You Are An Artist!!!

Trust me—I have little to no artistic talent. I can’t really draw. In college, I took an art class and fashioned myself as a modernist (translation: throw paint on a canvas and call if art). But I am an artist, and so are you! We make “art” every day if we just think about it. I came upon this observation, which says it all too well:

Most of us feel uncomfortable thinking of ourselves as artists, but we are. With every choice, every day, you are creating a unique work of art. Something that only you can do. Something beautiful and ephemeral. The reason you were born was to leave your own indelible mark on your personal world. Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

I always say that each one of us can change the world every day if we just believe and put our fingers in our ears of doubt. The world is our canvas if we just try and use some creativity. We can inspire with our “art.”

Make some “art” today. Be creative. Think outside of your box. Stop listening to the devil’s doubt holding you back. Be an artist!

Have a CREATIVE weekend!

Gloria (Polyester, Not Cotton; Part 2)

In a previous post, I related the lesson I learned about surviving on the streets of Washington, D.C. at night sleeping on the Metro grates: You’ll freeze to death if you wear cotton (it absorbs the hot, moist air rising from the Metro and then freezes). You have to wear polyester. A whack to the side of the head as I am all bundled up in wool, sipping my hot chocolate, and well rested from sleeping in a comfortable bed. Lesson enough until I met Gloria.

Gloria is an older woman, obviously homeless, who I have seen on occasion on the streets of D.C., ofter in the same locations. She doesn’t overtly ask for anything but, yes, I have stopped and given her some money. After one or two times of this, she asked me my name. I told her it was Ted. She gave me a big hug and said, “Ted, Jesus loves you!” I asked her name and she said Gloria. Another whack to the side of the head! Gloria is my mom’s name. She passed away 6 years ago.

All day I was putting my mom in the place of Gloria trying to simply survive on the streets of D.C., day in and day out. It’s inconceivable. Yet, here is this always cheery homeless woman giving praise to Jesus. Now the other Gloria in my life.

It’s tough to say anything else. I’m humbled and feeling like I have way too much. I need to do more to help others. Day in and day out. We all need to do more.

Polyester, not cotton. Gloria.

Enjoy the weekend!!!

Polyester, Not Cotton!

Boy, life has a way of smacking you in the face. I was walloped the other day as I set out on my way to work. I have an office in Washington D.C. and when I’m there, if the weather cooperates, I walk the 1.2 miles to work. I set out the other morning on a cold but beautiful day, invigorated and bundled in my long wool coat, scarf my wife gave me for Christmas, and my favorite Ugg gloves. Then, I learned that you have to wear polyester because if you wear cotton you’ll freeze to death sleeping on the Metro grate. Whack to the side of the head! 

As I came out of the coffee shop with my hot chocolate and croissant, there was a man sitting on a stoop with a cup asking for money. I stopped, dug into my pocket, and pulled out some bills. As I handed the money to him, he pointed to another man asleep on top of the grate to the Metro (the D.C. subway system), where warm air rises, and told me the guy was lucky he didn’t freeze to death last night. He schooled me on the fact that if you’re wearing cotton close to your body it will absorb the warm but damp air and will freeze. You can literally die, especially when the temperature falls to single digits, as it did that night. You have to wear polyester.

I walked away all bundled up headed to my warm office with my hot chocolate and croissant with my head spinning after that wack to the side of my head. Yes, I had given the man money.  I stopped and talked to him. I said, “God loves you!” But why didn’t I give him my hot chocolate and croissant? Why didn’t I give him my gloves and scarf—even my coat? After all, Jesus said, “Give to everyone who begs from you…” (Luke 6:30). That includes the shirt off your back!!!

I don’t want for anything. But others do. It was sobering to learn my polyester lesson. That was further brought home by Gloria. But I’ll save that for the next post.

Don’t turn your back on anyone in need. There are so many who need so much. I realize I have to do more. A lot more!!! Polyester, not cotton!

Enjoy the day and have a WONDERFUL week ahead!

Covington Catholic Incident Shows a World Ignoring God

I take that back. We’re not ignoring God, we’re spitting in His face. And then turning our backs. The media, pundits, celebrities, and everyday people. We’re taking sides and spewing hatred. People see the incident with the Covington Catholic children—children!!!—however they want to see it, regardless of what happened or did not. Slurs and even death threats—death threats!!!—hurled at children—at children!!! It’s slapping God right across His almighty face and saying, “Go to hell, God!”

I say that because God the Father gave us one simple little commandment—LOVE!!! That’s not selective love. You don’t get to pick and choose who you love. You love everyone.

And Jesus left us with one command—only ONE command. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12. Then, if it wasn’t heard he repeated it. “This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17

We have let evil overtake this world. I don’t blame the media, liberal or conservative. In fact, I’m tired of the labels. I blame each one of us for believing what we want to believe. We’re ignoring God the Father and His only Son who saved us. But we don’t care. We don’t love. It’s easier to argue and hate.

Not much else to say.

 

 

Only One Holding You Back is You!!!

I put this quote on my Facebook page this morning…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

We hold ourselves back; no one else. We are our biggest enemy. We let the devil’s whisper of doubt eat away at our confidence. “You can’t do that!” “You’re out of your league.” “You’re not good enough!” The dark thoughts simply cloud out the light.

I have news for you if you don’t know it: You can do anything, be anything!!! God hard-wired you for success, and along with that joy. You just have to believe in you. God does. You just need to follow His lead.

Start with Moses and Elijah and listen to them and others in the Bible arguing with God that they weren’t good enough. They were good enough. You are good enough.

Grab the reins of life today and power ahead! Let me repeat: You can do anything, be anyone!!! Stick your fingers in your ears and stop listening to the devil’s doubt. Follow the light in you that is God.

Have a FANTASTIC day and power ahead!!!

Only Looking Ahead

That’s the only way to live life. Looking ahead; never back. Would-of, could-of, should-of, etc. are about the past. And getting bogged down in the past holds you back from getting ahead. Enjoy today—every second of it—but keep your sights going forward, not backwards.

Thinking about what you did yesterday is helpful in deciding what you need to do differently today and tomorrow. The past is important for correcting mistakes and moving forward as a better person. But getting bogged down in the past constantly wishing that you had lived your life differently is like quicksand. You will keep sinking stuck in the past.

For better or worse your past has shaped who you are today. And today is a new day rich in endless possibilities if you just keep your sights ahead. And in case you don’t know this, no matter what you did in the past that was wrong, God has already forgiven you. Totally and unconditionally. Every wrong was nailed on that cross with Jesus. Acknowledge what you did wrong and the forgiveness will be clear.

I know people who live today wanting to somehow change the past. You can’t. It’s impossible. What you can do is move forward using the past as instruction for moving ahead.

Only looking ahead—the ONLY way to live life.

Have a GREAT day today and tomorrow moving straight ahead in your life! 

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)!