Get to the Bottom of It!


I sometimes wonder if we have some of the problems that we have because we just haven’t gotten to the bottom of the things that plague us. We’ve been so trained, so influenced, so led to knock around on the surface of things for a little bit, then quickly move on to the next thing that demands our attention. We have so many things to do and so little remaining time to get it all done. We lack focus and what little focus we do have is squandered on a multitude of things that really don’t matter; that really have minimal consequence in our lives. Instead of endeavoring to hone in on a solution, we sort of take a stab at it, try googling it, then move past it after Goggle satisfies our need to know. We endure the same troubles, the same difficulties, year after year, because we never actually get to the bottom of the problem! We fail to see it through. We stop short of our goal. We give up. We get distracted. We move on. We owe it to ourselves to get to the bottom of it!

The only way to solve a problem is by working through the apparent complexity of it until you reach the underlying cause. The cause of our problems will always be simple. If we became aware of the actual cause, we would take the necessary steps to reach the solution. However, in order for our problems to gain permanence, many elements of complexity must be layered over the top of the true cause. People spend their whole lives swatting away at false causes like trying to swat at annoying flies in their immediate vicinity. Then, like people in uninhabited places and undeveloped regions, eventually they simply acquiesce and learn to coexist with the flies. The solution isn’t to learn to live with the annoyances, but rather to learn to rid yourself of them once and for all. Human beings, by nature, will be forced to deal with challenges and obstacles in life. There’s simply no way around that reality. However, it was never God’s intention that people should be overcome by those challenges and live a miserable life as a result of them. Instead, the intention was that we would seek solutions to our difficulties and after having them, live that much more abundantly a a result.

Problems remain in our lives because of our failure to see them until they have become deeply entrenched into our psyche. The deeper the issue, the more difficult it will be to extricate and uproot the source. And, like any pervasive threat, it usually is not going to happen overnight. Ill health, for example, is generally not resolved upon the body’s recognition of its loss, but rather health follows after a number of clearly defined steps practiced faithfully and persistently over time. Troubles, generally inculcated and dug in, must be chipped away at piece by piece until dissolved. Thus, solving problems depends more upon persistence than quick fixes and shortcuts. It’s not logical to expect a rapid repair of a long standing issue. In fact, the expectation of a miraculous, rapid repair is the reason people give up on finding a solution and as such, cease their efforts immediately towards it. If God would resolve it overnight, let Him. Otherwise, keep doing the best you can until more light becomes available. The sooner you give up on your own ability, the better. Instead keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking until your answer appears. The most important thing is not the timetable, but instead your ultimate deliverance.

Where we fail and why we fail is because we stop short of the goal. Your life, your happiness is more important than the transitory circumstances of life. Your issue is not how long it might take. Your concern is that you might have enough clarity to affect real change at the root cause level of your dilemma rather than slapping around on the surface of the water hoping to dive deeper underneath. When your problems persist and worsen, the cause is down lower, underneath. You cannot expect to arrive at any solutions for your troubles employing the same thinking and logic that got you there in the first pace. How glorious is the day when you finally admit you need some help and at last seek outside yourself for the answer! There is Someone who has all the answers and earnestly awaits your request. But, you have to ask, you have to seek, you have to keep knocking on the door until you get an answer.

It is error to think that you have to live with problems or that some problems are not solvable or worse, the false notion that beckons, ‘that is just how life is.” And, while many, many people live that way, that is not how life is! The sooner you resolve your issues, the better your life will become. We all struggle in certain areas. We all have aspects of life that cause us difficulty. We all have weaknesses and we ALL fall short. We are in this thing together and we face a common foe. But, none of us win in life by choosing to ignore the issues that plague us. If you have a problem you cannot seem to resolve, implore God for help and solve it. Don’t move on. Don’t allow yourself to be frustrated. Do not be discouraged that it is not resolved yet. Instead set in your heart a willingness to take it on and not stop until you have gotten what you need. If you stay at it. If you persist. If you refuse to move on and ignore it. If you will continue pursuing the answer until you get it, you will not only get it, but you will be that much better as a result of it. You can get to the bottom of the things that have been defeating you, but you are not at the bottom until the real cause becomes apparent. It is worth your effort, my friends, and you deserve to be happy! Get to the bottom of it already! You will be so thankful on the other side.

Just some good thoughts…

Is It Working For You?


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I often wonder, what’s the point of being a Christian if your life is just like everyone else’s life. I mean think about it. Surely there is a benefit, indeed many benefits to having a relationship with God and if there aren’t any tangible benefits, maybe we are doing something wrong. For many, it seems that being a believer means you believe in God but not necessarily in the power of God. You are pretty sure that God exists, but when it comes to the life you live, not much seems to happen. People pray for God to help with them difficult times, but don’t pray for God to provide solutions for the difficult times. It’s sort of like God is there for you, but doesn’t do anything to change whatever it is you are facing. Maybe people don’t understand that there is the power of God that they can access. Or, perhaps they have prayed so much with so little results that they have resigned themselves to go through the motions never really expecting anything good to happen. If God is perfect, and I believe that He is, then we must be doing something wrong. If I never receive any results to my prayers, I must be doing something wrong. Why would God promise us so much in His Word if we could not experience those things for ourselves? Is God unwilling to intervene in our challenges? Are our concerns, our troubles not worthy of His consideration? Is this life we live presently supposed to be hard and our task merely to endure it patiently? When it comes to what you believe, is it working for you? 

If you’ll notice the media of today it is fraught with a beggar mentality. We are instructed to be thankful that we woke up or experience other benign benefits that all living people experience. There’s nothing wrong with being thankful of course, but waking up seems fairly fundamental to living creatures. The subtle message implied is that therein is the limit for your expectations. Wake up, be glad and endure another day powerless to effect any change. My words have no intent to criticize, but instead to shake up the lethargy the world engenders. God’s promise is not reserved only for your future life, but for the life you live right now. God wants you to be happy now! God wants you to be healed now! God wants you to prosper now! God wants you to live abundantly now! The reason you don’t experience this reality is because you don’t believe it to be true. The world has reduced God to be the morality police, concerned only and always with what you do right and what you do wrong. He is not seen as a Father providing loving care for His children, but instead an angry judge perpetually displeased with His creation. It’s as if He is wholly unfamiliar with your humanity and your needs associated with that humanity and is more concerned with rules and requirements most of which run at cross purposes with what you want to do! You’ve been told that God does not have time for your petty needs and that it is selfish to pray for yourself. It is no wonder people live the way they do. Instead of days being filled with excitement and enthusiasm for living, people trudge along in perpetual misery, lost, confused and without hope. If you are living this way, it isn’t working for you.

Your first step in your quest is to find out what God actually says about Himself. If you are going to pray for His help, you need to know what He says. I can guarantee you that a lot of what you have heard about God is not true. Instagram is chock full of people whose job it is to make stuff up! “God only gives His toughest battles to His strongest people!” Who says? That’s not what God’s Word says, that’s what people say. It subtly implies God is loading you with hard times as a test or something. We are all in the fight; in the battle, and we get our asses kicked when we don’t know how to fight back. You have to learn what God says about Himself. You have to learn who God really is. Once you begin to appreciate the vastness and the ability of God, you will have no problem going to Him for help. But first, you have got to get all that worldly garbage out of your head. If your first thought when you pray is about how you have been living, then you are doing it all wrong. God doesn’t answer your prayers because you are so good, He answers them when you believe Him, and you will have a hell of a hard time believing what He says when your focus is on yourself and everything you do and do not do!  By the grace of God I am what I am! That is how you win. No-one deserves God’s goodness, yet He offers it to everyone! If you aren’t getting your prayers answered, it isn’t working for you. 

Much of the hinderance we face in getting results is based upon our expectations. We expect so little. It’s no wonder as the world works hard to persuade us thus. We think we oughta be grateful when it’s all going to shit and learn to accept “what cannot change!” Well, who said it cannot change? If God is my Father and I’m struggling or suffering in some capacity, then it stands to reason He would want to help me. To assume otherwise is to assign monstrosity to God. To consider that He would allow evil to work me over in order to produce something beneficial is of equal horror. Sometimes I think we just have to slow down a bit and think. If God is love, if God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, then I must have something confused somewhere along the line. God desires to answer your prayers more than you want to pray them! But, in order to do so he needs a little cooperation on your part. He needs for you to do something with that mind of yours. You can’t be full of negativity and darkness and expect God to shine the light. You cannot be convinced that nothing is going to happen when you pray and expect something to happen anyway. Life does not work that way; lotteries perhaps, but not life! If things are not working out for you, chances are you are not doing something with your mind. 

There are a multitude of things God is reportedly telling you not to do but most, if not all of it, is not from God at all. There are some things God says not to do and it may surprise you what those things are. The number one admonition in the Bible is to fear not! Fear and all of its devilish companions are your primary problem. Doubt, the precursor to worry, stops your prayers in their tracks. Worry, the precursor to fear, stymies your every move. Fear, the precursor to misery and suffering not only prevents you from getting what you want, but actually serves to bring you the things you do not want! Read those sentences again. Fear is your main problem. Fear runs the world. If you will notice your thought life, even for a brief period, you will see the prevalence of fear. You are afraid that you and your loved ones are not safe, so you do all kinds of shenanigans to make them safe. You are afraid your health will be compromised, so you work hard to get it all right. You are afraid your need won’t be met, so you drive yourself mad working to make sure you are okay and that all your needs will be met. The problem with fear is that is has you doing all the right stuff for all the wrong reasons. Your core belief, when it is fear, is wrong and cannot help but bring more of what you don’t want. Before you can get your prayers answered, you have to rid yourself of fear. You must learn to recognize fear and challenge it with God’s Word. Otherwise, your mind won’t be in the right space to receive from God. That, my friends, is your part. You cannot expect God to give you roses while you are earnestly expecting weeds. God will not overstep your free will as much as you may wish otherwise. Obeying God is more properly obeying His command to fear not. You loose the grips of fear by letting God do His job while you do your job. God’s job is too hard for you to do and your job is yours and yours alone. Are things not working out for you? The likely cause is fear and you owe it to yourself to learn to overcome it. 

Being a child of the most High God should be the greatest thing ever. You have access to the greatest power in the universe and He exists for you. There is nothing God will not do for you. There is no challenge, no shortcoming, no former defeat, no sickness, no lack, nothing that can overcome the power of God in operation for you. Life does not work for anyone outside of Him and with Him you can only win. Is it working for you? I hope so and if not then get busy learning who God is and what He will do for you. It is there for you if you want it my friends. It is always there…

Just some good thoughts… 

The Great Christian Killer…


If the greatest thing the devil ever did was to convince people he didn’t exist, the second greatest thing was convincing people they needed to work in order to earn God’s approval. When I look around at Christianity today (so called), all I can see are people living in and living out their unworthiness before the Father. Even the mention of Christianity today elicits an immediate twinge of negative self-analysis as if the word christian is synonymous with moral failure in some capacity. For believers, it seems, it’s not so much about God and His goodness as it is about everything they don’t do right; where they struggle and ultimately what is wrong with them! The world lives and thrives on what isn’t right concerning people coupled with so-called solutions that always lead to control! In this way, the system of things is designed to talk people into doing the works required for approval from men and ultimately from God. This is the great Christian killer!

The roots of this dilemma go all the way back to Adam and Eve, who when questioned by God regarding their error, immediately filled with fear (a first for humans) and sought a covering for what they had done wrong. And people are being assaulted with the same error and accusation to this very day. When sin entered the world, man would henceforth be born into the world dead in trespasses in sins, not by their choices, but rather by their inherited bloodline. Natural man is born with sin in his blood. To think, based on this reality, that you as a person could somehow earn God’s goodness is the height of deception. You, by your human efforts, could never get the job done fully. It took God’s intervention by supplying a perfect substitute for man’s evil nature in the life, death and resurrection of his sinless son. In that substitution, you and I by believing in God’s son and his being raised from the dead, received the gift of righteousness forever more. God, in His infinite grace and mercy did away with the need for you to do works in order to gain His approval. But, that is not how Christians live. The proof is found in their insistence on adding something to what God finished for them already. When Jesus hung on the cross dying and uttered, “It is finished” he meant it! He ended forever all that was ever wrong with you and me. He paid the price so you wouldn’t have to pay anymore. So why are you still making payments? Why do you act as if the work isn’t completed already? I’ll tell you why! It is because you have been deceived into thinking otherwise. Oh you didn’t get there alone and neither did I. The world and preachers and religious leaders have all been cooperators together in ignorance in endeavoring to add to God’s perfection by insisting on certain behaviors and rules and dogmas and commandments and so-called morality with one hidden, spurious and deceptive element, namely to bring you under their (or its) control! Convince a man he is not right before God and you can now control his entire life by prescribing what he must do in order to “get right!” In this way, everything is wrong, everything is evil and everything is going to get you. You cannot enjoy life, make decisions, make mistakes or anything else because all of it brings God’s disapproval. How many people do you know who live this way? Maybe you have been living this way?

I often marvel at how people cannot seem to understand how well God knows His creation. They somehow think God shudders at all of the awful things people consider and sometimes do! Let me let you in on a little secret. God understands fully the human condition, after all He made us. Do you really think you could freak God out because of some deception that befell you or by some wrong path you took or take? God not only knows you intimately, but He also knows the spiritual evil you contend with though maybe you never understood it for yourself. And similarly, isn’t it possible that all of the things you do as a human are actually what humans do and not really sin at all? Religion is fraught with a litany of things that are wrong before God, not because God said so, but because people said so! People endeavor to live under Old Testament law that was not even written to them to do. And even those to whom it was actually written could not live it to the end it was called the curse of the law. Its purpose was not to reform men, though if anything could accomplish it, it was the law, but rather it was to identify sin clearly with the coming promise of a Savior who would live it perfectly and forever redeem mankind. Jesus Christ came to set you free. His aim, indeed God’s aim was to make a way for you to live freely and without obligation in any capacity. Forced and compelled love is not love. God wants to be your Father and care for you like any Father would, however without limitations. God is not condemning you, convicting you or accusing you. He does not bring up your errors and missteps. He loves you into finally loving yourself, not because you do it all right, but because He does it all right in love! You’ll never walk with God to the full capacity and joy He intends for you until you finally get past this obstacle. God is not angry with you, that is what people say. God is not teaching you lessons with evil (shudder) to make you do things right, that is what people say. Negative events that happen to you are not because of something God did (ever), that is what people say. The guilt you experience, the condemnation you feel, the remembrance of past mistakes that haunt you, the disapproval, the shame, the fear, the worry is not from God! They all stem from the same one that endeavors to convince you that he does not exist!

I offer these truths not to condemn your religion or the multitude of well meaning people involved with it. I write this because this is what God’s Word says. You are not a lowly worm, you are a son of the most high God, not by any works that you have done, but because of everything God did for you. Change your focus away from yourself and your imperfections (though they be many) and move them over to God’s perfection. In God’s sight you are now and forever more sinless because of the accomplishments of His son. So, stop dwelling on yourself, feeling sorry for yourself and lamenting your imperfection. God isn’t judging you so stop judging yourself. Get in agreement with God in what He said He did for you and let all that garbage go. It’s not noble or an indicator of humility, it is clinging to error; error that seeks only to control you. Imagine how fun life could be for you if you were truly free from all obligations and compulsions. Imagine how great life could be with God as your Father seeing only the completed works of His son in you. You only have one short go round in this thing and God wants you to enjoy it. Quit worrying about sin, God settled that issue for you forever. Nothing you do can separate you from the love of God, so what is there to be afraid of? Get out there and live Christians! God needs your heartfelt contributions. Overcome the Christian killer with good. (God’s kind of good!)

Just some good thoughts…

The Money Myth…


od9i7c-b88788077z.120160909171642000gfpiob79.10It seems much time and energy has been spent convincing people with the least money of the lack of its importance in their lives. You hear it all the time from well-meaning folks busy explaining away money by either discounting it entirely or else demonizing it as a source of evil. However, when you observe people with plenty of money, it sure seems like a much more enjoyable existence compared to those justifying their apparent shortage while simultaneously implying the lack of its necessity for them. With money being the chief method of exchange in our culture, methinks someone has been getting their leg pulled on a massive scale. It’s as if those with the money must perpetuate the lies about money in order to keep if for themselves. There is no nobility in not getting your needs met, no matter what you may have been taught. The reality is that you need money in order to prosper and there is nothing wrong with pursuing it unless of course you have bought into the money myth.

The world we live in literally runs on money. The things you want in your life cost money. The better the things, the more those things cost. Yes, loving and worshipping money is going to bring you a lot of pain. Yes, being consumed with greed is going to tear you apart from the inside out. But, is that really the choice you are making? Who convinced you that your desire for good things is somehow evil or a contradiction to God and His goodness? Who worked it into your soul to feel as if you should have less than others have or that you cannot enjoy nice things? For most of us, and I think you will agree, the idea of actually pursuing money feels wrong as if we have been deceived by the world. But, is it wrong really? Chances are, if you are reading this, you aren’t working on your second hundred million. Instead you are more likely trying to climb up that rung from lower class to middle class or middle class to upper middle class. No matter where you find yourself, I think you have to agree, that having plenty of money unloads your life of a multitude of burdens. Money fights rarely appear from having too much, but instead from not having enough. The money myth works best on those who do not have enough. Is it you?

If I could go back in time, I would tell that younger version of myself to figure out the money thing sooner. What good is it to live your whole life preparing for a financially stable future only to be limited by your advanced age and diminishing energy levels. Why would it make sense to spend your most vital years going without the good things; the things that make you happiest? And while it is true that things cannot bring you happiness alone, having resources opens to you a world you may have never knew existed. Family vacations cost money. Nice homes cost money. Sharp, clean dependable vehicles cost money. Having more than enough in order to help others requires money. That’s not to say that all those things aren’t available with less money, but what is it that you want for your own life? That’s the real question. It’s not what it takes for you to survive, it’s what it takes for you to thrive. The less you have the more you owe and the less you are going to be able to experience life and you know it. Constantly defending your own lack of resources by your incredible ability to enjoy life with less really isn’t honest. Maybe you don’t need much and maybe I don’t either, but that’s not the question. The question is what do you need in order to thrive? Don’t allow the money myth to limit and define your possibilities.

If you think God is behind the limited resources game, you are mistaken. What conceivable difference could it make to God whether you make $50k a year or you made $200k a year? It seems that would be a decision you are making. And further, what would God’s purpose be in withholding something good from you? What lesson does lack teach you other than a constant source of consternation until you get it solved? If you are a parent, you know how important it is for you to be able to supply anything your children need and in most cases almost everything they want! Well, if your love for your children produces that response, imagine God, who is love, and His response towards you? With God, you are only limited by the poverty of your expectations! As a Christian myself, I know how screwed up you can be about money. But, those false concepts do not originate with God. To expect God to prosper me or supply me with plenty of money is the exact same thing, but God forbid I confess the latter! Can you see what I am trying to say? Money isn’t evil and for God’s sake you need it; plenty of it! You have to rid your mind of the money myth and think clearly about what it is that you need. If you lived in another time and had 15,000 sheep and 50,000 cattle you would be considered rich, not because of the livestock but because of the money the livestock represent! Praying for an abundant crop is the same thing as praying for higher pay. I’m not advocating living above your means, I’m advocating raising your means without feeling all effed up about it! God wants you to prosper and is well aware that our means of exchange is money! You do the math on that one!

I guess what I’m trying to say, if you can look past my obvious disdain for the lies we have been fed, is that you owe it to yourself and the people you love to believe God for His abundant supply. Don’t put limits where there are no limits. Poverty and lack is not noble or pleasing to God anymore than seeing your children struggle would bring you any joy. You know what makes parents of grown children happy? It is in seeing them succeeding on their own and getting to the place where they are no longer limited by lack!  Having more than enough isn’t the entire answer, but it is a great start! If you have suffered at the hands of the money myth, my prayer for you is that you would have the audacity, the boldness to believe for much; a true abundance! The world around you is evidence alone that you can get whatever it is you want to get, including more money, more resources, more than enough. Don’t spend another day living under the spell of the money myth! Think soundly without fear and prosper! That is always God’s will for your life!

Just some good thoughts…

Humans Ain’t Static!


Stuck-ImageHuman beings are not static, meaning not fixed nor unable to change. Yet, how many people live that way? You can literally be anyone you want to be, without limit or holdback. You are not defined by anything you have done or have not yet done. You always have the capacity to change. The very hallmark of living things is their ability to change. Yet, that is not how things usually play out. We tend to get stuck in these narratives about who we are, most commonly generated from within. We are fed this negative concept of ourselves, typically based upon our weaknesses or past foibles, and then act as if that notion of our existence must be our destiny and something from which we are powerless to change. We accept various monikers and cannot quite seem to extricate ourselves from them. We have to be the “funny” one and then are loathe to disappoint our audience. How silly it is to consider that some characteristic of ourselves could possibly encompass the totality of who we are. Or worse, that some negative aspect of ourself would become the key component in understanding who we are. As humans, we are absolutely free to change anything and everything we want to change, no matter the opposition. You are not stuck, my friend, because human beings ain’t static!

If you have lived long enough, you know how hard it can be to redefine yourself. People like to assemble you neatly into tidy little categories and keep you there so you can be understood and properly handled. It becomes a source of distress when you begin to act in ways that are not congruent with your predetermined definition. I can recall a friend once saying, in the midst of a cleverly supplied string of my admittedly funny comments, that he could not picture me being a manager in an organization, as if I lived for the joke or could not exist without it. Once my wife suggested I stop posting comments on Facebook about excellent red wine because pretty soon, all I became was the guy who drinks wine. Do you see where I’m going with this? People don’t define who you are, you do. When you allow other people to define who you are, you will be stuck with some limited version of yourself seen simply from one narrow angle. Growing up you may not have been very good “at school” but that doesn’t mean you lack intelligence or a willingness to learn new things. Maybe you weren’t good at sports, but here’s a secret, no one is at first! It may have escaped your conscious attention, but the world seeks to define you every single day. There are literally a million angles capturing your attention in a day; helping you to define yourself against some fictitious standard. You are probably not as fit as a fitness model because your full time job isn’t fitness model! Yet, there you are perusing the pictures and comparing yourself woefully, wishing you were something that you are not. That doesn’t mean you can’t be that, but the larger question is do you want to be that? When it comes to your life, it is your opinion of yourself that matters most. Why continue to define yourself as something you do not like when you are the one doing the defining?

By now, in my writings, it probably comes across as a broken record, but the culprit in this dilemma is the thoughts you are thinking about yourself. When you make mistakes, as you necessarily must, it is one thing to err but another thing altogether to allow those errors to define who you are. You are not the sum total of your behaviors, as a modern philosopher surmised, but instead a growing, living, thinking organism with unlimited capacity for change. We all have these parts of our lives that privately plague us, whether admitted or not, yet those places are not the total of who we are, nor can they ever be. Problems, weaknesses, troubles remain only because we refuse to let them go. We carry them around with us like a badge of honor (or dishonor) and are far too quick to assign them as a part of who we are. For some folks, the thought of past mistakes, though they perhaps be many, come to represent the totality of that person and render their precious lives perpetually defeated in the process. Change is certainly not simple, but can only become a reality with a conscious decision to change; held onto and perpetuated daily. If you find yourself hating who you have become, you have unknowingly allowed negative thoughts to permeate your being. You have allowed someone or something to define the narrative of who you are. I can assure you that whatever evil you may have done was not done alone. No person does wrong or evil on their own, but instead has been deceived in some manner. Forgive yourself as God forgave you the first time you asked Him to and let it go. Be the person you want to be, one that you love and think of yourself in that light. You don’t get a child to change by harping on their bad behaviors, but by highlighting their good behaviors instead. Change the way you think of yourself and you will have taken the first steps towards real change. Keep thinking properly and your change will absolutely follow.

Many folks spend their whole lives waiting on some favorable circumstance to magically change the way they think of themselves. In futility, they await some stroke of good fortune to rewrite a story only they alone can write. It’s not the outward trappings of success that define who you are, but rather those powerful changes you have made from within; deep inside your heart. You remain stuck in life for just about as much time as you want to remain stuck. Once you at last tire from the constant pain and decide ‘no more!’ – your wish is granted though not by a genie, but from a decision that you decided to make. Your life, my life, is a series of decisions we are making throughout our days. Be careful, very careful about what you decide. Be careful concerning who you think you are!

My dear friends, being a human being guarantees you the constant possibility of change. None of us have been destined or predetermined to be a certain way, no matter how long we may have been that way. Change yourself by changing the way you think about yourself. Think in terms of being the best version of yourself and no matter what setback you may face, you will move closer to that ideal. You define the narrative instead of relying on others to do it for you. Let your foolishness and absurdity go as we all wrestle with that same ghoul! Start each day with a fresh, clean slate and for goodness sakes, stop being so hard on yourself. Your life can be anything you want it to be and you can be whomever you desire! Accepting yourself as stuck or defeated is always a lie. Always! Humans ain’t static, not as long as they are alive.

Just some good thoughts…

Life on Restriction…


unnamedLong live the days when you didn’t have to live your life on restriction. Nowadays, it seems, everyone else knows better how you should live your life than you do. Someone is always lurking, willing to inform of you of the perils of your choices, the risks of your ideas and the consequences of your behaviors. Limit this, don’t try that, watch out, be careful, not too many now, be safe and on and on it goes. And while this is not an ode to throwing caution to the wind, it is about being determined to make your own choices in life, not based on fear-filled group think, but getting out of life what you want from it. At the end of the day and at the end of every day, it is your life you are living. You are completely unique despite all of your similarities and what makes your heart beat accelerate belongs to you and to you alone. It’s high time to get off restriction!

Some days I muse that the difference between being a fanciful youth and being a mature adult is measured most by the amount of shit of which you are afraid. Sure the world is filled with sad situations whereby a person has been completely overcome by some negative aspect of life and lives a miserable existence as a result. But, that appears to be far, far from the norm. On the other side of the conundrum is a vast collection of people living an overly cautious and wary existence. This old world and the despot behind its systems has done a fine job of overloading our minds with information and the pitfalls associated with it to the point of paralyzing people and stealing away their freedoms. You can have wine, but you can’t have too much wine. But, if you do have wine it should be red wine, but only one or two glasses depending upon your size. You can get around the rule (said in jest) by distributing to yourself a very healthy pour. Yet, the fact that you are working around a rule is very telling. The more the rule controls you, the more wine you want to drink. Of course, I say this as a devoted red wine imbiber, but you can apply this logic to any situation. Americans bristle against any attempt at gun control for fear the Government will take away their guns, never entertaining the thought of achieving a happy medium. Being a democrat (in theory) is somehow classified as being a liberal which is somehow classified as being the antichrist. As if life consists of two extremes and you must place yourself firmly on one side or the other. Behind it all sits that secret imposter fear, quietly directing behaviors from behind the scenes. Gone, it appears, are the days of healthy discussions and attempts at understanding in favor of firm stands based on hate, more deeply rooted in fear. Cops tend to shoot black people more than white people based on fear of black people. Not sure how black skin makes a person tougher as there are plenty of white folks from Philly that would gladly pulverize you given the chance, but I digress. My point, lest it should be lost in an endless political debate, is that fear always limits, always impedes, always restricts your life in some capacity.

In America, we value freedom perhaps more than any other thing. And while you can always make a case that our liberties are being eroded, as you would expect when your life’s direction is handed over to a government, the erosion of our liberties is founded more in what might happen than in what actually happens. There’s plenty of good people in America who are still willing to stand up for what is right on both sides of the aisle. However, the media craftily constructs a narrative that says otherwise even to the point that a group would storm the capitol in an attempt to protect those freedoms. Consider for a moment the logic in play that would consider it sound reason to storm the capitol with a relatively small group or armed citizens in a confused frenzy aimed at protecting our freedoms as citizens or the person promising to protect those freedoms. The issue, not discussed and even less reasoned out, is that fear has taken ahold of people to the point they no longer trust their own judgments or their own observations about what is actually going on and instead look for sound bites and internet snippets that further corroborate their already confused beliefs. Instead of being appalled at how African Americans are being disproportionately gunned down by police, the battle cry remains, “Obey the law!” – as if it was that simple. Today, while driving to work, I saw large black SUV with an even larger flag planted on the back that said in bold letters, “Fuck Biden” and in smaller print, “and fuck everyone that voted for him!” IMG_1740Yes this is America, but why? What aim could possibly be accomplished behind such an act? Behind that truck owner, behind the “I have a gun with me” rounded ball cap and wrap around sharpshooter sunglasses was a man living in fear; a man living on restriction. More and more the good old USA is being subverted into extremism, extremism based unsoundly on fear.

The remedy, it seems, is for people to stop blindly following and thinking on the surface in favor of thinking for themselves. Surely you have enough good judgment to think for yourself. What has happened to you that you cannot make even the smallest decisions without having to have the support and backing of everyone you know? What, you no longer know when you are overindulging or going out of control? What or who made you incapable of governing yourself? You don’t need an infomercial to tell you to stop smoking, that smoker’s hack in the morning accomplishes that. You can only shirk your responsibilities for so long before that grim reaper called responsibility rears up and demands you make a change. Why not trust that instead? It’s your life and it doesn’t take much before you start to recognize it is going off course. Yet, that is not the way of this day and time. People rely far too much on what other people think. They have lost the ability to trust in themselves; in their own judgments and fail to even consider that they may have been subverted. No, we don’t have all the answers as people, but God does and it seems reasonable to believe He might be working in us to not be deceived. And if we are deceived we learn and from that we grow. The danger isn’t in making mistakes; the danger is in thinking we are right when we are dead wrong and in being unwilling to even consider an alternative.

It is high time we stopped being so afraid! Yes information is good, knowledge is good, wisdom is good. But, all bets are off when we let fear enter into the picture. Chances are the reason you are not happy is not because America or the world is going to hell, but rather because the fear of it going to hell has gotten to you. Your God-given right to free will means you always have the right to choose, unless you forfeit that right! Make decisions according to who you are, not according to who everyone else says you should be! Like what you like and don’t like what you don’t like. You cannot be true to yourself playing every day in someone else’s arena. Play yourself as yourself in the lead role of your own life. You cannot keep living as someone else and live the life you desire. Unlike when you were a kid and restriction ended when your parents got sick of looking at your mopey face, you get off restriction as an adult when you decide to do so. Most of what you have been so afraid of hasn’t happened yet has it? Maybe that is a clue to let that crap go. Life without fear is the only real life and you owe it to yourself to get there. You are not on restriction if you choose not to be…

Just some good thoughts…

Your Thoughts to Energy Ratio


2d illustration Human Male Muscle BodyThoughts, like anything living and real, have energy behind them. They carry within them an inherent vigor and vitality or a pervasive lethargy and drag. One philosopher put it this way, positive thoughts and emotions emit a higher frequency while negative thoughts and emotions produce a lower and slower frequency. One manner of thinking adds liveliness and the capacity to do while the other thought form adds weariness and stagnation. People nowadays are so tired and worn out yet never equate their energy levels with their own thoughts, but instead blame lack of sleep and an inferior diet. While the former may be contributing factors, the true culprit may be more easily found in the thoughts we are choosing to think. The question then begs, what is your thought to energy ratio? 

If you find yourself struggling with a lack of energy or perpetually medicating yourself in order to get your work done or just to make it through the day, you have to ask yourself what it is you have been thinking about. The time you spend worrying about some future thing, be it what it may, not only is futile in terms of changing the outcome of the thing you are afraid of, but actually works against your best interests by using up your energy store thereby eliminating your energy to do something, the real remedy to your worries. Only action cures fear. Worry and fear serve only to steal away that precious energy. Surely you have noticed these effects in your own life. At one moment you are happily plugging along and in the next moment you feel exhausted and weary. What happened to you? Chances are you started considering some negative possibility and with it lost something along the way. You can trace this negative effect in every aspect of your life. All negative thinking, be it worries and fears or critical self judgment or rehearsing the mistakes from your past or anxiety about the future, leads quickly and easily to a lack of energy to do. Stress, the silent killer, functions along these same lines. Stress, an epidemic in the USA, is just another name for fear; fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of some negative outcome. These are in fact the reasons you feel so tired, indeed so worn out. 

Positive thinking, by contrast, produces an opposite effect. Positive thinking does not mean you try to turn bad things into good things. Positive thinking isn’t a pollyanna approach to life whereby you refuse to acknowledge challenges and trials. Positive thinking simply refuses to allow fear to define the narrative. We are always confronted with a choice in terms of what we are going to consider given a certain scenario, but positivity suggests we don’t have to consider the potential negative outcome. It is the consideration of evil that allows it entree into our lives and we greatly limit that entree by what we decide we will think about. Once evil, that which is always back of all worry and fear, is entertained, it steals away our valuable life source and enthusiasm for living. It closes our minds off to opportunities and possibilities and instead falsely predicts our hurt and loss. Being positive is often more about what we don’t do than it is about what we do, do. Positive thinking expects good things to happen and actively seeks out those good things. Positive thinking doesn’t dismiss good things as anomalies and as such doesn’t resort back to negative expectations. Man, what a job the enemy of God’s people has done on the collective group think of society. Negativity is running the place. Wrong thinking and thus wrong belief are the reason good things aren’t happening, not the wheels of fate or God or any similar superstition based more on guessing than sound reason. If you find yourself just sort of trudging along, it’s not because that’s how life is, but instead because of where you have allowed your thinking to go. You must learn how to think positively and continue to think positively to turn this thing around. Your energy for living, your enthusiasm, that pep in your step will all return once you stop the energy drain that goes on day by day by your refusal to give negatives anymore space. Your thoughts equal your energy ratio. 

If you think about it, the reason people struggle so much is because they are trying to do this thing alone. They have access to all the data, Google and a whole world of other people offering good sound advice about how life works. Yet, for all their good intentions, the world and its so called solutions are not going to get the job done. God never intended that people would have to figure out life on their own. Instead, God planned that people would learn how to rely on Him like a child relies on its parents. Children rarely worry and when they do it’s usually because a parent is failing to do their job. God never fails to do His job. The reason you can choose to keep your thoughts in a good place is because you can hand over all of the unknowns to God. Woe unto the man or woman carrying around all of the unknowns alone! You have gotten worn out by life by your reliance on self over reliance on God. The reason the fearful consideration has so much power of you is because you are trying to take it on alone. Your opponent, my friend, is much too wily and powerful for you to take him on alone. Absent God, you are no match for your enemy. He uses tactics that have worked on human beings for thousands of years and continue to work. With God you are assured success. His Word tells you how to think and what to believe and what not to believe. There is no need for guesswork or a Google search. He is the source of life and energy and enthusiasm for living. You want your life and energy back? Do you want to get off the treadmill of endless defeats and the subsequent exhaustion that follows? Do you want your energy to thought ratio raised to never before experienced levels? Then, get God involved with your life. 

It’s no criticism to you that you have been suffering in silence all these years. You have been worn out by “life” so called and have suffered the same deceptions and lies we have all experienced in one form or another. We compete with a common opponent. We are all subject to his bullshit at times and we have all suffered loss. How you used to live and what you used to do are not the matter here. What matters here is that you begin to recognize that there is another option available to you. That option does not guarantee you won’t still get defeated at times or find yourself trudging along aimlessly with the rest of the deceived world. What the other blessed option offers you is a relationship with the one true God who knows all, sees all and is powerful over all. No-one can answer your heart questions like God can and He withholds no good thing from His children. He will show you exactly where your enthusiasm has gone, why and how to get it back. He will show you what life can be with all of the blessings that go along with it. You have nothing to lose and literally everything to gain. 

You want to improve your thought to energy ratio? Get God involved…

Just some good thoughts… 

Do Something New…


71OuYxzZ2lL._AC_SY606_It seems the older people get, the more settled they become in terms of routines and well established habits. Whatever that mechanism is that God put into our brains to save resources, sort of takes over as we age, seeking apparently to place any original thought into predetermined categories leaving little room to process and enjoy new experiences. Although less required activity makes sense for those approaching and living out their golden years, perhaps less mental stimulation doesn’t make as much sense. People’s mind don’t age, their bodies do, that is unless they have slowed to a crawl in the healthy pursuit of learning something new. Do something new…

When you are young, the world is a kaleidoscope of multifarious, almost limitless possibilities to learn and subsequently grow. The infinity variety of the world is exhaustless in its capacity to enliven and thrill your heart. As you age, that same world of opportunities remains the same, but you don’t. The call of the familiar begins to sound louder than the beckon of new experience. Habits once developed for efficiency now become resistant to change; any change that upsets the status quo of required daily routines. God help you if you don’t have dinner at exactly 5:00 pm or miss a television show or don’t have your coffee at 7:00 am sharp. You cannot participate in any activity that takes place on the weekday evening and all extracurricular happenings must be confined to the weekend and then earlier on Sunday lest you risk staying up late. Whatever happened to that kid who gladly sacrificed sleep in order to do something fun? What deftly and subtly stole away the excitement of life in exchange for dutiful pursuits of the exact same thing day in and day out? It isn’t their age that makes a person old, but instead it’s those damnable habits and rigidity that sets in as a result of them. You’ve only become rigid and fixed in your mindset because you stopped the movement of your mind, the movement that takes place when you do something or learn something new.

The origin of this dilemma dates all the way back to the beginnings of mankind when aging was first introduced. (Yes, there was a time when people, both of them, didn’t age.) Today we find ourselves left with a body that does age and eventually will die if the Lord tarries. However, too many people have already died while still being alive. They’ve resigned themselves to a life of mental and physical inactivity. People have chronic knee pain because sitting all day doesn’t require much of the knees. There’s nothing left around that makes the heart beat faster, both physically and more important emotionally. It seems that no-one willfully resigns themselves to this fate, but instead sort of falls into it like when someone falls asleep. They have fallen asleep at the switch, which isn’t reserved for those in the middle of their lives. They have been lulled into complacency and in so doing have ceased caring about or pursuing the best things in life, to be replaced by a host of pointless endeavors ever leading nowhere and to nothingness. Sure your shot at being a professional athlete may have passed you by, but that doesn’t mean you cannot apply the same drive and commitment to something else. Woe unto the man or woman that has nothing left to care about. The perceived energy to do a thing is usually far more than the thing actually requires. When we cut ourselves off to new learning and adventure, we cut ourselves off from life. None have succeeded in exhausting new experiences, but many have exhausted themselves with old thoughts. There’s a reason grandpa keeps telling you the same stories. It’s because grandpa has no new stories to tell. (Bless his heart!)

If you’re not careful this old life will get away from you. Before you know it, your life will have been reduced to a handful of things going on every day while you seek in earnest to pass the time. The fact that you would seek to pass the time is a clarion call to your heart that you need to add some new stuff into your agenda and this advice is not just reserved for the elderly. There’s certainly nothing wrong with comforts or for that matter familiar routines, but there is everything wrong with a resignation towards life as long as God exists and, oh my friends, God exists! The variety and splendor of the creation alone signifies that God is anything but boring and is well able to help you recover that spring in your step. We all find ourselves confronted at times with futility, questioning the point of it all, but that is a part of every man’s experience if he lives long enough. But, if you are honest, you will usually find that you have been a cooperator in your own ignorance by failing to keep paying attention to your own thoughts and behaviors and how they play out in your life. What a great day it is when you finally begin again to question your assumptions and look afresh at life with humble and inquiring eyes! What an absolute joy it is to the soul of a person to discover something new, though it be known to others a million times over.

Maybe lately you have found yourself lacking in some of the enthusiasm and joy for living that you once had. Maybe life has become pretty routine for you without the promise of anything new. Whatever has happened or whatever has led you to where you are, take solace in the reality that new life is always available for those who seek it; for those who aren’t afraid to learn and to do something new. It remains your one shot at this thing folks. Please, do something new…

Just Be Honest…


Almost ten years ago, I wrote a series of blogs about being honest with yourself. Both then and now, when thinking about what it means to be honest with yourself, there still seems to be some confusion about what that really means. By the time we reach adulthood, we generally have a strong concept concerning being honest towards others and the importance of doing so. Yet, that honesty must always be tempered with love and compassion for the other people involved. It’s not honest to hurt people’s feelings or do and say things that may be “technically” honest yet leave people the less off as a result of it. There is no love in that. Many things are said and done under the guise of being honest that do nothing more than reduce another person’s value and worth. Similarly, being honest with yourself must also carry with it the necessary ingredient of love, or it too becomes no longer beneficial. To be honest with yourself means having love for yourself and a sincere desire to get to the bottom of a thing. When it comes to solving the problems and obstacles that plague mankind, you must first be willing to be honest with yourself. Just be honest…

Children are the best example of people being honest with themselves. When they are sad they say so. If they have unmet needs they do not take on the adult trait of rationalizing their unmet need, but instead communicate that need immediately and refuse to stop bringing it up until the need is met. It is not until many years later that they learn to stymie their needs or sublimate their needs or ignore their needs. And while you can make a good argument for not being childish in terms of getting your needs met, you cannot devise a good argument for acquiescing to unmet needs. Yet, that is how the whole worlds lives, slowly dying the painful death of unmet needs and unfulfilled lives. Everyone or almost everyone is suffering, sick, afflicted and tormented. The question is why? What happened to us all that convinced us that suffering is a necessary part of life and therefore something to be quietly accepted. Perhaps it is the apparent futility of it all or maybe years of trying with no tangible results. Whatever it is and whoever it is, it calls aloud for remedy. 

At my ripe age, I’m smart enough or maybe experienced enough to understand the types of things that befall us. I too have had my share (whatever that means) of suffering and difficulty. Just on the surface alone, it becomes blatantly obvious that perhaps suffering is not so much based on someone predetermining my rightful “share” as the unlearned preach, but instead how much I have learned and accepted that I will have to take! Putting up with suffering and defeat or worse expecting it, is categorically wrong. It is error practiced. It is not being honest with yourself. All of us fail and fall short at times. All of us do bad things. All of us got caught up in insane stuff. It isn’t your humanity or shortcomings that are defeating you as much it is your erroneous views about how life works. Some people suffer beyond all proportion to their weaknesses. Getting honest with yourself isn’t about engaging in more mind numbing thoughts of condemnation and self judgment. Again, there is no love in that. How many times must you beat yourself for your mistakes or then, how much must you pay? Being honest with yourself means getting down to the heart of the matter and in many cases just being willing to admit you do not know. How liberating and refreshing it is to finally say, “I do not know,” when in your heart you know you haven’t known all along. There needs be no ego when it comes to getting your needs met. You will go to the doctor if the pain gets strong enough. Being honest means going to get the help you need. Having unmet needs is not a sign of weakness, it is sign that you need to do something you have not done yet. Being honest with yourself with love is the precursor to all deliverance and healing. Just be honest. 

Relationships fail when people, for whatever reason, stop being honest with each other or perhaps from having never been honest with each other. People would rather break up or divorce before having the courage to say just exactly what the hell is going on. Relationships built on pretending to be a certain way to win the favor of another cannot prevail. God help the man or woman who feels they cannot say what needs to be said. That’s not a relationship, that’s a pretense. Oh it may look good to other people, but it damn sure won’t feel good. Now you are not being honest with two people and one of them is you. Of course, you can save up all your anger and bring it all out in one hurtful shouting session, but that’s not love either. There’s a way to say what you need to say and also fight fair. If your partner genuinely does not care about what you have to say, you will have to do your own math on that one. Get honest with yourself. Say what you are feeling and why. Your feelings are your feelings and right or wrong they belong to you. Not saying them or constantly revising them for the other person is not honest either. You do your partner no favors by not speaking up. Being honest with yourself may feel unpleasant at times, but it feels a lot better than the lies! Get some counseling. Talk to a trusted friend. Get something but live no longer in the lie.

There is no one better suited for your complete, total, full heartfelt honesty than God, our Heavenly Father. God will never use your honesty or vulnerability against you. He already knows where you slip up and fall short. But, more importantly, he also knows why you slip up and fall short. He knows your every thought. He sees the things you cannot see and thus has great, great compassion for you. He has the solution for EVERY effed up thing that ever happened to you! He hears your prayers and He looks on your heart. You don’t suffer because you are a screw-up, you suffer because you do not know. Your responsibility is simply to be completely honest with Him. Lay it all out there, the good, the bad and the ugly. You ain’t the first person to have your issues and you won’t be the last one! Don’t let your ego get in the way of your answers. God is all-knowing which means He knows exactly what you need. Similarly, He isn’t going to require you to be someone you are not because that is also not honest. Who wants artificial love and rote behaviors? You can trust Him. Just get committed to being honest about what is going on first with Him and then with others who may be involved. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to getting your needs met and living successfully. It’s not too late no matter what has gone on before. Just be honest…

Just some good thoughts…

 

You Have to Do You…


In a world that values conformity, you owe it to yourself to be an individual. Much of the struggle you face centers around this nagging compulsion to fit in and be, as much as is possible, just like everyone else. People have become afraid of their own thoughts and their own ideas. We doubt ourselves and close ourselves off to opportunities. We dismiss our good ideas as foolish and inconsequential. We know we have something powerful and impacting to offer the world, but instead of offering it, we try to find ways to squeeze it into so called accepted norms and approved practices. We live forever bound under the thumbs of other people’s expectations for us. You lament over your lack of personal fulfillment, yet very little of what you do is based on what you really want to do. In this, people spend a lifetime working jobs they do not like, following activities they do not enjoy and opting for things promising the most safety and socially endorsed stamp of approval. In this we fail to live; to really live life in its full effulgence and infinite variety. In this we ultimately fail ourselves. You have to do you!

If you think about it, we have all been schooled to not make waves and align ourselves with the status quo. It is often clear to us that the world has lost its collective mind, yet we painfully endeavor to assimilate its concepts into our own being, accepting and promoting what the world says to promote. We never dare ask ourselves what we think or worse have the confidence to trust in our own assertions. Even common sense conclusions are discarded in favor of a little research into what it is we actually ought to think. The world has desensitized us towards the things that truly matter and instead replaced those things with an unfathomable load of things that do not matter. We live (or exist) blown from pillar to post, minds crammed full of nothingness and pointlessness. On those rare occasions when we seize upon the boldness to say what we actually like or insist on something we want for our lives, then suddenly we become the crazy ones. Playing a role as someone else exhausting. Pretending to be someone we are not is damn hard work. Living our lives according to someone else’s dictates and rules is misery; pure misery. If you want to be happy, you have to do you.

So what does it mean to do you? It means to stop living as an imposter and start living as your own authentic self. What do you like to do? What turns you on? What makes your heart beat a little faster? Those things are the things you must do. You don’t have to live amongst the never ending judgments of the world. Honestly, you don’t even need one person’s approval. Sadly, this is man’s day of judgment and that judgment runs roughshod over people’s hearts, especially those daring to pursue their own uniqueness and individuality. We are besieged with judgment concerning every choice we make. Yet what is our life if we are no longer free to make our own choices? We don’t buy the house or the car we like, we buy the house or the car we ought to like, the one that communicates our status or success. That’s not to say that we can’t have nice things, but rather what is behind the choices we are making. Would I make that same purchase in a world with no other people? That’s the acid test. We get on that wheel of things and it is damn hard to get off of it. We devote ourselves to making money at all costs, but don’t devote ourselves to using the money for things that benefit us and other people. We don’t take the time we need to enjoy ourselves or our families, but instead grind toward some future day when we can finally do everything we ever wanted to do, but perhaps no longer have the energy to pursue it. Having the courage to do you means being willing to do your life exactly how you want to do it. It means taking the vacation now. It means writing your book now. It means pursuing your great business idea now. It means taking the time again to invest in your important relationships and stop letting everything else come ahead of them in importance. None of the cool stuff you were able to purchase is going to matter when the end of your life draws near, only the people you have been privileged to love and receive love from. Doing you means doing those things that matter the most to you and stop doing the stuff that doesn’t matter. Honor your own heart. Honor the people you love. Honor the things you hold most dear. You have to do you.

The risk involved with being bold enough to do you is nothing compared to the risk you face of living a life not lived well, well as defined by you and you alone. You are smart enough to recognize the things that bring you pain and cease from doing those things. You are wise enough to discern your own unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. You know in your heart when something isn’t good for you no matter how many people might say otherwise. Trust that. Honor that. Believe that. It seems people think that God is always behind the things you don’t want to do trying to force you to do them. I believe that God is behind the things that turn you on; those things meant for you and you only. Where do you think those exquisite dreams came from? Could it be the thing that most excites your heart to do is exactly what it is God wants you to do? Every man has value. Every woman has something unique to offer to the world. We all have a part in this thing together and every thing we do in accordance with our hearts, will be that which is best supplied by us. In the end, you have to do you. Won’t you do it to help us all?

Just some good thoughts…