Faith Is A Relationship – Not A Building


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Amidst the increasing turmoil in the world, politically, spiritually, culturally and scientifically; one stands out from the others in an amazing way.  Our spiritual well-being (read: faith) is the singular aspect of our life that we completely and unequivocally determine, ourselves.

Faith, you see, is created and lives inside each of us, if we allow it there.  Free Will, the gift God gave us, empowers us to choose for ourselves, what we believe, how we think, how we act, and ultimately, how we live… Forever.

Growing up as a Catholic, I was taught that “Church” was a holy place and a place of

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worship.  That is still true today, however, my view of Church has matured to realize that in the entirety of religion and faith, Church is funadamentally, a place.  In my truth of the world, Prayer is very important, however, I believe one can pray anywhere.

We are doing ourselves a great disservice by creating an imaginary boundary by thinking we are only allowed to pray, to exercise our faith, to grow as Spiritual Beings of God, in a particular place.

“The reality is that prayer can be exercised ANYWHERE, and all that is required is that your mind is properly prepared, that your mindset is pure, humble and in reverence to the Holiness of God.  And when you begin to pray, place is inconsequential, immaterial and irrelevant.  What IS essential, is the the intent in your heart, the authenticity of your thoughts, and the determination to follow-through on your conversation with God.”

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To a large degree, all organized religions have their own self-induced boundaries, limitations, rules and expectations for followers to behaviorally exhibit as requirements to “belong”.  While reverence and tradition are certainly important, they are, specific to each religion, intended to control your thoughts and behavior, and fundamentally, keep you coming back, in a survival type of mentality.

With no disrespect intended, I find that demoralizing, overbearing and unnecessary.  To clarify, I proclaim myself a Christian, rather than a Catholic.  As evidenced in the world today, Satan has wormed his way into Catholicism, the Papal Office and yes, even the Church, i.e., the Holy Place of Worship.

As a Christian, I am a Christ-follower.  I rely on the Free Will, the intent of my Heart and the Goodness in my Soul, to direct my faith, including when and where I pray.  My foundation is the Bible, not a physical place, but rather, a Supernatural Space.

Indeed, time will tell for each of us…  God Bless and Be Well.  Pray, because your eternal life depends upon it.

Certainly worth the wait….

 

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When You Know It’s Right


Compassion_2Of all the emotions we experience as human beings, none impacts me like the Good I feel when my actions align with my core values.   That alignment creates balance in my life, optimism in my heart, and peace in my soul.  It enables and empowers me to radiate my authenticity to those around me; it clearly reveals my true self in crystal clear vision, and more importantly, provides me a flawless lens as I interpret, learn, and react to the world and people around me.

Most importantly, when your life is in alignment, only then, can you achieve fulfillment in the sense of self-actualizing or maximizing your potential as a human being and Child of God.

“The “riches” of leading an authentic life are many, i.e., Inner Power, Self-confidence and Esteem, Peace of mind, Gratitude, Commitment, Anticipation, Love of life, Acceptance of other people, and a static-free, powerful and open channel to God via prayer.”

My role in the interdependence of this world (as it was designed) becomes closer to giving_hug_vetfulfillment, when I follow my heart and live my core values, and it leads to finding my personal purpose in this life.  Yes, that feeling is exhilarating, amazing, rewarding, and energizing.  My Life is Vibrant and fully Alive.

Alignment begins with a lucid set of core values, an unending faith in God and the courage to base your life and choose your actions and behaviors in accordance with your core values. I say courage, because there are many forces in the world working against “Good”, promoting evil and creating distractions to prevent God’s work in you and others.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

prayerPrayer and self-review are essential to grow as a person and spirit.  Importantly, both need development, review and exercise.   Protect and guard your faith with all your heart and soul as it is the singular key to eternal life.  And do not be afraid or hesitate to share that “Secret” with others.  Indeed, it is your and my destiny.

I is Singular For But One


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You and I share this planet with 7.3 Billion other human beings.  And as much as we generally appear similar, we are equally unique, by DNA, by fingerprint, by voice, by life experience; and by our soul.

When we say “I am”, we are sharing our thoughts as of a particular moment.  The very nature of the phrase “I am” implies a sense of purpose, of being, and of value.  Yet, most of us struggle mightily when we dive deep into understanding or examining our personal journey in life.

And unsurprisingly, each of us has most likely encountered moments of extreme happiness, sadness, anger, pain, despair, love, abandonment and wonder.  As human beings, you see, we are physiologically comprised of matter; matter that somehow combined to provide us sensory organs.  We see, hear, touch, smell and taste.  And incredibly, we Think.

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At an atomic level, we are marvelously complex organisms…  Yes, like viruses, only a bit more cultured. And our average lifespan varies between 75 and 100 years, impacted of course, by our environment, genetics, lifestyle and oh yes, our disposition.

One might surmise that we can largely influence our own lives as a result of our powerful senses, ability to communicate, anticipate, plan and learn.  Yet, so many of us flounder in life, make mistakes, fail to learn and come to believe we have little or no value to mankind.

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The truth of the matter, however, is that the chances of merely existing in this world, absent of an important purpose, are near 100% likelihood.  That is, of course, unless we have discovered not only the self, but also the true source of our being, our essence and our destiny.

There is only One true source that can say “I am” with 100% certainty, and that my friends, is God.  For God, is the Supreme Being, the one who created all things, is omniscient, breathes life into each of us, and without question, loves us as a parent loves each of their children.

“There is a vast portion of this world and universe that remains unknown, not only as a result of our cognitive limitations as human beings, but also, deliberately, by design.  The foundation of faith is believing without seeing; translated, without knowing.  We have been provided with just enough knowledge about our life, planet, environment and self to be able to recognize that there is so much more to life, yet to be known, understood, appreciated and revered.”

The stark reality of a higher power is deafening, yet many of us refuse to acknowledge it’s existence, or more aptly phrased, His existence.  We spend precious little time in our conscious lives contemplating, acknowledging, developing and leveraging this power, known as God.

Like every penny minted, however, I firmly believe, “In God We Trust”.  Be well.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Just What is Christianity?


Sailing_SunsetSearching for answers is rarely easy and the most frequent mistake people make is looking outward and focusing on the external environment.  To really get to the bottom of meaningful questions and problems, the Secret is to look within yourself, your core values and your relationships.

 

  • Forget Webster’s, for words are but vehicles
  • Forget Funk and Wagnalls, for it is but an interpretation
  • Forget Google, Yahoo and Bing, for they exist only on a screen

Instead, step back and away from the world, eliminate all distractions, and examine yourprayer heart.  Call it intent, purpose, commitment or conscience, the answer to every question we have in our life resides in our heart.

And the reason that is true is because there is no one else like you.  You were created as a result of the sheer Will of God.  Many people confuse biological birth with the true meaning of life.  Indeed, we focus on the mechanics of things and largely ignore the why, the role, the significance, and the vision.

Compassion_2Christianity is very much the same.  We are inundated with rules, protocol, history and obligation, yet the essence of Christianity is being aware of, and consciously deciding, what is in our heart.  Christianity is a feeling.

Indeed, Religion vs Christianity is much like the difference between the Reference Manual for an airplane as opposed to actually flying it in the air!  The Word of God is a Living, Breathing, Conscious Way of Life, not a book, a building or a regularly scheduled worship.  And that’s How I’ll Always Be…

“Church is a moment and expression of reflection, prayer, repentance, forgiveness; a belief in and a feeling of love in your heart…. THAT; is Church.  Just as God’s existence is not bounded by space, time or matter; our ability to communicate, worship and express our love for and with Him is likewise limitless and without confine.”

This video will be the BEST two minutes of your day!

The Inversion Of The World – When Evil Dictates


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Credit: FireflySixtySeven

When you consider Civilization and all its impacts (society, culture, interdependence, communication, growth, maturity, sophistication, survival, etc.), what are the “rules” that any civilization lives by?  More importantly, what are the rules based upon?  I believe that rules or the laws of civilization are based upon (initially) survival, and re-population.   In essence, the needs of the individual take precedence.

Then, once a civilization matures and basic needs are provided, it moves up the hierarchy of needs, much like Abraham Maslow created in 1943, when he published “A Theory of Human Motivation“.  And as any civilization climbs the ladder of development, focus shifts from the individual to one or more larger groups, i.e., neighborhood, community, state, country.

BibleOne thing is certain, and especially for groups, is the need for law and order, protection, authority, penal systems, etc.  And again I ask, what are the rules of any civilization based upon?

The word that hopefully pops into your mind is morality.  And without question, morality that rules an entire civilization, cannot come from man himself, because morality implies a perfect standard to achieve and there are no perfect people in this world.  Thus, morality must come from an external source, a perfect source, and that source is God.

Salvation_Cross“One would surmise that Laws based upon morality from God could produce no evil in the world, yet, today, we have drifted so far away from God as a civilization, that we can no longer hear His Word, guidance, much less, direction.  Bad has become Good, Wrong has become Right, Evil has become Worthy. 

Collectively, the singular solution to our problems within ourselves, relationships, family, neighborhood, community, state, nation and society…  is God.”

All Laws of behavior are based upon Morality, and all Morality originates with God.  Therefore, all Laws originate with God.  Be well.

(So, you think you know who Charles Darwin is?)

(Below: Pay Special Attention to Profound Words at the 7:35 mark.)

 

Faith – Hooked On A Feeling


shield-of-faithAs human beings, we are obsessed and preoccupied with materialistic things; it’s just unavoidable as it reflects the essence of who we are, sensory beings.  It is said that to a boy with a hammer, everything he encounters needs fixing.  And so it is with you and me; we exist by digesting the world through our senses, yet once ingested, that input is manipulated, analyzed, processed and output as thoughts, emotions, attitudes, behaviors, and values.

Helen_Keller_SunriseAnd the irony of it all is that the physical presence each of  us creates in the world, is a product or collective result of all that intangible, untouchable, immaterial, yet very real sensory input that our minds (and hearts) filter and shape into what makes each of us so unique in this world; our Spirit.

“Many individuals fail to connect the dots, in that they believe who they are is determined by what they do, rather than the values they hold, the beliefs they form and the future they create.  It’s like swimming in a pool and never knowing what you are, much less, what direction you are pointed and where you are going.”

Indeed, Choice breeds Optimism, Confidence, Productivity, Morale, and reduces Anxiety. Choice, or shall I say, Free Will, is a fundamental construct created by God to empower us to rationally decide whether we wish to follow Him.

Easter_CrucifixIt’s about the connection, the relationship, the desire, the attitude, the commitment and the future.  Faith breeds momentum, in that it reinforces a consistent approach and response to the world around us.

Free Will is as much associated with Decision making as our Creation is to Intelligent Design, or what I like to call, Deliberate Design.  Life with a Purpose; a purpose We Choose.  What a concept!

Transitioning Into Eternity


Hourglass_TimeThere are numerous examples of Racing and each has its own domain and range.  NASCAR, Marathon Running, World Cup Sailing, Tour De France Bicycle, Olympic Swimming, and more.  None, however, are more striking nor more important, than the Race against Time.

In any race, one must consider the length, the duration, obstacles, requirements (rules), anticipated problem

s, physical requirements and environment, goal…  And then, as a “Racer”, you must perform, survive obstacles…  and lastly, Finish the Race.

“Throughout the Race (aka Your Life), you will need to manage change(s), some planned, others unplanned, some positive, others not so much.  The extent to which you are effective and successful in dealing with change and in adapting to loss, to a large degree, will determine how rich and abundant your life becomes.”

And, with any race, who you have in your “pit crew” largely impacts the outcome of the Checkered_Flagsrace.  Let it be known we are in this race together, to be interdependent, to love, sacrifice, suffer, support, and Help each other.

So, who do want in your crew and how do you select them?  Skill, Experience, Familiarity, Knowledge…  Shared Values?  Secondly, what kind of dynamic(s) do you want to create within your team?  Conformity, Creativity, Commitment, Compassion, Character, Charisma?  Rest assured, designing, recruiting, creating and then, managing your team is no task to be taken lightly.

Managing TransitionsTo be sure, books have been written on each of these important questions and issues; Change, Values, Teams, Racing, Group Dynamics, Values….  Without question, Life is complicated, yes?  So, be very focused and dedicated to living your life with the intent to “go the distance”, to be “true to your heart”, to leverage the gifts God has given you, and ultimately, to reach your destination… On your terms, following your heart, listening to your conscience, living your dream.

 

Thinking Vertically In A Horizontal World


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Photo Credit Adrian Milne

The favorite class of my entire high school experience was Geometry.  I still love the shapes, the symmetry, the balance, the beauty, the complexity and the real world applications; indeed, the real world implications.

 

Geometry, as a subset of Math, is predictable, in that there exists a defined and disciplined cause/effect relationship inherent in its manifestation within our world.  In contrast, Faith and/or belief in God, may at times, appear unpredictable, from our myopic and grossly limited view as human beings.  Therein lies the paradox.

As much as I admit I am unaware about God’s thoughts, other than I believe He is indeed

God Quotes_Einstein

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Real and has dominion over all dimensions of being, I firmly believe that there is as much predictability about God as there is with Geometry.  It is very important to note that acknowledging the predictability of God does not require complete or intimate understanding of Him or comprehension of His nature.

 

In terms of this world, you and I exist and function in a primarily horizontal plane, specific to relationships, communication, interactions and knowledge.  From a spiritual perspective, however, any/all interactions, communication, etc., with God or involving our faith, predictably exist largely in a vertical plane, i.e., “God on Most High”.

“The ability to think vertically in a horiontal world is what sets individuals apart from others, from the aspect of being able to get a sense of the “Bigger Picture” and better understanding cause and effect events in our lives and of those around us.  It’s almost like observing the world through perfect vision, seeing the lines that connect the dots of seemingly disparate events, when everyone else is viewing it using fuzzy, out of focus sight.”

Without question, faith and an unwavering belief in, and reverence for, God, is the catalyst enabling that ability.  And like any skill, with continued practice or use, it is refined.

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So how, then, does faith work to sharpen or transform our senses?  I believe that faith, in practice, minimizes distractions in the world, sets and clarifies life priorities, focuses our efforts toward clear goals, fertilizes our relationships and interactions with others, and attunes our minds to be in better harmony with God’s Will.

 

As imperfect beings, and as sinners, each of us were born at a great distance from God’s Will.  As Christians, we are taught, and slowly learn, to shape our lives in such a way that we become more like God as we grow.  As we succeed; as we stumble; as we repent and as we pray, our spiritual maturity develops within us as our physical bodies develop externally; bringing us closer to God.

And the critical points to remain focused on are that we must:

  • Never waver in our beliefs
  • Constantly remind ourselves of our goals
  • Regularly evaluate our lives
  • Identify areas to improve
  • Followup with appropriate actions, and
  • Remain humble in our approach

These guidelines have and will define you and I as Christians and as worthy of God’s Mercy and Grace.

“To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” – Shakespeare

 

Faith Is The Light – You Are The Switch


LightningElectricity has always fascinated me as a concept.  In truth, it has empowered me directly while teaching me respect for it, along with a good dose of humility.  My perception of electricity is that of a formidable force of unbridled power and a silent master.

And as human civilization has harnessed electricity to create unfathomable applications and outcomes, you and I can equally harness our faith to create unimaginable yet incredible futures.  Indeed, from a bolt of lightning in the sky, we have managed to transform it into light, heat, coolness, stored energy, movement, communication and intelligence.

Similarly, we have the ability, dare I say, power, to transform our faith into actionable living, yielding real life outcomes and consequences.  Yes, we are the switch!

BelieveOne might ask, “What are the possible outcomes of faith?” and “How do I go about pursuing them?”  The answer to both questions begins and ends with one question; “Do You Believe?”

If your answer is “Yes”, you have already mastered the most difficult aspect of this concept.  Conversely, if your answer is “No”, I will challenge you that subconsciously, your real answer is “Not Yet”.

Like electricity, every physical aspect of our existence and being on Earth, must conform to a simple construct specific to energy, i.e., Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  Simply stated, this means that because everything in our world is fundamentally energy, the Law of Physics states that energy is never lost, but rather, transformed into other energy, water boils and becomes vapor, food is ingested and becomes muscle and body mass, thoughts transform into action… and prayers are answered and manifested in numerous ways in our lives.

“Unlike electricity, however, faith is a conditional construct.  And that is, faith depends upon our Will to enact it.  Faith triggers real life events to occur.  People are saved from tragedy, opportunities materialize, sickness can be healed and reconciliation between people is made possible.  An essential aspect of faith that many people overlook or do not acknowledge, is that God acts within His own timeline, not ours.  He responds to us in many ways, some being unexpected or misunderstood, because we do not share His thinking, logic, or plan.”

The real Power of faith is in knowing that we have influence upon the world, other people, and events; and that God is a Loving and Caring Being, and will eternally be just, compassionate and responsive to our communication.  All we need to do is simply Believe.

As a Believer, I want; truthfully, I need, to learn more, to better understand, and to guide my actions as I implement my being as a Christian… as a Believer.  Accordingly, I read the Bible, I share my thoughts with others and I collectively worship God with other believers.   I observe my world and I sincerely offer help to others in the interest of making it a better place.  I refer to “Prayer” as the First Amendment of the Soul, and I will always choose to Believe, to be Thankful and to seek to Help others.  I invite you to come and join me.

Seriously, would you rather be an atheist and die, only to learn that God is Real; or would you rather be a Believer and die, only to learn that God did not exist?  Which path has minimal risk and maximum reward?  Which then, do you choose?

 

Moon Shadow – An Allegorical Transfiguration


moonlight_night-wallpaper-1366x768.jpgWithin the annals of history, rest countless examples of misperception, altered reality, confusion and wonderment.  Some perhaps steeped in deception, others in amazement and a sense of incomprehensibility.  Indeed, Genius, dare I say, Divinity, is the product of pragmatism clothed in unspeakable Beauty.

“And so it is with regard to many things spiritual.  The simple life yields immeasurable fulfillment, wonder and gratitude.  Darkness (Sin) gives way to Light, Mortality to Eternity and Minutia to the Grandiose.  Our world is one of contrast, oxymorons, context and perspective.”

Jesus Christ died so we may live, not only in the flesh, but most importantly, in the Spirit.  Christ-the-Redeemer-overlooking-Rio-De-JaneiroAmen!  The Bible teaches us that Sacrifice leads to Fulfillment, Suffering to Glory, and Patience to Reward.  And in many ways, along the journey of our life, we are endowed with glimpses of our Creator’s work.  If we are wise, we must first recognize His Hand, but then, firmly sieze the moment to completely and fully appreciate those experiences as they occur.

As Christ’s Resurrection perfected His sacrificial life (body), the Sun emulates His power, glory, warmth, protection and Path.  At most times too bright to extend direct sight, the sun (and the Son) offers us mortal souls the distinct privilege and opportunity to relish and cherish a Transfigured Vision of this Power; the Moon Shadow.

Amazing SunriseFor as the Moon only reflects the Sun’s Light; the Son only reflects the Light of the Father.  And accordingly, each of us likewise has the potential to reflect the Goodness and Greatness of God.   Yet, as difficult as it can many times be, that potential is only realized as a by-product of a humble and contrite Heart Imbued with pure Intent, one that is emblazoned with Enthusiasm, Gratitude and Spirit, and lastly, guided by Wisdom, Prayer, Determination and sheer Will.

The Good News, is that it is entirely “worth the trip” and exclusively within our own willBelieve to accomplish.  Do not be deterred, timid or hesitant to claim that which is yours and guaranteed by Christ Himself.  Behold the Moon Shadow in all its Glory, for it represents the tranquil spirit within us that has the potential to unleash immeasurable power to calm the chaotic nature of life.

Light of the World, Shine on Me, Love is the Answer.  God Bless You.

 

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