caring, community, eternal matters, forgiveness, genuineness, God, life, life lessons, love, positivity, Uncategorized

What God Has Been Teaching Me

DISCLAIMER: This has religious content. If you are uncomfortable with that, please don’t read. Otherwise, happy reading! As always keep comments family friendly and respectful to me and to others.

Over the past few weeks, God has been teaching me so much that I could hardly take the instruction all in. I do believe He is amazing and awesome in all He teaches and is. Here are some of the life lessons He’s been teaching me (and warning: they are DIFFICULT lessons!)

1.) Love your enemies, for the consequences of vengeance are more than treating them with love and kindness.

God has been teaching me through interactions with difficult people (or i.e…current or former “enemies”) a concept that I will call “heaping burning coals on one’s head.” This is from Romans 12:19-21 (ESV-bold emphasis mine), where it says: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

For example, in the movie Hacksaw Ridge, about a man who enlists in the army as a medic because of his conviction never to carry a weapon to kill others, the aforementioned guy was often ridiculed and berated by his fellow army colleagues and even the supervisor of his unit. However, instead of berating and ridiculing them in kind, he just stays silent, as Jesus did when He was crucified on the cross by His enemies.  Also, this army man, named Desmond Doss, saves even a few of his enemies’ (read: the Japanese that he was fighting against) lives when they were injured in the war too, as well as many of his colleagues who ridiculed him before. Doss ended up being more respected and loved than any of his colleagues because of his conviction to save lives rather than destroy them.

In my own life, unlike Doss, I initially sought vengeance against people that hurt me in my words and actions. However, God quickly changed my heart and I repented of that. I admit that I still have trouble with that sometimes, but God is working in and through me to help me continue to show repentance on my part. One person at work I had a particularly difficult time showing any semblance of godly love and respect because of all the flaws I perceived in this person and the fact that this person (I thought) never tried to change and repent of this. However, when this person told me what they had had to go through on a daily basis, God began to change my heart and have compassion and even love for this person. The Holy Spirit prodded my heart to share this person a song that had also spoken to me as encouragement for them. He (The Spirit) also told me to help this person more in their work because I realized they were feeling too overwhelmed with stuff. So, I am working on that.

2.) Don’t judge others by your first few impressions of them. Actually get to know them very well (i.e.. for years) before you even have one inkling of a judgment against them.

Rachel Joy Scott, who I consider to be one of my “heroes of the faith,” aptly summed this lesson that God has recently taught me well, in these words:

It wasn’t until recently that I learned that the first and the second and the third impressions can be deceitful of what kind of person someone is. For example, imagine you had just met someone, and you speak with them three times on brief everyday conversations. They come off as a harsh, cruel, stubborn, and ignorant person. You reach your judgment based on just these three encounters. Let me ask you something…did you ever ask them what their goal in life is, what kind of past they came from, did they experience love, did they experience hurt, did you look into their soul and not just at their appearance? Until you know them and not just their “type,” you have no right to shun them. You have not looked for their beauty, their good. You have not seen the light in their eyes. Look hard enough and you will always find a light, and you can even help it grow, if you don’t walk away from those three impressions first.

(Taken from “My ethics, My Codes of Life,” written by Rachel Scott, source: http://rachelschallenge.org/media/media_press_kit/Code_of_ethics.pdf)

I have often been guilty as charged for judging someone just by several encounters of them or even maybe several months of brief encounters with them without really knowing them well or how much they may hurt inside. For example, the first time I met one of my managers, to me she came across as cruel, uncaring, and very strict. I did not like her at all, and did not even think about being Christlike to her, to my detriment. After complaining to another higher-up supervisor about this person and after she understood where I was coming from better, we became good friends.  Imagine how it would have been like for us if either or both of us didn’t make the effort to be kinder to and understand one another better! How awful! How miserable it would have been for both of us!  We both realized how wrong our first impressions of each other had been, and we even found out that we have a lot of similarities and similar tastes!

Also, in the movie Hacksaw Ridge, Desmond Doss the soldier who was a conscientious objector to using weapons in defense was initially judged by his superiors as being weak, self-righteous and cowardly for his beliefs. However, when Doss continually held firm to them, even risking jail time and not going to his own wedding, and when he continually served his comrades (and later saved their very lives) despite their initial ridicule and dislike of him, one of his superiors eventually gained much respect for him and even asked for forgiveness of his (the superior’s) earlier erroneous judgment of Doss.

3.) Die to self. Continually be willing to sacrifice for others, for this reaps great rewards not only for the other person you’re serving but for yourself as well. (However, don’t sacrifice to play the “martyr;” do it for God’s glory!)

Recently, I visited a family member who no longer lives with me. I was amazed and awed at how much he had sacrificed during my stay with him to accommodate me and make me feel at home! He didn’t even allow me to wash the dishes! He was constantly willing to sacrifice his own comfort and often sleep to make sure all us guests in his home felt comfortable and happy. He never played the “martyr” or had a “poor-me” attitude about any of this! This is how I want to be too and how God is teaching me to be—being more willing to sacrifice for others and essentially continually dying to self.

I also realized when one is willing to die to self, everyone around them has a much easier and more comfortable time being with them. This is because these people know that this person who has died to self can be counted upon when things get messy or difficult because they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the other person or other people. In contrast, a completely selfish and self-centered person, has the attitude that they come first and they are “entitled” to be catered to at their every whim, or else no one is happy. This is very stressful and inconvenient for other people, especially when the selfish person’s needs are different than or inconveniencing these other people’s needs.

 

These are all difficult lessons that I am still learning, and that we all need to review daily in order to live more Christlike. I admit I am not perfect in any of these lessons, but God constantly prods and pushes me into greater depths with Him as a result of me constantly learning these lessons. May we all take in something from these lessons God has been teaching me, and apply it to our own lives, in order to make a positive experience in other people’s lives.

caring, community, death, eternal matters, genuineness, God, heaven, life, love, positivity, Uncategorized

What matters (and what doesn’t) in eternity

DISCLAIMER: The following post is based heavily upon my Christian values and beliefs. If you disagree with this, please do so respectfully and graciously, or your comment will be deleted! Also, just because I say something “doesn’t matter” in eternity, doesn’t mean I don’t care about it at all, or that it doesn’t have its place in our lives.

This is a kind of Part 2 on my last post about cultivating an eternal perspective on life. This post is to help people cultivate that eternal perspective and by doing so enjoy and treasure life more.  I will also be adding WHY something matters or doesn’t in eternity.

What matters in Eternity:

1) How you treated God: The number one thing that will matter in eternity is how you treated God. Was He just a genie in the bottle that had to grant your every wish for you, or was He the omnipotent, amazing, loving, worthy-of-worship God to you?  This is a question every human being must answer, not only with their words, but in how they live their lives.  Your relationship (or  lack thereof) will determine (I believe) where you will spend the rest of eternity. If you feel you need to make things right with God today, please do so! I would not only pray the “sinner’s prayer,” but resolve in your heart that you are really going to follow Him wholeheartedly and without abandon. Yes, there are times when we all are going to fail at that, but if you are sincere and repentant of that, God will forgive you and love you all the way through it.  You will find that God is worthy of everything you are and have that is good!

2) How you treated others: The other big thing that will matter in eternity is how you treated others.  Did you treat other people with sacrificial kindness and care, or did you ignore or abuse them? After you die, God and other people will not just remember how you treated your loved ones or ones that were your friends, but also your enemies, people that were difficult to get along with, and the hurting and downtrodden that couldn’t really pay you back for all the kindness (or lack thereof) you bestowed upon them. It says in Matthew 25:31-46 (ESV):

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

So, do good to others, even when they won’t  or can’t “pay” you back. You will reap great rewards in heaven if you do, because whatsoever you do to who Jesus calls, “the least of these,” you are doing to Him too. Don’t weary of doing good.

Things that won’t matter in eternity

  1. How you look like–No, your physical appearance will not matter at all in eternity. Have you ever been to a funeral where people have said to you, “Oh, your Aunt Etna (apologies to anyone who actually does have an aunt by that name; I don’t mean her) was so fat. How much did she eat? ” Of course not! Things people will more  likely say: “Oh, your Aunt Etna was such a kind, generous person! I wish I could be more like her.” OR “Poor Etna. She was so sad and didn’t have any friends. I wish I could have been there for her more.” It won’t matter the color of your skin, whether you were fat or thin, how beautiful or ugly you looked like to other people, or even if you had any deformities or scars (unless someone hurt you, and the police are investigating them).  So, in light of this, I fail to understand why some people spend so much money on their physical appearance! Yes, you should take care of your physical body God gave to you (It says in the Bible that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.), but you shouldn’t obsess  over it!
  2. How much money you have—I understand that we need money now to live and to enjoy things. I get that. However, if one is constantly worrying about money or how to obtain it, or is stealing money from others just in an attempt to get more, this is really a fruitless way to live because I believe there will be no need of money in the afterlife. Also, you can’t take your earthly money with you as an “investment” in the afterlife.  It’s impossible.  Better to be generous with the money God gave you than to steal or swindle it. Better to be at peace with what income God has given you, than to be constantly worried about it. It’s understandable though if you are worried about money because you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. However, try to trust God with that too, because He will provide somehow.
  3. How many things you have—-Connected to that, getting more things will not guarantee eternal life! It won’t matter how many or how few things you have, because you are going to lose it all after you die anyway because you will have to leave all of it behind.  No, you really don’t have to keep up with the Joneses! And just like everyone else, the Joneses also will have to leave their material things behind when they die, so will their children when they (the children) die. So, how can you make your “stuff” matter in eternity? Simple. Be willing to share and give away (I admit that I am working on that still, but it’s a process for me). What will be remembered is not the stuff you shared or gave away, but the impact that you had on people when you gave it away or shared the stuff.
  4. How smart you are—Unfortunately, intellect will not matter in eternity either. For instance, if  you have a lot of knowledge and still choose to sin and/or reject God’s love for you, you still would have to live with the consequences of that no matter how “smart” you were or claimed to be!  That is not to say we shouldn’t keep learning and gain knowledge, but gaining knowledge and intellect shouldn’t be an end to itself either! Gaining knowledge and intellect should be a way to glorify God and to minister to others’ needs.

So, equipped with the knowledge of what matters and what doesn’t in eternity, you (and I, too) will hopefully find this helpful to focus on eternity more and less on the temporal stuff and “cares of this world” that don’t matter as much in the light of eternity. Let’s make a difference for eternity today!

 

caring, community, death, genuineness, life, love, positivity, Uncategorized

How to Make an Eternal Impact

DISCLAIMER: This post is primarily directed for Christians.

If you have been a reader of any of these humble ramblings for any length of time, you know that many of my posts have been written out of what God has been teaching me about myself and about life, and I’ve wanted to share them with you in order that you can (hopefully) apply them to your lives as well.

This is probably one of the most significant posts I will ever make about what God has been teaching me, and probably one of the most challenging for me. Though I struggle with not being able to make an eternal impact for God sometimes, God has been constantly chipping away at my sinful Self to make sure it stays Dead and He stays alive in me.

Here’s what I have learned from God about how to make an eternal impact:

  1.  In order to make an eternal impact, you must have an eternal perspective on life. Whether or not you have an eternal impact on people depends primarily on your attitude and perspective on life, and how you carry that out in your words and actions.  For instance, a guest speaker at our church relayed to us a story about a guy on his campus (The guest speaker is the president of a school.) that was so entrenched in his video game that when asked by this guest speaker how he (the guy) was doing, the guy said, “I’m on level five.” This guest speaker aptly questioned this guy’s motives, saying something like,  “Is the fact that the guy was on level five going to be remembered by people after he dies? Will the fact that the guy is on level five going to bring people to Christ? Is it going to encourage people?” The obvious answer to those questions is a firm “No.”  The guest speaker* also warned us not to be distracted by minutia like that-Minutia being the stuff, while it can be good, distract us from a more eternal perspective on life. The guest speaker (and I, too) am not saying that we can’t ever discuss the temporal minutia stuff or that it doesn’t sometimes have its place in life. However, don’t make the temporal an idol or so important that you become obsessed with it!   So, how do you focus on the eternal? God taught this to me in my most depressed, down-in-the-dumps moments of life. Think about how you  want to be remembered after you die more. This is not to say, think about suicide! This is to say, however, to think about your legacy more, how   you want to leave this world and how you want to impact this world. Also, think about God and heaven more, especially in times of distress  or suffering. Don’t only think of God and heaven as a reprieve for suffering, but also for refocusing yourself on God and His current (good) plan   for your life, even if you can’t see the good.
  2.  Be willing to die to self and sacrifice for others. This is what God has been working through me for literally years, and probably will continue to   do so until the day I die. I have found out that when you live completely for yourself that it is isolating and it starves your soul of connection and  love. This is because the completely selfish person does not care or take into consideration the needs of others, and so cannot give love to others freely and beautifully as the person who cares about others. This is not to say that there are never times when you have to take care of yourself,    but if you are completely enamored with caring for you alone, it will be isolating not only because you can’t (and won’t) give love to others, but  also  others are much less willing to give love to you. So, to combat that, be willing to die to self and practice being sacrificial even when it may    not be  “comfortable” for you. One way to do that is to dedicate your life to serving others without expecting others to repay you for what you   have done  for them. Another way is to love and serve your enemies. Do you have a difficult boss or co-worker (if you have a job), or do you have a   family  member that’s hard to get along with? Love and serve them. Write an encouraging note to them thanking them for any good qualities you   see in them. Help them put away groceries. Serve a meal to them. Work hard for your boss.  It’ s true that you may not get the recognition you   want  from  them immediately (or ever), but Jesus says in Luke 6:35 (ESV-bold type mine) that, ” But love your enemies, and do good, and lend,  expecting  nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and   the evil.”
  3.  Be willing to learn new things everyday, including from your mistakes and moral failures (i.e sins).  Have a teachable attitude (as I discussed in    the last post about being humble. Read books on diverse topics; be willing to listen and to learn from other people other than yourself.  Be willing  to look at another’s perspective and find out why they think that way, not to refute them, but to understand from where they are coming. Invest   in and learn about social justice issues like abortion, poverty, injustice (how to combat it of course), sex trafficking (and how to stop it of course),  and the environment.  If you have knowledge about diverse topics (I admit that I’m working on this still!), then you will be able to relate to more   people and can integrate better Christ’s love for you and for them. Learning more about others and what they are interested in also shows that you  care about what they like and about them as a person.

Hopefully, by some of these things will make your eternal impact more significant. Don’t be like Esau, who sold his birthright (eternal impact) for a single meal (temporal impact)! Make sure you are doing things that matter not only in this life, but also the next!

 

(*Guest speaker was Marty Marriott, president of Marantha Baptist University.*)

genuineness, integrity, life, love, positivity, Uncategorized, work

The Importance of Being Humble

Humility. The Merriam-Webster dictionary aptly defines it as, ” freedom from pride or arrogance.” (source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humility). We all probably know someone with a lack of it, but what does it mean to be  full of humility  and why is being humble so important? Here are just three reasons why being humble is so important:

  1. It shows genuineness-When we are honest about ourselves and our shortcomings,  it shows that we are real. When we hide our faults and give others (and sometimes, ourselves) the perception that we can do no wrong, people will either a.) put you up on pedestal and think you’re some kind of god or something. or b.) Despise you and call you out on your lies and hiding, because perfection is  something that no one (but the real God) can attain to anyway. When you are prideful, and not humble, you will inevitably fall. As it says in Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) , “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” However, when we are willing to admit to others that a.) yes, we were wrong on that particular issue and b.) No, we don’t know everything, it shows our human-ness, something that others can relate to. This is why humility is so attractive. It also shows that we are honest and can be trusted to be not only true to ourselves, but true to others as well.  That is why, in another blog post I wrote, I shared that humility (i.e..being humble) is the Number One quality I look for in a person I admire!
  2. It shows consideration for others-Along with this, being humble shows that we are willing to consider and defer to others. We are not spotlight hoggers, so to speak.  People who are truly humble don’t necessarily think less of themselves, but don’t think of themselves much at all! They are other-centered and other-focused.  True humility shows itself up in many ways. For example, when someone wants to go ahead of you in line, if you are a humble person you would let them, not to let them to “take advantage” of you, but because you are purposefully putting their needs ahead of yours.  Also, when someone tells you that you have hurt them, you don’t make excuses or explanations why you are “justified” in hurting them, but simply and contritely say, “I’m sorry for hurting you,” and resolve not to hurt them the next time.  For another example, when someone gets a promotion at work and you don’t, instead of getting jealous or angry at them, you congratulate them and are happy for them.
  3. It shows that you are teachable- Being humble opens us up to learn new things about ourselves and others, and it allows us to learn from our mistakes and grow as a person. One of the ways, one of my managers is helping me cultivate this quality for myself is after I straighten the aisles in the store where I work, she always points out things that I can do better. This is not to make me feel “less than” or “inferior” to her, but to help me to do the straightening even better than last time. I know this because she also points out things that I do well. If I weren’t open to being teachable, I wouldn’t ever learn how to straighten the aisles better and I would ruin my work relationship not only with her, but with many others as well. And I am, by no means, a humble person, but striving to be sometimes is all we can do. One way we can do that is by being teachable and learn from our mistakes. This will allow you to gain knowledge in many different areas of life, especially areas where we are weakest. As they say, knowledge is power.

This is why humility is so important. It shows honesty, consideration for others, and it shows that you are teachable and willing to learn new things. Even if you still struggle with being prideful (like me) at times, humility is still something you can strive to cultivate. However, once you are aware of your “humility,” you are no longer being humble. So, it is also something that you should not be too aware of in yourself, but always strive for being.

anthem, caring, community, genuineness, integrity, life, love, thankfulness, Uncategorized, work

Top 5 Characteristics of People I Admire (and how to cultivate them)

Everyone has someone they admire, whether it be a famous celebrity, athlete, a loved one, or even an ordinary person touching them in an extraordinary way. For me, most of the people I most admire have most or all of these five characteristics in common. Here they are, and how to cultivate them for yourself:

  1. Humility– The people I admire most must possess at least some humility. Humility can be defined as, ” freedom from pride or arrogance,” at least according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humility). Ways we can (unfortunately) display pride or arrogance, and, by the way, are HUGE turnoffs for me, are a.) thinking you are better than everyone else  b.) Not admitting fault and/or blaming others when you make a mistake. This can be a moral mistake (i.e…sin) or any other type of mistake, and to a lesser extent c.) not being able to admit that you need help with something.  People I admire are free from that. They are free to make mistakes and not blame other people for them.  They possess a genuine humility rare in this day and age.  For example, one of the people I admire once accidentally offended some people, and immediately and formally apologized to them. This person never once blamed the offended party for “being too sensitive” or any other such nonsense.  This person owned their fault completely and totally, without a “poor-me” mentality.  C.S. Lewis aptly described humility as, “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” We can learn much from that quote on how to be more humble.  Truly humble people never brag about being humble, or nice, for that matter, or they would cease being humble! They just are, and demonstrate humility and/or kindness through their words and actions. So, to sum it up, truly humble people a.) Just are. b.) Don’t think they are better than anyone else. c.)Admit fault readily when they make a mistake. and d.) Can ask for help when they need it.
  2. Integrity-Another characteristic that people I admire possess is integrity, which can be defined as, ” adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of  moral character; honesty.” (source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/integrity).  These people never lie to enhance their character or save their own skin, so to speak. When they say or promise to you that they will do something, they will do it without fail, and when they can’t they won’t promise you anything.  They are generally pillars of their communities, not because they are rich or important, but because they are morally and ethically sound people. If they are married, they are faithful to their spouses.  They are honest even if being so would cost them something.
  3. Caring/kindness-I put these two together, since they are so interrelated to each other, but another characteristic or characteristics that people I admire have is caring and kindness. Caring can be described as: displaying kindness and concern for others.(source: google.com) Because many of the people I admire most are humble and have great integrity, their caring and kindness for others extend more naturally.  One of the people I admire cared enough for me to tell me personally that they had to move, instead of just emailing me or letting me find out with their other friends.  Another person I admire cares enough about his subordinates to often thank them for their hard work and mean it too, and they hardly (if ever) yell at them, but are able to talk to them nicely even when under stress. Ways we can cultivate this quality in ourselves are a.) Pay attention to “the little things.” Watch your tone of voice and attitude towards people you encounter. Do you often act dismissively and invalidate people, or do you take the time to have a good attitude and minister to their needs too?  b.) Be intentional.  Is someone you know going through a rough time right now? Encourage them. Pray for them (if you believe in prayer).  Thank them for their good qualities. Let them know in some other way that you care about them and that they are not forgotten.  Do you know someone who no one else seems to notice or care about? Talk to them. Get to know them.  Buy them a meal, not for charity’s sake, but so they feel loved and important.
  4. Diligence-Most of the people I admire are not only humble, show integrity, and are caring and kind, but also show diligence. Diligence can be defined as: steady, earnest, and energetic effort : persevering application (source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligence). These people I admire are often successful in my eyes, not only because they are nice people, but also because I know they worked hard to get there.  They live life to the fullest. They don’t wait for someone else to do something for them if they can do it themselves. While these people are diligent, they don’t overdo it either. They know their limits, and so can be effective and diligent in more areas of their lives. They are not ones to give up when the going gets tough, but try again and again until they accomplish what they need to do. Practical ways we can show diligence is: 1) If you work, do it with all your energy or might. Do you work efficiently and the best you can.  Unless you are doing something else work-related, never let other people do the work you’re supposed to be doing yourself. This applies to students going to school too, and does not only have to include “paid” work, but unpaid work as well (i.e…household or other chores) .   2.) Have a purpose and a passion to work hard. Reward yourself when you work hard. That way you will always be motivated to do everything in life (not just a job) well.
  5. Affirming-Last, but certainly not least, the people I admire are affirming.  They are master validators of people.  They value not only people they admire most, but everyone else as well. According to Google, one of the ways affirming can be defined is, ” [to] offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement. ” (source:https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=affirming+definition). They always “shine” before people, because they always know how to bring out the very best in others.  Ways we can be more affirming is a.) To value others. See posts :https://placeinthisworld224.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/giving-value-to-others/ and https://placeinthisworld224.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/on-validation-and-invalidation/ for more information.  b.) Be supportive to others in their time of need. When someone is upset or sad, we can offer a listening ear. We can remind them that we do, in fact, care for them. We can make sure we have a soothing and/or encouraging tone of voice when we speak to others.   c.) We can look for good qualities in others, and speak about those, rather than gossip and/or complain about others. The people I admire most, while they sometimes do complain, mostly are very grateful and honoring to others, and when they see something good about someone they make sure to let the person who has that good quality know about it so that the person and others can cultivate that quality even more!

So, if you would like to be a person most admired, not only by me, but other people, I believe you should cultivate at least four of these five qualities.  No fallible human being I know, has these qualities down perfectly. (I know  myself don’t. ) However, we can all constantly learn from each other and these people, and strive to become better people and never give up learning to be better on this side of eternity.

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My life anthem song (for today)

If you read my “about” page, you will know in general what my passions and dreams are.  Today, I would like to share what my life anthem song is and why this song is my anthem. This may or may not change as time goes on, but the song, “Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets is currently my “life anthem” song.

Source of lyrics: (https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tgqljpuwkwghhy5g75pb2bior24?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics)

Lyrics written by: Ben Glover, Ben Mcdonald, David Frey, David Douglas Frey

Was I love when no one else would show up? Was I Jesus to the least of us? 

 

This song is written in the perspective of a person reminiscing over how they lived their life, wanting to live life to the fullest, and how they want to be remembered after they die.  Similarly, I want to be remembered as someone who loved Jesus and loved others. Because I hate, absolutely hate when people take advantage of or purposefully hurt the broken and /or forgotten, I never ever  want to be that type of person myself! Instead, I want to be the type of person, at the very least, who is there for the “least of us,” just as Jesus was there for me in my times of need.

 

Was my worship more than just a song?

 

I don’t only want to worship God in my singing, but in everything I say and do. Sure, there are times when I will inevitably fail at doing so, but in general I want to worship, really worship Him!  I want to worship Him when I wake up in the morning, when I eat, brush my teeth, do my personal devotions (i.e..spend time with Him), go to church, go to work, talk to others, etc. I also strive to not be fake in my worship. Sometimes, I fall into this trap, but I really want to strive to be genuine and all-consuming in my worship of God.  Worship can be defined as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” (source: google) So, I want my worship to be true and honoring to God.

 

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

 

With particular emphasis in the second line in that stanza, I want to be able to “give it all I  have.” My parents, especially my dad, have always taught me to “do my very best” in everything.  This advice I want to be able to heartily apply to all aspects of my life, but especially spiritually.  I have seen great rewards when I have given it my all, and great judgments against me when I start to back-slide or become lazy in the work or works I’m supposed to be doing.  I not only want to do my best in everything, but also make sure that what I’m doing is not pointing to myself, but to my Heavenly Father. It’s really difficult to do that oftentimes, but being vigilant about my motives and attitudes is the only way I personally have found to accomplish “pointing everything to Him and not myself.”

If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

never want to hold back or abandon my relationship or my love for Jesus! He’s the one that saved me from the pit of despair, and for that I owe all my devotion to Him.  I want everyone to know who I am and what I stand for. With no shame what so ever!  I want people to have a clear idea of who my Savior really is, not anything distorted by my sins and misgivings.

People pass
And even if they don’t know my name
Is there evidence that I’ve been changed
When they see me, do they see You
This stanza is especially pertinent to me, as I work in sales, and people pass by me all the time, and if they don’t look at my name tag, they often don’t have any idea who I am! However, I want to be able to evoke the sense of when people pass by me even if they  have no other previous contact with me, that they see that I have been changed, as per 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV), “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I also don’t want them to see my selfish, sinful self, but God working in and through me. Admittedly, I am not quite there yet, but my prayer and hope is that I will get better and better at this as time passes.
I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I’m longing for the world to know the glory of the King
This is my ultimate goal in life. God has given me so much love, even in the midst of pain and suffering, for me. How can I not share this love with others? I know that I can never “pay” God back for all He has done for me, not even the half of what He has done! However, I can show my love and appreciation for Him (and you can too), by loving others.  I want people to know God’s love because I have found that that is the only enduring thing that really satisfies our deepest longings in life.  Many, but not all, people (even myself sometimes) have so many distorted and negative ideas of who God is because of either their earthly father or another prominent male figure in their lives, that has hurt them in some way. I want to show people that these ideas are flawed and that God is ultimately and totally good. However, I won’t be able to do that if I reflect a distorted image of God myself, through my thoughts, words, and actions.  So, may I reflect a clear and accurate image of God to others, to you, so that many people I encounter will be able to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8-ESV)