Thursday, March 24

Making Wise Decisions

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Decision making is the hardest thing in the world for me to do and is something I have always hated from simple things like which flavor Popsicle I wanted, what movie I wanted to watch, where to have my birthday dinner, what shirt to wear, etc. I seriously would have panic attacks all the time when I had to make even the simplest of choices. It was really rather pathetic but I honestly could not handle the possibility that I might pick something someone else wanted. Every time I did end up making a decision it wasn't my own, it was always what I thought someone else would want me to pick. I learned to read people and learned to decide based on them. Consequently decision making got a whole lot easier for me, or so I thought, but in reality I was no better off and in fact completely incapable of deciding things for myself. By the time I finished High-school I had lost my identity in what my friends liked, what my parents liked, etc. I had no idea what I liked. This proposed a big problem as some really big life altering decisions before me such as what was I going to do with my future. I began to realize that some decisions simply could not be made based on what everyone else wanted I was going to have to decide for myself! :(

But how?? I was totally clueless I literally choose my college by flipping a coin....after eminem moe eliminations. Totally scientific I know.... I did have other methods as too but nothing all that effective. So as you can prolly suspect when the important decisions began to arise I was totally clueless and flopped a lot of the time. Turns out my methods of avoiding making decisions got me in a lot more trouble then it would have been to actually take the time and thought to make them the right way.

Decision making is not easy especially when you desperately want to make the right decisions. For me the first thing I had to realize is that there is not always a right and wrong choice and that often times choosing to avoid making a decision or putting it off is far worse then taking a chance and making a decision to do something. Doing nothing is not in anyway helpful. Nevertheless I was able to compile a list of things to consider in making wise and biblical decisions, so I thought I would pass them along in hopes that you will not have to make the mistakes I have made and also in hopes that you might find them as helpful as I have found them to be in my life thus far.

I challenge you to ask yourself these 10 questions the next time you find yourself faced with a difficult decision.

1.) First and foremost ask yourself is there a direct command for it or against it in the Bible.

Exodus 24:7
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."

John 14:15
If you love me, keep my commands.

2.) Next ask is this decision going to cause others to stumble in the faith or will this hurt anyone? In the same way would the alternative do so?

1 Corinthians 8:13
Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

Romans 14:21
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall

1 Corinthians 8:9
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

3.) Then next thing to ask yourself in making a decision is this activity necessary?

1 Corinthians 6:12
"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

4.) Then ask will this harm me?

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Matthew 5: 13-16
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

5.) Could this activity become addictive or rob me of my freedom?

Proverbs 6:27
Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?

1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.

6.) Will this decision or activity promote evil?

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22
reject every kind of evil.

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

7.) Can I ask God's blessing on this activity?

John 8:28
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me

Deuteronomy 30:9-10
The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

8.) Would I act differently if Jesus were standing next to me?

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Hebrews 4:13
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jeremiah 16:17
My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.

9.) Can I glorify God in this thing?

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

10.) Lastly What would Jesus do?

1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Let us start making decisions the right way, let us answer these 10 questions and march forth shining the light of Christ!

Saturday, March 12

My Official Bucket List

Travel and Travel Related Adventures

There's something magical about traveling, it's as if the world opens up to you. I've experienced strangers acting like family and old friends opening their heart and homes along the way. I want to go so many places before I die I would like to see just about everything, but I have narrowed it down a little by giving myself these hopefully obtainable goals.

*To set foot on each of the seven continents. Antarctica will be the last, but I got to see them all once. Been to 2, 5 more to go...

*To go to all 50 states. I have been to 18 so far...32 more to go

*Travel around the world- like around the whole thing

*To go abroad and live like a local for 6 months +.

*Climb one of the world’s Seven Summits.

*Go on an African Safari

*Scuba dive ideally in the Great Barrier Reef, but at least somewhere.

*Spend 24 hours alone in the jungle, well with the animals of course

*Stand at the North or South Pole.

*Go to the Grand Canyon

*Go to Vegas

*See the Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis)

*Go to the Amazon Rainforest

*See the Acropolis in Greece

*Go to Hagia Sophia, Turkey

*See Italy all of it

*See the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt up close

*Go to the Great Wall of China

*See the Taj Mahal, India

*Ride a camel in the Sahara desert

*Go Backpacking through Europe

*See the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

*See Mount Rushmore

*Climb up the Statue of Liberty

*Visit Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

*Go to Israel

*Go Island Hopping in the Caribbean

Things I want to learn and do
Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.

~Fire a Pistol

~Swim with dolphins

~Meet the love of my life

~Have sex

~Get a pet snake, lizard, puppy and calf

~Join a bowling league

~Learn to ski

~Learn to water ski

~Go to a dance with a date

~Climb an active volcano

~Go skydiving


~ Experience being drunk or high

~Go sailing

~Hike the Appalachian Trail

~Ride a unicycle

~Learn to skateboard on ramps

~Go windsurfing

~Go deep sea fishing

~Go ice fishing

~Go alligator hunting

~Go snowboarding

~Go snowmobiling

~Learn to play an obscure musical instrument, such as The Hang

~Dive with a whale shark


~Learn to say “hello” in 50 languages

~Learn sign language

~Learn to play the guitar

~Compose a song

~Sing Karaoke in public

~Learn these dances; Salsa, Rhumba, the Cha-cha-cha, Tango, Waltz, the Foxtrot, Samba, Ballroom dancing, the Flamenco, the Jitterbug, and Hula.

~Ride in a hot air balloon

~Go paragliding

~Go snorkeling in a shipwreck

~Ride a mechanical bull

~Attend a Rodeo

~Go white water rafting

~Go rock climbing

~Race a sports car

~Go jet skiing

~Go paint balling, and play lazor tag

~Take a canopy tour (traversing between trees on a zip line)

~Ride the 10 largest roller coasters in the world

~Go on a cruise

~Experience weightlessness

~Learn how to use a pogo stick effectively

~Learn to let myself make mistakes and try new things even if I will fail

~Learn not to take what others do or say personally

~Learn to act within my sphere of influence and stop worrying about things which are not within my control

~Mush a Dog Sled

~Have an aquarium

~See a platypus

~Spend a week at a Silent Retreat

~Learn to forgive fully

~Bike through the entire Colorado Trail or Continental Divide Trail

~Go heli skiing

~Explore the depths of the ocean and sea in submersible or submarine

~Do 25 pull ups all in one set

~Milk a poisonous snake

~Ride something bigger than a horse. Trekking through the jungle on the back of a two story tall elephant will surely be something you remember forever.

~Learn to live in the now

~Go to A Broadway Play

~Go to the Kentucky Derby

~Go to a St. Patrick’s Day Parade

~Go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve

Things to Accomplish
Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. Ongoing, continuous, non-stop personal development literally assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

*Make stained glass windows, or blow glass

*Let go of all of my negative emotions and limiting beliefs

*Discover my life’s purpose

*To live each day in search of bringing God glory

*Kick negative habits (caffeine addiction, overeating, watching too much television, spending too much wasted time online)

*To pray all day everyday

*To know what it means to follow ever Christ fully

*Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty

*Get married

*Write a book

*Save someone's life

*Have children

*Buy or build a house

*Get a PhD

*Cut the ribbon at a major opening

*Make the front page of the newspaper

*Make a difference in at least one person’s life

*Build a Habitat for Humanity Home

*Volunteer someplace making a great impact

*Donate blood

*Become a Mentor

*Write a children’s book

*Write a travel book

*Go on at least 2 game shows

*Leave a valuable contribution in my area of expertise what ever that ends up being

*Invent something amazing and patent it

*Create my own board game

*Make a documentary film of my life

*Have my blog get to the Technorati top 1000

*Create a home with an inviting, joyous, comfortable, loving atmosphere.

*Master DDR, get a C or higher on Expert in all the songs

*Shake hands with someone who has truly changed a country.

*Break a Guinness World Record

*Leave a Mark in this world

I will be keeping you all up to date as I meat each of these, shall be a mighty adventure....remember to live each day as your last and never take a moment for granted.

Friday, March 11

Surviving Dew Withdrawls

So as you may recall, I decided to give up Diet Mountain Dew for lent this year. Which has been extremely challenging for me. I was typically consuming a 2 liter a day sometimes more. So needless to say the last 311 hours, yes I have counted, have been some of the hardest of my life, or so it seems. I have passed out from exhaustion, been unable to sleep for nearly 5 days, laughed, cried, ached, you name it. It is like I have become a whole new person. I donno if any of you have ever been so addicted to something and then tried to live without it, it honest to goodness is crazy how different I feel although I am mostly getting used to the non-soda self again.

But as this has been a challenge like no other I thought I would pass on some survival tips that have helped me thus far. If you have any additional suggestions please share.... as I am not quite a third of my way there, and it certainly is still a struggle at times.

---After the first day I pretty much thought I was gonna die I was experiencing major caffeine withdrawals; major head-aches, depressed thoughts, fatigue yet restless nights, and constantly had to fight off my urges and sub- consciousness that kept drawing me to my delicious dew. I fought them off trying to focusing on why I was doing this in the first place. To go without to get a since of what Jesus did on that cross and that humbled me big time... Here I was barely able to give up soda a few hours and Jesus never even tasted the stuff, let alone all the beating and sacrifices he made for me I am pretty sure dew is nothing in comparison.

--- As for fighting some of the symptoms themselves I felt the need to counter act them slightly hoping to find a viable alternative I went to the drug store and decided to get some 5 hour energy hoping that could at least get me through work. Yet to my surprise they now card you for buying them, and since I still can pass for 12 at the buffet and had lost my licence somewhere admits the laundry, I was lost for hope. So I had to stick to drinking tons of water to keep me having to pee aka unable to sleep, and taking aspirin for the headaches.

---Also to help boast the energy and moral I played DDR whenever I got the chance...getting mighty good too as a result...see good things can come from sacrifice.

---To help reduce the cravings I would supplement them with Shamrock shakes!!!! Which are pretty much the best things on Earth.... Now up to 25 for the season!!!

Some other things that have helped me as I fight to stay true to my lent commitment are reading all the negative things about caffeine addictions and soda intake. As it turns out there is a lot of research out there to suggest that moderately high doses of caffeine (more than a few cups of caffeine-containing beverages per day I think a 2-liter of dew classifies) can lead to fertility problems, tachyarrhythmia (abnormally increased heart rhythm), high cholesterol, boost a woman's risk of osteoporosis and aggravate fibrocystic breast disease, heart rhythm abnormalities, high blood pressure, ulcers and premenstrual tension and cause panic attacks.

Yuck nothing I want... If you like me are addicted to caffeine I would suggest a more gradual reduction in your amount as going cold turkey was a real bare at first...yet I am doing a whole lot better each day and starting not to even miss my dew. Well at times any how.