Getting Out of Your Funk…


If you’ve spent enough time dwelling on terra firma, you know that at certain times in your life you find yourself deeply entrenched in a funk; an americanism for feeling down in the dumps; which is related to a dutch word meaning a mental haze; and in German a word for gloomy or depressed. No matter the language or the usage, all you know is that it sucks. It sucks away your life and enthusiasm for living. It’s no happiness, no inspiration, nothing to look forward to, blah, blah, blah…Blah! But, there is something you can do about it! No matter how far down the rabbit hole you are, there is always a way out…

The place to begin when attempting to understand your feelings is first to examine your thoughts. Thoughts precede feelings. You don’t wake up in a bad mood. Your bad mood follows where your mind has been. Most folks pay very little attention to their thoughts. They sort of let them come and go like the weather. They consider themselves blessed when their mental environment is sunny and cursed when it is gloomy. The weather never stays gloomy and you don’t have to either. However, you do have to take some initiative with your thoughts. Letting your thoughts run makes you a victim to whatever circumstance is being engineered against you. Please read that sentence again! There are forces at work in the world plotting and scheming, persuading and manipulating to lead you and your thoughts to a certain place. You cannot see them, but instead only register their effects. They gain access to you by the thoughts you allow and encourage. They cannot overtake your freedom of will (at first), but they can get you off track; way off track! They begin by getting you to consider some negative aspect of life, then work out circumstances and situations that corroborate your wrong thinking.  And, if you remain stuck there long enough, you find yourself submerged and engulfed in heaviness from which it becomes very difficult to escape.

Life is spiritual in nature. It is not made up solely of the things which do appear. Ignorance concerning this will mire you in futility chasing your own tail, searching yourself and your own feelings for a remedy. Yet, you won’t find your solution in your own thoughts because the problem didn’t originate in your own thoughts. You are not fighting against yourself, though it may feel like it, you are fighting against a negative spiritual opponent working behind the scenes to control you. To defeat this spiritual foe (behind all of the misery of mankind) you have to learn how to compete spiritually. You have to learn how to fight back. And, amazingly, the arena of competition is in your mind. You see, it’s not as simple as deciding to be happy, though that is a good start. It is learning how and what to think and holding on to those thoughts though a monument of resistance be placed in front of you. If you find yourself today steeped in misery or unending gloominess, it is a good indicator that you are not winning the fight. You never want to get comfortable with those negative emotions or embrace them as some incredulously purport. Instead you fight them and you fight them and you fight them with spiritual words that negate and overpower their authority. Refusing to fight back only leads to defeat. Or worse, explaining away those insidious attacks with man’s wisdom will only serve to prolong the fight. You only win a fight by being stronger or tapping into something stronger than whomever or whatever you are fighting against. Evil has power but it is no match for God’s power.

It certainly doesn’t make for light conversation to learn about standing against evil. It probably won’t be found in the self-help section of the bookstore. Public opinion poo poo’s the notion of evil altogether or portrays it as a construct of man. The movie media displays it as frightening and ghastly. But, no matter the babblings of the naysayers, it does exist and it is your problem. God does not want you to be ignorant concerning evil, nor does He want you to be afraid of it. Instead He wants you understand what is actually going on so you can direct your efforts appropriately and with great and lasting impact. People are stuck today ensconced in difficulties because they no longer understand or acknowledge spiritual realties. When Jesus stood against all the forces of hell, he did so simply, though not easily, by quoting and cleaving to what God’s Word said. It is God’s Word quoted on the lips of believing that defeats the powers of darkness. It is the only way.

You can be delivered today, rescued, set free by learning how to tap into God’s power for your life. It doesn’t matter how low you may have sunk or how entrenched you may have become. All you need is a little humility and a willingness to learn about spiritual realities. You can escape any of the chains that have been binding you; break free from any bondage; break out of the bands and fetters that have been controlling your life. You can learn again how to live and enjoy and be blessed. You can return to happiness and joy and peace and love. You can escape from the prisons that have been holding you in. Stop thinking that something is wrong with you or that you are somehow deserving of the misery you have been living. Stop settling for less than the best in your life. You don’t need more medicine or more treatment or more of the expertise of men. You need God and His Word.

Finding yourself in a deep funk; down in the dumps; in a mental haze; gloomy and depressed is a horrible way to experience life and you do not have to live that way. There are answers and solutions for any malady that challenges your life. Won’t you be willing to find your way out of your funk? I sure hope so…

Just some good thoughts…

 

I Hope You Dance…


I came across these beautiful lyrics today and was tenderly reminded that no matter where your life may be heading with its twists and turns there is always hope for a wonderful future. And, much of what has happened to you in the past exists now only in your memory and even that is often undistinguished and unreliable. Certain setbacks and hardships color your past experiences with unfair brushstrokes overly shaded on the difficulties. While childhood wishes and dreams were formed in the heart of a child and not within the ripened experience of an adult. So, no matter where you are today and whatever you are going through, I hope you find your life and your happiness again. I hope you dance…

“I Hope You Dance”

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance, I hope you dance…
                                                               ~ By Lee Ann Womack

All of us begin our lives in the same way. In front of us lies an enormous ocean of possibilities, we have only to find them and live them. Our hearts, not yet distracted by the worries and concerns of life, are unshackled and free to experience. Our focus is singular and clear, unashamed and in harmony with our highest good. We seek in earnest the things that make us happy and shun those things which do not. We believe unreservedly for the good in life unaware of the alternatives. In childhood, life is simple and full of wonder. Yet something happens to people as the years go by and what was once simple and free is no longer free nor simple. The challenges of life when combined over a lifetime can take away your zest for living and dim your gleaming shine. You can lose sight of the very essence of life and become encumbered in what might have been or what you could have done. The world is often a cruel teacher leading you to forget life’s sweetest lessons and instead instruct your failures in the hopes of their continuance. But, the wonder of life, the passion, the opportunity, the promise hasn’t gone away, it has just been obstructed from your view. What you felt once you can feel again when you become clear that life hasn’t changed, you have. I hope you dance.

Of all of the frightful things that could happen to a man or a woman, nothing is more destructive and painful as giving up on life. Living your life a shadow of your former self, banished to the sidelines, without God and without hope is the most miserable way to live. Yet, people live this way day in and day out. They have sacrificed the joy of life for a paycheck or for approval or to make someone else’s life a pleasure. They willingly cash in their hopes and dreams for someone else’s dream. They think they cannot so they do not. They become so accustomed to disappointment that they expect it and in expecting, live it. They rely on other people’s judgments and no longer trust their own. Seeing a good thing that they love, that they could do, they refuse waiting for permission. And in so doing, they cease living. Your life is your’s alone and what makes its appeal to you, to you alone it appeals. You’ve lost your energy for life because you no longer seek what energizes you, but trade it in for another’s life force. Finding your way back depends not so much on locating the path, but finding your path again. There is a way that exists only for you. To think yourself a part of the masses and conforming with those masses spells the end of you, the you, you seek to rediscover. No matter what complexities have enveloped your life, you will find yourself with simplicity in those things most appealing to you. Pursue them with vigor! I hope you dance…

Every day you have a choice in how you are going to live. To say you have no choice is never true. Life is full of new things to learn; things that take your breath away; things that bring tears to your eyes. The wonder of life cannot be over-worked or completed. There is infinitely more life to live than you have the capacity to experience. All of this God created for you. It remains there waiting for you to once again discover it. Walk away from all of your disappointments and hurts. Let go of all the fears and insecurities. Take a chance that your life is worth the living. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your memories, be they sublime or distressing, are just memories and do not hold the power to write your future. You do. And when you choose I hope you dance!

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance. And in doing so, I know you will dance. I hope you dance…

Just some good thoughts…

What I Know for Sure… (Birthday Blog)


As I reflect on another trip around the sun, there are, in the words of Oprah, some things I know for sure. For one, life is short. One day you are 30, then suddenly you’re 50 and before you know it, you’re 80. You live the day and the days keep on moving forward. Days turn into months, months turn into years and years become a lifetime. Early on you’re figuring out children and finances, struggling to find your place in the world. Then, your kids are grown and you are no longer so focused on your money or your place. Now you are someone’s grandpa and the grey haired manager at work. You’ve got more money and more time and you find yourself contented with less. Words like retirement start popping up and although you aren’t as old as your dad was at the same age, you have to give it some thought. Curiously, you find yourself considering your legacy; what you would want your children or other people thinking about when they remembered you. Did you ever answer the question of who you were?

With the passing of time comes wisdom. You’ve lived long enough and screwed it up often enough to finally consider your ways. Yet, you recognize all that time you spent judging yourself was wasted time. You see things for what they are and understand that life always has choices and though you chose wrong a thousand times, you can always choose right. And, it dawns on you that you also chose right a thousand times and maybe didn’t recognize it at all. Instead of measuring and evaluating yourself by your mistakes, you can put those mistakes in perspective and see how little a part they played in the grand scheme of your life. Once you finally stop judging yourself, you find you stop judging other people as well. You understand that they, like you, are also learning and developing and you are viewing them at only one place along their journey.

Instead of seeing life as a whole, you see it in all of its parts. There are good parts and bad parts, exciting parts and boring parts. There are times of rejoicing and there are times of sorrow. You succeed and you fail. You fall down and you get back up. You get your ass kicked for a time, then you kick some ass yourself. You long to live your life in perpetual comfort, but learn that much of life is uncomfortable, at least for a little while. You wish for life without challenges, but acknowledge that the challenges help you grow. You know you have an opponent in life and obstacles, but you figure out how to make sure the enemy isn’t you. Simple things become the best things. Complexity belongs to error. You can finally admit you have some weak spots and in so knowing can finally build yourself up. It also dawns on you that you have some gloriously strong parts and you can figure out how to tap into them as often as possible. Don’t discount the value of being able to make someone smile or lift them up and out of their misery. You see the power of your words and how you wield them, and thus use them to bring light and not darkness. You can appreciate the pain you have endured, not for having it, but for how it forced you to find the way out of it.

Life is full of change and nothing stays the same, except for God. No matter how low you have descended, or how far down the rabbit hole you may have ventured, He will give you the same love when you return. One thing is faithful and it is Him. He loves you when you do not love yourself. He provides help when you aren’t asking for help. He is the one great constant in life. He doesn’t change His nature. He does not do people harm. He is the polar opposite of the world’s portrayal of Him. He is not following you around pointing out your moral deficiencies. He is not judging you. You experience those things at the hands of His opponent, who is ever portraying himself as something he is not. God doesn’t make you feel bad ever. He makes you feel good. He is the goodness you have always dreamed of and He always will be. My life today would not be the life it is without Him. The times He has answered me, rescued me and picked me up out of life’s gutters, I cannot count. The insights, the inklings, the tips and clues are without number. He loved me into loving myself and did it again and again and again. One thing I know for sure is that God is only good always…

Life, this life always has the promise of good things. Pretty soon you find yourself more clear on how to access those good things. You discern your own cooperation with the madness and stop cooperating. You at last see the part you play and make better plays. Sure, you still fumble at times, but you don’t let your head stay there. You stay clear on all of your touchdowns and let the missteps go. In short, you love yourself and continue to love yourself, bulges, sore knees and all. You become adamant not to be against yourself any longer. You know God loves you and you walk out with that love. And, you get busy healing and helping and lifting and loving. You see humanity surging with pain and grief, disappointment and loss, and you get in there and offer them something different; something wonderful instead. This, my friends, is a life well lived.

I’m not done yet of course and have a lot left to learn and to do. No regrets at all… Looking forward to another trip around the sun and more time to love and to bless.

Life is good.

Just some good thoughts…

Getting Unstuck (Take It On Already)…


I would hazard a guess, based on my personal experience, age and general listening plus paying attention, that many people get stuck along the way in life. Something happened or didn’t happen. They have endured some affliction. Some gotcha got them or even they may have enjoyed way too much of a good thing for way too long… Suffice it to say, they have become stuck, as in not moving forward, aka stopped in their tracks, fast forward, stagnating away in a perpetual pool of nothing happens. What sticks it to you to make you stuck and how can you escape it?

All of life is on the move. Only dead things stay still. You can either egress or digress. You flourish or you wither. You continue to grow or you begin to die. No matter how you wrap it, life was designed to involve forward action. People, in general, are at their best as long as they are moving towards something. You don’t have to be in a full sprint and at times you are allowed to pause, but when you stop altogether, that’s where the trouble starts. People stop moving for a variety of different reasons. Some find themselves embroiled in a problem for which there appears to be no solution. Others have long given up on their dreams or accepted the falsity that they had no dreams. Some think they are too old, too fat, too dumb, too lazy or too anything that convinces them it’s okay to surrender. For others it may be a mistake they made 40 years ago or even last month. Some are just plain old worn out by life. Regardless of the shape or form it comes in, ceasing from forward movement is always not true!

Full speed living means that you take on an issue as soon as it appears. Like children do so beautifully, you create a large fuss about your needs not being met then not let it go until something happens. Children are persistent. Adults are complacent. Children are honest. Adults lie to themselves to make things okay. Children ask for help right away. Adults ask for help just after all hell has broken loose. The quickest and easiest way to solve a problem is right when it occurs. You take it on and deal with it right now! Letting things go, a national epidemic, allows our difficulties and troubles to become entrenched. Once entrenched, like allowing yourself to weigh too much, is that much harder from which to escape. And, your habits of letting it go must be confronted with that much more resolve, a habit you have not been practicing. Then, no wonder you find yourself stuck! People aren’t talked out of their dreams overnight. They are talked out of them over days and months and years. You can’t become too old or too fat or too lazy unless you have let something go for too long! You are worn out not by life, but by your refusal to fight back. Even mistakes, no matter how egregious, represent a moment in time; one you can never get back.

Each precious day of your life you are in a contest. Your mind is the arena. You can battle and strive or you can give in and retreat, but no matter what you do, you are in a fight. Wishing away the fight won’t end the fight. Ignoring the fight just leads to eventual defeat because you are still getting hit. Numbing yourself to the fight is more of the same. You have to learn to fight back! You have to learn what exactly is going on. If you don’t and many, many don’t, then you lose. You get stuck then whittled away in a shitty existence always wishing you would have and should have etc. And worse, all that crap that’s been threatening you a lifetime starts settling in on you. Can’t you see it? You stopped moving forward. You quit fighting for yourself. You gave in…

Your life is not over, no matter what has happened or where you find yourself! You may have stopped moving for awhile, but if you are reading this, it aint over yet! You still have hope. You can change once you finally learn what has been perpetually kicking your butt! But, learn you must. You aren’t alone in your quest. In fact, you are just like all the rest of us. You are in the contest because all people are in the contest. You may not have been competing very well, but you can learn to compete. You can learn what it means to fight spiritually with spiritual enablements and quit relying on your intelligence, your brain, your extreme rationality. You can see because God wants you to see. All you need is a little humility and a little willingness to ask for help. Or you can sit there, defeated, pretending to be okay, and wait for the end. “Why sit we here until we die?”

The simplest way out of your dilemma is to begin moving forward again. Move forward! Stop looking around you bewildered, confused, distressed and decide to make a move. Take some action. Come to my Bible fellowship. Pray about it and then listen carefully. Read your Bible. Talk to a friend. Do something. Don’t just sit there mentally, do something. You will quickly learn that once you make a move, God makes a move. Once you act, God acts. God won’t make you move (trust me), but He will honor your believing efforts. There is an answer. There are always answers.

No matter how entrenched you’ve become in that giant bowl of spaghetti, know this, once long ago there was just one piece of pasta, from which you could easily escape. You just need to start grabbing at the strands, one at a time until they’re all gone. With God’s help you can do it. You can move ahead. You can the life you have imagined!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Who is Driving Your Bus? (Revisited)


There are only two basic motivators in life, love and fear. The life you are experiencing at this very moment in time is built upon the driving force behind your life. Love motivation is incapable of failing. Fear motivation, though appearing to feel safe and responsible, leads only to failure. If things aren’t going well for you it’s time to answer the question, “Who is driving your bus?”

Fear has become so prevalent, so accepted by society that most people think it is normal. Or worse, many people find themselves completely oblivious to the reality that fear is lying hidden behind most of the decisions they make. The world is indeed a scary place. There are so many things that can go wrong, some with catastrophic results. Recognizing, on their own, their apparent inability to control their own lives, people resort to fear of those negative outcomes and then take actions to try and alleviate those fears. Those actions encompass a whole, delusional world of behaviors all offered in response to something that was a lie to begin with. Fear, on its own, is not real. However, once a fear is believed and strengthened by actions associated with that fear, it takes on a life of itself. Most of the failures and difficulties that assault mankind, could have been remedied by a refusal to fear. Fear is indeed man’s greatest enemy.

All that a man receives into his life comes as a result of what he believes in the core of his being. That doesn’t mean that a man is specifically expecting certain negative outcomes, but rather that his belief that those outcomes could happen to him, open the door to all kinds of disasters. Those people you see living well do so by the things they believe for themselves. It isn’t that they are more highly favored than you per se,’ but rather that they maintain an expectation for the good in life and act accordingly. Thinking you were predestined to some sad life of failure and disappointment, isn’t a fate assigned to you by God, but instead some serious errors in thinking that led eventually to a belief. And once negatively believed (fear), the cycle plays itself out in infinite reality. The solution is to stop sending that negative information to your mind. Change your mind. You aren’t being mature, realistic or responsible, you are being afraid!

Free-will to believe is one of the greatest gifts God could have ever given to man. It is God’s solution. It is God’s answer. It is your God-given ability to take back control of your life. It is the most basic tenet of life; believe and fear not. When you disobey and choose fear, either by ignorance or wrong teaching, you receive the consequences of your choice. You receive negative results. You are misusing what God gave you. You are not properly stewarding your mind. For, out of your heart come the issues of your life! You cannot co-exist with fear. It doesn’t matter if anyone knows or doesn’t know you are afraid of things. You can put on the greatest persona ever seen, but in the end, you know when you are afraid and if persisted in it will produce a bad outcome in your life.

Fear can only be overcome by love. Actions based on love never fail to yield positive results. God is love. Learning to believe God’s promises allows God to perform those promises in your life. The dread of something horrible happening to your child cannot be salved by your million-fold efforts to protect him or her. Life is just too big for you to accomplish your mission. In fact, you likely do your children a huge disservice by teaching them to be afraid as well. Instead of worrying yourself into anxiety, you learn to trust God and believe what He says about protecting your family. Then, you act on that belief. You give them to God and leave them in His hands. In so doing and so acting, you have chosen love over fear and reap the blessed result of safe, happy children. You may apply this principle to everything that ever shook you up or took away your sleep.

You may not believe it yet, but God never intended for you to “do life” on your own! You have likely already proven this to yourself. How much failure and disappointment can one person endure? How long can you go on living without any real purpose in life? When is the last time you felt truly peaceful without a care in the world? Your life, if it lacks contentment and joy, is so because you are making decisions based on fear. You, as the playwright, are continuing to write a story wherein you always end up the loser! Then you blame life or worse God for an existence you are producing. But, no matter what has happened to you; no matter where you are today; no matter how far down the rungs of life you have fallen, there is always a solution. The solution is love, God’s love and all that accompanies that love!

Now hear what I’m saying! If you feel like your boss doesn’t like you and that makes you afraid, instead of spending your days fawning and sucking up (fear), believe for a new boss or a new job! If you are worried about diseases, stop reading up on them, stop dwelling on them, stop accepting their possibility in your life (fear). Instead believe God’s promises for your health and don’t give them another thought. (You would be surprised how many fears go away simply by refusing to think about them). If you are scared of not having your needs met (fear), stop telling everyone how poor you are and how you can never get ahead. Instead, confess those positive promises of prosperity in your life and act accordingly.

You see, at the end of the day, you only have one bus to drive and you are the driver! Take back the wheel of the bus! When you live in fear, you give control of your bus over to someone or something else. Instead of negotiating and choosing behaviors based on fear, just get back in the bus and start driving again! Whose driving your bus? I hope it’s you and that you are doing it with love…

Just some good thoughts…

When Life Goes South on You


Do you find yourself amidst what seems like an endless stream of difficulties? Have you suffered some recent loss which causes you to question your existence or for that matter, the existence of God? Do you feel like you are always paddling upstream and can’t seem to catch a break? Do you feel like, for reasons presently unknown, life has gone south on you?

First, it’s important for you to understand that life, at some point, takes a negative turn for all of us. The negatives that confront us and challenge us are a part of life not because it is God’s plan, but because of a violation of God’s plan that led to God’s enemy, the devil gaining access (by man’s choice) to God’s creation. God never intended for life to be so full of difficulties as His plan was just the opposite. But, because man has free will he can choose whatever he wills and at one time that choice introduced evil into the world. It is that evil, whether you believe it or not, that is behind every bad thing that ever happened to you. Life is not random and your struggles are not random. They were designed, planned, and artfully and masterfully executed by an opponent you cannot see nor readily discern.

No-one living is exempt from this conflict, though they pray a thousand well-intended prayers. It is just the way it is. God’s believing people are assaulted if not more than those who choose not to believe, because they belong to God. As such, God never promised life would be without the fight, but rather promised that in the middle of the fight, we can always win! There will be times when things go wrong on you or bad things happen to you causing you to wonder where God is… Your temptation will be to foolishly conclude that God isn’t there for you or worse that your own wrong behavior has led to all these difficulties. Well, the reality is that the challenges will come no matter how you behave. Of course, you can do your part to add difficulties to your life, but whether you brought it on yourself or your enemy just sucker-punched you, God’s will is always your deliverance; your recovery; your complete restoration to wholeness! And, He will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able along the way.

In order for you to aggressively fight back instead of quietly acquiescing or giving up, you first need know who and what you are fighting. If you think that God is behind your struggles, you could not be more wrong! If you have allowed someone to talk you into some nonsensical bullshit about how God has some greater plan for you and is thereby kicking your ass, or some similar phraseology that subtly assigns the present distressing evil to God, again you could not be more wrong! I can assure you that if God were behind your struggles, there would be no remedy! But, He isn’t behind it in any form or fashion, not even in the most minute detail. The reason you have even considered this notion is because that’s what people say; people wholly unaware of their opponent. It’s no accident however, because in order to whoop you up real good your enemy has to convince you first that he doesn’t exist and next that the trouble must be coming from God (Your only source of help!). Like I said, it is quite the masterful operation and it is causing you a lot of unnecessary pain.

So, here you are wondering what the hell happened to you and questioning your every thought, motive and behavior for the past 10 years. Question no further. Evil sucks and it’s after everyone. Remember the Apostle Paul from the Bible? He probably did this life thing a little better than you and me, right? Yet Paul, when accounting his troubles said, “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.”  Capisce? You get it? The great Apostle Paul, God’s believing man, was challenged, not because of his sin or wrong, but because God’s enemy hated him and what he stood for in life! I mean come on! Once when he survived the shipwreck, as he gathered sticks to make a fire, a venomous snake came out of the wood and bit him. But, he just shook the beast off and kept on keeping on…

So what should you do when life seems to smack you in the face or gut punches you? Don’t spend a moment of time in consideration of how good or bad you are or worse what the evil lesson is trying to teach you! God doesn’t need the devil to help him teach you anything! Instead, go to God immediately looking for the solution. Whether it be restoration of your health or your finances or a relationship, get yourself to your only real source of help. Don’t fret yourself or allow yourself to be filled with anxiety because everything seems to be going south on you. God can show you and help you to get it going north again! But, like Paul, you have to keep moving forward. Your enemy walks about like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. So, you can’t sit there paralyzed with fear waiting for the next catastrophe. You gotta get yourself up and move ahead. Don’t rehearse it to everyone you know or glorify the evil work by repeating the story a million times over. Get quiet in your heart, ask God for His help (as many times as you need to), and do your best to move forward. As you move, and not until you move, God will make the path clear for you. And after a time, He will even teach you what led to it so you can be that much stronger in the future.

Life goes south for everyone at one time or another, but that doesn’t mean you cannot prevail. Think good things about yourself and never again consider that God is behind your challenges. The adversary is behind your challenges and if you don’t fold, you cannot lose…

Just some good thoughts…

Why am I so Tired?


6-medical-reasons-why-you-might-be-feeling-tired-all-the-time-136425477714502601-180228094029If you are like the rest of us, there are times in your life when you feel perpetually tired and worn out. Often we attribute these feelings to not getting enough sleep or maybe because we are getting older. But, what if there is another reason for those pervasive feelings of fatigue? What if there is a hidden cause you have never even considered before? Are you weary with it all? Then, keep reading!

All of us have a finite amount of energy that we utilize throughout a day. And though we probably have more energy than we realize, we all experience weariness at times. That weariness manifests itself in a lack of zest for life and steals away our ability to solve our problems, ending in frustration and defeat. Our difficulty lies in not understanding the source of our vexation.

All of us compete day by day in the great competition of life. This competition takes place in our minds; specifically in our thoughts. The trial confronting us all lies in a battle between good and evil. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim or an unbeliever, the reality is that if you are alive, you are in the contest. An adamant disbelief in spiritual powers doesn’t take away those powers, it simply leaves you as prey unable to defend yourself appropriately. The contest rages on. Every day and every moment of the day, you have a choice concerning which thoughts you will entertain and which thoughts you will discard. Failure to discard the wrong thoughts, thoughts originating in evil, however subtle they may be, consume your energy rendering you worn out and unable to resist.

The effect of your thoughts on your life is perhaps the most misunderstood thing in the world. Thoughts are not just chemical reactions taking place in your brain, but are in fact the very basis of the life you live, be it bliss or be it misery. Your thoughts form the foundation of your beliefs which in turn produce the reality you are experiencing. Good thoughts, good life. Bad thoughts, bad life. That’s not to say that good thoughts are ignorance or refusal to acknowledge the difficulties of life, but rather deliberate decisions we make regardless of the difficulties, the trials, the challenges. All men are confronted, pushed and prodded, at times with great severity. But in order to prevail, you have to fight back! Failure to fight back and confront the evil, or worse to ignore it or refuse to acknowledge it, will lead ultimately to your eventual demise. There are few things more critical to your success than your thought life.

Spending the day entertaining thoughts of negativity, sour or should I say soured attitudes; cynicism and the like, serve only to suck away your valuable life source. They are carnivorous cancers eating up all they encounter. They are sandpaper in your machinery eventually grinding your life to a halt. Have you ever noticed how much life slows down while you are engulfed in worry over some negative possibility? Sadly, we all live in a world drowning in fear of the next terrible thing that might enter into our lives. Whether it be a disease or loss of income or some unexpected catastrophe, all of us find ourselves threatened day in and day out. Yet somehow we fail to recognize these slights to our existence and continue on as if it is normal. “That’s just the way it is” they say; “That’s just how life works!” Thus I submit to you it is not the way life works! It is an aberration of life.  It is a deformity. It is the unfortunate outcome of a world ignorant of spiritual realties.

Your requirement in the competition, should you decide to start competing, is to take control of your thoughts with the emphasis being “your thoughts.” You have to make the decision to stop entertaining all the nonsense that surrounds you. You must stop accepting the notion that life is already fixed with you powerless to change the outcome. This will take a great toll on your ego and your insistence that you already know, but do it you must. The consideration of evil, in whatever form it assaults you, will invariably deplete your energy, rendering you worn out and unable to fight back. How could you hope to fight back after already accepting the lie? You are defeated before you begin. You are tied to the corners of the ring with your opponent free to bash your face in. Instead, by controlling your thoughts, or at minimum endeavoring to control your thoughts, you are taking away the means of access to your heart the enemy has long since enjoyed. You are saying that life is not all the disaster you’ve been convinced of and that there is a better way. You are demanding your energy and your power back!

There is no human alive that completely gives up on themselves but that they’ve first endured a long fight that has totally worn them out. Human beings are resilient and need simply an opportunity to get back up and get back into the fight. This is your opportunity. Learn for yourself what are “good” thoughts and then learn how to compete. Your victory will come about more by what you refuse to think about than what you do actually think about. Spiritual contests can only be won by spiritual prowess which means engendering the good in order to beat the bad. Your human ability is no match for your opponent, but once you begin to act in the manner which God advises, you will find not only your energy, but unlimited power at your disposal!

Are you tired, my friend? Why not get tired of being defeated and learn how to compete? You are worth that, aren’t you?

I love you…

Just some “good” thoughts…

 

To Do or Not To Do…


not-to-doThere’s a false assumption circling the earth that life is basically a neutral experience, meaning that if you do good, good will happen and if you do bad, bad will happen. If you want to be happy you have to do the things that make for happiness and if you choose badly and select the wrong things, you will garner unhappiness instead. It seems very logical and straightforward especially if you got convinced that humans arrived as part of a chain immediately following some intelligent apes. Life absent creation would of necessity have to function that way. But, and this is the mother of all buts, if humans beings were actually created by God, they would of necessity have the seeds of happiness and goodness built right into them. Then that elusive happiness for which the whole world seeks would emerge naturally by not doing those things that hindered it from happening as opposed to wearing yourself out in fruitless endeavors that never lead to the real McCoy! Truly then life is about what not to do instead of what to do…

God, in His word, is very clear about what not to do. I aint talking about not cussing and drinking and going out with girls who do. That sadly, is a surface level view of life made up by men who are wholly ignorant of spiritual matters. How silly and foolish would it be to think that life and happiness hinge on whether or not you had a glass of wine or said an occasional swear word or made mistakes of which the whole world is guilty. Religion and its multifarious rules for living produce the exact opposite of life. And, if you have been unfortunate enough to have learned to live that way, you know what I’m saying is true. Instead life, spiritual life is much deeper than that. It is more what you believe is true in your heart than it is your behavior and the sum total of your human foibles and missteps. Happiness follows obeying what God says not to do which leads ever naturally to life and fulfillment and growth, the pattern displayed by all living things.

For example, God says that because of the accomplishments of his son, He has made you righteous before him. As such, there is nothing you can do to add to that divine favor God has given you. It has already been freely given to you. Each time you seek to do good works to increase God’s favor towards you, you are now engaged in something God said not to do. Try as you will, you will never arrive at the place you are seeking because what you are seeking is a lie. Doing good works does not make your life happier. Believing what God said He did for you makes your life happier. Refusing to try to earn something from God makes your life happier. Have you ever noticed that when you are afraid of something, your behaviors improve a little as if you can somehow force God to take care of you? “If you get me out of……I will never…….again!” But doing so, you miss the point. God taking care of you is natural and to be expected. Being afraid He won’t is the perversion. If you want to be happy, do not try to earn favor with God. You can’t!

In a similar vein, God’s desire is that you accept the sacrifice of His son to cover every misstep you have ever made. Jesus Christ paid the price for every looney tunes activity you ever got caught up in. Because of that sacrifice, you remain sinless in God’s sight. You have a right to stand in God’s presence with no consciousness of sin, guilt or your shortcomings. That’s who you are and that is what you have. Spending your life in futile attempts to atone for your errors is the wrong approach. Again, it’s not what to do, but what not to do. Do not maintain a running consciousness of your shortcomings and mistakes. Do not catalog and consider your errors thinking it makes you humble. It doesn’t make you humble, it makes you weak and susceptible to more and more errors. No-one is weaker and more miserable than a perpetually condemned Christian! No-one! Thus your task, your challenge, once you get things straight with God (i.e. I’m sorry Father) is to immediately engage in the process of forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those things which are ahead. If you can do this and not do what God says not to do, you will find yourself overwhelmed with joy and happiness.

Life is supposed to be a joyful experience, not an arduous hanging on or surviving. If you are barely keeping your head above water I can assure you, you are doing something God said not to do either from ignorance or willful, stubborn rebellion based on your easily defeated human logic. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it matters what God said is true. Sin is simply missing the mark or the bullseye. When you miss the bullseye you lose instead of winning. BUT, you don’t hit the bullseye by never sinning again, you hit the bullseye by accepting God’s savior from sin. God knows you and He knows me. He sees through all of our foolishness; all of our rebellion; all of our human tendency to step aside and loves us anyway. He knows we are going to blow it and has already made provisions to cover us. Your man-made provisions will only leave you empty and defeated. It aint about you, it’s about Him!

Your best chance at happiness and peace and love is to learn for yourself what God says not to do. Get rid of the hindrances, the obstacles, the chains that drag you down and see if you, like a pretty flower won’t grow and blossom into something beautiful. Living things thrive when the obstacles to their growth are removed!

You are God’s created being and as such are due all of the happiness and blessings that you can handle, not because of how good you are but because of how good He is… Learn what not to do!

Just some good thoughts…

Birthday Blog #57


31577004_10216052592129486_1231818185523593216_oAs I reflect back on another trip around the sun, I cannot help but be filled with great thankfulness and joy for the sweetness that surrounds me in this life. As a youngster in college, a generous and loving man reached out to me and introduced me to God. I should say more formally introduced me, as God and I had many conversations in the past, but back then I only hoped He was all that I thought He should be. Since that immortal day, my life has never been the same.

Back then I, like you, was full fear and trepidation about life. And although I had all the vim and vigor that surrounds youth, I was still pretty shaky about how it would all turn out. I mean let’s face it, life can be pretty scary with loads of potential pitfalls. In college, I had some run-ins with a couple of religious groups and I knew I didn’t want that! I didn’t want anything that seemed designed solely to make me feel bad about myself! Shoot, I didn’t even know I was looking for something, but apparently I was.

Then I took this class called PFAL (Power for Abundant Living) and learned the Bible for myself. Holy shit, I found the holy grail. I found a congruous whole that didn’t cause me to sneeze, cough or sputter! I found out that God was not only all I had hoped He would be, but He was even better than that. I learned that He is only good and never changes in His views towards me. My life took off like gangbusters as I began to shed fears like old skin. I was living on the high road and the sky literally was the limit. (Cliche junction)

Some years later as my children got older and my purpose became less clear, I, like you, sort of lost my way a little bit. I forgot about how good God was to me and began to see Him in a different light. Oh, He didn’t change, I did! I learned from certain folks that the Way I knew and loved so much, wasn’t really as easy and free as I thought. I was taught rules and regulations and requirements that accompany maturity – so-called. And, apparently all those days I was living the high life were really just a figment of my youth and real life, life with God was damn arduous and fraught with the danger of “blowing it” or worse. Welcome to the life suck club.

I found out the hard way, that once you get captured by religion, the way back is difficult. That stuff attaches to your brain like oil and you can’t just wash it out overnight. In fact, it likely will claim years of your life. However obnoxious it begins, it seems less impactful as I imagine you get used to its claims. All you know is that you now have fear where you used to have love. In your desperation, you try to do good works hoping the Lord will start to like you again like He did before. The harder you work, the less He seems to care and you start morphing into those people you hate; the ones filled with self-righteousness, but miserable as f*ck! You’re struggling, but God is still bigger than your malarky!

Then, not suddenly but surely, something or someone gets you back to God’s Word; the Word that saved you and changed you and blessed you. And in your private quest, you, like me, begin to discover who God is again. You read what it says and you study what it says and you begin to relish what it says and just like that it dawns on you! The light at first flickers then glows into full flame. All this bullshit you have been thinking and regretting and worrying about God is not true and it was never true. You were taught incorrectly. You were led off course. You got sucked down a rabbit hole and lived there for way too long!

As you shake off the last vestiges of error, your heart wakes up. Your sleepy, numbed, slightly wilted heart wakes back up. You understand the profound significance of keeping your head in God’s Word and putting nothing ahead of the truth of God’s Word! You see, glory heallelujah, that it’s not famous charasmatic men that saved you, but God in the sublime accomplishments of His son, carefully outlined in His Word. You catch glimpses of not only who you are, but who you have the potential to be! You feel like you got some power going on inside and you need to let it out to help set others free; the free you cherish so dearly!

You may now be thinking this a sad story or a warning for how you live your life.  It’s not. What this is – is an ever-growing thankfulness and joy and blessed love between a son and his Heavenly Father. It is a deep, heartfelt, inexpressible gratefulness for having a God that never gives up on you even when you sort of give up on Him. It’s indescribable joy that comes from the pure truth minus the religious admixture. It is 57 glorious years of life on earth with God as my backbone, my rock and my fortress. It is, “Life – you don’t frikkin scare me anymore!” It’s just the greatest ride ever and I wouldn’t change one piece of it!

You, like me, should learn about God and not allow the promoters of religious sacrifice to rob you of one of the greatest experiences you could ever have, not just now, but throughout all eternity! God is not too good to be true, He is so good He is true! He is your first love that makes all your other loves that much sweeter… Choose God! Choose love!

I am one blessed individual…

Just some good thoughts.

 

Power for Abundant Living…


advanced-intermed-pfal-class-syllabus_1_511ebb705420de7d6d9ed68e3e37889d-3In the Spring of 1982, I was a young college student when I first experienced the class that would change my life forever called, “Power for Abundant Living.” Having grown up with no religious training, I was fortunate not to have any compulsive, well schooled creeds to unlearn, except for one – fear. And, like most people, you would never know this by observing me. I said all the right things and generally made sure it appeared like I had it all together. However, underneath that deliberate facade, I was afraid of everything.

One of the first lessons from this class about the Bible was that fear is always wrong. (If you just mentally rehearsed some scenarios where fear is good, you need the class!) Fear has defeated more people’s lives than any other thing in the world. Fear always encases, always binds, always limits what you can and cannot do. Fear steals away your energy. Fear lowers your vitality. Fear produces inertia and eventually stops your life from moving forward as it should. “Fear is sand in the machinery of life.” Accordingly, “fear not” is the number one admonition in the Bible.

Fear is not simply an emotion or a sense of healthy caution that keeps you from walking off a cliff. Fear is a negative form of believing. What you believe in the depth of your being is what you receive or experience in this life, including that which you fear. The fears you unknowingly cling to either from wrong teaching or ignorance serve only to limit and thwart your life. When and where you have fear you have defeat in your life. Just as a person positively envisions some goal with the expectation of achieving it, fear is negatively envisioning something bad with a fearful expectation of receiving it. No-one would purposely expect bad things for their life and that’s why fear is always wrong! If you look for it and if you are honest, the places where you struggle the most have some fear interspersed in there. However, just as you began life without all of these fears, those fears can be overcome!

Fear, like any negatives that assault your life, doesn’t just show up overnight. Rather it begins as a process from which you are likely unaware. (If you knew it you wouldn’t participate…) Fear always begins with a doubt. Doubt appears following an uncertainty concerning some aspect of your life. The uncertainty you are experiencing leads to feelings that you have to “figure out” the source of your uncertainty. (This is a typical human response and why the technique is so effective.) As you begin in earnest to figure out the source of your uncertainty, you have to mentally entertain the troubling thought while you try to figure it out. Entertaining the troubling thought, though you are sincerely trying to solve a problem, now transitions into worry. Worry is dwelling on difficulties or troubles, always following uncertainty. “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!” Dwelling on and considering “potential” troubles doesn’t actually help to solve those troubles, but rather serves to entrench those troubles into your thinking. Entrenched worries now turn into fear. Fear means the devil is already inside the door. Fear is a hole in the hedge of God’s protection around your life. Your fear has now become a strong expectation for your life and if persisted in, will bring that negative potentiality into your life. Then you may exclaim, “I knew it!” and you would be correct but before it happened you had another choice! Get rid of fear in your life!

As frightening as this all sounds, it has been going on almost since the earth began, when another power gained access and began bringing fear into people’s lives. It continues to this day because it works wholly by deception. The reason you cannot solve the sudden uncertainty you are experiencing in your mind is because the uncertainty wasn’t true to begin with! You begin your attempt with a wrong starting premise. By entertaining the wrong idea, no matter your good motive, you are acknowledging it as true; as a real possibility for your life. In that you have already been defeated! If you start wrong you will end wrong. Instead of allowing the doubt to persist, leading eventually to worry and finally issuing in fear, you have to learn to control your thoughts and refuse to entertain the negative possibility! This is not an easy thing to do. You are going to feel real, real tempted to take that thing on in your mind. You’ll feel as if you cannot let it go and have to think about it. Well, it’s a trick and will always end badly. It’s not your job to protect yourself from all negatives and evil, it’s God’s job. Let God do His job while you do your job…

Power for Abundant Living taught me how, for the first time in my life, to completely rid myself of worry and fear. The class focused on the greater (greatest) power – God! It taught me how to understand the Bible for myself including those things written for my learning and those things directly applicable to my life. Ultimately the class taught me how to “receive” God’s power into my life via holy spirit and begin utilizing that power in my life, leading to power for abundant living! As vividly as I recall receiving God’s power into manifestation in my life, I also vividly recall and embrace being fear-free for the first time in my life! And although fear would continue its assaults on my mind and at times gain a little access, I continue to feel monumentally grateful for having learned these principles and to now experience my life as a son of God!

I encourage you my dear friends, no matter which path you may take, to learn for yourself the truth of God’s Word; to learn how to receive God’s power into your life; and to learn how to rid yourself of all fear in every category of life!

Life without fear is just the sweetest thing ever and God would have it no other way…

Just some good thoughts…