Genuine Self-Help…

November 19, 2015

Sri-Lanka-OrchidThe term “self-help” has fallen out of favor in recent years. I guess the notion that you were reading a book because you needed some assistance, made you into a weak person, ever in need of help. So, they changed the name to “self-development” which is actually the exact same thing, but whatever works to sell books, I suppose. And boy, do they ever sell books! So, I mused… Why would a person read a self-help book? I think, if you are honest, you are reading it because you perceive that something needs to change in your life. Or, you might feel that something is wrong with you and that you are in need of repair. In either case, I’m not sure why that would be considered shameful, as all of us need fixing up at times! But, here’s the crucial question. Does self-help really help? Do the avid self-help readers really change for the better? And, if the people who invest their hearts into the literature don’t change, why is that?

I recall a time in my life when I was an avid reader of self-help literature. I mean, I read everything there was to read. As soon as I finished one, I went and got another. Looking back, it was a time in my life when things had sort of gone south on me. Through wrong teachings, harsh associations and mega doses of fear, I had morphed into someone who I hated. I just couldn’t stand myself. How in the hell did fun-loving, carefree Tony turn into “that guy?” I had become hard and callous and critical and worst of all, religious! I needed help and sought comfort from the self-help literature. And wow, did it ever comfort me! But, after quite some time, I noticed a pattern. While I was reading the literature I felt awesome, but it quickly faded and necessitated purchasing a new book. And you wonder why the self-help business is booming?! In most cases there was nothing wrong with the information. The books were loaded with principles and valid suggestions, but knowledge alone doesn’t get the job done! In order to transform your life, you need wisdom otherwise known as “knowledge applied!”

My wife and I have a dear friend named La Detra, whom we greatly admire. She is very successful and lives a dream life. When she has an idea, she pursues it to the full. Yes she is very intelligent and yes she went to Harvard. She is a critical thinker in the highest sense of the word. She is always in pursuit of the knowledge. But, what separates her from the pack is her determination to “do!” When she wants to make something happen, she analyzes the necessary conditions and then takes action to make it a reality. The reason so many equally intelligent people don’t realize their goals is their failure to actually launch! They think and study and read and think and study and never actually apply! Nothing happens, nothing changes, nothing ever gets better until you turn your knowledge into action. Self-development literature is loaded with time-tested principles that will always work in your life. But somewhere along the line you have to change from an avid reader to an avid “do-er!”

Our life dreams, our goals, our heartfelt desires are only realized when we decide to turn our thought into action. I know, I know, it seems so intimidating, so impossible, so huge! But, I submit that it’s only so arduous because it has not yet left your imagination! Have you ever woke up in the morning afraid of something, only to discover it loses its grip on you once you finally decide to get up? Action cures fear and inaction strengthens fear! As long as you remain in research mode you may feel better but you won’t experience real change! Genuine change comes about only when you begin to act. The path to your desired outcome only reveals itself when you finally get out of your mind and on the path! Take a step. Make a move. Begin!!!

No-one experiences success in life overnight. No flower starts off by blooming. Instead it is first planted, then struggles through the soil, continues growing until it is at last a beautiful orchid. So you too, my friend, must first plant that glorious picture of the “new you” in your mind, endure the struggle of change, and continue growing until you become, at last, what you always knew you could become! And incredibly, once you embark on your journey, you’ll discover that all of life is voting in favor of you. Your answers will reveal themselves like glittering gold in the murky riverbed. What once abruptly halted your progress will fade away like the morning mist. You will rise and fight and overcome and nothing shall, by any means, stop you. That is, if you can persuade that old obstinate mind of yours to take an actual step!

As you are thinking this through today, ask yourself this question… What idea, what dream, what goal have you actually applied yourself to with full effort and still failed? You know and I know, those things you call failure are actually “you not taking action” or “you stopped taking action!” As long as you are still alive, you still have a shot at achieving your dreams no matter how many times the fat lady has already sung!

What change do you so desperately need in your own life? What do you need to do to stop hating that guy or gal in the mirror? Take some time to get a clear picture in your mind of your “new” self, find the knowledge that appeals most to your heart and then take the action the knowledge suggested! You will be greatly challenged in the beginning because someone or something wants you to remain defeated. But, there’s an infinitely bigger Someone or Something that wants you to succeed! The life you’ve always wanted is there for you, my friends, but you have to get out of bed, dress up and show up!

Just some good thoughts…

PS If you need a great book (that you promise to apply), I highly recommend:



Honesty, December 11, 2011There’s a magnificent simplicity to life of which most people are totally unaware. Understanding it completely and thoroughly eliminates all superstition, luck and happenstance. It excludes all circumstances and apparent fortune or misfortune. It is not decided by God or by the devil. It is the law of believing; a law that basically governs your entire life. Your present existence, in all of its variation and complexity, is but the outward working of your inner belief system, or stated more simply, what you choose to believe. And, in order to really tap into its fullness requires a great honesty in your own heart and soul.

As long as you, the individual, attribute any cause other than yourself for the results or lack of results you get in life, you are only deceiving yourself. In truth, you get exactly what you expect to get, nothing more and nothing less. To say that God has already chosen what is going to happen in your life serves only to shift responsibility from yourself to something else. To think that your lack of opportunity and upbringing sets you at an unfair disadvantage implies that circumstance precedes expectation. The only thing that you can control in life is your thoughts, from which grow all of your beliefs. And while every one of us have been inundated and infiltrated with wrong thoughts leading to wrong beliefs, none of us have to remain there unless we persist in blaming and whining and reviling against what is…

If you are honest with yourself; completely and brutally honest, you will see clearly that your life is exactly what you expected it to be. It may suck and you might despise and loathe it, but it is what you thought (most consistently) it would be. If you live in a perpetual struggle always getting less than you thought you should get, you need to take an honest look at the person in the mirror. Somewhere, deep-down your beliefs, contrary to what you truly desire, want something less. Someplace, buried in your heart (from which your believing proceeds) lie hidden beliefs that question your self-worth and your value. Or someone (maybe a lot of someones) succeeded in convincing you that money is hard to come by or a loving relationship is rare or life is hard or the struggle is real or…you name it!

When you peel away all of the disguises and boil down all of the layers, your life is comprised of your beliefs be they good or bad. If they’re bad, you can change them if you will be honest. But, as long as you blame “the man” or “where you live” or “your upbringing and lack of opportunity” “or “lack of education” or that “God doesn’t like you” or “the devil is out to get you,” you will never take the solemn responsibility that belongs to you and to you alone! Instead you’ll spend a lifetime making excuses, pointing fingers and never getting your true needs met! Everyone you have witnessed living their life’s dream has believed to do so. Everyone living with tremendous prosperity believed to be so. The guy, who things seem to always work out for, believes things will always work out. Conversely, the poor guy, who nothing seems to work out for, believes nothing will work out also. Belief is inescapable and perfectly just whether you ever believe in God or not! Believing is the law that governs your life…

Man has been given control of his life, he just remains woefully ignorant of it. He makes decisions based on how things look rather than how he would like them to look. He begs for signs and assurances and in receiving none, chooses poorly. He settles and rationalizes and expects less than he should. When the world tells him what he cannot have, he accepts it without even batting an eye. All the time unaware of his ability to believe and therefore receive. He assigns systems and rules where there are no rules. “If I can just become good enough, surely I will get what I want!” “Maybe if I work hard, really, really, really hard, then can I finally get what I deserve!” Never once considering that what he will get is only what he believes he can get whether he’s good or bad, hardworking or lazy!

All of these great life realities; these fantastic opportunities, can only come about when you finally become honest with yourself. If you are unhappy, then you are unhappy, and you might as well say so. If you are struggling, you are struggling and no amount of fake smiling will make it any easier. If you aren’t getting what you want out of life, you may as well admit it instead of spending another moment pretending or reducing things down to “Well, at least I’m not sick” or “At least I woke up today!” Uggghhhh! How futile? You see, therein comes the great honesty of your soul. For some reason, you and I have been tricked into acting like things aren’t presently the way they are and as such, lying to ourselves. It’s a mental masturbation that satisfies no-one! (LOL forgive me) It’s mental assent that wishes and hopes but never truly believes. It’s a recipe for misery and it doesn’t have to be…

This isn’t criticism and fault-finding for everything I’m telling you, I’m also telling myself! If you can wrap your mind around the unchanging law that what you believe you will receive, then you can finally get honest about what you really want. How can you ever believe for things to get better if you cannot even be honest about how things are? This isn’t anyone’s business but your own. This isn’t a request to start complaining to everyone you meet but rather a request to complain to the management (God)! This is about honesty, great honesty in your own heart and soul.

What can you believe for, for the sky isn’t even the limit! There is no limitation, no lack, no poverty, no sickness where God lives and He lives where you boldly and confidently believe! So, believe my friends, believe!!!

Just some good thoughts…

It’s All About Me?

November 5, 2015

Organ-Donation1-1024x392If you’ve spent any time on Earth, you’ve probably realized that life seems to have its ups and downs. There are high times when you feel on top of the world and everything is working out well for you. Then, there are the low times when nothing seems to work and you drag your tired butt around all day looking for an answer. Well, recently I learned a valuable lesson and it wasn’t all about me.

Life is chock full of paradoxes! It’s better to give than to receive, is one such example. If you were a betting person, the safe money would seem to center on receiving. I mean, the more you receive, the more you have, right? But, noooooo… The more you give out of the goodness of your heart, without obligation or restraint, the more you receive back in a cycle that never ceases. Conversely, the more you hoard and cling to what you have, the less you actually have. Just the opposite of what you expected! Who would have thought it?

Ever since people came into being with the unique ability to think and choose, they have been on a quest for happiness and fulfillment. However, unlike your pet dog or cat, you actually know if you are happy or unhappy. When you are feeling good, you naturally get out of yourself and the time just flies by. But, when you feel down or depressed, your focus turns inward. And, the greater your perceived need, the more likely you are to dwell on that need because it isn’t met. Then, sadly, the days just drag on and on offering little promise for the future. You seek, you think, you analyze but nothing seems to work. Why? Because again, you have entered into one of life’s little paradoxes!

Although in our day and time focus on one’s self is lauded to the heavens, it’s actually the wrong way to think. I know, I know, you only have one life to live. If you don’t focus on yourself, then who will? Your needs come first. You need lots of “me” time. You first, others second, if you have opportunity! Enter a life paradox and now you are barking up the wrong tree. As long as life is all about you, the life you are seeking will elude you. Hey, don’t get mad at me! Someone smarter than me created this thing called life! I’m just trying to convey the rules of the game.

The reason we humans get so stuck on certain problems in life is because the real solution escapes us. Things have to fall in line with our logic and the older we get, the worse “it” gets. We promote selfishness because it seems entirely logical from a “caring for yourself” standpoint. Obviously you have to take care of yourself, but that, like many things, has an end point! All of us have certain needs at times, but try as we might, there are some needs we simply cannot solve on our own. Some things require something bigger than yourself. Enter the Creator of life that built-in the clever paradoxes! In His unsurpassed wisdom, He ordered life to not always be about you (or me). I suppose that would be something you’d expect from Someone concerned about all life!

So, the solution you weren’t expecting? Cease your fanatical obsession with yourself and reach out to help someone else! Some of the most joyful, happiest times of my life have been the times when everything wasn’t about “my” life. In stark contrast, some of my most distressing and depressing times came as a result of getting tricked into focusing on myself; my lack of abilities and my unsolvable problems! I say tricked because, if you are honest, whenever your focus is solely on yourself it is because of fear. The reason you are so laser focused on what you don’t have (yet) is because you are afraid you won’t ever get it. The true reason you only think about yourself isn’t because you are inherently a bad person, but rather because you are afraid you won’t get something you need! Fear always torments, always hurts you, always ends in defeat.

Love, on the other hand, is just the opposite. Love knows it will always be taken care of and sees no fear. Love doesn’t seek its own. Love extends itself to others; forgives others; bears the burden of others. Love is kind and patient. Love speaks words that build and encourage. Love gives and gives and gives. Love never fails. That’s why the way out of your “unhappy, unfulfilled” dilemma is to stop making it all about you! Stop dwelling on yourself; your unhappiness; your lack and reach out to someone else. Not to get something, but to get out of something!

It’s funny (peculiar) how the world so easily deceives us into not doing what we should do to get the things we want. We need more money, so we cling to what we have. We desperately want to be happy, so we cling to ourselves in order to find the happiness within us. Yet, all the time, the true riches of life exist on the other side of the paradox! The great Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Good ol’ Zig knew who buttered his bread!

Like all paradoxes in life, the outcome doesn’t appear to match the required activity. Well, do it anyway! Get outside of yourself. Be present with people and listen for what they need. Deeply invest in others with your love and encouragement and do it from your heart. Then, watch and see what happens inside you. You’ll be so full of love and joy that you’ll have to tell God to cool it! :-) Your needs will be met before you can even bring them up. Your life will just flow and glow and effervesce!

Is your life all about you? No, my friends, it’s all about someone else! Won’t you join the “life party” with me? I know you will…

Just some good thoughts…

12109017_906397282785691_8569625912449202360_nOne of the most grand, important and hugely significant realizations of our times seems to center on life; a REAL LIFE! Let’s face it, we are all trying to get a life. We want a life filled with happiness and love. We want variety and vibrancy and delight. We want to wake up in the morning excited for the day, with our hearts full of love and joy and peace. And all of us, yes every single one of us, are seeking the exact same thing in infinite variations. So, the million dollar question is, is the real life we so ardently desire something we can get or rather the absence of something we’ve been getting?

The cheap answer would appear to be finding that special “something” out there that promises to heal all of our wounds; solve all of our dilemmas; straighten all of our crookedness and infuse us with lasting vitality! But, the vastly more costly answer is found on the other side, in the absence of…

Life, behind all of the senses coverings, always boils down to two things, good and evil. But, here’s where it gets interesting. Life’s greater realities are not really two distinct entities, but rather one true entity and one illusory entity. The illusory entity is not anything in itself except the absence of the true entity. Wow, crazy talk, huh? Let me explain… The opposite of life is death. Death is simply the absence of life. Darkness is merely the absence of light. Fear is the absence of love, or to put it another way, love is the absence of fear. Peace is the absence of trouble or the end of the struggle. All of life’s negatives represent the absence of something good; something we were designed to have!

As I mused this idea, I thought about how many of us are seeking and toiling and searching for that special something, never considering that, that “special” something is already here for us. It’s quite literally all around us. It’s found in the mighty oak tree and in the most delicate orchid. It’s in the warmth of the sunlight and the sound of the ocean. It’s in the eyes of your grandchildren and the smile from your mother. Life, beautiful life, real life just is and requires no help from you or me. And when you see life, there is no mistaking it for what it is, that is unless you’ve allowed the darkness to hold sway!

The other side of life, the absence of it, seeks to blind your eyes from the real life God intended for you. It makes you afraid and anxious about life. It steals away your peace by introducing agitation and unrest. It robs you of your enthusiasm and energy by getting you to dwell on its negative illusions. It works to occupy your mind with nothingness and pointlessness and would, if allowed to, reduce your life into one useless travail on an empty road leading nowhere! It’s behind every sickness, every sorrow, every lost hope, and every miserable thing. It’s work is displayed in every murder, every suicide, and every rape. And all of it, every single piece of it, is nothing more than the absence of goodness and love and light!

Maybe then, the best way to get that real life, you’ve been pining away for, is to stop seeking it so exhaustively and work rather on getting rid of the stuff that’s taking it away from you. Instead of searching the world over for love, get rid of your fear. Love comes from life who also goes by the name, God! And, before I continue let me give you a sidelight which is really the whole light. You are not going to find that real life you are after without God’s help. You know how I know? Because you haven’t found it on your own yet, have you? Oh you can try, and you can fill your mind with endless theories, but in the end you won’t find life because you haven’t yet found God!

Instead of doing all kinds of shenanigans to find peace, why not work on eliminating the agitations and the trouble. Trouble cannot exist without your cooperation because it’s a parasite feeding off your thoughts. To become agitated or maybe stay agitated, you have to continue entertaining the evil thought. Thinking it, or often in my case, analyzing it, only serves to permit its entree that much longer. The solution isn’t to clear your mind of all thought, but rather to replace agitating thoughts with thoughts of peace.

If you feel depressed or bored or just plain weary, begin to track down which thoughts are sucking away your energy. Your energy comes from the life force and is always there for you. However, certain thoughts, certain activities steal away that precious energy and leave you life-less! There’s almost nothing more energizing than to begin a new day with new thoughts and a renewed anticipation.

If you don’t know what to do or where to go or how to navigate your way, turn on the light (God’s Word). Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light because darkness is and always will be, the absence of light. The reason so many people are profoundly stuck in life is because they spend almost all of their precious days dwelling on everything that isn’t right. Dwelling on sickness won’t bring forth health. Dwelling on problems doesn’t engender solutions. Dwelling on lack never forces prosperity.

At the end of the day, to the end of your life, you have one thing you can control and that is your mind! Your mind is where all of the good things live. You should no more allow evil to permeate your thoughts than you would allow a poisonous snake to hang out in your living room. The only way to make your house safe again would be to get rid of the “thing” making it unsafe. It doesn’t require long prayers or voodoo doctors or snake charmers, it requires a decision in your mind ~ no more snakes!

The one and only “real life” is already there, waiting for you. It is infused into everything that life is… To find it you only need to once and for all rid yourself of everything that is blinding you to its reality. The time is short my friends, so short. You’ve got one shot at this thing. Learn how to get rid of everything that holds you back. You know how to do it? Ask God to teach you. If this made any sense to you, just imagine how good it would be to get it from the Source!

Real life…man, what a concept!

Just some good thoughts…

download-1I’m going to tell you something tonight that may come as quite a surprise to you. It’s not really a part of mainstream thought. I would even go as far as to say that you may be besieged by thoughts to the contrary. It seems so irresponsible; so laissez-faire; even reckless. It sounds ostentatious; lacking forethought, presumptuous. It may quite threaten the way the western world thinks. Nevertheless, here it is…there is no profit or value or benefit or lesson or good outcome in thinking negatively or critically about yourself.

On the surface, you probably agree in premise. But, can you agree in practice? Can you do it? Should you do it? Do you feel there is a value in chastising yourself or that critically evaluating your behaviors helps you get better? I think most people do and as a result take themselves through endless loops that never end up at – good. I’m not talking about honestly evaluating what you could have done better. I’m talking about rehearsing mistakes you made or reliving negative scenarios. I’m discussing that all too familiar human tendency to berate yourself for saying that dreaded thing or performing that shameful act. Do the people you berate transform themselves? Does feeling ashamed prevent poor choices in the future?

I’m sure you’re curious, so let me explain myself. When you do something wrong, you know it is wrong. Wrong things have a way of communicating a painful message to you and it happens rather quickly. Stubbing your toe may hurt like hell, but is nothing to be compared with willfully stubbing it over and over again. Well, how about your thought life? Will rehearsing that negative scenario make it go away? Is there a remedy or benefit to be found in the rehearsal? If you dutifully replay the event on the VCR of your mind, will you somehow arrive at a place where it now makes sense? Oh, if you could just go back in time, right?

Maybe it will help you to think in terms of the physical. Let’s imagine that you just put your hand on the hot stove. You weren’t seeking to bring pain upon yourself, but because of distraction or ignorance or some competing idea, you set it down on the burner. And as burners do, it burned you! The lesson is immediate! Ah shiiiiiiiiiiii*! You briefly contemplate what happened and then quickly seek a remedy. You most likely won’t ever do it again. Now again, imagine that three days later you are still going through the painful scenario in your head. People would rightfully conclude that you are nuts. But, isn’t that exactly what you do with the other mistakes you make in your life and most likely you did for similar reasons? (Distraction, ignorance, competing ideas) I’m here to tell you today that there is absolutely no profit in it. In fact, there’s grave danger in it.

Dwelling on past mistakes is almost a surefire guarantee that you are going to make the same mistakes again. And, even if you are smart enough to avoid them, dwelling on them only serves to reinforce the idea that something is definitely wrong with you. Not your behavior, you! What possible chance could you ever have of succeeding or overcoming if down deep something is wrong with you?

I’ll put it in terms of the spiritual. Let’s say that there is a force in the world that seduces or deceives you into doing things that are bad. So that force, that the world is woefully unaware of, tricks you into doing something evil. I would say that in itself is bad enough. But, what if you could derive a greater damage to a person by getting them to rehearse the matter for the rest of their lives? I would say you have done an excellent job of defeating that person for a lifetime! Well folks, that is exactly what is taking place when you innocently or ignorantly hold your mistakes; your faults and failings in your mind. It’s insane. No manner of self-chastisement atones for the wrongs done, but instead only hurts you in the process.

This notion of incessant focus on your shortcomings, or more importantly perceived shortcomings is epidemic! It’s a cancer that eats away at all that is good. When a child makes an error he immediately seeks forgiveness. He doesn’t try to undo the wrong. He doesn’t evaluate what might be wrong with him to cause such a thing to happen. He doesn’t review the matter in his mind for two years. He simply seeks forgiveness from his parents and once he receives it, as he knows he almost always will, he moves on – quickly and emphatically. Well, the same is true for you and me. When you hurt people or damage things or hurt your own heart, you make an effort to immediately seek forgiveness and then move on. Refuse to rehearse it or think about or give it space in your mind. If it’s God’s forgiveness you need, get it as He is faithful and just to forgive you, every time!

So, I’m asking you to make a pledge to yourself, for yourself. Do not give the mistakes you made or your faults and human failings or your shortcomings (perceived or real) another thought. Don’t allow them to take up residency in your mind. Put an end to all negative evaluations of yourself. Just stop it! There is no profit or value or benefit or lesson or good outcome in doing so. Being critical of yourself will never make you a better person. Being critical only serves to weaken you from being everything you really ought to be in this life!

Will you take the pledge? I hope so…

Just some good thoughts…

A Beautiful Mess…

October 15, 2015

beautiful-messI was talking to a family friend not too long ago and he was asking me about relationships. Long story short, he was looking for the secret. The secret is, there is no secret. In fact, instead of spending another moment seeking out the “perfect” person, find someone you like! The highly publicized media version of a true love relationship isn’t true. What’s true is that every relationship is really a hybrid, unique mess; a beautiful mess.

Jason Mraz, musician, singer, performer, explored the subject quite profoundly with his song, from which I named this blog. And, every time I hear it, it touches something deep inside of me that, for the life of me, I cannot put into words. But, it’s worth the attempt.

Every person you meet is a complex combination of a million variables, all meeting together at a certain point in time. All have a degree of strength and all have elements of weakness. Sometimes the weakness is the strength and often the strength is also the weakness. Some love to touch and be touched, others abhor touching except for those times they need to touch. A few are silly in their seriousness and a few are serious in their silliness. Extraverts become introverted and introverts show extraversion. The pure get corrupted and the corrupted find purity. It’s called being a human being. And, the only way that two human beings can come together is by accepting and learning to love the unique combination that “is” the other person. Undesirable characteristics are as much to be expected as having one ear slightly lower than the other, or certain hairs that refuse to move in a uniform direction, or a random assortment of moles. To foolishly assume that your future life partner will hit all 50 of your desired characteristics is to seek after an image that doesn’t exist.

A relationship with another person is really about the other person. Your mistake is making it all about you. You have to take the good with the bad (I guess). That person you’re seeking that represents everything you want in a companion is doing just that, representing (smile). If you stick with them long enough you’ll begin to see stuff you don’t like. So what, love them anyway. Everything about a person that makes them undesirable can also make them desirable. Those million variables we came from are a combination of good and bad. The good should be encouraged and the bad can be overcome. If my wife really knew who I was while I was “representing” she never would have said yes. But, she did say yes and I’m as far from that guy as the east is from the west.

Quit complicating the thing and find someone you like. Find someone whose ways bypass your mind and touch something in your heart. Find a person whose company you enjoy. Don’t go on a date with your evaluation checklist in hand. Don’t look for the qualities you seek in a marriage partner. That’s like trying to turn your old clunker into a Mercedes. It takes time, effort and quite a bit of cash to get the Mercedes and right now you’re still clunking around (haha)! Love always has been and always will be a decision. You don’t fall in love, you just get enamored by some high priority checklist items. To love another person is to accept (not like) all that they are and love them anyway.

When you get older (and you will) you will discover that your A-List items weren’t really your A-List at all. I mean who doesn’t want hot and sexy and gorgeous and handsome? But, and trust me on this one, it’s hard to stay hot and sexy and handsome! ;-) Age finds a way of doing that to you… Instead, what you really want is companionship. You want someone who gets you and whom you get. And, how in the hell do you ever expect someone to “get you” at the beginning? Shoot, I don’t even “get myself” at times and I’ve been around for awhile! A good relationship requires a lot of work, but out of that mess in the beginning, emerges a beautiful mess if you’ll just stick with it. Couples don’t split up because of the things that go wrong, they split up because somewhere along the way one or both “decided” to stop loving and especially forgiving the other person. What’s the ultimate sin to you is not the ultimate sin to me and they’re all the same to God, anyway… Sin means simply missing the bullseye and which of you hasn’t missed the bullseye?

You see my friends, the ultimate goal of a relationship is companionship. Someone who knows that you will become hostile and insecure when you’re afraid and loves you anyway. Someone who sees the love behind your verbal barbs. Someone who feels your sadness when you are sad and rejoices with you when you rejoice. Someone who endures your lengthy discourse about how your day went and someone who expects you to do the same. Someone who not only knows your hot buttons, but even pushes them on occasion, only to promise (again) not to push them anymore. Someone that just loves you for you and could care less about your receding hairline or the size of your butt! Someone whose presence you require, though no words are being spoken. Someone who, with you, took the time to make the mess…beautiful!

You want to enjoy a great relationship? Find someone you like and get to work. Who is to say that your mess won’t one day turn out beautiful as well? Indeed, who is to say???

Just some good thoughts…

The Masked Masquerader…

October 8, 2015

miHBCkTxAbhSSNLndoSF7mgThere is a mysterious force moving and thriving in the world today. That force works behind the scenes to bring about frustration, unhappiness and misery. It comes in many facades and generally goes about undetected. Almost unbelievably, it has the ability to thwart and negate even the promises of God from coming to pass in a person’s life (Yes, it’s that big). If you ask a man if he is affected by it, his answer will almost always be, “No!” He doesn’t see it because it wears a mask and behind the mask lies the greatest masquerader of all time. It’s name you ask? Despite a thousand confusing disguises, it’s name is always FEAR…

When people think of fear, they quickly point to the feeling you get when you are being chased by a rabid dog. Or maybe the rumbling that occurs in the pit of your belly when a jumbo jet experiences heavy turbulence. Or perhaps that call you get from the hospital concerning one of your children. While all of those things are a clear representation of fear, the reality is that it is usually much more subtle than that. If it was obvious, you would quickly take the steps to remedy the situation. Run!!!!!!!!! But, it’s seldom obvious and for that reason, holds a man in bondage his whole lifetime.

You’ve heard me say before that believing is what brings things to pass in your life. But, did you know that fear is also believing? Fear is negative believing and brings negative things to pass with the same efficacy as it does on the positive side. What you fear, you get! Fear is the only thing that ever defeats the promises of God because man’s decision to be afraid rather than trust absolutely negates God’s ability to save him from his dilemma! Oh, say it aint so! Well, it is ‘so’ and to be otherwise would require God to completely rewrite the rules of life. Instead of bucking up against what is, why not learn to recognize and eliminate fear everywhere and anywhere it shows up?

In order to defeat fear, you must first recognize how it presents itself in your life. It shows up as depression, which points to something sucking away your life and energy. It appears as frustration, which falsely presumes there is no solution. It masquerades as worthlessness, implying you have to become a better person before God will bless you (predominately found in religion). It goes by the name “stress” which quietly contemplates a negative outcome. It wears a mask called “anxiety” which reveals an underlying and misplaced fear of life itself and all of its potential pitfalls. It goes by the misnomer “concern” which attempts to legitimize its existence. It is found in every unfulfilled and unsatisfied life and, in secret, is the cause of it. It is the polar opposite of love from which it rightfully has no place.

It enters your life through doubt, then gains ground by worry and finally reveals its ugliest head of all…FEAR.  It brings your life to a standstill. It is “sand in the machinery of life.” It impedes your progress and once it catches you, closes the prison doors all around you. It shouts there is no way out, which is a lie from the father of lies (there is always a way out!). It brings about disaster and chaos. It is trouble to your soul and with its agitation, steals your peace. It is the root of everything you don’t desire and the force that has tried to thwart your every move. It is evil and must be overcome!

Logically, the first step to overcoming fear is to recognize that you have it. There’s no room for John Wayne bravado because the proof is in the pudding. Depressed? …Fear! Frustrated? …Fear! Unfulfilled and dissatisfied? …Fear! Life not turning out how you dreamed it would? …Fear! Things going south on you on a perpetual basis? …Fear! You just have to get honest with yourself. If you are agitated and restless and bored, you have some fear back there you haven’t yet seen. To hell with its disguises, it’s fear and the sooner you own up to it the better. There’s no shame in being afraid. It’s wrong, but all of us came from the factory born with it. The shame is in parading around with “no fear” bumper stickers, while sitting on the couch of your mind in quiet, desperate misery!

Once you finally get honest (and praise the Lord for that day), you will begin to see (if you want to) just how much fear has been ruling your life. And, like any demolition project, you just have to start working away at it, one brick at a time. Now, removing bricks alone won’t make it happen. Instead, you have to replace those bricks with truth (found in over 900 promises in your Bible). Find and speak truth to that old, liar fear knowing that truth; truth believed, is the only thing that can defeat it. It won’t happen overnight, because you didn’t become ruled by fear overnight. But, and trust me on this, it will happen. You’ll be encouraged along the way by this weird, odd feeling called “peace and contentment.” You’ll get better at detecting its presence. You’ll actually start to see through the mask and spot that old masquerader behind it.  You will once again begin to experience life in all of its grandeur; it’s excitement; its pregnant possibilities. And best of all, you’ll find the love that has been waiting there for you all along!

For God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.            II Timothy 1:7

It doesn’t really matter how long you have been living in the prison-house of fear. What matters is that you find the way to escape. You aint gonna do it without God, so don’t try it. Just get real soul-honest and reach up to the One who made you! Hey, He hears you and this blog is from Him to you (and me)!

Fear not my friends. Fear not!

Just some good thoughts…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,246 other followers