A Love Song

Yesterday I saw/heard a commercial, not a new one by any means, but one that caught me off guard and threw me into heartache and tears, after which, it was very hard for me to recover from for the day. 

The commercial was for the final movie for Breaking Dawn.   I know, you’re thinking, what the heck?  Well, this is the part where I tell you a little story. 

I was not crying because I was once again faced with the fact that Breaking Dawn is now over, I was crying because of the memories of the day when I went to see it.  My step-daughter and I had made a special date to go see the movie back on December 15th, we’ve made it a point to see all the movies together, kind of our thing, and maybe I’m the only one that thinks so between the two of us.  We sat and watched almost two hours of a movie that revolved around immortality, and of course, immortality won out in the end.  I had gotten phone calls during the movie but, it’s a movie, can’t use my cell, so I didn’t answer them.  At the end of the movie, with tears in our eyes, my step daughter and I looked at each other with a sigh and I said, “well, it’s the end of an era.”  I didn’t know how true that statement was when I said that, and I didn’t know that the tears I had been crying for a movie were only a precursor to a real ending.

 That particular day was also my brothers’ birthday, whom I saw had called me during the movie.  I felt bad for him having to call me for a “happy birthday,” but I called him back and he was very distant and short.  Hmm.  I called my mother-in-law back and she said they were at my house and to come home before going to dinner.  I also knew that my step-daughters birthday was coming up soon and we thought maybe something was going on with that.  We weathered the pouring down rain on the way home, talking about the movie, wondering what exciting plans the family had brewing for when we arrived. 

I walked in the door and the entire side of my wife’s family was here, as my wife was in Texas with my mom taking care of her following a surgery she had.  As I walked in the door, my cousin handed the phone to me and it was my wife, who was tasked with delivering me the news that my mom had died. 

Chaos and death was surrounding my family while I was in a movie and I didn’t even know it.  I was the last to know. 

So that’s the story of the commercial and why it hurt me so much to see it, even just to hear the music that went along with it.  The music, more specifically, is what got me, with the words saying, “I’ve loved you for a thousand years, and I’ll love you for a thousand more.”  Now, yes, this is a love song.  But all I could hear in this song at that moment was how much my mom loved me and how much I loved her.  And as the day progressed, and the tears remained steady, I almost had to detach myself from my heart just to not cry.  In fact, as I write this, feel it all over again, I cry. 

Yet, the more I detached my heart, the more my heart and mind reminded me that I a person with feeling and a person that is loved, no matter from life or death.  My mom may not be alive anymore, but she loves me from Heaven, and I love her from here into Heaven.  And I am a person that is loved here on Earth from my wife, family, and friends every day and in any way they can express it, and hopefully I accomplish the same. 

And in the grand scheme of it all, God loves me, and I love Him.  And the more I was reminded of the song yesterday, as it wouldn’t stop running through my head, it eventually started leaning more toward how much God has put forth his love for me, not only to give me life, but to have given me to my mom, and to all those around me, and given me the heart to love not only them, but Him, all with such depth and joy, and for them to love me back just as much.

This one is for God, and for my mom.

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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~

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~

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~

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~

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. 

venus_women_symbol_decor-e1388197881290

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~

The End Is Near!

In the movies, there would be someone cast to play the homeless looking crazy person holding a sign proclaiming “The End Is Near.”  Why do they have to be homeless and crazy looking to be feeling like the end is near and be the one’s with the guts enough to proclaim it?  Can not I, a well groomed, “sane enough” person with a home feel the same way and believe and proclaim the same thing and have it not get the same effect?  Who is the world going to believe when someone tries desperately to tell them that the end is near, when they’ve neglected to listen to all the warnings already placed before them, even when one of those people was Jesus himself?

Jesus has said that when the hearts of the world become cold, and when mothers and fathers are turning against sons and daughters, when neighbors are turning against neighbors, and when we have displeased Him enough, when we’ve turned blind eyes and hearts to the world around us and the well of compassion has run dry here on Earth, He will put an end to the war…claim all whom is His, whom have faithfully taken Him into their hearts and followed Him toward the Kingdom of Heaven, leaving the rest for the devil, for they have the less righteous path.

Yet still, with everything that has been going on in this world, we do not yield and think, and while some do think, they do not act.  Socially, this world has become like hell on Earth, forcing people to act in desperation, leading to sins of unbelievable magnitude, even over small things.  The baby won’t stop crying?  Mothers are putting duct tape over their mouths or stuffing them is boxes, kicking them until they are quiet, yet they have not quieted because of the kicking, but because they are dead.  People are robbing others, often times killing them, to get money to pay for food.  People pick fights over small things, shoes, cutting in line, parking spaces, taking the last one of something…yet the argument goes beyond any normal sense of civility, considering the offense, often times getting the police involved for mediation, or worse, to pick up a dead body at the end of it.  People picket churches, calling them greedy, because they want to build a complex on a piece of property that would offer shelter for low-income families in need, but people would rather call a church greedy than helpful, and oppose them building on that property instead.

The world is out for themselves, every man for themselves.  When we were growing up and we had a fight with our siblings, one of our first retorts were “it’s not fair, ” and our parents were quick to tell us that “life isn’t fair.”  Well, brothers and sisters, here on Earth, especially now, life is not fair.  All the sense of right and wrong that we grew up with, even according to the Bible, is backwards.  We can stand up for what we believe is right, only to be told it’s wrong, because Man’s law does not follow God’s law, and society, anymore, has no respect for either law.  Therefore, right is wrong, and wrong is right, and backing down from what is fair, just, and right is the right thing to do in order to save yourself from Man’s law or death by Man’s stupidity.

And God is not happy with what He sees.  He’s been trying to tell us, but people aren’t listening.  You think all these insanely huge natural disasters lately have just been the natural progression of the Earth’s aging process and global “whatever they want to call it?”  No, it’s not.  It’s God telling us that we’re screwing up, disrespecting Him, and He’s none too pleased with us.  That we have taken what He’s given to us and smacked Him in the face with it.  He created the Earth for us and we’ve destroyed it, and continue to do so, not just with further advancements in technology, but with warfare.  He gave us the gift of salvation and people turn it away.  He gave us Him, someone to have Faith in for all eternity, that knows us better than anyone, yet still people do not Trust in Him, even to provide a meal.  He gave us Love, the greatest gift of all, and yet people only share it with those whom they deem worthy of it, instead of sharing it with everyone, automatically keeping us from peacefully co-habitating with everyone on Earth, and automatically separating us from God, who Loves us ALL.  And He gave us Hope, which, without fully indulging in the other two, we have no way of ever nourishing for ourselves, and certainly have no way of nourishing for those around us.  Thus, looking at the majority of the world, it looks pretty damn hopeless.

And here we are, faithful Christians, doing our best to follow the Word of Christ, keep Him fully in hearts while under attack from the less Christ-like, struggling in almost every way imaginable.  We thank God every day for the blessings He’s bestowed upon us, for the meal He provided for us when we weren’t sure where it was coming from, for the gas money that came out of nowhere, for that check that came in the mail that we weren’t expecting that paid for that thing we were wondering how we were going to get money for, etc.  We pray every day for good health, safety, peace around us and within us, and strength to continue our journey toward His Kingdom, with Him as our Shepherd.  Yet all the while, we are under attack from every angle, be it the guy in the parking lot who gets mean and out of control when we act out of fairness and hold true to what’s right, or under attack from the man who looks for any small detail he can find to try to get money through deceit, all at our expense.

The more we puff up and claim that those demons who attack us will fail because we our children of God, and we have God to protect us, more demons come out to attack.  Our son, the other day, told his mother that, because of this, we must be doing something right, for if we weren’t under attack at all, then we must be on the wrong side of things.  It makes sense, although having to be in the midst of it is chaos at times, although I know I’m in the right, and I’m happy to proclaim my Love for God and that I’m doing my best to do right by him…so it’s bittersweet.

So while the world is in the shape it’s in, I still have my greatest gifts, my salvation, Faith, Hope, and Love.  Now, in the midst of all the “sweet pandemonium,” I just need to find the peace within it, so I don’t lose my mind, as it certainly feels like I have been.  I was in tears the other night just because I was made to feel like I was wrong when I knew I was in the right, at least mostly.  Of course, further Bible readings in Matthew lead me to understand that sometimes you just gotta walk away and let the other person have it.  It’s not easy being a follower, it’s not easy being faithful, it’s not easy being hopeful, it’s not easy to love, and it’s certainly not easy to find peace in all of this, but Jesus does not want us to suffer.  He gave us peace through his Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit resides within us, as long as we concede to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.  Jesus knows us and our lives and what it is we are supposed to be doing with it, the more we try to remodel his Temple, as each one of us is His Temple, the more resistance we’ll get.  If we just let it be, take the day, take the circumstances, take it in and pray about it, He, The Holy Spirit within us, will guide us with our next step…all we need to is let go and let God.  In that, we’ll find peace.

~Dear Lord, I humbly pray to you, as my Father in heaven, who knows all that I need, to bless me and family with all the strength, courage, and wisdom right now to travel the road ahead of us, overcoming all obstacles in our way of You.  Thank you for all the blessings you continue to bestow upon us each day.  Please use us, Your servants, to help the down-trodden of the world to see Your Light, Lord, so that we may help lead others to You and help this world get back on track to a more peaceful, Faithful, Loving, and Hopeful society.  In Your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~