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Saturday, October 7, 2017

MORALITY - THE DYING STANDARD




It's no secret that as time progresses, people lose their morals a little bit more.  What was once taught to us by our parents, their parents and backtracking all the way to the beginning of time, there is a standard by which morality is lived.  I'm not even sure if today's generation knows what the true meaning of morality is.

As generations move farther and farther away from the time of Jesus' earthly life and teachings our world gets worse and worse.  Senseless killings, personal attacks, and sheer hatred dominate our world today.  This is not to say that evil has existed throughout history, but the Bible is in place for a reason.  Never has any manuscript or book ever written lived and remains relevant as the Bible has.  To this day, the Bible remains to be the top best selling book.  

After Jesus died, the Word has always been protected.  People gave up their lives to keep this book going and handed down from generation to generation.

But why is the Bible so timeless?  Need I really answer this question for you?  It is because every word between the pages of the Bible is God's Word.  The most powerful Lord will always protect the Bible so no one can ever give an excuse at the end of their life to say that it had never been available to them.  There is no reasoning or negotiating with God when we meet Him face to face.

People will dismiss the Bible as just written and made up by the writers.  To that I ask, have you ever had an event so noteworthy that compelled you to write it down in order to remember the details of such important event?  Exactly!  People who were touched by the grace of God, the honor of meeting Jesus Christ face to face and being able to walk with Him during His time here on earth, cannot help themselves to write about it.  Shame on those who dismiss the Bible, God's Word as fiction. 

The Apostle Paul's main purpose in writing his Bible contribution is to remind us of the godhead of Christ and His sacrificing His own life for sin.  If man moves Jesus out of His position in the Holy Trinity, all hope for salvation is lost.  We must not pray to anyone living or dead.  Christ alone is sufficient to save us.   Paul says let the Word of Christ live in us richly in all wisdom because when His Word (the Bible) lives in us, our deeds will surely please the Lord.

It may be hard to understand but let me tell you, as sure as I am standing here, I can attest to the fact that if we know, learn, study the Word of God, our actions will become a testimony for others.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

 

Friday, September 29, 2017

THE WAY BACK TO GOD




Even as a Christian, there are seasons where I feel so detached from God.  No longer do I feel the burning of His presence in my heart when I pray, or my heart becomes nonchalant to things that would otherwise touch it so it brings tears of joy, compassion and love to my eyes.  In other words, I feel sometimes so alone unless I feel God's constant presence tightly wrapped around me.

King David's situation, when he wrote the Book of Psalms becomes my cornerstone when it comes to these types of seasons for me.  King David knew God intimately and God favored him during his reign as king.  But there was one particular season where David became complacent in his walk with God.  As a result, David fell into the sin of idleness.  As we all know, idleness is the devil's workshop.  While David's military was out fighting wars, David was at home doing absolutely nothing.  He was coasting in his faith thinking grace will continue to come and taking God for granted assuming the blessings of the Lord will continue.

David falls deeper from the sin of idleness to the sin of carelessness.  One day as he was walking out of his balcony, he notices a woman bathing and she was a vision to watch.  His flesh took over and now he was inquiring about her.  He fell into the trap and now he wants her.  He succumb into the sin of adultery.  David.  The one who God favored, the one next to God's heart.  David.

David's sin snowballs into the sin of callousness.  He finds out that the woman whom he was committing adultery with was married to Uriah who was his right hand military man.  Uriah trusted David.  He gave his life to David, so much so that when David was ridden with guilt after finding out Bathsheba was pregnant with his baby, called for Uriah to come back from battle to sleep with his wife so he could hide the offspring of his sin.  Even so, Uriah's dedication to David barred him from sleeping with his wife while the battle out there was hot.  Oh uh.  What to do?  So David sends Uriah back to the hottest part of the battle and sure enough, he gets killed.  It was all in David's plan to hide his sin of adultery resulting into the callousness of murder.   What is sadder is that David's pride became more important to him than Uriah's life.  While adultery is a hot-blooded sin, murder was a cold-blooded sin.  He plotted the death of a devoted servant who was willing to die for David's honor, died before David's hand.

David was saved.  But now you ask, can a saved man do this?  The answer is certainly!  But what sin can do to a saved person under the heavy hand of God that you know that you know that if you don't get right with God you're going to die soon (aka Conviction).  The consequences of unforgiven sin goes on and on.  

It took David about a year to confess his sin.  He covered his sin as if God will forget what he had done.  It is better for a saved one to confess his or her sin immediately and cleansed so that it doesn't fester or infect as quickly as it will.  Confess your sins and obtain mercy from God immediately.  

David talks about his secret sin in Psalms 32: 3-4.  He told of his aging body that in one year, he looked like he aged 10 years.  There is nothing that will prematurely age a Christian like unconfessed sin in his heart and in his mind.  When God saves us, He doesn't fix you up that you cannot sin anymore, he fixes you so you cannot enjoy your sins anymore. 

David felt God's heavy hand upon his heart as if God was squeezing the life out of him day and night, constantly.  He felt shriveled and dry.  Now it is a struggle for him to pray, to praise or to witness.  He felt no joy, no victory or peace in his life.

I feel the same way when I cross God.  I feel Him far away, I'm unable to pray, praise or witness with an open heart.  But once I've confessed my sin to Him head-on, I feel closer to Jesus than any member of my family.

Most of the time we cover up our sins in various ways.  We rationalize it.  God doesn't accept alibis as an excuse for sin.  He is omnipresent so He knows everything.  He knows it before you do it.  

Another way to cover up sin is to stay busy.  Staying busy will mute God's voice in your heart.  We also fall into hypocrisy.  Nothing to see here, nothing is wrong, let's sweep everything under the rug and forget it.  

Sidetrack:  Moses when he was full of the Spirit of God walked around with his face shining so brightly that he had to wear a veil over his face so as not to blind anyone.  It was the result of Moses' fellowship with God being with God up in the mountain for 40 days, his face became radiant.   After being away from God, the glow started to fade and he had to wear a veil of steel so that the Israelites won't see that the glow was gone.

When we hide our sin, the next step is that God will convict us.  When we are convicted, it is imperative that we confess our sins right away, directly to God, forsake the sin and immediately be forgiven.  If we don't, God will chastise us. 

Chastisement comes in different forms.  It could take the form of an illness, sorrow, death, loss of money, health, or unanswered prayers.  He does it not because He doesn't love us, on the contrary, its because He does.  


God is more interested in your obedience than you driving a nice car, He is more interested in our relationship with Him than our health.  This is what getting right with God really means.


If any of the above factors still bars you from getting right with God, he moves on to challenge you.

He did it to David.  2 Samuel 12 -He sent Nathan to point blank in David's face tell him that God sent him to challenge him about his sin.  Nathan expected David to deny it.  Instead, David admitted it openly that he sinned against God!  David knew that this man was sent by God!  Despite David's once close relationship to God, he is now challenged.  If David denied his sin at that point, he would've surely died because God's next step would have been condemnation.  Sin unto death 1John:5:16.

After Nathan left, David wrote Psalm 51.  He knew God's heart.  He had confidence that no matter what he had done, God still loved him.  After confessing his sin and being forgiven, he received God's cleansing.  He was once again saved, restored and used by God to further His kingdom.

So in conclusion, we have to be confident that even after we sin (which we will always do) we have to know that God loves us enough that if we confess our sins, get right with God, get forgiven, He will never forsake us.  Why?  For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ so we may live in eternal life with Him.  Eternal... that is a very very very very long time.  Selah! (Think about it!)!


Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOHTER!


 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

REJECTED BY HIS OWN FATHER FOR US




Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.”
Isaiah 53:1-12 NLT

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Why?? SUFFERING IS NOT BROUGHT ON BY GOD


 When a loved one is struck with a tragic illness or even death, God is sometimes blamed.  I do not understand the logic in that and perhaps neither does the blamer.  It's easy to blame God because they think that the devil is some kind of cartoon character with red skin, horns and a pitchfork.  That is exactly what he wants all of us to think, that he is not real.  But the fact is, he is very real.  Although he didn't start out as an ugly character.  It is written in the Bible that before he became satan, he was lucifer, God's beautiful angel.  It is the fact that he thought he could be God that led to his downfall.

We all start out innocent, beautiful and pure. As time goes on and in becoming aware, slowly satan sets his eyes on us.  All of us.  he wants to gather up all the souls that he can in order to defeat God.  his biggest problem is that God has already marked his fate.  he is on the losing side.  People who turn away from God and turn towards the dark side intentionally choose the losing side.  These are the same ones who blame God for tragedies in their lives.

If they only knew what God can really do for them if they are on His side they may change their minds.  But satan will always be there to throw a wrench in those human decisions.  Know your side, pick God, He will bring joy, comfort and insurance for your eternal life of happiness.  Not just in the next life but in this life, most importantly.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

DECIDING TO BE POSITIVE




Never have I ever seen worldly chaos such as we are experiencing today.  Whether or not one person has caused people to have ideas and been convinced that they have somehow been short-changed, the world that we live in right now is badly in need of a heavenly intervention.

I've often wondered why before the time of Jesus, people, especially the chosen ones, the Israelites have been severely punished by God when they disobey or sin against Him.  For sure, our All-Knowing God has forseen our time today.  Why then hasn't He punished the people today who blatantly turn away from Him, have no regard for another human life, making them expendable?  When will He look at this dirty world and say, Enough already!?

Having been alive all these years, I can't even begin to explain how my youthful days' breaking news pale in comparison to the daily evil we currently experience.  As much as I want to see God smite evil people causing evil deeds, it really is up to Him to say, enough is enough!  I trust in His plans, whatever they may be.  But in my simple little human understanding, I believe that if there is ever a time to swing that ax, it is today.  Right now!  But I'm not God, and I can't even begin to comprehend the greatness of His plans.  All my minute understanding can come up with is that He is giving us time to come back to Him.  The faster that happens, the quicker Jesus comes back.  

As for now, I choose to be positive.  If I catch myself becoming negative, I would follow it up with positivity.  For now, that's all one can really do.  Are you with me?

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

ALL IN




When we decide to turn back to Christ and follow Him, the enemy is most present to block it every which way to make the transition unsuccessful.  he attacks our most vulnerable human characteristic... sinfulness.  he uses our weaknesses against us, guilts us into submission to our comfort zone and that is continuing to sin.

That is why it is very difficult for a lay person to turn against their sinful ways simply due to the uncomfortable effort to fight their sinful ways daily.  Some even backslide and never return to God.  satan will plea bargain, then intimidate, then convinces us to sit on the fence.  he knows that once we really know God and become obedient to Him, the grace and blessings will flow effortlessly into our lives and our lives will be so fulfilled that it becomes easier and easier to avoid sin at all costs.  Of course we are not perfect like Jesus, and we will falter every now and then.  God knows that and He will always give us a mulligan as long as we come back to Him and get back on track.  

With God, there is no middle ground.  Either you are with Him or against Him.  That is it.  Only a fool accepts the premise of the enemy.  If we are ever to really be free, we must sell out to Christ completely.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

IT AIN'T NO FAIRYTALE




If people who doubt the authenticity of the Bible only did their research, they will find the complicated and meticulous process in which the Word of God ended up in our hands today.

Some of the oldest manuscripts of the Bible are locked up in a St. Petersburg, Russia library.  Meticulous care was exercised that the translation was met with accuracy.  Several translators are involved and the procedure designed to avoid addition or subtraction from the original manuscripts.  It is imperative and critical that careful measures were taken, after all, God exalts His word above His own name as the fulfillment of that Word was His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

This fact must not be taken lightly.  Our lives must revolve around God's Word, to be as important as our very own lives.  The Bible was not words from just laymen.  It is a living, breathing, Holy presence designed to guide our lives as ordained by God.  The Bible IS God.  It is our tangible and direct connection with God.  The Bible is not man's view of God, instead it is God speaking to us.  We must treat it with our utmost reverence.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Saturday, July 29, 2017

THREE KINDS OF LOVE



Three types of love exists on earth.  The first is love for those we love; family and good friends.  This type of love is easiest to dole out.  It needs no further explanation.  

The second type of love is trying to love people we dislike.  As a Christian, we were taught by Jesus before His departure from earth that we are to love one another.  This type of love is not yet defined as love until we are obedient to our Lord.  He didn't mean that we force ourselves to show love to these people, only to not bear any hatred for them in our hearts.  We are to pray for them in whatever capacity that lines up with God's will... think about the 10 Commandments when we think about loving our enemies.  We are not to take up the methods of the devil, instead we take up the methods of Jesus Christ.

Which brings me to the last type of Love.  The love of the three Godheads, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the LOVE OF ALL LOVES.  It even has its own name, AGAPE (a-gah-peh).  This type of love can never exist in our hearts because we are born of flesh.  Only when we get to heaven will we be able to achieve this.  It is not to say that we shouldn't practice it while we are on earth.  God actually encourages us to do so.  It should be our goal.  The more we practice, the closer we are to God's heart.  And we all know what happens to us when we have that close relationship with God, right?  We become favored.  Favored children of God get the goods!  They get the blessing and the grace and the unlimited mercy from God.  Because God understands we can never be perfect like Him, he lengthens his forgiveness and mercy for us.  Jesus was the sacrificial lamb for past, present and future sins.  What an honor for perfection to give His life so we can live in everlasting life and Love of God.  Something to ponder on, amirite?

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

FORGIVENESS



Forgiveness is one topic I love to blog about.  Forgiveness is the divine gift that is offered to us by Jesus Christ in exchange for our faith in His blood sacrifice and then the circle goes on and on.  

Jesus' most important lesson to all of us is forgiveness for one another.  Our high regard for our Lord must also manifest in our relationship with each other.  If Jesus can forgive us so easily and all He ever asks for is our faith, then we must forgive each other just as easily as He forgives us.  Living a life of forgiveness, not holding grudges can only benefit us.  If we refuse to give mercy, it will not only be difficult for us to receive it, but we also hinder others from forgiving us.

Bitterness can ruin our soul.  The power of bitterness is destructive because pride usually gets in the way.  Pride is the product of our belief that we are better than anyone else and when someone wrongs us, holding on to the ace card only hurts us in the end.  Bitterness not only troubles us, but it also defiles others.

Unforgiveness destroys relationships.  It causes a myriad of physical ailments such as high blood pressure, ulcer, headaches, even cancer.  We also face the danger of our children following in our footsteps.  Holding grudges is not an option.  We must love and forgive or we decay.

Remember what Jesus said to one of His disciples.  Not only should we forgive 7 times, but 7 times 70.  (Matthew 18:21-22)  Jesus is perfect and we are not.  So if He can forgive a plethora of our sins, who are we not to?

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

IDOLATRY




Whenever we read Exodus 20:4, one of the most important of all ten commandments, you know, the one that talks about idolatry?  We often think about an actual statue, an amulet, an image of buddha, etc.  

This particular commandment says, "thou shalt not have strange gods before me."  Then it goes on to say, we should not make an image of anything anywhere, heavens, earth or sea.  That we shouldn't bow down (worship) anything or anyone except God.  Let's look at this for a moment.

When the Bible was written then, the Hebrews created idols that they worshiped instead of God.  In our world today, we have a myriad of things and people we worship instead of worshiping God alone.  God was clear as He went on that He is a jealous God.  We were created by God and worshiping other things or people is an insult and a blatant disrespect for our Lord.  So what is idolatry?

Idolatry is the serving of, loving of, honoring of, focusing your time to, and fearing of anything other than God.  

There are people who spend their time and all their energy on their jobs.  Others are engulfed in co-dependency to their spouse or lover, some for their children.  Some are under the control of drugs or a habit that grip their lives.  Some even immersed in sports and celebrities.  Whatever it is that consumes us is idolatry.  God should be numero uno in our lives, in our hearts, our minds and bodies.  You say, well how can I possibly think about God 24/7?  To that I say, why not?  Being in tune with God on a daily and hourly basis is not that complicated.  God speaks to us through our hearts.  If we are 100% under the will of God, He makes that clear.

The bonus prize when we are in tune and committed to loving God, He makes things work out in our lives so that we feel fulfilled and uplifted.  There is no lose situation when we are situated in the Lord.  We must accept the world's 2 cents when a curve ball is thrown at us, but as long as our will aligns with God's will, we can be thrown curve balls all day long and nothing will faze us.  What other way results in success?  Nothing!

Unless we can understand this concept and surrender to God, our lives will always be in turmoil, strained and unfulfilled.  God is the answer for everything.  If you ask an unbeliever if he or she believes in God, and they answer NO, they are lying.  Because deep in the pits of our guts, we know that God is as real as the moon in the sky.

Until my next rant, love God only, and LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

THE STROKE


Just as I thought my life was going towards the disciplined direction I wanted, God threw a curve ball at me.  In the past, when I feel disconnected from God, I just spend time in prayer and meditation with Him and I instantly connect again.  This time was different, however.  No matter how clear my intentions were to reconnect with God, He seems so far away and so unattainable.  The less I tried, the farther away I felt from Him.  

On June 21st it was Hot Zumba Night.  Against my better judgment of stopping at one hour, I continued to 1-1/2 hours.  By the time I got home, I felt my left leg tingling and going numb.  Despite my stretching efforts, the tingling didn't go away and was heightened the next morning.  It was time to call the doctor but not till after I prayed for healing.  My doctor wasn't available so I saw the doctor on-call.  I was sent home with muscle relaxers but three days later, there was no change.  This time it graduated towards the whole left side of my body including my face and head.

Not understanding my usually understandable body, I called to see my regular physician.  After describing my current symptoms, she gave the old neurologist a call who ordered for an MRI of my brain.  When she told me the info, it felt like someone threw cold water on my face. 

The MRI showed that I had a stroke and the left side of my body was the part of the brain that was affected.  I'm not usually afraid of death, or so I claimed.  But once you are faced with the possibility of dying, it becomes real, a different story.  The reality of how major death is, regardless of its inevitability, is still humbling.  The fact that you are no longer in control of your life, no matter how brave you think you should be, it is not an easy pill to swallow (pardon the pun).

My doctor of course prescribed a blood pressure pill and lipitor.  How shocking for me since only last Tuesday when I went in for a blood pressure check it was lower than normal.  And now this.

The next day while eating my salad for lunch, my left arm started going numb.  Knowing the earlier diagnosis, I didn't want to take the chance.  Back to the doctor's office I go.  Blood pressure was skyrocketing at 200/102.  Dangerously high.  The nurse ordered me to go to the hospital emergency room.

This is when it became real.  I bawled my eyes out.  Thoughts start flooding through my brain.  All of the major event of my children's lives are happening this year.  Really? Of all years to have a scare, it had to be this one?  The most important of all is I will be a first time grandmother this December.  How is life fair?

Back to the ER.  Blood pressure stayed high.  Another MRI was done.  The doctor said no additional stroke happened and the symptoms I experienced earlier was only because my brain was still adjusting from the earlier stroke.

My thoughts that battle are between not being afraid to die because I finally get to meet God face to face.  On the other hand, I will be sad to leave my kids on earth.  Even though I know we will all meet in heaven, it was still very sad and upsetting.  But that is what flesh does.  It rejects and becomes afraid of what is unknown.  Death is not something we experience and come back to tell about it.  It is final.  It is inevitable.  God is on the other side.  Most people shove the thought of death out of their minds but no matter how much they do, death is one thing that is certain.

The most upsetting part was my worried mother.  Although I felt bad telling her I was in the ER, not telling her and passing away is much worse.

Life is tricky. I have become a vegan 3 months ago and working out diligently only to be told by the doctor that age and heredity plays a huge role in my condition.  Great!  Not that I would quit working out and eating clean, but the fact that your life hangs upon another's genes is beyond me.  

I got a new lease in life.  I will continue to offer this blog to anyone who will heed.  God is in control, and that is a humbling fact.  I consider myself having a tight relationship with God.  I can't imagine those who do not and would not.  I pray to God that their eyes would open to the truth of this life.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A TIME OF PEACE, A TIME OF LOVE

 

If you are over 50, you would have grown up in the 60s and 70s.  To me that was the best era to have grown up in.  The era where Love and Peace were the mantra, no matter who you were.   Of course I am not that naive to say that everyone was perfect.  Far from it.  However, in those decades, people were still humane.

Let me explain.  Even today, when we watch reruns of tv shows from those days, the theme was always about doing good, learning lessons from life, parents were highly regarded as sages, the ones whose advise we still heeded.  Those days when you woke up thinking, "what good can I influence others today?"  It was more about looking after others rather than "ME."  If you didn't grow up in the 60s and the 70s, you have missed so much.

Today's music and lyrics to love songs pale in comparison to those from the 60s and 70s.  The love songs were written with such heart that some songs tug on your heart strings so much and will literally make you cry.  Relationships were reinforced with personal theme songs.  A song that only you and your sweetheart share together with so much meaning between you.  Songs that are sung with so much passion and emotion to make one feel so good.  

Those times were easy, breezy and always joyous.  I remember just hanging out with my friends and everyone was my friend in the little community we lived in.  We weren't taught how to share because sharing was instinctive to caring.  We had compassion for one another.  We opened up with each other, without prejudice or judgment.  We didn't have to try to be careful with our words because we knew that our intentions were pure, and went without saying.  We paid attention to each other and listened with open hearts and open minds.  If we hurt someone's feelings, there was no hesitation in our apologies.

We wore hand-me-down bell bottom pants, which we called elephant pants and 3 inch clogs with no shame.  We said "PEACE" and "LOVE" "RIGHT ON" to each other and knew exactly what they meant.

Ahh yes, those days are truly over.  But we have the memories of days gone by.  Today's time is Opposite Day for us in the 60s and 70s.  There is so much hate, so much suspicion, honesty is null because there is so little trust among people.  They identify no longer as humans but make believe creatures created in their screwed up brains.  These are the times when free will has gone berserk.  The reason is that Jesus is no longer in their hearts.  In the 60s and 70s, love is the default.  God is Love.  Today, love is a forgotten concept which is why hearts are lost.  When hearts are lost, satan is present.  It's a sad sad time.

When Trump said Make America Great Again, I bet he was referring to such a time as I have described, because I agree with him.  I stand on Love.  Love One Another...  Until my next rant.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

A PERSONAL PROTECTOR



There was a time in my life when I was a young single mother, my mother, stepfather and father-in-law would come visit me to make sure that I have the basic necessities for my daughter and I.  My stepdad would sometimes pick me up and we would go grocery shopping for the week.  My mother would come over to visit with bags of groceries and clothes, whether I needed them or not.  I felt very safe and loved.  I would do the same for my children because the love that was shown to me made such an impact on me that I passed it on to my own children.

When Jesus faced His fate on the cross, He also gave us a protector before He left.  Even though He is God, He was able to experience what it was like to be in the flesh.  Although He was powerful and Holy enough to ward off the evilness of satan, He knew of the pain and suffering we would experience as flesh because He himself went through them.  Because of His love for us, and because He could not be present with us all, He left us a protector.  One who is an equal part of Him and God the Father.  But this one is pretty special in my book.  He is the one who is inside of our hearts, our minds and our bodies who guides us every step of the way through this life.

The Holy Spirit is our conscience that prods us to be Christ-like.   He is the one who protects us from the evil principalities that surround us every day.  He is the one who blesses us and grants us the answer to our prayers.  He is the link, that feeling of close intimacy with God.  What a wonderful gift Jesus has left us.  Our individual protection.  Jesus could have stayed in the world had it not already been planned from the start, but if He stayed in the flesh, He could not have had a one on one with every single person alive.  With the Holy Spirit, He can.  Isn't God just awesome?  And as soon as we stop questioning His mere power with our limited understanding and our human mental capacity, but instead have pure faith, we will be able to let the love flow into our lives from God.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

WHO'S UR DADDY?


It seems true to think that when one grows up with an absent father, one seems unfulfilled.  Absent can both mean physical and emotional.  Some fathers can be present physically but fully abandoned emotionally and mentally.

This truth makes God even more real.  The father is usually the head of the family, the glue that holds together a unit that is in need of not only financial support but emotional and spiritual protection.  Absent the latter, the unit falls apart.  Most men can be baby makers but not fathers.  For whatever reason they abandon their units, the unit is in turmoil.

Most women would surmise that they can fill both roles.  However attractive that seems to be, a woman can never fill the role of a father in all aspects of her children's lives.  Case in point, I was a single parent to two children.  Although I worked myself off to make ends meet, I still could not fill the role of father to my son who wanted to engage in sports.  I can be in attendance, sure.  But I couldn't teach him the techniques, the male perspective, because I am not a man who knows about sports.  The same with my daughter.  I can tell her about relationships from a woman's point of view, but never from a man's point of view.  It's not sexist to say this is true.  If a woman thinks she can fulfill both roles, she is just deceiving herself.

God assumes the father role to all of us.  Thank God He does.  He was the one I clung to growing up with an physically, emotionally and mentally absent father.  Thank God for human fathers like my father in law, Earl and my stepfather Henry who stepped into a father role in my life.  With them I learned both worldly and spiritual lessons.  They were my guide and protectors in my adult life.  I wish they lived longer but the lessons they taught me is engraved in my heart and mind.  Since their passing, God, who is the almighty Father, protector and provider has been there for me.  I can say with all honesty and gusto that I am proud for Him to be my Father.  Meeting Him face to face is just a bonus.  I feel His mighty and strong presence every day.  And of course, I feel His disappointment in me too.  Life on earth is not perfect, but God is.  So I really take to heart His lessons for me via situations I'm faced with every day.

I hope and pray more men would step up into the father role doing God's will for their own children.  That would just be a double bonus!

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!  That's the ticket!



Sunday, June 11, 2017

ALONE AGAIN, NATURALLY.





Who gets it?  Often on social media when commenting on a post some people do not understand another's point of view, and because the handiness of face-to-face conversations are lacking in these types of venues, such comments usually gets misunderstood.  Especially when it comes to the perspective of a Christian by secular people, it often requires a rather long thread.  

I remember a time when I commented on a post and said, "we are born alone and we will die alone."  Someone thought I was being very cruel by making this comment.  I am a lazy explainer, I will admit it.  One of the things I lack, which God has not graced me with, is patience.  God teaches me to be patience every day.  Every day, I fail.  I keep on trying, but somehow, I find myself struggling with patience.  The only test I struggle with on impatience is impatience with lazy thinkers.  I do not use the word "stupid" in this instance because I feel that God gave us all a brain to use.  But for whatever reason, there are people out there who refuse to push the envelope when it comes to thinking.

Case in point, this person who accused me of being cruel to another.  So, for his sake and anyone else's sake out there, I will expound.

When I say we were born alone and will die alone, I meant that physically.  It is a fact that even in a multiple birth situation, we think and feel individually so we are still born alone.  Similarly, when we die, we die alone.  Throughout our lives, our brains and our hearts only feel and think for one person.  Our accountability to God and our fulfillment of His plan for us is for each and every person by themselves.  Even if we have been married for a thousand years, when we die, we will die in one body.  Our spirits live on but life for only one. 

For this reason, being co-dependent with our spouse is a silly notion.  Our relationship with God is between us and God, individually.  We cannot read others' thoughts or their hearts but God can.  If there is a person present when we die a physical death, it is God.  He is there waiting for us on the other side.  

There is no joy that can compare to that time when we meet God as we enter our eternal lives.  This life is merely an incubator.  We exit it when we are fully cooked.  We are given a chance day after day to hone our skills for God's glory.  Let us not waste a moment for the opportunity to do so.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Thursday, June 8, 2017

MY SUCCULENT LIFE

Have you ever had an obsession?  I do. Now.  Well, besides art, SUCCULENTS!!!  I have a large collection of succulents and I want to share them with you!
 

 
 
 

 

 
 




Sunday, June 4, 2017

AFRAID OF LIFE, AFRAID OF DEATH



It really is amusing to me that I have a fear of things beyond my control.  Perhaps that is a normal human reaction as I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way.  

When things are good in life, we often fear that a problem will arise around the bend.  Instead of enjoying the calm, we brace ourselves for the storm.

My first (and perhaps last) paragliding experience in Maui was interesting.  As I was being hoisted up in the air like a kite, I white-knuckled the strap around me as if letting go would send me plummeting to the very scary and vast Pacific Ocean.  However, as my mind settled and got used to the unfamiliar state of being, I began to appreciate the silence of the atmosphere, away from the noise of the terrain below.  My mind wondered about how fortunate the birds in flight as they experience its peacefulness.  

Back on land I couldn't help but appreciate life and all of God's blessings.  The paragliding experience gave me a glimpse of being taken up with Jesus upon His return, only more glorious!

Confident living is a result of a relationship with Christ, and not by one's own resolution.  The more we seek and know Christ, His complete control will be ever so present within us and the more we can relax.  Life is not for us to control, even our own lives.  The bigger Christ is in our lives, whether by life or death, the more confident we are in fully trusting Him as we live our our days on earth.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Saturday, May 27, 2017

YOU ARE, WHO YOU ARE


There are times when Christians fall into the traps of pride.  We can get caught up in our own definition of acting Christ-like or godly.  We look over to all the others around us and size them up looking for imperfections to criticize.  In the same token, we become full of ourselves thinking we are at least trying not to commit a sin but honestly, we are.  

Pride is one of the sins that trip us up.  We think to ourselves and tell God, "at least I don't do what so and so does!"  Do you know that God doesn't even listen to such talk?  God knows mankind's heart.  No matter what we do, no matter how good we or others think we are, we are still sinners.  I mean daily sinners!  Alternatively, when secular people look at us, they also automatically think that we are holier-than-thou and that is enough of a reason to hate us.  The world is a crazy place full of crazy people.  Maybe crazy is too vague of a word.  How about self-righteous?  Yes, that's a better word.

It is just like the story of a certain king who, when removing his crown for rest, hangs it on a nail instead of another human's head.  The reason is because when a person wears a crown, even if for a short time, he would puff up and feel he is fit to be a king.  A person can do this, but not a nail. 

We must realize that as humans, such faltering humans, there is no good in us.  We are only as righteous as Jesus makes us.  The moment we start brag praying to God, it is worthless to God.  We must remain humble knowing that we do not have a crown...yet.  All that we are, and all that we do that is good and pleasing to God's eyes is all for Him.  Not for us to gloat about.  As soon as we realize this, we continue to walk in God's will.  When we continue to walk in God's will, God is glorified and after all, it is all about Him.  It is never about us. 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

I UNDERSTAND YOU



I understand you. I understand that all your life you have just gone through the motions. As a child, no one has told you about God. 

Alternatively, for some of you, God was shoved down your throats so you learned to hate Him, hate church, and could not wait to get out on your own so you can make your own choices. 

Once you left, you heard others say that the world was your oyster. You set out to make a name for yourself. You got a good job, made good money, maybe even met the person of your dreams. You lived the life you've always wanted to live. You got married, bought a house, had a couple of kids. Life was great. You look around you with a nod and said, "I did all this on my own. I am a strong person. I can handle anything else that comes my way and come out a victor!"

Years later, tragedy struck. The firm you worked for filed bankruptcy. You found another job, but it was not as golden as the last one. Because you are older now, competition was tight. But you take the job anyway because you needed to support the family. The children are older, they needed more. Your spouse suddenly went cold and you find out about an affair. You get divorced. The custody and support problems drag you down. Property needs to be split, which means you will soon lose your house. The kids are stressed about the situation. Money is now tight. All of a sudden, your world feels like it's crumbling around you. And it is. Because soon you need the help of family, friends, anyone who will just listen. On the surface, they did. But you only got advise. You hate to burden your family and friends with your problems knowing they got some of their own.

Suddenly, you feel alone and dejected. You think of the worst. But if you were gone, the kids would have no one. You certainly could not do that to them. They need you! Now more than ever. But who do you turn to when there is no one there?

Without warning and as if on cue, you look up to heaven. But instead of asking the God that was shoved down your throat when you were young to help you, you curse him instead. You scream at him, "If you are who you say you are, why did you let these things happen to me? How can people worship such a punisher?" 

You then realize what you just did. Just like a wayward child would lash out at their parents with blame, they still run to them when life gets tough. We always hurt the ones we love and who we are comfortable enough to know love us unconditionally.

Suddenly, a sweep of calmness envelops you. This calmness is the Holy Spirit, the protective God, the one that was given to us by God the Son. God let's you feel his love at that time. He said that He is all you need. He loves you and gives you peace. He says He will take care of you even though you have turned away from Him all these years. You surrender. You give your life to Him and ask Him to take your burdens from you because He promised it to you. You repent. You ask for His forgiveness and He you is merciful enough to give it to you wholeheartedly because He said that is why JESUS died. He died so you can be easily forgiven. He died so God the Father would not cast you to the pit of hell for any sin. JESUS is the buffer between you and God. JESUS gave His life because God sacrificed Him to us. His precious baby boy! For you, undeserving wretched sinner. But He understands because He created you in His image to love Him back. He wants you to spend eternity with Him! But He understands that you will never be perfect. And yes, even after you return to Him. However, because of His forgiveness, you try to live a life that is pleasing to Him. You will try to see others through His forgiving eyes and heart. So sin becomes less and less tempting to you. 

You start seeing things in a different light. You now want to do what he has done for you to help others like you. You take your life and place it in His hands. You let JESUS take the wheel. Now you are not responsible for anything bad happening in your life because nothing but good will transpire. Because you trusted Him. And that is all He wants.

Yes, I understand you, because I am you.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

BEAUTY OVER PAIN


MY VERSION OF A RENOIR IN PENCILS

Pierre August Renoir, a master of Art suffered from severe rheumatism.  Although painful for him to continue to paint, he continued on.  A friend asked why he wish to torture himself.  Renoir responded, "The pain passes, but the beauty remains."

Like Renoir, Van Gogh suffered from a mental illness as described by professionals in his time.  Although it may be partly true, in my opinion, half of his quirky character was because he was misunderstood.  You see, Van Gogh was a genius and had a deep relationship with God.  Often, we as Christians, are invalidated because secular people do not understand how having a relationship with God could be possible.  Jesus said, we, who are His people will be persecuted in His name. 

We see in all around us in current times and has become much more prevalent.  I compare it to an ant hill.  As long as the hill continues to be left alone, the worker ants and the colony are fine.  However, once the ant hill is demolished, the ants become discombobulated.

For years we have lived in a country where speaking of and about God was silenced by the progressives.  They were allowed to do whatever they want whenever they wanted.  Life was cool.  As soon as God stepped back in our lives, ever loudly, they have become discombobulated.  But like God has done in the past, we in this time will once again be led by God to fulfill His plans that have been set in place even before the beginning of time.  The upcoming events will be manifested whether we like it or not.  God's power is stronger than all of ours put together.  It's just a matter of time when beauty once again blankets our world.

For now, we exercise patience.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!




Saturday, May 6, 2017

THANK YOU




Imagine if you will that you were always the giving person, ready to care for and help others.  Your sole purpose in life, you have decided, was to be the oak tree that people relied on.  It's just in your nature to nurture.  It made you happy just to know that you have helped out in some way or another.  You don't usually expect anything in return but a token of appreciation, such as a simple thank you, would suffice.  Although you do not expect it, it would still be hurtful if you don't get that appreciation for all the effort you put out.  After all, you are only human.  We all need that validation to keep us motivated to continue to do for others.


Imagine how God does of so many of us day in and day out.  We are in full focus when we have favors to ask but sometimes our human nature kicks in and we forget to praise Him when our prayers are answered.  Although God is ever powerful and faithful to us, He is also a jealous God.  He wants to be the center of our lives.  He is well-deserved to be.  Praise is a habit we need to learn to do always for the pure development of our souls.  Psalm 147 says, "Praise the Lord!  How good to sing praiser to our God!  How delightful and how fitting!"  We have to be resolved that God is the ultimate problem solver.  He is the one we turn to when all avenues have been taken into account.  He willingly answers our prayers that line up with his Will but yet we forget to appreciate Him for what He does for us.  


We need to make appreciation to God and learning to praise Him a vital part of our lives.  I mean from the littlest minute thing to the biggest and boldest solution He has given us.  When we do, there is a sudden change in our own personal lives when we deal with others.  The appreciation spills over to other people we have relationships with, no matter who they might be.  In turn, the act of appreciation becomes contagious as others are inspired by them.  


Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!




GOOD MORNING, NAPA!




Gardening succulents to propagate! Using delft blue tea cup.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CHURCH'S ROLE?




Everything worldly is a double-edged sword.  One cannot simply depend and focus their energy on any one thing on earth.  Some people, especially new Christians, are solely in need of guidance through the learning of the spiritual life of a Christian that they solicit the help of those who have been conditioned in the faith.  

But one cannot rely on or use as a crutch any church establishment in the strengthening of their faith.  Just as we learn the steps for Zumba, and afford the help of a personal trainer, eventually we get into the groove and are able to do it by ourselves to reap the benefits of getting fit.

The process is the same with spiritual strength.  New Christians are led to God, and eventually, through the help of the Holy Spirit, their relationship with God grows stronger and stronger every day.  Eventually, they become wise believers and like a bird departing from its nest, has the wherewithal to fly on its own and succeed.

I do not minimize the role of the religious organizations as a necessary stepping stone and in providing valuable services, but their role stops there.  It is when we begin to ripen to rot in the church but are not able to fly on our own that we encounter stagnancy.  No longer are we growing spiritually but fall back into the worldly existence, again surrounded by fallible people.  We need to recognize if we are to volunteer and be active in the church organizations that our service is for the furtherance of God's kingdom, not for people or to appease them.  

Those types of people or cliques become the cancer that sends the church crashing down turning new christians sour about the church.   The church members' role is to bring people together and not cause separation from each other and eventually from God.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!