Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Blessing to Strangers

     We all need to open our hearts and to give our love, to bless others rather than to curse them. Here is a blessing that I wrote so to open my own heart and to give my love to those that I do not know and wish them well.
     Maybe you do not feel like blessing others because you are in need of a blessing for yourself. Even still, you do not have to let your own situation to stop you from showing your love. You do not have to let the hurt inside of you to dominate over your mind and spirit to make you so negative that you wish bad things on others. No, but on the contrary, just as Jesus still gave his love to us while on the cross, we to can bare up under our own troubles and give our love to those that we do not know, to bless them rather than to wish them harm.

Here is my opening of my heart and wishing others well.

    Even if I do not know you and we have never met it doesn't prevent me from wishing you well. Even if we are living far apart, our flesh is still the same. We all need happiness and love to be apart of our lives and I wish you to have that in an abundance within your life. Not only upon yourself but also upon the ones that you love. May all of you have peace and contentment and find that to which you are looking for.
     May the blessings of God be upon you and your family. May your prayers be answered and if you have dreams may they all come true. May the spirit of God be upon you and your days be filled with joy.
     I wish you good health and that everyday your spirit will be uplifted and your body feeling energized. May you have the necessities of life in order to live, to be happy and to be satisfied. May God grant you and your family a good life and may his spirit protect all of you and to keep you from harm. God bless you stranger but we are not really strangers but one family united by God and by the love of his son Jesus Christ. Glory be to God and that someday all of us will be with him in his kingdom.  Amen

1 Peter 3:8,9 "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."
   

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Our Childlike Innocence

     I watched a television show the other day. It was a talent show for children. All of them were talented but I notice another thing that they had in common it was their childlike innocence. Even though their bodies were small, they each seem to have great big hearts. When they said I love you to the host of the show, I believed them. I truly believe that they had a warm feeling of love for him. Children are welcoming to strangers, they will see them as no threat at all. They will give a stranger a hug just like they do to their own moms and dads.
     Children are very optimistic, they believe that they can do and be anything that they want to be. There is no us and them in their outlook on life. In their eyes they see everyone as equals. They see everyone accepting each other as loving friends. Most of the time if they have something, they will share it with others. If someone did hurt their feelings, they will still be open to forgive them if the other person is sorry for their actions. They will respect others and be genuinely interested in what someone has to say.
     We all start out as these beautiful little big-hearted angels and then something happen to change us. Somewhere in our lives we lost that childlike, that angelic like innocence. We start out as near perfect spiritual beings and then somehow evil took a hold on us and changed our near perfect outlook on life. In our lives our optimism has become less and so did our friendliness toward others. The warmth within our hearts as grown a little colder. In our selfishness, we take and do not share. We quickly condemn and judge others rather than to give them our respect.
     What has happen to our childlike innocence? We started out with a hundred percent and then somehow we end up in a low percentile range. The precious treasure that we had inside of us, the world was more that happy to take it away. I have seen some rushing to get rid of it so to become more worldly than spiritual. They took that precious purity from God and eagerly discard it as it was not worth anything to them. I for one, wish I had it all back again. We all started out like lambs of God and then in time we became more like the opposite like wild beasts fighting in the field.
     The answer to most of our mental health problems is to regain what we have lost or even thrown away, to value that to which we thought was worthless. We had it all in the beginning and we let it slip through our fingers. We acted in a perfect way at one time and then we went in a wrong direction. We quickly got rid of our innocence, thinking to ourselves a worldly type of lifestyle was the way to go. We left our innocence behind us and trade it for something less. We were close to God as a child then we lost that close connection when we became an adult. We cannot go back to being a child but we can now and in the future start to live our lives in more pure spiritual way, the way that God intended us to be, an adult with a childlike heart.

Matthew 18:1-4 "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Right Perspective

     I was thinking upon the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 and the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16.
     In the parable of the prodigal son, the son that stayed with his father was upset at his father for giving a celebration for his brother, who had spent all his money then returned home. He complained that his father never did anything like that for him and he pointed out that he was the loyal son who stayed with him. His father explained his reason for the celebration that he was giving for his brother. He said in Luke 15:32 "It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found."
     In the parable of the workers in the vineyard the owner of the vineyard hired labors to work in the field and he told them that he would pay them a coin for their day's work. He hired different workers throughout the day and even on the last hour of the day he hired workers. When it was time to stop the work, he had his foreman to call them all together for so to receive their wage. The ones who worked at the beginning of the day were not happy when they saw the people who had worked only one hour and got the same wage as they got. The owner said to one of them that was complaining in Matthew 20:13,14 "But he replied to one of them, "Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? ,14Take what belongs to you and go, I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you."
     In the parables, both the son and the workers complained that they were being treated unfairly. They both thought that they deserved something more but they both missed the point of what had happened. When the prodigal son left his home he was in a spiritually dead condition and so was the people who were not working in the field. Romans 5:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." This is what the father was celebrating, his son who was spiritually dead will now have eternal life. The workers in the field represented the disciples of Jesus Christ, who are brought into his service and no matter how long they have been a christian each will equally receive the same reward which is eternal life. So there was no real reason to complain both the prodigal son and the workers were spiritually dead and now they are alive, they were spiritually lost and now they are found.
     Being imperfect humans that we are, we do sometimes miss the point and think to ourselves that we are being treated unfairly. We sometimes cannot grasp the whole picture and understand what we need to know. The brother of the prodigal son lost sight of the understanding if his brother were to die in his sinful state there would be no reunion after death. The workers in the field lost sight of the consequences of anyone who was not in the field it would mean their eternal death. It does not really matter in what condition someone comes to God or if it's the last hour of his or her's life. What matters is they are now spiritually alive and will receive eternal life and be with us in God's kingdom.
     With God we have a hope of eternal life without him we have only death. Just like in Noah's day those who stand inside of the ark will live and those who are on the outside will perish. I believe that is why our religious relatives nag us to go to church and give our lives over to God because they want to see us in the resurrection. They love us and want us to be with them forever.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

To Many Sweets

     I know by the title, you think I am going to talk about having to many sweets during the holiday season. However, I want to go deeper than that, to think about the people who are living on nothing but sweets. They are spending most if not all their time on the things that make them feel good for the moment. Things just like a sweet, it makes you feel good for awhile but the feeling goes away and after awhile, you need a another one to satisfy your craving.
     People are literally gorging themselves on sweets and not getting a lasting satisfaction in doing so. Feeding their need to be fulfilled with an empty nourishment that can never completely satisfy their soul. Lets look at the sweets in one's life. First the obvious is food you can try to eat your sadness away but it does not work and neither does drugs or alcohol. You can avoid your problems through various types of entertainment and it might make you feel better for a time but after your done, you will still have to face what is troubling you. You carry your problems wherever you go so you cannot really run away from them through travel. Your broken soul must be mended first before a lasting peace can be found, an overindulgence of sweets (a solution to feel good only for the moment) is not the answer.
     When we overindulge we are trying fill that emptiness that is within our soul and to soothe our pain but it only last temporarily. Consuming to many sweets does not solve our problems but only creates more problems, more sadness and disappointments.
     Not giving up on hope and facing your pain is the beginning to your healing. Praying and looking to God for your answers is a good start. Look for your answers inside the Bible for it is God's word. In God's word you can find what you are looking for and hope for your hurting soul. Having to many sweets is not the answer but God's word is.

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lemonade

     I have always heard it said if life gives you lemons make lemonade, meaning make a negative that is in your life into a positive. But I have to say, from where do you get your sugar to make your lemonade? Lets say your perfect condition in life would be to have a wife, children and friends who love you. Now if a negative condition came along in your life, you could rely on your family and friends for the support that you need to help you with your problem. Their love and positive support would be the sugar for you to make the lemonade.
     Now lets say your life is less than perfect and you are in a bad way with little to no support, maybe even alone without many in your life to love you. Where will the needed sugar come from to make your lemonade from the lemons that life has handed to you? A man or woman with a good support system can fall but he or she has people around who will reach out and catch them. They will never fall to the bottom. But someone who has no support in their life have only themselves to rely on. They must stop themselves from falling to the bottom.
     I want to think about what kind of support does a person alone have when feeling down. Where can they get their sugar from to make their lemonade? I thought about the trials and tribulations of the apostle Paul, what he had to endure while trying to spread the word about Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul told us what he went through while spreading the word. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 he said that he had countless beatings and was often near death. He said five times he was lashed with forty strokes less one, three times beaten with rods, once stone and three times shipwrecked. He said that he had to endure hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. It look like life was handing the apostle Paul a basket full of lemons while he was on his mission.
     Even though the apostle Paul had a basket full of lemons, he did not give up. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:8,9 "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;" From where did the apostle Paul get his strength and support to carry on? He said in 2 Timothy 3:11 "my persecutions and suffering that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra--which persecutions I endured; yet from them the Lord rescued me." The apostle Paul relied on God for his strength and support.
     The apostle Paul said he learned to be content in every situation. Philippians 4:11-13 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me." The apostle Paul look to God for both his strength and support. Even though the apostle Paul had a basket full of lemons, God supplied him the sugar by means of his Holy Spirit so Paul could make his lemonade.
     So we can see by the apostle Paul's example even though we may be alone, God can be relied upon for our strength and support in our time of trouble. We do not have to be in a state of constant despair, we can pray to God for our help. Psalm 34:17 "When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."If we are alone and in trouble, we do not have to drink sour lemon juice, God can and will help us to solve our problems. He will supply the sugar that we need to make our lemonade. In our darkest hour we can still look up and see God's light shinning through. We can lift our head up and be joyful in the LORD.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Our Thread of Comfort

     What makes us feel comfortable around each other? For example, If you are married, why do you feel comfortable around your wife? Because you feel that you can be relaxed and just be yourself around her. There is also a trust between you and her and you feel that you can let your guard down. And above all else there is love, making your home a place where you feel accepted and belong.
     There is a common thread of comfort that gives you comfort with your children as with your wife.There is a strong bond of love between you and your children. Just as with your wife, you can be relaxed around them and just be yourself. You also have a feeling of trust, acceptance and belonging when you are with them.
     I have just skimmed the surface of the topic of the feeling of comfort. I was just looking for the common threads of what makes us feel comfortable around each other. I have asked this question to myself, if I have a feeling of comfort within my family, cannot this feeling be expanded outside my family's home? What can make me feel comfortable around strangers?
     If I were to enter a new church where would my comfort come from? In the beginning, the common belief that we share (our belief in Jesus Christ) would make me feel comfortable. Through him we are connected to each other and this brings us together in worship. When you are united in a common cause, you see each other as more than just strangers. When we are united by a belief, this gives us a sense of belonging and acceptance among other believers.
     In time, trust can be established and you can start to feel comfortable around the new people that you have met and hopefully, you will start to feel that you can just be yourself while you are around them.  And the more you get to know them your connection to them will grow. Together, with your new friends(who were once strangers) you can have that comfortable family like relationship.
     My comfortable family like relationship for me is to feel relaxed, to feel accepted, to have trust and made to feel that I belong, also to be loved and to be able to be myself without many judgments. This is my comfort thread but others I believe may need or want something else to make them feel comfortable. The more we know about ourselves the more we can find comfort and be comfortable in our world. But our true comfort comes from God, 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word."

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The illusions of the Dark Light

     2 Corinthians 11:14,15 "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
     Our world is under the dark light of Satan. He is trying to make us believe that his word is the truth and his way is the right way. He is the master of manipulation and deception and he wants to have total control over us. Control over the way we communicate with each other or the lack there of by isolating us then dividing us to make us easier for him to control..The illusions of his dark light is many, it looks like light but in truth it is just only another form of darkness.
     In Satan's dark light, he keeps us away from having security and happiness in order for us to stay in survivor mode so to attack rather than to embrace our neighbors. He wants us to view security as living in a fortress surrounded by weapons. He wants us to see our lust as love. He wants to disguise our want as our need. He wants us to get rid of our self sacrificing ways and just do what we want. He wants us to put ourselves above all else, above our God, our family and our friends.
     We wonder why our world is so evil because people are looking to the dark light to light their way. It looks like hope but it never delivers. It looks like warmth but it is so cold. You believe that it has answers but it has nothing but lies. In this dark light, kindness is a form of control. It is given out of a hidden agenda so to create dependency and enslavement. In a dark lit world little is given and much is taken. Gifts are not given out of unconditional love but from a selfish desire.
     In this darkness, progress is viewed as having many material things and not as having a healthy mind and spirit. Community is lost because isolation equals control. Shallow pursuits are encouraged over deep spiritual endeavors. This darkness is trying to get us all to climb over each others backs in order to get a prize that is not worth the cost. All in all, the dark light is telling us to trust in no one and to keep on fighting with your neighbors because they are out to get you. The devil is trying to make you believe that survivor of the fittest is your best philosophy to live your life by.
     In a dark lighted world, you are surround by a deceiving light. It is a controlling light design to keep your mind on yourself and away from God, our true source of light. The darkness clouds our mind and creates doubts about our true existence. We become so trap in our own way of life that we cannot see another way to live and that is exactly what Satan wants. 2 Timothy 2:26 "and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." Satan design our world system to trap us and to make us to do his will, not our will or God's will but his will. Without God's protection and guidance, Satan will thoroughly manipulate us and deceive us, making us believe we are doing our will but we are in fact doing what Satan wants.
     Jesus came into our world and he saw the dark light of Satan. He saw through Satan's lies and deceptions. The devil tried to tempt Jesus and Jesus rejected him. Matthew 4:10 "Then Jesus said to him, Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." Jesus did not given in to temptation and he remained loyal to God. We are now being tempted by the illusions of Satan's dark light and all of us will have to make a decision whether or not we are going to follow in Jesus Christ's footsteps and reject the devil or are we going to continue to remain in the darkness to be deceived and be used by him?