Be You!

This is a very simple message. Be you! Not someone else. Be you. God created you as a special, unique individual. You have a special, unique purpose in life. But you will only realize that purpose if you be you.

I think more people aren’t comfortable in their own skin. They don’t like being them. They need to realize like Paul did that they are what they are by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10).

When God created you He threw away the mold. Even if you have an identical twin who you look and think alike you are special and unique. One of a kind. The secret to life is understanding that and connecting to God to realize the unique purpose He has for you.

Connecting with God is simple. You have to listen for and to God. Unplug from the world. Stop the noice and distractions. Plug into God. Give Him some time out of your busy life. He’s less than a heartbeat away. If you do I guarantee the world will become a clearer place. And your place in it.

Be you! And enjoy being you. You are special and have a special day and week ahead!

Don’t Look Back

When I miss a putt or just have a bad hole in golf I have a hard time moving forward to the next hole. As golf mimics life, the same thing happens to me a lot in life. When I screw up I have a tendency to keep looking back. Well, I’m here to say you can’t look back. Looking back is only OK if you are trying to learn from your mistakes. Beating yourself up and dwelling on mistakes just feeds the devil, who wants you stuck and not moving ahead.

God knows what you have done and will do. He knows you’re not perfect and will make mistakes. Although He expects you to learn from your mistakes, He doesn’t expect you to get stuck up in your mistakes. He expects, and wants, you to move forward. To move forward to Him. And stay positive, not negative.

If you are into golf, there is a pretty famous book by a sports psychologist entitled, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect. Watch any pro tournament and the best players in the world hit errant shots. They screw up. But they recover because they look forward.

Life is not a game of perfect. It’s filled with ups and downs, and offshoots and even dead ends. The key to life is to keep moving forward. Understand that life is not a game of perfect. I’m not saying it’s easy to not dwell on the past but the past is just that—the past. Treat it as such. Work on moving forward and forgetting. And God is always there encouraging you forward—if you let Him.

Keep moving forward today and every day. And have an EXCEPTIONAL time doing so!

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!

The BIG Move!

After 35 years of living in the Northeast we moved to the South. BIG move in so many ways. North to South. Letting go of “stuff” to downsize. Cold to hot. Oaks to pines. And the list goes on and on. Love the move but it’s a bit of a shock. So much is different. Except God.

Thank God for God. No matter what changes in life—a move, life event, etc.— God is always there and stays the same. He is unchanging. He is a rock. He is an anchor.

Seriously, having God by my side, no matter what happens in life, is so comforting. I simply don’t know what I would do without God. He is simply always there. I may turn my back on Him and let Him down at times. But He is always there for me. Father my Creator, Jesus my Savior, and Holy Spirit my Advocate. How can I go wrong?

Thank God for God. And I do thank God every morning for everything in my life. Starting with God.

Going through any tough or challenging times? Just stop and LISTEN for and to God. He is always there, ready to hold your hand and guide you. You just have to stop and reach out. There is a reason that LISTEN is the first Secret to Life.

I’ve been away from writing for a while during the move but I’m back. Thank God for that!

Have an AWESOME week ahead!

Don’t Trip Over Your Pride

If there is one big stumbling block in my life it’s my pride. I try to keep it in the far back seat but the ego and everything that comes with pride often tries to come front and center. And then I stumble right over that pride.

There are two ways to look at life. One, is to put everything on yourself. You have gotten you where you are in life. You have the life you have because of you. Completely ego-centric. The other way is to understand that everything you have is from the grace of God. As Paul came to understand, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

I work really hard. I know that the hard work has paid off and gotten me to where I am today. But that hard work is all possible by the grace of God. I know that I am what I am because of His grace shining down on me. It’s me working but it’s God pointing the direction.

Yet, although I have Paul’s words etched into my memory, I trip up all the time. I get more concerned about outward appearance than inward heart. I get more concerned about what others think than what God knows. Ego trumps humility. I want to be served rather than serve.

Yet, I try to come back to and stay grounded in Paul’s words. God’s grace. That is what has gotten me here. And when I forget that it never fails that I stumble. Or on occasion take a hard fall.

Open up your eyes to what you do and what God gives. You may well be doing the work but it’s God who points the way, keeps us on course, and makes sure we are nourished.

Have a FANTASTIC week ahead and stay the course. The humble course where pride finds no foothold!

It’s Not About Me. It’s About You!

There are two ways to look at life. The simply way is to look inward and make life all about you. Me, me, me, me, and more me. The other people out there don’t count. Or at least count only when you want them to count.

The other way to live is to make it all about other people. Your feelings and wants are on the back burner to others’. It’s all about them. Not you.

Forget for a minute that God commanded us to love others. And that before He died for us, Jesus left us with the same command to sacrifice for others. To love them. Forget those commandments and just think how life would be if we just spent more time thinking about others than we do ourselves. The world would be a far, far different place. A much, much better place!

It’s not easy putting ourselves behind others. The “animal” side of us is wired for us. But the “human” side of us is wired for others. Why? Because God wired that human side. He wired us for love and love is about taking a backseat to others. It’s that simple. Hard to do, but simple.

I try to think every morning about how I could have put others in front of me the day before. And what I need to do differently today. It’s not easy. Trust me—I screw up all the time. But I try not to give up. I want my life to depend on it.

Think others! And have a FABULOUS day doing so!

There Are No Doors for Jesus!

I’m thinking about Jesus’ disciples in the locked room hiding in fear of the Jewish authorities. In walks Jesus who had no problem with any of the locked doors. We lock the doors in our life to keep people out, and even God. But God knows no locked doors. He’s always less than a heartbeat away in our lives. There is no door that can keep God out.

We turn our backs on God. We try to lock Him out of our lives. Or we simply don’t give Him the least bit of thought. That’s why the world is so very screwed up. We have done our best to shut God out of our lives. Just look around the world. It’s a mess because we have turned to ourselves rather than God. It’s called secularization.

The older I grown the more I realize that God is in control. I do my best to keep Him in my life front and center, and providing the direction in my life. And every time I manage to turn my back on God I find myself lost. Maybe the world wants to shut God out but my doors are unlocked and open to God. Not that He can’t walk through any locked doors.

If you’re having trouble making sense of this life, or your life in particular, open the door to God. Let Him in. He can walk through any door but you need to turn to Him. Listen for and to God because He is calling you in your life.

Enjoy the day and the rest of the week ahead!

Where is the World Headed?

I don’t know. But as I have written time and time again, I feel like we are the wandering tribe of Israelites in the desert looking for the Promised Land. We bicker and complain, with no vision or direction of where we are going. With the world on the verge of WWIII, we seem lost. We are lost.

To me, for me, God is light. When I walk away from Him, or even turn my back on Him, my world is a dark place. When I get back on course, I see the light.

I think God is my Promised Land. When he’s in my life, everything is light and clear. When not, dark and uncertain. This is all easier said than done because it’s easy to lose God, even though He is always less than a heart beat away. It’s easy to question God, even question His existence, when people are being brutalized, as they are in Ukraine. That’s why we are all struggling because we put God aside, or even push Him aside. You see death and destruction and it’s tough to think there is a God. How could He let this happen?

The evil forces in this world—call them devils, demons, whatever—want each of us to turn our backs on God. To question Him, to question if He is even real. That’s how they win when we get lost in the darkness in life. Just like the Israelites wandering years and years ago.

I’m doing my best to keep my eyes fixed on God. His way is the light, away from the darkness. I’m going to do my best to help shed some of that light on a world that is increasingly dark. A smile, a helping hand, a good act, a donation, whatever. It starts small but it grows.

Change happens one person at a time. Change with me. Listen for and to God. It’s one of the fundamental Secrets to Life. He will lead the way. Just let Him!

Have an EXCEPTIONAL day!!!