It Works (Pt 2)

Featured

Once I realized that God has answered so many prayers I was humbled. When I look back over the past year I can see where things that happened would not have been possible. It was God. I did nothing but followed what I knew to be the right thing or what I believed to be the best thing at the time.

Now I can hear you already. See it was you you made the decisions. Well, sure. I believe that God presented the opportunities and I had the choice to accept it or not.

The thing is that faith is trusting even when you feel you can’t. Trusting that God is in control.  Then being thankful.

The other side to this is sometimes we pray for things to happen or not happen that God does not intend for us. We have to accept that on faith too. Remember God knows our future. He knows where we are going. That thing, person, job or whatever that we really want may not be what God has in his plans for us. Sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unanswered prayers. Despite the felling of being let down we have to trust God. Look at the blessings and be thankful.

 

It Works (Pt 1)

Featured

I know it is hard for some people to believe that God really listens to prayer. I mean if you think about it how does it happen that God can hear each and every prayer said, thought, breathed by every praying person every second of every day? Reminds me of that scene from Bruce Almighty when the main character hears all the prayers instantly, all at once. Is that what God hears? 

That part will remain a mystery for us.

All of the logistics aside, prayer works. I am living proof. I have people, love, and other things in my life that are all answers to prayer. I can sit here for hours and tell you all the things, it would take a long time. Each one just as miraculous as the other. Each one an answer to a precise prayer I uttered from my mouth to God and some unspoken ones in times of sadness when I did not have the words. You will say, sure sure. Maybe you believe me. Maybe you do not.

Until you experience a true answered prayer for yourself you will either believe me or think I am crazy. Either one is ok with me. I will still pray for you.

Kirk Was Wrong

Featured

Captain James Tiberius Kirk was wrong. Space is not the final frontier. Time is the final frontier to explore. It is impossible to explore time without investigating space, but that is not what I am talking about here. Let’s look at time as a measurement of our existence.  We humans view time from our meager tiny perspectives as a line of beginning, ending and continuing. Time, like God has always been, with no beginning and no ending. The difference is that time as we perceive it and use it is an illusion.

We wake up, travel through the day with the clock at the ready. Time appears to tick on and on. It seems to be a unit of measure. Time is nothing more than a fabrication of our need to know when we are in the existence of the world. There is no time. There is only existence and being. We live on this planet and we move through our lives in one constant motion of life. Generations are born and generations die but the human race continues. Life continues with or without our knowing what time, year or month it is on the calendar or clock.

In my experience my fellow Christians are closed minded to this concept that time is an illusion. Other religions embrace the theory. According to the Hindu theory of creation, time (Sanskrit ‘kal’) is a manifestation of God. Creation begins when God makes his energies active and ends when he withdraws all his energies into a state of inactivity. God is timeless, for time is relative and ceases to exist in the Absolute. The Absolute is the spiritual realm. The past, the present and the future coexist in him simultaneously.  God creates the cycle of time, called Kalachakra, in order to create divisions and movements of life and sustain the worlds in periodic time frames. God also uses time to create the illusions of life and death for us the living immortals.

There is Biblical proof that time is an illusion. The Bible tells us God is everywhere and all at once. There is a vail the blocks our human sight from the spiritual. There are several verses that talk about the spirt world being hidden. The most notable is in Mathew 17 where Jesus speaks to Moses and Elijah. To do so Jesus has to transform from the physical and  take on his true spiritual self. He moved from the limited physical world to the world of absolute.

What if we could see past time? Past our continuation on this plane of existence? What if we could see time as how God sees it in the spiritual realm? We would see our place in the big picture of creation. The boundaries of the physical would be so unimportant that we would live fully knowing that this is not the end. Time would not control us. All it would take is for us to accept the fact that we do not see the whole picture. By accepting our limited perception, we would be free to be our true selves, not the fabricated versions that society has created us to be. Our daily lives would still be dictated by the clock, it is how we function in society, but the stress of loss and regret would be irrelevant. We would see that this life is a temporary state of being and not our true state. We would know that our love and loved ones are still out there existing. That life continues past what we can see.

If we begin to live in the spiritual mindset outside of time, conscience of the spiritual,  we would take away the control of stress and worry. We would live as free spirits only visiting the physical. The small things that disrupt our peace would disappear. Life would be amazingly peaceful and light.

Power of Prayer

Featured

Prayer is like an extension cord to God. I am not sure how it works but I know that praying with faith changes everything. I know that I feel closer to God when I pray. When I go through a time where I don’t pray regularly I feel disconnected from God.

Not that He went anywhere, I moved spiritually.  When I find it hard to focus on life or on what is important, I stop and pray. Right there, right where I stand. Stop, drop and Pray…OK I may not drop to my knees every time depending where I am standing but I pray.

I will trust Him and put those I love in His hands.Do I always get the answer I want? No. Often I do not get an answer at all. Sometimes all I get is the peace in knowing God has heard me and He is working on it, whatever it is.  For now, that will be enough.

1 Peter 4:7-8 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another. (NIV)

The Pain of Christmas

Featured

We as Christians hold the crucifixion of Christ as paramount to our forgiveness by God, but what we miss is that the birth of Christ was just as tragic and painful. I am not talking about the obvious that He had to be born to die. Our Father God chose to impregnate a young girl to send His son here to suffer for us. The suffering began before he was born. We all know the warm fuzzy Nativity story with lowing cows, gifts and singing angels, but what about the other side of the story? The painful and terrified side?

Mary was probably 13 years old or so and unmarried. If she had not been protected by God she would have been stoned to death as other adulterous women had been stones in the village of Nazareth. She was engaged and in that culture that was the same as being married. Even without that for a young girl to be pregnant was a death sentence unless she had a husband to claim it. Which Joseph did not at first. Was Mary suffering for Christ even at that point of the story? Yes, she had to tell her mother, father and future husband that she was pregnant and God did it. No wonder the girl left town to visit her cousin Elizabeth. While she was gone, Joseph suffered agonizing ridicule and it kept him up at night. He tossed and turned at the fact his sweet young bride was knocked up. The angel Gabriel visited him in a dream and told him to relax Mary is telling the truth. Mary and Joseph were terrified at the prospect of Mary’s pregnacy and yet, they followed God’s will. Mary very well could have said No to God, but she didn’t. Joseph could have said no to Mary’s father. He could have told him to keep his daughter, but he didn’t. Then the suffering got worse.

The couple went from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about a hundred miles on a donkey…. on a donkey. Not only was Mary in physical pain and Joseph’s feet raw from the walking, there where other dangers on the road, bandits to steal what they had, men who took women as slaves and other untold bad things. Yet, God protected them from that, but not the suffering of the journey. It was long and hard. Mary pregnant and riding on a donkey. Her back must have hurt, her feet must have swelled and she must have been sleep deprived.

Jesus was born in a manger the story says…a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was laying in the manger. A manger is a wood box for feeding animals. A smelly box with animal slobber and bugs. Where did Mary get the swaddling cloth? Mary probably ripped her own clothing, wrapped Him up and layed Him in the manger on the cleanest hay she could find. Itchy scratchy bug filled hay. No bassinet with a musical mobile spinning about his head. How many of us would ride on a donkey for a hundred miles, give birth in a barn and put our newborn in a hay box? That is suffering.

Did the suffering for our sin start at the arrest of Jesus? No it started the moment that God put the plan in motion. The Nativity story is a story of a miraculous birth and the suffering of our Savior. From the moment of conception the suffering started. However, to suffer is to be human. He suffered the experienced of human life.

So as you think about Christmas and all the fun things that go with it, remember that it is a Holy day not a holiday. Without Jesus it is just another day, with Him it is the remembrance of His coming into suffrage for us sinners.

What is Marriage?

Featured

What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

As I have said many times on this blog and other places, love is a choice. Love is a promise to cherish the other person. You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together.  It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person is what is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).

A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love there is no point.

Live Unapologetically

Featured

This life thing is difficult. We strive for happiness and we work toward goals. Sometimes when we do we have to be careful not to hurt other people’s feelings. Often we get so sensitive that we forget that we have feelings too. We go to the other extreme and we neglect our own self peace and hurt ourselves.

Here’s the thing, you can’t please everyone all the time. No matter how good, loving or generous you are it is impossible to make everyone in your life happy. The best you can do is try to be happy and do your best no to cause undo harm to others. At the same time when others do things that you do not like that makes you unhappy remember they too are trying to live this life. They too deserve to live the life that makes them happy even if it makes you not happy.

Even Jesus lived his life to serve other with our neglecting his true self. The key is finding the balance. You wont get it right all the time. Don’t beat yourself up when you get it wrong. Just keep trying.

Live your life the best you can. Be happy. Do not hurt others on purpose. Do not negligent yourself. The only person you have to answer to in this life is yourself and God.

Live unapologetically.