Trust Thyself…


0DC96196-7988-42E6-8455-28A57F00DEC8One of the great hallmarks of a confident person is their ability to trust themselves. In order to be successful at anything, you have to learn to trust yourself; your judgments; your feelings and to maintain that trust in the face of opposition and the naysayers. Prosperous businessmen and women are so because they had an idea and also had the holy boldness to see it through to a positive, profitable end. Good parents are those that know and understand their children and also know what is and isn’t good for the child, regardless of what anyone else seems to be doing. In our world of endless information and advice, people have relied less and less on what they think and have instead defaulted to what everyone else thinks. People have stopped thinking for themselves and severely limited themselves in the process. It would seem to make the most sense that you, living in your own body, experiencing your own life, knowing what turns you on and what turns you off, having your own unique and personal background, would serve as the expert of things pertaining to your own soul. Do you trust yourself?

The mistrust of yourself and your own ability to make proper judgments isn’t a new phenomenon, but rather came as a result of the overload of information available to all of us today, literally at our fingertips. Information, Google, WebMD, YouTube videos can be a tremendous blessing if we take them for what they are, information. As humans, our job is to gather information and then make informed choices. But, not all of our choices are purely fact based or, for that matter, in accordance with what “experts” think. We bring so much more to the table than a capacity to research information. We have complicated feelings, intuition, gut feelings, our own experiences and background all available to aid us in making the right choices, and by right I mean the right choices for ourselves. Taking a certain job in a certain place may appear to be the most logical thing in the world and still not be the best choice for us. Something may look right, feel right, be logically right, yet something inside says it’s wrong. I often think that God working in us is much more individual than we may have considered. How God works in me with all of my personal attributes and weaknesses may vary vastly from how He works in you. Certain things communicate both immediately and clearly to me that would be completely lost on you and vice versa. Trusting thyself is learning how God works in you always for your good and also learning how other things try to work in you to get you to doubt yourself and your ability to choose.  For example, people erroneously conclude that the nagging voice inside finding fault with everything they might enjoy comes from God, yet fail to consider that the constant criticism comes from another place; one hell bent on keeping them unsure. Trusting yourself means that you believe in yourself and your capacity to know what you need to know when you need to know it. Trust thyself.

The artists and painters and poets and writers are successful only by trusting that voice inside more than the voices that surround them. Emerson aptly penned, “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.” That is not to say that every thought in our heart is truth, but rather the belief in ourselves and what we can offer to the world when applied with conviction, that is genius. Doubt is the great enemy to be vanquished. Doubting and hesitating and second guessing ourselves is a disease that carries with it all future failures and defeat. How often did we already know the right course of action, yet failed to heed it? And, every time it occurs we are reminded that indeed we already knew it. How could we ever consider that other influences would better know the best course for us never actually having been us? When we live in constant doubt of ourselves and our own decisions, we work against our own best interests and diminish ourselves in our own estimation. We make ourselves less than what we are and subjugate ourselves to the opinions of another. Then, when we are unhappy and afraid and lost, we finally get honest with ourselves and seek again according to who we are and not according to who everyone else appears to be. And, at last, we find access to the happiness and blessedness that already existed for us, working within us when we begin to trust ourselves. Indeed, trust thyself.

In the same way that we can trust ourselves and our decisions, we can also trust ourselves when we know we are making the wrong choices. Typically, we recognize when our wants and our desires are leading us down the wrong paths masquerading as fun and as pleasure. We know, if we are honest, when there is such a thing as too much and as such know how to begin to regulate ourselves without unnecessary criticism and judgment. Life is rarely all or nothing, but instead a series of necessary adjustments like the tacks of a ship sailing in the right direction. Choices are neither all or nothing, but instead modifications required to keep us in the center. All things in moderation is our safe place. To live in constant denial of things is to be a prisoner awaiting escape and finally having escaped, gone mad. Similarly, the allowance of all things without restraint or control is also a prison; one being subjected to mastery by another. Sometimes the best option is a modification that takes into account both extremes. Life is such a fluid and dynamically changing enterprise and as such requires constant adjustments which we can trust ourselves to accomplish. The notion that someone we love is heading down a spurious path without any knowledge of it is always wrong. In reality, the person suffering always knows they are suffering but has not yet come upon a solution for it. In such cases, our advice serves only as confirmation of a reality the sufferer is already experiencing. We serve our fellow man more by helping to reestablish his trust himself than in offering endless ways in which he might finally escape from his plight. In the end, it’s not until a person’s trust in their own capacity to make good choices is restored, will they be finally able to recover themselves from the snare. Relearn to trust thyself.

There is no stopping the man or the woman that finally begins to trust themselves and their assertions. Such a creature is a magnificent spectacle, confidently striding through life assured and clear and focused. Such a creature is the epitome of God’s creation, created by God to live with God and for God, assured of God’s working in his or her own soul in every situation and circumstance. Everyone admires a resolute man, even if he is wrong. There is no profit in skulking through life terrified of making a wrong choice; afraid of your own feelings; doubting your every inclination and idea. Instead, stand up and be counted. Take your place in the world on equal footing with all around you. Make your own decisions and make your own choices. Choose what you know, the best you know, when you know and stick with it. If you are wrong, you will also know. But, along that path you will have done resolutely and courageously and with that garnered the spoils of victory and success. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” (RWE) Trust thyself!

Just some good thoughts…

The Ultimate Rap Battle


artworks-000283353062-uhjnbx-t500x500Did you know that there is a battle going on every day inside your head? Your mind is the arena and your thoughts determine both your success and your failure. If you have learned not to pay much attention to your thoughts, you’ll find yourself troubled, anxious and not at rest. You won’t know why it is occurring but you will feel the effects thereof. Conversely, if you take on the challenge and learn to control your thoughts, blessedness will follow like the sunset after a lovely day. The battle goes on every single day and continues to happen whether you or I like it or not. Will you learn how to win the ultimate rap battle inside or will you continue to be blown around from pillar to post, up one day and down the next? The decision rests squarely with you…

You cannot begin to learn how to control your thoughts until you first become willing to pay attention to your thoughts. Thoughts encompass so much more than you may have imagined. Ultimately, those things you run through your mind and continue to run through your mind form the basis of who you are, what you will believe and how you will behave in life’s situations. They are the precursor to both the good and the bad things that happen in your life. Your thoughts are that important! Yet, you may have noticed how infrequently anyone has even discussed this with you, let alone suggested why you should learn how to control your thoughts. For most folks, thoughts are a part of being a human being, but have no impact beyond that in relation to their lives. They feel sad and unhappy, unfulfilled and restless, afraid and powerless, yet fail to connect those feelings with the thoughts they knowingly or unknowingly entertain. In our current age, people are literally besieged with perpetual anxiety about everything and everyone, yet cannot discern the endless stream of negativity they listen to and then cleave onto in their minds. They run the dreadful possibilities and concerns of life through their minds over and over and over again, then balk at feelings of anxiety and unrest. They have failed to connect the dots between the thoughts they are considering and the feelings they are experiencing. In this they are losing the battle in their minds. They pray to God for help and guidance, yet refuse to change their thoughts. In ignorance, they allow evil access to their minds and reap the results thereof.

Thoughts produce feelings and long held thoughts turn into beliefs. Beliefs have a profound impact in producing a blessed life and a miserable life, with every varying shade in between. When you let your mind go or just run wild, the result isn’t neutral, it is negative. It is not functioning within a vacuum without influences from outside sources. The adversary of mankind works tirelessly to get you involved in erroneous or wrong lines of thought. He assaults your mind through any means accessible in order to bring you to a predictable end result and he has been honing his craft for thousands of years. Doubts turn into worries and worries turn into fears. Fear, when allowed regular access, brings man to ruin. There is a reason “fear not” is the number one admonition in the Bible. Fear, like all wrong thought, must be rigorously excluded. You eradicate it by your abject refusal of it. No-one has ever overcome fear by continuing to grapple with it in their mind. The wrestling involved is the object of the game; deftly designed ahead of time to defeat you. All erroneous thoughts must be defeated in this manner. Whether you be plagued with guilt or unworthiness or condemnation, you won’t get past it by rehearsing it in your mind. The object of the contest is to get you to rehearse it. Then, if you really want to bring people down to a life of defeat, get them so trained and so accustomed to think negatively that they continue the process on their own from the depths of their own hearts. That is how you lose in the ultimate rap battle.

In order to win at the game of life, you have to first win in your thoughts. You have to learn what and how to think. You have to be able to pay attention to what you are saying to yourself and when necessary, change it. You have to begin detecting those subtle jabs being launched in your direction and consciously change them; the sooner the better. The thoughts that run through your mind concerning your inadequacies, your shortcomings, your past mistakes and blunders, do not originate with God, no matter what some nice fellow may have told you. Even human parents know that you cannot make a child do better by constantly pointing out what is wrong with him or her. Doing so only serves to break the child. Instead successful parents know they have to look past the rough spots and build upon the strong parts in order to help the child succeed. You can be assured those critical, nasty thoughts have not come to you from God! They come from an opponent that is hell bent on breaking you. They originate with the accuser of mankind. Once you understand what thoughts come from God and what thoughts come from your opponent, you can do a better job at deciding what you will and will not think about.

Controlling your thoughts is no harder than thinking a thought. It is not a question of your mental prowess or discipline of will. It rests simply with your own personal decisions about what you will accept and what you will reject. It is certainly not represented by some type of mysterious dream state where you walk around all day thinking about rainbows and unicorns, afraid of any negative that may come up. Instead, it is a willingness to take on any mental negatives that may come up and being willing to fight them until they depart! At some point, like your daddy taught you, you have to fight back! You have to challenge wrong thoughts, critical thoughts, long held wrong beliefs (where do you think those beliefs started?). You have to say to yourself, that is not who I am! You have to stop thinking of yourself as less than others, not deserving of good things, fraudulent or whatever other garbage the enemy throws at you! Those limiting wrong beliefs concerning yourself have been stealing away your life for years and years. Something doesn’t become true because you thought it a thousand times. It only becomes true when you believe it.

Won’t you join me in learning how to win that rap battle in your mind? Your life will get better and better in direct proportion to how serious you become about controlling your thoughts. Oh, you are going to fail and lose track and need to be reminded often, but once you get it, you get it, if you know what I mean? Begin by simply paying attention to what you are telling yourself or what conclusions you are drawing about your life. When you feel agitated and distressed, which is ALWAYS a sign that error is afoot, think about what you have been thinking about. What are you holding onto inside? What fears are you consciously entertaining or grappling with? What guilt or error awareness is claiming the top spot in your thinking? What criticisms are you not refuting? You are not evil, your opponent is!

I hope you win that great rap battle in your own mind and while you are winning, help someone else.

Just some good thoughts…

Happiness and What You Might Be Doing to Eff’ It Up…


Ahhh happiness, the most talked about feeling in the whole world! Yet, for all that is inked regarding the subject, there is one thing that leads to its discovery and that one thing is you. Is happiness eluding you? Are your happy moments few and far between? Are you only truly happy when the circumstances line up perfectly? Can you even remember the last time you were happy? The answer to the questions is found within your own mind and within your own mind alone… Are you effing up your own happiness?

Happiness, substitute the word blessed if you’re a believer, is such a simple concept and its attainment is always found within your grasp. Life doesn’t make you happy, you make you happy. Favorable circumstances don’t make you happy, you have already decided which circumstances make you happy. Material riches don’t lead to happiness unless you have decided that they do. Happiness is not a mental state to be sought after, but a decision you are making every moment of every day. Even our great God cannot make you happy without your full consent! When you are unhappy, chances are you are doing something in your mind to eff it up.

Why, if happiness is so vitally important to us, would we consciously screw it up? Well, it’s not so much a conscious decision as it is learned behaviors; learned ways of thinking we have unconsciously been programmed to adopt. Something somewhere is ever at work to steal away your happiness. Someone, unscrupulously scheming, behind the scenes, has been tirelessly chipping away at you day after day and night after night. He seeks to define your narratives. He, with help from the world’s media machine, adeptly puts a spin on your perspective. He (or it) falsely outlines which conditions produce happiness and then makes sure you cannot meet those conditions. (You can never meet the conditions because the conditions are always a lie; a false portrayal.) You are not alone in your conundrum because what you are facing is the human condition, absent the truth. You are on a universal journey where how you vote determines the election. If you don’t choose, the choice will be made for you. You eff up your happiness by allowing something or someone else to dictate the conditions!

Happiness is always very personal in nature. What leads to your happiness won’t necessarily lead to my happiness, though the mechanics of being happy are the same. The world; the systems of the world will always lead you down the rabbit hole. You end up chasing not what makes you happy, but what someone else says will make you happy. The amount of money you need to be happy will always be a little more than what you have. Instead of finding happiness in your relationship, there will always be something missing; something you wish you had; some trait you find less than perfect; something that informs you that you don’t get to be happy yet. You can apply this formula in finding happiness to every aspect of your life. Notice carefully how there will always be some condition that isn’t quite fulfilled; some destination to get to; some missing piece, which craftily informs your mind that you are not allowed to be happy yet! Please read that sentence again! You are waiting to be happy. You are waiting for conditions to line up. You are waiting for something that finally gives you permission to be happy. But, the only one impeding your happiness is you…waiting. You’re effing up your own happiness by waiting for something else to produce it for you.

When it comes to happiness, it is something you must decide for yourself. Decide to be happy now, not just on the weekend. Decide to be happy at work. Decide to be happy in your relationship and behave as someone who is happy. Stop waiting for the future when conditions are right and you have everything you ever wanted. Look, you may one day have everything you ever wanted, but a lot of living will have transpired in the interim while you were waiting. Happiness in life is found in the journey, not the destination. Happiness is found not absent any challenges, but in overcoming the challenges. Happiness comes from controlling your thinking and refusing everything that confronts or challenges that happiness. Stop measuring yourself against impossible standards and enjoy your life. You are what you are today, the good and the bad, so you may as well make peace with yourself and live. Each day time slips away and your opportunities for happiness diminish as your time on Earth diminishes. Cherish what you have and where you are today. Hug your children. Spoil your grandkids. Kiss your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. Love the unlovable and help the folks who need the most help. Give your life your all with no holdbacks! Life is a treasure with happiness infused in the creation, if you are willing to see it! You may just be effing up your happiness by what you are refusing to see…

God, the source of all possible love and goodness, created human life with one grand intention, that His children would be happy. (If you’re a parent, you know how that feels!) So let Him show you what life and happiness is all about. You were not designed to figure everything out on your own! You were not built to pack around a world of worries and cares. It was never intended that you try to do life by your own human logic. Instead you were made to live with Him as your Daddy, casting all your problems on to Him. Then, after having done that, relax and enjoy your life! Allow yourself to be happy today and just trust Him to take care of everything in between. Allow yourself to be happy, today, right effin now!

Don’t eff it up! (smile) I love you…

Just some good thoughts…

Anxious for Nothing…


There’s a thing going around in the world today called anxiety and almost everybody has it in one capacity or another. The question isn’t whether or not anxiety exists, but rather can you do anything about it. Feeling anxious and troubled is not just a normal part of life, but instead is a learned behavior. You may never find yourself completely free from anxiety’s assaults, but you can learn how to overcome it and its effects over your life. Be anxious for nothing!

It likely seems incredulous to you that you could live today without any anxiety about anything. Imagine getting to a place where feeling anxious was the exception rather than the rule. Anxiety in its lowest common denominator is fear. However, it’s not an overt fear that is in your face threatening you with some negative outcome. Instead it is a hidden, veiled fear. It is fear misplaced. It’s a foreboding feeling of doom based on nothing you can put your finger on. It is feeling unsettled or uncomfortable with something, somewhere, somehow. At best it is unpleasant and people do all kinds of things to minimize its effects. Anxiety leads to avoidance and procrastination. Anxiety, the child of fear, promotes inaction! Anxiety suggests it is better to do nothing about something that is troubling you rather than to take it on. Anxiety presumes defeat or hardship in advance and proclaims loss before the contest starts. Anxiety is not the negative result, it is the threat of a negative result. And sadly, for many it is debilitating.  Feeling anxious is “just” a feeling. It’s not a reality, it is a feeling. It is internal dread about something that has been cleverly designed to frighten you. But, like any feeling, it can be overcome similar to boredom, discouragement or any other feeling that we wish to avoid at all costs.

If you were to carefully and thoughtfully trace back your thoughts that led to anxiety, working though the layers and the subtle promptings; the pieced together misinformation; the false connections and associations, you would see it for what it really is – a lie. It doesn’t seem untrue because of how you feel when you experience it. It can be very, very convincing. But, it isn’t pointing to some pending reality heading your direction. It is highlighting something you have let go. Anxious feelings are always an indicator of something you have let go. The first step in overcoming anxiety isn’t to dig through the confused spaghetti bowl of feelings and sensations. It is to confront the negative possibility the first time it shows up! By the time you are experiencing anxiety, the seeds have long since been planted. It happened long before you started feeling anxious! In the midst of anxiety, you have to ride it out; changing your thinking with perseverance until your feelings catch up. We are so schooled to revere our feelings that we accept them as truth rather than as indicators. Anxious feelings communicate that you have let something go.

The cure for anxiety is action. Take action on whatever it is you are letting go! What’s the point of all of that thinking and analysis if you aren’t going to do anything about it? You can think yourself into a full on panic attack! What things in your life are you ignoring? What do you need to handle that you have been putting off? And, why the hell are you putting it off? It will not go away on its own… Take it on! Solve it. Try to solve it. Bring it up. Handle it. Be honest with yourself! Be honest with other people. Take the time to get “it” fixed. Resolve it in your own mind. Answer the damn question once and for all. Quit drifting. Stop putting up with it. Cease waiting around for something that isn’t going to happen. Put an end to endless prayers that have no action on your part involved. Get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Have the conversation you have been avoiding. Make a move. Pay the bill. Look for the job. Go to the doctor. Do something! Otherwise, you will find yourself living in a riddle that will never be solved on its own. You don’t have to know what to do already. But, you do have to do something!

It is not God’s will for you to be anxious all the time or for that matter anytime… God, His Word, His love is the only real lasting solution to your anxiety. Look, life is big and chock full of scary shit! There are a multitude of things that could go wrong. You and your human mind are no match for what you are really up against. You are not smart enough or strong enough to measure up to the fight! You will not be able to reason or logic your way out of the potential downfalls. You won’t be able to do it. As long as you think your victory is all on you, you are guaranteed to lose. God did not design life that way. You can’t pull up enough bootstraps to get the job done! The solution, the best solution for anxiety is to stop trying so hard to figure it all out and give all of that crap to God to figure out. Just hand it over. Tell him about your situation (that He already knows about) and leave it with him to solve. Then, get busy living and doing and taking actions. 90% of your defeat lies within your persistent consideration of the dreadful outcome. Read that sentence again! Your problem isn’t what is going to happen, your problem is what you think (fear) is going to happen! Hand it over and make some moves. What is the worst that could happen? Have you ever met anyone that worried themselves out of their problems? Be anxious for nothing (no thing), but in everything (every thing) let your requests be made known unto Him (God) and enjoy the wonderful peace that follows!

Be anxious for nothing. That is living your best life…

Just some good thoughts…

Turn Your Focus Outward…


With so many people engaged in the pursuit of happiness, there is one principle that is absolutely sure. When your focus is yourself, you end up looking at yourself, dwelling on yourself, evaluating yourself and comparing yourself to others. And, the happiness you so ardently sought slips away imperceptibly, leaving you alone with yourself and miserable. When your focus is for others and what you can do to help them, your own happiness follows like your own shadow sure…

One of the greatest dichotomies in life is that when you seek yourself, your own self loses out. The more you study yourself, evaluate yourself and look within, the more you see your flaws, your imperfections, your foibles and your foolishness. And, in so doing, your confidence in yourself falters. Your focus is wrong. You’ve been tricked into trying to do what you need to do to be happy, not realizing that true happiness is found in what you can do for someone else. This is not to say that you cannot have dreams and goals or that you cannot pay attention to getting your own needs met, but rather, those things cannot be allowed to occupy your entire focus.

God’s grand design of life is very simple. He envisioned that you would rely on Him to supply all of your needs. In so doing and so trusting, you would be free to help your fellow man. The error behind self-focus is that you become the center of your own life and as such have to find out how to meet all of your own needs. You have to foolishly take on the role of being the God of your own life, minus all of the power, ability and love. Add to that not being able to see the future and you’ll find yourself in a precarious position. You want to be happy and Lord knows it has been a major focus in your life, so it behooves you try something new. Turn your focus outward…

Most Christians, and I do mean most Christians, find themselves in this situation, though by very different means. The believer has a heart for God and as such wants to do the things that please Him. However, they fail to recognize their spiritual opponent, also called the accuser, who accuses them night and day. In that accusation, he reminds them of God’s perfection and His perfect Word and then how they aren’t living up to that Word. He boldly and subtly points out their imperfections and where they come up short. And, instead of remembering to live their lives according to the accomplishments of another man (Jesus Christ) they try in vain to measure up on their own. They forget the “finished” work of Jesus Christ and add their own works of righteousness to be righteous before God. And, the harder they try, the more they come up short. They end up living their lives in perpetual condemnation, striving day by day to make their imperfect flesh perfect before Him. They cannot live for even five minutes without thinking about something they did wrong. Unknown to them, their focus is turned inward more and more, day by day, as they grow weaker and more miserable. They painfully recount all of their past moments, dwelling in and living out every failure, every misstep, every fault. Their solution isn’t more striving to be good, but rather to accept their Savior’s work; get out of their own head and help somebody else.

Have you ever noticed that the more you turn your focus inward, the more troubles you find? The longer you focus on something not working right in your body, the more negative things appear to focus on. The more you dwell on yourself, your situation, your life, the more your mind fills with petty worries and injuries and slights. The harder you press to get your own needs met, the more unmet needs you discover. But conversely, the less attention you pay to the so-called ills in your body, the better your body feels. The less you dwell on yourself and what you don’t have in your life or haven’t accomplished or haven’t yet acquired, the more things you have to be thankful for; the more you can accomplish, the more abundance flows in your direction. Life was not intended as a contest for you to get all of your own needs met, but rather an opportunity to help others get all of their needs met, ending in not only your own needs being supplied abundantly, but a sublime sense of happiness that does not go away!

You, my weary friend, must learn how to get the focus off yourself and onto other people. Listen with your heart to what people are saying to you. Understand how they communicate their pain and find ways to alleviate that pain. Ask yourself what you can do to help them or make their life a little easier. Offer them good words and hope and encouragement and love. Give them your whole, undivided self with nothing held in reserve for yourself. Bless them and be willing to make your own needs secondary and see if our great God will not only bless you with abundance, but with a peace and enduring sense of love and joy that never fails. Turn your focus outward and see how quickly things turn around 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…

 

Get Honest and Get Answers!


14533-woman-fake-smile-mask-happy-sad-wide.1200w.tnI have never been a big fan of going to the doctor. I suppose I don’t like my fate resting in the words or expectations of a medical provider. Yet, when I find myself at the doctor’s office, chances are I have some medical malady that is not going away on its own. I’ve probably already diagnosed myself  with several incurable diseases compliments of WebMD and decided in desperation to give the local Doc a try. I’m looking for good news so I agree to disclose only 30% of my symptoms. “Just say the right words Doc and I will be out of here!”

The aforementioned scenario, though silly, approximates how humans deal with their lives when fear is involved. Fear stops people from being honest. Fear predicts a dreadful outcome so the less a matter is discussed, the better! Fear stops you from getting the results you desire. Fear hides out in your thinking and prefers to remain hidden through a myriad of distracting variables. Fear does not wish for you to finally get honest with yourself because it knows when you do, you will be well on your way to finding solutions. But, get honest you must!

This is going to sound like a crazy thing to ask, but when was the last time you were completely honest with yourself? I’m talking take your shoes off, loosen your belt, lay it all out honest! When was the last time you admitted to yourself that something was actually wrong with your life and needed to be repaired? When’s the last time you told that great doctor of your own soul ALL of your symptoms without fear of what it might mean for your life? No-one is a greater fan of positivity than your’s truly, but that doesn’t negate the need to acknowledge when something has gone wrong. If your leg is broken, it’s broken and no ridiculous amount of a good attitude is going to fuse the bones back together.

A common method of thinking nowadays seems to encompass the notion that if you are being positive, you cannot give space to anything negative occurring in your life. This seems especially true for the believers. It’s as if acknowledging something has gone astray means you are no longer renewing your mind to be a positive person. Well, here’s a shocker, believers aren’t instructed to change every negative thought to a positive thought. They are admonished to renew their minds to what the Word says is true. Negative things are absolutely going to happen to you. You are going to be deceived off course. You are going to find yourself pushed and pulled in various directions. At some point you might even discover that your life is totally sucking right now and you are in desperate need of some divine guidance! That’s life folks, and to think otherwise is not being honest with yourself! You are not going to get better until you can finally get honest with yourself once again…

Where in the world did you ever get the idea that admitting something is wrong is some kind of testimony or predictor of the future? Unless I’m missing something, every aspect of life has the potential to go wrong at times. It’s not whether or not you ever get off course. Success is in recognizing you’re off course and getting back on track. Your life; your one short go round is immeasurably important for you. Who convinced you that your own personal happiness isn’t worth a discussion, or that you have to smile about everything no matter what? Honesty expects a change. Honesty demands a different result. Honesty lays the damn issues out there no matter how they look and keeps them out there until something positive enters the picture to remedy the situation. People are so desperate for an answer that makes sense; one that fills the void in their hearts, that they resort to all kinds of distractions to avoid the pain. Some drink to excess. Others fill their lives with a never-ending stream of activities. Some seek the perpetual mind loading of social media. For others it’s an escape to drugs or sex or anything powerful enough to numb the reality of unhappiness down at the heart level. The solution? Get honest with yourself!

Our fast paced world of today doesn’t have time for your problems. When asked how you are doing, you must reply with “fine” as anything further takes too much time! We’ve been arm-twisted into thinking our personal issues are selfish and to spend time discussing them with anyone is an “all about me” attitude. How difficult it becomes to pretend you always have it together and have need of nothing else. How absurd it is to ask people to serve and to help others when they are all bogged down, submerged in some personal dilemma! People today, more than ever, needs answers to the difficulties going on in their lives. They need a little light to shine in on their darkness. But before that can happen, someone has to admit to having a little darkness! Be honest folks…

I find myself at times playing the same little shenanigans with God that I play in the doctor’s office. Twenty or thirty seconds into a discussion with God about some grating issue, I quickly chastise myself for not thinking properly and then change my mind into everything is okay mode, while my leg remains obviously broken. If my leg is broken I don’t need a frikkin pep talk, I need for my leg to be healed! If something isn’t right in your life, you don’t need to just decide to be happy, you need the mother&*%*(ng answer! Haha there’s always an answer; a solution if God is involved! Your job is to be honest with Him and lay it all out there. He sees through our bullcrap anyway, so it makes perfect sense!

Most of us have been talked into letting things go and concluding that is just how life is… Well, that’s not how life is and the moment you quit settling for garbage or hand me downs and start expecting the best, the sooner it is going to arrive. Be brutally honest with yourself and with God. Call a thing a thing (thanks Iyanla)! You have absolutely nothing to lose except fear. If you are suffering in some capacity or feel stuck and trapped, know this, God is never stuck and has the life you’ve been waiting too long for and is most willing to share it with you. That is if you can step down off the pedestal of “I already know” and ask for a little help. Be honest my friends and live the life you still dream of living…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Find Your Wings…by Trusting Yourself!


images-of-doves-1-white-flying-doveIt’s interesting to think that all of the famous or successful people you admire, be they a literary great, superstar performer, outstanding business person or even the President of the United States, all began somewhere. Maybe you read Shakespeare or Emerson with sublime admiration in your eyes. But remember, there was a time when Shakespeare and Emerson were just like you and me, beginners hastily penning their ideas into a journal at the dusty old library someplace. The reason these highly esteemed folk became so successful is that they learned to trust themselves. If you are ever going to discover your own wings, you have to learn to trust yourself.

The problem with our age it seems, is that people have become so unoriginal. It’s like someone put out a broadcast announcing that all of the things one may do, have already been done, so get on board someone else’s train and figure out where you fit! And even worse, people have learned not to question anymore. Attach an authority figure or better a scientific study and the whole world digests it as true without even giving it a second thought. The mass media machine has inundated us with so much information, that we feel we already know the answer before the question is even posed. And most dastardly of all, we’ve learned to trust what the vulgar crowd says over the still small voice within our hearts.

You, my friend, were designed to be an original. Observe nature and see if you can find any two things alike. You are unique in every sense of the word! So why should you trouble yourself so shamefully day by day for not fitting in with the organization of things? A society is made up of individuals and needs the best it can gather from each of them. A society that exists for the society is headed for disaster as group (mob) rule is always infused with danger. You don’t need a government or a celebrity or even your family to tell you what to think! Sure, you listen to advice, but then you must think for yourself. What should I be doing? Where should I be going? What do I have to offer to the world? These are the only questions that matter. The reason so many people are drifting along bored and unfulfilled is because they are busy living someone else’s dream!

Most of us shun our own insights because we have been herded and prodded to do so. Then, as Emerson aptly predicted, “Tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.”  We only half believe ourselves and that only half the time. We apply a strange method of thinking someone else always knows what is best for us, better than ourselves. Who should know more than I what is my duty; my obligations? Yet therein we travel down pathways and alleys seeking the happiness that someone else has promised us we’ll find there. You alone, in your heart always know what to do and what not to do. You are conspicuously aware of what causes you both delight and shame.

Though there be a thousand reasons why you distrust yourself, every one of them is a thinly clad veil for fear. If you are honest, (and who would choose to be dishonest with themselves?), the only thing that ever stopped a man from acting upon something he knows, is fear. And what great supremacy fear holds over the mind of man today! Fear whips you in line and threatens you with catastrophe for daring to step out of line! Fear drains the vivid colors out of men and makes them all grey-scale. Fear crushes your lofty dreams and orders you to settle for the status quo. Yet, fear is mastered in a moment of time when you choose to act upon what you and you alone do know.

Each person living in the world has his particular gift to offer the world. And though time is required for its development, it is there; it must be there, as all of God’s creation is never without purpose. To compare your purpose with my purpose is like expecting a salty taste from sugar. Salt is salt and sugar is sugar, and both are required according to taste; with a million variations therein. Thus your purpose must meet a need no other person can quite fill, else were all men the same and drudgery would overtake the planet. You find out your purpose by focusing in on your delights. When I read Emerson my heart doesn’t quite know what to do, but when my wife listens to him, most words offer her no meaningful impact. What is it that passionately interests you? What thing, when done by you, is without effort and that for which time stands still? In that thing are your wings, though they still exist in embryonic form.

It’s been said that if you find whatever it is you love to do and do it, you will never work another day in your life. I would expand that to say that if you find what you love to do and do it, you will be joyfully living the life God has personally called you to live. Your age doesn’t matter. Your circumstances don’t matter. How you’ve lived your up to this point doesn’t matter. What matters is that you pursue, with all that you are, your grand, unique purpose. And, that purpose will never appear written in cloud-like ink across the sky or be chanted by the convulsing masses. It won’t be written by the finger of God on your wall. Instead, it will show itself in your interests; in those things you cannot get enough of; in the quiet, silent, tender regions of your heart from whence the still small voice gently urges, go this way my wonderful son; head that way my beautiful daughter…

You owe yourself the courage to stand up and masterfully take your place in this life.

“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

Just some good thoughts…

 

Why is Life So Hard?


Life-is-Really-SimpleI just sat down to write a little blog in the comfort of my living room. I poured myself a nice glass of Cabernet and stared at the screen wondering what to write. Just then my son Chris popped in and in a moment of impulse launched a pillow into the table that formerly housed my wine glass, shattering the glass and splattering red wine on the recliner, the brand new upholstered, khaki colored dining room chair and the white cloth lamp shade. We did our best to clean up the mess, including locating all of the glass. It seems the chairs are fine, but the lampshade may have suffered a fatal loss! And in that frenetic moment it came to me, why is life so hard, or maybe, is it really hard?

Maybe us humans make the mistake of assigning meaning to things that have no meaning and focusing on the material things while never really regarding the vital and necessary things. Maybe we have been deluded into putting such high importance on our stuff; maintaining our stuff and getting new stuff and neglecting those parts of life that have true meaning. As a functioning and ambitious member of the rat race, I like to be somewhere near the front of the line. Oh I don’t do it on purpose mind you, but this old world sucks me in at times. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s something else but I like my things to be a certain way. I clean, I organize (Lord knows I organize) and I get indignant when someone dares to mess up my stuff. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your stuff, in fact it is a quality, but sometimes the people should come before your stuff. Is that a justification for pillow slinging? Of course not! But maybe, just maybe, my obsession with stuff takes precedence over the people and when that occurs, I may have missed the mark! I’m sure when I’m on my death-bed I’d rather have Chris there than all of the upholstered chairs and lamps in the world! Why is life so hard? Well, sometimes it seems hard because you are focusing on the wrong stuff!

If you lived any amount of time on earth you are well aware of the many challenges and pitfalls that are right around the corner waiting for you. Life can seem to be real scary. There’s a multitude of things that can go wrong at any time. Oh sure, you plan and prepare and do your best, yet still things go south on you and before you can even recognize it, you find yourself faced with stress producing situations. You just want to control what you can and, by God, you do your utmost. Yet, they still appear. Hopefully somewhere along the line it finally dawns on you that you just cannot control everything. And, I’m loathe to admit, you really control an infinitesimal amount of stuff. Take, for example, your adult children (yes, this includes Chris). When they were little it was duck soup. You watched over them like a hawk and decided exactly what they did and when. Now, however, you are no longer in control. You see them heading south (no, not Chris) and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. You have to rely on them to make good choices and like you when you were their age, they don’t always choose right. You don’t want them to suffer but they will and in that suffering sometimes learn a thing or two. Why is life so hard? Often it gets hard when you’re trying to control things you cannot control.

Now comes perhaps the greatest single factor in making life seem so hard. Recently I attended a birthday party for one of my closest friends. I was sitting next to another old friend and proceeded to lament about this and that and how I so wanted this to happen and wouldn’t it be great if that happened etc. In his one of kind manner he quietly commented, “Isn’t that God’s job…” There in 5 words or less was the answer to all of life’s apparent complexities! Life is hard because you and I are busying ourselves into oblivion trying to do God’s job while neglecting our own job, namely trusting Him. We are so smart, ya know? So smart, in fact, that we have become experts in what oughta happen and dumb dumbs in regard to how things really happen. Life, absent a true belief in God’s abiding goodness, is frightfully hard. You can figure it out, you say? No you can’t! The proof of that? Your thinking that life is hard! It’s hard because you are determined to do it all by yourself.   You think, I don’t need God, I will just make a lot of money. Well, the money you made comes from God whether you ever choose to acknowledge it or not! He is just that good! The trouble is that the same world that has you wrongly focused on your stuff and trying to control everything yourself is also extremely persistent in talking you out of who God is! If you knew who He really is and what He really does you would never have the audacity to utter that life is hard. Yes, you would face your share of challenges and even maybe more than your share, but in the end you would have still overcome because Gods job is to teach you how to overcome!

Life is hard my friends, but only because you’ve been talked into trusting in yourself and not in the One that made you! Stuff gets messed up; new stuff is always out there; you want to control everything but cannot control hardly anything; you’re tired and frustrated and anxious and afraid, yet amidst all that you can learn who God is and in a moment of time change your mind and realize, life isn’t really hard but instead it is my heart that has gotten hard. Ask God to teach you something new and in the process enjoy that new, tender heart He will give you! You can bet your entire, hard life on that one!

Just some good thoughts…