Hello! Hola! Shalom! Peace and Blessings.
I uploaded some new music today, and I hope you’ll listen and share.
You can listen to it —-> here
Choices are made in the moment.
The twilight, sky masked by clouds of an impending storm.
The pause before the audience applauds after the performance.
The breath before the jump.
This thing so feared,
. . .forgotten
This is, in fact, the only thing we as humans can take hold of. This is the only opportunity we have to do something.
Five minutes ago? Gone.
Tomorrow? Not promised.
I recently came to the understanding of this: today is all we have.
But even ‘today’s cannot be held or even correctly calculated.
All you have, I have, is right now.
What will you do with it?
I’m simply thankful for all those who have impacted my life thus far.
Each person I’ve come to encounter has left me with something I can take away. Not things that are physical, or tangible, but things that you can carry with you no matter where you are. This life has brought me through many joys and many challenges, and I have yet to fully come to understanding the nature of men.Our society today would say that I am referring to only males, but I mean those of us who are living, breathing, thinking, inspired, made-in-God’s-image, people. Which if you didn’t pick up means you. I don’t understand how we are able to grow so close with one another and so quickly cast one another aside. I don’t understand why we find the answer to stopping ridicule is ridiculing someone else. (it’s ridiculous…buh dum czshhh) I don’t quite understand why it is culturally unacceptable to type the word ‘don’t’ in something meant to be meaningful. But most of all I don’t understand why it is so easy to hold on to the negative aspects in our lives.
Looking back makes me realize that we often see regrets much more clearly than joys and successes. In ANY other area of life, it is understood that to build a better future in ANYTHING, you must realize the good moments had and try to have more of those. But, in our day to day, ‘trying to make our lives as great as they can be,’ we hold on to the negatives, hoping that if we can remember those wrongs, we won’t do them again. This seems to me to be a bit of a misconception. Simply put, why don’t we look at our failures, of which we have been forgiven*, and try to do as much of the opposite of those things as possible? My asterisk was for those of you who aren’t forgiven, I highly encourage you to seek it out and obtain it in whatever way you can. Moving on, I came to a conclusion about the way many of people think.
I realized this:
Harboring regret drowns out the joys of our past.
So many situations I have been beyond blessed to be a part of, I only look back on to see the bruises, scars, and pains. In doing so I forget that I have since HEALED from said bruises, scars, and pains. I convince myself that I am not healed, and that something about me must be wrong. This train of thought is brought on by one thing, and that is our own promotion of ourselves. To be the best for everyone else, we must be perfect to ourselves. Which we will never be. It is time, to move on. To pick up the memories of our past and discover the joy hidden in the cracks. Let that joy contagiously jump to whatever your present situation is, and you might start to see how quickly joy will infiltrate every part of who you are- past, present, and future.
The God I serve asks us to repent from the wrongs we have done. Repent means to turn around. But I often forget than in turning away from one thing, I must turn to another. Turning to the in-explainable grace of God allows me to see that I don’t have to provide an answer for the things I’ve done wrong. Turning allows me to see that God gives me an answer for where I am now, and that is that grace is present in my life.
Transforming, life-altering, unfathomable grace.
Living today is about realizing grace. I heard a pastor say recently something to the effect that, “We try and row our way out of life’s storms, and we are rowing so hard and fast that we don’t look down to see that we are surrounded by a sea of grace. Tip the boat over, and learn to swim, instead of fighting your way out of your past sins and failures. Jesus already fought for you.”
I recently wrote a song about this grace, about this God, about my reason for living. I’ve typed out the words below.
Grace is readily available. Choose it, and Live today.
In the midst of
the darkest of
nights I have found
You’re holding to me
In spite of my rejection
The Word of the Lord
says the lost can be found
I don’t know why
I’ve been so misdirected
To think that the things
in this infinite space
were made for my workings
to move and arrange
that they might be perfectly
aligned for me
that I might plot the course
of the storms and the sea
But you bring me to grace
in the midst of the storm
to discover my place
and to rest in Your arms
All that I’m given is
a boat and a map
to be held up
and to know where I’m at
But not where I’m goin’
No, not where I’ll end
Just some simple instructions
on how to begin
As I sail along
I keep looking back
Hoping to fix
All of my many failures
But the map that I have
says to not turn around
but to trust in the words
of a wise old sailor
He understands the ocean
and the waves that it brings
But gives us strength to press on
and strength to believe
He says that we’ll be
alright and alive
If we let go of our past
and let grace in our lives
Now that I’ve sailed along
for a couple of years
I know that I can
Trust the words of the sailor
He taught me to let
the wind catch my sails
to trust that the mast
will hold through forever
Because it’s been fixed
by it’s craftsman’s hands
It will one day bring me
back to the land
From which I was thought of
and loved at first sight
My home with my savior
The king of the light.
Wounds hurt. They cause pain, destruction, distraction, and weakness. It is inevitable that they will happen. Every human being is capable of being wounded and will be at some point in their life. Minor or major, wounds happen.
As soon as a wound happens, human nature immediately wants to seek out healing.
PLEASE, Make this go away, make it better, make this pain stop.
We seek help, either from ourselves or a physician. The solid fact is, the vast majority of humans don’t enjoy pain. We want to be rid of it.
When we find the cure for our wound, we apply it as quickly as we can, hoping that the wound will begin to recede completely. Over time, the scars appear. You know you’ve been wounded, and you know you don’t want it to happen again. First there is a scab, and eventually new skin grows back. That is the design of human nature.
As the wound heals, we think of ways to avoid the wound coming back. We will stand guard against whatever it was that hurt us.
Now, imagine someone who digs into a wound over and over and over again. As soon as they are almost completely healed, they open the wound again, causing healing to occur slowly. The body becomes confused because it can’t fully regenerate what has been broken over and over again. This happening seems to be highly unlikely, because it is not the nature of man.
It is far more likely than we realize.
Sin enters, and it hurts.
Sin wounds us, and we tend to open wounds over and over and over again.
We wonder why we can’t heal, and it is because we keep opening the wounds.
We need to allow healing to come to our scars.
It’s our nature,
So life has been amazing, amazingly fast, amazingly new, and amazingly real. God provides experiences beyond the comfort of simple life. He even provides comfort in simple life. As I press on, I enjoy more than before, I see more than the past, and I look beyond the present. I live for today, for as Jesus said once, “Sufficient for the day is it’s own trouble.”
Life. It breathes and moves all around us. We feel what we experience, we experience what we see, and we see what moves. There is a binding factor of the human race that brings all together despite any difference.
And that factor is love.
Love is real and responds to what it recognizes, other love. People long for one another, hoping for meaning in this world. People long to be recognized as worthwhile, whole, complete. The feeling that they receive from this brings them into their beliefs. If love acts wrongly, it creates tension, it pulls people apart. There is a higher calling and purpose to our nature. I believe that there is a God who created and designed us fearfully and wonderfully. I believe that he knitted us together inside of our mother’s wombs. I believe that We were designed in the image of God, which is described in the Bible as true, just, and unfailing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Now is a time of change in my life, a time where it seems that I sometimes feel confused with everything that’s going on with me and around me. Just recently finishing my first year of college, I am at a stage where everything has taken a drastic pause,
College seems to move SO quickly and when that constant motion is interrupted, it seems that everything shakes up a little. Sitting here at home, hearing the barking of dogs and the laughter of high-school kids enjoying the beginnings of summer, I begin to realize how… care-free I was just one year ago. I was beginning to see that responsibility was setting in, beginning to wonder how to tackle it, but in all reality, I was only preparing. I wasn’t actually living out that responsibility in full. I was captivated by the idea of freedom, the idea that I could make my own choices.
The true reality is that as we grow older, we often see the responsibilities we have as taking us captive once again. This isn’t the case. What we take on is our responsibility, and the only reason we would feel captive is if we allowed ourselves to feel that way. We must get out of Socrates’ cave* and see the true light of life. Even those outside the cave had responsibilities, but because of their realization of the light, they can enjoy those responsibilities while maintaining their freedom.
We are free in Christ. Through Him we are set free from the oppression and slavery of this world. When the Bible says we are to be slaves to Christ, it is to be noticed why we are slaves. We are willing slaves, because when we realize the true measure of God’s love for us, the true measure of His Son, our hearts will willingly accept the responsibility to serve Christ in everything we do. It is a joyous responsibility, because we have knowledge of the outcome of our service.
Because of our knowledge of God’s greatness, we must have faith in Him. When Jesus walked on the water in Matthew 14, Peter got out of the boat and approached Him. When Peter saw the storm through his earthly perspective, he began to sink. Peter knew that the all-powerful Son of God was right in front of Him, standing steadily on the water, but he based his faith on his own understanding, and this caused him to sink back into worldly life.
We must live our lives trusting Jesus completely, because we know the depth of His power. We may not understand Him, His motives, or any part of Him, but we must trust Him because we know Him.
Through this period of transition I see that I sometimes feel as if I’m sinking, and that is only because I sometimes have small faith, like Peter did as he was walking towards Jesus.
As we walk towards Jesus, we must see that He is letting us do great things, impossible things, because we’re trusting Him. It is when we lose sight of the Savior, when we lose the joy of our salvation, that we begin to sink and doubt and fall into worldly things.
Stay Strong, Fight the good fight, Finish the Race, Keep the Faith.
*Plato’s The Simile of the Cave
Don’t be watered down in your faith.
As I was cleaning out a coffee cup this morning, I noticed that all the coffee residue came out easier if it was filled with water. If I had left the residue in there, it would be much harder to clean out later. This could be looked at in two ways.
1. When filled with the Spirit of God, it is realized that we need to pour out to others. But when we water it down and simply try to pour it out, it leaves nothing in us. We are wiped of any noticeable trace reality.
Jesus said that if salt loses it’s saltiness, what good is it to anyone? It is to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Imagine someone giving you a cup of coffee. You get it, and look at it, and from the top it looks like regular coffee. But you notice, it isn’t steaming. You take a sip and you realize that the coffee is lukewarm. It’s actually just a little coffee topped off with a lot of water.
Tie that into Christian faith.
It’s going to be obvious to those around you that you are watered down.
and that’s not even the worst of it.
In Revelation Jesus says of the lukewarm, “I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Many people know how to play church; they do it well. It’s time to start being church. The church that Jesus intended. His bride, the love of his life, his church.
2. Once again imagine the coffee cup with the coffee residue in the bottom. Relate that to the sin that you keep holding on to. The longer it is left in the bottom of the cup, the easier it will be to leave it there. It will be harder to scrub out later, and eventually you’ll just stop washing it all together and get used to drinking out of the contaminated cup. The more you become OK with that residue being there, the longer it will stay, and you eventually will forget about it all together. You’ll forget what it’s like to have a clean cup.
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?
Student : Absolutely, sir.
Professor : Is GOD good ?
Student : Sure.
Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?
Student : Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?
(Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Is satan good ?
Student : No.
Professor: Where does satan come from ?
Student : From … GOD …
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?
Professor: So who created evil ?
(Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them ?
(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?
Student : No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?
Student : No , sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smell your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?
Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student : Yes.
Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.
Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Student : No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theatre became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?
Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?
Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Student: Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)
Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter. )
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face
unfathomable.)Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.
We really feel this is a great conversation concerning faith. If you are questioning your faith or know someone that has questions concerning God and faith please use this or if you have questions please feel free to ask. We would love to converse with you.
By the way, that Student was EINSTEIN.