WTF? (Fear)

WTFDid you know that your number one enemy in life is fear? Fear is the killer of all your hopes and dreams. Fear takes away all opportunities for success. Fear steals your happiness and anything else that is important to you. Fear destroys your life! WTF? And, although the number one admonition in the Bible is to “fear not,” fear continues to work its hardship on all of us everyday. Why? Why and how does fear access our minds so easily? Fear gains easy entrée because we don’t see it for what it really is – False Evidence Appearing Real!

Fear and its companions are much more subtle than you may have imagined. In fact, most folks would tell you that they aren’t afraid. But, when they speak of fear, they’re usually referring to its obvious side. The kind they feel when a snarling Pit Bull is running in their direction or what they experience while teetering on the edge of a cliff. Yet fear is involved in many other facets of life. The stress you feel at work is fear. The overwhelm you experience because you have a lot to do is fear. Worrying about not having enough money is fear. Choosing to do things you know you shouldn’t do is fear. Every addiction, everything that holds you captive is fear. Agitation, restlessness and boredom is fear. Chronic indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome…fear. The massive industry of pharmaceuticals comes from fear. Health issues, mental issues, exhaustion, all fear. Fear, fear, fear rules the world.

The peace of mind you so desperately seek is not found in money, or the right job or the perfect partner. It’s found right inside your own head when all the fear is finally gone. Some folks live their whole lives and rarely get to experience it. Maybe you found it during that family vacation or during a particularly happy time in your life. In reality it wasn’t the vacation or the pleasant circumstances, it was found because you momentarily let go of the fear. Fear is epidemic, my friends, and it’s after you everyday! If it’s not a deadly disease, (Ebola) it’s an Earth that’s getting too hot. It’s a struggling economy or the loss of your job. It’s every disease and every sickness. It’s the news and the media and your friends and your family. It literally surrounds you and it’s all a damn lie! A lie that rules the world!

In order for fear to get a foothold in your life it needs a willing host. Fearful suggestions don’t hurt you. But, when you accept those fearful suggestions, that’s when the trouble starts. Fear rules your life because you cooperate with it everyday. Instead of dismissing those fretful ideas you take them on with the false hope that you can figure it all out. Well, you can’t figure it out. They’re an invitation for disaster. They (those fears and their source) are counting on you and your ego to take the bait. How much life have you already wasted on some unreasonable proposition? How many hours have you dedicated to worrying about that job of yours? What if you fail? What if they fire you? What if the business goes under. What if you fail to get a project done on time? What if you aren’t a success? What if don’t have what you need and you are reduced to suffering and shame? What if? Feel free to apply that scenario to every aspect of your life. What if? What if is FEAR!

This is why I can’t understand how people live their lives without God. If I didn’t have a relationship with God, I would be a miserable wreck! This life has just too many scary variables to take them all on with my little ol’ mind. The only way to defeat fear is to learn about God; His omnipotence and His power. There’s nothing God can’t fix and that is the end of all fear. God’s love is the antithesis of fear and the knowledge of God is the only way you’ll understand that fear is always a lie. I took a class in 1982 called, “Power For Abundant Living” and for the first time in my adult life experienced the complete absence of fear…peace. How sweet it is!

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done in the past, God is there for you. With Him you can only succeed and without Him you can only fail. Fear is the most destructive force in the universe and it’s not easy to overcome. You’re not going to beat it with your human logic and rationality and smarts. Fear is spiritual at its roots and requires spiritual insight to defeat. As darkness is simply the absence of light, fear is simply the absence of love, God’s love.

This life is just too precious and way too short to spend your days living in fear, in all of its subtle forms. How much would it be worth to you to finally stop all of your striving and your worrying and your fretting? What price tag can you put on uninterrupted peace? Once the fear is finally gone your life can take off how God originally planned it to do. Without fear you’ll find that everything you have been seeking has really been seeking you. Yet, you don’t find it by pressing harder, you find it by letting go! FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL…

WTF? The only way to rid yourself of WTF is by getting serious about getting rid of fear, once and for all. Talk to God; get to God; find God. God and His Word will expose every form of fear to you and in that marvelous light, everything else that has ever bothered you as well. You owe it to yourself, don’t you think?

Just some good thoughts…


Living in the Sun…

SunshineForestFall in Utah is perhaps my favorite time of the year. The sun is shining, but unlike the summer, the sun is sort of lowering and producing shadows. The grass looks greener, the mountains look more brown, everything just looks so wonderful! Bliss… So, I’ve learned over the years that God often teaches us valuable lessons in the physical realm that apply most vividly to the mental and the spiritual. With that in mind, so I write…

Our mind has been compared to a garden and we have the glorious privilege of choosing the environment in which it grows (or doesn’t grow…). Sunny thoughts encourage it to thrive and produce a bountiful harvest. Dark, negative thoughts choke the life out of it. But glory hallelujah, we decide! So have you ever wondered why, when we get to choose our thoughts, we would ever choose darkness? Why, when we cast the final vote, would we ever pick dark thoughts?? I know, I know,  mentally you are challenging me right now. After all, life isn’t always positive, is it? Bad stuff threatens and some times actually happens. The world is negative; the Internet is negative; the people surrounding you might be negative. Darkness literally surrounds us. All of this is true, but we don’t have to acquiesce to it unless we choose to.

Hey, I’m a person just like you are. I don’t live in a fantasy land and am oh so aware of the challenges of life. I would be lying if I said otherwise. I feel pain, discouragement and defeat just like you do. I know where you are coming from. But here’s something you need to consider deeply. Maybe, just maybe you and I have been trained in the ways of the world. Maybe we have been unknowingly practicing error for so long that it just feels natural now. Maybe we simply assumed that everyone lives this way and it is just part of being a human being. Maybe? Have you ever learned how to do something incorrectly like swinging a golf club or shooting a basketball or typing with two fingers (which I am doing as we speak)? If so, you know how difficult it is to retrain your mind to do it a different way. You have to consciously work at it! It is hard work; very hard work! But amazingly on those rare occasions when you do it properly (thinking of golf swings now) how effortless it feels. There it is man! Effortless and simple is right, arduous and complicated is wrong. How many times have you heard that life is complicated? Well it is, but only because we have been trying to grow flowers in an unlit closet.

Now, back to what you habitually think. Imagine this scenario… Life is going well; you are happy and good things are happening. Tadaaaaa, the sun is shining! Then you pause to think about it and suddenly you find yourself wondering what could go wrong and just when it is going to happen. Enter the clouds and goodbye happy times. Here’s another… You go to the doctor because something hurts. You aren’t sure why and you go to get some help. Since you don’t know what is going on, you now have two choices about what you are going to think. Which thoughts did YOU choose? You chose terminal disease didn’t you? You see, you have been trained to think that way. It isn’t reality you are considering, it is a choice you are making. And while that choice is ongoing, you spend hours and days worrying about “your reality” that isn’t even reality. A week later, after the labs come back, your diagnosis is a minor infection and you are prescribed some antibiotics. You get better, but you can never get that week back you wasted in the shadows. Play that scenario out much longer and you end up never being able to get back the last twenty years you lived mired in fear. Do some folks get diagnosed with terminal diseases? Sure they do. Bad stuff can still happen. But, you my friend can greatly influence what happens by what you choose to think and thus believe.

This might sound silly to you, but I would rather live 50 years expecting the best and being surprised by a bad thing happening than live every day in fear of that one bad thing happening. To go one step further, in the spiritual realm there are also two choices. One is the eternal sunshine and one is a temporary darkness. How you think; what you think; what you choose decides which spiritual influence gains access to your life. Living in a perpetual cloud of negativity, knowingly or unknowingly, introduces you to a world where tragedy and suffering are the norm. Living in the sunshine doesn’t guarantee it won’t ever rain or storm, but when it does you’re still connected to the Source that always makes light shine out of darkness! And, along the way, you are going to get a helluva good tan and produce a bumper crop!

Please make up your mind today that you are going to step out of the shadows and into the eternal sunshine. Start now. Take your mind (get it..your mind) to task and get it into the light. Don’t do it alone though. Talk to the One that worked in me to write this and ask some questions; lots of questions. He will show you what to do in specifics. Heck, He tells me and I’m nowhere near as good as you! 😉

There’s nothing comparable to living life in the sun… Nothing!

Just some good, sunny 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…