Forgiven. Forgive.

You are forgiven every sin you have committed and will commit. Same with me (and that’s a whole lot of sins for me!!!). Same with everyone past, present, and to come. Jesus took all those sins and nailed them to His cross. So, you are forgiven. There’s just one catch…

But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

Forgive and you are forgiven. It’s that simple. Your sins were nailed to the cross. But they are not forgiven unless you forgive. Fair play.

I know—trust me!—it’s often hard to forgive. We like to carry around stuff people do to us and let it fester and even grow like a cancer. The longer the festering the harder it is to forgive. But we have to forgive. It’s part of the deal with Jesus.

The easiest way to forgive is to simply pray for the person we need to forgive. Pray, pray & pray some more. It’s a sure way to forgiveness. Simple but hard to do.

I really don’t know what else to say because this is so simple. Forgive and you are forgiven.

Have a WONDERFUL day starting to forgive today!!! 

The Devil

Real. It’s that simple. Some see a cute little child at Halloween dressed in red with horns and a pitch fork. Some see a hideous monster. But the devil is real, the embodiment of all that is evil. And there’s a lot of evil in this world, I am sad to say.

The devil doesn’t want to be front and center. It works best behind the scenes. I guarantee that some reading this will hear the whisper in the ear of, “Come on! There’s no such thing as the devil. It’s all make believe for the movies.”

But what the devil does best is take little weaknesses we have, work them, and make them bigger. Whether it’s fear, doubt, low self-esteem, or even ego, the devil works behind the scenes very effectively at manipulating us as far away from God as possible. The devil wanted to be God, but that didn’t work out too well. So, it wants to keep us away from God and close to it.

The problem is that the devil not only keeps us distant from God but in the process we lose sight of what life is really about. What are God-given purpose is and how we should be fulfilling that purpose. And when we lose sight of that we get lost in life. Lost in life and bad things happen.

There is only one way to fight the devil. And that’s simply stay close to God. Stay close to the Father who created you, the Son who saved you and the Spirit who empowers you. It’s that simple. Then again, God means life to be so simple. We are the ones who complicate it.

I know this sounds tough to think about. A real demon behind the scenes whispering doubt in our ear, trying to constantly steer us in the wrong director, manipulating our weaknesses, but it’s a fact of life. Not just more religious “mumbo-jumbo” but real life.

The good thing—and real uplifting message—is that God is always less than a heart beat away. You simply have to ask for help. Talk to God. LISTEN to God. Stay close to God. FIGHT. It’s why I say FIGHT is one of the 7 Secrets to Life.

Keep up the FIGHT today. and have a GREAT day doing so in the rays of God’s immense, unconditional love. Enjoy!!!

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)!

Inward or Outward? Life’s Fork in the Road.

It’s all about me. That’s inward. It’s all about others. That’s outward. The major fork in the road on how you live your life. We all want to feel good and happy. The question is do we find meaning in life by always making it about ourselves or about others.

Jesus is our role model. With Him it was all outward. He lived and died to erase the sins of everyone past, present, and future. He hung every one of those sins on the cross He was nailed to. His life was 100% totally about others.

This is a very simple concept. You either live your life looking outward to others or inward to yourself. Everyone wants to be happy, fulfilled, and at peace. The choice in life is if you find that somewhere inside yourself or outward in others.

I don’t know about you but the people I know who try to live life just for themselves are the unhappiest. Those who are constantly looking outward and reaching out to help others seem to be the happiest, fulfilled, and at peace.

It’s a fork in the road we all face. And the choice is pretty important. Inward or outward? All about me or all about others? If you follow Jesus—meaning, call yourself a Christian—the choice is clear.

Have a GREAT outward facing day!!!

 

Only One Person Can Take Your Joy Away

You. If you let anyone else take your joy away it’s your fault. So, no matter how you slice it, you are the only one who can take your joy away. And if you think you have no joy, think again.

God hardwired joy into each one of us. But we let circumstances and people take that joy away. Note that “we” let circumstances and people take that joy away.

Let me try it once again—only you can let anything or anyone in life take your joy away.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Jesus came that you may have life, and have it “to the full.” Life to the full is joy. The joy of knowing that no matter what happens in this world, there is a joy of eternity around the corner. Meanwhile, enjoy every moment!

This isn’t more mumbo-jumbo. Turn inward to God and you will find joy hardwired inside of you. It may seem tough—especially when life gets a little rough—but you will find God, and your joyful side, if you just spend some time with God. Quality time.

Shame on you if you let anyone steal your joy!!!

I recently wrote about finding joy in the moment and not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. Just relish in the joy that the moment brings.

Have a joyful day!!!

Joy in the Moment

I’m someone who is constantly thinking about what I should have done yesterday and what I need to do tomorrow. I almost always forget about the moment I am in… and taking joy in it. That’s a recipe for losing any joy in your life.

I’m telling myself over and over again to take joy in every moment. Yes, planning for tomorrow is good, as is thinking through what you should have done differently, better yesterday. But tomorrow and yesterday can’t overshadow the moment you’re in—and taking joy in it.

Jesus said it all too well:

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 

Don’t ever let anyone steal your joy (more on that in the next post). And that “anyone” starts with you. Plan ahead and look back, but don’t forget to live in the moment. And find joy in that moment.

I’m at Laguardia airport in New York and all I want to think about are my next three days in DC—and taking off for a week over the July 4th holiday. But I’m trying to take my own advice, and live what I am writing now in the middle of the airport chaos, to live in this moment. And taking joy in it!

Have a GREAT and JOYFUL day! Take some breaks today, smile, and live in the moment!!!

You Better Than This 4-Year-Old???

Watch this clip from CBS News the other night and tell me if you measure up to this 4-year-old, Austin Perine. Sadly, I certainly don’t!

Handing out food to the homeless with the message to “Show love!” Answering the question about why he does this and you get, “Because it’s the right thing to do!”

All I can say is WOW!!!

My urge now is to write about how he is following Jesus’ message to help those who need help and Jesus’ command to love. But, frankly, I feel pretty inferior to pontificate about anything. I’ve already communicated what needs communicating.

Feeling pretty inferior, and speechless, right now!