The More Than Abundant Life


If you are like most people, I think you would be happy to live an abundant life. I mean, isn’t that what we are all really after? We have a limited time to experience life on Terra Firma and subsequently limited chances to get it right. Before you know it you are celebrating your 30th birthday, then your 50th and suddenly, retirement looms just around the corner. In that space of years, you will have had the opportunity to make many decisions and choose paths that led you somewhere, both good and bad. If your choices were poor, you probably were forced to seek survival and felt like you had to settle for a mediocre existence. If your choices were mostly good, you may have even touched upon an abundant life. However, God’s promise to you is that you can have a more than abundant life no matter what decisions you may have made in the past. Wouldn’t you like to live a life overflowing with abundance in every facet and phase of life? Indeed, wouldn’t you want to live a more than abundant life?

God’s Word, the Bible lays out the two primary forces working behind the scenes spiritually. One of them is called the thief and his objectives are always to steal, to kill and to destroy. The other one is God and He sent His son Jesus Christ that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) When you remove all the covers and peel back all of the layers, your life always boils down to the affects of one or the other. Those aspects of your life wherein you struggle; those places you just cannot seem to get it right, will always be the result of the thief who, by any means possible to him, has stolen something from you. He not only steals your prosperity, but he steals your health and your vitality and your enthusiasm for living. He steals the results of your efforts and labors. He steals your peace of mind. If successful and always in secret, he will steal away your life and cut short your days. And finally, he seeks to steal away your positive impact in this life and destroy all that was beautiful and good and noteworthy. He is not a cartoon character made up in the minds of men, he is a real, dastardly, dreadful being, separated from God, hating God and hell-bent and ruining anything or anyone he has access to in the world. Not understanding how he functions, how he influences decisions, how he leads people astray is the total cause of every life not well lived. The total cause.

God, as the very source and originator of life, is quite the opposite. His desire is for you to live the more than abundant life. His will is for you to experience an over abundance in every facet and phase of life. As such, He wants to prosper you abundantly. He seeks to restore your health. He will breathe life and enthusiasm and vitality back into your existence. He promises to pay back the years the enemy has gnawed away from you. He offers you His peace that surpasses understanding. He works in you to protect you from all harm and danger in order to help you live a long and fulfilling life. And, while He is at it, He works to ensure the impact of your life is long lasting and rewards you for all eternity in those things you did out of love with Him. This is the more than abundant total life.

The question that begs for any human being; for anyone experiencing this thing called life; for anyone that has been sorely beaten and wounded by the world, is how can I gain access to this more than abundant life? How can I tap into the power source; that most excellent power source? How can I turn things around in my life that have fallen off the rails? How can I escape my past life of failure and disappointment and enter into the ranks of those blessed and protected by God Himself? The answer is so plain, so unbelieving easy that people have missed it for a lifetime. The answer is to turn to the true God from idols. The answer is to learn how to live life as God intended it. The answer is to get born again; born from above! Getting born again means to get God’s holy spirit inside of you; a spirit that never goes away no matter what foolishness you may engage in; no matter whatever you have done in the past or will do in the future. It means to get a permanent, unchanging, incorruptible connection to God that will never depart and will last throughout all eternity. It means to gain access to a power source that will work in you and with you to help you overcome all of life’s challenges and difficulties. It is just the greatest thing ever and it is yours for the taking.

In order to get born again, you have to access spirit how God says to access it. It has everything to do with your believing God and nothing to do with your good works. In this God has made it foolproof. You simply confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with his mouth confession is made unto salvation! (Romans 10:9-10) That is literally all that is required to get born again. Next you have to learn how to operate that spirit of God born inside of you. It has nothing to do with feelings and has everything to do with what you believe. Once that spirit is born within you, you are born again. Then you can manifest that gift inside of you by operating the nine operations or manifestations of the spirit. (I Corinthians 12:8-10) This is the victory that overcomes the world. This is the power you have needed all of your life. This is the difference between success and failure. This is the connection with God that will never, ever leave you. This is the more than abundant life!

Surely you want that! I know I did and will help you get there if you want it. Not only will you go to heaven, but you will have one hell of a good time getting there… This is the more than abundant life God is offering you! God bless you abundantly.

Better Days…


It’s funny how life is at times. You sort of go along to get along and adapt yourself to the times and conditions, the best you can. Crazy things happen and continue to happen and you somehow figure out a way to cope with it. Often, you find yourself endeavoring to compartmentalize and where possible, minimize or attempt to minimize, how things are affecting you and what is going on inside your heart. This is, in so many ways, the human experience. The phrase, we are all in this thing together, is not a cliche, but the reality of our condition as an interconnected people on the earth. And in similar fashion, sometimes it takes a dramatic shift in those conditions for you to realize just how bad things had gotten when you are, at last, presented with a new set of options; hopeful, encouraging options. In this I submit to you, there are better days ahead.

In our quest for truth and sincere desire to place ourselves on the side of right, we can be led down paths that disagree with who we are at the very core of our beings. We can find ourselves supporting some cause that promises good, yet forces us to ignore too much bad. Sometimes, our idealism and wishful thinking can blind our eyes to the stark reality of things as they really are. We can get deceived in the appeal of the message and laud the message so reverently, so desperately, that we miss the rest of the message veiled within the message. The acid test of the truth; the reality check to apply is whether the truth is true in every aspect and engages every component. Being forced to ignore and disavow some parts in favor of other parts is to deny the common sense that God gave to every man. Further, to believe that evil is hiding in the good or that the apparent good cannot be trusted, while vehemently denying the existence of the obvious bad, is not sound. God does not work through evil to bring about good. God never asked for us to compromise on right principle in exchange for some greater right principle. And while every man has faults and failings, those faults are known to the man and he is loathe to deny them privately or when confronted publicly. Wrong is wrong is wrong though the entire world says otherwise. Every man is therefore known by his fruits. Good fruit cannot come from a corrupt tree and corrupt fruit cannot come from a good tree. In a sense one needs to look no further. To say, as a Christian, that an allowance must be made or certain behaviors ignored that would not be allowed or ignored in those people we hold most dear, is hypocrisy at the highest levels.

Sadly, these past four years have been a blight on the American experience. We, as a nation, have been forced to flinch and halt and stutter, desperately trying to make sense of what has been going on. Inside we know it’s wrong. In our hearts, we have felt embarrassment and shame in terms of the things we know to be right. Try as we might to justify our opinions, more often fears cleverly appealed to and fanned, has led our nation to become divided. In our temporary insanity, factions have formed, not based on securing the greater good, but instead appealing to a more base level inside of us, stoked by the terror of losing some favor, some position, some enjoyed good. And just as a corrupt tree produces only corrupt fruit, actions and beliefs based on fear cannot help but to produce more fear, more division, more destruction. This has been the American experience these past four years. This is not a political struggle or attempts to champion conservative or liberal ideas or agendas, nor has it been about bringing about a better experience for people all over the world. It has been about the power that fear has over people causing them to abandon even their most basic and simple principles in an attempt to fight against an enemy not in evidence but potentially in evidence in the days ahead. Fear that villainizes people of color or immigrants or any group that is different than one’s own comfortable circle. Allowing people to choose their own lives, right or wrong, good or evil, is at the foundation of our country’s beliefs and any attempt to take away that free will or exclude it from our existence by rules and regulations is contrary to the very concept of a free people. There was a time when we understood this.

Thankfully, there are better days ahead, not because one man has all the answers or because one man alone can right the train and move it in the right direction. But rather, because a world where common sense is ignored; where real facts are discarded as lies; where the reality of things is discounted and maligned is not a world we can survive in, let alone thrive. The promise isn’t found in a Democratic party or a new President, but instead in a healthy return to common sense where words mean something and actions are judged for what they are, not what someone hopes they will be or by what other influences claim them to be. A world where black is black and white is white. A world where wrong is wrong always and right is offered the same privilege. A world based on foundational principles that offer every man a choice in participating in what is, not in what reportedly is while clearly contradicted in every apparent, visible action.

In this, as a nation, we must learn the lesson, namely, to never again allow a person or an idea to prevail over what is obvious or by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Never again America, no matter the political party.

Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string (RWE).

Bless God, there are better days ahead!

Be Patient…


We live today in the culture of hurry. We want our food fast, our internet fast, our weight loss programs fast, our test results fast. We tend to seek out the quick fix, the shortcut. We don’t want to invest the time, just get it done, the sooner the better. Microwave beats stove top and temporary repairs are preferred over lasting solutions. We just don’t have the time to invest in doing things properly or the right way because we have to get to the next thing. Can’t we just pay a guy or order it on Amazon and get it done already? And while technological advances have certainly made life easier, we seem to have lost our ability to exercise a little patience. The best things in life always seem to take a little time. Do we even know anymore what it means to be patient?

If you have ever watched a craftsman at work, it becomes apparent rather quickly that there is always an element of time involved. The craftsman isn’t just trying to get the job done, but instead is seeking to get the job done where the result is perfect and beautiful and pleasing. People are willing to pay more for that person because the quality of the work speaks for itself. And as much as our frenetic world says otherwise, quality always makes the lasting impression. It’s quality, not quantity that we are after. The lowest bidder’s work generally reflects a lower quality because of the time and effort they are willing to exert on the task. If you pay less, you generally get less. The cheap clothing doesn’t last and for every dollar you save in your purchase, you pay for in terms of its longevity. It is better that you spend more on the front end than count on the bargain to stand the test of time.

In life, the best things take time. Relationships take time. Raising children takes time. Perfecting a skill takes time. Success takes time. Learning to live life the best way takes time. There are no shortcuts. Shortcuts always promise a faster result but fail to deliver, though they appear to do so at first. Whatever is easy generally isn’t worth it. That’s not to say that everything good is hard, but rather that good things require an investment on your part. Expecting good things without investing your own personal time and energy into those good things cannot fail but to produce loss. You may be able to count on the conveniences of technology to make things happen faster, but the real things in life; the most important things, require time and with time, patience.

Patience is a lost virtue in the helter-skelter of life today. We have been seduced by technology into thinking that there is always a way to obtain a result more quickly. We carry that mindset into our important life activities and expect a similar result. We seek to get the degree quickly in order to advance, but leave off the learning. We pursue important changes in our lives by employing the method that seems to get us there the fastest. We are all hat and no cowboy. We look good not by patient training and self control, but by the cosmetic surgeon’s scalpel. We want the diet plan that offers to burn the calories via a pill that requires neither exercise nor portion control. We want to have our cake and eat it too. In terms of our mental health, we don’t want to invest the time in discovering where our thinking patterns have gone astray, but instead seek for a diagnosis with its subsequent promised medication fix. And while medication is a beautiful addition to life, the goal was always that we arrived at the good place naturally, even if it took a little time. Modern advances certainly succeed in making life easier, but sometimes the ease and the convenience are not what we really need. It’s the pricks and the obstacles and the difficulties of life that really put us on our toes and awaken us to life’s more important lessons, as Emerson masterfully noted. Give a man a serious challenge to contend with and note how quickly he engages himself fully until a solution is at last found.

The reason we do not exhibit patience in life is that we have bought into the illusion that we have no time. We fail to recognize how forcefully we are being pushed and pulled towards activities that have little impact in helping us to live our best lives. We feel as if we don’t have time to think things through, much less the time required to actually solve our problems and make strides towards a brighter future. We are loathe to engage in something uncomfortable or new even if that new thing might serve to completely revolutionize our lives. Instead we go to work expending our best efforts for someone else and leave ourselves and our happiness undone. When we try something new or endeavor to move in a different direction, we feel that we don’t have the time or the energy to make the necessary changes though we only gave it a minimal try at best. Living this way, we soon find ourselves at the end of this brief life, full of regrets regarding the man or woman we always knew we could be. And all along all we had need of was a little patience. All we needed to do was step off the hamster wheel and take ourselves to account. We only needed to slow down a little and give our lives a little more consideration.

It’s never too late to begin practicing patience. Patience isn’t as concerned in getting the job done as it is in getting the job done properly. Patience knows that all good things take time and allots its time accordingly. Patience is required to live a successful life and to allow yourself the love and the space to get it right! Be patient with yourself and extend that same patience to everyone and every thing that you love. Be patient.

 

2021 – It’s a New Year


2020 was a tough year by all reasonable accounts. The Covid pandemic lead to a lot of suffering for people and in some cases even death. Businesses struggled, some to never return. All manner of entertainment was curtailed, eating out became a luxury limited to certain restaurants appropriately spaced. The sports we all love to watch were shut down then brought back carefully with restrictions and little to no audience in attendance, played in bubbles and stadiums with cardboard cutouts. Work was conducted from home where possible and we all became adept at video meetings (You’re on mute!) Travel changed, shopping changed, and life changed as folks struggled to comply with mandates yet still participate in being a human. Yet, for all the damage done to people’s lives during this past year, the most sinister of all was the sense of hopelessness, fatigue and generalized anxiety about how this was all going to turn out. The promised vaccine became our only hope as every sniffle and every cough warned us that we may have somehow gotten infected. Will 2021 offer more of the same or is there something, anything we can do?

Ever since the beginning of time, mankind has been subjected to evil in its multifarious forms and disguises. Pandemics, like plagues are not new. People being afflicted with sickness and dying prematurely are not new. Add to that catastrophes, unthinkable accidents, so called, storms and floods and hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and basically anything you can think of that succeeds in capturing and enslaving the minds of man. The reason man becomes enslaved by fear is because he has no avenue for safety, no answer of peace in the face of trouble, no help from anything outside of himself, or so he concludes. In the pandemic of 2020 the number one product for sale is fear. See it for yourself. If you wear a mask, a story comes along of a person who got it while wearing a mask. If you got past it somewhat, a story comes along about people with lasting symptoms that never go away. If you made it through with little or no symptoms, a story comes along of someone who got it again, this time only worse. Now, reportedly the vaccine is only partially effective and of course there’s no guarantee a new strain won’t get you as well! At some point it has to dawn on you that this shit has no logical end point that you can see, or so it appears.

Why do I recount all these things you are well aware of already? Because at some point you have got to get honest and recognize that you alone are virtually powerless against a carefully hidden spiritual opponent when you try to take him on with science, and human will-power, your sense knowledge reasoning and all of the smart ideas presented before you for your careful consideration. That’s not to say that you don’t do your best and follow recommendations etc., but at some point you have to break out of that fear hole and go visit your elderly parents! At some place you have to realize, without being foolish and cavalier, that the fear and worry become your problem. In some way, that only you can define, you have to finally admit that this life with all of its potential pitfalls and dangers is too large to tackle on your own. God bless you for trying, but it’s bigger than you and it’s bigger than me. The enemy of mankind has had thousands of years to hone his craft and he is damn good at it. How many people, do you imagine, are sitting at home right now, no longer living and experiencing life, scared to death to move, touch anything or go outside? Maybe you are one of those people. Don’t despair my brothers and my sisters, there is something you can do about it.

Since the beginning of time and eons before that, God has been well skilled in delivering, healing and rescuing His people. God knows how to solve every problem you have ever had because He sees what is behind your problem; the real cause. God has foreknowledge, which means He knows what is going to happen ahead of time; which also means He heard your prayer you just prayed, long, long ago and did something for you to prepare what you needed. God is all powerful and backs down to no-one or no thing! And, since time began, He has been endeavoring to get that message to you; a message of love. He has, through a variety of different means, including the exquisite, perfectly ordered natural world, been seeking to get your attention. The perfection of the creation alone points to something vast and incredibly intelligent. Add to that all the little clues that come your way when you need them including so called happenstance and coincidences. Not even to mention the perfection of His Word, the Bible, that all seem to know about, but few seek to really understand. Yet man, arrogantly and incredulously still endeavors to take life on, on his own. He reads and studies and researches solutions every where but the one place where the solutions exist. Again, God bless you if you are determined to go it alone. God bless you if you think you can, by your sincere efforts, crack the code and figure it out. But, as a humble human who knows his limitations, I’m here to say you aren’t going to figure it out, absent help from God.

Do you want to make 2021 something awesome and enjoyable and blessed? Get God involved in your life. I mean really involved not just adding rituals or agreeing to go to church. Reach out from your heart and get some help, the help you so desperately need. I don’t know about you, but I need something more than a mask and the hope of a vaccine to help me sleep at night. God will hear your prayers and He has been waiting for you to ask! He loves you more than you can comprehend and is more than willing to help you. Once you start on your own quest for answers, you will see that you no longer need to live in fear, and that God is living and real and intimately involved in your life, if you want Him to be. There’s no problem or malady that He cannot resolve for you; none. Then, collectively we can believe for this scourge to finally be resolved and get back to living how we want to live.

Get some help man. Get some assistance lady. You aint big enough to try and do this thing alone! God bless you, you just aren’t! But, God is…

I love you…

 

Settle It. Solve It. Resolve It…


There are times in life, when you are an avid believer in God and His Word, that God will open the eyes of your understanding and show you something that will absolutely change your life! Just such a thing happened to me this weekend. The subject of the teaching was accessing God’s peace in your life and how, in order to experience and enjoy that peace, you have to take the time to settle the things in your heart that remain unsettled, unsolved and unresolved.

Peace typically occurs at the end of a conflict. It has been referred to as the absence of strife. Peace can follow accomplishment or a job well done. Peace is also defined as undisturbed well being. It is knowing that everything is going to be okay. Peace is something God gives to us as His children. Yet for all the magnificence that God’s peace is in our lives, we often fail to access it. We fail to access it because we go about obtaining it in the wrong way. We tend to believe that peace is something we have to work for by “living right” or by giving up something; by adding something; or by abstaining from something. Such is the life of the typical Christian believer, ever condemned and guilty, never measuring up, always unworthy! I cannot tell you how many Facebook and Instagram stories promote how unworthy we are before God, implying that if we only “did better” or worked harder we would arrive. Well, here’s newsflash for your weary soul – there will never be anything you can do that will make you worthy before God! Making you worthy is something God had to do for you! The sooner you come across that realization, the closer you are to enjoying God’s peace in your life. What a cruel, dreadful, awful trick the enemy of God has placed on God’s people since the world began. Who the hell wants to worship and serve a God that is perpetually unhappy and displeased with His children? Are you perpetually displeased with your children? Don’t you have a little forgiveness for their foolishness? Do you not extend them some mercy at times? Don’t you just love them for who they are irrespective of their behavior? Well, it’s fair to say the God of love can do even better than that! When you find yourself caught in that arduous trap it isn’t God that you are serving anymore, instead it is the commandments and doctrines of men, made by men in an attempt to access a God they neither know nor understand. There is no peace in living that way (and definitely no love).

Peace is something that God freely gives to His children. In order to access that peace in your heart you have to settle things in your heart. You are not going to be able to settle all the things that aren’t right in the world, but you can settle them in your own heart. You do so by believing and accepting what God says over what everyone and everything else says. You remain unpeaceful because you (and I) have all these things going on inside of us that are not resolved. God says that He gave us His son as a payment for all the sins we may commit in a lifetime, past, present and future. Accepting Jesus Christ’s finished work for you leads to peace. BUT (and it’s a helluva big but), your failure to accept that reality in your heart leads to a lifetime of dwelling on and living in every stupid thing you ever did throughout your life! Of course the sin and error is wrong and leads to pain, You don’t need me to tell you that. But, remaining in it is worse, especially when God, the only true judge, has already forgiven you in the life of His son. God solved your sin problem and mine forever. Our Savior’s work is finished, it’s done. Until you resolve that in your own heart, you won’t enjoy the peace God has freely given to you.

Another way believers get talked out of the peace God so dearly wants for His children is by living under the negative judgment of man, including yourself. You do not have the right to judge yourself. When you negatively judge yourself, you reject God’s plan of redemption already enacted for you. Judging yourself and allowing yourself to be judged by other people is wrong. It is not humble to refer to yourself as a worm for God, lowly and defeated. Thinking this way not only robs you of God’s peace, but it serves to work the purposes of your insidious enemy, the accuser of the brethren before God night and day. Similarly, living in the past, rehearsing and cataloging your every mistake, remembering and cleaving to your lowest moments, denies God’s true opinion of you as His child and crucifies afresh His son that died for you. You may not be able to forget all the dumb stuff you have done throughout your life, but you can resolve to settle the matter in your heart. Leaving it unsettled and undone leads only to fear and an incessant focus on what is not right about you!  (Have you ever been there?) Settle it in your heart. Forgive yourself and let it go. Let it ALL go and simply move ahead. Walk out a new man, a new woman, fresh, alive and vital for the day at hand. Walk out with your head held high, a son or daughter of the most high God! Once you really decide to let it all go and refuse to unearth it, you will find yourself living in the peace God has already given you. Resolve it in your heart once and for all.

The good life you dream of is not found in riches and cars and houses and more and more stuff. It is found when you know and understand Him, the God who so loved you that He gave His only begotten son for you. It is found in the joy and love and peace that only God can provide for you. It’s not about you, for goodness sakes, it’s about Him. You don’t have to spend your life feeling like you don’t measure up before God which leads only to increasing fear and doubt and defeat. You have not been found wanting and there is literally nothing you have to do in this life to be at peace other than fully accept all that God has already done for you. Settle the matter in your own heart. Resolve the matter in your own heart. Solve the matter in your own heart by believing what God says is true in every situation that ever confronts you. You will surely be challenged in this life, but God will make sure you always win! Always…

Get peace…

Just some good thoughts…

Over-controlling Your Life…


When you remove all of the trappings, as you work through all of the layers, when you clear out all of the obstacles, as you sift through all of the useless and unimportant, when you get right down to the bare essence of life, there is only so much that you can actually control. All human beings fall prey to the illusion that they can control every aspect of their lives and do so rigorously and ardently trying to wrap their arms around something too large to grasp, too varied to capture, too unwieldy to be wielded. As such, they tend to over control and stake their efforts in works that were doomed to fail from the onset. Life is too big, too complex, too elaborate to try and control it all. Instead control must remain focused on the elements that can be controlled with the rest relinquished to the power of another.

All human beings have free will and with that a solemn and sacred right to make their own choices, both good and bad. God will never overstep a person’s free will. He will not make your son or your daughter or your husband or your wife do something they do not want to do. Praying as such is always a waste of time. He can certainly work with people’s hearts to arrive at a better decision, but He will not and cannot violate freedom of will. The ability to choose and decide is the hallmark of humanity. Similarly, any attempts you might make in controlling other people is destined for failure. People always do what they want to do in one way or another. Behind every troubling situation you are seeking to control is a person deciding against what you have in mind to supposedly make their lives better. People resist being controlled at all costs even to their own detriment. You can certainly appear to exert control over a child when they are young, but in the end they will still act in accordance with their own will. All you can hope to do is teach them the good behind good choices and wait for them to learn and experience the rest. If you want to influence people’s behavior towards better choices, you must find ways to reward the good and overlook the bad. Focusing on what’s wrong with other people is not only egotistical, presuming you alone have all the answers, but also works to attract more of the undesirable behaviors you are seeking to extinguish. Seeking to control other people is actually over control and will never lead to the outcome you desire. Instead it will lead to bitterness and resentment in your own heart. Tell a man what he needs to do and he will most assuredly not do it! Would you?

Life is so varied and involves so much complexity that it is the height of insanity and ego to consider that you alone with your finite human brain can think through enough things to make life work out properly. For everything you think you know, there are a million things you do not know and cannot know! How much time do we spend trying to solve problems we did not initiate, never considering that something else did. Hopeless, we apply solutions other men devised while they still suffer from the same problems. We read the self-help books, the blogs, watch the Ted Talks, always hoping to gain some element of control over things we do not control. By the time you get on the airplane it is no longer upon you to will it into staying in the air, try as you might during a fit of turbulence. The diseases that afflict mankind seem to come whether a man makes healthy choices or not. Good people die and evil people prosper. There are downturns in the economy and unprecedented growth spurts. You do not control these things. Thinking you can control them by your strict adherence to certain practices fails to acknowledge that there is more to life than simply what you think and may have learned already. It is so much bigger than that. In the end, you drive yourself frantic seeking to control that which you do not control. Your hours of worry and consideration and night sweats over the possibility of acquiring some affliction, some disease, some tragedy, some catastrophe all serve simply to steal away your present moment in exchange for false assurance over some future moment, an assurance that will never arrive as long as you entertain the notion that it is something you control! You do not control all the variables of life, but God can as the need arises. He already knows the future. Your job in humility is to finally let it go and turn it over into the hands of another.

Man with all of his sophistication and smarts has been sold a bill of goods. He has been tricked and deceived into investing his efforts in things he cannot control. He spends his days consumed with thoughts of self-preservation. He considers and evaluates without seeing all the cards. He cannot discern that the circumstances have been preloaded to bring him to the wrong destination. In short, he wastes his time and his life on things that matter but things he does not control. To compensate he over controls much to the misery of both himself and with those in which he comes into contact. Life was never designed to be that difficult, no matter what the lousy world teaches to the contrary!

In contrast to the complexity and perplexity of error, the truth is always simple and very clear. The only thing you really have any control over is yourself. You do not control anything else. You control what decisions you make, what you believe, and what will you do with your life. The rest of it, all of the rest of it belongs to God who knows all and sees all. Your job, my job is to hand all the rest of it over to Him. Just hand it over to Him. It’s okay not to know what to do. Get some help. It’s okay not to know the answer. Get some help. It’s okay to feel worried about a situation. Get some help. Turn it over. Let it go. Relinquish your tight (fearful) grip! Trusting God means to give your worries and fears over to Him and then leaving them there. Stop trying to control stuff you do not control! You don’t need me to tell you this as you have already learned it in your own life experience. You already know your efforts to control do not work! Over-controlling does not work! Give God back His place and see if things don’t suddenly start working out for the better absent the thwarting impact of fear! Relax (at last) and let God be God while you do you…

Just some good thoughts…

Religion And God (Are they the same thing?)


Let me begin by saying I’m not trying to bash your religion or the things you hold most sacred. I’m not making a case for one religion above another religion. I’m not saying everything your religion has taught you is wrong. Instead, I’m asking you a question; a question that may spell the difference between happiness and freedom and misery and obligation. Are you sure the things you do and say in the name of God are in alignment with what God says about Himself and your relationship with Him? Are your religious beliefs and your belief in God the same thing?

In my experience, religious people seem to be the most unhappy people on earth. They live and move and have their being ever fraught with some nagging sense of disapproval from a god whose requirements they can never live up to. They are guilty and condemned, always apologizing, always wrong, always convinced that what they do and say is inadequate and fails to measure up. They endeavor to live an impossible code with pleasures perpetually questioned and good times requiring caution. They sincerely love God but they conclude God doesn’t love them. They are compelled to answer every accusation. Their motives are constantly under the microscope. In short, the people who should be the most blessed are often the least blessed with even the unbeliever outpacing their achievements. Yet, they love the God of all blessings. How can this be?

The problem is found in not understanding the things that are important to God versus the things that are important to men. Religion’s aim and focus is always man and what man does and what man doesn’t do or that he shouldn’t do. Religion’s promise is the glorification of man’s acts and man’s experiences. In religion, men judge other men based on their behaviors and pronounce one man righteous and another man sinful. Religion seeks to elevate some and reduce the others. Religion is hard, damn hard! Religion teaches people to doubt themselves in favor of another’s opinion. Religion smacks at the heart of God because it is not based on what God says. Instead it is based upon the doctrines and commandments of men. God provides a good way to live and religion adds to that good way by introducing requirements that God never intended. Religion puts burdens on men’s shoulders. There is no love in obligation. That which you do that you do not want to do becomes a compulsion from which no-one gets blessed. Giving without love as its motive becomes religious duty where I scratch your back in the hopes that you will scratch mine. It’s an exchange wherein you now owe me something. For centuries, men have engaged themselves in rituals and observances that make no sense to them. Yet, they continue in them despite it.

I say these things not to anger you, but rather to ask you to think for yourself. If doing God’s will is so miserable, then wouldn’t that make God miserable (God forbid!). Do you really believe that God is bland and rigid and narrow? Would it make sense for Him to be opposed to enjoyments that He invented the capacity to enjoy? Could He, being all-knowing, be illogical or whimsical? Would He ask you to believe in something you could not understand, or worse try to make good things out of evil events? Our problem, our failure is in discounting our human logic in terms of common sense. Would someone that reportedly loved me at the same time torture me or confuse me or punish me? Would He do inexplicable horrors to me and my family for some reason I can’t yet understand? You see, it’s not God who told us these things, it’s religion. Religion requests that we suspend our common sense in favor of so-called higher spiritual realities. Religion begs us not to think at all. In this way, religion controls and limits our experience of life. Men and women are herded together on paths leading to failure and loss. When something bad happens to someone, religion points that wrong back at man and how man is living or not living. Pretty soon you become responsible for all of the evils in your life instead of the true cause of your unhappiness and loss. Religion sucks man and I feel sorry for anyone who has gotten sucked into it.

In stark contrast, the things of God make perfect sense. The things of God aren’t opposed to science, they are the forerunner to science. Someone made this world with all of its detail and symmetry. Someone invented the concept of love and forgiveness and kindness. Someone dreamed up the notion of human beings. Do you think you can surprise or shock God with your behaviors and the things you come up with? Is that sexual desire that God built into you really evil or just wrongly expressed? You see, religion gives God a bad rap. It turns Him into something silly and capricious. It makes Him impossible to please and not a loving Father at all. It turns your focus away from the God who alone can deliver you and places it back on yourself where you by yourself are powerless to do anything about your difficulties.

I offer these words in the hopes you can hear what I’m saying and be set free. All of those burdens you are living under; all of that guilt and condemnation; all of that focus on your own imperfection and weakness is not God’s will at all. Instead He asks only that you turn your focus towards Him. Don’t suspend your logic, use your logic! Maybe all that super hard work you have been doing to get to heaven isn’t a requirement to get into heaven at all. Maybe all of that denial of self and pleasure and fun wasn’t something God said, but instead something that people say. What good is a Savior if you still have to save yourself? Why would Jesus have paid for your sins if you still needed to make a payment? The ways of God, the true ways of God never hurt but only help you. God is a Father and no-one loves His children more than Him… You can escape the bondage of religion if you want to and it starts and ends with God. Is religion and its dictates the same as a relationship with God? God forbid…

I love you.

Just some good thoughts…

The Self-Focus Trap…


Assuming you are a logical person, it would appear the more you focus on yourself, the happier your life would become. So much is written concerning the need to take care of yourself, refuel yourself and make time for yourself and most of it is probably good. But, what if incessant focus on yourself produces the exact opposite results than you intended? What if your focus on self can actually be detrimental? Is it possible that your sincere focus on improving yourself actually impedes you from making any progress? Are you looking in the right direction or have you unknowingly become distracted? Is perpetual focus on self a trap?

Most things in life that cause us to stumble do so because we are unaware of the true cause and effect relationship at play. We spend our lives trying to rid ourselves of some negative effect by focusing on the wrong cause. In so doing, our efforts are squandered away chasing apparent realities that are not realities at all. We exert tremendous efforts to remedy our situation but find no remedy, not because life is too hard, but because we have the wrong focus. This is the very essence of deception. We fall prey to it so easily because we trust what people say and laud those opinions over the truth. We trust our always self-centered logic and conclude we can figure it out. We are loathe to admit that we cannot! If you have a problem and let’s face it, we all do to some degree, it is so because we have not yet touched upon the right solution. In earnest, we seek for a solution and subsequently apply a hundred-fold recommendations, never entertaining the idea that the solution escapes our comprehension. In this, we waste our lives and our time caught up in an endless cycle of error, working harder, trying harder, exerting more effort towards something that will never yield the right result. In short, our starting premise is wrong as evidenced by our inability to find the answer; the real cause of our problems.

It has been said that the things man produces always reveal the imperfections of man, while the things God produces have no flaws in them. No matter the human masterpiece, closer inspection reveals imperfections. Conversely, the things God makes not only have no flaws in them, but the closer the inspection the more perfection is discovered. Similarly, the more you seek to understand God, the more His perfection becomes apparent. Yet, the closer you inspect corruptible man and his ways, the more imperfections you will find. When you spend your time dwelling on and investigating your human ways, no matter how noble your motives, the more you will find your own imperfections and flaws. You will never find perfection within yourself, no matter your sincere efforts and arduous labor. Instead, you will find more and more not to feel good about and more areas of your life in need of revision. You think it is noble and pleasing to God that you spend your life trying to make your imperfections righteous, but your starting premise is already wrong; namely that you by your human efforts can make your imperfections perfect. In this, you waste your time and in this you waste your life. How many Christians spend their days in endless self examination, ever condemned and disapproved, ever conscious of their human flaws and shortcomings, ever defeated by an insidiously wrong starting premise? To the mainstream Christian, every action is wrong, every thought corrupt, every motive questioned. All enjoyments are to be examined and all concepts of fun are to be rigorously discarded and rejected. Yet, in this they persist to their own misery and lack of true fulfillment all based upon a starting premise that isn’t true; that was never true.

God’s job is to fix the things we cannot fix for ourselves. We were all born with a sin nature that is easily corrupted. Our natural tendency, after the fall of man and the introduction of sin to mankind, is towards error. It is in our blood. The more you search within yourself, the more apparent it becomes. Yet, instead of investing so much effort to fix it, we need to let God fix it for us. God’s solution for us was to provide a perfect man, without sin in his blood, who by the freedom of his own will, walked and lived God’s Word perfectly. He is our savior who saved us from ourselves. He ended the need for us to fix ourselves; repair ourselves and SPEND All OF OUR DAYS FOCUSING ON OURSELVES and everything we do and don’t do right. He made it possible for us to stop dwelling on what isn’t right with us and change our subject of focus to Him and what He did for us. We are right because He (not we by human efforts and hard damn work) made us right in His sight. And as contrary to human logic as it appears, our focus is to no longer be on what isn’t right with us, but rather on who God and what He made us to be.

Sounds so simple because it is true. Our job, your job is stop focusing on yourself and stop working so hard to figure out your own problems. Read that again! You won’t figure out these life dilemmas; these life suckers by your human intellect and strength of will! How has it been working for you thus far? Instead, give your issues to God, one by one and let Him do God’s job by getting you to the real solution. He already knows the real cause! In so doing, now you are beginning to think how God designed you to think! Self-focus and dwelling on self do not produce the results you desire. They just steal away your life and enthusiasm and energy on false causes you cannot truly effect. Get your focus off yourself and your issues and get God involved with your solution. Self focus is a trap from which God will gladly help you escape… Free yourself!

Just some good thoughts…

When the Dust Settles…


You know, it’s no marvel that many folks spend the majority of their lives living from one turmoil to the next. The world and its negative circumstances, the impending and ever present threats concerning the future, the agitation and tumults of daily life, all loom on the horizon assaulting folks minds from sunup to sundown. And all of that turmoil and distress has one important object in mind, namely to prevent you from seeing clearly and discerning properly. Imagine how different your life might be if you could cut through all of the distractions and really see. What would you do differently? What would you do if the dust settled?

Most people, and you know it’s true, live and subside on a steady diet of fear. Fear of sickness (got one in mind), fear of not having enough, fear of not measuring up or being pretty enough or not having the right body. Fear of not getting their needs met, fear of something bad happening to them or someone they love. Fear concerning the planet or the sun or the melting icebergs. Fear of not being loved and feeling love and missing love. Fear of the future, fear of the past coming back to haunt them, fear of being present in the moment. Fear all day every day from the moment you wake up in the morning until you lay down your head to sleep at night. People have subsisted on fear for so long that they no longer even recognize its presence. Fear has been normalized as part of life. Fear drives and drags people around in its wake pushing and pulling them in directions they never intended. If people manage to escape its grasp temporarily, they quickly fall back under its spell. Fear rules the world and the systems of the world. Often, very often it has ruled you! Yet for all that power fear holds over people (and its very powerful), at the end of the day, it is all a grand, cleverly designed illusion to control the hearts and lives of people. Fear is the dust that prevents you from being able to see.

Clarity of heart and mind is the missing ingredient in an unfulfilled life. In order to move confidently in the direction of your dreams, you have to be able to see. You have to be clear about who you are and what you want and where you are going. You have to cut through that mountain of clutter obscuring your view and discern just what the hell is actually going on. The world with its teeming masses clamoring after this novel invention and that new threat to their existence live the majority of their lives unclear and confused. They fail to get their honest questions answered. They live their lives perpetually attacked by an opponent they can neither see nor feel. They pray to a God they neither know nor understand. They plod along herded and corralled into wrong thought camps with no possibility of escape. It never dawns on them that there is a part of life they have yet to experience for themselves. They conclude they’ve already reached the end, figured it out and can choose wisely on their own. Yet, they cannot and they cannot because they cannot see! It is only God who is able to make the dust finally settle so that you can see and He does it with the light of his Word. Absent the Word and the truth in life, you are destined to a life of fear whether acknowledged or not.

Once you begin to get some truth into your heart and life, things become very clear for you. It starts to dawn on you that many things that are said and done as truth are in actuality cleverly, crafted lies. You begin to be able to discern both the good and the evil influencing your life. You start to understand how life really works and stop wasting your time striving to things of no avail. You quit working so desperately hard to fix yourself or to improve your bad behavior or to keep grinding at all costs to make something good of yourself. You see, the world presents to you a picture of life with suggestions in how to improve it. Yet, those improvements, those efforts, those arduous solutions are not solutions at all because they center on you for you and all about you and they deny the God that made you! Absent God and His love you will never be able to really see. You will simply be blown about with every wind of doctrine, clamoring to try this new source of help and that empty promise of the answer you need. It doesn’t work and it never has worked… Real life isn’t all about you (or me) but is about the God who created you. He is your only true provider and your only genuine source of help. He has the answers you need. He offers the healing that has no limitation. He knows and understands your heart; has heard your every prayer and wants to set you free from fear and its attendant misery. He is your promise of love and goodness and peace. He alone has the power to make the dust settle so that you can finally see clearly and can understand His wonderful, sincere and perfect will for your life!

This life, as you already know quite clearly, can be very tricky to navigate. You will daily be deluged with thousands of opinions and ideas and suggestions. You will be confronted with both evil and counterfeit good. You’ll be presented with a myriad of potential beliefs all offering something they cannot truly give. Yet, when all of the shouting and the clamor stops, when all of the fighting and tumult is ceased, when all of the falsehood and error goes away, when all of the pressures and the agitation subsides, behind it you will hear the still small voice offering you the clarity you have always dreamed of and then you will know the dust has settled at last.

Just some good thoughts…

 

A Fresh Start…


 

The past version of you no longer exists, except in your memory or someone else’s memory. The only moment you can occupy is the moment called, “now!” Everything you have ever said or done is passed away making way for today. Your mistakes, your failings, your errors, your missteps gone…all gone. Your successes, your victories, your triumphs are also gone, though you savor fond thoughts of them. You cannot live in the past no matter how sublime it may have been. You cannot change any elements of the past, no matter how much you wish you could. Life was designed with an ever present opportunity for a fresh start! We need it…

We all develop this idea about who we are and we cleave to that image be it good or bad. Inside you are still that awkward teenager worried about his place in the world. Some of you are that guy that usually fails in his endeavors because he has always failed in his endeavors. Some of you are still that little girl masking her insecurity and working feverishly to appear confident to others. Some of you are unlucky and never catch a break. Some of you struggle with relationships and they just never seem to work out. Some of you never have enough money. Some of you are always sick.  And no matter what, some of you cannot stop struggling and never seem to figure things out. The question that begs is why? Is it your destiny? Were you chosen by God to suffer the most in order to make you better? Is life unfair and out to get you? Again, the question is why? You’ve been carrying around some false image of yourself for years and years, desperately cleaving to it and not recognizing the things that no longer serve you. You need to give yourself a fresh start!

Have you ever considered how foolish it is to hold on to the things of your past? You did whatever you did when you did it because that is where you were at the time. We are all at some point on the learning spectrum and we all have more to learn. Holding on to some negative aspect of yourself as if it is truth is in reality insanity. It’s insanity because it fails to take into account where you have changed and where you have grown. It is being falsely affixed to some past moment in time, not by anything other than your own thinking and your own images of yourself. You have not been chosen for failure. You fail because you keep making the same choice. You cling to sparks and specks of your existence that represent only a minute portion of your experience. You have the exact same opportunity to be the polar opposite of what you are experiencing as you have to be a carbon copy of that same experience. You are living in and living out days gone by. You are not making any modifications but expecting a different outcome. As a great man once remarked, “You cannot solve your problems with the same thinking that caused the problems in the first place.” Each day is a brand new day and you need a fresh start!

When you give yourself a fresh start, you refuse to keep yourself held down under the burden of your past. Just because you did something a thousand times does not mean you have to keep doing it or keep thinking it or keep accepting it as true. If it hurts your life, if it limits your opportunities, if it holds you back in any way it is simply not true. It is error skillfully using your own thoughts and memories against you. They are false conclusions, false assumptions, false pictures of reality that are not your reality at all. They remain only as your past realities in which you foolishly participated and continue participating perhaps. When you give yourself a fresh start, you get to breathe in the fresh air of opportunity. You begin to challenge those assumptions you have held onto for many years. People live in a misery of their own design. They are entrenched in a script they are writing for themselves. They beg and plead for a change, yet wait for the change to come from somewhere else. Change in your life only happens when you change. What is it that you are habitually thinking about yourself that hinders your progress? What sad, defeated stories are you telling yourself about yourself? What failures and losses do you persist in imagining? It’s your head and it is your heart from which proceeds all of the issues of your life. You have to change your heart and then the circumstances will change. Until then you will be thwarted by a monster of your own making; of your own choosing. Grant yourself a fresh start!

I often think the reason God made days to be separate 24 hour periods is because He wanted to give us endless fresh starts. Every day is a new day pregnant with chances for something good. When you awake in the morning, the day is brand new and never existed before. Anything can happen in that day; things that change your life and heart and your experience forever. Your job, my job, is to embrace the day. It’s not the same old – same old, it’s new and fresh and exciting. It’s a day for you to decide who you really are and be now done with that skeleton of a past. It’s a day for you to look forward, not backward. It’s a day for you to decide and no longer have your choices made for you. It is the day the Lord has made for you to rejoice and be glad in it! What a glorious fresh start that is…

My dear friends, it does not matter what happened to you in the past as that time, however frightful, is gone forever. What matters always is today in the moment called, “now!” Start fresh and stay fresh and see if your life won’t change for the better. God is giving you a perpetual fresh start!

Just some good thoughts…