1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Improve Your Chances

Stop Complaining

I know you’ve heard this many times—even by this simple writer.

But I would like you to consider it as a personal life choice and a means of procuring survival.

Complaining takes a very ugly route—a four-step decline into stinky doo-doo.

  1. Life sucks.
  2. You suck.
  3. God sucks.
  4. I suck because I’m stuck.

As you can see, with each new step, deeper and deeper depression sets in, until finally the complete sense of doom makes us feel we’re at the mercy of all circumstance.

Now, simply telling someone not to complain is like encouraging a friend on a diet not to eat too much. It often increases the temptation, and therefore sinks the ship of possibility.

I’m not trying to get you to stop complaining cold turkey.

I’m telling you to back your way out of it.

When you start thinking “you suck because you’re stuck,” just change the complaint to a statement—a simple one:

“This is the crux of what is really bothering me.”

You will be surprised, if you chase the bird to the tree, how much easier it is to see it.

So once you’ve made the statement—and it does not have to be happy or friendly—then change that statement to a memory.

In other words:

“Maybe God doesn’t suck. Maybe there was a time I was in just as bad a state as I am now and survived it. When did that happen? Do I have a memory of being victorious in any situation that was as horrible as this?”

If you can come up with a statement of what’s bothering you, deciding that you no longer suck, and then spark a memory of when you overcame, then therefore God doesn’t suck—and you might be able to change that memory to sharing.

Find one person among all those people that you think suck and tell him or her about your predicament.

Share about your complaint, how you found out what was at the heart of it, and how you came up with a memory of something you pursued before which succeeded—hence, “you’re not a little weenie.”

Yes, take the memory of being redeemed and share your hope.

So change your statement of dissatisfaction into a memory of overcoming your dilemma, and present that memory to another human being.

After this, you just might be ready to change your sharing into planning.

Said plainly:

“It turns out that life doesn’t suck. It just picks on people who expect everything to come their way.”

So you find yourself complaining: “Life sucks, you suck, God sucks and I suck.”

Here’s the counter:

  • Change that complaining to a statement
  • Statement to memory
  • Memory to sharing
  • And sharing to launching a great plan.

Complaining.

Best suggestion? Back off.

That’s often really good advice.

And not just for when you’re out chasing a serial killer with a squirt gun.

 

3 Things … January 16th, 2020

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You Can Do to Truly Bless Other People

 

1. Don’t complain so much in front of them

 

2. Pay your own bills without using their money

 

3. Share your faith through gestures

 

The B Word … February 12th, 2019

THE

WORD


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The B word is bitch

In the urban dictionary, the word “bitch” has clumsily been defined as a term of power, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“Bitch” has one meaning and one meaning only: a person who is so unsatisfied that they must constantly complain.

Unfortunately, the mass of men in the human species contend, to some degree at least, that this is a valid assertion made about the female of the species. I don’t see men calling their male friends “bitch.”

The word pops to the forefront whenever any man feels that a woman is trying to become a human, and therefore needs to be trimmed back—exposed as a nagging witch.

Men want to marry their mothers, except…

Men want to marry someone who takes care of the house like their mothers—except in the bedroom, where she turns into a porn star. Once the thrill of the sexuality wears off, men tend to only hear their mothers talking at them. They lose interest and begin looking for porn stars outside the house.

The main reason men don’t want women to be human is that then men would have to be human, too. They would have to consider something other than hunting and might need to become fellow “nesters” with their mates. They would have to stop hiding behind their sexual drive and instead, use their appetites to engage their partners.

“Bitch” is a way of keeping women black. Yes, it’s just like using the “N word” to someone of African descent. It is a reminder to “her” that she will never, ever be considered an equal, and must be careful that she won’t be verbally, emotionally or physically abused by trying to gain equal footing.

Also, the parenthetical “bitch” that is taught by religion (“happy wife, happy life”) is used by giggling men talking about how overbearing women can be—pretending that they are submissive to this whining feminine attitude.

It is a man’s world.

And it will continue to suck until it becomes a human world—free of the word “bitch.”


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3 Things… March 15th, 2018

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That Let You Know You Are Heading in the Right Direction

1. You stop complaining

2. You use your talents effectively

3. You are constantly simplifying your life

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Published in: on March 15, 2018 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Good News and Better News … January 8th, 2018

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Bethel United Methodist Church in Walterboro, South Carolina.

Although I’m not privy to your traveling plans, it does seem unlikely that you will ever make your way to darken the doors of this particular sanctuary. I did–just yesterday morning.

With a day that folks from Wisconsin would call “brisk” and those from South Carolina deemed “polar ice cap,” some very faithful locals gathered in the building to see what the weather and the road had brought to them via our humble efforts.

It started the day before, when Wally, Johnny and Collin arrived to help us set up, and all of my equipment, which had been sitting in the back of the van, tried to “fuzz out,” insisting it was Floridian. Overcoming those little missteps, we got all hooked up, and by Sunday morning, the Holy Spirit, resilient fellow that He is, arrived in a parka.

These are beautiful people. They are delightful human beings that the political parties take for granted, and the more snotty members of our society deem to be “simple.”

It’s a huge mistake. They are full of integrity; they have hearts which can be moved with the notion of a loving God, and after a considerable amount of time, they are even willing to embrace odd-looking strangers like Janet and myself.

As I sat and chatted with these adorable brothers and sisters, I was struck by a usable idea. All during my childhood and even in my adult years, I have been encouraged by society to “find my voice.”

Yes, “find your voice.”

But yesterday it struck me that this notion is the misconception that’s driving our problems into the ditch. People are trying very hard to find their own voice, and when all these individual voices speak together, what we have is” Tower of Babel II.”

Life is not about finding your voice–it’s about finding the voice.

The voice is humble, encouraging, respectful, open-minded, free of prejudice and also gentle and kind, with good cheer.

I suppose if you sat down all the people of Bethel United Methodist and had a political discussion, they might be at each other’s throats in three minutes.

That’s why we should never do that. We should take all things pertaining to government–“Caesar”–and let them stew in their own juices.

What we need to think about are the things that belong to God.

I’ve stopped trying to find my voice, and I’m looking for the voice. It is a voice that:

1. Encourages others.

2. Knows when to shut up.

3. Doesn’t repeat information unless there’s a personal experience.

4. Looks for a reason to be kind.

5. Quotes things that lift people up.

6. Refuses to accept complaining as natural.

7. Notices when things get better.

This morning I feel as joyous as a new baby colt. (They are joyous, aren’t they? I would think so.)

Because the good news is, I got to spend time with Wally, Johnny, Collin and the blessed souls of Bethel.

And the better news is, I got to practice once again finding The Voice instead of insisting on promoting mine.

 

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G-Poppers … November 17th, 2017

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It certainly seemed to be a concerted effort.

At the close of the twentieth century, the social malaise gelled into a common theme. Whether it was the educational system, the government, the corporate world, the entertainment industry or the religious community, for one prolonged season they converged on a universal axiom: “Everybody’s different.”

Matter of fact, you could pretty well guarantee applause in front of any audience by saying, “I’m different, you’re different, we’re all different–but it’s okay.”

G-Pop calls it “the snowflake philosophy.” You know what he means. “There are no two snowflakes exactly alike–and that’s the way people are, too.”

And it seems that nobody had the temerity to come along and say, “How do you know that no two snowflakes are alike?”

The sentiment sounded sweet, kind and cuddly, so it was embraced as a truth. Matter of fact, if anyone had come along to suggest that the human race is pretty much the same group of people, just in different locales, it would have been considered out of step, and even, to a certain degree, bigoted–in the sense that if for some reason you could not accept eight billion different cultures colliding with each other on the same landscape, then you were downright intolerant.

After about fifty years of this propaganda, the common patter has begun to bear the fruit of its contention. In other words, “since we’re all so different, how is it possible to procure common ground?” And therefore, we only feel comfortable around those who share our genetic markers, are part of our own household–and we’re mistrustful of anyone sporting “different genes.”

Where has this philosophy gotten us? Where is it going to take us?

G-Pop wants his children to understand that establishing uniqueness is not based upon genetics or proclamations, but rather, the use of our consecration and talent.

The first step is understanding that human beings are at least 95% the same–similar bodies, similar faces, and even similar attitudes.

God had the wisdom to explain our interwoven relationship with the simple statement, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

G-Pop says that perhaps we may view our sin as “special” or not nearly as nasty as the ones around us, but the ultimate Judge has clumped them all together.

It is time for sane people with quality minds to set out on a new vision.

We have much in common, we’re more alike than different, and what we refer to as culture is merely personal preference.

There are things that work with everyone in every land:

  • A smile
  • Offering a kindness
  • Working hard instead of complaining
  • Tidying up your space
  • And refraining from complaining

In every culture, these are exchanged as gold.

G-Pop believes it is time for his children, once and for all, to tear down the myth of uniqueness.

It is time to enjoy the idea of being common. 

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Good News and Better News… October 9th, 2017

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This weekend was the Fall Festival at the Emmaus Lutheran Church in Orange City, Florida. Also appearing, on the under card, were Cring & Clazzy.

Please understand, I am not lamenting having second billing. After all, the church does use the occasion to raise funds for a very worthy cause.

It’s just that in this season of mediocrity colliding with confusion, the church can no longer take an approach of “business as usual,” as it prepares for the Pumpkin Patch sale, while the huge hand basket arrives to take everybody to hell.

What are the needed adjustments?

What is the responsibility of the fellowship of the followers of Jesus in this season of turmoil and tribulation?

The first and foremost principle that we as Christians and churchgoers need to understand is the power we possess, instead of complaining over our inability to affect circumstances.

One of my sons contacted me this weekend in frustration and said, “Pop, what can we do?”

From his message I sensed that he had a real heart to make a difference, but all he sees are gray walls of discontentment closing in on him. Perhaps the answer is so simple that it escapes those who are trying to participate in complex study. Here’s the path:

Stop trying to do what you can’t do.

In the pursuit of equality, we believe that everybody, everywhere, has equal ability for everything. What could be more ridiculous?

About fifteen years ago, I was traveling with my family band. During a performance, I turned to the audience in speaking about my oldest son’s bass guitar playing, and shared that Jesus was impressed, because “my boy plays bass guitar better than Jesus.” It was a jocular toss-off, based upon Jesus himself saying that “greater things would we do because he goes to the Father.” But it offended the pastor, who insisted that if Jesus wanted to play bass guitar, he’d be the “best bass guitar player in the world.”

We have become defensive. Desiring to do everything, we’ve ended up doing nothing. Keep in mind that perseverance is a virtue–but “stubborn” is a vice.

God the Father has given Mother Nature to us to clarify what we are good at and what we aren’t. If you have tried to do something five or six times and failed on each occasion, number seven is not going to work either. Although you may find testimonials of people insisting it was on the 28th occasion of launching their idea when it finally worked, God is pretty merciful. He lets us know when something is growing and when something is dying.

So that’s my message to the people of Emmaus and also to the folks who faithfully read this blog.

Stop trying to do things you can’t do.

It opens the door for others to perform their talent and magic, while you watch. And then they can step back and allow you the platform for your gifts.

We will continue to flounder in a series of projects, proposals and even prayers–unless we begin to assess what we do that actually works, and what we continue to chase, hoping it will catch fire.

The good news is that each one of you has gifts that have market quality and human ministry.

The better news is, if you will stop trying to do what you can’t do, you’ll have so much more time for what you do well.

 

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