Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Hobby Can Be Good or Bad Depending On Your Mental Health




It seems we are a nation obsessed with hobbies. There are also individuals whose mental state is so far removed from reality that hobbies are their addiction! Singing is mine. I like to sing. It cost $96.00 per year plus tax, $150 for a decent microphone and can take up a total of 45 to 90 minutes a day. However there are people who make this hobby their obsession and may spend thousands on equipment and/or spend hours singing, or watching others sing. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pintrest, MySpace are sites that may not cost a lot in terms of money but can rob the family of valued interpersonal relationships, personal learning time, or your relationship to God in quality time. In other words whatever you do, do in moderation! Here are 45 /Bible verses about moderation: 
http://www.openbible.info/topics/moderation


Greg Smalley of Focus On The Family says that hobbies are part of how we express our individuality. In the daily grind of life, they’re also a way we can unwind, have some fun, and do the things we most enjoy. Without this outlet, life would be a lot more stressful. You could say that having hobbies is good for your health and mental well being, but is that always true? Are you aware that you can become obsessed and addicted to hobbies? Are you aware that there are some downright fool-hardy hobbies! Hobbies also can be downright expensive and a huge strain when balancing your budget: a source of family and financial stress.
Here’s a list of some of the most expensive hobbies in the world: 
Addictive exercising ( http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/09/27/how-much-working-out-is-too-much/ ), big game hunting, moto-cross, sailing, flying, mountain climbing, scuba diving, cigarette boat racing, hot air ballooning, collecting art and other expensive antiques or memorabilia, drag racing, flying, horseback riding, playing polo, ballroom dancing, tornado chasing, and sky diving.
Some of these hobbies can cost thousands or even millions of dollars a year! It’s important to keep in mind, however, that hobbies should be relative to your lifestyle and income level and agreed time away from family. Someone who is making several million a year can afford to spend more on their hobbies. What would be an expensive hobby for us might only be consuming 1% of another person’s income.
So, how much should YOU be spending on your hobbies?
The amount will differ for each person. There’s no set percentage of your budget, because each person’s budget is unique. When you organize your budget, you should, of course, prioritize your mortgage, car loans, utilities, necessities, and savings. The average hobby is around 1-2% of your yearly income.
If you still have discretionary spending money after your bills are paid, agreed family needs are met,  and you’ve set aside the recommended 10% for God, and 10% of your income for savings, by all means spend some of it on a hobby.
Married should allow themselves an agreed particular dollar amount per month to spend as they wish, whether that be for luxuries, entertainment, desired purchases, or hobbies. This is a good method, since it allows you to spend without guilt — while staying within your budget. It is not healthy to have a lot of hobbies that drain the family economy or take away from matters more important to meet family needs.
Even though hobbies are necessary and healthy, there may be times a particular hobby is taking up too much of your discretionary income or endangering your ability to save money. When deciding whether you need to cut back on or cut out a hobby, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

How much does it cost?

The first step to evaluating a hobby is to determine exactly how much it’s costing you. Look for hidden expenses such as replacement of gear, membership fees, and fuel. Many times we don’t think we spend as much as we actually do.

Is it hurting your finances or family?

Once you know how much you’re spending, determine the percentage of your income as relative to other categories of your budget. Are you spending more on your hobby than you’re saving? Since God is the source of our income and has provided us with the means to earn what we make how much of what we have invested in hobbies gives back to Him? 

How much does it mean to you? Are there other benefits that outweigh the costs?

Even if a hobby is taking up more space in your budget than would normally be healthy, it may simply be important only to you. After all, a hobby is closely tied to who we are as individuals, and if we take that away, we may be robbing ourselves of living to the fullest, but too many hobbies are a drain on who we are and what we should contribute to those within the family and community.
Some benefits such as physical health, fitness, mental health, helping people, or giving back to the community make hobbies worth more than they’re costing us, even if we can’t calculate that into dollars and cents. However hobbies that do not give back to the community or help us to grow closer to our family are just downright foolish.

Is there a way to make it less expensive without sacrificing your enjoyment?

Even though a particular hobby may be well worth the expense, there are usually ways to save money without sacrificing its quality or our enjoyment of it. The amount you’re spending is seldom directly tied to your enjoyment of an activity, so if there’s a way to save money, do so.

Or, is there a way you can turn your hobby into a money-maker?

Hobbies don’t have to be strictly budget-draining or take away from quality family time. If it’s something potentially profitable, look for ways to make it pay for itself. You may even be able to start a small business and eventually quit your day job. What better way to enjoy your hobbies than when you can make a living off them?
See you next blog,
Ted

Thursday, January 16, 2014

But God....

Christian! Have you ever felt like you really don't matter? Have you ever believed that no matter what your accomplishments you would never be able to please your worst critics? Are your worst critics those of your own friends and family circle? Have you struggled to do the best you can but keep finding that you fall short of the goals you intended? Have you gone so far as to write down a scorecard of your successes vs failures and see no hope for a better life? Do even feel like you are undeserving of God's love for you-because you are the worst of His new creation? Would you believe that in your worst moments, your weakest state of being, your worst sin, God the Father, who is rich in mercy, love, and grace loves you and had you in mind when He gave His only Son for you? You and others in your circle of influence expected perfection when you you confessed Jesus as your Savior, instead you and most of them only see your failures. But God...


But God...! Ephesians 2:4-6
These two three-letter words draw us into Ephesians 2:4, where the apostle Paul begins to set forth the story of our great salvation from the hopelessness and death of our human condition. Nothing is more important in our lives than that we grasp the enormous meaning for our lives that is contained within these brief but towering words. The New Revised Standard Version renders verses 4 to 6 in this way:
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. . . .
The NIV, the version we have used throughout this study, renders the passage a bit differently. Instead of opening with the words "But God. . .", it rearranges the syntax slightly--but the meaning is the same:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
Verse 4 marks a dramatic contrast in Paul's argument. We move from the gloomy picture of the human condition of verses 1-3 to a brilliant image of hope, joy, and gladness--the glory of our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The hinge point between gloom and gladness (as expressed in the NRSV) are these two little words, "But God. . . ."

Mercy, grace, and love
The apostle is careful to inform us of God's motivation for moving us from death to life, from darkness to light: "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses. . . ." We were dead then God, driven by a heart of mercy and love as deep as time and as wide as space, began to move. God's mercy is a powerful thing.

Do you know what mercy is? Do you know how mercy differs from grace? We bandy these terms about so often in the church that I think, for some people, they become little more than theologically-sound background noise. Mercy and grace are two very specific and distinct concepts, and they are as real--no, more real--than the page you are reading right now.

A little boy in Sunday School was asked to tell the difference between kindness and loving-kindness, because Scripture uses both those words. He put it this way: "If I ask my mother for a slice of bread and butter and she gives it to me, that is kindness. But if she puts jam on it, that is loving-kindness!" That is great theological truth! That is a beautiful illustration of the difference between kindness and loving-kindness.

There is a similar difference between mercy and grace. Both mercy and grace reach out from God to us but for different reasons. It is our guilt that draws forth the grace of God. We deserve punishment; we receive forgiveness. That is God's grace to us. The grace of God has dealt with our guilt.

It is not our guilt but our misery that calls forth God's mercy. A parent understands this concept very well. If your child suffers from a severe cold--her throat is sore, her eyes water, her nose runs so that she can hardly breathe, she aches in every joint, and all she can do is throw her arms around your neck and cry. And what do you feel? Pity, compassion, and a sense of urgency to provide relief. Her misery calls forth your mercy. That is what Paul says has awakened the mercy of God--our misery as human beings.

We are dead in our trespasses and sin. We are corrupt and decaying. We are in bondage to Satan, an evil spirit who tempts us into self-destruction and disobedience. We 'blindly injure ourselves and each other, we destroy the peace in our household, we suffer heartache, despair, rejection, disillusionment, boredom, frustration, and grief. While life is often a wonderful experience, we have to admit that much of life is stained with the blood and tears of human tragedy.

God understands our condition, He empathizes with us, and the sight of our suffering awakens His love, moving Him to reach out to us. He is so moved by our plight, in fact, that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice upon the cross for our sake. The cross, as ugly and bloodstained as it is, stands as a symbol of God's love and mercy to us. How do we know that God loved us? Because, as John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. . . ." That is an unmistakable mark of God's love.

What is love? A lot of people think love is a feeling, an itch in the heart you can't scratch. But the love of God is much deeper than a mere feeling. His love is a decision, a choice He made about us, expressed in action--the act of sending and sacrificing Jesus for our sakes. He did not demand that we climb up to Him; He descended to us. He is not a God of indifference or unconcern. He was touched with our misery and He came and He wept and He suffered. He became the poorest of the poor. He endured the torture and shame of the cross. He took our sins upon Himself. He did all this for us even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins.

Alive with Christ
The theme of "But God. . ." is not mere theoretical, theological talk. It is an immensely practical, powerful truth for our daily lives. Once we understand what God has done for us, and the riches that are ours in Jesus Christ, we have the secret of joyful daily living. As long as we ignore or fail to grasp what God has done for us, we will always be struggling and frustrated in our faith. The truth that we were dead and now alive, that we were shut up in endless gloom and now showered with glory--this is the secret of liberty, joy, and beauty of character! When we truly catch a glimpse of the length and height and breadth of God's love for us, a once-boring earthly existence becomes an exciting touch of heaven on earth.
Paul goes on to bring out three exciting facets of our new life with Christ: 1. Paul says that God "made us alive together with Christ," and he adds parenthetically, "by grace you have been saved." Our salvation is a hundred percent God, zero percent us. We cannot add a thing to what God has done for us. It is utterly by God's grace that we are made alive together with Christ. 2. We have been "raised up with him." 3. We have been "made to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

These are present realities, not future theological theories. In the original Greek, the statement that God "made us alive together with Christ" is only two words. One word contains the sense of "made us alive together with" and the other word is Christ. There is a sense of immediacy and excitement in this statement that God enlivened us with Christ--and indeed, it is an exciting event!

Now, that doesn't mean that the experience is always exciting and emotional--often, it does not feel like a dramatic event at all. I have had the joy of leading scores of people to Christ, and almost always it is very quiet moment. For some, a pleasant sense of peace comes over them. Others experience a quiet sense of joy. In some cases, there is a big rush of emotion, an epiphany, even a spiritual ecstasy--but in my experience, that is very rare. Yet, even though a person's conversion experience may be a quiet one, something tremendous has taken place--a human being has crossed over from death to life.

Imagine that you had a corpse sitting in your living room for a week or two. I know this sounds gruesome, but I can really think of no more apt way to make this point! Let us say that you knew this person in life, and now he or she is utterly dead, with no ability to think, speak, hear, move, or feel emotions. Now imagine that you have the power to lay hands on this corpse and bring this individual back to life. What an astonishing miracle that would be bringing a dead person back to life.

Yet that is exactly what the apostle Paul says has taken place when a person comes in faith to Jesus Christ. That which was dead becomes alive together with Christ. It is no less real and dramatic than that.

God employs numerous similes in His Word to bring this truth alive in our lives. He compares conversion to the process of birth. Becoming a Christian is likened to being born again. Before birth, there is conception, which takes place as the result of an act of love, an act of merging. It is a dramatic, miraculous event that brings life into the world. Paul wants to compel our attention, so he uses a similar metaphor here in Ephesians, comparing the conversion experience to the resurrection event, in which we who are dead receive life from Him. We are made alive with Jesus Christ.

There is a sign I always look for when a person makes a decision for Jesus Christ: a change in attitude. I find that it begins to show almost immediately. Self-centeredness evaporates; others-centeredness becomes apparent. Many times at the moment someone comes to Christ, they say, "I wish you would tell this to my brother," or, "I wish you'd pray for my parents." Immediately, their thoughts have turned away from their own wonderful experience to the spiritual need of someone they care about. That is a sure sign that this person has come alive in Christ, and passed from death unto life.

The conversion experience also produces an immediate reaction in a person's attitude toward God. I have found that most nonChristians tend to be afraid of God. They avoid church because they see people enjoying God's presence there, and it makes them feel uneasy. And that's all right-people should be expected to have to come to church to find God. Evangelism is supposed to take place in the neighborhood and marketplace, not inside the chapel walls. Church is for Christians. God reaches out to people where they are, through His own people.

Non-Christians tend to be afraid of God and afraid of death. Funerals make them uneasy and nervous--"Let's get this thing over with so I can get back to my life." Death makes them think of being in the presence of God--and they don't want that!

But when non Christians become Christians, their attitudes toward God and death change immediately. Instead of seeing God as their judge, they see Him as their Father--or better yet, their Daddy. They belong to Him, and they trust His love. They have a hunger for God, and death no longer holds any terror for them. Immediately. God is now their Father. They have a sense of belonging. And now the one Person they want above all others is God. As the Psalmist writes, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalm 42:1).
Other examples of the change that comes over those who place their trust in Jesus: They suddenly become able to love the unlovable, endure the unendurable, and forgive the unforgivable.

Many a husband or wife has told me of reaching a point in his or her marriage of complete estrangement, of literally hating the spouse, of being unable to stand the sight of the one he or she vowed to love till death. Then, upon receiving Christ, that person discovered that a new relationship was possible. No, the struggles did not instantly vanish, but the individual was able to look at his or her spouse in a new way, and to make a Christlike decision to love, even in unlovely circumstances. I have seen many marriages saved and many non believing spouses won to Christ as a result of one partner accepting Christ and discovering a new-found ability to love the unlovable. That does not mean you are required to go back into abuse, ABUSE IS A DEAL BREAKER IN MARRIAGE, but where there is no abuse there should be forgiveness and an expectation of renewal.

Others are able to endure the unendurable after they come to Christ. I remember one woman who struggled for well over a decade with constant pain that often immobilized her. She went through terrible struggles with depression, discouragement, and defeat. There were times when she considered using a bottle of pain pills as an escape from the pain of this life but she held on, enduring the unendurable because of the power released in her by the risen Lord.

Still others have discovered, in their new relationship with Jesus Christ, the ability to forgive the unforgivable. In her Holocaust memoir The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom tells how she and her family resisted the Nazis by hiding Jews in their home. They were ultimately discovered and sent to a concentration camp. Corrie barely survived until the end of the war; her family members died in captivity. Seared by this terrible trial by fire, Corrie's faith in God also survived, and she spent much of her time in the post-war years traveling in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, sharing her faith in Christ.

On one occasion in 1947, while speaking in a church in Munich, she noticed a balding man in a gray overcoat near the rear of the basement room. She had been speaking on the subject of God's forgiveness, but her heart froze within her when she recognized the man. She could picture him as she had seen him so many times before, in his blue Nazi uniform with the visored cap--the cruelest of the guards at the Ravensbruck Camp where Corrie had suffered the most horrible indignities, and where her own sister had died. Yet here he was, at the end of her talk, coming up the aisle toward her with his hand thrust out. "Thank you for your fine message," he said. "How wonderful it is to know that all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!"

Yes, Corrie had said that. She had spoken so easily of God's forgiveness, but here was a man whom she despised and condemned with every fiber of her being. She couldn't take his hand! She couldn't extend forgiveness to this Nazi oppressor! She realized that this man didn't remember her--how could he remember one prisoner among thousands?
"You mentioned Ravensbruck," the man continued, his hand still extended. "I was a guard there. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's true. But since then, I've come to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It has been hard for me to forgive myself for all the cruel things I did but I know that God has forgiven me. And please, if you would, I would like to hear from your lips too that God has forgiven me." And Corrie recorded her response in her book:
I stood there--I whose sins had again and again been forgiven--and could not forgive. It could not have been many seconds that he stood there--hand held out--but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do. For I had to do it. I knew that. It was as simple and as horrible as that. And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. And so, woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me.
And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, and sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. "I forgive you, brother," I cried. "With all my heart!"
For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then.
That is the power of resurrection life. It is for impossible situations like that. Resurrection power baffles and bewilders the world, enabling us to love the unlovable, endure the unendurable, and forgive the unforgivable. That is what it means to be raised up together with Jesus Christ.

Joined to Christ
It is significant that Paul underscores the words "with Christ" or "with him" by repeating them three times in these verses. 1. "We are made alive together with Christ." 2. "We are raised up with him." 3. "We are made to sit with him."

The greatest fact of our entire Christian experience is that we are with Christ and He is with us--that we are, in fact, joined to Jesus Christ. We are one with him. Do you remember the Lord's teaching on this subject? He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches" (John 15:5). Can you tell where the branch ends and the vine starts? No. They are one plant, sharing one life together. So from here on, our identity is no longer "in Adam," but "in Christ." We are no longer ordinary human beings. We are new creations, and His identity becomes ours.
Later in this letter, Paul will liken the church to a body of which Christ is the head. Have you examined your body lately? Tug at your fingers. Why don't they come off? Wag your head from side to side. Why doesn't it roll off your shoulders? It's because they share the life of the body. They are not buttoned, glued, stapled, or tacked on. They are an organic part of your body. That's the way it is with us and Jesus. We have been joined with Christ, and we are an integral part of His body.

Finally, notice that the verbs in this passage are all in the past tense. This is something that has happened, not something that's going to happen. It is already true, and every Christian has this experience. We were made alive in Jesus Christ. We are not the same as we once were. We cannot ever be the same again.

Now, you see the radical difference that two little words make: "But God. . . ." Those two words spell the difference between gloom and glory, between darkness and light, between death and life. It is the most astounding, thrilling, life-changing statement human ears have ever heard: Once we were dead in our trespasses and sins-- "But God!"

See you next blog,

Ted

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Procrastination : The Real Killer Of Becoming

Many procrastinators I know(including myself) are very capable people who had been praised for their intelligence or ability to organize and accomplish. Have you incorrectly misinterpreted that as a sign that you don't need to have structure for your brain's daily activities, and don't need to give it the proper respect and exercise that it requires and deserves. So they neglect it - let it run wild on the internet, Facebook and games (the mental equivalent of junk food), and allow it to lapse into a vicious cycle of wanting to do but never accomplishing and inevitably self loathing.
I always wanted to write a book. In fact, I had a high school English teacher, named Mrs. Brown who said that she hoped I would write books one day. She was tough, her subjects were tough to master, and she demanded excellence. She challenged me and I accepted it as respect. I wish that I could say that I had kept the discipline in my own life that she inspired. The army did the same for me. In fact, the army saved me from a do-nothing life, but even that could not keep me from cycling into procrastination. Seminary challenged me and then ministry, but there were to many family distractions that I allowed to lead me to failure. I then had a reasonably successful business life, but even there I had lapsed into procrastination at times because of bad decision-making and family matters that kept me distracted. 
Are there things you know that must change in your life for you to become successful at what you desire? Do often find yourself distracted when you really most want to concentrate on accomplishing something? Is your life situation conducive to becoming all you can be or do you fear change so you procrastinate critical decisions? 
Your brain adapts to, and then perpetuates, the habits to which it is constantly exposed. That fact doesn't work in your favor right now if you are in the midst of a procrastination cycle, but you can change that. My suggestions:
1) Structure your time. By scheduling your daily activities, you provide a motivation to be present and diligent for your responsibilities. Plus, this will discourage the huge, unhealthy blocks of surf time that arise when you don't plan your time out ahead. As far as skill acquisition like studying goes, I recommend reading about and adopting solid time management methods. You may also want to invest in a timer, set your smart phone alarm and add notes of things to accomplish each hour you want to work, use a daily planner with hourly updates for things you want to accomplish, or a computer program that acts like one, so you can monitor how much time you're actually spending plugged in, and hold yourself accountable for it in the future.
This tip also extends to structuring your sleep schedule. Going to bed late because you find something interesting to distract your real need of sleep and early rising is a very hurtful practice. If you are a Twitter, Google, Facebook, or Pintrest enthusiast, learn to pull the plug, even when you don't feel like you want to stop, and get your 6-8 hours a night. It does wonders for your self-control, self-image, and your presence in real life as opposed to inside your head. Rise early, read Psalms, Proverbs, or some inspirational devotion that will motivate you to excellence. The BIG BENEFIT IS LESS INTERNAL STRESS!

2) Figure out why you procrastinate. Procrastination is a type of experiential avoidance that causes itself through an unwillingness to deal with uncomfortable emotions, or unpleasant situations, at your own personal detriment. Personally, I was an internet gaming addict because I wanted to avoid confronting my anxiety, family situation, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness, and losing myself in my computer provided an avenue where I could feel somewhat 'in control'. Of course that is a terrible illusion you sell yourself, because you find you don't have enough time in a day. Your relationships to people that really matter and encourage you to excellence are strained. It's different for everyone, but this attitude is rather common nowadays. You owe it to yourself to be honest about what it is you're procrastinating from, and why you fell into the habit. It may take some reflection. Most of all it will take making hard choices to bring about change!

3) Learn to tolerate, or even enjoy, putting time and effort into your work. Many Internet users in general, have been conditioned into believing that truly intelligent people don't need to work hard at what they do. I was one such dumb-ass, and since I breezed through my high school and college subjects so easily, I deluded myself into thinking I didn't need to study all  that hard and that cramming was enough. Then real life failures came along and punched me in the face. Life is full of unpopular decisions to make. Some we may fail at the first time, but you never accept defeat as the final solution.
You may, presently, also believe that you are smart enough not to study whatever it is you want to master. Don't kid yourself anymore. That's your brain talking, spoiled by lack of discipline and fattened up on things that really don't matter, helping you to choose a social life over the hard work necessary to be a success at living, trying to sweet-talk you into not eating broccoli and having ice cream instead. You've got to be a tough-love parent to yourself, and make sure you learn to eat and enjoy your life-vegetables.

4) Incentivize your productivity. You are your own Role Playing Game hero. Procrastinators have a problem with wanting instant gratification of their feelings-so instead of knuckling down to what has to be done-they choose delay tactics and make excuses for themselves. Technology addicts, specifically, are driven to surf by the easy 'accomplishment' feeling from learning tidbits of trivia or home-making they will no longer use, or perfecting their their Call Of Duty scores. This is an easier way for your brain to create and savor small hits of dopamine than confronting real-life responsibilities -responsibilities that are harder, more time-consuming, and that give less obvious, more ambiguous rewards.

You can combat this addiction by substituting it. Many recovering procrastinators come to see themselves as their own Role Playing Game player-character. They choose to accomplish small tasks toward their bigger goal and reward themselves on a limited basis. Remember you have accomplished your goals until you are fully free of procrastination of the things that must be done.
The main thing about this mindset is that you need to invest in your personal development in terms that your tech-addicted brain is already familiar with. Think about this - if you were playing the Sims, and your Sim self needed to go to work but was playing computer games instead, would you let him stay at his laptop? NO!!!!

5) You are not going to like the change in lifestyle. It is going to feel too difficult maybe even impossible to accomplish. Accept it and power through it anyway. Procrastination is a drug, just as addicting as any other drug. The emotions that an addict suffers through while quitting are sweet siren calls, seductively beseeching you to slam your ship into the rocks. Your brain is used to the bad habits you have developed. It likes those habits. It doesn't want you to stop. It will present you with thoughts that tempt you to break your combo and forsake your willpower.
The truth is that you are not your habits. You are not your thoughts. They are the many drops of water in the ocean that you are sailing in. The waters may be stormy and fickle, and may, without the force of your will, push you into shipwreck after shipwreck. It may seem easier just to let your ship be tossed wherever the follies of your brain take it. But it is your duty to captain your ship, especially in harder waters, and wrest yourself back on course with gritted teeth and the knowledge that you are stronger than the storm.

6) Choose to hang with people that want success in life and are willing to toughen themselves to accomplish. People that talk about their terrible lives but choose to do nothing but complain are people who will hold you back from being what God wants you to be. Your life matters. If you are a Christian, God's gift to you was life in Christ, what you do with it is your gift to Him! Jesus was a doer, not a talker. People that say they want change but are not willing to make the hard changes are living a lie and dragging you down with them. Choose this day whom  you will serve...a full productive life or a life filled with wishes but little to no real accomplishment. Productive people have less stress and have more to offer others who are wanting to make their lives successful. Procrastinators talk a big game but only end up wanting and never doing!


Ecclesiastes 3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peaceNew Year's Day 2014...what do you want? What are willing to do to get there?
New Year's Day 2014 has passed. What are you willing to do to get there-to become who and what you want to be?
Happy New Year and see you next blog,
Ted

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