Hope Your Day Started Better Than Mine

I hope your day began better than mine did: my lovely car made the decision it wasn’t going to start for me. However, I was still able to salvage the morning and complete my Saturday errands thanks to some assistance from my significant other. And this experience made me contemplate the importance of being flexible, of making preverbal lemonade when life gives you lemons.

Now, was I upset when my plans were thwarted? Yes, of course, I was a little upset, but I quickly made a choice to take a different approach. The result was that I completed the tasks I needed to accomplish, we were able to spend some extra time together (she purchased me a BIG cookie!), and I didn’t destroy the day by getting angry.

Therefore, tonight, when I’m sipping on some wine and eating crab cakes for dinner, I’ll be sure to thank God and my special lady for helping me to salvage what could have been a horrific start to my weekend.

So, here is my advice to you. The next time something occurs in your life that would typically make you want to explode, take a deep breath, continue with your plans by taking a different path, and enjoy the rest of your day. Life is too short for anything else.

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

What Does It Mean to Live as a Christian?

Have you ever asked yourself the question: What Does It Mean to Live as a Christian? Well, if you “are” a born-again Christian, you’ve probably contemplated the answer to that question more times than you can remember. And if you’re not a follower of Christ, please, just keep reading because you’ll learn something useful in understanding your fellow human beings who are Christians.

Now, we could reference the “10 Guidelines for Christian Living” by Billy Graham for an excellent inventory of items we should be doing as Christians; however, I would like to assemble a simple list of what I believe are the fundamentals for living like a believer.

1) Trust in God

God is God and you are not. Period. Therefore, you should believe what He says (the Bible), don’t think you know better than He does (trust me—you do not!), and stop expecting God to work on your timetable or to meet your expectations.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8, KJV).

2) Pray, pray, pray

Praying is not only an outstanding method for learning more about God, but also the perfect system for relieving anxiety, fear, and depression. Hence, take all your troubles and concerns to God in prayer; likewise, talk to Him about your needs and desires, too. Note: There is no right or wrong way to pray.

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13, KJV).

3) Imitate Christ

We should strive to emulate Jesus Christ in everything we do. No, we will never reach the level of Jesus in our thoughts and actions; nevertheless, as a Christian, imitating Jesus should be our constant goal. How did Jesus conduct Himself? I’m glad you asked that vital question. And the succinct answer is: Read your Bible and find out.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:3-8, KJV).

4) Share the saving knowledge of the Gospel with others

As a Christian, you should be happy talking to others about Jesus—no excuses permitted. Do your family and friends know your feelings about the Savior? If the answer is no, then you should be telling them. Would your coworkers or fellow students know you were a Christian if they were asked? Again, if the answer is no, you need to contemplate why the reply would be no.

Talk about Christ continuously. Tell other people the good news of the Gospel and how they, too, can be saved. After all, how will they inherit everlasting life if nobody tells them about the good news?

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, KJV).

So, there’s my input regarding the question of what does it mean to live as a Christian. And whether you agree, disagree, or land somewhere in the middle, the most crucial aspect is to ponder that question. Meditate on God’s Words. Perform some introspection. Read additional material regarding the topic. Learn to understand precisely what you believe and where you stand in relation to those beliefs. Then and only then will you unearth how to live like a Christian.

May God bless you all. Amen!

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Don’t Take Anything for Granted

Someone posted a question on Twitter asking people what they had learned—during this virus-quarantine mess—not to take for granted. I said, only half-joking, that I’ve learned not to take toilet paper for granted. Now, if you’re familiar with my previous posts and articles, you know I’m a huge advocate of being grateful: “Remember to Be Grateful.” However, I don’t believe I have ever talked about not taking things for granted. And I’ll remedy that situation right now because my succinct thought regarding the topic is: don’t take anything for granted.

Appreciation is particularly important when it comes to people, as Ashley Fern (see quote below) talks about in her article on “Why We Need To Stop Taking Things For Granted.”

“Never take someone you love for granted. Hold every person close to your heart because you might wake up one day and realize that you lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones.”

Furthermore, you should also ensure that “you” are not taken for granted either; therefore, here are a few indications that indicate you’re being taken for granted: (1) an individual doesn’t treat you with respect; (2) someone doesn’t include you in their activities, and they are not especially interested in your pursuits; (3) a lack of effort displayed in the relationship, because “Remember: Someone’s Effort Is a Reflection of Their Interest in You”; (4) infidelity, of course, would be a BIG RED FLAG; (5) they don’t consider your feelings, interests, or needs; and (6) you do not feel appreciated.

Okay, so now you have something to ponder. My advice to you is striving to develop a habit of not taking things for granted—especially when it comes to people you love. Yes, it will be a challenging undertaking, but if you manage to achieve this mission, you’ll be considerably happier. And those individuals with whom you have relationships will be happier, too.

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Many people around the world are worried about COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) and how it’s affecting them and their families. I understand the concern; however, there is a big difference between concern and panic. Therefore, my message to you is this: stay informed and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones but, for the love of God, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and “Remember to Be Grateful” for everything and everyone you have because there is always someone less fortunate. So . . . Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

And now let’s talk about recommendations for utilizing that extra time you have because you’re under quarantine (social distancing). The reason being, if you stay occupied or entertained, you won’t have time to be anxious. If you would like to add some of your own suggestions, please, reach out to me, and I’ll append your items to the list.

1) Take advantage of the extra time and read your Bible.

2) Spend some quality time with your family.

3) Catch up on some reading (suggested reading: “You Can Resolve Not to Be Offended”).

4) Watch a Netflix movie (horror! the best genre) or two you’ve wanted to see.

5) Do some cleaning around the house because you know a nook or cranny in need of some TLC.

6) You could give the dog a bath.

7) How about taking a nap—you know you want to.

8) Do a craft project with your children.

9) Relax, listen to some music, and sip a glass of wine, after all, it’s 5:30 somewhere.

10) Learn to play that guitar that’s been collecting dust in the closet since you purchased it.

11) Have a party with friends via Skype or FaceTime.

12) Surf the Internet to research topics of interest. Note: Don’t overdo the news or social media.

13) Go for a walk or do some other form of exercise.

14) Take up birdwatching. Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

15) Do some baking for family, friends, or neighbors. FYI: I love chocolate chip cookies.

16) Play cards or board games, perhaps even learn to play chess.

17) You could sharpen your photography skills.

18) Work on that scrapbook that never seems to get finished.

19) If you’re really bored, you could triage those 3,500 emails in your inbox.

20) How about some meditation while the kids are napping?

21) Take the opportunity to organize whatever needs organizing.

22) Start a diary or even a blog site.

23) Take an online class; hence, you’ll keep busy and learn. It’s a WIN-WIN.

24) You might network, over the phone, with individuals either personally or professionally.

25) And you should not forget to bequeath some time to your hobbies.

Okay, okay, okay, that’s enough for now, but on a serious note, I wish you and your family the best. Take care of yourself, your family and friends, and your neighbors. And I hope you have enough toilet paper to sustain your household from now until this mess is under control.

God bless you all.

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Are You Born Creative?

I recently had a conversation on Twitter with someone regarding talent; more specifically, is creativity a talent, and are some individuals born more creative than others? Well . . . after performing some research, I have discovered that many experts like John Paul Garrison, PsyD, a clinical and forensic psychologist in Roswell, Georgia, believe that not only is creativity innate, but it also appears to be inheritable. You can read his thoughts on the Healthline website.

There are a couple of points to remember, however: (1) just because someone is born with talent doesn’t mean they have the motivation to take full advantage of said talent; and (2) you can be extremely competent at something without having the innate ability—if you’re willing to work diligently. For example, a writer may never win a Nobel Prize in Literature, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of earning a comfortable living from their writing.

Conversely, you might have a creative activity you really enjoy but are not gifted (naturally talented) enough to make a career out of it. The same could be true for someone in your circle of influence. Therefore, you may have to acknowledge the obvious and make necessary corrections to goals or plans; however, before you tell someone else the cold hard truth, you may want to read my post “Do We Really Want the Truth?”

With all that being said, whether you are a gifted artist, or just enjoy being creative, embrace the ability to express yourself. And if you have children, friends, relatives, or a partner that engages in creative endeavors, make sure to encourage them consistently, even if such pursuits never go beyond the level of a hobby.

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6, King James Version).

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Never Too Old, Never Too Late

All of us have dreams we would like to bring to fruition, preferably sooner than later; however, we tend to rationalize why we are not taking the necessary steps to transform those dreams into realities. And if we’re not exactly spring chickens, one of our favorite excuses is we’re too old to start something new.

Well … I’m here to tell you this: You are never too old to fulfill your aspirations.

But there are several elements you need to be aware of to increase your chances for success. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started.

Stop making excuses – You are no longer allowed to formulate reasons why you “can’t.” Please stop it.

Have a plan – Take the time to draft a plan of action, making sure to include specific details about your dream, a realistic timeframe, and any prerequisites that need to be tackled. If you don’t have a roadmap, how are you going to reach your destination?

Look for examples – Perform some research and unearth people that have already made their dreams a reality. Take detailed notes as to how they managed to achieve those goals. Because of modern technology, you have access to more information—including cat videos—than ever before. Use it to your advantage.

Receive advice sparingly – Learn to discern between constructive criticism and negative comments people make regarding you or your goals. Even individuals with the best intentions can supply unnecessary negativity, but you can disregard that advice. Period.

Ask for help – When you hit a roadblock, and it will happen at some point, reach out to someone for assistance. (No, it will not make you look weak.) If you genuinely desire to make your dream a reality, swallow your pride and ask for assistance. Guidance from a friend, trusted coworker, or a successful individual can be priceless.

Now, before the day concludes, go out there and be a game-changer. Make all of your dreams come true … one step at a time.