Archive For The “Sunday Thoughts” Category
When I started this study, the first question that came to mind was, “What would you do in life if you weren’t afraid?” Pondering this question, I sat there several minutes thinking about the different aspects of it.
Then I was hit with a prompting from God, “Turn to Psalm 23.”
“Okay.” I thought to myself, You’ve never been wrong before. So I turn to it and began reading. With only six verses to it, you wouldn’t think that there would be much for information. You would be wrong there just as I was. Here is what I learned.
NASB (In case you don’t know, this is written with the mind frame that God’s people are sheep to Him. This will help all this to make sense.)
vs 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
If we have the Lord guiding us through life, we will have everything we need to survive. The word ‘want’ is a curious word to me. According to Perfect Dictionary, it means: to be needy or destitute, to fail to possess especially in customary or required amount. In other words, I don’t have it, but I need it. When we have God shepherding our lives, He will look out for us and provide for us what we need to survive. We will have no ‘wants’, because He will have given us all we need to survive. Notice that I’m using the word, ‘survive’ and not ‘happy’. That is a whole other discussion in itself.
2 He makes me lied down in green pastures; He leads beside quiet waters.
When you lie down, this is one of two things: either you’ve reached the end of your life and it just happens to be in a lush, green, fertile field (which is not the case in this verse), or you are able to rest. When you rest, your body is at peace. Your heart rate slows, breathing becomes deeper, and your mind is able to relax.
The green pastures signify that the ground is fertile and gets enough nutrients and moisture to sustain life. Just the thought of being in the soft grass with the moist earth beneath me allows a sense of calm to enter my mind. There are many times when I’m out with my dog that I will take a little bit to lay down in the ground and have him lay down beside me. In that moment, there isn’t anything in the world that troubles me. Could you imagine that state of mind every day for your life?
Quiet waters are crucial for sheep. They will not drink from moving waters, so the shepherd will seek out calm waters that won’t frighten the sheep. Calm waters are often referred to as peaceful. I would say that is an ironic statement, but, I don’t think God works that way. He has a purpose behind what he does.
3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
This again, goes back to the fact that God’s people are like sheep. The sheep’s wool grows throughout the year, equaling a great amount of weight. What can happen is that the sheep can tip over while walking over certain terrain, exposing its underside to the harsh sun which would kill it if the shepherd didn’t intervene. Sounds a lot like what God does for us doesn’t it? We carry around so much weight in the form of stress, worry, and other things that can lead us to tipping over and exposing ourselves to the harsh environment. But, God comes along and rights us and sets us on our feet. When we confess our sins and our troubles to Him, it can be the same feeling as when the sheep gets shorn. All that weight, gone. Just like that.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Imagine when you are walking, you start to go down in elevation. We’ve all experienced the ups and downs in life, and the valley is the low times. Now, imagine that the valley is shadowed and dark. Makes it hard to see, right? Your travels will be hampered quite a bit. Now imagine that God is right beside you the entire way.
The rod and staff are some of the staple tools for a shepherd. The staff was a light weight stick used for walking, separating the flock, and slight promptings to some of the straggling sheep. The rod was the working side of the two. It was more along the lines of club. Used as defense for the flock against predators, and major corrections for some of the stubborn sheep. I know I’ve felt it a time or two.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
When you read or hear the phrase, ‘prepare a table’, it is referring to eating a meal. But, it wasn’t as easy as going to the refrigerator and grabbing a sandwich. This process took some time, which is what makes it significant. Imagine preparing a table to eat a meal, (think of Thanksgiving Day on steroids to put it into perspective) and the person or people that are outright against everything you do is right on the other side of the table from you. Think you could have peace during that meal? But this is exactly what God has done for us.
I had to get some help with this next statement, because I wasn’t studied in this area. What it turns out to be is the sheep would have trouble with nasal flies laying eggs in their wet nose and when the fly hatches, it works its way further up and irritates the sheep a great deal. Anointing the sheep’s head with oil would prevent the flies from laying the eggs. This is another example of how God takes care of his people.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
And finally, it sure is nice to know that God is with us throughout our journey in life. We can have ups and downs in life, as long as we keep God in the forefront of our mind and not the dire misery we may be going through at the time. What I say without a doubt is the that last sentence. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That to me is hope.
Photo by Lukas Budimaier
I was asked to give a devotional on Jan. 31, 2016 and while I can’t recollect all that was said, I will write the article version of it.
How do you know what is important to you?
If you look at someone’s photos at either their house or on their phone or tablet, you will likely see pictures of what is important to them. Grandparents will more than likely have pictures of the grandkids. Car enthusiast will have pictures of their favorite cars hanging up. Sports fans will have talk only for their favorite sports team that is playing at the time. You get the idea.
If I were to walk around your home, what would I see? Could I figure out what is important to you? Probably.
Is TV important? If you have an oversized one that is taking over your living room that you spend hours staring at, I would probably guess that watching your favorite shows is important.
Fitness? For some, this is not a word that is used often. But for others, it is their life. It is what consumes their mind 24/7. Is this wrong? Not necessarily. Fitness can be something that one enjoys safely. You will be able to tell if someone is interested in fitness and staying healthy just by looking at them. They are going to be lean and trim. Possibly have some muscle mass depending on what category of fitness they are into. Someone that is a long distance runner is not going to build up massive muscle mass.
What about the arts? If someone is into art you will be able to tell. They will be into painting, drawing, sculpting, or whatever the medium is they prefer and they will carry it around with them if possible. There was a young man in our church that carried around a pad of paper and was always working on portraits and characters. He was getting good too.
We had gathered for our 5th Sunday Singing; I was hearing parts sung to songs that I hadn’t heard before. It was refreshing to hear other voices added to the mix. Around 80+ had gathered from 3 different towns and it was nice to hear the song leaders putting their twist on some of the songs.
So I ask again, what is important to you?
Something I learned a long time ago and pinned it to the forefront of my mind is this: If something is important to you, you will make time for it.
How can you find out what is most important to you?
If you are completely clueless, here is a method that will help you discover what is most important to you. Remember that you will spend time on what is important to you.
For one week, write down everything that you spend time doing for the entire day.
- 8-5 went to work
- 5-5:30 drove home
- 5:30 -6:20 supper with family
- 6:20-7:00 spend time with kids
- 7-9 put kids to bed
- 9-11 watched TV
- 11-7 slept
Do something like this for an entire week and then add up the times spent doing various things. What is most important to you will be what you spend time on.
Which leads me to the next set of questions:
Do you pray?
Some of us don’t pray at all or often enough.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch and praying that you may not enter temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. NASB
It says that Jesus fell on his face and prayed. Here is an appropriate posture for praying. I’ve always said that if Jesus does it, then we can do it because all that he did, God had shown him already.
Do you study the Bible?
If you don’t then I highly encourage you to. Each time I study, there is a little light above my head that isn’t on and God says to me, “Let me get that for you.” ‘CLICK’ The Ah-Hah moment arrives.
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. NASB
This was important enough to me that I have underlined the passage above in my Bible.
Your heart is a very important thing; it keeps you alive in more ways than one. I referenced the passage in Matthew 15:1-2, 10-11 that speaks about when the Pharisees confront Jesus about his disciples not washing before the meal. He then goes on to explain that it isn’t what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of his heart.
In another study I’m doing, there is mention of a ‘tablet of the heart’ in Proverbs. I believe that Jesus is speaking about this here. It isn’t what the world throws at us or what we put into our bodies that makes our heart blackened; but what we write on our heart.
What comes out of your mouth is what is on your heart. So if what we are saying and doing is a direct reflection of what is on our hearts, then you can recognize a tree by its fruit.
Do you fast? Matthew 6:16-18 explains what someone will look like if they are fasting properly.
Do you make a difference?
The lyrics to the song ‘If today was your last day’ by Nickleback nails this question. If today was your last day on earth, would you have made a difference in the world?
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
As we go through life, if we are growing as Christians, we will start out as a candle and end up as a bonfire. While we take the steps necessary to grow closer to God, we should be talking to people about Christ and evangelizing starting little fires along the way so that they too can shine for Christ.
So, if Christ is important to you; I challenge you to become a lighthouse for those lost at sea.
The role of the lighthouse is to warn people of the danger they are close to. When someone is struggling in the storms of life, they are looking to others for help. They are lost in the darkness, being tossed to and fro in the storms, be the light that shines out to them.
You could just be the one person that saves them from destruction if you will shine for Christ.
If you are not shining for Christ, why not? What is holding you back from shining for Him? Why are you allowing this world to hold you back.
Shine for Christ!
Do every thing in your power to SHINE!
Photo by NASA
Another day has come and gone. Where did the time go? I was laughing and enjoying my day. Why does it end now?
Who is responsible for robbing me of my happiness? Who was it that came and stole my joy? The sun’s warmth is gone now. There is nothing left. I see the moon just rising over the trees to offer consoling light.
“I see your sadness and grief. I have little to give and I am far away. Please accept this small gift of light so that a smile will once again return to your face. It is dark enough without your efforts tonight.”
Wiping the tears of anger and selfishness from my eyes I gazed up at this wonderful being that has been so generous to me.
“Why have you shown kindness to me? I don’t deserve it.”
The moon gentle and sincere, “It does not matter whether you deserve it or not. The light I offer you was given to me by someone greater than I.”
The loving look of a parent to child is cast upon me. This being actually cares about my happiness.
“How am I to have happiness when the ones I love leave me in the darkness? How am I to remain happy when it is so dark?”
A gentle chuckle from one with wisdom escapes his lips. “You are never alone. Even when you feel like no one is around, He still looks after you.”
“Who is ‘He’?” I question.
“You have known Him for quite some time and you forget about Him so quickly? He is the Son. The one that gives light to all, including myself.”
“You shine with a power from within. No one gives it to you.”
Coming closer and putting an arm around my shoulders, “That is where you are wrong. I shine at night because I am given light. It is too much for me to keep to myself, so others are able to see it reflecting off of me.”
“But there are times when I cannot see even your light. If the light is so bright, why are you dark at times?”
“Everyone at some point allows others to get in between them and the Light. This happens to me as well. It is difficult to shine for people at all times and the only one that is able to do so is the source of the Light. So allow a smile to return to your face knowing that He will once again shine His light on you.”
“It is hard to do. I feel alone at times.”
With a stern look in his eye, “Well if anyone should feel alone it’s me. No one comes to see me anymore. People used to visit me all the time staying for days at a time. Now, no one comes around. But I know that people like you depend on me to be as bright as possible so as to see in the darkness.”
“You have humbled me this evening. I now see that I have been selfish and uncaring of others.”
“Do not be too hard on yourself. You have a lot in store for yourself. Keep this in mind as you go your way; Keep shining as bright as possible. You might be the one that keeps others from stumbling in the darkness.”
A smile returned to me that evening. I named it Hope.
Photo by Alice Hampson
You are what you read.
I have to say that today has been really eye-opening. Jesus says at many different points, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” That is exactly what happened today.
If you haven’t listened to God’s voice lately, you’re missing out on life. God lets you in on secrets of life that make you think that you have just arrived from another planet because the advice He gives you is so rudimentary simplistic.
Our life seemed like it was going out of control. Lack of sufficient sleep, irritable and grumpy often, and patience was little to none. Typical American life right?
For the first time, I have had my perspective shifted to face the positive. Being brought up in a non-positive household has made it really difficult to see things in this light. Until now.
A visiting preacher said, “We are what we read. So we should be wearing out our Bibles. We should have loose pages, spines breaking down, and other wear and tear.” (I’m loosely quoting because I was blown away by this statement. It goes along with so many things that have been on my mind.)
He then went on to preach about money. He joked about how he can preach about sensitive material and then run away for a while. I loved what he spoke about this morning.
Wealth and happiness cannot be found in things and stuff. It was really encouraging to hear someone speak about how God thinks about the lifestyle we have chosen.
But that isn’t the point of this article. It is a huge contributing factor though.
The point of this particular article is that you are what you read.
Let’s dive into this subject.
So if a person is what they read, then what they read should be apparent by their words and actions. If a person is into dark subjects, then their thoughts begin to take on a dark tone. Much the same as when a person is into reading romance and adult stories, then their mind tends to start looking at people as sex objects and not a person.
What I learned about life is simple; if you are not happy with something, change it.
If you are unhappy with what your children are learning at school, then pull them out of school and teach them yourself. Or, educate them like a parent should, not relying on others to teach your children things that you know are not right.
If you are unhappy at your work place, change it. Talk with your manager or supervisor about what is unpleasant about your job. If something is hurting you physically, ergonomics needs to be addressed and the job fitted to you not you fit into the job.
When you get into a vehicle that someone else drove last, what is the first thing that you do? Adjust the seat, mirrors, and seat belt to fit you. This is automatically done every single time regardless of age, sex, religion, skin color, racial heritage, eye sight, hair color, amount of jewelry worn, get the picture yet? You adjust your environment to fit you. This is without exception.
So why do you not adjust your life to fit you?
I’ve said this for several years and will continue to say it until I am no more and even then I will have it written somewhere that people can see it and learn it.
“If it’s important to you, you will make time for it.”
You are in control of your life.
It doesn’t matter what you do in your lifetime, you are in control the entire time. You can follow or exceed the speed limit, this is your choice to make. You are in control of what you eat. (Naturally excluding those that have been limited to a feeding tube. I’m referring to the general public with this statement and I mean no offense to those that have different lifestyles.) Each day, you make a choice as to what goes into your body.
I was able to lose over 30#s solely on what I put into my body. This is no lie. At first I was running and enjoying it until I got a tear in my right meniscus in the knee and now I can’t run across the yard without pain. But the point is that you can change your physical body solely on what you consume. I eat as organic as possible and unprocessed as possible. However, I do not put myself through the pain and suffering of a limited diet. If we are at a birthday party and cake and ice cream is handed out, I’ll have some. I don’t do this everyday which is the big secret.
If you are curious as to my diet, contact me on my Facebook page and I would be more than happy to discuss it with you.
If it’s important to you, you will make time for it.
I live by this saying because it is so true. How many times have you said, “I wish I had more time to do …”, “I wish I had more time for …”, “I wish I had time to …”.
STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!
You are in control of your life, so if you are unhappy with something, CHANGE IT! I can’t stress this point enough. If your life is lonely and miserable, change it. If your life is sad and depressing, change it. If your life is not the one you want it to be, change it.
It really is that simple.
My wife and I came to this point in our lives where we were not happy with our lives. Too much stuff, not enough time to do the things we enjoy, and it wasn’t fulfilling. So we decided to change it. We didn’t ask permission from anyone, we just decided to change our lives to make it suit us.
We had too much stuff so we started getting rid of it. As I’m writing this, I have a pile of stuff in our front room that is on its way out. If we are not using it or it doesn’t bring us joy, out it goes without a second thought. Its that easy.
We didn’t like how much debt we had, so we decided to do away with it. Didn’t ask anyone what they thought of it, we just decided to do it. We get closer everyday to being debt-free as our goal in life.
I wanted more time for writing, so I’ve started plugging in more time for it. I went so far as to create a Wattpad account so I could write on my lunch hour. I am finding time to write where people think there is no time. Writing is important to me so I find time to do it. Even if I never make any money off my words, it brings me joy and that is what matters.
I enjoy reading, so I find time for it. Late at night, early in the morning, during lunch, I find time. Which brings me to my next point and if you don’t want your toes stepped on, stop reading here.
A mind that has no creativity is dead.
This is a harsh thing to say but it is true. At this point, I’m going to start getting deeper with my thought process and I hope that I don’t lose anyone because I think that these points are what is killing our nation and everyone else in the world as well.
Stop limiting yourself.
When you say, “I don’t like to read because it doesn’t hold my attention.” You’re not reading the right stuff. Trust me when I say this, if I’m not interested in the material, I don’t read it. I am in control of what I read. If something doesn’t hold my attention, I move on to something else.
When you say, “I can’t understand the language or the words being used.” What you are really saying is that you have limited yourself on an educational level. If the biggest words you use in normal conversation only consist of 4-5 letters, you are missing out. In other words, educate yourself so as not to be a dolt. (Look that up if you don’t know what it means.)
When you say, “I’m a visual person.” What you are saying is that your imagination is dead. You have to have things visually fed to you because you can’t imagine what they would look like. If anyone is a visual person, it’s me. I have bad hearing and conversation is pretty low on my list of enjoyable things due to the difficulty I have with hearing people.
But, what I’ve done to overcome my hearing issue is this, pay attention. You are what you read. If you are surrounded by negativity and this is what you are “reading” in your life, then you will be a negative person. If you are surrounding and engaging in positive things, then your “reading” is going to be positive and therefore you as a person will become positive.
So here is my suggestion for everyone, myself included. Read your Bible. God has given us all we need to know in one book. We don’t need extra commentaries that try to explain God to us, the Bible does this for us. We don’t need one person’s thoughts to tell us what God expects out of us, the Bible reveals what God has in store. There are more versions of the Bible than any other book in the world. Just in English alone there is NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV, NLT, ESV, Amplified Bible, and that doesn’t include the study Bible versions. There is a version that you can understand and in your language.
You may be saying to yourself, “The Bible is boring and out of date.” Not so. People today still practice the farming methods and practices of the biblical times. It tells us of how to keep our homes and bodies clean, what to do if we have marital issues, what to do in times of struggles. The list goes on and on.
Like war stories? The Bible has those.
Like romance and drama? The Bible has those.
Like suspense? The Bible has those.
Are you getting the point yet?
Like stories that teach a lesson? Jesus tells those. You can find it in red generally, and towards the end of the Bible. For those that don’t know where it would be just find words in red and read.
Want bedtime stories? Those are there.
Want action stories of ship wrecks, storms, and squalls? The Bible has those.
So the next time you find someone saying that the Bible is boring they just haven’t read the right parts. The Bible is absolutely full of stories. Some end good and others not so good. But what makes them special is that they are real stories about real people. Unlike what I write which is not real people and not real events which is why its called Fiction.
So, the moral of this article is this:
You are what you read.
“All I have learned, I learned from books.” Abraham Lincoln
Photo by Dustin Scarpitti
It’s about the little things.
As I’ve gone through life, I’ve realized recently that while I have large feet and long strides, I need to take smaller steps. Why is this? My body and mind want me to take the huge steps and see tremendous results right away, but this is not the right way to go.
Think of things in this way; when you need to cut wood, it is faster and more productive to clear out all of the smaller ones first so as to get them out of the way. Then tackle the larger trees surrounding you now that you have room to work.
An alternative to thinking is this, (I’ve recently started doing this and it is amazing how much better I feel mentally!) Don’t try to undertake the huge tasks at first. Opt instead to clear out the smaller tasks which will be easier to handle at first.
Let’s look at minimalism and or downsizing whichever fits your particular mindset.
The difference between the two is this; minimalism is where you want to have only the least amount of things in your life to function whereas downsizing is simply wanting to get rid of some of your stuff without any major lifestyle changes being made.
When you look at it in this fashion, hopefully it helps you find which side you want to work towards. Now on with the discussion.
You want to become a minimalist or simply want to downsize your life, where do you start? This is the beginning and the end of so many people’s journeys. It really is sad how many people never even get started because they see the pile of junk in the garage and lock up. They throw their arms up in the air and scream, “I can’t do it! There is too much %#&! to deal with!”
Let’s be honest, you’ve done it and so have I.
That’s right, I lock up at times.
I see the huge pile of crap or the overwhelming amount of things to get done, (especially as I’m working on finishing my house to move into!) and you just freeze. You look around, wander over here and move something and see a whole mess of stuff underneath it and freak out. Wander over there and start to sort some things on a shelf and quickly run out of room to sort so you stop.
Come over and look at my big shop and you see this exact thing. I have no idea where to start, so I don’t. I am defeated before I even begin.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
I’ve asked myself countless times this very question. Why? Why? Why? Why do I do it? It never ever ends well.
Here are some steps that I have been integrating into my life that have been helping me to accomplish things.
- Plan it out. Don’t just charge in there and start slinging things without some sort of game plan. No successful sports teams do it so why do you?
- Get some help. Whether it is your spouse or your best friend, get someone to help you even if it is solely to be your encourager. Trust me on this one as I’ve had to do lots of things by myself and it is awful. At least get someone to talk to while you do it!
- Small tasks to clear the way for the large tasks. There is large tasks with everything in life. Clear the small things out of the way first so that you have room to work on the large task.
- Be organized. Literally do this, when sorting things in your garage, grab containers of all sizes and sort out the nuts and bolts.
- Don’t be afraid to commit to small steps. I hate doing this! I hate it more than anything else when it comes to working on something. I see a little progress here and there but fail to see the overall goal slowly getting closer to being done. Whether your doing a large task or a small task, it doesn’t matter how much you do because in the end, each bolt had to have a washer and nut put on one at a time.
- Don’t be afraid to not set deadlines. Did you read that right? Not set deadlines? For me, absolutely! This doesn’t excuse me from not doing a task. Instead, what it is doing is allowing me the liberty and freedom to enjoy life and work at my own pace.
Let’s look at each of these a little closer. Feel free to skip to the ones you want to read about.
Plan it out.
You can’t go at it like a wild banshee swinging a hammer and expect everything to come out great. It only happens that way in the cartoons.
What you need to do instead is make plans. Remodeling a kitchen? Good for you! You will soon find out that there was something you missed or forgot about. Don’t let this ruin your work though, just deal with it as it comes.
Working on a project? You will need materials. Sometimes its better to know well in advance of materials needed to take advantage of sales.
Don’t stress about things not going according to plan! This happens with absolutely everything I do. I used to get upset about it and think it was my fault when in reality it was someone else’s fault and I’m the one that has to fix it. Just deal with it.
Get some help.
Okay, another confession is coming. I hate asking for help. I really do. Unless it is something that I cannot physically move or do on my own, it takes everything I have to ask for help.
I want to be able to prove to people that things can be done differently. Sure I get things wrong and make mistakes, who hasn’t?
Let me break this down some for you.
When I’m doing something I hate, (usually after some weeks of avoiding it has ensued and I can’t stand the sight of it anymore) I will ask for help from my wife. Sometimes all I’m looking for is just for her presence with me.
I’ve found this out in studying people and listening to others; if someone else is in the same miserable place as you physically, you can share the burden of the situation.
However, I will not under any circumstance ask her to help with insulation installation unless absolutely necessary. It is the most horrible thing that I can think of to ask someone to do. It gets in your skin whether you cover it or not and some how it always wind up in your areas where you really wish it hadn’t.
Sometimes its simply a matter of having someone else there with you.
Small tasks clear the way for large tasks.
The best example of this is finishing my house. I can’t remember how many times I’ve said, “I can’t work on this until I get this and this done. But I can’t get those things done until I get… done. And I can’t do that until I have this part; so I’m working on this.”
Do you know how frustrating that is?
I keep wanting to get the big things done but all the little things are getting in the way! So what I started doing was the small things. Ask yourself this question.
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at at time.
This is hard advice for me to follow, but it makes me feel so much better when I can take three bites as opposed to seeing the whole thing and walking away.
I can’t tell you how important this is. Be organized. Be the neat freak that has everything labeled. Put everything back where it belongs when you are done with it. (Guilty!) Sure this is probably one of my biggest faults with projects. I leave my stuff where it is so I can pick it up the next time. Nice theory, too bad it is horribly inefficient!
I’ve ‘lost’ my tape measure I don’t know how many times due to not putting it back where it belongs. I recently bought a second tape measure because I couldn’t find the original. I only wanted 1 tape measure in my tool set. However, I didn’t put it back where it belongs and couldn’t find it. When you’re finishing a house, you need a tape measure! I eventually found it 2 months later in a drawer of my tool shed desk. All because I didn’t put it back in its home.
When you are organized, a complete stranger should be able to walk into your shop/garage and be able to find any tool you ask for without being prompted. I have certification in this field and I didn’t really think it was helpful until I left a workplace that practiced this to the core to a place that has never heard of it. It is a nightmare to try to find something there. I was looking for a particular screwdriver one day and found 3 specialty tools for putting together rabbit cages, and handfuls of tools that were not needed at all. 45 minutes later I found what I was looking for due to the fact that I stopped what I was doing and started organizing the tools. Thankfully, most of the tools stay in their new homes.
Don’t be afraid to commit the small steps.
I’m not one that likes to take the small steps. I like to get things going and results coming in. In my error of thinking, I have not realized that the large steps involve all the smaller ones.
I cannot complete a story unless I write out every single word and put a space in between the words properly so you can read them. I sit here for hours at a time, painstakingly working on stories but fail to see the smallest of steps involved with completing them.
Spaces, periods, commas, so on and so forth, all play a vital part of the story. But when it comes to doing a project, I want to jump to the end result forgetting that the end result is a combination of all the small steps. Exactly like writing.
Don’t be afraid to not set deadlines.
I have issues with deadlines and expectations of myself and others. I put the bar to unachievable levels and then beat myself up when I don’t accomplish them. My latest lesson involving this.
While finishing our house, my goal was to be in the house by winter. This gave us around 6 months or so to work on it. Can you guess what happened? The temperatures started to drop and we still were not in it and the stress levels were climbing through the roof.
We began arguing for no reason, losing our tempers at others, and just being downright cranky people. All because we had an unrealistic goal of being in the house before winter. It isn’t going to happen! I lost my job halfway through the project and the money came to a screeching halt. Sure we had plans to get things done and we were saving money for this and that without any issues and then that all changed. I had no control over the situation, but I have to adapt and move on.
We are still not in our house as this is being written. However, I work on it when I get time and we save money for the needed items when we can. We have lifted the deadline and now we say, “We’ll get in when we get in.”
Is this way of living tough? Depends on how you look at it I suppose. I’m having to make things up as I go and other things are the traditional methods. Hard at times, and easy at others. It all depends on your skill levels. I’ve been around construction of various methods throughout my life and I’ve always had a secret learning method called “listening”. One would be surprised at how much information is available if you only listen to it.
So while this has been a lengthy post, I hope that you were able to glean some new concepts or ideas from it. I don’t claim to know everything and I’ll be the first one to admit that.
If you have comments you can leave them with the comments section and questions can be asked there as well. Hope this was informative for you. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.
Email me @: Zavier@tallguyshortstories.com
FB: Zavier Alexander
As we go through our life, we will undoubted come across some storms. These can include several categories such as; health, wealth, marital, family, personal, emotional and physical.
But the one thing that all of these have in common is this, after every storm is a rainbow.
What does this mean?
This means that after the most horrific and bloodthirsty storm there can be seen a rainbow if light is available.
Did you notice that I said, “if light is available.”? I worded it that way on purpose. If there is no light available after a storm, you will not be able to see a rainbow.
Think back several years to the Joplin tornado. I was not affected directly by this storm as thankfully I live some miles north of Joplin. However, my town was in the threat of the storm.
Watching the weather and noticing that as the day drew on it became that eerie green haze that marks a tornado. Plus I get a bad feeling in my gut because I’ve been affected by tornadoes.
I’ve grown up in south-west Missouri and I know what the makings of a tornado look like. Characteristics include the green haze, high winds followed by the sudden death-like stop of the wind blowing (if this happens to you take cover quickly) and the infamous “growling” that sounds like a train heading straight for you. If you hear the growling, trust me you’ll know it when you hear it, take cover as you have seconds before a tornado drops right on your head.
I don’t write all this to scare the jeepers out of you, I write this to let you know that storms will come and go. And after the Joplin tornado storm passed over our town, it was the strangest feeling I’ve ever had. The sky was the deepest emerald green I had ever seen and there above it all was the biggest clouds I had ever seen. I didn’t see a rainbow that day, however, I knew that we had received a huge blessing by God allowing the storm to pass over us. Two families I know directly lost their homes that day. I felt terrible and almost ashamed because they were such wonderful families why did they have to lose everything? (No one died that I knew personally so let out your pent up breath.)
They have sense been able to rebuild their lives and move on. The storm was an eye-opener for everyone whether they were directly affected or not. People from all across the US came flooding into Joplin to help with the cleanup and rescues. This is great because the mayor of Joplin had to start turning people away because there were too many people to sustain.
My question is this; why does it take a national disaster for people to band together and help each other out?
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. NASB
When we are being tempted, yes this will happen to you at some point, know this; God is not doing this to you and you have the power to overcome the temptation.
I struggle with certain things. I could very easily gain access to them via the internet and my wife would be none the wiser. However, I do not even entertain the idea. Why not? Because I have a love for my wife that goes beyond anything a picture or video of some woman’s breast could ever give me. Let’s put our big kid pants on as I discuss this issue. Why did you marry someone that you can’t stand to be around? Is she smoking hot? Is she great in bed? BIG DEAL!!! Any prostitute can be good in bed and be good looking too, this is their job!
What a person does when they look at nude pictures and videos of people that they are not married to pulls them away from that person. If you talk with couples that fight constantly you will notice that there is absolutely no intimacy between them. The love has been lost somewhere.
“Years 3, 5 and 7 will be the hardest years of your marriage.” They say. Not if I love my spouse. “You will fight over everything!” Not if I love my spouse. “You’re still in the newly wed stages.” Marriage over 10 years hardly seems like the newly wed stages to me. Honestly, I’m baffled that 10+ years have already gone by!
Why do marriages struggle? Why do people fight all the time? No love.
What is LOVE?
Here is what love means to me.
Love in my definition is sacrificing oneself so that others may prosper. I have sacrificed a lot over the last 10+ years so that my wife can be happy. Am I sad or angry about it? Only if I’m selfish. Instead of saying, “What about me?” change it to, “What about you?”
When you love someone, you will put them ahead of yourself in terms of needs. They need someone to love them, so love them and not yourself. They need someone to be there for them when they hurt, so be there for them. They need someone to talk to, so be that ear that listens. They need a shoulder to divert the tears away from them, give them your shoulder and let their tears run down your back and fall to the ground behind you as the two of you walk through life.
Do hardships come? Yes.
Are they sometimes hard to deal with? Yes. This is why they are called “HARDships”. They are a vessel that brings unwanted things into your life.
As the high tide brings in hardships and deposits them in the beach, the low tide is what anchors them in your life. You can look at the monstrosity that is sitting right in front of you and say, “I will never get rid of this.” This is because you are in “LOWtide”. When you are down and depressed is when it is the hardest to move on and get things back in order.
Which is why you must be patient and allow God to bring in the tides once again and remove the hardship from your beach.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and merciful. NASB.
Yes we have ups and downs. Happy times and sad times. What we do is a matter of response. With every situation, we have a series of responses that we can take. You have a 50/50 chance of doing the right thing in any given situation.
What will you do the next time you feel tempted to do wrong? I’m also talking about the smaller more innocent things like when women wear lower cut shirts and they bend over. Or in my case, most women are considerably shorter than I am so there is no need for them to bend over. I saw a woman’s belly button ring once because her shirt was so ill-fitted. Think about others when you get dressed in the morning. Ask yourself, “Would this cause someone to look at me in the wrong way?”
Do you want to go to family get togethers and people complain because your giblets are hanging out? This is your family! Unless you’re trying to get a date, (family reunions are not the place for this activity!) show some decency and cover up. This goes for guys too. Just because its summer time doesn’t mean that it is time to get some sun while the in-laws are over. If you love them, prove it to them.
If you need someone to talk to, I would be more than happy to chat with you. I’m not here to try and impress anyone, I’m just trying to be me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.
I’m guilty of forgetting this verse. I let the world pull me down and let my own fears and doubt blacken my thoughts. But when I get a pick me up from God look out people. Happiness is flowing.
My fingers are antsy and dancing on the keys as I eagerly send them directions. I find it hard to be happier than when I am in the writing zone. It becomes hard when I get distracted by things. It is quite a transformation when I am in a good mood. Sitting here at the computer with music from MTV’s Total Request Live streaming into my head I find it hard to sit still. My heart and soul are dancing within me. This is my happiness. (As I just told my wife, “I’m so happy I’m heavily distracted.”)
Why am I influenced so?
I have always enjoyed music. Born with “cookie bite hearing” as the audiologist put it, I have heard music a different way my whole life.
Imagine with me for a moment as I take you into my world. Few are permitted entrance due to the huge misunderstandings that follow.
When my hearing receptors (I don’t know the fancy medical terms) were forming, not all of them made a solid contact. God designed me this way and it has helped to form who I am today. The receptors that didn’t connect completely were the mid-range in the scale of low to high. This resulted in my hearing to be able to hear women with the higher pitched voices, as well as the men with the deepened bass voice. However, most people speak in the mid-range sector. So when my hearing starts out at 80% on the lows and highs, it plummets in the mid-range to something like 40% if I remember right.
What this did to me is hard to explain. I will do the best I can in as few words as possible. Please do not pity me. I don’t so I don’t want you to either.
When one of your senses is hindered the other senses are heightened. This is what I tell myself anyway. I rely on my sight heavily. While listening to music, the vocals (when utilized) sound like another instrument to me. Very few singers are able to get in the understood zone for me. That is one reason why I like John Cooper from Skillet is that he is able to get there. Also, his lyrics are not full of retarded cuss words.
My wife’s laughter.
My wife gets a kick out me when I sing along to a song. I don’t know many lyrics so the one’s I can’t hear, guess what? I make them up. She laughed really hard when we were first together and I sang along with the B-52’s Love Shack.
The actual lyrics are:
“Hope in my Chrysler it’s as big as a whale and it’s about to set sail.”
What I sang:
“Hope in my Chrysler it’s as big as a van and it’s about to set sail.”
My cleaning power.
So to keep things short, I don’t hear well. My sing-alongs can get really funny. I struggle with conversations. But I am glad that I was born when I was. God needs me here and now just as I am for something. I don’t know completely what it is, but I will one day. Until then, I will continue to write.
My writings have always been a way to get things out of my system. A cleanse. Anger, frustration, joy, happiness. Everything gets written about. I sometimes feel like I can’t get it all out. This is the main reason for this site, as a way to get things out of my head. I write to keep my soul clean. I can’t bottle things up like I did when I was younger. I got in a situation that absolutely infuriated me and now I can feel when my blood pressure is climbing and anxiety also stemmed from it.
I love my God and for His escapes that He has offered me. I also like to read the Bible and let my imagination go wild.
Hopefully, this makes you feel better about yourself. Just keep in mind that as bad as we may think we have it, look around and you can find someone who is in a worse situation. I hold my head up and tackle the day because God gives me the strength to do so.