30 June 2015

Be One As He Is One



The desire to bring all people under one head has been in man's heart since the beginning. This is no accident, but purposed. It is the manner in which people are gathered under this leadership which identifies one man's efforts from another. I believe we are all one family, separated only by time, geography and ideas.

Are you divided against your fellow man according to political ideology? Does a flag, symbol or religion separate you from your fellow man? Science has finally concluded all men share a common maternal ancestor. About time. Perhaps now some can accept what others have believed for centuries: Noah's wife had three sons.

The only identity ever mentioned and worth retaining is "child of God."

Why? It unifies. It also places you under the authority of an Everlasting Father.

Do you really think God sees through the paradigms of color, ethnic, political and other such things that men have made up? Why then have you allowed these ideas divide you?

God sees either His obedient child or His disobedient child. Every other identity has a dark motive. Look at how other identities cause havoc and division amongst otherwise likeminded people. There are too many divisions to list. What is better is to list the unity among humanity: Christ.


The Lord will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be One Lord, and His Name the only Name.

- Zechariah 14: 9


My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I Am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

- John 17: 20-21

29 June 2015

Choose To Live



Life is fluid. Life is always changing. Some of you reading this blog entry had a choice in what clothes to put on today, or at least what type/color undergarments. Even if your clothes are regulated and/or your actions predetermined (by a job or other), you still have choice in which thoughts pass through your mind and heart. Choice is an interesting gift. It carries a responsibility. Choice is a freedom, and perhaps the greatest freedom we have in life.

People imitate others around them, making choices sometimes predictable or obvious. When in high school (secondary school), I desired to impress my friends. I would do as they did. Drinking and drug use was the protocol. It was the 'cool' and rebellious things to do. My choices were still my own, but they were mostly fashioned around the culture, the social attitude and the choices of those nearest me. I desired to be liked and thus chose to be like them.

Growing older, I realized how detrimental this desire to please those nearest me sometimes worked against my best interest. The automatic response is to do as the popular sentiment does. It wasn't until I found myself surrounded by other drug users who cared more about their addictions than the people around them that I realized I had taken a dead end road. Yet this road was the 'cool' and 'accepted' path of adolescence all around me. I was accepted by others because I was doing as they were doing.

Perhaps your specific story wasn't like this. Perhaps it was to please your parents, or your religious leader(s), or some other ideal.

What are some of Today's popular sentiments which desire your acceptance, either directly or passively?

What are some trends which care not to hear your criticism or judgment?

26 June 2015

A Matter Of Time



Today a decision was made by the planet's highest court; the supposed center of human wisdom, justice and jurisprudence. Today's decision by nine individuals consummates a long awaited reflection of western culture. For some, it is a day to celebrate. For others, a day to lament and take warning. For others still, it makes no difference; it was to be expected. These nine souls represent accumulated rules based on human logic, fashioned together according to secular society following popular consensus. To expect moral, ethical and spiritual guidance from this circle of nine is to incorrectly recognize how things have been established.

There is an account of a flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh, matching Scripture's testimony. Both depictions are practically identical. Some believe they speak of the same event, concluding the event actually happened. Many lessons can be derived from this account. Speaking to today's event, one lesson is unforeseen disasters are expected by some.

A void exists in nature which supports homosexual procreation/reproduction. In other words, life doesn't continue into the next generation. Man has always taken cues from nature. The natural world teaches man when to plant, when to harvest, when to travel and when to build.

Have we not realized the repeated patterns of life due to the human condition? [a,b,c]

Today's event is being called the triumph of love. This is partially correct. Love teaches to accept people despite themselves and their indifference to what is true, right and correct. Love teaches one to embrace their enemy, to forgive others their trespasses and accept the individual despite their depravity.

However, does tacit agreement apply to the Creator?

When you did these things and I kept silent,
    you thought the I Am was exactly like you.
But I now arraign you
    and set my accusations before you.


- Psalms 50: 21

25 June 2015

To Be Or Not To Be; That Is The Choice



Always look to Christ.

Why did God become visible in the form of Yeshua Christ?

Was it necessary?

We see God purposed a physical example for men to follow:


For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

- Isaiah 9: 6


How else could love be exemplified without someone actually doing this?


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

- John 15: 13


How else was faithful obedience to God going to be taught and understood unless the following happened?


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Yeshua:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage.

Rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

- Philippians 2: 5-8


God proves His love.

God teaches men 'who' He is.

God provides every opportunity, leaving no stone unturned, in order to teach the world what it means to be children of God; what righteousness is.

God uses His Perfect example teaching us how to speak, act and treat one another.

God provides Righteousness so men could abandon their own brand and idea of what it means to righteous.

Men do not have to form religions, making up external rituals and empty inventions.

God has already provided His Salvation.

God continues teaching mankind how to 'be' in the face of danger, hate, doubt, indifference and turmoil.

Always be like Christ.

24 June 2015

Plainview Servant



One day while grocery shopping with my wife I see a man that looks familiar to me. My mind begins to process his face through my memory bank and I wonder where I have seen him before. My wife tells me to stop staring at the man. I realize I've seen him in a movie. One of my favorite films. I want to say hello and compliment him on his work. My wife asks me to please not embarrass ourselves or him. I whisper to her that I don't think I'm the type to be a fanatic and ask for an autograph while gushing over a famous stranger, but that perhaps this chance encounter is for a greater purpose; serving the human experience we all share.

I say hello and mention to the gentleman that I recognize him from one of my favorite films. His eyes seem pleased to have heard my compliment and acknowledging his work. We share a short conversation about the movie. His wife notices him beaming with delight being noticed for his work and says that I've made his day. I was happy to hear that. He seemed happy.

His character played a small role. After looking up his information on a movie database, it seems that role is the only one he has had. He's an older gentleman and he played a butler for a very wealthy and extreme character at the very end of this particular film. What I took from the interaction was something beyond the surface significance of him being recognized by a movie watcher. I noticed a kindness and appreciation from the interaction between us. He may have achieved a lifelong dream of being in a major motion picture. What may have added to his dream was this stranger recognizing him.

23 June 2015

Flags And Framing



What goes through your mind and heart when you look at _________ (insert something real you like looking at, like someone's face, a favorite animal, a mountain range, etc.).

Now read the above sentence again, inserting your favorite symbol or something man has made (examples: money, car, boat, 'peace' sign, etc.).

Now insert the flag representing your state, country, or your family's coat of arms.

What do you feel? What do you 'see'? What do you hear?

Some become emotional when seeing a bald eagle. It beckons nostalgia, tells a particular storyline, portrays to them a noble cause and other things. A bald eagle, three certain colors in specific order, beckons strong emotions for some. The same phenomenon happens when others look at political symbols they've grown up with. These also speak a certain story producing nostalgia.

Do you get the same feeling when looking at the “M” from the McDonald's corporation? What feeling do you get seeing those golden arches? Anything? Hunger? Indigestion and gas? I really do like their French fries.

A recent opinion piece in the L.A. Times about the bear on the California state flag speaks a different picture typically realized when historic details are shared besides mainstream and popular narratives. I had somewhat of an idea as to how the territory I've traveled almost all my life became labeled California after it was called Mexico, and before that labeled Spanish imperial land, and before that called something else.

The land is real, but are identifying labels and terms real?

Depending on how history has been impressed upon you by parents, media, authors with a certain world-view and your political hierarchy, you can't help but see symbols in a particular manner.

Symbols speak something to you without actually uttering a word.

Have you noticed this idolatry?

22 June 2015

Always A Bigger Fish




Had several conversations recently about why the cost of things continually rise over time. Wages don't seem to rise along with the cost of things. I lose my audience when I begin explaining my view of why costs rise ( inflation ). I wonder if my explanation needs an easier concept.

I think I may be speaking a different language. Yet I don't think this is because I'm getting into macroeconomics or using ridiculous terms. It's because I'm speaking a different language than the nightly news. My audience isn't dull or unlearned, they simply rarely hear the order of the English words I speak. The concept I'm presenting is uncommon. I speak of things which are missing in the daily dialogue of the propaganda news; identity by consumption; the siphoning effect that interest-bearing loans have; the fact that a loan's interest amount is never issued, only the principle amount.

Imagine no money exists. Here I come along and 'make' a hundred dollars, handing them to you. Now there is a hundred dollars of money in existence. I 'naturally' ask for ten percent back for its use, since I made it. Where will the ten dollars in interest come from? I only made a hundred and I'm asking for 110. Do you have the extra ten dollars? No, and neither do I, because I only made 100 dollars! This is a mathematical conundrum. An insoluble equation. THIS is the reason for inflation, the siphoning effect. This is why people lose.

I don't see making money out of thin air ( fiat currency ) being the major problem. The problem is there is never enough money in circulation to pay back both principle and interest, because only the principle exists, per my example.

This is why usury is wicked in God's eyes.

21 June 2015

El Padre Nuestro



Father
male whose sperm unites with an egg, producing an embryo resulting in a birth.
man who adopts/raises a child.

Paternity
state of being a father; fatherhood.
descent on a father's side; paternal descent.
authorship; origin.

Patriarch
Originally, a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is termed patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά (patria), "lineage, progeny", esp. by the father's side (which derives from the word πατήρ – patēr meaning "father") and ἄρχων (archon) meaning "leader", "chief", "ruler", "king", etc.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are referred to as the three patriarchs of the people of Israel, and the period during which they lived is termed the Patriarchal Age.”


The male role model, what a “father's” presence provides, can be drawn from a variety of sources.

My desires to ride motorcycles, fly in airplanes, be generous and be a tough guy were provided by my dad; the provider of the sperm which seeded my mother's egg sometime in early 1975.

Despite my dad's limited influence in my weening, I gained and multiplied his influences.

My maternal grandfather's traits were adopted; strict discipline, honorable example and the importance of obedience.

A brother-in-law; learning and developing talents like fishing, playing chess and fearlessness in expressing oneself on paper when words in person may fail.

An older cousin; exploring hidden creativity, ignoring self-doubt while pursuing faith in abilities.

Eventually, I realized I was drawing influence from many male role models.

A pastor; grace while being fair, tenderness while expressing masculinity and humility in the face of indifference.

Many older brothers assisted in shaping this 'man of God' in the making.

Today there are still many older gentlemen which I draw paternal influence from.

I see my grandfather, my dad, my brother-in-law, my cousin, my pastor, my brothers in the men I learn from.

I see God, the Holy and Eternal Father, having His hand upon me the entire time, teaching me always.

I see and place my eyes on the Perfect Father's example in His Perfect Son.

By imitating the Son have I been able to grow, forgive, overcome resentment and love over the humanity of these men, being grateful for their many/few contributions, so I too may not repeat their shortcomings or be humbled when I do reflect their humanity.

19 June 2015

See Beyond Your Thought Patterns



Pattern
noun
a model or original used for imitation or as an archetype
an example for others to follow

Routine
noun
A set of customary or unchanging and often mechanically performed activities or procedures

Habit
noun
A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition
An established disposition of the mind or character

Program
noun
A stimulus or training sequence that causes an organism to exhibit a behavior, as by conditioning

What are some patterns, routines, habits and programs you'd like to incorporate into your life... and what are some you would like removed?

When pursuing the real estate investor identity/idea, I followed certain specific patterns, routines, etc. My focus at that time was to achieve an end goal: money. One popularly taught habit was surrounding yourself with like-minded people. This notion makes obvious and natural sense, right? This notion also asked to drop those people who seemed to be naysayers, dead weight and folks who were not pursuing your same endeavors and which were not contributing to your end goal. Makes logical sense, doesn't it? I found the same mindset when pursuing my security trading efforts; speak only to the like-minded.

What I found both misleading and detrimental to my journey when reaching my goal was this: I removed myself from the people who make my endeavors possible. The people I needed to work the companies I was trading, to buy the real estate I was selling, were the people I was trained to ignore. I began to view 'them' much the same as the objects I was using in order to reach my goal.

I found the imbalance of encapsulating oneself; removing certain groups of people from my life, believing I can see this world clearly by only being around my same kind, defeating me.

18 June 2015

A Sign For The Times


Sign

1- An object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else.

2- A gesture or action used to convey information or instructions.

Signs show direction.
Signs reveal the unknown.
Signs can be missed, misunderstood.


Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: 

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel.
 
- Isaiah 7: 14

[Immanuel means “God with us” in Hebrew]


What would this particular 'sign' be like?


For to us a child is born,
    to us a Son is given,
    and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of His government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over His kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.


- Isaiah 9: 6-7


What use was this particular sign when it appeared?


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Yeshua:
 
Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage;
rather, He made Himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
    He humbled Himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place
    and gave Him the Name that is above every name,
 that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Yeshua Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

 
- Philippians 2: 5-11

17 June 2015

Disturbance Of Peace Resolved?



Follow-up to entry Disturbing The Peace regarding a parking lot brawl. A detective leaves a message informing me the accused took a 'deal' and will serve 3 years. Not sure why, but my emotions are conflicted and tears come to my eyes hearing the message.

Last week I spoke with the same detective regarding my subpoena to appear. He mentions only the robbery of a cell phone and the waving of a knife. He doesn't mention my two counts; spitting in my face, assault on my person. I hold my tongue. I forgave him and prayed for him shortly after my emotions and pride subsided that day. I also prayed that God would remove me from accusing this man.

Was the cell phone charge greater than the assault? Four felonies were counted that day, with two related to me. My curiosity desires to inquire, but an inner sense keeps me at peace.

A day after receiving the subpoena, I receive a message from an assistant District Attorney saying the preliminary court date is postponed; I would be notified if needed.

I perform a search of the young man's name (present on the subpoena). Images and video of him, his family and some other information posted some years ago appear. The images and video show a glimpse into his social environment. I hear his voice. My heart hurts. I could see a parental role model which may have contributed to the violent mindset he displayed that day. I get an idea of neighborhood peers which may have also been a factor. I too grew up with that factor in my neighborhood, yet never succumbed.

Will 3 years bring repentance, or reinforce his present mentality?

Will a thoughtful visit enrage him or help him?

Have I done my part or not yet?

16 June 2015

Evidence Of God's Hand



Have you noticed how animals have no teacher, yet they do things according to their kinds? They somehow find mates, reproduce, raise young, and further their specie. This has been scientifically called 'instinct,' but I don't think this word and its definition properly brings understanding to the phenomenon.

Does making up a word calling something such bring adequate understanding? We can rationalize that the animal has a certain program within it. We don't 'see' how this program comes to be, but we can recognize the patterns.

Why do most penguins mate for life (have monogamous relations)? From a human's perspective, we call it monogamy. Who 'taught' them to choose and keep fidelity with a single mate? Is it because they can't fly and get away from their mate like other birds can? Are other species of birds promiscuous because they can fly away and do things in secret? Of course, these are questions in jest, but how else do we speak of the surrounding world if not from the human perspective? Yet the world is not humane, we are.

Why do ants work diligently? Why one queen at a time? Does mankind imitate ants or ants the human? Where does this order come from? Look at a pride of lions and the order among them. Only one male lion per pride, per area. The lion king has a harem, and his offspring are exclusively his. When a stronger lion challenges his kingship and overcomes, a new lion king is recognized and the harem and future progeny goes to him. We see this same pattern with men in history.

Who is the Author of such observations? Is it all chance? Has order come from chaos?

Or has order always been but men decide to dismiss the evidence of God's hand? Yes.

15 June 2015

Obedience Produces Order



My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes delight in My ways.
- Proverbs 23: 26


What does obedience render? For some vocations, it saves lives. The fireman follows very precise and strict rules if entering a burning building. The policeman adheres to a protocol and preserves his life and that of his coworkers. The architect works within the rules of math to ensure a building that will withstand the weather, earthquakes and so on. Yet where is the rulebook for the parent? Where is the procedure manual for the father and mother of children?

Do you remember learning a lesson the hard way due to disobedience to the rules or a parent/guardian? Did you realize that you already 'knew' better yet still did things your way or contrary to the rules/instructions? Who was to blame? Laws, rules and methods are in place for a reason. Not all laws, rules and methods are just nor 'right,' but there are some which are inarguably correct, useful and demanding of one's obedience.

If you have children, you surely know how you yearn that they follow your instructions. You, having experienced most aspects of life already, do not desire them to repeat mistakes you or others have made. You know very well the benefits of gaining wisdom and the consequences of disobeying wisdom. You may have heard “do as I say, not as I do.” This is hypocrisy, and one core reason why the next generation repeats the pitfalls of the previous. Have you not realized that your “actions speak louder than words”? You must act according to the instructional words you profess!

A parent living their life according to the Way is a living example for their children and witnesses.


My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes delight in My ways.
- Proverbs 23: 26

14 June 2015

Unknown Bounds Of Grace



If you've read a few of this blog's posts, you know they occasionally include what is heard in public. In echoing spaces, bits and pieces of people's conversations can be heard.

People come and go in these coffee shops I frequent. They stay momentarily, departing after receiving their favorite cup of caffeine. Others, like me, stay a bit longer.

Very recently at a table near me, I overheard two women talking church. Their conversation was partly about how no church is perfect. I couldn't agree more, since churches are made up of people and people are fallible. Church people follow the Perfect example, but they are not perfect.

Some time later, after the two women depart, I hear bits of the conversation from those seated at this same table. The new occupants are talking about the military; they have a friend/relative who is working on drones. You know, those flying machines that bring war to others in an impersonal and far-removed way.

It's interesting how on the surface, people are people. The exterior differences can be notable, yet you really can't tell what is beneath the surface of the skin, unless actions are seen or words are heard. I can't say the girls talking about church are any better than the two men and woman talking positively about their friend's/relative's occupation. Who knows what these five people do on their own, while alone, or among other people. Only God knows what their destiny is, who they are Today and who they'll be on that Day when the hearts of mankind will be revealed.

I believe God has grace in store for those who may not see all things clearly; whether they are the body of the Holy Spirit or work in systems which destroy the body of the Holy Spirit.

12 June 2015

Order Out Of Chaos?



Coincidence

1- The state or fact of occupying the same relative position or area in space.
2- A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.

Simply because a word has been made with a written definition, doesn't mean that notion exists.

I don't believe coincidence exists. Whatever the occurrence, this word doesn't prove, disprove nor give an explanation to its definition. It simply identifies the occurrence; phenomenon. We have many words which have been made to explain the unexplainable, yet words fails to actually speak to what is really happening.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.

- Jeremiah 29: 11-14a

Memorize this for gracious opportunities.

I have seen this passage make an impression on friends and strangers, it speaks to their hearts. If we believe in a God who is Absolute, Sovereign and Omnipresent, then this God allows nothing to happen outside His will. All things are purposed. All events purposed. All encounters purposed.
It was no coincidence I've run into certain people when I did, same for them. Even the calamities of life have been purposed. They have not been random acts of chaos, but something to bring forth a greater purpose.

Coincidence is a convenient word explaining how God's will is experienced, yet unperceived by the faithless.

Seeking His purpose, His Way, His will, you will realize the serendipity of Life.

Put your heart into the search.

11 June 2015

How Normal Are You?



I think everyone is a little askew; maladjusted, not seeing nor thinking in perfect harmony with what can be identified as truth. Perhaps my opinion shouldn't include people I've never met, yet I think I can safely say that no mere mortal has lived a perfect life; having always thought perfect thoughts, having always spoken perfect words and having always performed perfected actions. I do believe One who was more than human, yet aside from Him, who comes close?

I think it is the degree of how askew people are, or can be, which makes most idiosyncrasies either tolerable or outright abnormal. But what is 'normal,' eh? I always ask my wife this question when she mentions that word. We then have a laughable debate. Notice how the word “idiosyncrasies” has 'crasies' at the end.

Is society normal?

Which society has been 'normal' and properly ordered?

The one you currently live in, right? Yeah, right.

I see quite a few broken people on my daily journeys. Homeless persons talking to themselves, yet the homeless aren't the only incoherent folks. I also see people who do not seem homeless, but have those social characteristics of being further along the sliding askew scale. I see once broken people redeemed back into society, regardless of where others would classify them to be. I see people who seem to have all of what society deems 'normal' and much more of it, yet perform criminal acts without a twitch or wince at the thought. The news has plenty of stories of folks going off the deep end despite having their fill of worldly treasures and desirable accolades.

What is normal?

Were native western hemisphere tribes-people normal?

Is modern western society normal?

Are eastern society's normal?

Are you normal, and if so, according to who? You?

10 June 2015

Hard Times Can Be Prevented



When conflicts arise, it is easy to see what others do not see, much like it is difficult to see what others do see.

How is this possible?

When it is you who is in conflict, emotions run high and the argument your mouth makes seems justifiable. You are right, right? When it is you who is involved, and when it is you who is wronged, instant justice is your remedy.

However, when it is another person who is embroiled, isn't it true you can see clearer what is happening? You can sometimes objectively make judgements on what has occurred and foresee what may occur.

If only we can objectively see when it is us who is experiencing the blinding emotion. I'm sure we've been in situations where no matter what we do or say, we cannot diffuse another person's emotional complaint. Perhaps we can also realize how sometimes another person cannot diffuse our personal emotional complaint. Hindsight brings the lesson, if you are the type of person who takes inventory of such things.

What is a kind grace is the fact that we do not always have to pass through an experience to learn the lesson. This is such a kind grace! I have been fortunate to experience this grace through the storms that others have sailed. But sadly I can be the type of person that learns best when I personally travail the stormy sea. My pride.

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

The Lord detests all the proud of heart.  Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16: 1, 5, 9, 18

09 June 2015

Their Actions Reveal Their Hearts



The teaching of righteousness makes no sense to the person who justifies defending themselves in the face of violence. Those who take great pride in their religion, justifying their revenge or defense of their persons, property or principles, fail to realize what it means to put all faith and hope in God.

Instead of faithfully taking God at His Word, they take matters into their own hands, using their logic, their wisdom and their ways.

It is no coincidence that those who walked with Christ and those who walked with His Spirit for the 300 years prior to Rome turning the faith into a religion, did NOT use violence to either defend themselves nor to proclaim the Gospel of Life after death to others. This fact cannot be refuted by secular historical records.

Those claiming then or Today to know Christ, yet contradict the teaching of righteousness, know not the Prince of Peace.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
 
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”


Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

- Romans 12: 14-21

08 June 2015

Right And Wrong Relative



Today is a sensitive time. People's hearts are easily revealed, without ever speaking a word. You can learn about someone by simply looking at them. You can learn even more when they share their thoughts. The condition of their heart is sometimes understood with careful listening. People desire to be accepted, to be loved and to be respected. Naturally. For which reasons they desire to be accepted, loved and respected are questionable. Naturally.

We don't like to be told we are wrong. It is disconcerting, uncomfortable and embarrassing. It makes us second guess ourselves. It challenges our judgment within our perceived landscape. Depending on what we are being corrected on, the correction is hard to 'see,' let alone understand. Is it better finding out you are wrong through reflection or being directly told you are wrong? The former, right? Yet, even finding out you're wrong isn't that easy for some of us. You still second guess yourself, and wonder if you're still right and perhaps everyone else is wrong. There is a word which identifies this definition. I'll let you figure it out.

What is right and wrong in a world argued through relativism? When every moral and ethical inclination is put up for questioning, no wonder what is right for someone is wrong for someone else. Stealing is an obvious wrong, unless you are embroiled in a culture which justifies the act.

What are some cultural justifications you see around you Today which were not justifiable a generation or two ago? Is this the definition of progress, or regress; evolution or devolution?

For the historian, the human pattern never disappoints. The historian can sometimes predict a culture's / society's end, maybe not to a specific date, but to an eventual resolve of what people see as right and wrong.

06 June 2015

Whole Hearted And Filled



Click to listen while reading the lyrics:

Life's ambitions occupy my time
Priorities confuse the mind
Happiness one step behind
This 'inner peace' I've yet to find

Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I'm not blind why can't I see?
That a circle can't fit
Where a square should be

There's a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by You
And this hole in my heart
Can't be filled with the things I do

Hole hearted x2

This heart of stone is where I hide
These feet of clay kept warm inside
Day by day less satisfied
Not fade away before I die

Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I'm not blind why can't I see?
That a circle can't fit
Where a square should be

There's a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by You
And this hole in my heart
Can't be filled with the things I do
There's a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by You
Should have known from the start
I fall short with the things I do

Hole hearted x6

- Nuno Bettencourt, Gary F. Cherone (Extreme)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

- Ecclesiastes 3: 11

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

- Ezekiel 36: 26

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

- Ephesians 3: 16-17a

05 June 2015

Do Animals Ponder Humans?



This morning I hear some noise outside my window. Rustling leaves attracts my attention and gets me out of bed. I've been awake a short while, starting my daily routine as usual, but have yet to get out of bed. The noise springs me out of bed in search of the matter.

Slowly pushing aside the shades, twisting open the blinds, I see a squirrel foraging inside the bush outside my window. Moving ever so slowly, I know the slightest move will startle the creature. I gaze in wonderment. A short time later, again some rustling. Again moving as slow as possible, I see quite a few sparrows going about their daily routine of finding something to eat.

I notice how both the squirrel and the sparrows move with lightning speed. They act and immediately react to their environment. They are always on alert, looking for the next meal, aware and acting according to their nature. They seem to have an instilled program, like my computer has an installed program to play music.

I know there is evidence of evolution in all living things, but what doesn't make sense is the idea that mankind has evolved past animals such as these creatures I see scampering about. Mankind has 'programs' forwarded onto the next generation.

Why is it that we're the ones pondering them?

Which other creature takes inventory of other species as we do creation?

What other creature comes remotely close to our almost exponential development?

If evolution is explained in place of creation, why are there no competitors to our understanding, our comprehension, our dominion, our emotion or our response to nature?

I don't think the squirrel cares if a sparrow drops dead, but why does the human care?

Why does the human empathize while creation seems indifferent, surreal?

04 June 2015

Humanity's Condition: Slavery Unseen



The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

- Romans 1: 18-32

03 June 2015

The Subject Of Slavery



The existence of slavery is quite troubling. Whether in ancient times or Today, the notion of slavery is offensive, especially to those whose predecessors were subject to such a notion. Why and how has slavery come to exist in the first place?

There are varying degrees to slavery: a legal or economic system under which people are treated as property. The nation which uses a currency not their own is, by definition of the economic pecking order and payment of tribute, subjects of the entity issuing currency. The term 'subject'/'slave' is replaceable, differing only by degrees of subjectivity.

History teaches how one king conquers another king, wiping out the losing population, or keeping a certain amount as subjects/slaves. The new subjects/slaves are moved elsewhere or left at their respective location, now owing yearly tribute to the conquering king. In due time, these subjects may assimilate, realize citizenship, or continue to be a subject class.

Have you considered the manner in which those residing in prisons are used? They are put to work, earning a small percentage of what a 'free' person would earn working the same tasks. The prison system is a business, using cheap labor as a commodity. However, prisoners are not termed 'slaves' or 'subjects,' despite them losing their freedom. Interesting. The political systems of old and new are businesses, using cheap labor as a commodity, but these commodities are not labeled subjects/slaves.

Considering the thought that nothing exists without reason or purpose, ancient laws would turn an outlaw into a slave for reparations. Don't we see the legacy of these ancient laws Today?

Regarding personal freedom and identifying who is or isn't a slave; the property 'owner' pays property taxes/tribute or else risks losing title to that property.

So, who is really free or not a subject/slave?

02 June 2015

What The Tongue Reveals



We all have our pride. Inescapable sometimes. For some, never noticeable. Ask someone about their ambitions or highlights from their past, and you may hear the surprising manner memories are recollected.

I noticed this recently when recalling my past musical ambitions. I couldn't stop talking, finding myself nearly boasting while covering later with a false humility. To err is human, to catch oneself a blessing. I am grateful for the latter, and surprised how I find myself sliding towards the former.

Have you ever noticed how recalling the past brings emotional currents of those times into the present? I know it does for me. If you listen closely, you can hear nuances in the speech pattern. Especially if someone lived in another part of the world or country, where certain words or accents prevail. You may hear past speech patterns. Perhaps it has to do with memory and the subconscience reliving a certain time and place. I'm a nerd for these kinds of things.

I'm a nerd for this as well:


Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

- Ecclesiastes 12: 9-14

01 June 2015

Disturbing The Peace



Zeal blinds me when I see injustice and disregard for life.

On a recent walk, two young women are about to fight. Three young men are observing a few feet away, speaking to them. I don't know the relation, but my heart directs me to make peace prior to battle breaking out. Walking directly to the women, I begin my plea. One of the men gets in my face, cursing, speaking gang terminology. I also say to him “peace be with you.” Spitting in my face and pushing me, he shouts at me to walk away. He follows me a short distance and resumes encouraging the women.

I wonder if I just tempted evil. A crowd is now observing from a distance. I remove another man from interfering, this time the young man is wielding what looks like a switch blade, threatening the man to back off. Later, this same man takes a camera phone from a witness, again with instrument in hand. This victim desires to chase the thief, I ask him to stand down.

The police arrive, I point out the culprit and his party. The man is taken into custody at gunpoint. I give a report. I am adamant about pressing charges regarding his assault. I give them every detail. The count is four felonies. I know without an eye witness, charges will not hold the perpetrator in prison.

Feeling remorseful now, I'm wondering about that young man's future despite the rage and darkness I saw in his eyes. I consider the trespass against me; very insignificant. I wonder if time in a cage with other criminals will grant him time to reflect on his life and repentance, or simply further his descent into the pit. I wonder if no punishment will embolden him just the same.

[follow-up to this story]