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The Key to Finding Contentment

“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess.”

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We came into the world with nothing and we will go out of the world with nothing.

There may not be a better premise for allowing us to live in complete and total joy in life, if we can understand and embrace it.

The problem is that people agree with this premise in principle because it’s undeniable. When you’re born you have nothing. When you die, no matter how much you had in the seconds before your death, you have nothing again. And yet we spend the entirety of the time in between those two momentsclamoring for wealth and possessions.

Below is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It comes from the great Christian pastor and author, AW Tozer.

“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets `things’ with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns `my’ and `mine’ look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.”

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The answer to this is found written in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verses 11 through 13. The words of the apostle Paul:

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (As a sidenote, notice verse 13 at the very end there. This is the verse that most people quote when they talk about starting a business or competing in an athletic match. It really has nothing to do with that. When Paul says that we can do all things through Christ, it is in direct context to being able to be content and to live with much or with little.)

I myself have had a lot and very little. I’ve lived in tiny apartments and converted two car garages. I’ve lived on an estate on 10 acres with a half a mile of riverfront, a 500 foot brick and wrought iron front fence, swimming pool and an 1800 bottle wine cellar. I’ve driven beat up all cars across the country and I’ve flown in private airplanes. I’ve stayed in a little roadside motels and I’ve stayed in the swankiest suites in the world. I have found myself wondering how I would make it to the end of the month and I have found myself wondering how I could ever spend all that money. I know what it means to have a little and I know what it means to have an abundance.

And yet joy should never come from what we have. Life has a strange way of ebbing and flowing. I’ve known poor people who are happy and have a joy that most people long for, and I’ve known wealthy people, people with more money than they could spend in 10 lifetimes, who lack joy, peace and love.

Why do we spend so much time on accumulating money and possessions when we all know when we step back from it for even just a moment that those are not the answers at all?

When I hear a poor person lamenting that they wish they had more, I hear someone who doesn’t understand that they came into the world with nothing. When I hear a wealthy person bragging about their wealth, I hear a person who doesn’t understand that he or she will go out of the world with nothing.

Either way, it is a complete missing of the point. Life isn’t about abundance in possessions. It’s about abundance in love, grace, mercy, joy, and hope.

In Luke 12:15, Jesus says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

I know that I have a lot of people reading this and that they come from a wide variety of financial situations. If you are poor or suffering hardship right now, that’s OK. Trust in God and find love. If you are wealthy and you’re reading this, that’s great, but don’t place your hope in the things of this world. Trust in God and find love.

You came from nothing and you’re on a journey to nothing. We often think that it is on the other side of death that we meet and commune with God but the reality is is that we can meet and commune with God right now.

That’s why “nothingness” is irrelevant, because in God there is everything. From a worldly perspective, we are on a journey from nothing to nothing, but from a godly perspective we are on a journey from everything to everything.

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Chris is the President of the American Freedom Tour, one of the World's Top 50 Speakers and a member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 14 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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Faith

From Mental Illness and a Cult to Christian Ministry and Political Office

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A young man turned his life around after getting involved in a cult and suffering from schizophrenia, and now later in life is a leader in Christian ministry and running for Phoenix City Council. Nick Griemsmann has gone through a lot, but through the grace of God he was able to turn his life around and now helps others. He recently wrote an autobiography called Becoming God’s Friend

Griemsmann wasn’t raised as a Christian, and having trauma as a young boy no doubt set in motion some bad things. He developed addictions and dropped out of high school. He found a job working as a bartender at Barcelona’s, a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona, but realized after a while that the party lifestyle was unfulfilling.

But he then went to the other extreme, deciding to become a monk. His attempt failed, as he ended up walking around hot and thirsty in the New Mexico desert, never making it to the monastery. The onset of schizophrenia was starting. 

However, he still yearned in his heart for God. When he was 22, he found a flyer on his car from Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. It said they provide a place for people to stay, which sold him. He called and spoke to a woman there on the phone, who prayed for him during their conversation. He could feel something changing inside of him that was supernatural. However, they wanted him to move to Arkansas, and his parents warned him that it was a cult. 

He moved anyway and it was the beginning of a deep, dark experience. He was taught that if he ever left that ministry, it would blasphemy the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven, and he would go to hell. They said his family and friends were “of the devil” and instructed him to cut them off. 

Alamo claimed he was one of the final two witnesses written about in the book of Revelation. His teachings were so disturbing, frequently focused on hell, that Griemsmann would see people shaking while listening to his messages. Cult members were required to attend church every night. Griemsmann started having spiritual hallucinations, likely brought on by a lack of sleep from the rigorous work schedule, which consisted substantially of long hours placing flyers on cars. 

He eventually tried to leave the cult, and voices in his head told him to loudly pray at the airport, which he did until the police took him to a mental hospital. Another time the voices told him to take his clothes off in public if he wasn’t ashamed of Jesus, which he did. During this time, a psychiatrist told him that he would be catatonic in 10 years and had no hope for recovery. 

Finally, God intervened in his life, and he was able to leave the cult for good and seek treatment. He became involved with several regular churches in Phoenix, and eventually felt a spiritual force leave him. With the help of his family and supporters, he weaned off all medication for schizophrenia in 2007 despite the fact that he was told that it was incurable. He found a job helping others with the exact type of mental health problems he’d gone through. As for Alamo, he was eventually prosecuted for the sexual exploitation of women and girls and died in federal prison.

Griemsmann started a ministry called The Father’s Friends. He wrote a book called Defeating Mental Illness about his journey, which did well and he was invited on large Christian TV shows to talk about it. 

He learned that “letting go of carrying the burdens of others is vital to one’s own emotional well being.” He also discovered that “Individuals do not end up with a big issue like schizophrenia randomly. It usually has been built inside the person over time through continued lies, trauma, substance abuse, etc.”

His interesting journey continued, taking a trip to Juarez, Mexico, with others and discovering through prayer that some people experienced the miracles of healing. He became an assistant pastor in Phoenix. He started livestreaming street evangelism in Harlem, New York and Europe.

Later on, he traveled to remote villages in Pakistan, where his team prayed to heal people miraculously. He did big events ministering in Kenya, where he continued to preach the Gospel and pray for sick people. Some reported healings of what he used to have, schizophrenia. 

Griemsmann talks about the negative aspects of life that he’s had to learn to deal with and overcome as “Misters.” For example, Mr. Condemnation keeps a person stuck in negative mindsets and emotions, inside a spiritual prison. He makes you feel like you are never good enough for God or anyone. Others include Mr. Discouragement, Mr. Self-Righteous, Mr. Fear, Mr. Anxiety, Mr. Lust, Mr. Addiction, Mr. Mental Illness, Mr. Rejection and Mr. Anger.

What worked for him was not focusing on the bad, like making a list of all your sins. Instead, he focuses on spiritual freedom, and teaches others to look for the good, since the fruits of the Spirit are positive attributes; love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.

Griemsmann’s journey has now taken him into politics, taking on incumbent Democrat Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia in District 8. Although the district leans heavily Democrat, it’s a nonpartisan race and Garcia has a hostile relationship with Phoenix Police. When Garcia was pulled over by the police for driving a car with suspended license plates, he tried to intimidate the police by pulling rank. Political consultant Stan Barnes told KNXV that “the councilman is anti-police officer, and he’s playing it out in real time for all of us to see.”

Griemsmann wants to represent everyone, and says, “I am a supporter of the Phoenix police.” Due to his background with not only overcoming schizophrenia and his vast ministry experience, but also his past career as an administrator in behavioral healthcare, he can be a real champion for solving homelessness, community safety, healthcare, education, and helping the incarcerated transition back into society.   

 

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Education

When America Loses THIS, It Loses Everything

We are in a battle for the soul of our country. And that battle is over truth.

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We are in a battle for the soul of our country. And that battle is over truth. Truth must be the foundation of everything that we believe, honor, value, and esteem. If we don’t know what truth is, how can we stand for America? The left is at war with the truth and tries to reposition what it is that we believe to be true so that they can change society. We must stand for truth. PolitiCrosssing founder Chris Widener expands on the need to fight for truth in the short video below.

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