Living Your Best Life…


5-30-people-jumpingI’m sure you already know this by now, but our time on the earth is frightfully short. What seems like forever when we are twenty quickly turns into forty, fifty, then enter our sixties and beyond. And even though us believing types can look forward to the opportunity to live forever, life on this planet is short, damn short. We have a finite number of days to live this life and more importantly to enjoy our time here. For this reason alone, we owe it to ourselves to live our best lives now. What will it take for you to be living your best life now?

It seems near the top of our pursuits is built into us the desire to be happy. We all know and love how happy feels, yet we aren’t always happy. We let circumstances and people and unresolved situations get on top of us and rob us of our enjoyment. We get caught up in things that don’t help us nor lead us to our own personal fulfillment. We waste days and months and years being afraid of things and doubting ourselves from sunup to sundown. In short, we don’t cooperate with our own selves to do the things that bring about our best lives, being the best person we can be in each category of our experience. Instead, we work at cross purposes with ourselves and work against our own best interests. We don’t properly honor ourselves nor give ourselves a chance to get it right. We judge ourselves, berate ourselves, punish ourselves and hurt ourselves. We live amidst a perpetual state of seeking, yet not obtaining; striving, yet not making progress; attempting, but failing and never actually arriving at the place we see so clearly in our hearts. And, the million dollar question is why?

I think the main reason this happens to us is because we refuse to take on the central issues of our lives. We know we desperately need more money, but don’t do the things required to make more money. We live with some negative aspect of our personality, yet never take it to heart and resolve ourselves to repair it. We settle for less than we deserve across a multitude of spectrums. We know the changes we need to make in our relationships, yet spend a lifetime playing the victim, instead of speaking up and saying what it is we really need and want. We know very clearly the changes that are needed, yet are loathe to make the changes. We have all the excuses in the world and we stand by them. And, if we are honest, it usually isn’t our whole lives that need revision, but instead a few pivotal themes that hold us back from being the person we know to be. For this reason, we owe it to ourselves to take on the challenges in our lives and win the fights. Our best life is waiting for us to do it.

There is still another important variable in beginning to live our best lives and that variable is time. The competition we are all in means at times things will challenge us and confront us and even in some cases, assault us. We are in a fight; a fight between good and evil. When we are winning the fight, we will be living our best lives. When we are losing the fight, even temporarily, we will not be living our best lives and will instead be succumbing to fear and misery and defeat. Whole lifetimes can be lost to fear; to guilt and self-judgment; in circumstances that appear beyond our control or ability to impact. Yet, that is when we are being deceived. There is always something we can do to remedy situations because God is on our side. And most importantly, the time to fight back is when you are in the fight. Waiting and waiting to take on areas of your life you know are defeating you is simply prolonging your own happiness and joy. You may not know all of the variables yet, but you do know where you struggle. Once you become more clear concerning the brevity of life, the more important it will become to you to deal with and resolve the issues of your life. And as much as you may not want to hear it, you have to fight back. You have to quit assuming you were dealt a lousy hand; didn’t get the advantages that others enjoy; have suffered more than your fair share of difficulties. All of those things may be quite true because we have a cruel opponent, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot overcome and ride on the high places of the earth. Living your best life equals having a willingness to take on those areas that cause you suffering and to take them on now!

Living our best lives is being happy and enjoying our experience of life. Life is to be enjoyed. All of that striving and working and pressing and grinding, though it may lead you somewhere, is the tell-tale sign you are trying to do it without God. You are driving yourself to the bone to obtain something God would freely give you if you let Him. Sure you must work, sure you have to supply effort, sure you need to engage yourself with your whole heart, but your best life will be found when you stop trying to control every aspect of your own life and let God do what He promised He would do. You cannot control the world, other people or the adversary for that matter. But, you can control your thinking and stop allowing those negatives to shape your life. You can choose to stop allowing your opponent to define the narrative concerning what you must have; what you must have accomplished; who you must be in order to be happy and instead define those things for your own self. You will find that your personal happiness and fulfillment will come as a result of making your own way in accordance with the things that matter most to you. Your best life is your happiest life, your most enjoyable life. What things take away your happiness? What obstacles impede your ability to enjoy life? What things are you doing and saying to yourself that limit you and cause you to settle for less than the best; God’s best? That my friends is the best place to start and you need to start right now!

Living your best life is loving and appreciating this experience we call life and learning how to do it in the best way. We are all on our own personal journey with warnings and signposts along the way. Pay attention to things and carefully note those aspects of life that curtail your enjoyments; take away your peace; severely hamper and impede your progress and set about to defeat them. Take things on with God’s loving help along the way. The God who invented life knows exactly how to live it and He wants you to discover that for yourself. He dislikes religion and obligatory activity even more than you do. You won’t find your best life listening to everything people say is wrong. You’ll find it when you begin to trust your own heart and do the things that lead to your own personal fulfillment and happiness. You can be everything you always wanted to be in every aspect of life, if you’ll just get serious about getting there.

This life we are living is frightfully short, but won’t you be glad in the end that you found happiness and love along the way? Live your best life now. You owe that to yourself!

Just some good thoughts…

The Self-Focus Trap…


Assuming you are a logical person, it would appear the more you focus on yourself, the happier your life would become. So much is written concerning the need to take care of yourself, refuel yourself and make time for yourself and most of it is probably good. But, what if incessant focus on yourself produces the exact opposite results than you intended? What if your focus on self can actually be detrimental? Is it possible that your sincere focus on improving yourself actually impedes you from making any progress? Are you looking in the right direction or have you unknowingly become distracted? Is perpetual focus on self a trap?

Most things in life that cause us to stumble do so because we are unaware of the true cause and effect relationship at play. We spend our lives trying to rid ourselves of some negative effect by focusing on the wrong cause. In so doing, our efforts are squandered away chasing apparent realities that are not realities at all. We exert tremendous efforts to remedy our situation but find no remedy, not because life is too hard, but because we have the wrong focus. This is the very essence of deception. We fall prey to it so easily because we trust what people say and laud those opinions over the truth. We trust our always self-centered logic and conclude we can figure it out. We are loathe to admit that we cannot! If you have a problem and let’s face it, we all do to some degree, it is so because we have not yet touched upon the right solution. In earnest, we seek for a solution and subsequently apply a hundred-fold recommendations, never entertaining the idea that the solution escapes our comprehension. In this, we waste our lives and our time caught up in an endless cycle of error, working harder, trying harder, exerting more effort towards something that will never yield the right result. In short, our starting premise is wrong as evidenced by our inability to find the answer; the real cause of our problems.

It has been said that the things man produces always reveal the imperfections of man, while the things God produces have no flaws in them. No matter the human masterpiece, closer inspection reveals imperfections. Conversely, the things God makes not only have no flaws in them, but the closer the inspection the more perfection is discovered. Similarly, the more you seek to understand God, the more His perfection becomes apparent. Yet, the closer you inspect corruptible man and his ways, the more imperfections you will find. When you spend your time dwelling on and investigating your human ways, no matter how noble your motives, the more you will find your own imperfections and flaws. You will never find perfection within yourself, no matter your sincere efforts and arduous labor. Instead, you will find more and more not to feel good about and more areas of your life in need of revision. You think it is noble and pleasing to God that you spend your life trying to make your imperfections righteous, but your starting premise is already wrong; namely that you by your human efforts can make your imperfections perfect. In this, you waste your time and in this you waste your life. How many Christians spend their days in endless self examination, ever condemned and disapproved, ever conscious of their human flaws and shortcomings, ever defeated by an insidiously wrong starting premise? To the mainstream Christian, every action is wrong, every thought corrupt, every motive questioned. All enjoyments are to be examined and all concepts of fun are to be rigorously discarded and rejected. Yet, in this they persist to their own misery and lack of true fulfillment all based upon a starting premise that isn’t true; that was never true.

God’s job is to fix the things we cannot fix for ourselves. We were all born with a sin nature that is easily corrupted. Our natural tendency, after the fall of man and the introduction of sin to mankind, is towards error. It is in our blood. The more you search within yourself, the more apparent it becomes. Yet, instead of investing so much effort to fix it, we need to let God fix it for us. God’s solution for us was to provide a perfect man, without sin in his blood, who by the freedom of his own will, walked and lived God’s Word perfectly. He is our savior who saved us from ourselves. He ended the need for us to fix ourselves; repair ourselves and SPEND All OF OUR DAYS FOCUSING ON OURSELVES and everything we do and don’t do right. He made it possible for us to stop dwelling on what isn’t right with us and change our subject of focus to Him and what He did for us. We are right because He (not we by human efforts and hard damn work) made us right in His sight. And as contrary to human logic as it appears, our focus is to no longer be on what isn’t right with us, but rather on who God and what He made us to be.

Sounds so simple because it is true. Our job, your job is stop focusing on yourself and stop working so hard to figure out your own problems. Read that again! You won’t figure out these life dilemmas; these life suckers by your human intellect and strength of will! How has it been working for you thus far? Instead, give your issues to God, one by one and let Him do God’s job by getting you to the real solution. He already knows the real cause! In so doing, now you are beginning to think how God designed you to think! Self-focus and dwelling on self do not produce the results you desire. They just steal away your life and enthusiasm and energy on false causes you cannot truly effect. Get your focus off yourself and your issues and get God involved with your solution. Self focus is a trap from which God will gladly help you escape… Free yourself!

Just some good thoughts…

Pull Your Weeds!


Being an avid gardener and a lover of all things growing, I’ve pulled more than my fair share of weeds. No matter how much you endeavor to stay on top of them, they always come back. You take a little vacation hiatus and they’ve already taken over the entire garden. Life is like that. No matter how hard you work at it, there’s always going to be challenges to overcome. Sometimes those challenges can get ahead of you and overwhelm you. No matter how big of a mess you may find yourself in at times, the only solution is to get back out there and pull those weeds one by one until they are all gone.

It seems awfully unfair that the weeds of life, the negatives, the personal problems, the difficulties, the challenges,  the bad habits, seemingly appear overnight while the good things take so much time and effort to build and preserve. Evil is truly relentless. It picks away at you day by day ever seeking to take away some good, some happiness. Little things left unchecked quickly assemble and begin to strangle you. Unfinished business is the blight of mankind. Man, while endeavoring to enjoy good things, yet letting stuff go and overlooking things that need attention, garners to himself difficulties that could have been easily handled early on. As such, it is important to pull up the weeds as quickly as they appear. Waiting for a better time simply compounds the problem. The effort required to stay on top is significantly less than the energy required to dig out of the disaster. Pull your weeds.

Everything in life that you let go eventually turns back on you. The little issue you started recognizing, the thinking errors you haven’t resolved, the vices you have employed, your tendency towards procrastination with its associated stacking up and compounding, all stand as beacons calling out for you to act. Inaction, appearing as a viable alternative, simply works behind the scenes to bury you with worries and undue concerns. The elephant in the room remains and you are left off the worse because of it. You aren’t preserving precious time, you are squandering your future time. Fix the leaky pipe. Handle your overdue car registration. Pay the ticket. Replace your wiper blades. Pull your weeds. If you don’t do it today, you are going to spend a lot more time doing it with its consequences tomorrow.

The origin of all of mankind’s difficulties is found in the spiritual realm. (There was a time when there weren’t any weeds!) The way that darkness gets on top of you occurs systematically, day by day, night by night. It chips away at you one weed at a time counting on your inaction. Eventually, you find yourself so marred and overwhelmed that the solution is no longer apparent. Enter the method for every apparently unsolvable problem you have ever had. By the time you become aware that you are in trouble, you are already in deep. Thus the solution for spiritual problems is to chip away at them one by one until they are gone. You cannot clean them up all at once, no matter how determined you are. They were unsuspectingly built into you over time and they may require time to be resolved. Overcoming these kinds of problems will require God’s help and loving assistance. Often, the problem you seek to address isn’t the problem at all, but rather is an extension of another problem on top of another problem, masking another problem. You cannot clearly discern the problem (on your own) and that’s why the problem persists. But, with God’s help you can begin recovering yourself, pulling one weed at a time, weed by weed, until the issue is at last resolved.

The weeds of life exist as the worries and fears that you unknowingly harbor; the negative outcomes you faithfully rehearse and consider, the resultant inaction and lack of energy they produce. Thinking is not an action, it only precedes an action. In other words, you have to make up your mind to do something about the things that are bothering you. Do something! Take a step forward. Stop going down certain paths either mentally or physically or both. Challenge your bad habits. Cease (or pause) doing something you are so desperately clinging onto as a need which isn’t a need at all. The problem with bad habits is that they always begin as small and insignificant, yet gather power by your insistence in repeating them. After a time, as was secretly designed, you pursue your bad habits almost automatically until they develop enough steam to bring your entire life down to some terrible outcome. Fear produces inaction. The anecdote to fear is action, not more analysis. Once you begin to act, you will find more clues, more insights, more valuable information about where and how you are being defeated. Until then, you will continue as business as usual, suffering, churning, wishing for the answer. Get up and start pulling the weeds!

Life was designed by God and He already knows where you stumble and why. His Word already had the answer but you might not know that yet. So, better than any good parent, He knows exactly how to rescue you. He sees all and cuts right through all of the facades and trickery. As you act, He acts. As you take believing steps, however small, He will provide you with glimpses of truth and flashes of light to guide you on your way. It doesn’t matter where you came from or how you were brought up. It doesn’t matter how bad your problem appears to be. What matters is that you decide to act, then act. What has been bothering you lately or for the past year or even the last twenty years? What garbage can of crap assaults you day by day? What recurrent issues seem to keep popping up over and over again? That thing or those things are a good place to start! Start pulling the weeds up until you get back to the beautiful you, alive, thriving and unencumbered; the real you! Act!

Just some good thoughts…