Hey LiFeTrain Passengers this is a lesson to encourage us all.
Rick Warren….. (REMEMBER HE WROTE ‘PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE’) and moderated the “first” McCain and Obama debate?) You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having ‘wealth’ from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren,
‘Purpose Driven Life ‘ author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California
In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren , Rick said:
People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.
If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is ‘my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.
It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.
So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, “God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.”
God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.Â Â I’veÂ surmised that my challenge (as I submit same to you) is to realize that just because they’re not on my road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.
The goal of compassion is not to care because someone is like us but to care because they are themselves.
Hey passengers, I recently shared a large Popcorn and diet coke with a good friend of mine @ da movies.Â Â It was a great movie that is a must see fellow passengers.Â Afterwards me and my bud came up with the following conclusion about the movie:
Slumdog Millionaire is a movie of epic proprotions. Webster’s dictionary defines epic as, “heroic; majestic; impressively great; of unusually great size or extent.Â The movie centers on the story of Jamal Malik an 18-year-old from the slums of India who has grown up with his older Salim and friend/love interest Latika in the streets of India’s city Mumbai because they are all orphans.
On the surface the film is about Jamal’s being a contestant on India’s version of the popular American game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire.Â Hosted by Regis Philbin, the show allows contestants to answer questions while consecutively doubling the jackpot and working their way to a million dollar prize.Â Along the way the player may phone a friend, do a 50/50 or request an audience poll.
What makes Slumdog so compelling is that the viewer is required to follow several different storylines at the same time and piece the plot together.Â The movie begins with young Jamal being worked over by bad guys that we later discover are the cops.Â The story is then told as a sort of flashback.Â How did Jamal, who looks so innocent and sincere, get into this precarious situation?Â The answer to this question gives us a look at Jamal’s horrific, yet empowering life in the slums of India’s Mumbai.
I left the theater having learned several key lessons.Â 1) Americans should be slapped the next time they mention being poor or living in the ghetto.Â We have indoor plumbing and most of the world does not.Â There’s a scene where Jamal is trapped in an outhouse and is so desperate to come out he jumps into a river of sh….t.Â When he gets out he is covered in crap; this is a movie, but whatever they used sure was realistic!Â 2) We all have hundreds of life experiences that when used in the proper way have the ability to bring us great wealth. A cool thing about Slumdog is that while Jamal is answering the questions on the game show he’ll have a flashback to situations from his “hard knock life” that taught him the answer 3)Truth and right will always prevail in the end no matter what.Â This is exemplified by Jamal’s older brother Salim who takes the way of the streets and becomes a hitman/drug dealer/criminal. There’s a great scene with him at the end where he acknowledges his sin and admits that, “God is Great.”Â 4) Love conquers all.Â As clique and corny as this sounds at the end of the day Jamal falls in love with Latika when he and his brother are orphans living in boxcars.Â During a raging storm he prevails upon his brother “the elder in their family” to allow Latika to come in out of the rain and sleep with them.Â The three children become a family and Jamal loves, cherishes and always comes back for Latika.
This is a truimphant story about the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle and it’s simply beautiful.
SO…ALL ABOARD…Next stop…your local Theatre.Â Next week’s review:Â Madea Goes to JailÂ (Anybody seen it yet?)
Hey LifeTrain passengers! All Aboard, another “Merry Monday!”. You know the rule on this train, we look at the glass half full, NOT half empty, so spread that peanut butter, finish packing that lunch and hop aboard! If you are struggling to make this a not another “MANIC MONDAY!”, see below.
Too often we expect happiness to come as a result of our relationships rather than as a premise upon which to build one. If we truly wanted to be happy, we would not be so eager to sacrifice happiness for nonsenseâ€”jealousy, possessiveness, anger, fear or any other function of the ego. Nonsense renders us downright miserable. Happiness requires that we be honest, trusting, trustworthy, respectful and mutually considerate. We cannot realize true happiness when we entertain nonsense in our hearts and minds. Individually and collectively, we must work to clear ourselves before entering a relationship. If we wait until we are in the process and wading through the nonsense, the ego will be well on the way to eroding the happiness we seek.
Today, I say ….Let’s exercise our duty to be happy! And today when someone says…Hey U, How ya doin? Look them in the eye, produce that great smile and say: “SUPER FANTASTIC!”
Hey passengers, as we know there is some darkness in most human minds today, so there is a darkness component in most scenes and situations. Why else is there so much unhappiness and sorrow in the world? So how much value can be given to someone who is able to bring light and lightness to a place or a moment, where others have brought their dark? Like a crown of sparkling jewels, their presence and their words are priceless. So this is a note of appreciation to my fellow passengers to let you how your comments affect others and how much they are appreciated.
Your messages, emails and comments here on the LiFeTrain often serve as a gentle smile of comfort, an attitude of genuine interest, some of your words have even diffused awkward moments. So I say to you today, there are those who stay light in spirit while others weave their dark are both illuminated and illuminators. Watch out for such moments today where you can continue to illuminate as you do here on the train. Make that moment momentous! …and
Thank you for your help keeping the lights on here on the train…The LiFeTrain.
Well passengers, it starts long before those final blows that ended up obliterating what is left of a once loving relationship.Â Â The actions (or inactions) of the mate who delivered the last hit is usually perceived as indicating which one is at fault.Â Regardless of the fact that most states now issue no-fault divorces, it is obvious that ex-mates have not been informed nor have their support networks.Â After all, somebody has to be at fault and it is rarely the one who is describing what an Deleted or a Deleted their ex-mate happens to be.
Like a fight that takes place in a barroom brawl, no one notices until after the first punch has already done it’s damage.Â Whoever delivered the hit that was actually seen by all has to be the one who is to blame.Â It’s rarely the first one.Â At least, that’s the perception of the onlookers.
My mother was fond of saying, “It takes two to do the Tango.”Â I suppose one could do it alone but it would look awfully strange.Â Â Too many times, a mate who desperately desires resolving the issues that are negatively impacting an otherwise good relationship is left to dance alone.Â Despite the fact that there are definitely some cases where a mate is totally at fault, this scenario is not the common one.Â In each troubled relationship there is a ratio of one’s culpability as contrasted to the other.Â It is probable that one is at fault more than the other.Â However, human relationships cannot be so clearly delineated by keeping a score of the blows dealt by each one involved.
There is overlapping, cause and effect, and a whole lot of general confusion in between.Â More than not, both are to blame and he/she who denies it may just have to take the lion’s share of the responsibility should the relationship end.
What happens when someone absolutely refuses to take responsibility for their part in the failure of the relationship?Â Â A classic example of this would be when the revelation of an extra-marital affair takes place.Â Â Â Â The first impulse is to condemn the offending mate due to infidelity.Â As a matter of fact, this would be the very end of the matter if that were indeed the case.Â It is entirely possible that the innocent party has been a very good husband/wife.Â However, this again is not usually the reality of the situation.Â Even those who take part in such affairs admit that they are wrong.Â Sad to say, the issues are much bigger.
The actual affair is a surface issue.Â The root causes are the very things that really need to be addressed–the first punches.
Those which are purely motivated by sex are more apt to be blamed solely on the offending mate.Â However, an extramarital relationship where two people share a tender, caring, and deep kind of love for each other is a dead give-away that there are serious issues in their marriages that are not being resolved, let alone being addressed.
A dear friend of mine admitted to me that she had once entered into such an affair with a younger man.Â Â She summarized the incident by stating that the other man was everything that her husband was not.Â However, her love for her husband was genuine enough for her to admit her infidelity and throw herself at his mercy.Â Had he simply forced her to take all of the blame in a flurry of self-righteousness, it is highly doubtful that the marriage would have survived.Â Instead, she recalled the pivotal moment when he held her in his arms, shed a few tears with him, and simply stated, “This is not your problem.Â It is our problem.”Â Today, they are a very happy couple who have worked through the root causes that brought their relationship to the brink of disaster in the first place.Â His part in it was just as real as her and he took responsibility for his failures as well.Â He admitted having delivered some of those first punches.
Many people cannot do this.Â As a result, longterm marriages end because one mate sees no fault of their own.
After all the discussions, arguments, self-help books, advice of friends, and visits to a professional counselor, what happens when someone refuses to take responsibility for their part in the problems?
It starts out as a discussion.Â Perhaps it is even a confrontation.Â It does not go well.Â Voices are raised and tempers flare.Â The arguments become more frequent.Â Family and friends start to express concern.Â Some even take sides.Â Finally, in desperation, you decide to see a marriage counselor.Â However, your mate is reluctant to do so.Â You plead your case and he/she gives in.Â After several meetings with the counselor, you gain one insight after another.Â Every book that is recommended for you to read becomes a gold mine of understanding.Â However, your mate walks away from each session feeling that little has been accomplished and has even less interest in reading the assigned materials with you.Â Not only that, but he/she expresses doubts that the professional you are seeing is really qualified to give you the real counseling that “you” need.Â Since you are the one that is getting so much more out of it, therefore, the assumption is that you are the one who has the most problems.Â Eventually, you begin to feelÂ exhausted and give up trying.Â Your mate just isn’t going to budge.Â It’s all being passed off as your fault and that is all there is to
Your counselor has some one-on-one meetings with your mate.Â Â Some very plain-spoken discussions take place between the two of them.Â You expect improvement.Â It only gets worse.
In the meantime, you have faced a number of your own demons and have made some positive measurable headway.Â Still, you realize that the reluctance of your mate to accept any personal responsibility is hampering you.Â Your desire is to really dig in to all of the issues that you now realize have limited you as a person and caused stress for so long that you had actually gotten used to it.
It comes to the point where you feel totally defeated.Â You are being blamed for everything that went wrong.Â You know that it’s not true, yet, you feel absolutely helpless to effect any positive change between the two of you.Â Now, even your family and friends have taken sides.Â Should you be the one who finds yourself with very little support, it only serves to prove everyone’s perception that you are indeed the one at fault.Â After all, it was “you” whom everyone else saw throw the first blows when you decided to do something about it.
Your mate listened to the wrong voices and heard no fault.
How do you resolve the destructive issues that challenge a relationship when the other person refuses to talk about them?Â Â How do you go on if your mate refuses to discuss anything that challenges his/her take on the situation even if he/she is clearly wrong?
It really does take two to do the Tango.Â It also takes two people to talk things out if a relationship is to have a shot at succeeding.Â At first, there will be a lot of stepping on toes, missed steps, and getting out of rhythm with each other.Â However, like any dance worth mastering, the time will come when understanding, with a little compromise mixed in, will result in needed resolutions and healing.
At least, that is how it works when two people are willing to communicate with each other, face the issues that are before them, and take responsibility for whatever part they each share in the problems.
On the other hand, if your mate simply refuses to talk any further about the situation due to his/her denial of any responsibility, then you are dead in the water.
The person who cannot get past their own self-beguilement in precipitating what is now a very bad situation may be the very one who actually causes the end of an otherwise good relationship.Â Heaping the major responsibility on a mate who does not deserve it is a sure fire way to end a marriage.Â Furthermore, raising the bar on the other person so high that they are unable to deal with it is an obvious demonstration of not enough love left to work through the situation.
Claiming “no fault” leaves the other person totally alienated and alone.
You see, hate is not the opposite of love.Â The opposite of love is apathy.Â When people no longer care, they resist seeing anything that forces them to admit their own failures in the relationship.Â Apathy stops listening and it also ceases any efforts to talk out the problems.
The mate who finds him/herself totally frustrated because the other mate checked out long ago will either react out of desperation or respond sensibly.Â Good people can go either way.