Let go of the "Past" Bomb, Spirit of Anti-Progress

The Spirit of Anti-Progress: It is Within Your Control

Have you ever felt as though there were something sinister working against every plan and goal you have set for your life? Does it ever feel like you have gained a step, only to fall two steps backwards?

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These circumstances remind me of an article I’ve read that spoke about the spirit of anti-progress. The article discussed how anti-progress could make a person feel as though their past happenings were better than their present. It is for this (deceptive) reason one must carefully monitor their thoughts, especially when the “past” attempts to make a cameo appearance in their present.

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Examples of “glorying” in the past

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Anti-progress example 1 – Attempting to rekindle a past relationship or friendship that have had a negative impact on your life; your mind usually continues to replay all of the “good times” and “good traits” of that person, while ignoring the bad. If these thoughts are permitted, sooner or later you will began to search out the person, which is quite an easy feat in our digital world. This is an example of anti-progress and will usually cause a serious setback in your life because if the relationship/friendship ended, do your best to remember WHY because surely it was for a reason.

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It is best to leave things in the past and look forward. So please ignore those “Good Times” and remind yourself of the “Real Times.

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Anti-progress example 2 –  Wasted efforts are a huge setback! It consists of wanting something and continuing to do all you can to achieve it, even though it keeps falling apart or not coming into fruition. Eventually this will result in delayed accomplishments, and perpetual stagnation. This is a difficult example to digest because it usually includes our personal goals and can be hurtful when we do not see them come to pass. I am a believer in Christ and in the providence of God, so I know in the bible when someone did not receive some they have been desiring or could not go in a direction they wanted to go, it was because God had a better plan for them. This brings me comfort because I can have faith to wait on His plan for my path instead of trying to forge my own.

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Anti-progress example 3 – Chronic Procrastination! Another example of anti-progress is procrastination. This one may show up in different areas of life: making appointments, turning in school work, meeting major/minor deadlines in a professional setting, signing up to volunteer or making it to church. Whenever there is something that needs to be completed but you keep putting it off to do something else, procrastination is at work!

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Although we are all guilty of putting things off from time to time; the concern arises when procrastination becomes a chronic habit and things start piling up. So when this enemy of progress rears its ugly head, deal with it straight away by conditioning yourself to push forward to complete things on time.

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Anti-progress example 4 – Participating in mindless activities!

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There is not much to say here except that it is quite easy to participate in our fair share of mindless activities especially in this day and age. We live in a digital world, and with that comes a price. We have distractions at our fingers tips, and distraction is an enemy of progress. I have known people to lose their jobs and marriages over their addictions to video games, television and the internet.

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Heaven help us when we talk about cellular devices! Phones have not only ruined relationships, they have also been known to have a negative affect on the health of our eyes from the blue light.

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So take inventory of all of the mindless activities you participate in, and if it ends up being more than the task you need to complete, start reorganizing your priorities.

Anti-progress example 5 – Continual exposure to toxicity. Toxic music, movies, games, peoples and books all create an unpleasant climate. Start being mindful of what you are filling your eye, ears, mouth and heart with, they are the gates to your soul. 

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Toxic People – if you are occasionally around a person and they are being negative because they had a bad day or just went through a tough situation, that is not so bad. If you are around a person and they consistently exude a negative spirit, knowingly or unknowingly, they will began to drag you down. (Refer to my Emotional Vampire post https://schoolspiration.blog/2018/09/21/identify-the-emotional-vampires-in-your-life/)

Toxic Movies/Games/Music/Reading Material – It is NOT just entertainment, these items are essentially feeding your ideas, molding your way of thinking and shaping your world view. After working with people professionally and personally, I have seen a lot of toxic behavioral responses from both children and adults. I cannot tell you how often the poor decisions made, stemmed from the ingenious lyrics of a song, the shocking scene from a movie/book, or a gory video game. This why people must recognized the powerful  influence of these tools and filter them.

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There is a wonderful website that allows you to check your books, movies, and games. It is called Plugged In. It shares the ratings. https://www.pluggedin.com

If you have been feeling like you have not been able to move forward, take out a notebook or digital notepad, and write down if you have been plague with any of the examples above, and make conscious decision to start dealing with it!

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Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the spirit of anti-progress.

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Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

 

What is my purpose?

Purpose = מטרה =Σκοπός

Greetings everyone,

I recently decided to do a Word Study on the word “purpose” because it has been a buzz word going around lately. It is also one of the most talked about words in regards to finding out one’s purpose and reason for being here on this Earth. Sometimes people feel like they are just here without reason, or they feel useless or displaced, but I have come here to tell you that YOU are most certainly on this Earth for a reason. Even if it is “to download Chrome.” Just Joshing!

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Let’s proceed with the Word Study and at the end I will bring it all together. So first I will give the English definition of the word purpose, then the Hebrew and Greek definition.

English definition

Purpose  The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. By intent (Kavana): Intentionally. Having as one’s intention or object.

Hebrew definition 

Purpose – That which a person sets before himself as an object, goal to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure or exertion. Intention; design, includes the end in view. Mission. Completeness. 

Greek definition

Purpose – A setting forth of a thing, placing it into plain view. Predestined, foreordination, destiny, scope, train on, drive at, intention, aim.

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Right now, you may feel like the guy above, standing in the middle of a maze wondering which direction to go. Some of you may feel like you have been racing face forward down the “correct” pathway for years, aiming for purpose,

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only to realize that you made the wrong choice, have a set back or have wasted valuable time. Others of you may feel like you would rather avoid this mistake but sitting idled, and playing it safe, in fear of choosing the “wrong” way.

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So who is right? The person who chooses to keep moving forward, not knowing if they are actually walking “in their purpose” or the person just standing still and waiting until purpose hits them in the head?

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The answer solely depends on who you believe is behind your purpose. If it is driven by your human wants and desires then you will probably change courses at will and seek out things simply to make you happy. If you are a believer, you believe your purpose is designed by God and carried out through faith in Christ.

Yes, purpose should drive you and according to the definitions above, is also designed specifically for you, but if your faith is in your own choices, you will become your own designer of purpose for yourself. If you are tired of steering your own ship, and are feeling lost, it is time to cast your cares on Christ. Honestly, what do you have to lose?

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You may be saying, “no thanks” or “I don’t know”, but either way, the choice is yours to make. If by any chance this blog is speaking to your heart, you could turn to the Purpose Giver by a) Believing His Son died & rose b) repenting of being a sinner by realizing that redemption is impossible without Him. After doing this, Romans 8: 28, 29a holds the key to your true God-given Purpose.

Romans 8: 28, 29a And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.

There is a perfect plan, purpose for your life, and even though you may feel you have wasted a lot of time, God’s plan is perfect, and intentional. So much so that ALL things (the good, the bad and the ugly) will work together for good if you choose for Him to be your Designer. Other wise, you will have to make your own way and depend on your own intellect. Be blessed.

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Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
return from hiatus

The Hiatus on Double-Minded Island

Good day mate!

I am back from my hiatus on Double-Minded Island. Double-Minded Island, is an Island shaped like a hand and is a place people end up who are in the valley of decisions.

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On the island, as I was reflecting about life and where I wanted to go from this point, a memory of a time come to mind. It was 11 years ago and I had been applying to different alternative teaching programs around the U.S. and internationally. It was a very confusing time. I had been praying for clarification because every opportunity that came appeared to be a good idea, but as we know, not everything that is “good” is of “God.”

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So one day, I was in an old building I used to rent for a business we owned. The new owners had made the building into a used book store that I frequented from time to time. As I stood in line to purchase a book, a man came behind me that looked like a character from a Canterbury Tales novel.

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As I was standing in line, taking my wallet out for payment, the gentleman behind me asked about a picture in my wallet of a family member. After providing some insight about that person, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision lately about moving? I was surprised because I had been trying to decide on whether or not to move.

He told me to hold out my hand, he wanted to use it as an analogy. He held up my pointer finger and said, “This is your who, the middle finger is your what, the ring finger is your when, the pinky finger is your where and your thumb finger is your why.” He went on to say, “Never make a decision to do anything, unless the why makes sense. The why functions like your thumb and without it, you won’t grip very well, or hold on to anything for long.” He told me praying about it will help me make sound decisions.” Afterwards, I thanked him and he mentioned he had to go walk to the store up the road to get medicine for his wife. It was super cold outside that day, as it was circa October 2007, so I was surprised he was walking. After I paid, I went outside to make sure he was ok and there was no sign of him anywhere.

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I got into my car and sat there thinking at how much God must really care to send a man to tell me something like that when I really needed hear it. As I prayed and reflected on the positions I vacillated between; I thought about my hands, my fingers and my why. As I did this, things became much more clear. I began to ask myself, “Self why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why was not for me per say, but for the opinions of others.

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We end up on Double-Minded Island because of discontentment. Discontentment usually comes from comparing ourselves to others. It can start small, walking by someone and noticing their designer watch or bag. Trolling through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, water skying and such. It could even come from chatting with a friend and hearing about a really great experience they’ve recently had. All of these happenings could lead to discontentment and unhappiness.

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I am so glad I had that memory after my hiatus to Double-Minded Island because it reminded me the importance of knowing my why behind each decision I make. If you are trying to decide between a decision, and end up on Double-Minded Island and remember:

Pointer Finger – Who

Middle Finger – What

Ring Finger – When

Pinky Finger – Where

Thumb Finger – WHY

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This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place.

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I leave you with these last word of encouragement.

Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Journey, Blogging, Be Inspired, story time

SOS, Abandon the Flaky-Ship!

I randomly decided to look up what “SOS” stood for and was surprised to find that it did not stand for anything at all. It simply was chosen as a signal because it could be easily transmitted in Morse Code during distress. So that’s what it is, a signal.

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Some of us right now are knowingly or unknowingly sending out distress signals. We could do this by having a short temper, crying a lot, not eating or eating too much, losing interest in a thing called “life” and becoming reclusive to name a few. We may be distressed about our jobs, distressed about our families, distressed about relationships, distressed about organizations we belong to or volunteer for, distressed about friends or frenemies, distressed, distressed, DiSTRESSED! So in the event of this happening, what should one do?

They should asked for help and communicate with someone but what we tend to do is keep everything bottled up until we one day go bonkers!

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So instead of going bananas, go ahead and send out an SOS; reflect on what has been distressing you and plan to abandon the flaky-ship altogether. By Flaky-Ship, I mean Flaky-Shaky-Relationships with family, friends, jobs, and organizations. Do like the guy below and leave the Flaky-Ship behind you. Yes, it looks sturdy, and seems solid, but it is not. It is full of distress, so off you go!

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Definition of Distress

dis·tress
dəˈstres/noun
1. extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.
“to his distress he saw that she was trembling”
synonyms: Anguish, suffering, pain, agony, torment, heartache, heartbreak
2. give (furniture, leather, or clothing) simulated marks of age and wear.
“the manner in which leather jackets are industrially distressed”
Just reading over this definition lets you know that being in “distress” is no cake walk.
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So if you are in a situation that is causing you anguish, torment, pain, anxiety, heartache and sorrow; it may be time to abandon that particular thing FOR GOOD.
Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to exit a bad situation? I mean, you would think it would be quite easy to walk away considering how unpleasant it is for you, but it does not always work that way, does it?
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The reason it is hard to exit bad situations is because we become used to them. We become comfortable feeling the pain, anguish, anxiety and sorrow in our lives; and began to wear them like an old hat. They become our norm. So we walk around knowingly or unknowingly sending out SOS signals, while doing absolutely nothing to address them.
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This has got to stop, I wrote this blog as a reminder to you that it is time to break out the composition notebooks and take inventory of your lives. Are you going to continue on in a distressed state of mind (unhealthy well-being) or a joyful state of mind (healthy well-being)? The choice is yours.
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Family
When it comes to your family, you cannot necessarily “abandon the Flaky-Ship” per say, but you can abandon negative patterns that may occur between you all.
For example, if you tend to argue a lot with a particular family member(s), choose to react in a different manner than you would normally would. Once the argument starts, do not retort with the normal sarcasm.
Instead, allow the person to say their piece and simply say you respect their opinion but have nothing further to say (even if you do).
This way, you are choosing not to argue with them on that day and will leave them perplexed and wondering what in the sam hill just happened.
**This is a great way to throw off the argument pattern.
After a few times of choosing not to engage the family member(s), you will eventually change the argument pattern completely for the better. This method truly works because I have read about it in real-life case studies and it has drastically improved peoples’ relationships with one another.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying avoid the pink elephant in the room; I am simply saying, the middle of a heated argument is not the right time to point out the pink elephant. It is best to discuss issues when both parties are not upset, and are ready to listen, offense will be less likely occur at this time.
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It takes two or more people to argue, so if you remove yourself from the equation, the argument cannot occur.
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Friends
When dealing with friends, it can be tricky. There is not a one size fits all method when deciding to abandon a flaky-friendship. This will have to be done on a case by case basis but if you have people in your company that produce constant feelings of pain, sorrow, anguish, anxiety and distress in your life, you may want to consider abandoning that flaky-ship.
Why? Because it is not healthy, and will cause yourself heartache in the long run. Some  of you have been losing sleep, not looking your best, overeating, carry bags under your eyes and nursing constant headaches, all because you have the wrong associations/attachments. Is it really worth it?
*Remember, the reason behind this blog post is to identify, decrease and eliminate “distress” in your lives. 
Organizations
Some of us are linked to organizations that does nothing but bring anxiety, drama, sorrow and pain into our lives. Initially you may of joined for a good cause but “the cause” seemed to have left the building a long time ago.
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When you want to leave, you may be bombarded with these thoughts:
“I may as well stay because it is like this everywhere” or
“I have been in it forever so I can’t leave” or
“my family was in it, if I leave, I will break tradition” or
“I have an important position in this place, I can’t leave my position.”
You get the picture, there will always be something or someone trying to convince you to stay in something, but again, if it is causing you constant “distress”, and your body is sending out SOS signals all over the place, its time to unapologetically, abandon the flaky-ship.
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I hope you all were taking notes in your composition notebooks and are planning to truly reflect on all of these areas in your life after you finish reading, because it is amazing how your body will began to heal itself once you start eliminating rubbish from different areas in your life.
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce

 

Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

story time

The Parable of the Tenants

I was reading a parable called “The Parable of the Tenants” and it really stood out to me so you know I had to share.

The parable spoke about a landlord that planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it and built a watchtower. After everything was put in place, the landlord decided to lease it out and move to another country.

Time passed and when harvest time came, the landlord decided to send some of his servants to the tenant, to get some of the fruits he had planted. When the servants arrived, the tenants beat one, killed another and stoned the other.

The landlord heard of it and decided to send even more servants, in hopes that they would be received but the tenants responded in the same way as before.

The landlord could not believe it so he decided the best thing to do would be to send his own son to collect his produce/fruit. He sent his son, and when the tenants saw him, they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize on his inheritance.” So they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

The parable ended with a question by the person telling the parable. The question was, “When the landlord comes back to his vineyard, what do you think he will do to the tenants?”

The people listening to the parable answered that the landlord would surely destroy the wicked tenants, and get new tenants to occupy the land. Tenants that would give the fruits to the landlord during their rightful seasons.

The creator of this parable, asked the people listening another question, a question tying the parable with what was happening at that present time. He asked, “Haven’t you read in the scriptures, the stone (referring to Jesus) which the builders rejected is the same stone, that will become the Head of the corner. And the kingdom of God shall be taken from you (pharisees and other who rejected the deity of Jesus), and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

This passage speaks volumes to me and is thought provoking —–> Whoever will fall on the stone shall be broken but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder (Matthew 21: 44)

I like how it said whoever falls on Jesus (the stone) will be broken. Being broken is a good thing because it provides the opportunity for things to be broken off of us that is no longer needed. We should take comfort that brokenness doesn’t last forever, eventually we mend, heal, and become new again. Another thing that is good about being broken is how humbling it is. Once we experience brokenness, it usually gives us an empathy toward others that make us more sensitive and caring human beings.

The other part of the passage was sobering, it said that whoever the stone falls on, will be ground to powder. Yikes. That is not something I would like to experience. So I will take brokenness over being ground to powder any day, thank you very much.

I thought it was so interesting how the parable was used to explain to the pharisees in story form, how their disbelief appeared before the landlord (God) who allowed tenants (the pharisees) to managed his land and how the landlord (God) will deal with them (the pharisees and anyone who rejected) for killing/rejecting His son (Jesus).

So when you would like to get a point across to someone and you can’t quite explain it, give them a story/parable, to get your point across. It truly works!

#Shall-We-Bring-Back-Story-Time

 

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce