Are You Blessed?


blessedlifeI have been feeling very blessed lately, so I thought it deserved some blog action. ‘Blessed’ is one of those words that means a lot of things to a lot of people. There’s the traditional ‘blessed’ which usually refers to factors in life that almost everyone experiences like, “I got up today” or “I have a home to live in” or “I’m alive.” Call me cynical but it seems like folks who utilize the term in this way usually don’t seem very blessed. Oh sure they are alive and living in a home, but not exactly blessed! Then there’s the blessed that is always associated with doing the right thing and since folks seldom always do the right thing…well, you get the point. Finally there is the ‘blessed’ that I believe aligns more closely with the biblical definition which refers to good ol’ fashioned happiness and contentment. It’s that inner sense that everything is going to be okay and if anything might not be okay, God is going to fix that in a hurry. It’s a quiet confidence; an internal knowing, joyfully complete with a full anticipation of an awesome tomorrow! That is what it means to be blessed and that’s the only kind of ‘blessed’ I want to talk about…

Now, you might have thought the title of this blog was a setup whereby I was going to point out how ‘un-blessed’ you are and prescribe the “way’ to get blessed according to me. Nah, not so much. Instead I want to explain what I have been doing different lately that seems to have led to all these blessings I am experiencing right now. That’s not to say you aren’t doing these things, but instead simply a happy guy wanting to share that happiness with others.

Let’s start by debunking a few myths. While it is marvelous to be alive and have some food and maybe a place to live, that’s not exactly blessed. Something to be thankful for? Sure! But being alive is something we sort of had no choice in, right? Lots of good-hearted people are plugging away day by day with absolutely nothing to look forward to. Life was never intended to be a perpetual chore to be survived. Nor was life supposed to be a daily struggle for existence and a few shekels. We have all (myself included) had periods where we felt down and lackluster and felt like tomorrow would probably be just like today was (blah blah). There’s no criticism in that. The criticism would come from acquiescing to that life and not getting serious about solving that puzzle.

Next, and probably the most perplexing myth is feeling like there is a never-ending list of things we have to do to perfect ourselves before that blessed day comes when we finally get what we want or get to fulfill our dreams. There is no hamster wheel like that one! The harder you try to be ‘good’ the more you fail at being good or the more you realize how much better you need to be in order to be considered good. Trust me on this one, your life is going to seriously suck if you get caught in that trap! Add to that the outrageous myth that purports that God will only bless you if you are good. You’ll notice that in that scenario the one judging your goodness is usually some other person/leader who most likely isn’t even doing the things he is asking you to do! Don’t get me started! Follow that logic for a minute here. If God only blesses you or protects you when you are good, you’re going to spend a lot of time not being blessed or protected. That is unless you have deluded yourself into thinking you can earn your way into God’s good graces. Egads… It’s myth folks!

God, as your real source of blessedness (happiness), does not bless you because of how good OR how bad you are. He blesses you when you do one thing and one thing only ~ believe. Therein lies the key to my recent blessing trail. I finally stopped cataloging my faults and shortcomings and stopped focusing on what I oughta do; shoulda done or shouldn’t have done and moved my focus back on to the source of all my goodness ~ God! I got my head back into God’s Word, to make myself good? Heck no! To be reminded about what it is that I should really be believing. Did you know that the purpose of God’s Word is to give you right doctrine (how to believe rightly) and reproof (how to get back to believing rightly) and correction (how to get unstuck from habitual wrong believing and get back to believing rightly)! Your life is truly all about what you are believing about yourself; your life; God and the world. It’s so easy to get off track (believing wrongly) and to stay off course absent any true doctrine. But, once you start believing again you will find that all the wrongs become right and life returns to that sweetness you (hopefully) once knew.

So what happened to me? I didn’t get a new job or a new car. I didn’t move into a new house. I didn’t come into a pile of money or receive some tremendous award for human service. Nah… I got my head back on the right track. By becoming sinless?  LOL well those of you who know me would dispute that one! Instead, I remembered that in order to receive anything from God, I had to believe and believing is easy once you learn (or relearn) the right things to believe!

Am I blessed? I think you know the answer to that one!

Living the blessed life…

Uncomplicate Yourself!


002_bibliography_pfalI remember many years ago; 1982 to be exact, taking a class called, “Power For Abundant Living.” For me (and many others) it was just the greatest class in the whole world! In that class I learned the great simplicity of a life with God and how to believe to get the things I wanted for my life. But, as the years waned on, I began to complicate what was once uncomplicated. I added (or maybe I should say, learned to add) conditions and rules and expectations. Instead of cleaving to the truth that I could believe God for anything I needed, I began to doubt what I had learned and as a result began to fall prey to fear. And this, despite my thorough understanding from the class that fear was also believing, negative believing, which always led to failure and difficulty in some capacity. Instead of simply accepting who God said I was, I allowed others to define me according to my behavior which seldom was good enough. The more I worked to get good enough to receive from God, the further I got from Him and the less I actually believed for anything. Instead I accepted that my notions of tremendous freedom and liberty were really just notions and that the way to get the good things in life was to live a difficult existence where everything I did was under scrutiny. Being a guy that always loathed religion, I somehow became religious and the judgment others were leveling on me, I leveled on everyone else. So where exactly did I go wrong?

I went wrong by allowing the truth of the Word to become cloudy in my mind and instead started relying on others to define the rules of the game. And here’s a newsflash for you, once you let other people start defining who you are what you can and cannot do, you slide down that slope at an alarming rate! Sadly, however, you become unaware that you are sliding down that greasy path and start thinking just like everyone else does. You conclude that fear is just a part of life. I mean look around, who isn’t afraid? What you don’t realize is that you cannot believe positively and have fear at the same time. And that, my friends, sums up most people’s condition today.

No matter what people may have told you before, God is minutely interested in your happiness and well-being. It’s not, as some people foolishly say, selfish to pray for yourself or to pray to get your own needs met. God is certainly not too busy with world events to hear your requests either. Do you have any kids? Well I’m guessing that as a parent you are pretty dang concerned about your children getting their needs met, right? Well, God loves them even more than you do! The trouble is that God will not overstep your freedom of will. In order to get your prayers answered you have to believe. If you don’t believe what He promised or have fear involved, you are NOT going to get your prayers answered. Praying and praying and wishing won’t get the job done. Only believing, really believing is going to do it. Here’s a quote from that pretty, little orange book.

“We are what we are today because of our believing. We will be tomorrow where our believing takes us. No one ever rises beyond what he believes and no one can believe more than what he understands. We believe what we believe because of what we have been taught. We think the way we think because of the way we have been led.” ~ Dr. VPW (PFAL)

Your life, my life is a product of what we believe. We can start off fantastically well, then digress into fear and defeat, but the basis of it all is the things we believe good and bad, and the things we have been taught! We can learn to expect the best and we can learn to fear the worst. We can become educated about the reality of the life God intended for us or we can be educated about the complexity of life with God and eat crap for years! Oh me? Yeah, I’m a believing guy that ended up eating a lot of crap. But, praise the Lord, I’m finally starting to see with my spiritual eyes again and remembering the simplicity and beauty of life with God.

Your life is so intricately connected to the things you believe, that you really owe it to yourself to learn what and how to believe. Don’t believe for a second that believing is tied to someone else’s definition of morality. God doesn’t answer your prayers because you are so good, He answers them when you believe. In fact, God has so arranged life that anyone who truly believes, receives, regardless of their religious or non-religious background. The folks you observe enjoying success have believed for it and the people you see perpetually struggling are afraid (not unrighteous before God…just afraid!).

Don’t get it twisted people, life is not complicated. Error is complicated! Religious observances are complicated. The more than abundant life God promised in His Word is there for the taking, if you can simply believe!

I believe (again). Won’t you?

Just some good thoughts…

Loose Threads…


Quotation-Marilyn-Brant-day-rest-Meetville-Quotes-143182You know what you need to do with those loose threads, right? Snip ’em, burn em’, yank ’em, do something, just don’t leave them there dangling, annoying you all day. Funny how something so small and insignificant can make such an impact on your mind. Similarly, loose thoughts; thoughts that we sort of let hang around, dangling, uninvited yet apparent, impact our lives in a profound way. We often find ourselves out-of-sorts, anxious or restless with no earthly idea why. We know we don’t feel peaceful, satisfied or assured, but the cause escapes us. And to make matters worse, we start looking for the cause in our surroundings or in our spouse, job, house etc. But in so doing, we miss the mark by a hundred miles. The real cause is likely a loose thought or number of loose thoughts we failed to snip, burn or yank out.

Assuming you’re not drunk, it’s likely you are somewhat aware of the thoughts going through your mind. I mean you are the one doing the thinking after all. And, for a thought to have any type of impact on you it has to have registered at some level. So, it’s not so much what you thought but rather what you did or failed to do with those thoughts. Intentional living is all about doing something with those rogue thoughts. Amazingly, three or four unchecked vagrant thoughts can alter your mind and your mood in a subtle yet powerful way. Imagine you just woke up and a number of ill-defined thoughts are running through your mind. Your throat has been sore lately and since you smoke cigarettes it’s likely to be throat cancer. I mean you saw that Terri lady talking through that talk box. Randomly leading to, “It’s good that we have the money to make our patio an awesome place and wow, once all the flowers and bushes are inside the curbing it will be a showplace. But, it won’t matter much because shortly after you start inviting people over to enjoy it, you will be dead.” Followed by, “Things have been going very well lately. It’s shame that such a tragedy is coming!” As strange as this sounds, this was me yesterday morning. When I finally got up I was irritated. I drove to work talking to God about why I “always” seemed to feel restless and pondering why I couldn’t relax. I arrived at work still melancholy, still restless and wondering if something at work was bringing me down. And I began to work. Several hours later, while taking a mental break, it hit me like lighting a candle in a dark room. “Remember this morning Tony? You pretty much assigned yourself a death sentence. Who is happy and relaxed if they think they are going to die soon?” Ahhhhh, loose thought, unsnipped! So, I snipped that mutha******* with some good thoughts (that always involve God)!

As incredible as it sounds, it really is that simple. But, when your living the unsatisfied life, it never seems that way. Some folks have been victim to their own unchecked thoughts a lifetime. And worse, some will even argue adamantly that “we don’t need no thought control!” Well, you do need thought control my friend, at least enough control to kick out the occasional intruder. You do realize that just because you thought something doesn’t make it true right? Thoughts, even incredibly believable, strong thoughts are still just thoughts. And when those thoughts are against your best interests; your happiness, they must always be annulled. Failure to check them; failure to address them leads to stolen days and ultimately stolen lives. It’s that serious and it matters that much.

I think, if you are honest with yourself, you will recognize that whenever you let your thoughts “run wild,” or have one of those days when you take a mental vacation, you are never the better off for it. Ever have a weekend where you had absolutely nothing to do and did absolutely nothing? You know that a weekend like that was stressful at best. It’s not that you needed to be busy or overloaded with activity, but rather that you still needed to pay attention to your thoughts and still needed to check them if needed. Ha…you thought you were just feeling bad for being lazy. Lazy in activity maybe, but lazy in watching your thoughts, that’s what got you!

All of us, no matter what has happened in the past; no matter how we thought and what we let go and didn’t let go, can only live in the time period called, now! Now is always all we have folks. So, why not decide right now to pay better attention to those troubling thoughts. Decide that when you are feeling bad, no matter how that shows up, you will take the time to track down those rogue thoughts and handle them as the lies they always were! Your life; your day to day existence is worth that my friends. Contrary to the philosophers you don’t have to give up your happiness for even one minute. Life isn’t full of ups and downs, it’s full of thoughts, checked and unchecked.

Chickety check yourself before you wreck yourself!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Decide Already…


2441There is a great conundrum in life that holds you back from being the person you would really like to be. You have these wishes; these dreams for yourself that you fondly imagine, but you are waiting for something to happen in order to bring them to pass. In short you are waiting, waiting, waiting. You’re waiting for the “right” time; the “right” circumstances; the “right” situation. As for me, I fancy myself as a writer. I mean I love to write, right? But finding the “right” time to write, I can’t get right!  Right? Or, I’m waiting for some inspiration or good feelings or some passion. But here’s the thing, inspiration doesn’t start until I decide to write, whether the time is right or not. (Okay, okay I’ll get off the write/right pun…) So…Life is like that my friends. You are waiting on life to happen to you and life is waiting on you to happen to it! You are waiting to finally decide and life is waiting for your final decision. Oh the conundrum!

Yeah I totally get where you are coming from. You want to decide on something, a direction; a future; an end to “that thing,” but you feel like there’s a bunch of stuff to line up before you can decide. Therein lies hidden the catch. The starting point for making anything happen is the decision. The feelings come after the decision and never before! Again, because you have to get this point, the starting point for anything is the decision! You decide fully and the feelings, the inspiration, the desire, all follow in accordance with your decision. So you muse, “Well, how come you call yourself a writer and have already decided you are, yet struggle finding/making time to write?” The simple answer? I really want to be a writer; really love writing; honestly believe I can write, yet haven’t fully decided I’m going to do it yet!  LOL Yes I’m that honest… You see, a fully resolved decision has no plan B, no turn back point! Procrastinating, hoping, wishing, waiting all point towards an un-finalized decision. Make the decision!

You can change, revolutionize, or drastically alter any aspect of your life from your health status to your personal prosperity simply by making an informed, serious, fully resolved decision. Your job isn’t to worry about how it is going to happen or when or where and in what form! Your job is simply to decide. The details of your desire are preceded by your decision. Decision comes first! Okay, let’s just say you are full of fear. It’s easy to be that way because not only is the world a very scary place, but the media does a supreme job of pointing out all possible dangers from what you eat to where you live to even the air you are breathing. Before you realize it you can become afraid of your own shadow. “Frit to death and done note” according to the wisdom of my British Mum. You find yourself living in fear most of every day. You can’t relax. You’re restless and anxious. You live in the perpetual fear of WHEN the other shoe is going to drop with disaster on its heel! (that was funny!) You don’t like the fear. You wish you could stop it and get over it once and for all. And, you can by deciding. Decide by God that you are sick and tired of being afraid and running from what might happen and just acquiesce in the idea that you will deal with “it” when/if “it” comes! And, if you will truly resolve yourself to the idea, you will find that life is ever waiting and conspiring with you to bring it to pass. No fear. It works this way with anything you want to do; want to stop doing etc., etc. For real!

You don’t believe me? Okay, find someone tomorrow and ask them if they could do anything in the world they wanted to do, what would they do? Now, I don’t mean play in the NBA if they are 50…LOL I mean anything they would do “today” if they could. Listen carefully to their answer. Then ask, why don’t you do that now? Then get comfortable because you are going to be there awhile listening to all of the reasons they have to wait; get more money; finish their schooling etc. Notice if you hear any indicator that they have already decided fully and completely. Then come back and read this blog with an increased vigor. The truth about this awesome life you and I are privileged to live is that we can change anything in it if we will only decide to do so.

If your life isn’t turning out the way you planned (and whose does?) then get quiet, do some serious thinking and make some real decisions. Your good life is still waiting on you!

1. Decision

2. Desire

3. Details

4. Deliverance!

Just some good thoughts…

Clearing the Inversion Air…From Your Relationships!


inversionLiving in Utah, we are often subjected to inversions. The inversions occur because we live in a valley and all of the pollutants get trapped in the air making it difficult to breathe. There’s not enough air flow, absent a storm, to remove the gunk from the atmosphere resulting in a serious health risk! So how does this apply to your relationships? Before we proceed, read the above again…

For a relationship to be healthy, you have to be able to talk; talk about anything. And generally, it’s best to talk about the offending situation the moment it blips across your radar screen. You know exactly when that remark or that attitude or that look sent you a message that didn’t agree with your mental harmony system. You know, right? So why would you put that message on the back burner or worse fear the repercussions of bringing it up? In fact, with people you care about and especially those you love, you owe it to yourself and them to always bring it up. Often young married couples, for fear of offending or worse, losing the object of their affections, choose silence, only to discover later that the initial offending issue not only comes back, it comes back with hair on! Bring it up. If it leads to a big argument, so what. It’s better to have the mother of all arguments than to pretend you are okay when you are not okay. It’s better to have the war and come to an agreement than to avoid the war and live amidst the constant skirmishes. Peace often comes after the war, right?

Like an inversion, allowing pollutants to stay in your mental air risks the health of your relationship. Maybe you need a quick storm or two. Maybe. People often seem to think that harmony in a relationship comes from letting things go. Oh sure, there’s nothing wrong with compromise, as compromise helps maintain a relationship, but letting things go is always bad news. Being married for many years now, I can tell you with complete confidence that every issue you bury under the guise of keeping harmony is going to come back with a vengeance and unreasonably all together in one moment of time. That one fight on that one bad day will turn into a floodgate of unresolved issues seeing the opportunity to finally get out of your heart. And like a pressure boiler that takes on more pressure than it can handle, it’s gonna blow boy and blow at catastrophic levels. So take my advice and speak up often.

None of us want to hear the things we have done wrong or hear extolled to us our faults and our failings. None of us look forward to that conversation ever. But always hidden within that conversation, if we have ears to hear, is some gem of truth that speaks to our hearts. In the middle of all that anger and yelling and accusation sits a little minuscule, almost unnoticed piece of truth that alerts our battered heart of some wrong done; some sensitivity walked over; some selfishness we have engaged in. And when we see it; when we finally see it and feel remorse over the thing we have done, healing takes place; a healing that transcends many, many infractions. That my friends, is the point of the discussion, the fight, the argument, or whatever. In a sense you are kicking up the winds that will eventually blow that inversion out of your way so you once again see clearly. How many relationships have come to an end because we didn’t love enough to say what needed to be said? How many breakups could have been avoided if we had the honesty to say what really was.

Now to those of you who have already loved and lost, I offer the following. There’s a bible verse that tells husbands to love their wives and be not bitter again them. Bitterness comes unannounced from a multitude of unresolved hurts be they ever so slight. Bitterness is born of the small many, not of the large few. But once bitterness takes root, it takes on a life of its own and permanently blinds a heart that once could see and feel and experience. In it’s bitter state it is now poisoned and goes on poisoning everything it comes into contact with until it ruins the person completely. Don’t let that be you. Stop rehearsing the past hurts, the wrongs done to you, the pain. Stop carrying around in your memory those unbearable weights. Instead allow yourself to start again; to start over. Resolve in your heart that you will never allow that to happen to you again. If you can still speak those words you have buried for so long, speak them, though the hearer be long past listening or understanding. If not, speak them to God alone and be now done with it, forever… You are worth that.

Inversion air is hard to breathe and puts your health at risk. Poison cannot exist where there is fresh, clean air. Clear the air between yourself and the people who you care about. Speak up about the things you hold most dear. Forgive where forgiveness is needed and be the person you always wanted to be. You can. You should. You owe it to yourself.

Ah what is that I’m feeling? The feeling that comes from finally breathing a breath of clean, pure, fresh air… And it feels so good!

Just some good thoughts…

Fear is a Decision…


imagesWVWZPDZMI know what you are thinking… Man all this dude ever writes about is fear! Well, that’s for good reason. The number one problem you have, recognized or not, is fear. Fear is what holds you back. Fear is the great thwarter of dreams and plans. Fear is the cause of your negative effects. Fear!!! So, indulge me yet again and hear what I’m saying. Fear has ruined more men’s lives than all other things combined. Fear isn’t just that terror that shows up when you see a bear. Fear is often much more subtle than that. It shows up as hesitation and procrastination; anxiety attacks, frustration and even anger. And, you have got to kill it off man, if you want to be happy. So, more stuff to think about, right?

Shocking statement number one – believe it or not, fear is actually a decision. That’s right! It’s not something that just happens and you have to wait it out. Nope! It’s a decision you are making. You (your mind) is presented with some negative variable; some dreadful potentiality, and depending upon how well that threat relates to you as being possible, fear follows. You aren’t really afraid of the mountains blowing up while you climb them, but maybe so if it is a volcanic mountain. So, how fear hits your mind will always be somewhat relatable to you and your experiences. That shows you that something sinister is behind it. Anyway, when you get confronted with that fiery dart of negativity, you have a decision to make. Oh, you don’t feel like you need to make a decision, but you do. You have to decide IF that thing can happen to you. And sadly, the more you mull it over in your mind, the more ground it gains and the more believable the fear becomes.

To win the contest, and it is a contest, you have to believe that whatever is presented is not going to happen to you. This is where God enters the picture. If you believe in God and His love and protection of you, you can dismiss that fear by claiming a promise in God’s Word that counteracts that fear. Side note – every potential fear that you will ever be confronted with has an antidote in God’s Word. Or, if the promise escapes you, you can always pray about it and even ask God for an answer of peace. Without God the world is going to be a very scary place. In fact, absent any belief in God’s ability to do things, you can pretty much be assured of a life full of fear.

There is another aspect of fear we should consider. Those particular fears that have been plaguing you or have been following you around for a lifetime, are the worst types of fear. You can spot them fairly easily because they represent the sole cause for where you struggle the most. It’s not the circumstances, your upbringing, your family, your lack of money or your gene pool. It’s fear! The reason that they are clinging to you like a hair shirt is because they have gained a stronghold in your thinking. Yes, they started as a foothold, but because of your insistence on allowing them entrée, they became a stronghold. In the military when we speak of the enemy having a stronghold, we mean he has a strengthened, fortified position. Well, fear in like fashion, is an enemy (something sinister) that has built a fortified position in your head. Now, hear me out because this might make you angry. The reason that you still have certain fears is because of your ego. (Argghhh – I know!) You are stubbornly clinging to what you think you know is true, because you just know! Even if God Himself told you audibly that it was just a lie, you wouldn’t believe it because you know better! I mean after all, haven’t you heard the news reports? Have you not studied the latest scientific research? Are you asking me to completely disregard the current medical findings?  Yes, yes and no, of course not! What I’m asking you to consider is that there is something, someone far greater in ability than men and what men say. Isn’t it even remotely possible that what the world promotes as true cause and effect isn’t really the cause that produces the effect? (Let that simmer…) So, the reason certain fears defeat you on an epic, chronic level is because you are refusing to let them go. You, my friend, are refusing to change your mind and just decide they aren’t true.

Fear is always a lie; always wrong and always an illusion. The enemy works hard to get you to fear because fear is believing for something to happen in the negative. And believing equals receiving, as the saying goes… Thus, the first step in overcoming fear is to admit you have it. If you catch yourself telling some scenario over and over that you aren’t afraid of it – you are. Once you acknowledge it by being honest with yourself, you are finally on the way to overcoming it. Next find something good that God says concerning it and cleave to that. Every time you think of your situation or condition, claim that promise until the fear is gone. And finally, get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Make a decision! Decide you are over being afraid of ____________, and move ahead. You will find, surprisingly, that once you stop giving “it” airplay, it just sort of dies out. It dies out because it was a lie to begin with!

Now, if you are still saying you have no fear, I hear you… Say on my brother! But a life of peace, tranquility, abundance and health is waiting for you on the other side of that mountain; that mountain made of clouds. Choose life…

Just some good thoughts…

The Energy Hypothesis…


artworks-000050761535-iurtbh-originalI’ve always found it intriguing how different terminology appeals to different people. When I talk about good and evil, eyes glaze over, but when I talk about good energy and bad energy, oh yeahhhh, now we are talking! So, as not to disappoint, this blog is all about energy.  

All of life is energy! All of life requires energy, uses energy and depletes energy. Obviously working at a physical job takes a lot of energy; physical energy.  Yet interestingly, feeling tired after a long day’s work is more about our mental state than it is about the amount of work we have done (I feel like I should say that again!). Thoughts also require energy and give off energy. Just think about that for a moment… When you hang out with certain people you feel as if your energy levels go down (i.e. drained) and certain folks, just the opposite.  Ever felt a bad vibe (vibration-energy)? Negative attitudes and dreary mindsets represent depleted energy levels and as such need to feed on an energy source, you! And while you nod and smile say it is going to be okay; offering your wonderful advice from your heart, down, down you go! Can you see it? That’s not to say you shouldn’t give what you have, but we all recognize the “depleters” who aren’t interested in solutions, but rather, only in energy feeding!

So, here’s thought to ponder… Imagine that God is pure energy; good energy; love energy. And consider that if you can somehow get your mind in tune with that energy, you can become unlimited in your own energy level. You can tap into an energy source that is unlimited. Good energy reportedly (well, this is my hypothesis) vibrates at a higher rate than bad energy. Good thoughts, positive thoughts, expectant thoughts increase your energy level. Have you ever noticed how good thoughts seem to snowball into more and more good thoughts, and good results? Now, while you are still imagining, imagine that negative thoughts; critical thoughts, angry thoughts, lower your energy levels. Have you ever spent a day angry or frustrated? How much energy did you have at the end of that day? Or maybe, have you ever spent a day complaining about how such and such did you wrong; treated you bad, etc., etc.? Wears you out doesn’t it? (I’m tired just writing about it) And now maybe, the ultimate energy suckers of all time; fear and worry! When you are afraid, your energy levels slow to a standstill. Ever spent a night worrying?  How long was that night? Fear indulged brings your life to a standstill.  And no-one, with all of their intellect and analyzation skills, ever solved anything while they were afraid!  No-one! Instead, they foolishly cooperated with the great opposer of life and suffered as a result.

In life, to accomplish and to produce and to make an impact, we need energy; lots and lots of energy! People often claim that they don’t have as much energy because they aren’t as young as they used to be. And to that I would suggest, being an older fellow, older folks don’t think like young people. Older people, after having lived a few years and gained some life experience, are afraid of every damn thing! It’s sort of like living a few extra years provides more and more evidence about what can go wrong! Okay, I digress! Producing in life requires energy. If we are going to accomplish something we are going to face obstacles; opposing forces, and to beat opposing forces necessitates greater energy levels than the obstacle represents. So we have two choices. We can find ways to tap into a greater power source or we can find ways to stop our own energy levels from being depleted.  Wait, I guess we also have a third choice!  We can succumb to the negativity of the world and decide instead to sit at home, watch TV and bitch about the person we could have been! So, assuming you want to win in the game of life, what should you do?

Surprisingly, number one leads to number two. Tapping into that higher level energy source isn’t complex or arduous. Religion is arduous because trying to make imperfect flesh spiritual is impossible! But tapping into the source of all energy and power is as simple as changing your mind. If All-Power is loving and good and positive, then deciding to think lovingly and positively and well puts you on the same wavelength with that power! And as you become committed to love and thinking (just some) good thoughts it becomes harder and harder to think fearful, angry, frustrated thoughts, which happen to suck the very life out of you and your energy levels! Number one leads to number two!

Are you tired of being tired? Are you sick of feeling frustrated or irritated because life isn’t working out how you planned? Why not learn how to tap into the greatest power source of all time, the One that reflects energy to the sun? And while you are at it, why not learn how much your thinking affects your energy and take yourself to task about what you will and will not think about? If you do this you will find that you will have enough energy to do everything you have always wanted to do! In fact, you will have so much good energy that you will be able to reach out and give it to other people! Nothing works like love does; nothing!

Just some good thoughts (energy)…

 

Living on the Plus Side of the Ledger…


imagesThis is a blog about living without debt, but has nothing to do with your financial decisions.  Rather this is summary of the greatest story ever told; a story about how to have a fulfilling and effectual relationship with God.  But, I’m going to warn you right up front, if you are a fan of religion and religious ritual, read no further because chances are I’m going to make you angry.  Naturally a discussion about your relationship with God will take more than a thousand words, but I’ll do my best to give you the salient points and then you, my friends, can decide for yourself!

So, here goes…  Anything that you do for God that you really, really don’t want to do will ultimately be based upon fear.  All kinds of things are said and done in the name of God are not only nutso and illogical, but are often far removed from the things God says actually please Him.  Forced obedience is not obedience, no more so than when your kids do what you tell them because they are afraid of what you will do to them if they don’t do it.  And if you are honest, when you follow some commandment or refuse to partake in an activity because you fear negative consequences with God, you are acting out of fear.  I’m pretty sure that you want your children to do what you say because they love and you and trust you, not because they are afraid of you.  Well, God is no different!  Add to that a society that has ever-changing rules regarding what is a sin and what isn’t, we are left with a real conundrum.  But God is smarter than that…

This may surprise you, but God is well aware of the human condition.  He knows how evil works and He’s well aware of the pitfalls that follow bad decisions.  And, in the world of “anything goes”  bad decisions still remain.  Thus in His infinite (and I don’t throw that word around haphazardly) wisdom, He came up with a grand solution.  For those of us that choose to believe, He did away with the sin problem once and for all.  He knew we would never live up to His Word on our own.  The first man, Adam, the prototype didn’t, so why would He expect that we would be any different.  Yet how many of us think otherwise?  How many of us do all kinds of shenanigans to “make” ourselves right with God.  And have you enjoyed much success playing that game?  For every good deed we do, we inadvertently do two things wrong.  And even the good things we think we do often present with another layer of how we could have done better and on that dastardly game goes.  Have you ever noticed how angry and judgmental religious people are?  Have a little compassion on them, that’s a tough, tough game they are playing!  Instead God masterfully devised the ultimate solution.  He sent His son as the Savior from sin.  Jesus Christ with all that wonderful freedom of will you and I have (minus sin in his blood), decided to walk and live God’s Word perfectly.  Then after suffering the worst torture any human has endured, died, paying once and for all the price for everything that was ever wrong with you and me!  He became sin for us so that if we chose to believe in him and that God raised him from the dead, we would be forevermore righteous in God’s sight!  Now think about that for a moment.  Once you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and believe God raised him from the dead, you are forevermore righteous in God’s sight.  And in being made righteous by God Himself, never, ever have to fear again coming up short in His sight.  That’s true freedom folks…but, it gets better.

Being now made free by God, you are now 100% free to choose how you live your life.  Stay with me now!  You simply cannot sin in God’s sight.  You cannot.  Because you behave so well?  Of course not!  Rather, because you chose to accept God’s sacrifice for you.  Sidenote – if you revert back to earning God’s love and protection with your good behavior because something made you afraid, you go back to the ‘game of losers’ that no-one ever wins.  And now paradoxically, for the first time in your life, you truly have freedom to decide how you will live.  When you afraid of making God mad or losing God’s favor, you aren’t really choosing freely.  I don’t know about you, but I want my children’s love and respect and trust to come from their hearts, freely and without fear.  God is no different!  He wants you to do what you really want to do.  Don’t you think He can see through your rituals?  Can you imagine that He already knows your heart isn’t in that behavior you are begrudgingly choosing?  Really?  He is God, after-all… Now I’m not saying anything goes or do as you please through life.  You already know that doesn’t work.  I’m saying stop doing stuff for God you really don’t want to do.  You aren’t blessed, God isn’t blessed, so why do it?

You and I, as believers, are living life on the plus side of the ledger.  We cannot dip into the red because Jesus Christ already paid the price for us.  You wouldn’t pay more for something than it costs would you?  Well, that’s what you do every time you try to earn God’s favor!  Don’t go by what people say, go by what God says in His Word (you didn’t think I made this stuff up, did you?).  Don’t rely on your Pastor or the TV or the Internet, find out for yourself what God says in His Word.  Not too long ago dancing was a sin (smile).

Get off that high horse you have constructed over time and let God do for you what you were never able to do for yourself!  A relationship with God isn’t all about you (what you do and don’t do, though the preachers beg to differ).  Instead it’s all about what God has done for you in Christ Jesus.

Breathe in the fresh air of freedom folks; where there is no fear.  You deserve that, don’t you think?  Haha, well maybe not, but God made you deserving of it!

Just some really, really, really good thoughts…

 

Stumbling in the Dark…


No%20Other%20Kind%20of%20Light  Not too long ago we came home kind of late following a get together with some close friends.  We had partaken of some beverages and it was sort of late.  My wife went to bed before me and I waited while fulfilling an attack of the munchies that besieged me.  Went I finally sauntered into the bedroom it was pitch dark inside and not wanting to wake my wife up, I fumbled around in the dark.  After taking out my contact lenses in the bathroom, I groped for the door that lead into the attached bedroom.  As I proceeded the 15 steps to my bed, I blindly discovered several obstacles in my path.  Whether it was too many drinks or the darkness or both, the next thing I knew I was heading to the floor at a high rate of speed.  Luckily I caught myself with my right thumb (ouchee) and let out a moan.  Somehow I had successfully navigated those 15 steps in the past, but on that night, not so lucky!  😉

So I ask, how many of you having been injuring yourselves while stumbling around in the dark?  No, I don’t mean navigating from the bathroom to the bedroom with the lights off, I mean navigating in life with the lights off!  For a problem to remain a problem, the implication is that you cannot “see” any solution.  However, like the ostrich never learned, just because you cannot see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  Often in life when confronted with a problem we drive ourselves crazy with analysis searching for the solution.  Yet where we go wrong is that we search for that solution in the darkness where the problem seems to emanate from.  For example, let’s say you receive a health scare.  You go to the doctor for your annual check-up and he begrudgingly tells you of some indicator of a problem coupled with some potential reasons (all of which are scary) why it may be indicated.  You head home, afraid, and resolve to do some private research on WebMD.  Not being a doctor, your research not only fails to resolve your concerns, but actually introduces more variables that scare you.  So in that frightful moment you now have two choices.  You can sit and worry and stew and brood for days until your next appointment (darkness) or you can change your thoughts and turn on the lights.  I offer this not as a criticism, but as an observation.  Most people would choose path A because that is all they have been taught in a world that is engulfed in darkness.  A great man once said, “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!”  Keeping your mind mired in the negative potentiality of the situation is walking in darkness.  And try as you may, you will never, ever, ever see the solution in that darkness.

Imagine you were hiking in the mountains in the middle of the day and came upon a steep cliff.  Accepting that no-one wants to fall off a cliff, you would be very cautious, but not necessarily afraid.  Now imagine navigating that same territory in the dark.  You would you most likely be very afraid and not without cause.  The terrain is identical but under the cover of darkness you just couldn’t see clearly what is around you or where you are heading.  Life without the light is like cliff walking in the dark.  We grope around in the darkness afflicted by this and tortured by that and are never quite able to discern the cause.  Well, God wants us to see the cause and He shows it to us by the light.

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  God’s Word, given to us by God, is also light.  In the light of the truth we can see, often for the first time in our lives, the causes for the problems that plague us.  Without the light, we stumble and stagger and fall, assigning the cause to life (life’s a B…) and karma (karma’s a B and you don’t want to meet her) and their companions bad luck, misfortune and accidents.  Not understanding, we assign meanings which reveal our lack of understanding.  The Adversary, the enemy of all that is good, works in darkness.  And, he is counting on us humans to rely on our intellect and reasoning skills to attempt to solve issues that are spiritual at the root.  And, since they have a spiritual basis, we will never discern the root with our intellect, and thus goes mankind ever downward, always frustrated, living in a world he doesn’t get.  Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way!  When confronted with a challenge, we need the light.  (I can see you Carl…maybe you should consider becoming vegan…LOL Geico)  We need to step down off that almighty pedestal where we know everything and humble ourselves by at least considering that maybe there is more to learn.  I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to a teaching of the Bible, or been reading the Bible or even read a Bible verse on a Facebook post that completely illuminated a situation I was facing.  And here’s the kicker, the illumination hardly ever came from an area I thought was the issue.  In other words, my simple, joyful task is simply to turn the lights back on and not fret myself over which switches to flip.  My job is simply to turn on the lights.

So, the next time you are confronted with a problem whose solution isn’t apparent, instead of having too many drinks; taking out your contact lenses and navigating in the darkness, reach over and turn on the light.  Stop grappling with the thing in your mind, change your thoughts and turn on the light.  Our job as humans isn’t to know the answer to everything but rather defer everything over to the One that does.  Nothing is so scary in the clear light of day, is it?  If you can develop this simple little habit, you will find not only the solution to EVERYTHING that ever bothered you, but you will discover the Great God of love and light behind every good thing…

Wishing you a life of beautiful, clear sunny days, no matter what is going on outside!

Just some good thoughts…