Living By Faith To Become A Better Person

Has The World Gone Crazy? Or Is It Just Me?

Has the world gone crazy? Or is it just me? I’ve been asking myself this a few times today over the last few years. In all actuality, I’ve come to the realization that I’m mad like the rest of the world (crazy mad not angry mad).

A World Gone Crazy: Fear:

There is an abnormal amount of fear that’s pervasive in this world. I’ve never felt this kind of fear, and I know it can’t be healthy. Just by turning on the TV, you can see it.

In our culture, we used to turn on comedy shows and briefly escape our lives, but now they mirror it. and we feel trapped.

Learn to not live in fear

You need to learn how to not live in fear. Fear is something that can paralyze or propel you. What it does is your choice. I used to be paralyzed by fear, and in some ways I still am. However, if you want to be free, you’ll have to stop listening to the fear and start listening to your heart. I know God isn’t a huge topic nowadays, but I’d say listen to him as well. You’ll be surprised about what you hear.

We are not built to bear these burdens, and whether you’re scared of Covid-19, terrified of what’s happening at the border, or worried about the loss of civil liberties.

None of it matters if you’re frozen in place and can’t live your life.

  • Close Your Eyes
  • Take A Deep Breath
  • And Ask Yourself What Is In Your Power?

The world has gone crazy because people feel powerless. It’s why a group of people wearing masks will yell at others not wearing masks in a store.

People fear, and they start to form clicks, or tribes. They start to believe in the people around them that believe the same, and at the same time, they shun the unbelievers.

This is what living in fear will bring you into.

Your Fears May Be Legitimate:

You might have legitimate fears. Maybe you have a preexisting condition, or you lost a close family member. (I’m really sorry for that)This world has had a rough go the last few years.

While the fear is okay, you can’t let it rule your life.

Letting fear run your life is bringing yourself down to base emotions, it’s similar to flying into a rage. Your emotions have to be balanced by logic, otherwise, you’re making the same decisions as an animal.

A World Gone Crazy: Politics:

…I told myself that I wouldn’t touch this topic with a 10-foot pole…Oh well, here I go.

In America, we have the left, the right, and the Americans. Most of us want to be left alone, live our lives and do our jobs. We all lean one way or the other, but everything is so polarized right now.

I constantly hear things like:

Silence is Violence & It’s part of the Constitution.

1st off, being silent is not violence. In fact, this reminds me of a Mark Twain quote:

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Mark Twain

2nd of all, I like to ask people if they’ve ever read the Constitution when they say that. Sometimes I’ll even pull my copy of it from my back pocket and ask them to show me.

My point is this, We Need To Stop Being So Militant About Our Beliefs. There’s a lot more of us who get along than those who don’t.

A World Gone Crazy: Despair

Despair is a scary topic, but it’s one that we can all unite behind. Suicides have skyrocketed in the last two years. So has domestic violence and violent crime.

I believe all of this stems from fear, and fear leads to division, and division leads to despair.

Despair comes at the point when you’ve given up. It’s a point you reach when everything is futile, and you’ve lost all hope.

In essence, despair is a form of death.

I honestly think this is how we’ve reached this point. When we despair we believe the world is beyond redemption and things will only get worse.

A World Gone Crazy: Jesus

I know Jesus isn’t the topic most people would like me to bring up here. However, in a world gone crazy, the answer is always Jesus.

Jesus is the way, and he didn’t say that so he could be prideful, or so Christians could make fun of other religions. He said that because the universe we live in is imploding, and he’s come to rescue us with the only safe passage away.

When he says he’s the way, he’s also saying nobody else is coming.

If you’re in despair, ask him right now to help you. I’m believing you’ll be surprised and I know a miracle is going to happen.

God loves you and is looking for an opportunity to show you. When you see it, make sure you connect with him.

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How You Can Handle The Stress In Our World

Handle The Stress

Learning How To Handle The Stress of the world is difficult. I’d even say the stress of the world is too much for one person to bear. In this day and age, we seem to take it all on, and it hurts us mentally and physically.

In the last two years, we’ve had a stressful election, a pandemic, and a resurgence in terror. (that’s only scratching the surface) I’m not going to blame the source, instead, I want to focus on how we can handle the stress that comes across into our lives.

Emotional Healing is extremely important, and stress will bring out a lot of pain you thought was long gone as well.

Learning To Handle The Stress Will Benefit Your Life

One of the things I’ve learned while handling stress is that I can’t take it all on. Even with me knowing that I still do it. However, I’ve begun to learn that if I can’t control it, I shouldn’t worry about it. Worry is only going to drain me anyway, and that makes everything a pointless endeavor.

Worry Is A Rocking Chair. It Gives You Something To Do, But It Gets You Nowhere.

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Stress doesn’t affect your mental faculties, eventually, it will mess with your body as well. Stress will raise blood pressure cause migraines and even messes with bodily functions.

None of these are good issues, and some are life-threatening. This is why you need to handle the stress that comes your way as soon as you can.

I’m a classic worrier. I remember being on vacation at 9 years old, and I broke down crying. Eventually, it came out that I was worried about what I was going to be when I grew up.

I still haven’t answered that question 30 years later…

However, I have realized that I need to enjoy the journey and not just the destination.

Exercise: Endorphins Are Amazing!!!

Whether I’m dealing with work, family, or the world in general. Exercise always helps me release my stress level. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a breath and go for a run.

Endorphins are released when you exercise. These endorphins will make you feel good, and they also calm you down. Also when you exercise you’ll be releasing tension in the body, and this will help you relax a little more.

This doesn’t have to be accomplished by running either. I tend to bike a lot during the summer and snowboard a lot during the winter.

Even going out for a walk can help you handle stress. The act of getting away and resetting can be beneficial.

Get Out Of The House:

Seeing the same surroundings day in and day out can get boring. It’ll also put you in a bad mood. If you’re having issues get out of the house. Similar to my paragraph above about exercise, going somewhere different sidetracks your mind and helps it reset.

You’ll be surprised when you come back to your problems how fresh your mind is. And what new ideas have popped up.

Meet Up With Friends: Handle The Stress

When you get out of the house or exercise, invite a friend with you. Make sure you speak with them about your fears and what is stressing you out. Often the act of speaking out loud will give you freedom. In addition to that, you might also score some advice that you were otherwise lacking.

People have different perspectives, and their perspectives can be the difference between freedom and sleepless nights.

Prayer And Bible Reading: Handle The Stress:

This isn’t the most popular category so I placed it last. For me, it’s the one I go to first. Being stressed out is a sign that I’m not hearing God’s voice, and that I’m not placing my trust in him.

Whenever I find myself stressed out, I open my bible to Psalm 121. It’s a Psalm that King David (of Israel) wrote a few thousand years ago.

He was in a lot of battles and had to put his trust in God. But he gives us a glimpse of his heart while he’s in despair as armies are coming to harm him.

It also really shows the love Jesus has for everyone.

I understand if you’re reading this and laughing. I used to be the same way. However, I’ve had way too many encounters with a loving God who really cares for me.

I hope you’ll give him the same chance I have, just ask him for one.

Is God In Control? Trusting Him In All Circumstances

Is God In Control?

Is God In Control?

I feel like I’ve asked myself that question multiple times today. At the time of this writing, our country is divided, the Afghanistan government has fallen to the Taliban, and we are on week 70 or so to flatten the curve. (I hate Covid, but I guess everyone does).

God is always in control, the question we need to ask is what do we want? Or what are we expecting? The truth of the matter is the world is a mess, and we’ve made it that way.

Pretend God doesn’t exist for a minute, why hasn’t world hunger been stopped? Why are people still enslaved?

Because man at his (and her) root is sinful, and that’s why it seems like God is not in control.

God Is In Control, We Don’t See The Big Picture:

I wrote about the big picture in another blog post about the topic of Jesus being the way. In our small world view we think Jesus saying he’s the way makes him sound full of himself.

In reality, we don’t see what’s going on.

Man has sinned.

We’ve damaged the universe through our sin.

Everything including us will eventually die.

Then we’ve got Jesus coming here to save us. It’s like we’re on a sinking ship, and Jesus has come to rescue us, he’s begging us to jump aboard, he’s the only way off.

And he’s telling us nobody else is coming.

A sobering thought isn’t it? He’s the only one who’s coming to rescue us, and he’s the only one who loves us enough to do it.

The Things We Worry About Are Part Of A Smaller Picture

I’m not saying your worries are meaningless here. What I’m saying is they’re all short-term. How often do you lay awake at night worrying about something that won’t matter 3 months from now?

In 150 years none of your worries are going to matter, and in 200-300 years, you’ll be lucky if people remember your name.

I don’t say that to depress you, I say that to remind you, that Jesus will always remember your name, and if you follow him you’ll be right next to him.

If God Is In Control Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

I stepped into this a little bit already, and this is going to be difficult to answer. Mostly because I’m trying to shrink down God’s actions which I don’t understand half the time anyway.

However, I believe there are a few good truths we can hold onto that will answer this question.

  1. Bad things happen because we have sinned.
  2. Humans have the power to change many of the issues we face. Sometimes we choose not to fix our problems.
  3. God uses pain to bring us closer to him.

Bad Things Happen Because We Have Sinned:

When God first created us, he placed us in a paradise. It was called the Garden of Eden. However Adam and Eve (the first man and woman) were tricked by an evil serpent, and they disobeyed God.

Since that time evil has entered the world, and bad things happen.

The bible even says the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

Keep in mind God doesn’t send the evil, while he does have the power to vanquish it, that won’t change us. We made a deal with evil, and until Jesus came and died, there was no hope for us.

Bad things happen because we live in a broken world, and yes God could fix it all. But that won’t help us. In the long run, we need to learn from our mistakes and trust in God.

Humans Have The Power To Change Many Of The Issues We Face

There are some days where I wonder if I’ll lose faith in humanity. I honestly believe the world can create enough food for everyone right now. Nobody has to starve, but mankind won’t come together and make it happen.

That’s the macrocosm of everything. I know we can’t be perfect and make a utopia, but know we could make things better in this world. For some reason, we don’t.

God Uses Pain To Bring Us Closer To Him

A better title would be that God allows us to feel pain, so we’ll trust in him. If life was still a paradise and we’d sinned, why would that matter?

God can’t be around sin, it’s repulsive to him, and yet for some reason, he loves us.

Look at the story of Lazarus in John 11. Jesus saw the pain people were in, and he cried. Except I don’t think it was a cry about his friend’s death. Instead, he saw the sadness of the people, and it moved him.

Pain will draw you closer to God if you let it, open up to him and tell him how you feel? You’ll be amazed at what happens.

Stop Worrying And Believe God Is In Control

This is the hard part, and it’ll take a little bit of practice for you to accomplish it.

  1. Stop watching the news so much. It’s only gonna make you despair.
  2. Read your bible and spend some time in worship.
  3. Find some good friends are your church that are following Jesus.

If you follow these 3 sentences above, you’ll find less worry and more joy. God is in control, it’s just hard to see when you’re in the valley.

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How To Stop Worrying About Everything.

How To Stop Worrying

When I was 10 years old my family went on a vacation. It was the first and only vacation I remember us ever having, and for some reason, I couldn’t stop worrying about my life.

Funny enough, I broke down crying in the middle of my vacation, because I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.

I didn’t write the age wrong above…I was 10 and on vacation.

Constant worry can be debilitating, and it will stop you from achieving your dreams and goals. In fact, I’d say the biggest epidemic in our world, is people living in fear, and worrying is just fear of the future.

Fear can be a good thing if used properly. But before you can weaponize it, you’ll have to understand why you do it.

Why Do You Worry So Much?

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in fear and worry. It’s because I can’t control what’s happening. I worry about the future and cannot stop. Most of my fears revolve around things that I can’t change and realizing that makes things a lot worse.

It’s a vicious cycle, and it doesn’t end until I breakout.

I honestly think the world has been hit by a pandemic of worry, and there is a group of people out there stoking fear because it gives them power, prestige, and money.

The next time you’re watching a news broadcast or someone is explaining something going on in the world. Ask yourself a few questions.

  1. How Much Does This Really Affect Me?
  2. Could This Be A Fabrication, Or Stretching The Truth?
  3. Is Their Someone Who Wants Me To Feel This Way? Who Are They? And Why Are They Leading Me Down This Path?
  4. What Can I Do Right Now To Help?
  5. Will This Effect Other Causes I’m Working On?

You might be reading those questions and start thinking that I’m a paranoid person. You’re sort of right on that. However, I’ve come to realize that the media (Whether It’s Fox, Or Another Legacy Media Outlet Like CNN) doesn’t really matter.

There’s an old Hollywood mantra that says Sex Sells. While that’s true, fear is engaging, and when you have a captive and scared audience. People will start to believe everything they’re told.

I decided to turn off the legacy media a long time ago, and it’s reduced my stress level and helped me stop worrying by leaps and bounds.

I feel free because, in the western hemisphere, one of our biggest causes of worry is the news.

How Do I Stop Constant Worrying?

Here’s where we start trying to kill the beast, above I went on a little bit of a tangent, but now I’ll start sharing what I do when worry hits me, both bad and good.

I struggle with fighting depression on a regular basis and some of my tactics overlap with that battle. Most of the time when I’m worrying I’m also depressed. If you need help fighting depression I’ve written some extensive blogs that might help you find your path. Click the link I placed above to check those out.

  1. Realize Your Situation Can And Will Change. Oftentimes Quicker Than You Think.
  2. You Might Feel Trapped, But That”s Your Brain Lying To You.
  3. Distract Your Mind, At First It’ll Be Hard To Accomplish This, But With Practice You Will Break Free.
  4. Grab Your Running Shoes And See How Fast You Can Get Around The Block.
  5. Call A Friend, Ask For Help.

The Situation Will Change:

Oftentimes when we need to stop worrying we don’t realize how deep we’re in until it’s debilitating. This means everything has progressed and you’re in a full-fledged freak out by the time of reckoning.

I’ve begun to train myself here to stop, and take a breath. To stop worrying you need to interrupt the synapsis that is causing your brain to go into overload so you can look at the entire situation.

To Stop Worrying, You Have To See The Future. Even if it’s only 15 minutes into the future. Close your eyes, take a breath, and stop worrying. Things are going to be ok, maybe not how you pictured it, but it will be ok.

You Feel Trapped:

This is an extension of the last feeling. When you feel the situation isn’t going to change, it envelopes you, and all of a sudden you’re trapped. The isolation is complete when you don’t reach out to the people who can help you, your friends/family/coworkers can help center you, but instead you close yourself off. Essentially you become the jailer of your own prison.

Distract Your Mind:

I’m actually doing this one right now. I am really worried about some work projects and should be working on them. However, my worry stems from the feelings of being trapped and not making any progress.

So I’m giving myself a little grace, and I’m working on something else because I need to flex some different muscles.

When you need to stop worrying, sometimes the best thing you can do is change the subject. Especially when it’s an internal conversation. Don’t let the worry run your life. It’ll be harder to get back.

Grab Your Running Shoes:

Or do any exercise for that matter. If it gets your blood pumping that’s a good thing. Exercise will release good endorphins which help you feel good stop worrying, and relieve depression. This is amongst other things, check out the list on the link above for more of that.

Whenever I’m worried about something I work out. In the summer I’ll go biking, running, or play sand volleyball. In the winter, all I do is snowboard. It’s my safety valve and it’s nice to have a release.

Figure out what you need to do now, so later on you have a plan to stop worrying.

Call A Friend, Ask For Help:

This list isn’t in order of importance. If it was this would be closer to the top of it. Calling a friend is one of the most important things you can do to stop worrying.

Friends can be reassuring, they can help plan and if you have good friends they can tell you that your idea is extremely dumb.

Find somebody who will listen to you and give you honest feedback.

Learning How To Stop Worrying

When you’re just starting out learning to stop worrying can seem like a huge issue that you’ll have to overcome. However, once you get a few battles under your belt, you get a support unit, and you have a battle plan. Stopping isn’t going to be a huge issue.

The trick is to stick with it and keep going. But if you’ve read this far, I know you will make it.

The Biggest Thing That Help Mes Stop Worrying:

My Relationship With Jesus is what ultimately saved me from being a worrier. I trust in God to guide me every day and while sometimes he’s confusing, I know that I’m in good hands.

The Other Items I gave above help, and to some degree, they’ll give you freedom. But if you’re not trusting in Jesus the worry will always come back. When you put your faith in him, you’re living life with him at your side. And that’s the only way to do it. Because Jesus is the way the truth and the life.

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Fight The Good Fight; How To Keep Your Faith

Fight The Good Fight

When I hear people say fight the good fight, I picture far-off battlefields and Knights In Shining Armor. They fight for glory, honor, and the name of the king. What they battle for is worthwhile, needed and their countrymen are grateful.

Recently I hit a bit of depression and looked at God in a new light. In my eyes, I saw an angry vengeful being. Who took delight in my pain, and thought of it as a way to ease his boredom. For some reason, I still wanted him to see me, and couldn’t understand why he allowed my pain to continue.

I spent many nights, asking, “Why do you hate me?”

He never answered audibly, and I really wanted him to. At the time it seemed like everything I did was cursed, and God had the ability to free me, but he wouldn’t. Eventually, I was able to calm down, and I heard his voice. He was always there.

If you’re in this place, I want you to know that there are some strong lies out there, and they will knock you down. But you have to stand back up, and fight back. You will take some hits, but you’ll give some good ones too. Jesus loves you, and he’s battling there alongside you.

What Does Fight The Good Fight Mean?

The phrase comes from Paul in the Bible. He says it in 1 Timothy 6:12 and also in 2 Timothy 4:7.

12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:12

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

2 Timothy 4:7

In the Chapter of Timothy, Paul The Apostle is writing a letter of encouragement to Timothy his disciple (It’s how the book got its name.)

Timothy was a young Christian, and Paul was trying to encourage him. Fighting the good fight of faith to both of them was staying true to the principles of God, and fighting hard for the truth. It almost meant staying morally and ethically right.

In our world, that’s difficult, but not impossible.

Keeping The Faith:

When you keep the faith, it means you’ve kept your focus on God, It also means that you haven’t surrendered your principles or God’s grace for something less than he has for you.

In my recent battle with depression, I wanted to give up on God. In fact, I spent quite a few days yelling at him. I poured out some dark feelings and thoughts. I wanted to give up everything and just disappear.

Then I started to think about God, and what’s he’s already done for me. If the only thing he’s done is take my sin and die for me, isn’t that enough?

Keeping the faith isn’t always a perfect day. Sometimes it’s slogging through a bunch of crap. Only to find that hell has broken loose.

This is where we get to the second bible verse I mentioned above. 2 Timothy 4:7.

Paul finished strong, he wrote that verse at the end of his life. And if anybody (other than Jesus) went through hell, it was him.

How To Fight The Good Fight Daily:

According to Psychology Today on an average day, some people can make up to 35,000 choices. While I believe that number to be high, I still think it all starts with a choice.

Step 1. Make Good Choices:

The bible says we should be faithful in the little things, and that is where we’ll begin. If you can make a bunch of little, good choices, they’ll build up to a really big good choice.

For example, choosing to not talk about a coworker, or choosing to help someone out that needs it.

These are all small choices that will help you refocus.

Today I made a few simple choices, that completely made my day.

Step 2. Have Perseverance

I wrote a blog post on this topic called how to persevere a while back. In that blog post, I talked about holding on, having patience, and waiting.

Waiting is something we don’t understand in our current culture. Amazon delivers in a few hours now, there’s no waiting.

But waiting builds character, trust, and focus. Especially when you’re waiting on God.

Step 3. Prepare While You Wait.

Just because you’re waiting, and building perseverance. it doesn’t mean you have to sit still. Spend time with God, hone a skill, become a better friend or family member.

We are never doing just one thing in life. Look at everything and believe it’s preparing you for the next thing.

Step 4. Hold On, It’ll Get Rough

The 4th step isn’t really a step. When you’re fighting the good fight, it’s gonna hurt. You’ll be hit, battered, and bruised. However, when God is with you, you’ll have nothing to fear, and your reward is in heaven.

Keeping The Faith

Fighting the good fight and keeping the faith isn’t about something extravagant. Instead, it’s about focus and perseverance on God.

It’s forgetting the past, your shortcomings, failures and mistakes. And it’s knowing God has forgotten them too.

I want you to know its easy to write about this topic, but it’s hard to make that happen.

The hardest time you’ll have in this is right before your victory. In fact, at 3 AM when you’re tired, and you’ve been fighting all day. That’s when you’ll want to give up, but the sunrise isn’t that far away.

Hold on, your breakthrough is almost there, Jesus has come to save you. All you need is to lift your eyes to the hills, and you’ll see him come in.

There’s been a lot of people in this world who’ve given up on the doorstep of victory, hold on and keep fighting.

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John 8; Jesus Proclaims That He’s The Son Of God.

John 8

John 8 is a chapter in the bible (from the book of John). And it begins with religious leaders trying to trap Jesus in his own words. In the text, that they bring a woman caught in adultery to him, and ask what should be done with her.

Instead of invoking the law of Moses, (which would be her death) Jesus stoops down in the ground and writes in the dirt. I like to think he was weighing his options on this one, thinking what is the best answer here. When he finally speaks, the chapter shows how merciful Jesus is.

John 8: A Woman Caught in Adultery

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

John 8:1-11

My Thoughts:

In the verses above we see a glimpse of why Jesus came, and how much he loves us. I like to think about heaven when I read this verse. The Bible calls Satan the great accuser, and like Job, he will come to God and made demands about us.

However, like in the story, Jesus died so our sins, failures, and even our evil, can be covered by his blood.

I like to think when Satan comes to stand before God in heaven, that Jesus reminds him of his defeat and impending future. Especially when he’s talking about one of God’s children.

Jesus The Light Of The World:

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. 

16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me. 17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact. 18 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”

19 “Where is your father?” they asked.

Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” 20 Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time[c] had not yet come.

John 8:12-20

Thoughts On These Verses:

Here we have Jesus referring back to John 1 where it states: “In him was the life, and that life was the light of men.” he came to be the light of the world, and we can infer from the bible that the light has been around since the beginning of creation.

in the verses, he also states (rather cryptically) that he’s come from heaven, and God has sent him. I think he’s also playing a little with the Pharisees and scribes. They think that they’re going to heaven because Abraham is their father. However, they aren’t righteous and aren’t seeking God.

Therefore they are blind to reality, and the truth. The God they are trying to serve is left out of the equation, and service becomes something that brings pleasure, not a relationship with God.

It’s a scary place to be in, I’ve been there before when I was in Ministry School. You spend all your time doing good and serving but you’re lacking the one thing that can give life to the ministry.

All in the name of being busy, doing good is going to send a lot of people to hell. Because they forgot who their first love is.

The Unbelieving People Get A Warning

21 Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.”

22 The people asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going?”

23 Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. 24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”

25 “Who are you?” they demanded.

Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” 27 But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father.

28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him.

John 8:21-28

Some Thoughts On These Verses

I love how Jesus talks in these verses. Some of the people get crazily confused, and at the same time, his disciples understand. It’s like he’s trying to pump his team up and make the others understand.

In earlier chapters, he proclaimed that he was the son of God. He stated he’s the living water, the bread of life, and later on he in Chapter 14, he says that he’s the way.

His passion, drive, and verbiage are all coming from a man that is trying to make people understand. The physical world is finite, but the spiritual world is not.

That is what we should be striving for, and that is what our focus should be. I’m not saying abandon this world and only focus on the spirit but I am saying there should be more of a balance. God is spirit and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 5)

Ask yourself, what are you doing to further his kingdom? It doesn’t have to be much, have you smiled at someone today? Or blessed them. Maybe you’ve sat and wept with someone in pain, or laughed when they were joyful.

We need to be about the kingdoms business, and I need to remind myself of this more and more, because I’m the worst offender of this.

Jesus And Abraham:

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

39 “Our father is Abraham!” they declared.

John 8:31-39

John 8: 40-47 Continued

“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. 40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. 41 No, you are imitating your real father.”

They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”

42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 

45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

John 8:31-41

John 8: Continued

48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”

49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. 51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”

52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”

57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth before Abraham was even born, I am!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

John 8:42-58

Thoughts On John 8

The truth will make people angry. As people, we try to make our lives easier, and we like to be in control. However, when God shows up, it makes us realize how much we don’t know, and how much we can’t control.

This will usually make people have one of two different reactions.

  • They Get Angry.
  • Or They Fall On Their Knees

When people get angry at God, it’s usually because he didn’t do something they wanted. The expectation is a great thing when waiting on God, however, we need to realize that when God says something, it might not come the way we think he’s coming to rescue us.

When you are listening for God’s voice, confirm it with friends. Especially if it’s something major like becoming a missionary to Africa. However, if it’s something simple, like buying that homeless person you walked by a sandwich. What’s the harm?

When people fall on their knees, they’re already living for Jesus, and hearing his voice. These are the righteous, and they are the ones who we should all follow.

Why Entrepreneurship Is Important? How A Business Is Born.

Entrepreneurship Is Important

Entrepreneurship is important for our country. Many of the fortune 500 companies that we know grew from small businesses.

But even if the business isn’t part of the fortune 500 list, it’s still important. Each business is the livelihood of the owner and the small amount of people he/she supports.

A good number of businesses that start will fold. Of the small percentage that survives an even smaller percentage will become a large business.

Why Entrepreneurship Is Important?

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy for everyone, in fact a lot of people who try working for themselves fail. However with the right planning, determination and focus, I believe anybody can survive.

Growing a business starts with an idea. People connect ideas differently in their heads, and so I won’t tell you an ideas stupid.

That’s a lie, some ideas are dumb…I thought about raising crickets at one point. While you can make money doing it, the noises they make at night are maddening.

The Story Of Apple Computers:

Chances are you have owned an iphone, macbook, ipod or an apple product of some kind. Or you’ve seen one.

Many people don’t know that apple computers started out in a garage. Steve Jobs and a few other built computers and their desire to be entrepreneurs built apple.

They had some rough spots, and it took awhile for them to grow, but that’s the life of an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship Is Important, And It’s Difficult.

Apple became a decently sized company in the 80s. Then it lost focus and almost went bankrupt. Only through bringing Steve Jobs back, were they able to restart, and eventually become one of the largest companies in the world.

Chances are your company isn’t going to be the top. However, by giving up, you’re letting go of any chance.

Owning and operating a small business is difficult, but entrepreneurship is important. If you’ve ever driven through a small town you’ll see small businesses everywhere. These are the companies and small stores that keep america running. Yeah there’s Walmart’s and home depots around, but a small business is really what grows/feeds america.

let me know what you think? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below. Also Check Out My Entrepreneurship Category For More Posts On This Topic.

Chase Your Dreams, And Transform Your Life

Chase Your Dreams

I’m a very stubborn person, and because of that I have a strong desire for being persistent, and often refuse to give up. This is the case when I’m passionate about something. When you chase your dreams. It should be the same way.

In the long run it’s a very good thing, however in the last two years I’ve learned that I need to throw in the towel sometimes.

It mostly stemmed from analyzing my time and discovering how much of it I was wasting. When building your dream it feels like nothing can stop you. However you’ll alway hit road blocks and find things to slow you down.

How Do You Know When To Quit? Or Overcome?

I’m going to write in some generalities here, hopefully it’ll give you some focus and direction to make the right choices. First off, everyone is different, and every situation is different.

Whatever variables you’re looking at, they’re unique to you, however overcoming the problems you face don’t have to be.

Why You Should Chase Your Dreams.

You Should chase your dreams just to see if you can do it. Personally, I don’t wanna wake up 50 years from now and wonder what could’ve happened. So if I have something in my heart, and it just sits there.

I’m going to be persistent, and I’m gonna chase my dreams.

What Is A Persistent Person?

I like to define this as a person who doesn’t give up, there are constantly fighting for their beliefs, projects, or people. They aren’t swayed by small problems, and they always overcome the big ones.

When they persevere, they succeed.

Chase Dreams And Stay Persistent.

For the most part I would say yes. Having a strong sense of persistence can be your driving force to chasing your dreams. However there are a few negatives involved with persistence.

  1. If You’re Not Careful, You Can Develop Tunnel Vision.
  2. Holding On Tight Can Bring Strong Emotional Attachments.

Chasing Dreams Can Give Tunnel Vision

A lot of times when people are focused on something, they tend to develop tunnel vision letting other areas of their life fall apart. When this happens it’s called tunnel vision.

The reason tunnel vision can be so negative is because it takes your sight away from other important things in life. For an example we’ll go with an old stereotype:

The Business Man Who Works So Hard He Loses his Family.

This person is a hard working person, they have vision and desire to become better. Chances are they have that job to provide a life for their family. However they focus so much on the job, that they forget the purpose of it.

Really sad actually.

Chasing Dreams Are Emotional Attachments

Sometimes we get focused and persistent on something and we need to let go. A prime example of this comes from my own life. Almost 3 years ago I quit my job and went into entrepreneurship. I had 7 failed business plans in 2 years.

Most of them were do too poor planning and to much excitement, and I lost a lot of money and time working on them. However, I learned quite a few skills in that period of time. In addition to that, I learned how to let things go, even if I was emotionally invested in the project.

The project in question was my Shopify store. I wanted that store to work, but ultimately it became a failure because I didn’t do my research and it would have been a financial/time pit.

Sometimes you gotta throw in the towel.

What Are The Benefits Of Chasing Your Dreams?

I think there are a lot of benefits to this, however there is risk involved, and you have to understand that. Below are things that can happen either way when you’re persistent and chasing your dreams.

  1. It Helps You Grow
  2. You See All Aspects Of The Project
  3. You Learn And Adapt To Make Things Work

I don’t know what else to write. In reality, being persistent is a good thing, but throwing in the towel has to be your choice.

When Should You Throw In The Towel?

Throwing in the towel is obviously metaphoric, but knowing when to throw it is a science. The phrase comes from boxing when the trainer would throw a towel into the ring. It signals surrender, which is a term I don’t write about often. I don’t like the term, but sometimes you’ve gotta live to fight another fight, and the current ones is something you can’t win.

When To Stop Chasing Your Dreams:

  1. A Project Has Become To Costly
  2. It Will Take To Much Time To Complete
  3. I’m Not Passionate About It
  4. There Is A Much Better Way

I need to throw in a disclaimer here, I’m writing a lot about work and entrepreneurial pursuits. However I’m only using these as examples. Feel free to reword the sentences to your own situation.

I dated this girl once and things were going really well. We were together around 6 months and things were beginning to get serious. Then out of the blue I started getting ghosted.

This was rough on me, it was one of my first real relationships, and I didn’t know what happened. However looking back now I can tell you a few things.

  • I had tunnel vision – My other relationships (friends, family, etc.) suffered greatly.
  • The emotional attachments ran deep in my heart – I couldn’t help that, but I can choose to be a better person than I did.

Eventually, I choose to cut the relationship loose and let her go. it was a tough decision, but she’d already made her choice about me, and there was nothing I could do.

Stop Chasing Dreams, When Is The Time Is Right?

There’s a few quick questions I like to ask when I start thinking about surrendering.

  1. What Amount Of Energy Am I Putting Into This?
  2. How Much Time Have I Spent On This
  3. Is It worth It?
  4. What Is The Perceivable Benefits To Accomplishing This?
  5. Is #4 Even Possible Anymore?
  6. If So, How Long Will It Take To Achieve, (Short/Long Guesstimate)
  7. Is This A Focus I Should Have? Or Should Something Else Take Precedence?

I’m pretty sure there’s a few other questions to ask. However these questions help me take a objective look at what I’m doing, and help make a focused decision about them.

Chase Your Dreams Or Throw In The Towel

Things are going to happen in life, and you aren’t responsible for what happens to you, however you are responsible for the way you react. That’s the only thing you have power over.

Being persistent is a great personality trait, however you can’t allow it to give you tunnel vision. Because that will blind you to the world around you, and you’ll really miss out on life.

Stick to your guns and chase your dreams and goals, and when it’s time to throw in the towel, see what you can learn from the situation. In that way you didn’t fail, because something was learned.

And That Knowledge Will Help You In The Future.

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Easy Steps To Accomplish Goals You Set In Life.

Accomplish Goals

The feeling you get when you accomplish goals that you’ve set for yourself is pretty amazing, almost euphoric even. However many people never set goals for themselves, much less strive to attain them.

I like to call these people dreamers, because a goal without action is nothing more than wishful thinking. Maybe that’s why we have a society so distracted by social media. We want to be on a beach in maui, drink in hand, but we don’t wanna put the work that’s necessary into getting us there.

Keep in mind I’m not trying to be harsh here, I’m only trying to state the difference in thought process. If you want to accomplish your goals. What in your life is going to stop you?

Anything?

The beauty of the free market and the American economy, is that nothing can stop you from being who you want to be, unless you allow yourself to be stopped. Many people will blame other people or circumstances, but ultimately they’ve given up.

Nothing Can Stop You Except Yourself, And Deep Down, I Think You Know That.

How Do You Develop Goals In Life?

When I have a goal that I’m seeking to accomplish, I start to ask my self a few quick questions.

  1. Is This Goal Even Possible?
  2. What Kind Of TimeTable Am I Looking At For This?
  3. How Much Money Will This Cost Me?
  4. Will It Make Me Any Money?
  5. Is This Stupid? Or Am I Really Considering This?

Ultimately, after going through these questions, I find some close friends and have a talk with them as well. If you have a goal, and want to accomplish the goal, you’ll need people around you.

These people can:

  1. Hold You Accountable
  2. Give You Great Ideas
  3. Help Steer Your Thoughts In A Good Direction
  4. Encourage You If/When Everything Falls Apart.

Keep in mind I stated above about sharing with close friends. Never share your ideas with anyone off the street. You don’t know their intentions, your ideas can get stolen, and they just don’t care about you. (in the same way)

What Kind Of goals Should I Set For Myself?

This division gets changed around a lot, it depends on who is writing about goals, and what their criteria is. I’ll break it down now.

There are 4 basic reasons we make goals.

  1. Job & Work
  2. Family
  3. Life
  4. Spiritual

Job & Work Goals

Some people have jobs, others have careers and some work for themselves. This category is where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or even 50 years? What title do you want to have? How many companies do you want to create?

Notice I’m not saying anything about money, I believe that should be in the family category, because it’s how you create a quality of life for them.

Family

For family goals it depends on what phase your family is in. Maybe you’re about to get married and want to purchase a house? Or perhaps you’re a retired couple wanting to downsize and travel the world.

The questions you ask here, what do you dream about? What are you wanting to do?

Life

What type of life are you looking for? Some people are content with going to their 9-5 their entire lives, and that’s not a bad thing because it gives them time with their families (see previous option). Other people want to see the world and travel, and still others want to work for themselves and spend more time with family.

See how these goal groupings are related? Work gives you finances for family, and when the family is doing well you can make life choices. These life choices can ultimately affect your work.

Well there’s one last area that we should make goals for, and I know there’s a huge chunk of society that doesn’t believe in anything spiritual, but I do. I’d be negligent if I didn’t write anything about that.

Spiritual:

My relationship with Jesus is what makes me who I am. It gives me my moral code, my direction, and my peace. Even when everything is falling apart and I’m failing at life (it’s happened). I know that I can rely on him.

So what kind of goals should I set for my spiritual life?

  1. I Read My Bible Daily.
  2. Daily Prayer/Listening To Gods Voice
  3. Try To Encourage At Least 1 Person Daily.
  4. Give To Others What You Have Been Blessed With.

I have that list and I’m not perfect at it, however it’s a list I strive for, and long to accomplish regularly.

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How To Accomplish Goals For Your Life.

Whenever I have to accomplish goals in my life. There’s a few steps that I look to that help guide me on my path. The issue with trying to accomplish goals is that when you dream big. It can be extremely intimidating.

The first thing I like to do:

Understand what the goal is, and try to figure out how it can be measurable.

For example; here’s the same goal below:

  • I want to read more books next year
  • Next Year I need to read 10 more books than my previous year.

Do you see the difference? The 1st goal is very ambiguous, yeah you could achieve it, but how will you measure it?

Always check to make sure you know where the ending is? What do you have to accomplish?

The 2nd Thing To Do:

Know you’re midpoint. What is the middle goal? Where is the middle goal? And How will you get to the mid goal? Part of this will be written about in the next section, but it’s a great thought process to start now.

How Do You Eat A Whale? One Bite At A time.

Accomplish Goals By Setting Milestones

I see milestones as little mini goals you’ve set along the path towards your one big goal. When you set milestones your progress can be measured and you make adjustments.

For instance the goal above was to read 10 more book this year than the previous one. So it stands a good chance that by July you should be halfway towards your goal right? Also in march or October you should be around 1/4 to 3/4 done.

Dreaming a dream is easy, achieving it is the hard part, however the feeling of accomplishing goals you’ve set and strived for is amazing.

Accomplish Goals That Are Smart

A lot of times we dream to big, and I know this paragraph will be slightly counterproductive, but the information needs to be said.

Sometimes your dreams aren’t smart. They need to be filtered by friends and family.

A good example:

In 2017 I quit my job and became an entrepreneur. While I don’t regret this time in my life, I do regret some of the choices, ideas, and debt I got myself into. I became an Amazon 3rd party seller and believed I’d be rich by the end of summer.

I was wrong, and didn’t speak with anyone about it. Instead I lost $2000 in ad revenue and crappy products that to this day I have next to my desk.

They warn me, plan appropriately and don’t act rashly.

When you set your goals, focus on what’s possibly, but not easy. When you achieve that difficult goal you make yourself stronger. It shows the character of who you want to be, and the character of everyone around you. Some people will be happy for you, while others will be mad.

They have their own lives to live, and their choices are their own.

Accomplish Goals You’re Passionate About

One of the other reasons people fail at their goals, is a lack of passion. Goals are difficult especially ones you really want to happen. However passion wanes.

Find a new way or reason to look at these goals.

  • Instead Of The Goal: I need to lose 15 pounds by Christmas.
  • Add: I need to lose 15 pounds by Christmas. The weight isn’t healthy, and I need to be around for my family.

The above sentence could be taken as a scare tactic, but I didn’t mean it that way. Attach something or someone you really care about to that dream. Don’t just set a goal for the sake of setting one.

Attach it to something you’re passionate about. Your passion will see you through, and on the other side you’ll be happier for it.

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How To Lead People, In Whatever Position You’re In

How To Lead

I know a lot of people with leadership skills that are wasting away. They think if they wait eventually they can lead. They hope that sometime in the distant future they’ll be in charge and it’ll be their time to shine. My response to them is always the same. Your Time Is Now. How To Lead people is a blog post I’ve written to help break people free of the confines of position.

Leadership skills NEVER depend on your position. Instead, they depend on your character and influence. It’s hard to skate by as a leader with neither of these characteristics.

Leadership Is A Skill and it’s a very important one. Everybody utilizes it differently and it has many variations. Sometimes thinking of it as a superpower that you need to control help.

When you don’t know who you are, why are people going to follow you?

How To Lead People In Your Everday Life?

This is the primary question, isn’t it? What leadership skills do you possess? How will you get people to follow you, even if you’re not in charge?

John Maxwell gives us a great secret about leadership. The secret is influence, nothing more, and nothing less. When you have influence over people it means they trust you, and want your input. When you’re working on a team at work, and you’re just a member of the team,

  • What kind of input do you give?
  • Are you encouraging others to do their best?
  • Do You Help, Even If It’s Not Your Job

These are all examples of things you can do to increase influence on the team. Notice I didn’t say over the team, I’m not about manipulation, and while there’s a fine line in the leadership/manipulation world. I like to draw the line at where they’re headed.

  • Is The Group Headed To Something Mutually Beneficial?
  • Or Are They Headed To Something The Leader Wants?

Leadership Coaching & Development Is Extremely Important

For people who don’t think they’re there yet. A quick call to a leadership coach can change your outlook. A leadership coach can help you plot out your path and avoid major pitfalls.

Total Disclosure, Over the years I’ve met a couple of leadership coaches, but have never had the chance to use one. However I’m always annoyed at myself for not using them, I feel it would give me some clarity.

You can also purchase books on leadership and receive some great training from accomplished authors. John Maxwell is an author that I mention often and is considered a leadership teaching guru. If you’re trying to learn how to lead. His books are great resources about leadership.

In addition to being coached. For the leader who wants to improve their skills becoming a leadership coach can help them improve. Leadership is like a muscle, and they need to be worked out to be strong. In the past, I’ve helped friends and family improve their skills and abilities. It’s a great feeling when you see those skills put into action.

Here’s Help If You’re An Introverted Leader

People tend to think of introverts as solo people who hate talking to others, while that is the stereotype many introverts can become amazing leaders. These are the type that can lead leaders by sitting down and talking with them.

Many people hear the word leader and think of the person on stage in front of everyone encouraging them all to do something epic, and that’s only one kind of leader. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not extraverts.

Extraverts can connect with people easily one on one, and make them feel important. By doing this they’re helping the group move towards their mutual goal. When you figure out how you can lead, the world will open up to you.

Pro Tip: If you’re introverted, don’t let people think of you like the quirky person in the corner who hates everyone. You’ve got a lot to offer, make sure the world knows about it.

Extrovert Leaders Make Sure You Listen To Those Around You:

These are the leaders I alluded to above. They are loud, boisterous and usually know everyone in the group. These are the leaders who get up in front of everyone, encouraging the group and trying to drive everyone forward.

Keep in mind I’m speaking in stereotypes here, the groups can definitely co-mingle, and in reality, I’d prefer that. Anytime you have a team of people working together for a common goal, you need people to encourage you. whether it’s one on one, or in front of the crowd.

Encouragement is the fuel, that drives you towards a goal.

How To Lead Without Being In Charge?

So now I’m going to ask you a few questions.

  • Why Do You Wanna Lead?
  • What Type Of Leader Do You Envision Yourself To Be?
  • Do You Have Any Skills Or Abilities That Might Help You Be That Person?
  • What Weaknesses Could Stop You From Becoming That Person?

These are great questions to ask, because everyone wants to become a leader, because of the prestige. However many people who want to become one don’t understand the pain and heartache their current leader goes through.

Also, they sometimes don’t have the right heart set and they become a micro-manager, and nobody wants to deal with one of those.

When you’re honest with yourself, take the plunge and lead something small. Get a feel for it, let the people around you give advice, and focus on the goal.

Whenever I find myself in charge of something or seen as a leader, I try to remind myself of the team atmosphere that I try to create. Wherever I go, I build a team, and that team becomes a mini family.

In the past I’ve run valet, grocery, produce teams (just to name a few off the fun Ones off top of my head), and many more. However one thing stays the same, I let the people around me know my strengths and weaknesses. They in turn show me theirs and we learn to work by helping each other.

This is something you can do, regardless of how you lead. Connect with the team, even when you’re not in charge.

What Is Servant Leadership?

Leading by example is an important aspect of leadership. When you lead from the front it gives a sense of security to your team. They feel that you’re in the fight with them, and it resolves the manager/team issues you see in many places.

A good example of this comes from my job before college. I worked in a produce department as the Team Leader. My predecessor would come in after the work was done (around 7 AM). While his team showed up at 4 AM. Most of the work was done by the time he arrived.

So my first day I showed up at 4 AM, which of course shocked my crew. Then I asked where they needed me to start. I didn’t wanna ruin their morning routine, so I started doing the crap jobs that they didn’t wanna do. Yes, I was in charge, but I wanted to see how they operate, and how I could help them.

Eventually I had one of the best teams in the district working with me, and any of them could have done my job.

Why Do I Lead?

This is a question that you’ll ask from time to time. Usually when you’re frustrated, tired, or all of the above. For me, I’ve been in leadership positions my entire life. It’s second nature to me now, and I can’t stop it.

Ask yourself right now why do you lead? What are you expecting to get out of it?

If the answers only involve yourself, you might wanna examine that further. True leadership is serving the ones around you. that is where you’ll get the greatest efficiency and do the best work.

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Choose Your Future; How To Start Winning At Life Today.

Choose Your Future

When I was growing up everything seemed very simple. I believed that you wanted something bad enough, the world couldn’t stop me. However, I’ve learned since then, that no matter how much I want something. I’m usually the one who stops me from achieving my dream. Making the choice today is great, but will I make the same choice tomorrow? You Choose Your Future every day, and the sum of those choices is the present. So Choose wisely, your future depends on it.

I started this blog and another called SnoFallGear at the same time. Both were birthed out of a desire to change my life, and transform the lives of others. This desire for change is a passion of mine, and it’s what drives me every day.

A truth we need to discover in life stems from choosing. As people, we tend to embrace our triumphs and achievements. They are owned by us, and we earned them. However, we take our failures and blame others for them. Someone had a grudge against you, or something failed that shouldn’t have.

How often do we look at our failures, and ask ourselves what could we have done better?

What Does Winning At Life Mean?

Choosing your future and going for it is where your path begins. For me, it began with giving my life to Jesus. My relationship with him didn’t make my life easier, in many ways it became more difficult. However, the more I chased dreams and goals, the less alone I felt.

For me, winning at life is a life lived to the fullest, and that life to the fullest is with Jesus. A lot of people have a bad view of Jesus, they think when you give your life to him it means boredom.

Instead, I’ve discovered who I am, I take risks, and I’ve accomplished things I never would have gone after alone.

Winning at life, is becoming the man or woman you were created to be, and the only way you can become that person. Is with the one who created you.

Choosing Your Future, Starts With One Daily Choice

Many people get up every morning and read some awesome self help blog. Their resolve grows in their hearts, and they decide to make a change. Most of those changes only last a few days.

When you choose to make a change, it has to be a daily change. Your future is written every day by every choice you make, and guess what, not making a choice is still making one.

Recently I was on the phone with someone close to me. She was complaining about her life, and in recent years it’s all she’s done. Finally, I got annoyed and interrupted her.

“Why Don’t You Make A Change,” I asked?

She stopped, stunned wondering what I meant, and so I told her.

“Life isn’t about just sitting around waiting for things to happen. God created you to move, act, and think. If nothings happening, maybe you should make a decision and do something.”

I don’t know if my words did anything for her, but I know they spoke to me.

Choose Your Future, Because Nobody Else Will

Many times we will tie our futures to other peoples. Instead of going off and developing our own skills and abilities, we’ll take the easy way out. We tie ourselves to an organization or person that’s doing something that we find interesting,

Then we find ourselves there for 40 years.

Eventually and almost too late you realized that you had the chance to choose your future, and you chose safety. Choosing the future you want involves risk, it isn’t safe, and there’s almost no way to mitigate the risk.

Choose You Future; What I Did.

The End of June 2020 marks an anniversary for me. It’s the anniversary of when I finally decided to choose my future. I didn’t want to live enslaved anymore and couldn’t take it another minute.

It wasn’t my job that enslaved me.

My mindset was what bound me up. I was scared to take a step, scared to move forward. Finally when everything in my heart had boiled up, and I was about to explode. A choice was made.

I walked into the office of my company and quit my job.

Now to take a few steps back, my job was for a great company. There was nothing wrong with it. However, it took up most of my time, my efforts, and by the time I got home every night. I couldn’t do much else.

It enveloped my life, and I wasn’t happy building someone else’s empire. I wanted my own. No matter how small it would be.

The Next 2 1/2 Years

I wish I could write that I found success fast, money came pouring in, and I was able to travel the world helping people. In fact, I barely can be considered successful now. But I wouldn’t trade the world for all the experiences I had recently.

Instead of success, I found failure, at least 7 times over, and that’s not counting my 20+ ideas that never got off the ground. Most of these failed due to lack of funding or feasibility. I fought and bled for my ideas, and I was grinning the whole time.

When I got to Choose my path, it awakened something in me. It gave me a dependence on Jesus, and a focus that I’ve never had. My life has been changed, and it’s easily been for the better.

Yeah I don’t have the large bank account anymore, and my A/C in my Jetta has stopped working, But now I’m content, and excited for the future. It’s a choice I made 2 1/2 years ago, but continue to make every morning.

What Are Your Dreams?

As you’re reading this, my hope is that your dreams, skills, and desires come up. What do you want to accomplish in this life? Are you waiting for something to happen? Or are you going to make it happen?

Jesus has given you the skill, and ability. All he needs now is for you to ask for his guidance. What have you got to lose?

The Best Tricks To Stop Running Away From Problems

Running Away From problems

I’ve seen a lot of people in my life who are always running away from problems. They hate the system, society, even their family and friends. However if people would look at themselves, I think they’d see some issues inside to face as well.

This article isn’t going to be bashing anybody, or any of the above mentioned social structures. Instead, I want to write an article thats a roadmap to examining your heart. Find your issues, and stop running away from them.

A companion article I wrote some time ago, was called Snowboarding anxiety. While I know the title doesn’t make sense, the topic will definitely hit home. We all live in fear, especially during these dark days of covid-19, but if you keep your head, and balance emotion with logic (to much of either will lead to a weird place), you’ll come out on top, and it’ll be an amazing place to be.

Is It Bad To Run Away From Your Problems?

Running Away From Your Problems Won’t Help Solve Them. Instead You’re Putting A Gap Between Yourself And The Issue. The Gap Can Stop You From Finding A Solution, Blind You From The Issues At Hand, And Even Give You A False Sense Of Security. The Only Real Fix, Is Facing Them Head On.

Why Am I Continuously Running?

This is a question only you can answer, however for the base of this, you need to look for fear.

  • Where does your heart have the most fear?
  • How did that fear get there?
  • What experiences happened in your life, causing you to develop that fear?

Notice I’m writing a lot about fear, running away from your problems is 99.9% of the time fear related. If you remember in school they teach about fight or flight. In general people are on a spectrum of what they do more, however I believe the older you get, the more it gets polarized.

How To Stop Running From The Issue.

If you’re hear reading this, and you’re breathing. You still have potential. Until you draw your last breath, there is a reason you’re here on this planet, and you were created for something greater than running away from your problems.

Mainstream society has done us all a great disservice. People once believed they were important, they believed in individuality, and that one person could make a difference. Now we believe we’re just a speck of dust floating around in a galaxy.

What good can 1 speck of dust do? So instead of doing anything, we run away from everything. I want to change that mentality.

You were made with a purpose, and you aren’t just a speck of star dust destined to return into the cosmic void.

Why Do I Always Run Away?

Running away is a learned behavior, it feels safer, because you’re getting away from what scares you. However, while putting distance between you and pain, things start to work against you.

Problems are there to be faced, not pushed aside. Problems will never disappear until they are faced, and you can ignore them all you want, but they’ll just keep piling up higher and higher, and daily you’ll feel more trapped. This causes major hysteria in some people.

Stop Giving Into Hysteria

Remember when I said emotion should be balanced by logic? It works both ways. One of the things that bugs (lightly bugs me) me about Star Trek is the Vulcan culture.

Here we have a culture that had emotions and feelings, then due to wars and other issues decided to cut them off, and create logic as their God. If this was a human culture, I’d say they cut away their humanity. I understand it’s a fictional universe, but you can’t cut away your emotions. They make you who you are.

However we do need logic to coral those emotions. When you let your emotions run amuck. You give into hysteria, and then you start running away from your problems.

Does Running Away Ever Solve Your Problems?

Running Away from your problems will never solve anything. Even if you can break the bonds and be free, they’ll always be in the back of your head, bugging you, and that’s the rare occasion.

Most of the time, your problems will resurface, and they always come back at the worst time. This is why I always tell people to stand and fight. Face the issues in front of you, and don’t back down from them. You might not receive the resolution you want, but most likely it’ll be better than a non resolution.

Stop Running Away

Now we get to the hard part, how do I stop running away from my problems? For many people this is going to be a life changing decision, and I know that sounds cheesy but it’s totally true.

You Have To Stop Running

Most likely if you’re reading this article, you’re already running. The first step to facing your problems is that you have to stop running. This can be done in a number of ways. I’d recommend doing whatever relates to your problem at hand, the more you do, the more you can succeed.

  1. Find a friend/Family Member/Counselor and speak with them.
  2. Decide to make that phone call, or have that tough conversation.
  3. Stop the fear from growing, look at everything logically.

For example, almost 3 years ago I reconnected with my dad. We hadn’t spoken in 18 years due to abuse I’d received from him as a child. Now I’d learned he had cancer, and I wanted to find closure in my life.

Before I did anything I had multiple conversations with people about what I was doing. These people were close to me, some were family, and some were friends that I trust.

After speaking with them, and feeling like I was ready, I decided to make a phone call, however the fear in my heart grew, and I needed to fight it. It took me a week to finally pick up the phone and call my dad.

Because of this, we were able to reconcile, he’s passed away now, but I don’t have regrets anymore about him and me. We both found peace, and more of this story can be found in my book Hurricane Jerald.

Turn And Face Your Problems/Fears

After you stop running away, you can turn and face your problems. This is where you need to make a choice. Much like I wrote above about the phone call, you need to know what you’re going to do, and let nothing change it.

A Little Encouragement

A lot of people at this point are thinking that they can’t do this. There’s no way. I thought the same thing about my father. When you’re ready you’ll know, and that’s when it’s time to fight.

I believe in you, and know that you will get through whatever issue you’re facing. You’ve been placed here on this planet for a reason, and you need to accomplish that. There’s a purpose inside of you, it’s time to stop running and start fighting.

Stop Experiencing Fear Without Reason And Powerful Tips To Overcome It.

Fear Without Reason

Throughout my childhood and adult life, I’ve had an issue. It usually happens during the darkest, most quiet part of the night. I’ll wake up out of the blue, and a terror has gripped me. Sometimes there’s a spiritual element to it, and sometimes it’s a fear without reason.

When you’re afraid it’s your body’s way of telling you to be on guard, to stand ready. However some people allow themselves to be paralyzed by their fear, and this defeats the purpose. In my book Hurricane Jerald, I go over a lot of concepts about fear, and how to overcome it. Check it out if you’re interested in reading my story.

Fear Without Meaning

If you’re reading this because you google fear in the middle of the night, I hope this helps. Whatever you’re facing can be defeated and you can have a solid nights sleep. I promise that. The following pages aren’t a step by step process or anything like that. Instead it contains the truth, and I hope you can take a logical look at things.

Fear is an emotion, and as such, it can run roughshod over every area of your mind, but only if you allow it. In fact when your episode of anxiety goes away, (and it will pass) sometimes you’ll wonder what gripped you so strongly.

While the emotions feel so real at that point in time, you have to understand. It’s impossible to stay that worked up for any length of time. You just can’t, the body cannot do it, even panic attacks have to end. They might come back, but eventually the body will get tired. That’s when you can get to work.

God Has Not Given Us A Spirit Of Fear, But Of Power, Love, And Self-Control.

2 Timothy 1:7

Have You Ever Been In Love?

To better clarify my post above, we’ll use a different emotion. We’ll use love, and if you’ve ever been in love, you understand the warm fuzzy feeling that you start out with, aren’t necessarily what you have 6 months to a year down the road.

I’m not saying the love goes away, but it does transform into something different, and I’d argue it’s even a stronger bond, however the point I wanted to make involves the emotional intensity.

When that much time has passed, it goes away, and what you’re left with is something like a foundation to build on.

Sadly enough…it’s the same thing with fear and anxiety.

Why Am I Panicking For No reason?

Using my example above, when you wake up in the middle of the night, there is definitely a reason, even if it isn’t evident at the moment in time. In fact most of the time it’s a couple of different reasons that have decided to attack me from all sides.

That’s when I wake up in a cold sweat, and for the rest of the night, I’m doomed to walk my empty, lonely apartment with insomnia.

Look deep into your heart/mind. What are the things you are anxious about? Are there things that continue to come to mind, and you keep pushing them back? Even simple things can add up. These are things you need to deal with by making a plan, and taking a long look at them.

There’s a lie that you’ve been listening too. It states that you’re weird, and there’s no problem. Everyone deals with this, and they don’t wanna hear this. That is such a lie, and I urge you not to believe it.

The truth, is that there is someone who will listen if you speak to them about your fears and anxiety. Find someone to talk with. Whether it’s a friend, family member, co-worker, or church attendee.

There has to be someone, fighting this battle alone is difficult, but not impossible.

Fear Without Solution

This is one of the scariest fears. When there’s no solution and a really big problem lies in front of you. I faced this type of problem a few times in my life, and there’s a few time honored choices you can make that’ll help you win this battle.

  1. Find someone to talk to about it. (are you getting a theme here?) Make it someone not closely involved but able to see the issue.
  2. Try and see the issue from a different angle.
  3. Take a break. Go outside, do a hobby, watch a movie. Take a nap. Sometimes the solution will come up when you least expect it.
  4. Give up and walk away…at least for a time. If you’ve been trying extremely hard and you can’t make headway. There’s no shame in walking away. Whether it’s permanent or temporary depends on the problem, and on you.

I firmly don’t believe in fear without solutions. I believe there’s an answer to everything, we just need to look more.

How Do I Get Rid Of My Fear And Anxiety?

There’s a dichotomy to this, I have a strong faith in God, and believe he’s watching me in every situation. Whether things turn out good or bad, I know something beautiful will come from it. As long as I choose to grow and not get bitter, things will turn out alright.

Fear Without Faith

My whole life I’ve always had faith. So it’s a little hard for me to write about this. However when are afraid without faith, what do you hold onto? Is there are rock you can grab in the middle of the storm?

2 months ago I had a panic attack. I’ve had a few of these in my life. Another time was when my mom told me she had cancer. I passed out in front of her.

It happened in the middle of the night, and I honestly thought I was going to die. My heart was racing, and my face was burning. As I reached for my phone and car keys (somehow I thought I could drive) I heard God speak to me. He said I should pray, and I did. I stumbled around my living room in the dark for the better part of an hour and found peace.

Fear With God

Since that fateful night, I don’t wake up in the middle of the night scared anymore. I don’t feel the need to sleep with a Katana next to me, and don’t feel weird in the dark without a weapon.

It’s like the fear has been removed, and God will do the same for you. All you have to do is ask him. I’m not telling you to join a church, but I am telling you to reach out to him. Especially during times like you’re facing. He will meet you there, and stand against the darkness for you.

I now he will, because he loves you just like he loves me, and that is what really matters in this world.

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Why Fear Is Good If You Use It To Push Towards A Goal.

Fear Is Good

In our culture fear gets a bad rap. It has a negative connotation that people can’t seem to get over. They see people in movies and books who are courageous, and they know that’s not them. but what If I were to tell you that’s all a lie, a facade? What if I told you that Fear is good, as long as you use it to your advantage.

Fear will Paralyze

Or

Propel You

The choice is in your hands, and you make that choice every day. In fact, your whole life has been one training day after another. How you currently handle fear, is how you’ve trained it to be.

Can Fear Can Be A Good Thing?

Do you run? Do you fight? Both choices are useful depending on the situation, but there is also a 3rd option, and it’s called inaction. When you choose that option, you’re abdicating control over your life and letting the chips land as they fall.

My opinion is that Inaction is the worst form of cowardice. When you make a choice and fail, at least you tried.

Fear Vs. Courage

People think Fear and courage are opposites, and this leads us to the false equivalence. If you’re scared then you lack courage, and I don’t believe that to be the case.

I don’t see courage as the absence of fear, but choosing to act while afraid. It’s knowing you’re scared, but you’ll still do what’s right. When you allow fear to paralyze you. You losing control of the situation, and you turn it over to other factors. In essence, you give up control of part of your life. However, when you act, you’re taking mastery over it, and choosing to do what needs to be done.

Why Fear Is Important?

Fear tells you that something dangerous is near, it brings you into a place where your natural instincts will take over, and it gives you focus. Like I wrote above, fear is bad when it paralyzes you, however when you make a choice you’re also making a decision to face the fear.

There’s a lot of hysteria in the world today, with Covid-19, issues in China, and everything in the Middle East…

to name a few.

but how many of these issues do you actually have control over? I’d say none of them, so why are you spending so much time and energy worrying about these things?

It’s a realization I came to a long time ago, I’m a man that can worry about the things I have control over. Where’d I leave the remote? Did I start that fire? Is this girl the one for me?

These are fears I can face and control. when I stop worrying and start acting in the areas of my life major things can change for the better. From relationships, job opportunity’s too simple things like leisure pursuits.

All of these can be attained when you stop being paralyzed and learn to take a few risks.

How Do I Win Over My Fears?

This takes a lot of training, help from friends, and in my case, a lot of prayers. Currently, there is a lot of fear in this world, and like I wrote above it doesn’t look like things are going to get better for a while.

However there’s a few simple things you can do that’ll help you in fighting your fears and anxiety.

Know Who You Are:

Does my title make sense? Perhaps not, but when you know who you are, you’ll have roots. This foundation will make it extremely hard for anything to shake you. Remember when you have a tall building, you’ll need a deep foundation. It’s the same with people, if you don’t know who you are, how are you going to stand against things you don’t believe?

Let me give you a start with this, You were created for a beautiful purpose. There are things on this planet only you can do, and that’s why you’re here. Jesus loves you and is always there for you, all you need to do is ask for help.

This is of the spiritual truths, that helped me find myself. My relationship with Jesus is by no means perfect. In fact, I make mistakes daily. However, if you’re struggling with fear, pain, or heartache. You can reach out to him, and he’ll answer you. You might not get the answer you want, but you’ll get the answer you need.

Have A Solid Group Of Friends:

A lot of times when fear enters your heart, the first thing it does is paralyze you. It’ll make it so you’re too scared to move, and you’ll feel alone. This is where your friends come in. When you have an awesome group of people around you, make the best of things and let them in. When you know the real you, let others know that person too.

You’ll discover a lot of awesome things about people and find more resources than you’d ever imagine.

One of my favorite bible verses on this subject is Ecclesiastes 4:10. In the verse, it states that 2 are better than one because if one falls the other can pick them up.

When you try to live life alone, all you have is you to rely on, and that gets lonely really quick.

Name Your Fear, Is It Good Or Bad?

This might just be a Sterling thing, but I’ve discovered that emotions/feelings can rise up so fast that you’re acting by total instinct instead of logic.

Emotion and logic are both needed for proper decisions, having too much of one or the other can give you some horrible life choices.

When I dig into my feelings of fear and anxiety, and I see the fear I name it out loud. This helps me focus on the problem at hand, and see it for the size it really is.

For example, I had an expensive car repair recently and didn’t know what to do about it. I was worried my job depends on the car and it was greater than I could afford. Eventually, I got so worried that I couldn’t think about anything but the issue.

Finally, I sat down and looked at everything objectively, listed out my options, and reminded myself that this is only a short-term hurdle. Life changes fast, make sure you don’t spend it worrying.

Spend it doing something.

Why Fear Holds Us Back?

I’ve gone over it a little bit already, but fear holds us back because it blinds us to the choices we need to make and the options we have on the table. I’ve said before that fear paralysis isn’t a good thing.

You need to make a choice, and whatever happens is the consequences of that choice.

I know that sounds scary in its own right, but making a bad choice is still a better feeling than wonder what the outcome of my choice would’ve been.

I hate that feeling.

What Are The Positive Effects Of Fear

Believe it or not there are some positive effects of fear out there.

  1. It’s a motivator, when a lion jumps out, you’re motivated to run. LOL
  2. Fear Will Bring You To Focus/I’m at my best when I use fear to my advantage.

I know there’s more positive effects, but those are my two favorite ones, and I personally thing they’re the best ones.

What are you going to do in life? Are you going to let yourself sit still and do nothing, only to wonder why on your death bed? Or are you going to try, and someday be content with the memory of a choice?

In Conclusion:

I hope you liked my latest writing about fear. It’s something we have a lot of current in the world, you can win this fight. Use the fear to propel you, and Never let it win.

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Will Jesus Talk To Me?

Jesus Talk To Me Now

There comes a time in every Christians life where they ask a simple question. “Will Jesus Talk To Me?”

You also don’t have to be a Christian to ask this, in fact I wonder in Non-Christians ask this question more.

This question might pop up after a major transgression, or you might be feeling depressed, lonely, or unloved. I know that I’ve asked the question multiple times. The last time I wondered was yesterday, and it’s still in the back of my mind.

Now that I’ve got the dark part out of the way, I’d like to show you the light. If Jesus died for you, then he’d love to talk with you. No matter how you feel, the truth is out there, and the truth is this:

  • Jesus Loves YOU, and that love is unconditional. John 5:8
  • Since He Loves You; He Wants To Talk With You. Zephaniah 3:17

Knowing the truth is great, but believing in the truth is much, much harder.

Does Jesus Want To Talk With Me?

I believe Jesus does want to talk with us, but that’s also not the real issue here. The real issue is do we feel worthy to talk with Jesus? In actuality we are not worthy. We’ve sinned against him and we are essentially cut off from him.

However that’s the beauty of the cross. Jesus came and die for us, so we could know him. In another blog post called it is finished, I wrote about why Jesus came and how much he loves us. You should check it out.

Oftentimes when we are wondering if we could come back to Jesus we’ve hit a low point in our lives. Something horrible has happened and it might be from a choice we made or not. Either way, we are lonely, depressed, or scared.

Remember that God loves you, and while we were sinners he died for us. This means that he loves us, and knows our failures. Yet he still reaches out to us.

I honestly believe that God is always speaking, we can’t hear him because our lives are too loud.

My Life Is To Loud?

I mean that literally and figuratively. Jesus is speaking to us, but we’ve gotten into habits of filling our lives with so much that we can’t stop and listen to his voice. Since we don’t hear his voice we do more stuff, and the cycle continues.

I believe hearing the voice of God is like a spiritual muscle that we need to develop. If we don’t work it out, then it gets weak and flabby. At this point we need to focus and strive extremely hard to hear his voice.

However, if we’ve focused on his voice, we quiet ourselves, and it becomes familiar to us then it becomes a regular part of our lives. When Jesus is a massive part of our lives, we can hear his voice so much better.

Jesus Talk To Me Now

There’s always those times in the middle of the storm when your should is screaming this sentence. Years ago, after a horrible break up, I found myself yelling this to God. I wanted Jesus to speak to me, and wanted him to say everything would turn out alright.

It was sad, because never heard him speak…

That didn’t mean he didn’t love me, and it didn’t mean he was ignoring me. I’m sure he heard every prayer I said. I even felt the presence of God in my room when I was praying for those long hours. His peace is what sustained me. However I doubted that he loved me still. Just because I didn’t hear him speak.

Then What Did It Mean?

I believe that I didn’t hear Jesus speak for a couple of reasons.

  1. At the time, my heart was flooded with emotion. I’ve realized in years since this incident that when I lose control of my emotion, that I can’t hear God. It’s not that he isn’t speaking, it’s that my emotions crowd out his voice.
  2. The outcome I was focused wasn’t the outcome God wanted for me. Have you ever prayed a prayer hoping that God would change his mind and make everything better? Did you wonder if God didn’t know what he was doing, because your plan was the best thing ever and he didn’t understand. Yeah that’s not going to fly.

When you hear Jesus talks in your heart, you’ll know it. However other things can crowd out his voice, and it’s almost like he’s being silenced.

If He’s God, Why Doesn’t He Speak Louder?

The still small voice of God has puzzled biblical scholars for years. One of the earliest examples comes from the book of Kings and the story of Elijah. A huge storm rips the mountain apart and the Bible says God wasn’t in it. Then once everything is over, Elijah hears a still small voice.

It’s hard to hear Jesus talk when you’re standing in the center of a storm. During those times you have to realize what your responsibilities are. Your job is to have faith in Jesus, believe he’s there with you, and hold on. Sometimes that is all you can do.

Understand that the storm will pass, it always does, and when it does, the voice of God can be heard in a still small voice.

How Often Does Jesus Speak To Us?

I believe in my heart that Jesus is always speaking to us. Unfortunately we aren’t always listening. That’s where a lot of the confusion comes in. Like I wrote above, our main issue in hearing the voice of God stems from our lack of spiritual muscle and crowding out his voice.

If you tried to hear his voice daily and just quieted yourself. I guarantee you’d start to hear his voice more. Add in some bible reading and you’ll have a genuine relationship.

Is Jesus Ever Silent?

In my life, there have been times that I believe God was silent, and I know that contradict my sentence above about God always speaking to us if you view it from the surface. However I’m talking about Jesus talking about direction and focusing me. If Jesus is every silent to you there are a couple of things you can do to hear the voice of God.

  1. Read the Bible, If you can’t hear his voice, at least you can read his written word. In fact sometimes that’s exactly where I’m supposed to go and hear from him.
  2. Go for a walk. Near my house in Minneapolis is a beautiful lake called Lake Calhoun. (It also has a couple of connecting lakes as well but that’s beside the point). When I struggle hearing his voice I go out into nature. During the winter I snowboard, and in the summer I visit the lakes. Somehow I feel closer to the creator by being around his creation.
  3. Fast Something: If you’re struggling with hearing the voice of God, you might need a spiritual breakthrough. Jesus himself admitted that fasting is sometimes needed for a breakthrough. If you have health problems speak with a doctor and tell a few friends prior to doing this, but it can really help.
  4. Spend more time in worship, and more time listening. Sometimes God wants to see how much we want him around. When Jesus breaks the silence, it’ll be worth it.

Can Jesus Hear Me?

I just wrote a blog post called Does God Listen To Me? I’ll try and contest what I wrote here:

YES

There’s a number of reasons we think God doesn’t listen, but he does. Most of the time it’s our perception of God that throws us off. What we want and desire becomes a filter.

It’s why you have to surrender to God, and believe when Jesus talks, that his way is better than your own. He sees the whole picture and we have spiritual tunnel vision. Let the one who has site lead you.

If Jesus Did Talk To Me, How Can I Know It?

There’s a number of filters I use to make sure it’s Jesus speaking to me rather than my own voice or something from the world. I’ll write a list below.

  1. Is the voice saying something that parallels the Bible? If it’s saying something the Bible contradicts, It’s not him.
  2. How does my heart feel, does it feel peace? Not on the surface but deep down. Meditate on it for awhile and see how you feel.
  3. What do my close friends/family/clergy think? Is this something they’d agree with?

These are simple litmus tests I run when God speaks to me, and for simple things that Jesus says I don’t run them. For instance, God tells me to give $20 to the homeless man on the street. I’m not going to call family/friend/clergy to get confirmation on this. It’s biblical, and it makes sense, so I do it.

However for bigger questions like who should I date, should I take this job, what vacation should I go on. These are good questions to ask.

When you hear Jesus talk to you, you’ll realize that he has a lot to say. There’s a lot of wisdom he wants to pour out on you. Make sure you’re a vessel ready to hear it. To learn more about hearing the voice of God, I’ve written another post about Practicing how to hear his Voice. Please go ahead and read that one as well. In addition to that, I’m always writing new blog posts, don’t forget to subscribe below to get the latest updates.

How To Admit You Were Wrong

admit you were wrong

When you admit you were wrong a liberation happens in your soul, it frees you to be yourself. There are a few hurdles to overcome prior to your admission of guilt and most of these are mental however, if you can weather the storm. You’ll come out on the other end with personal pride, and honor.

A couple of the mental hurdles you’ll have to overcome involve but aren’t limited to:

  • Feeling like an idiot.
  • Worrying what people will think.
  • Thinking you’ll lose power or prestige.
  • Feelings of inadequacy.
  • You’re full of pride, and can’t admit you were wrong

Many of my reasons above are related and come from the mental games we tend to play. I also feel that higher authority levels grow these feelings. While this differs for different people it’s also a matter of how you view yourself.

How Do You Admit You Did Something Wrong?

In my life I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and when I choose to avoid the truth, it has always made things worse. When I was little and I broke a window living at home. I lied about it, and my punishment got worse. In college I was a valet, and I scratched a car. At first I ignored it, but then my conscience got the better of me. I admitted my fault, and the owner was grateful for it.

When you ignore the choices you’ve made. You’re holding yourself stagnant. What you choose/did will fill your mind, and you won’t be able to move on. This is part of what your conscience does. It wants you to make things right.

So how do you admit you were wrong?

When you apologize stick to the following rules:

  1. Admit your choice in the issue
  2. Say it was a wrong choice
  3. Apologize for it.
  4. Ask for forgiveness and options to avoid this issue should it arise again.
  5. Move On.

What Is A Lawyer Apology?

Recently in the news Senator Chuck Schumer made a statement that threatened a couple of Supreme Court justices.

(I’m not trying to be political, just making a point. This issue is on both sides of the aisle, and I’m just making a point).

Once there was a public outcry against his words, he tried to walk them back. However, if you listen to his “apology” you’ll realize it’s not an apology at all. He’s making justifications for what he said and tried to dilute his angry rant.

This is not how you admit you were wrong. When you apologize and admit you were wrong. Reasons why should not be in it. Also pointing the finger at others is not okay.

Too many times politicians won’t take responsibility for their own actions. You’re the leaders of our country, you wanted the job. If you don’t want the responsibility you shouldn’t take the glory either.

Admit You Were Wrong, And You Might Retain Your Honor

In my experience whenever I’ve screwed something up. It envelopes my mind for quite a while. I never like to admit I made a bad choice because I feel like it affects my leadership negatively. The problem with this thinking is that most of the people around you know (or suspect) that you had something to do with it.

Whenever a group of people works together, these things become common knowledge. And the longer you take to admit it, the worse they will view you.

Face Your Mistakes; And Learn From Them

Everybody screws up. I tell my snowboarding students all the time;

If you’re not falling, you’re not learning.

Elijah Sterling/SnoFall Gear

When you stop yourself from facing your mistakes, you allow fear to take hold of your life. No matter how small the matter is, make sure you admit to it.

Mistakes People Make Doing This

  • Sometimes People Take The Blame For Others
  • Admitting They Were Wrong Blinds Them

Sometimes People Take The Blame For Others

This issue by far one of the weirdest things I’ve ever run across in the business world. I’ll see a boss who makes horrible mistakes constantly get protected by their underlings. I’m not even sure how/why this happens. It’s just weird.

Admitting They Were Wrong Blinds Them

Some people do the right thing, they’ll admit they were wrong. However they’ll become transfixed on the issue, and they’ll never be able to move on from it.

This can be really creepy after a while, and it’s definitely NOT healthy. They get tunnel vision and it stops them from making more decisions.

Admit You Were Wrong

In the end admitting you made a mistake comes down to choices and pride. Once something bad happens and you know you’re at fault. Admit it, acknowledge what went wrong, and move on from it.

Keep in mind, all choices have consequences, and that’s another thing that holds us back from admission of our mistakes.

Facing The Consequences”

When I admitted to my boss that I scratched the car, I thought I was going to lose my job. I agonized about it for an entire day, and finally realized that I had a choice.

  1. Tell Him And I Get In Trouble
  2. They Find Out, And I Lose My Job.

Number one wasn’t a guarantee, I knew that I still might lose my job. However Number 2 was definitely a guarantee. So my choice was simple, I’d admit I was wrong, and face whatever consequences may come.

Some of you might be thinking, what a second? There’s a 3rd option here. Keep your mouth shut. While I do agree that was an option, it wasn’t an honorable one. I’ve always believed that I should be a man of honor, who speaks honestly and truthfully. How else do you trust people if they aren’t honest with you?

In Conclusion:

  1. Understand when you’re at fault. Take a critical view of the issues.
  2. Admit your part in it, and your decision in it.
  3. Don’t give lawyer apologies like many politicians today. People don’t wanna hear that junk.
  4. Move on, and find solutions to the issues that have been created.

If you follow these steps, many people are going to see you as honorable and as a leader. Great leaders value other peoples opinions and admit they were wrong. Focus on the things you can change, and great things will happen.

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Leadership Integrity | Best Traits Of A Leader

Leadership With Integrity

One of the biggest issues an organization will face, is having a lack of integrity. The public doesn’t care if it’s real or perceived, it’s always bad for business. When you have leadership with integrity, you’ll minimize the risk of that happening.

While it won’t eliminate everything, having the proper leaders in place can make a world of difference.

Leadership With Moral Purpose

Another way to say this is to lead with a moral purpose. Many companies are trying to do this, and it helps shape how the public views them. Prime examples are Apple and Google; these are two of the largest companies in our world today. Their companies have an internal focus of reducing waste which helps (hopefully) the environment and reverses the effects of climate change

Whether they’re doing enough, or if it even matters isn’t the point. This is their moral belief and they’re following it. A moral belief can change, unless it’s rooted in something.

Case in point, the western world was founded by Christians, and through Christian beliefs. Hospitals were developed because monks, priests, and nuns took care of the elderly and the sick.

These places were all birthed out of Leadership with a moral purpose. The people who formed our society today gave us building blocks, and these building blocks are what we get to build on.

Our morality might be different. But our focus should be similar. When you lead the people below you should be respected, and treated properly.

Why Is Integrity Important In Leadership?

I was told a story once that the word integrity comes from the latin word integra. It was used by Roman soldiers on the battlefield and meant protect your heart. If a roman soldier didn’t protect his heart on the battlefield, he died.

The same goes for leaders. If you as a leader have no integrity, and you make a foolish choice. You lose your heart.

Your integrity is the glue that holds your place in leadership together. Without that glue, you are nothing.

  • Who Will Follow A Lying Leader?
  • Will You Follow A Leader That Takes You For Granted?
  • Do People Like Leaders Who Hoard All The Glory?
  • What if your leader never does anything to help the team?

These are all leadership examples I’ve come across in my life. I can look at each one of those questions and attache 2-3 names minimum to them. While I’ve forgiven them, it doesn’t mean I have to be like them.

You have a choice, what kind of leader will you be? Will you lead by fear or lead by action?

This is a choice you have to make.

What A Lack Of Integrity Does To Your Team

I might have written about this before but before I was in college, I was hired to be a produce manager. The first day I walked into my department was a wake up call.

The morale was horrible, people had been told I was going to fire them, and everyone was on the verge of quitting.

What Do You Do In This Situation?

I smiled, picked up a box of tomatoes and worked alongside my new team. By the end of the day, they had a slight respect for me. I kept up with them and didn’t threaten, abuse, or yell at them.

When you treat people with respect. They will repay you in kind. Leadership with integrity is by far a great skill to have.

How Do You Use Leadership Integrity?

In the story above I wrote about how I worked alongside my crew. For 6 months I did this and received great traction with everybody. However there was one guy on my crew that didn’t like me.

In fact one time he said I really hate you. (To my face)

A lot of people would throw in the towel here, but I’d already learned that he wanted my job, and I was brought in. He’d applied for it, and was turned down. he saw me as an obstacle in his career. He had other issues as well, but I’m not getting into those.

Once he was honest, and said, “I hate you.” I smiled at him and gave him my thanks for being honest.

Not many people were honest with me during that time. It was frustrating. To hear an honest sentence, even when it was a sentence I didn’t want to hear was refreshing.

So I asked him to help me train my new associates. I wanted his expertise and honest. Years later, when I left the department. He was still there, and one of my best workers.

What Are The 5 Attributes To Integrity?

Honesty: You can’t have integrity without honesty. Now this doesn’t mean you have to tell people everything, you have to have some tact. but outright lying to people should be prohibited. When you are honest. Your people will follow suit, and you’ll be able to lead easier and more efficiently.

Take Responsibility For Your Actions/Choices: One of my biggest pet peeves stems from leaders who make choices but don’t accept the consequences. You see this happen all the time in politics. Republicans And Democrats Do it. They make a choice, vote on it, and then say they weren’t informed. Who’s fault is that? Do some research before you make a choice, and if the choice goes south. Admit you were wrong and apologize. It’ll go a long way when you have leadership with integrity.

Let The Needs Of The Team Go Above Yours: Most of my examples are from the workplace, and take this one with a grain of salt. Your private life and work life should be separate, otherwise you’ll go crazy. However your team needs to know you’re there for them, and you’ll do whatever it takes to help them get the job done. Make sure they feel empowered, and make sure they have everything they need to succeed.

Respect Everyone: Whether you’re talking with a janitor or a CEO, that person still needs to be respected and treated the same. Never put someone down because of their station in life. You don’t know battles they’re fighting, and a smile can go a long way.

Give The Benefit Of The Doubt: Trust the people below you, until they give you reason not to. When you give the benefit of the doubt you’re sowing seeds of respect in their life, and they’ll reward you for it.

What Is Integrity Of Character?

Integrity of character is choosing what is right, even when everyone else is going the wrong way. You make a decision, stick by it, unless you find out you’re wrong.

However if you believe you’re right. Don’t let others sway you, even if by others it’s everyone. Leading with integrity can get lonely, but it will eventually be worth it.

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Are You Losing Faith In The World Around You?

Why Am I Losing Hope

The last few years have been really rough. My father had cancer and passed away. My businesses have been struggling, and I was hoping to find love. Everything I’ve been focused on has failed, and I’ve been losing faith.

When you go all-in with something failure will rip your heart out, and it will demolish you. It marks you for the next event, and it reminds you of your failure.

You have a choice when you’re losing faith. You can fight, or you can run. Running will not stop the loss, in fact it only increases it. When you run you’re making things worse on yourself, and only delaying the fight.

The worst part about running is that it tires you out, and when that fight inevitably happens you’re more exhausted than you should be.

It’s why so many people continue to lose faith, and they become shells of their former selves.

What Does It Mean When You Lose Faith?

To lose faith is to lose your future. It’s a belief that goes into your soul that you buy into. And that belief is that things will never get better, in fact you’ll be lucky if they stay the same. For me a deep sense of foreboding comes onto me, and I usually wanna curl up and die.

Losing faith is a horrible feeling, and when you combine that with depression or anxiety. You’ve got a giant to defeat.

When you lose faith there’s almost nothing you can do. I say almost, because the few things you can do, will make all the difference. One of the reasons I am in this place, is that I left my close friend group, and joined some others. However I didn’t let myself get close to the new group, and kept them at arms length.

When you don’t have a good sense of community, you’re going to lose hope.

How Do You Never Lose Faith?

You can hold on forever, when you’ve got good friends. Your friends are key to winning the battle of hope. When you’re weary, they’ll lift you up. And if you’ve lost your way, they’ll help you find it.

One of the best things you can do is having good friends around you.

Time With Jesus; Keeps Me From Losing Faith

One of the things that has been a huge benefit, is a relationship with Jesus. He and I have been through a lot, and there’s no other person in this world that I’d rather fight alongside. Because he’s always helped me fight.

Losing Faith And Learning To Fight

Along with Jesus and friends. I had to learn to make some choices. One of which came from the old saying, “Fake it till you make it.” I don’t like the idea of faking anything, however sometimes you have to force yourself to do something.

When I was losing faith about things with my father, I didn’t wanna go to work, talk with friends, or even go snowboarding. (which is a huge stretch for me)

I lost all faith in society, and it didn’t look like I’d find it anytime soon. However a month ago I did notice a light, and over the last few weeks it’s begun to grow. I’ve made consistent choices to focus on the little things. If I can make choices in areas that I have power, and stop worrying about the things I can’t, then maybe there’s a difference I can make somewhere.

If you’re losing faith you’re not alone. I want you to know this, God loves you, I love you, and there’s a world of people out there who love you. There’s a reason you were put here on this earth, and only you can accomplish that reason. You’re worth it.

I don’t know if any of this post makes sense, but it was on my heart and now it’s out on the internet. Comment below if you enjoyed it.

What Is Worship?

What Is Worship?

Growing up in the church I had a huge problem with worship. It was boring and I hated all singing, and the clapping. Also there were so many people that I didn’t like being around there.

Every Sunday I had the same experience. Needless to say, I slowly developed a bad view of the subject. It took me years to change my tune.

A few years later, I went into ministry school, and started to learn more about myself. I began to study the Bible on my own, and I came to a realization/conclusion.

While worship in a church setting (like on a Sunday morning), can be a life changing experience. It isn’t everything. It’s just a corporate form of worship. So I asked myself, how and I personally worshiping God?

Keep in mind, my following post isn’t bashing church worship, or the people who do it. I attend worship services regularly, and love them. However there’s more to life than a worship service.

Church Services Don’t Explain Worship Well.

During this time, I read a book by John Eldredge. (I don’t recall which one, I’ve read a lot of his books). But in the book he talks about a church service he attended once. During the altar time, the pastor on stage began to describe heaven. He went on to say heaven was like an eternal church service.

Johns response shocked me, but I agreed wholeheartedly.

“That sounds like hell.”

I believe church worship services are beneficial to anybody in their christian walk. It might even be the best way to corporately worship him.

However your Christian walk is also personal. So when it comes to personal forms of worship. I’m scared many Christians neglect this area of their life. God should be in your personal life and I’ve even say this is more important than the corporate one. . Let him into your entire heart.

The most sincere form of worship Is People Hungry After God, Using The Skills, Talents, And Abilities He’s Given Them. To Bring Glory To His Name.

Elijah Sterling

So What Is Worship?

Jesus came to die for us, and now the Holy Spirit is living inside of us. They give us a deep connection to God, and he created the heaven and earth. Why on earth would we limit our time to only be inside a building singing songs?

It’s not like you can attend most churches on a Monday morning and they’ll have a team of musicians playing for you. The same God who created pianos, drums, guitars and singing voices. Is the same God who created Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, and the oceans.

If singing and music point you towards him, by all means do it. However if you feel God by watching a waterfall. Grab your bible and sit next to one.

Corporate worship is a great thing, but if you’re not connecting with God on your own at some other time during the week. You’re missing out on EVERYTHING.

I’ve always been the type of person who hears God better while tearing down a mountainside on a snowboard, or riding a mountain bike through the trees. For some reason nature quiets my soul, and I hear his voice so much better.

Some might call me a heretic for saying this, but I believe it wholeheartedly. If you’re giving glory to God, by using the skills, talents, and abilities he’s given you (whatever they may be). Then that’s a form of worship to him. Make sure he gets the glory, and try focusing on him while you do it.

How To Worship God.

When you’re worshiping something, you’re showing a lot of love and adulation (I like that word) towards it. You’re proclaiming that you love God by worshipping him.

There’s a lot of ways you can worship God. My mom does artwork and I’ve met a lot of artists that use their talents and abilities to please God. I’ve met people who play sports, and they play to honor God as well.

Of the ways you can please God, you have to remember that the writer of Hebrews states that without faith. You cannot please God. Keep in mind this is separate from what Jesus Christ said about being the only way to heaven.

Worshipping God by singing and playing instruments is the jumping off point. When your whole life is a song of worship to him, you’ll see the beauty in everything.

What Is Worship In the Bible?

Biblically speaking the term ‘Worship’ is similar. to a greek word that means to bow down before or fall down before. It’s a term that is used similarly for kings and other royalty.

I think we can infer that biblical worship is very continent on recognizing the king, and honoring him properly.

How To Worship In Spirit And Truth?

God Is A Spirit And His Worshipers Music Worship Him In Spirit And Truth.

John 4:24

The Bible verse above used to confuse me. Until I began to grow my walk with Jesus. When you’re spirit is in alignment with his, you’ll start to notice and do things that are completely different. You’ll notice skills and abilities that you didn’t realize you had, and all of a sudden they’re at the forefront of your life.

I never intended to be a writer, when I was little I did a lot of writing, but it was never on my radar. A few years back I hit a breaking point and wrote my first book. While writing this book, I fell in love with writing all over again.

This in turn caused me to create this website, and another called snofallgear. Every time I sit down to write, I remind myself that I’m bringing God glory though this. I’m pointing my life and others towards him, and shining a light for others.

That is why I’ve been telling Christians to find out who God made them to be. A good place to start is your skills, talents and abilities. Once you have those figured out. Ask God how you can utilize them, look for opportunities that can help change others around you.

Don’t think any opportunity is too small either. You’ll never know who you can reach, and who’s life will be changed.

In Conclusion

  • Corporate Worship is A Good Thing. However There’s More You Can Do, And Don’t Think Church Is The Only Way To Worship God
  • Find Out Who You Are, And Use Your Skills And Abilities For Him

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Karma In the Bible: Reap What You Sow.

What the Bible Says About Karma

Karma isn’t a word that you’ll find in the text of the Bible. This is due to it originating in the Far East where Hinduism and Buddhism developed and grew.

In Buddhism and Hinduism, karma has a similar meaning. You can sum it up by saying your choices in this life, will affect who you are in the next one. In other words, if I’m a good person making the right choices, I will become something better in my next life. Now if I’m evil and do horrible things, I’ll move down the scale and become something worse. I see bugs as one of the lowest things we can be, but that might just be meetups and my ignorance.

Eventually, the hope is that I’ll learn my lesson and become good. Once I do that, I will slowly move towards the finality of those religions. I’m not 100% sure what that is. (I’d like to do more research before I try to post about this, as I’m unfamiliar with them)

However, while the term karma isn’t in the Bible, the concept isn’t a foreign one. It’s titled differently and has different consequences for the future, but the basic premise is the same.

Where Is Karma In the Bible?

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

Hebrews 9:27

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:18

The Trouble they cause recoils on them, their violence comes down on their own heads.

Psalm 7:16

In Christianity we have a strong belief of you will reap what you sow. This differs from other beliefs in that we might face judgment in this life, but for sure we will face it in the afterlife.

In its essence, we as people will reap what we sow, below are a lot more verses (and there are more than that). Which states the very same concept. We are given this life, and God has given us guidelines to follow. If we stray from these guidelines (and we all do) we will be judged.

However, when you look at who Jesus is and study why he came to earth a little over 2000 years ago. You’ll realize that he took our judgment and our punishment. We sinned and made bad choices. So he came to free us from certain destruction, and restore our relationship with him.

In essence, Karma is one of the curses we couldn’t break free of. So the creator of the universe came and did it for us. (sin & death are cursed too)

More Bible Verse About Karma In The Bibles

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
    if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

Proverbs 26:27

The trouble they cause recoils on them;
    their violence comes down on their own heads.

Psalm 7:16

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

John 3:36

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

Whoever seeks good finds favor,
    but evil comes to one who searches for it.

Proverbs 11:27

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Matthew 25:46

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Galatians 6:7 (Almost The Exact Definition Of Karma)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:9-10

In America, We have a belief about reincarnation that doesn’t jive with other religions. Reincarnation in other cultures is a bad thing because you’re trying to move towards nothingness. If you come back, it means you messed up.

However, in America, there’s a prevalent belief that it’s a good thing. maybe that’s due to unhappiness with how life is?

Karma In the Bible; Biblical Truth:

The Bible is very clear that we reap what we sow, and God judges everyone. It’s also very clear that we have one life, as it’s appointed for man to die once. After that, he faces judgment (this is for women too).

That means there are two similar thought processes to doing well here. While karma is focused on doing good to move upward on the social scale. Reaping what you sow is focused on following God and doing what he’s called us to do.

I find the similarities fascinating, however, being trapped in a loop of constant rebirth isn’t appealing to me.

You Reap What You Sow

In Conclusion, there is a biblical truth here hidden in plain sight. Whatever you do, God will see it. Good, Bad, Complacent whatever, and you will reap the consequences of that reward. In this life or the next.

It kinda makes you wanna refocus, doesn’t it?

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Have An Awesome New Year!

Can Hope Be Dangerous?

Hope Is Dangerous

Recently I read an article that stated there were 7 downsides to hope. While I agree that Hope is a dangerous thing. However, I inherently disagreed with the article and felt the person writing it was extremely pessimistic.

Having hope is what humans do, and without hope, life is boring and dull. There is no meaning. Without hope there is nothing to look forward to. Hope is a dangerous thing, that much is true. However hopelessness is death.

Why Hope Is A Dangerous Thing?

A lot of the dangers of having hope can be whittled down to short term fears and things you could avoid. Especially when you have some self awareness.

For instance, you might be hoping that your band will make it big someday. When you’re in High School, this is an awesome goal, and you should go for it. However, if you’re in your 40s or your 50s. You might wanna make it a weekend thing. Focus on something else, and just have some fun.

Hope Is A Dangerous Thing. Because Of Your Personal Biases.

One of the other things people hope for, is finding the one. They spend years pining over and waiting for a perfect person that’ll whisk them away. Hopefully, they’ll live forever finishing each others sandwiches. (I do love a good sandwich).

This is what makes hope dangerous you spend a lot of time waiting, and wishing. Instead of seeking, or making things better. If hope brings you to complacency, something is wrong. You should always be moving forward with hope, it’s not meant to be still.

No back to my example above, because it’ll confuse a lot of people. If you’re focused on finding the one, instead of waiting, focus on improving yourself. Make yourself into the type of person that the one you’re waiting for can’t live without. Then when you finally meet, you’re not leaving anything up to chance.

The beauty of self improvement, is that your perception and bias change while you’re building. Your focus will improve, and sharpen.

Make yourself better. Hope is a dangerous thing, but you can lessen the risk.

A Few Other Problems Can Arise From Hoping

  • Having Hope Can Set You Up For Unecessary Risks
  • It Can Blind You From A Bad Situation
  • Are You Wishing? Or Are You Hoping?

I didn’t wanna get into all of these, because I’d post the same information. One of the best things you can do in this life, especially when you’re hoping for something to happen. Is realize when you hope, it might not happen.

I hope to visit Florida this Summer. I hoped last summer too, and didn’t make it. When you’re hoping, it might not happen. However, you can always move towards your dreams and make them happen.

In another article, I wrote about dreaming big, and there’s nothing wrong about having big dreams. One of my dreams is to have a few websites that make me enough money where all I have to do is write all day.

That would be awesome.

However I’ve been doing this for two years, and I’m only now beginning to see the light.

Have I lost hope? Yes, quite a few times.

Do I still hope? Everyday, I wake up, and tell myself, “Today Is The Day.”

I might be lying to myself, however I also believe it’s about the journey and the destination. As I move towards my dreams and goals. I’m constantly improving myself. I’ve had 6 failed businesses in a short period of time. But success is a process, and if you haven’t failed you haven’t tried.

As a snowboard instructor. I ride with other instructors and we have a saying.

If You’re Not Falling. You’re Not Learning.

Skijammers Instructor

Why Do We Need Hope In Life?

In life I’ve been in a lot of situations where I thought I was going to die. I’ve forgotten a lot of these situations, but every time the dangerous passes. I get a rush of adrenaline. It’s the most alive I’ve ever felt.

When you are hoping, you’re not wishing. You’re believing for something better to come into your life. It’s a dream, and a goal that you want to happen. Yeah it might not happen the way you envisioned it. but there’s a reason you dreamed it up in the first place.

When Stifling Hope, You Kill The Future.

When you don’t have hope, what do you have? Nothing, because hope is the future. Hope is dangerous, because you’re wanting something that may or may not happen. It’s dangerous because you’re trying to make a change and in this world people strive to keep things the same.

Hope is dangerous, because it causes you to rise up, and make a change inside yourself. it reminds you that something needs to be changed, and unless you do something. Your hope is just a wish.

Kill The Negative Side Of Hope

I agree with the negatives of hoping that I wrote above, but I do not agree with that article. To not hope is stagnation and death. Hope is dangerous, but hopelessness is death.

I’d rather live with the danger.

What Is The Power Of Hope?

So you wanna hope, and see your dreams come to pass? But you’ve lived a life of fear and anxiety. Below I’m placing a list of steps that can help you on your way. These are generalities, but use them as sign posts to see what route to go. What do you do first?

Who Are You?

This is the first question you should be asking yourself. It’s a question I asked myself after I found myself alone in High School. My father was removed from our house because my mom was tired of his abuse.

I spent years trying to figure out who I was. Dig deep into yourself, what makes you happy. What things make you sad. Forgive those who’ve hurt you, and connect with the creator who made you.

Know What You Want? Hope Is Very Dangerous

Recognizing what you want and achieving it are 2 different things. When you’re hoping for something and you’re trying to make it happen. The path to your goal will change as you move. If you know what you want, use that to direct and focus you.

Why Do We Need Hope In Life?

When you have hope and no plan, you’re just wishing, and with that you might as well throw a coin into the fountain, because chances are. Nothing is going to happen.

plan your goal out, but understand, things will change and stuff will transpire. Heck on the path you’ve setup, you might find a diversion or two that you didn’t know about, but you really enjoy.

It’s how I finally wrote my first book, and became a writer. Now I can’t see my life without it.

Hope Is Dangerous. Because If You Do It Right, You Can Transform Your Life Into Something Awesome. Hope Is powerful, but like fire or electricity, it must be wielded properly.

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How To Forgive And Let Go

Forgive And Let Go

One of the most difficult things you can do in life is forgive and let go. Especially when someone you loved has hurt you. Those are the deepest wounds, and they’re not easily healed.

However forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you. When you forgive you’re not saying what they did was okay. Instead you’re saying I’m done with this, and I refuse to allow the pain to hurt me anymore. When you forgive, you’re also opening the door to reconciliation.

However reconciliation involves the other person, and a decision to come together and let it all go.

A common troupe we have is to forgive and forget. However, it’s almost impossible to forget, especially when something causes you great pain. When you fully forgive and let go, you’re releasing those emotions, and finally finding peace.

How Do You Truly Forgive Someone?

Many times for me, It’s come as a realization, or a desire to make a change in my life. Something will happen and my heart will get extremely worked up. I’ll sit and ask myself why I’m so angry and I’ll remember something that has no attachment or meaning to my current situation.

It’s those moments where I realize, that I’m holding onto something, and it’s effecting the rest of my life.

When you hold onto un-forgiveness you’re only hurting yourself. For some reason our perception of reality gets warped and we thing we’re harming the other person. In reality, they sometimes don’t even know we’re hurting.

Steps To Forgiving And Letting Go

The following are the steps I’ve noticed in my life that have lead me to forgiving and letting go. They’re important steps that can help guide and direct you on your path. Self awareness is extremely important here as you’ll have to evaluate yourself a lot.

1. Take a Step Back, And Look At Yourself.

One of the first steps of letting go, is a self examination. For me it usually follows a realization that I’m angry, and I don’t know why. Maybe I had an explosive outburst, or I’m driving like a dick. Either way, I know something is rotten inside, and I need to dig into my heart and see what I need to change.

2. Make A Choice To Forgive And Let Go

This is an important step, but its not the end. you choosing to finally move on will plant a seed in your heart. Whatever wounds you feel and emotions you’re facing will still be there, but you’ve made a decision to heal and let go. This is important as it will focus and direct you on your path.

3. Remind Yourself Daily, And When Your Emotions Flare Up

When you’re trying to forgive and let go, you’ll have to understand that it’s a process. It’s possible that one day you’ll wake up and everything will be gone, but it doesn’t happen that way most of the time.

Forgiveness takes time and effort. It’s a daily choice and sometimes it’s an hourly one. When your emotions rise up, and you’re feeling angry. Take those thoughts captive. Place them under your control and remember the choice to let it all go.

4. Put Yourself In The Other Persons Shoes

When people are hurt they will tend to view the person who hurt them as evil or vindictive. It’s a safety mechanism from inside our minds. Why else would they have hurt us? They have to be evil right?

However doing this also makes it difficult to realize the person might not have tried to hurt you, or they might have had a difficult decision and it hurt you. The sky is the limit for reasons this happened, and you should explore that.

For example, I hated my father for years after I grew up. He was an abusive father who told me I’d never amount to anything, and for 18 years of my adult life I refused to speak with him. In 2016, I felt the need to speak with him again, and realized a few things.

  1. I no longer hated him, in fact I had forgiven him.
  2. There was something inside me that felt pity for him. He had been abused by his father, and wasn’t able to fully heal from his wounds.
  3. This brought me to a place of peace with him.

When I reconnected with my father, I was finally able to get to know him. For two years I spoke with him regularly before he finally went home to his reward.

I was able to finally learn who he was, and what drove him. This helped me forgive and let go.

Finally, I’d found my freedom.

5. Forgiving And Letting Go Brings Peace

Started out and getting the ball rolling is difficult, but when you’ve been releasing the anger, and pain for awhile. You’ll notice peace starts to creep into your heart. Inside you’ll feel the anger, heartache, and pain subside. Peace will begin to rein.

The timing for this process can vary due to multiple reasons. However if you keep choosing to forgive, let go, and control your emotions. Eventually you’ll get there.

6. Forgive And Let Go, but Wish Them The Best

One of the reasons I stopped communication with my father for 18 years was that he hadn’t changed. I didn’t want contact with him because he would’ve continued to hurt me. If you’re in a situation where the person continuously hurts you. Remove them from your life.

You can still forgive when they’re out of the picture. Remember your safety is important, and you shouldn’t compromise that.

3 years ago I reached a point in my life where I felt fine with everything. I’d forgiven my dad, and wished him the best in his life. I had no desire to open up a line of communication with him, but I knew I’d let go.

Then we were able to reconcile, and I’ve written about this topic extensively in my book Hurricane Jerald.

Forgiveness And Letting Go Is For You

I wrote this briefly above, but to forgive and let go is for you. If you really want to move on. It’s time to make a decision. When you hold onto pain and heartache, you’re only hurting yourself. It’s like you’re trying to swim in life, but you’re wearing a pair of cement shoes. You might stay afloat for a little while, but sooner or later, you’re going down.

Cut yourself free, forgive and let go. You’ll find the freedom to be amazing.

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Anxiety And Depression; How To Develop Coping Skills For Victory.

anxiety and depression

As someone who fights anxiety and depression regularly, I’ve developed a battle plan to help me overcome it. It works most of the time, and the times it doesn’t, are the times I choose to fall into it. I know that sounds silly, but sometimes we choose to give up. This adds to our anxiety and depression, and then we spiral down out of control.

It takes forever to get back to reality when that happens.

First off I’ve written about this topic extensively in other posts. If you’re interested my favorite one is called How to stop fighting Depression. It’s a deeper and more extensive post than this one will be.

Either way, I hope you find the light that you’re looking for. It’s always the darkest before the light. Remember that wherever you are, because things can and will get better.

Even if you don’t believe it now.

Learning Coping Skills For Anxiety And Depression?

For me, the fight has to start now before anything is coming against me. The plan I use is similar to car insurance (Never thought I’d go there did you?). When your car is out of control, and you’re about to hit another car, post, or wall. That isn’t the time for you to call your Allstate agent and ask for some insurance. In fact, you shouldn’t even be thinking about that. Your only thought should be survival for the people in the car, you, and anybody in your path.

Insurance is a plan, in case the worst happens, and you need to have the same thing with anxiety and depression.

First Off; You Must Learn What Triggers You.

Most of the time when I fall into depression. I’ve already made the choice to be alone, and I know that I’m choosing it. My social anxiety comes up, usually out of nowhere, and I start saying no to hanging out with friends and family.

The sad part about that, it begins before that, inside my heart. I know when anxiety and depression hit, and when it first hits. that’s when I can fight it best. It’s like killing a little weed that’s about to eat up my whole heart. The issue comes from a choice. Sometimes, I feel bad for myself, and I water it. This happens whenever I sit down and start listening to the lies.

When my heart is full of anxiety I get fearful. I control my life and start playing the game of what-ifs. If you’ve played this mental game before you know what I’m talking about.

What if I did this instead of this? Or what if this outcome was different. Let me tell you, living in the past won’t help, and wishing for a different outcome won’t change it. The past is over, and as much as I’d love to drive a Delorean into it, I live in the present and so do you.

The Vicious Spiral You’ll Find Yourself In.

This sends me into depression, and being depressed makes me fearful. Do you see the circular process here? It’s an awful spiral, that’s hard to pull out of.

One of the best ways to stop yourself from being in this tailspin is to have a plan written. Make the preemptive strike. For example, at one time in my life, to avoid falling into the spiral. I started saying yes to every invite people sent me, even places I hated to go to. (Some nights really sucked)

While I didn’t want to visit some places, most of the time I still had a good time. I did this to reprogram my brain, and stop anxiety from taking root in my heart. In the past when I “skipped” something, I’d be sitting at home looking at a clock. Wondering what was happening, this got depressing fast.

So get outside, be with people who love and care for you, life is short don’t let it pass you by.

Anxiety And Depression Coping Method #1 Exercise:

When you exercise, it releases positive endorphins into your body. This in turn helps you feel good, and it pushes anxiety and depression that much farther away. Whenever I’ve fallen into a slump, I’ve usually stopped exercising.

Keep in mind for me exercising is doing something outside that I enjoy. I’m not a person who visits a gym. In fact, I snowboard in the winter to stay in shape. During the summer I play volleyball, bike, and work construction (sometimes).

Even something simple like going for a walk can be beneficial. The key is to remove yourself from the stress and do something where you’ll have an elevated heart rate.

No matter what you do, make yourself get tired or exhausted at the end of it. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. Minus the soreness the next day, but that’s also a triumphant pain.

You did something good.

Anxiety And Depression Coping Method #2 Change Up What You Eat.

Another coping skill is to change what you eat. When you’re eating meals that are high in sugar or carbs you’ll feel great when eating them. However there’s a crash afterward, and that crash will make you feel like crap. This in turn helps anxiety and depression move into your life.

When the body feels gross, the mind will follow suit.

Change your diet over to fruits and vegetables, not giving everything else up. But eating less (or cutting back) on sugar and carbs. Personally, I focus on reducing refined carbs and sugars (because I like pizza and ice cream). In early 2019 I went on a no-sugar diet. For 30 days I refused to eat refined sugar. It was extremely difficult to do.

The first week was hell on earth, and by the end of the second, I was amazed at how much better I felt. The feeling was so good, that I almost didn’t go back to sugar.

Anxiety And Depression Coping Method #3 Get Friends To Help You.

My last coping method. One of the greatest things you can find is a good friend that’ll stick with you through anything. These types of friends can be the difference between survival and another tailspin into pain and suffering.

Every time I’ve fallen into a spiral of anxiety, it’s always been after I removed myself from a friend group. It’s the second step to me hurting myself.

I can’t even say I won’t do it again, it’s what I’ve done for years. All I can say is that I know the trigger now, and I watch for it. When I see it happening I press in harder, and no what I must do.

Call a friend.

If you don’t have someone like that, speak up, talk with a coworker, a family member, or a member of the clergy. You might even want to find professional help, like a counselor to help you walk through the bigger points of your issues.

NEVER!!! Walk this path alone, the world needs you, and there is something only you can do on this planet. You have a purpose, and you’re loved. Never forget that.

To read more about my battle with depression and anxiety, read my book, Hurricane Jerald. Don’t Forget To Subscribe below for the latest updates and news when we post a new article.

Tips To Develop A Generous Heart

How to Have A Generous Heart

Having a generous heart can be difficult. Most people think their money isn’t going to do much. Or they think it will be used for nefarious purposes. However I think giving is a God given responsibility for all people. There’s always someone in a worse place, and blessing them could be the catalyst for change in their life.

However before we begin, I want to share a story about generosity, and having a generous heart.

A Generous Heart: What Does It Mean?

Having a heart of generosity isn’t something you have to train for. Instead it’s something you need to keep your eyes open for. Look around you and see what everyone around you is like. What are their needs? Do they have enough? Is there something you can do, that’ll bless them.

This might be as simple as giving some encouragement. Or as intense as paying someones bills. People who are generous, generally don’t view their belongings as belonging to them.

Instead they see themselves as stewards of their property, until somebody comes along that needs them more.

My Story About Generosity.

Currently I have a side job in the grocery delivery field, and I have a ton of fun doing it. Through the job I meet a lot of people, get some great exercise, and help people who are in need. However today I was blindsided and it affected me on a deep level. Maybe it was because my father just passed away and I’m still a bit emotional about that.

I was at Target, in checkout lane, and the lines were beginning to get long since it was the day before Thanksgiving. When I looked behind me, I saw an older man with a cane walk up to the line. He was holding 4-5 small items and looked like he was struggling to stay on his feet. I looked at the people in line, and I made a decision.

Waving and getting his attention, I called out, “Sir, You can go ahead me.”

He responded with a smile, and proceeded to walk forward, passing by. So I asked how his day was going? His reply was, “Slowly.” Of course he said that with a grin.

I didn’t even think about the people he passed in the line, they might’ve been mad or didn’t care. In actuality, to me it didn’t matter either. The cashier rang up his items, and he was having issues paying for his groceries.

Choices Of Generosity Show Up Fast.

He swiped his first credit card, and it was rejected because he didn’t know the pin. Then he pulled out his second card. This was rejected for a similar reason. Then he looked extremely sad at the cashier and asked. “What do I do now?” The cashier didn’t know what to say, and shrugged her shoulders. I think she was about to send him over to customer service when I jumped in.

Making eye contact with him I spoke up. “Sir, don’t worry about this, I’ll pay for your groceries.”

I didn’t know at the time, but one of the people in line behind me had started to walk. He tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’ve been nice enough already.”

I was shocked and thought the worst. What right did he have to say that? So I turned around expecting to confront an angry shopper. However, when I turned around, I became shocked.

“You’ve done enough, Let me buy his groceries. I’d like to help too.”

So I stepped aside grinning the whole time. After everything was paid for. The elderly man thanked both of us, and he left on his way. Slowly shuffling out the door.

That happened this morning, and I’m still thinking about it. Generosity is contagious. Don’t ever forget that.

How Can You Be Generous?

Having a heart of generosity can be summed up pretty simply.

  1. Don’t hold tight onto your possessions.
  2. Give to those around you. Especially to those in need.

Generosity is the opposite of greed. Whenever I feel myself becoming a hoarder, it usually means I’ve stopped giving.

If you’d like to develop a generous heart. Go outside, head towards the mall, or the area of town that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. Look at the people and look at what you have.

You can never give more than you have, however sometimes what you have is another persons miracle.

I always encourage people to go somewhere they aren’t familiar and look around. Study people, others might call this people watching. After you’ve looked enough, you’ll see the ones in need, and hopefully that’ll tug at your heart.

Then all you’ve gotta do, is look at what you have, and see what can help. As a side note, sometimes you’re just the middle man/woman and it’s your place to connect them with someone else.

Maybe it’s a friend, coworker, etc. but sometimes you’re also the bridge to the blessing.

Kind And Generous Hearts.

If you’re not giving, then how can you be loving? When you love other people you’ll be giving. I’ve done many things for people in my life. I’ve filled up gas tanks, bought dinner, and groceries for people. However, there have been other times that I’ve focused on myself. I’ve walked by the homeless, ignored people in need, and gotten angry at people asking for help.

Every time I’ve done this, I’ve left feeling like a horrible person. The feeling leaves quickly if there’s nothing I could’ve done. However, if I know that I could’ve helped, and I left. I’ll feel like a horrible person.

And Why Should I Not Feel That Way? I Did A Horrible Thing. I could’ve helped someone, and I chose not to.

Whenever I struggle with my faith, and it happens semi-regularly. There’s always a serious drop in generosity. My generous heart goes out the window and I become selfish holding tightly to my possessions.

Having a generous heart is a great litmus test for your spiritual well being.

How Can I Develop A Generous Heart?

To be generous you have to love, and you have to care about a persons situation. While I do put limitations on my generosity, that in no means stops me from giving.

In addition to that, you have to look around and see the people around you. Ask yourself what do they need? And do I have a way that could help them?

This is how you develop a generous heart. By removing yourself from your view, and placing others in it.

  1. Make a choice to stop loving what you have.
  2. Understand that God is your source.
  3. Open your eyes to everyone around you.
  4. See their needs
  5. Look at your abundance.
  6. Ask if your abundance can fill their need.
  7. Give.

that is the essence of having a generous heart.

The Opposite Of A Generous Heart

When you have a generous heart, you don’t really have to worry about greed. However it’s always there waiting to grab and pull you back into a world of hoarding.

Whenever I feel that my money is tight, and I have to hold onto everything to survive. I get a feeling that it’s time to hold back. I start to wonder if I should stop giving.

However I’ve trained myself to believe in these times, that I need to give more. When you live your life with open hands, doors of opportunity will open up for you. Sometimes faster than you’d expect.

Don’t let yourself fall for greed. It’s a lonely road, and when you help others build their lives, it’s rewarding to see them live it.

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Does God Love Everyone? A Guide To Understanding How God Feels About You.

Does God Love Everyone?

Does God Love Everyone? The Book Of John States: For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Gods love is something we don’t always feel, but it’s something we can look too. In my life I’ve questioned if God really loves everyone, but ultimately all of those questions boiled down to one question.

Does God really love me?

Ultimately speaking, people aren’t worried about others half way around the world (we should be), and I don’t mean we’re not charitable, but we focus more energy on our day to day lives, and the people around us.

Does God Love Everyone?

In my heart I’ve asked God a lot of questions about the love of God, and most of the time his love for the world makes no sense to me.

In our heads, we all ask the same questions:

  • We Wonder If We’re Really Lovable.
  • Why Doesn’t God Hate Us, When We’ve Sinned So Much.
  • You’ve Screwed Up So Much, There’s No Way He’ll Take You Back.

Many of these beliefs come from a faulty view of love and God. If there’s one thing I want you to remember in this blog post. God isn’t just love, he’s the source of it.

The source and creator of love, wanted you back in his life so much. that he sent his Son Jesus to die for you. This means a lot, but here’s a brief overview.

  • You Matter And Have Meaning In Him.
  • God Has An Epic Plan For You.
  • You Don’t Have To Be Alone Anymore.

What Does The Bible Say About God Loving Others?

God loved the world so much because we are his creation. In ages past God The Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit lived have existed. I won’t get deep into this, because we don’t know a lot about this prehistory.

However, in reading the Bible, and studying the love of God. I’ve come to think that he was lonely.

Why else would you create a civilization to worship and love you?

As much as we need God, part of me wonders if he really needs us?

How Did God Show Us His Love?

How Does A Loving God Send People To Hell?

People have asked me how a loving God could send people to hell, and for years the answer alluded me. However I’ve come to realize that if God is love, and all love flows from him. He’s honoring their choice.

God doesn’t send people to hell. He allows people to leave his presence when they don’t want to be around him. Since all that is good comes from him, they must go to a place where everything is bad.

That’s how people wind up in hell. It’s chosen.

God loves everyone and wants every person to be with him. However, love is a choice, and he will honor whatever choice people make.

After all, he is the one who created us, and the big issue we have is sin, because of our sin, we are broken. So it’s hard to see the entire picture.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. … For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16-17

While these views have some truth in them, neither of them are correct, especially when polarized to each side. I personally see them as both sides of the same coin, and we need to find a balance between the two beliefs. If you read the Bible, you can prove either stance. As long as you’re cherry picking bible verses. But we can’t put God in a box and it doesn’t work that way.

Does The Bible Say, God, Loves Everyone? John 3:16

So, Are You Still Wondering; Does God Love Everyone? The most famous bible verse in the world answers it.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

When you give your life, you’re giving your most treasured possession, and you’re stepping into the unknown. This was what Jesus did. Even more remarkable is what the Bible says in Romans on this subject.

That while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God sent Jesus, when we were at a point of ignorance. We weren’t even acknowledging him as God, or even someone who loves us. We ignored him and didn’t want anything to do with him. But he was sent because of Gods love for us.

I often wonder what went through Gods mind as he watched his son Jesus beaten, abused, and crucified. Maybe he was looking at you, in heaven with him.

This is what true love is. Jesus said it the best when he said

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13

There’s a lie going around that perpetuate a messed up belief about God not loving us. Jesus has done many things, and even looking at these proves what the truth is. Don’t listen to the lies, fill your heart with the truth.

Jesus Loves You, God Loves You, And The Holy Spirit Loves You.

Does Love Come From God?

When you read and study the Bible, eventually you’ll start seeing it as a love story. Our main character is God and he loves his people dearly, but they betray him. So he sends his son Jesus to earth in an epic plan to reconcile us to him. However his son shows up, and we kill him for it.

  • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. (Ephesians 2:4)

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God proved his love for us, and he also made a way for us to spend eternity with him.

If God Loves Everyone Will He Forgive Every Sin?

the Bible only says 1 specific sin is unforgivable, and that’s blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately the Bible is very unclear as to what that is, and many biblical scholars have argued over its meaning.

I believe the love of Jesus will cover a multitude of sins, and every sin except for that one can be forgiven, and you shouldn’t worry about committing blasphemy. It isn’t something you can fall into. I believe it’s something you’ll knowingly do. As long as you love God, obey his commands, and ask his forgiveness when you mess up I’m going to have faith that you’ll be alright.

When you sin ask for forgiveness and he will be faithful and just to forgive you of those sins. Don’t let your heart be hardened and follow in his footsteps by helping those around you. This is the way to God’s heart.

Does It Really Say God Loves Everyone, In the Bible?

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, He lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and He in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world, we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:15-18

I put a whole sections of verses in here, because love isn’t just about 1 person. Love is about sharing with others, and that is what this verse is about.

This verse is speaking dead on about Gods love for everyone. We can also go back to John 3:16 and say God loved the world so much that he gave his son.

We question Gods love for everyone, because we don’t feel worthy. Our sin makes us feel dirty, unloved, and weak. So like Adam in the garden we hide in shame.

Unfortunately, this shame stops us from seeing the true glory and love of God, and since we’re in hiding, we can’t reflect either.

If God Loves Everyone. Why Do I Feel Like He Hates Me?

And Here is the truth:

You Are Loved By God, And He Sent His Only Son Jesus To Die For You. He did this while you were still in your sin, and he gave his life knowing you still had a choice to choose him still.

He went through pain, abuse, and death. All the while hoping you would choose to be with him.

The things you’ve done do not matter, and how you feel will change. This is the truth. As I write I pray over my posts, and I believe you’re here reading this for a purpose. God wants you to know he loves you, and his goal is to know you.

Give your heart to him today, ask him into your life. You don’t have to live life alone. He came to repair the way.

If you’re wanting to read more. I’ve got a similar post about who you are in Christ. Check it out, I pray it gives you a new perspective.

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Reconciliation With My Father; My Story

Reconciliation With My Father

A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit my father on his death bed. Our relationship had been strained for years, but we had finally found some reconciliation and forgiveness. It was a touching affair where I held his hand and prayed with him. We knew his time was short, and I didn’t wanna leave, but I knew that I eventually had to go.

I remember praying and looking into his eyes. I told him, I loved him, he was the best dad I’ve ever had, and I wished we had more time. Then this morning, I received a phone call. He passed away overnight, taking his final breath and going into eternity.

Our relationship used to be a train wreck. In the last few years. We had come a long way. If you want to read more about this, please download my ebook called “Hurricane Jerald”.

What Does It Mean To Be Reconciled?

My father wasn’t a perfect father, in fact he was abusive growing up. It got so bad that my mother kicked him out and divorced him. These things needed to happen or things would’ve gone down a dark path for me.

I was 18 when I told him:

I love you, I forgive you, but you’re no longer a part of my life.

Sterling 18 Years Old

I said this for a few different reasons.

  1. I needed to break away from the toxicity. My heart was full of hatred and anger. I knew I had to forgive and find healing, but had no idea how.
  2. He was angry and manipulative. I didn’t want to see him.
  3. There was fear in my heart over what the rest of my family would think. They’d all cut him off at one time or another too.

Forgiveness Comes Before Reconciliation

When I was 19 I moved to Jackson, Mississippi and joined a ministry program called ‘Masters Commission.’ I attended the program because I felt the call to do so, and I needed a change from my life in Minnesota.

Moving to Mississippi was an eye opener. It was a different world down south. The food was great, people talked funny, and the seasons didn’t exist (I actually met people who’d never seen snow).

However all this change highlighted a problem in my life. I was still the same angry kid. Who hated his father and hadn’t learned to let things go. I was wound up so tight I could burst, and didn’t even know it.

During the 5 years I lived in Mississippi I learned to let go of my anger and hate. I learned to forgive my father and let go of the pain and the heartache he’d caused me. After moving home, I ran into him and paniced when I realized the anger in my heart was gone.

If you want reconciliation with someone, you’ll have to understand one thing. Forgiveness always precedes it. You can’t reconcile when you’re full of hate.

Forgiving Doesn’t Make Their Actions Alright

In the last 2 1/2 years I’ve been able to discover and decipher my fathers motives when I was growing up. Before I begin this I’d like to reiterate;

Motives don’t make bad actions ok. They only explain them, And Forgiveness isn’t for the other person. Forgiveness is for you. Reconciliation is for the other person, and it’s a two step process.

Sterling

While in Mississippi I learned to forgive him, and now God wanted us to reconcile. This was the hardest part because it had to be done in real time with two separate hearts. We had battle scars and didn’t want peace, but knew we needed it.

After Forgiveness Comes Reconciliation

Over the last two years my father and I have come to a point of reconciliation. Both of us have let go of the past and we’ve looked towards the future. He had a bad diagnosis from the doctor. With cancer in his body I wondered how long that future would be, and he was optimistic.

He fought for 3 years and last night went home to his reward. From him, I received the greatest gift.

The War Inside Our Hearts

Last night I attended a worship night at my church. I debated about going for awhile and new I had a lot of baggage to release. These are the times you should go. So I attended.

During the service, I heard God say 2 distinct things to me.

  1. Tonight You Are Made Whole.
  2. I’m taking your father home tonight.

Healing Comes Through Reconciliation

When you’re a boy growing up without a father, there’s always a sense of loss. It’s like a piece of you disappeared and you don’t know how to get it back. Because of this I’ve experienced self doubt, a lack of empathy, and overall became a dick a few times.

The TV show ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ shows this pain really well through the character of Barney Stinson. I’ve cried multiple times watching this episode specially. ‘Legendaddy.’

For years I’ve told myself this was how I needed to live my life, even that this was life and there’s was no escape from it. However in the last 24 hours I’ve felt completely different about that subject.

When God told me, “tonight you are made whole.” I didn’t feel a change. I felt no mighty rushing wind, no thumping in my chest. Nothing happened.

However when I woke up this morning, my phone was ringing. It was my sister calling to say that my father had died, but something was different inside me.

I felt like I could fly.

There was a weightlessness about me, and I couldn’t shake it. I knew where my father was, he was in heaven, and when he died God sent healing to me.

It was his final gift to me. The piece had returned, and it felt like new.

My Father Went Home

Towards the end of the night I felt God tell me this, and I accepted it. Then a deep feeling of terror started to creep in. What if I never get to see him again? Then, I realized I’d told him everything I needed too, and I would see him again. He was going to heaven, and he’d no longer be in pain. This I am sure of.

The Process Of Reconciliation

This process isn’t a complicated one, but it is difficult. Just like I laid out above the first step is always Forgiveness. The major thing to watch out for when reconciling is pride. Sometimes it’s hard to see the other side of things when you’re full of yourself. If you’re having issues with reconciliation, go back to forgiveness. Usually there’s something left to let go there.

Reconciliation Step 1 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the first step, when you forgive you are saying I’m choosing to let this pain go and heal. I will no longer allow myself to be held back by the choices of this person.

***Notice there isn’t anything for the other person to do Forgiveness Is For YOU Not Them

Look into your heart, and make the decision to let go. Sometimes it’ll happen in an instant and other times it happens over time. Mine took the better part of a decade but it was worth it.

Reconciliation Step 2 – Reach Out

I know I’m simplifying this by only making 2 steps. Truth be told every time you reconcile with someone, it’ll be a completely different situation. However I’m confident these steps will be the same every time.

You’ve gotta reach out, and swallow your pride. Pride is the one thing that will stop you from reconciliation, and if I hadn’t done that…

My father would’ve passed away last night, and I wouldn’t have found healing. I’d still be in pain and I’m not sure how I’d find peace. There’s gotta be some sort of path, I don’t know what it would be and its probably more difficult.

Take the time right now to let things go, I don’t know where you are in the process of forgiveness and reconciliation, but if you’re unsure.

Just Let Go.

This article is dedicated to my father. Who gave me the greatest gift. Life, Forgiveness, And Reconciliation were all major lessons you’ve taught me. I’ve never wanted another Dad, because you made me who I am.

“I will see you again… but not yet. Not Yet!”

Juba – Gladiator

What To Do When You Have A Parent With Cancer.

Father Dying Of Cancer

Two and a half years ago I received a phone call from my brother. He told me our father was dying of cancer. At the time my father and I had a huge falling out. He’d made some choices that I didn’t agree with and hurt me pretty badly. However, I’d grown up and new eventually I’d have to deal with a parent with cancer. Now I had to make some decisions, even if I didn’t like my dad.

In actuality, I hated him.

I’ve always believed that family should come first, and in this situation made a choice. I would reconnect with my father, and hopefully find peace before he passed away and went home.

This was a difficult decision, and I had to swallow a lot of pride to do it.

Parent With Cancer; Make Peace If You Need Too.

We hadn’t spoken in 18 years, and I knew if he was dying we needed to clear the air. Holding onto pain and heartache is never good. So I gave him a call.

My 1st call with him didn’t go well, I’d even say it was the worst call I’d ever had. I even considered not reconnecting with him, and going back to my old life. Ignoring him and letting him die sounded like a perfect plan.

Instead I changed my mind, and a few months later made a second call. This was how my father and I were able to reconnect, and eventually form a friendship.

It’s a sad kind of beautiful.

Death Is Scary, With A Parent With Cancer, It’s Worse.

I’m part of a large family, and with that I’ve gotten to many different reactions. Some people wonder what will happen to them, while others regret things they did/said.

Something one of my sisters started doing has really helped me focus, and I’ve tried to follow suit. She said to make the parent comfortable. If they’re sitting weird, try and adjust them. When they look hot or cold, add or take away a blanket. We can’t heal their sickness, but we can help them endure it.

Sounds kinda like Sam and Frodo at the end of the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. He can’t carry the ring, but he can carry Frodo. This is how you can overcome your fears, and help your dad, or mom.

You will be scared when a parent is passing away, and that’s totally fine. However you should never let your fear dominate or paralyze your actions. It’s your turn to help them now, give it all you’ve got.

When you’re moving, and helping. You’ll notice you’re not as scared. This is because fear will stop you, but courage will move you. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to act while scared.

Do something, and face the fear.

Watching Your Parent Die From Cancer Is Hell On Earth. Get Help

Seeing my Dad in excruciating pain has been a traumatic experience. I can’t describe the pain he’s in, and then emotionally I become distraught. The only way I’ve been able to survive this is through a support network of friends and family. We continuously check in with each other to make sure everyone is okay. If you’re in this situation, build a network. Call a friend or family member. You don’t have to do this alone. Let someone in to help you.

How Do You Help A Parent With Cancer?

I wrote a little about this above. The best thing you can do when your parent dying (Especially in the later stages of hospice care) is to make them comfortable. Obviously whatever the doctor says will Trump my advice here, but I don’t think making anybody comfortable when they’re dying will contradict that.

Spend time with them, pray with them. Make them laugh. Every time you leave know it could be the last. Make sure they know how you feel about them.

Tell your parent that you love them.

How Do You Say Goodbye To Someone Who Is Dying?

Every time I visit my father, I leave knowing it could be the last time I see him on this planet. So we have a rule, every time I leave, we pray together. It brings him peace and joy and connects us in a real way.

Treating a goodbye like it’s your last has spilled over into my daily routine. Lately I’ve been compiling a list of friends and what I love about them. I’m probably going to message, write letters, and speak to them soon.

Life is too short and too precious to be holding in your feelings. Don’t wait for the eulogy tell them know, when they’re around.

Does A Person Know When They Are Dying?

I think on some level people know that they’re dying. However depending on the person and situation the subconscious can/will try and fight it. Eventually you go through the stages of grief, and learn to accept it.

Sometimes I wonder if honesty with yourself makes an impact, but death does such weird things to human thought processes, it’d be hard to measure.

What Happens To You When You Die?

This is something people don’t know for sure. Death is like walking through a one way door. Some people have come back, and they give us stories that we might believe to be true.

But what really happens?

I have faith in God, and I believe you either go to be with him or you wake up in a place of torment. The choice of where you go must be made before you walk through the one way door of death.

By choosing to follow Jesus, you can be made whole, and into the person you were created to be. Then when you die he accepts you into his home, as a child of God.

If you don’t accept him, you’re choosing a place that is void of him and all his attributes.

God doesn’t send anybody to hell. Each person who goes chooses it. How you might ask? If the attributes of God Are:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness & Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

What other place can you be sent to, if he is the creator and supplier of these things?

All he wants is for you to choose and accept him. It’s a fair deal.

How Do I Accept Jesus?

You accept Jesus by saying a simple prayer and then living your life with him alongside you. Let him direct and guide you, but also make your own choices as well.

Dear Jesus, I know I’m a sinner and I’ve done wrong against you. Please forgive me and come into my heart. Thank you for dying for me, and rising again 3 days later. Help me live my life for you. In your name I pray,

Amen

Salvation Prayer

If you prayed that prayer, you’ve started your journey to knowing God. I’d suggest you talk with him everyday and get a bible to read daily as well. Also find a church that teaches the Bible and get some epic friends there.

I wish you all the best on your journey.

-Sterling

Entrepreneur Loneliness; And Ways To Fight It.

Entrepreneur On A Tablet

I’ve been in this entrepreneurship game for two years, and one thing is certain. It’s very lonely. During the day I work manual labor jobs and at night I work on my business (I even have a 3rd job sometimes). With so much time spent working. I get very little time to spend with people. As a hardcore extravert this feels like death sometimes. One thing I do know, is entrepreneur loneliness is definitely a thing.

lonely entrepreneur

This is for multiple reasons, but most entrepreneurs that I know are focused. Almost to a fault Many of us forget we need social connections to keep going.

I believe things will get better, and I know things will turn around. On my fridge I have a dry erase board, and I write notes to myself. The current one reminds me that I’m playing the long game and it’s not even half time yet.

But it doesn’t help when I’m fighting a battle. I’m tired and I’m alone.

Remember that most businesses take 3-5 years to get off the ground. Once they’re off the ground you might have a better work life balance, but that depends on the business. Currently at 1 1/2 years, and I laugh daily about a ‘life’ balance.

Before I get into my tips and tricks for handling entrepreneur loneliness, I’d like to answer some simple questions people continue to ask me. Some are from small business owners and other people.

Entrepreneur Loneliness; How Does It Happen?

Most Entrepreneurs work by themselves or on a small startup. These companies don’t have a huge staff (or even a staff). Entrepreneur loneliness starts because they work by themselves for long periods of time. Often without seeing another soul.

This is mostly due to entrepreneurs being passionate about their project. If you aren’t passionate, I’m sorry but you probably won’t make it. If you find yourself in that position, rework your plan into something you can be excited about. Then it’ll become a labor of love.

Keep in mind that I’m speaking in generalities, and there’s always an exception to the rule. Below are some questions I get asked regularly by other business owners and curious people?

Entrepreneur Loneliness Is Something You’ll Feel Eventually?

I can only speak for myself and a few close friends here, but it’s been a long lonely road. I’ve had people ask me if I’m trying to ruin my life. Or when am I going to get a real job?

These questions always hurt, especially when the person asking is someone I’m close to. But I’ve got a passion in my heart, and I need to pursue it. To me there is no other path except forward.

You’re Not The Only One.

I can’t speak for the future, but the last few years have been lonely to me. My dream is to hire a couple writers and start a few more websites. I already have name’s and URLs picked out for two of them.

But that’s a dream, and I don’t have the time for that now. Also, you can’t live in the future when it’s still being built. (fun fact: it’s always being built)

However that doesn’t mean you should stay lonely your entire life. Below I’m writing some tips and tricks to maintain your social circles. After all, some of your best ideas and encouragement will come from friends and family.

Collaborate With Others; Ending Entrepreneur Loneliness

As one who is new to this entrepreneurship game I didn’t know what I was doing. To be honest, I still have no clue and feel like I’m flying blind. However I have surrounded myself with a group of smart people, and I’m not afraid to ask questions. Even if they seem stupid to me.

There’s a lot of ways you can find people to collaborate with. I’d suggest finding some workshops in your area you can join. These workshops can be on any topic you’re interested in. Or need help with. You’ll never know who you can meet if you stay at home frustrated.

entrepnuership is a lonely road

Also ask around, the people around you might have a skill set you need. There’s been a few times I’ve reached out to friends and they’ve introduced me to someone who solved my problems. Almost instantly too.

Entrepreneur Loneliness Can Be Reduced Through Communal Office Use.

Another option you could use to collaborate is to find a communal office. These offices are amazing. These spaces aren’t focused on one company but are an office building where entrepreneurs go and work. In most of them you can rent out desks and work spaces get coffee in a break room, or rent a board room.

I work out of a WeWork Office. In it people rent space and have communal areas where they come to work. If I need something out of my area of expertise, I can notify the network and get a referral.

Everyone around you is working on their own thing and there’s no boss to ask you about TPS reports. I’m looking at renting space in one of these soon as they are a great way to meet likeminded individuals, stay pumped and excited about your business.

Schedule Time Off

I hate schedules and usually work until I’m done. However, I know that I need a break. So I have a certain day of the week off, and two week nights are blocked off for time with friends and family. This is done for the following reasons:

  • You Need To Recharge And Be Around People You Love.
  • Your Brain Needs A Break. Just Let It Relax
  • It Helps With Focus, And Drive. You Can’t Always Be In The Top Gear

When you schedule time off, it helps you recharge and gives you time to spend with others. It’s essential to the creative process, your social sanity, and the people around you (yes think of them too).

Most entrepreneurs throw this rule out the window the first time things get crazy, but those are the times you need to break and refocus.

You can’t keep that pace up forever, and this isn’t a sprint, you’re in a marathon.

Work From A Coffee Shop

I’m currently typing this from a Caribou Coffee . While I have my earbuds in and music playing. I see people all around me. I know this seems distracting but to me it feels nice. Even though I’m focusing, I’m still around people and the loneliness fades away.

I should add this is the Caribou I visit regularly too. I know the baristas and even some of the other regulars. This day to day interaction helps me stay sane, and I can keep writing. When I was writing Hurricane Jerald I met strangers in coffee shops and some of them would proofread my book.

Work from a coffee shop to ease loneliness

You never know who you’ll meet and who can give you advice.

Side Note: If You’re More Of An Introvert That’s Okay, I’m Not Saying Start Talking With Random People. Just Be Around Them. It Might Help Fight Your Loneliness.

It’s Okay To Cry. Most Entrepreneurs Do.

Ok I haven’t taken a poll on this, and I’m not sure how honest people would be about it either. However as I’ve been trying to build my websites, I’ve cried a lot (more than I’d like to admit). I call my failures, “Learning Experiences,” and I’ve had 7 of them in the last two years.

Side Note: This is the only way you’ll ever see me use the word failure. Everything can be learned from, and if you learn a lesson from and fix the problem. You didn’t fail, you’re on the path to success.

When you realize your current project is a “Learning Experience.” It’s okay to cry. Shit happens and you’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this. Sometimes I realize too late and hold on to long (My Shopify store). It’s never a failure, if you learn, adapt, and grow stronger.

This is how success happens. You keep learning and growing. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Get Help

I put this option down because sometimes you’re in over your head. When I was creating this website, I needed to find a web developer. I had no knowledge of how to make a WordPress site. So I called a friend. He gave me some basic tips and then I began to create. I watched hours of YouTube videos, looked at a lot of themes and got confused by CSS.

But eventually it all came together, and then I made a 2nd site; SnoFall Gear and things got easier…slightly easier. Maybe after 20 sites it’ll be simple.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. Then find someone to fill those gaps in. If they’re a friend who’ll do it for free that’s awesome, but sometimes you’ll have to hire a consultant.

If you want to succeed, give every avenue a chance.

Being An Entrepreneur Is About Passion Not Loneliness

This is what I keep reminding myself. I have a 4 year degree from the University Of Minnesota and spent a few years after that as a project manager.

be a passionate entrepreneur

I’m not lacking job opportunities, but sometimes it’s tempting to leave my life as an entrepreneur. I’ll find myself dreaming about the safety of a weekly paycheck. However, I love what I do, it makes me happy, and fulfills my life. I wouldn’t trade anything for it, and I’m building my future.

If you can describe your business like I just did. You’ll be alright. Keep pressing on and focusing on the things you need to do, learn from your mistakes.

Remember to take care of yourself as well. Don’t forget to subscribe to my page below for updates on my latest blog posts.

Don’t Forget:

  • Collaborate With Others
  • Schedule Time Off
  • Find A Coffee Shop Or A Place With Public Wifi
  • Cry A Little Bit And Learn From Every Experience
  • Be Passionate About Your Business
  • Get Help

How To Start Chasing Dreams, And Live Your Best Life

Chasing Dreams

In my life I’ve been a failure, at least that’s what I tell myself whenever I look into my list of Dreams & Goals. It seems like the list gets longer and I keep growing older. However, my dreams keep getting larger, and more epic, and I don’t ever seem to make headway.

In the last 10 years, I’ve consolidated my list of goals and in the last two years, I’ve developed a plan to achieve them. If I’m going to keep chasing them, for however long I’m on this planet.

I’m gonna need a plan.

Dream Big When Chasing Them

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

I love the above quote from Norman Vincent Peale. What is stopping you from trying to chasing dreams? Why should you settle for something less when you can dream up anything.

Chasing dreams will bring out the best in you. But It will also stress you out. You’ll begin to question your life choices. And slowly but surely you’ll notice that your mind is transforming and you’re learning more about yourself.

I have some current dreams and goals that I’ve set for my life. To be honest they scare the living crap out of me. I have no idea how I’ll achieve them, but I’ve got a plan, and that’s what matters. You’ll never achieve a huge Goal in a day. It’ll take a lot of perseverance, blood, sweat, and tears. Keep Chasing Dreams, and Achieving Your Goals.

Remember to dream big, and set big goals. If you keep setting small ones. You limit yourself to a smaller world.

Chasing Dreams By Setting Goals

Below is a list of steps or questions that I go through when setting goals. It’s good to define what you’re doing. Also, write your thoughts down. That way your thoughts won’t drift from what you wrote.

  1. Make a Decision. What Do You Want?
  2. Speak To The People Around You. They Might Be Able To Give You A Different Perspective.
  3. Write It Down, Somewhere Prominent In Your Life. (I Have A Dry Erase Board On My Fridge, And I Set Reminders To Pop Up On My Phone ETC.)
  4. You’ll Have To Face Your Fears.
  5. Plan Out Steps To Achieve The Goal. Write Down The Different Steps You’ll Need To Take, And Use Them As Milestones.
  6. Shake Up The Paradigm And Make Changes. Maybe There’s Something You Haven’t Considered.
  7. Achieve Your Goal Or Reevaluate It.

Chasing Dreams Will Start With A Decision.

This is sometimes the hardest part many people face. Just making a decision from a good idea to a bad one is one thing. But when you have two equally good ideas but only enough time or energy for one. Making that decision is tough.

Whenever I’m in this debacle, I look at which one is larger. I try to see which one will encompass more of what I want to do in my life, and I chase after that one.

It all seems so simple when I’m writing it, but when you’re in the weeds it’s a hard choice. Sometimes, it helps to move onto #2.

Chasing Dreams; Use Peer Pressure To Propel You Forward.

I have a lot of friends, but most of them aren’t people who I ask for advice. For that, I have a small tight-knit group. Not everybody will respond favorably to a dream or goal you’re trying to set.

However, the people you want to speak with, are the ones who will tell you the truth. They are the ones who practice tough love and will say your idea is crazy. But they also should tell you why.

In addition to that, you’ll want to avoid the people who agree with everything you do. There’s no point in asking these people for advice. They only know how to say great idea, and what’s stopping you? They’re idiots and people pleasers.

Others are evil, they act like friends but will stab you in the back and cut you off at the knees. These are the people you NEVER want advice from.

Usually, if they must be around, I’ll put them at arm’s length and avoid them altogether.

Once you have the right people, either get them together or meet with them individually. Usually, I’ll follow something similar to the following steps.

  • I tell them what type of goal I’m setting, or the goals I’m deciding between.
  • I ask if they see any pitfalls in my thinking and if these ideas could really work?
  • If everything checks out, and they’re on board, I’ll start a basic outline to achieve my goal then and there. Although, if they see a huge flaw in my goal. I’ll take a step back to see if there’s another way.

Write Your Goals Down.

I have a dry erase board on my fridge. I put it there because I open the door every day, and I want to be reminded as much as possible.

It keeps me focused, and I stay on target.

Achieve Your Goals
Stay On Target

When you write your goals down, it makes them real and holds you accountable for the future. It’s something you can go back to and see where your head was, and you don’t have to worry about your dream turning into something completely different.

Plan Out Steps To Achieve The Goal

My book ‘Hurricane Jerald.’ was something I’d been working on for over a decade. Two years ago, I grew weary of doing it halfway and decided it was time to finish it. However I am lazy, and so I made an impossible goal.

I would finish my book in 6 months.

This was a difficult goal, At the time it was the end of August, and I wanted it out just before Christmas (I was motivated by $$$). The book itself was half done, I didn’t have a title, and I’d never self-published before. In other words, 6 months was going to be a tough target to hit.

I knew if I was to succeed at all. That I needed a list of steps that must happen. Early on it included the basics, and then go more technical as I learned more (Like creating book covers) Below was one of my lists.

Hurricane Jerald Completion List

  • Figure out how long a novel should be?
  • Do the math, and figure out how much you should write for the next 5 months.
  • Use the last month for proofreading, figure out publishing, and getting test readers. (hopefully, they don’t hate it.)
  • Also, get a cover made.
Long Path To Your goals
The Long Path To Achieving Your Goals

For anybody who’s ever published a book, you’ll see that I didn’t know what I was doing. It entails a lot more than I knew, because of that my book release date was pushed back 3 different times. It was finally released sometime in late March. This of course was 3 months later than planned, and that kinda bugged me. However as time went on, I realized it worked out better this way, because I’d learned a lot about the book writing process.

Remember to be flexible with timetables, and if you think something should take six months give yourself some extra time. Something I learned in project management is always scheduled for 75% of the work you’re capable of. That way if things go wrong (and they will). You’ll have the extra time to deal with it.

If you’re scheduled for 100% of what you can do. When something fails, (and it will) you’re not going to have the bandwidth to fix it.

Stay focused have perseverance and keep going.

You’ll Need To Face Your Fears

When you’re trying to achieve a huge goal. There will be a certain amount of fear. It’ll probably be with you the entire time. However fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you use it to propel you.

  • Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You.
  • Stop The Fear From Lying To You.
  • Never Believe You’re A Failure, Or That You Will Fail.

Failure is you learning to succeed, and sometimes you need to fail. It’s hard to fail, and I’m scared to death of it, but I’m tired of wondering what could’ve been.

I’ve written a whole blog post about fear and how it holds you back. I go into depth about it. So please check it out.

Shake Up The Paradigm

So you’re trying to achieve your goals. You’ve made the plan, speaking with friends, and you keep failing.

What do you do?

It all seemed to work out on paper, but where did everything go wrong? I recommend taking a step back and trying to see the entire goal. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • Is there something holding me back?
  • Are there any other paths to the goal opened to me?
  • What could be done better and fixed with these issues?
  • How can I speed up this process?

I recommend answering these questions and then going back to your friends/family that you spoke to in the second step. It’s always good to get a second set of eyes on an issue.

Also, you might need a new set of eyes on the problem. Find somebody who’s not been a part of the process. Maybe they’ll have something new to say.

Achieve Your Dream Or Reevaluate It.

Hopefully, if you’ve reached this point, you’ll be able to celebrate. However, sometimes goals and dreams don’t happen.

I’m not saying this to dash your hopes, but if you did everything you can, you’ve been trying for a long time and you’re not making headway. You might need to let go and hope for the best.

Achieve Your Dreams
When You’ve Finally Made It.

Hopefully, that’s not the case. I pray that you achieved your dreams and now you’re excited and ready for more.

So my advice for you is;

Dream Something Up That’s Even Bigger.

How You Can Overcome Fear And Anxiety; Live Free

Fear And Freedom

Fear and anxiety will creep in fast and unexpectedly. It strikes me during the quiet time of the night. I wake up startled, gasping for air in a cold sweat. And in my memory, a terrifying dream fades away slowly. However, a feeling of terror remains.

My heart is beating fast, and I can’t go back to sleep. So instead of sleeping I’ll get out of bed and wander my dark apartment. My anxiety has struck again robbing me of precious sleep.

This scenario happens to me regularly. So much in fact I find myself writing at 3 AM at least once a week. I can’t say my fear and anxiety have been conquered, but I can say they’ve changed dramatically.

In High School, my friends thought I had a death wish. In reality, I didn’t care about life. Now that I’ve made it to my 30’s (by the grace of God). I have a tighter grasp on life, and I have dreams and goals I need to accomplish before I go.

Now I’m facing different fears, someday they haunt every step, and others don’t even come up.

  • Will I be single the rest of my life?
  • When will my businesses finally take off?
  • Am I tired or do I have cancer? (sometimes I’m a hypochondriac)

My anxiety is pretty straightforward, and I’m sure most of us have similar ones.

Why Do We Have Fear And Anxiety?

I’m not a doctor, psychologist, or anything related to that field. I’m a snowboard instructor who was abused as a child. Due to that experience, I never knew stability, and I’ve been trying to find it my entire life.

Fear fights logic and will overpower it whenever you feed the beast. As long as you fear, and surrender to that fear, it will control you.

We Are Fearful And Anxious About Things We Can’t Control

It’s like when people are scared about flying. In reality, you have no control, all you can do is sit back, relax, and hope you don’t die. There is nothing you can do to stop the issues with the plane. Short of not getting on one, and for some people that’s not possible. (comforting isn’t it)

It’s also running from your fears.

When there is no control, fear will creep in.

We’re Scared Of The Unknown.

It’s always a dark location, usually at night and it makes a terrible noise. We don’t know what the noise is, and we can’t see a thing. However, it’s unknown and therefore could be a threat. This is what scares us.

I like to think about the house down the street in our collective memories. It’s a scary house full of cobwebs and urban legends. During the day it isn’t scary but at night. You’d never walk by it or heaven forbid go inside it.

The woods and the open sea fall into this category. When things are uncertain, and can’t be controlled (hey there it is again). We become Fearful.

So what are some of the most common fears and anxieties?

The 10 Most Common Fears And Anxieties?

The fears below are taken from a list I saw on an ABC news site. I feel that it’s pretty spot-on for fears as I’ve met people with most of these.

Fear And Anxiety List:

Social Phobias:

This is a common type of fear. Classified as a social anxiety disorder it stops many people from socializing. This disorder most likely will get worse in the future. This is due to increases in people working from home, and getting everything they need to be delivered.

Agoraphobia: This is a fear of open spaces.

Although it’s much more complicated than that. To me, it seems the opposite of claustrophobia. It probably has some relation to social phobias but whether it’s the cause or effect would depend on the person.

Acrophobia: The Fear Of Heights.

I’ve had this a few times in my life, and one time I caused fear. I watched a TV Show called airline Disasters and then boarded a plane. I almost freaked out on the plane.

Some people get scared of being on a chair or going up an escalator.

Pteromerhanophobia: The Fear Of Flying.

Some people can hike tall mountains and ski down them, but when it comes to flying, they’ll opt to take a road trip. I’ve even heard of a few sports players with this issue.

Claustrophobia: Fear Of Enclosed Spaces

Do you hate closets? Does a room have to have an open door? You might have claustrophobia. I feel like we all have some level of this fear.

Fear And Anxiety: Animals

Entomophobia: Fear Of Insects

There are some people who fear spiders, other caterpillars, and millipedes. For me, I hate them all, and spiders are the worst.

There was a time that I stepped on a spider. I thought I was killing it, but a thousand little ones came out of it. Never again.

Ophidiophobia: Fear Of Snakes

Okay, let the record show I am not cool with snakes. They are slimy weird and have fangs. If one comes near me, I’m tying that thing to a pole. The worst are python, anacondas, and boa constrictors. I don’t wanna die like that…However I don’t think I have a fear of snakes, I think it’d be worse.

Cynophobia: Fear Of Dogs

I thought I had this fear growing up. I was a paperboy and was bit by a dog in the 3rd grade. Looking back I see the dog was being playful and it didn’t break my skin. I had no experience with them and it terrified me.

I was also caring a heavy bag of newspapers and couldn’t defend myself.

Astraphobia: Fear Of Storms

I think my father and grandmother had this fear. Both of them would panic whenever a large storm came. My father probably inherited this fear from his mom and she grew up during the depression when storms would do major damage. It’s understandable.

Trypanophobia: Fear Of Needles.

Going to the doctor and you have this fear. I like to tell the doctor and nurse that I don’t wanna see it. If I don’t see it, then I’m not afraid of it. Then it comes out of nowhere and I feel a stabbing pain LOL.

Why I’m Writing About Fear And Anxiety?

Our Fears and anxieties attack every single day, and when the attack comes we have two choices.

  • Should I Fight?
  • Or Should I Run?

Both choices have some merit, and depending on the situation one might be a better choice than the other. In my book Hurricane Jerald I go into some of my fears, writing about how I overcome them.

Should You Fight?

If this is a fear that keeps coming back and your running doesn’t help. Put your fists up, it’s time to knock it out. I lean more towards this choice because I don’t like my fear. I want to destroy it from ever taking hold of my life.

However, I’m not the best at fighting yet. You’ll never win the fight by winning one battle. This fight will be an ongoing campaign, but eventually, things will get easier.

Should You Run?

It’s a belief of mine that everyone should know how to defend themselves. Whether they take a self-defense course, or they have a weapon they’re trained to use properly. It’s important.

If you are scared, and in a situation where you can’t defend yourself or you’re in physical danger. RUN away. This is a major time you should run. There are other times as well to be sure, but this is the time to act.

How To Face Fear And Anxiety?

I wrote a blog post about this recently about ‘Overcoming Fear And Anxiety.’ In it, I used an example from my job as a snowboard instructor. A few years ago I had a severe concussion. This gave me intense anxiety, I even considered giving up snowboarding.

When you’re driving on an icy road, eventually you’ll hit some black ice and the car will go into a skid. This is where you turn into the skid. If the car is spinning right turn the wheels left.

Doing this simple move will help you regain control, and the same can be done in your life. When you’re full of fear, anxiety, and pain. Turn into the skid.

You might be thinking, wow that wasn’t a lot of help, but that’s because I can only show you the door. You have to walk through it. The choice is yours, live in fear and anxiety, or be free.

I know what I’ve chosen, and I don’t regret choosing freedom. I hope you liked this post, and I pray you choose well.

To Read More Posts Like This Click Here.

How To Cope With Parental Death

Parental Death

This post sucks to write, and it’s even worse to go through. Dealing with parental death isn’t something you ever think about. One day it hits you.

I feel like I was lucky, I knew it was coming. My father had cancer for two years and he was fighting it hard.

Last spring things had taken a turn for the worst and he was moved into hospice care. He was in a lot of pain, and some days were better than others. I never thought he’d be that much of a fighter, and he really surprised me.

We had a troubled past and he wasn’t in the last 18 years of my life. However I’m not sure how much his passing would affect me, even then I noticed cracks in my armor.

Keep in mind that I wrote it all in the past tense. My father passed away. Dealing with Parental death is never fun, but it’s inevitable. With the right network in place, and knowing you have limited time.

You can make a difference, and create memories that’ll get you through the bad times. It won’t erase the pain, and it still sucks. However, whenever I started crying his memory would make me laugh.

Parental Death; Deal With You Problems It’s Not Worth It.

Growing up my father was abusive. The story is something I chronicled in my book ‘Hurricane Jerald.’ I remember hating him for years and I even plotted to kill him at one point.

The thought of his death once made me smile, but now I’m really going to miss him.

I loved my father, and I miss him every day.

Fathers Cancer Depresses Me

Why he did and said what he did is irrelevant. My family has a lot of theories from different types of mental illness to him being a dick, but I don’t think the reasons matter as much as the choices.

If I’m affected negatively by his choices from 18 years ago, is it still his fault? He made choices, and they hurt my family and I, but I’m an adult now, and as an adult, it’s my choice to form my own worldview and self-view. This means letting go of the pain, heartache, and anger.

If his actions are still pulling me down, that is no longer his fault. It’s mine.

I could’ve let things go in ages past, but for some reason I’ve held onto them. That is my fault, I’m torturing myself because I can’t forgive and let things go.

Keep in mind, I’m not saying what he did was okay or wrong, but I’m saying it’s not helpful to hold onto the pain and heartache his choices caused.

Parental Death; Reconcile Now Before It’s Too Late

2 1/2 years ago, I walked into a restaurant and broke an 18-year drought of speaking with my father. It was a hard thing for me, and I almost bolted into the parking lot. I was still a 15-year-old boy who had been hurt, and all the emotions came back instantly. I hadn’t felt some of these in years.

However, I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last 18 years. I’ve grown up and learned that I need to face my fears, and challenge those who’ve hurt me.

So, I took a deep breath and walked into the restaurant, and had a conversation with a man that I hadn’t spoken to in years.

This was where I decided to face the music. My father was dying and we needed to reconcile before things happened. I was hopeful that he’d recover but knew there was a chance he wouldn’t. Either way, this day was going to happen.

When you’re dealing with parental death. Make sure you have those difficult conversations. Talk with you parent, clear the air, and don’t let anything be left unsaid.

Once they’re gone, you have the memory and the burden. You can still move forward, but the guilt can become a lot to bear.

Reconnecting Isn’t Impossible

Dads Are Supposed to Be Superman To A Child

I was writing my book, Hurricane Jerald, for the better part of a decade. Even before we reconnected I’d put pen to paper. I was writing my book to release my emotions and get everything outside of me.

For a time my ending was;

“and he died angry and bitter, not knowing why he was alone.”

Hurricane Jerald; Original Ending

I didn’t have to write that ending, because he’s not alone anymore. God restored our relationship by bringing us together and helping us to forgive each other.

I made mistakes too, and those mistakes are not canceled out by him.

Handling Parental Death:

For the most part, this is how I’ve dealt with it, and full disclosure. I’ve never been good at dealing with emotional turmoil. Part of me wonders if something is wrong with me. Like my heart is busted and nothing can fix it.

There are times that I break down and cry for quite a while. Crying is okay, and you’ll need to do it from time to time. Let the stress and the pain out.

One of the big annoyances I have involves my friends, and I know that sounds funny. However, I get tired of people asking me how I’m doing. Usually, it’s because I’m trying to forget and that question brings me right back to the situation I’m in.

It makes me wonder if I’m broken, but that makes no sense either.

Gather Your Friends And Family Around You:

When dealing with parental death. You’ll need a good support network. That network will see you through. I wrote about being annoyed in the previous chapter, but I had multiple friends asking me regularly if I was okay.

That’s a blessing.

If you’re dealing with the death of a parent, or they’re in hospice.

DON’T WALK THIS PATH ALONE

Find someone to talk with, someone who will walk this path.

How To Cope With The Death Of A Parent.

I didn’t write this to get a lot of views, I just needed to get it off my chest, and this was the best option for me. Sometimes you need to be vulnerable and this was my best option.

If you’re struggling with parental death or the passing of a loved one. Here are some things I’ve been doing that have kept me sane. (Even when I don’t feel anything.)

My List To Stay Sane:

  • Stay in contact with other family members. It really helps. I talk with a few of my siblings daily now. We’ve gotten closer through this.
  • If you don’t have close family. Call some friends up, at this time in your life, being alone is a bad thing and should be avoided.
  • Start a new hobby, I’m thinking about picking up the cello again.
  • Workout more, the endorphins released from working out can help relieve stress, and you’ll be in better shape.
  • Go Snowboarding
  • Grab My Mountain Bike And Hit Up A Hill (There Are No Mountains In Minnesota)
  • Play Sand Volleyball (Whatever I can do, to clear my mind)

In addition to the list above, here are some items I try to avoid. Mostly because they make me feel bad the next day. Although at the time I absolutely love some of them.

My List To Avoid:

  • Drinking Excessive Amounts Of Alcohol. Never Mask Your Pain Through Self Medication It Isn’t Healthy. Instead Let It Out Among Friends And Family Where You’ll Be Supported.
  • Eating excessive amounts of pizza or other foods (pizza is my weakness)
  • Allowing Depression To Steal Your Energy. So You Sit On The Couch And Watch Fight Depression

Whatever you’re going through, the pain will eventually become bearable. I won’t say that it’ll go away, but eventually, you’ll become stronger and be able to bear it.

That’s the essence of pain, friends I’ve lost years ago still cause me pain. I never stop missing them, but their memory helps me to be the best man I can be.

I miss my father daily now that he’s gone, and I’ve broken down and cried a lot about it. However, I am also blessed. For 18 years we lived as strangers, but I can’t help and think. I came back into his life for this.

I was there to help him find peace before he goes.

Praying for you as you’re reading this. God has placed you at this moment, and if you turn to him you can find peace.

Fighting Anxiety; Learn To Be Free From Worry and Fear

Fighting Depression And Anxiety

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll notice I won’t shy away from the truth. In my book ‘Hurricane Jerald’ I talk a lot about fighting anxiety from my childhood experiences and bringing them to light. Now I’d go a little bit deeper.

I’ve never been diagnosed with PTSD, and I’m not qualified to diagnose it. If you find yourself fighting anxiety or any mental issues. I’d like to stress right here and now that you need to find help. Whether it’s a medical professional, close friend, or member of the clergy. DO NOT stay silent. Your healing is out there, but you have to find it. Also, you’re not alone in this fight, please reach out, the world needs you and you’re here for a purpose. I promise you that.

How I Started Fighting Anxiety

I am a follower of Jesus and I know many people that will take issue with the statement above. I don’t care, because my faith in him is how I define myself. The past doesn’t get any control over me. I have to overcome it.

The emotional abuse I experienced growing up is what drives me today. It taught me about fighting anxiety. Even to this day, the pain will come out of nowhere, filling my heart up. This usually causes me to weep, so I’ll disappear pretty quickly when I sense it coming on.

However, in recent years, I haven’t had to deal with this anxiety spiral as much. I’ve been able to deal with my past, and come up with great ways to help me keep fighting anxiety. I wrote a lengthy blog post about depression too, you can check it out by clicking on the hyperlink here.

Words have power, it’s why the truth is so important, and understanding the truth. In the church today we tend to lie a lot about how we feel. For example, A church member steps into a church vestibule. They’re coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. They’re obviously sick, but they keep saying; “I’m not sick, I don’t believe it,” Well there are two things to deal with here.

You’re a liar.

And you’re infecting everyone else.

Be honest, ask for some prayer, go home, and take some Mucinex (The stuff is amazing)

We do the same thing with emotional trauma, except it’s not as visible. We tell ourselves we weren’t hurt, or they didn’t mean it. None of those reasons really matter though. If you were hurt, you need healing. Their intentions do not justify your pain.

Stop Fighting Anxiety.

This depends mostly on the situation. Most times, you can just let it go. When you feel anger or resentment, just forgive. Other times you’ll have to approach the person and tell them you were hurt. This takes a lot more courage to do.

I’ve had people do this to me before. I’m very blunt and love to joke with people so I’m sure it happens more than I notice.

That’s the shorter version, I’ve spelled out a lot of things you can do on two other blog posts. You can find the links below:

How To Stop Fighting Depression

And

Fighting Anxiety With Gods Help

On both of these posts I go through basic steps I use to keep myself from falling into the spiral. You’re healing can come, but you have to make the right choices and refocus. That’s not an easy choice to make. So find some friends, some family, and some church people to help you on your way. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

Healing Never Comes From Being Alone.

One of the issues you’ll face in the fallout of emotional abuse is a desire to pull yourself away from society. A voice will speak inside your head telling you nobody understands and they’ll think you’re crazy.

The funny thing about the voices, they’re telling someone else similar lies, and if you talked about it, you’d realize the truth. The community can help you find healing and freedom.

When you lock yourself up, you’re stopping the outflow of pain and the inflow of healing. You are holding onto the knife in your chest because it’s what is comfortable (crazy I know). However, when friends and family come around, they’ll help remove the knife. It’ll suck and be painful at first, but once it’s gone, you can heal.

Anxiety Can Stem From PTSD

Abuse whether mental or physical can cause major emotional damage. A lot of times the physical trauma that causes it becomes emotional. I’m not a psychologist but the two seem interconnected in my mind.

When I lived in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina, I saw things that affected me for a long time afterward. A simple smell or noise would instantly bring me back. This trauma at the time was physical, but it became psychological and caused me great distress.

When you experience something so traumatic that it breaks you emotionally, that will leave a scar. Whether it’s on a distant battlefield or from an abusive parent at home. the wounds, there gonna be there for while.

What Are The Signs Of Emotional Abuse?

I’ve noticed that I’ll spot emotionally abused people pretty quickly. It isn’t a superpower or anything, but I look into people’s eyes a lot, and I’ve been on the other side of them and usually, I can tell. However this isn’t foolproof, and I’m sure I miss people.

  1. A persons eyes will have no life. You’ll know it when you see it.
  2. These are the types of people who tend to be really hard on themselves. The littlest things will set them off. This behavior is learned because they are scared of messing up and drawing attention to themselves.

A lot of the signs are only noticed if you’re close to the person. If they have someone controlling them, degrading them. There is a good possibility they are being emotionally abused.

Can A Toxic Relationship Cause PTSD Or Other Emotional Trauma?

I grew up with an abusive father, and to this day I wonder if my morbid sense of humor developed from that. If the toxic relationship stops you from moving on, at least from fear. You might have an anxiety disorder or PTSD.

I’m not a Doctor/Lawyer/Psychologist ETC.

Keep in mind I’m not a doctor, I can’t diagnose you, I’m just a writer that writes from my personal experience. And in that experience, I’ve been through a lot of emotional abuse. If you’re struggling and you can’t find the way out. Know that Jesus loves you, and he wants to help you through this. You can learn about Jesus in the Bible, I like the book of John. It helps me see who Jesus really is.

Your path to healing is going to be a long one, it’ll probably hurt a bit more before it gets better. But once you start to heal, you’ll be amazed at how much life you missed.

Fighting Anxiety: What To Remember

Emotional abuse can start you on the road to fighting anxiety. For years I fought horrible feelings of inadequacy and not measuring up. This is what you should know:

  • The World Needs You
  • You Are Here For A Purpose
  • There Is Something Only You Can Accomplish On This Planet
  • You Are Loved, Even When You Feel You Aren’t
  • The Negative Voices In Your Head Are Lying. You Were Made With Great Love And Attention

Words Of Encouragement; In This Life You Matter

encouragement

The mind is a beautiful and dangerous thing. One second you can be on the top of the world, and the next falling into the depths. Chances are good that sometime in your life you’ll be needing some words of encouragement. It doesn’t matter who you are, life is hard, and sometimes you need a hand.

I started writing this blog and another called SnoFall Gear about 9 months ago (at the time of this writing). When I first began blogging, I had a strong feeling I’d succeed, and make it big. This would all happen in the first 3 months and it’s awesome.

However 9 months in, and I’m still working a construction job during the day and making grocery deliveries at night. I don’t know if I’ll be a success by the standards of the world, but I know what my writing has done for me.

Writing has helped me find an outlet. My father is dying of cancer, and I’m only now getting to know him. I cover this story in my book Hurricane Jerald if you’d like to learn more.

Encourage Someone

Sometimes you need to fail, in order to succeed, and whatever place you’re finding yourself in in life. Understand this:

  • You are here on this planet for a purpose.
  • People love you, even if you don’t feel it.
  • There is something for you to do in this world and only you can accomplish it.

I’ve found the hard part is finding what you’re supposed to do, but if you know your strengths. Then you have a map, and the treasure is finding yourself, and who you were made to be.

Some Good Words Of Encouragement.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I should write here. Many people say stay positive, and avoid negativity. However, that’s like saying avoid gluten in a bakery.

It’s almost impossible.

Encouragement

You Were Created For A Purpose:

Before I Formed You In The Womb; I knew You…

Jeremiah 1:5

God knew you before you were created. He made you with a purpose in mind. I know some of you might not believe in God when you’re reading this, and that’s okay.

Look into your heart and ask yourself. What is my purpose? If there is one thing I could do for the rest of my life and be fulfilled, What would that be?

If you can answer that question, accomplish it, go after, run for it because there’s not many who can.

You Are Loved.

When you’re in the depths of discouragement, it’s hard to believe you’re loved. Just last week I hit the bottom of the barrel. I yelled at God, was mad at my family, and even punched my car (it had broken down).

What did that accomplish?

Well, for one thing, I had to apologize to a lot of people, my car didn’t need an apology but my hand needed ice. The next day my family came through for me, and I was able to get everything fixed.

I couldn’t wait longer and get discouraged, even if someone had offered words of encouragement. I wouldn’t have listened.

During this time I’d forgotten about family and friends. In my mind, none of them cared. I would’ve said things I regret if they had called me. Then they came through for me and helped me out.

When you need a word of encouragement, stop and take a breath. God is there and so are family and friends. Remember, you might be blind to their presence.

How To Say Words Of Encouragement?

If a friend of mine needs some words of encouragement, I like to find something funny or stupid to say. It gets a good laugh, a snort, or a giggle, and that breaks down the walls people tend to put up.

Then I go in for the encouragement, and as I speak the truth into their life, I try and get them to speak about their discouragement. If you can find the source of pain, you can help them heal.

A lot of times we encourage people only to have them fall back into the discouragement they experienced before. However, if we can find the source of pain and bring healing. We might be able to stop it from coming back.

Usually, this isn’t instantaneous, and it’ll take quite a few sessions, but friends around you can help.

If you’re close to the person, you can make a huge impact on their heart.

How To Give Words Of Encouragement & Inspire Others?

encouragement

Whenever I work on a large team I find myself being the encourager. In fact, according to the strengths finder, I rank high on encouragement. Because of this I naturally flow in positivity and keep things going.

When someone does a great job, make sure you acknowledge it. Don’t do it in private either, let the whole team know. I like to have a daily team meeting and I’ll pick someone who’s doing an epic job and tell everyone how great they’re doing.

Each day pick someone new, so everyone can feel acknowledged and encouraged.

Jesus Loves You The Way You Are

Now for you the reader. I know life is hard, and sometimes it outright sucks. However, there is a God in heaven that loves you dearly. He created you and he wants to know who you are. He won’t deliver you from the trials and issues you face in life, but he’ll walk through them with you.

All you have to do is ask him to help, say Jesus I need you, and then listen to his voice. Hearing The Voice of God can be difficult, but I wrote some steps to help you when trying to hear him.

If you don’t believe in Jesus, or you hate him. I why you might. I’ve hated God before as well, and he wasn’t my favorite person a couple of days ago either. However, regardless of your feelings, he loves you.

Encouragement Quotes:

There is no better exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.

John Holmes

If We’re Going To Bring Out The Best IN People We Need To Sow Seeds Of Encouragement.

Anonymous

And My Personal Favorite

Difficult Roads Often Lead To Beautiful Destinations.

Anonymous

You are your own worst critic, and you need to be your greatest cheerleader. Sometimes you won’t have friends and family around. It’ll be difficult to be encouraged, inspired, and focused then. During those times I turn to God, but sometimes that’s hard to do.

You have to make a choice, here and now, and continue until it’s a habit. Once it’s a habit, it’ll rub off on others around you, and they’ll encourage you too. This is a mental battle, but it’s one you can win.

Keep fighting,

Why You Have To Fail To Succeed; Learning From Your Mistakes

Fail

Have you ever thrown your heart and soul into a project, only to have it fail, disintegrating right before your eyes? For the last two years, I’ve been an entrepreneur, trying to find my place in the world. Some of my projects have born fruit, and many more have blown up, caught on fire, and I’ve cast them into oblivion. When you want to succeed, you’ll have to fail to succeed.

It’s been disheartening, to say the least.

I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve had, how can one measure the stress and frustration too? Either way, I’m playing the long game, and failure will teach me to succeed.

I hate studying successful people. It’s like they’re standing there in front of you shining like a beacon in the night. How did they get there? It doesn’t matter, you can do it, and it’s easy. Just try harder.

Then everyone goes to their own personal projects, trying to mimic them. Most of us give up in frustration, and we fail. Never seeing the fruit of our labor.

Success isn’t just about skill or luck. It’s about Perseverance.

Even if the successful person tells us about their pitfalls. We tend to forget those, and we focus on the glitz and glamor they shine with. We neglect to realize the lessons they’re trying to teach were learned in the dark.

I’m not a guru by any means, at my best I’m an idiot stumbling around a dark room hoping I don’t stub my toe. (fricken hurts) Regardless, I have learned a few things. Whenever I’m working on something. I try to stay positive, stay focused on the prize, and understand there will be hiccups.

My List Of Failures

Feel free to have a laugh as you read through these. Each one of these fails holds a special place in my heart. They are from the last few years in chronological order. Also, just because they are failing now, doesn’t mean they won’t succeed in the future. Some of my ideas are being tweaked as I write, and we’ll see who gets the last laugh.

My journey began two years ago, I was sitting in my office, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I just felt a strong desire to leave, and do something greater. This feeling grew stronger to the point where I almost ran. This is where, an amazing opportunity dropped into my lap, and I jumped at the chance.

Fail To Succeed #1; Helping A NonProfit

I had some messed-up beliefs. One of the major ones involved nonprofits. They help the world by transforming people and making their lives better, Right? So, I thought if I work for one that would make me a better person. That would be something I could do, and hopefully, it would fill my empty soul?

It didn’t, I think it only helped reveal how little I knew about the path I was on, and how childish and immature I was. There was something inside that needed to grow up, and I wouldn’t be able to succeed there. I knew deep down and hated it. After 3 months, I quit.

When I started there, in my heart I’d gotten my dream job, but it was my nightmare.

Fail To Succeed #2; Mobile Closing

Still reeling from my 1st failure, I decided to go into real estate, I had to make money somehow. My sister works in the title industry, and she thought I’d be perfect doing it. While I enjoyed it and had a good time. I moved on quickly as there were some logistical issues.

Mainly I couldn’t make money in the winter doing it. (I live in Minnesota)

Fail To Succeed #3 Amazon Author

The first couple of times I experienced failure, there was money in my bank account. Which was good to fall back on. A year after leaving my corporate job. That money was drying up fast, and I was getting scared. I had to put everything into high gear and try multiple ideas at once. Most of these ideas were like throwing stuff against the wall. I kept hoping something would stick.

This is when I finished my first book. It’d been in process for the better part of a decade, but I was scared to finish it. Finally, my fear became too great, and I put it on Amazon. Initially, it did really well, I was shocked because I thought it would sell a lot, but it did better than most 1st time others.

After a while, I realized that I was selling copies in England which was awesome. It didn’t catch on in America, at least not yet. The money I earned was barely enough to survive, but I kept dreaming. Today you can still purchase my book. It’s called Hurricane Jerald and it’s about my life growing up, and how I learned to forgive my abusive father.

Fail To Succeed #4 Amazon Seller

I started selling junk on Amazon. I was already in the amazon universe with my book, so I thought why not? My first step was to raid my storage unit, my closets and put everything on amazon worth any money. The goal was to get an online shop going, and I was determined to make it work.

However, after a few months, I’d run out of junk. Also, the merchandise I’d purchased in bulk from China was lying around my apartment. I couldn’t sell any products and to this day, I have expensive paperweights on my desk.

They’re mocking me… even now…

Fail To Succeed #5 Shopify Fail

After seeing the difficulties and hurdles of selling on Amazon. I jumped ship again. This time, I’d start my own website and make a dropshipping store.

I started writing content and kept looking at different products from China. My first website was a snowboarding website called: SnoFall Gear. My goal was to transform the snowboard community and the world. I hoped everybody would come to my site and get Tips, Tricks, & Gear.

If you haven’t figured it out, I dream big. You should probably upgrade your dreams too.

My site sold 5 pairs of goggles in a few months.

Turns out selling junk products from China on a brand new website that looks like every other snowboard website looks fishy to people. I needed to differentiate my site.

However, I had one skill I wasn’t using. I’ve always been a good writer, and never have I been a good salesman. So I realized, that I needed a website to write blog posts, and write about my knowledge on different subjects.

Fail To Succeed #5 WordPress Sites;

Calling my WordPress sites a failure is a bit premature, in fact, I’m going on 1 1/2 years for this one. However I have made tons of mistakes, and I continue to learn from them. Currently, I have two websites:

In the last 6 months, I had many highs and more lows. Sometimes I don’t even wanna continue. Heck, I’ve had all day to write this post, and I’m finishing it around 11 pm with a glass of whiskey in hand.

In all my fails, I’ve learned one important thing;

Failure isn’t bad, unless you stop learning from it.

Whatever you’re doing, put everything into it. Then if you fail you’ll know you tried your best. This will do a couple of things for you.

  1. It’ll show you where there is weakness.
  2. Failure will reveal your focus. (don’t fail for lack of trying ever)
  3. It’ll give you a lot of data to analyze and learn from.

Never stop learning from failure. Even if you’re saying for the hundredth time, “I shouldn’t have done that.” You’re still learning (although you need to apply whatever you shouldn’t have done.)

Is It Good Too Fail?

My personal belief says; YES!!! If I hadn’t failed so many times. I’d never have started my websites, and I wouldn’t have finished my book. My failures are the signposts to my success. I can look behind me and see them, but if I look forward I only see the goal. Whatever you do, make sure it’s full of passion, so you can run hard after it.

Failure Is Success In Progress

I love the quote above, although I’m not sure where I got it from. When you fail, you’re taking steps towards success.

Does it suck? YES!!!! It’s awful, but it’s a pain that passes.

However the work of months, years, or decades. Can transform your life when you finally see the finished product.

Perseverance here is important. I think about quitting often, even a few times today. A nice cushy job in an office sounds great when you’re doing what you can to survive.

What is your dream worth? Can you take 2 years of swinging a sledgehammer if you can have it at the end?

When do I start?

Passion, Is What Drives You.

if you want to succeed and stop failing in life, you need to be passionate about your dreams, and you need to realize they have to be a part of you. Snofallgear is a part of me because I love snowboarding. I dream about shredding mountains in July.

ESterling LLC is another passion of mine. There are so many people hurting in this world, and I want to help them. If my story can help 1 person, It’s accomplished what it needs to, and I’ve succeeded.

So it’s already happened.

What Does It Mean To Be A Failure?

I’ve begun to use my failures as step stones. Each time I fail, there is always something to learn, and always something to do better.

When I fall, I get back up, falling is not a failure, but staying down is. Every time I face a new challenge, I’m gonna fail. In some way shape or form. however, I will learn from it, and I will eventually succeed.

Failure is Not An Option

Whatever you’re doing, if you believe it can be done go for it. Don’t live a life of regret. Make a plan, and change the world. Only you can accomplish what you’re here for.

Servant Leadership Examples; Leading In Your Own Way

Servant Leadership

In the business world, the term servant Leadership gets thrown around too much. It’s been happening for so long that I’m not sure many people understand what it means. It becomes a buzzword, something people throw out hoping to get the group excited. I get really annoyed by that because there’s a lot of good we could do if the world had more servant leaders.

As I sit here writing about servant leadership, I mentally go through a long list of leaders who’ve impacted my life. These brave men and women chose to work with me (which is a challenge), and they decided to put the needs of the team ahead of themselves. In fact, this reminds me of a famous quote, and I don’t often quote Star Trek;

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Spock

Servant leadership isn’t being focused on a job, instead, it’s about focusing on a team. Servant Leaders see their job as facilitating and helping the team in whatever job they deem necessary.

What Is The Meaning Of Servant Leadership?

A servant leader is someone that takes on any job to help push the team forward. This could mean the worst or most time-consuming jobs. This is to help facilitate the growth and advancement of the team. They serve the team and through that help them stay focused.

There are many different ways to become a servant leader, and some of the time you don’t have to actually be christened as, “the leader.”

What Are The Qualities Of Servant Leadership?

  • Servant Leaders Facilitate Trust In Their People.
  • They Develop And Grow The Team
  • These Leaders Will Delegate Authority Helping Others Grow As Leaders
  • They Follow Up On Problems And Help With Solutions
  • They Value Diverse Opinions And Use The Teams Help To Sift Through Them For The Correct Solution

Servant Leadership Facilitates Trust

To facilitate and grow trust a leader must give respect and eventually earn respect from their team. This doesn’t mean they have to become pushovers, but their team needs to believe the leader is for their best interests.

You can’t fake building trust, and if you break it you’ve shot yourself in the foot. Many people don’t understand this, they get excited because they’re put in charge of a group, and they forget they’re leading people.

I remember taking over a management position in a company I used to work for. I knew upon walking in that my new crew had a morale and trust problem. Their previous manager would pit them against each other, and motivate them through lies and aggravation. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me.

The first thing I did was call a meeting with my new team. I introduced myself and told them what I expect from me and them. What followed was a long conversation about how I lead, and what I expect from all of us.

I didn’t stop there, and if I would’ve there would’ve been no respect earned. Instead, I showed up at 4 am when the first two members of my crew arrived. Coffee in hand I jumped into getting our department ready. I asked questions, I encouraged them, and by the end of the day (it worked fast that day) the morale was lifted.

Time Shouldn’t Be Your Focus

Things worked that fast for most of my team. However, there were two members that took a while to warm up to me. I assumed they had worked with the previous manager longer, and were waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I proved them wrong and I’m glad I did. After a few months, they became my best workers.

You’ll develop trust fast, by working side by side with them, encouraging them, and learning from them.

Mistakes Servant Leadership Can Bring About

A mistake that lots of leaders make is thinking their position is too high for them to learn from their team. On the contrary, your team is in the trenches, they’ll know more about specific topics than you never will. However, as the leader, you’ll know more about everything as a whole.

Leaders Develop And Grow Their Team

There’s a pride that comes with leadership, and with servant leadership, you’ve gotta let go. Pride will only hold you back, and it has no place where you and your team are going. I’ve written a little bit about pride. If it’s a subject that interests you, I titled it “Pride Comes Before The Fall.

A servant leader seeks out team members with skills and abilities they can help develop. To put this into action, I like to delegate authority and work alongside my team members. This helps me encourage and guide them. Sometimes I can help them come up with faster ways to do things, and they’ll give me suggestions just as well.

Open and honest communication can get you very far.

Servant Leadership Means Delegating Authority

One of my favorite things to do as a leader is trusting my team. It makes the job so much easier. Not only do I delegate, but I’ll also have everyone cross trained in my position.

You see I’m not too proud to realize I’m expendable. I like the idea of training myself out of a job. When I was in college, I worked as a valet and made good money doing it.

Most of the time I ran shifts and was in charge of 4-6 valets and maybe 100-150 cars depending on the day. Most of the time things went smooth, it was amazing. My crew and I would flow together pretty easily and if I was pulled away to deal with an issue, like an irate client. My team would flex and expand doing my job as well.

We all knew the next person’s job, and they all knew mine. We did this and watched out for each other because we’d built a relationship of respect, and trust. It probably helped that we had some downtime every day and joked around a lot.

My crew was the best, and that 4 man team did the work of 8.

They Follow Up On Problems And Help With Solutions

When a leader delegates a problem or a fix that doesn’t mean it should never be revisited. The buck stops with them, and it’s good to know how your issue is going to be resolved.

When you walk into that situation, ask a lot of questions, ask why they made their choices? You can learn something from your team, and sometimes they’ll learn something.

Have you ever believed something until you said it out loud to a parent, teacher, or friend? Only to realize you were an idiot? (in that instance) Sometimes that’s what happens, and then the team can head back to the drawing board.

Communication will give you creativity.

They Value Diverse Opinions And Use Them To Find Solutions

During the times where you do over-fixes to your problems, you’ll be getting some crazy ideas. Never say they’re stupid, at least try not to say never, because there are some stupid ideas.

However, when people give their opinion it means they trust you, and even dumb opinions can help lead you to a correct solution. In my meetings, I love throwing out the dumbest ideas, although sometimes I have to reign myself in because I’ll derail the meeting. However, I know my ideas have helped with some creative problem-solving.

Who Can Practice Servant Leadership?

Anybody can become a servant leader. When you’re thinking about leadership there is one misconception to address. Leadership is all about influencing others. It has ‘Nothing’ to do with position.

Even when you have no responsibility, you can still influence the people around you. The people in management positions have an easier opportunity to lead, but they have to make that choice, just like you do.

What Is The Mindset Of Servant Leadership?

The mindset of a servant leader is to build the team. Nothing is beneath them. As a matter of principle, they will take on the hardest tasks. For example, a toilet needs to be scrubbed. They will be the first ones to take on the task.

The Mindset Of Servant Leadership Contains;

  • “How can I improve the people around me?”
  • Is This Team Firing On All Cylinders?
  • What Is Slowing Us Down? And How Can I Fix The Issue?

Your goal as a servant leader is to share the vision, get the team to believe it, and remove obstacles in their way.

It all sounds so simple, right?

How To Develop The Best Leadership Characteristics

leadership characteristics

Great leadership characteristics are something that most people aren’t born with. For many, it’s a learning process while they’re making horrible mistakes. I could tell you some leadership stories from my life that would make you laugh and some would make you cry.

In my early days of being a leader, a constant worry I had was not getting a job done efficiently. I didn’t care about people. Instead, I’d see a goal and only cared about the metrics. The people on my team who were in my charge were secondary to me.

That sounds pretty awful, right?

I was like the officer leading his troops to battle, and not caring how many of them died. Looking back now I’m horrified by my mindset.

We all start somewhere, and that’s where I started. If I can learn leadership, anybody can.

A Few Questions About Leadership Characteristics

To begin, let’s answer a few simple questions:

  1. Who have I followed willingly, and why?
  2. Do I have character traits that can match that?
  3. What abilities do I have? And how can I lead with those?

Keep in mind that your skillset is given to you by God, and it’s going to be different than everyone else. You are your own unique person, and you’re on this planet to accomplish something that nobody else can.

You are needed.

Don’t compare yourself to others, but make note of admirable traits. For instance, I met John Maxwell many years ago. If you don’t know who he is, he’s a leadership Guru who’s written a lot of books, and he’s taught all over the country. \

I’d been reading his books for years, and when I met him. He exhibited all of his teachings. It was mesmerizing.

If I would’ve compared myself to him, I wouldn’t have made it far. At the time he was a former Pastor, he’d written numerous books and was traveling the globe.

I was in debt, had no jump, and struggling through ministry school.

However when I met him that changed. He respected me, remembered my name, and encouraged me to keep pressing on. In essence, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Top Leadership Characteristics To Keep In Mind:

Below I’ve placed some of the top characteristics that you should be looking for.

  1. They Need To Communicate
  2. Leaders Delegate Authority
  3. They Hold People Accountable
  4. Leaders Encourage, And Inspire
  5. They Have And Share Their Vision
  6. Great Leaders Have Integrity, And Are Honest

Before I get into it, I’ll say this isn’t an exhaustive list. I’ll probably look at it a month from publishing and realize I skipped a few. I can’t cover all the leadership traits in one post.

Also as a side note, don’t feel bad when you realize some of these traits are absent from your life. These are traits I’ve seen in different people throughout my life, and I don’t have all of them either. It’s like a talent, I’m good at some but not all.

Look at the ones that fit you, and strengthen those. As a side note, if you’ve ever taken the strengths finder test, I’d recommend doing that because it’s a psychological profile test that will give you the top 5 themes in your life.

These themes encompass the areas of greatest impact and growth. Keep in mind it’s a test, and those things can be accurate, but they also can be really screwy. I’ve taken many personalities, talent, skills assessments in my life, and that one seems to fit my life really well. However, I always say take it with a grain of salt.

So without further ado, here’s my list of leadership characteristics for a great leader.

Great Leaders Communicate

Communication is one of the most important leadership characteristics you can develop. Communication means everything. Whether it’s good or bad, if the team needs to know it, then share it. Holding onto information doesn’t make you a stronger leader, it makes you a foolish one.

One of my biggest pet peeves stems from a lack of communication and power-hungry leaders. When you don’t share, you’re slowing your people down, frustrating them, and you lose credibility in their eyes. In the past, I’ve shared everything with my teams, however, use common sense depending on the industry and job you’re doing.

When you’re a leader, and the followers don’t need to know a piece of information, or understand it during that moment in time. Make sure you’re still giving them the respect they deserve. For example, Once in ministry school, I asked a question, and the person in charge said something that made me angry. Over the next few years, I’d hear it quite a bit, I even probably used it a bit myself.

“That is a need to now basis, and you don’t need to know.”

Anonymous

This answer was offensive to the entire school and staff. I know you can’t explain everything, but not telling people the plan, or communicating things that are happening is destructive to morale. It also plants seeds of distrust and separates the leaders from the followers.

It wasn’t necessarily the message that was said, it was the delivery. Always respect the team and maintain team cohesion at all costs.

Leaders should be forthcoming with an answer to questions. Even if the answers need to be vague that’s okay. Share what you can, and say why you’re unable to share the rest. Respect gets respect.

Leadership Delegates Authority

When a leader isn’t comfortable in their job or the process of it, they tend to feel insecure and have issues with delegation. This brings on feelings of doubt and fear that they’ll be found to be a fraud.

During a time like this, I recommend you find a member of the team who does understand the process. Or maybe they are beginning to grasp it. Either way, if they’re ahead of you, it’s best to bring them alongside and discuss the issues you’re facing. Walkthrough the processes with them, and maybe let them explain to the team what’s going on. This will help you and your team understand faster, and they are empowered to think more about the situation they are fixing.

As a leader, your team is the greatest asset you have. Learn their strengths, their weaknesses, and help them grow.

Great Leadership Holds People Accountable

Another leadership characteristic that’s very difficult, is accountability. I struggle with this one because I tend to get close to those who follow me. So holding them accountable becomes difficult and even painful.

Once a few years ago, I had to fire the guy who trained me. He was a good friend and I felt horrible doing it. However we’d discovered he’d been stealing from the company, and there was no question about his guilt.

At first, I was going to pass it off to my boss, then I relented. How can I pass my responsibilities off and still be respected and understood by my crew? I knew it going to be a bad day but I did my job. Later I explained to the crew (legally and as best I could) what had happened, and what policies we needed to be following.

The worst part about it, we haven’t spoken since I fired him. He didn’t see me as a leader, instead, I was his friend. When you’re the leader, you’ll lose friends when holding people accountable. When you do it, and it’s known, it’ll help drive the team to greater heights when they know things have to get done.

As a side note, I’m not talking about threatening or making unreasonable demands. If they’ve got a project that has been agreed upon, and for some reason, it’s not done on time. Find out why? However, as a leader, you should have already seen it was behind.

Leadership Will Encourage And Inspire

This is where I excel, I love to encourage and inspire a team. My inner strengths focus on it, and it’s why I’ve been able to get the best out of my people wherever I’ve worked.

A couple of ways I like to inspire others.

  1. Congratulate them when they do something awesome.
  2. Help them when they’re working on something they hate or aren’t great at.
  3. Encourage them when they are faltering, or stressed.
  4. Let them see you working as hard, or harder than them.

Leadership characteristics aren’t super difficult, respect the team, respect yourself, and respect the organization you are working or serving with. That’s the basics.

Great Leaders Share Vision

One of my favorite things to do when the day begins is gather my team and say what needs to be done. I’ll let them know what trials and hurdles we need to overcome, and what items I believe will be overcome easily.

After that, I ask questions about overcoming some of the hurdles. I know my team can imagine better than I, and if I let them think, they might do better than me. Together we can fix the problem quicker and faster than I can myself.

That’s always how it works, as long as I can trust my team. Afterward, I’ll assign positions and we work.

Another Important Leadership Characteristic Is Honesty And Integrity

Another of my favorite leadership characteristics is Honesty and Integrity. These are characteristics that are lacking in our culture today. We tend to glorify people who can pull stuff off without being caught, and lie without letting others know.

This is a bad idea when you’re a leader. When you speak, others are relying on you to guide them. When you lie, they don’t trust you and they won’t believe the next thing you say.

Leaders Are Creative

When you’re a leader it goes to say that something will go wrong with a project. One thing you’ll need is creativity to overcome this. I believe there’s always a solution, you just gotta think it up, and that’s the hard part.

One time, I had an issue while being a valet manager. We had more cars than we could handle. So I cut down on the valets running time by parking the cars in the alleyway. (not recommended legally but it worked out)

Circumstances require creativity and you gotta be ready to make a change to your plan at a moment’s notice.

Being A Leader Is Never About Power

One of the things I always try to warn others about is that leadership isn’t about power over others. Leadership is influencing the people around you. When you have earned their respect, and they know you care, things will happen fast.

When a leader loses focus, they can become a manipulative person. This would be a dark side of leadership. It’s where they lose all the good traits I mentioned above, and they only focus on things they want. These types of leaders will lie, manipulate, and many other things to get their way.

Most of us have worked under someone like that, so let’s plan on being a good leader.

Leadership Characteristics In Closing

I’ll be updating this particular post regularly. If you enjoyed reading my blog topics feel free to read more by clicking on the top of the page or on any hyperlinks.

I’ve also written another article titled Leadership Characteristics To Develop. In this article, I go over a lot of similar ground, but also take a few turns and tell a few more stories.

I hope you enjoy them both.

Are You Losing Hope? Here’s Some Encouragement.

Losing Hope

Have you ever been to a place, where you don’t know what to do? Your body is exhausted, mentally you’ve shut down, and the situation can’t be fixed. In despair, and depression you cry out for help, but nobody answers, and you believe there’s nobody that can help you. You’re losing hope, and you start to despair. Once you begin this tailspin, everything else will fall apart.

Losing Hope: This is An Act of Realization Where You Understand That You Have Failed. It’s A Place Where The Mind Believes It’s Alone, And Nothing Can Be Done To Change The Situation. In Addition To This, The Heart Follows In Total Agreement. Because The Emotions Have Gone Crazy, And People Stop Thinking Straight. Usually, It Leads To A Downward Spiral Of Emotions And More Pain.

You also feel trapped, and that there’s no way out. In reality, there’s always a way out. The best thing you can do in these situations takes a deep breath and shut your brain down. You can do this for a few seconds or a few minutes. It’s hard to accomplish, but it just might save and refocus you.

To Stop Losing Hope You’ll Need To Calm Your Emotions.

Most of the time when we have lost hope and we begin to despair, our emotions have run roughshod over us. It’s hard to think straight, and even more difficult to hear God’s Voice. In these situations, when emotions are running wild. You have to somehow get them in check.

To tame my emotions, I do the following:

  1. I Go Snowboarding Or Work ON My Snowboard Blog
  2. I’ll Exercise; Whether, I’m running, Biking, or playing volleyball.
  3. Go For A Walk; This is kind of boring, but it gets your mind off things.
  4. Write Another Book: I’ve got some new ideas in process
  5. Work On A Hobby: There’s a list of things I want to learn.
  6. Play A PS4 Game: I have to stop buying video games.
  7. Do Something To Shift My Mind And Thought Processes.

I do this to help shift my emotions. When my heart is out of whack I make crazy decisions based on feelings, and those decisions have never turned out well for me. Humans need a healthy balance between logic and emotion. One overpowering the other is never a good thing.

Whenever my emotions get out of whack. I find myself losing hope in the next few hours. I lose hope in everything and start battling depression.

Stop Losing Hope And Look At Your Options

Once you have your emotions in check, it’s time to reassess the situation. Some circumstances might very well cause your emotions to go berserk again. Be aware of that, and fight it when those emotions arise.

Look At The Problem From A Different Angle

Sometimes as we look at our problems, they blind us to possible solutions, but you have the power to change your mental paradigm. If you’re facing a health problem, be thankful that you can encourage people working in a hospital. When you have financial issues, be thankful you’re not homeless. If you’re homeless, be happy you’re not tied to a mortgage for the next 30 years.

I know that sounds stupid, but if you’re changing the paradigm you can go a long way in helping you not lose hope. Find The Positive Side Of Every Situation.

Call Your Friends And Family

I have some awesome friends and family that I call whenever I find myself losing hope. I remember calling my older sister, when I lived in Jackson, Mississippi. I’d been in Ministry School for a few years and there were some issues that I had no control over, and it was time for me to come home. I just hadn’t realized it yet. While I cried on the phone she said four words that changed my life. “Elijah, Just Come Home.”

I didn’t wanna quit, I’d been told for years that it was a bad thing. Sometimes it’s smart to throw in the towel, walk away, and start over, and that’s what I did.

My sister spoke life into my heart that day, and I’ll never forget it. Losing hope forced me in another direction.

Only Open Up To People That Warrant It.

As a word of caution, don’t open up to everybody. Some people want you to fail, so only open to those you trust and love. I understand there are people in the world who can’t trust family, and others who should choose better friends. Once again, the choice is yours.

Look For Small Wins To Grow Hope

Something I’ve started doing to keep my emotions in check is looking for small wins when I’m starting to despair. For instance, as I’ve started working for myself and money has been tight, I’ll look at little wins to keep me focused.

Little Wins

  1. My website hit 100 views a day for the first time.
  2. I Wrote 5000 Words And It Made Sense.
  3. Going Over The Day When It’s Over, And Believing It Went Well.

Just the practice of refocusing, and believing I did good work that day goes far. When people start losing hope, they lose all positivity. But if you have something positive that you did that day. it’s like a floatation device for your heart, keeping you going.

Remind yourself about that.

Sterlings 3 Month Rule

While I was growing up, I had a phrase that I only told myself. It came from a belief that nothing stays the same, and everything changes pretty fast. Whenever I found myself in trouble, or a situation I couldn’t handle arose, I’d tell myself;

Sterling In 3 Months, This Isn’t Going To Be Important.

E Sterling

I know this might not work for all situations, but if you can adapt it, this will be a powerful tool and it focuses you on the future.

Where Does My Hope Come From?

I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.

Psalm 121:1 the Bible

I’ve been asked this question many times, and the Bible verse above puts it into words. In all situations of life, past or present. My hope comes from God. Just last week I experienced him helping me with some financial issues. If you’re in a tough situation, I want to tell you that God hears your prayers.

Whenever I’m losing help, my health suffers, and I lose a lot of sleep. Friendships and relationships have fallen apart due to me losing hope, but Jesus will never leave you in fact, he’s the way to freedom. No matter how you feel, and whatever you face, but there is a catch. You have to be real with him.

If You’re In Despair, Ask Jesus For Help.

I understand you might be skeptical, that’s totally fine. I’m not asking you to believe blindly. However I will tell you that Jesus loves you, and he wants to help. All you need to do is ask. Help will come in his timing and his way. So when you ask, add that he opens your eyes for you to see it.

What Have You Got To Lose?

Whenever I’m losing hope and feel alone, I’ve always been able to turn and ask God for help. During those times doesn’t it feel like everything is wrong? Your heart is hungering for something different, and that is Jesus. In fact, I’d even say that Jesus is the answer to your question.

Losing Hope

Many people in our society are losing hope, it’s a growing epidemic. Everything I’ve written is how I fight despair and keep moving on. Most of the time it works, however, there’s been a few times that I’ve had to fight for it.

Life isn’t easy, but it’s the only one you’ve got.

If you don’t believe in Jesus, that’s okay. You can still ask him for help. The other items I put forward can still help you. Remember to clear your mind, and quiet your emotions. Reevaluate the situation and look at things from a new angle.

You might see an opportunity that you didn’t see before.

Major Qualities Of A Leader; How To Become Effective.

Qualities Of A Leader

What Are The Qualities Of A Leader? Can Anybody Lead? And How Do You Become A Great Leader? These are questions many people ask once they get into their first leadership position.

I’ve been in leadership positions my entire life, I’ve failed many times doing it, and also learned how to succeed. When you’re looking at the qualities of a leader. The first thing you need is to stop looking at yourself.

What Is Leadership? John Maxwell describes leadership influence. Nothing more, and nothing less. I would add that the main qualities of a leader involve motivating and focusing a group of people towards a common goal.

Keep in mind, leadership is neither positive nor negative, that’s why some leaders are evil and lead people to do horrible things. It’s the actions that we need to separate from the leading.

Qualities Of A Leader Vs. Qualities Of A Manager

Contrary to popular belief, leadership isn’t about being in charge. If you’re a team member, you can still be a leader. Wherever you go there’s an influence that you wield, try to utilize that for the betterment of the team. When you have the general qualities of a leader, you’ll be able to lead in whatever situation you’re in.

Leadership Is about finding the skills and abilities you excel at, then utilizing them for the betterment of others. People will begin to see that in you, and it will influence them. In turn, they begin to respect and follow your lead. Especially in your area of expertise. When you’re looking at the qualities of a leader, ask yourself if these traits are something you are proficient in.

Management Is about using metrics and efficiency to achieve a goal that was created. It’s not people-focused. While management skills are good to have, without proper leadership skills this soon devolves into a metric-minded focus. When you forget about the people around you. Metrics will suffer.

I believe good leaders know what management skills they’ll need to utilize for the situation at hand. Really great leaders will do it without thinking. When you have a bad leader, it’s usually because they’re focused too much on management and not on leading. They forget about the people under them. This is also how micromanagement comes into play. Recently I wrote a blog post about the dangers of micromanagement. Click on the link to read it.

Qualities Of A Leader Traits To Strive For:

Qualities Of A Leader; Keep in mind these Traits Are NOT About Personality

For example, I’ve known a few people that are extremely introverted and by society standards, they’d never become great leaders. However, these introverts have made huge impacts in the lives of their peers just by encouraging and helping them redirect some projects.

No more excuses, you’re here for a reason. Lead On.

Qualities Of A Leader; True Leadership Knows Their Skill Level

In 2006 I came home from college and I had no idea what to do with my life. So I returned to my High School job at the local Sams Club. They were in need of a Produce Team Lead and I had been a lead before. However there was one problem, in the past, I’d never worked in produce. I was a little self-conscious about it, and I didn’t think I’d survive in it.

The hiring manager assured me everything would be fine, and said they’d train me. He wanted somebody in there with previous leadership experience so I fit the bill.

I walked in the first day and met the guy I was replacing. As he was giving me a tour of the department he pointed out one particular associate. He told me that I needed to fire that associate sometime today.

“Why, what has he done?” I asked.

He responded vaguely and said nothing substantial but he repeated that I’d have to fire him. It concerned me, and I wondered about the morale of the team.

Bad Leadership Stifles Creativity

I got mad and told him. “If he needs to be fired, you take care of it. Whatever he did was on your watch, and I’m not your clean-up crew. As far as I’m concerned, we all start with clean slates.” (Bad Leadership Kills Morale)

The tour ended shortly after that, and I went to my office so I could work on some things. An hour later the associate came up to my office.

He walked in nervously and said, “So I guess you’re going to fire me now?”

My response was simple, “NO. I don’t know what was going on before, but if you do your job, and show up on time, we’ll get along great. I don’t run things by giving threats.”

My associate smiled and said thank you. We talked for a little while and then he went back out to the floor.

As we got to know each other, he eventually became my best worker. No matter what was needed, he’d be the first to jump in. I should add that I’d do the same for him, and he knew it.

Qualities Of A leader; Get Input From The Team:

A common misconception about leadership is that we have to know what are doing. Full disclosure, most of us have no idea what’s going on. However, when you’re flying blind like that, it’s better to spend time getting to know your team. Then you can listen to their ideas, and fly with them. It’s pretty fun.

I don’t recommend admitting it to the team and doing nothing. That makes you look lazy. Most of the time I’ll gather my team together, admit the situation and say what I know. I’ll also add any ideas that have come to my mind. Then I open it up to suggestions.

We continue on and make a plan together. Then we run with it. This shows my team that I respect them, and it gives them all something to be invested in. You’ll have fewer people failing and forgetting their work when they’ve helped set it all up. Trust is the name of the game.

As a produce manager, I didn’t know much about produce. Mostly the difference between an apple and a cucumber. The rest of my knowledge came from my team, and I told them from the start that I’d be relying heavily on their knowledge in the first few weeks.

Qualities Of A Leader: Diffuse Tension.

After the first week, I had a major issue. One of my crew members became insubordinate and started yelling at me. He had expected the promotion into my position. But he didn’t receive it because of some attitude issues he had, and I had slightly better qualifications. This caused a lot of resentment from him towards me. I’ll admit his feelings were valid and understandable, but his reaction completely disrespectful. So I had to deal with it.

I never write people up during my first few weeks of leading, mainly because I’m trying to bring everyone together. So instead I called him to my office, and we sat down to talk.

I told him what I saw, and that I understood his frustration. He agreed and said he couldn’t work for me. Then asked for a transfer to a different department.

My response was simple. I told him that I’ve seen his work, and it’s been exemplary. Then I said that I’d hope he’d reconsider and stay. This department was in dire need of his experience, but if he really wanted a transfer, I’d sign the papers. In addition to that, I said that I’d write him a great recommendation letter.

Once I said that weight fell off his shoulders, and he smiled. In the future, he’d become one of my best produce trainers and a trustworthy friend.

To Lead, You Need To Respect Others

Qualities Of A Leader: They Communicate Effectively With Their Team

I’ve already mentioned this, but it needs its own section. Great leaders will seek the input of their team. They weigh what is said, and make a decision.

Building a team atmosphere is the most important skill when you’re running teams. I like to have regular meetings. The name of the meeting is irrelevant, touch base, scrum, morning meeting. Whatever the name, make sure it’s quick, informative, and then make a decision.

MAKE IT SHORT. NOBODY LIKES A LONG MEETING. Trim the fat from the meetings, make them informative, but be careful of getting into the weeds.

Qualities Of A Leader: They Pay Attention To Time

I don’t mean that you should rush through the meeting, make sure you’re covering the bases. However how many 3 hour meetings have you attended that could’ve been done in half an hour? They are mind-numbing.

If you’re running a meeting, run the meeting. Trim the fat and make it worth it. Keep the time to a minimum, see the time and hold everyone to it. This will keep your employees engaged and excited for the next meeting. Especially if you share what they’ve accomplished, or how close to a goal they are.

If there is overflow usually it’s an issue the associate has. Ask them if they have time to talk after the meeting to fix their issue. That way everyone else can get back to work.

Qualities Of A Leader: Make Sure Everyone Understands

I hate boring meetings, they are such a huge waste of time. Make sure the meetings are quick and go over what needs to be discussed. Shut any person down that keeps talking and rehashing the same points (do it nicely and you know who I’m talking about). If a conversation has been tabled, stop that one person from bringing it back up at the end of the call. (it happens a lot)

Shut Them Down. (Sorry that’s a pet peeve of mine.)

Qualities Of A Leader: They Are Decisive

This is for leaders who are also responsible for the outcome (notice I didn’t say in management). When you hold responsibility, you also have the power to make decisions. Don’t be paralyzed by fear and make a decision. Then when everything is happening, make sure you own the decision.

As a leader, the glory belongs to the team, and any failure is yours. Own It, that’s the essence of being a leader.

Also, it should go without saying, but don’t be a micromanager. They are the worst, you can’t do it all, and you’ll annoy the people who are trying to do the work.

How You Can Learn To Lead?

The answer to this question is subjective. Up until now, I’ve given you a lot of stories from my own personal life, and I hope they’ve helped you. However, if you look at the general theme, you might notice a few patterns that you can use for your life.

Look At Your Life Experiences. Where Do You Lead?

This is a good place to start, have you lead anything else in your life. Maybe you were a sports captain in High School, or you led a small group at church. Anything, where you have led in the past, is viable. Write all of these instances down. It’ll help you a lot in the next step.

Look At Your Skill Set? How Do You Lead?

Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or both? Do you communicate well with others? Do you have trouble taking criticism? These are all things you should look at. Write these down and compare them to the other list. What things have you done and enjoyed that cover both lists? These are areas you can focus on to become a leader.

This is a simple way I organize myself, but it isn’t the only way. If you’ve got a better way, please utilize it. You can also take a strengths finder test. When you take this test it’ll give you the top 5 areas you can grow in leadership. Click Here to take the test. I’m unable to post the price here because I’ve seen it change and I’d rather not steer you wrong.

The strengths finder can help focus you into leadership roles you might’ve otherwise passed up. I’ve taken the test a couple of times, and every time it’s given me great direction.

Qualities Of A Leader: Focus On Team Health

Remember Leadership Should Come Naturally, so the best way for you to lead. Is to find areas where you excel. For example, a few years ago I wanted to give back to my community. So I became a snowboard instructor teaching elementary students how to shred. It was an awesome experience and I’ll do it again next year.

When you lead in an area you excel, it takes some of the pressure off. This is because you already know what you’re doing. This makes you more comfortable and it’s easier for others to relate to you.

Leadership Is Never About Being Right.

I can’t stress this enough, but leadership is never about being right. When you lead you need to focus on the people around you, and the problems you’re facing. I’m not saying don’t worry about the metrics, but when a team is focused and motivated. Those things take care of themselves. I posted above and I’ll probably post this again:

As a leader, the glory belongs to the team, and any failure is yours. Own It.

Elijah Sterling

Being right is a focus of managers, and micromanaging. If you remember managers don’t focus on their people, and that causes them problems. When this happens, you have lost your ability to lead, and you lose the respect of your team. You might still be the ‘leader’, but that’ll be only in name. Many managers stay in this spot, never moving forward or going deeper. It’s a major reason that people hate working on teams.

Qualities Of A Leader: Have Foresight

A few years back a friend of mine asked me to help her move on a Saturday. That is never my first choice for things to do on a Saturday. Some friends and I showed up the morning of the move and discovered she hadn’t even begun to pack.

She led us to believe everything was boxed up, or maybe I’d assumed. She didn’t have any boxes. We just stood there in her entryway. Our heads on a swivel. I’m pretty sure we looked worried as we wondered how long this was going to take.

Qualities Of A Leader: Get Their Team Whatever They Need To Succeed.

If you’re in leadership, the people on your team expect you to do your job well. Especially if it slows them down or affects them negatively. So leaders have to be people who look ahead. Try to visualize what problems could arise and have a plan or option to remedy them.

When I was in college, I became a valet to earn money. I ran the busiest days at my hotel and did it with fewer valets than anybody. Because of this, my team earned more money, and they all wanted to work with me.

How did I accomplish this?

  1. I looked ahead and adjusted for every scenario. After doing it for 2 years, I’d pretty much-seen everything that could happen.
  2. I cross-trained my entire crew. They could even do my job without me. Essentially I trained myself out of a job.
  3. I only allowed the best and most motivated to work the busy shifts with me. Those spots had to be earned.

My valet team had some of the best people I’ve ever worked with, including one of my best friends. We were like family and knew what each other needed without speaking. It helped that we worked together every Sunday for 3 years.

Epic Leadership Retains Workers

In every position of leadership that I’ve held, there’s always been an issue with retention. At least when I first take over. I make that the first problem to solve. Strong leaders will inspire the people around and below them, and that will give them a reason to stay.

People run from bad leadership, in the past, I’ve done the same thing.

Qualities Of A Leader: Build Respect

Something I have to keep in mind when I lead is to be humble. Realize you’re not God’s gift to this company, organization, and team. Other people can do your job, and some of them can probably do it better.

When you get put in charge and you walk into the room to meet your team. Make sure you do it with humility. You have no idea what the last Project lead was like to them, and you don’t know what’s going on in their lives. Relax, and get to know them.

Then after time goes on, you’ll be able to develop a rapport with them.

Qualities Of A Leader: They Hold People Accountable

Until now I’ve been going over the feel-good items of leadership. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to it as well. Sometimes as a leader you’ll have to hold people accountable, and how you do it will affect the way your team views you. There are a couple of different ways I’ve held people accountable. Here are the three I’ve noticed.

The Weak Leader:

This is the leader who is too scared of their place to do anything. One of their workers keeps showing up late, and the entire crew notices. Instead of confronting the issue, they have a “talk” with them, but never bring up the issue.

When a leader won’t discipline their subordinates, it causes a breakdown in discipline and respect. I’ve been here before, it isn’t pretty.

The Overly Strong Leader:

This is the leader who has something to prove. Maybe they were weak at one time and decided to swing the pendulum the other way. I don’t know, but they tend to discipline for any and every infraction.

We’ve all worked for leaders with characteristics like this, and it makes going to work a pain, and it makes projects difficult to finish. this is because you don’t know if it’s up to par with the manager.

Don’t be this manager. When you’re intense, it stifles creativity, and you are pushing your team out the door. I’ve had experience doing this type too. I had to quell a mutiny once by apologizing for being a dick.

The Quality Leader Who Gets It:

This is the leader who understands that life happens, but at the same time, He/She won’t be taken advantage of. This is a balance of the previous two types and the leadership style you should be striving for. Yes, people should be held accountable, but sometimes things happen, and you should be understanding of that.

Then there are those people who always have a story, make sure you listen to the story before disciplining them. It’s always a good yarn.

The Negative Side Of Leadership Is Manipulation

Earlier in this post, I told you that leadership is neither positive nor negative. However, when leadership turns into manipulation it becomes negative. At that point, it is no longer leadership.

Spotting manipulation can be difficult, mainly because it’s defined by intent. The intent of another person can be masked, so it’s harder to identify.

I used to struggle with this because I was prideful. Now I’ll notice a few things in my behavior when I’m going down that road.

  1. I stop caring for what my team needs.
  2. My team will be exhausted, and they’re usually ornery at me. (mainly because I don’t encourage or help as much.)
  3. Team building time goes way down, and I focus on other things, like metrics (I hate that word).

These are warning signs that I use, but they could be for you as well. Maybe you’ve noticed other things in your life that you use as road signs. Comment below if you’d like to add anything.

To Sum Up This Post On The Qualities Of A Leader

  1. Managers are assigned, but leaders are grown.
  2. Your personality doesn’t matter as much as you think, but use it when you lead.
  3. Have a good idea of your skill level. Use your team to balance you.
  4. Great Leaders Always Communicate With Their Teams
  5. It’s Never About Being Right
  6. You Should Always Plan Ahead, And For Every Contingency, You Can Think Of.
  7. Leaders Hold Their People Accountable

I hope you liked this post. Comment below if I missed anything or if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover. I’ll be posting more on this topic in the future.

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The Difference Between Faith And Hope?

The Difference Between Faith And Hope

Faith And Hope Go Hand In Hand. Faith Is Placing Your Trust, In A Person Or Belief. It’s Present Tense. Keep In Mind It Isn’t Based On Physical Proof. On The Other Hand, Hope Is An Optimistic Belief In The Future.

In That Way, Faith And Hope Are Intertwined, and in essence, they go hand in hand. Just because you have faith, it doesn’t mean things will happen right away.

but you can have faith and hope in the future.

What The Bible Says About Faith And Hope?

“Now These Three Remain: Faith, Hope, And Love. but The Greatest Of These Is Love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

Faith, Hope, And Love are 3 very powerful words, and I believe strongly that hope is the action steps of faith.

While Faith Is Believing In Something In The Here And Now. Hope Is Believing In The Future. When You Have Faith, You’re Taking Steps Into Your Future, And Those Steps Are Steps Of Hope.

Hoping for something is having faith in the here and now, but believe it could happen tomorrow as well.

Think about it, we hope for many things in life.

  • The Single Person Hopes To Find Someone Who Loves Them.
  • The Poor Man Longs To Become Wealthy
  • Some People Hope To Defeat Their Illness And Be Whole Again.

These are only a few examples off the top of my head. There are a hundred, perhaps thousands of ways we could look to the future.

I believe that faith and hope give humanity a foundation.

What Does Faith Mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faith with the verbiage below:

Faith: 

  • Is a belief and trust in and loyalty to God
  • (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
  • (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return
  • (2): complete trust

Faith is a complete or total trust in something or someone. If you’re a Christian you have a faith in Jesus Christ. You believe his words, teachings, and promises.

This is faith. It’s the present trust, confidence, and belief you have in someone or something.

What Does Hope Mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hope with the verbiage below:

Hope:

  • to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true hopes for a promotion hoping for the best hope so. archaic: TRUST
  • transitive verb
  • to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment I hope she remembers or hopes to be invited
  • to expect with confidence: TRUST; Your mother is doing well, I hope.

Hope is a desired expectation that something is going to happen. Usually, this is a good thing that the person wants to happen. When you hope, you’re expectant that the future will bring something great.

Now keep in mind, that biblical hope is built upon faith. Let’s use my previous example about faith. If you have faith in Jesus, you’ll have hope in the forgiveness of Sind, and his eventual second coming.

Without faith, you won’t have hope in his return.

Is Hope And Faith The Same Thing?

To help clarify a little more, faith is the here and now. It’s the present. Your faith is what you have, and your hope is what you’re expecting through faith.

Faith And Hope Work Together.

Now Faith Is Confidence In What We Hope For, And The Assurance About What We Do Not See.

Hebrews 11:1

I would suggest reading the entire book of Hebrews, but the 11th chapter can shed some major light on this question. You can read the previous verse and almost see faith as a foundation.

Once you have faith, you can build on it. That building is hope. Your Faith in Jesus gives you and the saints hope for the future.

Can You Have Faith And Hope?

Losing Hope Is Dangerous

Faith comes first and then comes hope. How can you wait for something and not have a belief that it is going to come? You have faith in something because you know it’s going to come, and you wait patiently, hoping for it.

Don’t get me wrong, while you’re waiting a lot of bad things can happen.

I believe you can lose hope, and that’s one of the worst feelings you can ever face. In fact, things work opposite when you lose hope.

Lose of hope leads to loss of faith. It’s a dangerous game to lose hope.

What Happens When You Lose Hope?

Losing hope is like falling into the depths of despair. There’s no way out and depression sets in. If you don’t know how to fight depression, check out my blog about fighting depression here.

When you despair, all hope is lost, and that is deadly.

It’s been a rough couple of years for me. I left a great salary and fun job to go out on my own, but I had faith in Jesus and knew this was what I needed to do. I started working on a Snowboard business & published a book. While I know God led me into this mess, my faith has been stretched. Almost to the breaking point a few times.

The Difference Between Faith And Hope

Faith keeps you rooted in the present and his presence. While hope turns your eyes to the future. When you’re full of faith and hope, excitement for tomorrow creeps into your heart. I’ve lost hope a few times in my life. It was hard to regain.

When you don’t have hope, You Lose Sight Of Your Future, And you lose sight of the dreams you wanted to chase.

This one of the first steps people take towards complacency and bitterness. When people lose hope they also stop dreaming, lose interest in life, and exist.

What Is The Biblical Definition Of Hope?

For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.

Psalm 50:10

In the English-speaking world, the word “hope” is used as the word wish. For example:

  • I Hope I Can Go To That Concert
  • That’s What I’m Hoping For
  • I Hope You Are Do Well On Your Test
Prayer Will Focus You And Give You Strength

The sentences above are all common sayings. Basically, you can switch the word hope out with wish and the meaning won’t change.

Biblically speaking, the word Hope is different but it’s also dangerous. Hope in the Bible means a confident expectation. This means when people had hope that God would deliver them, they were expecting it.

Whatever you’re dealing with, and whatever you’re fighting. You can have confident hope in Jesus. He is the way, and he’s here to fight for you. Just remember, your trust is in him, not your circumstances or the outcome.

A Few Months Later; Extra Thoughts

Faith and hope go hand in hand. Without faith, it’s impossible to have hope. The hope you have might be in something that’ll fail anyway.

Make sure your faith is put in something real.

I’ve written other blog posts on this page and others. Feel free to read them all. I hope they bless you as they’ve blessed me writing them.

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How To Be Happy; Choosing Happiness In All Circumstances.

How To Be Happy

The last few weeks I’ve been in a funk, it’s been depressing and I haven’t been able to think. I started to come out of it yesterday and I looked over my posts since January. They are depressing, I needed to write them, but I should balance everything out better. My next topic is a lot better. How To Be Happy?

A lot of people live their lives in fear and desperation. The last year and a half have been rough for me. I left my job and haven’t received a steady paycheck since then. If that didn’t cause enough stress, I kept creating and failing with new business ideas. At one point, I had an ongoing list of 20+ ideas, and as I flushed them out the list got smaller and smaller. Finally, I started looking into radical ideas.

…I considered starting a cricket farm. Thank God I came to my senses.

Every failure brought a new wave of depression, and sadness. At first, I kept falling for it, but after a while, I developed some new muscles and I’ve learned to fight it. So here is what I do, when I’m struggling in the trenches and trying to stay positive.

How To Be Happy; Quick Tips

Staying Positive: It’s Easy To Stay Positive When Everything Is Going Well. Staying Positive In Turmoil Is Something Else. You Can’t Hide From The Negativity, But You Should Acknowledge It. After That, Focus On What You Can Change, And What’s Going Well.

I Force Myself To Smile: You gotta fake it to make it, when you fake it long enough that smile will make you happy. (I know it sounds weird, but it works).

Get Some Exercise: Go for a run, bike ride, or chop wood. Whatever you do, make sure you get your heart rate up and let it be out in the sun. You’ll burn some bad endorphins, and release the good ones into your system.

Take A Nap: Who doesn’t love a good nap, reduce the negativity and give your mind a quick break by taking a nap.

Keeping Happiness: In Your Heart Can Be Difficult. Happiness Is An Emotion, And Emotions Don’t Stay Long. However, If You Can Stay Positive, And Remember How Blessed You Are. Roots Will Develop, And You’ll Find Yourself Content In Yourself And God.

Take A Deep Breath: Most of the things that make us unhappy are temporary. Don’t let a temporary feeling stop you from being the best you can be.

What Stops You From Being Happy?

Before you get into my list learning how to be happy, we should figure out why you’re not. I honestly believe our default is to err on the side of happiness. When we’re not, it’s as if something was taken away from us. Therefore I like to think about when we have what we need, and the people we love.

Look into your heart and ask yourself. Why don’t I feel happiness? Maybe you feel inferior, or you lost someone you loved. Could you be in a rough place right now?

You can learn how to be happy, but you have to choose it. Life is an endless roller coaster. Some things you can control, and other things will blow up in your face. Most of the time your only choice involves how you’ll react.

Recently I was driving to a snowboard shop in Minneapolis, and as I was merging onto the highway another motorist stopped in front of me. This took place at the end of the ramp, and I got extremely angry. After a few minutes, I finally calmed down by taking a few deep breaths. What happened to me was messed up, and it’s a horrible driving practice to do that. But how I reacted was worse, and it was only the beginning.

Negativity Stopped Me From Finding Happiness

I started noticing this issue a few years back, and I’ve worked on it a lot. Seldom does it raise its ugly head, but when it does I need to take stock of my situation calm down, take a few breaths.

One of the first times I noticed it, I was snowboarding down a black diamond. It was an epic night, with a steep run, and good snow. Out of the blue, this little girl, probably in 5th grade walked in front of me. She shouldn’t have been walking and she only had one snowboard strap on. If I would’ve been thinking properly, I’d have noticed something was wrong. Instead, I yelled at her to watch out and get off the hill if she was going to walk around.

I got to the bottom and hopped onto the chair. I figured I’d hit that run-up again, and this time hopefully the kid wouldn’t be around. Then I saw her sitting down on the run and it looked like she was crying.

I was a jerk and can only make the amends that are possible, but I still feel horrible about that.

Hurting Others, Means You Lack Joy

By the time I’d gotten to her, a skier had stopped to help, some ice had been lodged in her bindings and she didn’t know how to clear it. The skier had no idea himself. I removed the ice and apologized to the little girl. I told her I was a jerk, and not to listen to those words I said. Hopefully, she took my second saying to heart.

I love being blunt, but sometimes I go too far. At least I apologized to her, but that doesn’t make up for it.

If you find yourself blowing up on people, and not listening to their issues, then you have a huge issue with self-focus. That focus on yourself will eventually lead you to death, but you can choose the path of letting go and forgiving.

And that’s forgiving yourself and others.

Staying Positive; How To Be Happy,

Do you want happiness? Be positive. Whenever I’ve lost control or fell into depression it always started with me losing my positive outlook. Once that’s gone, how do you find happiness? I can’t have happiness if I’m being negative.

To stay positive, I try to look on the bright side of everything. Now there are some bad views about this. I certainly don’t mean becoming like Chris Traeger from the TV show Parks and Rec (although he’s a favorite character of mine). His character is amazing in that show but his fatal flaw is that he won’t look at the negative of anything.

To stay positive, you must acknowledge the negative is there. Once you know that, it’s easier to avoid. I tend to view it as dodging cow poop in a pasture. Once you see it, it’s easier to not step in it.

When You Get Sad, Is There A Trigger?

This is big for me because I always have a trigger when I start to get sad or depressed. I have all the happiness in the world one moment, and the next I’ll sink to the lowest low. For me, the following are triggers that I have to fight.

  1. When I’m tired
  2. If I’m stressed
  3. When My ideas aren’t panning out like I thought.

You can probably add to this list, but these things will prevent you from finding happiness.

Top 3 Ways I Cheer Myself Up.

This list could go on for a while, but instead, I wrote the three things I do when I need to cheer myself up. Happiness isn’t something that comes or stays easily. Sometimes you have to work for it. When you feel it going away, reach out and grab ahold of it.

Go For A Walk; How To Be Happy

When I find myself being stressed and losing my positivity. I like to go for a walk. I live near an awesome lake system in Minneapolis, and it’s amazing how much a walk will clear your head. If you can’t go for a walk outside, head to the mall or a big box store. Just find someplace to change your surroundings. When you exercise, the bad endorphins will be worked out of your system, and you can think more clearly.

I live in Minneapolis, and this last year we had a polar vortex hit, I was stuck inside for 3 days, and I still found ways to work out and keep myself from getting depressed. It was difficult, but I survived. You can too.

Find A Hobby; Find Your Happiness

A hobby should be something you enjoy and it helps your mind. Some people do puzzles, play video games, or even knit. You want something that’ll distract your mind and open up some creativity in it. When you find that activity, you’ve got an excellent hobby.

I love snowboarding, and during the winter it’s what I do, even when it’s below zero for weeks. Because of this love, I even started a snowboarding blog. This helps me focus, stay in shape, and keep up with my hobby.

During the 2 months of summer we have in Minnesota (just kidding, partially), I’ll go running and I do a lot of biking. I want to see nature as it always transforms my mindset.

Chat With Friends/Family

(depending on the family)

My friends and family have saved me a lot. When I’m down and not feeling happy. They are there for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’m lost positivity, and one of my friends jumps into my life to refocus me.

My family has caused me a lot of stress In my life, but they still give a good perspective on things. Chatting with them has helped me through some of the biggest trials in my life. My sister convinced me to leave a school that made me mentally unhealthy. She really helped open my eyes.

By having a good community of people around you, you’ll fly higher than you ever thought or expected.

That’s how I stay positive and learn how to be happy. It takes a lot of work. I’d rather work at staying happy than the alternative. I hate being depressed, and I’ll avoid it at all costs.

How To Start A Business; And Why I Started Mine

How I Started My Own Business

Two years ago I was working in the business field as a Project Manager, for a Fortune 500 company. I was content, paying my bills, and had money in my Roth. Some people love this feeling, to them it’s heaven, but I died a little each day, and felt trapped. I started to dream and wondered what it would be like to start my own business.

I remember driving into work, everything was dreary and my hopelessness grew as I got closer to the office. Inside my heart was caged and I saw no escape. Even my ability to dream and imagine was stifled. I needed a change, and that’s why I became an entrepreneur and started my own business.

My journey to start my own business wasn’t simple. Sometimes I felt like I was going backward. I’ve watched the money in my savings account disappear, and I had to cancel almost every snowboard trip that I wanted to take. These are choices you’ll have to make if you want to become an entrepreneur.

To get where you want to be, you’ll have to make sacrifices.

How I Started My Business?

There’s been a lot of signs that point me towards business ownership. I’ve had issues working for bosses that didn’t see the vision as I did, and I hate punching a time clock. And I love to change my direction at the snap of my fingers.

The “Sign” I received came when I was walking into the office one day. I sat down in my cube and looked around at my prison. While I took stock of my surroundings a realization hit me at high speed. This was my life now, and it would be for the next 40-50 years.

It was depressing to me, and I wanted to run.

An hour later, I was able to calm myself down and was called into the boss’s office. My supervisor chewed me out for terrible “metrics” (I hate that word so much). I was supposed to close 6 projects a month for the company. However that month, I was only given 2 from our sales team. Of course, I couldn’t finish six (it’s simple math). None of the project managers on my team could. Even with my commons sense statement, I received a bad rating from the company.

This gave me the kick in the pants that I needed. So I began looking for side jobs, and I began reading again. I started by reading books about how to be run a small business. I wanted something that could take my mind off the craziness at work. That’s when I picked up the manuscript for my book Hurricane Jerald and started writing again.

How To Start A Business: First Find Your Passion

Back in those days, I looked at many different ideas, and I failed at many as well. When you’re looking into ideas and asking yourself how to start a business. It really boils down to 1 question.

Where is your passion?

Currently, I’m working on businesses for 2 different passions. I love writing, and I love snowboarding.

For Writing, I wrote the book Hurricane Jerald, and I began writing blogs on ESterlingLLC.

And For Snowboarding I Began SnoFall Gear.

If you want to learn about starting a business. You’ll have to first find your passion. Because the times will get tough, and if you’re doing it for money, you’re not going to last.

Passion will hold you to the project.

Hurricane Jerald, My First Business Idea

I’d begun writing this book a decade before when I lived through Hurricane Katrina. After the first three months of running a shelter, and driving supplies to the coast. I sat down and wrote my experiences down. I was scared that I’d forget them, and so much had happened. Writing burned me up inside, and that lasted for a few years, but then I just stopped. It was like the fire had left me.

5-6 years later I came across an old manuscript. It grabbed ahold of me and I started spending every free hour writing in coffee shops. It inspired me to be different. I was going to change the course of my life. So in June of 2017, I sent an email to my boss and the department head resigning.

It Was My Time To Quit

I spent the next two weeks going into work, giddy about the prospect of working for myself and becoming a writer. Time wasn’t passing fast enough and I became upset on the last few days when it stood still. Then after an eternity, it was over and I left the building and reality hit me.

I was on my own, and alone. There were no more paychecks, no more health insurance, and no more safety nets. This was a do-or-die situation. I had no option but to succeed. So I started to write, and rewrite my book daily. It was intense, and I put a ton of effort into it. Finally, the book was completed 5 months after I quit. I made a small amount of money off it, but I was excited that people’s lives would be changed through it.

That’s ultimately what mattered, even if I’d hoped for more.

A Published Author;

When I was writing Hurricane Jerald I believed the book was going to be a viral sensation. it will change the world I would tell myself daily. Instead, I had around 400 downloads, (which is amazing for a 1st-time author). But I got depressed because my dream didn’t come to fruition.

I felt like a failure, and couldn’t believe my book did so poorly. But sometimes failure can be a blessing. Even when I was looking at everything negatively, I kept writing.

In the middle of this, I started to run out of money and knew I needed to do something that would help support me. So I moved onto my second venture. For some reason, I stopped paying attention to book sales. That was a huge mistake.

How To Start A Business: Stay Focused On The Long Term

The reason I’m adding this break is that there’s an important lesson here.

When you are learning How To Start A Business, you must understand that there will be setbacks. There is no guarantee that you’ll succeed. But the passion and the journey are what should drive you.

When you observe the short term but focus on the long term you’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of depression. Your business will face setbacks, and it might even fail. That doesn’t mean you won’t succeed, as long as you learn from it, you’ll be a success. Time is what you’re really fighting.

Don’t let the pitfalls stop you, they’ll slow you down but you gotta get up and keep going, chase your dreams, and eventually, you’ll catch them.

Becomeing Mobile Closer; How To Start A Business

My sister works in the Title Loan industry, and her company needed a mobile closer for real estate deals. It was good money and seemed pretty fun. So I jumped on board. I never went on staff with the company, I was the guy they called whenever an extra hand was needed.

At first, things went amazing and I was making a good amount of money, but then the winter hit, and people don’t buy houses in the cold Minnesota winter. If the temp is below 0, would you like to be moving a couch in?

Once again, I felt like a failure, and couldn’t understand how God had brought me to a place where I would experience this. I felt like I had heard God, but he wasn’t giving me the success I wanted. That was his job. Keep in mind, that if your mindset is like mine was, you’re horribly mistaken. The rain falls on the just and the unjust, and if God wants you to learn a lesson, he’ll make you learn it.

With my second venture not working the way I expected, I started to look into other options. This led me to amazon FBA selling.

***An important lesson, I learned here, when your livelihood is based on how busy others are you walk a dangerous path.

Amazon Seller; Business Takes Capital

I was really excited about this prospect, and I saw people making decent money doing it. So I became a third-party seller on Amazon. My site was making decent money for the first few weeks, then all at once people stopped visiting my listings.

Sales dropped dramatically and I called client support. For 2 months they couldn’t figure out the issue. I became more and more frustrated because I couldn’t make money, and I got myself into debt. It sucked, and I was fighting depresseion again. Life is hard, and when you can’t succeed your emotions will play tricks on you.

***The lesson I learned here, don’t get paid from one place You Need To Diversify Into Different streams of revenue. If one dies on you, the others will hopefully keep going. You won’t be as stressed and you can take time to figure out what went wrong.

How To Start A Business: Shopify Sales

I moved into Shopify so I could have more control over my financial status. With Shopify, I could focus my listings properly, write blog posts, and dropship. I loved the idea of drop-shipping because I didn’t have to ship anything as I did with Amazon, and I was able to meet a lot of suppliers from Hong Kong, which was fun.

I did this for six months and finally came into my own as an entrepreneur. However, I realized that I hated drop shipping. My feelings changed because I was selling crappy products that took 3 weeks to deliver. I didn’t want my name associated with junk.

My site was like every other snowboard shop online, just different colors and pictures. I wondered how could I begin to differentiate my store if we had the same products? Lowering or raising my product prices were the only option, and we were at the point of making no profit anyway.

I also wanted to give my subscribers and patrons some value. Eventually, I decided to close my Shopify store.

From now on I’d be a blogger with some online products, not an online store with a blog.

Products aren’t what I focus on, now I focus on people.

How To Start A Business; WordPress Blogger; Small Business Development.

My fifth and sixth ventures are going on for 4-5 months (at the time of this writing), and they’re going strong. I decided to focus on my strengths, and stick with writing. Part of me is still annoyed that I haven’t been doing that, but you can’t blame yourself for the regrets of the past. It’ll only hold you there. So now I write about topics I’m passionate about.

Currently, I run two websites, and sometime soon I’ll have two more that I want to launch. I need to decide what to name them. Both URLs have been my Shopify site at one point or the other, but now I wanted to make some expansions, and focus on changes.

ESterling would become the site you’re on now, while SnoFall Gear stayed branded as a snowboard site. ESterlingLLC.Com and SnoFallGear.Com.

How To Start A Business: Stick To Your Strengths:

When you get into something that you don’t know anything about, you’re not utilizing your strengths properly. I’m not saying don’t take risks.

Instead, I’m saying know what you’re getting into. Google it, open some books, know your skill level and see if that’ll be a good fit for you.

Make sure everything fits together before you take the leap.

Snowboard Instructor; The Final Business Venture

I became a Snowboard Instructor around the same time that I made my Blog Sites. I did this because I love snowboarding, and I wanted to do something I was passionate about. This last winter was the best winter of my life, and I improved my Snowboard skills tremendously. Next season I’m going to try for my level 1 snowboard instruction certification.

Life is good, I just had to go through a bunch of crap to get here. By no means am I a success? I’m having to do odd jobs to survive, and sometimes I’ll get a short-term Project Management contract.

I will make this work, and I will thrive.

Something I tell myself every day is to play the long game. My websites, my SEO, and my focus are on working for myself. By doing odd jobs, I’m surviving today, by working on the website I making tomorrow. 

To Be An Entrepreneur, You Need To Perservere; How To Start A Business

Most people won’t let themselves try, because they’re afraid to fail. I’ve failed so many times in the last two years, I think I’d barely recognize success. I won’t call myself a failure, and I refuse to give up. I’ve seen freedom and I’m running after it. When you become an Entrepreneur you have to change your thought processes.

As an entrepreneur, you can’t punch in at 9 AM and leave at 5 PM. Especially in the first few years. This also means you have to shut things off once in a while. I specifically don’t work on Sundays. This is my religious belief, but it’s also very smart. I feel reenergized on Mondays when I get back into it.

Do you feel like giving up? Do you consider surrendering when things get tough? Take a deep breath, look deep into your heart, and ask God for help. He’s the only way I’m making it. I should’ve been bankrupt a year ago, yet somehow I’m surviving. Becoming an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience, but it’s tiring and extremely draining. I love that I’ve become an entrepreneur, it’s helped me learn a lot about myself that’d otherwise be unknown. It’ll do the same for you.

My Belief In Jesus

My faith in Jesus gives me the strength to do all things, I believe he’s the way the truth and the life. While I was praying this morning, he spoke to my heart about success. I’ve never really thought about Jesus helping me in this, but I realized he’s been doing that all along.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:7 – Bible

For the last year and a half, I believed I was holding myself back from success. I told myself that I was horrible at starting businesses. In truth, I thought I lacked the skills, and constantly referred to my failures. Instead, God changed my paradigm, and I realized how much I’ve been learning. An Entrepreneur will fail constantly, but they also need to be learning. They have to constantly be thinking on their feet. They have to adapt, and most of all, they need to hang in there.

Life is hard, but when you have freedom, it’s amazing.

Where Are You In The Entreprenueral Journey?

Are you an entrepreneur that is hitting the edge of your luck? Do you believe that God doesn’t love you? Are you sitting in an office, wishing you’d have the guts to break out and become an entrepreneur?

You can win, just because others are winning doesn’t mean you have to lose. In fact, when you hang out with other winners, you’ll start to win yourself. It starts with a mindset change, and then actions.

I also believe when you surrender your life to Jesus, that’ll transform your life. He is my source when I’m lacking, and my source when I’m succeeding. Life is meaningless without him. My success comes directly from him, and I know what I’m striving for because he created me to accomplish this goal.

If you’re struggling and don’t know how to keep going, look to heaven. He’s waiting for you to act. If becoming an entrepreneur isn’t for you, that’s totally fine. Figure out what makes you happy, and what your gifts are. Then run for them.

Have an awesome week! I hope you like this.

What Does Perseverance Mean? How To Keep Moving Forward.

perseverance

Perseverance is the art of hanging in there when everything looks bleak. It isn’t admitting defeat, and it isn’t throwing in the towel. When you persevere, you’re holding on, believing that something will change. While sometimes this can lead you toward wishful thinking, I honestly believe many people give up, on the door of success. They lose their ability to fight, and in today’s article, we’re going to discuss that topic.

What Perseverance Means

I believe this is an inherent skill and we all have it, however, some people have never flexed those muscles, and when a muscle isn’t used, it gets flabby and atrophied. This is one of the reasons people will crumble at the first sign of a fight. They’ve never been in one, and don’t know how to make things happen. When your fight for your goals and dreams it ignites something inside of you.

When you persevere, you’re not hooked on false hope. The key to persistence is knowing what you want and going for it. You have to know your dream is attainable, and you will stop at nothing to get it.

What It means To Me.

I’ve been doing this website and another blog for around 16 months (at the time of this writing), and one of the main issues I’ve had is not seeing results in either of them. (This site Or SnoFallGear).

It’s been demoralizing, frustrating, and I’ve wanted to quit many times. However in the last few months, I’ve started to see something change, people are finding the sites, commenting on them, and it’s only the beginning.

I could’ve given up in January when I got a new job, or last December when I wanted to quit all of this. Something inside me said to keep going, and I can’t give up now. Whether I have false hope or not doesn’t matter now. I love writing, and I’m going to keep going. It might take another year, or it may take a decade. Either way, I’m going to make this work.

I had to give myself some encouragement.

When Is Perseverance Used?

Perseverance is chasing a dream or goal, despite the difficulties you’re facing. If you find yourself giving up easily, on your dreams. You should take a close look at them. it might mean you’re not passionate about them. To persevere, you’ll need a passion for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Perseverance is important because the good things in life are what you must fight for. When you choose to follow your dreams, they’re not going to magically appear before you.

If they did, we’d all be rich, good-looking, and living by the beach.

Perseverance A Daily Choice

Recently I was speaking with my father, and the doctor had given him bad news about his health. He has a form of cancer and things aren’t looking very good. For half an hour, he spoke to me about his funeral, and what preparations he was making. He sounded defeated, beat down, and exhausted. The weariness of life and fighting for his health had taken its toll on him.

For a good 20 minutes of our conversation, he only spoke of his death, and funeral arrangements. I believe planning is a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you should give up either. You could hear the fear in his voice and his general demeanor. I don’t believe in quitting, and so I spoke up. This is what I told him.

To Persevere Is Standing And Fighting

“Look, I don’t know what sort of future you have. I don’t know God’s plan in this, but I know this. You can’t give up. Persevere and keep fighting. I personally believe you could have 10-20 more years on this planet, but you need to have perseverance for that. You only get stronger by going through difficult times, and right now you’re in the middle of one. You can’t change your Destiny, but you can choose how you’ll face it.

perseverance
Thriving When It Seems Impossible

At first, there was silence on the phone, and then he responded. “Yeah, I understand what you mean.” I sensed some peace returning to his voice.

Even on the phone, I could tell he was astonished, and I heard him thinking and breathing. We spoke a bit more, and I prayed for him before we got off the phone. But my words had ignited a spark of hope inside of him.

Story Addendum

Since I wrote the paragraphs above, my father has passed away. He went home is healed and finally has peace. The time before he passed was very hard, but one thing I can say is that he kept fighting, even until the end.

Maybe it was the 4 escape attempts he made from the nursing home, or his continual desire to leave his room. Either way, my father was a persistent man, and I love that about him.

He might have lost his way for a short period of time, but he went down fighting, and I can only hope and pray that I do the same.

Can Perseverance Be Taught?

I did write above that I believe we all have the ability for this, however, if we’ve never used the skill it makes things more difficult. It’s even harder here in America when we are blessed more than the rest of the world.

However, I do believe perseverance can be taught and learned. Isn’t that how you train? When I work out, I do a set number of pull-ups, and the next day I try to do more or add more weight. This is training and it’s the only way to learn.

Standing And Fighting Is Believing

We can’t see what’s ahead of us, sometimes we’ll get a tiny glimpse forward, but mostly it’s all foggy. Because of this, people tend to get paralyzed, especially when they’re thinking about moving forward. They stop telling themselves it’s only for a breather, but before a lot of time passes, they give up and admit defeat.

When you persevere, you’re holding onto the belief that things will get better, that you’re only in a season, and you will get through. However, we always forget that the future is unwritten, and our choices affect it. You can fight, or you can surrender, however when you choose to surrender, you’re choosing to be written out of everything.

Persevere And Stand Your Ground

When you have a dream, you need to evaluate it, tell some friends about it, and eventually chase it. If you dreamed big enough, you’ll face some hard times, and take some major risks. However, if you persist, and stand your ground, you just might see your dream come true.

Shoot For The Moon, If You Miss You’ll Land Among The Stars

Anonymous

Remember, when you persevere, you are holding your ground and believing in what you’re doing. Perseverance is a tight grip and belief that it will work out. When it comes to your dreams, stand your ground.

Persevere In Your Dreams:

I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of dreams and goals. This is something that separates us from everything in creation. As humans, we have the ability to dream huge and create these dreams and goals. It’s on a scale that doesn’t exist in any other creature.

***I know there’s proof of other creatures creating, but not on the same scale as humans

Perseverance is about realizing those dreams and goals. One of the greatest feelings I’ve ever experienced was accomplishing a goal that seemed impossible. Somehow, it all worked out, and then I dreamed bigger.

Be Persistent And Pursue Your Dreams?

Do you even have one? When was the last time you dreamed of something that gave you chills? You know the good kind of chills. Did it propel you to become a better person?

If you’re reading this, and you can’t think of anything. Go back to your childhood. What did you wanna be? Are you that person now? What changed and what stopped you? When you were pursuing that dream, did you persist until the end, or did you stop early?

I’m not saying if you wanted to be a firefighter, cop, or truck driver you should go back to it, but find the essence of it. When you find the essence of it, a whole new world of dreaming will open up to you. This will help direct and guide you in the direction you should be going.

A question I like to ask people is this. “If money isn’t an object, what would you do for the rest of your life, so you could die happy?”

Why aren’t you doing that? What pitfalls have stopped you? Don’t Give Up, but if you have. Pick it back up.

Perseverance In Life Choices:

What goals have you set in your life? Are you just floating, or have you settled? I hope you’re not settled because there’s always another level, always another path, and always a new adventure.

Maybe you’ve achieved your goals, have you set new ones? What has prevented you from dreaming bigger dreams? It’s fear, isn’t it?

We all have fear, recently I’ve learned that I fear success. In my early years out of High School. I achieved a great amount of it, and it went to my head. I became full of myself and spent a lot of money on worthless things. These were items that mean nothing to me today, but I’m scared to go back into that lifestyle.

Perseverance In Life Goals

When you dream big, and those dreams come from deep in your soul. It’s a lot harder to give them up. You’ll automatically grow deeper perseverance and you’ll fight harder to protect them.

There’s obviously a common sense part to dreaming, and you should also use that, but when you have a big dream/goal. You’re gonna have to flex that perseverance muscle and hold on tight.

Perseverance In God And What He’s Told You

These dreams can be extremely huge, and they often seem impossible. They’ll fit your skillset, and stretch them to the limit. It might even feel like you have reached your breaking point.

A good thing to remember when you dream these dreams. Try to keep your emotions in check, write down what God is telling you, and what you’re feeling. Emotions can change what you heard, and especially when talking about God’s voice, he can say something and a few days of emotions can transform it.

Write It Down, This Is Important.

He wouldn’t give you the dream if you couldn’t accomplish it. Persevere and you’ll see epic things when you pursue these dreams. In my own life, I’ve seen this happen many times. Hopefully, someday I’ll get all the stories posted, but they keep happening.

The Dreams, That Come From Your Heart:

These are the dreams that come from your skill and mindset not necessarily or directly from God. This is what you want in the future. Someday I hope to own a home in Colorado so I don’t have to purchase a hotel room when I go to Vail. Or it could be someday you’d like a wife and kids.

It can be other things like visiting every country in the world or eat Ewok meat. I know that the last one is impossible, but dreams that come from your heart aren’t bad in their nature. They’re only bad when you let yourself be consumed by them.

Most of the time these dreams will give you guidance and direction, these will give you a focus and point you on a path. Focus, and don’t give up.

Do You Have The Perseverance It Takes?

How do you do this? You dream, then accept the dream, and then you go after it. When you fall down, dust the dirt off and keep running towards it. You don’t give up.

There are millions of people, living in giant cities around the world, and they’re all dead. Not physically, but they go to work for 50 hours a week. They drain themselves making money for a corporation that does nothing except giving them a paycheck. After the workday is finished they go home and sit in front of a TV and watch stories. Sometimes I wonder if the movie metropolis was prophetic, at least in this aspect.

These stories are what we wish to be. We are trapped, and looking for an escape. We all know life can be better, but for some reason, we never try to escape.

Why? Because we’ve given up.

I encourage you today if you’ve surrendered your dreams. Get up, and chase them. As long as you have breath in your lungs you haven’t failed, keep going. You can do it.

I Told My Father He Needed Perseverance In This.

I wasn’t expecting anything to happen with my father, and I saw the start of a change immediately in him. For me, it was pretty subtle, because something broke, and I realized how tired I was. I hated life and wanted to make a change. What good is another video game, or another epic car ride? The only thing I can do that matters is change lives.

Having that conversation with my father, ignited the fire in me. It transformed a value in my heart, that I had killed. Now, it’s now reborn and I will rise up. I’ll do my best, and throw myself into my dreams. If I fail, and at least I go down trying, and that is better than sitting on the couch watching Netflix, Hulu, Prime, Or Youtube.

Don’t Give Up. You Can Win This Fight.

  • To Keep Reading On This Amazing Topic Click Here For More In-Depth Blog Posts
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How To Inspire Others? Positive Encouragement Is Key

How To Inspire Others

Last winter I became a snowboard instructor for a ski school called Skijammers. The school teaches elementary and middle school students about Snowboarding (and skiing). I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and at times it seemed like I learned more than I taught. However one of the best things I’ve been able to improve is how to inspire others.

Inspiring kids through snowboarding wasn’t the 1st thing on my mind when I became an instructor. In fact, I didn’t even know if I could instruct.

You Can Become Inspirational By Accident

I wasn’t expecting to make an impact on these kids’ lives beyond Snowboarding. However kids are curious by nature, and they like to ask questions. This leads to a lot of other topics that I needed to wade through.

Many times people will stop themselves from jumping in and helping, and they miss out on this awesome feeling. It’s a feeling of deep connection. When you are able to touch someone else life and redirect it for the better. There’s no better feeling in the world.

I’m excited to see what these kids are going to do in life, and even if I had some small part in directing it. That is huge to me.

How To Be Inspirational

A lot of times people think you have to accomplish something epic to become inspirational. They have to cure cancer, overcome some debilitating disease, or fight adversity. When you become an inspiration, all you’re doing is showing another person they can be better. That they can accomplish a goal they’ve set out to accomplish. You’re validating their dreams and saying run after them.

I want to be inspired and encouraged every day, in everything I do, because we all need it. There’s so much negativity in this world. I can’t handle it anymore. Set a goal for yourself, inspire at least one person a day.

Liam Needed Someone To Inspire Him

I’ve written about this story before, but I think it’s something important and we should talk about it more. I used to work for a motivational speaking company, and my job was on the receiving dock. I helped run the load-in/load-out procedures and developed plans to make them quicker and more efficient.

On most shows we would have 3-4 semi-trailers of equipment and products we were constantly loading or unloading, it depended on the time of day. My job was to ensure this happened with little damage to the gear. Usually, this wouldn’t be a problem, but every show I had to train a new crew of 15-25 people to accomplish this goal.

When I First Saw Liam

Liam was a kid around 18 years old, and he reminded me of myself at that age. He was overweight, unsure of himself, and teased by the people around him. I’m sure they didn’t know how much it hurt him, but I saw through the mask because I used to wear the exact same one.

At first, I was frustrated, he had come with a ministry school. These people should have actually cared for one another, but as people tend to be, they were blind to it. This happens in all people groups, so you can’t blame Christians for it, we have a tendency to be blind to the needs of others. Regardless of faith.

So I walked over to Liam and introduced myself. He responded meekly didn’t look me in the eye, and looked like I had come over to torment him. Instead, I spoke calmly and politely. I started to speak some truth into his life. I said he was important, and that he was here for a reason. Nobody else could accomplish what he was called to do. This was where I saw the hint of a smile cross his face, and life comes into his eyes.

My Plan To Inspire And Build His Confidence

I walked away because I had a meeting with my dock crew, there were three of us, and we worked every show together. I told them I was going to put Liam in charge of a simple task coming up. My reasoning was to encourage him. The dock crew loved my plan, and so we ended the meeting to go speak with Liam.

Standing in front of the people that teased him. I gestured for him to come to join our group. We were close enough for the others to hear, but far enough to be separate. He was nervous, the dock crew and I looked important, but were just underlings. I could tell he was more trusting of me this time. When I started talking, I said, he has leadership abilities that I wanted him to utilize, and I gave him a task.

Giving Them An Epic Retribution.

I said, “you’re going to need a crew,” and called his tormenters over. In front of Liam, I told them he was in charge, and they needed to follow his instructions. If this wasn’t done properly, I wouldn’t be happy. They were petrified of me, but I was okay with that.

I discharged them to their task, and pulled one of my regular dock people aside, I asked him to follow them, and keep an eye on everything. I added that he only intercede if it’s necessary and things were getting out of hand. He agreed wholeheartedly and left with a clipboard.

An hour later they all came back, and they looked like fast friends. Liam’s face was beaming, and he enjoyed the experience. My dock member said everything went great, and he just observed.

This is how you can easily encourage and inspire people. You give them hope, and an opportunity to be better., they’ll make things change When people are allowed and encouraged to chase their dreams. They’ll stand up and become a better person.

Different Ways You Can Inspire Others

This isn’t an exhaustive list, I’ll probably be adding to it in the future. These are the ways I help inspire people in my own life, but I know there are other ways out there. Maybe there’s a way I haven’t realized yet. If there’s one you see or do, and it’s not on the list, please comment below. I’d love to hear how you’ve been inspired.

Staying Positive Is Inspirational

This is a huge part of being inspirational. There have been many times in my life, where I’ve gotten depressed about a situation. A coach, friend, or family member has come by and boosted my morale just by being positive. If you don’t think looking on the bright side has merit, you need to check your positivity levels.

Staying positive is a great way to succeed in life regardless. People who are positive can endure any hardship, and survive problems. There are some scientific studies that looked into people diagnosed with cancer. It seems the people who are more positive have a greater chance of survival.

Stay positive, it’ll save your life.

Show Others How Much You Care It Inspires Them

This goes hand in hand with being positive. How are you showing how much you care if you’re not being positive? This can be something simple like sitting down and listening. When you do, offer simple advice and direction. Help inspire others to chase their dreams, and break through whatever is stopping them.

This doesn’t mean encourage them to do something stupid, it might involve helping them redirect their passion. Or you could focus on what is going right, and remove what’s going wrong. Either way, make sure they know you’re looking out for their best interest. It’ll inspire them and you’ll see a huge difference in their life.

Being Inspirational Will Encourages The Dreams Of Others

My favorite conversation topic is about pursuing dreams, and I don’t mean the sleeping ones. As awesome as some of them are. What you dream about is what inspires you. Use these dreams to help direct your life. I’ve had a lot of dreams in my life, but if you boil them down, it always involves helping others.

When you’re looking at a dream, what is the inspiration behind it? What is the driving force? These are the core things you should be looking at. When you help guide and direct others, keep them on that path. Help them see what they want, and it’ll inspire them to do better.

I Inspired A Friend Of Mine

A few years back, I was eating lunch with a friend who has some disabilities. We spoke for a while and I could tell he was frustrated. Eventually, everything came out. He was tired of living the way it was, living paycheck to paycheck, and needed another path. So I asked him, “What are your dreams?”

He responded with a few things, while he spoke I finished my burger. All of them were surface items, but they had one common thread in them. Once I jumped into the conversation. I spoke from a different viewpoint and told him what I saw.

For years I’ve been trying to look at everything differently. It’s a skill that you have to develop, and I’m not there 100% yet. In truth, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be, but I love to think outside the box. It’s what makes me a great entrepreneur.

I gave him some ideas off the top of my head and reached out to others that could help him more. This was a tiny thing I did, but now he’s doing amazing, and I’m super proud of him. I can’t take credit for any of it, I just helped him find direction while he walked through the door. When you are inspirational, you’re not trying to be one, just help someone.

It Doesn’t Take Much To Inspire

When you are inspiring people, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. You’ll find a place deep inside of your heart, that you’ve never reached before. Being inspirational is something we all should strive to be.

I don’t try and be an inspiration, instead, I try to use my words to encourage people. Life sucks and it’s hard. Shouldn’t we all be out there trying to help others? People are angry, stressed out, and negative. How much better could we all be if we tried to encourage each other a little more. I wish more people would get this message, but the negativity is so loud, the only way to counteract it, to stay positive.

When you inspire people, it’ll help them achieve great things, and you’ll have a part in that. In turn, you’ll be inspired to do great things and they might help you. It’s a win/win situation.

People Don’t Lose Because Others Win

I’m really tired of this close-minded belief we have in America. It stops people from inspiring and encouraging each other. Just because I have more, doesn’t mean others have less. We all have time, imagination, and our own skillset. It’s time we use it.

To believe this is to believe skills, and imagination are finite. That is far from the truth, and you have the skills and abilities you need to be awesome. If you see everyone around you succeed, don’t be jealous. Spend time with them and find out what they’re doing. Maybe it’ll rub off on you, and you’ll be a success too.

Don’t forget to focus on the guy/girl next to you. If they’re struggling, stop and help them. You never know who you’re helping and what they’ll accomplish. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll need help too. Either way, if you stop and help, you could be an inspiration, and that’s worth a lot.

In Conclusion

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How To Use Gods Help When Fighting Depression.

Fight Depression

I’ve been in a fight with depression for most of my life. It stems from my broken childhood, and many of the lessons I learned during that time. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to make my fight public. The more I speak, I realize that many people don’t know how to fight it. When you fight depression it can feel like stopping a waterfall. However, when you fight depression With God helping, it’s amazing. All you have to do is ask for help. Just say, “God Help Me,” and he’ll hear your voice, and help.

Below are my tactics and prayers that stop it or lessen the effects. You can survive this, I know it and believe it.

Depression has a way of sneaking up on you. When it finally pounces it will knock you to your knees and choke you. I don’t mean to be graphic, that’s just how it feels sometimes. Below are some of the tools I’ve used in the past to combat this, but fighting depression with God helping has made the most impact. These other tools have worked, however, sometimes they aren’t 100%.

Remember Who You Are; Ask God For Help With Depression.

One of the best scenes in the Disney movie “The Lion King,” is where Simba and his Father Mufasa are talking after his death (Spoiler alert). As Mufasa starts to disappear in the sky, one final cry is heard. “Remember who you are.” I’ve always found this to be a profound sentence, how does one forget who they are? Disney does a great job showing how samba forgot, and eventually found who he was. Many of us watching can relate because we’ve all forgotten who we were made to be.

Each of us has our own unique set of skills and abilities. These were given to us at birth, whether you believe in God or genetics, they are yours. What have you done to utilize them? Have you tried to improve them? Do you even know what your skill and abilities are?

Gods Help, Can Destroy Your Depression

Finding yourself is an important part of childhood/early teen life. In my apartment on the fridge, I have a dry erase board. I tend to write messages and encouragement to myself. It’s a habit I’ve developed over the years. It keeps me focused and looking to the future. If I’m having a day where I’m depressed. One of the first things I lose is hope in tomorrow, and when that happens. I start a vicious downward cycle.

On the flip side, when you know there is a tomorrow, you’ll feel hope, joy, and excitement. When you fight depression with God’s helping that is the first line of defense that you must hold. If you lose there, you’ll lose everywhere. It’s like the nerve center of your whole system.

Who Am I?

At one point, I actually wrote a manifesto for myself. At least it was in the style of one. I did this so I had a reference point for who I am. Whenever I started to get depressed, or tired of fighting. I read it out loud to myself. I’ll keep repeating it until I believe it to be true. It should go without saying, that I never did this in public. Being depressed is one thing, everyone thinking you’re crazy is another.

My name is Sterling, and I’ve been put on this planet for a purpose. I know this because the God of heaven and earth died so I might have life. He did because he loves me, and he’s got a plan for my life.

Sterling

Eventually, I started to write more about who I believe I am. Some of the main themes I’ve written about are being a brother, a son, and a warrior. The first three make sense. The last one comes from a belief that I have to fight for the less fortunate. I’ve done it before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. Especially, if I see someone in trouble. These are the basic and simple emotions that I have in my heart. You could almost call them base feelings, or who I view myself. While things can get deeper, this view makes up who I am.

How Can I Ever Find Myself?

The answer to this question is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. To find yourself, you must lose yourself. I never realized how little I knew, until I gave my life to Jesus, it was because of him that I started to see.

God created the heavens and the earth, and he created you. When you reconnect with the creator of the universe, great things can happen. He’s the one who made you, he’s the one who hears you, and he’s the one who can fix you. Why worry, when God has everything under control. Depression with God helping is letting go.

You can reconnect with him right now, all you need to do is ask him. Tell Jesus, that you’re sorry, and you want him in your life. If you ask him, he’ll meet you wherever you’re at.

I would’ve never found myself if it hadn’t been for Jesus. So many people in the world today bash God, Jesus, and Christianity, but they understand true Christianity. Most Christians in America don’t. Christianity in the purest form is two things. The first is loving God with all your heart, soul, and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus Said To Love Each Other

That’s something Jesus himself said, and I don’t see a lot of love these days. Jesus says an interesting statement in John 13:35.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Jesus

Find yourself in him, he created you, and he can help you find your way.

Trusting God Is Believing In His Character

I’ve written extensively on this topic, but when you don’t trust God, you’re saying what Jesus did wasn’t enough. It’s like slapping him in the face telling him to go through the pain again.

Jesus came and died for you, and it wasn’t because he wanted you to visit the church every Sunday. It was certainly not for you to sing weird 20-year-old Christian songs and do a bake sale. Jesus died because he loves you, he did it for you, and then he rose again so you could be with him for eternity.

Finding yourself can take a long time, but it singlehandedly holds the line when depression hits. Sometime soon I’ll write a complete blog post about finding yourself in Christ. Until then know this, he is there for you, and if you call out, he will answer.

Find An Outlet To Release Your Emotions

When you fight depression, finding an outlet to release your emotions is key. During the winter I snowboard quite a bit (I’m almost OCD about it). This year I became a snowboard instructor for little kids, and I had a blast doing it. During the summer I go biking and try to play as much sand volleyball as possible.

Fight Depression By Working Out

When your outlets are physically exhausting, there’s a lot less space in your brain for depression. Physical exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream, and it’s harder to get or stay depressed.

In my life, I’ve found that to be the case. I don’t have major fights with depression anymore. Working out releases a lot of the tension. After a long day on the slopes, I can go home, write a blog post, and I’ll feel great. It’s tiring, but it makes things epic.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can feel depression creeping into my life. Originally It would blindside me, but like anything in life, depression has some tells. Usually, I’ll have a feeling that something is off a few days prior before it hits me. Once I realize what’s happening, I have to make a choice. Let me spin out of control, or prepare to stand and fight. Spinning out of control is just surrendering, but fighting is hard. When you choose to stand and fight depression with God helping, you’ll still feel pain and heartache, but when you win. The reward is freedom.

I spent years doing this, and the breakthrough is amazing.

Fight Depression With God And Hobbies

Finding a hobby can help fight depression as well. If you’re unable to work out due to bad weather or a health condition, it might be the next best thing. Anything that takes your mind off the fear, worry, and self-doubt can be a blessing.

Some of my hobbies include snowboarding (and writing about that), playing PS4, and reading different books. I do this to clear my mind, and when my mind is clear. It gives me a lot of peace and joy. I can hear the voice of God a lot easier at this point, so I try to stay here often.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to do the same physical exercises or hobbies I’ve said. Go out, figure out who you are, and be yourself. Do something only you will enjoy. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after doing it.

Believe That Tomorrow Things Will Get Better

When depression hits you, it forces you to your knees, and you feel your state go into a downward spiral. From your viewpoint, there is no way out, and it’s only a matter of time before you crash.

That is nowhere near the truth, and you need to stop believing that lie. When I struggled with my emotions and constantly had to fight depression. I used a term that I called my 2-month theory. My theory stemmed from a realization that the things I had worried about wouldn’t matter in the next 2 months. It was either really little things or Giant things I couldn’t change if I tried.

Life is short, stop worrying about things you can’t change. Try to reprogram your thoughts so you focus on the things that matter. Stop looking at one tree, take a step back, and look at the beauty of the forest around you.

You can do this, at first it is extremely difficult and exhausting, but it’s a good skill to learn. This is a game of momentum that goes both ways. Your daily choices will reinforce it to whatever direction you choose.

Choose wisely.

You Have To Try And Stay Positive

I’m my own harshest critic, sometimes I’m amazed at how much self-hate I have in me. Being positive is one of my strengths, but also can be a weakness. When I lose the ability to be positive, everything in my life falls apart. It takes forever when I fall, it’s like a deep and dark pit that I don’t wanna get out of.

I’m positive in almost everything I do, but when the negativity hits. It’s a steep climb back. Make the choice now, you will stay positive, and look on the bright side.

How Do You Stay Positive?

If you’ve started working on the last few items, staying positive shouldn’t be a huge issue. However, if you’re like me, sometimes you get lazy, and let everything slide. Staying positive can be a difficult task, but it is not impossible.

When I start to fall into depression the first thing I notice is negative talk. This isn’t my normal sarcasm. Literally, everything becomes hopeless, and there is no way out. If I see it quick enough, I’ll try and turn things around. Most of the time I’m successful because I force myself to see the brighter side of things. However this bugs me too, I’m a cynic, and sometimes I don’t know how I should react.

Staying positive can be as simple as writing a list of things you’re good at. Things you enjoy doing, or people you love to be around. Reading that list will help you shift your perspective, and you’ll eventually realize there are other things out there besides you. With this, you can effect change in your life.

Certain types of music can be of help to you as well. I suggest you find something that makes your heart happy, and gets you moving. My snowboard playlist does this for me, it’s got everything from 1970s funk, to modern vocal trance. The only requirements I place on the song are that it makes me move, and has an epic baseline.

Stop Believing The Lies In Your Head

We all struggle with the lies in our heads, and this goes hand in hand with the previous topic. Lies are speaking to you, they’re saying you won’t be able to win, they say just give up, and they continue to speak.

That is until you learn how to shut them up.

How To Identify The Lies.

When you read the Bible daily, it can help you identify the lies in your head. When you fight depression having a strong vocabulary in the Bible can make or break you. It’s an excellent tool for staving off the lies of the enemy, and it helps you figure out who God made you be.

Fight Depression With God And Believing His Truth

When you know who you are, and who God made you be. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. It might not happen right away, but if you stick to your guns and continue to hit back. You’ll find your freedom. The fight with depression will end and you’ll be free. This is because God has helped, and you’ve done your part as well.

Organize Your Thoughts, Set Some Goals

This is a more practical method for fighting depression. When you get yourself organized and set a few goals, you’re looking to the future. When you look to the future you break free of your funk and look forward to something.

This will stop a lot of issues with depression. When depressed, people tend to think only of the short term, but if you have a long-term plan set shortly, you’ll have a light on the darkest night.

Remind Yourself Of The Goals You’ve Accomplished

Set reminders throughout the day/week for goals you’ve accomplished. It’s a great way to stay on task and feel like things are happening. Especially when you’re just treading water.

Find Some Honest Friends You Can Talk With

This can be one of the hardest things to find. When depressed you won’t like the idea of leaving the house. For most people, you’ll have to leave the house to find them. Friends worth anything aren’t just lying around, and they won’t be easy to find. They’re definitely worth it though.

You can’t get car insurance right before the accident. So how do you expect to find friends right before you get depressed? Good friends will help you fight depression, and even when things are going well, those friendships will help you keep it that way. Remember when I talked about endorphins? The same thing happens when good friends are around.

What Are Good Friends? How Can They Help Me Fight Depression?

I understand in our society this is a difficult question. I’m a member of the last generation before the internet. As a kid, I’d find my neighborhood friends by seeing who’s house had the bikes outside. We had one phone for the whole house and it was attached to the wall by a cord.

It was primitive, but we knew how to make friends. Life is different now (not worse, just different). If you have trouble making deep and meaningful relationships you might have to rediscover a way to do that.

The good news is that you have all the skills needed already. You might need to polish them up. My friends are great people, I’ll send out a text asking for help, and I have instant replies. When they send out a text for the same thing, I try to reply fast too.

A big reason our society has trouble making friends is that we only focus on ourselves. If you expect your friends to jump into the fray and help you. You’ll have to do the same for them. When you find someone who’ll do that, you’ve got an epic friend.

Staying On A Schedule Helps Fight Depression

Having a schedule is important when you fight depression. Having a full day ahead of you with nothing to do, or a long list is scary and daunting. When I have a busy day, I’ll make the list even longer by putting things like a shower or brush my teeth on it. This helps me feel like something has been accomplished and the list is getting shorter. Even when the day has just begun.

After that, get to work. Whenever I do this, and the ball gets rolling, a couple more things will come to mind and I’ll be adding to the list. Staying busy is a great way to fight depression.

Getting Enough Sleep Helps Fight Depression

Just like having a schedule going to bed at the same time every night and getting a good amount of sleep help you fight depression. When your mind has proper rest it’s less susceptible to the lies that depression will speak to your heart.

I’d recommend sleeping 7-8 hours a night. I know it helps me, and it’ll definitely help you too.

Find Help When Fighting Depression

Depression is no joke, and you might have to be honest with yourself and get some help. There is no shame in that. In fact, it takes a lot of courage to admit it. When you get struck down by depression, it’s sometimes a difficult thing to admit.

Whether you find a counselor a psychologist, or a member of the clergy. If you need help please find it. You were created to accomplish some epic goals in this life. Make sure you fight the depression in your heart and mind.

In Conclusion

Did you agree with my list? What other things do you do when you fight depression? Let me know in the comments below.

  • To Read E. Sterlings Book On Healing From Depression Click Here
  • If You’d Like To Read More About Depression Click Here For A More In-Depth Article.

What Is The Meaning Of Life?

What Is The Meaning Of Life?

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here, and what should we be doing with our lives? These are questions that thousands of theologians and everyday people have pondered for centuries. I’m going to be completely honest with you. I don’t have the answer, but I do like the idea of exploring the question. Sometimes the answer to what you’re trying to find lies in the question.

Truth be told, when you’re asking about the meaning of life. You’re asking what’s the point? And you’re trying to figure out if there is a purpose. For me, I’ve begun to dig into that over the last decade or two, and I’ve come to a couple of ideas about it.

The Meaning Of Life:

  1. The Meaning of Life Is Different For Every Person.
  2. Your Purpose Comes From Who You’re Made To Be, And Who Made You.
  3. Fulfillment Of That Purpose Can Only Come From Your Choices.

When I ask the question who made you? I’m not talking about your parents. If you’re asking this question, something inside of you believes in a higher power or is starting to.

If we really came from accidents, then there is no purpose. However if we were created, there was a reason behind it.

At least that’s my thought process.

What Is The True Meaning Of Life?

In society, and especially in movies, they imply that the meaning of life is one thing, and while that might be correct. I think it’s way too simplified and gives us the wrong perception of the topic. What’s worse is they never go deeper into it. I know they only have a certain amount of time, and getting into that could derail the movie/tv show. But they’re touching on something huge here, and most people don’t have a proper understanding of it.

If you’re reading this and asking “What is the meaning of life?” I implore you to scale back and ask yourself. What is the meaning of my life? What should I be doing, and how can I accomplish it?

Another deeper question, “What Is My Purpose?”

Our cultures try to make deep statements, and then we place them on sections of people. However, when we do this, important parts of our society are lost, it’s inevitable.

The meaning of my life is different than yours. It has to be because we are completely different people. We have different life experiences, personalities, and relationships with others. These three pieces of our lives affect us, shape us, and mold us.

The meaning of your life can only be found in the purpose you were created with. What’s funny is Jesus mentions it. He says he has come that you might have life and that life to the full.

So How Do I Find That Purpose?

  1. Look Into Your Innate Skills And Abilities.
  2. What Do You Like/Dislike>
  3. Are There Any Causes That Grip Your Heart?
  4. Ask God For Your Purpose.

Look Into Your Innate Skills And Abilities.

This step is pretty simple, and when you’re searching for the meaning of life it’s a great place to start.

Take a Strength Finders test or the Meyers Briggs. While I don’t believe they are 100% scientific or should be used as life road maps.

These test are really good at giving you a baseline for your skills and abilities.

Another way to discover skills and abilities would be to ask your friends and family. Make sure you talk with people who really know you, they’ve seen you grow up, and have seen you face many different situations.

Take notes, and when you’re done interviewing see if there are any common traits. This might take some perseverance, and you’ll need to keep asking questions.

You can really starting out who you are with these few ideas.

What Do You Like/Dislike?

What are the things you like? And What drives you crazy? When I first started being an entrepreneur, I almost got into cricket farming. While I could make money doing it, I really hate bugs.

Your purpose, and the meaning of life for you, will revolve around the things you like/dislike. Keep in mind there could be a difference between things you like, and things you’re good at. For example, I’m really skilled at designing and creating excel spreadsheets, but I hate looking at them.

While that’s an extreme example, a lot of people fall into that trap. My life purpose is to help others figure out finances. However, my purpose in life does involve helping people. Peel away what you don’t like to see what you want to do.

What Causes Grip Your Heart?

Is there something that grabs you whenever you hear about it? When you come across an article about it, do you spring to action?

These are sign posts for you. They’re pointing to the meaning of life for you.

Everyone has a purpose, and everyone has a reason to be here. However we’re not told exactly what it is.

Instead we have to find the pieces that we connect with, and put together the puzzle.

Ask God For Your Purpose

I know there’s a lot of people out there who don’t believe in God, and that’s okay, however, I have to put him on here. Because he’s the only reason I’m alive today, For clarity, and diving deeper read my highest ranked article about Jesus here and my personal story called Hurricane Jerald Here.

Now back to finding the meaning of life.

When you ask God for something, all you need to do is sit down, quiet your life, and ask the question in your heart. Quiet your heart and listen to God, if you don’t know how to hear his voice, check out this article.

His answer might not come right away, and it might not be what you were expecting. If you’re having trouble hearing him. Pull out a bible and start reading it.

I’d suggest starting in the book of John. It tells the story of Jesus, who he is, and what he does.

I’ve also written another article called how to hear the voice of God. I hope it teaches you something.

How I Define The Meaning Of Life

At the time I was in third grade, and my family went on a vacation to a lake in northern Minnesota. My memory is foggy, but I remember a lot of canoeing, some turtle races, and being afraid of bears.

However, there was one experience that happened and my family will never let me live it down. I got teased about it last Christmas. During the middle of the week, I broke down crying on the front porch of our cabin, and one of my sisters approached me. She asked what was wrong and I replied that I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.

I was in third grade, on vacation. What was I thinking?

I Was Really Worried:

I don’t remember what happened after that, I assume my mom or dad talked with me, but that moment has stayed with me for years. After third grade, I remember thinking that I had 9 years until I was on my own. I needed to figure this life thing out.

But it was hopeless, and didn’t know what I was doing.

At that age, the meaning of life had Eluded me. I didn’t have purpose, and life had not meaning.

It wasn’t until I grew up, that I finally started finding pieces. While I don’t have the puzzle completed, I can make out a fuzzy picture.

Finding Your Purpose

In the introduction, I said the meaning of life has to be different for each person. My purpose in life was realized as soon as I knew my purpose and meaning. Granted, my purpose changes depending on situations and issues, but there’s always the main focus to my life.

Remember The World Below Especially When You’re Doubting:

You Were Placed Here For A Reason And Made With The Skills And Abilities You Have. This Is All For A Certain Purpose And Goal. Which The Creator Of The Universe Has Made For You.

You Always Have Purpose, Until You Breath Your Last Breath It Can Still Be Accomplished.

Finding Your Meaning Of Life.

For me this was a hard process, I read a lot of books, articles, and listened to a lot of self-help gurus. Most of the themes didn’t help, but I’ll try and post some resources at the end of the article that did.

Like I wrote above, the best answer I found, was finding myself. Once I did that, everything else started to come together.

When you’re looking for the meaning of life, a good first question to ask yourself is.

Why Am I Here?

Remember, you aren’t your occupation, family position, or rank. These things change, but you are always the makeup of who you are.

So Who Do You Believe You Are? Deep Inside Your Heart.

This is an ambiguous question, but it’s where you need to start. The answer won’t be answered in a simple sentence, it’ll be an emotion, a feeling, or something that draws you. You’ll say, this is the person I was made to be, and who I need to focus on becoming.

That is your purpose, and the meaning of your life.

Stay Focused, And Learn To Believe In Yourself.

Once you get a glimpse of who you are, look at the things you believe in your life. Try to find what people have told you, and things they’ve said. For example, I’m a born leader, that’s who I am, and one of my purposes in life. I develop influence with people naturally and help guide them on their path.

Don’t believe me? Why are you reading this article.

When I was in ministry school, I once had a pastor say he only saw me in a support role. He didn’t think I could lead and didn’t want me in a particular position I was hoping to get.

This angered me because it was what I dreamed of doing, and it was well-wishing my skill set. Shortly afterward I left and didn’t look back.

Sometimes you gotta leave where you’re comfortable, so you can strive for greatness.

I knew my skills and abilities, I wasn’t going to follow a blind man. He either didn’t take the time to learn my skills and abilities, or he didn’t care enough to learn. Either way, I wouldn’t put my faith in him.

When You Find The Meaning Of Your Life, Nothing Else Matters

People start believing lies about themselves at an early age. the lies they believe form a foundation of values and self-worth.

These beliefs are what drives people to do the things they do.

Most of the time these lies are the ones you’ve believed your entire life. Since they are contrary to who you are, they’ve slowed you from growing. They are abhorrent to your very being, and you have to fill yourself with the truth.

If you’re a Christian, you know what kind of truth you should fill yourself with. Get into the Bible, and begin to pray more. Ask God to show you the path he created for you. Believe that Jesus is walking beside you, and begin to fight.

This can still be accomplished without becoming a Christian, but I’ll warn you it’s a lot harder because you won’t have the source. Also, you’ll be going it alone, and I never recommend that.

I also worry that you’ll never achieve the full meaning of life without Jesus in it. He created you, and he made you into the person you are. How can you have the full purpose without him involved?

Finding The Meaning Of Life

My purpose is people, and my drive is to help them navigate this craziness we call life. Remember the purpose is what drives you, the meaning of life is what you’re doing.

But it isn’t exact or one thing. It’s a meaning, a fulfillment of who you were created to be. After all, that’s where you’ll find the best fit.

These are milestones in your journey, and they help you find your path. You’ll know you’re going in the right direction when you see them. However, don’t expect to understand them when you see them.

Milestones are often noticed when looking back, much like foreshadowing. Sometimes you don’t know what story was being weaved, until its ending.

Spend some time helping others, and to recap this blog post, see below:

  1. Dig Into Your Heart. Find The Answer To The Question Who Are You?
  2. Make Jesus the Center of your life/heart. It helps when the creator of the universe is walking with you.
  3. Once again look to your heart, and destroy the lies with truth.
  4. when you know who you are and believe it, run towards that truth, and become the person your heart says you are.

I’m going to dig deeper into this subject over the next few weeks, I just wrote in generalized terms here. I hope you enjoyed it though.

In Conclusion:

  • If You’re Interested In Reading More About Jesus, Click Here For A More Extensive Blog Post
  • If You’d Like To Read More About The Life Of Jesus Click Here.

How To Be A Christian

The Christian Walk

I grew up in the Church and was taught how a good Christian boy should act. The impression I received was to be a nice guy, a quiet guy. For some reason that rolled into piety, and the understanding that Jesus would be happy with us. As I grew older, I realized the Christian walk is nothing like that. You have your hopes, fears, dreams, and failures. Stuff happens, and being the nice quiet guy in the corner will get you nowhere.

After the first few years of this, I started to study the Bible deeply, and what I realized destroyed my entire belief system. Everyone around me seemed to be happy, but I couldn’t say the same for myself. I was following the rules and regulations of the Church, but they didn’t match up with the Bible.

A Christian: Originally The Term Meant Christ Like. His Followers Acted Like Him So They Were Called Christians. A True Christian Is One Who Gives Their Live To Jesus, “

When You Confess With Your Mouth And Believe That Jesus Was Raised From The Dead. You Are Saved.”

Paul The Apostle

Gods Law, And Mans Suggestions

One of the first things I saw was a difference in what is acceptable. During this time I’d moved to Mississippi to attend ministry school. I was amazed at the difference in swear words between the north and the south. Slang that was tame in Minneapolis could cause a riot in Jackson. I had to learn how to watch my mouth pretty quick. That was difficult for a sarcastic person such as myself.

I began to realize that the Church (in the general term) had been adding things to their list of things God doesn’t like, and these things were based on cultural significance. When you dig into separate denominations things get even worse. On the surface the difference included drinking, gambling, and even swearing. Then if you go deeper you can talk about predestination or pre-tribulation, and post-tribulation.

I DON’T CARE about any of those topics. The first couple of them are viewed as sin in our culture and that’s between them and God. The second items are theological and have been debated for years. I believe in pre-tribulation, but my only basis is because I don’t wanna be here when it happens. There’s enough evidence to argue it either way, and personally I think Gods going to do something nobody expects.

What matters is that we love Jesus, and we share him with everyone we can. That’s what matters.

Gods Law; For Christians

The Phrase ‘Christian Walk’ doesn’t appear in the Bible, it’s more of a general term from the feel of some verses, and the lifestyle. I like the term, because it is a walk and not a sprint. You gotta pace yourself in this life, or you’ll find yourself completely exhausted. Both mentally and spiritually.

In the Old Testament, God Gave Abraham the 10 Commandments. In the New Testament Jesus gaves us the Greatest Commandment(s). The two commandments he talks about in Matthew 22:38 encapsulate the previous 10 and go a little bit farther. If you love God, and then your neighbor, you shouldn’t do any of the horrible things the 10 Commandments spoke of. If you love someone it shouldn’t be part of your thought process.

I love it, because Jesus simplified the law. However he did add some other things into it later on. The rule change made things a bit more complicated, right after he simplified it. Now if you hate someone, that coincides with murder (1 John 3:15) and if you lust after your neighbors wife, goes what that’s adultery.

The Old Testament focused on actions, while the new changed your heart.

Finding My Way On The Christian Walk

I spent a lot of time annoyed, everything I learned was wrong. Even if a lot of it was good common sense it still felt wrong, and confining. After awhile I was able to put a feeling to it, it was like we were keeping God at an arms length. I’ve always hated rules and regulations, and the burden of them was great.

This got worse when I went to Masters Commission in the South. I love the program, and many awesome people have been discipled through it. In fact it changed my life, but its just a tool, and like any tool things can go awry. Because people us them, and people are flawed.

Politics in the programs started to change things, and I saw ministry schools adopt policies that I couldn’t agree with. In the South I had seen enough issues that were culturally different than my own let alone things I couldn’t understand.

I confess, that I got frustrated, and I was standing in judgment over people. It wasn’t my right to do that, and I developed a prideful spirit.

Then God Spoke To Me

The annoyance and frustration grew, and all I saw were people following rules they believed to be true, as I saw them in bondage. The Christian walk for them was one of blind servitude, and that scared me. I wondered if I was blind, but I was always super independent, or rebellious. So maybe I was dealing with other issues.

Some Pastors and I were at a prayer meeting, and I believe what they said was from God because it was confirmed later (Philippians 1:18). What does it matter if they aren’t sinning? What they’re doing is helping them focus on God. if I’m going to be an adult, I should learn to bite my tongue and become all things to all men. It just might be how they’ll grow.

The Christian Walk Changed My Mindset

I started to think about that, and as I read more in the letters of Paul, Jesus started to open up my eyes. I might’ve had the freedom to do the things they couldn’t, but that doesn’t mean I should flaunt it in front of them. If the roles were reversed, I’d be angry.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

Paul 1 Corinthians 9:22

Paul didn’t care about who would judge him on his Christian walk, instead he focused on reaching the lost. Doing that is loving God and your neighbors with a whole heart.

The Christian Path; Practical Application

You may not have the same issues that I wrote about above, but it’s possible that you’ll deal with something like it. Remember the Christian walk isn’t a race, it’s a focused, hike. You don’t know where you’re going, but he does.

God has called you into this world so you can accomplish some epic goals. You are the best person for the job, and without you, it’ll fall apart. God will have to pull someone else to fill in the gap.

The gap is your responsibility, and mine. The Christian walk should be extremely simple, love God, and Love others. You get filled up daily, and go fill others up. Thats it.

In our daily lives, we complicate things so much. I can’t tell you how much time I waste in prayer. I’ll be begging God to do something and I get angry, or lose focus. Then everything is over and I’m off to work.

What Do Christains Need?

I need God in my life, without him, I’m nothing. One of the first things God spoke to my heart in Ministry schools was that we are all dust. What makes us worth something, is his breath.

He breathed into us as we were a pile of dirt, and his breath gave us life. That’s why worship is so powerful, we’re giving back the breath he gave us. As you go about your daily life, focus on him. Believe that he’s with you, and take a few seconds to acknowledge that he’s near.

An awesome book that I was given a long time ago helped walk me through this process. It’s by a monk called brother Lawrence. Its an old book, but I highly recommend it, as it’ll teach you to walk in his presence. it’s something I strive for everyday.

The book is titled “The Practice of The Presence Of God” you can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.

Stay strong, and focus on him, he will see you through everything you face.

There’s a Psalm that says

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.

Psalm 121:1-3

Your Christianity Isn’t Based On Anything But Jesus

  • I hope you liked my blog, to read more blog posts by E. Sterling Click Here
  • If You’re Interested In Reading More About Jesus, Click Here For A More Extensive Blog Post

Am I Really Forgiven By God? How To Believe And Find Peace.

You Are Forgiven

I think young Christians and people new to the faith have trouble with this concept. I know when I was young I did. You hear these words, ‘you are forgiven,’ but if you don’t believe you can go home and forget. In fact, forgiveness was a hard topic for me to grasp anyway.

Believing in the forgiveness and peace that comes from Jesus Christ is an important part of your Christianity. For some reason, doubt likes to make an appearance, and that doubt will try to strangle your faith. It’s up to you what you are going to believe, you make the choices that affect your life.

The first time I gave my life to Jesus, I was six years old. I had no theological training other than a bunch of cheesy Christian cartoons and movies that my mother made me watch. I always heard that Jesus loved me, but I couldn’t believe it. At the time, I didn’t believe God wanted me in heaven with him.

If you read the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about the seeds that fall on the ground and rise up quickly, but they’re choked out by the weeks, and then they die. This could’ve been me, and I’ve seen many other people rise up and get choked out. They should be thriving and producing fruit.

Believing That You Are Forgiven

A lot of Christians spend their time asking God for forgiveness, and he keeps saying it’s been forgiven. How can we move beyond that, and truly believe that Jesus has forgiven us? It’s a difficult question to answer, but I’ve started to look at my prayers. When I talk to God, am I repeating myself? What have I been focusing on during this prayer time?

Below is a ling to my book called Hurricane Jerald. It’s a book about forgiveness.

You Should Trust That Your Forgiven; Even If It’s Hard.

Ah, the saying that is so cliched it has launched a thousand books. You are forgiven, now believe it. If you’ve asked him for forgiveness, it’s there, he’s given it. When you don’t believe in his forgiveness, you’re telling Jesus what he did isn’t good enough. Does he really need to die again so you can be forgiven?

Of course not, Jesus said, “It Is Finished” At the moment of his death. That means he has forgiven you. Every thought, action, and word. It’s all under the blood the moment you ask him for it. When Jesus said those words he did everything that needed to be done, from then until eternity. His part is finished, and now he waits on us.

The issue isn’t with him, it’s with us. We have trouble believing and trusting him. This is funny because he gave his all for us. Now it’s our turn to give it all.

What Stops Us From Believing In Forgiveness

There’s a number of things that stop us from believing the truth. When Jesus says you are forgiven, I have no reason not to believe, but for some reason, it’s hard to do. Part of me thinks it stems from our sinful nature, a lack of trust in God, and feelings of inadequacy. Whatever your reason, you can let it go today. All you gotta do is choose.

Choosing is the hard part because you gotta become vulnerable, but when you make that choice, you’ll find peace as well. 

Forgivness Is Contrary To Our Nature

This is a broad subject that I’m trying to fit into a couple of paragraphs, so I’m leaving a lot out. There are some blessed people where the hand of God comes down and gives immediate deliverance to them. When this happens they are free from certain sins and don’t want to go back. I kinda envy them and wish this happened with everybody, but it doesn’t. I think it’s because we need to work towards something.

God doesn’t seem to be a God that gives his people everything right off the bat. If he did, I think we’d get bored and it wouldn’t be right. Instead, he wants us to be strong, and develop our character. Find out who we are in him, and who he created us to be. Deliverance is sometimes delayed because God wants us to fight the sinful nature in our hearts. When you ask Jesus into your heart, you are forgiven, but Jesus said you must take up your cross daily.

The fight with your sinful nature is a daily fight, and it’s one that’ll be here until we finally go to heaven. Sometimes you’ll do well against it, and others you might fall. I pray for the former, and as you grow the latter disappears. The true strength in this battle is found in Christ when you pray. It’s the only way to win.

Your Are Forgiven

You have to trust in the character of God, and not believe in the lies that you hear daily. I’m in a constant state of battle with lies, but I know the truth. When I start to believe a lie, it throws my whole system out of wack until I begin to recognize the lie for what it is.

You are forgiven because Jesus loved you so much that he died for you and if you haven’t asked him for forgiveness yet try him out because you can be forgiven.

You’ve Been Hurt But You Need To Forgive

There’s a lot of hurting people out there, and I know I’ve done my share of hurting. It sucks to live with the knowledge that I made someone else weep. I’ve been a bad example about what Christianity is and I’ve given the Church a black eye.

You might be reading this, and people in the Church have hurt you, and it’s turned you away from Jesus. Don’t let people keep you from the God of heaven and earth. Whatever is happening in your life, Jesus wants to be there with you. He DOES love you, and he wants to know you. Regardless of what other people have said, he cares.

The Church does a great job at hurting and alienating people, but that’s because we are hurting people as well. Getting close to God is scary, and many of us stay on the fringes. It isn’t right but that’s how a lot of Churches are. We are wounded people full of pain, and we’re just trying to find our path home.

But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:14 (the Bible)

Jesus Is The Way He Forgave You And You Should Forgive Others

Jesus is the way, not because he’s trying to be pretentious, but there is no other way. We are in a sinking world. Everything is going down fast, and Jesus is here. He’s the only lifeboat, and he’s saying come with me, I’m the only one who’s coming.

People look at him and scoff, not believing in any danger. They say the boat isn’t sinking, all while everything falls apart around them. If they see real danger, they might cry out to Jesus, but by then it might be too late.

You are forgiven, it’s time you start believing that. Stop worrying about the things of this world, and think about the things of heaven. After all, Jesus is waiting, and wondering when you’ll jump into the things you’re made to be.

In Conclusion

  • If You’d Like To Read More About Forgiveness, I’ve Written A More Extensive Post Here
  • To Read More About Jesus And Forgiveness, I’d Suggest Reading the Bible And Starting In The Book Of John Click Here To Start Reading.
  • Read More Blog Posts Here

Emotional Pain Can Stop You; How To Find Healing.

Emotional Pain Walking The Path Of Healing

I’m not a psychiatrist and I’ve never played one on TV, but I do have real-world experience in the field. I lived through years of mental, and emotional abuse, with a father who probably needed medication. My emotional pain was born from years of neglect, torment, and abuse.

I have to believe that you can find healing as well. Through this post, I’m going to catalog how I worked through the pain and heartache of my childhood, and hope it helps others.

Emotional Pain Is Different

For me, the psychological, or emotional pain has a slightly different meaning than the clinical definition. Emotional pain comes from deep inside your heart, it comes from the pain that never gets out. It sits inside the heart, deeply entrenched, and becomes a mass of pain, heartache, and sometimes anger. It just sits there, festering, waiting for the moment it can unleash itself.

Sometimes the pain becomes so familiar, that people will identify with it, even love it. I’ve met a few people like that. They have been angry for so long, that they don’t know who they are without it. That is dangerous. I know I’ve been there myself. The emotional pain can lay dormant for years, and you might not even know it’s there. All of a sudden, something pricks your heart slightly wounding you, and everything will come flooding out.

I’m sure there are other ways to identify or see it, but I can only speak through my own experiences, and this is one of them.

How To Identify Emotional Pain

I’ve never experienced a pain so deep, and hurtful as I did a few years ago. I’d been seeing the girl of my dreams, she was beautiful, funny, and for some reason enjoyed spending time with me. For two years she was one of my best friends, we were always together.

I got to the point where I didn’t like us just being just friends, and I wanted a deeper relationship. So next time we were together, I told her how I felt. The response I received was devastating, she didn’t feel the same, and she liked someone else.

I felt crushed, angry, and cut off all ties with her. I went from being the man I am to a massive jerk. Just because she didn’t want the same thing as me. I see it now as very rude and immature, and I wish I could’ve handled that differently. I have no regret about cutting things off because I was being led on.

but I don’t have control over anything except my actions. And nobody deserves to be treated that way. It doesn’t matter what they did, or who they are. You have a choice on how you’ll react, and I made a bad one.

I will add there were things we both did on each side that could’ve been done better. Communication is important in every relationship, if you don’t understand the other person, how are you going to relate to them?

The Pain Wouldn’t Stop

When I was growing up, I never learned the proper way to deal with emotions. In my family we kept things bottled up. Even to this day, I’ll be dying inside, and still be the life of the party, cracking jokes to the group around me. In fact, sometimes I’m louder than normal. I play the game well, and I know it isn’t healthy, but I see it, and I’m fixing it.

The pain stayed with me for 6 months, and things got more intense inside my heart. I would go to work, and for the entire shift I’d bottle up the pain. I remember feeling the pain well up inside of me. Once the day was over, I’d go home, and I’d break down in tears. This would last for hours sometimes.

It Went On Forever

There was more to this pain than my breakup, I had a gusher on my hands, and didn’t know what I could do. It was like every emotion I’d ever felt was coming out. I tried to stop it, but how do you stop a river when the damn is broken. You can’t, it’ll flow where it wants, and doesn’t care what it tears down.

In my case, it needed to flow, and it made me uncomfortable. Somewhere deep inside of me, there was a source to this pain, and I needed to find it. I kept picturing an enlarged heart, that was swollen and ready to burst. On the heart were many wounds and scars. Some were fresh and others old. These were all the pains that I’d never let out, and when I couldn’t take it anymore. It was like someone had ripped the scar off, and the resounding wave flowed outward destroying everything in its path.

The Source Of My Emotional Pain

I went through a lot of thoughts during my journey to emotional healing. I said a lot of horrible things about her, me, and society. Ultimately, I started to think of myself in terms of truth. Who was I made to be? What do I need to accomplish in life?

I liked that I took a risk, and failed miserably in it. I’d rather take a risk and fail anyway than sit back in relative safety. Taking the risk made me a better man.

I finally found the source of my emotional pain while in prayer. God reminded me of a belief that I held in my heart since I was little. This belief said that nobody loved me, and they all were waiting for an opportunity to betray me. I thought my new friends spoke badly about me when I wasn’t around. Everything had to be fake. Only a handful of people were ever able to break through that complex, and I’m thankful for them, as they’re the people I needed.

I realized the source of my complex. It was my father, or rather how he raised us. Fathers are supposed to instill confidence, and love into their children. Because of the emotional abuse, and neglect, I didn’t trust people and immediately thought the worst in them. It’s something I struggle with today and I go deeper into that in my book; Hurricane Jerald.

No wonder she didn’t wanna date me, I was an emotional wreck.

My Road To Healing From Emotional Pain

Everyone’s path is different, but they all should have similar elements. It’s also a long and painful one. It should be taken by everyone because we all need healing,

I Found Friends And Told Them Everything

With my close friends, I went into the darkness of my heart, and I let everything out. I told them everything, even the darkest things. With that happening, I was finally able to pick up the pieces of my heart. They helped make sense of things, and ultimately exposed lies I was believing about myself. When you shine truth on the lies, they wither away into nothingness.

Here’s the truth. God made you in his image, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. In this world you have a mission, a goal to accomplish. Only you can do this. Others will come alongside you, but the world needs you. Rise up and be who you were made to be.

Also, if you’re going to find good friends, they’re going to need you from time to time. Make sure you’re available to them. It goes a long way.

You Might Need To Consider Professional Help

For years, I’d make fun of this option by saying I’d never go to a counselor. It’s for crazy people, unfortunately, I never did. I worked through so much on my own, but I wonder how much faster I could’ve healed if a trained counselor had helped me.

I’ve met a lot of people that have gone to a counselor or psychiatrist. Most of them say it helped them immensely. Do what you gotta do, just make sure you’re on the right path to healing.

Do Something That Gives You Joy

I love how that phrase has become popular lately. One of the best things I can do to bring joy is going snowboarding (or writing about snowboarding). If I’m hit with a bout of depression, physical exercise is the easiest and best cure. I can never be depressed after a day of shredding or spending 25 miles on my mountain bike. It’s something about the endorphins, and feeling of accomplishment.

Find something that helps you clear your mind, and focus you. Make sure it puts a smile on your face and helps you move a little. Bonus points if it raises your heart rate because that’ll keep you healthy.

Face The Pain When It Pops Up.

With my healing from emotional pain, I had popups of pain from time to time. These came about when something reminded me of her. The next few snowboarding seasons were difficult for me. We met and learned to snowboard together, I almost quit because of the memory. My board, the hill, even my goggles reminded me of her at one time or another.

Choose to face the pain, instead of forgetting it. The memory is there, and it’ll come back. When you face the pain, acknowledge the good, and moving on from the pain. Now if any memory pops up, I smile and thank God for the experience that I can delete it. Doing this rewrites the pain, and helps recategorize it.

I seldom get a memory that causes pain now, Maybe that’s a sign of healing from emotional pain. I’m not sure, I just know I couldn’t function the old way.

Eventually You’ll Find Full Emotional Healing

You don’t have to live with the pain from your past. It’s not healthy and, eventually, it’ll start to affect your physical well-being. My healing was a long and drawn-out process. There are things I could’ve done to make it all go faster, but it was my path, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

You Can Do This, Grab Your Healing

If I learned one thing on my journey, we hold ourselves back from healing more than anybody. You might be scared, lonely, or confused. That first step is the hardest. Find your people, get some help, and go outside for a bit.

These are the things that helped me, and I hope they help you. God Bless You, and know you are loved.

In Conclusion

  • To Read More Blog Posts Written By E. Sterling Click Here
  • I’ve Also Written Another Article Called Emotional Healing. I Delve A Little More Into The Topic Of Healing There As Well.
  • Do You Need A Therapist? Click Here For A WebMD Article That Will Give You More Information.

Emotional Healing; How To Finally Find Your Peace.

Emotional Healing

Since I became a writer a few years ago, I’ve been focusing on certain topics and you see them on my site. I’m honestly tired of writing blog posts on depression, and Forgiveness. Today’s topic is a breath of fresh air. It really excites me, because it’s the outcome of these posts. Emotional healing is an important aspect of your personal growth. We all go through pain and heartache, but only the people who let themselves heal ever find peace.

Today We’re going over some of the best tips so you can find your emotional healing but first I’ll go over the basics.

Emotional Healing: Is A Form Of Healing That Goes Deep Into Your Heart. It Has To Go That Deep Because These Wounds Are Deep. When You Are Hurt, Most Likely It Wasn’t Your Choice. However, It Poses A Question that you need to answer. Will You Hold Onto The Pain? Or Let It Go And Move On?

Emotional Healing Takes Time

Emotional pain is like physical pain, in the aspect that they both take time to heal. The only difference is your actions afterward. For example, breaking your leg is a completely different feeling than remembering how you were cheated on. The former doesn’t usually bring the pain back, but the latter definitely does.

Depending on the wound you’ve received. Your emotional healing might take a long time. There are definitely ways to speed things up, and there are choices you can make that’ll slow or even stop your healing. My prayer is that this guide helps you on your journey.

Time Stops When A Heart Is Wounded

Have you ever had someone hurt you, and you wondered why the pain was so great? It couldn’t possibly come from that one wound, but for some reason, you feel like you’re going to die.

I know I’ve had this issue, and you’re right. This pain doesn’t come just from one person. It’s actually the straw that breaks the camel’s back (no camels were harmed in the writing of this post).

This can also be called Relational Pain. Relational pain is one of the most painful ways to be in pain. These broken relationships take a huge toll on a person’s mental and psychological health. Especially when there’s no closure, the pain stays in the heart and festers until someone trips up that person.

Then they experience an emotional explosion that could be the equal to Mount Vesuvius.

A few years ago, I was dating a girl and before things got serious, she broke it off. Normally that wouldn’t be a huge issue, but for some reason, it brought back pain from a previous relationship. It was the pain I thought I’d dealt with but evidently, it was laying dormant.

I was angry, and I did and said things that she didn’t deserve. We weren’t that emotionally vested. It made no sense until I realized my attachment from the past. It was like time had stood still with that pain.

Dormant Emotional Pain Is Hard To Locate

It’s hard to know where you need healing unless the wound is bleeding. The problem with emotional pain is that it can come back whenever a memory resurfaces.

That’s why you should deal with it, whenever it comes up. When you face your pain, you allow it to heal properly. Then you won’t have to worry about it ever again. It’s like cleaning out a wound, it will never heal properly until it’s cleaned.

Emotional Healing Must Be Chosen

In American society, we blame everyone and everything but ourselves. When all participants get a trophy why should you try hard? We need to learn that sometimes it’s our fault. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

To clarify the post above, I’m not saying if somebody caused you pain, that it’s your fault. They made a choice, and it tore your heart apart. Your choice comes afterward. What will you do with the pain in your heart?

Emotional healing and health come directly from that choice. Most people choose to get bitter, and they push everything deep down in their hearts. There’s a big problem with this. Hidden things never stay hidden, and they will come back to haunt you, and usually, it’ll happen at the worst times.

You have to deal with it as soon as possible, otherwise, it gets bigger, and starts to infect other areas of your life. Turn and face the pain, choose to forgive, and let it go. That’s the way to find emotional healing.

How To Start The Emotional Healing Process?

I went too long without choosing to heal. It came out of my heart, and it was intense. I cried for months (Not a Typo). I would fake it all day at work, go home and close my bedroom door. Then it would all come flooding out. It was like the gusher that wouldn’t stop.

I went to long without healing, and I bottled everything up. When somebody hurts me, I ask some questions.

  1. Are they important in my life? (No offense, but does their opinion matter.)
  2. How can I resolve this?

If the first question is a no, then I can shrug it off. Usually, issues like that come from misunderstandings, so I try and figure out why they did or said that.

When the answer is yes, a lot of times I’ll know their motivation. That’s when I move deeper into number 2 and find out why my friend, family member, a colleague is acting that way. I might still be misinterpreting things, but I want them to know how I feel, and maybe we can learn something in the process.

The 5 Stages Of Emotional Healing

Stage One Grief And Denial:

This is the stage where most people stay. People say ignorance is bliss, but I don’t believe that. Ignorance will hurt worse. Sooner or later the pain will come out. When it comes out on your terms you can heal. When it comes out because there’s too much pressure, you’re going to hurt everyone around you.

Stage Tip: Identify where you’re hurting, and if you discover a need for emotional healing. It’s time to forgive and let things go.

Stage Two Anger:

At this stage, you’ve realized what has happened to you. There’s no realization yet about emotional healing, usually, your thoughts will turn towards revenge and justice. Anger is okay and even healthy, however, your actions might not be. Do not make important decisions involving the other party during this time without help. This will keep you from making a regrettable mistake.

Stage Tip: Have a mentor or uninvolved friend help you make choices and decisions. I have a couple of buddies I call when things happen just so I can get a clear perspective. Anger can cloud your judgment, don’t do something you’ll regret.

Stage Three Bargaining:

This is a stage that’s more prominent with grief, but it also happens when you’re angry with another person as well. During this stage, you’ll try to bargain and gain more time, or what you wanted.

For example, if someone close passes away, you try to bargain for more time. Most people will pray and ask God to help them. They’ll ask for more time and they’ll go to church or do good deeds.

While this stage might seem pointless. Many studies have occurred about prayer recently, and prayer might actually help. However prior to doing that you should read my blog posts about prayer and hearing the voice of God. They might give some extra clarification on the subject.

Stage Tip: Instead of just praying, listen for God, and try to hear and feel the direction he’s leading you. It could surprise you, and give you peace.

Stage Four Depression:

The realization has set in, and you feel hopeless. Your bargaining hasn’t worked and you’re still in grief. So what do you do? Sit and wallow in the pain. It’s what most of us do, but there is a better way, and that’s the next step.

Stage Tip: If you’re depressed, get outside and do something. Sitting inside will only cause more pain and heartache. In the summer I play volleyball and go biking. During the winter I snowboard. Doing something out side in the sun will help you improve your mood and drive the depression away.

Stage Five Acceptance:

At this point, your emotional healing is well on its way. You’ve accepted what’s happened and now you’re moving on. This doesn’t mean you’re forgetting what happened or that what happened was okay. It just means you’re moving on and letting go of the emotions attached to it.

Stage Tips: Move on, try something new, and never dwell on the past. There’s only pain back there in that memory.

Working Towards Emotional Healing

When I was growing up, I handled it the way I explained above. I pushed it down, deep into my heart, and I never let it see the light of day. This is how most people deal with their issues, and it still comes back.

I’ve noticed at times when I get angry at another person, that my anger runs deeper than them. Once I realize that I explore the pain a little bit. I ask myself when have I felt this before? What does this remind me of?

Eventually I find the answer, and then I’m able to look at the pain, forgive, and let it go.

This is something you can do as well. It’s simple and easy. I write a lot about how God helped me forgive my father, and he can do the same for you. I hope this has helped, and you have an awesome day.

In Conclusion:

  • If You’d Like To Read More About Emotional Pain I’ve Written A More In-Depth Article About The Healing Process. Click Here To Read It.
  • If you’d like to purchase E. Sterlings Autobiography Click Here
  • If You’d Like To Read More About The Subject Of Hope. Click Here For Another An Amazing Article.



Miracle Prayers; Connecting With God.

Miracle Prayers

Do you have a need for miracle prayers? I need one in my life right now. I’m at the point where if God doesn’t step into my situation, I’ll lose everything. Are you there too? Are you weak, and your problem is all you think about? I’ve been there, I’m there right now. I know how powerless it makes you feel.

Your miracle need might be in finances, or it might be healing. Stop believing the lies deep in your heart, and believe Jesus will do it.

If You Need A Miracle; You’ve Gotta Believe.

One of the best ways to fight despair and hopelessness is finding a community to fight alongside you. I’ve tried to go it alone, and not only is it lonely (go figure) it gets depressing.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Ecclesiastes 4:10

This verse in Ecclesiastes says a lot, with very few words. It’s saying how much we need community. We are people born to live in a close-knit community. When you strive to do something on your own, who will cheer you on when you succeed? For what reason did you strive? You don’t even have someone to brag to.

Sometimes other people aren’t enough to get you over the edge. I recommend in major situations to start a fast.

Miracle Prayers Might Include Fasting.

This is something I do, whenever I have a huge decision, change, or need a spiritual boost. Fasting is a way to crucify the flesh, quiet your heart, and hear the voice of God. If you need a miracle, one of the best things you can do is start a fast.

There are many different ways for you to fast. Some people believe in water-only fasts, some liquids, and others say Daniel did one (it’s more of a dietary restriction in my opinion). I’ve done all of them at one time or another.

If you’re arguing over what to eat and what not to eat, you’re missing the point. You should be devoting your extra time and energy to eating, preparing, etc. Into prayer. You can never go wrong with extra prayer, and you’ll find God’s hand moving in your life. 

*Note: If you have underlying health conditions, please consult a doctor prior to fasting.

Miracle Prayers Include Times Of Worship.

I don’t know where you are in the world, but here in Minneapolis. I see invites to 3-4 worship nights each week. It’s impossible to attend them all, but I’m excited that they exist.

If you don’t have that in your city, there’s something simple you can do. Find a quiet room in your house, apartment, work area, and put some music on. It doesn’t have to be praise and worship, but be careful when there are lyrics as they can be distracting (I tend to start singing or remember other times with songs.

Lose yourself in the music for a while. If you need a miracle, ask Jesus for it during that time. Ask him for it to happen, and open your eyes so you can see it. Sometimes the breakthrough happens when you fight through praise. Allow God to work in your life, and don’t expect it to happen the way you’re wanting it to. That’ll stop you from seeing God’s hand move. Chances are, he’s not following your plan.

Spend Extra Time Reading Your Bible

If you need a miracle, and you can’t hear God, I suggest reading the Bible. It’s the inspired word of God, and when you can’t hear his voice, at least you can read his words. It’s also nice because we have a lot of voices that speak in our heads daily. When you read God’s word, you can understand his voice, and hear him better.

Knowing him helps you from falling away, and being led astray like the sheep in Jesus parable. In addition to that, When you know his word, and a voice tells you something contrary to it, you’ll know it’s not God.

I used to have a lot of issues with reading the Bible. I have problems sitting down to read because I get distracted easily. It was awful, and at that time of my life, I thought I heard God’s voice a few times, and once things fell apart, I realized it wasn’t him.

It is imperative to know Gods Voice.

Miracle Prayers, Are Conversations With God.

You have not, because you ask not. It’s time to ask God, tell him you need a miracle. Let your heart rest in him, and don’t despair. When we despair we are worrying that God doesn’t have our best interests at heart. This is not true, and it’s a lie. I Need A Miracle And Believe God Will Bring It.

One and a half years ago, I quit my job, and went into a period of trust and focus on Jesus. I haven’t had a steady paycheck since then, and I’m on my sixth business idea. From the perspective of the world, I’m not doing well.

I know deep in my heart that I’m where I need to be. God has placed me here for this, and I know some good will come out of everything.

It gets hard when you see little to no results, and the call of the corporate world is getting louder every day. You need a miracle, and I need a miracle, God has to do something. As long as I’m doing my part, and what I can. I know he’s got my back.

While You’re Waiting:

Everyone has their vices, and issues they easily fall prey too. I fight depression and a Lone Ranger mentality.

What do you struggle with? Whatever it is will try and come out during this time. For me, it’s the worst Spiritual Battles I’ve ever fought.

However when you win, it changes your life. Below are what I fight regularly when praying for a miracle to happen.

Depression:

It starts with a simple thought, usually a sentence like, “You’re not going to make it out of this one.” Or, “Gods built you up, and now you’re going to fall.” My favorite has been, “You’re not worth it, and they’re just using you up.”

These are all lies that I’ve believed at one point or another, and these are not true. As Christians, we will go through trials and situations. We have to believe that God has our back, and even when we don’t know where he’s leading us. He’s still leading us, and he loves us.

Lone Ranger Mentality:

The Lone Ranger was one of my favorite TV show when I was growing up. It’s only fitting that I struggle with this mentally. I tend to rush in on my own, and not let others help me. With this thought process, you do everything yourself.

It happens because you don’t trust others, or you can’t trust God. You have control because you won’t let God control it. Essentially, you’re holding onto your problems and not letting anybody (God included) help carry your burdens.

Miracle Prayers; In Conclusion

I wish I could write that at 4:37 PM today you’ll receive your deliverance, but I don’t know when it’s coming. It’s true that God could tell me, but that seems too easy.

I do know one thing, and this I’m certain of. IT IS COMING!!!

Stop letting unbelief rule your life. When you stop believing, despair and depression come in. When they try to take root, you need to recognize it and start to pray. Even better, call a friend or two. Have them pray with you.

God loves you, and we all have trials, remember when you’re going through them that he’s walking right next to you.

So make it less awkward, and have a conversation.

In Conclusion:

  • Thank You For Reading One Of My latest Blog Posts. To Read More Click Here
  • If You’d Like To Read More About The Life Of Jesus Click Here.
  • To Purchase E. Sterlings Ebook. Click Here
  • If You’re Interested In Reading More About Jesus, Click Here

Trust In God; Keep Your Faith In Him.

Trust In God

I heard this term every Sunday when I was young. Trust in God, and he will see you through every trial. Most of those people didn’t know what I went home to, and I wasn’t in the mood to explain. I felt like they didn’t care, and they were just spouting biblical words that didn’t add up to me.

I remember memorizing many Bible verses about trusting in Go. A few stand out.

Trust in the lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

(Paraphrased from Proverbs 3:5)

What does it all mean though? How can I trust in God? These were questions that plagued my young adulthood. Eventually, I read a chapter in Psalms and that got stuck in my heart. In my life, I’ve faced many trials and it keeps coming to mind. If you’re confused or heartbroken. You have to believe in him. I believe that he’s there, walking right next to you.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. 

From where does my help come?

2My help comes from the LORD, 

the Maker of heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to slip; 

your Protector will not slumber.

4Behold, the Protector of Israel 

will not slumber or sleep.

5The LORD is your keeper; 

the LORD is the shade on your right hand.

6The sun will not strike you by day nor the moon by night.

7The LORD will guard you from all evil; 

He will preserve your soul.

8The LORD will watch over your coming and going, 

both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121 From the Bible

Trusting In God – And Why It’s Difficult

Placing your trust in God isn’t an easy task. I’ve done it for years and my issues continue. I honestly think life is harder when I put my trust in God. However, when I rely on myself, I don’t dream big, and only focus on the things I can do. This places limits on my world and makes it really small.

When I graduated from High School, I had no desire to attend college. Everything inside me rebelled against it. However I liked having money, so I got myself a full-time job doing warehouse retail work.

When I received my first job offer, It was exciting. Instead of school, I had a new challenge and they were going to pay me 30% more than my current position. In addition to that, it was full-time with benefits. Every day I was driving to work, and living the dream.

I’d been praying for months asking God what I should do, and I receive an answer. Instead of freaking out, I placed my trust in God. I believed he would do something. This didn’t mean I lived a life of inaction, I still needed to make things happen. So I walked through whatever doors opened, believing he’d direct me onto the right path.

Trusting In God With Finances – A Call To Give

After a few months of working, I was sitting in church, and the Pastor asked us to give money to help a missionary. I thought about giving the $20 I had in my pocket and God intervened. He spoke to me and said a larger number, it was a lot bigger than I was comfortable with giving. I didn’t know how to respond and didn’t want to give it. So I started to try and think my way out of it.

Excuses started flying out of my mouth. First I began telling God that I didn’t have my checkbook. You can’t give when you don’t have right? Then the Pastor spoke again. He asked us to pray and ask God what amount we should give, and the next week they would take the offering.

This frustrated me, I needed another diversion. I’d felt like God had set me up, and I’m pretty sure he was looking down on me, chuckling to himself. The next Sunday, I decided to be obedient, and I broke out my checkbook. I stared at the number God had told me to give for a little while, wondering how I’d be a cheerful giver.

Then in service, the offering plate worked its way up the aisle towards me. I stared at it, not sure if I wanted to go through with this. When the plate came by, I dropped the check into it.

My heart was rapidly beating. I’d never given that much to anybody and felt like I was in shock. So this is what it’s like to be obedient, I thought. I knew my heart wasn’t in the right place but at least I was obedient when I gave.

Trusting In God Brings Blessing

I went to work the next day. It was an early Monday morning, and I remember being extremely tired. I was up late the night before hanging out with some friends. As I walked through my department, I started to despair. The entire place was a disaster and looked like a tornado had blown through it. It would be a chore to get it back together before we opened.

Our forklift driver got off his lift and helped as much as he could, but that wasn’t his job. He had to put freight up into the steel before opening. So it was mostly on me to finish. I completed it 2 minutes before we opened, right at the buzzer. It had taken everything out of me, so I went to lunch early. Part of me debated if I even wanted to come back.

After a few minutes, the forklift driver came into the break room and told me to visit the General Managers’ office after I was finished. “What did I do?” I asked He just smiled and left.

Trust God In All Things

I walked into the office, completely confused. Things were even more confusing when the GM asked me a weird question. “Elijah, how much are we paying you?”

Aw man, I thought. This was how they fired people at my last job. It was evil, sadistic, and pretty messed up. I never understood how people could be happy after destroying someone’s life.

My pulse was rapid, and my breathing shallow. If I was about to be fired. They could’ve at least done it before I started my shift this morning, or Saturday before I gave all that money. That would’ve been a good excuse. After a second or two I realized that I hadn’t answered. So I responded with how much I was paid. He stopped in his tracks, completely shocked. “Because of what you went through this morning, I’m giving you a $2 an hour raise. You didn’t deserve what you walked into, but I’m glad you were here to fix the problem. Is $2 alright with you?”

Somehow I got really sarcastic and responded, “Well, I was hoping for a quarter, but I can be happy with $2.”

When You Give And Trust In God, He Will Bless You.

This raise was a blessing, and I believe it happened because I chose to give the day before. God poured out his blessings upon me, and I was amazed. It had come out of the blue and was from an unsuspected place.

Just like Jesus feeding 5000 people from a kids lunch. My blessing and yours can come from anywhere. If you place your trust in God. He will see you through every problem, situation, and trial you’ll ever face.

Trusting In God When I Had No Money.

When I was in ministry school, and barely scraping by. Money was hard to come by. Tuition was expensive and I was about to go on a mission trip with our school. At that point, I’d raised half the money for my trip, and had no idea how to get the rest.

Then I received the bad news, tuition was $500 more than I was expecting. I was in a tight spot and didn’t know what I should do.

So I started to give, and people started to bless me. The next Sunday I was given $20, and I remember thinking, wow God I can’t go on the missions trip with this, but maybe you’ll do something if I give it back. I saw it as planting seed.

So I threw the money into the offering and continued to bless over and over again. I don’t know how many people kept giving me money, it just kept coming. After a while, I wondered if I was messing up, and I was supposed to save it, but I believed that I was planting seed.

I Trusted In God For Two Weeks

I put my complete trust in God for the next two weeks, but it felt like 2 years. My nerves continued to fray, but I continued to pray. I had a belief that God would do something for me. That’s when it all came together and finally happened.

I’d been doing ministry in downtown Jackson with a group that helped the homeless, and one of the other volunteers had seen me come help every week. That particular Sunday we were in church, and he got up on stage grabbing the microphone. Then he pointed at me and asked that I stand up. It was awkward, so I did this very reluctantly. I hate having people in church staring at me. It’s disconcerting, you’re there standing, and the congregation is looking at you. What do you even do with your hands in that situation?

He told the church how much he admired my faithfulness, and God had blessed him recently with a bonus at work. He’d been praying about what to do with it, and God told him to help me out financially. Then he said you’ll have a check for your needs by the end of the week. I sat down, completely stunned. God had come through and given me the exact amount I needed.

How To Place Your Trust In God.

You might be going through a phase in your life where you have nothing. I’ve been there, and I totally get it. It’s hard to trust in God while in the thick of it.

God will come and deliver you. Quiet your heart, and try to listen for his voice. You’ll get some amazing ideas and peace. Follow whatever directions he gives you. That is key because obedience is better than sacrifice. You’ll see something amazing happen in your life.

The Difficulty In Trusting God

Watch your emotions, it’s hard to hear God when they’re out of wack. I think it’s because they out yell his voice. Many times we lose focus and think God failed us, but we’re actually failing God. If you’re listening to his voice and following those directions, you won’t fail, because he’s got you. Also, don’t let your own ideas/dreams consume you. That only leads to trouble.

In Conclusion

How To Hear God’s Voice?

How To Hear Gods Voice

The voice of God can be a difficult thing to decipher. A good reason you aren’t hearing his voice can stem from doubt. Deep inside you might be fostering a belief that God won’t speak to you. However, when you are trying to hear God’s voice, it doesn’t have to be a chore or a repetitive action. Instead, try to view it as connecting with someone, that will transform your life.

In the book of John Jesus says:

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27; Bible

How can we listen to his voice, and how do you know it’s really him? I used to be confused, and there have been times I’ve thought I heard something, and it was way off. If you’re just starting out, in the pages below I’ll have some tips that I’ve learned, and they help me a lot when trying to hear God’s voice.

But First, Let’s answer a few questions.

How Do I Start Hearing God’s Voice?

I highly doubt you’ll hear an audible voice speaking to you. I’m not saying it isn’t going to happen, but that’s highly unlikely. While God does speak to people audibly, more often than not he’ll speak in hunches, feelings, through people, and the most importantly the Bible. (Since I Wrote This I’ve Met A Few People I Trust Where It’s Happened, While I May Doubt, Make Sure You Listen)

I’ll go into greater depth below, but hearing God’s voice, is trying to explain what the color blue tastes like. It’s almost like a sense died with our spirit when we sinned, and the other senses are trying to make up for it.

While I have no spiritual or physical evidence to prove my theory. At this moment in time, it makes sense to me. When someone loses their ability to see, more often than not their ears try to pick up the slack. However good they do, ears can never replace seeing, and 20/20 vision cannot replace good hearing. They only help fill in the gap.

I believe the same thing happened with all of us. When we sinned against God, we died spiritually, and we lost our connection to God. Now that Jesus had died and risen again. We have communion with him, and therefore we can hear his voice more clearly.

Keep in mind, I believe he’s always talking we don’t seem to be listening. Knowing Jesus makes things easier, it smooths things out because you can recognize his voice. And Jesus said his sheep will know his voice.

What Is Hearing God’s Voice?

The Audible Voice Of God has a simple definition: It means he’s speaking as humans do in natural conversation. In western society whenever God speaks in movies or books, we’ll see the sky parted and a loud deep voice calls down from heaven. Kinda like when Jesus gets baptized in Matthew 3:16. It’s seen as an epic experience that transforms and changes everything, and hearing the voice of God is just that.

However in the Bible God speaks to Elijah in a still small voice.

In my experience, a lot of the issues that arise from hearing the voice of God, don’t come from him. Instead, they come from our own hearing and focus.

In other words, we tend to hear what we want to, and we apply it to our own biases.

Your Focus Determines Your Ability To Hear God

If hearing God is like tasting the color blue, we’ll need a lot more focus to decipher it. You’ll need to be actively expecting him to show up and speak. You’ll need to be familiar with him, and be focused ready to hear.

God’s always speaking, I honestly believe that it’s us who aren’t listening. If he loves us as his word says, I can’t see why he wouldn’t be speaking.

What Stops Us From Hearing God’s Voice

The Bible is a great tool to utilize when you’re learning to hear God’s voice. You can compare what you’re hearing to what is written. A good rule of thumb is the following:

Take What God’s Voice Is Saying To the Bible, If The voice contradicts the Bible, then it’s probably not God.

For example, your neighbor purchased a new car. It’s your dream car, and it sickens you to look out the window every day, seeing him driving it.

You want the car, and you dream about the car. Finally, God confirms it all, you should go and take that car. Well, it’s totally okay because God told you to do it…

…right?

Wrong, the bible specifically says “You shall not covet thy neighbors stuff.” Exodus 20:17 (My own Paraphrase that I find funny)

You’re NOT Hearing God’s Voice, If the Bible Forbids It.

If you’re hearing something the bible explicitly forbids, you’re not hearing God. In fact, I’d even say your flesh is trying to sound like God, so it can have some fun. Yes, the devil and his demons are involved in this too, but if you didn’t have the desire, and go down the rabbit trail. It wouldn’t be exploitable in the first place.

Another example of this I keep seeing and hearing about in the Church (the church in general) involves husbands and wives. I’ve heard of many churchgoers, pastors, and church staff that steal husbands or wives in the congregation.

As an attendee, this is a horrible violation of trust, family, and the kingdom of God. However, if you’re a Pastor who’s done this, it’s worse. In James 3:1 it’s written that you will be judged more strictly because you’re a leader.

God has never told anyone, that another mans wife is actually yours. It goes against everything the Bible says.

Stop breaking up families, you’re selfish and need to repent. Don’t choose hell, because you’re headed there if you continue in sin.

Everything Needs A Confirmation

Confirmation is a silly word for me to write about, and if God is telling you to talk with a certain person, don’t bother. Just do it. However for big decisions like marriage, jobs, schooling, etc. It’s a good idea to seek out confirmation.

My example for this is kinda painful, but in Christian society, this really happens. When I was in ministry school a friend told me a story about an incident he had in college with a girl he was friends with. One day she outright told him they were meant to be. It was their destiny to be married.

Hearing God’s Voice From Others Through Confirmation

My first reaction was did he lead her on, or give her some emotional connection he shouldn’t have. (Usually in those circumstances someone misreads a comment or doesn’t pick up on social cues)

He responded by telling me that she was just a friend, they’d never gone out, and he never spent time alone with her. However she continued to insist that God had told her.

He was legitimately freaked out. So he went home, and prayed about it for a couple of days. He continued to ask God if she was the one? Since there was never an audible voice and he didn’t have feelings for her, it didn’t make sense to move forward.

It was one of the toughest conversations he’d ever had, and when he told her that it wasn’t going to happen. She stormed away, and it ruined their friendship.

If God is going to speak something like that to you, don’t you think he’d say the same thing to the other person? There are a lot of factors when the will of God involves one person. But when it involves two, the waters get murky. That’s why getting confirmation is the best way to go.

Devils Advocate; God’s Voice

The next few paragraphs are all what-ifs from the above situation. They do not contain anything God has spoken to me, I just like running hypotheticals. I’m writing them here because I only heard 1 side of the story, and didn’t hear hers. There might be a lot left out, and even my friend didn’t know it.

That’s why hearing God clearly and concisely is so important. Without hearing him, how are you going to be transformed.

  • Did she Actually Hear God? Yes/No She was a christian studying for pastoral ministry. It’s possible.
  • Could God have told her but not him, and she spoke to soon, damaging the timing and that forced the whole thing off.
  • Maybe he was distracted, and God did speak to him.
  • His heart was rebellious and he disobeyed God.

I don’t really agree with any of my above sentences, mainly because God’s Will is very fluid. One bad choice from somebody who loves him and is following isn’t going to go that way.

It’s why the Holy Spirit convicts us. If there hearts were following God, and they made a mistake. I’d like to believe the Holy Spirit would get to work transforming and speaking the will of God to them.

However if the voice of God was speaking and it was ignored, then there’s a need for repentance.

Our Logic Stops Us From Hearing God’s Voice

I’ve always had a problem with Vulcan logic from Star Trek. If you’re unfamiliar with Star Trek or Vulcans, you’ll know that they have stifled their emotions so they can focus on logic.

This is a majorly flawed concept. There are many times in life where we need our emotions and need to make emotional decisions without logic.

Keep in mind I’m not saying emotions are better than logic, or vice versa. I think we need balance, and when we lose balance, we can’t hear God’s Voice as well. If at all.

Our voices, can scream so loud, they crowd out his still small voice.

Whenever I go to pray, I remove all distractions, and I do some breathing exercises. I’ll start out with some praise and worship music (to get my heart in the right mindset) and move into what I’m praying for.

However, I always try to end with a time of silence. This is where I shut up, quiet my heart, and try to hear what he’s speaking to me.

It’s a lot easier said than done. Sitting in a quiet room, not asking questions, but expecting answers. Seems illogical to me, but it works.

Emotions Distract Us From God’s Voice

Have you noticed it’s really hard to hear God’s voice when feeling intense emotions? I know that I have, in fact, I’ll take matters into my own hands during this process. In my younger years, I had issues with this, however now I see the warnings, and know that I have to focus. So I take a deep breath, close my eyes for a second, and calm down.

In life, you’ll find yourself experiencing every emotion possible. There are many times that I find myself enamored and lost. This is where logic comes in. I’ll sit myself down, and look at the issue. Oftentimes I’ll ask myself if it makes sense. On the flip side, if I’m looking at a ton of details, and plans. I’ll take a step back, look into my heart, and see what I feel about it.

This is how you keep balance because intense emotions can stop you from hearing God’s voice, and logic will stifle it as well.

How Can I Quiet My Mind?

I’ve cried a lot in prayer, and I’ve yelled at God in prayer too. I hear his voice the loudest, and the clearest is when I’m quiet and focused on him.

Our emotions don’t stop God’s voice, but they do drown it out. If you’re involved in an intense or emotional situation, cry out to God. He will hear you, and you will get an answer. Just not in your timing.

When Elijah the prophet fled from the prophets of Baal. He went to Mt. Horeb for protection and to hear God’s voice. In the verses of the story, there is a storm, but it says God was not in the storm. Instead, it says God spoke after the storm, in a still and small voice.

I think we should take that to heart, silence our hearts and start hearing God’s voice.

How You Can Hear God Speak To You

There are many different ways that God will speak to us, I’m pretty sure he’s always speaking. We won’t shut up and listen.

I’ve made a little list, of ways I hear God’s voice, but I know others might hear him differently. Comment below, if you agree, disagree, or have something to add.

There’s a lot of ways God speaks, so this list is by no means exhausted. I might even add some ways he speaks to me.

The Bible

First and foremost, God will speak to his people through the words in the Bible. Hearing God’s voice is only a few pages away. Whenever I can’t hear his voice another way. I retreat to this book because he’s always speaking there.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been struggling, and I’ve opened the Bible, only to see exactly what I needed in a verse I’ve read 100 times before.

Impressions And Heart Direction

This one is hard to explain, but sometimes I’ll get an idea, that I know didn’t come from me. Or I’ll have an impression that just sticks, and it is proven right in the long run. It’s sort of a bland way of describing it, but I know it’s God.

You know when God is speaking to you, because it’s a thought that didn’t originate with you, and there’s something spiritually inside you, speaking the truth.

If you’ve never felt this, ask yourself why? Have you let yourself be opened to God’s voice? Have you asked God to speak to you? Do you spend time in prayer?

(editor note weigh everything you hear from God with the Bible Make sure things line up)

Highlighting – (A Sterling Term)

I started calling this term highlighting a decade ago. I’ve met a few others who’ve had the same experience where God will do this to them too.

I’ll walk into a room full of people, and one person somewhere is all of a sudden highlighted. It’s the only way I can describe it, but they are singled out, and I know I have to speak with them.

It’s like a giant column of light extends down from heaven, engulfing them.

Through highlighting, I’ve met one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. Another time, I helped encourage a kid who was depressed and teased mercilessly. I’ve seen this happen no more than 10 times in my life, but every time it’s changed my life, and the other persons.

How You Can Hear God When You Pray

When you’re not hearing God’s voice, don’t get down on yourself. Instead, focus on him. If you keep losing focus. Open the Bible and read about Jesus. Below are a couple of tips I use, when I’m trying to hear God’s voice.

  1. Always Put my phone, computer, and any other electronics into DnD or Airplane mode (Do Not Disturb)
  2. I usually try and start out with bible reading. I do this to help clear my heart/mind and get focused. There have been many times I’ve read a few verses and then God spoke to me then or later on about those particular verses.
  3. I play music, it can be praise and worship, but I also use electronica without words. Don’t let the music be a hindrance, there’s some things I won’t play. Mainly Fun Songs I get lost singing too. Let the music help and guide you.
  4. I spend time focusing, and praying before I try to listen. It helps empty my heart, and prepare it for hearing.
  5. Have something to write on. I use my phone and write what God is speaking to me, but if that’s a distraction notepads work just as well.
  6. Compare what God speaks to your heart with the Bible, and with what you’ve heard him say in the past. Common sense can help you a lot here.

Hearing God’s Voice Is Difficult

It’s difficult because we aren’t used to it. My theory (and it’s a theory) stems from us being born again. Man (generalized mankind term) is a 3-part being. We are spirit, soul, and body.

When man sinned our spirit died, and we lived with a soul and a body. Then Jesus died on the cross, and we were able to be born again. Restoring our spirit, and becoming. the beings we were created to be.

Now we’re learning how to hear God’s voice. It’s like a sense that we’ve never used before. How do babies learn to use their feet or hands? Do they understand taste, smell, sight, or hearing? No, they don’t, but in time, they learn about these senses. I believe the same thing happens spiritually with us. It’s a skill we need to develop and train, but it grows as we learn and mature in Christ.

That doesn’t mean non-Christians can’t hear the voice of God. I’m not sure how it all works together, but I know they can. How else could God draw them in?

Keep in mind the above is a theory, Jesus is my lord, the way and he died and rose again for you and me. Ultimately that’s what matters. My theory above could be completely wrong, even if it makes sense to me now.

How Can You Hear The Voice Of God Daily?

Practical Applications:

  1. Spend more time reading the Bible.
  2. Find more time to pray, and listen to his voice.
  3. Take a few minutes away from the hustle/bustle of your Job. Quiet yourself and listen to Him.
  4. Take a weekend away, in the woods or somewhere different. Focus on God that weekend.
  5. Just be ready and open to hearing his voice.

Go will speak to you, I wholeheartedly believe it. He loves you and wants to be in your life. Quiet yourself, and start hearing God’s voice.

In Conclusion:

  • Thank you so much for reading my blog post. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to comment below about anything in regards to the topic. For Stories On Forgiveness and Hope Read Sterlings Autobiography Click Here
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A Christian Prayer; Asking God To Move

Christians Should Be Praying

I woke up this morning, with a horrible pain in my gut, my normal routine was completely ruined. Usually I’ll grab my phone, and lay on the couch while my breakfast is cooking. Not today, I had horrible dreams that ruined my sleep. I didn’t remember the dreams, only a sense of guilt and depression. Then a thought rose in my head; Christians should be praying for New York.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock the last couple of days, you must have heard about New Yorks newest abortion law. The one where Late term abortions are legalized. It was signed with a lot of cheering, smiling, and fanfare.

I wasn’t smiling, I was devastated. To me it is legalized murder. A few moments later, I picked up my phone, and to my horror I saw Christians, writing about the horror of it. Yes it’s horrible, but a small (minuscule even) loud minority, was attacking people. Telling them they were going to hell, and God didn’t love them.

Christian Means Christ-Like

It frustrates me, when people take the name of the God I love, and the use it to push hate and shame onto others. Check your heart, are you doing this out of anger? Out of pride? What is driving you right now?

  • Do I hate abortion? YES.
  • Do I Hate The Mothers Who Abort Their Babies? NO.
  • Can we hate Doctors Who Perform Abortions? NO.

There is a huge difference, I hate the action, not the person. This is why Christians should be praying instead of freaking out. While some of those accounts are from trolls. Even if one is real, you need to check which spirit you’re following.

Being a follower of Jesus, means surrendering your life to him, and allowing him to work in you. What good are you doing when you call another person a bigot, or a murderer?

We are all created by God.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:8

A Call To Prayer For All Christians

Maybe God will do something if we pray? It was a question on my heart all morning, and at first I thought of messaging some friends and seeing what would happen. As the day went on, I felt that it was something that needed to be greater than me. The Church needs a call to action, and this was it.

Would we finally draw a line? Why doesn’t the Church rise up, and do something? Christians should be praying for New York, not belittling it, and certainly not raging against it.

But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Luke 6:28

As an added bonus, New York isn’t our enemy. They are family that has fallen. What will you do, to protect your family?

A Prayer For Healing

I’ve spent the last couple of paragraphs talking about what we can’t do, now I’d like to state what we can do. We can pray. I know a lot of people felt the wind knocked out of them, but there is power in prayer. If we unify in prayer, maybe God will do something greater?

I don’t have a word from God on this, I just feel horrified, and know something has to be done. The only weapon worthwhile in my arsenal, is prayer. Just like Jonathan said to his armor-bearer years ago (1 Samuel 14:6) Maybe God will do something.

Silence is not an option. We have generations of Women, emotionally scarred from abortions. Men who never saw their son or daughter, and lives snuffed out before they could begin.

There is so much pain in my last paragraph, we don’t even know the extent of it.

What Should Christians Be Praying For?

Christians should be praying for New York, but to focus our prayers I’ve begun a list, my list is pretty fluid currently, because it’s off the top of my head.

  1. We should be praying for the mothers, who are considering abortions, and the mothers who’ve had abortions. Major studies have concluded that major psychological complications have occurred in women who’ve aborted babies. Click Here to view the study.
  2. Pray for the fathers. Ask God to install a conscience in them, and to not be afraid.
  3. Start Praying for the Governor of New York, and the legislators. Ask God to move in their hearts.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” 

Proverbs 21:1 (Sorry, for some reason I used the KJV version but I like the word whithersoever)

Christians Keep Fighting The Wrong Battles

When abortion was first legalized, they said it was for cases of incest and rape. Now they say it’s for the mothers health in the final trimester. Where does this slipperily slope end?

I don’t know why God laid this on my heart, and I don’t know why it’s burning so brightly inside of me. I am not going to shut up about it.

How can we fix the world? On our knees, praying, and asking God to transform our hearts.

As Christians, we should be praying more, but we also need to stop attacking people. Jesus said the world would know us by our love. If we spend more time with God, we’ll love people more, and thus show Jesus more.

The Power Of Prayer Can Change The World

I don’t think the Church understands the power we have. How many times in the Old Testament did God ask the Israelites to pray for deliverance? Once they prayed it came.

Honestly, if we humble ourselves and pray, we will see God move in an amazing and miraculous way. I don’t even think we can know what would happen.

When Christians unify in prayer, great things can happen. When I was in Masters Commission, we were in Phoenix, Arizona for a Convention. During the convention a performer fell on the gourd hard. He landed on his spinal column, and started convulsing.

This happened in front of more than 300 people, all of us Masters Students of staff. I’m not sure how it started, it might’ve been everyone at once, but a huge swelling rose, and everyone rose to their feet as one. We all extended our hands in prayer. We prayed in the spirit, and out loud. The paramedics were working on the performer the whole time.

He was wheeled out, and the praying died down, it had gone on for some time, and It felt like we’d touched heaven.

A few hours later, it was announced the performer was doing well. He was going to be released that day or the next. I can’t remember which.

A Prayer From Christians Asked The Holy Spirit To Act.

  1. I’m certain that man was healed and/or protected from major harm. The way he was convulsing on the ground was not normal.
  2. >300 prayer warrior rose up as one, declaring health and healing over him. The memory still gives me chills.

Why Am I Calling This?

I want to see what God will do? I’m tired of sitting still, believing that everything is ok. I know what’s wrong, and it’s time I take a stand against it. It’s time I fight, and the only way I can, is through prayer.

To Read More Posts Like This Check Out My Blog On ESterlingLLC.Com

How To Connect With God When You Need Prayer For Healing;

Prayer For healing

When you have an issue and you turn to God, how do you know what you’re doing? Are trying to find a prayer for healing? How will you connect with God?

What Do You Want Me To Do?

Jesus Matthew 20:32

I don’t know where you are in life. I assume you’re here, because or you are in need of a prayer for healing, and as such you need to learn how to connect with God. I’m going to try and break things down from my personal experience, and hopefully give you a guide.

Is there a set prayer for healing? If you’re looking for some words to say and you’ll find healing. There is none. However, there is still hope for you. I believe to find your healing, you’ll need to connect with God.

I’m not an expert, I’m just someone who prays for others. In my prayers, I’ve seen others receive healing, and others go without it. It isn’t about saying the right words in the right order. It’s about connecting with God, and being transformed by him.

To understand how to receive healing when we pray, we need to understand prayer.

What Do You Say When Connecting With God And Praying For Healing?

In our minds, we make prayer a mystically powerful thing. If we say the proper phrase or do the proper penance, we can get God to act on our behalf. This belief is contrary to all Christian beliefs, and I believe you’re wasting your time with it.

In fact, Jesus himself said the following:

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Matthew 6:7

Prayer is an open and honest conversation with Jesus (or connecting with God). It’s where you pour yourself out and ask him to fill you up. You can tell him of your failings and rejoice in your triumphs. It’s where your spirit rests. It’s where you connect with God. How does repeating the same words over and over give God the desire to heal you? Don’t you think we’d have discovered those words in the last few thousand years?

Whenever you pray, let your spirit rest in God that comes from praying often, and being honest and open. If you’re frustrated make sure you tell him, if you’re happy say the same thing. Let him know how you feel, whether that’s good or bad.

You might be thinking, “I came to this site for a healing prayer, what is this?” I want to teach you to pray and connect with God. If you can do that, you’ll never have to google a prayer again. God will be with you, and you’ll just have to ask him for help. It doesn’t help when you’re “white Knuckling The Rosary.” but you don’t know God.

Formulas People Follow; Connecting With God And A Prayer For Healing

Since prayer is about a relationship, it should be understood that prayer just because you want someting (or an action) to happen is pointless. When you pray a prayer for healing, be real with God. Don’t sugarcoat anything, he knows it all anyway. Spend time with him, and try to connect with him. Also it’s extremley pointless to lie, he knows it all anyway.

I think it’s insane that the creator of the universe would like to hear the same thing over and over repeatedly. Why would he ask you to say the say thing multiple times? It makes no sense.

God made the Grand Canyon (which is insanely huge) and even now he’s making galaxies. Does he really care if you said the same sentence 4 or 5 times?

He knows your heart, he created it. If you have a need, just ask.

If a formulaic prayer actually worked, and it got God’s attention, don’t you think we would’ve figured that out, and asked for everything and anything under the sun?

A Basic Formulaic Prayer And Why They’re Pointless;

  1. Say Jesus Heal Me
  2. Move 2 Steps To Your Left
  3. Cross Your Fingers And Beg God Again
  4. Receive Your healing.

If formula prayers worked, they should always work. So there has to be another reason, and that’s the scary part, some of the reasons are unknown.

I will admit that one good thing I can find off of formulaic prayers is the focus. They tend to keep people focused on what they’re praying for. that being said, if your heart is pure, and you’re praying a prayer to God. He’s not gonna care where it came from or what is being said. He’ll understand the heart behind it.

He’s just going to know that he loves you, and you’re asking him for something.

How Do You Pray For healing With Someone?

This is a really tough question since the answer can be so broad. However, there have been many times that I’ve prayed for people to be healed. Sometimes they’ve been healed right there on the spot.

Other times, nothing happens and we give up.

I’m always scared to give up though, and I wonder if I prayed a little longer would something happen.

when I pray for someone, I tend to do a lot of the following. When you look through this list, I hope you’ll notice I do a lot of listening and waiting.

  • Praise God.
  • Pause and Listen, sometimes the answer comes then.
  • State what is needed, and make sure your hand is on the person in that place where healing is needed. (If Applicable)
  • Pause again. Keep Listening.
  • Pray again.
  • Ask if they feel different? Can do anything they couldn’t before?

Once I go through the process I’ll usually get a feeling one way or the other that the prayer is over, and we end it.

However, there have been a few times it ends prematurely because they were healed.

Truth be told, I think perseverance has more to say in healing than a lot of other things. If you focus and stay close to God, I think he will do anything for his children.

How Do You Pray For A Miracle?

Why Do Others Get Healed, And I’m Still Waiting?

This is a big question I’ve had during altar times. I’ve prayed with lots of people at the altar, and sometimes I’ve seen healings. Other times the person has limped away, unsure of what God is doing. Don’t give up, keep seeking your healing. Sometimes God wants you to keep trying until something breaks.

Is it because I’m a horrible Christian?

While certain experiences could stem from that problem, I’d like to think God would have compassion and still heal the person. More often than not, this isn’t the case. If necessary speak with close friends and church leaders. Tell them how you feel and what you’re hearing.

Is it because they are a horrible Christian, and being punished?

The disciples asked a similar question to Jesus in the book Of John. They asked if he or his parents sinned to make a blind man this way.

Jesus responded that it was so the glory of God could be shown, and not due to sin.

Can You Pray For Healing If You’re Praying For Yourself?

I wonder how many times the blind man in the book of John attended temple services, wishing he could see. He was obviously an adult, so he was like that for years. In the Bible, we are seeing the result, and not the years of prayer, heartache, and loss.

What if that man had given up on God the day before Jesus came by? That would be a sad story, and we wouldn’t have heard about him. Now every Christian for the last 2,000 years has heard his story. the Bible explains that he was blind so the glory of God could be shown, and that blows my mind.

The answer to the question above is yes, however, I think a lot of times our healing doesn’t come because we don’t reach out. We’re trying to do everything ourselves, and God wants other people to see what he has done.

the Bible says:

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 5:14

This means whenever your sick call the elders of the church. Call your friends, family, or any believers who would pray for you. This will work a lot better for you as God will bring you to mind in the coming times and they will continue to pray for you.

Never live life alone. Let others in, and you’ll be blessed for it.

Questions About Prayer For Healing

Can I Force God To Act Through A Prayer For Healing?

A Prayer for healing isn’t formulaic, so we can’t force God to act for us. We can ask him, and there are times that work.

As I’m writing, I’m thinking about the story of Abraham in the book of Genesis. God tells him that he is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their great wickedness. Abraham steps in for the cities, asking God to save them if he finds some that are righteous in it.

As the conversation progresses, Abraham talks God down to 10 men. If he finds that many righteous people in the city, then God will spare it.

Unfortunately, he didn’t find that many, but for those he did find, God delivered them through an escape route from the city.

What Can You Learn About Prayer From This?

You need to be close to God, just going to church isn’t going to help you. You don’t need a prayer for healing, you need to know the God of Heaven that sent his only son to die for you.

He’s up in heaven waiting, and all you need is to be quiet and hear his voice.

Ask Him Into Your Heart

A good start, is asking him into your heart, tell him you’ve sinned and believed Jesus died and rose again. Ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you, and transform your body and spirit. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and he’s your only option for heaven.

A prayer for healing is just a quick fix. You don’t need a prayer, you need the God of heaven and earth to come down, and shake up your life. If you’ve never prayed before, you’ve certainly spoken with others. Speak to him the same way. A lot of my emotional prayers start out with yelling, and eventually, I calm down and speak my heart. I know God listens to it all.

For a good place to pray, I’ll find a quiet place in my apartment or I’ll pray while I drive. I turn off all distractions and hide all shiny objects. Otherwise, it’s impossible for me to focus properly.

Be honest, and open to God, tell him if you don’t believe. Ask him to show you, and to help you have faith. He’ll be honest and open to helping you with that. I still have a hard time believing, but I’ve seen too much to back away now.

Be patient, your answer might not come right away, and there’s a ton of reasons and opinions that can crowd it all out. Don’t lose heart, focus on him, and know that your prayer for healing is on its way.

What Is A Good Bible Verse About Prayer For Healing?

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 5:14

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Matthew 4:23

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.

Matthew 9:35

Jesus is still healing today, and the Bible is full of stories about him doing it. In addition to that in the book of John, it’s stated that the world could not contain the books of things he’s done and will do.

Remember that he loves you, and wants to know who you are. He created you, and it wanting to connect.

E. Sterling

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In addition to all of this, never go it alone. Ask a friend, family member, or a church attendee to help. If the first person turns you down, ask another, you’ll find the help you need.


Spiritual Warfare; Fighting The Demons Around You.

Spiritual Warfare

I wrote this story a decade ago as I was fighting some bad spiritual warfare. At the time I had no outlet, and my pain was huge. So I started to write, and it became a newfound strength for me.

In the past whenever I fought, I’d take a huge loss. I knew when the fight happened that all was lost, and I was only slowing down the inevitable. Eventually, I found my weapon, my peace, and my source. These are the things I use now.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have to fight. But now I have emotional outlets for my pain, and friends to talk with. I’ve stopped losing, and know that I can win.

In fact, whenever you’re fighting spiritual warfare. It will be difficult, but you only lose when I surrender to the darkness. Because Jesus has shown us the way because he’s already won.

There’s a lot of bad information out there. So I’ve written an allegory. While I don’t know all the answers, I know there’s hope, and I hope you like it.

When You Fight Spiritual Warfare;

I can’t shake the feeling of pain and hurt inside of me. God, it’s shaking and tearing me apart. The darkness creeps in and I have nowhere to run. There is no refuge around me, and I don’t see the light.

God, I know you’re trying to make me whole again, but the wounds have engulfed my heart. I’m infected, wounded, and in constant pain. All I want is to be normal again. I’ve been here so long that I can’t even describe what my heart is telling me. A numbness has taken over my soul and emotions are foreign to me. Death would be a welcome release.

Spiritual warfare can come out of nowhere, and in the church, there isn’t a lot of training involved. In that regard, the church has failed many Followers of Christ. The only people in the Church who know about the spiritual world are the weird ones, and if you don’t know who that Christian is…it’s probably you.

When You Fight In Spiritual Warfare, You are not meant to fight alone. At the very least, bring God with you, But I like to Call A Couple Friends Too. Why would you not take maximum firepower?

In The Middle Of It All, I Had A Dream

In my dream, I see myself standing on the top of a beautiful grassy hill. It’s springtime and flowers are in bloom all over. Birds are chirping and the sun is high in the sky. In the distance at the base of the hill is a babbling brook. It’s the type of place you’d wanna have a picnic, not fight a battle,

I’m all alone, just enjoying the day, taking it all in. Then a loud noise jolts me from my moment of awe. A dark cloud has risen in the distance, and in the valley below an enemy warmest is gathering. They are an evil and demonic looking army. There are thousands or possibly millions of them. The instant I see them, I hear my heart say one thing;

They have come for me.

I’m all alone and the enemy has found me. They want my destruction and wish for my blood. Destruction is what they desire as my very existence insults them. Hopelessness and depression engulf my heart, there’s nothing to do, no help is coming. I resolve myself to stand and fight. I decide to take down as many as I can before I succumb to their blades.

Looking down at my hands I see two immaculate swords, and somehow I’m wearing a suit of armor. The armor looks like it was cut from a single diamond. It gleams in the sun and shines brightly.

Believing this is my last stand, I pray and ask God for strength. Asking that he guides my swords for maximum damage, I begin to move toward the enemy. But in the back of my mind, I wonder if he’ll help me, and at the very least hope, he sees my courage during this last stand.

I doubt God will rescue me, I’ve been fighting for years, and he hasn’t helped me. This is my battle, I’m not worthy of his rescue, why would he help now? 

Spiritual Warfare Begins

With total resolve, I draw both of my swords from their scabbards, and I begin to run towards the enemy. It’s a downhill run and the enemy is close. Time slows down as I run, my life flashes before my eyes, and regret fills my heart. Even as I resign myself to death. I have no hope that I’ll be delivered, the enemy battle host is large, and I’m on my own.

The clash is great, and I continue to fight. The enemy cannot touch me, and many of these evil warriors from beyond fall to my blades. This goes on for hours, and I even begin to wonder and think that I can win this by myself. But that is when my strength starts to leave me. All of my endurance breaks away at dusk. So I begin to think of retreat, it’s my only option to survive.

That hope is dashed when I hear a war cry from behind me. A second battle group just as large as the first has cut off my escape. How did they even get here without me noticing? That doesn’t matter, all I can do is keep swinging.

I begin to despair, and that saps my strength.

You Live For The Fight When It’s All That You Got

Bon Jove – Living On A Prayer

The Fight Can Steal Your Hope

At the end of the battle, it’s dusk. The once beautiful green hill is covered in blood, broken equipment, and enemy bodies. A cold wind has started to blow across the field of battle, and the darkness has crept in.

Then I see myself, on my knees, completely encircled by the foul creatures. I’ve been fighting all day, and I’m broken, battered, and bleeding. My swords lay on the ground beside me, blunted and damaged beyond repair. I’ve been swinging them all day, and can’t lift my arms or even grab their hilts due to exhaustion. The enemy commander comes through the crowd and starts walking towards me.

He is menacing, tall, and has a snide grin on his face. He has won, he knows it, and I’m the prize. I have failed in my quest. Once more I’ve fallen into the sin I’m accustomed to, and once more I realize how worthless I am in God’s eyes. The end has to come, there has to be a way to stop this suffering. He lifts his black sword, and I stare down its length. It’s black and curved with barbs up the edge.

He places the sword under my chin, and I close my eyes, waiting for the death blow.

Keep Fighting In The Spirit

I know that it’s messed up, but originally that’s where my story ended and I believed the lies of the evil one. His rules never let me win, even when I tried everything my power.

I lived in this ground-hog day pattern and it made me despair and fall into depression, but there was a power inside of me that I needed to let out. This power was given to me by Jesus and came about because he died for me.

You might be in a similar spot, and you’re asking if God loves you. I know that God will save you. Just like he saved me. This doesn’t mean I’m not in despair, or that I don’t have problems. In fact, I think having Jesus in my life creates more problems. However, now I’m not alone, and when I have Jesus in my life. I can face anything. He listens to my prayers, and I can hear his voice.

When you’re fighting a spiritual battle, and you feel yourself losing the battle. Lift your eyes to the hills. That is where the lord’s help comes from. You need to place your trust in him, even when things seem impossible. He has a plan for everything, and even if we mess it up he can always right the ship.

Trusting In Jesus; Wearing The Full Armor
Of God

Trusting in Jesus is the only way you’ll get through this. You can be depressed, suicidal, or abused. It doesn’t matter if you turn to Jesus he’ll help you find freedom. Just pray and ask him to help you, ask to help you hear him.

Keep in mind there are the pieces of armor that God has given us to fight spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul lists out why they’re given to us, and tells us how to use them.

  • Wear The Belt Of Truth.
  • The Breastplate Of Righteousness
  • Feet Fitted With Readiness That Comes From The Gospel Of Peace
  • The Shield Of Faith
  • Helmet Of Salvation
  • Sword Of the Spirit

He also goes on to say pray in the spirit on all occasions. Praying in the spirit, and speaking the name of Jesus has great power. Make you use it.

Spiritual Warfare, Part 2

My deliverer is coming, he is standing by and I have to believe it. These words came from somewhere. Maybe they blew in on the wind, but like a match, they sparked my heart. I open my eyes and stare at my enemy.

The enemy Commander is still standing in front of me, hatred in his eyes, and sweat running down his chin. I decided that I will not go out whimpering. So I lift my chin, with eyes defiantly staring straight into his. If I’m to die today, I’m not letting him see my fear.

As I’m staring at him, I flash a defiant grin. Surprisingly there is no fear in my heart. My only regret is that I raise my sword. I’d love to cut him in two. I wish for the strength to raise my sword once more.

This was how I saw myself at the end of this spiritual battle. It was a scene of utter depression and pain. Blood poured out of cracks and dents in my armor. That is when everything changed.

Suddenly the sun shone, clouds parted, and a voice from heaven bellowed down at me.

“Tell him to put down his sword”.

Well, that is stupid, I thought. He is about to kill me, I really want this all to end one way or the other. I’m tired of the endless battles, fighting, and losing. But I recognize the voice, and so I decide to obey it.

Win All Spiritual Warfare With Your Authority In Christ

Once I decided to act, the voice continued. “I have given you the authority, and it’s time for you to act speaking truth into existence.”

What did I have to lose? I lifted my chin and looked straight at the Commander. I think I saw fear creep into his eyes. Strenght came to my feet and I stood up yelling, “Drop your sword.” Sure enough, he dropped his sword, and all the enemies within earshot dropped their weapons too.

This was astonishing, I started yelling at the enemy host to drop their swords and every one of them began to do so. The battle had been won, and not by me or my swords (which were epic). It had been won by the authority Christ had given me. He has given each of his children this exact same authority, but most of us do not realize we have that kind of power.

As Christians, We need to exercise this authority more.

When Jesus said it is finished on the cross at Calvary, he’d completed what he came to do. Everything God wanted to accomplish was completed. Sickness was killed, sins were washed away, and victory over death was established. This was done 2000 years ago.

It doesn’t mean he doesn’t do anything today, I’m just saying the power to do so was established then. When Jesus said it is finished, it became our turn to do something.

Why do so many things have power over us today?

We haven’t learned how to fight with the authority of Jesus, and without that authority, we’re just swinging a sword. It might be effective, but eventually, we’re going to get tired. You must take the authority Christ has given you and stand up to the enemy. If you don’t, he will walk all over you.

  • What areas of your life do you need to speak authority over?
  • I know I can win now, do you?
  • Is This A Struggle For You? Find Some Epic Friends.
  • Live Your Best Life With Jesus

I was constantly fighting spiritual battles against depression, fear, and anxiety. I’d been at war for years. It still comes back, and I need to fight again.

In Conclusion

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How Do I Forgive And Forget? How To Learn About Letting Go

Forgive And Forget

I’ve been told that forgiving is easy, it’s the forgetting that’s hard. However, I don’t necessarily agree with that. When someone does you harm, how do you forgive and forget?

Some people just asked a question in their head:

Doesn’t that mean what they did was okay?

I’ll say it a lot, forgiveness isn’t about them, it’s about you. When you forgive, you’re releasing the pain, heartache, and the chance to retaliate. In turn, you get peace, happiness, and joy. When you finally forgive and forget, you’ll experience something amazing.

That is what forgiveness is, and when you can’t forget it, maybe your emotions are still tied to it.

Forgive And Forget; Why It’s Difficult

I don’t condone completely forgetting what someone has done. On the extreme side, what if someone murdered a person close to you. You can forgive them, but how are you going to forget that? I discuss this topic a lot in my book “Hurricane Jerald.”

When you forgive, you can’t necessarily forget the actions of the person. However, you can forget the anger, pain, and heartache they caused.

When you truly forgive, you can think about that person, and not wanna punch them in the face.

However, sometimes when you let things go, you do forget, and I feel that is a good thing.

Trying To Forgive And Forget Is Difficult

You can’t forget without forgiving, and ultimately that will be extremely difficult. Forgiveness is a daily choice. Forgetting will happen when you’ve finally let go of the hurt and pain.

You can’t remind yourself to forget, it doesn’t work that way. As the emotions and pain fade away, so will the memory. It might be quick or take years. The forgiving part is more important.

How To Forgive & Forget?

I don’t think you can ever totally forget what happened to you. My father was abusive, and I still forgave him before he passed away. Sometimes I’ll think about my childhood and I’ll get angry.

I’ve noticed the anger isn’t directed at him anymore, it’s more focused on what was lost. I spent the last two years of his life next to his hospital bed. We forgave each other, reconciled, and he passed.

I chose to forgive him, and the bonus I received by letting go, was a lighter heart. Before I was a broken man, a child even. The part of me that was broken by him, had never grown up.

When your heart is injured, that part of your heart doesn’t tend to grow up.

Forgiveness didn’t happen instantly, it was a choice I made and continued to make. Eventually, it clicked, and that was the time I looked back and realized the hate was gone.

You can do this too. Make the choice, talk out your feelings, and continue to forgive him/her.

When You Forgive And Forget, It’ll Free Your Heart

Our Society has a powerful quote that I’ve heard a lot recently:

There’s a fine line between love and hate

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I think the fine line is there because of the intense emotions involved with love and hate. How do divorces get so ugly? Because once there was a lot of love, and that love has soured.

Why do family events bring out the worst in people? (I know this first hand).

The truth is that love can sour when something negative happens. However we have the cure, and what you need to do, is forgive and forget.

Family Pain; Is The Most Difficult And The Hardest To Forgive

I think family pain is the hardest to navigate. These are the people we’ve opened up our hearts to. We’ve grown up with them, and they know the real us. When something like divorce, cheating, or even a major lie happens, It breaks us and shakes our foundations. This pain is different than what comes from a stranger. Because they know the real you, and they still rejected and hurt you.

If a stranger on the street came up to me and insulted me. I’d laugh because it wouldn’t make any sense. I don’t know them, and their opinion means nothing to me. (I still might get mad) However, the exact same sentence said to me from a close confidant, or family member could lead to a fight.

How To Forgive; The Story Of Eva Kor

Forgiveness is a tough road, but it is the best road to take. So how do you travel the road? How can you forgive, when somebody has done the unthinkable.

Eva Kor and her twin sister were sent to Auschwitz in 1944. At the camp, Josep Mengele put them through horrible and dehumanizing medical experiments. Eva was even told by Joseph that she only had weeks to live at one point.

Why am I sharing this story? On 4.28.15 Oskar Groening was on trial for his part in the Holocaust. During his time at Auschwitz, he was the camp bookkeeper.

In the courthouse, Eva approached Oskar, she gave him a hug and forgave him. This caused waves of anger among the other survivors, but she still did it. Oskar then took the stand and begged for forgiveness from the survivors.

The other survivors were angry, but Eva responded with the quote below:

“I don’t forget what they have done to me,” Kor explained. “But I am not a poor person – I am a victorious woman who has been able to rise above the pain and forgive the Nazis.

“I know many people will criticize me for this photo, but so be it,” she wrote on Facebook after sharing a photograph of her and Groening holding hands. “It was two human beings 70 years after it happened. For the life of me, I will never understand why anger is preferable to a goodwill gesture.”

Eva Kor

Forgive And Move On

I love this quote of hers. I know you came here to learn how you might forgive and forget, but that might be impossible.

However you can forgive, and live. The trick about forgiveness is that it stops the event from controlling your lives.

Those Holocaust victims that were angry at Eva carried that anger with them for over 70 years. That is a huge burden to carry, especially when you can just set it down.

Remember what I said at the start of this article. Forgiveness isn’t saying what they did Was okay. It never is, Instead forgiveness is about letting your connection and emotions vested in the issue go.

Never Carry A Burden For That Long.

How To Forgive And Forget?

You need to make a daily choice. Sometimes you’ll fail.

However eventually, as you daily make the daily choice to forgive. Your pain will begin to fade away. You’ll notice healing begins to play out in your heart. You’ll feel more freedom and it won’t be on your mind as much. Eventually, you’ll go a few days without thinking about what happened to you.

When that happens, you’re well on the way to wholeness. Keep going, and you will have finally taken control of the pain in your heart.

If she could forgive that nazi, who did her so much wrong. We should be able to forgive people for lesser offenses.

Why Do We Get Offended So Quickly?

People are very self-focused, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We should be focused on ourselves to an extent. Self-focused is different than selfish where your only concern is yourself.

We get offended because people have done us some wrong, that we perceive. Perception is a funny thing because the other person might not believe they did wrong. Keep in mind every situation is different, and I’m using generalizations.

With a standard communication model, when somebody speaks to us, we receive their message, and we interpret it, from our own personal bias. The interpretation weighs heavily on what we perceive they meant to tell us. Now in reality what they meant.

The more you talk with them, the better you’ll get at guessing their intentions, however that also leads to comfortability, and miscommunication.

In other words, you’re guessing their intentions, and that gets you into trouble. If things are unclear, just ask questions.

How can one forgive and forget?

What Stops Us From Forgiving?

Most of the time our pride stops us. We can’t admit we’re wrong or we don’t like the idea of hurting them anymore. When in reality your relationship will be stronger by going to them and having a deep conversation.

I really hate those, but I understand the necessity.

In conclusion, if you really care for someone, try to clear the air. Go up to them, and explain (not in a threatening tone) what you thought you heard. Ask them what they really meant. Tell them it hurt you. If they really care, you’ll be able to make things work.

This Is Why We Have A Divided Country

I’ll briefly touch on this topic, at this point in time the leaders of our country have shut the government down. They can’t agree on some simple points. That’s how things work in our country sometimes.

Eventually, this will get worked out, it just sucks that so much time is being wasted. What isn’t okay is the name-calling. It is hurtful, and juvenile and our leadership should be above that.

The people in our country need to come together. Not as democrats, republicans, or libertarians, but as Americans. We have common ground, stop letting the rhetoric divide us. It’s time we make real and positive changes. It’s time we realize the hate we hold in our hearts, and let it go. I’m not talking about one side or the other. I’m just speaking the truth. I hope you all have an awesome day, and you enjoyed reading this.

I spent many years hating my father. He was abusive, he lied, and he hurt my family. Now he’s got cancer, and I’ve finally reconnected with him. it isn’t a perfect relationship, but he’s my father. I’ve let go of my hate, and anger. He has too, now I’m getting to know him, and that is pretty awesome.

However I know that I’m living with him on borrowed time, and all I want is more of it.

I’ve written my story in an ebook below. Check it out.

In Conclusion

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New Year Focus 2019

New Year

It’s Day 6 and I lost my focus. I’m not really cool with that. This New Year i’m supposed to set me up for the new year, prepare my heart, and give me some breakthroughs. I feel that my heart isn’t in this, and I’m not sure what to do.

When your heart isn’t in it, and you said you’d do it, do you continue? Most of the time I do. I like to be a man of my word. For some reason this time, I’d really like to quit. At least I did before church today.

I attend an awesome church here in Minneapolis, and I was inspired today. As of Tomorrow the whole church will be praying together for the next 21 days.

I’ve been doing something similar, and so I’ll continue. It’ll be nice to do this with my church friends/family.

What Has Changed In The New Year?

A friend of mine asked me this question yesterday. In the first few days, I could hear Gods voice, and I felt his direction. I knew this was the path for me, and I needed to be on it.

Now it’s difficult, I can’t hear anything except random cries for ice cream or steak (not steak ice cream…that wouldn’t be palatable.

I thinks that’s the way things go sometimes, you set your focus on God, and hear his voice for awhile. Then all of a sudden, feelings and emotions attack and surround you.

The emotions surround you, and they get loud. They crowd out his voice by sheer volume, and then you feel lost. Jesus hasn’t left you, he’s right next to you and hasn’t left. Unfortunately you can’t hear his voice, and his voice is the only one you’ll want to hear.

In times like these, when I feel alone, I find a quiet place, and silence my heart. I have to quiet my brain, which quiets my soul. Then I open up the Bible and I begin to read. If I can’t hear Gods voice, at least I can read it on paper, and see what he’ll say to me.

How Far Into The Year Am I Going To Be Focused On this

I’m going to keep doing what I said I will, I’ve made a couple mistakes, and that’s ok. As long as I keep going, hearing Gods voice is what I care about.

I’ve got my prayer list, and I’ll page through it everyday. My goal is breakthrough this year. I’m supposed to be doing more in my life and I keep getting held back.

I’m pretty sure I’m stopping myself, every time I wanna move forward everything just stops, and it stops because I choose to stop it.

Some Christians Bug Me

I need to clarify the header of this paragraph. Most Christians don’t annoy or bug me. I’m tired of running into super spiritual ones, that have no fruit, and keep trying to tell me one political party or the other is chosen by God.

If you don’t believe that exists, or haven’t run into them. I’m jealous of you 🙂

Another type I’ve gotten annoyed with, are the ones that focus only on the spirit. The spirit is a great thing, but to focus on one part at the expense of another, that isn’t right. We need balance, at least I think we do, or maybe I watched Star Wars too much growing up.

My point is that we are all spirit in a physical body, and maybe my thought/argument is pointless, but I hope it made sense.

How I Should React When Annoyed In The New Year?

After those last few paragraphs, I thought I’d add something about my attitude, and how I need some adjustments. LOL it’s very true, and I do.

In December, God started speaking to my heart about getting mad at people while driving. I don’t know about the rest of you, but slow drivers in the left lane make me furious.

You shouldn’t be in that lane going slow, and if you don’t notice a car coming up behind you at a higher speed. You’re not paying attention. Which is another reason to change lanes.

It’s almost like people like testing my patience, and there’s a part of it, I like to call Minnesota Passive Aggressive. It’s the belief that I follow the speed limit, and everyone else should too.

While I think that’s stupid. I need to check my own heart. I’m getting angry at somebody, and how much faster will I really get to the Snowboard Hill, or the Mall? 10 seconds, 30 seconds, does that time really matter?

How I’m Fixing My Behavior

I feel like this Year God has shown me behaviors that stop God from moving in my life, and I need to correct them. Thats one of the reasons I’ve been trying to hear him more.

This behavior comes outta nowhere. So once I get angry, I start to pray blessing on the person. I pray for whatever their mind is focused on, that God would help them find direction, and give them peace.

I’m hoping the behavior will take hold, and I’ll start praying over people just because I see them. Not because I’m annoyed by them.

This New Years Focus is different than last year. I didn’t care in 2018 because I had no reason to keep it. This Year I want something new, so I’m doing something different.

I’m tired of my old way of living, and I need to live passionately for the right reasons. Life can really suck sometimes, but if you’re following Jesus. Not a church belief of Jesus, but the REAL Jesus. Life can get exciting.

This Weeks Focus For My Prayer Focus

So I’ve got a list of 4 breakthroughs that I’m praying for, and focusing on. I know God will do something. He really has to, I’ve got no other option or fall back plan.

My plan is to keep opening doors, and see where God is Leading, but if the doors are unfruitful. It might be time to sit down, shut up, and listen. He might have something to tell me.

This will probably be my last fasting tagged post. I started this because I wanted to write about what God was doing in my life while I was fasting, and I just realized that I’m pretty much shouting “I’M FASTING” In the town square.

I’ve pretty much changed the whole article and removed that word from it. I just wanted to share what God was doing in my life. My apologies.

When you make a mistake. Own it, and make it right. Be the man God Called You To Be.

-E. Sterling

My next post, will be on something and I’ll what God’s doing in my life, but from now on. When I’m fasting, I’m not telling anybody what I’m doing. #Rookiemistake #notarookie #Ishouldknowbetter #convictionofthespirit

New Years 2019

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Spiritual Healing Finding Wholeness And Peace With God.

Emotional Pain Walking The Path Of Healing

I used to be wounded and broken. Part of me wondered if I’d ever been able to grow up into a functioning member of society. Eventually, I found my way, or my path I guess you could call it. This is a guide on how I found spiritual healing.

Keep in mind that I’m a broken person, and I’ll be doing my best to point you in the right direction. I know many of you aren’t here to see the name of Jesus written.

However, I ask that you keep an open mind, forget about the horrible experiences you’ve had with people who say they follow him and listen to what I have to say.

1 Corinthians 2:9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 – Bible

One of my favorite bible verses.

What Is Spiritual Healing?

Deep inside all of us is a huge void. We try to ignore it, and some of us even run from it. However this void must be filled by something, and there’s only one thing that can fill it properly.

If it’s not filled right, there are gaps, and that makes things uncomfortable, even painful sometimes.

The void is our fault, but the beauty of that, is we can choose to be healed of the void.

Growing up I was teased and abused. Yes, this caused me some physical pain from which I needed healing. But it also caused some emotional and mental pain that I didn’t know how to heal.

Eventually I’d come to a point where I had to make some changes.

I’d grown up going to church and hearing about Jesus. but the people in the church didn’t seem to care, and God seemed to be silent.

So I left, and went on my own path.

On that path, I made my pain worse and passed my pain onto others. Eventually I’d find myself asking Jesus where he was in everything. I was at my last rope, and didn’t even know where to go.

His answer, “He’d been there right next to me the whole time.”

Unfortunately, the times he spoke, I was refusing to listen, the way he talked, I didn’t think it was him.

I always wanted him to come down and fix everything, but that isn’t his way. Instead, my spiritual healing has been a hard fought battle, and I’ve fought for every inch of ground I hold.

However, I don’t fight this battle alone. He’s right next to me this whole time.

Spiritual Healing And Fasting

This is the second day of a 21 day Fast that I’ve decided to do. I’ve been spending a of time in prayer, Bible reading and sometimes wishing for a cheeseburger. I go weeks without burgers sometimes, but the instant I give them up I’m craving them.

This is gonna be a long 3 weeks 🙁

All jokes aside, there’s been some thought changes already. The goal of this fast, or any fast for that matter. Is to let go of something you love for a time, and spend that time focusing more on God.

I’ve tried fasting in the past, and by day 3 I always give up. This time is different, because I’ve known for awhile that I need to shake my spiritual life up. I’ve needed some spiritual healing for awhile, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere.

So I decided to do the most brash thing I could think of, also I’m not sure what I just got myself into.

My Spirit Was Feeling Burdened

One of the issues I constantly deal with involves being too independent. For the most part, it isn’t a weakness, but tend to go overboard. Furthermore, I fight myself internally consistantly. Especially when I need help, I have this mental focus, that I should be self sufficient.

That’s not how God made me, you, and everybody else in the world.

Nobody succeeds in this world when they go it alone. Think of any important, or famous person (the terms are not inclusive). Would they have gotten where they are, if they did it alone.

The same goes for you, who do you have around you? Are they pointing you in the direction you’d like to go? Do you have people in your life who can mentor you on your path? If the answer is no, your dream might never come to fruition.

Spiritual Healing Was A Difficult Choice

I left an amazing church a few years back. I had awesome friends, and was loved by a lot of people. It was a very welcoming place.

So why did I leave?

I’d reached a point where I didn’t need God anymore. I showed up, sat in a pew, heard a sermon, but there was nothing there.

Doubt about being there filled my heart. I spoke with some people, and they said serve harder, love harder, work harder. So I did, and things got worse. I was depressed and stopped going for two months, and none of my friends called me.

I started to wonder, if I was even missed. It certainly felt that way.

During hard emotional times, I get introspective, and I start to analyze everything I say, do, and feel.

My Healing Goal

My goal is to find the source of my emotions. If I can find the source, I can find the wound. Once Identified, I can begin the healing process. Spiritual healing is heart healing, the wounds you’ve experienced life on. Until you decide to forgive and let it go.

How Can You Find A Cure?

There are three major parts to start finding spiritual healing. I’ll go more in depth later on but here is my list.

  1. Your Relationship with God MUST be real. Not Half-Hearted. You need him. He Is the key and the most important aspect of your healing.
  2. Be honest with yourself. I get really introspective when I’m digging into my emotional issues.
  3. Find some honest friends. Make sure they tell you the truth and you don’t get mad at them for it.

What Is God’s Role In Spiritual healing?

I’ve said it before, but God is the most important part of your spiritual healing. You can try it without him, and you’ll have some success, but it’ll be more difficult, and I don’t believe you’ll achieve complete fullness.

He made you and knows how to fix you. Also, he gives great advice. Even when it doesn’t make sense it always works out for good.

I know a lot of people reading might be thinking. Really? You’re going to go the God route. I’m sorry you think that way.

I’ve walked so many paths in my life, I’ve never found one like I’ve found in Jesus. Look into your heart, and read the teachings of Jesus. Ask yourself what’s wrong with his teachings? Not his people, or what you’ve seen or heard.

People are imperfect, and they make mistakes. I’m one angry word from cussing a person out some days. That’s on me, not God. Everyone is responsible for their path, stop looking around at others.

Honesty With Yourself Expedites Spiritual Healing

This was a big one for me when I realized my life was in shambles. I lied to myself in many areas of my life. I can’t tell you how many relationships I’ve ruined because I wouldn’t tell a girl how I really felt. It’s maddening to think about.

If you aren’t honest with yourself, eventually you’ll hit rock bottom, and that’s painful. I’d recommend taking a good inventory of yourself. Find a quiet place, remove all distractions, and take a good look.

Get Away And Listen More

For most people, if you’ve never done this, I’d recommend going away for a weekend. Twice a year, I do a weekend trip by myself. It’s time for God, Me, And My Snowboard. It’s amazing when I’m sitting on a mountain listening to the voice of God.

At least one time each year, I head for Colorado, I love getting some good shred time in. If I’m staying In Minnesota, I’ll hit up Lutsen. I always shred hard, and I spend more focused time in prayer.

Snowboarding makes me physically tired, and that makes less distraction later because my mind will still want to connect. Also being in nature helps me hear God’s voice. There’s nothing mystical about it, it just works for me. Figure out what works for you.

Write your thoughts down while you’re doing this, it’ll help to look back at the end of the weekend, and in the future.

Ask God Questions

  • What are you doing with my life?
  • Am I doing anything that’s stopping me from hearing your voice?
  • What Spiritual heart pains are in my heart?
  • Can you heal them?

These are starter questions, feel free to add more.

Honest Friends Can Help You Heal

For this, you want quality over quantity. It’s great to have a lot of friends but this takes a different level of friendship. These are the people who speak into your life. The words they speak should have weight.

Be careful, you don’t want to share your dirty laundry with everyone. Just the people closest to you. I’m saying that as a soft rule use discretion.

I have a lot of friends, but only 2-3 I share the deep things of my heart with. One of my closest friends is the one that helped snap me out of my depression a few years back. I changed churches the next day.

It wasn’t a problem with my former church, it was a problem with me. I was comfortable, and needed a challenge. I stayed for a reason, that wasn’t right, and it was killing me.

Late one Saturday night. He and I were chilling around a bonfire, talking about life. I told him, I didn’t wanna attend church in the morning, and he let me have it.

We were close enough that I’ve said it a few times to him, and he told me that. He said, “If you don’t like where you are, change it.” A few hours later, I was walking into a different church, and it’s the one I attend today.

My Spiritual Healing Isn’t Complete, And Your Healing Will Continue On As Well.

I’m still a walking wounded, and I don’t know if I even made sense in this rambling. If you’re having emotional outbursts, crying fits, or you can’t feel. You need to dig deep and find the source of your pain. Life is too short to get in pain.

I pray for your healing, and I’m excited for where this 21 day fast is going to take me.

In Conclusion

  • Thank You For Reading My Blog Today. If You’d Like To Read More Blogs Click Here 
  • To Read More About My Life And How I’ve Been Finding Healing. You Can Purchase My Autobiography by Clicking Here
  • I Run A Ski/Snowboard Shop Called SnoFall Gear Click Here To Check Out My Blog And Gear I Have For Sale There

Hurricane Jerald; A Breakdown Thoughts And Emotions

Hurricane Jerald A Book About Forgiveness And Healing

Forgiveness was a difficult road to travel. I hated my father and knew he hated me. Even When I was young he would scream, yell, and he’d threaten me. I was terrified of him. In my ebook ‘Hurricane Jerald’, I go over the depression and hopelessness that I felt, but ultimately forgiveness and healing that I received when I finally let my anger go.

The path to healing took years. Even today there are days when I feel totally screwed up. Spiritual healing from all the abuse has taken its time, but I’m okay with it. Because you have to take it one day at a time.

This is the introduction for my ebook; “Hurricane Jerald.” Forgiveness was a difficult rode, but I got there. You can make it too, it’s a difficult choice and the road is long. Purchase the whole ebook by clicking here.

Hurricane Jerald; Ebook Prologue

Your fear will never go away, so use it to propel you forward.
Don’t let it paralyze you. Don’t allow it a foothold.
Never let it be a comfort.


Don’t focus on what you could lose. Focus on what you can gain There is a fear of taking risks. When it paralyzes you, Satan and his demons will try to steal your potential.
What could be will never happen. Paralysis is the perfect place for temptation sin and death.


You won’t press forward, and you won’t turn back and retreat.
It’s a place of cowardice and distrust. Fear is distrust of God and his plan. Distrust of his love and distrust of his character.
Be who you are supposed to be and let others see him!
Who am I?

Someone who should excel wherever I go?
I need bigger dreams, on other paths? Choosing your path isn’t difficult. Indecision leads you to paralysis, stagnation, and death.
Move, and you still might fail, stop and you will.
Take the job that scares you.


Talk with the person God has been prompting you to meet.
It can be any number of things.
It all starts with a choice.
And that never gets easier. 

-Random Writings From Sterling


A Book About Forgiveness And healing
A Picture Taken On One Of My Many Walks/Runs To Clear My Head

I Need Spiritual & Emotional Healing

August 26th, 2017 

The sun was shining brightly that day. I was driving to a meeting at a restaurant in my hometown. I rarely returned there, because I had painful memories that I didn’t want to remember. Feelings of failure and uselessness plagued the back of my mind in this city. 

“Sterling, you can do this,” I told myself. It’s normal for me to talk with myself while driving. I’m pretty sure I’ve freaked out more than one motorist doing this on the highway. It’s how I process, and sometimes I need to hear my thoughts spoken out loud. 

An intense feeling of terror came into my heart as I pulled into the parking lot. “18 years, God why am I doing this? Why are you bringing me into this?” There was no answer. “If I go through with this, will my family talk to me?” I sat in my car, hands on the wheel for a few minutes. “Maybe I should drive away? I can make up an excuse and deal with it later.”

I Chose To Keep Going

Instead of driving away, I pulled the emergency brake on my car and opened the door. The walk across the parking lot was a long one. Almost like time had frozen, but I gained strength as I moved towards my fear. 

Walking inside, I looked around. That’s when I heard the voice from the past. I could never forget it. “Sterling over here, I’ve already got a table.” It sounded happy and light-hearted. When I turned to my right, I was surprised. 18 years had passed, but the man looked the same. He had put on a few pounds, his hair was white, but it was him. I’d recognize him anywhere. 

“Hello Sterling, it’s good to see you.” He said as I sat down. 

“Hi Dad, it’s been awhile,” I replied, and I sat there looking into the face of a man I almost killed.”

Hurricane Jerald; An Ebook About Freedom From Depression.

I was worried when I published my first ebook. I didn’t know what people would think and I assumed I was a horrible writer. These were fears and anxieties that I needed to face.

These fears were birthed from insecurities I developed as a child, and they only come out in intense emotional circumstances. There was a time I couldn’t handle these situations until I chose to let the past go, and forgive.

When you are truly living, you’ll have to face a lot of fears. I hope this book teaches you how to face them. You don’t have to go it alone, Jesus helped me find spiritual healing, & he’ll do the same for you. Just ask him, and he’ll be there.

Forgiveness isn’t about saying it’s ok, it’s about receiving your healing. Letting go, and understanding God will judge us all.

How An Ebook Can Transform Your Life

Reading about someone else story can stop feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or depression. This is because you stop feeling isolated and find ways to relate to the writer. The same things can happen in group settings when you’re getting to know people.

The answer to your problem is staring you straight in the face, you can survive but you need people around you. My church always talks about community and being a part of it. Every week the Pastor tells us to join a group, and go out to eat with each other.

He wants us to know one another. This is because doing life alone is hard. When you have another person to help you, the load gets lighter.

I Have a softcover as well, not just an ebook.

If an ebook isn’t your thing, I also have a softcover for sale on amazon. It’ll take a few days for delivery but you’ll be happy with a physical copy as well.

Thank You For Reading My Excerpts From My New eBook Hurricane Jerald;

How To Handle Angry People; Surviving When You Have Irrate People Around You.

How To Handle Angry Customers

A few years ago in college, I got a job as a valet in the hospitality industry. During my time there I dealt with a lot of angry people. I often wondered what made them angry? Was it years of bad choices and frustration with life?

Whatever their intent, in their eyes it was always my fault. Now that I’m older, I see how petty and childish those angry customers were. So I’d like to tell you my story and see what you think.

I’m going to break down my belief about angry people. It helps me focus on the person rather than the actions. It helps me humanize the angry voice in front of me, and gives some understanding as well. However, first, there are a couple of rules I’ve developed that has helped me through many encounters.

  1. Stay Calm, Don’t Let Their Angry Faze You. (It’s What They Want)
  2. Try To Make Them Feel Heard, Many Times They’re Angry Because Nobody Is Listening.
  3. Understand The Main Onslaught Of Anger Expends A Lot Of Energy. Nobody Can Keep That Up Forever. (Longest time I’ve Seen 35 Mins.)
  4. Once They Work Through That Angry Time, Their conscience kicks in, and they feel like a jerk.
  5. Try to work out a compromise, but make sure you’re still following policy and what your company wants you to do.

Why Angry People Can Be Good For Business

One of the first things I realized when dealing with angry people is that their anger is misplaced. They aren’t yelling solely at you for forgetting ketchup on a burger. Instead, there is a lot of anger inside them boiling away. Unfortunately, you’ve stepped too close and broke the camel’s back.

This means you are the one who gets the brunt of their anger and pain. You are the reason they’re angry, even if they don’t know it. They’re blaming you for it all.

If you can handle yourself properly in tough work situations. Other people will see your composure, and that will give them a better impression of you.

I can’t say much for angry people, even when I used to be one. It really depends on the situation however, when you handle an angry person well, you’ll be reaping the benefits of it down the road.

How To Handle Verbal Attacks From An Angry Person

As a complete side note, don’t let yourself get this far. In fact, when you are hurt, you always have two choices. You can forgive, and let go of the pain and poison in your heart. Or you can hold on, and let it burrow deep in your heart. Where it will slowly let out toxins, and they will eventually kill you.

It’s a difficult choice and puts you in a horrible predicament, but it’s essential that you know the truth because the truth will set you free.

Why Do People Hang Onto Pain?

The older I get, I run into people that never learned about forgiveness. It’s sad when you see an elderly man or woman, and they’re mad at the world. What caused that? How did their heart get so angry?

It’s not like that person was born that way? Maybe life didn’t turn out the way they’d hoped? Perhaps they have a lot of regrets, and it’s too late to change now. I’ll admit I’ve been scared I’ll turn out that way someday.

I’ve come to the conclusion, that it’s a daily choice when you choose to be angry every day. Eventually, it’ll seep into your personality and your life. Many people have chosen anger, for their entire life. The anger, and bitterness have poisoned them, from the inside out, and that is why they’re so angry. It wasn’t just the one thing you did, it was their last 20 years.

How I’ve Handled Angry People

When I was a valet manager, I helped thousands of people come and go through the hotel. On one particular Sunday, my team and I were prepping for a busy morning. We had around 150 cars departing, and they usually left in the same 45 minute period of time.

Two hours before checkout, an older man drove his car into the valet area. He parked his car and I ran out to greet him. He looked right at me, grunted, and walked into the hotel. It was against the fire code to park cars there, and it blocked the driveway. There were still cars going out, so I couldn’t let him stay in that spot.

Running down the hallway, I finally caught up with him. I immediately recognized him as an angry customer but had a job to do. I explained the parking situation. It was done respectfully, but with honesty. Any cars left in the driveway needed to leave their keys with the Valet, so I asked for his keys. I also told him one of my valets would move the car to the side because its current location was blocking the exit. As a final note, I added our hotel policy, if he was here 15 minutes or more, there would be a $9 charge.

He said “no, I don’t think so,” and began to walk away.

Angry People Won’t Listen Or Respect You.

I replied with, “Fine, I’ve got a tow truck around the corner, you can take it up with them later on.” It stopped him in his tracks, and he finally relented, handing me his keys.

I didn’t wanna be rude, but you can’t let 1 angry customer ruin 150 others customers’ time with you. That’s just bad business. The customer is not always right. Because their bad choices can affect others.

Angry People Won’t Worry About Wasting Your Time;

We got through the morning rush, and I became annoyed because the man hadn’t come back to move his car. There was also a missing bell cart, and that slowed my bellman down. (We also ran the bell service). We got through the morning without complaints but had a few close calls.

After what seemed an eternity, but was actually 2 hours. The man and his wife came downstairs with the missing bell cart. Apparently, he had taken the cart and brought it into his room. I got extremely angry about this, it was disrespectful to the hotel and the other guests, but I had to follow our policies.

He approached me, asking for his keys, I replied certainly but the charge would be $9 for parking. His face turned into one of horror, and he glanced over to his wife.

How I Was Attacked By Angry People.

“Honey, they’re charging us for parking,” he exclaimed. Then he ran out the door, disappearing around the corner. I only saw him 1 more time that day, sitting in his car at the end of the driveway.

He knew the horrible storm that was about to be unleashed upon me, my guess is that he’d seen it before. From across the vestibule, I heard a horrible, high-pitched, and guttural scream. It came from an older woman as she started running slowly towards me (it’s true, but hard to describe). Her high-pitched scream was unwavering, and when she reached me, her finger continuously waved in my face.

“You’re a mean, evil spirited person, and you’ve ruined my birthday.” She began to yell loudly.

This Angry Person Was Full Of Bitterness

Wow, I thought, is that all it takes? I thought to myself, but being smart about this, I smiled and thought my replies through before replying. Even if I was continuously wishing for her to go away. For the next 20 minutes, I endured a living hell, as she stood there yelling at me. She wouldn’t pay the fee, and I didn’t want to reward her bad behavior. It was a stalemate. The entire time I was helping other guests, and asking her to be civil and not insult my character or intelligence.

I could’ve comped her parking at any time, but I didn’t like rewarding that kind of behavior. Later on, the hotel manager asked why I didn’t sooner, after all, it was only $9. However I felt like she’d done this before, and it had probably worked for years. Maybe I was being a jerk, but somebody needed to stand up to this.

I wanted to end that streak, and while I don’t think it was the best plan, I started to crumble.

You Can Fight An Angry Person, But It Will Wear You Out.

I was tired of this issue, and some of the other hotel guests were getting annoyed at her. One guy even got between us and tried to calm her down. however, nothing worked. So, I told her the front desk could comp her parking, but only if she went up to them and asked. She walked away still screaming at me (how was she able to yell still?)

Once she was out of earshot, I called the front desk and begged them to say they’ll comp her parking. I told them I’d explain it all later.

The woman came back, and couldn’t wait to tell me that the front desk had comped her parking. She repeated, that I ruined her 60th birthday, and she’d never forgiven me.

I said, “I’m glad we could fix the situation, and I hope she had a great day.” Instead of leaving, she stood in the doorway, smiling smugly, and ready to blow up again.

Angry People Always Usually Demand Compensation

“I won’t leave until I get an apology.” She yelled. Standing smugly in the doorway.

“Ma’am, I thank you for staying here, but I did no wrong. I was following the hotel policy. I will not apologize for doing the right thing.”

She raised her voice and stated loudly. “I will NOT leave, until I receive my apology.”

Here, I was almost at my breaking point. She had been berating me for half an hour, and I’ve never yelled at a guest before in my life. There was 10-15 guest in the vestibule with us, and some of my valets as well.

So I repeated my previous message saying, “Ma’am, I will not apologize for doing my job, the front desk has comped your parking, and you’ve checked out. You have no reason to stand there yelling at me anymore. You have a great day and be safe when you drive home.

Angry People Will Loose All Logic

“I WANT AN APOLOGY NOW, AND I WON’T LEAVE UNTIL I GET IT!!!” She screamed at me once again.

I was helping a guest with directions and had finally broken down. So I stopped what I was doing and looked her in the eye. I said, “Ma’am, you can wait all you want, but you’re gonna die standing there waiting for my apology. Have a nice day.”

I smiled a little as she walked away, but I couldn’t resist twisting the knife. “Ma’am,” she spun around, thinking I’d changed my mind.

“Happy Birthday,” I told her and I smirked at her. She was even angrier and I hear her stomping towards her car. The door slammed hard and thankfully we never saw them again.

I was oblivious to the people around me for a second, but when looked around I saw the other hotel guests cheering me on. My valets were laughing, but I felt nothing. To this day, I’m not sure why.

In the years since I’ve gone over this incident in my mind, and while there are some things I could’ve done better. I think handled the situation pretty well.

Angry People Tend To Be Short Sighted.

Like a lot of angry people, I started to wonder how she got that way. The evidence was obvious that she’d done this before probably many times. The way her husband disappeared was proof of that. he knew what was coming.

Finally, I came to a conclusion, there’s 2 types of angry people.

  1. the people who are having a bad day.
  2. People who have chosen to be angry their whole life.

When you’re dealing with a person in the first category. Life is pretty simple, a joke or just patience can help clear things up. Listening to their plight offers relief extremely fast.

when you’re dealing with number 2. The life they know is of anger, and if they’ve chosen you as the person they want to unload on, (and you’ve won the lottery with this one) make sure you’re ready for that. When dealing with an angry person like this, your main choice is to be patient and get through it.

Remember in most situations you face eventually it’ll pass. Emotions only stay heightened for short periods of time, and then logic will kick in.

Some of the best times I’ve had dealing with an angry customer comes from their realization that they were being a jerk. There’s something gratifying about that.

I Hope You Liked My Latest Post. Don’t Forget To Comment And Subscribe Below. Also If You Enjoyed My Writing, Don’t Forget To Purchase A Copy Of Hurricane Jerald, My Latest Book

What To Do When You Feel Lonely?

Feel Lonely

Have you ever stopped and thought, how’d I get here? For me, the question pops up after I complete a huge project. I get highly focused and make a lot of snap decisions. However, none of that matters when those choices bring me to the middle of nowhere, and you feel lonely.

All of them might have been great too. But at that moment, you see you’re standing there all alone. The feeling you have in your heart is evident, and you don’t know what to do. When you Feel lonely, it isn’t your fault, it’s part of our genetic makeup. You were made for community.

Many people that struggle with being loneliness also struggle with depression. They go through these thoughts daily, but even if you’re not depressed, I’m sure you’ve struggled with loneliness. I know because I’ve been there myself. I’ve contemplated horrible things when I feel lonely, and If you’re dealing with any horrible thoughts, I want you to remember this.

You’re here for a reason. You are loved. Our world needs you, and you have something only you can accomplish here.

Why Do I Feel Lonely?

You feel lonely for a couple of different reasons, maybe you’re just sad and there’s no one around at the moment to comfort you?

Or maybe you’ve strived for greatness, only to leave everyone in your dust. Now you’ve woken up and realized that you’re all alone.

For a long time, I considered myself an extroverted loner. I love to spend time with people, but they eventually annoy me. So I’d disappear. Eventually, I learned about a Samurai Term Called Ronin.

Ronin means drifter, or wanderer in Japanese. Samurai Warriors served warlords in feudal Japan. If a Samurai didn’t serve a lord, they were Ronin. They might have lost their status through many different means, but that didn’t mean much.

They wandered. In the USA, the closest term we have, (but it’s NOT exact) is vagrant. Ronin sounds a lot cooler.

My Past Loneliness And The Pain Of My Past

Over a decade ago I was attending a ministry school on the other side of the country. It was in the Deep South and I lived there for 5 years. It was where I grew up, made my first friendships outside of school, and in general became an adult.

However, after 5 years of Ministry school, I decided to come home. This was to be closer to my family. I didn’t realize how many problems that would develop for me.

All my friends from High School were in college, married, or had moved away. I’d been away for so long that it didn’t make sense to reconnect.

My best friend from High School and I tried to reconnect, but we’d become two completely different people. It was like talking to a stranger.

I felt like I was falling backward in life. In leaving Mississippi, I’d lost my friends, colleagues, and some really epic people. Then once I got home, and couldn’t reconnect with anyone. I felt alone, disconnected, and began to feel lonely.

What Does Loneliness Do To A Person?

I spent months drifting aimlessly and I couldn’t figure out what to do. I existed in name only, and didn’t accomplish much of anything. I told myself that I made a bad choice, and I was left in the dust.

Eventually, after failing and causing more pain to myself and others. I made a choice that led me to dependence on God.

The truth I’ve found is that people come and go, I will love them all while they’re here, but eventually, we will have to part ways.

The key to not feeling lonely is knowing God. He is the one who can direct and guide you, and he can help you through any pain you feel.

Walking through pain helps us realize there’s something more to life. It helps us see the good and separate it from the bad. It sucks, but in some ways, it can be helpful to direct and guide our paths.

When You Feel Lonely You’ll Have To Fight Mental Battles

The entire world is full of broken and lonely people, (right now I’m writing this in an apartment I rent all alone).

My belief is that the root issues of loneliness come from social issues. many people never learn how to properly connect with others. It starts in elementary school and continues on through college.

Many others are stunted because we don’t know how to let go of things and forgive. But that’s a topic for another blog.

This is a huge cause of loneliness, our pain. We don’t know what to do with it, and we’re scared someone will see it inside of us. So fear grips our hearts and we’re terrified of someone else getting to know us. If they really know us, then they’ll find out about the bad things, and then they won’t like coming around anymore.

That got dark really quick, but understand that everyone has their weaknesses, and darkness. It doesn’t surprise many.

What Does It Feel Like To Be Lonely?

The trick about loneliness is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t want others to know us. This might be because of something bad we hide, or believe is inside us. So we push people away, and when you push people away, you become lonely.

Then we feel bad again…so we push away more.

Eventually, people will stop coming around, and you begin to believe you were right. Everyone finally deserted you, so you were right about everything.

But it’s a hollow victory, if you can even call it that. In reality, you’ve lost everything.

If you find yourself at this point, you have to make a choice. Will you fight? Or Will you run? When you fight for yourself, that means breaking out of your loneliness and connecting with people. No matter the cost It’s worth it. If you run, well nothing will change, in fact, your depression and loneliness will get worse.

I know pain, I’ve lived with it my entire life, we are old friends. Everyone has a story of heartache and pain, you can’t go through life without it. So I know I’m not alone in that. Do you finally want healing?

How Do I know if I Am Lonely?

When Ronin Samurai traveled Japan. They were looking for family or a person worthy to receive them. It was similar to how I felt coming home, I wanted to serve somewhere, and find a friend group. I didn’t know where it was, or how I would find it. I had to believe it was out there though. 

A lot of times you won’t know if you’re lonely or not until something happens. For me, a crisis will hit, and I know that I should talk with someone, however, I have nobody to talk with.

That is the worst moment to find out.

I feel lonely most, in that moment. Because there’s something I know has to be shared, and I have nobody to call.

Worse yet, I know it’s my fault. I’ve been so focused on other things that all my friends have left, or I left them.

This is why friends and family are so important in life. It’s a scientific fact that people with close friends and family live longer.

I know what you’re saying, “You don’t know my family.”

That may be true, if that’s the case, get some close friends.

What Is The Main Cause Of Loneliness?

The main cause of loneliness is emotion, and lack of people. While that may seem straightforward and simple. There’s a lot more to it.

In society, we tend to get focused, and other people will slow us down. However, the people who slow us down are those who anchor us to a life in society.

These are the people we experience emotions with, and they’re the ones we slow down for.

When you feel lonely, ask yourself. Who have I slowed my life down for lately? Have I shared my time with anybody?

This in essence is the cause of loneliness. It certainly isn’t cured by being around people. Or people in cities wouldn’t have the highest rates of loneliness.

The Cure When You Feel Lonely

Ask Jesus For Help When You’re Lonely:

The biggest thing you can do is ask Jesus for help. Even in those dark days, I could always turn to him. He was the one that gave me the strength to fight, and he gave me peace when my friends abandoned me.

It’s understandable if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes asking for help is all you need. Just say what’s on your heart, and make sure you listen. He’ll be there, I promise you.

Find A Group Of Friends If You Feel Lonely:

This one is really hard to accomplish. You’ll know it when you do though, and it’ll be epic. It took me years but I found a group of friends that truly love me, and that love will see me through everything.

The Bible says perfect love casts out all fear and brings healing to brokenness. Are you weary, wounded, depressed, lonely? I was all those things and more. The choices I made brought me to an amazing place. It’s still a difficult path to walk, but at least it’s a path of my own choosing.

Giving my life to Jesus is a daily thing, and it didn’t make things easier. In many ways, it became harder, but now I have someone to share life with. Having a person that loves you, and cares what happens. That makes all the difference. Make sure you find that person.

Even if you’re not ready for Jesus, we were created to live in a community. Don’t isolate yourself. Find some friends that truly care for you, and share what’s going on in your life. You’ll be glad you did it.

Get Out For Some Exercise:

When I get hit with loneliness, one of the things I like to do is exercise. Sometimes it’s just the feeling and not my reality. By exercising you’re allowing your body to reset, and release endorphins that make you feel better.

In some places, you can’t really go outside to exercise. I’m in Minneapolis so I totally get it but find something that you enjoy and it raises your heart rate. I guarantee it’ll work for you.

Find A Hobby:

Hobbies are a great way to combat loneliness. It’ll divert your attention and help you see things from a different angle. I play video games, cook, and write snowboard blogs.

Places To Go When You Feel Lonely:

Sometimes when I’m busy writing, I’ll find myself alone and feeling horrible. Working for myself in my home office has its perks, but working alone sucks sometimes. When this happens, I go out and try to find a place with a lot of people.

Places that would work:

  • Coffee Shops
  • The Zoo
  • A Library
  • Anyplace With Wifi
  • Grocery Stores

The list could be endless, but these are places I visit, where I can have some small human interaction. It reduces my feelings of loneliness and I’m able to keep going. Let me know if I forgot anything in the comments.

In Conclusion:

How To Win If You’re Fighting Depression

How To Stop Fighting Depression

I grew up in a world of pain and heartache. It led me down the cold and dark path and I couldn’t win when fighting depression, and it invaded my heart. It’s still there, waiting to pop out and attack me. I still fight it every day. Part of me wants to write a lie, saying that I’m over it, but that’s an epic daydream. One thing you’ll have to remember is being attacked and being occupied are two separate things, and I refuse to allow depression to take root in my heart again.

The key for me now, is that I recognize it. I’ve learned who my enemy is, and I can see him coming from a distance. I understand now that I have a choice, fight or surrender. Far too often I find myself surrendering, and I’m sick of it.

Depression isn’t just about brain chemistry. Instead, there are many different things that can cause it. While you have a choice to fight, you don’t have to fight alone. If you’re fighting depression get help. Call a friend, visit a doctor, and get some exercise.

While I can’t say the above items will alleviate your depression, I can say they’ve helped me and are my go-to methods towards victory.

How You Can Start Fighting Depression.

On a side note, depression isn’t something to mess around with. You cannot fight this battle alone. Call a friend, family member, or counselor. When you fight, the battle is easier when you have a friend alongside you. It could be the difference between winning or losing, and if you can’t stop fighting depression, you’ll lose everything. You can’t afford to lose this battle.

You might be reading this, and you feel lonely. I don’t know if you made the choice to be alone, or if the choice was made for you. It doesn’t really matter, because you can make a choice now. There are people in the world who would love to have you around. Don’t believe the lies that speak to your heart, focus on who you are, and who you can become. Run away from negativity, and stop doubting yourself.

Also, pick up the phone, shoot someone a text, or make a call. You have to let somebody know what you’re going through.

Ferris Bueller

Life Moves Pretty Fast. If You Don’t Stop And Look Around One In Awhile, You Could Miss It.

Ferris Bueller

I love the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He’s everything I wanted to be when I was growing up. He was a teenager fighting the system, and I learned some cool tricks for skipping school.

However, I started to use these very same tricks in my adulthood. I wanted to avoid people and social eventually, I just fell off the map, and my friends didn’t know what had happened to me.

Eventually I didn’t have friends anymore.

How To Keep Fighting Depression.

There’s a lot of people in this world who have experienced worse things than I have. My story is not a great story of sadness, but It’s my story, and it pierced my soul. I post my depression stories for you, I want you to see there’s a way out. The world needs you, you don’t have to continue fighting depression.

I used to believe nobody loved me, that God didn’t care, and my friends were just playing a game by pretending they cared. I could never figure out the point of the game, and logically the game didn’t make sense. Why lie about being my friend? Every night, I’d lie awake and the demons in my head would come. I’d spend half the night fighting them, and go to school exhausted. Fighting Depression doesn’t make sense, its lies have burrowed deep into your mind.

Eventually as time went on, I didn’t need somebody to lie or hurt me. I had such a low opinion of myself, that I became trapped in a prison. It was of my own design. Somehow I avoided thoughts of suicide, but instead I wanted to make the people around me miserable, it was my only way out.

When you start Fighting depression two things need to happen.

  1. You need to realize/take stock in your situation. This means you take an objective look without bias and really see where you’re at. This is very difficult to do, but it needs to be done.
  2. After this, you’ll need to make a decision. What are you going to do?

What To Do When Fighting Depression

At the heart of my depression was fear. Fear was instilled into my heart at a very young age. My father was the guy who screamed and yelled at the T.V. and if I made noise or drew attention to myself. I’d get the brunt of it. I learned to be quiet and go unnoticed while I was young. It’s how you avoid pain, be unnoticed.

Fighting Depression Runs In My Family

I had four sisters and one brother, and being one of 6 kids gave an edge in this. One of us was always getting into trouble and as long as my issue wasn’t greater than the others, I’d be in the clear. However things started to get worse with my father, and I almost feel that he went crazy for a bit. He started to skip work, and his bouts of screaming and yelling were a nightly occurrence. I remember fearing for my life and not wanting to go home anymore.

The fear and depression came from a lack of stability. Early on my father would be awesome, and he’d joke around with us. One time we even went on a walk to feed some ducks. That’s one of the few good memories I have with him and I still look back on that with fondness. As time went on good memories were made less often and we were faced with an angry monster that we couldn’t fathom.

My Development Was Stunted Early On

As a child in elementary school, you look to your parents as the protectors, and your dad is supposed to be Superman. I saw mine as the evil man in my house, and I don’t remember looking up to him.

I learned fast to be self reliant. Letting others in would only hurt me, and I couldn’t ever let that happen.

Life Became Pointless, I Hit A Slump

When I was a teenager I stayed away from home as much as I could. I could rest, and regain some strength at a friend’s house. Their houses made sense to me. My father was just getting angrier, and I knew something bad was going to happen soon. There was a feeling of deep dread inside my bones. I wondered if someday I could hurt my father. Possibly even kill him.

On the flip side, whenever I went somewhere and jumped into a new group. I spent my time trying to convince others and myself how awesome I was. I don’t think I was ever good at playing the game, and I grew tired of it quickly. Whenever I went to a friend’s house I died a little inside. It was like God kept slapping me in the face, showing me what he thought I shouldn’t have.

Nothing would stop the voices when I went home. Every night I’d hear the same thing. I don’t deserve to live, I’m a screwup, Or I’ll never amount to anything. These were the demons I fought nightly, and for a long time, they won every night.

I Began Avoiding Relationships

Whenever I fall into a bout of depression, love became a difficult concept to grasp. I’m not even talking about Jesus, God, Or the Holy Spirit. I’m talking about my mom and siblings. The lies get so entrenched that you don’t even question them. You feel like a screwup, and you believe you are. In reality, you’ve had a minor setback. You’re close to succeeding.

I think this is why many suicides happen when people are depressed. When you’re fighting depression it warps your thoughts, beliefs, and your view of people. You can’t see who loves and cares for you. Instead, you believe it to be fake, or nonexistent.

If you’re thinking of suicide, know that you are loved, and the world needs you. Pick up the phone and fight the lies. Call a friend, family member, coworker, anybody. Be honest, and tell them what you feel.

You shouldn’t have to fight alone, and Jesus is here to fight with you. Ask him to help you, and he will be there.

Why Is Fighting Depression So Hard?

In my Junior or Senior year of High School, some changes started to happen in my family. The changes brought about mental change inside of me. First, my mother kicked my father out, by filing a restraining order on him. This was huge for me because he was a disturbance in our house. The second huge change involved me getting my Driver’s License. I was free to go where I wanted.

I Was Scared Of Social Interactions

Because of the way I grew up, I never learned to handle my emotions properly. The rule of thumb in our house was to keep it bottled up. When you showed emotion you were made fun of.

It took me years to get over this issue, I learned that letting my emotions out, can be beneficial. When I started doing it, everything came out. At the same time, I’d lock up whenever I felt intense emotions. It was like my heart was gone, and I just had to deal with it.

It was weird because I’d turn stone-faced, I’d be dying inside and the person next to me wouldn’t even notice. I could fake my way through anything.

On the bright side I bluff in poker really well, but it’s not the best trade off.

I found my freedom with a license, finally, I could leave and walk away. However I couldn’t just leave, my little sisters were still there. I needed to be there for them, as best I could be anyway.

Life Became A Daily Battle With My Mind

Daily depression was difficult, and I couldn’t let anybody around me know what I was dealing with. I was petrified that my friends would think I’m a freak and remember being two hours late to a hangout with friends. Since I was the driver they were understandably angry. I joked around and said I’d lost track of time. I couldn’t tell them I was at home sitting on my bed, petrified to leave the house.

Most of the time, when I had plans, I’d be alright. However there was a couple times a month, where I just couldn’t do it. Facing people scared me, and I didn’t wanna leave my room. Whenever these issues came up, it’d take me a couple hours to break free.

I would lock up in my room, worried about situations that I was going through. After a while, I’d get the nerve up, and leave the house. My friends called being late, “pulling a Sterling.”

It sucked, I was desperate to tell them, or anybody, but I couldn’t risk it.

My Friends Set Me Free

I know they meant well, it just hurt when they said things like that. They had no idea what I was facing, and they didn’t know how much I needed them. In retrospect, I know I would’ve gone crazy without them.

Being around kids my own age started to change my perspective, and that was good and bad. It seemed like there was always something going on. I went to pool parties, went skateboarding, and rode minibikes.

I got to see how people really acted, and it was awesome. However I never really dealt with my underlying issues, and the events just hid them.

Depression retreated into the back of my mind, and for a long time, I was content. I had a group of friends that I could call at any time. At the drop of a hat we’d all be somewhere epic, and having fun. I thought I was healed, there was no pain I could feel, but that was far from the truth.

Fighting Depression Made Me Hide From People And That Made Things Worse.

God has a plan for everything, and he saw what I was doing, I was hiding. All the events and parties I attended were social masks. Deep down, I still hurt and felt the pain.

I was a popular guy, everybody loved being around me, but that didn’t change when I went home. There were nights where I just cried and laid in bed, wondering what was wrong with me. I was surrounded by people cheering me on, and I felt utterly alone.

It’s a hard thing to describe, it’s even harder to live, but if you’ve experienced this, you’ll know what I mean.

I needed a change and felt like my friends wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain. I had two or three close friendships. These guys knew me, but the rest of them, I kept my distance. This made for some shallow relationships. Nobody knew what I wanted in life, and I felt like nobody cared.

I Decided To Stop Fighting, And Start Living.

After I graduated from High School, I lived at home and got a full-time job. All I wanted was to make money. I believed money to be power, and I thought it would give me happiness, but I still felt empty inside.

Somehow I stumbled across an opportunity to attend a discipleship school, in Jackson, Mississippi. I felt drawn to go, and it scared me half to death. Eventually, I faced my fear, loaded up my Camaro, and drove South.

The ministry was small but I had lucked out and scored a place by myself. This was my first time away from home, and I got homesick quickly. The loneliness brought my depression to the surface, and in the first few weeks, it started to grow. In my house at home, there was always family around. Now, there was nobody, and I was left to myself.

Eventually, I’d realize my mistake, the last few years I’d built who I am on the people around me. Now I was alone and I realized my problems were still there, staring me in the face. I didn’t know how to handle it, so I did the only thing I could and started to pray.

Starting On The Path To Freedom

In discipleship school, I prayed regularly. It was the perfect safety valve. God knew my issues already, so why not tell him everything? It was a solid plan and looking back, I can see my healing begin.

When I get depressed it becomes difficult to see reality, I believe lies and I can’t remember the truth. They would burrow into my mind, laying eggs that would hatch when I’d least expect it.

Your mind can force you to believe some crazy things.

But You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth will Set You Free

Jesus – Quote From John 8:36 (Bible)

Prayer Brought Healing And Stopped My Fight With Depression

It was Sunday night, and I was in church. We had an evangelist as a guest speaker that night. He asked if people wanted prayer and if so come down to the altar. I was kinda nervous because altar calls can get kinda weird to me. The altar was calling me, but I didn’t wanna go.

I kept refusing to go, and the Holy Spirit continued to prompt me, saying get up and go. There was no joy in my heart, but I decided to obey. When you want something from God, sometimes you’ll need to take the first step. He’ll move and make everything work but you need to do your part.

I stood at the altar, and the evangelist started to pray. He looked over and saw me. Then in a few quick strides was in front of me. With a strong voice he began to speak:

Boy, You Look Like Samson On The Outside, But God Wants To Make You Like Samson On The Inside.

Southern Evangelist (quote as close as I can remember)

A Simple Prophecy Gave Me Strength While Fighting Depression

I’ve heard the same prophecy quite a few times, and I never knew what to make of it, because I didn’t have a proper view of myself. When Fighting Depression you stop being your true self. It halts personal growth and will prevent you from being who you were made to be.

He finished praying, gave me a hug, and moved onto the next person. I sat down at the altar, stunned and didn’t know what to do. This was a milestone in my life because I realized how much God loved me, and his plan for my life was amazing.

After that, a realization started to happen in my heart. I finally saw the lies of depression that I’d been believing. There were people around me, that’d I’d been hurting because I was hurting myself. That day I made a promise to myself. It was time for a change.

Why Fighting Depression Is Difficult.

Getting to the point where you stop fighting depression and get it under control can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. I’m still praying for full deliverance, and I’m believing it will happen soon. God never comes in our time. Instead, he works things out in perfection, our duty is to trust him.

Below are some tools I’ve used in the past that have helped me stay focused.

Surrender Your Heart To Jesus

The name of Jesus gets a lot of flack nowadays. If you have an issue with him, or this sentence makes you mad. Ask yourself why? What about him or his teachings do you hate? I bet your anger isn’t towards him. Most likely it’s based on a church or a group of Christians. I’ve been mad at Christians and I’ve been disappointed in Churches. You have to remember, they aren’t Jesus. They’re followers, and people make mistakes.

Don’t stop Jesus from doing something in your life because another person hurts you. Don’t ever let anybody have that type of influence on you. God gave you a brain and heart. Use them. Choose who you allow to influence you. It’s your life and you’ll be held accountable for it.

How To Follow Jesus

Following Jesus is the best choice I’ve ever made. The decision to give my life to him is what finally gave me the strength to fight. He didn’t deliver me from depression, instead, he gave me the strength to fight it.

To give your life to Jesus, you have to do two things. Confess and believe. You’ll mess up, and things will get harder. But he’ll be walking beside you, and that’s the best part.

Say This Prayer to Jesus:

Dear Jesus, I’m broken, and I’ve sinned against you. Please come into my life and forgive me. Show me the path to you, and thank you for dying and rising again for me.

-Elijah

Did you mean it? Do you feel anything different? Talk with him daily, start reading the Bible. Start in the book of John It’s the story of Jesus.

Get Friends Who Will Be Honest With You

It wasn’t until college that I realized it. When fighting depression I will withdraw from people. Leaving society only makes the depression battle worse, and it’s harder to bounce back from it.

I lived through Hurricane Katrina, and in College had issues with flashbacks. They would come and go at the worst times, but I would never tell anybody I had them. I worried that I was losing my mind, and wondered why now? So instead of telling somebody, I kept my emotions bottled up, and this went on until I almost burst.

I had some really awesome study friends in college. One day I was having horrible flashbacks and had plans to study with a friend of mine. I met up with her at a coffee shop, and after a while, she asked what was going on with me.

I told her nothing, and went back to studying.

She looked straight at me and started laughing. “That’s the problem. You don’t study, and you haven’t spoken in 10 minutes. That’s not like you. What is wrong?”

I didn’t like the idea of bringing anything up in the middle of a coffee shop, but I did feel like I was about to burst.

Good Friends Will Fight Depression With You

I didn’t tell her, but I made some excuses up and thought it passed well. It didn’t, and it caused her to be concerned. She found our Pastor and told him to find me.

An hour later I was at church, and he gave me a cup of coffee and asked me to sit down. Once I took my seat, he asked a few questions, and then everything came out.

It took 4-5 hours before I finished. I had told him stories about Hurricane Katrina, that I’d never told anybody. A lot of these memories were haunting me, and to this day I don’t wanna think about it. While I spoke the Pastor didn’t say a word. He listened and that’s exactly what I needed.

He prayed for me and I felt a lot lighter, it was like the burden fell off my back. I’d been holding onto the pain for so long, that my wound was festering. In my heart I was getting sick, I’m thankful for that night. I’ll never forget it.

Find friends that’ll drop everything for you, and don’t forget to do the same for them.

Sometimes Leaving The House Is Fighting Depression

Whenever depression hits if I let it fester, a vicious cycle will begin. Fear will creep into my heart and I won’t go out, but then feel horrible because I’m an extravert who needs people. The whole time I’m home, I’ll be missing and thinking about what I’m missing. Then I get more depressed, it’s a vicious cycle. It’s why I work from coffee shops when I’m working from home, at least I get to see people.

You have to break this cycle in your life. Even if you’re introverted, find a small group of people to meet up with. It’ll help you in the long run. Familiar relationships will help you find your freedom.

Learn Your Triggers, What Leads You Into A Battle With Depression?

What happened right before I got depressed? Is it related? How does depression fit into what happened? If you can answer those questions, you can find your trigger.

I sometimes let my mind wander, and for the most part, that’s okay. However, when I’m under a lot of stress, a wandering mind can lead me to fight depression. It’s really difficult to dig myself out of it too.

To combat it, when I’m stressed out I keep goals to try and focus my thoughts. Most of these goals are solutions to problems in my life. If I focus on problems, the depression wins, but if I force myself to come up with two different solutions, I’ll focus on those. It keeps me positive, focused, and I avoid a vicious downward spiral.

Look at the times a battle with depression hits you, see what is similar, and see how you can disrupt those trains of thought. A lot of depression management is avoiding the path you’ve walked before.

Get A Hobby And Stop Fighting Depression For A Few Hours

Snowboarding is how I expend my excess energy in the winter. There’s something about dropping into a run at high speed that blows my mind. It increased the endorphins and gives you a natural high.

I can’t Snowboard in the summer so I go biking. For me, it’s not the same rush, but a good workout is always recommended. I’ll go running if things get bad enough, but my world has to be falling apart.

What do you enjoy? What puts a smile on your face? Sit down and make a list so you’re ready for the next time you’re fighting depression. Let your hobbies be a way to get lost for awhile. If you can shut down and stop, you’ve broken to chain, and you might avoid getting depressed. At the very least, you’ve lessened the brunt of it.

My Conclusion On Fighting Depression

In this blog, I’ve told you stories about my path to healing and freedom from depression. Now it’s your choice. The die has been cast, what will you do? I want you to remember a few more important things.

  1. You are here for a purpose.
  2. The world needs you to do what you’re here for.
  3. You are loved even when you don’t feel it.
  4. Long-term solutions are NEVER good for short-term problems.
  5. Make the choice, stick to it, and remind yourself every day. You are special. You Are Important, And the world isn’t the same without you.

Professional Help

One thing I’ve never done is seek professional help. Other than a few Pastors, Mentors, and Teachers. While I believe Jesus can heal anything, I also believe he gave Doctors and Psychiatrists wisdom to deal with physical and mental problems.

Seek help, especially if you’re thinking of suicide. Pray to God, call a doctor, and get ahold of a close friend. Do whatever it takes to find help, even going up to strangers and talking with them. The world needs you, and nobody else can accomplish what you were placed here for. You have a purpose.

In Conclusion:

Overcoming Snowboard Fear, And Anxiety

Snowboarding Anxiety

Anxiety is a horrible feeling, one second your okay and in the next instance, it grips your soul. For me it’s like a heavy-weight, pressing deeply on top of my chest. Every human on the planet has fear, but anxiety is a deeper more intense feeling than that. I’ve dealt with anxiety for years, and I’ve finally been able to overcome it. Here’s how I did it.

To start out, I don’t know what anxieties you’re facing, but regardless of what you’re facing. YOU CAN overcome it. What you’re feeling isn’t necessarily bad, but it shouldn’t immobilize you. You need to learn how to face it. Below I’m placing my top ways to face anxiety.

How To Overcome Anxiety?

I’m a snowboarder, and every winter I get excited when the first flakes of snow begin to accumulate. I’ve been this way for years and I don’t see myself changing anytime soon.

A few years back I had some time off school, so I grabbed my Snowboard and hit my local ski hill. I love to snowboard, I’m an instructor and even have a blog about it. It was an epic day and I pushed myself hard. I was in the middle of a trick and caught one of my edges. This sent me into a spin and I slammed my head into the ground, receiving a massive concussion.

It was painful and weird. I had some crazy tunnel vision going on for a while, and remember not feeling like myself. Over the next few months, I’d do some strange things.

How To Get Over Your Fear Of Steep Slopes?

Three months after my incident I convinced the doctor that I was okay to ride again. It was spring break and I wanted to ride with some friends. I was annoyed, and I’d felt that I missed the whole season.

Everything felt fine as I strapped into my board. I dropped into my first run and started to shred. At first, everything felt fine, but then I discovered that I couldn’t turn left. I wondered if there was a physical issue, leftover from my concussion.

Then all of a sudden a realization hit me. I was stiff and afraid. The anxiety grew so strong that it immobilized me. I didn’t know what to do and felt I’d just lost my favorite thing in the world.

The Season Ended, And The Anxiety Stayed

That day was the end of my snowboard season, it was springtime, and going again was pointless. For the next six months, my snowboards (I have 4) sat in the corner of my bedroom, mocking me.

I knew that I had to remove my mental block, but I didn’t have the slightest idea how. Everyone always says you should face your fears and let go of anxiety, but how do you actually put that into practice?

How To Overcome Anxiety?

You can overcome anxiety and fear: Start by speaking a simple sentence out loud. Tell yourself, “I will not be controlled by anxiety anymore.” It’s okay if you don’t believe it at first. Eventually, you’ll begin to believe as you repeat it over time.

Naming your fear is the easy part. Next, you have to face it, and put that belief into action. Below I’m putting a few easy tricks that you can use to fight your anxiety.

Not being able to think straight is a major side effect of anxiety. Many of my tricks and tips will focus on getting that feeling back into your mind. When you can think straight, you’ve won 90% of the battle.

Take the ones that work for you and combine them. You can win this battle, but it’s going to take some effort on your part.

Overcome Your Fear, By Taking A Deep Breath:

I know it sounds cliched, but when you stop and take a deep breath it gives your body a second or two of respite. It releases tense muscles and gives you a greater flow of oxygen.

This technique has helped me on many occasions, if you’re still tense don’t stop at one. Close your eyes and take a few. This will begin a process of refocusing for yourself.

Ask Yourself, Is The Anxiety Credible?

We all have anxiety and fears. Some of them are irrational. Sometimes I’m able to fight off the fear just by realizing that it isn’t credible. For example, my first apartment had a loud refrigerator. My first few nights living there I’d be lying in bed, almost asleep and it would turn on. With a start, I’d be wide awake, and I’d walk around my apartment until I realized the noise came from my fridge.

Once I realized where the noise was coming from, it was easier to tell myself what it was. However, it still took a while to get over it.

Another way of putting this is that you’re rationalizing it. If you have a deathly fear of flying and it makes you anxious. Look up how many people travel safely by air every day. Statistically speaking you’re very safe.

Get Out And Get Some Exercise:

I’ll be honest, step two isn’t my fallback option. When I’m in the thick of it, I can’t think straight enough to wonder if my fear is credible or not. At the moment it’s real. I can say that exercise has helped me fight the anxiety in my heart.

A lot of times when I’m stressed and don’t know what to do, I go for a run, long bike ride, or snowboarding. The physical exercise is like a reset button for my brain. It pushes everything out of my body and I’m ready to think again.

Then I go back to the previous point, and try to remind myself of that fact when It strikes again.

You don’t have to do anything crazy for exercise. Get outside and take a walk. A change of scenery will give you a whole new viewpoint in life, and your fear might shrink.

Fall On Your Knees And Say A Prayer:

I know religion isn’t the most popular thing out there these days, but talking to God should be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said a prayer and asked Jesus to help me fight my fears. Don’t worry about the structure of your prayer, just say what’s on your heart. He will understand, and he will help you.

There’s been times I’ve been lost, and afraid. I reached out and Jesus came and saved me. He’ll do the same for you.

Close Your Eyes And Look Ahead 3 Months:

This tactic doesn’t work with every fear, but it’s worked great for the small ones I’ve had. When I find myself immobilized in fear, I’ll ask myself if this will matter in 3 months? If the answer is no, there’s an immediate release.

Some of you out there are thinking, well that doesn’t matter to me. My fear will still be here. Read further on, I’ll be talking about how you can fight the fear. You can come out on top of this battle.

Where Does The Anxiety Come From?

If you find yourself petrified, and you can’t seem to win against the fear in your heart. There are a few questions you should be asking yourself.

  • How did this fear come about?
  • When was the first time you felt this fear?
  • What triggers it?
  • How long does it last?

Once you have the answers it’s easier to understand the root of your terror, and it’s easier to combat. If you know the trigger for your fear, you can avoid it. When you know the first time you felt the fear, you know how it was born.

Then, you can develop a plan to fight it.

How I Finally Overcame My Fear Of Turning

I started the post with my snowboarding story because it’s simple, and relevant to everyone’s fears. Every time I tried to turn, my body wouldn’t let me. It wasn’t because my body couldn’t do it, my mind wouldn’t let it happen.

That’s a good description of us when afraid. We can turn left, but our fear of the unknown, the past, or some danger prevents us.

Overcome Your Panic, Fears And Anxiety:

Prior to my concussion, I could turn left. I did it all the time and even taught friends how to snowboard. Instinctively I knew my paradigm was off, and I needed to correct the issue.

I knew it was going to be a painful and pretty long process, but I decided to face the fear. So when winter finally hit, I grabbed my snowboard and went to a bunny hill. As I strapped in I worried a friend was going to see me, but I didn’t care. I just pressed on. The first few runs were boring, but I couldn’t turn left. I was like Zoolander and it was obvious. I was humbled when a 12-year-old kid tried to give me pointers.

After 8 hours of forcing my body to turn left, I broke through. It felt like the day before my accident, and I was carving again. Instantly I went to a bigger/longer run and realized it wasn’t all gone, but I was closer.

This is how you can defeat your fear as well. I don’t know what the fear could be, but you have to fight it. Confront the fear and it will fall. It’s all smoke and mirrors anyway, why not dispel the issue now.

How Can You Use This? A Retrospective

A lot of people are probably thinking, I don’t Snowboard and I don’t care about this. Snowboarding was my fear, and yours is different. How you face and fight the fear is up to you. All I know is that you shouldn’t be paralyzed by it.

Think about a fear that you have. What is your reaction to it? Is it healthy? Shouldn’t you challenge it? I love challenging the fears in my life, it’s truly the right way to live. You feel alive when you overcome it, and when you look back you’ll see how small it was.

Take a second and think about something that petrifies you. Write it down, and go back to the questions I wrote above. Where does it come from? What triggers it. Make your plan, and begin the fight.

Staying Courageous In Front Of Irrational Anxiety:

I have a fear of the future, I’m scared I’ll never make an impact, and I’ll die alone. I’ve seen it happen before and it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

I’m a Christian and I pray constantly about it, but I don’t receive a lot of direction. The fear in my heart is always abundant. So I live a constant life of battle.

  • I’m always fighting, slowly winning, but I need to keep choosing the right path.
  • Am I in the right spot?
  • What more can I do?
  • Maybe that was the wrong choice?
  • Will this mess me up worse?

When fighting our fears we psych ourselves out, and panic about what could happen. What’s worse, is what should’ve happened. Stop being immobilized by your fear and move. Turn into the skid, drop into the run, talk with that person. When you begin to move you’ll see the fear lose its grip and you will break free.

The first step is the hardest part, but once you begin walking, you’ll have the moment you need. Just make sure you finish it.

Courage Is Standing Up To Fear

Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it is the action you take when fighting it. I used to think there were people who were born with a courageous spirit. If you didn’t have it, you were out of luck. After I got some life experience I realized that was a stupid belief. Courage is a choice that you need to make. Usually, it’s made in a split second based on your character. So make sure you’re ready to go.

Below is a story I put at the end of Hurricane Jerald my first book. Most likely I’m going to make it the opening for my next book, but I think it fits perfectly with the topic of courage.

Highway 49 South of Hattiesburg 

September 24, 2005

            The rain was falling sideways and blowing my truck all over the road. I was thirty minutes from my destination, Ocean Springs Mississippi. It was nerve-racking, and my knuckles had long ago turned white as I gripped the steering wheel. I needed to keep my truck on the road; nobody else was out here to help. I felt alone, as I drove into a hurricane.

            Three hours before I was eating a late breakfast in Jackson, Mississippi. We were moving into recovery mode after Hurricane Katrina. The storm tore through the state a few weeks before. Now we faced a new horror, Rita. This hurricane was just as intense and headed straight for us. Its behavior was the same as Katrina. It was very eerie; needless to say, many people were in a panic. Those that could begin to evacuate north. I couldn’t leave; I had no place to go, and I was running an evacuee shelter. 100 evacuees were counting on me for help.

Anxiety Comes Without Warning

            Our Pastor called me into his office. Pastor, as we all called him, exemplified the title. He was under seven feet tall.The first time you saw him, you’d be intimidated. Then after speaking with him, he’d inevitably laugh and smile. You’d see he was a giant teddy bear. He was genuine about his love for people, and you could see it written all over his face. 

            “Sterling, I need you to do me a favor,” he always started it out this way, whenever he needed something. I was a part of his ministry school my job was to help however I could.

            Something in his tone scared me, and I couldn’t place it. I’d known Pastor for four years and never heard that tone before. Then, I realized what it was. “Why is he worried?” I got nervous. I’d never seen him worried before.

            “Hurricane Rita is about to make landfall on the Gulf Coast in the next few hours. Sterling, I need you to take a load of supplies to Ocean Springs?” 

The Courageous Choice

            Time slowed down, my pulse started racing, and my palms got sweaty. Ocean Springs was fifteen miles from the gulf coast. Katrina had been only a couple of weeks before, and this man wants me to drive into a hurricane. That’s suicide, I thought to myself. My truck wouldn’t make it past Hattiesburg. There was a time in my life I wondered what Kamikazes felt like, once their planes took off, knowing they wouldn’t return. Did they look back? I stopped wondering after this day. In my head, I was driving to my death. 

            “Sterling,” he said to me. “You know I would not send you unless I had a good reason. There is a shelter in Ocean Springs that has ninety people in it. They have no food, water, or medical supplies. The church opened as a shelter yesterday, and it’s filled with people unable to evacuate. Most of these people don’t have a place to wait out the storm and couldn’t escape Katrina.

           I looked at Pastor right in the eye and knew what my answer had to be. I said; “My truck will leave in fifteen minutes; I’ll load the truck now with food, water, and any medical supplies I have.”

Take Action Against Anxiety

    True to my word I was driving away in 15 minutes. I looked in the mirror as I drove away. Overcoming the fear in life isn’t about staying away from danger. It’s about facing it, and you have the skills to defeat it. God gave those to you already.

Make a choice today, tell yourself that with the help of God, you will overcome the fear that’s facing you. Don’ live in terror, live in freedom.

The Path To Freedom

The path to freedom is a narrow rock-strewn one, many people give up on the path, and they surrender to the terror. They never overcome the fear, and the fear rules them forever.

I decided a decade ago, that if I’m terrified, I’m doing something right. At that point, I need to face the fear. This of course applies to choices I make, not choices forced on me by others. If you want to be free of your fear, start today. You don’t understand the things you can accomplish when you’re free.

Make A Plan To Destroy Anxiety

Take everything I said in this post, and make a plan. Write down what you want to accomplish. Originally, I made a list of fears and wrote a plan about how I could conquer them. There were a few that I decided to live with (mostly snakes), but many others had to go. I’d post my plan if I could find it, but it won’t matter. Your plan will be different than mine, make sure you follow through with it.

I wish I had a larger fear of living an unfulfilled life (that’s way too deep to get into at the moment). An unfulfilled life would be terrible. I die and meet up with people in heaven. They ask what I did in life, and I tell them I beat a lot of PS4 games. That would be awful. If I don’t make life worth something, everything else is just filler until I die. 

What petrifies you? What makes you cringe when you think of it? That is what you need to face and the fear you need to deal with. 

In Conclusion:

Victory In Christ; How You Can Walk In Victory

Victory in Christ

If you’ve never felt the stinging knife of betrayal in your back, you’re a rare breed. Most people I meet carry a burden of pain. They carry this pain throughout their lives, and never notice the burden. The lucky ones decide they need Victory In Christ, but many others reject him outright.

Victory In Christ sounds like a simple saying, but it isn’t. Neither is it something that just happens. Instead, I believe to walk in victory, you’ll have a choice to make. There’s an acceptance you must grab, and a decision to move forward.

What will you choose today?

What Does the Bible Say About Victory In Christ?

In John 8:32 Jesus says that you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Interestingly enough, when you’ve read this far in John, you’ve already read that Jesus is the way to freedom.

In essence, Jesus is saying when you know me, that’ll set you free. Because when you know Jesus, you’ll know who you are, and you’ll see your birthright.

You’re not meant to be slaving away, you’re a child of the king, and he’s rescued you from this place. Learn it, believe it, and live it. But for some people, it’s hard to get over the feeling of being trapped.

In fact, many people live their lives sitting in a prison cell of their own design. They don’t realize the door to freedom is wide open, but the lock is gone.

Jesus has given us the victory, but we have to walk out the door.

How Do You Get Victory In Christ?

When you choose to walk out of your cell, you’ll begin to walk in victory. Many things will happen, but one of the first is a realization that life is hard.

Even if things become difficult, Jesus is always there with you. When you choose to stand up and leave your cell, you’re choosing to leave everything else behind.

Some people may get scared thinking of that, but you’re not doing this alone. When Jesus gave you the victory, he also promised that he’d always be with you.

Freedom in Jesus, is also divine victory.

What Is Divine Victory?

Divine victory is something that happened out of the ordinary, it can’t be explained in the natural realm. Jesus dying on the cross and rising again is a divine victory.

God forgiving your sins because of his sons’ death and resurrection is another example of a divine victory. It’s also an example of grace. Jesus took our punishment, and instead, God adopted us into his family.

What Is Walking In Victory?

That trapped feeling you have will never disappear without action. Have you ever wondered why so many people frequent bars, fall into toxic relationships or become addicted to drugs?

Keep in mind this isn’t everybody, just a portion of the group, but many people feel trapped. The feelings you get when drinking or smoking help you feel free for a short time. However, in the end, you’ll feel even more lonely.

It’s an amazing feeling, but it ends, and when it does. You seek to get that feeling back. It’s why many people fall into those types of addictions. Keep in mind that’s not everybody. We all have our own vices, and things we fall into.

How To Have Victory In Christ

You’ll never find Victory by sitting still because you have to find it. The first step is standing up, and the second is walking through the cell door.

Every freedom you hold dear, ignore and neglect was fought for. Many people died horrible deaths so you could live in peace. The most important freedom is heaven or hell. That was fought for by one man. His name is Jesus. he died, so you could be with him.

Why Are You Trapped?

The trapped feeling should never be comforting, in all actuality. This is a warning straight from your heart. It’s screaming that something is wrong.

Often we ignore these cries and prolong the problem. We fashion a prison for ourselves, and our hearts wind up in its center.

We are the warden, the guard, and the prisoner. The keys to freedom are held in our hands. The door to our cell is unlocked. However, the bed looks comfortable (It isn’t) and we find ourselves staying there.

In the end, we fall into depression.

Why Do We Stay There?

There are several different reasons that people stay in their prison. It isn’t a desire not to have victory in Christ, although a small portion might have that desire.

Instead, I think it involves fear, comfortability, and pride. These 3 things are driving forces in all of our lives. In many lives they have become the masters, but if you can master them. You’ll be unstoppable.

Fear: This halts you in your tracks, it causes you to look into the present, and stop gazing at the future.

Comfort: This strikes next, the fear stops your forward momentum, and being comfortable makes you sit down.

Pride: Look what you’ve achieved. You’re no longer striving, but you think you’re happy on a comfortable bed or chair. Not even realizing there’s a world outside the door for you to explore.

This is how we surrender our victory from Christ. He didn’t die so you could be comfortable. Instead, he died so you could be free.

What Does Victory In Christ Mean?

Victory in Jesus was a song written by E.M. Bartlett, and it describes the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It also describes where we all go after we die in Christ. It’s a beautiful old hymn of the church.

That’s just the source of the phrase though. Victory in Jesus means that Jesus has done it all. It means that Jesus has come to earth, he died, and he rose again.

He’s looking at each one of us, asking us to join him. We have the right to join his triumphant victory or walk away into the darkness.

Victory in Christ Is describing what those who follow him are going to experience, because of what he experienced.

Running From Victory,

As a child growing up I saw anger inside my father. It got to the point where I didn’t view him as my dad. I thought of him as the guy who came home, sat on the couch, and screamed at me. I never felt safe growing up, and there was a continual war inside my heart.

During this time freedom was unfamiliar to me, and Victory In Christ wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t know it even existed. There were books where people had a victory, and I wanted it. But how could I feel something I’ve never experienced?

Eventually, my anger and hatred towards my father led me down a dark road. I was a lonely recluse who only played video games. I never went out because I hated people, and the few times I did end badly. There were some fights that I’m not proud of. I locked myself up in a prison of my own fashioning.

Forgiveness Comes Before Victory

One of the biggest reasons people can’t forgive others and let go is due to their pride. They think if they forgive, then somehow they’re saying what happened was okay. That’s a total and complete lie, forgiveness is for you, and doesn’t do much for the other person. In all honesty, it might open their eyes, but will they see the situation the same? That depends on the person and situation.

Forgiveness is knowing what happened to you was wrong, but you’re choosing to let it go. In doing this you’re releasing the person from your anger, bitterness, and judgment. For now and into the future.

You’re really letting go, not just saying it. This means emotionally too, and that might take a while longer than just saying those words. Also, this doesn’t mean the slate is wiped clean. You can forgive and still set parameters.

Boundaries need to be planned out. And they should be reevaluated regularly (how often depends on the situation). For instance, a spouse that’s cheated on can forgive the one who cheated, but there might be some parameters to set up, that’ll help rebuild trust. What those parameters are, will depend on the couple. Forgiveness doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. It means you’re on the road to trust and Victory In Christ.

Victory In Christ Can Take Time

When you choose to say the words, “I forgive you.” You’re making a statement that goes into the future. You can’t forgive today and hold it against that person tomorrow. If you think about the incident and feel pain. You might still have the pain to release. You’ll find the more you forgive, the more freedom you obtain. It’ll happen just give it time.

Eventually, as you choose to forgive you’ll begin to feel a release. It’s almost like your heart will slowly drain out the pain, bitterness, and heartache.

Victory In Christ will slowly inch its way in, and you’ll begin to forget the pain. You won’t be full of anger, and bitterness.

Jesus will help you work through these issues and pains. When I first decided to forgive there was a small piece of light in my heart. It took forever to break through and finally find my Victory In Christ. He finally broke through one day, and the light was brilliant.

I Had Lost All Freedom

In my 20s I was seeing an amazing girl and thought she was the one. Like a lot of guys that age and situation, I started to think about marriage. Before I knew it things had fallen apart.

She dumped me a text message and my heart was destroyed, and there’s nothing wrong with that. (Although Dumping By Text Is Kinda Shady)

However, my reaction to the pain isn’t something I’m proud of. I acted like a spoiled little kid. Every reaction I had wasn’t right, and it was like a bandage had been ripped off my heart. Now all the pain was spewing out, and it had festered.

For months I was bitter, I remember getting sick because I lost her. None of my pain made sense until I started to really think about my situation.

This pain wasn’t just from her, it was years of pent-up anger and rage. It was a reservoir of pain that I’d never dealt with. She didn’t cause it all, she just destroyed the dam holding it back.

I finally saw the prison I’d built, and my cell was in the center of it.

Freedom In Jesus, Is Beautiful

It took months, maybe even a year. I spent countless hours in worship services, prayer times, and bible studies. It seemed like every time God would call me out.

He started to dredge my heart, and speak with me about the anger I had. Eventually, I decided to forgive her, and I needed to let everything go. Although that’s easier said than done.

Remember that forgiveness is a daily choice.

There’s Always Another Layer:

Digging into my heart, and deciding to forgive was a great first step. I’d stood up, and began to walk out of the cell.

However, I started to see something else was brought to light. I certainly was feeling free, but that would be short-lived until I finally let it all go.

My victory in Christ was there. I’d only experienced a small part of it.

Betrayal Complex; Finding Victory In Christ

My complex started when I was young. For some reason, I didn’t trust people and always felt that they’d let me down. These seeds were planted when I was a toddler and grew from my unstable life.

In my teens whenever I met someone new. A voice would begin speaking in the back of my head. It would say, “they don’t really care,” or “they are going to say horrible things about you behind your back.” The voice was relentless, and It forced me to be a loner. Even when I wanted to be around others.

It was painful to think about. I was always worried that people would be nice to my face. But evil to me behind my back.

I even had a few plans for revenge in case things came out.However I never realized how much it didn’t make sense.

I never shared this information with people, because I didn’t trust them, and didn’t want to become vulnerable. If I stayed strong, I’d prove them to be the liars that I believed them to be.

Finally, I decided to face this illogical fear and sat down with some close friends. I went into every nook and cranny to shine the light on the lies.

In the end, some of my friends were hurt, and it was hard to restore trust. Now they help me stay focused and keep an eye on me during times of intense emotional stress.

Forgive, Walk With Jesus, Experience Victory.

People have tendencies to bottle up their emotions, and they never want to release their pain. It seems more comfortable to hold onto it, but it has to be let out, or it will fester, poison, and kill you. That’s what happened to me. I felt lost, alone, and thought I was a total screwup and in many ways I was.

I didn’t understand forgiveness and believed it was for the person who wronged me. When you forgive, that’s for you, not the person who caused you pain.

Forgiveness doesn’t absolve what they did and doesn’t make it right. You’re just letting it go, releasing the attachment you have, and letting God judge the situation. He’s way better at justice anyway.

If you don’t forgive, the poison will seep into every aspect of your life. It permeated mine, causing a lot of heartache and pain to those around me. I wish I could take some things back.

Forgiveness is a difficult path to tread. It seemed pretty crazy to me at the time. I wanted to hold onto my pain, I thought I was making my father suffer.

That was stupid because I never saw him anymore. How would that hurt him? Also, why did that matter, why should his suffering cause me joy? Isn’t that what he did to me?

I never wanted to be like him, and so I chose forgiveness.

How You Can Truly Forgive Someone.

I have found in life that I am not strong enough to overcome the pain. For a long time, I felt the need for something more. Deep in my heart, I knew this would be a huge change.

I was always trying to be self-sufficient, and independent. At some point, I broke down, opened a bible, and began to read. I found the change I needed in that book, and the strength to go on.

Jesus is who gave me the strength. I never would have survived my childhood without him. If you read the teachings of Jesus, you’ll understand that he loves you, cares for you, and gave his life for you. He wants is to know you. If you have Jesus in your life, forgiveness is still hard, but he’ll give you the strength to do it.

How Do You Forgive Someone And Let Go Of The Past?

I’m not saying the instant you forgive, you’ll find peace. Sometimes it’s quite the opposite. In my experience, when you truly forgive, you’ll need to dig out the root of the pain, and that digging will cause a lot more pain.

For example, I was in love with a girl I used to Snowboard with. We were best friends for two years. We had a very short relationship, and when things fell apart, I cut all ties with her. Losing one of my best friends (see a pattern?) almost killed me, but after a session of intense crying. I remember thinking to myself. “This is a lot of pain, and there is no way this is all from her”.

I saw my heart full of pain and heartache. The wounds in my heart had festered and I’d never forgiven anybody for my pain. My heart was a bloody mess, and when we ended our relationship, it was like a bandaid was ripped off my heart, tearing the scabs off, and all the pain started to gush out.

In order to forgive her, I needed to face my pain, I needed to let it go, and finally, I needed to let myself heal. After a few months of should searching, letting go and releasing my anger. I finally was able to let it all go. Part of me felt crazy that it took that long, but if you hold onto a lot of Un-forgiveness, you’re carrying a lot of weight.

It takes time to unburden the heart.

Steps Toward Victory In Christ

So what are the steps to forgiveness?

  1. Listen To Your Feelings. Especially when you feel slighted or wronged.
  2. Try and understand where the other person was coming from.
  3. Understand that you can’t change the past. You can make a future.
  4. Commit to letting things go. Continue to remind yourself.
  5. Eventually, if you do #4 enough, your emotions will follow through.

Why Jesus Worked So Well For Me

I understand the name Jesus isn’t popular in America today. As you read, I ask you to think about his teachings, not his people or what you’ve been told about them. In the Bible, Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors, help the poor, fatherless, and widows.

He loved humanity and proved his love by dying for you. You don’t have to have Jesus in your life to forgive. But having him there helps a lot.

Life is still hard with Jesus in your life, but having him in your corner gives you an ally, and that is perfect when you’re getting hit from all sides. He’ll give you strength when you’re knocked down and peace when you’re in trouble.

In painful times I found a song that really stuck with me. It was performed and written by a 90s band called Stavesacre, here is a couple of lines: 

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