The Yoke’s on You…


So “funny” that getting everything you ever wanted was never based on pursuing everything you ever wanted, but rather by changing your focus to someone else.

justsomegoodthoughts

slavery-tmFear is the silent epidemic that thwarts all hopes and dreams. Fear is the great hold-back and reason you procrastinate. Fear is the imposing wall between you and everything you ever wanted. Fear rules the entire world and few escape its grasp. Fear is your worst and most pervasive enemy. Fear is a yoke of slavery and the yoke is on you!

Nothing in life retards your progress like fear does. Fear stops you dead in your tracks. Fear will make you turn back when you need to move ahead. It works to silence the voice that is truly yours and ever seeks to make you into someone you are not. And although all these things are probably very obvious, folks just march on frustrated and working hard, pretending and faking; trying and trying; hoping and wishing, with little or no results.

You would think that the hardest thing in the world was actually getting what…

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The Yoke’s on You…


slavery-tmFear is the silent epidemic that thwarts all hopes and dreams. Fear is the great hold-back and reason you procrastinate. Fear is the imposing wall between you and everything you ever wanted. Fear rules the entire world and few escape its grasp. Fear is your worst and most pervasive enemy. Fear is a yoke of slavery and the yoke is on you!

Nothing in life retards your progress like fear does. Fear stops you dead in your tracks. Fear will make you turn back when you need to move ahead. It works to silence the voice that is truly yours and ever seeks to make you into someone you are not. And although all these things are probably very obvious, folks just march on frustrated and working hard, pretending and faking; trying and trying; hoping and wishing, with little or no results.

You would think that the hardest thing in the world was actually getting what you want given the amount of energy you have spent trying to arrive. Now, I don’t mean getting some needs met here and there. I’m talking about being and doing everything you ever wanted to do. I’m referring to that “more than abundant” life God promised His children. I’m getting at the A+ life! That dream life, however it looks to you, is waiting around for you; not to figure everything out but to get rid of the obstacle, the blocker, the real effin’ problem…fear! Funny (peculiar) everyone denies its existence and everyone lives under its yoke. Again the yoke is on you!

It’s time to get honest folks. It’s high time to recognize the real issue. It’s not the economy, racism; where you live; your upbringing, the police; your education level, climate change, the terrorists, politics, money or lack thereof; your IQ, EQ or Ps and Qs, it’s you! Just let that sink in for a minute… Everything you really, really want but don’t have is because of your fear.  Obliterate the anxiety ridden doubt. Cast off the heavy burden, worry. Kill off every semblance of fear and you will find every good thing you desire. You’ll find it because it is already there, well hidden by the obscuring, deadening clouds of fear.

If you really want to live the A+ life and find the contentment and fulfillment you know deep down you desperately need, invest yourself in eliminating fear. Nothing good can come from bad no matter the disguise. Bad begets bad and fear is bad. If your motive is fear, for anything you do, the result can only be more fear. If you work hard out of fear, you won’t succeed. If you give to others based on fear, you won’t enjoy a harvest. Fear is an illusion. Fear is an expectation of defeat. Fear, through deception, brings negative results into your life. Fear is always about you. And, the only lasting solution to fear is love.

Love is the light that illuminates your path. Love isn’t blind, it’s just willing to see less. Love nurtures and encourages and builds. Love is never discouraged or impatient or frustrated. Love heals and revitalizes. Love warms and softens. Love removes every yoke. Love knows that what it seeks always comes to pass and there’s no power on earth greater than it. Love never fails. God is love.

The only possible way you can finally escape from the yoke of fear is by making the decision to love. So simple, yet so profoundly difficult. Real love isn’t all about you, it’s all about everyone else. Love doesn’t have time to sulk and brood and feel sorry for itself. Love doesn’t take what it already has for granted. Love doesn’t judge and criticize and condemn. Love seeks to relieve the suffering in others. Love wants to lend a helping hand. Love gives and gives and gives expecting nothing in return. Love speaks lavish words of kindness. Love forgives everything and everyone, knowing the true source of the wrong done. Love is tender-hearted and not afraid of revealing itself, for there is nothing wrong in itself. Love is the only enduring answer.

When you head out into the world tomorrow, instead of bracing yourself to be bold and brave and courageous; taking on fear wherever it shows up, do something different instead. Stop making it about you and make it about someone else. Quit pursuing your life’s dreams and help make someone else’s dream a reality. Love those people around you that you take for granted everyday. Love those people all around you. Just love them. Speak words of kindness and encouragement. Let your real heart out without fear of someone hurting it. Give your goodness to those folks at work. Have compassion on them and forgive them. Look deeply into their eyes and honestly seek their good. Heal them, help them, love them. Perfect love casts out fear.

The funny (peculiar) thing about love is that when you do it with all of your heart, all that you ever wanted for yourself comes to you without effort and striving and trying so hard. The door will open without you knocking. The opportunity will arise from the place you least expected. Your place, your purpose will find you because you finally found it, by deciding to love. So “funny” that getting everything you ever wanted was never based on pursuing everything you ever wanted, but rather by changing your focus to someone else.

The yoke’s on them, so why not help remove it?

Just some good thoughts…

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends Upon It (Because it really does…)


istock_loveyourselfIn the words of Jen Sincero, “Love yourself like your life depends upon it, because it really does!” In our media-driven world, self-hate and self loathing seemed to have reached epidemic proportions. No one likes themselves anymore. If it isn’t obsession with being skinny it’s a compulsion with your hair or your skin. You are angry with yourself for doing this and not having done that. You think you aren’t successful enough, smart enough or the deadliest of all, good enough. In the end you are just real hateful of that person staring back from the mirror!

As an individual living your one shot at life, imagine how devious and dastardly it is to not love yourself; you being the only self you’ve got! It’s not natural as even an animal knows to care for itself instinctively. Yet somehow in some way, humans can be talked into actually hating themselves. If you’re honest, something must have gotten to you! I’m sure when you were 8 years old you didn’t think that way, despite perhaps receiving perpetual correction from the people who loved you. Yet here you are today contemplating mean and hurtful things about yourself without even giving it a second thought. If you spoke to others like you spoke to yourself you wouldn’t have any friends. But, because you are speaking to yourself it is somehow okay.

A nation divided against itself cannot stand and neither can individual for that matter. The divided, beat up you is not the real you. It is a shadow of your real essence. But, that essence cannot be seen by the world because you have already long since lost the fight in your own mind! Maybe if you knew you were in a fight you would have fought back and that is the reason for this blog.

Life is spiritual my friend and contrary to popular belief there is a spiritual force ever at work to defeat you. The battleground is your mind. The weapons are your thoughts. Ironically, you are always in control of your own thoughts. So, somewhere along the line that force got you to say and confess those horrible things about yourself directly to yourself in the solemn chambers of your own mind. “I can’t help it!” you say… “It’s just how I am!” you report. But nay my man, my woman it is not how you are and you certainly can help it!

Real love is much more than an emotion, it is a decision. You decide to love and that love must include yourself. Jay-Z said, “I cannot help the poor if I’m one of them. Well, you cannot really love anyone until you first love yourself. All of that constant chastisement you level upon yourself doesn’t make you a better person. There’s nothing humble about loathing yourself. All it does is weaken you and make you part of the problem instead of part of the solution. You walk around criticizing (in your mind) everyone you see and everything they do, never once stopping to realize that you are projecting out onto others the way you feel about yourself! You don’t love them or forgive them because you don’t love or forgive yourself! That’s just how it works and there aint no getting around it…

What if God made you wonderful just the way you are? What if all of those imperfections you’re obsessing over are actually a natural part of the human experience? I often muse that if you could get inside someone else’s head you would find all the same insanity you find inside your own head. At least then you would take solace in knowing you’re just like everyone else! But this ol’ world has done a number on you. Instead of being left to your own devices (and thoughts) there’s a giant media machine that is glad to share with you exactly how you “should” look and how successful you “should” be and precisely how bad you really are for thinking and doing the things you do. Just stop buying it because it’s a lie.

To escape this dilemma you have to first become willing to admit that you’re doing it to yourself, then take yourself by your thoughts and start loving that person again. Accept your limitations and weaknesses for being just what they are; limitations and weaknesses. How absurd to think you should be above weaknesses! Instead change your focus to all that is glorious about you. If my gift to the world was being the greatest quarterback of all time, how nuts would you think I was if all I talked about was my lack of skill at soccer? Well, the same holds true for your gift to the world. Just do you man, the good and the bad. Focus on what’s awesome about you and stay there. No-one overcomes weakness by focusing on it, but only by focusing on strength. Focus on your strengths!

Perhaps the worst in the sliding scale of bad thoughts is to think you aren’t good enough. Newsflash! None of us are good enough, we came from the factory that way. Our great God has never loved anyone because they are good enough. He loves people because He is good enough. Most, if not all, self-loathing comes from the vague idea of not being good enough. And you got those ideas from some whackadoo parked outside an abortion clinic pretending to speak for God. God is love only and that should settle every argument to the contrary!

When I listened to that statement that is the title of this blog, I actually shed tears. You know why? Because I, just like you, need to love myself. You are no different from me and I’m no different from you. We’re all on this trip together and we may as well learn to love that dude or gal we see staring back at us from the mirror every morning! It just doesn’t make any sense to do otherwise!

Love yourself like you life depends upon it, because it really does!

Just some good, loving thoughts…

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends Upon It (Because it does…)


istock_loveyourselfIn the words of Jen Sincero, “Love yourself like your life depends upon it, because it really does!” In our media-driven world, self-hate and self loathing seemed to have reached epidemic proportions. No one likes themselves anymore. If it isn’t obsession with being skinny it’s a compulsion with your hair or your skin. You are angry with yourself for doing this and not having done that. You think you aren’t successful enough, smart enough or the deadliest of all, good enough. In the end you are just real hateful of that person staring back from the mirror!

As an individual living your one shot at life, imagine how devious and dastardly it is to not love yourself; you being the only self you’ve got! It’s not natural as even an animal knows to care for itself instinctively. Yet somehow in some way, humans can be talked into actually hating themselves. If you’re honest, something must have gotten to you! I’m sure when you were 8 years old you didn’t think that way, despite perhaps receiving perpetual correction from the people who loved you. Yet here you are today contemplating mean and hurtful things about  yourself without even giving it a second thought. If you spoke to others like you spoke to yourself you wouldn’t have any friends. But, because you are speaking to yourself it is somehow okay.

A nation divided against itself cannot stand and neither can individual for that matter. The divided, beat up you is not the real you. It is a shadow of your real essence. But, that essence cannot be seen by the world because you have already long since lost the fight in your own mind! Maybe if you knew you were in a fight you would have fought back and that is the reason for this blog.

Life is spiritual my friend and contrary to popular belief there is a spiritual force ever at work to defeat you. The battleground is your mind. The weapons are your thoughts. Ironically, you are always in control of your own thoughts. So, somewhere along the line that force got you to say and confess those horrible things about yourself directly to yourself in the solemn chambers of your own mind. “I can’t help it!” you say… “It’s just how I am!” you report. But nay my man, my woman it is not how you are and you certainly can help it!

Real love is much more than an emotion, it is a decision. You decide to love and that love must include yourself. Jay-Z said, “I cannot help the poor if I’m one of them. Well, you cannot really love anyone until you first love yourself. All of that constant chastisement you level upon yourself doesn’t make you a better person. There’s nothing humble about loathing yourself. All it does is weaken you and make you part of the problem instead of part of the solution. You walk around criticizing (in your mind) everyone you see and everything they do, never once stopping to realize that you are projecting out onto others the way you feel about yourself! You don’t love them or forgive them because you don’t love or forgive yourself! That’s just how it works and there aint no getting around it…

What if God made you wonderful just the way you are? What if all of those imperfections you’re obsessing over are actually a natural part of the human experience? I often muse that if you could get inside someone else’s head you would find all the same insanity you find inside your own head. At least then you would take solace in knowing you’re just like everyone else! But this ol’ world has done a number on you. Instead of being left to your own devices (and thoughts) there’s a giant media machine that is glad to share with you exactly how you “should” look and how successful you “should” be and precisely how bad you really are for thinking and doing the things you do. Just stop buying it because it’s a lie.

To escape this dilemma you have to first become willing to admit that you’re doing it to yourself, then take yourself by your thoughts and start loving that person again. Accept your limitations and weaknesses for being just what they are; limitations and weaknesses. How absurd to think you should be above weaknesses! Instead change your focus to all that is glorious about you. If my gift to the world was being the greatest quarterback of all time, how nuts would you think I was if all I talked about was my lack of skill at soccer? Well, the same holds true for your gift to the world. Just do you man, the good and the bad. Focus on what’s awesome about you and stay there. No-one overcomes weakness by focusing on it, but only by focusing on strength. Focus on your strengths!

Perhaps the worst in the sliding scale of bad thoughts is to think you aren’t good enough. Newsflash! None of us are good enough, we came from the factory that way. Our great God has never loved anyone because they are good enough. He loves people because He is good enough. Most, if not all, self-loathing comes from the vague idea of not being good enough. And you got those ideas from some whackadoo parked outside an abortion clinic pretending to speak for God. God is love only and that should settle every argument to the contrary!

When I listened to that statement that is the title of this blog, I actually shed tears. You know why? Because I, just like you, need to love myself. You are no different from me and I’m no different from you. We’re all on this trip together and we may as well learn to love that dude or gal we see staring back at us from the mirror every morning! It just doesn’t make any sense to do otherwise!

Love yourself like you life depends upon it, because it really does!

Just some good, loving thoughts…

Thinking Without Practice is Dead…


The reason you seek advancement in some area is because you are smart enough to know you have gotten stuck. But you’ll never find the way out of the rut by floating along with the debris of yesterday’s thoughts. Nor can you drift along today with today’s debris and get it done either. You have to find real things; true things and focus your mind on those things. In other words, stop floating!

justsomegoodthoughts

img_1199818081_15077_1229284874Have you ever learned something significant that offered the promise of unalterably changing your life for the better, only to find yourself back in the “same-old, same-old” a week later? You read a fantastic book or are deeply moved by a speaker and can’t wait to tell others about your experience, then by the time you see your friends you have forgotten what touched your heart in the first place. Why? I’ve often mused that self-help is an opioid by the appeal it makes to your soul, but an addiction after the initial experience wears off, ever requiring a new supply. Right?

This certainly isn’t an indictment against self-help or self-development as it’s now called, but rather a sincere question in need of a real answer. Personally, I think people who seek to improve their situation are the most honest people on Earth. But, wanting to advance and actually advancing are two entirely different…

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Thinking Without Practice is Dead…


img_1199818081_15077_1229284874Have you ever learned something significant that offered the promise of unalterably changing your life for the better, only to find yourself back in the “same-old, same-old” a week later? You read a fantastic book or are deeply moved by a speaker and can’t wait to tell others about your experience, then by the time you see your friends you have forgotten what touched your heart in the first place. Why? I’ve often mused that self-help is an opioid by the appeal it makes to your soul, but an addiction after the initial experience wears off, ever requiring a new supply. Right?

This certainly isn’t an indictment against self-help or self-development as it’s now called, but rather a sincere question in need of a real answer. Personally, I think people who seek to improve their situation are the most honest people on Earth. But, wanting to advance and actually advancing are two entirely different animals. Thinking without practice is dead.

In every realm of life it’s understood that in order to develop any skill you must first learn the right way to do it, then practice what you learned until you master it. Reading how to hit a baseball with a bat, while valuable, cannot possibly prepare you for the actual experience. Reminds me of the first time I went rappelling in the Army. Although the Drill Sergeant told us over 100 times that your brake hand would only work wrapped around the back of your body in the small of your back, my unpracticed mind thought it would work better by grabbing the rope from the top with both hands….sliding all the way to the ground with leather gloves on fire! Knowing without practicing is not knowing.

At those times you feel inspired and blessed by some insight or revelation, your experience is most likely genuine. An appeal is being made to your heart. But your heart isn’t found on the surface, it’s much deeper than that. You satisfy the appeal both by your further investigation and your willingness to put what you discovered into practice. Practice does make perfect when true understanding is what you are after. ‘Gratitude’ is just fancy word for thankful until you learn to express it. ‘Focus’ promises to salve your disturbed mind, but only when you actually focus it and keep it focused! ‘Seeing’ what you want in your mind in order to get it, sounds attractive, but the 30 seconds you devoted to it over two days won’t help anything to appear. In the end it’s all wishing, sort of like New Year’s resolutions.

Recently, I was lamenting to my wife that after learning a principle in the Bible for the first time 33 years ago, then re-learning and re-learning it again and again, by now you’d think I’d get it. Then it hit me! I know it but don’t really know it because of failure to consistently put it into practice. Former victories don’t mean anything in the time called today. Each day is a brand new day rife with opportunities to put ‘it’ into practice. Or it’s a brand new day to slide back into the pointless chase called, what’s wrong with me today? Both options are always there with the latter requiring little or no effort on your part. Just go with the flow and you’ll find it.

In the Bible this process is called “renewing your mind.” It means putting what you learned into actual practice.  Now, don’t go religious on me here. I’m not talking about competing for good person of the year. That contest has no end point nor winner. I’m talking about changing the reality of what is or what you see to the reality of what’s true. The reason you seek advancement in some area is because you are smart enough to know you have gotten stuck. But you’ll never find the way out of the rut by floating along with the debris of yesterday’s thoughts. Nor can you drift along today with today’s debris and get it done either. You have to find real things; true things and focus your mind on those things. In other words, stop floating! The currents of the world have been well crafted to eventually suck you down the rapids. You can’t escape unless you paddle and paddling requires effort. And, the paddling needed to start long before the waterfall appeared.

Lest I drown you in a litany of water related metaphors (sorry), what I’m trying to say is you have to finally get serious about the thing that caught your attention; the appeal, and do something with it. Everyone can see the outline of what needs to be done, but you have to stick around to fill in the middle. It is your one life to live and it’s going by too fast. If it’s your weight, get serious and fix it. If it’s your job, get determined and change it. If it’s a lack of understanding, get honest and get committed to understanding. (When the student is ready, the teacher appears, right?) If you need God’s help (and you do!) then make up your mind to receive it. But, for Lord’s sake don’t just play around the edges, ‘dive’ in with all that you are! The price you pay in terms of effort will pale in comparison to your reward ~ life!

Okay, enough of the “rah-rah,” what about tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Your life; your task; your duty; your response is all centered on just one thing ~ TODAY! Live in the moment today and when it dawns on you that you’ve left today, come back to today. Don’t eat so much right now instead of trying to swear an oath for the next 6 months. Become grateful again right now. Refocus yourself right this minute. Restart with what you want again and again and again until you finally break free from the grip.

I wish I could tell you it’s easy but it’s not. It is simple, but never easy because you didn’t arrive at the place you are at overnight. It took time to wear you out in your rut and it will take time to fill in the road again. But hey, the good news is you only have to do some shoveling today. Anyone can shovel for just one day, right?

Whatever it is that you’re after, my friend, is available to you, but only when you stop all that thinking and start putting things into application. Thinking without practice is dead…

Just some good thoughts (and practices)…

Working Hard for God?


working-hardHave you ever seen the movie, “The End” with Burt Reynolds? There is a classic scene where Burt’s character , after numerous attempts at suicide, finds himself in a large body of water with little hope of being able to swim long enough to save himself! So, he makes several deals with God, attempting to encourage God to rescue him. While being a hilariously funny comedy, the movie shows how many people view their relationship with God. Reynolds offers to keep the 10 commandments, after he learns them. Promises to be honest in business etc. The message is obvious, if you do a lot of good stuff and obey the rules, God will help you out. But, if you mess up or sin, your sh*t is in the wind. How many of us are working so hard to please God in a misguided attempt to get something from Him?

The whole world, and I might add, every major religion is wrapped up in that simple, yet complex lie. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have tried it, you found out pretty quick that it was damn hard work! The more you work to earn something from God, the more you fail. The more you fail, the harder you work. When you finally think you’ve become good enough, you find out that your good enough apparently wasn’t good enough, because something negative still happened. You analyze yourself deeper; find areas of potential error and set about to work even harder. It never even dawns on you that God’s willingness to help you was never based on your behavior in the first place. This is the message of almost the whole book of Romans in the Bible, but hey, who needs the Bible when you can just work hard?

Of all the dastardly, evil, discouraging, asinine, wretched, bull-crap, devious things people have been talked into believing, the most supreme of all is the absolute lie that you could do something to earn God’s love, blessings and protection! Read that sentence again! You cannot earn it, never could earn it and never will be able to earn it. Even when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord by believing God raised him from the dead, even then God reckons righteousness unto you because of your believing. Not by works, lest any man should boast. The only way you can ever get anything from God is by believing. Period. End of sentence. End of damnable hard works!

Do you want to please God? Do you want God to be pleased with you? Then believe Him! Do you need God’s help in a situation? Believe that He can and WILL help you! Do you need to make a deal with Him? Never. Do you have to do good works to get His blessings? Heck no! In reality, God blesses you to  motivate you to do good works, not the other way around. You gotta give God a little credit here. He already knows all about you (and me) and still loves you. He already knows everything you are going to do (good and bad) and still protects you. His love for you always was and always will be unconditional. He doesn’t have conditions, you do! He doesn’t make deals, you do! He doesn’t bless you because you are good enough, He blesses you because He’s good enough!

The quicksand trap of that treacherous works routine is that as long as you believe you have to do something to get something from God, you will never get around to being fully persuaded in believing that what He said He would do for you, He will do! You are always going to be able to find something wrong with you and you won’t even have to look very hard. You, you human being, cannot measure up; it’s impossible. So for goodness sakes, stop it! It’s a trick. It’s a lie. It’s wrong on every hand.

Look, I’m not trying to condemn you, I’ve played this game; far more than I am loathe to admit. It’s subtle and it’s obvious. It’s clear and it’s vague. It’s a feeling and it’s a thought. But, no matter how it manifests itself, it is a damn lie! It contradicts God’s Word. Whether it comes from your Preacher; your mother or your wife, it’s a damnable lie, from a damnable source with damnable intentions to defeat you. It’s not your conscience mysteriously chastising you, it’s God’s archenemy carefully crafting circumstances and conditions to talk you into something that isn’t true with a further view to stop you from believing in and upon your ONLY source of help!

At the end of the movie, Burt’s character makes it out safely and quickly begins to break all of the deals he made with God. After all, he is safe now and the deals no longer make sense. How profound huh? He made it out alive and all of the deals he tried to make never did make sense anyway! So, if you are alive right now, and I’m assuming you are because you are reading this, stop trying to make a deal with God. Stop trying to trick Him into thinking you are better than you really are. Instead, be yourself, be honest and be true. Learn how to believe what He promised you. Stop thinking your behavior is a factor and just get your old stubborn noggin to believe what He said He would do for you, without any conditions, clauses or contingency plans. He is that good people and He is anxious to prove it to you!

Yeah, I still get caught up from time to time earning something God already gave to me, but when I do, I write a blog about and somehow feel a little better.

Believing what God said is no harder than believing the sun will come up tomorrow. Learn to believe God as you are, right now, and you will see what all believers see, God is faithful to those who believe. Are you working hard for God’s blessings? I hope not, at least not anymore, anyway…

Just some good thoughts to set you free!