Something is Supposed to Happen!


power-of-God

You ever have that experience where you expected something really cool and then nothing happened? I feel like this is the experience of most Christians today. I know it isn’t God’s fault in that He would somehow be less today than He was in the past. Or, that our relationship with God is nothing more than replacing poor morality with good works in exchange for a ticket to heaven. Or perhaps, that believing in God is psychologically good for the soul whereby you can talk things over but not expect anything to actually change. It seems to me that maybe we got it all wrong. Maybe our starting premise is incorrect. Maybe we have been so schooled to expect nothing to happen when we seek God that we have settled for less than His best. I mean if we are being honest, if my belief in God produces nothing tangible in my life, then what would be the point? And, all these shenanigans folks do for God, why would they even do them? In reality, we the common folks have been sold a bill of goods. We have been craftily and artfully talked out of the power of God which should accompany our relationship with Him. The abundant life promised in John 10:10 just doesn’t happen on its own despite what we believe. No, my friends, we’ve got something wrong with our thinking and with our heartfelt expectations. When you become a child of God, something is supposed to happen!

The starting point for this dilemma comes when we do not understand spiritual realities because of our insistence in trusting, believing and acting upon only that which we can perceive with our five senses. The spiritual realm is outside of our five senses perceptions. We are deceived into believing God’s Word isn’t true because our five sense counter what God says in His Word. The evidence, if you will, is not apparent and believing thus, we quickly give up. We think it looks bad so it is bad and it looks good because it is good. However, that is not how it works. What God says is true whether it ever looks true or not. What God has promised you as His child is your reality, not what the doctor says, the economy says or the world says. As a believer, you have perpetual access to God’s power and God’s goodness and kindness towards you. The reason you don’t believe that is because someone taught you incorrectly. They tied God’s goodness towards you to your own weakness and inadequacies and in so doing stole away the power of God from your life. You are still trying to get right with God who, through the finished work of His son, already made you right with Him. You think, foolishly, that you could somehow make yourself good enough to deserve His love and goodness towards you. And then it is no surprise that you fail and in failing, fail to believe God’s promises to you. You are part of a grand deception, because when you believe God, something is supposed to happen!

With that spirit you received when you believed God’s record of His son, you received power. The point of the power is to help you overcome the power of evil in and over your life. The only reason you suffer in any capacity; the only reason you live with unmet needs; the only reason you cannot seem to get ahead or over certain obstacles is because you are losing in the contest with evil. You are losing in the contest because you either don’t know or do not use God’s power in your life. You are still relying on old “figure it out on your own” brain, which is easily defeated as you can readily attest. God has given you power for abundant living! With this power from God you can surmount any mountain in your path. God’s will is to heal you today of any malady that assaults you. God’s power can break the powers of evil over your life. God can reveal to you what is going on spiritually and what to do about it. God can right any wrong, restore any part of your life, strengthen you, bless you and cause you to ride on the high places of the earth. It is never His will that is in question! God is only good always in every capacity, in every act, in every conceivable way. His goodness is there for you if you want it. Oh my God, something is supposed to happen!

How many people understand the working of God’s holy spirit? Again, most people are still waiting for a feeling, some indicator that God’s spirit is inside and they usually end up waiting a very long time. God isn’t found in your feelings. God’s spirit that resides inside you (when you believe) is always ready to go into operation for you! It is you, the new you. That spirit inside you has different manifestations or evidences. The purpose of those manifestations is that you might use them (it is your spirit) to win in life. It is God’s solution for you! Part of that spiritual package you received enables God to talk to you directly. Imagine, God Almighty can converse with you! He can tell you what is really going on in a situation and what to do about it. He can provide you with clues and insight into your relationships, your work life, how to be successful and the list goes on. But, sadly, most people remain absolutely clueless about the power of God in their life. They sort of limp along, praying and not receiving, hoping, wishing and not getting anywhere fast. They are so caught up in their own bullshit that they miss God a lifetime. Instead of relying on God’s solutions that they desperately need, they focus in on their own missteps and failures as if the power of God hinged upon their good behavior. How absurd it is to think that the God of Heaven and Earth would limit Himself to human behaviors and mistakes! You’ve got it all wrong and no wonder because that is how you have been taught. Everything God does for man He does from His grace, His divine favor that He freely gives to every man. You finally can operate the power of God when you stop making it about you and make it about Him! God already knows your whole future (and mine) and loves you anyway. Don’t you love your children? Do you only provide them with the solutions they need when they are good or do you do it out of your pure love for them? Well, I imagine God is at least that good, don’t you? When you learn to operate the power of God, something is supposed to happen. Something good will absolutely happen!

The whole point of this life is to learn about who God is and to live your life with Him. Don’t spend another day trying to go it alone. You need help and you know it. Life, absent God is confusing and scary and hard. Life without God is futile and miserable. Brethren, these things ought not to be. The power of God is inside of you already if you have been born again and all you have to do is learn how to use it. Once you get God involved, life turns around in a hurry. You will find that it was never about your good works, but rather about the God who made you. His love is unparalleled. His kindness and compassion, unrivaled. You could not find a better friend or a better source of all that is missing from your life. All that God seeks from you is a willingness to learn of Him. Ask the questions and see if He will not give you the answers. Oh how grateful I am to have learned of Him. Oh how good my life is with Him. With all of my decidedly suspect behaviors, He loves me still and gives me all that I could ever need. Surely you want that in your own life. You would be crazy not to want it! When God is involved, something is supposed to happen! Always!

Just some good thoughts…

Enjoy Your Life…


3588855bb2e74867f7877d6b26470a98When you are a young person, you cannot wait to get older and do the things that adults can do. When you reach adulthood, you quickly learn that being an adult carries with it some responsibilities you hadn’t really thought all the way through. You take on those responsibilities and begin to figure things out. You work hard and seek out the resources you need for you and your young, budding family. You start to taste some success, admittedly some more than others, and before you know it, you find yourself in your thirties, then forties, eventually reaching middle age. Your children are likely grown or getting there and you start setting new priorities for your life. You settle into your middle aged life and because you worked hard, have more resources available to you and more time to devote to the things you enjoy most. And while you continue on your journey, the time comes when discussions involve retirement and you’ve entered your sixties. At some point you retire and it dawns on you that you cannot actually cheat Father Time as you see and feel the effects of age. And, as this progression continues and you aren’t getting any younger, some of the most simple things provide you with the most pleasure, much like how you started out. You look back on your life and recognize it for the journey it actually is and was. No one told you how to do your thirties or your forties or your sixties. In fact, no one told you hardly anything about aging at all. There was little to no advice about what to expect, what to plan for or how best to live your life along the way. And as you approach the ending no one really wants to consider, the only question remaining will be, did you enjoy your life? Did you engage your mind and your heart in the things that matter most? Did you enjoy your days as you lived them or were you always trying to get to the next place? Did you savior the beauty of today or was your habit to postpone all enjoyment for the future when you finally had it all figured out with resources untold? No matter your present age, the question is, are you enjoying your life? 

Life is vary similar for us all. By the time we have gained a little wisdom, we will have already had our fair share of bumps and bruises. We will have endured some catastrophes and survived. We learned tough lessons. We maybe screwed things up quite a bit. We had weaknesses and issues that took us years to overcome. We might have failed, succeeded and failed again. All of this is common to the human experience. It will happen or has happened in some capacity to us all. Yet all these things are not the measure of our lives. The real measure is found in every day that happened in between those events. As much as we didn’t like it, did we fight through those tough times? Were we able to find happiness and love despite the obstacles? Did we learn early enough that the real blessing and enjoyment we found came from those who we lived life with? All of the hours we spent raising children and caring for them and making sure they had everything they needed were all insignificant in comparison to the love we shared and do share with them. And in the midst of all that stressful endeavor, I sure hope you enjoyed them. Those countless hours you spent at work, striving to be the best, to be successful, to earn, to provide for your family, again lose their value if you were not able to enjoy those folks you saw everyday and with which you were blessed to interact. Every successful marriage has its fair share of challenges as should be expected from two people growing, changing and interacting every day. Yet for all of the fights, the silent treatment, the unrealistic expectations and demands, stands alone the absolute joy of having someone close and intimate from which to enjoy your life in all of its varied experiences and emotions. Who can compare to “your person” that understands all of your human frailty but continues to love you nonetheless? My point, lest you miss it, is that you have one life to enjoy, to learn, to grow and to overcome and only one life to live on Earth. Enjoy your life…

All of us love a sunny day as well as congenial circumstances of favor and plenty. None of us take delight in the struggles. We all long for a time when things always work out and every effort we supply has a grand result. We are all happy when things are going right and we are all unhappy when we find ourselves pressed and tried. Life, this life, is often unfair and lacking in the justice we would expect. Picnics get rained on and beach days suddenly turn cold. Vacations get cancelled and glorious outdoor weddings are hurriedly moved indoors. Circumstances change, our feelings change, we’re up, we’re down, we are beside ourselves and we are blessed. It is this life we have now and it is ours to choose to enjoy. We cannot allow circumstances to define our happiness anymore than we can leave our enjoyment in the hands of other people. Instead enjoyment is found when we slow down a bit and savior the fullness of our experience; when we take the time to look around at all that we have instead of that which we perceive we lack; when we look full on in the faces of the people we love and communicate with our hearts, embracing tender feelings towards them. This is the real beauty and essence of life. This is the life God envisioned for us. Enjoy your life…

Wisdom need not be reserved for the aged. You don’t have to be in your golden years before you finally understand that all along you only had one life to live with every conceivable decision in between. You don’t have to wait for some future day when all of your needs will finally be met. You don’t have to postpone your happiness until you find “your person.” It was never about your car or your house or your bank account. Life, your life, is to be lived today to the absolute full. Let tomorrow be what it wants for your life is found in today, right now. In the grand words of Emerson, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget then as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Enjoy your life…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Change Your Mind!


two-split-minds-heads-0618211Nothing changes until you change. The changes you really want and beg for and wish for and complain about and lament concerning, are not going to come about on their own. The circumstances of your life, be they what they are, are ultimately a production of your own mind and heart, played out in infinite variations within your own existence. When you find yourself bogged down and mired in negativity, nothing is going to counter that negativity until you finally decide to change your mind. And, while you wait and endure and long for a positive end, you will be waiting a lifetime unless you get determined to confront the source, your own thinking and subsequently your own expectations. As a great man once remarked, “You cannot travel within and stand still without.” As your thoughts go, you will continue to go. Where your thoughts remain, there you will remain. If you are serious about wanting something to change, you have to become serious about changing your thoughts. Change your mind!

It is common for man to think that his thoughts are simply a reaction to his circumstances. He fancies that he is merely a reactive force in the world. Where the world goes, he must go. Instead of commanding control of his mind, he waits for something outside of him to alter something that exists within him. He waits in vain for his ship to come in; his luck to turn around; some grand, cosmic intervention to occur thereby setting him free from his misery and pain. In not knowing, he fails to cooperate with the reality of things. He foolishly waits for God to do something that he must do and exhausts himself trying to do what God alone can do. In his ignorance, he rebels against his own self. He desperately pleads for circumstances to change, while encouraging those same circumstances with the thoughts he continues to think. He persists and they persist. He cleaves to the wrong and the wrong cleaves to him. He continues to walk in darkness then curses the darkness for plaguing his life. As another great man once remarked, “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light.” Complaining, whining, bitching, rehashing, playing the victim, rehearsing wrongs done, replaying the evil, remaining in the darkness can only lead to more and more darkness. Endeavoring to command God’s light into circumstances of darkness while remaining in the darkness and refusing to depart from the darkness, is a fool’s game, which many a suffering soul has lived in and for a long, long time. In order for anything good to come, you have to be willing to change your mind. You have to change your mind!

People bring their troubles to God, as He would have them to do, and then refuse to change their thinking. They stay focused on their problems; talk only about their problems; and live firmly within the confines of their problems. They refuse to let things go. In doing so, they remain in the darkness. God is not found in the darkness, He is found in the light, for He is light and in Him is no darkness at all. To earnestly pray for God’s deliverance from some negative circumstance, while persisting in the negativity and embracing it instead of moving to the light, is a recipe for an unanswered prayer. It’s never that God is unwilling to answer the prayer, but more so that the person praying is unwilling to do their part and change their mind. Changing your mind to some thought that is based on the light of God’s Word is the antidote to darkness. Then, once you find the light, you must be determined to stay there. You will find yourself tempted to return to the darkness, the negativity, the defeat, but in order to prevail you have to stay in the light. It might surprise you to know that the reason your circumstances are negative, if they are, is because you have thought it so and continue to think it so. You have knowingly and unknowingly persisted in your negativity. You stuck with it. You stayed in it. You set up shop within it. You failed to take charge of your own mind and your own thoughts and have received the fruit of your negativity. That is not God’s fault, that is your fault. Do your part. Change your mind.

If you give this stuff more than a cursory glance, it will become apparent that you have a part to play in this equation. You can literally think anything you want to think. You can picture yourself successful, delivered, blessed, just as easily as you can picture yourself defeated. The problem is that you (and I) have been schooled by the world to dwell on the darkness. The slightest circumstance; a sore throat, a cough, a twinge in our back, a sudden lack of energy, a market dip, all send our minds reeling towards some frightful, pending, negative outcome. It feels hard to do because it goes against the grain of thinking we have been taught. We already know that worrying serves no good purpose, nor does it lead to any good outcome, yet we insist on running some dark variable through our minds, hoping that somehow, in some indescribable, mysterious way, we are going to stumble upon some light, some answer of peace, something! But, we won’t find the light there. The light comes when we let the thought go, when we refuse its continuance; when we calm down, get peaceful and remember how much God loves us and cares for us. In that space, our answers appear and in no other space. Agitation, unrest, anxiety are not addresses where God lives. Change your mind and walk in the light. 

The only way to get the change you are seeking is to change your mind. Think thoughts of positivity and light. Stop waiting for circumstances to change and change your mind first. You change it. You grab control of your thoughts and think only of things you want and not on things you don’t want. It is your mind, which is the gateway to the great citadel of your heart, from whence your life proceeds. Be positive and expectant not only when it looks good, but when it looks awful. Even in the midst of hell, God is still here and He will help you (and me). Don’t spend another day a victim of your own wrong thinking. Stop allowing the darkness to hold sway over your life. Get to the light and dwell in the light. Light dispels darkness and it’s never the other way around. Change your mind!

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Just some good thoughts…

 

50,000 Views… What???


blogger-image-1034075386The other day I received a notification that my blog had reached 50,000 views. When I first began my blog, all I wanted to do was share some good thoughts with people about solutions to their problems. Back then, as so much the more so today, all I really ever wanted to do was give people some solid spiritual advice in the hopes that they would hear it and pursue it. And as I think about the world today, there is so much suffering; so much defeat; so little hope for the future. People are literally living lives of misery, afraid, bewildered and at a complete loss. The reality of how people live is sad enough, but to have real solutions to those issues and yet have folks not realize those solutions is even more saddening. Oh my friends, God exists…

At one point in my life, I was like you are. I had heard of God somewhat vaguely; knew some real weirdos claiming to speak for God and generally sought to escape the whole religion thing in its entirety. My absolute disdain for religion and its empty practices is no less today than it was 30 years ago. Nothing turns people off to God more than religion does with its litany of man made practices and illogic. No thank you! As a youngster, having been exposed to nothing more than a bible class as a child where we made mirrors with Jesus on the back, I always had this idea that God was loving and kind and much bigger than my inadequacies and failures. It seemed like if He actually made people, He would have a pretty good understanding about they work. How silly, it seemed, that He would be put off by something as ridiculous as foul language or drinking beers or this whole notion of sex, which I’m quite certain He invented. I always thought He must be so much more than that. Not too long after those youthful musings, I began to learn how much more. 

As a new college student, I was doing the exact same things you were probably doing if you went to college. I was attempting adulthood while still a child and wow, it was a crazy time. It seems there were lots of other people just like me. After a brief skirmish with a sweet lady offering me some religion, I was formally introduced to the truth. As I sat in that class called, Power for Abundant Living, my heart literally burned within me as the scriptures were unfolded to me. I learned that God wasn’t who people said He was at all, but rather He was loving and kind and most willing to help me live my life. It seemed He not only created life as we know it, but was also fully willing to participate in my living of it. I saw firsthand how He did answer prayers in real and tangible ways and that prayer wasn’t simply a psychological exercise to help me feel better while providing nothing I actually needed to solve my issues. I observed healing first hand and a host of other mind blowing solutions to the dilemmas of humankind. I was so happy and blessed that I could hardly contain myself. I lovingly coerced my family and friends into taking the class. I couldn’t believe I was so “lucky” to have stumbled upon that for which the whole world seeks. And then, as even today, I ask myself, how can people do life without God? 

I believe if you could ever escape the deafening din of unbelief and fear, you would honestly take the time to discover who God really is as opposed to an overload of things He is not. All you could ever imagine about an incredible benefactor and an unlimited power for good can be found in God. No-one would find out the goodness of God if He was found only in endless seminaries of evil and sin, ever warning of falling out of God’s favor and sinking into the perils of evil. If you’ve lived any amount of time, you have already become expert in sin and its consequences. You don’t need a sermon or a lecture to tell you that bad things are bad things. Your own heart will do that for you. Similarly, God does not need to focus on what is wrong with you. He already knows what is wrong with you, for goodness sakes, and He doesn’t ever bring it up. Instead He holds out His hand to you to come and learn of Him. He asks only that you taste and see that the Lord is good. He is only good always and is everything you have ever been searching for your whole life. Surely you can perceive that life is much bigger than appears and that you weren’t the result of some cosmic explosion that ended in perfect symmetry and balance. A flower alone disputes that claim. Your mind, your emotions, your complexity, a product of evolution? Hardly. Human life alone belies that notion, not even considering the universe and the eco system and the sheer variety of living things. Your heart knows better than that and your heart seeks after the God that made you. Listen to your heart. 

No matter where you have been; how low you may have sunk; whatever insane stuff you got wrapped up in, beneath you will always be the loving arms of God, patiently waiting for you to reach upward and ask. You don’t need to study your Bible for hours, become scripturally proficient, go to church and do exceeding good deeds. All you ever needed to do was ask Him to help you. You know in your heart where you struggle. You know the despair you feel. You are familiar with your anxieties and fears. You are clear that you are quietly suffering and that there must be a better way. Well, there is a better way and it is yours for the taking. You don’t owe God anything and how could you repay Him anyway? You owe yourself the willingness to seek and as is promised to you, find. Don’t allow yourself to go another day lost and confused by a world system that is bigger than you are. Stop trying to fight it with your human logic and assumptions. Cease from making all about you and learn instead Who life is really all about. 

If you are like me, and I know you are, you have a heart that is in need of repair. You know deep down that there is a goodness you have always dreamed of and wished for. You know it must be better than you have been experiencing thus far. You aren’t being fanciful and foolish, you are listening to your heart. You also knows the ways of religion are not it either. Those ways will do nothing more than make life with God, about you and about everything you do and do not do. Religion serves only to glorify the men that made it. 50,000 views later people and it is still as true as the first time I endeavored to write it down. Oh my friends, God exists…

Just some good thoughts. 

 

 

Dealing With Your Feelings


feelingsIt is peculiar to me that something that affects our life as much as our emotions do, would be the subject of greater education and study. It’s like we all grew up with this menagerie of feelings, yet seldom have we learned to understand what those myriad feelings are communicating to us. Most people, it seems choose rather to try and escape certain emotions while encouraging the existence of others. But, what if our feelings are communicating important messages to us? What if we took the time to evaluate our emotions; why they occur; when they occur and used them to help us move in a more beneficial direction with the promise of a better future. Do you know what your feelings are saying to you? Are you aware of what is behind your emotions and where they originate? Are you dealing with your feelings?

We humanoid units are incredibly sensitive creatures and by sensitive I mean have the capacity to experience a wide range of emotions. Some folks whole existence is based upon their emotions, while others seldom give their emotions much thought. It would seem that both scenarios are lacking. Our emotions are easily manipulated, if you haven’t noticed already, and to place your sole trust in them as the citadel for decision making would be foolish. Conversely, excluding all emotions as pointless or frivolous would serve only to rob your life of its richness and blessings. The wiser option would be to seek understanding regarding what your emotions are communicating to you. We have all had that experience whereby suddenly we feel a sense of dread or become agitated in place of the peace we had a few moments ago. Usually a little thought regarding what you were just thinking about reveals the thief; usually some vague fear or concern about a thought you just processed. The point of your emotions was to alert you to some change inside your head that needs to be addressed. All anxious or nervous feelings point to the same reality. Ignoring those thoughts with their subsequent feelings; medicating those thoughts; distracting yourself away from those thoughts leads only to more of those feelings. Your job in that instance was to deal with the intruder! By the time you are experiencing anxiety, it is a sure sign that you have been letting something go and now suffer from misplaced fears labeled as anxiety. Anxiety is only a common phenomenon today because people have stopped paying attention to their thoughts and to their feelings. We have become a nation of letting stuff go. We move too fast; try to do too much; endeavor to live up to impossible and unrealistic standards. We are quite literally led about by our noses staring at images and words and opinions lacking in any conceivable substance or help with our lives. We compare ourselves, measure ourselves, recognize our so-called deficits and lack and from there try to carve out a peaceful and happy existence. We are told when we should be married, when we should make our first million, what we should already have by now, where we should live and on it goes. It’s no wonder our feelings are trying to tell us something. They are telling us something isn’t true! 

Have you ever tried an experiment where you simply allow your emotions to be what they are and not try to escape them? How about when you are feeling bored? What are those dreaded boredom feelings trying to say? Is it really just a lack of activity? Or, have you entertained a series of thoughts that succeeded in taking the wind out of your sails? Boredom says you have nothing to look forward to, but is that really true. If you simply stopped running from those feelings with endless activity you might find that you don’t need more activity, but maybe need to reframe your thinking. Perhaps you need to stop trying to live in your future and embrace what is happening right now. Whenever you travel back in time or attempt to future travel, your emotions won’t cooperate and will bring you something you need to deal with today. In this way, your feelings are these fantastic barometers for your soul. They are ever pointing you to something, somewhere in the million details of your existence. Unpleasant emotions call for immediate action. Pleasant, joyful emotions encourage your continuance. In this is the only time that “if it feels good do it” was ever true. Trusting your feelings only falsely presumes everything you ever feel is an indicator of truth; that something is actually true. Then you spend your entire life waiting to feel good about something that may not feel good now, but has a huge payout in the future. The point is to pay attention to your feelings! Don’t cut yourself off from their messages, but instead investigate them without fear and follow their subtle promptings. Those experiences you have that bring joy to your heart are to be welcomed and repeated often.  Helping others, being kind, having great compassion, loving and forgiving others lead to immeasurable bliss. Don’t forsake them.

The next time you are feeling out of sorts, unhappy or down in the dumps, think about what you have been thinking about. Have you perhaps been focusing on what you don’t have or where you fall short? Have you been spending too much time thinking about life instead of actually living it? Or, have you fallen into perpetual self focus which leads only to more and more recognition of what isn’t right or needs repair. If you want to know, you can know as they are your emotions given to you by God’s wisdom to help you live your life that much better. Don’t ignore your feelings or write them off as foolish, but instead pay attention to the message and if needed take the necessary action. Sometimes our emotions are simply trying to get us to take some action we know we need to take, which as soon as we do it, opens the windows to a flood of positive feelings. The message, “handle your business!”

It is always your choice whether or not you take the time to deal with your feelings. But, you owe it to yourself to do so. You’ll know when you’ve got it right by the peace you experience inside. Feelings of peace and contentment are the ultimate measure of right thought. Peace is the end of the fight when you, at last, prevail. Deal with your feelings. You won’t be truly happy until you do. 

Just some good thoughts…

You Are Not a Victim!


2018_12_01_59766_1543625917._largeWhen you get right down to it, all of us have had negative things happen in our lives. We have all been deceived at one time or another. We have all been taken advantage of in some capacity whether it be by the people who we love and trust or even outsiders like our bosses or other people with whom we interact. It is not necessarily an uncommon part of our human existence. And none of us liked  it, even remotely. Yet for all we may have experienced, suffered through or endured, it still does not determine who we are nor define our future lives. Whatever may have happened, holds no power over us nor does it have the ability to impact the days ahead, that is unless we allow it. In this, we are not victims. You are not a victim! 

In order for the victim mentality to begin directing our steps, we have to falsely assume that we are powerless to effect change in our situation. And, while someone may be physically stronger than we are; may hold a position of influence and authority over us; may be well skilled in manipulation and using our emotions against us, that still does not make us a victim in the scenario or force us to continue being victimized and minimized. Each of us has value and worth and none of us has less value and worth than anyone else. Your feelings matter as much as the other person’s feelings matter. Your right to be treated with dignity and respect is equal to the other person’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. To be a victim, you have to conclude that your life holds a lesser position than the oppressor. High ranking people with titles and great authority, while potentially having more influence over others lives than you do, still are not above you in the human sense. Rankings and societal strata come via people, not from God. You are not a victim unless you have decided thus. And even if a circumstance victimized you, you do not have to remain a victim. 

The way that you can tell if you are playing the victim is by the things you say and don’t do. Constantly complaining about your boss at work, while doing nothing to remedy the situation, is playing the victim. If you think about it, all complaining about situations is really an acknowledgment or agreement on your part that there is nothing you can do to make a change. Yet, there is always something you can do. Instead of complaining to everyone else, complain to the source instead. If you find yourself in a situation that pains you, frustrates you, chews you up inside, and that situation persists, you owe it to yourself to make a change. Maybe you are making a lot of money and fear you won’t have the same opportunity elsewhere. Not only is that not true (as evidenced by your ability to do it in the first place), but it also serves to lower your value as a person. No amount of money or comforts or power is worth the compromise of your own soul. Your life is more than that. Your value is higher than that. The victim mentality runs rampant today. It runs unchecked because people have learned to blame everyone and everything rather than take ownership of their own lives. Maybe you were not properly nurtured as a child. Well, you are an adult now and can get your needs met elsewhere. Whatever your oppression, whatever cruelty you faced, whatever horrendous thing that may have halted you in life, does not need to subject you any further. Negative situations seem to last just about as long as we allow them to last. When we are done, they are done. The circumstances change as we finally decide our value exceeds the misery of the situation and take the first steps to engender change. .

In life, we are always accountable for our own lives. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it is true. Now that does not mean that our circumstances are always positive or that we are not challenged, tried and tested. Nor does it mean that we are the source of all that happens to us. There are literally a million variables involved. But, in the end, it is our life and we are responsible to do our best to overcome and to prevail. It’s not the amount of challenges we face or the opposition. It is what we are willing to accept for our lives and in that which we have determined within worth persisting. If you value yourself highly, your tolerance for mistreatment is very low. If you value yourself as lowly, your tolerance for mistreatment and abuse will be too high. The circumstances of your past, the terrible humans you encountered, those in authority that failed to protect you do not determine your self worth, you do. All those things had in common was the collective ability to convince you of something that was never true. No person arrives at low self esteem on their own. 

You are not a victim! There is always something you can do, the greatest of which is to get God involved. Those same wicked despots working behind the scenes to torture you and defeat you will persist absent a greater power, a greater source from which you can gain support. God never made a victim, nor was it ever His will that anyone should be one. People become victims when they are overpowered by forces unseen and virtually unknown. People become victims by not having a clear understanding of the truth. (God said My people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge.) Once you get God involved, you find that the evil things that have been governing your life quickly fade away by God’s love, presence and power. At last you can see your tormentor clearly and as such make the required changes that lead to freedom. But before any of that can take place, you have to take full ownership of your own life, both the good and the bad. You must become willing to put away the blame and the complaining and learn instead to take the necessary steps to turn situations around. You can do it my friend. You must do it. You are not a victim!

Just some good thoughts…

Life Requires Your Participation…


1_1X2KtJHaDNEr3MBghmUA5wI was thinking the other day about how your life can go sort of stale on you. Things don’t appear different on the outside; there haven’t been any major changes; nothing dramatic has occurred, yet suddenly it feels a bit pointless and dry. It’s almost as if there isn’t anything to look forward to and your existence seems to have slowed down to a crawl. The more deeply I considered the emotions, the more curious I became. What is it that happens to a person that takes away the joy and adventure of living? What event or series of events have been at work behind the scenes stealing away precious life and vitality? What could have possibly been going on in a person’s thought life that led to these negative and hopeless conclusions? Then, I knew the answer. Life requires your participation!

The way you stop participating in life is when you stop moving forward. You don’t necessarily feel like you stopped, but if you are honest you know you no longer have anything you are pursuing. You aren’t on an exciting adventure full of discovery. You aren’t on a journey towards some worthwhile end. You have no grand plans for your exciting future life, but instead have settled in to mediocrity and silence. You’re going through the motions, living, but not really living. There was a time when you had a zest for living and carried a mind full of expectations and desires. But, something happened to you. Something worked you over and wore you down. Someone or a host of someones chipped away at your ambitions and goals. One by one, little by little, your mental plans were closed off and nullified. It wasn’t your age that did it to you, but maybe the considerations you entertained concerning your age. It wasn’t the circumstances of your life that took away your dreams as you had similar, if not worse circumstances, in your unknown and untraveled youth. What changed was your interpretation of your circumstances and what they meant in terms of your future life. Your lack of energy and exhaustion didn’t come about from extreme efforts, but instead lack of effort; lack of movement and ultimately a lack of participation in your own life. You stopped doing your part. Life requires your participation.

When you remove all of the covers, when you take off all the disguises, when you peel away all of the layers, a person’s arch nemesis in life is always fear. It is fear that enters in an impedes your forward progress. Doubt causes you to hesitate. Worry slows your progress forward and fear eventually freezes you in your tracks. Like the mighty roar of a lion, fear roars to stop your forward progress, rendering you helpless from the enemy’s pending attack. The name of the thief that stole your ideals is fear. The hunter that trapped you in a cage of mediocrity is fear. The robber that made off with your enthusiasm and zest for living is fear. Absent fear your mind is free to function at full speed, full of ideas and dreams and wishes, hopes and plans. What happened to you was not a function of aging or gaining wisdom concerning the world. What happened was in some capacity, in some imperceptible way, by repetition and habit, fear got to you. Fear tricked you into stopping your forward momentum. Fear pointed out why your plans could not work; how foolish you were for thinking them and how many obstacles existed to impede your progress towards them. But, it wasn’t fear’s lies that defeated you, it was your acceptance of those lies as evidenced by your lack of progress toward your plans. You, because of fear, stopped moving; stopped doing; stopped trying. Your dreams require your participation in their attainment.

Often people pray for God to take away their problems and troubles. They beg God to simply step in and remedy the situation for them. And while that sounds beautiful, further inspection reveals that is not how life works, indeed not how God works. God moves in people as they move. Waiting and praying and wishing won’t restore the life you have lost as a victim to fear. You have to move again. You have to take some steps. You have got to start moving forward. However it happened to you, it already happened. Bless God for helping you see what you need the most to see.  Praise God for those times you got to recognize and understand it for yourself. What happened to you is common to all men. The acid test for your soul is to look back at your former dreams and goals, your plans, your enthusiasms for things, and note how you stopped pursuing them. You gave them up. It’s like the man that hates his job; complains about his job; is stressed out by his job, yet does nothing to change the situation. Sure he prays and pleads and waits and cries, yet does nothing to change the situation. What would he have God to do in his story? God will move when he moves and not a second earlier. If you are no longer looking for the things that have the most appeal to you, how could you ever find them? If you have given up on even trying something, how could you ever succeed at it? If you already know everything, what else is there for you to learn? The problem isn’t God or the world or the circumstances, the problem is you. Fear (look no further) has tricked you into halting your forward progress and life won’t return for you until you decide to move again. Life requires your participation.

Friends, the doldrums, the boredoms, the lackluster and mundane would overtake us all. However, we are only so because we have ceased our forward progress. We stopped moving and will remain abject and defeated until we take charge and move again. Get back in the game. Remember what you love the most and begin to pursue it again. Take a step then another step and then another. Don’t allow the liar fear to color your world drab gray any longer. Move ahead and see the beauty and vibrance that life is and once again see the God that called you and loves you. Make some moves and see it for yourself. Participate in your own life!

Just some good thoughts…

Yeah, But What Do You Think?


think-different

I’m not sure if it’s politics or the ease of getting information or the advent of social media, but it seems more and more that people have stopped thinking for themselves. Maybe there’s nothing new under the sun. Maybe all original thought has already been thought. Perhaps we have reached such a grand stage of enlightenment that there is no longer a need for folks to think for themselves. But, I doubt it. Somewhere and somehow it seems human beings have been talked out of the veracity of their own thought; their own conclusions. It is like there are only a rare few rebels left who dare to go against the status quo; the information wheel of things. People are either aligning themselves to some all or nothing cause or else they are blindly supporting it. It seems the logic or maybe the illogic is that if you are this, then you have to be that. You absolutely cannot be part this and part that, it’s all or nothing baby! Now that logic may work for absolute truth, but it fails miserably for everything else. The earth is round. To think otherwise isn’t original thought, it’s inconceivable illogic. Yet there are people, all scientific evidence to the contrary, who believe it. The issue isn’t what the masses are saying. The issue is what do you think? Yeah, but what do you think?

You likely won’t be able to survive in a world where black is no longer black and white is no longer white. Things are real and have a distinct meaning. To challenge the reality of things is absurdity. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is probably a duck. When you let some influential fellow convince you that it is a chicken, when it is clearly a duck, you may be teetering on insanity. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, that is how the world seems to function today. Whether it be adherence to some political party or else well established Facebook algorithms, people seem to have stopped thinking for themselves. COVID19 is a real thing. It’s not a media construct, though the media may oversell the fear of it. There are literally real people that you know that have gotten sick and in some cases have even died from it. Again, to buy into the logic that the media has invented it for some sinister, future governmental takeover, is irrational at best and insane at worst. There are people, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, still concluding it is a hoax devised to “take down” America. Yet, it seems more likely that the economic “take down” of America is more directly related to the virus itself. All throughout history there have been pandemics, always having their roots in evil, designed to destroy the masses and bring ruin to the people. That part is clear. However, in this instance of another variation of the same, there is produced a whole segment of society that refuses to acknowledge its existence. Do you really think that the government is so sophisticated that it could align not only the media, but also every hospital and care center to buy into the same lie? If the government has that type of control, we truly all are doomed. And, however rapidly produced, there is a vaccine offered that prevents the virus from gaining access and greatly limits the impact of the select few that still acquire it. Medical report after medical report lauds the veracity of it with evidence to back up their claims. Yet, almost incredulously there are still people, many people who refuse to get it. To them, it seems more plausible to believe that the government has somehow found a way to implant tracking devices so small they can fit through the point of a needle. Now, I know evil is very deceptive, but through the needle? If anyone is being tracked it’s more likely through their cell phone or some chicks named Alexa or Siri. Yet onward march the thoughtless masses refusing compliance based on civil rights or something. I personally know a man that coordinates a large hospital in our area that reported 95% of those poor souls suffering from COVID in his ICU are unvaccinated; 95%! Lord help us, is anyone still thinking for themselves?

Somewhere along the line, I pray, people will return to thinking for themselves. Yes, the media portrays falsehoods. Yes, the great media machine slants and manipulates information. Yes, evil is likely behind it pulling the strings. But, for God’s sake, you have to call a thing a thing. The reason the pandemic has gained a resurgence is because of all of you conspiracy theorists that have given the devil too much credit. It’s like the man that prayed for God to save him from the flood that refuses three offers of being saved because he was still waiting on God to deliver him. Take the ride you dummy and stop refusing your common sense. It is scary to think that we live in a world where you can deny real occurrences by calling them fake news and even scarier that people could overlook a preponderance of evidence to the contrary. We, as a nation, are in real trouble when that type of logic is allowed to prevail. Look, when you go to the doctor, though you know that medicine isn’t perfect, you have to trust what the doctor says and do what is required of you. To question the doctor, not based on medical science, but based rather on what some non-medical friends have informed you to do is not wise. Yet, that is where we are today. Not a day goes by that I am not subjected to some quack or even less than a quack, reporting some false statistic about some erroneous data they reportedly read questioning what is obvious in favor of some equally insane conspiracy theory, again giving evil too much credit. And do you know why they are so convinced? Because the Facebook algorithm has fed them so much agreeable information for their whacky views that they have now concluded it is true. The question that begs remains, come on man, what do you think?

I will be the first to tell you that evil is very deceptive and that I have personally been led down a few blind allies to my own hurt and loss. But, somewhere along the way you have to start questioning these conclusions that people make and decide for yourself based on some semblance of logic. I can think of no better way to enable a pandemic to persist than to convince the masses of the evil inside the anecdote. The vaccine may not be fully tested yet and there may be some future harm connected to it, but that has to be a lot better than watching grandma or grandpa waste away due to something we do know very well. Life often isn’t a clear choice between good and evil but instead sometimes the lesser of two evils. In an imperfect world governed by evil, you sometimes have to trust God and make a choice. And absent any insider information from God, choose logic. My heart and prayer for our country and for our world is that people return to thinking for themselves and stop casting logic and plain common sense out the window in favor of a political view or the opinion of the divided sides. You don’t need a party platform to recognize good from evil, even if it might cost you a few votes. Think about the things you are cleaving to and if they pass the acid test of common sense. Yeah, my friends, but what do you think?

Just some good thoughts…

Get to the Bottom of It!


I sometimes wonder if we have some of the problems that we have because we just haven’t gotten to the bottom of the things that plague us. We’ve been so trained, so influenced, so led to knock around on the surface of things for a little bit, then quickly move on to the next thing that demands our attention. We have so many things to do and so little remaining time to get it all done. We lack focus and what little focus we do have is squandered on a multitude of things that really don’t matter; that really have minimal consequence in our lives. Instead of endeavoring to hone in on a solution, we sort of take a stab at it, try googling it, then move past it after Goggle satisfies our need to know. We endure the same troubles, the same difficulties, year after year, because we never actually get to the bottom of the problem! We fail to see it through. We stop short of our goal. We give up. We get distracted. We move on. We owe it to ourselves to get to the bottom of it!

The only way to solve a problem is by working through the apparent complexity of it until you reach the underlying cause. The cause of our problems will always be simple. If we became aware of the actual cause, we would take the necessary steps to reach the solution. However, in order for our problems to gain permanence, many elements of complexity must be layered over the top of the true cause. People spend their whole lives swatting away at false causes like trying to swat at annoying flies in their immediate vicinity. Then, like people in uninhabited places and undeveloped regions, eventually they simply acquiesce and learn to coexist with the flies. The solution isn’t to learn to live with the annoyances, but rather to learn to rid yourself of them once and for all. Human beings, by nature, will be forced to deal with challenges and obstacles in life. There’s simply no way around that reality. However, it was never God’s intention that people should be overcome by those challenges and live a miserable life as a result of them. Instead, the intention was that we would seek solutions to our difficulties and after having them, live that much more abundantly a a result.

Problems remain in our lives because of our failure to see them until they have become deeply entrenched into our psyche. The deeper the issue, the more difficult it will be to extricate and uproot the source. And, like any pervasive threat, it usually is not going to happen overnight. Ill health, for example, is generally not resolved upon the body’s recognition of its loss, but rather health follows after a number of clearly defined steps practiced faithfully and persistently over time. Troubles, generally inculcated and dug in, must be chipped away at piece by piece until dissolved. Thus, solving problems depends more upon persistence than quick fixes and shortcuts. It’s not logical to expect a rapid repair of a long standing issue. In fact, the expectation of a miraculous, rapid repair is the reason people give up on finding a solution and as such, cease their efforts immediately towards it. If God would resolve it overnight, let Him. Otherwise, keep doing the best you can until more light becomes available. The sooner you give up on your own ability, the better. Instead keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking until your answer appears. The most important thing is not the timetable, but instead your ultimate deliverance.

Where we fail and why we fail is because we stop short of the goal. Your life, your happiness is more important than the transitory circumstances of life. Your issue is not how long it might take. Your concern is that you might have enough clarity to affect real change at the root cause level of your dilemma rather than slapping around on the surface of the water hoping to dive deeper underneath. When your problems persist and worsen, the cause is down lower, underneath. You cannot expect to arrive at any solutions for your troubles employing the same thinking and logic that got you there in the first pace. How glorious is the day when you finally admit you need some help and at last seek outside yourself for the answer! There is Someone who has all the answers and earnestly awaits your request. But, you have to ask, you have to seek, you have to keep knocking on the door until you get an answer.

It is error to think that you have to live with problems or that some problems are not solvable or worse, the false notion that beckons, ‘that is just how life is.” And, while many, many people live that way, that is not how life is! The sooner you resolve your issues, the better your life will become. We all struggle in certain areas. We all have aspects of life that cause us difficulty. We all have weaknesses and we ALL fall short. We are in this thing together and we face a common foe. But, none of us win in life by choosing to ignore the issues that plague us. If you have a problem you cannot seem to resolve, implore God for help and solve it. Don’t move on. Don’t allow yourself to be frustrated. Do not be discouraged that it is not resolved yet. Instead set in your heart a willingness to take it on and not stop until you have gotten what you need. If you stay at it. If you persist. If you refuse to move on and ignore it. If you will continue pursuing the answer until you get it, you will not only get it, but you will be that much better as a result of it. You can get to the bottom of the things that have been defeating you, but you are not at the bottom until the real cause becomes apparent. It is worth your effort, my friends, and you deserve to be happy! Get to the bottom of it already! You will be so thankful on the other side.

Just some good thoughts…

The Great Christian Killer…


If the greatest thing the devil ever did was to convince people he didn’t exist, the second greatest thing was convincing people they needed to work in order to earn God’s approval. When I look around at Christianity today (so called), all I can see are people living in and living out their unworthiness before the Father. Even the mention of Christianity today elicits an immediate twinge of negative self-analysis as if the word christian is synonymous with moral failure in some capacity. For believers, it seems, it’s not so much about God and His goodness as it is about everything they don’t do right; where they struggle and ultimately what is wrong with them! The world lives and thrives on what isn’t right concerning people coupled with so-called solutions that always lead to control! In this way, the system of things is designed to talk people into doing the works required for approval from men and ultimately from God. This is the great Christian killer!

The roots of this dilemma go all the way back to Adam and Eve, who when questioned by God regarding their error, immediately filled with fear (a first for humans) and sought a covering for what they had done wrong. And people are being assaulted with the same error and accusation to this very day. When sin entered the world, man would henceforth be born into the world dead in trespasses in sins, not by their choices, but rather by their inherited bloodline. Natural man is born with sin in his blood. To think, based on this reality, that you as a person could somehow earn God’s goodness is the height of deception. You, by your human efforts, could never get the job done fully. It took God’s intervention by supplying a perfect substitute for man’s evil nature in the life, death and resurrection of his sinless son. In that substitution, you and I by believing in God’s son and his being raised from the dead, received the gift of righteousness forever more. God, in His infinite grace and mercy did away with the need for you to do works in order to gain His approval. But, that is not how Christians live. The proof is found in their insistence on adding something to what God finished for them already. When Jesus hung on the cross dying and uttered, “It is finished” he meant it! He ended forever all that was ever wrong with you and me. He paid the price so you wouldn’t have to pay anymore. So why are you still making payments? Why do you act as if the work isn’t completed already? I’ll tell you why! It is because you have been deceived into thinking otherwise. Oh you didn’t get there alone and neither did I. The world and preachers and religious leaders have all been cooperators together in ignorance in endeavoring to add to God’s perfection by insisting on certain behaviors and rules and dogmas and commandments and so-called morality with one hidden, spurious and deceptive element, namely to bring you under their (or its) control! Convince a man he is not right before God and you can now control his entire life by prescribing what he must do in order to “get right!” In this way, everything is wrong, everything is evil and everything is going to get you. You cannot enjoy life, make decisions, make mistakes or anything else because all of it brings God’s disapproval. How many people do you know who live this way? Maybe you have been living this way?

I often marvel at how people cannot seem to understand how well God knows His creation. They somehow think God shudders at all of the awful things people consider and sometimes do! Let me let you in on a little secret. God understands fully the human condition, after all He made us. Do you really think you could freak God out because of some deception that befell you or by some wrong path you took or take? God not only knows you intimately, but He also knows the spiritual evil you contend with though maybe you never understood it for yourself. And similarly, isn’t it possible that all of the things you do as a human are actually what humans do and not really sin at all? Religion is fraught with a litany of things that are wrong before God, not because God said so, but because people said so! People endeavor to live under Old Testament law that was not even written to them to do. And even those to whom it was actually written could not live it to the end it was called the curse of the law. Its purpose was not to reform men, though if anything could accomplish it, it was the law, but rather it was to identify sin clearly with the coming promise of a Savior who would live it perfectly and forever redeem mankind. Jesus Christ came to set you free. His aim, indeed God’s aim was to make a way for you to live freely and without obligation in any capacity. Forced and compelled love is not love. God wants to be your Father and care for you like any Father would, however without limitations. God is not condemning you, convicting you or accusing you. He does not bring up your errors and missteps. He loves you into finally loving yourself, not because you do it all right, but because He does it all right in love! You’ll never walk with God to the full capacity and joy He intends for you until you finally get past this obstacle. God is not angry with you, that is what people say. God is not teaching you lessons with evil (shudder) to make you do things right, that is what people say. Negative events that happen to you are not because of something God did (ever), that is what people say. The guilt you experience, the condemnation you feel, the remembrance of past mistakes that haunt you, the disapproval, the shame, the fear, the worry is not from God! They all stem from the same one that endeavors to convince you that he does not exist!

I offer these truths not to condemn your religion or the multitude of well meaning people involved with it. I write this because this is what God’s Word says. You are not a lowly worm, you are a son of the most high God, not by any works that you have done, but because of everything God did for you. Change your focus away from yourself and your imperfections (though they be many) and move them over to God’s perfection. In God’s sight you are now and forever more sinless because of the accomplishments of His son. So, stop dwelling on yourself, feeling sorry for yourself and lamenting your imperfection. God isn’t judging you so stop judging yourself. Get in agreement with God in what He said He did for you and let all that garbage go. It’s not noble or an indicator of humility, it is clinging to error; error that seeks only to control you. Imagine how fun life could be for you if you were truly free from all obligations and compulsions. Imagine how great life could be with God as your Father seeing only the completed works of His son in you. You only have one short go round in this thing and God wants you to enjoy it. Quit worrying about sin, God settled that issue for you forever. Nothing you do can separate you from the love of God, so what is there to be afraid of? Get out there and live Christians! God needs your heartfelt contributions. Overcome the Christian killer with good. (God’s kind of good!)

Just some good thoughts…