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Beware Of Darkness!


Van_Gogh_Starry_Night

Van Gogh – The Starry Night

There is no doubt that many of us have witnessed evil in our lifetimes.  Evil is so hideous, in fact, it leaves long-lasting memories, perhaps better called nightmares, with anyone that has experienced its realm.

Like being “broke”, however, in the financial sense, evil really does not exist as an entity.  It is what remains when Truth and Light are removed.  More aptly, evil is a vacuum, it is the unwanted, unattractive filth that remains in the absence of God.

When a person is in financial straits, we say he/she is broke.  In reality, however, being broke is the vacuum that is created when one loses their financial wealth.

“And so it is with darkness.  Darkness is not anything tangible that you can touch, measure or quantify.  What we experience as darkness is merely and simply, the absence of light.  Darkness can assume many different forms in life; it can be violence, it can be hopelessness, it can be fear and despair.  At its foundation, the common denominator that defines darkness and enables it to be experienced, is the absence of God”.

Similarly, light can manifest itself in people in many ways.  Light can be reflected by the words a person speaks, the facial gestures thatTree_Shadow indicate compassion (smile, caring, joy, empathy; yes, even tears), the behaviors that demonstrate and witness the goodness, humility, peace and forgiveness of God.  Notably, the presence of God is evidenced by Love.  Where there is love, there is God.

Light is fueled by noble, positive and caring thoughts, actions and attitude/demeanor.  Each of us creates Positive Energy by choice.  It’s all about “intent”.  It’s how we choose to think, act and importantly, react.  Each of us is responsible for our actions.  Each of us is likewise accountable for those actions.

Without ever really knowing it, we have become conditioned since birth to associate evil with darkness.  Fears of going down into the dark basement; anxiety of walking alone down a dimly or eerily lit block at dusk; frantically searching for a flashlight or candle when the power goes out at home.  Whether these examples truly reflect evil is not the point, the point is that darkness creates fear as darkness equates with evil.

Waterfall_SunshineNow then, how does one go about confronting something that really does not exist?  Easy!  Evil (darkness) is confronted and vanished by Light (positive thoughts and actions, optimism, morally-based behavior, decisions and intent).  Core values steeped in moral and ethical behavior, worked over time into the creation of habits; the anticipation of positive events in life that directly impact each of us; gratitude, humility and faith for the good things when they do occur.  This is the foundation of Light and Truth.  It it the Invitation for God to enter our soul and enrich us as human beings, it is our fate; if we so choose it.

As complex as reality and the human condition have become, when we wade through the murky water of life and relationships, it all boils down to the fundamental concept of Darkness and Light.  How wise is God to have chosen this simple yet effective metaphor to illustrate who He is and what He desires for each of us?

One thing that is paramount in life is that details matter, down to the most minute and up to the most obvious.  To walk in the Light, we must be ever so vigilant to take notice and deliberately choose all our thoughts, words, actions, relationships, behaviors, etc., so that they align, support and yield the results we intend, for ourselves and for those we influence.

Christ-the-Redeemer-overlooking-Rio-De-Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer – Rio De Janeiro

There is indeed a real sense of responsibility, accountability and impact each of us must accept as Christians.  Being a Christian is not analogous to a light switch, where we consciously turn it on and off.  Like life itself, breathing and our heart beat; it must be continuous for it to work as intended.

In the future, make sure to remember that every little thought, decision, action, intention and influence we create is like that small ripple in the water that is created when a stone is tossed into a lake; from the point of entry, a small wave begins and travels outward forever, impacting everything in its path.  Let’s make each of those interactions we create with others, positive and well-intended.

With absolute certainty, those actions, like the boomerang, inevitably return to us in due time.  Remember, All Things Must Pass.  Be well.

 

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Without Winter – There Would Be No Spring


winter_sunshine_2-wallpaper-1366x768Viewed individually, various events and occurrences in life appear discrete, independent and ordinary.  Yet, when examined at a macro level, join to form a mosaic and fabric of cosmic and supernatural dimension, previously unnoticed, unknown and seemingly hidden as camouflaged fauna in the forest.

Life illustrates interdependence and purpose.  It demands and provides perspective; creates balance and alignment; offers insight, understanding and is the precursor to appreciation, knowledge and wisdom.  It’s sole purpose is to enable spiritual growth and maturity.

The Seasons of life present cyclic patterns that yield rhythmic frequency, vibration & harmony.  These elemental constructs Signs_of_Springrepresent the fundamental nature of all matter and energy.  Moreover, life offers a synergistic and systemic glimpse into the exceedingly complex and symbiotic environment we call our “world”.

“The seasons of nature are inextricably woven together to create a tapestry of nature that features seamless transitions and repeating patterns.  Patterns that tease and delight the senses and awaken and align the soul to the secrets of life.”

All around us, seemingly opposite and mutually exclusive concepts and events in reality, are linked together and truly cannot exist without their counterpart and furthermore, cause their counterpart to likewise exist.  It is impossible for Good to exist without Bad, Growth without Dormancy, Warmth without Cold, Beauty without Bland, Young without Old, Light without Darkness, Redemption without Sin and Birth without Death.

beautiful_forest_scenery-wallpaper-1366x768Together, these opposing forces compose the world we know and live in.  One must truly appreciate the undesirable aspects of life, for without them, the positive and desirable features of our world could simply not exist.  Indeed, they are defined by them.

Absent these complementary aspects of life, our world would quiver and shake like an unbalanced tire on a car, disrupting our ride through life, sending it out of control, preventing our focus on anything, resulting in a random, unordered and unintelligent primordial mess.

Autumn_Color_LakeOddly, order out of chaos, harmony and balance is achieved because of these choice-creating dichotomies in our world; but only if and when we choose the outcomes that complement the core values that are manifest in our spirits and souls.  Profoundly, this is our charge in life, to create or achieve the perfect balance that produces harmony.

I’ve always been enamored with the inner peace that unadulterated nature produces within me as I experience it.  A void is created that consumes worries, fears, anger and anxiety as a black hole consumes matter.  Time appears to stand still and clarity of purpose presents itself in crystalized purity.  Indeed, silence speaks volumes.

The perfect passage for this is illustrated in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Take the time to consider all the apparent conflicts in your life and make an effort to create a sense of gratitude for them in your heart, for your journey would not be able to realize a fitting conclusion without them.  Be well.

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Are You the Shadow or the Light?


Sunrise_Above_CloudsAs darkness is truly and simply the absence of light, it follows that the evidence of light is revealed in the shadow(s) it creates upon its presence, when set with a background.  In much the same way of thinking, the evidence of God is revealed in the behaviors of others upon His presence, with the world as a backdrop.  As with light and God, it is difficult to view both directly as they are piercingly brilliant and vanquish all darkness around them.

Many individuals find comfort in being the shadow, believing in their hearts that their Shadow_Loveefforts are noble, and hence, their salvation secure.  As with any and most conventions, however, the genuine truth lies somewhere beneath the surface and beyond the image.  Artificial light is precisely that; not real and only reflective of true light.

“What, then, is true light?  It begins with pure intent and robust knowledge, and is complemented with action.”

It is a fervent desire to learn as much as possible about God, the Trinity, and perhaps most practical, how to apply that knowledge to everyday life.  Amazingly, it is the resulting change in us as human beings, once affected by God’s love.  Bottom line, it is the ability to positively impact those around us by sharing our thoughts, words, lives and actions (key word; action).

Easter_CrucifixI’d like to profoundly modify the historic quote by Lao Tzu from “To Know and Not Do is to Not Know”, to “To Know God and Not Do is to Not Know God”.  As spiritual beings, we are compelled by our heritage to “Do” the work of God and not simply know about it.  To Do God’s work inherently enlightens us as Christians and positively impacts those around us with whom we have contact and interaction.

Importantly, there is a distinct and meaningful difference between being the shadow and being the light.  If we were made to live and walk in God’s image, then it is incumbent upon us to strive to become the light and not be content to be merely the shadow.

The Light is warmth, peace, illumination, clarity, awareness, calm, joy, beauty and confirmation.  Most of all, it is Love.  It is the presence of all that is good and righteous.  Be the Light, become eternal and dare I say, become Inspired!

Melting a Hardened Heart begins with Forgiveness


Heart_in_Hand_ValuesOur 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 our existence being inextricably melded with sin.  I will be the first to offer that I am not a perfect human being, I am a sinner as are we all.  Yet, that knowledge does not only prevent me from striving on a daily basis to offset that curse with positive thoughts, but in fact, motivates me to transform my positive thoughts into actions and behaviors of goodwill toward others.

lotus_hi_resAs atoms comprise molecules and molecules form matter, from the infinitely tiny, progressively to large, significant and impactful; each positive thought, behavior and action, from one person to the next, synergistically combine to form a peaceful, calming and equally positive environment for all of us to share and enjoy.

Yet, this eloquent soliloquy cannot be collectively “heard” by others without consistent energy being applied by many in unison.  Evil acts, events and momentum have increasingly been witnessed in our world in the past century; blindingly in the past week.  For many, the unfortunate fate and future for our world, has already been accepted as inevitable and the will, conviction and resiliency to continue toward peace and Light has been all but squelched into complacency, desensitizing many and creating a numbness of spirit.

I proclaim to you that Now is the time, to recommit to the Truth, to recognize, realize and envision the positive outcome we still hold dear in our hearts, of a world where peace is the norm, where people willingly and regularly extend a helping hand to their neighbors and likewise to those they do not know.

“Evil is as real as the air we breathe and unfortunately, as necessary to remind us of our singular purpose and destiny in life.”

ForgivenessWe are all children of God whether or not we care to admit and accept it.  And as sure as the sun rises each day, we will be held to account for our lives once that light ceases to permeate our physical being.  It is never too late to melt a hardened heart, yet it will not materialize without Love and Compassion, and most importantly, Forgiveness.

So let us each find the courage and energy to identify those areas within our lives where we desperately need to forgive someone of a wronged past, perhaps a hurtful word or failure to support or console us in our time of need.  Let us recognize the root of forgiveness is to “give” to others of ourselves, to rid our souls of the blackness that is in truth, an absence of Light, and to replace that dark void with warm feelings of camaraderie, goodwill, peace and Love.

Amazingly, we will find a new wealth that is defined and valued by the warmth it creates and the goodness it resonates.  Let us reach heal-the-world-posterout now to mend those broken fences, comfort those that have hurt us or that we have hurt, lift up our hearts to that higher vibration and energy known as Love.

Genuine Peace of the world is within our reach; if indeed, we only in fact, reach out for it.  I call it Spiritual Maturity and our world desperately needs it now.

Please, listen and meditate on the lyrics of this Angelic Song emblazoned by the late Great Ray Charles…  and then; transform those positive and heartfelt emotions into visible actions and an enduring behavior of goodwill, camaraderie, and Love toward others.

The Power of Forgiveness is REAL; the Truth of Love is each of our responsibilities.   When we eliminate the darkness of sin that is characterized by hate and apathy, only Love remains…  Be well.

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