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Experience life with me.

I am that guy you know who likes to talk, especially when I get excited about a subject. I have many interests and subjects that I am passionate about. I plan to use this Blog to share those with you, laugh with you, cry with you and hopefully something I discuss will have a profound impact on your life.

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Refocus

It is amazing what just a small amount of refocus can do for the heart, mind, body and soul.

I have an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease which has a very large impact on my life. This disorder affects my eating in a huge way as I have to avoid gluten.

The gluten protein fools my body and immune system into thinking I have a foreign body attacking my digestive system, so in turn my body actually fights my digestive system and kills the villi in my gut this preventing me from absorbing nutrition.

A few years ago after serious weight gain and horrible digestive issues I finally for to the root of the problem and began to change my lifestyle.

As a person who loves crappy food, this was a very difficult task at first. Once I took the gloves off and began to fight I found my energy level increase and my weight decrease. I felt whole again and went from 275lbs and a 44″ waist to 165lbs and a 28″ waist.

As most things go, I got lazy… And as youight suspect I put weight back on and began to feel horrible again. I stopped all of my healthy eating despite my wife trying to help me and I stopped exercising. All of these things led me to weight gain again and feeling horrible again

I have since had a refocus and I am on a juice fast. I actually love juicing quite a bit and even after the fast will continue to do this as part of my daily nutritional needs.

I can honestly bsay I am losing weight already and have much more energy that I had prior to beginning this. I am excited for what the future holds and for the positive results.

Yes this is for me, but it is more for my wife and children than anything else. I have a responsibility to them in life and if I don’t teach my children good eating habits and don’t help my wife as she teaches our boys then I am failing them.

I want to be around 50 years from now and I good health enjoying life with my wife and kids.

Do you need a jumpstart in your life and to refocus? Is there an area in your life that needs a change or do you just need one large lifestyle change?

Trust me, if you start today and refocus each day you will never regret your decision.

Happy Journey!

The Day My Life Began

lives-begin-to-end

You would think that this would point either to “Conception” or maybe even the day that I was born; guessing this would be wrong. While I am thankful for both of these events in my life, I know that the end of my life and my eternity would not be possible without “The Day My Life Began”.

It began when I was 12 years old and sitting in the Sunday School room at my grandparent’s church in Alton Illinois. I sat here at Abundant Life Assembly of God, with maybe 10 more children my age in the room and listened to the guest speaker. I could not tell you the name of the speaker, only that she was passionate and motivated and I emphasize this because I was 12 years old so you need this to keep my attention.

I listened to her speak about this man she met, this man that changed her life and changed her heart. All that I knew is I wanted to meet this man, I wanted to know him and talk with him and listen to his stories. This was the most important thing to my 12-year-old mind at the time, so important that I forgot about Sunday lunch and I forgot about Football and playing with my friends.

I sat at this little desk and continued to listen, I had no regard for time even to realize that an hour had passed and I still wanted nothing more than to hear about this man. When she was done speaking there was a pause and a question asked of each of us. She asked, “Do you want to know this man” and experience the same thing that I have. My answer was an overwhelming “YES”!! I wanted to know him and his name is Jesus Christ.

What is your big event? When did your life officially begin? What caused you to open your eyes and actually see the world around you for the first time? Have you stayed the course since?

Ask yourself these questions and really examine your answers. Do you need to go back to that day and recommit to your big event, do you need to refresh your mind, body and soul?

Happy Journey

Satisfied?

Bruce Lee Quote

As you look into the mirror, are you satisfied with who you are, with who you have become? Do you even like what you see or are you questioning the person looking back at you.

I would venture to guess that most of you haven’t turned out the way you expected when you were younger.  Are you pursuing the dreams you spoke so much about, are you working in a job that had been a lighthouse in the distance as you worked hard to attain?

I for one am nothing like I expected nor am I making a living in a career that I had expected.  I originally set out to live in Ventura California and attend Brooks Institute.  I had a very specific vision in mind, a desire to work in movie & documentary production and narration.  I soon learned that money dictates far too much in life and that I would receive little help from those around me.  So I did as so many before me and I gave up on my vision and dream.

Fast forward 25 years; I have since received my College degree in Youth Ministry/Social Services, got married 9 years ago and became the proud father of 4 sons. This is nothing like I had envisioned so many years ago.  As a matter of fact for many years I resented my lack of drive and willingness to sacrifice for my dream.  Little did I know that God had other plans for me the whole time.

In the years since leaving behind Brooks Institute I have learned many valuable life lessons, made numerous mistakes and the occasional good decision.  I managed to pull my life back together and graduate from College before I turned 30 years old.  This was an extremely important goal for me and I can always look back on that with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

I got married 9 years ago to the ONLY woman on this earth that could tolerate me and love me the way God had intended.  What I am saying is that I am very hard to live with and I try to change each day and fail a lot at it.  Meeting this young lady changed my life more than I could put into words and before I knew it we were married and then I blinked and we had 4 sons.  Now it hasn’t always been easy, like I said, I am very hard to live with.  We have had many ups and downs and heartache along the way.  All of this followed by the joy of children and the WORK that comes with it.

Through these years I worked many jobs that I didn’t like and always seemed to be transitioning onto a new job.  This was no coincidence, it was me and my lack of commitment when I had a family to provide for.  I have a very supportive wife and in-laws and to their credit they challenged me and helped me to see the importance of providing for the BLESSING that God allows me to have every day.

I now sit at this computer and type a story entitled “Satisfied?” and I have to say that I am never satisfied.  I always want more!  I want more from God, from my relationship with my wife and with my children.  I want more from my career which has taken a nice twist into Vlogging, Blogging, Social media and just added Online Tutor.  I don’t ever want to be content with today or tomorrow, God has so much for you and me if we only seek to find it.

So I can say confidently that I am not Satisfied and I never will be.  If I am living my life according to God’s Word then I will always want that next in my life from the Creator.

 Hebrews 12:2 American Standard Version (ASV)
2 looking unto Jesus the [a]author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ask yourself this before you close out your day. What is your “Satisfied”?  Are you looking for more?

What are your answers to these questions?  I encourage you to be unsatisfied with life and to always be looking for more.  It will not be easy but it is worth it.

 

Happy Journey

 

 

 

The Still Small Voice of God

god-is-in-the-whisper-jpg1Have you ever found yourself sitting in your car, at the breakfast table or in the shower and heard this still small voice speaking to you? All of the sudden you find yourself thinking about something important in your life or something that you are trying to or needing to  change.  It isn’t always a pleasant feeling, sometimes it is even very uncomfortable.  Why is it uncomfortable, unpleasant or even worrisome when this happens?  This is because God is trying to speak to you, he has something very important he wants to tell you, if only you would listen.

Listening is hard because we may be afraid that God is going to ask us to give something up, or to do something that we either don’t want to do or are afraid to do. This may require us to leave our comfort zone, to push the limits of our abilities or to learn something new.  It is a challenge and it will take work and this can be a scary thing to look at and know that “I” have to do this.

I can tell you from experience that it is the hardest and yet the most rewarding thing that you will ever do in your life.  Why wouldn’t you push forward and strive to be completely in the will of God, why wouldn’t you want all of His blessings?  All that the Lord wants for you is the absolute best, we just have to step aside from ourselves and allow God to guide and direct us.

I am not saying that everything will always be easy and that you won’t experience strife and heartbreak in your life.  We are molded and refined by the experiences that we have and then by the way we handle them.  Do we allow God control over the Good and the Bad?  When we have the life altering experiences, do we give them to God and ask Him to make the best of such a difficult encounter.

Be careful what you ask God, He is in the habit of answering prayers.  I want to encourage you to do just that, ask God for something you need, even if you may not know what you need.  Listen for that still small voice and when you hear it, listen and obey the words and direction.  Will it be easy, NO it sure won’t.  Will it be a rewarding experience, YES it will, however you have to see it through until the end.  You cannot do this half way, you have to give it your all, your have to submerse yourself in it totally.

There is no greater experience in life than to know that you are being obedient to God and following that Still Small Voice that you hear. Now, go and ask God for something, anything.  Ask for change, stability, patience etc…  Remember what I said earlier, God is in the habit of answering prayers so hold onto your socks.

Enjoy your journey!

 

How Lying Affects You and Those Around You.

Bible-verses-for-Good-CommunicationBeing a Human, I am sure that at some point in your life you have told a lie.  As a child we will go through this in the learning and growing process as we figure out right and wrong.  Innately we actually know the difference between right and wrong and whether or not we are lying about something.  So this should make you think, How does this affect me in the long run and how does this affect those around me.

I unfortunately growing up told a myriad of lies in my life.  It wasn’t that I was taught differently, I just chose to do this so I would be liked and accepted.  What I didn’t know is that people saw through my lies and instead of having the affect I was wanting it did the exact opposite.  Those around me didn’t know whether or not to believe me even if I was telling the truth, because I made such a habit of lying. Lying became such a habit that my first words and reaction to things was to lie, it became an unconscious decision and I wouldn’t even realize sometimes that I was doing that.

The more you practice a certain behavior, the more it will become common practice in your life.  Just as you teach your body and muscles to react through repetition so will your mind be trained, through repetition of thought and action.

Ask yourself, why am I doing this, what good can come of this and who will this affect.  Ask yourself how will this affect those around you.  Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? Well long story short, he did it enough that when an actual situation occurred and he needed assistance, the ones he lied to were not there because they did not believe him.  So as we train ourselves and condition ourselves, we also train and condition others through our lies.

The Golden rule simply says, “Do unto others as you would want done unto you”. This is a good quote to live by, if you lie to others don’t be surprised or angered when someone else lies to you.  We are in a society of being offended by what so many people do, so think about this, if you are going to get angry when lied to, maybe you shouldn’t be lying yourself.

All in all, there is no good that comes from lying, all it does is hurt you and hurts those around you.

Eat Local, Save Your Community.

Eat LocalWho has ever been into a Grocery Store?  This may seem like an odd question, there is however a point to this question.  Most of us can answer yes we have been in a Grocery Store, the real question is what type of Grocery Store?  You may say Walmart, Dierbergs, Dills, Waldbaums etc… It all depends on the region of the United States you live in.

The above mentioned stores are all corporate stores and for the most part don’t care about you or your community.  There are as always exceptions to each rule and you may have a corporate store investing back into the community, but for the most part this is not common.

More and more there are Farmers Markets popping up in each community and more fresh farms that not only provide fresh produce but also raise and process their own livestock.  So, whether you are looking for produce, meat, feed, flowers or all of the above, it can be found near you.  For those of you who live in a “Food Desert” there are more local cooperatives popping up to provide fresh in these concrete jungles.

My family and I make sure that we shop local for many reasons.  We are concerned about giving back to our community and saving money.  We are able to accomplish both of these buy purchasing direct from the farms and also using the local Farmers Markets in the area.  I am able to make sure that we eat healthy fresh food with out hormones and antibiotics and that my children not only grow up healthy but will have a thriving community to be a part of as the become adults.

Eating locally not only helps your overall health but it also invests back into the community that you call home.  Whether you live in an apartment, house, trailer, hut, yurt etc. you don’t just let your home or property fall apart, you work hard to keep things nice and functioning efficiently.  The same should be said about your local community, this can be done by investing back into local business.

If all you have are corporate grocery stores then I will give you a piece of advice, stick to the outer rim of the store.  You will find fresh food, vegetables, fruit and natural foods.  This way you avoid the processed and chemical laden food substitutes.  Not everyone lives in an area where they can find locally grown foods, so you adapt as best as possible.  If your community has a need for this, you can go to your local governing bodies and begin the process to get local and fresh foods.  There are some communities that have even began to grow their own food in Urban Gardens.

Where there is a will, there is a way!! Happy hunting my friends!!

Are you planning for the future or living for today?

It is very easy to get caught up in living for today. Instant gratification has become the cry of many people. Following this cry can easily derail you from planning for the future.

While there are some things in our lives that do absolutely need taken care of today it pales in comparison to planning for your future. There is a saying —“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.”

The question now is, what are you doing to plan for your future?

You may be in a position where you are living paycheck to paycheck, this I understand. I have lived a large portion of my life planning for the future and yet seemingly living for today.

How have I changed this? First of all I stopped feeling sorry for myself and having the whoa is me attitude. I became proactive. I began to do research, looking into various authors who specializes in this area. My wife and I both began to minimalize our belongings and the things that we pay for. Secondly we both took on additional money making opportunities.

When researching and figuring out what is right for you and your family I would recommend a few authors and websites to help.

http://www.thepennyhoarder.com

The Acorns App

http://www.daveramsey.com

http://www.larrywinget.com

http://www.mikerowe.com

There are so many ways to make your today and your future better. Remember, it begins today and it is a complete lifestyle change. It may be rough at first when faced with tough decisions about what to cut out and what to keep but if you press on and keep forward momentum you will be satisfied in the end.

Remember, you and your family are worth this decision and the sacrifice that will benefit you in the long run.

Good luck and congrats on your new life!

What is your Greatest Distraction?

WOW, there are so many distractions in our lives these days! Distractions have always been a part of our lives, however in the past 20 years it seems like the sheer volume of distractions has increased ten fold.

None of us are exempt from distractions in our lives. This day and age with single parent households or families where both parents work it is easy for them to become distracted with life in general.

For some it can be education and planning for the future and for others it can be the white noise all around them.

Loneliness and the need to be accepted in life seem to be an ever growing distraction in the lives of so many young people, especially with the sheer volume of Social Media outlets there are and the departure from community and slowing down.

I am sure as you are reading this article many things have passed through your mind that are distractions in your life. These are things that take away from your family life, your happiness, confidence or your ability to slow down and be a part of the world around you.

What do you do to combat the distractions? Do you spend time in prayer, meditation, reading or listening to relaxing music while clearing your mind? Do you even recognize that you have distractions in your life that constantly derail you from life and being happy and content?

Take time out of each day to set goals and schedule time to decompress, to unwind and feed your inner soul. Each one of you know yourself best, so educate yourself on ways to eliminate distractions from your life, ask others to help you with this and succeed. No one else can succeed for us, we will ultimately make or break ourselves. We can not lay blame on others when we hold the keys to our own happiness.

In closing, Happy hunting in 2018 as you work to minimize your distractions and live life to the fullest.