Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

I screw up all the time. Trust me. No matter what I know to do right I manage to do the opposite. I identify with Paul who wrote, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) That’s life. Let’s face it—none of us is perfect. But I’ve learned that you can’t beat yourself up. You need to pick yourself back up, get back in the game of life, and move forward.

Life is not a straight path. It’s filled with twists and turns and, sometimes, wrong ways. We backtrack at times. But when you make a mistake, you do your best to correct it, ask God for forgiveness, and move forward.

God knows every little, tiny screw-up we have made and will make. He knows all the little stuff as well as the big stuff. So, there is no hiding from God. Either what we have done or if we are truly sorry for our mistakes (sins). God is here. God is everywhere.

If we confess the screw-ups we are forgiven. That’s because Jesus came and died to wipe all sin away. Past, present, and future. But you need to understand that and ask for true forgiveness. That’s how it works.

Beating yourself up achieves nothing. In fact, it gives into Satan and the other evil spirits who feed off of our mistakes. They love it when you and I beat ourselves up. It drags us down, not up. So, the last thing you want to do is beat yourself up.

Have a BLESSED week ahead. Keep your head up, stay in the game, and move forward!

Why Do I Write About the Secrets to Life?

I went back years to help me remember why I started this blog writing about the Secrets to Life. The answer is simple. Simply because they work! I have found 7 simple Secrets to Life that by following them lead to a happier, joyful life that is more peaceful and more fulfilling. We are all searching for answers in life and I have found some simple ones. That doesn’t mean that I am perfect or my life is totally blissful every second of every day. All it means is that I have found some simple ways to live that help keep me on a straight path or back on the straight path when I take a wrong turn on occasion.

I write for you as well as for me. Writing about the Real Secrets to Life helps me remember them and truly live by them. If I can help just one other person, and that person in turn helps one or two others, then that’s even better.

LISTEN, READ, LOVE, FIGHT, BELIEVE, LIVE & PRAY. They are very simple secrets to a life that should shine. As I write over and over again, God means life to be so very simple. We are the ones who complicate our lives. We gather habits and emotions like hoarders filling a house with junk. We find it hard to let go of those things we store up in our lives that clutter and can totally inundate our lives. Light can’t shine in a life filled with junk.

I try to make Jesus my role model in life. If you look at Jesus’ life he lived it according to 7 simple little words—LISTEN, READ, LOVE, FIGHT, BELIEVE, LIVE & PRAY.  He listed for/to God the Father and understood his purpose in life. He read the scriptures and actually became the living Word. He gave us a new commandment to love and, in the strongest show of love, gave up his life for us. He fought the devil constantly and understood the presence and power of evil in the world. He taught us to believe and showed us we can do anything if we have faith and don’t let doubt get in the way. He lived a life of purpose, knowing that this life on earth was only the opening act to eternity. He taught us how to pray and was constantly going away to pray.

The 7 Secrets to Life I have found are a real roadmap for life. They keep me centered and help me when I falter, which I do all the time. I think they can help you but that’s up to you to decide.

Have a WONDERFUL week!  And keep it SIMPLE!

This Devil Thing

Yes, the devil really exists. Call it Satan, Lucifer, demon, devil, evil, or anything else. But that evil presence in the world is real. It’s not some little red devil with a pitchfork but the personification of evil. The opposite of what God is: love.

I don’t know about you but I feel that evil presence all the time. It doesn’t want to be out in front, but works most effectively behind the scenes. It doesn’t shout but whispers and sets up snares. It you look around the world it’s not hard to see that evil. And it’s growing. Why? Because we are letting it grow. We are moving away from God.

Stay close to God and evil has a tough time getting to you. Move away from God and evil fills the void. As James (4:7) says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

It’s not hard to keep the evil away if you stay close to God. Pray, Listen. Love. It’s not hard but we make it so hard. We turn from God or even push Him away. And the devil seeps right in to the void.

Not to over simplify but it is simple. Stay close to God and evil has a formidable barrier. Keep God close by your side. Reach out. He is always there.

Have an evil-free day!

Go to Hell, Putin!

I mean that. Go to Hell, Putin. If you’re looking for the personification of evil in this world, it’s Putin. I won’t even dignify calling him anything else. Evil belongs in Hell and that’s where Putin is heading.

As I watch this humanitarian crisis unfold in Ukraine, it’s tough to control my anger. All the writing and praying I have done about not judging and loving all others has gone out the window. I’m angry. I want Putin dead. Though shall not kill is meaningless. I want Putin dead. One cheap life of a little man saves the lives of millions.

This is one of those times when I ask, “Why God?” How can you let this little dictator uproot an entire country? Where’s the sense in any of this? Don’t you feel the pain and suffering of your children? Why, God? Why? Why?

It’s time to pray. I know I need to pray myself out of this anger. I need to find where I can send money that it will be used to help the most. I need to settle down. I need to stay positive and try to help as much as I can.

I still want Putin in Hell. Sooner than later. Evil belongs in Hell and Putin is our generation of pure evil. Yes, it’s in Syria and elsewhere. I’ll stop here.

Pray! Pray! Pray! Stay positive, I tell myself. God’s way is not our way.

To all the people of Ukraine I offer up my prayers.

Thanks for listening to my rant!

Think There is No Devil?

One of the Secrets to Life is realizing the devil (Satan., Lucifer, etc. etc.) is real. It is hard at work looking for souls and fighting the devil is a must. This isn’t any cute Trick or Treat horned little red devil; it’s the real personification of evil. But the devil doesn’t want to be seen as real. It works best behind the scenes. And one very scary scene is this article. In fact it’s beyond amusing. It’s very scary and a sign of the times.

“Rapper Lil Nas X sparked intense debate online over Palm Sunday weekend with the release of a controversial pair of “Satan Shoes,” which feature a bronze pentagram charm, an inverted cross — and actual human blood.”

I don’t know what else to say. The devil is at work and smiling.

Fight!!!

Divided We Are Falling: From Judges to Scotland

The United States is falling, I hate to say. Falling and failing. Why? First, we are pushing God out of our lives. And pushing hard. We just don’t want to separate church (God) from state (our lives), we simply want to leave God far behind. We have other gods to worship (greed and ego). Second, we don’t see the commonality in us. We see black, yellow, red, left, right, Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc, etc, etc. God sees us as all the same, individually and equally. We see each other as different. Love should abound but hate—and I mean HATE—rules.

We should be taking lessons from the past, starting with the Bible, but we know better. I know this sounds bleak (hint: Because it is VERY bleak!!!) but the reason I’m writing and doing my part is because change can happen, but it happens one person at a time. And change needs to happen! And fast!

Just last week I wrote about the lessons from the exodus of the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years for a journey that should have taken 12 days at the most. Wandering, leaving God in the desert dust, complaining, and worshipping false gods along the way. Bad things happened. The Israelites were lost. No one was happy. Well, fast forward to the period when the Israelites had judges—rulers who were not really kings but rulers. Read the book of Judges in the Bible to see how well that period went. Once again, the judges did some pretty bad things and the people were once again lost. Bad things happened. God didn’t forget the Israelites; they forgot Him.

Really fast forward to Scotland, which has this history of warring and divided clans. There were periods (William Wallace, etc) when Scotland kind of, sort of united but the constant friction from the clans didn’t keep Scotland united against England over time. There’s a reason the saying goes, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” Or as Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25)

I really don’t know if we will learn. Our country is more fundamentally divided that any time in modern-day history than I can remember. But as I wrote last week, and write here again today, the future lies in God—or not. United and with God we stand. Separate from Him we are divided and will fall.

What am I doing? Keeping God in my life. Trying to be a uniter, rather than a divider. Smiling. Reaching out. Helping. Trying. Following the Secrets to Life.

Doing my part. Please do yours!

The Lure of Greed, Power & Ego

Too much of the world operates around greed, power, and ego. Unfortunately, I see this in D.C. all the time and it reverberates out through the media across the world. Sorry to say this and be a downer but it’s true now more than ever. The devil lures with greed, power, and ego and is doing a very good job in the temptation department.

I’m thinking about this because I’m already fast-forwarding to the end of Lent. Only a few days in and I’m having dreams of diving into a big bowl of chocolate anything because I gave chocolate up for Lent. Not that I think giving up something is more important that doing positive things during Lent, but if I can’t stay away from chocolate I won’t be able to resit any temptation.

So, in thinking about the end of Lent I’m picturing the devil tempting Jesus. He first offers Him all the bread he can eat—after not eating for 40 days in the desert. He then shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and offers it to Him. Finally, the devil takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and tells Jesus to throw Himself off because His angels will swoop in to save Jesus. Greed, power, and ego. The devil tests Jesus and fails. Jesus comes out of the desert and starts His ministry.

It’s easy to give into greed, power, and ego. They play out on big and small stages all over the place. There is one thing that stands in the way of greed, power, and ego: humility. Humility that realizes that anything we have comes from God. He gives and our path in life is to use our God-given talents to the best of our abilities. And use them for good, just as Jesus did. And just as His Spirit empowers us to do on a daily basis.

My wife teases me that I think Lent is the best time of the year. In a way it is, if we take the time to reflect. That reflection should include getting grounded in humility as Jesus did in the desert for 40 days and resisting the urges of greed, power, and ego.

Have a humble week ahead! And eat some chocolate for me!

Done with Negative People, Posts & Pundits!

I’ve had it with the negativity!!! Negative people, posts & pundits. I’m not talking about bad news as COVID-19 swirls around us. I’m talking about people, posts & pundits that just focus on the negative—not doing anything constructive, not offering positive hope, and in general not contributing anything to making us stronger as a people as we fight through this crisis.

We will come out of this stronger and better as a people but only if we stay positive, help those in need, and uplift ourselves and others in a positive spirit. No solutions ever come from negativity. Solutions spring eternal from positive thinking!

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” Winston Churchill

There is a fork in the road during this crisis: the negative path and the positive path. I’m down the positive path all the way to the end. It may be bumpy, with twists and turns, but it’s the path I am staying on—now, during this crisis, and after we come out the other side.

I’m not conforming; I’m transforming!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Have a FANTASTIC, POSITIVE day and week ahead!!!

Virus in the Desert

I’ve written a lot about the Israelites roaming aimlessly in the desert for 40 years. It took them that long to travel about a dozen miles to the Promised Land. And only two of the original Israelites made it. Even their leader, Moses, died before he saw the Promised Land. During that time in the desert all types of bad things happened—plagues, snakes, etc. The Israelites constantly turned their backs on God, and only when they needed God did they run to Him. We are roaming our own desert—and pretty aimlessly, at that—and bad things happen. Today it’s the coronavirus. Tomorrow it will be something else. But we’re not running to God. It seems we’re running away from Him.

I’m not suggesting that the coronavirus is some type of plaque sent by God. It’s a virus, and viruses are a part of life. Some are worse than others. But it’s how we react to this coronavirus that is so telling. We panic. Not that we shouldn’t mobilize to contain and “defeat” this virus. But we don’t need to panic, just like the Israelites did. It’s a surprise they didn’t stone Moses or burn him at the stake.

It’s a given that we are less tied to God than ever. I won’t bore you with stats, but “organized” religion is on the way down. People are increasingly simply not believing in God or turning to their own “spirituality”—whatever that is. Worship of self?

If I have said it once I’ve said it over a 100 times—read the Old Testament story of the Israelites wandering aimlessly in the desert. That’s us. This world is one big desert and we are certainly wandering—and very aimlessly! I have no idea where we are heading. Do you?

Least you think this is a depressing message, it’s not! My focus is on God—Father, Son & Spirit. I know my purpose from the Father, and am trying my best to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and pray for the Spirit to empower me. I’m upbeat. I’m resolute. I’m out to find the Promised Land in life. I’m not a saint. I stumble all the time. But I’m doing my part to lead by example. We change the world one person at a time. It’s why I write this little blog, why I post Bible verses on my Facebook page ever day, and why I try to share with others.

I hope you know your way. Let’s help get everyone out of the desert!    

Yes, There Are 7 Secrets to Life!!!

I started writing this blog almost eight years ago to share what I have found—seven Real Secrets to Life. Not some catchy, gotcha, “I have the secret to life” hype. Just what I have found that has worked in my life. They have helped me get through the chaos and clutter of life, as well as helping me simplify life. Life that we always manage to complicate, regardless of how simple God intends it to be. I don’t spend any time “promoting” this blog. I don’t make any money off this blog, which is not a bad thing, but I just keep it simple. My thoughts are as much for me as for those who read them. So, I thought it was a good time to briefly review what are the seven Real Secrets to Life that I have found.

LISTENREADLOVEFIGHTBELIEVELIVE & PRAY. There you have them. My Secrets to Life. For me they are a steading influence, helping me put life into perspective and serving as a map going forward.

LISTEN because God is calling to you—yes, you! READ the Bible because it has life answers (It’s God’s handbook on life, in case you don’t know it.). LOVE because God is love and commands us to live in love. FIGHT because the devil is all too real and whispering doubt and other temptations in your ear. BELIEVE that you can do anything—because you can! LIVE knowing this life is just the opening act to eternity. And PRAY simply because it works. God is listening (as well as calling to you, which loops you back around to the first Secret to Life).

The utter simplicity of these Secrets to Life says everything. They boil life down to its simplicity—the way God means life to be. They help me focus my life—what I did yesterday that needs correcting and the course changes I need to make today. They help me focus on what’s important and what is not. They help order the life chaos.

I hope these help you as they help me. But whatever you do, find your Real Secrets to LifeAnd have a GREAT day, and an AMAZING year, in the process!