The Dangers of Unbelief

Taken from Pastor Chuck Smith's Bible study in Hebrews 4

Unbelief keeps you from all that God has and desires for you. It is unbelief that keeps you back. Now, the unbelief so often stems from our looking at ourselves and seeing our failures, our shortcomings, our weaknesses. Because somehow we cannot divorce our minds from the reward of the good, positive enforcement. You reward the child for good behavior. And the child is punished for bad behavior. And somehow we cannot divorce our minds from this concept. We have a tendency to carry it over unto God. And we think of God rewarding our good behavior. And when we are conscious of our bad behavior, there is no expectation or anticipation of God blessing us.

[Tweet "Unbelief keeps you from all that God has and desires for you. Chuck Smith"]

In fact, we say, well, I know that God can’t bless me because I failed in this or I did that or I yelled at the kids or I, you know, got angry at that fellow who cut me off on the freeway. So I know that God can’t bless me. And with that attitude, I don’t have faith to receive the blessings of God; hence I don’t enter in to all that God has for me.

And so that’s basically the warning here. God has much more for us, but He doesn’t give it to us as a reward for our good behavior, He gives it to us because He just loves us! And you know to accept grace, gracefully, is a very difficult lesson to learn.

[Tweet "God gives grace to us because He just loves us! Chuck Smith"]

When God begins to bless me, though I realize I don’t deserve it, I then try to promise God. Well, Lord, I’m going to do better and I will deserve it! I mean I’ll prove that You did a good thing in blessing me like that and I’ll be better! And yet, I can’t just get my mind free, totally, from the idea that the reward for good behavior, rather than God just loving me and by His grace, wanting to bless me, if I’ll just simply trust Him and believe Him to do it.

So, they did not enter in because of unbelief! That’s what kept them out. They did not believe that God would do the things that He promised to do; and hence, they failed to enter into that rest.


4 Good Reasons to Publicly Show Your Repentance

"This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven." Mark 1:4 NLT

John, known as "the Baptist", was a very special man in the Kingdom of God. He came on the scene suddenly with a dynamic ministry to fulfill. He was the forerunner of the Messiah. He was the attention-getter of the King. Preparing the way was his daily service.  Yet one of his blessed responsibilities was to lead people toward "showing" they had repented of their sins. I'm thankful for that.

Why does God place a strict emphasis on showing and not just saying?  It's easier to say something than it is to really do it. Our world is filled with people who are quick with the tongue but short on the action.

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Unfortunately the church is weakened by the same hypocrisy as so many refuse to repent, instead offering the cheap substitute of lip service. Tears do not equal repentance, although the water works flow liberally. Neither do words equal true repentance. One must show their repentance by making things right with those they've wronged. If you asked John the Baptist he'd tell you the same thing.

[Tweet "Tears do not equal repentance, although the water works flow liberally."]

1. Showing your repentance is required of God. John would say in Matthew 3:8-9a, "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance and do not think to say to yourselves..."  It's a common thing to think and to say but not to do. Even those in the presence of John and Jesus were quick to rely on their own thoughts without changing a bit. That's not repentance. It's self-justification.

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2. Showing your repentance is a reveals the work of Christ. When a person turns away from their sin and openly admits that, they are both walking in the truth and in humility. Those two characteristics flow from the Spirit of God. For the unbeliever it's a glorious showing of God's presence of drawing you to salvation. For the believer it's evidence of His presence within you.  Saying and not doing is fake, unreal, and useless. While others may think it's legitimate, the Father knows the truth. That's not repentance it's your self-life.

Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear... Genesis 42:21

3. Showing your repentance begins the healing process. It's at the point of humble repentance that healing begins. First you're healing is with God and then the healing begins with those you've sinned against. Without true repentance the sin is repeated over and over again, compounded daily. Healing in relationships doesn't begin before repentance, only after.

For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
Psalm 51:3-4 NKJV

4. Showing your repentance magnifies Jesus and minimizes you. Can you imagine for a moment getting ripped off by Zacchaeus your fellow countryman. Sure he was just doing his job. Yes he was an agent for the Roman government. But he took so much from you. He left you with little to live on. You left his presence hurt, upset, and wondering how you would ever make ends meet. Now imagine that same man at your door some weeks later restoring all that he took and then giving you 4 times as much. Why Zacchaeus? No, no that's far too much and too generous. Yet he answers "please forgive me, I was wrong, I hurt you, I stole from you, and here is the proof I'm sorry, take and enjoy in Jesus name!" What love! Yet if our friend Zach sent a message with "I'm sorry if I ever did anything maybe sort of to hurt you." Who is magnified? Who is restored? That's not repentance that's self-protective pride.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” Luke 19:8 NKJV

[Tweet "Instead of saying "I'm Sorry" Show it like Zaccheaus!"]

I thank God for the fruits of repentance as He has given us the opportunity to magnify Him while showing the true essence of our sin: forsaken, and exchanged for the overwhelming portion of His love!

[Tweet "Unfortunately the church is weakened by the same hypocrisy as so many refuse to repent."]


Enjoying the Peace of God

King David is enjoying an unusual season of 'peace' as 2 Samuel 7 opens.  God has given him rest from his enemies all around. Oh for those times of rest!  It seems as if the enemies' attacks never cease, but in God's Providence, He does give times of rest, protection, and strength!

Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around,  that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains."  Then Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you." 2 Sam 7:1-3 (NKJV)

We love seasons of peace in our lives don't we? I know I do. So many of our days and hours are filled with stress, pressure, pains, grief, heartaches and headaches.  When a season of peace arrives it's met with open arms, embraced for the friend it is.

[Tweet "When a season of peace arrives it's met with open arms."]

How we use our 'spare time', or our times of peace says a lot about us. We would do well to follow the example of David as he is hanging out with a man of God, meditating on the things of God.  He's not wasting this special time but reflecting on the goodness and grace of His God. His thought? He wants to build God a place of Worship that is greater and grander than his opulent house. Nathan tells him to do it but God tells Nathan to correct that bad counsel and tell David how much I love him and what I will do for him!

[Tweet "How we use our 'spare time', or our times of peace says a lot about us."]

What follows is one of the sweetest, most loved filled exchanges of dialogue between man and God in all the Scriptures. It's a beautiful response to the grace of God. David receives grace graciously.

It's always good, profitable, and powerful to spend time meditating on the love of God, His grace, His faithfulness, His goodness in our lives.  We must carve out time, our 'quiet times' to start the day with the beautiful love of God at the forefront of our minds!

[Tweet "It's always good and profitable to spend time meditating on the love of God."]

"Receive the Grace of God Graciously" from Calvary Aurora on Vimeo.


5 Powerful Truths About Forgiveness

More damage, pain, and ongoing separation is rooted in the sin of unforgiveness than just about any other divisive heart issue that exists.  Like gossip, unforgiveness is one of those sins that followers of Jesus accept, and even flaunt in the face of the One who died for them.  Rooted in pride and arrogance, often masked by pain and personal hurt, the sin of unforgivness wrecks the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  As we follow the teachings of Jesus, we find that He taught us to forgive over and over again.

[Tweet "More damage, pain, and ongoing separation is rooted in the sin of unforgiveness."]

Matt 6:14-15 (NLT) "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Forgiveness is a non-negotiable for the disciple of Jesus.

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#1 - Forgiveness is commanded by God.

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Luke 6:35-36 (NLT) "Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don't be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

Mark 11:25 (NLT) But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. "

#2 - Forgiveness Reflects the Image of Jesus.

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Luke 23:32-34 (NLT) Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 Finally, they came to a place called The Skull. All three were crucified there—Jesus on the center cross, and the two criminals on either side. Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing." And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

#3 - Forgiveness Breaks Strongholds in our lives.

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Gen 50:18-21 (NKJV) Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, "Behold, we are your servants." 19 Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 "Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. 

#4 - Forgiveness Loosens the Stranglehold of Guilt in the Offender

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Eph 2:7 (NLT) And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.

#5 - Forgiveness Brings Freedom to All Involved.

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If Jesus hadn't extended kindness and forgiveness to sinners, we would be forever strangled by sin, guilt, shame, and judgment.

David exhibits tremendous grace in 2 Samuel 19 after the rebellion inspired and led by his son Absalom is brought to a complete halt by God in an instant. If there was ever a time for revenge, this was it. But instead David extends forgiveness.  Read the chapter and notice:

  • We see in David’s dealings with Amasa (11–15) that forgiveness wins over former enemies.

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  • We see in his dealings with Shimei (16–23) that forgiveness gives time for people to change.

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  • We see in his treatment of Mephibosheth and Ziba (24–30) that forgiveness placates irreconcilable adversaries.

[Tweet "Forgiveness placates irreconcilable adversaries."]

  • We see in his relations with Barzillai and Chimham (31–39) that forgiveness causes blessing to overflow on others.

[Tweet "Forgiveness causes blessing to overflow on others."]

  • We see in the section revealing the final reactions of the Israelites and the Judahites (40–43) that forgiveness lays a strong foundation for the future.

[Tweet "Forgiveness lays a strong foundation for the future."]

Prayerfully consider God's heart on the matter of your rebellious choice to not forgive.  Allow Him to soften your heart and walk forth in obedience, leading to reconciliation.

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07/20/2016 - The Power of Forgiveness from Calvary Aurora on Vimeo.

 


Calm over the horizon

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


Inspired by clouds

Take your time.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger.

When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Breathe the world.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.

— Christopher Morley

Enjoy the morning.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever. I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300.

It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Free your mind.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Photography is better shared.


True Prayer Begins At the Place of Anguish

"A true prayer life begins at the place of anguish." David Wilkerson

As we look around our world today we see so much in upheaval. Where is the church? Where are the men and women who love Jesus and pray?!

Politically we see self-preservation. Economically we see uncertainty. Socially we see chaos. Sadly, when we look to the
Church, we see division, lethargy and man centered doctrines.  We see pastors losing their focus.  We see a Western form of religious Christianity overtake a simple, powerful, intimate relationship with Jesus Himself. Among His precious bride, we see so much tearing down, backbiting and the wasting of precious time on gossip, slander, and all sorts of sinful attacks. Jesus forgive us! Give us Your passion. Pour into us an anguish. Paul warned the Galatians:

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! Gal 5:14-15 (NKJV)

 

Where's the anguish of Spirit in God's people? Where are the tears over the lost? Where is the passion? Where is the zeal of the Lord in His church today?

"Anguish, means extreme pain or distress. Your emotions so stirred that it causes pain. It's an acute deeply felt inner pain because of the conditions about you, in you, or around you. All true passion is born out of anguish." Wilkerson

We need to pray. We need to be in anguish. We need Jesus to light a fire in our hearts.

When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves,  and he stopped everyone from bringing in merchandise.  He taught them, "The Scriptures declare, `My Temple will be called a place of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves. When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so enthusiastic about Jesus' teaching.  That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city. Mark 11:15-19 (NLT)

 


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Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

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‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


Make it clean and simple

Create your header preset in just few clicks.

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

Control fonts, background, size, parallax and overlay...

‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


When you are alone

You will remember the people more than the place.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a foreign country and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intuition. Is this neighborhood safe to walk around? Is this person someone I should interact with? Am I heading the right direction? Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a situation.

The world is endless. The world’s a tiny neighborhood. My fav people are the ones who can hold two impossible ideas in their heads.