All The Way To Heaven

While it’s only been a little over a year since I started this blog, it seems like just as long since I’ve contributed to it.  My journey, full of spirit and joy, took one too many of a tumble and, for reasons that I both care not to, and can’t even explain, I couldn’t even think about standing up and moving forward, especially when it seemed my journey had led me backward.

Somehow, however, between there and here, I’ve managed to muster up enough energy to start to stand up, and at the very least, start dusting myself off, glancing at this mountainous journey ahead of me still, and still willing to entertain it.  Something still awaits me and if I know nothing else about myself at this point, I at least know that I’m curious and hopeful enough to check into it.  I may not have the best tools for the job, and I may not use the right tool for the job, but my heart is in the right place, and hopefully it will all be enough for God to love me.

So much happened on the way down the last time that I don’t even want to bother talking about all  of it.  I just know that there were probably plenty of opportunities for me to grab onto something as I slid, but I failed to notice.  Of course I failed to notice, I never noticed on the way up either.  On beautiful days I kept my eyes to the sky and just let my feet land where they may, not noticing my left or my right, and on dreary or stormy days I kept my eyes toward the ground, unable to see anything but where I was able to plant my feet.  I cheated myself out of half of the journey by not looking around and taking in the sights or moments.  All I was doing was moving.

I’m trying to do better now.  Some days are sunny, some are stormy, but there are still things to the left and the right that I can check out.  I can glance away from the heavens for a moment, I can try to turn off the other noises, and I can look at you, or us, or all of us.  I can tilt my head up from the ground and find the same.

Along most trails, there are marked areas for things to do, or best scenery, or something like that.  I’m trying to not keep passing them by just to get through the trail.  I don’t want to miss the point of everything, the beauty of it all, the reason behind it all, and the memories of it all.

I’ll get to where I’m going eventually, I may get lost, I may get to where I hope I wouldn’t be, either way, I will have gone knowing I made the best journey of it that I could, and that I blazed the trail with the best intentions.

~Dear Lord, what I ask of you today is for wisdom, to know when I’m taking my life and family for granted, and to know how to be the best me I can be, for the sake of myself, my family, and for all your people.  In your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~

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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~

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 Art of Finding Pride Through 2012

I had almost an entire post ready to go, and halfway through the day, I decided to scrap it and start over.  Why?  I wasn’t really feeling it.  I honestly hadn’t felt anything move me yet, and therefore, I was just babbling.  It was a summation of last year up to the moment when I started this blog, only because the story of the rest of the year after I started this blog is already fairly well told.

And besides…that’s so last year.

This is the time of year when everyone does their best to start anew, make a fresh start, come up with resolutions to become a better person in their eyes, and in order to do all of that, we have to let go of last year and embrace the next.

New years resolutions are pretty hard to keep, and a lot of them, for a lot of people, are the same.  Quit smoking, eat healthier, exercise more, save more money, insert most common resolution here.  Of course, I share those resolutions, but it’s not easy to just wake up on January 1st and not have a cigarette, make organic scrambled eggs with the whites only with a glass a fresh squeezed orange juice and a piece of dry organic toast before proceeding to the gym to step on the eliptical to climb to your out of shape doom.

Sometimes, starting anew takes practice and discipline.  Sometimes we even have to take it back to basics.  I remembered a time when I was working for a call center that required me to take a survey at the end of each customer service call, of which we had a minimum amount of surveys that we had to accumulate throughout the month.  I had quite a bit of trouble wracking up the amount of surveys I needed, in fact, I even got a write-up for it, so I came up with an idea to help me.  I took some post it notes and cut up the amount that I needed to clear, plus a few extra, and posted them to the side of my computer monitor just as a reminder to ask for the survey, as I would surely be looking at the monitor throughout the phone call.  It worked!  Within the first two weeks, all the post-its were off my monitor and I had all the surveys I needed.  Unfortunately, I lacked the discipline to keep asking once I no longer saw the post-it tabs.  So when the stats came out that month, and my memory had failed to remind me, as well, that the amount of surveys needed had been raised by ten, I was informed that I was under by six.  Blasted!  I lost my job!

So what am I saying?  I’m saying I’m going to try again with the post-it notes.  I can’t make plans for the entire year, but I can make a goal for each day that will help me accomplish my ultimate goal of a healthy, happy, fulfilled lifestyle…spiritually, emotionally, romantically, and physically.

Do I need to put a post-it note up beside my bedside to remind me to thank God first thing when I open my eyes every morning?  Yes, I do.  Sometimes, the thought escapes me until I wake up a little more and have already moved around for a while.  I want that to change.  If it’s a day that I’m supposed to work out, do I need a post-it to remind me to do it?  Yes, to get my mind ready to go, and to start training myself that there are certain days that I’m just going to go do it.  How about a post-it to make a random phone call to someone I haven’t talked to in a while, or write a letter?  Yep.  And I can’t forget a post-it to remind myself that there is time for reading the Bible, and learning that song on the guitar, and “me time” to do whatever I want.  Maybe I can even come up with a post-it note system for snacks!  It’ll work…but, I just don’t have the post-its yet, they are still at the Dollar Tree.

The point is this, the easiest way to learn something, is by taking notes, reading over them, studying them, applying them.  Sometimes just seeing the idea/task there in front of you, over and over again, will help with the discipline.  Sooner or later, you won’t need the notes because you will be living the lifestyle you studied for. 

The important thing is trying to live each day in a way that leaves you feeling proud.  Is it good to feel proud of yourself?  Yes!  Because when you’ve lived a good and righteous day, then our Heavenly Father is proud of you, and that’s an awesome feeling to go to bed with at night.

I can’t believe 2012 is already here.  2011 flew by on us, and it was a crazy trip, full of many moments I can feel proud of, some moments I’m less than proud.  Now I find myself on the first day of a year that people think the world is going to end, and with everything I’ve seen, I wouldn’t be surprised.  And if it’s true, then again, I pray that I find myself amidst the multitude, along with my family, that find themselves walking through the gates of Heaven.  Either way, I want to live 2012 proud.

I have a lot to work on.  There are circumstances within me and surrounding me that I’ll be taking on, praying for, reminding myself everyday to surrender.  Most things I am hopeful for and know I will become a better GodsRockChild for.  Other things are beyond me, of which I can only keep praying for and about, and work through.

But it’s all good.  God’s got this.  God bless you all and Love it forward! 

Happy New year!

~Dear Lord, my undying gratitude goes out for your unending blessings toward our family, for watching over our travels, our health, and even our finances.  Thank you for all the family and friends that you have put in our path, to join in fellowship to glorify you.  Lord, your greatness and mercy is a gift that no man or woman can match, but to be able to praise you each day, Lord, is a blessing in itself.  Please continue to watch over our family and friends, our travels and health, wrapping your Fatherly arms around us, giving us that sense of safety, comfort, stability, knowing that you, Our Lord and Savior, are watching over us and have a place for us, with you, in Heaven.  Please bless our upcoming year, that we may find peace and joy.  In your glorious 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~

What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel….

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Deny The Obvious Child?

This week has surely been a blessed one!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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