All The Noise Gets In Our Way.

Dear Visitors and Friends,

What is to follow are my own opinions about the various organizations. I will try to avoid generalizations but if I do happen to clump people together, please know that I don’t believe that everyone under an umbrella name are the same.

I was wrong. It’s not often that anyone who puts something online returns later to say that. And even less when people who read the wrong information comes back to read the correction. However, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t admit their wrong.

On November 17, 2016 I wrote that I had hope that Donald Trump would turn out to be ineffectual and to egotistical to do things that would make him so unpopular. I believed he wanted to be seen as having a better presidency than Obama. I guess he has his own ideas what that means. I’ll reiterate here that he was not my choice for president, and that I wrote that post to allay the fears of friends around the world.

I’ve been paying some attention to how people are trying to remove him from office and campaign against him. There are a lot of mistakes being made and I believe if the country as a collective would step back and take several deep breathes, it might discover most of us agree on many things, including voting out Trump.

What is getting in the way of our coming together, having a conversation, or recognizing there are agreements on many things? The noise.

There isn’t a majority or even a healthy smaller amount people causing the disruption, but the noisy ones are those the media loves to put on TV and social media spreads like a wildfire in the middle of a three-month drought. Two of the noise maker groups are the alt-right and antifa. These two entities inspire fear on both sides of the political line that then causes voters to vote against the party the group somewhat represents.

The interesting aspect of this is neither truly represents either side. They each have their own agendas. The alt-right stand for alternative right. They don’t agree with the right, the conservative or moderate Republicans. They want a separate white state and believe the only way for that to happen is for the US to cease to exist in its present form. They even take it one step further and have different what they refer to as races occupy different regions of the present-day US territory.

Let me take a moment to say that I don’t believe in separate races. We are the human race, with different physical and cultural characteristics. But the alt-right, the NSM (National Socialist Movement), Aryan Nation, or the KKK, among others, don’t see it that way, even though some claim to believe in the Bible. If they really did, they would remember there were only two people in the beginning.

The alt-right does not represent 99% of the conservatives in this country, just as I would think the antifa do not represent a huge majority of the liberals.

Here is an image from the documentary Alt-Right Age of Rage currently on Netflix showing how some divide up the far, extreme right.

Far right category image.I think the Nazi sign would include the KKK, the NSA and others that are extremists about race. And keep in min this is just a sorting by one source. Oddly if you were to watch the film, the founder of the alt-right would be a mixture of the lite and right.

I tried to find how the left side of the line looks at that far extreme but was unsuccessful. If anyone has a good chart, please put a link in the comments. It can include the right and left. Thanks in advance. If it’s good and credible, I’ll share it here and give credit as well.

Antifa means anti-fascists. The modern form of antifa and the NSM both have early roots in the punk music scene. While one side was screaming out and identifying with hatred and frustration with the world and what it was doing to them, or so they perceived, the other side was screaming about how people should unite against those who discriminate. One thing to know about antifa, they are not a united, organized group, but instead are multiple groups who unite through social media or emails to protest in certain cities at set times. One antifa group doesn’t represent another antifa group.

I think looking at the roots you can see how the extreme ends of the spectrum run high on emotions, not as in disturbed mentally, but are passionate about what it is they believe and are willing to show it, whether they are right or wrong. You pick your side, if you dare to pick one.

Me, I’m in the middle, almost dead center. I’ve learned over the course of following elections that I believe in things on the right of the moderate line and on the left of the moderate line. I personally believe if people were honest, they would say they same. No one party is completely right or wrong. Everyone talks about the right and left but there are other directions to take in politics.

Another problem is those heavily involved in politics vary on what they think of as extreme views. I think a lot of people can agree that alt-right and associated acts views are extreme, but on the left people start getting vague about wanting to call anyone out. And with the attacks people face from the extremes when they do express their views on either side that differ from those extremes and how they are spread on social media and sometimes end up on news programs, there isn’t even a chance for discussions.

Back to my point. With the focus on the noise the extremes are making no one is paying attention to the sensible, experienced people. The best people in government today are hiding in their offices because they are afraid of being labeled something that might cost them votes. This is one reason I am good with the idea of term limits. If you know your term is coming to an end, then you can step out and take chances and be bold for the people of your state and country. To do what is best for the people, not the party.

One of the many sad scenarios of the political world today is the most knowledgeable people about any given topic are rarely the ones being consulted or placed in charge of the issue. It’s the movers and shakers, the glad-handers, and butt kissers that claw to become a leader a committee rather than be an actual leader of their state or people.

The image above represents how the system really looks, or thereabouts. The country is in the middle strong and healthy. As you move further away from a united systems things begin to fade. And there is no simple right and left.

The divisiveness began back in the 1990s. The following is from Joe Biden’s eulogy at John McCain’s funeral. For those who do not know, Biden is a Democrat and McCain was a Republican and they were best friends since the 1970s. And yes, they were Dem and Rep even back then.

“We both would end our caucus, and coincidentally, we were approached by our caucus leaders with the same thing: ‘Joe, it doesn’t look good, you sitting next to John all the time,’ ” Biden said, as those in attendance laughed. “I swear to God. The same thing was said to John in your caucus. That’s when things began to change for the worse in America, in the Senate. That’s when it changed.”

I wonder if pro wrestling influenced the US political arena. In pro wrestling, back in the day, the good guys only talked to, ate with, or traveled with the good guys, and vice versa with the bad guys (baby faces and heels for the fans reading this). The idea was pro wrestling was real and feuds were real and went on even outside the arena. It was called kayfabe, a word used by wrestlers to warn others when outsiders would come around to get in to character.  Of course, most fans knew it was fake, but enjoyed the spectacle.

Politics has taken kayfabe to a new level. It has turned kayfabe into the real thing. New Senators and Representatives don’t realize there was a point you were meant to work together instead of fight. In pro wrestling the good guy and bad guy depended on each other to make sure they came out in the end safely and successfully gave the people what they wanted and needed.

Now politicians are the managers of their wrestlers, antifa for the left and the alt-right and associated acts for the right. The bad part is, they can’t manage them because the truth is, the far ends don’t really agree with the parties. Some of each end are the talkers, the mouth pieces of the ideologies, usually intelligent and articulate, but then you have the muscle. Some of antifa and the alt-right are willing to and like to fight. For the alt-right itself, it’s more the associated acts that fight. The NSM, the KKK, the neo-Nazis. But, the alt-right freely and seem to gladly unite with these groups during rallies.

I wonder if there will be a day when the governing system of the US will truly become a governing system as opposed to a power-seeking system. It’s doubtful. Whenever you have a group, there is very likely to be a leader and others who want to be that leader.

I wish there was someone with the organizational power to pull together millions of Americans to write actual letters and send them to Congress and perhaps the White House demanding certain things happen. Each letter demanding the same thing, concise, professional, without threats. Doesn’t matter the party, just that our Washington tax-paid employees do their jobs, grow spines, and tell the president no. Get things done despite him.

I better stop now, or I’ll ramble on forever and lose my way. I’ll spend another time discussing further about the noise and how it comes even from silence.

 

Respect and Love.,

Ronovan

Politics or Praise, what’s in your church?

Lately I’ve been doing research for a series of posts I plan to do in regards to why young people and even some older people leave the church, the Christian church. The reasons have been many and not all that surprising for the most part. After all, those that don’t like Christianity are happy to give you the reasons on air whenever they get the chance.

I will get in to each reason later, but it recently occurred to me that they all had something in common. Those in leadership positions of the church, elected or simply held in high regard, let the members of the church down. Why, because they are looked up to as examples of what a Christian should be. The fairly new Christians, and that is of any age, often see hypocrisy occurring when people forget they are a church and begin acting as though the church is some power organization that one needs to control or be a part of.

I’ve been part of a church that went from having to park on the grass and sitting in folding chairs of a 300+ capacity church to having only 100 show up for service. All because of politics. Most often it is because someone didn’t like the pastor and when that one influential person leaves, all those that are on that person’s side, follow suit. By the way, he was an amazing pastor who got my father back into church after being out for over 30 years.

While everyone is involved in the politics, as opposed to praising and praying, the people of the church are not being fed spiritually nor being fed the knowledge of scripture. Two very important things in a Christians foundation of belief.

Another thing that happens is members see the infighting and power struggle of the church and can’t help but notice the hypocrisy occurring. The gossip, the whispers, the sometimes outright lying. The causing of conflict and discord in the church.

Those involved in the conflict are so caught up in what is happening that they don’t realize they are failing others. They see their needs as being the most important needs, but they explain this away by saying it is also best for all those in the church. Is it really?

I am a fan of the Simple Church. It is a book by Thom S. Rainer and talks about how to cut out all of those things that a church doesn’t really need. In other words, back to basics. I heard him speak on this at a SBC conference once and the end to all the headaches of what was occurring in my church looked to be in sight. I’m a peacemaker. That’s what my spiritual gift has been identified as. That is one reason a lot of my posts seem to give a bit of two sides of things and rarely have an edge to them. As the head of the Deacons, and Sunday School, and Youth Director, I embraced the Simple Church.

For us it was almost too late. But we still survive.

I am not speaking about conflict in the church just be talking. It really dose run people off. If this is all you have experienced in a church, or the majority of your time, then why would you want to stay there?

With that I give you the following passage.

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
        haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
        a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
        a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” NIV Translation

This is a list from lowest of the things he detests to his most. Note his most despised thing, those who cause conflict or discord within the church. This doesn’t mean those who ask questions, because one who believes wants to know as much as possible and needs to know in order to be able to give answers when asked. This means those who are out for some kind of control or want to get their way in a dispute.

When whispers and gossip begins to spread and your church numbers begin to dwindle , there is something wrong. Look in the mirror and see if you have the heart of Jesus for all members of your church. If you are not happy in your church, then find another one, but leave quietly. Don’t leave with a roar in an attempt to break a church down. Because when you do, the young Christians, and I mean young as in new to being a Christian at any age, only see hypocrisy and the discord caused. They do not receive the spiritual energizing and feeding they need with their fellow Christians that is so important, especially in the early stages.

For those thinking God only spoke to the Jews in the Old Testament about conflict and lying and gossipers, check out Romans Chapter 1 and see what He says they deserve.

Finally, I give you one of my favorite verses.

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Emphasis mine.)

This is the Old Testament and means Christians and Jews alike, should be still and remember that what we can do is finite, what God can do is infinite.

Be still can mean that people who believe they can do good works to show they are good and mighty are foolish because they do not give God the credit for their ability to achieve.

Christians should be still and observe all that God has done and can do, and realize that we shouldn’t sweat over things we can’t control. Do what is within your control, and as you do so with God’s help, you will be able to discover there are more things in your control because you have grown. This is what young Christians should be able to look forward to, not a conflict torn church that denies them the opportunity, or perhaps a young person thinking of asking Jesus into his/her heart and walks away instead because of what they see.

It’s Sunday all over again.

Back in the day, which would be a couple of years ago now, I would spend Sundays on my blog sharing my thoughts about my faith. Please, don’t turn the channel yet. This particular post won’t exactly be faith sharing as one might think of it. It’s more like explaining, and that’s to Christians as well. We can all learn a little something we thought we knew already.

It’s Father’s Day here in the USA and in an article I read yesterday a celebrity of sorts was quoted as saying “It’s God first and family second.” I’ve seen and heard that phrase plenty during my years as a Christian, but when I read it this time, it occurred to me, for the first time, that many people probably misunderstand what that really means, including the Christians that say it. That brings me to my purpose for writing today.

I believe that a large majority of Christians today haven’t been taught properly about what being a Christian is, because I don’t see them being Christ like, and if you talk to them about Christianity, they can’t do what is called defending the faith. Meaning, they can’t explain why they are a Christian or why certain things are the way they are in the Bible. Even those who think they know it all continue to learn every day. And if they aren’t? They might need to be checked on by a brother or sister in Christ. No, there isn’t a Christ Cops airing on TV busting backsliding Baptists.

Christians are at various stages in their life as a Christian, ranging from Baby Christian, which is what I was at 23 when I was saved to Mature Christian, where I feel comfortable in saying I am now. Not telling you my age. But age don’t mean a thing when it comes to your walk with Christ. Here are some things any stage of a Christian’s maturity level in their walk and knowledge should think about when reading the Bible.  Or for non-believers who hear people quoting scripture to prove how evil Christians must be.

1) The Bible is a text book. More precisely, a History book. It’s not a book of fairy tales or approved by God events. If that were the case, the Bible would be a lot shorter. As with any text book, the author, God doesn’t have to, and most likely doesn’t, approve of every last fact in the Bible. God either directly told, as to Moses, what to write, or He inspired someone to write, as in the New Testament, those feelings and put them in to words that God approved of. Normally in the New Testament these are letters to either churches, mentors, or students who are helping a church.

2) The Old Testament is the history of the Jews and is included in the Bible to show us why Jesus had to come, and thus Christianity begins. That’s correct, Christians don’t follow the Old Testament. Christianity doesn’t begin until the New Testament. We don’t follow or believe in or even like the idea of the laws/rules that the Jews had to live by. There are some denominations of Christianity that do follow parts of the Old Testament, but they are in a very small minority but always seemed to get picked by media to represent all of Christianity.

3) All you really need are the words of Jesus to follow. If anything else in the New Testament disagrees with the words of Jesus then those words are incorrect and are just an opinion of whoever physically wrote those words. Usually the author will say, in some way, they are giving their own opinion.

4) If you are reading the Bible or hear a verse from scripture you need to keep these things in mind; where, when, and why (WWW). That goes for any historical text you might read.  I’ll give you an example. 1 Corinthians 14:34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” These are the words of Paul writing to the church in Corinth.

Where and When: Corinth, first century A.D.. Why is Corinth important? Because it is a Roman controlled city, under Roman law.

Why: Corinth is having problems with all sorts of members who are doing things to draw the attention of others.

Results of WWW: Roman law during this period forbade women from speaking in public gatherings and many other things. They couldn’t even own property. The house was their domain and that is where they were expected to talk and ask questions about anything from church to politics. Thus in order to keep the young Christian churches growing and spreading, it was important not to give Rome a reason to break up or give problems to a church. The use of the lowercase L in law is important here, as if Paul were referring to Jewish Law he would normally use the uppercase L, as he does earlier in the same portion of the text, not the lower which normally referred to Roman or local law.

I hope you see why the WWW is important to know when reading or interpreting something in the Bible. I’ve never really heard people outside of fellow Apologists who explain details like that. With Jews writing these letters, it is important to remember how important word selection and letter case is.

5) The Bible we have was put together by man. Man chose which letters and text to include in a unified book form. Constantine order for Bibles to be made for the Bishop of Constantinople and the churches in the area around the city. It is believed this may have been what prompted the idea of having just one version of the Bible that could be used, although some Bibles, even today, have a few extra books outside of what was finally decided upon. Some say it was divinely inspired as to what to include. Perhaps. I leave that for you to decide. I just know I stick to the words Jesus said, and I know I’m doing good. Although I still mess up in some way every day.

You are probably wondering what all of this has to do with “It’s God first and family second.” When many Christians see or say this, they really put God before the family in such a way that it interferes with family. The truth of it is, if you are following God, following Jesus, then you are not allowing what I call pollutants to contaminate your life and interfere with your relationship with your family. When you put God first you really are doing so in order to be a stronger and better person for your family. No, you won’t be perfect. No one ever will be. The whole point is for you to know that and keep trying, talk to God and ask for His help to give you strength to get through whatever might be giving you problems. Don’t confuse God and church as the same thing. I know people, like myself at one point, who thought if I am doing everything that I’m asked to do for the church then that’s what God wants me to do. But that can interfere with your family life. You can put God first everywhere you are and at any time.

It’s God, Family, then church.

Well, I hope I helped someone out there understand a little bit more about Christianity, at least how I see it. I’ve experienced a lot, learned a lot, and led a lot. I’ve fallen even more than all of those three put together. God isn’t about a building or what a preacher says to you or about a clique or club inside the church. God can’t be contained by a building. The only time God is in a church is when his followers are there to talk to Him, to worship Him, or praise Him. Because each believer/follower, has a bit of God in their heart.

I end with a New Testament verse that I live by and an Old Testament I live by that is still relevant for we Christians.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;” 46:10a This helped in my time of great confusion, distress, and fear. We all need to learn to be still. Pick our battles. Choose our moments. And let all the other insanity be. Do what we can, and let others do what they can, and be happy with what we have done while still living our life by living it not existing it.

A Journey of Decisions.

We are a pitiful lot, aren’t we? We look around and see things we want. We want that car he has, or the job she has, and don’t forget the hair she has, but then you can buy that. That’s just the beginning of the wants. Can you imagine if there were a true Want Ads section of a newspaper?

I am about to do something that will help make me a successful and happy man. This something that a small percentage of humanity will do in order to reach that pinnacle of life. I am going to begin a journey.

This isn’t a journey to Disney World or the Grand Canyon, although for some, that may be the journey chosen. No, this journey, this Route of Life starts at my current existence and choosing my chosen point of happiness and success, making decisions along the way to make it all come true, before parking my Ferrari Portofino at the final Exit of Life.

You are thinking that we all do this every day of our lives. That’s not true. You see, we all have this GPS of Life we start out with at birth. Point A is the day we are born. Point B is when we should start making decisions about our future, and Point C is the end.

Point A you can’t control, you’re strapped in your car seat in the self-driving car that carries you through life and head to Point B. Most of us, when we turn 14 or so, the Age of Decision Making, move from the back seat to the passenger seat for a better view, just so we can see things we want. You are delivered to your high school advisor and she asks what classes you want to take, what school sports or activities you want to be in, and what are your plans for after graduation. You push the well-worn button number one, then as the window of your car rises, you fall in line behind your best friend and the other lemmings.

You enter Point C, the Exit of Life, into the GPS of Life with adequate restrooms available along the way and the trip continues. The car of your life drives along and when obstacles appear, it picks the easiest way around that obstacle and continues along the way with no side trips or new point C in your trip. All easy and simple.

You graduate high school. Sadly for you, your best friend is accepted to a college out of state because she made decisions you didn’t know about. You enter the college nearest to home. While you get your Business or Education degree you meet someone, because that is the GPS of Life’s most used route from your point B. You stare wide-eyed like a deer caught in blue tinted halogen headlights as you walk down the aisle because you are supposed to do that after you graduate college, even though you aren’t certain that you even have feelings of like, let alone love, for your future spouse.

Now you are at least happy your high school advisor suggested you enter the “adequate restrooms” into the GPS of Life, because if you are a man, you have married a woman, who at one time drank five margaritas and three shots of something that was never identified and danced for three hours without stopping, whose bladder has now suddenly become the size of a raisin or if you are a woman, you need to get warm because your husband doesn’t understand that normal humans need to use heaters during winter, not air conditioners, which means you need coffee every 30 minutes, and of course that means you need to pee, and the cycle continues. And let us not mention what happens once the children come along. And the dog. The incontinent dog that your wife just won’t allow you to put to sleep although it can’t walk or even poop without you helping it stand, and you sometimes have need to poke the poor thing to start its breathing again. Try to look cool in that grassy area at the convenience store holding up the back end of a Boxer so it can poop. That’s the Success Life of Happiness.

I think you probably see what the GPS of Life is all about. You are simply a passenger that makes the stops and visits the places between points B and C that are most common for people in your general area and demographic, which your high school advisor helpfully programmed in for you at Point B, the Age of Decision Making.

That describes a very large percentage of the world. For some, they can’t get off that GPS of Life route. They are born in to a world where there are very few stops between Point A and Point C, and there is no Age of Decision Making. But for people that are reading this, very likely you can reroute. And thank God, Oprah or BTS for that.

For me, a journey is a series of decisions you make. The first decision is often the hardest decision to make but it is the one that frees you. It could be you quitting a job to start your own business while you have no guarantee of success or income for the next month or six. It could be moving thousands of miles away from everyone and everything you know. It could be a change of your current family life package.

One piece of advice at this point, an aside if you will, tell your doctor about your beginning a journey, because it is very likely your blood pressure will be rising at first due to stress, unless your rerouting is a fabulous opportunity with nothing to leave behind. For the rest of us, read me, you don’t want to get misdiagnosed and end up doing a nuclear stress test.

People that can sit down, analyze their life and then say they are truly happy are those who have taken journeys and achieved success. You need to define what your success will be. For me, that journey is beginning late in life. But, is it ever too late to become happy? Is a person ever too old or too far along the GPS of Life route to swerve in to that next exit, take a deep breathe, and reroute?

By this time next year, I should be at a Point C in life, that new Starting/Current Life point working on a Point D, Success and Happiness. No one make any assumptions about what that C is. I am an odd one and it could be anything. I am the amnesiac who wrote an historical fiction novel about pirates and met a blogging friend from Australia, who was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, at a Cracker Barrel in Georgia for breakfast and introduced her to grits for the first time in her life. In my life, anything can happen. And I want anything to happen. I am going to have fun until that Point E, the Exit of Life, comes along. Bring it on world, I got your GPS right here.

The joyful thaw.

Sometimes I cry, but not because I’m sad.

It’s because when I met you my heart was frozen.

You’re the one who warmed me through and through.

You brought this strange thing called love into my world.

And tears of joy, that come from the melting ice.

I am brokenhearted over US.

A blog is a place to get things off your mind and your heart. We’ve turned it into something entirely different and thus less therapeutic. When I first started blogging I did a lot of therapy with stories and poetry. Over time I thought I lost that ability. I did. I didn’t have the physical or mental energy to keep going. After you blog as intensively as I did you might understand.

I also discovered another reason I stopped. Pain. I can’t sit for more than a minute, if even that log without great pain from the bottom of my spine and inching upward. Within minutes, unless I grit my teeth and forge my way ahead, I am lying down on a couch or a bed. Walking after sitting for a few minutes is difficult because of that pain, and just the pain of trying to stand brings even more pain.

That’s not why I am brokenhearted. I tell you all of that to give you an idea of what I am going through as I write this. Many of you probably won’t like what I have to say, but then again, this is a blog. This is my journal and my journey. Those of you that were around at the beginning you know the journey I’ve been through here and with you.

I am probably one of the biggest supporters and encouragers of women. If you were here during my earlier years you would have seen almost daily posts about how great I thought women were or interviewing women, or sharing their posts here on my blog. That is another reason this is painful because people are going to think I am against women.

I support the #MeToo movement in its original purpose. I think we can all agree that some have come along and not helped it very much and have only detracted from those who are real survivors of assault and sufferers of harassment. I think women who are assaulted should be heard, even if it is decades latter.

On Wednesday I watched the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing testimony of Christina Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The way this entire thing has been turned in to a political circus is disappointing. Ms. Ford almost experienced the worst thing a woman can experience as far as I am concerned, other than maybe losing a child of any age. I have no doubt she was attacked. I do question if it was Judge Kavanaugh simply based on the other people stated as being there deny any such party occurred.

Those are my opinions. We are all entitled to those and friends all over the world believe different things but remain friends. I think those differences make for more interesting friends and even perhaps better friends because they allow for a person to grow and experience differing opinions rather than a homogenized world view.

I am not going to fault Ms. Ford’s gaps in memory because I also have memory problems, or problem, after suffering a Grade 3 concussion that ended up providing me with retrograde amnesia. In other words, I lost all of my memories from before that concussion. Was it entirely from the fall and my head striking against three hard surfaces in three different places before I impacted with the floor? Perhaps there is also an emotional trauma issue.

My only theory with Ms. Ford naming Judge Kavanaugh and his not being the attacker is that perhaps in her trauma and over time Judge Kavanaugh became, to Ms. Ford, the true attacker. No, I do not think she is naming him out of some spiteful plan to keep him from the Supreme Court. No, I do not think she ever wanted to be part of what some are calling a delaying tactic. I have read the timeline of from when she thought of writing the letter until her entering the courtroom today. She never wanted to testify. She never wanted people to know her name. She wanted the Committee to take her information seriously and use it in their decision making and investigation process. Not until after some of the Committee found out that the Ranking Member had a letter regarding Judge Kavanaugh did the existence of said letter end up public and the fire was lit. Within two days reporters of The New Yorker had the contents, somehow. She revealed her name two days later in The Washington Post because reporters were sitting outside her house, talking through the window trying to calm her dog down, and even entering her classroom while she was working. People were also calling her colleagues at Stanford University.

I am heartbroken that someone related to this hearing, this confirmation, leaked the existence of her letter and then obviously her name. Someone that was either elected to one of the most powerful positions in the nation or perhaps someone that works for one of them betrayed a woman that was terrified of going public. If you saw her today you would see that she is someone that seems very private about her personal life. I could see that by the way she spoke and her body language. But I’m not an expert on that, it’s just my opinion.

Once she was exposed she then did her civic duty, as she did in the beginning by notifying her member of Congress. If only Senator Feinstein had thought to ask Judge Kavanugh questions about sexual assault during her private question meetings with him, or even during the public hearings, or even in the 1200-1300 written follow-up questions perhaps none of Wednesday would have happened.

I am heartbroken over the hyper politicized nature of this entire procedure. All Senator Feinstein had to do was ask Judge Kavanugh in her on-on-one meetings, and if he said no, then contact Ms. Ford and say she believed there was a need to move into an official investigation. I actually believe Senator Feinstein thought she was doing the right thing and the best thing for Ms. Ford. That is not a joke. I don’t believe she is the type that would use this woman’s tragedy for political plots. The hyper politicized does not come from Senator Feinstein but by others sitting to her left during the hearing.

Even before the allegation came forward, Senator Feinstein’s colleague Senator Booker back in late July called Judge Kavanaugh Evil and anyone supporting him was complicit in evil a full month before meeting with him one-on-one on August 23. Senator Booker attempted through his phrasing of a question to get Judge Kavanaugh to say Yes he thought Ms. Ford’s allegations were a ploy being used against him. If Judge Kavanaugh had said yes, he would have been vilified even more than he has been so far. Her allegations do appear as though they are being used by members of the committee as a ploy to keep Judge Kavanaugh from being confirmed. Even before they had heard Judge Kavanaugh respond to the allegations they decided he was guilty.

I am brokenhearted that my country has forgotten the immense privilege it is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Some of our elected officials, some who want to become President of the US someday, have forgotten that we are innocent until proven guilty. They have thrown it away in their desire to deny a man nominated by a President they despise. They throw it aside because this man is a conservative and they are afraid he will help overturn Roe v. Wade.

I am brokenhearted watching apparently intelligent adults on news programs with their minds and eyes closed to events in front of them just because they don’t like Ms. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh. Both sides have come out, even before the hearing on Wednesday, saying they believed one or the other. They hadn’t even had a hearing yet.

I am brokenhearted that I am even writing this. I fought with myself for hours before finally giving in I could not get away from it. I had to get all of this out, plus so much more but I’ve been at this for well over 30 minutes and my spine has locked up and is screaming at me. My migraines, which as a result of the concussion, never stop, not even for one second in the last, four years I think. Migraines, a bad spine, Fibromyalgia, and ME/CFS all combined are not a fun filled day at the beach.

I am brokenhearted because I am ashamed of how low my country has fallen. Not just in this hearing, but throughout government and the mindset of my fellow citizens

I once was a Republican. That changed during the early months of 2017. No, I am not a Trump supporter, nor was I then. My candidate didn’t make the final cut. Write-ins are a great thing. I decided that after the election I would at least give things a chance. Be optimistic. Be hopeful. Be prayerful. And now here we are, a nation that on the surface appears so divided we should almost divide in half and move people around. But we are the United States and we go that way through one hard fought war, and kept that way through the darkest and bloodiest time on our nations soil. (That didn’t involve the killing of Native Americans.) We will stay that way through what I pray is only two more years before some amazing person comes along, be it a Democrat or perhaps a different Republican steps up to make a challenge.

I am brokenhearted because I no longer have a party that I can call home. But I have decided I don’t like the party system any longer. Look what it does to intelligent people.

I am brokenhearted that I may have to leave this country someday because I stay awake at night thinking about the disaster we are. I think about all the good things we could be, could be doing. There is so much this country could solve if there was no other side of the aisle and everyone just sat together, talked, discussed, brainstormed, and tried to find commonalities instead of all the things that divide. Focus on the united not the divided. It’s on our nation’s name.

I’ve talked enough. I have journeyed through this page and hope I can now sleep a little with a less cluttered and frustrated mind. I hope no one has read this because it will likely frustrate whoever is foolish enough to take this journey with me.

Much Respect to Y’all and good night  or perhaps I might say good morning by this time.

7 Positive News Websites.

With the end of the world being predicted almost daily, it’s important we recognize there are good things happening in spit of it all. I truly can’t stand how the media thrives on negativity, and not just in regards to politics. Therefore, what I’ve done is searched out sites that share positive news. You might think all you would have to do is google for these sites, but you would be surprised at how many sites either no longer exist or or basically abandoned for years. I even clicked on an article dated this year for a list of sites and some of those listed were inactive.

What better site to begin our journey to good news than with;

https://www.GoodNewsNetwork.org/  From the USA.

What is it?

Although based in the USA, the Good News Network brings us stories from around the world ranging in topics from energy solutions to environmental issues, and from mental health recommendations to just plain feel good news, because sometimes all you need is a smile. It appears to be updated on a daily basis.

https://www.Positive.News/  From the UK.

What is it?

A UK based site that pulls news from around the globe, Positive.News lists as their categories; Society, Economics, Science, Environment, Lifestyle, and Perspective. As you can see, you have plenty to choose from. There are definitely some inspirational articles on this site and it’s updated daily.

https://www.SunnySkyz.com/

What is it?

I’m not certain where this site is based out of, but it brings news from around the world. The site is updated daily and has much of what you would expect but also has Funny Clean Jokes, Videos, and Pictures. A great visit.

http://www.YesMagazine.org/  From the USA.

What is it?

Updated every day, Yes! Magazine has articles with a bit of depth to them that will make you want to do something about the world. I’m looking forward to getting in to this one myself.

https://www.Goodnet.org/  From the USA.

What is it?

Not really updated every day but what it does give are good articles, depending on what you are looking for. It has everything from the planet to individual good work and inspiration. I found it interesting that it was founded by the daughter of the American-Israeli businessman and founder of Carnival Cruise Line, Ted Arison, Shari Arison, who heads the family’s philanthropic organization.

https://GoodBlackNews.org/  From the USA.

What is it?

Good Black News was founded by Harvard Graduate Lori Lakin Hutcherson who is not only the Editor-in-Chief of GBN but also a TV writer and producer along with other writing ventures around the world of print. There are 19 categories along with subsections for ease of navigation, with recent articles being on the landing page. The site is updated daily and it really looks like a professional site. I already subscribed to receive updates in my email.

https://www.OurBetterWorld.org/en  From Singapore.

What is it?

Our Better World is a site dedicated to the Asian community and is well represented by people from various backgrounds. You really need to check the site out for the categories they have, ranging from Diversity & Inclusion to Friendship & Family, and from Migrants & Refugees to Wonder Women. The site seems to be updated frequently, if not daily. There definitely appears to be great content.

If your cultural group isn’t represented like a the Black and Asian communities, it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Of course going through all theses sites it’s a good chance I missed a lot. If you know of good ones, and I mean POSITIVE news, leave a link in the comments and I can add it to the list here for all to see.

Catch y’all later.

 

This Week in the Life of Ronovan or How I almost became a Democrat.

Okay, so that title may actually not really apply to this post. I have no idea yet because this is what I call a stream of thought post, like a diary thing but in no way like one. It’s more like saying I’m just going to share whatever comes to mind because I’m just to lazy this week to go back and polish things up and make sense of whatever I write. This should be a blast for me and possibly painful for you if you actually read it.

You may be happy to know I don’t remember much that happened this week. One thing I’ve been working on is a list for you guys and ladies. I wanted it to be made of 10 sites but I’ve only found 7 that I want to use so I either will change the title or create 3 new sites just so I can use that spiffy title I came up with.

I actually did an entire post about how Kanye West was misrepresented by the press and Social Media regarding his history of slavery comment. It was a well done article, then he tweeted. The guy means well, he’s just not articulate off the cuff in interviews. So I had the post ready to go, I went to Twitter during a break, checked on Kanye for anything else and sure enough … he’d Tweeted. I guess you know what happened to that post that I spent hours on. I still may use part of it though. There are some great historical people I was not aware of that came out of slavery to become success stories … enough to encourage anyone.

Most of you know I’m a good Christian boy, to the point of having been a super Christian in my church a few years ago prior to my accident. I’m a Conservative, but not., but I really am. Actually I think I am a mix. I’m not sure if that makes me and Independent or what. I almost became a Democrat this week, thus the reason for those fist couple of very long sentences of intro. President DT backed out of the Iran Nuclear deal. Up to that point I was praying for hope. I actually mean that. I was praying that something positive would happen. Okay, so we did end up with the three detainees released from Korea, but I don’t think that had anything to do with DT, but more to do with North Korea doing a great positive PR program to the world. But in the moment that DT finally, and utterly ruined the reputation of the United States I was done with him.

I even went so far as to Tweet I might have just become a Democrat with a Tweet of a The New Yorker article about what it really means to the US with our pulling out of the deal.

But, at the end of the day and the week I have youtube to pull me through. I don’t have TV to watch. Yes, there is TV in the house but I just don’t watch it because of various reasons. I have Amazon Prime but often that takes a bit more commitment than I have to give. I sometimes just want those quick little bits of humor to let  me know the world still exists and is mostly a good place to be.

Leave a comment below with your favorite youtube channel for me to try out. I really love humor, trivia, history, and well it seems like I like everything.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll catch y’all next time.

A Void to Fill.

Usually when I begin writing a post I open my trusty Word Document with a grain of an idea and begin typing. This time I am sitting here waiting for something witty to discuss. Okay, so maybe witty is pushing it a little. Sometimes I am inspired by social media, not to write about a topic discussed but by how that makes me feel about an underlying problem or feeling I observe.

It’s been several minutes now, and something keeps coming to mind, a daughter. I don’t have one but through the years I seem to borrow daughters of other people. As a teacher and youth director at my church it was bad, as in every girl from the age of 16 and under was my child.

I’ve done well in my later years, being a good father figure to children out there that didn’t have a father or didn’t have one that was emotionally present even though in the house. It’s a painful thing.

After I lost my memory I also lost some daughters. It seems things just weren’t the same for them. I get it and I don’t blame them. It’s a painful thing.

But now I’ve borrowed another one and it’s been a good thing for me. She’s a good one. Somehow, I always fall into these wonderful young ladies who are smart and talented. Of course, it’s still not real. I don’t know, I just feel like there is this void inside that needs filling and I keep grabbing on to these wonderful people to support and encourage. That’s what I really love to do. That encouraging and supporting feels so good to do for someone. But, of course it’s not real, is it? It’s a painful thing.

Of course, some people are going to say I need to just be happy with what I have, and believe me, I love my son, B. For those of you that don’t know about B, I call him that because he’s my (B)oy. Yep, not putting his name out there, not even on Facebook with people who already know about him, not even a picture of him.

B is super smart, always on the equivalent of Dean’s List at his private college prep school. He has amazing promise on the trumpet, according to his band director, and even the director at an event including all the local schools’ best musicians performing together took time to point him out specifically. I just wish he would practice at home, but he doesn’t because he worries he’ll bother my migraines. I have them 24/7 since the concussion.

So yes, I have a great son. And I am perfectly fine with that and happy with that. The thing is that it just feels like something is missing. I have a feeling that one day that void will no longer be a problem, but for now, I’m borrowing a brilliant (G)irl who is the exact female version of B.

Well, that’s a little more personal stuff about me and how all that internal stuff works for me. A lot more than I planned but once I start writing I usually don’t back down. I go with it and share it. Fearless to a point. Honest to a fault. (Oh yeah, I don’t lie in my writing, just so you all know. If you read it here, it’s Truth.)

Catch y’all next time.

PS

Of course I came up with a topic as I finished this.

My Space Got Hijacked.

When I decided to take a little break that turned into an over one-year break from active blogging, I intended to reenergize mentally and emotionally. I’m a blogger that started this adventure without boundaries in place. What that means is I was open to everyone who seemed to need help. And I got plenty of people showing up.

Of course, I kind of asked for it because I seriously put myself out there with my personal struggles. I shared history and current factors that led me to where I am now, or rather where I was then. But I made a mistake by shutting down entirely during my break and distanced myself from my blogging friends.

Amazingly I don’t think that I forever pushed some very important people away. Since my post last week, I’ve received comments and messages welcoming me back and some ‘you were missed’ sentiments. That was a big relief. Now I just need to become active visiting around the neighborhood without becoming addicted again.

One of the things that made this blog be anything that it might be is poetry. I never wrote poetry with maybe the exception of a handful years ago and then I started a blog. As I roamed around followers’ blogs I found poetry. It was then I decide I would give it a try and it became the biggest outlet for a lot of things going on inside of me. Shortly after learning what a haiku was I started a monthly haiku challenge. It’s been going ever week without fail since with week 200 coming up shortly. I even kept it going through a hospital stay and a tornado where I ended up evacuating my home to travel to a hotel for safety. That last one happened twice.

I’m an amateur at best when it comes to the rhymes and all of that, but I do think I ended up a nice level before I stopped cold turkey. Why do I bring this up?

Now I am finding it a struggle to do what was once my favorite thing to do on my blog. It’s as great lesson in even if you have a talent for something that if you don’t keep practicing you can lose it. I also stopped writing fiction and for an author with a book available on Amazon that hurts so deep I can’t even describe it.

I get an idea to write a piece of poetry or a story and before I can even pick up a pen or get my laptop going something clicks inside of me and the engine shuts down. Now as I attempt to get back into those good habits I once have I’m going to need to break with the old ones I’ve developed and that is the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone that is a creative.

You need to pick a creative space that is dedicated to your art, no matter what that art may be. Don’t allow any sedentary activity into that space. Why? You get an idea and then you go to that spot or you head to hop on your bed with your laptop and what happens? What happens is your body and mind slip into the habit that takes place most often in that space. You won’t even realize that is what’s happening.

For the longest time my bed was my writing space because it was the only place in the house that I could use, but I did an excellent job of writing and filling my days and evenings with creativity. Then during the break my little space in the house, I called my own, became a place for watching movies, reading books, taking naps, and simply resting while Fibro Flares did their thing.

Now I am rewiring my mind and body to be back to the olden days of blogging and writing books. Writing these posts each week are what you might call baby steps. I don’t advise forcing yourself into a creative space all at once. If you do you will end up so frustrated, you might just give up entirely.

So, if you are suffering from a decrease in blog output or other creative endeavors, see if you’ve hijacked your creative space for other things … then hijack it back, but in a nice and easy way.

See y’all next week.

A new year, a new plan.

Well, it’s a new year. Time to dust off the blog and see what I can do. I’ve been absent for the most part for this past year. Time to explain myself.

It took me several months to figure out what my problem has been in the lack of writing. I haven’t written anything over the past year other than a handful of posts and a short story that was published in an anthology. The problem? Lethargy. The cause?

As some of you know I have fibromyalgia or what is more commonly known as chronic pain along with chronic fatigue. I don’t know from one minute to the next what’s going to happen. Well, my medications were increased a while back and increased again. It turns out those medications cause something called lethargy. I call it energy killer.

I have all these ides but as soon as I start to go and put them into words I feel exhausted. This year I’m going to get my old habits back and write, write, and write some more. Sounds like a good idea, but then there is the how of doing it. My first thing is to participate in my haiku challenge each week. Who can’t come up with three lines of poetry, right?

Second, I’ll be plotting a six book series of YA Fantasy/Realism.

Third, I’ll work on two books of YA I’ve already written to get them in publishing worthy state.

Fourth, I’ll start submitting that Romance novel I’ve written. I’ll take my time and not kill myself by doing the over submitting like a lot of us tend to do. Do a few a month, wait for reactions, then do some more.

Fifth, well, the fifth is a secret, but I have some writing ideas.

All of these are things I’ve been planning for a long time, but now they are out there for the world to see. Maybe that will get me to actually doing something about them.

Oh yeah, and I have to read books for reviews on the LWI site. Can’t forget that. I’m tired already.

Now if I can overcome the medications I’ll be good. Wish me luck.

One Master.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

A lot of people look at Christianity as a way out. Some, even preachers, would take a verse like this and say, “See, you don’t have to worry about anything. Do what you want and you’ll be fine.”

The only thing is, this verse is part of a letter to the Romans and you can’t take one line of that letter out of context. So I read the whole section it was included in even though I was given just that one verse for the day to study over.

There are basically two masters of the world, sin and righteousness, or bad and good. You are either a servant of one or the other. Sometimes you’re going to mess up and do something that falls into the camp of the other, but when it comes down to the end, you’re going to have to answer to whoever the leader you serve.

Not being under the law doesn’t mean a Christian is above the law. It’s a reference to the Old Testament laws. There were a LOT of them. Jesus fulfilled those laws with his sacrifice. By a person becoming a Christian they agree to follow the one who already took the fall for us. We still have to answer to God when the time comes. Like I’ve said before, “Give me the smallest piece of Heaven and I’ll still be in Heaven.”

We each make a choice as to what master is going to be our primary leader. I’ve personally chosen God/good/righteousness and depending on the grace of God to forgive me for my failings. Some may say there is no such thing as God. I’d rather believe there is. And why not, right? There is no harm. At least not for those who are real Christians, and no harm from real Christians. We are not supposed to force our beliefs on others. As far as I am concerned we aren’t to make laws that force those beliefs either. But I will be honest and say if there is a vote for something that is against my beliefs, then I’ll vote against it. Too many people get upset when a vote doesn’t go there way. I haven’t had a vote of any kind that has harmed me in any way. But that’s where legislation gets in the way. They don’t let the people vote for things, even simple things. I think they might be surprised how a vote would turn out.

Well, I’ve rambled there a bit, but I hope you get what I’m saying, or at least get something I’ve said.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Time for a change.

Time for a change, don’t you think? As some of you may have noticed, I don’t really blog much these days, months, or however long it’s been. I guess I just haven’t really known what I’ve wanted to do, among other reasons. Sometimes you have to make choices between things, and blogging comes up second or last.

That being said, I’ve decided to focus, or continue to focus on positive things. What you’ll see from me are articles about how to make your life more positive and hopefully more satisfying. No one has all the answers but with more answers given, we can at least have something to choose from.

At the same time, I’ll be helping myself focus on things I need to. Also I tend not to post about my writing here as a courtesy, but you know, it is my blog, so if I want to share a chapter of something, I’ll share it.

It’s funny how we as bloggers trend away from what makes us happy about blogging and instead do things to please others. Eventually that causes burnout or a malaise about the whole thing. That happens in a great may parts of our lives.

I’ll be speaking about that this week, so see you on Monday, and start today enjoying your week ahead by saying no to something instead of always saying yes.

If you wonder what I’ve been doing with all my time lately, check out LitWorldInterviews.com, my book review and interview site. I’ve been reading a lot and interviewing a lot, all while getting my coming of age/romance ready to shop around to agents.

Much Respect

Ronovan

It isn’t that easy.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

If you’ve been visiting my site long enough you may have seen that verse before. It’s what I call my Life Verse. I have a couple of them. If you’re a Christian you’ve probably been asked what you’re Life Verse is. Imagine if you’re in your 20s, have been a Christian for like 2 years and are asked that. Your first thought is, “No one said that I had to have one of those when I got dunked in the water!”

You have to be careful and not just throw out any old verse.

A few readers have already clicked away by now, but the rest of you will find out what I’m writing about today.

I just finished going through one of those lists things, you know like ’10 Famous People Who Eat Chalk’ or ’23 Celebrities Who Used to be Famous’.

This was one about celebrities that we didn’t know were atheists.

There were some sad revelations: 1) I didn’t know who some of the people were, 2) Some are agnostic, not atheist (It’s okay to have questions.), and 3) Some you could just see being a Christian gets in the way of what they want in life.

One of the things that sparked me to write is what one person said. It was something like “It would be great if I were a Christian, then I could do anything and ask for forgiveness and be okay.”

That’s the voice of someone who hasn’t lived as a real Christian. When I do something wrong, yeah, I ask for forgiveness, but I don’t feel okay. You see, I’ve disappointed  God and insulted Jesus’s sacrifice. (And yes, you are supposed to put an ‘s for possessive when the name ends in s, I looked it up. Although either way is socially acceptable. Thus ends the editor voice version of me.) You can let a lot of people down and feel okay, you can get over it. But when you’ve done something bad, even if you get away with it, God knows, and you know God knows. Even when you say “Sorry!” you know God still knows.

It perturbs me when I see people speaking about the ease of Christianity. If I were not a Christian I would only have to deal with myself in those moments. I could forgive myself and move on. Now, I don’t wallow in my wrong doings. I know they are there. They come back to me at times. No, God isn’t reminding me. I remind myself because I know the injustice I’ve done to the one that made it possible for me to live without having to deal with what death brings. I will stand before God and answer for what I’ve done. The gifts in Heaven God had for me will be taken from for each of my wrong doings. But I will still be in Heaven. Even if all the gifts are gone, as long as I have one tiny spot in Heaven, I’m good.

Even that, I don’t DESERVE. Christians live like anyone else, except we carry a load that others shake off at times. If any Christian says they don’t have a load to carry then I would question them a little. I am able to lighten my load through prayer, Bible study, and trying to live my daily life the way I think Jesus would have me do it. Things will still happen to me here on Earth. Problems will still be faced. Sadness will still come. But I know at the end I’ll be good.

So it saddens me when I see comments about how easy it is. It saddens me to see people not wanting to be Christian because they don’t agree with something in the Bible. There’s a lot I don’t agree with but I understand the why of it during the time of it. That mainly applies to the Old Testament. You might realize at this time I am a New Testament guy. Jesus came to fulfill what was said in the Old Testament, about all those laws and things. Christians really have one law these days, follow Jesus. If you are a follower of his then you do what he taught. And he taught pretty good stuff. He’s the one that argued with the people who misinterpreted the Old Testament. He’s the one that helped people on the Sabbath. He’s the one that ate with the undesirable people of the time.

It isn’t easy inside or even out these days. Saying you’re a Christian can make people treat you differently, make jokes happen, bring about frowns. But I take it all in stride. That’s one thing that is easy with God. With God, you can face anything with a smile and head held up.

Think right to do right.

21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2:21-24)

I have a problem with self-righteous people. Those people who teach about God while failing to acknowledge they are right there alongside those who they are teaching.

I’ve sat before preachers who try to be pastors. A preacher is someone who stands up and spouts off about the Word of God but has no humanity in them for others. A true pastor takes care of their flock, knows failures are across the board, and has humility.

One time we were looking for a new pastor. During that time we had guest preachers come in to fill the pulpit while we searched for who God wanted us to have. This one man came in and started yelling and shouting, started running down our church as a bad place. He apparently thought this was a good way to audition for the church. A big downfall for him was he worked with the relative of someone on the pastor search committee and bad mouthed us to her. He thought he was better than we were.

The truth is no one is actually better than anyone else. We just all are unique individuals. I like to share the Word of God with all of you from time to time, but I know the truth. I know I’m as guilty of things as anyone else. Even if the sins I commit are only in my mind, I am still thinking about them. I apparently want to do them so that’s just about as bad as doing them. And that goes for anything. You might be angry and want to fight someone and beat them up. That’s just as bad as doing it, perhaps even worse because more than likely, in your mind, you beat them up worse than you could in reality.

All of the problem solving of the world starts with ourselves. It starts in our thoughts. How do we solve a situation? How do we speak to someone? How we go about doing anything, starts in our minds.

We have to think right before we can do right. To think right we need to realize we are thinking wrong.

This week pay attention to where your mind goes.

  • Does it go to positive places?
  • Do you think of uplifting things or venture into the negative world?
  • Do you enter into the selfish part of your personality more than the selfless part?

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Each time you find yourself going to the negative and non productive places, begin to think the opposite. It starts with your thinking. Men, if you find yourself looking at a woman and thinking things you shouldn’t, start thinking of her as a human, as a person with troubles, as a sister, a daughter. Attempt to think of them in respectful ways. The key here is to try. You’ll fail a lot. But you will succeed some of the time.

Love and compassion…

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama
I love love. I think if you’ve been visiting for any length of time you may have noticed that. I love love in all its forms and fashions, not just in romantic love.
My country’s going crazy right now. Again. We periodically do this as the actions of a few sparks the actions of more, and the inaction of the mass majority.
When I was doing my youth pastor thing I liked to do a lesson. What is the main goal of every person? Some went down the road easily to the conclusion that I knew they would end up at. While others, recognizing what the answer was, would try and argue their way out of it, but ultimately had to concede.
Pretty much everything we do in life is to find love. We want to be loved. This does not necessarily mean we want romantic love, but we do want to experience the feeling of being loved by someone or by family. We need that. We can function without it, but if we don’t have love, or able to give love, then there is an imbalance.
Love leads to compassion. I think if all the things happening in the world today, if we could do case studies of the people involved, we would find a commonality. They are missing something. Is it love, a true sense of it? Can you have love and not have compassion? That last one is one I am going to think about for a while. Maybe I’ll have another post about it.
I wonder about the killings that have occurred lately in the US, on both sides of the blue line, read the police line. I just don’t think, change that, I know I couldn’t kill someone like that. I couldn’t be a cop and abuse that power. On the other side, I couldn’t set out and intentionally kill cops that are doing nothing but protecting marchers in Dallas.
It’s all craziness. America isn’t the only place things happen, we just happen to be big and love our social media and the media loves a good tasty negative story to run and encourage more of the same to happen. Yes, I blame a lot of things on the media. They don’t act responsible at all when it comes to these things.
Love and compassion. Necessities. Yes, I believe that. How about you?

Faith of Inclusion.

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3)

Some people don’t like the Apostle Paul. He’s too liberal, to revolutionary. Paul’s my favorite and I’m pretty conservative about a lot of things. Then again, I’m pretty common sense about a lot of things as well.

Did you know that the early Christians didn’t see themselves as a new religion? As far as they were concerned they were Jews. They were Jews who believed the Messiah had come. Honestly, you can’t get much more Jewish than believing in a Messiah. That’s not a Gentile thing.

Paul sort of forced the hand of other Apostles. He went outside the box and started in on the Gentiles, the non-Jews. He did as Jesus did and reached out and spoke to non-Jews. Surprised at that? Think about the Samaritan woman at the well, the Roman Centurion.

One thing I like about Christianity is the inclusion factor. I know, another surprise for some. For Christians who follow the Christ path and the Bible, we see how we are all sinners, we all do things way beneath deserving of Heaven, Salvation, and anything else to do with Jesus and God. Even after accepting Jesus, God knows we will still do wrong things but He still made the sacrifice.

“Oh, but He knew Jesus would be resurrected!”

Have you ever felt the sting of a whip? Let’s say you have, now magnify that by millions. Each lash of the whip carries with it the punishment of millions. Imagine the agony. Imagine what goes through the mind during all of that. I personally would be like, “Did I sign up for this?”

Paul did a wonderful thing by reaching out to us. He didn’t say that if you do this and then stop you’ll be kicked out or killed. He also didn’t say it would be an easy job. A lot of us Christians talk about how difficult it is to be a Christian. We talk about following teachings that are so not in line with the ‘cool’ way of doing things. I’m good with that, no problems. Being cool is only a thing I’m trying to be as opposed to being burning forever. What is most difficult about being a Christian is failing every day and knowing God sees it. Living with that, knowing I disappointed Him and Jesus. Lot of guilt there, not so much I’ll hide in my room and flog myself until my skin bleeds. No repeat of the Scarlett Letter here, even if I were a preacher.

I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the guilt and live a carefree life in many ways. It occurred to me, okay it occurs to me every time I start feeling guilty, that God knew even before He sent Jesus that I would fail. No, I’m not cheering when I fail, but in those dark moments, I grab hold of that thought and it pulls me up.

Inclusion. God included me in His decision making from the very beginning. I’ve been included in His thoughts from the beginning. I’m included in His plan.



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Freedom to be free.

Do you know how to lead a fearless life? Fear means you have a problem with the end results of something that is going on. One thing that most people fear the most is death. They may not realize it but they do.

I don’t fear death. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to die and if someone was aiming a gun between my eyes I would be wetting myself so much Georgia would be the new location of the Great Lakes.

No, I mean I am not afraid of the results of that final destination. If I die, I’m not afraid of being dead. A lot of people will tell you that they are just going to be worm food so why be afraid. That’s what they say. Have a conversation with a great many of those people and you’ll find the story is different.

I’m not afraid because of the whole Christian thing. You see, Jesus on the cross, resurrection, ascension and all of that gives a chance at freedom. People wonder what it means by freedom when it comes to Christianity. The freedom we have is that death has no hold over us because we know where and who we belong to.

If I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Savior, my Lord then I would fear the torture I would have to face for all the sins I’ve committed.  Instead, I try my best to do my best and will be judged and given a few less gifts in Heaven than I had to begin with. Each time I sin, I get a gift taken away. My idea is, put me at the back of Heaven against the wall and I’ll take it.

Before Jesus, before accepting him, I lived under the control of sin, and what that sin would do to me in the end. Some people don’t believe in sin. They think it’s just a point of view as to what is good and what is bad. I could give some examples and see what you say, but I’m not that sick of a person and some people are sick enough to disagree just to be jerks about it.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

What this verse is telling us is this, don’t let the things of this world control you. Alcohol, porn, any other vices, illegal activities, all of it, don’t let any of it be something you think you have to do. What control does it have on you? You’ll die without it? What are you doing with it? Are you truly living with it? You’re afraid or feeling ill with it. Let it go. Be free.

You will slowly begin to feel better. Will your life be better? Maybe not. No one can promise that. However, you will be a better person.


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Love is…

“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” Loretta Young

I found this to be an interesting quote. At first I saw it from one side as an unselfish act, but then I began to wonder. What if your focus on their happiness deprives them of something? What if they want to make you happy? Now you are happy because you make them happy, but they are the ones that want to give you happiness. How difficult is it to have someone understand that their enjoyment of whatever it is that you are doing makes you happy and that’s it?

I have that dilemma. You see, I am a happiness giver. I think it’s partially because I don’t know how to accept the giving of happiness. Seeing someone happy because of something I do makes me happy. So am I making myself happy or are they by enjoying it making me happy?

Who is the happiness giver?

You see, my problem is I think too much. However, I see thinking too much better than not thinking enough. Eventually I figure it out. I realize that regardless of who is doing what that as long as both people end up happy, that’s what’s important. Sometimes, my accepting happiness makes the other person happy, and that is what love is. Even though I may not quite understand the receiving of it, I know it makes the other person happy, so I go along with it and enjoy the fact they are happy, thus I’m giving them joy.

How’s your head so far? I’ve had to unclench my jaw three time so far making my way through this one.

If you are going through the same situation, just relax and take happiness as it comes. It’s not a turn taker either. Just do it.


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Catching Fire…

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers
How did your love begin? If it didn’t start with some level of friendship and has lasted, I think you are fortunate. My personal opinion is like Ann Landers said. Friendship, fire, good, bad, humanity. There you have it.
Would be nice if things were that simple. The truth is when love first enters the picture it’s never simple. Oh, it may appear so, but unless there has been a foundation set, there are going to be some major obstacles at some point.
Remembering no person is perfect is important. We all make mistakes. We say that now, when we think of ourselves with weaknesses, but think about if the other person had a moment of weakness, how forgiving would you be? Think about that as your weaknesses begins to take form. Would you forgive yourself?
 I was looking at that word perfection up there. Have you ever met the perfect person? Were they perfect looking? Did they have the perfect attitude? No? Right. Perfection means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Perhaps perfection is less than what another person things of perfection, or maybe it is greater. I’ve been thinky lately. I thought I would share.

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