Let’s face it—our world is divided. Everywhere. Divided. The U.S. is a virtual armed camp of right/left, conservative/liberal, this/that. Even the Catholic Church is a dived camp with a growing chorus to declare Pope Francis an anti-Pope. We’re talking Catholic Church (I am Catholic, BTW) that tracks its roots directly to Jesus. Divided. Angry. Certainly, not Jesus.
So, each of us can be a wedge, further dividing life. Or we can be the glue, trying to bring people together. It’s not always easy but I want to be the glue in bringing people together. Doing my little bit to help heal and stop divisions.
Jesus talked division, even about families divided against themselves. But the objective was coming together in a spirit—the Spirit—of love. After all, as he faced His death, Jesus left us with one command: “Love each other.” John 15:17
I have a news flash: We’re not following that command. Even a little bit. We’re following the devil’s command to hate each other. The venom coming out of mouths of politicians and priests (supposed holy men!) is appalling. They are the wedges, not the glue.
I realized that towards the back of my tie rack that several are too wide. I’m not talking about “clown” wide but ties today are narrower. But one day they’ll be wide again and I’ll be saying that most of my ties are too skinny. That’s fashion—it’s unexplainable whim. Most of us follow the fashion and conform to what’s “in.” I’m just glad that God is consistent, constant, and not given to whim. We can’t count on fashion, and being “in,” but we can always count on God.
The longer I live the more I understand that life changes. Things and people don’t stay the same. Life moves on. But as life moves on God stays the same. He’s an anchor in our lives that keeps us steady and secure, especially when the seas of life get rough.
And in following the whims of fashion and the changes in life, Jesus has an amazing message for us on how to live…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
It’s OK to follow fashion where it goes but here Jesus is talking about not conforming to the world but constantly “renewing” your thinking—in essence, detach yourself from the masses to really understand the will of God in your life. I think that’s especially important in this current, crazy world of ours.
Follow the fashion but don’t follow the crowd. Think for yourself, and think about God. What he thinks is “good and acceptable and perfect.” Spend some time thinking about this, then putting it into action.
I hate to break it to you but there are no magic lamps, the kind where the genie grants you three wishes. What we have is prayer. But it’s not a magic lamp. You don’t pray for three wishes from God. You pray to converse with God. You talk, God listens. God talks, you listen. Prayer is conversation.
We often pray to God for something to be granted by God. Give us something, make something happen. There’s nothing wrong with asking God for something. The funny thing is you ask and God will answer. It may not be exactly what you asked for but it will be exactly what you need. After all, God knows.
I don’t know what I would do without prayer. Not that I’m some holy roller but I just like stopping every so often and talking (praying) to God. And listening. I don’t hear some booming voice from the heavens. I just feel God’s answer when I really commit to prayer.
Jesus not only taught us the Lord’s prayer, he taught us how to pray and how to escape the noise of this world to pray.
Prayer. It’s a gift from God. Better than any magic lamp. Try it. You’ll like it. You just have to commit to prayer, and open up your heart and mind. That will open up your “ears” to God.
The other day I wrote about every day being a GREAT day, no matter the circumstances. As always happens, my writing hits home personally. This time two days later when I wake up and it’s a horrible day, not the greatest day! It’s OK to be cheery and give advice but what happens when you can’t, or don’t, take you own advice?
What I did was reread my post about every day being the GREATEST day, no matter how you feel or what your situation is. I even went down the path of questioning if every day was the greatest day for Jesus. Did He ever just want to roll over, not listen to Satan yelling in His ear, and wallow in sorrow where His life was headed?
It took some time and thinking, sprinkled with some Bible reading, to come to the conclusion—and feeling—that it was indeed the greatest day ever. I was alive, I have the love of family and friends, but, most importantly, God loves me unconditionally, as He does you. I have been saved by the Cross, as have you. How can’t it be the greatest day ever?
Another great day today and another to come tomorrow. Remember: whatever happens on this earth is a blip on the dial of eternity. The promise of that eternity makes every day the greatest day!
Imagine if a spouse or friend went out to the supermarket and never returned because they were in a freak car accident and died? Well, that reality hit home to a very close colleague and friend of mine this week. Her husband ran a simple errand, ended up in the hospital, and died shortly thereafter. Needless to say, my friend is beyond devastated.
These things happen. Life is so fragile that we take it for granted. So, don’t take anything for granted. Hug a loved one(s) today. Make every moment count. You never know when the light of life gets blown out.
It’s times like these when we ask God, “What gives???” “What’s the sense of a senseless accident that takes a loved one away.”
Our sense is not God’s sense. He doesn’t micro-manage the ebbs and flows of life. His is the big picture of life, an eternal life with Him. This life is just a momentary blip on the timeline of eternity. In fact, eternity is the absence of time as we know it. It just is.
I know this sounds like more religious “mumbo-jumbo” to rationalize why someone dies on the way back from running a simple errand. It’s not. It’s simply the belief that there’s a better, eternal life waiting for us. If you don’t believe in that then nothing in this life at all makes sense. Nothing!!!
Happy New Year! It’s that time for resolutions, diets, and promises to hit the gym every day. But whether it takes a new year to get you thinking about you, there is always a new you in you. A you that builds on whatever has happened in the past, regardless of what has happened. A better you, a stronger you, a more promising you.
A lot of people get dragged down by their past like an anchor. They focus on what they did, and shouldn’t have done, and failed to do. They don’t look ahead at all the possibilities, regardless of the past.
Whatever has happened in the past is just that. It’s the past. And you can’t change the past. But you can shape the future by finding a new you in you. You can always reinvent yourself.
Jesus held down a job in obscurity for 30 years. Then, for 3 years he did something totally different—and changed the world in the process. There was a new Him in Him.
Don’t just make resolutions. Find the new you in you. Or simply build on you. You can do anything, be anyone. God is in you. The only one holding you back is you!
I wish you the very best and blessings of peace and joy in this new year!!!
If there is ever a time of year to let your light shine—and brightly—it’s the Christmas season. A bright light in the sky showed the way to the birth of Jesus, who brought light into this world. And each one of us has a light that we need to let shine on others—and brightly!
In the same way, 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
I’m not talking in riddles or religious mumbo-gumbo. I’m talking about the light of goodness, kindness, charity, and all that is good shining forth from you. And actions speak way louder than words!
We live in a world that seems to be getting darker by the day. Just look at the headlines.
If every one of us let our inner lights really shine—smile, pay it forward, give to a homeless person and/or a charity, sing, whatever—one by one we would make the world a brighter place.
If there ever is a time to let your light shine it’s this season!!!