Happiness Is Easier Knowing I’m Never Satisifed

I think it’s easier to be happy when you know there’s a part of you that will never be satisfied.

I believe there are ideas in the world that, when accepted, become part of us, such as the spirit that seeks fulfillment through indulgence, apart from God. This is biblically referred to as our “flesh” (not to be confused with our biology). We all wrestle with it and it can never be satisfied, not with any achievement, any possession, any experience, any relationship -anything. It robs us of joy and peace because it’s restless, discontent, constantly grasping but never laying hold of.

When my flesh is aroused and I find myself dissatisfied with my life, the temptation is to feed this hunger, to do something that gets me more of something: more enjoyment, more recognition, more money, more power. But this focus on “getting” runs counter to the purposes the Bible says we are created for: to be fruitful, to create, to produce -to give. So, I find the key to my peace is not feeding this fleshly hunger but to starve it, to redirect my focus and energy from what I want to get out of the world to what I want to put out into it that yields life. That’s where I find fulfillment.

Jesus put it this way, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” [Matt 16:25] What is His sake? That we may have life. [John 10:10]

A Pursuit Greater Than Happiness

My marriage, like anything God creates, is not just for me. It’s for the benefit of those around me: for my children, my nieces & nephews, for my community -for the world. Marriage is the gold standard of relationships and if I cannot maintain the relationship that claims to be based on love, it sets a really low bar for the others.

So, I must fight for love, the hope of marriage. I must fight towards my wife. I must work through our differences. I must bless her and not hurt her. I must help bring to bear her God-given gifts to the world. I must do this, even in seasons of unhappiness, especially in seasons of unhappiness. I have a pursuit greater than happiness.

First posted on Facebook October 15, 2016 11:44:41 AM

Humility Is Context

Nearly everyone knows that humility is not about puffing yourself up. But did you know that it’s also not about putting yourself down or pretending to be less than you are? Humility is somewhere between knowing that the world will go on without you and appreciating the capacity you have to positively impact it. Humility is context. It’s knowing that I matter only as part of something greater.

First posted on Facebook October 5, 2016 at 8:16am

When Doing Good Doesn’t Seem To Pay

Frustrated and feeling overlooked, he still flashed a smile to his teammates, congratulating them on their touchdowns. After the game, sensing his dejection I said, “Work hard and keep finding ways to get open. It will come.” I then lauded him for having a good attitude even when things didn’t turn out the way he had hoped. I said, “You did the right thing, son.” He retorted, “What good is it to do the right thing, when it doesn’t get you anywhere?” I replied softly, “I’d take a good conscience over a good moment any day.”

He turned and looked at me for a moment, seeming to consider my words before looking out of the window. I hope he got it.

First posted on Facebook September 23, 2016 at 7:42am

Nothing New Under The Sun

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Son, I know you’re eager to leave home and take off with your friends because you all can do life better. I sincerely pray so. But dismissing what’s happening around us today as someone else’s problems will doom you to repeat the same mistakes.

The oversimplified solution is to merely shed ourselves of our parent’s generation’s thinking. I get that and once believed it. But, I offer you this wisdom: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

It has been my experience that the problems that currently plague our world are nothing new, they’re the same, old, bad ideas rearing their heads in different ways. It’s worth researching, contemplating and discussing today’s problems and how we got here -now, for your generation to even begin to have a hope of avoiding its trappings.

Is Mississippi HB1523 Pro- Or Anti- Christian?

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Here’s my understanding of the Gospel:

God has condemned harm and all that has been contaminated by it to destruction. Christ was sent to express the goodwill of God towards man, save them out of that coming destruction and give them new life marked by love.

Jesus achieves this by drawing near to His enemies and dying, not only through the sacrifice of His body, but by “dying to self”; laying aside His rights, His privileges and His self-interest to make the love of God known.

I ask my fellow Christians, is His cause our cause? Does Mississippi House Bill 1523 and our conversations around it achieve this end?

I’m Done

Photo: Pete Rosos

“I tire of asking you for what’s due me,” the thought began, “and of the insults in the things you don’t bother to do.” But just before the following thought, “I’m done” could form in my mind, it became clear what I was thinking about someone else, Jesus could say of me. And through the echo of Scripture, He went on to say, “Now, love them like I love you1 despite your frequent apathy and disrespect2. Work to this end3, believing I can give them a new heart4 and perfect their love, just as I’m doing in you5.”

1 John 13:34; 15:12; Colossians 3:12-15
2 Romans 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; Revelation 2:4-5; Revelation 3:15-18
3 John 17:15-21; Matthew 13:38; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-20
4 Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:16-19;
5 Philippians 1:6; Titus 3:1-7;

Oh Say Can You See: A Tale Of Two Flags

An American And Confederate Flag

I believe there are many Mississippians whose support for the confederate flag is sincerely about heritage and family. I also have loved ones who have fought as soldiers. My grandfather fought in World War II. Besides being a soldier, he was a great man and my family is incredibly proud of him. His picture as a young soldier hangs above our mantle, a section of the frame contains his tour ribbons, another showcasing a Purple Heart. In our family, there is a reverence for the Red, White & Blue.

So, I can relate.

But there are many people, such as Native Americans, Japanese, etc., who do not see the American flag in the same light, rather, a cold dark shadow that it casts. Whether these perceptions are rightfully held is moot. The bottom line is that in some cases the flag as a symbol is offensive, alienating potential allies, business partners and neighbors in a shrinking world.

Knowing this, do we brandish the flag without consideration for how it is perceived? Or do we work to mend the bridges; addressing the grievances, deconstructing past offenses and replacing messages of hurt with statements of goodwill? Though this is often described with lofty words such as diplomacy, doing so is simply an acknowledgement of another’s humanity and a nod to their value. While respecting the confederate flag may not make you a racist, an unwillingness to do the work probably does.

However, I believe my fellow Mississippians are willing to do the work. I am.

The Affordable Launch Guide

A professional goal of mine is to learn and teach people who have no more than a high school education, how to build automated systems that can generate income and once established, can continue to generate income without interaction from the owner for at least two weeks. In short, I’m conducting experiments and building the guide I wish I had when I got started as an entrepreneur.

Here is what I’ve learned so far. Please feel free to contribute your suggestions in the comment section.

PROCESS:
1. Go to where people are.

TIP: Start where you are. Begin with asking questions like:
What groups of people do you have access to?
What experience do you have in common with others?
Whose language do you speak?

2. Listen for:

A. A Problem,
B. Observe a Proclivity or
C. Find Something To Perfect that people would pay for.

3. Identify a challenge you can address for a specific group of people that you can afford to test with little investment.

4. Develop a Minimum Viable Offer*.

5. Make the smallest investment possible to put it in front of a specific group of people and see if they will pay enough for you to make a profit. If not, go back to step 1. If so, go on to the next step.

6. Invest more into advertising the minimum viable offer.

7. Set aside a percentage of profits to implement improvements learned from customer feedback.

8. Repeat steps 4-7 until improvements are no longer profitable or the product is mature. (At this point, consider possibly spinning suggestions into a new product.)

* A Minimum Viable Offer is an offer that provides the smallest number of benefits necessary to make a sale. In other words, it’s a Prototype that people are willing to purchase. Source: THE PERSONAL MBA, Josh Kaufman