30 June 2016

The Case For Cannabis Curing Cancer

Natural Creation Is A Human Resource When Used Wisely

Yesterday I heard yet another testimony of cancer being cured with cannabis oil.

A friend of mine shared how he's been using CBD oil as a daily part of his diet after much research and hearing the experiences of others.

He recalled to me a friend of his whose father was terminally ill with cancer and was given two months to live by a doctor.

The son of the cancer patient wasn't too sure about the usefulness of the cannabis oil, but thought it was worth a try since all that modern American medicine had to offer had failed and his dad was given death as a sure prognosis.

That was two years ago.

In a short amount of time the cannabis oil had done its job at ridding the body of cancer.

Hearing this affirms what has been made quite clear: God has purposed this plant for a certain use.

Cannabis, better known as marijuana, has been vilified for some time in western cultures, and for good reason.

The majority of marijuana users enjoy the drug as a recreational stimulant or suppressant (depends on who you talk to and their motivations), similar to how someone would enjoy an occasional drink or two of alcohol.

But to equate a drink or two of alcohol, on occasion, with the smoking of marijuana, which has psychoactive properties unlike alcohol, would be an unfair comparison.

I have personally used marijuana for many years, and after experiencing all that was to come with such use, at times habitually, I cannot in good faith and honesty of conscience support its popular use.

My opinion is not popular amongst marijuana smokers.

It is an issue of motivation behind the smoking of the plant and experiencing the subsequent affects.

My personal use was motivated by a desire to escape reality and feel the euphoric affects.

I don't believe God intended man to use the cannabis plant in that manner, and thus I ceased that use.

In the time since I've read many reports and heard enough personal testimonials to now advocate solely for its medicinal use, which in my opinion, is not derived from smoking it by consuming the psychoactive ingredient; THC.

I believe God has intended a proper use of the plant.

When looking at the science behind the human body having cannabinoid receptors, and the plant having cannabinoids that fit these human receptors, and the curing affects in the human body, it is very difficult to vilify the plant's use in a manner vacant of THC, or the motivation to pursue a 'high'.

It is quite clear how God made no mistake with this creation of His.

The issue is in, as with so many other things found in nature and derived from man's adjustment of nature, the manner in which man uses what God has made to be used for good.

27 June 2016

When Goats Become Pigs & Pearls Are Trampled

Difficult Feeding Goats

How shall those called to His glory live while on the earth?

Is one's example portrayed by force, by boasting, by intrigue?

Or is representing one's truth done in honesty, honor and always staying at peace while proclaiming the truth in love?

The truth is relative for everyone, since every person's perception of the truth depends on their understanding of what is or isn't true, their perception being formed by their identity, their upbringing, their dogmas and so on.

So how can truth be reached, or discussed with another human being, when truth is mostly understood based on one's limited understanding of all things?

Love.

Humility.

Peace.

Recently while traveling on public transit, I overheard a man mention to another man that his mother had passed away.

I waited until the two were finished talking until I mentioned my mother had also recently passed away.

In attempting to reach another human being via commiserating, or at least by reflecting on death as much as two adult strangers can, I did my best.

The conversation started out innocently enough.

I thought perhaps, not knowing his disposition or views of life and death, I could encourage him regarding the death of his mother and perhaps reflect some light on his own mortality.

My effort to be loving and kind unfortunately backfired.

Early on he mentioned how he doesn't deal with religion but instead is spiritual.

So after a few questions from me for him to elaborate, he expressed how many things are free for him to do, while religion controls others and keeps them from realizing who they are.

He was speaking of the freedom to do what is typically considered sin, or immoral.

When he went as far as saying “I am god” after asking him what his view of God was... something inside of me told me to end the conversation on that note and stay at peace.

But my pride was stirred, and this is where my love for this person began to battle with my for God.

Without going into further details of what turned into a debate, although I tried to keep it as a friendly discussion and perhaps a test of wits, the man shared that his heritage had been stolen and that what I believed to be true was an outright lie.

He was quite firm and vigorous in expressing this, stating that anything a man has written is not to be trusted.

Yet when asking him about his beliefs, he claimed his studies in Egypt and India brought him the 'truth' regarding spiritualism, God and all the rest of it.

I called him on this hypocrisy and illogical conclusion.

So the cursing began and loud expressions that brought the attention of others onto our private conversation.

And, of course, I was being looked at as the problem, although I wasn't the one raising my voice or making a scene.

What turned into a heated moment, now turned into a sad experience, for two other individuals began to also denounce Christ and the Gospel's message with their apparent distaste of the Christian religion and poor examples of Christians.

I was asked repeatedly what my religion was, so when I answered “Jesus is Lord”, this was enough for them to conclude with what their prejudices already were.

Now came the attacks about doctrine, about accuracy of what was written, about motives, and many misunderstood issues that are easily found and disseminated in too many conspiratorial youtube videos.

These videos usually have a religious person dressed in religious attire denouncing the message of Christ and proclaiming their specific brand of spiritualism, or 'truth', something that they've come up with after reading some obscure information also gleaned from the internet.

Usually these messages reinforce hateful racial positions, faulty national identities, and broaden the division between people according to labels and external judgments.

My heart hurt, thinking these people have swallowed the propaganda so prevalent online and on the street.

I also realized how so many people, having rejected the Gospel and the testimonies they've heard, are now ripe for something false and based on human motivation.

Sadly, too many people are ripe for the response that comes from rejecting love, pursuing instead their desire to interpret love on their own terms and according to their personal perceptions.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also.  They will treat you this way because of My Name, for they do not know the One who sent Me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.  Whoever hates Me hates My Father as well.  If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.  As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both Me and My Father.  But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.’ 
- John 15: 18-25

23 June 2016

Loose Canons Cause Division

Lost Canon...Loose Canons

Bias

noun

prejudice in favor of or against a thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in an unfair way

verb

cause to feel or show inclination or prejudice for or against someone or something

Very few individuals can argue, discuss or explore any given subject matter outside of their bias.

Bias is such a natural leaning of our human condition.

When discussing the topics that people typically shy away from or cringe when hearing (politics, religion, economics, etc.), it is sometimes easy to hear or notice a biased point of view in others.

Identifying a bias in ourselves is... not as easy.

So when one discusses things which may cause emotions to flare, a blinding bias is not too far away.

This is even more evident when a firm prejudice has been ingrained into one's heart over the years.

This is where bias comes to the forefront, for those who perceive individual adherents of any given group / institution as complicit according to the actions of other group members, then their blanket judgment is something they'll have to answer to one day.

The reformation brought about division.

This division is usually justified when condemning the many historical sins of the church (men in the church, not the entire church body).

Much like in a marriage that realizes that divorce is never an option when love and forgiveness is the Way, to cause a division where God has brought unity is to miss the Way... forgetting love and forgiveness as the basis for the union.

The arrogance on both sides of the argument(s) between Protestants and Catholics, each believing their doctrine to be absolutely correct and without issue, also believing themselves to be correct while judging the other... is the lack of love that was warned about early on in the Gospel.

Both (and all derived divisions therefrom) fail to see human beings.

The arrogant fails to see their brother / sister in Christ, instead judging them according to what they believe or know, or don't believe and don't know.

The proud and puffed-up on information fails to see their own selves in the mirror, not aware of their deafening bias.

Instead, they see a label (Catholic / Protestant)... and label themselves.

But do these labels actually exist?

Haven't these and many other terms been invoked by men to further identify and define what has already been made clear?

When Christ the Lord mentioned disciples (students / followers) and children (humility, innocence) and above all things, loving all others (there is no condemnation in Christ), did He even infer terms or ideas as the terms and ideas that people are divided by today?

No man can 'see' if another man is “in Christ”, aside from formulating an idea according to their fruits (how someone acts), yet judgment is reserved for a certain Day and by a certain One, not to be attempted by those in the flesh.

Judgment of actions is one thing, while judging people is something altogether different.

Always leave room for repentance, remembering to love others despite their waywardness (love your enemy)... for if and in the measure you judge you shall also be judged.

22 June 2016

From Where Did Evil Originate?


Those who instigate humans to become enemies; may the Lord rebuke those.

The Almighty calls His children to be righteous in the face of all things, and it is the Almighty which guards and protects His faithful.

When I speak of “those who instigate” I am not speaking of, about or to humans, per-se.

If you notice, every idea that propels a person to hate, dislike and look crossly at another human being did not originate from another human being.

Although a message or idea is transferred and comes through another human being, is the human the actual source of dark ideas?

God's purpose is evident in every single person, animal, plant, etc.. every 'thing' has a purpose and a role to play.

Paradoxically, within God's sovereignty, we also see things which are not of God.

It is from God that love is conceptualized, realized and authorized.

It is also from a spiritual realm that darkness had its origin, but not by choice of the light.

How is this so?
Then war broke out in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 
- Revelation 12: 7-9
In speaking of this particular entity, the entity over “those who instigate” it is written:
“ ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: 
carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. 
Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. 
You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 
Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. 
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. 
So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. 
By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. 
So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. 
- Ezekiel 28: 12b-18
We see the manner in which darkness, hate, deceit and from where all the nefarious notions of men have their origin.

We see that this particular entity had a choice, and their choice rendered an eternal consequence in themselves, along with their companions, and the motivation that humans have within themselves when making similar dark choices.

This is how and why the following expression was heard:
Yeshua said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” 
- Luke 23: 34a
This is why those who pursue peace, who follow God in all earnestness and faithfulness, follow the Way of Peace and also consider the following when confronted by dark things, either through humans or on their own:
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: 17-21
May peace, love and joy always reside in you, you who may be temporarily afflicted, hard pressed, and challenged by the current darkness in the world... for the time of darkness will soon have its end.

Amen.

21 June 2016

Life Is About Growing


The butterfly was first a worm.

Without time growing, then transforming, the worm will never realize wings and an entirely different body.

The butterfly's physical transformation speaks to the human's spiritual, emotional and mental growth.

This transformation speaks to what, as I understand things, is expected in the human being: constant growth.

An infant knows nothing until it is taught, or it learns, the many things adults now easily take for granted.

The lessons to eat properly, to use the restroom successfully, and the mundane yet easily ignored – like the making of one's bed in the morning – are lessons transferred from one to another, and are not to be left behind.

Trivial arguments like using forks instead of fingers when eating isn't the issue, but we do see a graduation from squatting around a communal plate to sitting at tables, utensils in hand and a variety of plates to choose from.

Not to argue if the modern method is superior, but one can see the point regarding hygiene, comfort and accessibility finding its adoption throughout the world from prior manners.

What about the things which are realized to be of more value?... the things within which we struggle growing into and away from?

The butterfly is quite susceptible and helpless when crawling on leaves and when in the pupa stage.

The time in the pupa, simply hanging on a tiny limb from a branch, could be seen as the most vulnerable and defenseless state.

Yet, when we find ourselves in this state, or more practically having passed through such a state, is when we see the fruits of our labor.

When we have passed through the fire, through the growing pains, through the vulnerability in any manner, is when we now realize the rewards in character development, in mended relationships, in sensing peace after a storm.

Embrace the growing pains, the difficult lessons, the attacks on your prejudices, your assumptions, your ignorance (we all have a limited horizon), for it is these very pupa stages that develop in us the Way we've been called to follow.

19 June 2016

Pride & Prejudice


Prejudice

noun

preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience

Pride

noun

having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance

Arrogance

noun

an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people

I grew up with many prejudices, as practically every other human being on the face of the earth has.

My prejudices were learned at home, via mainstream media, at school, church, etc.

I had a strong prejudice against Mexican people and Mexican culture for as long as I can remember.

I still struggle with this programming I received as a child, for it is still all about the culture I currently live in and in the minds and hearts of very many people.

I think it stems from mass media and, by default, through people as they forward this programming.

There is a pecking order (yet another idea becoming a reality) among ethnic groups within societies.

Since people believe in or enforce this idea, the idea is physically perceived and thus made real.

Of course, those who identify with whichever type of ideal they are most likely perceive themselves atop or near the top of this pecking order.

Perhaps you can relate according to your tribe, ethnic group, religious affiliation, last name, color tone of your skin, heritage, etc... and who or what group of people you believe yourself to be better than.

Growing up under the identity of “Cuban”, I perceived myself to be of the highest caliber brand of “Latino” there is.

What disgusting arrogance.

When traveling to other parts of the world with Spanish influence, my attitude was quite repugnant.

And as any American could admit, or people visiting American can see for themselves, in the U.S. a very strong arrogance resides with those who identify themselves as "Americans" while hating or subjecting others according to their uncommon background.

This 'reality' in a country comprised of immigrants except for a very small percentage... who were mostly killed-off (genocide).

I also grew up with a prejudice against black people.

But God is very loving and patient.

In helping me identify, face and work on these faulty and unloving programmings of prejudice, He placed me in a predominantly black church in my early 20's.

And when I realized who the woman to be my wife was, it is no surprise she is of Mexican descent.

I see that God does these things, working in a humorous way at times, and yet in quite a serious manner, in building a good foundation while also removing the faulty work of this world.

It is no surprise then when one realizes that Christ doesn't envelop a “Jewish” identity, although He was of Jewish heritage.

Nor does He forward a “Roman” identity, although He was born under Roman imperial rule.

People didn't (and do not) become Jewish or Romans in order to become Christians (like Christ), but instead become something quite unifying, mutual and communal.

People become one, as He is One.

Prejudice, pride, arrogance, fear; all what the world forwards and mostly portrays in propaganda news media and revises in history books... desires to push division, indifference.

However, God is about producing plurality and unity, bringing forth love where hatred and distaste first existed.

15 June 2016

Repeating A Lie Enough Times: A Message To / From Islam


Reality is not always defined by what is seen (consider science prior to the electron microscope).

Neither can what stirs the heart, metaphorically speaking, be evidenced by a hospital's heart monitor.

When researching religions, one can look at what scholarship has deciphered regarding past events, helping confirm whether something actually occurred or not.

A historian's motivation, identity and ideology can play an influential role regarding their reports or accounts, revealing why a certain fact, opinion or point of view is accepted or denied by them.

Why have Jewish historians agreed with both Roman and Christian historians about the death of Jesus on a cross?

Why would the Jewish religious hierarchy acknowledge Jesus having died if doing so would place them in a losing position?

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah and declared equality with God (quoted having said “before Abraham was, I Am” & “I and the Father are One”).

The Jewish religious hierarchy denied Him these claims and demanded His death.

Why would the Roman political hierarchy acknowledge Jesus having died if doing so would place them in a losing position?

Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Doing so was asking for the death sentence since a Roman king already reigned as “king of the Jews”: Pontus Pilate.

There isn't a need to mention the Christian historical account since the other two opposing parties (Jewish and Roman) are in agreement regarding Jesus having died on a cross.

If opposing views agree on something having occurred, and no contention arose at the time of the event's occurrence, this may be a good indicator of that event's validity or its truth of having occurred.

Why then does an opinion that Jesus' death not having occurred exist today?

The Muslim community at-large believes (or, is taught) that Jesus did not die on a cross, nor died at all, but instead believes Jesus rose up to heaven without having suffered death.

The event of rising up agrees with the initial Christian account, but not the initial Jewish account... the Roman account also mentioning both sides while not concerned until centuries later.

The idea that death did not occur to Jesus is mentioned in the Quran (a believed-to-be inspired message) and Hadith (reports of what was heard about or from Muhammad).

Muslim and western scholarship shows interpretation and belief regarding Jesus' death being at odds.

Some of the earliest Hadith writings (by “companions of Muhammad”) reported Jesus did die on a cross, with the length of time varying.

What I've found in researching Islam's history, impact, and writings (including the Quran and Hadith and narrative histories), is an array of what can be found in any given culture and ideology:

Fact, fiction, legend, myth and opinion... in other words; man's typical nature being highlighted, some things purposely obscured, other things revised with human fallibility being justified.

Nothing new under the sun.

This is typical of every organized, loosely organized or autonomous group(s) of people throughout time.

Muslim scholarship over the centuries has brought about various concepts and understandings of Jesus... and His proclaimed death and ascension.

Early concepts were first built upon what is mentioned in the Quran and later Hadith, interpreted, and these interpretations further interpreted to follow what has been mentioned in the Quran and Hadith.

The issue of Jesus' death on a cross has grown deeper in contention among the branches of Islam.

As new information is read and discovered, men have come to believe.

Individuals and their groups within Islamic ideology have come to accept the historical fact that Jesus died on a cross.

This is quite amazing, for it is only by faith, as the Gospel message states, that any individual may believe Christ having come in human form, suffered death, and having risen to life!

Faith being a gift from Above, it is not something any individual can muster or develop on their own.

The perception of Jesus within Islamic eschatology (part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind) has always been viewed through the lens of the Quran, building from there various ideology through cultural identity (Arabic, Persian, Indian, etc.), further branching out via Hadith, Tafsir (exegesis, or interpretation) and legend.

In recent centuries the Gospel teachings have begun to be considered in defining and understanding who Jesus is in Islam.

The late development is due to a misinterpretation and legendary suspicion that the Gospel message was corrupted, yet scholarship-wise this has yet to be clearly identified.

Where Islam ideology originated, among peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, written record-keeping was nonexistent.

Neighboring Egypt had written records of their historical highlights (religious, mythical and factual) for several millennia prior to Islam.

But sadly, the loose bands of Arabian tribes had no such organization or hierarchy outside of loose associations and mythical / legendary oral traditions of their own.

Having no written record of or for themselves, a population largely uneducated, illiterate and holding to tribal identity and suspicious prejudices would continue their way of life, now finding pride in the thought of a prophet they could call their own.

Written history on its own isn't a factor pointing to facts, as oral tradition doesn't equate to pure legend or fantasy.

From a scholarly approach, if nothing is found in record, it is anyone's guess whose oral tradition is factual, whose story is part legend and whose tale is pure legend.

With a written record, variations could be evidenced and pinpointed as to when something was altered, revised or edited out.

With oral traditions, variances are difficult to identify and the past events difficult to determine.

Islam as a whole is a still developing culture when compared to western civilization(s).

It should then be no surprise that the death of Christ on a cross, being found in Jewish chronicles, Roman accounts and Christian records, was not believed when Muhammad began to warn his listeners about their pagan revelry and tribal disunity.

The scholarship shows the perception of Jesus, from a Muslim's point of view (what a Muslim would be taught by those before them), includes the pre-Islamic writings of heretical 'Christian' groups from the second to fifth centuries.

These heretical accounts are also mentioned in the Quran.

Instead of drawing conclusions from the primary sources of the Gospel, or secondary sources of early Christian writers and historians, or from non-heretical Christian groups, what has been believed of Jesus in Islamic teaching is part fiction and part fact with highly elaborated opinion, despite some legends being in line with Jesus' character, while other legends being quite contrary.

What is seen still among many Muslim ideological adherents is the ancient mannerism of believing folklore, myths and legends... with a resistance, albeit this resistance is slowly loosening now thanks to worldwide communication channels like the internet, to reviewing new and documented information, assisting to form a clearer and believable (God-willing) view of Jesus Christ, His impact the world over, first with western civilizations and now into eastern realms.

The facts are being more difficult to argue away as suspicions, and the myths are slowly being shown for the varying conjecture they've been developed into.

[all claims made herein have their references and citations, and can be shared upon request]

11 June 2016

Not Reflecting Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Reflections of this Man

Media Programming... what is it?

The typical definition speaks of recent technology's reach into your home... and that's a decent place to start.

Going further back to times past, and asking the question “what is programming” comprised of?

Propaganda.

Read ^the link^ and a definition from that source:
Propaganda is information that is not impartial (fair/just) and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.
One has the responsibility to decipher how certain media publications "frame" their stories.

Doing so may keep one from being instigated according to media manipulations... and see past that which all humans struggle with within our hearts (fear, lust, greed, prejudice, ego, complacency, arrogance, pride, etc.)

I think every human being can acknowledge, or at least logically conclude, the simple idea of loving one another and not wishing harm onto others is what we'd personally would like to receive, and one we can accommodate in forwarding to others.

We can learn from each and every human being, no matter how we perceive them or how they may perceive us (how “we've” been programmed to perceive them and vice versa).

I personally don't think I have any enemies in the flesh, but perhaps some people make themselves out to be my enemy by their choice or whatever motivates them.

I understand there are unseen forces who instigate those in the flesh to become enemies of this man.

However, I cannot have an enemy who is a human... for that would be me falling for the lies in propaganda and the trappings laid out to trap my heart (our collective fallibility).

To me, God's purpose is evident in every single person, animal, plant, etc..

Every single 'thing', no matter how high or low, has a purpose.

The virus has its role, as does the mosquito, as does the smallest to the biggest fish in the sea.

How much more do the things we do not perceive or do not understand still continue the reality that all things somehow, and some way, work together in seemingly orchestrated crescendos, lulls and bottoms.

The person of peace, who claims for themselves to follow the way of peace, however that 'way' is understood or prescribed, should see the human being across the street from them, across the globe from them, as their mirrored reflection.

As the mirror reflects your external cues and actions, it is up to the individual to make that initial, and continual, loving effort to best reflect the manner they'd wish to be treated... regardless how the person reflects or responds to your love.

This is the way of peace that so many religions claim to know and religious people claim to follow, but action is proved by one's words.

09 June 2016

Tears In The Dark Bring Out The Light

Light Reflects Even Over The Deep

Once tears form, they are not absorbed back to where they are produced.

Much how rain washes away debris and cleanses what is on the surface of the ground, so do tears wash away the surface of our hearts.

The rain, it forms and then falls, so also do our tears come about... and the direction is always one way... not a two-way street.

The rain doesn't fall upward, but downward.

The cloud forms after water has evaporated from being on the earth, not in the reverse manner.

As all things, occurrences and times in life have a purpose, so do tears play a role in our lives.

Tears come about from overwhelming joy, overwhelming sadness... and from other emotions including fear and anger.

Why then do some of us fight back tears?

Why the fear, or embarrassment, or shame of being found crying?

I am sure for some, especially for men, crying can be seen as a sign of weakness.

To cry before one's peer group, the crying individual may seem to lose 'honor', the event being something never to be forgotten; something to be ridiculed when remembered.

However and wherever the urge to let tears flow may come about, and regardless of how one's cultural norms may perceive crying in a man or a woman, there is One who not only knows why you may cry, but knows your heart's disposition even though you may hold back the tears.

I suggest to not 'feel' afraid to let tears flow, whether in public or in private, for one never knows how those tears may refresh your soul... and touch the heart and soul of someone who witnesses your tears.

After all, haven't you considered the following?
Record my misery; 
list my tears on Your scroll—are they not in Your record? 
- Psalm 56: 8 

He will swallow up death forever. 
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; 
He will remove His people’s disgrace from all the earth. 
- Isaiah 25: 8

07 June 2016

A Noble Occupation


The publicity stunt recently performed by John Oliver of the show Last Week Tonight speaks volumes.

But the 'stunt' was more like a lesson in greed (culturally), and ignorance (also culturally).

And I don't think Mr. Oliver was trying to puff his chest out to receive applause and adulation, but to actually point out one of the many ills that the world's societies are plagued with.

Let's do some math.

Oliver opened a debt collection company for $50.00 (fifty).

He then started a very simple website, and shortly afterwards was offered close to $15,000,000.00 (15 million) in debt for the cost of $60,000.00 (sixty thousand).

That debt was previously attached to nearly 9,000 (nine thousand) individuals.

It was medical debt... but could have been credit card debt, or debt of any kind.

Out of 9,000 people at $15M, the average is $1,667.00 (one thousand six hundred sixty seven) per person.

Question:

What is the cost of postage, ink and paper in sending a few pages of information to someone?

Maybe $1.00 (one dollar).

It would cost roughly $9,000.00 (nine thousand dollars) to send 9,000 people some information by mail.

What “if” (and this is a big IF and the test written into this blog article)... those 9,000 people were to receive information how they're debt was removed, and how not to find themselves in this predicament again?

What if they could to LEARN how to never get into a bad debt again, and how to deal with debt collectors, and how to hopefully, once and for all, to manage their debt and cease being subjects to the greed of others?

How much value would this information be to them?

How much can the person(s) / business(es) conducting the service realize to gain (in terms of doing what is right and honest)?

Let us consider:

The debt Oliver purchased was already “written off” by those who were initially in contact with the debt consumers (the 9,000).

By law, unless the debt consumers “agreed” to be responsible for that $15M... that debt was gone, finished, no more... disappeared!

Yet, debt collection agencies rake in ridiculous amounts of money in FOOLING people into agreeing to pay something that was made to go away.

There is so much 'business' gained from ignorance... and this should not be in the age we live in.

I am not advocating not paying your debts.

However, the human condition managing the ways of this world causes people to drown themselves with debt and this is simply a lack of discipline in controlling one's consumption and life management.

I'm not speaking to medical bills in terms of health, but maybe the for-profit medical industry, but that is an entirely different beast whose tail I won't attempt to grab in this article.

The tail I am grabbing and handing to you is this:

You can start a business and do the right thing... and still make a decent living, and help others find their way out of trouble and learn how to not find themselves in that same trouble again.

This business is a one-time transaction, pointing the way to further resources that are already free and available, not a way to get debtors further on the hook.

Back to the math.

The example with Oliver's move shows that the $15M was bought for less than pennies on the dollar.

0.004 per cent.

1% is 0.01.

If these same 9,000 individuals were asked, for example, for one percent (1%) of their debt from the new debt buyer for a) the cost of buying the debt (which as you can see is nominal/near nothing), b) forwarding them information on how to navigate the waters of greed and debt, the service would be a decent effort in adjusting the imbalance... and the high cost of ignorance.

1% of $1,667.00 for 9,000.00, or 1% of $15M = $150,000.00 (one hundred fifty thousand).

Imagine a new business of helping people learn about what debt is, and how to properly navigate the world above board (honestly).

The debt collection industry thrives on ignorance (as the article on Oliver's effort will explain).

But, when honesty is applied, humanity can begin to deal with humanity... and maybe, just maybe, people can begin to feel again.

Whether the consumer will learn is one thing.

But how those who thrive on ignorance, or the market of ignorance, can be shamed and identified as predators is key.
“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arises not from deficits in the Constitution or Confederation, nor from want of honor and virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” 
“Banks have done more injury to religion, morality, tranquillity, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they have done or ever will do good.” 
- John Adams
“...we are at that very point in time when a four hundred year old age is rattling in its deathbed and another is struggling to be born. A shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater and swifter than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, lies the possibility of regeneration of individuality, liberty, community, and ethics such as the world has never known, and a harmony with nature, with one another and with the divine intelligence such as the world has never seen. It is the path to a livable future in the centuries ahead, as society evolves into ever-increasing diversity and complexity.” 
- Dee Hock, CEO emeritus of VISA International

06 June 2016

Special Delivery

Acting silly with Kristofer and beard

Paul, an apostle of Christ Yeshua by the will of God, 
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Yeshua: 
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua Christ.  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Yeshua Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace hat He lavished on us.  With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
- Ephesians 1: 1-10
Questions:

What does it mean to bring “unity to all things in heaven and on earth” under Christ?

Did you notice it says “He made known to us the mystery....”?

After mentioning “mystery”, notice where it says “put into effect when times reach their fulfillment”.

It seems like unity of all things in heaven and on earth is the direction things have been going for 2,000 years... but one could say even longer than that.

'How' these things have been occurring is quite mysterious, as it says.

What is even more mysterious, I think, is how we are blessed in the heavenly realms with “every spiritual blessing in Christ”!!!

Mysterious and amazing to put it mildly.

It is exciting!

What can be more exciting than trying to wrap our minds around an abundance of spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms?

God choosing you.

Much how you pick out the best of something, God has chosen you for a very special and unique purpose.

Read and understand how very special you are, how you are called to be a beautiful manifestation of God on earth, a very amazing creation made in His image and His likeness.

You were created to have the very attributes of Christ.

04 June 2016

Our Earth Is A Closed Circuit

The Waters Above The Waters Are Within Us All

A drop of water, however it is consumed or wherever it may travel, eventually evaporates and becomes rain or snowfall somewhere else on earth.

If we could follow a single cluster of H2O (water), I think we'd be amazed to witness its journey around the globe.

It will pass through plants and animals, oceans and streams, and human beings.

It will undoubtedly repeat many journeys, but most likely not like all previous journeys.

That single water molecule that may take turns passing through us may have passed through the likes of Sargon (d. 2215 BC), Hammurabi (d. 1750 BC), Akhenaten (d. 1336 BC) and Alexander (d. 323 BC), Gengshi (d. 25 AD), Ashama (d. 632 AD), Moctezuma (d. 1520 AD) and Abdullah (d. 2015 AD).

Much the same can be said about the single atom of oxygen that makes up that single molecule of water.

Who is to know if that single oxygen atom has always been attached to the same two hydrogen atoms?

Perhaps the three (two hydrogen and one oxygen) regularly stick together like good friends whenever possible, or perhaps they are constantly replacing themselves with others (to form water), or to form other molecules, or perhaps the hydrogen atoms only come together to form water once every thousands years, or hundred years, or … ?

One thing is for sure, both the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, whether together as water, or separately on their own, may eventually pass through each and every one of us.

Even while in the same room, you and I can breathe in and breathe out these very elements.

And since we are all spiritually, and more recently scientifically realized, part of one family, notice also how intertwined we truly are now when looking at ourselves as neighbors on this planet.

This should remind us not only to ponder the wondrous mysteries all about us, but also being careful to not pollute the very nature which we are made from.

We should also be careful not to pollute one another with the idea that we are not part of one family, and on this journey alone, as the atoms and molecules which we are derived from are not alone, but always functioning together in many different ways.

Each of us, our natural bodies, is made up of many water molecules (oxygen and hydrogen)... and we are consistently being replaced by what the elements that comprise one another, a small piece at a time...

We are truly one.

03 June 2016

On The Wings Of Angels


Hieroglyphics, as the “new” old language, continues to roll forward in the context of emojis.

Much how the Christian fish was a subtle and safe way of communicating one's faith in a hostile environment, so the rise of innovation may be coincidentally corresponding to subtle and severe persecution in the interesting phenomenon of...

The Emoji Bible.

Although I don't hold to the notion of coincidence, I mention it in this manner for convenience.

I don't see anything occurring without reason and / or purpose.

I find it quite encouraging how innovation entertains what is typically seen as a serious subject.

But I see a great leap forward in bringing the message of love, hope and grace as it is understood by the faithful, to a younger audience who is communicating in the fun language of emojis.

I'm sure some folks will see disrespect with the manner the message is conveyed, but when looking back at previous methods of interpersonal and open communication, where truly is the harm when the medium is the message?

I don't speak the emoji language beyond happy faces, but considering what is messaged in this passage, where is the harm if the heart is pure in forwarding the effort:
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 
- Titus 1: 15
Much how the advent of technology of radio, television, video, the internet, etc. has forwarded the pure efforts of those who have love in their hearts, much how the Roman Empire's roads and trading sea routes assisted in disseminating the Gospel, while also facilitating the dark efforts of men, so also this message speaks louder than the critical heart:
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” 
- Matthew 11: 19

01 June 2016

Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed


Since me and Jesus got married

haven't been a minute apart

with the Receiver in my hand

and religion in my heart

I can ring 'em up easy

ahhhh

oh well

ring 'em up easy

go make up my...

mmmmm

weeping that'a He ain't lost

they despised the Amen

hanging on the cross

hanging there in misery

ahhhhhhh

oh well

hanging there in misery

go make up my

mmmmmmm

mmmmmmm

Jesus gon' make up my...

they despised the Amen

made poor Martha moan

Jesus said to His disciples

come and carry My mother along

dying will be easy

ahhhhh

dying will be easy

dying will be easy

Jesus gon' make up my...

I'm dead and buried

somebody said that I was lost

when it get down to Jordan

have to bear my body across

done gone over

ahhh

oh well

done gone over

make up my...

- Blind Willie Johnson