The Elephant in the Room


elephant-roomWhen I first began writing, “Just Some Good Thoughts” a number of years ago, my goal then was and my goal now is to help people escape the dark side of life; escape the suffering; escape the bondage; escape the pain. In that vein, my aim is to point people towards the light; towards the happiness and towards the joy. It has been my experience that life itself is not unhappy, nor should it be accompanied by difficulty as if by design, but rather those things come as a result of influences hell bent on making trouble for people; setting up and crafting hardships; obscuring man’s mind from the things he really needs to see. The reason a man or a woman cannot see is because their minds have been blinded to some reality. Further, it seems those evil influences don’t gain access to people’s hearts from many avenues, but instead a few areas craftily hidden from view. Complete catastrophe and disaster would render any heart humble in desperation to survive. But, the little things, the small compromises, the continued allowance of things that cause pain, they seem to be the chosen method for attack. Often these disturbances are easier for other people to see, but remain veiled to the soul of the one caught in the trap. Clearly there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. What is the elephant in your room?

None of us needs any more judgment than we are already subjected to in our daily life. It is never helpful for a person, determined to set a matter right, to come crashing in pointing out our weaknesses with a wrecking ball approach. Wrecking balls, however efficient, tend to smash things down rather than build things up. Instead people need to arrive at their own conclusions. Pointing out the errors in someone’s ways needs to be reserved for the person with no error in their own ways and that lone person who lived above error, out of love, chose not to do it. And, if you’re honest, do you really know the source of the other person’s problem? Difficulty and distress have many different disguises. Some much like the ones you wear. The elephant in the room must be found by the one it affects. 

In order for a gigantic creature to escape a person’s view it must be deftly hidden from them. Or maybe it is something that can be seen, but is not seen correctly for what it really represents. All deception functions this way. And all of us have been deceived. Deception is successful because it covers the real causes and as such masks the real effects. No man, no woman would persist in error if they saw it for what it really was. Instead, the error is portrayed as something good ever offering the promise of good times and lasting pleasures. The measure, therefore, is the fruit it is producing in your life. If the fruit is good, God bless it and may it continue. If the fruit is bad leading to problems and difficulties and mental duress, it deserves your further inspection. That which you do and every time you do it, it leads to turmoil and unrest, is likely in need of some revision. None of us produce only good fruit and we all are in need of some revisions. It isn’t that all of our life is bad or evil, but rather some several areas are in need of repair. Those are our elephants in the room and often they can be remedied by slight modifications and changes, not complete life overhauls. It may be as simple as making the decision to exercise some control in an area whereby you formerly held no control. It may be ridding yourself of a trusted friend who is not your friend and serves only as a thorn in your flesh. It may be as nonthreatening as a shift in priorities. If our lives were a complete wreck it would be more clear to us by now. It is in the subtleties where the ruse takes place. It is error practiced for so long that it no longer appears as error. How much suffering has been engendered by an elephant we can no longer see or even discern?  

God is more than willing to help you spot these elephants in your existence. He not only sees them for the error they really are, but also sees what is behind them. He knows precisely how they got to you and even more precisely how to help you escape from them. In this you can always trust God. Unlike the many false reports concerning Him, He is very tender and long suffering in our lives. He brings you to a place only when you are ready to see it and even then leaves your freedom of will intact. His will for us is only the best things in life, though it often take us years to gain this recognition for ourselves. Like any loving parent, He does not want to see you suffer. It pains Him to see you rebelliously moving forward on things that will result in your own harm, but allows you to do so anyway, remaining ever present to pick you up when you fall.  What a glorious day it is when you finally decide to stop leaning to your own understanding and lean to His instead. God looks on your heart. He heard your prayers. He knows you don’t understand what is going on. He hears your cries to Him. But, in order to receive your answer, you have to begin listening to Him. Follow His gentle promptings and be assured He is not the one accusing you or causing you to suffer, ever! He is faithfully at work helping you to see and rid yourself of all of the elephants in your own rooms. He desires you be free from all bondage and hardship and pain. Is there an elephant in your room making your life less than what God intended it to be? If so, let God help you and guide you in not only beginning to see it for yourself, but also in helping you remove it from your life. 

What is the elephant in the room? Nothing if you trust God and let Him show you the best way to live!

Just some good thoughts…

Walking in the Mud…


Cog Railway

“Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield.” “Some days you’re the dog and some days you’re the hydrant.” “Some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail.” I’m sure we have all felt like that at times. Some days for some inexplicable reason everything feels hard and laborious compared to days when everything feels effortless and easy. Just what exactly is going on when we feel hindered and pressured and annoyed? Is there some cause we are unaware of? Is something conspiring against us? Is it all in our minds? What makes us feel, at times, like we are walking in the mud?

Our minds, leading to the great citadel of our souls, serve as information registering machines. Whether we can appreciate it or not, whether we are conscious of it or not, our minds are not only thinking thoughts (which we will address later), but are also reading and analyzing cues in our environment and seeking to make sense of them. Our mind picks up every audible word said or sung even if we aren’t aware it is happening. Behind everything we watch and observe are messages to be interpreted and understood. All day long, you and I are being fed a steady stream of opinions and ideas about life and about how the world works. The mediums that man controls are chock full of man’s concepts and notions and things that have an appeal and things that are distasteful to man. Some things are good and useful, while others are subtle, evil and hurtful. Conversely, the mediums that God employs (think nature) contain messages that calm us and set our minds at ease. Even the colors God has chosen elicit a certain response. You cannot stare at a flower for very long without feeling a sense of wonder about how it came to be; how so much intricacy could be contained in something so small and so temporary. Years ago, our sources for information were far less complex and limited in scope. We still had access to bad news, but it wasn’t all around us. Today, through the marvels of modern technology, we are consumed with a perpetual stream of things to peruse and read and to consider. Many of the messages we receive seem to escape our reasoning altogether, yet their effect is felt in our hearts. There are images concerning what we should look like, where we should live and the kind of fun we should be having. There are more philosophies than there are stars in the sky, happy to inform us of some supposed truth concerning our existence. In this, we find ourselves bogged down without apparent cause. Due to the speed and variety involved, we missed the message, the one that served to assault our happiness and led us astray. Sometimes you find yourself walking in the mud because of the codes you were not able to crack; the ones that escaped your reasoning mind. There’s a reason people feel the need to take a break from social media!

Much of what mires us in the muck comes from the thoughts we are knowingly or unknowingly entertaining. We think so many thoughts in a day, the prospect of controlling them all feels impossible. Yet those thoughts we fail to control; to accept or reject, often lead us to a dark space. Thoughts of sickness and disease are so subtle, so slippery, so hard to perceive, that we miss them altogether. It’s not that we weren’t conscious of the thought, but rather that we let the thought go without feeling the need to challenge it. A funny feeling in your stomach here, an odd pain in your side there and before you know it you are feeling glum and despondent. It’s not that you’ve stumbled upon the precursor to a disease, but rather the fear of its potential existence has entered your awareness. Maybe it isn’t something to do with your health, but rather your finances. Maybe it’s some pending trouble or difficulty reportedly on the horizon. Whatever it is, however it gained access, it is still a thought, not a reality, and what you choose to do with it leads to how you will begin to feel. If your habit is to let things go, those things you let go will mount up and gather momentum. You likely don’t realize it (yet) but something or someone has stolen away your peace of mind and feelings of assurance and safety. With all of that going on in the background of your thinking, it is no wonder you feel tired and despondent. Behind all of the trouble, just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, will be some fear, small or great, seeking to take away the happiness that is and replace it with the threat of what might be. It isn’t that bad things are preparing for you, but instead your interpretation that bad things are preparing for you. Some poor folks have only ever lived this way. You find yourself walking in the mud by your failure to pay attention to and to challenge your thoughts; those thoughts that predict or promise loss for you in some capacity. You have to hear it in order to do something about it. That’s what controlling your thinking is all about!

As unpleasant as it is to consider, there is evil working behind the systems of the world to bring you hardship and pain. All of us find ourselves confronted with this reality. Man has brought this evil upon himself by the choices he has made. Yet, God has not left us without remedy. In the same way that a loving parent warns their child of impending danger, God warns us concerning what is at stake in our day by day existence. The reason He asks us to control our thinking is because our minds are the battleground of the great competition. The way that evil gets involved in our lives is by the thoughts we consider and then unknowingly hold on to.  The more you cleave to and consider some great fear, the more the likelihood of “its” appearance in your life. Conversely, the more quickly you recognize and refute the fear, typically by refusing to consider it any further, the less likely it is to have any impact in your life. That is the fight we all find ourselves in. To think that God has already assigned us some dreadful fate or for that matter some great benefit, is to take away our sovereign free will and our ability to choose. For God’s goodness to be fully realized in our lives it must first be held on to then deeply considered until it enters our heart (that great citadel) from whence our lives flow forth. In order for some catastrophic fear to play out in our lives, it also must be held onto and deeply considered until it enters our heart. Choosing properly what you will and will not think is the crux of the contest, the great competition in and for our minds. Sometimes, you find yourself walking in the mud because you are under attack by things you cannot see, but if you hold fast to what is true, not what might seem true, you’ll find yourself moving out of it.

Do you feel like you have been walking in the mud? Are you stressed and annoyed and agitated? Has the spring gone from your step and the things you used to enjoy become hidden from your view? Don’t despair for another moment. Take some time and get yourself quiet on the inside and think about what you have been thinking about. What is going on back there, looming on the horizon of your thoughts? What fearful considerations have you knowingly or unknowingly entertained? What have you been feeding your mind? What are you watching and staring at and observing so intently? And, if it still remains completely buried from your view, ask God to show you what it is. God is faithful and all clarity of heart and soul comes from Him.

We all find ourselves walking in the mud at times, but we don’t have to stay there.

Just some good thoughts…

It Is What It Is…


As a burgeoning human being, you have this wonderful capacity not only to experience your life as it is, but also to imagine what your life might become in the future. Being marvelously unique, your awareness comes from within with all of the associations and connections you can muster based almost exclusively from your own perspective. Things that are labeled good or bad to you, may represent an entirely different meaning to someone else. For this reason, it can be difficult at times to perceive things as they really are absent your own internal persuasions. Thus, in order to make any meaningful changes, it necessitates you first see things clearly and accurately minus all of the meanings you are likely assigning to those things. Truly, when it comes to improving, repairing, healing or restoring any good thing, you first have to see it and accept it for what it is. It is what it is…

Calling a thing a thing, as a famous lady once remarked, is at the foundation of problem solving any situation you may find yourself in. Said another way, you cannot fix what you refuse to acknowledge. Ignoring problems, glossing over bad situations, refusing to accept that something is not right, only leads towards difficulties and unpleasant times persisting. If we are honest, we already know when circumstances have gone south on us. We know when a good thing has lost its goodness. Deep down our hearts already know when there’s a disturbance; a misconnect; impediments and obstacles. The reason we fail to act on the obvious is because we desperately cleave to another narrative; one where things are still okay even though we know they are not okay. A narrative that assures us nothing has changed but instead has simply become familiar. And, onward we trudge, inching ahead, hoping something or someone will make it all right. Our failure is in being afraid to see things as they already are. It is what it is.

It does not require a PhD or some other form of higher learning to recognize that nothing in life is static. Everything is ever in a continual state of flux. Living things are either growing or they are dying, but they are not remaining the same. Change isn’t something to be afraid of as everything changes in one capacity or another. They key in successfully navigating the change is found in our willingness to observe what actually is and then seek to make improvements or repairs or whatever the situation calls for at the time. People change sometimes for the good, sometimes for the not so good. Circumstances change. Conditions change. You cannot apply the logic of ten years ago to the scenarios of today. Neither can you compare yourself of today to yourself of the past as the variables of today, though eerily similar, are not the same. Time and chance have happened to them all. For this reason, the only plausible way to endeavor is by addressing your life experiences now in the thousand eyed present, not in the single eyed view of the past. It doesn’t matter what you did before, what matters is what you do now. It doesn’t matter what used to work, it matters what works now. It doesn’t matter who you used to be, it matters who you are today. Your problem is what it is today and the only time to solve it is today. It is what it is…

If you would like God to heal your broken arm, you must first acknowledge that your arm is broken. If you want God to heal your broken heart, you have to admit to yourself that your heart is broken. It’s not so much that over time things break, but rather that you are honest enough to accept what is, not what used to be. It is not being positive or renewing your mind to lie to yourself about your reality. Renewing your mind, like being positive, is about applying God’s solutions to the things that plague you, those things that have become broken over time. How foolish it is to apply some cheery resolve to a problem rather than to see it and say it and determine within yourself to work it out. Insisting that you already know what to do or what you cannot do based on some tired, former assessment of a situation that has already changed a hundred times, leads only to a futile resolve to stay stuck, mired in some vague notion formed in the past. It is what it is…

Solving relationship problems, solving financial problems, solving achievement problems, solving health problems, indeed solving spiritual problems requires that you finally allow yourself to see it for what it is. It doesn’t matter if it is your fault or someone else’s fault, the world’s fault or the devil’s fault. What matters most is that you stop being afraid to admit something has gone wrong and then taking the steps to make it right. Why carry with you all of your former excuses and justifications, your rationales and myriad former failed attempts? Why insist on cleaving to a bad strategy that didn’t work before and isn’t working now? Why? Why not, while fully accepting and acknowledging the problem, try to see the situation through fresh eyes, with clarity, focused not on continuing to be right or begrudgingly absolving yourself of any responsibility and choose not rather to locate the remedy, no matter the cost. Sometimes the solutions are right there in front of you, patiently waiting for you to release what was in favor of what is. It is what it is…

At the end of the day, we all want to be happy, to be fulfilled, to be blessed. We all want deepening and enduring love. We all want to succeed and to prosper and to live life to the absolute full. This life is far too short to continue tripping over our own selves and our own stubborn refusal to see things for what they really are. With God’s help we can solve anything, heal anything or recover anything that has become broken or damaged over time.

It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay that way…

Just some good thoughts…

When the Dust Settles…


You know, it’s no marvel that many folks spend the majority of their lives living from one turmoil to the next. The world and its negative circumstances, the impending and ever present threats concerning the future, the agitation and tumults of daily life, all loom on the horizon assaulting folks minds from sunup to sundown. And all of that turmoil and distress has one important object in mind, namely to prevent you from seeing clearly and discerning properly. Imagine how different your life might be if you could cut through all of the distractions and really see. What would you do differently? What would you do if the dust settled?

Most people, and you know it’s true, live and subside on a steady diet of fear. Fear of sickness (got one in mind), fear of not having enough, fear of not measuring up or being pretty enough or not having the right body. Fear of not getting their needs met, fear of something bad happening to them or someone they love. Fear concerning the planet or the sun or the melting icebergs. Fear of not being loved and feeling love and missing love. Fear of the future, fear of the past coming back to haunt them, fear of being present in the moment. Fear all day every day from the moment you wake up in the morning until you lay down your head to sleep at night. People have subsisted on fear for so long that they no longer even recognize its presence. Fear has been normalized as part of life. Fear drives and drags people around in its wake pushing and pulling them in directions they never intended. If people manage to escape its grasp temporarily, they quickly fall back under its spell. Fear rules the world and the systems of the world. Often, very often it has ruled you! Yet for all that power fear holds over people (and its very powerful), at the end of the day, it is all a grand, cleverly designed illusion to control the hearts and lives of people. Fear is the dust that prevents you from being able to see.

Clarity of heart and mind is the missing ingredient in an unfulfilled life. In order to move confidently in the direction of your dreams, you have to be able to see. You have to be clear about who you are and what you want and where you are going. You have to cut through that mountain of clutter obscuring your view and discern just what the hell is actually going on. The world with its teeming masses clamoring after this novel invention and that new threat to their existence live the majority of their lives unclear and confused. They fail to get their honest questions answered. They live their lives perpetually attacked by an opponent they can neither see nor feel. They pray to a God they neither know nor understand. They plod along herded and corralled into wrong thought camps with no possibility of escape. It never dawns on them that there is a part of life they have yet to experience for themselves. They conclude they’ve already reached the end, figured it out and can choose wisely on their own. Yet, they cannot and they cannot because they cannot see! It is only God who is able to make the dust finally settle so that you can see and He does it with the light of his Word. Absent the Word and the truth in life, you are destined to a life of fear whether acknowledged or not.

Once you begin to get some truth into your heart and life, things become very clear for you. It starts to dawn on you that many things that are said and done as truth are in actuality cleverly, crafted lies. You begin to be able to discern both the good and the evil influencing your life. You start to understand how life really works and stop wasting your time striving to things of no avail. You quit working so desperately hard to fix yourself or to improve your bad behavior or to keep grinding at all costs to make something good of yourself. You see, the world presents to you a picture of life with suggestions in how to improve it. Yet, those improvements, those efforts, those arduous solutions are not solutions at all because they center on you for you and all about you and they deny the God that made you! Absent God and His love you will never be able to really see. You will simply be blown about with every wind of doctrine, clamoring to try this new source of help and that empty promise of the answer you need. It doesn’t work and it never has worked… Real life isn’t all about you (or me) but is about the God who created you. He is your only true provider and your only genuine source of help. He has the answers you need. He offers the healing that has no limitation. He knows and understands your heart; has heard your every prayer and wants to set you free from fear and its attendant misery. He is your promise of love and goodness and peace. He alone has the power to make the dust settle so that you can finally see clearly and can understand His wonderful, sincere and perfect will for your life!

This life, as you already know quite clearly, can be very tricky to navigate. You will daily be deluged with thousands of opinions and ideas and suggestions. You will be confronted with both evil and counterfeit good. You’ll be presented with a myriad of potential beliefs all offering something they cannot truly give. Yet, when all of the shouting and the clamor stops, when all of the fighting and tumult is ceased, when all of the falsehood and error goes away, when all of the pressures and the agitation subsides, behind it you will hear the still small voice offering you the clarity you have always dreamed of and then you will know the dust has settled at last.

Just some good thoughts…

 

What’s Been Bothering You Lately? (Getting Clear and Specific…)


Feeling agitated and uneasy, though increasingly more and more common, is not a human being’s natural state of mind. Troubling and distressing thoughts eat away at our physical health and erode our sense of well being. Stress, which is typically first experienced in the mind, has been known to critically damage the delicate nervous system and even has the capacity to eventually kill its owner!  Agitation and unrest do not come from God as His admonition is just the opposite. So, what can you do if you find yourself besieged with troubling thoughts?

The first clue, in the puzzle of agitation, is to get clear about exactly what it is that is bothering you. In living life, you will discover that unrest begets more unrest and agitation more agitation. It’s like losing a fight. The greater the barrage of punches, the harder it is to fight back. Your job is first to get yourself quiet on the inside. Go somewhere alone, calm yourself down and get quiet on the inside. Do some serious thinking about your perceived problem. Can you identify what it is? You will find, in your honesty and your earnest, that most of the troubling possibilities exist not today, but in some future state. Therein is your next clue! Possibilities that threaten you or brashly proclaim the potential to take something from your life, are just thoughts which have no power of themselves. Their power is gained by your consideration and acceptance of those rogue ideas. Once the water of your mind becomes troubled, it becomes very difficult to see the bottom of the pool, i.e. the source of your difficulties. Step one is always to get very, very  clear about whatever is bothering you. Real issues have a solution or some action you can take about them. Phantom issues (fear) require elimination from your thoughts.

The next remedy is found in specificity. The problems that confront us are generally full of tentacles, blending and enfolding together, making it hard if not impossible to discern where one part starts and another part ends. The devil thrives in convolution. Complexity intimidates us and in our diminished state we mash it all together in our minds, leaving it to be dealt with on another day. Often, after you’ve removed all of the red herrings, the real issue becomes quite clear. Focused thought is a powerful ally, but requires a willingness both to confront and subsequently take action on the problem at hand! There is no tomorrow in problem solving. Each day spent half-in, is a wasted day, appearing useful, but defeated before it began. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways!” Get specific about what is troubling you, as specific as you can be. Specific problems have specific solutions, while vague, convoluted problems have no end!

Once you’ve become crystal clear on the topic and precise in your identification, you must do the one thing you never dreamed you should do. Give your problem to God! That’s right, hand it over to Him. Release your death grip on it and remove its claws from your heart. Demand the courage to let it go. Look, if you’re honest, the reason you continue to wrestle with some unseen foe is precisely because of that, it remains unseen. If you knew the answer you would have already remedied it. The deception isn’t found in the assault on your mind, but rather the ongoing assaults as you try in earnest to figure it out. Some conundrums, some complexities you are never going to figure out. You’re chasing the rabbit down a rabbit hole that has no end point. The source of your troubles is always a spiritual opponent; one that depends upon your reliance on your own human reasoning. Once you finally get it, as a great man said recently, you get it! You at last begin to understand that you must fight your spiritual opponent with something bigger than your human brain. Prayers are God’s way of offering you help with things bigger than yourself. And best of all, with God, nothing is impossible!

The reason we allow ourselves to get so worried and troubled about things in life is because we have forgotten how to trust our Creator! Instead of following His original plan of living our lives freely, joyfully, giving all of our cares to Him, we have instead hewed ourselves out cisterns; broken cisterns that can hold no water. We have systems and plans and procedures. We have technology and information and science. We have almost all a person could ask for, yet we lack the one thing we need the most! Our life was never meant to be a futile effort in self-preservation. God never asked us to figure everything out for ourselves or to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. People made that crap up; the same ones filled with worries and anxiety and stress! Instead God asks only that we learn who He truly is and begin to understand who we are to Him. Once we see the big picture, the troubles of life fade away like the lies and threats they have always been. Getting to know your Heavenly Father ends in your realization that there is nothing in life bigger than Him, smarter than Him or more powerful than Him. Then, my friend, you can finally relax. You can end the game of “wits end” once and for all.

If you find yourself worried, harassed, perplexed or vexed, take solace in this, God will hear your prayers and lead you to your solution. Your worry and stress simply won’t get the job done and you already know that. Your mental churning and broiling, your thinking, analyzing and thinking won’t lead you to the answer. Instead, hand all of it over to God and when you realize you’ve taken it back, hand it over again! The solutions to problems don’t appear in stormy seas, but only when the waters are calm. Let God calm your waters so you can see! Let God do for you what you cannot do for yourself! Rest…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

Clear Eyes…


images.jpgThere are times in our lives when we see with such unremitting,  unobscured clarity; so grand and beautiful in its detail, so positively helpful and inspiring that we find ourselves awestruck, grateful and wishing for more. The sudden jolt of an unexpected answer to a long-held question or being at last able to slice through the morass of confusion and pinpoint the direction to proceed, has no parallel in our minds or equal. Yet we sojourn most of our lives in lack of it, fainting and eventually surrendering ourselves from its absence. We begin to think not seeing and not knowing is normal, concluding that no-one else can see either. Or, to our own demise we trust ourselves to a false clarity, failing to even consider otherwise. In the end we grope blindly, victims of whatever will. We must find our clear eyes…

The trouble with not seeing is not seeing. When you cannot discern objects at night, you seek a light. When you cannot see things in the light, you need more light. It’s the light that makes the hidden things visible. It is light in your mind that illuminates solutions, that clarifies obstacles, that lifts the scales as it were. Only the light can accomplish this and without the light it cannot be accomplished. Our job when faced with challenges, fears persisting, frustrations and befuddlement, is not to press harder or think better or work smarter, but instead get light, pure light. “Dwelling on the darkness [problems] won’t bring forth the light [true solutions]!” Clear eyes require great humility and the disciplined ability to set aside all of our plans and our solutions and our remedies until we become first clear on our problem. Our human nature, our self-serving ego will send us around the hamster wheel, sometimes for years, scouring the planet’s wisdom for a solution we will never find. Life is spiritual and spirit is light! Every undiagnosed issue, every lost solution, every corruption, every disease, every painful misstep has at its base darkness, spiritual darkness reigning supreme absent spiritual light. We must find the light…

The problem with darkness is the darkness. Darkness promises a thing, but gives you another thing. Every offer presented by darkness carries within it more darkness. As darkness is indulged, in thought preceding deeds, it mystifies and clouds, producing more darkness. Fear of some dreadful event or circumstance, persisted in, invites the darkness in ending always in blindness and the inability to perceive it further. Now numbed by its effects, the victim no longer feels the pain of his wrong choices or the consequences of her unplanned decisions. It’s the ultimate deception! It’s a fools game. It is an inescapable reality absent the light that reveals it. Trapped within it, man flails and flaps, desperately trying to break free only to find more chains with each disparate and uncoordinated action to escape. It never quite dawns on him that the effect is manufactured by a cause he cannot see. He remains buried in a riddle his human mind will never solve. We need to be illuminated!

The issue with man is the man. If he ever dares to step off his high horse, his so-called science and mathematics, his false sense of reality, his insatiable need for physical proof of spirit in a material existence, he would find the clarity he seeks is not where he has been searching. And in the place of foolishly concluding that man’s wisdom is the end of all wisdom, trusting only what he can see, hear, smell, taste or touch, denying the great dwarfing, magnificent, miracle of creation, and instead using his suffering and frustration as a sure guide, he would at last reach upward for the light that reveals and clears up. And in seeking he would find as the door opens when knocked. And instead of finding a little man parading behind a curtain as that Great Wizard of Oz, falsely promising help and safety, he would discover the dust-covered Bible in his bookshelf waiting as it has always waited for the curious seeker to find the delights therein. We need to discover God’s Word!

The light that God gives, is God. Man’s benefactor, His creator had the foresight to write a book. In that book He placed words from Himself, infused with the light to see, as the guide, the solution, the source of His help. As a man considers those words and listens to those words and dwells on those words, he illuminates himself. He shines a spiritual light no darkness can extinguish. He feeds himself pure words with no loopholes nor crevices nor breeches an enemy can exploit.  As he remains in it, he finds himself healed from his maladies, built up strong where he was weak and repaired wherein he had been broken. The brilliant light, the only true light, the spiritual light he encounters reassures his restless soul and offers him peace. And as that light races into every deep recess of his mind, he finds the answers he needs, the solutions he craves, the reasons and all of the real causes. He finds himself delivered! We need the light that saves us!

You may have just stumbled upon that which you have been stumbling upon. How incredulous in a vast world of knowledge and self-help and scholars, counselors, doctors and lawyers, the solutions you sought in many a weary and churning night, with unparalleled effort and commitment and tears, would be found nearby in a book you have heard about from long ago. Learn about that book. Seek help to comprehend that book. Find out what to think according to that book. Understand how to live in line with that book. Experience God’s life and power and infinite razor precision to cut through and discern between truth and error, between a blessed life and a miserable life, between all that is light and all that is indeed darkness. You need to understand that book…

No matter how many years you may have travailed, no matter the distances you may have traveled, no matter how many attempts you may have tried, there is one true way that when found will make your blind eyes finally able to see. And you will then proclaim fondly, “God has never forgotten me…” You need to find your clear eyes!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

You Can’t Fix What You Can’t see…


615928784Whenever you speak of solving problems or repairing broken parts of your life, there is always the assumption that you actually know what your problems are and where your life might need some repair. To rashly conclude your life is in no need of any revisions or improvement makes you a dummy.  But, if you are willing to at least consider that there may be something better out there for you, there are some things you have to get clear about first. You cannot fix what you cannot see…

I’m sure by now you are fairly clear on the reality that there is a right way to go and there is a wrong way to go. When you go the right way there is no downside to you or your life. There’s no negative price to pay or some sacrifice of something that is needful. The right way feels good and is good. There are no strings attached, no hidden snares, no “gotcha” waiting to get you. Conversely, the wrong way sooner or later makes itself known by reaching up and smacking you in the face! The cause may seem far removed from the effect, but the effect is always there as it necessarily must be. However, the wrong way carries with it another deleterious effect which you may not be aware of, namely its capacity to blind your eyes to its existence. In the same way that “right” clears your vision, “wrong” obscures it!

“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” There’s no walking the fence when it comes to right and wrong. Choosing right is going to bless you and choosing wrong is going to hurt you. The method in which wrong seeks to harm you is by hiding its effects on you. If you have a disease hidden in your body, the sooner it is discovered the better. The longer a disease process has to work on you, the deeper its influence on your body and the worse your chances of surviving it. Wrong, of which “disease” is a member, works the same way. For wrong to continue to have access to your life, there has to be some principle or maxim or belief you are unknowingly perpetuating. The wrong way is often a very subtle distinction. The glutton eats himself to death because food is to be enjoyed. The rich man loses his health and family and eventually his life because life is supposed to be prosperous. You cannot fix what you cannot see…

The first step in getting results is not only to choose right, but also to stop choosing or allowing wrong. Wrong is not the excitement or spice of life it purports itself to be. Wrong isn’t the fun in life that you’ve been missing or the sin God doesn’t want you to do because He isn’t into your enjoyment. Instead those things are simply wrong’s commercial, advertising a claim that isn’t true. God not only treasures enjoyment, He wants you to find that enjoyment in your own life. Again this is part of how wrong hides itself in your logic. In its true essence, right is all of those things you are seeking, even if you cannot see that at the moment. Right is the love, the joy, the peace, the abundance, the prosperity, the health you are sincerely after! But for right to have its way, you have to lay aside the wrong…

Perplex yourself no further in futility trying to figure out why the good things you want in your life aren’t happening for you. No, no, no don’t start there. Begin by identifying the wrong things you are clear about and put them all aside. Stop doing them. Stop indulging them. Stop putting up with them. Now don’t you get all religious on me by refusing yourself nachos or wine in the evening or having sex with someone you love. That bondage is more wrong. I’m talking about those things you know in your heart aren’t right. Those habits of thought and action that have been promising you the same results for years; good feelings, peace, happiness, yet consistently giving you something else; bad feelings, guilt, general unrest; those are the things of which to rid yourself. If every time you do a certain behavior you feel bad about it, for the love of God stop doing the behavior. Don’t ignore what is, in favor of what you hope might be. You can’t fix what you can’t see…

Deciding you are going to forever stop a pattern of thought or a behavior on its own is like putting yourself on a perpetual, strict diet. It only works as long as you remain determined or until a delicious cheeseburger keeps showing up. Instead, the better way to stop something is to replace it with something else. Replace that obvious wrong with a new behavior or a new approach. The best of the best would be to see the wrong for what it is – wrong, and stop putting up with its lies. Decide to see for yourself the error and deeply consider the negative effect it has had on your life; if the effect is only that you no longer like yourself. That’s enough on its own.

The more you adamantly decide to put off the wrongs in life, the more clear your vision will become. Like the former drug addict or alcoholic, you will see maybe for the first time the stupid things that have been plaguing your life. You finally get a glimpse of the wrong beliefs you have been harboring in your heart for years and years. Glory, hallelujah you can see! And in seeing you can change or repair any aspect of your life that wasn’t the best and get on a new course to victory, love, peace, joy and abundance. Or said another day, get on the right path. You surely can fix what you can see! I promise you.

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Clarity…


hero-obscurity-and-clarity-03152017I’ve often thought, it’s not an effort thing that holds people back from their pursuit of the things that matter most. We all likely procrastinate and push aside future hopes and dreams for the comforts of the moment. But when we finally wake from our comfortable lethargy, we innately know that we have to move if something good is going to happen for us. We suddenly want to go fast and get there quickly, but we can’t really move fast and get their sooner because we do not know the road ahead. Alas, in life you seldom get to know the road ahead, especially when traveling in unchartered territory; the mysterious place you know you need to get to but you’ve never been there before. Thus what you need most isn’t more effort or energy, directions or more speed! What you need, my friends, is clarity, crystal clear, sharp and vivid – clarity…

Those nagging issues that have been plaguing you for years have likely done so from a lack of clarity. It’s not that you aren’t clear that something is bothering you or distressing you in some fashion, but rather you haven’t taken the time to get clear about what is going on. Some things in life come at you with such subtlety you are scarce aware anything even happened. All you know is that suddenly you feel agitated from an apparently unknown source. That source, though far removed, gains access by the thoughts you are entertaining. Perhaps a family member has intimated something is wrong with you, later vaguely confirmed by a co-worker. Instead of maintaining control of your thought life, you begin to consider what they implied and before you know it you are wrestling with an issue not grounded in reality necessarily, but rather someone’s negative judgment on your life. Thus clarity isn’t about proving yourself to those who would judge you, but instead getting clear on what you have been thinking about and whether or not it is profitable to keep thinking along those lines. I think you may be surprised by how many so-called helpful criticisms are actually grounded in evil, albeit carefully hidden from view.

How many times have you found yourself writing out some goal you would “like” to accomplish that is very familiar because you have been writing it for the past ten years?! Instead of signing up for a motivational seminar or reading yet another book on “feel the something yet do it anyway” clarity begs the question, “Is that goal something you really want to do?” Is the thing important to you and do you really want to do it? Or, more clearly, is the goal something you want to do yet maybe doubt you can do? Or, focused better, is your goal something you are capable of doing yet fear might not be something done well or something that may be criticized by others? Clarity tells you it is your life and all of the choices are yours and yours alone! If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! If you cannot gather up enough excitement to even begin the project, then maybe the project isn’t worth it to you. Wherever you may arrive and whatever conclusion you may draw, just be sure you took the time and made the effort to be very, very clear about the why…

It may interest you to know that truth is always clear and contrary to popular opinion doesn’t hurt! The truth is the starting point for reality. The truth isn’t simply the opposite of a lie, which you can boldly declare when you catch someone in error, i.e. “The truth hurts doesn’t it?” No way! The truth is the absolute reality of a thing; the very essence of what is real. Its polar opposite is error which is always confusing, always muddied, always elusive and hard to pinpoint! When you feel confused or bewildered, error is definitely on the horizon or most likely already a part of the picture. Error strings you along, sometimes for years, chasing after things that aren’t real or do not matter. Error sucks away your time and your life energy! Clarity, on the other hand, cuts through the mud and clarifies the picture. Clarity settles you down and relieves you by revealing the real problems and the true sources of disturbance. Clarity eliminates fear by ridding the mind of the phantoms hiding in the closet.

You may have heard of the truth being referred to as light. Besides coming from a Source that is pure light, truth enlightens and illuminates. The truth sets you free, not by deciding not to lie anymore (how simple-minded is that?), but by revealing error for what it is…error. Once you finally can discern what is going on, you can now free yourself from things that formerly bound you up and defeated you. Clarity comes from the truth and is true. It’s the image at the bottom of the pool not distorted by the water. Clarity is peaceful assurance that comes about when the lights are on and everything is revealed. Walking on a cliff top is only dangerous if it’s dark outside. Otherwise you can see the edge and avoid it!

Your life is worth taking the time to get clear on some things. Your happiness is important enough to decide you are going to track down the cause of the things that perpetually defeat you. There are answers to these dilemmas and just because you don’t know the answer yet doesn’t mean you cannot ever find the solution. Behind every truth in this life is the great Architect of Life and He is more than willing to get you where you need to go if you are serious enough to make the decision!

Choose clarity. Choose life…

Just some good thoughts.

 

Untangling the Spaghetti Bowl of Your Mind…


5030637-Boiled-spaghetti-on-white-background--Stock-Photo-spaghettiA good bowl of spaghetti gets there one noodle at a time. No matter the size of the bowl, each noodle is a single entity that only gets tangled when it’s added together with the other noodles, one noodle at a time! Remember that intently because you will never untangle the mess in your mind until you do.

If you are like most people, you tend to put off unpleasant tasks until you are forced to deal with them. It can wait, right? But, sadly, all the little things you put off slither into the bowl unnoticed. Imagine how many random thoughts you think in a day. How many of those thoughts are hurtful feelings of inadequacy? How many seethe with self-criticism and condemnation? What tired notions repeat themselves over and over begging for resolution? The worries, the doubts, the fear? What “what-if” dramas clamor for your attention? Oodles and oodles of noodles…

It’s been said that your outer world is an indicator of your inner world. Have you ever visited someone with a messy house? Or (ha ha) is it your house? Well, how did it get so messy? It became a mess one messy, misplaced thing at a time. All of us are confronted with the mess, but not all of us choose to clean it up. The best time to vacuum up the popcorn on the carpet is right after the popcorn hits the carpet. That’s not being anal, that’s cleaning up. Conversely, how do you feel when you visit the clean house? You feel relaxed, don’t you? You see, someone invested their effort in making the environment peaceful and you got the benefit of it. I dare say none of us really enjoy the cleaning up process, but we probably treasure the cleaned up feeling!

When it comes to your thoughts, sometimes you have to take the time to clean up. I mean you have so much to do in a day, right? You’re busy, busy, busy and there are many demands clamoring for your time. Well, that’s nothing compared to the time you spend sifting through the madness to find your car keys. In this live in the moment life, generally the best time to do something is now. You feel yourself getting a toothache. You don’t like the dentist (who does…they kill lions) or you don’t have dental insurance or you don’t have time to go. So you decide to wait. Maybe it will go away. Maybe it will resolve on its own. Maybe? In reality it will probably get worse until it hurts so badly that you cannot do anything else until you get it fixed; not to mention the two months you put up with the agonizing dull ache in your jaw. Can’t you see it? We have been lulled into a complacent state where we don’t handle what we need to handle. We foolishly think we can wait, but really cannot afford to wait. Each moment we spend unresolved is a moment we don’t get to really live!

If you are honest, what you really want is clarity of thought. You want that noise to quiet down. You need your mind to slow down and take a breath. You need some peace. But, peace normally comes at the end of the fight. You have to win the fight. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose not to be in the fight. The fight is there every single day. God never promised you wouldn’t have to fight, He said He would help you to win it. You win the contest by winning the battle in your mind. When a nation wins a war or a football team wins a game, they have to do it one battle or one play at a time. You can’t skip plays nor can you overlook key battles. The contest starts every single morning. You decide what you will think and challenge any opposition to those thoughts. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, what matters is your willingness to fight!

One day, when it finally dawns on you that your mind has become a hot slithering menagerie of pasta, and your persistent sense of fatigue and depression begins to overtake you, remember you can clean up any mountain of mess if you take it on one small mess at a time. You can’t spend time thinking of the outcome, instead just think of the next play. What thought or series of thoughts are causing you the most stress? Start there! Challenge those inane thoughts. Just because you think something does not make it true. Where did we ever get that idea? Probably from the same source as the thought.

This life we are blessed to live is best lived in the moment called “now!” You have 24 hours in a day, maybe 16 waking, perhaps 8 after work, 5 after meals and maybe 30 minutes after the television. But no matter what is clamoring for our time, whether work or sleep or mealtimes or electronic mediums, we can only work with the time called “now!” The time to deal with the troubling thought is now. The time to vacuum the carpet is now. The time to repair the broken appliance is now. The time to do the task that’s eating at you is now. The time to get things sorted out in your mind is now! Now, now, now!

That peace of mind you are ardently seeking is seeking you as well. It’s there for you, always right there for you, waiting for you to stand up and get into the fight, then win it… WIN THE FIGHT! You are worth that much.

Everyone loves a tasty bowl of spaghetti, right? But a peaceful mind trumps a bowl of spaghetti every single time.

Just some good thoughts…

The Elusive Moments of Clarity…


ClarityRecently my sister in-law suffered through the untimely death of her brother. He had an aggressive form of cancer and despite having lived longer than projected, he ultimately died. The whole experience, besides the unfathomable grief, produced in her moments of clarity she hadn’t really expected. It seems in situations when our own mortality is forced into our awareness, the most important things in life rush to the forefront of our minds. So, that got me thinking… Is the clarity we all desire, contingent upon dire circumstances? Do we have to face life threatening situations firsthand in order to finally see what is most important?

Clarity can be defined as those seemingly rare times in life when we finally “get it” or are able to see the things that formerly eluded us. Clarity seems to follow focus and nothing demands more focus than facing the possibility of actually dying or the death of someone you love. And amazingly, in the face of death we contemplate life. Suddenly the important things take on a huge significance. No one speaks of their beautiful home or their possessions, but instead consider the people in their lives and those significant relationships that mean the most. Near death experiences and the perils of war awaken the survivors to a world they previously took for granted.

This life; this precious life is alarmingly short. And despite the brevity of life, we all march on entranced in our routines virtually asleep to what matters most. We stop looking; really looking at our spouses and our children. We desensitize to our surroundings. The good we enjoy we grow accustomed to and even make time for complaint. We dream and yearn for the day when we finally have “such and such” and when we arrive, we pause then quickly begin our ascent to the next plateau.

It shouldn’t take the threat of losing it all to alert our souls to the perfection we have already. We move too fast. We think too fast. We expect results too fast. We want more and more and need less. We look for happiness in transient things while ignoring what endures. People endure. Relationships endure. Love endures. In those rare moments when I imagine my last days, my children gathered around me, I think what I might say to them. And for the life of me, all I want to communicate to them is how much I love them; how proud I am of them and who they have become and that i did my best to be my best for them.

Clarity isn’t elusive. Clarity is all around you. Clarity is found in the eyes of your child, the smile from your mother, the understanding glance from your best friend. Clarity is found in your relationships with other people and most profoundly with our God that made us. Clarity comes when we finally step out of the rat race of endless distraction and focus on the things that matter most. It is not reserved only for times of pending tragedy and the threat of death, but more for times of reflection at a speed that allows for it. The clarity we ardently seek is seeking us.

If we are honest, our perpetual striving for things that matter less, is based on fear; the fear of what we think we are supposed to be. We’ve bought into the story that says we must have the money, the stuff, the acclaim and lost track of the reason we do it all. We forgot that the excitement of the new car is lost if we don’t have someone to share it with. No one enjoys the vacation in the exotic place, alone. It’s people and our connection to them that makes this life worthwhile.

The maximized, glorious life is a life that makes time for what is most important. To say there isn’t enough time is to admit a loss of control. The rush, the busy-ness, the constraint isn’t from the demands of life but rather from the fictitious demand of what is not. It’s a distraction of unparalleled proportions. It’s a bait and switch game that purports activity equals productivity and urges getting things done over taking care of people; our people. It emphasizes appearance over people’s hearts and facades above humanity. It’s not clear it’s fuzzy and the finish line is out of view.

Clarity is there for us every single day. Clarity doesn’t elude us, we elude it. We miss it a lifetime from being swept away on a current; a rushing river of activities that steal our time; our focus, our life. Clarity comes from focus; focus on what is most sweet and enduring. Our life comes into focus in direct proportion to our willingness to adjust the lens. We adjust the lens on a subject we choose and not on a subject chosen for us.

Thank God for those moments when life suddenly comes into focus and the false; the illusory fades away. Thank God for the glimpses of light that clear the path ahead and captivate our attention in order to make the necessary change. Thank God for the privilege to see and at last understand. Thank God!

Just some good thoughts…