Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Line in the Sand

 "If I say I will not mention him or speak any more in his name then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in and I cannot." ~ Jeremiah 20:9

The prophet Jeremiah was not popular because he foretold of events to come filled with gloom and doom.  His own people rejected him, calling him a traitor.  He was treated like an outcast and jailed for speaking out against idolatry.

Jeremiah lived under six different kings.  His people were allowed to worship false gods in order to avoid making waves with the Assyrians who were the superpower of their time.  When a new king took power, he attempted to clean things up and restore the temple.  He died on the battlefield and his people were ruled by the Egyptians.  The temple fell into a state of neglect and the people did their own thing.

Jeremiah got sick and tired of all the rejection and finally decided to abandon his calling.  The only problem with his silence is that it welled up inside him like the feeling you get when you are sick to your stomach.  No matter how hard you try to keep from vomiting, you can't stop it.  Jeremiah's words spewed out of him and he gave his best talks at the lowest points of his life.

After Jeremiah's death, his writings became more influential.  He taught his people to draw a line in the sand and repent from their evil ways.  Even though this message is 2,600 years old, it pertains to all of us today.  We need to draw a line in the sand and stand up to the evil seeping into our communities.

Will you join me and draw a line in the sand?  Are you willing to restore prayer in your community even though it's not the "in thing" to do these days?  On Saturday, September 2, all the churches in my hometown are coming together at Ramona Oaks park to pray for the youth of our community and the world.  Even though permission was given to coach Pete, a wrestling coach at the high school, to post banners promoting the evening of prayer, someone removed the signs on the first day our children returned to school.

Once the line is drawn in the sand, you have a choice to stand on one side or the other.  You are either for God or against Him.  Silence is the same thing as being against Him.  Standing with God may lead to unpopularity, public scorn and a loss of friends.  Jeremiah cried out to God at the lowest point of his life.  He wanted God to punish those who were making fun of him.  God's response to Jeremiah is a reprimand, telling him to stop feeling sorry for himself and get on with it.  Read Jeremiah, chapter 30, for details of God's message.

Which side of the line do you wish to stand on?  I won't be able to attend the Evening of Prayer on Saturday night because I'm attending my daughter's college orientation.  I've already chosen to stand with coach Pete and other members of my community who believe public prayer is the first step to confront evil.  Please make an effort to join this important grass roots effort to bring God back into our world.

Here is a link to the Evening of Prayer...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Glad You're Here

Blog writing is like sealing up a message in a bottle and casting it into the sea.  Thanks to the internet, sometimes I get feedback from places far off about the message.  There are over seven hundred bottles floating in the sea.  If you are reading today's post, you found one.

You may be thinking to yourself that this message you are reading is a little strange and some kind of an accident.  Maybe you were trying to find out if the Devil's Punchbowl near my home has reopened, or you were researching the meaning of 808 I use in my pen name?  I'm glad you're here.  I believe this message washed up on the shore for your benefit and it traveled a long distance to reach you.  It's another one of those circumstances I call a "Godincidence,"  a coincidence guided by a Supreme Being.

What are you going to do with this message?  You could ignore it and go about your daily routine or think about the One who asked me to write to you.  I'm only the messenger.  The One who asked me to write to you has been trying to reach you all your life.  Want to have a conversation with Him?  Close your eyes and listen.  Today you found two new friends, a blog writer who sends out messages of hope and inspiration and the One who asked me to write to you.  Thanks for reading this story. I hope you found what you are searching for.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Keep the Light On

Before GPS navigation and satellite tracking technology, sailors relied on lighthouses to avoid crashing into the rocks.  If the person in charge of keeping the light on wasn't vigilant, it meant trouble for sea travelers searching for their way home.

Every night when I go to bed, I think about the lost.  The first time I turned on the light of Christ and someone told me this light helped them to get out of the darkness, I understood my purpose was to keep that light on until every ship came home.

Lighthouses are needed all over the world.  We are living in a time where the storms keep getting bigger.  Some have abandoned their lighthouses because they lost hope.  An abandoned lighthouse means more tragedy for those desperately searching for the light.

Will you volunteer to turn on the light for others?  The light of Christ can penetrate even the worst fog and it can guide those who find themselves in turbulent waters.  Keep this in mind...the Evil One will do everything to distract you from keeping the light on.  His favorite tactics are keeping you busy so you think you don't have time to man the lighthouse, tempting you with other meaningless assignments, and convincing you that your job isn't making a difference.

If you can man the lighthouse for a lifetime and only one ship is saved because of your work, then your work is meaningful.  The problem is that we never really know when the lost ship is looking for the light.  It must remain on at all times so that others can be saved.  Keep the light on.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letter to God Gets Response

I receive uplifting emails on a daily basis from friends and family members.  Before posting my favorite messages, I verify the stories with  The following message is a tear jerker and it's true, according to snopes.  Get your Kleenex....

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.

The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter
Meredith was crying and talking about how much she
missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to
God so that when Abbey got to heaven,
God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we
could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday
and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am
happy that you let me have her as my dog even though
she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to
swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her
so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.
I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey
and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our
return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps
on the front of the envelope because she said it would
take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.
That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.
A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on
our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called,
'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter
we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite
page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note: 

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a
big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn't sick
anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.
Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven,
I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back
to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to
remember Abbey by. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank
your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a
wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love.


Here is the link to check the facts of this story.  Kudos to the postal worker who comforted the little girl.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Change in Plans

Some of you may have read my post about a special event planned for November 11-13 at my church.  The leader of the group postponed this event until early 2012 due to scheduling conflicts.  I will post the new dates as soon as they are booked.

My good friend, Pat Byrne, a new deacon in my church, asked me to help out with an event for men only.  We are in the beginning stages of planning a camping trip for men only and it will take place on the same weekend, November 11-13.  During our time together, we will pray, read from the Bible and talk about how we can become better husbands and fathers.

This event is open to any adult male who wishes to be a part of building a better community.  Send me an email if you are interested in a fun weekend and I will keep you informed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Who is the Holy Spirit?

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. ~ Luke 24:49

The Bible talks about an advocate who will remain forever to guide us.  Jesus says He forgives us for turning away from Him, however, rejecting the Holy Spirit will prevent us from entering the Kingdom of Heaven.  Let's look at Mark 3:28-30...

Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven all their sins and all the blasphemy they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin. He said this because they [the Pharisees] were saying, ‘He has an evil spirit’.

When Jesus died for our sins, He opened the doors to the gates of Heaven.  The door may be unlocked, however, it's hidden and we need some sort of treasure map to find our way.  Jesus knew we would struggle to find our way, so He gave us a present.  He sent the Holy Spirit to help us find our way back to Jesus.  Rejecting the Holy Spirit is like throwing the treasure map into the fire.  Without a guide, we are lost forever.

Do you remember the first time your mother told you not to touch the hot stove?  You didn't listen and you got burned.  The Holy Spirit is that voice inside you telling you not to touch the hot stove.  When you listen, you stay out of trouble.  Ignoring the voice leads to trouble.

Perhaps there was a time in your life when you possessed this sacred treasure map. Then, something happened and you became distracted.  You lost the map and your life lost it's meaning.  You decided to try and find your way without your guide. Your life fell apart.

Do yourself a favor and tell Jesus you are sorry for all the times you touched the hot stove.  Tell him you are sick and tired of getting burned.  Ask Him to give you back the treasure map.  Hold on to the map all the days of your life.  Without the map, you will never find the door to Heaven.

Along the way, you will encounter others who are lost.  It's easy to recognize them because their fingers are scarred from touching the hot stove repeatedly.  Jesus wants you to share the map with them.  The tiny voice you hear will show you how to share the map so these lost souls will be inspired to follow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is Jesus Real?

There are a couple of atheists in my inner circle who have been trying to convince me there is no God.  These friends are well educated and fun to be around.  One of these friends will be making guest appearances on my blog for a project called "Point-Counterpoint."  The debate is open to all who follow this blog and readers are welcome to participate provided respect is shown for both sides.

When I encounter someone who has no belief in a Supreme Being, one of my favorite questions I pose is this...."Do you believe there was once a historical figure named Jesus who lived approximately two thousand years ago?"

Most atheists and agnostics I meet agree there was a man named Jesus.  I look for as many areas of common ground as possible before moving into the "twilight zone," that area I call faith and atheists call fiction.

If the atheists are right, the entire discussion about Jesus is meaningless.  In fact, life is meaningless.  I will let the atheists argue the meaning of life if there is nothing to look forward to after death while I concentrate on the question of the day... "is Jesus real?" (cue the twilight zone music).

At least one of my two atheist buddies acknowledges there was a man named Jesus.  My next question is about the historical references in the Old Testament of the Bible.  This section of the Bible is loaded with accounts about the Jews.  My questions are designed to discover all the areas we agree on.  Even today, there are people who deny there was a holocaust.  It's the predictions in the Bible that are difficult for the atheists to explain.  Either they were written after the fact or some people were very lucky in foretelling the birth of Jesus.

The core question about Jesus has to do with His divinity.  If Jesus is who He claims He is, then He has power over death and His promise that He will return for us is real.

Who do you say Jesus is? Do you believe He came into this world for you?  Do you believe He died for your sins so that you can have new life? Do you believe that He rose from the dead and that He will keep His promise to return for you?

Today is your day to decide to accept or deny Jesus.  If the atheists are right, your answer doesn't matter.  If they are wrong, your choice is the most important one you will ever make.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mulligan's Island Returns to San Diego

My cousin, Mark Mulligan, is returning to San Diego for a concert on Tuesday night, September 6, from 6pm to 9pm.  The venue is the Silvergate Yacht Club, 2091 Shelter Island Dr.

My wife and I had a great time at this concert last year and plan to invite some friends to join us again this year.  Mark is asking everyone to bring a finger food to share.  Also, please bring your own beverages.  This will be a fun evening.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Through the Microscope

Last week, my eye doctor used some special equipment to examine my eyes.  She dilated my pupils for a better look.  Each machine allowed her to get a microscopic view.  She explained the changes we go through with our vision as we age.

Imagine what we could see if we had some kind of microscope to view our souls.  What would happen if we discovered something we don't like?

The book I'm writing now, "The Caveman in the Mirror," is a story about my visit with the Holy Spirit.  The day I asked Him to show me who I am in God's eyes, He dilated my pupils in some sort of supernatural way and placed a mirror in front of me.  Everything appeared to be okay until He showed me what my soul looked like at an earlier point in my life, a time when I failed to go in for regular checkups.  The slide show terrified me.  I asked the Holy Spirit what all the black specs were and He replied, "legions," meaning multiple demons.

I remembered the day I invited Jesus to live in my heart.  The moment He moved in, the demons fled.  My exam didn't end there.  What happened next changed my life forever.  The Holy Spirit asked me to look into a special device that mysteriously works outside the boundaries of time and space as we know it.  The light was so bright I became blind and it frightened me.  My heart raced.  As my pupils adjusted to the intense glow, a picture of the future emerged.  You can get a glimpse of what I saw in the final chapter of my first book, "God's Black Sheep Squadron."  This memoir and the books that follow are all based on what appeared during my look through the special microscope.

Would you like a free examination of your soul?  Chances are, you have the same equipment in your home that I used for my life-changing exam.  If you need one, check it out on your next visit to the hotel.  The device is stored away in the top drawer of the nightstand.  Before you open the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to show you who you are in God's eyes.  It's also a good idea to invite Jesus into your heart before you begin.   This will guarantee a great outcome no matter what others may have told you about your past.  Jesus has a way of getting rid of all blemishes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Go the Distance

Some days the finish line seems so far away.  It's easy to give up and throw in the towel.  How do you carry on when the odds are against you?

My motivation for staying on course and going the distance is knowing what's waiting for all of us at the end of the race.  There is a God who loves us perfectly and He is waiting for us to come into His outstretched arms.  There are days when someone close to us falls down and they need help getting back on their feet.

What are we going to say to Jesus if we show up alone?  I can't bear the thought of looking into His eyes and telling Him I'm sorry for leaving my neighbor behind.  Helping someone who has fallen is not a detour, it's part of the journey.  The more you help others on your journey, the better your chances of going the distance because you will have someone by your side when you stumble.

Keep your eyes on the finish line and keep your neighbor in your peripheral vision.  Don't leave anyone behind and your race will be meaningful.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

A youth in our community was missing for almost a week.  The family reached out and asked everyone they knew for prayers. The individual who disappeared entered a church in the middle of the night and found a woman who helped her.

This young girl is now safe with her family.  Thanks to all who prayed for a safe return to a family who loves her dearly.  Prayers make a difference.  May God bless all who call out to Him.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Optical Illusions

They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; ~ Psalm 135:16

The video below illustrates just how easy our brains can be tricked by our own senses.  If we can be fooled by something we see with our own eyes, imagine how easy it is for us to see incorrectly what is present in the spiritual world.

There have been some events these last twenty four hours that confirm the presence of Angels even though we cannot see them.  Because the incident is a family matter, I'm keeping the details confidential to protect the rights to privacy. To all the members of my community who are aware of the situation, I would like to thank you for your prayers.  The missing child has been recovered and is safe.  This is no illusion, God is real and He hears your prayers.  I praise Him for His Divine intervention in this crisis.

Do not trust your eyes, trust God.  He is very real.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Praying for Our Children

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, ~ Philippians 2:10

Pete Zindler's books are written for an important audience, the youth of our world.  His books offer lessons designed to make the reader ask questions about why we are here and what our purpose is.  At 6pm on Saturday, September 3, Pete is asking people of every faith to come together and pray for our youth.  Churches of all denominations are uniting for this important evening of prayer.

You are invited to witness something extraordinary.  Click on the link to get directions.  If you live far off and cannot attend, please join us in prayer from wherever you are.  Our prayers go out to our youth all over the world.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Treasures Christian Store

Yesterday, I stopped in at Treasures Christian Store located at 649 Main Street, suite A, in my hometown of Ramona.   Treasures, owned by Hal and Dolores, is one of those quaint little places you can visit to pick up a book from a local author or an inspiring gift for that special person in your life.

"People drive for miles to find unique items in my store yet the locals forget about us and end up paying more for things down the hill," Delores said.

Ramona is known for it's rodeos and it's a great stopping point on the way to Julian.   Thousands of people come to Ramona to hike in the Cleveland National Forest.  It looks like it will be a while before the Devil's Punchbowl will reopen due to the recent fatality.  When it does, hikers will be returning to the back country in droves.  Don't forget to get a souvenir to take with you before departing; Treasures is the perfect place to shop.  It's the only place in town that carries my book, "God's Black Sheep Squadron." My friends, Pete Zindler and Byron Mettler also have their books featured in the local author's section.

When you visit Treasures, make sure you tell them the naked caveman sent you.  Here is a Facebook link...!/pages/Treasures-Christian-Store/192527790762746

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. ~ John 10:9

Captain Pickard of the Starship Enterprise leads his crew on a mission to explore the universe.  Each time a new course is plotted, he says, "engage."  It's similar to the mission Jesus gives us, to enter the gate and find good pastures.

What does it mean to be engaged? defines engage as "occupy oneself; engross."  Here are some synonyms...

absorb, allure, arrest, bewitch, busy, captivate, catch, charm, draw, embark on, employ, enamor, enchant, enter into, enthrall, fascinate, give a try, give a whirl, go for broke, go in for, go out for, grip, have a fling at, have a go at, have a shot at, imbue, immerse, interest, involve, join, keep busy, monopolize, partake, participate, pitch in, practice, pre-engage, preoccupy, set about, soak, tackle, take part, tie up, try on for size, undertake.

You have a choice today to engage or to remain outside the gate, away from the good pastures.  The opposite of engage is decline, refuse, reject or shun.  Captain Pickard never really knew what to expect each time he and his crew engaged.  I trust Jesus when He says those who come in through Him will be saved.  Are you ready to engage?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Dart Board

Is your happiness rated by the number of times your darts hit the bulls eye?  If you are one of those people who can't be happy until your darts land on the right spot, you are missing out on something special.

Life is the act of throwing darts.  Happiness is the choice you make no matter where the darts go.  Stop berating yourself because your neighbor has a higher score than you.  You have your own dart board and your own set of darts, customized just for you.

I'm paying a visit to the eye doctor this morning for the first time in my life.   Sometimes, if I stand too close to the dart board, it looks blurry.  This is common for people like me who are old enough to be a card carrying member of the AARP.  The odds are that my dart throws today may not be as good as yesterday's score.  I don't focus on that.  Instead, I rejoice that I can still get out of bed every day and throw darts.  I will enjoy making new friends at the eye doctor's office and look forward to improving my vision.

Maybe you're having trouble seeing your dart board.  If it's not your vision making things blurry, perhaps something else like a job loss, uncertain future or cancer is taking the fun out of your dart game.  You may not have control over where your darts land, however, you do control one thing...your attitude.  Choose to be happy today and every day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Healing an Enemy

A simple dispute with a neighbor can lead to generations of hatred.  It was no different when Jesus was born into a Jewish family over two thousand years ago.  The same people in neighboring communities who hated His people then still fight today.  It's rare when someone from the opposing side crosses enemy lines.

A mother of a possessed child learned Jesus was hiding out in her community and cried out to Him for help.  She was a foreigner, a Greek who was born in Syria.  Jesus was laying low in her community, giving His followers a break He promised them.  This woman was preventing Jesus from giving His followers the rest they desperately needed.  The woman kept yelling out to Jesus from outside the home and Jesus did not immediately respond, telling His followers His mission was for the Jews.

Jesus did not send the woman away.  Instead, He used her deep faith to teach His followers a lesson.  Yes, He was there for His people.  Even though the leaders of His people rejected Him, He was there to save them.  Once they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they would reach out to their enemies and save them, just as Jesus healed the woman's daughter from demonic possession.  It didn't matter that the woman was from a country that hated Jews.

Imagine what happened when the woman returned home to find her daughter healed.  She would have spent the rest of her life telling others about Jesus.  It's not easy to cross enemy lines for help.  When a foe helps someone from the other side, the door opens for healing.  This is our mission, to get out of our comfort zones and share Jesus with the world.  It's easy to do this with people we love.  The hard part is reaching out to the very people who hate us.  Are you ready to heal an enemy?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Confession About Money

A long time ago, someone close to me shared some secrets about retirement planning.  I was still in high school when this guru taught me about the "rule of 72,"  a method for determining how fast money doubles based on current interest rates.  It's simple, just divide the number 72 by the interest rate you are earning and you can find out how many years it will take for your money to double.

I became so proficient at saving money and investing that when I made the decision to let God be in charge of my life, I turned over everything to him EXCEPT the money.  In a sad way, I let my desire for money become more important than God.

It's funny how everything in my life that I gave to God somehow multiplied faster than anything I could do on my own while my monetary investments went in the opposite direction.  It wasn't until I realized my money situation was out of control that I decided to give my finances to God.  This wasn't a sacrifice as there were more liabilities than assets.

The day I did this, strange things started to change in my life.  It was painful for me to admit to my children that I had to "borrow" their college education money to cover the family budget.  I did promise them their accounts would be restored and they would be able to go to college because God was in charge and I expected everything to work out according to His will.

In a couple of weeks, my daughter will be leaving home to attend Azusa Pacific University, a private christian university.  The motto for this school is "God First."  When she first told me she was interested in APU, I told her to dream big and not worry about the tuition.

I finally learned to trust God in every area of my life.  Money allows us to buy the things we need to live, however, the worship of money and putting money ahead of God leads to trouble.  Put God in charge of your money and you will earn dividends that are out of this world.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reach Out and Touch Someone

When things aren't going our way, it's easy to withdraw from the world and wallow in our misery.  We lose our ability to see other people hurting when we only concentrate on our problems.

There is someone around you today who could really use something as simple as a smile.  Put one on even if you are feeling blue on the inside.  Maybe someone in the cubicle next to you could benefit from a sincere compliment.

The kind gesture you do for a neighbor touches two lives, yours and theirs.  It allows you to forget about the things that are getting you down while lifting up another in need.  Make it a habit to reach out and touch someone every day and watch your world change.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Broken Road

Country music was never really a part of my life.  Somehow, the lyrics about loss, heartbreak, and other depressing topics kept me away even though I live in a community where cowboy boots and country music are popular.

The other day, we were having a family day and my wife tuned into a country station.  Everyone in the car except me began chiming in and I felt I was missing something.  When Rascal Flatts blasted through the airwaves, I was drawn in.  Here's the song that touched my family...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Young Boy's Vision

The video below features a young boy from a third world country who believed in a dream.  Although he and his family were starving to death, he was determined to make a difference.  Please take a look at this remarkable young man and share this story with your friends...

Here's link to William Kamkwamba's book...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love Hurts

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor.  In His stories, He spells out who is classified as a neighbor.  The crowds don't like His examples.  He identifies groups we would prefer to exclude from our social network.  If they were connected to us on Facebook, we would block them.  On Google Plus, we would not be putting these despised people in our cherished friends and family circles.

Why is loving these people so important to Jesus?  Perhaps Jesus knows what it's like to be on the outside.  He remembers His closest followers turning their backs on Him.  He understands how deep the wounds are when someone is bullied.

Sometimes, love hurts.  We reach out and love our enemies, yet all they do in return is mock us and criticize us.  How can we keep loving when it's so painful?

There is one thing I remember about loving the unlovable neighbor.  No matter how much this person hates me or rejects me, there is something inside my neighbor that is special.  This neighbor was created as a reflection of God.  When I turn my back on him or her, I'm rejecting the Creator.

Love is the most powerful emotion in all the world.  God's love for us prompted Him to send His only Son to die for our sins.  Jesus love for you and me allowed Him to endure unimaginable suffering.  What will your love for your hated neighbor do?  Give it a try, even if it hurts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Ripple Effect

Today's message began with a single thought.  The thought flowed from my brain to my fingertips and into this post.  Like a raindrop falling out of the sky, it plunged into the ocean, sending ripples in all directions.  What is this message in a bottle you are now opening?  Someone has been waiting a long time for you to get this...

Hello, my child.  You've been searching for Me for ages.  I've always been near.  Each time you called out to Me, I heard your voice.  The noise in your head prevented you from hearing Me.  Why do you keep ignoring the people I place in your life to bring you back to me?  Is it because you keep judging them?  Please, leave the judging to Me.  Besides, I'm not through with these people.  I'm certainly not through with you and I have a very important assignment for you.  If you do what I ask, the world will be's called the "ripple effect."  Are you ready?

I want you to take five minutes and go look in the mirror.  While you are looking at yourself, remember this....the reflection you see if of Me.  That's right, I created you in My image.  You are one-of-a-kind.  The good you see in the mirror is a part of Me.  The other stuff you are looking at comes from your poor choices.  It's not too late for you to cut out all those bad habits.

Are you ready to change the world?  The first step is to stop judging yourself.  It's also time to forgive yourself for your past mistakes.  Look deep into the mirror and tell yourself you are forgiven.  Now, close your eyes for a couple of minutes and ask Me to forgive you.  Once you feel peace in your heart, you can open your eyes again.

Feel better?  Now, I have one more request.  From now on, I want to live inside your heart.  Everywhere you go, I want to go with you.  Are you ready?  Repeat after me...."Jesus, I want you to live in my heart forever.  I promise to take you with me everywhere I go.  I'm ready to change the world and I believe this is possible as long as you are in charge of my life."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Do Prayers Matter?

Prayers are like conversations with good friends.  When you run into an old buddy who has been out of your life for a while, both of you get excited as you catch up on current events.  You promise to keep in touch, however, both of you are busy and somehow your friendship drifts.

Consider your prayer life as a way of keeping in touch with God.  Make time for Him.  Prayers can be divided into two main categories, gratitude and petitions.  Don't forget to say thank you for the blessings in your life.  When you need something, pray for it.  Imagine you are a carpenter on a job site and you realize you are missing something you need to get the job done.  If you are missing a hammer, ask God to give you one.  He will always give you what you need to do the job He assigned to you.  If you need more patience, understanding, or empathy, just ask for it in the form of a prayer.

Jesus wants to be your friend.  Keep in touch with Him on a regular basis.  The more you pray, the more your prayers will matter and the closer you will get to Jesus.  If your prayers are infrequent, commit to a prayer each morning when you wake up.  Do this for thirty days and judge for yourself if your prayers are making a difference in your life.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gone Fishing

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." ~ Mark 1:17

Jesus changed the world by selecting a group of fishermen to follow Him.  Fishing was important in His day and Jesus worked miracles with fish to teach His group an important lesson.  These first followers stumbled often and it took three years of teaching before they would turn into fishers of men.

Once the Holy Spirit entered their hearts, all the ideas about fishing made sense.  At last, this small group was ready to do some real fishing.  They ventured out to new places and cast their rods in waters far off, looking for others who were lost.

Two thousand years later, many are still lost.  There are some big fish who refuse to bite no matter what bait is used.  They believe these modern day fishers of men are lunatics.  The fishermen keep trying new bait while the big fish stay away.

If you are one of those stubborn individuals who refuse to take the bait, I would like to pose one question.  "How can you be so certain your position is correct if you've never been outside of the water?"  You see, one of us is right about the existence of a Supreme Being and the other is wrong.  If you are correct in your position, then both of us will eventually die and our lives will be over.  If I'm right about God, then a life-time spent fishing is significant, all long as you swallow the bait and get in the boat.  Jesus sent me to reel you in.  My life is dedicated to fishing... for you.

My days fishing in this pond are numbered.  Jesus knows where you are even if you don't believe in Him.  He wants you to take the bait and come out of the water.  I promise you one thing....I will be here every day and I will keep fishing for you.  My prayer for you is that you will at least ponder my question about the certainty of your position. If you have any doubt about what you believe or don't believe, maybe you should take the bait and explore what is outside of the water.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Invitation to Meet Jesus

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. ~ Matthew 18:20

If you were to make a list of the top ten events you attended in your life, what would they be?  A wedding, a world series game, maybe a family reunion?  Each time you get an invitation, you must make the choice to accept or decline.  Has anyone ever invited you to meet Jesus?

This extraordinary three day event sponsored by my church may be one of the most significant moments in your life.  Past retreat events have been limited to members of our own church, however, our pastor wishes to open the doors to anyone who wishes to attend regardless of denomination, faith or no faith. Non-believers are welcome.  Doubters can come with questions.  People of all backgrounds will come together under one roof.

As one of the presenters, I will be sharing my individual faith journey with you.  Several close personal friends will also be giving talks.  There will be music, food, and fellowship.  Jesus promises when two or three are gathered in His name, He is there.  As a witness to many weekends like the event planned November 11-13, I can testify He is telling the truth.  In fact, many past guests commented they had plans to attend other activities that fell apart at the last minute.  If you find your weekend in November is suddenly free, maybe Jesus is inviting you to meet Him and He is clearing your calendar for you.

Please make plans to attend this special weekend.  More details will be coming in future blog posts.  If you would like to add your name to the guest list, email me today at  I look forward to meeting you.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Predetermined Destiny

A friend asked me recently if our destinies are predetermined or if we can change them because of our own free will.  The question is a loaded one because free will means you have the ability to follow your own game plan and a predetermined destiny suggests you are not in control of your future.

I answered my friend based on my assumption there is a Creator of the universe who is all-loving.  When you love somebody perfectly, it means you must give the person the free will to choose to love you or not love you back.  Failure to give this freedom means you're not loving them perfectly. 

I also believe the Creator of the universe is all-knowing.  This is something a person who has limited wisdom can never fully grasp.  I believe God knew every choice I would make even before He created me.  Does this mean that because He knew every choice I would eventually make, my destiny is predetermined?  I believe I do have free will and God also knows every choice I will make in the future.  His knowledge of my future choices does not take away my free will.

Jesus had a predetermined destiny.  He also had free will.  Because the Creator knew Jesus would follow His game plan, it was possible for others connected to the Creator to foretell the future.  The Bible is loaded with predictions about Jesus and every one of them came true.

What will your destiny be?  Will it be one of poor choices and dead ends or will it be one in alignment with God's plans for your life?  God already knows if you will follow Him or reject Him.  Regardless of what you choose, He loves you perfectly.  If you believe there is a God who loves you perfectly, even though He knows everything about you, the choice to follow Him is an easy one.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Find God

Be careful.  The video below may challenge your view of God.  If you are content with the life you currently have, you may wish to avoid this message.  If you are having trouble finding Jesus because He is hidden from your view, maybe this video will give you answers to your questions.  Proceed with caution...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Moving Teeth and Moving Hearts

Everyone is born with music, but  many never discover what their music might be. There can be no greater tragedy in life than for people to take their music to the grave.” ~ Dr. Thomas F. Mulligan

Dr. Thomas F. Mulligan
Please allow me to introduce a special man and role model in my life, my uncle, Dr. Thomas F. Mulligan.  Uncle Tom gave me permission to share his story here for your benefit.  This morning, he was up at 4:30AM and one of his first actions was to email me before his daily five mile walk to attend his church service.

As my dad's older brother, Uncle Tom stood by his side and our two families shared vacations, camping trips, and weekend barbecues for many years.  Uncle Tom is the oldest living orthodontist in America who is still active, not only in running his own practice, but in writing and lecturing around the world about how to move teeth.

Dr. Mulligan is always looking for better ways to do his job and I owe my smile to him, something he gave me and my precious siblings without charge.  My uncle knows there are specific bio-mechanical principles at work regarding the development of that winning smile his patients of forty-nine plus years exude.

Besides moving my teeth, Uncle Tom moved my heart.  He stood behind me the day I asked him to place his hand on my shoulder in a church ceremony. The purpose of the spiritual event was to ask the Holy Spirit to be present in a deeper way.  On that day, something was set in motion that cannot be explained using the laws of physics.  Moving a heart is not a science, it's an art.  Fortunately for me, my uncle is both an accomplished orthodontist and a fine artist.  His eight children are role models for the world and they are just like brothers and sisters to me.

Here is a link to Dr. Mulligan's website.

He teaches that when people work together, 2+2=5 and when they don't, 2+2= 3.  Dr. Mulligan also has a great personal message on his blog, just follow the link on his website and may he move your heart as you read his inspirational messages about life.  Thanks for sharing, Uncle Tom.  Your collection of poems written for others in need is touching.  This collection is posted in the friends and family links for the world to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Mysterious Advertising Message

The video below will entertain you.  It will intrigue you as you attempt to figure out who the target audience is.  My guess is this commercial was made just for you.  Check it out...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sudden Life

You never know what to expect from the Mulligan clan.  They joke, they compete, and most of all, they make you feel good when you are having a bad day.  Many of my blog posts are inspired by family members, however, I withhold their names to maintain their privacy.

One of my younger cousins shared with me how life is broken down into four quarters, just like football.  Those of us who are still playing the game at one hundred years old enter "sudden death" overtime.  My cousin believes the connotation may scare some people; he would rather call each quarter as well as  overtime "sudden life."  He has a solid point since we never really know when our time will expire.

How are you doing with "sudden life?"  Do you live each moment to it's fullest?  Do you have it in you to make a comeback after an injury?  Are you willing to try something new when your current game plan is keeping your offense off the field?

Don't overlook your special teams.  Your creative play calling can get you right back in the game no matter the score.  Take some risks.  Throw a few Hail Mary's.  Learn how to take the ball away when you are playing defense.  Remember not to get too flashy when you score a touchdown and give credit to the One who helped you get in the end zone.  Be a strong role model for the fans who look up to you for inspiration.  The world needs good players to fill your shoes when you retire from the game and enter the Hall of Fame for a life well lived.