Joy in the Moment

I’m someone who is constantly thinking about what I should have done yesterday and what I need to do tomorrow. I almost always forget about the moment I am in… and taking joy in it. That’s a recipe for losing any joy in your life.

I’m telling myself over and over again to take joy in every moment. Yes, planning for tomorrow is good, as is thinking through what you should have done differently, better yesterday. But tomorrow and yesterday can’t overshadow the moment you’re in—and taking joy in it.

Jesus said it all too well:

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 

Don’t ever let anyone steal your joy (more on that in the next post). And that “anyone” starts with you. Plan ahead and look back, but don’t forget to live in the moment. And find joy in that moment.

I’m at Laguardia airport in New York and all I want to think about are my next three days in DC—and taking off for a week over the July 4th holiday. But I’m trying to take my own advice, and live what I am writing now in the middle of the airport chaos, to live in this moment. And taking joy in it!

Have a GREAT and JOYFUL day! Take some breaks today, smile, and live in the moment!!!

You’ve Got An Angel

Yes, you have a angel. A guardian angel. No, I’m not talking Clarence who got his “wings” in It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m talking about a real, bona fide guardian angel. I know—a tough one to wrap your head around but I’m simply telling you what I know. Call me crazy if you want.

No, I don’t see angels flying all over the place. And I certainly don’t hear voices whispering in my ear. But I do very much know that I have a guardian angel, and I knew it from a young age. How? I was very sick once as a child—actually pretty sick on several occasions. And I felt a presence that I will never forget, something there but not there. Something, someone nudging me, even pulling me, to get better.

I feel that presence every now and then, more when I am really aligned with my faith; less when I stray from it. My guardian angel manifests in several ways from that “voice” telling me  I forgot something, that “nudge” to do the right thing, etc. And every time I feel that presence guiding my actions.

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11

You don’t have to take it from me. There are stories all over the place from people encountering their guardian angels.

Like everything else faith driven, you will never connect with your guardian angel if you don’t believe. So, try believing. Reach out to your guardian angel. You may be amazed at what you find!

Have a FANTASTIC week!!! 

 

Take the Nails Out

This may sound a bit abstract but hang with me. Picture the Roman soldier nailing Jesus to the cross. With every hammer blow the nail goes in deeper. The pain is excruciating. Now, picture yourself holding the hammer and doing the nailing. Because you and I absolutely were holding that hammer. We nailed Jesus to that cross. Really!

Jesus died for our sins and every generation of sins past and to come. It was all those past, present, and future sins that nailed Jesus to the cross. And it’s our responsibility to remove the nails.

I know—sounds really abstract. But it’s really practical and down to earth. Our sins nailed Jesus to the cross so we need to get rid of those sins (nails). How? By simply acknowledging what we did wrong, asking forgiveness, and not sinning again. We don’t have to beat ourselves up about our sins. We’re human—we’ll sin again. But we have to strive for perfection, and at least see positive movement forward.

The nails come out when we realize what we are doing, stop, and move forward. Like God intends, life is meant to be simple. Not always easy, but simple.

Have a WONDERFUL day moving forward!

Remember Every Day

Memorial Day is over. Pre-summer hot dogs, hints of hotter days ahead, and looking forward to summer vacation. Hopefully we all spent a little time remembering those brave Americans who gave their lives in far too many wars fighting for our freedom. We take for granted how good we have it in this country and how many have sacrificed their lives for us. And let’s now forget the supreme sacrifice for all our freedoms—regardless of where you live in this world. Jesus nailed to a cross.

Jesus, like so many veterans, died for our freedom. Regardless of what we do, if we honestly admit to sin and do everything to not sin again, our slate has been wiped clean with Jesus’ blood. We are free—if we want to be free!

Every day should be a Memorial Day to remember all the lives lost in this country for our freedom. And every day should be a remembrance of what Jesus did to set us free. It’s really overwhelming to think and internalize what so many have done for us—starting with Jesus.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Have a FANTASTIC week ahead! And REMEMBER!!!

When Love Is The Way

I have to admit I’m just not a Royal Family fanatic. So, while my wife was all into the wedding last week, I could care less. However, as luck would have it (maybe with a touch of divine intervention!), I was on the treadmill at the gym when basically all that was on was the wedding. They were even spotting the wedding on ESPN! So, it was tough to ignore it. But what I did catch—THANKFULLY!!!—was Bishop Michael Curry’s amazing, unbelievable homily on the power of love. Just think about what he said…

When love is the way — unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive, when love is the way. Then no child would go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever flowing brook. When love is the way poverty will become history. When love is the way the earth will become a sanctuary. When love is the way we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way there’s plenty good room, plenty good room for all of God’s children.

Turn off the junk TV and watch his homily on YouTube or read it here. Simply amazing!!!

As I always say, just imagine if we all walked in love, just like God commands. Just imagine what a different place this world would be!

There is nothing else I can say to touch Bishop Curry’s homily. Do yourself a favor and watch it or read it, even if you heard it already.

“There is power in love!”

Have a FANTASTIC day walking in love!!!

The Quest for Perfection

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Only He is perfect, although I know a lot of people who think they are perfect. In fact, what God wants us to do is acknowledge our imperfections and try to correct them. We will never reach perfection in this life time. Try as you might, it simply won’t happen. But that doesn’t mean you stop striving for perfection in your life.

What we all need to do is actually focus on our imperfections. What can I do better in my life? How can I correct defects in my personality? How can I simply become a better person?

I know I don’t have a pass for my imperfections (what I do wrong). But I do know that acknowledging my imperfections—and when they manifest as sins—and really confessing them and trying to become better is part of getting a ticket upstairs to eternal life, rather than downstairs to eternal regret.

As I say, I think I have a very good idea of what God wants me to do and how He wants me to act. That knowledge puts me in the running for world’s greatest sinner because it’s so obvious when I do wrong and fall way short of perfection. This just means I need to try harder making myself a better person. That’s what God wants most of all—the sincere trying.

We live in a world that wants winning at all costs. Trying isn’t good enough. With God it’s all about the trying. Trying our hardest to strive for perfection. Striving for God!

Have a fantastic day making yourself better today and tomorrow!

Ego or God?

My wife was joking at a family wedding two weeks ago and said, “Oh, you know Ted’s ego!” I very matter-of-factly said, “That’s not ego; that’s God.” What I went on to explain is that nothing—and I mean NOTHING—I have is from me. It’s all from God. Am I very confident? Yes! But my confidence is in God, what He has given to me, and His very special purpose for me. I had some blank stares but I made my point (confidently!).

Make no mistake—I find myself on the line, and crossing it on occasion, between ego and God. Ego is the side where you start believing that you are responsible for what you have in life. The very word “ego” says “I” and “me.” It completely crowds out God, in the extreme. The other side of the line is God, where you know that what you have is by the grace of God, no matter how hard you work, or where you have come from in life.

Yes, I am confident. That’s not ego. I actually try to be as humble as I can, especially in recognizing the work of others. But I am confident that God has given me a lot and, in return, expects a lot from me. My confidence gets shaken all the time but that’s where prayer comes in. There is nothing like getting on your knees, talking to God, and putting yourself in His hands.

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. Luke 12:48

I have to be confident that what is demanded of me, given what God has given me, will be delivered before I leave this earth. If I’m not confident in that, watch out below.

Have a great, confident day!!!