Are you independent?

IndependantTogetherIn our society, especially American society, we are encouraged by movies and family many times from childhood to be independent. Don’t depend upon anyone. Do it yourself or learn how to do it yourself so you won’t depend on someone else. All of this is good advice up to a point. But what do you do when life throws a wrench into your life, like a death in the family or a disease that isn’t easy to cure or live with? Being independent and on your own doesn’t seem like such a good idea at this point, does it?

Depression is also one of those “monkey-wrenches” which can throw you for a real loop! Man or woman, married or not, military, police, or firefighter or just coming out of your teen years, depression doesn’t discriminate at all! In fact, peer pressure and job stress or stress from a death or dying family member just makes it more intense.

I just performed a graveside service for a good friend and family member recently. It was hard, but God provided the strength to get through it. My point in writing this today is not to recount that experience but to focus on how people, men specifically, handle their independence. We usually have friends while going through elementary and high school and while in college. But, when college is over we usually get down to the business of life. Jobs, maybe marriage and children, although sometimes not in that order, particularly in today’s so-called “modern” age.

The problem facing men today is that many of us grew up without a strong father figure in our lives. Some of us didn’t have a father around at all. Some of us only had a grandfather and he tried to do the best he could, but he was afraid of possibly running us away if he got too strict with our upbringing. Some people say that this isn’t really a problem, but if you look at the population of our prison systems and talk to many of them, I think you would find that most, if not all, had no true father figure in their lives.

Also being independent as we are taught to be tends to cause us to push through life without a close friend. We don’t make friends as men, we make acquaintances. People that we know at work, but not outside of work. I mean, do you know a friend’s phone number that you could call if you needed to talk? Would you actually call them if you do know their number?

This is the problem which men face in our world today. Women tend to make friends very easily by comparison. Scientists say that it is because of evolution. I say it is because women share the job of raising children all the way back to the time of Eve, when she had daughters to help her. Later, as the population grew, the women of the village would gather to keep up with the children and wash clothes and other chores which needed to be done. They got to know each other.

Men only gather when it is time to hunt or to defend the village from marauders, or some other “manly” job such as that. When the hunt is over or the fire is put out, we tend to break up and go our separate ways. Living life alone. If we don’t have a family, that can be deadly. Seek out friendships with other men. Start a Bible study at church or in your home with them men of the church. Have a breakfast or a BBQ with some friends. Get to know some of the men who live around you. Because…you never know when you might need their help or they might need yours.

There will be another post on this topic on thelivingmessage.com later so as they say on TV, stay tuned.

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Life…what does it mean?

Life is a breath and a heartbeat,

It is also a time to remember.

How much you have learned

And what you may have forgotten.

 

Life is a baby’s laugh, a beautiful sunrise,

It is also the dew in the morning and a

Cool breeze in the day. Life, what does it mean?

 

It is your day beginning with a prayer,

It is you going through the day in an

Attitude of prayer and it is that day ending with

Thanksgiving to God for that day.

 

Life…what does it really mean? Time enough

To do the task for which you were born, and

To realize that you are not in charge. God is.

 

It is God who gives you each breath, each heartbeat

And the ability to take each step in your journey. So,

Where does your life take you?

 

Seek out the Creator and give your life to Him,

So that He can give you an eternity to know why

Your life was important.

I choose…

Can we choose to be different? Can we, as a nation, choose to be the people in America who will move forward and not bring the past with us? Yes, we can! It will not be easy, but by choosing to be the America that God intended for us to be, like we were sixty or one hundred years ago, we can. I am not saying that the American government of those days was perfect, but the nation still revered God, collectively.

In polls today, many people still say that they are Christians, but they are basing this on believing in God’s existence not in His Son, Jesus. Satan knows that God is real, he believes in His existence, but he doesn’t serve Him and hasn’t for thousands of years. In truth, that is what is wrong with our country collectively. The fact that there is just a small minority of people who truly are Christians in their hearts, their character and in their lives. Not just one or two days a week, but every day. The rest of the country maybe goes to church on Easter or at Christmas, which are pagan holidays which the “church” adopted in order to draw in more people, but many people leave that service unchanged, why?

Because they choose not to believe what they have heard, that is why they leave a church service without Jesus in their hearts. It is our choices which define our lives…our existence, here and in eternity. It is your choice to believe or not to believe and the fact that the choice is an easy one is what seems to make it hard for people to make that choice. In choosing to be a follower of Jesus and allowing Him to change you into the person that you are supposed to be, you are telling God that I do believe that you are the Creator and that your Word is Truth, that you believe, deeply believe, that what He says in the Bible, regardless of how hard it is to take really did happen and that every word is Truth.

We all have choices to make in life, in listening to people, hearing their opinions, whether we believe those opinions or not, and then choose whether we will listen to what they say about Jesus and our life with Him rather than block them out because their opinions are different from mine or yours. This is the reason for many people who leave a congregation to find someone else to listen to many times. Sometimes it will even split the church itself.

Choose to listen to a message, not because of the political leanings of the preacher but because He is preaching from God’s Word. Opinions are like eyes and ears and belly buttons, everyone has one. Choosing to go to church because your preacher is preaching from the Word of God and not because of his opinions about politics or the weather is the right choice because we all need to hear God’s Word preached. Choose to be the person who will hear God’s Word, not just the messenger that is delivering it.