Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fear Is A Tool Of The Enemy

One emotion that prevents us from achieving the best life we can live is - fear.  It robs us of our joy and creativity; it separates us from the success we can enjoy when we overcome it.  It is such an influential force in the world that lives are destroyed by its overwhelming power to defeat us.  The curious thing about fear is that - it is optional and voluntary.  We chose (subconsciously for the most part) to be afraid and by making that choice we create most of our own misery.  The good news is that we can chose to face our fears and in doing so disintegrate them.

I am daily working on this truth and adding it into my personal arsenal of mental habits.  It’s still a challenge for me and may take the rest of my life to completely install it (in my personality), but the results I’ve gotten so far convince me that it is one significant key to achieving every goal I’ve ever set and living as the relaxed and confident person I believe I can be.  Best of all I know that it is God’s will because He says, “Do not be afraid.”

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Freedom From “The Blame Game”

Taking responsibility for what you say and do is powerful and liberating.  This is true especially when you realize that your situation is (for the most part) your own doing and your reaction to your circumstances is 100% up to you.  I know this is something that has been said a million times in a million ways, but I believe that it can’t be said enough or in too many different ways.

Let me be transparent with you and admit that I’m far from having it all figured out.  I’ve got my share of personal issues to work on, but I do walk this talk and you won’t find me being a victim of circumstances or saying that I think someone else is the cause of my troubles.  I have made a point of reinforcing this belief system with a set of habits and disciplines that are transforming the way I think and the actions I take. Key to this is recognizing what I can’t do anything about and making a conscious decision to gratefully leave that stuff up to God because He is able to handle it all.  I trust that He is dealing with it perfectly and I refuse to worry about it.

If you are in the habit of and continue to blame everyone and everything for what is going on in your life then I suspect that things will probably go from bad to worse for you and you’ll continue to complain about it for the rest of your life.  However, when you accept responsibility for what seems to be happening to you (your finances, your relationships, your health etc…) then you can make a change for the better.  You can make a difference in they way the world treats you by adjusting the things you do and how you respond to what happens around you.  In my opinion, this is a wonderful way to view the world and can radically affect the way you live and the results you get in your life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finding Your Path To The Way, The Truth And The Life

No other mortal can tell you exactly what you need to do to find the answers to life’s questions.  We are all unique individuals who are looking through a complicated filter of emotional experiences and it takes the infinite wisdom of God to sort it all out.  Humans are not capable of fully doing that for each other.  We can help by sharing our discoveries and teaching what we’ve learned through our struggles, but ultimately it’s up to us to seek out the truth that can lead each of us to our best spiritual destination.

An atheist mother and an agnostic father raised me, so religion and spirituality were ideas that I had to learn about on my own when I came of age.  There were things I missed out on and things I may never have be able to fully understand had I been brought up differently.  There were times when I wished I had been shown the truth of the Gospel earlier in my life and had read the bible before I was in my mid 30’s, but all in all I’m glad I chose to seek God without having been told that I had to do so.  I might have resented it or been indoctrinated into some false teachings that could have stunted my spiritual growth and even lulled me into a false sense of religious righteousness.  Because I actively sought out God and the truth I found it has a deep and lasting effect on my ability to show others that they do not have to answer to anyone except the LORD and his grace and love are revealed to everyone who seeks them, regardless of their upbringing.

By doing the work of discerning what seeds to plant and harvest you learn the lesson of diligence and those crops are not easily uprooted by the wind of discouragement or by passing fads.  Although I suggest that you dig deeply into the Word of God and test to see that His Way is The Way, I can only suggest (because it is your choice) to do so and I know that your life will reveal the fruit of your choices.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Truth Of God Is In His Word

We have the choice of life or death and we make that choice with the words we read and speak.  Every word is a supernatural seed containing the pattern and life that will grow into the fruit we will experience in our lives.  Good fruit has good results and bad fruit, bad results.  The Word of God is the good and perfect truth made available for us to read and learn exactly what is right to do.  With this knowledge we are equipped to act in obedience to the LORD and enjoy a richly fulfilling relationship with Him.  By planting the Word of God in our hearts (through reading, studying and meditating on it) we can be permanently changed for the better.  This transformation will allow us to desire and experience the eternal blessings of righteousness (the kingdom of heaven) instead of being deceived and disappointed by the temporary things of this world.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Spiritual and Material Worlds

The "unseen", spiritual world is more real than the tangible world we experience with our 5 senses.  This is because the reality of the spirit is permanent, eternal and infinite; it transcends time and space.  The material, sensory, obvious world is temporary and consists of ever changing facts.  It is bound by both time and space.  The spirit world is made up of truths that do not change.

When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal savior and is born again, they receive the Holy Spirit of God.  This Spirit of the living God then dwells within them and is a permanent connection to the infinite, all powerful and all knowing creator of the universe.  It is when this Spirit saturates that person’s soul and is released into their physical body that true healing occurs.  This saturation displaces doubt and allows the supernatural power of God to be active in them.  This is the state in which faith is active and miracles are normal.

I am learning that to have this spiritual experience I, personally, must concentrate my thoughts on God and pay less attention to the material world.  I believe that this transformation (of soul saturation) can and will happen instantaneously.  However, my own doubt has been preventing me from being completely in touch with the divine.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We Only See A Small Part

One thing that God offers is feedback from an all-inclusive point of view without prejudice.  We only see a small part of other people and overlook what others see in us.  We filter what we do through our whole experience and we use that same filter when we look at what other people do.  Other people use a different “life experience” filter than we do so they see things that we do not.

By building relationships with others we can begin to learn how they see us and we see them with more understanding because our filters begin to have shared points of reference.  I think that God wants us to get to know people deeply because by seeing each other clearer we can help one another better.  This knowledge and common experience in turn helps us to be more like He originally made us to be.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Purpose Is Now Clear To Me

Today it is clear to me that my purpose in life is to obey God and to help others to obey God.  He is able to meet all of our needs.  He is kind and loving.  He is God Almighty.  He is the LORD our Healer and I love Him with all my heart.  All the fruit of the Spirit are from God (love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control).  These characteristics are found in those who obey Him and by obeying him we love our neighbors as ourselves.

Friday, March 4, 2011

An Example Of What God Has Done In My Life

I am petrified of selling (when I think about it) but that fear melts away as I actually take action and work at it.  I dreaded to contact my friends about a MLM "business opportunity" that I was involved in during the 1990's, but when I actually got on the phone and started talking to people, I found that the connection was enjoyable and the sale didn’t matter.  I flopped in that business but grew exponentially as a person and made some of the best choices in my life since that experience.

This emotion of fear (that I associate with selling) I believe, has its origins in my youth and the feeling of rejection I experienced when I would show interest in girls who were (or at least I imagined they were) "out of my league" and they responded with a clear lack of interest.  Obsessing about this (a condition fueled by a society that glorifies people who have success with dating), I developed an inferiority complex that crippled my social development and showed up in the symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse as well as an extensive quest for sexual satisfaction that resulted in depression and thoughts of suicide.

It wasn't until I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior did my life start to turn around.  I began to understand that what I really wanted was to love and be loved and that it didn’t matter if the love I gave was directly returned by the object of my affection.  I’ve grown more and more confident (not especially in me, but in Christ) and those symptoms have been eroding over the past 14 years as I live my life for him, using the bible as my guide.  I have found that I can share the unconditional love he has for me with others.

I've been clean and sober for over 12 years and am married to a beautiful woman who is very my best friend.  It's not like everything is rosy and every moment is happy.  I still occasionally think about drinking and using drugs, but I really don’t entertain those thoughts for very long.  I've had bouts with looking at pornography and depression over the years, but overall I've got a really good attitude and the length of time since my last descent into total self-obsession and debauchery has been growing.

I think that I might be able to use these life experiences to reach out and help others who are suffering with similar struggles.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Created In The Image Of God, But Not Always Looking Like It

Who we are supposed to be is directly related to who created us.  The truth is: we were made in the image of God and when we do things that are contrary to his will, problems arise in our lives.

To understand who I should be I look at the Word of God and study who He is, what He did and what other people who served him well did.  The characteristics that I find there are the ones that I strive to develop in my own life.  However, I often fall short of that ideal.

The difficulties I’ve known and the trials that I’ve been working through are what I call my “struggles in life”.  These experiences are part of what has molded me into who I am.  Throughout my life I’ve been imperfect and humbled, and by exposing my vulnerability it makes me approachable and therefore useful.  I can be of help to others because I can relate to people who have been in similar situations and they can relate to me.  By sharing our struggles with each other, we can see that we are not alone or weird or outcasts but instead we are part of a community because of the troubles we are going through.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Help Someone And Be Blessed

In defining my Unique Core Ministry I am seeking how my life experience can be of value to others.  In this quest one thing that comes to the surface is my focus on individuals and using my trials and suffering for their benefit.  At first blush this may seem to be a contradiction, I’m in trouble with something and needing help, and somehow this is supposed to help someone else?  Well it does, when you understand that by focusing on others, our own problems dissolve.

It has been my experience that by giving we always receive back more than we gave.   I have seen this work over and over again as long as the spirit of the giving is unselfish.  It’s not like an investment done for profit, but a gift given in love.  I don’t expect that spending time with a lonely, elderly person is going to compensate me financially, however, somehow I am richer for the experience.  I’ve heard stories of people inheriting great fortunes because of their generosity, but I don’t believe that type of outcome can be consciously engineered, it’s God’s way of administering justice and his bookkeeping is perfect.

Even though caring for another hurting person can be frustrating and seem unrewarding, it’s always going to bless you for being a blessing.  And at the end of the day, it just feels right to do the right thing even if you didn’t directly earn any money for your efforts.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Can My Experience Be Of Value To You?

It’s pretty clear to me how my experience in video production is of value to someone who is interested in making a motion picture (that also includes sound recording).  I’ve spent years perfecting techniques and studying what works and doesn’t work (frame by frame) in making a high quality movie.  I own a plethora of high quality production equipment and know how to use (most of it) efficiently.  But, how does my life experience help others to have a better relationship with our creator?

I’ve made some major mistakes and paid a price for my foolishness.  For example, I spent way too much time “experimenting” with mind-altering substances before I started to act on what my heart was telling me all along: I am higher and happier when not under the influence of drugs and alcohol - plus I never have to buy more (because I never run out of) sobriety.  Now, how do I teach that to someone else?  Also, I have learned that my personal worries dissolve when I give my full attention to the needs of another person, now, how do I employ that truth into my daily walk so that (by living it) others can learn from my experiences?

I’m open to suggestions and willing to learn new techniques of using what is unique about my life (both the good and the bad) to benefit others.  My struggles and difficulties (both past and present) are opportunities to communicate with people who may be open now (or will be open in the future) to avoid similar pitfalls or to offer an encouraging hand up out of the pit they may feel trapped in now.