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…