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!!!

Polyester, Not Cotton!

Boy, life has a way of smacking you in the face. I was walloped the other day as I set out on my way to work. I have an office in Washington D.C. and when I’m there, if the weather cooperates, I walk the 1.2 miles to work. I set out the other morning on a cold but beautiful day, invigorated and bundled in my long wool coat, scarf my wife gave me for Christmas, and my favorite Ugg gloves. Then, I learned that you have to wear polyester because if you wear cotton you’ll freeze to death sleeping on the Metro grate. Whack to the side of the head! 

As I came out of the coffee shop with my hot chocolate and croissant, there was a man sitting on a stoop with a cup asking for money. I stopped, dug into my pocket, and pulled out some bills. As I handed the money to him, he pointed to another man asleep on top of the grate to the Metro (the D.C. subway system), where warm air rises, and told me the guy was lucky he didn’t freeze to death last night. He schooled me on the fact that if you’re wearing cotton close to your body it will absorb the warm but damp air and will freeze. You can literally die, especially when the temperature falls to single digits, as it did that night. You have to wear polyester.

I walked away all bundled up headed to my warm office with my hot chocolate and croissant with my head spinning after that wack to the side of my head. Yes, I had given the man money.  I stopped and talked to him. I said, “God loves you!” But why didn’t I give him my hot chocolate and croissant? Why didn’t I give him my gloves and scarf—even my coat? After all, Jesus said, “Give to everyone who begs from you…” (Luke 6:30). That includes the shirt off your back!!!

I don’t want for anything. But others do. It was sobering to learn my polyester lesson. That was further brought home by Gloria. But I’ll save that for the next post.

Don’t turn your back on anyone in need. There are so many who need so much. I realize I have to do more. A lot more!!! Polyester, not cotton!

Enjoy the day and have a WONDERFUL week ahead!

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!

Talk is Cheap!

I think this should be the motto for many (most?) Christians (including myself!). You hear so much talk coming from Christians (including myself!) but so little action. What do I mean?

The very definition of being a “Christian” is following the “Christ”—Jesus Christ. And if there is one word that sums up Jesus, His very being, and what His entire life was about, it is (drum roll, please)—love. That simple little word that means so much but is so little put into practice. And why do I say that?

One out of every three people on this earth is a Christian. Very simply, if all those people (we; you, me, and every other Christian) followed Jesus’ command to us—This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12—the world would be a far different place. But it’s a world filled with strife, anger, and downright hatred. And I’m not talking about the world “out there,” I’m talking about the world right here. Your world. My world.

The apostle John said it best:

Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 1 John 3:18 

Translation: talk is cheap. You’re not a real Christian if you walk around in faith. You’re only a real Christian if you walk the talk—and the walk is LOVE.

There’s a reason I believe that LOVE is one of the Secrets to Life. At least life as a Christian.

Have a sensational week and try, just try, to walk more in love. And, PS, I’m telling myself that as much, or more, than I’m telling you!

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!