God, Hope & Notre Dame

Yesterday, firefighters briefed France President Macron that they did not believe they could extinguish the fires at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Today, Notre Dame, although badly scared, stands. Most if not all of the relics and art were saved, including the magnificent windows. And business have already come out pledging millions to rebuild one of the most iconic sites in the world. Hope. God. It and He spring eternal!

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There is no doubt that God was standing behind those brave firefighters helping them extinguish the flames. It’s a miracle that few may admit. But it is a miracle.

God is always there to smooth out the rough seas, to put out the flames, and to simply provide hope in your life. That’s the message of this Holy Week. Out of the bad, tragedy, and even death springs Resurrection and life. God. Jesus. Sprit.

My downbeat mood of yesterday has given way today to the glory of God.

Have a glorious day!!!

My Heart is Breaking as Notre Dame Burns

I have been thinking all day about a post for this afternoon. Normally, something pops into my head and it just flows. Today was different. Then, the news of Notre Dame burning down hit my computer. My heart just sank. I feel like someone died. Someone, something did die. Two hundred years in the making. An iconic site in Paris. A house of God. And the fire can’t be stopped. Notre Dame will burn down to the ground.

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I’m so lucky to have visited Notre Dame and actually to have gone to Mass there. It was such an amazing experience. And now it’s burning down to the ground.

There are just no words to express the loss!

As a Catholic, this Holy Week is a conflicting time of death and Resurrection. Jesus died an ugly death that left all His followers hopeless, alone, and devastated. But out of that death rose a Savior that changed the world forever. He brought life, hope, and a future.

I am hoping that out of this Notre Dame tragedy comes life, hope, and a future. Maybe the loss of Notre Dame will rally people to rebuild it. Maybe an increasing secular France will rally around a church—the house of God. Let’s hope. Let’s pray.

I’m not much into symbols but the burning of Notre Dame may be saying something. God is less a part of our lives than ever. That’s a major part of our problem. As I wrote recently, we’re like the Israelites roaming the desert for 40 years, constantly turning our back on God. The result wasn’t pretty then. All but two of the original group of Israelites made it out of the desert. The result isn’t pretty now.

Sorry for a downbeat post but this is a downbeat day. A symbol of so much is lost. Let’s hope out of death there is a Resurrection!

Magic Lamp or Prayer?

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.

Have a FANTASTIC rest of the day!!!

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!!!

 

Only You Can Make You Feel!

I can’t make you feel anything. Regardless of what I may say about you, I can’t make you feel. Only you can make you feel.

I hear all the time people saying that so-and-so makes them feel one way or another. Even my wife on occasion will say something about how I make her feel. But now she stops and smiles before she says anything because she knows what I am going to say—“Only you can make you feel!”

You may think this sounds insensitive. That we can say anything to and about anyone with free license. Far from it. Our words can be like swords. What comes out of our mouths need to thoughtful, compassionate, and positive. We have no free license to say anything we want. But words can’t make us feel. Only we can make us feel.

One moment, Jesus was going to be made a king. The next, they were ready to throw Him off a cliff. No wonder He went away by Himself for some quiet time to think and pray. Jesus didn’t let the highs and lows get to Him. We need to take some lessons here.

I know it’s tough when people can say mean things. It can hurt. But, once again, you control that hurt. There’s no better way to ignore the “noise” by getting away from it. And thinking and praying, making sure you open up and LISTEN for/to God. It may not be easy, but I can sure tell you it works! 

Your feelings are yours exclusively. You control them. No one else. And your ability to really control them will only get stronger thought getting in touch with God—Father, Son, and Spirit.

Take control today! And have a SUPER one in the process!!!