Mittwoch, 10. Oktober 2018

On marriage

“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.“ (Genesis 2:22-24)
Marriage is an eternal bond between a man and a woman, so that “they become one flesh.” Yet, many couples don’t respect the eternity of this bond and as statistics have shown, the divorce number have risen in Europe in the last 20 years ( What can we do, to counteract this evolution?
First, we must define marriage. The Bible gives us six characteristics:
“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”( Matthew 19:9) This implies that marriage is forever and that a divorce is (basically) no option.
“and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:5) A marriage is a monogamous relationship. A man has to commit fully and only to his wife and vice versa.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7) Both wife and husband are equal in marriage and in front of God.
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”( Genesis 1:26-27 ) So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” A marriage is an image of God’s image and thus serves the purpose of worshipping him.
“For man did not come from woman, but woman from man;  neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9) The husband is the head of a marriage and the wife subordinate to him.
“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”( Genesis 1:28) A marriage has to be fruitful and thus must have kids.
Now that we know, how marriage is defined in the Bible, let’s see how modern marriage beliefs interfere with them.
The first false belief that I want to cover is that the goal of marriage is not happiness. The goal of a marriage is to be faithful and to raise kids. These two can take up large parts of our lives and I am not saying that can’t be joyful. Often the pursuit of this goals is very rewarding. However, thinking that marriage only exists to guarantee us happiness is very selfish and can harm a marriage. A common excuse for a marriage is: we simply weren’t happy together. Knowing that happiness isn’t the goal of happiness can be on one hand sad, but on the other hand gives us relief and shows us our true responsibilities towards God and our kids. I can’t imagine something more cowardly than abandoning their kids, simply because they weren’t happy.
The second false belief is that there is a right wife for you. Nowhere in the Bible it’s written that God has the right women somewhere for you. When you marry someone, it becomes the right person, even if you don’t like her looks after a year or two.  Choosing the right wife is our responsibility.  “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:30-31) The Bible advises to choose a faithful wife over a beautiful one.  On one hand this is because of the goals of marriage, but secondly in our modern times, faithful women have higher morals and are less likely to divorce and understand the importance of marriage.
Listen to your heart and have always in the mind the goal of a marriage and you will see that finding the right wife and staying married is possible.

Montag, 8. Oktober 2018

MENTAL STRONGHOLD: Why you need protection from yourself

Video game designers face a very strange problem that you may not have expected: how to ensure that the player does not deprive himself of the fun in the game. Wait, that is a thing? I asked myself when I first read that. But then I reflected on my own playing habits when I was a kid. I saw that I had in fact robbed myself the fun in playing by farming countless hours experience points, skipping the cutscenes and using cheats. I did not experience the fun that the game creators intended me to have. That‘s what Sid Meier means when he speaks of "protecting the player from himself."

"You are your biggest enemy." I bet you have encountered this quote at least one time on the internet. But what does it mean?
In my eyes the quote wants us to treat ourselves as enemy’s, thus mistrusting, fighting ourselves and protecting us from ourselves. You may know that life isn’t a video game. There are no designer’s no ensure that we have fun or success. We are the players and we must ensure ourselves that we have the fun that is out there.

Imagine John. Everyone lives close of a John. John has great aspirations. He wants to live as a writer, live on the beach of Mexico and earn effortless money. Yet he does nothing to achieve his goals. Between mindless watching Netflix and eating Cheetos he finds the time to feel miserably about his life.

Do you remember all the times when you were at work and had all this formidable business ideas, that you would put into action when you would have to time to escape 9-5 hell? Now, how is your business going? The chances are very likely that you never even tackled the work needed to be done, or when you did, that you lost "motivation" after the first couple of hours. Instead you switched back to your old routine of excuses and of hedonism, watching Netflix while eating Cheetos.

In fact, it is very difficult for us humans to live in comfort. Deep rooted in our brains lies our own laziness, once in primal times useful to ensure that we rest after a hunt, nowadays that rest before a hunt that will never happen. When faced with free time, I experienced a mix between laziness and procrastination. On one hand I want to know how this series will end, on the other hand I know that for the important things that I want to do, there is tomorrow. The result of this mindset is common knowledge. But what can we do about it? How can we protect ourselves from our own incompetence?

Let’s see how the video game designers handle the problem: they build in mechanism that force the user to play the game as it was intended to be played. For example, if a developer wants the player to take more risks, he rewards him by giving him more experience points when he kills a monster at close range. What is helpful in this case is not the reward in my opinion. In my own experience, promising myself a reward after I complete work just makes me reward myself a bit earlier. That is why I do not encourage you to reward yourself for good behavior, but to punish yourself for bad behavior. The fear of punishment will let you to accomplish great things. Yet the punishment must not lie in your own hand. Let other’s punish you for your own behavior. In his book "Drop Dead Healthy", writer AJ Jacobs gave his wife 1000 dollars that she would donate to the KKK if he didn’t accomplish his health goals. In a similar way  you should organize your other projects, that require some sort of willpower. For those of you who want to quit porn there  is a site where at the end of the month your entire browser chronic will be send to a person that you know. I know that these measures seem very hard, and in fact you may think right now "I am not like these losers, I can trust myself that I will work at my projects." But guess what, that is what your biggest enemy would say to deceive you. Take harsh measures to accomplish great things in the future. The fear of losing money or in the porn case of looking like a fool in front of a person that you care is bigger than the hope of any reward that may wait for you at the end of the tunnel.

Other protective measures against yourself are software like coldturkey or coldturkeywriter. Coldturkey blocks distraction websites from your computer and it is (nearly) impossible to access them during the time that you blocked for. Coldturkeywriter is another useful piece of software from the same developer. It blocks your entire computer and gives you only a writing interface. After a certain amount of words or period you can access your computer and continue with watching Netflix. In fact, I am using coldturkeywriter right now to write this post. I do not trust myself enough to simply write in Microsoft world.

A universal fear of human beings is to lose status. Being degraded is a very bad feeling. Protecting yourself means at the same time laying traps for you to trip in, when you engage in useless behavior. Jordan Peterson describes in his book "12 rules: An antidote to chaos" the experience that many doctors have had with kidney transplants, that shortly after being told to take the medicaments at all cost, simply stop after several days. His solution is genius: Imagine that you were responsible to give the pills to your dog. Would you stop giving him his pills after a several days? Hopefully not, because you feel responsible for him. Your solution is to “treat yourself like a person you are responsible caring for.” I don’t want to give away his ideas, but I recommend to check out his book and read at least the second chapter.
The power of habits
When was the last time that you had set yourself ambitious objectives and were disappointed with the poor result? Your goals have been turned upside down by forces too strong for you, which you could have calculated in advance. Imagine that you want to work out regularly in the gym. I experienced that the ambitious training regimens of professional bodybuilders are in fact not suitable to be the starting ground of a gym beginner. Instead focus on making a habit. Habits can protect your future self from today. So, start by going once a week to the gym. It may not sound like much, but this was exactly how I started. Engage an experienced gym goer or a personal trainer to hold you accountable. I went to every training session, because I didn’t want to disappoint my trainer. After some weeks I felt my chest going bigger, my shoulders becoming more square and my legs to outgrow my pants. After all, training once a week is better than sitting all week long on the couch. Once you formed the habit, don’t forget to add a day to accelerate your development. Repeat this until you have reached a reasonable training time for every week and you have successful given your future self the body that he always desired.

Be grateful
The voice in your head makes you want a new car, new smartphone, an expensive wedding, more holidays, more income. Wanting something means in turn that you don’t have it now. This way thinks lead directly to unhappiness. Instead focus on what you do possess. When the voice inside of you raises, express your gratitude for the small things. I love to appreciate a good meal. I eat it slowly in small bites. Likewise I am grateful for every bit of free time that I have to spend with my family. This way of thinking will make you a happier person.
Don’t think
The ultimate advice that I have for self-protection is stop thinking. It is at the same time the most difficult advice that I have, because it is impossible to stop thinking all together. This would eliminate the countless self-analyzation that we do on an everyday basis that leads to sabotaging our great plans. In my eyes, a human who could simply stop thinking at any moment that he wants had a straightforward way to success. If I ever get this power I will let you know, but what worked for me till today is the resistance-rule.  In Steven Press field’s book “The War of Art” he describes that every great artist has to fight against the resistance that separates him of creating his masterpieces. This is advice that could also be applicated to everyday life: the right path to follow is most often the path that has the most resistance. Following the path of least resistance leads to a life full of procrastination. Instead every time you encounter a flinch or excuses before you are about to do something, count to three and start. Don’t think, start. This is incredibly difficult, but a good way to get things done. When I am about to start a videogame, even when I know that I must finish this very important paper, I pause for a second, count to three and start working on the paper.

I hope that I provided you with the needed defensive mechanisms to protect yourself from yourself. I am by no means a master or a guru, I am struggling like you with my inner voice and my lazy tendencies. My advice are only the ways that I use to liberate myself from the bonds of my mind and achieving true greatness.

Freitag, 5. Oktober 2018

Why every christian man should read

Books inspire us and offer valuable insight. Often books can change your whole perception of a subject you previously never really thought about. Every book that can help you become a better person, is worth reading. The author of these works don't have to be necessarly christians, because God shines through every form of writing.

I remember reading "Hiob" by Joseph ROth. Since the beginning I was fascinated by the language. It was crisp clear and seemed to speak directly to my soul. I realized that I faced similar struggles as the protagonist Mendel Singer. After he emigrated, nearly his entire family died and he found himself alone in a strange country Before he was a man of deep faith, but after his tragic losses he began to revolt against God. I understood his anger that I found often myself in. But I also saw the childishness in his and (my) reactions. When I finished reading the book, I found new ways to deal with my big losses and to remain loyal to my faith.
Another that expanded my horizon was "The Poem of the God Man" by Maria Valtora. I plan on wirting an entire post so stay tuned and continue reading.

Mittwoch, 3. Oktober 2018

Collect the fruits of tomorrow

Live everyday in a way, that you can collect the fruits of your work the next time when you wake up.

Do you remember the time where you learned something? For me it was learning French. In school I never really liked it, but it I was sure, that one day I will manage to speak and read without any problems. This day came faster than I thought. I didn’t even realize it.  However, I began using it more and more frequently. It was after many years, that I took finally the time to look back at what I had achieved. On this day, I learned a very important lesson: One day you will forget all the work and all the time you put in. You won’t necessarily perceive your achievement, but it will surely make your life better. It is important, that you don’t only work a single day. It is necessary that you put in many hours, as much as possible. The progress achieved is impossible to conceive.

Most people don’t like to work. They seek entertainment.  This doesn’t must be bad. Even God rested after a long week of labor and it is one of the 10 commandments. It is more important what you do with the time, where you are not resting.

The boredom of work will be forgotten tomorrow. Concentrate on the fruits, how you will when you wake up, knowing what you have achieved the day before. I don’t want you to brag. Simply thank God for the power that he gave you to achieve such awesome things.

Remember this. In these dark nights, when you want to go to bed, God is besides you. He wants you to prove your power. He looks over your shoulder but holds the present right in his hands. He will come eventually back, if will be in a similar situation. But there is no warranty. Everyone of this nights he will stand besides you.  Spare God the time and trouble and earn his present. This way you will become, a truly godly man.

Montag, 1. Oktober 2018

Why you should read the Bible like any other book

It can be hard to read the Bible. Some look at it like a collection of quotes that help you live a better life. This is not the Bible was supposed to be. I agree that you should start small, like with my Sermon on the Mount challenge on this blog. However, this is only the first step in understanding the teaching of Christ. To truly understand the teaching of Christ, you must read the Bible from the beginning to the end.
The Bible is meant to be read as a novel.
Why don’t people read the bible like any other kind of book, from the beginning to the end? There is without any doubt more than one reason. Either they find it boring or they find it too long or they don’t have the time… These are all excuses. The people that put the Bible together in the form that we know today acted under God’s will. The Bible tells a coherent story: the story of the people of God. The whole Bible, from Genesis 1 to the Apocalypse tells how God created the first man, to how he sends his own son on the earth to the end of the world. Further, the Bible often references itself.

Moses and Jesus were alike in that they both led God’s people out of captivity. With great power, Moses led the Israelites out of physical bondage and slavery in Egypt, and Jesus, with even greater power, led God’s elect out of spiritual bondage and slavery to sin. Moses stood before Pharaoh and said, “'Let my people go” (Exodus 5:1). Jesus came “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and . . . to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). “In Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).(

There are many references like this in the Bible. In a way the Bible is kind of a TV Show. You don’t understand what happens in today’s episodes, if you missed yesterday’s.
I understand that it will take a long time to read the Bible from back to back. But let me help you. If you prefer to read the Bible on an app, try this one ( It offers you a reading program, that will help you read the Bible in a year. Basically, you read 4 chapters every day and one day you will have read the entire Bible. If you prefer to read the Bible in an old-fashioned way. If you read 20 minutes every day, you will have read the Bible in a year. Start now and we will see us in a year.

Freitag, 28. September 2018

Elijah: A godly man

Elijah is one of the most well known prophets of the old testament. Yet he reached a point in his life, where he wanted to kill himself. He even asked God to let him die.
The causes for his depression are numerous. First of all the long time he spent in isolation didn‘t helped his mental sanity, neither his unrealistic expectations and emotional exhaustion. But there is also a case to be made, that he was suicidal because of his relationship with God. His relationship seemed to be founded more on power and performance, than on love and intimacy.
God personally restored Elijah. He began with a small wisper. He wanted to bring back Eljah to his place in his kingdom a initate an healthier relationship with him. Would his plan have worked, if he had demonstrated Elijah all his power? Many people have had a similar reaction as Elijah, when he heard God’s whispering voice. He hid his face and cried. Your wildest dream is happening at a time, where you expected it the least. You can feel the presence of Christ like a force right besides you. You plead to him: “Help me, Jesus” and a feeling of peace and holiness rushes through your body. It seems so unreal. Many Christians, even if they go to church every Sunday, have still a doubt if God is real. They say to themselves: “I believe in God,” but in fact there is still a doubt. They are not 100% sure that after death, there is an afterlife. That Jesus even listens to them, when they whisper prayers deep at night. However there are these moments, where you cry out of joy, that Jesus is listening and caring for you. In these moments I hide my a face, ashamed of my doubt. Once we experience God’s love, he indicates our place in his kingdom. In the same way that he asked Elijah, he asks us: “What are you doing, Elijah?” Obviously God knows what we are doing. The question is more of “Who are you? What kind of person are you?” God asks us these questions, because he wants that we face the truth in ourselves.
Often Christian raised kind become agnostic or atheist at the course of their life. The once so obvious holiness of God in the eyes of a child “disappears” because of education and a change of social influences. In fact, nothing disappeared. The facts remain the same, the conclusion is different. It’s a kind of perception that brings us away from God and his salvation. The moments of enlighten gives us freedom. Freedom from the prison of lies and deception. To bond with God is to destroy all superficial relationships and live the truth. Truth means to see ourselves as God sees us. Elijah is able to confront his deepest feelings when in presence of God. Until now he had hidden them, because they were not conform of a prophet. God gave him the power to analyze his feelings, by giving him a slighty whisper of his acknoledgments.

Mittwoch, 26. September 2018

The importance of journaling

Journaling at first glance doesn’t seem like your typical Christian duty or exercise. However, it is a very important tool for every aspiring Christian man.
 Even for non-Christians, writing a journal can be beneficial. When facing difficult challenges, a journal can function as a spiritual windshield wiper. Imagine that you are driving a car and someone throws mud onto your windscreen. Even if you are still on the right road, you still must pay attention to not lose control of your car. Your car offers a way to deal with mud on your windshield window: wipers. A similar function has a journal.
Every day you face different challenges that try to impede you of reaching your goal of holiness. Searching ways to deal with these challenges is on one hand your job, on the other also the job of God. He gives you the tools, but you must use them. God speaks to us through prayer and through scripture.  However, God’s word needs time and thought to grow in us. They grow when we actively think about a solution. And here journaling joins the game.
Writing your problems down helps you seeing your own struggles through a subjective lens. It creates a distance which you can exploit to look to your problem from another point of view. I myself like to write things down to create a certain formality, that would miss if I would simply think or say it. Start journaling 5 minutes every day. Reflect on your struggles and on how to overcome them. Think about your role in God ‘s creation. What messages did God communicate to you along the day? Write it down and think about it.