Dead Battery? Jump Start Your Life!

iphone-battery-dead-2Nowadays it’s all about having enough energy. There are energy drinks, energy shots and 5 Hour Energy available at all of your neighborhood 7 -Elevens! The promise of giving you more energy is a billion dollar business. So that naturally begs the question, why are we all so dang tired? I mean really? What happens throughout a day that is sucking all of the life out of us? As you might have guessed, I have a theory…

Imagine that on the inside of your body, instead of a heart, you have a large battery. That battery gets automatically charged for the start of every day; fully green end to end. It doesn’t matter how much sleep you got; if the sun is out or not, it’s just charged up and ready to go. Add to that, it has enough energy to do everything you need to accomplish today, no matter how arduous. Throughout the day it uses energy according to whatever apps you have operating in the system of your mind, some in the forefront, some in the background. When the battery is green you feel alive and up to any challenges. You’ve got ideas, solutions, insights and vigor. When the battery starts to turn yellow you feel depleted and even the smallest things annoy you. You’ve got no patience; no ideas; no energy to think a situation through. Finally, when the battery flashes red you are completely out of gas. You reach for an energy drink or choose perhaps to go to bed early. “Man, eff this day!”

The apps that you play on your system are your thoughts. Some of those thoughts apply to your immediate situation while others are just sort of back there using up valuable power. When the thoughts you entertain are good, useful, purposeful and positive, your battery life glows green. But, when your thoughts are negative, fearful, anxious, angry, critical and frustrated, your battery level quickly depletes and beckons you to buy that 5 Hour Energy drink.

Sadly, many people fail to make the connection between the thoughts they are thinking and their energy level. Rotten thoughts eat away like a corrosive chews on your battery cables. Fearful thoughts will crash your system by 10:00 a.m. Uncontrolled thoughts, which almost always end up as negative thoughts, in this crazy world we live in, suck your energy right out of you. Dale Carnegie used to say that hard work never made a man tired. What makes a man tired is the thoughts he is entertaining while he works.

Have you ever watched an episode of The Duggers?  Sure they are corny as hell; have unusual hairdos and won’t even wear shorts for a 5K! But, haven’t you felt the slightest bit intrigued about how they interact with the world? They are just so darn pleasant and positive, and if you get past how much they don’t seem to fit in our world, you have to admit there is somewhat of an appeal to them. They’re just happy and lighthearted, expecting the best no matter what they are facing. Why else would so many people watch a country family with way too many kids living in Arkansas?  LOL

Seriously though, those Duggers are on to something! They’ve learned, thanks to their beliefs, that there is certain way that people were designed to act, which is ever preceded by their thoughts. Thinking good of people and doing good to people is how God intended for people to behave and behaving in that way guarantees a battery glowing green no matter what is going on. (Duh…God also made your battery!) On the converse, spitting out criticism; judging and hating everybody, which is also always preceded by thoughts, saps vitality like an embalmer sucks the blood out of dead bodies. And, dead minds don’t just show up via active evil, they also come about by entertaining thoughts of fear and worry and dread. Hey, let’s be honest okay? No-one wants a terminal disease; a tragic car accident; a complete loss of financial resources; something bad to happen to their child etc., etc. But all that fear you are incubating and nourishing day by day does nothing to make those things not happen; in fact, if you can bear it, actually encourage those things to happen! And along the way, in ignorance, we are dragging around our almost dead batteries (minds) looking for the next quick fix or outlet to plug into.

So, here’s a reality check! When you find yourself dragging around from thing to thing, despondent, depressed and looking for 7 Elevens, stop looking without and instead look within, not for the answers, but for your thoughts. What apps are playing in the foreground and in the background? Get out your app killer and change your mind. How you interact with the world does matter! That harmless game of pointing out what is wrong with everyone else is not a game, it’s an energy killer. Those angry words you shouted at the guy on the freeway who foolishly didn’t know the whole highway belonged to you and dared to drive slower than your appointed acceptable speed, didn’t injure him, they injured you! Those hurt feelings and lack of forgiveness you have been carrying around for 25 years about things that no longer exist, except in your memory, aren’t necessary. They are a background app sucking up all of your life juice!

Am I advocating a strict religious life where everything you do or think might be a sin? Of course not! (blahhhh!) I’m advocating love and kindness and forgiveness to yourself first and then onto everyone else. Actively looking for ways to bless people and make them happy is equal to carrying around a perpetual battery charger. And when your battery is glowing green, life takes on an effortless flow that you will never be disappointed with.

We all get tired folks, but there’s a big difference between tired and worn out… Stop at 7 Eleven if you must, but make sure you are really good to that person serving you!  That will do far more for you than any 5 Hour Energy drink!

Just some fully charged, good thoughts…



First World Problems…

first-world-problems-milk-500x500 I woke up this morning with one prevailing thought, “You’re acting like a spoiled little brat!”  The more I pondered that thought, the more I began to understand its application to my life.  Enter first world problems.  I thought back on my recent past and realized that I spent a lot of my time engaging in mental complaining.  I also suddenly recognized that I spent an inordinate amount of my prayer time complaining to God about this difficulty and that obstacle.  And interestingly that reminded me of Jim Rohn who eloquently pointed out that , “Life seems to say to us – Here are the raw materials — your creativity, and 24 hours to use it. What splendid things can you produce?” You see, you and I all have at our disposal the exact same things that everyone else has at their disposal, the question is what will we do with them?  All of us have to function in the same world.  All of us face similar difficulties and challenges.  All of us have good days and bad days.  All of us have hopes, dreams, desires and fears.  All of us wish it could be easier.  All of us wonder why things don’t always go exactly how we want them to go.  All of us…  So what can we do about it?  What should we do?

Living life how we live it in America makes it very easy to forget the all of the wonderful things we take for granted.  We enjoy so many conveniences; so many luxuries, that we often forget and behave like spoiled children lamenting and complaining because we don’t get everything we want at the moment that we want it!  Crazy huh?  I mean, God forbid if the Internet goes out or the computer is running slowly or dread of all dreads, our iPhone gets broken!   Or how about being upset over having to drive this “piece of sh**” car (that runs well but isn’t pretty) or being tired of this “ridiculous little 47″ TV.”  First world problems for sure.  You do realize that most of the world would consider what you and I take for granted to be living the good life, right?  Yet here we are distraught over not having enough variety in our shoe game or that we look fat in our clothes (fat because we enjoy the luxury of having to ‘stop’ eating).  We take the good we enjoy for granted, my friends.  We have forgotten that some folks are dealing with real problems, problems with dire potential consequences.  Some people face life and death decisions and here I am angry that there’s no half and half for my coffee!  Spoiled brat…

And as I further pondered how I might be behaving like a spoiled brat, I remembered that God never promised life would be without difficulties or challenges.  Oh we like to think that, but it isn’t true.  Life is chock full of challenges and difficulties because there is an opposing spiritual force working as hard against us as God is working for us.  But (and there is a but), God did promise that He would always make a way for us to win!  ( If God be for us, who can be against us?)  Yet to win requires effort and effort is the last thing we want to apply to the situation.  We want God to drop prosperity from the sky like manna and then get pissed off if we have to walk some distance to find it.  We want the new job that offers the promise of increased earnings and responsibility yet lack the desire to supply the necessary preparation to make it a reality.  We want the new BMW in the driveway, but we want it to show up on Christmas morning with a ribbon on it, from Santa.

I’m guessing that we probably live in one of the greatest eras of mankind.  So many people have access to so many things and yet here we are complaining and whining that life is too hard or that we lack sufficient opportunity.  First world problems are not problems they are distractions; distractions that persuade us to complain and to not be grateful for this glorious life we are privileged to live.  Gratitude, true gratitude takes a pause to recognize all of the wonderful things we enjoy.  Being thankful doesn’t mean thanking God for the obstacles and challenges of life (because they didn’t originate with Him), it means taking time to remember all the good stuff He already gave you which encourages you to believe that He is going to give you more good stuff.

So, as a former spoiled brat, I spent the day today looking at all of the fantastic things God has already blessed me with.  I recognized just how good I have it.  And in silent repose I thanked God.  I thanked Him that He was able to look past all of my petty whining and complaining and still lovingly provide everything that I needed and many, many things that I simply wanted!  I acknowledged that I faced no real issues other than an incessant desire to have everything I wanted exactly when I wanted it…and decided to stop that, right now!

A spoiled little brat?  Yeah, that’s what they used to call me… 😉

Just some good thoughts…

Fear…the Silent Killer

In our frenetic world today, people have lost sight of the core essence of what it means to be a thinking, human being.  We run from this activity to that activity; we have never-ending “to do” lists; we are so so busy with our requirements, that we rarely have time to sit down and consider what is driving our decisions.  We are bombarded with news media, social media; we have computers, iPads, iPods, iPhones, cell phones, droid phones and a host of other devices to keep us connected to everything, everywhere, at all times.  Thus we find ourselves left with one large, looming consequence; we don’t have time to think.  We have become collectively distracted and in our distraction have lost sight of who is in control of our lives.  And by surrendering control we “all like sheep have gone astray.”  We have secretly been funneled with the masses of society into well-worn paths that always lead to misery and futility.

There are really only two great motives in life; love or fear.  All of humanity is basing their decisions; their plans; their thinking on one of the two…  Love comes from God and has nothing harmful in it.  Love empowers men and women and gives them back control in their lives.  Love puts the energy into a life and like a gently flowing river is refreshed day by day.  Fear is just the opposite.  Fear comes from the enemy and has nothing good or useful in it (Nothing!).  Fear controls people and binds them down like slaves.  Fear stops all forward movement and as the lion roars to freeze its prey, fear roars and brings our lives to a standstill.  “Fear is sand in the machinery of life.”  (Eli Stanley Jones) Fear stops all forward movement.  Fear harasses and attacks and controls.  Fear is the hidden power behind all the suffering in this world and if allowed to continue without being rigorously and thoroughly purged will lead to ruin and defeat in EVERY situation and in EVERY case.  Fear breaks our minds down and in that divided state makes us insane.  Fear wrecks marriages; destroys our businesses; invites sickness; welcomes catastrophe; ensures poverty; murders, steals, hurts, harasses, controls, ruins and reduces us down to a mere fraction of the person we once were.  In short, fear sucks!

So, how can we overcome this seemingly insurmountable enemy and bring restoration and wholeness to our lives?  How can we get back all that has been stolen from us?  How can we get off the treadmill and get out of the rate race?  How can we regain control of our lives and once again live peacefully and confidently?  We can do it by making a decision!  Our life isn’t just happening to us; we are happening to it!  And in contrast to our former ignorance when we sat there frozen in the bushes waiting for the lion to strike, we can now make the decision to get the hell out of those bushes and get on with our lives.  Fear, like every other slippery deception must be dealt with swiftly.  We don’t answer fear; entertain fear; dialogue with fear; rationalize with fear; try to understand and analyze fear; or, for God’s sake, make friends with our fear.  The moment we take that approach we lose.  We don’t proclaim to ourselves over and over, “I’m not afraid!  I’m not afraid! I’m not afraid!”  Instead we simply move forward with love.  Mature love casts out fear.  We decide adamantly that we will not think the thoughts of fear.  Oh I know, it’s very tempting to try to figure it out.  “Maybe if I just run this scenario through my head one thousand times I will be able to figure it out.”  So, uhhhh, how’s that working out for you?  Getting any closer?  Almost got it?  NO!  Hell no!  All you get when you do that is more fear, more fear, more fear…  Sure you’re smart; sure you’re logical; sure you can figure stuff out, but when it comes to evil, you aint that smart!  You lost before you began.  The moment you entertained it (in your wisdom), you lost.  And you know why that trick always works on humans?  Because the adversary makes an appeal to your ego.  He is banking on the fact that you, like all humans will try to figure the dang thing out.  But fear has a spiritual basis and your human mind aint gonna figure that one out.  So, like every other deception the enemy tries to work us over with, our job is to simply do what God said to do about it and refuse to engage in a discussion otherwise.  When Eve paused to consider what the devil asked her to consider, she lost!  When you keep running that fear through your mind over and over, you lose!  Soon you will become a walking, talking anxiety attack, mentally threadbare and defeated.

God does not want us to live in fear.  God wants to deliver us out of fear.  How would you feel as a parent if you had to watch your child being controlled and bullied and beaten?  Do you like it when your children are afraid?  Do they think soundly when they are afraid?  Are there really boogeymen?  Of course not, but when you are afraid aren’t you doing the same thing?  And what do you tell your children?  “Ummm don’t be afraid son”…end of story? No!  You tell them something to counteract that fear.  You give them something to put in their minds to replace it.  “Mommy and Daddy protect you son and we won’t let anything get you!”  Sure you might point out there is nothing under the bed, but you don’t suggest they sit in the darkness and try to figure it out.  You turn on the light before you do the inspection.  Well, that’s how you overcome fear.  You turn on the light before you do the inspection.  What does God say about the thing you are so afraid of?  Turn on the lights!  Things aren’t so scary when the lights are on.  If you hear a potential intruder outside your house, you turn the lights on.  Sure the light might not make him go away, but in the light you can figure out what to do next.  That’s what love does, it turns on the light so you can figure out what to do next, ultimately leading to God’s solution which is infinitely bigger than any intruder!

So, let’s just get honest with ourselves when we are afraid and seek a solution.  Call a thing, a thing!  “I can’t leave this job I hate because I need the money!”  = Fear.  “I can’t tell him what I really think because he will leave me!” = Fear.  “I cannot forgive her for what she did!” = Fear.  I cannot get past this big negative thing that happened to me!” = Fear.  The reality is that you can do all of those things, but fear has you under its control and is feeding you another story.  Decide right now that it ends today!  You decide because you are worth more than that to God!

Where you have been, I have been also.  What you have tried to figure it out, I have tried to figure out also.  The anxiety you are feeling, I have felt also.  So, trust me when I say there is only one way you can escape that fear.  Don’t be so smart and “let” God show you otherwise.  You’ll never get to the other side of that fear and experience the sheer joy of deliverance until you are willing to humble yourself and do it God’s way.

Are you afraid?  Turn off your electronics, log out, log off and think; take some time to think.  Take back the control of your life and for goodness sakes, don’t do it alone…  God loves you and so do I!  Be not afraid, only believe…