things. And Thank God for His blessings. They are yours. It does not matter how bad the world hurts, you’re doing fine. 🙂

Ignore the news…………start creating your own news! Amen?