“Snooze, just another 10 minutes. That can’t hurt.”
Most people’s first thought of the day, and if you think these thoughts or similar thoughts, then you are probably rushing to work in the morning, depending on that dose of caffeine to get you through.
With myself, often it’s thoughts of worry, something that I know I must do but keep putting off. What I have learnt is, the sooner I address the problem, the happier I am.
Them first few thoughts let you know what is working or not working in your life.
If you are dreading going to work maybe its time that you did something else, of course, that is easier said than done. With bills to pay and a certain lifestyle to maintain it can be challenging to change your job. It’s the fear of the unknown.
What I suggest is having a creative outlet.
Even a small service that you can provide. Maybe your an excellent painter and decorator, or have a keen eye for interior design. Even a listening ear or caring nature will take you far. We can easily overlook our true gifts and abilities, but entire businesses are built upon them.
Your first few thoughts each morning determines the rest of the day, so it’s essential that you and I make a conscious effort towards thoughts of faith, gratitude and love.
No more negotiating with the alarm clock. Hitting the snooze button once usually leads to hitting it again and again. Then traffic. Then stress. Then late, again.
Starting the morning in this way can create thoughts of struggle and even the feeling that your life will never change. So, in the morning when you feel that thought coming on, “SNOOZE” Replace it with, “Thank you for another day. Thank you that I have a job; thank you that I live in a country that I can make my dreams come true.”
Instead of ‘snooze’ get up and take the time to get a healthy breakfast and enjoy your morning coffee in the fresh air.
Gratitude is the foundation of happiness.
Start the day calm, relaxed, and full of faith and see the difference that it makes. Make the choice that each day is going to be better than the last.
Change those first thoughts and change everything!
It’s so easy to get distracted in todays world. Most of the distractions will come from other people, social media playing a major role.
In a world full of distractions, you must learn to live undistracted, unphased by it all.
Fear, doubt and worry are the main distractions to living a healthy, successful life.
Don’t allow others to project their fears and insecurities on you. Never let the weakness of this world infiltrate your mind!
To do that you must walk in faith and understand the truth, you have been perfectly made with unique gifts and abilities. You have value to add to this world. You have unlimited power within you.
We live in a world that contains a lot of negative and jealous people. Many of them have weak faith or no faith at all. As they are disconnected from spirit they find it almost impossible to move forward so they try to hold you back putting their doubts and fears in your mind.
We all go through hard times but its important to remember hardship is only for a season, not a lifetime.
You may be going through the winter of your life but spring is on the way, then summer. Stand up in faith each day with the knowing that the season is about to change.
Just because your friends have given up on their dreams doesn’t mean you have to. Spend less time with those that don’t add value to your life and more time with those that propel you forward.
Don’t allow negative people to distract you and stop you following your destiny.
Have a good week.
When Brother Bruno was at prayer one night, he was disturbed by the croaking of a bullfrog. He tried to ignore the croaking, but all his attempts were unsuccessful. So he shouted from his window, “Quiet! I’m trying to pray.”
And since Bruno was a saint his command was instantly obeyed. Every living creäture within earshot held its voice to create a silence that would be favourable to prayer.
But now another sound intruded on Bruno’s worship- an inner voice that said, “Maybe God is as pleased with the croaking of that frog as with your prayers.”
“Nonsense,” was Bruno’s response “how could God like that sound?” But the voice refused to give up: “Why then do you think God invented that sound?”
The voice unsettled Bruno, so he decided to do some research. He called out once again from his window but this time giving the order, “Sing!”
The bullfrog started croaking at once; with all the other frogs in the vicinity as a backing group. But as Bruno listened this time he discovered that, if he stopped resisting them, they enriched the silence of the night.
With that discovery, Bruno’s heart became harmonious with the universe and, for the first time in his life he understood what it meant to pray.
Praying is so much more than chanting or a series of words., no matter how profound the words may be. Praying is about paying attention to the world we’re living in, its about paying attention to the presence and power of creation.
The sound of the birds singing at dusk, a flowing stream, or the rustling of the trees in the wind.
Every sight and sound, whether it be a bird singing, the sound of water, or in Brother Bruno’s experience, a bullfrog, can help us to understand if we pay attention, the precious value of everything in creation.
So this week, take a moment each day to stop and listen to the world around you. Listen to all the sounds that God created, and be thankful.
And the more you listen, the more calmness and certainty will enter your life. And the more that calmness and certainty enters your life the quicker your fears and worries will fade away.
It’s not that they magically disappear, but they no longer have the same power over you.
Each of us has a spiritual journey, but on that journey fear worry and doubt are all dead ends.
Get yourself on the road of acceptance, get yourself on the road of awareness, get yourself on the road of faith. Be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Thanks for reading and have a good week.
No matter how we feel, God is always present.
Many people go through times when His presence can feel far away or absent altogether, which is often the case when someone is depressed, in grief or the depths of despair.
We all go through times when we are so busy trying to get everything to work that we don’t take the time to connect with God, thinking that we must do everything on our own strength.
Worry doubt and stress has a way of blinding us from the truth.
It’s so easy to get lost in a web of negative thinking, which in some cases can last for months, if not years. Overcoming negative thinking is achievable in many ways, but the main one is to take time each day to spend in the service of God.
Many think that service means only to pray and to help others, but this is not the case. Service also means to take care of one’s self.
Most people care more about their cars than their own mental and physical health. Fear worry and doubt can destroy your spirit in the same way that water will rust your car.
A little fear worry or doubt is natural, it keeps us safe and away from harm, but constant fear, for example, can lead to illness and pain.
Fear is automatic; like a weed, it does not need care and attention to grow. It can grow in almost impossible conditions. Often I have seen a weed growing in a crack in a wall.
Faith is the opposite.
Faith is very similar to a muscle; it needs the right nutrients and exercise. Most people however only work on their faith when things are going wrong. Then when all is better again, they don’t put in the maintenance, so their faith rusts, so to speak, allowing fear worry and doubt to drift back in.
Then the smallest setback can seem like the biggest of obstacles.
Maintain your faith each day, and you will live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life, where you see and take the opportunities that come your way.
There is so much negative news today that you must make a conscious effort to absorb as much positivity as you can. In the form of reading scripture or motivational books, listening to podcasts, watching films and documentaries that inspire.
We must take control. As much as we may want to, we can never change others. We can only change ourselves.
Thanks for your time. Have a good day.
Rev J Martin
Enter the Kingdom of God is my new book and is currently on free promotion on Amazon. Water your faith today with a short but compelling read. Click on the image below.
“I’m not afraid of flying,” my friend said as I gave him a lift to the airport, “im just fearful of crashing.” He did look genuinely nervous about the prospect of being hurdled through the sky at 500 miles per hour in a tin tube loaded with highly explosive aviation fuel.
And he’s not alone. Many people like him are afraid of flying, but my friend was more likely to die while he was getting ready for the airport.
Some people won’t get on a plane even though there’s only a 1 in an 11 million chance of something happening on that flight, which works out to be the same odds as falling and hitting your head while standing on one leg getting the other leg into your trousers. And people feel perfectly safe while getting dressed in the morning.
How often do you see someone dressed in his or her underwear in the queue for passport control? Rarely..lol
While on holiday my friend wanted to go scuba diving, I reluctantly agreed to go with him, even though I don’t like getting into the sea. So when it turned out that we couldn’t go out that day I was so relieved.
There is only a small chance of seeing a shark never mind being attack by one. Those are the cold hard facts, but we’re rarely led by the cold hard facts but by our emotional response to them.
Fear drives us in the wrong direction; it leads us to places where we can become intolerant, paranoid and self-absorbed.
For example, let say that someone hears that there is a high number of conmen tricking people out of money on their doorstep. The next time the doorbell rings fear can take a grip.
The stranger is viewed as a threat, and the door remains closed. If fear is allowed to continue to rule then soon enough neighbours and casual acquaintances are treated with a certain amount of coldness and observation.
Fear is corrosive, self-destructive and ultimately no way to live our lives. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear, and religion shouldn’t be a source of fear and anxiety, but unfortunately, it sometimes is.
Instead, religion should foster acceptance and tolerance within people. In other words, it should be led by love, not driven by fear.
We all should be inspired by love to look favourably towards the future and not always over our shoulder at the past, and maybe then our fear of crashing would be replaced by a love of flying.
Enjoy your weekend.
Rev J Martin
The other day having a coffee a group of college students walked in and took a seat, without a word they took their phones out and scrolled for a few minutes. Then they started chatting; it was as if the phone was protection, used to fuel the conversation, when it got going the phones went down for a few minutes, then it was back to the phones.
This pattern seemed to continue on repeat.
Technology is amazing, but for many, it’s the screen they hide behind.
Have we got so afraid of who we are that we need facebook, snapchat and other apps to fuel our conversations?
It got me questioning what are we searching for in all these apps? Is it meaning, is it approval, is it acceptance?
For me, life is about connecting with people; it’s about listening, it’s about helping each other.
We all crave attention we all want to be accepted by others, so much so that sometimes we can forget the only relationship that matters. Our relationship with God.
The problem with our spiritual connection is, it’s subtle. So subtle that many take it for granted. Plus it takes relaxation, calmness and peace and when do we have time for that?
I have nothing against technology; only for it I would not be talking to you today, but it’s so important that we take time to switch it off.
When I started to do this, I found myself feeling very sleepy and often fell asleep. Smartphones laptops and tv continuously stimulates the mind; it’s unable to rest. Over weeks and months, it can wear you down.
When you don’t give your mind a rest, all the tension and stress builds up, which can lead to illness and pain.
If you feel overwhelmed at this time, I highly recommend trying the following. Take time today, whatever you can spare and close your eyes.
Feel the world around you, the noises, the sensations in your body, feel Gods presence and know that you are loved, and accepted.
Be still with no distractions. It could be in the form of prayer, a walk in nature, or a lay down on your bed.
When you give yourself this time stress, and tension will subside, you will see problems and difficulties from a new perspective.
Done regularly you will see significant changes in your life.
I have a no phones rule when I meet a friend for coffee or lunch. One to one meetings gives others an opportunity to open up to you with anything that might be troubling or worrying them. Continually checking notifications can come across that you’re not interested in what a friend is saying, and this is not an impression I want to give.
Remove the screens and have more profound connections.
Thanks for reading.
Rev J Martin
Most of our un-happiness comes from our own thinking, behaviour and habits. Today I would like to share 5 of the most destructive habits that can create un-happiness in your life.
After each habit I will go over some ways that can help you overcome some of the habits and live a better life.
If you are surrounded with people that have little or no faith this will start to affect you in the long-term. Who we socialize with, what we read, watch and listen to, has a massive effect on how we feel and think.
It becomes a lot harder to be happier if you let yourself be influenced by negative voices. Voices that tell you that life will always be the way it is, that its better you learn to be happy where you are. Voices that watch life from a negative limited perspective.
How to overcome this habit:
Replace those negative voices with more positive ones. Surround yourself with new people to see the difference it can make. All your old friends will be exactly where you leave them if you ever want to return. This alone can be like a whole new world opening up.
Spend time with positive people, listen to inspiring music and read motivational books, watch movies and TV-shows that make you laugh and think about life in a new way.
What I found very helpful was starting out small. For example, listen to an inspiring audiobook on YouTube while eating breakfast in the morning, rather than listening to the news that is filled with negativity.
Getting Stuck in the Past and Future
Spending much of your time in the past, reliving old painful memories, conflicts, missed opportunities can hurt a lot. Spending your time in the future and imagining how things could go wrong at work, in your relationships and with your health can lead to a lot of un-happiness. Life is about living in the present.
How to overcome this habit:
It is pretty much impossible not to think about the past or the future. And it is of course important to plan for tomorrow and next year and to try to learn from your past, but to dwell on those things rarely helps.
What I found to be very helpful is to focus on what I can do today. I do out a timetable each day of all the things that I need to do. Constantly working towards my bigger longterm goals. If I do find myself thinking of the past or future too much I recite a short prayer to centre my thoughts.
Worry and doubt all stem from dwelling on the past or thinking about the future.
What I find very helpful is going for a walk in nature, or changing my surroundings by visiting a friend or relative. Being at home is the worst place to be if there is something troubling you.
Comparing Yourself To Others
One very common and destructive habit is to compare yourself to other people. People compare cars, houses, jobs, relationships, social popularity and so on. The list can be endless. All this does is create a lot of negative feelings.
How to overcome this habit:
Compare yourself to yourself. Instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself.
See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals. Doing this has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe what you have achieved, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done.
When we judge ourselves we tend to judge others also. Luke 6:37 “do not judge, and you will not be judged.” Try to only focus on the positives in yourself and those around you. When we judge it’s usually because we have unrealistic expectations of others and ourselves.
By letting this all go and just accepting who you are faults and all, you will be instantly happier and have better relationships with others.
Focusing on the Negative Details in Life
Most people focus on the dark clouds rather than the silver lining. When you look at the negative aspects of a situation that is a sure way to make yourself unhappy. You can even drag down the mood for everyone around you.
How to overcome this habit:
Overcoming this habit can be difficult. Something that has worked for me is to look for the good in the situation, it can be hard to see but it is always there. If things didn’t work out for you, maybe its not the right time, or a better opportunity is around the corner.
What can easily happen if your not careful is you can be so buried in self-pity that you miss out on the reason that you had the setback. For example, you attend an interview and don’t get the job. You take the rejection personally, thinking you haven’t got what it takes and don’t even look for another job when the perfect one is waiting for you.
Life at times can be complicated but more often than not we can be the ones that make it so. This ultimately creates stress and unhappiness. The world is becoming more complex but that doesn’t stop us from making some new habits to make it easier.
How to overcome this habit:
Splitting your focus and having your attention all over the place is certain to lead to unhappiness. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Have a to-do-list of 4-5 important things that need completed throughout the day.
Work on the first until it is complete then move on to the next. This simple strategy saves time, and will triple your productivity. Plus, at the end of the day you will feel happy.
Another thing that can overcomplicate life is having too much stuff. A solution can be to ask yourself: have I used this in the past year? If not then give it away. This can create so much space within your home. A cluttered living space reflects a cluttered mind.
Relationships can be the most complicated thing in life. What has helped me greatly in this department is communication. Reading minds is impossible. Minimise unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings and negativity.
When stressed, worried or lost in a problem, breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body and mind.
Then you can start focusing on doing what is most important for you again.
Thanks for reading. Have a good week.
Rev J Martin
When God created us, He gave us free will, without free will, we would be robots. Predictable, boring, with no room to grow.
The major decision we have to make is to live in faith or live in fear.
Let’s just say Tommy has an interview, Tommy might initially feel overjoyed, rushing to share the news on social media.
But when the buzz has worn off, Tommy begins to doubt if he is good enough for the job, so he calls a friend, explaining how he feels. Jason encourages him, not by some magic trick but simply by telling him what he already knows deep down.
That he is awesome and will ace the interview.
Tommy puts down the phone in good spirits, pumped up for the interview. If only he could walk in right now. His energy alone would win him the job.
After a few hours, Tommy’s doubt returns.
Before long, he’s back where he started, and to make matters worse Tommy has an argument with his girlfriend, and they break up. Becky tells him how useless he is, telling him attending the interview would be a waste of time, for a loser.
Tommy decides not to attend the interview.
A friend on the morning of the interview calls Tommy to wish him good luck; he tells his friend what happened. Again, his friend builds him up not by some magic trick but by telling him what he knows deep down within.
That he’s better off without a girl that doesn’t believe in him. That the job will help him grow as a person; that he will be doing a job he loves.
Tommy gets in his car and goes straight to the interview. Fired up, he walks in with confidence, energy, and style. He instantly connects with the people taking the interview, so much so they are memorized. Tommy gets the job.
What has happened here?
Tommy’s free will took him on a rollercoaster that almost when off the rails. We all have the choice to doubt or to have faith in each moment.
Free will is like the pendulum on a grandfather clock; it’s what makes the clock tick. It is what creates the ups and downs of life.
The thing that we need to know is that we are not the pendulum, we are the battery that powers the clock, but unlike conventional batteries our power comes from God and His power never runs out.
So for the rest of this week, when you come up against hard times that has your mood all over the place. Remember that you are not the pendulum but the battery that is separate from it all.
Have an amazing faith filled week
Rev J Martin