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    A Reading for a Hero Romans 14:7-12

    Friday, November 4, 2011, 3:48 PM [General]

    I have been asked to have the privelege of doing a reading at the service following the viewing of my father and below is what will be read and thoughts afterwards.


    Romans 14:7-12

    New International Version (NIV)

    7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

    10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sistera]">[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written:

       “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”b]">[b]

    12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.


    This was the way that John Joseph (Jack) lived his life.  If at any time, one of his brothers in life, or sisters, ever trespassed him he still loved them.  If something about another person seemed "unclean" or unholy, he did not pass judgement on that person.  He wouldn't have gone out of his way to avoid, but at the same time when that person was around him, he would treat them as a friend, a brother. 

    There have been times even in my life that I have done things to truly hurt him, but the love, compassion, and forgiveness was there even if I was so lost that I couldn't see, feel or accept them.  Through much graced healing and refection I finally did realize what a speciall privelege I had missed for many years. 

    About a year ago, that healing finally began and we were able to achieve the peace we had both been looking for in our relationship.  The prodigal son had started his journey home to the father who was waiting with open arms.  Just as he would to anyone.

    John Joseph gave of himself so much.  To his family, the community, his Cresio brothers, his Knights of Columbus family, and to his faith in his Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.  He lived what he believed.  His heart was and is true.  Whether you saw him at church, in his drum major uniform or at home, you knew you had a friend with a huge wit, a huge heart and were in the presence of an example of "The Golden Rule".  To Love your brother as you would love yourself.

    He was also a man of justice.  Never wanted the innocent to suffer.  And throughout his life, he made a career of it.  Whether it be in the Air Force, a police department, or a bank he was always fighting the good fight for the underdog.

    Even to his dying breath, this fight was fought.  And there's something amazing about that...

    When I looked at the clock after the last breath was taken, and the time said 5:29, I felt I had to remember it.  But at first I thought it was only so it could be noted.  Of course that would be too simple for John Joseph.  Later that night it occured to me that I should look up John 5:29 to see what, if at all, there was more to it.  So I looked ip up.  And this is what it said...

    "...and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgement."


    Even in his last breath my father had a message to his family, his friends and anyone who could hear it.  Isn't that just like him?  Anyone who knew him, would agree to his compassion, his loove, his heart, and his hope.  He was faithful, strong and devoted.  Not only to his job, his family, his friends, but to his faith.  I know I've said that before, but it warranted being said again.  He would pray over anyone.  He would show the way to redemption.  Offer guidance to the lost.  Forgive without question.  And help people learn how to forgive themselves.

    He's left some pretty big shoes to fill, so I'll try.  But I know that he wouldn't want me to do it for him.  He'd want me to do it for myself.  He'd want me to love myself, my fellow, man and my God.  And to just be the best I can be and help others do the same.  Pretty big challenge, but in his example, I'm willing to try.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Ode to a Hero - 2 Corinthians 6

    Sunday, October 30, 2011, 7:12 PM [General]

    It isn't too often that we come across a person who is a living angel.  I've been pretty lucky where that is concerned.  And I'd like to take a moment in this long overdue post and pay homage to one such angel.


    But first, here's one of the best descriptions that Spirit could have sent me to, to help me explain...


    2 Corinthians 6

    1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2For God says,    “At just the right time, I heard you.  On the day of salvation, I helped you.”   Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

    Paul’s Hardships

    3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.

    11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. 13I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!

    The Temple of the Living God

    14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devild]">[d]? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:

       “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.  Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”


    The angel, the hero, the man that this is dedicated to is my father.  For the past two years, he has been battling cancer that began in his pancreas, which we thought he had victored over.  Then, on a follow up, came to find out that it had spread into his liver and lungs.  As I write this, he is spending his final days at home with his family.  I will be joining them soon to catch that final glimpse of the man who I've always admired, idolized and wanted to be more like when I grew up.  The brevity he has shown throughout this whole ordeal is unlike anything I've ever seen or experiences.  Unless of course it was written for a tv movie event. 

    The man cannot help but be respected by everyone he comes into contact with.  there is never judgement, a foul thing to say, meddling, or anything of the kind.  His heart is always open, his mind is always keen.  He allows people to be themselves and offers open arms should they need comfort.  If anyone ever needed someone to pray for them, or just put a word out to God for them, he did and will do until he goes home to God.  The wit and sense of humor could brighten the darkest room.  Always disciplined with a firm hand, but never lost control. 

    He has never liked to burden anyone with his problems.  Never a gossip, but would listen with anticipation for a hopeful happy ending.  Has always been a man of faith, but never pushes onto the misguided. 

    This could go on and on, but the point is that I have been so blessed to have had the honor of calling John J. Grant my father for the past 38 years.  We haven't always seen eye to eye.  There have been walls that were put up, which have now been knocked down by the power of forgiveness.  As he goes home, I will be saddened, but I can also let him go without regrets, without anger, and without reservation.  His suffering has been long, his pain has been real.  And I know that the work he has been doing for most of his life will continue in the great beyond. 

    My prayer for anyone who reads this is this:

    Love without condition,

    Open your heart to those in your life.

    Show compassion for those who are in your life, and those who aren't.

    And even still, show compassion for those who you'll never meet.

    Realize that patience isn't a virtue, it's as simple as breathing.

    Realize that whether or not you believe in God, that a being greater than you put you here to understand what humanity is all about.

    Know that you are loved regardless of how you look, how you dress, or where you live.  Love doesn't realize or understand the difference between a box on the street or a mansion in the Hills.  It just is.

    Be an example of Light to this darkening world.  When all seems to be crumbling down around you and those around you, let your Light shine. 

    Be strong in what you believe.  Doesn't matter what faith, religion, or spirituality you have.  It only matters that it's in your heart.  That's the most important thing.


    My father is and was an example of what the passage said.  I can only hope that when he leaves this Earth, that people will remember his example that he left behind.  Know and understand that you can have a relationship with God.  Know that you can offer prayers or positive thoughts and they don't go unnoticed.  He's had so many prayers answered throughout the past few years.  And one of the lessons that his experience can offer people is that you can go through suffering and still be strong of heart.  You can go through suffering and you may think that your prayers are being ignored.  But at the same time, it may be the catalyst to answer the rest of the prayers you've been offering.  Bringing family together, finding peace, finding love, reuniting with those you haven't seen for years.  And offering the chance to be an example of what SHOULD happen when a family member is being called home.  Togetherness, compassion, love, understanding, joy, and so much more.

    I'm not lucky.  I'm blessed.  I'm humbled.  And I wouldn't change a thing, even if I could.


    0 (0 Ratings)

    Ever Felt This Way Part 2 - Lamentations 3: 22-50

    Monday, June 20, 2011, 8:07 PM [General]

    Yesterday I spoke of things that had been gone through.  Today, the inspiration continues and goes in depth a little more as to what we all go through.  And there's always relief in the end as long as faith lives on....

    22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.
    23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.
    24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
       therefore I will wait for him.”

    25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
       to the one who seeks him;
    26 it is good to wait quietly
       for the salvation of the LORD.
    27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
       while he is young.

    28 Let him sit alone in silence,
       for the LORD has laid it on him.
    29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
       there may yet be hope.
    30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
       and let him be filled with disgrace.

    31 For no one is cast off
       by the Lord forever.
    32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
       so great is his unfailing love.
    33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
       or grief to anyone.

    34 To crush underfoot
       all prisoners in the land,
    35 to deny people their rights
       before the Most High,
    36 to deprive them of justice—
       would not the Lord see such things?

    37 Who can speak and have it happen
       if the Lord has not decreed it?
    38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
       that both calamities and good things come?
    39 Why should the living complain
       when punished for their sins?

    40 Let us examine our ways and test them,
       and let us return to the LORD.
    41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
       to God in heaven, and say:
    42 “We have sinned and rebelled
       and you have not forgiven.

    43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
       you have slain without pity.
    44 You have covered yourself with a cloud
       so that no prayer can get through.
    45 You have made us scum and refuse
       among the nations.

    46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
       wide against us.
    47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
       ruin and destruction.”
    48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
       because my people are destroyed.

    49 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
       without relief,
    50 until the LORD looks down
       from heaven and sees.


    One thing that I have to start off with first, is that when we feel like we are going through hell in our lives, we are actually being prepared for something better.  Everything that we go through is for a reason and there is a greater light at the end of the tunnel.  Sometimes, it seems that the tunnel has a dead end at the end, and for those without faith, there is a literal dead.  For those without faith, in whatever you want to call, they fall prey to the dead ends that problems can have. 

    Too many of us fall into the "easy road" trap when it comes to situations in life.  And what I mean by this is that we are not moving through our trials and tribulations with faith that there is a reason for it.  That there is some lesson that we are to learn along the way that we are to use at a later time.  The best part of this is that the reward is always greater than the journey to it...or is it the other way around?  Depends on who you ask.  Some would say that the journey to it is hell, and in the end they are still left scratching their heads, without knowing what it was they just went through or why.  But the hardest thing to grasp when it comes to pain and suffering is when we are faced with tragedy or terminal illness.  Then it seems like God is just being plain cruel.

    In EVERY situation there is a greater meaning than those who are going through it.  With faith, patience, courage, temperance, strength, and love we can get through anything!  Ask the cancer survivor.  Ask the person who allowed themselves to be used as a guinea pig for new treatments.  Ask the person who lost an arm or leg in the process of trying to help another so their life was spared.  We all have trials to go through in this life.  And if the lessons are learned, the rewards are great.  I know I keep saying it, but it bears repeating. 

    It's just a reminder that whenever we think that God has turned his back on us, it is only a trial to see if we will turn our backs on HIM!  We were sent to this Earth to learn to live, to love, to have grace, to give grace, to give of ourselves, to open our hearts minds, and hands to everyone around us.  And if along the way, we trip....we have the band-aid within us to patch up and keep going.

    So, my friends, whatever troubles you've been faced with in your life, just remember that wounds heal.  There may be a scar afterwards, but that can be your trophy to say, "I GOT THROUGH IT!"

    Peace, Love, and Light!


    0 (0 Ratings)

    Ever feel this way? Lamentations 3:1-22

    Sunday, June 19, 2011, 1:49 PM [General]

    It's been way too long since I've had the calling to make a post, but as usual, the Good Book comes through.  I've recently made some major changes in my life.  Left one life to start another and in the process have realized what I've been really missing and what was corroding my heart.  So just out of happenstance, I looked at my Bible and the fuzzy, faint call to pick it up came through.  At first I thought it was a different book than the one I'm about to write on, but then I asked again for clarity and this is what came through....

    Lamentations 3

    Hope in the Lord’s Faithfulness

    1 I am the one who has seen the afflictions
          that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
    2 He has led me into darkness,
          shutting out all light.
    3 He has turned his hand against me
          again and again, all day long.

    4 He has made my skin and flesh grow old.
          He has broken my bones.
    5 He has besieged and surrounded me
          with anguish and distress.
    6 He has buried me in a dark place,
          like those long dead.

    7 He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
          He has bound me in heavy chains.
    8 And though I cry and shout,
          he has shut out my prayers.
    9 He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
          he has made my road crooked.

    10 He has hidden like a bear or a lion,
          waiting to attack me.
    11 He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces,
          leaving me helpless and devastated.
    12 He has drawn his bow
          and made me the target for his arrows.

    13 He shot his arrows
          deep into my heart.
    14 My own people laugh at me.
          All day long they sing their mocking songs.
    15 He has filled me with bitterness
          and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.

    16 He has made me chew on gravel.
          He has rolled me in the dust.
    17 Peace has been stripped away,
          and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
    18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
          Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”

    19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
          is bitter beyond words.
    20 I will never forget this awful time,
          as I grieve over my loss.
    21 Yet I still dare to hope
          when I remember this:

    22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!


    How many people feel this way when they look at the circumstances in their lives.  They are feeling as if no one cares and no one is there to pick them up when the world around them is cruel.  Those that we think have our best interests at heart show their true colors when we least expect it and then we respond.  And depending on how we respond, will depend on how long we endure the suffering.  If we reply with the strength that we've been blessed with, graced with by God, then the suffering will be short lived.  But it is so easy to crawl into ourselves and just let the people around us walk all over us and make us feel less than we are.  Holding on to the feling that we are loved regardless of who is in our lives can be tough when we feel that no one is there for us.


    This part of Lamentations tells us of that very thing.  We feel like those we love mock us.  We feel like they aren't going to be there.  WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE NOTHING.  How do we allow our hearts to be so muddled by the actions, opinions, and interactions of others.  We are loved through and through by the one most high! 


    As I look back on the relationship that I left, I realize that this was happening.  And then I look at where it has brought me and I made another realization.  I was placed in that relationship so that I could learn what Love is NOT.  Love is not belittling.  Love is not uncompassionate.  Love is not distant.  Love is not silent.  Love is not something that has to be begged for.  Love is not something that comes and goes.  It is always there.  Even if we don't think that the world around us loves us, we can hold onto the fact that we are loved unconditionally.  And when we bring that unconditional love that's hiding in our own hearts out, we start to realize that we aren't where God truly wants us.  Or that we've had to fall so that we can realize who will be there to pick us up.


    People are cruel especially when they don't think too highly of themselves and look for a way to make themselves feel better without having to do any true work.  One thing too many people don't realize is that breaking the old patterns of taking the easy road is one of the hardest things to do.  But the rewards are so much greater.  Loving each other equally regardless of the harms or how they bring those harms is one of the hardest accomplishments that any of God's children can have.  Asking that those people are blessed as much as you are is one of the best ways to bring blessings to you.  It shows that you know love and are willing to receive love. 


    Realizing that their problems, attitudes, self-loathing, self-depricating, and negative actions are not for you to worry about is a step that anyone can take.  It only takes a conscious realization that it doesn't affect you unless you allow it to.  It's THEIRS not YOURS! 


    If it seems that I'm beginning to get off topic, I am....But if you've read any of my other posts, you know there's always a reason that I do....


    Sorry that I've been away for so long, hope that all of you are continuing to be blessed, in good health, and moving along on your path.


    Much Love,


    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Call Me Troy

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 11:01 PM [General]

    Today, I woke up wanting to put on a post about a passage I recently read.  But there are things in it that I'm not sure are going to sit well with some people that read it.   So I went on a search in hopes to find a link where I could watch an amazing man.  And his name is Troy Perry.
    If you've never heard of Troy Perry, then I'd like to introduce him to
    you.  In my travels back to the teachings, the love, and light of Christ and
    God this man has played a large part.  I was fortunate enough to stumble upon
    podcasts that included sermons of his that touched my heart and opened the doors
    once again.  Then, I decided today that I would try and find the biography that
    Scott Bloom put together a few years ago to honor this wonderous humanitarian
    and religious tank of a man.  There are two parts to this, I've included both
    links so you don't have to search for it.    I hope you enjoy it and realize
    what work has been done through and by this man.

    There are things in the video that will disturb you.  There are views that may appall you.  There are ideas and ideals that will be shown to you that may go against the very fabric of your beliefs.  But one thing that cannot be denied when you're done with these videos is how much God works with and thru this man.  Did I already say that?  Guess I did.  Guess I could be true.  So grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and have a looksee.

    God Bless.

    Much Love to you all,



    0 (0 Ratings)

    What An Answer -- Jeremiah 9:1-16

    Friday, March 4, 2011, 5:33 PM [General]

    What An Answer – Jeremiah 9:1-16


    As we go through our daily lives and watch how people interact with each other we
    wonder how anyone can have personal acceptance.  And with things happening over the course of the year, I was wondering if there were any passages that might hint about this and how we can move beyond how the world views us.  So I put out the question before leaving the house and upon arrival to work today, I think of Jeremiah 9.  During the course of the day I have the opportunity to take a look and see if I could have possibly been lead to the correct passage.  This journal
    is going to fall into one of my two or three day break-downs because of the
    length and information.  The first is definitely going to be on a “close to home” basis and the second shows how the larger scale is dealt with.  First things first…let’s ake a look at how it begins…

    Jeremiah 9

    1 [a]If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears,
    I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered.

    2 [b]Oh, that I could go away and forget my people
    and live in a travelers’ shack in the desert.
    For they are all adulterers—a pack of treacherous liars.

    Ever felt like this?  That somehow we could just disappear and not have to deal with the world? 
    Stepped on to the point of feeling like you were nothing more than a pool of water for people to swim in or tired of watching others around you get hurt because of the evils they have to deal with from others.  Tears want to flow uncontrollably because of the hurts you’ve endured or others have had to endure.  The unfortunate truth is that this does exist and there is really no escaping it.  Or is
    there a way?  Is the answer running to the middle of nowhere where there is no one around for miles and you can live in peace without the interruptions of daily “drama”?  Even when there are people around you that feel the same way, you can feel utterly alone.  Often times you can sit and wonder as Jeremiah did, what will come of the actions of others.

    Judgment for Disobedience

    3 “My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies.
    They refuse to stand up for the truth.  They only go from bad to worse.
    They do not know me,” says the Lord.

    God is telling Jeremiah to realize what he is hearing is nothing but lies.  They don’t realize how very
    special their lives could be if they only knew Him.  Or if they even realized the venom or poison
    that they are spreading because of taking any good word and twisting and turning it and calling it righteous.  Their targets are sure, the cord is pulled back, the bow bends, and then they release
    with as much verbal force as they can muster to penetrate those who do not agree. 

    4 “Beware of your neighbor! Don’t even trust your brother!
    For brother takes advantage of brother, and friend slanders friend.

    Wait a second, brothers taking advantage of one another?  How can this be?  Is God referring to siblings or our brotherhood of man?  In my opinion, He is referring to the latter.  He is also referring to the problem of talking badly about someone behind their backs.  Whenever we know something about someone else and we spread it around, we are slandering the person it is about.  This alludes to the wonderful world of gossip.  What good comes out of it?  Usually, nothing can come of this except eventual pain and abandonment of the person it was about.  As the passage continues, this is made clear.

    5 They all fool and defraud each other; no one tells the truth.
    With practiced tongues they tell lies; they wear themselves out with all their sinning.

    6 They pile lie upon lie and utterly refuse to acknowledge me,” says the Lord.

    And who has the most practiced tongues of them all?  The lies and deceit don’t stop with friends
    and brothers.  If it is big enough, then the media gets hold of it and then it is blown way out of proportion.  No one taes into account  what the effect could possibly be on the person it is about. 
    Tabloids, TMZ, news anchors very rarely take into account the personal nature an event may have.  They also don’t always get all sides of the story before they start talking.  And the hard part of this is that once the story gets going, they have a really hard time backtracking if the original
    information wasn’t the truth.  How do they take responsibility for it?  They do so by blaming the person it was originally about or their original source of information for withholding the truth.  By
    not taking blame themselves, they are refusing to acknowledge the way of Light.  Ignoring what God is asking of them.

    A really good example of this is when there is a public fight between two people for whatever reason there was that provoked it.  People who witness it have their interpretations, the two or more who were actively involved have their perspectives, and then the “telephone” game begins.  If this eludes you, then allow me to explain.  The telephone game is where the truth of an incident is told to one person and then that person tells another.  Then that person tells another, and so on.  What is the end result?  An incident that is ten times worse than what actually occurred.  And the people that
    are hurt by this are not the people watching.  The people they told aren’t affected.  The people directly involved are. Sometimes this has a beneficial outcome, but more often than not, it
    makes the situation between the aggressors even worse.  How are they to come to a point of
    understanding when the world around them is trying to keep them at odds?  Is this exclusive of street brawls?  This does not even come close.  Our governments play each other every day and
    the media continues to broadcast their interpretations which we hear and have our own views on what’s going on.  Those views don’t always measure up to the truth of the matter and causes undo angst from us.  So what are we to do?  How do we handle this? 

    7 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “See, I will melt them down in a crucible
    and test them like metal. What else can I do with my people?[c]

    8 For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows. They speak friendly words to their neighbors
    while scheming in their heart to kill them.

    To me, this sounds like a desperate and heartbroken God.  Much like we are with our kids when they mouth off, spread gossip, or talk hatred about other people.  Makes us wonder what we are doing wrong and find ourselves often times with the same thoughts that follow…

     9 Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord.  “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?”

    How often do we feel defeated after a confrontation with people who just will not realize what they are doing?  Our first instinctual response is to fight for what’s rightfully ours, even if it is something as simple as pride or integrity.  We want to take the person and either proceed with verbal assaults or bring them bodily harm.  What good comes of that?  An instant gratification that results in
    eventual guilt for our actions usually ensues.  If that has an audience, then there is the
    talk and gossip that has to be dealt with for days, weeks, even months after.  Then we are left with defending ourselves all over again and the cycle continues. 

    What will it take for us to stop for a moment and truly attempt to find the truth of the matter at hand.  Try to work together for a peaceful outcome and understanding.  Even if the people don’t like each other or want to cut ties afterwards, at least it was a peaceful departure.

    10 I will weep for the mountains and wail for the wilderness pastures.
    For they are desolate and empty of life; the lowing of cattle is heard no more;
    the birds and wild animals have all fled.

    I’d like to take this little tidbit inward.  When we do others wrong by judging them or
    spreading lies about them, this is what becomes of our heart.  It loses the love that we have been graced with time and again.  Every lie, every slanderous statement does nothing but blacken our heart and cause our own fruits to become rotten when we are asked to bear them.  And when it does this to us, we can often times feel as if we are standing on a high valley overlooking a large horizon that has been torched and left to ruin.  The very happiness we struggle to maintain in this world is taken from us or we take from someone else. 

    It also makes us become lonely and not wanting anyone to enter into our lives.  We build walls,
    sometimes fortresses, with barricades so thick that not even the most loving, persistent, or true person can break through. Imagine how God must feel watching all this unfold and realize that He
    gave us free will to make choices in our lives.  Is it possible that the poison has seeped into His very being?  Does it make Him want to wipe us out and start over?  The next verse seems to think so.

    11 “I will make Jerusalem into a heap of ruins,” says the Lord.
    “It will be a place haunted by jackals. The towns of Judah will be ghost towns,
    with no one living in them.”

    12 Who is wise enough to understand all this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it to others? Why has the land been so ruined that no one dares to travel through it?

    13 The Lord replies, “This has happened because my people have abandoned my instructions; they have refused to obey what I said. 14 Instead, they have stubbornly followed their own desires and
    worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them. 15 So now, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them
    poison to drink. 16 I will scatter them around the world, in places they and their ancestors never heard of, and even there I will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely.”

    Like a parent who has disciplined a child, or a judge that has convicted a criminal, God holds us to the consequences of our decisions, and does so with a very strong hand.  Another way to look at it is that he plays referee between the righteous and the wicked in a large game of football.  Watching the turns being taken and making sure that the rules are being followed allowing each team their turn.  All the while watching closely for the actions that require consequence, and rewarding the
    righteous with the ability to score points.  This may seem a bit far off from what this whole post is about, but when you’re in conflict with other people, who is going to be the referee?  Who is going to decide the final outcome?  Who is going to teach the lessons?  What do we expect the outcome
    to be if we ourselves aren’t going to be true to ourselves?  This is the ultimate problem when a conflict arises.  If we make the choice to have the realization that the problem is smaller than us, we are afraid to appear weak.  If we make the choice to add to the problem, then we have reduced ourselves to our oppressor.  If we defeat our oppressor through force, then we give off the impression that we are a force to be reckoned with…through fear. 

    The best road is not always the easiest to walk.  But if we realize that we are completely able to walk it, there will be One on our side as we walk it.  We will also realize that our biggest hero is
    our Self because we were able to not succumb to the evil that presented itself to us.  Is it ever easy to avoid the conflict?  No.  Is it always possible to avoid that conflict?  No.  But when that conflict is unavoidable it’s how we handle the aftermath that truly matters.  If it results in finality, then we know we will be in God’s hands afterwards.  That is often a prayer answered in a manner we don’t always understand (not to mention a blog unto itself). 

    It is time to rebuild ourselves from within and realize the heights of our own mountains, seed the plains, allow the water to flow, and feed the untamed animals in our hearts.  It is time for us to move away from the evil seeds that are continuously planted and sown by those who would love for us to meet our demise.  We cannot save everyone or get everyone to see what is happening around them, but those that do should be welcomed, embraced.  The more that embrace truth, that  embrace love, that embrace the grace we’ve been given, the more that will move into the next phase of life here on this struggling planet.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    When We've Sunk -- Jonah 2

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 5:37 PM [General]

    When We’ve Sunk – Jonah 2

                    Isn’t it funny that when we’ve hit rock bottom in our lives we aren’t sure what to
    do?  And then all of a sudden the answer is given.  Today, I was asked to write a
    blog based on any inspiration that came. It’s very bizarre that the answer came so quickly.  Usually in my past dealing with being put on the spot, it’s been quite difficult to perform in such a quick fashion.  But immediately it came to me that this was to be the word that I read.

    Jonah 2

    Jonah’s Prayer

    1 [a]Then Jonah prayed to the Lord
    his God from inside the fish. 2 He said,

    "I cried out to the Lord
    in my great trouble,

    and he answered me.

    I called to you from the land of the dead,[b]

    and Lord, you heard me!

    3 You threw me into the ocean depths,

    and I sank down to the heart of the sea.

    The mighty waters engulfed me;

    I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.

    4 Then I said, ‘O Lord,
    you have driven me from your presence.

    Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’

    5 “I sank beneath the

    and the waters closed over me.

    Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.

    6 I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.

    I was imprisoned in the earth,

    whose gates lock shut forever.

    But you, O Lord my God,

    snatched me from the jaws of death!

    7 As my life was slipping away,

    I remembered the Lord.

    And my earnest prayer went out to you

    in your holy Temple.

    8 Those who worship false gods

    turn their backs on all God’s mercies.

    9 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,

    and I will fulfill all my vows.

    For my salvation comes from the Lord


    10 Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out
    onto the beach.

            Imagine that you are Jonah and out of nowhere you are snatched up by a giant fish or whale
    (depending on the interpretation) and are left to sit in its belly until it
    digested you or regurgitated you.  Isn’t that a lot like our daily troubles that we encounter?  So many times we sit back and wonder how the outcome will be when we are going through hard times.  Are we going to just lie down and wait for the inevitable or will we be saved at the last possible moment?  I know I’ve had many instances where I wondered how I was going to get out of a situation.  The situation could be anything, from finances, to health complications, to struggles at work or school.  The consciousness is on the rise for the best
    possible solution, but so many people just lie down or continue down the
    negative path to the end.

            What good comes of lying down?  Does this achieve some
    higher goal?  Does it provide happiness?  Does it give any redemption?  Or does it just feed Satan’s ultimate goal in defeating God’s work?  As I look around me in the world right now, so many are facing the belly of the fish and wondering how they are going to get out. 
    Too many of them are left to just lie and wait for any outcome that they
    can possibly force to happen.  But the on the other hand, many of them have realized the changes they need to make in order to be fully saved from their misery. 

           This is one of the ultimate goals we strive for.  To realize who put us where we are and who can save us from it.  All the choices we make in life have an outcome.  What that outcome is, is in
    direct response to the choice we’ve made. Too many people blame God for where we are in life.  He has allowed us to be placed in the belly of the fish because of whatever choice we’ve made.  But this isn’t always just because we’ve done something bad.  Sometimes it is merely to
    help us to realize and recognize who we are in Him.  Jonah realized all that God had done for him
    because of his faithfulness and left in God’s hands to either free him or
    succumb to the torture that potentially awaited him.

            Through gratitude, faithfulness, and obedience we are all able to lead a righteous
    life.  And one thing that must always be remembered is that there will be purposeful bumps in the road caused mostly by the fallen to attempt to counter the blessings we are been given.  Comes in as a whisper, a stray thought, another person or any other numerous ways we are lead astray.  Remembering who we are in God is what will keep our feet on dry land.  Help to keep
    us out of the belly of the fish. 

    But if we ever find ourselves in the belly and are beaten,
    feeling alone, and feel like the end is near, just like standing at the base of
    a tall mountain we just fell down, there is a chance.  A chance to free ourselves, to pick ourselves
    up, to begin the climb back up so we can stand and look out across the horizon,
    to see where we’ve been and where we strive to stay away from.  When you can stand on a mountain top and look out, you have the feeling of being closer to heaven.  And within your heart, even if the horizon is on the shore looking out into the ocean, it can still feel like you’ve made one
    more step towards the final goal waiting for you.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Bring your Best - Malachi 1

    Sunday, December 19, 2010, 3:21 PM [General]

    Living in today's world is not the easiest thing to do, especially with the financial problems, natural disasters, famine, and strife among nations.  But this does not mean that we can bring our best in all that we do.  And that is what Malachi has been asked to tell the nation of Israel who has been exiled.  While they are trying to rebuild the nation, they are forgetting their spiritual practices and he has been sent to remind them of what they have been forgetting....


    Malachi 1 (New Living Translation)

    Malachi 1

     1 This is the message that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi. The Lord’s Love for Israel

     2 “I have always loved you,” says the Lord.

       But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”

       And the Lord replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, 3 but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”

     4 Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.”

       But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the Lord Is Forever Angry.’ 5 When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the Lord’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’”


    What does all that mean?  Why would God destroy the land and refuse to allow them to rebuild on it?  This doesn't make sense, does it.  But this is not what it says to me. The message that is being delivered through Malachi here says to me that the approaching years are going to see major changes, major shifts in the world as we know it.  For too long, our world has been Satan's domain, his playground.  And as we see the awakenings happening around the world and the love of God returning, it will come to the point where Satan will have to find another playground.  And God will be vigilent about maintaining the paradise He wants to help bring back to the earth.


    And along with that, the "evil" will not be able to stake their claims on the paradise that could be arising again.  As we see all the natural disasters occuring, it gives one pause to possibly think, "Is god changing the earth?  Is there a possibility that through the ground beneath our feet we are being given a divine message?"  My feelings?  yes, that is exactly what is happening.  The world around us does seem to be shifting and changing at a rapid rate that most of us can't keep up with.  nations seem to be falling or crumbling to be rebuilt.  But will they be able to?  That is ultimately not for us to decide.


    Unworthy Sacrifices

     6 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!

       “But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’

     7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.

       “Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?'

       “You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.


     9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

     10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

     12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the Lord.

     14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!


    In this season of giving, how many of us look in our closets to see what gifts we have hidden away that we received and didn't like.  Only to throw some fresh wrapping paper on it and calling it new for someone else because we just didn't have the chance to go out and get something for them.  Or because we just didn't have the time/money to get them something.  The message here isn't to break the bank and got out and get someone the best that money can buy.  That is a really childish way to think about it.  Of course we want to spoil people with lavish and expensive presents, but really what is that telling them?  That we have the ability to go out and buy their affection?  To buy their love? 


    To me, this is what God has been trying to tell Israel through Malachi.  Bring me the best of you.  Not what you can buy.  Don't make me a promise that you will bring the best of you and then cut corners along the way.  Sure it makes us feel better to do this, but what are we saying about ourselves when we do?  Also makes us feel better when we do for others, give of ourselves.  But we defile that too when we are only doing it to make ourselves look better in the eyes of others. 


    God wants us to do it because we want to give of ourselves to others for the sake of doing it.  Not to impress.  Not to lift our social graces up.  Not to feed our egos.  Do it because the person we are helping needs it more than we do.  Then it is a sacrifice.  Giving to someone else the fullest of what we have to offer in place of doing it for ourself is a greater sacrifice than doing it because we feel we have to be in other's good graces.


    There is also one of the most common themes of the Bible in this passage. and one I've hit on many times through out my posts here.  The fact that there are so many political and religious leaders that do not spread the true word and Love of God.  Too many judgements, too many excommunications, too many exiles because of zealous teaching and translations of our good Word.  Not to menti9on too much blind teaching and not enough vlind faith.  We are being called back to the light and if that call leads us down a different path that has been considered to be a dark one through out the ages so be it.  God is watching, and He realizes where the heart lies.  He doesn't mind if someone has been hurt through a church and makes the move away from "normal" teachings. 


    as we approach 2011, this may be the last posting I do, but do keep this mind.  When we fall, God is there to pick ups up and lead us to the path to him.  When we give our heart to someone else, we are spreading God's love.  When we take someone in and open our lives to them, we are spreading our hands like so many who have been crucified before.  When we look at the perso's heart and not what they believe in, we wtart to understand them more.  When we open to someone's spirit instead of outward appearances, we make a new friend. 


    The next few years are going to be bumpy ones my friends.  Regardless of whether or not the Mayans had it right.  Or the Sumarians for that matter.  The changes are coming and coming quickly.  If we are to move to the next level in our existence, changes have to be made within us.  Decisions have to be finalized, hearts have to be cleared.  True sacrifices have to be made.  We have been muddling along for far too long and it's time that we make the change to full sacrifice.  What does this mean?  I'm not sure.  I'm only a messenger.  Look in your own hearts and see if they are clear, happy, and open.  Then you will be open to the world, and know what you have to do to play your part.


    I know this journal has a different tone to it than normal and is going to cause an interesting response, but just remember, I type what I feel.  And no matter how obscure and farfetched as it might sound, there is so much truth in what comes through because of the state of the planet right now.  Just open to love and find the message in it that criest to you and forget the rest.  That's how all of my journals have been.  There is a piece in it for anyone who reads it, even if it is a single word.


    My hope for all of you is that you will clear the heart, open the mind, and receive the love that is waiting for you from whatever you call God.  If you look at it as God at all.  If I do not post anything for the remainder of 2010, Blessing during the holidays and Love in the New Year!



    3.7 (2 Ratings)

    The Pain of the Word - Jeremiah 20

    Monday, December 13, 2010, 2:05 PM [General]

    This isn't something that too many people think of when they think of the Word of God, is it?  Pain.  Pain in spreading His word, his way.  But for one of the storytellers in the Bible, it is very much prevalent.  Jeremiah knows that he will receive righteousness and salvation when he approaches Heaven, but  in the meantime he feels liks he's in a perpetual hell....


    Jeremiah 20 (New Living Translation)

    Jeremiah 20

    Jeremiah and Pashhur
     1 Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying. 2 So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord’s Temple.

     3 The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’a]" class="footnote">[a] 4 For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword. 5 And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon. 6 As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’”

    Jeremiah’s Complaint

     7 O Lord, you misled me,
          and I allowed myself to be misled.
       You are stronger than I am,
          and you overpowered me.
       Now I am mocked every day;
          everyone laughs at me.
     8 When I speak, the words burst out.
          “Violence and destruction!” I shout.
       So these messages from the Lord
          have made me a household joke.
     9 But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
          or speak in his name,
       his word burns in my heart like a fire.
          It’s like a fire in my bones!
       I am worn out trying to hold it in!
          I can’t do it!
     10 I have heard the many rumors about me.
          They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.”
       They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.”
          Even my old friends are watching me,
          waiting for a fatal slip.
       “He will trap himself,” they say,
          “and then we will get our revenge on him.”

     11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior.
          Before him my persecutors will stumble.
          They cannot defeat me.
       They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated.
          Their dishonor will never be forgotten.
     12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
       you test those who are righteous,
          and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets.
       Let me see your vengeance against them,
          for I have committed my cause to you.
     13 Sing to the Lord!
          Praise the Lord!
       For though I was poor and needy,
          he rescued me from my oppressors.

     14 Yet I curse the day I was born!
          May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
     15 I curse the messenger who told my father,
          “Good news—you have a son!”
     16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old
          that the Lord overthrew without mercy.
       Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,
        17 because he did not kill me at birth.
       Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb,
          that her body had been my grave!
     18 Why was I ever born?
          My entire life has been filled
          with trouble, sorrow, and shame.


    Talk about a man in conflict!  To say to God that he wishes he'd never been born because of the torment he's been afflicted with is enough to send anyone away screaming.  Could make some think, is it really worth it?  Should I be spreading the word of God that has been spoken to me?  Is putting my life on the line for this truly worth it in this life?


    For the ones called to spread the word of God, this can be a daunting task.  A perfect example of this is Joyce Meyer.  She was called to ministry nearly 35 years ago.  In a time when it was still unacceptable by most for a woman to lead a ministry.  Oh, they were able to preach the good word, but only on the side lines in women's groups and bible studies.  Not as the mainstream pastor.  The conflicts she had to endure, the ridicule she must have faced when beginning her ministry is unimaginable.  But today, her ministry is rock solid and translated in every nook and cranny around the world.  And all of this came after years of torture and feeling like God had turned his back on her when she was younger.


    Another great example of the life that Jeremiah led in spreading the word is Rev. Troy Perry.  Ever heard of him?  If you haven't, you are missing out on a fantastic missionary of God's word!  What's so special about him?  In 1968, he founded Metropolitan Community Church.  A place where the outcast could go.  If you're unfamiliar with the "type" of people that attend these churches, I apologize for not revealing it here.  while it is based on one group of people who were turned away from the church because of their lives, it is also open to ANYONE who wants to celebrate the word of God. 


    Imagine the innumerable trials that church has gone through over the years and where it is today.  Fires, death threats, deaths, vandalism, ridicule.  You name it and this denomination has probably suffered it.  But in the end, there is redemption.  Today, there are 400 congregations of it worldwide, after starting a ministry in local clubs when they weren't in use for the consumption of fun.   And without continuing to listen to the call and fighting through it, it would have closed it's doors a long time ago. 


    Jeremiah's trials trhoughout his own ministry were also innumerable and almost unbearable while he was going through them.  But he lived in conflict throughout.  He knew he was called to minister to the people, but at the same time couldn't bear the abuse he took for it.  He says he will continue it because he loves the Lord, but wishes that he'd never been born so he didn't have to suffer through it.  This is not a great way to live through life's ministry.  Doing something because you know you have to, and being lifted up during it, but at the same time being tossed aside by the masses because of it.


    We are asked to stay true to ourselves...once again.  It's not going to be easy all the time but staying true and doing what we are called to do is worth it in the end.  Somehow our adversaries are dealt with along the way.  We may not live our lives the way that someone e'se wants us to live it.  But if we don't feel called for their way of life, then we aren't being true to ourself if we follow it.  And in return we may suffer abuse, abandonment, grief, and torment.  But once we get beyond that, we can enjoy life to the fullest knowing that we did what we were sent here to do.  What our purpose in life is.  This doesn't just apply to beliefs or the Bible, or even the spread of the Word.  This applies to all aspects of our lives.  Our relationships, our careers, our families. 


    Saying good bye to any of these can be soul wrenching and heart breaking, but if the necessity for our own ultimate happiness is being threatened we must make that decision.  Even if it means that we will go through the torment of others along the way.

    3.7 (2 Ratings)

    A Personal Cry - Psalm 25

    Thursday, December 9, 2010, 3:48 PM [General]

    The other day, I open my email to find this as the verse of the day.  With everything that has happened up to this point, I thought it was the perfect way to start back with my postings.  Helps to bridge the gap between what was, what should be, and what could be.  Helps to bridge the gap between us and the Lord of Light.  It always amazes me when a writer can sum up a pathway in a very short amount of time, and this is no different.  I've done it in the past with passages, and I think this passage warrants a few interruptions.


    Psalm 25 (New Living Translation)

    Psalm 25

    A psalm of David.

     1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
        2 I trust in you, my God!
       Do not let me be disgraced,
          or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
     3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
          but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.


    Giving yourself completely over to your faith brings a new sense of grace that you haven't feltbefore.  This is a call from David to God that he is walking with God and with God alone.  He asks that God grant him the path from his enemies without pain or sufering or torment.  Unfortunately, we all know that when we make the decision to give ourselves over completely, it is not without consequence and hard choices.  But when there is an ultimate goal that is greater than us, isn't it worth it?  When we try to decieve others in the face of that path, is when we can run into trouble.  But if our walk is true to ourselves and true to God we can do so without feeling shame or guilt.


     4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
          point out the road for me to follow.


    Sometimes our walks are not clear.  We can come across fog or mischief that clouds or vision or our perception.  So asking for that to be cleared up for us or for signs of truth can do nothing but help us along our way.  The true path can be just as treachorous as the misguided paths that we face in our every day lives.  When we come across a path that may look more appealing than the one we are on, we face a difficult decision.  Follow it because of its outward appearance or stay on the path less travelled.  I believe that Robert Frost mentioned this in a poem written sometime after David made this cry to to God.  

     5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
          for you are the God who saves me.
          All day long I put my hope in you.
     6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
          which you have shown from long ages past.
     7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
          Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
          for you are merciful, O Lord.


     Throughout life we have many lessons that we must learn.  God always has a way of throwing us a pop quiz like we used to receive when we were in school just to see how much we've been paying attention.  What's the one that sticks out in your mind.  And just like those pop quizzes, there are mistakes that we have made that we continue to hold onto the shame of.  David is asking that God forgets those mistakes.  The unfortunate thing is that God has alread forgiven us for those mistakes.  The hard part for us to realize is that we not only need to forgive the people who've hurt us or who we've hurt, but we also need to forgive ourselves.  David is asking God to provide what God already has.  The only thing that we all need to realize is that we have to live as God does within us.  If God can forgive us, why can't we forgive ourselves?


     8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
          he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
     9 He leads the humble in doing right,
          teaching them his way.
     10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
          all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.


    A light remains on the path that we are supposed to take, but is not always bright.  But that usually depends on whether or not our eyes are open.  As we falter off the path, a spark is there to guide us back.  This is another beauty of life.  It is filled with hints, signs, and arrows that point back to the path we've fallen off us.  If we remain humble in his presence and realize that he only wants what is best for us, then we will make our way back to the path quickly.  Our teacher, our God is Life and all its lessons.  If we do not pay attention to what we are shown and go astray, then we will be given another chance down the road after we go through a few more lessons.  God will never throw anything at us that we cannot handle.  It may seem rough, unfair, and unjust at times, but he has his reasons.  Every birth, every death, every sickness, every bone broken has a reason.  Either we are supposed to learn from it, or somone else is meant to.


     11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
          forgive my many, many sins.


    I said it before.  God has already forgiven our sins and David is looking for the way to forgive himself.

     12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
          He will show them the path they should choose.


    The ones that live in fear of God, are the ones that haven't been paying attention to the beauty that God IS.  Does God get angry?  Yes.  Is God vengefull?  Maybe.  Does God seek revenge on those who've turned their backs on him?  I doubt it.  He simply opens them up to the full experience of their decision.  Just as he opens the doorways to all who chose their paths back to him.  And the magnificent thing about this, is that no matter how many times you see that God is the only way, how many names can you rattle off to name God?  A point we always have to keep in mind.  God is love, love is in our heart, so our heart choses the name that we will give him.

     13 They will live in prosperity,
          and their children will inherit the land.
     14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
          He teaches them his covenant.


    We see those who've turned their backs on God.  They can be criminals, thieves, or even those who take the word of God in the wrong context.  The same offer is there for all.  Doesnt matter race, marital status, height, weight, physical/mental abnormality, sexuality, gender or anything else I might've missed.  His word is there for all to hear.  His path is lit for all.  They merely have to chose it.

     15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
          for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.


    Ever been in a physical conflict with someone?  And you've taken the put downs time and time again, taken being shoved to the side, taken their abuse all you can take?  Then out of nowhere, you suddenly have the inner strength of ten men?  This is but one, not the only, way that God saves us from our enemies.  Or there is someone that just happens by during the conflict.  It could be a stranger, friend or family member that appeared out of the blue to help in your greatest time of need.


    On the flip side of this, though, there are those who've succombed to their enemies, no matter how large their belief or faith in God was.  Sometimes, the way that God gets to our enemies is by taking those we love from us or not having anyone there to help us.  We never know the exact reasons why that is.  But in the long run there is something that happens in the world around us that we start to notice.  New laws are passed, more people watch more closely, people who used to loathe each other are now close friends.  The magic doesn't stop at someone's passing.  It only spreads to those it affected if we let it.  I know that this sounds very hallmark and hokey, but there is always rhyme and reason to why things happen whether they hurt us inside to the point of feeling like our world was crushed. As the next few verses display...


     16 Turn to me and have mercy,
          for I am alone and in deep distress.
     17 My problems go from bad to worse.
          Oh, save me from them all!
     18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
          Forgive all my sins.
     19 See how many enemies I have
          and how viciously they hate me!
     20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
          Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
     21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
          for I put my hope in you.


    How many times, in times of distress have we said, "God, help me!"  Does he always answer immediately?  Unfortunately not, but the answer does come.Many times we try to take comfort in the unseen and the unknown.  We pray time after time for a sign, for deliverance and sometimes it doesn't come.  At least not when we expect it to.  Times like that we have reevaluate what's going on around us and see what we missed.  Was there a lesson.  Was there a reason.  Some people were hurt so badly without God's immediate attention that they have spent their entire lives with their backs turned.  Thinking that his back was turned on ?  Was it?  Was it, really?  If you've been keeping up with my journals, you know that i went through this. 


    I wasn't ready to go back to God, I didn't want to forgive myself or those who hurt me.  Wasn't ready for healing.  Hadn't gone through enough in my life to warrant the want.  And that it is what i feel that many who have felt this way probably feel.  I know that some people who've read my posts have chosen different life paths because of the pain that they went through.  Maybe that was the lesson that God was trying to get across to them.  Maybe it was his way of saying, "You're on the wrong path to me, so I'm going to let you fall so you can discover it for yourself."  Doesn't sound much like the God we know of in the bible, but for those of you that this has happened to, aren't you happier and in more harmony with your lives now? 


    We might consider some life paths incorrect, or wrong according to what the good word says, but in the long run we are left with the supposition that there might be a reason.  And it may not be what everyone else likes, but as David said at the beginning of the Psalm, don't let my enemies get to me.  Another cry to let us go down our own paths without resistance from those who don't agree.  When one succombs to the God they believe in, they do it whole-heartedly and it is good.


      22 O God, ransom Israel
          from all its troubles


    Equate Israel with all the people on this beautiful Earth, and nothing more needs be said.

    Amen, and Amen!

    (if you made it to the end, thank you! Guess I had some catching up to do.)

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