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.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Why? Call it a lack of inspiration, COVID malaise, or simply good old procrastination. Whatever, it is what it is. But as the New Year hit, and I started reflecting, coupled with hearing a sermon on gifts, I knew it was time to start writing/posting again. Why? Because I have a gift. No, not the “ego” gift of me but the gifts I have been given in my life. Starting with the gift of getting up this morning.
We all have gifts. As I said, getting up in the morning is a gift. Having my puppy who is all over me with love in the morning is a gift. The morning kiss from my wife is a gift. Smelling the air is a gift, as is the amazingly starry night in Northeast Pennsylvania. We all have gifts that we don’t look on as gifts. Especially in many cases the gift God gives to all of us equally—the gift of His only Son. And what a gift that is!
It’s really easy in these COVID days of variant after variant to overlook the simple gifts we have in life. It’s always easier to focus on what’s wrong versus what’s right in our lives. But the gift of Jesus is something we should never forget because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It we let it.
You want a New Year’s resolution? Mine is to look at all the gifts I have been given. Not the gifts under the tree at one time of year, but the gifts I have, no matter how small, day in and day out. And the gift of Jesus is at the top of the list. It’s a gift that I have day in day out, regardless of how the day is going, my situation in life, or anything else. And it’s no small gift at that!
Happy New Year! I wish you a healthy, safe, and blessed year ahead. Keep those gifts close and treasure them!
Matthew 7:7 really says it much better than I can:
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
It’s that simple. Great life advice. If you ask it will be given; search and you will find; just knock on the door and it will be opened. Now, this isn’t about some genie in a magic lamp. There is no rubbing the lamp and three wishes. But God will give you what you need (not necessarily what you want, but what you need), will help you find, and will open doors for you. One door might close in your life but another will certainly open.
I’m going to focus in the next few blogs on Bible verses that are really great verses to live life by. But none of those will work, like Ask, Search & Knock, if you don’t LISTEN for/to God. He’s always there. Less than a heartbeat away. You just have to get in the game and engage.
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty dark out there. I just don’t mean COVID dark. It’s just dark in general. Bad things all around, in this country and beyond. There is one thing that you can do to shed some light on a darkening world. Let your light shine! And shine brightly!!!
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
John said it all too well:
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5
John was talking about the coming of Jesus and His life that is the light of the world. And that light shines in the darkness and the darkness can’t overcome it. Will never overcome it.
So, let’s get down to earth. What does this all mean?
You have the light of God in you because you were made by God. That light is intended to be shone, not hidden in the darkness. So, let that light shine. How? Start with a smile. Help. Give. Lend a helping hand whenever you can. Don’t get mad. Be happy. Rub good off on others. Anything good is letting your light shine. The light of God in you. Anything bad is hiding that light in the darkness.
Look for ways today and tomorrow to let your light shine. One light after another may just start shining light on this dark world of ours.
Inside. Inside of you, inside of me, and inside of every living person. That’s where you always find God. The problem is we look outside of ourselves for God and outside these days is not a pretty picture. There’s strife all across the globe punctuated by a terrible pandemic. We look outside and nowhere we look can we find God. But that’s because more so than ever we aren’t looking for God, and certainly not looking for God inside of us.
God created all of us. He’s woven into the fabric of our DNA. Our DNA is God’s DNA. He is always inside. He never leaves. The problem is we don’t look for God. We don’t give Him a thought. We certainly don’t LISTEN for and to Him.
You want to find God in your life? Just LISTEN. There’s a reason why I list LISTEN as the first Secret to Life. But in order to hear God in your life you have to take the time to LISTEN for and to God. He’s there. You have to be there. You have to find quiet time and open your mind and heart to God. It takes just a little effort to tune out the world and tune into God.
Try it. Look for God in your life by taking the time to LISTEN for and to God. Boy, what a difference living becomes. Looking at all the chaos on the outside becomes almost calming when we find God in our lives.
LISTEN! It works if you give it the time, mind, and heart!
Yes, it may not seem like it, but there is a God on 9/11. There is always God on every 9/11, as well as the 364 other days in the year. When you look at the twisted wreck of 9/11 from 20 years ago, and all the lives lost on that horrific day, it’s tough to believe there is a God who would let this happen.
And 20 years later, we may not forget that day today, but in this country we’re forgetting the Americans, and friends of America, we left behind. Where is God in that?
God doesn’t cause human events. We humans cause human events. We’re quick to blame God for everything when all He does is love us. He knows that our lives are not even a blink in the time of eternity that awaits spending with Him. How we handle ourselves on this earth, during this brief time we have, is a proving ground and prep for that blissful eternity. Bad things like 9/11 20 years ago and this 9/11 in Afghanistan will always happen if we let them happen. We are in control. God is just watching His children and how they react and what they do.
It’s a tough day to do anything other than remember.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
I don’t think I have ever lived through a time like now when people are so quick to judge and throw stones at others, sometimes for what they said 40 years ago. Get real!!! News flash: I’ll say it right here and now that I have said stupid things, done stupid things in the past. I’ve made many, many, many (did I say “many” enough to make a point) dumb things in the past. But I have tried to grow and learn from my mistakes. But I still make some today.
I’m not perfect. And neither are you. And neither are the politicians and self-righteous pundits flooding our cable news airwaves. We are all born in the image and likeness of God. We are children of God. But imperfect children trying (hopefully) to move towards Godly perfection. In fact, that’s what I think our earthly stay is all about. Learning and growing. Maybe not to perfection but towards it.
When I go to cast that first stone my visual is Jesus bending over and writing in the dirt and challenging anyone without sin to cast the first stone at the woman caught being unfaithful. Says it all because I am never without sin. Although there are some who very obviously think they are perfect—without sin.
Jesus is writing up on the clouds challenging those of us without sin to throw that first stone.
Of course He would! And not because He was God and fearful for his life. But Jesus would get vaccinated because of His concern for others. He wouldn’t have to be mandated. He would be His own mandate!
I’m so turned off by the politics of COVID-19 and the vaccination issue. To me, getting vaccinated is simply common sense, just like I get a flu shot every year and have been vaccinated for a host of other diseases. But I got the COVID vaccination not just for me and my family, but for all the other people out there. Our community of humanity.
I live in the world of cancer and the highly immunocompromised, those most vulnerable to get serious cases of COVID with little to no internal protections. So, maybe I’m more attuned than most to the importance of getting vaccinated. But, trust me, I have no doubt that Jesus Christ would be first in line to get vaccinated, to protect those with cancer and everyone else. Because Jesus was always looking out for others, especially the sick and marginalized.
If you’re not vaccinated, think about this. And have a SAFE week ahead!
Be nice. It’s as simple as that. God commanded us to live in love and Jesus put an exclamation point on that same command! (“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12) But looking around the world today, starting here in the U.S., there is not much love. So, maybe we should start at square one by trying (hopefully!) to just be nice. That’s a start.
Think good thoughts. Smile. Help someone today. Maybe even pay forward that cup of coffee you are buying at Starbucks for the person in line behind you. Just try to be nice. It’s that simple. Maybe us being nice will influence others.
The toughest thing is being nice to someone who is not nice to you. The person who jumps a line or cuts in front of you in traffic. It’s really tough to return a scowl with a smile. But that’s what this very unhappy and angry world needs. It needs nice.
I’m trying to be nice this week and I hope you will join me. We desperately need nice right now.
I heard a comment that we are all born with emptiness and I think that’s so true. That’s why especially in these “COVID” times so many are searching to fill the emptiness but so many are failing. That’s because they are looking in all the wrong places—drugs, alcohol, sex, food, gambling, etc. All these vices and more seem fulfilling but they leave you empty. There is only one way to fill the emptiness. God. Father, Son, and Spirit.
I know that this is preaching and sounds like religious mumbo-jumbo. But it’s life. Simple life with a simple answer to fill what we all have as an inherent emptiness. God. Father, Son, and Spirit.
More people are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Gambling is as close as your iPhone. You can bet on anything these days. Virtual sex is also as close as your iPhone. And we are inundated with everything food. I could go on and on. Lots of all the wrong things, available more so than ever before. And in all this God gets pushed back and back. It’s no wonder our world is increasingly screwed up. Like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years—to simply go less than a dozen miles—we are lost. Because we have lost God in our lives.
There is only one way to fill the emptiness we all are born with, whether we realize it or not. God. Father, Son, and Spirit. God is a meaningful fill that satisfies and is not fleeting. In fact, I think understanding the emptiness of life and filling it with God is what this life on earth is all about. It’s the key to an eternity of never-ending bliss.
Understand the emptiness. Open up to it. Then fill it with God. Father, Son, and Spirit.