Today I am going to interview an author who describes ways to maintain a positive attitude. Anyone who has been full-time RVing for long knows that trials and tribulations can pop up unexpectedly to steal your joy, and this author has some ideas for helping to maintain a sense of peace.
John Stange is a pastor of Core Creek Community Church in Langhorne, PA, and the author of a new book titled Dwell on These Things. He has been a pastor for nearly a quarter century, has started three podcasts and written more than a dozen faith-based books.
If leading a church and creating all that material isn’t enough, John and his wife, Andrea, also have four children who they raise in a smaller community just northeast of Philadelphia.
John wrote Dwell on These Things to help people talk to themselves in a way that is more uplifting and encouraging.
He makes a great point that regardless of how much time we may spend speaking with other people, we spend much more time every day talking to ourselves. John says we all tend to preach messages to our hearts that are unhealthy and discouraging.
Many times we allow thoughts of one discouragement after another to replay on an endless loop through our minds. We also subject ourselves to a litany of unhealthy self-criticism that if we allow ourselves to dwell on those ideas, it can rob us of peace and joy.
John’s book is divided into 31 chapters to encourage people to spend some time every day for a month learning to dwell on different things instead. Sometimes we simply have to tune out all the unhelpful messages that are being shouted in our direction and instead listen for a small, still voice giving us a much different message.
John describes why the tone and actual wording of messages we convey to ourselves is so vital for our well-being. That’s because our actions almost always follow our personal beliefs.
There is a battle underway to control our minds, and many people or institutions are trying to tell us not only what to think, but what to think about.
John’s book goes beyond biblical instruction to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. By providing personal examples from his own life, John offers practical suggestions and ideas to take control of our thinking to experience more peace and joy, which enables us to give that to others as well.
Most of us just seem to have a habit of dwelling on negativity and allowing that to shape how we see ourselves and the world around us.
We come to believe that everything we receive is conditional, whether it is love, praise or acceptance. However, we can be transformed to rise above that type of thinking and see true value not just in ourselves, but also in others around us. When we do that, it influences the way we react to people and situations.
For example, the RV lifestyle is often filled with trials and tribulation. It’s hard to be joyful when you’re stranded on the side of the road or stuck in a campground waiting for a repair technician. But, rather than dwelling upon the inconvenience of the situation, it is possible to turn it into a joyful occasion by telling stories, playing games or doing something you normally may not have the time to do, but the extra time being forced upon you at the moment.
As humans, we also want to judge other people by their actions, but we want to be judged by our intentions. We may be offended and upset by a guy weaving in and out of traffic and hope the police catch him around the corner. But, when we are late and really need to get somewhere, we weave in and out of traffic and blow through yellow lights, too. However, we justify our behavior because we have something important to do.
It all comes down to grace or unmerited favor. When we give people grace, it just seems to enable us to receive more grace from others for our mistakes and shortcomings as well.
I started reading John’s book just before I interviewed him a few weeks ago, and I will wrap it up in about a week. I have noticed a marked improvement in my attitude during that time. I don’t know if it was John’s book or the fact I also turned off all news since Memorial Day, but by dwelling on different things, I have an entirely different outlook on life.
Today’s episode is sponsored by The Dreamer’s Journey, a new online course and community produced by Workamper News. Life is way too short to keep your dreams on hold, so don’t be held back by fear because you were designed for more! Get started with the RV lifestyle the right way with this comprehensive guide.
For just $29.95 for 90 days access, Dreamers have unlimited viewing of 50+ videos to learn things like what type of RV to buy, goal setting, how to budget for the adventure, developing a positive mindset, setting up a domicile, operating a small business on the road, plus all about Workamping and how to find the right job for you. Each video is 30-90 minutes long giving in-depth coverage on each topic.
There’s no wrong time to get started. For more information, visit www.rvdreamersjourney.com.
That’s all I have for today’s show. Next week, I’ll be speaking with a Workamper who serves as a host on an excursion train within the Georgia State Park system. It’s a very interesting story and I’ll have it for you next week on The Workamper Show.