God-less

Sad but true. We are moving forward with less God in our lives. No wonder why this world seems lost and spinning more of of control each day. Less God. That’s really sad!

If you want to see how this plays out, read about Moses and the Israelites in the desert. It took 40 or so years of wondering to travel what should have taken about 11 days. False idols, infighting, and complaining. Sound familiar? The same story that played out thousands of years ago is exactly repeating itself today.

Why? Back then the Israelites turned their backs on God. Fast forward, today we are doing the same thing. Less people in church. More people saying they don’t believe in God and have no “religion.” Lost then. Lost today.

I can tell you that I would be totally lost—maybe even dead—without God in my life. I’m no saint. Far from it. World’s best sinner more like it. But for every step back in the desert I do my best to take 2 steps forward. With God. Everyday with God. Father/Creator, Jesus/Savior, and Spirit/Advocate.

I’m determined not to be lost and wondering in a desert of my life. I’m heading to that Promised Land with God leading the way. Without that, life is truly an endless desert.

Walk forward. Walk with God. Everything becomes clearer in life, especially the path forward. Trust me. Just call out to God to light your way.

Have a glorious, blessed Easter if I don’t sign on before then!

Kindness (What’s That???)

What’s kindness? Good question. There’s little of it in the world today. People are more concerned about focusing on what separates us than what binds us. We may label ourselves black or white, conservative or liberal, or any other silly ways of saying how different we are. With differences basic kindness goes out the door.

Forget the “love” that God commands us to live by (“You shall love the stranger” Deuteronomy 10:19). We can’t even start with a little kindness. No, I’m not Debbie Downer. Just saying it like it is in today’s world.

Here are the facts. God commands us to love. Jesus’ one—as in ONE, 1, uno, un, ein, etc.—command to us on His death bed is LOVE (“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12). God loves us unconditionally. He loves me as much as He loves you. We are all children of God. Totally equal. Without any silly tags. We are all expected to love. If we can’t be kind to each other we certainly can’t love one another.

So, let’s take a baby step and just try to be a little kind (I’m not even saying “kinder”) to each other. Smile. Bite your tongue from saying something mean. Help someone with groceries at the supermarket. Buy someone behind you a cup of coffee. Stop from typing that mean tweet. Be kind.

Call yourself a “Christian?” Think you’re living in the Spirit of God? Here’s the acid test, including kindness.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22 

Enjoy the weekend and… BE KIND!!!

No Cute Little Devil!

Don’t want to get too heavy but in case you don’t know it the “devil” is real. Very real. He/She/It/whatever is not some cute little red-horned creature that pops up on your doorstep trick-or-treating. The devil is all too real!

The doubt you hear whispering in your ear—even now about what I am writing—is the devil. It is great at simply holding you back in your life with doubt; nothing more dramatic than that. However, when the devil gets a hold in your life with anger, jealousy, and worse, it can lead you down a very bad, and even destructive, path.

The devil doesn’t want any overt recognition. It works best behind the scenes, nudging, pushing, and cajoling you down dead ends and, at worse, off cliffs in your life.

I don’t obsess about the devil in my life, and how the devil “demons” in almost every aspect of my life try to steer me down dead ends. I’m simply aware those demons exist and talk them down on at least a daily basis. Understanding that the devil exists, where the demons are in your life, is a key step in winning the battle. And it is a battle! 

Of course, the closer you are to God—Father, Son, and Spirit—the farther away the devil will be. But it always finds a way, like water seeping into the smallest basement hole, to find those “holes” in your life.

Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Don’t freak out about the devil. Don’t obsess. Just be aware. And move as close as you can to God. It’s really that simple! It’s why one of my Secrets to Life is FIGHT the devil at every turn in your life.

Enjoy the rest of a beautiful weekend!

One Step Back. At Least Two Forward!

There are a lot of stories about how many failures Thomas Edison had before he perfected a working light bulb, but the number isn’t important. It’s that he learned from his mistakes. In fact, the light bulb is the product of taking one step back but making sure Edison took at least two steps forward.

A given in life is that you are going to make mistakes. I am the king of mistakes!!! But my guiding principle is to make sure I take at least two steps forward for every one back. I try—not always successfully!!!—to learn from my step backwards so that the steps forward are on more secure ground. I get mad at myself for the mistakes but try not to beat me up. Although I’m not always successful there. Tough to escape that Catholic guilt!  

My message is simple. You will make mistakes. Try to make them minor but if they are major deal with it. Think one step back, learn, and boldly take at least two forward.

I think the person who says they don’t make mistakes is either delusional or in complete denial. Or simply won’t admit to a mistake. That’s sad. We grow stronger as individuals when we understand and acknowledge our mistakes and do our best to move forward—at least two steps at a time.

And, to end, God knows every mistake you have made and will make. But He forgives you. All those mistakes are nailed to a cross. You just have to know your mistakes and vow to correct them.

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Remember—one step back but two forward!

“You’ve Got a Friend”

It’s the song written and first sung by Carole King and also by James Taylor. King said the song practically wrote itself. No wonder. It’s uplifting and comforting, especially when you feel “down and troubled.”

You always have a friend. His name is Jesus. He’s the expression of God come to this earth to save and comfort. He will “brighten up even your darkest night.”

Just call out His name.

I can’t say it any better than the lyrics to the song. Think Jesus. He’s the best friend you’ll ever have!

When you’re down and troubled,
And you need some love and care,
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me,
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night.

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
You’ve got a friend

If the sky above you grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
Soon you’ll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, running, yeah, yeah, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
And I’ll be there, yes I will.

Now, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend
When people can be so cold?
They’ll hurt you, yes, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them,
Oh, but don’t you let them

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, running, yeah, yeah, yeah, to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend

You’ve got a friend
Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend?
Ain’t it good to know?
Ain’t it good to know?
Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend?

Oh yeah, now
Oh, you’ve got a friend
Yeah, baby
You’ve got a friend
Oh yeah…
You’ve got a friend

Carole King, January 1971

Less Than a Heartbeat Away

That’s where God is in your life. And don’t ever forget it! You may feel like God is so distant from you or, at worst, is not in your life at all. But God is always there—less than a heartbeat away. The problem is that you are not always there.

I had to remind myself this weekend. I did something wrong and was beating myself up about it. I was feeling like God was nowhere to be found. He was lost. Unfortunately, I was lost. God was less than a heartbeat away. I was the one miles away mentally.

Once again, this is not some “religious” mumbo-gumbo. It’s life. God created you and me, equally and with unconditional love. No matter what we do wrong, or how we try our best to hurt God, He is always there in our lives. He is part of our very DNA. He is less than a heartbeat away.

When God seems so distant the problem is not God. It’s us. We don’t try or spend any time LISTENing for/to God. We get too caught up in the world—our very busy world—to give God a thought. Much less LISTEN to/for Him.

So, remember. God is ALWAYS here, regardless of your perspective. God is always less than a heartbeat away.

Have a better than a FANTASTIC day!