The Wilderness Walk…


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I believe that all people embarking on their spiritual journey through life can relate to the wilderness walk at times going from bondage and suffering to freedom and happiness. The wilderness walk refers to those periods in our lives where we wander about lost and confused, lacking clear direction on the way in which we should go. And, although the promised land may be much closer than we imagine, we can spend inordinate amounts of time, even lifetimes, walking in circles, continuing with our own attempts at finding happiness and generally trying to figure life out on our own. The wilderness walk is extremely difficult and painful and leaves us worse off rather than better, robbing us of years of valuable time to live and enjoy our lives. Are you on a wilderness walk in your life? Are you tired of expending tremendous effort with very little results to show for it?  Have you finally arrived at the place where you recognize that what you have been doing isn’t working and need to do something different? Maybe it’s time to find the promised land.

I realize fully what can happen to a man or a woman on their journey through life as I have experienced it for myself. I know how hard it can be to go from happiness and freedom to bondage and suffering. And, as I look back on those arduous days, those trying times of frustration and defeat, it becomes readily apparent that the reason it happens is because somewhere, somehow, we have been deceived into practicing error. Error is a particularly tricky animal in that once we are engaged it we often do not recognize it for what it is. If our trajectory is altered ever so slightly, we find ourselves miles from our desired destination. And usually it happens because we have developed error in our logic and are thinking and doing things that we think will help us, but instead lead us further down the rabbit hole. The harder we try, the more we fail, not because God doesn’t love us anymore or has abandoned us, but because we are no longer thinking properly and subsequently no longer believing rightly. Right believing leads to right results. Wrong believing, no matter how sincere or draped in error, leads to wrong results.

The reason anyone gets into bondage is because something or someone has made them a slave. When you are a slave, you are no longer free to do as you please, but instead have become subjected to requirements you must fulfill in order to be okay. Religion is like this. Religion tells you things you must do in order to be approved by God. Because you want to please God, you willingly go along with it not realizing or being clear on what God actually asks for you to do. Many times, the things people say God expects from you are wholly different than anything recorded in the Word of God. Yet, religion maintains they are truth. Bondage enters in when you have, unbeknownst to you, become a slave needing to fulfill certain requirements for God to love you or protect you. The first clue to the error behind the scheme is whenever you feel compelled to do things or feel required to do things for God. I can assure you, God does not want you to do anything you do not want to do, much like you do not want your children to obey you out of necessity. Once you get on this track you have officially entered the wilderness and things won’t get better until you break free from the taskmaster behind it, masquerading as God. God does not want your empty behaviors or your false subjection, He wants your heart. He is not the one judging you, condemning you or accusing you, though many report otherwise. Once you accept the sacrifice of God’s only begotten son for you, you will never enter into judgment from God, both now and in the future. Knowing this sets you free and allows you to enter the promised land.

You and I, by our good works and discipline, can never make ourselves good enough to deserve God’s goodness in our lives. No one can. God’s goodness in our lives comes as a result of His grace, His unearned, unmerited divine favor towards us. The righteousness of God is something God gave to us as a free gift. We didn’t earn it, we believed unto it. We believe that God gave His son for us, the perfect for the imperfect. God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. In the life of His son, God covered and paid for every stupid thing we ever did in our lives. And in that sacrifice, we are free. Whenever and wherever we attempt to add to that by good works or rules and regulations, we fall from grace, leave the promised land and go right back into bondage. We subject ourselves again to the wicked taskmaster, hell bent on ruining our lives. And, because our attempts are based in error, we cannot attain that for which we seek, though we kill ourselves in the trying. Bondage is slavery and God has set us free.

No matter where you are in the journey of life, suffering and misery exist for one sole purpose, to inform you that something is wrong. Like a pain in your body alerts you to a problem, pain in your soul; a lack of enthusiasm and energy; depression and heartache are alerting you that something has gone wrong for you, something is amiss, you are believing and accepting things that are not true. And like those believers wandering in the wilderness for many years, you need for God to lead you in the way that you should go. God desires for you to get to the promised land and He knows the way. Religion is not the way. Anything you do out of fear and obligation is not the way. Once you begin to believe properly and adjust your thinking accordingly, you will find the things that have long held you down will melt away leaving you free to experience, free to live and free to serve. God has already set you free, if you only knew it.

The promised land is the land of milk and honey and it is here for you today. You have wandered and suffered long enough, haven’t you? You have already proven to yourself that what you have been doing and believing is not working for you. You know there is something better for you and you are not wrong in thinking that. Oh how good it feels when you finally escape from bondage and return to that place of absolute freedom where God is… Absent your good works and human efforts. The wilderness walk has no more place in your life because you have been made free. Simply learn to accept what God has done for you.

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…

Deceived…


The problem with being deceived is that you do not know you have been deceived! At its core, in order for any deception to be effective, the person subject to the deception has to remain unaware of the deception. There’s little profit in informing someone they have been deceived because in their deception they usually don’t believe you anyway. So why bother discussing such a subject given that there’s so little return on your investment? The point is that the deception only lasts as long as there is no information exposing the deception for what it is. This is the exposure. Have you been deceived? Probably!

As I’ve penned many times before, life is spiritual at its base. Spiritual verities, though often referred to and lauded, are typically misunderstood. They are misunderstood because man needs a standard of truth outside of his own reasoning to separate truth from error. Absent any standard of truth, man is ripe for deception. God does not say that His people are destroyed because they have a spiritual enemy. He says His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. It isn’t what man knows that defeats him, it is what he doesn’t know or worse what he thinks he knows but doesn’t really know that defeats him. Ignorance is never really bliss! No person that begins to dabble with illicit drugs, for example, perceives that there is something evil behind his pursuit. Instead he relies on his feelings and his newfound discovery of an exciting hidden world he wasn’t aware of before. In this new world there is promise of discovery and insight, indeed awareness he never experienced before. His experiences are generally positive and fun and certainly nothing to be concerned about. He assures himself he has got things under control and knows what he is doing, that is until that which he allows begins to show itself for what it really is and usually by then occurs too far down the road to escape. And like a fish trapped on the hook or a bird caught in a snare, by the time the trap becomes painfully apparent, it’s too late. This is the story of life lived by what appears as opposed to life lived by what is actually true.

It has been said that the secret to the adversary’s success is the secrecy of his moves. As a testimony, most folks don’t even believe there is an adversary. They brush it aside as religious fantasy, all the while being sorely pricked and assaulted by that same source. They fail to see that the life they live is influenced by two sources, one good and one evil. One source promises life, life lived more than abundantly in every regard. One source seeks only to steal, to kill and to destroy. One source encourages and enhances life. The other source diminishes and hinders and thwarts life. Every problem you have ever had, small and great, minor and major, inconsequential and catastrophic comes from one source. Every sickness, every disease, every life cut short, every life lived in bondage, every torture, every war came ultimately from that one evil source. I say that not as a criticism for those suffering or to blame those unjustly victimized and targeted, but as an expose’ and urgent appeal to see things for what they really are. If you are suffering, if you are having a tough time, if you are struggling in any capacity, the source of it is ultimately evil and it is not God’s will for you to live that way! There is a way out, a real source of escape, but it requires that you humble yourself to what God says is true instead of spending your life trying to figure it out on your own. The reason your spiritual opponent gains ascendancy in your life is because you remain ignorant of his devices.

All of us living in this world are subject to the same contest, the same fight. I am not exempt and you are not exempt. I lose the fight sometimes just like you lose the fight sometimes. I get deceived like you get deceived. Being a Christian, indeed a child of God, does not guarantee you will win the fight, ultimately yes, but not necessarily in the day by day. The only way to win the fight is to see through the deceptions and the only way to see through the deceptions is to learn what God says is true in opposition to what the enemy says or portrays as true. The systems of the world are set up and carefully schemed to convince you of things that aren’t true. It doesn’t matter how smart or confident you are, it matters what God says is true. In fact, your spiritual opponent is counting on your own ego to lead you astray. You cannot go by what you think or how you feel or what your parents may have taught you. You cannot depend upon your finite, limited five senses reasonings to discern truth from error. You cannot depend upon your life experiences or your previous successes or failures. You can only depend on one thing and that one thing is the truth of God’s Word.

God invented life and as such knows exactly how it can be lived. Thinking you have to try and just survive life or that life sucks for everyone or that is just the way life is, when it is not good, is to be deceived. With God’s love and help you can solve every problem that ever confronted you or portrayed itself as unsolvable. You can overcome any barrier, every hurdle, all obstacles that ever showed up in your path. You can be healed, restored, uplifted, rejuvenated, revitalized or whatever it is you need to be blessed and to be renewed in your one precious life. It’s not about quoting scriptures and claiming God’s goodness in your life. It’s about seeing and proving it to yourself. It’s about a real and true source of help and answers and solutions. Otherwise, why bother? Lord knows life is too short to live in perpetual defeat!

Have you been deceived in your life? Chances are if you aren’t living blessed and victorious, happy and excited about life, the answer is yes. Don’t stop there however. God is alive and well and chock full of the answers and solutions you need to win against your spiritual opponent. He is just waiting for you to ask.

Just some good thoughts…

Solve Your Anxiety Issues Already…


UnknownLiving in the world today, you have likely been convinced that it is perfectly normal to have anxiety and that it is actually a natural part of life. And, although our overtly negative society has normalized and rationalized the experience, it is completely unnatural and is something you should seek to exterminate each and every time it encroaches on your life. Imagine that something or someone greater than yourself would purposefully design life to be an overly anxious affair and leave you no recourse in overcoming its daily onslaughts and attacks. Well, imagine no further because it simply aint true. Learn to rid yourself of any and all anxiety, code name vague fear, secret name, defeat!

Growing up as a particularly scary individual, I completely acclimatized myself to anxiety and couldn’t have even comprehended what it meant to have true peace. I, like you I suppose, found methods to cope, beginning with whistling, humming and chewing gum as a child, graduating up to self-medicating and other escape seeking behaviors as a young adult. In short, I was running from that feeling; that apprehensive, something is going to go wrong or something is going to get me or what if I end up here or there or some other undesirable destination, feeling… It was never clear enough for me to wrap my mind around it, but it was distinct enough to take away my rest. Then, right in the midst of my ego-driven, perpetual desire to work it out on my own, a nice guy named Jon taught me about God, loved me and introduced me to a class called Power For Abundant Living that changed my life forever.

PFAL, as we affectionately called it, taught me about my number one enemy, fear and how to overcome it with God’s Word. The class showed me the source of fear and anxiety and that it certainly wasn’t something I should embrace or learn to accept in my life. It taught me that I needed to control my thoughts and maybe for the first time in my life, learn how to think properly. And the result was one of the most unusual, odd things I had ever experienced in my life. Suddenly, unexpectedly, my heart was completely at rest and I was experiencing true peace, the kind that surpasses understanding. Wow! There is truly nothing like it in the world. It is the absence of all conflict. It is knowing you have absolutely nothing to fear in any capacity, in any way. It is how human beings were intended to live. In fact, we were supposed to get so accustomed to the peace we enjoyed that any threat to it or any disturbance was immediately detected, so we could act, so we could win.

But sadly, that is not how life works for most people. We live our lives pushed from pillar to post, hurried, exhausted, overworked, overtaxed with outrageous expectations for ourselves that we foolishly call success. Meanwhile our day collapses if we eat a donut for breakfast or miss morning meditations by 6 minutes or aren’t earning six-figure salaries by the time we are 28. There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement but is it ourselves we are improving or some fictitious version of ourselves we got from the Kardashians or Instagram or some other well-known spokesperson for society? We can’t even sit down in the evening to relax without some “don’t waste time” expectation nagging us to get back up. We’ve got work to do, by God, and if we don’t get it all done now some almighty total collapse is looming on the horizon! We work full-time, have work that needs to be accomplished at home after work and work to be handled on the weekend. If we stay in our PJ’s all day on Sunday we feel terrible because we’ve lost valuable yardage in the race of the rats! And you know why we are killing ourselves to get it all done? Because we are afraid! Because we think we must carry the entire load of living on our own backs and every step missed has the potential to spiral our lives into failure! We are party of the first part, party of the second part and party of every damn part in between! We think we are God Himself but instead of enjoying love and peace we are chock full of anxiety! It’s no wonder folks…

Philosophize, self-aggrandize, get more education, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, seek more opinions, more Google searches or more WebMD, you aint going to rid yourself of this persistent malady on your own. You need spiritual truth to combat the abundance of spiritual error. You need to finally concede that God never intended for you to figure it all out for yourself. He never wanted you to drive yourself into a frazzle making sure things always worked out. He only wanted to be party of the first part ensuring all of your second and third part parties worked out. If you’re honest, your anxiety is always related to some fear you have about something that you need or might need in the future. Or, your anxiety is based on some unchangeable, unrepairable mistake from your past that only lives on in your mind and not in actual reality. In both cases you are playing on an away field you cannot prevail on because neither time period presently exists. Anxiety, solely based on the present circumstances, prompts you to make changes, which you are fully able to do. Now, you’re playing at home!

Do yourself a solid and stop being so smart. Accept your limitations like children do and simply ask for what you need. Getting your needs met may involve some work, but good old-fashioned work never made anybody anxious. Cease from trying to carry a world of concerns you were never meant to carry. Stop pretending to be God minus all of the infinite spiritual power and intelligence and ability! In fact, stop pretending to be okay and blowing past that anxiety as if its normal, choosing to use your mouth to ask for assistance instead of using your mouth to ingest or swallow or inhale something to make you feel a little better. You, my friend, owe yourself and your Creator that much, don’t you think?

Just say no to anxiety with just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

 

 

Clarity…


hero-obscurity-and-clarity-03152017I’ve often thought, it’s not an effort thing that holds people back from their pursuit of the things that matter most. We all likely procrastinate and push aside future hopes and dreams for the comforts of the moment. But when we finally wake from our comfortable lethargy, we innately know that we have to move if something good is going to happen for us. We suddenly want to go fast and get there quickly, but we can’t really move fast and get their sooner because we do not know the road ahead. Alas, in life you seldom get to know the road ahead, especially when traveling in unchartered territory; the mysterious place you know you need to get to but you’ve never been there before. Thus what you need most isn’t more effort or energy, directions or more speed! What you need, my friends, is clarity, crystal clear, sharp and vivid – clarity…

Those nagging issues that have been plaguing you for years have likely done so from a lack of clarity. It’s not that you aren’t clear that something is bothering you or distressing you in some fashion, but rather you haven’t taken the time to get clear about what is going on. Some things in life come at you with such subtlety you are scarce aware anything even happened. All you know is that suddenly you feel agitated from an apparently unknown source. That source, though far removed, gains access by the thoughts you are entertaining. Perhaps a family member has intimated something is wrong with you, later vaguely confirmed by a co-worker. Instead of maintaining control of your thought life, you begin to consider what they implied and before you know it you are wrestling with an issue not grounded in reality necessarily, but rather someone’s negative judgment on your life. Thus clarity isn’t about proving yourself to those who would judge you, but instead getting clear on what you have been thinking about and whether or not it is profitable to keep thinking along those lines. I think you may be surprised by how many so-called helpful criticisms are actually grounded in evil, albeit carefully hidden from view.

How many times have you found yourself writing out some goal you would “like” to accomplish that is very familiar because you have been writing it for the past ten years?! Instead of signing up for a motivational seminar or reading yet another book on “feel the something yet do it anyway” clarity begs the question, “Is that goal something you really want to do?” Is the thing important to you and do you really want to do it? Or, more clearly, is the goal something you want to do yet maybe doubt you can do? Or, focused better, is your goal something you are capable of doing yet fear might not be something done well or something that may be criticized by others? Clarity tells you it is your life and all of the choices are yours and yours alone! If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! If you cannot gather up enough excitement to even begin the project, then maybe the project isn’t worth it to you. Wherever you may arrive and whatever conclusion you may draw, just be sure you took the time and made the effort to be very, very clear about the why…

It may interest you to know that truth is always clear and contrary to popular opinion doesn’t hurt! The truth is the starting point for reality. The truth isn’t simply the opposite of a lie, which you can boldly declare when you catch someone in error, i.e. “The truth hurts doesn’t it?” No way! The truth is the absolute reality of a thing; the very essence of what is real. Its polar opposite is error which is always confusing, always muddied, always elusive and hard to pinpoint! When you feel confused or bewildered, error is definitely on the horizon or most likely already a part of the picture. Error strings you along, sometimes for years, chasing after things that aren’t real or do not matter. Error sucks away your time and your life energy! Clarity, on the other hand, cuts through the mud and clarifies the picture. Clarity settles you down and relieves you by revealing the real problems and the true sources of disturbance. Clarity eliminates fear by ridding the mind of the phantoms hiding in the closet.

You may have heard of the truth being referred to as light. Besides coming from a Source that is pure light, truth enlightens and illuminates. The truth sets you free, not by deciding not to lie anymore (how simple-minded is that?), but by revealing error for what it is…error. Once you finally can discern what is going on, you can now free yourself from things that formerly bound you up and defeated you. Clarity comes from the truth and is true. It’s the image at the bottom of the pool not distorted by the water. Clarity is peaceful assurance that comes about when the lights are on and everything is revealed. Walking on a cliff top is only dangerous if it’s dark outside. Otherwise you can see the edge and avoid it!

Your life is worth taking the time to get clear on some things. Your happiness is important enough to decide you are going to track down the cause of the things that perpetually defeat you. There are answers to these dilemmas and just because you don’t know the answer yet doesn’t mean you cannot ever find the solution. Behind every truth in this life is the great Architect of Life and He is more than willing to get you where you need to go if you are serious enough to make the decision!

Choose clarity. Choose life…

Just some good thoughts.

 

Fine Lines of Demarcation…


Drawing a line in the sand.  An old metaphor.“I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly!” exclaimed Jesus while explaining his purpose for mankind. Can you believe it? The reason God sent His son into the world was so that you and I could live a more than abundant life! God’s great promise is a life that is superabundant in every category, every facet and phase! So why do we often find ourselves living a less than abundant life? The answer can be found in the fine lines of demarcation between truth and error.

Error, in order to be believed and practiced, must follow closely alongside the genuine. If the error promoted is too far away from the truth, people will spot it and in most cases go another direction. When you travel you have to move in a certain direction to end up at the right destination. Depending upon how far you have to travel, being off just one degree will cause you to miss your location by a thousand miles. Many people miss the life they wished they could live by a thousand miles.

The truth found in God’s Word provides you with the genuine. The more you can align your life and believing with the genuine, the better results you will experience in your life. But, and its a big but, you have to be very, very, very clear on the doctrine. If you get real close but are off ever so slightly, you will miss the prize at the end. There are forces out there in the world ever working to move you away from the genuine with the goal of steal, kill and destroy. Error steals your happiness, your successes, your results. Error kills your enthusiasm for life while seeking to kill you in the process. Error destroys your accomplishments and potential rewards in the future.

The only way to be assured of the victory is to know what the Good Book says and more specifically, know what it says directly to you. For example the book of Romans, written directly to you, explains how Jesus Christ paid the full price for your sins (your missing the mark) past, present and future. He not only paid for your sins but he also paid for the consequences of those sins. Can you see your more than abundant life alive in those verses? Yet, what does the world teach you? What do the churches teach you? They tell you, you must do “good works” to earn God’s favor in your life. They become adept at condemning you and reminding you where you don’t “measure up.” Oh sure, they agree that Jesus Christ died for your sins, but in the same breath talk about sin, promote sin and laud sin! They ask if you are right with the Lord. They question if you are living your life the right way. But, how could I live my life the wrong way if Jesus Christ paid the price for everything that was ever wrong with me? Can you see the fine lines of demarcation? Can you recognize how the subtlety of wrong doctrine can cause you to spend a lifetime trying to earn something that God already freely and graciously gave to you? Can you discern how your struggle to make yourself right with God leads only to a life that is less than abundant?

Most Christians fail to utilize the power of God because they are still trying to do things that will make themselves right with God! You show me a person operating the power of God in his life and I’ll show you a person who believes who God says he is and has ceased from his own works! In order to get all of the things God says you can get, you have to persuade your mind of the things that God says are true! You have to be damn clear on the doctrine. People aren’t clear on the doctrine because they have drifted away from God’s Word and have been caught up in philosophies and tradition. I don’t blame the people for this, however… If I was taught to associate God with Him evaluating and judging my life, I wouldn’t want to read the book either. I would want nothing to do with that garbage! Yet that pervasive error is the very thing that keeps people from the only book that will actually save them!

It is religion that has done this to people. Religion, ever seeking to exercise control over man, has promoted these wrong doctrines. Religion is ever focused on what man does or doesn’t do. Religion places man at the center of things and blames him for failing to attain. Christianity is just the opposite. Christianity isn’t about what man does, but what God has done for man in Christ! Christianity, true Christianity, makes God its subject of focus. Christianity is God’s solution for a sick and dying world. Christianity is the more than abundant life promised in John 10:10…

I’m not asking you to slap your pastor or go and beat up your priest! Instead I’m asking you dig into that Word of God and see what it says about your life. Read those seven church epistles written directly to you. (Romans – Thessalonians) Stop participating in the good behavior games and learn about the freedom you have in Christ! Learn about all of the wonderful things God has already done for you and made available to you. Find out how to believe rightly and gain access to every good thing you ever wanted for your life! It’s all right there waiting for you folks, as long as you observe those fine lines of demarcation…

Just some good thoughts…

 

The Illusion of the Self-Made Man…


self_made_manPeople living in the world today have a rough go of it. They spend their entire lives in conflict with an adversary they know not of, nor have any means to detect. They have at their fingertips uncountable volumes of information promising techniques, principles and solutions for every problem that could ever surface. There are rules to find happiness; “must do” activities for wellness and tips or clues for optimum prosperity and health. And, the information is so compelling that it supports a billion dollar industry almost all based on one grand illusion, namely that man can by his limited senses mind and decision-making, take full care of himself! He doesn’t need any outside help, but rather a resolute will and determination to make himself into something he is not yet. The allure is so compelling that the vast majority of people on Earth flounder under its spell. The self-made man is an illusion!

The last thing in the world that “the world” wants you to understand is that there is an entity opposed to all that is good or beneficial or kind, that takes full advantage of man’s ignorance concerning it. Evil has been deemed a label that man gives to forces he cannot see with his senses mind. It has been reduced to the level of superstition. It is generally a source of ridicule and a figment of the imagination by the so-called intelligentsia of the day. Yet absent a true spiritual understanding of evil and how it works incessantly to thwart mankind, man is forever the brunt of a cruel joke; one that plays out in his everyday existence. And you know, if you’re honest, that things often don’t turn out the way you had hoped they would. Instead apparently random circumstances and by chance events shape the life you are endeavoring to successfully live. On the other side of the same coin, there are those who see evil in every event and action and would have you to avoid the experience of life in its entirety. Both are fueled in ignorance of true spiritual realties.

Man’s unknown and somewhat typical experience consists of spending most days hoping he doesn’t get the unexpected roll of the dice that will lead to certain suffering ending in death. He is terrified of cancer or other deadly diseases and when hearing of evil that befalls another, makes up sayings to assuage himself like, “I guess it was his time.” And what incredulously cruel entity would decide when it was “his time?” The same one that lies hidden under the apparency of things according to the maxim, “the secret of its success is the secrecy of its moves.” Add to this, man’s ascribing these foul qualities to God and you have a recipe for a futile existence. For this reason, no man living, successful or otherwise, is self-made, but has knowingly or unknowingly tapped into something that either helped him or hindered him in his life. All that a man gets or fails to get is a product of his own beliefs. Being determined upon some goal and taking vigorous action towards it, leads to its acquisition, not by himself but in concert with all that is Good and gives unreservedly. Conversely, man fails and suffers hardship not by his fear alone, but rather by his ignorance concerning evil, and unable to successfully stand against it, he succumbs to a difficult life.

Life was never intended to be an obstacle course or a maze that could only be bested by years of “trying to get up that hill.” Instead man was supposed to seek out spiritual assistance to his spiritual problems from his spiritual source – God. God has not left His people without recourse. But, you’d never know that by studying the life of the average Christian today. It seems Christianity has been taken over wholesale by a preoccupation with sin. And in a man’s futile attempt to not sin, he sits ever open to the attacks from an enemy that not only entices him to sin, but accuses the holy bejesus out of him when he does sin. In this, the Christian is no different from the unbeliever in that he suffers pain from an enemy he cannot see nor discern by his ignorance of the truth. Working hard to be good enough or righteous enough is yet another endless puzzle with no real solution because the starting premise; you can by your own self-made efforts make yourself good enough, is categorically false as well.

God has given man remedies to his dilemmas, if he only knew it. The first and foremost remedy can be found in the Bible, also called God’s Word. God’s Word, specifically that part of His Word written to us directly, offers the truth concerning any apparent situation or dilemma we find ourselves in. To conclude that believing God for healing is foolish and that one is best served by the medical community is just another fault in a long line of faults, falsely setting up man and his wisdom as predominant over God’s wisdom. God’s Word is always paramount in our quest for truth. In addition to His Word, God made available holy spirit, obtained simply by believing (Romans 10:9-10). Receiving holy spirit, which some erroneously conclude resides in every man, enables man to once again be connected to God, the Holy Spirit. Holy spirit living within a man comes with built-in potential power. However, this fantastic power with the ability to overcome all difficulty and unlimited capacity to discern the spiritual world, must be energized within the man himself. This energizing within is accomplished by praying in the spirit, also called speaking in tongues. Typically, just the mention of speaking in tongues elicits a negative reaction in man’s mind. This shouldn’t surprise you as the source of all difficulty and hardship has worked tirelessly to queer the process and thus ensure that you don’t learn how to do it. Doing it and doing it often builds up His spirit within you. Once built up, man can once again see what he formerly could not see. He then not only has the ability to discern the evil, but also has access to God’s spiritual solutions for his spiritual problems. So very simple, yet so wholly misunderstood.

In the beginning, man was formed, made and created to live a life where God was at the center of his existence. He had responsibilities to accomplish, but his life was cared for by his God. And like a child seeks out his Mommy or Daddy to get his needs met, man was to seek out his Father to get his needs met as well. The self-made man is the ultimate ruse because man lacks the ability to self-make anything, though he demands otherwise. Instead man is a Spirit-made creation and absent God’s help has little to no shot of overcoming the world and it’s pain.

There is a wonderful, abundant life out there waiting for you, but you’ll never see it if you try to do it on your own. Spirit-made baby, that’s where real life is found!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Taming Your Wild and Crazy Mind…


your-thoughtsI suppose it wouldn’t matter much what you thought about if your thoughts had no effect on your life. If your life wasn’t governed by what you believe and what you believe wasn’t determined by what you think about the most, there would be no point in trying to get that unruly beast (your mind) under control. But alas, your thoughts do form the basis of what you believe and what you believe deep in your heart is the wellspring from which your entire life flows out (or lack thereof).

Of all of the things in life you can control, nothing is more important or potentially life-giving than controlling your thoughts. It’s almost amusing to most folks, this insane notion that you can control your thoughts. In these frenetic times of visual, electronic images, overloaded and multiplied indefinitely, available in front of you, on your side and in your hand; calm, singular and controlled thought is highly discouraged or even considered boorish. Well, don’t you believe that for a second!

Many people today just sort of limp through life. They drag along day by day filled with anxiety, stress, depression, boredom and a general lack of zest for living. And sadly, they’ve done it for so long that they think that’s just the way life is. They fail, disastrously, to make the connection between what appears in their life and what they think about the most. Subsequently, your life may be summed up in one simple question. “What do you believe is going to happen in your life?” If life for you is one continuous stream of things going wrong, negative events occurring, and disasters looming over the horizon, you have to ask yourself what kind of thoughts have you been incubating in your mind. Fear and anxiety are not a natural part of life, they are aberrations that come about by entertaining and focusing on the wrong things. Then when the catastrophe strikes, you exclaim, “I knew it!” Well, you did know it because you cooperated with “it” by allowing it to remain in your thinking. Disaster, catastrophe, hardship, difficulty and pain are not random at all, though they appear to be. They are pointed and specific and come about by man’s cooperation with evil by failing to control what he will and will not think about or failure to properly believe what is true. Man absent the truth is an anxiety machine ever churning out products to his own suffering.

Life in its simplest form boils down to two distinct realities; light and darkness, love and fear, good and evil, right and wrong, truth and error; all an alternate way to say the same thing.  As you live your own life, you are making decisions and choices everyday. You don’t get what you want, you get what you choose. If you choose to persist in something you know is wrong, no matter how rebellious, apathetic or careless you feel about it, you will continue to get the wrong results in your life. Oh you can cling to it; get real damn angry about it, justify it infinitely, but it will still continue to bring to you what, at its core it is, whether you like it or not. Many times that inner turmoil you are experiencing doesn’t need to be resolved by medication, it needs to be resolved by your decision to stop doing that thing (or maybe do that thing less)! You decide what that thing is… This isn’t some religious call to dissect and pick apart your life. That sort of thinking is just as bad (as you probably have already experienced). This is a sober reality check, pointing out that only good can come from good and only bad can come from bad. It doesn’t matter what the world says, it matters what the truth is!

Worldly, so-called spiritual leaders always seem to shame and malign material prosperity, as if having an abundance is somehow not spiritual. Well, here’s a quick newsflash for you. Life is a helluva lot easier with some resources than it is without them. Don’t you kid yourself. If you car breaks down and costs $2,000 dollars to fix it, it’s hardly a flinch in your thought life if you’ve got plenty of money to fix it. If you don’t, it’s an emergency. Accordingly, God’s will for you is abundance! So, back to the core issue, namely what do you think about material prosperity? Does it elude you like a gazelle escaping clutches of a lion? If so, that is a choice you are making in your thoughts. It doesn’t matter that every previous generation in your family had very little. What matters is what do you think or believe will happen in your life. Can you see it? The limit, the dividing line isn’t the world, it’s you.

Nowadays disease is at an epidemic level. Almost everyone seems to have something. Sickness and disease are not God’s will. Our imperfect bodies (not intended by God) sometimes fall prey to sickness. Fearful, worried, anxious thinking weakens our immune system and opens the door for illness. You may wonder why you are always so sick, but fail to consider that your thoughts are sick. Your mind and your body engage in a delicate dance with one responding to the other. Often your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong with your thoughts. Occasionally your body forces you to escape the frenetic pace you’ve engaged in and lays you up for a few days. Naturally some diseases carry a larger price tag. The “C” word for most threatens pending doom. Yet, even in the midst of life threatening cancer, you still have a choice. For God, healing you of cancer is no different from healing you of a common cold. So even in that arduous, fear inducing condition, you can choose to believe what God says and control your thoughts to keep the invader out. It doesn’t matter how you feel. What matters is what is true.

You can control that unruly beast called your mind. You can also let it go, wherever it is being led. But beware, and know, that if you aren’t leading it, something else is and that “something” does not wish you well. Instead, learn what to think and what is true. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can turn your entire life around. You can change any aspect or part. You can acquire material abundance and be healed from everything that ever went wrong. You can, my friends, and you will if you’ll only learn one thing – how to control your thinking, for your thoughts form the basis of your heart; the wellspring from which your entire life flows out! Make a good choice..

Just some good thoughts…