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!!!

 

Easter Everday

Easter Sunday. The day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter Everyday. Every day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. One is a day event. The other is an everyday event. Jesus rises every day and we rise with Him. More religious mumbo-jumbo? No. Just a different way to live.

I don’t want to stop the glory of Easter. A one day event when the world stops (a bit) for Christians to rest and reflect on the enormity of the sacrifice that God made for us in His Only Son. I want every day to be Easter. We celebrate Easter maybe 70-80 times in our lifetime. I want to celebrate Easter at least 25,550-29,200 times!

How?

Simply by remembering what Easter means. Purpose. Sacrifice. Hope. Glory. And I can think of a lot of other words to describe Easter but I’ll start with those four and how I want to live my life.

Jesus had a God-given purpose in His life. I want to have purpose in my life, not just walking aimlessly through life. I want to understand and realize the special, unique purpose that God has for me.

Jesus sacrificed His life for me. He doesn’t expect me to sacrifice my life (maybe) but He expects me to put others before me. And he commands me to love. Check out John 15:12.

Jesus rising from the death after experiencing a demeaning, terrible death gives hope to the world—and each one of us. I want to live in hope.

If you try, you can feel the glory of God on Easter Sunday. I want to feel that glory each day. It’s easy to get overcome by the darkness in this world. Glory is a bright shining light. There is no darkness in glory.

This may not seem very practical to you; may even seem a little contrived and cute. But it is very practical and real-world to me. You just have to spend a little time thinking about Easter and bringing it into everyday life. Easter Everyday.

Have a GREAT day today! Happy Easter Everyday!

God-less

Sad but true. We are moving forward with less God in our lives. No wonder why this world seems lost and spinning more of of control each day. Less God. That’s really sad!

If you want to see how this plays out, read about Moses and the Israelites in the desert. It took 40 or so years of wondering to travel what should have taken about 11 days. False idols, infighting, and complaining. Sound familiar? The same story that played out thousands of years ago is exactly repeating itself today.

Why? Back then the Israelites turned their backs on God. Fast forward, today we are doing the same thing. Less people in church. More people saying they don’t believe in God and have no “religion.” Lost then. Lost today.

I can tell you that I would be totally lost—maybe even dead—without God in my life. I’m no saint. Far from it. World’s best sinner more like it. But for every step back in the desert I do my best to take 2 steps forward. With God. Everyday with God. Father/Creator, Jesus/Savior, and Spirit/Advocate.

I’m determined not to be lost and wondering in a desert of my life. I’m heading to that Promised Land with God leading the way. Without that, life is truly an endless desert.

Walk forward. Walk with God. Everything becomes clearer in life, especially the path forward. Trust me. Just call out to God to light your way.

Have a glorious, blessed Easter if I don’t sign on before then!

Kindness (What’s That???)

What’s kindness? Good question. There’s little of it in the world today. People are more concerned about focusing on what separates us than what binds us. We may label ourselves black or white, conservative or liberal, or any other silly ways of saying how different we are. With differences basic kindness goes out the door.

Forget the “love” that God commands us to live by (“You shall love the stranger” Deuteronomy 10:19). We can’t even start with a little kindness. No, I’m not Debbie Downer. Just saying it like it is in today’s world.

Here are the facts. God commands us to love. Jesus’ one—as in ONE, 1, uno, un, ein, etc.—command to us on His death bed is LOVE (“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12). God loves us unconditionally. He loves me as much as He loves you. We are all children of God. Totally equal. Without any silly tags. We are all expected to love. If we can’t be kind to each other we certainly can’t love one another.

So, let’s take a baby step and just try to be a little kind (I’m not even saying “kinder”) to each other. Smile. Bite your tongue from saying something mean. Help someone with groceries at the supermarket. Buy someone behind you a cup of coffee. Stop from typing that mean tweet. Be kind.

Call yourself a “Christian?” Think you’re living in the Spirit of God? Here’s the acid test, including kindness.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22 

Enjoy the weekend and… BE KIND!!!