Get Back in the Game…


There was a time when you were incredibly enthusiastic about life. You had your dreams for the future and felt that your possibilities were absolutely endless. You woke each day excited about your future and what you might contribute to the world. Maybe your enthusiasm continues to this day. But for many, sadly, this is no longer the case. Many folks have resigned themselves to the sidelines, not dead yet, but not in the play. What happens to us that so artfully talks us out of our dreams? Who convinces us to give up on the things we so desperately want for our lives? How can we, no matter our years, get back in the game? 

Everything you ever wanted in your life, you can have, if you can believe for it. Life and circumstance aren’t responsible for the limitation. God isn’t behind it, no matter how many Facebook memes claim otherwise. It isn’t your background, your education or your upbringing. It’s you, my friend. The limitation, if there is one, is you. It sounds simplistic, but it’s true. In the final analysis, at the core, at the very root is you and what you believe in your heart. The reason you don’t get the things you want is because you don’t believe you can have them. Your friend, who is ten years younger than you and makes three times more than you, does so because he believes he can. He isn’t highly favored or lucky, nor was he born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In his heart he believed he could and in so believing did. You can achieve the dreams you have for your life, many of which God put in your heart, if you can believe you can. But, believing is a process and sometimes that process takes time. The devil cannot stymie your dreams or take them from you, absent your cooperation. You cooperate by adhering to and believing all the evidence to the contrary. In short, you get talked out of it. Achieving your dreams will never appear to be easy, but will come with obstacles and challenges you must surmount. Neither the obstacles, nor the challenges can stop you from receiving, unless you give up on what it is you want. You are not in the game because you gave up on yourself.

In the game of life, no one puts you on the sideline except yourself. The coach didn’t bench you. God didn’t bench you. You benched you! You gave up. You surrendered. You decided along the way that you were not worth (or worthy) of the things you want. Oh you weren’t functioning in a vacuum.  Your ideas, your beliefs, your expectations were influenced. That influence, call it what you may, succeeded in getting you to believe and accept something that isn’t true. It chipped away at you, day by day, week by week, year by year, until it convinced you to settle for something far less than God’s best. Maybe it spent considerable time outlining how your previous bad behavior disqualified you from receiving something good from God today. Perhaps it persuaded you that your efforts were futile and that you didn’t make any impact worth pursuing. Possibly it just distracted you and got you caught up in activities that wasted your time and didn’t lead to anything. Whatever happened, however it happened, if you are sitting on the sidelines and not in the game, it happened. There’s no point in lamenting how it happened to you. The solution is simply to get back in the game!

You get back in the game by remembering again the things that are most important to you. What is it or was it that made your heart race? What do you well that is easy for you to do that could benefit others in some capacity, that you foolishly stopped pursuing? Where and in what is your impact obvious? Start there… Maybe those things aren’t clear enough for you yet. Instead, what parts of life do you no longer participate in? Life, if left unchecked and unguarded, has a funny way of reducing things down to the bare minimums. Over the years, a thousand interests turn into a hundred interests, then to ten interests, ending in no interests. Who took away your interests? What gave you a reason to give up on your interests and convinced you that you had seen and done it all? Who stole away your uniqueness and individuality? What persuaded you into believing that you had nothing left to offer; are now too old, or that it is too late for you? It’s bad enough that we all have to die one day, but worse that we can die before we are actually dead. 

Your life, my life, is frightfully short. Frightfully short! You owe it to yourself and to God to live your life to the fullest. Get outside your own head. Quit stewing and brewing over whatever has gone on thus far and check yourself back into the game. Challenge those age old assumptions you have been making about yourself and your situation. Challenge those limitations that say you can’t. Get up off the ground, dust yourself off and check back into the game! The same way you unknowingly checked out, the same way you can check yourself back in again. Try something new. Make a new friend. Pick up a new hobby. It’s not really about your age or your energy level. It’s about not giving up on yourself and believing to see where your life still has the capacity to make a lasting impact on someone else. Every single day of your precious life holds the promise of something wonderful. But, it’s not going to knock on your door and find you. You have to find it, though it was never really hidden from you to begin with. Have you been living on the sidelines hoping, wishing something would change so that you could live again? That something is you and it always was you. Get back in the game! We all need you…

Just some good thoughts…

Self Talk…


Human beings, unlike any other creature, contain this wonderful capacity to say things to themselves. It’s called self-talk. Inside, where no one else can hear, you can engage in your own internal dialogue whereby you say things to yourself, about yourself, concerning yourself. We all do it. The question is, what sort of things are you saying to yourself? How are you treating yourself? Are you being kind and patient with yourself or do you scold yourself for your shortcomings? Do you allow yourself the privilege to be human or are you harsh and overly critical with yourself? It’s time for some real honesty about the relationship you have been having with yourself! How is your self talk?

As you move about in the world, chances are you treat people the way you have been treating yourself. If you find yourself being critical of everyone and everything, it is a sure fire indicator that you have been levying that same criticism against yourself. If you have been angry and full of frustration towards others, you must be angry and frustrated with yourself. All of those emotions and negative feelings got their start somewhere. Their origin can be found within. Similarly, you cannot really love other people until you love yourself. You cannot freely forgive other people without first extending that forgiveness inward. Your behaviors and actions towards others are always a direct reflection of what is going inside you. As crazy as it may sound, you are literally in a relationship with yourself. You aren’t just you acting, absent anything going on inside of you. And, like any relationship, it is either maintained or damaged by how you communicate; by what you say. What is it that you are saying?

There is absolutely nothing positive that can come out of berating and chastising yourself. It just doesn’t work. Who do you know that got any better as a result of being severely castigated and rebuked? Sure, we all need correction at times, but hurling insults towards yourself and outlining, in order, all that is wrong with yourself is a recipe for failure. If you chew yourself up and spit yourself out, who is left behind to pick up the pieces? If you insist on opposing your own self, who is left over to fight for you? In the final analysis it is aberrant behavior and it comes forth from evil. Every single animal in the animal kingdom knows to fight for itself and protect itself. Animals do not work against their own best interests, but people do. But, when people do it, it is unnatural. Something, somewhere has gotten to you. Something has been working to turn you against yourself. Once you finally figure that one out, you have a chance to change it. Here is a welcome newsflash – every wrong thing you have ever done; every mistake you have ever made; every hurt you have ever caused; every dum dum thing you ever got caught up in, happened because of evil influences outside of yourself. If there was no such thing as evil, those influences would not exist and absent their influences, you would always make a better choice. Don’t you see it? All of that self torture you have been inflicting upon yourself is wrong on an epic scale. It is not noble or humble or pious, it is evil working within you to defeat you! If God be for you, who can be against you?

You must, in the absolute honesty of your soul, stop doing that to yourself. Stop opposing yourself. Stop speaking and doling out cruelty towards your own self. It is enough to stand against the endless accusations and judgments of the world without cooperating by endorsing and supporting it. I think you wouldn’t dare say the things you say to yourself, to other people. Yet, inside it is just another thought, spoken without any real consideration. Well, consider it! See it for what it really is. Look, if you had a friend whom you loved, what would you say to them? When, in the honesty of their own soul, they shared the negative things they thought about themselves, wouldn’t you challenge them? Wouldn’t you encourage them and point out all their good parts? Wouldn’t you extend your heart to them and offer how much you loved them? Wouldn’t you? Well, what about you and your own heart? Couldn’t you, at least, do that for yourself? Couldn’t you remind yourself that you are a work in progress; a human being with flaws and weaknesses? Couldn’t you give yourself a pass at times? Couldn’t you chalk it up to learning and give yourself a fresh, new start? Of course you could and you most assuredly should? You’ve got enough to stand against and oppose day by day, to try and accomplish it divided against your own self. Can’t you be a little better towards yourself?

One of the greatest defeats a human being will ever suffer is what happens when a person allows themselves to be talked into actively opposing their own best interests, to live in perpetual and active opposition against themselves. Every time you put yourself down; every time you speak harshness to yourself; every time you chastise and berate yourself, you are simply cooperating with your own personal adversary in severely limiting and hurting yourself. You have to learn how to be kind to yourself. You have to be patient with yourself. You have to get off your own back and encourage yourself towards a more worthy endeavor. None of us like it when we blow it, when we fail to measure up, when we fall short of the person we know in our hearts that we really ought to be. None of us. But, if you are honest, you know the only way to do better is to be better and we accomplish that by choosing carefully what we say to ourselves. God is on your side, even when you aren’t! Change what you have been saying to yourself and let God clean up the rest. How has your self talk been going lately? I hope it is full of love…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Keep it Moving…


The peculiar thing about life is that it only moves in one direction. All living things are in a constant state of flux. Nothing stagnates and survives. Like time, life can only be played forward and the key to your success is to keep moving ahead. Failure comes not so much from making mistakes as you move, but your failure to move altogether! Keep it moving!

You were designed by your Creator to live and move and have your being! (Acts 17:28) You have your days that you might live them, be done with them and enjoy the prospects of the new ones. As the sun travels across the sky ever moving, you travel through your life ever moving also. How many times in your life have you been exhorted to “move ahead” or to “move on?” The essence of that sage advice is that you cannot afford to sit still or to dwell in some long since past event that you can neither effect, live, nor change in any way. Cleaving to the former days; to your former enlightenment; to the former good days when life was “simple” is always a deception. It’s a deception because it is based on a perception you no longer entertain. Back then you were who you were back then. Today you are who you are today. Sure you may have enjoyed a certain innocence, but you also suffered many bruises as you gained perspective and learned your lessons. There’s nothing more sad than to see a person desperately trying to cleave to a period long past. Doing so concludes that today no longer holds the promise that yesterday held. Instead you must move ahead embracing your special memories, recognizing the influence they had on the person you are today. You have to keep it moving!

Moving forward keeps the barnacles from adhering to your deck! Things that have stopped moving corrupt and rust. Similarly, when you stop moving forward, for whatever reason, you also begin to decay. A stagnant pool is so because it has no influx of new water. Soon it begins to stink and becomes a breeding ground for disease. What has stopped you from moving in your life? Was it some catastrophic event? Was it some epic loss that rendered you forever incapable of experiencing life again? When the patriarch David’s son died, despite his enduring grief and emptiness of soul, he knew he had to wash his face and move ahead. It didn’t serve to minimize the tragedy of his loss, but instead afforded him a chance to continue to live. No matter what has happened to you, painful as it was and is, you have to find a way to move ahead.

The great enemy of life lives amidst a perpetual scheme to stop you from moving forward. He probes and plots to produce the conditions that cause you to stagger and stop. The lion roars to freeze his prey! The adversary, through fear, roars to stop you in your tracks. As long as you move ahead, he cannot pounce. But, fear will impede your forward movement. In reacting to and considering the devilish proposition, your forward momentum begins to slow. As you slow down, you begin to recognize more and more from which to be afraid! Now, sitting there frozen in fear, life becomes a living hell. The only reasonable solution is to move forward. Do something! Take action on the thing that is making you so fearful. Go to the doctor. Take the test. Have the conversation. Do something. Have you ever noticed that often in the midst of great stress and anxiety, moving your mind forward in some other activity often helps you to gain perspective? Go help someone. Move your thoughts in a different direction. Let whatever it is go for a minute and focus your attention elsewhere. Fear is a human conundrum from which it can be very difficult to escape. When you are afraid life slows to a standstill! How long the night lasts wrapped up in some worried, anxious concern. Instead of participating in an endless game from which you cannot escape, give the situation to God and move ahead! Make your mind move ahead!

In order to live the best life, in order to gain the most from your days, you have to determine yourself to keep moving ahead. You find yourself distracted for three months concerning some dread and suddenly for whatever reason are able to let it go, only to find that the thing you so ardently dreaded never happened anyway! But, you sacrificed three months in the process. Although you found a way to win, you still lost precious time along the way. You have to learn to live the day fully and not carry it into the new day. Move ahead. Let the past go and be now done with it. Keep it moving. Quit looking back and look ahead. As you move, God moves with you. In the new day you are free to be whomever you want to be. Why continue carrying around that dead carcass of the past? Today you have fresh new perspectives. Today you have opportunities unlimited. Move, move, move ahead!

We are all in the same boat together folks! What has scared you has scared me also. You have your scars and I have my scars as well. Those scars may remind you of a painful time, but they don’t have to hurt anymore. Often things heal the most rapidly when we at last loosen our grip on them and let them go. How quickly things resolve when we decide to move ahead! Yet how long things seem to endure when we stop our forward progress focusing only on what may not be right about our lives. Whatever it is that is troubling you, whatever it is that has impeded your forward progress, whatever it is that has caused your life to slow to a standstill, know this – you can resolve it once and for all when you finally decide to move ahead!

You have to keep it moving!

Just some good thoughts…

The Great Energy Drain…


Have you ever felt like you are lacking energy and have lost your enthusiasm for living? Do you often feel like life has become a drudgery and that there is nothing hardly to look forward to anymore? Has life just worn you down and you can’t seem to find the way back up? Are you simply tired of it all? These feelings are all part of the human journey and you don’t live many years without experiencing them in some form or fashion. The solution (and there is a solution) may surprise you!

The problem with problems is that they wouldn’t be a problem if we knew the answer. Behind every problem; behind every issue that assaults our minds is some hidden cause. The more hidden the cause, the greater the likelihood of the problem continuing. Our spiritual opponent, the ultimate energy drain, functions in secret. The greater his secrecy, the greater his success. What you don’t know will hurt you! Often people find themselves attempting to address their issues with activities that have absolutely nothing to do with the real cause. In this way, humans become pawns in a grand chess game, unknowingly making moves that lead to nothing but wasted time and wasted years. When we suffer lack in some capacity, it seems the solution would be to add something to the equation. If we lack energy, we seek after methods to increase our energy by getting more sleep, eating healthier, adding exercise or swearing off sugar and alcohol. And, while these options are based in physical science, they fail to consider the spiritual reality behind the problem. It isn’t that we are lacking the necessary energy, it is that we are allowing the existence of something that is stealing away our precious energy!

There are two great motivating principles in life – love and fear. Actions you take in love serve to increase your energy and multiply your enthusiasm for living. Actions you take based on fear, however subtly or cleverly disguised, ALWAYS lead to a depletion of your energy and produce its faithful companion – misery. Please read that sentence again! The root cause of your distinct lack of energy is FEAR! Remember the secret of his success is the secrecy of his moves (against you). If it was obvious to you, you would see it for what it is and seek a remedy. However, fear is often deeply veiled and hidden from view. Most people and I do mean most people, do not recognize the fear in their own lives. They don’t see it because they live in a world that runs and thrives on fear. Fear is the the great taskmaster making slaves of its subjects. The world, absent the light of God, is forever subject to slavery, literally ever afraid of a myriad of negative possibilities. And this, my friend, is the way people are living today on a steady and cruel diet of fear from sun-up to sundown; terrified of diseases, horrified at the prospect of getting infected, afraid of failing, scared of succeeding, worried about their children, frightened about the economy and on and on and on… The reason you lack enthusiasm for living is because fear has stopped you in your tracks! Fear impedes and hampers the natural process of life and reduces life to survival and acceptance of mediocre thinking and subsequent living.

Fear is always an illusion and the only real solution to the illusion is refusal concerning its existence. You cannot expect to live in perpetual acceptance of its existence by considering it and entertaining it and dwelling on it, then wonder why you feel the way you do. You are not excited about your future anymore because you have long been entertaining the lies about how your future is going to play out. You are letting your spiritual opponent define the narrative. Evil cannot see the future anymore than you can, but it can do a damn good job of convincing you about how it might turn out, which when considered and held on to long enough eventually shapes your reality. The solution to fear is first to recognize where it is working in your life, then to stop allowing it entree’ into your mind. Stop thinking it. Stop considering it. Stop giving it space. Look, everyone knows that there are a million things that could go wrong in life, but no one has ever been successful at stopping those things from happening by being afraid, worrying incessantly, or churning over their possibilities for hours, days, weeks and years.  No one! The only way to escape the clutches of fear is to starve it out.

Don’t waste another moment trying to figure out how to become comfortable with fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Perfect love casts out fear. God is love. Once you begin to rid yourself of the great energy drain called fear, you will find yourself increasing in energy and enthusiasm for living. When you are afraid you separate yourself from God; your only real source of help. Fear is sin. Fear seeks to deny the existence of God and seeks to enslave you to a counterfeit master. Finally see it for what it is – a lie. You’ll find that once you stop dutifully entertaining fear and instead hand over the care of your life to God, your peace will return; your enthusiasm and vitality will come back; the joy of living will find its way back to you again. This is very serious business folks and you have to do your part!

Life is a blessing to be lived to the full. We all get tripped up, we all get assaulted, we all go off track for a time. We are in a contest with an opponent that plays for keeps. We owe it to God and we owe it to ourselves to consider that there might be a better way to live. Make up your mind that enough is enough and that you aren’t going to stumble and bumble through another day. God wants you to understand spiritual realties and He is more than willing to turn on the light and help you see. Have you been a victim of the great energy drain? Why not tap into the source of life Himself?! God is love and God is life…

Just some good thoughts…

Annoyingly Annoyed, Agitated and Angry!


Have you ever found yourself just completely and unapologetically annoyed with people? Have you ever spent the day angry about everything? What is it that happens to us on certain days or maybe even for certain weeks when we have literally no patience left for circumstances and situations? What burr got under our saddle? Who are those thorns in the flesh? What has gotten us so pissed off? And, from whence does that agitation originate? Indeed, how did we end up so annoyingly annoyed, agitated and angry?

If you are anything like me, you know that sometimes people and situations just bug the living shit out of you! Oh try as you might to return to your positive status quo, you just can’t seem to locate it. Something happened to you. Something somewhere somehow got to you. Are you just grumpy or hungry or sleepy, or is there another variable involved? Your emotions, as varied and complex as they are, are still fed by the thoughts and feelings you are accepting or confronting. Your mind does not function in a vacuum. Words and opinions and experiences all work to take you somewhere be it good or bad. Words carry with them tremendous power to shape your mindset and encourage or discourage you. Opinions, though always personal in nature, work with you when you share them and work against you when you disagree. Experiences must be interpreted and they are done so in the light of what you are thinking at the time. Some days we want to write off as bad days, close up shop and start fresh tomorrow. Other days we feel we have energy unlimited and can do anything we desire. Just what exactly is going on?

Every single thing you put into your mind has some kind of effect on you. Every. Single. Thing. There are no such things as benign thoughts. Every Facebook post, every Instagram meme, every so called news report or article, every conversation, every skillfully crafted advertisement, every text string, every email, every LinkedIn posting, every single asinine campaign ad, every reality television program makes some type of impact on your mind. You see it, you read it, you rehearse it, you contemplate it, ending in some type of effect on how you are going to feel. If you are not careful, soon you find yourself swept away and annoyed. For me, it’s not differences in opinions that bother me, it’s the general absence of any fathomable logic or common sense. It’s group think. It’s all or nothing processing where all choices are centered in either A or B. How absurd? There is good and evil and a whole world of choices in between. Americans in particular seem to have been lulled into non-thinking largely based on the cheap effects of social media. Empty words, empty ideas, completely illogical concepts and gross generalizations based on some bullshit someone else came up with. Reading it and considering it absolutely fries my soul! But, as has been the case since time began, the problem isn’t all the outside influences trying to captivate and capture our minds, the real problem is in our consideration of those irrational concepts and lies. Lies, lies, lies all craftily designed to dull and diminish our God-given capability to think for ourselves.

The solution to our dilemma is not to fuss and fume and fret ourselves over the latest line of insanity to assault our minds, but instead refuse it. This precarious notion that being an adult means having to patiently sift through the garbage bin, politely agreeing to disagree, trying to find logic in illogic or acting as if everything is true just a different kind of true, is abject delusion and nonsense! It was the consideration of evil that led to the first man’s demise and it will, without doubt, lead to yours as well. Your job, my job is to separate ourselves from it. Stop listening to it. Get away from the people that promote it. Well, you can scroll past it they say. Yes, I can but I’m worse off for having done so. Every small piece of poop you leave on your shoe is part of a collective larger piece of poop on your shoe, you will be left with in your mind. Stop arguing with them! Quit trying to interject something logical into something that isn’t logical to begin with. Nuts is nuts is nuts is nuts! Walk away from it. The reason you are feeling so agitated is that you keep giving the source of agitation access to you and isn’t your former friend that is behind it! Clean up your friends list! Better, stay off the feed for awhile. Figure out what it is that is upsetting you and remove its access to you.

Finally, recognize what it is you are saying to yourself or worse, what you are saying about yourself. No one in their right mind is opposed to their own selves. By the time you are angry with yourself and no longer like that person staring back at you from the mirror, something has already worked you over. Something has succeeded in diminishing your worth to the point where you remain perpetually angry with your very own self! You are a human being and like all humans will find yourself unknowingly participating in some absurdity from time to time. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to blow it, miss the mark, fail in your efforts and generally fall short of the person God called you to be. The nature of error preexists in your bloodline. Instead of being angry with yourself, figure out what it is that you are telling yourself about yourself. If it is causing you unrest it is probably not true. God, like any good parent, doesn’t make you better by pointing out your flaws but rather by pointing out all that is right about you. He graciously provided the ultimate solution in the life of His son. God isn’t mad at you, you are mad at you! After you clean up your friends list, take some time to clean up your own mind as well. Purge your thoughts of every accusation, every consideration of something being wrong with you.

These days we live in feel like the pinnacle of annoyance, agitation and anger, but they don’t have to be. There’s a better place to live. Calm yourself down a little bit and figure out what you have been feeding your mind that has you so pissed off! Anger and agitation do nothing but diminish your soul! Get above it on the high road where God lives. I don’t know about you, but I feel better already!

Just some good thoughts…

It’s Time…


It is high time we talked about time. It’s time to make a move. The time is right and the time is now. We are running out of time. Time waits for no man, yet there are times when time stands still. There is always a first time and this just might be your last time. There is never enough time, yet sometimes we find ourselves killing time. Time flies when you are having fun, but moves like molasses during tough times. You make time for the things that are most important to you, but you aint got time for things that don’t matter. We may not have time to get into all of the details, yet on certain matters we have all the time in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time…

If you have a little extra time, I think you’ll find that time is one of the most curious aspects of God’s creation. Time never travels in reverse though we often wish it would. There are times in our lives that we hold in such high regard, we wish we could return to them. There are other times we wish never existed and gladly we move ahead. Yet, time remains the one constant that only moves in one direction -forward. Time trudges onward whether we like it or not. The question is never how much time you have in a day as that never varies for anyone. The question is what will you do with the time that you have.

In a world governed by the laws of time, time only exists in the present moment. We cannot return to the past even if the past was only 5 seconds ago. Similarly, we cannot live in a future time, even a mere five seconds from now. Human beings suffer from their failure to understand this simple, yet profound law. Much of the fear and anxiety people experience comes in relation to some future time. We can generally handle what is occurring in the moment, but we can scarce handle all the potential dreads of the future. Conversely, we spend our precious, present time trying to move ahead to some future time. Instead of reveling in all the beauty and possibility a day may bring, we foolishly skip ahead to the weekend or to our next vacation or to any other future event we excitedly anticipate. And while anticipation is a good thing, it can make our present time feel unbearable. Whenever we shift our attention away from the moment called now, we rob ourselves of the time we have to experience now. As such we only half live, raided of life’s pleasures by our focus on the future. For others, their focus is centered on past time; a time that no longer exists except in their memories. How many people trade away a lifetime in the present for some enduring failure from their past. Some sad souls are still reliving some awful, dreadful mistake from forty years ago; a time they can never retrieve though they search the world over to find it. The past can only ever be the past, though you be reminded of it forever. No matter whether your past be littered with mistakes; involve some catastrophic event or loss; or even contain some life altering event, it can only be and always will be in the past. The only reasonable solution is to come back to the time called now. Your life is now…

Time exists as a commodity for you to use and to use wisely. There’s a time to work and a time to play. There’s a time to plant and a time to harvest. There is a time to exert effort and a time to relax from your efforts. There’s a time to rejoice and a time for sorrow. But, through it all, it is your time to steward in the manner that you see fit. People often confuse time for labor with a time for respite. There is no rule that states all useful time is time spent working or that all useless time is spent not working. Human beings were designed to work with purpose, but all work and no play, “makes Jack a dull boy!” It isn’t so much what you do with your time as much as it is whether or not you are rightfully choosing where your time is spent. Wasting time; time spent floating along wistfully with no purpose is generally a bad time. If you are at work wasting time waiting for a future time when you are not at work, that time will always be most miserable. It is better for you that you throw your whole heart into the work at hand and later throw your whole heart into your leisure time. Likewise, mulling over your myriad work problems during time reserved for your family is equally distasteful. You spend your finite commodity called time with the whole of you participating in the whole of all there is at the present time. Otherwise, you will live your life distracted from your present by your illusions of the future and remembrances of the past. The time to live is now…

Time is finite in terms of human existence. We all are going to age and we are all going to have to come to terms with the loss of our youth. The problem with aging is the same as the problem with youth in that you are not familiar with either while you are experiencing them. When you are young, your time is unlimited and not worthy of undue consideration. When you get older, your time is no longer unlimited yet is also not worthy of undue consideration. This is so because no matter your age you cannot live in another time. Spending time lamenting the loss of your hair or your cheekbones or your physique is wasted time; time wishing for another time. Likewise, times of youth spent dreaming of future safety and security is also wasted time; time that could be spent moving towards your destination. You can only live your life in the time called now.

At the end of the day; at the end of your days, it will become very apparent where you decided to spend your time and what you spent your time on. Your successes and your failures alike will not encompass your dearest thoughts, but instead how much you experienced and treasured the journey. You will remember with great fondness those times you lived fully with those you love the most and that will make it all worthwhile. Now is the only time you can live my friends and that time is now. It’s time…

Just some good thoughts…

I’ve Been Blind for Awhile Now…


In life, just because you cannot see something does not mean it doesn’t exist. There are whole vistas of life and understanding to be discovered once you finally get the eyes to see. People trudge along their journeys lifeless and hopeless never quite discerning; never really seeing; never able to make sense of life with all of its varied and manifold twists and turns. And because they have not experienced it they don’t believe it and in not believing it, it escapes them. Often life is more about what has been obscured from your view than it is about seeing what is right there in front of you. Maybe there is more; much more, for you to learn still. Maybe you have been blind for awhile now…

In order to see what is available to see, your mind needs illumination. Darkness is always the absence of light. You will remain unable to see what direction you are traveling as long as you are traveling in the dark. To think you are already illuminated yet continue in futility is a sure indicator that you remain in the dark. To grossly assume that your limited life experience or past education has provided you with all that is necessary to understand life is to cut yourself off from the very essence and fiber of life. You do not know what you do not know. All of the natural, breathtaking reality of nature surrounding you serves to capture your attention. Whether it be the brilliance of a sunset or the intricate depth of a flower, all are designed to lead you to a question; the next question. That question urges you to the light. In the light life, real life, is found.

The reason people live their whole lives in darkness is because they do not know or understand the truth. They have unknowingly lived in darkness for so long that they cannot even consider that light exists. The glimpses of light they have experienced are quickly chased away by the darkness. They are led away unmercifully time and time again, herded with the masses into uncertainty and fear. They do not seek light because they have been sold on lies concerning the light. Religion, posing as the light, feeds them error upon error, producing only more darkness. Religion informs them of all the things they must do to find the light, then chastises them for being unable to find it, attributing it to sins or hidden faults preventing them from finding, seeing or experiencing. Every wrong path pursued, be it intentionally or out of ignorance, leads only to more darkness. Error works to harden the hearts of men, and once hardened, can no longer perceive. Darkness is a cruelty that can only be remedied by the light. Otherwise man remains blinded and unable to see clearly.

Light comes from God and from God alone. The light is found in the truth of God’s Word. Ask yourself how much of God’s Word you understand and you can accurately predict how much light you enjoy. Most people, sadly, know very little about God’s Word and worse much of it has been manipulated and distorted to be something it is not. In place of unparalleled freedom people are enslaved. Instead of being a source of encouragement and edification it is turned into a touch point for accusation and criticism. People falsely conclude that life with God is all about their behavior and what they are doing and shouldn’t, and aren’t doing, but should. They make God the morality police and as such avoid Him like the plague. I’m pretty certain God already knows how you are living, yet like any good parent worth his salt, loves you anyway. You pray for healing to a god that supposedly made you sick. You endure unspeakable tragedies and console yourself with some mysterious higher purpose. You daily assign evil to the only good and live in abject fear of destruction and loss. Brothers and sisters, you have got it all wrong. God is only good always! God will never do anything to harm you, no matter who you are and whatever you have done! That is love and that is light…

Once you begin to understand God’s Word and His purposes, you find the light for which you have been searching your whole life. God’s Word illuminates your path. The truth enables you to separate good from evil. God’s Word helps you to finally see all the things you have formerly been unable to see. Once able to see, you become free to experience real life. You find the love and the joy you have only heard of before. You discover the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding and in that peaceful state are able to quickly spot the imposters when they arrive. You no longer have to live your life terrified about what tomorrow may bring. When you have a need, God, not your human wisdom, meets it. If you are sick He will heal you. What you cannot understand He will explain to you. The parts of life that formerly enslaved you, will no longer hold you bound because of the light that lives within your soul. Have you been blind for awhile now? Well, now is the time to see…

If your heart is open and if you are willing to admit that maybe you don’t know, you can learn. You can both see and experience all that God intended for life to be. You can live on the high road. You can escape the clutches of religion and bondage and walk in complete and total freedom, never again held in by anyone or anything! You can discern error for what it is, error, promoted and espoused by evil to keep you away from the true light. God is not hiding any of this from you, but something else is and you owe it to yourself to figure that out. The life you are yearning for is yearning for you as well. Maybe you have been blind for awhile now. The truth will make you see…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Escaping the Agitation…


We live in a crazy world, in a crazy time. If you are remotely in touch with your feelings you know that agitation is running amuck. Facebook has succeeded in getting you heated. The news is deeply under your skin. The President continues to tweet and you continue to read it. People you thought you knew are not the people you thought you knew at all. The masses, at least the American masses, have become so polarized and entrenched that they are conveying messages they don’t really believe, agreeing with arguments they don’t really support in defense of a team of which they aren’t really a part. Madness. Agitation. Confusion. You know you don’t like it; how you feel; the battle lines you are drawing. There has to be a way out of it. There must be a solution. Surely there is an answer! Well, there is, but it is going to take a little humility on your part. You are going to have to set that massive human ego aside and do something different. Can you escape the agitation? You better believe it!

Agitation at its core is the absolute opposite of peace. In a war, you cannot expect any modicum of peace while you are still engaged in the fight. In life, conflicts will always appear; will always challenge your thinking; will ever be right around the corner quietly awaiting your arrival. And once you arrive, it’s on like the break of dawn. Some things in life are worth fighting for, but sadly many things are not. They key is found in being able to discern the difference. Perhaps the most worthless fight in life is earnestly trying to make someone do something or agree with something or support something they do not support. When you are fighting for justice, there is no value in trying to convince those of injustices done when their aim is not justice. You are not going to educate someone out of racism. And although racism is born of ignorance, you cannot teach a student who is not yet ready to learn. Instead, you have to let that sleeping dog lie. Align yourselves with the people who do what is right and give not another second to those who do not. You cannot change evil. You can’t work hard to convince evil. Evil will continue to be evil and good will continue to be good. Work with those on the side of good. Otherwise, you will continue to find yourself in a fight you cannot win. You will continue to experience agitation and nothing will change as a result of it. The only loser will be you. Walk away from the evil and cleave to the good.

You cannot get peace from agitation anymore than you can get potatoes from onions. If you keep planting onions you are going to keep getting onions. Expecting your onions to turn into potatoes when they are onions is absurd. If you really want potatoes, the only logical course of action is to plant potatoes. Likewise, if you want peace you have to plant peaceful thoughts. Spending your days rehearsing and sharing the wrongs done to you will only lead to more wrongs done to you. How could they not? Every wrong thought repeated is a wrong result received. Maybe you went through some really shitty things. Well, God bless you. But listen, the way out of those things is to move in a different direction. Remaining in the crap, rehearsing the crap, lamenting the crap, complaining about the crap simply serves to keep you in the crap! Step out of the shit hole! Wipe the remains off your shoes and move ahead. Really move ahead. Let it go! Learn what you can learn, make some promises to yourself and move ahead. You cannot expect to dutifully remain in the agitation and hope for some peace. The peace isn’t found in the agitation. Your peace is always there for you, but you have to cooperate with it and center your focus on thoughts that bring you peace. Step away from the agitation and move towards the peace.

You can literally, unless you are on acid, only think one thought at a time. So, what are you thinking about? Are you cussing out your boss? Are you still fighting with your wife saying all the things you wished you would have said in the moment? Are you dwelling on everything you don’t have? Are you rehearsing all the things you don’t like about your life? If so, you are wasting your time! Worse, you are working against yourself to bring more and more trouble towards yourself. If you are honest, you are just fighting with your own thoughts. Crazy huh? Fighting against your own thoughts, when they are your thoughts… Change your thoughts. Stop thinking about the stuff that makes you nutty and puts you on overdrive! Stop letting Facebook and stupid memes and lying conclusions, run your life. Quit letting the media tell you how to think. Stop agreeing with senseless, idiots promoting opinions they neither originated nor understand. Just quit it! You are on a treadmill from which you have the freedom to step off. Don’t fret. Don’t fume! Don’t swear yourself to revenge. Step off! Get on track with something good and kind and useful instead.

The world we live in today has unparalleled access to our hearts. In the old days, you just read about this garbage in the paper. In the old, old days someone had to tell you these things in person. You never had access to the heinous opinions of other people because they would never tell them to you in person. But today, everyone has a voice; everyone has an opinion, everyone has something to say but most of it is just bullshit, rehearsed, repeated, undigested bullshit. And there you are reading it and allowing it to transform who you are! It has been said the greatest thing the devil ever did was to convince the world he didn’t exist. I would say the greatest thing he ever did was to invent social media, damaging souls and spreading division by the millions.

Unplug, check out, do whatever it is you have to do to stop feeding on what’s wrong with the world. It’s not choosing to be uninformed, it’s choosing to be informed by things that are actually true. Brothers and sisters, let it go! Walk away. Don’t look back! Don’t let agitations and tumult cut your life short. God’s peace is there for you if you want it but in order to receive it you have to let something go… Escape the agitation!

Just some good thoughts…

 

A Nation Divided…


I cannot think of another time, at least in my lifetime (Civil War excluded), when our nation was so polarized and divided. The crisis we face as a nation isn’t so much based on our differing beliefs as it is on the apparent lack of capacity to consider that nothing is really black or white. Republicans aren’t entirely one thing and democrats entirely another thing. And while there is a far right and a far left, most people can be located somewhere within the range. People are not exclusively evil nor exclusively good. Humans are not completely strong or completely weak, with all of us having combinations of both mixed in. Liberals have conservative beliefs and conservatives entertain liberal ideas. To consider that everything must be one thing or another thing is to be deceived. The reason such ludicrous logic is even considered today is because people have stopped thinking for themselves and instead given themselves over to hurtful ideas and concepts that seek to corral the masses into one camp or the other. To be a human is to be exclusive, though sharing many of the same values and beliefs. Our nation is divided because we no longer trust our own hearts and instead look to others or to a majority to clarify what it is we should believe. Such things shouldn’t be so…

The profound beauty of our country is found in the freedoms we enjoy to be able to choose for ourselves. We are free to worship as we see fit. We are free to speak out against injustice and wrongs done to our fellow man. We are free to publicly and peacefully gather and demonstrate. We are free to vote and choose who we feel best represents our beliefs and further, who will stand up for our beliefs and ensure our rights are protected. Yet sadly, that is not the America of today. It is not our nation today because we as a people have been led off course; far off course. We no longer vote for our ideals, but instead cleave to party loyalty and as such are ripe for corruption and exploitation. Our elected officials don’t represent us, they represent special interests groups (code name for money) and support things they do not really support. They are no longer outraged at injustice (any injustice) and choose rather to go with the party flow. Facts and realities are blindly ignored and called “fake news.” Rather than adhering to the old Bible adage, “ye shall know them by their fruits,” we ignore the fruits and call the light darkness and the darkness light. We rely on the news outlets to tell us what to believe rather than provide information that informs how we should believe. We trust no-one and most regrettably our own thoughts and hearts. We are a nation divided because we trust the media machine more than we trust what we know is good and right and beneficial…

Democrats, republicans, liberals are all names constructed to identify beliefs we all have about how people should be treated, what our priorities are and what types of laws should be in place to further and protect the things that are right and chastise and correct the things that are wrong. But, that is not our nation today. Instead of identifying with people as individuals, we identify with people as groups; good groups and bad groups and in so doing dehumanize one another which leads, as surely as the sun rises, to unspeakable hatred and atrocities done to one another. Instead of witnessing a cruelty and feeling strongly that something should be done to resolve it or to make things right, we instead cleave to our labels and affiliations, adamantly rejecting the suffering of others because the suffering is not happening to us. We have been talked out of our basic human compassions for one another in favor of supporting the majority we have chosen to affiliate with. When a black man is clearly victimized and murdered, instead of being infuriated about it, we seek to point out his character flaws and compare it to atrocities done to our own group. Our failure isn’t found in choosing which group to stand with, but instead no longer being capable of recognizing an atrocity was done! We behave like sheep following not our own inclinations, no longer our own constitution, but whatever “our” completely polarized group says is okay. We are a nation divided because we stopped noticing individuals and opted rather for the labels and factions we’ve been talked into accepting…

If we say we feel badly for a marginalized group, we suddenly become “lib-tards” crying about things that don’t matter like human lives and human suffering. We throw out all or nothing ideals that suggest all poor people are lazy and assumes that all people began with the same opportunities and advantages. We bemoan any welfare program designed to help people in an emergency, yet welcome a stimulus check, extended unemployment benefits though they be programs with a difference in name only, coming from the same source, in attempt to help people through the same issues. The real question we should ask ourselves is why we are so pissed off with the notion that at times people need help in life. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps only seems to apply when they aren’t your boots that need some help! Those of us that have learned the value of hard work, who have been blessed with opportunity, who have learned some basic principles of life owe a profound duty to those who are not so fortunate. Not because they have earned it, but because we have it to give. We are a nation divided because we have stopped caring for and having compassion for others, a principle our country was founded upon…

So what is the conclusion of the whole matter? Stop being such an asshole, mean spirited and cruel and return to helping others. Quit spewing out words of hatred that aren’t really your words, but instead the words of a cruel enemy seeking to take down all that is beautiful about America. Republicans, democrats and liberals don’t make America great, God does and He does it by taking care of people, all people regardless of any label that has been applied to them. And He asks us to do one thing, namely love our brothers as ourselves…  The divide that assaults our nation is only successful because people have stopped thinking like human beings and instead allowed others to do their thinking for them. It was never me versus you. It is good versus evil and it’s time we stopped letting evil win.

Let’s get back to being the America that was great…

Just some good thoughts…

Happiness and What You Might Be Doing to Eff’ It Up…


Ahhh happiness, the most talked about feeling in the whole world! Yet, for all that is inked regarding the subject, there is one thing that leads to its discovery and that one thing is you. Is happiness eluding you? Are your happy moments few and far between? Are you only truly happy when the circumstances line up perfectly? Can you even remember the last time you were happy? The answer to the questions is found within your own mind and within your own mind alone… Are you effing up your own happiness?

Happiness, substitute the word blessed if you’re a believer, is such a simple concept and its attainment is always found within your grasp. Life doesn’t make you happy, you make you happy. Favorable circumstances don’t make you happy, you have already decided which circumstances make you happy. Material riches don’t lead to happiness unless you have decided that they do. Happiness is not a mental state to be sought after, but a decision you are making every moment of every day. Even our great God cannot make you happy without your full consent! When you are unhappy, chances are you are doing something in your mind to eff it up.

Why, if happiness is so vitally important to us, would we consciously screw it up? Well, it’s not so much a conscious decision as it is learned behaviors; learned ways of thinking we have unconsciously been programmed to adopt. Something somewhere is ever at work to steal away your happiness. Someone, unscrupulously scheming, behind the scenes, has been tirelessly chipping away at you day after day and night after night. He seeks to define your narratives. He, with help from the world’s media machine, adeptly puts a spin on your perspective. He (or it) falsely outlines which conditions produce happiness and then makes sure you cannot meet those conditions. (You can never meet the conditions because the conditions are always a lie; a false portrayal.) You are not alone in your conundrum because what you are facing is the human condition, absent the truth. You are on a universal journey where how you vote determines the election. If you don’t choose, the choice will be made for you. You eff up your happiness by allowing something or someone else to dictate the conditions!

Happiness is always very personal in nature. What leads to your happiness won’t necessarily lead to my happiness, though the mechanics of being happy are the same. The world; the systems of the world will always lead you down the rabbit hole. You end up chasing not what makes you happy, but what someone else says will make you happy. The amount of money you need to be happy will always be a little more than what you have. Instead of finding happiness in your relationship, there will always be something missing; something you wish you had; some trait you find less than perfect; something that informs you that you don’t get to be happy yet. You can apply this formula in finding happiness to every aspect of your life. Notice carefully how there will always be some condition that isn’t quite fulfilled; some destination to get to; some missing piece, which craftily informs your mind that you are not allowed to be happy yet! Please read that sentence again! You are waiting to be happy. You are waiting for conditions to line up. You are waiting for something that finally gives you permission to be happy. But, the only one impeding your happiness is you…waiting. You’re effing up your own happiness by waiting for something else to produce it for you.

When it comes to happiness, it is something you must decide for yourself. Decide to be happy now, not just on the weekend. Decide to be happy at work. Decide to be happy in your relationship and behave as someone who is happy. Stop waiting for the future when conditions are right and you have everything you ever wanted. Look, you may one day have everything you ever wanted, but a lot of living will have transpired in the interim while you were waiting. Happiness in life is found in the journey, not the destination. Happiness is found not absent any challenges, but in overcoming the challenges. Happiness comes from controlling your thinking and refusing everything that confronts or challenges that happiness. Stop measuring yourself against impossible standards and enjoy your life. You are what you are today, the good and the bad, so you may as well make peace with yourself and live. Each day time slips away and your opportunities for happiness diminish as your time on Earth diminishes. Cherish what you have and where you are today. Hug your children. Spoil your grandkids. Kiss your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. Love the unlovable and help the folks who need the most help. Give your life your all with no holdbacks! Life is a treasure with happiness infused in the creation, if you are willing to see it! You may just be effing up your happiness by what you are refusing to see…

God, the source of all possible love and goodness, created human life with one grand intention, that His children would be happy. (If you’re a parent, you know how that feels!) So let Him show you what life and happiness is all about. You were not designed to figure everything out on your own! You were not built to pack around a world of worries and cares. It was never intended that you try to do life by your own human logic. Instead you were made to live with Him as your Daddy, casting all your problems on to Him. Then, after having done that, relax and enjoy your life! Allow yourself to be happy today and just trust Him to take care of everything in between. Allow yourself to be happy, today, right effin now!

Don’t eff it up! (smile) I love you…

Just some good thoughts…