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Category Archives: Spirituality

Watch The Children

I’ve had about enough of you. (More than enough)

You know to whom I am talking. There’s a footprint on your scaly head. It’s from a heel mark fragmenting your serpentine skull. You pretend you are still ascendant here, reclining on the throne of your crumbling citadel. You are gaming the gullible using your willing, brainwashed minions. And when any stand up to you, you try to make them an example. But you overplay your hand as usual. Yes, you are the puppet master of useful idiots. They have eyes but cannot see, ears but only hear what you allow them to.

There are two kinds of ignorance: one is a constitutional inability to absorb information, the other is willful and stubborn. Like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, red-faced little hotheads hold their ears, refusing any input that doesn’t agree with their preconceived ideas. And to think that these often call themselves academics and scientific. The super-duper dupe artist is duping them, who is the god of this dimming world. Its followers trust themselves as the arbiters of how the world consensus should think. But their mental twist isn’t original with themselves but from a higher source. They expose your underbelly when anyone follows the money and the power.

The tools are always the same, media mass communication and political agendas. When these align, watch out! A rubbery-faced spirit hovers over and presides over so-called progressive plans. Pulling the strings, it cannot abide dissent. It demands goose-stepping obedience, heads mechanically turning side to side, watching their dull-eyed leader.

But hear this: the jig is up. You, old Mr. Jinx, are now on full display. Like Smaug, the mythic dragon, you smugly recline on your claim to power, but you’ve hoarded your treasure long enough. A child shall again unseat you.





 

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The Nature of Faith

The Nature of Faith

A person who experiences being in tune with God enjoys specific extraordinary outcomes in their life. Even those who do not acknowledge God experience what mere human science cannot explain. How much more is this the case for those who are conscious of God’s existence.

The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews wrote under the inspiration of God’s spirit, “For without faith, it is impossible to please God. For those who come to God must believe that God is and rewards those who diligently seek God.” (I switch the humanlike concept ‘him’ in favor of ‘God.’)

Faith is the sole approach that pleases God. Stating this another way: Some please God by faith, and some do not. Let’s get a clear idea of what faith is and isn’t. This verse, Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6, gives us clues. Faith is the attitude of coming to God based on evidence. Intellect, volition, and emotion are all involved in creating faith. I seldom notice something in particular until I form my preferences. I use feeling, intelligence, and decision-making to develop my viewpoint.

We don’t need to overthink the concept of faith. Faith is a conclusion based on observed facts, a subjective judgment based on apparent evidence. The outcome of faith presupposes the value of its object. God is the object of faith.

Faith is coming to our senses about God. Our inner person may fluctuate in confidence like a compass needle spinning at first until finding true north. Heb. 11:6 says, “those who come to God must believe God is…” – to come to God, they MUST suppose God IS (Of course, God exists independent of their belief). God isn’t a figment like Harvey the giant rabbit or Topper the ghost. God is the source of everything and the linchpin of every other fact.

When I was going through a lapse in my experience with God, the saying, “It is what it is,” became my friend. I realized that what was already reality was totally out of my ability to control.

If the Jenga-Blocks of my life had already toppled, then “it was what it was.” Other similar cliches would be “the bullet’s out the gun” or “the cat’s out the bag” or, again, “it’s water under the bridge.” Sometimes I wanted to rewind events of my life and have a do-over. Our experiences are not like those in a video game where we can respawn or restart. When I consciously returned to the ultimate reality of the present moment, then the concept of “it is what it is” was quite liberating to me. I couldn’t go back and redress my errors at all and didn’t need to. “It is what it is” provided a reality-check, reminding me I am not ultimately in control of my life.

This realization was not just a cliche or cop-out for me. Instead, coming mindfully into the moment and knowing that I am not in ultimate control is ‘square one.’ With this realization, I do not resist my existence, but forgive the present (and myself in the present), accept my circumstances, and flow. I am not wholly defined by my past, no matter how unfortunate events may seem to have been. Whether regrettable or otherwise, it is only an opinion. “It is what it is” trumps every opinion and weakens the haywire emotional energy that would try to refocus on the past. We find the only definition of our past in the present.

Guess what I found when I focussed on the present? Yes, you guessed: God is present in the present. I came back to my senses and found God had never left me. I strayed and stumbled into the twilight, but God was waiting for me to refocus upon God’s “IS-ness.” When my mind returned to the moment, God was just there. God is closer to us than our very breath. God is closer to us than our skin.

“Those who come to God must believe God is,” for this is the beginning of sound reason. God is the fact behind every other. God is ‘large and in charge.’ Here is the name God told Moses at the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3: “Go tell them I-AM-That-I-AM sends you.” God’s unspeakable name to the Hebrews is I-AM-THAT-I-AM. The eternal present contains a PRESENCE – the present one. GOD WAS WAITING when I came consciously back to the now moment without opinion or apology. It’s not like God was on vacation, but I was out of sync with God in my mind – because I wouldn’t accept the present or what it contained.

Paul says to the Athenians in the book of Acts, “In God, we live, move, and have our being (our existence).” God’s involvement is actually for everyone, not just believers. So, to come to God is really going nowhere but exactly where I already am. The mind has to recalibrate and realize the current facts continuously. The stories of history show us God’s activities then, but we can only discover God personally in the present. That is the purpose of the stories. They give us the message of what God behaved like then, so we can count on God’s character right here and now. We can find God this very second, split-second when the mind comes into God’s “already-ness.”

I used to complicate faith. Instead, it is the easiest thing ever. It is easier than breathing. There is nothing to do but receive the person who is already here. Having faith makes nothing happen. It only takes hold of what is already here. Faith is anything but unreasonable. God is far beyond our reason, but so is the nature of reality itself. I don’t know why a chair is solid, but it certainly doesn’t stop me from sitting on it. I don’t have the faintest idea of how God can exist, but it certainly doesn’t stop me from trusting God for my next breath.

I innately know God must exist, which is quite good enough for me. How do I know this? I know it because I live. Descartes said, “I think therefore I am.” I say, “God is; therefore, I am.” Believing I am created in God’s image, I say, “I am, therefore God is.” A logical assumption is that the created being is proof of a Creator. There is a familiarity between the source and the sourced. In his message to the Athenians regarding the “Unknown God,” Paul refers to all humans as “God’s offspring.”

Humans are proud of our godlike achievements. We live in the age of technology and look at the stars and planets as destinations for travel. We have mastered wireless energy transmission in radio, television, and computers. The world is connecting at ever faster speeds with our information highway. Since we have exceeded our grandest expectations of ourselves, we assume God is less relevant than ever. Many want to strike the very idea of God out of our vocabulary and thinking as being archaic and uncivilized. Our attempt to create AI would replace relying on a godlike being. We’ve designed it to oust the idea of God. We are trying to construct a god in our image.

Yet, we cannot solve the most simple problems in our daily lives for all our self-dependence and arrogance. Living has become more complex and complicated, with careless detachment creeping into our social psyche. Social media hasn’t satisfied our deep yearning for true communion and connection. Digital communication may have some benefits, but there is also a considerable downside. A glut of communication happens all at once, mostly noise.

To listen to our lives and those in them, we must slow down. The environment of our digital lives pushes us to speed up. Whether it is the connection to your family, friends, or God yet, we hurdle on, going faster and faster to catch up to something we do not know why we must. We outran the “rat” for the race decades ago. Now we are in a VR bubble speeding through the cosmos, yet always the ‘behinder’ we go.

And where is God in all of this? God is here right now. God waits for those dissatisfied with the mirage of digital society. When I enter God’s presence by faith, I realize God in a still small moment called “now.” If anyone were to ask me why I have faith in God, I’d say, “God is the most reasonable fact in the universe. God’s gravity pulled me to God. Without God, I am incomplete.” The writer of Hebrews chapter 11 tells us that this kind of faith is the only attitude that pleases God. God wants to communicate with every one of us, but the channel of faith alone makes this possible.

God is an open-ended declaration: my shepherd, father, and righteousness. Anything essential to my life, God already is. The ruling fact of all facts is God. I recently saw a new book on the market titled Factfulness. The idea of ‘Factfulness’ is to be empirically observant. ‘Feelingfulness’ (a word I’m making) means subjective and ruled by emotional whims. If my feelingfulness tries to direct my factfulness, I become like a raft tossed around on a stormy ocean. I am in danger of being ripped to emotional and psychological pieces. This dependence upon mere feelings causes many a crash and burn. What is crucial here is to realize that faith is not a fancy or whim. Instead, God is the constant fact of life, close and personal. God is, and God is on my side – yours too (see John 3:16).

Hebrews 11:6 concludes with, “And God rewards those who earnestly seek God.” When our hearts adjust to the fact of God – that God is – we desire to draw nearer to know God intimately. Seeking God becomes my quest. God loves for us to seek God for God’s own sake. God becomes my chief aim and desire. As the Westminster Confession asks, “Q. What is the chief end (purpose, aim) of man (of human existence)? A. To glorify God and to enjoy God forever.”

When one adjusts to the fact of God, this person will enjoy knowing God personally and want to please God. God is not just a sterile “fact” for the game of Trivial Pursuit. Theology has often reduced God to a bunch of systematic dogmas. This flawed reasoning can suck our idea of God dry. God isn’t an impersonal study or science. The God of the universe won’t fit in a test tube and isn’t subject to some law of physics. Nor will they will reduce God to lines of computer code.

 

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A Choice

25 years ago, a dear friend was shot in the head by his 17-year-old son. Our family has known the boy since he was a baby. He was a good boy who did a terrible thing in a moment of rage. The question begs an answer: why would a loving, omnipotent God permit such a ghastly evil event? This Gordian-knot question has often been used to justify atheism. Why would God let dozens of innocent bystanders at a concert be mowed down by an evil shooter from a casino hotel window? Why would God allow millions of Jews to be exterminated by Hitler? Why would God allow American soldiers to harass and torture prisoners at Abu Graib?

The question reverberates into countless atrocities that seem to discredit the existence of a loving God. Yet, those who ask this question have already become judges and jury against God. Their bitterness against God is often evident by their vitriolic words. Their emotional reaction actually proves that they believe there is a god. If they only thought God was a fairy tale, it wouldn’t make any sense to be emotional about their unbelief and denial of God’s existence. When God designed humans, God gave them god-like powers to be used with God’s purpose. The human race, as a whole, deserted God, but the god-like capacity of choice remained with each individual. So humans have immense power for good or evil. The acts of humans against humans are something God cannot interfere with because of God’s design. It breaks God’s heart to witness the atrocities people can perform against one another. But keep in mind that this god-like capacity of choice may also be used for tremendous good. And in the end, good triumphs over evil.

 

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???

What if 
--we didn't expect love to fail?
--we believe love overcomes all obstacles - 
    even an empty bank account?
--we didn't enhance negativity to suck the life from the positive?
--we didn't focus on the past and future? 
--we didn't overlook the present?
--we didn't consider the journey a waste 
    even after the wheels came off?
--we didn't live at the mercy of others' judgments - 
    or even our own?
--we were not in bondage to our fears?
--we never justified bitterness as the reason
    to end a relationship?
--we chose to be happy when everything seemed wrong?
--we were convinced that there is a higher spiritual way 
    that supersedes the stiff unbending symbols?
--we were sure that living is about learning to love -
     empowering ourselves and others in our relationships?
--we practiced kindness and respect as the highest forms of love?
--we tried to understand rather than to judge? 

???
 

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Think

The concept of God isn’t farfetched.

Consider how our technological society is becoming faster.

Now we have quantum computers and artificial intelligence.
Scientists are planning to inhabit mars about twenty years from now.

Science once scoffed at the idea of prayer, seeing it as hocus-pocus or the useless practice of uneducated, powerless people.

They thought of wireless connectivity the same way, but it’s now becoming available worldwide. 5g technology is pushing its debut. So prayer isn’t so fantastic.

Communication with an unseen entity doesn’t sound implausible, or that we can transmit and receive with our built-in wet-ware device is not incredible.

The natural and supernatural prove to be closing the gap between each other.

The physical is the metaphor for the spiritual.

Think.

Everything happens with an unseen idea, whether making a chair, chewing on dinner, taking out the garbage, traveling to Mars, using silicon chips to talk to your significant other, or asserting that God is dead.

No matter.

The innate supernatural realm of the spirit is infinitely greater than our most advanced technology.

Everything depends on what we already have built into us.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2021 in commentary, Poetry, Spirituality

 

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Weighed in the Balance

The meritorious system of reaching heaven fails, and so do specific social philosophies that try to achieve social equity by a similar doomed-to-failure idea. Human dignity cannot be earned by good behavior. Either it is a given, or it is not. It must be unconditional, or it isn't dignity at all. Suppose human dignity is a matter of political affiliation, ethnicity, religion, mental acuity, social class, standing, education, sexuality, clothes, or which side of the tracks you live on. In that case, such a spurious dignity contains the seeds of hate and war. It is just another gang membership against others. Genuine human dignity has nothing to do with genetic advantage or age. For example, placing a higher value on vaccinated people more than on those who are not is an offense against humanity at a most fundamental level. Humanity's endemic moral depravity is on full display whenever it seeks to cull off those they consider less than a more self-grouping elite. Using fear to force gang membership displays a bully trying to make a group into a collective bully. Our technologies, then, can be used as a bully-pulpit. Human dignity derives from one source alone: we are all created in God's image.

 

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Fulfillment

the message of faith
spoken through a person of faith
can transform any honest listener
into a person of faith
opening the floodgates of heaven for them
& empowering them also to spread
the good news, multiplying more people of faith
who believe
for themselves
that Messiah died for our, your, my sins
in fulfillment of the ancient texts
that he was interred into a chamber of rock
(being verified as totally dead)
& after three days, he rose from the tomb
as the greatest fulfillment of the scriptures
& now he is alive and well on planet earth
channeling himself through every single person
of his faith

 

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The Meaning of Christmas

That Christmas night
the right hand of the Lord 
was revealed as a character of trouble,
(the authorities even hunted him as a baby)
rejected, overlooked, hated,
mocked, bullied, & blamed.

The virgin bore a child
born to die as a scapegoat,
to carry all the curses
of all peoples,
He absorbed the consequences of
all evil, sin, transgression, iniquity,
sickness and death.

He did all of this for all of us.
He did this for you.

By whose once-shredded flesh
healing now flows
to all who are willing
look upon him (who loved us
& gave himself for us)
& live.

The sacrificial lamb foretold;
foreshadowed by the ancient ceremonies,
both substitute & surety, 
humanity's representative,
surrogate & proxy.

The punishment that brought peace,
fell on him who tasted death
for every single person who 
ever existed, exists, or will exist
& settled once and for all
the blood debt owed by
the entire human race
        
Stake your claim
for the benefits accrued
by what he did for you-
because the transaction 
is already accomplished,
unrepeatable, done, paid for.
and this is proven by the fact 
that he rose up
as the prevailing master
of the universe.

Own him as the most incredible gift
life has to offer, and he
will own you as his friend,
child, and coworker.



 

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RSVP

When the clouds open
Oh, what a day that will be
when sight rewards faith

Unidentified
but his children know his name
every knee shall bow

The lamb took our place
the alpha and omega
the blood atonement

Death was defeated
The empty tomb testifies
He rose from the grave

Believe and receive
respond to the Christmas child
the gift awaits you


 
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Posted by on November 29, 2021 in haiku, Poetry, Spirituality

 

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The Other Side

The Other Side

The world briefed me
& pushed me through 

dumping me out the other side
the head-space is alien

cycling a drunk on fire
uproars happen over

& over
 in mind-numbing repetition
biting, dicing me

into scraps of emptiness

but faced my world
from the crap side
 
the stupid sham of it all
the crying shame of it all

when the show died
& I remained

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2021 in Poetry, Spirituality