10 Ways to Overcome Temptations

As human beings, we like to think we are strong, but the truth is we struggle in many areas.

 We tend to give into temptations. We try our level best to control ourselves, but there are those times that we let temptation get the best of us, and then we do things we don’t want to do.   Like the apostle, Paul – we know what is right, but we do the very thing we hate.  There must be a way out. Well, I did a little research and this is what I came up with.

1.  Learn from Your Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes, but they must not rule us. Nobody expects you to be perfect, but we also need to be able to learn from the mistakes we make.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Weakness becomes a problem when we refuse to grow and learn from our past slip ups.  When you are able to learn from your mistakes, you are better equipped to resist your areas of temptation. Continue reading 10 Ways to Overcome Temptations

10 Family Resolutions to Keep Next Year

The beginning of a new year carries with it the inevitable looking back paired with the hope of a fresh start and second (or third) chances.  As the clock moves ever closer to midnight on December 31st, we feel the need to promise to do better than we did last year.  We resolve to lose weight, to be on time, to be better with our money…to stop smoking or drinking or swearing.  By the time January 31st rolls around, many of us have had a relapse in our resolve.

Part of the reason that we fail to keep these resolutions is that we attempt to tackle them on our own.  So, this year, instead of making an individual promise that you’ll soon forget, why not make some resolutions as a family?  You help hold each other accountable and can grow closer in the process.

  1. A Weekly Family Game NightTake one night a week and make it a time of fun!  One week, pull out the cards and play “Old Maid” or “Crazy 8’s,” or teach the kids a game you used to play.  The next week, make it a Wii™ night…let technology bring you together and show the kids you’ve still got it (or at least you know where you left it).  Take a trip to the local bowling alley for a game.  Or pile up the board games on the dining room table and have a tournament.  The act of playing together fosters feelings of fun and family.  Playing board games can teach children important social skills such as taking turns and how to be a good winner or loser. They also learn a lot about interpersonal communication as you talk and laugh together while you play the game. Continue reading 10 Family Resolutions to Keep Next Year

The Prison of Want

Every single one of us knows what it feels like to want something.  From the moment we take our first breath, we are able to loudly assert our desire for something that we want.  We want food, we want comfort, we want sleep, we want to be held.  For an infant, our wants are simple, but as we grow, we learn to want more.  We want a particular toy, we want a certain snack, we want just the right pair of shoes.  The older we get, the more elaborate and demanding our wants become.  We want more money, we want designer clothing, we want the biggest house, we want the perfect spouse.

When we get something we want, it makes us feel good—for a while.  Soon, though, you want something else.  It’s easy to fall into the mindset of thinking that what you have is never enough and to equate what we want with our happinessSingle people say, “If only I were married, then I would be happy.”  Married people say, “If only we had a baby, then we would be happy.”  Employees say, “If only I made more money, then I would be happy.”

The problem isn’t WHAT you want…it’s the fact that your happiness is tied inexorably to the want.  It becomes a vicious cycle of want – pleasure – disappointment – and want again.  It’s a prison.  But you can be set free.  The key to unlocking the door to your dungeon of desire is already in your hand.  You just have to use it.

Here are three things that will help set you free from your prison of want. Continue reading The Prison of Want

10 Ways to Have Family Fun on 10/10/10

It may just be another day on the calendar, but October 10, 2010 just begs for some special attention.  So why not make it a family fun day?  Here are 10 things that will brighTEN your family fun day!

1.      Worship as a Family

Rise and Shine. Greet 10-10-10 by giving thanks to God for His wonderful blessings. Remember, a family that prays together stays together.

2.      Have Lunch Together

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and you’re hungry.  Instead of grabbing a sandwich and sitting on the couch to watch the television, why not turn off all the electronics and break bread together. 

3.      Toss the Old Pigskin Around

Get out in the yard and play ball!  Point out your end zones and have a game of scrimmage.  Don’t have a football?  Toss a Frisbee.  The whole idea is to get outside and do something you and your family will enjoy.  Hut-hut-HIKE!

4.      Take a Bike Ride

You remember that dusty thing in the garage?  It’s got two wheels and a chain?  Pull it out and take a cruise around your neighborhood.  Your kids might not even know that you ride a bike!  Show them some of your old tricks, and then have them show you what they can do.

5.      Decorate the House for Fall

Pumpkins, hay bales, colored leaves and the aromas of cinnamon and spices evoke a feeling of Fall!  Open the windows, pull out the decorations and have a decoration day.  Not only will you have a fun time together, but your house will be ready for all the Fall holidays!

6.      Take a Picnic

No planning necessary.  Just throw some sandwiches in a basket and head out to the back yard or a local park.

7.      Go to a Pumpkin Patch

The great thing about October 10, 2010 is that you know there’s a pumpkin patch somewhere close to you.  Take a trip to the patch and peruse the pumpkins.  Bring your camera because you are sure to have some colorful photo ops.  Pick out your favorite pumpkin and take him home.  He features heavily in Tip #8.

8.      Carve a Pumpkin

Get the whole family involved in a long-standing American tradition.  Carve a jack-o-lantern together.  Have your kids draw up some face ideas…draw some eyes, some noses, some mouths…then pick a different facial feature from each family member and create your one of a kind house-guest.  Don’t forget to toast the pumpkin seeds!

9.      Have a Board/Card Game Day

Pick out a few of your favorite childhood games and teach your kids how to play.  Crazy Eights, Hearts, WAR, Slap-Jacks, Chutes and Ladders, Parcheesi…enough said.

10.  Count Your Blessings

After a day of family fun on 10-10-10, you are sure to have much to be thankful for.  Take a few minutes and let everyone say why they’re thankful.  Can’t think of anything?  Look at your spouse and your children…start there.  I bet you’ll come up with more than 10!  Happy 10-10-10!!

Remembering the Sabbath

So, what’s so important about Sabbath?  From the beginning of recorded time, the importance of taking a day of rest has been stressed as vital to the human condition.  Yet here we are, busier than ever before and growing more busy every day.  All the new technology that we have that helps to make our lives easier—Facebook, Twitter, texting, cell phones, instant messaging—are the same things that bleed into the time that used to be set aside for rest.  Instead of taking time to wind down and reconnect with our families, we are in a constant state of “on.”  This constant pull to be in work mode may seem beneficial on the surface, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

With each passing day, we demand that our businesses be open around the clock.  I mean, really, who needs a cheeseburger at 4am?  But that’s what we have done.  We feel the need to be on the go all the time, and that means having businesses that meet our needs.  The problem is that these businesses need people to operate.  And those people have families.  Before you know it, the parents are like ships in the night that only pass as one comes home from work and the other is leaving.  Together time is sparse to non-existent, and rest is simply out of the question.  I know that we live in a time of economic hardship, and I recognize that people have to take care of their families the best way they can, but we still need to recognize our need for rest – for Sabbath.

The founder of Chick-fil-A, S. Truett Cathy, faced a similar dilemma when he was opening his first business.  During the early years of his first restaurant, he made himself available 24 hours a day, even renting a house next to the diner to make it easier for him to be reached.  As business grew, he invested all his money and time into the success of his new venture.  His future was on the line, literally.  If he failed, he would lose everything.  At this critical moment, he made a decision.  He says it best in his book, Eat Mor Chikin:  Inspire More People:

“We were not so committed to financial success, however, that we were willing to abandon our principles and priorities.  One of the most visible examples of this was our decision to close on Sunday.  Ben and I had attended Sunday school and church all our lives, and we were not about to stop just because we owned a restaurant.  Our decision to close on Sunday was our way of honoring god and directing our attention to things more important than our business.  If it took seven days a week to make a living with a restaurant, then we needed to be in some other line of work.  Through the years I have never wavered from that position.”

What initially seemed to be a risk has turned out to be one of the most successful restaurant ventures in America.  Taking a day to rest in his business has benefited his bottom line.  Your reason for taking a day of rest may not be the same as Truett’s, but rest you should.

We were designed to work, and work hard. But we were also designed to have a day of rest.  I make it a point to rest and worship on Sundays, and encourage my friends and family to do the same.  I hope you do, too.