Dream On…

Top o’ the season to you!

We just got through Thanksgiving and most of the world took off like sprinters at their mark toward Christmas, barely taking time to digest their days, much less their meals.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was very nice.  We were invited by my wife’s cousin’s cousin to share a Thanksgiving feast with their family.  It was the equivalent of walking into a strangers house for a family get-together that we happened to know three other people at.  However, this family is one of the most welcoming families I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  And it runs in the genes…my first encounter was similar.  I stayed with my wife’s cousin, whom I’ve never met and she hadn’t seen or talked to in half her life, like strangers, and they treated us like we were every day family that needed to crash at their place for a few nights.  And the food was amazing!  So I thank God for putting people into our lives that weave people through our lives in a chance to share, celebrate, and grow, and I thank the cousins for the invites!

The following day, so called “black friday,” our family spared ourselves the chaos and debt of going out to the stores and stayed inside to relax, reserving a few dollars for our traditional “friday night bingo” with mama-T.  We go almost every Friday night with my mother-in-law at the senior community, spend three dollars each, and hope to win a jackpot.  Mostly, it’s just time spent together.  This time, however, we received a special invitation from a neighbor in the community to share a “day-after” Thanksgiving feast with her, which was delicious and generous.  I thank God for putting kindness into this woman’s heart and I thank Miss B for extending her kindness and love to us.

About a week ago, I received a special gift in the mail from my brother and his family.  A special message from God prompted this gift to be extended to us, and therefor, we couldn’t possibly turn it down.  Tonight, we had an opportunity to go enjoy a free event in Tempe, a comedy/drama called “Love Crazy,” a clean, Christian comedy production, which happened to funny as heck.  I scored some free passes earlier this week and couldn’t wait to take my family to the event, and all I had to pay for was food, if we chose to eat there, which we did.  Thankfully, with the gift we had received earlier this week, we were able to do so, comfortably, and it contributed toward a fun-filled, Christian motivated night for my wife, my mother-in-law, our daughter, and I.  Thank you, God, for letting little ears hear messages of love and allowing us the opportunity to enjoy messages of love through laughter.  And thank you, my family, for your love and generosity.

My wife received a phone call from her son today, the phone call she’s been waiting for since he left for boot camp on the fifth of this month.  She got the phone call that he was there and safe, but she’s been waiting for that phone call of just a few minutes, and she finally got it tonight.  She made it through, full of tears and joy.  So thank you, God, for keeping him safe and strong and giving my wife that moment she needed.

Tomorrow is church.  We haven’t gone for some time, as my wife and I have both been feeling quite ill, and with all the traveling we’ve been doing, it’s been hard to get back into some kind of normal life again.  I’m hoping we feel well enough to go.  I can’t even imagine what more of a message and a blessing we could receive than we already have this week.  So what song has been on my mind this week?  Dream On by Aerosmith.  Just sing for today and leave yesterday behind, dream about all that God has in store us if we live by Him, with Faith, Hope, and Love.  No, we don’t want to go to heaven tomorrow, but there’s really no better place to be, so if we dream about it, the more we want it…and the more we want it, the better we live our lives to get it.  So until then, just live, sing, and dream on…

We didn’t make it to church this morning.  We slept in by accident, not that we had an alarm set, but apparently we needed more sleep than we thought, and we enjoyed it…just dreamin’ on until 10:30 this morning.  But I woke up, thanked God for the day, made breakfast for my wife and daughter, and am letting God have my day for me for whatever He sees fit…I’ll just sing along, just for today, in praise.  Sometimes today is all we have, so take it for everything you have.

~Dear Lord, thank you for the blessings you’ve given us this week and we look forward to any blessings you give to us this upcoming week.  Your blessings are are as wonderful as they are unexpected.  Please watch over us in our health and happiness and through all the struggles of the mind and heart we and our friends and family face at this time in our lives, wrap your Fatherly arms around those who need you and comfort them in a way that only you can, Lord.  In your most High and Holy name, I pray.  Amen~

What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel….

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

It’s difficult, in today’s world to find something to be proud of, in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, in our government, in our world.  There are so many things, as each day begins, that make the possibility of achieving pride subject to change.

We may start off our day thinking that everything is going to go just right and at the end of the day we will be filled with pride that we’ve put in our best efforts and have remained successful at whatever our endeavor is.  But things may happen that chip away at that potential for pride…

We let our frustration from the morning, such as traffic or being late, follow us around and show up through our attitude with others.  We take criticism for something that we may be responsible for as a personal attack on our character or judgment rather than an opportunity to grow and learn.  We make snap judgments and knee-jerk reactions that hurt people and, often times these days, get people killed. We lie and steal as if not a single parent has taught us right from wrong then look around and wonder where all these kids parents are.  We watch the news to find that another parent has killed their child, and if they haven’t killed them, the child has disappeared and the parent doesn’t know why because the parent wasn’t there, and if the parent isn’t there, then it’s a famous or well-trusted idol who’s sexually abusing them.  We see the tally of how many lives have been lost in this war oversees, and wonder why a war is still going on, then get even more frustrated at the government who just can’t seem to get their shit together…on anything!  And on top of that…the weather and all the natural disasters lately are very strange and, well, scary.  All these things makes it hard to have just an honest days pride.

But….if you wake up each day and just live your day as the best Christian possible…then you can take pride in that.  If you remember your beatitudes, then you shouldn’t have to worry about your judgments and actions, and you’ll know to be compassionate, sympathetic, and to pray for every thing and one else going on that is evil in the world.  Wake up, take in a big, deep Christian breath, start your day, and be at peace!  It could be a good recipe for life!

**I didn’t make that video, it was a lucky find on YouTube.  Lucky because I agree with almost everything in it, except the idea of the evolution.  My mom said I was a hairy baby but I really struggle to believe that at one time we were apes.  Why?  God said so!**

~Dear Lord, thank you so very much for all of your blessings this week, and for continuing to watch over our health.  Please bless each day ahead with peace and happiness, and with each person who needs your help, Lord, please bless them with the opportunity to be open to hear you, Lord…that they may find their way to your word and the peace that you offer.  Please help us to love more, laugh more, and grow more and we continue on our journey to you and your Heaven, Lord.  For all that you do for me, my family, and for my brothers and sisters, I thank you and praise you.  In your most Holy name I pray.  Amen~

Why Deny The Obvious Child?

This week has surely been a blessed one!

A week of miracles, a week of togetherness, a week of tiny revelations, a week of growth.  Of course, this week hasn’t gone by without it’s fair share of less than glorious moments either, but really, who’s got it that good?

I did my best to stay prayed up, finished off Ecclesiastes and am on my way to finding peace, and received the good news that the cancer that was taking up residency in my mom’s lungs can no longer be identified as cancer, as reported by the doctors who reviewed both sets of suspicious tissues from two different procedures.  No, she did not undergo any type of treatment or change her lifestyle…she added to her lifestyle.  She started opening herself up to God more, little by little each day.  God…does the body good!  Seems He can cure cancer!  Glory be to God…Amen!

So every Monday night my wife, daughter, and I watch Dancing With The Stars with my wife’s mom.  Sometimes we watch the Results Show together too, but it depends on whose house we started at on Monday night.  This week, we all spent Monday and Tuesday together, as Mama-T spent the night.  She was here when we got the good news and was able to share the joy with us.  After all, she was praying for my mom too.  Heck, there were people praying for my mom that never even met her or even knew she existed.  But spending time with people brings about a sense of closeness, knowing each other, about each other, having a good time with each other, talking with each other, getting to know a person’s true self behind the laptops, smartphones, mp3 players and computerized book things.  Having to rely on just each other for communication and entertainment is getting to be a very boring and tough task for families and friends to do lately.  I’ve noticed…because I can’t help but to notice…

Have you ever been in a public place and looked around you to see how many people are looking down at their “gadget?”  My wife and I spent forty-five minutes on the rail the other day, one way at least, noticing how many people were in their own little world…texting, reading their pad, listening to their mp3 player, not even bothering to acknowledge the person that is sitting right beside them.  And should that person acknowledge them, they won’t be heard anyway…everyone has ear-buds permanently implanted in their ears.

So that led to a revelation.  That when Jesus comes back…He’s gonna have a big problem!  If He doesn’t break through all forms of gadgets so people can hear Him through their ear-buds, and if He doesn’t send out a mass text message, or if He’s not on T.V….sooooo many people are gonna miss Him.

No, really, my revelation was that people need to get back in touch with each other.  Keep it simple, keep it with love, keep it meaningful.  Get on the train, take time to talk with your neighbor, you just may make their day…or they may make yours, either way, what do you have to lose?  Everything else is meaningless and will be there when you get of the train…oh, and spread the Word if you can…God likes that, and you start feeling better about yourself the more you do it.  It’s like, the more you talk about something the more you take on the characteristics or the feelings of it…so the more you talk about Christ and His good works, the more you become Christ-like and are able to easily do good works of your own.

At least, that’s what the teacher in Ecclesiastes and Paul in Philippians lead me to believe, and I have to believe in what they say, as teachers, if I’m expected to know The Lord and grow in my relationship with Him.

I know I have been maturing, slowly, but it counts.  And I’m human, with stumbling blocks, so sometimes I get stuck or fall back, but I’ll get there.  Some things, apparently, need to be hammered out a little bit more than others before I can move on to the next, and being that I’m not really the one who has laid my path, yet only decides how to walk it, it doesn’t really seem to be up to me which blocks I have to hammer away at.  Lately, it seems, patience and anger.

That, too, with prayer and God’s help, seems to be something I’m maturing in.  I’ve had a few small reasons to get angry this week, teenage daughter reasons, but I handled them quite well…in a fair but firm manner.  As for the reasons behind why I would have gotten angry in the first place…well, I guess we just have to keep praying about those ones.  As for the patience, well, it’s almost a forced hand right now, but it’s how I’m dealing with that hand that’s impressive.

I had to sell my truck this week, take an evil loss on it, although it would have been a lot more difficult to come up with the money for repairs when it decided it was going to kick the bucket.  So now we’re down to one car again, which typically works out fine, except for when we need to be in two different places at the same time, which isn’t very often.  So now I sit with a small down payment and my eye on a certain type of car, and so close to the ability to go drive off some lot that might have it in the price range that we can work it out so that it doesn’t break us.  Typically, this is something we try to handle quickly, as neither one of us like to be without a vehicle, but, we’re not in that comfortable of a position right now, and furthermore, I’m not really sweatin’ it that much.  The man says he can’t work the deal with what I have to offer, no problem.  Usually I’d walk away all bummed out and pout about it…but I really don’t even give it a second thought now.  Why should I?  There’s nothing I can do about it!  I can’t go grow another thousand dollars just to get THAT car…and besides, it didn’t have an arm rest…the other one did!  There’ll be another one…another day…

I tell ya, Ecclesiastes is almost like a guide to hippie-tude.  It’s all good!  And then in Philipians, Paul tells us that we should let go of what’s behind us and grasp on to what is ahead of us so that we may be Heaven-bound…and that, at any given point in time, we can only give what we have within us to offer…so don’t try so hard, and don’t sweat it if we’re not up to the task yet.  At that point, it all goes back to Ecclesiastes…everything has a time and a place!

Geez, The Bible is a great self-help book, great treasure map, great book of prose!  I mean, Matthew was an excellent map of the Truth and how to live your life according to God, Job was an amazing, almost “Greek Tragedy” kind of story that I would love to re-enacted on screen or stage, Ecclesiastes was almost like chillin’ with some old hippie teacher, smokin’ a bowl and ranting about the world, but in the end you gain wisdom and appreciation, and Philippians gives you a little personal look from Paul, like finding a long lost letter, with a little bit about himself, his journey, and how he continues to encourage and guide people through Faith.  Thank you, God, for all of it!

Philippians 3:13 – 16  13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

~Dearest Heavenly Father, thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed upon us and continue to bestow upon us, for all the miracles You work within us, within our lives, our hearts, our minds and our spirits, enabling us to live and be healthy, live and be joyful, live and be wise.  Please wrap your loving arms around all those who need your Love and Kindness in their times of need who may need an extra boost of faith and comfort.  Please watch over all of us in our health concerns, happiness, and travels, most especially over your servant, and our Talon, who will be joining the ranks of the United States Military this week, to further serve You, The Lord, by serving your people.  Please wrap your arms around all those who love him and will miss his immediate presence and voice, help them feel comfort and content in knowing that You, Lord, are protecting him and that he is on to the next stage in his Heaven-bound journey.  All these things, I ask, in your most high and precious name, Lord.  Amen~

The Gospel of Learning

I just finished The Book of Job for the second time, including the study commentary, and whilst thoroughly loving the book, I learned that… I should just not question much of anything.  Nobody really has the answer and the one who has the wisdom, knowledge, and Truth to answer doesn’t seem to appreciate being questioned.  Besides, we are all part of a more divine purpose anyway…life, being alive, is like going through an “earthly bootcamp,” if you will.

Through all the trials and obstacles, we seem to want to question all that is before us, from the food to the ranks, but if we lean on our rock of faith and accept that God knows what He’s doing, in both good times and bad, then, not only will justice, in due time, prevail, but we might just be able to relax and live out our time here in a joyful, more meaningful way.

The idea of our lives being more joyful and meaningful comes from Ecclesiastes, which I’m now reading because Job led me to it.  Ecclesiastes, when translated, means “teacher,” and when I learned that, I was even more excited to go through the book, especially when considering the entire theme… most everything being “meaningless.”

If we’re not doing it for God, to glorify Him, being respectful of His order of things, respecting His commandments, doing whatever it is we’re doing from Love, then it’s all meaningless.  Even the work that people put in, get money from, then spend on everything from bills to pills is meaningless unless it’s somehow spent because of your Love for God.  The parties that people have from Superbowl to “just because it’s Friday” are meaningless parties because they are feasting for the wrong reasons, having nothing to do with The Lord.

Well, it’s tough being one of God’s creatures, especially of the Human species, one given free will and a brain like ours, always seeking out gratification, knowledge, wisdom, joy, power, and many other powerful nouns that everyone wants to have the greatest possession of. But we forget, or ignore the fact that we will never be capable of having the ultimate “any of those” nouns because it’s all for God to possess and for us Trust in Him to disperse justly, even if we may not see it that way through our less wise and knowledgeable eyes.  And by the constant pursuit of these nouns, we lose ourselves somehow…so we all have to be careful in our pursuits, that they are not “chasing after the wind” and we don’t lose who we are in it.  And besides, who are we to question all of it…and risk God questioning us why WE are question HIM??  Ha! 

How about we stay read up, stay prayed up, take care of our families, take care of our neighbors, do what we can to get through those hard times, shine through the good times, glorify God through both times, live and let whatever is going to happen…happen.  Anything else is going to be more stressful, trust me…I’m trying to change me from being that way!

And trying to change is not an easy thing for humans to do either, which is why it’s so important to learn and maintain the proper beatitudes from an early age.  Thankfully, I had finished reading Matthew before I read Job, which is an excellent road map for a godly existence on Earth, so I was easily reminded of what kind of alterations I needed, along with a few critiques from others…some solicited, some not.

**So I just got word that my video is not working, not that it was much of a video, just needed to get the song on here, but, alas, YouTube has shut my efforts down again.  If you get a chance, look for the song “Change Me On The Inside” by Brian Doerksen.  You won’t find it on YouTube, by the way…Sorry Everyone**

****UPDATE!! AFTER ALL THIS TIME, IT SEEMS THE SONG IS POPULAR ENOUGH TO BE ON YOUTUBE IN AN EASY SEARCH.  AND WHILE THIS IS !!!NOT MY VIDEO!!!, I’M SHOWING THIS PARTICULAR ONE BECAUSE OF IT’S REMARKABLE RESEMBLANCE TO MY ORIGINAL, AND I TOTALLY DIG THAT!****

Ecclesiastes 1:18

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
   the more knowledge, the more grief.

~Dear Lord, Thank you for bringing me home safely to my family this week, after having provided me some time to spend with my mother over her birthday and during these chaotic times.  Please continue to watch over my family and me, our safety in health and travels over this next week, especially with my mother’s procedure tomorrow.  Thank you for all of your tiny blessings, we look forward to receiving your blessings and look forward to moments when we can spread the message of your blessings and Love.  Please help all of our hearts be in the places they need to be and our minds where they need to be to be able to truly serve you and Love you as we should, that we may live a joyful and peaceful life here on your Earth, and that we may find ourselves worthy of your Heaven.  In your most Precious and Holy name, I pray.  Amen~