November 30, 2011
Alan Alda once said,
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
We all make certain assumptions about life. These assumptions are based on many, many factors such as our previous experiences, our upbringing, the ideas and ideals of the people we love and respect, our beliefs, our friends etc. All of us make assumptions about things. In fact, our brains are wired to make assumptions, categorize and classify. Our processors are made up of a complicated network that stores previously learned information and is able to recall that information on demand to help us cope with present scenarios. The trouble with making assumptions is that often our previously stored information is wrong. However, we don’t know it is wrong and thus continue in error based on that assumption. For example, how many of us have watched a basketball game and heard the commentator say, “This guy is prolific on the free throw line! He hasn’t missed a free-throw in his 28 previous attempts!” Then, what do we say immediately after hearing that? You know what we say. We say, “Oh great thanks for jinxing him, now he’s going to miss!” You see our assumption, based on previous experiences, has seemed to indicate that when someone makes a declaration like that, odds are it is not going to happen now based on this mysterious thing called a jinx. Now if you have nothing else to do and look up the word “jinx” in the dictionary, you will find that the verb form means someone who casts a spell on someone or a person that brings bad luck. Okay, not so clear. Let’s look up luck. Luck: that which happens by chance. Hmmm…ok? Chance? – see luck. In other words, we don’t know. Assumption based on error! The same holds true when people make declarations such as, “I haven’t ever had a car accident!” Uh oh, watch out now – you better knock on wood. (Because when you knock on wood it ummm errr ummm brings good luck?) What was luck again? haha Okay you get the point.
The reason we need to occasionally challenge our assumptions is that we need to be sure that we believe to be true, actually is true and not based on something silly we learned or were taught in the past. When I was a kid my Dad used to say that you cannot stand in front of the window during thunder and lightning storms or else the lightning would strike your teeth if you smiled. I bet I was 13 or 14 and still trying to stifle my smile during the storm. Silly huh? The more serious reason to challenge our assumptions is that there’s a whole lot of error going around the world today, by design mind you, for no other purpose than to mess humans up. If you have been taught something that is erroneous and believed it, you will rely on that error to make your decisions and then you will practice error. Then, like James Allen said, nothing can come from corn, but corn.” In other words, you will practice error and get an erroneous result (bad result, no result, ineffectual result). Then…you will have to explain to yourself why you didn’t get the right result and will come up with more erroneous ideas like, “Guess I wasn’t lucky” or “Guess God knew better and didn’t want me to have it” or (my favorite) “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be!” It wasn’t meant to be? By whom? God? So I have no free-will or accountability, for that matter? All of life is pre-determined and I’m just a “pawn” in the great wheel of things? That is probably the height of wrong assumptions! In reality, that assumption which shows up in many different forms should be called, “the great paralyzer” of effort. Why even try to accomplish or be successful when all of life has already been mysteriously decided by someone or something else and all I can do is fall in line with that predetermined plan? Destiny is along the same lines. Jesus Christ had a clear destiny to fulfill, but he still had to fulfill it. If at some point he wanted to “opt-out” that would have been the end of that! (thank goodness he didn’t)
So, all of us have certain assumptions about life and our job as individuals is to test those assumptions or track back those assumptions and make sure they are true. There is a real good Book full of truth that can help you “see through” those wrong assumptions and I suspect you already know what it is. (Hint – good Book) The truth will never fail you nor leave you knocking on wood or carrying a rabbit’s foot (which wasn’t so lucky for the rabbit). Why not take the time to find out what God says about life and not have to rely on the world, which is where we got screwed up to begin with!
Hey Pops, “I’m smiling in the window and the lightning can’t get me!”
November 29, 2011
The good Doctor used to say that it seemed to take people much spiritual growth before they would believe that God is good always. The world around us cannot fathom it or conceive of it. If you notice the media (including social media), you will be deluged with syrupy, pious, platitudes (yes that was a mouthful) explaining in one form or another how God is somehow equally responsible for all the good and bad that happens in a person’s life. “Oh God wouldn’t bring you to it if He couldn’t bring you through it, brother!” “That sickness that you are suffering from is just God tempting you brother to see if you will be a better Christian!” “Well now the Lord works in mysterious ways…” Earthquakes, disasters that kill thousands of people, tornados…acts of God? I think not! Does that make any possible sense to you? Why would God bring me to some terrible situation just to get me through it? Who wants to play in that game? The Bible says, “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” So, let me get this straight, God actually makes me sick (with the accompanying suffering) so that He can heal me? Hmmm yeah, makes perfect sense. Here’s what I’m gonna do tonight. I’m going to go home and brutally beat my son, then after he is all beaten up I am going to carefully tend to his wounds and explain to him that I only did it to teach him humility. Helloooo? Please call the child abuse hotline! No wait, it gets better. Why not send a terrible disaster and kill thousands of people because after all maybe they aren’t right with the Lord! I think common sense logic alone would tell us something is wrong with that picture. But, when it comes to the things of God we seem to trade in all common sense because God, after all, works in mysterious ways. All of that thoughtless, rama lama we have had forced down our throats is in reality ignorance, ignorance concerning spiritual matters and ignorance concerning God’s Word (His will). God does not work in mysterious ways! God tells us exactly why things happen (good and bad); He tells us exactly what to do about it; and best of all, He tells us who He is and what He does and doesn’t do.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… Hosea 4:6a
My friends, it is what we don’t know that hurts us. Ignorance is never bliss! God doesn’t do evil, not in His nature, not going to happen, ever! God does not need pain and suffering to teach us a lesson, no more than you would use pain and suffering to teach your kids a lesson. Wouldn’t you rather they just believed what you said before the trouble came? Don’t you just wish they would heed your advice and not think they always knew better? Well, such is the human condition. When the children don’t accept your loving advice they find themselves in the soup. However, the soup they find themselves in wasn’t put there by God. In life there is a spiritual competition that rages day by day for the allegiance of men’s minds. The competition is between God (His Word and His people-via spirit) and the Devil (his words and his people via spirit). In it’s basic form it is the battle between good and evil. Evil is alive and well in the world today (and I didn’t need to tell you that). It is evil that makes people suffer. It is evil that resulted in people having to die one day (which was never God’s original will). Every person alive today is in that competition whether they decide to compete or not. The only WAY you can win in that competition is by having knowledge of God’s Word/will and believing it. We are all subject to that evil but can overcome it by believing God’s Word. Without knowledge of God’s Word you will be defeated a lifetime. I say that not to scare you, but rather to encourage you. You can overcome but you aren’t going to do it according to your will power, brain power or physical power. You have to know without a doubt what God says is true and believe without a doubt what God said He will do for you! Otherwise, this old world is going to feed your mind with more lies than you can count and you will find yourself trying to find “some” good in that tragic event that happened. Oh maybe some good would be that we learned something, but that’s a helluva price to pay don’t you think? In order to triumph you gotta be real specific. Not vague and general, specific in regard to what He says in His Word. There are over 900 hundred promises in the Word of God, placed there to save you (and me) from that evil that surrounds us. How many do you know? Specificity is the key (because the devil really is in the details).
So, with that being said, how does God describe Himself in His Word? You ready?
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. I John 1:5
No darkness at all means….wait for it….no darkness at all! Yeah but (don’t you hate the yeah butts?) maybe He is working in a mysterious way. That little piece of bunko, wrongly applied, doesn’t refer to some mysterious way that includes evil. Rather it refers to the idea that God is hidden, mysterious in that we don’t see everything He does… But you can be sure whatever He does has no darkness in it! Here’s another:
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. I John 4:16
God is what? Love! It’s not real loving to send diseases, kill people and cause those of us still here great grief. Neither is it love to constantly point out our faults and our inadequacies. Hmmm maybe that isn’t from God either.
Okay maybe one more –
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: James 1:13
There it is…I didn’t write the book! No temptation (in the form of sickness, suffering, trouble, disasters, anxiety, fear, lust etc. etc.) comes from God. None, nada, not at all. Instead God is by nature loving, kind, tender-hearted, compassionate, merciful, gracious, wonderful…I could go on. That’s who God really is and He is reaching out to you!
Get you some goodness man and stop messing around!
November 28, 2011
Everybody’s living for the weekend! Have you ever wondered why we are all so happy when it’s Friday? (TGIF) When I think of Friday I think of driving home and then having two days to do whatever I want! Whether I have fun plans like going tailgating or not-so-fun plans like painting a basement, I still look forward to those days with great anticipation. Have you ever wondered why that is? It can’t just be that we are off work because sometimes the weekend work is harder than the weekday work. In fact, sometimes the fun that accompanies a weekend requires a couple of days to recover from (smile). Hey, maybe that’s why people don’t like Mondays? So, there must be more to feeling happy than not having to “go” to work. And logically it must be more than being able to do whatever we want because no-one seems to be saying TGIME (thank God it’s Monday evening)!
When you get right down to it, it all circles back to our thoughts. In essence, we decide to be happy and we decide to be unhappy. We decide on Friday afternoon to be happy because we anticipate that somehow not having to get up for work the next day is a “happiness” factor. It really doesn’t matter if we have to get up anyway and do six hours worth of yard work, because doggone it, that is six hours of something “I” decided to do! Happiness is always based upon external factors. Something happens “to us” that appears positive and we decide right then and there that now we are happy. It can’t be the circumstance itself because happy circumstances vary with every individual. For instance, the words, “Guess what, I’m pregnant!” can be a source of great joy or great anguish depending upon who says what to whom! For some happiness is a little quiet time to read and relax. For others happiness is careening down a mountain at light speed on a snowboard. My favorite philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, put it this way:
“A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick or return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event raises your spirits, and you think that good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
Do not believe it! In the final analysis, what brings you happiness (or that peace that comes when the worry subsides) is yourself! In your own heart and mind you can decide to be happy no matter what the circumstances may bring your way. Circumstances are all around us and some seem to point towards the good and some point towards the bad. But do they really? Could it be that the circumstances are elusive and constantly in a state of flux? Is it possible that some circumstances have been designed to actually falsely lead us in a certain direction rather than indicate the place we already occupy? For most it seems just as Emerson described it. The circumstance beckons and from its majestic position we follow, deciding in that moment to be happy or sad. So, why not decide to be happy no matter what the appearance? What if your success or the accomplishment of your dream depended upon just one more day of keeping your head in the right place? You might never know if you always bow your head the moment adversity seems to appear. Surely, given the short span of a life, it makes more sense to live out our days in happiness. What if we find ourselves in some scenario that challenges us or causes us pain? Well then, we owe it to ourselves to believe for the way over that challenge or the way out of that pain. To acquiesce or resign ourselves, to simply accept it because others said we have to, is categorically insane. We are not required to accept anything that steals away our precious life, no matter the credentials or expertise of the one that declared it!
Our great God has designed this life to be lived to the fullest! He is the Originator of joy, the Author of happiness, the Great Aid in overcoming. Thus the only true way to tap into that happiness is to tap into the Source of that happiness. Since God is Spirit, there must be something tangible we can absorb into us, something different than what we have known in the past, something alive and life-giving. Emerson knew this and conveniently noted it in his next sentence (following the quote above):
“Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
Your job, my job, is to learn those principles that were written down and preserved to give us life. And, in following those principles we have access to all of the happiness life was intended to bring. Learn God’s Word and believe God’s Word. Resolve yourself to never again allow apparent negative circumstances to define your happiness quotient. Decide right now to be happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Friday.
TGIT (thank God it’s today!)
November 23, 2011
I’ll bet you didn’t know that life was meant to be lived one day at a time. The crazy world we live in is always traveling at one hundred miles per hour. We have access to information at our fingertips that we would not have even dreamed of in the past. If the computer takes 3 seconds to load an image we smack the keyboard and say, “Cumon!!!” A consequence of living life at that frenetic pace is that we often forget to slow it down a little and live our life in the moment. Most people spend inordinate amounts of time either in the past or in the future. My wife even bought me a plaque that I have in my office that says, “Don’t let yesterday use up TOO much of TODAY!” (Will Rogers) In reality, the future and the past don’t really belong to us. The past is past and there is nothing we can do to change it. Logically if there is nothing we can do about the past, why would we give it so much importance in our lives today? How many people do you know that complain about how they grew up; how mean their daddy was; or how this person or that person didn’t do what they should have done? All of those concerns may be completely valid, but why let them affect the “right now?” What daddy did or said when I was a kid doesn’t have to have anything to do with who I am today, that is of course, unless I allow it to. The twelve-year-old me is long gone, so why spend mental time telling him how he should have been treated? How he was treated is how he was treated and like my wife is fond of saying, “it is what it is…” Maybe you grew up without necessary resources. Maybe you didn’t get enough love. Maybe you were born with some disability or other issue that troubles you. In the end, it is what it is, or it was what it was. Maybe you did something wrong; really, really, awfully terribly wrong! Well what you did then was based on what you knew then and perhaps today you know a little better. You can’t possibly live your life today in light of yesterday. The only sound, reasonable thing for you to do is move ahead. Thank God for forgiving you, get up and move ahead. The great error in living in the past is not whatever it is you already did, it is in refusing to move ahead. Stuck in the past like some kind of skeleton only serves to rob you of the life you can live today! And, the truth is that the people of your past were only doing what seemed reasonable to them at that time. Hey, maybe their dad was mean to them and they learned that kids only respond to cruelty. Sure that’s wrong, but all a person has to work with is what he knows (at the time). Maybe, just maybe those terrible folk were all caught up and distracted by their own concerns. Sometimes people just don’t know the potential affect their words and actions have on other people. I’m not trying to excuse anything that “was” bad, I’m just trying to point out the verb, “was” which always refers to the past. Just in case you think I dreamed this idea up on my own, here’s what God says about the past (and you can trust Him, right?):
Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. (Philippians 3:13 Common English Bible)
So our job is simply to obey. The only way to forget the past is by replacing it with the right now! See the point? Stop allowing the past to have power over you today because it can only take as much power as you give it! Move ahead…
Now the next thing to consider is the future. The future, like the past, is also not here right now. Certainly you should plan for the future but spending each day imagining what things will be like when such and such happens in the future is not good. How many people do you know that are delaying living today for some future thing that isn’t guaranteed anyway? Once I get my money right I will be happy. When I get my new job I will be happy. When I find the perfect wife/husband, then will I be happy. When it is finally the weekend, then I am going to have fun. Can you see the futility in that mindset? Let’s say it takes you 6 months to find and get the perfect job (and I’m just using a kind estimate). 6 months is roughly 182 days. So, you are going to spend 182 days being unhappy and trying to live in the future. 182 days! What if that “something” took 5 years? Hmmmm? We all have aspirations and dreams for the future, but trying to live there before we get there is like using the credit card. You always have to pay in the end! What if we are afraid of some future event? Wasn’t it Mark Twain that said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Most of the things we dread and waste away our valuable lives upon never actually happen. And, they are almost always in the future! That’s why you can’t spend anytime researching on WebMD. Before you know it, you’ve got that disease and several others (smile). Let the future belong to God because He is the only One that knows it anyway! And along the way, when you are tempted to be worried about the future, give it all to Him and mention that it belongs to Him anyway and you would appreciate Him making it work out nice! (Also in Philippians hmmmm… Chapter 4:6ff)
Finally we arrive at today! Today, my friends, you can do something about. You can decide today to let the past go (yes that means everything from just now, I mean just now, well just now…lol you get the point!) You can decide not to live in the future goodness or the future dreads. You can choose to give today all you’ve got. Be in the moment. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy that person sitting next to you (oh and forget their past as well). Enjoy your current job and make some plans for your future job. Enjoy the beauty and variety of life that God has already made for you! Look outside man, look how awesome it is. I got the Bible verse because I know you were doubting me…
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)
Dale Carnegie said, “live in day tight compartments!” (just in case you didn’t trust what Jesus said! ha)
You and I have enough to take on day by day without rashly adding the cares from the past and the cares of tomorrow. Make today, in fact, make right now just the best it can possibly be. Be that future guy/gal right now! Don’t wait for anything to happen, make it happen right now! And along the way as you get better and better at living one day at a time, you will find that your future will be as bright as the promises of God!
Happy Turkey Day!
November 22, 2011
It seems nowadays that many people equate any type of relationship with God with fears about their own sins or inability to somehow live up to what they “think” God requires of them. I have often wondered how some folks get offended if you even mention God to them, like it somehow is an indictment regarding how they have been living. My children used to tell their friends that I was a Minister and then their friends would get all weird on me, or start apologizing for saying a swear word or something. Even though I’m not technically a Minister, it still made me think about how people must view God and how far different God really is in comparison to that mindset. This may come as quite a surprise to you but God actually invented people. Being all-wise, all-knowing and everywhere present, do we really think that God is somehow shocked or surprised by human behavior? Is it plausible to consider that God could know everything there is to know, yet be freaked out every time a person went off track; zigged when he should have zagged; went down the wrong path etc. etc. etc.? Surely being God He could do better than that! The truth is that God knows all about us humans. He knows our weaknesses, our faults, our failings, our insecurities, our foolishness, our frailties, yet still loves us. What do parents do when their kids make mistakes (large and small)? They fight like hell to get their kid out of trouble and do everything within their power to make them okay again. Oh sure we may recognize that they “should” have done what we said, yet our love for them tries to refrain from saying it. We fully recognize that the particular consequence they find themselves in more than makes the point we were thinking. So, wouldn’t it be silly if God had less love than parents did? God, unlike parents, has access to every single thing that goes through a person’s mind. He sees everything that we do. He knows why we did it, when we did it. He knows everything!
So then, what about this whole sin thing? Sin is defined as things that are in opposition to God’s heart for us. Sin dates back first to the angels that disobeyed God, then to the first man, Adam. (Here’s a fascinating fun fact side-note: God also has foreknowledge which means He knows what is going to happen before it happens.) God already knew Adam was going to disobey Him, yet He made him anyway! From that day to this present day every person born into this world is born with a sin-nature, a nature that sins. It is called in the Bible the old man nature. God being completely aware of this knew He had to make a way for man to fellowship with him without being dominated and overcome by sin. You see, the whole reason God even created man was to have fellowship with him. God wanted someone who would love Him of their own free-will choice, not out of fear or dread, but out of love. Much the same way parents (and grandparents) bubble over when they receive heart-felt expressions of love from the children, without it being solicited (or coerced). Haven’t you heard a parent say, “My eyes welled up because he told me he loved me so much, right out of the blue!” God wants the same from His children. He wants to have a relationship based on and formed out of love. He wants the opportunity to save His children from the dilemmas they have usually brought upon themselves. He desires the best for His children and is grieved when His children don’t come to Him. So, what stops us from coming to Him? Sin-consciousness! Crazy I know, but oh so true! Somehow that old adversary that had a hand in getting us to go off track, condemns the bejesus out of us after we do it. So, it becomes very clear that God had to do something about this whole sin thing.
The plan that God devised was almost unbelievable. (Ha I guess that’s what you can do when you know everything!) He knew through the ages that man would constantly be under the thumb of sin and made a way for man to escape sin and even the consciousness of it. He did it through Jesus Christ. God had his son, who was born without sin in his blood or a sin nature, to live a perfect life. Jesus Christ was the first person who even had the potential to live God’s Word perfectly. (That should make you feel a little better ) Then, God asked him to make the ultimate sacrifice for mankind….to die for us. Then, as promised, God raised him from the dead when WE WERE JUSTIFIED! Do you see it? Once we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and that God raised him from the dead, we become forever sin-free in God’s sight. God simply does not hold us accountable for our sins. Now sure we can still sin (we already know that, right?) yet the point is those mistakes, those errors, our weaknesses, our faults no longer hinder us from having that sweet relationship with God. It’s really hard to believe that God will rescue you from some terrible situation if all you can think about is how “bad” you’ve been. So now you are free from having to think that way. Jesus Christ was our perfect substitute and God laid on him the iniquity of us all.
It’s really awful that when God is mentioned the first thing people think about is sin! I can assure you that God doesn’t think that way. God devised a flawless plan because He already knows in great detail how us humans work. He knows our frame and remembers we were made from the dust of the earth. He wants you to be free to love Him because you want to, not because He will punish you with disaster if you don’t. Shoot, God doesn’t do that stuff anyway because He is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (no darkness at all means no darkness at all) So do yourself a huge favor this week. Don’t think of God in terms of sin, think of God in terms of great love, great power and a desire for great fellowship with you. When it comes to sin, just let it go man…God already did!
November 21, 2011
During this thankful time of the year I was thinking about what it takes to be thankful. As humanoid units we often tend to dwell on what is wrong with our life. We don’t have enough money…enough love…enough free time…enough fun! While the simple answer seems to center on what is enough, the real issue lies in where we choose to put our focus. If it is true that what we focus on we get more of, then focusing on what is wrong can only bring more that is “wrong.” We live in a world that constantly bombards us with images of things we “need” in our life. Why can’t I get the gift-wrapped Lexus for Christmas? Or, I should be able to give my wife the 5 karat diamond ring and I’m not really a success in life because I can’t afford it. The consistent message is that you are not enough; you do not have enough; you are not successful enough! We watch reality shows that are so far removed from reality that it’s not even funny! We are fascinated with watching wealthy people who have such terrible problems like which vendor should cater my holiday party or where will we do my daughter’s sweet sixteen event? Is that really all that life is about? Is it true that whoever dies with the most toys wins? I think not! Life is so much more than that. Supposedly, Jim Carrey said, “he wished that everyone could be rich and famous so they could see that wasn’t the answer!” But, I don’t think we really needed him to say that, did we? Sure having enough shekels matters. Having “enough” money is a legitimate need in this life. For that matter, so is having lots of love, lots of fun and doing your best to achieve success! We have a variety of needs that make our lives the best and not having our needs met certainly hinders our “thankfulness” factor. So, we are left with the question, “how can we get our needs met and live abundantly?” First, we have to accurately define what really is our need? Thankfully the good Lord has left that decision up to us. Saying that if we have bread and water our need has been supplied isn’t true, unless of course you happen to be in prison. (smile) Need is defined as those things you need to live abundantly. If my monthly expenses are $5,000 and I make $4,000 I probably need more money. Now some would say that you just needed to reduce your expenses, but where does that end? Eventually we are going to get back to bread and water, aren’t we? The truth is that our bountiful God wants to supply your every need and He has no limits on what He can do! Would you imagine it would be any harder for God to supply you with a good car than let’s say, a sandwich? (smile) Is it more difficult for him to heal cancer than a common cold? The reality is that God can do anything and the only limiting factor is what we think and what we choose to dwell upon!
So, what are we choosing to dwell upon? Have we allowed the world to define our happiness and what we really need to be happy? Only by dwelling on the things we want and not dwelling on the things we don’t want, can we ever hope to realize our dreams. This is exactly why God exhorts us to be, “thankful!” By deciding to be thankful for the things you do have and remaining there, allows God (who just won’t violate your free-will, despite your heartfelt petitions for Him to do so) to give you more things to be thankful for. You will notice that often God tells us the attitude to have when we pray for things…
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Now while you have got that attitude right (and lost that grumpy, frustrated one) you see yourself having those things you need. You see yourself as someone who ”has” and not as someone who ”has not!” Take the time to picture yourself living the way you want to live. Have you ever paid attention to how you see yourself? Others? Do you have a clear picture of the bountiful you and not the deprived you? Do you see yourself winning (duhh) or do you see yourself getting beaten again and again? How do you see your interactions with other people? Do you picture the disagreement and bad feelings before you ever get around that person? Are you then somehow surprised when you get around that person and it goes exactly how you imagined it would? So much of how we live our lives centers around our thoughts, so it only makes sense to learn a new way to think! Get those images of defeat out of your mind. Take yourself to task and decide, adamantly decide to hold in mind only the things you do want in your life. See yourself prospering and healthy. Picture yourself giving out of your abundance. It may take some time, but no endeavor in your life will produce a more valuable result. You will be having such a good time living you won’t know yourself. And along that “way” you will find that wonderful, loving God Who thought this whole thing up!
So as we approach, “Thanksgiving” remember all the good things you have in this life. Remember the people you love most and that love you the most. Remember the good times, the good results, the joy! And as that thankful holiday slips into the past, keep on being thankful and choose to “live the life you have imagined!”
Wishing you the best of the best from the Best!
November 18, 2011
Despite popular self-help teachings there is no real power of the mind. Lots of people have made lots and lots of money trying to convince us that our minds are somehow powerful and that all we have to do is learn to wield our power and life will be just fine. If you want to quibble, the only “power” that our minds really hold is the “power” to choose whether or not we accept or reject information presented to it. In other words we have the ability to decide what we believe to be true. Now the good news is that there is power in this life that we have access to (if we only knew it)! This power comes from God. Yet, this awesome, unlimited power doesn’t just enter our lives because we want it to or have a need. Accessing God’s power isn’t like magic that comes to pass because we said some heartfelt prayer. Imagine if everytime you had some need, God made it show up in the mailbox or on the doorstep. Seems like us humans would get pretty lazy if everytime we faced a challenge we could say a prayer and God would solve it by instantly supplying the thing by dropping it through the roof. Pretty soon there would be no need to work, to overcome, to figure things out, to change our thinking, to learn something new because everytime we felt some stress God would just step in and take over! We will never get to experience God’s power that way, in fact we are going to spend a lot of time getting pretty angry with God for not doing what we demanded!! Instead, we need to go the “rule” book and figure out how He says to do it.
The way we gain access to God’s power (and let’s be honest, we need it) is by aligning our thinking with His thinking. Our job is to get our old, stubborn minds to agree on some point of truth that God has communicated with us. If we can get in harmony with a promise from God (and he has given us lots and lots of them) then and only then is something going to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about all that silly Facebook rama lama about how God doesn’t give you what you want or God gives you what you don’t want to teach you something. That, my friends, couldn’t be further from the truth! I’m pretty sure I work real hard to give my kids eveything they want and I don’t have unlimited resources like God does. All of that non-Bible based nonsense is just another way of saying, “I don’t understand so here is my best guess.” Of course God wants to give you what you want (and need) or He wouldn’t really be doing that well in the “God” business, would He? The real reason so many good, kind, sincere folks don’t get their prayers answered is that they don’t meet Him half way with some good old fashioned believing. That’s why it is so important for us to work on getting our thoughts in harmony with His thoughts. If you can finally get around to literally believing what God said, you will tap into a power source that will truly roast your cookies (smile). You will joyfully discover that there really isn’t anything in this life for you to be afraid of because your God is unlimited in His ability. What situation can’t He help you fix? What disease can’t He heal? What dilemma that has you stumped, has Him stumped? What evil, subtle deception fools Him or catches Him off guard?
So, in order for you to get access to His power you have got to learn what the Good Book says about God and what it says He will do for you. Until then you will be just guessing and hoping and wishing! Surely you want some of that, don’t you? Ladies and gentlemen, God’s power is real and He wants you to use it to live a life of abundance!
Use the force Luke!
November 17, 2011
I’ll bet you didn’t know that there was a way to think properly, did you? You would think that as “thinking” beings we would have this all figured out by now. There’s just one problem however. We can all think anything we want, but not everything we think is good or beneficial to us. In fact, the natural (so called) way to think starts with fear, feeds on fear and ends with fear! The world around us is drowning in a sea of fear. Problem is, it’s so prevalent that folks hardly recognize it anymore. Thoughts of doubt, worry, fear, and anxiety hold us in a mental prison. A prison that gets more and more confined, the more we entertain those fears. Now just think about that for a second…In order for fear to get a hold on us we have to consciously entertain that fear. Translated that means you first think of some awful possibility (that hasn’t happened yet), then because it scared you, you feel like you have to hold on to that thought. In fact, sometimes you might even forget about it for a minute, then hurry up and remind yourself about what was bothering you, then bring it back up again. Did you ever stop to consider why we do this? Well, I’ll tell you why (smile). We do it because we are just sure we can figure the thing out if we give it enough thought. The problem with that approach is that as you try and try and try to reason the thing out, it gains a deeper and tighter hold on you. Newsflash folks! You ain’t going to figure it out. That fear has its basis in something outside of you. And, that something knows you aren’t going to figure it out and because of that takes advantage of you. At the end of the day, fear is spiritual in nature. It comes from that opposing force that seeks to enslave you. Sadly, when you give it space, it will eat you alive.
So, how can you escape? How can you get to the place where you can take that first breath of “fear-free” air? Trust me, when the fear is finally gone from your thinking, life takes on a whole new light. All of those possibilities you dreamed of when you were young come back into focus. Instead of being woefully distracted, you become alive, dynamic and full of energy to do what you want to do! So, the simple answer is refuse to think it. Refuse to entertain the evil thought. Refuse to try to figure it out. Tell your finite human logic, your ego, that the solution to this situation is not what it seems. Let it go… The predominant message in the Bible is, “fear not!” Maybe God knows a thing or two about fear. You might not know this, but everything we have in life comes to us via our believing. People that enjoy success have believed for success. People that are happy have believed to be happy. But, here’s where it gets sticky. Fear is also a form of believing. That which you adamantly fear and worry about is going to come your way if you persist! Your subconscious mind (or your heart if you prefer) is the great citadel from which your life springs forth. If you constantly deluge your mind with fear and worry (and how can you not seeing we are engulfed in it?), those thoughts eventually filter down into your heart and produce a tangible equivalent in your life. It shows up as sickness and disease; it shows up as lack and poverty; it shows up as defeat in any category that we allowed it to live in. So, you my friends, must make it your number one enemy. Don’t let it persist for a second. Don’t play semantics and call it caution. Don’t listen to the so-called majority, because they have been living in it for so long they couldn’t help you if they tried. Instead try putting this “idea” into the crucible of your experience. It won’t be easy at first because you have developed some bad habits. But, if you persist, I mean really get determined, you will find yourself feeling an odd unusual sensation called “peace”, the kind that God wants people to enjoy…Of course there is more to this, but maybe that will be the subject of another blog!
November 17, 2011
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