Flashy lights and loud noises on a narrow path
How is it that as a human, we will search day and night for the right reason to sin, yet we can ignore God’s grace sitting there right in front of us?
We are living in a world with sensory overload, where everywhere you look something is trying to capture your attention. These images and messages feel so good to the natural mind that they are hard to look away from or ignore all together. In the modern age the world is working on overload, pulling out all of the stops to grab your attention, and let’s be honest it wins … like a lot.
With the world putting so much effort to attract you to this or that it can feel like God doesn’t even want you to listen to what He has to say. It is so easy for us to use God as a scapegoat for the reasoning behind not living a spirit filled life. Because God’s answer doesn’t jump out at us like a billboard it’s easy to think that He isn’t even here or listening.
I have come to realize a truth in my own life. There is one path, you can choose to go forward and walk towards the Lord, you can stop and question Him and not move at all in your spiritual life, or you can choose the world and give in to those desires and walk away from God. It has been my experience that while Jesus is always with you and wanting you to come to him, he cannot push or pull you on this path. You always have the choice to face him or turn away, but be sure you cannot do both.
Now while walking this path has been a struggle for me as I am sure it is for you as well, we never walk it alone. But who we listen to deeply influences the direction we move. While Satan is a mastermind marketer of the modern world (seriously it’s like he should work for Google or Apple) we have to know that, that is all he is. He has flashy lights with cool typography, but no substance or a real product in the end.
God has authority.
While Jesus may not jump out at you in the typical worldly way, everything he says comes with authority.
“They were amazed at his teaching because his message had authority.” -Luke 4:32
So while the devil will always try to sell an empty box , Jesus will always give you truth. So then how do we shut off the rest of the world and listen to God?
It would be nice if being a Christian was an exact science: Do this, this, and this and enjoy your salvation! But as we know it just isn’t that way. We all find Jesus in our own way. Maybe it was through someone else that we were introduced to God, but we still have to figure out how to really listen to what he is saying on our own.
Starting to listen to the right message
I do believe that a couple of things do help in everyone’s case though. First, you have to make a conscience decision to listen for what God has to say.
And lets be real, if you are listening for him in a quiet room waiting for the clouds to break and booming voice, just…just don’t. While that would be cool if it happens to you God tends to speak to us in different ways.
Which brings us to the second step: be prepared to listen and accept what you are hearing.
So often what God wants us to do tends to look like the more difficult of all the solutions. We need to remember, we don’t know what God knows so let’s not pretend we do.
Lastly, Trust Him.
Again, with His infinite wisdom how can we ever question the Lord? We do it all of the time and this is often a huge stumbling block for many (I know it has been for me). Everything that is good comes from God and He is in control let Him take control of your life and guide you.
It’s been quite some time since presentperception has made any appearances on my facebook news feed. Besides the couple posts I have made since last spring, this blog has really been dead. I used to find it comforting to share my thoughts to even the one or two people that would read them. I found it soothing to literally write out all the things I was hearing from the Lord, and I found it exciting to have an opinion on local matters and politics.
Right around this time a year ago I was in school. I was studying Journalism at UW-Oshkosh. My life has changed since then. In some ways small, in other ways the change is a bit larger. I now live on my own in Cedarburg Wisconsin. A very nice quiet town in a very nice small apartment. I have small writing gigs, but nothing major. No I did not graduate college in the last year, congrats to those that did, but I do not regret leaving school for now as it just does not seem to be in my best interest at the moment.
To get back to a year ago, I was writing this blog a couple times each week. I was forcing myself to write about new things and really enjoyed that blank pages that I was filling. I found myself writing about/trying to hear more from God. I had very good feedback from others that encouraged me to continue.
Then one day (all stories start like this) my facebook account was hacked, and to be honest it wasn’t the greatest of hacks. It was an embarrassing hack (not my fault but still happened) that did not shine a good light on me or my writing at the time. I thought that my reputation was tarnished. I had lashed out terrible words at people. Let’s just say the attacker got the best of me. Hard.
I felt so awkward about the situation that I couldn’t bring myself to write on here really after that point. I lacked the confidence to continue on and for all intents and purposes, I quit.
So now it is the spring of 2012. I am an ever-changing person, in a new town with a new life. I feel the need to write. I love writing. I love filling the negative white spaces on my document. I love the accomplishment. And most of all I love and miss listening to God and writing down what I am hearing.
So here I am.
Ready to forget the past. Ready to ignore the lies that kept me from this site. My new goal is to write two times a week on my home site here. And just like before, this is not about me wanting people to read my stuff but to offer up my thoughts to the online community and let it do what it wants with them.
Also Dan Harmon was replaced from Community. I need something to vent to. Thanks internet!
Life wasn’t simple before December 2011, just a tad less confusing and stressful.
I thought this be an occasion good enough as any to rip open the old blog. Today Wisconsin witnesses history, a hero, and an example of an exceptional heart of strength and focus. I only have one thing to say: Thank you Ryan Braun.
Over the past several months now the entire state has been waiting patiently as ever for a verdict to be presented to all of baseball. As history unfolds in front of our eyes, Ryan Braun becomes the first player to ever win a drug related suspension appeal in Major League Baseball history.
As amazing as that accomplishment seems, I believe I have witnessed something even greater over the past several months. I have watched a man who despite all adversity has remain calm, collected, and confident in himself and what he knows as the truth.
” I’ve chosen to view every challenge I’ve ever faced as an opportunity and this will be no different. I’ve always believed that a person’s character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity.”
When I heard Braun utter these words in his N.L. MVP award acceptance speech, something clicked within myself. Despite all of the challenges I have overcome, despite all of the obstacles currently in my path, and despite my future troubles, I have a choice. The first option is to give in to the challenges and fold, letting them take over me physically and mentally. The alternative however, is a much richer choice. I can choose to understand my challenges and face them as an opportunity, thankful for each one because when I understand that they have no power over me I can choose to display great character and overcome them.
The past several months have not been easy for a lot of us. Here in Wisconsin we face divided political opinions, financial instability,and an uncertain future. We have faced many challenges in the past and as
luck life would have it we will continue to face many in the future. We do all have a choice however, to like Ryan Braun perceive these challenges as opportunities as a state and as individuals and display our true winning character.
For this lesson Mr. Braun, I am forever grateful.
If you have studied the political system at all, then you know that it is nearly impossible for a candidate running against an incumbent to succeed in the election. The odds are so against the challenger to such a degree that over ninety percent of the time the incumbent wins. Of course that ninety percent is not a hundred. There are steps to take when toppling an incumbent congressperson and if executed properly congress could be saying hello to a new member.
The first step to taking down Goliath is to start early. After an election a congressperson’s job almost requires them to be in election and campaign mode almost instantaneously. Building and organizing yourself early is going to be the key. This process includes getting in touch with interest groups, presenting your values to the press, and really starting to get your name out there very early. This is going to help you set the tone of the campaign process. The key to winning this election is having control over it.
Step two is drawing a picture of your opponent. You have to really define who they are and what their policies mean to everybody. This is the part where show the difference between you and your opponent. You now have the chance to separate yourself from their flaws and really create some magic with the voters. The biggest issue here is going to be how your fresh new ideals are a much better fit for the position than your opponents experience. You have to give the voters a better alternative, and that alternative needs to be you.
Thirdly, the promises come into play. Now its never a good idea to hand out promises like cheap candy often you will tangle yourself in a web of your own deception. No, in this third part you have to use what you found out about your opponent against him/her. For example if they were supporting the increasing in taxes, you define the election with that problem. You promise that you will not make the same mistakes and take their errors into your own favor. These are really the only promises that you can for sure keep, especially if you have the support of interest groups.
You want to separate yourself from the opponent’s party failures while providing great opportunities and alternate solutions for the voters. The voters are only going to elect a non-incumbent if they are a better alternative. The only way to do that is to build yourself up early and maintain control the entire way through.
It is amazing to think about how confident an incumbent congressperson can really be when the thought of a re-election surfaces. Over ninety percent of all incumbent candidates get re-elected. That’s an “A” if they were being graded on their chances and probability. So what makes an incumbent candidate such an dominating force for elections? Many people are not aware of the perks that standing officials are awarded for election times.
Each member of congress is given certain perks which are justified by the job these men and women have to do. The first and largest contributing perk when it comes to election time is the massive amount of money and allowances the officials are given. First the incumbents have an office budget in which can provide more than enough funds to hire and run a staff. These staff members play a pivotal role in the re-election. With the many tasks of campaigning having a good staff can allow not just a good work flow, but also the ability to reach all constituents. The candidates are also granted travel allowances. These allowances are a huge advantage over any opposition running against an incumbent. Travel is a huge expense for a campaign and to have the ability to reach all districts and constituents can make or break an election. But one of the most overlooked advantage of a standing official is that campaigning is essentially a part of the job. TV appearances, radio broadcasts, advertising, and meeting with constituents are all a daily task for a congressman already. To have this experience and knowledge of how the inner circles work is an immeasurable advantage.
So is this fair? If we take a step back and look at the big picture there is absolutely no way that over ninety percent of the time a standing official should win the election. If all the perks were to be taken away and all sides started at the same point, there would be without a doubt a change in the percentage of incumbent officials winning the elections. That makes you wonder if there actually should be some changes. Perhaps the current system is a great way of doing things if your favorite congressperson is in office right now, but really over all it may not be the best way to do things. The question is do the incumbent candidates deserve the perks? You have to wonder. The U.S. will find it hard to remain completely democratic if the government itself supports candidates for elections, and with that thought you have to say that there needs to be a slight change.
The largest change is to take away the allowances for the incumbent candidates or perhaps to establish a system that awards the opposition with the exact same funds. The experience advantage must stay, for obvious reasons; this will always be a great advantage and very well should be. These candidates worked hard to make a name for themselves in their districts and deserve that advantage, but any extra funds or perks like getting free postages for informational letters and things should be cut. With these changes the finance playing field would be a bit more level but the experience and knowledge of the candidates could really shine through.
So ever wonder what those organizations and people with billions do with their money?
Although I must admit its pretty cool just one simple question will be enough here…..Why?
Obviously a great marketing ploy, I think people have to remember that people will always want to vacation in these regions without the resorts having obnoxious shapes. We already refer to it as paradise. I guess paradise isn’t good enough for us anymore.