Compulsions are a paradox, that talk freedom but lead to bondage.

Compulsions push and pull,
Coerce and compel.
Then they try to tell you
All is well.

Compulsions say
There’s noting wrong
With going along.
Then they unleash guilt
When you do.

Compulsive behaviors are not free choices. They are an act of surrender to inner coercion. If you let compulsions make you do things you don’t want to do, then you’re in bondage to them.

It’s not enough to “Just say no,” to compulsions. Say no, resist, persist in resistance, get help, get up every time you give in.

Compulsions are a paradox, that talk freedom but lead to bondage. Compulsion and self-control don’t coexist. One eliminates the other. The Bible says self-control is the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical freedom is the ability to say no to your desires, feelings, and habits. Freedom of speech isn’t in the Bible. Instead we’re told to rejoice when we’re persecuted.

The living Jesus makes inner compulsions noncompulsory. That’s true freedom! The Bible says that Jesus lives inside His followers. To hang out with Jesus we need to look and listen within.

A Christ-follower by definition is someone who is led by the living Jesus. To follow Jesus you need to let Him personally lead you. Follow and obey Him, not compulsions. That’s real freedom!

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Without discipleship it’s easy to shipwreck

Jesus called for disciples:
Not for supporters or members,
Or fans or church attenders.

Christian events and programs
Don’t change the way I am,
But the living Jesus does.

Discipleship is the opposite of sidelined Christians — bench sitting spectators, watching a professional perform. Church tends to turn Christians into classroom-style students. Discipleship makes them practitioners who obey the living Jesus.

Jesus didn’t call for an audience; He called for disciples. Discipleship is an obedient lifestyle, not a stylish life. The indwelling Jesus will swell your heart with His glory and love, if you let Him.

Discipleship isn’t an option for Christians. It’s what being a Christ-follower is all about. Discipleship without self-discipline is a shipwreck.

Jesus is never absent from His followers, (He said, “I am with you always,”), but we can be absent minded and unware of His presence. Jesus isn’t a distant Savior waiting to usher you into Heaven. He’s the present, living Lord, calling you to follow and obey Him no

Jesus calls you to nothing less, than to bring your life into full obedience to Him. “Follow Me.” Grace means that a relationship with Jesus isn’t earned by your effort. It doesn’t mean that it is effortless. The idea of a part-time Christian isn’t a biblical concept.

The Bible says that Christ-followers “have the mind of Christ,” but if we don’t obey Him, we’re out of our mind! When we’re not following and obeying the living Jesus, we’re resisting Him. It’s easy to spend more time ignoring the living Jesus than obeying Him.

Religion is often an attempt to put the living Jesus back into His grave clothes. Every time you ignore the voice of the living Jesus, it gets easier to ignore Him the next time.

Church attendance isn’t the primary way to make and maintain contact with God. The living Jesus is. Biblical Christianity isn’t entertaining and shallow. It’s training and spiritual battle. Read the book of Acts.

“They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” However, if we hate, bully, insult, and demonstrate unkindness in other ways, they probably won’t.

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The world’s most famous execution

The world’s most famous execution, conducted by Rome, got out of human hands, changed the world, and is still healing human lives. The cross of Jesus emotionally undoes open human hearts and then fills them with forgiveness, restoration, and healing. Of the estimated 10,000+ people that the Romans crucified, crucifixion was outlawed in 337 to honor one — Jesus Christ.

Jesus on the cross is the demonstration that God’s costly forgiveness does what human merit can never accomplish. He turned a horribly cruel method of execution into a heart-transforming demonstration of love and mercy.

Every time we ignore the living Jesus, we choose to trust our merit rather than His mercy. The living Jesus can bridge the inner gap between your desire to be good and your inability to consistently be so.

Jesus didn’t die to be the figurehead of various religious organizations, but to be the living Head of all who dare to follow Him. Churches too often see Jesus as a consultant to the pastor rather than as the King of the congregation.

The Bible Pharisees saw Jesus’ crucifixion as the termination of a threat to their power. Instead it was the generation of supernatural life

When Christianity tries to detour around the cross, it loses its power. Trying to hide from our need for God’s mercy, depletes us (like a device without a charger).

If you’re unaware of the seriousness of your sin, you can’t truly understand grace. Like a flower standing in the destruction of a tornado, Jesus, hanging on the cross, shouts out hope!

Christianity is about reaching out to your enemies with love. That’s what Jesus did on the cross. We’re called to follow Him.

Thinking about Jesus on the cross reminds us of the horror of human cruelty and can soften the hardest heart. Here’s some ignored history: People Jesus died for were abused for the color of their God-given skin and the cross was made a symbol of hate.

Whoever insults, wrongs, or abuses a human being, insults, wrongs, or abuses the image of God. Bullying and/or cruelty to any human is anti-Christian and works against Jesus sacrifice on the cross.

The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus makes me marvel at the mystery of what happened in history and how He changes my heart. I’ve found the cross of Jesus and His living presence, to be the anecdote for the disfunction and evil within me.

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Cross eyes — looking at Jesus there

Pondering Jesus
Hanging unjustly on the cross,
Releases an upheaval
Of inner light.

Jesus shocks and shakes up
The psyche of those
Who read the Gospels
With an open heart.

Our sense of alienation
Can be erased
By a full embrace
Of Christ on the cross.

A crucifix
Pondered deeply
Can connect you
With God’s fix
To purify
Your inner mix.

You don’t merit,
Earn or deserve life,
Yet here you are,
Alive and reading this.

Nobody earns
Life’s perfect grade.
You can’t live by merit
And not need mercy.

Human cruelty
Is often concealed,
But as Jesus hung
On the cross
It was revealed.

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Is your mind like a refrigerator?

Our mind is like a refrigerator. When we open the door a light comes on, yet we’re not brave enough to discover all that’s inside.

Say yes
To feelings
That give hope
But to those
That make it
Hard to cope,
Say nope.

Notice your thoughts and feelings. Observe their sources. Some are self-generated, but if you don’t want a particular thought or feeling, that’s a good indication that you’re not the source of it.

People aren’t feelings, thoughts, desires, words, and actions. They’re observers of those things and choosers of which ones to accept.

If we don’t monitor, observe, and control our thoughts, feelings, and desires, they’ll be a tangled mess. If we allow our mind and emotions to run on autopilot, we’ll be ever unaware of what’s driving our behavior. Instead, we can observe our internal environment and alter it so that our feelings and desires work to empower us not to enslave us.

Inner fog, both mental and emotional, often keeps us blind to what’s really going on inside and around us. Inner observation (mindfulness) helps us become aware of what’s happening inside of us and to discover ways to improve it. If we don’t like what is streaming in our mind and emotions, we can persistently work to change it.

The fact that you exist is amazing. You’re free to appreciate that you’re alive and to enjoy the wonder of it all. In a world full of wonder and amazement, preoccupation with self-protection is a big distraction.

Theology tries to analyze and evaluate God with the human mind. Worship observes and adores Him with the heart. If you will begin to frequently observe and obey your conscience, you’ll soon begin to recognize the voice of God.

Understanding music theory is no substitute for enjoying a song. Understanding theology is no substitute for enjoying Jesus!

Silent prayer
Is being aware
That when
You look within,
God’s speaking in there
Somewhere
.

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Mind lectures or heart lessons?

There’s a lesson there.
Life is teaching everywhere.
Breathe in wisdom like the air.

Information shared from the mind reaches a mind. A message shared from the heart reaches a heart.

It good to learn how to spel. It’s better to learn how to break every spell that is holding you in bondage. Life’s greatest lessons aren’t learned by a mind that listens to lecturers, but by a heart that listens to life.

When the heart is touched, your ability to remember will soar. When it’s not, memorizing is a dull chore. School grades you by how well you remember. Life grades you by how well you live.

When you want to learn, lessons are fun. When you don’t, they’re a pain. Information can be memorized with the mind, but when the heart jumps in, learning comes alive.

Preaching should awaken people to the thrill of following the living Jesus, not make them forever dependent on hearing a preacher. A church service tends to be a reduction of Christianity from a lived experience to rules and instruction.

Training people to be led by the living Jesus produces a different kind of Christianity than continually lecturing about Him. Spoon feeding Christians with sermons can’t compare with the power of training them to personally follow and obey the living Jesus.

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We can make choices that tie us down or set us free

You can try to force life to fit your definition of happiness, or you can simply enjoy being alive. You can began to take control of your thoughts, emotions, and desires, instead of letting them control you.

A person isn’t what he observes inside. He is the being who is doing the observing and either accepting or rejecting the various things that he feels, thinks and desires. I’m not what I think, feel, want, say, or do. I am what I am–the human being either surrendering to or directing those things.

I’m not a desire
Or an emotion;
Not a pronoun
Or a notion
I’m a person.

Pay attention to the mental and emotional activity within you and you’ll notice things (both positive and negative) that conflict with your will. If you let negative thoughts and desires run in the background of your consciousness, they’ll eat away at your emotional well being

The journey to inner freedom begins with recognizing and admitting where you’re in bondage. Open your lies and you’ll see that they’re holding you in bondage to untruth, distortion, and deception.

There is more to people than what you observe. Getting to know them at a deeper level reveals that they’re more like you than you think.

If you haven’t closely examined (from many angles) what you’re talking about, there’s a good chance you’re not seeing it clearly. We humans are beings who can grow in our ability to make choices that set us free, rather than decisions that tie us down. Whoever you are, be free, not compelled by thoughts, feelings, or desires.

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Introspection–inner inspection to make life better

People who seldom search for wisdom inside themselves, leave much happiness on the shelf. If you never do an honest inner inspection, some introspection and self-examination, there’ll be much you don’t know about yourself.

Mindfulness is observant. Mindlessness isn’t. Just because you don’t notice something, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Negativity is usually unproductive, seldom constructive, and often very destructive. When it is revealing what you’ve been concealing, truth isn’t an appealing feeling.

Negative feelings, desires, and thoughts, that you don’t want inside you are intruders that are trying to take over. Those invisible intruders that invade your mind and heart with negativity, can be resisted. It’s a battle requiring courage and persistence.

Many intrusive thoughts, feelings, and desires are untrue and abusive. They have no good uses. When the faucet of negativity begins to flow inside of you, you can let it run and overflow your sink, or you can shut it off.

Just because a thought, feeling, or desire rises up in you, doesn’t mean that you have to dance to its tune. Make wise selections. Your can let thoughts, feelings, and desires overpower you or you can control them and only accept the ones that empower you.

If you’ve been taught about something, but haven’t thought about it and pondered it for yourself, you’ve been brainwashed. When people are hurting it’s good to hear them out. Telling them that their troubles are imaginary doesn’t help. Preconceived notions cause much commotion, but if we’d compassionately listen to each other, we could calm things down.

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Church is like speed dating

Church is like speed dating: sit and hear a few generalities about Jesus and then quickly move on.

You can learn information about Jesus thru sermons,. You get to know Him by observing and interacting with Him through out each day.

Christianity needs to be more than a weekly hearing of Bible-based informational analysis.

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Self-improvement 6-pack

Observe, Experiment, & Learn

Observe, experiment and learn how your mind and emotions work. Then you will know how to make them work for you, not against you. Look within you. Alter your thoughts, feelings, and desires until they produce continual joy, not ongoing pain.

Let Your Conscience Be YourTeacher

Anything that you allow to stand between you and your conscience will block it from view and lead you askew. Call it mindfulness or mysticism, learning to listen to your conscience and to improve your thoughts and feelings is life-changing!

Practice Observation Skills Right Where You Are

You don’t have to travel to see things you haven’t seen before. Look closely and you can see them in your own back yard.

Don’t Let Complacency Tell You People Don’t Matter

Complacency trains us to avoid people. Compassion teaches us to reach out to them with kindness.

Discover Amazing Inspiration

Words inspired by the living Word (Jesus) burn in the heart. Methodical words written in a preacher’s study tend to muddy the mind. A sermon that isn’t followed up by pondering and experimenting is quickly forgotten.

Practice & Train

Following Jesus 
Is like playing the piano. 
You can listen to lectures about it, 
But if you don't practice,  
You won't do it very well.
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