Never Alone—You Always Have a Friend!

We’re kidding ourselves if we deny ever feeling lonely. No matter how many family and friends you have around you, loneliness can always creep into your life. And sometimes it can become a cancer, growing into despair and even depression. And it can get worse from there.

No one in this world is ever alone. Jesus is a friend to one and all—equally! He has no favorites. Each one of us is His best friend. Really. Really!!!

This isn’t more religious mumbo-gumbo. It’s life. It’s living. And it’s real. You have a friend in Jesus, no matter where you are in life, no matter what you have done in life. Now or in the past. A best friend.

Friends converse. They listen and they talk. It’s conversation, which is 2-way. In fact, a best friend is always ready to listen and understand before talking.

So, if you’re not listening to and talking to Jesus you don’t know He’s your best friend. You have to spend time with Him, listening and talking. Not just for a few minutes in prayer in the morning or night, but during the day. Just like you would do with a best friend. And Jesus doesn’t have a cell phone; you can’t text Him. You simply have to use good old human 101 communication.

Trust me, trust me, trust me!!! You have a friend in Jesus. A best friend. I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends, starting with my two best friends—my wife and daughter. But my first best friend is Jesus. He makes all of my friendships so much better.

I have certainly been alone during my life, regardless of the people around me. It’s taken more years than I can count, but I have come to understand that Jesus is always there. Always!!!

Enjoy the weekend and spend some time with your best friend (and mine)!

Inward or Outward? Life’s Fork in the Road.

It’s all about me. That’s inward. It’s all about others. That’s outward. The major fork in the road on how you live your life. We all want to feel good and happy. The question is do we find meaning in life by always making it about ourselves or about others.

Jesus is our role model. With Him it was all outward. He lived and died to erase the sins of everyone past, present, and future. He hung every one of those sins on the cross He was nailed to. His life was 100% totally about others.

This is a very simple concept. You either live your life looking outward to others or inward to yourself. Everyone wants to be happy, fulfilled, and at peace. The choice in life is if you find that somewhere inside yourself or outward in others.

I don’t know about you but the people I know who try to live life just for themselves are the unhappiest. Those who are constantly looking outward and reaching out to help others seem to be the happiest, fulfilled, and at peace.

It’s a fork in the road we all face. And the choice is pretty important. Inward or outward? All about me or all about others? If you follow Jesus—meaning, call yourself a Christian—the choice is clear.

Have a GREAT outward facing day!!!

 

Desperately Seeking God

That’s what each one of us on this planet is doing. The problem is that most don’t realize it. We are like the Israelites in the desert, aimlessly wandering around. When we are right with God and following Him, everything is fine. When we are not right with God, complain, and follow false “idols” the world is all wrong.

God created us. He is in the very fabric of our DNA.  If you don’t believe that I hate to say you are hopelessly lost. If you believe that, you have to understand that our path forward in life is always towards God. We just have to understand that.

Why is the world so screwed up today? Why is there so much strife, animosity, addiction to more things than you can imagine (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc, etc), and just general hopelessness? Because we have lost our way with God.

A recent study of Americans found that “Even in an era where more of the nation doesn’t ascribe to a higher power at all (10%) or believes in some sort of higher power or spiritual force (33%), a slim majority of Americans (56%) still believe in God “as described in the Bible,” according to the Pew report.” And it’s not much different around the world. Another study found that “The prevailing belief in Western Europe is in a higher power or spiritual force that is not the God of the Bible; in 11 of the 15 countries surveyed, pluralities of respondents choose this option.”

I have a NEWS FLASH for you: This is right out of the Bible!!! It’s like someone had surveyed the Israelites wandering aimlessly in the desert. Traveling barely a dozen miles for forty years. Griping and complaining all the way till all of the original wanders died but two. Those two reached the Promised Land.

I’m not trying to be a downer today but we have to wake up! God is the answer and will always be the answer. Until we realize that, and live our lives like that, we (collectively and individually) will be wandering, complaining, and lost. When times get a little tough, and the seas of life are rough, we have no anchor or safe shore.

What to do about it? Seek God in your life. It’s that simple. God means life to be sooooooo very simple. We are the ones who complicate it. Why? Because we don’t seek and follow God. It is that simple!

Get out of the desert today! Seek God!!! And have a FANTASTIC day doing that!

Only One Person Can Take Your Joy Away

You. If you let anyone else take your joy away it’s your fault. So, no matter how you slice it, you are the only one who can take your joy away. And if you think you have no joy, think again.

God hardwired joy into each one of us. But we let circumstances and people take that joy away. Note that “we” let circumstances and people take that joy away.

Let me try it once again—only you can let anything or anyone in life take your joy away.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Jesus came that you may have life, and have it “to the full.” Life to the full is joy. The joy of knowing that no matter what happens in this world, there is a joy of eternity around the corner. Meanwhile, enjoy every moment!

This isn’t more mumbo-jumbo. Turn inward to God and you will find joy hardwired inside of you. It may seem tough—especially when life gets a little rough—but you will find God, and your joyful side, if you just spend some time with God. Quality time.

Shame on you if you let anyone steal your joy!!!

I recently wrote about finding joy in the moment and not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. Just relish in the joy that the moment brings.

Have a joyful day!!!

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!!!

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!!!