The Illusion of the Self-Made Man…


self_made_manPeople living in the world today have a rough go of it. They spend their entire lives in conflict with an adversary they know not of, nor have any means to detect. They have at their fingertips uncountable volumes of information promising techniques, principles and solutions for every problem that could ever surface. There are rules to find happiness; “must do” activities for wellness and tips or clues for optimum prosperity and health. And, the information is so compelling that it supports a billion dollar industry almost all based on one grand illusion, namely that man can by his limited senses mind and decision-making, take full care of himself! He doesn’t need any outside help, but rather a resolute will and determination to make himself into something he is not yet. The allure is so compelling that the vast majority of people on Earth flounder under its spell. The self-made man is an illusion!

The last thing in the world that “the world” wants you to understand is that there is an entity opposed to all that is good or beneficial or kind, that takes full advantage of man’s ignorance concerning it. Evil has been deemed a label that man gives to forces he cannot see with his senses mind. It has been reduced to the level of superstition. It is generally a source of ridicule and a figment of the imagination by the so-called intelligentsia of the day. Yet absent a true spiritual understanding of evil and how it works incessantly to thwart mankind, man is forever the brunt of a cruel joke; one that plays out in his everyday existence. And you know, if you’re honest, that things often don’t turn out the way you had hoped they would. Instead apparently random circumstances and by chance events shape the life you are endeavoring to successfully live. On the other side of the same coin, there are those who see evil in every event and action and would have you to avoid the experience of life in its entirety. Both are fueled in ignorance of true spiritual realties.

Man’s unknown and somewhat typical experience consists of spending most days hoping he doesn’t get the unexpected roll of the dice that will lead to certain suffering ending in death. He is terrified of cancer or other deadly diseases and when hearing of evil that befalls another, makes up sayings to assuage himself like, “I guess it was his time.” And what incredulously cruel entity would decide when it was “his time?” The same one that lies hidden under the apparency of things according to the maxim, “the secret of its success is the secrecy of its moves.” Add to this, man’s ascribing these foul qualities to God and you have a recipe for a futile existence. For this reason, no man living, successful or otherwise, is self-made, but has knowingly or unknowingly tapped into something that either helped him or hindered him in his life. All that a man gets or fails to get is a product of his own beliefs. Being determined upon some goal and taking vigorous action towards it, leads to its acquisition, not by himself but in concert with all that is Good and gives unreservedly. Conversely, man fails and suffers hardship not by his fear alone, but rather by his ignorance concerning evil, and unable to successfully stand against it, he succumbs to a difficult life.

Life was never intended to be an obstacle course or a maze that could only be bested by years of “trying to get up that hill.” Instead man was supposed to seek out spiritual assistance to his spiritual problems from his spiritual source – God. God has not left His people without recourse. But, you’d never know that by studying the life of the average Christian today. It seems Christianity has been taken over wholesale by a preoccupation with sin. And in a man’s futile attempt to not sin, he sits ever open to the attacks from an enemy that not only entices him to sin, but accuses the holy bejesus out of him when he does sin. In this, the Christian is no different from the unbeliever in that he suffers pain from an enemy he cannot see nor discern by his ignorance of the truth. Working hard to be good enough or righteous enough is yet another endless puzzle with no real solution because the starting premise; you can by your own self-made efforts make yourself good enough, is categorically false as well.

God has given man remedies to his dilemmas, if he only knew it. The first and foremost remedy can be found in the Bible, also called God’s Word. God’s Word, specifically that part of His Word written to us directly, offers the truth concerning any apparent situation or dilemma we find ourselves in. To conclude that believing God for healing is foolish and that one is best served by the medical community is just another fault in a long line of faults, falsely setting up man and his wisdom as predominant over God’s wisdom. God’s Word is always paramount in our quest for truth. In addition to His Word, God made available holy spirit, obtained simply by believing (Romans 10:9-10). Receiving holy spirit, which some erroneously conclude resides in every man, enables man to once again be connected to God, the Holy Spirit. Holy spirit living within a man comes with built-in potential power. However, this fantastic power with the ability to overcome all difficulty and unlimited capacity to discern the spiritual world, must be energized within the man himself. This energizing within is accomplished by praying in the spirit, also called speaking in tongues. Typically, just the mention of speaking in tongues elicits a negative reaction in man’s mind. This shouldn’t surprise you as the source of all difficulty and hardship has worked tirelessly to queer the process and thus ensure that you don’t learn how to do it. Doing it and doing it often builds up His spirit within you. Once built up, man can once again see what he formerly could not see. He then not only has the ability to discern the evil, but also has access to God’s spiritual solutions for his spiritual problems. So very simple, yet so wholly misunderstood.

In the beginning, man was formed, made and created to live a life where God was at the center of his existence. He had responsibilities to accomplish, but his life was cared for by his God. And like a child seeks out his Mommy or Daddy to get his needs met, man was to seek out his Father to get his needs met as well. The self-made man is the ultimate ruse because man lacks the ability to self-make anything, though he demands otherwise. Instead man is a Spirit-made creation and absent God’s help has little to no shot of overcoming the world and it’s pain.

There is a wonderful, abundant life out there waiting for you, but you’ll never see it if you try to do it on your own. Spirit-made baby, that’s where real life is found!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Making Your Mind a Friend…


Different emotionsYears ago I wrote a book called, “Making Your Mind a Friend.” It was an amateurish project at best, but at the time I penned it, it helped save me from a world of suffering; suffering mostly self-imposed by wrong thought with a heavy, heavy dose of religious bondage. Somehow, in some imperceptible way, I had morphed (or had been morphed) into everything I hated in life. I became sickly religious and when you get religious enough, everything you do or say or feel will be wrong. It’s wrong because you have set up for yourself an impossible standard. And, before you know it, your worst, most pervasive enemy will be your very own mind. Thus, making your mind a friend isn’t about splitting yourself into two separate entities and having positive dialogue with each part. It’s about learning to extend kindness and forgiveness and friendliness to your own self in the same way you might extend it to your friend.

I remember years ago when my brother had agreed to watch our boys. When we picked them up he explained incredulously, that one of them was throwing rocks in the road and when he told him to stop, he threw another one! He couldn’t understand how that could happen. Of course, he didn’t have his own children yet. He now knows that disobedience happens but it is the parent’s job to correct it. So here’s a thought. Disobedience happens with adults also. But, just like when you correct a child, no matter how satisfying the chastisement feels, all a parent is really after is an acknowledgement from the child that they did something wrong. There’s rarely much to say after the apology occurs.

How many of you have spent years and years chastising yourself for some event that has long since expired? It’s gone from life and is in the books. It only shows up again when you re-read the book. Stop re-reading the book! The things you do wrong and have done wrong were committed to the history book just as quickly as they happened. They are no longer a part of your life unless you allow them to be. The egregious errors, the scarring hurts, the bruising slights all have vanished from the present reality. You make your mind a friend by not subjecting your friend to the same old, tired story. Like your friend who might tell you it’s time to get over it, it’s time to get over it. You don’t magically transform bad behaviors by punishing yourself, you know that! You transform yourself the same way your child transforms, by receiving your forgiveness. And don’t you think for a second that God is bringing it up. God forgave you the FIRST time you were sorry. You have to “accept” His forgiveness also. Beyond that it’s all a bunch of egotism and you can take that to the bank!

Once I heard a father say how dumb his kid was and that he didn’t think his elevator went all the way to the top. How sad is that? To think that a father would say that about his own flesh and blood, astounded me. All I could think was, he’s your own kid! What the eff is the matter with you? Your child will be about as smart and talented and good as you can teach him he can be. You, horrible father, are outrageously defining his limit. Now as bad as I guess that made you feel, how about the things you say to yourself? Would you so easily tell your good friend that he was an idiot? Would you be so quick to focus on and point out his every weakness and fault? Oh sure you would see both, but out of love you wouldn’t bring them up, would you? Do you know anyone on earth that gets better at something after repeatedly being told he sucks at it? Weakness is never overcome by focusing on the weakness. You win at life by focusing on your strengths; what you can do the best! Strength is built from strength! All you accomplish by acquiescing to an endless stream of negative chatter about yourself is to weaken and severely limit your true capabilities. And, the worst part? You are saying those things to yourself! You aren’t just being honest! You are treating yourself like an enemy and not a friend. If you don’t love you, who does? Well, God does and He disagrees with your estimation of yourself. Again, beyond that, it’s all just a bunch of egotism…and your insistence on self harm.

Making your mind a friend is about choosing what you will and will not think about and choosing what you will and will not say to yourself. Your mind is your mind and you may use it in whatever fashion you see fit. You may say, “I can’t stop thinking about it!” But, oh yes you can! Like a lifelong smoker, the longer you’ve been engaged in the habit, the harder it is going to be to stop. The new non-smoker has to say ‘no’ to himself one hundred times a day at first, but the next day may only require seventy-five. Eventually the thought comes up ever so rarely. The same with negative talk and condemnation, once you break the habit, it happens less and less. And like the smoker that quit, you brighten your prospects for a long, happy, successful life.

At the end of the day, you my dear friend, are the only you, you’ve got! And, like your heart would seek in earnest to console your sad, defeated child, you must learn to be good to yourself. You aren’t serving God by behaving that way, no matter what some preacher may have told you, you are serving your enemy by your refusal to believe what God has already said. You aren’t the evil one, but you just may have been listening to him. Be kind with yourself. Be forgiving with yourself. Learn to accept your imperfections and just be. It’s okay. God knows all about you and loves you anyway!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Taming Your Wild and Crazy Mind…


your-thoughtsI suppose it wouldn’t matter much what you thought about if your thoughts had no effect on your life. If your life wasn’t governed by what you believe and what you believe wasn’t determined by what you think about the most, there would be no point in trying to get that unruly beast (your mind) under control. But alas, your thoughts do form the basis of what you believe and what you believe deep in your heart is the wellspring from which your entire life flows out (or lack thereof).

Of all of the things in life you can control, nothing is more important or potentially life-giving than controlling your thoughts. It’s almost amusing to most folks, this insane notion that you can control your thoughts. In these frenetic times of visual, electronic images, overloaded and multiplied indefinitely, available in front of you, on your side and in your hand; calm, singular and controlled thought is highly discouraged or even considered boorish. Well, don’t you believe that for a second!

Many people today just sort of limp through life. They drag along day by day filled with anxiety, stress, depression, boredom and a general lack of zest for living. And sadly, they’ve done it for so long that they think that’s just the way life is. They fail, disastrously, to make the connection between what appears in their life and what they think about the most. Subsequently, your life may be summed up in one simple question. “What do you believe is going to happen in your life?” If life for you is one continuous stream of things going wrong, negative events occurring, and disasters looming over the horizon, you have to ask yourself what kind of thoughts have you been incubating in your mind. Fear and anxiety are not a natural part of life, they are aberrations that come about by entertaining and focusing on the wrong things. Then when the catastrophe strikes, you exclaim, “I knew it!” Well, you did know it because you cooperated with “it” by allowing it to remain in your thinking. Disaster, catastrophe, hardship, difficulty and pain are not random at all, though they appear to be. They are pointed and specific and come about by man’s cooperation with evil by failing to control what he will and will not think about or failure to properly believe what is true. Man absent the truth is an anxiety machine ever churning out products to his own suffering.

Life in its simplest form boils down to two distinct realities; light and darkness, love and fear, good and evil, right and wrong, truth and error; all an alternate way to say the same thing.  As you live your own life, you are making decisions and choices everyday. You don’t get what you want, you get what you choose. If you choose to persist in something you know is wrong, no matter how rebellious, apathetic or careless you feel about it, you will continue to get the wrong results in your life. Oh you can cling to it; get real damn angry about it, justify it infinitely, but it will still continue to bring to you what, at its core it is, whether you like it or not. Many times that inner turmoil you are experiencing doesn’t need to be resolved by medication, it needs to be resolved by your decision to stop doing that thing (or maybe do that thing less)! You decide what that thing is… This isn’t some religious call to dissect and pick apart your life. That sort of thinking is just as bad (as you probably have already experienced). This is a sober reality check, pointing out that only good can come from good and only bad can come from bad. It doesn’t matter what the world says, it matters what the truth is!

Worldly, so-called spiritual leaders always seem to shame and malign material prosperity, as if having an abundance is somehow not spiritual. Well, here’s a quick newsflash for you. Life is a helluva lot easier with some resources than it is without them. Don’t you kid yourself. If you car breaks down and costs $2,000 dollars to fix it, it’s hardly a flinch in your thought life if you’ve got plenty of money to fix it. If you don’t, it’s an emergency. Accordingly, God’s will for you is abundance! So, back to the core issue, namely what do you think about material prosperity? Does it elude you like a gazelle escaping clutches of a lion? If so, that is a choice you are making in your thoughts. It doesn’t matter that every previous generation in your family had very little. What matters is what do you think or believe will happen in your life. Can you see it? The limit, the dividing line isn’t the world, it’s you.

Nowadays disease is at an epidemic level. Almost everyone seems to have something. Sickness and disease are not God’s will. Our imperfect bodies (not intended by God) sometimes fall prey to sickness. Fearful, worried, anxious thinking weakens our immune system and opens the door for illness. You may wonder why you are always so sick, but fail to consider that your thoughts are sick. Your mind and your body engage in a delicate dance with one responding to the other. Often your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong with your thoughts. Occasionally your body forces you to escape the frenetic pace you’ve engaged in and lays you up for a few days. Naturally some diseases carry a larger price tag. The “C” word for most threatens pending doom. Yet, even in the midst of life threatening cancer, you still have a choice. For God, healing you of cancer is no different from healing you of a common cold. So even in that arduous, fear inducing condition, you can choose to believe what God says and control your thoughts to keep the invader out. It doesn’t matter how you feel. What matters is what is true.

You can control that unruly beast called your mind. You can also let it go, wherever it is being led. But beware, and know, that if you aren’t leading it, something else is and that “something” does not wish you well. Instead, learn what to think and what is true. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can turn your entire life around. You can change any aspect or part. You can acquire material abundance and be healed from everything that ever went wrong. You can, my friends, and you will if you’ll only learn one thing – how to control your thinking, for your thoughts form the basis of your heart; the wellspring from which your entire life flows out! Make a good choice..

Just some good thoughts…