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!!!

God

I’m even questioning the title of this post. But it’s as simple as that. God. We can have faith in God, and throw our trust with Him, or ignore God and trust in the world. So, very, very (VERY!) simple. After all, God means life to be simple. We’re the ones who complicate it.

I’m not given to religious mumbo-jumbo. I don’t have a halo (far from it!!!). And I don’t go about my day floating on a cloud. But I know from my life that when I stray from God bad things happen. When I focus on God even the bumps in life are smaller and easier to navigate.

I just wrote about this. The Israelites took their focus off of God and paid homage to false idols. Bad things happened. They couldn’t get out of the desert. Fast forward. Humans are less focused on God. Bad things are happening. We are lost in one world of a desert.

It’s simply all about God. There is no magic. There is no special prayer. There is just God—and His one commandment to love. Focus on God. He gave us an entire handbook on life (it’s called the Bible). Don’t go around professing religion. Just focus on God, tune out the siren song of the world, and live in love. It’s that simple—if you don’t complicate it.

God. Simple.

My Ties Are Too Wide!

I realized that towards the back of my tie rack that several are too wide. I’m not talking about “clown” wide but ties today are narrower. But one day they’ll be wide again and I’ll be saying that most of my ties are too skinny. That’s fashion—it’s unexplainable whim. Most of us follow the fashion and conform to what’s “in.” I’m just glad that God is consistent, constant, and not given to whim. We can’t count on fashion, and being “in,” but we can always count on God.

The longer I live the more I understand that life changes. Things and people don’t stay the same. Life moves on. But as life moves on God stays the same. He’s an anchor in our lives that keeps us steady and secure, especially when the seas of life get rough.

And in following the whims of fashion and the changes in life, Jesus has an amazing message for us on how to live…

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

It’s OK to follow fashion where it goes but here Jesus is talking about not conforming to the world but constantly “renewing” your thinking—in essence, detach yourself from the masses to really understand the will of God in your life. I think that’s especially important in this current, crazy world of ours.

Follow the fashion but don’t follow the crowd. Think for yourself, and think about God. What he thinks is “good and acceptable and perfect.” Spend some time thinking about this, then putting it into action.

Have an AMAZING week!

The World Will Keep Spinning (Out of Control!)

I’m an upbeat, positive person. How can you believe in God the Father, our Savior Jesus, and our Advocate the Holy Spirit and not be upbeat and positive? But this world of ours is spinning out of control. Why? Because there is waning belief in God, Jesus, and Spirit. Just like the Israelites wandering aimlessly in the desert for all those years, leaving God in the dust as they worshiped idols, we are doing the same. And the outcome won’t be pretty. Sorry!

We had a faith-based shooting this week (and not on American soil). We have rich parents cheating/paying their children’s way into college. We have politicians (on American soil and even including our President) spewing discord and close to hatred. I could go on and on. The world is spinning out of control.

The more we turn our backs on God, the worse it will get. Again, read the story of the Israelites to see how this movie ends. We roam endlessly in the desert of life.

The only thing I know to do is up my faith in God. Listen to His commend (echoed by Jesus) to love one another. I start with all the simple stuff. I smiled a lot this week (at “strangers”). I helped people put up their luggage in the plane bins on my three flights this week. I gave to the homeless. I prayed for all, especially those people who it’s really tough to like, let alone “love.” I tried to do a lot of other things but will stop here. I’m no saint but I tried this week and will try next week.

Change happens one person at a time. I’m doing my best to change this world—from my world. I’m trying. And above all, I’m trying to keep God front and center in my life!

Have a FANTASTIC day and even better 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!!!

Is God a Democrat or a Republican?

Obviously, neither. God is God and we are His children, who—in spite of what we do—loves us unconditionally. We are the ones who love to label ourselves—Democrat, Republican, progressive, liberal, conservative, etc, etc, etc. And all the labels do is divide us. God commands us to do one thing and one thing only—LOVE! And we manage to do one thing and one thing only—divide (and then even hate).

Yes, we can all have different views. The diversity of humanity is its calling card. It’s a strength that is also a weakness when we forget our common bond—God. We spend so much time disagreeing that we get lost in the disagreement. We lose focus of our responsibility to pick one another up and make us all better.

I spend way too much time for work in Washington, DC and, in particular, on Capitol Hill. Right is getting father than ever from left, and vice versa. More energy is spent on promoting political parties that we are not promoting people.

You and I can change this, one person at a time. We can smile, lend a hand, buy a coffee, and, yes, love. Not just family but one another. We can look at what we have common, not what makes us different. We can have different views and politics but we can disagree respectfully. And we can always focus on what binds us. God. Made in His image and likeness.

Have a SPECTACULAR day! Today, try and look at others through a different lens. The lens of God and love!

It Never Fails!!!

The other day I wrote about every day being a GREAT day, no matter the circumstances. As always happens, my writing hits home personally. This time two days later when I wake up and it’s a horrible day, not the greatest day! It’s OK to be cheery and give advice but what happens when you can’t, or don’t, take you own advice?

What I did was reread my post about every day being the GREATEST day, no matter how you feel or what your situation is. I even went down the path of questioning if every day was the greatest day for Jesus. Did He ever just want to roll over, not listen to Satan yelling in His ear, and wallow in sorrow where His life was headed?

It took some time and thinking, sprinkled with some Bible reading, to come to the conclusion—and feeling—that it was indeed the greatest day ever. I was alive, I have the love of family and friends, but, most importantly, God loves me unconditionally, as He does you. I have been saved by the Cross, as have you. How can’t it be the greatest day ever?

Another great day today and another to come tomorrow. Remember: whatever happens on this earth is a blip on the dial of eternity. The promise of that eternity makes every day the greatest day!