30 November 2016

Nearsighted Identifiers From The Past


I personally, physically and spiritually belong to a 'tribe' that transcends an adequate definition.

In order to properly define an ideology that clarifies an identity, I've had to first empty myself of the several man-made ideas attached to faulty and limited ideologies.

If I were to attach myself to the default notions, I may argue I am an American.

How so?

Simply because I was born on a landmass currently called “the United States of America”?

But my parents were born in Cuba and emigrated here.

Can I then call myself a “Cuban”?

Before that island was 'named' “Cuba”, what was it? or what were the people there called?

Since some native-to-the-island blood runs within me, do I identify with those extinct people?

They were most likely part of the Taíno people who settled there prior to the Spanish arriving.

Does a name, or title, truly define who a person is?

What of my Spanish ancestry?

Can I claim to be a far disconnected Spaniard?

Is there Spanish royalty in my past I don't yet know about?

What then of the likelihood of Arabic blood that made its way into Spanish territories?

Can I then claim descendancy from some Semitic tribe that sojourned in the peninsula for centuries?

What before that?

If all this can be proven, all the way back to whomever, into the B.C. era or further back to Mesopotamia or whatever, what would it mean?

What would any of this information mean now in this time, day and age?

Since science shows we all hail from the same matrilineal line, what does that mean?

It means we are all related; brothers, sisters and distant cousins only separated by time, distance and the thoughts programmed onto our minds and hearts.

Why do people attach an identity to themselves from what people popularly call a piece of land?

Are we derived from the dirt of any given place?

What if I was born at home, or in a tomato patch my mom came to rest while in the throws of labor because she was unable to make it inside the house... or born at a local hospital?

Would I be called some kind of tomato or whatever type of fertilizer used for the tomatoes?

What are the things we draw an identity from, and why?

I was actually born in a hospital called “Queen of Angels”.

Should I then be called “he who was born from the Queen of Angels” or something similar?

This argument can surely be made, looking at maternal origins in regards to spiritual realities.

But really now.

What does such information gain for me personally?

Something that I can take pride in, something to stick my nose up in the air about.

Does such information grant me a privilege if I'm a horrible person to others?

Would I be justified being a horrible person before others simply because I can prove some heritage that means something to me and / or others?

There was a time when such claims did 'mean' something, for they were pointing to who was king or was to be King over all.

And that time has come and passed... but not all yet understand or believe.

May we hold to what is more important; our unified identities as children of God, made and continually molded in His image.

The Son is the image of the invisible God.

May the walls built in our minds (and hearts) come down, granting us light that brings us into unity with God... for He is One, so may we be one.

29 November 2016

Islam's Covenant Perspective

Psalm 107

I read through a scholarly work regarding Islam's concept of “covenant” recently.

I was searching to find if the Quran, or its interpreters since Muhammad, ever taught or introduced a covenant in the fashion as it's understood in the Bible (Old and New Testaments / Covenants).

Spiritual covenants throughout the ages have been established, completed, expanded upon, etc., with each subsequent covenant growing and further entrenching God's relationship and commitment to mankind and what was expected in return.

All covenants, having been revealed to a particular lineage of men and their descendants, have included either specific people or all of humanity (Noah's covenant contrasting Abraham's covenant).

What I found is that Islam's traditional perspective and interpretation of God establishing a covenant with mankind began with Adam and is very unique in its perception.

Adam and his yet-to-be-born progeny was, in the spirit (physically unborn / before creation), called to confirm their acknowledgement of God and their submission / obedience to Him.

The Islamic concept of a long train of prophets imparting a message to mankind is not understood as building upon a legacy as established through a particular family group (as expressed in the Bible).

Instead, the prophets were reminders assisting the wayward, calling them to return to this initial conversation with Adam (and his progeny).

Very much like the accounts of the prophets prior to Israel's expulsion from the land, warning of dire consequences for years of trespass.

The covenant concept in Islam is simple with few precepts, referring primarily to Adam's covenant, then to whichever secondary covenant was 'revealed' through whichever prophet at any point in time... reminding people of the primary covenant with Adam.

This difference in perspective helps both Muslims and non-Muslims understand traditional Islamic concepts of how Muslims view themselves and those outside their culture / religion.

The understanding is distinct.

I didn't find any distinguishing between what is considered the several covenants (growing and evolving) from Noah to Christ, for example, or the mentioning of covenant fulfillment Christ taught, nor the covenant Christ established.

What is repeated is the public ritual of prayer, of almsgiving, and other religious tenets.

I think this reality speaks to a concept that has been built from oral traditions over the ages peoples not having what the Hebrews had; namely the law, the prophetic legacy, the detailed writings of the testimonies, temple worship, etc..

What is found is something that seems to be on its own as far as interpretations of God's relationship with mankind goes.

What is understood from the Abrahamic tradition according to Judaism is defined by the vast written account.

There seems to be a void regarding specific covenant requirements and details in Islam regarding what came before it, although Islam claims to complete, correct and codify all form of religious traditions that preceded it.

This conclusion isn't surprising.

God spoke personally with and to specific people whose testimonies were kept among the lineage known as Hebrews, and none other.

The texts of the New Covenant were initially only found with those encircled in the Way, with imitations and forgeries being obvious to the learned... besides the teachings being initiated orally and placed on the hearts in a most simplistic manner and law: Love God above all and love others, even so-called enemies.

For more about the concept of covenant found throughout ancient times and its factual application in today's secular societies, read this thorough historical encyclopedic entry.

28 November 2016

Forever Young


God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true 
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you 
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung 
May you stay forever young 
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young. 
May you grow up to be righteous 
May you grow up to be true 
May you always know the truth 
And see the light surrounding you 
May you always be courageous 
Stand upright and be strong 
May you stay forever young 
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young. 
May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift 
May you have a strong foundation 
When the winds of changes shift 
May your heart always be joyful 
May your song always be sung 
May you stay forever young 
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young. 
- Lyrics by Bob Dylan, Performed by Eric Weinberg

27 November 2016

Give Greater Gratuity

2 Thessalonians 1: 3-4

It is when having recovered from a severe cold or sickness that the individual reflects on their gratitude for breathing now with ease, walking now without pain and eating now without issue.

When times are great, rarely does one reflect on what is not usually called into question.

But when a sickness occurs, or something considered 'bad' happens, the heart begins to ponder beyond what is typically expected.

People usually have an expectation of 'good' things to happen, day after day.

Food being on the table, a roof overheard, a means to stay warm when it gets cold and to stay cool when it gets hot.

There are many criticisms for the modern world's trappings, but also many benefits that complainants usually take for granted.

Speaking to people who do not have running water, or potable water, or have to travel a long distance to bring home water than needs to be treated before being used, one can get a sense of gratitude for what has been established where they currently reside.

Maybe it isn't so much that healthy people take their health for granted, but that there isn't anything to complain or be worried about most of the time.

But oh how easy it is to complain about the little things, the insignificant and petty things.

Where there is a need or something to cause worry, consideration and gratitude may not be too far off.

Just as a change in health or an issue arising may cause a change in perspective, words also change over time, along with their meanings.

Etymology is a great word that explains what words currently mean and have previously meant.
The term 'gratuity' previously meant 'pleasing, thankful' when Latin was the predominant western language.

From here many other terms have been derived.

'Gratis' means 'free' and still means 'free' in Spanish.

Later Latin's 'gratuitus' (same word today spelled 'gratuitous') means 'done freely, without charge', similar to 'gratis'.

When looking at today's 'gratuity', the current meaning being 'tip, gift, reward' is now the thought of money given (to a server) above the restaurant's bill has developed.

To me, it seems that the worded idea of being grateful has gone beyond a sentiment and has turned into an action.

The term 'grateful' has its Latin origin with 'gratus', earlier 'grate'.

'Grateful' currently means 'feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful'.

We see in many instances gratitude being played out in a physical effort; people expressing their gratitude by what they do besides what they say.

These and other words began from a root and blended into certain specific meanings, yet these meanings have migrated into further explanations of the same meaning, or quite a bit different meaning.

Cultures play a role in the mutation of the meanings of words.

I can't help but notice how gratitude has spilled over into good works, being now something beyond a verbal expression or internal sentiment, but a manifested sense of gratuity.

24 November 2016

Grateful Every Day

Genesis 9: 12-17

What is the term holiday?

A different way to spell holy day?

What is holy, and to whom would such a thing be considered 'holy'?

Are holy days reserved only for certain occasions made 'official' by men, or someone else?

Is not every single day a holy day unto the Lord?

Some people go to ( or have ) 'church' every single day... but maybe not as you would suppose.

For some people, all things are holy when they consider such notions.

For the person who is every day grateful for their health and their very existence, they are apt to give God thanks every single day, every hour, every moment of their waking hour.

For the person who has healed from something severe, and the nagging pains are gone, they may commemorate that day as a day to remember.

My wife commemorated such a day when the Lord completed His healing from her body of leukemia.

It was an 18 month process from the day she was diagnosed to the day all traces of cancer were gone.

Yet the cure came through natural and supernatural means, not according to the treatments of 'modern medicine'.

Her faith, and what God has already provided on earth, brought the cure.

Whether this day my wife remembers is celebrated by others is of no concern to her.

For that day reminds her of God's faithfulness, of His power, His love and how even in a time of fear and a health scare, God was still at work forwarding His good purpose.

For the religious, they demand a certain day to be considered holier than another day.

Certain activities would be promoted, others denied.

Rules are followed, rituals kept and all others not participating are judged.

But it seems there is a message about looking beyond arguing over any particular day to call 'holy'.

Are holidays made by the secular state 'bad' and those found in religious context 'good'?

Are some being judged for not eating a turkey today in America?

Are others being judged because they do eat turkey?
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. 
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 
- Romans 14: 4-6
There are many reasons to be grateful to God for what we have ( life / existence ).

Every day is a miracle when considering the perfect and fragile balance life on earth truly is.

The Way of righteousness is not about food or any particular day, but so much more.

Yet let us be patient with those who still have to hold onto exterior methods to realize the inner Mystery.

Let peace reign in your souls, your hearts and your minds... for the kingdom is truly within.

22 November 2016

[Re]Framing The Mind

1 Timothy 4: 4

I had a recent conversation with some friends at a local watering hole I frequent (coffee shop).

It is a homogenous demographic for the most part (retired, male, north and western European ancestry, from pensioners to millionaires).

Weaving in and out of political topics and local musings, as we usually do, the topic of healthcare and health insurance came up.

Much of the same arguments and talking points heard from the news media were mentioned.

It isn't easy to pull oneself away from the rhetoric, whether hearing it first-hand from the media, or second-hand through another person.

I am not immune to such programming, although I think I try my best to look past this programming to find a semblance of objectivity.

I recall the message of a linguist who teaches about how propaganda frames the debate.

Once the goal posts of debate are mentioned (the left vs right paradigm continually repeated, for example), the passive listening audience rarely thinks beyond this frame of mind, but stay safely speaking only what they've heard from the 'experts'.

At the 'round' table of discussion with my friends, I tell a short story of a friend of mine who owns his own business.

This friend began to experience pressure in his chest and called an ambulance (he was at home).

He doesn't have insurance, but simply pays out of pocket if / when something demands he visits a hospital / doctor.

Nothing serious came about from the chest pressure, perhaps it was anxiety, stress or what he ate that morning.

But what did almost cause my friend to have a heart attack was the bill he received from the short ambulance ride to the hospital.

The itemized bill had charges for turning on the flashing lights, the screaming sirens, each paramedics hourly (or part thereof) rate, the use of the ambulance and many other specific things.

One cost of service that stuck out in my mind.

The cost of the bandaid that held the intravenous needly in his arm to feed him that clear juice from an elevated bag.

Would you like to guess how much that single bandaid was charged to my friend?

$100.00.

One hundred dollars!

That must have been the strongest, longest lasting, most resilient bandaid ever made in the history of the world!!

It must be able to withstand a nuclear strike and then a warm ten minute bath.

Seriously, a $100.00 for something that really costs pennies to make?

I understand about turning a profit for those in a position to do so.

But where is the consideration of ethics?

There is a legal phrase that adequately speaks to this: Unjust Enrichment.

THIS is the reason health insurance is so expensive.

THIS is the reason that the entire medical field, built upon loose monopolies, is so expensive.

One of the gentleman at the 'round' table asked if I didn't want doctors to earn a living.

There is big difference between a wage that compensates the demands of someone's talents and skills.

There isn't a limit to such value.

But, considering the business of human health, being monetized as has every other single thing on this planet, a hundred dollar bandaid is cause for concern.

The windfall of profit to whomever charges $100.00 for a $0.10 bandaid is the fraud and greed in taking advantage of people.

And it is THIS issue that is RARELY brought up in the propaganda news media.

Instead, fear is marketed in those disgusting drug commercials... so you can run to your doctor and get a prescription.

People place their hope and faith in the hands of men who are looking to get paid instead of looking to actually cure people.

One can't actually blame a doctor who is subject to the greater mechanism of the business of human healthcare.

Treatments are administered, and cures are ignored... for there is no profit in curing people, but much profit when simply 'treating' people and keeping them coming back.

The natural world already provides many of the cures for the human body, since they are symbiotic in their very nature in how they were created... but do not expect cures when applying synthetic machinations made from man's hands.

Do not expect an industry that enriches the wealthy according to business models (the thought of human health as a business is disgusting) and not according to healing solutions to forgo their interest.

Peruse the long list of developing [re]discoveries of what has already been provided for mankind at this arguably legitimate source.

21 November 2016

What Came First: The Chicken Or The Egg?

Revelation 11: 15

What came first: the chicken or the egg?

Either answer demands a clear explanation... yet complications arise while aiming at simple answers.

Science desires to theorize life on earth, and how it came about, having derived from a single-celled amoeba of sorts... having come to exist by mere chance.

This single and simple living thing would eventually 'evolve' over many years of mutations into all other living things on the planet excluding plants... while some simple amoebas would still exist.

If all living things undergo evolution and mutation, why do these simple life forms still exist?

Wouldn't have they 'evolved' from their primitive and simple state?

Looking at evolution and mutation, there seems to be a developing paradox regarding these two notions.

It seems that science has discovered the vast majority of mutations are detrimental; about 99% of mutations are “bad”. (see pages 54, 55 and 56)

The idea that the vast majority of mutations have evolved constructively and positively into producing the vast array of complex life we see on earth is, well, in sharp contrast with the current theory of evolution (I say).

What should be evident according to that theory AND the scientific reality in mutations would be the production of many adversely mutated animals.

But this is not the case... instead there are anomalies and not an abundance of adverse life.

To quote from the University of California Berkeley website:

“Mutations are essential to evolution; they are the raw material of genetic variation. Without mutation, evolution could not occur.”

What it seems to be, according to my eyes, is that we see very specific selections of the genetic code... and only very unique and a very small amount of mutations actually providing a 'good' adaptation.

Evolution is indeed evident, but evolution alone doesn't provide adequate answers that speak to what further science discovery is revealing.

The mutation factors being one issue.

Here is where an Intelligent Design does explain how, among an ocean of bad mutations that would lead to dead ends, the crème de la crème rises to the surface again and again.

This suggestion isn't simply throwing one's hands into the air in wishful thinking and calling “intelligent design” where a scientifically viable answer doesn't exist.

The scientific answer has existed, but not according to acceptable social norms of academia.

This suggestion speaks to the fragile and improbable sustainability of life on a planet that is the perfect distance from the sun providing for the proper amount of light, heat, evaporation and ever-working and ever-regenerating closed systems of life.

Why do some people dismiss the realities when science describes them as somewhat meaningless?

Why, as some minds delve into the very fabric of life (invisible and visible, material and immaterial) portray a static salad of terms that have appointed thoughts to concepts, but have been emptied of the amazing?... or providing sensible answers.

I think it takes effort (and a certain amount of 'belief') to accept the argument of insignificance through the dry eyes of science than it takes to elaborate on how very significant, and very purposed, all of observable life truly is.

The bridge between evolution and design, between static science and ritual religion, between one side of the mind and the other... is at hand.

19 November 2016

The Earth Is One As We Are One

The Most Interesting Realities In The World

I have an inclination that the U.S. federal government allows immigration, whether 'illegal' or otherwise, in order to sustain profitability for businesses both large and small.

But not every immigrant, undocumented or with visa in hand, is 'equal' regarding their mind's landscape.

Consider the jobs currently occupied by those willing to work for near peanuts.

Would such jobs be later occupied by stateside citizens if all low-wage immigrants were to depart (be departed / deported)?

Wouldn't the newly hired citizens seek unions, stand on their rights reserved, and demand a wage compatible with the inflation rate?

How would such realities affect many businesses who currently depend on low labor wages?

Why have so many jobs / companies taken their operations internationally?

These answers are self-evident if we take a break from the mass media programming lies onto our subconscious.

If only we can look past the framed narratives the media programs, and actually 'see' what has always been in place... and why.

Is the American Dream only a nationalistic ideal?

Hasn't the American Dream been a major export onto the minds of all other countries outside the U.S.?

Have you noticed the cultures of the world converging onto the western model?

American cinema, media and foreign policy has exported the ideals the typical Amerikan citizen easily dismisses in exchange for their current pet consumer item.

But sadly, the news media, and the plethora of fake news websites, have done a masterful job of further confusing an easily instigated population of the sheeply-minded.

Such confusion causes division, instead of agreement on our mutually already agreed upon likenesses.

Many are the hired hands, the bad managers, the selfish persons taking advantage of the system of propaganda.

Being led to blame those outside your tribe is an archaic method to sow indifference and blame-shifting.

But Whose tribe do we truly belong to?

Ask any reasonably minded person the world over what their heart's desires are.

You'll see they are very much aligned with your desires... only the manner in explaining the desires may vary.

17 November 2016

Clean The Inside And The Outside Will Be Clean

Matthew 23: 26

The early colonialists / settlers / 'occupiers' of the eastern seaboard of what is currently called the United States observed the natives of the land working symbiotically with nature.

The natives would move camp often so not to deplete or negatively affect nature... only returning to previous locations after nature was replenished according to the natural order of life.

It seems those who are touted as the 'brightest' or 'smartest' people on earth are advocating traveling to other planets instead of ceasing the trashing of the earth and reforming man's self-destructive nature.

This is a main issue defeating the 'modern' mind's approach to life, which is: produce, use, trash, pollute, repeat.

Our physical bodies are now reflecting the earth's pollution.

I picked up a book entitled “Changes In The Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England” by William Cronon... I have yet to finish it, but so far it is quite insightful and sobering.

Please read the book's reviews as an introduction.

This type of material can be troubling, as was my reading of “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by James W. Loewen.

It is troubling because new (and more accurate, albeit critical) information breaks the previously held notions that have been programmed onto our sub-conscience minds by bland historical narratives.

Revision of history is a common occurrence of all governments, ancient or present.

It isn't a typical effort of any government to highlight their crimes, nor the past sins of their heroes.

And our approach to history, or current government, shouldn't be about digging up all the dirt and lies of the past, but more of an honest effort to see what really happened so we can navigate the future in a clearer manner.

I mention and share these books not to instigate, but to inform and call others to learn from an objective point of view.

But I caution and understand that those with unstable hearts (and minds) will react negatively and strongly to such insightful information.

It the reassessment of the past that can cause a revolution of sorts... but may I encourage the 'revolution' to be sparked in your heart and mind and never in a physically negative manner.

The true and lasting 'revolution' is the kind that Christ sparked when He fulfilled the “love your neighbor” and “hate your enemy”... and turned that into “love your enemy” and “pray for and bless those who curse you”.

From these platforms of righteousness can the later work of living a balanced life with nature, and of course other people, can be realized.

It is from this heavenly peace of mind that consumerism (and pollution) can be addressed and curbed.

But if our personal shortcomings (which are magnified onto the world's natural landscape) are not dealt with, then why would men think that colonizing yet another new territory (even another planet) will somehow fix what is broken inside?

16 November 2016

The "Be" Attitude To Be

2 Peter 3: 18

Encouraging words for those who have been gifted faith...

Inspiring words for those who would consider searching for God with all their hearts...

Sobering words for those who mock, attack, ridicule, dishonor and deny what others declare...

Now when Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them.
He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn, 
   for they will be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek, 
   for they will inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
   for they will be filled. 
Blessed are the merciful, 
   for they will be shown mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart, 
   for they will see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers, 
   for they will be called children of God. 
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, 
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 
- Matthew 5: 1-16
The Word of God, that is what was revealed to be a Man who appeared on the earth and also a message found on the hearts of some, is a cause of consternation for some people at least at one point in their lives.

For the blessed, once the challenge from heartfelt conviction passes, or bears fruit in some way, the consternation turns to joy, then to guidance, then maybe to much more.

For those who see folly from the Word, it may be argued they are not yet ready, or have not been allowed to realize its message.

For those of us who have tasted the good fruit from Above, it truly is the Bread of Life come from heaven!

14 November 2016

Exit Bliss; A Band That Never Was

Matthew 6: 28-34

Last night I had an enjoyable conversation with a new friend over drinks and appetizers.

We spoke about identity, homogenous societies, geopolitics and how our perceived realities are shaped according to a myriad of variables, thus being interpreted according to our different and unique experiences.

The relative experience; how 'truth' can be understood differently.

After parting ways with my friend, I came across a man asking me for money for some food.

I considered the request and obliged.

After taking a closer look at this man, I recognized him as a drummer of a band I was a part of for a short time almost 20 years ago.

I took off my glasses and asked him to picture my face without the beard.

He recognized me, and we hugged.

My old bandmate was missing a few teeth, and it seems that drug abuse had taken its toll on him over the years.

I was also abusing drugs at that time while pursuing a music career.

He said he was now residing in a sober living home.

We asked each other how we've been, and after him hearing me tell him about how I too had lost my home, my business and all of my possessions save for a few things some years ago, I had called out to the Father in heaven for relief and mercy... and He answered in an amazing way!

I quickly shared, prompted by the memories of him and his current situation, how I was blaming God and others for my choices... and it was my personal choices that brought me to near destruction, even foolishly blaming God for all the troubles I had caused myself to experience.

I am not sure if he was uncomfortable hearing this, for it wasn't my intention to cause him harm.

I was trying to relate our mutual paths from the past, and how at a moment of despair, I had to submit to God's will by acknowledging that I was the wrong party committing the wrongs, and that God is perfect and righteous in all His works and judgments.

He quickly began to say goodbye and walk away, but he happened to be going in my direction.

I did my best to encourage him as we walked along together... but it seems the conviction of heart had set in.

I think also he had enough money in his pocket now to make his way home.

After parting ways and saying goodbye, I couldn't help but feel pain in my heart and despair for finding this old friend of mine in the manner I did.

I know that God brings people through times of trouble according to His good will, and also according to our choices... one being influenced by the other in ways that are difficult to understand and logically resolve in our minds.

May God finish His good work in this old friend of mine so one day this friend too may praise His Holy Name!

11 November 2016

May Your Eyes Be Opened


1 Corinthians 7: 31

While we traverse this usually temporal and sometimes metaphysical plane, we should remember unavoidable truisms (what should be considered a truism, but sadly many doubt what isn't easily explained).

This week in Amerika and all around the world, quite a lot of people seemed to have lost their minds.

This year's presidential (s)election took many people by surprise.

Many people became very afraid, upset and cried... while others celebrated.

Yet for some of us, the government's process and media's propaganda was amusing.

And it was sad to see many friends lose hope, and realize how lost they are in so many ways.

Perhaps this is what happens with every (s)election the world-over... or every change in any kountry's leadership, either peaceful or by force.

I can't help but notice the outcome of propaganda media working very powerfully on people's conscience.

I see very little wisdom.

Very little peace in people who kept a close eye (and had hope) in this (s)election process.

Why is this?

Why would people, who supposedly live in the most free, the most stand-on-your-God-given-rights country, be afraid of a change in secular government?

I'd like to point out a few things that I noticed.

I heard on the radio this week a woman explain, in Spanish, to all those people who are fearing deportation now under a different president something very important.

The U.S. Constitution clarifies the right of any man or woman, regardless of their 'papers' or documentation, to exist in the United States.

Regardless if one has a government document that shows them a citizen, or 'legally' sojourning in and throughout the United States proper, the government does NOT have the power to remove you.. unless with an arrest warrant and order of deportation.

There is a process.

It is called “due process”.

The fear that the propaganda media pushes, or so-called 'leaders' tout from behind microphones on television, that at any moment a person can be removed for whichever reason from the United States, is simply fear-based propaganda.

What is also quite interesting, and yet sad because many people are not too aware, that under President Obama (and a democratic executive administration), nearly three million people were deported!

That is more than all presidents of the 20th century combined!!

However, to be clear and fair; the vast majority were criminals (or those with crimes attached to their person).

I state this to clarify that what is feared from one individual has already been at work from another... and thus the left vs right paradigm is a hoax of grand proportions... both sides of the isle are, and have been, one in the same.

Another thing I think I noticed as a truism, which takes faith to understand, and aside from the cognizance of reading a lawful document and deciphering what rights are clarified to any man or woman, is how putting one's trust in another human being is a recipe for failure and disappointment... and worse.

Consider what this message speaks to your heart.

Consider also the second portion of the message... and how some of us were NOT shocked by the (s)election results, regardless of who were to win or to lose or whatever were to arise.
This is what the I Am says: 
   “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, 
who draws strength from mere flesh 
   and whose heart turns away from the I Am. 
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; 
   they will not see prosperity when it comes. 
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, 
   in a salt land where no one lives.  
But blessed is the one who trusts in the I Am, 
   whose confidence is in Him. 
They will be like a tree planted by the water 
   that sends out its roots by the stream. 
It does not fear when heat comes 
   its leaves are always green. 
It has no worries in a year of drought 
   and never fails to bear fruit.” 
- Jeremiah 17: 5-8

Whether the soon-to-be president becomes a blessing or a curse for Amerika (and the world) would be exactly what God had determined.

Both scenarios in the above Scripture shall be realized for all who have ears to hear... even for the deaf and faithless, but sadly they won't know what has befallen them or why.

10 November 2016

What, The Shell?

Romans 8: 29-30

The shell of an egg is necessary for a time, but what comes from the egg is greater than the shell.

Looking at a shell, we cannot 'see' the contents... and unless we know exactly what kind of egg's shell we are looking at, we may not be sure of what comes of the contents in all their glory.

When learning what words mean, we must always take into consideration how God speaks.

At times God speaks simply, but also in complexity.

The meanings of His messages are sometimes literal, but also parabolic, figurative, metaphoric, etc..

A literal interpretation is not always accurate, especially when the literal interpretation does not fit how God has revealed Himself in the past, or regarding what has already been established.

God is always asking mankind to continually open their hearts and minds to His unfolding Mystery.

God continues to grow His relationship with mankind, but men are not quick to grow theirs with God.

In the beginning, God established a single commandment and included a 'do not do':
And the I Am God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” 
- Genesis 2: 16-17

Some time later, God proclaimed a title / 'name' when Moses asked for God's Name.

How did God respond to Moses?

With an actual "name" as people understand names?
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His Name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 
God said to Moses, “I Am who I Am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’ ” 
- Exodus 3: 13-14
It says elsewhere:
For the I Am your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. 
- Deuteronomy 4: 24
Is God really a 'fire' as we understand a flame we use to cook our food or heat our homes?

Obviously, "our God is a consuming fire" is speaking to more than comparing God to a simple flame.

Reading the context of the 4th chapter in Deuteronomy would explain why God speaks literally in some ways, and figuratively and metaphorically in other ways.

So now, what then does the word "begotten" mean?

Some fellow citizens of the world have issue with this term.

The main issue, I think, is the manner its message to their hearts causes confusion when considering God and His relationship with mankind, and also in defining 'who' and 'what' Yeshua Christ is, and what they have been taught by men... but not by God.

That term, and its meaning, is found in referring to a prophecy from God:
I will proclaim the I Am’s decree: 
   He said to Me, “You are My Son; 
     today I have become your Father. 
- Psalm 2: 7
Read other translations, namely the Greek and how it was derived from the Hebrew for further clarity regarding the actual term used.

There is nothing suspicious regarding what God was conveying regarding the Messiah, sonship, becoming a Father, and so forth.

Begotten:

(verb)

1. (especially of a male parent) to procreate or generate (offspring).

2. give rise to; to cause; produce as an effect: a belief that power begets power.

synonyms are:

1. spawn, sire, breed, father, give life to.

2. occasion, engender, effect, generate, prompt.

Let us now look what was pronounced to Mary, the woman who gave birth to Yeshua, when considering what "begotten" means:
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The I Am God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God." 
- Luke 1: 28-35
- "He will be called the Son of the Most High"

- "the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God"


Looking at the definition of "begotten", we see an understanding being derived from both the 1st and 2nd definitions in the manner the angel pronounced the good news to Mary.

08 November 2016

Friendly Reminder: Love Others No Matter What Happens

Romans 12: 12

From time to time, people seem to forget or doubt what has been long established.

So in reminding us of such realities, be joyful...
Clap your hands, all you nations; 
   shout to God with cries of joy. 
For the Lord Most High is awesome, 
   the great King over all the earth. 
He subdued nations under us, 
   peoples under our feet. 
He chose our inheritance for us, 
   the pride of Jacob, whom He loved. 
God has ascended amid shouts of joy, 
   the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. 
Sing praises to God, sing praises; 
   sing praises to our King, sing praises. 
For God is the King of all the earth; 
   sing to Him a psalm of praise. 
God reigns over the nations; 
   God is seated on His holy throne. 
The nobles of the nations assemble 
   as the people of the God of Abraham 
for the kings of the earth belong to God; 
   He is greatly exalted. 
- Psalm 47
Remember also these gems, these rubies, these portions of gold when considering the things people in high and low places do; whether they be honorable kings of the earth, or pretenders to an established throne:
In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water 
   that He channels toward all who please Him. 
A person may think their own ways are right, 
   but the Lord weighs the heart.

The way of the guilty is devious, 
   but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked 
   and brings the wicked to ruin.

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor 
   will also cry out and not be answered.

When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous 
   but terror to evildoers.

Whoever strays from the path of prudence 
   comes to rest in the company of the dead.

The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, 
   and the unfaithful for the upright.

Whoever pursues righteousness and love 
   finds life, prosperity and honor.

One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty 
   and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues 
   keep themselves from calamity.

The wicked put up a bold front, 
   but the upright give thought to their ways.

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan 
   that can succeed against the Lord. 
- Proverbs 21: 1-2, 8, 12-13, 15-16, 18, 21-22, 23, 29, 30
Be at peace regarding all things, remembering that Yeshua is Lord, the King of kings, and the Lord is God.

07 November 2016

We Keep Dreaming, Awakening To Get To Work

The American Dream... an ideal to be practiced.

Called a hero by some, vilified by others.

Called a hero by some, vilified by others.


Who are the heroes we choose for ourselves?

Who are the enemies we choose to point to?

Who are those that will 'save the day' when things seem to go from bad to worse?

Is it ourselves?

Is it people we see on television or in the movies?

Are your heroes the entertainers, celebrities or people whom we think we 'know' because we've seen their work and admire them?

Is your choice hero someone who speaks eloquently what is difficult to say... or doesn't say speak about the real issues at all, but instead draws your attention to something else unrelated?

Is your hero a professional liar who is portrayed as a saint or honorable statesman / stateswoman?

What some reasonable people have concluded is: regardless of 'who' or 'what' is in charge of any political organization, the common man and woman have always had to figure things out for themselves.

This has always been the reality for people the world over since men have organized people into loose tribal ties or cities and desired to exercise dominion over them.

Occasionally, there is someone who inspires the masses to do good.

We do have have plenty of examples of 'leaders' who have inspired people to commit wickedness cloaked as 'good' or in the 'cause of God', or some other sales-pitch.

For the reasonably minded, they look past the glossy pictures, the campaign slogans, the media programming, the religious arguments and pious claims.

The reasonably minded see the popular human being as simply another human being with faults similar to ours... and in need of a Savior, just as we all are in such a need.

The grounded and aware person sees the obvious collusion in politics, the self-interested hired hands protecting one another when challenged with strong words or strong evidence.

What else is new?

Earthly kings always enjoyed the loyalty of their closest servants right up until a new king defeated them in battle, or in public popularity... then those 'loyal' servants would do whatever necessary to keep their lofty positions, that is of course if the new king / regime would keep them.

What has been witnessed in the news for the last two years has been the same condition of the human heart we all battle with; our fears, arrogance, pride, ignorance and duplicity when it comes to seeing past our front nose.

I'm not attempting to make excuses for anyone, let alone excusing people who desire to manage the people and resources of a particular country that influences the entire world.

No typical human being is qualified for such a high office, or the task of meeting the needs of all of mankind outside of Divine guidance.

This is why the faithful are not worried about whomever is [s]elected for the office of Presidente de Los Estados Unidos ;)

I know, and have explained in various blog articles, that God is and has always been in control regardless if there seems to be a tyrant occupying the highest office on earth, if if is simply a puppet or some other malignant tumor.

There are more reasons why the spiritually vacant reside in such lofty places.

What are the lessons for us, the common people?

I have written such assurances not in excusing people and their shortcomings, but to point as history has shown, God's plan for mankind always prevails... no matter who 'looks' like the boss in popular circles, public office or private relationships.

God is King in heaven and on earth.

There is no [s]election among men that could remove this reality, although people may deny Him or mock His place and the manner He conducts His order on earth.

The faithless scoff at this, the religious suspiciously ask “whose God?”, while the faithful understand fully 'who' God is and the immeasurable love He has for mankind... not needing men to force God's will onto others, nor secularism, but to simply serve mankind without compromise nor worry.

God's order on earth is far removed from the understanding for many, and perhaps this is for good reason... so people may humbly go about their business while the proud and vacant battle over the machinations that they have built for themselves.

03 November 2016

Many Unseen Miracles Every Day


The faithful plant seeds wherever they go... sometimes without knowing how.

When the time is right, and growth appears and has ripened, a harvest is realized in the hearer's heart.

The 'manner' in which such things happen are unseen by human eyes.

We only see the certain evidences; the fruits spoken from a person's lips and their new attitude.

We also notice the seeds that fell on rocky places or were taken up by the birds, those who went from bad to worse... but their fate cannot be sealed by our limited observation nor our losing hope.

We stay faithful and continue to hope in God's limitless love, for just as we have personally traversed a desert on several occasions in our past, we realize that some deserts await those whom God will eventually call heavenward.

Remember what the Lord said while He physically walked on the earth:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I Am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it. 
- John 14: 12-14
When it comes to the things that God has commanded, our prayers do not go unanswered or ignored.

Do not be doubtful that the amazing can be done by the God who created all things... the same God who loves you more than words can explain.

I have prayed many things regarding the lost over the years, and regarding those who may not yet live in the love that has been revealed from heaven; those who have yet to taste the eternal peace that only God can saturate their heart with.

I have prayed very certain things, the details of which only the Father, His angels and His glorified witnesses shall know for now.

And I know God is doing what He wills interdependently and independently of my realizing His answers or obvious works.

God doesn't need to be noticed in order to move, act or 'be'... that is a human concern.

It is good practice to return to the very basics of the faith.

I personally do not stray too far from the four gospels and the letters (the New Testament) and what has been made clear in the early few centuries of writings explaining what God had thus far revealed.

So much more has come to fruition since those early centuries, but the details are difficult to express when so many minds are confused and beholden to opinions and externalities.

It is the Gospel (and letters and teachings) which help me decipher the rest of what God has done when I read distant and recent history, church history, heretical groups, what was considered heretical but, to me, was simply misunderstood, etc..

The realization of what God has established on the earth; namely His kingdom as Yeshua prophesied, is a breathtaking notion to behold as God unfolds the mysterious details.

How are we to know whether our shadow, or something we've touched, causes a miracle in the life of someone?

How are we to know whether or not every single person we've ever seen in our lives are those who also hear the Gospel spoken to their hearts?

How do we know if by a smile of ours, or something we've said (whether or not quoting directly Scripture) has caused a hearer to realize God speaking to their heart through our human words?

Recall how the Amazing was working powerfully and miraculously through the early disciples:
The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. 
- Acts 5: 12-16
God even chooses to work through inanimate objects:
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 
- Acts 19: 11-12
Has God working in such amazing ways ceased?

Some would strongly agree that they have... yet with only an argument but no proof.

How can you convince the person who has realized a miracle in their life... or several?

We are dealing with a Father that is all love, and all about doing very good works.

We are dealing with a God that is not limited.

The only 'limit' is our limited faith... yet our limitations may only us from 'seeing' or realizing His works.

Our limited views or imperfect understanding never limits His works nor His good will.

Lean into God for the sake of your faith.

Believe.

02 November 2016

Who Can Be "First" & "Last" At The Same Time?

Isaiah 55: 11, Luke 1: 37

Notice the similar thread mentioned in these three sources:
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; 
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. 
They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. 
Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’and will take the name Israel. 
This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: 
I Am the first and I Am the last; apart from Me there is no God. 
- Isaiah 44: 3-6 (~700 B.C.)
“I Am the first and I Am the last; apart from Me there is no God.”
“Look, I Am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 
“I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I Am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 
- Revelation 22: 12-16 (~90 A.D.)
“I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth halloweth Allah [God]; and He is the Mighty, the Wise. 
His is the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He giveth life and He causeth to die; and He is over everything Potent. 
He is the First and the Last, and the outward and the inward, and He is of everything the Knower. 
He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days; then He established Himself on the Throne. He knoweth whatsoever plungeth into the earth and whatsoever cometh forth therefrom, and whatsoever descendeth from the heaven and whatsoever ascendeth thereto; and He is with you wheresoever ye be. And Allah [God] is of whatsoever ye work a Beholder. 
Al Hadid 1-4 (Daryabadi translation, Quran ~700 A.D.)
“He is the First and the Last, and the outward and the inward, and He is of everything the Knower.”

People identifying as descendants of Abraham, specifically people of Jewish ancestry, who believe in God, accept the Hebrew Bible (the Torah) and consider Isaiah to have been a prophet from a long line of Hebrew prophets God spoke through.

Those descendants of all other peoples the world over, who have heard / learned and believed the testimony of Yeshua as Lord, identify with the adoption of sonship that Yeshua revealed in the testimony of the Gospel.

Those people who identify with the religion of Islam, or who identify with the culture the religion of Islam has developed, accept the testimony mentioned in the Quran.

The unifying message is quite obvious to the reader's eye, and this is the single item I'd like to bring attention to:

“I Am the first and I Am the last; apart from Me there is no God.”

“I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

“He is the First and the Last, and the outward and the inward, and He is of everything the Knower.”

The precise definitions of the term / title “Messiah” originated from the Jewish Scriptures, and it is from these early thoughts that the idea of Messiah should first be understood in discovering what 'Messiah' means, while also considering what God can or cannot do (if there is anything God can 'not' do).

I don't personally believe nothing is impossible for God to do, even manifesting Himself in the body of a man while never vacating heaven not one iota... is something possible for God, but perhaps impossible for some people to believe.

When it comes to the belief that God became a man, or the belief that the body of Yeshua did in fact die physically and later resurrected, these are beliefs that can only be initially accepted and understood in the hearts of mankind, while they perhaps may be articulated outside of quoting the God-inspired writings.

Whether the Messiah did in fact appear in the flesh (speaking to Jewish believers), or whether the Messiah is a simple title of Yeshua but not God's physical manifestation on earth (speaking to Muslim believers), are issues to be discussed in honest dialogue, not heated debate.

For my Jewish audience / friends / brothers / sisters, I'd like to point out:

Jewish prophecy stated the Messiah would be revealed while the Jerusalem temple was standing, yet that temple has been destroyed since 70 A.D..

I'd also like to point further to the spiritual 'temple worship' that is mentioned; the temple of God's Spirit being our physical bodies, and our worship being a daily process of righteousness whether seen by men or only by God Himself, not an outward ritual.

For my Muslim audience / friends / brothers / sisters, I'd like to point out:

The earliest testimonies from Muhammad's peers, and subsequent Islamic scholars, have attested to the historical account of Yeshua having died on the cross from Islamic sources, not being substituted by another man:
"The Quran, as we have already argued, does not deny the death of Christ. Rather, it challenges human beings who in their folly have deluded themselves into believing that they would vanquish the divine Word, Jesus Christ the Messenger of God. The death of Jesus is asserted several times and in various contexts." (3:55; 5:117; 19:33.) 
- Mahmoud M. Ayoub, Muslim scholar of Islam

I hope with this article to encourage dialogue, research and prayers to God Almighty in revealing what He has established and accomplished... to His honor, glory and thanks-giving.

Amen.

01 November 2016

Identifying Big Quotes

What Book(s) Do You Quote Inspiration From?

I was recently asked via social media “How do you identify religiously?”

This is a question for the ages.

Men in rationalizing themselves and the world around them have reached into philosophy and have conjured religions from such a question.

Regarding mankind and our limited understanding, our sometimes faulty perception and our reaching into thoughts unknown, we can develop a wide array of self-perceptions and, thus, various identities.

Certain terms or phrases do allow us a way to begin to understand 'who' and 'what' we are, but not always.

For some people, they perceive themselves as nothing more than ethereal thoughts currently stuck in a body that will eventually fail and go back to its basic components (dust)... but they would be quick to deny acknowledging God (or any 'god')... perhaps even thinking themselves to be 'god' or what that notion would mean (according, of course, to their own thoughts).

Some people view themselves as an animal just above the current physical pecking order, void of spirit and void of any divine features... suspecting that the idea of 'God' is a superstition made up by others to control and triumph over mankind.

But for me, I use terms which speak to my heart and clear my mind of, what I consider faulty ideas that cause people to deny the very things (as I believe) that define their reality, their humanity and their innermost thoughts / desires, the evidence of inherent divinity.

So I answered this question with the following:

“Disciple of Christ / follower of Christ / child of God... as the Gospel would define these ideas... and other identifiers, depends on the audience (in terms of speaking from their identity).”

I was then asked “So you're not Catholic or Protestant?”

Many centuries before there was such a thing as a 'Protestant' or a 'Catholic', there were human beings who, despite sharing the same genetic code (DNA), perceived themselves as not related.

This idea was purposed for a set time, to make a clear distinction between peoples.

However, the reality of our common ancestry never being of singular origin was never honestly challenged (never a serious question).

Science has recently been making inroads into the factual reality that all of mankind shares a common matrilineal ancestry.

We are all related!

Science has finally caught up with what was proclaimed very long ago:
From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 
- Acts 17: 26
The dilemma between a matrilineal line being derived from a single man is similar to the question "what came first; the chicken or the egg"? (a blog topic for another time)

So I answered that follow-up question with the following:

“I was raised according to the Catholic ideology (parents) going to private Catholic school for six years, having been baptized according to Way as a child.

Years later, after having strayed far and away, I was then born-again at age 22 (with a Protestant-leaning church organization).

Now I identify past those two sometimes opposing ideologies, sometimes confluent stances.

In short:

Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Yeshua replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in within you." 
- Luke 17: 20-21”

The response to this answer was succinctly “Good quote!”


I must confess I am partial to such quotes.

Such quotes have formed my heart, molded my mind and broadened my view in providing a gift I cannot adequately conceptualize narrowly enough to put into words... so I share my experiences with such quotes.