Getting Rid of a Box

One of my favorite parts of “Finding Forrester” is where Forrester is walking around the room with scotch in his hand, telling his protégé, “You write the first draft from your heart.  The second draft, you write from your head…PUNCH the keys, for God’s sake! …You’re the man, now.”  He was trying to get his young friend to write from his guts and to write like he meant it.

It’s sort of like when the cartoonist Charles Schulz was starting out.  He had a dream of drawing for the world – to entertain – to amuse – to bring smiles to people’s lives.

Do you have dreams like that?  Do you want to bring smiles to people’s lives?  To ease their pain and sufferings?

Take those ideas out of your box of unfulfilled dreams, and breathe life back into them.  Don’t let that box be an evil box or even an impatient box.  Don’t be ashamed when you look inside of it.  Instead, do something positive about it – big or small, start today.

Emptying that box is powerful, because it does a couple of things.  First, it tells you that you are important in your world.  Some people put others in front of themselves so often that their own dreams and goals get pushed aside and forgotten.  By starting to work toward your dreams again, you will rebuild your self-assurance that is vital in living each day.

Second, it helps you to focus your energy in a positive direction.  Everyone has energy.  Many people have lots of it.  Using that energy daily to achieve your goals is extremely powerful.  Your mind will feel invigorated, and your body will feel the excitement of working toward a finish line.

Your box of unfinished projects or unfulfilled dreams can actually be used as a good thing.  You can use it to catapult yourself into the next realm of abundant living.  When you are making progress, you are getting where you want to go.  And when you are getting where you want to go, your mind will relax – allowing everything to fall into place.

That box may seem like a hindrance, a nag, a bother, something negative – but it can be used for good in your life.  “Think outside the box” in this scenario, and you’ll be amazed at how well all of the pieces will fit together.

Bit by bit, your daily energy and efforts will begin to pay off.  Eventually, you will have taken out all of your unfulfilled dreams and progressed toward fulfilling them.  Then, you’ll be able to get rid of that box.

Enjoy your new-found freedom!

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[…adapted from Marty’s book An Agreement with Life]

Let the Mind Flow

The angst of holding back and not knowing whether or not you’ve done enough. To write. To produce content. To let the mind flow in ways that people would never think that it would go. To imagine where you want to be and to get there.

These are the thoughts that drive people forward, the ideas that propel them into the future with passion, belief and purpose. To drive into the wind and know that you may be knocked down if you lose your focus – or that the wind will change directions and blow the way you’re going to help propel you in your journey.

Don’t have angst anymore. Instead, believe that you will succeed. Work toward your goal, and never quit. Others may quit, but you won’t. You’ll hold fast to your dream and will come through the other side of the storm with your heart and mind intact!

Books by Marty

Finding Peace with the Words

There’s an endless flow of words running through my head. I write them down, but more come to fill the well that I think gets emptied. The words started coming when I was little. Since then, they’ve always been there day after day.

At times they bother me, because they won’t leave me alone until I write them down. But once I write them down, they’re out of me – so they leave me alone, and I’m at peace for a while. But, more words come. Again, I write them down and am at peace. I type and write until tired – pause to see if any more are there and then smile – because of the silence that has finally returned.

I’m grateful for the words that flow. It’s all just a bit much at times. Writing provides an outlet for the ideas that flash through my mind…a way to emit the essence of the thoughts that flow. I write down the words and share them with the world. It will be up to other people to decide what they want to do with them.

In the movie, Finding Forrester, the main character (an author) wrote the words that came to his mind every day. They flooded his brain, his heart, and his body, until they filled his entire being. In the movie, his prize-winning book was an overflowing of those thoughts – in an effort to appease the words that besieged him day in and day out.

His words continued to flow to the point that he locked himself in an apartment – away from humanity and typed day and night. The banging of the keys would cease long enough for him to read, watch a little TV, or go out on occasion. I wonder if he ever thought, “I walk the streets at nighttime to see what people have done, what they leave behind, WHAT they are. I need to walk in daytime if I want to know WHO they are.”

Likewise, are there streets that you walk in aimless wonder?

Forrester also locked himself away because he couldn’t deal with the way people treated each other. He thought he could protect himself if he could hide from the rest of the world, but that didn’t hold true. Even with years “away” from the outside world, he was still captured by the persona of a young man who was struggling to become a writer – to share his own ever-persistent thoughts about the world around him.

Why is it that words and thoughts plague some of us and leave others alone? Or is it that ALL of us are bothered by them, but some just choose to ignore them completely? Is that what happens?

Does it happen to you? Let me know.

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[…adapted from Marty’s book An Agreement with Life]


Your Agreement with Life

Each of us makes an agreement with life. We do so at different times in order to survive, excel, succeed, escape, triumph, love, and experience moments of grace. While we may each do it in slightly different ways, we each still do it.

For the first time, I’ll share another one of my secrets with you: I’ll tell you what my agreement with life is. Also, I’ll ask you some questions about your own agreement with life. Throughout this series of articles, I’ll bring up some ideas that will hopefully inspire you to reach beyond your current agreement (if you’re dissatisfied with it) or to deepen and solidify it (if you already like it).

Here’s my agreement with life:

I write the words that come to me, and then they stop bothering me.


I write them down because otherwise they would never leave me alone. It’s the only way I can find peace with the words.

And you?

So, how about you? What is your agreement with life? How have you agreed to handle the things in life that come at you? How have you agreed to pursue your goals and ambitions? You may be under the impression that you don’t have an agreement, and that’s okay. We can work with that. At some point though, you’ll realize that you live every day within a set of conditions and boundaries that you have chosen to give your life definition and depth. That’s a good thing, as long as you maximize the purposes in your heart and the strength of your mind.

Whatever your agreement is, it must propel you forward in living out your life’s goals. As long as it does that, then it will serve you well. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to make a new agreement! List out your current goals and compare that to the details that comprise your agreement. How many of them line up? Do they match?

By participating in your agreement, you are basically exchanging life, breath, and energy for some sort of return from the universe. In order for you to benefit from the universe, it has to provide you with what you are looking for. Is it doing that for you? If so, great! If not, why not? If you need to change your agreement, then do so. You’ll be glad you did!

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[…adapted from Marty’s book An Agreement with Life]

Each Day You Have A Choice

Each day, you wake up to a choice: Will you simply make it through the day and check it off the calendar; OR will you make this day the best day possible for God in your life, your family, your friends, and your coworkers?

… Today’s choice – how did it go?  Tomorrow’s choice – how will it go? Make each one the best possible – with God’s help.

Books by Marty


It strikes the land and slices wind
It courses through the air
As thunder rolls across the sky
To meet us standing there

There is a time for all to die
To see the end is near
But living daily well and strong
We have no death to fear

Fear not upon a mighty blow
The bough has broken nigh
And in the sky above us all
There is a heaven high

High on the treetops there be gold
And silver worth of joy
To see them swaying in the breeze
A smile my lips employ

Employ the lift of joy-filled songs
To recreate the light
As thunderous lightning fills the sky
Well in the dark of night

Books by Marty

Thoughts from a few weeks ago

For some reason today, my mind seems to be on fire.  My eyes burn, my ears aren’t filtering out noise, and everything seems to be so loud!  I’ve hidden myself away in a quiet room, trying to find peace in the moment and get work done that I need to get done.  So many things are on my mind, though, that I can’t focus on just one thing and get it done.

So many things plague me – are nagging at my mind and heart: I want to serve mightily, to publish more books, and to figure out the commodities markets.  The cause of the markets’ patterns are so elusive, though.  Right there in front of me one minute and then bouncing around out of range the next.  It’s almost as if I’m chasing a mirage.  Trying to catch smoke in my hand.  That’s what it feels like some days.  Trying to come together in some sense but then coming unglued again.  The pieces don’t fit together nicely for some reason, yet.

My hearing seems enhanced today – much like every other day of my life.  Teaching in the classroom at school was deathly at times.  I’ve tried to explain it to people, but some just don’t understand.  So, it felt like the discussion a monologue, responded to with glazed over stares.

So many times, people are just trite in life.  They only focus on the immediate, the here and now, and the ‘id’ part of existence.  They seem to forget that there’s a whole other part of life that involves real living.  Living happily.  Finding joy in the things we do every day that will piece together this thing we call “life” and help make it make sense.

I know that nothing makes sense without God.  The foundation of the Earth was set at his command, and he built it the way he did on purpose.  That’s really the only thing that makes this life bearable.  Knowing that He’s there in the midst of all the crap we deal with makes it all worthwhile.  Without him, it wouldn’t be worthwhile at all.

Books by Marty

Bonds Established

The friendships you develop when you’re young will follow you through your later years, hopefully.  They’re the ones you can count on when the chips are down and when the times get tough.  Sure, there are other people that you’ll meet along the way and become friends with as well, but there’s not the same certainty as from the ones established in your youth.  Perhaps I’m mistaken, and all of the ones that you developed in your youth were false or bad or shallow, but I doubt it.

Hearing people talk about friends they made in the third grade or the sixth grade or in Kindergarten makes me realize that the things that happened in our foundational years are some of the strongest life lessons and bonds that formed and shaped our lives.  Some of those formations were positive, and some were negative.  Yet either way, they were strong – that’s why most people remember them even into their twilight years.  They helped shape who we are today.

So, how to enjoy them to the max?  Relish the good bonds, and break free from the bad ones.  The bad ones no longer need to have a place in your life.  Discard them and turn them off.  Let them go from who you are and from who you think yourself to be.  Don’t hang on to those negative things just because they’ve always been around.  Instead, let them become good things today.  Replace the negative things from yesterday with good things from today.  Take out the old, and put in the new.  Take out the bad, and put in the good.  Take out the detrimental, and put in the uplifting, the caring, and the perspectives that will hold you up and sustain you until your dying breath.

Yes, relish the good bonds.  Know that they are there for a reason.  They will help you when all else fails, when all else dismays, and when all else casts down from their earthly castles the legions of men who will strike against you.  In those times, the good bonds that were formed in your childhood will come through.  All those things that you found sanctity in, they will prevail and prove to be a fortress for you.  Those moments of freedom, of mercy, and of glory will still stand true when the amazing brightness lights up your day.  Those will be the things that are still in the room and fill your heart with goodness.  Revel in them.  Believe that they will hold you close and will allow you to still be you – no matter what else happens.

Playing in the rain, seeing a sunset in summer, watching calla lilies move gently in the breeze – things like that and others are the things that will prove out to be the memories surrounding the good times in your life that are worth filling all of your memories with.

An ancient tackling of the peace you seek may attempt to destroy what you call home.   Do not allow that attack to succeed.  Prevail against it and hold fast to your territory.  Hold fast to your preeminence that you call truth – in it you will find grounding when all else is lost.  Keep the good, lasting memories alive, and believe always that they will come through for you in a clutch.

Finally, keep pursuing that which you know is right.  In pursuing, you not only uncover the truth; you also become stronger and more refined.  With time and pursuit, your accuracy and precision become better.  You improve with age, wisdom, and perfection.  You establish goodness as the gold standard and will formulate a solid pathway on which others can follow in the future.

Books by Marty

God’s Fortresses

God’s fortresses will strengthen you when you are in the middle of the darkest nights of the soul.  There will appear to you at times in your life unfathomable depths of despair.  However – do not give up.  Do not give in to the temptation to quit.  God didn’t call you to a place of holiness for you to quit.  Life will lie to you at times.  That’s all part of the process of living and of living this dream we call life.  In the midst of all that, God will light a match for you.  And in utter darkness, that single, solitary match will flood your heart with light and ignite the indomitable spirit that dwells in you and makes you who you are.

Do not quit.  Give yourself a chance to win.  The world is looking for people who will endure, persevere, and come out on the other side stronger.  They desperately want to see a success story.  They want to know that they, too, can make it.  Be that source of strength to others.  Be that example of undying love.  Speak peace to everyone you meet.  Be the peace you want to see in others.  Let God’s light shine in you and through you.  Be a funnel that flows goodness to all.

Books by Marty

A Blinking of the Eyes

Do not apologize for your good actions.
Simply be the hope you want to find in others.
For in being it to others,
You help them find what they are looking for.
When they see that someone will help
Suddenly, their perspective will change
And you’ll wake up to a different world
You live in.

Destitution does not have to be the norm.
Instead, it can be pursued into the dark
And banished
Forbidden to return to it earlier place
Of occupancy
In your heart.

Death will reign for only a moment
And the passing from one place to the other
Will seem as a blinking of the eyes.
Awakening in fields of yellow,
The glowing will not cease
When you pass from this dream
Into your wakefulness.

Spirit beings having human experiences –
Created in the thought of heaven
Yet put in the ideas of earth.
Placed in places of passing
To trespass on our own souls
For a moment
Before seeing what lies before us,
In us,
And around.

They cause us to see not
What we were meant to see,
But what we chose to be
In the heat of the moment
And the loss of consciousness of our actions
That would prove out to be fatal,
If we did not correct course
And utterly abandon the hopelessness
We had so assuredly latched on to.
There is a way –
Ask for it –
It will appear.

Books by Marty