Barking Up the Wrong Tree…


00600640_1cfab8e5705ade4c407fcd6b966006c0_arc614x376_w735_us1One thing we all have in common as human beings is the desire to find things that make us happy. If you think about, we are all on a quest for happiness. And, far too many people seem to be unable to find it. It is probably the most written about subject in the whole world. Some folks think happiness exists as a direct result of their financial means. Others claim it is the direct result of extreme poverty and stripping yourself from all the entanglements of the world. Some say it is found in nature, while others want to experience it in the city. No matter where you find it, one thing we all agree on is our need to have it. So, when it comes to happiness, are you barking up the wrong tree?

The world we live in today or maybe those things behind the world seem to be well aware of our heartfelt desire to find happiness. As such, the world feeds us endless ideas about where and how we might get that happiness. Television shows promote a world where flawless beauty can be manufactured and purchased in order to “create” the perfect type. And once the perfect type is obtained it may be used to build incredible wealth through product offerings and appearances promising the same ability to obtain perfection. The stars live a dream life in dreamy locations complete with full time make up artists and staff that exist only to serve the needs of the exalted ones. They fly on private jets to exotic locations on a whim with unlimited resources that never run dry. And while these programs do provide a level of entertainment, they also paint a false portrayal of happiness. Like movie stars, it is a world of make believe. It sends a faulty message that promises something it does not actually provide. That is not to say that everyone in these situations is wrong or evil, but rather that the message portrayed to the world (by the world) is not true. True happiness is not found through fame and fortune, though the messages seek to convince us otherwise. What the world offers will always be found a counterfeit. It is a surface expectation that produces only a superficial result. It is barking up the wrong tree.

Social media feeds us an endless array of images designed to make us seek the wrong things. Money, or the love of it, rules the world. We define success primarily by the amount of money and subsequent influence an individual has been able to obtain. We conclude rich people have “made it.” We think that money can solve any problem. We say, he who has the gold makes the rules! But, sadly, money alone is never the answer. The answer is being able to get our needs met. We do actually need money and I’m guessing that we likely need more money than we might actually have. Having enough money and having the discretion to make choices or engage in certain activities is vitally important to our happiness. No choice is not happy. Scraping along in the world unable to get the things we want is not happiness. Spending our time doing things we loathe in order to get money is not happiness. Having every need that comes up becoming a catastrophe due to not having enough money is not happiness. Thus, we actually do need money and maybe more than we think. But, money alone will at some point cause us to fall short of our real happiness. Seeking to be rich is always barking up the wrong tree.

Happiness is not something to be obtained, it is something to be enjoyed in our hearts. The perfect partner will not be able to make you happy unless you are already happy yourself. The perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect circumstances, the perfect relationship all work only to produce a temporary happiness because they do not contain the actual essence of happiness. Happiness is always the result of having your needs met and as your needs change so will your requirements for happiness. Whenever you rely on another person or obtaining certain things in order to find happiness, you will sooner or later come up short. You work so hard to obtain the perfect house and then what? Once you get what you so ardently desired, then what? Happiness, enduring happiness has to be much deeper than that. Life has to be more than acquiring things and gathering up the most toys before you die. The pursuit of happiness by trying to get stuff is barking up the wrong tree.

God as the creator of life has built into all of us a desire to find out about Him. Whether we be simply curious or spiritually starving, all of us have a desire to know Him. In our hearts, we instinctively know there is more to this life than we may have imagined. We seek a universal goodness that guided our hearts when we were children. We dream of a life, an existence, that is totally secure and taken care of and is lacking nothing. We long for the carefree days of our youth when we were truly happy. We want the liberty and the freedom to do as we please. We want life where we do not have to be afraid and can be sure we will be safe and protected no matter what. In fact, many folks seek wealth in order to experience this reality only to find out it doesn’t work. We as a people have never connected the dots that He (God) is our happiness. We have been looking for love in all the wrong places. We have foolishly tried to provide for ourselves what only He could provide for us. We worry and fret and seek and strive to find safety and peace and rest. We have never considered that we are trying to find Him in material things or in money or in things. Even our relationships are centered in Him and without Him cannot be fulfilled. He is all that we could ever need and He is the solution to every thing that has ever gone wrong, the answer to every question. We miss Him because the world has convinced us otherwise and our experience of life has confirmed it. But, what if we are wrong? What if we have barked up the wrong trees long enough that we know something is missing? What if our system of trial and error has exhausted us and we have sought yet not been able to find? What if our happiness and blessedness in this life comes from Him and from Him alone? God as our Father wants to teach us and help us and guide us. He wants us to be happy with a happiness that is not dependent upon circumstances or favorable conditions. He wants to be our all in all in every conceivable way. To know Him is to love Him and He is the first place for which to expend our efforts. He is the only tree.

Just some good thoughts…

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Hacked!


hackedLast week I had the rather unpleasant experience of getting hacked. Basically, someone reached out to me on Instagram asking for support for their upcoming clothing line and I made the fateful mistake of responding to them. I didn’t click on any links or provide my cell number for a text as requested, yet still they got in. Once they got in, they changed my password, changed the contact cell phone number and email and added two factor authentication which made it almost impossible to recover my own account. They followed hundreds of new people and badgered all of my friends with the exact same scheme, leaving folks thinking they were talking with me. The experience was distracting and concerning to say the least. Besides learning that Instagram literally has no actual customer support, I understood how difficult it is to extricate yourself from deception once it gets its grip on you. How it got to you doesn’t matter. When it got to you doesn’t matter. What matters is how you can recover and get your mind (and account) back. Have your thought processes been hacked by a deception?

In life, we all have a mind and a heart and we are responsible to guard it from intruders. Intruders get in when we fail to control our thinking and as such allow deceptions access to our minds. Just as my downfall was engaging in a conversation with the hackers, your downfall comes from consideration of things that are not true. When Eve was deceived in the beginning, it wasn’t the existence of evil that defeated her, it was her consideration of the things evil said to her. (It was a heck of a lot bigger than eating a silly apple, but I digress). Eve’s downfall and eventually Adam’s downfall came as a result of considering and trying to figure out what the enemy of mankind was proposing. The same holds true today. The way that evil gets inside our minds and hacks us is by our consideration of what is being presented to us. Being human we think we can figure it out and as such give it space in our minds. We mull it over. We worry about it. We give it audience and the next thing you know we are all screwed up inside and confused. Have you ever noticed that no matter how much worry you give a thing you can never quite get to a solution? You analyze, you evaluate, you process it and it just leads to more and more distress. It is a trick and a trap from which eventually it will be hard to escape. The solution to fear producing thoughts is to refuse their entrance. Don’t scratch that itch! Do not try to take it on with your finite human knowledge. Instead you have to replace those thoughts with things that are true. God’s Word is true and has the remedy to everything that has ever bothered you or imprisoned you. You can avoid being mentally hacked by knowing what is true.

All of us at one time or another have been hacked in our minds and hearts. We have lived in fear and doubt and uncertainty for so long that we think it is a normal way to live. We dismiss it as being part of the human condition. We do all sorts of shenanigans to assuage our fears such as trying to be a good person or do good works or whatever it is we can think of that might help offset the bad things that are surely coming our way. It never dawned on us that someone or something has been lying to us. Our starting premise has been wrong. We have been communicating with a hacker. Fear is man’s only enemy. Fear has ruined more people’s lives than all the other things combined. It is our fears that allow our enemy access to us and it is our fear that brings bad things to pass in our lives. Fear is a believing expectation for something negative to happen and believing equals receiving. The things we so desperately fear end up coming into fruition in our lives. And then we exclaim, “I knew it” when in reality we helped bring it to pass. There is a reason the number one admonition in the Bible is fear not! Fear is a hacker attempting to gain access to your life and then infect the lives of others also. You get your mental account and your heart back by gaining control of your thinking.

So, what can you do once you realize you’ve been hacked? Unlike Instagram, you have access to something greater than any problem that has ever come your way. The first step involves terminating communications with the hacker. Stop giving those lies access to your mind. Stop trying to figure it all out. The basis of your troubles are spiritual and no amount of reasoning will make that clear. Instead steer your heart towards something that is true. Make the decision to stop trying to figure out your troubles and hand them over to God who is especially adept at problem solving. Just give them to Him and don’t take them back. Rehearsing your troubles hasn’t been successful thus far, has it? Quit beating that dead horse and try something different. Cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you! In other words, let it go. Pray about it and then let it go. Just the act of refusal sets on course the answers you need in order to prevail. God wants to solve every problem that has ever come your way and He has the power and ability to do so. Find someone that can teach you the truth. Don’t go to the world as it’s the world that screwed you up in the first place. Don’t rely on religion or philosophy or science. Rely instead on the truth of God’s Word which is the only thing that sets you free. God sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions. Learn to shut down the hackers and get your heart and mind back!

Have you been having a tough time lately and wondering what is the point? Do you find yourself distracted with cares? Have things become increasingly difficult for you? Does happiness and peace of mind seem to evade you? If so, you have probably been hacked. But, not to worry. With God there are always solutions and answers greater than the skill and cunning of any hacker. You can get your heart and mind back if you will only go about it the way God says to do it. Humble yourself and get your needs met. I finally was able to recover my account using the deeply hidden and obscured video selfie method which worked after 9 tries. Thankfully God makes it a lot easier than that.

Just some good thoughts…

God is in the Details…


detailsThere’s a common expression used today, namely that the devil is in the details. Meaning, in order to track down the real source of problems and difficulties, you have to be able to look below the surface and see the things you haven’t seen before. But, if you really give it some thought, God is also in the details. You don’t have to look much further than the creation to recognize that details are very important to God. Too often we gloss over so many details and simply draw conclusions that are not true. We let a few cleverly planned circumstances and so called facts lead us in directions that are not the reality of a thing. The reality is what God says the reality is and everything that contradicts that reality is a lie. The devil has had thousands of years to perfect his craft and he is always counting on people to fall for the same tricks over and over again. Once you begin to learn that God is also in the details, you can begin to trust Him with the important things in your life. There is no part of your life that God is not aware of and He wants you to know that what is important to you is also important to Him. God is not too busy for you and He is infinite in His wisdom and His understanding. God is in the details…

One of the things I love most about God is that He looks on the heart of man. People, often deceived, think God is somehow concerned with everything they do wrong. How foolish to think you could separate yourself from your Creator because you used a swear word, chose a wrong path or acted with the wrong motive. God formed, made and created people and as such knows everything about them. Everything… Your human nature doesn’t escape God. He knows when you are being tricked and He knows what is behind it. I think people would have a much easier time wrestling with sin; missing the mark with God and all of that associated guilt and condemnation, if they realized that God is not deceived and sees quite clearly where you are being worked over and why. God’s heart is never to convict you of sin. His heart is that you learn which aspects of your life are causing you to miss the mark and as such, miss out on the blessings, prosperity and health that come from being on the mark. It isn’t morality for morality’s sake alone. It is doing things that don’t allow the enemy access to you and making choices that will lead you to your good. God knows all about you and still loves you. God has already seen your entire life through. He sent His son to save you (and me). Once you finally get past the sin issue (It is finished), you can really start to live for God. God looks on your heart. He knows who you are inside. He has heard your every prayer. He knows where you are strong and where you struggle. God is in your details.

The devil also is in the details. However, unlike God he does not know everything. He does not have foreknowledge and is certainly not infinite in his wisdom. What he is counting on is that you and I will behave like all other humans. His methods have worked for centuries and will continue to work. He plots and schemes and plans in order to present you with a picture of reality that is very hard to refute. (If it walks like a duck…) He works to close you off from life (and from God). He closes the doors, one by one and closes the windows, one by one, until finally you are alone sitting in a dark place convinced there is something wrong with you. He drives your focus back to yourself and your imperfections. He points out your flaws, reminds you of your errors and accuses you and your motives night and day. Yet, he himself and his cohorts, are behind your every flaw, your every mistake and every motive you have ever had that wasn’t good. These are the details we are missing. If there were no evil, there would be no sin. You did not make any mistake you ever made, no matter how grave, on your own. Every time you zigged when you should have zagged, you did so because of the influence of evil. That is certainly not to justify error, but rather assign the blame rightfully where it belongs. The devil was in the details, but God always is above him.

The real joy and beauty in life is when you begin to discover God in the details of life. He took the time to make that flower perfect in its perfection, but you think He doesn’t know what you need? He came up with electrical and chemical impulses that are able to tell your brain in a nano-second that you are touching something hot, in order to protect you, but still you insist on the idea that He is unaware of something you need, be it ever so small and seemingly inconsequential. I think often, the things you really need the most happen in your heart, which God both looks on and works in. You don’t need God to fix your circumstances. You need God to fix your heart, heal your heart, establish your heart. You need Him to help you track down those minute details, those bulwarks of error, those false notions you have been carrying around for years and years. I can always tell when God fixes something in my heart because my eyes react with tears. When I well up I always say, “thank you Papa” because I know you just repaired something for me. How foolish it is for us to reduce life down to such simplicities when it is so obvious how intricate and detailed the creation is; the creation God made for you and for me. There is a reason nature holds such a powerful appeal over us. We can scarce describe it or explain it but we know how much we need it. God does not content Himself with supplying our major needs or things we think most important. He seeks to supply our every need in every category of life. He sees your lonely heart and seeks to fill the void. He sees your fears and worries and seeks to make you feel secure. He sees your hesitation and encourages you to move. He sees what is behind your every problem and seeks to help you see and understand so that you can finally live the life He has given you. Indeed God is in the details.

There is a life available to us that is everything we always wished it would be. We have all had our share of heartaches and pain. We have all gone completely off the path and paid a price because of it. We have all spent years and years buried in sin and in the difficulties it produces. We have all been sick and suffered with imperfect bodies. We have all carried things in our hearts that are not true and led us to the problems we have today. But, we do not have to live that way any longer. God is in every detail of our lives and sees and knows all. He sent His son to save us and in his completed work we live. It does not matter what has gone on in your past. All that matters is today and the future life you build with God. God already knows the details and as such has a blessed life waiting for you. God is in the details. Enjoy your life today!

Just some good thoughts…

Stop Surviving, Start Thriving…


survival modePeculiar things can happen to you while you’re on the journey of life. You can lose the things you once possessed. Your path can imperceptibly become more difficult. The joy and the happiness you once enjoyed can be stolen from you and replaced with something less. Incredulously, you can even begin to work against your own best interests. What happens to a man or a woman that leads them to survive instead of thriving? It’s time to stop surviving and to start thriving!

No person alive would willfully choose to oppose themselves or work against their own best interests. Even animals instinctively know they have to fight for themselves; for their own lives. Yet this is what happens to people. They can become so broken down, so defeated internally that their only reasonable option seems to be survival. The reason this happens is because their opponent, who works in secret, develops and builds strongholds of error into their minds. These mental fortresses occupy and overrule their logic and paint pictures of life that aren’t actually true. Yet, because they appear true, their devastating effect is realized. People are defeated within the confines of their own heart. It’s no wonder God admonishes us to guard our hearts above all that can be guarded. Once these errors of thought take root, gain momentum and build strength, they render you as a drunken man, unable to discern with any clarity of thought. They rule with the iron fist of fear to the point that it seems more reasonable to limp along in life terrified of some potential outcome, more so than to take life on with its multiplicity of challenges and win. It’s the textbook definition of getting punked out; accepting failure and loss without even fighting back. Logic would seem to dictate that you only need to survive in life when you are out of all available options. Yet those in survival mode always have options as the the things they seek to escape aren’t actually a part of their reality, but rather a part of their imagined reality.

Once people find themselves in these self-made prison holes, it becomes very difficult to extricate themselves. They have been caught in the snare of the adversary and are taken captive by him at his will. In this they are captured alive like a bird that once had freedom of flight. They are not dead, thank God, but they may as well be in comparison to the misery they endeavor to survive day by day. A great teacher once remarked, “Choose your ruts wisely, for you may be in them for a long time.” Ruts are formed in the road by repeated travel down the same path to the point where a groove has been carved into the road. Try as you might, you just keep getting sucked back into the groove. Thus, the solution isn’t to keep going down the same paths over and over again hoping to jump up and out of the rut, but rather to stop traveling down that road altogether. The rut was developed within your own thoughts and you have to decide to make a new road. The reason we get trapped, myself included, is that we persist in thinking the same things that brought us down to begin with. If those things we continue to consider are a lie, our consideration of them, over and over and over, is not going to make them true. Rather, we strengthen the edifice; we build higher and stronger the opposing stronghold and suffer greatly as a result. There is no shame in recognizing that you have been captured, but rather in surrendering and choosing not to fight for yourself. God will always provide a way out, but you have to stand up for yourself and take it.

The only way to tear down those great citadels of error that exist in your mind is to begin to stand against them; to oppose them. It is the truth of the Word of God that sets you free and there is no other way to do it. You stop surviving by your refusal to go down those same paths. It is your human nature, your ego, your well nourished system of logic that is keeping you bound. Humility is the willingness to admit that you might be doing something wrong; that you might be working against your own best interests. The enemy of all goodness is counting on you to make the wrong choice by working on your ego, by those things you think that you already know. By the time you reach the rut; by the time you have become imprisoned by your own self, by the time that fear is the dominating factor in your life, you have already been captured. You’re in the trap! No amount of introspection will open the locks on the trap as it is your (and mine) incessant focus on yourself that got you there in the first place. Who told you that you were not good? Who convinced you that you have no power against the evil that has been threatening you night and day? It was a lie from the father of lies and the only reasonable escape is to stop your consideration of the lie! Stop surviving!

You can only begin to thrive when you rid yourself of the hinderances to your growth. You must cast down those reasoning thoughts against what God’s Word says is true and every exalted thing that stands in opposition to the truth. Once you stop going down the same path the rut will eventually fill back in. The smooth, flat road of the truth will encourage your forward movement. The truth considered and cleaved to will open every lock; break every chain or fetter the adversary has ever put around you and you will once again soar the heights of life where there is no fear. But, the starting point is your humility to God and the things He guarantees are true. Once you escape the false confines of self-made prison holes you can begin to recover yourself and return to sober minded thought that has no basis in fear, only love. And, as God lovingly and graciously gives you a change of heart to the acknowledging of the truth, you will be set free. You will be free to dream and expect and love and enjoy. You will be free to live your best possible life with accomplishment, success and exploits for God. You will stop listening to and acting on those damnable lies and will walk the new road of high endeavor. You will be the man or woman that God always wanted you to be, free to love, free to give, free to serve.

All of us are going to reach a point in our journeys where we have been deceived and suffer as a result of it. All of us are going to fall short. All of us are going to find ourselves in impossible ruts at times. All of us will find ourselves in despair, in survival mode. But the only good God of eternity is always willing to help us find the way back. God’s will is that we thrive. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Stop surviving and start thriving. It is God’s highest good for you. Thrive!

Just some good thoughts…

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…

I’ve Been Blind for Awhile Now…


In life, just because you cannot see something does not mean it doesn’t exist. There are whole vistas of life and understanding to be discovered once you finally get the eyes to see. People trudge along their journeys lifeless and hopeless never quite discerning; never really seeing; never able to make sense of life with all of its varied and manifold twists and turns. And because they have not experienced it they don’t believe it and in not believing it, it escapes them. Often life is more about what has been obscured from your view than it is about seeing what is right there in front of you. Maybe there is more; much more, for you to learn still. Maybe you have been blind for awhile now…

In order to see what is available to see, your mind needs illumination. Darkness is always the absence of light. You will remain unable to see what direction you are traveling as long as you are traveling in the dark. To think you are already illuminated yet continue in futility is a sure indicator that you remain in the dark. To grossly assume that your limited life experience or past education has provided you with all that is necessary to understand life is to cut yourself off from the very essence and fiber of life. You do not know what you do not know. All of the natural, breathtaking reality of nature surrounding you serves to capture your attention. Whether it be the brilliance of a sunset or the intricate depth of a flower, all are designed to lead you to a question; the next question. That question urges you to the light. In the light life, real life, is found.

The reason people live their whole lives in darkness is because they do not know or understand the truth. They have unknowingly lived in darkness for so long that they cannot even consider that light exists. The glimpses of light they have experienced are quickly chased away by the darkness. They are led away unmercifully time and time again, herded with the masses into uncertainty and fear. They do not seek light because they have been sold on lies concerning the light. Religion, posing as the light, feeds them error upon error, producing only more darkness. Religion informs them of all the things they must do to find the light, then chastises them for being unable to find it, attributing it to sins or hidden faults preventing them from finding, seeing or experiencing. Every wrong path pursued, be it intentionally or out of ignorance, leads only to more darkness. Error works to harden the hearts of men, and once hardened, can no longer perceive. Darkness is a cruelty that can only be remedied by the light. Otherwise man remains blinded and unable to see clearly.

Light comes from God and from God alone. The light is found in the truth of God’s Word. Ask yourself how much of God’s Word you understand and you can accurately predict how much light you enjoy. Most people, sadly, know very little about God’s Word and worse much of it has been manipulated and distorted to be something it is not. In place of unparalleled freedom people are enslaved. Instead of being a source of encouragement and edification it is turned into a touch point for accusation and criticism. People falsely conclude that life with God is all about their behavior and what they are doing and shouldn’t, and aren’t doing, but should. They make God the morality police and as such avoid Him like the plague. I’m pretty certain God already knows how you are living, yet like any good parent worth his salt, loves you anyway. You pray for healing to a god that supposedly made you sick. You endure unspeakable tragedies and console yourself with some mysterious higher purpose. You daily assign evil to the only good and live in abject fear of destruction and loss. Brothers and sisters, you have got it all wrong. God is only good always! God will never do anything to harm you, no matter who you are and whatever you have done! That is love and that is light…

Once you begin to understand God’s Word and His purposes, you find the light for which you have been searching your whole life. God’s Word illuminates your path. The truth enables you to separate good from evil. God’s Word helps you to finally see all the things you have formerly been unable to see. Once able to see, you become free to experience real life. You find the love and the joy you have only heard of before. You discover the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding and in that peaceful state are able to quickly spot the imposters when they arrive. You no longer have to live your life terrified about what tomorrow may bring. When you have a need, God, not your human wisdom, meets it. If you are sick He will heal you. What you cannot understand He will explain to you. The parts of life that formerly enslaved you, will no longer hold you bound because of the light that lives within your soul. Have you been blind for awhile now? Well, now is the time to see…

If your heart is open and if you are willing to admit that maybe you don’t know, you can learn. You can both see and experience all that God intended for life to be. You can live on the high road. You can escape the clutches of religion and bondage and walk in complete and total freedom, never again held in by anyone or anything! You can discern error for what it is, error, promoted and espoused by evil to keep you away from the true light. God is not hiding any of this from you, but something else is and you owe it to yourself to figure that out. The life you are yearning for is yearning for you as well. Maybe you have been blind for awhile now. The truth will make you see…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Driving Ms. Daisy… (Are You Directing Your Thoughts or Are Your Thoughts Directing You?)


There’s a little known secret in the world today and it involves what you think about the most in the privacy of your own mind. Your day to day thinking forms the basis of how your life turns out. What you consider, what you dwell upon, what you incubate in the chambers of your mind turns into your experience of life (not simply your reaction to it, but your actual experience). As such, and this is why it remains a secret, you have a duty to control your thinking. You are responsible to actively direct your thoughts as opposed to having them direct you! Are you driving Ms. Daisy going where you are instructed or are you driving your own life?

Many, many people feel that their thoughts are something that just happen as they navigate life. They unknowingly just sort of let their thoughts run wherever the wind takes them. They wrongly assume “good” days and “bad” days are predetermined with their responsibility being simply to make it through the bad days. They hope tomorrow will be better. And in thinking this way, they become victims, cruelly tortured by an opponent they cannot see or discern. They are victimized because no-one ever taught them how to control their thinking, much less any reason to seek to do so. A life lived with uncontrolled thinking is a life being directed by someone outside of yourself. It’s a life filled with misery.

Your heart is the great citadel of your soul. Your heart must be guarded above all that you can ever guard because from “it” flow the issues of your life. Those things you have in your heart, be they wonderful or disastrous, will come to pass in your physical reality if they are allowed to remain in your heart. Your heart is made up collectively of the things you think about the most. The way that you guard your heart is by controlling what you will and will not think about. Failure to control your thinking, a human epidemic, leads to a heart filled with things you do not want, put in there by something that seeks to bring harm, defeat and loss into your life. Think about it for a second. If you aren’t driving, who is? God doesn’t do the driving for you, no matter how much you wish He would. Instead, God admonishes you to guard your heart. He tells you to control your thinking. He asks that you, by your freedom of will, make the decision to think how He says to think. Committing to controlling your thinking and thinking in terms of the things God says to think about, leads you directly to the abundant life He promised you!

Please allow me to clarify what I’m offering you in terms of your life experience! There’s a whole world of goodness and love and blessings awaiting you if you are willing to do your part! But, you have to do your part! I’m certainly not suggesting that you walk around trying to find the good in bad things or simply putting a smile on your face when things go terribly wrong. Nor am I asking you to ignore negative events or act like things are okay when they are not okay. Instead, I’m suggesting that you fight to remain positive in your expectations. Allowing the world to define your experience and decide for you whether or not you are going to be okay leads only to more and more defeat. As such, your duty, your solemn duty is to not stake your existence on what things look like or seem like, but rather on what God’s Word says is right; what God’s Word says is true. Holding fast to what the Word says; to what God has promised you is the only way to escape your present circumstances and turn things around for the better. Your expectation for the future is just that, “your expectation!” You can expect for things not to work out or you can expect that they will, no matter what is going on in your present experience. If you’re honest you already know how negative the world is and the people and the circumstances. Controlling your thinking means knowing the preponderance of negativity, you still remain positive, because God is bigger than any circumstance!

Controlled thinking isn’t walking around all day holding onto a certain thought as life doesn’t work that way. You aren’t a robot! Instead, you go about your day to day experience and pay attention to what you are thinking about. When you notice you are afraid, for example, you think about some promise from God that counters that fear. Then, as your duty in controlled thought, you decide not to entertain those fearful expectations. Oh it’s not always easy as you will find yourself real tempted to consider those negatives, but controlled thinking refuses it. All of your reasoning and mental ability are no match for what’s behind that stuff. You take it on by not taking it on! Refuse it. This pattern applies to every negative thing that limits and tarnishes your life. If you will commit yourself to doing as I suggest, you will begin to experience a joy and happiness you have not ever experienced before. You will find the peace that passes understanding and find yourself right in the middle of all of God’s goodness, available for you…

Determine now that you will begin trying to control your thinking. Think about what you are thinking about. Thoughts that give you agitation or unrest are sure indicators you are thinking about things you need to stop thinking about. Don’t overcomplicate things with your human reasoning. Simply refuse the negatives and replace them with the positives of God’s Word. Do this faithfully moment by moment throughout your day. As you become more accustomed to it, it will get easier to do and you will experience for yourself the blessedness.

Are you driving Ms. Daisy to destinations you didn’t choose? Direct and control your own thoughts and arrive at the place where all your dreams come true…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Problem Solving – You Dig…


_86151558_istock_000024638881_largePeople often find themselves drawn to a standstill by some problem or problems they cannot find a way to overcome. These are the deep issues in life that have no quick fix or simple remedy. People unknowingly end up struggling with these issues for years and years, sometimes over a lifetime. Underneath every obstacle that ever confronted you and boasted of its impenetrability lies some error in thinking or believing or action. You can’t easily spot it because it has been craftily buried outside your awareness then layered and layered with other errors in your logic and heart. Thus true problem solving requires removing the wrong thoughts and wrong beliefs, one shovelful at a time, you dig? (pun intended…)

The root of this human dilemma is your enemy, the devil. He is a real thing. The reason people don’t believe he exists is because he’s done an excellent job convincing people he doesn’t exist. He is breathtakingly cunning and crafty and in competition with your human logic you are no match for him. For him, human beings are easy to defeat because they try to apply natural knowledge to overcome supernatural problems. They say things like, “there is no evil” or “evil only exists in your mind” or “things are only evil because you’ve made them so,” all the while getting their asses handed to them by the same one deftly concealing himself. He runs a tight operation using former angels that fell to completely screw up and ruin people. He is the author of all that crap that you can neither understand nor explain. He is anarchy, confusion, discomfort, fear and dread. He is every problem you have ever struggled with and the reason for every wrong, hurtful thing that ever happened to you! Yet, he can be defeated, and if you are going to be successful in life, must be defeated, one thought, one decision, one action at a time.

How could you ever hope to remove error while you remain unaware of what is error? Error is simply the wrong way to do something. Error is riding the bike with the crooked handlebars for so long that you accustom yourself to their crookedness. And eventually, if you practice error long enough, start to believe that the crooked is actually straight. Error is 1+1+1 not equaling 3. Error is cause and effect where the cause is always hidden.  Error is the poison in the flower that concealed it. Error is the alluring bait with a hook in it, that you won’t discover until you are already on the line. Error is always some compromise on the truth, some absence of truth or some twist on the truth. Error makes you miss the target! Error is darkness that is only overcome by light, one spark, one sheen, one glimmer at a time.

The sunshine of a man’s soul is the truth of God’s Word, which is the only source of light sufficient enough to cut through the bullshit and get to any real remedy. The rest will consist only of a mental masturbation never leading to anything substantial, ever leading to more and more darkness and confusion and loss. God’s Word, the Bible tells you how to think and as such is without error because its Author is without error. The logic of light cannot be defeated with illogic as its Creator, Light, sees through every scheme, every shenanigan, every misstep, sidestep and step back. Thus the logic of God’s Word is the only thing that will work successfully against your spiritual opponent. It is the light sufficient for you to see so you can dig, so you can remove, so you can rebuild on rock and not on more sand.

People were never designed to function as free agents, living their lives according to their own rules and on their own terms. The design for people included the great freedom to choose for themselves in every conceivable way after being presented with the choices. Conjuring up rules as you go or following the rules your parents taught you by their parents who taught them and their parents who taught them, leads inescapably to defeat. Making up your own mind by using only your own mind about what is good and what is evil is as insane as jumping off a building because you decided you wouldn’t get hurt! Gravity preexisted your thought processes. God gave you free will so that you could choose Him, not have to choose Him. He presents you with a way to live abundantly if you choose to live that way, not because you have to live that way. God even has to let you walk down those slippery slopes to your own demise when you are bound and determined to do it, but remains ready in an instant to save you should you earnestly request it!

Can’t you see it? God wants to help you solve your problems. He wants to help you take out the trash from your head, one bag at a time. He wants you to find a better way where there is no fear, no anxiety, no trepidation about living. He wants you to finally understand that your big problems are easy for Him to solve and that He will turn you on to the answers when you come to Him, with empty shovels in hand. He wants to rescue you and deliver you from that evil despot that has been running roughshod over your life and heart! He is willing! Are you?

Those gigantic obstacles to living, those great mountains of defeat, those solid walls of despair that have been built into your heart may be removed, one chisel, one rock, one brick at a time. You might not destroy the structure overnight, but you can tear them all down if you will persist. How you got there doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not you are going to stay there. We have all zigged when we should have zagged, so stand up tall, throw your shoulder’s back and get what you’ve got coming to you!

Get your problems solved, you dig?

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.