Category Archives: Gratitude

Making Sense of God – The Effervescence of Eternity


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As human beings, we interact with the world as physical organisms; that is to say, we use and respond with our senses.  And as a result, we spend a lifetime conditioning ourselves in this way, yet God created us in His image, and that image reflects a Trinity of consciousness; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  And to be specific, it is singularly, the Holy Spirit that God infused into our being as humans, that sets us apart from other “organisms”.  It manifests itself as our conscience (aka, that little voice inside us), and guides us throughout our life; if we choose to listen to it, and act upon it.

When Jesus Christ graced the earth, as flesh and blood, like us, people could easily comprehend His authenticity and Truth, because they could speak with Him, touch Him, see Him, hear Him, even smell him.  Indeed, they got a taste of eternity, without even knowing it.  Similarly, To Believe is To See.

 

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Upon His physical death, brilliant Resurrection, and subsequent glorious Ascension, however, our physical senses became inadequate to directly experiencing Jesus Christ, the human being; the physical organism.  To be sure, God supplanted the memory of the physical Saviour with non-direct methods/alternatives to positively communicate the still, living Jesus Christ to humanity.

Miracles, His work through others, nature/environment, the Holy Spirit, and Supernatural events have been recorded in time that point to the fact and reality that Jesus Christ (along with God and the Holy Spirit) is Alive and is living in eternity.  Body, Mind, and Soul are humanity’s trinity in the image of God, and our Portal to our next life.

 

“Likewise, where our human and physical senses end (hear, see, smell, touch, taste), our Divine or Godly senses begin.  Space and Time (body), via balance and equilibrium; Intuition (mind), via ESP; and Divine Communication (soul), via faith.  Collectively, these eight senses work together to enable and empower our ability to recognize, acknowledge, and embrace the True God throughout our entire earthly life, preparing us for a real, personal, and tangible reunion with God, upon our physical death.”

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And because we were truly created in His image, it is understandable that we travel a similar path leading us into eternity.  Our physical birth, life, suffering, joy, pain, free will, and death, perfectly mimic that of Jesus Christ.  And it similarly goes without saying, that our destiny is an ascension into heaven for our Final Act.  But only, if we truly Believe in God, His Divine Nature, His Unbridled Power, His Perfect Being of Forgiveness, Grace, Love, Judgment, Justness, and His Eternal Presence.  For I is Singular For But One.

Achieving Heaven is truthfully simple, albeit perhaps not easy, yet completely within our control.  Established rules provide boundaries and desired/expected behaviors (Bible), and Free Will affords us the opportunity to create our own unique future via our thoughts, actions, and ultimately, accountability.

Up Where We Belong


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All of us have this insatiable desire to belong, to share, to possess the knowledge of our future; to be able to influence our future.  Indeed, to become our future.  And what hangs in the balance, what buoys our spirit, humbles our minds, and drives our determination; is faith.

Faith, in knowing there is much more to life than meets the eye; faith, in our salvation; faith, in life after death; faith, in God, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The kind of faith that people have been persecuted for having since the beginning of time, faith for which people have died, faith that people protect with their lives.

To be sure, the fundamental construct of faith is founded in the future, in knowing the past, in trusting God, in loving life.  And the reality of our collective existence is distilled into a single universal truth; to Believe is to See.

As much as our faith is centered around our singular existence, relationship and respective accountability with our Creator, it likewise is circular in nature, in that it involves the impact our lives have on others and others impact on us.  The whole of our being can best be described as an interconnected, interdependent conscious organism (spirit), et. al.

We spend our entire lives searching for those worldly areas where we belong, yet spend precious little time searching (and preparing) for the eternal life where we will belong into the infinity of time.  We must consequently examine our lives and ask ourselves; What are our priorities in contrast to what should be our priorities?

“At the opposite end of the spectrum is the beginning of new life, of being born, of witnessing the miracle itself, of acknowledging and accepting the awesome responsibility and privilege of becoming a parent.  And most importantly, nurturing, assisting, influencing, valuing and respecting that precious and amazing life; for it is your legacy as a child of God, your responsibility as a Christian, and your opportunity to enhance, enlighten and empower another ‘soul’ to serve and praise the Creator.”

– (Excerpt from My Amazing Life Is Not In Vein, Michael Cerkas)

Robert Eddison

To belong to anything involves prescribed values, thinking, behavior, priorities, commitment, and restraint.  Yet the key to these aspects is rooted in free will, not in indentured servitude.  Each of us chooses where we belong, in part, by our desires, and in LARGE part, by our actions.

In choosing where we belong, remember that Love trumps Hate, Good is more powerful than Evil, and actions indeed have consequences.  So, in those famous words of the Grail Knight (portrayed by Robert Eddison), in the 1989 film classic, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade…..  Choose Wisely.

 

God Bless You and Be well.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Holy Grail Scene)

 

(Up Where We Belong: Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes)
Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world few hearts survive
All I know is the way I feel
When it’s real, I keep it alive
The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world below
Up where the clear winds blow
Some hang on to used to be
Live their lives looking behind
All we have is here and now
All our lives, out there to find
The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow
Time goes by
No time to cry
Life’s you and I
Alive today
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong

These Are The Moments


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Some things in life are very easily explained, like why you get wet when it rains.  Or, how light penetrates darkness.  These things in our physical world teach us cause and effect, action and consequence, and in a sense, past and future.

They are tangible, things we can experience with our senses.  And then, oh yes, Then… there are matters of the heart.  The things that make it beat faster, swell up with love, fracture with sadness, hopeful with anticipation, joyous beyond belief.

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Oh yes, Belief.  That tiny little voice in your head that reminds you who you are, why you’re here and how to live a disciplined, yet fulfilling life.  And most importantly, who to thank for everything.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life, it is that there are NO coincidences; None.  Every thought, word, action, event, disaster, success, relationship, outcome; each and every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every person’s life… Has an interdependent function, meaning, and significance.

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Our job?  Simply, our job is to learn to recognize the presence of God in our life, appreciate the true gift that it is, and to just maybe, as we accumulate knowledge, experience, and perhaps create some wisdom; connect the dots between all the seemingly unrelated occurrences in this world to create a Mosaic of Life that represents something much larger than each of us are individually.  Our goal is to live our life to create and share something of a Divine nature.

Those “aha moments” will come when you least expect it, perhaps in a dream, or while watching an eagle grace the sky, or a golden sunset casting magnificence on the landscape of your life.  For me, it is these, and most assuredly, when I have or create the opportunity to spend time with my family.  Those moments are magical.

“It takes time, sensitivity and awareness to learn to recognize these moments.  Without question, they are fleeting, unpredictable and finite in nature.  Yes, these are the moments you (we) must treasure, cherish and grasp for as long as we can.  Because, you see, they almost always involve someone we love, someone we lost, someone we left, someone we admire, desire to help, or someone with whom we want to share our lives.”

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Indeed, we must live our lives in a deliberate manner, intent to interact, to serve, to love, to forgive, to be thankful, and to be humble.  For there are no guarantees in life, no money back refunds, no do-overs.  And as beautiful and fulfilling as life can be, it is, by its very nature, not fair.    Free Will empowers us to make our own decisions as we navigate the obstacles, dangers, multiple paths, and people to journey toward the horizon of our existence and presence here.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” –  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

As a point of emphasis, the most important Moments I have found in life revolve around my relationship with God.  That relationship nourishes me daily and provides me reassurance, direction, forgiveness, gratitude, and love, among other things.  It enriches my soul and gives me purpose for being.  It is exhilarating, personal, and reliable.  I am a better human being because of God and His love for me.  That’s all I know for that is all I desire.  Everything else is a bonus.

Bottom line, do not fear love, seek it.  Do not ask for forgiveness, live it.  Do not seek role models, be one.  Do not live a life that creates regrets, do what your heart and soul speak for you to do.  Do not worry that God may not recognize you, Know that He is there because He created you and Loves you.

God Bless you and be well.

(This article is dedicated to my wife and two sons, each of which have brought happiness, joy, hope, direction, and reverence to my life.  I love you all)

I Could Not Ask For More (Edwin McCain)
Lying here with you
Listening to the rain
Smiling just to see the smile upon your face
These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive
These are the moments I’ll remember all my life
I found all I’ve waited for
And I could not ask for more
Looking in your eyes
Seeing all I need
Everything you are is everything to me
These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments I know all I need is this
I have all I’ve waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have’s come true
And right here in this moment is right where I’m meant to be
Here with you here with me
These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive
These are the moments I’ll remember all my life
I’ve got all I’ve waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have’s come true
And right here in this moment is right where I’m meant to be
Here with you here with me
I could not ask for more than the love you give me
‘Cause it’s all I’ve waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more

Recognizing The Hand Of God


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The nuances of life abound in our everyday physical world.  Nuances in thought, context, demeanor, intent, knowledge, emotion, experience, and determination.  Indeed, how we think about something profoundly impacts what we think.

Our senses, all eight of them, equip us to interact, impact and experience our physical world.  The first five, everyone has been taught to recognize (see, hear, smell, taste, and touch).  The next three, I believe complement and extend each of our ability to interpret the world, above and beyond the physical context.

woman wearing black top and leggings on green yoga mat

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There is a sense of Space and Time, which I equate to balance and equilibrium; something I collectively categorize as the “body“.  A sense of body is the accumulation of our five core senses, empowering each of us to holistically feel the physical world along with our place in it.

Next, there is the phenomenon known as ESP (Extra Sensory Perception), similarly viewed as Intuition, a sense or feeling of future events, truths and/or knowledge.  This inexplicable sense is possessed and felt by some more than others, and I refer to it as the “mind“.  Most who have experienced it will unequivocally swear it is as real as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the sun that warms us.

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And the culmination of these senses that takes us to that “next level”, is faith.  It is our “soul” and it literally lives forever and uniquely identifies each of us as does our physical fingerprint, personality, and spirit.  The soul is that part of us that separates from our physical bodies when we die.

Some people may react to the concept of soul and spirit with confusion, amazement and/or denial.  I choose to believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so it is a very short “leap of faith” for me to acknowledge the reality and presence of my soul.

Following is a snippet from my book (in progress) that speaks to this construct:

“Accordingly, this is a story about the power of faith, salvation and literal eternal life.  A life, however, not confined to our physical senses, but rather, life thought of in terms of consciousness, energy, relationships and contentment; more like metaphysical life.  Viewed in this construct, life obliterates the earthly limitations that envelop, partner, bound and seemingly dominate our existence and thoughts.

Eternal life is an existence and state of mind that is manifested or channeled through self-awareness, courage, vision, trust and what I refer to as Incomprehensible Truth.

In a world where we have been effectively taught to let our mind and imagination ‘go wild’ in exercises that have created science fiction, entertainment and new product development, we have been equally conditioned to limit or exclude that imagination when applied to God, mortality and eternal life.

In much the same way that everyone acknowledges Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and characters including Superman and Batman, there are bridled expectations when the subjects of religion, Jesus Christ and the afterlife are broached.

One explanation that warrants further analysis of credibility, addresses the inability, or more aptly, the unwillingness of human thought to acknowledge or attempt to consider the likelihood of eternal life, the existence of a conjoined physical life and soul or spirit, and the reality of conscious continuity after physical death.”

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As evidenced above, contemplation about our presence, our being, our longevity in life; indeed, eternal life can require a lot of energy, imagination and an ability to connect the dots to construct the complete picture.

And this discussion brings us to the “Hand of God”.   The presence of our Creator can be felt, seen, heard, touched and experienced in the multitude of natural, living and sculpted features He created in our physical environment, including the inhabitants.

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God’s fingerprints are unmistakably evident on nearly everything in the world; you see, He created it all.  The breathtaking beauty of a newborn child, the glow from a golden sunset, the majesty of a flying eagle, the delicate whisper of the wind as it caresses pine trees, the sweet melody of a flute, the magnificence of the Rocky Mountains, the splendor of Niagara Falls.  The presence of God can be witnessed in all that is good, and all that can be good.

The truth of the matter is that all of creation is merely a reminder of the vast beauty, power, and grace of God, as a symbol of His Love for us and His desire for us to be happy, to love one another, and most importantly, to Love God and to spread His Love throughout humanity.

So, the next time, you encounter someone or something that abounds with beauty, radiance, and goodness, remember all of it originates with God.  Give Thanks, demonstrate Gratitude and practice Humility as you walk the path of your journey.  God Bless you.  Be well.  Look for the Good – Always.

Brooks and Dunn (Believe)
Old man Wrigley lived in that white house
Down the street where I grew up
Momma used to send me over with things
We struck a friendship up
I spent a few long summers out on his old porch swing
Says he was in the war when in the navy
Lost his wife, lost his baby
Broke down and asked him one time
How ya keep from going crazy
He said I’ll see my wife and son in just a little while
I asked him what he meant
He looked at me and smiled, said
I raise my hands, bow my head
I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see
Oh I believe

George Strait (I Saw God Today)
I just walked down the street to the coffee shop
had to take a break
I’d been by her side for eighteen hours straight
I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk
pushing up through the concrete
like it was planted right there for me to see
the flashin’ lights, the honkin’ horns
all seemed to fade away
in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today
Chorus:
I’ve been to church
I’ve read the book
I know He’s here, but I don’t look
near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I’d just slow down to stop and stare
opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today
I saw a couple walking by they were holding hands
Man, she had that glow
yeah I couldn’t help but notice she was starting to show
I stood there for a minute takin’ in the sky
lost in that sunset
a splash of amber melted in the shades of red
Chorus
I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She’s sleeping like a rock
My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks
She’s got my nose, she’s got her mama’s eyes
My brand new baby girl
She’s a miracle
I saw God today

 

The Righteous Side Of Reverence


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Throughout time, people across the world have demonstrated a deep reverence for the deity within their culture, history, and tradition.  Reverence steeped in profound respect, submission, and orthodoxy.  Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, among others.

Many of these deities have common traits; wisdom, insight, calmness, overpowering presence, generosity, and kindness as examples.  Likewise, each of them emphasizes specific behaviors that are required of followers to comply with as believers.

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For Christianity, there are the Ten Commandments and the Words of the Bible, albeit, the core set of rules and expected behaviors for Christians to adhere.  Like many philosophers and thinkers, however, the inevitable question raised in seek of answers revolves around the “Why”.  As in, Why must I follow this rule?  What future does following this rule provide?  And conversely, What is the penalty for violating this rule?

The Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by different authors at different points in time.  The miraculous reality is a common theme, even though many of the authors of the 66 books never met each other, let alone, lived during the same period of time.

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Often overlooked, at the core and foundation of the Bible and the Ten Commandments rests Morality.  At the base of what is right and wrong, the morality of life was established and handed down by Jesus Christ and given to Moses to share with humankind.  Of all that is ethical, just and right, the Word of God embodies morality for the ages.  Mankind has attempted to define morality, yet has continuously come up short, as incapable of divine wisdom.  Conversely, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit and God (Divine Trinity), as the Supreme Being and Eternal Lord, singularly possesses and represents perfect knowledge and Truth.  This fact was exemplified by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, followed by His Ascension into Heaven.

And without doubt, perfect knowledge and truth are accompanied and characterized by Supreme Power;  A power not of this world.

In truth, it is not enough to show reverence; it is not enough to offer respect.  It is only enough when we understand and acknowledge the Righteous Side of Reverence.

Comprehend the immense and unending Grace of God; Witness His Sovereign Power in the lives of His people; Testify to His Greatness with your life.  That… Is how you will live for eternity.

Which Side will You be on?  God Bless you, Be well.

If Today Was Your Last Day (Nickelback):
My best friend gave me the best advice
He said, “Each day’s a gift and not a given right.
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by.
That first step you take is the longest stride.”
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say “goodbye” to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you had?
If today was your last day
Against the grain should be a way of life
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
So live it like you’ll never live it twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say “goodbye” to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you had?
And would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day
If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
‘Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin’ stand in your way
‘Cause the hands of time are never on your side
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say “goodbye” to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you had?
(Would you? Would you?)
And would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

Eternity Road (The Moody Blues):
Hark listen here he comes
Hark listen here he comes
Turning, spinning, Catherine wheeling
Forever changing
There’s no beginning
Speeding through a charcoal sky
Observe the truth we cannot lie
Travelling eternity road
What will you find there?
Carrying your heavy load
Searching to find a peace of mind
You’ll see us all around
You’ll see us all around
Turning, spinning, Catherine wheeling
Forever changing
There’s no beginning
You’re so very far from home
And so very much alone
Travelling eternity road
What will you find there?
Carrying your heavy load
Searching to find a peace of mind

In The Course Of A Lifetime…


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As a child (and sometimes even as an adult), when you’re waiting for something or someone, time seems to stand still.  Yet, concurrently, when you’re having the time of your life, time slips away like a “Thief in the Night”.

Each of these events feel as real as the light of day, yet most logical people understand that time, as we know it, trudges on in perfect cadence within the universe, unaffected by our physical presence and undeterred in its marching band procession into eternity.

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Most assuredly, time warps and truly accelerates as we mature and physically age.  Memories of our past accumulate and simply add to the weight of time on our hearts, minds and souls.  And in contrast, our souls never really age, even as they mature.  Our souls are everlasting orbs of energy that will, without question, outlive our carbon life form shells.

 

“The key to grasping in crystalline fashion, the significance of our being comes into perfect focus when we step outside of our own lives and dwell on the constructs of Love, Salvation, and Redemption.  For it is only when we acknowledge, accept and internalize these timeless and abstract emotions, that we come to understand just how special each of us genuinely are, and accordingly, how incredibly precious and delicate this life and its realities become, in contrast to the minute details of life, that in truth, consume the lion’s share percentage of it.”

There are several lessons for us to internalize:

  • Live “in the moment”
  • Don’t hold grudges; learn how to forgive
  • Recognize the Power of Family
  • Never procrastinate those difficult conversations with loved ones
  • Erase the word “Regret” from your vocabulary
  • Tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you
  • In Testimony to God, live your life to demonstrate how Thankful you are
  • Value your Parents and appreciate who they are as children of God
    • A Parent’s job is anything But easy
  • Forget their human presence, because in Truth, they are immortal spiritual beings
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Call your Parents…

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.  – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Forever….. means Forever.

Mother and Child Reunion (Paul Simon)
No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh, little darling of mine
I can’t for the life of me
Remember a sadder day
I know they say let it be
But it just don’t work out that way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again
No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh, little darling of mine
I just can’t believe it’s so
Though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life / Green Day)
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life
So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth it was worth all the while
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

 

I Love This Life!


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Undeniably, Love is the single-most powerful force in the universe.  It motivates, it heals, it transforms; and it endures.  Love is the DNA of creation.  Understandably, Love is God and God is Love.

Life is God’s gift to humanity.  Indeed, the entire spectrum of emotions and experiences; love, anticipation, community, brotherhood, compassion, excitement, gratitude, humility, joy, solitude, among others.  Yet, to maintain balance, perspective and context; sadness, grief, fear, loneliness, anxiety, desperation, yes, even hatred, come along for the ride.

“And because of the Free Will that God granted us, we are compelled to make judgments and choices, and set priorities within our lives; and then, live with the consequences of those freedoms.  And you’ve heard it before, with authority comes responsibility; specifically, a spiritual accountability for our souls.”

220px-star_of_life2.svg_The regulators, of course, for our lives, are our attitude and personal discipline.  I prefer to be an optimist, a helper, and work to inspire those around me with positive energy.  My desire to accept the privilege to meet Jesus Christ in heaven fuels my discipline.  He likewise serves as my inspiration, as He is the nucleus within my soul.

I choose to be who I am, what I think, where I go, who I engage, and when I give thanks for the abundance of gifts I have been bestowed, knowing that life can seem an eternity yet be as short as the dash.  The beautiful natural environment is ours to enjoy, along with its abundant flora and fauna, indeed, each other.  I shudder at the magnificent beauty of our world.  It is incomprehensible for me, then, not to possess an intense and sincere gratitude for everything in my life, good and not so good.  Profoundly, gratitude FOR my life.

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Likewise, none of us are perfect, and accordingly, as difficult as it is, I strive to offer forgiveness when warranted, as well as to seek it when I hurt others and commit sins.  Prayer complements our actions in life and opens a direct communication channel with God.  The essential aspect is to never stop striving to improve as a child of God.

Most assuredly, as it was written, no person knows the day, the hour and the moment when Jesus Christ will return to fulfill bible prophecy.  It is a mystery, a secret, by design.  So, until that time arrives, I will wholeheartedly, unashamedly, and unapologetically, Love my Life… because God Knows, When Will It End?

I Love This Life (LOCASH)

The Secret – Planet Earth

 

 

On The Verge of Immortality – A Tribute To Veterans


Eagle_Wings_SoaringI just want to say, I’ve had an Amazing Life.  One filled with a lion’s share of excitement, fun, challenge, accomplishment, descendants, love and Hope.  Yet, without fear, sadness, disappointment, despair and hopelessness, the vision of my future would have never materialized, and certainly wouldn’t have occurred.

And that, my friends, is the swan song of Grace.  To say I feel a bit unworthy of the numerous blessings I’ve experienced in my life, would be a gross understatement.  When one witnesses the gamut of tragedies, losses, injustice, sorrow and hurt in the world, you can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt; guilt that you have been abundantly blessed and largely spared from bad, from heartache;  indeed, from evil, while others have seemingly been overlooked or passed by.

“Truthfully, no one ever really looks forward to growing older, yet, without the benefit of having lived and truly experienced all that life offers, both good and bad, you simply can’t appreciate God’s Grace in its most genuine and simplest form.  For Grace is the unmerited favor of God, and is manifested as the salvation of sinners and bestowal of blessings.”

cross_4_youAs much as I respect, appreciate and value the dedication and commitment that any Serviceman or Servicewoman has given to their (our) country, I have always wondered what it would be like to truly know what military veterans have gone through in duty to their country.  And I’m not entirely certain, if given that opportunity, I would be even able to survive, physically and perhaps mentally, the challenges of that responsibility.

I thank God every day for being able to live in a free country, to enjoy the simple things in life that so many of us take for granted.  I weep in gratitude for the life I have been given, and only pray I have done enough with this life to warrant inclusion in God’s exclusive paradise in heaven; when it is my time to answer His call.

clear body of water between yellow and green leaved trees

Photo by Inge Wallumrød on Pexels.com

This time of year is very special to me, for it includes the Autumn Season, one I have  loved in an incomparable fashion, ever since I was a child.  The smells, the beauty, the colors, the peace, the robustness, the trumpeting introduction of the Winter Season, and collectively, the larger role it plays in the renewal and cyclical nature of God’s creation here on earth.  I feel connected to the world when I immerse myself in this environment.

In a similar manner, reminiscing about my childhood days, remembering spending time with my family, having fun with my friends, enjoying the outdoors, the camaraderie of those I spent time with in youth organizations, school, neighborhood and community activities.  It’s as if I am watching myself in a Snow Globe of my past, enjoying the memories, yet feeling anxious about my journey of preparation for how I will answer to God, specifically, how I utilized the talents I was given by Him, along with the choices I made and the lives I have impacted along my journey.

Salute_FlagI ask you, perhaps, challenge you, to make time to do a life review of sorts, relive the happy moments that made your heart race, and yes, even other moments that contributed to the building of your character.  And then, consume yourself and fill your heart with a genuine and deep sense of gratitude to every person that has impacted your life, improved it, helped develop it, perhaps even saved it.

Cerkas_Leonard_F_ArmyAnd so, this Veteran’s Day, remember every person you know, whether it be family, friend, spouse, child, sibling, neighbor or simple acquaintance, that has served their country, perhaps, offered their own life in the process, in the duty of ensuring your right to live in a free country, make your own choices and decisions, raise a family, direct your career, benefit from the fruits of your labor and enjoy the opportunity to grow old.

For growing old is a distinct privilege and honor, to be able to fondly look back on your life and realize how great it truly has been and is, how unbelievably blessed we are, and how thankful we must be to have received the Saving Grace of God.

Never forget…  WHY you are free.

 

 

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