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…


Asking Yourself the Right Questions…


With the New Year upon us, we often find ourselves making goals and plans for some new and improved version of ourselves. At its core, is a fundamental belief that something is not right about us. We have some fault or failing we need to remedy. And from that erroneous starting premise we desire to make repairs. The whole world seeks to fit itself within this system, yet continues to fail year after year after year! The fundamental reason for this persistent, pervasive, cancerous approach is that we are failing to ask ourselves the right questions.

Life is spiritual, not religious, spiritual. Behind everything that you experience in your life is a spiritual cause or influence. The only two spiritual options are good and evil. Sounds simplistic but it’s true whether you believe it or not. Good only seeks to influence you for a good end; happy, healthy and fulfilled.  Evil seeks to influence you for something less than desirable and in most cases things that take your life away from you in part or in whole. The end of evil is always death. Short of killing you, evil seeks to “eff” your life up!

At your core essence as a human being there is nothing wrong with you. Persevering with questions about what is wrong with “me” are always the wrong questions. The right question is what are you allowing to influence your life?  You have difficulties in your life and can easily see where and how the same things seem to defeat you year after year.  You can tell by noticing how many times you have written the same goals, in earnest. You are frustrated because you ‘should’ know better and choose better. The wrong that you and I do is not because we are bad people, yet that is quite hard for us to believe. The wrongs we do are because we have been influenced by evil in some form or fashion. We have accepted something that isn’t true. We have too often taken the bait promising us something that we want only to find out later that’s not what we are getting. In short, we have succumbed to evil influence.

No-one would ever choose evil if they saw it for what it really is. Evil always comes with some deception, some guise, some hard to detect cover. Yet there it sits working behind the scenes on everything that has ever gone wrong with your life. Everything! “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.” (The Usual Suspects, circa 1995) Because of this, many, many people attribute things that go wrong to God, the source of all goodness. In catastrophe they seek meaning instead of looking for the evil influence and how it gained access. Absent an answer, again from asking the wrong question, they make up fables concerning God’s greater purpose etc. Goodness cannot do anything but goodness and His influence is always preservative and safe.

Being influenced by evil doesn’t just consist of pursuing lustful pleasures but also encompasses sin, guilt, unworthiness and all unnatural preoccupation with oneself. Feelings of not being worthy, perpetuated by churches and religion, always leads to the most powerful weapon in the adversary’s gun belt – fear! Once the enemy has convinced you that something is wrong with you, you have already been defeated. Once you get on the hamster wheel of making mistakes, feeling badly and doing good works to atone for your sins, get ready because you’re going to be spinning on that wheel for a long, long time. When you arrive there fear is at the threshold!  Most of what has gone south on you in life is due to fear. Fear is the number one evil influence to extricate yourself from.

The right question to ask yourself in the New Year is what am I afraid of? Where am I unknowingly allowing evil in the door? What influences in my life are leading me astray? If you really want to see you can see and God will make sure of that. All humans are susceptible to these influences and true goodness will never put you in bondage to some religious behaviors you don’t really want to do. Escaping evil influences isn’t about focusing on your behavior and all you do and shouldn’t do. That poison will only put you in deeper. Instead the better question is what things have I allowed into my life that end up bringing me pain? Why have I allowed them and what false promises have they offered me that really aren’t true?

Detecting and discerning evil influences require a spiritual standard outside of yourself. What feels right only works on occasion. Many things that feel right or that you have no problem participating in, only feel right because you have long been systematized into their error. In this winning at life thing you cannot always trust your feelings. Instead you have to learn spiritual realties from the spiritual book called the Bible. Before you discount that for your life, you have to ask yourself do you really know what it says or have you made some snap judgments about it? I think it makes sense that the same influence messing your life up will also work to keep you away from that book! The Good Book is why we know that evil does exist no matter how many thousands of voices in the world shout disagreement.

The New Year, like any new year offers the promise of a better future. Gain access to your better future by learning to discern evil influences in your life. Quit making it all about you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you! What is wrong is your failure to see what is behind all of your difficulties and challenges. None of us are good by our own merits. Thinking so is a dangerous game heading for disaster. See life for what it is spiritually and then pursue the good influences. The good influence will only help you and bless you and as is often needed, repair you! The Good Influence loves you no matter what you do. Isn’t that what you need the most? Sure it is and you know it…

Have a happy and prosperous 2018.

Just some good thoughts…

Inner Disturbances…

A jogger runs on a sunny morning on Sanata Monica Beach, California.

Having just traveled back from beautiful, warm southern California, I can certainly appreciate the blessing and reverie that accompanies a calm, sunny day with absolutely no weather disturbances. Far less frequently perhaps, I’ve been a part of turbulent storms deluged with rain, howling winds and general upset feelings of turmoil and unrest. During storms the accepted notion is to get through the disturbed weather and back to the calm; the sooner, the better. Our ideal state of mind is also found in peaceful, pleasant warmth of thought and as such it is our duty to track down and eliminate the sources of disturbance and turbulence that seek to assault us day by day…

You might be surprised to learn that we all have a mental environment that we maintain day by day. Our mental environment might be best represented by the weather. Our mental weather, like physical weather, is not a permanent condition but rather something that ebbs and flows depending upon where we live (mentally). However, unlike the physical weather, we have complete control over our mental weather no matter what is going on around us. The trouble is that many of you have lived in the bad weather for so long that you have resigned yourself to it being considered “normal.” You’ve accepted it like a thunderstorm and concluded it is just a part of life. You believe it is expected as a human to have persistent anxiety and perpetual worries blowing your mind around like chance wind gusts! Instead of getting to the bottom of the disturbances, you wait and wait for the sun to come back out or produce some artificial sunlight through chemicals and other distractions. You are so disturbed you are no longer aware you are disturbed.

Think back to the times when your mind wasn’t a helter-skelter of confusing thoughts and unusual sensations. Try to recall when you didn’t rashly assume your job was to think your way out of looming disasters, thereby eliminating the need for constant fret and worry. Picture yourself fondly consumed in the moment with no particular inclination to find the surreptitious beast looming behind every corner seeking to bring you woe. Do you remember? You may have been a child or even perhaps a young adult. In some cases you might have even been in middle age yet delightfully caught up in some combination of sublime conditions. No matter the time period, the age or the conditions, those times of sun-drenched days came around and persisted because you were making proper use of your mind. There should be nothing associated with adulthood that requires living amidst perpetual shitty weather! Boiling up with worry, anxiety and fear are not traits associated with maturity or heightened awareness of the pitfalls of life. They are instead just that…worry, anxiety and fear! And like any good student you learned their ways and adopted them for yourself. Someone or something sold you tornadoes and hurricanes so you might be satisfied with thunderstorms and gale force winds, while calm, blessed sunshine was not listed as an option.

The good news is that your weather forecast is entirely changeable dependent upon how serious you are about getting above the clouds. You can learn, no matter what has assailed you in the past, to develop a calm, peaceful, settled mind and experience a clarity that formerly eluded you. However, you, similar to your dealings with the physical weather, aren’t going to be able to do this on your own. You aren’t going to brace yourself up by your own bootstraps and get the job done. Do you know why? Because your limited, finite, senses logic is not capable of getting the job done. Welcome to humanity! The slippery tricks that planted the storm clouds in your noggin’, planted them there based on what you do not know! Instead, if you want to get to the sunshine, the sweet repose, the perfect day, it is necessary for you to get back to the Source of light and sunshine directly. I don’t know what it is about people that compels them to figure everything out on their own. Remember when you knew you didn’t know? How sweet that time was…

Your heartfelt conversation with the One that invented thinking is as simple as, “Lord, I read a thing today that said I didn’t have to live with all this turbulence in my head. (You know how I hate turbulence!) Help me to get back to that sweet place and show me how to do it!” With God, it never needs be any more complicated than that. You’ll discover a fantastic thing when you finally figure out how hard you have been making everything and just ask for help. Children have the good sense not to accept mental disturbances and on those rare occasions when they are troubled, they are going to let you know about it fairly quickly. You see, they are still children of the sunshine!

Today is the day to get your head to California! Now is the time to seek something better for yourself. Stop succumbing to the fear and terror that ravages the planet and your mind. Quit accepting anxiety as a normal condition and the medications that go with it. Believe to experience life as you were intended to experience it. Get to that place because that place exists and it’s not reserved for those who do anything other than believe! Ask, believe and see…

When confronted with the storms of life declare, “Peace be still…” and then go back to sleep… 😉