Change Directions…


All of us get stuck sometimes in life. We are such creatures of habit and those habits develop so deeply that sometimes they are difficult to change. At times, you might feel like you’re sick of yourself; tired of struggling with the same issues, month after month, year after year. Maybe you’re in a relationship that is heading nowhere fast. Perhaps you’re weary of your job and your co-workers or the hierarchy and the politics. You can feel mired down in circumstances, smiling when you aren’t happy and playing a role in a production you do not enjoy. Maybe you wish you were something that you are not and the distance between the two is widening. No matter what has happened in the past, what is going on today, or your unhopeful prospects for the future, don’t fret my friends, you can always change directions…

No person living hasn’t experienced this in some form or fashion. In happens to us all. You get a few years under your belt and things dry up a bit. What was once gloriously hopeful and full of possibility can be eroded away through life and experience, especially negative experiences. You get sort of grooved into certain paths and it becomes hard to extricate yourself from the trail. It hasn’t occurred because there is something fundamentally wrong with you. Despite the multitude of your private, negative self talks, you are not the primary cause. There are forces at work in the world whose sole purpose is to beat you down. They convince you to do the things you hate and prevent you from doing the things you love. They skillfully drag you down the same rotten roads where you end up at the same rotten place! They promise you liberty then enslave you. They use you against you. You are living in a spiritual world heavily influenced by things you cannot discern. Instead of settling into the mediocrity and the misery; instead of becoming angry with God; instead of giving up and giving in, you need to simply change directions…

Not understanding what is going on spiritually in life is your number one problem. You need to understand. You need spiritual understanding so you can finally see what has been happening to you. It’s no coincidence that the whole world suffers from this as the whole world is being subjected to it. It’s certainly not God’s fault and it is definitely not God’s will. God, the God of life, is the answer to all of your questions. He is the satisfaction to your frustration. He is the fruitfulness to your futility. He is the forward progress to your feeling stuck. He is the way out, indeed the only way out. He is not chastising you. He is not judging you. He has not sentenced you to a crappy life. He is the polar opposite of all the pain and suffering, in ignorance, you have endured. But, we haven’t always learned that just yet. We are on a journey and we have to learn it for ourselves. We have to be, at last, willing to learn. Our lack of progress, lack of results, lack of fulfillment is always the first clue that we are chasing the wrong things and heading in the wrong direction. But don’t let the apparent complexity of error cause you to faint. Truth is clear and simple and in the end it requires that you simply change directions…

No change can occur in life unless it is preceded by a decision. It doesn’t first require discipline and force of will as you have already long proven to yourself. You don’t need a sudden stroke of luck or a miraculous circumstance to turn your life around. You need to simply decide. “You have to become sick and tired of being sick and tired.” (Thank you Fannie) You have to finally consider, “Why sit we here until we die?” (Thanks Bible) In other words, you have to make up your dang mind! Stop waiting for the circumstances to change before you decide. Stop waiting for full understanding before you decide. Stop waiting for retirement, for your kids to grow up, until you find your person, (Thanks Grey’s Anatomy), until you’ve earned your first million, until you feel better and on and on and on. Change is only and always preceded by a decision. Then, the strength of your efforts match the strength of your decision. Strong, resolute decisions naturally supply the energy to carry them out. Weak “hope so” or “I’ll try” or “I’ll give it a shot” decisions will not be accompanied by any determination of will and will naturally fail. You’re not stuck because there is no way out, you are stuck because you have not yet decided! Once you take the time to make the decision, you can simply change directions…

You will encounter tremendous opposition, of course. The same hidden forces that trapped you are going to fight like hell to keep you trapped! They are going to offer you counterfeit, alternate directions that sound so good and hopeful, but still end in misery and defeat. In truth there is only one direction that leads only to victory and God is more than willing to show it to you. “This is the way, walk ye in it…” Changing course is not about becoming super religious and swearing off booze and cigarettes, sex and anything else that feels good (smile). That route, often followed, and worse believed, is yet another alternate route that reduces God down to how good is man’s behavior or how little he uses cuss words. How silly and insulting to God who invented mankind. Religion does nothing but salve the ego of man convincing him that he can affect spiritual realities with human efforts. Changing directions happens first in your mind. You have to stop thinking and considering and entertaining the same old garbage that tied you up in the first place. You have to do something different. You have to learn to think differently. You have to simply change directions…

Don’t fret my friends, you can always change directions…

Just some good thoughts…

Lift Up Your Thoughts…


The other day, a close friend (brother) of mine posted a quote from one of my favorite authors, James Allen, that truly resonated with me. “A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak, and abject, and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts.” If you want to do life like you would like your life to be done, you have to learn to lift up your thoughts.

If you lived a little and experienced some things, you’ve begun to learn that the mindset you maintain is entirely within your control. Oh crappy things still happen to you. Things go south inexplicably. Circumstances marshall together and bite you on the ass. But, what you do with your thoughts is always, always up to you. Sometimes you want to stay in your funk. Playing the victim has its own reward in absolving you from all personal responsibility. The reality that life is often unfair seems justification enough to stay down in the misty flats. But, at the end of the day my friends, you know deep down that you are refusing to lift up your thoughts. Thoughts and emotions change at such a frequency that you might forget whatever clouds are blocking your sunshine, forcing you to willfully recall the source of your trouble and get back to acquiescing to it. In such cases, you are refusing your own happiness and reaping the results of your own decision.

The difficulty involved with lifting up your thoughts is not a matter of discipline or self control, but rather a matter of being afraid. You’re afraid that it won’t matter what you do and that no matter what you do things will continue as they are. You doubt the outcome. Fear has you ensnared and trapped. You wish and pray and beg God to change the circumstances but refuse to own the part for which you alone are responsible. You want to win the lottery or for some other miraculous event to solve your problems in one fell swoop. You want to lose the weight by taking a pill and still eating bad foods in excess. You want the happiness you have hoped for without doing the things that happiness requires. In short, you are not cooperating with your own solution. In stubborn rebellion, you want good from bad and blessings from cursings (your own mental cursings). In the immortal words of Emerson, “We need only obey.”

Your thoughts connected to your mind, connected to your heart, form the basis of the life you live. If you want better you have to think better. You have to change your mind. You are waiting for God and God is waiting for you! God’s part is to provide all that you need to be successful. Your part is to think accordingly. You can’t hang around in the darkness and expect to see the light. God doesn’t change. He is not found in the darkness. He lives in the light. You have to march your mental butt over to the light, where He is, and then you can finally see. Lifting up your thoughts means to take your thoughts to the light. You don’t walk over to the light because everything looks good or feels good or because things are finally looking up. You walk over to the light in order to see the good and experience the good and then and only then do things begin to start looking up. Do you understand what I’m saying? You act first. You take the initiative. You make the right move! Change your mind! Refuse the abject negativity and doom predictions and get yourself to the light!

Lifting up your thoughts is not blind faith or anything that cannot see what’s ahead. Instead it is a mental decision to think something different and stop thinking in accordance with the presentation engendered by the darkness. You may not realize it, but thinking negatively is actually a form of obedience also, but you are obeying the wrong source. You are cooperating knowingly or unknowingly with the wrong source. Cooperation with evil, even if you have never considered it that way, is a recipe for a life of abject misery! It is not how life is or being realistic or any other bullshit you have rehearsed in order to justify your wrong thinking. Instead it is deception artfully crafted to make your life suck! And, if your life sucks, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Look, you cannot control the events of the world. You cannot control the economy. You cannot control the evil things that happen to people in this life. But, you can control your thinking. You can decide to lift up your thoughts and you owe it to yourelf to do so!

It is an absolute shame what happens to people in this life. It is awful and painful and terrible. People are blown about from pillar to post by an enemy they can neither see nor discern. They feel helpless and lost and defeated. Yet, they fail to recognize the one thing they can control, their minds. They do not see or understand the connection. They wrongly assume that thoughts are just thoughts and as such don’t put much stock in the importance of controlling those thoughts. God has not left you without remedy. Jesus was always successful because he controlled his thoughts, perfectly and at all times. You and I will not accomplish that incredible feat, but we can sure as hell make an incredible impact on the lives we live on Earth today.

Lift up your thoughts! When you recognize that you are dwelling in the darkness, change your mind. Stop it! Stop rehearsing every wrong done, every thing that isn’t right, every problem that confronts you. Stop living in and getting comfortable with evil. Instead, choose light, choose love, choose good thoughts. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 and I didn’t write the book!

You can lift up your thoughts and every good thing you have ever imagined can be found there! It’s your mind and your thoughts. Cooperate with God! Obey!

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…

 

What Came First, Your Thoughts or Your Results?


maxresdefaultRecently, I found myself embroiled in a Twitter battle with someone I don’t know and many others I don’t know over the topic of depression. A guy posted a little ditty about being depressed along the lines of, “if you’re depressed and you know it, clap your hands.” So I replied, tongue in cheek, with a similar ditty about changing your thoughts. Some recognized the levity, but quite a few others insisted on teaching me about depression and how it wasn’t that simple and show me some evidence that changing your thoughts can change brain chemistry and so on. Essentially the group argument consisted of well-intentioned people defending the chemical nature of depression and apparently the fact that your thoughts have nothing to do with it and even more incredulously, that there’s nothing you can do about it. So depression or any other mental malady, what came first, your thoughts or your results?

First let’s clarify one important reality. Yes depression, particularly clinical depression can be tracked to chemical changes in your brain. But, and hear me out on this one, to conclude that the depression you are experiencing has nothing to do with what you are thinking, is categorically nuts! If that was the case all of us would be potential victims to any mental malady that came our way and would be powerless against it. You’re living your life happy and blessed then boom, you spiral down into depression or anxiety or anything else that chooses you! Life does not work that way. However, if you are paying attention, you will recognize that the world will always have an excuse for you to stay trapped in your personal conundrum.  It will always have you draw some conclusion where you basically agree there is nothing you can do about what you are experiencing. The result? You end up actually defending your problem’s right to have power over you and have lots of science or other man-made intelligence supporting your beliefs. Your thoughts came first!

Depression begins with depressed thoughts. Anxiety begins with anxious thoughts. All known phobias began with fearful thoughts about something. Now stop right there. If what I just said pissed you off in some capacity, you have to ask yourself what it is you are defending. To think that your thoughts didn’t precede you present reality takes away your responsibility for your life and hands it over to someone or something else. The world is chock full of victims with well-rehearsed stories about how they don’t have a choice when actually they always have a choice. The choice with mental maladies, and by the way I’ve been there, is to control your thinking in the here and now. Is it really that simple? No, it’s not simple at all, especially if you have gotten yourself into some deeply grooved ruts! But, it is the only way out! You have to decide to think something else or stop thinking certain things, before you can even begin to see the way out. Wallowing in the chemical nature of your problem is simply resignation to defeat. Your thoughts came first!

In contrast to mental maladies and anything that pains or hinders our lives, let’s consider happy people or people who remain positive and hopeful about their lives. What do they do that maybe you don’t do? Are they really predetermined for success? Are they just the result of good fortune heaped on them randomly with no discernible reason why? The same world that spends considerable time with increasing evidence to convince you there is nothing you can do about your problems, also maligns and disparages being positive and reduces it to foolishness by implying positive people simply spout positive bullshit in contrast to their worsening issues. Really? Is that all that positive people do? In reality, positive, happy people experience the same garbage and conflict in life that you experience. The difference is that they fight back with their thoughts and refuse to surrender to science or anything else that chips away at their well-being. They can acknowledge that today was a freaking horrible day, but don’t expect tomorrow to be the same. When someone lays a rap on them that implies there is nothing they can do about something, they beg to differ over and over and over again. Your thoughts came first.

Part of controlling your thinking, and for the love of God it is something you can do or God wouldn’t ask you to do it, is to be cautious about what you take ownership of… Is it a disease or is it your disease? Is it depression or is it your depression? Just because a doctor gave it to you doesn’t mean you have to own it. I know, there I go again with my Pollyanna bullshit! I mean, the perfectly reasonable, logical thing to do is to accept your fate and get in line with the rest of the sheep following and cascading over the cliff to their own demise! Being realistic depends wholly on what you consider to be real. Science isn’t in opposition to God it’s of God (you smarties…). The opposition shows up when science, so-called, refutes what God says and makes it appeal to the ego of man who always knows more than he actually knows! If you and your scientific realities know the answer, then fix your issue and let’s get back to living. Alas, your thoughts came first!

One thing you can and should own is your own life! You certainly don’t need to own the negative assaults upon you day by day, but you can and should own your results. Own it! Accept where you are. Accept responsibility for the things that haven’t worked out. Taking ownership is always the starting point for any life revisions you may need. As you  put your hands firmly back on the wheel, you will discover that God has given you control if you are willing to take it! Say what you may my friends, your thoughts came first!

Just some good thoughts…