Striving Above Negativity…


No matter how gloomy the day is, above it all the sun still shines faithful and sure. In similar fashion, no matter how gloomy our minds feel, no matter what circumstances we are facing, no matter how things appear to our senses minds, we must continue to strive until the sun reappears faithful and sure.

The world lives and thrives on negativity. The systems of the world have all been craftily designed to submerge us in negativity. Whether it be the news reports or any number of the fear crazed people of the world, our primary job is to endeavor to live above it. If we acquiesce to what things look like or if we hang on the sincere words of the so-called experts, we will find ourselves miserable and defeated. Life is not good because it always seems so, but rather because we know the goodness and blessings are there, despite what things appear to be. We aren’t defeated until we accept the forecast. Don’t accept the forecast.

What happens in your life, whether it be good or bad, happens because of the things you choose to believe. You decide what it is you will and will not believe. However, your beliefs must be founded upon something true. To base your beliefs and actions on the appearance of things leads only to being blown about by every wind of doctrine! Sadly, this is exactly how most people live. If the world says it is hard to find a job that pays good money, thus believing the people settle for less money. If the news report predicts tough times ahead, expecting so the people anticipate difficulties and find them. If the doctors and scientists say this activity leads to this disease, people curtail the activity and still get the disease. You simply cannot believe everything that you hear! Health and prosperity come from God and the truth has no caveats or exceptions.

The problem with negativity is that it fashions and forms your expectations. Being negative, with the rest of the huddled masses, leads you down a predictable path that always ends in defeat. Just as nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing can come from negatives but more things to be negative about. You can’t keep wrapping your mind in darkness then wonder why you can’t see what’s going on. You aren’t being realistic or responsible or whatever other rationalization you’ve been talked into using! But instead, you are simply being deceived. You have become a cooperator with ignorance, working against your own best interest under the guise of being “realistic” or in today’s terms, “real!” What is real or actual or true is what God says is real and actual and true. To consider otherwise is to slide down the same greased path with the rest of mankind to your own destruction, hurt and loss.

Positivity isn’t fanciful or foolish or whim. Positivity is the basis on which your whole life has been conceived. What is foolish is to look around and draw wrong conclusions based on appearances. I can tell you this with all certainty and confidence, the things that mean the most to you, those aspects of life wherein you seek success, will never look as if you are about to get them until you actually overcome and get them! This is the contest and the mystery of life. The whole world lives and suffers amidst frustration because of their learned negativity! Being positive; being determined to think positively, expecting the best no matter appearances is the very portals of heaven lived upon the earth in the moments of your life right now.

In order to be a positive person you must strive. You have to fight for what is right. You have to contend in order to get the things God wants for your life. If you had no spiritual opponent, the things you ardently seek would come to you easily, effortlessly. All that you pursued would turn into gold with limited effort on your part. However, you do have an opponent and the way he steals from you is by convincing you of things that aren’t true. He sours your disposition and leaves you cynical and bitter. Through the systemization of error, he makes the right ways seem wrong and the wrong ways seem right. He convinces you that your attitude, though negative, is proper and fitting given the circumstances that surround you. He persuades you to expect the worst and even when good happens to view it tentatively as fleeting and bound not to last. Add to that all manner of superstition and rituals that mean nothing and do nothing to preserve your happiness. Yet on you go, knocking on wood and modifying your expectations, hoping good things will last and bad things will stay away.

The only sure way to secure your own happiness and refute negativity is to determine in yourself to be a positive person. People flock towards a positive person like they seek out the sun. Drowning in negatives, people need good words and good deeds to restore their beliefs. They need an alternate viewpoint. In continuing to be positive, not ignorant but positive, you set a pattern for the things you do want in your life which serve to root out the things you don’t want in your life. Just as a room doesn’t become fresh until you freely admit air and sunshine into the room, your mind won’t become fresh and alive until you admit sunny thoughts and blessed expectations into it. Life works out better for the positive person, not because everything always goes well, but becuase despite what is going on now, in the end it will all be well.

Whatever storm you find yourself besieged by, know this, above the clouds of doom and despair the sun is still shining, ever shining for you as you strive against the negativity and find the Love and Goodness that has always existed for you…

Just some good thoughts…

Thinking for a Change…


Did you know that your experience of life takes place almost entirely in that thinking mechanism between your two ears. Oh sure you have your senses to help you, but even then those sensations translate into thoughts. Your thoughts literally color your existence. If your thoughts are positive and helpful, they can make your life joyous and blessed. But, if your thoughts are negative and fearful, they can distort your life into a living hell. But, here’s the catch, your thoughts are constantly filtering, highlighting and ignoring. They focus in on things you have previously identified as important and they blow past things you deem unimportant or in ignorance, chose not to see. How you think is how you live…

If you haven’t noticed by now, I can’t seem to get very far away from this topic. Your thoughts literally influence how your life turns out, yet it remains one of the greatest secrets in the world today. All of us think, all day every day and sometimes in the middle of the night, yet somehow still haven’t made the connection. We still drag along thinking poorly, whining and complaining, worrying and entertaining fearful considerations, without ever taking full ownership of our thoughts. It never seems to dawn on us, being the only creatures capable of thought, holding the ability to imagine the future, how unique we are in all of God’s creation! We never fully comprehended the idea that maybe in our unique position there is something we are responsible to do with our thoughts. And in not knowing, we let those babies run like a ship on the ocean during a storm. We believe that our own thoughts; yes our own thoughts, sort of tell us what is actually going on and that those thoughts are not to be questioned. Thus we live in perpetual confusion being blown about as the chance winds gust in our lives. But, we occupy and steer the helm…

The reason people say, “life sucks and then you die,” is because their thoughts suck (and then they die). They live in a negative world, run by a negative energy source, ever scheming and plotting to set up conditions that appear to be true, in order to negatively influence people’s thoughts. And, if you don’t mind me saying, they do a damn fine job! The whole world reels in a perpetual misery as captives and victims by a hidden, yet persistent enemy. They trust scientists and doctors and scholars and influencers more than they trust God. They have succumbed to the systems of the world and thus live in never-ending torture from it. They are literally scared of everything…everything! All day long they mope about only half engaged, besieged by the latest thing that is going to get them, end their life early, or take something away that they enjoy. And, that is all they can think about. While recognizing that they probably aren’t going to change the world (God will fix that up later), they can change something and that something is their life. You can change your life…

Learning to control and change your thinking is an absolute necessity. You already know the old let it run mentality doesn’t work. Recognizing and changing your thoughts isn’t about trying to make everything positive. It’s sort of obvious that everything in life isn’t positive. We all have to deal with negative realities in varying intensities, yet we don’t have to be controlled by these events. In fact, with God’s help, we can overcome everything that has ever assailed us…everything! Learning how to think properly involves first of all figuring out what is actually true. Maybe the biggest lie you will ever be confronted with in your life is that something is true because it looks true or seems true or feels true. Things in the world are manipulated and controlled to deceive humans (not by God of course). The reason your life isn’t working out how you wanted it to work out is because you are believing and acting upon those thoughts as if they were true. Then, in your mind those thoughts turn into beliefs and beliefs are powerful, good and bad. You were always in control of your own beliefs, but you just didn’t know it…

Controlling your thinking can be basically boiled down to thinking what God (who invented you) tells you to believe versus what something else is talking you into believing. “Fear not” is by far the number one admonition in the Bible. Fear has ruined more people’s lives than any other thing. Fear, which does not come from God, is believing or expecting something negative to happen. The more you engage in it, the more you persist in it, the more likely that terrible thing is going to manifest in your life! Look, the devil hates everybody, but he needs your cooperation in order to defeat you. You cooperate by entertaining fearful thoughts. Don’t you see it? It’s your fear that is holding you back and messing things up. Now logically, in order to beat fear you have to trust in something bigger than yourself. Without God’s help, we should all be damn afraid! But, with God’s help and only by God’s help, we can finally overcome every fear that ever challenged us and live out our lives in the beautiful way God imagined for us. You can experience joy and love. You can experience the peace that passes understanding. But, you have to learn how to control your thoughts, change your thoughts, challenge your thoughts…

Oh my friends, your life awaits you. Put your hands firmly on the helm of thought. Take your control back. Take your thoughts back. Think how God says to think and in your obedience see if all that He promised you is true. You experience your life through the filter of your thoughts and when those thoughts become beliefs and those beliefs are true, you will completely revolutionize your life. It can be done. It will be done. How you think is how you live. Think for a change…

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.

 

The Masked Masquerader…


miHBCkTxAbhSSNLndoSF7mgThere is a mysterious force moving and thriving in the world today. That force works behind the scenes to bring about frustration, unhappiness and misery. It comes in many facades and generally goes about undetected. Almost unbelievably, it has the ability to thwart and negate even the promises of God from coming to pass in a person’s life (Yes, it’s that big). If you ask a man if he is affected by it, his answer will almost always be, “No!” He doesn’t see it because it wears a mask and behind the mask lies the greatest masquerader of all time. It’s name you ask? Despite a thousand confusing disguises, it’s name is always FEAR…

When people think of fear, they quickly point to the feeling you get when you are being chased by a rabid dog. Or maybe the rumbling that occurs in the pit of your belly when a jumbo jet experiences heavy turbulence. Or perhaps that call you get from the hospital concerning one of your children. While all of those things are a clear representation of fear, the reality is that it is usually much more subtle than that. If it was obvious, you would quickly take the steps to remedy the situation. Run!!!!!!!!! But, it’s seldom obvious and for that reason, holds a man in bondage his whole lifetime.

You’ve heard me say before that believing is what brings things to pass in your life. But, did you know that fear is also believing? Fear is negative believing and brings negative things to pass with the same efficacy as it does on the positive side. What you fear, you get! Fear is the only thing that ever defeats the promises of God because man’s decision to be afraid rather than trust absolutely negates God’s ability to save him from his dilemma! Oh, say it aint so! Well, it is ‘so’ and to be otherwise would require God to completely rewrite the rules of life. Instead of bucking up against what is, why not learn to recognize and eliminate fear everywhere and anywhere it shows up?

In order to defeat fear, you must first recognize how it presents itself in your life. It shows up as depression, which points to something sucking away your life and energy. It appears as frustration, which falsely presumes there is no solution. It masquerades as worthlessness, implying you have to become a better person before God will bless you (predominately found in religion). It goes by the name “stress” which quietly contemplates a negative outcome. It wears a mask called “anxiety” which reveals an underlying and misplaced fear of life itself and all of its potential pitfalls. It goes by the misnomer “concern” which attempts to legitimize its existence. It is found in every unfulfilled and unsatisfied life and, in secret, is the cause of it. It is the polar opposite of love from which it rightfully has no place.

It enters your life through doubt, then gains ground by worry and finally reveals its ugliest head of all…FEAR.  It brings your life to a standstill. It is “sand in the machinery of life.” It impedes your progress and once it catches you, closes the prison doors all around you. It shouts there is no way out, which is a lie from the father of lies (there is always a way out!). It brings about disaster and chaos. It is trouble to your soul and with its agitation, steals your peace. It is the root of everything you don’t desire and the force that has tried to thwart your every move. It is evil and must be overcome!

Logically, the first step to overcoming fear is to recognize that you have it. There’s no room for John Wayne bravado because the proof is in the pudding. Depressed? …Fear! Frustrated? …Fear! Unfulfilled and dissatisfied? …Fear! Life not turning out how you dreamed it would? …Fear! Things going south on you on a perpetual basis? …Fear! You just have to get honest with yourself. If you are agitated and restless and bored, you have some fear back there you haven’t yet seen. To hell with its disguises, it’s fear and the sooner you own up to it the better. There’s no shame in being afraid. It’s wrong, but all of us came from the factory born with it. The shame is in parading around with “no fear” bumper stickers, while sitting on the couch of your mind in quiet, desperate misery!

Once you finally get honest (and praise the Lord for that day), you will begin to see (if you want to) just how much fear has been ruling your life. And, like any demolition project, you just have to start working away at it, one brick at a time. Now, removing bricks alone won’t make it happen. Instead, you have to replace those bricks with truth (found in over 900 promises in your Bible). Find and speak truth to that old, liar fear knowing that truth; truth believed, is the only thing that can defeat it. It won’t happen overnight, because you didn’t become ruled by fear overnight. But, and trust me on this, it will happen. You’ll be encouraged along the way by this weird, odd feeling called “peace and contentment.” You’ll get better at detecting its presence. You’ll actually start to see through the mask and spot that old masquerader behind it.  You will once again begin to experience life in all of its grandeur; it’s excitement; its pregnant possibilities. And best of all, you’ll find the love that has been waiting there for you all along!

For God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.            II Timothy 1:7

It doesn’t really matter how long you have been living in the prison-house of fear. What matters is that you find the way to escape. You aint gonna do it without God, so don’t try it. Just get real soul-honest and reach up to the One who made you! Hey, He hears you and this blog is from Him to you (and me)!

Fear not my friends. Fear not!

Just some good thoughts…

The Death Spiral of the Negative Mind…


shutterstock_80347894A great man once said, “Negatives are like mosquitos on a blood hunt!” The world in which you and I live is ruled by negativity. The media is negative. Facebook is negative. The news is negative. Living in the world, we almost cannot help but become negative. So you have to ask yourself, is all this negativity the natural way to be? Does being negative simply mean you are being realistic? Is it better to be negative and thus avoid getting your expectations dashed? Does negativity actually motivate you to become something good? Have you, my friend, become negative yourself?

What does it even mean to be negative? In math terms a negative is a number less than zero. To answer in the negative means to say no! A negative attitude is characterized as disagreeable. It closely ties to criticism and refusal. In photography it means to have the light and the darkness inverted. Now just stop right there for a moment. Deciding to be negative means less than nothing. You choose to say no rather than yes. You tend towards being disagreeable rather than promoting harmony. (Facebook anyone) It enjoys criticism and refuses rather than accepts. It means you’ve got your light and darkness mixed up. Indeed, your light and darkness are mixed up.

Remember when you were a youngster? How long did your negativity last? 10 minutes, when Mom said no? Then you got back to your pursuit of happiness as quickly as you could. You somehow chose, with your innocent processor, to let disagreeable stuff go and change your focus back to the good. Then the world starting mixing you up. It convinced you that you were less than zero. It taught you to say no to everything and be suspicious of anything good that showed up. People tried to tell you but you disagreed because you knew better. You got real critical of everything and everyone and mostly with yourself. Finally, you started to confuse the darkness with the light and even preferred it. You refused the goodness as fanciful and believed the darkness is what is real. Thus you entered the death spiral of negativity with no hope on the horizon. Is this not true? How many people just expect things not to work out? How many folks are afraid of good things happening because they won’t last or something is going to take them away? How many good people spend their lives looking over their shoulder and waiting for the other shoe to drop? How many kind hearts live in perpetual fear of what might happen, hasn’t happened yet, but is surely going to happen one day? The Death Spiral…

Once you allow yourself to become negative, your focus shifts to the negative. You start looking for the negatives. You’re just looking for trouble and almost always find it. Then, one negative event leads to another negative event and the cycle is in full effect. The problem isn’t life and the reality that bad things happen. The problem is that you got talked into shifting away your focus from what you want to what you don’t want! Your dreams and your prayers went from, “I want” and “I need” to “Please don’t let” and “Please take this away from me.” Instead of being thankful; so extremely thankful, you dwelled on what you don’t have and why you don’t have it. Negative…less than zero, can you see it? Here’s a newsflash that you might find unsettling. Your life will continue on the death spiral until YOU decide to change your thoughts. YOU have to get YOUR head out of the garbage can and look up. Look to where you want to go and go there! Stop looking back and rehearsing the hurts of the past. Stop dwelling on the things that didn’t go right. Stop blaming, criticizing, refusing and ruminating, and just move your mind to a positive place. Until you do, this old world will just eat you alive….every day…until you die.

The opposite of negativity is being positive. Now, because people have their light and dark messed up, they want to chastise you for being positive. You stick out like a healed thumb! You’re not being realistic. You’re not thinking maturely. You’re being all Pollyanna and foolish. LOL! As if expecting the worst of everything makes any sense. As if the reality of life is suffering and never blessings. As if grown ups are supposed to be miserable. As if being lighthearted and jolly is worse than feeling melancholy and depressed. As if…

People that say those things don’t yet understand life. Life isn’t some predestined ride ending in a destination you don’t get to choose. God does not have the dice loaded against you. If anything is loaded against you it is your misunderstanding of the control you have in your life. It is you, not clearly recognizing that your tendency toward negativity actually produces bad results as your tendency toward positivity actually produces good results. It is YOUR life and YOU are producing something. Seems only reasonable that you would want to produce something good.

Why not separate yourself from the herd and start expecting good things? Look, do the math! If you expect something good 75% of the time and the good only happens 50% of the time, I’d say that beats the hell out of below zero! I’ll bet many of you would pay good money for something positive happening 10% of the time. And, while you are separating yourself from the herd, start separating yourself from the negativity. Stop watching the stupid news. Stop getting caught up in racial, political and economical debates on Facebook. Stop letting people and friends and relatives convince you of things that aren’t true.  Choose the light. Choose the things that encourage you and help you. Choose to believe that there is another way; God’s way and He is the one who dreamed this whole thing up…

Once you start smacking at the mosquitos they start to overwhelm you. Just go inside, it’s easier…

Just some good thoughts…