Forgiven. Forgive.

You are forgiven every sin you have committed and will commit. Same with me (and that’s a whole lot of sins for me!!!). Same with everyone past, present, and to come. Jesus took all those sins and nailed them to His cross. So, you are forgiven. There’s just one catch…

But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

Forgive and you are forgiven. It’s that simple. Your sins were nailed to the cross. But they are not forgiven unless you forgive. Fair play.

I know—trust me!—it’s often hard to forgive. We like to carry around stuff people do to us and let it fester and even grow like a cancer. The longer the festering the harder it is to forgive. But we have to forgive. It’s part of the deal with Jesus.

The easiest way to forgive is to simply pray for the person we need to forgive. Pray, pray & pray some more. It’s a sure way to forgiveness. Simple but hard to do.

I really don’t know what else to say because this is so simple. Forgive and you are forgiven.

Have a WONDERFUL day starting to forgive today!!! 

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!!!

 

Ego or God?

My wife was joking at a family wedding two weeks ago and said, “Oh, you know Ted’s ego!” I very matter-of-factly said, “That’s not ego; that’s God.” What I went on to explain is that nothing—and I mean NOTHING—I have is from me. It’s all from God. Am I very confident? Yes! But my confidence is in God, what He has given to me, and His very special purpose for me. I had some blank stares but I made my point (confidently!).

Make no mistake—I find myself on the line, and crossing it on occasion, between ego and God. Ego is the side where you start believing that you are responsible for what you have in life. The very word “ego” says “I” and “me.” It completely crowds out God, in the extreme. The other side of the line is God, where you know that what you have is by the grace of God, no matter how hard you work, or where you have come from in life.

Yes, I am confident. That’s not ego. I actually try to be as humble as I can, especially in recognizing the work of others. But I am confident that God has given me a lot and, in return, expects a lot from me. My confidence gets shaken all the time but that’s where prayer comes in. There is nothing like getting on your knees, talking to God, and putting yourself in His hands.

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. Luke 12:48

I have to be confident that what is demanded of me, given what God has given me, will be delivered before I leave this earth. If I’m not confident in that, watch out below.

Have a great, confident day!!!

Talk is Cheap!

I think this should be the motto for many (most?) Christians (including myself!). You hear so much talk coming from Christians (including myself!) but so little action. What do I mean?

The very definition of being a “Christian” is following the “Christ”—Jesus Christ. And if there is one word that sums up Jesus, His very being, and what His entire life was about, it is (drum roll, please)—love. That simple little word that means so much but is so little put into practice. And why do I say that?

One out of every three people on this earth is a Christian. Very simply, if all those people (we; you, me, and every other Christian) followed Jesus’ command to us—This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12—the world would be a far different place. But it’s a world filled with strife, anger, and downright hatred. And I’m not talking about the world “out there,” I’m talking about the world right here. Your world. My world.

The apostle John said it best:

Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 1 John 3:18 

Translation: talk is cheap. You’re not a real Christian if you walk around in faith. You’re only a real Christian if you walk the talk—and the walk is LOVE.

There’s a reason I believe that LOVE is one of the Secrets to Life. At least life as a Christian.

Have a sensational week and try, just try, to walk more in love. And, PS, I’m telling myself that as much, or more, than I’m telling you!

Tebow!!! (What’s That About???)

Timothy Richard Tebow. We should all take a lesson from him. He tunes out everything that everyone says about him, follows his own path in life, gives it back by doing a tremendous amount of good, and clearly listens to God. No, Tim Tebow is not a saint, no more than anyone else walking this earth. But he’s a great guy—in stark contrast to all the hate that swirls around him.

How many of us could endure putting ourselves in the national spotlight—who doesn’t know Tim Tebow?—and listening to all the hateful things said about us? And I mean pure hate! I was reading a post on Instagram about Tebow after he hit his first home run in his first game, at the first at bat, and the first pitch in AA ball this week. It’s amazing the hate that gets spewed about him. I don’t know about you but I would have a tough time tuning that all out.

Yet, Tim Tebow keeps doing his thing. Just having fun playing baseball and, in the process, running a foundation that builds hospitals in parts of the world in desperate need, putting on proms for children with special needs, and never holding back thanking God. You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand that a lot of people look in the Tim Tebow mirror and don’t see a pretty picture of themselves. They don’t stack up so they lash out. Jealousy is not a nice picture.

OK, so my daughter says I have a bromance with Tim Tebow. But it’s because we can all take a lesson of following God, giving back, and not really caring what others say about us. What’s important is what God thinks about us—and what we’re doing with our lives.

So, I cheer for Tim Tebow to make it in baseball or whatever he wants to do. And I put my money where my mouth is by giving to the Tim Tebow Foundation. If you’re looking for a great charity, or simply a way to give back, look no further than his foundation.

Go, Tim Tebow, go!!!

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Have a FANTASTIC weekend!!!

The Most Powerful Word in the World!

Jesus. There you have it. Not the “Jesus” that people utter as a modified curse word. Jesus. The heartful, soulful word you should invoke whenever you need help, want some peace in a situation, and, most importantly, just say “thanks” and keeping Jesus close.

Saying “Jesus” is not like rubbing a magic lamp. It’s not about asking Him to grant 3 wishes. It’s about having such a close relationship with Jesus that you only need to speak (or think) His name with an open heart and mind. He will do the rest.

This may sound like more religious mumbo-jumbo but its not. It’s simply about life. To me, this is not about Sundays at church, but living life day in and day out. With Jesus.

If you have never done it, try simply saying “Jesus” while your heart and mind are both open. Open heart and mind are a must. Then simply let go and say it—JESUS.

Jesus. The most powerful word in the world. It’s a shame people don’t know it and invoke it—not as a curse, but as a heartful, soulful pouring out of life. Trust me—it works.

Have a wonderful day!!!