Life in Your Sixth Decade…


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

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

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

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

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

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

Just some good thoughts…

Stop Being Such A Little B**ch


Depositphotos_4682824_l-2015Forgive my title, but something has happened to us as a people; as a nation. Whether it be the media, politics, cancel culture, the Internet, too much access to too much information, or whatever, something has moved in and caused us to be afraid of literally everything. There was once a time, it seems, when people made choices about their lives and decided exactly how they were going to live. There was a time when good folks were strong and resolute concerning how they wanted to be; what they were going to do. Then mass fear took hold and instead of seeking to be the individual God made them to be, people opted instead to take their place in line and, God forbid, not do anything that someone else might not approve of in some capacity. Yet ironically, being politically correct and refusing to be politically correct are two sides of the same coin. One side condemns all people for not having tolerance for all things, while the other side hurts everyone by having no tolerance for anything. And behind it all is a bunch of unbridled fear, terrified someone is going to take something from them or make them into something they don’t want to be or do things they don’t want to do, while at the same time having things taken from them, being made into something they don’t want to be and doing things they don’t want to do, driven by the fear of what might be unless they organize and stand against it. People are afraid of the virus and afraid of the vaccine. They don’t believe the government, the doctors, the science or the results. People are actually dying standing for some supposed, eroded freedom rather than doing whatever it takes to survive. When did we as a nation become so damn terrified of everything? Indeed, we need stop being a nation of little b**ches!

Fear is much more complicated and has many more faces than we have actually considered. As with anything the adversary of mankind has manufactured, there are a multitude of hard to discern layers and levels. You can be fully engaged in a fight for what you think is right while at the same time fighting an illusion leading you down a false path. You can stand adamantly against your fear of something bad that might happen and simultaneously act out of fear in your stance. Fear is the only explanation for how a political belief can supersede your common sense logic, make wrong into right and call the light darkness and the darkness light. Of course we Americans are sensitive when it comes to our personal freedoms, it is the highlight of what we represent. Yet there is a vast amount of difference between matters concerning our personal liberty and matters founded in fear, distrust and blind attitudes and opinions based upon that fear. Somewhere, somehow, someone got to you and that someone’s name is fear.

Similarly, people today have become so afraid to trust their own judgments and make their own calls. Instead of trusting what they know to be true, they have opted instead for group think whereby the group decides what is right. Yet, that is not how God made them to be. People are generally successful when they go the way of their own choosing, not in rebellion, but in being the sole authority of what is right for them; for their lives. The wrong way and the wrong choices sooner or later show themselves in failure, as they necessarily must. Much failure experienced; much unhappiness; much lack of contentment is found in going ways that someone else decided for you either directly or indirectly via the mass of public opinion. After all is said and done, you must win the battle inside your own head and you alone must learn what is right; what works, what leads you in the right direction. And, you alone must overcome fear and all of its disguises whenever and wherever it shows up. You have to stop being such a little b**ch!

As a great man once said, fear is our only enemy. It is fear that is thwarting you at very turn. It is fear that has made you terrified about losing your job, your money, your livelihood. It is fear that has you following all the rules, whether they make sense to you or not. It is fear that steals away the joy of your day as you contemplate what you can possibly lose and how. Sometimes I think we need to break a few rules. Sometimes we need to challenge the assertions made by others concerning what we need to do to be okay. Sometimes we need to turn back to our own hearts and release it from the chains of what it reportedly must do and instead let it decide what we want to do. If you’re not careful this old world and the fear built into it will reduce your life into a shadow of what it once was. You (and me) are too damn afraid of what might happen. “If you aren’t careful this might happen!” “Watch out because if you go too far you could be headed for trouble!” What happened to trusting in your own heart to know what is too far or being able to accurately discern the trouble if it is coming or if it is not? You see, that is how people and ideologies and governments control you. Instead of landing squarely on what is, the argument is always based on what could be. You don’t think that you have the wherewithal to know what is happening in your life? Or do you need someone else to make that decision for you? I submit to you that all conjecture concerning what might be and not on what is, will always be based on fear in some capacity. Sometimes you need to travel down a few wrong paths to know what sucks. It seems better that you went down the road and learned than if you stayed home timid and afraid, to prove it to yourself.

This is certainly not a criticism of people and the affect that fear has on people’s lives. Instead it is an exhortation to stop being so damn afraid and get out there and live. Stop being such a little b**ch! Stop letting the world and people and even those closest to you, make all of your choices for you. What do you like? What do you want? What turns you on? Do those things. Do something new! Get up and off the fear couch and live. If something bad happens, so be it. If you get a bad result, that’s one thing you now know for sure. You cannot really discover and live and experience if you allow fear to define all of your parameters. You may actually find something new that you never knew before. You may find yourself experiencing a freedom you have not tasted yet. In the final analysis, God freed us from the bondage of fear in what He did for us in His son. He made us free so that we could live and love and experience and learn! Get out there and experience life! All of it! Quit being such a little b**ch! I love you…

Just some good thoughts…

Healthy Mind


ADA-Website-Mental-Health-770x400-1The topic of health has become increasingly more prominent in the minds and hearts of people due to some fantastic advances in terms of medicine and medications. Yet, often missed in our quest for better health is the condition of our minds. More and more people are experiencing mental health issues ranging from anxiety to depression which may have even reached clinical levels without really understanding the importance of mental health maintenance in terms of how we think and continue to think. Just as there are lifestyle choices that lead to unhealthy bodies, there are also ways of thinking that result in unhealthy minds. Unhealthy thoughts indulged in and repeated produce in us all manner of difficulties and troubles. Yet, we continue on blindly, never considering that we are always responsible for what we choose to think, healthy or unhealthy, whole or sick, helpful or hurtful. In order to live our lives successfully, we need to learn how to have a healthy mind.

Of all the great, foundational things you may have learned in school, how much of that learning was devoted to “how to think” or “what to think?” Thinking is something people just take for granted and wrongly conclude that it doesn’t have much impact on their life. Instead of endeavoring to learn what and how to think, they just sort of let their thoughts run like a boat on the river driven with the currents. Their expectation is that good thoughts simply appear based on sunny circumstances and bad thoughts must be endured until the storms of life have subsided. The deception carries with it the idea that people have no control over their thoughts. It’s as if thoughts are something that occur despite the person doing the thinking. It is as if thoughts have a certain truth to them and must be accepted as they are; where they are; in the manner in which they present themselves. In this, people unknowingly subject themselves to misery by the thoughts they continue to think. Certain thoughts have no value to you and work instead to make you ill. Other thoughts encourage, warm and uplift you. Why people would continue to think thoughts that hurt them is one of life’s greatest conundrums! Yet the whole world lives under this curse. Being negative, ungrateful, agitated and afraid offers nothing for your desire to be positive, thankful, at peace and secure. But, onward we march poisoning our souls, leading to our own, eventual demise. A healthy mind, like a healthy body, must be fed with healthy food. Oh sure, you can afford an occasional overindulgence or splurge, but to do so often will cause you harm. In the same way, we can survive our minds going south for a little bit, but we must find a way to return to that place working towards our own best interests. A healthy mind requires it.

There is only one you and there will never be another you. You only have one life to live on earth. If, while living on this earth, you are wholly against yourself, who can be for you? If you are not voting for yourself in the great election, how can you expect to win? People think all manner of horrible things about themselves. They criticize themselves, malign themselves, condemn themselves and doubt themselves. They have learned not to trust their own judgments. They willingly choose to persist in thoughts that serve no other purpose than to bring them down. They tear their own selves down! They aggrandize their every error and fault and minimize their own achievements and victories. How absurd! How awful? Yet, that is how people have been taught to think. And they persist in this evil thinking day after day, year after year. They fail to recognize what is behind that persuasion as even animals instinctively know how to protect their own selves. Thinking this way is not simply part of the human condition, but is rather a perversion foisted upon us by things we cannot see or readily discern. No person thinking clearly and in their right mind would actively work against their own best interests. This type of thinking comes from evil, working you over from the inside out to perform as your own worst enemy. If you can talk a man into thinking evil of himself, he will forever be defeated before he begins. As such our duty is to begin to recognize that these thoughts, these habits, these ways of thinking of ourselves are not right and are to be rigorously excluded. We owe ourselves that much! No person on earth has ever been made better, not even one iota better, by constantly living in and dwelling upon thoughts of inferiority and shame. You don’t make a child better by habitually pointing out his faults, but by cleaving to his goodness until he follows suit and believes it himself. A healthy mind only follows a determination to be for yourself instead of against yourself!

Healthy thinking is the cornerstone to a life well lived. Healthy thoughts build you up and strengthen you for the journey. Healthy thoughts are on your own side, even when you may have fallen short. It is difficult enough to live life with all of its complexities and potential for errors without the added burden of self evaluation and self investigation. You likely already know where your weak spots are and where you need improvement without the added criticism and judgment. Those judgments, that persistence in finding fault does not come from God. God is not behind that stuff, convicting you of sin as some have erroneously taught. God already made the way to save us from ourselves because He already knew we could not measure up. God also knows well the devices of our opponent, working in secret to defeat us by weakening our thoughts. Unhealthy thoughts, weak thoughts are made up in direct contrast to all that God says we are and all that God says we have. When we are afraid we have believed a lie and will not escape until we refute it. Hours spent in worry weaken our nervous system and make us ripe for sickness and decay. Thoughts of self hatred and disgust are the heighth of unnatural thinking pointing to a long persistence in wrong, uncontrolled, unchallenged thinking. Choose health. Choose life.

Today is the day to make up your mind to not think another negative thing about yourself. Stop participating in the things designed and orchestrated for your own defeat. Cease from finding things wrong with yourself and instead look for the good, your good. Begin to spot those habitual thought processes you have developed over time that serve no other purpose than to malign you. Quit opposing yourself. If God be for you, who can be against you? You can live the more than abundant life God has promised you, but you have to do your part. What you think and how you think is your part. Break free from the tyranny of self enslavement by learning to control your thoughts. A healthy mind is everything. Healthy mind.

Just some good thoughts…

The Money Myth…


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

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

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

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

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

Just some good thoughts…

You Have to Do You…


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

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

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

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

Just some good thoughts…

How to Get What You Want…


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

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

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

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

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

Just some good thoughts…

Thinking for a Change…


Did you know that your experience of life takes place almost entirely in that thinking mechanism between your two ears. Oh sure you have your senses to help you, but even then those sensations translate into thoughts. Your thoughts literally color your existence. If your thoughts are positive and helpful, they can make your life joyous and blessed. But, if your thoughts are negative and fearful, they can distort your life into a living hell. But, here’s the catch, your thoughts are constantly filtering, highlighting and ignoring. They focus in on things you have previously identified as important and they blow past things you deem unimportant or in ignorance, chose not to see. How you think is how you live…

If you haven’t noticed by now, I can’t seem to get very far away from this topic. Your thoughts literally influence how your life turns out, yet it remains one of the greatest secrets in the world today. All of us think, all day every day and sometimes in the middle of the night, yet somehow still haven’t made the connection. We still drag along thinking poorly, whining and complaining, worrying and entertaining fearful considerations, without ever taking full ownership of our thoughts. It never seems to dawn on us, being the only creatures capable of thought, holding the ability to imagine the future, how unique we are in all of God’s creation! We never fully comprehended the idea that maybe in our unique position there is something we are responsible to do with our thoughts. And in not knowing, we let those babies run like a ship on the ocean during a storm. We believe that our own thoughts; yes our own thoughts, sort of tell us what is actually going on and that those thoughts are not to be questioned. Thus we live in perpetual confusion being blown about as the chance winds gust in our lives. But, we occupy and steer the helm…

The reason people say, “life sucks and then you die,” is because their thoughts suck (and then they die). They live in a negative world, run by a negative energy source, ever scheming and plotting to set up conditions that appear to be true, in order to negatively influence people’s thoughts. And, if you don’t mind me saying, they do a damn fine job! The whole world reels in a perpetual misery as captives and victims by a hidden, yet persistent enemy. They trust scientists and doctors and scholars and influencers more than they trust God. They have succumbed to the systems of the world and thus live in never-ending torture from it. They are literally scared of everything…everything! All day long they mope about only half engaged, besieged by the latest thing that is going to get them, end their life early, or take something away that they enjoy. And, that is all they can think about. While recognizing that they probably aren’t going to change the world (God will fix that up later), they can change something and that something is their life. You can change your life…

Learning to control and change your thinking is an absolute necessity. You already know the old let it run mentality doesn’t work. Recognizing and changing your thoughts isn’t about trying to make everything positive. It’s sort of obvious that everything in life isn’t positive. We all have to deal with negative realities in varying intensities, yet we don’t have to be controlled by these events. In fact, with God’s help, we can overcome everything that has ever assailed us…everything! Learning how to think properly involves first of all figuring out what is actually true. Maybe the biggest lie you will ever be confronted with in your life is that something is true because it looks true or seems true or feels true. Things in the world are manipulated and controlled to deceive humans (not by God of course). The reason your life isn’t working out how you wanted it to work out is because you are believing and acting upon those thoughts as if they were true. Then, in your mind those thoughts turn into beliefs and beliefs are powerful, good and bad. You were always in control of your own beliefs, but you just didn’t know it…

Controlling your thinking can be basically boiled down to thinking what God (who invented you) tells you to believe versus what something else is talking you into believing. “Fear not” is by far the number one admonition in the Bible. Fear has ruined more people’s lives than any other thing. Fear, which does not come from God, is believing or expecting something negative to happen. The more you engage in it, the more you persist in it, the more likely that terrible thing is going to manifest in your life! Look, the devil hates everybody, but he needs your cooperation in order to defeat you. You cooperate by entertaining fearful thoughts. Don’t you see it? It’s your fear that is holding you back and messing things up. Now logically, in order to beat fear you have to trust in something bigger than yourself. Without God’s help, we should all be damn afraid! But, with God’s help and only by God’s help, we can finally overcome every fear that ever challenged us and live out our lives in the beautiful way God imagined for us. You can experience joy and love. You can experience the peace that passes understanding. But, you have to learn how to control your thoughts, change your thoughts, challenge your thoughts…

Oh my friends, your life awaits you. Put your hands firmly on the helm of thought. Take your control back. Take your thoughts back. Think how God says to think and in your obedience see if all that He promised you is true. You experience your life through the filter of your thoughts and when those thoughts become beliefs and those beliefs are true, you will completely revolutionize your life. It can be done. It will be done. How you think is how you live. Think for a change…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Is There Fear in Your Future?


futureIt has been oft reported that  ‘fear’ is false evidence appearing real (F.E.A.R.)! As I wrestled that around in the darkness, suddenly it dawned on me, all fear exists only in the future. That is precisely why fear is always false evidence, because it exists only in a time that has not yet arrived. Even fear of the past is in reality fear of its effect on your future and the present moment is occurring now. Is there fear in your future?

Of all the things in life, in all the details, in every aspect and facet of living, the number one enemy you must fight and overcome is fear! All that you do not have or cannot do or are unable to overcome is always based on fear. Fear is the great killer of ambition and desire and your future! Fear persisted in will bring with it all the defeat you have ever imagined. As long as you have fear whether it be in the form of anxiety or worry or concern falsely called, you cannot have peace. Fear is the great antithesis to love, not hate. Fear is a falsehood, a lie at the very core of life, robbing it of its vitality and enthusiasm. Fear is wrong and most unnatural.  Fear is sin.

The problem with fear in your life is that it is a form of believing, but is its opposite. What good things you can believe for without limit, have their parallel in what awful things you can fear (believe) without limit! The longer you hold onto your fear, the greater the likelihood of its appearance into your life. And, even if you never quite arrive at all the terrible things you have imagined, you will endure a terrible ride on the way there. Your fear encourages and invites disaster. And just as your positive believing invites God and His blessings into your life, your negative believing; your anxiety and worry and fear invite the adversary into your life in the form of all types of misery and sickness and suffering.

Fear is a false evidence because it is always a threat to your future. It growls of some impending disaster. It roars predictions of future suffering and lack. It shouts how your needs will not be met. It cannot know this of course, as only God knows the future, so “it” is counting on you to help make the threat a reality. The way you ignorantly cooperate is by accepting the lie as truth and holding onto it instead of discarding it. It’s a really sticky trick. Your human ego, once threatened, will insist on trying to figure it out. Thus it will demand you think about it and think about it until you can solve it. However, you are not going to figure it out with your mind, as its origin is spiritual. Instead your ego driven insistence will result in keeping the wrong thought in your mind, which is all fear needs to take hold. It begins with a knock at your door called doubt. It gets a foot in the door as you worry. Finally it gets inside fully once you are afraid. At that point you’ve been captured! Then, fear’s companion anxiety is knocking on your door and your windows and your garage all at once. It is simply many fears you have misplaced by your refusal to deal with them, one by one, in the moments they approached. You have to deal with them. There is no other way out.

All throughout history, men and women have been admonished to fear not! In order to beat it, you have to depend upon something bigger than yourself. On your own, you won’t really get the job done. Oh you can muster up all the bravado you can imagine, but in the end you need spiritual power to defeat spiritual power. You need Someone that exists in your past, your present and your future, all at the same time. (Don’t even try to wrap your head around that one) You need to be able to give all that care to someone else. And therein is your solution! You have to hand it over and once you realize you have taken it back, hand it over again! Prayer isn’t, as I read recently, just some psychological process to help you feel better. The idea behind prayer is that God will actually do something about that which concerns you. Otherwise, why even pray? When you finally let God preserve your future like He promises, you will find yourself at rest. Unrest is thus a signal that there is something you need to handle or resolve. Often your solution is simply to stop persisting in your dreadful considerations. Refuse to scratch that itch. Letting it go isn’t negligence, it’s wisdom. In terms of the thought, sure that would be awful on an epic scale, but it hasn’t actually happened right? (Notice I left out “yet”) It’s false evidence! Not worthy of your mental considerations… You have to let it go! Now…

It may seem simplistic, but God’s solutions are always simple and clear. Error is complicated! Error is what produces the mind boggle and keeps you up all night! Lies, artfully presented, designed to hold your interest based on some vague possibility in your reality, are still lies. They began as untrue and will remain untrue if you can get this right! Dread or worry about some potential future day have never in the history of existence helped a difficult situation get better. Help is found in the quiet. Answers arrive when you settle down. Solutions come from the “still small voice.”

Is there fear in your future? Get rid of it today! Find that promise of God that negates your fear and say it to the thing until it retreats! Say it today, my friend… Today!

JUST SOME GOOD THOUGHTS…

 

 

 

 

Do You Believe?


1-7In order to receive the good things you seek in life, you have to believe. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or a non-Christian, everyone believes and everyone that believes, receives. Your true expectations for your life are your life, be it good or bad. There’s just no getting around it. Believing is an immutable law that God established for all of mankind. Thus it is in your best interest to learn “how” to believe!

First let’s dispel a misnomer. Believing and faith, though similar are not the same thing. Faith is what comes when you become a believer. Faith removes the separation between you and God. Believing is what all people do. Believing is being fully persuaded in your heart that something is going to happen. When you doubt something will happen or allow “what it looks like” to discourage you, nothing will happen though you pray on your knees, in earnest, all day and all night! Prayers are not answered, not because God is unwilling; has another purpose; or it wasn’t meant to be, but rather because of a failure on your part to believe. Every unanswered prayer has some semblance of this truth in it…

When it comes to believing, where the rubber meets the road is what you allow into your head and heart. Believing itself is not the power. Believing is the touchstone for the power. It is the necessary ingredient; the catalyst to tapping into the power, which belongs to God. Incredulously and with much grace, God is the one that brings to pass all things believed for regardless of the saint or sinner status of the one believing. (smile) Believing is the most simple thing in the world, best represented in the heart of a child. Children believe so easily because the world and all of it’s so-called wisdom hasn’t talked them out of it (yet). You can learn to believe and apply the power that comes from believing into your life, right now, no questions asked.

Believing, as I mentioned earlier, is a full persuasion in your heart that something is going to happen. It is not a feeling. It is not some nirvana state you reach after meditation. It is therefore your job to persuade your pesky heart. Your heart’s objections or negations have nothing to do with it, nor does any feeling of doubt or skepticism. Often we foolishly accept our heart’s skepticism as some kind of truth indicator. We think, “I don’t feel like it is going to happen” and then foolishly conclude that is the end of the matter. But, like anything that runs at cross purposes with the truth, it is actually error. It is error built into us by the world. It is the lies of the five senses existence that define life as only those things you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch, a place God exists outside of… The way that God brings to pass the things you believe for is none of your business. What is your business is to believe and see it through to the end, until you have whatever it is you have been believing to have. What you believe for is entirely up to you and there is no limit. The limitations come from a world that is ruled by someone (or something) hell-bent on you not learning how to believe!

In order to fully persuade your heart you have to work on it. One of the biggest and best ways to work on it is to refute those things that run counter purposes to it. In other words, stop considering what will occur if it doesn’t happen. Stop worrying and churning about “how” it is going to happen and instead keep saying it “is” going to happen! Can you see that? Really? Understanding that, is the key for you to break through all that has ever held you back! You aren’t aiming for good feelings etc., you’re aiming for removal of the doubt! As a great man once said, “Every time you think about your situation or your condition, thank God that your answer and your release is coming.” That is believing. Every time! Persuading your heart comes simply by successfully refuting the negatives that are assaulting it. (Yes, assaulting it!) Children believe so easily because they aren’t battling mental strongholds of fear, doubt and unbelief. They aren’t so damn smart as us adults and they are better for it.

It’s peculiar to me, yet logical, that the best things in life simply are… and don’t require arduous effort and toil to attain. The toil, the trouble, the thorns and thistles come from the wrong side of things, ever working to take away your garden of Eden! Life is hard because you don’t believe. Sure you are going to be assailed at times, but believing will cause you to win each time! That’s when life becomes a blessing for you, when you have that peaceful assurance in your heart that you will always have what you need; that anything that goes wrong can be made right again and that by believing you will always have access to the power; the greatest power of which there is no rival! That is real life, my friends…

So, what is it you need in your life? What do you want? Get a clear, defined picture of what you want and hold onto that image no matter what. How long will it take? It will take exactly as long as it takes you to believe! The moment you believe, fully persuaded, it will come to pass. Stop asking yourself if you deserve it or if it is God’s will or whatever else it is that has been successful in talking you out of receiving it thus far. Is it good? Is it beneficial? Will it bless you and make you happy? Will it meet a need for you and your family? Will it restore you to good health? Will it prosper you. Will it deliver you from bondage? Will it put a zest back into your step and make life worth living again? Then rest assured, it is God’s will!

Do you believe? I do…

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… 😉