When All Hope is Lost…


hope lostIf you have lived any significant portion of life, then you have likely experienced some things that shook you to your core. Negative things happen to all of us in varying proportions. We all get challenged, suffer loss and setbacks. We may find ourselves backed into a corner with no seeming solutions to our dilemmas. We get stuck in mental traps, prisons, things from which we feel we cannot escape. It is unfortunately the reality of living in a world ruled by evil. Just such a thing happened to my beloved co-worker today as she tragically took her own life in the face of what must have felt like insurmountable obstacles. Somehow in some way she must have concluded there was no other way to find peace. She must have become utterly and absolutely hopeless. What can we do when we feel that all hope is lost?

The world has been engineered to drive our minds and our thinking to draw conclusions that are not true. Each day messages are rehearsed into our ears regarding the futility of being able to overcome certain challenges. We are told our medical conditions are chronic and have no available cure. We hear much information containing cleverly veiled fears, that we go about almost expecting bad things to happen to us. When good stumbles upon us we exclaim, “Unbelievable!” Our expectations are challenged daily until we reduce those expectations to meager or less. In short, we have been fed a gigantic lie. In a world threatening no solutions, there is always a solution. There is a way to go that always works. There are answers for the weary traveler. There is healing and restoration and love. It’s not that those things cease to exist when we are in trouble, but rather we have lost sight of them, not believed them, become convinced in opposition to them. We don’t lose hope, it is stolen from us…

Where people have been woefully ignorant is in regard to spiritual verities. They have been ignorant of Satan’s devices. They fail to consider the depths to which evil will travel in order to steal and to kill and to destroy. They don’t know the truth that counters the darkness, much less God’s good will for their lives. They wrongly assume life is painted with one giant brush originating from the hand of God. They don’t understand there are two brushes. Absent God’s Word and subsequently God’s help, they try to take it all on, on their own. They could never quite perceive the real source of their difficulties and the author behind every woe that ever befell them. They suffered in silence, in abject misery and desolation, getting further convinced of something that was never true to begin with. This is the way of all people absent God and His solutions for our lives. There is no criticism because we have all dealt with darkness in one way or another. We have all felt the sting of death to a loved one, feelings of futility and despair, frustration, “no way out,” chronic problems both mental and physical, self-made prison holes and questions without answers. We have all gone astray and, like the prodigal son, needed to be received back with love and forgiveness. We are spiritual beings living in a human body subject to a world hell bent on defeating us. Yet, for all this, we do not lose hope.

Our only real, abiding, lasting, never changing solution is God. He is our every answer and our only answer. He sees all, knows all and is all-powerful. Without Him we cannot win and with Him we can only succeed. He and He alone can unravel the mess the adversary has made of our lives. God fills in all the spaces and makes our crooked places straight. He heals all of our infirmities and makes our blind eyes able to see. He works with us right where we are, never judging us or condemning us. His guidance is tender and kind and leaves us the better, never the worse. When life, more accurately the world, has overwhelmed us, perplexed us, led us astray, far astray, He is ever present with open arms and an open heart seeking us out to assist us. His answers are real answers, not sayings or wishes. His truths illuminate our souls and set us free. He tells us how our opponent is defeating us and shows us how to fight back. He rescues us, saves us, delivers us and how thankful I am for His love and care. How I wish that all the world knew Him and learned how to access his power. How I wish I could have helped those suffering and shown them a better way, Him working in me, bringing his blessed will to pass. If only. We will miss you my dear friend.

When you find yourself at the end of your rope, worn out, living amidst abiding misery, know this, God will make a way for you where there appears to be no way. He will lighten your soul by removing the heavy burdens. He will teach you and guide you and direct you into the path of life. When you are weak, He will strengthen you. When you are lost, He will show you the way. When you do not know what to do, He will teach you what to do, things you never understood before. I know life can be hard at times and in some instances, dreadful. But even then, God is most capable and willing to restore your lost joy and zest for living. There is always, always a way out and because of our infinite, everlasting God, you can always have hope. Rest in peace J.M.

Just some good thoughts…

Relieving a Vast Load of Care


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If you spent any amount of time on Terra Firma, you know that life can get on top of you in a hurry. You’re plugging along doing your thing when suddenly the troubles seem to mount up with wings and you find yourself distressed and agitated, stuck in a vortex of worry and doubt. Oh my friends, these things need not be. Any trouble you might face is common to man and is similar to the experiences we all must endure at times. But, with every trouble you may encounter, there is a solution that is yours to find. You must but ask and in asking you will find, if you will persist. God will relieve your vast load of care.

In order to fully appreciate the dilemma all men and women find themselves in, you must first understand the nature of the spiritual competition. Your apparent difficulties and complexities are not the result of happenstance and bad fortune, but rather the effects of cunningly devised plans, designed to point your thoughts in a certain direction and then keep them there for as long as you will permit. The great power your opponent uses against you is one of deception. He seeks to paint a picture whereby all of your options are limited and without apparent remedy. He and his spiritual henchmen work to define the narrative; to outline craftily what is going on in your circumstances and why; to offer reasons that are not reasons and answers that are not answers at all. It is the, “Well, it could be worse logic.” It is trading in really shitty for only crappy. It is defeated logic from an already defeated foe. Much, if not all, of the troubles you face exist in your mind, the battleground, and what you choose in response to those lies from the father of lies, determines where you will end up. Mark Twain once remarked, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Indeed, most troubles do not come to pass because they were never troubles to begin with. Yet, a man can lose a significant amount of time for living by entertaining those false ideas.

In order for worries to take hold of you, you must become a cooperator with them. All of us are subject to their threats, yet not all of us persist in cooperating with them. You cooperate with them by refusing to let them go. You think and think and think, yet find no solution. You find no solution because there is no solution as they were never true to begin with. The appeal is to your ego; to your insistence that you, by your human logic, can put them to rest. But, the very thing you are doing in an effort to resolve them, is the thing that guarantees their continuance. (Please read that sentence again) The least you can do when confronted with reasons to be afraid is to refuse to think them any further. The best thing you can do when confronted with them is to replace them with some truth from God’s Word that opposes them. ‘Fear not’ is the number one admonition in the Bible for a reason. Again, your temptation to be afraid, to worry, is common to man. But God will always provide a way out.

It is normal for you to conclude that your difficulties and troubles are a direct result of something you did in the past, are doing now, or have thought about doing in the future. But, can you be so sure? Your personal enemy knows no bounds nor does he fight fair. In a perfect world, we all would have exactly what we deserved, good and bad. But, in the spiritual competition, many get far worse than they deserve and many get far more than they earned. Life and chance happen to them all. In other words, in the competition, you get not what you deserve or have earned, but rather what you have believed. The man that believes to be successful, will be successful no matter where he began or the amount of effort he supplied. The man that unknowingly expected to fail, listening to and acting on his fears, consumed with worry about the future, will fail just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. It is a law, God’s law and you may cooperate with it or suffer as a result of it. But. my friends, you need not suffer any longer. Your task is not to try and figure out the vast world of the unknown, but instead determine what you will and will not think about. The woman that exclaims, “I knew it!” when calamity strikes is right, yet not because she was destined for calamity, but rather because she ignorantly persisted in those devilish thoughts until disaster stuck. We make life harder than it actually is. Our duty is to control our thinking and in doing so, cooperate with God who always has our best interests at heart. Your thoughts are always your thoughts!

Beliefs that come as a result of thoughts persisted in, tap you into power, power for good and power for evil. If you persist steadfast in right thought, you cannot help but obtain good results. However, if you stubbornly continue in wrong thought; thoughts of worry and fear; thoughts of impending defeat and loss, you will find yourself a victim of an enemy you neither perceived, nor stood against. You don’t resist evil by consuming yourself with thoughts of sin, condemnation and pleasing God, you resist evil by controlling your thinking and standing vehemently against the lies and the deceptions. You please God by changing your thinking to line up with His abundant promises, so that He can do for you what He promised. Focus on self, another crafty deception, always ends in defeat. You and I will never deserve God’s kindness to us, but by the grace of God we are what we are. By God’s grace we at least have a fighting chance and by God’s grace we can achieve at levels we have never before imagined. Oh my friends, let God carry all of your cares, all of your worries, all of your fears and see how quickly your life will transform!

The troubles we face are common to man. We are all in the competition whether we choose to compete or not. Your responsibility isn’t to figure out evil and its deceptions. Your job is to learn how to fight back! You fight back by controlling your thinking and having the humility and willingness to let things go. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” When you cast your cares upon God and leave them there, you will begin to see the deceptions more clearly and more quickly. Oh sure, you are going to be real tempted at times, but hang in there and see it through. Don’t let worries and cares rob you from the life that now is and from the life that is yet to come. Life is quite a beautiful reality once the fear and worry are gone. Find relief from a vast load of cares by learning to obey in your thought life. God is here…

Just some good thoughts…

50,000 Views… What???


blogger-image-1034075386The other day I received a notification that my blog had reached 50,000 views. When I first began my blog, all I wanted to do was share some good thoughts with people about solutions to their problems. Back then, as so much the more so today, all I really ever wanted to do was give people some solid spiritual advice in the hopes that they would hear it and pursue it. And as I think about the world today, there is so much suffering; so much defeat; so little hope for the future. People are literally living lives of misery, afraid, bewildered and at a complete loss. The reality of how people live is sad enough, but to have real solutions to those issues and yet have folks not realize those solutions is even more saddening. Oh my friends, God exists…

At one point in my life, I was like you are. I had heard of God somewhat vaguely; knew some real weirdos claiming to speak for God and generally sought to escape the whole religion thing in its entirety. My absolute disdain for religion and its empty practices is no less today than it was 30 years ago. Nothing turns people off to God more than religion does with its litany of man made practices and illogic. No thank you! As a youngster, having been exposed to nothing more than a bible class as a child where we made mirrors with Jesus on the back, I always had this idea that God was loving and kind and much bigger than my inadequacies and failures. It seemed like if He actually made people, He would have a pretty good understanding about they work. How silly, it seemed, that He would be put off by something as ridiculous as foul language or drinking beers or this whole notion of sex, which I’m quite certain He invented. I always thought He must be so much more than that. Not too long after those youthful musings, I began to learn how much more. 

As a new college student, I was doing the exact same things you were probably doing if you went to college. I was attempting adulthood while still a child and wow, it was a crazy time. It seems there were lots of other people just like me. After a brief skirmish with a sweet lady offering me some religion, I was formally introduced to the truth. As I sat in that class called, Power for Abundant Living, my heart literally burned within me as the scriptures were unfolded to me. I learned that God wasn’t who people said He was at all, but rather He was loving and kind and most willing to help me live my life. It seemed He not only created life as we know it, but was also fully willing to participate in my living of it. I saw firsthand how He did answer prayers in real and tangible ways and that prayer wasn’t simply a psychological exercise to help me feel better while providing nothing I actually needed to solve my issues. I observed healing first hand and a host of other mind blowing solutions to the dilemmas of humankind. I was so happy and blessed that I could hardly contain myself. I lovingly coerced my family and friends into taking the class. I couldn’t believe I was so “lucky” to have stumbled upon that for which the whole world seeks. And then, as even today, I ask myself, how can people do life without God? 

I believe if you could ever escape the deafening din of unbelief and fear, you would honestly take the time to discover who God really is as opposed to an overload of things He is not. All you could ever imagine about an incredible benefactor and an unlimited power for good can be found in God. No-one would find out the goodness of God if He was found only in endless seminaries of evil and sin, ever warning of falling out of God’s favor and sinking into the perils of evil. If you’ve lived any amount of time, you have already become expert in sin and its consequences. You don’t need a sermon or a lecture to tell you that bad things are bad things. Your own heart will do that for you. Similarly, God does not need to focus on what is wrong with you. He already knows what is wrong with you, for goodness sakes, and He doesn’t ever bring it up. Instead He holds out His hand to you to come and learn of Him. He asks only that you taste and see that the Lord is good. He is only good always and is everything you have ever been searching for your whole life. Surely you can perceive that life is much bigger than appears and that you weren’t the result of some cosmic explosion that ended in perfect symmetry and balance. A flower alone disputes that claim. Your mind, your emotions, your complexity, a product of evolution? Hardly. Human life alone belies that notion, not even considering the universe and the eco system and the sheer variety of living things. Your heart knows better than that and your heart seeks after the God that made you. Listen to your heart. 

No matter where you have been; how low you may have sunk; whatever insane stuff you got wrapped up in, beneath you will always be the loving arms of God, patiently waiting for you to reach upward and ask. You don’t need to study your Bible for hours, become scripturally proficient, go to church and do exceeding good deeds. All you ever needed to do was ask Him to help you. You know in your heart where you struggle. You know the despair you feel. You are familiar with your anxieties and fears. You are clear that you are quietly suffering and that there must be a better way. Well, there is a better way and it is yours for the taking. You don’t owe God anything and how could you repay Him anyway? You owe yourself the willingness to seek and as is promised to you, find. Don’t allow yourself to go another day lost and confused by a world system that is bigger than you are. Stop trying to fight it with your human logic and assumptions. Cease from making all about you and learn instead Who life is really all about. 

If you are like me, and I know you are, you have a heart that is in need of repair. You know deep down that there is a goodness you have always dreamed of and wished for. You know it must be better than you have been experiencing thus far. You aren’t being fanciful and foolish, you are listening to your heart. You also knows the ways of religion are not it either. Those ways will do nothing more than make life with God, about you and about everything you do and do not do. Religion serves only to glorify the men that made it. 50,000 views later people and it is still as true as the first time I endeavored to write it down. Oh my friends, God exists…

Just some good thoughts. 

 

 

Yeah, But What Do You Think?


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I’m not sure if it’s politics or the ease of getting information or the advent of social media, but it seems more and more that people have stopped thinking for themselves. Maybe there’s nothing new under the sun. Maybe all original thought has already been thought. Perhaps we have reached such a grand stage of enlightenment that there is no longer a need for folks to think for themselves. But, I doubt it. Somewhere and somehow it seems human beings have been talked out of the veracity of their own thought; their own conclusions. It is like there are only a rare few rebels left who dare to go against the status quo; the information wheel of things. People are either aligning themselves to some all or nothing cause or else they are blindly supporting it. It seems the logic or maybe the illogic is that if you are this, then you have to be that. You absolutely cannot be part this and part that, it’s all or nothing baby! Now that logic may work for absolute truth, but it fails miserably for everything else. The earth is round. To think otherwise isn’t original thought, it’s inconceivable illogic. Yet there are people, all scientific evidence to the contrary, who believe it. The issue isn’t what the masses are saying. The issue is what do you think? Yeah, but what do you think?

You likely won’t be able to survive in a world where black is no longer black and white is no longer white. Things are real and have a distinct meaning. To challenge the reality of things is absurdity. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is probably a duck. When you let some influential fellow convince you that it is a chicken, when it is clearly a duck, you may be teetering on insanity. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, that is how the world seems to function today. Whether it be adherence to some political party or else well established Facebook algorithms, people seem to have stopped thinking for themselves. COVID19 is a real thing. It’s not a media construct, though the media may oversell the fear of it. There are literally real people that you know that have gotten sick and in some cases have even died from it. Again, to buy into the logic that the media has invented it for some sinister, future governmental takeover, is irrational at best and insane at worst. There are people, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, still concluding it is a hoax devised to “take down” America. Yet, it seems more likely that the economic “take down” of America is more directly related to the virus itself. All throughout history there have been pandemics, always having their roots in evil, designed to destroy the masses and bring ruin to the people. That part is clear. However, in this instance of another variation of the same, there is produced a whole segment of society that refuses to acknowledge its existence. Do you really think that the government is so sophisticated that it could align not only the media, but also every hospital and care center to buy into the same lie? If the government has that type of control, we truly all are doomed. And, however rapidly produced, there is a vaccine offered that prevents the virus from gaining access and greatly limits the impact of the select few that still acquire it. Medical report after medical report lauds the veracity of it with evidence to back up their claims. Yet, almost incredulously there are still people, many people who refuse to get it. To them, it seems more plausible to believe that the government has somehow found a way to implant tracking devices so small they can fit through the point of a needle. Now, I know evil is very deceptive, but through the needle? If anyone is being tracked it’s more likely through their cell phone or some chicks named Alexa or Siri. Yet onward march the thoughtless masses refusing compliance based on civil rights or something. I personally know a man that coordinates a large hospital in our area that reported 95% of those poor souls suffering from COVID in his ICU are unvaccinated; 95%! Lord help us, is anyone still thinking for themselves?

Somewhere along the line, I pray, people will return to thinking for themselves. Yes, the media portrays falsehoods. Yes, the great media machine slants and manipulates information. Yes, evil is likely behind it pulling the strings. But, for God’s sake, you have to call a thing a thing. The reason the pandemic has gained a resurgence is because of all of you conspiracy theorists that have given the devil too much credit. It’s like the man that prayed for God to save him from the flood that refuses three offers of being saved because he was still waiting on God to deliver him. Take the ride you dummy and stop refusing your common sense. It is scary to think that we live in a world where you can deny real occurrences by calling them fake news and even scarier that people could overlook a preponderance of evidence to the contrary. We, as a nation, are in real trouble when that type of logic is allowed to prevail. Look, when you go to the doctor, though you know that medicine isn’t perfect, you have to trust what the doctor says and do what is required of you. To question the doctor, not based on medical science, but based rather on what some non-medical friends have informed you to do is not wise. Yet, that is where we are today. Not a day goes by that I am not subjected to some quack or even less than a quack, reporting some false statistic about some erroneous data they reportedly read questioning what is obvious in favor of some equally insane conspiracy theory, again giving evil too much credit. And do you know why they are so convinced? Because the Facebook algorithm has fed them so much agreeable information for their whacky views that they have now concluded it is true. The question that begs remains, come on man, what do you think?

I will be the first to tell you that evil is very deceptive and that I have personally been led down a few blind allies to my own hurt and loss. But, somewhere along the way you have to start questioning these conclusions that people make and decide for yourself based on some semblance of logic. I can think of no better way to enable a pandemic to persist than to convince the masses of the evil inside the anecdote. The vaccine may not be fully tested yet and there may be some future harm connected to it, but that has to be a lot better than watching grandma or grandpa waste away due to something we do know very well. Life often isn’t a clear choice between good and evil but instead sometimes the lesser of two evils. In an imperfect world governed by evil, you sometimes have to trust God and make a choice. And absent any insider information from God, choose logic. My heart and prayer for our country and for our world is that people return to thinking for themselves and stop casting logic and plain common sense out the window in favor of a political view or the opinion of the divided sides. You don’t need a party platform to recognize good from evil, even if it might cost you a few votes. Think about the things you are cleaving to and if they pass the acid test of common sense. Yeah, my friends, but what do you think?

Just some good thoughts…

Get to the Bottom of It!


I sometimes wonder if we have some of the problems that we have because we just haven’t gotten to the bottom of the things that plague us. We’ve been so trained, so influenced, so led to knock around on the surface of things for a little bit, then quickly move on to the next thing that demands our attention. We have so many things to do and so little remaining time to get it all done. We lack focus and what little focus we do have is squandered on a multitude of things that really don’t matter; that really have minimal consequence in our lives. Instead of endeavoring to hone in on a solution, we sort of take a stab at it, try googling it, then move past it after Goggle satisfies our need to know. We endure the same troubles, the same difficulties, year after year, because we never actually get to the bottom of the problem! We fail to see it through. We stop short of our goal. We give up. We get distracted. We move on. We owe it to ourselves to get to the bottom of it!

The only way to solve a problem is by working through the apparent complexity of it until you reach the underlying cause. The cause of our problems will always be simple. If we became aware of the actual cause, we would take the necessary steps to reach the solution. However, in order for our problems to gain permanence, many elements of complexity must be layered over the top of the true cause. People spend their whole lives swatting away at false causes like trying to swat at annoying flies in their immediate vicinity. Then, like people in uninhabited places and undeveloped regions, eventually they simply acquiesce and learn to coexist with the flies. The solution isn’t to learn to live with the annoyances, but rather to learn to rid yourself of them once and for all. Human beings, by nature, will be forced to deal with challenges and obstacles in life. There’s simply no way around that reality. However, it was never God’s intention that people should be overcome by those challenges and live a miserable life as a result of them. Instead, the intention was that we would seek solutions to our difficulties and after having them, live that much more abundantly a a result.

Problems remain in our lives because of our failure to see them until they have become deeply entrenched into our psyche. The deeper the issue, the more difficult it will be to extricate and uproot the source. And, like any pervasive threat, it usually is not going to happen overnight. Ill health, for example, is generally not resolved upon the body’s recognition of its loss, but rather health follows after a number of clearly defined steps practiced faithfully and persistently over time. Troubles, generally inculcated and dug in, must be chipped away at piece by piece until dissolved. Thus, solving problems depends more upon persistence than quick fixes and shortcuts. It’s not logical to expect a rapid repair of a long standing issue. In fact, the expectation of a miraculous, rapid repair is the reason people give up on finding a solution and as such, cease their efforts immediately towards it. If God would resolve it overnight, let Him. Otherwise, keep doing the best you can until more light becomes available. The sooner you give up on your own ability, the better. Instead keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking until your answer appears. The most important thing is not the timetable, but instead your ultimate deliverance.

Where we fail and why we fail is because we stop short of the goal. Your life, your happiness is more important than the transitory circumstances of life. Your issue is not how long it might take. Your concern is that you might have enough clarity to affect real change at the root cause level of your dilemma rather than slapping around on the surface of the water hoping to dive deeper underneath. When your problems persist and worsen, the cause is down lower, underneath. You cannot expect to arrive at any solutions for your troubles employing the same thinking and logic that got you there in the first pace. How glorious is the day when you finally admit you need some help and at last seek outside yourself for the answer! There is Someone who has all the answers and earnestly awaits your request. But, you have to ask, you have to seek, you have to keep knocking on the door until you get an answer.

It is error to think that you have to live with problems or that some problems are not solvable or worse, the false notion that beckons, ‘that is just how life is.” And, while many, many people live that way, that is not how life is! The sooner you resolve your issues, the better your life will become. We all struggle in certain areas. We all have aspects of life that cause us difficulty. We all have weaknesses and we ALL fall short. We are in this thing together and we face a common foe. But, none of us win in life by choosing to ignore the issues that plague us. If you have a problem you cannot seem to resolve, implore God for help and solve it. Don’t move on. Don’t allow yourself to be frustrated. Do not be discouraged that it is not resolved yet. Instead set in your heart a willingness to take it on and not stop until you have gotten what you need. If you stay at it. If you persist. If you refuse to move on and ignore it. If you will continue pursuing the answer until you get it, you will not only get it, but you will be that much better as a result of it. You can get to the bottom of the things that have been defeating you, but you are not at the bottom until the real cause becomes apparent. It is worth your effort, my friends, and you deserve to be happy! Get to the bottom of it already! You will be so thankful on the other side.

Just some good thoughts…

Is It Working For You?


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I often wonder, what’s the point of being a Christian if your life is just like everyone else’s life. I mean think about it. Surely there is a benefit, indeed many benefits to having a relationship with God and if there aren’t any tangible benefits, maybe we are doing something wrong. For many, it seems that being a believer means you believe in God but not necessarily in the power of God. You are pretty sure that God exists, but when it comes to the life you live, not much seems to happen. People pray for God to help with them difficult times, but don’t pray for God to provide solutions for the difficult times. It’s sort of like God is there for you, but doesn’t do anything to change whatever it is you are facing. Maybe people don’t understand that there is the power of God that they can access. Or, perhaps they have prayed so much with so little results that they have resigned themselves to go through the motions never really expecting anything good to happen. If God is perfect, and I believe that He is, then we must be doing something wrong. If I never receive any results to my prayers, I must be doing something wrong. Why would God promise us so much in His Word if we could not experience those things for ourselves? Is God unwilling to intervene in our challenges? Are our concerns, our troubles not worthy of His consideration? Is this life we live presently supposed to be hard and our task merely to endure it patiently? When it comes to what you believe, is it working for you? 

If you’ll notice the media of today it is fraught with a beggar mentality. We are instructed to be thankful that we woke up or experience other benign benefits that all living people experience. There’s nothing wrong with being thankful of course, but waking up seems fairly fundamental to living creatures. The subtle message implied is that therein is the limit for your expectations. Wake up, be glad and endure another day powerless to effect any change. My words have no intent to criticize, but instead to shake up the lethargy the world engenders. God’s promise is not reserved only for your future life, but for the life you live right now. God wants you to be happy now! God wants you to be healed now! God wants you to prosper now! God wants you to live abundantly now! The reason you don’t experience this reality is because you don’t believe it to be true. The world has reduced God to be the morality police, concerned only and always with what you do right and what you do wrong. He is not seen as a Father providing loving care for His children, but instead an angry judge perpetually displeased with His creation. It’s as if He is wholly unfamiliar with your humanity and your needs associated with that humanity and is more concerned with rules and requirements most of which run at cross purposes with what you want to do! You’ve been told that God does not have time for your petty needs and that it is selfish to pray for yourself. It is no wonder people live the way they do. Instead of days being filled with excitement and enthusiasm for living, people trudge along in perpetual misery, lost, confused and without hope. If you are living this way, it isn’t working for you.

Your first step in your quest is to find out what God actually says about Himself. If you are going to pray for His help, you need to know what He says. I can guarantee you that a lot of what you have heard about God is not true. Instagram is chock full of people whose job it is to make stuff up! “God only gives His toughest battles to His strongest people!” Who says? That’s not what God’s Word says, that’s what people say. It subtly implies God is loading you with hard times as a test or something. We are all in the fight; in the battle, and we get our asses kicked when we don’t know how to fight back. You have to learn what God says about Himself. You have to learn who God really is. Once you begin to appreciate the vastness and the ability of God, you will have no problem going to Him for help. But first, you have got to get all that worldly garbage out of your head. If your first thought when you pray is about how you have been living, then you are doing it all wrong. God doesn’t answer your prayers because you are so good, He answers them when you believe Him, and you will have a hell of a hard time believing what He says when your focus is on yourself and everything you do and do not do!  By the grace of God I am what I am! That is how you win. No-one deserves God’s goodness, yet He offers it to everyone! If you aren’t getting your prayers answered, it isn’t working for you. 

Much of the hinderance we face in getting results is based upon our expectations. We expect so little. It’s no wonder as the world works hard to persuade us thus. We think we oughta be grateful when it’s all going to shit and learn to accept “what cannot change!” Well, who said it cannot change? If God is my Father and I’m struggling or suffering in some capacity, then it stands to reason He would want to help me. To assume otherwise is to assign monstrosity to God. To consider that He would allow evil to work me over in order to produce something beneficial is of equal horror. Sometimes I think we just have to slow down a bit and think. If God is love, if God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, then I must have something confused somewhere along the line. God desires to answer your prayers more than you want to pray them! But, in order to do so he needs a little cooperation on your part. He needs for you to do something with that mind of yours. You can’t be full of negativity and darkness and expect God to shine the light. You cannot be convinced that nothing is going to happen when you pray and expect something to happen anyway. Life does not work that way; lotteries perhaps, but not life! If things are not working out for you, chances are you are not doing something with your mind. 

There are a multitude of things God is reportedly telling you not to do but most, if not all of it, is not from God at all. There are some things God says not to do and it may surprise you what those things are. The number one admonition in the Bible is to fear not! Fear and all of its devilish companions are your primary problem. Doubt, the precursor to worry, stops your prayers in their tracks. Worry, the precursor to fear, stymies your every move. Fear, the precursor to misery and suffering not only prevents you from getting what you want, but actually serves to bring you the things you do not want! Read those sentences again. Fear is your main problem. Fear runs the world. If you will notice your thought life, even for a brief period, you will see the prevalence of fear. You are afraid that you and your loved ones are not safe, so you do all kinds of shenanigans to make them safe. You are afraid your health will be compromised, so you work hard to get it all right. You are afraid your need won’t be met, so you drive yourself mad working to make sure you are okay and that all your needs will be met. The problem with fear is that is has you doing all the right stuff for all the wrong reasons. Your core belief, when it is fear, is wrong and cannot help but bring more of what you don’t want. Before you can get your prayers answered, you have to rid yourself of fear. You must learn to recognize fear and challenge it with God’s Word. Otherwise, your mind won’t be in the right space to receive from God. That, my friends, is your part. You cannot expect God to give you roses while you are earnestly expecting weeds. God will not overstep your free will as much as you may wish otherwise. Obeying God is more properly obeying His command to fear not. You loose the grips of fear by letting God do His job while you do your job. God’s job is too hard for you to do and your job is yours and yours alone. Are things not working out for you? The likely cause is fear and you owe it to yourself to learn to overcome it. 

Being a child of the most High God should be the greatest thing ever. You have access to the greatest power in the universe and He exists for you. There is nothing God will not do for you. There is no challenge, no shortcoming, no former defeat, no sickness, no lack, nothing that can overcome the power of God in operation for you. Life does not work for anyone outside of Him and with Him you can only win. Is it working for you? I hope so and if not then get busy learning who God is and what He will do for you. It is there for you if you want it my friends. It is always there…

Just some good thoughts… 

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…

 

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 End Game


prayingWhen I first began writing, “Just Some Good Thoughts” my aim was only to provide a vehicle by which good thoughts of all kinds could be shared with people in order to uplift their spirits. But, the more I wrote, the more I recognized that I wasn’t just offering something nice to think about, but instead something true and reliable and sure from which any reader might recognize those areas of their lives that were not so good and thus seek something new, something different, something outside the established framework from which most people find themselves trapped. People unknowingly and often knowingly have accepted a life that is mediocre, defeated and sad. They wrestle with the same demons year after year, deflated and weary, privately begging for something better; something closer to the life they envisioned as a child when life was still pregnant with possibilities and hope for a bright future. Yet life and time and difficulty besieged them all perpetually and consistently until they finally gave in to the wheel of things, persuaded that the life they were experiencing was real life and that nothing better existed for them. It is for those poor souls I write and will continue to write, not as a chastisement but rather a remedy, indeed the solution to all that ever ailed them. To that end, life is so, so much more!

As someone vitally concerned for people’s happiness, which admittedly began as a quest for my own personal happiness, I find it a shame how far below par good hearted people have been forced to live. The world, with all of its advancements and progress offers no real help. All of the lightning fast technology and clever inventions and scientific research promising to answer the question, “why” still leave the heart answerless, afraid and unfulfilled. Bad things happen to good people and evil men appear to prosper and succeed. Life just doesn’t make sense. For every person there are at least a thousand opinions broadcasted and shared as truth leaving man confused and bewildered. Every answer given is not a real answer but a fabrication, a red herring, something from which an unthinking person might find temporary solitude. But, is it really solitude? If even one part breaks down, then aren’t all parts broken down? Is it possible that truth has holes in it or that perfection is also fraught with imperfection? If something is true then it must always be true in every circumstance and under every condition. All of the rest is error, error compounded upon error, lies upon lies, treachery on top of treachery. It is no wonder that people have given up on goodness and the possibility of a fulfilling and happy life. The life they live is not happy at least not with any lasting permanence. Instead it is fleeting and temporary and founded upon whether or not the sun is shining today or that circumstances have at last lined up to some good end. In this, I submit to you, dear reader, that the life you have imagined does exist, though it be deeply veiled from the mind of the casual observer. The real essence of life isn’t found on the surface, but exists deeper down where the gold and treasures are to be found. 

You certainly don’t need me to clarify this for you, as you have been living your own experience of life. You have been heretofore wading through the muck and mire on your own. Inside, in your private heart, you know that something is missing. You know life cannot consist of merely making the most money and gathering for yourself the most toys before you die. You know precisely where you struggle, but you don’t know exactly why. You know when and where you are unfulfilled. You know how your heart aches for unconditional love and a world where love and kindness hold first place. And on those rare occasions when you have dared to let that warming and consoling love out, the world has punished you for it. Quickly you have been forced back in line with the masses to a life of meager expectations and poor results. You count yourself happy because at least you don’t live the life of such and such. That is not to say that life is without struggles, as it must be for a time, but rather that every struggle may be won and every obstacle surmounted once you find the source, the real source of life. The trouble, which seems far too light a description, is that you are seeking life without engaging the Author of life. You don’t seek the Author because you are inherently evil, but instead because someone or something has deftly hidden Him from your view. The same thing that secretly fills your life with misery and impossible dilemmas is the same one that has deceived you. In his craftiness, he has convinced you of a lie, a thousand lies, whereby all he engenders is falsely attributed to God. The very notion of God causes your skin to bristle as you contemplate the painful, boring existence that supposedly encompasses life with Him. Instead of learning of Him, as Adam did, you hide yourself in the garden from the only One that could ever give you help. This is man’s only real dilemma, whether to reach upward or continue to seek within. Oh my friends, God exists and He is only good always.

The journey you are on is similar to the journey all of us are on. We all have been blessed with one very short and rapidly passing life. We have only one shot at this thing. There will be no great by and by until there is first a great here and now. This is our one life. This is our only opportunity to learn what we need to learn and ultimately win. No matter your present age, there is no plausible, rational reason for you to remain a fraction of your true self. It is not just how life is no matter how many times that has been drummed into your head. There exist real, solid, substantial, concrete solutions to your problems. I’m not talking about religious. pious platitudes whereby the exclaimers still suffer the same fate; the same defeats. I’m not promising answers and help merely as a psychological pacifier that assuages your mind for a moment, until the next hardships arrive. I’m talking real answers, real help, real and enduring solutions. I’m speaking of vast intelligence, unlimited power and ability all founded upon the basis of love. And, He exists for you…

My thoughts for you, my just some good thoughts are that you find the life you have been missing. That one day it dawns on you that you do not have to keep living the way you have been living. That you don’t have to go along with the status quo and relegate yourself to a meaningless existence. That the good life you dream of is a present tense reality and not the stuff of fiction and feel good novels. That you experience the fullness and blessedness from which life was created to be in every facet and phase of your existence. And, finally, that you find the God that made you, though He be not far from any one of us. You owe it to yourself to live your best life. You owe it to the people you love to be a vibrant, lively proponent of life. You owe it to all of those sad, poor souls you can help after you have found the way. That folks is the ultimate end game; a life that is not only wonderful now, but one that will last forever. This is your promised end game of which all humanity privately seeks. This it it…

Just some good thoughts…

The Revolution


If people live in a difficult environment long enough they eventually band together and demand a revolution. Revolutions happen when the people become so wearied with a certain unfair order of things that they can no longer abide by its rules. It tends to occur in constructs that oppress people; systems that don’t have the same concerns for all individuals and seek rather to promote only the good of the few. And for all that a revolution promises to all the citizens, it typically begins with a handful of committed souls. Is it time for a revolution in your life?

The way that life was designed to be and the way life actually is are often miles apart. People, human beings have been sold a bill of goods and then, overpaid. Absent any information to the contrary, people collectively and perhaps experientially have formed an entire world of conclusions about how things work and have given themselves over to cooperate with the wheel of things, the system; how life reportedly functions. They accept inner turmoil and agitation as natural and even to be expected given all the concerns that accompany adulthood. People are chock full of anxiety on every front. We can’t relax, can’t sleep, can barely function outside mind dulling medications and the like. We’re afraid of disease and disaster and threats of every kind. We’re pessimistic and negative to the point where any good thing is to be closely questioned and carefully examined for its veracity. Happiness, true happiness is always fleeting and short lived. And, no-one seems to ask the question – why? Why is my life so difficult and unpredictable and downright scary? Why is it so hard to get the things I need and want? Why is there such a struggle all the time and even more, what is the reason for my struggles? Maybe it’s time for a revolution!

When things go wrong at work and the company is losing money, people invest their entire souls into figuring out the solution. If your car breaks down, you somehow work out how to get it fixed or replaced. If you have health concerns you go to the doctor. If your child is struggling, you spend untold resources to remedy the situation. If you are unhappy with your abode, you make moves to make it better or even purchase a new home that makes you feel more content. Yet, when it comes to your life, your every day existence, your one precious shot at this thing, you determine in your heart that you have to take it; that you have to find a way to survive. You settle for how things supposedly are and accept it as reality. But, are you sure it is reality or is just your reality? Are you really confident that you know what is going on or are you just guessing? Most people, sadly, are just guessing. They have this vague notion of what life is, usually passed down from their parents or teachers and they resign themselves to that form of life. After all, it’s just the way life is! But, is it? Is life supposed to be hard and then you die. Was it intended in the grand design of things that you as a human just needed to eat shit everyday and be happy or grateful, as some often quote, that you woke up? Everything living wakes up, but that doesn’t mean everything is really living. Maybe when it comes to your thoughts, it’s time for a revolution.

The Designer of this thing we call life certainly didn’t intend for life to be miserable with people barely averting this disaster for the next disaster. It wasn’t part of the plan for people to be pawns at the hands of wicked despot deceiving them at every turn. Man was not intended to live out his days with doubts and fears increasing, terrified of everything and powerless against it. But, this old world has certainly done an excellent job of promoting that existence. People, most people are simply, completely unaware of any viable alternative. They cringe at the thought of life lived with God having been convinced of the impossibility of such an existence. They imagine this frightfully awful life filled with rules for what you can and cannot do. They are convinced they will have to give up everything when all they really have to give up is the fear and the lack and the defeat. People don’t know because they don’t want to know. They are too afraid to even investigate another option, all the while living full of despair and disappointment. God never intended that your life should suck. God never willed upon you your defeats and your losses; your difficulties or your troubles. God’s will has always been the polar opposite for you. It’s high time for a revolution!

There is an alternative. There is a better way to live and in that way there is unparalleled freedom. Just because you haven’t experienced it yet does not mean it doesn’t exist. Haven’t you been wrong enough in your life to be able to accept that possibility? Haven’t you suffered enough in your own, private heart? Aren’t you weary by now of going it your own way? The life that God is offering you is almost unbelievable. Yet it is truth. God is not judging you or angry with you for your so called sinful ways! God loves you and wants you to know the score. God desires to heal you and help you and rescue you. God wants you to live your life in peace and enjoy your days on earth. God wants to answer your every question. God is love and earnestly desires that you experience His love. Yet, He has to wait for you. He will not overstep your freedom of will. He will not force Himself upon you. But know this, He heard every prayer you ever prayed. He knows what is wrong and knows how to fix it. He already knows you and exactly what you need. Won’t you let Him help you?

Do you need a revolution in your heart? Well, get committed and start today to find the answers you need for your life. It’s your one and only life on earth and you aren’t getting any younger. Start the revolution today. God is listening…

Just some good thoughts…