Real Life…Keep Your Head Up!


inward-to-upwardOver the years, I’ve been up on the mountaintops of life and down in the valleys. I have experienced joy unspeakable and heavy duty agitation. And while God has never failed in His goodness towards me, I have often forgotten the secret to living real life with God. Interestingly, the difficult, frustrating times have always seemed to follow a distinct pattern whereby my focus shifts (or gets shifted) away from God and His goodness back to myself and all of my inadequacies. In light of this dilemma, I offer this beautiful work called, “The Secret to a Holy Life.”

The secret to a holy life is to get your eyes off your own inadequacies and onto the Father and His glory.

Our service is first and foremost to God and with God, not always to man.

To walk worthily is to walk with thanksgiving to God first and foremost.

The secret to a holy life is not the labour we do but just to love Him first and foremost.

Then the work we do is not to be well pleasing to Him but because we already are!

~ Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille

Religion persists in getting man to focus on his sins and shortcomings under the guise of helping him to live a better life. It is rife with judgment and an ever growing list of labels identifying good an bad… The focus is always about people and their behavior. And, if you have been a person long enough you are well aware that your behavior sucks at times. Since your heart wants to do what is “right” you chastise yourself and berate yourself with demands to get better and do better! Perhaps you need more discipline! Maybe you just need to work harder; get stronger; purify yourself more; stop doing this and start doing that. Maybe you are just evil! Maybe God is very upset with you! Maybe… The not so obvious problem with this line of thinking is that it drives you further and further away from God and the “real” life He has given you. It subtly turns your focus inward, not upward. Life basically becomes about you. Welcome to the deep valleys and the strangling agitation.

Try as you may, focusing on what you do “wrong” (so called) will never, ever get you to what is “right.” Again.. Focusing on what you “think” you do wrong, will never get you to what you “think” is right! You see, the issue isn’t really about doing right and doing wrong, the issue is about your focus and who/what is number one in your life. Religion has convinced us that a relationship with God is all about doing what’s right. The problem with that logic is figuring out what is “right.” One group says you can’t smoke. Another says you can’t do frontal hugs until you’re married (thanks Duggars). The enemy makes a clever appeal to our ego by promising us that we can do something to make God do something. In reality, we never have to make God do anything as He is already everything we could ever want. And to take it a step further, God sent His son to pay the full price for everything you and I ever did wrong, so we would never have to try and pay that price ourselves again!

Let’s say you had a child that continued to misbehave (according to what you thought was right). You scolded him, chastised him, threatened him, took things away from him and grounded him. Did those behaviors on your part make him do right? Of course not! If anything he simply did what it seemed like you wanted until the trouble stopped. Real change in a child only happens when the child chooses his own behavior without compulsion from others. It’s no different for us adults. We can modify our behavior; exercise discipline and everything else when it comes from a heart that is choosing freely without compulsion. God has done that for us. He has completely set us free in every regard so that we could truly be free to choose right. You get it? Free is free. No law is no law. Nothing you could ever do or not do will change God’s opinion of you! Nothing.

So the secret to real life is to get off your own back and stop making life and happiness all about what you do. Stop looking at your imperfection and focus on God’s perfection instead. Serve God not by clinging to approved behaviors, but by cleaving to God’s love for you and your love for Him. Thank Him for making you worthy no matter what the whole world says to the contrary. Then, you’ll find that you no longer have to work to earn His love and blessings, but will do what you do because you’re well pleasing to Him already!

True life; real life was never about choosing all the right behaviors to stand approved before men. Instead it’s about choosing to keep God first and foremost in your heart and life. Take a deep breath and let go of all that work and stress and anxiety you’ve amassed killing yourself to earn God’s love and protection and safety and a good life. Relax and breathe in the pure reality that He already gave all of that to you!

You are just fine, just the way you are…

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Living in the Sun…


SunshineForestFall in Utah is perhaps my favorite time of the year. The sun is shining, but unlike the summer, the sun is sort of lowering and producing shadows. The grass looks greener, the mountains look more brown, everything just looks so wonderful! Bliss… So, I’ve learned over the years that God often teaches us valuable lessons in the physical realm that apply most vividly to the mental and the spiritual. With that in mind, so I write…

Our mind has been compared to a garden and we have the glorious privilege of choosing the environment in which it grows (or doesn’t grow…). Sunny thoughts encourage it to thrive and produce a bountiful harvest. Dark, negative thoughts choke the life out of it. But glory hallelujah, we decide! So have you ever wondered why, when we get to choose our thoughts, we would ever choose darkness? Why, when we cast the final vote, would we ever pick dark thoughts?? I know, I know,  mentally you are challenging me right now. After all, life isn’t always positive, is it? Bad stuff threatens and some times actually happens. The world is negative; the Internet is negative; the people surrounding you might be negative. Darkness literally surrounds us. All of this is true, but we don’t have to acquiesce to it unless we choose to.

Hey, I’m a person just like you are. I don’t live in a fantasy land and am oh so aware of the challenges of life. I would be lying if I said otherwise. I feel pain, discouragement and defeat just like you do. I know where you are coming from. But here’s something you need to consider deeply. Maybe, just maybe you and I have been trained in the ways of the world. Maybe we have been unknowingly practicing error for so long that it just feels natural now. Maybe we simply assumed that everyone lives this way and it is just part of being a human being. Maybe? Have you ever learned how to do something incorrectly like swinging a golf club or shooting a basketball or typing with two fingers (which I am doing as we speak)? If so, you know how difficult it is to retrain your mind to do it a different way. You have to consciously work at it! It is hard work; very hard work! But amazingly on those rare occasions when you do it properly (thinking of golf swings now) how effortless it feels. There it is man! Effortless and simple is right, arduous and complicated is wrong. How many times have you heard that life is complicated? Well it is, but only because we have been trying to grow flowers in an unlit closet.

Now, back to what you habitually think. Imagine this scenario… Life is going well; you are happy and good things are happening. Tadaaaaa, the sun is shining! Then you pause to think about it and suddenly you find yourself wondering what could go wrong and just when it is going to happen. Enter the clouds and goodbye happy times. Here’s another… You go to the doctor because something hurts. You aren’t sure why and you go to get some help. Since you don’t know what is going on, you now have two choices about what you are going to think. Which thoughts did YOU choose? You chose terminal disease didn’t you? You see, you have been trained to think that way. It isn’t reality you are considering, it is a choice you are making. And while that choice is ongoing, you spend hours and days worrying about “your reality” that isn’t even reality. A week later, after the labs come back, your diagnosis is a minor infection and you are prescribed some antibiotics. You get better, but you can never get that week back you wasted in the shadows. Play that scenario out much longer and you end up never being able to get back the last twenty years you lived mired in fear. Do some folks get diagnosed with terminal diseases? Sure they do. Bad stuff can still happen. But, you my friend can greatly influence what happens by what you choose to think and thus believe.

This might sound silly to you, but I would rather live 50 years expecting the best and being surprised by a bad thing happening than live every day in fear of that one bad thing happening. To go one step further, in the spiritual realm there are also two choices. One is the eternal sunshine and one is a temporary darkness. How you think; what you think; what you choose decides which spiritual influence gains access to your life. Living in a perpetual cloud of negativity, knowingly or unknowingly, introduces you to a world where tragedy and suffering are the norm. Living in the sunshine doesn’t guarantee it won’t ever rain or storm, but when it does you’re still connected to the Source that always makes light shine out of darkness! And, along the way, you are going to get a helluva good tan and produce a bumper crop!

Please make up your mind today that you are going to step out of the shadows and into the eternal sunshine. Start now. Take your mind (get it..your mind) to task and get it into the light. Don’t do it alone though. Talk to the One that worked in me to write this and ask some questions; lots of questions. He will show you what to do in specifics. Heck, He tells me and I’m nowhere near as good as you! 😉

There’s nothing comparable to living life in the sun… Nothing!

Just some good, sunny thoughts!

Nobody Likes a Worry Wart


Proud Papa!

Happiness is...

According to the dictionary, to “worry” means to give way to anxiety or unease; allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulties or troubles. So that doesn’t sound even the least bit appealing to me, yet I find myself worrying about things ALL the time. No matter what the situation is, if it doesn’t initially go my way or there is even an ounce of uncertainty, I’m a hot mess. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I’m not the only one who does this. I’m gonna go out on another limb here and say that as much as I worry about things, it has never, not once, positively changed the situation in any way, shape or form. If anything all it’s done is make me miserable; constantly focusing on things I have no control over. Long story short, it sucks! It sucks a lot!

Fortunately, there’s…

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Be…….. Present.


todayIt seems of all the futilities possible in this life, there is one futility that tops the list. It is the futility of trying to live in a moment that isn’t now. Think about that for a moment. (No, really think about it…) The only moment you and I can live is the moment called, ‘now.’ But, we don’t do that, do we? We spend all of our ‘precious now’ living either in the past or in the future.

The past exists only in your mind. Those moments, good or bad, are gone forever. Sure, you have memories, but in reality that time is gone forever. And, whatever happened that lives on so vividly in your mind is no longer anything but a memory. Humans are a very peculiar bunch. You may have spent years doing good things, yet you foolishly cleave to those fragmented times when you didn’t do so well. It seems if you played the odds, you would give yourself a little credit. But, you don’t. And, to make matters worse, you rehearse those fragments and feel the hurt and pain all over again. Those annoying ghosts serve no purpose but to make your present life miserable and distracted. Instead of rejoicing in the possibility of today, you exercise your demons again and again and wonder why you aren’t happy or why your life feels unfulfilled.

The flip side of the equation is trying to live in the future. How many times have you discarded five days while waiting for two? Or pushed to make it through several months while waiting for that dream two-week vacation in the summer? And how about the “put-off” epidemic? Once I get done with college… Or, when I get that dream job… Or, when I find that special person… And that doesn’t even account for those times you feel afraid! You are so sure that such and such a bad thing is going to happen, that you waste days on end only to find out it either didn’t happen, or when it did happen you could actually handle it?

The ultimate problem with not living in the moment is that you miss your life that is happening now. Life is pregnant with possibilities waiting to be born, but you will never see them until you slow that monkey mind down and learn to live in this moment. Otherwise, you won’t see it. Here’s a thought. How many of you feel restless and anxious? Now ask yourself, is your restlessness or anxiety based on now or is it based on your past or on your future? Again, we humans are a peculiar bunch! We are so worried about the long gone past and not yet arrived future, that we can’t even relax and enjoy right now. What if I’m not successful? What if my life goes to hell and I spend my latter days in misery? Really? Really? Call me crazy but it seems that my success in life depends on what I do right now! Misery, like happiness doesn’t just show up unexpected. It shows up based on what preceded it. And, what precedes it is the moment called, ‘now.’

Life really isn’t as complex as we have imagined. You’re worried about your relationship because things have been bad lately (the past…). You think that things may be going to hell in a hand basket (the future…). But, in truth, you have 100% control over yourself in this very moment. You want happiness. You want love. You want warmth. You want harmony. So… Do happiness now. Do love now. Do warmth now. Do harmony now! Yeah, but what about the hurts of the past? (Memory) What if things don’t work out? (Imagination of the future)

This may come as a surprise to you, but God really designed you to live in the present moment. His instruction book clearly tells you to forget the past and quit worrying about the future. And, because He knows all about how your mind works, He tells you that He has forgiven your past (and paid for it – take that karma!) and promises you a wonderful future. But neither promise can be fulfilled while you persist in that dastardly past and future focus.

Children are the best example of being in the moment. When my grandchildren come over, Braylon sits on the couch next to me and plays with my iPad. (He said I’m the Grandpa that likes to sit down – smile)  Wherever I move to, he follows. He doesn’t say much. He doesn’t need much. He just wants to sit next to his grandpa, feeling the love, in the moment.

In microcosm form, that is what life is really about. It’s about people being fully present in the moment and sharing love with one another.  Don’t you see it?  We are all the same.  We all want the same stuff.  It’s not about chasing this and avoiding that; running from this and trying to hold on to that. It’s about being present; living fully in the present moment. And when you finally get it, you are going to find that everything you ever wanted is going to show up, right at the perfect moment; not a minute too soon or a minute too late. The reason it hasn’t happened so far is that you aren’t here yet.

Just be… present and see if things don’t appear out of nowhere, because they have been there all along…

Life is soooo good my friends, in the present moment…