Who Am I and Why This Blog

photo of me What can I tell you about me?

Well, I have more days behind me than I probably have in front of me. I have been blogging for a couple of years, but only recently started my blog, YourSpiritMindandBody.com.

In the past I wrote whatever I was thinking about or feeling at the time. One day you might be reading one of my poems and another you might be smoking meat with me for the day.

As much as I enjoyed sharing some of those things on my old blog, I felt inspired to create a blog that spoke to things that are truly important and things I’m passionate about.

(Since I wore a younger man’s clothes), “I know, a totally plagiarized phrase, but I love the way it sounds”. I have been fascinated by how the mind works and the complexities of our personalities and how our experiences and thoughts affect the direction our lives take.

I have read so many books and listened to so many audios on self-improvement. I have read the biographies of some of our founding fathers, leaders of industry, and people like Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale and Tony Robbins.

I have considered with great fascination how some people coming from very poor or humble beginnings have been able to make a huge impact on society and even the world. While others who seemed to have everything going for them totally imploded, and threw their lives away.

I have done a lot of reading and study on the subject of the conscious and subconscious minds which has opened my mind to a whole new understanding of what makes us tick. It has helped me understand how powerful our thoughts and emotions really are, and how without gaining control over them we are like a ship on the sea without a rudder.

I have also spent many years reading and drinking in of the scriptures. I find that every time I read through the scriptures I learn more, gain a deeper understanding, and see things I never noticed before. I have also come to understand that a life apart from God is empty with only fleeting moments of happiness that are unsustainable.

I’ve never been an executive of a company, I haven’t written a best-selling book, “as of yet, anyway”.

I went to school for both Business and Computer Programming; and I ended up working construction and the at the front desk of a hotel.

I’ve done my fair share of stupid things in life, and I have done some pretty good things as well. I’ve had my ups and I’ve had my downs. I have never had everything I wanted, but I have always had everything I needed.

I’ve lived, I’ve loved and I’ve learned a lot of things. Some of the really important things I’ve learned are:

  • The things that are truly important in life
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Self is not the focal point of the Universe
  • It truly is better to give than receive
  • To have a friend you must be a friend
  • True beauty is found on the inside, and not the outside
  • The ability to love is the most important key to a happy life
  • Relationship with God cannot be compared with anything else in life

So, why did I create YourSpiritMindandBody.com?

I created it to take my three greatest passions; my love for God, my love of inspiring and encouraging other, and my love of writing; and share them with the world.

I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor, so please do not consider this “professional advice”. I do however feel inspired and lead to write the things I do, and pray that you find and take away some helpful nuggets from them.

May God bless your life as He has been blessing mine!

What Kind of Fruit Are You Anyway?

fruits of the SpiritThe scriptures say that people will know us by our fruit. So let me ask you, what sort of fruit are people seeing in you? Now, there are two kinds of fruit; one is good fruit, and the other is rotten fruit. One is produced by walking in the Spirit and the other by walking in the flesh.

When our focus is only on the things of the world, our fruits will tend to be those shown in Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

On the other hand, if we walk in the Spirit with God, our fruits will be those described in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

If you are reading this, I’m pretty sure your desire is for the fruits of the Spirit in your life. The works of the flesh are self-explanatory, and don’t really need elaboration. On the other hand, the fruits of the Spirit sometimes require some explanation. The original meaning is often different from how we use some of these words today.

  • For instance, the first of the fruits listed in verse 22 is LOVE, which we tend to express as an emotion. In the fruits of the Spirit, the word transcribed as love is agape, which is better translated as charity or unconditional love.  It’s the kind of love that God has for us that says I’m going to love you know matter what. It’s a love that is given without condition, and is not dependent on circumstances.
  • The next fruit is JOY which we often equate with being really happy, but scripture teaches us that real joy is a confidence. It is that source of strength that comes from living for and in God.  Real joy, just like real love is not just an emotional feeling, but a zeal that comes from a relationship with God. In that relationship, we don’t need circumstances to make us happy, we are happy in spite of circumstances.
  • PEACE is another fruit of the Spirit. True peace, God’s peace, comes from an assurance that God is in our life, and has our back. We know that no matter what happens, in the end all will work out. It’s an unwavering confidence and serenity that keeps us on track no matter what life throws our way.
  • Next is LONGSUFFERING which is another word for patience. Patience is being calm and at peace in all circumstances. Patience is not really about the ability to wait for something, as much as, it’s about how you act while waiting. Longsuffering is about not flying off the handle when that’s what you want to do.
  • Then we have KINDNESS which is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. The spirit of kindness shows itself through our outward acts toward others. When we are able to take the focus off ourselves and genuinely want the best for others, we then show the kindness expressed in the fruits of the Spirit.
  • GOODNESS is the act of being good. Having a spirit of goodness is expressed by having integrity, honesty and compassion toward all. It’s doing the right thing even when it isn’t expedient to do so. Goodness isn’t just about being nice; it’s an expression of Christ living through us.
  • FAITHFULNESS is the act or quality of being faithful. Being faithful is being committed and unwavering in our loyalty. God is faithful to us by always being there for us. We are faithful toward God when we don’t let the things of the world come between us and God.
  • GENTLENESS is a trait that shows a calmness and tenderness toward others. To be gentle is to be meek and lowly of spirit. At the same time, gentleness is not a sign of weakness, but of great strength of character. We’re told in scriptures to be wise as a serpent, but as gentle as a dove.
  • To finish off the fruits of the Spirit, we have SELF-CONTROL which is the ability to control our reactions to people or situations. You exhibit self-control when you stay calm during stressful events. Self-control is the ability to control your impulses, and do what’s right rather than reactionary.

My hope in this post was just to touch on the basic meaning of each of the fruits, as a quick check of where we are in relation to them.

Sometime in the future I would like to expand upon each of the fruits, and talk more about how we can develop them with the help of God.

Let me know what you think.

Memorial Day

flag lined walk wayA memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and even entire parks.

The most common type of memorial is the gravestone or the memorial plaque. Also common are war memorials commemorating those who have died in wars. (Wikipedia)

The word memorial is used 26 times in the bible, and is always stated with significance. When you memorialize something, it is because of its importance; which brings me to this very special day.

I would imagine most of you reading this have either been in the military, or know of someone who has. If you know anything about war, you know of the great sacrifice that so many have given for this country.

War is ugly, and there is no glorifying it. But even in that ugliness we call war, there are many bright lights that are willing to lay it all down for this country.

We can all argue which wars we feel we should or should not have been a part of, but that will not change the fact that most men and women that who serve our military, do so with distinction, and for an ideal that is bigger than any one person.

Most of those men and women have acted nobly in what they were asked to do. Most of our veterans are heroes in my opinion and deserve this special day memorializing the sacrifices they made.

Men and women who leave families, friends, and personal comfort to serve this country deserve our admiration and respect. These men and women stand in the gap for us all, so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms and blessings that God has bestowed upon this Country.

Freedom is not free, it comes with a cost. I thank God that there are men and women who are will to pay that cost.

So today, I would like to personally thank all our veterans and their families for the sacrifices that you make each and every day. I would also like to share this very special blessing with you:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

God bless our veterans, and may God continue to bless this Country!

 

What does this day mean to you?

I Had a Dream Part 2

picture with someone dreamingIf you have not read “I Had a Dream, Part 1, you will want to read that first.
He asked me if I understood all the things I had seen, and I told Him, “no, I am very confused over it all”. Then He proceeded to explain what I had seen.

All the things you saw around the shore, like the hotels, casinos, movie theatres and parties, the restaurants of every kind, the bowling alleys, dance clubs, colossal financial institutions and skyscrapers, the amusement parks and water slides, the street vendors and musicians all around, ARE THE CARES AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD.

The beautiful large and deep lake that you saw that was full of brilliant and strange looking creatures. The one whose surface was like glass and had the cool and gentle breeze that blew against you, THAT IS GOD’S KINGDOM.

The people that you saw that were scurrying around all the buildings, and happenings that surround the lake, ARE THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD,

The people you saw dipping their toes in the water, but quickly pull them out and leave ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM AND DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT, THEN THE WICKED ONE COMES AND SNATCHES AWAY WHAT WAS SOWN IN THEIR HEART.

The people you saw who waded out a little further, but ran out when they saw a wave coming, ARE THOSE THAT HEAR THE WORD AND IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE IT WITH JOY; YET THEY HAVE NO ROOT IN THEMSELVES, BUT ENDURES ONLY FOR A WHILE. FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISES BECAUSE OF THE WORD, IMMEDIATELY THEY STUMBLE.

The people you saw who ventured into the water up to their ankles, some up to their knees and some up to their waists ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD, BUT THE CARES OF THIS WORLD AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMES UNFRUITFUL. (This is the place where so many people fall)

The people you saw who entered the water and didn’t look back. The ones who dove under and totally submerged themselves in the water. Those that came up with such a look of contentment on their faces. The ones that though they had lived hard lives and been through a lot, seemed to be so at peace after submerging themselves in the water, THEY ARE THE SAINTS OF GOD, THE ONES WHO HEAR THE WORD AND UNDERSTAND IT, WHO INDEED BEAR FRUIT AND PRODUCE SOME A HUNDEREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, AND SOME THIRTY.

Then He asked me, “Mike, why do so many of you struggle so”. “You submerge yourself in the depth of the water then keep walking in the direction of the currents that tend to drag you back to the shore”.

“You live in a day and age that seems to make your walk with God so challenging.” “Do you know why that is”, He asked me. “No, I said as I looked down sheepishly. “It’s because you let the busy ness of this world come between you and Me.”

Instead of reading the word in the morning, you get up as late as possible where you have to rush off to work, or put on the news and close Me out. Instead of taking time during the day to go into your room and pray, you find other things to busy yourself with. Instead of making the last thing you do before going to sleep, spending time with Me, you end your day with the news drinking in the horrors and sadness of the day. Instead of going to sleep with the Word in your heart, you go to sleep with the worries of the world on your mind and weariness in your spirit.

Then He put His hands on my shoulders, looked me strait in the eye and said, “Tell as many as will listen, to come to Me. I know you all labor and are heavy laden; but I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” “You must stop trying to find time for Me, or fit Me in; you must make time for Me.

I then woke up and felt compelled to share this dream with you all. You see, what I learned from this dream is what I already knew, that God must become number one in our lives.

God must be more important than your husband, more important than your wife, more important than your son or daughter, more important than your mother or father, more important than your boss or your job, your friends, your hobbies, your fun. God must be paramount in your life or you run the risk of being lukewarm in the eyes of God.

Stop trying to find time for God. Make time for Him!

I Had a Dream Part 1

a person dreamingI had a dream the other night and it was so vivid and so realistic that it almost didn’t seem like a dream.

I’d been wrestling lately with feeling like as a society we have been turning our backs on God. It’s said that 92% of American households owns a bible. I wonder how many actually read it.

Anyway, I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours before finally falling asleep. (That’s when it got weird).

I found myself standing on a beach, and in front of me was this large, deep and beautiful lake. This lake was cool and crystal clear, and it seemed to draw me to it. Behind me, and all around the perimeter of the lake was every kind of big and impressive structure you can imagine.

There were hotels, casinos, movie theatres and restaurants of every kind. There were bowling alleys, dance clubs, colossal financial institutions and skyscrapers. There were amusement parks of every kind, as well as, street vendors and musicians on every other corner. And everywhere I looked there were bright lights and laughter and people scurrying about. I could feel myself being pulled in that direction.

Then I turned back and looked at the lake and I found myself captivated by its beauty. I noticed brilliant and strange looking creatures swimming under the water. The surface of the water was like a sheet of glass, and there was a cool and gentle breeze blowing toward me off the lake.

When I focused on the lake, I almost forgot about the shore, it just seemed to fade away. Out toward the middle of the lake I noticed, there were people swimming. There were not nearly as many people as on the shore, and they were not laughing, hollering and scurrying about like the people on the shore, but they seemed to be really happy.

They seemed to really be enjoying themselves. There was a look of contentment on their faces and they seemed to be completely at peace. It was such an odd contrast.

Then I started feeling this tug of war going on inside me. I felt pulled toward all the things that were going on around the lake, at the same time I felt drawn to the water. I really wasn’t certain what to do.

Suddenly I noticed there were people all around me. Most were enjoying all the pleasures that surrounded the lake. Some of them would walk up to the water from time to time, take off their shoes and dip their toe in the water. The majority of them would recoil as if they saw a snake. That water is way to cool for swimming many of them said. Plus, my friends and family are waiting on me so I really don’t have time to swim now, maybe another day.

Then there were some who would wade out a little deeper, but when they saw a wave coming in their direction, they ran out of the water and said, “It’s way too risky and hard to stand, I feel much safer on the shore, I don’t feel comfortable in the water”.

Then there was an even smaller number who even though the water was cool, decided to venture a little deeper. Some went in up to their ankles, some up to their knees and some up to their waists.

For a while they seemed to enjoy the water, but they kept hearing the sounds and voices from the shore. You could see a struggle going on in their minds, but the pull was too great for some of them and they left the water and went back to the shore.

Then, there was even a smaller group who entered the water and didn’t look back. These people dove under and totally submerged themselves in the water. When they came up, there was such a look of contentment on their faces. You could tell that many of these people had lived hard lives and been through a lot, but they seemed to be so at peace after submerging themselves in the water.

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If you’d like to hear the rest of the dream, stay tuned for part 2!