Yea. I said it. SEX. Who would think that a pastor’s blog would include such a subject? This one would, that’s for sure.
I comb the Internet for news articles all the time that would be ‘blog worthy’ and this one is top notch- read it- http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20101112/tls-health-us-brain-internet-aeafa1b.html its about happiness and the things that we do that make us happy, and not happy.
Things that make us happy-
Things that don’t make us happy-
1. Using a computer
Now, as a Pastor, I wish that going to church or praying would have made the top three, but in this case, it didn’t. Probably because the study was done with iphone users, and we all know that people of faith use Blackberry’s and Droids, so that’s probably where that disconnect is. Anyway, here’s my take on it.
From this study, the 3 things that make us happy all include connection and movement. Sitting around doing nothing with no one gets you no where.
Talking about sex is fun and all, but here’s the biggest part of the study that I think is important to note- it says, “people spend about half of their time thinking about being somewhere else, or doing something other than what they are doing, and this perpetual act of mind-wandering makes them unhappy”. A wandering mind makes you unhappy- meaning, that when you think about things that you dont’ have, or you places you wish you were, you get unhappy. Pretty simple, isn’t it? But isn’t it also something that we all do?
Raises the question- what do you allow you mind to think about during the day? What do you think about? What do you focus on? Do you spend your days thinking about what you don’t have, or where you wish you were? Or do you spend more time thinking about the blessings that you have right now, the things that you do possess that you can be thankful for.
Here’s my recommendation- if you’re married, you need to be having some sex with your spouse ( from a Biblical perspective- sex is for married people- gotta throw that in). . Secondly, married or not, you should be doing some sort of exercise, and of course, you should TALK. Spend some time in conversation with people around you and watch what it does for your mood.
Most importantly I agree with this part of the study- we should focus on the things in our life which are good- the book of Philippians says “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”
Think about good things. Not bad things. Don’t let your mind wander. Go have sex with your spouse, exercise and talk.
God never intended for us to be disconnected people who sit around and do nothing. He created us for action and connection.
I wasn’t going to write a blog today, so this may be a bit short.
Trying to articulate something to say that will have meaning on a day like Veterans day is a challenge. I think its all been said before. When I think about Veterans day, I think about the cross that Jesus was crucified on. I know, it seems odd that these two events are connected, but let me explain.
When I finally understood what it meant when Jesus died on the cross, I could not longer deny it. It changed me. I couldn’t ever look at the world the same because of what He did and what it meant. Because of the crucifixion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am compelled to live my life differently. I must. I can’t hide from the facts.
I feel the same way about Veterans. What they have done and what they provided for me as an American is epic. How dare I shame the blood of the patriots that have gone before me and provided the freedoms that I have. Because of their sacrifice, there are certain things, easy things that I think every American should do.
1. Shut your mouth when the National Anthem is being played. Quit walking around, take your hat off and show some respect.
2. If you don’t want to put your hand over your heart when people say the pledge of allegiance, stand up and shut up.
3. Every time you meet anyone who has ever served in any branch of the Armed Services, thank them for their service.
4. Don’t ever bad mouth America or talk about moving to Canada. Quit talking about it. Move already.
5. Being disrespectful of America isn’t patriotic. The blood that Veterans shed over the centuries was never intended for you to burn flags, cuss at politicians, and shame veterans.
If you haven’t served in the US Armed you probably wont fully understand these gripes. If you have served, and don’t agree with me, you should go back to boot camp. Apparently you weren’t paying attention.
When someone does something for you, such as dying on a cross for your sins, or going across the world to some pit of destruction to provide some freedoms for you, it should change how you live. It should affect you.
No one liked watching the movies “The Passion of The Christ” and “Saving Private Ryan”. But you should watch them. You should watch them, be uncomfortable and queasy. Why? Because what you have, who you are, and what you are able to do did not come cheap. It was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ and scores of patriots that you will never meet.
For a while now, I’ve really wanted to get one of my sermons typed out and get a transcript of it. I found out that my friend’s mother does transcription, so I thought that would be a good connection for me to get it done. I asked him about connecting his mom and I, and he wouldn’t give me her phone number and said he would take care of it.
Here’s the problem with my friend- he has been known to drag his feet on stuff, so after constant prodding for the past few months, he still hadn’t contacted his mom for me. Finally, about a week ago, he said that he talked to her, and told her that I would detail her car for her, if she would do a transcript.
This was not true. I told him I would pay her to do it, not detail her car. My suspicion was that my friend was trying to get me to wash her car for his satisfaction of knowing I would be vacuuming out his mom’s car, and less about what she wanted. I know his mom. She’s a great lady. I challenged him on it, told him I wanted to speak with her on my own, but he wouldn’t give me her number.
I took matters in my own hand yesterday and friended her on Facebook, in hopes that we could connect about this small project. He found out that I had friended her through his mom and called me and told me she was going to deny my request.
Great. What have I got myself into this time? The friend deny from my friends mom? Am I losing my touch?
So later in the day, I get a Facebook message from his mom- and it says- “Chad told me that you would like for me to type up one of your sermons and I would be happy to. He said that you wanted to detail my car in return and that is wonderful.That is a very generous thing to offer. It means so much more than money. Let me know when you would like to come over and we can probably do them both at the same time.”
Oh my heck. Now I’m in deep. What am I going to do? I don’t want to detail any cars. I wanted to pay her.
I call my friend and tell him what the message says, and he asks me what I am going to do. “I guess I’m going to have to wash her car now, thanks to you”. It was his fault. He told her that I would do it, and now I was going to have to do it. “it means so much more than money”. Yeesh. How can I go back on that?
“Gotcha!” He says over the phone. He hacked his mom’s account and wrote the message. She said she would do it for free.
That guy. He thinks he’s so funny. I’m going to get him back. I’m not sure how or when, but I’m going to get him.
I was laughing uncontrollably over the phone last night when he told me. He got me good. Laughter really is good medicine as Proverbs 17:22 says. It was a good laugh.
Here’s the problem- some people take life way to seriously. They can’t find the humor in anything. They don’t laugh and joke or have any fun. Now, would I always reccomend laughing at someone else’s expense? No, but laughing at life? Yes. Laughing is fun.
When is the last time you laughed hard? So hard your sides hurt? The Bible is true. A cheerful heart is good medicine. Laughing is good for your soul. Look for something to laugh at today. Find the humor in something. Choose to laugh. Even if it is at your own expense.
Before I even begin, I realize that writing a blog about George W. Bush could be a very polarizing topic.Here’s what I would recommend- save the anti-Bush rhetoric for a different forum. This blog isn’t about his policies or being a republican. Its about the interview from last night.
Last night, Matt Lauer interviewed President Bush about his new book “Decision Points” for about an hour, and it was a very interesting interview. I like the office of the President, I always have. Regardless of the political office, the history of the Presidency is a great history of our nation. Last night was no different.
President Bush is not without his detractors. First there was the hanging chads, then 9-11, then Afghanistan, Iraq, Hurricane Katrina,the bank bail-outs, and “tax cuts for the rich”. Talk to anyone and they have an opinion on W.
In the interview, Matt Lauer hit on all of those points directly. He asked Him if he would have done stuff differently. He asked him if he thought the intelligence was flawed, if Katrina was handled correctly. He asked President Bush how he thought about the bank bailouts and how it reflected the principles of a free market economy.
Here’s what I saw and what I loved. Right or wrong, President Bush owned every last thing that he did in his Presidency. He didn’t pass the buck. He didn’t criticize. He didn’t blame someone else. He didn’t say ‘the previous administration’. He didn’t hide behind his words. His message was clear- what happened while he was President was his doing. He made the decisions and he stood by them.
I respect that a lot.
President or not, there are a ton of people today that refuse to own up to what they did, or take responsibility for their actions. Its always someone elses fault, and never their own. They live in a world of circumstance where they are powerless to affect the situations around them. Frustrates me. I like it when people take responsibility for their actions.
It made me think of what Jesus said in the 12th chapter of Matthew. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Words say it all. Its all we’ve got. We all make decisions every day, and when faced with them, we make a choice on whom we are going to place the responsibility of our actions and words.
Do you pass the buck? Do you blame others? When faced with a bad situation, do you grab a mental list of who to blame, or a mirror? Think about that today. Don’t blame others when faced with the decisions you have made. Own up to them. Sure, you’re no President, and Bush isn’t perfect, but we all can own up to what we do and say.
Could you give up taking a shower everyday? I know some people who do that already, but that’s not for me. I absolutely love to shower. I look forward to it in fact. I don’t know what it is, I just feel more human after taking a nice hot shower with a bunch of soap. It’s the best.
Interesting story out of the UK about not taking a shower http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/02/give-up-washing-showering . The article talks about how some people, in order to help the environment, are foregoing the daily shower. Apparently its supposed to have some long lasting impact on the environment, if you shower less.
I’m not so sure about it. Here’s the indirect impact on the environment if people don’t shower that I think they may have missed.
1. Depleted ozone from the stank above your head.
2. Driving around looking for different friends who don’t care if you stank.
3. Taking a longer shower on the second day, washing off your stank.
4. Other people having to shower after being around you and your stank.
I’m a clean freak. I can’t stand bad odors. I can’t find a Biblical reference for the daily shower, but there is something ungodly about being stinky. I know there is. Shower up.
If these people really want to change the world, I’ve got some things they can stop doing that will have a greater impact on the world than not showering. Here’s a few-
1. Stop cutting me off in traffic.
2. Stop honking at me if I’m not moving fast enough through the parking lot.
3. Stop saying mean things.
4. Stop doing mean things.
5. Stop talking bad about people.
Simple things, but I think they will have a better impact on the world than less showering. There are things you shouldn’t do, and there are things you should do. You need to shower.
Here’s the deal- I know that there are people in this world that want to help people and the world, but the reality is that it is the relational aspects of this world that are ruining our planet. I’m no eco-terrorist, I can appreciate taking care of the environment, I’m just a bit more concerned with how people treat people. If the world focused on that instead of the eradication of the Wheat Weevil, I think we could change the world a bit more.
Here’s what I recommend- continue to shower, but find other things in your life that you can cut out that will help the world. Cut out a drive, recycle a bit, do something. But most importantly, find some ways to take some of the negative relational things out of your life that are hurting other people. Work on that.
As a societal norm, people like people who are nice. People like people who are loving, caring, forgiving, and fun to be around. Most people enjoy the company of someone who has a positive attitude and an outlook on life that looks for the best, not the worst. In my short 35 years, I’ve yet to meet someone who is mean spirited, has a negative attitude, a poor work ethic and is vindictive that people like. No one says “Man, I sure love Mr. McClatchy he’s such a sour existence of a man”. It just doesn’t happen.
No one likes mean people. They may tolerate them, or allow them into their lives because of circumstance, but seldom does a person seek out relationship with these types. Typically, they are stuck with them, not choosing them.
I’ve never understood sour people. I can appreciate that during a time of mourning, or a difficult season of life that a person may not feel on top of the world. I get that. But when a person lives a constant lifestyle of self loathing and negativity, I struggle to see what the deal is.
As a Christian and human being, I realize that these people need love and that I am called to love them, regardless of their disposition. The Bible says I have to love them. It doesn’t say I have to like them.
I think what sour people don’t grasp is that they can choose to make a change in their life whenever they are ready. I think they just don’t realize it. Somehow they are stuck in the muck of their own despair to the point of pulling others down into their emotional hole of destruction.
I’ve seen change in people’s lives I’ve never thought possible. People who used to be mean who are now nice. People who used to hurt that now help. Those who used to destroy that now build up. Its possible!
Here’s the key to the sour turnaround- quit being sour. I know, big huge spiritual idea isn’t it? But I think its true. Today, you can choose to smile all day long. No one will force you to do so, you have to choose to smile. Here’s the greatest part- with God’s help. he can turn any one’s life around, if they will let Him.
The ability that God has to make someone into a new creation is amazing. He is in the people changing business. He changes mourning into dancing and pain into joy. He takes the wretched of the Earth and sets them up on a pedestal. He changes lives, but, you have to let Him. You have to spend time with Him and allow Him to influence you in such a way that it changes your persona and your outlook. He will do it, if you will let Him.
Are you sour? Stop it. Decide today to allow God to change you into a person who influences the world with love and joy, not hurt and sadness.
Did you catch this story? In Oregon, a man, 73, got stuck in the snow with his sister, and he went for help on his wheelchair for 3 miles until someone found him and help. You can read the story here- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101030/ap_on_fe_st/us_odd_wheelchair_rescue its a pretty amazing story.
The story isn’t that long. The headline says it all.
I think that most of us if we were in dire circumstances like that we would be willing to do it also. Wheelchair or not, if I was stuck in the snow, I would find a way to get out. If it cost me my life I would die trying to save my family.
Makes me think- are there other areas of our life that we should be willing to fight that hard? Sure, its easy when there is a burning building, or a car wreck for the fight or flight instinct to kick in and cause us to act. But what about those things that we know would greatly benefit us or others, that we don’t do, either out of apathy or laziness.
I know that there are things in my life that I need to change. I know there are things in my life that I need to attack.I know there are people I can love and help. But, many times, I constantly put these things off for days weeks and months, why? Because they appear to be things that are not life or death circumstance. Or are they?
Let me explain- I wont have a heart attack today if I eat some fried food and don’t exercise. What may happen is that if I never exercise, and constantly eat fried food, it could contribute to health problems later in my life. Because the impact of the decision today, is so far off, it lessens the likelihood that I will be influenced by its effects.
No one drinks poison because it immediately kills them. People act in dire circumstance because if they don’t someone will die.
The trick is to treat things that seem benign as if they were dire, so that you will be prompted to act now, versus later.
The Bible says “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act” (Proverbs 3:27). I think that’s a powerful scripture. We can choose to act. We can choose to do good. We can make an immediate impact in the lives of others and our selves if we would act now.
Choose today to act. To not put off. To treat the day as if someone you knew or yourself were trapped and act immediately. Don’t put it off.
If a 73 year old man can go in the snow in his wheelchair for 3 miles, you can do something, can’t you?