Prayers for Buffalo

May 15, 2022

I’m sure you’ve heard on the news that Buffalo, New York was the latest victim of the wave of senseless, mass killings that continue to plague this country. Even though it happened about 25 minutes from where I live, and in a part of town that I rarely go to, I am still very shaken by this. Good people in my city lost their lives, or had them negatively changed forever.

In addition, I am very angry at this. I know this space is reserved for positive thoughts, and I do have some encouragement. In a lot of ways I don’t know what to think, nor what to do. It is in situations like that, where I resort to the only thing I know what to do, and that is to pray.

This may upset some people, but I must say that I am rather sick of life in the good ol’ D.S.A (Divided States of America) these days. People hate each other, mass shootings are daily news stories, the land of the free has more restrictions than I can count, and common people can’t even afford to live anymore. I can do my part, and so can you. However, we can only do so much. We need God’s intervention. Now!

God does respond to prayer. I know some of you are wondering where He was when this was happening. I wish I had an answer for why He allows these things to happen, but I don’t. I just know that when I leave things to Him, He comes through. Always.

This situation is happening all over this country. It was the first time people in my city have had to cope with this. If things don’t change, it won’t be the last. I ask you to join me in prayer for Buffalo, and for the protection of every other city in the States. We need the madness in our country to end sooner than later. I believe prayer is powerful, and we can use it as one of the ways to unite and change the country and the world for the better. Thank you 🙂


Can We Be Individuals Together?

May 10, 2022

Last I checked, there were about 7 billion people on this earth. Many individuals, wouldn’t you say? So there you have it. I’ve answered the question of my title already, and it’s obviously a virtual impossibility that 7 billion individuals can all be together, right?

Before you accept the conclusion and stop reading, allow me to place some other thoughts in your mind. I was reading some interesting info the other day, and a very ironic thought was presented to me. When you look up the origin of the word individual, it actually means…. indivisible!! So what does this mean? I believe it actually means that the 7 billion individuals on this earth now are indivisible. We are all one energy, and one spirit. Don’t believe me? Let’s go to the ultimate resource in my opinion, the Bible. There are several verses about this, but one that stands out is I Corinthians 12:12-13, which says “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” Another version says… Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. Another verse that shares this is Ephesians 4:4, which says there is “one body and one spirit.”

I am learning more each day that all of the individuals on this planet are actually all one energy and spirit. We all live, move, and have our being in that spirit, the spirit of God. Imagine how much more wonderful this ride of life would be if we realized that. This is why it is so important to love others as ourselves. Because when you love others, in essence you are loving yourself too! When you give to others, the blessings multiply in your own life as well because you are blessing yourself, the same spirit that lives in all, when you give to another “individual”.

I challenge you today to know that you are part of the wonderful, peaceful, loving spirit of God. And so is everyone else. Instead of competing with other individuals, strengthen the bond that we all are instead. It will make a beautiful difference. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Throwing Back Negative Thoughts

April 26, 2022
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Those that know me well know that I love baseball. There are many interesting traditions in baseball, but one that has always entertained me is with fans of the Chicago Cubs. When a Cub hits a home run, the fan that catches the ball is able to keep it. However, whenever someone who is on the visiting team hits a home run, the fans actually throw the ball back onto the field. They are able to keep it if they want, but since it’s not a Cubs home run, they throw it back and don’t want to keep it. It is a fun tradition that other teams have now begun to follow.

I was recently reading an article about rejecting negative thoughts. It was interesting because the article did not say to avoid negative thoughts, or even resist them. Instead, it said to reject them. I looked into this further. What does it mean to reject something? The definition I found is to “throw back”. It’s very much like the baseball example. When a Cubs fan catches a home run, they have a choice. Do I keep the ball, or throw it back? In the positive situation of a Cub hitting the ball, they choose to keep it. In the negative situation of an opponent hitting the ball, they choose to reject the ball by throwing it back.

This comparison is the same with our thoughts. We can never stop negative thoughts from coming, and to resist them gives too much energy to the negative situation. The Bible says to take our thoughts captive. We should take time each day to monitor our thoughts. It is up to us to choose the thoughts we wish to accept, and those we wish to reject. When we receive a positive thought, we should keep it and cherish it. When we receive a negative thought, we simply need to reject it. Once again, do not fight the negative thoughts. Simply acknowledge it is there, and throw it back.

I have found that this is a much easier and much more effective way to deal with negative thoughts. Instead of resisting and giving them power, we throw them away, thus making room for more positive thoughts. This is important because our circumstances are determined by our thoughts. The more positive thoughts a person has, the more positive circumstances they will have. In essence, when you throw away the negative thoughts, you throw away most negative circumstances! And the great thing is that you have full control of your thoughts, which is very empowering. So throw away those thoughts you don’t want. Replace each negative thought with a positive one, and I believe you will experience many more positive situations in your life. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Thinking About Ways to Improve Your Health

March 29, 2022

I’ve never been one to place too much of a focus on my health. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t paid much of a negative price for this, as my health has been generally good during my life. However, as I get older I’ve been reminded by doctors and my body itself, that I do need to pay a bit more attention to the habits and foods that promote good health.

I understand the need for greater health habits, and have no problem doing them. Well, some anyway. I am a very picky eater and not very fond of most healthy foods, especially vegetables. I do like some, and enjoy some fruits and healthy meats as well. I’ve been able to find enough to be able to enjoy the ones I do like and incorporate those into my diet. I’ve never been much for routine exercise. Don’t get me wrong. I love being outside and playing competitive sports and games. I just never enjoyed aerobic workouts, weight lifting, jogging, and any routine exercises that don’t involve some type of game. That makes it difficult and could take a toll on my body when I can’t get outside for the long Buffalo winters.

Recently, I did some reading. As often happens, I received the same information in several of the books and articles I read. I’ve said it a million times before, and I’ll say it again. That’s when I know God is speaking to me! The articles were discussing how our physical health is often a manifestation of our mental health. The quality of the thoughts we choose very often determines the quality of our health! I’ve seen this in my own life. When I allow thoughts of stress and negativity, the negative effects show up in my body as more sickness, and weight gain from being lethargic. When I think negatively, it also affects my energy level. I am much more tired and unmotivated during these times.

Fortunately, I have learned to control my thoughts much better, and I often don’t allow these thoughts to negatively affect my body. On the other hand, when I maintain positive, wholesome thoughts, my body reacts to those too. I have much more energy, and just feel much healthier, and simply more alive. And the healthy habits and actions I need to take seem to happen much more easily and naturally.

In these readings and other online information there were several bits of information that were very helpful to me. These were common themes I noticed that can help you and I rid ourselves of the mental causes of sickness and ailments that we can potentially encounter. Perhaps not all will apply to you, but hopefully at least one or two can help.

  • Watch your thoughts. I recently discussed this in another article. Watch what you are thinking. Only allow thoughts that are positive, edifying, and encouraging. Allow thoughts that align with God’s truth. What you think on the inside manifests on the outside, and that includes our health. Stressful thoughts bring us down. Joyful and positive thoughts lift our spirits, which have incredible positive benefits on our energy and overall health.
  • Remove guilt. It is amazing how feelings of guilt can weigh a person down. We’ve all failed and we’ve all done things that we regret. However, we cannot change the past. What’s done is done. Instead of harping on what happened in the past, I recommend doing one of two things. Let it go completely, or do what you can do now to make up for the mistake. That’s it. The more you release the negative feeling of guilt, the more you allow the necessary positive feelings and thoughts to take over your mind.
  • Forgive. Just as you are forgiving yourself for past failures and mistakes, it is also necessary to do the same for others. I know it is often easier said than done. I’m a very patient and forgiving person (to a fault sometimes), but I’d be lying if I said there was no one in my life past or present with whom I still hold some resentment towards. However, just like removing our own feelings of guilt, the more we release negative thoughts towards others, the more liberating it is to us. When we forgive, the mental strain is released, and this has positive impacts on our physical bodies.
  • Follow your bliss. Do you ever notice the joy and positivity you feel when you are doing something you really enjoy? And do you sometimes notice the empty feelings when you are not doing those things? The key here is to be deliberate about it. As mentioned before, I love being outside, especially if it involves a golf course or a beach. I feel amazing, and it’s no coincidence that my level of health is always highest during the warm weather months. The problem, is those options are not available here in Buffalo during the winter. So I have two options, and I’ve done both. The first is to feel the blues of the dark, cold, snowy winter and count the days until summer. The second is to take advantage of the many other things I enjoy doing while I can’t be outside. Hopefully you can see that I love to write. Being inside provides many more writing opportunities. I also enjoy watching sports with their seasons in the winter like hockey and basketball. I also enjoy family time, as we’re forced to spend our time inside in the cozy house. The key is to stay motivated and engaged with things that I love to do. When our minds have something positive to focus on and enjoy, it doesn’t have time for negative thoughts that ultimately can make us sick.
  • Know that you don’t have to do everything. I’m one that like to do things for myself. However, I’ve realized over time that it is OK to ask for help. Sometimes we need help and support from others. The more we allow that help, the more we can release ourselves of the stress and unnecessary pressure that causes us to wear ourselves out.
  • Don’t be afraid. So many of us are ruled by fear. As confident as I am these days, I still let fear rule in my life sometimes. Someone recently asked me what is easier. Suffering from the burden of doing things myself and worrying about what can go wrong, or letting God who has all the power in the universe help me get things done and work things out. The answer is obvious. However, we make it difficult because we have such a hard time putting things in God’s hands and letting Him work out the details and results. I know we are responsible to take some actions, but we are often so bogged down with fear because we don’t trust the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present God that only has our best interests in mind. If we were ever to let go of even some of our fears, our minds would be so liberated that it would automatically have such a healing and energizing effects on our bodies.

These are just a few suggestions. I am certainly not a health expert, but these have been helpful to me, and I can attest to the positive effects taking these steps have had on my own health. I also know how my body feels when I allow the negatives to take over my mind. I believe most of us know that mind and body go together. When the mind is good, so is the body. And when the mind is bogged down with negativity and stress, that is when we invite sickness and other negative situations to enter our bodies. I realize that sometimes we can’t control some negative things that happen to our health and bodies. Accidents happen. Some truly good people are taken from us early for reasons only God knows. However, why not focus on the things we can control? Focus on keeping our minds clear of the negative, stressful, and fearful thoughts. Replace them with thoughts that the Bible suggests we fill our minds with, thoughts that are noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, and praise-worthy. I can tell you that if you keep these healthy thoughts in your mind, your body will be healthy as well. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


You Can Have Greater Control of Your Circumstances

March 28, 2022

If only you could control the circumstances in your life. How great would that be? I’m sure you would cherish the ability to live the life you want to live, to have the things you want to have, and to be the person you want to be.

Well, who says you can’t? I’ve been studying the power of the mind for over a decade now, and I still receive constant reminders that you and I, and anyone can have far more control of the circumstances of life than we realize. I do my best to share these reminders with you here.

So how can one exercise this greater control? Simply by controlling your thoughts. The foundation of life is in the mind. Whatever happens there, happens in the outside world. That is why it is so important to pay attention to what you are thinking. A Bible verse I’ve shared here often is Proverbs 4:23. It says to “guard your heart (which is your mind and deepest thoughts) above all else, because it determines the course of your life.” Another translation says to “be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”

In some ways, this is difficult to hear because many of us think negatively on a much more regular basis than we think positive thoughts. Knowing that these thoughts affect our lives is not very comforting! However, the part that is comforting is that we can have full control of our thoughts! And if we can take and maintain that control, we can affect our circumstances. I fully believe that it is much easier to control what I am thinking than to try and control the many circumstances in my life. It may seem difficult to do, but I can tell you that with experience, it gets easier and easier. It then becomes even more natural and more rewarding after you see the positive results.

At this point, I know what you may be wondering. Does this mean all of my negative circumstances will disappear if I simply maintain positive thinking? I wish I could say it would. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that all of your negative circumstances will completely disappear. However, I know that God communicates with us throughout our lives in various ways, and sometimes negative situations are ways he uses to do so. Sometimes they are wake up calls, and oftentimes they are used to bring us to something greater. For whatever reason, they are part of all of our lives on this earth. I can say this, though. The more you control your thoughts and keep them focused on God’s truth and His principles, the more joy and happiness you will experience. And even when the negative situations occur, they will be easier to deal with and much more short-lived.

I am sure you have heard these reminders many times, especially if you regularly read my articles. Whether it’s your first or thousandth time, I remind you (and myself) again. Take time each day to watch what you are thinking. Deliberately think beautiful, positive thoughts. Visualize the situations you want to experience, the life you want to live, and the person you want to be. Exercise that control of your mind that you all have. After that, take the actions that you feel led to take. I strongly believe (and know from experience) that you will see very quickly that the circumstances in your life line up according to the thoughts in your mind. They always do anyway no matter how you think. So why not take control and purposely create the life you are looking for. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Can Negative Thoughts Be Productive?

January 21, 2022

I’m going to do something a bit unusual for this post. If you regularly visit this site, you’ll know that I do my best to promote positive thinking, and focusing on God’s truth about us. However, today I’m going to go in a different direction and promote….gasp….negative thoughts???

No, I haven’t become a hypocrite and say one thing and act in an opposite manner (although I am sometimes guilty of that). I haven’t changed my mind and decided that what I’ve been reading and writing about is untrue. Instead, I am applying some very helpful information I’ve studied, sharing it with you, and hoping that it can help all of us.

I’ve written several articles about how harmful negative thoughts can be. If we think negative thoughts, they ultimately play out into negative situations in our lives. I’ve also read and shared different techniques to deal with these thoughts. One very helpful one is the idea of re-framing. This idea is that whenever you notice a negative thought, immediately catch it and replace it with a positive thought. It can be any positive thought, or one opposite of what you were first thinking. For example, if you catch yourself thinking that you are not worthy of something, stop and think of reasons that you ARE worthy. If you don’t feel healthy, think of what it would be like if you were healthy. Those are just some examples.

Recently, I read of a very helpful technique in dealing with negative thoughts. This has produced a great amount of mental healing and personal freedom during the first few weeks of this new year. I read the idea in Rhonda Byrne’s book, “The Greatest Secret.” Several of her books like “The Secret” and “The Magic” have had life-changing impacts on me, and this one is no exception. In fact, I think I like this one best because it is more of an application process instead of just providing information, which is exactly what I need.

Anyway, here is the technique…. one of the greatest reasons negative thoughts cause negative situations in our lives is because we tend to resist them. We know negative thoughts are harmful to us. We don’t want them. So what we do, is we fight the feelings they cause. We fight to try to rid our minds of the thoughts. What happens when we do this though, is we add fuel to their fire.When we resist something, it just causes more if it. Even though we’re trying to do good and rid ourselves of the negative thoughts and feelings, we are doing more harm because we are still remaining focused on the negative situations.

The freedom bringing suggestion given in the book, is to welcome the negative thoughts instead of resisting them. At first, I disagreed because this seems counterproductive. So we’re just letting these harmful negative thoughts rule our minds? No. We are just saying they are welcome. Now, we can add a little more to this. Ms. Byrne says that when we do this instead of resisting, we take away the power they have on us. Eventually, the negative feelings go away. To add to this, she says that any of these same negative feelings that have built of over time also gradually disappear.

Again, I was a bit skeptical at first, but I decided to give this a try. It didn’t even take a day to realize the truth of this. One of the greatest negative emotions I feel is guilt. I am often slow to act, fall short of my potential, and I regularly feel like I could and should do more for people. As I thought about this, I realize how much this has built up in my mind over time. I don’t like to feel guilty, so I fight it. The result is usually more of it! So at that moment, I decided it was OK for me to feel guilty. However, what happened after that was even more amazing. As I accepted the feeling of guilt and that it was OK to feel that way, I started to automatically re-frame the negative thoughts (the technique I discussed earlier). I felt God speaking to me. I felt like He was saying that the guilt that I was holding onto was just my own thought, and it wasn’t His. I was reminded of several Bible verses to back that up, like there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Like the fact that every sin I’ve ever committed, and every mistake I’ve ever made has already been forgiven because of His death on the cross. On and on I was provided these positive reminders.

I then tried this with other negative thoughts too. I don’t often get angry, but one day there were just several things my wife was doing that were just bothering me. I’m sure you’ve never had that happen to you, but it was happening with me. And it’s not like she was doing it on purpose. Anyway, I caught the negative thoughts as they were happening. Normally, I would try to fight it because I don’t want to think negatively of her. However, I instead welcomed the thoughts and allowed myself to be bothered. After only a few minutes, the negativity lightened, and we ended up having a very nice conversation about something. Lengthy conversations between us don’t happen like they did before, but this was a very pleasant one. What was happening is that, as I accepted and allowed these negative thoughts, I actually felt more positive!

I am realizing more that thoughts and feelings are just that. They are not who I am. More importantly, they don’t control me. I control them. And it is important that I control them because, even though I say they don’t control me, the quality of my thoughts and feelings ultimately controls the quality of my life and circumstances on the outside.

I share this with you because it has been very helpful to me. The process of simply allowing the negative thoughts without resisting them and without letting them control me and determine who I am has been extremely enlightening and liberating. I challenge you to try this as well. Don’t go looking for negative thoughts. However, when you do notice that you are thinking or feeling negative, make yourself aware of it, and welcome the thoughts. Know that it’s OK to have those thoughts, as long as you don’t allow them to overtake you. If you’re like me, you will notice some mental counter arguments. You will feel a release of that negative thought and others like it that have built up in the past. Then those negative clouds eventually disappear, allowing the great light in you to shine uninhibited. That is definitely something to think and feel positive about. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


How to Find Your Inner Joy (That’s Already There)

January 13, 2022

I recently wrote an article about finding your joy. I mentioned the key to doing so is to look inside of you because that’s where your joy always is. You seek joy there instead of looking for it on the outside in circumstances, people, or activities. I recently heard a message about this that provides a different take on this, and felt the need to share.

Many people are aware that the best place to find joy is within themselves. They know true joy is there, yet they still struggle to experience it. I live in Buffalo NY. Winter here is very difficult. Besides the large amounts of snow we receive, it is very often cloudy and dark. We regularly go days, and sometimes even weeks, without seeing the sun. Does that mean the sun is not there? Does it completely disappear? We know that it does not. The sun is always there. We just don’t see it because it is blocked by the constant interference of clouds and precipitation. When this interference disappears, the beauty of the sun is visible again, we feel its warmth, and we experience its benefits.

This is also true of the unlimited joy we all have. It is always there, all within us. So why do we not experience this joy often enough? It’s because of all the interference we allow that clouds the light of God in us. What is that interference? It’s the constant chatter in our minds, and the negative thoughts and feelings we allow to get in the way that are blocking the light of God’s love. As a result, we don’t experience it, and our lives become dark and depressing, just like the Buffalo winter.

Once again I remind you that the joy you wish to experience is not something you have to go searching for. You already have it and will always carry it right there with you. Here is the key… don’t focus on going out and finding joy. Instead, figure out what is interfering with the joy you already have. Simply clear the clouds of negativity and let them dissipate.

You don’t have to be controlled by your thoughts. Instead, you control them. Any thought that you don’t want, you simply command that it leaves your mind. It’s your choice to keep or dismiss any thoughts. I believe this is what the Bible means when it says to take each thought captive. Focus instead on what you want, and what is good, noble, and praiseworthy.

I realize this is often easier said than done. I’ve been aware of this information for a long time, yet I still fall into this trap more times than I care to admit. I allow the negative thoughts to interfere and block the light far more than the Buffalo clouds. I recommend that if you find this difficult, then ask God for help. He always comes through. There have been times where the winter darkness has been so depressing here, that I’ve asked God to have the sun shine for once. It often happens. He also answers quickly when I ask to see more of His light as well. I believe He will do the same for you. Ask Him to remove the negative clouds from your mind, and I know He will come through and help. Then His love, light, and joy come through, and instead of darkness, you can experience heaven on earth. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Focusing on The Meaningful

January 6, 2022

In the past few days, I have seen several messages about a particular topic. You know what that means. God is talking to me again. He is trying to remind me of something. This happens a lot when I am in close contact with Him.

I am being reminded that the circumstances of life, my successes and failures, the ups and downs of this world are not what really matter. What does matter is the love of God. I am being reminded to focus on God, His love, and His kingdom. That’s what means the most. And the ironic part is that, when I focus on God and His kingdom, presence, and righteousness, the other things all fall into place. The circumstances are positive. There are far more successes than failures, and far more ups than downs.

I’ve already seen the positive benefits since I’ve refocused on the meaningful. When I see and focus on God in others, the relationships are good. When I feel God’s presence in me, I feel a wonderful peace that matters far more than any circumstances.

I am not saying that life doesn’t matter. We have every right to celebrate the great times and mourn the bad. However, what matters so much more is the inner world. God’s presence is in you and with you. Place your focus there and you will experience heaven on earth more often than not. I know from experience this is true. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Two Words to Help You Find Joy

January 4, 2022

One of the main goals people have is to experience joy in life. For some, it is easier than others. One of the greatest questions is how and where to find that joy.

People seek joy in many different places, such as life experiences, relationships, money, and careers just to name a few. Another question is, why do so many people have a hard time finding joy? I have learned and been recently reminded again, that it’s because they are looking in the wrong places for it. I have often been guilty of this myself.

So how and where do we find this joy that is so often elusive for so many? I can sum it up in two words…. Look inside. Look inside what? Look inside you. It’s so simple. In fact I believe it is too simple, which is why so many people miss it. There are verses all over the Bible that state that the spirit of God is in you. Since that spirit is in you, it is a part of you. You are in union with it! And one of the fruits of that spirit is joy.

You don’t have to go looking for joy. It is already in you and already part of your being. You automatically carry joy, along with the other fruits of the spirit such as love, peace, self-control, etc. with you wherever you are.

Knowing you are already the joy you are seeking, the challenge is to switch your focus. Instead of seeking joy, let the joy that already are shine out from you. How do you do this? There are many ways. What has worked for me is to focus on that joy in me, and also to focus my thoughts on the good in everyone and everything else. Another idea is to watch your thoughts. Remove any thought that interferes with the joy that is already part of you. Doing this follows the Biblical advice to take each thought captive. Feed your mind with joyful thoughts. Ones that are good, noble, and praiseworthy, which is another bit of Biblical advice. Remove the ones that have the potential to cloud the light of the joy that is in you.

I realize that this is a very simple, and basic post. However, as I mentioned before, this concept does not have to be complicated. Remember that joy is already yours. You already have it and are it. Instead of seeking it, let it shine forth brightly from you, without any interference. The Bible says it is God’s will that we are joyful always. Why not follow this advice and deliberately experience this joy that is a part of all of us. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


God is Doing Something New…For You!!

December 30, 2021

As I did my Bible study this morning, I was lead to this inspirational reading… “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it”? This is from Isaiah 43:19. Another version says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it”?

I’ve read this verse many times, and it has always inspired me. However, it especially did today. As mentioned in my previous post, I am feeling very optimistic as we end this year and begin the next one. This verse confirmed my optimism! I feel like God is telling me to continue in the direction I am going. He is telling me that He has already begun the great work in my life, and it is up to me to see and seek His blessings.

The same is true for you. God is ready to do a great thing in your life. He promises that! I challenge you to see the great things He has already done, and to look out for the blessings that are coming next, knowing He always comes through.

If you are looking for a bit of optimism this year, I hope this can help. God can and will do a great work in your life. He has actually already started it. Can you see it?