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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.

shallow focus photography of hourglass

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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
smiling man and woman wearing jackets

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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

 

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

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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.

 

 

Parallel Paths – The Intersection of Life and Death


Ying_Yang_2From childhood and on throughout our lives, we develop and maintain the mindset that life and death are mutually exclusive states.  I’m here to tell you that they not only coexist, yet further, simultaneously exist in each of us.

“The moment we are born, we begin dying and the only thing we control is to what extent we live while we are breathing.  Death has this context of inevitable finality about it, yet it is exclusively a result of not knowing anything about it; or worse, being unwilling to learn its nature and invite it into our lives, so we can better prepare for it.”

Each of us have friends, family, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and yes, pets, that have ceased to live, yet are Destiny_1vibrantly alive in our memories.  We create this righteous attitude of sorrow for their death, yet in reality, the sorrow we create is selfishly directed at OUR loss, not theirs.

Likewise, we are very good at identifying the right things to say to our loved ones, but only AFTER they cease to live, as we know it.  The challenge, you see, is to identify these right things to say, and then say them, to these special lives, while they are still breathing!

And life goes on, with new life being created and existing life exiting this place we call our world.   Beings coming and going, sometimes intersecting with others, at other times, traveling alone; much like molecules bumping into each other in a chemistry beaker.

And as random and insignificant as life sometimes appears to us, it is truly, so very special, so magnificent and such a gift that it behooves us to celebrate it with every breath we take in, lest it be our last.

LightningThe world today contains so many distractions, from life, from our spirit and soul, from each other and from God.  Yes, at times we need that bolt of lightning to remind us of our priorities.  Consider this article that little nudge to refocus your priority list, rekindle that spark and zest for living, remember to smile and greet everyone you encounter with goodwill, and lastly, to revive your gratitude for the gift of life you are enjoying as you read this.

Yes, much like the tracks that we know with certainty are parallel, we Railroad_Tracks_Convergeequally know as life embraces death, the tracks converge and eventually intersect, transporting our spirit into eternity, anxiously reconnecting with all those vibrant memories which then become our new reality.

You see, we’ve got it all wrong.  Death is but a door, a transformation of energy and a portal to our future.  It is not to be feared, but importantly, prepared for and anticipated.  Until then, live with passion and practice compassion for others; live your conscience and Look for the Good.  I’ll be watching.

 

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Resurrecting The Forgotten Family – Remember When


Family ConceptNever 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.Family_Caveman

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.”

Family_ChristianTo 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 proPower_of_Prayer_1blem.  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, SSpiritual-Journeypiritual 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.

Is Reality Television the Scourge of America and the Family?


 

The buzz of Hollywood, the fatal attraction of entertainment, the mesmerizing capture of our attention by television and video.  It has lured us in, stimulated our senses, and in some cases actually entertained us.  But mostly, it has altered our sense of what is real and has blurred the line between reality, fantasy, fiction and entertainment.

Most disturbingly, for many individuals, it has largely REPLACED true reality as truth.  If you contrast most of what is available on television and in movies, you will find it does NOT reflect the reality of mainstream America nor the real lives of most Americans.  It is primarily “wishful thinking”.

The increasing stresses and pressures we all face as human beings, with our families, jobs, neighborhoods, schools and friends have collectively made it very attractive to seek outlets to relieve the stress, or make it completely go away, at least for an hour each week, as we watch these reality shows.

The “inconvenient truth” of this reality is that we watch an inordinate amount of television each day and week of our ‘lives’.  According to a U.S. Government, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) study in June, 2012 (using 2011 data), the average person over age 15 spends 2.8 hours/day watching television.

Considering work, travel, sleep and miscellaneous daily activities associated with normal living, i.e., laundry, cleaning, cooking, prayer/spiritual health, administrative/financial, personal hygiene; I would offer that the average person realistically possesses at most, less than 6 hours of ‘free time’ every day.

Doing the math, then, 2.8 hours of watching television equates to roughly 47% of our discretionary time every day.

If we consciously choose to invest that amount of time every day for this single activity, it will consequently and realistically impact or alter our sense of reality, our ability to think, apply logic and ultimately influence how we make decisions.  Much like the age-old saying, “You are what you eat”, I propose that cognitively, “You are what you watch”.

The BIGGER question is what impact Reality Television has already had on the ‘Family’ as the core social unit for us as human beings?

 

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