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.

The Power of Positivity.

The power of positivity. In order for it to change your life you have to understand a few things and apply it across the board.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. That was the verse I was given to study upon. Not a lot to go on there and of course I did as I always do and went to the book itself and read the verses leading up to and following it.

“12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” James 1:12-18

That’s a lot to throw at you but I liked it. It’s something I’ve reminded people from time to time when things have looked bad and they’ve looked weary at church. This always leads into questioning about what good is happening in life. The bad things can be powerful because they can loom large. One reason problems can be large is because we give so much power to things. It’s like when you have that one favorite TV show and you MUST see it every week. Then it gets cancelled. You feel it’s the end of the world. But then what happens? You find a new favorite.

But sometimes big things are big things. You still can’t let them control your entire life. The worry about them affects the other areas. Eventually that one thing ends up destroying everything else.

You know, some people like to use that old idea of a grain of sand turning into a pearl when they talk about how an irritant can bring about something wonderful. Well, that irritant is in one spot, it doesn’t move around to all areas of the oyster. The oyster lives a fine and happy life with a pearl.

It’s a struggle to work against the negative. Or it can be. Put with practice, focusing on the positive, you end up having the positive weed its way into the negative areas. It’s always better to go into a job interview with a good and positive attitude than a negative one.

Ronovan

Romans 1:16

Change your mind…change your life.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:9-10)

One way to change your life is to change your mind. One sign of a changing mind is a changing tongue. Years ago I was a swearer. I wasn’t a major profanity person but I used some language. And yes, I was a Christian then too. Then I found out I was going to be a father so I made the decision to change. If I was going to tell my child to be a certain way, shouldn’t I be the living example of that way?

To do this I made certain to not fill my life with things that were filled with what I didn’t want. I changed my music listening, reading, TV viewing. No, I didn’t become a fanatic about it, but I did make deliberate decisions. An example would be TV. If a show happened to have a bad word in it as part of a scene because the scene was emotional or something, okay, I got it. If the whole show was laced with it, and had scenes that sensationalized things it shouldn’t, I stayed away.

The same thing went for music. Although for that I mostly went to Contemporary Christian music. I like it. I still listen to my old 80s music for fun. And there are some music acts I like even now. But I still heed my initial parameters. And let me tell you, it is sad when you hear a song with a good beat and then they start in with the language or sexist or derogatory content.

You can’t be two minds on a matter or it comes out in your language. If you give lip service to a subject you will get found out. People like to think you are what you are. No, you are what you turn yourself into. It’s been over a decade since I made myself a promise to watch my language. I continue to fulfill that promise. I’m still cautious of my viewing and listening indulgences. I figure if I’m not participating, that’s one less vote, so to speak, for that type of content.

Do you think you can change your life by changing your mind? Can you change your views of the world by changing your mind? Pick something this week that you know you shouldn’t be doing or saying and work at altering your life by finding out why you say that and then stop. For me, I found that by not having all those music and TV influences I was able to easily stop using language, even when people around me at work were using it. See what you can do this week.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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

Boast in your weaknesses.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Sometimes you need to go to the book itself when you’re given a verse to read for the day. So I did, and read what led up to this statement by Paul to the Corinthians.

I like Paul because he’s not afraid to talk about his own failings, although he keeps his main failing, the ‘thorn’ in his flesh a secret, he still admits he has one. So what does the verse mean?

I look at myself as an example. I have Fibromyalgia which is also known as Chronic Pain. I have Chronic Fatigue, migraines that are always present, with variance in intensity, light and sound sensitivity, a sleep disorder, as well as spinal problems and other health issues. Why do I even look at those weaknesses in delight? Or perhaps the insults I’ve received at times?

Because with the help of God, those weaknesses, insults, and persecutions didn’t stop me from doing something I’ve dreamed of for decades. In fact, because of those weaknesses I may  have accomplished my goal of becoming a published author.

I took what life gave me and worked with it. I didn’t say that because my life isn’t the norm, that I couldn’t accomplish something. Even today I don’t know when I will sleep, when I will be awake. Sometimes I sleep three hours out of 48 and I will turn that into something useful in writing. What better way to describe sleep deprivation than being in it?

Anyone can brag about something they’ve done. But boasting about a weakness is something else. Overcoming hardships to be normal or even being extraordinary is something to talk about, but it’s mainly something to look to and realize help was given along the way. God directed me to write a book, or a few really. Within three months of an accident that changed my life forever, I’d written a book that I am about to shop to agents. I shouldn’t have been writing anything, but I had this need inside of me to challenge myself to accomplish something I’d never done before, write a romance novel. So it turned out to be a coming of age novel more than a romance. I still did it.

Having that helping hand to guide me, to support me, to lift me up when I fall backwards, is something that I know I can rely on and makes me more fearless in what I do. I am not afraid of weaknesses or failures. I use them.

Much Respect

Ronovan

In God’s Sight.

13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2)

Some might find it odd that Romans is one of my favorite books of the Bible, what with it being so controversial at times. It’s only controversial because of the way people take verses out of context and how a letter has been divided into chapters. Maybe I’m being a bit repetitive with my whole dividing books into chapters thing, but I think it’s worth saying, and saying often.

This verse is the one that came up today for me to study and I thought I would share it with you. Let’s look at all of it, and this is Paul speaking to the early church in Rome.

12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

A lot of people ‘hear’ the words of the Bible. Many people even sit in church two or three times a week hearing the Word of the Lord, yet walk out to the parking lot and immediately do the opposite of what they had just said Amen to.

Some of you may have heard that if a person claims to be a Christian they need to do things called works to show they are Christian. I’m not that flavor of Christian. I do believe you need to show in your way of life that a change has come over you, that you are no longer a person that things a certain way is okay to act. What I’m talking about here is living like what Jesus said we should.

A Gentile is a non-Jew. God reaches people around the world through various means, even dreams. He reaches people through their heart. When you see someone being ill treated, even in a minor way, and it tugs at your heart, that’s the goodness of God that’s written into your DNA. We all have that code to unlock.

It’s a shame when professed Christians do things completely opposite of Christ. I share from time to time good words here on my blog. I like to encourage people. I like to give hope. I like to inspire. I like to show a side of Christianity that is nonjudgmental. The only person I can judge is another Christian when I see them doing something against the Word of God, and even then it’s only to say, “Hey, brother, maybe you should take a step back and think about what you’re doing.” I’ve done lots of things in my life, thus I know I’m far from perfect. That lack of perfection gives me the ability and inclination to speak out at times to others to say, “I changed. If I did all of these things with a decision, so can you.”

The world doesn’t become a better place when you become a Christian or if you decide to simply use the words of the Bible as a guide to a good way of living. Actually you see the world with a different pair of eyes. That new world is far worse than you ever knew. You see the problems, you see answers, but you know people think your solutions are just Jesus Freak brainwashing.

A lady from another country commented on a recent post about how her own faith leads to thinking much like my own, and words much like that of the Bible. Gentiles are given God’s words and will in so many ways. Who knows, maybe He spoke to someone and said, “Put this down, tell your people this.” I am not above saying God won’t use anything good to do his will.

Do good. Do what Jesus says. You can’t go wrong. Even Gandhi loved the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Chapter 5.

Casting Crowns has a great song about how people in a church don’t really do what they are hearing.


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KEEP ON LOVING.

1Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13)

Beautiful words, aren’t they? Some may even be surprised they come from the Bible. There are people that don’t realize there are two parts of the Bible, a historical half and an application part. I always like to point to the fact the ugly parts of the historical being included as being signs of how true the Bible is. If all those who put the Bible together wanted was a positive point of view without any negative parts for people to point fingers at, they would have left the Old Testament out.

But more about those words up there. I have a friend visiting the south this week. A stranger to this country and especially this part of the world. Southern Hospitality has reined and dispelled some naysayers to how Americans are, and how Southerners might be. I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t get adopted into a family here before she makes it to the airport for her trip back home.

As a Christian, living in the Bible Belt of the nation, I like to think some of the verses above seep into the culture. Even those not attending church, not reading or believing the Bible, are exposed to the behavior of Christians. Some say these characteristics are only basic polite gestures. If so, then why don’t all parts of the world do the same? I’m not saying all parts of the world don’t have nice people, every part of the world does have nice people.

What I’m saying is, here in the South we have this culture of politeness and respect for one another that even the young get eventually. They like to act a certain way in front of their friends but once away from them, they slip into the polite culture. They KNOW how to act.

Or perhaps it’s that they act that way around adults who don’t jump to a conclusion about them. Perhaps it’s to those adults that treat them with respect and pleasantries they will reciprocate. If anyone can find fault in the words above, well, it would be interesting.

Just because we have a loved one in prison does not mean they cease to exist. And as for those suffering, have you not suffered in some way that you cannot empathize?

The scripture at the beginning of this post are the first verses of Hebrews Chapter 13. As some of you who have read me long enough may know, I don’t like the chapter divisions of the Bible.

The end of Hebrews Chapter 12:

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

The above is the paragraph right before the paragraph I started off the post with. I like to show previous verses at times to show context and how one leads into the other.


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Renew your mind and the rest will follow.

For the “Change” theme of the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge this week, which I chose, I wanted to share one of my favorite verses.

“2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2a)

A lot of people stop at this point in the reading. I’ve heard this partial verse preached on a number of times, but I always have my Bible out to read further. You see, I understand something many preachers don’t preach about.

The writings of the Bible were done as letters, not books, chapters, and verses. One sentence leads into the next. I like what some pastors say, if you see a “Therefore” in the Bible, it means it’s “there for” a reason. With this verse, you look at the next sentence.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2b)

Now that your mind is not polluted by the goings on of the world, you will be able to see for yourself the truth of God’s will. Polluted is a strong word. However, I’m not certain what other word to use when I think about what happens when the TV, movie, and music influences begin their work on an individual. Tiger Woods didn’t become a sex addict by watching Bugs Bunny or Andy Griffith. He became corrupted by everything around him that fed his ego and appetites.

In the Bible there have been headings added within the created chapters. This can break up meaning at times.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3)

Here you see a continuing explanation of the Romans 12:2a. Paul is reminding us that even with the renewing of our minds, our new unpolluted selves, we are still not higher than anyone else, and are only as good as we are by the faith God has given us.

We need to be on guard to not allow the pollution in. We worry about the ozone layer, climate change, and landfills, but we care little about the one true unique resource on earth, ourselves. Each of us is unique. You could have a twin and they are not exactly like you even if they look and sound like you. Perhaps they even walk and move like you do, they are still not exactly like you.

You are thinking unique thoughts. Those thoughts can be for a good reason or not. Not every thought needs to be for the betterment of the world. Dreams and fantasies exist to help our minds cope with a world that is not like we are.

There are people out there who hear the word Christian and automatically think of stereotypes brought about by a small, but visible/vocal minority. It’s kind of like when they have that local on the ground interview about a robbery or natural disaster and for some reason the news reporter picks the most illiterate and socially inept person they could find to put in front of the camera. That’s what happens with Christianity. We end up with the vocal and media seeking individuals representing us.

Christianity is a personal thing. One on one. It’s not a group think, or a group mind thing. It’s not the exact same thing for any two people. My thoughts differ from others in my own home. I have a more understanding nature than some. I look at things below the surface and don’t pass judgement. Yes, I will say something is bad when I believe it is bad. Beating a child is bad. If you say it is good, then I think you have a problem. If you say that it might be okay for the society that person doing the beating lives in, then I say that society is bad. If that is being judgemental, call me guilty. I generally take things on a person by person basis.

Change. Do you want to change how you think, what you think, what you think is acceptable? Renew your mind, however you want to. Hit your reset button about what you think is acceptable. I’m not saying become a Christian. I’m saying reset your humanity button. Do you watch porn? Do you look at images on the internet? Do you watch or listen to things promoting degradation of women? More than likely you do and don’t even think you are. That means you support it.

The rest button is a hard thing to do. You’ll hit it several times. But eventually—eventually, the habits you develop from your intentional training of your mind will lead to a permanent change in your heart as well.


You can check out my other Change post on the prompt post HERE, as well as seeing links for other entries.


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Life’s Plan-Life’s Purpose.

I have a lot of ideas. Too many of them actually. It’s very difficult for me to stay on one path to the goal of completion. The reasons are partly medical and partly a need to grab hold of that next big idea I have in my mind before it slips away.

Life's Purpose Image by Ronovan.

We do a lot of planning. Perhaps years or even decades are put in to a plan but then the plan comes to an end. The bad part about the end is that we didn’t have that in our plan. Although it isn’t  always a bad thing when your personal plan comes to an end.

Proverbs 19:20-21

Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

The many plans we make are not always for our best. We travel along, sometimes staring out the window at the monotony of life passing us by and are mesmerized into complacency and routine. We believe what is may perhaps be all there is.

I have moments of indecision. I don’t mean indecision of the mind, but of the heart. No, not about love, I am certain of those parts of my life. But there is indecision about creations and taking the right step that tear at my heart. My mind does a good job with decisions and filing them away properly. It knows what to do, but the heart is the part that throws plans into chaos.

Fortunately a verse came to me today, a verse of the day, the one above. Those plans in my heart that tear at me? I need to learn to let them go. God knows the best plan. He even tells me the plan, I just don’t either always know the language/manner he’s speaking in, or am just not hearing it.

A great many things have happened in my life. One is about a young man I played football with. He was a star athlete, super intelligent. He had it all. Then one rainy game he tackled a player and with the wet uniforms, field and everything else, his neck broke.

The young man was a leader in many ways. People looked up to him. There was a bright future ahead for him. He was also a Christian.

Our team was losing badly, it was late in the game, and the other coach had asked our coach if he wanted to call the game and end it early. Our coach said no. It almost would appear that things were working against my friend from fulfilling his purpose for God and for life.

He has graduated from college, is now driving his own van, still paralyzed from the neck down, and travels to do speaking engagement to sports groups and FCA groups. That’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He doesn’t drive himself to those events, just wanted to make that clear. He’s my age and just recently was able to get a van and go through everything to be able to drive.

But God has a purpose and he uses indecision, and attempts to take away a bright and shining star to make them even brighter, IF that star chooses to move forward and upward with the purpose and the plan. My friend could have went through life in his wheelchair and no one would have said anything about it. But he had a support group, his parents, and all those who knew him to encourage and be God’s language in my friend’s ear.

I didn’t know where this was going when I first began writing. I thought it would be about my efforts to write novels. Then I put the scripture in. After that the part about my friend came to mind. He leads a more enriched life than most of us do and he is a benefit to more people than all but a handful of us will ever have the opportunity to. Well, that is unless we realize what the purpose for us is.


Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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Not a Martyr. Not a Hero.

I wasn’t planning on posting anything about a certain issue here in the U.S. but I will now. A clerk in the state of Kentucky refused to give out marriage licenses to same gender couples, stating it was against her religion. From my understanding she was then told specifically by the courts not to interfere with her employees passing the licenses out.

As a Christian I am to follow the law of the land as long as it does not keep me from following the Word of God.

Apparently the court actually gave the woman a way out. Although she was the head clerk and in charge and was supposed to sign the licenses, they said she didn’t have to. She simply needed to stay out of the way and not issue them herself.

She chose instead to do something a Christian is not to do. She forced HER Christian beliefs onto others, other workers. I say HER because her understanding apparently differs from mine.

She is not a hero or martyr for Christianity. That’s my opinion. She chose to make herself an example. The government where she lived could have fired her. Not a Martyr or HeroBut instead it was arranged for her to work around the law.

Every Christian has their own interpretation of what Christianity is. Even non-Christians have different opinions. But his is mine. I believe what I believe and I don’t force it on anyone. Each persons beliefs, relationship with God or not, is their own PERSONAL thing. By doing what this woman did she actually did exactly what the Bible said would happen, she gave people cause to speak against her and against Christianity.

I wanted to say something. I have. I’m done.

Added 18:23 EDT 9/13/2015

Reading some of the comments, I believe there are a few misunderstanding what is being said here. I am for her right to stand up for her beliefs in regards to what she does with her OWN job. But when she stands in the way of the court order that stated to allow her subordinates to issue licenses, that is when she forced her belief onto others. She in effect was making them do what her belief stated. Although some of them are Christians as well.

For those who are thinking I must be a liberal politics leaning person, I’m not. I am conservative. But what I truly am is Jesus led. Someone asked what would Jesus do in this case. Jesus would tell his opinion and then move on. He would not stand in the way of a couples personal decision to follow the law of the land OR be with whomever they chose to.

 

 

 

 

 

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan



Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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@RonovanWrites

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How Young People Can Be Our Examples.

Sunday Thoughts has returned. My views on my Christianity and how I see it through reading the Bible and not listening to the dividing of interpretations.

Today let’s talk about how young people can be examples to us old folks, well maybe older folks.

There are so many problems in the world today that I don’t even bother speaking about them here any longer. They exists. We know they exists. I won’t give those movements, or murders for celebrity sake any further exposure by putting their names in my writing. That’s partly why some do what they do, they know they will go out in a blaze of glory and be on the news for several hours–at least–and then mumbled out for a few days following.

Instead of glorifying them, unexpectedly so, by naming them, people of all ages should help others not go that route.

How?

There is really only one way to do that and that is by being an example.

No matter your age, you are an example ALREADY. You may be an example for good or for bad. I don’t want to hear arguments that there is no such thing as something being good or bad and that it is simply something based on ones personal views. I am certain many people reading this could  come up with examples of what is bad. I don’t want to think about the examples that come to my mind. So let’s move on to being more productive.

I periodically am in touch with former students and some say how much they look up to me and appreciate me. The funny thing about that is I’m envious of them and what they have going on in their lives. Great college experiences are being entered into. Futures are waiting to be discovered and shaped. And I don’t shy away from expressing that to them, that appreciation of them.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”-1 Timothy 4:12

Here you see there is no age to being an example. We can learn from the young as much as the old. My son, who has learned from me a great deal of his, will say or do something and I learn from him. The young see things in a way that is less colored by years of experience and wounds.

Those wounds are caution signs for us, but they can also be false signs in some cases. There are exceptions to every situation–every rule. We can’t spend our lives living in fear of the exceptions and miss out on the exceptionals.

I’m not saying we should ignore our past experience in favor of youthful belief, but I am saying we can capture that belief in moving forward with caution instead of either not moving at all or moving backwards.

How does this all make to improve the world?

We continue to be open to the world, to communication, to experiences, to views. We refuse to let a bad experience dictate how we view similar situations. Yes, I mean we don’t allow past moments to let us not like people of a certain color–as one example. Think about it. If we did that we wouldn’t like any skin color at all.

And there we are. The problem. We really don’t trust very many people to the extent we need to. We don’t trust situations. Jadedism is one of the worst isms out there. We just don’t believe the good because we only witness the good being debunked in the news. The true good is rarely if ever reported with as much gusto and zeal as the bad.

Young people will listen to young people and follow young people a lot more freely than us old folk. Even us old folk that try to be a good example. Us old folk can be examples too, and perhaps help with the old folk problems as well as the young folk problems by not giving fuel to problems. We fuel things, as well as young people fueling things, more than we all realize. Young and old working together will make it work.

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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@RonovanWrites

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Paul and Don’t Judge the Non Christians.

Yesterday I wrote a somewhat controversial article. Reactions have varied but I have found them to be of the expected so far as of the writing of this article. I removed the article because I decided I don’t think it quite got my message across the way I wanted to and it has affected me a bit. Now after some thought I decided to put it back up. I figure, my blog, my thoughts, so why not? 🙂

Thus, I am taking my time for my Sunday Thought to make some things clear to Non Christians and Christians alike. Because I think both need to understand something that has not been emphasized enough in churches and the public domain.

1 Corinthians 5 NIV
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”~Paul to the Corinthians

The only people Christians are to hold accountable to New Testament teachings are other Christians. Paul’s verses above followed a section where he had to explain something.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (Purple text refers to a fellow Christian.)

Don’t get these verses wrong. Not associating comes a long time after Christians attempt to help the fellow Christian to see what they are doing and get back on track. It’s not like, oooo we caught you at something and now you are to be gone from us you bad boy you.

Now, don’t get me wrong about not judging Non Christians, that doesn’t mean a Christian should say, “Hey, that’s awesome,” when seeing something that is against our faith.

Just like Non Christians may say, “It’s fine for Christians to believe what they want, but don’t expect me to applaud what they believe.”

A commenter mentioned it was offensive for Christians to proselytize and tell people they are wrong and bad. I think Christians understand the feeling when we are told we are wrong and bad daily in the media and by our government.

And please, don’t confuse Jehovah ‘s Witnesses’ dogmatic ways of Saturday morning door-to-door knocking and telling you that you are wrong with how Christians are supposed to do it. They even tell Christians they are wrong. Most of my family are Jehovah’s Witnesses so I get it. They and I have had some interesting talks in the past.

I taught my youth group to simply listen to people and if a reason came up to share their faith then do so, otherwise don’t. Forcing never works.

But back to the verses mentioned. Paul had a great way of bringing the focus of the early Christians back to where they belonged. Whenever the early church began whining about everyone else, he always said don’t worry about them right now, worry about yourself and the church first.

Romans Chapter 1 is one of the most misrepresented chapters in the Bible. Why? Because a letter was divided into chapters. Paul talks about what certain things are sins in Chapter 1, then in Chapter 2 he points out that the church members are doing those things so shut up and take care of yourselves instead of yelling about others. But because of the Chapter break people tend to study that first Chapter as a separate piece instead of looking at the whole.

Romans 2:1 NIV
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.~Paul to the church in Rome

Gotta love it, right? Paul sure had a way with words. So Christians, the next time you begin to judge a Non Christian by our Christian standards, think about these verses in this article today. 

For Non Christians I hope there is an understanding that the majority of Christians don’t have problems with anyone. In fact our very faith teaches us to love everyone, no matter who or what they are. Sometimes Christians forget that part, I think it’s partly because it’s not taught enough or mentioned enough in the churches. And I hope people understand that more and more Christians are being told they are bad and wrong as a whole because of a vocal minority that gets the attention and brings negativity to us.

In closing I will say this, do not tell me I cannot speak my my beliefs. I don’t ridicule others, and I expect the same in return. Learn the difference between hate speech and a belief. I may say something is a sin but it does not mean I hate someone who does that sin. You shoplift, you are  a thief, you have stolen, you have sinned. I tell you that you have sinned. That is not hate speech. Oh, sorry, the government says it’s bad, so I guess I am covered…for now.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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Say it on Saturday! I am Blessed but you call me Bigot.

Welcome to the first Episode of:

Say It On Saturday!

The post where I share my honest feelings about an issue that’s really bugging me of late and possibly lose some readers along the way. Rant? Hopefully not. But I do hope it will be informative to people on both sides of whatever I end up talking about.

It was difficult to pick just one topic this week, there are so many after all. I think my main annoyance with things are when situations are misrepresented against one side so far that it becomes ridiculous.

The Phobics

Have you ever been called gossip-phobic?
How about adultery-phobic?
Or maybe slanderer-phobic?

I think we all agree those are sins. Okay, okay, I know some of you don’t like that word but I’m a Christian and according to the Bible those are some sinful things. And who among us has not probably committed every one of them. Remember, adultery to Jesus was even thinking about it.

But I’ve never been called liar-phobic or any other phobic about sins mentioned in the Bible. So why does a Christian who says the sexual act between same genders is a sin called homophobic?

Notice what I said. The sexual act, I did not say the act of love. I want to make that clear. I have been adamant here on my blog that any sexual act outside of the God identified marriage of man and woman is a sin. It doesn’t matter who the partners are, no marriage plus sex equals sin.

Am I a Phobic?

Now do I fear anyone that is gay? Not unless they are planning to beat me up or shoot me or something like that. So I fear a gay person as much as I would fear anyone. You see I am, and I would like to say most Christians are, not afraid of gay people or their engaging in sex with their own gender. Believe me, most of us are of the opinion of do with your life as you want to. It’s just there are some vocal idiots out there that make problems and use God and Jesus as their battle cry hoping to get some support and people opposing the noise makers end up saying or doing something that includes something Christians can’t support.

It’s kind of like when the political parties try to pass a bill that is for one thing but includes something else and because of that something else the other political party votes no.

It’s not that the political party is against the main point of the bill, but they can’t pass it because the minor point is against what they are for.

Being a Christian

Part of being a Christian is not forcing our faith on people. We should love our neighbors as ourselves. Part of that loving is not butting into their bedrooms and the like. There is nowhere that it says we do anything like that.

But then we come to some political issues where a Christian who believes in the Bible as written is faced with having to decide to vote or support something that goes against what the Bible says. Now if the Christian says no to that issue then they are said to be a bigot or something like that.

And we are actually not surprised by any of this. Consider the environment the first Christians were in with Rome. At least we haven’t been used as torches yet. I tell you, that was some serious faith back then. You have to really believe to go through what those people did and not back down.

What About Me

I don’t think anyone can say anything bad against me from what they have experienced on my blog. I believe I have been respectful and hopefully informative about my faith so everyone can better understand what I think a Christian should be, what I think Jesus meant for us to be.

We are not to judge. We are not support what the Bible says is a sin. But we are also not to apply our Biblical laws to those who are not believers. God will handle that later.

1 Corinthians 5 NIV
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”~Paul to the Corinthians

Matthew 5 NIV
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”~Jesus, Sermon on the Mount

The following has been added after posting:

Now if this has been a bit confusing and you don’t get exactly what I am saying which I have a feeling a lot of people aren’t, visit the comment below by Florence. The link will take you right to it.

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/i-am-blessed-but-you-call-me-bigot/#comment-14511

Much Love, Success, and Respect
Ronovan

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Peacemaker to Positivity.

One way to help others is to be honest with yourself, and that’s also a step toward a positive life.

There are situations you will find yourself in where if you have been honest with your past you will be able to identify with the situation and then give advice. Too many of us like to deny our past and our less than admirable deeds. We run from it instead of accepting it, owning it, and turning it into something useful.

God uses everything He can to make things better, if we choose to work with Him. A horrible experience you had can help another person by your being able to give them support in your having made it through that same kind of event.

I’ve had horrible things happen in my past that I could let turn me into some hateful man, but I choose not to do so. I choose to work with God and use my past to help others.

I’ve been fairly honest in my writings, perhaps overly honest at times, but by doing so I think people realize that when I do speak about something I know what I’m talking about. That’s one reason I may sound like I talk about some things several times. I don’t really like to talk about things I don’t know about just to get a blog article out that I know will make a lot of blog traffic.

The episodes of life we go through help lead to the spiritual gifts each of us have. People have said I have certain gifts but I don’t dwell on that. I do as I do and take each moment as it comes. I’ve known pastors who talk about having a spiritual gift only for me to discover they are wrong and that is one reason I don’t like to focus too much on a certain gift idea. Focusing on one at the exclusion of all else weakens what you already have.

Think of a body builder who likes to work on his arms the most. When he gets up there you see how odd he looks. His arms are too large for the rest of him. You can see he takes pride in one thing over the others.

But I will share with you one of the spiritual gifts another pastor said I had, the gift as a peacemaker.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NIV (Jesus, Sermon on the Mount)

Peacemakers to me are sort of jacks-of-all-trades. They pull from several of the gifts to accomplish a mission. I am not saying I am a peacemaker but that I have been identified as one. And I am not saying I have all of the gifts. I don’t think anyone has them all.

Really what a peacemaker does is study the Word of God, has consistent prayer, and lives a life habit that helps them see clearly in times of need. For me, I do what I can. No one is perfect.

Here is one example of peacemaking:
I have been helping lately in some conflicts by being an opposing side’s views and thoughts in a situation. I give the thoughts of a side in a unique way that is honest and helps the person realize what is happening or might happen. I don’t soften what I share. That does not help the person.

How does this bring about peace? By knowing and then acting upon that knowledge to not react to what might happen, you have already won. You don’t become entangled in the strife. You are prepared to maintain a peaceful place. That is one example of a peacemaker.

I do these same things for myself. A peacemaker needs to keep peace within in order to help others.

Having the spiritual gift of faith is also something that goes along with that of peacemaker. By faith I mean the unshakeable kind. I don’t mean the ignoring of the world kind. I enjoy learning everything I can and pulling fact from opinion. Perhaps that is a gift as well. And even Christians have opinions in some areas just as much as non-believers. Those are the opinions you have to watch out for.

People may notice how my faith sneaks in to my articles at times. Or you may not notice at all. The fact is my faith has been in just about every article I’ve written lately. I’m guided to a place of positivity and peace by my faith. Teachings of Jesus are a wonderful thing. Polluted through time by man, they have taken on meanings that Jesus never intended. That’s why I always encourage people to read the words for yourself. You don’t need a denomination or even a non-denominational church (They are really a denomination at this point in time.) or a church of any kind.

You and the Words of Jesus. Great advice for the world. He’s been recognized as a great teacher by many. Even those who don’t believe in him think the teachings are good. And believe me, they help so much.

My Christian blog speaks about many things and I intend to have it be a place for people to learn about what the Bible says without the pollution.

For today, be a peacemaker. That may mean you are silent when you want to speak out, or speak out when you want to be silent. You may need to overcome a fear, or overcome a false pride. So many things to learn and be aware of, and sometimes within a split second. But it is possible. It’s possible with learning, with practice.

Much Love, Success, and Respect
Ronovan

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Always be prepared to…

So I have one more consecutive post of offering up a Quote to do in order to meet the challenge by Greg of Potholes in the Road of Life.

Today I want to share one for perhaps not only my Christian friends, but all my friends. Thinking upon this quote helps you quite a bit.

1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”

I know, those of you who don’t believe in Jesus could just not read that part, but the rest would work.

A long time ago I would shy away from engaging with people who would lash out against my faith.  Why? Because I didn’t know the details as much. The truth is, to be saved you don’t have to know the details. You learn how to LIVE like a Christian along the way. The knowledge in the Bible doesn’t magically fill your Bible because you whispered to a preacher at the front of a church one Sunday morning.

Although, a lot of the basic things about being a Christian we all know. A lot of it is common sense things.

But back to the purpose of the article. Several years ago I began to get involved in something called Apologetics. This is not an apology. This is defined as “reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine”. It might be more commonly known as Defending Your Faith. And the religious doctrine part sort of came about later. It was a legal thing back in the day. Like, oh about 2000 or so years ago.

As I began to study and learn more about the Bible, the facts of information found in the Bible and a lot of other things, I was better able to defend my faith. I was prepared to give an answer.

For Christians we’re told here to to study the Word of God. We are told to be prepared. Why? It’s not just to defend our faith to others, but to ourselves as we face various trials in life. If you are confident in your belief nothing will shake it loose. It may tremble, but it will not fall.

I know this for a fact. I’ve seen it in action, in the worst possible moment imaginable.

But as to the quote. If you defend your beliefs in a polite fashion, and I don’t mean roll over and give up, then when people try to say you are a bad person other people will ignore those reports. Unfortunately we have a lot of Christians that don’t defend in a polite manner. I try. Maybe I fail at times, but so far I think my previous articles have been polite and I haven’t ridiculed anyone or anything like that.

Would be nice for all people to be like that.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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I am not ashamed…

Greg from over at Potholes In The Road of Life nominated me to be involved in a Three Day Quote Challenge, sharing a quote three posts in a row. Since he’s a friend and is faithfully dedicated to doing my Haiku Challenge each week, how can I say no, right? So I’ll see what I can do.

Romans 1:16 New International Version (NIV)

romans-1-1616 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.

I decided to pick three of my favorite quotes. What better quote than one from Paul about 2000 years ago? But why did I pick this one?

Many people read the book of Romans chapter by chapter. In doing so they fail to understand the message. For centuries since the Bible was divided into chapters and verses  some misunderstandings have been around. And Romans chapters one and two being divided as they are has been one of the biggest.

But I digress. The reason Romans 1:16 is a favorite quote is because of what it says. All are included in salvation who believe in the gospel.

I also like how it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. Some Christians are ashamed to admit they believe in Jesus to their friends. And they certainly are afraid to say they believe in his teachings. I’m not certain why except for all those misunderstandings ingrained throughout the generations by the ill informed.

The gospel, the truth, the power. God took the control of sin out of Satan’s hand and put it into the hands of each person as their own choice to make. The perfect sacrifice, Jesus, God in flesh as man, suffering as man, without power to give us a chance.

And since the day I realized the truth of all of that, not the day I became a Christian, but years later, I have not been ashamed to say what I am. Many celebrities are ashamed. No one wants to be ridiculed as the next Tim Tebow. Oh how he’s suffered. Sarcasm there. Only time he ever was a teams starting quarterback in the NFL he lead a down and out team to the playoffs and actually won some games.

So I am proud to say I am not ashamed of the gospel. It gives me a confidence in my final destination and a peace within me in not fearing the future.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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Wisdom in Silence.

At first I was not intending to do a post for today but when I read Hold yourself in silence… by Florence on her blog Meanings and Musings thoughts went somewhere.

Is the expressing your thoughts and engaging in debate a sign you are wise?

She means a cultural aspect to this concept. I think quite often people are trained from an early age to speak up and give the answer, to show off they know, be the first to raise their hand in class. But is that the way it should be? Is wisdom a race?

Now, Florence does not talk about wisdom being a race or contest, her article simply led my mind somewhere and then it raced off in this direction as I thought of my son and then the world in general.

When I read her article the first thing that came to mind was the following.

proverbs-17-27And Thenproverbs-10-19And My All Time Favoriteproverbs-17-28

Words can be twisted, even well intentioned words. Those who hold there words in the heat of emotions and when goaded into a battle of words has more power when they do speak.

Look at politics. Let a candidate speak long enough and they will eventually shoot themselves in the foot by saying something like let’s put a colony on the moon.

Today is a good day to practice silence. Silence, such as as the unheard tremor deep in the ocean or the blowing of a wind can create a powerful force over time. Hold. Silence. Then when released? Power.

Here are a few currently free e-books on Amazon I saw today. I picked ones with plenty of good reviews. Some humor, some wisdom, but all will give you wisdom in some way.

charles-bridges-proverbsSelected passages with explanations by Charles Bridges from 1840. C.H. Spurgeon commented upon it-“The best work on the Proverbs. While explaining the passage in hand, he sets other portions of the Word in new lights.”

 
 

rosie-blythe-being-a-cat“Rosie Blythe has obviously been owned by a princess cat. She knows the world of cats and explains how you can channel your own inner cat too. This book is cute and funny and pretty creative. I especially loved the section on how to spend a day as a cat. Mostly you will laugh as you read this. If you have cats and know cat behavior very well this will totally amews you.”~The Rebecca Review

Yes, it’s a humor thing but I thought some would enjoy some fun.

tai-sheridan-buddha-in-bluejeansPoet and Zen Priest Tai Sheridan’s ‘Buddha in Blue Jeans’ is an extremely short, simple, and straight forward universal guide to the practice of sitting quietly and being yourself, which is the same as being Buddha. Sitting quietly can teach many ways to accept life, meet pain, age gracefully, and die without regret. The book encourages sitting quietly every day.

lon-g-stewart-walking-with-jesusDr. Stewart spent a total of fifty-nine years preaching in eighteen different countries, as a pastor of three different churches, and teaching an adult Bible class. He and his wife Lorrie live happily in Gilbert, Arizona; and as this book is going to press, Dr. Stewart is working on his fourth book! He is happy to give God all the praise for his very fulfilling life.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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God and Meditation.

Are you a Christian or even an Atheist and afraid of Meditation because you think it will turn you into a Buddhist, turn you away from your belief in whatever you believe?

Don’t laugh. A great many people associate Meditation with Buddhism because it is such a central part of that philosophy and way of life.

You’re already meditating.

Meditation, for Christians should not be something to fear. In fact, if you are doing as you should, you are likely meditating and not even realizing it. Each morning you should be spending quiet time preparing for your day by praying or talking with God. You are preparing yourself to not allow the events of the day to sway you or influence you.

During this time you are pushing the world out, those sounds and thoughts, and you are focusing on one thing, God. During these quiet times you may not even be thinking of anything but simply being at peace and calming your mind for the day ahead. Perhaps you are repeating the word “calm” or “peace” in your thoughts over and over. A one word prayer.

When you are in these moments you find things become clearer to you. All the outside stimuli are blocked away and central ideas come into focus and you discover solutions to problems or clarity of purpose, and even a clarity of scripture void of the traditions man has applied to them in trappings and rhetoric.

Jesus was a man who meditated.

“But Jesus did not meditate, so why should I?” What do you think Jesus was doing while fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. While fasting he must have been doing something. Preparing himself for his ministry ahead? How? By talking with God, talking with the Father, by meditating. And through this preparation, at the end of those 40 days and nights, Jesus was prepared for the trials of Satan.

People forget a few things about Jesus. For one, he was a man. Yes, he was God in the form of flesh as man on earth. He had to be. For him to be a sacrifice for us he could not be the all powerful form of God without the ability to be harmed, feel pain, go through trials, be tempted, and all the other things a human could go through.

He performed miracles by asking the Father for His help. I mention that so no one thinks he had these powers on his own and thus was different from normal humans. But how did Jesus stay pure to be the perfect sacrifice for humanity?

Remember how Jesus would often go off on his own, away from his disciples? What do you think he was doing during this time? Remember in the garden on the night of his arrest and he asked the disciples to keep watch? What do you think he was doing?

Jesus was the rock star of his time of ministry work. Everywhere he went people wanted something from him. These things could be simply to hear him speak or to get some miracle from him. But there was a constant buzz around him. Jesus needed to get away from all of that and be alone. He needed to refocus and reenergize. He was human. He had a human body. He had a human mind, all of which were susceptible to fatigue and deterioration. He needed his quiet time.

The Bible speaks of meditation.

Meditation is not a religion. Parts of this article came to me during meditation. People want to be enlightened. For a Christian—as a Christian, I feel as though I am enlightened already. As I meditate in my quiet moments and refocus on God, He gives me thoughts and revelations.

Does the Bible speak of meditation? I know some of you are wondering. If it’s not in the Bible then you don’t want to hear about it being possible, even if you are a Christian or not. Joshua 1:7-9~“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Meditation is not just sitting quietly it is also a way of life. You can meditate through every moment of life. In the above scripture, Joshua speaks to this. The word meditate (hâgâh)  here has meanings such as; to utter, speak, muse, imagine, to meditate. To get the full benefits of the Word of God you need to be in it throughout your day, in all your actions. To get the full benefits of meditation you need to be in it throughout your day, in all your actions.

To prosper (tsâlach, tsâlêach), to make progress, to advance; all definitions of the word translated as prosperous above, you need to be in whatever it is you are doing and stay on the path of what you are doing at all times. Otherwise you are sidetracked and have to either start over or take time getting back on the track where you left off.

I’m a doer, not a sayer.

As a Christian, by combining these two the Word of God/prayer and Meditation that go hand in hand, written in the Bible, you can achieve a divine enlightenment and peace of mind. I don’t say this as some guy trying to get you to do something; I say it as someone who does it.

I did it before my accident two years ago, lost it for a while, and now you may have noticed in recent months a change in my writing. I live what I am talking about. I didn’t call it meditation, but that is what it was.

josuha-1-8

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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Letting Go so you can Go On.

Themes. I guess you could say my writing of late has a theme to it and today will be no different. A few months ago I made a conscious decision to begin writing about positivity. Oddly enough it turns out I have been writing about that since my blog began, I just didn’t realize it because of all the somewhat angst riddled poetry I was writing back then.

Yes, I can do angst well.

Six months ago I wrote an article titled Choose to Let Go. The article spoke somewhat about my amnesia and how I look at it and move on in spite of it. As I was thinking of this article for today that article came to mind and I realized how themes seem to come back around. Cyclical is what people call something like that.

I write about these things because I continue to see these things and they are everyday obstacles in my path. The difference in them being cyclical or not is how you handle them.

Cyclical means you haven’t discovered how to deal with something. I am not speaking of how every year the tornadoes come through the south here in the US. I am talking about those things you can control. Although if you don’t want to keep running for cover every year because a tornado coming . . . move.

One thing that comes up all the time for all of us is people slighting us or hurting us in some way. Hurt can mean hurt feelings, made fun of us, forgot about us in some way or anything that impacts us emotionally in a negative manner.

I was watching some interviews of professional wrestlers-I don’t actually watch matches, I watch the real person interviews about their careers, the not fake stuff part of the world, I know, I’m weird. Anyway, I noticed how so many people hate this one wrestler because of how he used to be. Since that time and for the past 13 years he has been a born again Christian and very devoted.

These people he slighted in the past, or who felt they were slighted because his career rose as theirs fell, refuse to believe who he is now, that he has changed. They want to hold on to that, well, truly childish and horrible acting person he once was. I mean he really was bad.

You can look at these people and see this hate and bitterness eating away at them. It’s in every part of them from the way they look at the camera to the way they talk and from the way the walk to the way they act in the ring. I know most of pro wrestling is scripted but the wrestlers have to act and by allowing the bitterness to remain they can’t be anything but these mean guys called heels. Even when they are good guys, baby faces, they are still not quite fully there. Then the success doesn’t come and they hate that guy who was a success even more.

So that was one example, another is as I was reading some sports clips online one was about a pro pitcher in baseball who looked at a fan calling to him. The guy blew the pitcher a kiss. The pitcher did a ‘say what’ type of face, turned around, but then turned back quick, caught the kiss and then tossed it onto the field. It was an obvious joke. Yet the writer made it out to be something bad.

That led me to wonder who spends their time, their days, looking for something they can put a negative spin on? Who makes a career of this?

People filling their lives with negativity all the time.

I was looking for that perfect verse to share today about forgiveness. There are so many in the Bible. To paraphrase a saying “if something has to be mentioned so many times there is a reason for it.” I came across a short one.

And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.-Matthew 6:12

When I came to that verse I sat and thought for a while. That wrestler can’t make people forgive him for what he once was. But he has forgiven all those who did the same to him through the years and asked God to forgive him. His life is in a good place with a ranch, a wife, and two great kids. He’s retired from wrestling and considered a legend and perhaps one of the Top 10 wrestling entertainers ever, but he doesn’t focus on the wrestling part of his world.

He’s a dad and husband who helps home school his kids. I mean they are on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. Those who hate him are in nowhereville wrestling for noname wrestling.

I’m not saying forgiving others will bring you great things, but it will bring you great feelings. Once you let go of all of that baggage you grow taller. You grow taller in the eyes of those around you as they see something change in you. Just think about it. If you go around brooding and angry all the time, to me that means you are filled with hate and doubt and are frustrated. If you go around as though things don’t bother you, you then appear confident and people are drawn to you. People then want to be around you and work with you.

Forgive people things. Seriously. What can you do by holding onto something that can’t be changed, something that happened years ago? Let it go. You don’t even realize what those little things have done to you over the years and what they have turned you into.

Much Love, Much Success, and Much Respect to You All,

Ronovan

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America is Burning.

America burns every few months, while smoldering in between. Depending on who you listen to the fault, the blame, will lay at the feet of police, government, black people, white people, poor people, gangs, the President, or the media.

Who is to blame for America burning?

The answer is very simple. Everyone. If each of us acted as Jesus, as Christ taught we wouldn’t be in this situation.

I skirt the issues at times. I don’t like to be confrontational. Beating a person over the head with something always seems rather a poor solution. Once unconscious, the fellow won’t be able to hear what you have to say.

Stand back a little so as I flail a bit I won’t do any harm and you are able to hear all of what I have to say today.

America and every nation needs God. I don’t mean the structures man has put in place, the traditions, the people in power to worship. I mean the almighty Himself, in our hearts, in our lives, in our actions.

If you are new to the  blog, I am not into church traditions that have been made into facts of Jesus. There are a lot of those. And there have been a lot of them from the very beginning.

I often speak on Sundays about how if we took the teachings of Jesus and followed them, how much better things would be. Even for people not believing in God those teachings are important and very good guidance.

There is so much TALKING about the situation and less about DOING about it. We’re told we have great plans to make things better. Plans are good intentions unless enacted. As Christ is the answer to our problems, there is a road to Hell paved with dusty and cobwebbed good intentions.

One race. One people. One family. Believing that, I have a difficult time agreeing with the harming of people. I even have a hard time with the death penalty. There is no eye for an eye. God will sort out the guilty. Yes, trials. Yes, justice. Yes prison. In reality, put certain people in prison for life, they won’t last long. Some will need to remain in solitary confinement for the remainder of their body’s existence. I don’t say their life, because they don’t have one any longer. While others, well, they just won’t live very long.

Back to my original thoughts. Parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, teachers, you name it, step up and be forces of positivity in each others lives. You see one drifting, snatch them back in place. Not your business? Is their ending up in prison or worse because it wasn’t your business something you can live with?

Like a mother who saw her son in the riots of Baltimore and snatched him up, snatch up those you care about.

So what do I think about the police issues? I think some have been absolute tragedies that were police issues. I think some could have been avoided if any person, regardless of skin tone, had acted properly. I think some were things that have happened and then other people have taken it and made something more of it than it was.

In other words, there is no one sided answer to it all. The President said something in a press conference on Tuesday that I agree with. This is nothing new. The new part is with so many eyes watching and able to watch, record and share, it has been put out in front of the nation more readily. Those are my words but the gist of his message.

The only ones at fault are those involved in the acts. I am not a policeman, nor have I been on the other side of a situation. I can’t say what I would do if faced with a threat in either position. Would I shoot, hit, defend myself as a police officer if I felt my life was in jeopardy? If I were a civilian, how would I react depending on what I had or had not done? Would I panic? Would I cooperate entirely?

You know, I saw a video recently where a man was being restrained by several policemen. He was a large man. News agencies reported he had been beaten with a night stick type of object, or struck with one. They showed a video and said things like “Hear that? That’s him being hit.” It made me angry. The policeman had one of those clubs that telescope when you sling your arm out and it clicks into position. It was obvious watching the video that is what had happened, and he had not struck anyone.

I didn’t see a big deal made out of this incident so much. Perhaps people saw through the attempts of the media. And yes, this was a media attempt. Not all of them are.

I don’t see race. I see humans. People. Skin tones and variances in features. People reading this are likely not to believe that, but it’s true. You see, I believe what the Bible says. Adam and Eve. Two people began us all. To me that means one human race of people. Do I get concerned when around a young black man? At times. Do I get concerned when around a young white man? At times. It all depends on the situation and if I get vibes of something not being quite right.

The Harvard or Yale graduate, I can’t remember which, that played chess with my son at church is a great guy. He was in charge of our Vacation Bible School last year. His wife is nice as well and highly educated also. He’s quite dark skinned, and she’s about as white as I am. It doesn’t matter.

I challenge everyone to begin writing messages about humans and what humans do for each other.

As there is a 1000 Voices Speaking for Compassion there should be a 1,000,000 Voices Shouting For Unity for Humanity.

I don’t think small. Although I could have said one billion. Still might change that up there.

Well, I don’t really know where or how to end this today. I simply wanted to, needed to speak and share. Like it or not it is what it is. Some will say we don’t need Christ or God, we can all just be good people. In America, as God has been pushed out of more and more areas of society, society has moved more and more into a mess.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Romans 1:16

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