Beyond Imagination

I found myself in a space full of what I can only refer to as pink roses because no such flower exists here on the earth.  Some were in flower pots and others were made into valentines and other designs.  I felt absolute peace and joy as I began to move the potted flowers around and rearrange the crafted ones along a long table.  As I sat down my sister-in-law approached me.  She was more beautiful than ever.  Her face was lit up with a thousand lights projecting ecstatic joy towards me.  She put both hands on my shoulders and grasped me tight.  Her face was right up to mine and her smile was full as she spoke, “I have been dancing!  I met the most wonderful guy.”  Her joy consumed me as I put my hands against her shoulders and kiddingly pushed her away saying, “Get out”   as I laughed with joy in my heart and exuberance throughout my soul.

We spoke for a time, but it was soon time for me to go.  Before she left she let me know that my sister was there too, visiting my mom.   She told me that if I wanted to see her it would have to be before 7am because that is when my sister would be going home.  I did not rush off and instead relished in the beauty of my surroundings and the overwhelming joy which I felt in this incredible space well beyond imagination.

In love and appreciation,

Ron Ash

Our Daily Bread

According to author Ron Ash, “We are where we need to be and learning what we need to learn. Stay the course because the things we experience today will lead us to where He needs us to be tomorrow.”

According to author Ron Ash, “We are where we need to be and learning what we need to learn. Stay the course because the things we experience today will lead us to where He needs us to be tomorrow.”

Stop for Directions

Stop for Directions

Humanity has taken a wrong turn and has arrogantly refused to stop for directions.

How can we expect to get to our Divine destination on an empty tank of gas? That’s exactly what will happen if we continue to stay the wrong course. All we will do is waste our time and money while polluting our world. Moving is not a sign of moving forward. We must set our course and move forward confidently on the proper path. It’s never too late to look up and ask for directions.

Making Choices

Sometimes we can make the simplest things the most complex. We love to over think things. Instead of just taking things as they are and appreciating them as such we attempt to make more of them and in doing so make them so much less significant.

There are a wide range of scenarios that fit this common process of deduction. Everything from the evaluation of friendships, relationships and partnerships all the way to making the basic everyday choices in our live are often subject to the scrutiny of our over active minds. We seem to have an unquenchable thirst for breaking down every conversation, gesture and action involving all others in our lives. So too do we continually take the simplest decisions and make the making of them complex.

In all areas and in all choices there exists a constant. We are able to deduce the possible outcomes of any and all decisions prior to making them. There are a few very basic questions that we must ask ourselves as to what the possible outcomes of our choices could be.

Most recently I was in counsel with a resident in a recovery program. He was doing very well in house and on pass, but was very concerned with staying on his path of recovery. The program had enabled him to recognize the vast opportunities which are afforded to him via a life of sobriety.

I simply put it to him this way, “In every decision there exists a few possible outcomes; if you don’t like one of them than don’t make that decision.” In other words, suppose he decided to go to a party with friends knowing that there would be an abundance of drugs and alcohol there. What are the possible consequences of going there? Well, one may be a violation of his probation if the party was busted and he was found there. If that happened he would find himself back in court and most likely at the training school. If he used drugs while with his friends, he would fail his next drug test and be sent back into a mandatory recovery program. He could even get away with it all together and maybe never get caught. Yet, if there was only one negative scenario wouldn’t it be best not to participate at all?

In every decision we consider making there are always less than a handful of potential consequences related to that choice. We must get in the habit of asking ourselves;“If I do this than what could happen?’ If any of those results are something that we would not want to live with than we should not make that choice.

Court ordered into a recovery program will require another six months of residential treatment if a drug test comes back positive. Staying clean and doing the right thing will open many doors. Which choice sounds best?

Times have really changed over the years. Just about every job requires and initial drug test and many require periodic testing once hired. The days of partying over the weekend and starting fresh on Monday are quickly becoming times past. The high cost of insurances has forced employers to comply or pay huge premiums. Most have chosen to do what they need to do in order to lower overhead and secure a prosperous future.

There are also many choices that we face in relationships that can really determine the tone of our destiny and the direction of our journey. Fidelity is often a simple choice if we prove to carefully evaluate the potential outcomes associated with our actions. To cheat or not to cheat is often the question.

Let’s look at a common struggle in many marriages. Temptation comes knocking. Should we let it in? Again, we must carefully consider the possible outcomes of the path we choose. The best choice is often to leave the door closed, but let’s examine this scenario for its learning potential. What could be the initial consequences of opening that door? One could be that we begin to feel drawn to the temptation. We may begin to imagine the adultery and start to crave physical contact. Suppose we follow through and never get caught. How would that feel? If we would suffer under the guilt of our actions why would we put ourselves into that situation in the first place? It would probably be best just to walk away. What if we did follow through and got caught in an adulterous affair? Now what consequences would we face? If there are children involved we could quickly find ourselves with limited visitations and the cause of much anguish in their lives. The trust of our spouse would be destroyed and even if given another chance the freedoms we once enjoyed would only be a distant memory. Divorce causes so much negativity. Is this a scenario worth partaking? When there are more things that can go wrong than can go right the decision becomes easy. It’s best to abstain from that choice.

Even when it comes to friendships we must make it a point to choose those who we associate with very carefully. We must matriculate towards those who echo our beliefs. If they are doing things that we don’t want to do than we must consciously choose not to be with them. When we put ourselves in situations where certain people are in contrast with our moral and ethical beliefs we must remove ourselves from the equation. It all goes back to being equally yoked. Certain people will always find themselves with certain problems and if we are with them those problems will become ours very quickly. If we are to maintain our sobriety, our morality or our self respect we must evaluate all possibilities in every decision we make.

Fall Down Stay Down

Fall Down Stay Down

You know we can’t just give up after falling one time. How far will we go in life if every wrong turn only causes us to retreat back to our starting point? In life we will sometimes be forced to confront things we don’t like, places where we are uncomfortable and people who just rub us the wrong way. Often these are the not so high hurdles we must jump in order to get where we need to be. Never turn a hurdle into a brick wall.

I work with an incredibly talented cook and baker. He can take the low grade ingredients we get and turn them into something really special. In addition to that he is an expert on saving time and money. When I told his wife the he is well too overqualified to be working where he does she said, “He does not do well working for others.” She began to tell me two separate stories about different places he had tried to work in the past. One was more of a factory than a bakery. Again this was not really where someone of his abilities belongs. The other place seemed to be right up his alley.

One thing stood in his way. He had to face a hurdle and his ego did not want to jump over it. You see, his new boss rubbed him the wrong way on day one. It would seem that he did not appreciate the time saving suggestions that were offered him by, “some newbie Betty Crocker baker” and the advice was turned down on the spot.

Remember, it’s not always what we say, but the way we say it. This is where our ability to empathize with others turns from silver to gold. You see, when we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of another we enable ourselves and disable their defenses. We can either jump over the hurdle or turn and walk away from it. In our empathy is our answer.

By asking the question why we just may find that the hurdle was just an illusion, but by concentrating on the problem we add density to it. However, as we recognize it for what it really is we can concentrate on the solution. So, what would be the best thing to do in this situation? Well, there are two ways we can approach this.

It is obvious there is a battle of the egos going on here. Although the baker is well intentioned the ego of the owner is not allowing the advice. The baker is becoming easily insulted and responds to the owners comment as an attack and his ego causes him to retreat. He quits his job and never attempts to find another similar position because of this one conflict. The baker expects to run into this problem in all future positions related to this type of employment. In this he is bound by a self perpetuated illusion.

Suppose he approached this in a different way? What if he recognized his supervisor’s insecurity? Perhaps he would begin to feel pity for him while empathizing with the boss’s weakness. It is in empathy that we often find truth and from truth we can find the root of the issue. This just may be why God sent him here and why he is experiencing this happenstance. It is possible that he is where he is to help another to deal with their problem.

Now that we empathize we can formulate a different approach. We must bring down their defenses and enable them to move forward. This will require the removal of our ego. The best place to start is by praying for this individual with the utmost sincerity. This will confirm to the heavens that we truly want to evoke positive change and will enlist the help of many heavenly beings. The power of love is insurmountable.

This is now an opportunity to build a solid relationship with our boss. Maybe apologizing for possibly coming off the wrong way is the best place to start. Like I said previously; it’s not just what we say but how we say it. It is very easy to misinterpret tone. This boss may have been experiencing constant criticism from other owners who are higher up in seniority and the baker’s advice could have been the icing on the cake. No pun intended.

Remember, the most powerful tool in Satan’s arsenal is our own ego. This is how we allow him to manipulate us and keep us from Promise. When ego is removed the hurdles are lowered and we can easily leap over them. In fact as we empathize with and pray for those who have hurt us those obstacles quickly disappear.

I recall another situation several years ago in which a member of CCC was battling with his boss on a regular basis. She was constantly attacking him verbally and making him feel very small. With every comment she made to him his perception of her would grow. In his mind she was an enemy. I think he even used the term monster to describe him. His entire insides were being twisted up. Tensions were high and he felt as if he was at the end of his rope. Everything his boss did would add to his perception of her.

One day during a study group I was able to get him to open up about this and accept another possibility. Perhaps she was subject to this same kind of attack at home? Maybe her husband was constantly putting her down and attacking her verbally? This attitude had to be coming from somewhere. So that night we discussed the power of empathy and how when we pray for our enemies healing begins.

The next week he came back a changed man. His boss was treating him in a different way. He began to look forward to his work day. In fact, other opportunities began to open up in his career. Another organization approached him with a better position closer to his home and with better pay. He was ecstatic and appreciative.

You see, when we fall down we can either stay down or rise to the challenge. We must look through the obvious and examine the obscure. What our eyes and ears perceive is seldom the reality of the situation. We must dig a little deeper to find the root, extract it and plant new seed.

It is in our hearts that the truth resides. As we empathize with others we clear the debris of false perceptions and enable Spirit to act on our behalf.

Happiness in Purpose

 

 We can spend a lifetime being only a few steps away.

Sometimes I think happiness is an unrealistic goal. We can obtain happiness, but there really is no permanence in being happy. The things that make us happy today may not be there tomorrow and even the things that are here the next day could be lacking in their original appeal. Perhaps there exists something much deeper than happiness that we must strive to achieve.

Should the permanence of joy be our goal instead? Think about that for a moment. Is there really a difference between joy and happiness? Many reference books define joy as something that brings about happiness and at the same time describe it as a feeling of great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind (Encarta Dictionary). So, in this definition which comes first? Let’s look at a few characteristics of happiness like contentment, pleasure, gladness, cheerfulness, joy, glee, bliss, delight, exhilaration and ecstasy. Wow! Who would not want to be in that place all the time or at the very least most of our days? Notice how joy comes up once again. What’s first; joy or happiness?

In order to achieve this ultimate state of Being we must know ourselves and locate the passion within. Passion is the soul’s recognition of God’s gifts and in these gifts dwells our purpose. Once we begin to live a purposeful life we start to experience a constant and continuous flow of joyful emotions which magnetically attract experiences, circumstances and situations into our lives which produce more joy. So it seems to me that the higher our purpose is the greater the return shall be.

(2 Timothy 2:19-21 New International Version) Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

I remember a time when I experienced a lack of purpose. It was at a point when one of my businesses began to grow exponentially. I had to hire several employees and train them in various aspects of the business. Although I still maintained the general management of the business things began to run very smoothly during the course of the regular business day. Monthly and weekly responsibilities still were my own, but the daily operation made me feel somewhat obsolete. Whenever I attempted to get involved with the sales aspect of the business I would be pushed aside. This led me to stay away as I began a cycle of diminishing purpose.

Instead of feeling happiness I felt sadness, boredom and disillusion. This led me into isolation and eventually into trouble. I began to look for anything and anyone to pass the time until eventually I passed on all the time. Nothing that needed to get done was getting done and the people who worked for me began to feel that I was less and less necessary. The thing is that I wasn’t. The business needed me to stay alive, but the lack of joy I was experiencing while working in it was leading me further and further away from my purpose in it.

Eventually I turned to other means to generate excitement. Alienated with one business I turned to another. I began to seek out real estate investments that I would be able to rent out long term and build up equity. The thing is that my joy in this was always short lived. I loved the hunt, found excitement in the kill, but after it was ready and rented the excitement would dissipate and I would ask myself, “What now?” So I would find another and go through the entire process again. It was not the money that was making me happy. It was the process associated with a purpose.

You see, the thing is that the purpose was limited to the process. While I was building my business I felt purpose in that. That is why I kept opening up one store after another. My joy was found in obtaining the goal, but after each store was set up and operating on its own I would lose my purpose and the joy that went along with it. The same thing took place with my real estate investing. I would find the properties, negotiate the price, close the deal, renovate and lease them out. After that it was just a matter of maintenance. After the purpose was accomplished my emotional system would crash and I would be right back where I started.

One day that would all change though. I no longer turned to material accomplishments linked to financial rewards to define my purpose. Instead I was awakened to my Gifts and led onto the path that He had intended for me to follow. I began to concentrate on serving God and seeking the Kingdom first. Helping others and sharing my experiences and testimonies with them through my books and seminars began to fill me. Hours seemed like minutes and I became charged with light from the inside out. Everything just seemed to flow effortlessly. The right people and opportunities began to cross my path and signs began to appear everywhere. Now every day is full of reason and no matter what external experiences confront me I continually maintain my joy in my ordained purpose.

(Matthew 5:8 Amplified Bible) Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

We can’t let others define us. There goals cannot be ours. The special purpose that is within us can rarely be understood by those without us. Joy is created via God’s gifts and happiness is our blessing. The world tells us to strive for the standard, but the heavens tell us to strive for the remarkable. In our hearts is the only Truth of our Being.

(Ephesians 4:11 Amplified Bible) And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.

In faith always,

Ron Ash