Life in Your Sixth Decade…


Family 1Having just recently entered my second year in my sixth decade (happy birthday to me), I thought it might be good to reflect on the past year. Something about the sixth decade that causes you to take pause and think about things more than you have ever done in the past. Not thinking you would ever actually be this old, you start to learn some things you probably should have learned years ago. Last year was a year of intense learning and untold insights for me concerning life and living. And, at the risk of bringing you into an idea mosh pit, I’m going to share some of those things with you. 

Maybe the most profound thing I began learning this year was how to escape from mental and spiritual bondage. You don’t really know that you are all tied up when you are all tied up. You sort of need something outside of yourself (thanks God) to shed some light on your darkness and make things that have become invisible, visible again. Suddenly you begin to recognize stuff you do with no love in it. You begin to discern how fear is making all the choices. Your enjoyments become less and less and all that you do comes into question. Freedom exists on the other side of all that. Fear only gains power over you when you give it head space. You have to entertain it, talk with it, mull it over a bit, really try to reason it out, but when you do, fear always wins. Overcoming fear, which equals overcoming bondage, which equals gaining freedom, happens first in your mind and then in your heart. You have to put a complete end to fearful considerations, which equals worrying about future events, which equals being driven to behaviors and performance in order to be okay. Fear is such a slippery creature and can attach itself to things you may not have thought of before, yet there it lurks pulling the strings in your life and leading you away from the things you really want. The good Lord has set us free from all that garbage, if we only knew it. 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to rethink and relearn what it means to believe God. I already knew that to be able to receive something from God, you had to believe that God both could and would do it for you. What it really meant to believe God was the mystery for me. It’s not some type of powerful thinking or willing or demanding etc. It’s not checking to see if you doubt it or maybe aren’t fully persuaded. It’s not a good feeling or a bad feeling. It has little if anything to do with your feelings. It’s not magic or mystique. It’s more of a dogged determination. It is to keep saying what you want, not what you wish would go away, until you get it. As a wonderful man once said, “dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!” Spending all day confessing all that is wrong, every place you are dissatisfied, what you don’t like, what you wish would stop, what you wish would start, what you really, really need, all point back squarely to the darkness that engendered it to begin with. Do you think the obstacles you encounter in life are simply random? Believing is not saying what you need over and over and over again. Believing is saying what God’s Word says about your situation. If you have a need, God knows what it is already. You simply keep repeating His promise to supply all of your need which aptly applies to your situation. You’re not following a formula until the magic happens. You’re not saying it out loud to people as proof that you believe it when, deep down, you know you don’t. Instead you are saying God’s promise, which equals light, to yourself until the darkness has to flee. You’re not going to beat the devil with your adamancy, I can assure you of that. You just dwell on what you want and continue dwelling on it, until it comes to pass. There’s no time limit. There’s no secret recipe. There’s no mystery or intrigue. You don’t have to perpetually wonder if you are “believing.” Those mental games lead nowhere and produce nothing. You just keep after what you need faithfully backing it with promises from God’s Word. All the rest is simply accepting the fact that it won’t come to pass. All the rest! Believing God has to be simple because truth is always simple and plain. Error is complicated. Fear is complicated. Bondage is complicated. That thing you need so desperately, God already knows you need so desperately. Turn on the light by adding in the light. Keep saying what God says in your mind and what God says will get into your heart. Believing comes from your heart. 

Next, and certainly not in importance, I learned how much I valued and treasured my private time with God in the mornings. For me, as you might expect from a writer, I prefer to write in my journal and share my heart with God. It is my attempt at “Morning Pages” as was so beautifully outlined by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. Morning Pages are my opportunity to talk things over with my Papa (God). I ask Him questions often and He is faithful always to answer (always). He listens (patiently) to my complaints and whining at times and still, gently, always supplies me with what I need to know or often what is really behind the things that befall me. What I learn on those sweet mornings is not always revolutionary, but often subtle insights and unveilings that meet my needs perfectly. It is so honest, so pure, so refreshing. We all need to talk with our Father at times and we are never the less for doing so. Some mornings I have to miss it and I miss it. Some mornings I’m like the psalmist that begins in despair but ends in victory. What I know for sure is that I need God’s involvement in life and we just happened upon a medium that makes us both happy. (I assume God knows I am a writer!) However you choose to do it or not do it is entirely up to you. But, if you are willing to reach outside of yourself for the answers, you will surely find as I found, God is there. 

Many of my other lessons came in a variety of settings. Each time it was gentle, easy to be intreated, something I could grasp and benefit from and never to condemn me. I learned that all fun has an endpoint and pressing beyond the endpoint doesn’t produce more fun. I understood that moderation has both freedom and limits. I learned that loving God, loving your fellow man and doing as you dang fool please had a lot of depth to it. I learned that God never expected me to be a perfect man, but rather believe in what a perfect man did for me. It finally dawned on me that you cannot add to “it is finished.” I recognized that relationships are two way streets and that sometimes you are the problem. I began to dare to follow God’s advice in no longer judging myself and even learned to extend that to other people. My own shenanigans alone attest to that reality. I learned that it’s not so much what people think about you as it is what you think about yourself. Self doubt is learned and can be unlearned. I saw that God was pretty dang good at taking care of me and my family. I understood that God meets you right where you are and for that I am immeasurably thankful. It became so vivid that God’s will for my life was that I enjoy it as much as I could, whenever I could. How many times he whispered, “enjoy your life.” I learned that my life was my choice and that nothing was supposed to intervene in that. I began a greater appreciation for my family and my friends and endeavored to show love whenever I could. I went on trips, I basked on beaches on both coasts, I traveled, we traveled, hosted parties, made hundreds of Old Fashioneds, spoke kind words to the weary, entertained guests, ate at restaurants, played many rounds of golf (never actually improving, but enjoying it nonetheless!), spent time with the likeminded,  and many more things that would mark a truly blessed life. I had my share of troubles, was pressed at times, afraid, unsure, bewildered, anxious and plain old pissed, but those times never lasted and I was always able to get back to my light, back into the fight. I guess looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Life is good my friends, so good. 

Six decades of living doesn’t produce the best skin, the best hair or the best body, but it does produce a depth of soul you may have never encountered before. It provides you with a time to reflect, to look back, to remember, to embrace and to wish you would have known better. You start to see that every day living is a good day and that life is that much better with God in it. You wish you could say and do all the things your heart always wanted you to do, but at the same time understand that you can do it now. All of us need love and we can only give it when we have it to give. Life is best lived above bondage and fear, but you have to get there when you get there and hopefully it is sooner than later. None of that stuff that has been dragging you down comes from God and if you will let Him, He will change your life forever. I love God and I love you. (M 60’s)

Just some good thoughts…

The Money Myth…


od9i7c-b88788077z.120160909171642000gfpiob79.10It seems much time and energy has been spent convincing people with the least money of the lack of its importance in their lives. You hear it all the time from well-meaning folks busy explaining away money by either discounting it entirely or else demonizing it as a source of evil. However, when you observe people with plenty of money, it sure seems like a much more enjoyable existence compared to those justifying their apparent shortage while simultaneously implying the lack of its necessity for them. With money being the chief method of exchange in our culture, methinks someone has been getting their leg pulled on a massive scale. It’s as if those with the money must perpetuate the lies about money in order to keep if for themselves. There is no nobility in not getting your needs met, no matter what you may have been taught. The reality is that you need money in order to prosper and there is nothing wrong with pursuing it unless of course you have bought into the money myth.

The world we live in literally runs on money. The things you want in your life cost money. The better the things, the more those things cost. Yes, loving and worshipping money is going to bring you a lot of pain. Yes, being consumed with greed is going to tear you apart from the inside out. But, is that really the choice you are making? Who convinced you that your desire for good things is somehow evil or a contradiction to God and His goodness? Who worked it into your soul to feel as if you should have less than others have or that you cannot enjoy nice things? For most of us, and I think you will agree, the idea of actually pursuing money feels wrong as if we have been deceived by the world. But, is it wrong really? Chances are, if you are reading this, you aren’t working on your second hundred million. Instead you are more likely trying to climb up that rung from lower class to middle class or middle class to upper middle class. No matter where you find yourself, I think you have to agree, that having plenty of money unloads your life of a multitude of burdens. Money fights rarely appear from having too much, but instead from not having enough. The money myth works best on those who do not have enough. Is it you?

If I could go back in time, I would tell that younger version of myself to figure out the money thing sooner. What good is it to live your whole life preparing for a financially stable future only to be limited by your advanced age and diminishing energy levels. Why would it make sense to spend your most vital years going without the good things; the things that make you happiest? And while it is true that things cannot bring you happiness alone, having resources opens to you a world you may have never knew existed. Family vacations cost money. Nice homes cost money. Sharp, clean dependable vehicles cost money. Having more than enough in order to help others requires money. That’s not to say that all those things aren’t available with less money, but what is it that you want for your own life? That’s the real question. It’s not what it takes for you to survive, it’s what it takes for you to thrive. The less you have the more you owe and the less you are going to be able to experience life and you know it. Constantly defending your own lack of resources by your incredible ability to enjoy life with less really isn’t honest. Maybe you don’t need much and maybe I don’t either, but that’s not the question. The question is what do you need in order to thrive? Don’t allow the money myth to limit and define your possibilities.

If you think God is behind the limited resources game, you are mistaken. What conceivable difference could it make to God whether you make $50k a year or you made $200k a year? It seems that would be a decision you are making. And further, what would God’s purpose be in withholding something good from you? What lesson does lack teach you other than a constant source of consternation until you get it solved? If you are a parent, you know how important it is for you to be able to supply anything your children need and in most cases almost everything they want! Well, if your love for your children produces that response, imagine God, who is love, and His response towards you? With God, you are only limited by the poverty of your expectations! As a Christian myself, I know how screwed up you can be about money. But, those false concepts do not originate with God. To expect God to prosper me or supply me with plenty of money is the exact same thing, but God forbid I confess the latter! Can you see what I am trying to say? Money isn’t evil and for God’s sake you need it; plenty of it! You have to rid your mind of the money myth and think clearly about what it is that you need. If you lived in another time and had 15,000 sheep and 50,000 cattle you would be considered rich, not because of the livestock but because of the money the livestock represent! Praying for an abundant crop is the same thing as praying for higher pay. I’m not advocating living above your means, I’m advocating raising your means without feeling all effed up about it! God wants you to prosper and is well aware that our means of exchange is money! You do the math on that one!

I guess what I’m trying to say, if you can look past my obvious disdain for the lies we have been fed, is that you owe it to yourself and the people you love to believe God for His abundant supply. Don’t put limits where there are no limits. Poverty and lack is not noble or pleasing to God anymore than seeing your children struggle would bring you any joy. You know what makes parents of grown children happy? It is in seeing them succeeding on their own and getting to the place where they are no longer limited by lack!  Having more than enough isn’t the entire answer, but it is a great start! If you have suffered at the hands of the money myth, my prayer for you is that you would have the audacity, the boldness to believe for much; a true abundance! The world around you is evidence alone that you can get whatever it is you want to get, including more money, more resources, more than enough. Don’t spend another day living under the spell of the money myth! Think soundly without fear and prosper! That is always God’s will for your life!

Just some good thoughts…

Money, Money, Money…


This topic, the subject of this little blog, is decidedly abstruse, recondite, and arcane. We all want it, the more the better it seems, but the mystery concerning it is monumental. It’s the dirty little secret we don’t discuss in public. It’s something we think we understand, yet fail to understand. It can be the source of abundant pleasure as well as the source of copious amounts of pain. It’s a perplexing riddle that is both easy to solve and impossible to solve. It seems to represent both status and power, yet actually personifies neither. It appears to be elusive and reserved for a small, closed group, yet once you have it seems to replicate itself. It is the apparent cause of most people’s problems yet portrays itself as the solution to most people’s problems. It is the promise of the lottery ticket and the curse of having too much. Is it simply a means of exchange or does it symbolize so much more?

In our culture today, money represents a means of exchange for goods and services. We usually don’t have some cows for trade or bushels of wheat and barley. But, in America, we have money, cash in fist, dineros, dough. Money pays for the things that we need and want. If we do not have enough money, then we struggle in getting our needs met. Food costs money, homes cost money, cars cost money. Even our beloved fun and good times often cost money. Yet recognizing the vast impact money has on the quality of our lives, we fail to give it the priority it deserves. We harbor these confusing views concerning it. We have all heard the stories of the people that seem to have a lot of it and how reportedly difficult their life has become. Yet is it really the money that causes the problems or the failure on the part of the possessor to control themselves? In the United States we have an abundance of food, readily available and relatively cheap. And for this reason, we also have trouble with obesity. We can literally eat ourselves to death. We eat beyond our need or maybe beyond three people’s needs and lament our sluggish and diminished state. It seems then again to point more toward the mindset of the possessor than the availability of the resource.

It has been said that money rules the world. But, does it really? I think it would be more fair to say that money as the means of exchange determines in a large way just how happy you are going to be. Oh sure, we can all cling to the old adage that we don’t need it, usually said by people that don’t have it, as a sort of self-righteous stand against what it represents. But, I would submit that you still have to get your needs met. If you always have to say no to an activity or opportunity to do something, not because you don’t want to but because you cannot afford to, you are doing yourself a disservice. You are erroneously concluding that money is something you cannot obtain or shouldn’t obtain because of its so-called reported evils. But, what evil could be associated with a means of exchange? If you owned a chinchilla farm and paid for your needs with chinchillas, could someone accuse you of having too many chinchillas? Would anyone give you a solemn warning concerning the evils of having too many chinchillas and demand a reduction? You see, we got it all wrong in this regard. The love of money is the root of all evil not because money is evil, but because the love of it is and loving it as the source (not a means) in your life leads you down a path replete with pain, suffering and misery. Like the rich person that cannot say no to things because they can afford them or the obese person who cannot say no to food because it tastes good, the issue isn’t the money, it is the control you have over yourself. God is the source of our lives and the source of the money we need to buy things. Thinking He is opposed to you having more than enough money to get your needs met, to get your wants satisfied, to be able to bless and help others get their needs met, is not thinking soundly.

The point, if you haven’t gotten it by now, is that it is your responsibility, with God’s help, to crack the money code. Figure it out and figure it out quickly. Don’t live out your existence with a growing list of unmet needs. Stop acting like it is noble to go without all the time. If your Daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills, do you think He would be the one opposing you? And for God’s sake, get it out of your head that you are somehow being greedy. People that are truly greedy never entertain the thought that they are being greedy. Instead wonderful people like you and me are the ones that entertain it. Those of you who are parents, how do you handle getting your kid’s needs met? I would submit, as a parent, that you would do whatever it took to get your child something they really wanted, let alone what they actually needed! You would spare no effort in figuring out a way to bless them. Well, how about God? Do you really think he is checking and stifling you to live below par; to settle for less; to go with your needs and wants unmet because the fulfillment of those things requires some dough? Hardly! Again, we have been sold a bill of goods…

Money is simply a means of exchange and while you don’t always need the money, but instead need the thing, there is absolutely nothing wrong in believing God to get the money. Money isn’t evil, loving it and trusting it and worshipping it more than God is evil. I would guess that most people, not all people, have less money than they need and are selling themselves short in settling for less than what God, as The Loving Parent, would want them to have. Raise your expectations. Cease from considering that your lot in life is to be meager and limited when God is unlimited! You already know, right now today, if you don’t have enough, right? Well, there are lots of people that have more than enough; way more. The limit isn’t God, the limit is you! Money, money, money! Get some! You need it…

 

DNR ~ Diminished and Reduced…


ekg-001-an-electrocardiogram-heart-monitor-pulses-on-a-blue-grid-loop_r4m_frdh_thumbnail-full01I see depressed people. I see them everywhere. You can easily spot them by their lowered vitality; their lack of activity; that dimness in their eyes. They think that is just how life is and have settled into an existence that isn’t painful but isn’t pleasant either. They have unknowingly become diminished and reduced and need to be resuscitated!

The reason people reach this level in their thinking and let’s be honest, many, many people have, is because at the core of things, at the most elemental level they have been talked into believing things that aren’t true. It sounds simple and cheesy I know, but the things in life that appear complicated are often more simple than you think. Wrong thinking leads to wrong believing which leads to a sucky life! And to add insult to the proverbial injury, you are struggling against a force you can neither see nor discern absent spiritual insight. There is something, whether you believe it or not, that is actively working against your best interest, seeking to bring you down to some level of defeat or mediocrity or loss.

Your opponent is spiritual in nature and works within the systems of the world to bring you down to misery or frustration, to take away the life God has given you, to steal away your energy and passion for living. He does not work alone, but controls a vast network also hidden from view, hell-bent on feeding you some wrong conclusion! It’s called the systematizing of error and it’s damn effective! It’s a cause and effect where the effect did not come from the cause. It’s H2O minus an O. It’s 2 + 2 = 5. It’s an argument where the starting premise was wrong. It’s a scientific formula with an unaccounted for variation. In short, it’s a lie that needs to be challenged.

You may have noticed in your life, in those moments of clarity where you sort of “wake up” to some reality, that as soon as you begin to take steps to remedy a situation, you are besieged with challenges or distractions that take you right back to square one and back to your familiar, yet painful sleepy life! You can tell you are living mesmerized by this deceitful drug by the things that run across your mind. You ask yourself, “Is this all life is?” “Is this my lot in life to get up and go to work and come home and go to sleep?” The answer to these questions is hell-effin no! You’re just being hoodwinked, that’s all! You are being systematically talked out of things that matter. You are being fed lies, albeit minutely subtle lies, that reduce and diminish your existence.

Often, you’ll find that the things you once enjoyed have been taken away one by one without your consent. Or, something convinced you there was something wrong with those things you enjoyed and suggested you give them up. Have you noticed in today’s world, that someone is always telling us about the potential dangers of something we enjoy with suggestions that we curtail what we like to do? Don’t eat this! Don’t touch that! Watch out for those people! Be cautious! Don’t try that because it’s already been done! Pretty soon the whole world will be living on dry chicken breasts and zealously guarding against anything with a little flavor. Don’t you see it? It’s all part of a universal scheme; a system that seeks your personal liberty and enjoyment for life. And, it happened to us because we believed the lies!

The only solution to this world-wide dilemma is to get back to what is true. Stop allowing other people to define your life for you. Stop accepting the things that run across your mind as some kind of gospel. Just because you thought something, even many, many times doesn’t guarantee it is truth. In fact, those thoughts; those wrong beliefs are the source of your difficulties. You are limited by yourself and yourself alone! If you believe you will never have enough money, you will never have enough money, but that’s your sucky choice not mine! Choice – you get it? In your mind, in the secret places, you are making choices day by day. You are gathering information and making a choice. You just have to make sure that what you chose is actually true and not a lie. Anything that diminishes you, anything that reduces you, anything that boxes you in or closes you off is a LIE!

The truth will resuscitate you and bring you back to life. Your Creator is the author of life! As life’s source He will always open the doors and make a way for you! He’s not the god of religion, He is the God of life! He does not seek to take away and limit and reduce, He seeks to give and expand and offer you life more than abundant! You can break out of your rut; your depression; your less than abundant life simply by opening your heart to the truth. God already knows how much life has been sucking for you, so why not let go of everything you think you know and get back to life? You didn’t begin your life depressed and you don’t have to end it that way. Choose vitality. Choose energy. Choose life!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not signing that DNR!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Happy New Year and a Happy New Heart…


happy-new-year-2017-loveFor many, the entrance of a new year is a time for reflection, goal setting and plans for a better life. Those plans appear in the form of resolutions and decisions often aimed at repairing some aspect of one’s existence. Statistically, most aims center around the restoration of physical health including the ever-present irritant called weight loss and of course financial goals targeted at obtaining more money to open more possibilities for living. Both oft-repeated wishes are very necessary and encompass something obviously central to a happy life, otherwise they wouldn’t be part of almost everyone’s plans. And sadly, more often than not, those worthy aims are not actualized. Have you ever asked yourself why life seems to work this way? Why would you have the same goals year after year and never get to scratch them off your list? Indeed why…

Every one of us living today in the deepest center of our being have what is figuratively referred to as our heart. Our heart is made up of beliefs we have about ourselves and about our lives. We formed these beliefs over time by the thoughts we have thought and from our actual experiences in living. No-one is born with certain beliefs, nor is your heart some magical information center that already fully comprehends life’s mysteries. The heart knows what the heart knows because of what the heart has been taught. So, step one in finally getting somewhere is to dispel the utterly false notion that your heart is what it is already and cannot be changed for all those reasons mentioned above. Changing those beliefs in your heart is not only possible, but required to live that life you keep imagining. However, changing your inner heart is not some overnight affair. It requires time and patience and a faithful, very faithful effort to change your thinking from the lies, or if your prefer, the errors you have accepted as true, over to what is actually true. Could there be anything more sad than doggedly clinging to some wrong belief about yourself, leading to wrong results for yourself, because you are so damn determined that you already know for yourself?

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. In other words, who you believe you are and what you believe you can get and where you think your life will go, is exactly who you are, what you get and where you end up. Your inner beliefs, your core beliefs, good or dreadfully bad determine your life; your life, not someone else’s life! You cannot, absolutely cannot, determine someone else’s life, no matter how much you may have loved them! So, with that, if the year 2016 sucked for you, it is no-one else’s fault but your own. Now, don’t get mad at me for saying that, unless getting mad helps you to maybe reconsider things. The system of believing and how your own personal believing from your heart determines your life isn’t something I made up. The designer of the system is God and because it’s from God it is perfect. It is your all-loving Heavenly Father’s solution for your every problem and heartache and your God-given control over your life. Don’t fight the system with your preconceived ideas, but instead learn the system and tap into the awesome power waiting for you to ‘get it!’ Ideas such as “Let’s see what 2017 has in store for me,” falsely assigns control over your life to someone or something else. The new year, God, or the devil himself do not decide what is in store for you, you do! You, my friend have the privilege to decide or to not decide and in not deciding fall prey to whatever comes along, which usually isn’t anything good. Not deciding, not learning how and what to believe, clutching to superstitious myths called luck or good fortune, lead only to writing out those same futile wishes year after year, with no changes, no results, no happiness. I should add that our sweet, benevolent Heavenly Father has many wonderful things in store for you, but cannot give them to you without your cooperation, no matter how many times you pray about it. But, if you can believe, something good will happen for you! But that is a mighty big IF!

The Bible teaches us to “guard our hearts with all diligence, because out of it (our heart) come all the issues of our life (See, I told you I didn’t make this up). The way you guard your heart is by controlling what enters into your heart. What is in your heart? What are you thinking about and saying the most? Look no further than that. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What has your mouth been speaking? What utterances are you making to the people around you and even more importantly to yourself? Nobody, or maybe almost nobody, knows yourself more than you do. Sure, you can say you’re going to be rich in 2017, but is that what you really think? Really? Not getting what you want isn’t life’s fault. Life may throw you some curves, or more accurately if we are going to speak in figures, death will throw you some curves, lay out some clever obstacles, manipulate your weaknesses, but can only defeat you when you accept and therefore believe something that isn’t true. Now, you may say, I do believe but nothing ever seems to happen. Well the simple answer is, no you didn’t believe or something would have happened! It’s not rocket science! If you “believed” there was $100,000 buried in the backyard, no-one could pry that shovel out of your hand! But, studying treasure maps, surveying the land and spending endless hours in consideration won’t lead to anything until you finally decide to dig! The first shovel motion into the ground is believing with a determination to keep digging until you find “it” with “it” being whatever it is you’re after! When you finally get around to believing from your heart, whatever it is you were after will always already be there. How? Because the System Designer knew beforehand that you would get around to believing and placed it there ahead of time. It’s not a miracle, it’s exquisite timing and extremely, breathtakingly, intelligent planning.

Don’t get swept away by the work harder, attempt more, discipline yourself more crowd. You’ve been there before haven’t you? Yet here you are writing the same stuff down year after year. Your real hard work; your very persistent effort; your true discipline is in controlling that unruly beast called your mind by thinking and eventually believing for the things you want to happen rather than fearfully believing for bad things not to happen. You ever played a sport and tried not to lose? Once you start taming that thinking machine which includes refusing to entertain those loony tunes, catastrophic, fear based potential outcomes, you can begin controlling the things that come out of your mouth. Say what you want and for the love of God, stop saying everything you don’t want! Stop complaining, whining and playing the victim. You are not a victim though you may have been victimized by your ignorance concerning the system. Say things with conviction, with passion, with balls out brazen belief! When they tell you to accept reality or to be realistic, sneak a peek at their New year’s resolutions and see if they also aren’t writing the same tired crap year after year.

My heart for you in 2017 is that you learn how to believe. You won’t be perfect at it, unless your name is Jesus, but you will prove to yourself the simple maxim, that your life always was and always will be a composite sketch of your ever evolving thoughts and beliefs. Don’t wait to see what life has in store for you. Walk into the damn storehouse and get all the stuff God already gave you! It doesn’t take brilliance to do so, it just takes a little bold believing from your heart.

Happy New Year and a Happy New Heart!

Just some good thoughts (beliefs)…

 

 

Don’t Be Mad at Money…


DollarMoney get’s a bad rap. Money in our society is just a medium of exchange. It’s not magical, nor is it evil. Having it doesn’t bring bad things into your life and there’s certainly nothing noble about not having it. It is simply the modern day method of trade. It is the means to get the things you need in life. So, why are people so messed up about it; even mad at it?

Here’s one place you might get it twisted. You’ve been tricked into associating money with greed, or in other words, something or someone sold you a lie. Have you ever noticed that people who think money is evil tend not to have much of it and when they get it, try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Here’s a newsflash folks, you need money. Money may not buy you happiness, but it’s a damn site easier on you than poverty. It’s accepted that you don’t need incredible luxury, but if you’re honest, you probably need more than you have.

Did you know that people who are truly greedy never give the concept a second thought? But, there you are chastising yourself for wanting something nice. “Oh, that’s too much,” you say. And why exactly shouldn’t you have something nice? Who convinced you that your value was so low? Do you realize that it doesn’t make any difference to God whether you have a Mercedes or a Ford? Who is the car for anyway? Well, what blesses you? So, why would you think it matters? I submit it’s because you bought a lie. No-one gets anything in life without believing they can get it. The things you enjoy in your life, right at this very moment, you have believed to get. Whether you did it by hard work or by investing or expecting it from your parents, you believed for it. I’ve often mused why the children of wealthy parents seem to become wealthy themselves. Simple. They grew up accustomed to the best and naturally expected to have the best themselves. Lottery winners, generally unprepared for a windfall, tend to lose it quickly, so don’t think rich folk’s only advantage is starting with money!

What exactly is greed anyway? Greed begins where need ceases. Greed is the unbridled urge to acquire things. But make no mistake, greed is not the desire to have your needs met and have them met abundantly. Shoot man, that’s a promise from God. An abundant life is a life of abundance, so you figure it out. To say an abundance of money is somehow contrary to an abundant life is absurd. We aint trading cows honey, we’re using money. Greed has also been defined as having more than you need. So what do you need? Who decides that? You do! Follow my logic for a moment. If someone else defines what you need, where does that end? Let’s say you can afford a modest house. Is that greedy? You could always get a more modest house, right? Or what if you decided to sell that house and buy a larger, less modest house? Are you being greedy now? What if, in your prospering ways, you earn a ton of money? Are you now not allowed to buy a deluxe house? Because,  you don’t need it? Again, who gets to decide that? You see it all becomes very foolish. People are mad as hell at Joel Olsteen because he lives in a mansion. Joel said he receives no salary from his ministry and makes his money via book sales and speaking engagements. Yet, because he speaks a positive message of God’s love for people and preaches messages of encouragement for God, he should somehow live in a modest shack approved by the masses! Whether he needs a mansion or a modest, deluxe home is his business and why on earth should we care so much? Well, we care because our own needs aren’t met and we are still mad at money!

If I read one more meme attributing virtue to not having money, I think I might scream! There’s absolutely nothing noble about not having your needs met. There’s no joy in not being able to do what you really want to do. There’s no happiness in constantly repeating that you cannot afford something or worse, “if I can’t afford it, I don’t need it.” You know debt isn’t the answer, but aspiring for better is a natural God-inspired desire. Your life is worth having the best. Other people have the best, why not you?

Obviously I’m not talking about being poor and doing the best you can to escape it. Nor am I condemning the simple life minus a multitude of stuff. I’m confronting the notion that money is bad or evil and that you are greedy if you want it. I’m challenging the idea that all wealthy people are crooked and somehow wrong because they haven’t bought into the lie. My good friend at work lives in a very wealthy neighborhood and he says those folks are some of the most giving people you have ever met. Hmmmm, something to that maybe?

The love of money is the root of all evil, not the money itself. Money is just money. Evil enters in when you do ‘whatever’ to get it and then use it and the power associated with it to hurt people and utlimately hurt yourself.

So, what is your takeaway prize for indulging in this discourse? You need to change your mental relationship concerning money and take away both the magic and the evil. Money is simply a means of exchange; exchanging your money for the things you need and want. God wants you to live a more than abundant life and you’re gonna need a little cash to get the job done!

Believe to get your paper!

Just some good thoughts…

Why Aren’t Your Tomatoes Growing?


tomato-tips-380-1In the Spring I planted a garden. Last year’s garden sucked, so this year I took the time to make up the chemistry of the soil in detailed proportions. After proudly planting my tomatoes and telling them I loved them and so forth, I turned them over to God. (Well, sort of…) I planted them in full sunshine and faithfully watered them every day. After about 6 weeks of growing time, I noticed that my tomatoes were decidedly puny. Their leaves were yellowing like they needed more water, so I added more water. This went on for several more weeks with less and less results. So I did what everyone does that is at a loss for answers, I Googled that sh*t! (smile) Mr. Google gladly informed me that the most common reason for stunted growth in tomatoes is “too much” water. Imagine, water makes them grow, but you can get too much of it. Yet, this blog isn’t about moderation, it’s about roots; deep roots.

Apparently that guy on TV that talks about watering your lawn less, was right. The more you water something, the less the roots have to dig down. The more shallow the roots, the weaker the plant. The deeper the roots, the more robust the plant. So, I got to thinking, humans grow also, but only if they have well-developed roots. So the question that begs becomes, how deep are your roots in the things that are most important to you? Do you take the time to understand why things happen or do you simply grab for more of the things you think will make you happy?

This precious life we live is all about understanding. Not understanding how things really work is the cause of all of your difficulties. When you are challenged with some circumstance of life, do you quickly grab the next clichéd bottle of water or do you look for the well where the water never runs out? The truth is ever the truth and it shows itself in a million combinations. Error only offers a quick fix that doesn’t really fix at all, but serves simply to salve the wound in the moment. Men’s theories, men’s ideas, men’s philosophies always fall short because man is woefully unaware of all of the variables. Most of the time, the effect wasn’t produced by the cause you had in mind, but another cause of which you remain ignorant. Understanding is therefore, getting to the true cause.

In every field of life we devote ourselves faithfully to understand, especially in those things we deem most important. Except for one. We have failed to understand life and the One behind it. And, it’s no wonder because there are more false ideas about God than about anything else! (By design I might add…) It’s like my son said to me today, “If something feels bad and unpleasant, it probably is…” Things that are contradictory and inconsistent beg for further inspection. If someone teaches you that God is love, yet also tells you He sometimes, randomly kills the people you love, I would think that deserved some further inspection. But no, what do you do? You try to accept it by faith or explain it away as a mystery or something. Turn the sprinklers on, you just need more water.

Life is not random, my friends. Every effect does have a cause and although you don’t yet understand it, doesn’t mean you can’t understand it if you really want to know! Just think about your life for a moment. Think about the earth and all of the things in it; the perfection, the symmetry, the beauty. Why does that forest or that beach cause you to feel tranquil? Why doesn’t the skyscraper do that for you? Why do you have nerve endings in your fingers and not in your hair? How can you see images in your mind? Well, it’s actually a chemical reaction! Okay, but a damn complicated one, don’t you think?

The reality behind this life is spirit. You can’t detect it by your five senses, but you can get to it by your heart. Every one of us have something in us that beckons us to understand; to find and love its Creator, until the old world talks us out of it. Every one of us recognize the truth, even if we can’t always explain it. It’s in the lyrics of a song, the words in a poem, a line in a movie and on it goes. But, when you’ve heard it, you know it even if you cannot express it in words. Truth is unchanging but it’s not always on the surface. You have to dig for it. You have to want it and expend the effort to get it. You have to sink your roots down in something substantial if you really want to grow. But, like a tomato, you can’t make yourself grow. You simply get the conditions right, sink your roots down deep and the One who causes the tomato to grow will cause you to grow as well.

People spend their whole lives giving themselves to everything and everyone and never get to the true cause. We get so busy, so preoccupied, so caught up in our present dilemmas, that we forget to seek out the cause. We get scurried away with false causes and things we cannot possibly effect. We wrestle with intangible concepts like making sure the earth has the resources we need to keep living, never imagining that the One who created the earth may have thought that through!

Instead of wasting away your life; your one precious life with endless and pointless activity, take some time and serious effort to understand. Ask God to teach you! Ask God to make it plain. Ask God to get someone on your path that can help it make sense for you. He invented eyelashes for goodness sakes, don’t you think He might have something for you? Oh He does and He wants you to get it, even more than you want to know it! And, He’s been looking for you for years!

Well, I did something crazy. I stopped watering those tomatoes and made ’em dig. I still loved them but they had to do their own work. They did their job and now we got ‘maters for days! Do you need tomatoes? I got more than I can handle…

Just some good thoughts…