Hungry

I’ve been sick for the past month, which has played hard on my motivation to post my blogs, when I’m not feeling well in most aspects of my life, physically, emotionally, mentally, and even sometimes spiritually.

But that doesn’t matter at this particular moment.  Because at this particular moment, I’m hungry and I’m in a weird rage.  I’m on prednisone which is jacking up everything about my emotions and thoughts, and I quit smoking five days ago, although two of them were spent in the hospital.  I want to get better…in so many ways.  I know the way to get better in so many ways.  I’m hungry for that betterness…the betterness the Lord offers us.

I’ve been wanting to make a video for a long time to the song Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran.  I love wolves, without sounding like a hypocrite against my Christian beliefs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the wolf was somehow my animal kindred soul spirit or whatever.  So I made the video, and while it’s not one of my most spectacular, it’s one I’d like to share.  I only hope that it works, because of all the blocks that YouTube puts up on me.

Anyway…be hungry, brothers and sisters!  Be hungry for that salvation and that peace and joy that the Lord has offered us and has waiting for us in exchange for our faithful discipleship.  It’ll be worth the journey…

****I MADE A VIDEO TO THIS SONG?  :: BLINK BLINK:: WELL HERE’S THE ORIGINAL ANYWAY****

~Dear Lord, please give us the strength to go on, even in our worst days of hunger, for all of our needs, for all that you offer us, Lord.  I trust and believe in you that you will provide, as you always do, and will continue to share the word and testify of the glorious blessings you bring.  Please continue to watch over our health, happiness, and all of our needs, as you know what they are, Lord.  In your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~

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The Mountain and The Word

So how is everyone else’s 2012 going so far?

Mine has been blessed, perhaps a few aggravations here and there, a couple set backs, but nothing to dive into the darkness and dwell about.  Just have to find alternate ways of getting a few things done ’round here, is all. 

But that’s life!  Full of obstacles and challenges, unexpected pitfalls and blessings.  Gotta love it!  Or at least try your best to keep loving it and having Faith throughout it.

My wife has been out of town since Thursday, off to celebrate her son’s graduation from Navy boot camp.  Words lack the actually expression of pride from his accomplishments as a young man of God.

I wanted to go but finances and household management wouldn’t allow for me to join.  Instead, I stayed home with our daughter so she wouldn’t miss any school.  I wasn’t really looking forward to this time spent without Babe, we miss each other terribly when we’re apart from one another, but I had to suck it up anyway.  To tell you the truth, I was more worried about having to spend five days alone with our daughter than anything.  As I’ve said in the past, she can be the cause of some grief around here, between her mother and I, and just with me.  It’s not that we don’t get along because we do.  When she is alone with either her mother or I, she doesn’t give much grief at all and makes the time seem well spent, most of the time.  The problem is, she needs to find a way to be able to handle herself in the same manner when it’s all three of us, instead of pitting her mother and I against each other, and furthermore, show the same respect for us both while we’re together that she does when we’re apart.  Conversely, we need to be able to open up to spending more time with her individually when we’re all together, perhaps “date days,” so that maybe she doesn’t feel left out.  Maybe, and I’m praying for this, that between both theories, we can all live together in a more peaceful, less tense, less aggravated, and less saddened environment.

Knowing our daughter the way I do, I would say that the task would be like trying to move a mountain.  Well, we can’t do that, we just don’t have the strength, even all three of us combined.  However, it’s not so much about moving the obstacles and challenges out of our path, as it is trekking through them, actually making that climb instead of just moving the mountain.

So that’s what we did!  In addition to a couple other fun things my daughter and I did in her mom’s absence, we climbed a mountain.  No, it wasn’t a big mountain, and it wasn’t a scary terrain, but it was the biggest and steepest rocky hill I’ve ever attempted to climb, not to mention the fact that I wasn’t even going to do it in the first place.  But our plans for Saturday derailed because of a big event going on in the city, so instead of heading back home to do hours worth of nothing, she talked me into climbing “A” Mountain.  I was worried about doing it because I’ve been battling a cold with a nasty cough for a couple weeks, I didn’t have my inhaler, I was wearing my black converse, which are not good for hiking, and my attitude toward the climb, and how much effort it was going to be, was shying me away. 

Faith!  Just climb the mountain and don’t worry about what “might” happen.  Like my mother-in-law said the other day, “if” is a big burden for a little word, and that would have been a lot of extra weight for me to carry up those trails if I hadn’t just left “if” at the bottom of the hill and just started walking. 

It was steep, I was out of breath, my legs were burning, my shoulder was hurting (chronic situation but gets worse with more movement), but it didn’t take long before I looked back and we were halfway up.  Yes, I would have liked to have my inhaler, but I decided that I would make it without it, because this was a challenge, it was fun, and it was going to be worth it…that’s what my daughter said whilst walking, anyway.

We made it to the top and it was beautiful.  We rested on some rocks for a while, talked to a couple people, took some pictures, and just hung out.  “I feel closer to God up here,” she said.  Whether she said that to please me because she knows the pride I carry in being a follower of Christ, or if she said it because that’s how she truly felt, then she was right in what she said at the bottom of the hill.  It was totally worth it.

This morning in church, we continued our study on The Book of John and the prayer that Jesus prayed in front of those chosen eleven, from whom the gospel has spread generations later to you and me.  I took notes like I usually do but, honestly, I don’t really have much to say about the sermon, although it was great.  The best part of service was, at the very end, watching my daughter, on her own accord, go up to the front to pray with someone.  I’m not sure what it was about…I didn’t go with her.  I thought that if this was her making another step toward a relationship with Jesus, then there was no room for me to be there in that moment with her.  If she wants to share, she will.  And furthermore, her mother and I are always here to help with her conflicts in faith, or at least try.  But we are only capable of so much.  Her relationship is hers and Gods, and there is nothing anyone can do to lean it one way or the other, regardless of our hopes. 

The only thing we can do is do our best to live in The Word, as it has all been put in writing for us what it is that Jesus, His Love, and His covenant is.  It’s a simple, yet, tough guide to follow and be diligent with.  However, our Love for Jesus should be the easiest way to guide us through life, as it is simply to Love. 

I know, there are many other “rules” in The Bible, and trust me, I have a hard time grasping some of them too.  In 2012 it’s just kind of hard to wrap your mind around some of the teachings, but I’m doing my best and I pray to help me not fail…or at least fail too badly.  And when I start to stumble, as we all do, we just need to remember that The Word is there to help us, encourage us, guide us, and teach us.  It will never change, it will never waiver, it will never lessen.  Our job is to live within The Word while living in this world, whilst not being part of it…with Jesus, we are so much more than what this world is and what it has to offer. 

Know it, live it, love it, Love Him and Love it forward…and we’ll all get where we want to go.

~Dear Lord, thank you for your many blessings this week, especially for the safe travels of our loved ones and for the time well spent with our loved ones.  Please help us to continue to shine in the light of your Love so that we may count ourselves among the multitude of those that may enter your Holy Kingdom.  Please forgive me my sins, and help me work on correcting them, especially my dirty mouth, so that nobody may ever condemn me in my speech.  Lord, I pray that my Love shines as bright as yours.  In your Holy and Precious name, I pray.  Amen~

Drive

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~

The Christmas Story – Rock’n It Out

Dear Jesus,

Happy Birthday!  I started thinking about things after church the other day, like I’m supposed to do, and one of the things I thought about was when Pastor Daryl talked about how Christmas has become a contact sport because it’s all about the good deals on all the gifts, and people display everything they can about the Christmas season, but a lot of people have forgotten about the gift that You, Jesus Christ, are to us all, the gift that God gave, his only begotten son, to give the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love, and the gift of salvation…thank you, thank you, Jesus.  So, the pastor said that before we get to carried away with gifts, we should light some candles on a cake and sing “Happy Birthday.”  Now, you know that I’ve done this before, when I’ve gone out and bought a cake for your birthday, and this year I was thinking about baking one.  But…as you know, I’m giving a go at my mom’s famous stuffing for my wife’s side of the family, and I’m making a nice, but modest, Christmas dinner for the eve of your birth for my crew.  I have a little bit of culinary pressure going on here, and plus, none of us need the sugar. 

But,  hey, I’m not a baker anyway!  I blog and rock…and make videos.  And since I am a child of yours, you know what kind of child I can be…not so traditional, but very grateful, loving, and sincere.  Thank God for You!  You are the greatest birthday gift of all.  I hope you enjoy the musical story to follow, especially my video at the end…I hope it finds you in good humor.  In your most Holy and Precious name, Lord, I glorify, praise, and pray.  Amen!

Sing along!!  It makes you feel good!!

Make a wish!!

****NO VIDEO HERE ANYMORE, AT LEAST FOR NOW.  SINCE I MADE THE VIDEO AS A GIFT I WON’T PUT ANY OTHER ONE UP HERE.  ESSENTIALLY, HOWEVER, IT’S A REALLY COOL WAY OF SAYING HAPPY BIRTHDAY****

Remember…

Remember….

It seems like the majority of our lives are filled with “remembering” things.  Especially around this time of year.

Did you remember to get all those end of the year projects done?  Did you remember to get all the holiday cards out to everyone you know?  Did you remember to buy all the presents that you wanted to buy for everyone?  Did you remember to pay those bills?  Did you remember to…

It’s the same thing that happens every year around Christmas.  We remember everything that we wanted to do for Christmas, buy everything, send everything, but we forget why we’re celebrating it.  It’s as if we should just start calling the holiday Presentmas, or Partymas, or Debtmas.

I’m not saying that people don’t know that Christmas represents the day that Jesus Christ was born.  I’m just saying that, once the season pulls around (which gets earlier and earlier every year due to retail mind-plucking), most of what people do has nothing to do with the upcoming celebration of Christ’s birth, or, Christmas.  It’s about buying in excess, making sure one person’s house is decorated prettier than the next, partying in excess with the convenience of Christmas as an excuse, and when Christmas Eve finally pulls around, how many of those Christians come out on Holy days flock to the Churches and Thank God for His only begotten son.

In short, the holidays bother me.  I’m not saying that I’m totally innocent either.  I went shopping and bought a few things here and there, what I could afford, nothing on credit.  No, I haven’t had any spare change to toss to the Salvation Army bell ringers, but I know that there have been quite a few people that have benefited from my kindness.  I decorated our apartment but it’s not overdone and there are plenty of apartments that are far more flashy than ours.  We haven’t had a party but we did enjoy an afternoon dinner with some friends from a church and a friend from our complex…just because.  Sorry, no alcohol.  Tea, Tang, Water, and Coffee.  We sent out a few Christmas cards and have a few more to send over the next couple days.  Other than that, the season, thus far, has been mostly relaxed and calm…as it should be.  After all, we’re about to celebrate the birth of Christ….again!!  And Christ represents joy and peace, not stress and chaos.

I decorated our apartment the other day, which is at least half the size of the house that we used to live in.  I could have sworn that I packed up the Christmas tree when we moved, but, alas, it wasn’t in the storage closet when I pulled out all the Christmas stuff.  Perhaps we sold it, thinking that we would get a new one this year.  Originally, we weren’t going to be here for Christmas, as we were going to spend time in Texas with my side of the family, so we decided not to get a tree and worry about not getting to enjoy it anyway.  Plus, we don’t have enough space, and it is such a hassle to put up, decorate, then take down again…not to mention the dangers involved with the cat.

But, I really wanted to put some Christmas cheer into this place, maybe put a little bit of a smile on some faces around here, so I went along with an idea that my wife saw, making a wall tree out of garland.  I found the most special ornaments we had, ones that have been following all of us through our lives, ones we had made, and ones that were given to us, and put only those on, instead of all the regular colored ball ornaments that are so fragile that break if the wind blows on them wrong.  I obviously couldn’t put our angel on top of the tree, but she’s out and lit up, along with our nativity set, our stockings are hung under the kitchen bar, and a few other Christmas decorations are out.  It’s simple…but pretty.  And the coolest thing is that during dinner that night, we must have stayed at the table for a good half hour after we were done eating just talking about all the ornaments and decorations, remembering where they came from and what they meant to us, telling each other about them…for the ump-teenth time while Christmas music played softly in the background.  Sounds like a fake, made-for-t.v. night, right?  It’s not…but it’s a nice night to remember.

right above our dining room tableIt’s important to remember…remember that, if not for Jesus Christ, there would be no meaning to life at all, no Hope, no Faith, no Love.  There would be nothing to look forward to hereafter, there would be nothing to be thankful for now.  Everyday would just be another day, but with Christ, we have hope for peace and joy, and a promise of it as well.  Remember that God gave us the greatest gift ever….His son.  Jesus gave us Hope, Faith and Love, and the greatest is Love, which is the greatest gift we should be passing on during Christmas, all throughout our lives in fact.  Remember…He loves you, all of you, whether you remember Him or not.

The song I’m picking this week is a song that my mom and I really love by Mark Schultz.  She once had the opportunity to meet him when my brother hosted him during a concert he played at a church in Texas many years ago.  She brought me home an autographed CD of his, which I then gave to my tattoo artists, who had just been saved and had turned from a life of chaos to Christianity.  I would have loved to have made a video to this song, but our new internet service is so slow that it takes twenty-four years to upload anything anymore.  ~Dear Lord, please help the company we use that says they offer the fastest service be able to provide some faster service soon~

~Dear Lord, Jesus…Thank you, once again, for all of your countless blessings this week.  most especially for your guidance, strength, and faith we’ve faced stressors and struggles.  Please watch over Mama-T’s surgery tomorrow, see that she sings all the way through and comes out singing as well, so that she can continue to sing and glorify you.  Please watch over all of us in our travels and please wrap your arms around the world to help them find those gifts that you’ve given to us, Hope, Faith, and Love, that the world may start to become less chaotic and stressful, within their own lives and towards others.  Lord, all things can be done through you, which means peace, joy, and healthy outcomes can be obtained through you, so it is that which I seek for all of those I love and all those around me, Lord.  It is in your name, I pray.  Amen~