Remember when life was simple and understandable? Yeah, neither do I. As reality would have it, we exist in a world of context, image and ambiguity. Some by choice, other by perception. Where does that leave authenticity? Answer, you and me. It is incumbent upon each of us to project our authentic self. And it is when we are most still that clarity and awareness reveal themselves to us.
We must first acknowledge and accept that we are all very complex beings. We value, we believe, we hope, we fear, we love, we avoid, we seek, we appreciate, we contemplate, we aspire, we interact, we influence, we anticipate and we pray… that others understand and respect us.
Given the hodgepodge of mixed messages we emit to the world in a continuous fashion, it is no surprise that misunderstanding occurs on a very regular and frequent basis. And what results is tension, confusion, anxiety, fear and even depression. Just to be clear, I’m describing the emotions each of us experience as we live our lives while striving to reveal ourselves to the world.
Much of life’s stress can be channeled, perhaps even avoided, if we can truly look within ourselves to identify the person in the mirror. How we are ‘wired’, what we believe, where we are going and what is our goal. Man, if we don’t know this, how do we expect anyone else to figure it out?
The best advice I’ve ever discovered is, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare
This is not rocket science, people. It is pure and unadulterated common sense, yet it goes without heed by millions on a daily basis for all eternity. Self-awareness is the key to happiness and happiness means something uniquely distinct to each of us. Self-awareness alone, however, does not lift the fog of life. It must be coupled and forever joined with courage; the courage to live your conscience and core values without apology and certainly without hesitation.
“Profound truths such as trust, relationships, harmony, happiness, respect, dignity and motivation all become squarely within our grasp as human beings, once self-awareness and courage are lifted from the toolbox of life and used as a habit in each of our lives.”
Personally, I’ve found that I am most happy when the reality of my life is in balance and harmony with my core values and faith. I live to help others, to generate good will, to share positive energy, to be a happy and content person, to experience the world on my terms, to believe and practice my faith, and of course, to write. All that I am is but a glimmer of the man I want to be; and that pursuit keeps me going like the energizer bunny, non-stop.
So, do yourself (and the world) a favor and get to know yourself before crafting that image, creating that context and eradicating that ambiguity that others see as you. Focus on who you want to be and not what others believe you should be. Strive to project the image of your spirit and aura and most importantly, be honest with yourself. It is only then that Truth will reveal itself to you.
Happy Birthday Mom! I love you very much and miss you…
Tell your Mom you love her today… and every day.
There is a place in this world, where a sheltered embrace protects you,
Where you are made to feel like the most important person on earth.
When you are ill, you are made well and when you are happy you are taught to share,
Your questions are listened to and answered, your needs are placed before and first.
Hard work before play becomes a habit and gratitude for everything and everyone is the way,
To live a life of Love, to seek peace and harmony with others, to offer a lending hand in care.
I’ve lived this life as it was taught to me and I am Loved in this world because I was taught to Love,
My memories will always be those of peace, beauty, caring and Love… because of Her.
Yes, there is a place in this world where that sheltered embrace nurtures…
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I could post this article and video 10,000 times and would still not do justice to the importance of Forgiveness in living an Authentic Life. Merry Christmas everyone; my gift to you this year. Be well.
Our lives abound with the callings of Love as we welcome newborn infants into the world; join together to introduce a newly married couple to our community; share our food, goodwill and financial resources with others in times of need… Yet our lives likewise experience darkness and evil as we introduce hate into the world via killing; discrimination, abandonment and apathy.
What are we to learn and take away from this reality? I contend that evil unfortunately serves an important and unique purpose and role in our lives as a constant reminder of the need for good, for positive energy toward others and to enhance our limited awareness of the stark reality of what our lives are like, absent God and Faith.
As peace is contrasted by violence and light unto darkness, the lives we lead must equally reflect that balance. And that balance is necessary as a result of…
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Indeed, time is a fickle thing, albeit a creation of our feeble human minds as a result of our inability to comprehend and understand the vastness and pervasiveness of God, the Universe and Eternity. Endless phrases have been captured (over time) characterizing and lamenting its stronghold over our human lives:
“Time is of the Essence”
“Can’t seem to find the Time”
“No Time like the present”
“I don’t have Time for this”
“There’s never Time to do it right, but always Time to do it over”
“Time waits for no man”
“Time heals all wounds”
“Use your Time wisely”
“Having the Time of your life”
In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos. Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge. Now, let’s shift our perspective and view time from a spiritual perspective. As Christians, one of the tenets of our faith is the awareness and acceptance that each of us are born as imperfect beings, having inherited that imperfection as a result of the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin. And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.
“Yes, faith is a peculiar construct, however, those that possess it do not perceive it to be peculiar at all. For you see, the expectation of faith is the realization that a life lived in God’s Light, following His Word, supported by love, kindness, humility, forgiveness and goodwill/intent, will be rewarded by the Perfect and eternal life in heaven, at some Future moment.”
Thus, the Future Perfect tense of life; My Life. I have but one breathtaking, awe-inspiring, profound, loving and Blessed word to describe this expectation in my life…. Hallelujah! Be well my friends. Watch and Listen…. and be brought to tears in the Joy of knowing Christ. God Bless You.
And for you “boomers”, let’s take a walk back in Time and relive another memory.
And something for the more mellow of us.
Lastly, how much Time do you have left?
In memory of my dad, who loved hunting and fishing and completely respected and appreciated God’s gifts of nature. Living as a Sportsman provided my dad solace, serenity and peace of mind. Please be a respectful sportsman and respect those that are, if you are not. Be well.
The human psyche, albeit adrift in a sea of consciousness, survives by convincing itself it has a divine purpose. We all have a divine purpose, yes? Agreed.
As any sea can demonstrate, however, it sometimes get a bit rough; so rough, in fact, that constructs like the psyche can bounce around as a bottle with a cork, at the mercy of the tide, winds and currents.
Indeed, quite the chaotic scenario for the psyche. And as darkness is merely and pragmatically, the absence of light, so it is likewise with the human psyche, that is, the state of being “down and out” is merely and pragmatically, the absence of being “upbeat and positive“.
And as the solution to defeat and avoid darkness is the introduction of light, so it follows that the psyche’s mechanism to defeat and avoid the “blues” or “being down” is to merely and pragmatically, Look Up!
Without question, everyone has times in their lives when everything seems to be going wrong, whether it be relationships, personal health or injury, financial stress or job troubles. Hello! We live in an imperfect world, remember? As with all matters of personal choice, each of us has the power to choose our reaction to life’s bumps in the road.
To the point, how we react to adversity, clarifies and largely defines our character, persistence, resilience and outlook on life. There are people I admire whom have had plenty of adversity in their lives; and have chosen to react in a positive manner.
My best example is Michael J Fox. Loved him as an actor in the Back to the Future movie trilogy and in his hit sitcoms, Family Ties and Spin City. As most people are aware, Michael J Fox went public in 1998, revealing he was in early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, having been originally diagnosed in 1991.
His reaction? Certainly not self-pity or anger, but rather, gratitude for all the blessings in his life. That’s a tough choice to make when faced with the certainty of a debilitating and ultimately, terminal disease. Further, he funded and created the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2010.
One of my favorite books he authored was Always Looking Up, which was published in 2009. Definitely worth a read and pause for personal reflection and consideration.
“Truly, even when the world around you appears to be going south, even when you are having a terribly bad day, it may be cliche’, however, each of us can be grateful for simply being alive, for being able to experience this diverse world God has provided to and for us, for sharing our lives with those we love, and for the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives.”
When you’re down, look up, and pray for God’s Grace and Blessings. It is such a natural thing to do. And take heart, See Clearly and rest assured, the best is yet to come. You’ve Got a Friend. Be well.
Never in the recent history of the world, have we witnessed the unprecedented destruction of society, culture and security, as we do now. Religious and Ethnic persecution, Politically-motivated violence, social media attacks, Suppression of Freedom of Speech, Corruption in our Government. Seemingly unrelated issues, however, share a common thread of substance; the Core Family Unit.
At the dawn of civilization, the family unit was the basis for survival of self as well as the species. It was characterized by rules, heterosexual reproduction and safety (food, shelter and clothing). Enamored with nurturing, albeit crude, the family also served to educate the young, much like animals educate their offspring.
Progressing throughout recorded history, the family unit, let’s just call it the family, has evolved in function, form and features; yet, regardless of the changes, always served as the bedrock of social and cultural life and was revered, sought and protected because people understood the critical nature of the family to survival, legacy and individual reputation.
Toward the Industrial Age, families became larger, primarily due to the functional need to support the family farm in agricultural pursuits. Once again, survival was paramount and acknowledged by all. Love, not a subject of casual conversation in the public at the time, remained at the core of the family as it was considered to be the “X” Factor of sorts and the “right thing to do” with respect to how adults were expected to behave and interact with each other. What a concept, yes?
Let’s fast-forward to today. The traditional “family” is disrespected, ridiculed, demonized and undermined at every crossroad including television, media, government and education. Make no mistake, the destruction of the family as the core instrument of society and culture, has consequences; significant consequences.
“At the heart of the dismantling of the family, are sexual deviance/perversion, violence, and Godlessness. Together, these behaviors have become hallmark mindsets of our generation that collectively serve to undermine the family as the core and biblical unit of our species as human beings. They serve to impact our future in the most adverse scenario. Continuing to follow this path, we will ultimately lose our identity as children of God and only recognize ourselves as physical and mortal organisms.”
To combat this trend and destructive energy, we must change the way we think about the family. We must restore its reverence and meaning and we must painstakingly strive to protect and secure its future. And the way we will accomplish this goal is to change our personal thinking and bring back God into our lives. God and faith in Him are the antidote and foundation to the elimination of immorality and the downfall of society. Sin is our enemy, not God! God is the cure.
Any person with a logical mind that has studied the Scientific Method, knows about simple Cause and Effect and Root Cause Analysis, as the basis of effective problem solving. What we face now in America can be objectively and logically identified and understood, if we are willing to acknowledge and accept the responsibility to understand that each of us are a part of the problem. Most importantly, that each of us are equally the key to addressing and resolving the problem. It is not the job of other people to fix it, but rather, it is everyone’s job; it is Your job and it is My job. WE MUST OWN THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND MINDSET.
And the way we approach this problem aligns with the way we approach our lives. Invite God into your life. Submit to His Presence as the Divine Father. Learn how to live in His Light, Obey His Instructions for mankind and promote that mindset to others. Let your actions serve as testimony to the Truth. Let the Light of God shine in your life and permeate the world.
Economic bondage, Spiritual Decay, Health Issues and Decaying/Toxic Relationships, along with all of the afflictions of this world that have plagued our species, originate and are manifested, as sin in direct relation to our ability (or inability) to think, act, behave and consciously choose God’s way of life. We must deliberately decide to follow God and rebuke sin. It is clearly an All or Nothing scenario.
The tools to accomplish this transformation include prayer, role model emulation, love and compassion for others. The visible by-products of these efforts will be enhanced self-esteem, dignity, integrity, respect and inner peace. I call these things our Spiritual DNA. Over time, the adoption of this new mindset will cleanse our minds, spirits and souls and will demonstrate to the world around us that we choose God as our savior and redeemer.
Only then will things begin to get better.
Only then will the quality of our lives improve.
Only then will eternal life and salvation be once again within our reach.
Only then will we be saved.
The True Power of Being is to Know your Purpose in Life…
by Michael Cerkas
I live to Love, I live to Be…
For this I Long, for this is Me.
I think of You, I think of All…
How grand is Life, how great the Call.
For others Woe, for others Strain…
I feel the Hurt, I suffer their Pain.
To simply Help, to simply Try…
For this I Live, for this I Die.
To live Forever, to live in Light…
I’ve found my Place, I know it’s Right.
There is all Love, there is all Peace,
My senses Feel, Distractions Cease.
Now perfect Is, now perfect Still…
Behold my Lord, behold His
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Pointedly, it is in these times that try the souls of mankind, that we must remind ourselves of the larger mosaic of life and our purpose as a part of it… Perspective is Paramount. Context is Crucial.
In this Ying and Yang world we live in, it’s all about alignment, balance and learning. Yet, without awareness, we learn nothing. Throughout our lives, hopefully, we learn that to have a friend, you must first be one. To seek forgiveness from someone you must equally forgive; especially and including yourself.
We are taught the “Golden Rule“; which is to Do unto Others as you would have them Do unto You. Stephen Covey said it best with regard to relationships; “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.
Indeed, our worlds are saturated with complementary and sometimes opposing forces. Forces, necessary for change, growth and survival. Forces, equally essential for redemption and personal salvation. And as the word connotes, “force” can at times be personally unpleasant in nature.
When we were children, many of us were guided by our parents and taught that work must come…
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In the rush of everyday life, a person’s perceptive tendencies can be dulled by all of life’s distractions, resulting in a blurred and reduced awareness of reality, of events, of connecting the dots in everyday life to be able to recognize patterns, trends and Truth. As a Christian, one believes in the words of the Bible, in the history of it, the matter of fact of it, the prophecies of it; the present and future reality of it.
At the same time, however, we live our everyday lives the best that we can, we parent our children the best that we can, we do our jobs the best that we can; we live as Christians the best that we can.
“And that is precisely what brings us to The “Elephant in the Room”, and the obvious question directed at discerning whether we would actually be able to recognize, or perceive, if the prophecies in the Bible have been, and are, unfolding and occurring right in front of us, without our even being aware of it.”
Admittedly, not an expert in the Bible, this author is aware of the concept of “End Times” and the associated characteristics that accompany it. Undeniably present and real in today’s world, several, prophecized events or indicators of the End Times include:
- A Rapid Accumulation of Knowledge (Internet)
- Violence and Sexual Immorality (Hollywood / Gay & Lesbian Lifestyle)
- Earthquakes (Steadily Increasing Frequency and Magnitude)
- Christians being Killed because of their Faith (Radical Islam / ISIS)
These are the more obvious and observable indicators of the End Time Prophecy in the Bible. Connecting the dots of these and other events or realities is a difficult task at best, however, these trends are indisputable and occurring in the world today.
- Regular and fervent Prayer
- Genuine effort to become more familiar with the Bible
- Sincerely work to live our lives to serve as examples for our children and others to witness
- Obtain Personal Gratification from living a Righteous life
- Strive to spend 10 minutes of Reflection on a Daily Basis
- Leverage opportunities to help others and demonstrate good will
- Promote Optimism and Positive Action toward others
- Regularly practice Forgiveness
- Consciously avoid thoughts of Revenge, Immorality and Irreverence
In short, many people have become out-of-focus and living as zombies, and have become immune to the world that surrounds (and impacts) them, focusing exclusively on the “routine” of life, striving to maximize opportunities for leisure while minimizing controversy and conflict. What gets lost in the process, however, is our fundamental, our predestined purpose for being here; to help others, to learn about ourselves and to prepare for eternity.
Find your faith. Be a Christian. Don’t be a zombie. Be well.