Your Preferred Future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recovery from substance abuse, or other addictive and compulsive behaviors doesn’t come easy.  It is a lot of work.  See my article (Recovery Doesn’t work).  However, it can seem overwhelming.  Some may still be saying things like this:

  1. I don’t really think I have a problem.
  2. I use drugs or alcohol but I can quit whenever I want.
  3. I am not hurting anyone with my drug or alcohol use so I don’t think it is a big deal.
  4. I have tried to quit before and it was too hard.
  5. I don’t think I could change if I wanted to.
  6. I am managing my life fine.
  7. Everyone else has a problem not me.

Answering the following questions will help you begin writing your recovery story. Your story begins with an outline, a rough draft, a vision of what life might look like beyond addiction. The next 6 questions will help you think through what you truly value and will help you answer the last 3 questions.

List 5 things you value the most.

List your 3 most important goals.

Tell what you would do with one million dollars to positively influence the world?

What would you do if you only had 6 months to live?

What have you always wanted to do but were afraid to attempt?

What activities give you the most pleasure and sense of importance?

Preferred Future Page  

What is your vision for a brighter future beyond addiction in regard to relationships? (Relationship with God, Family, at school or at work, in the community, or at church)

What is your vision for a brighter future beyond addiction in regard to joy? (Healthy things you hope to find pleasure in, hobbies, accomplishments, and career)

What is your vision for a brighter future beyond addiction in regard to peace? (Peace with God and others, secure financial future, and peace of mind)

Having a vision for a brighter future beyond the current pain is a powerful tool for recovery. Take time to think through what your life will look like beyond addiction and dependency. Chapter two of the story of your recovery starts today as you focus your attention on the preferred future and begin to chart a course to get there. It is important you work through this process. Having a written vision will give you hope in times of temptation.

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Emotions The good the bad and the ugly

This article is a practical guide to better understanding emotions and their role in your everyday life.  It also serves as a worksheet to help you process and learn from your emotions.   The inability to continually manage our emotions in a healthy way is universal.  This can lead some to addiction or compulsive behaviors, emotional breakdown, or even self-harm.

Lights

Emotions serve a powerful purpose in our lives. Much like the warning lights on a vehicle emotions indicate when things are going well and if something is in need of attention. When your car is need of more fuel the gas light comes on. When your car is overheating the temperature light comes on. When a door is open the warning light comes on to indicate that you need to close a door and there is even a light to remind you to put on your seatbelt.

We all experience a wide variety of emotions. Some of them are positive emotions and some are negative. Some of the positive emotions we experience are:

  • Contentment
  • Fulfilled
  • Gladness
  • Gratitude
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Wonder

Positive emotions serve to remind us how it, “Feels,” when things are well. In fact when describing positive emotions we might say we have a sense of, “Well-being.” By describing what it feels like when you are feeling loved, experiencing joy, and at peace will help you identify what well-being feels like.

Describe what well-being feels like for you. Be as descriptive as possible.

 

 

 

Some common negative emotions are:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Irritation
  • Loneliness
  • Loathing

These emotions indicate to us that something is in need of attention before we can return to a sense of well-being.

Anger is caused when a goal is blocked. People and or circumstances can stand in the way of our hopes, dreams, desires and goals. When this happens we often feel angry. When an individual’s desire to feel loved, accepted, appreciated, or respected is blocked he or she becomes angry. When one’s desire to be in control, have joy or peace is blocked he or she becomes angry. When a person’s desire to complete a task, fulfill a plan, or satisfy a desire is blocked he or she may become angry.

Anger can be a good thing. Like the dashboard light it indicates that something is wrong. Anger out of control or mismanaged can lead to hurting others or self. These actions are often regretted later. However, when anger is recognized it serves to help you identify what goal is being blocked and fuels your creativity to help you come up with usable solutions.

Describe a recent time you felt anger and identify what goal was blocked.

 

 

Now describe how you resolved the situation to return to a sense of well-being. Did you allow you anger to get out of control or were you able to get creative and come up with a usable solution?

 

 

If you had to do it all over again what would you do different?

 

 

 

Anxiety is caused when a goal seems uncertain. Again, people and or circumstances can get in the way of our hopes, dreams, desires and goals. When it seems uncertain whether or not the goal to feel loved, accepted, appreciated, or respected a person may become anxious. When one’s desire to be in control, have joy or peace is threatened a person may feel anxiety. When a person’s desire to complete a task, fulfill a plan, or satisfy a desire appears as though it may not come to pass a person may feel anxiety.

Anxiety can be a good thing. Sometimes we need to have a healthy fear to keep us out of harm. Sometimes anxiety points to real danger that needs to be avoided. When anxiety calls we need to listen. It might be signaling to us that we need to stop doing what we are doing because it is unsafe. Anxiety also indicates that there is some uncertainty that needs your attention. Often we will allow our anxiety to get the best of us and this can have negative consequences. Sometimes we get stuck in a cycle of fear. We think of worst case scenario over and over. This cycle can be debilitating. However, we can use our anxiety to help us identify what it is that we are concerned about. We can then allow our anxiety to fuel our creativity to help us come up with a usable solution.

Describe a recent time you felt anxiety and identify what goal was threatened or seemed uncertain.

 

 

Now describe how you resolved the situation to return to a sense of well-being. Did you allow you anxiety to get out of control or were you able to get creative and come up with a usable solution?

 

 

If you had to do it all over again what would you do different?

 

 

Depression is caused when a goal seems unattainable or out of reach. People and or circumstances can get in the way of our hopes, dreams, desires and goals. When it seems as though the goal to feel loved, accepted, appreciated, or respected will never come about we may begin to feel hopeless or depressed. When one’s desire to be in control, have joy or peace feels as though it will never be we may become depressed. When a person’s desire to complete a task, fulfill a plan, or satisfy a desire appears as though it will never happen we can feel depressed.

Depression can be a good thing. Sadness can help remind us of what is truly important in life. It can help us connect on a deeper level with those we love. Sometimes we allow our depression to get the best of us. This can lead to excessive sleep, withdrawing from others, or self-harm. Like the other emotions depression can help us identify what goal feels unattainable or hopeless and can fuel our creativity to help come up with a usable solution.

Describe a recent time you felt depression and identify what goal felt unattainable or hopeless.

 

 

Now describe how you resolved the situation to return to a sense of well-being. Did you allow your depression to get out of control or were you able to get creative and come up with a usable solution?

 

 

If you had to do it all over again what would you do different?

 

 

 

Emotions are wonderful. They help us make sense of what is going on inside. When we become students of ourselves it becomes easier to identify unwanted emotions and come up with usable solutions to help us get back to a sense of well-being.

God’s love Satisfies

The last line of the old hymn describes the love of God with these beautiful words,

 “Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”

The feeling of being unloved, and unworthy can overwhelm you. It is enough to lead someone to, or keep them in an addiction. Being reminded of and choosing to live in the light of God’s love brings freedom. It is in the love of God where a soul can stop seeking attention, approval, acceptance, and the adoration of others or from this world. In the love of God there is a quiet peace. It is true fulfillment.

In our culture we celebrate the greats. We love the most beautiful, the smartest, the fastest, and the best. Often we value people for the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, and the houses they live in. We value those who have the greatest achievements, awards, and degrees. We esteem those in place of personal, political, or corporate power.

The opposite is also true. We devalue those who we deem ugly, not smart, and unsuccessful. We judge people by the outdated clothes they wear, car they drive, and by what kind of house they can afford. We devalue those who have made mistakes in life, and who have great loss. We look down on the poor, and uneducated or undereducated. We look down on people for the jobs they hold and for their lack of position in life.

There is a great difference between the values of men and those of God. God loves and accepts us for who we are, not for what we have done. God loves and accepts us because we are His not because we have worked hard to earn His favor. Many people have a wrong concept of the love and justice of God. They think that in the hand of God is a balance. Upon their death they believe that the good they have done will be measured up against the bad. If the good outweighs the bad then they believe that they will be welcomed into the presence of God for all eternity. In truth all of our best efforts, all of our righteous acts are in God’s sight like filthy rags. The profit Isaiah said it this way, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away,” (Is. 64:6) ESV. The Apostle Paul said in the book of Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Eph. 2:8-9) ESV. God doesn’t judge us like the world does. The world often looks at us and says you will never be good enough. God looks at our best efforts and says, you can’t do this on your own so let Me help you. God says, I will make you clean. I will do a work of making you perfect.

Paul taught that all sin and fall short of Gods glory (Rom. 3:23), and John tells us that if we say don’t sin we are fooling ourselves (1 Jn. 1:8), and, this is something we can’t undo. You can’t undo all of the lies you have told. You can’t undo all of the people you have hurt directly or indirectly. You can’t undo the pain you have caused. You can’t undo the people you have cheated or the things you have stolen. You can’t undo all of the drugs you have done, pornography you have watched, or people you have used. If you are reading this today and are thinking to yourself that you can honestly say that you are innocent of all of these things I humbly remind you that you can’t undo all of your past pride. You can’t undo the way you have been negative, critical, and judgmental. You can’t undo your past hatred, gossip, or jealously.

The message of the love of God is this. We are all guilty of offending God’s personal holiness. We all mess up. We all fall short. Yet, God loves us and offers healing and a clean start. God loves the brokenhearted. God loves the down and out. God loves those who have rejected Him. Out of the love God comes a way to be made clean. The Lord spoke through the profit Isaiah saying, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool,” (Is. 1:18) ESV.

God loves His creation. So much so that He made a way for us to be washed clean from our past mistakes. In 1 Peter 2:24 we read, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” The Apostle Paul said this in Romans 5:6-8, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Now that is love. Something is only worth what others are willing to pay. You might think that what you created is worth hundreds of dollars but if the highest bid you get is $20.00 than it is only worth $20.00 to someone else. God thought that you were so amazing that He gave the life of Jesus His Son to pay for your cleansing so that you could stand in His holy presence.

May the love of God satisfy all of your needs.

Recovery Tool Box

Tool box

From Freedom Recovery (Wholeness, Hope, Healing) Copyright 2018 Brian H. Fontaine

Life is like managing home projects. It can be challenging but it helps if you have the right tools. When the cabinet door is lose you grab your screw drive and tighten it. When you need to bend some wire you grab your plyers. When you need to hang a picture frame you grab your hammer. Some jobs require using multiple tools at the same time. Every tool in your tool box has a specific function for a specific job. Your tools can be called upon at any time to help you solve the problems that arise.

The same is true with our life skills. They are the tools we use to get through life. When life comes at us with a frustrating situation we use the tools of patience and cooperation. When life comes at us with an unexpected loss we use the tools of processing our emotions and self-control.

The fewer tools we have in our box the more difficult our lives become. When the only tool we have in our tool box is a hammer we tend to treat every challenge in life as if it were a nail. The same is true with our life skills. For example, if the only tool we have in our box is anger, we tend to get angry at nearly every situation that arises. We will use anger to manipulate people to get our way. We use anger to control or intimidate. The more tools we have in our life skills tool box the greater degree of success we will have at managing our lives.

Below is a list of some of the negative tools we sometimes use:

  1. Anger
  2. Aggression verbal/ physical
  3. Insult
  4. Sarcasm
  5. Manipulation
  6. Withdrawal
  7. Withhold emotions
  8. Ignore the problem/ pretend it didn’t happen or doesn’t exist
  9. Become Negative
  10. Become Critical
  11. Become Judgmental
  12. Condemnation
  13. Blame other people or circumstances
  14. Make excuses
  15. Deny
  16. Lie
  17. Become passive aggressive
  18. Gossip
  19. Hold a grudge
  20. Jealously

Below is a list of positive tools we need to develop:

  1. Humbly admit when you were wrong
  2. Apology
  3. Forgiveness
  4. Problem solving/ Find a different approach
  5. Seeing the situation from the point of view of others
  6. Calmly express your feelings
  7. Accept what you can’t change
  8. Be grateful
  9. Slow down/ Relax/ Breath
  10. Prayer
  11. Finding meaning
  12. Critical thinking/ thinking without getting emotional
  13. Flexibility/ Being willing to do things different/ handling change
  14. Self-Control
  15. Communicating effectively
  16. Patience
  17. Self-Confidence
  18. Acceptance of the differences of others
  19. Say something kind
  20. Take initiative to solve the problem/ Don’t let life pass you by

Now let’s look at how the tools we use have a direct effect on the outcome of the situation.

Situation: The situation is what happened.

Tool: The tool is the way you responded to the situation.

Outcome: The outcome is the effect or outcome of what happened.

 

Let’s look at a few examples

Example 1 (Negative Tool)

Situation: Paul’s mother asked him to put down the video game and come to the table for dinner.

Tool: Paul uses the tools of anger and sarcasm. Paul shouted back at his mother, “Oh I’m sure we are going to die if we don’t have dinner right this minute.”

Outcome: A brief argument ensued. Paul’s mother took away the privilege of playing video games for the rest of the day because of the disrespectful way he spoke to her.

Charting this tool

Situation: Mom asked me to put down the video game and come to the table for dinner.

Tool: Anger, Sarcasm

Outcome: Argument, Took away video games for the rest of the day

Example 1 (Positive Tool)

Situation: Paul’s mother asked him to put down the video game and come to the table for dinner.

Tool: Paul uses the tools of patience, and self-control. Paul told his mom that he was in the middle of an online game that he couldn’t pause and asked if he could have just five more minutes. His mom said that she was sorry but he would have come to the table right now. Paul was frustrated with his mom who didn’t seem to understand but he was patient, didn’t argue, and came to the table.

Outcome: Paul had to quit his game which made him frustrated. However, by acting with patience and self-control he avoided negative consequences and was able to start a new game after dinner.

Charting this tool

Situation: Mom asked me to put down the video game and come to the table for dinner.

Tool: Patience, and Self-control

Outcome: Frustration, Avoided negative consequences, Good rest of the night

 

Question to Conceder:

What tools have you used from the negative list when asked to do something you didn’t want to do?

 

 

What tools from the positive list do you need to develop to better handle a situation where you are asked to do something you don’t want to do?

 

Example 2 (Negative Tool)

Situation: Jenny was excited to go to her favorite restaurant with her best friend for her birthday. At the last minute her friend canceled so she spent her birthday alone. Later she found out that her friend lied to her so that she could go to a concert with someone else.

Tool: Jenny used the tools of withdrawing and withholding emotions. A few days later Jenny’s friend called her on the phone. Jenny was cold to her and quickly made up an excuse to get off the phone. Later when her friend asked what was wrong Jenny said that she was busy but nothing was wrong.

Outcome: Jenny and her friend had a strained relationship for months. They also missed out on many opportunities because of the broken relationship. Jenny was also frustrated with herself for not having the guts to tell her friend how she really feels.

Charting this tool

Situation: Friend lied to get out of dinner to go to a concert

Tool: Withdrawing and Withholding emotion

Outcome: Strained relationship, Missed opportunities, Negative self-image

Example 2 (Positive Tool)

Situation: Jenny was excited to go to her favorite restaurant with her best friend for her birthday. At the last minute her friend canceled so she spent her birthday alone. Later she found out that her friend lied to her so that she could go to a concert with someone else.

Tool: Jenny used the tools of taking initiative to solve the problem and calmly expressing her feelings as well as forgiveness. A few days after her birthday Jenny called her friend and told her that she had heard about the concert and was hurt that her friend wasn’t honest with her. She told her that she would have been happy for her friend who got the opportunity to go to the concert and she didn’t understand why she didn’t just tell her the truth. Her friend apologized and said that she didn’t want to hurt Jenny’s feelings. She asked her if she would forgive her and promised that it would never happen again. To make it up to Jenny her friend took her to her favorite restaurant and bought her dinner.

Outcome: Jenny forgave her friend. Their relationship was restored and they had many more happy times together.

Charting this tool

Situation: Friend lied to get out of dinner to go to a concert

Tool: Taking initiative to solve the problem, calmly expressing feelings, and forgiveness

Outcome: Forgiveness, Healing, Future happiness

 

Question to Conceder:

What tools have you used from the negative list when you were hurt or lied to?

 

 

What tools from the positive list do you need to develop to better handle a situation where you are hurt or lied to?

Now it’s your turn. Fill in the blank below using a tool from the negative tool list above.   Then fill in what you think the outcome might be.  Then do the same thing but this time use a tool from the positive tool list and change the outcome.

tool

Now that you have an idea of how to chart your tools spend some time recalling situations where you felt anger, anxiety, or depression. Recall some times that you felt lonely, frustrated, hurt, sorrow, disappointment or abandoned. As you recall some negative or unwanted emotions chart the situation, what tools you used, and the outcome. Chart times that you have used both negative and positive tools.

Situation:

 

Tool:

 

Outcome:

 

Situation:

 

Tool:

 

Outcome:

 

 

 

 

Situation:

 

Tool:

 

Outcome:

 

Situation:

 

Tool:

 

Outcome:

 

 

Situation:

 

Tool:

 

Outcome:

 

Situation:

 

Tool:

 

Outcome:

Global view of Addiction and Recovery

Back in 2012 I started working on a project called Freedom Recovery Program.  I have been using this material for years but have never gotten around to making it into a book.  Well the time has finally come.  I have written the book and will be sharing excerpts from in on my blog from time to time.  It will eventually be for sale on this site (when I make the time to put a PayPal button up).  For now here is a sneak peak at the introduction and a global view of addiction and recovery.

Copyright © 2018 Brian H. Fontaine
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations.
Brian H. Fontaine
2125E 450S, LaPorte IN, 46350
bfontaine74@gmail.com

 

The Psychology of Partisan Politics

Originally Published on:

THE CHIRISTIAN POST

Mon 9 Apr 2018 16:36 EDT

Brain

Partisan politics are alive and well in America today. From negative ad campaigns to political soundbites, examples of partisan politics abound. Julia Azari wrote of the great political divide in her January 19, 2018 article, “We’re now one year into the Trump era, and politics seems more nasty, divided and polarized than ever.”

Social media has become a hot bed of partisan mudslinging from both sides of the political aisle. In fact a Pew Research Center article published February 23, 2017 stated, “Partisan criticism generates most engagement in social media.” They went on to say, “Critical posts get more likes, comments, and shares, than other posts.” One political meme circling social media askes the question, “What if Hillary Clinton had five children with three husbands, and had openly cheated on the first two? Would constatives overlook it like they do Trump?” Another picturing Hillary Clinton reads, “I don’t understand, I thought we had killed everyone who had dirt on us.” Yet another displays a picture of a young Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton standing together smiling. It reads, “Straight out of options.”

Social welfare, Involvement of the U.S. in global affairs, gun control, and LGBTQ rights are just some of the countless items that divide Americans. Have you ever stopped to wonder how the country got so polarized? Would it surprise you to learn that there are psychological causes for much of the partisan politics in America today?

One of the many psychological causes of partisan politics is politicians and political pundits who tend toward narcissism. According to a March 15, 2018 MSN Lifestyle article, “Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), in general, refers to traits central to that of a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, an unrealistically high self-esteem and an expectation that others will comply with and validate their self-worth.” This combined with elected officials in high places is a recipe for division.

On August 11, 2017 Phycology Today defined whole object relations and object constancy in an effort to explain (NPD). Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D. wrote, “Whole Object Relations: This is the capacity to see oneself and others in a stable and integrated way that acknowledges both the person’s good and bad qualities. Object Constancy: This is the ability to maintain a positive emotional connection to someone that you like while you are angry, hurt, frustrated, or disappointed by his or her behavior.” Dr. Greenberg went on to say that without “whole object relations” and “object constancy” people with (NPD) can only see themselves and other people in one of two ways: either they are special and unique, or they are defective or worthless.

Without the ability to see those with differing views in an integrated way politicians and pundits fall into a thinking error called, “dichotomous thinking.” This is a kind of black or white, or all or nothing thinking. Dichotomous thinkers believe that you are good or evil, the best or the worst, amazing or awful. This leads to statements like, “My opponent wants seniors to die,” and, “My opponent is for dirty water and polluted air.”

Another psychological cause of partisan politics is, “Awfulizing.” According to the Phycology Dictionary, “Awfulizing refers to an irrational and dramatic thought pattern, characterized by the tendency to overestimate the potential seriousness or negative consequences of events, situations, or perceived threats. AWFULIZING: “A person who engages in awfulizing, likely predicts the most catastrophic outcome in every circumstance.”

One modern example of this can be found in the conservative response to the Obama presidential election. According to an October 13, 2017 article in the Chicago Tribune, “13 percent (41 million people), thought “Obama is the antichrist.” In September of 2016 rumors abounded on social media that Obama would not step down from office if Trump were elected president. This was fueled in large part by a satirical article published by The Burrard Street Journal.

At the close of 2017 we saw another example awfulizing when some liberals played Chicken Little screaming, “The sky is falling,” over the issue of net neutrality. It was believed that the FCC’s vote would mean higher prices for consumers to access the websites they visit the most and worse Americans would not get important text messages from loved ones potentially putting children in danger. The vote was made and the news story died all the while Americans are still getting text messages from their children.

Obama turned out not to be the antichrist who set up his one world order and net neutrality didn’t cripple the economy or put children at risk, and the world somehow marches on. When people think of the worst possible outcome and then convince themselves that it is not only possible but likely to occur, they speak out strongly against it widening the political divide.

Politicians and pundits who lean toward narcissism, dichotomous thinking, and awfulizing are only a few examples of the phycology of partisan politics. Other examples include:

  1. Focusing on the negative. This occurs when your thoughts reflect only the bad in a situation and ignore any of the good. By focusing only on the negative in a politician or political party one will seldom see any good. Seeking to find the positive brings balance and optimism to a world we view far too often as negative.
  2. Fortune Telling. Similar to awfulizing, fortune telling occurs when you predict the worst possible outcome to a situation. This can be seen in the example, “He is going to run this country into the ground.”
  3. Mindreading. Mindreading is another thinking error that leads to polarization of political parties. Mindreading occurs when someone believes they know someone else’s thoughts and motives without any proof.
  4. Personalizing. This occurs when one takes someone’s contrary views as a personal attack. This leads to isolation, division, or counter attacks.
  5. Labeling. Perhaps one of the greatest weapons in the arsenal of politics is the label. By labeling something it is easier to pigeon hole or typecast them into something that is easier to hate.

Having examined some of the phycology of partisan politics let us not leave this as an interesting intellectual exercise. Rather, may we examine our own thoughts to see what thinking errors we may be making and how we ourselves may be contributing to the political divide.

What are other contributors to the political divide?  Leave a comment below and don’t forget to follow this blog. 

Just for Today

Today

I woke up this morning feeling less than enthusiastic about going to work, or even getting out of bed for that matter. My feet still hurt from the uncomfortable dress shoes I worked in all day yesterday. I was feeling cranky in part due to the lack of sleep I got the past few nights, and I wasn’t looking forward to going back into an environment that can be extremely negative.

I reluctantly rolled out of bed, and started my morning routine. That’s when it all changed. The thirtieth chapter of the book of 1 Samuel records an event where King David and his men returned from battle to find that there town had been plundered and their wives and children had been taken captive. The Bible says that the people were bitter in soul and even thought of stoning King David. Remarkably, when all seemed lost, and David was in this great distress, the Bible tells us that David encouraged himself in the Lord. That is what I decided to do this morning.

AA has a wonderful saying. It is, “Just for today.” The idea is this, “Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime.” al-anon.org

The Lord taught a similar principle in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” In other words, “God give me today, what I need today, to get through today. Then I will come to you tomorrow and pray, “Give me today my daily bread.” I love how the NLT translates Matthew 6:34 where Jesus said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

With these thoughts in mind I began to encourage myself by praying something like this, “Father in Heaven, when you called the Apostle Peter out of the boat to join You as You walked on water, You were calling him to join Your holy presence for a miracle. Despite the circumstances of the wind and waves around him Peter stepped out in faith and did something no one on earth had ever done. May I have the same faith to step out today and join You for the miracle that You have planned for me today! Just for today I choose to put all of the negativity behind me and focus on the good that You desire for me. I pray you bless this day according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. I pray in Jesus Name, Amen!”

I’m not going to say that my face shined with the glory of the Lord the way Moses face did when he came off the mountain having spent time in the presence of God. I will say that I faced the day with optimism and a renewed sense of the presence of God having acknowledged Him and prayed for His abundant blessings. May each of us continue to acknowledge the presence of God in the everyday situations in life and choose to live, Just for Today!