Hope is a gift from God. It is a state of mind in which we remember that our needs are always met and Miracles are in front of us every day. Hope is a gift we can give to others as we encourage their dreams and comfort their sorrows.
How many of you out there are praying for a mate? You’re seeking God patiently, or maybe impatiently, waiting for God to answer you. So what do you do from a spiritual standpoint while you’re waiting? What do you do from a natural standpoint while you’re waiting? I’m glad you asked. Let’s explore some options.
Just know that you can be single, but not alone or lonely. In your single state, this is a perfect time to develop that vertical relationship with God so that when it is time to develop that horizontal relationship with a mate, you’re ready. Single believers should be even more committed to God because there is not another person close to them in their lives that they have to attend to. This is a perfect time to spend more time in prayer, reading and studying the word, seeking the face of God regarding the ministry of helping others, pursuing the idea you had for going to Bible College, etc. Whatever it is, I hope you get my point. Throw yourself into, saturate yourself, and consume yourself with whatever God leads you to do for Kingdom building.
Single in the Bible means to be unique, to be whole. Consider Adam as an example. When God created Adam, his first task was to be consumed with caring for the things of God, tending the garden, naming the animals, etc. Genesis 2:15 (AMP). “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.” Now in order for Adam to properly tend to the things of God he had to first, be committed. God is a God of order. So, secondly, Adam had to follow the plan that God had established for the care of the garden and animals.
In your single state, establish in your heart that you are going to be a Godly person. Determine to please God and not man. Proverbs 16:9 (AMP) “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord direct his steps and make them sure.” We are complete in our relationship with God and don’t need another person to be made complete. How do we define complete: Having all necessary or normal parts, nothing missing nothing lacking. Colossians 2:10(KJV) says, “And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Our purpose here is to glorify God with our lives and as a single person you are in a perfect position to care for the things of God. Society has given us a distorted view of singleness. It is viewed as a problem, particularly when you reach a certain age and you are not married. Do not be persuaded by the thoughts of a temporal existence.
God saw that Adam was alone and said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18a (KJV). Read your Bible. Adam did not ask God for a wife. Let’s examine this a bit further. The Amplified version of Genesis 2:18 in the Bible explains it this way; “Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, and complimentary) for him.” The key words are suitable, adapted and complimentary.
Alone means to be isolated, exclusive, or in a solitary state. It is not necessary, however, to get married just so you won’t be alone. There are many married people who live in the same house, sleep in the same bed, yet no longer love each other, and no longer communicate. That in and of itself is a state of aloneness.
Just remember to examine your own motives regarding your choice to remain single or to have a mate. Whatever choice you make let God be the center of your decision, because you are the solution to a plan that God needs done in this earth realm. No one else can carry out your assignment.
Why are many sentient beings not happy? Why are we not full of joy? Could it be because we are depending on outside circumstances for what must come from the inside? Our focus is constantly on things that are external and changing. Technology has made our world smaller and to some degree void of human interaction. Because of the powerful negative impact modern technology has made uopon our lives, we must examine our attitudes and our lifestyles. We are speaking of an inner challengs, not an outer challenge. This challenge is deeply rooted in every individuals mind. We can change our lives, our world by changing our thoughts.
So, how does the mind affect out lives and our perception of the world? We must first recognize the special tendencies that comprise the mind: 1. The mind recognizes 2. The mind remembers 3. The mind responds 4. The mind interacts So, are we mentally sound? Are we intelligent? Do we make healthy decisions? Do we know how to manage our minds? Are we content with the state of our own mind? We may be adults who have been living with our minds for many years, yet many lack the knowledge and skills necessary to direct our minds to remain focused on one thing without becoming distracted.The ability to concentrate is a poweful force that is hardly recognized by the majority of the world.
Most people are aware that the body needs proper care in order to remain healthy, but what about the mind? Should we not care for it in a positive and healthy way. The mind consists of memory, ego and intellect. What is memory and why do we remember some things and forget others? The most simplistic answer; the mind holds that which makes an impression on us based on our own individual life situation and circumstance. The best way to develop a healthy memory is to stop relying on your computer and I-phone and start using your memory.
When we think of ourselves, what do we think? Who am I? What is my identity? How we feel about life and who we believe ourselves to be has a definite effect on all our relationships. This is the part of us that is our ego. It is very important to have a healthy ego. If you want to be happy, start by being content with what you have and who you are. Make assessments and adjustments where you feel necessary, but don’t stress or agonize over any part of your life. Remember you are responsible for your own happiness.
The third part of the mind is intellect, or intelligence. People can be divided into three categories, regarding intelligence: 1. those who observe and learn 2. those who have difficulty learning 3. those who never learn. We can make intelligent decisions if our memory is good and our ego does not interfere. We should strive to make good decisions by having a clear vision, clear understanding, and a peaceful mind.
We can develop a healthy mind by practicing a mind of calmness through meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, qigong and other mindfulness practices.
The origin of the word “perception” is Latin and means recognition and interpretation of sensing stimuli based chiefly on memory. There are neurological processes by which such recognition and interpretation are affected. Perception is receiving and collecting information as it relates to the senses.
Within each one of us is a combination of new and old. In our day to day life, our experiences, memory, understanding, and intelligence are going through a metamorphosis. Human life is a progression in which we are passing through our experiences and feelings. Some people can handle change and readily adapt, while others cause themselves suffering by holding onto old habits, emotions, and feelings.
Although we are all members of the human race, everyone’s area of understanding, perception and experiences are different. We can refer to this “area” as “one’s world.” We each live within our own world and that world is continually growing. We have five sense organs that greatly contribute to the way we shape “our world,” however; the most powerful of these are the eyes and the ears. Why is that so? Both the eyes and ears can perceive objects up close and from a distance. Example: The eyes can not only read a book but can see stars millions of miles away. The ears can hear the sounds of many voices in a crowded room, however, the ears can hear no voices when the focus is turned inward, as in meditation.
We perceive the world through our sense organs and process that information to create our own unique world. One’s perception consists of three things that are integrated together ; the sense organs(body), the mind and the soul. When you look at a staircase, is it going up or down? Take this simple test. Walk into a room that you’ve never been in before with your eyes closed. What are you feeling? What are you seeing with your mind’s eye? Seeing with your mind’s eye is called picture thinking. Much of your answer when you’re in that room has to do with your perception. Say something to another person with a neutral tone. You may end up in a confrontation because of the way they choose to hear what has been said.
Living in a world of perception can cause much frustration. With the pressures of modern living it’s easy to get caught up in doing just for the sake of doing. Most of what we think we have to do is unnecessary. Can perceptions be changed? Of course, they can. May I suggest that one of the things you can do is be cognizant of your thoughts about yourself, others, and the world around you. Learn to “be a person of introspection.” I would venture to say that many people cannot sit still for as long as five minutes. One of the most effective ways to change perception and move to a realm of “reality” is through meditation. We have a tendency sometimes to think of meditation as something that we “do” rather than what we are. There are many types and forms of meditation. If you have never engaged in the practice of meditation, just try sitting for a few minutes and relax your mind.
Due to time and space constraints the subject of Meditation and the subject of Reality will be addressed in another posting. For more on those subjects, please view chapter 4 on “Perception or Reality” in my book “Foundations For Living” on this website or at www.amazon.com or at www.barnesandnoble.com. PEACE.
Being in control of our daily lives is a large part of our human makeup. Control seems to produce a measure of order. We have a sense of structure and balance when we can pinpoint to a large degree the unfolding events of our lives. We live in a world where it seems that the world itself is spinning out of control. So it makes sense to want to be in control of that which is within our reach.
Let’s set up some scenerios which were definitely not a part of your plan: Your parents ( with whom you have had a wonderful relationship) have just been killed in a car accident. You have just been told by a doctor that you have an incurable, inoperable disease and a short time to live. So now your whole world is upside down, inside out. What happened to order, balance, structure, and control? Suddenly, you don’t know what to do.
It seems helpless and hopeless, however, you do have the power of decision here. You can eithergive up, give in or claim victory. The mind is the battlefield and the enemy will attempt to convince you that you can’t go on in the midst of any devastating situation.
In the midst of not knowing what to do is when your true relationship with God is tested.How do you determine your true relationship with God? The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob must truly be YOUR GOD. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Do you spend time in the “secret place” allowing Holy Spirit to minister to you until it releases you? When Holy Spirit releases you, there will be an undeniable peace that floods your heart and your spirit. The time of trouble is the optimum time to spend time in fasting and praise and worship. This is the time when you can learn to say, Okay God, I don’t understand what has happened or why it has happened, however, I’m trusting you that the end result will be for your Glory and for my good. Is it an easy thing to do? Most likely not, however, Holy Spirit will give you the strength that you need to go through whatever the situation is.
God will come to your rescue in ways beyond your greatest comprehension. Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP) “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord. Thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope for your final outcome.” Mark 10:27 (KJV) lets us know that “with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? TRUST GOD.
Have you ever wondered what the silence sounds like? Have you ever wondered if the silence has any sound at all? Have you ever experienced the sound of silence? Probably not, because many times we wake up in the morning to the sounds of life and retire at night to the sounds of life. Do you feel the need to have a radio or television on at all times when you are alone? Are you comfortable “in your own skin” being alone with you? On the other hand, experiencing “the silence” may not be something that all people want. After all, we are creatures of habit. We love our familiar box of life. It is a place where we can be comfortable, a place where we can be in control or at least think that we are in control.
Over the course of time, we have let fundamental aspects of human understanding slip away and we’ve locked ourselves in a box. As a result, we have become increasingly reluctant to individually assume responsibility for the condition of the world we live in. We are too busy, too caught up in the demands of modern living to assume that personal responsibility.
The silence is equivalent to peace, quiet and stillness. In the silence we are opened to new dimensions of thought and a perspective on life without the constraints of so many limitations and hang-ups. Just for a moment, experience “the silence.” Sit for five minutes without moving a muscle. It will amaze you to actually be aware of your own breathing, your own heartbeat, or your own thoughts. The silence even allows you to examine your own inner being—the impatience, the short temper, the pride, the anger.
The notion of Spirit as a life transforming agent is something that should be considered. Our spiritual and personal well-being is connected to the greatest force in the universe, and that is God. At some point, every human being must come to himself. Each one of us must sooner or later stand alone with his/her own God, Consciousness, Higher Power, or whatever name for the Creator that you’re comfortable with.
God wants to speak to us in the silence. We have a command to “be still.” The command to “be still” comes from the Hebrew stem of the verb “rapha” (meaning to be weak, to release, to let go). To “be still” is to actively participate in letting go.
There is, however, a definite reason that God tells us to become weak. He said, “Be still and know—. Knowing implies trust and faith. “My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” We pray, Our Father—-Amen. Somewhere in between Our Father and Amen we give God our laundry list of things we want as we grab the last cup of coffee and head out the door for work or wherever our day’s journey takes us. How can we know what God wants to do in our lives if we are so busy with sounds other than His voice. He wants to do things IN US, THROUGH US, and FOR US. He wants to perfect His agape love IN US. He wants to share the good news of kingdom living with others THROUGH US. He wants to open our spiritual eyes and ears, to understand what He has already done FOR US.
When we are listening to and for the voice of God, we begin to develop relationship. In developing relationship and a closer walk with God, the less control we have over our lives. This my dear friend, is what most people want to hang on to, their perception of control.
Just as the maker of an object has the answers for the purpose of the object, so God as our maker has the answers for the purpose for our lives. So why is it that we feel led to consult everything and everybody except the maker?
Once we turn ourselves away from the noise and the busyness of life, we become removed from a self centered world and the door of our minds become open to a God centered realm of existence. Often God will speak to us regarding His Will for our lives in “the silence.” However, when you think you have discerned the will of God, make sure that it lines up with the word of God. The will of God is the word of God and the word of God is the will of God. The two are inseparable. LET GO AND LET GOD! Peace.
All across America school bells have rang, signaling the end of school. Summer camps, summer picnics, sitting around and chilling out has begun or is about to begin. If noone else is excited , I can hear the cheers from every student across the country. Parents, caregivers, guardians etc, you don’t get a break. Soon playtime will be over and it will be again be decision making time about school.
There’s a growing trend in this country toward homeschooling as an alternative to education for their children. Homeschooling does not mean that a child can stay out of school to play basketball all day, or text on the phone all day. Homeschooling is a legal educational alternative in this country and the subject and use seems to have greater interest each year. There are home education laws to be followed, however, the amount of state involvement is minimal compared to the public educational school system. It is important to check with your local authorities to follow homeschool laws and requirements, as well as testing and record keeping requirements. Some states have stricter requirements on curriculum requirements than others.
Why do people choose to homeschool? According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) the reasons are many and varied based on the families needs. These are the major concern stated (not necessarily in the order of importance. 1. Concern about the school environment 2. Concern about drugs/violence and/or peer pressure 3. The quality of academic instruction 4. Increasing costs of (free) public schools 5. Desire for more moral/ and or religious/spiritual instruction.
A minimal amount of disadvantages have been cited to homeschooling. 1. Parents lack of confidence in their own ability to teach 2. Public and/or family criticism 3. Possible loss of income from the non working parent.
Then there’s the concern about whether a child will “fit in with the real world after being homeschooled. Among other things competition and bullying are things generally learned at school. These things can be avoided in homeschooling. Adults who have been homeschooled have been reportd to have just as much success in the job market as those who were in public schools.
God ( the creator) creates children and places them in the care of parents. Our children are on loan to us, so what we do with them, to them, for them in terms of nurturing is critical. The first training a child gets is in the home and if we teach them the right things in the right way, though they may stray, they will usually reuturn to their basic teachings.
Each child is created with his/her own unique set of abilities and possibilities that need to be nurtured. Society may not always produce the kind of environment that encourages your child to experiment, learn and grow. As a responsible parent or gaurdian, you have to decide (based on investigative information), if homeschooling is right for you and your family.