Your Thoughts to Energy Ratio


2d illustration Human Male Muscle BodyThoughts, like anything living and real, have energy behind them. They carry within them an inherent vigor and vitality or a pervasive lethargy and drag. One philosopher put it this way, positive thoughts and emotions emit a higher frequency while negative thoughts and emotions produce a lower and slower frequency. One manner of thinking adds liveliness and the capacity to do while the other thought form adds weariness and stagnation. People nowadays are so tired and worn out yet never equate their energy levels with their own thoughts, but instead blame lack of sleep and an inferior diet. While the former may be contributing factors, the true culprit may be more easily found in the thoughts we are choosing to think. The question then begs, what is your thought to energy ratio? 

If you find yourself struggling with a lack of energy or perpetually medicating yourself in order to get your work done or just to make it through the day, you have to ask yourself what it is you have been thinking about. The time you spend worrying about some future thing, be it what it may, not only is futile in terms of changing the outcome of the thing you are afraid of, but actually works against your best interests by using up your energy store thereby eliminating your energy to do something, the real remedy to your worries. Only action cures fear. Worry and fear serve only to steal away that precious energy. Surely you have noticed these effects in your own life. At one moment you are happily plugging along and in the next moment you feel exhausted and weary. What happened to you? Chances are you started considering some negative possibility and with it lost something along the way. You can trace this negative effect in every aspect of your life. All negative thinking, be it worries and fears or critical self judgment or rehearsing the mistakes from your past or anxiety about the future, leads quickly and easily to a lack of energy to do. Stress, the silent killer, functions along these same lines. Stress, an epidemic in the USA, is just another name for fear; fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of some negative outcome. These are in fact the reasons you feel so tired, indeed so worn out. 

Positive thinking, by contrast, produces an opposite effect. Positive thinking does not mean you try to turn bad things into good things. Positive thinking isn’t a pollyanna approach to life whereby you refuse to acknowledge challenges and trials. Positive thinking simply refuses to allow fear to define the narrative. We are always confronted with a choice in terms of what we are going to consider given a certain scenario, but positivity suggests we don’t have to consider the potential negative outcome. It is the consideration of evil that allows it entree into our lives and we greatly limit that entree by what we decide we will think about. Once evil, that which is always back of all worry and fear, is entertained, it steals away our valuable life source and enthusiasm for living. It closes our minds off to opportunities and possibilities and instead falsely predicts our hurt and loss. Being positive is often more about what we don’t do than it is about what we do, do. Positive thinking expects good things to happen and actively seeks out those good things. Positive thinking doesn’t dismiss good things as anomalies and as such doesn’t resort back to negative expectations. Man, what a job the enemy of God’s people has done on the collective group think of society. Negativity is running the place. Wrong thinking and thus wrong belief are the reason good things aren’t happening, not the wheels of fate or God or any similar superstition based more on guessing than sound reason. If you find yourself just sort of trudging along, it’s not because that’s how life is, but instead because of where you have allowed your thinking to go. You must learn how to think positively and continue to think positively to turn this thing around. Your energy for living, your enthusiasm, that pep in your step will all return once you stop the energy drain that goes on day by day by your refusal to give negatives anymore space. Your thoughts equal your energy ratio. 

If you think about it, the reason people struggle so much is because they are trying to do this thing alone. They have access to all the data, Google and a whole world of other people offering good sound advice about how life works. Yet, for all their good intentions, the world and its so called solutions are not going to get the job done. God never intended that people would have to figure out life on their own. Instead, God planned that people would learn how to rely on Him like a child relies on its parents. Children rarely worry and when they do it’s usually because a parent is failing to do their job. God never fails to do His job. The reason you can choose to keep your thoughts in a good place is because you can hand over all of the unknowns to God. Woe unto the man or woman carrying around all of the unknowns alone! You have gotten worn out by life by your reliance on self over reliance on God. The reason the fearful consideration has so much power of you is because you are trying to take it on alone. Your opponent, my friend, is much too wily and powerful for you to take him on alone. Absent God, you are no match for your enemy. He uses tactics that have worked on human beings for thousands of years and continue to work. With God you are assured success. His Word tells you how to think and what to believe and what not to believe. There is no need for guesswork or a Google search. He is the source of life and energy and enthusiasm for living. You want your life and energy back? Do you want to get off the treadmill of endless defeats and the subsequent exhaustion that follows? Do you want your energy to thought ratio raised to never before experienced levels? Then, get God involved with your life. 

It’s no criticism to you that you have been suffering in silence all these years. You have been worn out by “life” so called and have suffered the same deceptions and lies we have all experienced in one form or another. We compete with a common opponent. We are all subject to his bullshit at times and we have all suffered loss. How you used to live and what you used to do are not the matter here. What matters here is that you begin to recognize that there is another option available to you. That option does not guarantee you won’t still get defeated at times or find yourself trudging along aimlessly with the rest of the deceived world. What the other blessed option offers you is a relationship with the one true God who knows all, sees all and is powerful over all. No-one can answer your heart questions like God can and He withholds no good thing from His children. He will show you exactly where your enthusiasm has gone, why and how to get it back. He will show you what life can be with all of the blessings that go along with it. You have nothing to lose and literally everything to gain. 

You want to improve your thought to energy ratio? Get God involved…

Just some good thoughts… 

Do Something New…


71OuYxzZ2lL._AC_SY606_It seems the older people get, the more settled they become in terms of routines and well established habits. Whatever that mechanism is that God put into our brains to save resources, sort of takes over as we age, seeking apparently to place any original thought into predetermined categories leaving little room to process and enjoy new experiences. Although less required activity makes sense for those approaching and living out their golden years, perhaps less mental stimulation doesn’t make as much sense. People’s mind don’t age, their bodies do, that is unless they have slowed to a crawl in the healthy pursuit of learning something new. Do something new…

When you are young, the world is a kaleidoscope of multifarious, almost limitless possibilities to learn and subsequently grow. The infinity variety of the world is exhaustless in its capacity to enliven and thrill your heart. As you age, that same world of opportunities remains the same, but you don’t. The call of the familiar begins to sound louder than the beckon of new experience. Habits once developed for efficiency now become resistant to change; any change that upsets the status quo of required daily routines. God help you if you don’t have dinner at exactly 5:00 pm or miss a television show or don’t have your coffee at 7:00 am sharp. You cannot participate in any activity that takes place on the weekday evening and all extracurricular happenings must be confined to the weekend and then earlier on Sunday lest you risk staying up late. Whatever happened to that kid who gladly sacrificed sleep in order to do something fun? What deftly and subtly stole away the excitement of life in exchange for dutiful pursuits of the exact same thing day in and day out? It isn’t their age that makes a person old, but instead it’s those damnable habits and rigidity that sets in as a result of them. You’ve only become rigid and fixed in your mindset because you stopped the movement of your mind, the movement that takes place when you do something or learn something new.

The origin of this dilemma dates all the way back to the beginnings of mankind when aging was first introduced. (Yes, there was a time when people, both of them, didn’t age.) Today we find ourselves left with a body that does age and eventually will die if the Lord tarries. However, too many people have already died while still being alive. They’ve resigned themselves to a life of mental and physical inactivity. People have chronic knee pain because sitting all day doesn’t require much of the knees. There’s nothing left around that makes the heart beat faster, both physically and more important emotionally. It seems that no-one willfully resigns themselves to this fate, but instead sort of falls into it like when someone falls asleep. They have fallen asleep at the switch, which isn’t reserved for those in the middle of their lives. They have been lulled into complacency and in so doing have ceased caring about or pursuing the best things in life, to be replaced by a host of pointless endeavors ever leading nowhere and to nothingness. Sure your shot at being a professional athlete may have passed you by, but that doesn’t mean you cannot apply the same drive and commitment to something else. Woe unto the man or woman that has nothing left to care about. The perceived energy to do a thing is usually far more than the thing actually requires. When we cut ourselves off to new learning and adventure, we cut ourselves off from life. None have succeeded in exhausting new experiences, but many have exhausted themselves with old thoughts. There’s a reason grandpa keeps telling you the same stories. It’s because grandpa has no new stories to tell. (Bless his heart!)

If you’re not careful this old life will get away from you. Before you know it, your life will have been reduced to a handful of things going on every day while you seek in earnest to pass the time. The fact that you would seek to pass the time is a clarion call to your heart that you need to add some new stuff into your agenda and this advice is not just reserved for the elderly. There’s certainly nothing wrong with comforts or for that matter familiar routines, but there is everything wrong with a resignation towards life as long as God exists and, oh my friends, God exists! The variety and splendor of the creation alone signifies that God is anything but boring and is well able to help you recover that spring in your step. We all find ourselves confronted at times with futility, questioning the point of it all, but that is a part of every man’s experience if he lives long enough. But, if you are honest, you will usually find that you have been a cooperator in your own ignorance by failing to keep paying attention to your own thoughts and behaviors and how they play out in your life. What a great day it is when you finally begin again to question your assumptions and look afresh at life with humble and inquiring eyes! What an absolute joy it is to the soul of a person to discover something new, though it be known to others a million times over.

Maybe lately you have found yourself lacking in some of the enthusiasm and joy for living that you once had. Maybe life has become pretty routine for you without the promise of anything new. Whatever has happened or whatever has led you to where you are, take solace in the reality that new life is always available for those who seek it; for those who aren’t afraid to learn and to do something new. It remains your one shot at this thing folks. Please, do something new…

Just Be Honest…


Almost ten years ago, I wrote a series of blogs about being honest with yourself. Both then and now, when thinking about what it means to be honest with yourself, there still seems to be some confusion about what that really means. By the time we reach adulthood, we generally have a strong concept concerning being honest towards others and the importance of doing so. Yet, that honesty must always be tempered with love and compassion for the other people involved. It’s not honest to hurt people’s feelings or do and say things that may be “technically” honest yet leave people the less off as a result of it. There is no love in that. Many things are said and done under the guise of being honest that do nothing more than reduce another person’s value and worth. Similarly, being honest with yourself must also carry with it the necessary ingredient of love, or it too becomes no longer beneficial. To be honest with yourself means having love for yourself and a sincere desire to get to the bottom of a thing. When it comes to solving the problems and obstacles that plague mankind, you must first be willing to be honest with yourself. Just be honest…

Children are the best example of people being honest with themselves. When they are sad they say so. If they have unmet needs they do not take on the adult trait of rationalizing their unmet need, but instead communicate that need immediately and refuse to stop bringing it up until the need is met. It is not until many years later that they learn to stymie their needs or sublimate their needs or ignore their needs. And while you can make a good argument for not being childish in terms of getting your needs met, you cannot devise a good argument for acquiescing to unmet needs. Yet, that is how the whole worlds lives, slowly dying the painful death of unmet needs and unfulfilled lives. Everyone or almost everyone is suffering, sick, afflicted and tormented. The question is why? What happened to us all that convinced us that suffering is a necessary part of life and therefore something to be quietly accepted. Perhaps it is the apparent futility of it all or maybe years of trying with no tangible results. Whatever it is and whoever it is, it calls aloud for remedy. 

At my ripe age, I’m smart enough or maybe experienced enough to understand the types of things that befall us. I too have had my share (whatever that means) of suffering and difficulty. Just on the surface alone, it becomes blatantly obvious that perhaps suffering is not so much based on someone predetermining my rightful “share” as the unlearned preach, but instead how much I have learned and accepted that I will have to take! Putting up with suffering and defeat or worse expecting it, is categorically wrong. It is error practiced. It is not being honest with yourself. All of us fail and fall short at times. All of us do bad things. All of us got caught up in insane stuff. It isn’t your humanity or shortcomings that are defeating you as much it is your erroneous views about how life works. Some people suffer beyond all proportion to their weaknesses. Getting honest with yourself isn’t about engaging in more mind numbing thoughts of condemnation and self judgment. Again, there is no love in that. How many times must you beat yourself for your mistakes or then, how much must you pay? Being honest with yourself means getting down to the heart of the matter and in many cases just being willing to admit you do not know. How liberating and refreshing it is to finally say, “I do not know,” when in your heart you know you haven’t known all along. There needs be no ego when it comes to getting your needs met. You will go to the doctor if the pain gets strong enough. Being honest means going to get the help you need. Having unmet needs is not a sign of weakness, it is sign that you need to do something you have not done yet. Being honest with yourself with love is the precursor to all deliverance and healing. Just be honest. 

Relationships fail when people, for whatever reason, stop being honest with each other or perhaps from having never been honest with each other. People would rather break up or divorce before having the courage to say just exactly what the hell is going on. Relationships built on pretending to be a certain way to win the favor of another cannot prevail. God help the man or woman who feels they cannot say what needs to be said. That’s not a relationship, that’s a pretense. Oh it may look good to other people, but it damn sure won’t feel good. Now you are not being honest with two people and one of them is you. Of course, you can save up all your anger and bring it all out in one hurtful shouting session, but that’s not love either. There’s a way to say what you need to say and also fight fair. If your partner genuinely does not care about what you have to say, you will have to do your own math on that one. Get honest with yourself. Say what you are feeling and why. Your feelings are your feelings and right or wrong they belong to you. Not saying them or constantly revising them for the other person is not honest either. You do your partner no favors by not speaking up. Being honest with yourself may feel unpleasant at times, but it feels a lot better than the lies! Get some counseling. Talk to a trusted friend. Get something but live no longer in the lie.

There is no one better suited for your complete, total, full heartfelt honesty than God, our Heavenly Father. God will never use your honesty or vulnerability against you. He already knows where you slip up and fall short. But, more importantly, he also knows why you slip up and fall short. He knows your every thought. He sees the things you cannot see and thus has great, great compassion for you. He has the solution for EVERY effed up thing that ever happened to you! He hears your prayers and He looks on your heart. You don’t suffer because you are a screw-up, you suffer because you do not know. Your responsibility is simply to be completely honest with Him. Lay it all out there, the good, the bad and the ugly. You ain’t the first person to have your issues and you won’t be the last one! Don’t let your ego get in the way of your answers. God is all-knowing which means He knows exactly what you need. Similarly, He isn’t going to require you to be someone you are not because that is also not honest. Who wants artificial love and rote behaviors? You can trust Him. Just get committed to being honest about what is going on first with Him and then with others who may be involved. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to getting your needs met and living successfully. It’s not too late no matter what has gone on before. Just be honest…

Just some good thoughts…

 

You Have to Do You…


In a world that values conformity, you owe it to yourself to be an individual. Much of the struggle you face centers around this nagging compulsion to fit in and be, as much as is possible, just like everyone else. People have become afraid of their own thoughts and their own ideas. We doubt ourselves and close ourselves off to opportunities. We dismiss our good ideas as foolish and inconsequential. We know we have something powerful and impacting to offer the world, but instead of offering it, we try to find ways to squeeze it into so called accepted norms and approved practices. We live forever bound under the thumbs of other people’s expectations for us. You lament over your lack of personal fulfillment, yet very little of what you do is based on what you really want to do. In this, people spend a lifetime working jobs they do not like, following activities they do not enjoy and opting for things promising the most safety and socially endorsed stamp of approval. In this we fail to live; to really live life in its full effulgence and infinite variety. In this we ultimately fail ourselves. You have to do you!

If you think about it, we have all been schooled to not make waves and align ourselves with the status quo. It is often clear to us that the world has lost its collective mind, yet we painfully endeavor to assimilate its concepts into our own being, accepting and promoting what the world says to promote. We never dare ask ourselves what we think or worse have the confidence to trust in our own assertions. Even common sense conclusions are discarded in favor of a little research into what it is we actually ought to think. The world has desensitized us towards the things that truly matter and instead replaced those things with an unfathomable load of things that do not matter. We live (or exist) blown from pillar to post, minds crammed full of nothingness and pointlessness. On those rare occasions when we seize upon the boldness to say what we actually like or insist on something we want for our lives, then suddenly we become the crazy ones. Playing a role as someone else exhausting. Pretending to be someone we are not is damn hard work. Living our lives according to someone else’s dictates and rules is misery; pure misery. If you want to be happy, you have to do you.

So what does it mean to do you? It means to stop living as an imposter and start living as your own authentic self. What do you like to do? What turns you on? What makes your heart beat a little faster? Those things are the things you must do. You don’t have to live amongst the never ending judgments of the world. Honestly, you don’t even need one person’s approval. Sadly, this is man’s day of judgment and that judgment runs roughshod over people’s hearts, especially those daring to pursue their own uniqueness and individuality. We are besieged with judgment concerning every choice we make. Yet what is our life if we are no longer free to make our own choices? We don’t buy the house or the car we like, we buy the house or the car we ought to like, the one that communicates our status or success. That’s not to say that we can’t have nice things, but rather what is behind the choices we are making. Would I make that same purchase in a world with no other people? That’s the acid test. We get on that wheel of things and it is damn hard to get off of it. We devote ourselves to making money at all costs, but don’t devote ourselves to using the money for things that benefit us and other people. We don’t take the time we need to enjoy ourselves or our families, but instead grind toward some future day when we can finally do everything we ever wanted to do, but perhaps no longer have the energy to pursue it. Having the courage to do you means being willing to do your life exactly how you want to do it. It means taking the vacation now. It means writing your book now. It means pursuing your great business idea now. It means taking the time again to invest in your important relationships and stop letting everything else come ahead of them in importance. None of the cool stuff you were able to purchase is going to matter when the end of your life draws near, only the people you have been privileged to love and receive love from. Doing you means doing those things that matter the most to you and stop doing the stuff that doesn’t matter. Honor your own heart. Honor the people you love. Honor the things you hold most dear. You have to do you.

The risk involved with being bold enough to do you is nothing compared to the risk you face of living a life not lived well, well as defined by you and you alone. You are smart enough to recognize the things that bring you pain and cease from doing those things. You are wise enough to discern your own unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. You know in your heart when something isn’t good for you no matter how many people might say otherwise. Trust that. Honor that. Believe that. It seems people think that God is always behind the things you don’t want to do trying to force you to do them. I believe that God is behind the things that turn you on; those things meant for you and you only. Where do you think those exquisite dreams came from? Could it be the thing that most excites your heart to do is exactly what it is God wants you to do? Every man has value. Every woman has something unique to offer to the world. We all have a part in this thing together and every thing we do in accordance with our hearts, will be that which is best supplied by us. In the end, you have to do you. Won’t you do it to help us all?

Just some good thoughts…

I Don’t Know…


imagesThe three most feared words (or four if you don’t like contractions) in the human vocabulary. God forbid we should ever have to utter these words as doing so would certainly yield a cataclysmic result. It seems to be the last thing ever a man or a woman wants to admit. Yet, in all fairness and in all honesty, how much do we really understand about a life encompassing an infinite variety of variables? In our ignorance and our unwillingness to admit it, we typically assign false, made up causes or accept the first answer that appears in our Google search. We crave certainty, but live in a world chock full of uncertainty. We want answers, solutions, resolution and we want it now! Is it really so terrible, so alarming not to know the answer? I would submit that often we don’t even know the question. But even then, not knowing what we clearly do not know, may provide us with a starting point in our quest. Worse, not knowing and concluding that we do know, serves to immediately terminate our quest and stymies us from advancing any further. Is it really so bad to admit to ourselves that maybe we do not know? Is it a realistic expectation to know the answer to everything that comes our way? Would life get better immediately by our admission? Shoot, I don’t know. Or do I?

Human beings, as you already know, are strange, irrational creatures at times. We are loathe to admit that we do not know something. When good things happen to us, instead of searching out the matter, we assign causes, often false causes that appear the most readily available to explain the occurrence. We scan the surface for the information most obviously apparent to us and resist looking any deeper. We love the good things but don’t necessarily love to know the reason why the good is happening. Similarly and more commonly, when bad things happen to us or appear to be happening to us, we look to assign causes, most often false causes that provide the fastest and most apparent reason for the trouble. In this human creativity is almost unparalleled. Add to that a penchant for assuming all things revolve around us and must come as a result proceeding directly from us, assign blame that appears most closely related to what we are and are not doing. If someone teaches us things we must do in order to please God, when we do not engage in those requirements, we naturally assume the problems that are confronting us must have originated there. When our health is threatened or our bodies are not functioning as they should, we search within for any potential violations of good health according to the established experts and seek modifications therein. When our struggles involve a lack of resources or our needs are not being met, we look within to determine the cause, ending generally in some dire need to do something better, work harder, give more to those not so fortunate etc. But, what if we are wrong? What if the things we think we know are not the cause at all?

Obviously, God equipped man with a brain with the intention that he would use it. There is nothing wrong with problem solving, in fact there is everything right with it. But, when that problem solving process is illogical, irrational or plagued with false assumptions, there is nothing right in it. The reason people suffer with the exact same problems year after year is because they have not yet discovered the cause. They apply the exact same rules, the identical thinking, the same erroneous logic that got them into trouble in the first place. The persistence of the problem alone should have alerted them. Yet, being loathe to admit not knowing, they trudge along, stolen year after stolen year, suffering, plagued, oppressed, defeated. Instead of striving on and on in futility and despair, they would be better served to admit it. They do not know what is going on! There are important elements to their situation of which they are wholly unaware. There are variables craftily hidden from their view. There is a vitally important part of life that isn’t found on the surface or discovered with a quick Google search. The first step in discovery is a simple admission that you do not know. How could you know? Your parents could only teach you what they knew and as wonderful as they might have been, there was a limit also to what they knew. One reason you struggle in areas they also struggled with is because they taught you or demonstrated for you, the same erroneous views they held. There’s no shame in that, God bless them. The shame enters in when you know inside you do not know and still refuse to admit you do not know., a sin of which I have certainly been guilty. Thus the remedy is what it has always been, to humble yourself to that one great reality, namely that you do not know! If you suffer from anxiety, there is a reason. If you struggle with good health, there is a reason. If you cannot seem to prosper, there is a reason. Whatever ails you, whatever troubles you, whatever has gone astray in your life, behind it there is a reason and it likely has nothing to do with what you think! Admit you do not know and start a new journey.

When at last you become willing to admit you do not know, you open the door to know. God, who is all-knowing, always knows and He is more than willing to help you know. He requires nothing from you except a willingness on your part to seek Him out. He doesn’t need your arduous works and false sacrifices in order to help you, He needs your humble heart. He doesn’t delight in rituals or mantras or repetitious prayers, He delights in your heart to know Him and in knowing Him you will know what you need to do to prevail. There are answers to every problem you have ever had. There are solutions to which you have not yet even considered. But, you will never find them as long as you persist in insisting you know when you do not know! What is happening to you is common to all human beings in varying forms and intensities. There is nothing new under the sun. But, the solution is and always has been Him. It is okay not to know the answer, in fact it is often the most honest response. Don’t allow fear and difficulty to keep you bound in prison walls. Don’t allow ego and worldly logic to keep you from getting what you need. There is life waiting for you to live it, real life full of blessings, joy, love and peace.

If you know, you know. If you don’t know, admit it!

Just some good thoughts…

The Ultimate Rap Battle


artworks-000283353062-uhjnbx-t500x500Did you know that there is a battle going on every day inside your head? Your mind is the arena and your thoughts determine both your success and your failure. If you have learned not to pay much attention to your thoughts, you’ll find yourself troubled, anxious and not at rest. You won’t know why it is occurring but you will feel the effects thereof. Conversely, if you take on the challenge and learn to control your thoughts, blessedness will follow like the sunset after a lovely day. The battle goes on every single day and continues to happen whether you or I like it or not. Will you learn how to win the ultimate rap battle inside or will you continue to be blown around from pillar to post, up one day and down the next? The decision rests squarely with you…

You cannot begin to learn how to control your thoughts until you first become willing to pay attention to your thoughts. Thoughts encompass so much more than you may have imagined. Ultimately, those things you run through your mind and continue to run through your mind form the basis of who you are, what you will believe and how you will behave in life’s situations. They are the precursor to both the good and the bad things that happen in your life. Your thoughts are that important! Yet, you may have noticed how infrequently anyone has even discussed this with you, let alone suggested why you should learn how to control your thoughts. For most folks, thoughts are a part of being a human being, but have no impact beyond that in relation to their lives. They feel sad and unhappy, unfulfilled and restless, afraid and powerless, yet fail to connect those feelings with the thoughts they knowingly or unknowingly entertain. In our current age, people are literally besieged with perpetual anxiety about everything and everyone, yet cannot discern the endless stream of negativity they listen to and then cleave onto in their minds. They run the dreadful possibilities and concerns of life through their minds over and over and over again, then balk at feelings of anxiety and unrest. They have failed to connect the dots between the thoughts they are considering and the feelings they are experiencing. In this they are losing the battle in their minds. They pray to God for help and guidance, yet refuse to change their thoughts. In ignorance, they allow evil access to their minds and reap the results thereof.

Thoughts produce feelings and long held thoughts turn into beliefs. Beliefs have a profound impact in producing a blessed life and a miserable life, with every varying shade in between. When you let your mind go or just run wild, the result isn’t neutral, it is negative. It is not functioning within a vacuum without influences from outside sources. The adversary of mankind works tirelessly to get you involved in erroneous or wrong lines of thought. He assaults your mind through any means accessible in order to bring you to a predictable end result and he has been honing his craft for thousands of years. Doubts turn into worries and worries turn into fears. Fear, when allowed regular access, brings man to ruin. There is a reason “fear not” is the number one admonition in the Bible. Fear, like all wrong thought, must be rigorously excluded. You eradicate it by your abject refusal of it. No-one has ever overcome fear by continuing to grapple with it in their mind. The wrestling involved is the object of the game; deftly designed ahead of time to defeat you. All erroneous thoughts must be defeated in this manner. Whether you be plagued with guilt or unworthiness or condemnation, you won’t get past it by rehearsing it in your mind. The object of the contest is to get you to rehearse it. Then, if you really want to bring people down to a life of defeat, get them so trained and so accustomed to think negatively that they continue the process on their own from the depths of their own hearts. That is how you lose in the ultimate rap battle.

In order to win at the game of life, you have to first win in your thoughts. You have to learn what and how to think. You have to be able to pay attention to what you are saying to yourself and when necessary, change it. You have to begin detecting those subtle jabs being launched in your direction and consciously change them; the sooner the better. The thoughts that run through your mind concerning your inadequacies, your shortcomings, your past mistakes and blunders, do not originate with God, no matter what some nice fellow may have told you. Even human parents know that you cannot make a child do better by constantly pointing out what is wrong with him or her. Doing so only serves to break the child. Instead successful parents know they have to look past the rough spots and build upon the strong parts in order to help the child succeed. You can be assured those critical, nasty thoughts have not come to you from God! They come from an opponent that is hell bent on breaking you. They originate with the accuser of mankind. Once you understand what thoughts come from God and what thoughts come from your opponent, you can do a better job at deciding what you will and will not think about.

Controlling your thoughts is no harder than thinking a thought. It is not a question of your mental prowess or discipline of will. It rests simply with your own personal decisions about what you will accept and what you will reject. It is certainly not represented by some type of mysterious dream state where you walk around all day thinking about rainbows and unicorns, afraid of any negative that may come up. Instead, it is a willingness to take on any mental negatives that may come up and being willing to fight them until they depart! At some point, like your daddy taught you, you have to fight back! You have to challenge wrong thoughts, critical thoughts, long held wrong beliefs (where do you think those beliefs started?). You have to say to yourself, that is not who I am! You have to stop thinking of yourself as less than others, not deserving of good things, fraudulent or whatever other garbage the enemy throws at you! Those limiting wrong beliefs concerning yourself have been stealing away your life for years and years. Something doesn’t become true because you thought it a thousand times. It only becomes true when you believe it.

Won’t you join me in learning how to win that rap battle in your mind? Your life will get better and better in direct proportion to how serious you become about controlling your thoughts. Oh, you are going to fail and lose track and need to be reminded often, but once you get it, you get it, if you know what I mean? Begin by simply paying attention to what you are telling yourself or what conclusions you are drawing about your life. When you feel agitated and distressed, which is ALWAYS a sign that error is afoot, think about what you have been thinking about. What are you holding onto inside? What fears are you consciously entertaining or grappling with? What guilt or error awareness is claiming the top spot in your thinking? What criticisms are you not refuting? You are not evil, your opponent is!

I hope you win that great rap battle in your own mind and while you are winning, help someone else.

Just some good thoughts…

You and God, Are You Good?


19_0130_DISCIPLESHIP_Remembering-Your-Confidence-in-Gods-Goodness_1021x640-696x436I often recall with great fondness that time in my life when I first began learning about God. It was in the Spring of 1982 and I had been attending a fellowship with the sweetest people I had ever met. In May, I took a class called, Power for Abundant Living, that literally changed my life for the better. In that 3 week long course, I learned so many things about God from the Bible that seemed to be the polar opposite of who I thought God was and who people said God was. Based on His Word, the Bible, I learned that God was good only and that He wanted the best things in life for me. I learned that He was tender and kind and always on my side. I followed His instructions from the book of Romans (Romans 10:9-10) and got born again, born from above. With my newly found spirit inside, I learned how God would work in me, never over stepping my free-will and teach me things I couldn’t even conceive of before. Best of all, I learned how He was now my Father and that I was His son for eternity. There’s really no comparison for the sweet fellowship I enjoyed with God as my Father during those warm times of learning and growth. God and I were good, really, really good and nothing stood in the way of our family relationship. So, when it comes to you and God, are you good?

Sadly, over the years, our relationship started to change. It wasn’t God who changed towards me, but I had changed towards Him. Some of the folks I was hanging around began to add conditions and rules that were not a part of my early experiences. What was once completely free and based entirely upon God’s grace, turned into behaviors I had to perform to be okay with God. The wrong teaching turned my focus inward and suddenly it was all about what I was and was not doing. Slowly and somewhat imperceptibly, I began to morph into one of those guys that everyone hates to be around, the religious guy. I was so overly focused on my own sin and shortcomings, that I was hard and critical with everyone else. For me, it was no longer about God’s undeserved and unearned goodness, but instead it was about me living for God in ways that others could approve of and endorse. What was once so intimately personal and perfect, became tainted with the commandments and doctrines of men. The odd thing about this, when it happens to you, is that you don’t really see it taking place. All you know, is that what once free was no longer free and the cost associated with the required new life was perpetual misery and a lack of confidence in the One I was supposed to trust the most. Heaven was brass, as the saying goes, and down the slippery slope I traveled. This experience happened for longer than I would care to acknowledge until I finally had the good sense to break away from the folks I once trusted with my life. Some of you perhaps know what I’m talking about. So, when it comes to you and God, are you still good?

Years later, much like a recovering alcoholic, I had to get honest with myself about how I had been living. Instead of relying solely on what men said, I got back to the true doctrine that had once set me free before the bondage set in. I saw again, on the pages of God’s Word, that Jesus Christ had lived a perfect life with God, so that I would not be required to try it myself. I learned again how God had solved the sin problem for me forever and that all that I had or ever enjoyed in my life was completely based upon God’s grace, given to me freely based upon the accomplished works of His son. I relearned that God was not angry with me for my shortcomings; that He wasn’t following me around accusing me concerning my every failure. Instead, like the best imaginable parent, He was lovingly guiding me back to His heart, back to His unconditional love. And, like a flower blooming in the springtime, I started to recover and grow and blossom. I had much unlearning to do and still do at times, but throughout it all I remembered again who my Daddy really was and that He wanted me to enjoy my life. I saw His hand of blessing realized in my life and in the lives of my family. I finally was able to see that it was never about me and what I was and was not doing in my life, but rather what my Father in heaven was and is doing for me; for the people He loves so deeply. It became so clear that what seemed to be good to be true, was so good because it was true. He lovingly and patiently taught me what was really behind my downfall and that the source of my difficulties was an opponent I could not see, working behind the scenes to drown me in religion and the principles and philosophies that man made up in one form or another. It became so strikingly obvious that the practices and teaching not based on the grace filled life He called me to, were error, the same error that makes people hide from God and His kindness; man made doctrines ever focusing on man’s acts and man’s experiences instead of the truth of God’s Word. Once you know, you know and life gets better in a hurry. So, when it comes to you and God, are you good my dear friend?

The truth of Power for Abundant Living still lives in my heart some almost 40 years later; the truth about God and who He is according to His own Word, the Bible. His clarion call to the heart of man is to learn of Him and who He truly is for us, to us and in us. It’s the promise of a life with indescribable peace and assurance. It’s a life filled with abundance in every category of life. It is the constant awareness of knowing you don’t have all the answers, but you know the One who does. It is healing and restoration and repair whenever needed and however needed. It is forgiveness and mercy that has no end point. It is just he greatest possible life there is and it’s there for anyone that wants to learn. You may be just starting out on your journey with God or you may have enjoyed your life with Him for many years now, but either way there’s no denying that life with God is the life He always intended for it be for His precious and beloved creations. So, when it comes to you and God, are you good? Is your relationship filled with happiness and joy and love that has no end? If not, it is always there for you if you still want it.

As for me and God, we are good, so so good…

Just some good thoughts…

Walking in the Mud…


Cog Railway

“Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield.” “Some days you’re the dog and some days you’re the hydrant.” “Some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail.” I’m sure we have all felt like that at times. Some days for some inexplicable reason everything feels hard and laborious compared to days when everything feels effortless and easy. Just what exactly is going on when we feel hindered and pressured and annoyed? Is there some cause we are unaware of? Is something conspiring against us? Is it all in our minds? What makes us feel, at times, like we are walking in the mud?

Our minds, leading to the great citadel of our souls, serve as information registering machines. Whether we can appreciate it or not, whether we are conscious of it or not, our minds are not only thinking thoughts (which we will address later), but are also reading and analyzing cues in our environment and seeking to make sense of them. Our mind picks up every audible word said or sung even if we aren’t aware it is happening. Behind everything we watch and observe are messages to be interpreted and understood. All day long, you and I are being fed a steady stream of opinions and ideas about life and about how the world works. The mediums that man controls are chock full of man’s concepts and notions and things that have an appeal and things that are distasteful to man. Some things are good and useful, while others are subtle, evil and hurtful. Conversely, the mediums that God employs (think nature) contain messages that calm us and set our minds at ease. Even the colors God has chosen elicit a certain response. You cannot stare at a flower for very long without feeling a sense of wonder about how it came to be; how so much intricacy could be contained in something so small and so temporary. Years ago, our sources for information were far less complex and limited in scope. We still had access to bad news, but it wasn’t all around us. Today, through the marvels of modern technology, we are consumed with a perpetual stream of things to peruse and read and to consider. Many of the messages we receive seem to escape our reasoning altogether, yet their effect is felt in our hearts. There are images concerning what we should look like, where we should live and the kind of fun we should be having. There are more philosophies than there are stars in the sky, happy to inform us of some supposed truth concerning our existence. In this, we find ourselves bogged down without apparent cause. Due to the speed and variety involved, we missed the message, the one that served to assault our happiness and led us astray. Sometimes you find yourself walking in the mud because of the codes you were not able to crack; the ones that escaped your reasoning mind. There’s a reason people feel the need to take a break from social media!

Much of what mires us in the muck comes from the thoughts we are knowingly or unknowingly entertaining. We think so many thoughts in a day, the prospect of controlling them all feels impossible. Yet those thoughts we fail to control; to accept or reject, often lead us to a dark space. Thoughts of sickness and disease are so subtle, so slippery, so hard to perceive, that we miss them altogether. It’s not that we weren’t conscious of the thought, but rather that we let the thought go without feeling the need to challenge it. A funny feeling in your stomach here, an odd pain in your side there and before you know it you are feeling glum and despondent. It’s not that you’ve stumbled upon the precursor to a disease, but rather the fear of its potential existence has entered your awareness. Maybe it isn’t something to do with your health, but rather your finances. Maybe it’s some pending trouble or difficulty reportedly on the horizon. Whatever it is, however it gained access, it is still a thought, not a reality, and what you choose to do with it leads to how you will begin to feel. If your habit is to let things go, those things you let go will mount up and gather momentum. You likely don’t realize it (yet) but something or someone has stolen away your peace of mind and feelings of assurance and safety. With all of that going on in the background of your thinking, it is no wonder you feel tired and despondent. Behind all of the trouble, just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, will be some fear, small or great, seeking to take away the happiness that is and replace it with the threat of what might be. It isn’t that bad things are preparing for you, but instead your interpretation that bad things are preparing for you. Some poor folks have only ever lived this way. You find yourself walking in the mud by your failure to pay attention to and to challenge your thoughts; those thoughts that predict or promise loss for you in some capacity. You have to hear it in order to do something about it. That’s what controlling your thinking is all about!

As unpleasant as it is to consider, there is evil working behind the systems of the world to bring you hardship and pain. All of us find ourselves confronted with this reality. Man has brought this evil upon himself by the choices he has made. Yet, God has not left us without remedy. In the same way that a loving parent warns their child of impending danger, God warns us concerning what is at stake in our day by day existence. The reason He asks us to control our thinking is because our minds are the battleground of the great competition. The way that evil gets involved in our lives is by the thoughts we consider and then unknowingly hold on to.  The more you cleave to and consider some great fear, the more the likelihood of “its” appearance in your life. Conversely, the more quickly you recognize and refute the fear, typically by refusing to consider it any further, the less likely it is to have any impact in your life. That is the fight we all find ourselves in. To think that God has already assigned us some dreadful fate or for that matter some great benefit, is to take away our sovereign free will and our ability to choose. For God’s goodness to be fully realized in our lives it must first be held on to then deeply considered until it enters our heart (that great citadel) from whence our lives flow forth. In order for some catastrophic fear to play out in our lives, it also must be held onto and deeply considered until it enters our heart. Choosing properly what you will and will not think is the crux of the contest, the great competition in and for our minds. Sometimes, you find yourself walking in the mud because you are under attack by things you cannot see, but if you hold fast to what is true, not what might seem true, you’ll find yourself moving out of it.

Do you feel like you have been walking in the mud? Are you stressed and annoyed and agitated? Has the spring gone from your step and the things you used to enjoy become hidden from your view? Don’t despair for another moment. Take some time and get yourself quiet on the inside and think about what you have been thinking about. What is going on back there, looming on the horizon of your thoughts? What fearful considerations have you knowingly or unknowingly entertained? What have you been feeding your mind? What are you watching and staring at and observing so intently? And, if it still remains completely buried from your view, ask God to show you what it is. God is faithful and all clarity of heart and soul comes from Him.

We all find ourselves walking in the mud at times, but we don’t have to stay there.

Just some good thoughts…

The Happiness Quotient


HappinessImage-1Husbands just want to make their wives happy. Mothers wish above all things that their children would be happy. Therapists advise their clients to pursue the things that make them happy. Work performed by people in harmony with their heart’s desires makes them happy. Overcoming great challenges, winning in conflict, improving and succeeding all generally lead to happiness. As thinking and feeling human beings, happiness is always near the top of our priorities and when we aren’t happy, nothing serves as a substitute for it. Gobs of money, grand successes, glorious homes, exotic cars and fancy yachts are no reward for the person who isn’t happy. Happiness is such a primary part of our human existence that we cannot survive long without it. Some folks seem to be happy in every type of circumstance while others cannot seem to find happiness in anything.  Happiness is always subjective and varies from person to person, yet despite the variety involved is universal in its application. Why are some folks happy consistently, while others seem unable to locate it? Is happiness something that can be measured and analyzed to be improved upon or is happiness rather an internal interpretation present whenever we decide it will be? What is your happiness quotient?

Anyone who has lived any length of time will tell you that happiness isn’t something you can purchase. Lots and lots of people with lots and lots of money are quite miserable to say the least. Yet strangely, some folks with truckloads  of money are very happy. Conversely, some folks with very limited resources are sublimely happy, while others spend their days cursing their existence. On the surface alone, it’s obvious that material resources don’t contain the lynch pin for happiness. But, those same resources can certainly contribute to or when absent, detract from one’s happiness quotient. It seems it’s not the things that are responsible for your happiness, but rather your interpretation of those things. Objects have no meaning outside the meaning you have assigned them. Thus, the first step in figuring out your own, personal happiness quotient, to produce more of it, is to figure out just what is going on in that mind of yours. How are you interpreting the events that make up your life? If your interpretation is wrong or perpetually negative, your happiness will be limited no matter what else is going on. If you have been so schooled to see the wrong in everything, cynical, critical and wary of any good continuing, you cannot reasonably expect happiness to follow. Complaining of not being happy while thinking and doing things unhappily is an absurd proposition. Similarly, waiting for happiness to appear unwelcome by pervasive foul thought is an exercise in futility. Happiness won’t suddenly one day show up at your door, it already dwells inside. 

When you really try to break down the components of happiness, one thing is very clear. Happiness is present when unhappiness is not present. You cannot be happy and unhappy at the same time. You have to choose one or the other. However, you cannot somehow choose happiness and happiness will appear. That sounds good, but it lacks the proper substance. The irony is that choosing to be happy does not really make you happy. Instead true happiness appears when you have successfully eliminated the causes of your own unhappiness. Happiness isn’t a treasure you stumble upon and find. Happiness is the reality behind the things that are obscuring it or hiding it. When you feel as if you are not safe or not okay or are powerless against the perilous dangers of the world, you won’t be happy until you find the solution to that problem. Happiness isn’t about floating along mindlessly oblivious to the things that are happening all around you. Happiness is problem solving or at least being willing to entertain the notion that there might be something you don’t already know! For all of the complexity involved with us as human beings, we are incredibly simple when it comes to how we feel. And despite our many differences, we all need the same basic things. Happiness comes when we learn how to get those uncomplicated needs met. 

If you are honest, you know when you are not happy and you know why. Even when our happiness is being stilted and we don’t think we know why, a little reflective thought will usually reveal the answer. However, sometimes the answer is not something we are willing to entertain. But, if it is blocking your happiness, it is worth thinking about. One great thing that generally happy people have in common is their willingness to work towards solutions to their problems, knowing there are always solutions for their problems. People spend half their lives unhappy with their spouse, yet adamantly refuse to do anything about it because, after all, it’s them and not me.  Such refusals to see things for what they really are serve only to perpetuate unhappiness. At the end of the day, it is your job to believe to find the solution to your problems, no matter what they are. Living with and accepting problems is a guarantee for unhappiness persisting. The more you can eliminate the causes for your unhappiness the happier you will be. The more you assign outside causes as the source of your unhappiness, the more unhappy you will remain. 

Happiness in its stripped down reality is really a sense of contentment and safety and assurance that our needs will be met. It is the soul of a person that has ceased from his own works and learned to rely upon another. Happiness is no longer trying to be the sole source of your own needs being met and trusting someone greater than yourself to supply those needs. God is that someone greater than yourself.  God never intended for you to figure out life on your own and your resultant unhappiness is the measure of where you fit along that scale. Again, if you are honest, most of the big problems of life you aren’t going to be able to solve by yourself. Trying and working and toiling to do so won’t get the job done. You can be sincere and a hard worker and tireless in your endeavors, but the things you need the most don’t come from your own efforts. True happiness resides in the heart of a man or a woman who has relinquished their endless fears and worries to someone who can actually do something about them. Real happiness comes when you stop fighting against the reality of things and line yourself up with what is rather than foolishly trying to do it your own way, with your own limited human logic, within the confines of your own mind! Happiness reveals itself after the obstacles to its existence have been removed. Joy appears following a complete and absolute trust in your Heavenly Father to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. The happiness you so desperately seek comes from doing what God said to do, which is simply summarized by believing what He said and thereby thinking and acting in the way He recommends. He won’t ask you to give up anything but your fear, the one and only great hold back impeding your happiness. 

I find myself the most happy when I simply trust God to do the things for me He promised He would do. No matter how things look or whether dark clouds are lining up, throughout it all I know that God will do whatever He needs to do to take care of me and in that I can rest, content, assured and excited about my future with Him. You want to maximize your happiness quotient? Then get out of your own way and learn about the One who invented happiness and knows exactly what you need in order to experience it. Oh my friends, God exists for you…

Just some good thoughts…

How to Get What You Want…


Have you ever taken the time to figure out what it is you want most out of your life? The question, so simple yet loaded, isn’t really as complicated as you might imagine. I often muse that it’s not that we don’t know what we want, but rather that we don’t want to admit what it is. We sort of go with the flow and head down the paths that seem easiest to navigate. In this, we don’t really choose, but instead grab at the first option, always consoling ourselves with the notion that we can figure it out later. Yet, many, many years later we find ourselves on the same old path, just further down the road a bit. It’s as if actively choosing a destination leaves us vulnerable to the possibility that it might not happen. So, instead of actively pursuing our dreams and all the risk associated with it potentially not coming to pass, we settle for something less. We work jobs we don’t enjoy in career paths that seemed the most logical in terms of being sensible, yet miles perhaps from the those things that make our hearts sing. Inside, deep inside you know what you want most and you can realize those things in your life if you will simply be honest about what turns you on and have courage enough to go and get it.

Most people, sadly, live their lives in accordance with other people’s dreams, never really giving themselves permission to go down paths unique to them. Instead they choose approved paths; accepted paths; well-worn paths where the masses travel. They’re afraid to make their own paths for fear of failure or disappointment and in so doing fall in line with societal expectations, safe choices, and generally rubber stamped options that help someone else realize their own dreams. They give their life and energy and effort to working in exchange for money; money that is always not quite enough to allow them to forgo the burden of having to continue doing the same. They do so because the lion’s share of the profit is reserved for those taking the lion’s share of the risk and in their aversion to the risk (fear), the cycle persists. In America and maybe other first world countries, it seems we have all bought into the idea that the vast majority of our life is to be spent in activities we do not enjoy for those rare intervals of respite and freedom to do what we want. And logically, in our leftover time, we don’t have the wherewithal to do anything else. Our best effort, our prime time has already been promised to another. We find ourselves caught in a trap that we cannot find a way from which to escape. We fault the wealthy for their wellspring of free time, yet wish we had the same. We dream of houses and vacations and fun and freedom, but never quite believe that we can have them. Instead we settle for our lot in life, which really isn’t our lot, but instead a well designed scheme to keep us in place, in line and unfulfilled.

We think it is money or the lack thereof that keeps us bound never entertaining the fact that we ourselves are our own limitation. The man;  the system; the wheel of things isn’t what keeps us from achieving or realizing our dreams, we are. Somewhere, somehow, we have been coerced into believing what it is we can and cannot have. We set limits where there are no limits. We dismiss our innermost treasures as fanciful and get right back to the business of slaving away for the things we do not hold dear. We act as if our lives were predisposed to move in one direction; with one set of options and an already established final outcome, as if God has destined us to do so. We are half talked out of any new endeavor before we have even taken the first few steps. When doors open for us, we are afraid to walk through them or waste away the opportunity researching the pitfalls of moving in the new direction. We don’t get what we want because we don’t believe we can get what we want. Even when we have good ideas or begin to touch upon those things whereby we can have the most impact and be the most fulfilled, we move so slowly and with such fearful caution that we seldom have enough time left to get the job done. It isn’t that we do not know how to get what we want, it’s that we don’t believe we can actually get what we want. Instead of doing, we spend time all day thinking and dreaming, wishing and hoping. Someday we can have it, but not today.

The only way you can get what you want in life is to believe that you can. As long as you don’t believe that you can, it is not going to happen for you. It’s not first about putting the time in, paying your dues, being patient or anything else anyone has told you that eliminates the necessity of believing for yourself. Belief, real belief always has corresponding actions associated with it. Belief is not waiting for the future, belief takes action now. Belief does not wait for all of the circumstances to line up, belief challenges and thereby changes the circumstances. Belief is not dependent upon the right degree or winning the lottery or any contrary thing that says you cannot have or cannot do for any reason, but believes and does anyway. Belief, positive expectant belief is the forerunner to all success in every category of life. You will go as far as your believing takes you and you will not go as far as your believing takes you. And, no-one decides what it is you can believe except you. No-one…

It is never too late to realize your dreams in life. It is never impossible to get the things you want; the things you hold most dear. Quit waiting and wondering about it. Stop stewing and brooding and being so damn fearful about things not working out. Those thoughts haven’t gotten you anywhere good yet anyway, have they? Life, this frightfully short life, isn’t about wandering around wishing and praying for those things that would make your life complete. The life you want to live is available for you to live once you finally stop standing around and decide to do something about. Do something now. Think about it. Pray about it. Set some positive expectations, make some plans and begin to pursue it. You aren’t getting any younger. Go and get it. You already know how. Believe, then for God’s sake, act!

Just some good thoughts…