What Are the Secrets to Life?

I have found 7 Secrets to Life, which is why I started this blog. I simply wanted to share what has helped me. The Secrets to Life are simple. LISTEN, READ, LOVE, FIGHT, BELIEVE, LIVE & PRAY. Simple. Then again, God means life to be simple. And they’re “secrets” because if everyone knew them they wouldn’t be secrets. That’s the utter simplicity of all of this—of life!

LISTEN because God is calling to and for you. Yes, you. God is calling to each one of us. We simply don’t choose to listen.

READ the Bible because it is simply (that “simple” word again!) the handbook on life. God’s handbook for all of us.

LOVE simply because God commands it. The one (simple) command we have from God.

FIGHT the devil because it is real and is truly prowling the earth whispering doubt and temptation in all our ears. I know—the thought of a real devil creeps people out. But it is real—trust me.

BELIEVE in God because God is in you. He hardwired you. You can do anything if you simply BELIEVE.

LIVE your life walking the straight path to God. What’s that path? LISTEN.

And PRAY because prayer is simply communication with God. Communication as in 2-way—you listen, then talk.

These 7 simple Secrets to Life have helped me. I hope they help you. If I can help one person that’s a start.

Have a GREAT evening and a SUPER tomorrow!

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!

Jesus Shaking His Head Again: Feel the Hate!

God gave us one very simple, clear command: love. He sent His Son to deliver that command and show us how to love. In the end, Jesus gave up His earthly life for us—out of love. Love, love, love.

The problem is all you hear and feel is hate, hate, hate. It doesn’t matter the topic: religion, politics, environment, whatever. It’s all hate, hate, hate. Jesus has to be shaking His head in disbelief.

Today, we look for what separates us; not what binds us. We use words like left and right and every other tag to separate one person from another. What we don’t do is look hard at what binds us. We are all human beings created in the image and likeness of God. We are all His children saved from our sins by Jesus Christ. But, no, we can only focus on what separates us, and hate each other as a result. That’s really sad!

I’m making a renewed commitment to do my best to look at people around me as God does—all outward variations on the same theme of being made in His image and likeness. All children of God commanded to do one thing: love.

Join me in looking past the outer and feeling the inner in people. That God inner. And walking, and talking, in love.

Have a LOVE-FILLED day!!!

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!!!

Take a Lesson from the Israelites: Stop Wandering Your Desert!

I wrote this post over 3 years ago. I’m rerunning it not because I’m lazy or have nothing new to say, but I keep coming back to this wandering the desert theme. It just gets more relevant as life unfolds on this planet. So, here goes…

Some think the story of the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years is old news. Well, I have news for you: it’s very much new news. Look at us—and I mean all of us on this planet. We’re wandering our world aimlessly. We fight and kill each other, watch as so many starve and die, and seemingly can’t agree on a thing. I mean, just what is this life about and where are we going? That’s where each one of us comes into the picture.

Change can only happen one person at a time and change is what we need. We all in different ways wander our own deserts in life until we know where we are headed and start heading there. That means we need to understand our purpose in life, that God-given, unique, and special purpose in life. And the only way to do that is by spending some time—quality timeLISTENing for/to God.

It took the Israelites 40 years to cross a desert that should have taken less than 12 days. They had no direction and lost sight of God, worshiping false gods as they aimlessly wandered the desert of their lives. When they finally found some direction and crossed over into the Promised Land only 2 of the original group of thousands actually made the crossing.

Even Jesus had to go into the desert before he started on His real path in life—the path to save us all. That was His purpose in life.

If each of us understood where we are truly heading in life—our own Promised Land—we could start changing the world. Change starts with one, with that one influencing others. The onus is on each of us to make this world a better place and to leave it in better hands. That’s clearly not happening now. We have to start the change. In order to do that we need to get some direction.

You have a Promised Land in your life. Find it by getting in touch with God. The closer you get to God the clearer your direction in life will be—and we all need direction! There’s no time like today to start on that path that leads to your Promised Land.

Have a direction-filled day and weekend! 

I Don’t Know What to Say

The horror of knowing that for decades Catholic priests in Pennsylvania physically and mentally abused children and young adults is too much to comprehend. I’m Catholic, and a practicing one at that. I was born in Pittsburgh, lived outside of Philadelphia for a while, and am writing this from the last day of vacation at our family vacation home in Northeast Pennsylvania. I went to Mass yesterday and the homily was a video message on this atrocity by the Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania. I haven’t read the 900-page report, yet, but I have read the reporting on it.

I simply don’t know what to say!  I wonder if Jesus knows what to say?

As Christians we are taught not to judge—least we be judged. But I can’t help judging and in my darkest thoughts my mind races what I would do to anyone—priest or otherwise—abusing a child in any way. Yes, I’m judging. I’m not perfect.

No, I won’t stop being a Catholic or going to Mass. That’s too easy. It’s certainly what Satan would like. I’m going to pray, and then pray some more. For the victims. For the Church. For every priest—even those abusers still alive.

I simply don’t know what else to say.

Here is what Pope Francis said in a letter to Catholics around the world—https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-08/pope-francis-letter-people-of-god-sexual-abuse.html

Let your light shine today. This dark world needs it!

 

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!!!