Focus on This to Experience Heaven on Earth

March 30, 2021

I’ve been writing on this site for over 8 years now. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve written close to 400 articles. I don’t say this to brag or promote myself. Instead, I share this because it sometimes creates a humorous situation. When people ask me how I decide on what to write about, I provide the same simple answer…whatever is on my heart. Often times, whatever is on my heart is what I feel like God is prompting me to share, usually because I feel like He’s been speaking to me about it.

I’m surprised it didn’t start happening sooner, but during the past year, there were several times where I was given this great idea to write about it. I started writing, and what I was saying seemed awfully familiar. Not because I had read about it somewhere, but as I continued writing, I started to realize…I think I’ve written about this before. I then realized that was true. In fact, in some cases, I was using the exact same title I used for the previous article that was written years ago. I’ve even shared some of these recently.

The same thing happened this morning. I had been prompted to talk about this heaven topic. I was going to use the title “Can We Experience Heaven on Earth?” That was until I realized, I used that exact same title for an article I wrote in November 2018! You can read that article by clicking on the title link above. In that article, I talked about the Bible verse that says that the kingdom of heaven is among us. Not only is it among us or in our midst, but it is a part of our very being. For today’s article I had a bit of a different take in mind. I watched a message from I preacher I enjoy watching named Martin Trench. It was an excellent message that provides a picture of heaven, and also discusses this concept of experiencing heaven on Earth. The best part for me was how he simplified the process of seeking the kingdom of heaven. He shares several attributes of heaven, the most significant being the constant presence of God. He says that the best part of heaven is that you are constantly in God’s presence, and you continually experience that presence there.

This was really an awakening for me. God’s presence is all over heaven. But it’s also all over everywhere and everything on this earth. I realized that, instead of trying to keep in mind this mysterious kingdom that I can never possibly understand during my time on earth, I only need to focus on the presence of God! That’s something I’ve done many times, and I certainly know the power and wonderful feeling it brings!

Here’s a Bible verse that we can tie this to. Matthew 6:33 says to “seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be added to you.” Using the idea above, let’s just change that a bit and say instead to “seek first the presence of God.” I am not trying to twist scripture verses around. I am just finding that these words are synonymous. Understanding God’s presence is much easier than understanding God’s kingdom. It is not difficult to find and experience God’s presence because it is omnipresent. Any time you want to find God’s presence, you will. The difficult part, at least for me, is having the discipline to focus my mind on God’s presence instead of the circumstances or past failures in my life.

What happens when you seek the presence of God? From my experience, I can share several things. First, it brings an incredible peace. Whatever chaos is going on around me all of a sudden seems very insignificant. Second, I feel amazing! This is because instead of thinking thoughts of failure, negativity, and fear, I start thinking thoughts of love, power, and gratitude. As we think these types of thoughts, our overall energy vibration raises to a much a higher level. This then brings positive situations into our lives that match the positive thoughts and feelings. In essence, we begin to live heaven on earth. Our relationships are strengthened. People want to be in our company. We are healthier. We enjoy life more, which also enhances our careers, financial situations, and whatever else we want to accomplish in life. These are the things that are added onto us when we seek first the kingdom and presence of God.

The answer is the same now as it was in 2018, and it’s the same as it will be in 2028, or even 3018. Yes! You can experience heaven on earth. It may not be as beautiful as it is when we leave our bodies behind at death, but you can certainly experience heaven on earth by remaining consistently in the presence of God, and seeking it wherever you go. You don’t have to wait until you die. You can start right now. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


How to Live Your Dream Life

March 25, 2021

What is your dream life? It’s a question I think we all have an answer to. Or at least we should. Many know what their ideal life would look like. However, they don’t like to think about it because they feel like it could never happen for them. After all, it’s not fun to think about something that’s never going to happen.

I was reminded of this dream life idea while reviewing “A Course in Miracles.” I’ve gone through this course more than once, and I often spend time reviewing parts of it again and again, just like do for many other great books I’ve read. This book is full of great, Biblical advice about living in love, forgiveness, and joy. The part I read is from the Workbook chapter 132, paragraph 5. It says… “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.” The paragraph later adds that “it (your world) changes as you change your mind.”

How powerful is that? Who’s mind do you have the most control over? There’s only one answer to this question, and hopefully, you already know it. It’s you. Your own mind is the only one you have control over. This is good news! What I get from this quote is that, as you control your mind, you control your world and the circumstances in it. Take control of your mind (the Bible says to take every thought captive). Be sure to think only the highest quality thoughts. That will result in the highest quality circumstances.

Speaking of the Bible, it is filled with verses that back this up. I’ve shared these often, but I don’t think we can be reminded too many times. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks, so is he. Proverbs 27:19 says that “As water reflects the face, so oneโ€™s life reflects the heart.” The heart in this case is one’s most predominant thoughts and beliefs. The manifestation of our desires in life is quicker and more powerful and stronger our beliefs are. My favorite Bible verse in the entire book is Mark 11:24 which says “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that youโ€™ve received it, it will be yours.” You believe you have received it by aligning your thoughts and feelings as they would be if you had your desire in the outer world.

These are just a few of many verses that show that what you experience in your outer world is a direct reflection of the life you are living in your inner world. Now I know some of you are thinking that we can’t accomplish things by thought alone. We have to take action and make things happen. That is true. We can’t just sit idle and wait for things to happen. We do have to act. However, as I’ve shared many times, you are more likely to take action when your thoughts are right, and you believe you can have what you desire. If your thoughts are good, noble, and praiseworthy as the Bible suggests, the action you take will be inspired and productive as well. That’s another reason your desires manifest much more quickly when your thoughts are right.

So you want changes in your world? Then remember that your world changes as your mind changes. See the positivity, greatness and victory that you desire in the outer life in your inner world (your mind) first. Then the inspiration and direction to act will come to you almost automatically. Eventually, what you see in your mind you will experience in your life. I have seen this in my own life so many times. I challenge you to do this, and it will work for you too. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


The Importance of the F Word

March 12, 2021

During the past few weeks, I continue to be shown the significance of the F word. It is very important that I place my attention on it and use it as much as possible. The reason is that…

OK, stop it! I am not talking about THAT F word. I know you were thinking it. Seriously, I try to avoid thinking about and using that other F word. I’m sorry, I should stop now before this blog post becomes cursed. Anyway, there is another word that I keep being reminded of. I’ve written about it, I’ve heard sermons preaching it, and it has been part of almost every reading material I’ve come across in the past few weeks (do you think God is trying to drive it into my head and asking me to share?).

That magical F word is focus. Focus on what? It’s come up several different ways. Mainly, the discussions have been about focusing on positive thoughts. Focusing on whatever is “true, noble, right, lovely and admirable” according to Philippians 4:8 in the Bible. Focusing on who God says I am, not the false thoughts that I have or others may have about me. Focusing on the good in everyone else. Focusing on the fact that God is constantly working for my good. Focusing on the fact that in God I have all things, and all things are possible.

That’s a small sample of where my focus and your focus should be. Another reminder with this and why it is so significant is that what we experience in life is a direct reflection of what we focus on. If we focus on those things I mentioned, we experience situations and circumstances that back them up! If we focus on what’s wrong or what’s missing, that is what we will continue to experience. It’s such a simple formula. Yet so many (and I certainly add myself so many times) try to do things the hard way by trying to change the circumstances instead of the mental focus, which is the root of the problem. I’ve said it many times, but this is so liberating to me because it gives me full control! No one in this universe except for me determines my thoughts. It’s all in my control. Only you control your thoughts. It’s simply a matter of controlling your thoughts (remaining focused on them) and then letting the circumstances play out accordingly. If you like the thoughts, you will like the circumstances!

So keep reminding yourself of that F word… FOCUS! Constantly check in with your thoughts, to make sure they are high quality, just as you want your exterior life to be. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more rewarding your life will be. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚

 


Driving Home the Point That Thoughts Matter

March 3, 2021

This may be a different way to begin a post than I normally do, but I will admit that I am not the most patient driver. In fact, if I’m being honest, I will say that I am rather nasty. I have many pet peeves when I drive. I don’t drive very fast, but I get frustrated easily when people drive under the speed limit unnecessarily, or I get angry at those who don’t use their turn signals. Others annoy me because they are simply clueless on the roads.

Now, I am not painting a very positive picture of myself so I’m going to quit while I’m behind. It always surprises people when I share about how impatient and inconsiderate I am on the road. Most that know me well would tell you that I am one of the most mild-mannered, patient, kind, and sympathetic individuals on the planet. In fact, some even criticize how far I will go just to avoid a conflict. Perhaps it’s because I learned to drive while living on Long Island (one of the most difficult places to drive), but for whatever reason, driving is the only time I behave so poorly.

I share this with you because my negative driving habits came to light this past week. We added another (and last) daughter to our auto insurance policy. In order to keep costs down, we are offered discounts for enrolling in an online defensive driving course. I spent the day on the computer and actually enjoyed this excellent course. It was also a major wake-up call. I realized that my bad attitude and corresponding bad driving habits like illegal passes, balancing all kinds of foods with the steering wheel, and spending more time checking what’s on the radio than what’s in front of me were not only dangerous to me, but also to those around me. I realized I needed to change these negative habits. I decided that I was immediately going to become more courteous and more focused when I drove. In fact, I was going to take it a step further. Not only was I going to be courteous. I was going to be the most courteous driver on the road!

After being such a nasty driver for so long, and having enough experience to know how life works, I expected immediate tests to my patience. I was curious to see how long this new attitude would actually last. For the first few days, I held my end of the bargain (even though my end was the only end). However, as the days went on, there were no tests! No slow drivers or series of red lights to test my patience. Everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing. Traffic was flowing smoothly every time. Drivers were even being extra courteous to me!ย  Even the weather cooperated. On the first day after the test, it snowed for most of the day… except for the times I drove that day!

I’ve written countless articles on this site about how the circumstances in our lives reflect the quality of focus on our thoughts. If we focus on positive thoughts, we generally experience positive outcomes. Of course, the same correlation is true for negative thoughts. I’ve seen many examples of this in my life. However, this experience has been a very powerful reminder. I realized that, even though it was on a subconscious level, every time I got into the car, I expected negative situations, that I ultimately encountered. Now, as my focus and attitude changed, I stopped encountering these negative circumstances. Driving was actually a joy. And this change occurred instantly!

I share this reminder with you, my cherished reader. Be conscious of your thoughts. Continually watch what you focus your thoughts on. If the circumstances in a particular situation are not as you would like them to be, I challenge you to change your focus. Instead of thinking about what’s wrong or what you don’t have, focus instead on what is already right and good, or at least what could be positive about it. I find this very encouraging because this strategy puts us in full control. We may not be able to control some or all of the circumstances around us, but we can all control our thoughts and attitudes which have the ultimate effect on how the circumstances turn out. Your results may not be as immediate as they were in my situation, but in most cases changes occur very quickly.

Once again I remind you that you will experience in life whatever you focus your thoughts on. If you constantly see the negative in people and things, that’s what you will continue to experience. If you see the good in people in things, you will only experience more of it. In addition, as they did with my new driving attitude, the negative situations will eventually diminish if you keep focused on the positive. Not everything is always going to go our way, and I’m not saying you’re wrong if you’re not happy every minute of the day. However, I have learned from many experiences (and now this recent one) that good things happen when you look for them. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


Does God Want You to Be Happy?

February 26, 2021

I was recently reading something that said it is God’s will that I experience happiness in my life. I took the time to reflect on that for a few minutes. I’ve been lucky that I’ve experienced mostly happiness over my lifetime, so this wasn’t too difficult to believe. However, one would think about this further and possibly question this statement. After all, there is so much unhappiness in this world. There is a global pandemic, crime and terror is on the increase, and generally, especially in the United States, people are more stressed and unhappy than ever before. So is this God’s way of showing who’s boss, and is this possibly His will instead of happiness?

Regardless of all the negativity we hear about, and some may experience, I strongly believe God wants us all to be happy. Here are some Bible quotes that back this up. Ecclestiastes 3:12-13 says, “so I concluded there is NLT. Psalm 35:27 says that the Lord delights and takes pleasure in the well-being, success, and prosperity of His servant.ย  Galatians 5:22-23 lists all of the fruits of the spirit. One of those is joy which is the root of happiness. Since God’s spirit lives in you, joy and happiness are an inherent part of your being! I don’t think God would include joy as one of those fruits if He didn’t want you to experience it.

I do understand that we all face situations and times in our lives that are not happy. However, God did say we would face trials. What some people miss when these occur is that God allows these trials to occur in order to help us grow. And I’ve learned that growth through these difficult and unhappy circumstances ultimately brings more happiness into my life!

To conclude, I will share what I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says to Rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in all circumstances, and that this is God’s will for you. When it says it’s God’s will that means it’s His intention. He created us with a happy, rewarding life in mind, even though He knew parts of this life would be difficult for us. The information I’m presenting here is a bit simplified. However, I believe some of you that read this may think that happiness is not what God intended for you in this life. I am hoping these verses prove that it is indeed His will that you ARE happy far more often than not. God is on your side, and your happiness brings Him happiness. And I can’t think of anything better than putting a smile on His face. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


Keep Your Vibration High by Taking Your Thoughts Captive

February 15, 2021

I’ve written often about the concept of vibration on this site. Basically, your vibration is the level of your emotional state. That makes a difference because your external circumstances reflect what your internal vibration is. When your vibration is high, with emotions like love, joy, gratitude, and peace, you experience joyful circumstances and are given more things to be thankful for. When your vibration is low, with emotions like doubt, fear, anger, etc., you are often faced with circumstances that bring about more of those negative emotions. I realize this truth more every day, as there are countless Bible verses to back this up, and I see it play out in my life experience.

It’s a simple formula. Instead of trying to control the circumstances in life (which is very difficult to do), we are solely responsible for controlling our inner state of being. I find this very comforting since I have full control of my inner state. I think you should find this very comforting too. The problem is that it is sometimes easier said than done. Many people have learned this same fact. Yet it is often difficult to control their emotions. As much as I’ve learned and shared about this regularly, I feel your pain and often have that same difficulty. Instead of trying to control my own state of being, I allow people or circumstances to dictate how I feel. It happens much less than it used to, but I am still learning in this area as well.

So how does one best control their emotional vibration and bring it to a level that will allow the manifestation of the ideal life? There are plenty of suggestions out there. One of the best I’ve been taught is from Esther Hicks. If you want to learn about the Law of Attraction and how to apply it, she would be one of my first recommendations. I have learned so much from her that has enhanced the quality of my life. She has a ton of videos on YouTube, as well as a couple of great books too. In one of those books, she shares the concept of the emotional guidance scale. At the top of the scale are the highest emotions, such as the ones I mentioned earlier. At the bottom of the scale are the lowest emotions, also mentioned above. She suggests using this scale as a guide. The recommendation is to have regular check-ins with yourself to see where you stand on the emotional scale. She then challenges you to deliberately think thoughts that bring you higher and higher on the scale until you are in the highest emotional state. One of the most important suggestions is to take things one step at a time, and not try to go from a lower emotional state immediately to the highest. That could be frustrating and end up defeating the whole process. For example, there are 22 emotions listed from lowest to highest. If I am at level 7 for example, which is contentment, instead of going directly to number 1, I should go to level 6 which is hopefulness, then to 5 which is optimism, and eventually work myself up to the highest emotions. Even if I am much lower on the scale, this is very helpful. For example, if I am feeling frustration/irritation which is level 10, it’s almost impossible to start feeling joy immediately. However, if I go up just one level, which is pessimism. Pessimism is still a negative emotion, but it’s better than being frustrated, so I am already feeling a little better than I was. Then I think thoughts that move me up to the next level which is boredom, and so on, until my emotional state has gone from bad to good, to awesome. Here is an excellent article I found that further explains and helps practice the process.

This process has been very helpful to me. However, like I mentioned before, it is sometimes more easily said than done. Sometimes, especially if I am lower on the emotional scale, it takes a long time to start feeling the higher emotions. That sometimes leads me to give up and I end up further down the list again by getting frustrated. Recently, I found other information that I believe is even more helpful than what I mentioned above. Now I am not going to argue with what Esther Hicks says. She is extremely successful, as she has used the Law of Attraction to bring major blessing into her life, and into the lives of millions of others. Her suggestion is excellent, and I know from experience that it works. However, what I am about to share has worked even better for me, and it has taken away the sometimes long and frustrating process of gradually working my way up the emotional scale.

The only problem with what I am about to share is that I don’t remember where I found this excellent information. I do so much reading and research on this topic, that I sometimes don’t save my sources. I cannot properly cite where I found this wonderful information. I can simply tell you that I can’t take credit for creating this idea myself. However, I can also tell that you that it is incredibly powerful, and it has really helped me increase my emotional state, and its resulting manifestations. Here it is… instead of starting from the emotion you are currently feeling and working your way up to the highest emotions, consider this… those highest emotions of love, joy, peace, and gratitude are your natural state! I recently wrote an article about that topic that you can check out here. Remember that the spirit of God lives in you. And the fruits of the spirit are those emotions I just mentioned. Love, joy, and peace are what you naturally are! The only reason you are not feeling that way all the time is because you allow other emotions to block those out. Here’s an illustration. I live outside of Buffalo, New York. This city is known for its snow (over 90 inches or about 250cm per year). From November to April we almost never see the sun. However, it doesn’t mean the sun is not there. The sun is still shining. We just don’t see it because there are clouds, and snowflakes that get in the way and prevent us from experiencing the light. (just for the record… from June through October the sun shines regularly here, and the weather is more beautiful than in many other places).ย  It’s the same with our emotions. The light of God is always there, right with us. If you are not seeing it and feeling negative emotions, it isn’t because that light of love and joy has disappeared. It’s just that the negative clouds and darkness are blocking the light and the corresponding positive emotions.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says that we “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” That means we watch our thoughts to make sure they line up with the truth of what Jesus says. In fact, another version says that we take it a step further, and “We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.” Here’s how I use this with what I was discussing earlier. I first reflect on who I am. I am a child of God, created in His image. I have all of His attributes. For that reason, I reflect on the fact that love, joy, peace, and gratitude (the highest emotional vibrations) are my natural state. In fact, I Thessalonians says they are God’s will for my life. In other words, God created me and you with the intention that we would live in love, joy, and peace, and have plenty of reasons to be thankful. When I get into this mode of thinking, I am starting off with a bright and clear sunny day. I am already feeling amazing! Now, I deliberately focus on my thoughts. If any clouds or raindrops come in, I cast them out. If they persist, I speak against them, reminding myself again that my natural state is love and joy.

I have found that this way of thinking and living is highly effective. As I start with my focus feeling and believing on the highest emotions, those positive manifestations begin to occur, and even begin to multiply! Then it gets even easier to stay in that high vibration. Instead of living in dark and cloudy Buffalo, I am living in bright and sunny Los Angeles! And even if there is some temporary smog that blocks the sun, if I continue to live in this state, it eventually burns off and becomes perfectly sunny and clear. I will say this though… the more you live in this higher vibration and continue to take your thoughts captive to maintain this high emotional level, the smog, clouds, and even storms tend to disappear. Even if they don’t completely go away (God says we will ultimately face trials in our lives) you can still deal with them on a much higher level and find positive solutions much quicker and easier.

Remember, you were created to live joyfully and lovingly. That is who you are. When you make the effort to control your thoughts and emotions to ensure you are thinking those kinds of thoughts, you will end up living those kinds of circumstances. The great thing about it is that it’s all in your control. So take that control and enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


You Can Quickly Realize Your Heart’s Desire

February 12, 2021

What would you say your greatest desire is today? I’m sure it’s a question you can answer quickly and easily. We all have things in life that we desire. That’s a good thing. We should get excited to think about our greatest desires. The problem is that sometimes people actually become disappointed and depressed when discussing their greatest desires. That’s because they focus on the fact that they don’t have it yet. I certainly understand because I’ve been there myself. However, what if I told you there’s a way to see your desires realized sooner than later?

I will start by saying that sometimes God purposely makes us wait for our greatest desires to be realized. That could be because the timing isn’t right, or possibly because He has something even better in store for us. However, there are many times where I believe we can make the decision that helps speed up the process. I believe often times God is waiting for us to make that decision.

I was doing a Bible devotion recently and came across a verse I’ve read many times. However, it never really got my attention this way. The verse is Psalm 37:4. It says “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Another version says to find your delight in the Lord. Then He will give you everything your heart really wants. My favorite translation sums it up perfectly…seek your happiness in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

For me, the key is in that last translation. We as humans tend to seek our happiness from external things. In some ways, there is nothing wrong with that. God has created things on this earth for us to enjoy. I love my family and other things like sports, music, oceans, etc. The problem with that is that all of those “things” can somehow disappoint. My favorite sports team lose. Sometimes the ocean gets rough and destructive. Sometimes the people in my life that I love disappoint me. The bottom line is that, no matter how much I love some people and things in my life, they are not perfect. They cannot always guarantee happiness. On the other hand, when I put my trust and joy in the Lord, He never disappoints. Ever!

There lies the key to quickly realizing your heart’s desires. First and foremost, seek your happiness in God. Spend time in His presence. I recently wrote an article about increasing your joy in life. I wrote that the key to increasing your joy is increasing the amount of time you spend recognizing and enjoying God’s presence. This Bible verse is saying the same thing. When we truly seek and enjoy the presence of God, our joy increases. And God promises that when we do that, He will give us the desires of our heart. And here’s another great thing about this. I believe that when we spend quality time in God’s presence, our desires line up with His will. And when your goals and desires line up with His will, that’s when prayers are often answered sooner than later. God also promises that when we seek Him first, all things are added unto us. We don’t have to worry about how we will get things. We are already taken care of as long as we focus on God first.

Once again I will say that I believe your greatest desires can be realized quickly. The dictionary definition of delight is to take pleasure in or to give joy or satisfaction to. When you take pleasure in what God has already done for you, and you experience joy and satisfaction in spending time with Him, He will bless you! Not only will your greatest desires be realized, but I believe God will bless you way above and beyond what you would even expect. So whenever you can, instead of seeking joy and satisfaction in the external things, seek them in His presence instead. I firmly believe you will see your desires realized sooner than later. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


A Quick and Easy Way to Increase Your Joy

February 10, 2021

If you haven’t already noticed, there seems to be a severe lack of joy in today’s world. In some ways, it’s understandable. There is a global pandemic going on that has really stood this world on its head. Jobs have been lost, as well as the ability to socialize and do things that we are so used to doing. I will say though, that this drought of joy has been happening since well before the pandemic. In many cases and many places, people just aren’t happy.

Why is this the case? And what can we do about it? I believe I have a fairly simple solution. You may even think I am oversimplifying this, but I don’t believe I am. Just hear (or should I say read) me out, and you may ultimately see that what I am saying makes sense. Hopefully, especially if you’ve been lacking joy in your life, you can see that it’s very easy to get it back.

The words I share with you are not my own. They come from the Bible, and Psalm 16:11. The verse says, “in your presence is fullness of joy.” One version says “your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.” That’s it. What’s the way to true joy? Simply remaining in the presence of God.

As I reflected on this, I found several examples of its truth. First, it shows why meditation and prayer are so powerful. When you meditate, you are deliberately bringing yourself and keeping yourself in the presence of God. In prayer, you are actually communicating with that presence. I was also reminded of this by some powerful memories. When I was in my mid-20s, I was the co-leader of a youth group in my church. We often had retreat weekends. These times were amazing, and I experienced emotional highs that would carry over for days after these events were over. That’s because, for the entire weekend, myself and a group of about 40 people were all completely focused on the presence of God. When you have a group like that where everyone is completely focused on God, deep, positive emotions run even higher. After those retreats, I felt like I could accomplish anything because I was so aware and confident of God’s presence.

As I reflected on this, I was reminded that I don’t need a retreat weekend to experience this same joy that being in God’s presence creates. I can take the time at any part of the day just to reflect on God’s presence. The more I do this, the more comfort and joy I feel. The same is true for you. If you are lacking joy or looking for more of it in your life, simply seeking the presence of God as often as possible can enable you to experience that joy. I understand that even being close to God doesn’t guarantee all negative situations will magically disappear. Sometimes God brings trials and difficulty into our lives for a reason. However, I can tell you from experience that if you increase the amount of time you spend in God’s presence and deliberately focus on Him and His wonderful love and promises, you will also increase the amount of joy in your life. As I look back I see that the times of greatest joy throughout my life were also the times where I was closest to God and consistently focusing on and living in His presence.

The great thing about this is that, as your level of joy increases, it’s contagious! As your joy level and positive energy increases, it positively affects the energy around you. That means as you are more joyful, it automatically brings greater joy to those around you! You don’t have to say or do a thing. It just happens. I see it in my own life all the time. If I am down and in a negative mood, I seem to get the same negative emotions back from everyone. However, when my joy and overall vibration is positive, I receive so much positivity and joy from other people. They enjoy my company and want to be with me. They laugh at my stupid jokes. They are willing to go out of their way to do things for me. All kinds of positive things happen. And it’s simply because my level of joy is at a high level. And that is a result of quality time spent in the presence of God.

Yes, I believe it is that simple. Again, spending as much time as possible in God’s presence won’t automatically make all of your problems go away. However, it will bring your joy to such a high level that you will look at those problems differently. You will be much less likely to allow them to depress you and instead will help you find the solutions that will ultimately help them disappear much more easily. More importantly, you will enjoy the great things in life so much more, and add a great deal of joy that this world desperately needs. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


Be a Light

August 31, 2020

Every once in awhile (thankfully not often) I have one of those days where I see the world crumbling before me. Not my world, but the world in general, especially in the country I live in. I had an extremely discouraging trip to the supermarket the other day. Immediately upon entering, someone else was in my same path on the way out. Instead of moving aside saying excuse me, he veered quickly making nasty comments toward me as he walked by. Not the end of the world. I have thick skin and certainly don’t get my feelings hurt easily. It would have been ok if things ended there, but they didn’t. A few minutes later I asked a couple of associates for help looking for different things. In a very bothered and nasty way, they answered my question. Other people in the supermarket were being nasty to each other. This was very surprising to me. Normally people and associates at this supermarket are very friendly. My part of the U.S (Buffalo, New York) is a part that is generally friendly. We are known as the city of good neighbors, and the city often lives up to its nickname. The worst part of this experience is when I exited the store and was in the parking lot. There was a car with flags for gay pride and black lives matter. Now the only stance I will take on these topics now is that everyone has a right to express what they believe. However, what absolutely killed me is that a man was walking in the parking lot screaming and cursing continually at the people in the car. There was also a black man walking by. I was afraid that the screamer was yelling at him, and I asked that man if that was the case. He told me no, that the guy was yelling at the car. However, a minute later someone else was yelling at that black man causing him to yell back! Again, these are incidents and issues I see far less in my city than in other places.

I was feeling a wide range of emotions after this awful experience. I was shocked. I was scared that something further negative would develop as a result. What scared me more was the anger I could feel building up inside me. In fact, so much so that this extremely peaceful individual who avoids conflict at all costs was ready to argue and fight back with anyone else who decided to start trouble. Luckily, I eventually caught myself and thought logically. I decided that instead of adding to the problem I needed instead to figure out something that could solve the problem. It was then that I was reminded of a song I’ve been hearing lately, and also about something I’ve written about often. The song is a Thomas Rhett country collaboration called “Be a Light.” It talks about being a light in a dark world. It’s a beautiful song, and if you want to take a listen, here it is. I then reflected again on one of my favorite Bible verses which is Matthew 5:14-16 which says… You are the light of the worldโ€”like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.ย No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.ย In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

This world can be a very dark place sometimes, especially with all that is going on now with pandemics, protests, senseless shootings, and God knows what else. It is very easy to fall into a negative frame of mind as a result. However, I challenge myself and you my cherished reader to handle this darkness in a different way. Let us instead light our worlds with the light that lives in every one of us. Instead of placing it under a bushel, let us “put it on a stand and give light to everyone in the house.” My work environment is a very negative place, and yours may be too. Let us shine our light there. Will we completely take away the darkness and make everyone there happy? No, but even if we can make a difference for some, we’ve used our light in a positive way. Is your home a dark and negative place? I hope not, but if it is, shine your light brightly and be a positive inspiration. You can indeed make a big difference. Wherever you are, let your light, the one that God has given you shine. Just like a sunny day after 3 rainy ones can brighten your mood, so can a shining Godly light after days, weeks, or even years of darkness.

My supermarket experience the other day was a reminder that we don’t fight evil with evil. We don’t fight darkness with more darkness. Instead, we change darkness by turning on the light. As soon as this thought entered my mind, my emotions changed from anger and wanting to bring justice to peace. I left the supermarket quickly as I had other places to be. I most likely cannot change attitudes of prejudice and discrimination immediately, but I know I can be a Godly example and do my best to bring light to a dark world, and you can too. At first, it will make a small difference, but if we persist, we may not even realize the great positive influence we can become. We not only bring light to others, but our own worlds light up as well. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚


A Biblical Way to Remove Fear

March 24, 2020

In today’s society, there are plenty of things to be fearful of. As I write this, we are in the middle of a Coronavirus shutdown. In my humble opinion, much of this has been caused by fear. Besides this, our society has plenty of other things to fear. In our country, mass shootings have become regular news, and it seems like other disasters like fires, tornadoes, etc. are happening more regularly. There is plenty of fear on an individual level too as we go through difficult situations, face difficult people, and fight the demons that remind us of past mistakes and failures.

Ok, I know what you are thinking, and I hope you haven’t quit reading yet. This site is known for positive and uplifting inspiration. Why all of a sudden the doom and gloom? Those who know me well would know that I am usually very optimistic. And I still am. However, even the best of us have things in our lives to make us fearful, and that stuff isn’t going to just go away.

The thing is though, we don’t have to let fear run our lives. In fact, the Bible is full of verses that talk about being courageous and being faithful instead of fearful. For the sake of simplicity, I will focus on one that reminded me of letting go of fear recently. It is from I John 4:18 which says “perfect love casts out all fear”. What is perfect love? Elsewhere in I John, it says that “God is love.” God is perfect love. I’ve shared this several times recently, and this article describes it in detail, but an excellent definition of love I’ve seen is “seeing God in everyone and everything.” It makes total sense. When you love someone, you are in essence seeing God in them. This definition helped me to love myself in a non-arrogant way. When you love yourself, you are seeing and becoming aware of the God presence that lives in you.

Based on the definition above, I see perfect love as seeing God in every person or situation. When you see and remain focused on God in something, it automatically brings great peace! You know that God has full control of the situation. Instead of remaining fearful, it is much easier to have faith and know that the situation will turn out right, even if it doesn’t go exactly as we think it should.

The key is to stay focused on God. See Him in every person, and in every situation. When you consistently do this, you will feel more empowered. This empowerment and peace will overshadow the fears that you had before. It may not exactly make those difficult situations go away, but you will be able to rise above them so much more easily. God will never let you down. That enough is able to dispel all fear. He is there for you always. Enjoy the blessings ๐Ÿ™‚