People Disappoint. God Never Does!

I have learned the hard way that you simply can’t count on people. I’m learning that lesson the hard way all over again. This may seem pretty negative and dark but it isn’t. People come and go, are with you then against you. People change and tend to look inward. But God never changes. He always is what He always was. He always looks outward. And no matter what you do God is always there. Less than a heartbeat away. God never, ever disappoints!!!

God’s love for us is unconditional. Human love is conditional. It’s the rare person who loves without any conditions. But God doesn’t need any conditions. We beat, spit on, and hung His only Son from a cross and God is the same. Imagine how any human would react to that!

This doesn’t mean that you don’t count on family and friends to come through. I count on my wife and daughter like nobody else. But we’re all human. We are we. God is God. He simply is always there, no matter what we do, and is always less than a heartbeat away. He treats us all the same, without any conditions. God is simply God!

When you need a friend reach out to God.

Have a great day and rest of the week. And remember that God NEVER disappoints!

Takers and Givers

I heard a sermon this weekend about contrasting King Herod as a “taker” versus the Three Kings (Magi) as “givers.” Like all good sermons it made me really think about “takers” and “givers.” And pushed me to ask myself where I fall.

Unfortunately, I think the world today has a lot more “takers,” especially in high places. “Takers” only think of themselves and what they can “take” from the world around them. “Givers” are the exact opposite. They put themselves last and look to “give” back around them. I’m not talking about just giving money but about giving of oneself. Obviously, Jesus was the ultimate “giver” going as far to “give” His life for us. He is the model of “giving.”

The world is far from this or that in terms of “takers” and “givers.” I know times when I have been a “taker” and I like to think times when I have been a “giver.” But I think we tend generally to fall into one of those buckets.

I’m taking this to the bank in terms of looking at my life each day and find opportunities to “give.” It can start simply as smiling, lending a helping hand, or much more. There is no prescription on how to be a “giver.” You simply “give” of yourself. Think the other person before you think of yourself. It starts there.

Enjoy the week ahead! And GIVE!

Rebirth

As fast as the Christmas decorations went up after Thanksgiving—even before, in many cases—they now come down. Christmas becomes a memory except for returning the gifts that were the wrong size or that you want to exchange for something else. But you’re missing the real reason for Christmas if you don’t have a rebirth. That means that you let the child and spirit of Jesus be reborn in your heart, mind, and soul.

It’s easy to forget but we celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus. He came into our lives to give our lives direction, meaning, and salvation. His birth should be our rebirth, at least every year renewing ourselves to give direction, meaning, and salvation to our lives. We all look at New Year’s to make all types of resolutions and course corrections. However, for Christians—true followers and believers in Jesus; not just “lip service” Christians—Christmas is the real time for a rebirth and reevaluation of our lives.

In all of this I’m not talking about some alleluia, sky-parting revelation. I’m simply talking about taking stock of your life in the context of Jesus. How does he figure into your life day to day? Is Jesus really a part of your life? Do you “talk” to Jesus? Do you read His words? Do you try to follow in His footsteps? These are some of the questions that go into a Christmas rebirth.

I have really fallen down in my posts this year. Fixing that is part of my own rebirth evaluation. If what I write helps one other person then that’s a good thing. But my writings start with my own self-evaluation. They are a way for me to reflect. They are a discipline to reflect.

Wishing you all the best of this rebirth season and a blessed New Year ahead!

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I’m constantly stuck in time. I tend to dwell on what happened yesterday, fixated on what I need to do today, and constantly worried about planning tomorrow. That’s why I need to depend on God for help because He is all time wrapped up in one. He is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is above and beyond time. He lives in the moment of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So, the closer I get to God the more I can just live in the moment.

Let me explain.

God is infinite and has no bounds. So, he knows no time. He is yesterday, today, and tomorrow all in one. I know that’s hard to understand because we are so fixated on and bound by time. But the closer we can get to God the more we can let go of yesterday, not worry about today, or planning tomorrow. We can be free of time.

My view of heaven is there is no time. We are constantly living in the moment with no worries. That’s why while on this earth we can free ourselves of getting bogged down in time if we get close to God. And God is only less than a heartbeat away.

Look, we are now planning a wedding (our daughter’s) so there is a lot of focus on tomorrow in 2023. But there is one thing to work on something that will happen in the future versus worrying over it. I’m just say that to the extent you bring God into your life the more that the concerns of time are minimized. Yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

Have a GREAT week ahead and let go of time!

The Power of Negative Thinking

We all hear about the power of positive thinking. Well, I’m here to tell you that negative thinking has a LOT of power, even more than positive thinking. But it’s like a cancer in that it grows out of control. Once you go down the path of negative thinking it’s hard to crawl back.

Positive thinking requires work. You have to really focus and not give into any doubts, fears, or negative thoughts. It takes work. And, yes, positive thinking really works. It clears the air and makes life better. It’s simply positive.

The problem with negative thinking is that it doesn’t require a lot of work. It’s easy to slip into a patter of negative thought. Positive thinking is hard. Negative thinking is easy.

And let me tell you that negative thinking is very powerful. It stops progress at its best. At its worst it debilitates. It paralyzes. It can even kill.

How to stop negative thinking? Sounds easy but by being positive. As I said, positive thinking takes work but it blocks out negative thinking. You have to make time for yourself to focus on the positives. And God is always less than a heartbeat away to help. You just have to call out to Him. Trust me, this works. And it may take work but it’s easy. God is easy. If you let Him be easy.

Stay positive and finish out the week positive. Look on the bright side. Stay positive. Look for the silver lining in everything, everyone. Stay positive.

Positive Thinking!

Be You!

This is a very simple message. Be you! Not someone else. Be you. God created you as a special, unique individual. You have a special, unique purpose in life. But you will only realize that purpose if you be you.

I think more people aren’t comfortable in their own skin. They don’t like being them. They need to realize like Paul did that they are what they are by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10).

When God created you He threw away the mold. Even if you have an identical twin who you look and think alike you are special and unique. One of a kind. The secret to life is understanding that and connecting to God to realize the unique purpose He has for you.

Connecting with God is simple. You have to listen for and to God. Unplug from the world. Stop the noice and distractions. Plug into God. Give Him some time out of your busy life. He’s less than a heartbeat away. If you do I guarantee the world will become a clearer place. And your place in it.

Be you! And enjoy being you. You are special and have a special day and week ahead!

Don’t Look Back

When I miss a putt or just have a bad hole in golf I have a hard time moving forward to the next hole. As golf mimics life, the same thing happens to me a lot in life. When I screw up I have a tendency to keep looking back. Well, I’m here to say you can’t look back. Looking back is only OK if you are trying to learn from your mistakes. Beating yourself up and dwelling on mistakes just feeds the devil, who wants you stuck and not moving ahead.

God knows what you have done and will do. He knows you’re not perfect and will make mistakes. Although He expects you to learn from your mistakes, He doesn’t expect you to get stuck up in your mistakes. He expects, and wants, you to move forward. To move forward to Him. And stay positive, not negative.

If you are into golf, there is a pretty famous book by a sports psychologist entitled, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect. Watch any pro tournament and the best players in the world hit errant shots. They screw up. But they recover because they look forward.

Life is not a game of perfect. It’s filled with ups and downs, and offshoots and even dead ends. The key to life is to keep moving forward. Understand that life is not a game of perfect. I’m not saying it’s easy to not dwell on the past but the past is just that—the past. Treat it as such. Work on moving forward and forgetting. And God is always there encouraging you forward—if you let Him.

Keep moving forward today and every day. And have an EXCEPTIONAL time doing so!

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

I screw up all the time. Trust me. No matter what I know to do right I manage to do the opposite. I identify with Paul who wrote, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) That’s life. Let’s face it—none of us is perfect. But I’ve learned that you can’t beat yourself up. You need to pick yourself back up, get back in the game of life, and move forward.

Life is not a straight path. It’s filled with twists and turns and, sometimes, wrong ways. We backtrack at times. But when you make a mistake, you do your best to correct it, ask God for forgiveness, and move forward.

God knows every little, tiny screw-up we have made and will make. He knows all the little stuff as well as the big stuff. So, there is no hiding from God. Either what we have done or if we are truly sorry for our mistakes (sins). God is here. God is everywhere.

If we confess the screw-ups we are forgiven. That’s because Jesus came and died to wipe all sin away. Past, present, and future. But you need to understand that and ask for true forgiveness. That’s how it works.

Beating yourself up achieves nothing. In fact, it gives into Satan and the other evil spirits who feed off of our mistakes. They love it when you and I beat ourselves up. It drags us down, not up. So, the last thing you want to do is beat yourself up.

Have a BLESSED week ahead. Keep your head up, stay in the game, and move forward!

Renewing & Not Conforming

Paul said it all too well. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) Don’t be a conformist. Transform yourself by “renewing” your mind. This doesn’t mean to be some type of radical. It means to not just do and say what everyone else says. Renew, invigorate, challenge. That’s what this world needs. And it’s the way to better understanding God’s will and purpose for you. Renew!

The world is not in a good place right now. And that’s because the world is pushing God out of our lives. It’s fashionable to be “secular” and not “religious.” To think we are all there is and there is no need for any god. In this country, 3 out of 10 Americans describe themselves as “nones.” And more are confirming to that view. Just like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, we are increasingly worshipping “idols” and pushing God out of our lives.

Start renewing your mind. LISTEN for/to God in your life. He is there if you let Him in your life. Renew your thinking. Be transformed. It’s not hard. Just takes a little time and effort.

Have an AWESOME week ahead transforming!

Why Do I Write About the Secrets to Life?

I went back years to help me remember why I started this blog writing about the Secrets to Life. The answer is simple. Simply because they work! I have found 7 simple Secrets to Life that by following them lead to a happier, joyful life that is more peaceful and more fulfilling. We are all searching for answers in life and I have found some simple ones. That doesn’t mean that I am perfect or my life is totally blissful every second of every day. All it means is that I have found some simple ways to live that help keep me on a straight path or back on the straight path when I take a wrong turn on occasion.

I write for you as well as for me. Writing about the Real Secrets to Life helps me remember them and truly live by them. If I can help just one other person, and that person in turn helps one or two others, then that’s even better.

LISTEN, READ, LOVE, FIGHT, BELIEVE, LIVE & PRAY. They are very simple secrets to a life that should shine. As I write over and over again, God means life to be so very simple. We are the ones who complicate our lives. We gather habits and emotions like hoarders filling a house with junk. We find it hard to let go of those things we store up in our lives that clutter and can totally inundate our lives. Light can’t shine in a life filled with junk.

I try to make Jesus my role model in life. If you look at Jesus’ life he lived it according to 7 simple little words—LISTEN, READ, LOVE, FIGHT, BELIEVE, LIVE & PRAY.  He listed for/to God the Father and understood his purpose in life. He read the scriptures and actually became the living Word. He gave us a new commandment to love and, in the strongest show of love, gave up his life for us. He fought the devil constantly and understood the presence and power of evil in the world. He taught us to believe and showed us we can do anything if we have faith and don’t let doubt get in the way. He lived a life of purpose, knowing that this life on earth was only the opening act to eternity. He taught us how to pray and was constantly going away to pray.

The 7 Secrets to Life I have found are a real roadmap for life. They keep me centered and help me when I falter, which I do all the time. I think they can help you but that’s up to you to decide.

Have a WONDERFUL week!  And keep it SIMPLE!