life and living, Uncategorized

“Why I’ve Decided to Follow My Dreams”

Do you have dreams? Do you want to follow them? While the demands of life, or even the decisions we make, may alter the pursuit of our dreams, either partially, or entirely, it is important to remember that each person was born with a unique set of gifts, talents, abilities and desires for his or her life— I call these desires dreams. And I believe that at some point in a person’s life, he, or she, should seek to live out those dreams (as long as they are positive and not detrimental to one’s own well-being, or the well-being of others).

It was after my brief stint in the corporate world that I decided that I really needed to follow my dreams. I hated everything about the corporate sector (except my paycheck), and I knew that I needed a change of pace. This decision was also driven by the fact that after I had invested the time, money and effort toward earning a college education, developing my professional skills, abilities and portfolio, building my social and professional networks, and following all the other steps and directions needed to realize the American Dream, I soon realized that I was not fulfilled trying to pursue someone (or something) else’s dream and that I needed to realize my own dreams— the dreams which were birthed inside me.

Also, be mindful that the pursuit of your dreams does not have to involve your job, or vocation. It could be a hobby, or just something you always wanted to do, or traveling to some place you’ve always wanted to go. I always tell people that the best way to follow your dreams is to not live life recklessly and to have a plan— because your dream needs a plan. And your life needs a plan.

So, here are five reasons why I’ve decided to follow my dreams.

Reason #1: I’m good at the things I dream about doing.

More often than not, it’s the things which we are good at which encourage us to dream about doing them as much as possible. And in my own life, I’ve found that the things I’m good at also tend to be the things I would do all day and every day if I could. Moreover, as I work at these things, I get better and better.

READ MORE: Do What You’re Good At, Not What You Love (Huffington Post)

Reason #2: It’s a great pleasure.

Someone once told me to keep the corporate job I hated because somehow, it would make me “better”. And “…by the way…” the person told me, “…most people don’t like their jobs anyway, so it’s life”. But my life doesn’t have to be that way, so I’ve decide to do and be all that I need to do and be in order to realize my dreams— that was a mouthful!

I also want to share that hating your job can add to stress and general discontentment to your life. And studies have proven that stress and discontentment can have a negative effect on your health. It’s understandable that sometimes we have to do what we have to do and take jobs we may not care for, but (and especially) if you don’t have to work in a position you hate, then take my advice and don’t do it!

READ MORE: How Stress Affects Your Health (Health.com)

Reason #3: It helps me to focus.

Doing what’s necessary to realize my dreams helps me to plan my life in such a way that I apply the appropriate amount of time, ability, energy and resources needed to make my dreams a reality. It helps me to not waste these, and other valuable resources, on unnecessary pursuits.

READ MORE: 9 Awesome Ways to Inspire Others (Entrepreneur Magazine)

Reason #4: It inspires others.

Greatness is radiant. It reflects off the person who committed himself to achieving that goal, idea, or feat, which distinguished him from others. Greatness is excellence. I want the realization of my dreams to influence someone else to pursue his, or her, own dreams. Moreover, I want to realize my greatest potential in every area of my life so that when others look on me, or think of me, they’ll be inspired to pursue and realize their greatest potential, too. (Please note that greatness, excellence and perfection are three different things.)

READ MORE: 19 Reason to Ignore Everybody and Follow Your Dreams (GloboTreks)

Reason #5: It’s time.

I’ve worked enough boring and dead-end jobs, which had little (immediate) financial value to me. But, I do acknowledge that I did gain some social and hands-on skills and experiences which have proven beneficial to my life.)

Moreover, each day I have the privilege to live, I get older. So I have to resist the urge to waste time, and invest my time, talent, energies and resources into the things can benefit me, and which are important toe— like being self-employed, studying dance and martial arts, traveling the world, and supporting local charities and community causes.

If I allow procrastination, uncertainty, fear, lack or worry to delay the progress of the fruition of my dreams, then I would be wasting the time, talent, energy and all other resources I already have in my possession which I could use to realize my dreams.

What are your dreams?

READ MORE: 11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams (Lifehack)

Bible, Book Reviews, Books & Reading, Christianity, Opinion & Commentary, Reviews, Society and Culture, Uncategorized

Book Review: “How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit” by A.W. Tozer

61ltk5gsbel-_ux250_I received A.W. Tozer’s “How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit” from Moody Publishers.

This book holds another poignant message which challenges the Christian to attend another meditative self-review of his, or her, innermost values, and desires, so that he, or she, may realize the degree of importance to which he, or she, holds the personal relationship to, and with, God. In the first chapter, entitled, “Who is the Holy Spirit?”, Tozer begins by first distinguishing the difference between the natural world and the spirit world.

Then, in chapter two (“The Promise of the Father”), Tozer provides a brief, but constructive, introduction to the Holy Spirit as he describes His origin, role, and purpose, as a member of the Holy Trinity (or, Godhead) and as God in the Christian’s life. Tozer is clear in his description of the Holy Spirit even as he establishes the fact that the Christian must depend totally upon the Holy Spirit in order to effectively live for Jesus Christ.

Next, in the third chapter, entitled, “How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit”, Tozer explains how the Christian can be filled with the Holy Spirit— but after he asks seven vital questions:

  1. Is the Spirit-filled life for you (pg. 40)?
  2. Can you believe this part (i.e., to be Spirit-filled) is part of God’s plan (pg. 41)?
  3. Can you believe the Spirit is loveable (pg. 42)?
  4. Can you believe this is scriptural (pg. 43)?
  5. Do you want to be filled (pg. 44)?
  6. Do you want Him to be Lord of your life (pg. 46)?
  7. Are you sure you need Him (pg. 48)?

It is after the position of these questions, and some insightful commentary, that Tozer explains how to receive the Holy Spirit by referencing the Holy Bible:

  1. Present you Body to Him (Romans 12:1 – 2).
  2. Ask to be filled (Luke 11:9 – 13 and Psalms 2:8).
  3. Obey the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32).
  4. Have faith in God (Galatians 3:2).

Finally, Tozer explains how to cultivate the Spirit’s companionship as he cites the scripture, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3).” Perhaps Tozer’s statement (on page 56) not only summarizes Chapter 4 (i.e., “How to Cultivate the Spirit’s Companionship”), but it also harmonizes the message of this entire book:

“I don’t want to say this, but I think that some of you may not be ready for the message because you are more influenced by the world than you are by the New Testament. I am perfectly certain that I could rake up fifteen boxcar loads of fundamentalist Christians this hour in the city of Chicago who are more influenced in their whole outlook by Hollywood than they are by the Lord Jesus Christ. I am positive that much that passes for the [G]ospel in our day is very little more than a very mild case of orthodox religion grafted onto a heart that is sold out to the world in its pleasures and tastes and ambitions (1952).”

In this final chapter, Tozer also presents six important things which Christians must do in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit after he poses one important question (on page 54)— “Are you ready for this?”

After this question, Tozer enumerates some of the blessings and benefits of allowing the Holy Spirit to take on His rightful role in the Christian’s life. Then, Tozer lists the six important things which the Christian must either remember, or do, if he, or she, is ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit:

  1. The Holy Spirit is a living Person [therefore, the Christian must relate to the Holy Spirit as the Person He is] (pg. 57).
  2. Be engrossed with Jesus Christ (pg. 58).
  3. Walk in righteousness (pg. 59).
  4. Make your thoughts a clean sanctuary (pg. 60).
  5. Seek to know him in the Word (pg. 61).
  6. Cultivate the art of recognizing the presence of the Spirit (pg. 63).

So, to summarize this book, Tozer is explaining that while a Christian can have sincerely accepted and received the free gift of salvation offered to all by the Self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it is also possible for that same Christian to not be filled by the Holy Spirit, and as a result, miss out on a very intimate, life-changing and wholesome experience with the One whom Jesus promised would be our “Comforter” , and the One who would teach us all that we would need to know after Jesus ascended to the Father in Heaven (John 16:7).

This is another one of Tozer’s works which I have added to my personal library, and I highly recommend that Christians who wish to know how they can live out their purpose read this book. Tozer’s message can help the seeking Christian to understand that the Christian already has a purpose (Isaiah 43:7)—- the Christian just needs to know God’s plan for his, or her, life so that living out that purpose can be done (Jeremiah 29:11 – 13). But, this is done by cultivating an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Tozer’s fearless assessment and rebuke of the modern Church’s seemingly mass abstention from the influence and leadership of the Holy Spirit, and its widely evident conformity to many of the world’s ways and attitudes, further encourages me to take greater critical self-assessment in order to truly understand my personal need for more of the Holy Spirit’s influence and leadership in my life, and I hope this book encourages other Christians to do the same.

Bible, Christianity, Essays and Articles, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture

I Believe, But I Don’t Read

The Bible consists of 66 books. How can someone claim to bring honor to Someone who has never read about how to honor Him? How can someone call himself, or herself, a “Bible teacher”, but has never studied the Bible? How can we get in passionate debates, and discussions, on Bible passages and things we’ve heard others say about the Bible, but we have never read the Bible for ourselves?

For example, some of the people accessing this content probably have a Facebook page because this content was also published on Facebook. Did those individuals actually  take the time to read the Facebook Terms and Conditions before they began using Facebook? Whether, or not they read those Terms and Conditions, they entered into a contract in order to use Facebook. Who signs contracts, but doesn’t read them, first? The person who didn’t read the Terms and Conditions, but uses Facebook, does not know to what Terms and Conditions he, or she, has agreed. Each party of the contract has to give something up, and/or bring something to the table.

In the military, soldiers honor their countries because they took the time to study its customs and conduct and their environment constantly reminds them of those national customs and conduct. In school, my teachers new their subjects because they studied their subjects and usually, we had a classroom environment to constantly remind us of what we were learning. And in college, I wasn’t paying anyone to waste my time making comments on a subject which he, or she, had not studied.

Continue reading “I Believe, But I Don’t Read”

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #31 – I’m thankful that trends eventually fade away

Honestly, I don’t like trends because that usually means that lots of people are doing and/or, saying and/or thinking the same thing(s). I’ve never “fit-in”, and I’ve never been a “follower”. I’m more of an “anti-trendster” because if I see a trend which I think is cool, I generally don’t participate in it until it is no longer popular amongst the masses.

I’m sitting here trying to think of trends which I waited to embrace. One which I can think of off the top of my head is Facebook. I could be wrong, but I waited until 2009 to open my Facebook account for the simple fact that it was so popular amongst my friends and associates. So, i don’t do trends. What about?

Do you follow trends? Which are your favorites?

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #30 – I’m thankful for the Internet

I used Internet to write this post and website. You are reading this post. All of this happened because we’re using the Internet. I’m thankful.

Enjoy this video about the “Power of the Internet” and share your thoughts 🙂

Bible, Christianity, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture

Those Christians & Stuff

I often come across YouTube videos and Internet articles through which people of different ages, and backgrounds, ask questions about Jesus Christ, Christianity, Christians, the Bible, the Church, church culture, etc., and other topics, as it pertains to these. It’s been on my heart to answer the questions through my blog, for now.

No, I’m not a pastor, or a clergymember. I am a Christian who studies the Bible and seeks to do what it says— and sometimes I get it right, and other times, I don’t, just like the Bible said would happen.

So, feel free to send any questions you may have on any of these, and other topics, and what the Bible says about them, and I will do my best to answer you. Also, I may have guest bloggers to respond to some of your questions, too— sometimes, they do a better job at explaining things than I do. Either way, we’ll post the responses to your questions on this blog.

The purpose of this page is just to help others to get a better understanding of Jesus Christ and Christianity and what the Bible says about them, and other things we deal with in life. Both Christians and non-Christians are welcome to post questions on this page.

You can send your questions to me at teyunatdarris@gmail.com, or post them in the comments section of this page. You are welcome to send your questions anonymously, if you’d like.

Check out this video, called, “What in the World is a Christian?” by Impact Videos Productions. Their YouTube Channel can be found here.

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #28 – I’m thankful for indoor and outdoor plumbing

Let me put it this way: if you’ve enjoyed the water fountains in your neighborhood, or t own, drunk water from a water faucet outside, used a toilet, flushed it, then turned a faucet to wash your hands— then, you should be thankful too.