The Law of Sowing and Reaping

Whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap
Galatians 6:7
(Note – this is NOT the entire verse)

Some people state this law in other ways, e.g.

  • you reap what you sow, or
  • what goes around, comes around

and I’m sure there are many others. Basically it means that whatever you plant you will get back. It is also referred to as the Law of Cause & Effect.

Although this law may seem to be referencing what a farmer does to produce a harvest, it will work in all areas of our lives as well. You may not be aware of it, but you and I are planting seeds every day. I’m not talking about corn or cotton or cantaloupe. I’m talking about our thoughts, our actions, our habits. Everything we do and say is a seed sown.

Have you encouraged anyone lately? That is a seed sown.

Have you recently criticized someone’s behavior?
That too is a seed sown.

Which of those two seeds do you think will produce the better harvest?
I think you get the picture.

You have the power to create a very happy life just by putting this law in motion to work for you.

However, you also have the power to create a very miserable, unhappy life by putting this law in motion to work against you. As you can see, you can plant positive seeds or negative seeds.

Have you ever noticed your self talk when you’re in a bad mood? I have and it isn’t pretty. These thoughts (self talk) can keep us in our bad mood longer and can even make us angry (if we weren’t already). These thoughts are negative seeds and are more powerful than our idle every day thoughts because they are mixed with our negative emotions… strong emotions. Our emotions can intensify the effects of these negative seeds, which is why it is so very important to turn it around and look for something good in that very situation.

In my experience, it’s never pleasant to have someone else tell us that we need to change our attitude… but if you’re smart and recognize this scenario, you’ll realize that this is a perfect time to do just that to ourselves! And this is much better than having someone else tell you to change your attitude because you realized it yourself, and can “take the bull by the horns”, so to speak.

There is almost always something good to be found in any situation.

But, if you can’t find any, use the “Act as if” principle.

What is the “Act as if” Principle?

The “Act as if” principle is a technique I heard about many years ago (that is still used today) used by companies to train salespeople that have no experience. As you can imagine, people hired to be salespeople who have never sold a thing in their lives often lack confidence. That lack of confidence can and does affect results.

These companies teach their new employees to “act as if” they ARE successful salespeople… to “act” confident… and to “act” as if they have been selling for years. Does it work? You betcha! Try it. I think you’ll be very surprised.

Just observe someone who IS confident, or in this case… happy and “act as if” YOU are them! Behave like they do! Surely you can “act as if” you’re happy, right? You’ve been happy before. You know what it “feels” like. Right? Remember how you acted?

This principle can be used in many different situations. Confidence, happiness, wealth, you name it and you can be like other people who are confident, happy, wealthy or anything else you want to be. After all, what sets these people apart? It’s their behavior and you can behave just like they do!

We’ve all encountered other people in our lives that act like they are better than us. You know in your heart that they are no better than you. They are just “acting as if” they are. Problem is they might believe it, but that’s okay. They usually don’t mean anything by it. They’re just grossly misinformed. 🙂

To improve your level of happiness, you can use this technique for many of life’s problems. Think about this. Chances are you are not the first person to have ever had the problems you’re currently experiencing. If you can ascertain who else has had the same problem in their past and solved it, you may be able to “act as if” you are that person and solve your problem the same way!

You may recall, in my last post (What Do You Think?)  I explained how a newborn comes into the world without instructions, yet they will be programmed by the people around them none the less. This is the Law of Sowing and Reaping in action. The newborn child’s mind can be likened to a plot of ground. The people around them are like farmers planting seeds (programming). Over time they will teach the child many things. e.g. each time the child is encouraged to say Daa Daa or Ma Ma is a seed sown that will eventually produce a harvest.

You and I can use this principle to improve our happiness. Look for ways to encourage other people and don’t hesitate to encourage yourself. When you do something good pat yourself on the back by using your own self talk.

Do you see how we can program or re-program ourselves to be more like whoever we want to be like? Yes! We can! Remember when we were kids and we wanted to grow up and be like… (fill in the blank). We can still do that!

We are ever evolving beings. Don’t get in your own way. Remember, as long as your green you’re growing; but as soon as you’re ripe, you begin to rot. Don’t begin to rot. Keep growing. Keep evolving. Find a role model and “act as if” you are like them!

Here’s a seed you can sow right now that will make you happier.

SMILE

Yep! It’s true. Smiling is a natural drug that makes us happier. Here’s why. Smiling:

  • lowers your blood pressure,
  • makes you more attractive, and appear more successful,
  • lifts your face and makes you appear younger,
  • sends chemical messages called endorphins throughout your body telling you that you are happy right this instant!
  • It can change your mood.
  • It raises serotonin levels, natural pain killers and it’s contagious.
  • Sow your smile and reap your harvest!

*****

What Do You Think?

Still with me?
Fantastic!

In the last post I explained how thinking about the things (and people) we love will increase our level of happiness. In this post I’m going to go into more detail about the power of our thinking.

And I’ll start by asking you…
What to you think?

Has anyone ever asked you that question before?
And the answer is… of course.

Jim Rohn (one of my favorite authors) use to say that it is important to ask ourselves the tough questions and many times he would lead his audience by asking questions with obvious answers that would result in the words “of course.”

When we humans come into this world we are completely helpless. If any of you have any children of your own, then I’m sure you know by now that unlike your computer (or any other modern day appliance)

they don’t come with a manual…
or directions of any kind.

However… over time, it is possible to program them. Not only is it possible, but it is inevitable. Often times, you will not realize that you are doing it. And some of those times you will be programming them in ways that you wish you hadn’t.

Continuing on with the computer analogy, there is the adage of GIGO, which is simply an acronym for Garbage In, Garbage Out. Meaning that whatever you put into the computer program you can expect to get the same out of it. That sounds a lot like the law of sowing and reaping, sometimes known as “cause and effect.” I’ll talk more about this later. But my point here is that a human being is initially programmed by the people around them.

Of course, there are other things that play a part in that programming, such as environment and circumstances, but the major influence for all intents and purposes comes from the loved ones in our lives at that point in time.

Inside of all computers (as you may well know) there is something called a CPU. CPU is an acronym for “Central Processing Unit” and it is the part of the computer that processes the program(s) to accomplish the things that computers accomplish. Of course we know that inanimate objects cannot think as we humans can, but this is just an analogy and hopefully I’ve explained that well enough for you to understand my point.

We are all well aware that computers can accomplish incredible things. They are in virtually all of our cars nowadays, our planes, our phones, our TV’s, our microwaves and our many other appliances. If we could somehow make all computers stop working for one day, I’m sure all of our lives would be quite a different experience.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because as wonderful as all of these computers are at making our lives better, easier and more fun… they all stem from the mind of…

 

 

Man

Did you guess that before you read it? See how fast your mind works?

Between your ears you own something free and clear that can take you wherever you want to go. It is an extremely valuable possession that many of us take for granted every day. Don’t beat yourself up over it. We all do it. It seems that the things in life that we get for free we don’t place as much value on when compared to things we pay for. Isn’t it time that we realized how priceless we really are?

A Person’s Worth

One of the first audio programs I ever heard was recorded by a man named Earl Nightingale called “Lead the Field.” Here is what Earl said about our worth:

“Before the atomic age, chemistry professors used to say that a person’s worth, from a strictly chemical standpoint, was about $32 on the going market.  In recent  years, this view has undergone a startling change. Scientists now calculate that if the electronic energy in the hydrogen atoms of your body could be utilized, you could supply all the electrical needs of a large, highly industrialized country for nearly a week. A DuPont scientist said that the atoms of your body contain a potential energy of more than 11 million kilowatt hours per pound. The average person, by this estimate, is worth about $85 billion.

Moreover, the electrons and the atoms of your body are not just particles of matter; they’re waves of living imagery. And these waves ripple out and spread themselves in patterns of light.  And as they move, they sing. If you had the proper hearing aid, you could hear a great flow merging with the waves of neighboring atoms. And they not only sing, they shine! 

 If you stand in front of an infrared camera in a completely dark room, the screen will show you from top to toe as a glistening,  radiating, gleaming form. In short, you are a whole lot more than meets the casual eye. Add to all this the fact that to try to reproduce your mind mechanically would cost many billions of dollars, and you begin to see yourself for what you really are. An amazing, infinitely valuable creature. And not only are you immensely valuable as a human being, you’re unlike any other human being who ever lived or ever will live. You are unique.”

Do not take this lightly. Earl Nightingale (though no longer with us) was known as the “Dean of Personal Development” and was the author of “The Strangest Secret”, which economist Terry Savage has called “…One of the great motivational books of all time“. Earl passed away in 1989 so factoring in that $85 Billion dollar estimate in today’s dollars would put your value at an even higher worth!

 

Earl’s Greatest Discovery

By the way, The Strangest Secret is said to be Earl’s Greatest Discovery, which essentially explains that

 

“We become what we think about”

 

Those are six of the most powerful words you’ll ever hear. You may want to read them again;

 

“We become what we think about”

Have you ever noticed how many other great books and authors talk about the importance of our “thinking?”

You’ve probably heard of one of the bestselling books of all time by Napoleon Hill called “Think and Grow Rich.”

Or how ’bout “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale

Have you ever heard Henry Ford’s famous quote:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!”

Now I’m going to ask you again.

What do you think?

Do you “think” you can become a happier person?

At some point during your life you began to think for yourself. Of course, your initial programming will always be part of who you are, but you now have the power to program and/or reprogram anything that you want. If you’re not a very happy person now and you want to be one, here’s another thought I’ll borrow from Earl.

“You only have to make up your mind and then begin immediately to move toward it, one thought at a time”.

And I am going to help you beginning now.

Here is a thought I want you to “think” and say to yourself right now.

I am an amazing, infinitely valuable creature. I am unlike any other human being who ever lived or ever will live.

I am unique.

And whenever anyone asks you how you are, the answer is:

“I’m super good, but I’m getting better.”

I got this response from Zig Ziglar. You remember him don’t you? His most famous quote is “You can get anything in life that you want, IF you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

The Law of Sowing and Reaping

The World “You” Live In

Chapter Two

“What kind of world would this world be,
If everyone in it… were just like me?”
                                                   Brian Tracy

I’d like to start this chapter with a story I heard many years ago. I don’t know where it originated from so I apologize for not being able to give credit to the author.

Once upon a time there was a Father left at home responsible for watching his 6 year old son. However, the Father was working very diligently at his kitchen table trying to figure out his income taxes. His 6 year old son meanwhile became increasingly bored. And since there was no one else at home, he began to harass his Dad to play with him.

In an effort to give himself more time with his tax work, the Dad spotted a newspaper with a large picture of the World. Thinking he had a great idea, the Father cut the page out… and then cut the page into numerous pieces. Then he mixed the pieces up and spread them out all over the floor.

Next, he gave his son a roll of scotch tape and explained to him that this was a “game” to see if he could put the pieces back together and re-create the picture of the world.

Certain that this little “game” would keep his son busy for quite a while, the Father returned to his tax preparation.

About 6 or 7 minutes later the boy climbed up on a kitchen chair beside his Dad and very proudly announced “Here it is Dad”. The father looked up AMAZED to find that this small, 6 year old boy had put the page back together… in under 10 minutes!

Astonished that the page had been put back together so quickly, the Father said “SON… HOW DID YOU DO THAT SO FAST???”

The little boy answered honestly. “It was easy Dad.” The boy flipped the page over to show the Father and explained… “on this side there’s a picture of a man… I knew if I would get the man right… the world would be right!”

*****

I like that story because there’s a lot of truth in it. Whenever things are right on the inside of a man, the world he lives in is a much better place.

We’ve all heard expressions such as “welcome to my world” or “he lives in his own little world,” but have you ever thought about how each of us do live in a world of our own?

One Choice – Two Options

When I was young boy growing up I use to wake up early on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons for hours. I’m absolutely sure that I knew the entire line up from about 7 am to 12 noon and which channels my favorites were on. Of course, many years have gone by since then and I don’t remember very much about the particular shows, but I do recall a theme that seemed to present itself more than once that stuck with me. Although I don’t recall the particular characters or shows, I believe I can still make this point clear.

Whoever the character was in the cartoon doesn’t matter, but the theme centered around a conflict he or she was having. There was an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The devil would tell the character to do the wrong thing and sell all the benefits he or she would get by doing so, while the angel would tell the character to do the right thing simply because it was the right thing to do.

In retrospect, I find that fascinating. Isn’t that just like what happens to us? Of course, we don’t see any angel or devil on our shoulders, but none the less, when we are conflicted in our minds, there seems to be two voices that we hear as we weigh things out before we make a decision.

As you can see from the example above, the cartoon character had two options, which is usually the case with all important life decisions.

Many years ago I read an incredible trilogy of books called “A Course in Miracles”. If I had to make a list of the top 10 books that I have read in my lifetime that have made the most impact on me, they would certainly be near the top of the list. Inside that trilogy it explains that there are two voices going on inside of us. One is the voice of the Holy Spirit. The other is the voice of our ego. Can you guess which one we should follow? Nice guess.

As most of you will know, the Holy Spirit is the voice for God and to use the verbiage directly as explained in the Course… “The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are.”

Can you see the similarity with the cartoon example? I’m sure you can.

Some of the People in Your World

Every day of your life includes a finite number of people that you will cross paths with. Many of these people will be the same tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and so on, but some will be different. Some of these people will interact with you and some will not, but they’re all in your world as you are in theirs.

You will love some of these people with all your heart, while others you won’t know anything about at all. Some of these people will disappoint you at times and some will make you very proud. Many times they will be the same people. In any case, you will have a chance to serve some of these people in some way, and they you. It may be something small such as letting another motorist get over who is stuck in the lane beside you or it may be something large, like paying for college tuition. I’m sure you get the point.

Some of these people will be very demanding of you. In fact, they’ll expect things from you and you will have to decide whether or not to comply with their demands. Sometimes you will be very demanding of them. In fact, you’ll expect things from other people and you’ll do things to pressure them to make decisions regarding your demands.

Of course, each situation in life has its own uniqueness and makes us feel that the outcome we’re after is the best one for all concerned, but so does the other party. Sometimes the other party does not have the same moral values as we do and they don’t hesitate to make decisions that offend us.

Here’s what I do and I recommend for your peace of mind and happiness. Always remember that you can’t control the behavior of other people.

The world we create for ourselves is largely due to the decisions we make. Sometimes these decisions are no brainers and would come with no hesitation, but others can be very difficult. Whenever you are confronted with a decision that is not so easy to make, I have found this question from Brian Tracy enormously helpful:

What kind of world would this world be,
If everyone in it… were just like me?

Love And Happiness

I’m sure you’ll agree that Love and Happiness are inextricably connected. Do you consider yourself a “loving” person? Hopefully you said yes. Have you ever thought about how your level of love at any given time relates to your level of happiness?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how loving are you?

Perhaps you can recall this question I asked you in the introduction:

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not happy at all and 10 being very, very happy, how happy would you say you are right now, BEFORE reading any of my posts?

I suspect the answers to both of those questions are either identical or very, very close. Are you beginning to see my point? If we can raise your level of love, we will invariably raise your level of happiness.

How Can We Raise
Your Level of Love?

First I think we need to define what Love is, though I’ll admit, that is a term that is as indefinable as any term could possibly be. Why? Because it is almost all encompassing.

Let’s take a look at how Saint Paul described love in Corinthians 13.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails…
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I know there are a lot of Star War fans out there (perhaps you’re one) and although I’ve seen very little of those movies myself, I am aware that there is a famous line that was used frequently. Perhaps you’ve heard it too.
The line is: “May the force be with you.”

I have no idea whether “the force” in the Star War movies is Love or not, but…

Love is a force

It is the most powerful force in the universe. It cannot be defeated. It is either working for you or against you, but as long as it is working against you, you cannot be victorious.

Recently I’ve heard (or read) somewhere that “evil” is NOT the opposite force of love as many believe. Evil is simply the absence (or lack) of love.

Just as darkness is NOT the opposite of light. Darkness is the absence (or lack) of light. Where there is Love, evil cannot exist, just as where there is light, darkness can not exist.
I Love… the analogy Rhonda Byrne uses in her book “The Power”.

She says:
“Think of Love as if it is water in a glass, and the glass is your body. When a glass has only a little water in it, it is empty of water. You can’t change the water level in the glass by waging war on the emptiness and trying to rip out the emptiness. The emptiness goes by filling the glass with water. When you have bad feelings, you are empty of love, and so when you put love into yourself, the bad feelings are gone.”

What Do You Love?

Here’s how we’re going to raise your level of Love (and Happiness). The human mind can only hold one thought at a time. Now here’s the thought I want you to use. Ask yourself this question. “What do I Love?”
Can you answer that question quickly? Can you remember that question? Good! Throughout the day, whenever possible, begin to ask yourself that question. “What do I Love?” and then proceed to answer that question with as many things (or people) that you can think of.

Your answers may be tangible or intangible. Get in the habit of saying to yourself throughout the day “I Love… and follow it with something!

Just for example purposes you might say:
I love sunshine
I love music
I love being able to drive to work
I love these cookies
I love John and Mary
I love having warm running water
I love having electricity for my television, for my lights, for my ______

I could go on and on and on and I know some of you may think it sounds silly to love cookies and many other things I could mention, but just by acknowledging the good things in your life you will become more grateful, more loving and happier.

A long time ago I heard that whatever you put your attention on grows. What better way to increase happiness than to “grow” the things you love? Thinking about what you love will produce feelings of joy and happiness, and feelings are the magnets that attract what comes into your life.

Your feelings are where the real power lies, but its time you realized that YOU have the power to control what you’re feeling. You’re driving your life, your mind, your thoughts and emotions.

Have you ever heard this?
Your thoughts create your feelings,
Your feelings create your actions,
Your actions create your habits,
Your habits determine your character,
Your character determines your destiny.

As you can see, it all starts with our thinking. Let’s start by thinking about what it is we love, which will lead us to “feelings” of happiness.

We all have problems that demand our attention, but if what you put your attention on grows, how much attention do you want to give your problems? I personally want to give my problems as little attention as possible. Of course we can’t forget about our problems completely. Doing so might create bigger problems. But keep in mind, we are all problem solvers. Of course, I don’t know your age but did you ever think about the many years of problems that you’ve already solved? Perhaps we should love our problems. I once heard someone say “the only people that don’t have problems are six feet under.”

Since I spend so much time on my computer, I created a specific document for my To-Do list. At the top of that document I have 5 lines that I like to read to remind me of a few things. Again, I don’t recall where I found them so I cannot give credit to the source.

The happier we are, the faster we will attract the life we want.
The happier I am, the faster I will attract the life I want.
Any problem that money can solve is NOT a problem at all.
Whatever it is… it’s OKAY
This too shall pass

Another Benefit of LOVE
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
                                                                         John 13: 34-35

May the force be with you.

What Do You Think?

Let’s Talk About God

Chapter One

Have you ever heard the saying
“I’d rather live my life believing that there is a God and die to find out that there isn’t, than to live my life believing that there is no God and die to find out that there is”?

In my humble opinion, it seems that any reasonably intelligent person after reading (or hearing) that would think to themselves “that makes sense” and adopt that philosophy.

I want you to know before we go any further that I am a believer and a Christian… if you are not, but have an open mind about the existence of God, than I invite and welcome you to proceed.

There will be times throughout this site when I will reference scriptures. Also, there will be times throughout this site when I will reference other authors; things they have written; things they have said that have impacted me. I will do that to make the points I want to communicate to you and of course if you are a reasonably intelligent person, you know that you are always free to accept or reject whatever point(s) I am communicating. As the old adage goes “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

As I stated in the introduction, I will need to make a connection with you and have you consider me to be a credible source. Otherwise anything I say (or write here) will not have any effect on you or your happiness level.

One of the primary reasons I have for writing this book is to help other people. I use to think that everything I might have to say has already been said by the other authors that I’ve read or heard throughout my life… but then I realized that just like the 5 blindfolded men I mentioned in the first post, I too have had a unique experience of life that I can share with others… and perhaps my message might speak directly to your heart and resonate with you like no other author could.

Proof, Trust or Both?

As I was growing up at some point, my parents told me my name and at some point later in life, they gave me a birth certificate. From what I understand, this birth certificate proves that I am who it says I am.
But I ask you…

Is it possible to create a false document, such as a birth certificate?

And if so, has it ever been done before?
Of course it has.

So then, how does this “birth certificate” (a piece of paper that has “A” name on it) prove that that is “MY” name?

Do you see what I mean? I believe my name is Don Pasco, BUT…
I don’t really know…
“FOR SURE.”

I believe it because I have faith in the source; the source being my parents.

The word faith in that sentence could be interchanged with the word “trust” without changing the meaning of the sentence at all.

What is faith?

Throughout this book there will be other words that could also be interchanged with the word faith, e.g. confidence, and I have heard many different definitions of the word faith, but I would like to share my own personal definition that may help you to more clearly understand where I am coming from when I use these words. Here goes.

Faith is:
“Belief in something of which there is NO proof.”

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I won’t believe it until there’s proof?”
Sounds like the infamous disciple named Thomas (doubting Thomas), doesn’t it?

The bible says that it is impossible to please God without Faith (Hebrews 11:6). I sometimes wonder if that is what living in this world is all about. After all, in heaven faith is not needed. It’s obsolete there.

Do you want to “please” God? Of course, if you’re not a believer (yet), then you probably haven’t given it much thought, if any. But those who are believers, I suspect you do (want to “please” God).

Let me ask you this. What are you doing to “please” Him? Anything? Nothing? Perhaps you pray once in while… Perhaps you pray every day… Perhaps you pray when one of your loved ones is ill or having a surgery. Perhaps you pray when YOU are having a surgery or medical procedure.

Do you go to church on Sunday? Perhaps at Christmas time… I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty. I’m just asking.

Considering that there will be readers with all different answers to that question, I just want you to think about your answer.

I was raised Catholic and as a child I really did not like going to church every Sunday and in retrospect I think that’s understandable. The sermons were Booor –ing. Kneel down, stand up, sit down, stand up again, kneel down again… I mean come on! What’s the point? Lol

It wasn’t until the 5th grade that I began to find some value in it. That was when I first heard about the altar boy program. One day there was an announcement that anyone who was interested could stay after school and get all the details. My Mom encouraged me to do it and I will be forever grateful. I had to learn how to say all of the prayers in Latin, which was a pretty big task for a 5th grader. As I began to learn all about the different parts of a mass I noticed that every mass from then on seemed to go by a little faster than when I was bored to tears and had no interest or knowledge about them.

It took many months to learn everything I needed to know and it became obvious that the person who taught the group had to work the boys who were ready to serve into the schedule as opportunities arose. I recall that although I wasn’t the last boy to get my chance, there weren’t many other boys left when I was finally selected to serve my first mass on a weekday morning at about 6:30 am.

I’ll never forget the big deal my Mom made about it. Although my Dad had to work, my Grandparents and my Mom were there to see me serve my first mass as an altar boy, in a church with just a handful of other people. It may seem like a small thing to a lot of people, but its times like this that stay with a person throughout their lifetime. If you’re a parent (and a believer), may I suggest that you make anything and everything to do with God a big deal with your kids. It will pay dividends you can’t possibly imagine.

My Mom and Grandparents are no longer with us, but the memory of that day is still here and making an impact in the words on this page.

Although I now go to church virtually every Sunday, there was a time shortly after my high school days that I stopped going (unless it was Christmas or Easter), so I know why people get away from going and why some don’t see any value in it. I would ask that “after” you finish reading this book, you reconsider. I’m not going to try to make you feel guilty if you’re not a person that goes to mass regularly.

For one thing, I don’t feel it is right to force anyone to go to mass unless perhaps they are children. Perhaps force is too strong of a word there. Perhaps I should say “make” or “require.” And the reason I feel that parents should “make” or “require” their children to go is because I firmly believe in this scripture:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
                                                                                                              Proverbs 22:6

I Didn’t Like Going to Church…

During the time that I stopped going to church, I had what I felt was a VERY good argument. I know the 10 commandments and as a Catholic we were taught that it was a mortal sin to miss Sunday mass because it was Commandment number 3.

Remember to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day.
(the Sabbath)

My argument was that “keeping the Lord’s day holy” is not the same as “thou shalt go to church on Sunday.”

Pretty good argument, huh?

It seemed to me that keeping a day holy could be anything that would make that day “special”, for lack of a better term.

What if every Sunday I volunteered at the local hospital doing something (anything) for patients? What if I entertained them in some way? Wouldn’t that or couldn’t that be a way to “Keep Holy the Lord’s Day?” Of course!

There was one problem with my argument. When I didn’t go to church, I didn’t do anything else to “Keep Holy the Lord’s Day”. I suspect that most people that don’t go to mass on Sunday don’t. I too am guilty… which may be why I now enjoy going to mass (virtually) every week.

Even though it may be rare to hear a sermon that I am fully engaged in, (most priests are very poor public speakers, in my opinion, though there are exceptions), I do get something out of the experience. Having made going to church on Sunday a ritual, even if my mind wanders (as it frequently does) and I never comprehend a single word of the sermon, it is impossible NOT to think about God at least a few times, either before, during or after the mass. I suspect that those who stay home and make Sunday just another day don’t realize the opportunities or the benefits they’re missing.

I personally love the idea of giving that time to the Lord. From the time I begin getting ready to go, I think to myself, “Lord this is for You”.

I love to get dressed up a little. Not usually in a suit and tie unless it’s Christmas or Easter, but in dress pants and a dress shirt, dress shoes and some nice smelling after shave. I love thinking to myself that I am going to the Lord’s house…. I can’t wait to talk to Him there. I know He hears me wherever I am, but perhaps my words will mean a little more there. Who knows?

I love the idea of thinking that if it is impossible to please God without faith, that He will be very pleased to see me do these things because I am showing my faith through every action. From getting dressed, to making the trip, to spending the time doing all of these things.

Now I ask you, if all things being equal, there was another me that just didn’t make the effort, that didn’t see the value in it, and lived every Sunday like just any other day, and you were God… who do you think you would want to bless first?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know how God thinks and perhaps He doesn’t think like me at all. In fact, another scripture that I like is Isaiah 55:9

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

What if You Truly Can’t Make it or…
Are Still Opposed to the idea?

When I come back from church the first thing I do is heat up a fresh cup of hot coffee and sit down to watch my favorite preacher. You may not be aware of it, but some of these people are fantastic public speakers with positive messages like you’ve never heard before!

They are like polar opposites of the priests I mentioned earlier. Now you’ll have to find the one(s) that speak to your own heart, but there are many to choose from. Admittedly, there are some that I do not care for at all and I suspect that there will be some (perhaps many) that you won’t care for either. That’s okay. You only really need to find one. You can do that. It may take a few weeks, but give them a chance and I’m sure you will succeed, if you’re truly sincere in your search.

And once you do, give that time spent each Sunday to the Lord. You won’t regret it. Make it your little ritual. Get yourself a hot cup of coffee (if you’re a coffee drinker) and a comfortable seat in your living room. So you’re not going to get dressed up, or make the trip to the local church, but you will be setting aside the time spent for one purpose and that purpose is to “keep holy the Lord’s day.”

Don’t let anything distract you during this time. Give the speaker your undivided attention. That means that you won’t be perusing the Sunday newspaper while you’re watching it, you won’t be holding a conversation with someone else while you’re watching it, you won’t be taking phone calls or checking your text messages while you’re watching it. Explain to anyone who may be around you that you have set this time aside to give to the Lord and you would appreciate it if they would respect your wishes and not distract you while it is on and that anything they need from you can be addressed when the program is over… unless of course, the house is on fire. 🙂

When others see that you are serious about these boundaries, they may become interested and join you. Being an example for others is something we should all strive for.

You might consider…
One of my personal favorites is Joel Osteen (though I’ve had other personal favorites before Joel came along). He’s a young guy with a slight southern accent, but we won’t hold that against him, will we?

He is the Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas –
www.joelosteen.com

It is a huge church that use to be the former Compact Center ( a very popular Sports arena years ago). Someday I ‘d like to go there just for the experience. It’s on my bucket list.

A few others you might also consider are:

New Creation Church – Joseph Prince (also one of my favorites) www.josephprince.org

North Point Ministries – Andy Stanley (quite frankly ALL of these are my favorites, lol) yourmove.is

In Touch Ministries – Dr. Charles Stanley www.intouch.org

Joyce Meyer Ministries – Joyce Meyer www.joycemeyer.org

T.D. Jakes Ministries – Pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas www.tdjakes.org

Why Is Chapter 1 All About God?

So glad you asked.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I firmly believe that God is the foundation of all happiness. As I stated in the introduction, there will be times throughout this book when I will reference scriptures. I do not claim to be an expert of any kind when it comes to the bible. I believe that there are many things that I have no clue about or do not understand, just as any of the 5 blindfolded men only knew a fraction of what the elephant was all about.

In this book I am sharing my own personal beliefs, observations and experiences. Your personal beliefs, observations and experiences may be far different from mine and of course, you are always free to accept or reject my way of thinking, but I hope you will at least consider the possibility that there could be some truth in what I am saying.

I want to tell you one more thing about faith before I end this chapter/post. In the introduction I referenced 2 Corinthians 5:7

“For we walk by faith, not by sight”

Apparently it is possible to do more than “walk” by faith. Did you know that scientists have proven that it is aerodynamically impossible for the bumble bee to fly?

Apparently, they believe they can.
I guess they didn’t get the memo. 🙂

Let’s move on to “The World You Live In”

 

Go Further Then You Thought You Ever Would

Most Americans desire to improve various areas of their lives. Some people want to advance in their personal lives, where others feel the need to focus on improving their careers. The article is filled with advice for anyone looking to work on some form of all ages who have ever thought about becoming a better person.

Everyone has values and beliefs in which they define themselves. This practice also promotes consistency, which is a trait almost everyone finds admirable.

Personal development comes from the decisions that you make when you choose not to miss an opportunity. Never back down from an opportunity. If you lack knowledge about a specific area, you should still be willing to make the most informed decision you can with the information at hand. Positive habits are formed through the instances where you make a successful decision, which in turn becomes a more “natural instinct”. Even if a mistake is realized after a choice is made, it can still be viewed as valuable because it could be treated as a learning experience. When you make a wrong choice, you are likely to make a better one next time.

TIP! Try perusing some books on personal development. The best of these types of books can truly give you new advice and ideas that work for improving your specific life situations and challenges.

You must know your own values that bear importance to you prior to planning a self improvement program. It is a waste of time to work on areas in your life that contradict your values.

Weight loss is not the only one reason to exercise.There are so many different physical exercise.

Take a notebook around with you to jot ideas in. Try carrying paper with you wherever you go. Write your thoughts down when they occur, and then you can refer back to them later when the time is right.

TIP! Place your personal central principles into practice. Everyone has certain beliefs that reinforce their sense of self at the core.

Try to always make every day more excellent than the previous one.

Ask other people about their achievements instead of bragging about your own.

Don’t think physical activity is only for when you want to lose a few pounds. There are tons of reasons to exercise. When you exercise, your body makes a variety of chemicals that assist in relaxing you.

TIP! Keep in mind the power of complimenting other people. Doing the exact opposite and being kind to others will help you be kind to yourself.

You need to care for yourself before you can start taking care of others. No matter where you are in life, you need to relax and reflect every once in a while.

Talking to a counselor or a religious leader can be an extremely rewarding experience.These people have lots of training and will know what to do in your situation. They are ready to listen and help guide you on the path to enlightenment.

Have a rainy day fund. Each time an unexpected expense crops up, it seems we wind up adding it to our credit cards. Just by simply investing a couple dollars per week, the amount will quickly grow into a large emergency fund. That fund will be helpful now and later, especially as your debt decreases.

TIP! Instead of bragging abut your achievements and awards, ask other people about what they have accomplished that they are most proud of. This helps you discover what other people have accomplished to help you respect them which in turn betters your character.

If you are battling depression, eat more foods that are high in complex carbohydrates. Serotonin can be depleted without enough carbs. You can do this by eating more raw veggies, raw vegetables, nuts, brown rice, whole grains and assorted beans.

No matter what, there is one thing you need to do.You need to chose to actively participate in life rather than sitting on the sidelines. If you are only watching your life go by, you are not really alive.

Do you consume more alcohol than you should? Are you a smoker or do you have any other harmful habits? Your body is what you live in every day and therefore consideration for its well being should be a priority. Eliminating bad habits is important if you wish to improve your life. Evaluate your lifestyle and habits honestly to see what you can start working on today.

TIP! If you are trying to manage your depression, eat more foods that are high in complex carbohydrates. Proper production of serotonin, a neurochemical that helps improve mood, requires plenty of complex carbs.

Everyone feels much better when they’re in are healthy. Make it a healthy choices.

Comfort Zone

No matter what your personal development goals are, there is one thing you need to do. Make the choice to be active in life and avoid being a spectator. Watching life go by, without participating, cuts you off from the world, and humans were meant to get out there and live life.

TIP! You can learn to control your emotions in a stressful situation. If you learn how to keep a good head when you are in a stressful situation, you can get the confidence in order to succeed in anything you do! Take a few seconds to focus on your breathing.

Taking a few small risks can help you feel happier. Many people do not like to take chances because they don’t want to feel like a failure, so they would rather stay cemented in their comfort zone, so they are often stuck in comfort zone that leaves them feeling unfulfilled. Taking risks requires a lot of courage, which is a component that can help you on the path of happiness.

Your mind’s health has an effect on your mind’s health. Always remember that healthy minds and a vigorous physical condition should work in tandem.

Take the time to find out what parts of your life are truly important, and concentrate on doing your best in those areas. You will find an increased inner peace if you do not dwell on the past or negative encounters, and choose instead to think and act on positive experiences.

TIP! You have to not only decide what you want out of life, you also have to take steps to get it. If you do nothing but sit around dreaming of how you want your life, you’ll never get it.

Always look out for new challenges. You are sure to learn more and acquire new things. You may even start a new model that nobody else has done before. Try to do your own thing, rather than following in everyone else’s tracks.

Value your personal best and make them very important.

Being dramatic or overreacting will only cause more stress. Analyze the situation carefully, and deal with the stress. You’ve probably made mistakes, but you can find ways to fix it, or even live with it. A good rule to live by is to not focus on what you have lost; instead, consider what you have still remaining.

TIP! Challenges should always be undertaken. Challenges are just disguised opportunities.

One specific goal you might want to write down is to have more confident. You would then put yourself into the situations that would make this happen. You have a high degree of accomplishing your goals if you methodically go about it.

Stress can take a toll on your body, and life is too short to worry about every little thing.

Don’t ignore your body’s signals when you are prioritizing your personal development goals. Listen to your body’s cues. If it tells you that it needs food, water or rest, LISTEN. By doing this, your body will function well for you in the years ahead. Ignore what your body tells you at your own peril. If you let it down over and over again, it may get its revenge by letting you down.

TIP! You should create a list of goals as part of your personal development efforts. Write down everything you aspire to be or to change about yourself.

Eliminate any unnecessary stress from your daily life. Accept that you cannot be perfect at everything and look for alternative ways to achieve your goals if you fail, and focus on finding solutions to these problems rather than giving up.

You have to choose and consciously decide to work toward it.

Getting and staying healthy is one of the most important parts of personal development. You need to not only eat right and exercise, but maintain the motivation to do these things day after day. The better health you are in, the easier it will be to accomplish your goals in other areas.

TIP! Know that where you are now is not the same as where you want to be. This first step is certainly one of the hardest, and many people have a hard time committing themselves past this point.

You should shoot to be the best in your area. Your passion should always lead the way on the path to success. You may never find yourself the absolute top dog in any one field, but you can inspire people in the same field as you. Do your best to become a leader in your industry, and you should feel more confident.

Many people have a feeling that something is amiss in their lives, but they are not sure exactly what the problem is or where to begin to correct it. This article offers some great tips, but you have to put them into action. You can come back to these tips again and again to keep your motivation level high.

Improving your life is closely tied to willpower, and a lot can be said for the karma you develop along the way. If you seek a healthy, happy environment, make sure to provide one for others. If you focus on the positive aspects of everyday life, you will be much less susceptible to those random episodes of doom and gloom.

TIP! You need to be comfortable working and promoting inside your strengths’ boundaries. No two people are alike and everyone is good at different things, which is part of what makes our world so diverse and interesting.