Tag Archives: spirituality

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.

Worry Consumes Me…No I Don’t Think I’ll Let It Do So Today

Today I found my mind racing with worry about something that I am dealing with. Then I got up from my desk to go to the men’s room (TMI, I know) and did so without grabbing my cane. On the way back, I noticed no limp, no stagger, almost like nothing ever was wrong. Not bad I thought I am getting so much stronger every day, and that’s when my inner Keanu Reeves took over. WHOA! I thought that’s it exactly; I’m getting stronger every day. When did I start getting stronger? When I put my faith in the Lord and began doing things like walking every day and riding the exercise bike when I quit worrying about will I ever walk like before? That’s when I started getting stronger.

So why am I letting worry consume me now?

Look what the Lord has already done for me.

Look at all I have to be grateful for.

I only need to keep my faith in the Lord and keep working on a solution because worry can only fill my soul with fear. But faith in the Lord and action on my part will lead me to the successful outcome I seek. In this, I do not doubt because, with Him, nothing is impossible.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

    whose confidence is in him.

8 They will be like a tree planted by the water

    that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

    its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Nothing is impossible in HIS world

Watching Joel Osteen this morning, and the Lord must be using him to preach right at me and my current situation this morning. He is preaching that we should never laugh in disbelief at what God puts in front of us, even if it seems impossible. For when you laugh, God will simply say welcome my child to my world.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
It may not happen right away; there may be obstacles placed in your way. This is never going to happen, you may think. But that is only because, as humans, we can not always see the larger picture but rest assured, HE does. We must keep the faith, continue to praise the Lord, continue to push through the obstacles, and when He blesses you with that which you thought was impossible. As Olsteen called it, a “whoever thought miracle.” You won’t be laughing in disbelief any longer; you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
I have congestive heart failure, and on June 7th, I had a cardiac event. My heart stopped, doctors told my sister things don’t look so good. But God looked down on me and said, son, it is yet your time, and HE breathed the gift of life back into my body. A week later, the hospital minister would come into my room and, with a huge laugh, say, miracle man, I can’t believe you are up and talking to me after what you looked like last week. He was laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
My cardiologist tells me the medicine he prescribes for me and the diet he says I should follow will help me maintain my health. But you can’t just reverse congestive heart failure. I laughed in disbelief at that. Sure I will take my medicine and follow my diet, but while he may prescribe medications and suggest diets to maintain my health, it is only HE who can truly heal me, and then we will all be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
You see, I have faith that the Lord has not brought me to this point along the spiritual journey to drop me off on the side of the road. I have faith that while I may not see it, HE knows the big picture. HE sees what he has in store for me. I have faith that as Osteen preached this morning, HE is positioning me to do something positive. I will continue to pray to and praise him, and you should too. No matter what your current situation may be—no matter what obstacles may appear to be in your path. Keep the faith, and soon you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.

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Visualize not what we are told is possible but what we are told isn’t

I came down to the promenade, where I am currently undergoing physical rehabilitation by myself this evening. I Sat down and endeavored to clear my mind. I began to count each breath I took as a gazed out at the Hudson River. A sense of calm overtook me, and I could feel the weight of my worries being lifted.
I genuinely believe that while traditional medicine and a healthy diet are essential in MAINTAINING my health. It is only through my mind and my spirituality will I HEAL. Doctors may say the reversal of my condition is not possible that through medication, I can control it but never eradicate it. Still, the truth is miracles happen every day, and only the Lord has the power to say what is and what isn’t possible.
God has blessed us all with a mind unlike any of his other creations. It is up to us to unlock our minds’ full potential, to allow it to visualize not only what we already know but to let in and imagine what we don’t know. To envision what science has conditioned us to believe in the impossible.
Moving forward, I will endeavor each day to allow my mind to step outside of my physical being and visualize my heart beating strongly and being healthy. With God’s light guiding me, I believe I will get better. He has brought me this far. He has given me a new life. September 1st represents my birthday, My first in this awaken state of spirituality and mind, and I plan on taking full advantage of the second life
He has blessed me with.

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The Alt-Right’s sins against the Lord.

One of the significant aspects of American society is the right to free speech. No matter how hateful and divisive it is. No matter how vile you may take the message to be, it is the right of every individual or group to voice their opinion freely.

This weekend exactly one year after Unite the Right, the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, many of the same white-nationalist, paramilitary, and other right-wing groups are planning to come together again — this time, in Washington, D.C.

In many ways, it is a good thing that these groups are permitted to use their first amendment right to hold these rallies as it sheds light on the vile, dangerous and disgusting message of division and hate they preach. A spotlight for the rest of America to witness and be repulsed by, hopefully forcing them to admit there is cancer in America that needs to be removed. Discussions about race and social inequalities can not be swept under the rug any longer but must be confronted head-on if we are ever going to move forward as a nation.

These rallies also shine a light on the sins of those individuals who preach hate. The majority of them call themselves Christians but deny the undeniable; we are all one created in the image of our Lord.

27 So God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

They presuppose that they are greater than the Lord they claim to worship. That they have the right to determine which of the Lord’s children are worthy and which are not. A direct rejection of the Lord’s commandment to us. As is written in John 13:34:

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another

The Lord created each of us in His image. He loves each of us unconditionally. He does not play favorites based on the color of our skin or our religious beliefs.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:26-29

Since the beginning, it has been the Lord’s desire for us to live together in peace and unity.

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalms 133:1

And He warned us to avoid those who would speak differently!

17. Now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words, they deceive innocent people. – Romans 16:17-18

So this weekend, let us stand at a distance, watch and expose to the world those with malice in their hearts, sinners against the Lord.

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. – Ephesians 5:11

But as with all things with the Lord, reject their beliefs but be prepared to forgive those among them who repent their sins and ask for help in finding their way back onto the path of spirituality.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. – Galatians 6:1 

You may at times neglect your faith but it is never to late to renew it

When I first moved into my new apartment, I was gifted an African Violet as a house warming gift. I remember thinking how beautiful it was with its purple blooms. Now I’m not exactly known as someone with a green thumb, but the African Violet did not need much attention. You have to keep the soil moist to dry and allow the soil around roots to dry out before watering. It thrived in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. Pretty much, it was set and go and enjoy its beauty.
In the beginning, I made a point of taking great care of the plant; it was, after all, easy to do. I also found myself looking at it as a source of relaxation and motivation due to its striking color and amazing blooms. Just by looking at it, I could feel my spirits being lifted as it seemingly gave me a sense of purpose.
As the months went by, the good times were plentiful. Success seemed to be around every corner. With success, I found myself spending more time at the office as I endeavored to continue, which at the time was a rapid rise up the corporate ladder. When I wasn’t in the office, I was out networking and enjoying the social scene. During this time, I neglected my beautiful African Violet that had provided me with so much inspiration. Then as fast as the success came, the economy took a downward turn. Cutbacks were on the horizon. I survived the company purge, but the rise up the corporate ladder came to a dramatic halt. The large bonuses that I had foolishly incorporated into my budget to finance my overextended lifestyle dried up. At the same time, my girlfriend, who I believed loved me, answered the question New Edition once asked. Can you stand the rain? As you may have guessed, her answer was no, and she told me it was over. She made up some excuse about us growing apart, but it was pretty obvious the distance between us only widened as my bank account lessened.
I fell into a funk. Depressed, I cut myself off from most of the world. I frequently asked myself, why is this happening? Spend many a weekend laying in bed with no desire to get up and embrace the day. One day, I looked at my long-neglected African Violet, hoping it could once again inspire me with its beauty. When I looked at it, I saw it had stop flowering and its leaves had turned yellow. I immediately understood that it was my failure to water it and cultivate its soil because I was so busy enjoying the good times, that was. Responsible for its current condition.
I had taken it for granted and assumed that it would always be there in all its beauty as an inspiration when I needed it.
Your faith is like the African Violet; it does not require super high maintenance. But it does require that we not neglect it. Not cultivate and continue to strengthen it in the good times and expect that it will merely be there for us in times of angst. We must continue to take steps along our spiritual journey, praising the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon us in good times. Strengthen our belief each day so that we do not turn away from the Lord and egotistically pat ourselves on the back for achieving such success, forgetting that without the Lord, we would be nothing.
I looked at the African Violet and took steps to restore its beauty. Watering it, cultivating its soil, ensuring that it received the proper amount of sunlight. Soon its beauty began to return. It started to bloom once again. New bright and vibrant green leaves took the place of the ones that had turned yellow. My renewed commitment to the African Violet brought me a new and stronger plant and, with it, a new source of inspiration. Now each day, I look at it in all of its beauty and go out and embrace all that the world offers me, good and bad.
As with the African Violet, you can renew your faith by recommitting to the Lord. The Lord does not hold grudges and His blessings are always there for you. As you restart your spiritual journey and offer your praise unto him, you will soon see that your situation will begin to brighten in time.

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It is not a test for the Lord it is a test for ourselves

Not to toot my own horn, but I was considered a rising star in my career. Having achieved success at every level, I quickly rose through the ranks. At the same time, my colleagues continued to take training courses to strengthen their skill sets and keep pace with the innovations and technologies. I chose to skip these training classes. After all, I was a star, and what was a trainer going to teach me that I didn’t already know. Sadly due to an economic downturn, the company was forced to lay off several employees, including a supervisor in my division. Not being able to hire a new supervisor, I was tasked with the responsibility of that unit’s direct supervision. Upon taking over, I realized that much of what I thought I knew had evolved beyond my current level of understanding. Production levels began to suffer, people above me began to question my leadership. Self-doubt started to creep into my psyche. My bitterness toward the company began to mount. How could they put me in this position? Were they setting me up to fail? Then one day, my mentor came to me and said instead of moping around, being bitter, and blaming the company, realize that things were going so well for you it was easy to take your talents for granted you forgot what made you so successful. Recommit to your craft, he said, take those training classes, brush up on the new technologies. Strengthen your area of expertise, and you’ll see things will turn around. Taking his advice, I put my nose to the grindstone, enrolled in the training classes, researched the new technology available, and talked to staff to get their feedback on what we could do to increase efficiency. With my renewed energy and strengthen skill set, it was only a matter of time before the numbers began to turn around, and today the division is turning a profit at an all time high.

This story serves as a simile to our faith. When things are sailing along in our lives, we tend to take our faith for granted. But when faced with adversity, many of us ask, why me? Why is the Lord testing me? We become depressed at the situation and angry with the Lord. It is then that evil sees its opening and tempts us with the promise of a better day if we reject the Lord and follow it. When faced with this option, many of us are easily swayed to accept evil’s proposition. After all, if He truly loved me, why would He test me in this way? But what we fail to understand is that the Lord is not testing us for Himself; he is testing us for ourselves. As someone once said:

When God pushes you to the edge, trust him fully because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly. 

The key part of that quote is the words trust him fully. In times of adversity, it a test for us to see for ourselves how strong our faith truly is. To see if we remember that our good times were the result of His blessings. To see if our faith is as strong as we believed it to be or does it waiver in times of adversity. If it does indeed waiver, we must, like I did in my career, put our nose to the grindstone and recommit to Him by taking steps along our spiritual journey to strengthen our faith. Remember, we are His children, and his love for us is unconditional. So much so that he gave us His only son so that we may be forgiven of sin. He loves us so that as it is written in Ephesians 13-14, He promised us eternal life.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee4of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,5 to the praise of his glory.

Once come to the understanding that the Lord will never abandon us and that we should not question when He will provide us with the blessings required to overcome the adversity we are facing but accept the truth that as it is written, He makes all things beautiful in His time will we be able to prove to ourselves that we do indeed possess a faith that is strong and cannot be shaken even in times of adversity.

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It is He

Did you think you could break me?
That you could convince me that earthly possessions were more valuable than spiritual ones, strip me of my compassion for others by exploiting inherent fears and prejudices that reside within us all,
drive a wedge between my savior and me, cause me to abandon my faith and turn my back on him.
Look again and understand this:
My faith is strong in Him, not you.
He who forgives me of my sins and loves me unconditionally, not you.
He who I give praise to, not you.
He who I thank each day for allowing me to wake to this beautiful world that He created, not you.
He who am a child of not you.
He who has blessed with the promise of eternal life not you for as it is written in John 6:40
For it is My Father’s will that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
It is because of Him, the Lord, my savior, that you could never break me.

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What if I told you

Would you believe if I told you that: I do not worry about the pursuit of earthly riches.
I do not fret about my status in life.
I have cast away my fears of failure.
I do not allow self-doubt to consume me.
I have been relieved of all my worry.
What if I told you all of this is because:
I give my heart and soul unconditionally to the Lord.
I believe that through my faith, the Lord forgives me of my sin and loves me unconditionally in return.
I am strengthened in the knowledge that I do not walk alone on this journey that He is guiding me and protecting me each step of the way.
I believe that with the Lord, all things are possible.
I am encouraged in the knowledge that through my prayers, praise, and faith in Him. The Lord will rain down blessings upon me.
What if I told you that by setting aside your pride and allowing the spirit of the Lord to consume you that you too could be freed of self-doubt, worry, and the pursuit of earthly riches. Would you? Could you?

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Evil may tempt us but the Lord shall lead us to the path of righteousness

In our pursuit of earthly wealth and power, it is often easy to fall into the company of and work in partnership with those whose intentions are far from righteous.
Evil rarely presents itself as evil. Evil never sleeps, always tempting us, masquerading as good by falsely communicating its intention to work in our favor. It blinds us to the evidence that in our association with it, we are slowly being stripped of our compassion for our fellow man and are more than willing to take advantage of, subjugate and even kill each other to advance our personal agenda. It corrupts us into pitting ourselves against each other by exploiting inherent fears and prejudices that reside in each of us. It persuades us to create division to protect our own power and wealth. As our association with evil advances our cachet in society and swells our bank accounts, it is easier for our faith to waiver and our relationship with the Lord to widen.
Avoiding this temptation is not easy. We are, after all, only human and to be humans is to be inherently flawed. Left alone, history has shown us our willingness to sin when we believe that sin would benefit our lot in life. We even have used our so called “religious” beliefs as an excuse to commit one of the most heinous of sins by waging war against and taking the lives of fellow humans whose views differ from ours.
How do we avoid this? It is only through the Lord that we can temper our innate desire to sin. Like with our physical bodies, we must commit to an exercise program to strengthen our faith. Through daily prayer, praise, and conversations with the Lord, our spirituality grows. We come to understand that no amount of wealth and power here on the Earth can compare to the eternal existence that awaits us in the Lord’s paradise. Through our strengthened spirituality, we are guided to the path of righteousness and blessed with the courage required to rebuke evil. Through our spirituality, we can recognize that we are weak, and it is ok to ask the Lord for help in overcoming our desire to sin. It is our faith that enables us to see that spiritual riches are far greater than physical ones. Only when we embrace these concepts and give our lives to the Lord will we truly become one with the Lord and reap all the blessings that association will rain down upon us.

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