Your Fooling Yourself!

Do we deceive ourselves into thinking that we ARE what we are NOT?

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The mind has a way of legitimizing and reinforcing our behavior. We think that our motivations are pure. We are acting in a righteous way.  For others.  Not ourselves.  We are selfless.  But is this really true?

We also have a way of running an interior narrative that reinforces this reality.  We can truly convince ourselves that we value something when the facts actually completely contradict this belief.  The complete opposite of what we think.

The difference is reality and reality is found in action. We will DO what is important to us.  You can’t fool action.  You can tell people that you value or care about something, but what are you doing about it?  If you are not acting it’s just talk.

Folks run their mouths about helping the poor and donate absolutely nothing. The environmentalist drives a Suburban. The wife says she loves her husband but spends more time talking to her girlfriends and keeping up her super mom image. The husband who says he is a devoted dad but spends his weekends playing golf.

Examine your action VERY carefully.  What do you do?  What are your actions?  Day in day out, what is your true motivation?  You may disguise it as altruist, charitable, for others- but is it really?  Often, its really all about you and what you truly care about.

The way that you look to others.
Your image.
Your reputation with others.

There is a passage in the Bible that talks about praying loudly on the corner and praying silently in a private place.  The public display is all about you.  You have received your reward.  The private display is the only pure motivation.

Is your action about the return?  Even what looks charitable or caring?  What I GET for my GIVE.  Will I get something in return for my actions?  Will people think i’m just so amazing for what I did?

You can fool yourself into thinking all of your actions are for others.  Pump yourself up. But you are lying to yourself.  Examine yourself closely.  Are you doing it for your image? Or for your pride!

Do it in private.  Do it for someone who doesn’t think you are amazing.  Do it for someone who doesn’t even show ANY appreciation for it.

If not- you might be simply fooling yourself!

So what do you think?  Do we tell ourselves a story that may be completely false?  Can we truly fool ourself?  Click on “Leave a Comment and tell me what you think!

The Real Reason We Haven’t Cured Cancer

I am sure that you have been touched by the tragic effects of cancer.  My mother passed away at the age of 49 from lung cancer.  This was certainly one of the low times of my life.  I couldn’t understand how it could happen.  She wasn’t able to see her grandchildren grow up or be part of their lives.  Her life was cut off early.  I miss her every single day.

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I have a theory on why we haven’t cured cancer and other similarly tragic diseases.  And this is not your typical theory- healthy, scientific, you need to eat more of this or that, exercise more, take the right vitamins, etc.  This goes to the heart of the problem.  The real reason we haven’t been able to attack this disease properly.  So what’s the reason-

We are too cheap.

We expect someone else to handle the money that it takes to find a cure.  We want the government, rich people, philanthropists, charitable organizations, pharmaceutical companies, etc. to pay for finding a cure.

We want someone else to solve the problem.

We want to keep ALL of our money.

The real tragedy is that we have forgotten how to give.

You can always find an excuse why someone else, other than yourself, needs to provide the money.  I need to save for retirement.  I need to fund my kid’s college.  I need a new car.  I have credit card bills.  All of these are great reasons, but we cannot solve the world’s BIG problems without BIG numbers.  And it takes all of us to make it happen.

Kathy and I have been involved in many fundraisers through the years.  Kathy also leads a non-profit ministry (www.here2there.org ) that travels on mission trips to minister to others in need all over the world.  I am always amazed at how folks can get agitated when you simply ask them to give.  So they are agitated at us for trying the raise money to help out someone in need or a special cause?  That just doesn’t make any sense- right?  I am past it.  I will continue to ask and let it be their struggle- not mine.  The statistics we experience for giving are generally pretty low.  I bet less than one out of fifty give on the average.

There are plenty of ways you can rationalize not giving.  You heard the execs at the organization make big money.  You heard that the percentages that goes to research is lower than average.  You heard that someone was caught taking money at the organization.  On and on it goes…

The fact is- you can’t control those things.  And for the most part, these organizations do a pretty good job with the donations.  There is only one thing you can control- and that is to give.  If we all decided to cure cancer once and for all- we could do it.  If everyone who has a story like mine gave $1,000, we would amass such a huge amount of research money that a cure would be inevitable.  The problem is we are too cheap.  Most folks generally ignore requests to give.  They give a big fat zero!  They will leave it up to everyone else to do the giving.  And the giving is just not happening the way it should.

One way that I learned how to give was through tithing at church.  When you actually write a large check each week and find out that you will still make it financially, you are truly exercising your giving muscle.  The Lord tells us to test Him on this.  I have done it and He has always provided!

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, a day that is targeted for giving to non-profits and organizations that are trying to make a difference in the world.  Instead of buying a gift for someone who doesn’t really need anything, how about giving to an organization that really needs your money?  Yes- it may go towards someone’s salary and feeding their family but that’s not all bad- right?  If you are stuck on the efficiency of the organization, there are watchdog websites out there like www.charitynavigator.org  that provide ratings for non-profits that can assist you in making a giving decision.  It’s a good idea to do your homework, but don’t get too hung up on the percentages or ratings.

Give to a charity where your heart is or an organization where you have a personal connection.  Give to someone you know.  Give to an area where you want to make a difference.  Give until it hurts!  We will not solve the problems in the world until we realize that we are all individually responsible.  It’s not someone else’s responsibility- it’s yours too!  Start exercising your giving muscle.  You will find out that you can do it.  And you, yes you, will actually help to make the world a better place.

So what do you think?  Have we become too cheap to give?  Do we look to others to take care of the problems or needs?  Click on “Leave a Comment” and tell me what you think!

Dancing with the King!

I recently lost a friend named Pete to cancer. He fought very hard against the disease and we prayed very hard that the Lord would heal him. Yet, the Lord had other plans. He chose to take Peter home.

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Pete was known to get up during worship at church and dance a bit as an act of worship to the Father. Not a big flashy dance, but a little two step that was all his own. I loved to watch him dance.  You could see the laser focus on the Lord as he worshiped though his special dance.

Pete understood that worship was about giving and not getting. He chose to leave his seat and dance in his delight to worship the King. Leaving your seat at church is not easy. You may get a bit of an eye roll from the purists and your flesh is telling you to keep your butt in the seat. And I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for Pete who was suffering with strength and pain from the disease. Yet he chose to dance. He couldn’t stay in his seat. He had to give back to the Father. Too many Christians focus on what they get at church instead of what they give.

Was the message or music good for me?

Was I able to catch up with my buddy about the game yesterday?

Did I get the information on all the upcoming church events?

I need to sign up the kids for camp?

We are turning our “worship service” into an intellectually stimulating social hour. Where is the worship part? The worship seems to focus on worldly things like “doing church” with all the events, theology, groups, and pageantry. Have you ever left a church because you weren’t “getting anything out of the service”? Emphasis on getting.  Didn’t agree with the theology or offended by the message? Where is the focus on the King who made heaven and earth?

The glimpse of heaven we get in the Word illustrates a constant adoration and worship to the King. Can you see yourself worshiping 24/7? For me, I get it. I enjoy worship. I love the way it changes me and transports me to a different place. I love the way it can change my attitude and realign my focus. Every Sunday. Without fail.

I am so thankful for Pete and his dance. The dance has caused me to reflect on how I see Sunday mornings. On how I often want to get instead of give. Worship has a way of making you small so he can make Him big. Pete understood this. Pete chose to dance. He chose to give. And now, right now, Pete is dancing with the King!