Power for Abundant Living…


advanced-intermed-pfal-class-syllabus_1_511ebb705420de7d6d9ed68e3e37889d-3In the Spring of 1982, I was a young college student when I first experienced the class that would change my life forever called, “Power for Abundant Living.” Having grown up with no religious training, I was fortunate not to have any compulsive, well schooled creeds to unlearn, except for one – fear. And, like most people, you would never know this by observing me. I said all the right things and generally made sure it appeared like I had it all together. However, underneath that deliberate facade, I was afraid of everything.

One of the first lessons from this class about the Bible was that fear is always wrong. (If you just mentally rehearsed some scenarios where fear is good, you need the class!) Fear has defeated more people’s lives than any other thing in the world. Fear always encases, always binds, always limits what you can and cannot do. Fear steals away your energy. Fear lowers your vitality. Fear produces inertia and eventually stops your life from moving forward as it should. “Fear is sand in the machinery of life.” Accordingly, “fear not” is the number one admonition in the Bible.

Fear is not simply an emotion or a sense of healthy caution that keeps you from walking off a cliff. Fear is a negative form of believing. What you believe in the depth of your being is what you receive or experience in this life, including that which you fear. The fears you unknowingly cling to either from wrong teaching or ignorance serve only to limit and thwart your life. When and where you have fear you have defeat in your life. Just as a person positively envisions some goal with the expectation of achieving it, fear is negatively envisioning something bad with a fearful expectation of receiving it. No-one would purposely expect bad things for their life and that’s why fear is always wrong! If you look for it and if you are honest, the places where you struggle the most have some fear interspersed in there. However, just as you began life without all of these fears, those fears can be overcome!

Fear, like any negatives that assault your life, doesn’t just show up overnight. Rather it begins as a process from which you are likely unaware. (If you knew it you wouldn’t participate…) Fear always begins with a doubt. Doubt appears following an uncertainty concerning some aspect of your life. The uncertainty you are experiencing leads to feelings that you have to “figure out” the source of your uncertainty. (This is a typical human response and why the technique is so effective.) As you begin in earnest to figure out the source of your uncertainty, you have to mentally entertain the troubling thought while you try to figure it out. Entertaining the troubling thought, though you are sincerely trying to solve a problem, now transitions into worry. Worry is dwelling on difficulties or troubles, always following uncertainty. “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!” Dwelling on and considering “potential” troubles doesn’t actually help to solve those troubles, but rather serves to entrench those troubles into your thinking. Entrenched worries now turn into fear. Fear means the devil is already inside the door. Fear is a hole in the hedge of God’s protection around your life. Your fear has now become a strong expectation for your life and if persisted in, will bring that negative potentiality into your life. Then you may exclaim, “I knew it!” and you would be correct but before it happened you had another choice! Get rid of fear in your life!

As frightening as this all sounds, it has been going on almost since the earth began, when another power gained access and began bringing fear into people’s lives. It continues to this day because it works wholly by deception. The reason you cannot solve the sudden uncertainty you are experiencing in your mind is because the uncertainty wasn’t true to begin with! You begin your attempt with a wrong starting premise. By entertaining the wrong idea, no matter your good motive, you are acknowledging it as true; as a real possibility for your life. In that you have already been defeated! If you start wrong you will end wrong. Instead of allowing the doubt to persist, leading eventually to worry and finally issuing in fear, you have to learn to control your thoughts and refuse to entertain the negative possibility! This is not an easy thing to do. You are going to feel real, real tempted to take that thing on in your mind. You’ll feel as if you cannot let it go and have to think about it. Well, it’s a trick and will always end badly. It’s not your job to protect yourself from all negatives and evil, it’s God’s job. Let God do His job while you do your job…

Power for Abundant Living taught me how, for the first time in my life, to completely rid myself of worry and fear. The class focused on the greater (greatest) power – God! It taught me how to understand the Bible for myself including those things written for my learning and those things directly applicable to my life. Ultimately the class taught me how to “receive” God’s power into my life via holy spirit and begin utilizing that power in my life, leading to power for abundant living! As vividly as I recall receiving God’s power into manifestation in my life, I also vividly recall and embrace being fear-free for the first time in my life! And although fear would continue its assaults on my mind and at times gain a little access, I continue to feel monumentally grateful for having learned these principles and to now experience my life as a son of God!

I encourage you my dear friends, no matter which path you may take, to learn for yourself the truth of God’s Word; to learn how to receive God’s power into your life; and to learn how to rid yourself of all fear in every category of life!

Life without fear is just the sweetest thing ever and God would have it no other way…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Asking Yourself the Right Questions…


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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…

There is No Fear in God…


God-is-loveIt seems to me, in my casual observance of what people say and promote, that there is a lot of fear involved in their relationship with God. So many folks live how they live from fear of what God will either do to them, or allow to happen to them, if they don’t behave in a certain way. Some load themselves up with obligations in the name of God. Many engage in empty rituals, almost superstitious in nature, to potentially garner God’s favor in their lives. Others spend countless hours in regret and apology towards God for self-acknowledged violations of His will. So, I have to ask the question, is there supposed to be fear in your relationship with God? Is that what the Bible teaches? Does the fear-based approach take away from a believer the joy and happiness he/she is reported to experience with God?

In my opinion, and you can take this to the bank, there is no-one or nothing more understood than God. Sure, He has written a book to prevent this kind of thing, but how many folks actually read it, or worse, understand it? Most people’s knowledge, and you know this is true, is based on a fleeting verse here and there or the generally accepted consensus of who God is supposedly. Most, it seems, have been taught that God is a vengeful God perpetually engaged in examining your thoughts and behaviors like the inspector in an assembly line searching for defects. I vividly remember having some beers with prospective clients at a basketball game, who when I told them I taught the Bible, insisted on not only not having another drink, but recalling out loud what they had said earlier that might have been offensive. Are you kidding me? I bought the beers! But sadly, that’s where people’s heads go when you mention God. And not only because I  want to drink beers with you, but also because I’ve been taught otherwise, I’m going to show you that people have it all wrong about God in epic proportion!!!

The Bible clearly states that God is love. He isn’t just prone to behave in a loving way, He actually is love. The reason that love is the most powerful thing on the planet is because God, the most powerful being anywhere, is love. The Good Book also says that, “There is no fear in love.” Fear and love cannot co-exist together. If you have fear then you have no love and if you live God’s love you cannot possibly have fear. Fear, not hate, is the antithesis of love. And this whole planet is running on a steady diet of fear. Fear takes away the joy of a relationship with God because it takes away the love in the relationship, not on God’s part towards you, but on your part towards Him. God knows everything there is to know about you and still loves you. To think that you can fool God by engaging in obligatory behavior discounts His vast intelligence and reduces Him to the level of a man. The Bible also says that God is light and in Him, is no darkness at all. No darkness means no darkness. It would require God to have darkness in Him to do evil things to you, or for that matter, purposely allow evil things to happen to you. Evil things would include making you ill, killing the people who you love, putting obstacles in your path to teach you lessons, and allowing bad things to happen to you because your behavior didn’t quite measure up. Imagine one of your children not quite measuring up to behavior standards you set up and then not protecting them from danger because of that behavior. Pretty cruel wouldn’t you say?

God is more interested in your happiness, health and prosperity than you are! He wants to answer your prayers infinitely more than you want to pray them. The trouble is that God will not overstep your freedom of will. He requires fully persuaded belief on your part to bring your prayers to pass. When you fail to get your prayers answered it is generally because you don’t fully believe what you prayed for would come to pass. And, the number one believing blocker is fear. When you hold onto a fearful mindset towards God, greatly influenced by so-called preachers and religious people, you are going to have no confidence towards God. You will be full of doubt and unbelief. And, after experiencing that for long enough, you are going to end up doubting God’s existence in its entirety! The problem isn’t with God, His ability or His love. The problem is you and the wrong beliefs you’ve been entertaining in your head. When the phrase “fear of God” is used in the Bible it refers to reverence and respect; the same thing you are supposed to learn with your parents. You learn to respect what they have been telling you if you’ve been hit in the head by life enough times for not listening. You then become a parent and the cycle continues. God tells us to respect Him and believe what He says to believe. When you choose not to believe what He said and instead choose to believe what the world says, you end up getting smacked in the head, not by God, but by the One He is trying to protect you from! All of your difficulties; all of your pain; all of your heartache and loss is orchestrated and carried out by the adversary; your adversary, hell-bent on keeping you from the only One who can really love and protect you! You get it?

God is love in every conceivable form and facet. You never need to have even an ounce of fear with God. No matter how much of a stinker you have been; no matter how jaded your mind towards God has become; no matter how low you may have fallen, you cannot get underneath the everlasting arms of God’s love! Get out of that fear and obligation and enjoy your relationship with God stemming only from love. There’s nothing you have to do to please Him except humbly believe what He says is true. Doing so not only revolutionizes your life and finally gets your prayer answered, but will lead you to a place of indescribable joy, where no fear is allowed to remain…

There is no fear in God…

Just some good thoughts…

 

The Psychology of Fear…


imagesIt’s ironic to me that fear, which exists only in the mind of man, has such a powerful influence over the American people of today. Good ol’ Murica is literally scared to death. When fear is introduced, logic leaves the building. There’s no more sound thinking, rational thought or anything that even resembles a normal cognitive process. And, during this woefully sad circus called election season, the only real threat to so-called “ruining” our country is fear.

Fear in its true essence is nothing more than false evidence appearing real. It’s false evidence because that which people fear has not happened yet. But, in order for false evidence to gain a foothold in people’s minds it must also appear real. Fear has not always been a part of man’s existence. It first entered the scene when the original man separated himself from God and in so doing allowed entrée to a manner of thinking which formerly didn’t exist. And, ever since that fateful day, fear has been hard at work ruining people’s lives. Fear demands you react to a problem which isn’t yet a problem. The choices you make in response to fear are always wrong! However, the illusion of fear, once believed, is on its way into becoming a reality. What a person believes, they will receive into their life, positive and negative alike and the false evidence then, frightfully, turns into real evidence.

Nothing lights a fire under the American people faster than fear. The message of fear threatens your existence, your happiness, your peace. So, if you want to garner votes, simply scare the hell out of the people. Tell them of dangers that don’t exist. Carefully craft your messages and add in unhealthy doses of pending doom and disaster. When someone questions your message, accuse them of lying and then get back to the business of fear. Sound familiar?

The tenuous threat of fear aside, the ultimate trouble comes from the illogic that naturally follows it. Absent logic, the only choice left is insanity. Insanity and illogic is exhausting. Every parent knows that reasoning with a child whose not yet capable of reasoning is a foolish endeavor. Yet, that’s exactly where we are today! What would be considered horrible or distasteful or just plain wrong, somehow becomes acceptable because fear and illogic are at the helm. Without sound reasoning in place, up becomes down, left becomes right and black morphs into white. And, in a world where things no longer have meaning, what would you expect?

What I’m setting before you today folks is much bigger than politics. This is about your life, your freedom, your ability to pursue happiness. The reason America became great is because of the collective beliefs of its citizens. Its forefathers had the holy boldness to pursue a new way. They weren’t afraid to break away from the regimes of fear and bondage. They envisioned a land that would be tolerant of all people and all beliefs and fought hard to obtain it. And now, this great empire is threatened, not from factions of terrorists or illegal aliens or even racism, but more directly from the individual fears of the citizens united together to become collective fear, which however false, will become reality if persisted in. The psychology of today’s America is fear!

The solution to this grand dilemma is not found in arguing, fighting and threatening. However much you want to slap the good sense back into people, it wouldn’t matter anyway. Once people are afraid and continue to feed on that fear, their minds have become unstable. Just look around you. It’s pretty obvious in’t it? Instead, your job, your only reasonable job is to refuse to be a part of their fear. Once fear exits the picture, sound thought returns. I certainly don’t purport to be the smartest person around, but one thing I’m not, is afraid! The only true solution to your own fear is a return to love; to compassion; to sound thinking. Stop being so damn worried about some segment of society that’s going to get you! Nothing is going to get you if you trust God. It really doesn’t matter if the whole damn thing goes to hell if God’s got your back! He’ll make a way for you, no matter what it looks like.

You sir, you madam, get out of the fear business! Put love back into your heart. Return yourself to kindness, to encouragement, to love. Quit letting the great societal fear make your decisions for you. Stop stockpiling your weapons and preparing for Armageddon. Cease in your doomsday preparations. The wheels haven’t fallen off the bus yet, they just want you to think they have. You, in your life, decide the wheels are still on the bus. Be honest with yourself. Is your life, the way you have been living, really so awful? Is your corner of the globe really a “disaster?” Is the America where you reside truly been ruined by a neighbor that wears a turban? Does someone’s different beliefs threaten your beliefs? Is the truth of God somehow negated by another person’s error? Illogic people, you must rid yourself of the insanity.

Our great God that made America great isn’t out of business. But, your fear will negate His ability to protect you and help you. Don’t allow false evidence to turn into real evidence. Stop looking over your shoulder for something that is going to get you. Instead, walk out boldly with your head held high knowing that it is God who watches over your life. Refuse the psychology of fear and return to the true essence of being an American. Be a badass!

It is election season, so get your butt out there and vote. But, more important than deciding on a candidate, decide on what it is you will and will not believe. The individual believing of one person can turn the whole world right-side up. Imagine the possibilities if the majority of us believe.

Replace the psychology of fear with the psychology of love. You won’t be sorry. You’ll be blessed!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Real Life is the Absence of…


12109017_906397282785691_8569625912449202360_nOne of the most grand, important and hugely significant realizations of our times seems to center on life; a REAL LIFE! Let’s face it, we are all trying to get a life. We want a life filled with happiness and love. We want variety and vibrancy and delight. We want to wake up in the morning excited for the day, with our hearts full of love and joy and peace. And all of us, yes every single one of us, are seeking the exact same thing in infinite variations. So, the million dollar question is, is the real life we so ardently desire something we can get or rather the absence of something we’ve been getting?

The cheap answer would appear to be finding that special “something” out there that promises to heal all of our wounds; solve all of our dilemmas; straighten all of our crookedness and infuse us with lasting vitality! But, the vastly more costly answer is found on the other side, in the absence of…

Life, behind all of the senses coverings, always boils down to two things, good and evil. But, here’s where it gets interesting. Life’s greater realities are not really two distinct entities, but rather one true entity and one illusory entity. The illusory entity is not anything in itself except the absence of the true entity. Wow, crazy talk, huh? Let me explain… The opposite of life is death. Death is simply the absence of life. Darkness is merely the absence of light. Fear is the absence of love, or to put it another way, love is the absence of fear. Peace is the absence of trouble or the end of the struggle. All of life’s negatives represent the absence of something good; something we were designed to have!

As I mused this idea, I thought about how many of us are seeking and toiling and searching for that special something, never considering that, that “special” something is already here for us. It’s quite literally all around us. It’s found in the mighty oak tree and in the most delicate orchid. It’s in the warmth of the sunlight and the sound of the ocean. It’s in the eyes of your grandchildren and the smile from your mother. Life, beautiful life, real life just is and requires no help from you or me. And when you see life, there is no mistaking it for what it is, that is unless you’ve allowed the darkness to hold sway!

The other side of life, the absence of it, seeks to blind your eyes from the real life God intended for you. It makes you afraid and anxious about life. It steals away your peace by introducing agitation and unrest. It robs you of your enthusiasm and energy by getting you to dwell on its negative illusions. It works to occupy your mind with nothingness and pointlessness and would, if allowed to, reduce your life into one useless travail on an empty road leading nowhere! It’s behind every sickness, every sorrow, every lost hope, and every miserable thing. It’s work is displayed in every murder, every suicide, and every rape. And all of it, every single piece of it, is nothing more than the absence of goodness and love and light!

Maybe then, the best way to get that real life, you’ve been pining away for, is to stop seeking it so exhaustively and work rather on getting rid of the stuff that’s taking it away from you. Instead of searching the world over for love, get rid of your fear. Love comes from life who also goes by the name, God! And, before I continue let me give you a sidelight which is really the whole light. You are not going to find that real life you are after without God’s help. You know how I know? Because you haven’t found it on your own yet, have you? Oh you can try, and you can fill your mind with endless theories, but in the end you won’t find life because you haven’t yet found God!

Instead of doing all kinds of shenanigans to find peace, why not work on eliminating the agitations and the trouble. Trouble cannot exist without your cooperation because it’s a parasite feeding off your thoughts. To become agitated or maybe stay agitated, you have to continue entertaining the evil thought. Thinking it, or often in my case, analyzing it, only serves to permit its entree that much longer. The solution isn’t to clear your mind of all thought, but rather to replace agitating thoughts with thoughts of peace.

If you feel depressed or bored or just plain weary, begin to track down which thoughts are sucking away your energy. Your energy comes from the life force and is always there for you. However, certain thoughts, certain activities steal away that precious energy and leave you life-less! There’s almost nothing more energizing than to begin a new day with new thoughts and a renewed anticipation.

If you don’t know what to do or where to go or how to navigate your way, turn on the light (God’s Word). Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light because darkness is and always will be, the absence of light. The reason so many people are profoundly stuck in life is because they spend almost all of their precious days dwelling on everything that isn’t right. Dwelling on sickness won’t bring forth health. Dwelling on problems doesn’t engender solutions. Dwelling on lack never forces prosperity.

At the end of the day, to the end of your life, you have one thing you can control and that is your mind! Your mind is where all of the good things live. You should no more allow evil to permeate your thoughts than you would allow a poisonous snake to hang out in your living room. The only way to make your house safe again would be to get rid of the “thing” making it unsafe. It doesn’t require long prayers or voodoo doctors or snake charmers, it requires a decision in your mind ~ no more snakes!

The one and only “real life” is already there, waiting for you. It is infused into everything that life is… To find it you only need to once and for all rid yourself of everything that is blinding you to its reality. The time is short my friends, so short. You’ve got one shot at this thing. Learn how to get rid of everything that holds you back. You know how to do it? Ask God to teach you. If this made any sense to you, just imagine how good it would be to get it from the Source!

Real life…man, what a concept!

Just some good thoughts…

The Masked Masquerader…


miHBCkTxAbhSSNLndoSF7mgThere is a mysterious force moving and thriving in the world today. That force works behind the scenes to bring about frustration, unhappiness and misery. It comes in many facades and generally goes about undetected. Almost unbelievably, it has the ability to thwart and negate even the promises of God from coming to pass in a person’s life (Yes, it’s that big). If you ask a man if he is affected by it, his answer will almost always be, “No!” He doesn’t see it because it wears a mask and behind the mask lies the greatest masquerader of all time. It’s name you ask? Despite a thousand confusing disguises, it’s name is always FEAR…

When people think of fear, they quickly point to the feeling you get when you are being chased by a rabid dog. Or maybe the rumbling that occurs in the pit of your belly when a jumbo jet experiences heavy turbulence. Or perhaps that call you get from the hospital concerning one of your children. While all of those things are a clear representation of fear, the reality is that it is usually much more subtle than that. If it was obvious, you would quickly take the steps to remedy the situation. Run!!!!!!!!! But, it’s seldom obvious and for that reason, holds a man in bondage his whole lifetime.

You’ve heard me say before that believing is what brings things to pass in your life. But, did you know that fear is also believing? Fear is negative believing and brings negative things to pass with the same efficacy as it does on the positive side. What you fear, you get! Fear is the only thing that ever defeats the promises of God because man’s decision to be afraid rather than trust absolutely negates God’s ability to save him from his dilemma! Oh, say it aint so! Well, it is ‘so’ and to be otherwise would require God to completely rewrite the rules of life. Instead of bucking up against what is, why not learn to recognize and eliminate fear everywhere and anywhere it shows up?

In order to defeat fear, you must first recognize how it presents itself in your life. It shows up as depression, which points to something sucking away your life and energy. It appears as frustration, which falsely presumes there is no solution. It masquerades as worthlessness, implying you have to become a better person before God will bless you (predominately found in religion). It goes by the name “stress” which quietly contemplates a negative outcome. It wears a mask called “anxiety” which reveals an underlying and misplaced fear of life itself and all of its potential pitfalls. It goes by the misnomer “concern” which attempts to legitimize its existence. It is found in every unfulfilled and unsatisfied life and, in secret, is the cause of it. It is the polar opposite of love from which it rightfully has no place.

It enters your life through doubt, then gains ground by worry and finally reveals its ugliest head of all…FEAR.  It brings your life to a standstill. It is “sand in the machinery of life.” It impedes your progress and once it catches you, closes the prison doors all around you. It shouts there is no way out, which is a lie from the father of lies (there is always a way out!). It brings about disaster and chaos. It is trouble to your soul and with its agitation, steals your peace. It is the root of everything you don’t desire and the force that has tried to thwart your every move. It is evil and must be overcome!

Logically, the first step to overcoming fear is to recognize that you have it. There’s no room for John Wayne bravado because the proof is in the pudding. Depressed? …Fear! Frustrated? …Fear! Unfulfilled and dissatisfied? …Fear! Life not turning out how you dreamed it would? …Fear! Things going south on you on a perpetual basis? …Fear! You just have to get honest with yourself. If you are agitated and restless and bored, you have some fear back there you haven’t yet seen. To hell with its disguises, it’s fear and the sooner you own up to it the better. There’s no shame in being afraid. It’s wrong, but all of us came from the factory born with it. The shame is in parading around with “no fear” bumper stickers, while sitting on the couch of your mind in quiet, desperate misery!

Once you finally get honest (and praise the Lord for that day), you will begin to see (if you want to) just how much fear has been ruling your life. And, like any demolition project, you just have to start working away at it, one brick at a time. Now, removing bricks alone won’t make it happen. Instead, you have to replace those bricks with truth (found in over 900 promises in your Bible). Find and speak truth to that old, liar fear knowing that truth; truth believed, is the only thing that can defeat it. It won’t happen overnight, because you didn’t become ruled by fear overnight. But, and trust me on this, it will happen. You’ll be encouraged along the way by this weird, odd feeling called “peace and contentment.” You’ll get better at detecting its presence. You’ll actually start to see through the mask and spot that old masquerader behind it.  You will once again begin to experience life in all of its grandeur; it’s excitement; its pregnant possibilities. And best of all, you’ll find the love that has been waiting there for you all along!

For God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.            II Timothy 1:7

It doesn’t really matter how long you have been living in the prison-house of fear. What matters is that you find the way to escape. You aint gonna do it without God, so don’t try it. Just get real soul-honest and reach up to the One who made you! Hey, He hears you and this blog is from Him to you (and me)!

Fear not my friends. Fear not!

Just some good thoughts…

Be Good to Yourself…


imagesHave you ever had the experience where you think you are doing something the right way only to find out later that you’re not? We humans get so caught up in our systems about how things work and it seems to get worse as we get older. We already know, ya know? It’s like we stumble into a methodology that worked a couple of times and start replicating it out over a thousand situations. That’s all gravy if you got it right, but if you didn’t…life gets crappy in a hurry.

One such system, well rehearsed and approved as right, is the universally accepted notion that one can improve on his weaknesses and faults by analyzing himself. While ‘thinking’ is always encouraged (another forgotten aspect – smile), I’m talking about that dreadful analysis that only leads to one thing…the conclusion that you are not okay!

To understand this better, you need to understand certain realities. Everything that man does and is, is flawed. Not by design, but by some things you can read about in your Bible sometime. The more closely you inspect man’s accomplishments, even masterpieces, the more imperfection you will discover. In stark contrast, everything that God does is perfect. You can put it under the highest power microscope on Earth and the intricacy and perfection just multiplies. But, I don’t have to tell you that, right? It is literally (and beautifully) all around you!

So, how does this have anything to do with you and what you are doing to yourself? Well, almost everything really. In life you cannot really progress beyond what you think about yourself. If your opinion of yourself is poor, your results in life will be poor. Conversely, if you think highly of yourself and respect yourself, your results will be off the charts. So, what is one of the chief components that faithfully and regularly holds people back? Not being good to one’s self!

You are by your very nature an imperfect being. You were born into this world with imperfection in your blood. You get it? You started out that way! You didn’t start out all rosy and brilliant only later to botch it up with all of your misdeeds. No! You began imperfect and you will remain imperfect until some future day when God sets it all back in order again. This is so vitally important for you to understand. The great Apostle Paul said (by revelation) that he knew that in himself (his physical nature or his body and mind) dwelled no good thing. Nothing, nada, zip! So let me ask you another question. When you dwell on yourself and analyze yourself and deeply probe yourself to learn why you behave the way you do, what are you going to find? No good thing! You are only going to discover your imperfection again and again and again! The old familiar end will be that you are going to conclude that you are not so good; not deserving of good things and basically woe is you. You cannot reach any other conclusion. That old trick has been whooping mankind’s behind since the beginning of time. But, and get this my friends, it is always a trick!

The only way out of your messes is to stop dwelling on your messes! You want to teach a child how to be successful? You cannot persist in his mistakes, but instead capitalize on his accomplishments. Seek out what he does well and laud it to the heavens. Build him up, build him up, build him up until he finally starts to believe he is worth something. Once that’s in him, he is off to the races for success in life. If that works with children, (and believe me it does) then how about with adults? How about using that principle when you are dealing with you? Does that harsh taskmaster referred to as yourself, ever lead you anywhere good? You know it doesn’t! It just makes you feel like sh*t and then you are ripe for the next set of errors.

Getting you to deeply analyze your faults and your failings is the oldest trick in the book. It’s a rabbit hole with no rabbits inside. It’s a black hole of epic proportions that leads surreptitiously to more and more darkness. And, dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light, as I love to say again and again! Now, lest you get all righteous on me here, of course doing “bad” things is wrong. There’s no free pass for hurting and damaging things. But logically, unless you’re planning on doing some evil, I’m assuming your failings are in the past tense. They done already been done and done already got did! So, to stay in that dark place is categorically insane if you’re trying to get to the light.

God’s simple solution to help you out of your “no good thing” state is by giving you an opportunity to get His “every good thing” spirit on the inside. You don’t have to work for it or change for it or become “good” for it. You simply believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) and you get it. Probably one of the greatest things God ever did! So profoundly simple, yet missed a lifetime by people. Once you get His spirit on the inside, He makes you every good thing. He does it! His son paid the price for every ‘effed’ up thing you ever did and ever will do. It’s over, you win, you will live forever!

Make up your mind not to spend another millisecond analyzing your imperfections because as long as you have a body, your imperfections will always be right there. Instead, focus on what is the best about you. Focus on who God says you are and not what your old worn out mind says you are! There’s a new road for you to travel on if you decide you want it.

Be good to yourself. Love yourself. Accept yourself. Respect yourself. Focus on all that’s good in you knowing that in your flesh or anyone else’s flesh for that matter, dwells no good thing! Life is too short and fraught with too many dangers for your own mind to be your personal enemy. Become real good to yourself because it is the only way…

Just some “good” thoughts…

Why Aren’t Your Tomatoes Growing?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just some good thoughts…

Your Life… Your Beliefs… Your Results!


factory-1Warning! This blog post may offend you, but my hope, of course, is that it will enlighten you! So here goes… The life that you are presently living is a direct reflection of your beliefs. What you believe will happen in your life is exactly what happens in your life. If you are enjoying success, you have believed for and are experiencing success. If you are struggling and not living the life you want, you have believed for that also and are experiencing the results of your beliefs. Life is not random. There are no accidents and there are no coincidences. A belief on the positive side produces a good result. A belief on the negative side (fear) results in a negative result. So the point is, if you are presently struggling and not enjoying the life you want, it is your own fault! Now, before you go batsh*t crazy on me, hear me out…

All of us believe something. I’m not talking about your religious beliefs, I’m talking about belief in its basic essence; the things you believe to be true. It does not matter at all if what you believe isn’t really true, because what you believe is what comes to pass in your life. All humans, good and bad, manifest into their lives the results or fruit of their beliefs. You can whine, revile, complain, argue, fuss and fume, but that is how God set this whole thing up (see Bible). Getting angry with God over some negative circumstance in your life is as futile as whipping the dog for some food you left out within his reach. Bottom line, he’s a dog, he always seeks food, and, YOU LEFT IT OUT! When things are going poorly in your life, you left something out – belief!

Let’s say you have been struggling financially. You know you need more money than you presently have. Truth Newsflash: The amount of money you presently have is exactly, precisely, mathematically as much as you believed you could have. The problem isn’t the economy, your lack of education or degree, your upbringing, or the company for which you are presently slaving! The problem is you, more specifically your belief concerning money. We all probably want more money, but we don’t all believe we can have more. That belief, which for you is true, is the source of your problem. You want more, but if you are honest, don’t believe you can get more or simply think (or have been conditioned to think) that money is hard to come by, doesn’t grow on trees, etc., etc., etc. Can’t you right now think of someone who has minimal education but makes a fortune? Don’t you know that guy that is by all accounts, dumber than a box of rocks, yet still makes a lot of money? Ever asked yourself why? Wait no, I get it. He is just lucky… Definition of luck? That which happens by chance. Definition of chance? See luck. Haha you are smarter than that…

This isn’t a criticism of anyone. Rather it is a reality that you have to understand. As long as you think that life is random, full of scary twists and curves, is as long as you will be twisting and curving. Belief, positive belief, puts an end to it. If we only knew that, right? As humanoids we have all been carefully conditioned and trained to believe everything that our five senses minds promote. However, belief is not based on what it looks like or what the circumstances are promoting as true, belief is based on a decision that you make. You might not think you made a decision, but you did! All belief is a decision. The trouble is you made a decision based on faulty reasoning. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck right? Not in the spiritual world from where the secret of life resides. This old world is run by the enemy of good times called the Devil. He didn’t start out as its ruler, but he’s ruling the joint now. His only mission, because he is still pissed at God, is to steal and to kill and to destroy. Every time you believe something negative and suffer defeat, he stole something from you. Every time! And that ol’ bird knows how much you rely on your five senses as your only avenue for learning and with that, works you over like a sieve.

You and I (for that matter) have to be completely honest with ourselves about what we really believe. True belief, positive belief is the end of the struggle. Not that you won’t be challenged again and again, but by believing rightly can overcome any hurdle that is thrown in your path. It is time to get serious about learning how and what to believe, then putting it into practice.

Just the other day I found myself struggling with how hard it was to get what I wanted and how the open doors didn’t seem to be opening for me like they were opening for others. Then, thank the good Lord, it dawned on me. “Tony, if you don’t really believe you can get what you want, you aint ever gonna get what you want!” You see the problem was me, oh Lord. Prayer was never supposed to be an exercise in futility. Prayer must be backed with believing or NOTHING is going to happen and then we are just back to getting angry with God! How silly…

I challenge you right now, today, to ask yourself what you are struggling with. Then, ask yourself what you believe about your situation. Be honest because no-one is listening except you and God maybe. Your honest answer and I mean brutally honest answer is your current reality. But the good news is you can always, always, always change your reality. When you believe, nothing is too hard for God and I don’t care what the doctor said! Nothing!

Quit believing (fearing) what you don’t want and start believing for what you do want. Don’t give yesterday another thought… It is your one life, they are your beliefs and they are producing your results. Open a new factory!

Just some good thoughts…

Working Hard for God?


working-hardHave you ever seen the movie, “The End” with Burt Reynolds? There is a classic scene where Burt’s character , after numerous attempts at suicide, finds himself in a large body of water with little hope of being able to swim long enough to save himself! So, he makes several deals with God, attempting to encourage God to rescue him. While being a hilariously funny comedy, the movie shows how many people view their relationship with God. Reynolds offers to keep the 10 commandments, after he learns them. Promises to be honest in business etc. The message is obvious, if you do a lot of good stuff and obey the rules, God will help you out. But, if you mess up or sin, your sh*t is in the wind. How many of us are working so hard to please God in a misguided attempt to get something from Him?

The whole world, and I might add, every major religion is wrapped up in that simple, yet complex lie. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have tried it, you found out pretty quick that it was damn hard work! The more you work to earn something from God, the more you fail. The more you fail, the harder you work. When you finally think you’ve become good enough, you find out that your good enough apparently wasn’t good enough, because something negative still happened. You analyze yourself deeper; find areas of potential error and set about to work even harder. It never even dawns on you that God’s willingness to help you was never based on your behavior in the first place. This is the message of almost the whole book of Romans in the Bible, but hey, who needs the Bible when you can just work hard?

Of all the dastardly, evil, discouraging, asinine, wretched, bull-crap, devious things people have been talked into believing, the most supreme of all is the absolute lie that you could do something to earn God’s love, blessings and protection! Read that sentence again! You cannot earn it, never could earn it and never will be able to earn it. Even when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord by believing God raised him from the dead, even then God reckons righteousness unto you because of your believing. Not by works, lest any man should boast. The only way you can ever get anything from God is by believing. Period. End of sentence. End of damnable hard works!

Do you want to please God? Do you want God to be pleased with you? Then believe Him! Do you need God’s help in a situation? Believe that He can and WILL help you! Do you need to make a deal with Him? Never. Do you have to do good works to get His blessings? Heck no! In reality, God blesses you to  motivate you to do good works, not the other way around. You gotta give God a little credit here. He already knows all about you (and me) and still loves you. He already knows everything you are going to do (good and bad) and still protects you. His love for you always was and always will be unconditional. He doesn’t have conditions, you do! He doesn’t make deals, you do! He doesn’t bless you because you are good enough, He blesses you because He’s good enough!

The quicksand trap of that treacherous works routine is that as long as you believe you have to do something to get something from God, you will never get around to being fully persuaded in believing that what He said He would do for you, He will do! You are always going to be able to find something wrong with you and you won’t even have to look very hard. You, you human being, cannot measure up; it’s impossible. So for goodness sakes, stop it! It’s a trick. It’s a lie. It’s wrong on every hand.

Look, I’m not trying to condemn you, I’ve played this game; far more than I am loathe to admit. It’s subtle and it’s obvious. It’s clear and it’s vague. It’s a feeling and it’s a thought. But, no matter how it manifests itself, it is a damn lie! It contradicts God’s Word. Whether it comes from your Preacher; your mother or your wife, it’s a damnable lie, from a damnable source with damnable intentions to defeat you. It’s not your conscience mysteriously chastising you, it’s God’s archenemy carefully crafting circumstances and conditions to talk you into something that isn’t true with a further view to stop you from believing in and upon your ONLY source of help!

At the end of the movie, Burt’s character makes it out safely and quickly begins to break all of the deals he made with God. After all, he is safe now and the deals no longer make sense. How profound huh? He made it out alive and all of the deals he tried to make never did make sense anyway! So, if you are alive right now, and I’m assuming you are because you are reading this, stop trying to make a deal with God. Stop trying to trick Him into thinking you are better than you really are. Instead, be yourself, be honest and be true. Learn how to believe what He promised you. Stop thinking your behavior is a factor and just get your old stubborn noggin to believe what He said He would do for you, without any conditions, clauses or contingency plans. He is that good people and He is anxious to prove it to you!

Yeah, I still get caught up from time to time earning something God already gave to me, but when I do, I write a blog about and somehow feel a little better.

Believing what God said is no harder than believing the sun will come up tomorrow. Learn to believe God as you are, right now, and you will see what all believers see, God is faithful to those who believe. Are you working hard for God’s blessings? I hope not, at least not anymore, anyway…

Just some good thoughts to set you free!