Christ’s Hatred of Frauds

Reading and writing can sometimes be overrated. Here is a nice brief story with pictures—feel free to print off the pictures and color them at your leisure.

Reading for a later date:

  • Luke 11:37-54
  • Be not deceived; God is not mocked – Gal. 6:7
  • The day is thine, the night also is thine. – Ps. 74: 16

Christ’s Hatred of Frauds

One day when Jesus was teaching the people a Pharisee invited him to dine with him.

Christ-teaching1

Jesus went with him, for he hoped to be able to teach him how to truly love and serve God.

Christ-dining2

The Pharisee was surprised that Jesus sat down to the table to eat without first washing his hands.

Christ-at-table3

Jesus told him that it was true that the Pharisees made much of washing their hands but that their hearts were far from clean.

washing4

Jesus told him that God made the soul as well as the body and wanted the soul kept clean and pure.

pure-heart5

They loved to be thought great and good but were selfish and unkind.

When they prayed or gave alms to the poor it was to be seen and praised by others.

pharisees -giving6

Jesus also blamed those who made life hard for others and made things easy for themselves.

God looks into our hearts and sees what we really are.

It is useless for us to try to deceive God.

He knows all the time if we have wicked, selfish, impure hearts, no matter how hard we try to seem good.

To please God we must have pure hearts and live pure, true, loving lives.

Truth – God looketh upon the heart.

Stability – Key Concept to Helping Children after Divorce

Child Stability after Divorce

I’ve had quite a few years to reflect on the effect divorce has had on my daughter. The first year was the hardest, but Madalyn seemed to be quite resilient. Her mother was consistently taking an active role in her life. However, over time, things started going downhill very quickly. My ex-wife became very unstable and began missing her scheduled visitation times, she changed residences over half a dozen times in two years, and she talked of moving to California with a man she barely knew.

The lack of routine and the thought of possibly losing my daughter to another state terrified me, so I decided to get a lawyer. It wasn’t long before I was granted primary custody. I believed it then, and I still believe that I was acting in the best interest of our child, and if I could provide her the stable, loving home she required, then it was my duty to do so. Continue reading “Stability – Key Concept to Helping Children after Divorce”

How to Stop Complaining

how to stop complaining

Have you ever thought you complain too much? Maybe you’ve noticed (or someone has pointed it out) that complaining has become second nature. Honestly, it isn’t your fault, and it’s actually part of how our society is wired. A couple of the big problems with complaining are that it is draining and can hurt the relationships around you. Many people are naturally negative, and our society is geared toward the negative. Any local or national news station tells you that. Most breaking news lead with headlines of doom and gloom and it isn’t very often you hear a story with a positive twist. I know it is hard for me sometimes even to watch the news because I get so angry when I see what people are capable of doing. I can turn uncaring or indifferent because I just don’t know what do with how I am feeling.

As a Christian, I am called to care and to take a different path—a path of love and gratitude without complaining. But it can be difficult to break the habit of complaining, especially if you are going through a rough patch in life.

To better understand complaining and how to stop let’s first take a look at the different types of complainers. See if you can identify which category you can relate to the most.

4 Types of Complainers

  1. The Martyr – This is my favorite, only because it fits me best and nobody is better than I am at throwing a pity party. I also like to call this the poor me mentality.
  2. The Whiner – Since life isn’t fair then I might as well complain about it rather than do something about it mentality.
  3. The Cynic – If it is just going to get dirty again then why to bother cleaning it up and nothing will ever change mentality.
  4. The Perfectionist – Nagging, arguing and complaining are all typical of a perfectionist. If nothing is ever right or your kids are complaining non-stop, ask yourself who their example may be?

How to Stop Complaining in 5 Easy Steps

The first step, and typically the hardest, is admitting there is a problem. Not somebody else’s problem but your problem. Proverbs 28:13 “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”

I can honestly admit, my wife and I have gone a few rounds pointing out some complaining issues in one another. Of course, the typical first response is denial but I know deep down I tend to complain when things aren’t going right or done the way I think they ought to be.

I think of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years after being rescued from slavery in Egypt. It wasn’t very long before they began to complain and think life as a slave would be better than living in the desert. Their grumblings led God to leave them in the desert for 40 years until the generation died off.

Step 2 – Accept responsibility for your own actions. How many times have you heard someone complaining about how terrible their life is because of what another person did? People with a victim mentality have a difficult time accepting responsibility for their actions and blame their own stupid mistakes on others.
For some, it is easier to pass the blame than accept the fact they aren’t in control, that they are being controlled by something or someone. Or they simply refuse to accept responsibility for their actions because they don’t think they are hurting anyone but themselves.
Continue reading “How to Stop Complaining”

How to Improve Your Life in 30 Days or Less

how to improve your life in 30 days or less

I don’t think there are many that would pass on the chance to improve their lives in 30 days or less, at least until they realize their state of being is of their making. Life is full of ups and downs, and there is no happiness without sadness. We’ve developed habits and beliefs that stand in our way of fully understanding how life should be and how to feel better about it.

Sometimes people refuse to be happy, and they think everyone is out to get them. Others refuse to be sad and look at life through rose-colored glasses pushing anything negative deep inside. Happiness and sadness are the yin and yang to living a fulfilled life, and you cannot have one without the other.

Consider this: When was the last time you did any maturing or emotional growing? I’d venture to guess it was during a time of great struggle and sadness. If sadness is dealt with properly, it can lead to growth, and improperly it can lead to resentment, bitterness, and self-pity.

On the other hand, happiness isn’t always good. It feels good to be happy but during long periods of happiness there isn’t much growth, and though life feels good you might grow complacent and forget to push yourself to improve. I don’t know about you, but during the good times I seem to push God out and try to take things over on my own. One good reason my good times tend to not last very long.
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There is Hope

This is a fairly old email that I am finally getting around to posting but it goes to show everyone out there that there is hope. There is life after divorce even if you have been married for 30+ years. I want to encourage everyone going through a difficult time to keep the faith. Don’t worry about always being strong, never crying or asking for help.

Hi Jason,
I haven’t read your newsletter for quite a while, nor have I blogged on your site. I will say however, that I have enjoyed your letters and your encouragement…thank you. 🙂
I was married for 32 years when I chose to finally leave my husband in 2011. It was not an easy decision by any means, but a very necessary one. Our marriage was very unhealthy, toxic at times and
my husband was unfaithful I and unwilling to take responsibility for his actions. I married my high school sweetheart at 18, and we have 3 wonderful children and 12 wonderful grandchildren. I was a stay at home mom and homemaker for the majority of those 32 years. Being on my own for the first time in my life was extremely freighting to say the least!! I really didn’t believe that I could make it in my own quite frankly. But….God in his great love for me, surrounded me with great friends from church, and family members who loved me, supported me, and prayed for me which is what has enabled me to now not just be surviving, but thriving! I am now living on my own and supporting myself for the very first time in my life and I will be turning 53 next week! Divorce is a very painful road to walk down. It’s a dream crusher and at times it looks very dark, and without any hope of light, life or change. But I can tell you that there is hope, and you can and will reach the other side of divorce with the grace and love of God and having Him by your side. I am a Survivor and there is really a lot more to my story, but I pray this will encourage other women and or men that there is life after divorce!
Thank you Jason for the opportunity to share my story.
Blessings,
Kathy M.

How Good Are You at Bouncing Back?

how good are you at bouncing back

Have you noticed that some people bounce back better than others? It’s a proven fact; some people are much more resilient than others. Why is that? Are they just better at handling difficulties in life? In this post, we’re going to look at several possibilities to determine why this is the case and how you can begin to learn how to become more resilient.

When we experience an unexpected trial such as divorce or child custody we might be asking ourselves the wrong questions. So, what are the wrong questions? The questions might include:
Continue reading “How Good Are You at Bouncing Back?”

K.I.S.S

keep it simple stupid

Keeping life simple and why you should care.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Keep It Simple Stupid.” But in this day and age, it seems almost impossible to find simplicity in life. We are continually being pulled in twenty different directions and couldn’t be further from living a simple life if we tried.

What is Simplicity?

Simplicity is the state, quality or condition of being easy to understand or do. Freedom from complexity.

Simplistic living doesn’t mean we can’t sign the kids up for soccer, join the PTO, take on additional assignments at work, regularly volunteer at church, or get more done around the house. Simplistic living boils down to asking yourself the following five questions and building rest and reflection into your weekly schedule.
Continue reading “K.I.S.S”

Surviving Conflict

surviving conflict

We’ve all had our fair share of conflict and surviving it isn’t the difficult part. It’s the overcoming, prevailing, and being victorious over strife that can be a bit tricky. Conflict close to the heart can be even more difficult, especially when it comes to divorce. Broken relationships tend to proceed with months or even years of unresolved conflict. And it’s that unresolved conflict that can eventually lead to divorce. Contrary to what a lot of people think, you don’t just walk away from your marriage and leave conflict behind, especially if children are involved. If you want to truly survive conflict, you need to learn how to overcome it.
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Journaling – Is It Really That Important?

I used to journal all the time. In fact, this website was created because of my journaling when I was going through a divorce. That was a long time ago and I have come a long way. But for the past year I have stopped journaling. I’ve been telling myself that I am a bad writer and can’t write. Obviously, I’m no John Grisham or but I don’t need to be to journal – neither do you.

I find it baffling how quickly things can change in my life. The last person I remember being was this happy, positive, semi-loving, and sensitive kind of guy. But now I am filled with resentment, fear, selfishness, cold-heartedness…and I think I better stop there or risk passing the point of no return. As I look back over the past year I find it difficult to see many of the positive points. How can that be? I have a lot of challenges but my life has never been better.

So why is the negative drowning out the positive things in my life? Well, there are actually a couple explanations for this and “no”, being crazy isn’t one of them.
Studies have shown that many people deal with negative information and events differently than positive ones. According to Professor Nass, co-author of “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships”, negative emotions generally involve more thinking and are processed more thoroughly than positive ones. I know I have found this true in my life. Heck, I had a great day yesterday with the exception of about 15 minutes where my wife and I had a disagreement. Do I remember the day as great or do I remember the spat? I remember the spat. I have to actually remind myself that the day was a pretty darn good day! Cause it was.

Why Journal

  • Track your prayers
  • Track answers to your prayers
  • Track the positive things in your life
  • Benchmark growth
  • Helps you focus on more important things
  • List future goals and dreams
  • Release and manage emotions

Journaling forces you to slow your mind and focus. It can help reduce the overwhelming feelings you have when are going through a tough time. Writing down the good things or highlights of your day is one way to keep the negative from beating out the positive. Remember that little things matter so it could be something as simple as someone offering you a helping hand or it could be as grand as getting a bonus at work. This will help you to get your mind off the trials and tribulations so you aren’t overlooking the good things that happen to you simply because you are going through a rough patch.

The ultimate purpose of journaling for me is to track life’s events and encounters with God. When you look back over your journal and see God working in your life, you are going to feel closer to Him than ever before. It is important to notice the ways that God works for your good and sometimes you can only do that by viewing your life in the rearview mirror. What you can gain from journaling is that you don’t ignore the struggles, we all struggle, but pain helps us to grow and build character. Journaling helps us to realize how events that we thought were bad at the time turned out to be just what we needed in the end.

So start today and begin putting your life down on paper. I can promise you that if you stick with it, you’ll be glad you did.

Best Time to Celebrate the Holiday

best time to celebrate the holiday

For me, the best time to celebrate the holidays is when they are over! Yes, you heard me right; over, finished, done, concluded, ended, OVER. Okay, I realize that it might sound like I am bitter or a Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season but I find it exhausting. The routine I cherish is shot to heck with the chaos of the go, go, go busyness of the holidays. And what’s with all the people? Where do all these people come from? The introvert within is screaming for some quiet alone time.

You should have seen the look my wife gave me after we opened our Christmas gifts and I asked if we could take the tree down. Come on now! It’s time to restore some degree of normalcy, right? After weeks of gluttony and being forced to eat everything set before me, I am now “encouraged” to go on a diet… really? Wife, you helped create the bulge around my middle so you might as well love it as I have grown to love it.
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