Get Back in the Game…


There was a time when you were incredibly enthusiastic about life. You had your dreams for the future and felt that your possibilities were absolutely endless. You woke each day excited about your future and what you might contribute to the world. Maybe your enthusiasm continues to this day. But for many, sadly, this is no longer the case. Many folks have resigned themselves to the sidelines, not dead yet, but not in the play. What happens to us that so artfully talks us out of our dreams? Who convinces us to give up on the things we so desperately want for our lives? How can we, no matter our years, get back in the game? 

Everything you ever wanted in your life, you can have, if you can believe for it. Life and circumstance aren’t responsible for the limitation. God isn’t behind it, no matter how many Facebook memes claim otherwise. It isn’t your background, your education or your upbringing. It’s you, my friend. The limitation, if there is one, is you. It sounds simplistic, but it’s true. In the final analysis, at the core, at the very root is you and what you believe in your heart. The reason you don’t get the things you want is because you don’t believe you can have them. Your friend, who is ten years younger than you and makes three times more than you, does so because he believes he can. He isn’t highly favored or lucky, nor was he born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In his heart he believed he could and in so believing did. You can achieve the dreams you have for your life, many of which God put in your heart, if you can believe you can. But, believing is a process and sometimes that process takes time. The devil cannot stymie your dreams or take them from you, absent your cooperation. You cooperate by adhering to and believing all the evidence to the contrary. In short, you get talked out of it. Achieving your dreams will never appear to be easy, but will come with obstacles and challenges you must surmount. Neither the obstacles, nor the challenges can stop you from receiving, unless you give up on what it is you want. You are not in the game because you gave up on yourself.

In the game of life, no one puts you on the sideline except yourself. The coach didn’t bench you. God didn’t bench you. You benched you! You gave up. You surrendered. You decided along the way that you were not worth (or worthy) of the things you want. Oh you weren’t functioning in a vacuum.  Your ideas, your beliefs, your expectations were influenced. That influence, call it what you may, succeeded in getting you to believe and accept something that isn’t true. It chipped away at you, day by day, week by week, year by year, until it convinced you to settle for something far less than God’s best. Maybe it spent considerable time outlining how your previous bad behavior disqualified you from receiving something good from God today. Perhaps it persuaded you that your efforts were futile and that you didn’t make any impact worth pursuing. Possibly it just distracted you and got you caught up in activities that wasted your time and didn’t lead to anything. Whatever happened, however it happened, if you are sitting on the sidelines and not in the game, it happened. There’s no point in lamenting how it happened to you. The solution is simply to get back in the game!

You get back in the game by remembering again the things that are most important to you. What is it or was it that made your heart race? What do you well that is easy for you to do that could benefit others in some capacity, that you foolishly stopped pursuing? Where and in what is your impact obvious? Start there… Maybe those things aren’t clear enough for you yet. Instead, what parts of life do you no longer participate in? Life, if left unchecked and unguarded, has a funny way of reducing things down to the bare minimums. Over the years, a thousand interests turn into a hundred interests, then to ten interests, ending in no interests. Who took away your interests? What gave you a reason to give up on your interests and convinced you that you had seen and done it all? Who stole away your uniqueness and individuality? What persuaded you into believing that you had nothing left to offer; are now too old, or that it is too late for you? It’s bad enough that we all have to die one day, but worse that we can die before we are actually dead. 

Your life, my life, is frightfully short. Frightfully short! You owe it to yourself and to God to live your life to the fullest. Get outside your own head. Quit stewing and brewing over whatever has gone on thus far and check yourself back into the game. Challenge those age old assumptions you have been making about yourself and your situation. Challenge those limitations that say you can’t. Get up off the ground, dust yourself off and check back into the game! The same way you unknowingly checked out, the same way you can check yourself back in again. Try something new. Make a new friend. Pick up a new hobby. It’s not really about your age or your energy level. It’s about not giving up on yourself and believing to see where your life still has the capacity to make a lasting impact on someone else. Every single day of your precious life holds the promise of something wonderful. But, it’s not going to knock on your door and find you. You have to find it, though it was never really hidden from you to begin with. Have you been living on the sidelines hoping, wishing something would change so that you could live again? That something is you and it always was you. Get back in the game! We all need you…

Just some good thoughts…

Getting Out of Your Funk…


If you’ve spent enough time dwelling on terra firma, you know that at certain times in your life you find yourself deeply entrenched in a funk; an americanism for feeling down in the dumps; which is related to a dutch word meaning a mental haze; and in German a word for gloomy or depressed. No matter the language or the usage, all you know is that it sucks. It sucks away your life and enthusiasm for living. It’s no happiness, no inspiration, nothing to look forward to, blah, blah, blah…Blah! But, there is something you can do about it! No matter how far down the rabbit hole you are, there is always a way out…

The place to begin when attempting to understand your feelings is first to examine your thoughts. Thoughts precede feelings. You don’t wake up in a bad mood. Your bad mood follows where your mind has been. Most folks pay very little attention to their thoughts. They sort of let them come and go like the weather. They consider themselves blessed when their mental environment is sunny and cursed when it is gloomy. The weather never stays gloomy and you don’t have to either. However, you do have to take some initiative with your thoughts. Letting your thoughts run makes you a victim to whatever circumstance is being engineered against you. Please read that sentence again! There are forces at work in the world plotting and scheming, persuading and manipulating to lead you and your thoughts to a certain place. You cannot see them, but instead only register their effects. They gain access to you by the thoughts you allow and encourage. They cannot overtake your freedom of will (at first), but they can get you off track; way off track! They begin by getting you to consider some negative aspect of life, then work out circumstances and situations that corroborate your wrong thinking.  And, if you remain stuck there long enough, you find yourself submerged and engulfed in heaviness from which it becomes very difficult to escape.

Life is spiritual in nature. It is not made up solely of the things which do appear. Ignorance concerning this will mire you in futility chasing your own tail, searching yourself and your own feelings for a remedy. Yet, you won’t find your solution in your own thoughts because the problem didn’t originate in your own thoughts. You are not fighting against yourself, though it may feel like it, you are fighting against a negative spiritual opponent working behind the scenes to control you. To defeat this spiritual foe (behind all of the misery of mankind) you have to learn how to compete spiritually. You have to learn how to fight back. And, amazingly, the arena of competition is in your mind. You see, it’s not as simple as deciding to be happy, though that is a good start. It is learning how and what to think and holding on to those thoughts though a monument of resistance be placed in front of you. If you find yourself today steeped in misery or unending gloominess, it is a good indicator that you are not winning the fight. You never want to get comfortable with those negative emotions or embrace them as some incredulously purport. Instead you fight them and you fight them and you fight them with spiritual words that negate and overpower their authority. Refusing to fight back only leads to defeat. Or worse, explaining away those insidious attacks with man’s wisdom will only serve to prolong the fight. You only win a fight by being stronger or tapping into something stronger than whomever or whatever you are fighting against. Evil has power but it is no match for God’s power.

It certainly doesn’t make for light conversation to learn about standing against evil. It probably won’t be found in the self-help section of the bookstore. Public opinion poo poo’s the notion of evil altogether or portrays it as a construct of man. The movie media displays it as frightening and ghastly. But, no matter the babblings of the naysayers, it does exist and it is your problem. God does not want you to be ignorant concerning evil, nor does He want you to be afraid of it. Instead He wants you understand what is actually going on so you can direct your efforts appropriately and with great and lasting impact. People are stuck today ensconced in difficulties because they no longer understand or acknowledge spiritual realties. When Jesus stood against all the forces of hell, he did so simply, though not easily, by quoting and cleaving to what God’s Word said. It is God’s Word quoted on the lips of believing that defeats the powers of darkness. It is the only way.

You can be delivered today, rescued, set free by learning how to tap into God’s power for your life. It doesn’t matter how low you may have sunk or how entrenched you may have become. All you need is a little humility and a willingness to learn about spiritual realities. You can escape any of the chains that have been binding you; break free from any bondage; break out of the bands and fetters that have been controlling your life. You can learn again how to live and enjoy and be blessed. You can return to happiness and joy and peace and love. You can escape from the prisons that have been holding you in. Stop thinking that something is wrong with you or that you are somehow deserving of the misery you have been living. Stop settling for less than the best in your life. You don’t need more medicine or more treatment or more of the expertise of men. You need God and His Word.

Finding yourself in a deep funk; down in the dumps; in a mental haze; gloomy and depressed is a horrible way to experience life and you do not have to live that way. There are answers and solutions for any malady that challenges your life. Won’t you be willing to find your way out of your funk? I sure hope so…

Just some good thoughts…

 

DNR ~ Diminished and Reduced…


ekg-001-an-electrocardiogram-heart-monitor-pulses-on-a-blue-grid-loop_r4m_frdh_thumbnail-full01I see depressed people. I see them everywhere. You can easily spot them by their lowered vitality; their lack of activity; that dimness in their eyes. They think that is just how life is and have settled into an existence that isn’t painful but isn’t pleasant either. They have unknowingly become diminished and reduced and need to be resuscitated!

The reason people reach this level in their thinking and let’s be honest, many, many people have, is because at the core of things, at the most elemental level they have been talked into believing things that aren’t true. It sounds simple and cheesy I know, but the things in life that appear complicated are often more simple than you think. Wrong thinking leads to wrong believing which leads to a sucky life! And to add insult to the proverbial injury, you are struggling against a force you can neither see nor discern absent spiritual insight. There is something, whether you believe it or not, that is actively working against your best interest, seeking to bring you down to some level of defeat or mediocrity or loss.

Your opponent is spiritual in nature and works within the systems of the world to bring you down to misery or frustration, to take away the life God has given you, to steal away your energy and passion for living. He does not work alone, but controls a vast network also hidden from view, hell-bent on feeding you some wrong conclusion! It’s called the systematizing of error and it’s damn effective! It’s a cause and effect where the effect did not come from the cause. It’s H2O minus an O. It’s 2 + 2 = 5. It’s an argument where the starting premise was wrong. It’s a scientific formula with an unaccounted for variation. In short, it’s a lie that needs to be challenged.

You may have noticed in your life, in those moments of clarity where you sort of “wake up” to some reality, that as soon as you begin to take steps to remedy a situation, you are besieged with challenges or distractions that take you right back to square one and back to your familiar, yet painful sleepy life! You can tell you are living mesmerized by this deceitful drug by the things that run across your mind. You ask yourself, “Is this all life is?” “Is this my lot in life to get up and go to work and come home and go to sleep?” The answer to these questions is hell-effin no! You’re just being hoodwinked, that’s all! You are being systematically talked out of things that matter. You are being fed lies, albeit minutely subtle lies, that reduce and diminish your existence.

Often, you’ll find that the things you once enjoyed have been taken away one by one without your consent. Or, something convinced you there was something wrong with those things you enjoyed and suggested you give them up. Have you noticed in today’s world, that someone is always telling us about the potential dangers of something we enjoy with suggestions that we curtail what we like to do? Don’t eat this! Don’t touch that! Watch out for those people! Be cautious! Don’t try that because it’s already been done! Pretty soon the whole world will be living on dry chicken breasts and zealously guarding against anything with a little flavor. Don’t you see it? It’s all part of a universal scheme; a system that seeks your personal liberty and enjoyment for life. And, it happened to us because we believed the lies!

The only solution to this world-wide dilemma is to get back to what is true. Stop allowing other people to define your life for you. Stop accepting the things that run across your mind as some kind of gospel. Just because you thought something, even many, many times doesn’t guarantee it is truth. In fact, those thoughts; those wrong beliefs are the source of your difficulties. You are limited by yourself and yourself alone! If you believe you will never have enough money, you will never have enough money, but that’s your sucky choice not mine! Choice – you get it? In your mind, in the secret places, you are making choices day by day. You are gathering information and making a choice. You just have to make sure that what you chose is actually true and not a lie. Anything that diminishes you, anything that reduces you, anything that boxes you in or closes you off is a LIE!

The truth will resuscitate you and bring you back to life. Your Creator is the author of life! As life’s source He will always open the doors and make a way for you! He’s not the god of religion, He is the God of life! He does not seek to take away and limit and reduce, He seeks to give and expand and offer you life more than abundant! You can break out of your rut; your depression; your less than abundant life simply by opening your heart to the truth. God already knows how much life has been sucking for you, so why not let go of everything you think you know and get back to life? You didn’t begin your life depressed and you don’t have to end it that way. Choose vitality. Choose energy. Choose life!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not signing that DNR!

Just some good thoughts…

 

What Is Wrong With Me?


Have you ever arrived at the place where things don’t seem to matter much anymore? You are tired of the routine of life and there’s nothing new under the sun? It’s sort of like life has lost its point somewhere or if it has a point, it somehow snuck by you. You are stuck in a giant bowl of “who cares” and can’t seem to navigate your way out of it. You search for clues in the physical realm like maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep or you’re dehydrated or something. No matter what words you use to describe it, it feels like “blah” and calls aloud for a remedy. What the hell is wrong with me?

Life is best summarized by these two giant life forces working behind the scenes influencing people to decide to move in a certain direction. One force for good is always working to provide you with clues about how to think and where to take your thoughts while the other one seeks to hijack your thoughts and move you forcefully towards a certain path. One motivates by love and the other motivates by fear. Imagine that life is like a race and as long as you keep running you will arrive at a good destination. Your pace of life fluctuates with your mind. When your mind is functioning properly without fear or other constraints, you are able to run effortlessly towards your hopes and dreams. But, when fear forces its way into your existence, there’s an immediate drag on the system and life begins to slow down. Lowered energy, lowered vitality, low capacity to give a damn, all point to fear that has forced itself upon you. You may feel your situation is much more complicated than that, but it isn’t so there’s no need to perplex your mind any further. More rest isn’t going to fix it. Eating better is not going to solve it. Exercising and losing a few pounds isn’t going to correct it. It’s fear, fear, fear and it will suck your life out from underneath you!

Fear is a slippery character and it’s hard to put your arms around it. It moves in quietly without fanfare in the form of a few doubts and maybe some worry here and there. Then, as you unknowingly give it space in your thinking, it gains a little traction and starts occupying a place. It’s like a breeze blowing in your face while you’re running. It’s not enough to stop you, but it is enough to slow you down. You can tell that you’ve slowed down because you are no longer looking forward in your life. You’re no longer focused on your destination, but instead you begin looking all around you. The more you slow down and the more you start looking around, the more potential difficulty you begin to see. It’s also like your life is a huge room with an infinite number of doors you can travel through to get to different destinations. Fear starts closing off the doors, one by one, until your life seems to have very few options or remaining opportunities. The doors aren’t really closed, but fear gives the illusion that they are and as long as you sit there in “it” you aren’t going to see the way out.

Fear at its basis is pure illusion. It isn’t the negative, disastrous outcome, it’s the threat of the disastrous outcome! It’s the ultimate energy suppressor. It feeds on your energy like a parasite as it has no real life of its own! It exists by permission only which its host is unaware it has given away. It can only gain energy from you by your insistence on letting it stick around. You don’t willfully allow it to remain, but you feel compelled to give it mental space as it has suggested some unreasonable outcome from which you wish to escape. Its illusion shines the most brightly as you foolishly decide to engage it with your human logic and understanding. It’s a wrong starting premise which cannot end successfully in any scenario. In the middle of his nightmare Job said, “I have no ease, I have no quietness; I cannot rest; turmoil has come upon me.” The hallmark of fear, if you are still in denial, is no ease, no quietness, no rest and the feeling that trouble has landed upon you! What is wrong with you? Fear has descended upon you and you need to escape its grasp!

If you want your life to return to you. If you want to experience your former energy and vitality, you have to rid yourself of fear. You have to eradicate it from your life like the plague! You’ve got to clear out both the obnoxious and the subtle. You’ve got to learn to hear its words inside your head and begin the process of refuting them! You must find some promise of God that overcomes that fear and hurl it on the fear thoughts like dry chemical carbon dioxide!  Maybe there is some action you need to take or some consultation you need to attend, but whatever it is, take that action! Then, once you’ve refuted it and coated it with God’s promises and taken action against it, let the damn thing go! Nothing kills off fear faster than your personal decision to refuse it access to your thoughts! Resist the urge to reason it out, it has no reason behind it. Quote the Word and let it go!

What is wrong with you? What’s wrong with the whole world and its quest to recover its former life? You’ve fallen victim to fear in some capacity and it is eating away at your life. Get rid of it. Squash it! Stomp it out! Get back to running in your own race of life, effortlessly toward the things that matter most to you! Your condition isn’t permanent no matter how long you’ve been living this way. You not only should get rid of every fear, but it is your birthright as a human being to do it. Your life without all the fear is your real existence. It’s the way God intended for you to live. Let Him take on all the so-called threats to your existence. Let Him do what He said He would do! No fear…none!

Just some good thoughts…