My Gifts

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!

I Saw Jesus!

Yes, for real. I saw Jesus. Several times. I was walking down I Street (NW) in Washington, DC and that’s where I saw Jesus. After a homeless man asked me for some help (yes, I gave him money), I realized it was Jesus. Jesus was in him just like he is in al of us. I passed a young woman rushing to work. I saw Jesus in her. And on and on I went as I walked down the block. Jesus after Jesus. I saw Jesus!

We are made in God’s image and likeness. He, His Son, and Their Spirit are woven into the fabric of our DNA. We just suppress God. We don’t realize He is here—less than a heartbeat away.

I don’t mean this to be some tricked up blog post. If you look hard enough you will see Jesus in everyone. Brown, black, white, yellow or any other variation of human. God is here. Inside of us. And how we treat one another is how we treat God.

A lot of people think with COVID-19, fires, wars, etc. that this is the “end of times.” I don’t know about that. What I do know is I’m not waiting for Jesus to come again. He’s here. We just have to open up our eyes. And when we depart this earth Jesus will be in front of us knowing whether we saw Him as we walked this earth or not.

Open up your eyes!

Have an EYEOPENING Week ahead!!!

Be the Vehicle!

For light. For love. For joy.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Each of us is like a jar of clay. To be modeled by God for the special, unique purpose in life that He has for us. We are the vehicles to let God’s light shine through us and out to others. We are the conduits for God’s love—and God is love—to flow through us to others. We are the vessels for His joy, a joy we should be having and sharing with others.

I know this sounds like more religious mumbo-jumbo but it’s life. If we live at all with God in our life, we are the vehicles for light, love, and joy. And this world of ours can use a lot more light, love, and joy!

I want to underscore again that you and I, and everyone in between, were put on this earth for a special, unique purpose. I think life becomes fulfilling when we come to understand that purpose and live to fulfill it. And in the process share that light, love, and joy that is baked into each of us. We just need to discover it and let it flow.

Have a SPECTACULAR week and let it flow!

Ask, Search & Knock

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.

Ask, Search & Knock. Try it!

Let Your Light Shine!!!

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.

Have a TREMENDOUS day shining your light!

Where is God???

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!

Enjoy!!!

Throwing the First Stone

“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.

Have a GREAT week!!!

Would Jesus Now Get Vaccinated?

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!

Filling the Emptiness

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.

Have an AMAZING fulfilled week ahead!

What is The Real Secrets to Life About?

I started this blog close to 10 years ago because I found what are to me The Real Secrets to Life and how to live your life by them. This site is about simplifying your life and changing it for the better forever. It is about unlocking a new life of lasting happiness, peace, and fulfillment that no person or event in your life can ever take away from you.

The messages are very simple but powerful and life changing. I am not trying to impress anyone by using big words or conveying complicated thoughts. We live in a very complicated world that grows more so by the day. That is part of the problem. We need to uncomplicate the complicated. We need to simplify our lives. God does not mean life to be so difficult. We make it difficult by complicating it. God wants us to be happy, at peace, and fulfilled. We get in our own way.

As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

In living out our hectic lives today we have a tendency to overlook the obvious. We make things more complicated than they are or should be. Moreover, we have experts for every little facet of life. The experts may mean well but I think that they just help us complicate things so much so that the obvious becomes less obvious. We have a tendency to turn to experts for answers rather than looking to ourselves and to God. God, the only true expert on life, is always there ready to help us uncomplicate and simplify our lives.

I want to make you think and reflect about the real road to true, lasting happiness, peace, and fulfillment. That road leads to God. Whatever challenges you face on your life journey you can conquer. That’s because God is in you and nothing is impossible for God. You should greet every day with enthusiasm, eager to continue your journey. Once you open your life to God you want to get closer to him every day. Regardless of your circumstances, you can forge ahead if you have a clearer vision of where you are headed.

God doesn’t put any obstacles in our way—he clears them. We just have to trust him like any great football running back that knows he has to trust and follow his blockers. Follow God. He will help you get by any obstacles in your life.

There is a new you in you. Trust me. No, trust God.

I always try to challenge you to think and reflect. This stimulates thoughts that will eventually lead to answers but only if you go with the flow. Go ahead and disagree with me. However, don’t just throw out what I say without giving it an honest try. Keep a positive outlook. Don’t let negative thinking and doubt cripple you by not trying this. Again, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Sometimes, people don’t like the truth. They don’t like simplicity. They hide in complexity. Complexity becomes their safe place but a false safe place—a desert—where they aimlessly wander keeping them from finding the Promised Land in their lives. Don’t be one of those people. Life is meant to be simple. Find your own Promised Land of happiness, peace, and fulfillment.

And have a GREAT week!