June 9, 2013
My son and I were talking the other day about how negative most people are and how they expect things not to turn out right. You really can’t blame people in that their experience in this world tends to favor negative events occurring most frequently and positive events occurring sporadically. Have you ever stopped to consider why that is? Surely the world wasn’t intended to be such a negative place, where stuff goes wrong over and over again! Yet, sadly it is and things do… So, there must be some answer; something that makes sense and follows a logical, consistent pattern.
I think as a starting point we need to understand how we were designed to live our lives. The most significant, underlying principle involves our thoughts; namely what we think and what we expect. Most folks have been persuaded to believe that events randomly happen to them and that they are then forced to react to those circumstances. And, although it sure seems to work that way, the reality is that it doesn’t. Instead life happens in accordance with our expectations, formed by how and what we think about most often. In its most basic form, what we expect is what we get. So how did we get to the place where we expect so little of the good and have to endure some much of the bad? It happened to us because our environment is literally flooded with negatives. The media of the day is negative; negative stories, negative events, a million things to be afraid of, cautions and dangers surround us on every hand. This disease is lurking; that catastrophe is pending; this disaster is waiting around the corner and so on and so on. And, we unknowingly feed on that garbage day and night. In short, our thinking is constantly being framed to expect bad things to happen or more surreptitiously, to take action on things we are afraid are going to happen unless we do this and that. Fear, fear, fear, parading itself as prudence and caution. The whole world is one large fear machine robbing its inhabitants of peace and the type of life God intended for us.
It is not just how life is folks! Life wasn’t intended to be a continual struggle against things going wrong all the time. Humans were not intended to limp through life thoroughly beaten and defeated; not reaching their goals or living their dreams. Our problem is that we have bought into that mindset and have been sold down the river, hook, line and sinker! And whether you believe it or not, there is something out there that works tirelessly to sell you those lies ever hopeful that you don’t ever realize the control you have by controlling what you will think and what you will believe. God promises to take care of your every need and you struggle to believe it. Yet the doctor hints that you may have a disease and you accept it fully without an ounce of fight. Bad things ARE NOT just going to happen anyway! You do have a choice and despite what it looks like (and even if what it looks like presents overwhelming evidence) you can get the right results. However, in order to do so you have to train your mind to live above the negatives; not ignore them, but live above them. You don’t need blind positivity where you don’t ever see bad things, that’s not realistic. Instead, you have to learn how to recognize the negative potential and decide with adamancy that things will work out for you (with God’s help of course)! You decide! It is your life! Have you ever noticed that when you get sick and tired of some negative scenario and say, “Enough is enough!!!” – suddenly you find the solution or some event happens that causes the scenario to finally end? Or something is persistently going wrong and you exclaim, “This bull***t stops today!” – then it does? What changed? What was so different? What changed was that you finally woke up to a living reality; that you, my friend, have control over your own life!
So in order to start getting all of those blood sucking negatives out of your head, you have first got to stop feeding on them, night and day. Quit reading it; stop watching it; stop talking about it etc.. Stop allowing your mouth to make those negative confessions! Stop complaining and whining and bitc**ing and change your mind. It is your mind! If something negative has happened, it is not required that you rehearse the story to everyone you know. If you do, you are just rehashing and reinforcing and setting the stage for more of the same. Ever notice when you are complaining about things going wrong, more and more goes wrong? Hmmm….
Instead feed your mind (your only mind) with good things. Feed on positive events. Say positive things to people. Speak positives into your life. Tell friends it will work out. Confess that things work out for you! Tell your family that thing is not going to happen! And above everything else, speak kindly to yourself and expect good things for yourself. It’s not a “deserving thing” because none of us would deserve it, instead it is a “grace” thing because God has promised it!
I don’t know about you, but I want to live my life with enjoyment. I don’t want to spend another second looking over my shoulder for some bad thing that is about to get me. I’d rather be surprised by it! (LOL) In other words, let God do His job and you and me do our jobs! It is available in this ultra whacky world to live joyfully and peacefully. We have been made free by God to get the most out of this experience called life. You want to get a life? Get rid of the negatives and learn to think positively. And if you will take this very seriously and do it, you know what you will find out? You’ll find out that, that positive, peaceful, joyful, love motivated place is where God hangs out… Life is always good where God hangs out!
Two choices folks: expect good or expect bad! As for me and my house, we are expecting the best!
Choose good ~ just some good thoughts…
May 19, 2013
If you live long enough you are going to, at one time or another, experience some negative event that has the capacity to shake your foundation and cause you to question your beliefs. You know what I’m talking about, right? There you were living your life, building your dreams, planning your future, then some dastardly scenario played out and stopped you in your tracks. Suddenly you left behind all of your innocency; your child-like believing and questioned whether or not God really existed. After all, how could God have allowed that thing to happen to you? Why didn’t God step in and intervene in your life? And, after some period of suffering you drew a perilous conclusion, namely that God must not exist and if He did exist, He surely must not be as good or as faithful as He reported… And now, well, you are still pretty angry with God for some thing He didn’t do; didn’t prevent; didn’t handle when it needed to be handled.
Sadly, there is a reality in life that most folks are loathe to contemplate. The reality is that there are evil forces at work in the world and those forces are behind every negative thing that ever happened to you or to someone that you love. Now that doesn’t mean that you are evil; had it coming or were punished for being a sinner. What it means is that evil makes no allowances for anyone and if it can get involved to bring about disaster, it will. Have you ever noticed how many people are tragically killed or kill themselves at Christmas or some other treasured family time? Evil seeks to multiply its effects and bring hurt to not just one, but many people at once. Evil has been functioning in the world almost since the world began and in order to be successful relies not on what you do know, but on what you don’t know. Like the great line in the movie, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist!”
So you have to ask yourself, what do you really know about God? I don’t mean what your church says, or grandma says or what your friends say. What do you know for sure? For example, did you know that in order for God to get involved in your personal life that He requires belief on your part? Did you know that God will never overstep anyone’s freedom of will in any situation, ever? Did you know that God is love and light and in Him is no darkness at all? Did you know that God not only saw that “big negative event” coming, but also had a solution for it if you (or whoever was involved) would have believed that He did and acted on it. Believing isn’t some casual thing we throw around when events are going well, yet abandon when we are confronted with a disaster! Believing comes from having a clear understanding of Who God is; what He can and will do; and what His good desires are for our lives, as well as understanding what evil is doing to try and stop those good things from coming to pass. Belief in God is not some casual thing that takes place in the back of our minds and the back of our lives. Belief is an active thing that we carry into every situation. Belief is in the front of our minds, consistently present, here right now to see us through the obstacles and trials of life. No evil force can begin to stand against God’s power, but in order to see God’s powerful solutions we must convince our minds of His goodness and not allow the negatives of the world to talk us out of it.
You see, what really happened to you when “that thing” occurred was that evil plotted and planned and schemed and proceeded to punch the living crap out of you with the intent that you would abandon your beliefs and opt for some other philosophy that promised you well-being and peace and love, yet would be void of any real power when you needed it most. Evil is no joke folks. People, in some cases, spend the entire rest of their lives suffering the pain of that one thing and never recover. Pretty treacherous, wouldn’t you say? Hit someone with a hay-maker they never saw coming, then get them to abandon their beliefs that could serve to protect them from getting hit by evil again.
My friends, don’t let that describe you. Don’t let that negative, painful scenario dictate anymore of the moves you make in your life. Accept the truth that you, like all of the rest of us, got deceived and set up and maybe lacked the believing necessary to receive God’s miraculous solution in the situation. That’s not God’s fault, it’s our fault because what we didn’t know did hurt us, but it doesn’t have to keep hurting us! We need to get to the place where we can say what Job said as he recovered from his own disaster:
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. ~ Job 42:5
You can live out the rest of your days with joyful expectation of deliverance from any dreadful scenario that ever held you back. “God is always the victor over evil, but it is up to you to make His will, your will.” It’s time to draw a new conclusion folks, that God is only good, always and that He is never going to change! That’s something you can bank on for a lifetime; the rest of your lifetime…
Just some good thoughts…
May 1, 2013
Forgive me for overworking the YOLO cliché, but I’ve got something to say that I know will help you live a little better. If you think about how many times people use that cliché and it’s context, you’ll find something very interesting. Almost every time we say it, we are making some reference to getting rid of our fear of doing something with a complimentary urge to “do it” right now. We are saying that life is too short to not do the things you really want to do. So, as you can imagine, that got me thinking…
How much time do you spend doing things you really don’t want to do? Or, how many things do you do because you think they are what others expect you to do? Or, stated in the positive, do you spend most of your time doing the things you enjoy doing; have passion about and want to do? And of course closely related to those questions, why are you doing the things you are doing?
As I’ve said a hundred times prior, this ol’ world funnels us into well-worn grooves of expectations! The subtle and not so subtle message is to get in line; shut your mouth and don’t buck the system. Do acceptable work; make acceptable comments; have acceptable opinions (not your own opinions, but the popular ones) and for goodness sakes, don’t start questioning things. If a thing doesn’t make sense to you, it’s not because it doesn’t make sense, but rather because you don’t understand it – so again, close your mouth and get in agreement (now!). The problem with that “go-along to get-along” mindset is that you no longer get to be “you” in the process. Now on the surface, you may not think this applies to you, so I ask you, give it a little more thought.
People are employed in a line of work they hate, for decades. Folks are suppressed in unhealthy relationships or subjecting themselves to unhealthy family members for a lifetime. We laugh when it’s not funny. We say the food tastes good when it doesn’t. We nod in agreement to insane political ideas when those views couldn’t be further from our own. We don’t play the music we like when others are around. We get college degrees in subjects we cannot stand. We tip waiters for poor service. We devote time to reading books we don’t enjoy. We trudge ourselves to tired church services and participate in nonsensical observances and even pray to a God we are grossly unfamiliar with! Why? Because we are afraid, that’s why! Fear, often confused with terror, is a subtle beast. We can all recognize the fright we feel when we see a tiger, but do we acknowledge the slipperier version that causes us to do all of the above? Why would a man work in a job he loathed for twenty years? He’s afraid that he can’t do anything else? He’s afraid what his family would say if he quit? He’s afraid what society might say if he stepped out of line! Why do folks put up with family members that are toxic and discourage their growth? Because they are afraid what everyone would think if they stopped coming around. Fear. (disclaimer – this does not refer to my family- ) We agree, we cajole, we acquiesce, we agree because we’re so friendly? Probably not when you get right down to it. Fear drives a multitude of things we feel obligated to do. Then there is obligation’s close companion – guilt. Guilt is just another form of fear manifesting itself as something you need to do because of something you didn’t do; should have done; or to avoid something because of what you did do (or perceive you might have done)! Fear…
I’m certainly not advocating morphing into a self-centered douche, parading around town looking out for number one only! I’m suggesting rather that you take the time to consider why you do the things you do. There really are only two great motives in life – love and fear. Love works no ill to its neighbor (or to you either for that matter) Fear starts bad, proceeds bad, and ends bad. Working out of fear leads to misery. Working out of love fans the flames of passion. Saying how you feel out of love leads to understanding and agreement and resolution. Saying how you feel out of fear leads to arguments and conflict. Doing things for other people out of love is the very heart of service. Doing things for people out of fear leads to slavery and bondage and all kinds of mistreatment.
So the simple acid test is to ask yourself why you are doing the thing that you are doing. Do you want to do it? If you had a million bucks would you do it? I’m sure we all have the fantasy of all the wonderful things we would do if we just became rich enough to do it. And the reason we cannot do it now? Fear… And while you are asking yourself these things in the solemn privacy of your mind, take solace in the truth that you can change anything you want to change. Sure folks will deride you and chastise you and demand you get back to being who you are supposed to be! But what you owe yourself is to be the “you” you really want to be! Don’t you think? People live frustrated, defeated, unsatisfied lives because they spend their precious lives living as someone else. Don’t let that be you, my friend.
Cliche’ alert – At the end of the day, we all have only one life to live and we all only live once (on earth anyway). Start today by asking yourself why and then get busy modifying and changing what needs to change. You oughta be able to be “you,” doing “you” in the ways that make “you” the most happy! YOLO my friends, YOLO!
Just some good thoughts…
April 14, 2013
How many books have been written that purport to tell you how you can use the “power of your mind” to get something that you need? It’s an alluring concept for sure, but one that simply isn’t true. There is no power of the mind other than the power to choose what you will. I know, I know, this idea runs cross purposes with many famous works such as, “Awakening The Giant Within,” but suspend your disagreement for a little bit and allow me to explain what I mean.
There’s a verse in the Bible that states, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Read that sentence again!) There’s another one that states, guard your heart with all that you are because out of your heart flows the issues of your life. Those words have been there for years, but what do they even really mean? Well, those things we believe in the depths of our heart to be true, shape and form our existence today. And, by the power of choosing what we will think about, we can guard the heart of our minds; the place where our believing expectation comes from. Believing expectation forms the essence of our lives. What we believe to be true will come true if we really believe it. In fact, your life at this very moment is a direct reflection of those thoughts and beliefs you hold about yourself most dearly. It is 100% accurate in every way. Remember it is not what you wish you were or would like to be, but what you truly are at this moment in time. It is a system that never errs in any way. God wouldn’t have told us to guard our hearts with all that we are if what we believe in our hearts did not have a dramatic impact on the life we are living. So, if you think about, believing is not the power of your mind, but rather your connection to All-Power. However, I must add a caution, believing works with tremendous accuracy for positive and negative thinking alike. What you fear is also believing; believing that connects you to a different power; one that brings about frustration and defeat. Negative believing (fear) leads assuredly to negative results also with 100% accuracy.
So, how can you learn to believe for good? Well, in actuality you are believing something all of the time. However, most people become so frustrated with life because they believe in accordance with what they think they see and not in accordance with what they want. For example, the media, your neighbors, your family, financial analysts tell you it is a “bad economy!” And, it is difficult to get a job in a bad economy. So, unknowingly, you believe what they said and thus have a hard time getting a job. After all, it’s a bad economy. You are believing something that is not necessarily true and limiting yourself in the process. That belief is not true because what you truly believe to receive, you will receive 100% of the time, in every case. Imagine, there are many people who are not only NOT suffering in the “bad economy” but are actually prospering. Why? They have chosen to believe otherwise. Can you see it? You cannot allow present circumstances or conditions to affect what you believe or else you give your power (your ability to choose) over to something else. And, you will never, ever be able to change your present circumstances as long as you keep doing that. So, ummm stop it!
So, when is the right time to believe? The right time, is right now! Well, when do you want to get the “things” that you want? Right now or five years from now? The reason so many things seem to take so long to come to pass is because we are not believing for them to happen right now. Logically if you imagine your life being full of abundance and peace and love at some future date, it is not going to happen right now. (Read that again!) Ask yourself, why does so much time need to go by before I get what I really want? Good things take a lot of time to happen? Says who? Says you! And thus it is true for you! If you can wrap your mind around that concept, things can transform in your life, in a hurry. In order to get what you want in life, you have to see it happening in your mind, right now. Thus believing (true believing, not wishing) is seeing the result you want in your mind first before it happens in your reality. Wishing, on the other hand, is always in the future and you cannot live in the future, so it is a futile effort. And if we are honest, we don’t really believe the things we wish would happen are going to happen, that’s why we continue to “wish” they would!
Believing is therefore seeing your intended result in your mind’s eye first and then holding that image there despite what the whole world tells you to the contrary! Believing for good things in your life is not going to come without opposition. In fact, the larger your believing for good things, the more contrary “facts” will show up to talk you out of what you believe. God forbid you ever learn how much control you really do have over your life, if you only knew it (he says sarcastically)! Your job and my job therefore, is to not allow the world, the circumstances, the conditions, our limited and finite thinking, to talk us out of the things we really want.
Believing is almost magical. By believing you can be healed of ANY disease. By believing you can receive tremendous financial abundance. By believing you can find the answer to every question and repair anything that was ever broken. By believing you can transform your life from mundane to dynamic; from so-so to oh-so; from ordinary to extraordinary!
Get what you want out of your life now, folks. Don’t spend any time trying to awaken the giant within you, instead believe wholeheartedly to tap into the greatest power in the universe, God’s power for good! God is for it! I am for it! Now it’s time for you to be for it! Get it and get it now!
April 7, 2013
Think back to the last time you were on vacation. Whether it was lounging on a sandy beach or taking in the gorgeous views during a mountain hike or languishing in your hotel room in a beautiful city or the smell of bacon frying in the morning while camping by the side of the lake; what makes your vacation time so much better than the rest of your time? You may argue that it is so sublime because you don’t have to go to work. But many folks exert as much energy playing as they do at work and sometimes more energy. You may conclude that it is the change of environment; the sand, the trail, the room, the water etc. Certainly there are many factors involved with vacations that cause us to feel joyful, but there is one common theme that is the subject of today’s blog. On a vacation intended for relaxation we shift our focus from the past and the future to the wonderful present. We purposefully don’t think about the bills that “will” be due or the work we need to finish later or what the boss said to us in anger last week. No, we make some loose plans and then get busying enjoying the wonder and beauty that is today. It is as if we free ourselves from all the illusory burdens of time and focus ourselves on “right now!” And since right now is all we can experience, we decide to thoroughly enjoy it.
There is a way to live your life that escapes the thinking of the masses. There’s a way to make the most of your experiences. There is a simplicity to life that is so simple we have missed it all our lives. The culture of our world is ever seeking ways for us to move faster, get more done, accomplish more and maximize our time. We laud multi-tasking and efficiency and “to get err done…” Just do it and do it and do it again is the mindset of today. And for all of our inventions and efficiencies and time savers, where has it gotten us? Are we happier? Are we joyful? Do we feel blessed and content? I would say no. Yet it’s not the speed at which we move that bogs us down. It’s where we have learned to put the focus of our minds. Humans are designed to live in one time period and one time period only – right now! The only time we have available to us is this present moment. Yet how much time do we spend focused on the present moment? While we are at work today we focus on getting home. During the week we focus on the upcoming weekend. During the work year we focus on the coming vacation. While we are at school we are thinking about being done with school. While cleaning the house we are thinking about how great it will be to sit down and relax after the house is clean. But the real joy of living is found in 100% commitment to the present moment. It is persisting in a state of experiencing and enjoying right now. If the duties of right now call for some house cleaning, so be it. If it’s time to go to work, go to work and be 100% involved in your work while you are there. Don’t spend one idle moment wishing you were off work as that shift of focus will make your work a misery. What is the best way to experience school? Don’t mentally leave the classroom before you physically leave the classroom. In fact, don’t mentally leave any moment you are still in, as departing from the present moment takes the enjoyment out of it.
Interestingly, the vast majority of our concerns and our anxieties and our fears are found where? In the future! Unless a large tiger is currently gnawing on your calf muscle, you probably don’t have anything to be afraid of right at this moment, correct? So do this moment and refuse to do the future moments. Can’t you see how huge and life changing this is? Uh huh, but what about the future? Am I supposed to just let everything go now and make no plans for the future? Well of course not, silly! Make the most grand and glorious plans that you can, then do today, today! Maybe in your future you see yourself as an author? Then take some time to write today (smile)…
And what about the past? How do we handle all of those times we zigged when we should have zagged? Or that one big thing? Well, the past is ummm past… We can’t go back to those moments, can we? Shoot we can’t even go back to fifteen minutes ago when we were eating those three donuts, to not eat them, right? LOL In reality, the past no longer exists. It’s gone man! Over.. In the books! Thus imagine the sheer FUTILITY (yelling now) of spending any of your present moments regretting your past moments. Sure, encourage your sweet memories; your times of love and success and appreciation, remember the people you cherished, but do it while you are wholeheartedly choosing to live today.
I realize the simplicity of this is almost too much to take. But if you have ever believed anything I have ever said, believe this; living 100% in the present moments will cause your “joy” and “appreciation” levels to go off the chart! And while you are seriously giving this a try, take a look at your children or your grandchildren. Notice the joy they experience by living in the moment? Oh they don’t have to pay bills? LOL Maybe not, but neither do you at this present moment! (You are reading, right?)
So how can you thoroughly enjoy the simplicity of living life today? Get your vacation mind-set working for you! Decide to be fully alive and observant and mindful of these very moments you find yourself in. Don’t go back in time and don’t go too far ahead in time. Do, be, live, love and enjoy today, as tomorrow will have it’s own issues for you to deal with “tomorrow…”
Mmmm is that the smell of bacon by the campfire? No, it’s the smell of many minds that just came back to life!