It’s been a week since my declaration to better my lifestyle in attempt to live a healthier physical, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle.

We actually did work out…and on New Year’s Day!  And we’ve worked out three days since, as planned, despite my ongoing cold.  I can’t say that I’ve done that great of a job at eating any healthier, but in a few days when we go shopping, our choices will get better.  I’ve limited myself to eight to ten cigarettes per day this last week as well.  I normally smoked nearly a pack a day, having usually about three, definitely one, left at the end of each night.  So far, I’ve done amazing with that commitment.

Yes, I used a post it note for that, but I also broke out my Scarface cigarette case and prepacked it each morning with eight cigarettes, taking the ninth out with me for the first one of the day.  I kept the rest of the pack in my dresser drawer, out of sight, out of mind.  The only thing I could see was that I had those amount of cigarettes in that case for the entire day, so I had to ration myself and make use of the “halfie” system.  And no, just because you’re up past midnight does not mean you get to start over.  As my wife put it, you don’t take from tomorrow to pay for today…or something like that!

I’ve read once through Corinthians and intend on reading through again, this time reading the study notes.  Wow…what a strict book!  I’m not quite sure what to make of it.  It’s something I’ll have to ponder on, I guess.

We finally got our back patio back this week.  It was held hostage by a love seat that has been waiting patiently to get over to it’s new house at my mama-in-law’s.  It finally got there and we’ve finally, since we moved in, have had the time to fix it up to make it more inviting for us to spend time out there, especially considering all of our different personalities.

Other than Thanking God most every morning and maintaining my eight to ten smokes a day plan, and of course my blog time, every other plan I had failed to take a good root this week.  I guess that’s what happens when we make plans…God laughs and says, “that’s not my plan for you…yet.”  I guess I still need to work on surrendering what I want and accept what just comes.

Which brings me to this song that has been haunting me, so I thought, for a few weeks.  I’m not sure why I’ve been avoiding it;  I actually like the song.  But I think yesterday when I surrendered my ears to the song the message finally came to me.

First of all, one of my most favorite things I’ve always loved to do was get in the car and drive, turn my music up, and just…drive.  Whatever was going on at the moment would somehow be handled within me after spending time in the car.  I would just get in and take off, giving little thought to direction, although I would maintain a certain perimeter around my home.  I didn’t see any reason for worrying anyone, so most of the time people would have an idea of where I went if I was going somewhere or around what area I would be in if I was just driving around.

Now, ironically, I no longer have a vehicle of my own.  I sold it about a month and a half ago because it was starting to require some repair that I wouldn’t be able to afford and I had to take the loss.  Yes, I was bitter.  But, the truck served it’s purpose!  It brought my family out to Arizona, to a city where I really don’t need a vehicle because if I don’t have access to our other one, there is a huge mass transit system.  Plus, I don’t have many places to go!  But that’s not the point.  The point, actually, has nothing to do with driving a vehicle at all!

Similar, perhaps…

When you get behind the wheel of a car and get out on the street, you only have control over very few things.  Your own personal environment is one of them, the turns you make are one of them, but the road you are traveling on and the drivers traveling around you are completely out of your control.  So while you’re in the car, you do your best to pay attention to everything, use your skill and knowledge to keep you safe, but in reality, there is nothing you can do about what is coming at you out of nowhere.  The best you can do is to listen to your music and stay alert and just drive without being hyper-conscious of everything.  That only takes more of your attention away from what’s happening around you and within you.  And you can’t plan for anything anyway…so just drive…you’ll get where you’re going.

The same is true with our days.  If we wake up with a plan of what we’re going to do, if it is anything outside of a routine, then we’re doing less than listening to what God has in store for us that day.  Hop in the car, rev the engine, turn your music on, and just listen.  Let God point you in the direction you’re supposed to be heading that day, after you’ve said your prayers, of which He already knows what you desire, and know that you both have a destination in mind.  Every day is a continuation of a lifetime road tip, on your way to Heaven, and every day may be a change of scenery or a detour because that’s what God has in store for us that day.  Just take the wheel and drive!

~Dear Lord Jesus…Please forgive me my indiscretions this week as I tried to my myself proud in an aim to start living my life with better choices and with better discipline.  Thank you for being a merciful God, that I may screw up and keep trying and know that my faith in you has a direct impact on your faith in me, and you, Lord, are the most faithful of all.  Thank you for all the blessings you shared with our family this week, Lord, we certainly felt comforted in your good graces and look forward to next week with more opportunities to better ourselves that we may better our service for you.  Please watch over my family’s travel this week, keep them all safe and at peace while on their journey to share in crossing the threshold of my wife’s son’s military life.  Lord I ask that you keep him and bless him throughout his service to this country and his service to you, Lord, and that you bring my family safely home to me.  Also, if it’s not too much to ask, if you could help my daughter and I have a good week and help us both work on what we need to work.  In your precious and 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**


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~


Shhhhhh….be still… quiet….

Sometimes when all the noise in the world penetrates the, already blaring, noise in your head and heart, it’s good to just quiet yourself and stop adding to the noise.  You just might be able to hear something that you’ve been trying to listen for.

I’ve been reading the book of Job.  It’s an amazing book!  I’ve completed it already and have started reading it again.  One would say, that through all Job’s turmoil, that he’s talking too much, complaining too much, preaching too much, perhaps even getting impatient and upset with those that are trying to help him.  It’s understandable, he’s suffering…and doesn’t know why.  As humans, it always feels right to question why things happen…we demand reasons, we demand that the world knows what’s right and wrong, and furthermore, we demand that the world knows when we are right and wrong.  But sometimes…it just doesn’t matter.  Sometimes, it’s just better to let things play out…go through it and grow through it.  Even when we are being hurt in the process.

While going through those struggles and hurt, we can’t deny that we still feel the emotion.  I’m feeling emotion.  I can’t deny that there are circumstances around me that I can’t control and they are bringing about sadness, anger, bitterness, probably a whole host of emotions that I can feel at any given moment.  In fact, I’m feeling one right now that I wish I didn’t, simply because something special is not being acknowledged.  But oh well.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  That’s why I’ve chosen, as of this last week, in the trial I’ve been given, to be still and know that He is God.  It is better for me to say nothing at all than to say anything and risk the backlash.  All will be handled in it’s due time and by someone who is both more powerful than me and more meaningful than me.

I had a dream a couple nights ago where I was running through the rain, along a street I wasn’t quite familiar with, but perhaps somewhat familiar with.  Maybe I was only familiar with it in my dream.  I was able to do things that I couldn’t do in reality…jumping higher than an apple tree, doing flips, running without getting out of breath….in this dream, I was letting out things inside of me that I can’t do in reality.  It felt good in the dream…I wish I could do it in real life.  But when I woke, the first thing I could think of was another one of my favorite HIM songs.

~Lord, please bless this day, the anniversary of my mom’s birth, and please guard her health that she may have another birthday to celebrate.  Thank you for all the blessings you’ve bestowed upon us, even in the form of trials and tribulations, where we’ve grown in spirit and are continuing to grow.  Please watch over our travels and health, and see that we find togetherness in our daily lives.  In your most precious name I pray.  Amen~

The Gospel of Chaos 1:1

One would think that with all this chaos in my mind and heart right now, I would have so much to say, yet, I’ve been staring at this screen for at least half an hour and haven’t been able to think of one thing to say.  I went to church with my mom this morning, took notes, and still can’t figure out what to say. 

Yes, I’m at my mom’s house…in Texas.  My wife and I went shopping last Wednesday afternoon and, after a phone call about some test results, left the store before we had anything in the cart and started packing…leaving about four hours later and driving sixteen hours through the night to get here the very next day.

So now I’m here and there should be so much to say because there is so much going on but, alas, I’m unable to purge anything…my tear ducts even seem to be in a form of drought, despite my desire for them to just bust wide open, hopefully relieving this heaviness on my chest and this tightness in my throat.

Surely there must be a word to define all that I’m feeling…sad, hurt, fear, anxiety, stress, anger, bitterness, defensive, exhausted, yet, at the same time, showing calm, patience, a sense of reason.  My wife is scared because this is not how I should be acting…and I would agree with her, I’m a little scared too, but I’m leaning more on the calm side, finding comfort in my Heavenly Father, that He is guiding me through this darkening part of my journey.

I feel like I’m in one of those boxes they used to have on game shows where blasts of air come in and send money or whatever all around the box as everyone watches, while the contestant has to struggle to catch and hold onto their prize…except in my box, emotions are flying around, and because they are intangible, I can’t grab them and hold onto them long enough to focus on each one.  At the moment they’re just kind of hitting me and bouncing off until they come back later and hit me again…I hope that changes, I’m sure it will later down the road.  But for now, this box is filled with emotions, memories, and unhealed wounds that hit and sting…if only for a moment, then fly off in another direction again.

Life is scary, strange, imperfect, full of struggles and that’s what makes us who we are so that when we get to the next part of the journey, we’re somehow prepared, even if we’re torn down to nothing just to be built up again just so we can learn how not to be so torn down the next time.  The Lord shows us the truth about ourselves through the life that we lead and the choices we make, sets us down on our path at birth and allows us to come to the forks in the road, and with each direction we choose, He shows us our truths, whether we like them or not.  Our desire in life, well, at least my desire, is to please Him, so that I may be counted among those beside Him in the Kingdom of Heaven, having felt His nudges, understood and carried out His word, and faithfully followed Him on my journey toward Heaven.  Sometimes, to get there, we have to go through a great deal of crap, endure emotional turmoil, pain, shame, live with memories and embedded behaviors that have no purpose, other than to remind you that you are stronger than that now…that the power within you is greater than the circumstance around you.  And the more you commit to that desire, the more truth will come out, but the more truth you find out, the more at peace you will become…because God does not want us to hurt more than we have to.

There are many ways to translate the phrase In Venere Veritas, a song title by the band HIM.  The lead singer, of course, is the only one who knows what he meant by it, but, it’s art and therefore open to interpretation.  In…is simply “in”, venere is “Venus” and veritas is “truth.”  In Venus is truth!  Huh?  The truth is on a planet?  No.  Uh oh…the truth is within the goddess Venus?  We’re not supposed to worship any other god…so now what?  How about we look at the symbolism!  First, the symbol of Venus is a cross with a circle on top of it. 


The cross, representing our spiritual connection to the universe and the circle representing our inclusive connection to the universe.  The attributes of venus are love, allure, desire, beauty, passion, harmony, affection, sexuality, creativity, attraction, inspiration, femininity, aesthetics, imagination, appreciation, relationships, and unification of opposites. All that being said, could it not be said that these attributes are what should be aimed for, careful to not find ourselves with over-abundance, but that it’s quite possible that in the desire to be the kind of person that is those things, the truth about ourselves, and the Truth of the Lord, is going to help lead us there, keep us there, and grant us the keys to the gates of Heaven, where we can leave all the baggage we’ve been carrying along the way behind?  Sounds good to me anyway…at least right now…

~Dear Lord Jesus, you know my needs better than I do, so I ask that you continue to guide me with your love so that I may have the strength, the courage, the wisdom, and the ability to continue this journey and fight the battles ahead of me and not lose sight of hope in the face of the struggles ahead of me.  I ask that you watch over all of us in our travels, and in our daily health so that nothing shall overtake us that doesn’t need to right now, Lord.  Thank you for your many daily blessings and lessons.  In your highest, most holy name, I pray, Lord.  Amen~

Thank God For Sunday

It’s been an absolute hell of a week.  To even try to go into detail about it would be both too difficult and too personal for all people involved.  The devil was surely nipping at our heals this week, nearly blowing out all our lights that shine our way on God’s path.  It’s amazing how one small thing can be interpreted so very differently and, therefore, get crazy out of hand because of it.  Sometimes I believe we, as a society, are losing the art of communication with one another, and the ability to understand each other.  It’s detrimental.

Couples should take classes once a year, health care providers should take classes on how to communicate with patients, people, in general, should take a class on normal expected human behavior, and the world would be just fine.  The amount of disrespect and misunderstanding between people is almost criminal in this world lately.

And it’s so easy to get caught up in it all, to get caught up in the bantering, or acting like you’re better than the person who is supposed to be providing you with a service, and letting your mind get over-run with that conversation in your head where you say everything on your mind but your mouth fails to actually filter it, thus hurting people’s feelings around you and scaring people around you because they have no idea what to expect of someone who just doesn’t harness their behavior at all.  And when people lack the ability to discern what is troublesome and what is not, it can get some people into worse situations, emotionally, mentally, or otherwise.

God gave us a voice, brothers and sisters, but He first gave us Love.  I’m pretty sure the voice was to express that, not anything less than.

Be prepared, however, when you speak of God and His glory.  There are some that find that troublesome as well.  As if believing in God, and His ability to pull you out of rough waters, is a mental disorder that is something that needs to be dealt with.  But isn’t that the way it’s always been?

Earlier this week, I was helping my mom through a Bible study in Acts 1-4, which I had never read before.  In the later parts of it, I learned that Peter and John had been arrested for, what my understanding is, preaching about Jesus and His good works and what He is capable of.  This did not sit well with the boss men, so they had Peter and John arrested, telling them they could never do that again.  It was something interesting to learn, and at the time, it was knowledge, at best.  However, the other night, telling somebody that nobody could help me through what I was going through but God landed me in quite the conundrum, one in which my rights and control were completely taken away.  I won’t say that the catalyst to this event didn’t play into that decision, however, my statement did not sit well with the one in charge of my fate at the moment.

So for quite a while, I found myself with only God to call upon for strength, remembering the verse from Philipians 4:13, which happens to be my wife’s favorite Bible verse, and the one I played over most in my head during my time of trial, so to speak…”I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  And I waited, and prayed, and meditated, and Trusted, and relied on truth, and the Truth of God…and thought about this song.

Many thanks to God for renewing my strength during that time. 

My mother-in-law’s birthday was on Friday, we had a wonderful family meal at Outback.  It was great to be around everyone, although afterwards, it was nice to come home and just call it a family night around the television.  Saturday we started the day off lazy, although much deserved after the week we had.  We decided to go tubing down the salt river, however, after an hour of getting ready, getting in the car and hopping on the expressway, a phone call to the recreation park revealed that they were no longer renting out tubes for the day because the weather conditions weren’t favorable.  That was a kick in the junk, since we were trying so hard to take a mental vacation and just have fun, regardless of how much it cost that we shouldn’t spend.  We were quite disappointed, but eventually, the day went on…even though we had some battling to do with our daughter.  Some things never change.

Sunday…yep, church.  Nope.  We played hookey today and reclaimed our opportunity to take that mental vacation and just do something, dammit!  We deserved it…and it was the last day to go for the season.  We got all of our stuff together, drove up the mountain, got in the water, said our prayer, thanked God for bringing us all together, asked Him to forgive us for not going to His house today, as we were working on forgiveness with each other, and proceeded to float on down the river.  It was a blast…we had so much fun.  It was peaceful, beautiful, exciting…offered up a time for trust, and just…well, time together, and a break from the monotony of our daily struggles. 

For some reason, I have a calling to the mountains, and I feel the closest to God when I’m in them.  I had the time to just be close without thinking too much, just plug in and get recharged, and hopefully, I’m charged enough to face the week ahead.  I have Christ in me, I hear Him, through music, through the Word, and He holds me close….so too, shall I hold Him close.

~Dear Lord, please forgive me the sins of my week, as my weakness overcame me.  Thank you for your protection and for guiding me back to you, Lord.  Please continue to wrap your arms around me and my family as we face struggles of daily lives that the world imparts on us, help us to overcome them and to lift our family and our selves, our own hearts and lives above anything else.  Thank you for your blessings, and for allowing us to have this wonderful day together.  In your most precious and Holy name, I pray.  Amen~

Where Were You? Controversial?

Once again, it’s Sunday evening, just before six o’clock, and I’m just starting this week’s post.  This week has been somewhat busy, mostly comprised of being sick and not feeling up to getting on the computer to do anything, and then saving my energy to help my mother-in-law move into her new apartment on Saturday.  Has anything major kept me from starting early and getting something really good going here?  No.  I even started working on a video…but only have a compilation of clips so far.  Lack of inspiration maybe?  Maybe just another week full of frustration from the events going on around me?  I don’t know.  I wish I knew…but I’m not going to go into all of that right now.  Right now, I have something bothering me.  The whole country does.  And right now, I’m going to address it, and some of you may not like it, but I’m doing it to come to grips with something and to try to understand it from a Christian point of view.

Throughout this entire week, media has bombarded us with everything to do about the ten year anniversary 9/11.  First, most importantly, I would like to say that I’ve prayed about this as much as I can, to the point of inner turmoil…prayed for the families who have been affected first hand by the loss and devastation from the events that took place on our soil on that day, prayed for the souls of those who lost their lives that day, prayed for people who put their lives on the line to help all those people in need that day, and for all those people who could do nothing but stand by in the most heart-breaking, fearful, and confusing moments, just watching, listening, and waiting to find out what in hell, because it surely seemed as though we were in it, was going on.  So before I bring it home, I’ll indulge, along with the media, and allow myself to post this song, which I almost refuse to listen to anymore (even though I love it), so that we can really, truly, take a look into that day, really think about it and get in touch with that feeling.  Think about it…don’t just think about where you were, don’t just think about what you were doing, or who you were with…you will always remember that…but what about that entire day?  What were you thinking and feeling when you saw what the media was showing it before they censored it?  Be honest!

So, now that you’ve seen those clips, over and over again…and again, and heard the song again, for however many times you’ve heard it, can you describe you how really feel, as if you’ve felt it for the first time?  Like it was that day?

We will never forget that day!  That day was so personal to every single one of us in this country, in this world.  I was at home, my parent’s house, my grandma was in the kitchen and I had just gotten out of the shower.  I was heading downstairs to my room to get ready for work when my grandma called me to the kitchen to show me that the first tower had just been hit by an aircraft.  How shocking.  Oh my gosh!  We stood there in the corner of the kitchen together, watching, waiting for information, this was terrible, all those people!  And all those people on the floors above where the plain hit, how are they going to get them out of there??  We were already watching, holding our breath…then out of the corner of the screen…HOLY SHIT!!!  ANOTHER PLANE!!!  IT HIT!!  IT HIT!!!   WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?  (Yes, I swore, it’s my blog, my feelings, and I said…I was bringing this home!)  My grandma and I started to panic, my heart felt like it stopped, this wasn’t an accident, this was something much bigger, much scarier, something beyond our comprehension…and it was unfolding right before our eyes…and all we could do was watch.

My mom was in Dallas at the time, my dad was at work, and I was worried about leaving my grandma at home while I went to work, but I had to go, it’s my job after all, but I didn’t know what was going on, and there was still very little information coming in between the time that the second plane hit and when I had to leave.  I called my mom to check in with her and then left for work, listening to the radio station the entire way forty-five minute drive.  Oh my God!  A plane hit the pentagon!  What, Dear God, is going on?  America is under attack, my grandma is at home, my dad is at work, my mom is in Dallas, and we lived in Detroit…it seemed as though they were hitting major hubs that would bring down our country.  It was logical to me to think that Detroit could be one of them…bring down the Motor City and see what happens.  Well, it’s already been proven in the last few years…take away Ford, Chrysler, and GM and the economic downfall of the country began.  But I was worried…we could have been a target…but I didn’t know what to think.  Who knew what to think.  It was still early in the day and it was already overwhelmed with chaos, panic, fear, and confusion.

I got to work and a little while later found out that another plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania.  It was coming closer.  Our supervisors gave us an option to leave and go home if we chose, there would be nothing held against us if did go, but I stayed.  I spent my entire shift looking out the window at my cubicle, watching the skies, imagining the worse case scenario…what if?  Not that my place of business should be any kind of target, but why was any of this happening at all?  I couldn’t wait to get home…

When I got home, every channel was lit up with footage of what had occurred from the time the first plane hit the first tower until what was going at that night.  The media covered everything, they censored nothing!  And I watched.  We all watched.  After going through the entire day, having seen the start, heard bits of information, wondering, worrying, being scared, being confused, now…I felt obligated to know what the hell happened, why, and what it looked like.  Now…part of me wishes it was a part of history that I could only read in history books and not have the turmoil of having gone through the experience of.

Why?  Because the media is the devil.  The media shows no mercy.  They showed us EVERYTHING!  We saw almost all of it, play by play, at least the twin towers portion of it…and it’s all burned into my mind and heart in a way that makes it that I can no longer watch anything 9/11 anymore.

I sat on the edge of my bed, watching the television, they were showing the towers burning, going up in smoke, people hanging out windows for air…and then…they showed people jumping.  From heights unimaginable…people jumped.  Because there was no better option of suffering for them…they jumped.  Burn or jump?  Suffer or end it on my own?  Can you imagine being that person?  No…you cannot!  Can you ever place yourself in that person’s head, knowing that he or she has a family at home, more than likely watching on t.v, and all you did was go to work that day, and suddenly you find yourself in a position where you know it’s over, but everywhere around you is…well, I don’t even know what adjective to place here because I wasn’t there…but tell me, what does it take for someone to hurl themselves out of an 80 story window to their death and fall like a ragdoll just to avoid burning to death?  And the media showed it.  All night long!

The next day, they stopped showing such sensitive material, but the rest of it remained.  Then the sound bytes started coming in from middle east, the celebratory cheers of a “job well done.”  It was twisting the knife in the hearts of us all even further and harder.

It all kept going…and going…and it never stopped.  It hasn’t stopped.  The first year after it happened, it was all the country could talk about, of course, and it was to be expected.  We just got dealt a major blow, and we were hurt, and pissed, but united….although unitedly pissed, and that’s not good.  The second year came around, and of course, there is a day of remembrance, which is to be expected.  We all had our united moment of silence and prayed, we talked about it with friend and family and went back to that day when….

But as the years have passed…we haven’t forgotten.  We don’t want to, but we also haven’t been allowed to heal.  We’ve been bombarded, every year, with documentaries, special occasions, news events, clips, videos, sound bytes, everything you can imagine that brings back that day, those memories, those moments of chaos, panic, confusion, and fear.  And that’s where I have the problem.

How can anyone be expected to heal in the midst of obsession?  Remembering is one thing, but bringing it back so hard, so raw, every year, is uncalled for.  It’s not fair to the families, to those who live with the trauma of that day, to all of us, as we all have a personal devastation attached to that day.  There is no need to keep reliving, yet, just letting us remember it, peacefully, without all they media hype and the images that take us back to that place in our minds and hearts that we don’t want to be is doing an incredible injustice to the people of this world.  I mourn for the loss of those lives, I pray for families and friends who lost someone in the events of 9/11, I salute all those, government and civilian alike, who put their lives at risk during the events, I cannot express enough the gratitude and sense of unity and Faith I feel from those people who took charge of the hijackers and took the plane down in the field in Pennsylvania, and I pray for everyone that one day, we can come through this without having to relive it at such an expense.

That day changed everything for this country.  So many things, as we knew it, changed that day.  It wasn’t just the loss of lives, it was the loss of life as we knew it.  We grew an anger toward people that was not predominately there, but every year since, because we keep reliving it, and are reminded of the fear, we continue to harbor and show this anger.  We grew a fear that, since then, every year we are reminded of, and no we are no longer able to just breath without being afraid that something is going to happen, especially around 9/11…why not?  We’ve allowed them to let us be afraid of them, so why not continue to threaten us when we are most vulnerable and emotionally fragile?  We grew a bitterness that, since then, we’ve not been able to sweeten, because every year we are reminded of what happened that day, so we are re-poisoned with those thoughts.  And some, unfortunately, grew even more insensitive to human reality, life and death.  By that I mean, while I know it’s the media’s responsibility to keep us informed, why is it okay that they make it into something more fit for an “R” rated movie?  Why is it okay to show that moment between life and death?  Better yet…why is it okay that we, as humans, find it acceptable to watch someone else’s mortality to the point that every network strives to have the best footage, or make the best documentary, or make the best “made for t.v” movie?

It’s been ten years to the day since terrorists hijacked U.S passenger planes and attacked The United States by way of suicide missions.  Two planes targeted the Twin Towers in New York City, causing total devastation of both towers, with the death toll numbering in the depressing thousands, including civilian and non-civilian lives.  Another mission targeted and destroyed a section of The Pentagon, mission being, “to play God with people’s lives” and, therefore, took almost three hundred of them.  A final plane, the infamous Flight 93, was believed to be heading toward Washington D.C., however, having not counted on the will of people to live, love for other people, and Faith in God, the passengers overtook the hijackers, forcing their way into the cockpit to steer them off course, ultimately, sacrificing their lives and crashing the plane into a field in Pennsylvania before the remainder of their terrorist’s mission could be completed.  The United States States took quite a hit from nowhere that day, and declared to get the leader behind it.  In fact, just this year, the supposed leader behind the attacks was found and killed, non-intended but necessary, so we’re told.  A beautiful memorial has been built from Ground Zero, the place where it all started, where Twin Towers once stood.  We’ve had vigils every year across the nation, maybe in other places around the world.  We’ve had church services that pertains to 9/11 around or on 9/11 for the last ten years, like today, and, to be perfectly honest, I almost left.  Although I’m glad I didn’t.  And I’ll tell you why.

This tragedy is fresh, it’s raw, it still cuts like a knife and the more we keep picking at it the worse it will get.  We, as the families, as the survivors, as the individuals, as the the by-standers, will never heal from the hurt…and most certainly will never heal from the fear, anger, and bitterness that, as a child of God, will cost us more in the end if we choose to refuse the best way of dealing with this tragedy in all of our lives.

 1 Cor 14: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Make every effort to live in peace and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord.  It means you just love, just do it already.  Jesus died for us and our sins because He loves us, despite our sins, which we’re still accountable for, don’t get me wrong.  He doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender, nationality, political affiliation, brand of clothing, or anything.  He’s our father, and He will be giving us a talking to about what we did here on earth, because He loves us, and wants what’s best for us, and allows us our choices based on what He’s taught us.  He taught us a lot of things, there’s this huge book He left for us in case we get forget, The Bible, but the three most important things He taught us is Faith, Hope, and Love…but the greatest, is Love.

Matthew 5:46  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Meaning, if you don’t branch out and extend your Christian embrace of love around those who aren’t even like you, whom you may have prejudgments about, whatever the case may be, is that doing anything special or anything Christ-like?  No.  Tax Collectors, or in this case, terrorists, are doing the same thing.  Those men did not “just love” and, therefore, did what they did.

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  Ah, bitterness.  I mentioned before that we had grown bitter as a nation, toward groups of people threatening our nation, and groups of people who look like them, and bitter toward the fact that our very comforts of life have, thusly, been sacrificed so that our seventy year old grandma practically has to have a magnetic wand shoved up her butt to get on a plane.  But bitterness is like a venom, once you get bitten with it, it runs through your blood and messes with the very core of who you are…if you don’t catch it on time.  And if you don’t catch it on time, you’ll start passing it along to others, your children are extremely susceptible.  And bitterness acts as a fuel as well, because the more our mouths speak foully of others, and the more we behave foully toward others, the more the “others” will do so in return.  You see where I’m going here?  It’s a vicious cycle…the extreme version of it is called vengeance, the first act of war.  True, it’s harder to love people that you don’t know or don’t get along with, but sometimes, if you just have hope in people, you’ll find that they’ll find hope in you, and also in themselves.  Baby steps here, but just think of the bigger picture of hope.

So we talked about Love, we just hit on Hope…now onto Faith.  Faith, well, in short?  Right now, in my opinion, my definition of Faith is…Prove It.  If you believe in Jesus and you have faith that you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you, and if you truly want to do all those things you want to do in this world…then Prove It…even if you have to start with baby steps.

James 2:17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

In other words, faith without works…is dead.  Yes, folks…the very foundation verse upon which my entire blog is built on.  Cool, huh?  Well, I thought so…Hey!  Maybe today will be the day I’m discovered!  Perhaps by Richard Gere, who was just on a 9/11 tribute concert on V-H1, making a speech that got booed because he was trying to convince the crowd that “Love” is the way.  Now everyone is going to think my post is based on that…and once again, steal my mojo…just like they did in high school with Bohemian Rhapsody.  (story for a different time)

So, it’s not going to be easy, brothers and sisters.  A loss is never easy, especially one that is so devastating in circumstances, sudden, and historic.  It’s not easy to deal with in the limelight for those unfortunate ones who got placed there because of another human being’s lack of three basic principle’s, the greatest which, is Love.  But history, personal and historic, has shown us that the sooner we let things settle and just fall back into place the best they can given new conditions, the more we communicate with each other to reach a better understanding with each other, both inside and outside our circles, the more we stand united WITH each other instead of AGAINST each other, and the higher you stand when it’s time to dust off and move on toward what everyone in this world is truly fighting for, at least I hope it is, and that’s love, and the peace that comforts me within it. 

If you’re having trouble getting on your feet, just remember, if you’re on you’re already on your knees…you’re halfway there.  Just keep praying, my brothers and sisters, God’s hand will reach down to you too…

~Dear Lord, I pray that you look over each and every one of your children as we go through these times of great struggle in this world.  We all are sinners in your eyes, and none of us are perfect, but you, Lord Jesus, as our savior, promised us a place in Heaven with you and I want nothing more than to be there with you and those I love and have lost, and therefore, will do all in my power to do your works and follow your guidance so that I may see myself deserving of that place.  Please guide my wife, daughter, family and friends, brothers and sisters to continue to follow, or to find, their light, so that they may have their place as well.  Lord, please watch over all of us in our health and happiness, trials and travels this week, and please find a way to help Toby somehow so that nobody has to hurt too much just yet…I just think that now is not the time, but, Father, you know best.  In your most precious name I pray.  Amen~