Gloria (Polyester, Not Cotton; Part 2)

In a previous post, I related the lesson I learned about surviving on the streets of Washington, D.C. at night sleeping on the Metro grates: You’ll freeze to death if you wear cotton (it absorbs the hot, moist air rising from the Metro and then freezes). You have to wear polyester. A whack to the side of the head as I am all bundled up in wool, sipping my hot chocolate, and well rested from sleeping in a comfortable bed. Lesson enough until I met Gloria.

Gloria is an older woman, obviously homeless, who I have seen on occasion on the streets of D.C., ofter in the same locations. She doesn’t overtly ask for anything but, yes, I have stopped and given her some money. After one or two times of this, she asked me my name. I told her it was Ted. She gave me a big hug and said, “Ted, Jesus loves you!” I asked her name and she said Gloria. Another whack to the side of the head! Gloria is my mom’s name. She passed away 6 years ago.

All day I was putting my mom in the place of Gloria trying to simply survive on the streets of D.C., day in and day out. It’s inconceivable. Yet, here is this always cheery homeless woman giving praise to Jesus. Now the other Gloria in my life.

It’s tough to say anything else. I’m humbled and feeling like I have way too much. I need to do more to help others. Day in and day out. We all need to do more.

Polyester, not cotton. Gloria.

Enjoy the weekend!!!

Is God a Democrat or a Republican?

Obviously, neither. God is God and we are His children, who—in spite of what we do—loves us unconditionally. We are the ones who love to label ourselves—Democrat, Republican, progressive, liberal, conservative, etc, etc, etc. And all the labels do is divide us. God commands us to do one thing and one thing only—LOVE! And we manage to do one thing and one thing only—divide (and then even hate).

Yes, we can all have different views. The diversity of humanity is its calling card. It’s a strength that is also a weakness when we forget our common bond—God. We spend so much time disagreeing that we get lost in the disagreement. We lose focus of our responsibility to pick one another up and make us all better.

I spend way too much time for work in Washington, DC and, in particular, on Capitol Hill. Right is getting father than ever from left, and vice versa. More energy is spent on promoting political parties that we are not promoting people.

You and I can change this, one person at a time. We can smile, lend a hand, buy a coffee, and, yes, love. Not just family but one another. We can look at what we have common, not what makes us different. We can have different views and politics but we can disagree respectfully. And we can always focus on what binds us. God. Made in His image and likeness.

Have a SPECTACULAR day! Today, try and look at others through a different lens. The lens of God and love!

Every Day is Christmas

It’s over. The decorations will come down. The bells will stop ringing. Blink and stores will start selling Easter candy. Christmas is over. Or is it?

Wade through all the commercialism of Christmas and there is only one thing Christmas is about: celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If you focus on the true meaning of Christmas, then that’s all it’s about. That tiny child coming into the world, living as a tradesman in obscurity, until around 30 years old started a 3-year or so mission that changed the world forever. And will change us is we bring Jesus into our minds, hearts, and souls!

Every day should be Christmas! We should wake up celebrating Jesus coming into the world, coming into our lives every day. And it’s a celebration like none other!

It’s the 26th of December, the day after the “official” celebration of Christmas. But celebrate Christmas today, tomorrow, and every next day forever. Every day should be Christmas! That’s the real beauty of celebrating Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!! I pray for peace and joy in your life this day and every day to come!

Shine Your Light!!!

If there is ever a time of year to let your light shine—and brightly—it’s the Christmas season. A bright light in the sky showed the way to the birth of Jesus, who brought light into this world. And each one of us has a light that we need to let shine on others—and brightly!

In the same way, 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 ‭

I’m not talking in riddles or religious mumbo-gumbo. I’m talking about the light of goodness, kindness, charity, and all that is good shining forth from you. And actions speak way louder than words!

We live in a world that seems to be getting darker by the day. Just look at the headlines.

If every one of us let our inner lights really shine—smile, pay it forward, give to a homeless person and/or a charity, sing, whatever—one by one we would make the world a brighter place.

If there ever is a time to let your light shine it’s this season!!! 

Where is God?

That’s a good question to ask these days. Because if you look at the world, it seems that God is nowhere to be found. The news gets more depressing each day. It begs asking the question, “Where are you God?” Of course, God answers, “Right here.”

God is everywhere. He’s more a part of us than we will ever understand. After all, we were created in His image and likeness.

The problem is not with God. It’s with us. We are increasingly turning away from God in our lives. Not just separating “church” from “state” but almost literally ripping God out of our lives. The result is depressing. And it’s going to get worse, I hate to say.

You want a preview of where this all goes? Just read the Bible. The Israelites shut God out of their lives, caring more about gold and the things of this world. The result? A journey that should have taken 12 days or so took 40 years. And plague and pestilence along the way. When we turn our backs on God we are left to our own devices. And bad things follow.

Now is the time to turn to God, rather than away. Open up your mind and heart to LISTEN for and to God. Every way is the wrong way except the way to God in our lives. Depressing gives way to uplifting when we turn to God. The way gets a lot clearer. I know—sounds simple. But that’s exactly what it is. Simple.

Give a LISTEN for and to God today. That’s the first Secret to Life!

Me, Myself & I

Exactly the wrong way to think. That’s the problem with this world—too much thinking about me and not enough (any?) thinking about you. And count me in the camp. I need to spend less time thinking about myself and more time thinking about others.

We are so self-absorbed in ourselves, what we think, what we believe (or want to), and what we are going to do next that we lose sight of others. That’s why this world is so self-absorbed—because we are so self-absorbed.

Can you imagine if Jesus acted like we do? No dedication of His life, no sacrifice, no cross, no saving us from ourselves. But Jesus took the opposite view. It was all about you and me; not Him.

As we turn away from “religion” and even thinking about what Jesus did for us this world becomes worse. Our worlds become worse. I know my life becomes worse when I take my (too) frequent “religious” vacations and just get too caught up in this world, especially my world.

It’s time for us all to reflect on how much time we spend thinking about ourselves versus others. Jesus is that perfect model of service to others and, in the process, making the world a better place. We need to follow and live that model. And, if we do, the world will become a better place.

Have a FANTASTIC day looking outward beyond yourself!!!

Only One Holding You Back is You!!!

I put this quote on my Facebook page this morning…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

We hold ourselves back; no one else. We are our biggest enemy. We let the devil’s whisper of doubt eat away at our confidence. “You can’t do that!” “You’re out of your league.” “You’re not good enough!” The dark thoughts simply cloud out the light.

I have news for you if you don’t know it: You can do anything, be anything!!! God hard-wired you for success, and along with that joy. You just have to believe in you. God does. You just need to follow His lead.

Start with Moses and Elijah and listen to them and others in the Bible arguing with God that they weren’t good enough. They were good enough. You are good enough.

Grab the reins of life today and power ahead! Let me repeat: You can do anything, be anyone!!! Stick your fingers in your ears and stop listening to the devil’s doubt. Follow the light in you that is God.

Have a FANTASTIC day and power ahead!!!