These tiny shorts are thoughts that matter

Attitude matters.

If you want to lift up your attitude, uplift someone else.

Encourage more often.

Compliment people.

Encouragement leads to achievement. Discouragement doesn’t.

Repentance is a self-tune-up that makes your life run better.

To choose to lose your integrity is unwise.

Guilt is a choice. You choose the behaviors that cause it.

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Fresh perceptions for stale thinking

Sometimes it’s helpful to re-point our point of view.

To be less than happy, but not unhappy enough to take corrective action is to be stuck in emotional mediocracy.

Good intentions are no excuse for bad actions. Intention matters. Why do you do, say, and think what you do?

To improve your friend retention, make it your intention, to share your views with kindness.

Our brain is tangible and physical, but our consciousness isn’t. We can’t prove it exists, but when we’re awake we’re aware of it.

Arguing with people whose intention is to prove you wrong creates many unnecessary, negative emotions.

For me God is like consciousness. I can’t scientifically prove He exists, but when I’m awake, I’m aware of Him.

To camouflage your intentions is to engage in deception.

Biblical inclusion: “There is none righteous;” “All have sinned;” “All we like sheep have gone astray.”

To begrudge someone’s blessings is to belittle your own blessings.

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How to enjoy your interior life

To enjoy your interior life embrace accurate, helpful thoughts and reject inaccurate, harmful ones. The interior life is a flowing collage of consciousness, concepts, thoughts, emotions, ideas, desires, reasoning, conscience, etc.

“It’s my life.” If you want your life to be truly yours, you must take control of your inner world.

Psychology tries to understand the inner life through intellectual analysis and research done on groups of people. Perhaps a more effective way to understand the inner life is through observing your own interior experiences and conducting your own experiments of your own inner world.

There is much about you that’s not observable from the outside. That’s your interior life. When your inner intention doesn’t match your external behavior, that’s called hypocrisy.

People can do the same thing for different reasons. Their exterior life looks the same, but their interior life’s very different.

A chaotic interior life ignores and drowns out God’s “still, small voice.” We can strive to daily align our interior life with God or choose live it in rebellion against Him. An unmanaged interior life stays overgrown with weeds and is unwelcoming to God’s spiritual seeds. You can’t align your interior life with God without humble, honest introspection and the willingness to admit where you’re off track

Genuine connection with the living Jesus occurs in the interior life, not in the exterior — “Christ in you,” not Christ around you. Jesus wants to be present and interactive inside you, not just for you to worship Him as if He is far away. If you don’t want an intimate, interior life with Jesus now, then you probably won’t enjoy being stuck with Him forever.

Interior life is often chaotic and conflicted, but ongoing, surrender to the living Jesus trains us to calm the inner storms. If Jesus isn’t continually changing and improving your interior life (your thoughts, desires, and emotions), check your connection. “Christ in you” will grow or diminish, depending on how you tend your inner garden. If you won’t hear and surrender to Jesus’ voice in your heart, hearing about Him from a preacher does little good.

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Racism grows without thinking

Shall we talk? As long as racism is a closed-to-discussion-zone, it won’t ever be gone. Racism grows without thinking, but logic and reason make it shrink.

Racist? Perhaps racism is like lying. Most people will tell a lie, but few people accept being called a liar or will self-identify as a liar. Racism denial is widespread.

Racism-blind? It’s easy to be racism-blind and to fail to see the cruelty, horror, and evil of history’s color-based atrocities.

Color-blind? If you can recognize someone’s skin color, your definitely not color-blind.

Racism is effortless. It’s easy to think less of people because of their skin color and to overlook “the content of their character.”

Racism is sneaky. It’s hard to stop evaluating people by their skin color if you believe you aren’t doing it.

Racism sins. If you see someone as even slightly inferior to you because of their skin color, you won’t treat them as your full equal.

Being white doesn’t connect me with racist things done before I was born. I can admit the terrible details of those atrocities yet not feel guilt about them.

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Christ in me is like . . .

I woke up this morning thinking about how I would tell someone what it’s like to have the risen Jesus Christ freely living in me. Here goes:

  • Like a hand puppet, the more I let Jesus take control of me from within, the more animated and free I become.
  • As a concept, Christ in me is interesting, but as an ongoing, daily experience, it’s infinitely powerful and life-changing.
  • The living Jesus is like a sparkler in my heart, radiating never ending sparks of inspiration.
  • Christ in me isn’t passive. The living Jesus makes me continually aware that there is someone besides me living inside of me.
  • Surrendering to the continual embrace of Jesus is like a comforting, healing hug that never ends.
  • A religious teaching or program could never give me peace, but surrender to the risen Jesus releases peace that never ends.
  • Christ in me is a flowing fountain sending streams of glory in every direction (if I don’t shut Him down).
  • Like a spring in the desert, the living Jesus irrigates my heart and turns my desert into His garden.
  • The living Jesus creates an aliveness in me that shapes me and guides me in ways and to places that I wouldn’t choose to go.
  • Christ in me continually prompts me to move out of my comfort zone and into His discipleship zone.
  • The risen Jesus is the immovable Rock that keeps me stable and secure during all the turbulence that happens in my heart.
  • All humans eventually collapse like an empty space suit falling of its hook, unless we let the risen Jesus suit up and live in us.
  • Jesus said that He would teach His disciples and that they would hear His voice. He speaks to and teaches me everyday.
  • The risen Jesus shines His light so brilliantly inside me that I’m captivated by His glory and healed from desiring darkness.
  • Christ in me isn’t about imposing my will on other people, but about allowing Him to do His will in and thru me.
  • The living Jesus continually unleashes inner fire hoses of hope that keep discouragement from burning down my faith.
  • When I focus on the living Jesus as I read the Bible, He makes the words jump off the page and dance in my heart.
  • The more I give Jesus permission to live in and thru me, the more like Him I become.
  • It’s an incredible thing to realize that Jesus rose so that He can continue His life in me (and His other disciples) and to experience that reality through out each day.

Christianity: If it ain’t happening inside you, there’s a strong chance it ain’t happening to you.

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Why did God give U rules?

If you want to make your own rules, invent a game. If you try to replace God’s rules with your rules, you’ll wreck your life.

When desire rules and rules are not desired, life becomes congested with negative consequences. It’s amazing how many problems you can avoid in life by playing fair and following God’s rules. God’s rules are designed to hinder and hold back evil. Violating them welcomes evil.

Rebellion is in the human heart. If you don’t brake your desires, you’ll break God’s rules. When you break God’s rules, He no longer rules in your life and you distance yourself from His kingdom.

God’s rules were not made to be broken. They were made to protect us from self-destruction. When we ignore God’s rules we begin to experience inner anarchy.

If we humans were good people, we’d do good and avoid doing bad, even if there were no rules. When human emotions and behaviors are allowed expressions that violate God’s rules, evil is at hand.

You don’t have to break God’s rules to be creative. Just look at all that He has made by following them.

If parents have the right to make rules for their children, God has the right to make rules for us humans. Both the concepts of grace and of atheism are frequently used as an excuse to break God’s rules.

The more we break God’s rules, the less spontaneous joy we experience and the more we feel the need for artificial happiness. When rules are removed and human desires are unrestrained, it’s soon obvious that the results aren’t good.

Your conscience knows God’s rules and reminds you of them. If God’s rules didn’t matter, you wouldn’t feel guilty for breaking them.

The way I want to write is to use words to support what’s right and to overcome what’s wrong. So I write on.

To follow God’s rules
Is a struggle
But it makes for
Good trouble.

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Guilt-B-Gone is good news

Guilt doesn’t just happen to us. We earn it.

Life’s big question:
Shall I follow
My desires
Or do
What God requires?

Approval
Won’t bring about
The removal
Of your guilt,
But repentance
Will drive it out.

Guilt repressed
Leaves you stressed;
Guilt forgiven
Feels like Heaven!

Freedom:
When your conscience approves
Of your daily moves,
Guilt no longer reproves.

People who feel guilty blame others. People who have deeply experienced mercy and forgiveness forgive. When your conscience continually gives you low approval ratings, it’s time to change your behavior.

The approval of your conscience will make you much happier than the approval of people and disapproval of your conscience. All the approval and applause in the world won’t satisfy you if your own conscience disapproves. No matter how hard you try (even if you deny), it’s extremely difficult to be comfortable without the approval of your conscience.

Activating the belief that there is a God and that He’s ready to forgive and to restore you to innocence and wholeness, is life-altering. Reading the New Testament part of the Bible (with an open heart) will begin to activate that belief.

Our death won’t remove our guilt, but the sacrificial death of Jesus freely provides forgiveness to those who repent and follow Him. Jesus didn’t come to condemn us. He came to freely offer us forgiveness and the power to obey God, so He can tell us, “Well done.”

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Great day in the morning (or not)

A sunrise of abandoning conscience and moral compass is a sunset of character and integrity that welcomes darkness and chaos. It’s not a great day in the morning.

Just be cause you have the right to do something doesn’t make it right to do. If we’re not careful we can proclaim our rights so loudly and proudly that we drown out our conscience. The more we free ourselves from our conscience, the greater will be our bondage to our desires.

A great nation requires citizens and a government that both have great ethics, great fairness, great kindness, and great integrity. To be great is to do what’s right even when you don’t want to–to obey your conscience above your desires and feelings. As more and more of it’s citizens begin to humbly and courageously prioritize doing what’s right instead of doing what they desire, a nation becomes great.

Saying that wrong is right doesn’t magically make it so. Trying to be unconscious of your conscience and to silence its voice, doesn’t change the truth of what your conscience says to you. If you would like to have less guilt, simply let your conscience manage your life.

As humans we have a continual choice. We can do what we desire or we can do what we ought to do. As long as our desires, feelings, and preferences matter more than doing what’s right, our lives will be a mess. Any society that teaches that right and wrong are determined by a person’s desires will go headlong into wrong.

Some people deny their wrong behavior. Others claim their wrong behavior is good. A few admit when their behavior is wrong. Teaching people that wrong is right traps them in wrongdoing. It doesn’t set them free.

No word game
Can remove our shame,
But heling comes
When we humbly
Admit our blame.

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Would everybody like Heaven?

Universalism, the idea that God will force everybody to go to Heaven, denies the freedom of choice. My soul, my choice. How could a loving God force people who don’t want to do His will to be forever in a place, Heaven, where His will is always done? Let’s face it. Many people wouldn’t like that.

If you trust in universalism (that everyone will be saved) but don’t get right with God on earth, if you’re wrong it’ll be too late. The belief in universal tends to motivate people to delay seeking God and to assume that everything will be all right for them no matter how they live.

People who don’t want to surrender to God’s will, but say they want to go to Heaven, are confused. God’s will is always done there.

Jesus offers to set us free from self-torment and make us right with God. If we don’t want that now, why would we want it when we’re dead? If someone is determined not to do God’s will on earth, He won’t want to do God’s will when He’s gone. If you don’t want to do God’s will, it seems unfair that God would make you go to Heaven where His will is always done forever.

Surely God wouldn’t make people who want to set their own rules, and follow their desires and human impulses, go to Heaven. It seems cruel that God would give people no option in the afterlife but to be compelled to perfectly do His will forever.

There are forces that oppose God: evil and our human free will, for example. God’s will won’t be fully done as long as those forces oppose it. Jesus defined Heaven as the place where God’s will is done. If opposing forces are allowed into Heaven, God’s will, will no longer be fully done there. That poses a problem. How does God allow humans into Heaven without allowing opposing forces in? God’s answer is to offer people the opportunity to freely surrender their will to the living Jesus. If we choose not to do so, our presence would disrupt Heaven, unless our will was forcible restrained. But Heaven is a place of love, not of force. So that means if we don’t want to go to the place of God’s perfect will being done always and forever, we don’t have to go there.

Repentance is God’s call to turn from our desires and to follow His will instead. Self-denial is the process of becoming free from bondage to our desires, feelings, and thoughts. Biblical Christianity requires a lifestyle of obeying Jesus and not being controlled by our natural impulses and desires. It requires no faith to hear a sermon, but it takes courageous faith to follow and obey the living Jesus. The missing peace of your heart will be restored when you daily surrender your will to the living Jesus.

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A frequent, selfie error-glance can overcome arrogance

Arrogant people
Are actors
Putting on a show
So people won’t know
Who they really are.

Arrogance is quick
To take offense
At anything
That put’s dents
In its nonsense.

Arrogance is a lie
That wants me
To continually try
To deny
My own faults.

To be arrogant
Is to live ignorant
Of my own persistent
Weakness and short-comings.

People who are arrogant
Tend to be militant
Against whatever
Makes them discontent.

To avoid arrogance
Take a frequent error-glance
At your life,
And correct your own faults.

To see arrogance as an asset is like seeing deception as a delight. Arrogance makes self the ultimate authority. It has little room for reason, logic, or compassion. Arrogance sees little need for self-improvement.

Arrogance compares your strength with someone’s weakness, but flip the scales and you’re not on top. It claims self-goodness, but declares that those who disagree are bad people. Arrogance and rebellion like to hold hands. Arrogance requires the relentless denial of your flaws.

Arrogance pretends to know what it doesn’t. It is self-deception. Arrogance is the sin that denies being a sinner.

Arrogance believes that some people are important and others aren’t. The truth is: “Anybody who matters” is everybody we’ve ever met.

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