The Unique, Special You!

That’s right, when God created you He threw away the mold. You may even have an identical twin but you are unique, one-of-a-kind. And in God’s eyes you are special.

We all have a role to play in life. A unique, special, God-given purpose. The ultimate key to life, and the road to the after-life, is realizing and understanding that role. As Paul says, we all have special talents to use for good. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what talents you have, you have a purpose.

There is only one way to really understand that purpose. You have to LISTEN for and to God. That’s why I have come to realize that to LISTEN is the first Secret to Life.

Paul also realized that by the grace of God he was what he was. By the grace of God you are what you are. Understand your purpose and act on it and life becomes clearer. Everything comes into perspective.

Start by LISTENING for and to God. Tune the world out and tune God in. Find a quiet space and place to hear God. Open your ears, mind, and heart to “hear” Him.

This may seem like a major revelation or impossible task but it’s really simple. Just LISTEN for and to God. God means life to be so simple. Unfortunately, we are the ones who complicate it.

Have a GREAT rest of the week. And find your purpose. Yes, you are special, unique, and God-given purposeful. Yes, you!

Stuck in the Desert?

The Israelites were beyond stuck in the desert. Their 11-mile journey to the Promised Land took 40 years. Yes, 40 years. Maybe God was exaggerating a bit here in the Bible but His point is well taken—the Israelites aimlessly wandered the desert for a long time. They had no direction. Worse, they had no purpose. They were a people lost.

That’s how I feel about al of us today, and at times myself included. We have lost a focus on God. He’s not an important part of our lives. We complain. We are lost. We have little to no purpose. Where are we even headed? Wars, mass shootings, pandemics, and the list goes on.

I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer here. I’m just saying that like the Israelites we are lost, wandering the deserts in our lives. God gave us the Bible and the accounting of the Israelites lost in the desert for 40 years for a reason. For now.

God gave each one of us a unique, special purpose in life. Do you know yours? I think I have a fix on mine but it gets cloudy at times. Like today. But that’s when I get in touch with God and get my bearings. If each one of us finds our way then all of us start moving to the Promised Land.

Too much “religious” mumbo-jumbo? Here’s what I’m saying. Find your direction in life. How? Ask God. It’s that simple. Ask and listen. You won’t hear if you don’t take the time to listen. That’s why I say that LISTEN is the first Secret to Life. God will tell you if you just ask and LISTEN. If more of us find our way we can start leading others. But it all starts with God. If I have learned one thing in life it’s that I can’t do it without God. He’s sets the course. I walk but God leads.

So, take some time to ask and LISTEN. Really LISTEN. Then you can move on to the other Secrets to Life.

Sound too easy? That’s because it is!

Get out of the desert today! The Promised Land in your life awaits.

Don’t Trip Over Your Pride

If there is one big stumbling block in my life it’s my pride. I try to keep it in the far back seat but the ego and everything that comes with pride often tries to come front and center. And then I stumble right over that pride.

There are two ways to look at life. One, is to put everything on yourself. You have gotten you where you are in life. You have the life you have because of you. Completely ego-centric. The other way is to understand that everything you have is from the grace of God. As Paul came to understand, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

I work really hard. I know that the hard work has paid off and gotten me to where I am today. But that hard work is all possible by the grace of God. I know that I am what I am because of His grace shining down on me. It’s me working but it’s God pointing the direction.

Yet, although I have Paul’s words etched into my memory, I trip up all the time. I get more concerned about outward appearance than inward heart. I get more concerned about what others think than what God knows. Ego trumps humility. I want to be served rather than serve.

Yet, I try to come back to and stay grounded in Paul’s words. God’s grace. That is what has gotten me here. And when I forget that it never fails that I stumble. Or on occasion take a hard fall.

Open up your eyes to what you do and what God gives. You may well be doing the work but it’s God who points the way, keeps us on course, and makes sure we are nourished.

Have a FANTASTIC week ahead and stay the course. The humble course where pride finds no foothold!

It’s Not About Me. It’s About You!

There are two ways to look at life. The simply way is to look inward and make life all about you. Me, me, me, me, and more me. The other people out there don’t count. Or at least count only when you want them to count.

The other way to live is to make it all about other people. Your feelings and wants are on the back burner to others’. It’s all about them. Not you.

Forget for a minute that God commanded us to love others. And that before He died for us, Jesus left us with the same command to sacrifice for others. To love them. Forget those commandments and just think how life would be if we just spent more time thinking about others than we do ourselves. The world would be a far, far different place. A much, much better place!

It’s not easy putting ourselves behind others. The “animal” side of us is wired for us. But the “human” side of us is wired for others. Why? Because God wired that human side. He wired us for love and love is about taking a backseat to others. It’s that simple. Hard to do, but simple.

I try to think every morning about how I could have put others in front of me the day before. And what I need to do differently today. It’s not easy. Trust me—I screw up all the time. But I try not to give up. I want my life to depend on it.

Think others! And have a FABULOUS day doing so!

There Are No Doors for Jesus!

I’m thinking about Jesus’ disciples in the locked room hiding in fear of the Jewish authorities. In walks Jesus who had no problem with any of the locked doors. We lock the doors in our life to keep people out, and even God. But God knows no locked doors. He’s always less than a heartbeat away in our lives. There is no door that can keep God out.

We turn our backs on God. We try to lock Him out of our lives. Or we simply don’t give Him the least bit of thought. That’s why the world is so very screwed up. We have done our best to shut God out of our lives. Just look around the world. It’s a mess because we have turned to ourselves rather than God. It’s called secularization.

The older I grown the more I realize that God is in control. I do my best to keep Him in my life front and center, and providing the direction in my life. And every time I manage to turn my back on God I find myself lost. Maybe the world wants to shut God out but my doors are unlocked and open to God. Not that He can’t walk through any locked doors.

If you’re having trouble making sense of this life, or your life in particular, open the door to God. Let Him in. He can walk through any door but you need to turn to Him. Listen for and to God because He is calling you in your life.

Enjoy the day and the rest of the week ahead!

Where is the World Headed?

I don’t know. But as I have written time and time again, I feel like we are the wandering tribe of Israelites in the desert looking for the Promised Land. We bicker and complain, with no vision or direction of where we are going. With the world on the verge of WWIII, we seem lost. We are lost.

To me, for me, God is light. When I walk away from Him, or even turn my back on Him, my world is a dark place. When I get back on course, I see the light.

I think God is my Promised Land. When he’s in my life, everything is light and clear. When not, dark and uncertain. This is all easier said than done because it’s easy to lose God, even though He is always less than a heart beat away. It’s easy to question God, even question His existence, when people are being brutalized, as they are in Ukraine. That’s why we are all struggling because we put God aside, or even push Him aside. You see death and destruction and it’s tough to think there is a God. How could He let this happen?

The evil forces in this world—call them devils, demons, whatever—want each of us to turn our backs on God. To question Him, to question if He is even real. That’s how they win when we get lost in the darkness in life. Just like the Israelites wandering years and years ago.

I’m doing my best to keep my eyes fixed on God. His way is the light, away from the darkness. I’m going to do my best to help shed some of that light on a world that is increasingly dark. A smile, a helping hand, a good act, a donation, whatever. It starts small but it grows.

Change happens one person at a time. Change with me. Listen for and to God. It’s one of the fundamental Secrets to Life. He will lead the way. Just let Him!

Have an EXCEPTIONAL day!!!

Anti-Semitism is Anti-Christian

I have news for you. Jesus is a Jew. He has always been a Jew and always will be Jewish. Jesus is as “Jewish” as anyone you know; even more so. He was born a Jew and lived a Jewish life. If you call yourself a “Christian” you are simply a follower of Jesus the Christ. You are following someone who is and always will be Jewish. So, anyone who is anti-Semitic simply can’t be a follower of Jesus and, therefore, a Christian. In fact, if you’re anti-Semitic you are anti-Christian. You’re anti-Jesus.

As Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) Jesus came not to overthrow his Jewish heritage and beliefs but to “fulfill” them.

As a Christian, I believe in Jesus and what He teaches, which is based on His Jewish beliefs. I believe He is the Messiah, who has come and will come again at the end of time. My beliefs are not fundamentally different than my Jewish friends. They just believe that the Messiah has not yet come. I believe He has come and will come again.

I can never be culturally Jewish because I was not born culturally Jewish, as was Jesus. But I try to live and breathe what has become known as the Judeo-Christian faith.

I heard a story on the news this morning about the rise of anti-Semitism in this country. I don’t know who those anti-Semites are but I know they are not followers of Jesus Christ. They are not Christians. You can’t be an anti-Semite and follow Jesus the Jew who is the Christ. It’s that simple.

Enjoy your week ahead following Jesus!

Spirit Power

I know this will sound like more religious mumbo-jumbo but anything is possible if you call on the Spirit of God. When Jesus left this earth to remove our sins, He left His Spirit as an advocate for us. If you want to hurdle any obstacle in your life the Spirit is always there to empower you forward. Spirit Power!

I know. This sounds so other-worldly and abstract. But it is earthly and real. You simply need to call the Spirit into your life and feel the Spirit. With God’s Spirit within you nothing is impossible. That’s why Jesus left us His Spirit to overcome any obstacle.

There’s no parlor trick to the Spirit. You simply call the Spirit into your life and feel His presence. It’s real and it’s powerful.

Sorry, but I don’t know how to say this any differently. I know it sounds like so much religion but I’m talking about life. Real life. The Spirit is waiting for you to call out for help, guidance, answer to questions, empowerment, etc. Don’t be one of those people who close out your mind to the reality and power of the Spirit of God. Jesus’ gift to this world. To you and me.

All you have to do is focus and ask for help. It’s that simple. No religion. No prayers or hymns. Just ask for help from the Spirit. Focus. Concentrate. Be open.

Have an AMAZING week ahead! Hit an obstacle? Call out for help from the Spirit. Keep an open mind and an open heart. There’s real power when you need it.

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!