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…

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What Came First, Your Thoughts or Your Results?


maxresdefaultRecently, I found myself embroiled in a Twitter battle with someone I don’t know and many others I don’t know over the topic of depression. A guy posted a little ditty about being depressed along the lines of, “if you’re depressed and you know it, clap your hands.” So I replied, tongue in cheek, with a similar ditty about changing your thoughts. Some recognized the levity, but quite a few others insisted on teaching me about depression and how it wasn’t that simple and show me some evidence that changing your thoughts can change brain chemistry and so on. Essentially the group argument consisted of well-intentioned people defending the chemical nature of depression and apparently the fact that your thoughts have nothing to do with it and even more incredulously, that there’s nothing you can do about it. So depression or any other mental malady, what came first, your thoughts or your results?

First let’s clarify one important reality. Yes depression, particularly clinical depression can be tracked to chemical changes in your brain. But, and hear me out on this one, to conclude that the depression you are experiencing has nothing to do with what you are thinking, is categorically nuts! If that was the case all of us would be potential victims to any mental malady that came our way and would be powerless against it. You’re living your life happy and blessed then boom, you spiral down into depression or anxiety or anything else that chooses you! Life does not work that way. However, if you are paying attention, you will recognize that the world will always have an excuse for you to stay trapped in your personal conundrum.  It will always have you draw some conclusion where you basically agree there is nothing you can do about what you are experiencing. The result? You end up actually defending your problem’s right to have power over you and have lots of science or other man-made intelligence supporting your beliefs. Your thoughts came first!

Depression begins with depressed thoughts. Anxiety begins with anxious thoughts. All known phobias began with fearful thoughts about something. Now stop right there. If what I just said pissed you off in some capacity, you have to ask yourself what it is you are defending. To think that your thoughts didn’t precede you present reality takes away your responsibility for your life and hands it over to someone or something else. The world is chock full of victims with well-rehearsed stories about how they don’t have a choice when actually they always have a choice. The choice with mental maladies, and by the way I’ve been there, is to control your thinking in the here and now. Is it really that simple? No, it’s not simple at all, especially if you have gotten yourself into some deeply grooved ruts! But, it is the only way out! You have to decide to think something else or stop thinking certain things, before you can even begin to see the way out. Wallowing in the chemical nature of your problem is simply resignation to defeat. Your thoughts came first!

In contrast to mental maladies and anything that pains or hinders our lives, let’s consider happy people or people who remain positive and hopeful about their lives. What do they do that maybe you don’t do? Are they really predetermined for success? Are they just the result of good fortune heaped on them randomly with no discernible reason why? The same world that spends considerable time with increasing evidence to convince you there is nothing you can do about your problems, also maligns and disparages being positive and reduces it to foolishness by implying positive people simply spout positive bullshit in contrast to their worsening issues. Really? Is that all that positive people do? In reality, positive, happy people experience the same garbage and conflict in life that you experience. The difference is that they fight back with their thoughts and refuse to surrender to science or anything else that chips away at their well-being. They can acknowledge that today was a freaking horrible day, but don’t expect tomorrow to be the same. When someone lays a rap on them that implies there is nothing they can do about something, they beg to differ over and over and over again. Your thoughts came first.

Part of controlling your thinking, and for the love of God it is something you can do or God wouldn’t ask you to do it, is to be cautious about what you take ownership of… Is it a disease or is it your disease? Is it depression or is it your depression? Just because a doctor gave it to you doesn’t mean you have to own it. I know, there I go again with my Pollyanna bullshit! I mean, the perfectly reasonable, logical thing to do is to accept your fate and get in line with the rest of the sheep following and cascading over the cliff to their own demise! Being realistic depends wholly on what you consider to be real. Science isn’t in opposition to God it’s of God (you smarties…). The opposition shows up when science, so-called, refutes what God says and makes it appeal to the ego of man who always knows more than he actually knows! If you and your scientific realities know the answer, then fix your issue and let’s get back to living. Alas, your thoughts came first!

One thing you can and should own is your own life! You certainly don’t need to own the negative assaults upon you day by day, but you can and should own your results. Own it! Accept where you are. Accept responsibility for the things that haven’t worked out. Taking ownership is always the starting point for any life revisions you may need. As you  put your hands firmly back on the wheel, you will discover that God has given you control if you are willing to take it! Say what you may my friends, your thoughts came first!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Check Back In…


image001Many people living today aren’t quite living anymore. They’re sort of half in and half out. You can see it in their eyes, the revelation of their souls. Something has happened to damage their heart, not fatally, but enough to dim their glow and diminish their passion for being. They only half participate with life and have long since settled for the mundane over the excitement of fulfillment and satisfaction. Sadly, they have checked out of life and need badly to check back in.

Assuming you aren’t so far gone as to conclude that “life’s a bitch and then you die,” what the hell has happened to people to reduce their fiery flame into a flicker? What catastrophic event or events took place to so harden and numb people’s hearts to the point of accepting mere existence? People are lost and without hope in a world created for their greatest fulfillment and blessing. No-one began their life this way, so something must have become involved along the way that worked to steal life and to reduce life and to suffocate life and worst of all to convince people that it was normal. What happened?

Every living person has a heart beating inside forcing life-giving blood into every part of the body. Likewise, every person living has a figurative heart, deep inside their mind, from which their life proceeds. As such, the heart of your mind, like your physical heart must be cared for properly if you are going to survive. But, unlike the physical heart, the heart of your mind was intended for much, much more than mere survival. Your heart was made to experience love and joy and wonder. Your heart was planned to be the fountain from which your life flowed forth. All that you could ever hope to be and to experience would begin in your heart, eventually manifesting outwardly into your life. Your heart by design is very tender and sensitive to feeling (like it’s Creator) with the capacity to respond to even the slightest sensation and with that react immediately to any attacks or assaults on itself with great displeasure and a determination to get back to its highest, purest most peaceful self. Thus God commanded man to guard his heart above everything that could be guarded in his life. When you find yourself but only half living, half experiencing, filling your days with pointless activities and routines to pass the time, it is safe to say that you have somewhere failed to guard your heart, a practice of which all men are guilty, with the degree of misery corresponding directly, thought for thought with the associated failure to guard your heart.

Living life on earth with an evil despot ruling the kingdoms of the world, not in accordance with God’s will, but rather as a result of guile and treachery, things are going to happen to you that will directly assault your heart. Parents, in their own conundrums, will fail you and speak damage into your being. Friends and experiences and relationships and any or all interactions will take shots at that vital part of you and work to steal away your life force and reduce your life to a glass of wine, a television and a couch! And sadly today more than ever before in history, there’s an electronic world artfully attached to your soul seducing you with a thousand messages assailing who you are by comparison and who you ought to be. Add to that life’s catastrophes that shake your very core or violence or the abject pain of broken hearts (aptly named) and broken dreams. The result of which is an entire mass of people with dimness in their eyes with little to no energy left to fight back and to recover. Then enters the greatest cruelty of all named religion bent on, by guilt, unworthiness and shame, wiping out any remaining hope for the future replacing it with fear of a punishment later on. Indeed it is a sad state of affairs of which only God can repair.

On the way back to your true heart, I think you will find compensations you have added to your life such as numbing elements or busy activities or anything that seeks to take your mind and thoughts away from the moment you are in. Step one is to be in the moment and notice what you are thinking or what pain you are avoiding or maybe just how uncomfortable it is to risk being with your own thoughts undistracted for a time. In order to change what is in your heart, if you don’t like what you are experiencing or how you feel, you have to start changing your thoughts. You have to be present to recognize what you are thinking and then start challenging those thoughts. Just like working to lose the weight that affects your physical heart takes time, ridding yourself of wrong thoughts and wrong beliefs takes time and consistent, persistent effort.

Naturally, if you are going to recover from the “life sucks” syndrome, you are going to have to do some things you haven’t been doing. Some of which might include getting out of your shell and going back out there where the people and your life are and stop incubating in your unhappiness. (Broken hearts incubate inward while healthy hearts extend outward…) Don’t even think you have any hope at deliverance and escape if you aren’t willing to be supremely humble. You got got man! You got taken woman! You and your “I already know” thinking aren’t going to help you here. (This is why you need God’s help to recover!) You have to honestly humble yourself and be just as willing to unlearn as you have been to learn. You have to start questioning the “wheel” of things and dismiss the notion of acceptance for that which is less than the best. It is not just how life is and it’s certainly not God’s will for your life!

Check back in folks! I know why you checked out (been there and done that) but I also know it isn’t the best use of your one go round around the sun. You can get that glimmer back in your eyes. You can put your heart back into life fully rather than half guarded and calloused in anticipation of further pain. You can once again risk by giving love and being kind to people and sharing your tender heart. Waiting for you on the other side of your damaged and broken heart is life in all of its manifestations and variations, exciting, fulfilling and joyful just as God designed it to be…

Check back in, it’s so, so worth it.

Just some good thoughts…

 

The Great Human Experience…


wall-700x465The experience of life and indeed, human beings is a fascinating study at best. Trying to understand how one can travel from lost and confused to focused with clarity often within the same twenty-four hour period is a conundrum reserved for a mastermind. We, the people, are literally all over the place. We ride one day on the high places of the earth and the next day subdued in the misty flats. In the quiet of the morning, our thoughts are gentle and expectant only to turn harried and pressed by the end of the day. And all of this can only be defined as the great human experience.

Sometimes when you are a writer and you know you have something to say, you find yourself intoxicated with the notion of communicating some idea, some ideal way to think and be that will enable your brothers and sisters to live only on the high road in the space of clarity and with undisturbed peacefulness. Yet the words, however earnest, elude you because that isn’t the way of life. It’s just not that simple. Soon you begin to realize that life isn’t found exclusively in the victory, the challenge overcome, but in the learning that accompanied it; the thoughts and considerations that finally brought you there. To fantasize that you could arrive without the challenges isn’t life, but a false expectation that you might get something for nothing and somehow gain the prize absent the exertion! Such is not life at all… Such seeks to  cheat the great human experience.

If ever you may finally get to the place where you accept how life is, your trophy, your purse, your joy and your fulfillment arrive in concert with your decision to learn how to compete. Once you discover the competition taking place and learn how to see it as such, you begin to zoom in on the details. It’s the subtleties, the little things that shape and round out your existence, not the big moments and flashy circumstances. Your body, your mind with its five senses registering and if you have believed, your spirit, all work in concert to play out and reveal a grand drama in which you are the lead actor. Every registering sensation, feeling or insight begging for a decision, a conclusion, a judgment. How you vote determines how your life proceeds; how your year goes; how your day plays out! When you feel subdued and defeated, wandering in the low places, you’ve likely failed to register the appropriate scintilla and cast your ballot amiss. When you’re enjoying the ride on the high road; when you are the head and not the tail, you have discerned properly and made the right choices. You’ve challenged the lie, the error and seen through the false threats and with perfect equanimity rose above the challenges of the day. Such is the great human experience.

People often imagine how their lives might have turned out if they made some different choices early on. They pine for what might have been had they lived in another locale or chose a different partner or discovered their passion; their gift earlier. But, that’s not how life works and constitutes a futile reminiscence. You chose what you chose when you chose it because for you, in that moment of time, it was the right choice. Now that you’ve grown and progressed does not negate your earlier choices, but rather demands that you adapt and change to match your present condition. The capability you enjoy today was not your capability of ten years ago. You are where you are that you may continue to learn and continue to grow. To think that growth and learning are reserved for the young serves only to cut you off from the sweetness of life. It seems many elders have acquiesced to a limited view of life, no longer seeking to delineate their experience, but voting based on what they already know. Yet life and circumstances have changed as you would expect within the great human experience.

Have you ever considered that the challenges you face exist not because God has placed them in your path, but rather because there is some aspect of your experience, your previous learning that needs modification and as such is exploited by a hidden enemy fully aware of that deficiency? Instead of whining against the circumstances; ever begging for a changed existence, your duty, your obligation, your absolute requirement is to discover how to overcome! Each piece of darkness that prevails does so by some ignorance of the truth concerning it. Every affliction, every anguish, every burden, every discouraging aspect of your present life exists only until you finally uncover the truth concerning it and change your vote accordingly. Your belief of the truth; your full persuasion concerning that which is right; your unalterable determination, is the only course to victory in the great human experience.

Life in all of its varieties and manifestations has been programmed by its Source to prevail. You can learn to live above the distractions, the heartaches, the troubles of life as you consciously decide to learn what the experience; what the circumstance contains for you. Instead of frustration leading to fear, start paying attention to recurring dramas, to issues resembling other issues, to chronic problems and then believe God to show you the solutions, indeed the way out! If you were smart enough to have done it on your own, you would have done so already. You are only as stuck as your dogged pride has determined you to be. Believe to see. Accept that you do not know already. Admit to your need for assistance. No-one wins at life on their own. If you do this, you will, like the blind man who God gave back his sight, at last see and in seeing, change…

This is the only way to master the great human experience…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Solving Your Problems…in the Light


bc26eadfb2bd120634d391866cf270fbHey you, you got a problem? Yeah man, I got a few problems and I’m not sure how to solve them! Maybe not the response you’d expect when the aforementioned question is usually posed in a moment of bravado. But, if you’re honest, you know you’ve got a few and they are dragging you down! By definition a problem becomes a problem because you don’t know how to solve it. Sure, you’ve given it a lot of thought. Yes, you’ve tried to overcome it but you are just stuck and you know it. So, let me shed some light on how to solve your problems because you need to solve them!

Let me start by saying I’m just like you. Yeah I love God and yes I’m connected to the Source of all goodness. But, like you I get caught up in my own issues. Some I’ve had for years. Some I invent to ruin a day. Some just go beyond my ability to figure them out. Some days I’m living in a peaceful nirvana and other days I’m wandering in the desert. It’s just how life is and to think otherwise is just foolish. We all have our very own personal antagonist whose job it is to drive us “nucking futs!” None of us enjoy it and all of us wish it would just stop. But sadly, it won’t stop until we learn to overcome it! God never promised life would be annoyance free. He promised that we would always have “the answer” we needed to overcome the challenge. Now there’s a day coming when those challenges will be forever gone, but that day aint today!

Our annoyances and problems come in many forms. Some are temporal like my foot hurts and I wanted to run today. Others are more long-standing and are going to require some humility on our part to overcome. Imagine that something is hurting in your body (like my foot). While the pain is going on, you can be assured the pain issue is going to be in the forefront of your thinking. That’s why you have the pain. You are being skillfully alerted to an issue that needs to be remedied. But, what about your more longstanding dramas? The ones that make you ponder, why do I always do…such and such, when I already know I hate it? The famous Apostle Paul said it best. To paraphrase he (actually God) said, “The things I know I should do, I don’t do and the things I hate, those I constantly do!” What a conundrum, huh?

You probably aren’t aware of it but all of us believer types have something called an old man nature. He’s best characterized by one prevailing attitude, namely, “You can’t tell me shit!” LOL forgive me. Said in more polite terms, “I think I already know the answers!” The great difference between the know it all you and the happy-go-lucky 8-year-old (my grandson Braylon) is that he knows he doesn’t already know and wants to learn and you already know and are thus closed off to learning. Everyone’s problem, everywhere, can be summed up in that simple statement. There is a solution to EVERY dilemma you have ever found yourself in, but you have to become humble with the heart of a child to get your answer!  Yes, you need to read that again! I’m not sure how we got so damn smart, but trust me, we aren’t very smart at all.

God, the originator of life, knows the solution to every stupid thing that ever dragged you down. He knows why your foot hurts; why your heart hurts and why you aren’t happy. He sees through all of the malarkey and disguises. He also suffers while His precious children suffer, trudging down the same roads with the same predictable outcomes. But, in order to rescue you from yourself, He needs some cooperation on your part. He needs you to humble yourself. Not humble in the religious sense whereby you whip yourself into supposed submission. Humble in the true sense where you finally admit you do not know! Those little admissions go a long way in getting to you to the mountain tops!

The starting point in overcoming your problems is to get to the light! Not get to the answer, but get to the light. Turn a light on so you can finally see something. What does God say about your situation? What does God’s Word say about how you have been thinking? Life is spiritual and often the source of your problem is something you’ve never even considered. You just don’t see the connection. So, you have to shut the old guy up and think something different. Now don’t you get all puffy and tell me you have to exercise more discipline! Are 8 year old’s disciplined? The solution isn’t more crap you have to do to somehow measure up to God’s solutions. The solution is in opening your weary heart to something bigger and smarter than yourself! Your answer will be found in your humility.

Moses was the most meek guy on the planet and God spoke to him face to face like a man speaks to his friend. Trust me, that is something that you want! God cares about every aspect of your life. From insomnia to foot pain to heartfelt fulfillment, He cares and has your answer. Your job isn’t to find a way to limp along. Your job is to get to the solution so you can be whole in every aspect of your being. In that abiding wholeness you will have found God and there’s nothing better than that!

Do you find yourself overwhelmed lately? Is life starting to get you down? Are you struggling to muster up a smile on your face? Well, something has gone wrong folks and you need to find the answers. Don’t numb yourself with too many drinks or the television or whatever else gives you a reprieve from thinking. Instead humble yourself like the heart of a child. Admit you don’t know and that you are struggling. You may be adept at lying to other people, but don’t lie to yourself (or worse, to God). Complain to the management people because the ultimate Manager knows the solutions!

Hey you, you got a problem? Well, yes actually I do, but God has got my solution?

Just some good thoughts…

 

Escaping the Negativity Trap…


Romans-12-2-Renew-Your-Mind“RENEW YOUR MIND, BOY!” That’s what I used to yell at my boys when they were growing up, during those times when their head’s were in outer space. In hindsight, what I really meant was that they needed to change their minds. I usually said it (or yelled it) when they had allowed their thoughts to become negative with the goal of getting their minds back into a positive space. Of course screaming a phrase at them in anger was highly contradictory, but my intentions were good! (smile)

So the question is, what does it mean to renew your mind and why should anyone do it? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, the world is a negative place. Bad stuff not only happens to good people, it happens to all people. But, what you may not realize is that conforming to the negativity only serves to encourage the process. People get all caught up in the negativity and eventually become trapped in a cycle that can only produce more misery and bad feelings. They think they feel angry and frustrated and depressed because of the circumstances and events that surround them and completely miss the connection between where their head is at and what is happening to them. They are caught in a trap of their own making and the only solution is to change their thoughts. (Do I have to yell it?)

Look, we have all had to deal with stupid shit at times. (Cuss word supplied for emphasis!) People don’t behave the way we think they should behave. Maybe your frustrated with your boss or your brother. Perhaps it’s your present circumstances or difficulties. It could be your lack of resources or opportunities. But no matter what it is, the only thing in this life that you can control is you! Oh you can live under the illusion that you can control other people, but you can’t! All you are going to end up with is a bunch of frustration and bitterness! And, do you really think you can impact your present negative circumstances by staying negative? Oh you are just keeping it real? The only “real” part of it is your personal adversary working you over to keep you stuck in the land of difficulty! You don’t have enough money or education to get what you want out of life? The problem isn’t the money or your lack of education. The problem is your negative head-space, closing your eyes to the opportunities that are all around you!

People spend their whole lives bitching and complaining, quarreling and fighting. What a colossal waste of your time and your life! Who do you know that ever bitched themselves into a good situation? In fact, whose behavior actually changed because someone was constantly complaining about it? No-one’s, not never! Staying frustrated, upset and agitated simply strengthens the enemy’s hold on your life. You only beat that old bird when you stop playing his game; fighting his fight! There is a better way…

When something bad or negative happens to you, you have to immediately seek your way out of it. That doesn’t mean you ignore the negative event. Instead you acknowledge the negative event, but refuse to stay there mesmerized by what just happened. Most people not only suffer a negative event, but also rehearse the story a thousand times to their friends and family. “You won’t believe what he said to me!” “Man, let me tell you what happened to me at work today!” All of that rehearsing and story telling is just paying ongoing homage to the one behind your problems! You’re never going to get out of the darkness that way. Instead you just become inculcated in the drama.

The simple solution for when you find yourself in the darkness (and all negativity and difficulty is darkness) is to turn on the light! Glorifying the darkness and reiterating the darkness and planning some darkness as revenge, is just fighting darkness with darkness, hoping some light will show up. Remember, you can only control you and your reactions. So, you have to “renew your mind, boy” and change your thinking to the light.

The light consists of love and forgiveness, kindness and compassion. Love stops keeping score of the wrongs done and decides to love anyway. Love stands above all of the pointless drama because love sees through the confusion. In the broad light of day, you can see exactly what is going on. In the darkness, you’ll be pricked repeatedly by an opponent you cannot discern. Turn on the light!

In life, you are going to have to overcome some difficulties. You will be persecuted and irritated and annoyed. You will be challenged on what you believe and at times wrongfully injured. But, you still have an opportunity to win, that is if you learn to fight properly with the light. The only thing that defeats the adversary; your personal adversary, is the light of God’s Word. The sooner you get your mind lined up with it, the more quickly your personal dramas end and you can get back to pursuing your blessed life. Or you can sit there puffed up, just keeping it real, stewing in your own personal “doo-doo” a lifetime! The choice is yours. The choice has always been yours!

Escaping the negativity is not only necessary in this life, it is your right! God has not left you without recourse. But, if you’re going to overcome, you have to do it God’s way. Getting supremely pissed off and swearing and cursing and fighting may make you feel better for the moment, but like all hidden poisons, is just going to make you sick in the end. Love knows a far better way and in the end you get a peaceful, blessed life…

RENEW YOUR MIND, BOY! It is the only way…

Just some good thoughts…

Keeping Your Head in the Right Place…


road-sign-words-welcome-you-right-place-blue-sky-background-36449742You ever have one of those weeks? You know the kind where you’re having some kind of mental turmoil going on but you can’t put your finger on the ‘why.’ Well, I had that very week. There were no disasters or dramas at work. The economy didn’t collapse and no crazy people were elected President. It wasn’t trouble at home or in the neighborhood or abroad. It was nothing you could readily define at all. Just a week of scattered thinking, agitation and distress. So, something was up; something worth understanding…

A long time ago, in similar fashion, I was going through some serious stuff. I had grown so accustomed to my happy life with God where things always worked out for me. But, something had gone astray. Something had changed and I hadn’t gotten the memo. I spent lengthy prayer sessions begging God to turn things around. I just couldn’t figure out why He had changed towards me; why He didn’t seem to be there for me like He was before. And I can tell you, I spent way too damn long in that space. That was until one fateful day when I finally figured it out. My problem was never with God, my problem was with me. God never changed. I did. What I once enjoyed because I believed, I stopped enjoying because I stopped believing. I foolishly allowed well meaning people to talk me out of the simplicity of what I had, in favor of something impossibly complicated. In short, I failed to keep MY head in the right place!

One thing you should always know and never forget is that God does not change. His love for you is constant. He’s seen all of your dirty bits and loves you regardless. His favor towards you isn’t and never was based on what you do, but instead based on who He is. When things have gone south on you, God didn’t move, you did. And to get back to the life that’s worth living can only happen when you come back to the right place.

The right place is all about what God says is true. Sure there will be people who speak otherwise. There will be circumstances that appear and threaten. You’ll see news reports and pending world disasters. And worst of all, there will be subtle thoughts, almost imperceptible that chip away at you; gently nudging you to a different place; a place where heaven’s brass. And, once you get there it’s damn hard to know what happened. So, I’ll save you some time and drudgery. When things are going bad for you, you are in the wrong place.

The wrong place has many beguiling disguises; one of which is yourself. When your life becomes all about you, you are being deceived. When the number one priority is your happiness; your satisfaction; your stuff, the game is on and you are losing. As ironic as it sounds, life was never meant to be lived that way. Just as giving away somehow makes you richer, choosing the happiness of others first, leads to your own. So, how do you know if you are in the wrong place? When life is all about you…

Another counterfeit mental space comes in the form of doubts, worries and fears. How could you ever be afraid of anything if Almighty God is around? Spending your days worrying and dreading some potential future outcome is a waste of your life. Usually the thing you fear so ardently is out of your control anyway, right? Or else you could solve it. But, you can’t because it’s beyond your ability and so you worry and wither away. Getting back to the right place means giving something to God for Him to handle and by God, letting Him handle it! So, how do you know if your head is in the wrong place? When your fear has become bigger than your God…

The third and arguably most common fake, mental vacation rental shows up in a profound lack of gratitude. Everyone wants more, more, more. You want a bigger house, a better job, a new spouse, never considering just how outrageously grateful you should be for what you already have. Like my wife said today, there’s people that would think they went to heaven by living in our house and here we are complaining that the living room isn’t big enough to entertain more guests. What you have may not be your ultimate, but I’m guessing it might be someone else’s! You’ve watched so many political ads promising to make America great again that you’ve forgotten just how great it is already. You live a comfortable life in a free, safe country where your major concerns center around what to have for dinner; that you take from your freezer; that you purchased at a store; that you drove to in your car, that just left your 3 car garage, attached to your big house. And you’re not grateful for all of that? You’re not just breathtakingly thankful to live how you get to live? Boy oh boy… So, how do you know that your head’s on vacation? When you’re not sublimely grateful for the life you already have, pregnant with unlimited possibilities…

Although the examples could be endless, suffice it to say that the only one responsible to keep your head in the right place is you! Don’t get mad or frustrated with God; He’s never the source of your difficulties. There is another source, but you can easily thwart him as you make it your number one priority to stay in the right place; that place where God says what’s true.

My confusing week from hell is over now and you know why? Because I remembered that it is MY job to put my head in the right place and that no-one could do it for me, but me. Man, how grateful I am to be God’s son! I’m not sure how I could ever navigate this life without Him. Do the right thing by getting to the right place in your mind; the place where God is. That’s where all the blessings are! The more than abundant life is real and waiting for you.

I love you Papa…

Just some good thoughts.