My Life on a Perpetual Diet…


dietingAs I reflect back on my life over the past 20 years, I realize that I have been on a perpetual diet for that same 20 years. And incredulously, as my goal of being 15 pounds lighter continues to linger on the horizon, I also recognize the insanity of trying to lose the same 15 pounds for 20 straight years. It would seem that with some discipline and force of will it shouldn’t take 20 years to lose 15 pounds. In fact, the task should likely take two to three months maximum. But, here I sit lamenting on the reality that I haven’t yet been able to figure it out. So, I had to ask myself why? Why would my body seek to regulate itself 15 pounds above that which I would desire. Is there something I am doing in my life that serves to thwart my purpose? Is a life of perpetual restriction the solution? Or, does a life of perpetual restriction work at cross purposes from the end I have in mind? And, assuming I’m not a swim suit model, does it really even matter? Is it really about dieting and obsessing and trying hard with no results or is there something else at play I might not yet have contemplated? I think it is fair to say that any issue that may have troubled you for the past twenty years begs for further inspection, whether it be feeling unhappy about your weight or not feeling good about any aspect of your life. Whatever it is that has served as a distraction in your life; that limits you from being your best; that functions as a source of constant angst and dissatisfaction, is worth digging into and finding a way to overcome. Have your past twenty years seen you trapped on a perpetual diet, in endless restriction and constraints, in modifying your behavior, in trying to get something and never actually being able to get it? If so, this blog is for us…

I guess the starting point in understanding is first being able to recognize the utter futility of trying to do something for twenty years but not actually arriving or seeing any lasting result. That alone should arrest our attention. Yes, it takes some time and some discipline to make needed changes in our lives, but for something to continue on for that many years is a clue that competing interests must be interfering with our goal. The straight line of effort should produce a result. No results or minimal results indicate the straight line of effort cannot be straight. Faithful persistence is the key. It doesn’t matter how hard you work at something, if you don’t do it faithfully, chances are you are not going to get there. By the time your effort to achieve hits the 20 year mark and you are still no closer to your goal, you have to look at yourself and ask the question why? Do you have some aspect of your life that when indulged works at cross purposes with your goal? Is there something you like more than the thing you say you want? Or, as time has passed, have you been convinced that you cannot reach your goal no matter what you do? Time, especially significant amounts of time, has an unusual way of encroaching on your belief system and limiting you that much further in your quest, as small failures add up and produce the larger failure; the ultimate failure being referred to as giving up. Often what feels like futility is really repeating the same circumstances over and over and expecting a different result. Nothing changes because you haven’t changed something or at least not long enough to form new habit patterns. The temporary nature of the diet promises that a short term sacrifice will suffice and then it is back to business as usual, adding in excesses to fill the gaps formed in deprivation. Short term fixes don’t fix anything and lead to 20 year fixes that don’t fix anything either. Before you can takes the steps to enjoy any success, you first have to get real honest with yourself about what you want and what you don’t want. Your reason why has to be bigger than all of the assailants that will come to thwart your goal. 

I have learned rather painfully that endless restriction turns you into a sort of crazy person. Although you haven’t stuck to your plans for any significant length of time in reality, your mind gets stuck there in an endless loop secretly upset with the endless deprivation. Low carb diets make you crazy about rice and bread. Extreme diets such as HcG require you to starve for 3 weeks and then eat like a crazy person for the next six. Fasting promises a fast fix, yet whoa unto the crazy eater when the fast is over. There is nothing wrong with time limited restriction and control as long as you stay the course and arrive at your destination. But sadly, the course also includes the weekends! Yet, deeper than dieting or any time driven period of greater control, is what is going on inside your head. You don’t feel like you can adequately control yourself for 3 months, yet end up spending 20 years rehearsing the same mantra. You have to get your mind involved and keep it involved. You have to decide what you are going to do and then keep deciding until you arrive. If you are like me, you may have taken on some habits over the years that don’t work so well with your goals. Chances are you have certain likes and enjoyments that you might like a little too much. All added enjoyments in life appear to have an end point or a place where the enjoyment ends. Yet on we press looking for more enjoyment when the enjoyment has run its course. Nothing tastes as good as the first bite, as the saying goes and nothing produces better effect than the sparkle of the first glass of wine. All unhealthy restrictions cannot help but lead to excess in some other place. The answer isn’t more and more restriction, the answer is in getting focused and staying there. 

To take things a step further, the real issue is found in your why. Why are you doing or not doing the things you want? What are you really after? Are you doing something you earnestly want to do or do you have another hidden motive in mind? Is the thing you are trying so hard to get to the real answer or is it masking something else you want to get to? It is so easy to get caught up into things in life and end up forgetting why you were doing them in the first place. I think often when it comes to the various life suckers, our reasoning behind doing what we do gets cloudy and vague to the point where we can no longer see something that we desperately need to see. We miss the real problem or else dismiss it as something unimportant when it obviously is. It is not normal to suffer defeat in a category of life for a significant length of time without opposing forces getting in there somewhere and causing the defeat. This applies of course to many, many aspects of life beyond a silly diet. All of us have beliefs and habits that at one time served us, but no longer serve us now. We have pictures of ourselves that we have long since outgrown. We are all on our own journey with lessons we must eventually learn. Yet God graciously continues to work with us right where we are. I think inside we know the changes we need to make, but are loathe to make them for fear of losing something we enjoy; something that supposedly defines us; something we may have always liked about ourselves. Yet, all growing and evolving creatures must learn to change as the situations and circumstances of life dictate. However, those changes are not always all or nothing, but rather adjustments we make along the way. Small adjustments, small modifications can go a long way in making needed changes. 

At the end of the day, you and I can achieve anything we want to achieve. The only limit is ourselves. We have to learn to approach the things of our life without fear and dare to chart a new course. We aren’t after a quick fix, we are after long term solutions. Some aspects of life we simply need to overcome or at minimum overcome their grip on our lives. “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any…” Figure out what it is you are really after in your life and then go and get it. Sure you are going to fail and falter along the way, but that doesn’t matter as long as you get where you want to get. Whether you have been trying to lose the same amount of weight for two decades or you are trying to rid yourself of any negative aspect of life, you can get there no matter how long it has gone on if you will just get honest with yourself and change what you already know you need to change. Whatever has succeeded in getting a grip over your life has an opposite side that will give you everything you ever wanted instead. Life is way too short to live without the things that are important to you. Don’t pray for more discipline, pray for understanding. God has an uncanny way of making things crystal clear. Having you been living your life on a perpetual diet? Have you not thus far been able to realize your dreams? Is there some aspect of life that has been defeating you? Get quiet, get honest and get God involved. Life is to be enjoyed in every aspect! Freedom awaits you.

Just some good thoughts…

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The Great Energy Drain…


Have you ever felt like you are lacking energy and have lost your enthusiasm for living? Do you often feel like life has become a drudgery and that there is nothing hardly to look forward to anymore? Has life just worn you down and you can’t seem to find the way back up? Are you simply tired of it all? These feelings are all part of the human journey and you don’t live many years without experiencing them in some form or fashion. The solution (and there is a solution) may surprise you!

The problem with problems is that they wouldn’t be a problem if we knew the answer. Behind every problem; behind every issue that assaults our minds is some hidden cause. The more hidden the cause, the greater the likelihood of the problem continuing. Our spiritual opponent, the ultimate energy drain, functions in secret. The greater his secrecy, the greater his success. What you don’t know will hurt you! Often people find themselves attempting to address their issues with activities that have absolutely nothing to do with the real cause. In this way, humans become pawns in a grand chess game, unknowingly making moves that lead to nothing but wasted time and wasted years. When we suffer lack in some capacity, it seems the solution would be to add something to the equation. If we lack energy, we seek after methods to increase our energy by getting more sleep, eating healthier, adding exercise or swearing off sugar and alcohol. And, while these options are based in physical science, they fail to consider the spiritual reality behind the problem. It isn’t that we are lacking the necessary energy, it is that we are allowing the existence of something that is stealing away our precious energy!

There are two great motivating principles in life – love and fear. Actions you take in love serve to increase your energy and multiply your enthusiasm for living. Actions you take based on fear, however subtly or cleverly disguised, ALWAYS lead to a depletion of your energy and produce its faithful companion – misery. Please read that sentence again! The root cause of your distinct lack of energy is FEAR! Remember the secret of his success is the secrecy of his moves (against you). If it was obvious to you, you would see it for what it is and seek a remedy. However, fear is often deeply veiled and hidden from view. Most people and I do mean most people, do not recognize the fear in their own lives. They don’t see it because they live in a world that runs and thrives on fear. Fear is the the great taskmaster making slaves of its subjects. The world, absent the light of God, is forever subject to slavery, literally ever afraid of a myriad of negative possibilities. And this, my friend, is the way people are living today on a steady and cruel diet of fear from sun-up to sundown; terrified of diseases, horrified at the prospect of getting infected, afraid of failing, scared of succeeding, worried about their children, frightened about the economy and on and on and on… The reason you lack enthusiasm for living is because fear has stopped you in your tracks! Fear impedes and hampers the natural process of life and reduces life to survival and acceptance of mediocre thinking and subsequent living.

Fear is always an illusion and the only real solution to the illusion is refusal concerning its existence. You cannot expect to live in perpetual acceptance of its existence by considering it and entertaining it and dwelling on it, then wonder why you feel the way you do. You are not excited about your future anymore because you have long been entertaining the lies about how your future is going to play out. You are letting your spiritual opponent define the narrative. Evil cannot see the future anymore than you can, but it can do a damn good job of convincing you about how it might turn out, which when considered and held on to long enough eventually shapes your reality. The solution to fear is first to recognize where it is working in your life, then to stop allowing it entree’ into your mind. Stop thinking it. Stop considering it. Stop giving it space. Look, everyone knows that there are a million things that could go wrong in life, but no one has ever been successful at stopping those things from happening by being afraid, worrying incessantly, or churning over their possibilities for hours, days, weeks and years.  No one! The only way to escape the clutches of fear is to starve it out.

Don’t waste another moment trying to figure out how to become comfortable with fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Perfect love casts out fear. God is love. Once you begin to rid yourself of the great energy drain called fear, you will find yourself increasing in energy and enthusiasm for living. When you are afraid you separate yourself from God; your only real source of help. Fear is sin. Fear seeks to deny the existence of God and seeks to enslave you to a counterfeit master. Finally see it for what it is – a lie. You’ll find that once you stop dutifully entertaining fear and instead hand over the care of your life to God, your peace will return; your enthusiasm and vitality will come back; the joy of living will find its way back to you again. This is very serious business folks and you have to do your part!

Life is a blessing to be lived to the full. We all get tripped up, we all get assaulted, we all go off track for a time. We are in a contest with an opponent that plays for keeps. We owe it to God and we owe it to ourselves to consider that there might be a better way to live. Make up your mind that enough is enough and that you aren’t going to stumble and bumble through another day. God wants you to understand spiritual realties and He is more than willing to turn on the light and help you see. Have you been a victim of the great energy drain? Why not tap into the source of life Himself?! God is love and God is life…

Just some good thoughts…

Problem Solving – You Dig…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get your problems solved, you dig?

Just some good thoughts…