August 19, 2015
In stark contrast to what you may have learned, you are not a victim in life. Sh*t doesn’t just happen! And, while it is so damn common today for everyone to preach, “Everything happens for a reason,” (which subtly implies the negatives that occur have some good purpose behind them) the truth is that everything does happen for a reason but that reason isn’t always good! (Don’t even get me started on the phrase, “It’s all good!”) Then, sadly, there is that awful phrase, “It wasn’t meant to be,” which is the universal catch-all scapegoat for taking away any and all personal responsibility in life. If you ever take the time to consider those words, they imply a lack of control over what happens to you. I mean come on, wasn’t meant to be by whom? God? Is life really a scary whirlwind that you find yourself caught up in? Did the Creator predestinate you to certain conditions and circumstances and there is nothing you can do about it? If you believe these things, and Lord knows you’ve heard them, then you are not driving your own bus! And if you aren’t driving your own bus, then who is? ((Now that’s scary!)
This life that God has blessed you with is not without control. It seems like it is because apparent randomness and apparent accidents, apparent good fortune and apparent bad luck are all around you. But, what if those events and circumstances aren’t random at all? What if your life is persistently being influenced to think a certain way? What if you are being imperceptibly systematized into error? What if something successfully convinced you that instead of being the driver of your own bus, you are just a passenger waiting hopelessly for the right stop? What if my friends, what if?
Now I’ve lived long enough to know that things don’t always turn out the way we “wished” they would. I’ve had my share of heartache and angst. I’ve struggled and whined and reviled. I’ve been stuck in a vortex of negativity. I have not gotten the job, not gotten the promotion, witnessed suffering and seen dreams not come into fruition. Did that mean I never really had any control? Or did it mean I had not yet learned to consistently take ownership and responsibility for the outcomes in my life? When those things occurred was I a passenger on the bus or the driver? It couldn’t be that I was driving or I never would have chosen those destinations!
The great key to the bus in your life is your believing. Believing for the things you want doesn’t mean you won’t be greatly challenged for the driver’s seat, but rather it means no matter how many times you get the keys wrestled from you, you take them back again! Bad stuff does happen to good people, but believing people are determined to recover and start driving again! Believing is something you do with your mind and your heart. Believing is choosing what you will and will not have in your life. How many of you are waiting and waiting for something good to happen, yet never taking the key and driving the bus? “Oh Lord, if you could just get me this or rescue me from that!” His response? “Psssst, it’s your bus!” You see God Almighty Himself cannot do a blessed thing for you until you believe! Wishing, hoping, waiting are all passengers on the bus to nowhere. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It is immaterial what has happened in the past. The only moment you can live in is “now!” So get the key, start up the bus and drive! Once you start driving, things are going to happen!
This certainly isn’t a criticism of you, however. I live in this same world you live in and sometimes what we want just seems impossible. But, and trust me on this one, nothing is going to happen until you can somehow wrap your mind around believing. Believing is full persuasion from the heart. Have you ever got sick and tired of some negative scenario and said, “Enough is enough?” – and really meant it? The situation seemed to resolve rather quickly, didn’t it? And, if it didn’t resolve, you aint quite there yet! But, it’s still your bus and you are still the driver!
Believing is God’s wonderful way of giving us control over this crazy life. The people who enjoy great success use it. The people who endure great distress also use it, but they use it as fear and fear gets you that terrible thing just as surely as confidence gets you that good thing. Our lives are completely predicated on what we believe; about ourselves; the world; our families, everything… And the kicker? It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not because believing is something all people may do. I’d rather believe in God than just myself, but hey that’s just me~
So, do you want to get your life back? Do you need deliverance from something evil? Do you need a way out; an escape route? Is there a life you have imagined but haven’t found yet? Pull out your key and drive your own bus! There is no other way.
Sh*t does not just happen! Some things that happen are evil and the reason is to screw your life up! It’s not all good by any stretch of the imagination! And nothing, absolutely nothing is meant to be!!! God is always for you and if you ever mustered up the gumption to believe what He said, you would get whatever it is that you wanted. There is absolutely no limit for with God nothing is impossible!
Quit being a passenger on your own bus! Get the key and drive baby! There’s nothing more impressive than a man or a woman driving their own bus… It is your right as a person! Life is short, drive now… Drive now!
Just some good thoughts…
PS Read “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon if you aren’t quite ready for the Good book…
August 3, 2015
A good bowl of spaghetti gets there one noodle at a time. No matter the size of the bowl, each noodle is a single entity that only gets tangled when it’s added together with the other noodles, one noodle at a time! Remember that intently because you will never untangle the mess in your mind until you do.
If you are like most people, you tend to put off unpleasant tasks until you are forced to deal with them. It can wait, right? But, sadly, all the little things you put off slither into the bowl unnoticed. Imagine how many random thoughts you think in a day. How many of those thoughts are hurtful feelings of inadequacy? How many seethe with self-criticism and condemnation? What tired notions repeat themselves over and over begging for resolution? The worries, the doubts, the fear? What “what-if” dramas clamor for your attention? Oodles and oodles of noodles…
It’s been said that your outer world is an indicator of your inner world. Have you ever visited someone with a messy house? Or (ha ha) is it your house? Well, how did it get so messy? It became a mess one messy, misplaced thing at a time. All of us are confronted with the mess, but not all of us choose to clean it up. The best time to vacuum up the popcorn on the carpet is right after the popcorn hits the carpet. That’s not being anal, that’s cleaning up. Conversely, how do you feel when you visit the clean house? You feel relaxed, don’t you? You see, someone invested their effort in making the environment peaceful and you got the benefit of it. I dare say none of us really enjoy the cleaning up process, but we probably treasure the cleaned up feeling!
When it comes to your thoughts, sometimes you have to take the time to clean up. I mean you have so much to do in a day, right? You’re busy, busy, busy and there are many demands clamoring for your time. Well, that’s nothing compared to the time you spend sifting through the madness to find your car keys. In this live in the moment life, generally the best time to do something is now. You feel yourself getting a toothache. You don’t like the dentist (who does…they kill lions) or you don’t have dental insurance or you don’t have time to go. So you decide to wait. Maybe it will go away. Maybe it will resolve on its own. Maybe? In reality it will probably get worse until it hurts so badly that you cannot do anything else until you get it fixed; not to mention the two months you put up with the agonizing dull ache in your jaw. Can’t you see it? We have been lulled into a complacent state where we don’t handle what we need to handle. We foolishly think we can wait, but really cannot afford to wait. Each moment we spend unresolved is a moment we don’t get to really live!
If you are honest, what you really want is clarity of thought. You want that noise to quiet down. You need your mind to slow down and take a breath. You need some peace. But, peace normally comes at the end of the fight. You have to win the fight. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose not to be in the fight. The fight is there every single day. God never promised you wouldn’t have to fight, He said He would help you to win it. You win the contest by winning the battle in your mind. When a nation wins a war or a football team wins a game, they have to do it one battle or one play at a time. You can’t skip plays nor can you overlook key battles. The contest starts every single morning. You decide what you will think and challenge any opposition to those thoughts. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, what matters is your willingness to fight!
One day, when it finally dawns on you that your mind has become a hot slithering menagerie of pasta, and your persistent sense of fatigue and depression begins to overtake you, remember you can clean up any mountain of mess if you take it on one small mess at a time. You can’t spend time thinking of the outcome, instead just think of the next play. What thought or series of thoughts are causing you the most stress? Start there! Challenge those inane thoughts. Just because you think something does not make it true. Where did we ever get that idea? Probably from the same source as the thought.
This life we are blessed to live is best lived in the moment called “now!” You have 24 hours in a day, maybe 16 waking, perhaps 8 after work, 5 after meals and maybe 30 minutes after the television. But no matter what is clamoring for our time, whether work or sleep or mealtimes or electronic mediums, we can only work with the time called “now!” The time to deal with the troubling thought is now. The time to vacuum the carpet is now. The time to repair the broken appliance is now. The time to do the task that’s eating at you is now. The time to get things sorted out in your mind is now! Now, now, now!
That peace of mind you are ardently seeking is seeking you as well. It’s there for you, always right there for you, waiting for you to stand up and get into the fight, then win it… WIN THE FIGHT! You are worth that much.
Everyone loves a tasty bowl of spaghetti, right? But a peaceful mind trumps a bowl of spaghetti every single time.
Just some good thoughts…
July 26, 2015
As a self-proclaimed wordsmith, I have a tendency to over~analyze semantics. Words have distinct meanings ya know, but sometimes the way we use them reveals scads about how we think. It has oft been said that what you believe in the depth of your soul is what you actually manifest into your life. So, what do you believe? The answer will be found not only by what you say, but how you say it…
The word “hope” is one such example. If you want to be semantically accurate (and, who doesn’t?), hope is defined as “wanting something to happen (as a verb) and optimism towards future events (as a noun). In other words, when you say you hope so, you really mean, “you hope so.” You want something to happen. You may even want it to happen very badly! But, will it actually happen? I hope so (smile)…
“Believe” is another contestant in the semantics sweepstakes. “To believe” at its root means to have confidence in something or to accept something as true. So, if you believe something is going to happen, then it is going to happen, right? Haha, not so fast, my friend. Let’s say I ask you if you are going to get that job you are pursuing. Seems like the “believing” answer is “yes!” But, how do you really answer? “I believe so…” Which means, if you are being honest and are analyzing the semantics, “I hope so!” LOL, yeah, we are back there again!
You see, the words you choose and how you use them, tell you something about how you think. In the world of truth, yes is yes and no is no! Believing so and hoping so are cute expressions reflecting a strong maybe. And sadly, as long as your answer is “maybe” your results at best are only maybe! Maybe is just fine if you’re talking about things you cannot control like the Dallas Cowboys winning the Superbowl, but “maybe” sucks in making positive changes in your own life. Are you going to lose that weight? Maybe. Are you going to get over those weak spots that have been holding you down? Maybe. Are you going to finally earn the amount of money you need in order to live how you want to live? Maybe.
I’m sure you can think of those times in your life when you got damn serious about changing something! You probably said things like, “I’m not spending another hour living like this!” Or, “This crap stops today!” Or, “I’m going to figure out how to do this if it kills me!” Well, that kind of hyperbole makes something happen. You not only mean what you say but you have taken it a step further attaching life and death to it!
One of the greatest mysteries of human nature seems to revolve around waiting (and hoping) for something good to happen. I call it a mystery because YOU want it to happen and GOD wants it to happen, yet there you sit impatiently waiting for someone or something other than you to make it a reality. Now, I’m smart enough to know that there are many variables involved with making things happen and as a human being, most of it you don’t control. But, there is always, always, always, (yes, I said it 3 times) one thing you do control and that is what you believe! The naysayer may scoff and say that you cannot just sit around “believing” something is going to happen and expect something to happen… And they would be most accurate in that assertion. But, if you really believe and aren’t just playing the semantics sweepstakes, your actions will absolutely follow your beliefs. Look, if you believe the roof is going to cave in, you already stopped reading and hightailed it out of the house! (Hightail, to exit rapidly like a whitetail deer escaping a predator ~ semantics analyzation in progress.)
Unless your life is absolutely perfect, there is probably something you want to change, right? Well, ask yourself how you talk about the things you want to change. A great man once said, “What you think about the situation with which you are presently confronted will determine the outcome.” Man, read that again! Assuming you’re alone, try it out for yourself. Go ahead, do it. Ask yourself out loud. What do you think is going to happen? How you answered is what is going to happen, at least at this moment in time anyway…
Assuming your answer; your real honest answer, wasn’t what you want, you now have a choice. You can work on changing your honest answer and get serious about it, or you can keeping on hoping so and believing so without result, indefinitely. Contrary to popular belief, there is no power in the human mind, with one exception ~ you have the power to choose what you will and will not believe! If you can ever get around to believing, you enlist the power of something far greater than you, called God, the ultimate fixer of everything that ever went wrong with you!
Don’t waste another second of your life drifting along the debris ridden stream of hoping and wishing. Take charge of your mind and take charge of your beliefs. They’re your beliefs so you may as well make them something you actually want in your life, right? We can change anything and everything about our lives if we ever get around to really believing. Seems like that is the only logical thing to do.
Words are great fun; semantics are fascinating, but until you can get your mouth lined up with the beliefs in your heart, nothing is going to happen! Get clear on what you want, then answer yes and only yes to the question of whether or not it is going to happen! I really hope you figure this one out…
Just some good thoughts.
July 16, 2015
I just sat down to write a little blog in the comfort of my living room. I poured myself a nice glass of Cabernet and stared at the screen wondering what to write. Just then my son Chris popped in and in a moment of impulse launched a pillow into the table that formerly housed my wine glass, shattering the glass and splattering red wine on the recliner, the brand new upholstered, khaki colored dining room chair and the white cloth lamp shade. We did our best to clean up the mess, including locating all of the glass. It seems the chairs are fine, but the lampshade may have suffered a fatal loss! And in that frenetic moment it came to me, why is life so hard, or maybe, is it really hard?
Maybe us humans make the mistake of assigning meaning to things that have no meaning and focusing on the material things while never really regarding the vital and necessary things. Maybe we have been deluded into putting such high importance on our stuff; maintaining our stuff and getting new stuff and neglecting those parts of life that have true meaning. As a functioning and ambitious member of the rat race, I like to be somewhere near the front of the line. Oh I don’t do it on purpose mind you, but this old world sucks me in at times. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s something else but I like my things to be a certain way. I clean, I organize (Lord knows I organize) and I get indignant when someone dares to mess up my stuff. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your stuff, in fact it is a quality, but sometimes the people should come before your stuff. Is that a justification for pillow slinging? Of course not! But maybe, just maybe, my obsession with stuff takes precedence over the people and when that occurs, I may have missed the mark! I’m sure when I’m on my death-bed I’d rather have Chris there than all of the upholstered chairs and lamps in the world! Why is life so hard? Well, sometimes it seems hard because you are focusing on the wrong stuff!
If you lived any amount of time on earth you are well aware of the many challenges and pitfalls that are right around the corner waiting for you. Life can seem to be real scary. There’s a multitude of things that can go wrong at any time. Oh sure, you plan and prepare and do your best, yet still things go south on you and before you can even recognize it, you find yourself faced with stress producing situations. You just want to control what you can and, by God, you do your utmost. Yet, they still appear. Hopefully somewhere along the line it finally dawns on you that you just cannot control everything. And, I’m loathe to admit, you really control an infinitesimal amount of stuff. Take, for example, your adult children (yes, this includes Chris). When they were little it was duck soup. You watched over them like a hawk and decided exactly what they did and when. Now, however, you are no longer in control. You see them heading south (no, not Chris) and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. You have to rely on them to make good choices and like you when you were their age, they don’t always choose right. You don’t want them to suffer but they will and in that suffering sometimes learn a thing or two. Why is life so hard? Often it gets hard when you’re trying to control things you cannot control.
Now comes perhaps the greatest single factor in making life seem so hard. Recently I attended a birthday party for one of my closest friends. I was sitting next to another old friend and proceeded to lament about this and that and how I so wanted this to happen and wouldn’t it be great if that happened etc. In his one of kind manner he quietly commented, “Isn’t that God’s job…” There in 5 words or less was the answer to all of life’s apparent complexities! Life is hard because you and I are busying ourselves into oblivion trying to do God’s job while neglecting our own job, namely trusting Him. We are so smart, ya know? So smart, in fact, that we have become experts in what oughta happen and dumb dumbs in regard to how things really happen. Life, absent a true belief in God’s abiding goodness, is frightfully hard. You can figure it out, you say? No you can’t! The proof of that? Your thinking that life is hard! It’s hard because you are determined to do it all by yourself. You think, I don’t need God, I will just make a lot of money. Well, the money you made comes from God whether you ever choose to acknowledge it or not! He is just that good! The trouble is that the same world that has you wrongly focused on your stuff and trying to control everything yourself is also extremely persistent in talking you out of who God is! If you knew who He really is and what He really does you would never have the audacity to utter that life is hard. Yes, you would face your share of challenges and even maybe more than your share, but in the end you would have still overcome because Gods job is to teach you how to overcome!
Life is hard my friends, but only because you’ve been talked into trusting in yourself and not in the One that made you! Stuff gets messed up; new stuff is always out there; you want to control everything but cannot control hardly anything; you’re tired and frustrated and anxious and afraid, yet amidst all that you can learn who God is and in a moment of time change your mind and realize, life isn’t really hard but instead it is my heart that has gotten hard. Ask God to teach you something new and in the process enjoy that new, tender heart He will give you! You can bet your entire, hard life on that one!
Just some good thoughts…
July 7, 2015
The world lives and moves amidst a persistent and pervasive low-level anxiety that permeates every thought, every action and almost every decision. You have been living with “it” for so long that “it’s” hardly recognizable. It’s sort of like this hidden specter in the background of your life, quietly, secretly whispering, ever whispering “trouble is coming” “trouble is coming…” When it first appeared, when you were a child, you recognized it as an aberration and did whatever you could to escape it. But then, as you got older, it happened so regularly that it no longer seemed unusual. In fact, you got so habituated to it, you gave up all hope of ever having a quiet mind again. You can’t concentrate; cannot sleep; need prescription meds, drugs and copious amounts of alcohol just to make it through the day. What the hell ever happened to your elusive quiet mind?
I’ll tell you what happened to it! Someone stole it from you. You had it at one time. But, as you got older it sort of dwindled away. You didn’t see it making an exit, you only experienced what it felt like after it was gone. Here’s a macabre thought, you never see the good things being taken away until it’s almost too late and you can apply that to unlimited situations. You can’t detect it because of its subtlety. All error works that way. No one grows up dreaming of being a junkie or a prostitute. They just get swept up and away to a strange land located who knows where.
So, here’s the rub… It’s your mind, quiet or restless. Your mind produces or replicates your own thoughts. You think and therefore you are. All throughout the day you are thinking and processing and feeling. You are doing it almost subconsciously, but make no mistake you are doing it. And, if you are like most folks, you are receiving a plethora of information every day. It’s like you are laying in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV of cable television, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest of the Internet. Info, info, info, feed, feed, feed! All of that ‘so necessary’ information going in and taking root. Snippets of scary health information, fearful predictions, hatred, division, greed and a vast army of endless negative possibilities. All going in; all upsetting; all producing non-specific feelings of anxiety. And you wonder what happened to your quiet mind?
There was a time when people didn’t have access to so much information. There was a time when everyone didn’t know everything that is going on in the world. But that time is no more, so you have to do something to protect yourself. You wouldn’t think of eating poisonous food or drinking arsenic, yet give little thought to the daily onslaught of deadly toxic thoughts that are entering your noggin.
Worse than the external environment is the things you say to yourself on the inside. You being the only you, you have got, it seems you should always be on your own side! But instead, you say all manner of insults and think nothing of it. And, at the top of the list is that whole, “I’m not worthy thing!” Feeling unworthy and guilty is the precursor to anxiety. You know why? Because anxiety literally means divided and when you aren’t okay with you, you are most divided. You have got to come to terms with that right away quick, pronto! If you want to measure yourself accurately, know this ~ we are all unworthy in its truest sense. Who exactly is good enough for this life? No-one that’s who! So give yourself a break and stop vomiting on yourself! All that “I don’t deserve good things” nonsense serves only one purpose. To make you better? Hell no! To divide you against yourself and to defeat you before you ever get started!
So, how might someone like yourself get your quiet mind back? Well, here’s the shortlist:
1. Take control over the things that you are allowing into your mind.
2. Control your thinking and stop entertaining thoughts of fear and defeat. (They only gain power over you when you entertain them!)
3. When an agitating thought shows up, take the time to resolve it in your mind. Refuse it. Say it aint so! Challenge it (don’t argue with it!)
4. Practice being quiet. Quiet down, settle down, pursue peace like your life depends upon it.
5. Stop accepting anxiety as a normal part of life. Fear is not natural or normal no matter how long it has been going on. Your true natural state is one who is at rest, like you were when you were 7.
6. Begin to recognize triggers and sources of unrest. Then, find ways to avoid them. Unrest is ALWAYS a sign that something is not right. (Let the peace of God rule [umpire] in your heart..)
7. Stop verbalizing negatives and complaints. By verbalizing you are simply strengthening the things you do not want. Complaining just confirms your victim status and you are NOT a victim!
8. Take the time to learn about God and His ways. Be honest with yourself and recognize that you are afraid of life and NEED some assistance figuring this thing out. Caution ~ don’t pursue religion because it derives control from your fears!
Your quiet mind is not as elusive as you think. It is already there waiting for you to take back control and get back the booty that was stolen from you. The God of all peace wants you to be peaceful. However, you aren’t ever going to find it if you continue mindlessly trudging down all of the same paths you walked before. Instead of running from that specter promising you trouble, listen for the true voice saying, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ~ Psssst “This is the way; walk ye in it.” There is just no other way my friends… Be quiet.
Just some good peaceful thoughts…
June 25, 2015
Warning! This blog post may offend you, but my hope, of course, is that it will enlighten you! So here goes… The life that you are presently living is a direct reflection of your beliefs. What you believe will happen in your life is exactly what happens in your life. If you are enjoying success, you have believed for and are experiencing success. If you are struggling and not living the life you want, you have believed for that also and are experiencing the results of your beliefs. Life is not random. There are no accidents and there are no coincidences. A belief on the positive side produces a good result. A belief on the negative side (fear) results in a negative result. So the point is, if you are presently struggling and not enjoying the life you want, it is your own fault! Now, before you go batsh*t crazy on me, hear me out…
All of us believe something. I’m not talking about your religious beliefs, I’m talking about belief in its basic essence; the things you believe to be true. It does not matter at all if what you believe isn’t really true, because what you believe is what comes to pass in your life. All humans, good and bad, manifest into their lives the results or fruit of their beliefs. You can whine, revile, complain, argue, fuss and fume, but that is how God set this whole thing up (see Bible). Getting angry with God over some negative circumstance in your life is as futile as whipping the dog for some food you left out within his reach. Bottom line, he’s a dog, he always seeks food, and, YOU LEFT IT OUT! When things are going poorly in your life, you left something out – belief!
Let’s say you have been struggling financially. You know you need more money than you presently have. Truth Newsflash: The amount of money you presently have is exactly, precisely, mathematically as much as you believed you could have. The problem isn’t the economy, your lack of education or degree, your upbringing, or the company for which you are presently slaving! The problem is you, more specifically your belief concerning money. We all probably want more money, but we don’t all believe we can have more. That belief, which for you is true, is the source of your problem. You want more, but if you are honest, don’t believe you can get more or simply think (or have been conditioned to think) that money is hard to come by, doesn’t grow on trees, etc., etc., etc. Can’t you right now think of someone who has minimal education but makes a fortune? Don’t you know that guy that is by all accounts, dumber than a box of rocks, yet still makes a lot of money? Ever asked yourself why? Wait no, I get it. He is just lucky… Definition of luck? That which happens by chance. Definition of chance? See luck. Haha you are smarter than that…
This isn’t a criticism of anyone. Rather it is a reality that you have to understand. As long as you think that life is random, full of scary twists and curves, is as long as you will be twisting and curving. Belief, positive belief, puts an end to it. If we only knew that, right? As humanoids we have all been carefully conditioned and trained to believe everything that our five senses minds promote. However, belief is not based on what it looks like or what the circumstances are promoting as true, belief is based on a decision that you make. You might not think you made a decision, but you did! All belief is a decision. The trouble is you made a decision based on faulty reasoning. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck right? Not in the spiritual world from where the secret of life resides. This old world is run by the enemy of good times called the Devil. He didn’t start out as its ruler, but he’s ruling the joint now. His only mission, because he is still pissed at God, is to steal and to kill and to destroy. Every time you believe something negative and suffer defeat, he stole something from you. Every time! And that ol’ bird knows how much you rely on your five senses as your only avenue for learning and with that, works you over like a sieve.
You and I (for that matter) have to be completely honest with ourselves about what we really believe. True belief, positive belief is the end of the struggle. Not that you won’t be challenged again and again, but by believing rightly can overcome any hurdle that is thrown in your path. It is time to get serious about learning how and what to believe, then putting it into practice.
Just the other day I found myself struggling with how hard it was to get what I wanted and how the open doors didn’t seem to be opening for me like they were opening for others. Then, thank the good Lord, it dawned on me. “Tony, if you don’t really believe you can get what you want, you aint ever gonna get what you want!” You see the problem was me, oh Lord. Prayer was never supposed to be an exercise in futility. Prayer must be backed with believing or NOTHING is going to happen and then we are just back to getting angry with God! How silly…
I challenge you right now, today, to ask yourself what you are struggling with. Then, ask yourself what you believe about your situation. Be honest because no-one is listening except you and God maybe. Your honest answer and I mean brutally honest answer is your current reality. But the good news is you can always, always, always change your reality. When you believe, nothing is too hard for God and I don’t care what the doctor said! Nothing!
Quit believing (fearing) what you don’t want and start believing for what you do want. Don’t give yesterday another thought… It is your one life, they are your beliefs and they are producing your results. Open a new factory!
Just some good thoughts…
June 19, 2015
When I was a youngster, I had the most fortunate experience of my dad being transferred to Bentwaters/Woodbridge twin air bases near Ipswich, England. I was a 6th grader, highly impressionable and terribly concerned about being accepted by others. Like any military brat, I was learning how to move away from everyone and everything I knew and start fresh again. I always viewed it as a blessing that would teach me how to get along with anyone and give me an opportunity to reinvent myself again and again should the need arise. (Stateside kids never had it so good!)
Shortly after we arrived, I noticed there was something different about this place. Everyone seemed to get along. There were no apparent color lines or class distinctions. There were no cool kids vs. nerds, jocks vs. scholars, loners vs. socialites! We were just all there, all together and all loving every minute of it. In my later years I often tried to figure out what made the place so special. Was it because almost of our dads had the same employer? Was it because there was an absence in disparity of pay? Was it because we all seemed to occupy the same base housing? Was it because we were all mostly Americans living in a foreign land together, where the foreigners actually spoke our language?
Whatever it was, and I have some deeper thoughts, the effect produced by the place was almost universal. I thought I was the only one that loved Woodbridge so dearly, before I stumbled upon MySpace and Facebook. But then, to my surprise, almost every person who lived there had a similar experience. I mean folks who were there when I was; folks who lived there before me and folks who arrived after me. How many of my dearest friends have told me that it was still the best experience of their lives? How many of our parents said the same thing? How many wished they could have lived there forever? How many? Now I know why I wept so heavily when it was time for reassignment… One of my earliest memories of talking to God was me telling Him tearfully, well it’s just me and You again…
I look back with great fondness at walking through the woods to get to school. I remember what seemed to be the greatest teachers on earth. I practically lived at the AYA, playing ping-pong and foosball everyday. And wow, what about the dances? What about the music at the dances? God, how I looked forward to those dances! I remember me and Matt Howell putting on our super clean threads, stacks and heavy doses of Hai Karate aftershave. I remember playing truth or dare on the busses to other base dances and french kissing a girl named Terry for the first time amidst a game of spin the bottle. If it wasn’t Boone’s Farm on the bus ride it was MD 20-20 in the woods. I’m still proud of playing on the soccer team wearing our England National Team jerseys via Coach Booty. I played baseball for the Eagles and went from being an also ran right fielder to the starting first baseman for the All-Star team traveling to Germany. I hit a thousand balls on those tennis courts. I gave the pinball machine at the bowling alley every quarter I ever got! I dribbled that basketball at the gym and was in awe of Darrell Stacey and Big O! I was inducted into the stud-club by Dino Moya and then met Rico and Darren(2) and Ricky Love. Tony Lombardo was also in the club. I had girlfriends, whose names I will leave off for all the right reasons. Man, what a childhood!
So now, many years later in adult retrospect, I still ponder what it was that made that place so wonderful. It couldn’t be that I was only in my formative years because my parents felt the same way. It wasn’t the love era, but love was very present there. It couldn’t have been living in a foreign country because almost all my friends were American. So what was it? I believe it was God. I think He sent me to a haven where I could learn to love people and be protected from the things that jade other folks. I believe He taught me love and tenderness there that would be the precursor of the man I am today. He showed me a little slice of the Earth where your color, your money, your status didn’t matter. He showed me how life really should be with people living together, loving each other and seeking the best from each other.
You may disagree with my conclusions and that is certainly your right, but how many of my fellow Warriors for Life love God? Maybe some don’t, but they still were blessed to live in the haven!
Words probably cannot express how thankful I am for having grown up there. That place changed me in ways I can’t even describe. And since then, I’ve never lived in a place so sweet. Don’t get me wrong, my experience there wasn’t my best until this day, because that God I whispered to many years ago, introduced Himself to me in the most profound and lasting ways. I found the perfect wife and have the best family ever. I’m living a dream life! But good ol’ Woodbridge certainly ranks as my number one place to grow up!
Thank you God for allowing me to grow up as a Woodbridge Warrior!
A Warrior for Life