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…

The Absurdity of the Confabulated Belief…


a0e731139bd55fcbdef2b89ecee96bfeI was listening to a Harvard lecture series called the Deceptive Mind by Dr. Steven Novella. What captured my attention was his explanation on how our minds work, particularly our memories. Despite what we may have thought, our memory isn’t a recorded transcript of what happened, but rather a mental construction of what happened. (Admit it, that’s interesting isn’t it?) So here’s the thing! Missing details and information are simply made up by our minds to fill in the gaps. So, what pray tell, does this have to do with our beliefs? Well, I have some thoughts… 🙂

I have spent quite a bit of time in my admittedly short life trying to teach people about God and His goodness only to often find roadblocks in the form of mental confabulation. Okay, let me explain. Many people (I tried not to say “most.”) have a very disjointed hodgepodge view of who God is and an even scarier view of what He does. Their views are generally based on what some people said; a limited or lengthy church experience; and a whole lot of confabulation. You know what I mean right? Someone told you that God was always judging your behavior and watching if you were naughty or nice, sort of like Santa Clause. Then, to scare you, they associated bad things that happened in your life with your behavior. And naturally you believed that junk because of the apparent evidence and with a little confabulation drew some conclusions that became truth for you. Then going forward you filter any mention of God through that lens and close your mind to the possibility. I can’t tell you how many discussions I’ve had where people sort of belch out a few random unassociated facts about God that aren’t true (at least according to the Bible) and dismiss what you are trying to communicate based on something they have already concluded.

Now, lest you think I’m bitter because someone didn’t believe what I shared, let me clarify. It’s not that my feelings were hurt because they may have rejected what I had to say. That wouldn’t be blog worthy for “Justsomegoodthoughts.” (Haha) Instead it’s just so sad that so much is available for people if they would only take the time to consider. So much…

You know it’s funny, with most things in life we take the time to weigh the evidence and carefully come up with our conclusions. Financial decisions, marriage decisions, any important decisions we give serious thought. But when it comes to God we go all vague and mysterious. If you think about it, if God is who He says He is, there must be tremendous precision and logic involved with who He is and what He does. Well, there is but you will never get to it until you become willing to learn and humble yourself to something infinitely larger than yourself. You have to thoroughly dispense of that revengeful God  notion because it just aint true. If anyone is on your side, God is. He loves the unloveable for goodness sakes!

So what’s the answer? You have to replace the unknown with the known. You have to find out for yourself. I always laugh when people think they can shock God. Do you really think you can do something or experience something God doesn’t already know about it. LOL Is it logical to you that somehow you can use a swear word or drink some vodka and God is aghast? Really? Or do you think you did something so bad, so awful that even God couldn’t bear it? All evil is a deception and an illusion and God can see through the illusion. He knows you intimately and He knows what got you; how it got you and how to rescue you from it. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? LOL I thank God almost daily that someone taught me something about Him that made sense to me.

Have you ever entertained people’s arguments against God? Well, what do they say? They say things like why does God let thus and such happen? (Not understanding free-will) They say why doesn’t God answer prayers? (Not understanding the belief requirement) They say why can’t we see God or prove Him scientifically? (Not understanding the spiritual is outside the senses mind) They say a lot of stuff and most of it aint true.

So here is the question! Ask yourself right now, who do you think God is? Come on, really… Who do you think God is? What do you know for sure and what is just something someone told you once? And while considering what you think you know, ask yourself, how do you know it? Is your belief even in the Bible or better what part of the Bible is it in? Everything in the Bible doesn’t apply to you right now? Did you know that? This isn’t criticism or superiority on my part but rather an attempt to make you think. Lord knows I don’t know it all, but what I know is only good always!

You may not have recognized this before but there IS something in the world that is trying to talk you out of God. Why? Because that certain something enjoys your suffering and your pain and your futility and is counting on your confabulating mind to keep you enslaved! That doesn’t have to be you if you don’t want it to be! Stop listening to what the naysayers say and find out for yourself. It is obvious in the perfection of the creation that something vast and magnificent is behind this thing we call life and your life, your one precious life, will never be fulfilled without Him!

He is worth finding out about and if you become serious in your quest, you will see for yourself.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Luke 11:10

Ask and seek and knock, my friends… You will not be disappointed!

The Impossibility of the Cumulative Life…


cumulative-poisson-distribution-formulaI think if you are honest with yourself, and honesty is important in learning how to successfully navigate life, most of your difficulties come from your thoughts. You drag around this massive corpse of a memory of things long past. Since the past no longer exists in anything but your mind, it shouldn’t have such an impact on the person you are today. Now, I’m not referring to pleasant memories or past learning. I’m talking about the bad things or the weaknesses or issues you doggedly assign to yourself in the present. Maybe you did have trouble standing up for yourself when you were 12, but to stubbornly cling to that worn out notion at age 40 makes no sense. The reason this mountainous weight of a stone clings to your psyche is because you keep it alive in your mind by trying to live a cumulative life.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or exercise more and then failed miserably shortly thereafter? Say what you want about discipline, losing weight and exercising more, though producing a cumulative effect, cannot be successfully undertaken with a cumulative mindset. In other words, you have to decide to eat less or healthier or exercise right now, today. The fact that you did what you said for the past three days guarantees nothing. The fact that you didn’t do what you said you were going to do for the past three days means nothing either. What matters is right now. What can you do right now? If you can get real good at doing “right now,” soon you will experience a cumulative effect!

For some reason, people have the hardest time living in the present. Assuming we all have weaknesses and areas we don’t do so well in, how could we ever possibly expect to change anything living entangled in a spaghetti bowl of multiplied yesterdays? Add to that trying to live in some future day and now you are just a sloppy Joe (poured over spaghetti)!

God, if I may speak for Him, designed life to be lived right now in succinct 24 hour periods (The evening and the morning were the first day). Imagine the idea of having a bad day if the day lasted forever. But, that’s exactly how people live; one perpetually long day. Instead each day is cleverly separated by night (sleep) and in the morning a new day begins. “Well, tomorrow is new day!” Every new day is an opportunity for you to begin anew, fresh. What you did wrong yesterday generally has little bearing on your life, that is of course unless you allow it to. You allow it to by granting it “airplay.” Yes, sure you need to learn from whatever, but you aren’t playing that track for any learning. You are re-playing it because you feel bad and are punishing yourself. But now listen closely for a moment here. Does any amount of self-flagellation make you a better person? Does your incessant focus on yesterday or a year ago or ten years ago or your childhood or “that one thing” do anything to change it? It only exists in your mind. Your cumulative negative past doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with your life right now! So, my friend, just let it go. Stop persisting in your perpetual bad day and start fresh.

When you decide to live right now, in the new day, you give yourself permission to begin again. Remember the first time you played a certain sport? You probably sucked right? If you held the thought of how bad you sucked and never tried again, you’d still suck, I’m guessing. But, if you had the courage to start again and again and again, at some point you got pretty good. Your life is like that. Those negative images; those frightful memories do not serve the person you are today. They do just the opposite. They hold you back. God does not want you to be held back! Every day; every single day, He is giving you another fresh start. Shoot, He even sent His son to pay the price for everything you could ever do wrong! Everything! You aren’t doing God any favors by living in your past. Instead you are stubbornly refusing His gift to you; a new beginning!

Life was not designed to be lived cumulatively. You are not the sum of everything you have ever done and not done. Instead, you are who you are right now, in this moment. Right now you can be a tremendous source of love, compassion and kindness. Oh, you weren’t that yesterday? So what! Be it today. Well, up to now you haven’t had much success? So what! Decide to be a success right now! What if I forget tomorrow? You never have to deal with tomorrow, only right now! If you live to be 80 years old, that means you have 29,219.4 days to live. How many days have you already wasted, caught up thinking about something that happened on day 10,957.3?

If you believe what I’m telling you and I sure hope you do, you will begin to understand that life is to be lived one day at a time. Imagine how much weight will be lifted off your shoulders when you agree with God and focus your energy on today. Imagine how sweet your life can become by making this day the best ever and refusing to let yesterday creep in. Imagine…huh?

The cumulative life is an impossible life!

You are who you are today. Don’t let anyone (even yourself) tell you otherwise…

Just some good thoughts…

How to be Happy…Ending the Incessant Focus on Yourself!


me-me-me-md1We are all on a quest to be happy, right? Happiness is the one of the most talked about topics in life and for good reason. We all want it so very badly! Yet strangely, pursuing happiness as your object of focus tends to lead away from and not to… happiness. Happiness is defined as an emotional state characterized by varying pleasant emotions. Happiness is something we experience. We can certainly choose to be happy and in so choosing greatly increase our odds of being happy. But sometimes we sort of get it wrong. We start looking for it and while we are waiting for it we realize we aren’t experiencing it. So we try a little harder to get it and experience it less and less. Hmmm what’s wrong with that picture? What’s wrong is our subject of focus!

Life is supposed to be lived full on. Full on means being fully invested in whatever is going on at the present moment. “Clear eyes, full heart!” When we become totally invested in the present moment something interesting and wonderful happens. We experience happiness! Okay, so imagine yourself in this scenario. You have a very busy day at work. Many things are clamoring for your attention and you have important things to accomplish. So you make up your mind to focus on the work at hand and give yourself fully to it. You are locked in man! Suddenly you realize, “holy smokes” it’s 5:15 p.m., I’m supposed to be off now. So you pack up shop and head home. And while you are driving home it dawns on you that you feel pretty dang good. You feel satisfied and happy! How did that happen? You weren’t even focused on happiness and there it came out of nowhere. The secret? Full hearted focus on what you were doing at the moment! Hmmm…

No what about the converse? You are sitting on your couch thinking about yourself. Why am I so unhappy? I mean what is the matter with me? I used to be happy and now I’m not. Why??? Maybe it’s my job or my wife or the weather or the economy or the neighborhood I live in or that all my friends on Facebook sure seem so happy… Maybe I should go on a diet? I am getting pretty fat, after all. I sure wish I was slim like such and such. I have no discipline. Maybe I just need to exercise more. And look at my clothes. I used to have nice clothes. I mean I have really let myself slip. What is wrong with meeeeeeee? The clue to your unhappiness is found in that one little word, “ME.” Me, me, me… That incessant focus on yourself is your problem! You have temporarily stopped living your life and sat down to examine it. And like anything that man does, it always leads to an acknowledgment of imperfection. You’ve been tricked out of living an experiencing and exchanged it for analyzing; as if that type of analysis ever led to anything good!

Happiness, remember, is something we experience. You don’t will it into existence! Give it try…I’ll wait! No, instead what you need to do, what we all need to do, is put our focus 100% into the present moment. Focused thought, wholehearted thought, is happy thought. Otherwise your thoughts become divided and divided thoughts are anxiety. Anxiety is literally trying to think two thoughts at once. Half in the moment, half in your thoughts. Anxiety! Focusing on “me, me, me” is only going to lead to feeling anxious and won’t get you to what you are really after. God tells us to put our whole heart into things. Maybe He knows a thing or two about happiness, huh?

Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men… Colossians 3:23 AMP

That, my friends is the answer to what ails you! One of the great oxymorons of life is that the more you focus on making yourself happy, the less happy you will be. But, the more you focus on others and what the moment you are in calls for, the happier you become. Try it out for yourself. Instead of trying to answer that age-old question, give yourself completely to whatever it is you are doing (or supposed to be doing) right now. Get your mind off of yourself and onto the moment you are in. Fully, completely, unequivocally!

The world we live in is constantly encouraging us to think about ourselves and to be consumed with ourselves. But, it is a trick! It won’t lead you to where you want to go. Instead it leads to antidepressants and other medication that tries to help you “feel” good. Why not decide to stop that incessant focus on yourself and experience the life you have been waiting for all along? That glorious, happy life is right there waiting for you; waiting for you to change your focus.

Life aint all about me, well, a happy life anyway!

Just some good thoughts…