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The Marriage Commitment – Be Faithful in Thought & Action

January 13th, 2011 by mtoone

Be Faithful in Thought & ActionOur thoughts lead to actions. Continuous actions result in habits. Developed habits mold our character. And no matter what we outwardly portray to others, it is our inner character that determines our happiness and success, or our misery and ultimate destruction. Because this is true, the question for those who are married must be – will the current thoughts that I allow or entertain result in actions that will develop trust, strengthen the relationship, and result in a happy and successful marriage?

In regards to marriage, what is love? Without question, it is a wonderful romantic feeling and attraction two people feel for each other. However, it is – and must be – much more than simply a feeling (or a thought). Love is a Read the rest of this entry »

The Journey of Life – Choose the Fork Less Traveled

December 29th, 2010 by mtoone

Choose the Path Less TraveledAlong the path called ‘the journey of life,’ we often come across forks in the road that force us to make moral or difficult decisions. I am not referring to the large and important decisions of life such as: where to obtain an education, what career to choose, where to live, or even who to marry. I am referring to the smaller, yet perhaps more significant, daily decisions that mold our character, determine our happiness, and eventually shape our destiny.

Both paths of these diverging forks bring with them certain appeal, benefits, drawbacks, as well as consequences. The fork on the left, for example, is Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Women: The 9 Most Important Things Every Woman Must Know & Do

December 1st, 2010 by mtoone

Tips 4 WomenI have written hundreds of articles and blog entries, and in my opinion, each one contains extremely important information and helpful tips. However, comparatively, the advice contained within this article is far more important than any other topic I have ever written about! If women understood, believed, and implemented these principles, our very society would change forever; for the influence of a woman touches, impacts, and changes each of our lives. That is how strongly I feel about these 9 important tips below. From little girls to teenagers, young women to grandma’s, daughters and sisters, married or single women, and especially mother’s everywhere – my hope is that you will not only recognize the significance of these principles, but understand the impact you can have on men and people everywhere if and when you implement them. Read the rest of this entry »

Fathers & Husbands Can Do & Be More – 8 Tips All Men Must Apply

November 5th, 2010 by mtoone

Fathers & Husbands Can Do and Be MoreFathers, husbands, and men everywhere would be wise to realize that real success in life is not determined by career accomplishments, wealth obtained, educational institutions attended, awards won, or even the cars we drive and houses we own. While all of these things mentioned are certainly important, valuable, and should be sought after – real success must solely be determined by who we become, the people we help and serve, and the devotion to, rearing of, commitment towards, and time made for the most important relationships in life – our spouse, children, and family members. Read the rest of this entry »

Parenthood: 30 Things My Parents Did that Made All the Difference (Part 1)

October 18th, 2010 by mtoone

Parenthood - It Is Hard ... But Extremely RewardingParenting, in many regards, is difficult. It requires work, persistence, and patience. The very word parenthood is synonymous with challenges, frustrations, and responsibility. However, parents everywhere will also collectively agree that parenthood is also the source of the greatest joy, satisfaction, happiness that life has to offer. All the work, responsibility, and even challenges are worth every effort and sacrifice. In fact, perhaps the reason why we experience so much happiness through parenthood is because we develop the most important attribute of life – that of unselfishness. Ironic that we actually find our lives through the losing of them!

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have two incredible parents – a father and mother who loved me, cared for me, taught me, disciplined me, and truly epitomized what successful parenthood is all about. While they were not perfect (although close), they did certain things that I feel every parent would benefit from knowing, and especially emulating. Below are listed Read the rest of this entry »

Pornography is Destroying Lives & Families – 7 Things You Must Do to Prevent This

September 4th, 2010 by mtoone

Pornography - Our Modern SlaveryEach of us is exposed to and bombarded by – on a daily basis – an evil that is extremely enticing and appealing, so selfishly gratifying (temporarily), so completely unavoidably addictive, and so incredibly damaging to our lives, families, and society. It is a plague and modern day slavery that is slowly and subtly destructive, and yet it is justified by the supposed mass-popularity, innate natural passions within us all, and the wrongly assumed reasoning that participation in this evil is simply an expression of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice.’

Anyone addicted to pornography will certainly attest and declare that the fruits of this selfish, temporary self-gratifying evil, is anything but ‘freedom.’ Pornography is an industry that makes a few wealthy at the expense of destroying lives, tearing apart marriages and families, and essentially weakening the very foundation of our society.

And yet, one would naturally ask – ‘how can I avoid this evil when the majority of advertisements, websites, commercials, images, videos, TV shows, to the very clothes others wear (or do not wear), expose me to and entice me towards this very evil?’ Read the rest of this entry »

40 Fun & Meaningful Family Activity Ideas

August 21st, 2010 by mtoone

Make Time 4 FamilySuccess in life must not be determined by the degrees obtained, institutions attended, awards won, career achievements, or wealth acquired. Real success in life should only be determined by who we become, the attributes we obtain, the kindness we show, the goodness we radiate, and the unselfish service we give. Likewise, our success in family life, marriage, parenthood, and the eventual outcome of our children should be determined by this same standard.

And while it is a sad reality that our current day media, literature, advertisements, education system, businesses, and entertainment industry certainly do not preach that same message, the ironic reality is that deep within the heart of man – throughout every age of human existence – people everywhere know that the principle described above is true! Not only is the family the most important institution to the development and progression and morality of our society, it is family relationships that are Read the rest of this entry »

Family Traditions – 30 Fun & Meaningful Ideas for Any Family (Part 1)

July 7th, 2010 by mtoone

Family TraditionsFamily traditions help provide to each family member a home, environment, and relationships of purpose in a world of confusion, disorganization, and decreasing morals and values. Traditions provide families the desired foundation of comfort, familiarity, and consistency, which certainly helps ensure that family disunity, dysfunction, and eventual separation does not occur. And yet, the most effective family traditions are not those that only occur annually on certain holidays – they are made evident in daily and weekly habits and actions that are simple, yet significant.

No, these traditions are not about large meals, big events, fancy decorations, or annual celebrations – these are the very traditions that help define who we are, determine our personal and family happiness, and even the eventual outcome of our children. As you will see below, there are Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Help the Beggar?

June 23rd, 2010 by mtoone

Help the BeggarThere is a sad, unfortunate, and all-too-common scenario that happens on the street corners of the majority of large cities across the world. The situation is familiar to us all because we each have faced it several times. And while the locations and people may be different, the circumstances are often similar. Usually the setting includes a man or woman who is extremely unkept, smells and looks as though they have not showered for weeks, is often sitting next to the entirety of what they own, and their eyes and hands are outstretched pleading for assistance.

But I have often wondered what is more unfortunate – the awful circumstance of the sad and desperate beggar, whose situation was brought on by poor choices or unavoidable life circumstances; or is it actually found in the judgmental, scared, or selfish throngs of people who carelessly pass by these beggars – who also are human beings? Read the rest of this entry »

Successful & Happy Marriage – 10 Secrets You Must Implement

June 9th, 2010 by mtoone

Successful and Happy MarriageThe greatest joy and success in life comes from a happy marriage where two equal partners love each other in thought and action, unselfishly put their partner’s concerns over their own, and stays committed no matter the challenges and trials that life inevitably throws at us all. Unfortunately, our society writes songs, makes movies, and engrains into our minds that when two people fall in love and get married, it will of course be ‘happily ever after.’ And yet, the divorce courts are overflowing because ‘happily ever after’ is not achieved because both partners fail to put forth the necessary effort and work, the change and patience, and the love and commitment to make a successful marriage work.

Understandably, no person or marriage is perfect, and some marriages fail and must end for obvious and necessary reasons; however, the overwhelming majority of marriages (and families for that matter) could be saved if Read the rest of this entry »

Sexual & Pornographic Media Influences – 10 Tips to Conquer the Daily Battle

May 26th, 2010 by mtoone

Pornography - Our Modern SlaveryI wish it weren’t true, but unfortunately for us all – sex, immorality, and immodesty sells. As a few greedy individuals and companies make a profit from this sleazy material, the realistic and sad result is that – thoughts are corrupted, commitments and responsibilities are discarded, selfishness and temporary gratification become more important than self control, sins and crimes are committed, addictions are developed, families are torn apart, and slowly our society’s very foundational values have disintegrated.

Keeping thoughts clean, turning away from temptation, or altogether avoiding pornography is becoming increasingly more difficult considering the fact that – the vast majority of movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, advertisements, and websites are immoral, immodest, sexual, and pornographic in nature. We are daily bombarded … and thus daily fighting a battle. It is a battle to keep our thoughts, actions, habits, and character clean and pure and chaste. Read the rest of this entry »

The Definition of Real Success in Life

May 12th, 2010 by mtoone

Real Success in LifeYour success in life is not determined by the education obtained, institutions attended, career accomplishments, awards won, or the wealth you acquire. Real success in life is solely determined on who you become, the character and attributes you develop, the people you help, and whether or not at the end of the day you were true to the most important priorities in life – namely: God & Family.

And yet our culture and society certainly do not proclaim that same message. From the media to our educational system, from our co-workers to our neighbors, and even from our peers to our own family members, the unfortunate message that most often gets communicated is that our inner character is secondary (if even considered) to the tangible accomplishments and material possessions we obtain when determining our success in life.

However, we should never assume that because Read the rest of this entry »

Parenthood: 30 Things My Parents Did that Made All the Difference (Part 2)

April 28th, 2010 by mtoone

Parenthood - Make Time 4 FamilyParenting, in many regards, is difficult. It requires work, persistence, and patience. The very word parenthood is synonymous with challenges, frustrations, and responsibility. However, parents everywhere will also collectively agree that parenthood is also the source of the greatest joy, satisfaction, happiness that life has to offer. All the work, responsibility, and even challenges are worth every effort and sacrifice. In fact, perhaps the reason why we experience so much happiness through parenthood is because we develop the most important attribute of life – that of unselfishness. Ironic that we actually find our lives through the losing of them!

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have two incredible parents – a father and mother who loved me, cared for me, taught me, disciplined me, and truly epitomized what successful parenthood is all about. While they were not perfect (although close), they did certain things that I feel every parent would benefit from knowing, and especially emulating. Below are listed Read the rest of this entry »

Family & Marriage Finances 101: The 14 Essentials Everyone Must Know

April 14th, 2010 by mtoone

Family & Marriage FinancesThere are two words that are very closely synonymous with the two words ‘family happiness’ – those two words are ‘family finances’! Notice I did not say ‘family wealth’ – happiness in a home, marriage, and family is most often directly correlated with the ability of the parents to properly manage (not necessarily accumulate) and budget their finances. It is unfortunately true that over 80% of all divorces result, in some way or another, because of finances. More tragic than the divorce is the fact that families are torn apart, children suffer, and society is feeling the negative ramifications of this all too common reality.

At the outset, it is absolutely important to note that the 14 essential principles described below are not designed to teach people how to accumulate wealth through the application of the principles described. The sole objective in revealing and explaining these principles if for one purpose – to help marriages and people everywhere experience the family happiness that results from the application of simple financial principles. Will applying these principles require Read the rest of this entry »

Money, Credit, & Greed: 8 Tips Parents Must Teach Their Children

March 31st, 2010 by mtoone

Money, Credit, & Greed ... and a freaky guyOne thing that our educational system fails to teach is financial literacy. As important as subjects such as humanities and biochemistry are, for example, the reality is that to the majority of people, these topics have very little real life application on a day to day basis. The study of compounding interest, building and protecting your credit, monthly budgeting, proper use of credit cards, and even retirement investing are unfortunately rarely mentioned (if even offered) in our curriculum. What makes the matter worse is the fact that companies, media, movies, and our very culture daily bombard parents and youth with countless advertisements and opportunities to spend, accumulate debt, obtain unnecessary material possessions, and satisfy the greedy nature within us all.

The solution to such a problem is certainly easier said than done. However, perhaps the real problem does not lie in the youth’s ignorance of finance related topics, or the bombardment of media influences; perhaps the real problem lies in the inability of parents to understand, teach, and exemplify the very principles our youth so desperately need to learn. And what is it that our youth absolutely must learn? Or perhaps better phrased – what is it that parents absolutely must understand, teach, and exemplify before we can ever expect our youth to do the same? Read the rest of this entry »

Family Time: 10 Tips to Ensure Family Happiness & Success

March 17th, 2010 by mtoone

Family TimeWe as individuals and families are not ignorant to the cultural temptations and influences each of us face. Let’s be honest – none of us individually or as families are perfect, but we all can change, improve, and discipline ourselves more. And we must! I have personally found, as I am sure many have, that in the limited precious time of each day, my decisions (good or bad) determine and demonstrate my priorities. And can we not all agree that while we each have priorities such as work, school, community, church, recreation, and personal activities – nothing is more important than the home and the family! No matter what success, degree, or award we attain in this life, it will certainly be meaningless if we have eventually failed in our own homes.

Thus, the question is – what am I personally doing (or not doing) in regards to my family that I can improve upon today? Read the rest of this entry »

Parenting Advice: 6 Conversations Every Parent Should Have With Their Child

March 3rd, 2010 by mtoone

Parent-Child ConversationsUnfortunately, these 6 conversations rarely occur because parents do not understand or believe the principles discussed. Thus, having these conversations with our children is secondary to the importance of parents first believing that these principles are true and important. However, every parent must speak to their children about these topics – and do it often! These are not one-time conversations, or even topics of conversation that should happen regularly; more importantly, they principles discussed in these conversations must become the very mentality and actions of the parents, which of course will hopefully result in our children developing these very same important actions and mentality. Our children must not only hear and know these things, but also believe them and thus live accordingly. Read the rest of this entry »

Entertainment of the World vs. Family Time – Our Daily Battle

February 17th, 2010 by mtoone

Entertainment of the World vs. Family TimeI want you to honestly answer the few questions listed below:

  • When was the last time you went to the movies?
  • When you got home from work last night, how much TV did you watch?
  • Have you taken your spouse out on a date in the last month?
  • When was the last ‘Family Night’ that you and the whole family had together?
  • Have you been out with friends or ‘buddies’ more than you have with your own children (or spouse) lately?
  • Is that next TV show episode or the ‘big game’ more of a priority than helping the kids with their homework – or just playing with the kids?
  • Does the violence, language, and immorality of the movies and TV shows you watch not even phase or bother you anymore?
  • Are the kids spending more time on the computer, cell phone, or video games than they are with friends, playing, and with family?
  • When was the last time you had a daddy-daughter or mother-son date?

It is unfortunately true that we each have been – or still are – guilty of allowing the entertainment of the world to occupy much more time than the time spent with our own family. While going to the movies, watching TV, being on the computer, or going ‘out’ with friends are certainly not bad in and of themselves, the reality is that we do it so often that we neglect the very spouse, children, and relationships that are most important to us. What is worse, we Read the rest of this entry »

Child Discipline: 7 Tips Every Parent Must Implement

February 3rd, 2010 by mtoone

Child DisciplineIf there is one thing that every parent can agree on in regards to rearing and disciplining children, it is this: that it is very hard, extremely important, takes constant effort, and is of course rewarding and totally worthwhile. ‘Why’ we need to love, teach, and even discipline children is not questioned, it is the ‘how’ that causes confusion, disagreements, and where the true challenge lies.

Perhaps what is most important to keep in mind, at the outset, is that no two parents are alike. Likewise, no two children are alike. And everyone’s situation and circumstances are different. What may work for some, might not work for others. What is considered ‘right’ by most, may be seen as ‘wrong’ by a few. And that is perfectly fine! We thus need to stop worrying about what others say, do, or don’t do, and put forth effort and focus on trying to teach, raise, and discipline our own children the ‘right’ way according to our own beliefs, situations, circumstances, personalities, and different children’s needs.

However, with that said, I personally feel there are a few things that every parent should implement Read the rest of this entry »

Family & Marriage Success: 25 Inspiring & Meaningful Quotes & Sayings

January 20th, 2010 by mtoone

Family & Marriage SuccessThrough humor and insightful wisdom, these great men and women listed below have written perhaps some of the greatest thoughts about the importance of marriage and the family unit to us individually – and to the world. However, may we never forget that writing – and reading – about these truths is not enough. Our great challenge lies in ensuring that the inspiration and motivation we feel from reading these quotes translates into implementation of the very truths expressed. Said more plainly – our thoughts must convert into actions! More than motivational quotes, these truths must be implemented so that they become our very character. And, never forget that success in life should never be determined by our worldly accomplishments and possessions, but by the very character we develop, the people we serve, and the commitment we demonstrate to our marriage and family. Happiness or misery in life is most certainly impacted by and results from Read the rest of this entry »