Religion and How It Ruins Your Relationship with God…


6a00d834515f9b69e20168e5c36718970c-800wiIf you are born again of God’s spirit, your relationship with Him should be the sweetest thing this side of heaven. However, for most, it seems, it is just the opposite. Well, there’s a reason for this and that reason is called, “religion.” Sounds like quite a contradiction, I know, but being religious and having a vital relationship with God are often miles apart.

The issue isn’t the sincerity of the believer or their heartfelt desire to walk with God. The crucial issue centers around what the believer “thinks” is required in that relationship, which, when religion gets involved, contradicts the Bible on every front. Religion, in its thousand-fold forms always, always, always put the emphasis on what man is or isn’t doing. Conversely, true Christianity’s focus is always, always, always on what God has done and will do for you, the believer. Now, just let that simmer for a minute…

Look, I aint trying to bash your religion, whatever that might be, I’m just trying to tell you some stuff that I know is true from the Word of God, which if you dare to believe and understand it, will completely change your life and your relationship with Big Poppa!

First and perhaps most important, God is not following you around monitoring your behavior. He’s not condemning you, making you feel guilty or convicting you by the holy spirit (whatever the hell that means)! Surprise! God already knows your behaviors and thoughts aren’t always righteous and as such made a way to make you righteous before Him without it being based on your (and my) ever fluctuating behaviors. His son, Jesus Christ (who, by the way didn’t have a sin nature in his blood) walked perfectly by his free-will, so you wouldn’t have to! Your job is to believe in his sacrifice for you and thus God reckons righteousness unto you, because you chose to believe! Come on now, do you really think your sincere commitment not to cuss or smoke would really make you righteous in God’s sight? It’s just silliness; a silliness promoted by religion that ever seeks to make it all about YOU and not all about God! Note* Insert whatever foolishness you’ve been taught in place of no smoking and no cussing!

Who in the world wants a Father who constantly abides to criticize you and point out what you aren’t doing and should be doing or are doing that you shouldn’t be doing? Lord have mercy, do you do that with your kids? Well, if you do, stop it, because that crap is evil. There is someone who is accusing you day by day, but he isn’t God! And, just for the record, almost the entire book of Romans focuses on this issue because it’s that big! (Book of Romans…in Bible)

Next, I have to address the Facebook meme frenzy, whereby God is doing some dastardly sh*t to you to make you better, somehow, someway! Like… God saves the toughest challenges for His strongest people or God’s testing you to make you better or anything that implies that God does negative stuff to make you worthy or humble or whatever! This, my friends, is a lie from hell! God doesn’t need the stupid adversary or evil to perfect you. Where did you ever get that insane idea? From religion, that’s where you got it. It comes from a lack of understanding regarding evil and in that ignorance attributing everything that happens back to God. What possible purpose could God have in causing a disaster where people are killed? It’s nuts, if your brain works, but somehow acceptable in religion. You know, God is mad at the ______ (insert who you are mad at today) and that’s why that happened. Again the focus is on what? The people and what they are and aren’t doing! What a fantastic delusion! Get rid of the source of the problem, blame it on God and totally screw up the sincere believer.

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. No darkness…at all…ever! Just for the record, supposedly giving people sickness is darkness. Killing people is darkness. Making life generally hard and annoying for some vague, unknown lesson is darkness. Threatening people with a life lived in perpetual torture called, “hell” is darkness. There’s no hell as described afore, in the Bible. Who the hell (pun intended) would run it? So, who told you all that garbage? Religion did, that’s who! To help you, you ask? No, to control you! It has nothing to do with your relationship with God and everything to do with your relationship with the people who seek to control you! Maybe that’s too blunt for you, but by God, it’s the truth and if you are ever going to feel good about your relationship with your Heavenly Father, you need to know the truth!

Time fails me to speak of bead counting, chanting, lighting candles, repetitious prayers, going without, kneeling, going to this place at that time, avoiding that place, sacrificing, not drinking, cussing, smoking, no sex, no caffeine, no medicine, no, no, no, no – arghhhhhhhhhh, misery! No wonder you don’t want to talk to God except on Sunday when it’s required! No wonder the mention of His name makes you uncomfortable. No wonder you don’t share your heart with Him, after all, He might figure you out! Newsflash!!! He already knows all about you (duhhhh) and still loves you! He is God, for God’s sake! Do you really think there is some aspect of your humanness of which God isn’t familiar? Really?

Religion really is the opiate of the masses, but unlike other opiates, doesn’t make you feel better. You have to give God more credit than that! Seriously? Beads? Chanting? Saying the same crap over and over again? Would any of that bless you as a Father? Mother? I think you really might be after, above all else, their heart! Well, it may surprise you that God is after…..wait for it…your heart; your free-will; unforced or coerced; just because; for love’s sake; heart… God wants to give all His greatness to you! He wants to help you and heal you and restore you and make you smile. He desires to give you life and that you have it more abundantly!

Like I said, I aint mad at your religion, or whatever your allegiance is to, or what your folks taught you or what your pastor said. My aim is ever and always your freedom to live and enjoy this life. I didn’t make this stuff up. This is God’s Word of “religionlessness” for you.

Just some good, free thoughts…

 

The Absence of Complexity…


10565034_10152182433042175_6989850727931467430_nThe trouble with man’s relationship with God and his unattained happiness is the complexity of his belief system. There’s the do-good crowd that believes they can earn God’s favor by a series of righteous acts. Then, there’s the religious crowd that seeks to wear God out with rituals. There’s the “hodgepodgers” who try to work things out with an eclectic blend of a variety of beliefs. There’s an increasing number of “we’ve got our own book” groups. There’s the pity seekers who feel that if they suffer enough maybe God will throw them a bone and the ‘do what you want’ fellas because the Universe always answers… There’s the energy seekers, the sun worshippers, the nature worshippers, the prosperity worshippers, the Christian Scientists and the witches.  Mash that all together with the world’s countless theories for success and pretty soon you figure it’s too damn exhausting to find happiness, let alone find God. But…what if it’s not that complex? What if it’s so simple we’ve been missing it for a lifetime? What if it’s all right there waiting for us, if only we could see it? What if, huh?

The irony is that the older we get, the more confused we become. We’ve gotten so smart, you know? We’ve been reading the instructions for so long we have forgotten how to live. Have you ever taken the time to observe how a child lives? Children in all their simplicity know how to live life, that is until the world talks them out of it. Their little minds and hearts are wide open to learning. They are information absorbing machines. They live 100% in the moment. For them there is no future and no past. They forget their mistakes within seconds of making them. Each moment is a new moment and each moment offers the promise of delight. They expect their every need to be met and become quite indignant when their needs aren’t met. They have complete trust that they will be taken care of at all times. Complete trust! In their purity they remind us how to live. Have you ever thought back to how simple life was when you were a child? So what happened to you and to me? We got too dang smart, that’s what. Instead of growing up and transferring that simple mindset to our adult lives with God, we chose instead to figure out a system. We already know the stupid system isn’t working but we’re adults by God and we can figure it out. And in our desperation, we started listening to every idea under the sun. Somebody done got us fooled folks; somebody!

Life with God is incredibly simple. If we believe, we receive. But, that a mighty big “if!” The reason we don’t believe is because we’ve added a multitude of complicated layers to our relationship with God. It can’t be that simple, we exclaim. When someone comes along and tells us it’s that simple, we don’t believe them. If we are honest we hardly believe anything anymore. We’re entangled in a giant spaghetti bowl of theories and uninformed beliefs. “Someone said once…” and “I heard you have to…” and “What I’ve always done is…” All of it guesswork, all of it complicated, all of it pointless. In order to get closer to that life we have always imagined, we have to get back to the heart of a child.

I remember when I got my first Mac computer. I stumbled around for weeks trying to figure out how to do things. Then someone finally clued me in. They said, think simple; what’s the simple way it “should” work? Then lo and behold, they were right. I was so schooled in the Microsoft world that I had a hard time learning the easy way. Life with God is like that. We have been so schooled in religious beliefs and illogical ideas that we can’t see the forest for the trees. As a great man once said, “We’ve got too much complicated theology and not enough simple believing. We make God too hard!”

If we are ever going to see the true, breathtaking beauty of God and His magnificent provision for us, we’ve got to get back to simplicity. We’ve got to be willing to see things from another viewpoint. We have to view the world with fresh eyes; eyes that don’t already see, but are willing to see. Maybe what you have been looking for, for the past five years has been sitting there right by you, all along. Maybe the big break you have been waiting on for the last twenty years, is waiting for you to finally decide it’s going to happen, so it can actually happen. Maybe you are only one thought away from everything you ever wanted. Maybe. (You are already arguing with me, aren’t you?) Stop analyzing probabilities. Stop trying to figure out how it’s all going to work and just believe, like a child would do. Stop evaluating your behaviors. Stop beating yourself with guilt and condemnation. Stop rationalizing and applying your grown person logic and get back to what is simple. Expect it; believe it; see it.

God loves you and I more than we could ever imagine. God is the greatest provider that ever was and ever will be. God wants you to get your needs met infinitely more than you want it for yourself. He wants to teach you. He wants to show you. He wants you to know! He’s not hiding anything from you, ever. If something is hidden, it’s hidden because of the complexity you have bought into as an adult.

Throw that world of complexity to the side and get back to that guy or gal you once were…You knew all of this stuff at one time, really!

Imagine the exciting adventure that awaits you, when once again you become willing to see. Imagine…

Just some clear, simple thoughts…

The Religious Right (and left…and uppercut)!


NoReligion_Window_Sticker_MAIN1_300_329984.jpgI have never been a fan of religion; any of them. Scratch that! I hate the stuff (swear word thought of but not typed)! Being an ardent lover of God and His son, my issues are never with Him. My issue is with religion and its man-made doctrines that drive men and women bananas. I have never met people more defeated and discouraged than religious folks. All day long trying to follow impossible rules, and impossible standards, stamped by men and issued as if from God directly. Discipline to no purpose. Denial to no end. The torture of human beings. Believing God is tempting them and praying for deliverance from temptation. Looking for godly meaning in catastrophes and disasters. Wanting to punish rich folk for using people, but believing that God is using them!  Guilty for this; sorry for that; regretting this choice and hating themselves for that. And all this being done by perhaps some of the kindest and most thoughtful people in the world. The ones that actually care. The problem isn’t the people, the problem is the religion that drives people insane.

Assuming I may have already pissed you off, allow me to explain. Truth, if it is really truth, must have a logic to it. Illogical and true cannot mix. Think about it. God is angry with you for looking at that woman’s butt, but He’s the one that made it attractive to you (not me honey…theory 😉 ). God forbids you to defile your body with alcohol, yet Jesus’ first miracle was resupplying the wine at the wedding. God gave you sovereign free-will to choose for yourself, but occasionally uses you for His own ends. (Forgive me Father I’m making a point) God makes you ill to test your faith, then asks you to pray to Him for healing.  God made sex feel really good, then expects you to only do it to produce a child. I could go on, but now I’m annoying myself…

You see folks, this aint about me being right and you being wrong, or doggedly defending “my” way of thinking as superior to your way of thinking. This is about applying the test of logic to what you believe. IF God is perfect and all-knowing and all-wise, I’m thinking He is pretty dang logical (insert extreme sarcasm here). Perfection doesn’t need to double-clutch and cough and sputter to make sense of the nonsense. But religion does. Sadly someone has sold us a bill of goods. And that someone has done his job so well, his name doesn’t even come up in the discussion.

I currently live in a very religious state. Is that so bad? Ummm no… I don’t feel unsafe in my neighborhood. I leave stuff unlocked often. There’s an excellent chance of a neighbor upon finding my wallet, actually returning it. People want to help us; take care of us and bless us. My state is one of the safest and cleanest in the nation because of the religion. Yet my state also has one of the highest rates of prescriptions for depression and anxiety per capita in the nation. You know why? It’s damn hard to live that crap! Damn hard. I know because I got caught up in it myself. Someone, or a lot of someones, successfully convinced me that the love and protection I once freely enjoyed with God, required a much more complicated set of requirements than I had previously thought. You can get a lot of power over people if you can attach God’s name to it. So, in order to stay safe, I succumbed and began a litany of ridiculous choices all founded and formed in religion much to the detriment of everyone I came into contact with. I became religious. And while striving so hard night and day to please God, my believing decreased, my prayers answered less, my results – non-existent. Uggh… That it is until I had the good sense or maybe the God-inspired sense to break free. Break free from God? Never… Break free from religion, yes!!!

So why do I write this, you ask? The religious folks don’t want to hear it and the unbelievers don’t believe anyway. Well, I wrote this for you. I wrote this for every person waking up each morning scratching their head and mumbling, ummm I don’t get it. I wrote this for the good-hearted people out there killing themselves to earn God’s love, yet missing it at every turn. I wrote this for the folks that don’t believe the only two choices in life are be evil or be religious. I wrote this for my children and my grandchildren.

The God whom I love and serve isn’t into religion. He is into people and their hearts. 90% of that malarkey you have foolishly assigned to God doesn’t come from Him at all. It comes from religion and the minds of men. And ultimately, secretly it comes from that devious source of evil that seeks only to put you into bondage and torture you. Don’t get mad at me, get mad at the enemy.

There comes a time in your life when you have to stand behind what you believe and say it. In the words of Emerson,“Let us advance on Chaos and the Dark.”

There is a life with God that is sweeter than anything you may have ever experienced. And in that life, you will find that He is always logical and never religious. He is love folks, love…

The Santa Clause Effect… (Trying to Earn What Cannot Be Earned)


santa-claus-arrested-black-friday-walmartAs a kid, I remember joyfully anticipating Christmas Day! Somehow this dude named Santa Clause traveled the world  in a single night depositing presents under people’s Christmas trees. He must have been all-knowing because almost everything you asked for was right there waiting for you. This Santa fellow was pretty awesome. But, he had a dark side. You had to be “good” in order to get his blessings. If you were naughty you might just get a lump of coal. (I know, pretty random bad gift, right?) Some of his commandments were: 1.) No pouting 2.) No crying 3.) Do not be naughty 4.) And the all encompassing, you better watch out! Why you ask? Because he knows if you are sleeping and he knows if you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Add to that, he keeps a detailed list of what you do and even checks it twice before deciding to give you things! And the final clincher? We teach this to our children.

I’m sure you noticed there are some strikingly obvious comparisons between Santa Clause and God. In fact, many people believe God functions the exact same way. He’s up there somewhere watching every move you make. And, He’s not only watching and judging, He’s also keeping track on a list. If your good doesn’t outweigh your bad, He is not going to bless you and might even curse you with something awful and black! So, my friends, you better watch out!

Have you ever noticed how people pray? They say things like, “Oh Lord let me get this new job.” Or, “God, let me win this lottery.” The not so subtle implication being that God is somehow stopping good things from happening in your life, presumably because you have been very naughty. And because He is all-knowing you figure you better behave properly if anything good is going to happen in your life. The evil behind this pervasive concept is two-fold. First, what exactly is good and second what are the degrees of bad? Some folks say it is a sin to drink alcohol. Others say there are hierarchies of sin including “little white lies” all the way to murder or something. How can you know? Well, you don’t know and if you’re honest you simply conclude that you’re not very good. I mean after all, didn’t you just watch Cinemax (Sex-a-max) last night?

In the words of a famous man, “I can assure you, God doesn’t bless you because of how good or bad you are, but rather because of your believing.” Read that again! In order to receive anything from God you have to believe. You must be fully persuaded that God can do it AND will do it for you! Now back to Santa. If you have bought into the notion that God will only bless you because you are the very nebulous “good,” then chances are you aren’t expecting Him to bless you. Actually, you are so convinced of your “badness” that you now have to pray for God to “NOT” do something or worse, allow something you want to happen. This concept could not be further from the truth!

Everything we have in this life we have because of God’s grace. Grace is unearned divine favor. You cannot earn something that cannot be earned. Read that again! Now, think of it this way. If you have children, I’m sure you do your best to make them happy. You not only supply everything they need, but you actually go out of your way to do things that make them happy. Yet, how do they measure up on YOUR naughty list? Pretty dang naughty, aren’t they? They disobey; break your expensive stuff; injure themselves; get in trouble at school; mess up the house etc., etc. And despite it all, you still want them to be happy… And you are a parent that sometimes pouts, cries and other things on the forbidden Santa list of commandments. Can you see how foolish that idea is?

God is not an ongoing list of moral requirements. You can be plenty moral with or without God. You can be so damn tightly wound that you squeak when you walk. And mid squeak you’re still begging God to “not let” something happen! Nah man, you gotta get that insanity out of your mind. God never wanted you to live that way. Even the Old Testament laws, all 86 million of them, weren’t designed to make people good. They were designed to provide a written standard of “good” someone could fulfill later in order for God to end that crazy logic once and for all. (I would say read that again, again but I’m over my limit!)

The truth is that God won’t withhold anything good from you…ever. Quit measuring your sins and remembering your mistakes and cataloguing your misdeeds. God knows all about you and still loves you! You can receive every blessing God intended for your life if you’ll just get rid of that Santa Clause logic. Don’t ask the preacher… Read it in God’s Word.

You better watch out, you better not cry… Ah shut up Santa! My God reigns supreme!

 

Handling Lemons, Grapefruits and Other Annoyances in Life…


when_life_gives_you_lemons____by_timotei_chan-d3f9o30Things often happen to us in life that annoy the bejesus out of us. Whether it’s harassing lemons or gigantic grapefruits; small irritants or life threatening situations, life aint always easy street. Now if you are a member of random life club; believing that life is only what you can see etc., and that there is nothing behind it all, this blog will make no sense to you. But, if you have the good sense to recognize that the design of things is way too complex to swallow that story, then you may wanna invest the 3 minutes and hear what I have to say!

Life is spiritual and behind it all is One wonderful loving God who only gives good and One rebellious lesser being who only gives evil. Those two never intertwine. God doesn’t do evil ever, no matter the plethora of insane reasons people give to explain why He does. The things that drive you “batsh*t” crazy are by design and planned. They come from your personal adversary who is ever watching for things that might defeat you and supplying a healthy dose of them on the regular. Not believing that and opting rather for the random life theory makes no difference. It is what it is and putting on blinders won’t change it.

Now this may surprise you but, God never promised that life would be easy or that you would not have to deal with lemons and sometimes grapefruits! That’s right. Often people are afflicted because they have no idea what is going on in life and as such become afflicted. Are they bad people? Of course not, rather they just don’t understand. It would be like playing tennis with a spoon. Until you learn that you need a racquet you are going to get your butt beat! Other folks have their racquets in hand and still have to deal with annoyances. Why? Because that’s how it is. Getting mad at the game doesn’t change the game. What God did promise is that you can win and overcome anything that comes your way.

The great Apostle Paul prayed to God three times that those annoying, irritating, always in the way people would go away once and for all and let him do what God called him to do without the annoyances. But God told him that His grace was sufficient for him. He further said that His great ability was made perfect in Paul’s inability to handle the situation. When Paul was weak in his own strength, he was strong in God’s strength.

Often we feel the same way don’t we? We tell God, if you would just solve this thing, life would be good. We know He will help us solve it, but He doesn’t just “magic” the problem away. You see, life just doesn’t work that way. Imagine how stupid we would all become if every time we prayed God just fixed everything on the spot. I know I would be lounging on the couch praying for God to bring in money, food, wine and maybe someone to serve them to me. God doesn’t violate the laws of life. He is going to help us solve it, but it doesn’t always work on our timetable or in the manner we choose. Here’s a thought…maybe God wants us to actually learn something. Maybe He wants us to learn how and why so we can be stronger next time. Maybe He is after our ultimate good! Now don’t go south on me and conclude God is allowing us to suffer. Never! Instead He is working with us, where we are, and teaching us the things we need to know. The difficulty, the annoyance, the dilemmas put us on our mental toes, don’t they? Nothing like a problem to get your mind focused and serious about a solution! Did God send the difficulty? NO! But He is at work within the difficulty to help us win. Does God want to help us solve it yesterday? Of course He does. But He has the fantastic ability to know exactly where we are; what we believe and how to get us to where we need to be!

If you live long enough you are going to have some problems. You are going to be faced with situations that you cannot solve on your own. You are going to be tested (not by God)! The test, the problem, the annoyance isn’t the issue. The issue is what you choose to do about it; where you go for help and how the thing ends! God’s promise is that you can beat every dastardly, evil challenge that comes your way. You can! But in order to get the victory you have to be willing to learn something new. For example, God designed your body to heal itself once the cause (problem) is removed. However, you need God to remove the cause. Oh you can analyze it and spend all your money on physicians, but God is always the one that removes the cause. He just needs some believing cooperation on your part!

So, the next time you find yourself challenged with some impossible dilemma, remember God specializes in things called impossible! There is always a solution and I don’t care what the doctor/the world/your friends/ science says! Your job is to believe. Believe that God has your solution and that it is coming your way. Work with yourself where you are and be willing, at least, to learn something new.

This isn’t Fantasy island, my friends. This is real life; life with God, kicking ass and taking names!

When you find yourself holding lemons and grapefruits, give them to God and see if He doesn’t send you the recipe for a victorious life!

Just some good thoughts…

Analysis Paralysis Dialysis For Your Brain…


rubiks_cube_by_alexandrelandry-d4p8s17Adults are fantastic problem solvers. In fact, if you want to appeal to adult learners (ala Dale Carnegie training) you have to give them a problem and allow them to solve it themselves. In short, we are ‘problem solving’ machines. But, with our keen ability to analyze comes our problematic ability to over-analyze, solve problems that aren’t problems yet or simply drive ourselves completely batty along the way. It’s like that damn Rubik’s cube!  The best I could ever do was maybe get one row all the same color. Not that I didn’t invest enough time, but rather the time I invested wasn’t productive because there was a pattern or a logic to the solution that I wasn’t aware of, yet… Often in life, the questions that paralyze us are the ones we attribute either to the wrong “cause,” or represent the wrong “time” to deal with it. So today I’m offering you some dialysis for your brain. Yes, you need this!

If you looked inside your brain during extended periods of churning over some event or situation, you would find a skinny hamster running fast on his wheel; working hard, getting nowhere. It’s not his lack of effort that is defeating him. It’s the reality that his chosen method of problem solving cannot possibly end with a good result because his starting premise is faulty. The wheel he is on doesn’t lead anywhere; never did; never will. But, he doesn’t know that it leads to nowhere so he persists hoping to breakthrough to a new area based on past analysis. If he knew in advance that the wheel led to nowhere he wouldn’t bother traveling on it, but doggone it, it sure seems to be leading somewhere! And oh my Lord, he can’t just let it go, he has to solve the problem so he can relax. You do realize that the hamster is you, right?

Enter scenario number two:  Usually triggered by something, you start to imagine some dreadful possibility in the future. Maybe you read something on WebMD. The more you think about it (hamster wheel, hamster wheel) the more real it becomes. “Oh my gosh! I have been feeling warm and my leg has been aching — I’m dyingggggggggg!” Now you hop back on to your hamster wheel and start cranking out a solution. Faster, faster; more analysis, more analysis – whatever will I do now that I know I’m dying? In effect, you’re not only spinning on a hamster wheel, you are spinning on a hamster wheel of the future; a future you haven’t arrived at yet.

Before we get to the dialysis for your brain, I’d like to clue you in on something you may not ever have imagined. All of that churning and spinning and exhaustion (yes, it is exhausting) is nothing more than a grand distraction from the life you are living now. How many days, weeks, months or years have you spent on that topic, always with the same futile lack of result? The problem isn’t solved or else you wouldn’t keep working your exercise wheel! The only real result is your life being wasted away on something. Enter misery, frustration and depression! If you could remove all of the shrouds you would see it for what it is; a grand illusion designed to steal your precious life away from you. The source of it has just three motives; to steal, to kill and to destroy! Numbers two and three haven’t happened yet, but number one is in full operation.

So how can we introduce some new blood into your system? By offering new problem solving techniques or better research tools? Nope! By suggesting that you work harder (run faster) get more sleep, take medications or drink wine? Again nope! Instead I’m offering Plan C… let it go! (Disney movie soundtrack playing in the background…) Let go and let God! Stop being so smart; so logical; so intellectual. Humbly admit to God that you do not know the answer; that you are sorry for being such a wise guy and that you need for Him to get you to the real cause and show you the real solution. This option presupposes that you are now done with your wearisome trek and ready for an influx of new life. Then, once you have done this from your heart, do not allow yourself to take it back again. Oh you are going to feel heavily tempted to get back on the hamster wheel because if you could just_____, or maybe find _____, surely you would see the solution! But do yourself a favor and remember that this issue you have been struggling with for the past ten years hasn’t gone away despite your incredible analytical mind. Remember the old adage, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” ~ Albert Einstein.  Thus, it’s clearly time to get on dialysis!

Once you finally let that “thing” go you are going to feel something wonderful. It’s called peace. Peace of mind is God’s way of showing you that you are on the right track. Formula: Agitated = off track, peace = on track. Get on track. And, in that peaceful state you are going to start seeing things you haven’t seen before. You will begin to recognize destructive thinking and its effect on you. Often you will find that your solution wasn’t even remotely connected to all of your analysis. Isn’t God grand?

Hamster wheels are for hamsters, not humans. Analysis is good to a certain point, but perplexity indicates something else may be involved which is a cue for you to get “Something Else” involved. Your life, my life is very short by comparison. Live out your days with alacrity of mind; in the present; in peace. Live your life in peace!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Are You Blessed?


blessedlifeI have been feeling very blessed lately, so I thought it deserved some blog action. ‘Blessed’ is one of those words that means a lot of things to a lot of people. There’s the traditional ‘blessed’ which usually refers to factors in life that almost everyone experiences like, “I got up today” or “I have a home to live in” or “I’m alive.” Call me cynical but it seems like folks who utilize the term in this way usually don’t seem very blessed. Oh sure they are alive and living in a home, but not exactly blessed! Then there’s the blessed that is always associated with doing the right thing and since folks seldom always do the right thing…well, you get the point. Finally there is the ‘blessed’ that I believe aligns more closely with the biblical definition which refers to good ol’ fashioned happiness and contentment. It’s that inner sense that everything is going to be okay and if anything might not be okay, God is going to fix that in a hurry. It’s a quiet confidence; an internal knowing, joyfully complete with a full anticipation of an awesome tomorrow! That is what it means to be blessed and that’s the only kind of ‘blessed’ I want to talk about…

Now, you might have thought the title of this blog was a setup whereby I was going to point out how ‘un-blessed’ you are and prescribe the “way’ to get blessed according to me. Nah, not so much. Instead I want to explain what I have been doing different lately that seems to have led to all these blessings I am experiencing right now. That’s not to say you aren’t doing these things, but instead simply a happy guy wanting to share that happiness with others.

Let’s start by debunking a few myths. While it is marvelous to be alive and have some food and maybe a place to live, that’s not exactly blessed. Something to be thankful for? Sure! But being alive is something we sort of had no choice in, right? Lots of good-hearted people are plugging away day by day with absolutely nothing to look forward to. Life was never intended to be a perpetual chore to be survived. Nor was life supposed to be a daily struggle for existence and a few shekels. We have all (myself included) had periods where we felt down and lackluster and felt like tomorrow would probably be just like today was (blah blah). There’s no criticism in that. The criticism would come from acquiescing to that life and not getting serious about solving that puzzle.

Next, and probably the most perplexing myth is feeling like there is a never-ending list of things we have to do to perfect ourselves before that blessed day comes when we finally get what we want or get to fulfill our dreams. There is no hamster wheel like that one! The harder you try to be ‘good’ the more you fail at being good or the more you realize how much better you need to be in order to be considered good. Trust me on this one, your life is going to seriously suck if you get caught in that trap! Add to that the outrageous myth that purports that God will only bless you if you are good. You’ll notice that in that scenario the one judging your goodness is usually some other person/leader who most likely isn’t even doing the things he is asking you to do! Don’t get me started! Follow that logic for a minute here. If God only blesses you or protects you when you are good, you’re going to spend a lot of time not being blessed or protected. That is unless you have deluded yourself into thinking you can earn your way into God’s good graces. Egads… It’s myth folks!

God, as your real source of blessedness (happiness), does not bless you because of how good OR how bad you are. He blesses you when you do one thing and one thing only ~ believe. Therein lies the key to my recent blessing trail. I finally stopped cataloging my faults and shortcomings and stopped focusing on what I oughta do; shoulda done or shouldn’t have done and moved my focus back on to the source of all my goodness ~ God! I got my head back into God’s Word, to make myself good? Heck no! To be reminded about what it is that I should really be believing. Did you know that the purpose of God’s Word is to give you right doctrine (how to believe rightly) and reproof (how to get back to believing rightly) and correction (how to get unstuck from habitual wrong believing and get back to believing rightly)! Your life is truly all about what you are believing about yourself; your life; God and the world. It’s so easy to get off track (believing wrongly) and to stay off course absent any true doctrine. But, once you start believing again you will find that all the wrongs become right and life returns to that sweetness you (hopefully) once knew.

So what happened to me? I didn’t get a new job or a new car. I didn’t move into a new house. I didn’t come into a pile of money or receive some tremendous award for human service. Nah… I got my head back on the right track. By becoming sinless?  LOL well those of you who know me would dispute that one! Instead, I remembered that in order to receive anything from God, I had to believe and believing is easy once you learn (or relearn) the right things to believe!

Am I blessed? I think you know the answer to that one!

Living the blessed life…