Mental Health Musings…


mental_health_jpg-10Mental health has become a popular topic nowadays. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of their mental health and how it positively or negatively affects their lives. It might surprise you to know that as long as there have been human beings, mankind has endured mental health problems. As thinking beings and the only thinking beings as we know it, man is forever impacted by the thoughts he chooses and the thoughts he entertains. To separate the mental health issues that plague mankind and his thoughts serves only to make man a victim and not someone that has control over his thoughts and thus his mental health. A healthy mind must be fed healthy thoughts and the thoughts that contradict health always lead to sickness, first in the mind and later in the body. Have mental health issues got you down? If so, listen to my mental health musings and see what you think.

As free-will beings with complete free agency over what we choose to think about, I think you would agree that most folks’ thinking is downright awful. It’s not negative here and there, it’s awful, if not cruel. We berate ourselves, judge ourselves, analyze our every move and generally pick ourselves apart. We are often our own worst enemy. We focus on everything that might be wrong with us. We chastise ourselves for not being thin or attractive enough or sexy or handsome or pretty. We level unfair and unjust criticism regarding anything and everything. Instead of embracing who we are and who God made us to be, we look for flaws and imperfections. And that encompasses our flesh only. We focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves or at minimum the things we have foolishly decided we don’t like about ourselves. It never dawned on us that all of the negativity we have assigned to ourselves did not come from us first, but originated elsewhere. No man or woman naturally dislikes themselves. Instead, they have been talked into those thoughts by forces seeking only to steal and to kill and to destroy. This kind of thinking is sick and only serves to further the sickness. We wonder why we have so many mental health issues yet never consider the cruelty we level upon ourselves day by day. No one forces us to think the way we do, but instead we are choosing what and how we think. We cooperate with it and often without a fight. If you are not for you, how can you expect anything else? How could you ever win in a world that opposes you if you do not support your own self. Yet onward you march clinging to falsehoods and lies because someone told you so. Are you really that bad? Or is it something you have been persuaded of either by public opinion, or social media or those people closest to you?

If you want to have a healthy body, you have to choose the things that promote good health. You cannot carry around loads of excess weight, nor can you feed your body poisons or substances that make you sick. To get your body healthy you have to take the steps that promote good health. If you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. That doesn’t make you a victim, it means you decided not to exert the effort required. Similarly, your mental health requires the same level of attention. It does matter what you think about. Carrying around the thousandfold baggage of yesterday impedes your progress. Feeding on angry thoughts, frustrated thoughts, critical or condemnatory thoughts doesn’t make you better, it makes you ill. You have to change what it is you have been feeding on. What are you watching on TV? What information have you been digesting into your soul? What you read, what you see, what you look at does matter. That’s not to say that all of TV is bad or everything you see online is evil. But, you still have to pay attention. Most of the deception that occurs happens day by day during mindless and empty thinking. If you aren’t willing to direct your thinking, something else will. Change what it is you are thinking. Stop opposing yourself. Stop cooperating in opposing yourself by drawing terrible conclusions and thinking the worst about yourself. You are the only you, you have and to constantly participate in opposing yourself is crazy and makes you crazy.

As I muse on the importance of mental health, as someone with a similar mind and similar tendencies, I can’t help but to lament on how easily you and I have been led to to the wrong assumptions concerning ourselves. Not everyone cares about what is right and in doing right, so how insane is it for us to find ourselves unworthy as members of the group that cares? Surely something else is involved, something that seeks that which is wrong over that which is right. How slow we have been to realize what is behind that persuasion. You and I are in a fight and we can only win when we make the effort to think as God says to think. Contrary thoughts and contrary feelings are no guarantee for what is true. We are all imperfect creatures and God does not require perfection from us. Instead He requires that we control the one thing we can control and that is our thoughts. Think healthy thoughts. Allow yourself to be a human and as such experience your humanity. When you are wrong it is always apparent. Learn from it and let it go; for goodness sakes, let it go. Every wrong thing you and I ever did we did because of the influence of evil and we would not have done so otherwise. To allow evil, the source of our errors, to accuse of the evil it engendered is the ultimate deception. Likewise, to persist in thoughts that serve only to oppose us, coming from us and directed to us is insane. They are your thoughts and they are my thoughts. We can control them and we must control them if we want to protect our mental health.

It really does not matter where you have been or what you have done in the past. It doesn’t even matter what you did yesterday. What matters is what you choose to do with your mind in the moments called now. If you want to have a healthy mind you have to feed it healthy thoughts. Quit dragging around in the misty flats and get up on the high road. Stop feeling sorry for yourself or lamenting your life choices up to this point. God functions in the now and can help you in the now. Take control of that unruly mind of yours and see how quickly things turn around for the better. It is your mind and it is your life. These are mental health musings worth thinking about. Live who God made you to be.

Just some good thoughts…

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Barking Up the Wrong Tree…


00600640_1cfab8e5705ade4c407fcd6b966006c0_arc614x376_w735_us1One thing we all have in common as human beings is the desire to find things that make us happy. If you think about, we are all on a quest for happiness. And, far too many people seem to be unable to find it. It is probably the most written about subject in the whole world. Some folks think happiness exists as a direct result of their financial means. Others claim it is the direct result of extreme poverty and stripping yourself from all the entanglements of the world. Some say it is found in nature, while others want to experience it in the city. No matter where you find it, one thing we all agree on is our need to have it. So, when it comes to happiness, are you barking up the wrong tree?

The world we live in today or maybe those things behind the world seem to be well aware of our heartfelt desire to find happiness. As such, the world feeds us endless ideas about where and how we might get that happiness. Television shows promote a world where flawless beauty can be manufactured and purchased in order to “create” the perfect type. And once the perfect type is obtained it may be used to build incredible wealth through product offerings and appearances promising the same ability to obtain perfection. The stars live a dream life in dreamy locations complete with full time make up artists and staff that exist only to serve the needs of the exalted ones. They fly on private jets to exotic locations on a whim with unlimited resources that never run dry. And while these programs do provide a level of entertainment, they also paint a false portrayal of happiness. Like movie stars, it is a world of make believe. It sends a faulty message that promises something it does not actually provide. That is not to say that everyone in these situations is wrong or evil, but rather that the message portrayed to the world (by the world) is not true. True happiness is not found through fame and fortune, though the messages seek to convince us otherwise. What the world offers will always be found a counterfeit. It is a surface expectation that produces only a superficial result. It is barking up the wrong tree.

Social media feeds us an endless array of images designed to make us seek the wrong things. Money, or the love of it, rules the world. We define success primarily by the amount of money and subsequent influence an individual has been able to obtain. We conclude rich people have “made it.” We think that money can solve any problem. We say, he who has the gold makes the rules! But, sadly, money alone is never the answer. The answer is being able to get our needs met. We do actually need money and I’m guessing that we likely need more money than we might actually have. Having enough money and having the discretion to make choices or engage in certain activities is vitally important to our happiness. No choice is not happy. Scraping along in the world unable to get the things we want is not happiness. Spending our time doing things we loathe in order to get money is not happiness. Having every need that comes up becoming a catastrophe due to not having enough money is not happiness. Thus, we actually do need money and maybe more than we think. But, money alone will at some point cause us to fall short of our real happiness. Seeking to be rich is always barking up the wrong tree.

Happiness is not something to be obtained, it is something to be enjoyed in our hearts. The perfect partner will not be able to make you happy unless you are already happy yourself. The perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect circumstances, the perfect relationship all work only to produce a temporary happiness because they do not contain the actual essence of happiness. Happiness is always the result of having your needs met and as your needs change so will your requirements for happiness. Whenever you rely on another person or obtaining certain things in order to find happiness, you will sooner or later come up short. You work so hard to obtain the perfect house and then what? Once you get what you so ardently desired, then what? Happiness, enduring happiness has to be much deeper than that. Life has to be more than acquiring things and gathering up the most toys before you die. The pursuit of happiness by trying to get stuff is barking up the wrong tree.

God as the creator of life has built into all of us a desire to find out about Him. Whether we be simply curious or spiritually starving, all of us have a desire to know Him. In our hearts, we instinctively know there is more to this life than we may have imagined. We seek a universal goodness that guided our hearts when we were children. We dream of a life, an existence, that is totally secure and taken care of and is lacking nothing. We long for the carefree days of our youth when we were truly happy. We want the liberty and the freedom to do as we please. We want life where we do not have to be afraid and can be sure we will be safe and protected no matter what. In fact, many folks seek wealth in order to experience this reality only to find out it doesn’t work. We as a people have never connected the dots that He (God) is our happiness. We have been looking for love in all the wrong places. We have foolishly tried to provide for ourselves what only He could provide for us. We worry and fret and seek and strive to find safety and peace and rest. We have never considered that we are trying to find Him in material things or in money or in things. Even our relationships are centered in Him and without Him cannot be fulfilled. He is all that we could ever need and He is the solution to every thing that has ever gone wrong, the answer to every question. We miss Him because the world has convinced us otherwise and our experience of life has confirmed it. But, what if we are wrong? What if we have barked up the wrong trees long enough that we know something is missing? What if our system of trial and error has exhausted us and we have sought yet not been able to find? What if our happiness and blessedness in this life comes from Him and from Him alone? God as our Father wants to teach us and help us and guide us. He wants us to be happy with a happiness that is not dependent upon circumstances or favorable conditions. He wants to be our all in all in every conceivable way. To know Him is to love Him and He is the first place for which to expend our efforts. He is the only tree.

Just some good thoughts…

Hacked!


hackedLast week I had the rather unpleasant experience of getting hacked. Basically, someone reached out to me on Instagram asking for support for their upcoming clothing line and I made the fateful mistake of responding to them. I didn’t click on any links or provide my cell number for a text as requested, yet still they got in. Once they got in, they changed my password, changed the contact cell phone number and email and added two factor authentication which made it almost impossible to recover my own account. They followed hundreds of new people and badgered all of my friends with the exact same scheme, leaving folks thinking they were talking with me. The experience was distracting and concerning to say the least. Besides learning that Instagram literally has no actual customer support, I understood how difficult it is to extricate yourself from deception once it gets its grip on you. How it got to you doesn’t matter. When it got to you doesn’t matter. What matters is how you can recover and get your mind (and account) back. Have your thought processes been hacked by a deception?

In life, we all have a mind and a heart and we are responsible to guard it from intruders. Intruders get in when we fail to control our thinking and as such allow deceptions access to our minds. Just as my downfall was engaging in a conversation with the hackers, your downfall comes from consideration of things that are not true. When Eve was deceived in the beginning, it wasn’t the existence of evil that defeated her, it was her consideration of the things evil said to her. (It was a heck of a lot bigger than eating a silly apple, but I digress). Eve’s downfall and eventually Adam’s downfall came as a result of considering and trying to figure out what the enemy of mankind was proposing. The same holds true today. The way that evil gets inside our minds and hacks us is by our consideration of what is being presented to us. Being human we think we can figure it out and as such give it space in our minds. We mull it over. We worry about it. We give it audience and the next thing you know we are all screwed up inside and confused. Have you ever noticed that no matter how much worry you give a thing you can never quite get to a solution? You analyze, you evaluate, you process it and it just leads to more and more distress. It is a trick and a trap from which eventually it will be hard to escape. The solution to fear producing thoughts is to refuse their entrance. Don’t scratch that itch! Do not try to take it on with your finite human knowledge. Instead you have to replace those thoughts with things that are true. God’s Word is true and has the remedy to everything that has ever bothered you or imprisoned you. You can avoid being mentally hacked by knowing what is true.

All of us at one time or another have been hacked in our minds and hearts. We have lived in fear and doubt and uncertainty for so long that we think it is a normal way to live. We dismiss it as being part of the human condition. We do all sorts of shenanigans to assuage our fears such as trying to be a good person or do good works or whatever it is we can think of that might help offset the bad things that are surely coming our way. It never dawned on us that someone or something has been lying to us. Our starting premise has been wrong. We have been communicating with a hacker. Fear is man’s only enemy. Fear has ruined more people’s lives than all the other things combined. It is our fears that allow our enemy access to us and it is our fear that brings bad things to pass in our lives. Fear is a believing expectation for something negative to happen and believing equals receiving. The things we so desperately fear end up coming into fruition in our lives. And then we exclaim, “I knew it” when in reality we helped bring it to pass. There is a reason the number one admonition in the Bible is fear not! Fear is a hacker attempting to gain access to your life and then infect the lives of others also. You get your mental account and your heart back by gaining control of your thinking.

So, what can you do once you realize you’ve been hacked? Unlike Instagram, you have access to something greater than any problem that has ever come your way. The first step involves terminating communications with the hacker. Stop giving those lies access to your mind. Stop trying to figure it all out. The basis of your troubles are spiritual and no amount of reasoning will make that clear. Instead steer your heart towards something that is true. Make the decision to stop trying to figure out your troubles and hand them over to God who is especially adept at problem solving. Just give them to Him and don’t take them back. Rehearsing your troubles hasn’t been successful thus far, has it? Quit beating that dead horse and try something different. Cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you! In other words, let it go. Pray about it and then let it go. Just the act of refusal sets on course the answers you need in order to prevail. God wants to solve every problem that has ever come your way and He has the power and ability to do so. Find someone that can teach you the truth. Don’t go to the world as it’s the world that screwed you up in the first place. Don’t rely on religion or philosophy or science. Rely instead on the truth of God’s Word which is the only thing that sets you free. God sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions. Learn to shut down the hackers and get your heart and mind back!

Have you been having a tough time lately and wondering what is the point? Do you find yourself distracted with cares? Have things become increasingly difficult for you? Does happiness and peace of mind seem to evade you? If so, you have probably been hacked. But, not to worry. With God there are always solutions and answers greater than the skill and cunning of any hacker. You can get your heart and mind back if you will only go about it the way God says to do it. Humble yourself and get your needs met. I finally was able to recover my account using the deeply hidden and obscured video selfie method which worked after 9 tries. Thankfully God makes it a lot easier than that.

Just some good thoughts…

Do Your Best?


effort-boulderIt wasn’t too long ago that I rejected the notion that you had to do your best in order for God to do the rest. Basically, I was reacting to the idea that God was somehow limited in helping people according to what people did or didn’t do. The phrase certainly isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. However, the more I considered it, the more I recognized that we have also a responsibility in getting our prayers answered. We aren’t our own source of blessings for sure, but we do play a part in the equation. It seems it is not natural nor does it fit within the reality of living life to think that we simply offer up prayers and then expect God to deliver what we need with no efforts on our part. And while “best” is certainly a subjective term, we do have some responsibility in pursuing the answers and results that we need. Do we need to do our best for God to meet our need or is it rather that we need to apply the necessary actions in accordance with what we are believing for God to do for us?

I’m sure you are all familiar with, “the secret” which proclaimed that all we needed to do to get our needs met was to manifest it in our thinking first. And while there is definitely some truth blended in there, functioning purely in this manner would seem to work against the laws God has already established. Results do not fall from heaven anymore than crops can appear without first sowing seed and then cultivating them. With God, there is always an expectation of effort on our part to acquire something we need. What God has promised in His Word is always there for us, but we need to expend the effort to find it. Our efforts do not produce it as that is God’s job, but our efforts are required to receive it. Sitting at home praying and praying for something doesn’t generally work well unless what we are praying for is beyond our human capability. God does not expect us to figure out how to heal ourselves, but he does expect us to pursue the solutions. Maybe we have to go to the doctor. Maybe there is something in our lifestyle that is causing us difficulties. Maybe there is another cause we have not yet considered. Thus naturally we go to God in prayer and then in our pursuit of good health, we listen to what He is teaching us and showing us. Similarly, praying to win the lottery or stumble across a fortune doesn’t produce results either. It’s like supplying your child with a hundred toys then being amazed that they play with the boxes instead. Too much too soon tends to overwhelm and not meet the need. God supplies what you can handle when you can handle it. You still have to do your part in order to get your needs met; in order to receive it.

Life requires effort. There is no realm of success or prosperity that does not involve effort. You are where you are that you may learn and that you may grow. If you do not have enough there is a way to get more but that way demands effort. Shirking your work on the grounds that your employer does not pay you enough violates principle. Good work, noble work, effort supplied to be the best and do your best cannot help but be rewarded. The reason someone is your boss is because they have supplied some effort as has their boss and their boss and so on. There is no limit to what you can do or what you can be if you will supply the effort. There will always be those who have manipulated and done wrong to get ahead, but those folks are almost always found out eventually. Praying to God to meet your needs is always the first step, but you must learn how to cooperate with Him to get what you want. If you believe God is doing something to help you, then you will naturally be doing things to find what He has promised you. In order to get a new job, you first have to apply for the job. Even then, you have to learn to leverage your skills to meet the requirements of the job. People don’t owe you anything in this regard. Praying and praying for a new job won’t alleviate you of this responsibility. But, when you are sincere in your effort and committed to get an outcome that God has promised you, you will find that God is always able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or can even conceive. I should add that God is never making things harder for you or teaching you tough life lessons. Nor is He dragging you through hardships in order to make you a better person. That is not how God works at all. Instead He is endeavoring to teach you and lead you through the hardships you are facing in order for you to learn how to best live and enjoy life. God does need the working of evil to help you get better. God simply works with you where you are and can be counted on to remedy every hardship you have ever experienced with his endless love and compassion. Do your part and let Him do His part.

If you think about it, those things that are most important to you are always backed by effort on your part. If your child becomes ill, you will scourge heaven and earth for the solution. You would not function haphazardly nor would you apply minimal effort. I would surmise that you would not stop seeking and pursuing until you found the answer and if you could not find an answer would petition God the more. The same holds true for our lives. If it is important to you and matters very much, you will continue to pursue it until you find it. If it doesn’t matter much or you can take it or leave it, your efforts in this regard will match. God is always willing to help you. Your life is important to Him. What you need He wants you to have. God is never the hold-back ever. People that teach that God is withholding blessings from you or punishing you for past behaviors, do not know God. God wills that all men be made whole and come to a knowledge of the truth. God is more anxious to solve your dilemma than you are for Him to do it. The problem is usually found in the things we believe that aren’t true or else the lack of believing effort we supply towards our solutions. You and I have to supply our best efforts. We have to become very clear about what we need and then become very concerned about receiving it. When we apply that combination we find God’s solutions fairly quickly. God heard you the first time you prayed it! Do your best.

I’m still not sure if we have to supply our best for God to do the rest, but I am sure that we have to apply some effort to get the job done. What is it that you need or have been pining away for, for such a long time? What do you need in order to make your life complete? Don’t spend another moment waiting on God as God is waiting on you. Take action, any action! Do something. Get real serious about getting your need met and don’t leave anything to fate or chance. God wills for you to have what you need today. Get after it my friends. Do your best…

Just some good thoughts…

The Real Deal


WorldReligions-164107922-c72cce704d4d4521962046df4fa8ce3fI think all people have that little inkling inside that softly urges them towards finding out about spiritual realities. We have all sort of heard of God and maybe have some questions about who He is and why things happen the way they do. Unfortunately, when you begin your quest, you realize that there are so many choices out there to consider; all of them claiming to have a corner on the truth. So, you try this one and check that one. You go to your friend’s church, your parent’s church; try an online thing and maybe do some additional reading. The more you search the more you realize that each group claims to be right and has some shade to throw on the other groups. Assuming you are sincere in your quest, how would you know? How can you be sure you are making a good choice and not something that leads you down the road of heretical tyranny? Lord knows we have all heard of cults that start good then end dreadfully bad. Of course we have the Bible which seems like the logical place to start, but other folks have their own bibles as well, some as reported additions, others as completely separate works. Again, how could you possibly know? Well, I think there is one thing that all the counterfeits have in common and one thing that points you to the truth. The real deal is the truth and there is only one truth.

If you think about it, this whole notion that there are many ways to get to Ohio and it doesn’t matter which way you go as long as you get to Ohio, is fraught with flaws and errors. In other words, if your goal is to go to heaven and live forever, does it really matter which way you go as long as you get there? Well, it seems like the answer would be no if you ended up there anyway. But, would you end up there? Is it not possible that you are believing a bunch of stuff and doing a bunch of stuff to arrive at destination heaven that have nothing at all to do with getting to heaven? What if you find yourself caught up on some treadmill of required works to please God that have nothing to do with pleasing God? Imagine devoting your life and heart to some way of being only to find out that it wasn’t necessary at all? You know what I mean. Some of you aren’t eating meat. Some of you refuse to eat foods considered unclean in the Old Testament. Some of you abstain from alcohol. Some of you think sex is reserved for procreation and should be avoided whenever possible. Some of you believe you cannot expose certain parts of your body and on and on and on. The list; the requirements are endless. How can you possibly know? How can you be sure you are on the right track? How can you be sure what you believe is the real deal?

Delving a little deeper, it seems as if there is an absolute referred to as the truth, that there could only be one truth. The truth is the truth and it cannot contradict itself. There is one truth and accordingly the rest cannot be the truth and must be error. If you have the truth, why would you need additional truths or alternate truths? 3 x 5 equals 15 no matter how you want to slice it. Life would turn into chaos if the truth had many other faces and those facades did not agree with one another. It is not limited or ignorant to believe there is one way to go. There is one God and one truth and one correct way to believe. This false notion that there are many different ways to arrive at the same place has confused mankind for centuries. I have found there is one surefire method to help you determine if what you are believing is based on the truth or on error. There is one acid test you may apply in every situation. That test either points you to God the Creator of the heavens and the earth or it points you back to yourself. All counterfeit truth points you to yourself and what you do right and what you do wrong. The subject of religion is not God, it is you. The focus is always on what man does; what man says; what man thinks and not what God does, says or thinks. The real deal is God and the counterfeit deal is man’s ideas.

Whenever and wherever you find yourself in a group or an ideology or a church where the focus is you and what you do or don’t do, that place will always be wrong. The focus of Christianity will always, always be what God does (and did) and not on what man does (or did). The truth focuses on our Savior, Jesus Christ and what he did for us. Religion focuses on where you are not right with God; works you must do to make yourself right with God and whatever else they can come up with to keep you in perpetual bondage and condemnation. Look, I aint mad at your church and I aint coming at your belief system. What I’m opposed to are these options and ideas that aren’t helping you or leading you to anything good. The undeniable acid test is the subject of focus. What is the subject of focus? You know yourself well enough and I know myself well enough to be confident of one thing. If my ability to get to heaven, to know the truth, to experience goodness and blessings is dependent upon me, then I am in serious trouble (and so are you). You cannot get there on your own no matter what you do or don’t do. The more you focus on yourself, the more imperfection you will find. You cannot clean yourself up no matter how much discipline and  effort you supply. Only the Savior can clean you up and he did it for you before you were even born! The real deal is what God did for us, not what we do for God.

Look, ask yourself the question. That group you fellowship with, those folks you hang out with, that leader you have been faithfully following, do they lead your focus towards God and what He does and will do or do they lead your focus back to yourself and whatever it is that is wrong with you. Are you the subject? Are you the focus? Is there so much more you must do in order to finally please God? If so the chances are you are on the wrong track. People mean well, God bless them, but sometimes what they say and promote as true isn’t true at all. You cannot earn God’s goodness and you cannot earn your way to heaven no matter how hard you try. All of God’s goodness and blessings come to you when you believe what He did for you and not by what you must do for Him. The Savior (our Savior) died for you so you would not have to live that way any longer. Turn your focus away from yourself and your inadequacies and back to God and His perfection. There is only one way to go and that way leads to God and God alone. God is the real deal…

Just some good thoughts…

God is in the Details…


detailsThere’s a common expression used today, namely that the devil is in the details. Meaning, in order to track down the real source of problems and difficulties, you have to be able to look below the surface and see the things you haven’t seen before. But, if you really give it some thought, God is also in the details. You don’t have to look much further than the creation to recognize that details are very important to God. Too often we gloss over so many details and simply draw conclusions that are not true. We let a few cleverly planned circumstances and so called facts lead us in directions that are not the reality of a thing. The reality is what God says the reality is and everything that contradicts that reality is a lie. The devil has had thousands of years to perfect his craft and he is always counting on people to fall for the same tricks over and over again. Once you begin to learn that God is also in the details, you can begin to trust Him with the important things in your life. There is no part of your life that God is not aware of and He wants you to know that what is important to you is also important to Him. God is not too busy for you and He is infinite in His wisdom and His understanding. God is in the details…

One of the things I love most about God is that He looks on the heart of man. People, often deceived, think God is somehow concerned with everything they do wrong. How foolish to think you could separate yourself from your Creator because you used a swear word, chose a wrong path or acted with the wrong motive. God formed, made and created people and as such knows everything about them. Everything… Your human nature doesn’t escape God. He knows when you are being tricked and He knows what is behind it. I think people would have a much easier time wrestling with sin; missing the mark with God and all of that associated guilt and condemnation, if they realized that God is not deceived and sees quite clearly where you are being worked over and why. God’s heart is never to convict you of sin. His heart is that you learn which aspects of your life are causing you to miss the mark and as such, miss out on the blessings, prosperity and health that come from being on the mark. It isn’t morality for morality’s sake alone. It is doing things that don’t allow the enemy access to you and making choices that will lead you to your good. God knows all about you and still loves you. God has already seen your entire life through. He sent His son to save you (and me). Once you finally get past the sin issue (It is finished), you can really start to live for God. God looks on your heart. He knows who you are inside. He has heard your every prayer. He knows where you are strong and where you struggle. God is in your details.

The devil also is in the details. However, unlike God he does not know everything. He does not have foreknowledge and is certainly not infinite in his wisdom. What he is counting on is that you and I will behave like all other humans. His methods have worked for centuries and will continue to work. He plots and schemes and plans in order to present you with a picture of reality that is very hard to refute. (If it walks like a duck…) He works to close you off from life (and from God). He closes the doors, one by one and closes the windows, one by one, until finally you are alone sitting in a dark place convinced there is something wrong with you. He drives your focus back to yourself and your imperfections. He points out your flaws, reminds you of your errors and accuses you and your motives night and day. Yet, he himself and his cohorts, are behind your every flaw, your every mistake and every motive you have ever had that wasn’t good. These are the details we are missing. If there were no evil, there would be no sin. You did not make any mistake you ever made, no matter how grave, on your own. Every time you zigged when you should have zagged, you did so because of the influence of evil. That is certainly not to justify error, but rather assign the blame rightfully where it belongs. The devil was in the details, but God always is above him.

The real joy and beauty in life is when you begin to discover God in the details of life. He took the time to make that flower perfect in its perfection, but you think He doesn’t know what you need? He came up with electrical and chemical impulses that are able to tell your brain in a nano-second that you are touching something hot, in order to protect you, but still you insist on the idea that He is unaware of something you need, be it ever so small and seemingly inconsequential. I think often, the things you really need the most happen in your heart, which God both looks on and works in. You don’t need God to fix your circumstances. You need God to fix your heart, heal your heart, establish your heart. You need Him to help you track down those minute details, those bulwarks of error, those false notions you have been carrying around for years and years. I can always tell when God fixes something in my heart because my eyes react with tears. When I well up I always say, “thank you Papa” because I know you just repaired something for me. How foolish it is for us to reduce life down to such simplicities when it is so obvious how intricate and detailed the creation is; the creation God made for you and for me. There is a reason nature holds such a powerful appeal over us. We can scarce describe it or explain it but we know how much we need it. God does not content Himself with supplying our major needs or things we think most important. He seeks to supply our every need in every category of life. He sees your lonely heart and seeks to fill the void. He sees your fears and worries and seeks to make you feel secure. He sees your hesitation and encourages you to move. He sees what is behind your every problem and seeks to help you see and understand so that you can finally live the life He has given you. Indeed God is in the details.

There is a life available to us that is everything we always wished it would be. We have all had our share of heartaches and pain. We have all gone completely off the path and paid a price because of it. We have all spent years and years buried in sin and in the difficulties it produces. We have all been sick and suffered with imperfect bodies. We have all carried things in our hearts that are not true and led us to the problems we have today. But, we do not have to live that way any longer. God is in every detail of our lives and sees and knows all. He sent His son to save us and in his completed work we live. It does not matter what has gone on in your past. All that matters is today and the future life you build with God. God already knows the details and as such has a blessed life waiting for you. God is in the details. Enjoy your life today!

Just some good thoughts…

Life in Your Sixth Decade…


Family 1Having just recently entered my second year in my sixth decade (happy birthday to me), I thought it might be good to reflect on the past year. Something about the sixth decade that causes you to take pause and think about things more than you have ever done in the past. Not thinking you would ever actually be this old, you start to learn some things you probably should have learned years ago. Last year was a year of intense learning and untold insights for me concerning life and living. And, at the risk of bringing you into an idea mosh pit, I’m going to share some of those things with you. 

Maybe the most profound thing I began learning this year was how to escape from mental and spiritual bondage. You don’t really know that you are all tied up when you are all tied up. You sort of need something outside of yourself (thanks God) to shed some light on your darkness and make things that have become invisible, visible again. Suddenly you begin to recognize stuff you do with no love in it. You begin to discern how fear is making all the choices. Your enjoyments become less and less and all that you do comes into question. Freedom exists on the other side of all that. Fear only gains power over you when you give it head space. You have to entertain it, talk with it, mull it over a bit, really try to reason it out, but when you do, fear always wins. Overcoming fear, which equals overcoming bondage, which equals gaining freedom, happens first in your mind and then in your heart. You have to put a complete end to fearful considerations, which equals worrying about future events, which equals being driven to behaviors and performance in order to be okay. Fear is such a slippery creature and can attach itself to things you may not have thought of before, yet there it lurks pulling the strings in your life and leading you away from the things you really want. The good Lord has set us free from all that garbage, if we only knew it. 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to rethink and relearn what it means to believe God. I already knew that to be able to receive something from God, you had to believe that God both could and would do it for you. What it really meant to believe God was the mystery for me. It’s not some type of powerful thinking or willing or demanding etc. It’s not checking to see if you doubt it or maybe aren’t fully persuaded. It’s not a good feeling or a bad feeling. It has little if anything to do with your feelings. It’s not magic or mystique. It’s more of a dogged determination. It is to keep saying what you want, not what you wish would go away, until you get it. As a wonderful man once said, “dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!” Spending all day confessing all that is wrong, every place you are dissatisfied, what you don’t like, what you wish would stop, what you wish would start, what you really, really need, all point back squarely to the darkness that engendered it to begin with. Do you think the obstacles you encounter in life are simply random? Believing is not saying what you need over and over and over again. Believing is saying what God’s Word says about your situation. If you have a need, God knows what it is already. You simply keep repeating His promise to supply all of your need which aptly applies to your situation. You’re not following a formula until the magic happens. You’re not saying it out loud to people as proof that you believe it when, deep down, you know you don’t. Instead you are saying God’s promise, which equals light, to yourself until the darkness has to flee. You’re not going to beat the devil with your adamancy, I can assure you of that. You just dwell on what you want and continue dwelling on it, until it comes to pass. There’s no time limit. There’s no secret recipe. There’s no mystery or intrigue. You don’t have to perpetually wonder if you are “believing.” Those mental games lead nowhere and produce nothing. You just keep after what you need faithfully backing it with promises from God’s Word. All the rest is simply accepting the fact that it won’t come to pass. All the rest! Believing God has to be simple because truth is always simple and plain. Error is complicated. Fear is complicated. Bondage is complicated. That thing you need so desperately, God already knows you need so desperately. Turn on the light by adding in the light. Keep saying what God says in your mind and what God says will get into your heart. Believing comes from your heart. 

Next, and certainly not in importance, I learned how much I valued and treasured my private time with God in the mornings. For me, as you might expect from a writer, I prefer to write in my journal and share my heart with God. It is my attempt at “Morning Pages” as was so beautifully outlined by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. Morning Pages are my opportunity to talk things over with my Papa (God). I ask Him questions often and He is faithful always to answer (always). He listens (patiently) to my complaints and whining at times and still, gently, always supplies me with what I need to know or often what is really behind the things that befall me. What I learn on those sweet mornings is not always revolutionary, but often subtle insights and unveilings that meet my needs perfectly. It is so honest, so pure, so refreshing. We all need to talk with our Father at times and we are never the less for doing so. Some mornings I have to miss it and I miss it. Some mornings I’m like the psalmist that begins in despair but ends in victory. What I know for sure is that I need God’s involvement in life and we just happened upon a medium that makes us both happy. (I assume God knows I am a writer!) However you choose to do it or not do it is entirely up to you. But, if you are willing to reach outside of yourself for the answers, you will surely find as I found, God is there. 

Many of my other lessons came in a variety of settings. Each time it was gentle, easy to be intreated, something I could grasp and benefit from and never to condemn me. I learned that all fun has an endpoint and pressing beyond the endpoint doesn’t produce more fun. I understood that moderation has both freedom and limits. I learned that loving God, loving your fellow man and doing as you dang fool please had a lot of depth to it. I learned that God never expected me to be a perfect man, but rather believe in what a perfect man did for me. It finally dawned on me that you cannot add to “it is finished.” I recognized that relationships are two way streets and that sometimes you are the problem. I began to dare to follow God’s advice in no longer judging myself and even learned to extend that to other people. My own shenanigans alone attest to that reality. I learned that it’s not so much what people think about you as it is what you think about yourself. Self doubt is learned and can be unlearned. I saw that God was pretty dang good at taking care of me and my family. I understood that God meets you right where you are and for that I am immeasurably thankful. It became so vivid that God’s will for my life was that I enjoy it as much as I could, whenever I could. How many times he whispered, “enjoy your life.” I learned that my life was my choice and that nothing was supposed to intervene in that. I began a greater appreciation for my family and my friends and endeavored to show love whenever I could. I went on trips, I basked on beaches on both coasts, I traveled, we traveled, hosted parties, made hundreds of Old Fashioneds, spoke kind words to the weary, entertained guests, ate at restaurants, played many rounds of golf (never actually improving, but enjoying it nonetheless!), spent time with the likeminded,  and many more things that would mark a truly blessed life. I had my share of troubles, was pressed at times, afraid, unsure, bewildered, anxious and plain old pissed, but those times never lasted and I was always able to get back to my light, back into the fight. I guess looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Life is good my friends, so good. 

Six decades of living doesn’t produce the best skin, the best hair or the best body, but it does produce a depth of soul you may have never encountered before. It provides you with a time to reflect, to look back, to remember, to embrace and to wish you would have known better. You start to see that every day living is a good day and that life is that much better with God in it. You wish you could say and do all the things your heart always wanted you to do, but at the same time understand that you can do it now. All of us need love and we can only give it when we have it to give. Life is best lived above bondage and fear, but you have to get there when you get there and hopefully it is sooner than later. None of that stuff that has been dragging you down comes from God and if you will let Him, He will change your life forever. I love God and I love you. (M 60’s)

Just some good thoughts…

In Need of Repair?


Stop-trying-to-fix-yourselfHave you ever confessed that you have been working on yourself as if you needed some type of repair? Or, have you used phrases such as, “I’m trying to be better, or I’m a work in progress?” Well, these things may actually be true in some sense. We all could benefit from some revisions, some adjustments I suppose. After all, we are all imperfect creatures in one way or another. But, have you ever considered that you might be just fine exactly the way you are? Behind all of our noble and sincere efforts to be better, hides an enemy whose goal is to make us feel less than who we actually are. He assaults our hearts with accusations and endeavors to write a narrative about our lives that isn’t true. He seeks to point out what is wrong with us instead of all the things that are right. And, in the end, we end up feeling bad about ourselves and searching for ways to improve. So the question is, are you really in need of repair or have you simply been focusing on the wrong stuff?

Almost since the beginning of the world we have all been subjected to an enemy that works in secret. Our opponent knows that in order to defeat us, he has to convince of things that are not true. In his hatred for God and all that is good, he takes his anger out on God’s creation and does so by working people over in their thought life to the point that they start to believe those wrong things are true. It is not by accident that most people feel unworthy before God and do all sorts of things in an attempt to improve their standing. People have magnified their faults and their failings above God and have in error taken those false ideas unto themselves. Nobody feels good enough and almost no-one maintains a healthy view concerning who they are. Instead people become consumed with themselves and drive themselves to the brink to be better, to get better, all the while being ignorant of the truth that God, in the work of His son, has already made them better. People, good people, have learned to accept the falsehoods, not knowing any better, and in so doing carry around a perpetual need for improvement in their hearts. Instead of accepting the value God has given them, they seek to earn their value by the things that they do; by their accomplishments; by their societal standing. Meanwhile, deep down in their hearts, they still feel inferior and act as if something is always wrong with them. It never dawned on them that the things they are thinking, the words they are considering, the ideas they hold about themselves have been manipulated and twisted. People are not inherently evil, the adversary is evil. The wrongs that people do are always due to the influence of evil in one capacity or another. If there were no evil there would be no sin, no error, no mistakes. But, there is evil and it is that same evil that accuses you of being something you are not. Evil accuses you of being what it is. You are not broken and in need of repair.

The function of evil is perhaps the most misunderstood thing in the world. God does not convict you of sin, evil does. God does not exist to point out your shortcomings and remind you of your failures, evil does that. God is not behind all of that self-focus and sin-consciousness that plagues you day by day, evil is. In not knowing or understanding the nature of God versus the nature of evil, mankind is forever subjected to lies and deceptions aimed at breaking him down first in his mind, then later in his heart. Once those falsehoods have been inculcated into your heart, you will struggle to believe God for even the most simple things in life. Your so-called unworthiness will render you afraid and helpless against an opponent that only wants to hurt you, steal from you and ultimately defeat you. The spiritual competition that rages demands that you pay attention and recognize what is going on. People spend their entire lives plagued by the mistakes of their past accepting full and complete responsibility for them. They learn, by endless repetition, to focus on their shortcomings and foibles never actually considering that all that was ever wrong with them has been remedied by God in the perfect life of His son. In this, though they may have been deeply broken, they are broken no longer and in need of no revision whatsoever. Sure there will always be more to learn, adjustments to make, but in their heart and in their spirit they have been completely repaired and made pure. What a revelation to the heart of man. My friend, you do not have to try and fix yourself, you have already been fixed.

From your heart, as the Bible says, proceed the issues of your life. Your life will be both blessed and cursed by those things you carry in your heart. When you spend your days dragging around all that is wrong with you; all of your shortcomings; all of your past failures, you weaken and damage your own heart. You look for and expect bad things because you have been convinced that you deserve it. When good happens upon you, instead of enjoying it, you look askance waiting for the trouble that will surely follow. In this you have been deceived. The deception will always drive your focus back to yourself; to the things you may be doing wrong and to things you should be doing that you are not doing. Instead of looking at God with great gratitude and humility, your focus will be squarely upon yourself and your imperfections. And by doing so, you have been artfully tricked into looking in the wrong places. And sadly, the more you delve into the imperfection of your human flesh, the more things not to like will you discover. This is not God’s will for your life. God has given you complete and perfect freedom and He did it by the works of another man. You are not in dire need of repair as you have been told (often), you need to change what you have been looking at instead. Focus on God’s perfection!

The idea that humans have great need of repair is a plague that assaults all of mankind. Have you ever thought that maybe you aren’t so bad? Maybe the mistakes you have made pale in comparison to all of the good things you have done. Maybe you aren’t secretly evil and looking to do bad things or things that hurt other people. Likely, you are just the opposite. The fact that you actually care about what is right informs you that the former cannot be true. Yet, the accuser, your personal adversary, seeks to convince you otherwise. The solution to this dilemma isn’t to work harder on yourself, garner more discipline, exert more effort. Doing so simply admits the error of your starting premise; namely that something is wrong with you. Instead of working harder on yourself, the remedy is to turn your attention away from yourself. Stop analyzing yourself; your motives; your every move. Stop it! Every time you consider and entertain the thought that God hasn’t made you perfect, you will feel the need to add to God’s already finished work. And, you cannot get more finished than finished! Put your focus on God and what He says is true. Embrace who He has made you to be, no matter how much of a stinker you were. Stop judging yourself, comparing yourself, and berating yourself. There is something behind every wrong done and that someone isn’t you. Thank God you have already been repaired.

My dear friends, it is time to step off the treadmill of the world and start living how God wants you to live. You have been made free in every conceivable sense. Live your life and enjoy your life, even the bad days. Accept and embrace your imperfections knowing that you are just like the rest of us. Put an end to your consideration of the false narrative and believe who God says you are instead. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for you. You may as well enjoy what he did. After all, that is what he died for! Are you in need of repair? I should say not. You are wonderful just the way you are…

Just some good thoughts…

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…

Stop Surviving, Start Thriving…


survival modePeculiar things can happen to you while you’re on the journey of life. You can lose the things you once possessed. Your path can imperceptibly become more difficult. The joy and the happiness you once enjoyed can be stolen from you and replaced with something less. Incredulously, you can even begin to work against your own best interests. What happens to a man or a woman that leads them to survive instead of thriving? It’s time to stop surviving and to start thriving!

No person alive would willfully choose to oppose themselves or work against their own best interests. Even animals instinctively know they have to fight for themselves; for their own lives. Yet this is what happens to people. They can become so broken down, so defeated internally that their only reasonable option seems to be survival. The reason this happens is because their opponent, who works in secret, develops and builds strongholds of error into their minds. These mental fortresses occupy and overrule their logic and paint pictures of life that aren’t actually true. Yet, because they appear true, their devastating effect is realized. People are defeated within the confines of their own heart. It’s no wonder God admonishes us to guard our hearts above all that can be guarded. Once these errors of thought take root, gain momentum and build strength, they render you as a drunken man, unable to discern with any clarity of thought. They rule with the iron fist of fear to the point that it seems more reasonable to limp along in life terrified of some potential outcome, more so than to take life on with its multiplicity of challenges and win. It’s the textbook definition of getting punked out; accepting failure and loss without even fighting back. Logic would seem to dictate that you only need to survive in life when you are out of all available options. Yet those in survival mode always have options as the the things they seek to escape aren’t actually a part of their reality, but rather a part of their imagined reality.

Once people find themselves in these self-made prison holes, it becomes very difficult to extricate themselves. They have been caught in the snare of the adversary and are taken captive by him at his will. In this they are captured alive like a bird that once had freedom of flight. They are not dead, thank God, but they may as well be in comparison to the misery they endeavor to survive day by day. A great teacher once remarked, “Choose your ruts wisely, for you may be in them for a long time.” Ruts are formed in the road by repeated travel down the same path to the point where a groove has been carved into the road. Try as you might, you just keep getting sucked back into the groove. Thus, the solution isn’t to keep going down the same paths over and over again hoping to jump up and out of the rut, but rather to stop traveling down that road altogether. The rut was developed within your own thoughts and you have to decide to make a new road. The reason we get trapped, myself included, is that we persist in thinking the same things that brought us down to begin with. If those things we continue to consider are a lie, our consideration of them, over and over and over, is not going to make them true. Rather, we strengthen the edifice; we build higher and stronger the opposing stronghold and suffer greatly as a result. There is no shame in recognizing that you have been captured, but rather in surrendering and choosing not to fight for yourself. God will always provide a way out, but you have to stand up for yourself and take it.

The only way to tear down those great citadels of error that exist in your mind is to begin to stand against them; to oppose them. It is the truth of the Word of God that sets you free and there is no other way to do it. You stop surviving by your refusal to go down those same paths. It is your human nature, your ego, your well nourished system of logic that is keeping you bound. Humility is the willingness to admit that you might be doing something wrong; that you might be working against your own best interests. The enemy of all goodness is counting on you to make the wrong choice by working on your ego, by those things you think that you already know. By the time you reach the rut; by the time you have become imprisoned by your own self, by the time that fear is the dominating factor in your life, you have already been captured. You’re in the trap! No amount of introspection will open the locks on the trap as it is your (and mine) incessant focus on yourself that got you there in the first place. Who told you that you were not good? Who convinced you that you have no power against the evil that has been threatening you night and day? It was a lie from the father of lies and the only reasonable escape is to stop your consideration of the lie! Stop surviving!

You can only begin to thrive when you rid yourself of the hinderances to your growth. You must cast down those reasoning thoughts against what God’s Word says is true and every exalted thing that stands in opposition to the truth. Once you stop going down the same path the rut will eventually fill back in. The smooth, flat road of the truth will encourage your forward movement. The truth considered and cleaved to will open every lock; break every chain or fetter the adversary has ever put around you and you will once again soar the heights of life where there is no fear. But, the starting point is your humility to God and the things He guarantees are true. Once you escape the false confines of self-made prison holes you can begin to recover yourself and return to sober minded thought that has no basis in fear, only love. And, as God lovingly and graciously gives you a change of heart to the acknowledging of the truth, you will be set free. You will be free to dream and expect and love and enjoy. You will be free to live your best possible life with accomplishment, success and exploits for God. You will stop listening to and acting on those damnable lies and will walk the new road of high endeavor. You will be the man or woman that God always wanted you to be, free to love, free to give, free to serve.

All of us are going to reach a point in our journeys where we have been deceived and suffer as a result of it. All of us are going to fall short. All of us are going to find ourselves in impossible ruts at times. All of us will find ourselves in despair, in survival mode. But the only good God of eternity is always willing to help us find the way back. God’s will is that we thrive. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Stop surviving and start thriving. It is God’s highest good for you. Thrive!

Just some good thoughts…