The Power of the Tongue!

It’s hard to understand the need of people to gossip and spread lies. What makes people want to destroy the lives of other people. Is it to make themselves look better or maybe wrapping their gossip in Christian concern?

A wicked person listens to malicious talk; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭17‬:‭4‬ HCSB)

Moving two thousand miles from home, did not stop the gossip and misinformation. In the past week, I’ve been approached by people in Arizona that want to hear my story. I’ve learned of co-workers discussing my story with parents of my students. I’ve learned of the Wikipedia updates that show my time as mayor in a negative light and Google never forgets the publicity surrounding the trial.

Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭26‬:‭20‬ HCSB)

As Christians, we are not to gossip, but fighting back with facts is like water on a fire.

I tried over the summer to put out facts about the case brought against me by Dell Daniels and her minions. I sold three copies! I realized nobody cared anymore about it, nor wanted to know the truth.

If you want your copy: http://www.cliffavant.com and select add to cart at the bottom of the page under the The Case Never Made . You may need to turn off your pop up blocker.

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Don’t Worry Be Happy

SahuartiaThe Indian mystic and sage Meher Baba often used the expression “Don’t worry, be happy”, but it was made famous in the west by the singer-songwriter Bobby McFarrin in the song of the same name. I found it ironic that the original music video (Don’t Worry Be Happy)  starred McFarrin and Robin Williams.  The latter being a victim of suicide a few weeks ago. I don’t think anyone knows what goes through the minds of people who take their own life. It is safe to say that ‘worry’ led them down the road of no return. 

Everyone wants to be happy. But here’s the truth about happiness: it’s a paradox. The best way to be happy is to not try to be happy. Happiness is a byproduct of finding your purpose, of living out your calling.

                                                                                                                                    Jeff Goins

I have always been on a quest to find happiness. I have only recently, as I approach my mid-century birth date, begun to realize that happiness is not a something to be found. Happiness is what you make it on your journey through life. We all base our happiness on different things. I call it the “if only” mentality. If only – I could loose some weight, If only – I could make more money, If only – I could win the lottery, if only – i had this job……. and it goes on and on! We miss the happiness that is in our life because we are chasing fantasies.

Everyday, I spend some time reading the Bible and talking with God. I highlight verses in my IPad Bible that have some bearing in my life. One of my favorite is :

Keep asking, and it will given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

                                                                      Matthew 7:7-8 HCSB

The Bible is always right! But most people ask for things or circumstances that are not in God’s will for their lives. They pray “I want ….” and they don’t get it. This leads to frustration and unhappiness. But the Bible says if I ask I shall receive you might say. God heard your prayer and will provide those things – in his time!  IN the meantime, you should no be unhappy. 

So often, we base our happiness on worldly standards. This is a huge mistake! 

Do not be conformed to t his age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.  – Romans 12:2 HCSB

 

Happiness and contentment are not found in this world, but are a state of your mind, heart, and soul. Everything in life is a blessing from God – but you must look past the circumstances in life sometimes to see it.  So what I’ve done: to quit worrying about tomorrow and focus on enjoying today; doing my God given job to the best of my ability; working on those daily tasks we all must do (staying busy); quit procrastinating about everything and just do it; spending some quality quiet time with God and getting my butt moving so I don’t become a more well rounded person (a.k.a. get fatter). 

This is why I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you  will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?  – Matthew 6:25 HCSB

So go out and be happy! Don’t Worry! 

Hanging On!

My family is vacationing in Sedona, Arizona this week. It’s a beautiful example of God’s handiwork. The best part about any vacation is the change in the scenery and Sedona has fit the need for a change for our family. Vacations have a way of recharging your batteries that our everyday life doesn’t do. Why is that?

“Location, location, location” is the saying used by real estate agents and businesses. It means in order to be successful with a sale or with you business the location you choose will determine its success or failure. Location doesn’t determine success in your personal life though.

Our son Wright recently moved back to Arizona after living the past school year with his grandparents in Georgia. We had allowed him to move back because he was so unhappy after we first moved here. We believed at the time that we would all be moving back to Georgia within the year. God has a way of throwing wrenches into man’s well laid plans.

Our location didn’t change! After many more applications for jobs in Georgia, not one interview was granted for a teaching position. The thing is that both my wife and I enjoy our jobs here. During spring break trips, we had decided that whatever God decided – we would all be under one roof. So here we sit in the Sonoran Desert.

Wright is not happy about it! The rest of us have accepted the change and we’re at peace about our location. Wright being stubborn like his mothers side of the family is bound and determined to be miserable.

Everything is constantly changing, and you cannot stop it. You have to decide whether to resist and resent those changes or to be happy. Happiness is a choice

Rick Warren

Mr. Warren makes a good point. We must choose to be happy in our situation or location in our case. Hanging onto our memories of friends, church family, schools, and even family will result in a discontentment that will just make you miserable.

We can worry and fret about it all day long! It will suck all the life right out of you. No joy or happiness to be found. Since we only have a limited amount of time on this earth, we shouldn’t waste any time on remembering the location where we were happy. Rather we should focus all our thoughts on what is in hand and right in front of us.

Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ HCSB)

We can’t hang onto the past! Our happiness in the present and the future is based on our relationship with Christ and is not dependent on location. So I choose to place my happiness in my friend Jesus and he is mobile! Goes wherever I am located at the moment. Please pray for Wright and the rest of us as we make the adjustment to life in the west.20140720-111818-40698519.jpg

Worrying Your Life Away

worryI  say the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend
the rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
well, it all amounts to nothing in the end.

I won’t worry my life away.
I won’t worry my life away.

Jason Mraz.

Jason is a singer/song writer that a I saw being interviewed on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. It was a quote that caught my attention as I read the Sunday paper and enjoyed my half a pot of coffee.  I am sure  it was the Holy Spirit showing me my reflection in my cup of coffee. I have been a worrier all my life and it has gotten me nowhere. In my pursuit for happiness, I have got to learn to let it go.

Over the past week, I was upset by the lack of interest in my little e-book that I put together about the injustice done to me almost three years ago. I was actually angry that virtually none of my social network world (all 593 of them) even considered buying a copy. (Five friends did purchase – Thank You). I had spent time pulling together court documents, letters, testimonies to include in my little e-book. All I accomplished was dredging to the surface of my life all the anger that I still had over people that caused such an uproar in my life.

I had allowed the events of October 4, 2011 consume every part of my life. I had been letting it control me and the worst part allowed it to steal my joy and happiness. I announce with much fanfare today – “enough is enough”.

Accepting one another and forgiving on another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive

Colossians 3:13

I have always wanted to write about my time as Mayor and the charges that ended it. A project that is still in the works but the focus will not be the negative, but rather the positive. I was hurt by so many people, by those that I called friends and by those I knew were enemies. The Bible says God forgave me of my sins, so who am I to think that I can’t forgive those people.

I am able to all things through Him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

So in the pursuit of my happiness, the first step is to forgive! It seems I have some letters to write.

The beginning…..

As Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence, our basic human rights are to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today, we are all in the pursuit of something. It may be a soul mate, a better career, more money, losing weight, or a closer relationship with God. Whatever “it” is our happiness often times seems illusive. 

Most of us are never content with our station in life and are frustrated by our wants in life. We are frustrated by the state of our Nation and the world. Is it possible to find true contentment in life? 

This is what I’ll be discussing on my blog. I hope that you will join in with me as we pursue life, liberty and happiness!