Spread a Little Sunshine…


The Corona Virus pandemic has certainly done a fine job of screwing with everyone’s minds in various proportions. Some folks have taken to buying one hundred toilet paper rolls guaranteeing unlimited wiping for the foreseeable future. Others have seen fit to hoard bread and soup and even the spices. Salt anyone? Oddly, bottled water has reached an epic peak as preparation for Armegeddon marches on! Some geographic locales have locked the populace down entirely for fear of an increased spread. Whatever the reactions, ranging from mild annoyance over lost conveniences to abject terror, ye old virus has done a dandy on the minds of Americans. So, what the hell can you do about it?

First, it is important to put things in their proper perspective. Things like this have been happening in the world almost since time began. There have been world wars and rumors of wars. There have been plagues and other health vexations for centuries. There have been catastrophes of unparalleled proportions. The threat of nuclear annihilation only just recently fell out of fashion. In short, there is always something going wrong, somewhere, to some people. It is all a million variations of the same threat, namely fear. Fear has no logical endpoint, because as soon as one fear is overcome, another pops up to take its place. Fear doubles down on bad circumstances and invites more and more disaster. Fear seeks to convince you there is nothing you can do about a situation; severely limits your options and boldly asserts that God is dead! But, God is not dead my friends and He is inifintely bigger than any dreadful thing that rises up against you. Fear is a liar from the father of lies. Remaining in fear you cannot hope to win. Fear is negative outcomes accepted and believed before they come to pass. Fear is truly your only enemy!

In the midst of trying circumstances, you really have only one responsibility. Stop being afraid. Fear not! Fear will have you engaged in all kinds of crazy shit! (toilet paper anyone? – pun intended) Decisions made in fear are not decisions at all, but rather forced behaviors you neither chose or agreed to. Fear is a bully taking advantage of your mind and your human tendency towards futility. I mean, how much control do you really think you have over world events? What could you possibly do in your little reasoning machine to effect any change over what is going on? You cannot wish away negative circumstances, but you can sure as hell refuse to participate any longer. Do you really think that you or a scientist or the medical profession can have any serious, lasting impact over things that are based in the spiritual realm? The only thing that defeats spiritual negativity is spiritual positivity! In other words, instead of furthering the spread of negativity and fear, you must learn how to spread a little sunshine instead. Literally, shed some light on the subject. Be part of the solution. Wake up, stand up and get out there expecting something good to happen. You may not change the world, but you can change how things are going to work out for you. You are the only thing you can control. Instead of falling in line with the other sheep heading towards the cliff, turn around. Go the other way. Decide, “not me boy” and get out there and live.

It has been my experience that God can turn anything around if enough people can get behind that notion. I’m quite sure God is very familiar with what is going on right now. I’m also sure He loves your loved ones at least as much as you do. If you got sick, I’m quite sure He could heal you. Nothing that ever happens comes as a surprise to God. He has foreknowledge which means He already knows. And because He knows, He also has a solution for you. Your job is not to try and wrangle with fear, but instead trust God and find the solution. The alternative is almost certain defeat. God is infinitely bigger than anything you will ever come up against! Trusting God means making a decision to stop being afraid. Then, in response to that, let that shit go Elsa! (Peloton reference) Walk away from it. Let it go! Don’t worry yourself over it for another second. If there is nothing God can do when faced with a world pandemic, He certainly wouldn’t be much of a God, would He? Well, there is something He can do, but you have to learn to trust Him and let Him do it! Start spreading a little sunshine…

This too will pass. One day you will look back on this time and wonder how you let it get you so shook up. But, you will have wasted a lot of time in churning and stressing over something you had no control over. If you think about; I mean really consider it, nothing you have ever feared was ever within your realm of control. At some point, hopefully, you decided to let it go. Trusting God is always about letting it go. Just as you have enjoyed a beautiful day basking in the sunshine, put that sunshine on in your mind today. Inject some light into your thinking. Stop reasoning with potential catastrophes and walk in the light. Walk in the sunshine feeling the warmth of the One that invented sunshine. There’s a reason sunny days make you feel so happy. It is God, don’t you see it? It is God enlightening and uplifting your life. Sure, we may have some hardships to endure, but just as there are rains and storms in life, the sun always comes back out. It has to…

I, like you, am not sure what lies ahead. I have also considered economic collapse, sickness and mass misery in the days ahead. But, I haven’t considered it for very long! I decided I am going to continue spreading the sunshine, no matter how dark it gets, because my life isn’t based on what things look like, but rather on the promises of God. You too, my friend, can spread the sunshine. Help somebody else out and get your mind off yourself. Bless people, love people and remember God is bigger, much, much bigger… There will always be a way out for us. Believe that and spread a little sunshine instead…

Just some good thoughts…

Divided You Fall…


When it comes to your life, you’re it! You are the only you, you have to work with. You can only be you and never another you. You are incredibly unique, unrivaled in your ability to be you. And, while you are busy being you, you only have one chance, one shot at your life. You only have one grand, relatively short opportunity to be the best, most blessed, happy version of you, you can possibly be. Given this all encompassing, unchanging reality, how could be ever be persuaded to be against you? How could you ever let anything come between you and you? How could you have come to accept an internal existence where you are your own worst enemy? Indeed, divided you fall…

It probably should have dawned on us a long time ago that something takes place between our ears day by day, not working for us, but actually working against us. We were all born with this inner critic who refuses to give us a break. It is relentless in its conviction to talk us out of who God made us to be and to make us into something else; something weak and defeated instead. According to this perilous maleficent, you are usually wrong, don’t measure up, deserve bad outcomes and will likely never get the things that are most important to you. It works to derail you and push or pull you off course. It is your old nature and it arrived shortly after the fall of mankind. It resides in your blood stream as an unintended corruption and is passed down from person to person, to everyone born into this world. And as such, it is the negative counter to every positive. It is indecision and self-doubt. It is error and it must be overcome. It is always a lie.

As a thinking being, don’t you find it strange that the voice inside your own head is so often negative? As soon as you gain some ground and begin to develop some confidence, the voice speaks up and reminds you that you are actually fraudulent and that it is only a matter of time before you are found out. You learn something new and helpful; you receive some flash of insight and then that dark specter goes to work persuading you against your own best interests. It seeks to make you afraid and threatens you repeatedly with some awful doom waiting just around the corner. Even the good you enjoy is portrayed as short lived with an end date looming on the horizon. And sadly, the whole world is subject to its work, seen in the faces of defeated people, worn out, miserable and without hope. Its primary work is done in your thought life and without recognizing and changing those thoughts you are destined for failure. It was never God’s will for you to live this way as His will was characterized by paradise. However, it arrived as a result of man’s free will choice and continues or is overcome in light of those important choices.

The only way for you to win in the great competition of life is to learn how to think properly; to think things that are actually true. God does not work to tear you down in order to build you up. God does not engender doubts and fears. God does not threaten you. God does not assault your mind with an endless stream of negativity in order to humble you. God is always for you. He heals you and teaches you and helps you. He wants you to understand what the heck is going on. What you have been experiencing is not natural. It’s not just how life is. It is an aberration and its consequence is felt within your own experience of life. God seeks to make you whole. God wants to fill in your rough spots and make your way smooth. God is for you and never against you! Knowing this truth, your job is to be for yourself.

Remember, you are the only you, you have got. As such, you have to take care of yourself; be kind to yourself; be patient with yourself. You have to stop thinking or speaking cruelty to yourself. Stop berating yourself and give yourself a break. You are a human being and you came into this world attached to an old man nature you are not going to be finally rid of until God gives you a new body and a new mind. Until that blessed future day, you have got to learn to defeat your internal opponent. It’s not just you opposing you. How could that be? You are your only you. If you aren’t even for yourself, how can anyone else be for you? And, why would you be against your very own self? Can you see the logic involved here? How could you look in the mirror and not like the person staring back at you? Who could have gotten you to the place where you don’t even like your own self, your own flesh? Who convinced you that you are so worthless, so stupid, so incapable? Who talked you into the fact that you don’t deserve anything good; that life won’t work out for you; that you are somehow destined to lose? Absent this wicked taskmaster, you would be free to think the best of yourself; to expect great things; to succeed in your every endeavor, to be and do everything you ever wanted in this life and God would be blessed with you for so doing. It doesn’t matter how long this has been going on (and we are all subject to it), what matters is what are you going to do about it!

Life is hard enough (thanks to this same opponent) and you don’t have to cooperate with it for another moment. Give yourself a break. Forgive yourself and learn to love yourself again. I think if we could see all the spiritual influence behind our wrong choices and mistakes, we would be a lot more compassionate with ourselves than we are. But, God sees it and made a way for you and me to win. Our job is simply to begin thinking how He says to think. The next time your old man nature maligns you or seeks to make you less than you really are, confront it; challenge it; take it on! You cannot be all divided against yourself and expect to win at life. You have to be for yourself, not because you have a big ego or are somehow selfish, but because you are the only you, you have got!

One life. One opportunity. One chance to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Don’t spend another moment as a cooperator in ignorance, but choose instead to vote for your own happiness and blessings. God would have it no other way!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Lift Up Your Thoughts…


The other day, a close friend (brother) of mine posted a quote from one of my favorite authors, James Allen, that truly resonated with me. “A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak, and abject, and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts.” If you want to do life like you would like your life to be done, you have to learn to lift up your thoughts.

If you lived a little and experienced some things, you’ve begun to learn that the mindset you maintain is entirely within your control. Oh crappy things still happen to you. Things go south inexplicably. Circumstances marshall together and bite you on the ass. But, what you do with your thoughts is always, always up to you. Sometimes you want to stay in your funk. Playing the victim has its own reward in absolving you from all personal responsibility. The reality that life is often unfair seems justification enough to stay down in the misty flats. But, at the end of the day my friends, you know deep down that you are refusing to lift up your thoughts. Thoughts and emotions change at such a frequency that you might forget whatever clouds are blocking your sunshine, forcing you to willfully recall the source of your trouble and get back to acquiescing to it. In such cases, you are refusing your own happiness and reaping the results of your own decision.

The difficulty involved with lifting up your thoughts is not a matter of discipline or self control, but rather a matter of being afraid. You’re afraid that it won’t matter what you do and that no matter what you do things will continue as they are. You doubt the outcome. Fear has you ensnared and trapped. You wish and pray and beg God to change the circumstances but refuse to own the part for which you alone are responsible. You want to win the lottery or for some other miraculous event to solve your problems in one fell swoop. You want to lose the weight by taking a pill and still eating bad foods in excess. You want the happiness you have hoped for without doing the things that happiness requires. In short, you are not cooperating with your own solution. In stubborn rebellion, you want good from bad and blessings from cursings (your own mental cursings). In the immortal words of Emerson, “We need only obey.”

Your thoughts connected to your mind, connected to your heart, form the basis of the life you live. If you want better you have to think better. You have to change your mind. You are waiting for God and God is waiting for you! God’s part is to provide all that you need to be successful. Your part is to think accordingly. You can’t hang around in the darkness and expect to see the light. God doesn’t change. He is not found in the darkness. He lives in the light. You have to march your mental butt over to the light, where He is, and then you can finally see. Lifting up your thoughts means to take your thoughts to the light. You don’t walk over to the light because everything looks good or feels good or because things are finally looking up. You walk over to the light in order to see the good and experience the good and then and only then do things begin to start looking up. Do you understand what I’m saying? You act first. You take the initiative. You make the right move! Change your mind! Refuse the abject negativity and doom predictions and get yourself to the light!

Lifting up your thoughts is not blind faith or anything that cannot see what’s ahead. Instead it is a mental decision to think something different and stop thinking in accordance with the presentation engendered by the darkness. You may not realize it, but thinking negatively is actually a form of obedience also, but you are obeying the wrong source. You are cooperating knowingly or unknowingly with the wrong source. Cooperation with evil, even if you have never considered it that way, is a recipe for a life of abject misery! It is not how life is or being realistic or any other bullshit you have rehearsed in order to justify your wrong thinking. Instead it is deception artfully crafted to make your life suck! And, if your life sucks, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Look, you cannot control the events of the world. You cannot control the economy. You cannot control the evil things that happen to people in this life. But, you can control your thinking. You can decide to lift up your thoughts and you owe it to yourelf to do so!

It is an absolute shame what happens to people in this life. It is awful and painful and terrible. People are blown about from pillar to post by an enemy they can neither see nor discern. They feel helpless and lost and defeated. Yet, they fail to recognize the one thing they can control, their minds. They do not see or understand the connection. They wrongly assume that thoughts are just thoughts and as such don’t put much stock in the importance of controlling those thoughts. God has not left you without remedy. Jesus was always successful because he controlled his thoughts, perfectly and at all times. You and I will not accomplish that incredible feat, but we can sure as hell make an incredible impact on the lives we live on Earth today.

Lift up your thoughts! When you recognize that you are dwelling in the darkness, change your mind. Stop it! Stop rehearsing every wrong done, every thing that isn’t right, every problem that confronts you. Stop living in and getting comfortable with evil. Instead, choose light, choose love, choose good thoughts. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 and I didn’t write the book!

You can lift up your thoughts and every good thing you have ever imagined can be found there! It’s your mind and your thoughts. Cooperate with God! Obey!

Just some good thoughts…

Ummm, How’s Your Energy Lately?


When you boil it all down (pun intended), life is all about energy. Life functions or does not function based on energy. Everything gives off something. Some things in life serve to increase your energy, while other things tend to deplete that energy. You can feel energized and excited about life or you can feel tired, bored and distinctly lacking in energy! So the question is, how’s your energy lately?

It is often said that children have endless energy. They flick about from place to place, happy as a lark, purely in the moment. They don’t waste their energy in pointless worry, but rather focus their energy on the things that give them joy. They seldom feel badly about themselves and if they do, they seek to resolve it immediately. They don’t give a second thought to whether or not their needs will be met as they wholeheartedly trust their parents. And if they do find themselves with unmet needs, they continue to expect those needs to be met regardless. In short, they are wonderful, little positivity machines spreading good feelings to weary adults. Many a tired parent has been uplifted by their children.

By the time we get a little older we forget the lessons of our childhood. Instead of focusing on the good in life, we get all caught up in everything that isn’t right. We churn and burn in our thoughts, painfully considering all that could go wrong. We dismiss childrens’ delightful attitudes as naivety and assume instead ‘grown-folks’ thinking. We worry our needs won’t be met and we worry when things are going well. We cleave to all perceived wrongs done to us and remain vigilant for any new ones. We live in the past and in the future, rarely stopping in the present to have a look around. We not only feel bad about ourselves for wrongs done, we refuse to give those things a time limit. Some people are giving all their energy away to some relatively brief, bad event that happened over thirty years ago. And we wonder why we feel so tired. We wonder why we drag about like corpses with barely enough energy to fight for our own existence.

People aren’t worn out today because of how much they have to do. They’re worn out because of what they have been doing with their minds. They are giving away their finite energy to things they cannot affect. They are focused on the wrong stuff. They are distracted, confused and bewildered. People are so accustomed to worrying that they think not worrying is irresponsible. They distress over possible, though not likely, unreasonable, terrible outcomes. And they do it habitually, perpetually, day after day and night after night. And in so doing, they squander away their precious energy. All they have to show for it is a life not truly lived. Instead of courageously reaching forward, trying new things, endeavoring and taking risks, they settle into a worn-out mediocrity, full of fear and uneasiness.

Since all people have an energy they produce, you can be greatly affected by the people you are around. Some people add life to your soul and although you cannot put it into words, you know you are the better because of them. Others serve simply to drain away your life force. They bring distress and unrest and aren’t fulfilled until you are brought down to their level. Add to that an environment steeped in negatives, fears and predictions of doom, you are left defeated and without hope for the future. You become a victim trapped in a world that offers you nothing good, lasting or worthy of your pursuit. In that mental turmoil you find yourself unhappy and depressed, your depression being a lowering of your vitality and energy. Again it is no wonder the whole place lives on antidepressants or wine or anything that promises an escape, if only temporary.

God is the source of all energy. He is the force behind all life. His love, His goodness, His light is the energy you need to live a life that is abundant, yes more than abundant! It is always there available for you if you want it. It has no downside, no bad exchange, no cause for distress. He offers you life and energy and enthusiasm, not in exchange for something but in spite of everything. In order to access His life, you have to do something different. You have to take charge of that mind of yours and bring it under control. He will never overstep your freedom of will, no matter what the preacher may have told you! You have to do it yourself (with His help of course). You have to stop giving your energy to negatives. You have to put an end to the futile worrying. You must learn to stop considering and discussing and reasoning with your fears. Fear brings life to a standstill. You already know that no-one gets out of fear by continuing to embrace the fear. Instead fear is resolved by depriving it of your precious energy! It fades away only when you deny it your power, your energy, your life. In order for fear, which is always a lie, to live it needs life from someone as it has no life in itself. All it has is illusion, tempting away unknowing humans into its lair.

Once you learn to obey God in your thinking, or at least start trying to do it, you will find new energy to pursue your endeavors. You will find enthusiasm (en-theos) and energy and love. You will find that life takes on meaning again. The blurry will become clear and you will have the clarity you need to make moves successfully. Oh you may get sucked in again from time to time, but know this – deciding what you will and will not think about and refusing the darkness will lead ever to the life you really want! Is your energy at an all time low, my friends? Start controlling your thoughts and see if God will not energize you afresh!

Just some good thoughts…

How to Escape from Yourself…


Life has many ironies which God seems to have thrown in for good measure, as if to say things aren’t always what they look like. Ironically, sometimes the thing you need most to do in order to alleviate your present dilemma appears to be the exact opposite of what “you” think you should do. Today the world seems consumed with this notion of self and a myriad of things you need to do to best care for yourself. But, what if many of those suggestions are based in error? What if your solution for your problem isn’t at all what you thought it was? What if your best efforts to feel better ( and let’s face it, a lot of what we do or try to figure out is in an effort to feel better) are unsuccessful because the starting premise is wrong? Error only works when you are unable to see it for what it is…

We all want to be happy. We all want to feel good. We all are aware that life is filled with challenges and we all understand that every day isn’t necessarily going to be a blissful experience because of those challenges. But, we also all know what life is like when we feel good and for that we are forever on a quest to feel good. When our mind feels out of sorts; when we feel agitated or troubled; when our experience feels boring or lacking fulfillment, we know that also. We accurately perceive when our energy is down; when our excitement is diminished; when our enthusiasm is missing and in our desperation we turn inwards. Our mission to feel good drives us further and further into ourselves, searching ardently for that thief, that hindrance, that devious bastard keeping us from our pure happiness. “Maybe it’s because of how I have been acting lately. Maybe it’s my diet. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Maybe it’s my wife or my husband or my job or my family or my…….” Whatever we think it might be and however it affects us, the end result is the same in that our focus and attention is driven and pressed and steered deeper and deeper into ourselves…

It has been said that the deeper you look at the things God has created, the more perfect they become (think snowflakes, leaves, granules of salt, to name a few). Conversely, the more deeply you inspect things that man has made, the more their errors and imperfections become evident. Similarly, the more you focus (or more accurately are driven to focus) on yourself, the more miserable you will become. Oh sure, you think looking inward will lead you to some divine enlightenment you have heretofore been missing. You believe buried somewhere in your subconscious mind is a temple of knowledge awaiting your arrival. But, sadly, you are wrong. All you will find, if you must persist, is more and more unhappiness and the distinct absence of what you have been searching for so diligently!

Your problem isn’t how you feel, though Lord knows it seems like it. Your problem is one of focus or where you are focusing your attention. If I may say it bluntly, you are inspecting your own imperfection and expecting perfection. You are considering your own weakness in an effort to find strength. You are searching for human solutions to spiritual problems and by spiritual problems I mean the real source of your difficulties. As odd as it may seem to you, your challenges are being engendered by something outside of yourself. And that same damnable force behind your troubles is the same one pushing you inward, deeper and deeper inward for a solution that doesn’t exist within yourself. Your efforts are futile, no matter how well intended they may be. The answer isn’t to look within, but rather to look without.

When you finally figure this out, you will begin to see that you were designed to seek outside of yourself for help. Your focus is supposed to be on God from which all good feelings like joy and peace and love, freely flow. In essence you just give all of your human bullshit to God and leave it with Him. You have to get outside of yourself. You have to escape from yourself and all of your associated baggage. You must stop putting yourself and how you feel at any given moment ahead of everything else in life. It’s not self-care, it’s self-sabotage! It’s a deception of gargantuan proportions. The world’s remedies consisting of focusing on yourself and your happiness and your feelings and your problems don’t lead you out of darkness but instead to more and more darkness. Happiness comes back with a quickness as you move the focus away from yourself! True happiness comes when you walk in the light!

If you’ve been around long enough you know that when you stop moving forward in life and start slowing down and looking around you or within you, you are going to find more and more of that which troubles you. You will discern more and more darkness and more and more reasons to be distressed. Stop doing that! Get up mentally and move ahead. Lay your troubles on God and thank Him for helping you discover what has gone south on you. Ask Him to make it clear again and to restore your soul to that grand place you like to dwell in. It is that simple…

When you find yourself unhappy, disturbed, perplexed or confused, don’t look within, look without. Don’t spend another millisecond muddling through the heaviness. Unload it all as you were intended to do and change your subject of focus. Your answers are there, your happiness is there, your enthusiasm and vitality for living are there, waiting for you to find them again. Don’t look within, look without! Your happiness depends upon you escaping from yourself!

Just some good thoughts…