As human beings, we interact with the world as physical organisms; that is to say, we use and respond with our senses. And as a result, we spend a lifetime conditioning ourselves in this way, yet God created us in His image, and that image reflects a Trinity of consciousness; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And to be specific, it is singularly, the Holy Spirit that God infused into our being as humans, that sets us apart from other “organisms”. It manifests itself as our conscience (aka, that little voice inside us), and guides us throughout our life; if we choose to listen to it, and act upon it.
When Jesus Christ graced the earth, as flesh and blood, like us, people could easily comprehend His authenticity and Truth, because they could speak with Him, touch Him, see Him, hear Him, even smell him. Indeed, they got a taste of eternity, without even knowing it. Similarly, To Believe is To See.
Upon His physical death, brilliant Resurrection, and subsequent glorious Ascension, however, our physical senses became inadequate to directly experiencing Jesus Christ, the human being; the physical organism. To be sure, God supplanted the memory of the physical Saviour with non-direct methods/alternatives to positively communicate the still, living Jesus Christ to humanity.
Miracles, His work through others, nature/environment, the Holy Spirit, and Supernatural events have been recorded in time that point to the fact and reality that Jesus Christ (along with God and the Holy Spirit) is Alive and is living in eternity. Body, Mind, and Soul are humanity’s trinity in the image of God, and our Portal to our next life.
“Likewise, where our human and physical senses end (hear, see, smell, touch, taste), our Divine or Godly senses begin. Space and Time (body), via balance and equilibrium; Intuition (mind), via ESP; and Divine Communication (soul), via faith. Collectively, these eight senses work together to enable and empower our ability to recognize, acknowledge, and embrace the True God throughout our entire earthly life, preparing us for a real, personal, and tangible reunion with God, upon our physical death.”
And because we were truly created in His image, it is understandable that we travel a similar path leading us into eternity. Our physical birth, life, suffering, joy, pain, free will, and death, perfectly mimic that of Jesus Christ. And it similarly goes without saying, that our destiny is an ascension into heaven for our Final Act. But only, if we truly Believe in God, His Divine Nature, His Unbridled Power, His Perfect Being of Forgiveness, Grace, Love, Judgment, Justness, and His Eternal Presence. For I is Singular For But One.
Achieving Heaven is truthfully simple, albeit perhaps not easy, yet completely within our control. Established rules provide boundaries and desired/expected behaviors (Bible), and Free Will affords us the opportunity to create our own unique future via our thoughts, actions, and ultimately, accountability.
What if… There is indeed a God;
What if… God created the Universe and Humankind;
What if… Humankind was given the gift of Free Will;
What if… through the gift of Free Will, Humankind determined their future and fate;
What if… that future and fate included where Each Human being spends their eternity;
What if… that eternity was defined as Heaven and (or) Hell;
What if… Those that believe in God create their own Heaven after physical death;
What if… Those that believe there is no God, create their own Hell after physical death;
What if… Heaven is an ethereal consciousness with only Beauty, Peace, and Love;
What if… Hell is an eternity of Darkness, Pain, Fear, void of God and Light;
What if… We had this Gift all along and never realized it could be that Powerful;
What if… God left His Consciousness for us to have by simply Choosing to have it;
What if… The Bible was in fact, the Truth of Life Everlasting, of Good and Evil;
What if… Our physical life is but a single phase of the transformation of form;
What if… Our Mind and Spirit truly live Forever;
What if… The Future is ours to create;
Los Lonely Boys (Heaven)
Save me from this prison
Lord, help me get away
‘Cause only you can save me now
from this misery
I’ve been lost in my own place
and I’m getting’ weary
How far is heaven?
And I know that I need to change
my ways of livin’
How far is heaven?
Lord, can you tell me?
I’ve been locked up way too long
in this crazy world.
How far is heaven?
And I just keep on prayin’, Lord
And just keep on livin’.
Amidst the increasing turmoil in the world, politically, spiritually, culturally and scientifically; one stands out from the others in an amazing way. Our spiritual well-being (read: faith) is the singular aspect of our life that we completely and unequivocally determine, ourselves.
Faith, you see, is created and lives inside each of us, if we allow it there. Free Will, the gift God gave us, empowers us to choose for ourselves, what we believe, how we think, how we act, and ultimately, how we live… Forever.
Growing up as a Catholic, I was taught that “Church” was a holy place and a place of
worship. That is still true today, however, my view of Church has matured to realize that in the entirety of religion and faith, Church is funadamentally, a place. In my truth of the world, Prayer is very important, however, I believe one can pray anywhere.
We are doing ourselves a great disservice by creating an imaginary boundary by thinking we are only allowed to pray, to exercise our faith, to grow as Spiritual Beings of God, in a particular place.
“The reality is that prayer can be exercised ANYWHERE, and all that is required is that your mind is properly prepared, that your mindset is pure, humble and in reverence to the Holiness of God. And when you begin to pray, place is inconsequential, immaterial and irrelevant. What IS essential, is the the intent in your heart, the authenticity of your thoughts, and the determination to follow-through on your conversation with God.”
To a large degree, all organized religions have their own self-induced boundaries, limitations, rules and expectations for followers to behaviorally exhibit as requirements to “belong”. While reverence and tradition are certainly important, they are, specific to each religion, intended to control your thoughts and behavior, and fundamentally, keep you coming back, in a survival type of mentality.
With no disrespect intended, I find that demoralizing, overbearing and unnecessary. To clarify, I proclaim myself a Christian, rather than a Catholic. As evidenced in the world today, Satan has wormed his way into Catholicism, the Papal Office and yes, even the Church, i.e., the Holy Place of Worship.
As a Christian, I am a Christ-follower. I rely on the Free Will, the intent of my Heart and the Goodness in my Soul, to direct my faith, including when and where I pray. My foundation is the Bible, not a physical place, but rather, a Supernatural Space.
Indeed, time will tell for each of us… God Bless and Be Well. Pray, because your eternal life depends upon it.
Certainly worth the wait….
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.
And 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.
It’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!
Electricity 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!
One 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?
We’ve all heard about and perhaps have even read books about the grand nature of life, e.g., “The Purpose Driven Life“, by Rick Warren; “Chicken Soup for the Soul“, by Jack Canfield; “Heaven is for Real“, by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, and “The Last Lecture“, by Randy Pausch.
Books like these, present us with an opportunity to change or better comprehend our perspectives about the significance of (our) life, perhaps a deeper meaning or connection with our spirit and overwhelmingly, insight into our human nature. They are, without question, all great reads.
What if I told you, however, that how we die is more important than how we live? Would you immediately disagree? How could this be true? Isn’t death an ending? Why focus on the negative?
Certainly, these are all relevant and valid questions or thoughts about something we know precious little about, yes? Yet, if one views life as an accumulation of knowledge, experience, wisdom and dare I say, faith; well, now you know the purpose of this discussion.
“Have you ever uttered that age-old phrase, “If I had known then what I know now…”? Trust me , you’re not alone. The essence of that quip, is that living life yields much insight into ourselves, our situation, our environment, and the world, as it relates to people and relationships.”
Many factors intertwine to make us who we are today. Among them, our childhood, the location(s) we’ve resided, family, friends, education, information about the world, events, and especially our faith.
I’ve assembled a punch list of 10 factors that influence just how prepared we will be when we die. Prepared, you might ask? For what? Well, prepared for what follows our death, of course. The following net outcomes at the time of our death largely determine our path forward:
- Have we truly accepted Christ as King?
- Have we “Chosen Wisely” using our Free Will?
- How did we utilize our Time on earth?
- Were we motivated in moving toward life or Running Away?
- Did we present ourselves to others in an Authentic fashion?
- Have we developed a sense of Inner Peace?
- How effective were we at dealing with Change?
- Were we in a faithful Mental State?
- Did we consider the Bigger Picture as we made decisions?
- How effectively did we demonstrate Compassion and Love for others?
As evidenced above, when we die is truly irrelevant in the Grand Scheme of our Eternal Existence. The things we accumulated during our lives are likewise meaningless as they remain behind in their entirety.
What matters, when our physical life is distilled, is how prepared were we to die all along the way. Collectively, our priorities, values, mindset and intent represent the bellwether of how we are to be judged, held accountable and projected forward into eternity.
Indeed, it would be a cruel joke if God created us in His image, and then somehow, failed to provide us with the things we truly need to live a prosperous life as a Christian. And the truth of the matter is that each of us has what we need (note: not want) to experience an exceedingly rich and joyful life, if we choose to follow Christ‘s teaching; to avoid sin and love others without reservation.
“Perhaps by design to illustrate and test the construct of faith, God included many resources for us to enjoy. Yet, as our free will would have it, we at times, enjoy too much, obsess too much and exclude what matters too much; to the point we lose focus on what is good, what has been provided and what enriches our soul.”
There are numerous tasks each of us must not only perform, but rather, master, if we are to realize our potential as beautiful and uniquely special children of God. Among the critical few are to identify and develop self-awareness, core values, faith, discipline, compassion, respect and humility.
Collectively, these tasks prepare us to love one another, which is the ultimate end-game of our existence. And make no mistake, we have everything we need in this life to reach that goal, to fulfill our destiny.
It is our use of choice that solely determines the path we pursue, and the extent we realize our future. And a wise choice is to use prayer to seek God’s wisdom, grace and guidance to reveal answers that will lead us into eternity.
The enlightened choice is the one we make when it aligns with God’s will, plan and future. And we possess all the worldly resources necessary to meet His expectations. If only we choose to use what we need and avoid what we don’t. Choose wisely.
Arguably, Denial and Despair are the epitome of darkness. When light evades our thoughts and appears light-years away, denial and despair swoop in to conquer our souls, control our minds and forever shroud our lives in the absence of light; for that is precisely what darkness is defined as, the absence of light.
However, as physics dictates in our physical world, for every Action there is an Equal and Opposite Reaction . This most appropriately applies to Life & Death, Good & Evil, Denial & Acceptance, Despair & Hope.
So, as this hypothesis implies, surely, the mere presence of darkness, all but guarantees the existence of light, if only we open our hearts to its warmth, comfort and enlightenment. Indeed, Light destroys and metaphorically obliterates Darkness.
Regardless of the circumstance, every situation has multiple outcomes as a result of the decisions we consciously and deliberately make as human beings; every second of every minute of every hour, day, week, month and year of our lives.
Denial is the unwillingness to accept the Truth, whether it be our present situation, condition or foreseeable outlook in life. Likewise, Despair, the sister of Denial, saps the heart of self-assurance, comfort and hope. Together, they present a formidable “force”, if you will, that can be difficult to overcome, in the perfect storm. The perfect storm, that is, the world that WE create.
“Faith is the antidote for denial and despair. Faith in the Light, a solution in a sea of transparency adrift amid seemingly hopeless odds; Faith that our lives are worth saving, or better put, that our sacrifices in this life are worthy of eternal redemption.”
As much as each of us indeed creates our own existence and future, to a degree of arguable scope, we are undeniably influenced by others close to us and those that directed our actions, perhaps thoughts, as young children. That said, each of us are ultimately responsible (and accountable) for the lives we choose to create, lead and live.
Without question, overcoming denial and despair takes energy, strength and courage. All three characteristics, however, represent admirable and equally achievable outcomes for everyone. All it takes is spiritual and mental resolve, directing our free will to populate our minds and hearts with positive, healthy and self-fulfilling thoughts.
Bottom line, our lives are mere reflections of our thoughts, tendencies, hopes, fears, behaviors, habits, actions and resilience or will to actualize our spirit and nature. The cup will forever and eternally be both, half empty and half full. It’s simply a matter of to which we afford more energy.An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life… “A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, Which wolf will win?
The old Cherokee simply replied, The one you feed.”
Take the time, to examine your thoughts on a regular and frequent basis. Contemplate your values, apply them to facing dilemmas and solving problems; live a principled life. If you do that, you will live a life of no regrets and more importantly, better prepare your path and enhance the value of your journey toward the sun, the healing Light of the world, into your unique eternity. Be well.
As I reflect today upon my life (as I do daily), I can’t help but become overwhelmed, to the point of tears, with the amazing journey my life has taken, the multitude of paths I have walked; some pleasant and some otherwise. And the simply astonishing events, dare I say miracles, I have personally witnessed; miracles experienced by myself and upon others in my closest circles.
The collective synergy that these emotions of a lifetime have fused in my mind remains unsurpassed and most notably, unquestionable with regard to the authenticity and incomprehensible Power that I have created by faith.
As I’m sure you will attest, each of us are born with the power to think, analyze and critically, choose what to believe. The free will I speak of is not a result of some biological mutation, physical evolution or chemical reaction. Inexplicable by science, this innate ability to exercise our senses and minds and consequently integrate the data into thoughts, beliefs and memories, can only exist as a result of a deliberate plan or design. Indeed, none of us are here by accident… Not a single one of us.
I’ve seen and experienced awe-inspiring behavior by others, words of sacrifice, events beyond coincidence and yes, seemingly impossible outcomes that have unfolded into reality as naturally as a handful of sand blows into the wind and returns to its individually existing millions of granules of silica in a matter of seconds, transparently assimilating back into the environment from which it came forth. Effortless, magnificent and incredibly profound situations revealed by our sight, sound and mind, created without human intervention or prompting, yet relevantly impacting my life.
My point here is that I believe I am quite qualified to speak of my life in this fashion as you would equally be qualified to speak about yours; the clarity and certainty of the events; especially how, when and why they occurred.
This awareness of reality, at least the reality we are allowed to experience and understand, leads me directly to the conclusion that nothing in our lives occur by coincidence or as a result of some random experiential life generator.
“Each and every moment of our mortal lives occurs by design, within a plan and with specific outcomes for which we are to ponder the significance… and most profoundly, as a direct result of our free will to think, do and act as we choose.”
If one wholly acknowledges and accepts this tremendous, yet simple hypothesis, the resulting, inevitable and extraordinarily liberating Power that is created and realized by faith becomes confounding to our sense of logic as human beings. Oh, but how so real it is.
I can only offer to you how stimulating, inspiring and emotionally charged it is to witness life in this active mindset or frame of reference. My being and aura has always been deeply grounded in an unshakable, solid foundation of faith. And with this liberating sense of free will, most certainly, comes an equal amount of responsibility to exercise it with the utmost caution, integrity, compassion and sense of gratitude. To truly and genuinely experience a full life is akin to holding that “Tiger by the Tail”.
The immense energy we create by our minds, when based in a framework of morality, fairness, goodness and compassion, is indeed noble, significant and eternal. I am free to be me, and so it is my wish for you to experience an equally exhilarating sense of peace, joy and gratitude to be free, as you define it; but choose wisely, my friend. Be well.
- The Meaning of Life – How Much Are We Humanly Capable of Understanding? (robrieke.wordpress.com)
- What’s the Belief of Your Mind? (mindbehindtheface.wordpress.com)
- Daily Message… (truthlovepeace.net)
- Living In The Shadows – No More (cerkas.wordpress.com)
- Life’s SOS – Significance of Suffering (cerkas.wordpress.com)
I’ve shared my thoughts about Self-Awareness, Faith, God, the concept of “Being” and Free Will. All somewhat abstract, yet oh so real concepts that define, frame and help us comprehend who we are and what we’re about. One exercise I learned as a high-school student, however, stands out above others in not only communicating to others who we are, but in viewing ourselves through the eyes of others that intimately know us as well as those that do not.
That exercise is writing your own obituary. It may seem morbid at first blush, until you consider what an obituary really is at its core and what it concisely frames for others to see. An obituary is a recounting of someone’s life, the choices they made, the people they associated with, the obstacles they faced and overcame, the items they deemed highest priority, the circumstances they met, the legacy they leave behind and the manner in which they left this reality. It is your biography in condensed form.
In truth, an obituary is so much more than a paragraph in the local newspaper. It is a testimony and story that summarizes and distills the being of a single child of God and communicates how a person prioritized their life and what they emphasized as important. In many ways, it reveals the character and personality of an individual and encapsulates the essence of their being.
Ironically and unfortunately for each of us, it is precisely these bits of information, insight and compassion that would be much better served if they were known by others and in some cases, by us, before we die and leave the world to speak no more.
So, what better way to look at ourselves, our lives, our decisions and priorities than to compose and conduct that symphony of life with our very hands. What is produced as the outcome of the exercise will undoubtedly be an uncanny perception of our being that may or may not reflect who we really think we are.
In essence, it is that Ebenezer Scrooge moment of clarity and introspection, hopefully absent of remorse and abundant with just what value or quality we added to the world by our presence. At best, it will present an argument for personal change in certain areas of our lives that need better alignment with our spirit and soul. Most importantly, it provides that opportunity, that luxury of time for us to recognize and implement that change.
Take the time to recognize who you really are. You may just get the surprise of your life!
- Q&A Tuesday: Where’s The Story? Read The Obituary Pages. (wyzgaonwords.typepad.com)
- What Would You Write in Your Own Obituary? (jenniferjensen.com)
- Obituary Sheds Light on Family Feud in Florida (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Utah man uses obituary to confess indiscretions (news.yahoo.com)
- “Do You Believe In Me Or Not?” (instrument-rated-theology.com)
- Yet To Come (halfpicture.wordpress.com)
- Read Obituaries (brandautopsy.com)