30 September 2015

Individual Resemblance



The word transference was on my mind today. I experience this often when I see a familiar face of a person I actually have never met before. If I think I see a past girlfriend, my instinct to flee the area is triggered. When I drive past a place I have frequented in the past, I remember either a single or several particular events. It is quite interesting how the memory faculty can trigger emotions about something which happened many years ago. It is quite peculiar how, depending on who you are reminded of when seeing a familiar looking stranger, what other thoughts and emotions are triggered.

I have an older friend who reminds of my maternal grandfather. He looks nothing like my grandfather, but when I speak to him and look into his eyes, somehow it is like I'm speaking with my grandfather. And the love I have for my grandfather, the respect and the manner in which I speak towards my grandfather, who now lives in the spirit realm, is transferred onto my older friend.

The prior disdain I had for all clergymen of the Catholic organization was in response to being expelled by a priest from private school when I was a child. This is something that has taken years for me to overcome. As a human being, I can be quick to be very critical. I must remember that the men in flowing robes I see today are individuals, although they are loosely associated regarding their vocation, and look alike. It has taken time for me to appreciate the expulsion, for it has added to my life's experience and perspective. I don't see men in flowing robes who speak behind a pulpit any different than men in suits or polo shirts who speak behind a pulpit.

29 September 2015

We Learn From Nature



Walking to a local coffee shop this morning to do my usual online work, I look down and notice a jumping spider.

It's moving so fast.

Have you seen those cartoon movies about insects or comedies with tiny people?

From the perspective of the insect or miniature level, the full size people and larger world seems to move in slow motion.

I wonder if this jumping spider simply 'seems' to be moving very quickly, or if that is simply my perception.

Read and explore the uncertainty principle and special relativity.

Some researches say it is simply the speed of signals from your eye to your brain; some creature's internal messaging speed is higher.

What is quite the reverberating reminder is that all of man's knowledge and understanding is derived from observation from the human's central perspective.

What other perception can the human derive?

But what is amazing when observing the natural world around us, the creatures which man had no credit in producing, is the fact that mankind has learned so much from them.

Men have conceived flight from observing birds.

How else has creation been provided for us to learn from?


Four things on the earth are small;

nevertheless, they are very wise —

the ants, a species not strong,

yet they store up their food in the summer;

the coneys, a species with little power,

yet they make their home in the rocks;

the locusts, who have no king,

yet they all march out in ranks;

and the spiders, which you can catch in your hand,

yet they are in the king’s palace.

- Proverbs 30: 24-28 (CJB)


Go to the ant, you lazybones!

Consider its ways, and be wise.

It has no chief, overseer or ruler;

yet it provides its food in summer

and gathers its supplies at harvest-time.

Lazybones! How long will you lie there in bed?

When will you get up from your sleep?

“I’ll just lie here a bit, rest a little longer,

just fold my hands for a little more sleep” —

and poverty comes marching in on you,

scarcity hits you like an invading soldier.

- Proverbs 6: 6-11 (CJB)

28 September 2015

You In Pieces, Or Inner Peace?



The visit of Mr. Bergoglio to the United States happened. The rapture didn't occur, nor did Hades manifest. The 'blood moon' was feared by some, while many enjoyed an eclipse. The ancients feared such events, but for this man, I was already in bed with my wife, reading. These celestial events remind us how succinct and precise creation is; perfect balance. Some people read these predictable events too deeply. The ancients pontificated without understanding, misleading commoners and instilling fear. This sadly happened again.

In recent months I befriended many virtual friends on social media, mainly Facebook. I scroll down the feed and I'm sometimes shocked while amused by what some people believe and repeat. I read many predictions, people having dreams, and of course the end of the world was forwarded by many.

Guess what? No red devil horns sprouted from Mr. Obama or Mr. Bergoglio. Yet people are changing predictions while making excuses.

Vilifying famous strangers is typical. Politicians, pontiffs, pastors, preachers and prefects have historically been abused. I can relate. I too am challenged with my inner thoughts regarding some strangers, the office they occupy, or the groups and ideas they represent. But these are people. I am called to love people, even an enemy. I am called to make quiet internal judgments prior to, if warranted and proper, speaking verbal judgments. I can only truly judge those nearest me, those in relationship with me, not those outside of close relations. Judging strangers is not the Way.

The 'end' of things is cyclical as is the human experience. To place timelines, predict without actually hearing His Voice, is to play the folly of fools and be a false prophet many accuse others of being.

God is Sovereign; He's always in absolute control. His children shall fear no man.

27 September 2015

Grace And Security



I heard an amazing story recently involving a thief, four dollars and a two-hour breakfast.

An affluent business man, let's call him Jose, recounted a bizarre story to me and some other socialites at one of my favorite hangouts. He was sharing about a friend he considers crazy for what he did. Let's call this friend Roger.

His friend Roger wakes up one morning to find a man in his house, gun in hand, demanding money. Let's all the intruder Donald. Roger is calm, telling Donald he has no money in the house, asking if Donald would like some breakfast. Donald says yes, so Roger cooks up some breakfast for the both of them!

Two hours go by and I can only imagine what they talked about.

Donald says he cannot leave without taking some money with him, for he finds the outside world being a tough place to exist. Roger manages to scrounge up about four dollars in loose change.

Donald leaves without further issue.

Jose thinks Roger was absolutely insane for making the choices he did with Donald that morning. After some thought, I said what Roger did was quite gracious and it showed his lack of fear, or faith. I said it was actually quite loving the manner in which he treated Donald considering the circumstances. I said perhaps Donald will remember Roger's kindness, hopefully affecting him to make better choices in the future.

I think what Roger did was quite amazing considering the reality of facing an armed intruder. I would have loved to have heard the conversation and how it was navigated.

Sometimes, when facing how ugly humanity can become, a little bit of grace and breakfast could make a world of difference.

Aside from Roger installing a new security system, what do you think?

26 September 2015

Love Carries No Mistakes



Men have written their best understanding of freedoms and restrictions, calling these works of theirs 'law.' These works of men are enforced by, well, force. Threat of bodily harm, loss of freedom and liens on your person or property are imposed, establishing 'authority' and legitimizing man's lawmaking efforts.

However, not all of these works (laws) of men are good. The clear judgment and scrutiny of man's laws isn't so clear. We can agree that not everything mankind does is good. Our personal fallibility supports this reality. If we are honest with ourselves, we can remember at some point in our past we were wrong about something we thought we were right. So it is with man's law writing efforts.

In Amerika's recent history, this is most evident when reviewing her many laws from the past. There once existed anti-miscegenation laws preventing a man and woman of different skin color or ethnic backgrounds from legal marriage. Slavery was another allowance protected by law, still allowed today, but under certain circumstances. Mankind and his treatment of others is still a work in progress.

It is comforting to know that although men have made erroneous, hateful and ethnocentric laws according to their limited understanding, God wasn't limited when establishing His law. Many of man's laws are fashioned after God's law, but somehow the examples of mercy, forgiveness and love is still missing from many of man's laws. Some would argue a 'change' in God's law occurred, but looking closely and following the sequence of events, we can see what is called 'change' is actually completion; fulfillment of God's law.

For the gracefully initiated, the Law is the command to continually love one another. Loving your enemy and neighbor as you would yourself, you wouldn't steal, hurt, kill, lie nor offend another human being.

25 September 2015

Pursue Faith Not Fear



Do all people have to work (or do something) in order to eat?

The trust fund inheritor has to manage their fortune or lose it to thieves.

If government does a semi-decent job of keeping groceries coming into the city and allows for doodads that make life interesting, is it really as evil as some make it seem?

A man named Job was the wealthiest and most righteous man of his day.

If the peasant and the philanthropist must work to feed themselves and others, what are some people fighting against other than the fact we are not in Eden and man's effort sometimes produces thorns?

Considering human fallibility, why blame human beings instead of seeing things as they are?

Why forward faithless fear-mongering the media trumpets?

The Way becomes conflated with fear propaganda; calling good evil, not realizing God's sovereignty despite mankind's shortcomings.

Just governance has historically existed as monarchy, republic, loosely associated tribes and as autonomous bands of people.

Why believe your man-made system is perfect or better than past examples?

The Good Shepherd's example helps believers traverse the thorns produced by people.

Slavery still exists in subtle forms; are we not tested to choose between becoming slave masters or good shepherds?

Blaming slave masters/hired hands while not personally becoming a good shepherd is complaining about the problem, not becoming the solution.

Is your heart and soul subject to another man's actions?

Does any man or government hold spiritual leverage over your heart?

Christ as Lord is evidence that no physical power exists over believers, only perceived power.

When flesh is killed, who really wins and loses?

If I am murdered, my spirit is released to He who created it.

Men are left boasting over a dead body they killed (and shall be judged by their heart's actions).

24 September 2015

Perception Defines Experience



Is the sky really blue?

What 'color' is the sky at night?

What is color?

Why is the color blue 'blue?'

I know, science has come up with answers and explanations to these questions.

But have you considered that the sky's color could have been called some other word?

It could have been called 'pickle,' while the pickle could have been called 'blue.'

“Would you like blues with your burger, sir?”

“Yes! I'd actually like extra blues, please.”

Is the sky really 'black' when the sun sets past the horizon?

Interesting how the idea of an atmosphere isn't visible at night; you can see the stars.

“As the sun sets, the sky goes from bright pickle, to light pickle, then to light gray and then to black. No more pickle.”

Consider how there are quite a few different hues of blue.

Which particular 'blue' is the sky's blue?

Is it closer to purple, closer to green, or in the 'middle?'

Depending on who you may ask, the sky resembles more a 'teal' tone.

To others, it is definitely 'turquoise.'

But I disagree.

To me, when I look up in the middle of the day without a cloud in the sky, it looks like blue #0087ff.

Of course! ;)

Next time you're outside, look at the sky.

Look up, look over and look to the horizon.

Look again a few hours later, or in the late afternoon.

You'll notice the hue of blue has changed its tune (tone).

That 'blue' is also different depending on which direction you are looking skyward.

Isn't the sky a lighter blue closer to the horizon (on a clear day)?

Isn't the sky a darker blue when looking straight up (on a clear day)?

Considering all this; is it the sky's color changing, or your perception?

23 September 2015

This Life



What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.

All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.

To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

All things are wearisome, more than one can say.

The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”?

It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.

I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.

What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”

Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

- Ecclesiastes 1: 3-18

22 September 2015

A Universe In Every Mind



Is it possible to speak the same language when communicating, yet realize that two distinct languages are actually being spoken?

Imagine a conversation between a lawyer knows not what a farm looks like and a farmer who never visited the city. The lawyer speaks through legal terms and the farmer speaks through farming terms. The lawyer speaks through concepts of law, with expressions carrying very complicated and historic significance, words having legal definitions attached and meaning entirely different things in the farmer's vernacular. The farmer, speaks through the process of seasons, through concepts having to do with life and work on the farm, and the terms used are defined according to what occurs on a farm.

Both men speak a common language, even using a common set of words, yet the meanings, nuances and intentions behind them differ vastly.

Imagine now when an employer speaks with an employee. The employer, assuming it's their business, built firstly in their mind and then brought to fruition, is speaking from a broader and objective perspective regarding the market, mindful of keeping payroll, of the costs involved and of relations with customers and employees. The employee may only be focused on fulfilling their particular job description, navigating the day with customer and product/service, making sure to execute the demands of their job.

There exists a grand chasm between two minds occupying a single plain. People who speak the same language possibly speak that language according to experience, world view, privy knowledge and the assumptions of others.

The man who believes to know his rights may sound like a lunatic while a law enforcer listens to him, even a lawyer. The commodity's trader isn't preoccupied with the intricacies of how a commodity is grown/made, but only focused on how to sell and/or buy that commodity.

20 September 2015

Straight Outta Compton: Recent Observations



Two tables away, a young man snorts white powder in the dining room of a McDonald's in Compton using a rolled up money bill. Another man places the sampled baggie back into his waist band. The man who had a taste doesn't fit the usual profile of a drug user or addict. He's dressed like he came from a hip-hop music video.

Ten feet away, the pungent odor of an older man who hasn't washed in quite some time drifts over to my nostrils. He's not in his right mind. I feel helpless when I see people in this dismal state of mind and in this state. At times it is possible to exchange a few words in conversation. Other times, they are so accustomed to being ignored that when someone actually does begin speaking with them, they do not know what to do.

Five tables away, a middle-aged man with a skin disease on his hands scratches out lottery tickets and inspects what is revealed in hopes of winning something.

Schools kids of all ages pour in. It is three in the afternoon.

Across the street I can see the Compton court house. Many recently released inmates make their way to McDonald's or the adjacent convenience store. A public transportation hub is nearby where they can catch a train or a bus to anywhere Amerika.

The man who snorted cocaine was quite generous when an older man asked for some help so he can get something to eat. The snorting young man handed him a few dollars, asking the beggar to bring back a burger for himself as well. Some time later, the snorting young man leaves and the beggar asks me if I know where the generous young man went, not wanting to keep something that isn't his.

17 September 2015

God's Nature & Man's Nurture



A word was secretly brought to me,
    my ears caught a whisper of it.

Amid disquieting dreams in the night,
    when deep sleep falls on people,

fear and trembling seized me
    and made all my bones shake.

A spirit glided past my face,
    and the hair on my body stood on end.

It stopped,
    but I could not tell what it was.

A form stood before my eyes,
    and I heard a hushed voice.

Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
    Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?

If God places no trust in His servants,
    if He charges His angels with error,

how much more those who live in houses of clay,
    whose foundations are in the dust,
    who are crushed more readily than a moth!

Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces;
    unnoticed, they perish forever.

Are not the cords of their tent pulled up,
    so that they die without wisdom?

- Job 4: 12-21


Blessed is the one whom God corrects;
    so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

For He wounds, but He also binds up;
    He injures, but His hands also heal.

From six calamities He will rescue you;
    in seven no harm will touch you.

In famine He will deliver you from death,
    and in battle from the stroke of the sword.

You will be protected from the lash of the tongue,
    and need not fear when destruction comes.

You will laugh at destruction and famine,
    and need not fear the wild animals.

For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field,
    and the wild animals will be at peace with you.

You will know that your tent is secure;
    you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.

You will know that your children will be many,
    and your descendants like the grass of the earth.

You will come to the grave in full vigor,
    like sheaves gathered in season.

We have examined this, and it is true.
    So hear it and apply it to yourself.

- Job 5: 17-27

16 September 2015

Political Mind Blower



This morning we're listening to a radio interview as I drove my wife to work. A woman is sharing her upbringing, career and political work. Her mother emigrated from a Caribbean island, her father from western Africa. She shared her ethnocentric point of view (as most of us would do). People easily identify with culture, society, religion, ethnicity, nationality; exterior things.

I was amazed to hear the rest of a famous political phrase when she quoted a man named Barry Goldwater. I cannot find the entire quote. Barry is quoted having said “you cannot legislate morality...” However, the rest of the quote I heard this morning continued loosely stating “...it is a condition of the heart.” Barry referred to the issue of hatred, racism, indifference and ignorance (heart conditions) which prevail regardless of segregation legislation at the time. He voted opposite his bright statement.

Barry Goldwater lost the presidential election. A man named Martin Luther King then said this:
Another indication that progress is being made was found in the recent presidential election in the United States. The American people revealed great maturity by overwhelmingly rejecting a presidential candidate who had become identified with extremism, racism, and retrogression. The voters of our nation rendered a telling blow to the radical right. They defeated those elements in our society which seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path.”[source]
Despite this being spoken a generation ago, we still experience this Today. Despite 'progress' in the form of legislation checking hiring preferences, hate-laws to respond to ethnically motivated hate-crimes, and a 'black' (as if people are colors) man occupying the highest public office, we still hear hateful rhetoric called 'truth,' and radical solutions labeled “making Amerika great again.”

Is THIS the “great Amerika” some people want?

15 September 2015

Sex, Love & Marriage



Sex sparks a spiritual connection.

The spiritual journey that consummation beckons is often missed and never taken.

This journey of growth and maturity is purposely avoided, many times cynically sneered at.

'Modern' societies following the popular culture's wind of change seems to ridicule what the ancients knew very well, what was as typical as breathing.

If one can be honest with themselves, they can reflect on the thoughts, emotions and sensitivities they experience when becoming one (having sex) with their husband/wife.

But you may say “I'm not married” though you are not a virgin.

Do you not know that the 'act' of consummation is what actually makes a marriage?

Verbal promises before a robed man and many witnesses aside, the very act of sex seals the deal.

The two become one.

It is the denial of this reality which precedes folly and fools many people, toppling the strongest of societies.

Denying the deep connection and oneness between man and woman, which consummation spiritually reveals, gives birth to many failures in relationships; the discovery of what love really is being missed, leading to dissolution of the family unit, the foundation of humanity.

I dare say societies fail, cultures dissolve when infidelity becomes the 'norm' due to the ignorance of what a loving bond truly is.

Ridiculing this very fundamental essence of love causes so much pain and distrust.

This deception has resulted in many people living a life of solitude despite consistently having multiple partners their entire lifetime, thinking the next person will be better, different or their match.

Many people deny what speaks to their hearts, trading physical conquest for intimacy, variety for depth.

Traded away is fidelity.

Faithfulness would lead to ever increasing union.

Building on trust and honesty, the faithful couple can build a reflection of love manifested.

14 September 2015

Nature's Intelligent Design



Have you noticed how complete nature is?

When something in nature ceases to live, it's consumed by the nature within and without it.

Consider the leaf that falls from a tree. After serving its purpose of feeding the tree by absorbing sunlight to produce food, exhaling oxygen in return for carbon, it falls to the ground and is returned to the soil. The leaf is consumed by the little creatures on and in the soil, breaking down the leaf's matter and reintroducing the leaf's matter back into the soil. The soil, straining this matter through water, replenishes the tree's root system. A purely recyclable and efficient system.

Consider the mammal who after perishing, if it isn't consumed by another life form, is consumed from the outside and from the inside. If no flies had opportunity to lay eggs resulting in maggots, the body itself produces enzymes which will begin the natural process of decomposition. In due time, the matter would have returned to the basic components it was comprised of. A purely recyclable and efficient system.

Consider now what human hands produce and their byproducts. Can you name one product of man which efficiently returns to its original state without any type of contamination, useless byproduct or negative impact on nature?

If the natural world around us all came about by chance, as the argument of order out of chaos which produced an ordered world and by default an ordered civilization of human beings, how amazing the perfect and complete cycle.

Why has man begun to deviate from nature's perfect order? Why hasn't man continued a life following nature's perfect example of regeneration?

Archaeologists find that human beings of long ago lived in harmony with the natural order around them, building homes and fashioning tools from items needing little modifications.

12 September 2015

No More Time For Money



I've decided to discontinue the website SmartPeopleSmartMoney.com.

I'll share in simple terms what I've learned about money here in this post.

Money is a man-made idea.

This idea has been complicated over time, making the topic exhaustive with an air of sophistication.

But there is nothing sophisticated about trading something real (food, labor, goods) for an idea (money), unless of course you do not produce your own sustenance (food and necessary goods).

There is nothing sophisticated when money systems fail and people's lives are ruined, unless of course you benefit from failure and people's ignorance of systems.

Money is made 'real' and useful by enforcement of laws.

The U.S. currency reads “THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE.”

Terms have changed over time.

The knowledge of what money is has increased and decreased.

Of the two signatures on the currency, which signature represents you?

One party represents the issuer (creditor), the other the receiver (debtor).

The Federal Reserve owners issue debt at interest.

This group receives tribute in the form of interest payments, like kings receive tribute as evidence of rule and dominion over people and land.

However, you can make your own debt/credit instrument!

All is needed is building trust among your trading partners.

You also need to do/produce/grow/make something useful/needed/in-demand.

I suggest when lending, do NOT lend at interest like the greedy.

Lending at interest is problematic.

The interest amount is never issued into circulation along with the principle.

Example: Every $100 lent at 10% interest, $110 is demanded.

Insoluble and impossible to pay back principle AND interest.

This causes a siphoning effect in the economy.

Prices/costs continue to rise without a real increase in value: inflation.

This is how those demanding tribute/interest siphon people's labor and the earth's resources.

Be not like them.

11 September 2015

The Reality Behind The NewStory



The divisions and factions within the Muslim religion sprouted immediately after Muhammad died and was buried. This character being found in a certain family/people was declared in Genesis 16: 11-12 by God regarding the descendants of Ishmael. Muhammad and his company claim Ishmael as their ancestor and culturally identify with him.

Regarding who is responsible for 9/11 2001, the U.S. government needs to answer to tower 7 falling at free-fall speed onto its foundation at 5pm that day. Internal fire from debris coming off of towers 1 and 2 is a hollow argument. The “official” story is just that, a story. An engineering explanation clarifying how a steel structure can collapse due to fire, resembling more a controlled demolition, needs to be had. Answering this issue will expose 'who' was truly responsible. Sure, men of a certain religion could have participated, but did these men or their narrow religious affiliates also have a hand in that building's surprise collapse?

It is interesting this article mentions the term "misinformation.” The mainstream news media of any nation is riddled with misinformation and is mostly comprised of biased and sectarian propaganda. As history is replete with revision, so can any news agency be found biased in its dissemination of the 'news' to its audience... and Amerika is no different.

Conclusive evidence showing exactly how financial support feeds any militant group (the ones mentioned in the article and those private armies/mercenaries in Iraq protecting private foreign business interests) will show 'who' exactly is behind them. But since ISIS is acting and reflecting the archaic founding of the movement stemming from Muhammad's inspirations, they may now be autonomous since they are actively collecting tribute and booty from spreading the sword as they continue the typical ambitions of man's heart: wealth, power, rule, conquest and honor.

10 September 2015

Turning On The Light


I was reading about metaphysics this morning. It is quite a vast subject journeying into various topics. It is very interesting how words go through stages; how different or further meanings are derived as cultures change and ideas increase. Ideas arrive, evolve, are rejected or expanded. Yet, sometimes people have only built upon a larger base of words, building upon the ideas of others without 'new' discoveries. But every so often a clearer concept surfaces, possibly being labeled 'new.' However, if one keeps searching, researching and reading, the 'new' idea is found having been expressed elsewhere, perhaps simply explained differently.

When I arrived at the religion section of the metaphysics entry, I wasn't surprised to see the similarities eastern schools of thought have to western concepts. I was surprised to find the similarity of how life, self and purpose are conceptualized with both the inclusion and exclusion of God (or the idea of God). In the east, as in the west and elsewhere, agnostic and gnostic, theist and atheist thought has developed alongside each other, providing exclusive explanations.

Greek philosophy categorized almost every aspect of the exterior world and the ego's perception within the world through mythical gods, associating human emotions and natural occurrences with a verbalized meaning beyond the ability to conclude with providential answers. I don't think the philosophy was wrong in the aim to make sense of the world. As an individual human being is a constant work in progress, so has humanity throughout the ages been developing and reaching for eternal truth.

When human beings reflect on exterior happenings outside their control, perhaps introspective journeys bring answers. Answers which may render better choices in preparing for a 'new' idea, despite the many or few words used in deriving those answers.

Any new ideas to teach peace?

09 September 2015

From Russia With Love



I have a retired friend from Russia I run into from time to time. I met him a few months ago when I was wearing my Cuban hat. He started the conversation, pointing to the hat and saying “Cuba” and “Castro” pointing at my beard. But we couldn't understand one another... aside from terms like “Castro” and “Khrushchev.”

I tried expressing as best I could my opinion of the political dynamic between this kountry, the kountry he moved from, and the fallout regarding Cuba. I used sign language without knowing sign language. I think he understood my heart when I pointed to the sky and, using my arms and facial expressions, communicated that people are one humanity regardless of their nationality, should love each other, acknowledging a loving God.

Yesterday was an amazing communication breakthrough! I had the iPad with me. Tuesday evening means Farmer's Market and some tasty foods I like. I've been seeing him there recently listening to the musical entertainment on the stage of the public park. Last week I introduced my wife to him. After sitting next to him enjoying the music, I realized I had in my possession the means to clearly communicate with my friend!

Going to Google Translate, I type out asking for his name. Then, pulling up a Russian keyboard at another website, I handed him the iPad. He typed out Eugene. We communicated quite clearly last night, and he was amazed at how this technology works. I can tell he was saying 'technology' in Russian, for it sounds very similar to the English word. “Music” in Russian sounds like “musica” in Spanish. We shared hearty laughs.

I can't tell you how happy I was to clearly communicate “God bless you, my friend...” and see my friend read those words in Russian.

08 September 2015

Adam Was Naked And Knew It Not



Every so often a word, phrase or message leaps from the page at me. It could be something I've read hundreds of times before. Perhaps God also has order in the manner we learn things, taking in one lesson at a time. One must spell before they can write, as one must identify letters prior to spelling words.

I'd like to share this experience. I previously supposed God knew Adam would disobey, but seemingly reading it in clear terms was encouraging. Maybe you can share your thoughts, or perhaps teach me something which is clearly and contextually spoken.

Reading the depiction of creation in Genesis, I noticed when the consequence for disobedience to God's command of restriction was mentioned. The notion of “if” is not stated or implied, but “when” or “that day” or something speaking to a future occurrence. I know, some may consider this splitting hairs or arguing over words. But I suppose; since God knows all things, including all near and distant future events, God surely knew Adam was going to disobey and even eluded to it according to what is written.

Read Genesis 2: 17 in whichever translation you consider correct. Notice how the phrasing being discussed is written. Consider what is being spoken, implied and notified.

Not to go overboard with this exegesis (I like to keep things simple and wholesome like pure milk when possible), but it's comforting that God wasn't surprised by Adam and Eve's disobedience. It seems, as the phrasing suggests, that Adam spiritually 'died' the moment he disobeyed and/or came to know he was naked.

Much how children are naive and innocent in not knowing much about the world around them, I consider it better sometimes for us to not 'know' evil as Adam came to 'know' the consequences of disobedience.

05 September 2015

When In Rome Part One



Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

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.

- Romans 12: 1-10, 13, 15-16


Questions:

- what is “worship” in this context?

- what is this “worship” called?

- when is this type of “worship” to be performed?

- should you be proud of yourself, your position, your gifts, your talents, your possessions?

- what should you hate?

- how should you treat others?

- should you ever look down on another person?

When In Rome Part Two



Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

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: 9-21


Questions:

- what are you to hate?

- are people to be hated?

- how are you supposed to live with others?

- are you to ever curse another person?

- how are you to treat an enemy?

- is revenge ever an option?

- how are you to treat those who mistreat you?

- who is the One who repays / avenges?

- how are you to respond to evil?

- what does it mean to not be overcome by evil?

- can war, fighting, curses be justified by followers of Christ?

04 September 2015

Light Breaks Through



If you dare open up your heart when sharing about your life, you'd be surprised how another heart may be touched.

If you are not afraid to share your past trials of traversing through mud, you'd be amazed at learning how another person also experienced practically the same trials.

You never know how your words, as you express gratitude for His grace in your life, may touch a hearer's heart.

The other day I was sitting at a coffee shop doing as I usually do (working; reading, writing, thinking, etc.) and was asked a simple question about my hat. Anyone who has ever personally spoken with me knows that in due time I will praise His Name. I cannot help but speak His praises in discussing every day issues like politics, economics, history, culture, religion, etc. If the person is listening closely, they may hear the Gospel spoken through my life's experiences without me quoting a verse. His message is interwoven into my dialogue, grafted into my heart. Tact.

A heart can speak to another heart without the conversation sounding like a sermon echoing in a cathedral or booming through a sound-system.

It's amazing when having a hearer in your midst, you don't have to try hard expressing the joy and gratitude in your heart. The Spirit manages the words, the phrasings and delivers the proper message to land squarely in those hidden places in a hearer's heart. What is even more amazing is how the speaker is not only mutually edified, but also encouraged. Not encouraged in terms of “feeling good” to have shared a testimony, but being personally reminded yet again of His goodness, His grace, His patience, His love, His forgiveness and mercy over you.

The aim is relating without flattery; becoming your audience without being condescending.

03 September 2015

The Name Game: A Genius Response



I find interesting when Moses asked for a name at coordinates Exodus 3: 14-15... the response seems to have been rendered three ways. I think people are thrown off track by desiring to derive an actual "name" as people understand names, since Moses asked for a name. Is it possible God expressed His nature and essence? Seems like a declaration.

As I understand, the four letters represent "I Am Who I Am" or some derivative thereof. Could the message in verse 14 simply be ''I Am'' the God of Abraham..." revealing to Moses that the God which seems to have been absent or silent during those years of slavery, is now present? The same four letters are used in those three places. Why do men translate in reaching for a name by inserting vowels aside from understanding what is expressed?

Let us consider: Who names themselves? We were named by our parents, we in turn name our children, animals and 'things' made by our hands. Did God actually name Himself? I think the response to Moses' inquiry was appropriate. We see God revealing bits and pieces of Himself and His will for mankind over the course of time.

Imagine a man asking in the presence of an earthly king "what's your name?" This would truly be quite inappropriate and a sign of insubordination or disrespect. I'm not suggesting Moses disrespected God, but simply asked so he would have an answer if the people were to ask (as it reads). Wouldn't that man address an earthly king according to his honored title(s) men historically have addressed earthly kings (your Majesty, your Highness, your Excellency, etc.)? God's mysterious and misunderstood response is quite appropriate, since He is Eternal and beyond description.

The establishment of authority and eternity seems appropriate in the response.

Made Famous Every Generation



He is praised and revealed in every generation!

Listening and looking closely, one is able to see the various ways and methods He reveals Himself to His creation.

He does this to bring glory to Himself!

See me
Feel me
Touch me
Heal me

(intro)

Listening to You, I get the music
Gazing at You, I get the heat
Following You, I climb the mountain
I get excitement at Your feet
Right behind you, I see the millions
On You, I see the Glory
From You, I get opinion
From You, I get the story

(chorus repeated three times)

- See Me, Feel Me by The Who


Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
      save me and I will be saved,
          for You are the One I praise.

- Jeremiah 17: 14


I will sing of your love and justice;
      to you, Lord, I will sing praise.

- Psalm 101: 1


Many nations will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
      to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us His ways,
      so that we may walk in His paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
      the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

- Micah 4: 2


The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

- Hebrews 1: 3


After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
      who sits on the throne,
          and to the Lamb.”

- Revelation 7: 9-10

Praise His Name!

02 September 2015

How Far Love



Aspiring to see the world around you as another individual sees the world can lead you to understanding that person. How else can the person across from you be better understood unless you put yourself in their shoes? If the goal is to convince someone of your position, your point of view, can only speaking from your position, while disregarding their point of view, truly help them?

Empathy.

In serving another person, is the goal to win them over to your side? Is not the greater goal to win them over to what is greater than the both of you? A mutual understanding of love's foundation is, I believe, the greater goal.

I used to believe my particular understanding of God, His church and the reality of things around me was correct. Yet I used to condemn those who didn't agree with me! I had such a myopic view of the world that I was in fact quite empty of empathy towards other people. And in this self-righteous and diluted state of mind and heart, I also believed I can tell who was known by God. Imagine that; a human being thinking they can see the heart of another person! Yet, we have quite a few people walking the earth today which stand firmly on this position. And they consider themselves right.

One thing is to know what the message is; love. Another thing altogether is expressing love through your thoughts, words and actions. This is the fine line between the religious and the righteous.

There was once a group of very learned men who believed they can see clearly, yet were found to be blind. They were empty of love, and thus were empty of God's wisdom. They took pride in an ideology which prevented them from recognizing Love.

01 September 2015

Donald Trump Is My Cousin, Mi Primo



What befalls a nation, people or citizenry knowing very little about the details of its history? Aside from repeating ignorant epitaphs (slurs) taught to the next generation, is the outcome of blindly attacking people who look different from you or don't share a similar recent heritage. For the believer, we are all descendants of Noah, his wife and their three sons and wives. What is more, the science behind phylogeny speaks to a common maternal ancestor.

The people previously occupying the land mass known today as “the United States of America” initially traveled, according to archaeology, from eastern Asia. Some archaeologists say early travelers may have arrived via boat. Regardless how people arrived, travel and migration has been a human constant for various reasons. For my recent heritage, it was a political reason (1960's Cuba). For myself and my wife, it will be a spiritual reason.

People are easily divided, polarized and suspicious of others because of what the admired say on television. Blaming immigrants seeking a better life (economic reason) when the highest government authority (federal) allows for the influx of immigration to feed the demand for cheap labor is blaming the wrong group of people. But since the populace knows little of economics and political propaganda, blaming an entire ethnic group is a stronger tool than blaming obscure laws, career politicians and the reality of how the business machine is fed. See: weak teleology.

In the ancient days of empires past (or so popularly believed), slavery fed the need for cheap labor. Today, it is a political guise which justifies feeding the buying and selling mechanism; what brings meaning and purpose to many. Politics, after all, is the management of people and resources. Some of our cousins obliviously support the very people who work against their best interests.