Tag Archives: belief

Long Distance Conversation with Mom and Dad

Mom? Dad? Where am I? Have I crossed over?

No, son, you haven’t “crossed over” it’s not your time yet.  And who talks like that? Crossed over? Anyway, come and sit with us.  We know the last several months have been difficult for you, and we thought now would be an excellent time to visit you.

Well, it’s a little unusual, to say the least, but you’re right about that the last few months, they have trying.  Sometimes I say to myself, why even bother?  Does it matter?  If the big man wants me to suffer, I’m more or less powerless to stop it.

Is that what you think?

That’s what I know. I mean, I pray to him. I’ve tried to live my life the correct way, yet here I am dealing with this.  It’s like he has forsaken me.

So you believe that if you simply ask, he’ll look at you, and boom like that, you’re problems disappear? Interesting? But I can understand how you may feel forsaken.  You know your mother and I have always believed you to be remarkable.  Someone born with the unique talents to accomplish whatever you set your mind to—the empathy to treat others with love and respect and not expect anything in return. The intelligence to see a problem and reason out the best solution. So it is surprising that you do not see the obvious.

Which is?

That the Lord will help you by showing you the way, guiding you to right path, but you must be willing to walk the road. There are no easy fixes.  If you believe in him, he will believe in you, he will show you the way. But showing you is not the same as doing for you.  Sometimes we forget that.

So you’re saying this is a test of my faith?

No, what you will soon come to understand, son, is he does not crave your belief.  If he did, he would not have given you free will.  What he does desire is that you live your life in accordance with the principles he has laid out.  That you treat others with the respect and love, you desire.  This is especially important in times of darkness.  How you treat others when it appears all things around you are failing is a look inside your soul.  You see, it is not a test in your faith in him but an examination of yourself.  If you pass, it does not matter if you say you believe in him or not because your actions will show that you believe in what is right and pure, and that is what he desires for each of us.

I get it, righteously live my life, and the Lord will lead me in the direction of good things.  Thankfully I was raised by two beautiful people who instilled in me the righteous way.

It is good to see despite some bumps in the road; you have chosen to live your life adhering to the principles your father and I set for you.  But what you must remember is that as a living being, your definition of “good things” might differ from the definition of good things on a spiritual level.

Whoa, that seems like a cop out.  Are you saying that no matter what you do, you may find you do not always get the happy ending you search for?

Yes and no.  If you define your happiness as only what you can measure on the plane of existence for which you currently reside, then I guess you could say no.

What?

Look at it this way, your mother and I are talking to you now.  This plane of existence is very different than the one in which you usually reside.  Yet the look on your face when you saw us.  The feeling of love emanating from your heart and the happiness you feel right now exist but in quite a different way than if we were on your normal plane of existence.  Stay still for a minute, close your eyes, and listen to your heart. Now let’s go back to the very beginning when you first saw us, and you asked have you crossed over.  Suppose you had? Would that feeling of happiness and love you have right now cease to exist?

I think I understand. I genuinely miss you and how you always explained things to me.  How you are able to make me understand things other could not, how you always showed me what is right is wrong. Most importantly, no matter how stubborn I was, how you never gave up on me, how you loved me as no other two people could ever love me.

You were our child, special in that you were not born of us, but we chose you to be our child.  As much as you think we impacted you, watching you grow into the man you are today brought happiness to us as well.  And do not believe we do not continue to benefit from that as we continue to watch you.  We even cheat a bit, when permitted of course, and help you through some rough moments.  The day will come when we all exist together again as a family, but that time is not now.  You have much to accomplish yet, and we will be looking on proud parents. But for now, we must leave you.

Wait, will I even remember this?

Of course, I wouldn’t go around broadcasting it, spirituality isn’t what it used to be, and some may want to have your head examine, so let this be our little secret, son, and remember this is not goodbye. It’s only till next time. We love you.

And I love you, Mom and Dad, till next time.

The Devil – The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz

Covid

Racial Injustice

Homelessness

Hunger

Oppression

The powerful turning a blind eye to the plight of the weak

The rich profiting off the poor

We are living in troubled times, and Satan is hard at work. He never sleeps, He is the hardest working man in show business. Taunting us. Asking us where our Lord has gone? Why has he forsaken us? He sees this as an opportunity to swoop in and get many of us to abandon our faith and switch teams.

I know because, like so many, he has tried to shake my faith. He is a master at tempting us with solutions that appear to solve our problems, but those solutions come with a hefty price. Yet, when tempted in times of trouble, it is not easy to turn away from temptation, to let go of our worry and sorrow and believe that God has us. To remember that we are His children, and He loves us so much He gave us his son so that in his death, Jesus would set us free from eternal death. To be a seed sown for the harvest of our souls for all eternity so we could be redeemed into the family of God.

Many of us forget that no matter what we are going through at the moment, it is nothing compared to the abundance of blessings that the Lord has waiting for us. The devil knows this as well, he knows he can tempt us, make us question our faith, but he also knows that he will never, not even on his best day, have the power to shower us with the blessings that the Lord will rain down on us if we keep the faith and stay the course. 

That’s why he’s out here with his nose in everything, working so hard to nurture the evil and doubt with-in us, to take us off our path home where the Lord awaits us. In times like this, He is especially active, looking to take advantage of the loneliness and sorrow many of us may be experiencing, having suffered through the loss of a loved one or challenging times we may be going through.

But stay strong, we must. Lean on our faith and laugh at the tricks he tries to get us to question our faith. Have faith that the Lord is still walking with us. So tell the devil that he can move on and look for another soul to try and turn because he is wasting his time trying to turn yours because your soul knows that God has you, and that’s all you need.

THIS TOO SHALL PASS

COVID Racial unrest Homelessness Hunger Financial insecurity We live in troubling times, and for many of us, our faith is being tested. Many of us openly ask, where is He? Why has He turned his back on us? But even if our faith is shaken, we must find it within ourselves to lean on it, remember we are His children. Created in His image, and He loves us so much that he sacrificed his only Son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins. He has never forsaken us before, and He never will.

Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

We may not always understand the why, but we must have faith that there is a reason in all that He does.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

For while it may seem dark now, the dawn will soon come, and with it his eternal blessings.

2 Corinthians 4:17, ESV: For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

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Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

We may not always understand the why, but we must have faith that there is a reason in all that He does.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

For while it may seem dark now, the dawn will soon come, and with it his eternal blessings.

2 Corinthians 4:17, ESV: For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

So Pence was half right

Do you know what being a true Christian is? It is never having to announce to the world you are Christian. Many who called themselves Christians feel the need to announce to everyone that they are Christians.

But are they?

Maybe they thought they think they are, but their actions and deeds speak louder than their words. It shows all who are willing to see who they truly are, and it is not a Christian.

A true Christian shows through their actions and deeds that they walk in the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they love their fellow man, that they do not hoard material things at the expense of their fellow man when they are going through a tough time.

With true Christians, no one ever has to ask if they walk the path that Jesus has laid out because it is evident. With those who only speak the words, people have to ask because they cannot see it. No one sees faith when a little rain fell in their lives. No one sees them willingly help their fellow man in need but instead see them turn away.

So how do we deal with those who only speak of knowing the Lord but fail to walk the path the Lord would want them to. I would say we do nothing as we cannot impose true faith on someone, true faith cannot be found in everyone, and it not for us to judge them as it is written in Romans 14:1–13:

14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master1 that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since she gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess2 to God.” 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Do Not Cause Another to Stumble 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

So let us go forward as true Christians walking the path as shining examples to others of what the Lord would want us all to be. Through our actions, not words, we show others the true way to spirituality. In our actions, others may follow. At today’s press conference on the Coronavirus, Vice President Pence painted an unrealistic rosy picture and, seemingly eschewing science, which he has been prone to do, never recommended that we wear masks. He did, however, say several times that we should pray. Now let’s be clear we should wear masks, we should practice social distancing, we should avoid large gatherings, and we should do all those things because it has proven to be the best way to slow the spread of the virus and make no mistake the Lord does expect that we will take care of ourselves. That we will treat ourselves with love and consideration. Because as it is written in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

So Pence was half right.

We must do what is medically prudent to protect ourselves. However, it would be wrong to openly dismiss or mock his calling for us to pray as a nation. After all, prayer is a potent tool, and if we have faith in HIM, the Lord is our most powerful ally. 1 John 5:14-15 states:

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

We know that it is precisely in times like this that Satan will try to shake the faith of even the strongest. He will ask them to look to the heavens and ask the Lord, why have you forsaken us. But it also precisely at these times that we must lean on our faith, open our hearts and remember that we are children of the Lord, and even if we do not understand why some things are taking place, know this, HE still walks with us, still breathes life into us each day. HE does so because HE loves us and will never turn away from us. The Bible tells us this in many verses, including Deuteronomy 31:8:

8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

And Isaiah 41:10:

10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

When I have doubt when my body is weakened from illness and fear creeps into my mind, it is at those times that I call on my faith to strengthen me and guide me back to my spiritual journey. I empty my mind, close my eyes and talk to the Lord. I tell HIM that I believe in HIM, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and it is with this faith that I cast aside my fears and replace them with the belief that it is at HIS hand that I shall be healed. But I am also acutely aware that prayer for prayer’s sake is not enough. I must remember that my prayers can only work to revive my mind, body, and soul with the Lord, and I can only be with the Lord if I genuinely have faith in HIM.

So in these troubling times, take the necessary steps to protect yourself and those around you. But also believe and lean on your faith. Take the Vice President’s advice and pray because the Lord is listening.

The Song of the Birds

The last few mornings, I woke up at the ridiculous hour of 5:00 am. Lying in my bed, attempting to drift back off to the peaceful bliss of sleep for a few more hours, I could not help but notice the sound of birds chirping outside my window. I thought to myself, I never hear these birds any other time of the day, but every morning rain or shine as the Sun makes its appearance in the morning sky, these birds begin their song like clockwork. Their song is but one of the many things all around us that despite a worldwide pandemic, racial unrest, and an economy that has seen tens of millions lose their jobs, we take for granted. Their song is a message that despite all the chaos in the world today, the Sun still rises in the east, the Earth still circles the Sun, and the birds still sing. Being single with a pre-existing heart condition, I often find myself physically alone as well as alone in my thoughts these days, and despite being blessed in so many ways that it is hard to quantify, there are times I find myself questioning why. Why have I never been able to find that special someone to spend my life with? Why have I not been blessed with the gift of a child? Why do I have this heart condition? Have I done something so wrong in my life that I’m being punished? I know I have not lived a perfect life. I know I have sinned, but I am only human, and in the grand scheme of things, I have lived a good life, tried to do what is right, and help others where I could. So why? But as I laid there this morning alone in my thoughts, I listened to the bird’s song and realized that despite everything, their song was a blessing, their song told me that the Lord had breathed life into my nostrils so that I may see another day and hear their song. While my life may not have gone according to some abstract blueprint I put together in my mind, I was blessed to wake each morning and hear the song of the birds. A song that, for the first time, I could hear. A song that reminded me of all that I am blessed to have, things that that I sometimes take for granted. A song that reminded me that the Lord is always with me, walking beside me, guiding me, protecting me, and with that thought, I smiled and drifted back to sleep to the song of the birds.