A Hard Heart is a Hard Life…


image11Every problem you’ve ever had has a root cause. The root cause is the number one contributor to the effects you are experiencing. Yet, so often the negative things we are trying to escape come from a cause we have yet to discover. We don’t find the true cause because it’s hidden from view and for that reason continues to control our lives. So we need to become serious about locating the cause to live the happy life we have imagined.

Your heart, the innermost part of your mind, is where your beliefs reside. Your beliefs, positive or negative, produce the circumstances and effects in your life. This is why God’s Word says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it come the issues of your life!” Your issues are your results. And if you’re like most people, you’ve got issues (smile)! Your heart, contrary to public opinion, is simply made up of your most predominant thoughts. Change your thoughts, change your heart, change your life. Can you see the futility involved with waiting for circumstance to change before you change your thoughts? You are producing an effect internally then waiting for an external event to change it.

Your heart, in addition to being the innermost part of your mind, is very sensitive. It can be damaged quite easily. When it gets damaged, the human reaction is to build a wall around it. You build a wall because you are trying to protect yourself. You have pain and you want the pain to stop. I get it. But, ironically, building a wall around it produces just the opposite effect to what you are seeking. That sensitivity is where true life is found. A sensitive heart is not a weak thing, it is a great treasure. A sensitive heart is able to feel even the most minute change and is thus able to accurately discern truth from error. A sensitive heart is God’s domain and where His abounding love can be found.

When you get caught up in error and wrong it has a deleterious effect on your heart. The most grand illusion ever played on mankind is the secret, surreptitious effect that wrong has on your heart. The adversary knows this very well and as such seeks to get you and I over into left field where the hidden damage can occur! Sometimes things that feel good can end up not feeling so good, if you know what I mean. Error, at its base, hardens your heart. You don’t feel it like you don’t know a thief has robbed you until it is too late. And to add insult to injury, in your hardened state you have less and less opportunity to recognize that something has gone wrong. You can tell that your heart has been hardened by how you feel about life. You’ll have less happiness, less fulfillment in the joy of living. Things won’t seem to matter anymore and your existence will become increasingly cloudy. How many people do you know that live this way? Maybe you have been living this way! You just cannot seem to find any love, any joy anymore. That is the tell-tale sign of a hardened heart. You didn’t start that way and you sure as hell don’t have to stay that way!

Fear is perhaps the number one source of error that causes your heart to become callous. Fear is painful and as such again, you want your pain to go away. So, you opt for numb over pain much like taking a percocet. In your numb haze you don’t feel any pain, but you don’t feel anything else either. And a life minus feelings is not a life. Hurt people tend to hurt other people and so the cycle continues. We need to get back to a sensitive heart, like the one we had when we were children. No wonder Jesus taught to believe with the heart of a child!

In order to successfully get back to a sensitive heart, you’re going to need God’s help. God looks on your heart and knows your heart. God sees what you and I cannot see! God knows exactly what ‘loony tunes’ thoughts you have been entertaining and how to repair the damage. There are things that God exhorts us not to do, not because He seeks to control our lives, but because He understands the negative effects on our hearts and lives. In love, He tells us to get rid of anger; to eliminate fear; to not allow bitterness to take root in our lives. He instructs us to be kind, loving and tender-hearted. Kindness, love and tenderheartedness start first in our thought lives before they are played out in our reality. So, in order to find your healing, you need to open your heart. Open your heart to God in complete, unabashed honesty. I can assure you that God isn’t freaked out by the insane things you’ve done because He sees through your sin and error for what it really is; a heart that’s been misguided and damaged and hurt. He will help you and heal you, with the only requirement being a willingness on your part. Open your heart!

You know deep down in your heart that you want to share your love and goodness with other people. You long to show them the real you without reservation or fear. You know there is a way you want to live and have been aching to live that way for many years. So make the decision to live that way! Get rid of your fear of rejection and ridicule and let your true heart out. Be sensitive and warm. Be honest with yourself and with others. Love in your words and in your deeds. Love even the unloveable knowing that the unloveable are only so because their hearts have been hardened. Be a beacon of light in a dark world full of many, many broken hearts.

The root cause of your misery is your hardened heart. Make the decision to have a tender heart for from it proceeds all of the issues of your life. A tender heart can only issue in happiness for which the whole world seeks ardently. You want your life to change? Soften your heart and see for yourself if this life is not worth the living!

Feel again the goodness for it is literally all around you…

Just some good thoughts…

 

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It’s All About Me?


Organ-Donation1-1024x392If you’ve spent any time on Earth, you’ve probably realized that life seems to have its ups and downs. There are high times when you feel on top of the world and everything is working out well for you. Then, there are the low times when nothing seems to work and you drag your tired butt around all day looking for an answer. Well, recently I learned a valuable lesson and it wasn’t all about me.

Life is chock full of paradoxes! It’s better to give than to receive, is one such example. If you were a betting person, the safe money would seem to center on receiving. I mean, the more you receive, the more you have, right? But, noooooo… The more you give out of the goodness of your heart, without obligation or restraint, the more you receive back in a cycle that never ceases. Conversely, the more you hoard and cling to what you have, the less you actually have. Just the opposite of what you expected! Who would have thought it?

Ever since people came into being with the unique ability to think and choose, they have been on a quest for happiness and fulfillment. However, unlike your pet dog or cat, you actually know if you are happy or unhappy. When you are feeling good, you naturally get out of yourself and the time just flies by. But, when you feel down or depressed, your focus turns inward. And, the greater your perceived need, the more likely you are to dwell on that need because it isn’t met. Then, sadly, the days just drag on and on offering little promise for the future. You seek, you think, you analyze but nothing seems to work. Why? Because again, you have entered into one of life’s little paradoxes!

Although in our day and time focus on one’s self is lauded to the heavens, it’s actually the wrong way to think. I know, I know, you only have one life to live. If you don’t focus on yourself, then who will? Your needs come first. You need lots of “me” time. You first, others second, if you have opportunity! Enter a life paradox and now you are barking up the wrong tree. As long as life is all about you, the life you are seeking will elude you. Hey, don’t get mad at me! Someone smarter than me created this thing called life! I’m just trying to convey the rules of the game.

The reason we humans get so stuck on certain problems in life is because the real solution escapes us. Things have to fall in line with our logic and the older we get, the worse “it” gets. We promote selfishness because it seems entirely logical from a “caring for yourself” standpoint. Obviously you have to take care of yourself, but that, like many things, has an end point! All of us have certain needs at times, but try as we might, there are some needs we simply cannot solve on our own. Some things require something bigger than yourself. Enter the Creator of life that built-in the clever paradoxes! In His unsurpassed wisdom, He ordered life to not always be about you (or me). I suppose that would be something you’d expect from Someone concerned about all life!

So, the solution you weren’t expecting? Cease your fanatical obsession with yourself and reach out to help someone else! Some of the most joyful, happiest times of my life have been the times when everything wasn’t about “my” life. In stark contrast, some of my most distressing and depressing times came as a result of getting tricked into focusing on myself; my lack of abilities and my unsolvable problems! I say tricked because, if you are honest, whenever your focus is solely on yourself it is because of fear. The reason you are so laser focused on what you don’t have (yet) is because you are afraid you won’t ever get it. The true reason you only think about yourself isn’t because you are inherently a bad person, but rather because you are afraid you won’t get something you need! Fear always torments, always hurts you, always ends in defeat.

Love, on the other hand, is just the opposite. Love knows it will always be taken care of and sees no fear. Love doesn’t seek its own. Love extends itself to others; forgives others; bears the burden of others. Love is kind and patient. Love speaks words that build and encourage. Love gives and gives and gives. Love never fails. That’s why the way out of your “unhappy, unfulfilled” dilemma is to stop making it all about you! Stop dwelling on yourself; your unhappiness; your lack and reach out to someone else. Not to get something, but to get out of something!

It’s funny (peculiar) how the world so easily deceives us into not doing what we should do to get the things we want. We need more money, so we cling to what we have. We desperately want to be happy, so we cling to ourselves in order to find the happiness within us. Yet, all the time, the true riches of life exist on the other side of the paradox! The great Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Good ol’ Zig knew who buttered his bread!

Like all paradoxes in life, the outcome doesn’t appear to match the required activity. Well, do it anyway! Get outside of yourself. Be present with people and listen for what they need. Deeply invest in others with your love and encouragement and do it from your heart. Then, watch and see what happens inside you. You’ll be so full of love and joy that you’ll have to tell God to cool it! 🙂 Your needs will be met before you can even bring them up. Your life will just flow and glow and effervesce!

Is your life all about you? No, my friends, it’s all about someone else! Won’t you join the “life party” with me? I know you will…

Just some good thoughts…

Wine Anyone?


p18ncdfgb21l9m1tb8lpq1bm81igp8I’m the ultimate red wine lover, but recently, due to the old 500 calorie diet I’m on, have not been able to partake of my favorite gladness provider. Yeah, yeah, nothing tastes as good as fit feels! Haha. So, being all spiritual and what not, I decided to write a little blog about wine. But, it may not be what you think (mysterious music playing in the background…).

Jesus Christ did a multitude of miracles in his short time of service on earth, but do you know what his first one was? Imagine God’s only begotten, filled with the power of God to heal people and set them free, doing his first remarkable act. What did he do, you ask? He turned water into wine! And don’t you go telling me that it was grape juice because when was the last time you were bummed out that they ran out of grape juice at a party? More Welch’s please…

So here’s the story. Jesus and his Mom were invited to a big wedding, when suddenly the head guy announced they were out of wine. Mary, who must have already realized that Jesus was pretty special, tells Jesus to do something about it. After giving her a little correction for ordering him to do a miracle, he does something spectacular. He tells the servants to go and grab 6 large stone jugs holding 20-30 gallons of water apiece. Then he says take one to the head dude. The servants obey dutifully and take one of the jugs over. The head of the ceremony then makes a startling statement. He said normally people give out the good wine at first, but when the guests are sufficiently plied, they break out the cheaper stuff because, well you know, the guests are already toasty. But he exclaimed, you saved the best stuff for last!

What just happened, you enquire? Jesus just turned six 20-30 gallons each jugs into fine wine. So by my conservative estimate, he just made 120-180 gallons of water into fine wine. Cabernet I’m guessing; expensive Cabernet! I’ll bet the wedding guests were stoked! 150 gallons of expensive Cabernet on the spot, free of charge. Let’s assume the liquor store was closed. But, not when Jesus shows up. Haha.

So, why share this little diddy with you? Because this was Jesus’ first miraculous act! Of all of the things God could do to announce the entrance of His wonderful son, He chose something with no other purpose than to make people happy. Would the guests have suffered without the fine wine? Probably not (unless they were on “the diet.”) Did anyone have to have the wine to live? Of course not! Was it for their healing? I doubt it, though red wine has been proven to have some healthy effect if drunk in moderation (pun intended). The only reasonable purpose one could assign to the miracle was to keep the party rolling!

Naturally, if you are of the religious ilk, you have a problem with this. How could our Holy God choose this for a first miracle? You see, it had to be grape juice or as one commentary dutifully noted, “Jesus knew how many guests were present and therefore only made enough for everyone to have just enough to not be drunken!” LOL How absurd? Religion ever seeks to legislate fun by deciding just how much fun one can have! It’s like corralling all the liquor into the liquor store in the hopes that maybe making it harder to get, will cut down on the drinking. Ha – all that really happens is that the drinkers have to plan ahead, unless Jesus is in town :-). Trying to legislate what people can and cannot have only makes people more likely to do the opposite.

Surprisingly perhaps, God is most interested in blessing people; all people regardless of their goodness or badness! Maybe read that again. The True God is always for you. He doesn’t seek to punish you or teach you a lesson. He’s better than that! He just loves you into loving and all by the freedom of your will! If you are being pressured or coerced, don’t think it’s coming from God. It’s just not His style. Will you still bump your head at times? Certainly! But God can not only heal your head, but would rather you never bumped it in the first place!

So you see, the first miracle ever performed by God’s son was on purpose for a purpose. He wanted you and me to know that He is a loving God and wants us to be sublimely happy! And, if it’s wine that does the trick, so be it. If you get drunk as a skunk, that’s on you. God doesn’t need to punish you, tomorrow will take care of that on its own! Haha

If everyone knew who God really is, everyone would love Him! How could they not? And, the good news is that He is right there with you as you read this and is maybe even having a chuckle or two! Get out of that fear based mindset that always has God chasing you around seeking to punish you. Someone may have taught you that, but I guarantee it wasn’t God! Instead seek after your One and only true source of goodness and see how much wine you get to enjoy.

Go ahead, go to the wedding and bring your mother.

Just some good thoughts…

You Owe Yourself…Yourself!


voltaren-01Do you remember that version of you that did what you wanted to do? Remember when you didn’t hide your aversions or your interests? Can you recall the time when what you thought, meant something and you weighed others opinions instead of simply adopting them? It seems that for so many people the days of independent thought have been overtaken by the great “media machine” ever working to coral people into predictable chutes leading eventually to their own demise. How did this happen to us? What the heck happened to our own minds?

Each one of us has a built-in litmus test called our own heart. Sure, we’re not always right about things. Sure, we are often deceived by what appears versus what really is, but we still have the capacity to know when something isn’t right. That subtle inkling; that uneasiness or feeling in your gut all work together to help you see what remains yet unseen. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? Someone proposes an idea or a concept and on the inside you think, “Oh hell no,” but once your friends start weighing in and social media begins to prompt you and the news people offer their opinions (yeah, when did news shows start having opinions?) you find yourself agreeing with things you don’t agree with. Before you even recognize what is going on you have been shuffled into the majority deck where your card no longer matters. Ugh…

How did this happen to you? When did you start ignoring yourself? If you think about how people live today, you’ll notice a low-level to high level anxiety that folks have just learned to live with. We walk around feeling anxious and uneasy and accept it as normal. Have you noticed? Anxiety is at an all-time high! Everywhere, everyone, scared to death. Why? Because we are being fed a non-stop diet of fear in the form of “the public has a right to know” and we have gotten to the point where we don’t even question it. Fear, fear, fear night and day and we just keep on digesting it and wonder why we aren’t okay.

It might surprise you to hear this, but you weren’t designed to live in fear. Hey call it anxiety, call it worry, but whatever you call it, it is fear and it isn’t the norm, it’s an aberration. You have unwillingly accepted it by not taking the time (we are all so busy…) to listen to your heart and settle those vague notions that are eating you alive. You feel nervous or upset and just forge ahead hoping it will go away. Well, it won’t go away because you haven’t resolved it yet. It’s your heart and you owe it to yourself to resolve it. You resolve it by taking the time to figure out what is bothering you and then to seek out a solution or an idea or some truth that will overcome it. Fear is always wrong and there’s no learning to live with it. It’s gonna get you. Your life is certainly worth settling the matter once and for all. It’s not “just life,” it’s death working by small imperceptible steps.  It may not actually kill you today, but it will kill off your enthusiasm, your excitement, your joy! And, with those things missing, you aren’t really living anyway.

Of course there’s more to it than just having a miserable life. Absent your own thoughts or worse no longer trusting your own thoughts, leads to slavery. Control of a people or a nation relies on making the inhabitants slaves; dependent upon other people to tell you how you feel; what you think and what is okay and what isn’t. Now that’s scary! People no longer willing to trust themselves and make their own choices are people becoming slaves. What the world needs right now is you; the real you! It needs you to say, “No, I don’t want that!” It needs you to stand up for what you believe and quit being afraid that what you really think won’t get many “likes.” Every great, meaningful movement in recorded history began with someone not afraid to think for themselves. It started with some bold person, while recognizing some injustice or some wrong being done,  willing to step out into the light of day and speak up. Is that you? Well, on the inside it is…

It is often reported that it’s not about you the individual, it’s about the society as a whole. Well, I’m here to tell you that society is about you. A healthy society is dependent upon the free-thinkers, the dreamers, the malcontents. Yeah, we live here in this great country because someone rebelled! Many don’t like where our world is headed but even more are willing to be silent about it. And worse, the multitudes have chosen not to think at all and instead settle for the pre-digested opinions of some media personality whose motive isn’t to inform you, but instead to satisfy his own thirst.

You owe it to yourself to be true to yourself. You owe yourself a peaceful, quiet heart. You owe yourself control of yourself and vow never to give control to another person. You owe yourself the opportunity to make full unabashed use of who you are and offer what no one else can give! You owe yourself…yourself!

Peaceful waters can discern even the slightest agitation. Turbulent, troubled waters cannot.

Live in peace my friends. You owe yourself that!

Just some good thoughts…

Living Your Reflection…


reflection_28Here’s some food for thought… The life you are presently living is a direct reflection of your most dominant and habitual thinking. Read that again! Up to this point you may not have made this connection. Most folks don’t. Instead people think that life is happening to them and they are simply reacting to whatever life does next. People that live in a perpetual struggle falsely conclude that circumstances are working against them and probably even long for the time when the struggle will end. But, they remain unaware that their habitual thought forms the basis of their expectations and as such they are living in a world of their own making.

Habits are, in themselves, useful. On the positive side they free your mind of the unnecessary thought required to complete mundane tasks. However, habits also have a dark side. Negative patterns of thought, rehearsed over and over again lead to negative expectations, which manifest themselves in negative circumstances. And, to make matters worse, the habits become invisible to you because of their habituation. And, once darkness has become invisible to you, it is allowed to perpetuate within you to bring about those struggles you’ve been trying so hard to avoid.

I’m sure you’ve heard people complain to God about why life is so hard and why there is so much struggling going on. And, let’s be honest, there is some heavy-duty struggling happening. But, what you may not know is that God has given you control over those struggles once you know how to go about turning things around. God hasn’t left us without a remedy and surely doesn’t condone pain and hardship. But, until you finally learn that your life is “your” life and that you can exercise control, things will go on as they’ve always gone on since the beginning of time.

Just so you don’t think this is “crazy” talk, let me ask you some questions. At this very moment in time, what do think about life? Do think it is a struggle? Do you think it is hard and random and filled with the unexpected? Do you think that is always hard for you to get money and that it always will be? Do you think that disease just happens and that you are powerless against it? Your honest answer to those questions is the life you are presently living. Your expectation; your belief is precisely what you are experiencing and will continue to experience as long as you keep thinking the way you are thinking. Life won’t turn around for you and your ship won’t come in. It cannot because it is a direct reflection of your inmost thoughts. Change your thoughts; change your expectations; change your beliefs and your life will change.

In order to right the ship, you have to become keenly aware of what was formerly invisible; namely your thoughts. You have to start recognizing your negative thought habit patterns. You have to see where you have become your own worst enemy. You must clearly discern that negative chatter, ever providing reasons why you cannot succeed; why you cannot get ahead; why you cannot win. And once you finally hear it, you have to start forcefully challenging those false assumptions. Those assumptions are not “just life” but instead are lies you have been worn down into accepting. There’s no shame in being led astray because the whole world has been led astray, on purpose, by the evil that lies deep behind it, hidden. The real shame comes when you see a glimpse of the light and refuse to heed the lesson.

Have you ever noticed how people set goals for themselves? They set goals with tiny incremental increases as if one can only progress with baby steps. They don’t realize that the larger the goal; the larger the expectations, the larger the result. It is like that with your thoughts. Once you have begun to see and challenge a series of thoughts, your responsibility is to change your thoughts and expectations to something you actually want. It takes the exact same amount of effort to think something good as it takes to think something bad. But make no mistake, you are choosing by what you “choose” to think and hold onto.

I should add, because I know what you’re thinking, that sometimes you “find” yourselves in a challenging situation that you didn’t necessarily bring upon yourself. Sometimes people are under attack; in bad environments and feel that they are being tested. Well, they are being tested but never by God. The test is in how you respond to the challenge. Will you accept what it “seems” like or will you remain stedfast in your beliefs and overcome? You would be surprised how quickly things turn around when you make your mind up! But, if you succumb to what “appears” to be real, you end up down the same blind alleys you traveled before.

As living, breathing, thinking human beings, we always have a say in how things are going to turn out. Always! The key lies in refusing to accept the information that comes to your mind via your five senses, and trusting instead what God says is true! Obviously you can ridicule this notion and demand that what it seems like, is true, but with that you can resign yourself to your usual, perpetual struggle.

Your life, my life is a reflection of those things we think about the most. Change your thoughts and your life will change. It isn’t about being naively positive, it’s about choosing what you will and will not accept in your life. You have more control than you ever thought. God would have it no other way! Really!

Just some good reflections…

 

Just Who Exactly Do You Think You Are!


who-do-you-think-you-areThat little title says more about your life than any other thing I can think of! Who you think you are is exactly who you are in stunning detail and ultimately determines every success, every failure; your results or lack thereof. If you think of yourself as a victim, you will be victimized on every turn. If you think you are always the one that comes up short, then you will always come up short. If you think the “good life” is reserved for others, then don’t be surprised that your life ain’t so good.

To this point you may have underestimated the result  “what you think of yourself” has on you, but it is perhaps the largest cause for the effects you experience. But, it happens with such subtlety that most folks miss it for a lifetime. Despite what you may have heard, no-one’s life is predetermined or destined. The idea of being born with a certain destiny absolves you of responsibility for your life. And trust me, whether in ignorance or just plain laziness, you are responsible. The Good Lord gave you something that can make your life whatever you wish it to be. That thing is the ability to think and subsequently believe. Believing knows no boundaries and overcomes all difficulty, no matter the severity. But always before believing comes thinking…

Have you ever tried to track down the things you are saying to yourself throughout a day? Once you start actually paying attention, you may be horrified at the result. You are going to hear yourself criticizing yourself. You are going to recognize your own negative expectation. And you will find your internal chatter has something to say about every situation you find yourself in. Most of the time it’s negative. It’s not negative because that’s how life is, it’s negative because that’s how you have become in response to life. The test? You didn’t think that way as a child!

Like anything that breaks from the status quo, at first it’s hard to get a handle on. You may even feel like you are lying to yourself. But in reality, up to this point, that’s all you have been doing – lying to yourself. Things don’t always have to turn out badly. Symptoms and indicators don’t always lead to negative results. What it looks like and what it ‘seems’ like are not the end result. The end result is what you accept as the end result before the end result shows up. (Read that again…) In order to get your unruly mind under control you have to first challenge those offending thoughts. Have you ever had an anxiety attack? Anxiety attacks are result of many unchallenged thoughts, now misplaced and coming back in a generalized form. You have to slow down and pay attention to your thoughts. Just because you thought something doesn’t make it true. Wait, hear that one again with volume. JUST BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE! You see, web as a society have become so trained that we falsely conclude that everything we think is true. (And everything we read for that matter).

Once you have gathered the energy necessary to pay attention to your thoughts, next you must challenge the negatives. You do this by telling yourself, “that’s not true” and then saying what is true. “Well, that doesn’t feel right!” So what! Neither did riding a bike the first time you did it. Once you develop this new habit, you will be successfully modifying your thoughts, which modifies your believing; which leads to the change you desire.

Believe it or not, your mind is neutral. You give things the meanings they have for you. Take, for example, the circumstances you find yourself in. Those circumstances are not your destiny. They are simply an accurate reflection of what you have already been thinking/expecting. Thus your circumstances are no indicator of what you can be, but rather a reflector of what you used to be. As James Allen once said, “Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power, and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”

As someone who has practiced these principles for a very long time, I can tell you that it is not easy to see your life differently than it is today. But to make any real change you must! And the easiest way to do it is by starting today. In fact, start right now. Watch your thoughts and begin the process right now. Thankfully God had so ordered life that we only have to concern ourselves with the present day. So begin today. Deeply reflect on what I’m sharing with you and begin to make the change. Rid your mind of negatives and defeat. Put behind you all of your judgments and condemnations. Lay aside that thinking that drives you bonkers and choose life. Harboring and dwelling on negative ideas doesn’t prepare you for things to some, it only serves to keep open the possibility that those things may come! Deny the possibility!

Just who exactly do you think you are? It should be everything you ever dreamed and hoped it would be. It is YOUR life and you have only one short life my friends, to learn this lesson. Learn it and apply it today!

Just some good thoughts…

Our Messy Life…


Life-Is-Messy-657x309_02Our modern electronic era guarantees that we are going to be fed a multitude of images and words about how the ideal life should be. We become convinced of this image regarding how life should work; what we should have and what we should be able to do. In this Hollywood version of life, difficulties are usually solved and almost everyone gets a happy ending (LOL not that kind!). Yet, despite being daily bombarded with these images, life is really quite messy when you get right down to it. Things don’t always work out as planned. There are obstacles, set-backs, and challenges. There are illnesses, frustrations and seemingly unsolvable problems. We face challenging detours, changing environments, in a world that takes another form as soon as we figure the last one out. Real life is messy.

Have you ever wondered why things are the way they are? Seems to me that we could get along so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with all this mess. I mean, imagine a world where there was no pain; no suffering. Imagine if everything you attempted was supremely successful and things always worked out. Think how awesome it would be if you got everything you ever wanted and it came easily without stress and strain. Imagine…

It makes me chuckle when people think that because I love God, things always go in my favor. It’s like, life with God means not having to deal with problems. Or worse, quote a few scriptures over the trouble and it immediately goes away. Or, say a quick prayer and disaster is averted. That could not be further from the truth and perhaps a major reason the world thinks most Christians are nuts! We believer types face the same obstacles and challenges everyone else faces. We get pushed and pulled out of sorts; we get frustrated and at times even defeated. You see, God never promised that life would be without struggles. What He promised is that He can help you (and me) overcome any challenge that comes our way. In other words, He will help us clean-up up our messy life. God is love and as such is only good to people and incredulously just as good to “bad” people as He is to “good” people. Ponder that for a minute…

The reason our lives are messy is because we have an adversary; an opposing spiritual force that is ever at work to screw things up. And, whether you think he exists or not, is working on you to make a mess of your life. He steals your prosperity. He convinces you, you aren’t good enough for God or His blessings. He ruins your relationships. Every evil or bad thing that every person ever did was based on his influence. He is behind all sickness, disease and death. He makes the mental prisons you find yourself in and specializes in frustration. He gets you addicted and makes the ruts that are so hard to escape from. He promises you that things will be so much better if you can find this person or get that job or move to a new place. He convinces you that if you follow his ways you will get the happiness you so ardently desire. The problem is that he is ALWAYS lying to you and when you follow his advice it burns you 100% of the time, in every case, always. And still behind all of his shenanigans, most folks don’t even think he exists. Well he does and your life is a mess because of it.

On the contrary, God is ever at work to show you what is real and to reveal the true source of your problems. The problem with problems is that we think we can use the same thinking to escape them that got us into them in the first place. Our difficulty persists because we haven’t yet discovered the true cause. God is able to show you the true cause! Because God is all knowing, He can completely and totally eradicate the difficulty. Yet we fail to get the answers we so desperately need because we either think we know better (according to our limited understanding); or dismiss the answers we do get in a variety of forms. When God answers the question or provides a solution, it is a full and complete solution. God’s deliverance is very real and available to anyone who dares to believe. Don’t you want to get things straightened out? I know you do.

This messy life we find ourselves living can be throughly straightened out. There are answers and deliverance from anything that ever plagued you. With God nothing is impossible! Stop settling for life’s “good enough.” Stop concluding that every feeling and thought you have must be true. Stop rationalizing your problems away or distracting yourself from dealing with them. Instead seek; truly seek the real solution from God! He wants to help you more than you even want to be helped, but you have to meet Him halfway with some humility.

This life is way too short to live in a perpetual mess. Put away your broom and your cleaning rags and get the help you need. You owe yourselves that much, ya think?

Just an anecdote to a messy life…

The Absence of Complexity…


10565034_10152182433042175_6989850727931467430_nThe trouble with man’s relationship with God and his unattained happiness is the complexity of his belief system. There’s the do-good crowd that believes they can earn God’s favor by a series of righteous acts. Then, there’s the religious crowd that seeks to wear God out with rituals. There’s the “hodgepodgers” who try to work things out with an eclectic blend of a variety of beliefs. There’s an increasing number of “we’ve got our own book” groups. There’s the pity seekers who feel that if they suffer enough maybe God will throw them a bone and the ‘do what you want’ fellas because the Universe always answers… There’s the energy seekers, the sun worshippers, the nature worshippers, the prosperity worshippers, the Christian Scientists and the witches.  Mash that all together with the world’s countless theories for success and pretty soon you figure it’s too damn exhausting to find happiness, let alone find God. But…what if it’s not that complex? What if it’s so simple we’ve been missing it for a lifetime? What if it’s all right there waiting for us, if only we could see it? What if, huh?

The irony is that the older we get, the more confused we become. We’ve gotten so smart, you know? We’ve been reading the instructions for so long we have forgotten how to live. Have you ever taken the time to observe how a child lives? Children in all their simplicity know how to live life, that is until the world talks them out of it. Their little minds and hearts are wide open to learning. They are information absorbing machines. They live 100% in the moment. For them there is no future and no past. They forget their mistakes within seconds of making them. Each moment is a new moment and each moment offers the promise of delight. They expect their every need to be met and become quite indignant when their needs aren’t met. They have complete trust that they will be taken care of at all times. Complete trust! In their purity they remind us how to live. Have you ever thought back to how simple life was when you were a child? So what happened to you and to me? We got too dang smart, that’s what. Instead of growing up and transferring that simple mindset to our adult lives with God, we chose instead to figure out a system. We already know the stupid system isn’t working but we’re adults by God and we can figure it out. And in our desperation, we started listening to every idea under the sun. Somebody done got us fooled folks; somebody!

Life with God is incredibly simple. If we believe, we receive. But, that a mighty big “if!” The reason we don’t believe is because we’ve added a multitude of complicated layers to our relationship with God. It can’t be that simple, we exclaim. When someone comes along and tells us it’s that simple, we don’t believe them. If we are honest we hardly believe anything anymore. We’re entangled in a giant spaghetti bowl of theories and uninformed beliefs. “Someone said once…” and “I heard you have to…” and “What I’ve always done is…” All of it guesswork, all of it complicated, all of it pointless. In order to get closer to that life we have always imagined, we have to get back to the heart of a child.

I remember when I got my first Mac computer. I stumbled around for weeks trying to figure out how to do things. Then someone finally clued me in. They said, think simple; what’s the simple way it “should” work? Then lo and behold, they were right. I was so schooled in the Microsoft world that I had a hard time learning the easy way. Life with God is like that. We have been so schooled in religious beliefs and illogical ideas that we can’t see the forest for the trees. As a great man once said, “We’ve got too much complicated theology and not enough simple believing. We make God too hard!”

If we are ever going to see the true, breathtaking beauty of God and His magnificent provision for us, we’ve got to get back to simplicity. We’ve got to be willing to see things from another viewpoint. We have to view the world with fresh eyes; eyes that don’t already see, but are willing to see. Maybe what you have been looking for, for the past five years has been sitting there right by you, all along. Maybe the big break you have been waiting on for the last twenty years, is waiting for you to finally decide it’s going to happen, so it can actually happen. Maybe you are only one thought away from everything you ever wanted. Maybe. (You are already arguing with me, aren’t you?) Stop analyzing probabilities. Stop trying to figure out how it’s all going to work and just believe, like a child would do. Stop evaluating your behaviors. Stop beating yourself with guilt and condemnation. Stop rationalizing and applying your grown person logic and get back to what is simple. Expect it; believe it; see it.

God loves you and I more than we could ever imagine. God is the greatest provider that ever was and ever will be. God wants you to get your needs met infinitely more than you want it for yourself. He wants to teach you. He wants to show you. He wants you to know! He’s not hiding anything from you, ever. If something is hidden, it’s hidden because of the complexity you have bought into as an adult.

Throw that world of complexity to the side and get back to that guy or gal you once were…You knew all of this stuff at one time, really!

Imagine the exciting adventure that awaits you, when once again you become willing to see. Imagine…

Just some clear, simple thoughts…

The Religious Right (and left…and uppercut)!


NoReligion_Window_Sticker_MAIN1_300_329984.jpgI have never been a fan of religion; any of them. Scratch that! I hate the stuff (swear word thought of but not typed)! Being an ardent lover of God and His son, my issues are never with Him. My issue is with religion and its man-made doctrines that drive men and women bananas. I have never met people more defeated and discouraged than religious folks. All day long trying to follow impossible rules, and impossible standards, stamped by men and issued as if from God directly. Discipline to no purpose. Denial to no end. The torture of human beings. Believing God is tempting them and praying for deliverance from temptation. Looking for godly meaning in catastrophes and disasters. Wanting to punish rich folk for using people, but believing that God is using them!  Guilty for this; sorry for that; regretting this choice and hating themselves for that. And all this being done by perhaps some of the kindest and most thoughtful people in the world. The ones that actually care. The problem isn’t the people, the problem is the religion that drives people insane.

Assuming I may have already pissed you off, allow me to explain. Truth, if it is really truth, must have a logic to it. Illogical and true cannot mix. Think about it. God is angry with you for looking at that woman’s butt, but He’s the one that made it attractive to you (not me honey…theory 😉 ). God forbids you to defile your body with alcohol, yet Jesus’ first miracle was resupplying the wine at the wedding. God gave you sovereign free-will to choose for yourself, but occasionally uses you for His own ends. (Forgive me Father I’m making a point) God makes you ill to test your faith, then asks you to pray to Him for healing.  God made sex feel really good, then expects you to only do it to produce a child. I could go on, but now I’m annoying myself…

You see folks, this aint about me being right and you being wrong, or doggedly defending “my” way of thinking as superior to your way of thinking. This is about applying the test of logic to what you believe. IF God is perfect and all-knowing and all-wise, I’m thinking He is pretty dang logical (insert extreme sarcasm here). Perfection doesn’t need to double-clutch and cough and sputter to make sense of the nonsense. But religion does. Sadly someone has sold us a bill of goods. And that someone has done his job so well, his name doesn’t even come up in the discussion.

I currently live in a very religious state. Is that so bad? Ummm no… I don’t feel unsafe in my neighborhood. I leave stuff unlocked often. There’s an excellent chance of a neighbor upon finding my wallet, actually returning it. People want to help us; take care of us and bless us. My state is one of the safest and cleanest in the nation because of the religion. Yet my state also has one of the highest rates of prescriptions for depression and anxiety per capita in the nation. You know why? It’s damn hard to live that crap! Damn hard. I know because I got caught up in it myself. Someone, or a lot of someones, successfully convinced me that the love and protection I once freely enjoyed with God, required a much more complicated set of requirements than I had previously thought. You can get a lot of power over people if you can attach God’s name to it. So, in order to stay safe, I succumbed and began a litany of ridiculous choices all founded and formed in religion much to the detriment of everyone I came into contact with. I became religious. And while striving so hard night and day to please God, my believing decreased, my prayers answered less, my results – non-existent. Uggh… That it is until I had the good sense or maybe the God-inspired sense to break free. Break free from God? Never… Break free from religion, yes!!!

So why do I write this, you ask? The religious folks don’t want to hear it and the unbelievers don’t believe anyway. Well, I wrote this for you. I wrote this for every person waking up each morning scratching their head and mumbling, ummm I don’t get it. I wrote this for the good-hearted people out there killing themselves to earn God’s love, yet missing it at every turn. I wrote this for the folks that don’t believe the only two choices in life are be evil or be religious. I wrote this for my children and my grandchildren.

The God whom I love and serve isn’t into religion. He is into people and their hearts. 90% of that malarkey you have foolishly assigned to God doesn’t come from Him at all. It comes from religion and the minds of men. And ultimately, secretly it comes from that devious source of evil that seeks only to put you into bondage and torture you. Don’t get mad at me, get mad at the enemy.

There comes a time in your life when you have to stand behind what you believe and say it. In the words of Emerson,“Let us advance on Chaos and the Dark.”

There is a life with God that is sweeter than anything you may have ever experienced. And in that life, you will find that He is always logical and never religious. He is love folks, love…

The Tyranny of the Self-Made Life…


Self-Made-Man1There I was writing down my goals again and realizing that I have been writing the same crap for years! Same goals, same never-ending list of steps required to reach my goals. I’m going to stop doing this and start doing that, and ease up on this and cut back on that…Requirements, discipline, blah, blah, blah. Of course there is nothing wrong with writing down your goals and even better writing down steps to achieve those goals, but man, what a drag! What a freaking hard way to live. Never satisfied, never enjoying the moments called now. Perpetual work (mental work) towards some future day when… Add to that the mental consternation that goes with figuring out all of the complexities of life with your own little brain and you have a formula for misery. Can you even fathom how many variables life contains and the insanity of trying to control those variables? How many things need to line up with a multitude of other things for you to get what you want most out of life? And further, do you really, honestly think that your little plan, devised by your little mind could, by will power and determination, get a handle on all of the factors that must come together for you to be successful? Really?

I thought these thoughts and asked myself the same questions and, in all honesty, had to admit that my complicated plans with all of their required tasks, while offering the promise of securing “that life” were in reality complex wish lists that did little more than satisfy my intellect that I had devised “the plan” to get where I wanted to go. The tasks, unpleasant. The disciplines, undesirable. The probability of me carrying them out, zero. So, how do people reach their goals? How do some folks attain the unattainable? The so-called fortunate ones who seem to be living the life, what did they do so differently?

I think it’s safe to say they worked hard. That goes without saying. It’s obvious they were clear about what they desired. But, I’m willing to wager a lot of money that on the way to arriving, they were enjoying the journey. No-one does anything well that they don’t enjoy doing. Yes it’s work, but work you love isn’t really work (and if you have managed to touch on that you know what I mean). But work for work’s sake is drudgery and even more so when it doesn’t get you where you want to go. Oh try as you may, discipline your discipline, but in the end you’ll see (hopefully) that the path “you” chose for the fulfillment of your dreams isn’t the path to get to your dreams.

In the most simple terms, the first step to attaining your dream life is believe you can attain your dream life. I will say that again! The first step to attaining your dream life is to believe that you can. Until you get that step down, you are destined to work harder and get less. Your efforts, your energy to do, must be backed by the passion to do and without the first step, you can never get to the second step. Decision always, always, always precedes desire (passion). That solid, sold out, convicted decision produces the energy to do in exact proportion to the decision. A “hope so” decision; a wishy-washy decision; a maybe-maybe not decision can only produce a meager, so-so, half-hearted passion that neither has the energy or the will to accomplish anything. For real!

Doing first things first by whole-hearted decision gets God involved in your life. God, who happens to be aware of every variable, can work with decision. And, by His very nature, cannot work with indecision. Your lack of decision almost guarantees a lack of result and I don’t care how hard you work or how hard you try! It’s not your sincerity that gets the job done. Many sincere people have taken their dream to their grave. It’s your belief that gets the job done and without your cooperation, God Himself can do nothing! Conversely, making the strong decision to accomplish something leads to the strong passion (energy) required to do something which leads to the necessary details and finally to the required result!

How much time have you spent pursuing hopes and wishes? How much effort have you wasted on idle dreams that you don’t believe will really happen nor truly expect to obtain? My advice? Be like me. Recognize that you are tired of your lists and your requirements and your plans. Accept that what you are doing isn’t working and thinking that something magical will happen later is only a fantasy. Instead, take the time to decide exactly, precisely, clearly and emphatically what it is you want to accomplish; what legacy you wish to give to the world. And once you finally get that clear, act with the passion that accompanies your decision. It will be there. It must! And, along the way, give your poor, tired mind a break and cease trying to figure it all out. How you get there matters none, but rather “that” you get there. Let God do His job by “you” making a decision and then just enjoy the day that is today! Enjoy this day and give it all you’ve got. I mean really, if you truly believe that God is getting you where you want to go, you don’t have to spend another moment agonizing on how it is going to happen! You just live and move and expect and see…

Trying to figure out how to live a “self-made” life is a tyranny that will wear you out! You aren’t big enough for that fight. Trust me. But you certainly are big enough to make a decision and let God figure it out. Then, life becomes what it supposed to be – a joyful journey of discovery that ends in victory!

Just some good, clear, free thoughts…