family, spiritual

Gratitude

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” –Eckhart Tolle

Gratitude will be on the top of my list from now on. When you’re thankful for the little things, big things will come. Be grateful for all the blessing in your life, and I am about to tell you why.

  • Your body diagnosed with a terminal disease.
  • What do you have to be grateful for? Someone you love just passed away unexpectedly.
  • What do you have to be thankful for?
  • Everything in your life is fabulous. What do you have to be grateful for?

Tragedy strikes your life hard. Finding anything at that moment to be grateful for my appearance would be difficult. Hurt, anger, and emotion cloud our minds. We even curse God for what has happened. I get it, and it’s okay to be emotional, but we have to find our way back to peace.

family, grateful, gratitude

We all get hit in the gut with tragedy, divorce, job loss; you could make a laundry list of things that steal our peace. The most challenging part of this is to find gratitude. If we make it through something horrible, we can make it through anything. NO, some things are not fair. Life in many situations is not fair. The good news is God sees these things; it does not go unnoticed.

Where folks lose God in these moments is “how could God let my son or daughter get cancer” or some other tragedy befalls your life. If God’s all-powerful and performs these fantastic miracles how could he allow drama in my life?

I wish I had a right answer for why some things happen, and some things don’t. Why there is injustice in the world. Free will answers a lot of questions, but certainly not all. We must accept reality, work to find peace and move on with our life. I’m sorry if you have had a tragedy to befall your life. Over some time, the pain will abate itself.

Some loss we don’t want to know “nothing from nothing” leave me alone you don’t know my pain. Families have endured tragedy through the ages. How many sons have we lost to war? How many children have we failed to cancer or disease? None of it is fair in any sense of the word.

What we must with everything that we have in us is find gratitude. I get it you want to scream when you hear this statement. Some things that you must think about to find an answer. Let’s say you lost someone to death. Do you honestly in your heart believe that person would want you to suffer? I’m in no way negating your pain. You do have to ask yourself though would my loved one want me in extreme pain?

Of course, they would not! If I passed away, I don’t want my family to suffer. Yes, we all need to mourn and time will make the days pass easier. Don’t blame God for a natural occurrence. We all have a time that we’re going to die. It’s never going to come at the right time. Celebrate the time you did have with them.

So, we’ve covered the extreme. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do but finding gratefulness amid anguish won’t be easy. Life will go on even if you don’t think it will. If you can see the smallest of things to be grateful. Offer that to God. I wish I had better words to ease someone’s pain.

Being grateful in good times and bad will always be returned with a beautiful blessing or blessings. Life can kick you right in the gut when you least expect it. Remaining grateful will keep your life moving forward positively.

The flip side of this coin is stopping to be grateful when life is roses. Life could not be better work is excellent, the family is good, and your life is moving quickly. Taking time to stop and let God know you’re grateful for the harvest in your life. More importantly, than can imagine is to stop and thank God.

happy, family, joy, peace

Let God know that without him this beautiful life would not be possible. Stay humble in your praise.

For me during this season of my life. When I began to be grateful for my hardship with family, finance and personal experience. Finding the smallest thing to be thankful for was difficult. Then I’m reminded that my life is not as bad as others. You can lose your health in the blink of an eye, the same thing with your job. It can always be worse.

Taking time daily to thank God here are some ideas to get you started:

 

  • You have a job, may not be the one you want but you have a paycheck!
  • You have a car to get to work that runs!
  • If you have kids and they’re healthy. Imagine parents that just found out their child diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, only have weeks to live.
  • If you’re living, breathing, and healthy. Imagine the same scenario as a child above, but you.
  • Beautiful day outside.
  • The roof over your head.
  • Food to eat at home. You realize how many folks will go hungry today?
  • If you are a husband or wife, being grateful for your marriage.

If you try hard enough, you can find a lot more than just this short list. Plenty of things to be grateful if you search your heart. Keep in mind that if you can be thankful during the hardest times in your life. The blessings you will receive will indeed be life-changing. It’s been my experience that during one of the most challenging times in my life. Being grateful truly helps me find peace.

Coming from an incredibly dark place in my life where everything was in turmoil. By feeling happy again because I’m grateful for what I do have. Small things, big things it does not matter. What matters is that I feel so glad and the real kicker, most of my problems are still in full swing. With a calm mind, however, I am making real progress to cure my problems. Thank you, God!

spiritual

Why is God Pissed at Me, He Is Not

“Although God loves us unconditionally, He does get angry at sin, wickedness, and evil. But He is not an angry God. God hates the sin, but He loves sinners! He will never approve of sin in your life, but He always loves you and wants to work with you to make progress in living a holy life in Christ.” — Joyce Meyer

When I started seeking God’s help in my life, I would think because things were not happening he was pissed at me. I was somehow not deserving of God’s love. Believing that God correct at me for my sins.

God does not punish you. Where you need to seek God’s word is in all aspects of your life. Whether you watch YouTube video’s, read your bible, or attend Church. What I lacked was education about God’s word. When I spoke to people in my church saying God is so pissed with me. The first answers always “No Honey he is not pissed at you.”

hope, prayer, pray

 What I have come to learn is that is the enemy wanting me to have no faith that God cares about me. He will deceive your mind into thinking you are not worthy of God’s forgiveness. Not true under any circumstance.

Having this knowledge up front would have saved me a lot of misery. Knowing that the enemy seeks to cloud your judgment. You may have to go through some things, but God is with you. He has not forsaken you; he hears every word you utter.

In the beginning, for you think about it this way. If you were going to change something about yourself, let’s say you want an MBA from college. You must take some classes, have training, study and pass tests for you to earn your MBA. Deserved gifts don’t come to you without working towards that goal.

God cannot change you overnight. You didn’t get into a mess overnight, and you’re not going to change overnight.

You may think if things don’t change right now my life is about to blow up. Fear of loss will cloud your good judgment. Hard for me to understand, how could God let my life fall apart? So far, he has not, my financial and family life is still in some turmoil. What I have come to believe in God in his good time will reveal to me my destiny. Knowing in my heart his promises when delivered to me will be more than I could have ever asked of God.

Each day is a new blessing of some sort. I have not lost anything; the world has not come to an end. So, settling down and trusting God has brought peace in my head. The problems are still here, but they’re not insurmountable in my mind anymore. God, gives me what I can handle every day.

Don’t freak-out over a life event. Most things are not that big a deal, we just in our mind make it so. If, however, you were just handed some terrible news I do understand we all have a moment with that. God will carry us through the darkest moments. Find some pastoral care. Seek out professional care, lots of fantastic Pastoral counseling services available.

When an event comes up in our lives, rest easy it’s not God’s doing. For a long time, I thought God was punishing me anytime something terrible happened. The enemy would love for you to subscribe to this thought. He wants us to suffer! You will if you don’t see yourself, healthy, happy, joyful and in God’s loving arms.

Don’t let the enemy consume your life. I did, and it put me in very dark places with myself. Had to fight my way out. It’s not an easy battle when the enemy thinks you might get saved to a new life. He will challenge you to the death if necessary. You have free will so that statement is horrifying indeed.

I’m not stronger or weaker than anyone reading this. We all suffer from the pain. No, it’s not easy and hurts like hell. What I can tell you is that if you fight through whatever it is, you suffer from at this moment. You will find peace. Believing that God is working behind the scenes to heal your life. Faith is not free you have to fight for it. Even when you don’t think you can make one more step, take the damn step it’s your turn to WIN!

If you don’t believe in God yet then fake it til you make it, you will come to find peace. DO NOT LOSE this battle. You will feel something if you keep going. I cannot emphasize this enough. Your mind will play tricks to the point of disaster. There is NO disaster if you believe. How many stories have you heard where people were healed from Cancer, addiction, heart failure or after years of trying a woman got pregnant and blessed with a beautiful child. We’re all miracles if we genuinely believe we are.

My own life, God, brought me back from the brink of disaster. Is it smooth sailing every day of course not? Was it without work on my part heck no. It took real stamina to stay in the fight, but I did, and you can too. Do NOT sell yourself short as I once did. God is not pissed at you for your past. Your past does not define who you could be today if you chose to.

Each day you breathe air is a good day. If that is all you can be grateful for them, God will take it. All God asks of you is unwavering faith in him. Will you slip and fall, absolutely you will. Is God going to punish you for it NO? Go to him and confess yourself and you will find forgiveness from God through confession. The cool part is you will build strength, so you don’t fall again doing the same thing. That is growth!

Let me burst another bubble for you. God is not impressed with your wealth, status or lack thereof. If you truly want what God has all that is necessary for you is a belief in God. Become the person you dreamed of being; it’s in your grasp if you bring it to God.

I struggled with this for so long. As humans, we’ve been conditioned to be suspect of things we cannot see. What I have come to learn besides God is not pissed at me for my past. If I look closely enough, God works miracles in my life every day. He puts things in front of me that if my heart is receptive, I will look up and tell him to show off.

spiritual

Get Ready for a Spiritual Title Fight

When your feet hit the floor in the morning, let the Devil say, “Oh Shit He’s up!”

Our minds can exhaust us to the point we feel like we’ve been in a heavyweight title fight. Pardon the cliché, but you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. What I want to prepare you for is the title fight that is coming. The enemy will see a change in you for good. All the sudden you went from being depressed to having hope.

Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. I am not going to pretend to be a theologian and quote scripture. What I did do is start attending a great Bible-based church. Began to study the word of God. You have protection from the enemy; you can yourself cast him out of your head (No you’re not Reagan McNeil from the Exorcist). God supplies all the tools you need. You must show up for work.

 Part of your job will be to follow the path I am laying down. Find an excellent Bible-based Church. Not hard to find and you may need to attend a couple before you see one that you feel is home. You will need the tools, and foundation for Christ to win the fight to come.

The enemy will come at you hard. WHY, because he is afraid to lose you to the right side. He wants your soul; he wants you to fail! You have free will so that it will become a choice. I would cry so hard thinking God seems pissed at me for all the things I have done in my life. Losing hope that God wanted anything to do with me. NOT TRUE! Learning from the study, Church and the Bible God loves me. It is the enemy that has the hold on us, not God. Rest easy dear friends. It is good and evil in this world it took me a while to understand.

prayer,pray,family

Sharing this first thing will sound a bit scary. You will have a better understanding that the difficulties to come are manageable with the right tools. God says, “No weapon formed against me will prosper.” Remember you have all the promises the Bible says we have. You must start believing with unwavering faith. God wants you to think about it before you receive it. Try it; this is where I stumbled hard.

Friends would tell me that God will never give you more than you can handle. I hated hearing that. The problem is it’s true. You can’t fight for the heavyweight championship of the world without getting knocked on your backside a few times. You will find the strength just as I did. Even from the darkest depths of your mind, a path to peace is available for anyone who seeks order.

Women readers who are moms can relate to this. Labor pains are excruciating, but the result is the greatest joy of your life. Once you go through labor and deliver yourself from hell, you’ve created in your head. The sooner the greatest joy in your life will be at hand.

Remembering always that the enemy will fill your mind with doubt, fear, this will never work. What happens is when you believe you’ll quit. Then the enemy wins. The only loser in this fight is you. It may seem as though God is not listening to you. He is, I thought this so many times. I would scream at God in my vehicle “get in the game” why are you forsaking me. He is not; the devil is treacherous in your mind.

 You will learn to live with your soul, not your head. The mind will never win over your destiny. What you can control is how quickly you see your future reveal itself. Frustration, hate, anger, despair, will only cause you to delay your life moving forward. You must begin to see yourself happy, joyous and free of pain. Don’t scream “I can’t do it.” If you do, you’re right. None of this is easy to hear; I get that!

What I am telling you is if you get knocked down get up. Tell yourself NOT THIS TIME; I get to win this time. Get that loser mentality out of your head. It won’t come all at once. You must recondition your mind for good. If you have suffered for a long-time change won’t happen overnight.

The mind will fight you to the point of utter exhaustion. During a marathon where you will hit the wall many times. Just like marathon runners, you convince yourself that it’s a mind trick it’s not your reality. Reality is you already have, peace, love, and happiness. We as Christians must learn to accept it. You think acceptance would be easy, for most it’s not. Stay in faith even when you don’t seem to have faith in anything. Tell God you don’t see a way, but you trust he will make a move!

One of the most important things I can tell you. Don’t help God, don’t impose your will on a situation that needs Gods hand not yours. For example, separated from your spouse. It’s a situation that you did not want, hit you out of the blue and you’re heartbroken. You call your spouse saying I promise I will change; I love you, please let’s work it out. That’s imposing your will. It’s not you are helping even though you think you’re fighting for your marriage. STOP!

If you want to trust God for a change in your life follow along in this book, I share what mistakes I made so you can have greater insight. You need to believe that God is handling the heart of both you and your spouse. You are jumping in does not help. Trust that if you give your marriage to God, asking him for his will be done. Someone asked me two questions:

  1. Do you want a perfect, loving, happy marriage?
  2. Do you want your spouse back with no change?

Relationships meant to be will be. Maybe, God is moving this person out of your life to make room for your deep down in your soul dream come true person to appear. When we let our destiny unfold naturally what a blessed life we will have.

It’s not always easy to see clearly during times of adversity. Remember we’re in a title fight for our life. The enemy will put horrible, terrible things in our head or before us. We can get betrayed; our life shattered into pieces.

How you get up and tell the enemy “that’s all you got” I have the power of God almighty who controls my life. A quote I love, “when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says oh shit he’s up. “Anything beats living a life of misery. It’s where I am at, and I pray you are too. Now is our time and “I ain’t going down no more”—Rocky Balboa

The fight will come hard, but if you keep reading, you will find the help you need to get up and fight even harder. The tools you will learn will make those fights fewer. Your spiritual armor will see you through.

self help, advice

Stay strong because God is getting ready to show out in your life in ways you could never have imagined. Your blessings are on the other side of this battle; what was meant for your harm God will bless your life in ways that only he can.

The stronger the attack, the bigger the blessing. Crazy, but when you get kicked right in the gut hard. When you walk trusting God you know, he is getting you ready to show out in your life! The pain you may encounter along the way in strengthening your resolve. Helping you be able to face anything the enemy throws in your approach to disrupt your life.

Everything I am writing about I have experienced. So, if you’re saying what does this guy know about my pain, he won’t understand what I’m going through in my life. It’s because I’ve lived it same as you.  I choose not to lose any more! Hope you come along!

family, spiritual

Drifting away Spiritually

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a bit of complacency in my own life. While I think it’s okay to feel okay. My life does feel a bit out of step. How to keep grounded in your spiritual journey and not drift. A good title for this article, The Anchor, is Up and we’re Drifting.

The good news for me is that I recognize that I am drifting. It’s a common problem to have everything going okay, and we let our guard down only to find ourselves straying off the path. Hence here I sit!

Being okay is indeed okay. We need to relax our minds to reduce stress, take a moment to simply be at peace. The problem lies in getting too complacent. Forgetting that our spiritual journey cannot only occur in times of our own need. When things are blowing up we can’t then go to God and say save me. It’s not that he won’t it’s that we allowed ourselves to stray from our connection to God.

God, Church, spiritual

So today is my day to get back on the spiritual horse and ride again. Tonight I am going to Church because someone I think a great deal at Church asked me too. Even though it’s the end of the month for me at work, we’re behind and I could use this as an excuse to not attend. I work in the Church bookstore before and after service. They need me to volunteer tonight which is not a regular night for me.

If I pause and look at the invitation to help is God working subtlety to help me recognize where I’m at spiritually. Sometimes, you have to look beyond just a simple request and see if you might be missing the real reason. Me needing to attend Church, be of service to others in the bookstore. These are very important to me and need my fullest attention.

My point to all this is don’t get complacent with God. We all tend to find peace in our lives. This is when we need to continue to worship God, don’t put off prayers, church or being spiritually connected to the source in some way. The lord has nudged me a bit to remind me that he loves me enough to say Bob come back to me, don’t drift so far out.

My heart feels much better knowing that I actually recognize what we’ve discussed in this brief article. Things are okay in my life and God is working miracles in my life all the time. It’s time to say to him I love you, thank you and I am always here to worship you!

If you feel that you’ve drifted a bit. Get back to Church, do something nice for anyone today. Give to a local charity, food bank or dog rescue. Do something to be a blessing to someone today. It can be a small thing just put yourself out there.

spiritual

Who is the Enemy

Does the Devil Exist? Not the stereotypical Devil in the movies.

My life has never really been around the church or too caught up in religion. Never really understood what it meant to have a spiritual life. I made fun of bible thumpers and religion. That comes from ignorance. It’s easy to make fun of something you’re ignorant too.

Fast forward fifty odd years to today. For a time, I studied metaphysics, enjoyed Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and other spiritual teachers, just putting my toe in the water. I attended a few classes, did some fun work. Learned meditation, yoga, and visualization. Never really got the deeper side of spiritual life.

Few more year’s pass and life took a giant dump straight on my head. Oh, indeed this is my doing you understand. You can’t blame your life on anyone but yourself. Take ownership of that. “Own that shit”—Harley Quinn.

In debt up to my neck, separated from my wife, past due with the IRS, and the list goes on. This time in my life at times got very dark and hopeless. Hopelessness brings about dark thoughts about does your life even matter. Who would give two shits’ if you were gone? Scary times.prayer,faith, spiritual

When you’ve hit rock bottom, it does lend itself to the revaluation that maybe you might need help beyond earthly help. Don’t have the money for therapy or any mental health care. Going to have to bootstrap help if I wanted it. So, begins my journey back to finding some spiritual peace.

This time I chose to seek the church. Didn’t want so-called organized religion but wanted to the Bible-based teaching of God’s word. What promises did the Bible hold out that I could have? Was I even deserving of any peace? With nowhere to turn I got on Joel Osteen’s website and looked for a Church close to me. I do like Joel Osteen and read all his books.

As I began to search out God, my depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts went out of control. Man, I could not believe how hard I was crashing. It was worse now than it had ever been. I would cry wondering “oh my God what did I do to piss you off this bad?” What I came to learn from wonderful folks in my Church this was then enemy attacking my thoughts, not God.

No, my head does not spin, and I don’t spit green vomit at the priest (for those of you that have seen the Exorcist). It took me a few weeks to grasp this. The attack in my head was not God punishing me at all. The Devil is keeping me right where he has had me most of my life. In a depressed state, with no hope.

The question for me became what is causing my life to for a time rock along all is well to falling off a cliff? Why do I continue to fall short in my life? For me, this took falling to rock bottom. To losing what I loved the most to finally saying to God, there has to be a better way. What do I do God?

So begins my journey to find a spiritual awakening. How do I find peace? How do I find the life that the Bible promises? You’ve heard part of my answer finding a good church family. The second part of this is research into the why of my life. Why do I fail at just about everything? Not a pity party this is a real question I believe for all of us.

When I would share my feelings with people in my Church that have what I am seeking, true faith in God. I would say why is God punishing me so hard? To the point of dark thoughts against myself. The pain is beyond what at the time I thought I could endure. One person in my Church explained to me this was an attack by the enemy. What did I say?  The enemy who is that?

Okay, so you’re telling me the Devil lives in me. Oh, great I’m possessed. The reply is NO; you’re are suffering from an attack in your mind. The enemy wants you to be depressed, he wants you to lose everything, and he would even love for you to do something stupid. Wow, this was a lot to swallow, but it made sense.

We have a choice to believe the enemy who is a liar above all. Or, we can choose to believe the word of God and have the life Jesus bought and paid for with his. The attack on me continued to get worse.

Times I would be sitting in my truck and scream at God “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” Where are you get in the game? Again, the enemy is filling my head with doubt. When you calm your mind (I do in meditation), then you can begin to feel God.

What helped me to understand this is Napoleon Hills book Outwitting the Devil. All of us love and have most likely read Think and Grow Rich. This new book did not get published in his lifetime. His family waited some thirty years to publish it. I will not spoil it for you, but it’s an eye opener from a beloved author. It helped save my life in many ways.

Another person who has opened my understanding of how a spiritual life works are TD Jakes. One of his sermons had me crying in thanks because it made sense to me completely. Let me paraphrase what I heard. “The enemy’s attack is not punishment, the enemy’s fierce attack is because he is afraid of you, he is afraid of your power.” The enemy is about to lose you from his bond in your life. Anytime, you speak the truth, God’s word or praise over your life. Expect, him to put garbage in your head to change you into his thinking.

Take time to do some preparation in your life for a change. Don’t do it alone! Find a Church that you feel comfortable with attending. It may take visiting a few, but you will find one. Get involved with folks you see that truly walk-the-walk pardon the cliché. Read and study all that you can. Always have in your mind that at every corner and turn your head will be telling you, oh this is stupid. All this faith and Church stuff is bologna. That is the enemy!

Here is where you have to get out of your head. We have to learn to live from your hearts, our soul vs. our head. Learning to receive God in our hearts, this is where you will find peace. Don’t scream I can’t do that, yes you can. It is the hardest thing for me as well.

Find a place where you feel at peace. A lake, pond, Mountain View, fountain, anywhere that makes you feel at peace. Where you can find God to speak to your heart, this is where you will find peace. The enemy has you in your head with you trying to figure everything out. Faith is giving all your cares to God and letting it be. The enemy will tell you “you better take control, life is about to get WAY worse if you don’t  do something about it.” That’s all horse manure. Go to God in prayer, don’t BEG! Thank him for already blessing you with that which you desire.

 Always pray as though you already have that which you need. You will come to learn that all God asks is for your faith. Show him you are faithful even when it looks like disaster is imminent. Don’t lose faith no matter what!

The enemy lives in your head; God lives in your heart. Learn to decern the difference and life will truly change for you. It’s not hard, but it’s a battle. The enemy will not give up easily, but I know in my heart that if you stay strong in faith, God will pull you through. Have an open heart!