Life Requires Your Participation…


1_1X2KtJHaDNEr3MBghmUA5wI was thinking the other day about how your life can go sort of stale on you. Things don’t appear different on the outside; there haven’t been any major changes; nothing dramatic has occurred, yet suddenly it feels a bit pointless and dry. It’s almost as if there isn’t anything to look forward to and your existence seems to have slowed down to a crawl. The more deeply I considered the emotions, the more curious I became. What is it that happens to a person that takes away the joy and adventure of living? What event or series of events have been at work behind the scenes stealing away precious life and vitality? What could have possibly been going on in a person’s thought life that led to these negative and hopeless conclusions? Then, I knew the answer. Life requires your participation!

The way you stop participating in life is when you stop moving forward. You don’t necessarily feel like you stopped, but if you are honest you know you no longer have anything you are pursuing. You aren’t on an exciting adventure full of discovery. You aren’t on a journey towards some worthwhile end. You have no grand plans for your exciting future life, but instead have settled in to mediocrity and silence. You’re going through the motions, living, but not really living. There was a time when you had a zest for living and carried a mind full of expectations and desires. But, something happened to you. Something worked you over and wore you down. Someone or a host of someones chipped away at your ambitions and goals. One by one, little by little, your mental plans were closed off and nullified. It wasn’t your age that did it to you, but maybe the considerations you entertained concerning your age. It wasn’t the circumstances of your life that took away your dreams as you had similar, if not worse circumstances, in your unknown and untraveled youth. What changed was your interpretation of your circumstances and what they meant in terms of your future life. Your lack of energy and exhaustion didn’t come about from extreme efforts, but instead lack of effort; lack of movement and ultimately a lack of participation in your own life. You stopped doing your part. Life requires your participation.

When you remove all of the covers, when you take off all the disguises, when you peel away all of the layers, a person’s arch nemesis in life is always fear. It is fear that enters in an impedes your forward progress. Doubt causes you to hesitate. Worry slows your progress forward and fear eventually freezes you in your tracks. Like the mighty roar of a lion, fear roars to stop your forward progress, rendering you helpless from the enemy’s pending attack. The name of the thief that stole your ideals is fear. The hunter that trapped you in a cage of mediocrity is fear. The robber that made off with your enthusiasm and zest for living is fear. Absent fear your mind is free to function at full speed, full of ideas and dreams and wishes, hopes and plans. What happened to you was not a function of aging or gaining wisdom concerning the world. What happened was in some capacity, in some imperceptible way, by repetition and habit, fear got to you. Fear tricked you into stopping your forward momentum. Fear pointed out why your plans could not work; how foolish you were for thinking them and how many obstacles existed to impede your progress towards them. But, it wasn’t fear’s lies that defeated you, it was your acceptance of those lies as evidenced by your lack of progress toward your plans. You, because of fear, stopped moving; stopped doing; stopped trying. Your dreams require your participation in their attainment.

Often people pray for God to take away their problems and troubles. They beg God to simply step in and remedy the situation for them. And while that sounds beautiful, further inspection reveals that is not how life works, indeed not how God works. God moves in people as they move. Waiting and praying and wishing won’t restore the life you have lost as a victim to fear. You have to move again. You have to take some steps. You have got to start moving forward. However it happened to you, it already happened. Bless God for helping you see what you need the most to see.  Praise God for those times you got to recognize and understand it for yourself. What happened to you is common to all men. The acid test for your soul is to look back at your former dreams and goals, your plans, your enthusiasms for things, and note how you stopped pursuing them. You gave them up. It’s like the man that hates his job; complains about his job; is stressed out by his job, yet does nothing to change the situation. Sure he prays and pleads and waits and cries, yet does nothing to change the situation. What would he have God to do in his story? God will move when he moves and not a second earlier. If you are no longer looking for the things that have the most appeal to you, how could you ever find them? If you have given up on even trying something, how could you ever succeed at it? If you already know everything, what else is there for you to learn? The problem isn’t God or the world or the circumstances, the problem is you. Fear (look no further) has tricked you into halting your forward progress and life won’t return for you until you decide to move again. Life requires your participation.

Friends, the doldrums, the boredoms, the lackluster and mundane would overtake us all. However, we are only so because we have ceased our forward progress. We stopped moving and will remain abject and defeated until we take charge and move again. Get back in the game. Remember what you love the most and begin to pursue it again. Take a step then another step and then another. Don’t allow the liar fear to color your world drab gray any longer. Move ahead and see the beauty and vibrance that life is and once again see the God that called you and loves you. Make some moves and see it for yourself. Participate in your own life!

Just some good thoughts…

Is It Working For You?


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I often wonder, what’s the point of being a Christian if your life is just like everyone else’s life. I mean think about it. Surely there is a benefit, indeed many benefits to having a relationship with God and if there aren’t any tangible benefits, maybe we are doing something wrong. For many, it seems that being a believer means you believe in God but not necessarily in the power of God. You are pretty sure that God exists, but when it comes to the life you live, not much seems to happen. People pray for God to help with them difficult times, but don’t pray for God to provide solutions for the difficult times. It’s sort of like God is there for you, but doesn’t do anything to change whatever it is you are facing. Maybe people don’t understand that there is the power of God that they can access. Or, perhaps they have prayed so much with so little results that they have resigned themselves to go through the motions never really expecting anything good to happen. If God is perfect, and I believe that He is, then we must be doing something wrong. If I never receive any results to my prayers, I must be doing something wrong. Why would God promise us so much in His Word if we could not experience those things for ourselves? Is God unwilling to intervene in our challenges? Are our concerns, our troubles not worthy of His consideration? Is this life we live presently supposed to be hard and our task merely to endure it patiently? When it comes to what you believe, is it working for you? 

If you’ll notice the media of today it is fraught with a beggar mentality. We are instructed to be thankful that we woke up or experience other benign benefits that all living people experience. There’s nothing wrong with being thankful of course, but waking up seems fairly fundamental to living creatures. The subtle message implied is that therein is the limit for your expectations. Wake up, be glad and endure another day powerless to effect any change. My words have no intent to criticize, but instead to shake up the lethargy the world engenders. God’s promise is not reserved only for your future life, but for the life you live right now. God wants you to be happy now! God wants you to be healed now! God wants you to prosper now! God wants you to live abundantly now! The reason you don’t experience this reality is because you don’t believe it to be true. The world has reduced God to be the morality police, concerned only and always with what you do right and what you do wrong. He is not seen as a Father providing loving care for His children, but instead an angry judge perpetually displeased with His creation. It’s as if He is wholly unfamiliar with your humanity and your needs associated with that humanity and is more concerned with rules and requirements most of which run at cross purposes with what you want to do! You’ve been told that God does not have time for your petty needs and that it is selfish to pray for yourself. It is no wonder people live the way they do. Instead of days being filled with excitement and enthusiasm for living, people trudge along in perpetual misery, lost, confused and without hope. If you are living this way, it isn’t working for you.

Your first step in your quest is to find out what God actually says about Himself. If you are going to pray for His help, you need to know what He says. I can guarantee you that a lot of what you have heard about God is not true. Instagram is chock full of people whose job it is to make stuff up! “God only gives His toughest battles to His strongest people!” Who says? That’s not what God’s Word says, that’s what people say. It subtly implies God is loading you with hard times as a test or something. We are all in the fight; in the battle, and we get our asses kicked when we don’t know how to fight back. You have to learn what God says about Himself. You have to learn who God really is. Once you begin to appreciate the vastness and the ability of God, you will have no problem going to Him for help. But first, you have got to get all that worldly garbage out of your head. If your first thought when you pray is about how you have been living, then you are doing it all wrong. God doesn’t answer your prayers because you are so good, He answers them when you believe Him, and you will have a hell of a hard time believing what He says when your focus is on yourself and everything you do and do not do!  By the grace of God I am what I am! That is how you win. No-one deserves God’s goodness, yet He offers it to everyone! If you aren’t getting your prayers answered, it isn’t working for you. 

Much of the hinderance we face in getting results is based upon our expectations. We expect so little. It’s no wonder as the world works hard to persuade us thus. We think we oughta be grateful when it’s all going to shit and learn to accept “what cannot change!” Well, who said it cannot change? If God is my Father and I’m struggling or suffering in some capacity, then it stands to reason He would want to help me. To assume otherwise is to assign monstrosity to God. To consider that He would allow evil to work me over in order to produce something beneficial is of equal horror. Sometimes I think we just have to slow down a bit and think. If God is love, if God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, then I must have something confused somewhere along the line. God desires to answer your prayers more than you want to pray them! But, in order to do so he needs a little cooperation on your part. He needs for you to do something with that mind of yours. You can’t be full of negativity and darkness and expect God to shine the light. You cannot be convinced that nothing is going to happen when you pray and expect something to happen anyway. Life does not work that way; lotteries perhaps, but not life! If things are not working out for you, chances are you are not doing something with your mind. 

There are a multitude of things God is reportedly telling you not to do but most, if not all of it, is not from God at all. There are some things God says not to do and it may surprise you what those things are. The number one admonition in the Bible is to fear not! Fear and all of its devilish companions are your primary problem. Doubt, the precursor to worry, stops your prayers in their tracks. Worry, the precursor to fear, stymies your every move. Fear, the precursor to misery and suffering not only prevents you from getting what you want, but actually serves to bring you the things you do not want! Read those sentences again. Fear is your main problem. Fear runs the world. If you will notice your thought life, even for a brief period, you will see the prevalence of fear. You are afraid that you and your loved ones are not safe, so you do all kinds of shenanigans to make them safe. You are afraid your health will be compromised, so you work hard to get it all right. You are afraid your need won’t be met, so you drive yourself mad working to make sure you are okay and that all your needs will be met. The problem with fear is that is has you doing all the right stuff for all the wrong reasons. Your core belief, when it is fear, is wrong and cannot help but bring more of what you don’t want. Before you can get your prayers answered, you have to rid yourself of fear. You must learn to recognize fear and challenge it with God’s Word. Otherwise, your mind won’t be in the right space to receive from God. That, my friends, is your part. You cannot expect God to give you roses while you are earnestly expecting weeds. God will not overstep your free will as much as you may wish otherwise. Obeying God is more properly obeying His command to fear not. You loose the grips of fear by letting God do His job while you do your job. God’s job is too hard for you to do and your job is yours and yours alone. Are things not working out for you? The likely cause is fear and you owe it to yourself to learn to overcome it. 

Being a child of the most High God should be the greatest thing ever. You have access to the greatest power in the universe and He exists for you. There is nothing God will not do for you. There is no challenge, no shortcoming, no former defeat, no sickness, no lack, nothing that can overcome the power of God in operation for you. Life does not work for anyone outside of Him and with Him you can only win. Is it working for you? I hope so and if not then get busy learning who God is and what He will do for you. It is there for you if you want it my friends. It is always there…

Just some good thoughts… 

Good Vibes…


Palm-TreesMuch research has been done concerning the energy levels that all of us are producing. Some folks even go as far to say that our energy levels meet before we actually meet. New Agers call it vibrations and posit that higher level vibrations or frequencies attract other high energy frequencies. Higher level vibrations encompass things like love, positivity, abundance, kindness and gratitude, while lower level frequencies consist of things like fear, worry, anxiety, poverty and lack. Whatever you want to call it, however you want to frame it, there is such a thing as good vibes and good vibes appear to lead us to good things. The questions then become, are you living with good vibes or bad vibes? Are the vibes you express automatic or is there something you can do with your mind to encourage or if needed, discourage them? And finally, are the vibes you find yourself living within a product of your circumstances or are they something you are putting out in every situation that you encounter? 

Whenever we travel to southern California to visit our children, I always feel as if the vibe in that sun soaked environment is more relaxed and conducive to good times. The people we encounter seem more comfortable with themselves and the conversation with strangers is almost always pleasant and warm. Conversely, some folks find the California vibe distasteful, filled with liberal thought and people lacking the capacity to understand real world issues. Yet despite that rather narrow view and even more compelling to me, those folks with lots of resources, as evidenced by their beach zip codes, appear so calm inside and willing to engage with others as if they found a secret to living and are content to share that kindness and goodness they enjoy with other people. It was just the strangest thing. So, I have to ask myself, is there some magic in the land of sunshine or is it the vibe I’m sending out in anticipation of a good time? I’m guessing it is the latter! 

As I flash back on that brief, long-weekend jaunt, there was something different I was doing with my mind. I purposefully determined myself not to think about pending issues at work or rehearse difficulties I might encounter. I refused to worry about anything going on. In fact, I decided I would be flexible and wherever possible, just go with the flow. On our first full day, my plans got rearranged by circumstances, but instead of allowing it to mess up my adventure and remain pissed about it, I changed my mind and changed my plans, consoling myself with the idea that I was going to have fun no matter what we did or when. I purposefully greeted people with kindness and warmth and was hopeful I could positively impact someone’s day simply by treating them well. I didn’t complain or bitch about anything. I dwelled on all that was sublime about being with my family and refused negatives no matter the form they showed themselves in. The more blessed and happy I chose to be, the better things felt and the better the end results. And, as I dwelt in good vibes nirvana, it dawned on me that perhaps I should pursue every day in this manner. 

If you really give it some thought, what is it that takes away our happiness or our positive expectations; our good vibes? Most of the time it is circumstances, not so much what is going on around us, but more so our thoughts and beliefs concerning those events. People are both happy and miserable under the same warming sunlight. Whether we would like to admit it or not, we choose fear, we choose worry, we choose negativity and complaining. We hold our own selves back waiting and waiting for it to appear that good things are lining up for us. It never enters our conscious thought that good things and good times are waiting for us to get on the same frequency from whence they originate. We fail to hold up our part of the bargain, but instead beg God to turn things around for us, despite our own sour thoughts and negative disposition. We but half live our lives, afraid to embrace pure positivity should we become disappointed in our expectations, all the while remaining half negative and half positive just in case. In this we are deceived and are coerced into cooperating with the very things that seek to hold us back. The choice to be happy and to remain happy is always ours and ours alone. We don’t really need it to look like things are going well before we decide to act as if things are going well. We just need to change our energy. We need to improve our vibe. We need to be it before we see it!

After you have engaged in the proper amount of reflection concerning this, while all the while staving off thoughts that suggest it isn’t you but rather the circumstances that surround you, test the theory with a personal decision to put your quest for good vibes into action. Choose right now to be happy and stop dwelling on the things that are endeavoring to bring you down. Stop being so negative about everything. Quit rehearsing defeats that may have occurred and lay aside those nagging fears hell bent on predicting your future. Nothing can accurately predict your future as well as you. Lay aside those incessant complaints about people, your job or your circumstances. For God’s sake let it go. No man living ever improved his circumstances by bitching about them. Act as if today is the best day of your life. Look for the good in things, where good exists, and leave all of that monumental fear of loss with God, the only One with power enough to prevent it from happening. Change your thoughts for real. Oh yes, you are going to be challenged. For sure, circumstances will pop up to remind you of something negative. Things will appear to spell some pending disaster or impossible potentially life threatening health issue. That is the contest you (and I) find ourselves in.  Almost as quickly as you work to make positive changes, negative challenges will appear not as reality but instead an ‘imagined’ reality to drive you back into your former lifestyle of defeat. You won’t know until you try and if you never try, you won’t know! What have you got to lose? Put those good vibes into the crucible of your experience and see for yourself. Good, good, good vibrations lead to good, good, good results and they are not limited to the golden coastline of California…

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…

Is There Fear in Your Future?


futureIt has been oft reported that  ‘fear’ is false evidence appearing real (F.E.A.R.)! As I wrestled that around in the darkness, suddenly it dawned on me, all fear exists only in the future. That is precisely why fear is always false evidence, because it exists only in a time that has not yet arrived. Even fear of the past is in reality fear of its effect on your future and the present moment is occurring now. Is there fear in your future?

Of all the things in life, in all the details, in every aspect and facet of living, the number one enemy you must fight and overcome is fear! All that you do not have or cannot do or are unable to overcome is always based on fear. Fear is the great killer of ambition and desire and your future! Fear persisted in will bring with it all the defeat you have ever imagined. As long as you have fear whether it be in the form of anxiety or worry or concern falsely called, you cannot have peace. Fear is the great antithesis to love, not hate. Fear is a falsehood, a lie at the very core of life, robbing it of its vitality and enthusiasm. Fear is wrong and most unnatural.  Fear is sin.

The problem with fear in your life is that it is a form of believing, but is its opposite. What good things you can believe for without limit, have their parallel in what awful things you can fear (believe) without limit! The longer you hold onto your fear, the greater the likelihood of its appearance into your life. And, even if you never quite arrive at all the terrible things you have imagined, you will endure a terrible ride on the way there. Your fear encourages and invites disaster. And just as your positive believing invites God and His blessings into your life, your negative believing; your anxiety and worry and fear invite the adversary into your life in the form of all types of misery and sickness and suffering.

Fear is a false evidence because it is always a threat to your future. It growls of some impending disaster. It roars predictions of future suffering and lack. It shouts how your needs will not be met. It cannot know this of course, as only God knows the future, so “it” is counting on you to help make the threat a reality. The way you ignorantly cooperate is by accepting the lie as truth and holding onto it instead of discarding it. It’s a really sticky trick. Your human ego, once threatened, will insist on trying to figure it out. Thus it will demand you think about it and think about it until you can solve it. However, you are not going to figure it out with your mind, as its origin is spiritual. Instead your ego driven insistence will result in keeping the wrong thought in your mind, which is all fear needs to take hold. It begins with a knock at your door called doubt. It gets a foot in the door as you worry. Finally it gets inside fully once you are afraid. At that point you’ve been captured! Then, fear’s companion anxiety is knocking on your door and your windows and your garage all at once. It is simply many fears you have misplaced by your refusal to deal with them, one by one, in the moments they approached. You have to deal with them. There is no other way out.

All throughout history, men and women have been admonished to fear not! In order to beat it, you have to depend upon something bigger than yourself. On your own, you won’t really get the job done. Oh you can muster up all the bravado you can imagine, but in the end you need spiritual power to defeat spiritual power. You need Someone that exists in your past, your present and your future, all at the same time. (Don’t even try to wrap your head around that one) You need to be able to give all that care to someone else. And therein is your solution! You have to hand it over and once you realize you have taken it back, hand it over again! Prayer isn’t, as I read recently, just some psychological process to help you feel better. The idea behind prayer is that God will actually do something about that which concerns you. Otherwise, why even pray? When you finally let God preserve your future like He promises, you will find yourself at rest. Unrest is thus a signal that there is something you need to handle or resolve. Often your solution is simply to stop persisting in your dreadful considerations. Refuse to scratch that itch. Letting it go isn’t negligence, it’s wisdom. In terms of the thought, sure that would be awful on an epic scale, but it hasn’t actually happened right? (Notice I left out “yet”) It’s false evidence! Not worthy of your mental considerations… You have to let it go! Now…

It may seem simplistic, but God’s solutions are always simple and clear. Error is complicated! Error is what produces the mind boggle and keeps you up all night! Lies, artfully presented, designed to hold your interest based on some vague possibility in your reality, are still lies. They began as untrue and will remain untrue if you can get this right! Dread or worry about some potential future day have never in the history of existence helped a difficult situation get better. Help is found in the quiet. Answers arrive when you settle down. Solutions come from the “still small voice.”

Is there fear in your future? Get rid of it today! Find that promise of God that negates your fear and say it to the thing until it retreats! Say it today, my friend… Today!

JUST SOME GOOD THOUGHTS…

 

 

 

 

Do You Believe?


1-7In order to receive the good things you seek in life, you have to believe. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or a non-Christian, everyone believes and everyone that believes, receives. Your true expectations for your life are your life, be it good or bad. There’s just no getting around it. Believing is an immutable law that God established for all of mankind. Thus it is in your best interest to learn “how” to believe!

First let’s dispel a misnomer. Believing and faith, though similar are not the same thing. Faith is what comes when you become a believer. Faith removes the separation between you and God. Believing is what all people do. Believing is being fully persuaded in your heart that something is going to happen. When you doubt something will happen or allow “what it looks like” to discourage you, nothing will happen though you pray on your knees, in earnest, all day and all night! Prayers are not answered, not because God is unwilling; has another purpose; or it wasn’t meant to be, but rather because of a failure on your part to believe. Every unanswered prayer has some semblance of this truth in it…

When it comes to believing, where the rubber meets the road is what you allow into your head and heart. Believing itself is not the power. Believing is the touchstone for the power. It is the necessary ingredient; the catalyst to tapping into the power, which belongs to God. Incredulously and with much grace, God is the one that brings to pass all things believed for regardless of the saint or sinner status of the one believing. (smile) Believing is the most simple thing in the world, best represented in the heart of a child. Children believe so easily because the world and all of it’s so-called wisdom hasn’t talked them out of it (yet). You can learn to believe and apply the power that comes from believing into your life, right now, no questions asked.

Believing, as I mentioned earlier, is a full persuasion in your heart that something is going to happen. It is not a feeling. It is not some nirvana state you reach after meditation. It is therefore your job to persuade your pesky heart. Your heart’s objections or negations have nothing to do with it, nor does any feeling of doubt or skepticism. Often we foolishly accept our heart’s skepticism as some kind of truth indicator. We think, “I don’t feel like it is going to happen” and then foolishly conclude that is the end of the matter. But, like anything that runs at cross purposes with the truth, it is actually error. It is error built into us by the world. It is the lies of the five senses existence that define life as only those things you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch, a place God exists outside of… The way that God brings to pass the things you believe for is none of your business. What is your business is to believe and see it through to the end, until you have whatever it is you have been believing to have. What you believe for is entirely up to you and there is no limit. The limitations come from a world that is ruled by someone (or something) hell-bent on you not learning how to believe!

In order to fully persuade your heart you have to work on it. One of the biggest and best ways to work on it is to refute those things that run counter purposes to it. In other words, stop considering what will occur if it doesn’t happen. Stop worrying and churning about “how” it is going to happen and instead keep saying it “is” going to happen! Can you see that? Really? Understanding that, is the key for you to break through all that has ever held you back! You aren’t aiming for good feelings etc., you’re aiming for removal of the doubt! As a great man once said, “Every time you think about your situation or your condition, thank God that your answer and your release is coming.” That is believing. Every time! Persuading your heart comes simply by successfully refuting the negatives that are assaulting it. (Yes, assaulting it!) Children believe so easily because they aren’t battling mental strongholds of fear, doubt and unbelief. They aren’t so damn smart as us adults and they are better for it.

It’s peculiar to me, yet logical, that the best things in life simply are… and don’t require arduous effort and toil to attain. The toil, the trouble, the thorns and thistles come from the wrong side of things, ever working to take away your garden of Eden! Life is hard because you don’t believe. Sure you are going to be assailed at times, but believing will cause you to win each time! That’s when life becomes a blessing for you, when you have that peaceful assurance in your heart that you will always have what you need; that anything that goes wrong can be made right again and that by believing you will always have access to the power; the greatest power of which there is no rival! That is real life, my friends…

So, what is it you need in your life? What do you want? Get a clear, defined picture of what you want and hold onto that image no matter what. How long will it take? It will take exactly as long as it takes you to believe! The moment you believe, fully persuaded, it will come to pass. Stop asking yourself if you deserve it or if it is God’s will or whatever else it is that has been successful in talking you out of receiving it thus far. Is it good? Is it beneficial? Will it bless you and make you happy? Will it meet a need for you and your family? Will it restore you to good health? Will it prosper you. Will it deliver you from bondage? Will it put a zest back into your step and make life worth living again? Then rest assured, it is God’s will!

Do you believe? I do…

Just some good thoughts…

 

Power for Abundant Living…


advanced-intermed-pfal-class-syllabus_1_511ebb705420de7d6d9ed68e3e37889d-3In the Spring of 1982, I was a young college student when I first experienced the class that would change my life forever called, “Power for Abundant Living.” Having grown up with no religious training, I was fortunate not to have any compulsive, well schooled creeds to unlearn, except for one – fear. And, like most people, you would never know this by observing me. I said all the right things and generally made sure it appeared like I had it all together. However, underneath that deliberate facade, I was afraid of everything.

One of the first lessons from this class about the Bible was that fear is always wrong. (If you just mentally rehearsed some scenarios where fear is good, you need the class!) Fear has defeated more people’s lives than any other thing in the world. Fear always encases, always binds, always limits what you can and cannot do. Fear steals away your energy. Fear lowers your vitality. Fear produces inertia and eventually stops your life from moving forward as it should. “Fear is sand in the machinery of life.” Accordingly, “fear not” is the number one admonition in the Bible.

Fear is not simply an emotion or a sense of healthy caution that keeps you from walking off a cliff. Fear is a negative form of believing. What you believe in the depth of your being is what you receive or experience in this life, including that which you fear. The fears you unknowingly cling to either from wrong teaching or ignorance serve only to limit and thwart your life. When and where you have fear you have defeat in your life. Just as a person positively envisions some goal with the expectation of achieving it, fear is negatively envisioning something bad with a fearful expectation of receiving it. No-one would purposely expect bad things for their life and that’s why fear is always wrong! If you look for it and if you are honest, the places where you struggle the most have some fear interspersed in there. However, just as you began life without all of these fears, those fears can be overcome!

Fear, like any negatives that assault your life, doesn’t just show up overnight. Rather it begins as a process from which you are likely unaware. (If you knew it you wouldn’t participate…) Fear always begins with a doubt. Doubt appears following an uncertainty concerning some aspect of your life. The uncertainty you are experiencing leads to feelings that you have to “figure out” the source of your uncertainty. (This is a typical human response and why the technique is so effective.) As you begin in earnest to figure out the source of your uncertainty, you have to mentally entertain the troubling thought while you try to figure it out. Entertaining the troubling thought, though you are sincerely trying to solve a problem, now transitions into worry. Worry is dwelling on difficulties or troubles, always following uncertainty. “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!” Dwelling on and considering “potential” troubles doesn’t actually help to solve those troubles, but rather serves to entrench those troubles into your thinking. Entrenched worries now turn into fear. Fear means the devil is already inside the door. Fear is a hole in the hedge of God’s protection around your life. Your fear has now become a strong expectation for your life and if persisted in, will bring that negative potentiality into your life. Then you may exclaim, “I knew it!” and you would be correct but before it happened you had another choice! Get rid of fear in your life!

As frightening as this all sounds, it has been going on almost since the earth began, when another power gained access and began bringing fear into people’s lives. It continues to this day because it works wholly by deception. The reason you cannot solve the sudden uncertainty you are experiencing in your mind is because the uncertainty wasn’t true to begin with! You begin your attempt with a wrong starting premise. By entertaining the wrong idea, no matter your good motive, you are acknowledging it as true; as a real possibility for your life. In that you have already been defeated! If you start wrong you will end wrong. Instead of allowing the doubt to persist, leading eventually to worry and finally issuing in fear, you have to learn to control your thoughts and refuse to entertain the negative possibility! This is not an easy thing to do. You are going to feel real, real tempted to take that thing on in your mind. You’ll feel as if you cannot let it go and have to think about it. Well, it’s a trick and will always end badly. It’s not your job to protect yourself from all negatives and evil, it’s God’s job. Let God do His job while you do your job…

Power for Abundant Living taught me how, for the first time in my life, to completely rid myself of worry and fear. The class focused on the greater (greatest) power – God! It taught me how to understand the Bible for myself including those things written for my learning and those things directly applicable to my life. Ultimately the class taught me how to “receive” God’s power into my life via holy spirit and begin utilizing that power in my life, leading to power for abundant living! As vividly as I recall receiving God’s power into manifestation in my life, I also vividly recall and embrace being fear-free for the first time in my life! And although fear would continue its assaults on my mind and at times gain a little access, I continue to feel monumentally grateful for having learned these principles and to now experience my life as a son of God!

I encourage you my dear friends, no matter which path you may take, to learn for yourself the truth of God’s Word; to learn how to receive God’s power into your life; and to learn how to rid yourself of all fear in every category of life!

Life without fear is just the sweetest thing ever and God would have it no other way…

Just some good thoughts…

 

15 to Life…


Courtroom Scene.jpgI found myself seeking to lose that same 15 pounds I’ve been working on for about 15 years. I lost all of it once and some of it many, many times. Yet, it always seems to creep back on. Funny thing is it’s only 15 pounds. That got me thinking, why is it that my body would regulate itself just slightly higher than I would want? In fact, why do we seem to get certain things in our lives, yet often feel like we need a little bit more? The house is nice, but I wish it didn’t have bricks. The Ford Explorer works, but that Escalade is bangin’! If you receive in life exactly what you have believed to receive, then why would our believing stop just short of what we really want? Or maybe, are we stopping short of what we really want or always wanting more and more? These are worthy questions for those serving 15 to life.

It was 1982 when I first took a class called, “Power for Abundant Living” where I learned that what a person believes in their heart is what they will manifest into their lives. I’m not referring to the reported “magic” outlined in “The Secret.” Life wasn’t designed for things to just appear out of nowhere, but instead the results we are pursuing show up naturally in direct accordance with our firm expectations! The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” And, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows forth the issues of your life!” Thus your life, whether you like it or not, is a direct reflection of what you believe deep down in your heart. Similarly, the image that you carry of yourself is what you are. How have you been picturing yourself for the last year, five years, ten years? The image that you carry of yourself with clearness and concern is what you are. And the kicker? This law of believing works for positive and negative thinking alike!

A good friend complimented me yesterday on the back-splash I put up in the kitchen. I responded with thank you, then quickly pointed out that there were some flaws in the job and that I made some mistakes. Do you see where I’m going? Instead of just enjoying the positives, I felt the need to add in a “yes, but.” Often, we limit ourselves in this life with our “yes, buts!” Somebody tricked us into believing that we have to take the good with the bad. Someone convinced us that we can’t have it all. Something weaseled its way into our thinking and talked us into considering that we have to give darkness its place. Doubts, worries, fears, stressors and anxieties are the “yes, buts” in our lives.  They represent a form of believing in the negative with just as powerful and specific results.

If you want to learn how to believe rightly; how to get positive results in your life, or how to get rid of the life sucking negatives, the question to ask yourself involves your subject of focus. What is your subject of focus? What do you see most consistently? Does your good always have some “bad” in it? Would your friends describe you as positive or negative? Those thoughts you rehearse most consistently eventually find their way into your heart, determining how your life proceeds. You don’t live how you want to live because you don’t believe that you can! You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you are on the inside. In order to change the outside you have to change the inside. You can change every circumstance of your life if you are willing to invest a little time in changing your thinking. Develop and build a crystal clear image of something you need or someone you want to be, and hold fast to that image. Don’t let anyone or anything change it! Keep your subject of focus.

At this point you may be wondering, “How does anyone know what is in their heart?” The answer is simple, what do you talk about the most? Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What does your communication consist of? Are you quick to notice and point out the negatives? Are you critical of other people? Do you use words that associate themselves with lack and struggle? Is your favorite topic the things that aren’t right in your body? (If so, I’m guessing you have lots and lots of things not right in your body) Or is your conversation pleasant, expectant, looking for the good in life? What you have been saying is what you have been believing and is exactly how you have been living! Good or bad, positive or negative, joyous or disastrous, are all your choice and within the realm of something you can control!

When it’s all said and done, the reason I’m serving 15 to life is because my focus, the picture I carry of myself with clearness and concern, my expectation and believing has been completely centered on something I don’t want rather than on something I do want. When I see myself in the mirror, I hone in on what isn’t right rather than focusing in on everything that is right! And, you cannot do something for 15 years without being pretty damn consistent! The first place to make a change isn’t addressed on the outside, but on the inside instead.

15 pounds doesn’t rank very highly on the life importance scale, that’s for sure. But 15 years certainly does. Any time spent living life stuck in a cycle of something not being right is too long, especially since you have the ability, by your belief, to change it. Don’t settle for life’s potluck or justifying your negatives by comparing them to other people’s negatives. Choose the life you want to live leaving no caveat for negatives, evil or wrong. You deserve that much because God gave you the much! Believe rightly! Choose life!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indecision Trap…


aaeaaqaaaaaaaabfaaaajduzmdzhotc1lwexztutndhjmy05nwvjltfkytdmmwjhnzfinqHave you ever had that nagging feeling that there is something else you need to do? I’m not talking about the time you left the iron on or forgot to close the garage door. I’m talking about the larger decisions you make; the ones that define your life and your contribution to the world. All of us have that special something that we alone can give and that won’t come into evidence unless we give it. Well, that feeling has besieged me lately and seemed worthy of further exploration…

None of us climb the hill to success without first making a decision. Before anything worthwhile can take place in your life; before any real overcoming; before any victory over the things that formerly held you down, of necessity comes a heartfelt, fully persuaded decision. Absent a decision, your life will continue to flounder around somewhere between distraction and mediocrity. Sure, you’ll be very busy and have little time for extra activities, but you will end up missing the mark; the only mark that ever truly mattered. So, with all that is at stake, why don’t we make the decision?

One slippery tentacle in the indecision trap is the old familiar “waiting for a feeling!” It seems in America, the land of feelings, we’ve all been mesmerized by the promise of strong passionate feelings clearly marking the way that we should go; some grand purpose that causes our eyes to well with tears. Some folks call it inspiration and while we all need to be inspired, we might be surprised to learn that feelings follow our decisions and not the other way around. The stronger your decision, the more powerful your emotions that accompany it. While you are so patiently waiting for your ship to come in, your ship is out at sea waiting for you to decide! Decisions don’t need to be accompanied by feelings, they just need to be adamantly decided!

Often indecision appears not because we cannot see the value of making a decision, but because we are stuck with too many different choices. We would like this and we would like that. This would make us happy and shoot, so would that! Remember when you were looking for a new job? Chances are you broadened your options to sort of increase your chances for success. You started enumerating things that “could work.” At its core, this also is a trap, albeit a subtle one. The odds are hugely in favor of you getting what you want the VERY most! Otherwise, you scatter your forces on a giant dartboard hoping to stick somewhere with something that could work… And because you aren’t God and don’t know the future possibilities contained in different circumstances, you certainly make application broadly, but in your heart you hold fast to what would be the best for you. Minus all of the fear and doubt, you know what is the best, because you know you, don’t you?

Now, there is one area in decision-making that encompasses all of the rest of the tentacles and maybe the mouth full of sharp teeth as well. At its root, indecision is always based on fear. Let’s say you know you have something special just waiting to be capitalized. You know when it comes to such and such, you got it going on! Yet, you don’t take action. You vacillate on making the decision. You rationalize with, maybe I won’t be successful and it is far easier to just keep quasi-planning and dreaming and scheming without ever really making a choice. If you don’t make a wholehearted decision, you can delay and delay and delay. Put it off. Maybe next year. Perhaps when I get this other thing worked out first. After I’ve finished such and such. One day when I have enough… (money, free time, energy, lack of stress, warm weather, ideal settings etc., etc.). This is the definition of indecision. It feels (there’s that word again) so much more safe. It’s like having one foot on the bridge and one foot in the water. It’s hedging your bets. It is doubt, hesitation, wavering and vacillating. It feels painless but it guarantees you one thing and one thing only. You aint going to get what you really want to get! It’s not going to happen! It aint in the cards! In order to win in your life, in your way, with your own results, you have to either get all the way in the water or all the way on the damn bridge. Don’t you see it?

When it comes to this decision-making process, there is a great possibility of you making the wrong choice. Well, so what! Indecision is also a choice and unlike a wrong choice it won’t provide you with the learning you need to make the right choice! Just imagine how great your life could be if you made a habit of deciding what you want and by God, sticking to that choice! Picture your life being lived on your terms, with you being the leading actor! Have you ever watched some movie star or famous athlete that seems to have it all and secretly thought, I wish that was my life. Well, I submit the only difference between your life and their’s is that somewhere along the line they made some choices that you, heretofore, haven’t yet made…

The good life isn’t reserved for the lucky or the fortunate or the blessed. The good life is waiting for the people who make decisions and there’s no limit on the choices you can make. Don’t spend another day lost in indecision and fear of the future. Get busy designing your ideal life, then make some decisions about how it is going to turn out. Don’t wait and see. Don’t wait on God, God is waiting on you! Decide!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

The Quintessential, Ultimate, Irreplaceable, Transformative Fear Eliminator…


11351977_190598557949732_602852818_nWhat if I told you there is one simple, surefire way to remove fear from your life? What if it was quintessential in its perfection? What if it represented the ultimate solution? What if it was irreplaceable in nature? What if it was so transformative that it would change your entire life? What the…

Before I reveal this life-changing secret, let’s get clear on something that is vitally important! Fear is your number one enemy in life and the cause behind your every failure; every disappointment; every aspect of life wherein you suffer and struggle! By the same token, the absence of fear only leads to success; to happiness; to the end of the struggling and the pain!

Fear is a rather curious and sneaky animal. It’s rarely obvious and upfront. It weasels its way into your heart building dens of which you are completely unaware. And, once its stronghold is established, it asserts its way into your life, robbing you of life’s enthusiasm and joy. Fear must be eliminated at all costs!

In order to apply the secret, first you have to understand the process whereby fear gets to you. It is not, nor was it ever intended to be a “normal” part of life. It’s not being “realistic!” It’s an aberration; an outside force seeking to act upon you. It’s something that isn’t a part of you seeking to become a part of you. Fear is positive expectation working in reverse to bring about a negative outcome! It approaches you as a doubt, gains traction by worry and finally settles in as fear.

So there you are, living your life and enjoying your day. Your mind is in a nice place and you feel pretty good. Then, in a moment in time, it happens! Some negative potentiality enters your thoughts. How it enters and from where it enters is a bit of a mystery. But alas, it happens and there it is. Now you have a choice, whether you realize it or not. Doubt has knocked on your door and it’s up to you to answer. Because the thought is alarming, you think perhaps that if you take the time to consider it, you can figure it out. Enter the weasel! The consideration of the evil thought prolongs its access to your mind. But, by golly, you are a smart person and you can figure it out. So you begin to foolishly run it through your analysis, hoping for an answer; a solution that puts your mind at ease. And, the more you consider the possibility, the more nervous and distracted you become. Your doubt has now progressed to worry and is making a play for your heart. Grimly, if you persist in the evil consideration, it will move in as fear, poised to bring about, by your own wrong belief (fear), disastrous results in your life. That’s how it works; how it’s always worked, from the beginning of time.

So, what is the secret to eliminating fear? QUIT it! Do not allow it access into your head. Stop considering it and worse, trying to figure it out. The confusion enters in because you’ve been taught to confront fear head on. Which is technically true, but usually applied to things like skydiving or riding scary roller coasters. Sure, ignoring the things that scare you is generally a bad idea. But, I’m talking about that day by day battle that’s going on in your mind. The fight between happy and unhappy; energetic or depressed; joyfully expectant or miserably bored. As a side, it may surprise you to know that boredom is also a result of fear or being talked out of the fullness that is life. Fear must be challenged by something bigger than it, like one of those over 900 promises in God’s Word. But, once you challenge it with the truth, you have to let it go. Don’t continue to run it through your mind because if you do, you will lose 100% of the time and in every case!

In order to defeat fear, you have to starve it out. If you don’t feed it, it cannot live. It’s very simple, though never easy. It takes a real discipline to give an issue to God and refuse to take it back. You see, your human logic just desperately wants to claim it’s superiority and insists, even demands that you think the negative thing through. Have you ever heard people say they cannot let something go? Well, they can but, ol’ Mr. Ego won’t! It takes humility and trust to just turn something over and refuse to take it back. But, if you can do it, you will find that fear loses it’s grip on you fairly quickly. Oh yeah, it will be back with a new idea shortly, but you just apply the same principles in every case and you will win every time. Before you recognize it, you will be overcome with that radical, unusual feeling called, “peace…”

There are some other gnarly thoughts to be addressed as well, such as guilt and condemnation, but that’s maybe the subject of another blog. But, for today, work on starving out fear and see where that takes you. You’ll see how it is the quintessential, ultimate, irreplaceable and transformational solution if you will just make up your mind to QUIT it!

Just some good thoughts…