Category Archives: History

Living On A Prayer – The Ultimate Conversation


Prayer_LightAs cliche’ as it sounds, chances are that most of us, at some point in our lives, survived on little more than a prayer.  Whether it occurred shortly after college, after losing someone close or having survived some kind of accident, it doesn’t take a genius to learn that life is so very precious.  And no, you needn’t be a religious person, or even a Christian, to pray.

But pray we do, sometimes as if it were a survival instinct.  And what exactly is Prayer, anyway?  Pragmatically, prayer is a form of communication, however, everyone knows that communication, by its very nature, represents a duality; meaning, there needs to be a sender as well as a receiver of the message.  So, who or what is the receiver of a prayer?

More importantly, does the simple act of praying imply that God is real and exists?  Or prayerperhaps, we are all just very ignorant and/or naive individuals possessing little to no clue about life; its beginning, or end?

For me, prayer is simply the “connection” with the creator.  It may very well be a plea for help, or intercession, or clarity, or for forgiveness.  Regardless what “it” is, prayer purifies our being and spirit, and represents a self-medicating sort of healing process.  Not all prayer, however, is offered as a result of need; prayer can be, in its purest form, a simple “thank you” for being alive, for being able to experience life with all of our senses, for having been given the privilege of being alive.  Make no mistake, Prayer is Powerful.

Prayer is the act of acknowledging the existence of, or attempting to summon the energy and power of God toward some end.   Atheists spend their lifetime and energy arguing and attempting to prove that God does not exist.  If they truly believe there is no God, why do they feel the need to convince others to likewise believe?  Logically, by simply participating in that hypothesis, they, by default and reality, prove to the contrary that God does indeed exist.

Prayer_KeyIn fact, there have been scientific studies conducted that prove that prayer is real as a result of a measured and desired cause/effect difference in some state of human life.  For being a society that is inundated with the gamut of science “fiction” from Hollywood about Zombies, Demons and Aliens, we hypocritically and largely, contend there is no God, that science is the ultimate “source” of knowledge and that death is a finality with no exceptions.  So, we are conditioned to believe in the creations of Hollywood but not of a Divine nature.  For me, that is a truly absurd hypothesis.

“Prayer is as real as a baby’s cry, the smell of a fresh spring rain, the beauty of a golden sunset and the warmth of being embraced by a loved one.   Like life itself, prayer is what you make of it.  Believe in it and it will become reality.”

This is the Secret to life.

My suggestion to you is to not wait to pray until an obvious need is present in your life.  Rather, pray in a forward-looking fashion; pray for the well-being of those you love, for those you don’t even know, for the absence of violence and the intangible characteristic of world peace, and kindness of people toward one another.  By all means, pray with a sense of gratitude, humility and pure intent.

Prayer is indeed all about creating and raising the awareness of positive energy, the acknowledgement of a higher power and the improvement in the quality of this 24/7 blessing we call “Life”.

“Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear.”   Be well.

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Living in the Shadows – No More


Midwest_AmericaGrowing up in the Midwest, like many red-blooded American adolescents, I was born and raised a Christian, more specifically, a Catholic.  In realistic terms, it meant going to church on Sunday (and Church holidays), being an Altar-Boy serving mass, attending Parochial School, receiving Sacraments (Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, etc.).

But perhaps, the most far-reaching and impactful aspect of being a Christian was learning about, accepting and Believing in God, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, Heaven & Hell, Angels, Miracles and the like.  At times, it was downright interesting, bordering on fascinating.  Most people accepted you for who you were and subsequently, your spiritual life went largely uncontested by others.

ManitowocAs a child, open to learning new things, willing to accept concepts at face value, being able to decide the truth of things and contemplating a logical result, God really didn’t seem that much of a stretch.  In fact, considering the history of the world, cultures, society and the awareness of other “religions”, it appeared to me that many of the primary belief-systems had quite a bit in common with each other.  At a bare minimum, each worshiped a “Supreme Being.”

Life was good, things made sense, people appeared grounded, confident and for the most part, good-natured.  Everyone was generally concerned with each other’s welfare, safety, etc.  In essence, people were civilized.

Manitowoc_DowntownSomewhere along the line, however, beginning in the 60’s, maturing in the 70’s, running rampant in the 80’s, spiraling out of control in the 90’s and then, off the charts at the turn of the century, people began changing their focus inward, toward self-indulgence, worshiping False Gods (technology, entertainment, celebrity, drugs) and eventually, sin itself.  It’s as if people believed God had gone on vacation or had stopped “being” God.

As I’ve matured, I’ve come to realize that Life has really become, anything but simple.  People have collectively and largely, become morally weakened, stressed, frustrated and fearful that God has abandoned, or worse, “left the building”.  It’s as if the bright light at the end of the tunnel, eternally shining as a beacon of hope, direction and support, had mysteriously been vanquished, snuffed out and replaced with Darkness, uncertainty, fear and turmoil.

Our indomitable Christian Spirit had been broken and the Hope for true Life and a future in Heaven became dim and precariously vulnerable to extinction.

In hindsight, it’s no wonder atheism has grown, same-sex relationships have blossomed and genuine concern for each other as human beings and Children of God has all but become a thing of the past.  What was once considered an “R” rated movie is now an unfortunate norm on daily and weekly network and cable television series.

Broken_FaithWe have effectively been “downgraded” as a species, no less, by ourselves; and a likewise, self-inflicted and universal lack of faith.   What was once the majority in the United States, i.e., Christianity, morally grounded behavior and values; has now become viewed as “out of touch”, old-fashioned (emphasis on old), and lame.

Pretty grim story thus far, yes?  Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t need to be that way; unless you truly wish it to be true.  Each of us creates our own future by our free will, choices, thoughts, behaviors and actions.

Returning to that young Catholic boy who went to church, prayed every night before bed, served mass on a weekly basis and wondered in awe of the Goodness of God and the notion of a magnificent future in Heaven…  that boy has grown up and matured into an insightful, caring, confident man, rooted in faith, who REFUSES to cave in to the moral corruption and decay of society.

I have never been, am not and will not be nor view myself as a victim.  To the contrary, my future is secure, my purpose is clear and my actions demonstrate my confidence in what awaits me after my physical body expires.  Believe me, it is BEAUTIFUL!

white_lily_and_crucifix.jpgPerspective is a much maligned word, previously confined primarily to drawing, art and geometry.  For me, perspective has become a foundational brick in the wall of my Faith.  It is an essential element by which understanding of God, life, purpose and most notably, self; is very possible, realistic and visible, i.e., REAL.

I’ve lived and experienced too many “coincidences” in life, too many exceptions to the rules, too unlikely a circumstance to naively think and/or conclude there is no God, no eternal life, no miracles, no Angels…  no Accountability or Consequences to sin.

To the contrary, God (simply) is, Heaven (simply) awaits us, evil (simply) attempts to devour and consume us, and Love (simply) conquers all.

“I’d rather live my life believing in God and then die, to find out I was wrong; than to live my life in a forlorn mental capacity, believing that life is but a cosmic accident, waiting for the “end” and then die, to find out I was wrong and missed the entire lesson that God Himself intended and designed for me to experience, learn and grow in spirit.”

Wizard_of_OzTo each person that calls him/herself a Christian, I challenge you to step out from the Shadows of your fears and your life; and publicly proclaim your belief in God and His way of Life, to your spouse, parents, family, friends and those close to you.  Begin living your life in a manner for which you can be proud, when the “Exit” sign is illuminated at the end of your journey/path.

All it takes is a bit of Courage, Heart and Wisdom.  Be well.

Courage:

Heart:

Wisdom:

Discovering Magnetic Resonance of Being


Morning_Fog_LakeAs boiling water is transformed into vapor and seamlessly blends with the surrounding atmosphere, so is death the distillation of life as we know it.  The energy of our thoughts, the electricity of our heartbeat and the knowledge and memories of our mind are distilled by death into the ether of eternal life; but most importantly, surviving as our consciousness.

Floating-Globe-Silver-Med-783070If we are to learn anything about life, observe and remember the elementary lesson of the magnet in science class; opposites attract.  Our human lives on this planet are as images in a mirror, i.e., they are in fact diametrically opposed realities.  What looks like your left hand in the mirror is in (our) reality, your right hand.

And so the dichotomy extends into many facets of our existence as children of God.

  • Life begets Death or Death begets Life (Ending is really a Beginning)
  • Pain & Suffering Yields Peace and Eternal Life
  • Good attracts evil and evil, good
  • Humility & Vulnerability are the birth parents of conviction, strength and resilience
  • Seeking Inner Peace & Harmony leads to the discovery of Magnificence and Glory
  • Focusing on others (and not yourself) illuminates your soul & spirit, creating self-awareness
  • Praying only when needing help is like saving only when needing money

J_Denver_Farewell_AndromedaThe epitome of this paradox is eloquently brought to life by the late John Denver in his song,  “We Don’t Live Here No More”, released on one of his earlier albums entitled “Farewell Andromeda” in 1973.  In the song, Denver metaphorically describes the many seemingly mutually exclusive scenarios of life and encapsulates the mindset within the larger sphere of existence.  He was indeed, a master at transforming thought and emotion into meaningful lyrics and enchanting music.

Here are the lyrics:

Make believe you’re on a boat without water around.    Picture yourself at a circus, without any clowns.

Pretend that you’re on a highway, without any end.  Then empty the ashtray, sweep up the floor, put a lock on your door.

If somebody calls in the morning Just say we don’t live here no more.  Draw me a picture of an island without any sea.

Show me a map of the whole world without boundaries.  Build me a home without windows or doors to go in.

Then empty the ashtray, sweep up the floor, Put a lock on your door.

If somebody calls in the morning Just say we don’t live here no more.  Dream of the time when the tides ebbing now, rise again.

Then you will know, that to die is not really to end.

Living and dying are both your most intimate friends.  So empty the ashtray, sweep up the floor Put a lock on your door.

If somebody calls in the morning Just say we don’t live here no more.
If somebody calls in the morning Just say we don’t live here no more.

Let us all relish in the complexities of life and be comforted and protected by divine guidance when we need it to find our way.  Be well.

Making a Difference to Restore the Time When Life Meant More


The Days of Yore

Do you long for yesterday, when Life was prime?sharing_bread

Do you often dream of times sublime?

When people shared their last of bread,

And would not stop until all were fed.

Where houses did not need a lock,

Because neighbors would watch around the clock.

And bosses would sincerely care,Boss_Handshake

About your family, pets, and not the garments you wear.

Nor require your loyalty to the shop,

But rather endeavor your employment never stop.

Assuredly those days we cherish and secure,

Will not fade or vanish, but remain and endure.Wonderful_Life

Just remember to dream of times sublime,

When God was present and Life was prime.

Uplift your Soul to Begin again Anew


 

With all the pressures of daily life, the drama, the deadlines, the bills and the uncertainty, it’s all so important to regularly remember and focus upon all that is good in America.  The environment that envelopes and holds us captive is, at its core, an unimaginable and breathtaking treasure of peace, solace and beauty.

Take a brief five minutes to remind yourself (again) just how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America.

God Bless America!

 

 

Listen to your inner voice as it reminds you how truly lucky you are to be an American.

 

When the Unthinkable becomes Reality


Whomever coined the phrase “Hindsight is 20/20”, obviously was thinking of life in terms of the simply unexpected or unplanned.  Both situations are polar opposites, however, from the inconceivable, impossible and cataclysmic events that have etched their places in the history of the world via personal accounts, books, newspapers and movies.

Throughout history, unthinkable events have tainted the world and claimed the lives of millions of people.  Prior to each event, most people would never have imagined something that horrific or unthinkable could occur.  From a temporal perspective, some catastrophes lasted but a few hours, where others spanned hundreds of years.  Regardless, each occurred with equally unthinkable results.  The more notable historical events include:

  1. Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 / 25 million dead)
  2. The Titanic – Iceberg Collision (April 15, 1912 / 1,500+ dead)
  3. Joseph Stalin – Russia (1922-1953 / 20+ million dead)
  4. The Holocaust (1933-1945 / 13+ million dead)
  5. Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941 / 2,400+ dead)
  6. Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki (Aug 6 & 9, 1945 / 200,000+ dead)
  7. World Trade Center Terrorism (Sep 11, 2001 / 3,000+ dead)
  8. Tsunami in Sri Lanka (Dec 26, 2004 / 200,000+ dead)

In contrast to the unthinkable death and destruction events of history, there are equally unthinkable technology and entertainment events and products that serve to expand the imagination of what is possible and real:

  1. Microwave Oven
  2. NASA – Landing a Man on the Moon
  3. Satellite Television
  4. Google
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. Star Wars
  7. Harry Potter
  8. Iron Man

And so it is with regard to anyone who believes in God.  The Bible, how the Earth was created by God, Religions of the world, reincarnation, Miracles and Judgment Day are all related aspects that to many are unthinkable, while to many more are an accepted “Fact of Life” and real Truth.

As much as people everywhere take things like the Atomic Bomb, Satellite Television, the Computer, Harry Potter and Iron Man for granted and without question, it is equally ironic and surprising that the concept of God, Miracles, Eternal Life and Heaven & Hell become overly scrutinized and labeled by many as impossible, illogical or too incredible.  This author finds that approach very difficult to comprehend indeed.

The true testament to the presence of God is within each of us as human beings and as prophetic as it sounds, the decision whether or not to believe is a personal choice and evidence of free will.  It is only a matter of time until each of us face this Truth; at which time there is no turning back to change one’s mind, as it were.

As Robert Eddison (Knight guarding the Holy Grail) in the Indiana Jones movie, “The Last Crusade”, so stoically and profoundly said, “Choose Wisely”.

The American Soldier


This patriot runs true, their will as forged steel;

Each job familiar as breath, their fate both present and real.

The blood that pumps life, the liquid that churns;

     Must not fail their duty, will not neglect their yearns.

For Love of country they dedicate their lives, to guard and to serve, each heart strives;

To challenge all foes, to protect YOUR life; to preserve YOUR freedoms, no matter what strife.

Boots on the ground, thunder in the air, nightmare at sea, razor-sharp skills will defend anywhere;

Mentally, physically, emotionally ready, the American Soldier will die fighting unwavering and steady.

And do this, they do, 24 upon 7, they risk the ultimate, many indeed are in heaven;

Their memories emblazoned for eternity of time and remembered by brethren.

Humble thy be to honor and pray, plead for mercy every night like today;

That this Soldier is blessed and comes home safely to stay.

Their mission you see is above you and me;

Their heart sings, “My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty”.

Tribute to my Dad


Thank you and God bless you dad (Leonard F Cerkas) for sacrificing so much to protect our country and your family. A very private man, he Earned the exclusive Distinguished Service Cross (along with Silver Star, Bronze Stars and Purple Heart(s)) for his bravery and courage in Italy in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army Infantry as a Tec Sergeant (1943-1945)…To every veteran I know, in life and in spirit… Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication, immense personal sacrifice and effort in protecting our country and its people from harm.

Photo: Thank you and God bless you dad (Leonard F Cerkas) for sacrificing so much to protect our country and your family.  A very private man, he Earned the exclusive Distinguished Service Cross (along with Silver Star, Bronze Stars and Purple Heart(s)) for his bravery and courage in Italy in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army Infantry as a Tec Sergeant (1943-1945)...To every veteran I know, in life and in spirit...  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication, immense personal sacrifice and effort in protecting our country and its people from harm.

I am Proud to be an American


Freedom & Liberty

… and the son of a World War II Army Combat Infantry Veteran…

  • Support our Veterans
  • Learn & Know Your Constitution
  • Be Ready to defend Your Country against Harm
  • Never Dishonor the Flag
  • Have Gratitude toward those that served to Protect Your Freedom(s)
  • Demonstrate Patriotism to Others
  • Acknowledge there are Those who Plan to take away Your Freedom(s)
  • Do Your Part to ensure our Government does its part

I am thoroughly moved every time I watch and listen to this – Please Stand Up for America!

Thomas Jefferson on Democracy


“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
Thomas Jefferson

This is the current state of our country, specific to entitlements from welfare, ‘free’ services supported on the backs of the American taxpayer.  It appears that not much has really changed in America over the past 200 years.  Thomas Jefferson was a friggin’ genius.

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