The Secret to a Good Relationship…

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes (yes, clichés are my life!).  Relationships represent one of, if not the greatest,  component of our lives. You can’t really function as a human without some sort of relationship.  Oh, you can try, but you aren’t going to be very happy. But when it comes to relationships between men and women, we as collective group, have developed some rather odd expectations.  How many times have you heard of someone looking for their soul-mate or for Mr. Right?  The idea behind those notions is somewhat unrealistic.  First, that whole soul-mate thing presumes that there is that one person “out there” who is predestined to be your other half.  You, apparently, have little or no choice in the matter and have to get busy finding them.  (And there are how many people in the world?)  Then, funnily enough, when you find them they only lived about 20 minutes from you (smile).  Amazing!  And then there is Mr. Right.  Mr. Right is again that one fella who is just right for you.  You can tell when you have found him because he will be just right (haha).  Those of us that have been married for any length of time know that our Mrs. Right or Mr. Right is far from always being just right (Just ask my wife!).  Add to this, can you even imagine living in a culture where your folks choose your mate?  No thanks Mom and Pops!

So what exactly then is a relationship supposed to be?  I think we are smart enough to recognize that any two people can make something work, if they are committed to it.  But what is the secret to a good relationship?  Is there a secret?  To answer that question we have to go back to the origin of man.  Before there were Adam and Eve, God was.  God being all-knowing and all-powerful came up with the grand idea of people.  But there is another aspect of God we must consider as well.  God is love.  God isn’t just the act of loving or One that maintains a loving nature.  God actually is love.  Whatever love is, is God and whatever God is, is love.  They are inseparable.   Interestingly, the one thing the whole world seeks is love.  Mankind is born with a God-hunger on the inside, which can also be called a hunger for love.  In light of that, we have been looking for love in all the wrong places…(singing)…I digress sorta.  Now back to Adam and Eve.  (Hey maybe Eve was Adam’s soul-mate?  Okay only choice?  I guess Adam was Mr. Right as well as Mr. Only…again I digress.)  When God made Adam, He made him body, soul and spirit.  Adam’s spirit was his connection to God, or if you will, his connection to love.  Eve came in similar fashion and was connected to God’s love as well.  They started out connected to and filled with love; God’s love.  There wasn’t much competition so they formed a relationship together (smile).  We can assume as the prototype that they were both pretty “hot” and attracted to each other.  Though they started out perfect, they soon proved by their own free-will that they weren’t perfect.  (You know the story…)  Now if you can take a brief pause from your uncontrollable laughter, the secret to a good, if not great, relationship is in that story.  Relationships between men and women were “supposed” to be based upon a strong, wonderful love from God and a mutual love and devotion to God.  With that firmly in place, the rest was easy!  Sure there was still forgiveness.  Sure there was a willingness to let the past be forgotten.  But in reality, those wonderful qualities are all a part of God’s love anyway.

Accordingly, the problem with relationships now-a-days is that we are looking to fill that void with our mate.  We foolishly think, “if this person would just do what I want; look how I desire and treat me the way I deserve to be treated, I will feel loved.”  Then, when they fall short, as they invariably will, we wrongly conclude that love is lost and that they weren’t really our soul-mate after all.  In reality that approach is very selfish.  Your mate’s job is not be everything you think they should be.  Their job is to be everything they want to be with you being there to support them and love them and encourage them (and vice versa).  Marriage is not two people living one same life.  Marriage is two people living “separate” lives together.  And the only way for that to work out most effectively is for both of the parties involved receiving and sharing God’s love with one another.   Folks ask how Connie and I have stayed together for so long and the answer isn’t, as Connie jokingly says, “that we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.”  The truth is that when things got real crappy, we both loved God enough to persevere.  Without God we would have never made it this far.

So don’t spend all your time and energy looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.  Spend your energy learning how to receive and give the love that God wants to give to you.  Get good and full of that love and you will suddenly discover there’s a whole lot of soul-mates out there waiting for you!

Just some good thoughts…


True Comfort Comes From Understanding

Being an avid Facebooker, I have read many things concerning the recent tragedy that struck Newtown, Connecticut.  I came to the conclusion that Americans are wonderful, kind, loving folks that sincerely want to help during times of great adversity.  I have never read so many calls for love and kindness and prayers before.  So I thought it was important to offer comfort to people who are still reeling from the effects of what happened to those innocent children (and adults).

When I first heard about the calamity that befell Newtown, I immediately and obviously recognized the evil behind the attack.  What I didn’t expect were the people’s reactions to my supposedly obvious posts.  I got the feeling that somehow the mention of evil is offensive and upsetting and that maybe people would rather conclude that evil doesn’t exist (as a popular self-help teacher, teaches…).  Of course, many people believe in God but amazingly that belief doesn’t always acknowledge evil.  In fact, it seems in our world today that God vaguely gets the credit for both the good and the bad.  I suppose that is logical if you take away the existence of evil.  But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  Evil is alive and well in our world and although it has done a masterful job of hiding itself, it is a reality we must deal with.  Evil is behind every terrible thing that has ever happened to a person.  Now that certainly doesn’t mean that wonderful, little children did something to deserve what happened to them by any stretch of the imagination; no more so than a person ever deserves to be robbed, mugged or raped.  But evil, seizing opportunity takes advantage of the unknowing and unsuspecting.  Evil, as a parasite hides in error and wrong logic.  Evil gets to people not because they are bad and deserving, but rather because they are unaware.  That is why the adversary works so hard to conceal himself.  God said that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  What you don’t know can hurt you!

Understandably, many folks called for gun control and reform.  And, it seems that certain changes truly are in order.  But, I can assure you that we are never going to reform society by enacting laws or by making new regulations.  We can outlaw and we can punish, but the evil behind the attacks suffers from neither.  In fact, God says that the world is going to become worse and worse.  That wonderful utopia where evil doesn’t exist is reserved for our future.  But for now, you and I are not going to change the world.  However, we CAN change our own lives and the lives of the ones that we love.  We can live above the evil in the world and find out how to not be subject to it.  It’s not just life, folks!  It’s not just the way it is.  We have been so schooled and unwittingly trained to accept the bad things that we somehow think that is what life is.  Now that doesn’t mean that the enemy hasn’t tricked me before or gotten to me and my family!  What it means is that we CAN learn about the great spiritual competition that we are all in (whether we choose to participate or not) and can learn how to win more consistently.  God certainly hasn’t left us without answers.  But an understanding of God and the spiritual world have become so obscure to most folks that they just don’t know what to think.  That’s not a criticism, that’s just how the adversary has arranged things.

The beginning of our understanding is to know without any doubt that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  God doesn’t do evil to people.  God doesn’t call people home in the middle (or beginning) of their lives.  God’s people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.  The same way you couldn’t expect to be victorious in the football game without knowing your opponent, you cannot expect to win at life without knowing your spiritual opponent (or at least how he functions).  God wants you to know.  God doesn’t want you to be afraid ever!  God wants to protect you, but He is hindered by you (or at least by what you or your parents believe).  People ask in anger, “Why doesn’t God protect the innocent children if He is so loving?”  ~ A fair question…  The answer is that He cannot protect anyone unless they believe what He says and most folks (adults) don’t really know what He says.  Oh sure, they know He exists; they talk to Him; but what does He promise and do they really believe it?  Most often that answer isn’t clear.  Again not a criticism, but rather a reality.  Others demanded, “Why does God allow bad stuff to happen if He is so good?”  ~ Another fair question…  That might best be understood by asking this question, “Why do you as a parent allow your kids to do bad stuff?  The obvious answer is that you don’t control your child’s free will.  You teach them the best you can.  They hear some stuff and disregard much stuff and then go out and learn the hard way.  God simply will not overstep our free will, no matter what.  Free will is sovereign.  The angels have it.  Jesus has it.  You and I have it.  Imagine how much it hurts God’s heart to hear those things when he has never done anything but love people.  You may have heard otherwise, but trust me, the possibility of darkness in God goes against everything the Bible teaches.

Now I realize that some of these things I’ve offered go against what you have been taught.  Some things may just downright piss you off.  But that’s not my aim here tonight.  My sincere desire is to offer you the promise that you can learn and understand and that you can live above fear and disaster and tragedy.  The world is a very scary place, but even more so without spiritual understanding.  You can send your children out into the world without any fear about what might happen because you know that God is taking care of them.  You can learn to listen when God talks to you (as you would expect from a loving Father) and receive those necessary clues to help you avoid pain and loss.

So, as we continue to pray for those wonderful people in Newtown, Connecticut, remember that God is love and wants to heal not only their hearts but the hearts of every person that has ever suffered in this world.  He wants to heal you too!

I hope you receive those words as, “Just Some Good Thoughts…”

Are You in a Good Space?

That space that you occupy on earth is your space and yours alone.  But, I thought I would let you in on a little secret.  The real space that you occupy exists between your left ear and your right ear.  So, I ask, are you in a good space?  Or, how is your world according to you?  In the final analysis, how you choose to answer that question is 100% true for you.

Most people (and I really mean most people) think that life happens to them and that they must live in perpetual reaction to it.  They believe that good days come along at times and that bad days wander in on occasion.  When good times are apparent, they attribute it to luck and even go as far to say that some folks are very lucky; i.e. seem to be living a “charmed” life (hmmm charmed, what an odd conclusion…).  Has it ever occurred to you that the people who seem to get all the “breaks” might be doing something that you have yet to figure out?  I know it sounds a little insulting; the prospect that we might not know something, but hear me out for a little bit.  Life is not something that happens to you, you are something that happens to life!  Chance, randomness, and luck are man-made attempts to explain something we haven’t fully understood.  We look at two seemingly similar situations and observe that one succeeds and one fails.  We scratch our heads in disbelief because similar situations should have similar outcomes.  So, what is the cause for the disparity?  It’s really very simple.  One expects a certain outcome and the other fears a certain result.  The results they experience are 100% true for them, but chance didn’t decide the outcome, they did!

Learning how to think properly and how to believe rightly are just the greatest things in the whole world.  God, the Mastermind behind the creation, set no limits on believing.  The results of believing have absolutely nothing to do with how good or bad we are.  Evil people believe and good people believe and both receive in exact accordance with their expectations.  Sadly, the enemy of all that is good uses a form of believing against us.  It’s called fear!  Fear is believing and if you hold onto that fear long enough it is coming your way, my friend.  So, get ready!  If you are afraid of being poor, poor is in your future.  That’s not to say that all poor people are fearful.  Can you imagine being born into a family that is 3 generations deep into poverty?  How easy it is to say, “Get a job!” But, imagine how your expectations for life would be shaped by those ingrained beliefs.  That’s precisely why I would never call for an end to social programs.  I haven’t walked in those moccasins, so who am I to judge?  Fear is perhaps the greatest hold-back that humans will ever be confronted with.  Fear makes you withdraw into a self-made prison hole and you cannot see the way out.  Action cures fear.  Theorizing (endless theorizing) only strengthens fear.  Don’t try to figure it out, simply act on those things you are afraid of.  Take action and watch those life suckers fade into insignificance.  Most folks are not in a good space because they are afraid.  That is no way to live.

On  the other hand, we have the privilege to believe or expect the very best.  You are the only limit setter.  The “charmed” family is so because someone is doing some believing.  Good days and bad days are simply a decision WE have made.  If you cannot see yourself ever making a good salary, you WILL NOT ever make a good salary (good being something you decide).  If you don’t believe you will find the “perfect” mate, you won’t…end of story.  What you expect (not casually say, but earnestly expect) is what you will get, no more, no less.  Happiness is not a factor of circumstances, but a factor of expectation.  If you believe it will work out for you, it will.  If you believe you can have your heart’s desires, you can have them.  God is not opposed, no matter what anyone may tell you otherwise.  Often religion and religious people only want to tell you what you can’t have.  If happiness and prosperity were solely based on our personal purity, there would be no happy or prosperous people.   Look around you!  There are plenty of people who have both prosperity and happiness and they certainly aren’t more morally correct than you are.  What they have, that you thus far have lacked, is a realization that what they expect they get, so why not expect the best?

Being in a good space has nothing to do with life’s circumstances, good or bad, but rather your belief system.  Why not modify your beliefs and accordingly modify your life?  It’s your life, after all.  Stop settling for okay and alright.  What’s the best?  You can have it.  You should have it.  So, decide to occupy your space on terra firma according to what you want and not according to what the world told you.  Take on those fears and things that hold you back.  Deal with those issues that you need to deal with.  Take the time you need to honestly evaluate how you are living.  Where do you think that dream of a better life came from anyway?  (Ummm hello, God?)  In the immortal words of James Allen,

“Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts, and all the world will soften toward him, and be ready to help him. Let him put away his weakly and sickly thoughts, and lo! opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid his strong resolves. Let him encourage good thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and shame. The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts.”

Are you in a good space?  I am… 🙂