Do It Anyway

Hey guys, another post from Pravs World! Enjoy!

~ Jeff

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with

the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

Author : Mother Teresa

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I don’t like Christianity

I’m going to be frank with you right now.

I don’t like Christianity.

There.

I’ve finally said it.

I love Jesus. But I don’t like Christianity.

I love the Church. But I don’t like Christianity.

I love God. But I don’t like Christianity.

Christianity, it’s too, uh, rule based. At least in my experience.

It’s read your Bible every day. Make sure you pray. Make sure you give money. Make sure you tithe. Make sure your life is pure. Make sure you don’t lie. Make sure you say grace. Make sure you go to “church.” Make sure you hang out with other believers. Make sure you do this. Make sure you do that.

Seriously?!?!

You got all that from a God who said he would accept you as you are?!

I don’t believe you…no, really, I don’t.

I don’t like Christianity because, to be honest, it’s gotten away from Christ.

Oh sure they’ll point out Christ. “See that? That right there is Jesus!”

Mhmm…if you say so. What that looks like to me is some type of rule with a little bit of Jesus sprinkled on it.

You see, there’s this little verse that A LOT of people use to justify themselves and what they say…and all the rules they pull from the Bible and verses that they cherry pick to “prove” their point. John 14:15. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Yup. That one little verse is what the very foundation of rules that modern Christianity exists on. It thrives on making people feel guilty. The very service I’ve been going to for the past few Sundays, just last week and this week did nothing but make me feel guilty. Why? Because I wasn’t living in the Kingdom mindset. I wasn’t reading my Bible every day. I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t giving, I wasn’t following and doing all the good Christian things.

But here’s the secret, I’m still Christian…and God still loves me.

WHOA WHOA WHOA! Wait a sec. You’re still Christian even though you didn’t do that stuff??

Yup. It’s totally true. You see, a couple years ago (I can’t believe I can say that but it’s sadly true) God let me in on a little secret. One that he has been letting people in on for a long time…the problem is some people don’t exactly catch it.

You know what the foundation of Christianity is?

The Bible?

Haha, nope. Nice try though. It’s really and simply just Jesus.

That’s it.

Jesus.

He’s the foundation of Christianity. He’s the capstone of Christianity. He’s the everything in between too.

But here’s the problem.

People move past him. Or at least try to.

If you can move past Jesus, you’re moving away from Jesus.

Sure God is still gonna meet you and use you, but if you move past Jesus, you’re moving away from Him.

He is the all in all. He is the hinge of all creation. Everything points to Him. The Father is wholly and entirely concerned about him. The Spirit points only to Him.

Christ is the center and foundation of Christianity.

That verse from earlier? John 14:15? Yeah, it’s always preached about the wrong way. The emphasis goes on the wrong part. And the image that people put out about it is incorrect. You see it’s always talked about if you love Jesus, you’ll do what he says.

How do people interpret it? If you love Him, you’ll obey him because you love him.

But here’s the thing. It’s more along the lines of if you love Him truly and deeply, you will obey Him because you desire to and not because you feel obligated to demonstrate your love. Many people have those guilt feelings…they don’t help anyone.

It’s time that we abandon this modern Christianity. It’s time that we abandon this notion that once we’re God’s we need to follow all these rules and obligations. It’s time for the Church to awake and realize that a fresh and never-ending love for Jesus, one that is overpowering of all other things, will lead us in the right direction. You see, none of those things mentioned are bad things…the problem is we have the order wrong.

We’re at the wrong end of the line. We’re taking from the results and ignoring the source. Instead we should be taking from the Source and reaping the results. I’m telling you, if you get a glimpse of the real Jesus, you will be forever changed and never return to your former ways. Trust me on that one!

Three Words That Make Relationships Better: A Post from Pravs World

Hey guys, this is a post from Pravs World, a site I found a few weeks ago and I really like some of their things for sure! You’ll see at least three posts from their website (considering I have three things bookmarked 😛  ). Enjoy them, and take a gander around their site as well! Here’s the link: Pravs World

~Jeff

Three-Word Phrases, can be tools to help develop every relationship.

There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships. Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words. When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop new friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships that have soured.

The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every relationship.

~ Let me help:
Good friends see a need and then try to fill it. When they see a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they jump in and help out.

~ I understand you:
People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know – in so many little ways – that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship. And this can apply to any relationship.

~ I respect you:
Respect is another way of showing love. Respect demonstrates that another person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they were adults you will strengthen the bonds and become closer friends. This applies to all interpersonal relationships.

~ I miss you:
Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other “I miss you.” This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how important you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say “I miss you.”

~ Maybe you’re right:
This phrase is very effective in diffusing an argument. The implication when you say “maybe you’re right” is the humility of admitting, “maybe I’m wrong”. Let’s face it. When you have an argument with someone, all you normally do is solidify the other person’s point of view. They, or you, will not likely change their position and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you. Saying “maybe you’re right” can open the door to explore the subject more. You may then have the opportunity to express your view in a way that is understandable to the other person.

~ Please forgive me:
Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

~ I thank you:
Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don’t take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

~ Count on me:
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship. It is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating “you can count on me.”

~ I’ll be there:
If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase “I’ll be there.” Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us.

We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

~ Go for it:
We are all unique individuals. Don’t try to get your friends to conform to your ideals. Support them in pursuing their interests, no matter how far out they seem to you. God has given everyone dreams, dreams that are unique to that person only.

Support and encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Tell them to “go for it.”

~ I love you:
Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person’s deepest emotional needs. The need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse, your children, your friends and you, all need to hear those three little words: “I love you.” Love is a choice. You can love even when the feeling is gone.

Do what you do so well

Do what you do so well that people will want to see it again and bring their friends.

~Walt Disney

The picture above was picked for a very good reason. I could have gone with a picture with something Disney themed, but I didn’t obviously. I picked that picture because even if you don’t like the Lord of the Rings, you probably knew at a glance that that was the One Ring. You know why you know that? Because Peter Jackson did such an amazing job of bringing Tolkien’s absolutely brilliant world to life. You recognize it because Jackson did it so well either you or people you know have watched it again and again and again.

So find something in your life, and do it so well that others simply want to see it or experience it or whatever again and again.

You need to decide if it’s worth it

I got into bed a little early tonight. So naturally I lay awake right now typing because I lay awake a few minutes ago thinking. You see there’s a lot I want to do these next two years. A lot of goals I set for myself. One of the big ones being the loss of the last 15 or so pounds of weight.

You know, everyone says these last few pounds are the most difficult…that these last few pounds are going to take everything you have to lose.

I’m starting to realize their right…not good news for me.

Because it is so hard to lose them, I’ve been going back and forth for a while now. Do I lose them? Do I stay where I am?

And tonight it sort of happened again. I stood in the kitchen with a muffin in hand, albeit a rather delicious AND healthy muffin, and was torn. Do I eat the muffin even though I didn’t know if I was really hungry?

I ate the muffin. I felt bad only for a couple minutes, and then it was gone. Looking back once I finished it there was nothing I could do. I had already eaten it. No changing that unless I wanted to make some drastic changes, and believe me I don’t.

But these last few pounds…they bug me. They nag me. Even though I can tell you that in no way should they! I mean come on, I’ve lost freaking 95 pounds. 95! That’s like, a child. How in the world can I let these last 15 pounds bother me??

But they do. I should celebrate, be happy, enjoy the fact that I overcame obesity. There. I admitted it. I was obese. But I overcame it. I weighed 275 pounds. Mhmm. You wouldn’t know it, but it’s true. I tell people now and they look at me. “No. You can’t have been that heavy.”

Yup. I was. And it was sad. I used to tell my grandmother that I was perfectly okay with my weight and my body. Looking back I realize I really wasn’t. I almost hated the way I looked. I would get jealous of other guys and the way they looked. They got all the girls because of their looks (not the entire story there but that’s another post sometime if I think about it 🙂 ). But the getting jealous part? True. I still get jealous. I would wear baggy clothes to cover up. My standard outfit for a long time was a pair of jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie all a couple sizes too big. During the summer, shorts, a t-shirt, and another shirt a size too big to disguise the fact that I was plain and simple fat.

Then I met this fourteen year old through Upward Bound. He told me all about how he had decided he didn’t want to be fat so he changed.

That fourteen year old has since come to mean so much to me because on that day he saved my life.

Yeah I know. Stupid fourteen year old. Saving my life without my permission. Nah. That’s not how I feel at all.

He saved my life and I still to this day, after three years of knowing him, have no idea how to repay him for what he’s done.

So to say it in the words of someone I admire, I was fat and decided to change.

I hated being fat. I hated wearing baggy clothes. I hated being out of breath from walking to class. There are so many things that i hated that I’ve told no one. Ever. I hated life for a little while even. But that fourteen year old brought me out of that.

Now, three years and some odd months later here I am, 95 pounds lighter, a new outlook on life, and still finding myself at odds with weight. Although this time it’s a different story. I’m no longer fat, no longer out of shape. I’ve been running about 3 miles a day, for the past few days 4 miles.

So I guess I ask this question. Why the hell am I letting these last 15 pounds bother me so much?

I’m not obese.

I don’t have diabetes.

I don’t have high blood pressure.

I can easily walk to class without breathing hard.

I can actually run around in sports rather than sit on the side lines.

I actually WANT to be active.

So why the hell am I letting these last 15 pounds bother me?

I guess I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I guess I want to have the satisfaction of setting a goal, one that I never in my wildest dreams expected to encounter when I went to Clarkson four years ago, and meeting it.

Where I am right now, I never expected to be here. Sometimes I look back and can’t believe what’s happened…but I’m damn glad it did. Like, so glad that you don’t even know. Those last 15 pounds…I guess I also see them as another barrier for me to face down and conquer. I know that if I reach my goal weight of 165 I won’t stay there forever, but I want to see it at least once on the scale.

I never thought I would be wearing 32″ jeans. I never thought I would be wearing size small boxers. I never thought I would be wearing medium t-shirts. I never thought I’d be wearing a small hoodie. I never thought I’d be wearing medium sweat pants. I never thought a lot of things. But I’m doing all those things. My life, it’s incredible.

I’ve found a passion for life, and I don’t know how people can’t love life. My life isn’t perfect, but it damn well isn’t all boring and sad and mopey. I want to live life. And you know what? Right before I started typing this post up I was thinking about those fifteen pounds.

I was thinking “Is it even worth it? Trying to lose those last fifteen pounds?”

You know what? I think I’ve found my answer.

It’s damn well worth it. I’m going to lose those fifteen pounds and I’m gonna be damn proud of every single bit of weight I’ve lost. My whole life has changed, mostly because of a fourteen year old that I met three summers ago.