Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The NIV calls them “the poor in spirit” but I have also found transaltions that call the ” The Modest” and “The Humble” so I looked it up in the dictionary.

Humble: adj -meek,weak,modest,anassuming,poor,unfortunate-

So it is safe to say that these are the people Jesus is refering to in this verse. I like the word humble the best becuse it sums up all of these thigns in a word that when you say it, it even feels humbeling to say.

Much of what Jesus said in his 3 years of ministry is clear and to the point. Even his parables were. The meaning were relatively clear and when explenations were needed, he gave them. This first verse of the sermon on the mount is clear as day. Jesus is saying that if you keep yourself modest and do not brag, then your inheratance will be the kingdom of heaven. It will be as wonderful, flashy, exhuberant and showy as you are not.

In Matther 6 Jesus talkes about modesty. In verse 1 He says ” Take care! Do not do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will loose your reward from your father in heaven.” He talks about giving to the poor and tithing and prayer. We are instructed to do these things in secret. In fact, be so secrative about it, He says “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” He calls the people who shout their prayers in public and advertise their phelanthropy to get attention hypocrites, and says that the attention they get will be their ONLY reward.

No one likes a bragger. It just makes for show, hence the word showoff. Jesus said that these types of people only bringtrouble on themselves. Now dont misinterppet what I am saying. There is nothing wrong with praising loudy and worshiping exhuberantly. Just dont do it to get atention from anyone but God.

Remember, keep your hearts humble and your eyes fixed on Him.

now, go live. 🙂

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Dear reader:
There are times that I wish I could go back in time to change something. Not that I am unhappy with my current life, or that I would rather it was different; just that I would rather have made a different choice here or there. Then I think about it more and wonder how things would be different if one choice had been different. For instance: If I went back in time and met my grandfather as a young man, that might seem small and insignificant. However, if my meeting him interfered with him meeting my grandmother, that would have drastic effects. Ultimately this is the ending of my thought process and I go on to more important things, like feeding the kids or some household chore that needs done.
I think everyone finds that at one time or another they pine for days passed. When looking at an old yearbook, reading old love letters or even after running into an old friend. They wish to relive those days and feel how they felt back then. This sort of escapism is the thing of daydreams and science fiction films. It is what causes people to think they can act like they did when they were younger. That is why we have 45 year old women chasing 18 year old boys and 50 year old men looking for 18 year old girls. They want to feel young again. They buy hot rods and motorcycles, go on road trips and try to pick up where they left off in college.
The simple fact, however, is you can’t go back. Time is linear, plain and simple. You may have seen these children on TV that look like old people; this is a disease and it is real. Have you ever seen someone with a disease that makes a 90 year old man look like a 15 year old? If you have seen Brad Pitt’s movie ‘The curious case of Benjamin Button’ then yes you have; but this was fictional. The honest truth is that time only moves forward.
While when we are doing something, in the act and the moment, we may not be able to see clearly the consequences of our actions. We all have done things that if we had stopped for even a second to think about it, we would not have done it. Thankfully hindsight is 20/20 and the past is a powerful teacher. We can look back and see where we went wrong and change it. Sometimes all it takes is a small epiphany; other times it takes God getting in our face and opening our eyes. For some people this is a very powerful thing. It can mean going from a life of depravity, idolatry and perverseness to a life of purity, loyalty and spirituality.
I have a friend who used to be quite the ladies man. He didn’t worry to much about consequences or even if his actions where remotely justified. He drank when he wanted, smoked pot and was willing to try whatever he was offered. He bounced from woman to woman, not caring who he hurt or what the outcome would be. I was tired of being around him and his lifestyle so I parted ways with him. This was several years ago. Just recently I was talking to a mutual friend of ours and asked if they knew what had become of him. She told me that a couple of years back he almost OD’d and wound up in the hospital. This ended up being a life changing event and now he counsels young men who were just like he was. My friend to me that she was glad he was ok, and glad that he finally found religion. I told her I hoped she was wrong, and that I hoped instead that he found a relationship.
You see, religion is the cause of many of today’s problems. Religion was the cause of the inquisition. It was the cause of the pilgrim’s plight and it was the cause of the Salem witch trials. Religion is an intolerable tangled web of piety, lies and exclusion. It is why we have denominations. Spirituality is closer to what we should have because it is more accepting and less prone to exclusion and hatred. What we should be aiming for, however is a relationship; a relationship with our God. In this day and age the term “god” has so many meanings. Buddha, Ali, Jesus are all seen as gods, and everyone thinks their beliefs are the right one. I’m not talking about that today. I am not in the toe-stepping mood right now. All I am saying is that a relationship is the most important thing to have; with everyone; your family, your friends, your ‘god’ and your spouse. No matter who they are, if they are important to your life then you need to have a relationship with them. Focus on the people you have now, not the people you used to have; although I hope that many of the friend you used to have, you still do have. You can still have all that fun you remembered back then, with the friends you have now.
After all, as a wise man once said “He who has friends is rich” and in this recession, I’ll take all the lasting riches I can get.

Now..go and live.

My friends, there are many common misconceptions in history. Like the idea that we came from monkeys or the idea that the NRA is actually the modern form of the KKK. These are things people have been told throughout the years. These are actually as believable as most other things people have been told that are untrue. Things such like aids was invented to kill off the African nation, the holocaust and moon landings were staged and Jesus is dead. All bold, all lies and all believed by one group of people or another.  There is, however a difference between lies and misconceptions.

When it comes to “religion” there are a great deal of misconceptions. One such myth is that Christianity is a religion. This is a lie. Christianity, true Christianity is a relationship; a relationship with God.  People think all “faiths” are religions so they blame them for whatever they can. From the inquisition (which, to correct the misconception, was one king set out to kill Christians, not the other way around) to our current war. The truth is that Christians (true Christians) have never started a war, never attacked another belief or turned to murder.  Islam and their “jihad” is a war that they started against Christianity, not the other way around. The bible says “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities of this present darkness” meaning that the war we fight is in the spirit realm. When our ancestors left Europe it was because the Catholic Church and the king wanted everyone to believe the same thing, to follow the line of Catholicism.  The pilgrims wanted to follow the teachings of Jesus and be Christians, and for this, the Church of England attacked them and tried to force them back.

The fight for Christian religious freedom has always been a defense rather than an offense.  Ever since the birth of Christ, Christians have been attacked and forcibly silenced. It has not been a hard thing to do because there is too much dissention in Christianity itself. There are too many “Denominations” and not enough acceptances. There are people who have gotten too religious about what is a simple relationship. They think that it is one of rules and regulations. To follow rules is not, in and of itself, bad. It is when one starts to look down upon others for not following their rules. God gave us a short list of things he requires, then he gave us a list of things he has an opinion on. Things he likes, dislikes and outright hates.  He knows we are not perfect and are bound to do something he doesn’t like. That’s where forgiveness comes in.

Then there are the rules given to kings and leaders, like David or Moses.  Rules like animal sacrifice and how we should dress and what to eat; rules that changed when Jesus died and rose again. Now, it should not be held against you if you choose to follow some of the old law. I’m all for it, actually. Some of it helps keep us on our toes and closer to being in the world and not of it. My problem is the zealots who tell us that we are going to hell for things we wear, music we listen to and the company we keep.  Like the guys on the corner that scream condemnation (Christ came to save the world, not condemn it) telling the homosexual community that it is ALL bound for hell. Jesus never said “gays go to hell” or anything like it. God says he does not like homosexuality but never says it is a damnable offense.  Here is a bold statement: you CAN be a gay Christian. Christians do things that God disapproves of all the time. Lie, steal, covet and lust. These are all things you have to deal with between you and God, but again, none are damnable offenses.

These same guys tell us long hair sends us to the same horrid end as being gay. Really now, would a loving God send you to hell for your hair. They quote first Corinthians chapter eleven and tell us it is a shame for a man to have long hair. A shame it says. Well, there are a lot of things that are a shame. It’s a shame I have a headache, it’s a shame coffee gives me heartburn. It says it’s a shame, not a sin. You keep your hair short because of this verse, fine. I’m ok with it. It’s your decision, just don’t tell me I’m going to hell because mines long. (It’s not-I’m just making a point) It’s a shame those people don’t keep reading and find the verses right below it that say “BUT if there is anyone contentious (controversial, touchy or arguable) among you, against such we have no law in ANY of the churches of God” in other words: get on to what’s important! (By the way you want a longer version, of what inspired this part, look up the name “Mark Lowry”, a wise but funny man.)

The music one is easy to come back at. They say that “Christian rock” is just as evil as “other rock” and the 4/4 beat is the devils rhythm. God says “make a joyful noise…praise him with the stringed instruments (guitars-both bass and acoustic, along with the harp and lyre) and praise him on the cymbals (they are found on drum sets, right?)” So if our instruments are specifically requested by God, and our lyrics our uplifting and praising Him, where is the problem. Oh yea…I forgot…were talking about a pious, condemning religious zealot; the kind that give Christians a bad name.  Who has the duct tape?

Oh and by the way, if I wear a Mohawk, colorful hair, crazy clothes and odd piercings and tattoos, don’t tell me I’m going to hell for that either. God looks at what is in our souls, not on our skin. Every generation has a style that previous ones have looked down on.  God forbid (which he doesn’t) I look like an individual and non conformist. No sin there either street corner dudes. I had a friend we’ll call “Tony”. He wore crazy jewelry, punk clothes with crazy designs, his hair changed color and styles on a daily basis, and he listed to Christian rock music and hung out with atheists, bisexuals, liars and sinners. Do you want to know what he did with his life? He loved them unconditionally. He died at the age of twenty and is, without a shadow of a doubt, in heaven right now.

So if you tell me your god sends punks, rockers, and hippies to hell, and that being gay, a sinner or not following one or two of YOUR churches rules is a one way ticket to hell, then I tell you I am glad I don’t worship your god. My God says that ALL who come before him and believe will receive eternal life. He doesn’t demand perfection; he just asks that you listen.

If you read this and are my friend or family and think “I am one of those things, a zealot or a liar, an old law follower or a homosexual” I tell you this: I love you. I don’t care what you do or what you believe, I love you. I will NEVER look down upon you for your views, lifestyle or faith choices. Whether gay, straight, Christian or Buddhist, I still love you. I don’t require you to believe the same as me or even agree with me to be my friend or family. All I ask is that you listen when I rant, think hard about your retorts (I welcome them by the way) and accept me for my choices and views; and if you cannot, and you choose to end your time with me, I am truly sorry for that.

Now go live.

War Of Change

Posted: January 8, 2013 in Life
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“It’s a truth that in love and war, World’s collide and hearts get broken, I want to live like I know I’m dying, Take up my cross, not be afraid” – TFK

I feel lately i need to step it up. i was so daring in my youth but time and broken hearts have changed that. I need to change again. I need to take a step off the ledge and trust that the outcome will be ok.

I’ve been mountain climbing, white water rafting down the mighty Colorado river. jumped from heights and gone under water. All this before the age of 21. Now, married and a father, i have lost my gall. the worst risk i take anymore is reaching my hand into  the sink to grab a knife.

I know that with fatherhood comes a degree of responsibilities but i don’t want my kids to be afraid either. i want them to be able to climb a mountain and stand on top and watch the sunrise over the desert. I want them to look back at their old man and say “he inspired me to do this and to be all i could possibly be.” and be proud. Hell, i want my wife to sleep sound a night knowing that if need be, i can take care of whatever may attack.

because they will come; attacks. and if i don’t stand up to the danger and face my fears then what am i? I have always been afraid of heights. my whole life. but at the age of 18 i face my fear, climbed a mountain and rappelled back down. I am afraid of public speaking but i have been told by so many that i could help people, if only i could overcome this fear. Fear drives us, i think. It gives us the ability to become more than what we are.

or less.

i think its up to us…up to me to stand on my feet and face my fears with courage and cahones. Test my mettle and all that jazz. 2013 will be the year of change for me. No more spineless interaction. damn the opinions and screw the fears.

“There’s a war going on inside of me tonight (don’t be afraid) Wait, it’s just about to break, its more than I can take, Everything’s about to change, I feel it in my veins, its not going away, Everything’s about to change,”

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I love my kids. I feel I must start with that statement. it’s actually important. I love my kids. That being said-I cannot wait until tomorrow. Two weeks are far to long for winter break. I grow in respect for their teachers on a daily basis. How these people can go day in and day out with a whole roomful of kids is beyond me. my hair is falling out and turning grey as i type this just listening to them argue in the next room.

have I said that they are both boys? because that’s also important. boys fight differently than girls. I’m not sure how much but I know that there is a massive difference. My boys will argue and hit and wrestle and scream then…silence. not because one killed the other; they just fought it out. This is a guy thing though. my best friend of many years and I have done the same thing.

ready for a flashback?

One time, when we were in out early 20’s we were at my girlfriends house. there was a large group of us. we got rowdy and he tried to pull me down a flight of steps. we began to fight and I nailed him with my foot. right between the legs. that made the fighting worse and he punched me and got up and walked out of the house. his girlfriend ran after him and mine helped me up the stairs. he came back and punched me again and I hit him back. at that point we started laughing and everything was fine. this is what I fear for my boys in a few years.

well, that and the skanky girlfriend. if they are anything like me they will bring home at least one piece of trash. then, like my father before me, I will tell them my opinion and wait for them to realize that dad is right. 🙂 I know…dream on dad.

my point is, having kids is as much fun as  having friends. it can be a stress but a blessing at the same time. thank God I have a partner in my insanity. it DID take two to tango after all.

so to all the teachers out there…thank you. thank you for teaching my kids the things i have forgotten since graduation. Thank you for giving us that small reprieve during the day, if only to collect our thoughts and dirty clothes. and thank you for the willingness to do these things.

now, go live.

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The living.

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Life
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Do you exist? Seems like a silly question, I know. Silly or not it, it provokes thought. Let me explain.

Some people exist. That’s all. The go about their bussiness and take up space. They can merely be defined as “existing”. On the flip side, some people live. They do things worth the blood in their veins. They show the world that they are alive.

You see, everyone has a voice. Some voices are like whispers and get lost in the wind. Never heard or cared about. They exist and that’s it. Then their are the voices that can’t help but be heard. I don’t even need to explain those voices because you knew what I meant as soon as I said it.

Everyone needs their voice to be heard. Somewhere is a young girl. She is in her mid teens. Just an average kid. She goes to school and gets teased. She writes in her diary and on her facebook about it. She would never dream of shooting anyone but she cuts. Her arms and legs and tries to dull the pain. Her voice is but a whisper and her silent cries get lost in the sea of humanity.

Dramatic, I know, but no less true. Those that choose to live must help those that merely exist how to live. As I sit here writing and drinking my coffee I can’t help but wonder…am I living? Or do I simply pound away at mere existance. I would like to think my voice is heard and in return I have heard a whisper that saved the life of the one who spoke it.

Now, go live.

One of those days

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Life
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Have you ever had one of those days? You know-where you just wish you didn’t crawl out of bed. Yeah. Today was one of those. Over all it was a solid 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 but it was just blah. Cold, wet, dreary weather combined with a cold can ruin any day. Perhaps a good nights sleep will help. Let’s find out.