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The truth is what we want, but sometimes it’s so for removed from us that when it shows up we don’t recognize it. How is that?

When I was growing up I was taught to always tell the truth, regardless of the circumstances. My mom and dad would say, “We want the truth and nothing but the truth. You will get in less trouble by telling us the truth.” I told them the truth most of the time, out of respect (and, if I were honest, a little fear); however, I do remember those times that when I didn’t tell them the truth, I became nervous, edgy and felt guilty. As I grew up, I read from the Bible that “the truth shall set you free” and realized my parents’ views about the truth were not their original idea but came from the Word of God. Even so, their great advice about the truth was one of the many ingrained characteristics I’ve been blessed with since childhood.

So why is the truth so important to our overall well-being? Think of truth as being of two kinds: truth received and truth told. Considering the first, truth received,
• We all want to hear the truth from our friends and relatives. When they don’t tell us the truth, we lose respect and don’t trust them.
• Purchasing items, we want to know the truth about the product or service we’re buying.
• In medical visits, we want the truth about our health.
• We want the truth about our job, its responsibilities and its possible career paths.
• Spiritual truth is critical, because spiritual growth is important for today and has eternal consequences.

Is there ever a circumstance when we might not want the truth? Probably not. We always want the truth: “Give me the truth and facts, and I’ll deal with it,” probably sums up how most of us feel. We function better and can make better decisions by knowing the truth, even if the truth is sometimes hard to take. Can you imagine trying to improve your health if your medical professional didn’t give you the truth? Not getting the truth now is simply a delay—the truth always surfaces and makes itself known. How many times have you heard someone say, “I wish I knew the truth”? When we hear the truth, we feel better about our decisions, relationships and life in general.

Considering the second, truth told,
• Telling the truth is so easy, because the facts never change. When we share the truth, discuss the truth and spread the truth, we ensure the event’s integrity and our own integrity. Our character continues to solidify and magnify by simply telling the truth. Others can count on what we say as being the unaltered , solid truth, therefore increasing their faith in us and in what we say.
• Another benefit of speaking the truth is a reduction in anxiety: you feel free because there’s no deception.
• Speaking the truth simplifies your life because there’s that much less to remember—it’s just the facts, with nothing added or subtracted.
• Spiritual truth bestows freedom. All my spiritual information comes from the Bible. I believe in heaven and hell and that God sent his son Jesus Christ for my salvation. I have the gift of eternal life because of repenting of my sins and asking Jesus Christ into my life. He heard my prayer and answered by writing my name in the book of life, making a reservation for me in heaven. Having this spiritual truth, this promise of eternal life, has given me the freedom of peace.

Ah . . . the truth!

Don’t Give Up!

Never give up! Until your very last breath, never give up. There is always hope that things will work out and get better. How? By having faith and believing in a source of power greater than our own. That can be hard to understand and difficult to accept; after all, that’s why it’s called faith. If we see it, taste it, smell it and touch it, we don’t need faith to believe it, do we? So it takes faith to believe that tomorrow will be a better day and next week will continue to improve and next month will be better yet and next year will be absolutely awesome! We have the tendency, however, to take today’s circumstances and allow them to rule our thoughts about the future. Does anyone know the future?

If you expect bad things to happen, they probably will. Conversely, if you expect good things to happen, there’s the same chance good things will happen. What I recommend is a dose of faith . . . in God the creator of the universe, our Heavenly Father. I have to admit I’m a very simple person and cherish my childlike faith. God said he loves me and I accept that. He promised if I asked for forgiveness he would forgive my trespasses and adopt me as his child and take care of me, which he has for the last fifty-nine years and counting. A little faith can go a long way! Mix it with some determination, prayer and encouragement, and tomorrow will be a better day. God hears and answers prayer. Try it . . . believe it . . . see it . . . watch it. It’s awesome!

Tomorrow is a new day!

“Tomorrow is a new day”

It’s amazing how our life can change in just 24 hours, sometimes for the good and other times for the not so good. I want to dwell on the good. In the past 24 hours it seems as if we’ve gone from winter to spring . . . yesterday the weather was cold and rainy with scattered thunderstorms and today the sun shining, birds are chirping and it’s much warmer . Today we adjust our clocks forward by one hour so we have more sunlight in the evening to enjoy the outdoors. We went from winter storms to thunderstorms almost overnight.

We experience good things every day, but we all know some days are extremely challenging and stressful, quashing anything and everything good. The good news is 24 hours later our world and many of our circumstances change. What stressed you and me last week in many cases is gone, fixed or evaporated and no longer exists to aggravate us. Thank God!

It’s remarkable how prayer, a good night’s rest, food and talking with the right person can improve most of our difficult situations. The sequence doesn’t matter; it’s the mix that’s a great recipe for success for the coming 24 hours.

Praying is good any time and when you mix it into your day morning, noon and night, life’s challenges don’t seem so big. They’re still very real and very much something you must deal with; it’s just that it’s much easier when you call on God because you’re sharing the burden with your Heavenly Father. A good night’s rest is critical for any form of success in 24 hours. Some people require more than others, and you surely know what your body needs, so get your rest! Food is another necessity, and I’m not talking about a Whopper, french fries and a chocolate shake. No, I mean a healthy, balanced meal full of good nutrients. The last ingredient for a successful next 24 hours is to talk to someone you trust and who will give you honest, positive encouragement. The appropriate words spoken at the right moment by a good friend can be the perfect uplift!

The next 24 hours . . . tomorrow is a brand-new day full of decisions. Start your tomorrow today with a good night’s rest and prayer. You do your part and anticipate God’s help and He will do his part. Oh, how the next 24 hours can unfold great successes and joy because God is on your side!

You can do it!

dads montana pics 003Set your eyes on success. Better days are just around the corner. Don’t stop moving toward your goal. You can do it! Sometimes it feels as though all the odds are against you . . . regardless, continue forward. Obstacles are just that. Go around them or over them or right through them.
During adversity our true character shines through! Put one foot in front of the other and don’t stop! Make the decision to grind right through your situation one day at a time and never look back. You will be amazed at the amount of ground you can cover as you continue toward your goal. Never quit or stop! Determination and persistence will pay off.
On vacation one time, a friend and I decided to go for a hike in the mountains, just outside Big Sky, Montana. It was a beautiful September day, and we didn’t set any specific goals or talk about a particular destination; we just said, let’s hike three to four hours up the mountain, eat lunch and hike back, assured as we were that on this well-traveled trail, the hike would be easy.
But as we climbed, the air became thinner and breathing became more difficult, to the point where we had to stop walking if we wanted to eat or talk. We followed the trail along a stream, crossed the stream, climbed some more and then found ourselves in a dazzling meadow brimming with colorful wildflowers and framed by a thick grove of pine trees, with the stream seemingly meandering toward the sky. Suddenly, as if in a dream, there it was: the top of the mountain! In an instant, the goal was obvious to both of us: we had to make it to the summit. We just knew that the view from that mountaintop would be beyond description. What had begun as a leisurely hike with no real objective or destination had now become a quest, motivated by our determination to make it to the top.
This mountain was going to be conquered! Sometimes all it takes is a glimpse of the top, a new turn or a crossing over the stream, and you look up and there’s a whole new perspective—wildflowers, a new challenge, a stream you’ve been following and crossing now appearing to be flowing from the heavens. The challenge looms before you, and you say to yourself, I can get there! You picture the view. The air may get thinner, but it doesn’t matter because you adjust, you stop talking, you stop eating and you start doing, moving, walking, one foot in front of the other.
The top will never be reached if you never start, or if you start but stop as the breathing gets harder, the work more difficult. So start right now and don’t stop till the summit is at your feet!
Something else I remember about that hike is that the top was farther away than it looked. Distance in the mountains can be difficult to gauge, and often objects are farther off than one assumes. Also, the weather that day changed with no warning: due to the high elevation, the temperature dropped, and as we climbed we even experienced snow flurries. In other words, even as the path still was leading us toward our goal, the conditions were worsening, our environment was changing and the degree of difficulty was increasing. Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it? But we didn’t quit. We kept climbing, with the air thinning, temperatures dropping, snow blowing and muscles tiring— up and up and up. Our eyes were set on the peak. Our mind’s image of the view from the top was so vivid, we never considered turning back. Get that vivid picture of your goal and never turn back.
You can do it!