Posted in Accountability, Beauty, Change, Discipleship, Faith, Free Will, freedom, God, guilt, Happiness, Mind Power, Perseverance, Relationships, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility

Parable of purity

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Once upon a time a father baked a beautiful cake. He decorated it with the finest icing, and he  added extra icing to it because his cake was so sweet.

He took his cake and placed it in a display case for safe keeping until the right person came to purchase.

Each evening, unbeknownst to the father, some guy would reach up and take a bite out of his cake. In fact, by the time he noticed, there were more than 11 bites out of his cake.

The father was sadden and although he still cared deeply about the cake, he wondered if the bites would hinder quality sales of the cake. The father also remembered when he used to sneak bites of cake and it saddened him more. “No one should be trying to taste cake before purchasing it!” He exclaimed.

The interpretation of this parable is this: The cake is this man’s daughter and every bite out of it represents the daughter’s sexual experiences. The purchasers are men who would be great candidates for marriage.

Moral of the story: No one wants to purchase a community cake. Or as the Apostle Paul wrote: “Marriage is honorable by all and the bed is undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Posted in Accountability, Change, Discipleship, Faith, Giving, God, Mind Power, Relationships, Sharing, Taking Responsibility

Gratitude vs. Thanks

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I was unaware of the symbol for gratitude. Of course, Eastern culture exhibits the symbol as much a we see stop signs here.

Gratefulness and thankfulness each have its purpose, but have you ever viewed these words as levels of maturity? What I mean is a child will mimic what you say to him, but there will be no emotion behind it and that’s because there is not much intellect behind it. Imitation is what children do and it seems that some people never grow past mimicking.

We are taught by our parents to say thank you when someone does something for us. We say thank you as a sign of respect. We do it because it’s the “right” thing to do.

We grow up and understand thankfulness in the context that we learned it as a child. Thankful means to be glad or relieved that someone did something for us. That is a great thing to understand — when you are a kid.

Gratitude seems to be the next level because it means that you understand what has been done for you and you want to express an inward feeling outwardly. You want to do something because you are moved by what someone else has done for you.

Wow! That is different!

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So ultimately our faith must do better than rest at thankfulness because faith without works is dead. So if we understand what God has done for us, then our actions should speak for us.

So if I am grateful for God’s unconditional love then I will give it to someone else. If I am grateful that God has forgiven me, then there is no way I don’t forgive. If I am grateful that God’s grace saves me from a state where I could not save myself, then why would I not be so grateful as to learn of him and shout from the roof top telling others about him?

Thankful appreciates. Grateful expresses the appreciation. Thankful shines with a smile. Grateful is a call to action.

Therefore, I need to be grateful instead of thankful. I need to be more of a doer and not just a hearer that my faith and trust in God may be displayed before the world.

I give God my thanks regularly, but I need to let him and everyone else know that I am grateful.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Happiness, Life, Mind Power, Perseverance, Progress, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Thank God! Spring is here!

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Spring symbolizes a new beginning. The death of winter is gone and all things are made new. Spring is like a second chance.

Have you ever been in an unhealthy relationship? Or worked a dead-end job that stressed you out whenever you thought about the drive to it? Or how about a bad circumstance that needs to end? The advent of spring should be the start of a new beginning for you.

New beginnings are symbolized in scripture by the number eight. It means the next in a new series or a new beginning. For example, when Noah was told to build the ark and warn the wicked world that God was angry, he preached about the next chapter or new beginning the world would take. You see, God was getting ready to start over and Noah and everyone who listened to him would be part of that new series.

It is no wonder then in 1 Peter 3:20 that it says of Noah’s time that “8 souls were saved by water”. And in 2 Pet. 2:5, Noah is referred to as a preacher of righteousness and called the “eighth person”. I would’ve  thought with Noah being the head of his household, he would be number 1. This text calls him the eighth person for a reason: He represents the new beginning. He was the next in a new series.

There are many others in scripture that could be pointed out, but the point is to show the healing power of Spring. This is your new beginning. What are you going to do with it? The rest of your year will be dictated by what you do now, today, during the spring season.

It’s time to stop planning and making excuses. Now is the time for action! Don’t let everything around you change and become beautiful and you stay the same.

You deserve a new beginning. God knew that and allowed you to live and see the Spring. Make the most of it! This is your season!

Posted in Faith, Free Will, God, God's Promises, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Mind Power, Religious Freedom, society

Jesus — The Light of the World

Jesus made what was then a very controversial statement in ear shot of the Pharisees when he said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

This was viewed as arrogant by the establishment for how can this Nazarene be the light of the world? They understood Jesus as saying he was perfect and that all should follow after him. The disgust of Jesus’ “I AM” declaration was not about spirituality for those who opposed it. It was about how much would this effect the livelihood of the establishment.

You see, if people took heed to what he said and believed he was in fact “the light of the world” well then that would lead to discipleship. Jesus would then be able to accumulate more followers and more followers would mean more power and more power would mean more control.

Jesus’ statement should have been glad tidings to the people who understood that he was not only stating a fact in John 8:12, but he was giving them an invitation. That invitation, if they chose to accept it, would change their lives forever.

The only people who kick against change are those who feel they stand to lose something if the current condition are altered. This is played out on many levels from religious sects to politics to the workplace — everyone is leveraging to control.

What I hear Jesus saying is this: What you seek is within me and if you stay in me you’ll never be wanting. Outside of me are the things stacked against you. Inside of me is love, understanding, prosperity and hope. The choice is yours.

Surrender to him. It’s cool inside!

Posted in Career, Confidence, Faith, God, God's Promises, Jesus Christ, Mind Power, Relationships, society, The Family

God did not give you the spirit of fear

photoIn 2 Timothy 1:7 the bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of
a sound mind.” I really believe this, but clearly in our society people are afraid. The fear clouds our judgement and makes it difficult for us to make sound decisions. It was never God’s will for us to live in fear. There are things he has done for us mentally, spiritually and physically so that we would not fear. It is my goal and prayer that this little blog post will help us all see fear as a choice, and choose to trust God instead.

There is a lot to be learned from an indepth study of the 23rd Psalm. I have heard this psalm preached a number of different ways and they have all been correct and inspiring, but I have not heard one yet on fear. The 23rd psalm is all about eliminating fear from the mind of the child of God. It was written for us to remember the state the Lord, our shepherd, has left us in.

If we believe that the Lord is really our shepherd and we won’t be lacking in anything as the first verse says, then it’s easy to see that the first four things God does, takes away all of our reasons to fear.

The text says “he makes”, “he leads”, “he restores” and “he leads” again. All that hard work goes to waste if we receive it and still fear. The “still waters” and the “green pastures” speak to our physical needs. The “paths of righteousness” speaks to our spiritual being and I’m sure you need no help with what “restoration” speaks too.

Then the text declares that evil would not be feared because God is with us. And not only is he with us, but his “rod” (discipline) and “staff” (authority) comfort us. If God is for us, who can be against us???

Then this whole idea of setting a table before us is so deep that I will share it as a subject of next weeks blog. The anointing was to prepare us for service and the cup running over is pure blessings. So the way I see it is like this: The Lord as our shepherd is out in front of us. The rod and the staff are to our right and left sides for comfort and protection. The only area left to cover is our backs and you know how God gets our backs don’t you??? God covers our backs with two things which will always be there and he promised to keep us in his family forever. Read it for yourself and sleep well at night!

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalms 23:6).

Posted in Happiness, Health, Life, Mind Power, Progress, Sharing, Success, Taking Responsibility, Time

Us big folks have to stick together!

Here is my pre-summer appeal for America to wake up to the fact that we are waaaay too big! When I say way too big, I mean fat. America is obese and I would like to do something to help.

I’m not talking about any diet you have ever heard of. This blog is specifically for big folks like me. As an experiment for the summer, please join me  in three months of healthy eating. I call it the plus, minus, plus diet (+-+). For the first month, you still eat everything you normally eat and I just want to add some things to your diet. Then, for the second month we will eliminate a few things. Finally, the third month we will add some additional things and see what Mr. Scale says then. (I’ve learned to respect the scale!) This will just cover June 3 – September 3. If you like it and this diet works for you, email me and I’ll give you the next three months. The next set is called minus, minus, plus (- – +). I lost 100 pounds in 13 months doing exactly what you are going to read next. Now of course I went from eating everything to being a pescetarian who doesn’t eat any dairy and still no bottom feeders. This happened in my ninth, 10th and 11th months of dieting, but I’ll talk about that at another time. The bottom line is I feel great and I want you to feel great too! Ready?

For June:

Eat whatever the heck you want (or just what you are currently eating), but you have to eat these additions first. It does not matter if you are diabetic or not. Make the proper adustments.

You are to add five servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables. Two servings of vegetables can be cooked, but the rest (five pieces of fruit and three servings of vegetables) MUST be raw! When I first started doing this I thought it would be hard. I didn’t know the variety of vegetables I know now and I didn’t know how to appreciate a good green salad. I made green smoothies and  you can knock off two of each category that way. Be creative and make sure you get the quality stuff…you deserve the best! This is the point when I discovered the Whole Foods Market!

The next thing to add is filtered water — lots of it! Undoubtedly your biological system needs to be flushed out so 60 to 80 ounces of filtered water would be appropriate. This is easiest to accomplish by just making water your drink of choice. Wake up in the morning and drink 20 ounces of water before you do anything. This will jump start your organs and help flush out anything leftover from the previous day. If you do it this way, it makes reaching 80 ounces easier. Your urine should be light yellow or clear — that’s what you are going for — clear pee! 🙂

For July:

You are going to look hotter than July when you take away the following things from your diet. You do not need to eat processed foods, dairy or red meat. I would love it if you would drop these things completely, but I know it is not realistic for everyone to do that. So, to make this as guilt free as possible, (and don’t forget to carry your additions from June into July), make an effort to eliminate these things. If you cannot go cold turkey, then start with a meatless Monday, or eat processed foods for just 10 days out of the month. Red meat should be treated like a delicacy and it would be better to eat chicken and fish than the red meats. You also need to stop all fried foods. It’s too hot to eat fried food anyway, is it? Purge these things from your diet and get active. Most of the time we eat because we’re bored. Get out an enjoy the summer!

For August:

At this point you should have had some level of success and you should be emailing me about the next phase. This month is easy because all you are going to add is consistent exercise. You should have more energy, but all you have to do is something that is consistent and will make you sweat. Walking is awesome! You need to take just 30 minutes each day (yes, seven days a week — it’s only three and a half hours!) to raise your heart rate, break a sweat and have fun. Consult your primary care physician before beginning any exercise program. This would be a great time to start with a personal trainer if you can. If not, there are several million books and dvds — the goal is to exercise. I strongly recommend getting a partner to exercise with. You two can be accountable to each other and be a source of encouragement. Don’t forget to carry June’s and July’s routine into August.

There you have it! My + – + diet to a new and better YOU! Make sure you pray and meditate at the beginning and end of each day. I’m here if you need me!

Posted in Achievement, Change, Determination, Faith, Happiness, Life, Mind Power, Progress, Success, Willpower

Spring Forward

One way to look at this weekend is to say that we have lost an hour or we had to repay the hour we stole in the fall.

Benjamin Franklin came up with this idea of manipulating time in order to have more daylight. The point was it would give us another hour of light for productivity.

We’re using the light, but the productivity part is questionable.

I would like to borrow Ben’s concept of “springing forward” to make a point. Many are suffer with and from a troubled past. If we are not constantly reminding ourselves about what we’ve done wrong, there’s always someone else ready to take this job over for us.

We are unable to move forward because we are stuck in the past. It’s hard to move ahead when you’re constantly looking back. We all need to consider the idea of “springing forward” to a better place than where we are today. To not be complacent or content with mediocrity, but be the best we can be.

The Apostle Paul instructs us this way: “… forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13,14).

This is our springing forward! This is our time to let go of bad things from the past and press toward the mark today.

Don’t allow the circumstances of the past to dictate what your future looks like.

Spring forward my friend!