What Are You Worth?

I’m guest posting today over at Alovelycalling.com again! This time focusing on the question of self-worth.

what-are-you-worth-1-900x600

What are you worth? If you were put up on an auction block today, what kind of price would you fetch? What dollar amount would equate to your value?

Do you think you are worth a hundred dollars? Or maybe ten thousand? A million? Surely you don’t think you’re worth a billion dollars, right? Come on! What kind of narcissistic psychopath are you?

Well, according to our American society, you are worth about $5 million. Hmm…not too shabby. As a livescience.com article points out, “If a safety code will cost more than $5 million for every person it will save, ‘regulators eyes start to glaze over. They say that that is too expensive.’”

Have you ever thought of yourself as being worth $5 million before? How would you treat an object you owned if was valued at $5 million?

Click here to read the rest!

It’s Okay To Doubt Your Faith

Yes, if you have doubts about your faith, that’s okay. Actually, it can be good!
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Huh?
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Yes, it’s healthy to have doubts. I think within some sectors of the church, a heavy emphasis is placed on believing the right things, and having the correct head knowledge in order to have a healthy faith. The problem is, to some extent, we can’t really control our beliefs. We can’t just choose to believe something, even if we want to.
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Belief can be defined as, “trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.” Perhaps one might say they believe in the existence of God, for example, but if they don’t place their trust, faith, or confidence in God, then they don’t really believe (even if they feel they believe, or say they believe).

If someone said they believed that it was going to snow, but went out in shorts and T-shirt, then they didn’t really believe it was going to snow, or perhaps they have a desire to experience hypothermia, or possibly frostbite.
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In order to have true belief, that belief has to influence our actions. Sure, we can sometimes make ourselves believe things if we try hard enough, but sometimes we need more evidence. I would really like it if ice cream was good for you, but no amount of believing is going to change the chemistry. I would need some new evidence or data to influence and change my beliefs.
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In the same way, sometimes we need more evidence to believe in God or a certain doctrine. This is good, after all, we are instructed to love God with all our mind, as well as heart and soul. Nowhere in the Bible are we asked to make a “leap of faith.” Faith is to be founded on knowledge, not wishful-thinking.
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If someone doubts the existence of God, or some doctrine, that is perfectly fine. We should frequently doubt what we believe, otherwise, we run the risk of deceiving ourselves or being close-minded. We want to follow the truth wherever it leads, and question everything. Yes, even our faith.

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Are Homeschoolers Socialized?

“One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack ‘socialization’,” began an article in the Washington Times. I’ve had the privilege of attending public schools, and participating in homeschooling. I even did both at the same time for many years. Have I only been half as well socialized as I could have been?
Indeed, “socialization” is often the biggest concern cited by those unwilling to homeschool their children. Is there good solid evidence for believing your child will end up unable to cope with our complex society as a result of receiving his or her education at home?
Are homeschoolers socialized  - a dual enrollee responds
First off, what exactly IS socialization? Here are a few definitions:
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  1. The modification from infancy of an individual’s behavior to conform with the demands of social life.
  2. A continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
  3. The act or process of making socialistic.
It sounds to me like the first two definitions are what most people are concerned with when they throw out the word, socialization.
I sure hope they don’t mean the third definition, although that is quite possible, seeing as the public education system was founded by socialists. (See Weapons of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto)
In general, those who fear un-socialization from home-schooling, or use this fear as an argument against the model, are using the word in the sense that—by home-schooling—your children will not be well adapted to the traditions and rituals of society, and that your children “will not be able to fully participate in society,” or that they will not learn from society how they are supposed to act, and thus, will be abnormal and/or miss-out on societal experiences.
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No one wants that for their children, right?
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On a more extreme level, some may fear that homeschoolers will be so un-socialized that they will be paralyzed by fear or uncertainty when they eventually leave the nest and have to face, “the real world.”
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Is it true that homeschooling results in a lack of socialization?
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Well according to the definitions of socialization above, no. Everyone receives some form of socialization. It is a “continuing process” and a “modification from infancy”. Everything in our lives influences how we are “socialized”. Everyone receives socialization, or another way of putting it, everything that happens to us shapes who we are, and how we interact with other people. This is branded, “socialization.”
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And yet, some have the idea that homeschooling results in a complete lack of socialization. This idea is propagated by the myth that homeschoolers spend their days, “locked in their room, studying in the dark,” as one acquaintance of mine assumed I did after I turned down an offer to attend a social gathering. I corrected him, pointing out that, “No, I don’t study in the dark because then I can’t see. I leave the lights on.”
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However, does my turning down this offer make me un-socialized?
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When Christians Find Joy In The Sin Of Others

We love heroes, but even more than heroes, we love to see heroes fall. As a culture, we can’t get enough of our joy in sincelebrity news gossip. We especially love it when a Christian celebrity falls. This lends validation to the fantasy that God doesn’t exist, and therefore we are not responsible to Him for our actions and lives. It’s not surprising when non-Christians rejoice in the sin of Christians.

 

It makes sense when the world celebrates iniquity; what doesn’t make sense is when Christians do the same thing.

 

I have been appalled at the way many Christians will rejoice when a Christian leader they don’t agree with is exposed to be guilty of some heinous sin. Just like the world, they find this Christian’s sin to be validation that everything they taught was false. While this is a genetic fallacy, there is a deeper issue here.

 

How can we as Christians celebrate the sin of another, let alone a member of the Body of Christ?  It’s like some are just waiting in the bushes for a Christian leader to fall so they can assure themselves they don’t have to listen to anything they said. This is not love, and it is not how we as Christians should respond.

 

When we rejoice in the sin of others, we reveal we have not love, but jealousy in our hearts.

 

As Paul informs us in 1 Corinthians 13:6-7,

 

 “[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

 

Even if we do not agree with the teachings or beliefs of a particular Christian leader, to wish their downfall as the result of a devastating sin is pretty darn sickening. Not only does the fall of any Christian harm the Christian Faith as a whole, but it causes terrible destruction in the lives that particular Christian affected.  Yet rather than mourning these tragedies, many Christians have responded with glee. They are not expressing the love of Christ.

 

The frequency of which Christian leaders seem to fall is very unsettling. It’s frightening to consider how many may be living a double-life, and to realize that we ourselves are capable of the same thing if we seek to rely on our own strength rather than Christ. Because so many have failed, there are numerous amounts of Christians who have come to the conclusion that it isn’t really possible to live the way God calls us to live. All we can do is keep saying we’re sorry.

 

Yet this isn’t too surprising either, since it really is impossible to live righteously—on our own. As soon as we stop relying on God, we will slip. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and sanctification. What is surprising is how many Christians will cannibalize their own, even those who make the same mistakes they do.

 

I’m not sure which is more disturbing. How many Christians fall, or how many Christians applaud their demise.

Why Do We Want People To Like Us?

To elaborate on my previous post, When Speaking The Truth Makes You A Target, what is stopping us from speaking the truth? Why do we hold back?
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When it all comes down to it, the motivation behind our failure to boldly speak the truth is fear. We’re afraid of something. In our daily lives, this fear manifests itself most commonly in the fear of what other people will think of us.like us cover
Now where does that come from? Why do we care so much about what other people think about us? Evolutionary biologists would say we have an instinctive need to feel accepted because it helps ensure our survival. If we conform and make sure we “fit in” and people like us…then our chances for survival are greater. While these biologists have correctly observed that our desire to be liked by others is instinctive, they have over-stepped their bounds of expertise and are making philosophical conclusions based on their scientific findings.
Regardless, in our everyday lives, I don’t think we are motivated to “fit in” and be liked out of a sense of self-preservation. Most of us are not in danger of dying if people dislike us because of our beliefs. Now, in other parts of the world, this may be the case, but in America, we are allowed freedom of speech (for now.) So what is it we fear? Why do we want other people to like us?
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The Arsenal: Re-Launched!

It’s taken awhile, but my new site has finally arrived! It’s still a bit of a work-in-progress, but it is functional now! Woo!

Re-Launched Arsenal

During the transfer from Blogger, the formatting for my posts was lost, so as a result, many of my old posts are currently in drafts. However, I will be updating them and then re-posting them as soon as they are finished!

 

I will also have plenty of new content coming out as well, AND! I’d also like to have more guest posting, so stay tuned for details on that.

 

Additionally, make sure to sign up for my newsletter to receive all my lastest posts, special deals on books and products as they become available, and unique content!

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Some other updates: 
  • My ebook, Misunderstood Modesty, is coming along! I’m about 1/3 of the way done with it.
  • Be sure to check out my family’s new website on family home business and discipleship, CoastalConservatory.com
  • Kingdom Pen has been rolling along, and we will be launching a new contest tomorrow!
  • I will be recording, mixing, and mastering the debut album for the Long Family Singers, and will be getting started in June!
  • Life is crazy busy!!!
What is new with you? Any big events or projects you’re working on? Share in the comments! 


There Are No Genders In Christ?

I have encountered a number of Christians who hold the belief that there are no significant gender differences in Christ. They therefore believe that men and women have the same function, and that we should not distinguish between the genders when it comes to the church or daily life.No Genders In Christ

Their evidence comes from Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Taken by itself, this verse certainly looks pretty definitive. It says right there that there is neither male nor female, all are one in Christ Jesus! The problem is we cannot just read individual verses. This verse is not meant to be read by itself, but in context with the rest of the chapter, and the letter of Galatians as a whole.


Context of Galatians

 

There is a problem Paul is addressing in the Galatian church, namely, the issue of works righteousness vs. righteousness through faith. In the opening of Galatians Paul states that he is “amazed” that they have so quickly deserted the gospel that he taught them for a different and false “gospel.” In the first two chapters, Paul explains the gospel he taught them came straight from God, and that they should not listen to any other “gospel”. Next, he begins explaining just why the false teaching is false.

Context of Galatians chapter 3


Moving into chapter 3, Paul explains that it is Faith which saves, not following the Law (works).

“But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” – Galatians 3:23-27
It is within this context that Paul states, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Why would Paul randomly state that gender distinctions have been done away with when he is talking about Faith over works? When we take the context into account, we see Paul is not saying men and women are identical in their Earthly functions, but that salvation—through faith—is equally available to both genders.

Within the same verse, we see Paul is saying the same thing in regard to Jews, Gentiles, slave and free. Everyone has equal value in Christ, which was a ground-breaking assertion in those days. When we look at the non-canonical “Gospel of Thomas,” we see that others had different ideas.

“Simon Peter said to them, ‘Make Mary leave us, for females don’t deserve life.’
Jesus said, “Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.” – Saying 114

According to this false gospel, women don’t have equal access to the Kingdom of God because they are female. Paul refutes this idea in Galatians by stating that we are all one in Christ.

Paul Contradicts Himself?

 

If Paul really was saying that there is no distinction between men and women as far as their Earthly functions are concerned, then he must be contradict himself later on when he sates in 1 Timothy 2:12 that, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

Additionally, he must also be contradicting himself when he says that slaves should obey their masters in Colossians 3:22.

Of course, it is more likely that Paul is not contradicting himself, but that what he says later on fits in accordance with Galatians, especially considering the context. Paul isn’t telling us to live as if we are androgynous, but that we all stand on equal ground in Christ.

What Should I Do With My Life?

What Should I Do With My Life?

I’ve wanted to be many things throughout my young life.What Should I do with my life

First, I wanted to be a construction worker. I loved building forts out of blocks, and building roads in the dirt under a tree in our backyard. Building things was cool.

Then I wanted to join the army. Watching Davy Crockett a million times might have had some influence. Guns were cool.

Next I wanted to be a football player. I couldn’t imagine life without playing football, so for a long time, I figured the perfect way to die would be on the football field after making some spectacular game-winning play. That would be awesome.

At some point in time I realized that I wouldn’t be able to play football my whole life, and my odds of dying while playing were extremely low. What to do? Nothing 9-to-5 really interested me. I loved history though, and would spend hours watching documentaries while other kids watched cartoons (though I did watch a few of those too). Maybe I would be a historian! But what do historians do but teach? And teaching didn’t appeal to me.

Well…I also really liked space and science. Maybe I’ll learn Astrophysics and become a rocket scientist? Of course, the only problem is you can’t really do anything with Science if you don’t also have an affinity for math. I do not have an affinity for math.

So now what? All the things I like I either can’t do any more, am not good enough at, or don’t make enough money. Maybe this blog could support me, but that’s a long-shot, isn’t it? Music production? That’s laughable.

I’ve thought about potentially studying theology or philosophy; however, those would only lead to becoming a teacher or a pastor, and I wouldn’t be able to do either of those for very long before getting fired most likely.

What now? What am I supposed to do? Am I doomed to be a failure? Are all the people right who said I would never amount to anything? Maybe I could join the Salvation Army like one of my old football coaches predicted I would.
When it comes to others my age, I don’t think I’m alone with these concerns about the future. Growing up, I could never see past 18. When I finally did turn 18 I was like, “Wow. I’m still alive.” Part of me never thought I would make it this far, but I have, and now I’m…21? Is that right? Wow. I’m so darn old. At best, my life is already a quarter of the way over.

For most others my age, the question of “what should I do with my life,” is avoided or put off for later. Most simply just go to college because that’s what is expected. We young adults go to college and we change majors and even schools multiple times, trying to figure out what is the right thing to do.

Then four years is up, and many of us still don’t know what to do…so we just go back to school. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past 15 or so years, right? Once summer ends, it’s back to school. It’s always back to school.

But we can’t always keep going back to school, not all of us at least. Some do though. They become graduate assistants, and teachers themselves, and then end up professors at their alma mater. I had a couple of professors at Ohio State whom had never left since arriving as a Freshman.

But many do graduate our institutions of higher learning and go on to get jobs. For many, college works out. For many others, it doesn’t, and they either end up in jobs they hate or unemployed.

Of course, there is nothing necessarily wrong with having a job you hate. Simply having a job is something to be thankful for, and sometimes it’s necessary to just get a job, even if you don’t like it.

But what if you’re not at that point yet? What if you still have some time to try and pursue something you feel created to do? But what if you just don’t see that innate desire ever working out for you in the “real world”? What then?

Of course, worrying about the future is exactly what God tells us not to do.

God has already said what I should do with my life.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:25-34

God makes us a promise here. He promises to give us what we need if we seek first, above all else, His kingdom and His righteousness. I probably should read this passage every day since I seem to forget this so easily. Too often I neglect to seek first His kingdom, doing what God wants, because I feel I need to take care of myself first or I’m going to be in trouble. I’m not trusting God. I’m not believing that He really will come through and provide.

The result is this paralyzing worry, which doesn’t help at all. For some strange reason, we seem to think it’s easier to rely on our own strength rather than God’s. The reality is it’s so much easier to simply trust God and not worry about the outcome.

Rather than worrying about whether or not our struggles and efforts today will pay off in the end, we can simply do our best and trust God by seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. Whatever the outcome, the result will be good.

This trust frees us up to pursue excellence at the jobs and responsibilities we have currently been tasked with. We don’t have to worry about where it is all leading, because God will work it all together for good, if we simply love Him and obey His commandments.

Do you ever worry about your future?

Do you struggle with trusting God?

What do you do stay focused on while pursuing His kingdom and righteousness?

2014 Top 10 – My Most Popular Posts

2014 has been a great year of blogging, and was also probably the most difficult year I’ve ever had–in more ways than one. However, overall, all of the difficulty and changes have been very good.I wrote most posts in the past year than in any previous year, so to recap 2014, here are my top 10 most popular posts:
(click on the images to visit the posts)

 




10. No Hugging; Now What?
A light-hearted follow-up to my series on why I don’t hug girls, seeking to find a healthy alternative.

 

9. Emotional Purity –Part 1
A post introducing my series on emotional purity, and why I have personally come to support the concept.
 
 
 
 

 

8. I Am A Sexist
 
My awful confession that I think men and women are different, and created for different purposes.My friends at Freejinger had fun with this one.
 
 
 
 





7. I Got a C For Defending the Bible

A real life and personal example of the bias of colleges against Christians and truth. I have heard many stories about schools showing bias against Christians, but had never experienced it myself until my Intro to the New Testament class which I took at Ohio State.Thankfully, this C was not enough to tank my grade, and I still finished with an A. It wasn’t as bad as the movie “God’s Not Dead.”
 

6. This Pastor Hates His Children

Probably the most difficult article I’ve ever written, this was inspired, again, by witnessing an article being shared around the internet by Christians praising this pastor for encouraging and embracing homosexuality. So many Christians are turning their back on what the Bible says and are embracing sin and calling it love.
I don’t like writing on this subject, or criticizing pastors, or directly targeting individuals. I’m sure he is a very nice person, but the views he was sharing are wrong and harmful, and they are being accepted more and more by the world and Christians alike that I felt I had to say something.
Honorable Mentions:
 
 
More controversial than I expected it to be, this post was meant to make the point that you never have to wonder if you married the wrong person.
This satire came about after I was told my conviction that I should save physical affection for marriage would lead to a disappointed future wife. I was told that my future wife would probably appreciate someone with more romantic experience instead. Hmm…I might be marrying the wrong woman if this is the case.
5. Reasons Why I Don’t Go Ballroom Dancing
Much like my series on hugging, this post came about because I wanted to give a defense for why I personally don’t want to go ballroom dancing.  After getting invited to too many dances that I didn’t want to attend, and not being able to fully articulate why I didn’t want to participate, I put my thoughts together and this article was the result.
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Why I No Longer Talk Privately To Girls Online
Related to Emily’s guest post, this article tells a more personal story, sharing my own negative experiences of male/female private communication online. This is a completely new social venue which didn’t exist when my parents were growing up. No one really knows about the dangers, and I hope more will come to see the risk involved.
Few seem willing to acknowledge this reality, and more damage continues to be done. What is probably even more tragic, is I know many people who have come to believe that the harm can’t be avoided, and should simply be embraced.
3. Your Crying Baby Is Sending People To Hell
 
Inspired by a comment my mom received on her blog by a person claiming crying babies in church are actually sending people to hell. I sincerely hope she was just trolling and not being serious; nevertheless, I have witnessed a lot of discrimination against children in the church service. I find it shocking and sad at just how many Christians, even large homeschooling families, who believe children should be separate from the adults, and placed in Sunday school. It’s just not scriptural.
I also seemed to have done too good a job with this satire, as many people thought I was being serious, and didn’t realize it was a joke. I again apologize for any emotional trauma this post caused.
2. The Struggle For Emotional Purity
This was a guest post written by a friend which really exploded. So many guys don’t really understand how emotionally driven girls are (I have made a lot of mistakes myself in this area). I found Emily’s thoughts to be both accurate and practical. Thank you again Emily for being brave enough to share about this important topic.
It is just too bad that so few really understand the concepts Emily shared.
1. Don’t Teach Girls To Be Modest; That Sexualizes Them
This post was inspired by an article that was being passed around the internet by some Christian acquaintances. The article was claiming that encouraging girls to be modest was actually sexualizing them. Um, what? I found this idea so backwards I had to write something.
This is also now my 4th most popular post all-time. I guess modesty is still a hot topic.

 

Waiting For Life To Start

waiting for life to startLife in middle class America is simple.

Generally, you are born to parents who want you to be happy. Your childhood is spent getting spoiled and taught that money isn’t all that matters in life

Then you get older, and you start going to school. First it’s just half a day, and you’re in a comfortable room with lots of bright colors and toys. You have a teacher who always smiles and talks to you like she’s expecting an ice cream truck to drive up any second and hand out free ice cream to everyone.

Then you go to school for the whole day, but at least you have two recesses. And then only one recess. The toys disappear. Creative writing time is eliminated. Story time is eliminated. And then recess falls by the wayside too.

Next the windows start to disappear, replaced by barren walls or covered up by heavy blinds. The desks shrink. The markers and crayons go bye-bye. Heck, some students seem to never even be able to find a pencil.

You still have some writing, but it’s only for teaching the mechanics of English. If you happen to take a Literature class, you will read such marvelous works as the depressing and pointless “Catcher In The Rye,” or something as mind-bogglingly dull, inconsequential, and meaningless as “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” I think they have you read these books in school to crush any possibility students may gain an interest in reading.

Middle school only matters in that it prepares you for high school. High school only matters in that it prepares you for college. And college only matters so long as you are able to get a good job, and by “good job”, we of course mean a “high paying” job.

Getting a high paying job matters because then you gain status and can buy all the things you want. Why? Because this is what will make you happy. Right?

Isn’t that odd? As children we’re told, “money isn’t everything,” but you’d better do well in school so you can go to a good college, so you can get a good job, so you can make a lot of money, so you can buy a lot of expensive things. Schools eliminate all of the activities and ideas which encourage you to break free of the mold. All you need to be successful, all that really matters, is learning math and science so you can make a lot of money. Your life doesn’t really start until you get that job and start making that money. Everything else is just a build up for that stage of your life, right?

Is it just me, or do you ever get the feeling that you won’t really be able to start “living” until you’ve “made it”?

Each new stage of life just becomes another obstacle. “Once I get into the college I want, then I’ll be happy.” Then you get there and happiness moves on to something else. Now it is, “Once I get the job I want I will be happy and I can start ‘living’.” Then you get the job and happiness becomes about the next promotion, or being able to afford this house or that car.

This is what life is like for many people in America. However, I think most of the people reading this blog realize that money really isn’t the path to happiness. Money is just a means, not an end. A personal relationship with God is the only true way to fulfillment. I know this, and I think many of my readers know this. Yet, I still think it’s tempting to think we will find fulfillment in accomplishments or material things.

Maybe instead of college or money, the thought is, “Once I get married, then my life can start,” or, “Once I find the right church.” Whatever “it” is, it is lying to us, and getting in the way of what is really true.

Life doesn’t end when you get married. Life goes on. Life doesn’t end when you accomplish a certain goal you’ve been striving toward for years. Life goes on. There will always be something else preventing us from “making it” or “arriving” or “living”.

As Christians, we can’t buy into this deception. Life is happening right now. We can be content right now. We can find fulfillment right now. We don’t have to wait until we get that job, publish that book, or marry “the one”.

January 1st is on the horizon; the day of “new year’s resolutions” where we often “resolve” to do certain things which will make us happier, or to stop doing things which harm us. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with New Year’s Resolutions…but why wait until the new year to suddenly make the changes you need to make to live a better life? Why resolve to do things which won’t give us what we really want if we haven’t been putting Christ first in our lives?

The good news is you don’t have to wait until the new year to change things around. You don’t have to wait until your salary reaches a certain figure, or until you’ve claimed a certain trophy. Life is happening right now. The kingdom of God is here, it is at hand, it is right in front of us.

Despite the presence of God’s reality, I still find it all too easy to get caught up in the worldly way of thinking. I need this or that, rather than God, to be satisfied and fulfilled. How am I behaving or thinking any better than those without God chasing money to be happy?

Life is happing right now.

Contentment can be found in thanksgiving—thanking God for everything He has done, is doing, and will do. Thanking God for all the things He has already allowed me to accomplish, and the wonderful blessings all around me right now. I am only lacking if I choose to stop relying on God.

I think there is a part of us that fears, if we stop worrying, we will lose control. We don’t realize that we already don’t have control.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33

Everything we need can be found in the kingdom of heaven, which is found wherever what God wants to be done, is done. We worry or fret or think we can’t be content until we have received or accomplished something.

Right now, right where you are, is where God has placed you: there can be no better place.

Do you sometimes struggle with contentment? How do you foster a spirit of thanksgiving and find contentment in all circumstances?