Guilty: Preachers, Teachers, Parents and You

Photo of Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

Image via Wikipedia

Murray v. Curlett, 1963

Madalyn Murray O’Hair, militant left wing atheist with ties to the American Communist Party, filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore school board. Local court judge, J. Gilbert Pendergast dismissed the suit and said, “It is abundantly clear that petitioners’ real objective is to drive every concept of religion out of the public school system.” When the case went to the Maryland Court of Appeals, the court ruled, “Neither the First nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and government.”

At the U.S. Supreme Court, Leonard Kerpelman addressed the court stating prayer in the public schools had been tolerated for so long it had become a tradition and anything unconstitutional does not become constitutional through tradition. He said the Constitution erected a “wall of separation” between church and state. Justice Potter Steward asked him where this wording was at, stumping Kerpelman. When he regained his composure, Kerpelman said the text was not explicit but it was implied to mean the same thing.

The National Council of Churches and several Jewish organizations favored Madalyn O’Hair‘s case, and not one single Christian organization filed a brief in support of school prayer. The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing school prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. Justice Tom Clark wrote, “Religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none.” The federal government considers atheism to be a religion, and the Christian majority lost.

Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963

In Pennsylvania, the school system, following state law, required that ten verses of scripture be read every day in the classroom. These scriptures were read without lecture or comment and any student could request to be excused. This case came to the Supreme Court the same time as Murray v. Curlett, and the court ruled on them at the same time. The court ruled School Prayer and the reading of the Bible were violations of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. Ironically, the court established a secular religion for our school system, while violating the “establishment clause” of the 1st Amendment.

Every man and woman has a right to be free. Jesus came, died and was resurrected so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. However, freedom is NOT the right to do whatever we want to do. Where were you Christian, in 1963? Did you do anything to support the cause of Jesus and prayer? “Well,” you say, “I wasn’t even born yet!” Okay, fine, what will you tell your children and your grandchildren that you did so that prayer could be resurrected in our schools and public buildings?

We have a right to do what is right to do and doing right in our own eyes, doing what we feel like doing when we feel like doing it is nothing but anarchy! The only criteria we have for knowing what is right to do is in the Bible.

Guilty: Preachers

For not telling your parishioners the truth. If you had been telling them the truth, and not so worried about losing your tax-exempt status, there would have been an uprising in this country in 1963 and every day after when our government usurped our rights.

Guilty: Teachers

For not standing in your classroom and telling the truth about what our government was doing behind our backs. For accepting the notion that the core curriculum is your God and you should not have any other gods before it. Where were you in 1963, Christian teacher?

Guilty: Parents

For not standing for the future of your children, for not sacrificing your comfort and security to protect their knowledge of the truth. You are a hypocrite of the worst kind. You preach morals with conviction without doing anything to fight for the truth in our government and in the classroom.

Guilty: Taxpayers

You are paying for it all taxpayer! You put your money in the plate at the church not standing up for Christ, you put your money in the mouths of the same teachers that are not teaching your children the truth and you put your money in the hands of the dirty bureaucrats and politicians that are selling all of your freedoms to the highest bidder while you barely show up at the polls and when you do, you vote for the lesser of two evils, instead of standing for truth.

When we turn our back on God, we turn our back on freedom. Our selfishness is our culture and it is bringing us to our knees. Maybe while we are down here, we will make time to pray and ask for forgiveness. Maybe now we will make God the leader of our lives, instead of our culture.

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First Aid for Your Prayers

Jesus in Pray

Image via Wikipedia

Am I the only one that sometimes has difficulty praying? Or, are you sometimes just plain dissatisfied with your prayers?

As usual the Bible has the answer and these are just some of the ones I found when I did some research.

Proverbs 21:1 says, “The Lord can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases.” I wander everywhere sometimes when I’m trying to pray and focus. This verse tells me that maybe I’m suppose to, maybe the Lord wants to direct me somewhere I need to go.

Are you guilty, like me, of praying when it’s most convenient, just in church maybe? Matthew 6:5-6 might make your conscience hurt a little. “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” I don’t think this means I need to stop praying in church or that I must never pray in public, but we definitely should be wary of just praying for appearances’ sake. We should be praying daily, earnestly and sincerely. This should be a special conversation with our Father, not just a show for other people.

Mark 1:35–Early the next morning, while it was still dark, Jesus woke and left the house. He went to a lonely place, where he prayed. Jesus put God first, and we should do no less. We must give him the best parts of our day. That may not be the morning for you, but it should be a time and a place with no distractions.

Luke 5:16–…but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so he could pray. Once again, we see an example of Jesus getting away to talk to His Father. Notice that this New Century Version translation says “slipped away”. The New King James Version translation words the verse this way: “…often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Slipped away” or ‘withdrew into the wilderness” aren’t the actions of someone who is waiting until He has more time. Ugh! I’m so guilty of this.

Isaiah 6:1–In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high throne. His long robe filled the Temple.

I often rush into and out of prayer, not spending any time getting still and picturing my Lord as He really is, a magnificent entity, the King of kings! We might be unsatisfied in our prayers because we are not taking time to truly engage the Lord and sincerely asking Him to meet with us.

Psalms 78:1–My people, listen to my teaching; listen to what I say.

I find that I am way more satisfied in my prayers if I have read my Bible first and have let God talk to me before I’ve prayed. That’s not to say God can’t speak to us while we are praying, but I think it helps us to focus on Him and to still the cacophony that is often in our heads before settling into a conversation with the Lord.

 Isaiah 64:8–But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all.

If you are like me, you are often guilty of bringing a wish list to the Lord, telling Him what it is that He needs to do for you. Instead of focusing on what we think we need, we need to practice letting God whisper it to us; letting Him be in charge of our desires. He truly is a Father who knows best.

Luke 22:42–“Father, if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.”

Oh! that I could focus on relinquishing every situation to Him! Why is prayer sometimes our last resort??! We should be giving Him all the details. He already knows us, and He wants to hear us tell Him what we are most concerned about. It is not only therapeutic for us, but believe it or not, He just loves to hear you talk! The more we talk to Him and listen, the more we are concerned about what He thinks and not what we want.

Psalms 77:11–I remember what the Lord did; I remember the miracles you did long ago.

I bet it would be amazing what we could learn if we kept a record of what God is doing in our lives! Let’s start writing our prayers, so we are able to look back and see what God has done in our lives and in the lives of those we’ve prayed for. Imagine the information we could share with others about what God has done for us and them!

Prayers for and Love to you! Have a beautiful weekend!

Don’t Lose Money Searching for Your Muse

Jane Eyre

Image by madelinetosh via Flickr

Organizing, brainstorming, publishing, freelancing, communicating, collaborating, marketing, networking…there’s a lot more to writing than just writing, isn’t there? But, we have to do it, especially if we ever hope to make any money doing what we love to do.

If we are doing all that, how do we still find time to actually write? It’s the perfect storm leading to a bad case of writer’s block! Don’t despair; here are some great go-to places to get ideas and inspiration:

Creativity Portal

The Creativity Portal is the home of the Imagination Prompt Generator . My last two prompts were, “Can you accept yourself as you are?” and “Right now you should be ________, instead of on the computer.” Both were very thought-provoking. But, if you don’t like those, keep clicking until you strike your personal gold. The website also has picture prompts, to provide visual energy. Another great section provides information on all forms of creativity including pottery, basketry, metal working, scrapbooking and painting. So, if writing isn’t happening, express yourself in a different medium. Who knows? You might get the perfect writing idea while sculpting a work of art!

Mind mapping

Discover mind mapping. It’s amazing how fast ideas can be discovered hidden in the subconscious. There are many applications available including those that can be downloaded on your mobile device. Some mind mapping software ranges from $25 to $350, but I am currently using a free version of Thinking Space that works just fine. Mindmeisterxmind, and freemind all have free versions that are popular as well. The trick is to create a diagram that represents your ideas around a central key word or phrase. You can then generate more words and ideas that connect to those already created. For example, you might have the following sections in your mind map: purpose, assumptions, processes, notes, tools, introduction, body, conclusion, summary, references. Or, you might have a map for a character sketch: Jane, Jane’s brother, Jane’s boyfriend, Jane’s employer, Jane’s best friend, etc. You can flesh out the characters, show how they connect to one another, assign attributes and reference the map later to ensure your characters are still in character. It’s unbelievable how this exercise can also help recall old ideas and make them
fresh again.

Reading

A writer who doesn’t read is like a chef who doesn’t eat. Like food is fuel to our bodies, books are the fuel for our minds. Thinking of fuel, the Classics are the premium grade. The Classics remind us of timeless ideas, increases and strengthens our vocabulary, improves our writing, and gives us historical perspective. Who hasn’t learned something when they’ve read Emma, Hamlet, Jane Eyre, Paradise Lost or Peter Pan? If we read only contemporary literature, how we will ever develop an edge over our competitors? Check out Read Print and fuel up! This useful website also includes quotes by incredible wordsmiths. While you’re there, sign up for The Bookworm. It’s a free newsletter that features quotes, books they’ve added and recommendations.

Organize

Writing is more fluid when our minds are not in a state of chaos. A great tool to un-clutter the mind is Evernote.  I use it a lot jotting down ideas and writing notes, but it’s so much more than  that. You can actually save web clippings in the application, and it’s wildly convenient that it doesn’t matter if you are researching in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome. For every note or idea you jot down, you can tag/label it, so that it’s easy to find later. If you want to collaborate with another writer, all your notes can be shared with them if they are next-door or across the pond, because Evernote automatically synchronizes your information so that it’s the same there as it is here. This is also true for whatever device you
are using, phone or PC. I use the free version of Evernote, but if you want the application solely for collaboration purposes and want someone else to be able to edit your writing, you might want to invest the $5/month premium upgrade.

Change

We have so many great gifts outside…sunsets, sunrises, streams, oceans, lakes and waterfalls. Writers have a nasty tendency to be indoors too often. Get out there and let nature inspire you. Fresh air and our friends that live outdoors never fail to give me fresh perspective. Take your notebook and head out to the woods. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t get a story idea, but just imagine all the descriptive scenes you can write for later use. There are so many colors out there that don’t have names yet. Describe the breeze on your face, using words you’ve not used before. Close your eyes and listen, shutting down one sense can definitely heighten the experience of another.  If you are someone who spends a lot of time outside already, go back inside, literally as well as figuratively. Get some introspection. Try writing about a feeling you’ve had recently, an event that is still in your thoughts, a behavior that irks you, or an emotion that you display often that you are not pleased with and write about those thoughts. Defend your thoughts or emotions about that topic and then argue against it. Self-reflective writing increases our awareness of ourselves and improves our objective analysis of our own writing. I find it’s also an ingenious tool in freeing up idea-generating brain cells.

These are only five cost-effective ways to find inspiration, but if you’ve tried these, and you are still not feeling the writing groove, don’t give up. Keep hunting for that special muse to get you going again. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”

5 Myths about Spiritual Growth

Faith

The Parable of the Talents in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30) demonstrates that the Lord wants us to use everything He has given us for the benefit of His kingdom and the one who buried his talents, instead of growing them, lost all that he had. The Master called him wicked and lazy. I know that’s the last things I want my Lord to think about me.

I want to grow in the Lord, in spiritual growth, more than anything. I think I have grown tremendously when I look back on my life as a whole, but sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when I have a set-back, moments of doubt or feel like I’m in a rut. These are some misconceptions about what true faith looks like and the real truth that negates them. I hope they are beneficial to you in your journey:

1) If you are a Christian, you should never do anything wrong

Just because we are Christians, doesn’t mean we are perfect. Living in this world, we are not always going to act or feel holy. Therefore, when we don’t feel holy, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t growing in the Lord. We will have failure, but we always have hope in Jesus. That is where our faith comes in. We have to remember to steer one another away from feeling-based Christianity and remind one another of God‘s Word. II Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It doesn’t matter how we feel, if we are His, we are being transformed.

2) If you are really saved you would be different 

My niece is 11 years old, we can’t buy clothes fast enough for her. She doesn’t look any different to me daily, but it seems she’s in a new size shoe every month and she’s definitely taller  than she was a month ago. We can grow without seeing it. We grow in increments, not in drastic changes. We have to remember the promises in God’s Word like Ephesians 2:4-9, where Paul tells us the grace that saved us is the same grace that is
growing us.

3) If I am really a Christian, then my life would be easier

Trial and temptation is a big clue of God’s work in our lives to draw us closer to Him. He disciplines and refines those He loves. Difficulty is overcome by God’s grace as He does not leave us alone to grow spiritually. We grow “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” We press into Jesus, through each trial, by holding on to His truth and being an example of His love to each other, reminding one another of His sufficiency in every circumstance. We have to rely on His promises, not on our feelings. The New Testament is full of examples of Christians that suffer for their faith. C.S. Lewis worded the reason so well: “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”

4) If I was really saved, then I would be more like Bob

No two lives are the same. We all have different hangups, disappointments, mental illnesses, tragedies, achievements, skill sets, economic backgrounds, family situations, personalities, etc. Depending on our make-up and the season of our life, our growth may be moving at a different speed. It could be fast or slow at different times in our own lives. Some of us have started our journey with Jesus from bad places, where we believed most of the enemy’s lies. Our circumstances can make it more difficult to grow. Fortunately, our God can meet us right where we are. Genesis 28 tells the story of Jacob’s first encounter with God. Jacob was in a terrible place in life. God presented Himself in a dream, meeting him right where he was. God, and His angels, came to Jacob, instead of condemning Jacob for all he’d done. He will do the same for us.

5) If I’m a Christian I have to bug people and talk about Jesus

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8. This was the experience of the Psalmist. He found protection in the Lord, he knew how good the Lord was to him, he pleads with us to try the Lord out. Don’t you just love to get other people to experience the joy you’ve had? When I’m discouraged in my growth and impatient for some newfound feeling of being on the mountain top, I remember where I was and how far God has brought me. And nothing beats the feeling of being able to tell someone else about all that He has done for me. It’s a wake up call, it’s a reminder to myself of His awesome grace. It doesn’t mean that we harass people, it just means that there’s nothing wrong with telling someone how wonderful God has been to you.

Reflect on where you used to be, thank God He’s brought you so far, rest in Him and trust Him to fulfill His promise that He will finish His work in you. God bless you!

American Revival

prayer..

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23-24 (KJV)

The root meaning, of the word ‘confess‘ is “to say the same as.” So when we confess our sins to God, we are essentially agreeing with God about our sin. God is far from clueless about our sin, so we are just taking responsibility and letting God know that we realize we are doing something wrong.

In 1 John 1:9 of God’s word, we are told, IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).

That’s a big IF. I don’t think it’s going ‘out on a limb’ to say that America is not very good at confessing sin. We Americans usually do everything we can to shirk responsibility. But now, more than any other time, it’s imperative that we are on our knees. We are in a position of needing God’s hand in our country, in our lives, in our leadership and in our future. If you agree that this country needs a revival and a turning of our faces to the Lord, it has to start with you.

Jesus said, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3
(KJV)

The thing to remember is that we can pray for each other, but we cannot confess for each other. No other man or woman knows your heart, just as you do not know mine. We must all be responsible individually. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do this together. We must make sure to name our sins to God. For example:

“Lord, I have not put You first in my life, I have neglected Your Word and Your sovereignty.”

We must not make excuses, God doesn’t care for the reason, He knows we are humans. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He [or she] who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (NIV).

Mercy sounds good, doesn’t it?

I propose that we write our sins down. Then, when we are finished, we can rip them up and throw it away as a tangible reminder that we have a  promise from God in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Personal revival is where American Revival begins, so let’s get started on those things we may not give much thought to at the time they are
committed:

1. Matt. 6:12-15 Do you hold a grudge against anyone? Is there someone who you have not forgiven? Do you justify your bad attitude toward another because of their actions? Are you doing unto others BEFORE they do unto you?

2. Matt. 6:33 Are your decisions based on your own wisdom and desires, rather than God’s will? Does your ambition, your pleasure, your loved ones, your money or your plans interfere with your surrender and service to God?

3. Mark 16:15 Do you care that members of your family, some of your friends and those that you may not even know yet are going to hell? Do you even think about that when you are talking to them, do you ever witness to them with your mouth that Jesus loves them and wants them to accept Him as their Savior as you have done?

4. II Timothy 2:22 Are you engaging in activities that you know are unholy? Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind and do you read that which is impure and suggests unholy topics?

5. John 13:35 Are you happy about the bad fortune of another? Are you guilty of any instigation and contention? Do you argue and/or engage in heated discussions? Are you an active or inactive participant in division? Are you envious of another’s good fortune?

6. Philippians 2:14 Do you ever seek to hurt people? Do you gossip? Are you carrying prejudices against others because they are of some different group than yours, or because they do not see everything as you do?

7. Acts 20:35 Are you guilty of stealing from God? Any time we withhold our time, talents or money from God that is His due, we have failed to support His Kingdom work either by service, prayer or giving?

8. Ephesians 5:20 Have you neglected to thank God for all things? Have you been guilty of doubting His Word? Do you worry and is your spiritual mood based on feelings instead of the promise of God’s Word?

9. Colossians 3:9 Do you engage in unprofitable conversation? Lying, exaggeration, cheating or stealing?

10. I Corinthians 6:19, 20 Are you careless with your body? Do you fail to care for it as the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Don’t be discouraged and start beating yourself up. That’s not what this exercise is about. I am guilty of all the above, most of us are. The  point is to be aware of it, own up to it, confess it to God. He knew we were sinners way before He sent His Son to die for us.

Let’s get it all out there and start depending on God to forgive us and to lift us up to be better stewards for Him and lights in a very dark world. We can do this and we can then ask Him to turn our whole country back toward Him. God bless you and God bless America!

Kentucky 9/12

Israel 2009

Image by acroll via Flickr

More than any group I’ve ever belonged to, the Kentucky 9/12 exhibits sacrifice, courage, honor and passion. They are taking a stand. A stand with Israel, a stand for our country, a stand for our children, and a stand for our grandchildren.

On August 20th, a Saturday, we will be coming together at our state’s capitol at 2:08 p.m., to show our solidarity with the Nation of Israel. We’ve entitled it ‘Kentucky’s Restoring Courage‘ and it will be a peaceful stand of courage for Israel.

This event will be a sort of crescendo for me with this group. I’ve always been proud to be a part of this amazing group of people because of everything they stand for, but this event is truly the icing on the proverbial cake.

The Kentucky 9/12 group stands for 12 Values, those we all shared on 9/12 when Islamic jihad visited our country and brutally murdered more than 3,000 Americans: Honesty, Reverence, Hope, Thrift, Humility, Charity, Sincerity, Moderation, Hard Work, Courage, Personal Responsibility and Friendship.

The Kentucky 9/12 group and its members stand for 9 Principles: We know that America is a good place. God is the center of our lives. We try to be more honest today than we were yesterday, with ourselves and others. Our families are sacred and my spouse and I are the ultimate authority of our family. No one is above justice and if you break the law, you pay the price. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but there’s no guarantee of equal results. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with whom I choose. It isn’t un-American to share my opinion or to disagree with authority. The government is my employee, I don’t work for them. 

If you hold any of these principles or values near and dear, please join us on Saturday, August 20th, as we stand at our state’s capitol. Stand with us in solidarity with our friend, our ally, the Nation of Israel. They deserve the loyalty of our people even if our government wants to back away from them at this crucial time. God bless you, God bless Israel and God bless the United States of America!

40 Lessons in 40 Years

Forty Steps

Image by Troy B Thompson via Flickr

Forty doesn’t seem that old to me anymore. When I was nineteen, forty seemed ancient. Fortunately, I’ve learned a few things since then and these are forty of the most important:

1. I have a lot left to learn, and most often what I “know” changes.

2. Pride is the father of most of our sins and poor life decisions.

3. Fear and Doubt are our two greatest enemies after Pride. They are the ultimate obstacles. They will do whatever they can to stop you from fulfilling your dreams.

4. The more I own, the less satisfied I am. The more you have, the more you think you need.

5. How many times have you been cut off on the highway to eventually pass the car that was in such a big hurry? Seems silly, doesn’t it? But that’s how most of us live our lives every day, rushing from one activity to another, never really enjoying any of them. Life is much better, when we slow down and take time to live it.

6. Goals might not be as important as you think. Try working without them for a week; your work still gets done. Goals are another item to manage, like bill-paying and coupon-cutting! Who needs that? Cut out the bureaucracy.

7. Life is a vapor. I read that in the Bible years ago, but getting older makes it a reality. Young people feel like there’s a huge amount of time ahead, I know I did. But, it passes much faster than you think. The rate your kids are grown and gone can give you whiplash.  Appreciate every second!

8. The future is ahead regardless of how you are spending your time now. Why stay caught up in the past you cannot change? Stop the rewind, it’s distracting you from the present and there’s a reason they call it a present. Enjoy it!

9. Your child is not an interruption. Give your children your full attention. They will not always be underfoot and then you will be wondering where they are and how they spend their time.

10. Debt is bad. I’ve been there a few times and none of the trips were good. Credit card, Student, Home, Personal, Car, Co-sign, it’s all bad. Debt causes illness, more debt and can ruin marriages and lives.

11. Weight is much easier to lose when you are young. Don’t hit 30 overweight, and I promise you will feel better when you are forty.

12. I wasn’t the coolest kid. That’s a good thing, because it prepared me to be a parent that isn’t cool. Cool is over rated and just being competent will keep you busy.

13. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas doesn’t apply to the Internet or your email. If you don’t want the world to see it, don’t post it or type it.

14. You can lead a horse to water, whether or not they drink is none of your business. Focus on your behavior and your to do list. Let people worry about their own decisions.

15. Don’t follow. Lead, even if you have to change directions many times. You are the only one that knows where you want to go even if it hasn’t occurred to you yet.

16. You can’t do it all. There are some things in life you might miss out on. Give yourself permission to enjoy your life.

17. I am human. I have made and continue to make mistakes. I choose to forgive myself and the people who choose to remind me of those mistakes have been removed to the outer circle of my life. I forgive them, but control over my present, using the tool of my past, has been revoked.

18. Failure is a big pathway to success. Without it, we wouldn’t know when we’ve succeeded.

19. Books are the greatest gifts. There’s something for everyone and it makes us slow down long enough to listen to the viewpoint of someone else.

20. Make sure you hug the people you love, do it often. It’s amazing how much better it will make you feel. They might like it too.

21. Friendship isn’t free. You have to work on the relationship, don’t take your friends for granted.

22. Fitness isn’t something to start on New Year’s Day and stop on Valentines. It’s a lifetime decision that I hope to make a decision about soon.

23. Don’t schedule your happiness. Don’t get in the mindset of once this or that happens, I’ll be happy. You won’t! There will always be another “destination” to make you happy. Be happy now, right where you are. It’s a choice.

24. Love cures all problems. Trouble with your spouse? Love them more. Financial problems? Love yourself by forgiving yourself and moving forward. Want to cure stress? Love someone else and focus on them. Work problem? Love your boss and give him or her a hug.

25. Stop living in fantasy land and let go of expectations. You have no right to expect anything of anyone or anything. It usually has no basis in reality and sets you up for a
big disappointment.

26. Giving is so much better than getting, and giving up the need for recognition is powerful, it sets you free!

27. Competition isn’t always healthy. It’s linked to pride and can get in the way of so many goals. Cooperation is life-giving and it requires some humility. It gets easier with
practice.

28. Gratitude is one of the best ways to find contentment. We are usually discontent because we are focused on having more, not on how much we already have.

29. Dogs really are man’s best friend. They still want to hang with you even when no one else does. They always listen, even if they choose not to do what you said. They will
always play with you and they easily forgive you no matter what you do.

30. Get some perspective. If you spend most of your time alone, make time for some friends. If you are a social butterfly, get some time alone. Humans are rut-prone, we
begin to only do or be with what we are comfortable with, don’t get too comfortable. Narrow perspectives breed discontent.

31. All we are taught in schools, and all we see in the media (news, films, books, magazines, Internet) should be questioned. You have been lied to at some point. Do your own homework!

32. Empathy and compassion are not natural. Both must be learned and if you don’t know them, learn them quickly. Assumption is the mother of most embarrassments. Do
yourself a favor and learn not to judge.

33. Do less, not more. Don’t fill your life with a checklist, you are not a machine. Focus on what you love, throw out the rest.

34. No one knows what they’re doing as parents. We’re all faking it, and hoping we’re getting it right.

35. Love is a choice, you don’t fall in or out of it. Love is hard work and most people are lazy.

36. One of the greatest lessons you can teach your kids is self-sufficiency. Don’t depend on the school to teach them this, they won’t.

37. Freedom isn’t free. Stating you are not interested in politics is the same as stating that you don’t care about your freedom. You are already involved if you live here, pay
attention!

38. God is much more interested in saving our souls that He is in making sure we are comfortable.

39. Accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

40. Life is a gift every day. Re-gifting it and sacrificing your time and energy for others makes it even more amazing!

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