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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

An Angel In My Corner


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In the Christian world, God, Faith and the Bible are undeniably binary concepts; you either believe in them, or you don’t.   Specifically, the Bible, represents the “Word of God“, via its sixty six books; each book an account of God’s Word via a source.

My point is that when you believe in God, have faith and accept the Bible as God’s Word, i.e., Truth, it’s an all or nothing scenario.  Everything within the Bible; God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Satan, Demons, Miracles, Saints, Sin, Heaven, Hell, Salvation, Eternal Life, and Angels, come along for the ride.  And, oh, what a ride it is!

Indeed, I have a special reverence and interest in Angels.

black and gray angel statue decor

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Throughout my life, like many other people, I have had my brushes with danger, personal injury, even death.  Yet, looking back, I have always felt an extraordinary sense of reassurance, when in dangerous situations, that God was with me, either directly, or via an Angel.

Having always been a steadfast believer that there are no coincidences in life, it is very logical to me that the explanation for these moments of danger and protection, is the existence and presence of Angels in our lives.

There has been many times, I’ve had the feeling that someone or something was near me, protecting me, guiding me, accompanying me.  Some might refer to it as ESP (Extra Sensory Perception), or Clairvoyance; perhaps even luck.

“Well, in my world, luck only exists as a theory.  Every moment, every interaction, every scenario, outcome, experience and reaction; is driven by my belief in God, my faith, my values and my kismet.  Without question, we all have choices as a result of God’s gift of free will, yet Jesus Christ clearly stated he already knew us even before we were born.”

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

red lighted candle

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Angels, creatures of Heaven, assume specific roles in each of our lives on earth.  They provide Comfort, Protection, Patience, Salvation, and Unconditional Love.   Created by God, Angels are messengers that serve mankind, each with a specific mission.

Like so many things in this world, if you believe in something with all your heart, that belief becomes your Truth.  Positive energy flows in an unstoppable fashion, so it goes without saying that maintaining a positive outlook and disposition in life is paramount to creating positive outcomes, for each of us.

“Angels are intelligent reflections of light, that original light which has no beginning.  They can illuminate.  They do not need tongues or ears, for they can communicate without speech, in thought.” 

 – John of Damascus

Rest assured, you have already been visited by, perhaps, even entertained in human form, an Angel in your life.   Everyone needs and deserves, an Angel in their corner.

Faith – Hooked On A Feeling


shield-of-faith

©DeniseBeverly

As 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!

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.

 

To Believe is to See


Believing_Is_SeeingContrary to the old axiom, “Seeing is Believing”, truth, reality and wisdom indicate otherwise.  If you take the time to really think about it, you will discover that what you see is truly dependent upon what you believe.  To reference another legendary quote, “Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder”; meaning, each person perceives (or sees) beauty in their own unique way.

And so it is with how we perceive the world around us.  What each of us considers beauty, or happiness, perhaps even evil, resonates from our souls and is inextricably connected to our core beliefs and values of good, bad, right, wrong; and oh yes, God.Child_Smiling

Two people can witness the same event and come away with completely opposite impressions of what occurred.  A football game, an auto accident, an interaction between two people, a sunset, trees swaying in the wind, a child’s smile.  And although all of our senses contribute to our images and memories in our lives, it is singularly our sight that influences us most.

Crimson_sunsetThe colors of the rainbow, rosy red cheeks in winter, a crimson horizon emblazoned with a fiery ball, that eerily cast shadow of a building, the tears of a crying child, the sadness of a broken heart.  Each scenario generates images in your mind; images that are influenced by each of our pasts, experiences and memories.

When I see… An old aluminum fishing boat, the visions in my mind immediately crystalize of daysMirro_Deep_Fisherman spent fishing with my dad, enjoying the peaceful sunrise on the water, sharing a sandwich, exchanging ideas; and loving every second of our time together.

When I see… An American Flag, emotions of sacrifice, pain, and immense gratitude fill my heart, because I know that tens of thousands of patriotic and brave soldiers fought for my right to be free, to live where I wish, to travel where I desire, to write of my thoughts.

When I see… an elderly person walking slowly, with a slight hitch in their gait, yet a Agnes_Cerkaspeaceful smile on their face, thoughts of kindness and helpfulness, perseverance, family and humility enter my mind, for I can see a life spent serving others and caring for themselves last.  Most assuredly I see an image of my mom.

So you see, it all originates within your heart and soul.  Your essence, your spiritual DNA as I like to call it, determines what you truly see in the world that surrounds, yet includes and depends on you.  Truly, each of us chooses what we see as we open our eyes.  We see with our heart and our soul, we create the image and memory of our focus, we relate our experiences in life to everything our eyes enable us to perceive.

The Truth of the matter is that we create our lives with every tick of the clock, beat of the heart and belief in our soul.  If we genuinely desire a better world for us and for our children, let it begin with positive thoughts of gratitude, humility, generosity, peace, reverence and respect.

WhiteDoveI have a vision not only of my past, and not only for my future, but a vision of the world that Can be what I desire it to be.  And the most profound realization of all is that I can most assuredly create that future world, by seeing what I believe, by projecting my positivity to individuals when we interact, to my family on a daily basis and to the world when they read my words expressing my thoughts and ideas.

Do you See what I mean?

 

Believing without Seeing – Normalizing Faith


It is said that on average, approximately 86% of us believe in God.  In itself, that number is staggering when one considers the not-so-nice realities of life, i.e., murder, violent crime, robbery, lawsuits, domestic abuse, wars, etc.  We have invariably all become desensitized, to a degree, to this ‘anti-love’ that seems to be continuously escalating all around us.

Yet, the vast majority of us still ‘believe‘.  Does that sound incredible to you?  Does it even appear rational or logical?  Let’s look at this phenomenon from a different perspective, or appropriately, in a different light.

In many ways, our individual lives are on ‘auto-pilot’ to a much higher degree than most of us  are willing to admit, acknowledge or even accept.  When you place that bag of popcorn in the microwave oven and push the button labeled popcorn, you fully expect to be eating popcorn in less than three minutes.  You also fully expect to hear the sound of the corn popping and the bag to slowly inflate as the kernels are popped.  But do you actually see the transformation occurring or do you simply and only witness the popcorn bag get bigger while hearing it pop?

When you visit your doctor to get an x-ray of your arm, you undoubtedly remember hearing and seeing the machine methodically hover over your arm as you keep it perfectly still.  Without question, you believe the subsequent x-ray picture the doctor shares with you represents your anatomy as opposed to someone else’s.  In reality, however, did you witness first-hand the development of that x-ray from the time it was taken to the time you review it with your doctor?  The logical answer is of course, no.  You simply believe it is what you think it is.

Both of these examples involve trusting and believing in something or expecting something to happen as a direct result of some action.  Both examples demonstrate “believing without seeing”.  And so it is precisely with regard to faith as it pertains to God or religion.

We have either been taught or have reached a conclusion via personal experience or research that God is real (as are microwave ovens and x-rays) and we subsequently believe without ever having physically seen God.  We reach the same result of belief by witnessing symptoms of God in the world around us, much like we reach the result of beliefs in technology or science by witnessing symptoms of related behavior in the world around us.

We associate the well-intended actions and wishes of others with the power of God working in other people’s lives, we connect the dots of seemingly unrelated events occurring in sequence, resulting in an individual being saved from harm or death.  We witness the unique circumstances of a person unwittingly being in a particular place at a particular time to experience a life-changing action.  Or, we experience the indescribable and breathtaking beauty of a sunset, mountain, cloud formation or natural phenomenon.

When viewed using these analogies, having faith is truly and fundamentally no different than believing in microwave ovens or x-ray technology.  Without fail, however, people question the existence of God and faith while never bothering to question how a microwave oven works (or that it works) as well as the seemingly magical x-ray picture as a perfect representation of the inside of your body.

As Mr. Spock would say as he has so many times in Star Trek, “This is highly illogical”.  In many ways, we have been conditioned to question the validity of faith and God, while having been equally conditioned to simply accept the reality and truth of technology and science.

Faith, as a concept or even as a tangible thing, is really no different at all from any other concept or thing in our world and environment, i.e., radiation, fire, television, water, the air that we breathe.

The important point in all of this and in life, is to consider our lives and our experiences, and then to reach our own conclusions about what is real, what is imaginary and what we choose to believe and believe in.  The distilled essence, of course, is what represents truth along with “what is truth?”

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”  –  Thomas Jefferson

“Try it… You’ll Like it”


ImageFaith is the miracle-drug to Health, Happiness and Mental stability. It’s free, very powerful, everlasting and the only side-effects are a propensity to help others, think positively and demonstrate gratitude…

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