Add Value…I Dare You!

Add value to someone’s life today.

You never know the pain or hardship that the person next to you may be facing. It is always easy to be overwhelmed by our own struggles that we find little time or energy to encourage someone else along life’s journey.

You never will realize how something so simple as a smile or common courtesy can move people.

Jesus said it this way, “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NLT)

Today will be filled with moments to add value to someone else. I dare you to do it!


Living Life by the Likes

We live in a self-absorbed society. In a world of self-promotion, it’s as if we are in competition with every other person on the planet. We live out our lives online in order to seek fulfillment or sympathy. Rather than looking to create a meaningful life, we desire the instant gratification of a ‘like.’

There seems to be a constant desire for internet fame, or any fame if we can find it. We live out a fake persona of ourselves with a hope of being discovered and thrown into a grandeur life of meaning and acceptance.

Unfortunately, this type of thinking is flawed. We can spend a lifetime chasing a fruitless reality. We look to be validated by people we don’t even know or possibly never meet, all the while ignoring those closest to us.

Social media isn’t completely useless. It can have a purpose. However if our only relationships are online, we are heading down disastrous road of compulsive behavior.

Life is more than your phone. It is more than your computer. It’s more than a ‘like.’


Buying Quality

As I grow older, I find that quality really does matter.

In a world where we are always looking for the cheapest route, quality must still take precedence. Even if you must pay more, the longevity is worth the investment.

Often, we are willing to accept substandard quality because of affordability. However if we would calculate the long-term cost of replacement, we would see that saving and investing more on the front end will be a win.

Our end result will always be affected by our desire for better quality and a willingness to invest more.

After the Snow

Snow can be a beautiful thing. When it snows, we are allowed the opportunity to see something amazing happen. Snow is like a blanket woven to cover the earth and all it’s imperfections. Get enough snow and the landscape becomes a serene moment in time.

Once the snowfall has stopped however, things can change rapidly. Trucks begin what seems to be a daunting task of clearing the roads. People have places to go, you know.

In the aftermath, there is sludge and dirt. What once was a magnificent artistic work becomes an unsightly mess. The beauty is overcome by the desire that it all just go away.

Life is like snow. Often we see surprisingly wonderful events turn into disarray. All the elegance can quickly fall apart, and we see only what is left behind.  At those moments, we just want it all to stop. We desire the snow-covered days, rather than the sludge. Often, the bad moments truly help create character. We gain strength and understanding. We learn who we can trust and believe. We can find faith and hope. Hope that there will be another snow, but that we do not fear the aftermath.

Pieces of the Puzzle

Have you ever taken time to put together a puzzle? I’m talking about the cardboard type puzzles, where you need a flat surface and sometimes plenty of room.

The logical way to construct a puzzle of any size often begins with building the outer edges. Those pieces help create the picture frame that will help you put together the inner design. Once the frame is in place, you can slowly build the puzzle piece by piece.

Let’s consider life to be like a puzzle. The outer frame pieces would be the solid parts we need in place to create the picture we desire on the inside. Some things are a necessity like a way to make a living, shelter, food, and transportation. As these pieces take their place in the whole of the puzzle and create the outer edge, we can begin to add hopes, dreams, family, friends, and other parts to see the picture we want to see.

Not every part of your puzzle will be pretty and some pieces will be harder to find or even understand where they fit in. Eventually your puzzle will unfold and each piece will have a place within your life’s picture.

Don’t be discouraged or disappointed at the amount of time it takes to build your puzzle. You are not in a race with other people, and you don’t need to keep up with your neighbor or your co-worker. Your life is your own, and you should live each day as a piece of your puzzle. One day you’ll be able to sit back and see the beautiful picture it has become.

Soul Simplified

Social media has become our new obsession. A desire to be ‘internet famous’ seems to have overtaken a complete generation of people. We can easily become consumed with ‘likes’ on our photos or posts.

While I don’t think this is the downfall of society, I do believe that too often we miss real relationships with real people. We perhaps enjoy the anonymity we can control through social media. We can present ourselves as something or someone we aren’t.

Maybe you are afraid of what a real relationship entails. We actually have to be vulnerable to other people, and create friendships that are not the perfect pictures we see posted.

Unfortunately, the attraction to social media can cause us to associate self-worth with the opinions of people we don’t even know. That can be bad, really bad.

So try to step outside your perfect social media life and create real friendships with real people. Sure it’s messy, but it will be worth it.