‘the kind of purity that can change the world’

Love this simple article on redefining purity.

Sharing some of my favourite lines.

As I dove deeper into this idea of purity, I began to realize it’s actually an invitation into freedom. We can sometimes get caught up in all the “no’s” of the bible and think that God is just another authority figure looking down on us and waiting for us to please Him. The truth is, God doesn’t say no to certain things to take away our liberty, He actually says no to protect it.

God wants freedom for you, not bondage. He wants you to wake up in the morning and feel hope and expectation for what’s to come, not regret about the night before. He wants you to find the man or woman of your dreams and feel loved by them, fully loved, because you learned to receive love in its purest form. He wants you to live your life knowing that who you are is enough. He wants you to be in places of influence, walking out the deepest dreams and desires of your heart, without worrying about anything stopping you.

Purity is evidence of God’s redemption story in your life. It’s deciding that nothing’s going to hold you  down, nothing’s going to hold you back, and nothing’s going to steal beauty, wonder, and goodness from your life. You’re free to live abundantly.

It may take every ounce of courage you have to live counter-culturally. It may take strength you never realized you possessed to say no to things the world places at your fingertips.

Purity may not get a lot of credit in our culture, but it is something worth fighting for.

How Do I Wake Up Early?

“I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love.”
(Psalms 59:16)

Chanced upon this question on Quora and found the answers to be excellent and very useful/practical. Below is one of the better answers:

People operate from two platforms:  Fear or Excitement.  That’s it.  Just those two.  Think about this for a moment now and later throughout your week.  It will help you to understand motivation in yourself and others. These are the only two organic motivators.  They will dictate the things that you do or don’t do.

There’s two tricks to waking up early:

1.  You have to be excited about something to do in the morning.  If you’re not, then sleeping in as an option is always gonna feel better.  You probably can remember a time when you didn’t want to sleep in or couldn’t wait to get up.  That’s what we’re going to create here.

Trick number 2Be exhausted at night to get a reasonable bed time.

I don’t really believe that you should set an alarm clock EVER unless you have to wake up for something like an early flight. Getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep makes a day more enjoyable instead of feeling like a drain from being tired.  Your body tells you when you’re tired and if you ignore it it comes back on you by way of a half-assed day.  There’s people that sleep for 4 hours then drink a bathtub of coffee or 5 hour energy drinks to compensate for feeling like shit.  This is a shitty way to live.  Old people have this figured out.  They go to bed when the sun goes down and they get up when the sun rises.  Maximizing the amount of sunlight in your day will positively reinforce this habit.  You will be happier if you maximize the sunlight exposure you have in a day.  It’s science.  Once you get used to this this, you will be pissed at yourself on the days when you don’t get up early.  I love drinking beer and hanging out with my friends but I rarely ever do this because I’m addicted to how I feel in the morning when I’ve done all the most difficult things on my plate and have already exercised by 6AM.  It’s the best legal high you can have.

So here’s how to get excited even if you don’t have anything to get excited about:

Write 5 things down the night before that you need to get done. I’m not kidding this actually works and I thought it was bullshit when I first heard it so I didn’t do it for a long time.  Ironically, even if these are not fun things to do, you’ll have a purpose when you wake up and you’ll be excited to get them done.  But don’t say to yourself, “ok I know what they are I’m ready”. Actually write these down with a box next to them.  Even the prospect of accomplishing a difficult task this early in the morning is a great feeling.

Do the hardest thing on that list first.  Don’t check instagram, facebook, email or any of that shit.  Just get that first thing done.  It’s gonna suck but power through it.  If you’ve gotten this far, your life is about to significantly change for the better.

*other supplemental tricks that help with creating an environment that’s exciting to wake up to: 
*Clean your room or kitchen or car or all of those the day before so you can wake up to this. 
*If you like coffee or have a coffee machine, have that bitch queued up and ready the night before so all you have to do is push a button in the morning.

Then, the last thing you do after those 5 things are done is exercise for 35 minutes to an hour.  I recommend a crossfit class, swimming, riding a bike or running.  Something that’s difficult.  If you hate exercising, put some music on and just go for a run.  It’s 10-15 songs if you want to think of it that way.

Now eat a good breakfast.  Not before all of this.  And enjoy that shit ’cause you earned it.  And not waffles or donuts or mountain dew.  Eggs, vegetables and or fruit. 

You’ll have a whole day to do things you want to do.  I’d recommend reading, listening to music at coffee shops or researching a new hobby you wanted to try.  Change your scenery every two hours.  These things will perpetuate the excitement for a change in schedule that you can be excited about.

Suck it up and just do this for a week and see if you don’t get excited to keep doing it.  If you can get through the day without taking a nap you’ll be tired enough to go to sleep then you’ll get excited to actually go to sleep early which I thought was never possible.  But it is and it’s awesome when you do.

LASTLY:  Email me or skype me and let me know how it goes:  paul@ecquire.comor pauldejoe on skype

Chasing After The Temporary

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Have We Made Adventure An Idol?

I’ve recently been reflecting on one particular idol in my life, which I think a lot of people can relate to: the idol of adrenaline or “adventure”—the need for all things new, the drive to have an “exciting,” instagrammable life.

To put it another way, many of us have lost our fascination with the ordinary. Foundational to the idol of “adventure” is a deep craving for newness, creativity and significance.

We’re often afraid we’re missing out on something better—a better apartment, a better job, a better date.

This can breed a lifestyle of adrenaline where we hesitate to commit (because what if something better comes along?) and we don’t rest (because we might miss out on some fun opportunity!).

While being adventurous isn’t a bad thing, idolizing adventure can keep us focused on the short-term highs and make us struggle to patiently wait for what we desire long-term. In our pursuit of joy, it is essential that we distinguish between fleeting and lasting happiness, and the roads that lead us there.
We think the next new experience we have will make us feel significant instead of realizing that our true, ultimate, significance comes from God. In short, many of us have become experience junkies and are removed from places where God can meet us.

So how do we begin to break down the idol of adventure in our lives? I believe we can start by remembering the Sabbath.

Rest is an essential part of our existence. In rest, we let ourselves slow down, choosing to be content in the ordinary experiences of our daily lives—and to let go of the other, potentially more exciting things we could be doing instead. We allow our minds, bodies and spirits the ability to recover and prepare for what is next. When we slow down and rid ourselves of distractions, God can meet us and move us.

Finally, we need to remember that God is in everything, and in Him is true adventure. Revelation 21:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 both remind us that God is the ultimate newness that our earthly cravings point toward. If we choose to slow down and stop forcing adventure, we realize how God is orchestrating our environment for us in an exciting way so that we (His children) can know and enjoy Him (our father) more.

It is healthy and natural to get excited about new experiences, to be passionate about the way we live, and to live with enthusiasm. But when chasing the next big thing dominates our routines and choices, we are slowly giving control of our hearts and minds to the ways of the world. If we choose to turn down good things for better things, God will reveal Himself in ways we had previously not had time for Him to do so.

May God grant us all the patience and contentment to live faithfully in the ordinary moments, knowing He will make all extraordinary by His presence.