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
I would like to start with a quote from Marianne Williamson.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Although this quote has always inspired me it’s the first part that can be confusing. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
Most people tend to believe that they fear not being adequate, that they fear not being good enough, that they fear failure, that they fear not measuring up to others.
When in actual fact there real fear is that they fear their magnificence.
They fear that they could change the world. They fear that they really do have the power to create a life of real meaning. They are afraid to experience their power to create a life of such impact. So they hide behind a false fear… a fear that they are inadequate and they don’t even try to create a life that they enjoy.
The amount of times that I have asked myself who am I to step forward and say this or do that. Who am I to approach that person? Who am I to inspire others to their greatness?
Consider how often have you asked yourself these type of questions?
How often have you not done what you wanted to do, to “fit in? To be accepted? To be liked?
Your doing this didn’t serve anyone, least of all yourself.
The funny thing is that when you stop fearing your greatness… when you embrace your God given power, and courageously and boldly step forward into the world declaring your life with confidence (shining your light) you will bring forth the divine power that lives within you.
It is within us all.
When you embrace the fact that you are a child of God with a unique purpose, you will receive a power so great and achieve much more than you ever dreamed of!
And when you embrace your POWER, unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. You inspire others to their greatness! This power is our true fear … and living it is our purpose.
Have a good week.
Rev J Martin
The world is speeding up; no one wants to wait. I am showing my age, but I remember when it would take minutes for the Internet to load. Dial up. The younger generation could not last one day of my childhood, but then again I don’t think I could last a day in theirs.
Often I go for coffee and see a group of friends sitting looking at their phones, occasionally chatting to one another about what someone has posted on Facebook or Snap chat. Sitting at the same table but miles apart.
Is spending time with friends not about spending time with friends?
I am all for technology as a tool, but it is starting to take the upper hand.
Even the way we pay has changed. Now there is contactless, where you can pay by just hovering your card over the card reader. When the assistant asked me the other day, do you want to go contactless?
It dawned on me, that’s what the world is slowly becoming; contact less.
Communication is getting faster, but people are drifting apart. Where is God in all this? Sadly on the sidelines; only to be called on if something goes wrong.
With constant notifications popping up every few minutes, I know too well how hard it is to pull yourself away.
What can we do, well, like all change it starts with you.
It’s so important to take time each day to connect with nature; leave the phone on silent for a while. You will be surprised at what a difference it will make.
When the mind and body is relaxed, pain and tension subside. An idea can come out of nowhere to solve a problem that has been stressing you out for some time.
Even in the writing of this, I realize that I need to take my own advice. There is always something to do; even when I am resting my mind is always active.
It’s a mental break that is needed.
With constant stimulation from morning to night, you can push yourself for weeks and even months without noticing, you are slowly getting run down; to the point that pain or illness sets in.
God has a way of slowing us down; it is for our benefit in the long term— although, it may not seem that way at the time.
Unaware that it is self-inflicted, we go to the doctor, and he gives us some pills, resetting the balance for while.
Then a holiday comes in just the nick of time, but instead of being full of energy to go on adventures and visit friends near and far, we fall exhausted and spend most of the week in bed.
Take a mental break from the madness, start connecting face to face; turn off from the world, and see the difference it can make.
Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget father’s day.
Rev J Martin
Recently I seen a movie called, Joe and the Volcano. It starred Tom Hanks very early in his career. For those of you that have not seen the film, Tom plays the character, Joe.
Joe does not enjoy his life; he does the same old thing every day in a dead end job; he is miserable, and sees no way out. He had lost all faith in himself and life.
Joe knew he was capable of doing more, but he had given up on himself. We can all identify with this in some way. As he was miserable with his life, he was constantly sick with different ailments he would create for himself to get out of work.
One day he took the morning off to go for an appointment; the doctor seeing the pattern thought he would trick Joe. So he told him he was suffering from a new illness called a brain cloud and had only six months to live.
Joe believed the doctor.
It worked out that there was a reason the doctor told him this, on a nearby island there was a volcano which was going to erupt soon, but if someone jumped into the volcano and sacrificed their life; all would be ok.
Joe, believing that he only had six months to live was easily convinced that he was the man to save the island.
He was given unlimited credit cards and told to enjoy himself first then he would have to sacrifice himself to the volcano. He was told to live like a king, and die like a man.
Joe’s life now had a purpose; he wanted to do it.
When people have no meaning or purpose to their lives, they will throw themselves into anything. Drink, drugs; a job that doesn’t add any value to their life; a relationship that they know is bad but they stay there anyway because they don’t value themselves enough to walk away.
Well, when the doctor told Joe that he was going to die from this brain cloud, Joe decided to live his life; all fear left him, he didn’t care anymore.
It got me thinking about my own life; did I have to be told that I was going to die to do all the things that I wanted to? It’s so easy to put things off, to say, l will visit my friends abroad next year.
We can so easily take life for granted, not realizing that each day is a gift that we must treasure.
When Joe was told, he was going to die his whole world transformed. He went straight from the doctors to work and quit. Then on the way out, he asked the girl that he had fancied for years out for dinner. He wasn’t worried about rejection or what people might say.
When Joe eventually jumped into the volcano with the girl that he fell in love with, he was thrown back out.
For me, the volcano was a symbol of fear. When Joe jumped into his fear, there was nothing there. That’s the way fear is; it looks big, but when you have the courage to turn and face it you will realize that there is nothing much to it.
Joe went from working a dead end job to travelling the world on a magical quest, simply because the fear was removed from his life when he found he had a short time to live.
If you had six months to live what would you do differently?
Would you stay in the same job? Would you be worried about the things that you are worried about right now? Would you have the same people in your life?
This film reminded me of a book my friend lend me a couple of years ago, in that book it asked, what would you do if you had three months to live?
My answer was, I would love to write down my thoughts and inspire and motivate others.
On the next page, I got a shock, it said, you could die today, so whatever you wrote on the last page start spending as much time doing that today. So I did.
So what would you do? Well, whatever it may be, decide from today you are going to delegate your life to it.
The main reason Joe stayed in the same job as long as he did, he feared change, most people fear change. A lot of people stay in jobs that make them miserable or relationships that make them unhappy.
Sometimes to see the beauty of life, you have to be willing to change; change cities, change jobs, change relationships, change friends.
We were created to bring so much to life, not to do a job that has no meaning for us for 40 years. God created you to achieve great things, to bring love happiness and joy into the world.
If your life is not the way you want it to be; if you are not living the way that you want to live; if you are not experiencing what you want to experience, you have to ask yourself why?
In the film when Joe quits his job he says to his boss, I sold my soul to you for $300 a week. He is not alone. Many people work jobs where it’s no longer healthy for them to be there, but because they don’t have faith in themselves and their abilities, they stay there.
They remain there as victims, volunteer victims, because no one is making them do it, they volunteer. They willingly do it.
They volunteer to hide in fear; they volunteer to believe that God gave others unlimited resources, and not them.
Our Heavenly Father asks one thing of us; that we have faith.
Having faith means to go for what you want in life. My grandmother used to say, do what makes you happy, if it means living under an old cart. The older and wiser I get the more I understand the wisdom in those words.
One day of happiness is like 1000 days in misery.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
The thing about the truth is; people don’t want to hear the truth. People don’t want to hear that if they are not happy, they must change. People don’t want that sense of responsibility.
Don’t be held back in fear, rise up in faith and begin to live the life that you have always wanted to live.
I love to fly, but I also know that some of them planes are coming down quicker than they are going up. It’s dangerous for that plane to fly. You see some ships leave the harbour and sink; it’s dangerous for the ship to be on the ocean. You read about people leasing their homes, and the people that rent the house tear it up; it’s dangerous to let somebody move into your home.
Yet, the engineers will tell you that it is more dangerous for them planes to stay on the ground, that it will rust out faster than it will up in the heavens.
They say that ships will collect more barnacles in the harbour and become unseaworthy faster than they will sailing the high seas, and they say that if that house stays empty, it will deteriorate faster than if you have someone living there.
Just like a plane was built for flying, and a ship was built for sailing, and houses were built for living in; we too were created for a purpose. We were built for accomplishment; we were engineered for success, we have been graced with the seeds of greatness that we must share with others to see the fruits of life.
The greatest danger we have as human beings is doing nothing at all.
Stop 100 young people on the street and ask them if they are happy at their work, only 5% will say they are. Follow these people until they are 65 and of those that are still living, studies have shown that only 5% will be happy with their lives.
Let today be the day that you decide to be part of that 5%.
Let today be the day that you start to plan your future, start to use the gifts and talents that God has graced you with. Do something that you have always wanted to do but have been putting off.
I wish you, your family and friends happiness health and love.
Thank you for your time.
Rev J Martin
Firstly I would like to thank you for following me, I truly appreciate your time, and I want you to know I pray for you each day.
I firmly believe that we all have been given a divine destiny; a special gift that is unique to us. Happiness and fulfilment come when we use that gift to help others; which results in making this world a better place.
Too often we step back in fear, with the attitude that we are not worthy of the new relationship, the new job, the new career. I would like you to know that you are worthy; you have a light within you that you must allow to shine into the world.
If you feel held back in fear at this present moment, my book Power of Choice – Choose faith not fear can help you rekindle your faith. It is free on Amazon until Thursday 11.59pm.
My main aim as an author is to inspire change in the lives of my readers, one verse, one story, one sentence, can be all it takes to open the door to the next level of your destiny. This is one of my daily prayers.
We all work on our fitness; doing the best that we can to keep healthy. Faith is no different, it needs constant work and maintenance.
When you see someone that never seems to get into difficulty or never seems to be stressed, this is not by chance. This person has very little fear in his or her life.
Enjoy the book; may it bring you happiness.
Rev J Martin
Many people down through the years have recommended that I read a book called, ‘How to win friends and influence people’.
The title never really appealed to me.
Recently, I received a voucher for a bookstore, which happened to be doing a promotion on the book, so I bought it. As it turned out; it was not what I expected at all. As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.
The first thing I found very surprising was the fact that it was written in 1937. Secondly, that it contained some principles that were just as relevant in human relations. One chapter stood out above all others, which I will focus on today.
The chapter was called, ‘If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.’ It talked about the fact you should never criticise someone, as you never know what they have
The author used many stories to demonstrate this point, but the ones that had the deepest impact on me involved Abraham Lincoln.
When Mrs Lincoln and others spoke harshly about southern people. Lincoln replied, “Don’t criticise them, they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.
A very inspirational view.
During the American civil war in fighting the Battle of Gettysburg. The enemy got cornered by a swollen river. They were trapped, surrounded on all sides.
Hearing this, Lincoln telegraphed his orders to his General, ‘Attack immediately,’ and not wait to have a council of war.
What did the General do?
He did the exact opposite of what he was told. He hesitated. He procrastinated. He called a council of war. He refused point blank to attack. Within a week, the waters receded, and the enemy escaped.
Lincoln was furious. They had the enemy at their weakest point. The war could have been over in a matter of days, but the general called up all his troops for a meeting.
In bitter disappointment at his general, Lincoln sat down and wrote a letter, and at this time a letter coming from Lincoln was the severest rebuke.
What do you think the general did when he read the letter?
The general never seen the letter. Lincoln never mailed it. It was found among his papers when he died.
It was said, that Lincoln never mailed the letter because he saw it from the Generals perspective. If he had seen as much blood, if he had listened to the screams and shrieks of the wounded and dying for weeks; maybe he would not have been so anxious to attack.
Rather than criticise, he put himself in the general’s boots.
It reminded me of how quickly we often jump to a conclusion and judge or criticise without much thought where the other person is coming from.
How To Apply
When we find ourselves annoyed of upset at what someone said or done, it is important to rather than take offence to take a step back and look at the situation.
This is easier said than done.
This requires a strength of character as it is human nature to defend what we think is correct. It’s in these moments that our faith is tested.
Do we show love and understanding, or not. It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. Be shaped by Love.
Enjoy your weekend.
Rev J Martin
Do you find yourself, avoiding new situations because they make you uncomfortable?
It’s normal to feel uncertain before you face a new challenge, but stepping outside our comfort zone is the only time we grow.
Why would you want to do something uncomfortable?
We go out of our way to get away from stress and doing anything that makes us feel uncomfortable, but there is a difference between the discomfort of trying something new and stressful feelings.
At one time you were afraid to drive. Now you enjoy it. You may not have liked eating vegetables when you were younger, but now you couldn’t live without them. You were once afraid of applying for that first big job, but now that you have a career you enjoy, you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. We all do things that at one time we were afraid to do.
Good things in life come to those who take risks, those who step outside their comfort zones in the knowing that with God anything is possible.
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.”
Faith is stepping out into the unknown with the knowing that all will be ok. Successful people in all walks of life, take risks. They feel fear, but they do not let it push them back. Their faith in succeeding drive’s them forward
If you avoid new experiences, you are missing out on the best that life has to offer. The longer that you wait, procrastinate, or cower in fear, the more “comfortable” you get with how things are, and that’s not a very good place to be.
Before we go any further, ask yourself if you are happy?
Are you happy in your current state or do you ever dream of doing something else, something more?
Do you think about reaching out to other people, starting a new hobby, eating healthier, or even going for a new job?
If the answer is yes, then you have already decided this is something you want to do. Now it’s just a matter of making up your mind to overcome your fears.
Once people get settled into a routine, it can be difficult to break. Most people are running on a sort of “autopilot,” it takes them from point A to point B with little to no thought, but this is not what God created you for.
When we are young – we are fearless. Young children will pull an iron off the iron-board on top of themselves because they want to know where the lead is coming from.
We are told repeatedly growing up, don’t do this, don’t do that, so we stop exploring life. It gets to a point where we are afraid to try anything new; we get into a routine; we enter the comfort zone.
It takes no thought to stay in a comfort zone, for this reason, many people take up permanent residency.
Getting out of a comfort zone starts with deciding to take action.
Decide that it’s time to do something new. Decide to do something you have been afraid to do in the past. Take up a new hobby. Visit a new place — Decide to break the routine.
“But I’m Scared!”
You are not alone, many people are afraid to take that first step and take action. The idea of making a significant change may even lead to feelings of deep anxiety and self-doubt.
The first step to overcoming the fear of the unknown is to learn to take baby steps. If you fear to look for a new job. Start with writing out a C.V. /Resume. If you would love to lose weight but can’t find the time to go to a gym. Park 10 minutes from work – over a week that is nearly two hours of walking.
Some Helpful Advice
Two things that will help you get started are a list of goals (including those that make you uncomfortable or scare you) and a reliable buddy system.
Write the list of targets that you want to accomplish first. Things that you have always wanted to do but have been afraid to attempt.
Next, enlist the aid of a friend to help you accomplish those goals. Naturally, it’s easy to give up when you are the only one trying. A friend can provide that emotional support you need.
To conquer your fears once and for all and start living the life you dream of; take decisive action. Make up your mind that you can do anything, that you will be successful in whatever you decide to do.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Typically it won’t be as bad as you think. Doing things that make you feel uncomfortable or scared, eventually get easier to do. You may even wonder why you were so afraid in the first place.
Realise your true potential by stretching yourself. God created you to achieve great things. Don’t let fear hold you back.
Enjoy your week.
Rev J Martin