Kingdoms rise and fall. From Babylon to Rome to the Soviet Union, nothing in this world lasts. Moreover, it’s not just kingdoms that rise and fall but it is businesses, fortunes, famous people and even churches. Every aspect of life is precipitated by a rise and then a fall. Sometimes the rise is spectacular and the fall disastrous, while other times the rise is slow and steady and the decline equally as such. Regardless of the pattern, the truth remains that everything in this world rises and falls at some point and somehow. This might sound grim, but it is the truth of how our world works. Yet, when a person comes to grips with the non-infinite nature of life on earth it puts a focus on the eternal, and when you have a focus on the eternal it sets a pattern for your life that transcends worldly cares.
Getting Better Each Day: Too many times we put too much pressure on ourselves to be or do something exceptional — immediately. Most people tend to over commit and underperform. Often times, strong statements like, “I am going to cut out all sugar from my diet for the next 3 months!” or “I will read my Bible for 2 hours every morning” are the battle cries of people who sincerely want to institute a positive change in their life. However, the likelihood of failure is so high for these extreme endeavors that even if there is some small measure of success it will likely fade away and a person will be right back to square one. But, instead of the all or nothing approach, it would be far more effective to simply start small.
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” — Psalm 118: 24
Past, Present and Future: Time is a tricky thing. Most people are striving for life in the future or remembering the past, but rarely do people appreciate the moment of now. What is now? Now is the moment you are in right now. Reading this newsletter wherever you are, this is now. Chances are that before you were reading these words you were thinking about something you have to do in the days ahead or what happened last week. That is the future and past. But now is where you are at this moment.
The Talk Illusion: Talk doesn’t equal results. Often times, our minds will play a trick on us by giving the illusion that talking or thinking about something means that action has taken place on it. Think about it for a moment, have you ever prepared a to-do list and by the time you are done listing the items you feel wore out, but yet happy, like you have accomplished something.
Narratives: The way each individual perceives the world originates in the narrative they chose to believe. Every person has a highly active mind that feeds on information all the time. The mind then takes that information and creates a narrative that produces emotions. Often times, these narratives skew reality and force many to become fearful or worrisome. One such example would be what we call the negative domino effect.
Everyone wants to become the best version of themselves. People have a strong desire to live passionately, find their purpose and realize all the wonderful things God has created them for — so why do so few actually realize this type of life? Well, that’s because most people have forgotten the simple art of taking action.
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” — James 2:26
Finding Your Control
Usually, the beginning of a new year is a time of reflection and setting of new goals. The new year is an opportunity to correct what went wrong in the past and instill hope for the future. These are needed reflections and good things to contemplate. One of the most important aspects of finding your control in life is to examine what causes your anger, frustration, distress and anxiety. Anger, simply defined, is your reaction to the inability to get what you want. People are constantly angry about trivial things and it destroys their progress in life. For example, you go to the grocery store and there is a long line at the checkout — you get angry. You do a favor for someone and they don’t say thank you — you get angry. Someone makes a snide comment about your clothes — you get angry. Everyone has triggers that stir their anger, but most people have too many of them. Moreover, these anger triggers are rarely examined and tend to affect a person their entire life. Same thing goes for anxiety, fear and every other emotion that holds you back. One way to correct this is to get to the root of the issue by asking yourself why. Why does this make me angry? When you drill down to the root cause, often times, you will discover it really isn’t worth your time and shouldn’t affect your life. Jesus says in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." And Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” These scriptures are telling us to not be surprised that the world will despise and persecute us for being Christians. When you read this, it highlights how immature and ridiculous the everyday temper tantrums people throw over very trivial things. We aren’t facing a stoning on the streets because we profess Christ. Instead, people get angry because someone took their parking spot. People who are quick to anger are very spoiled and foolish in their way of life. Proverbs 29:11 “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”
We would like to share some testimonies about how Travel the Road has made an impact for missions through the television series. These testimonies are an encouragement to us because they show the fruit of the ministry and the impact it is having in the lives of many. We look forward to a new generation who will carry the light, unashamed of the name of Jesus, and reach the entire world with the Gospel.
Time is a currency. Each and every day twenty-four hours is given to everyone in the world. No more and no less. No one can steal it from you, as it is an unstealable commodity. Someone might waste your time, but regardless, each day your bank of time is filled with 24-hours. Time is blind to wealth or power and is given in the same proportion. Time is our most valuable commodity, yet it is disrespected and undervalued in all societies.
Nowadays, there is so much talk about finding your destiny, purpose or calling that it has become an industry. The vague promises of “entering your destiny” and following your dreams is appealing to many because it offers hope for a better future. There is nothing wrong with having hope, but if you really want to fulfill your purpose/calling/destiny you first need to define what that means.
Cycles of Life
Life is cyclical. We are surrounded by cycles in every aspect of our existence. Even nature shows us these cycles everyday with the rising and setting of the sun; seasons change, fields are planted and harvested, trees live and then die, the tide comes in and goes out, the moon becomes full and then new again, et cetera, et cetera. Cycles are also evident in our society, financial economies, emotions and every point of life. In the Bible we read of cycles in reference to certain years, prophecies, the end of days and ultimately the glorious return of Christ Jesus.
The Cages We Build
During our most recent time in Africa, we had the opportunity to witness all sorts of wildlife across many different wildernesses and savannas. We have seen giant elephants roam, lions stalk, leopards prowl and all sorts of creatures in their natural state. These animals are free, unfettered and a regal sight to behold. So, recently, when we visited a game lodge for an afternoon in southern Namibia, we had the opportunity to witness these same types of creatures from a different perspective— in captivity.
Travel the Road's journal from our journey to the Himba.
Koakoveld region, Northern Namibia near the border of Angola: At the moments before first light, the rocky landscape of the Koakoveld region shows shades of indigo and purple as it sits in silence. By midday, the brilliant colors of the morning give way to the white, harsh rays of the sun that casts down heat upon the grassland valleys. Round earthen made homes of the Himba dot small patches of territory while cattle and goat herds graze on the dry vegetation. At night, the Milky Way shines so brightly, one can see the shimmering of colored stars across the center mass of the galaxy. There is no cell service, wifi or distractions of the modern world in the Koakoveld, only nature and the comfort of its silence.
The Active Life
Idleness is the great killer of purpose. Idleness doesn't always appear in the form of slothfulness or lazy behavior, but instead, it is usually brought about because of a lack of challenge. In our modern society we have striven to remove challenges from our lives to the point we have reduced ourselves to a mass of bored individuals that are unfulfilled.
The Risk of Not Risking
Comfort is an alluring offer. Comfort and security can give us the things we are taught to want, but ultimately comfort holds us back from becoming or doing anything great. Risk is the only way we achieve our dreams, calling or any memorable feat in life. Risk goes hand and hand with faith, for without risking anything, your faith would not be coupled with action and thus, dead. Life is filled with risk, but the greatest risk of all is never taking a risk.
Imagine life is like a river. The flow of time is the rush of water leading you towards your final destination. Along the way, there are tributaries and many different paths the river can take, but time is always leading you in one direction. Now, imagine you are in a raft on this river of life, and as the flow of time pushes you forward, you have to make choices as to which tributaries you will navigate. Some tributaries are safe and well charted, some are dangerous and unknown, but each major direction you choose will define your life.
The Company We Keep
This month, we would like to talk about the company a person keeps and how that company ultimately influences the person they become. Proverbs 27:17: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
We are the sum of all the intimate friends we interact with in life. Our thought process, our actions, and our lifestyle all derive from the circle of friends we choose. The source of your beliefs and thoughts are greatly influenced by those around you, for better or for worse.
Mastering Your Problems
Often times, for most people, life boils down to a series of problems. These problems are carried around in people’s hearts and minds like a lead weight and can destroy their health, finances, and spiritual life. Problems can be as simple as dealing with daily tasks, and as complicated as combating a serious illness. Think about your life for a moment — from the waking in the morning to the wee hours of the night you are probably thinking about how to fix a problem. You might have a reprieve from time to time, but let’s be honest, most of us are constantly beset with concerns on how to fix our problems. Problems that are common amongst people are: creating enough income to support their family, paying off debts, finding time to stay healthy (working out, eating right, etc...), conflicts with other people, breaking bad habits, making meals, shopping for food, and on and on it goes.
Value of the Word
There are many steps one can follow to bettering their life. No matter if it is diet, habits, time management or anything else, there is a system that can be easily found and followed because of our access to information. The internet and the free society we live in gives us unparalleled knowledge at our fingertips. We can search and discover any subject without leaving our home by browsing the internet. Now in contrast, let’s look at a time in history when information, especially information about God, did not flow so freely. The story ahead will encourage a strong value of the Word of God while also highlighting the need to follow the simple practice of reading the Bible and knowing God personally.