Never Alone—You Always Have a Friend!

We’re kidding ourselves if we deny ever feeling lonely. No matter how many family and friends you have around you, loneliness can always creep into your life. And sometimes it can become a cancer, growing into despair and even depression. And it can get worse from there.

No one in this world is ever alone. Jesus is a friend to one and all—equally! He has no favorites. Each one of us is His best friend. Really. Really!!!

This isn’t more religious mumbo-gumbo. It’s life. It’s living. And it’s real. You have a friend in Jesus, no matter where you are in life, no matter what you have done in life. Now or in the past. A best friend.

Friends converse. They listen and they talk. It’s conversation, which is 2-way. In fact, a best friend is always ready to listen and understand before talking.

So, if you’re not listening to and talking to Jesus you don’t know He’s your best friend. You have to spend time with Him, listening and talking. Not just for a few minutes in prayer in the morning or night, but during the day. Just like you would do with a best friend. And Jesus doesn’t have a cell phone; you can’t text Him. You simply have to use good old human 101 communication.

Trust me, trust me, trust me!!! You have a friend in Jesus. A best friend. I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends, starting with my two best friends—my wife and daughter. But my first best friend is Jesus. He makes all of my friendships so much better.

I have certainly been alone during my life, regardless of the people around me. It’s taken more years than I can count, but I have come to understand that Jesus is always there. Always!!!

Enjoy the weekend and spend some time with your best friend (and mine)!

Desperately Seeking God

That’s what each one of us on this planet is doing. The problem is that most don’t realize it. We are like the Israelites in the desert, aimlessly wandering around. When we are right with God and following Him, everything is fine. When we are not right with God, complain, and follow false “idols” the world is all wrong.

God created us. He is in the very fabric of our DNA.  If you don’t believe that I hate to say you are hopelessly lost. If you believe that, you have to understand that our path forward in life is always towards God. We just have to understand that.

Why is the world so screwed up today? Why is there so much strife, animosity, addiction to more things than you can imagine (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc, etc), and just general hopelessness? Because we have lost our way with God.

A recent study of Americans found that “Even in an era where more of the nation doesn’t ascribe to a higher power at all (10%) or believes in some sort of higher power or spiritual force (33%), a slim majority of Americans (56%) still believe in God “as described in the Bible,” according to the Pew report.” And it’s not much different around the world. Another study found that “The prevailing belief in Western Europe is in a higher power or spiritual force that is not the God of the Bible; in 11 of the 15 countries surveyed, pluralities of respondents choose this option.”

I have a NEWS FLASH for you: This is right out of the Bible!!! It’s like someone had surveyed the Israelites wandering aimlessly in the desert. Traveling barely a dozen miles for forty years. Griping and complaining all the way till all of the original wanders died but two. Those two reached the Promised Land.

I’m not trying to be a downer today but we have to wake up! God is the answer and will always be the answer. Until we realize that, and live our lives like that, we (collectively and individually) will be wandering, complaining, and lost. When times get a little tough, and the seas of life are rough, we have no anchor or safe shore.

What to do about it? Seek God in your life. It’s that simple. God means life to be sooooooo very simple. We are the ones who complicate it. Why? Because we don’t seek and follow God. It is that simple!

Get out of the desert today! Seek God!!! And have a FANTASTIC day doing that!

Remember Every Day

Memorial Day is over. Pre-summer hot dogs, hints of hotter days ahead, and looking forward to summer vacation. Hopefully we all spent a little time remembering those brave Americans who gave their lives in far too many wars fighting for our freedom. We take for granted how good we have it in this country and how many have sacrificed their lives for us. And let’s now forget the supreme sacrifice for all our freedoms—regardless of where you live in this world. Jesus nailed to a cross.

Jesus, like so many veterans, died for our freedom. Regardless of what we do, if we honestly admit to sin and do everything to not sin again, our slate has been wiped clean with Jesus’ blood. We are free—if we want to be free!

Every day should be a Memorial Day to remember all the lives lost in this country for our freedom. And every day should be a remembrance of what Jesus did to set us free. It’s really overwhelming to think and internalize what so many have done for us—starting with Jesus.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Have a FANTASTIC week ahead! And REMEMBER!!!

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!!!

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!!!

The Most Powerful Word in the World!

Jesus. There you have it. Not the “Jesus” that people utter as a modified curse word. Jesus. The heartful, soulful word you should invoke whenever you need help, want some peace in a situation, and, most importantly, just say “thanks” and keeping Jesus close.

Saying “Jesus” is not like rubbing a magic lamp. It’s not about asking Him to grant 3 wishes. It’s about having such a close relationship with Jesus that you only need to speak (or think) His name with an open heart and mind. He will do the rest.

This may sound like more religious mumbo-jumbo but its not. It’s simply about life. To me, this is not about Sundays at church, but living life day in and day out. With Jesus.

If you have never done it, try simply saying “Jesus” while your heart and mind are both open. Open heart and mind are a must. Then simply let go and say it—JESUS.

Jesus. The most powerful word in the world. It’s a shame people don’t know it and invoke it—not as a curse, but as a heartful, soulful pouring out of life. Trust me—it works.

Have a wonderful day!!!

 

No Cute Little Devil!

Don’t want to get too heavy but in case you don’t know it the “devil” is real. Very real. He/She/It/whatever is not some cute little red-horned creature that pops up on your doorstep trick-or-treating. The devil is all too real!

The doubt you hear whispering in your ear—even now about what I am writing—is the devil. It is great at simply holding you back in your life with doubt; nothing more dramatic than that. However, when the devil gets a hold in your life with anger, jealousy, and worse, it can lead you down a very bad, and even destructive, path.

The devil doesn’t want any overt recognition. It works best behind the scenes, nudging, pushing, and cajoling you down dead ends and, at worse, off cliffs in your life.

I don’t obsess about the devil in my life, and how the devil “demons” in almost every aspect of my life try to steer me down dead ends. I’m simply aware those demons exist and talk them down on at least a daily basis. Understanding that the devil exists, where the demons are in your life, is a key step in winning the battle. And it is a battle! 

Of course, the closer you are to God—Father, Son, and Spirit—the farther away the devil will be. But it always finds a way, like water seeping into the smallest basement hole, to find those “holes” in your life.

Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Don’t freak out about the devil. Don’t obsess. Just be aware. And move as close as you can to God. It’s really that simple! It’s why one of my Secrets to Life is FIGHT the devil at every turn in your life.

Enjoy the rest of a beautiful weekend!