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!!!

You Better Than This 4-Year-Old???

Watch this clip from CBS News the other night and tell me if you measure up to this 4-year-old, Austin Perine. Sadly, I certainly don’t!

Handing out food to the homeless with the message to “Show love!” Answering the question about why he does this and you get, “Because it’s the right thing to do!”

All I can say is WOW!!!

My urge now is to write about how he is following Jesus’ message to help those who need help and Jesus’ command to love. But, frankly, I feel pretty inferior to pontificate about anything. I’ve already communicated what needs communicating.

Feeling pretty inferior, and speechless, right now!

Faith or Fear? Pick One.

The more you live in faith the less fear you have in life. It’s that simple. If you’re living in constant fear—fear of anything—then it says something about your faith. Or lack thereof. Faith and fear—they’re pretty much opposites. More faith, less fear. More fear, less faith.

Like everything in life, this is so very simple. There is no rocket science behind it. Faith has a way of blocking out fear. Why? Because faith is about trust in God. The more you trust it’s obvious that the less you fear. If you live in fear about anything in your life, then you are simply low on faith.

It’s amazing how much we complicate life—life that God means to be so simple. Listen—I’m not saying life isn’t complicated. The older I live the more complicated life seems to become. What I’m saying is that life should be simpler—in fact, downright simple. But we are the ones who complicate it and, in the process, leave more openings to fear more things.

Think about a closet that you keep throwing things into until it needs a good cleaning. Our life is a big closet that we keep throwing “things” into until it’s bursting at the seems. The more junk in our lives—emotions, events, etc.—the more our lives become cluttered beyond recognition. And the opportunities for fear to raise its ugly head multiply with the clutter.

Faith is a great closet cleaner. The junk dissolves with faith. And so do our fears in life. How do you increase your faith? You pray, you meditate, you simply let go and let God.

Have faith! And an amazing day!!!

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!!!

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!!!

One Step Back. At Least Two Forward!

There are a lot of stories about how many failures Thomas Edison had before he perfected a working light bulb, but the number isn’t important. It’s that he learned from his mistakes. In fact, the light bulb is the product of taking one step back but making sure Edison took at least two steps forward.

A given in life is that you are going to make mistakes. I am the king of mistakes!!! But my guiding principle is to make sure I take at least two steps forward for every one back. I try—not always successfully!!!—to learn from my step backwards so that the steps forward are on more secure ground. I get mad at myself for the mistakes but try not to beat me up. Although I’m not always successful there. Tough to escape that Catholic guilt!  

My message is simple. You will make mistakes. Try to make them minor but if they are major deal with it. Think one step back, learn, and boldly take at least two forward.

I think the person who says they don’t make mistakes is either delusional or in complete denial. Or simply won’t admit to a mistake. That’s sad. We grow stronger as individuals when we understand and acknowledge our mistakes and do our best to move forward—at least two steps at a time.

And, to end, God knows every mistake you have made and will make. But He forgives you. All those mistakes are nailed to a cross. You just have to know your mistakes and vow to correct them.

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Remember—one step back but two forward!

Less Than a Heartbeat Away

That’s where God is in your life. And don’t ever forget it! You may feel like God is so distant from you or, at worst, is not in your life at all. But God is always there—less than a heartbeat away. The problem is that you are not always there.

I had to remind myself this weekend. I did something wrong and was beating myself up about it. I was feeling like God was nowhere to be found. He was lost. Unfortunately, I was lost. God was less than a heartbeat away. I was the one miles away mentally.

Once again, this is not some “religious” mumbo-gumbo. It’s life. God created you and me, equally and with unconditional love. No matter what we do wrong, or how we try our best to hurt God, He is always there in our lives. He is part of our very DNA. He is less than a heartbeat away.

When God seems so distant the problem is not God. It’s us. We don’t try or spend any time LISTENing for/to God. We get too caught up in the world—our very busy world—to give God a thought. Much less LISTEN to/for Him.

So, remember. God is ALWAYS here, regardless of your perspective. God is always less than a heartbeat away.

Have a better than a FANTASTIC day!