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!!!

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!

Who’s in Control?

God. There’s only one answer. And if you got this question wrong, or even had to think about it for a second, think again. God’s not driving your life. You can’t sit in the passenger seat and just relax, snoozing on occasion. You’re driving but God is giving the directions. So, you have to LISTEN.

Why are so many people directionless in life? In fact, why does it seem like the entire planet of people we call humans is directionless? Simply, because they don’t LISTEN to God.

I can’t write enough about this but God has a special, unique purpose for your life. Yes, you! And, yes, both special and unique! Unique because whoever you are—even if you have an identical twin that reads your mind—you are uniquely individual. And your purpose in life is uniquely yours.

The secret to life is finding and understanding that purpose. And one of my first Secrets to Life is to LISTEN for and to God. He’s sitting there in the passenger seat beside you, ready with destination and how to get there.

But you won’t know your destination unless you simply LISTEN.

Try letting go and letting God. It’s simple. And it works!

Happy driving!!!

Do You Look Outward or Inward?

There is no better question on how you live your life to ask yourself! I mean, seriously. Of course, 99.9999…% of us look outward. We look at the sex of a person, skin color, our version of “attractiveness,” etc, etc. All outside. But God told Samuel how we should be “looking:”

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Of course, this makes sense if you stop and think about it for a minute. God created us “in His image” (Genesis 1:27). The “image” of God is not outward—He can’t look anymore like me than He does you or anyone else. God doesn’t have any kind of doppelgänger. God’s “image” is His heart and total, absolute, and unblemished unconditional love.

OK, I’ll stop the gobbledygook and abstractions and bring this down to earth and practical living.

You need to look past the outside of a person, no matter how hard that may be. You have to look “inside” a person, at their “heart.” We can only move closer to God when we start loving like God loves. And the only way to really LOVE a person is how God loves you, me, and every other person past, present, and future. Inside.

Look at the world today. Hatred, violence, abuse, etc. It’s not God(ly) because it’s all about what’s outside people, not what’s inside. The world would be a far, far different place if each one of us even made the attempt to look inside people.

Want to change the world? Start looking “inside” people. Look past the flesh. Like all of life, it’s that very simple. Remember—we complicate life. God intends it to be simple. Change starts one person at a time. Change. Look inside.

Have a GREAT rest of this weekend, wherever you are!!!

Only You Can Take Away Your Peace

The outside world cannot take away your peace. And, yes, unless you don’t know it, you have natural peace within you. That’s simply because God created you and God is peace to the core. Only you can take away your peace. Not someone else.

Not at peace? Events and/or people around you “stealing” your peace? Well, they can’t “steal” your peace unless you let them. Your peace is your’s. Only you can let events and/or others take your peace away. You own it.

Not at peace? Lost your peace? Find a quiet place like a church, library, mountaintop, etc. and tune out the world. Dig down deep inside of you looking for your peace. You will find it if you really try. And, if you don’t realize it already, that peace is God inside of you.

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

Have a PEACEFUL week!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

I don’t just wish you a “Merry Christmas” today. I wish all of you, regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the true meaning of Christmas—joy, love, and peace in your life today, in 2017, and beyond.
 
It’s bad enough we live in a divided world, but our country is more divided than ever before in modern history. So, not just for one day, but for all days, let’s each try to spread some joy, love, and peace. If we are going to heal, we need to heal ourselves and help others heal.
 
Merry Christmas!!!

Are You Passing Lazarus on the Street?

Last week I went from Washington, DC to Chicago. What I noticed was more people on the streets of both cities begging—in one case a mother with a small child. And the other thing I noticed was north of 99.9% of people totally ignoring those people. Reminds me of Jesus talking about the story of Lazarus:

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. Luke 16:19-21

What happened? Lazarus died and went to heaven. The “rich man” died and went to hell. He lamented not having stopped and helped Lazarus when both were alive on earth.

Are you passing Lazarus on the street?

One more thing to think about that Jesus said:

Give to everyone who begs from you. Luke 6:30

Do you?

Have a great day!