Our Demons

Last night my brother had a memorial “Celebration of Life” service for his only child. Jacqueline was 32 years old and died from an opioid overdose. She was a good girl, close to finishing her studies to be a physician’s assistant. But she fought a demon, as we all do to varying degrees. As I said last night to all attending, now she is in a place where there are no demons. What seems like a loss—to her and everyone—is a big win.

As I spoke to a room full of people last night, my niece like all of us battled a demon. In her case it was a very powerful opioid drug. Like to admit it or not, we all battle demons. Realizing that and knowing our demon(s) is half the battle. The rest of the battle is turning to God for help. That’s what my niece did not do.

Like my niece, her generation of “millennials” have less interest in religion. Research just out from the Pew Research Center shows the the religious “nones” (atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”) now makes up 26%—yes, 26%!!!—of the U.S. population. But I digress. My point is that my niece did not turn to God for help in her fight with her demon opioid. But God turned to her and now has Jacqueline under His watch, where there are no demons.

My message in all this? There are several. One, know your demon(s) because that’s half the battle. Two, God is always less than a heartbeat away ready to help. You just have to ask. Three, God is always there. You may lose the battle here but you win in the end because He is always there. God is the beginning and the end. That alone gives me such comfort. And it should you.

And, finally, if you know anyone dealing with a drug demon of any kind, help them get help!

God is always there! Remember that as you have an AMAZING day!!!

Nails In; Nails Out

Someone drove those nails into Jesus pinning Him to the cross. And I have news for you—it wasn’t some Roman foot soldier. What??? Sure, physically it was a soldier but in reality we all had our hands on the hammer. Jesus died to erase our sins. And it is those sins that pushed those nails into the bloody cross. It’s time to take the nails out!

I know this sounds like some religious mumbo-jumbo. It isn’t. Jesus died for our sins and our sins put Him on the cross. So, reversing those sins by realizing what we have done (or are doing!) wrong in life, and sinning no more, removes the nails and brings Jesus down from the cross. It’s that very simple.

The next time you do something wrong (sin) picture your hand on the hammer striking that nail through Jesus and pinning Him to the cross. Screams, blood, and agony! That’s the visual. Then, think about how you are going to remove the nails. Not easy, but needs to be done. Only when the nails come out can Jesus come down from the cross and rise in glory—in our lives. For real!!!

Pull the nails out today. And have a FANTASTIC day doing it!!!

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.

 

 

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!

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!!!

Looking for God in Your Life?

He’s less than a heart beat away. You simply have to listen. That’s why I put LISTEN at the top of the list of Secrets to Life. You can’t “hear” God if you don’t LISTEN. You need to shut out the world and tune into God.

When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

It takes your heart to “hear” God in your life. Practically speaking, you need to put the distractions of the world aside and really—REALLY!!!—tune into God. As I said, He is less than a heart beat away.

LISTEN and you will hear. I guarantee it. Don’t expect lightning bolts or revelations, although they may happen. But it’s in the silence of your life where you will most likely “hear” God.

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in the mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-14

Elijah heard God in the “sheer silence.” That’s where you will hear Him too if you can just shut out the world for a little bit.

I know this all sounds simple but it is. God makes life simple. We make it complicated.

LISTEN!!! And have a GREAT day!