Cleaning Out Your Closet, One Thought at a Time…


pohlig_builders_clean_closet_art_career_wardrobeDid you know that your mind (emphasis on YOUR mind) is not supposed to be full of fear, anxiety and stress? Oh sure, most people are living that way, but it’s not supposed to be that way. The problem is that we have become so accustomed to living that way and feel like it must be the norm. If you notice we say things like, “welcome to life” or “life happens” and even, “shit happens!” And, by saying that, we are openly declaring or admitting that we have accepted something, namely –  that’s just the way life is… Well, what if that’s not the way life is? What if you have been seduced into a mindset that, once setup, goes on defeating you for years and years? What if there is something out there operating within a vast network, secretly, to convince you and me of a gargantuan lie?

Believe it or not, that something or other does exist and is presently working within the systems of the world to do just that. Everything around you is negative with subtle fear trappings behind it. And, the more you buy into it, the more fear you experience; the more anxiety; the more stress, which are all more or less alternate names for the same thing.

If you have ever taken the time to monitor those wieldy thoughts of yours, you’ll see just how consistently this is occurring. But hey, who has time to monitor their thoughts? I mean life is sooooo busy, right? Well, I submit to you that it’s so busy because you have bought in. How much of that crap you do day by day do you really have to do? Look at our obsession with health (in America of course). You have to eat this and ingest that and add this and supplement that. After all, you don’t want to get cancer, right? You see, you bought in man. You became convinced that your only shot at living a long, healthy life was to do what the TV and Facebook and the media told you to do. And the clincher? You are doing it all out of fear. Now this doesn’t even account for the requirements to exercise. Gotta get your cardio; your weight training; your Pilates; your yoga or else you will surely die! The Bible says that bodily exercise does profit you of course, but the real source of your good health is God. Absent God, get on the fear train!

You can’t eat this or have too much of that. Sugar is outlawed and everything must be low fat. Butter kills, bacon kills, red meat kills, fried food kills, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and on it goes. Generations of people ate those things before us, but we are so much smarter now. I’ll bet you never considered that all that advertising wasn’t designed to make you healthier but rather  to make you buy something. And bought it, you did! (And I did)

So it is high time to get off the fear train and start cleaning out your closet. You feel the need to clean out your closet because it has become chock full of crap. So what about your mind? Chock full of crap. And like with your pesky closet, you can only start clearing it out one thought at a time. But even before you can start cleaning, you have to decide you want to. How many things in your life are sitting out there unresolved, cluttering up the background? It’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed. So why don’t we resolve things? We haven’t got enough time between the gym and Pilates and healthy food shopping and getting stuff done! No, I mean getting everything done! Today! Bought in…

Healthy thinking involves getting problems resolved. It means taking the time necessary to get on top of whatever is on top of you. If it takes a week, so be it. If it takes 6 months, so be it. Why put up with problems? You put up with them because you think you have to. I often wonder just how many health issues we face come directly from our own frenetic minds being pushed and pulled all over the globe and back.

Next we need some time to get quiet. Just get quiet. Whether it’s prayer or meditation or simply turning off electronics, just get quiet. You will be amazed how many thing come up when you give your mind a chance to get quiet. You may just find that thing you have been doing for the last ten years because you are disciplined really gets done because you are afraid. Here’s a test. Try to stop doing it. Just let it go… Seems to me that God can do His job pretty well without all my incessant meddling! When you stop doing all of that crap it is like you are saying, “Here I am and I have stopped running!” Indeed…

My good friend once remarked, “I find that my mind is at peace when I focus on right now and whenever I start to feel stress it’s because I have either gone back into the past or moved ahead to the future.” So, try to live just for today. Or better, try to live just for right now. Did you know that God designed life to be lived in 24 hour compartments? (God, not Dale Carnegie…)

In order to even have a chance of living that “good life” you have often imagined, you must first get control of your mind. Take the mental time you need to get things straight. If there’s something you need to say, say it! If something is undone and driving you nuts, do it. And, for goodness sakes, stop being afraid of everything! So, what if a disease shortened your life? Well, what if you are shortening your life by living in fear? You can only do what you can do, right? And the way I see it, the only thing you can ever totally control is your mind; or more specifically, your thoughts!

This short little go round the sun doesn’t offer you enough time to live another moment that way. Get God involved and stop trying to be so smart. He’s infinitely better than your best thinking and worth checking into (unless of course you are content right where you are…).

The “normal” way to live, though long hidden, is to be unafraid. The absence of fear introduces you to a world you only thought existed in childhood. But, as a kid, you knew you weren’t that smart. Hmmm…

You are worth the time…

Handling Lemons, Grapefruits and Other Annoyances in Life…


when_life_gives_you_lemons____by_timotei_chan-d3f9o30Things often happen to us in life that annoy the bejesus out of us. Whether it’s harassing lemons or gigantic grapefruits; small irritants or life threatening situations, life aint always easy street. Now if you are a member of random life club; believing that life is only what you can see etc., and that there is nothing behind it all, this blog will make no sense to you. But, if you have the good sense to recognize that the design of things is way too complex to swallow that story, then you may wanna invest the 3 minutes and hear what I have to say!

Life is spiritual and behind it all is One wonderful loving God who only gives good and One rebellious lesser being who only gives evil. Those two never intertwine. God doesn’t do evil ever, no matter the plethora of insane reasons people give to explain why He does. The things that drive you “batsh*t” crazy are by design and planned. They come from your personal adversary who is ever watching for things that might defeat you and supplying a healthy dose of them on the regular. Not believing that and opting rather for the random life theory makes no difference. It is what it is and putting on blinders won’t change it.

Now this may surprise you but, God never promised that life would be easy or that you would not have to deal with lemons and sometimes grapefruits! That’s right. Often people are afflicted because they have no idea what is going on in life and as such become afflicted. Are they bad people? Of course not, rather they just don’t understand. It would be like playing tennis with a spoon. Until you learn that you need a racquet you are going to get your butt beat! Other folks have their racquets in hand and still have to deal with annoyances. Why? Because that’s how it is. Getting mad at the game doesn’t change the game. What God did promise is that you can win and overcome anything that comes your way.

The great Apostle Paul prayed to God three times that those annoying, irritating, always in the way people would go away once and for all and let him do what God called him to do without the annoyances. But God told him that His grace was sufficient for him. He further said that His great ability was made perfect in Paul’s inability to handle the situation. When Paul was weak in his own strength, he was strong in God’s strength.

Often we feel the same way don’t we? We tell God, if you would just solve this thing, life would be good. We know He will help us solve it, but He doesn’t just “magic” the problem away. You see, life just doesn’t work that way. Imagine how stupid we would all become if every time we prayed God just fixed everything on the spot. I know I would be lounging on the couch praying for God to bring in money, food, wine and maybe someone to serve them to me. God doesn’t violate the laws of life. He is going to help us solve it, but it doesn’t always work on our timetable or in the manner we choose. Here’s a thought…maybe God wants us to actually learn something. Maybe He wants us to learn how and why so we can be stronger next time. Maybe He is after our ultimate good! Now don’t go south on me and conclude God is allowing us to suffer. Never! Instead He is working with us, where we are, and teaching us the things we need to know. The difficulty, the annoyance, the dilemmas put us on our mental toes, don’t they? Nothing like a problem to get your mind focused and serious about a solution! Did God send the difficulty? NO! But He is at work within the difficulty to help us win. Does God want to help us solve it yesterday? Of course He does. But He has the fantastic ability to know exactly where we are; what we believe and how to get us to where we need to be!

If you live long enough you are going to have some problems. You are going to be faced with situations that you cannot solve on your own. You are going to be tested (not by God)! The test, the problem, the annoyance isn’t the issue. The issue is what you choose to do about it; where you go for help and how the thing ends! God’s promise is that you can beat every dastardly, evil challenge that comes your way. You can! But in order to get the victory you have to be willing to learn something new. For example, God designed your body to heal itself once the cause (problem) is removed. However, you need God to remove the cause. Oh you can analyze it and spend all your money on physicians, but God is always the one that removes the cause. He just needs some believing cooperation on your part!

So, the next time you find yourself challenged with some impossible dilemma, remember God specializes in things called impossible! There is always a solution and I don’t care what the doctor/the world/your friends/ science says! Your job is to believe. Believe that God has your solution and that it is coming your way. Work with yourself where you are and be willing, at least, to learn something new.

This isn’t Fantasy island, my friends. This is real life; life with God, kicking ass and taking names!

When you find yourself holding lemons and grapefruits, give them to God and see if He doesn’t send you the recipe for a victorious life!

Just some good thoughts…

Analysis Paralysis Dialysis For Your Brain…


rubiks_cube_by_alexandrelandry-d4p8s17Adults are fantastic problem solvers. In fact, if you want to appeal to adult learners (ala Dale Carnegie training) you have to give them a problem and allow them to solve it themselves. In short, we are ‘problem solving’ machines. But, with our keen ability to analyze comes our problematic ability to over-analyze, solve problems that aren’t problems yet or simply drive ourselves completely batty along the way. It’s like that damn Rubik’s cube!  The best I could ever do was maybe get one row all the same color. Not that I didn’t invest enough time, but rather the time I invested wasn’t productive because there was a pattern or a logic to the solution that I wasn’t aware of, yet… Often in life, the questions that paralyze us are the ones we attribute either to the wrong “cause,” or represent the wrong “time” to deal with it. So today I’m offering you some dialysis for your brain. Yes, you need this!

If you looked inside your brain during extended periods of churning over some event or situation, you would find a skinny hamster running fast on his wheel; working hard, getting nowhere. It’s not his lack of effort that is defeating him. It’s the reality that his chosen method of problem solving cannot possibly end with a good result because his starting premise is faulty. The wheel he is on doesn’t lead anywhere; never did; never will. But, he doesn’t know that it leads to nowhere so he persists hoping to breakthrough to a new area based on past analysis. If he knew in advance that the wheel led to nowhere he wouldn’t bother traveling on it, but doggone it, it sure seems to be leading somewhere! And oh my Lord, he can’t just let it go, he has to solve the problem so he can relax. You do realize that the hamster is you, right?

Enter scenario number two:  Usually triggered by something, you start to imagine some dreadful possibility in the future. Maybe you read something on WebMD. The more you think about it (hamster wheel, hamster wheel) the more real it becomes. “Oh my gosh! I have been feeling warm and my leg has been aching — I’m dyingggggggggg!” Now you hop back on to your hamster wheel and start cranking out a solution. Faster, faster; more analysis, more analysis – whatever will I do now that I know I’m dying? In effect, you’re not only spinning on a hamster wheel, you are spinning on a hamster wheel of the future; a future you haven’t arrived at yet.

Before we get to the dialysis for your brain, I’d like to clue you in on something you may not ever have imagined. All of that churning and spinning and exhaustion (yes, it is exhausting) is nothing more than a grand distraction from the life you are living now. How many days, weeks, months or years have you spent on that topic, always with the same futile lack of result? The problem isn’t solved or else you wouldn’t keep working your exercise wheel! The only real result is your life being wasted away on something. Enter misery, frustration and depression! If you could remove all of the shrouds you would see it for what it is; a grand illusion designed to steal your precious life away from you. The source of it has just three motives; to steal, to kill and to destroy! Numbers two and three haven’t happened yet, but number one is in full operation.

So how can we introduce some new blood into your system? By offering new problem solving techniques or better research tools? Nope! By suggesting that you work harder (run faster) get more sleep, take medications or drink wine? Again nope! Instead I’m offering Plan C… let it go! (Disney movie soundtrack playing in the background…) Let go and let God! Stop being so smart; so logical; so intellectual. Humbly admit to God that you do not know the answer; that you are sorry for being such a wise guy and that you need for Him to get you to the real cause and show you the real solution. This option presupposes that you are now done with your wearisome trek and ready for an influx of new life. Then, once you have done this from your heart, do not allow yourself to take it back again. Oh you are going to feel heavily tempted to get back on the hamster wheel because if you could just_____, or maybe find _____, surely you would see the solution! But do yourself a favor and remember that this issue you have been struggling with for the past ten years hasn’t gone away despite your incredible analytical mind. Remember the old adage, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” ~ Albert Einstein.  Thus, it’s clearly time to get on dialysis!

Once you finally let that “thing” go you are going to feel something wonderful. It’s called peace. Peace of mind is God’s way of showing you that you are on the right track. Formula: Agitated = off track, peace = on track. Get on track. And, in that peaceful state you are going to start seeing things you haven’t seen before. You will begin to recognize destructive thinking and its effect on you. Often you will find that your solution wasn’t even remotely connected to all of your analysis. Isn’t God grand?

Hamster wheels are for hamsters, not humans. Analysis is good to a certain point, but perplexity indicates something else may be involved which is a cue for you to get “Something Else” involved. Your life, my life is very short by comparison. Live out your days with alacrity of mind; in the present; in peace. Live your life in peace!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Seeing, Not Seeing is Believing…


quote-Denis-Waitley-you-must-understand-that-seeing-is-believing-167789I’m often amused when I hear fellows say that they don’t believe in anything they can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell. Imagine all of the undiscovered stuff that makes up our world and confining yourself to your own finite, limited understanding. Imagine… Your human logic with all of its breathtaking accuracy and precision is at best severely hampered by one key factor; it’s yours. You can only possibly know what you know and your entire system of logic must be based entirely on what you know or worse, what you think you know! We all make logical assumptions and seek a logical result. Yet, we often find ourselves perplexed when we applied our best logic and we still didn’t end up where we wanted or get what we needed. We worked really hard; much harder than the other guy, yet still didn’t get the promotion. I kept the most vigilant eye I could fathom on my child and he still got hurt, while the other seemingly careless parent’s kid never got touched. You did your best to live a healthy lifestyle, yet still got deathly ill while the other lady maximized her vices and lived to be a hundred. Why? Why, because when it comes to learning how to believe to get your needs met, seeing, not seeing is believing.

In order to believe to get the things you need in life, you have to be able to “see” them happening. If you can’t see something happening, it is never going to happen! Read that sentence again. If you cannot even picture yourself having abundance and instead see lack, clip some coupons or something because you are going to suffer lack. If you cannot imagine yourself happy and contented, discontent and restlessness will dominate your future. If something always goes wrong to thwart you from getting what you want, something will always go wrong to thwart you from getting what you want! Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing. Enter your human logic… and you only know what you know! You think by your best analysis that you understand how things happen. You have been around a few years and sort of learned how stuff works. But, and ‘oh my lanta’ this is a large but, what if you got it wrong? What if the entire realm of the senses had been carefully manipulated to make it seem like things work a certain way when they don’t work that way at all? What if there was something you could with your mind that would totally revolutionize how your life turned out? What if? Well, there is of course, but in order to make it work for you, you have to defy your human logic! Egads!

When Jesus turned water into wine it defied human logic. When he fed the 5,000 with a couple of guy’s sack lunches, it defied human logic. Healing blind people defied human logic; not God’s logic, human logic. With believing you can cast mountains into lakes, so surely you can “believe” to get your personal needs met. Can you see it? (pun intended) Believing means completely removing those self-imposed limits you have placed on your thinking. I mean, come on, let’s be honest, that “one-day” thing you have been working aint working, is it? I know, I know, if you just stay at it, right? Hmmm… Give yourself a much-needed break from all that toil and learn to believe. That professional athlete you admire so much, who is living the life, believed to do so and made his work match what he already saw. That mega-star young singer with seemingly everything he ever wanted, got there first by believing and then followed it up with work. Believing is never about not working, it’s about working based on believing and not the other way around.

In order to make this believing thing work for you, you have to let go of all of your preconceived notions about life and become like a child again. You have to be open to the possibility of what might be rather than closed off with “your” ideas about what is… Remember, you only know what you know and you just might be wrong! The doctor isn’t the only one that can heal you and even the doctor simply endeavors to remove causes so your body can do what it was supposed to do. Plus believing is a lot cheaper! LOL And, when you embark on this wondrous journey with real believing in your eyes, be prepared for the onslaught of contrary information to thoroughly talk you out of your decision. If you are looking for healing, your hurt areas will appear to get worse. If you are believing to prosper, something will come along to convince you that you better let this fantasy stuff go. If you are planning to get promoted at work, don’t be surprised if you get chastised for doing something wrong. Point is, the adversary, ever working to manipulate the senses realm, is going to work tirelessly to talk you out of your new ideas! He has to because when you tap into believing you will eventually be able to believe to remove every strangle-hold he ever had on your life. Again, egads…

Don’t allow yourself to be reduced to the level of the beasts by only accepting what appears to be true. Be a successful, godly human and know better. Your life has always been within the realm of your control and just because you didn’t know that before never made it untrue. What is true is what God says is true. Wine from water anyone?

Learning to see and believe what can be rather than believing what appears to be is the crucible of human experience. Your heart already knows this is true and is still waiting for your mind to catch up! Don’t just see, really see!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Winning in the Great Competition of Life!


victoryIf you have ever seriously competed in a sport, you know what it feels like to expend a lot of effort and take the victory. I don’t mean something like playing checkers, I mean a tough competition with a worthy opponent that challenges you to exert the extra mental energy required to come out on top. I say mental energy because at the end of the day it’s your thoughts that propel you to victory. You can have the strongest, most athletic body on Earth, but if you don’t win in your mind, you won’t win on the field!

Your life, my life is lived amidst a great competition. And whether we choose to compete or not, we are in it! The way that we compete is by the thoughts we think. That’s right folks! Your thoughts lead to your beliefs and your beliefs determine how your life turns out. As I’ve said many times before, don’t get it twisted…life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. If you can grasp this one idea, you can revolutionize your life.

Most people pay very little attention to the thoughts they are thinking. It’s like automatic pilot. You are thinking things, evaluating things, feeling things and blowing right by them as if it’s just a part of life. Oh I get why it happens. It happens because your belief system has informed you that thoughts are just thoughts and have no impact on this thing called, “your life.” But that, my friends, couldn’t be further from the truth. And like choosing not to compete in the competition of life, it really doesn’t matter because you are competing and your thoughts are how you are competing – like it or not!

When things are going badly for you; when circumstances seemed stacked up against you; when nothing seems to be going right, the first place to check is your thoughts. What are you thinking about? What are you focusing on? Where are you expending your mental energy? What have you accepted as true that might not be true? What time period are you in? The future; the past or right now? To think that you can maintain a sour, negative outlook and still get a good result may be the height of insanity. If you were in a physical race and all you thought about was not losing the race, chances are you lost that race! Run your own race! If you were playing basketball and all you could focus on was not missing the last shot, I guarantee you missed that shot. Take the shot!

In life, I imagine all of us have hopes and dreams about how this thing is supposed to turn out. We’re happy. We have enough money. We have a great job that allows us to use our talents to the fullest. We have great relationships with people that we love. We’re peaceful and content. But, how often do we entertain those thoughts? Not much! Instead we want to focus on everything that isn’t right and worse, bitch and moan in detail about it. Crazy…

In the great competition, we have an opponent. That opponent is always up for the challenge. He works in the systems of the world to make sure you don’t get to live out your dreams by influencing your thoughts. He counts on the fact that you don’t realize the importance of what you are thinking. In fact, he is the mastermind of distraction and lies and wields them both with breathtaking accuracy. The moment you make up your mind to change something or get something better, you are deluged with other ideas about why you can’t; don’t deserve it; aren’t be realistic; fooling yourself…on into infinity (almost). But instead of sticking to your guns and strengthening your resolve, you get fainthearted, lose energy and get back in line with the other billion people.

So what can you do about it? How can you finally win? Well, first of all you have to learn to start paying attention to what you are thinking about. Then, and here is where it can get pretty gnarly, you have to fight back. That’s right! Instead of recognizing that you feel bored or depressed or sad or weak and just living with it, you have to fight back! You have to make up your mind to take that thought on. Just because you thought something does not make it true. Again, JUST BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE! (YELLING) That has to be one of the biggest con jobs that ever happened to mankind. It’s a thought and it just invited you to compete. Okay, so you are tired today and don’t feel like fighting. But, if a scary, masked man just strolled into your living room and threatened your child, you’d feel like fighting, right? It wouldn’t matter if you were up all night, you would fight. Well, it’s the same with your thoughts. You may not want to fight, but if your peace of mind is at stake, you have to take it on. In fact, if that thought threatens anything you hold dear, you have to take it on.

Intentional living is really about intentional thinking. Decide what you want for your life and rigorously exclude any thoughts that aren’t in agreement with what you want. Hey man, they’re your thoughts… If you find yourself feeling negative or grouchy or upset, decide to stop it. Oh you can stop it alright. Change your thoughts. Think about the good things; your blessings; what you are grateful for; who you love, something. But for Lord’s sake don’t stay in the misery pit. No one gets out of the misery pit by choosing not to compete. They get out when and only when they decide to!

Some folks sadly never learn this lesson. Don’t let that be you! Take charge of your life by taking charge of your mind. It really is the only thing you are ever in complete control of…Hmmm, that alone should make you think (haha).

3…2…1, he shoots and it’s goooooooooooood!  The Blazers win, the Blazers win! (Go Damian Lillard)

Winning feels so good!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

 

Are You Blessed?


blessedlifeI have been feeling very blessed lately, so I thought it deserved some blog action. ‘Blessed’ is one of those words that means a lot of things to a lot of people. There’s the traditional ‘blessed’ which usually refers to factors in life that almost everyone experiences like, “I got up today” or “I have a home to live in” or “I’m alive.” Call me cynical but it seems like folks who utilize the term in this way usually don’t seem very blessed. Oh sure they are alive and living in a home, but not exactly blessed! Then there’s the blessed that is always associated with doing the right thing and since folks seldom always do the right thing…well, you get the point. Finally there is the ‘blessed’ that I believe aligns more closely with the biblical definition which refers to good ol’ fashioned happiness and contentment. It’s that inner sense that everything is going to be okay and if anything might not be okay, God is going to fix that in a hurry. It’s a quiet confidence; an internal knowing, joyfully complete with a full anticipation of an awesome tomorrow! That is what it means to be blessed and that’s the only kind of ‘blessed’ I want to talk about…

Now, you might have thought the title of this blog was a setup whereby I was going to point out how ‘un-blessed’ you are and prescribe the “way’ to get blessed according to me. Nah, not so much. Instead I want to explain what I have been doing different lately that seems to have led to all these blessings I am experiencing right now. That’s not to say you aren’t doing these things, but instead simply a happy guy wanting to share that happiness with others.

Let’s start by debunking a few myths. While it is marvelous to be alive and have some food and maybe a place to live, that’s not exactly blessed. Something to be thankful for? Sure! But being alive is something we sort of had no choice in, right? Lots of good-hearted people are plugging away day by day with absolutely nothing to look forward to. Life was never intended to be a perpetual chore to be survived. Nor was life supposed to be a daily struggle for existence and a few shekels. We have all (myself included) had periods where we felt down and lackluster and felt like tomorrow would probably be just like today was (blah blah). There’s no criticism in that. The criticism would come from acquiescing to that life and not getting serious about solving that puzzle.

Next, and probably the most perplexing myth is feeling like there is a never-ending list of things we have to do to perfect ourselves before that blessed day comes when we finally get what we want or get to fulfill our dreams. There is no hamster wheel like that one! The harder you try to be ‘good’ the more you fail at being good or the more you realize how much better you need to be in order to be considered good. Trust me on this one, your life is going to seriously suck if you get caught in that trap! Add to that the outrageous myth that purports that God will only bless you if you are good. You’ll notice that in that scenario the one judging your goodness is usually some other person/leader who most likely isn’t even doing the things he is asking you to do! Don’t get me started! Follow that logic for a minute here. If God only blesses you or protects you when you are good, you’re going to spend a lot of time not being blessed or protected. That is unless you have deluded yourself into thinking you can earn your way into God’s good graces. Egads… It’s myth folks!

God, as your real source of blessedness (happiness), does not bless you because of how good OR how bad you are. He blesses you when you do one thing and one thing only ~ believe. Therein lies the key to my recent blessing trail. I finally stopped cataloging my faults and shortcomings and stopped focusing on what I oughta do; shoulda done or shouldn’t have done and moved my focus back on to the source of all my goodness ~ God! I got my head back into God’s Word, to make myself good? Heck no! To be reminded about what it is that I should really be believing. Did you know that the purpose of God’s Word is to give you right doctrine (how to believe rightly) and reproof (how to get back to believing rightly) and correction (how to get unstuck from habitual wrong believing and get back to believing rightly)! Your life is truly all about what you are believing about yourself; your life; God and the world. It’s so easy to get off track (believing wrongly) and to stay off course absent any true doctrine. But, once you start believing again you will find that all the wrongs become right and life returns to that sweetness you (hopefully) once knew.

So what happened to me? I didn’t get a new job or a new car. I didn’t move into a new house. I didn’t come into a pile of money or receive some tremendous award for human service. Nah… I got my head back on the right track. By becoming sinless?  LOL well those of you who know me would dispute that one! Instead, I remembered that in order to receive anything from God, I had to believe and believing is easy once you learn (or relearn) the right things to believe!

Am I blessed? I think you know the answer to that one!

Living the blessed life…

Uncomplicate Yourself!


002_bibliography_pfalI remember many years ago; 1982 to be exact, taking a class called, “Power For Abundant Living.” For me (and many others) it was just the greatest class in the whole world! In that class I learned the great simplicity of a life with God and how to believe to get the things I wanted for my life. But, as the years waned on, I began to complicate what was once uncomplicated. I added (or maybe I should say, learned to add) conditions and rules and expectations. Instead of cleaving to the truth that I could believe God for anything I needed, I began to doubt what I had learned and as a result began to fall prey to fear. And this, despite my thorough understanding from the class that fear was also believing, negative believing, which always led to failure and difficulty in some capacity. Instead of simply accepting who God said I was, I allowed others to define me according to my behavior which seldom was good enough. The more I worked to get good enough to receive from God, the further I got from Him and the less I actually believed for anything. Instead I accepted that my notions of tremendous freedom and liberty were really just notions and that the way to get the good things in life was to live a difficult existence where everything I did was under scrutiny. Being a guy that always loathed religion, I somehow became religious and the judgment others were leveling on me, I leveled on everyone else. So where exactly did I go wrong?

I went wrong by allowing the truth of the Word to become cloudy in my mind and instead started relying on others to define the rules of the game. And here’s a newsflash for you, once you let other people start defining who you are what you can and cannot do, you slide down that slope at an alarming rate! Sadly, however, you become unaware that you are sliding down that greasy path and start thinking just like everyone else does. You conclude that fear is just a part of life. I mean look around, who isn’t afraid? What you don’t realize is that you cannot believe positively and have fear at the same time. And that, my friends, sums up most people’s condition today.

No matter what people may have told you before, God is minutely interested in your happiness and well-being. It’s not, as some people foolishly say, selfish to pray for yourself or to pray to get your own needs met. God is certainly not too busy with world events to hear your requests either. Do you have any kids? Well I’m guessing that as a parent you are pretty dang concerned about your children getting their needs met, right? Well, God loves them even more than you do! The trouble is that God will not overstep your freedom of will. In order to get your prayers answered you have to believe. If you don’t believe what He promised or have fear involved, you are NOT going to get your prayers answered. Praying and praying and wishing won’t get the job done. Only believing, really believing is going to do it. Here’s a quote from that pretty, little orange book.

“We are what we are today because of our believing. We will be tomorrow where our believing takes us. No one ever rises beyond what he believes and no one can believe more than what he understands. We believe what we believe because of what we have been taught. We think the way we think because of the way we have been led.” ~ Dr. VPW (PFAL)

Your life, my life is a product of what we believe. We can start off fantastically well, then digress into fear and defeat, but the basis of it all is the things we believe good and bad, and the things we have been taught! We can learn to expect the best and we can learn to fear the worst. We can become educated about the reality of the life God intended for us or we can be educated about the complexity of life with God and eat crap for years! Oh me? Yeah, I’m a believing guy that ended up eating a lot of crap. But, praise the Lord, I’m finally starting to see with my spiritual eyes again and remembering the simplicity and beauty of life with God.

Your life is so intricately connected to the things you believe, that you really owe it to yourself to learn what and how to believe. Don’t believe for a second that believing is tied to someone else’s definition of morality. God doesn’t answer your prayers because you are so good, He answers them when you believe. In fact, God has so arranged life that anyone who truly believes, receives, regardless of their religious or non-religious background. The folks you observe enjoying success have believed for it and the people you see perpetually struggling are afraid (not unrighteous before God…just afraid!).

Don’t get it twisted people, life is not complicated. Error is complicated! Religious observances are complicated. The more than abundant life God promised in His Word is there for the taking, if you can simply believe!

I believe (again). Won’t you?

Just some good thoughts…

Clearing the Inversion Air…From Your Relationships!


inversionLiving in Utah, we are often subjected to inversions. The inversions occur because we live in a valley and all of the pollutants get trapped in the air making it difficult to breathe. There’s not enough air flow, absent a storm, to remove the gunk from the atmosphere resulting in a serious health risk! So how does this apply to your relationships? Before we proceed, read the above again…

For a relationship to be healthy, you have to be able to talk; talk about anything. And generally, it’s best to talk about the offending situation the moment it blips across your radar screen. You know exactly when that remark or that attitude or that look sent you a message that didn’t agree with your mental harmony system. You know, right? So why would you put that message on the back burner or worse fear the repercussions of bringing it up? In fact, with people you care about and especially those you love, you owe it to yourself and them to always bring it up. Often young married couples, for fear of offending or worse, losing the object of their affections, choose silence, only to discover later that the initial offending issue not only comes back, it comes back with hair on! Bring it up. If it leads to a big argument, so what. It’s better to have the mother of all arguments than to pretend you are okay when you are not okay. It’s better to have the war and come to an agreement than to avoid the war and live amidst the constant skirmishes. Peace often comes after the war, right?

Like an inversion, allowing pollutants to stay in your mental air risks the health of your relationship. Maybe you need a quick storm or two. Maybe. People often seem to think that harmony in a relationship comes from letting things go. Oh sure, there’s nothing wrong with compromise, as compromise helps maintain a relationship, but letting things go is always bad news. Being married for many years now, I can tell you with complete confidence that every issue you bury under the guise of keeping harmony is going to come back with a vengeance and unreasonably all together in one moment of time. That one fight on that one bad day will turn into a floodgate of unresolved issues seeing the opportunity to finally get out of your heart. And like a pressure boiler that takes on more pressure than it can handle, it’s gonna blow boy and blow at catastrophic levels. So take my advice and speak up often.

None of us want to hear the things we have done wrong or hear extolled to us our faults and our failings. None of us look forward to that conversation ever. But always hidden within that conversation, if we have ears to hear, is some gem of truth that speaks to our hearts. In the middle of all that anger and yelling and accusation sits a little minuscule, almost unnoticed piece of truth that alerts our battered heart of some wrong done; some sensitivity walked over; some selfishness we have engaged in. And when we see it; when we finally see it and feel remorse over the thing we have done, healing takes place; a healing that transcends many, many infractions. That my friends, is the point of the discussion, the fight, the argument, or whatever. In a sense you are kicking up the winds that will eventually blow that inversion out of your way so you once again see clearly. How many relationships have come to an end because we didn’t love enough to say what needed to be said? How many breakups could have been avoided if we had the honesty to say what really was.

Now to those of you who have already loved and lost, I offer the following. There’s a bible verse that tells husbands to love their wives and be not bitter again them. Bitterness comes unannounced from a multitude of unresolved hurts be they ever so slight. Bitterness is born of the small many, not of the large few. But once bitterness takes root, it takes on a life of its own and permanently blinds a heart that once could see and feel and experience. In it’s bitter state it is now poisoned and goes on poisoning everything it comes into contact with until it ruins the person completely. Don’t let that be you. Stop rehearsing the past hurts, the wrongs done to you, the pain. Stop carrying around in your memory those unbearable weights. Instead allow yourself to start again; to start over. Resolve in your heart that you will never allow that to happen to you again. If you can still speak those words you have buried for so long, speak them, though the hearer be long past listening or understanding. If not, speak them to God alone and be now done with it, forever… You are worth that.

Inversion air is hard to breathe and puts your health at risk. Poison cannot exist where there is fresh, clean air. Clear the air between yourself and the people who you care about. Speak up about the things you hold most dear. Forgive where forgiveness is needed and be the person you always wanted to be. You can. You should. You owe it to yourself.

Ah what is that I’m feeling? The feeling that comes from finally breathing a breath of clean, pure, fresh air… And it feels so good!

Just some good thoughts…

Fear is a Decision…


imagesWVWZPDZMI know what you are thinking… Man all this dude ever writes about is fear! Well, that’s for good reason. The number one problem you have, recognized or not, is fear. Fear is what holds you back. Fear is the great thwarter of dreams and plans. Fear is the cause of your negative effects. Fear!!! So, indulge me yet again and hear what I’m saying. Fear has ruined more men’s lives than all other things combined. Fear isn’t just that terror that shows up when you see a bear. Fear is often much more subtle than that. It shows up as hesitation and procrastination; anxiety attacks, frustration and even anger. And, you have got to kill it off man, if you want to be happy. So, more stuff to think about, right?

Shocking statement number one – believe it or not, fear is actually a decision. That’s right! It’s not something that just happens and you have to wait it out. Nope! It’s a decision you are making. You (your mind) is presented with some negative variable; some dreadful potentiality, and depending upon how well that threat relates to you as being possible, fear follows. You aren’t really afraid of the mountains blowing up while you climb them, but maybe so if it is a volcanic mountain. So, how fear hits your mind will always be somewhat relatable to you and your experiences. That shows you that something sinister is behind it. Anyway, when you get confronted with that fiery dart of negativity, you have a decision to make. Oh, you don’t feel like you need to make a decision, but you do. You have to decide IF that thing can happen to you. And sadly, the more you mull it over in your mind, the more ground it gains and the more believable the fear becomes.

To win the contest, and it is a contest, you have to believe that whatever is presented is not going to happen to you. This is where God enters the picture. If you believe in God and His love and protection of you, you can dismiss that fear by claiming a promise in God’s Word that counteracts that fear. Side note – every potential fear that you will ever be confronted with has an antidote in God’s Word. Or, if the promise escapes you, you can always pray about it and even ask God for an answer of peace. Without God the world is going to be a very scary place. In fact, absent any belief in God’s ability to do things, you can pretty much be assured of a life full of fear.

There is another aspect of fear we should consider. Those particular fears that have been plaguing you or have been following you around for a lifetime, are the worst types of fear. You can spot them fairly easily because they represent the sole cause for where you struggle the most. It’s not the circumstances, your upbringing, your family, your lack of money or your gene pool. It’s fear! The reason that they are clinging to you like a hair shirt is because they have gained a stronghold in your thinking. Yes, they started as a foothold, but because of your insistence on allowing them entrée, they became a stronghold. In the military when we speak of the enemy having a stronghold, we mean he has a strengthened, fortified position. Well, fear in like fashion, is an enemy (something sinister) that has built a fortified position in your head. Now, hear me out because this might make you angry. The reason that you still have certain fears is because of your ego. (Argghhh – I know!) You are stubbornly clinging to what you think you know is true, because you just know! Even if God Himself told you audibly that it was just a lie, you wouldn’t believe it because you know better! I mean after all, haven’t you heard the news reports? Have you not studied the latest scientific research? Are you asking me to completely disregard the current medical findings?  Yes, yes and no, of course not! What I’m asking you to consider is that there is something, someone far greater in ability than men and what men say. Isn’t it even remotely possible that what the world promotes as true cause and effect isn’t really the cause that produces the effect? (Let that simmer…) So, the reason certain fears defeat you on an epic, chronic level is because you are refusing to let them go. You, my friend, are refusing to change your mind and just decide they aren’t true.

Fear is always a lie; always wrong and always an illusion. The enemy works hard to get you to fear because fear is believing for something to happen in the negative. And believing equals receiving, as the saying goes… Thus, the first step in overcoming fear is to admit you have it. If you catch yourself telling some scenario over and over that you aren’t afraid of it – you are. Once you acknowledge it by being honest with yourself, you are finally on the way to overcoming it. Next find something good that God says concerning it and cleave to that. Every time you think of your situation or condition, claim that promise until the fear is gone. And finally, get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Make a decision! Decide you are over being afraid of ____________, and move ahead. You will find, surprisingly, that once you stop giving “it” airplay, it just sort of dies out. It dies out because it was a lie to begin with!

Now, if you are still saying you have no fear, I hear you… Say on my brother! But a life of peace, tranquility, abundance and health is waiting for you on the other side of that mountain; that mountain made of clouds. Choose life…

Just some good thoughts…

Does Life Really Throw Curveballs?


curveballHave you ever been warned to be ready for what life might throw at you? You suffer some huge disappointment and they say that’s just life, right? “Yeah life really threw me a curveball on that one!” Oh I realize it is just an expression, like saying I’ve got sunshine in my soul, but you have to wonder what might be behind that expression… I mean is there something about life we don’t understand that leads to the occasional off speed pitch being hurled in our direction? Nothing in the creation is haphazard or random, even if it appears to be that way. Everything in nature follows a distinct, well-defined order, and even though that order doesn’t produce straight lines, it is still an intelligent order. So in the midst of that breathtaking order, could life secretly be involved in disorder?

The answer to the question can be found by our understanding of how life came about. For example, if you think life is purely biological and somehow evolved out of nothing, you are likely to be deluged with wicked curveballs that don’t cause strikes but rather bean you in the head. Denying the existence of God and spiritual things doesn’t change their existence anymore than not believing in an as yet undiscovered species denies its existence. It already exists. You just don’t know about it yet. Life in its most basic form is spiritual. The spiritual preceded the physical. As such, the physical always points back to the spiritual and not the other way around. Life is the creative expression of God and He is the architect behind it. The absence of God means the absence of life. But if life is present, so is God. Haha okay before I lose you in my spiritual musings, let me explain it this way. Life as an expression of God’s creativity is not in the business of throwing unusual pitches at you. (Are you happy now, we are back to baseball! 🙂 ) Life’s order is very predictable, although almost infinite in variety. Life isn’t happening to you, you are happening within it. So why do we at times feel like life isn’t cooperating with us or worse is actually trying to hurt us? The answer is found in our understanding of the spiritual realm.

The spiritual realm is composed of two sources. One source, God, is life and light and love. He cannot ever be the opposite no matter what anyone has told you before. He always has been and always will be. (WARNING: DO NOT TRY TO WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND THAT ONE!) The other source is more of a johnny-come-lately. He (it) hasn’t always been around, but in the time he has been around (after choosing to separate from Light) has honed his skills as a pitcher to a magnificent level of expertise. He has learned precisely how humans tend to think and behave and uses what man thinks he knows or doesn’t know against him to produce curveballs that would have earned him the Cy Young award had he been allowed to pitch. In fact, he has done such a fantastic job that you don’t even know he is pitching and worse, blame life instead. Well, I’m here to tell you folks it aint life that is after you! Fortunately, there is way to still get hits no matter what gets thrown at you. That way is found by taking the time to learn about the spiritual.

The first and most important step is in learning who God is and what He will do for you. If your picture of Him is some weird, bearded guy with a large bat (forgive me) waiting to bash you in the head for running out of the baseline, you aren’t going to win in life. If you have imagined He is some nebulous, mysterious being doing random acts of disaster (called acts of God) or inexplicably killing off loved ones; never answering or even hearing your prayers, chances are you are batting .000. You just haven’t done your research yet. If God is truly perfect, He cannot be contradictory. He can’t be light one day and dark the next (as that would make Him partly cloudy-haha). Thus, you owe it to yourself to find out who He really is.

Once you finally start to get it, you’ll discover that life never threw you a curveball, the adversary did! Life was never designed to be fraught with disappointment, heartache and tragedy! The problems came because of decisions that people made (with their sovereign free-will) in choosing to believe what that pseudo Cy Young said over what God actually said. Then lots of people started getting beaned in their heads and still don’t know who is really throwing at them.

So, don’t let that be your life story! For goodness sakes, take some time to learn. If you want to learn it (He) will be right there for you. Shoot, you will get so good that you will know what the next pitch is going to be before it even happens. And, for those times when you didn’t see it coming, God will still be right there to heal you up and get you back out onto the field.

Does life really throw you curveballs? Of course not, but if one comes your way, why not knock it out of the park?

Thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ!

And that pitch is outta here…