Why Does Pain Exist?

A few days ago, I was watching Star Trek Voyager on the Heroes & Icons channel. I saw an interesting episode I had never seen before. A vessel was found in which some aliens were in stasis chambers with their minds captured in a virtual world they had created via the computer system.

A physical representation of fear had been manifested by the combined minds of several of the aliens, and the surviving aliens were being held hostage by him. The atmosphere was chaotic and macabre; an endless circus-like carnival, with Fear as its host and ringmaster. The aliens were trapped in this virtual world because Fear refused to let them go.

He, Fear, could read their minds, and manipulated them through pain. He had already killed 2 of the aliens who had tried to escape this virtual world, because if they all escaped, the world would disappear. These aliens had already surpassed the time-frame originally ordained for the stasis chambers they were in, and the system was deteriorating.

Kathryn Janeway
Kathryn Janeway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fear had already killed two of them; and only three were left hoping that some craft would find their vessel, and be able to deactivate the program and free them. This was their state when Voyager encountered them. After Captain Janeway realized that the system would soon fail; she sent Valana and Kim into the “arena” of that virtual world to find out why the aliens were trapped there; and they too were captured by the entity, Fear.

In the course of resolving this situation, Janeway was presented with several interesting questions. She wanted to know, “What is fear, really? When fear holds you hostage, how do you get it to let go? Why do people enjoy dangerous sports or rides? What is the purpose of fear?”

I thought these were excellent questions, and presented a great starting point for the study I want to do on fear and how it affects us, as well as how to deal with it. My reasoning has much to do with the discovery and release of pain. You see, when I’m dealing with hurting people, I want to know, not only what is causing their pain, but also, why so many people are afraid to truly address it?

Why are they afraid to make the natural changes needed? Why do some people allow fear to dominate them so much, that they follow the culture and allow cosmetic surgical procedures that create a worse pain condition for vanity’s sake? Why do some people just accept it, when a doctor claims that surgery is medically necessary, without researching it, or getting a few other opinions?

Why do so many people fear pain, when pain, in most cases, is just a data point? I know some of you are doing a double-take. Did she really just say that pain is a data point? Yes, I did. The problem I see as to why most people fail to recognize this, is because of current cultural programming. The dependence on people in the medical field; as opposed to mere consultation, and self-sufficient care for their own health; is a big part of the growing problems of pain.

Many people follow what their doctors tell them and never do one iota of personal research themselves. A perfect example of this was my youngest brother. Before he passed away in 2012, he had a bout of pneumonia, which weakened his immune system significantly. I had suggested a natural immune system booster that could raise immune levels 437%.

For some uneducated reasons, my brother shot that idea down, even when I offered to get the product for him. Within the next year, he found out that there were cancer cells in his prostate. He said that they had caught it early, but never questioned why his body had succumbed to the attack. Instead of doing any research on that as well, he simply read the booklet his doctor provided. He claimed that reading this booklet was the “research” he had done.

This was an ignorant approach; and it caused him to follow his doctor’s advice for a seeding procedure; which was a huge mistake, because his immune system had not recovered from the pneumonia. The seeding procedure was some form of radiation that killed the bad cancer cells, and good cells at the same time. As a result, his immune system was like the soil around my rented house; completely bereft of nutrients, and virtually like sand; good only for growing weeds. His immune system’s bio-molecular forrest was completely stripped.

There’s no chance for the system to recover fast enough, because of the onslaught of the chemical bombardment, and it’s prior weakened state. It’s not like we have the majority of food service suppliers and manufacturers providing chemical free food for us in their stores with the approval of the FDA. So with years of chemical dosing from our food and drug prescriptions, his already weakened immune system, and the radiation barrage from the seeding; my brother didn’t stand a chance.

All the other body systems; which weren’t that strong to begin with due to the previous pneumonia; were further taxed and strained due to the new extra deficiencies this chemical onslaught had cost the immune system. This further weakening, is what I believe, lead to the heart attack my brother eventually had; which took his life in 2012.

Every service provider creates documentation like the one in the link above, to support the services they provide. This does not necessarily mean that the information or solution they offer is what is the best for you. It is the best for them, and is part of the bottom line of their business. Your doctor is a business man first and foremost. His primary interest is not your health; its to keep his business going.

Think of how long you sit in your doctor’s waiting room, and then how long he spends with you. Usually, its a ratio of 1-2 hours for 15 minutes. It’s more like generic speed doctoring. The modern practice of central station, turnstile medical service, is not personalized service for the most important thing in your life…your health. Even though you may talk to your doctor, how often do you really understand what he’s telling you that the diagnosis is? How often does he really directly answer how or why the condition occurred, as opposed to generalizations?

That is why it is incumbent upon you to research the validity of the solutions being offered. Don’t be afraid of the big medical terminology. It’s not difficult to understand the nature of a condition. You can look up the word, but also, you can google the medical suffix and prefix definitions. Knowing that would help your understanding so much more.

For instance, if you knew that every time the suffix “itis” was attached to the end of a word, it means that inflammation was involved as part of the condition, that would help you decipher more of what your doctor is telling you. And if you were inclined towards a more natural approach in addressing the inflammatory condition, you would then increase you intake of berries, and decrease your intake of dairy and meat products.

The business of medicine is a “practice,” not an exact science. We all have responsibility over our own health and wellbeing. This is why, for a few extra minutes on your media device, you can get a clear understanding of what you are being told, and see if it makes logical sense to you. Don’t allow the doctor or the medical staff to intimidate you. You have to exercise some degree of control over your own health.

That brings us back to the issue of fear. If you are concerned about your own health and wellbeing, you would not be willing to let any thing or person hold you hostage, including fear. You wouldn’t shy away from searching yourself to find the truth, and to receive the answers you need about what is actually causing your pain condition. I’m here to help you with that process.

Even if there were extenuating circumstances involved, such as an accident of some sort, are you truly willing to search out your own culpability that lead up to the intersection of material bodies, which resulted in your accident situation? Most people adamantly blame the other party involved in the accident as being fully at fault. However, despite whatever culpability you have in any given accident situation; your level of injury is dictated by several factors.

First, what were the speeds of the intersecting variables; and why were they moving that fast? What was the condition of your muscle tissue or musculoskeletal system prior to this intersection deemed as “an accident?” How long has your body been in that condition? Why haven’t you addressed it previously? When will you start to address it? What has been holding you back from making these self-discoveries? How long are you going to allow your fear to keep holding you back? How long will you allow fear to rob you of your life by means of restrictive, crippling pain?

Are you willing to make the effort to turn back the clock; or undo the history of damage you may have unknowingly done to yourself to take back control? Are you willing to endure short term high level discomfort or pain, in order to attain long term high level comfort by eliminating your pain? Just how motivated to are you to naturally get rid of your pain?

In the Star Trek episode, in order to rescue the hostages and get rid of fear; Janeway had to figure out how to let fear go. In order to do that, she had to figure out both the purpose of fear, and why fear exists. Her conclusions? The purpose of fear is to motivate a protective response. Pain is part of that process, because it brings attention to the problem. Fear exists for only one purpose – to be conquered. What about your fear? What’s blocking you? Are you willing to conquer your fear of introspection, so that you can discover the real source and overcome your pain?

 


The Secret To Obtaining Grace At Tax Time

First let me start by saying that I am not an accountant. The information I’m about to explain is based on a spiritual principle, like the Law of Attraction. Depending on your circumstance and situation, you might be able to apply this to your tax situation; providing you fully understand the principle, and can find applicability; but my purpose is not to advise you about your taxes, but about the principle itself. There is an ultimate Tax required on everyone at the end of their days; and depending on what you choose, you could escape the penalties and interest that have been compounding all of your life.

Now, why would someone want grace at tax time? Paying taxes is a requirement by law. Laws are required to govern the land and provide boundaries. Having boundaries keeps us safe from harm. The purpose of law is to apprise us of what is right, and what is wrong. But, just because a law exists, does not mean that all people are capable of obeying it.

Rom 3 (HCSB – used throughout for better comprehension)

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.

20 For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed — attested by the Law and the Prophets

22  — that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
25 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint, God passed over the sins previously committed.
26 God presented Him, to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

Therefore, it stands to reason that law alone does not justify us – obeying the law does not make us good people; because certainly, none of us could ever obey every law in existence. Somewhere, somehow, we will fall short and break some law.

The spiritual tax man – (deviant art- Neo)

Tax time is a time of accountability; something most people run from. And why do they try to avoid it? Because most people want freedom without responsibility, and they seek loopholes in the law to justify their illogical position.

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
5 He saved us —not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
6 He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior
7 so that, having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
8 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.
9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning,
11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned

In the pursuit of escapism, people often go too far; so when tax time rolls around, they find that the IRS

does not have a lot of grace; because the law is the governing force. Thus, if they have not been accountable and have attempted to cheat the system, or have erred in some way; they end up having to pay not only what was due; but also with having to pay for penalties that are accruing with interest.

It is the same in the spiritual realm; in fact, this principle was birthed in the spiritual realm first, and then into the physical one. However, since we understand the purpose of law, let’s get an understanding of “grace.”

—noun

1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces.
favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
3. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean’s grace that I wasn’t expelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor.
4. mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve. Antonyms: harshness.
5. favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity.
6. an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable granted to the debtor before suit can be brought against him or her or a penalty applied: The life insurance premium is due today, but we have 31 days’ grace before the policy lapses. (Compare grace period.)

Theology.
7. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
8. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
9. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
10. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God’s favor or one of the elect.
11. moral strength: the grace to perform a duty.

12. a short prayer before or after a meal, in which a blessing is asked and thanks are given: Grandfather will now say grace.

13. (usually initial capital letter) a formal title used in addressing or mentioning a duke, duchess, or archbishop, and formerly also a sovereign (usually preceded by your, his, etc.).
14. Graces, Classical Mythology. the goddesses of beauty, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, worshiped in Greece as the Charities and in Rome as the Gratiae.
Music. grace note.

—verb (used with object), graced, grac·ing.
15. to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house. Synonyms: embellish, beautify, deck, decorate, ornament; enhance, honor. Antonyms: disfigure, desecrate, demean.
16. to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one’s presence. Synonyms: glorify, elevate, exalt. Antonyms: disrespect, dishonor.

—Idioms

17. but for the grace of God, under less fortunate circumstances: But for the grace of God, the brick that just fell from the roof would have hit me on the head!
18. by the grace of God, thankfully; fortunately: By the grace of God, I won’t have to deal with tax returns for another year.
fall from grace,

Theology.

19. to relapse into sin or disfavor.
20. to lose favor; be discredited: He fell from grace when the boss found out he had lied.
have the grace to, to be so kind as to: Would you have the grace to help, please?
21. in someone’s good / bad graces, regarded with favor (or disfavor) by someone: It is a wonder that I have managed to stay in her good graces this long.

with bad grace, reluctantly; grudgingly: He apologized, but did so with bad grace. Also, with a bad grace.

with good grace, willingly; ungrudgingly: She took on the extra work with good grace

Unmerited favor

Grace. What would you do if you had…what could you do with unmerited favor? Favor that causes everything to work out on your behalf; regardless of oppressive systems devised to keep us enslaved, or people with selfish agendas meant to suppress your light. How does one obtain that?

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, “This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ ”)
16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness,
17 for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Grace is: the kindness and love of God our Savior – not because of anything (righteous) we had done; but because we are justified by His grace. As a principle, grace is in direct contrast with law; the difference being, under law, God demands righteousness from men.

Ti 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
2 to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people.
3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

However, the church preaches obedience. They’re still focused on law because they seek to control. Well, I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but that’s not what God is all about. Anyone who understands His grace knows this. The church is a body of people who are supposed to lead by example; not an institution. But, let me help out those who don’t know yet.

Under law, favor or blessings accompanied obedience as in Deuteronomy 28, which lists the blessing for following God’s Word, as well as the curses for not following Him. The curses fall under self-affliction, and is evident in how the principle of law works, as explained previously.

Law is connected with Moses and works.

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them.
6 But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to heaven? ” that is, to bring Christ down
7 or, “Who will go down into the abyss? ” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.
8 On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim:
9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.

Under grace, God gives righteousness to men. The law can save no one. Under the previous dispensation (divinely appointed order or age), law was shown to be powerless to secure righteousness and life for a sinful race.

Gal 3:21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law.
22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.
24 The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith.
25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

The only way anyone is considered to be a “child of God” is if that person believes in Jesus Christ by faith. Everyone is not automatically considered to be a child of God. There’s a requirement for that honor.

Furthermore, there was grace before Christ came, and the evidence was the provision of communal sacrifice for sinners found in the customs of sacrificing a pure animal, the first fruits of one’s stock, as seen in Ex 20:24-26 and Lev 5:17-18; 17:11. The need for this practice was abolished once Christ fulfilled His mission and died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Prior to the cross, man’s salvation came through anticipatory faith of Christ’s forthcoming, atoning sacrifice, viewed by God, which was foretold, Gen 1:28; 15:6; and Rom 3:5 and 4:3.

Col 1:21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions.
22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him —
23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.

Col 2:14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.

However, after His death, time was forever stamped, as we moved in the calendar accounting from B.C., before Christ, to A.D., Anno Domini, the Latin phrase that means “in the year of our Lord.” He became the ultimate sacrificial lamb for all time, to cover the sins and wrongdoings of everyone. There is no other designated way outside of faith in Him.

Grace is connected with Christ and faith.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,

2 because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering,
4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Grace bestows blessings as a free gift, as “unmerited favor.” Fullness (abundance of or completeness) of grace began with the ministry of Christ, and involved His death and resurrection, because He came to die for sinners. That was the purpose of Him coming in the first place.

Matt 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.”

Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift —
9 not from works, so that no one can boast.

The difference between the former age/dispensation and the current one, is that now, grace reigns – it’s in charge. At that time (B.C), the law reigned; therefore, it was not a matter of no grace or some grace, but of what was the ruling principle.

If you owed taxes with penalties and interest, and your advocate said that if you have faith in him; he would find a loophole that would nullify the IRS laws that are holding you hostage, and completely wipe out all taxes owed, penalties and interest; would you put your faith in him?

If you are paying someone to represent you, and he manages to get enough grace from the IRS that they agree to dismiss the penalties, but insist that you pay the amount owed with the interest, he’s still done his job and represented you. He may be able to get you some grace, but law reigns here in the natural, physical realm.

Spiritually speaking, however, Christ is the advocate for all of mankind, God the Father is the Supreme Ruler, but He has turned all judgement over to Christ, so He has all power, and everything is subject to Him.

2 Cor 5:18 Everything is from God, who reconciled (restored) us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

Jn 5:22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son,

Lucifer (Satan) and his angels make up the IRS of the spiritual realm. And just like the IRS, Satan will find ways to make you pay over and over again. He will hit you with penalties at every turn, and he is always charging interest on our sins.

Heb 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to the confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.

Now that salvation has been revealed, the righteousness of it is revealed by faith in the resurrected Christ. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, grace reigns; because the only Being who has the right to judge sinners, sits upon a throne of grace not imputing (not holding accountable) unto the world their trespasses. During tax time or any other time, I want the one Advocate that can truly save me from judgement, penalties, or interest on my sins and errors.


How Does Stress Cause Your Pain?

People  always talk about stress and how stress affects us. But what is stress really? What causes us stress? Taoists believe that we should allow ourselves to float with the current of the river, at least, that is the message I got from reading the back cover of a book called The The Tao of Pooh.

While that certainly might seem like a less stressful path, it makes us a victim, not a victor. It removes our responsibility for ourselves and our own wellbeing, and basically says that we are the subject to the winds of life; apt to be blown about with every wind of change that comes along.

I used to call myself God’s tumbleweed because I was learning to trust in Him, and I saw myself as tumbleweed because I wanted to be open and flexible to whatever changes He brought me. That was my intention. However, a friend advised me against such a label, because ultimately, God gave us free will and the ability to choose; and with this gift of choice comes responsibility.

God provides the guidance, but ultimately, the responsibility of my choices are mine. The problem in today’s society is that we live in a culture of people who want the right to choose, but don’t want the responsibility of their choices. Is this then, the reason why so many people are suffering from stress?

There’s a scripture that advises against “kicking against the pricks.” It is a reference against resistance. Like Seven of Nine from Star Trek might say, “Resistance is futile.” It’s a statement of the futility of resisting inevitability. It brings me back to the river (I believe it was called Pi) of the Taoist, and the concept of flowing with the river.

Thing about that is, I don’t want to be in a canoe without a paddle just randomly floating along. Flowing with the river is ok, because sometimes that is required on a journey; provided you’ve made well thought-out decisions, and you are in the right waterway. As long as you have the ability of steering, and can exercise some control in directing your path, then you can move out of a violent current and into calmer waters.

But when you make thoughtless choices, you essentially throw your own paddles out of the boat, and then later panic when you see the waterfall ahead.  You are, therefore, creating your own stress. Some people are the type that waste a lot of time and energy trying to fly like salmon, leaping against the rushing current of what is the law of the land or even the natural laws and calling it freedom.

In the case of people suffering from stress, it is usually a situation of what we see currently in popular culture – the outcry of wanting freedom, without the recognition of what the consequences of the freedom they seek will be; and later remarking on their confusion as to how they got to a certain uncomfortable place in their lives.

But let’s really look at stress. What is it really? What does it result in? How does it affect our bodies? I believe that stress is a response to something that makes us uncomfortable in some way. When I checked the definition, the first noun definition was “the importance attached to a thing.”

So really, stress occurs in response to a threat against something that is important to us. As I continued to look at more definitions, I saw, “to experience stress or worry,” which confirms my thoughts. A threat and worry involve fear. Stress is a fear response. I’ve brought this up previously in some of my posts on muscle and how it gets tight and locked up.

I was speaking about this very issue to my mother on the weekend. She was a nurse for years, but my statements surprised her. You see, I now know that our bodies have many brains. They simply differ in level of importance, size, and specific function. The smallest brain of the body I am familiar with number in the millions.

They are contained in multiple systems and networks all over the body, and in the largest organ of the body, which most people take for granted and neglect. What am I talking about? These mini brains are part of every bit of the flesh of our bodies; our skin, every tissue, every muscle, every cell. Each and every cell of our bodies has a mini brain that has a memory.

Every time we have to confront something, someone, a situation or circumstance, event or change in our environment, those little brains kick in and record our responses. So every challenge and our response to it is recorded in our cells, tissue,  and muscle.

Thus, over time, and of course, depending on the number and frequency of these challenges; these memory bits build up forming the tightness and tension we all experience in our muscles, deemed as the result of stress.

But how does this happen? We have a Central Intelligence system. Our brain is the lead organ for controlling all systems, functions, impulses and messages, but in every system in the body, there is a division of the brain via the nervous system, that is transmitting messages back to Central Intelligence.

When we encounter a stress situation, what we are dealing with is a situation that confronts us. In this confrontational situation, we have decisions to make. By our choices, we rise or fall. How we handle and address a situation can determine how stressful our interactions will be at that moment, and in the future.

Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Prov 20:3 It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Prov 20:11 Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.

Our intentions will affect the outcome and thus, our level of stress, because the body will instinctively respond to choices that involve violations. Even when you secretly know that your intentions or actions are wrong, your body is reacting because it is confronting the idea of being caught or penalized, which results in a fear response. That fear response is then at the head of everything you do. All your actions will be driven by it, and ultimately, because it is fear and not faith that is driving you, you will make mistakes.

Furthermore, when confronted with problems; whether or not we actually use our brain to determine a viable solution that works for, or helps more than just ourselves, will also be a factor. The ability to think and reason was given for a reason…to saddle and hold the reins on the ability of choice.

Prov 24:32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.

The heart in scripture often refers to the mind, because that is the battleground. You have two opposing sides to your personhood. Your spirit and body (flesh) oppose each other, which is why sometimes you may find yourself doing things you didn’t want to do.

If your spirit is not leading you, you are not in control of your body, and will succumb to anything that tempts it, or to any desire you have without thought. It’s a more animalistic nature, based more on desire and instinct.

We can barely keep the reins on our bodies. We need the head of the spiritual realm (of all realms), Jesus Christ, to help us grow our spirits out of its embryonic state, so that we can be governed by our spirit instead of our out of control flesh.

Prov 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

A person who is not using the 3 lbs between their ears, setting aside time to think and seriously contemplating their steps, path, and course or journey in life; will experience a lot of stress. The mind is the battlefield because it is the place where your choices are made, beliefs are cemented, and your path is determined. Thoughts and concepts come through your level of faith from your spirit, and in your mind, you weigh these against your desires and experiences, which come primarily from your body.

Prov 21:16 A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.

This is not just a reference to physical demise. It is a reference also to a state of being. A person who is not actively pursuing their dreams…who no longer dreams or does not have faith is spiritually dead, because they lack hope. Such a person just exists, and has no life to speak of; again, a much more animalistic experience, which is not what we were created for.

A person who is constantly involved in confrontations, again, whether with life, people, circumstance, or situations; that will be a person with high stress levels, a very tension and pain filled body, and more than likely, some form of illness or disease that is developing or fully manifested. This is especially true if the person has been holding on to anger and bitterness for years; both of which are an offset of fear that has been invigorated.

Prov 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life; Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

To Lower Your Stress

  • Choose to take time to Think
  • Choose to take Responsibility
  • Choose to add Value to others
  • Choose to make Wise decisions
  • Choose to stop Resisting the Truth
  • Choose to be Mindful of how you treat others
  • Choose to live in Peace by picking your battles carefully

Something to think about.


The Fruit Is Within The Seed

“Mine is not to question why, mine is just to do or die.”
Most people have probably heard this quote before, and understood the basics of it. I was one who understood the basics. It was, “Just do it.” “Quit yer yappin’.” “Stop your complainin’.” “Shuttup yu mout’,” (Jamaican colloquialism) “Git ‘er done.” “Just do the damn thang!”
The thing is, there’s no gratitude in that, and that theory of thought then leaves behind at least one question for anyone who’s really trying to pay attention. You see, at the time that I initially heard this quote, I wasn’t paying attention. I was just a teen trying to navigate the general flow of my life; trying to be flexible and roll with the punches.
Problem with that, is that most of us, whether conscious or not, were groomed to be somewhat inflexible. You hear it in statements like, “That’s just the way it is,” or, “That’s the way it’s always been,” or, “It is what it is.” All of these statements demonstrate a defeatist’s attitude. There’s no room for change in those statements.
And, if there’s no room for change in the spirit, there’s no room for anything new. There’s no room for blessings, and in spite of the fact that God’s unmerited favor can be bestowed; with an unmovable, defeated spirit, His unmerited favor can’t be received.
Years ago, prior to the initiation to my attempts to pay attention, God revealed a piece of the puzzle that is my purpose. At the age of 15, I received a revelation that I had a gift of healing. I had no idea how I knew this, I just knew. At the time, my interest was in being a veterinarian, and I thought that was my path. I have always loved animals, and have been able to gain their trust.

When I was attending the local college, I had a menagerie of wildlife always on the lookout for me by the lake. The ducks might hear the sound of my voice, or catch my scent in the wind, and come running…well, waddling as fast as their legs could go, or simply fly to me. The large ganders and geese would eat out of my hands, and peck at my legs if I didn’t deliver food to them fast enough. Even the turtles and the fish would hover by the shoreline, waiting for me to notice them.
Currently, I share the title of “Neighborhood Cat Lady,” with my neighbor, Joe; who’s gay, and has no problem being referred to as such. Despite no waterways in close proximity, we have a Muscovie duck who has adopted us as her people, and our house as her home base. She sleeps in our yard nightly, and loves when I rub under her neck, massage her tail and wings and tell her what a sweet baby girl she is. I make sure to put out fresh water for her and her own separate container with cat food, which she loves. I have also rescued 2 half grown pit bulls, and miraculously managed to find the owners of each one.
This being my nature, is it any surprise that I thought I’d be a vet? But 20+ years of hard knocks and struggle can wipe away the innocence, and any natural inclination towards trusting. I have always told my son that in order for a new plant to grow, the seed has to be pushed down to the ground first. Then as the seedling begins to burst forth, it has to struggle to lift itself up through that dirt, which strengthens its stalk. Additionally, its roots have to go down through the mud before it can come up.


Again, I reiterate that back then, I was not attentive. No one teaches children about the art of paying attention. In fact, in the drug filled, autistic spectrum based society that we live in today, attentiveness is a skill that only the wealthy have mastered, which is a major reason for their wealth. You see, the question is, “What is your focus?” What is it that each of us is supposed to pay attention to in order to find our path or life’s purpose?
At the start of a new year, many people make a bunch of “resolutions.” Most of their resolutions involve “not” doing something, that either they already knew was unhealthy for their life, and should have changed a while ago; or, after a New Year‘s night of craziness or debauchery; they suddenly realized how much they had endangered their life with thoughtless behavior, and resolve not to act so stupidly again.
Either way, most of the time, these “resolutions” are rendered ineffective because you can’t faithfully act on a negative sentiment. Additionally, there is no real spiritual awakening, and no new consciousness in the unconscious mind involved in this resolution process. In order for this new consciousness to occur, you have to renew or reprogram your mind, and a resolution alone will not accomplish that.
Some people manage to get past this world’s distractions enough to focus on a cause, path or purpose, but then waste too much time getting lost in the “how” of it all, especially if they are starting from a place of lack or limited resources. I started on my journey from such a place. In fact I was hovering in the starting zone of my path for quite a while, wondering how I could possibly do what I’m called to. I knew I needed a team; I knew I needed equipment; I knew I needed access.
I’ve wrestled with myself over my own self-doubts, inhibitions about being on film, my age, and the fact that I don’t look like a poster child for the fitness industry…all of these plagued me because I’m in the natural health industry, but haven’t fully mastered a green lifestyle yet. I’m still a work in progress on that front, but that fact takes absolutely nothing away from my gift for healing.
And, I had an epiphany. There are plenty of people out there just like me, who want to live and be healthier in their lifestyle choices, and, who want to live pain free. None of this prohibits me from reaching out to any of them, especially because the fruit is already in the seed. No one sits around wondering how The Seed will grow. (Outside of perhaps botanists and agriculturalists – bygones)

The point is that it is a known fact that if a Seed is tended to properly; if the correct attention is given to it, the growth process will undoubtedly occur. No one has to really ask how. There’s an expectation there…a faith…trust. Man always gets in his own way.  It’s simply time to bloom. It’s time to bear the Fruit that has been hibernating inside the Seed of you and I. There’s no better time than today to take the reigns. It’s time to get moving. Get your proverbial gardening hoe out…whatever your hoe maybe, and get to tending in the garden of your dream. Get focused. Take action. It’s time to move.


Holiday Thoughts And Memories

I was reminiscing about the holidays when I recalled something that resonated with the Nativity story; a movie that I recently re-watched. The holiday that came to mind was several years ago. My son was a young teenager, and my brother was still with us.

That night after leaving church, I took lil man to La Bamba for some good Mexican food, and then we took a drive and ended up in Hillsborough beach at the pier. I had never been on a pier and this one extended 700 ft into the water.

I really enjoyed just walking out onto that pier. When I got to the point that would be the farthest point that I’d go if in the water I started looking back at the shoreline because from that point on, it was like I was on a boat drifting away from the shore.

The difference in perspective was interesting, as I’ve never been out on a boat on the ocean before, so this gave me a bit of a view of what the shore would look like. I realized that going out on a boat was a serious step of faith, because you have no foundation under you. You are constantly in a state of flux.

On top of that, there are numerous creatures of all sizes under you that you cannot necessarily see. You are subject to things that are completely out of your control in nature, and there is nothing to hold on to, or hide in or under once nature gets started. To me…that is an extreme step of faith.

Now there are people who go out there without God…and without faith. I can’t understand that. In some cases…some go out as fools…throwing caution to the wind.

One such case, a guy told me about on the dock. He and his son went out  about 200-300 ft in a two man kayak. They had some kind of fish bait hanging in the water bleeding, and were just fishing. The father catches something, feels it pull out a bit, and then starts reeling it in.

It stops fighting then starts pulling out again. Then stops again. He thinks something is wrong and he’s right. A shark the size of the kayak has come back to see who has snagged him and is bumping the boat.

They start paddling like crazy for the shore, and cannot cut the shark loose because the line is tangled in the fishing bait. They finally manage to cut the line and break free of it, getting to shore, but I told him…”You’re crazy.” I can’t understand how they could go out that far in just a kayak. That to me is not faith…but foolhardiness.

Nevertheless, the view from this pier was great. The moon was full and beautiful. The clouds formed two precipices…looking like great cliffs. I thought I saw God’s army of millions of angels coming up to the edge, just as they might have done in waiting to rescue Christ during the crucifixion, at his command; which was never given.

Nevertheless I was sure that I had seen an army of angels at the edges of those clouds. I was thinking about that experience, while watching the Nativity story. I wondered if the legion of angels I had envisioned in the clouds had been there watching the events that unfurled leading up to the birth of Christ.

I had previously noticed that those that traveled to the place of Christ’s birth in Jerusalem, all left from their respective homes or starting points at different times, for different reasons. Mary and Joseph were going to Joseph’s hometown for the census. The shepherds were following the star looking for the miracle. The wise men were following a prophecy that spoke of the birth of a special King, evidenced by the appearance of a specific star.

What was fascinating was that the wise men stated that the star they were looking for was the result of the convergence of three planets that would seem to touch. Those were 3 stars were:

  • Venus – means Mother
  • Jupiter – means Shining Father
  • Third star – called Sharu – means King

Some astrologers have noted a similar coming together of stars in recent years, but they claim it’s Venus, Jupiter and Aries. But, in all the sights of similar conglomerations of stars since the birth of Christ, The third star called Sharu is never mentioned. That is because only one King was being announced this way; the King of kings.

Just as these stars seemed to intersect; likewise, those journeying toward Jerusalem also seemed to cross paths, meeting up at the birthplace of the King. They all met there around the same time period, despite having traveled from different regions, and leaving at different times. Whatever they may have encountered in their journeys, whether it was danger or delays; regardless, all of them ended up intersecting at the manger.

Some scholars claim that the wise men didn’t find Christ until he was about four years of age. However, I’ve seen nothing that supports the idea that this collusion of stars lasted for four years. In fact, it seems that the phenomenon that created that huge star is one that, from all the recent collusion, does not last longer that perhaps one night.

Additionally, Herod would have easily found them if he had four years to look for him, and they were still in that stable. Joseph probably would have built a house for them in that time, but I don’t believe that they lived there in the manger for four years.

Additionally, Herod went after children two years old and younger. It is believed that it took the wise men 3 years of travel before they found the child. That doesn’t mean they started their journey after the star appeared. They had been tracking the stars awaiting the appearance of this phenomenon, and started on their journey to where their studies predicted it would appear.

God will pull all the elements and resources together when He is creating our miracles. He is a planner, a master strategist, and starts collecting resources to deliver our blessings and miracles long before we even think to inquire about it. The birth of Christ was truly a miraculous event. Merry Christmas!


You Have A Purpose

All of us, no matter what our place, station, our lot in life or location in the world; get frustrated by the seeming futility of life. It seems as though we are constantly battling the riptides of this world’s corrupt systems; as we struggle to reach that ever elusive shore of our dreams.

Weigh Your Choices Carefully

At the first sign of waves and a rough current, some choose to give up and be swept away convincing themselves that they are too weak for their journey’s challenges. Others battle on bravely, but lack knowledge about the undertow, and eventually become exhausted fighting to keep their heads above water; they get pulled under.

Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, never gives us more than we can bear. Much of our suffering is self-induced by the aftermath of our decisions. One misguided thought has the capability to alter our path forever.

For this reason, it is difficult to fathom that there are large masses of people who fail, on a regular basis, to utilize the 3lbs of tissue in their heads. Instead, they operate solely from the seat of their desires. From such a place, the soul, there is no control; only appetites.

old-school-scale

How Do You Handle Challenges?

However, there are others who choose to fight the riptides. Though the struggle is difficult, and seemingly endless and overwhelming, these brave few persevere in spite of the odds because they don’t give up. They keep that dream in front of them, and continue to push through, learning to ride the waves, and swim diagonally, following the wave’s path to the shore.

These are the ones who will do more than simply survive. They will thrive. They will make every effort to utilize those 3 lbs of brain tissue to think, imagine, create and dream. Our brains are so amazingly constructed. There are worlds within worlds…entire universes and galaxies of capacity there, if only we would learn to master ourselves and think.

New Life

In utilizing the infinite possibilities that lie within those 3 lbs, one must realize that our presence here is no accident. Deep within the darkness of space, an act of love was committed. A wormhole opened, and an army of 4 million of invaders flowed through. Their goal? “To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

The wormhole closed, and these minions spread across the darkness of this new galaxy, seeking to complete their mission. Through the vast darkness they flew, carrying the gift of hope; seeking the vessel that contained The Spark that would enable them to join it in shaping destiny, and initiating new life.

That vessel had also been traveling on its own path, as a lone explorer in this same expanse of space. Finally, the explorer is found and surrounded by several of the invaders. Boarding parties are sent, and resistance is futile, but the explorer battles bravely against the minions.

Several are repelled, until one manages to break through and board the vessel. The two become one and the miracle of The Spark has been ignited. The vessel is sealed and protected from the temporal anomaly which wipes out the remaining millions of invaders, who all perish in a burst of photonic energy. You have arrived! You made it! Now, you have 9 months to get ready, to prepare yourself; and to wow us at your passage into our world.

Are You Acting Responsibly?

This wonderful experience is meant for two responsible, mature adults, who should have an established contractual relationship called marriage, so that they can properly care for a child. Unfortunately, most often this blessed event and arrival is marred by the irresponsible, and immature, out for an evening of careless debauchery or a casual encounter.

Regardless of who the participants, your parents are; and whatever the circumstances; you are here because you were meant to be here. You didn’t beat out 4 million others, just to languish here without a purpose. You are meant to think and thrive, and do far more than just survive. You are a miracle! You were blessed to be a blessing.

Part Of A Higher Plan

None of us are part of some cosmic accident. We are not part of some great experiment of God. We are a dream, a wonderful thought created within the mind of God. Each of us is a thought from God’s heart. That’s pretty amazing, and certainly makes you realize how valuable just one thought can be, especially in the mind of the One who created galaxies and universes all with a single thought. In the blink of an eye (God’s time, not ours), everything was made.

Gen 1:27 (KJV) So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

This clearly says that God created mankind from within Himself (the mind of God). Immediately after that, it indicates that He created us to resemble Him. Furthermore, it states that there’s a woman in the Godhead, because He created them as male and female (to look like or resemble Himself). Then He gave both dominion in the next verse, and later gave a commission and the responsibility to lead to Adam.

But, the point is, if we were created within the heart of God, His mind; and He made us to be a reflection of Himself; it stands to reason that He has given us the same capability. Each of us has that 3 lbs of flesh between our ears that enables us to create new worlds, universes, and galaxies of new life and opportunities in our efforts to serve others. We have limitless resources. We have but to utilize the gift and think. There is no cause for despair. There is only hope because He’s already given us the key.

Luke 11:9 (KJV) And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

You are important. You do have a reason to be here. You do have a purpose. Be encouraged. No matter what is happening in the world around you; God is still on the throne.


Remembering Why We Should Be Thankful

imageThere was a time when I felt like things always had to be equal or fair. There was a time when I stepped forth to exercise my rights, when I felt they were being trampled. During the time period, several years ago, when I was still in that mindset, I wrote this about Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving day was great! First of all, I went to see a friend in the hospital. He was recovering from a hernia. I boycotted dinner at moms. I know that sounds bad, but it was necessary. It was a matter of self-respect. Every year at either Easter, Thanksgiving, Xmas or New Years…at one of these I ask if I can invite a guest. There is always an excuse, justification or reason as to why I can’t. When I want to invite someone, it’s always, “We just want our family to be there,” or they come up with some other reason why I can’t invite the person; like, “I don’t want to be uncomfortable with someone I don’t know.”

However, if my brother wants to invite someone, it is always ok, even when it was already stated that it would just be our family. Every year I have complained about this discrepancy in treatment, but they have talked me into coming to dinner anyways. This time, I asked after being told that my brother’s friend who was depressed, and my brother had invited, had gone to his wife’s (they were separated). So my mom was already expecting my brother’s friend and it was OK, and then we found out he wasn’t coming after all. So I asked about my friend, who, to my knowledge at the time, had no family here and nowhere to go. All this I told my mother. At first my mom said yes after much prodding from me, then an hour later, she calls and leaves a message saying for me to tell my friend no. She just didn’t feel like making the “extra effort.”

I decided that I needed to make a stand…to make a statement, because I was tired of being disrespected in this manner by both of them. So I boycotted the dinner…sending a text message to my brother about 2 hours prior to the time I was supposed to be there. I told him that it was not a family occasion when respect and consideration was only being extended to some and not to all.

I didn’t go to the house again until Sat., and moms attempted to say it was a misunderstanding, and that it wasn’t fair of me to say that they never allowed me to bring a guest. She cited one occasion with my bf on thanksgiving. I didn’t recall that as being a thanksgiving dinner, just a dinner. Neither did my bf, but I gave her that one. But that was like…ten years ago. She tried to claim some other guy I had invited, but that never happened. Then she tried to claim my ex…well, hello…I married the guy! But again…I let it go. I let her say her piece and only stated firmly that they never let me invite anyone, and that my bf was the one exception to that rule.

Now granted, I was right about this, if I do say so myself. But, what wouldn’t I give to have my brother still here to celebrate with on this holiday? My point is, that although the situation seemed unfair to me at the time, and actually was unfair to me; I never thought about the possibility of getting together for the Thanksgiving holiday, with some family member or loved one missing from the equation.

Had I thought about the situation from that point of view, I would have realized what was truly important, and would not have taken that particular thanksgiving holiday that I could have spent with my brother and mom, for granted. You just don’t know what will happen. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us, and there are more important things in life to focus on outside of simply our disappointments.

This has been the worse election year of my lifetime. The nation is split down the middle, because we have had two very imperfect people running for the highest office in the land. How did we get to a place like that in this country where people of so little moral fiber are our main candidates in a presidential election? Why do I feel like we will have hardened criminals or mafia types, or worse, more immoral Hollywood celeb types running next? Anyways, the point is, what the heck happened to the process, whereby people like these two even had a shot?

Now that the election is done and over with, there is still a trail of self-righteousness, snobbery, indignant anger, shame and disgust, and rebellious rage.

In all of the chaos of this year’s elections, there is a fraction who feel very thankful, and a fraction who feel there is nothing to be thankful for. As an Independent, I see both sides of the coin. I understand the jubilation of one side versus the disappointment of the other. But in all of this, there needs to be some thought and consideration.

image

Republicans like this (pictured) are the reason why. Just another alleged Christian who misses the point completely. First of all, I don’t worship or revere the pope. He’s not a part of my faith. However, I just want to say to people like Franks, “Do you actually read your bible?”

Mine clearly demonstrates that Jesus did not come for the rich and the powerful. He cursed Pharisees like this guy. He called them vipers. Don’t get me wrong. Jesus did not call them out specifically because of their wealth. It’s not against God’s law for people to be wealthy. It was the attitude of their hearts that was the issue. It was the fact that they’d trample their own mother if it meant that they could keep the majority underfoot and in need, so they could rule over them. They were self-centered instead of other-centered, so they served only their own self-interests at the cost of everyone else.

Mark 14:7 You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me.

Jesus said we would always have the poor with us, not because everyone is viewed as shiftless and lazy due to guys like this setting the system up to create failure for the disenfranchised. It was because the attitudes of people like Franks is one of people who oppress more than they truly help. I also think this was a reference to the poor in spirit, more than an issue of lack of wealth. Being poor in spirit is also not a reference to lack of wealth.

Its about value, not price. The greatest wealth is not found in the things you possess, but in what you can do without. If you require a lot of material things to make you feel important or valuable, there is a great spiritual deficit in your life. But if you are happy and content no matter what your condition, you have the greatest wealth of all…peace.

Jesus was correcting the disciples for chastising the woman who had anointed His head with oil, because they were complaining about money that could have been gained instead of seeing the spiritual issue and the value of her actions in serving.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Despite the fact that Mark 14:7 sounds like it is not a mandate to do what is good for the poor, kindness is a product of the Spirit. Jesus talked continually about considering others before yourself. Which means that you aren’t setting things up so that only you and your old boys network succeed, but you are enabling everyone to succeed.

It is this verse about the fruits of the Spirit that we should all bear in mind. While some are waiting for justice, be patient and demonstrate meekness. God is faithful, and if you have faith in Him, you needn’t worry. He will fight your battles, and bring justice to the unjust, even if you never get to witness it personally. So be at peace. And to those who have power and authority, show goodness and kindness. Be temperate and slow to condemn in your judgments of others.

Regardless of how anyone feels now, in a few hours, this too will be part of the past. You don’t need to focus on the past, but push on and move forward towards the future. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Therefore it behooves us all to stop focusing on unmet expectations and disappointments, because the biggest disappointment would be not being here to share yourself with the world, or be able to spend time with those you love and cherish. That is far more important than any disappointment. Keep your focus. Think on these things, be thankful, and enjoy those people who you’ve been blessed to have in your life.


Finding The Catalysts For Pain And Suffering

In order to find and understand problems that are the catalysts for causing pain and suffering in the body, one must view the situation from a Natural, Holistic viewpoint. From the Holistic perspective, the entire person and their personhood, must be included. The Holistic viewpoint does not separate, but brings together.

There is no division, such as in Western Medicine; wherein, not only are the internal relationships split up and severed, but even the approach to the physical body is split into individual parts, organs and systems; as if there is no causal relationship or even any connection one to another. Just as no man is an island, no part of our personhood or bodies are either.

Considering all of this, and considering that my approach is Holistic; I have to examine all facets of personhood, which means that I will be approaching every bit of information I provide as content, based upon a Spirit, Mind (Soul), or Body perspective, because all of them are infinitely linked and intertwined.

1-6In examining the spiritual aspect, I began thinking about The 7 Deadly Sins. Since the Thoughts and Decisions we make have a direct bearing on pain in the body, and since the Spirit is supposed to govern the mind, I decided to explore the connections.

Mind you, just because the Spirit is supposed to regulate the mind and body, doesn’t mean that everyone has activated their spirit. And furthermore, just because someone claims to be “spiritual,” is not necessarily an indicator of real spiritual activation.

Everything starts with the spirit, because that was created first in the dynasty of mankind.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

If we split this up by the commas, you can see the distinction in what is being said. Here, the words, “in his own image” is a reference to the creation of the spiritual man from within the spirit of God, Himself. God is a Spirit. He created our spirit within His Spirit. From inside the heart (mind) of God, our spirits were created at the same time, with equal authority.

We were a thought in the mind of God. Thoughts are the beginning point of creation, whether it manifests in the form of a dream conceived, a goal realized, or the manifestation of pain in one’s body. How we think has a direct correlation to the manifestation of pain, because our decisions are based off of our thoughts. So the question becomes, “Who’s governing your thoughts?” Who or what influences you? Whatever or whoever influences you is your master.

This is why the position that some non-Christian people take, stating that Christianity is for weak-minded, wimpy people is a complete fallacy. Everyone is influenced by someone or something. It is not easy to submit to anyone. Its not easy to submit to rules. Submission is the choice to put your own desires aside in favor of and in consideration of another’s. I’d rather be a willing, knowledgeable participant; choosing Who and what I will submit my will to, than to never realize that I’m enslaved to some foreign influence I never imagined I would even be connected with in any way.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Here, the words “in the image of God,” is a reference to the “likeness” of God. It means that He created us to look like Him, as opposed to resembling an animal, or some other creature. In His own likeness, “created he him,” or He created him – him being mankind, and inclusive of females as the semi-colon and subsequent line indicates. He created “them” at the same time, with equal authority, as they were intended to rule the earth jointly.

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Don’t you just hate it when a great, well-intentioned plan goes awry due to people who have chosen the wrong influences; who fail to understand because they have no insight or foresight, for that matter? They just can’t see beyond their own noses, because they are only concerned with satisfying their own selfish desires. Desires are the issue here, and most humans seem to be drawn to things that aren’t beneficial.

Once our spirits were created within The Spirit; the mind of God, Himself; the other two parts that make us complete still had to be manifested. The first chapter of Genesis is a generalization of the events, much like an outline of sorts. Chapter 2 starts to fill in more details.

Gen 2: 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Here we see a distinct difference between the “creation” of the spirit man, and the formation of the physical body of mankind from the dust of the ground. Those are two distinctly different words that most people believe means the exact same thing. Here’s the difference:

Create—verb (used with object), cre•at•ed, cre•at•ing. 1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes. 2. to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention. 3. Theater. to perform (a role) for the first time or in the first production of a play. 4. to make by investing with new rank or by designating; constitute; appoint: to create a peer. 5. to be the cause or occasion of; give rise to: The announcement created confusion. 6. to cause to happen; bring about; arrange, as by intention or design: to create a revolution; to create an opportunity to ask for a raise.

Form—noun 1. external appearance of a clearly defined area, as distinguished from color or material; configuration: a triangular form. 2. the shape of a thing or person. 3. a body, especially that of a human being. 4. a dummy having the same measurements as a human body, used for fitting or displaying clothing: a dressmaker’s form. 5. something that gives or determines shape; a mold. 6. a particular condition, character, or mode in which something appears: water in the form of ice. 7. the manner or style of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result, as in literary or musical composition: a unique form for the novel.

I like this. We are both unique in form and also, first and foremost, a work of art; God’s great creation. This is why turning away from that which is natural is so wrong. It’s wrong for us spiritually, and physically.

Once God breathed the breath of life into that human form, man became a living soul. That breath of life encompassed the spirits He had already created, which may have been dormant (asleep) until this transfer occurred. The formed man became “alive” as a living soul, because he gained a spirit from The Great Spirit.

This is the manner in which the first level of the word “alive,” happens. The soul is the seat of desires. So this formed man with a spirit indwelling that connected him directly to God, became a living, breathing, hot-bed of desires. The problem was that sin was already in the world. Here is a man that doesn’t recognize who he is. He needed to be “alive” in the spirit, which is the second, and greater of the two levels of life.

He has no idea that he is a king, so he acts like a peasant. He’s got this wireless connection to the Divine, yet he doesn’t seek God out to learn who he is, nor for any guidance. His first desire was not to be alone, but Adam wasn’t alone. Even when Eve was pulled from within him, it was the same deal.

She too was a queen who acted like a peasant, falling victim to her base desires; living only in the realm of her soul. But, despite this, it was the thoughts and decision of her husband in violating the one rule he was given; that caused the fall of mankind. Imagine, the Jews had over 600 laws to obey in the Old Testament, yet Adam could not abide by and obey just one rule.

As I said earlier, submission is a choice, and certainly, not an easy one, but the rewards are great. This brings me back to the issue of pain. You see, by his thoughts and decision, Adam and all of mankind have suffered. The choice he and his wife made brought pain, suffering and death into the lives of all mankind.

This is why the first of The 7 Causes of Pain lies in your Thoughts and Decisions. How’s that you ask? We all make choices; and some of those choices not only direct our paths, but those same decisions direct the measure of stressors that come our way, affecting our spirit, mind and body.

Furthermore, when given sound reasoning and instruction that would help us, we choose whether or not to take that advice, to our own personal gain, or to our detriment in choosing not to change – to stick with the status quo. If those thoughts are not governed by a strong active spirit, they will be regulated in the realm of the soul (the mind), the seat of desires.

The question of your healing or the proper management of your pain condition rests upon your perspective. Who governs your thoughts and decisions? Is it an activated spirit, or the base desires of your soul? And how do The 7 Deadly Sins play into this whole picture of pain?


Fallen Asleep

Lately, I’ve been seriously contemplating something that I heard in a bible study group. I was thinking about this because it made me think about my brother’s passing. This was the scripture (HCSB) that caught my attention:

Jhn 5:28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice Jhn 5:29 and come out — those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.

I know this to be true, but when I heard it, it caught my attention because typically in “the church” we don’t hear about resurrection, the end times or judgment in this way. What I mean is that usually, these things are separately discussed. Usually, resurrection is spoken of in one aspect, usually about Christ or resurrecting the “living dead” or those who are now asleep (sleep walking). Judgment is spoken about in another aspect, and since this particular note is about end times, that is also usually spoken of differently. We’ve heard about “The Judgment,” and “The Resurrection,” but I can tell you that I have not heard them together as in this verse.

And then again, when people are at funerals, many pastors say that if the person was saved or a believer, then they’ve gone to heaven and we’ll see them again. Particularly, parents tell their children this, as I heard my sister-in-law tell my nieces and nephew. Perhaps this is where this idea really develops from. Then you see people going to visit grave sites, continually crying and weeping over that person that passed like my mom does. When my mom gets into that depression and starts to cry, she says she has lost too much and cannot lose anything else. But the question for me is, is it really a loss?

AP_Film_Review_Snow_White_and_the_HuntsmanFor me, it’s a perspective issue once again. That verse just completely revolutionized my perspective, because it would only be a loss if the person that left this level was not in Christ. But before I even talk about levels, let me just go back to the departure issue. The person that read the verse to me, had a translation that said, “Those who are asleep…” instead of “Those who are in tombs (or graves).” When I heard the word “asleep” it flipped my perspective because that destroyed this false notion that people are in heaven immediately. The only ones I believe went right away were the ones like Enoch that Lord specifically brought into heaven. He never even saw death.
But everyone else is asleep.

People sleep all the time. It’s like living in a house. When people go to sleep, they simply go to another (a different) room in the house. I am now thinking that there are different levels of being awake and being asleep. So on a grander scale, in our atmosphere or plane, when someone “goes to sleep,” they simply move into another plane, realm or room that in our current state of “awake,” we cannot see.

crystal-cubeI’ve had this whole prism concept about the various planes and levels. It’s like a Rubix cube; each cube being a different room on a different level. The levels of where they are versus where we are, are constantly in fluctuation, because the cube is constantly moving, rotating, and turning in various directions.

What else caught my attention about this is that when I used to think of some of the most despicable despots and evil men in history, like Hitler, I always believed that they were burning in hell for centuries already. You know, people always say that. From the beginning of time, whoever didn’t believe, or whoever was really evil that died, would be burning all this time up to the judgment, and then they’d be judged and thrown into the “everlasting judgment.” I had always heard this while I was younger. Now, I don’t believe it. Everyone that has passed, whether good or evil, has fallen asleep.

That scripture says that there’s going to be a resurrection that calls up all of those who have fallen asleep…all those in the graves, whether good or evil. No one has jumped the gun and gone to heaven to chill out until that judgment in the end times. Everyone that has left this plane has gone to sleep. So the only question left is, can those that are asleep hear us? The reason that question comes up goes back to the visitors at grave sites. Aside from that, people who are asleep can hear things. Think about when you are sleeping. You hear the voice of the person trying to wake you. People who are in another state of sleep in hospitals are said by doctors to be able to hear when people talk around them or to them. Some of those people are in unconscious states or in some cases, a coma, but it is still a state of “sleep.”

So this makes me wonder, can those who are asleep in “another room” actually hear the voices of their loved ones when they speak to them? I don’t know the answers, but I know that this sleeping concept makes death a lot less scary. It is not specifically death that is frightening. The frightening aspect of “falling asleep” is, does my life philosophy or belief systems move me into the type of resurrection I want to be in? My beliefs give birth to my thoughts, which birth both my character and my actions which move me along on the path of my choices in my journey through this life. So, am I believing the right things that will lead me to the resurrection I really want to be in? That is the question. My prayer is that I am, and you are too.

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The Blessings of Faith

I needed a reminder. I’d been wallowing in self pity for a day or so. Got a bit depressed because I’ve been stuck in the house for four days straight, and was a bit frustrated at my progress in the direction I am now moving in.

One of the changes I’ve been making is reviewing and updating my sites. I actually want to combine them into one, and I’m trying to make sure that my text is all consistent and my content relevant to my stated purpose here. You know, i’s dotted and t’s crossed. 

I guess I needed the reminder of this particular incident that happened several years ago. It definitely caused me to reevaluate my present state of mind. My baby brother was still with us at that time, and this was one of those beautiful occasions that demonstrated his wonderful heart. I truly miss his presence, but am so grateful for the time we had.

I had taken my car to my mechanic to get the brakes done because I was hearing some pretty loud squeaking sounds. When my mechanic checked the brakes, the only ones that appeared to need changing was the front brakes, and even those still had padding on the brake pads. He was saying that I really didn’t need to change them yet, but I told him I didn’t like the shushing squeak.

He looked at the back brakes, but didn’t see any problem with those, so we did nothing with them. He did tell me that I’d probably have to change the rotors, but since I didn’t have the money for it then, he said there was no rush on it, since we changed the brake pads. After he changed the front brake pads, I left. They were fine at first, but then I began to hear that shushing sound again. So I called him and mentioned that it still sounded to me as if the brakes were grinding on the rotors, to which he said, “Impossible. I know we changed the brakes. The brakes are good. Don’t worry about it.”

A month or so passed, and I was still hearing this shushing grinding sound. Finally, two weeks ago, I just got a feeling, you know? I just became concerned that something was really wrong, because the sound had gotten a lot louder, and it really sounded like grinding…hard grinding. So I passed by the mechanic’s shop and spoke to him, telling him that I just had a bad feeling about the rotors, and that I really felt like they needed to be changed, but I had no money.

My mechanic told me not to worry, because my rotors weren’t that bad, and the brakes were new. He said that I could wait until the brakes wore out, and then change it all at once, so I didn’t need to worry about coming up with the money right away. I said, “Ok,” and left. That was two weeks ago.

That Wednesday, I was leaving my house, and as I drove slowly up my street; I was approaching the stop sign on the corner, and hit the brakes. Now I had been driving around quite a bit for that day already with no problems, but when I hit the brakes then, the pedal went all the way to the floor, and the car didn’t appear to be slowing down. I freaked out and quickly began to pump the brakes, and it slowed and stopped. It was especially frightening because this vehicle, a Mercury Grand Marquis, is considerably larger and heavier than any of the cars I’ve had previously, and the thought of being unable to stop in such a large vehicle really scared me.mercury-grand-marquis-1

After taking a deep breath, I slowly turned the corner to go to the next stop sign in my neighborhood. As I approached that sign, the same thing happened again when I hit the brakes. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous by this time, so I immediately called my mechanic, who told me to drive the car to him.

He had one of his guys check the brakes, and he confirmed that the front end was just fine. He started to check the back end, and as he put his hand under the driver’s side rear tire, all this fluid came out all over his hand. “The calipers are shot,” he told me. Then he pulled off the tires and the rotors and looked at everything. He showed my mechanic, who told me that I could not drive the car in this condition. It was too dangerous.

“Well, I’ve got to go and get my son from school,” I said. Then he told me that not only were the calipers shot, but the rotor on my driver’s side was paper thin, and could break at any sudden stop or hard press on the brakes. On top of that, he showed me the rotors. The one on the driver’s side had a groove ground into it, that was an inch thick. The passenger side rotor, which was a lot thicker, had two grooves ground into it of the same dimensions.

The reason they never saw this on the rotors previously, is because the inside brake pads were where this was happening, so it was not visible on the outside when they took off the tires originally to look at the brake pads two months ago. They would have had to dissemble the entire rotor from the car in order to have seen this damage.

So there I was sitting in the mechanic’s office, and we were both trying to figure out what to do. I told him that any time I come and say I feel concerned about something more than once, is a good sign that there is something serious going on, because I get warnings from above. The mechanic wanted to help me and take care of this problem, but he said he was not in a position to do so, having just paid his mortgage, and rent for the shop and so forth. I had no money to do the repairs, so we sat there thinking and trying to find a solution.

“What about your mother?” he asked me.

“I can’t go to her. She’s just barely making ends meet herself.”

“What about your brother?”

“My brother is married with 2 autistic children and a new baby. I can’t trouble him. He has his family and his own issues to deal with.”

So there we sat. Both of us sighed a deep sigh, and then I got up and told him there was nothing I could do. He told me that I could not drive the car, and I said I would have to park it, but that today, I had to get my son first, because he had no bus pass, nor any money to catch a bus.

They put everything back together, and he told me to drive very slowly, keeping a big distance between me and other cars, and to brake from a big distance away. I managed to go to my church to ask if I could speak to someone in Benevolence, but they told me that I would need to come back to service tonight, because Benevolence was only open after service.

I picked up my son, and went to church. As I was sitting there, listening to Pastor Jerry, I got another feeling that came over me. This time it was a feeling of assurance. It was done. God took care of it, and I just knew it was done. I began to question whether or not I really needed to go to Benevolence after all, except maybe for a grocery gift card, but I was instructed to go and tell them everything…the entire need; so I went.

I spent a long time with the two counselors, not (as I told them) because I was worried about whether or not they would help me, but because so much other information (non-related) was being shared, testimonies and the like, that we just had a really great conversation. Finally they prayed with me and I left.

I was totally confident that it was already a done deal, so even when I couldn’t reach my friend at work for a ride, I wasn’t worried. Another good friend called and said he’d pick me up and take me to work, but he couldn’t pick me up. It was cool, because my work friend took me home.

But 15 minutes after I got to work, I got a phone call. It was my brother. He said that he had called my mechanic to help another person and connect them with him. When he finished his business about this person he was helping, my mechanic asked him for a “really big favor.” He then told my brother about the damage to the rear braking system of my car, and that he could not sleep all night, because he was so worried about me driving it in that condition. He asked my brother if he could help me out, and said that he would even take a cut on the labor he would charge if my brother would just get the parts for me, so he could fix my car.

My brother agreed, and told me to take my car to the mechanic to be repaired, and then tell the mechanic to call him when it was fixed. He said, “I’ll take care of this. It’ll be your Christmas present.”

Can you believe that? I’m not at all surprized that it got taken care of, because I trust God. Additionally, I’ve had a great brother, so I’m not at all surprised that he stood by me. That’s not the astounding thing. The WOW factor here is in the route God went through to get it taken care of. I never told my family that I was in that situation. In fact, I only told the church Benevolence and a few friends of mine at church, that did not know my brother. God moved on my mechanic’s heart and sent my brother to him. Amazing. It was a $400 repair job, and all I did was ask God, and go to Benevolence as instructed. Yet, outside of prayer, they had nothing to do with the solution He brought. God is so amazing!


Perspective: It’s All in How You See It, Part 2

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Author Unknown

Naomi has lost both her husband and her sons. Her husband’s spiritual state could have been the catalyst for his passing, but no specific reason is given. However for her sons, it seems that this truth may be closer to hitting the mark, due to the names given both boys.

Can you imagine calling your children…” Hey Sick! Hey Pining! Go help your father.” It’s like their parents sentenced them to a life of ill health that finally overcame them. People don’t realize that we all speak things into existence.

English: Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law (Ruth ...
English: Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law (Ruth 1:3-22) Русский: Ноеминь и её невестки (Руфь 1:3-22) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

At this juncture, Naomi is looking at her loss and is bitter. Bitterness is the offspring of resentment. It is an indignant, begrudging attitude, mixed with acrimony. In other words, it leaves an acidic, bitter taste in one’s mouth. Holding on to such an attitude for an extended amount of time can cause disease to set in, in the body. I believe that certain cancers result from this.

Did Naomi have reason to be resentful? Yes, she did, if you only view her losses through the eyes of unmet expectations. Such expectations are the result of an attitude of entitlement in which a person believes that no matter what they do or fail to do; regardless of their level of irresponsibility, everything will work out the way they think it is supposed to. I mean who made all those choices anyways?

This sort of attitude is the offspring of very limited utilization of the brain. It results from a spiritual deficit, which was the problem that caused her and her husband to leave in the first place. But she’s still missing the point.

The point is that no matter where you are in your journey; even if you’ve hit some bumps in the road; regardless of how low you think your situation is; and even if your heart is far from God, He can still bless you and turn the situation around.

Success is not measured by what a person accomplishes, but by the opposition they have encountered, and the courage with which they have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. Orison Swett Marden

Naomi did not even call out to God. The passage does not indicate that a lot of prayer was happening. Yet, there was enough of the Spirit in her, that caused her daughter-in-law Ruth to want to become part of her people and her God. And still she did not see that she had been blessed.

Instead, she continued to focus on her loss and her bitterness, as opposed to the new “friendship,” God blessed her with, which is the meaning of Ruth’s name.

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

What gets me is who she blames for her bitterness. Why is it that people always want to lob grenades at God for the things that don’t go their way in life? She does this twice; in verse 13, she says that God’s hand has gone out against her, and then here again in v 20-21.

As I said previously, when we all are in possession of a billion dollar asset, our brains, but we fail to add value to it through education; and furthermore, just fail to use it at all, we have no one to blame, but ourselves. God calls us to renew our minds, but many ignore that call, and take no steps to draw closer to Him.

Life does not just happen to anyone. It is the culmination of either unthought out or well thought out decisions.

Life is challenging. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.

Be careful how you:

•Speak to yourself
•Think of yourself
•Conduct yourself
•Develop yourself

Tony Dungy

So while Naomi was busy having her pity party, she completely missed the jewel God had given her. Then, she bad mouths God, and blames him for her misfortune; instead of examining herself and recognizing the part that her decisions played in the whole situation.

Nevertheless, God is a loving God, and she’s a lost child that has come home, so He restores her through Ruth, the blessing she overlooked. But, that story is in the later 3 chapters for another day.

The point is, no matter how destitute you think you are, God can restore you. In this case, this bitter, resentful, woman lost the dead weight in her life and gained a new perspective and life through the faith of a woman who’s origins were even worse than her own.

This other woman, Ruth, who by the standards of the society of that time, would be considered unworthy; became, through faith, the great grandmother to one of the most revered kings of history: King David. Why? Because her attitude and perspective had been changed through new information and the renewing of her mind.

This “pleasant” woman in a parched spiritual place still managed, despite her bitterness, to demonstrate enough of God’s Spirit to influence a change in the heart of an outsider, and just look at the blessings that resulted. Attitude is everything.


Perspective: It’s All in How You See It, Part 1

There’s something about reading books. I have read quite a few books on my iPad, and it’s nice for convenience sake, but it’s just not the same as holding a book, and turning the pages yourself. Personally, I love soft cover books so much better than hardcover, because they’re bendy and flexible, and easy to position for my own comfort.

One of my favorite, bendy books happens to be my old, NIV Bible. Now, if you aren’t into that, it’s ok. I’m not here to push my beliefs on you. However, if you are a frequent visitor to my site, you know that there are 3 elements that I focus on: Mind, Body, and Spirit, although not necessarily in that order. So as you peruse this site, you will see studies I’ve done on the spiritual tip that perhaps weren’t what anyone expected, but that may have provided a different perspective that I hope was helpful.

Today, I was thinking about perspectives when I decided to do some reading, and I chose to use my actual Bible as opposed to my iPad’s app, to read some scriptures. As I picked it up, it fell open to the book of Ruth; a book I have read before, but I felt perhaps I should look at again. I really thought I was just going to quickly read through all 4 chapters to satisfy my need for spiritual food for the day, but apparently, God had something else in mind.

Now, in order to explain why I was stopped after only the first chapter, I need to show you the verse near the end of that chapter that sort of stopped me in my tracks.

The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith
The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (KJ)

The reason that this caught my attention was her attitude. Back in those times, people were very conscious about names and their meanings. They knew that a person’s path in life is often dictated by their name. It’s like when you name a child, you are setting their life’s course. For instance, my name – Sandra, means Helper and Defender. I was a defender of my co-workers years ago, when I was taking up the cause for employee rights as an EEO rep in the absence of bought union reps who picked and chose who they would represent.

Currently, evidence of the Helper in me is written into all of my websites and social media; as well as my current profession as an LMT. My desire and goals to educate people, especially on how to get freedom, and enjoy a healthier life free from pain is also evidence of my nature lining up with my name. This is why Naomi’s statement caught my attention. It is clear that she knows the meaning of her name.

So now, we have to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see what happened that caused her to make this statement.

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

English: Hendrick Goltzius. Orpah leaving Ruth...
English: Hendrick Goltzius. Orpah leaving Ruth and Naomi. 1576. Engraving. 19.8 × 27.3 cm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv.nr. BdH 8063). Nederlands: Hendrick Goltzius. Orpa verlaat Ruth en Naomi. 1576. Gravure. 19,8 × 27,3 cm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inventarisnummer BdH 8063). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

What gets me is that when she returns home, she’s telling her friends to rename her. Her name Naomi means “pleasant.” But now, she’s doing what most people do. She’s only viewing her world through the eyes of loss.

Our words reveal our thoughts; Manners mirror our self-esteem; Our actions reflect our character; Our habits predict the future. William Arthur Ward

Losing her husband and her son’s has made her bitter, because apparently her world revolved around them, and she linked her identity with having a husband and having two sons. She did not see that she individually had worth, and that God could still bless her in spite of her loss.

As far as she’s concerned, their loss meant she is nothing and no one, and that the hand of God has turned against her. Her bitterness is because her connection with God was not correct. Her identity should have been linked to God, not her husband or sons.

We are all here for a specific reason and purpose, and we all encounter different seasons in life, as well as seasonal people. You just need some perspective glasses so you can see that your loss/mistake/failure is temporary; it’s just a seasonal thing.

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power…Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it. Rabbi Harold Kushner

Naomi is saying that she doesn’t deserve her current name based upon her current condition. She’s completely missing the point…in fact, several. Number one is that God doesn’t judge us in that manner. God doesn’t say,

“I gave you this name because I expected you to behave/act/be like this, but you messed up/failed/made a mistake. So now, based the consequences of your actions, and the state that it’s left you in, I’m gonna have to rename you.”

Our name may be an indicator of our path or our nature, but it is not an indicator of our worth. Naomi is looking at the entire picture incorrectly. First of all, all she’s apparently thinking about is appearances, because her friends probably saw them off when her family originally left.

But, and this is what really gets me on this sort of inane thought process; look at what her children were named. First, her husband’s name, Elimelech means “My God is King.” So this brings us to a “Why” question.

If Elimelech’s faith truly lined up with his name, why did the family leave Bethlehem (house of bread and praise) to go to Moab (of father) a place who’s progenitor was birthed from incest? I know there was a famine in the land where they lived, but what better place to be in the time of famine, than the house of bread and praise?

A famine in the land is a physical manifestation of a condition of the spirit. It’s a matter of mindset. Your heart is out of alignment with God. So that is problem number 1. This was a nationwide problem.

But, Naomi and her husband took it a step further. They left the land of their forefathers, and went even further outside of God’s will into a land not only birthed from incest, but furthermore, where other gods were worshiped, and child sacrifice to these gods was done.

Furthermore, Naomi and her husband were so far gone spiritually, that before her sons died, the parents let them marry Moabite women, something God’s laws prohibited. This was not because of the race of these people, but because of their culture.

Coming back to the names of their sons, Mahlon and Chilion (Kilion), why would they name their children like this? Mahlon means ” sick,” and Chilion (Kilion), means “pining.” It is clear to me that Naomi and Elimelech both knew about name meanings, and the power of them.

The problem here, as I see it, is yet another situation where people fail to utilize the billion dollar asset God gave each and every one of us, and think.

 


Everybody’s A Christian – NOT!

What is a Christian? Really. I’m asking this question, not because I don’t know; but because the word Christian is so casually claimed. It’s the same backwards, flippant manner in which people claim to be in love after just meeting someone. Let’s get our word definitions straight. That’s lust, not love.
Furthermore, Christianity does not have the Burger King as it’s head. This is NOT a have-it-your-way faith. 
You can’t say or do any and everything you want with complete disregard for others, because this is NOT a self-centered belief. Part of our purpose is to serve others, by eliminating selfish thinking and self-centered motivation in ourselves. We have true liberty and freedom in Christ, but that does not endow us with a license to sin.
And for the record, Christians are supposed to be quick to recognize if they err and offend; not due to speaking God’s truth per the scriptures, mind you; but if they inadvertently caused harm to another, whether or not they had the intention to do so. Not only should recognize it through conviction of the Spirit, but they should be quick to apologize and ask for forgiveness, because we are called to be peaceable with everyone.
Furthermore, saying “I’m sorry, but…” Is NOT a real apology. It is a justification, which STILL means that someone is trying excuse their behavior, by crediting something or someone outside of themselves with the fault that led to their actions. It is a means of denying your responsibility for your own actions and choices. Therefore, such statements are insincere rebuffs, not sincere apologies.
I’m just sick and tired of false and illicit associations being made to my faith in an attempt to deceive the masses per someone’s agenda. Some who might be in the faith, might think that I am wrong to call this out the way I am. 
So many people who claim to be Christian, are too soft; and seem to think that passiveness is a demonstration of love. It is not. There’s a difference between being gentle and being passive. These same alleged Christians are so busy agreeing with the culture of political correctness pushed by atheists, that they’ve forgotten that we have been given power from on high, and that we are called to speak the truth with boldness
This, in my opinion, is why Ben Carson lost his spot in the presidential race, and has fallen by the wayside. However, he really lost me when he said that healthcare is not everyone’s right. Unfortunately, his voice was not a voice of authority, nor is it bold; therefore, he couldn’t really go head to head with someone like “The Donald“. I had a conversation with a friend about this, and I said, ” If only Carson had the boldness of John Hagee! He’d give Trump a real run for his money!” Unfortunately, despite having great ideas, Carson has, by his lack of boldness, shown the position of the church at large; that of being asleep. We are called to boldly speak the truth, not in judgment, but with love; and to stand against the culture. 
Regardless, I think some clarity is in order, with regards to defining what is a real Christian, as well as who or what it represents; and furthermore, defining what it is not, or what is not in any way associated with the Christian faith.

All scriptures listed here by number, are from 1Tim 6:1-16, unless otherwise stated.

1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

“Under the yoke” in this verse, essentially means you are employed; it is a reference to servants or enslaved people. The word “blasphemed” means to speak irreverently or disrespectfully about God or His doctrine, i.e.the set of beliefs He espouses or advocates; i.e. Christianity.

2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

You can’t call yourself a Christian, and slouch off on the job, especially for a believing employer.

3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Wholesome words mean words that edify, or lift others up. Words that are malicious, lewd, dirty, slanderous, or meant to put down, criticize, judge or destroy another, such as gossip and slander; are not part of the doctrine of Christ, or Christianity, which is according to godliness. I’m 
Verses 4 & 5 surmises what I see happening in the current political arena. Almost all of the current forerunners in the race for the party seat on either side, fit and demonstrate perfectly what these scriptures described.

Trump and Cruz are described perfectly by verses 4 & 5. Both of them know nothing. Trump makes things up, and in his egotistical arrogance, attacks, judges, and criticizes people and groups as if we are all still watching The Apprentice, and not an election. He separates and divides people, instead of bringing them together; and furthermore, supports racial hatred and division. 

Acts 10:34 (KJV)
Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
James 2:9 (KJV)
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Colossians 3:25 (KJV
But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Romans 2:11 (KJV)
For there is no respect of persons with God.

Rom 16:17-18
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Trump then had the unmitigated gall…and the absolutely unbelievable nerve…to call himself a Christian! That got me fired up, because I considered him in the very beginning, because I liked the idea of us having borders and walls, but I was never under any illusions as to whether or not he is a Christian. 
However, it’s a cause of concern for those who aren’t aware of what a Christian really represents. He has attempted to associate himself, obviously, just to win votes. He seems to think that because he has money, he can say and do whatever he wants, and then, after bashing and ripping people apart, causing division and strife; that he can then align himself with the God of love?!? I think not! Remember verse 5 said about:

5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

If anything, Donald Trump more than anyone, represents the position of mankind that has turned against their Creator! He has that fist-shaking-at-God, I-can-do-whatever-I-want, spirit of Cain;  that, like the Eygptian Pharoah, says, ” Who is God that I should obey Him?” 
He even stated in an interview that he never asks for forgiveness. That is a key principle of Christianity. In order to accept Christ, you must ask for forgiveness of sin. Just because he occasionally attends a Presbyterian church does not mean he’s a Christian. Scripture says there are many wolves among the sheep. There are plenty of self-righteous people sitting in church week after week, who have never accepted Christ. 
Their presence in a building does not automatically graft them into the body of true believers, who strive to follow all of God’s word; and not just the parts that justify their own will. Scripture says that by their fruit you will know them. The fruit indicates that the only “god” Donald Trump serves is the god of money, not the God of true Christianity.
For years, Christians have believed that the Republican Party was the Christian based party, but clearly, it is not about the party, which apparently is not Christian based; but the position and actions of the person running for office. Any pastors who pander to a particular political party from the pulpit, trying to influence the vote are wrong. That is not their position, and certainly, not what they are called to do.
If Trump really wanted to ” Make our nation great again,” he’d be like John Hagee, leading the call to return to what our forefathers originally set up; a Christian nation. That is not what we are now; and certainly, it is not what we have been for a long time; even prior to the fault maliciously laid by some on Obama. 
We have long been pulled in this direction by the historically dominant party of long-standing, political “representation” in the Oval Office, which has been self-serving; working only for the high income level minority, as opposed to what was best for everyone. We have left our first love in favor of Solomon’s folly; marriage or con-joining with pagan nations, and the adoption of their cultures, doctrines and gods. 
But, scripture says, you are either hot or cold. You cannot be lukewarm with regard to God. You are either for Him, or against Him. You cannot serve any other gods. That’s the number 1 rule of the Ten Commandments.
Speaking of lukewarm, Ted Cruz has been a whiner that from the jump, complained instead of  stating his position boldly and standing on what he would do for the country. Now, he’s all inflated and talking big, like he’s so tough, but he is still doing nothing more than blowing hot air. Absolutely no specifics at all. He has no concrete answers nor direction. In essence, he’s like the short, insecure guy that buys a big vehicle to try to run with the big boys and act more manly.
On the other side, there’s the she-devil, Hillary; whose lies and dirty secrets have been hitting the fan for a while now. This woman is in collusion (board member) with the biggest bane to mankind; the enemy of the health and well-being, Monsanto. 
For those who don’t know, Monsanto is the chemical giant that has been poisoning our food supply; trying initiate legislation that would deny us the right to food labels that identify everything being processed into our food. She’s a part of destroying our greatest wealth – our health; so any health care reform she claims she’ll initiate will be purely in favor of Monsanto and the medical industry; not the people. 
Why should women vote for her to represent women as president, if she’s deceptive and manipulative? As such, she would not be a good representative, first for females, and especially as president.
She also jumped on the ” I’m a Christian” bandwagon, as it currently suits her agenda to now claim association to gain a few points. There’s no true association, because again,scripture says that people will know us by our fruits; i.e., by the love we demonstrate for others. Claiming to care, and then supporting an industrial giant that has been the cause of sickness and disease (like cancer), and death for the sake of population control; is not bearing fruits of the Spirit of Christ.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Not only is the love of money the “root” of all evil, and coveting it causes one to err and fall away from the faith. You can’t love money and God. 

Matthew 6:24 (KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

This is what Christians are called to do. We are not called to follow after money or the culture, because love of those things will lead you astray.

13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Note that verse 15 states that Christ is the ” only Potentate,” not the pope. So if your faith Is in that figurehead, it is mis-placed. Furthermore, idol worship is condemned in the scriptures; in fact, not only is it right there in the first of the Ten Commandments, but throughout the bible.

image

No saints are to be worshipped or ” revered, nor any physical objects like rosary beads and statues. Doing such is idolatry, and is not part of Christianity, but one who belongs to that organization is not like to know that, because their bible is different.
That is another point. Changing the bible; adding to it or subtracting from it, and then claiming that your revised book is still THE Bible is a falsehood. The Bible has 66 books, not 73, like the Catholic Bible has. They are NOT one and the same.

Deuteronomy 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 12:‌32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

Revelation 22 
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

For those who may choose to take offense about this; I am sorry you have chosen to take offense, rather than to personally do some serious research to find out if the doctrine you’ve trusted in is true or not. I can only state what I know.
Paul Crouch erred when he attempted to assimilate and join us to the Catholic Church. Why would you join with an organization that tortured and killed Christians, especially when the doctrine and traditions of that organization remain unchanged? Scripture mentions those that would kill in the name of Christ as not belonging to Him.
To my knowledge, Crouch was also willing accept Jehovah’s Witness, and their changed doctrine and bible; and if he were still around today, he might be saying that we need to accept Muslims who try to claim they are part of Christianity. There’s a difference between Muslims who have accepted Christ, and Muslims who have not. Those that have accepted are no longer Muslims, but Christians. There is no such thing as a Muslim-Christian. You are either one or the other, but you cannot be both.
 
Matthew 24:24 (KJV)
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:22 (KJV)
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.

Crouch just flung open the doors, saying we should forgive and forget, as if Christ was willing to allow other gods and doctrines in conjunction with His own. He’s not, and none of those other religions have any part of true Christianity. But this is why there’s so much confusion. This is the reason everyone is just claiming it without living and walking it.
So don’t be so quick to believe someone who claims to be Christian, until you check their fruit. Watch their actions and spirit. No one is perfect and we are all ever growing in journey of Christiandom, but you should see more fruits of the spirit than fruits of the flesh in someone claiming to belong to Christ. Here’s how you know:

2 Peter 2:10 (KJV)
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
1 John 2:16 (KJV)
For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Rom 8
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Galatians 5 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 5:9 (KJV)
(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)


Spiritually Blessed

Everybody wants to be blessed. No one desires cursing. This why so many people call themselves Christians; despite the fact that they have no relationship with Christ, nor even any real association with God, nor any fellowship with Christian people or with a church. 

Many of these same people don’t even think about God unless they are in trouble, or once or twice per year at the time of a significant holiday. Worse yet, is the fact that God is not even mentioned from the majority of these same professing people except through crude jokes, or as a curse word. 

Yet, all such individuals want to be blessed. People associate themselves with Christianity, because they want to be seen as part of the group of people that God blesses and protects, yet He is nothing but an afterthought to them. This is why the verses below caught my attention.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

You see, in verse 3, it talks about blessings. However, what most people misunderstand is that it is not just ” blessings” that are mentioned, but a certain type: spiritual blessings. And furthermore, not only are the blessings ” spiritual,” but there’s a specific location and association that comes with or enables receivership of those blessings.

In order to get those spiritual blessings, you have to be ” in Christ.” That is the association. For example, if you wanted to receive the wages and benefits of Microsoft, you’d first have to be “in” Microsoft. In other words, there would have to be an association…a relationship…an investment of yourself. 

Just because you know of Microsoft, or you know who started or runs that company, does not automatically entitle you to any shares of it’s profits. You may even own some of Microsoft’s products, but again, does that get you paid? Does that get you company benefits? No. It doesn’t. You have to be invested to get the benefits.

You see, the blessings mentioned were distinguished as “spiritual.” So why the distinction? Spiritual as opposed to what? Well, if we look at Christ, the answer is clear. At the time Paul wrote this letter, it was after Christ’s death and resurrection. He was on earth, but now lives in heaven with the Father. He was flesh, but now, again, He returned to the Spirit. 

“Spiritual blessings in Christ” is not a reference to the earthly blessings that most people covet. Those things are not eternal and will fade away. Even the location mentioned tells us this. The verse says these spiritual blessings in Christ are in “heavenly realms.” That has absolutely nothing to do with the earth. 

For those who ascribe to the “name it, claim it” philosophy, this verse nullifies that. Being rich is NOT a “spiritual blessing.” It doesn’t mean that those who have great wealth can’t utilize it to be a blessing to others. It just means that we shouldn’t be focused on riches and wealth, but on helping one another.

Matt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

This is why the word ” mammon” is used in verse 24. It means wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion. If you only want association with God because you think it will give you earthly blessings, you are only deceiving yourself, because God knows your heart.

imageHowever, if you have truly surrendered your will to Christ, you have already begun to live in a heavenly realm. Note that I said “a” heavenly realm, not “the” heavenly realms. There’s more than one, and your life in Christ involves levels of growth. 

“It’s the climb.”  Miley Cyrus

The heavenly realms may encompass the sphere of your Christian experience through your identification in Christ, in the areas of nature, life, relationships, service, suffering, inheritance and future glory in the kingdom of God. (See the following references for more details: 2 Pet. 1:4; Col. 3:4; 1 Jn. 5:12; Jn. 20:17; Heb. 2:11; Mt. 28:20; Jn. 17:18; Phil. 1:29, 3:10; Col. 1:24; Rom. 8:16-17; 18-21; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6, 5:10.)

So now that we understand the type of blessings, the association of the blessings and the location of them; we need to know what these blessings are. For that information, I’m referring you another well written article that lists and specifies each of the 15 spiritual blessings. You can also read it in Eph. 1:4-14.  

The point is, don’t look to earthly treasures as your blessings. The real blessings are eternal. They’re in the spirit, and completely trounce anything earthly you may benefit from. Keep your eyes on Christ and you’ll have no worries; just situations that test your faith to grow you and mature you more in Him. Just remember that the rewards come later; not while you are still on the testing grounds.


Trials and Blessings

It seems as though I just disappeared, right? There is always a good reason for those times when it seems I am neglecting my site; when it seems that I’m not doing any updates or articles. Usually, it’s a trial that I’m going through. The Amusement Park that is our world, does not just contain rides like the Carousel, or the Chairlift, where you ride comfortably along, enjoying the breeze and relaxing.

You see, I’m not the big adventurer. I’m pretty content in my little world. My preference is to feel more like I’m flying blithely through life. Even if I stumble a bit, I’m usually pretty confident I won’t fall. After all, isn’t faith like that? You know that you can weather the storms because You are in the palm of his hand. My slogan is “What me worry?” I’ve never felt severely  threatened in any way, because as I always say, God‘s got me…got us, my son included.

Usually, my walk is more like the Ferris wheel. I go up, reach a nice pinnacle; coast for a while and enjoy the view, and then slowly descend into whatever the next test or trial is. Most of the time, despite the trials, my life’s ride feels like the Star Flyer, where God and I are just sailing on a breeze. I think that’s my favorite ride, really, but this year…the ride has been different.

I don’t know what rides you prefer, or what rides best represent what you have gone through lately, but I can tell you that the rides I’ve been on this year have not been merely Bumper Cars; and I happen to like Bumper Cars. I mean, despite the fact that you do get bounced around and jolted a lot, sometimes pretty hard, the Bumper Cars of life are nothing!

Let me tell you the rides that will really kick you hard on a level you knew existed, but just never really fathomed the depth of the terror such rides could put you through.  You see, I’m not a big fan of Roller Coasters, especially those big ones like the Behemoth. I just can’t handle the lurching of my stomach when the cars are heading down from the peaks. It’s not the “terror” of the descent, but the speed with the downward pull that gets you. 

BehemothYeah, I said it. I don’t like the ride down into the valleys. Being in the valley can be hard, but in all honesty, it’s the climb back up from the valley that is the most difficult. The cars are chugging along so slowly at that point unless there is some momentum already in play. It’d be easier to stay in the valley and never climb out, but I don’t really have a problem with the climb out. I don’t want to stay in the valley. The problem for me with the Roller Coaster is the speed, and too much fluctuation.

I’ve tried the Round Up, which spins so fast you are sucked to the wall you are leaning on, and the floor drops out beneath you. I’ve had the floor drop on me…so that is nothing new. In that ride, the floor dropping is gradual. I simply relax and close my eyes so I don’t get dizzy. Its more of a spatial issue. And recovery from this sort of situation is more favorable, because despite the floor having dropped, it stays like that for a while, and then everything returns to normal. Your world stops spinning and everything comes back into focus. So this ride is not so bad.

But I have never been on the Space Shot or the Speed Pendulum rides; and I wouldn’t ever be so inclined. I’m sure most of you remember the first Marvel Avenger’s movie. These rides represent that moment in the movie when the Loki attempted to assert his authority over the Hulk. Do you remember that scene? It was the funniest part of the movie for me. The Hulk flung him about like a rag doll, slamming him into the floor several times. It was hysterical.

The-Avengers-Movie-Roster-Concept-ArtFor me, those two rides would be similar in experience, so I don’t see myself every wanting to try them. Thus, we come to the reality of my experience in the past few months. You see, despite my efforts to be somewhat prepared, and/or insulated against such a situation; I got strapped in on the Space Shot, and experienced that rather speedy free fall. Shortly after that decent; as I stumbled dizzily away from that ride, without the time to fully recovering my bearings; I ended up on the Speed Pendulum, where I was flung from one situation into another, several times with rapid speed; having barely recovered from the first ride.

I was so shaken by all of this, that all I could do was cry and fall on the Lord like a desperate, unwanted step-child, begging for help and relief. Not to say I wasn’t praying after the disorientation of the first ride; I was, and God was answering, but with the pendulum, the swing is ok, if its at a slow speed, but when its fast…its just like Loki getting slammed by the Hulk. You really feel it; and if anyone recalls, he got a severe attitude adjustment as a result, because his tune changed after that.

the-avengers-loki
Loki, immediately after his attitude adjustment by the hulk.

I don’t think I went through the experiences of the past few months due to a similar arrogance. I just believe it was another of my growing pains. God’s trying to pull me in closer. I get that. He wants to fine tune our relationship, because He wants more commitment from me. I’ve had trust issues. He’s breaking those walls down. He’s demolishing the bricks of my expectations.

And now, He has once again demonstrated His grace in bestowing me with unmerited favor. I don’t deserve His grace, and certainly, not His unmerited favor, but He loves me, so I reap the benefits of that love. The situation I have gone through caused delays in my rent payments for the last 3 months. Remember the landlords I told you about in this post? These same landlords dismissed 3 months of late fees for me…and these guys stipulated a 5% late fee per day on the lease. Just the fact that they were willing to work with me, and did not process an eviction is miraculous, considering the past relationship as mentioned in that previous article.

God also provided a better employment offer that gives me benefits I wasn’t receiving before. But, like I said, God’s grace is more than sufficient for my needs, and He has ALWAYS got me…not just my back, but all of me. You know…I intended to write an article on this fab recipe I worked out yesterday when I was cooking, but apparently, God had other plans. My life is His to direct, and today, His intention was a testimony. I don’t mind. He’s good to me ALL the time. I have much to be thankful for.