08
April
2013

Every New Year There’s a First

Posted in : poems

Morning’s security always made sense;
Start out at the school, a normal day—
Have some work, learn some things—
But now a change is underway:

The chill on my bones
From the morning’s breeze,
Stands for my new life—
A shift taken not with much ease.

Now not at the school,
But hospital room instead;
The mem’ries and laughter,
They streak through my head.

A new dawn has arrived,
The old’s no longer there—
A time exists, now, where he can’t
Be seen anywhere.

I’ve no time to ask,
I’ve no time to think,
The ball in my throat
Has no time to sink.

What is this new way?
He’s not anywhere;
Unknown, and perhaps,
Too much for to bear?

Decisions, decisions,
They beckon and call;
While family relentlessly
Fills up the hall.

Outside tells a story—
The new one to begin—
Where the coldness and mystery
Sit eternally within.

–Travis J
4/8/2013
4.00 P.M.-ish


31
January
2013

Breathless Pain

Posted in : poems

I feel like the mem’ries are back in my head,
They’re pushed way back and I thought they were dead:

Breathless nights after days where all I did was push,
I scurried around—existence was mush.

So much to do and to keep lookin into—
“This happens to other people, but, no, really, us too..?”

You go and you do, read as much as you can,
You ask, wait, and hope—and all this you can’t stand.

When the day’s over you breathe once and it’s the end;
Then soon you wake up, just to do it again.

—Travis J

1/31/2013
12.12 AM


30
January
2013

Watermark Class – January 20th, 2013

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

(it ended up that we discussed some of these points, and not others, and that is by design; it’s because I don’t necessarily follow outlines that I make; if the conversation or Lord leads us in another way, and it is in a way that diverts from the lesson outline, then so be it ^_^ )

Travis Jones

January 20th, 2013

Sunday School Class

Watermark Class Lesson 1-20-2013

1)          FROM WHENCE comes this strength, confidence, assurance of knowing Christ

and His ways

– The nature of this strength, confidence, assurance

i) Esther 6.1-14
ii) (summarize a context of book of Esther up to chapter 6)
iii) (read )
iv) Discuss particularly verse Esther 6.13b .
v) It is not just the fact that they say, “It’s cuz he’s a Jew and you’re in TROUBLE HAMAN~” Now is true that at this point in historical time, God would do supernatural things, and then other races and other people groups around the Jews would every so often hear that is was the Jews, and it was these HEBREWS’ God that was taking care of them and doing supernatural thing.

 

– But it goes beyond that. It’s the fact that Mordecai was acting out of a faith in God. He could take confidence in that. And even people that were dead-set against him recognized that Mordecai was set apart.

i) People realize us as set apart—which, that’s another lesson for another time. The fact that as Christians, we truly are (or should be) a light to the world—a salt to this world as Romans 13.1-5 says.

ii) We can take strength in this confidence—that is the essence of today’s thoughts in this Sunday School class.

Quite simply—it comes from God, and it is available to us

 

2)          THAT we should have strength, confidence, assurance in taking on the

ways of God. We do NOT have to be doormats to the people of the world. While it is true Jesus Christ taught us different virtues like “turning the other cheek” when someone does you wrong (Matthew 5.39), or “loving and praying for your enemy as yourself” (Matthew 5.44). There *ARE* certain verses in the Bible to tell us to take heart, and to be strong. One about which we’ll talk below, is the one that says “quit ye like men—be STRONG!” Another one is Matthew 10.16, which tells us to be “Shrewd as serpents, yet innocent as doves”. Many of us have gone through things in our lives where we are, how you say “educated” in some of the uglier, terrible, and perverted things of this world. It is not a sin to be aware of these things. Certainly, as (in the world not OF the world), it is a sin to take part in such things; but I would hesitate to say that it would be a sin to DENY that there ARE certain evils in the world. There’s nothing wrong with being aware of these evils. And then guess what—CONQUERING them. Rising above them. Warning other people about them; not being naive about them. Not by us—not by our own power. But by the power of the Holy Spirit. And it is a power and a strength in which we should take GREAT confidence.

– Romans 2.7  – “continuance in well-doing”

This is somewhat where it gets tough. Many of us who have made the decision to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior did it in within the midst of a certain struggle through which we were going. Now that’s not *ALWAYS* the case, but it is sometimes. When your first get to know God through Jesus Christ, you take on a certain DIFFERENT outlook on life, on the people around you. You develop a bit more of a patience, a level of understanding, and sensitivity to people around you. Now, obviously, I’m a big believer in the fact that we are all wired DIFFERENTLY—some of us are more sensitive than others, that’s understandable. But the point is, when you first start to know Christ, you are sort of on a bit of a HIGH. It’s right. It is good. Your senses feel better, you begin to take on the outlook of Christ as we see Him and His actions and His honest and unconditional care for others, in the Bible. But over time, we lose this. We must remain steady. We must remember that there is great STRENGTH in living with this higher sense of love for your fellow man—this UNCONDITIONAL love for your fellow man. And here is something not a lot of teachers will tell you: it’s something that gets EASIER over time. As you practice this over time, you being develop a second NATURE to love other people and put their needs ahead of your own.

– Romans 8.28 – “God causes all things to work together for GOOD for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purposes.”

Those of us in here can think of examples in our lives where we can think of things that seemed terrible, some things that seemed neutral—yet when we came through them on the other side, we can see how they brought us to God, or they taught us something about God or ourselves. And we know that God is involved in an everlasting effort of drawing us to Himself, from the moment that we seriously, consciously, and purposely make the decision. That is how it seems so asinine and people think so oddly of Christians whenever we can come through terrible tragedies, but yet thank God THROUGH those things. We SEE how they instructed us and brought us closer to God through those things, in different ways. To me, this is a STRENGTH that we carry with us in this world, AGAINST the world. That is something that often encourages me.

 

– 1 Corinthians 16.13 – “Quit you like men, be strong!”

This is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes, in the end, we know that we know that we know what is the RIGHT thing to do is. Yet we doubt ourselves. Or, God forbid, we become a little bit lazy. Some of us were born and raised in more sheltered worlds than others. Maybe some of us came from INCREDIBLY difficult circumstances, compared to others; maybe some of us simply went THROUGH some difficult circumstances, compared to other people. Maybe we put it off. Maybe we’re not so convinced that spiritual things aren’t all that important right now, and we’ll “handle it later”. Really? I submit that in some cases, Spiritual things are of the UTMOST importance, in life.  I submit to you that this can be true of the initial act of Salvation with Jesus Christ, but then also as He continues to shape and mold us to become more like Him in the process of discipleship, in our lives, from here on out—which BECOMES our calling as His children, once we accept Him as our Savior, individually. Let us cast down the hindrances that entangle us, like Hebrews 12.1 says. Let us seize the moment and be strong. Again, not to boast in our own strength—not to “solve our own problems and call ourselves self-made men and self-made women”—but for the glory of God.

 


19
December
2012

2013 Resolutions

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

Yeah, I don’t know and don’t care what “the rules” are for this type of thing, but some of these resolutions are last year’s too. Looks like I failed some, eh? Some of them I actually *did* accomplish, and some of them are ones at which I *did* fail–and some of them are sorta in-between.

Like I said last year (you can click here to see last year’s: https://ktravisj.com/blog/perfectlyincomplete/?p=1537), it’s better to make it a daily goal to meet goals–both long and short-term goals. While I still believe it is best to better yourself *all* throughout the year rather than just CLAIM to do it one day of the year, I *do* wanna post some things on which I want to work, this next year.

Here are this year’s:

2013 Resolutions

1 ) Get better at resting and “doing nothing” sometimes

2 ) Live more “in the moment” by not always keep looking ahead to incessantly see, handle, meet, prepare for “the next thing”, the “next”, the “next”, the “next”…

3 ) Be more open about my shortcomings (like my inability to do very much home-repair type of things, or mechanical-related things; among other things at which I fail)

4 ) Love, and ALLOW myself to be loved, both

5 ) Don’t take as much BS from people–personally or professionally

6 ) Don’t second-guess myself

7 ) Clean up my language

8 ) Remain true to myself and don’t sell out–personally or professionally

9 ) Remain humble and remember that the Lord God has played a huge part in causing my circumstances and my environment to give me the opportunities to use my free will to get where I am and attain the things I have; it’s been a combination of both Him and His influence, and then also my utilizing my resources well. It is both. It is not only me.

10 ) Call, text, or message a random friend/family member/acquaintance more often, just to honestly see how they are doing


18
December
2012

You Know or You Don’t

Posted in : poems,stream of consciousness/random

If you know
Then you know;

You can let me know,
And we can let it go.

But if you don’t know,
Then don’t suppose,

Just let go and don’t control;
Let’s not pretend and show a show.

We’ll live, we’ll do, and talk, and so–
Eventually we’ll have our know.

–Travis J

Sort of thought of it earlier in the night, around 8.30 PM, but just wrote it out now, at like 10.45–11.02-ish PM

12-18-2012


26
October
2012

Refresh

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)

Deuteronomy 31.9 — This little verse shows us a command that God Almighty laid out for the Israelites when He was in  the process of establishing them as a people group. One thing He stressed to them is that His Law that He laid out to them must be re-read every so often.

This is something of which I’ve been convinced for years, with our faiths in God: none of us are robots. We’re not databases. Just because you read the Word of God and understood it at one point does not mean that you somehow retain it  forever; nor that, I dunno, all your ills will be fixed or can be addressed because you once read the Word of God and it clicked for you one time. And I’m talking whether you’ve read it all the way through, or if you’ve just read a few choice passages that’ve seemed to stick with you and mean a lot to you.

No no no, we are HUMAN. We are weak. We have short memories, our physical needs displace the deeper, more internal things. We forget. We lose our focus. We have to be reminded of things, and get refreshed on things. As bad as we hate it, and as much as we want to think we are strong, we can remember, as much as we’d like to think “we’ve pretty much got it (our faith and our life) figured out“, it’s not true. You have got to be refreshed on God and His ways.

They key is to ingest the Word of God—the Bread of Life—and take it in as meaningfully as you can.

One of the more interesting ironies of the Christian walk is how those of us who were raised to regularly attend a church once or twice a week, and taught the tenets of the Christian faith and whatnot have always been encouraged to “Read the Bible more”, “Pray more”, “Think of others more often than yourself”, “Always be a better Christian” and whatnot.

That’s cool—I’m not knocking those goals.

But the ironic part comes in when you come across someone who was *NOT* “raised to regularly attend a Christian church”, yet through whatever sequence of events, they have found themselves trusting God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and then they CRAVE to learn about God, to continue to discover the character of Christ, and to ingest as much of God’s Word (the Scriptures, the revelation of Jesus, the WAY) as much as they can—and it revolutionizes their lives. They cannot get enough. They become obsessed and quite literally crave learning about Christ, deepening their knowledge, and applying the newfound truth into their everyday life.

So our minds tell us, “Oh well, I’ve been around ‘THE CHURCH’ for a longer amount of time that this other person who has only lately come to know Christ, so that means I know more and have retained more knowledge than them.” Mmmmmmmm not always the case. I’ve seen and come across people that are new Christians, and after only a month or two, they have so combed through Scripture and meaningfully ingested God’s Word that they are leaps and bounds ahead of people that may have been around “The Church” more, or read passages from the the Bible more times.

The thing to remember is just not to assume that “Amount of time I’ve been a ‘Christian’“, or “Amount of Scripture” I’ve readdefine your faith and your relationship with Christ and with God. Always refresh yourself in His Word. Always humbly approach Him and His Word, and ask Him to guide you as you read His Word. And don’t let yourself ever begin to think you know it all.

So just remember, don’t think you’ve ever “arrived” or somehow “read the Bible enough” or “stored it away enough” such that you can ever call yourself “COMPLETE”. You are not a database that can perfectly output Biblical answers/attitudes at any time you are prompted with anything in life just because you read through the Bible once, or just because you have a season in your life where you regularly took in the Word of God and you love it and could not get enough. Just never let your mind get to telling you that you have somehow “Arrived”, or that you have nothing left to improve on your life, or “you’ve pretty much covered it all and don’t much have room for any more”.

Stay humble, stay inquisitive; and stay loving.

— Travis J
11/2/2012

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)


11
October
2012

Why Would You Think God isn’t Equally Fair to *ALL* People?

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)

Like a buddy of mine and I always say to one another: “What is wrong with you..??

Deuteronomy 1.16-17

God gave the command for the judges to be fair and impartial—to the resident alien and citizen alike; to the “great and the small”, alike.

Why is it that you people out there that hate God, hate Christianity, hate Judaism—and just hate religion in general—refuse to get it? God IS 100% just and fair, and  He commands us to be towards each other.

If you have any gripes about this life, you’ll always see me as the first one advocating that you should TELL God, let Him know—CRY IT OUT ALOUD! If you hate God, you think He’s not fair, or you’ve had bad experiences with quote unquote “religion”, and you just don’t see how any of the hoky old Bible stories could be true, TELL GOD! You’ll always find my advocating that God is a Big Boy, and He can handle your little cursings and complaints. Many times I bring up an example of a Biblical Studies teacher I had, who, when he was in his younger days, all he knew how to “pray to God” was to angrily curse and shout at God because he was angry at God. He ended up growing near to God. You’ll also hear me bring up the example of David, a character in the Bible, who was one of these characters to whom we’re encouraged to look up, as someone who was really close to God. Even this guy, David (in Psalm 88.14-18Psalm 38.3, and there are plenty more Psalms like these), cries out to God and accuses God. Like, God…can..handle it. And He can teach you THROUGH That. But it’s only if you’re honest—if you’re just cursing God because you just want to because you somehow think you have the right to, that’s a *slightly* different story.

That having been said, stop with this incessant whining that God’s unfair, He doesn’t make sense, religion is stupid, and societies like the United States—which are undergirded with Judeo-Christian principles at the root of our parameters of civil government and way of life—are so bogus. Just stop. God intended for everyone to get a fair shake—He don’t play favorites, and we, down here on earth, are not *SUPPOSED* to, either.

If you’ve got problems with the way law is executed, then fine, make known your admonitions—like, that’s what we’re *supposed* to do, and *expected* to do, within our civil government; and honestly, with your CHURCH, too. But jeez, stop with this BS about God’s not being fair, and to just throw out the baby with the bathwater and think all religion/references to God are bogus. The bottom line is that this earth is imperfect, people are imperfect, and guess what: the lives we all live are—you guessed it—IMPERFECT.

Grow up.

—Travis J

Started on 10-11-2012, 12.45-ish AM.
Finished on 10-12-2012, 3.55 PM

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)


05
October
2012

We Never Learn—Why Do We Think We Can Get Away With It..

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)

Why do we think we can get away with it….?

A lot of times we base our moral choices on how much trouble we *think* we will be in, if we were to “get caught doing this bad thing”. It’s like we think, “How much can I possibly get away with?” or “I bet I can do this-and-this and no one will find out.“, “It’s just a little thing, what does it matter?“, or “The consequences couldn’t be that severe, I can deal with them..

Can you?

Somehow in our own minds we’ve made a way for ourselves to make bad choices. Like, we convince ourselves it must be ok. No one else much will see. The consequences won’t much be too bad.

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

There’s a pretty nifty quick snippet of a verse in the Bible, and it is Numbers 32.23b . It very succinctly says, “…Your sin will find you out.

Now far be it from me to ever just take a verse out of the context in which it is written, smack it into a blog, and try to drum up some semblance of truth about it, out of context, and cheat it out of its original intent or meaning. So in the interest of NOT doing that, the context of this verse is that God is telling the Israelites to do something. And He says, “If you do not do this thing I am saying, ‘your sin will find you out‘.”

There’s the context.

You may scream and cry and beat your hands and feet on the floor, and be like, “Hey Travis, this is the Old Testament—why are you as an Evangelical, New-Testament Christian quoting an Old Testament principle? Are you ALSO gonna abide by the rule in the Old Testament that says ‘you are not to let a fortune-teller live’?

In this blog post I’m not here to debate how much or how little we are to reference the Old Testament, or to discuss “Selective enforcement of rules of logic”. I ain’ bout dat life in this post. Above all arguments, the reason I think it is important for anyone to know the Old Testament of the Bible is because it gives you insight into the character and nature of God. And I think that is valid on many different levels.

So anyway, little verse here says, “Your sin will find you out.

So? What’s the big deal?

Well the big deal is, whenever you’re going about your day, when you are going about your week, when you are going about your LIFE; you know, you’re in school a while, you probably have a job or some sort of career in which you are involved; you’ve got some sort of a personal/social life (be it over the Internet, or with a real-life group of friends, or a mix of both); you go to movies maybe, you hang out, go on vacation every now and again; you go on errands, you’re out and about. Ya do AALLLLL that stuff—ya know, just livin your life—and you either HAVE some sort of moral standards, or you don’t.

Christian or not, you say/think/live/know “Some things are across the line, and wrong, and some are not.” I don’t care what the moral relativists are trying to make us think, we all have an inherent mindset that SOME THINGS are wrong and SOME THINGS are right. And if you’re a slightly thoughtful person, you’ll notice that you have DIFFERENT ideas and opinions of people around you—be they close friends or otherwise—on “what is wrong and what is not.”

And the thing to remember is that as Christians, we believe there is an objective “wrong” and “right”. But sometimes I don’t wanna phrase it that way, because it frames the whole question of right and wrong in a tired-old way; that while still true, may be able to be highlighted in a new way that can edify people even MORE, and get them thinking about their own lives on an even DEEPER level.

See, it goes back to the state of the world, as a whole. God made it AALLLLLL originally, and it AALLLLLL just WAS. And it was beautiful. Things just WERE. And that was good. Things were good—they were pure and fine. Simply by virtue of the fact that God created things, they were just pure and good. But then, through some events, a perversion of the ways of God began influencing things in the world, and it is that influence which now taints ALL of existence. We as Christians refer to this as “Sin”.

That’s all “Sin” is—anything that is “wrong” that you can think of, is, at its base, simply a perversion of something that was intended for good. Now, as Christians, we believe that God Almighty shared His Son with us so that we can again have some sort of picture of what “GOOD” and “RIGHT” an “PURENESS” once were. That’s why you always hear evangelicals Christians (like myself) saying, “God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to save the world.” God had to communicate to us, in some way, how His Love, His righteousness, His purity, and His perfection work. So He sent us a human being to simply LIVE OUT and SHOW us the Way.

God basically had to translate His ways down to us, in  way we’d understand. It’s like if you were to go to the jungles in South America and stand up on a rock and start waxing eloquent, in English, about the nature and character of “Stealing“, and “Property” and the concept of “Do unto others what you would want them to do unto you, and do NOT do to others what you WOULD NOT want them to do to you“, and describing all this stuff in abstract terms. Well, it just…wouldn’t work. Ya have to get on the level of the people whom you are addressing. So the best way would be to hand them an object and use body language to convey that this object is now theirs—BUT THEN YOU SNATCH IT AWAY! Ya have to SHOW them. That is how they understand the concepts. They’d have to be SHOWN.

That’s what I mean when I say God had to translate certain principles down to us so we’d *MAYBE* begin to *KIND OF* get it. Like think about it, when you read through the accounts of Jesus Christ that are in the Bible (in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), a lot of times Jesus would teach a principle, and people would scratch their heads and be like, “What? What’s that even MEAN..?” Well can you imagine if God had not sent Christ at ALL and just left us to wonder about the mysteries of His ways without even the guidance of the life and the lessons of Jesus Christ. :-O Scary. I know my dumb-butt wouldn’t have been able to understand.

So as we live our lives nowadays, like I say, after we accept that some things are just “Good and right”, and some things are “Bad and evil, and a perversion”, we still think that we can somehow “Get away with doing the bad things.” Well the truth is, you can’t. That’s why I think this Numbers 32.23b verse is so important. It says, “Your sin will find you out”; like Romans 6.23 brings it up again and says, “The wages of sin is death.”

Like, sin HAS consequences. And that is always. There’s no such thing as flying completely under the radar when you make a bad decision. You may *THINK* no one else sees it or will know about it—and you know what? That may be true. You may actually, LITERALLY, live the rest of your life and no one else ever know a thing about this bad thing you’ve done. This is where most preachers or teachers say, “~But God knows.~” And that’s so true, yet it’s almost so trivial it’s almost not worth mentioning. It doesn’t “bring home the point”, enough. So yeah, I’m not gonna lie: you may make a bad choice/do something bad, and you live the rest of your life and literally no one else finds out about it. Good job. Doesn’t that feel nice? Another thing you may think is that, “Ehhh, it doesn’t ‘really’ matter if I do this.” And you just sort of shrug your shoulders and do it anyway. You think there won’t BE any consequences. Or maybe you think there will be consequences but that you will be able to handle the consequences all right.

Now, while I said that the first thing you think may be true—that you MAY get by the rest of your life without anyone else knowing about it—that might be true, and that might happen, yeah. But the second thing I said is NOT true. The fact is, ALL sin has some sort of consequence, and there really is no getting around that. There are trillions and trillions (and it’s way more than “trillions”, but I just just that here to use a term with which we can say we’re semi, KIND OF familiar) of different variables that make up and undergird this LIFE as we all know it. And these trillions of different variables are all acting in different way, and a shift in one spot somewhere causes a change at a place elsewhere, and this is all always happening, and always taking place all the time—we of course cannot possibly even begin to possibly hope to being able to understand or define any of it conclusively.

But what I am saying to you is that all of your actions “strike a chord that reverberates into eternity” (quite possibly a paraphrase), as C.S. Lewis put it. And all of these countless variables are always acting and interfering with and reacting with other countless variables all the time. And stuff will come back to bite you. It always has, and it always will.

Don’t think you’re above it or smart enough to get out of it. Your arrogance *will* be your downfall.

—Travis J
Started on October 5, 2012
Finished on October 8th, 2012, around 11.00 PM .

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)


02
October
2012

Not a Waste

Posted in : poems,stream of consciousness/random

Dot every “i”, cross every “t”,
But still it don’t matter with what is to be.

There’s things you control and things that you can’t—
Don’t let your thoughts kill you, and run all rampant.

“Quit you like men!” Stand up and be strong;
When you’re confused in the day and nights are so long.

Huddle together—I’ve got you, you’ve got me—
We’ll cut our losses, move on, and tell the world our story.

—Travis J,
9/30/2012
2.25-ish AM


28
September
2012

To Be Grateful or Not to Be Grateful–That is the Question

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)

Why do we do it? Why do we have such short memories and complain? Be grateful. Short message today, y’all. Just be grateful. Get some perspective on your life, people. “…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4.11b. That’s what Paul said in the Bible, in the New Testament. Yeah, the guy that was beaten, shipwrecked, tossed in jail, loved writing, used to kill Jews, etc. etc.

Numbers 11 shows an example of the Israelites’ complaining and whining and moaning—AFTER THEY WERE SLAVES IN EGYPT AND MIRACULOUSLY BROUGHT OUT OF EGYPT! And not only is THAT ridiculous—just the fact that they were complaining even after being brought out of Egypt—they had the gall to specifically state, in their complaints, and say how they missed how some things were IN EGYPT! O_O …really..?

Like, I’ve never been one of these people who thinks the argument is very valid—you know, the one where the parent says, “Eat your vegetables! There are starving kids in Africa that would love to have that!” Because honestly, logically, whether you, little-kid-in-your-kitchen-not-eating-your-vegetables—whether you eat your vegetables or not, that’s not going to solve the problem of world hunger.

But the idea is good though—it means that parents want their kid to have a sense of gratefulness for the food that they have. And that *IS* necessary, and that *IS* largely missing, in kids of first world nations.

So ya need to do something in order to broaden your perspective, if all you’ve ever done is live in your first-world lifestyle and never gotten a sense of what people elsewhere who don’t have a lot do, in their lives. Travel to another country, and do your best not to do the touristy thing or whatever—like, don’t make it a vacation or do the touristy thing that everyone does when they go on vacation there. Whether you go on a mission trip or outreach with a church, or some sort of outreach or charity, or if you KNOW people in a non-third-world nation or have a friend or acquaintance from a place like that who could show you around in another poorer nation or something, you should do it. It helps you to be grateful for your own wealth. Even if you think you’re “poor”, odds are, if you live in the United States, you’re wealthier than most other places you could find. And even if you really are *LITERALLY* poor here in the United States, it is without question you have the opportunity to overcome it, in the United States. Whether you are taking that opportunity or not is, of course, up to YOU.

I’ve honestly done a good job of developing this skill of being content wherever I find myself in life—like I’m not trying to be boastful or arrogant, but I just honestly *have* done a good job of developing that. I am pretty much able to be happy wherever I go. It’s why whenever my friends try to convince me that I must move somewhere else in order to be happy, I’m like…ok..? Yeah, I know I COULD be happy somewhere else, too. But, I am happy here. Like, here’s the thing: I will *always* be able to pinpoint both the negatives and the positives wherever I live, and I will be able to grasp on to the positives, make the best of things, and be successful, and be happy wherever I live. I know that I know that I know I can do that. So it’s like, why move..? Like, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

(Now that’s enough about me, I could go back and forth with you some other time about why I want to remain BASED in East Texas. But if you know me personally at ALL, you know me well enough that I absolutely LOVE to travel, and like people from all sorts of different walks of life, cultures, mindsets, ethnicities—what have you! Like, I’m not one of these closed-off people that’s SCARED of things or people that are different than me..? O_o Like, what the heck—never understood that. But anyway yeah, that having been said, I just genuinely love East Texas ^_^ .)

The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, folks, with things in life that look more attractive to you than where you are or what you have now. More often than NOT people think just because someone else has something you don’t have, or they live somewhere that you don’t live, it must be better, and you go for it—but many times when you get there, you find out that it’s not necessarily the case, as much as you thought it would be.

That’s it, people. Get you some perspective. Give you some thanks. That glass is half-full, it’s not half-empty.

God bless you.

— Travis J
Started on 9-25-2012
Finished on 9-28-2012, around 12.15 AM

(please note: As ALWAYS, with ALL of my blogs: your comments/questions or any sort of discussion are more than welcome, just scroll down under this post and feel free to leave a comment, whether you’ve ever done it before or not, I’d love to hear from you and hear your feedback; whether you agree with me, or wanna disagree and call me stupid; if you’ve got an example in your own life to share–whatever; anything, just feel free to scroll down and leave a comment.)



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I'm very big into education, and my energies are devoted to inspiring this desire for education into other people--at home and abroad.

Travis J's web-design company: Travis J Consulting http://www.ktravisj.com