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.

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

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.

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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Be still … know … breathe.

I’m tired. It’s been a long year in many ways. Many years ago, I went through a phase like this. At that time, I had a good support system in place. I was heavily involved in ministry. The type ministry and how many types don’t matter.

One night there was a gathering of the church leadership for prayer. We divided into small groups in the sanctuary, and within the group, each one of us had to pray for another person, and pray specifically. My partner was the youth minister and worship leader I had help bring to the church.

My problem was I didn’t know how to say no. I was the young and willing man in the church as well as business. In church if you are in your 30s your consider one of the young folk, that can even extend into the 40s. This inability to say no and wanting to help ended up with a very frazzled and sick Ronovan.

The youth minister prayed for peace to come into my life. The next week I was leading the youth on a concert trip to see Steven Curtis Chapman, arguably the king of contemporary Christian music. He sang a song that night, and I knew it was no coincidence.

Ever sense that night, one of my life verses has been 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.”

We forget sometimes and worry about things way beyond our control. Stress hits us from every angle. Do you ever think, after the fact, of how insane some of the things we worried about were? Life is too short to worry about everything. What the Psalmist means is to remember God is in control of the ultimate outcome of the world. Bad things happen because of bad people and being in the wrong places at the wrong time. Put your eternal life in his hands. Nothing can take you from the hand of God once you give yourself to Him. When you pass own, you are with God. Nothing here on earth can stop that. Hurt me, harass me, do all types of damage to me, and I will still end up fine because I know God has me.

I may stress for a moment, but then I center myself, shake the stress off, and get back to my core.

John 16:33 Jesus speaks to the disciples.

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus never said life would be easy here on earth. He never said that to his disciples or anyone that ever heard him speak. He said the exact opposite. Christians would be persecuted because of him. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:11. As part of the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, you know it must be serious.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I try to take away something good with every situation. My son and I were throwing the baseball a couple of weeks ago, as I am sure some of you saw the picture. Man did it get bad. I never got upset. I thought it was funny. I even looked at it as a learning experience I could use for my writing. I never had a black eye before. I now knew the pain of it, the coloring, and all of the things that goes with having a black eye.

My lack of stress helped with my son handling it as well.

Working on a positivity habit is tough sometimes. Habits take time to acquire. Eventually they take. I’m almost back in my zone now, and can breathe again. Now for the creativity to start up and have fun.

I don’t often speak about my faith here on the site lately. Life’s been busy. I do try to live my faith through what I do on my site. My faith is important to me. It’s important in every aspect of my work I do. Even in books I either plan to or have published, my goal is and was to put out something that has a core to it that will show the humanness of people and the war they wage with life and how sometimes they can’t win alone but need upbringing they have had, lessons they have learned, to turn to that will help them succeed.

Have a great Sunday, week, month, year, life, and eternity.

Ronovan

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Newborn Hope.

The newborn babe brought,

Fresh hope of things yet to come,

beyond description.

Hope by Ronovan Hester

For my Haiku Challenge #80.



Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling by PS Bartlett and Ronovan HesterRonovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in February 14, 2016. He shares his life through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

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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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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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Return to Focus: My Sunday Thought

This week’s Sunday Thought is going to be a little more direct in nature. I have strayed in recent months in my writing from what I most enjoy and have delved more into some serious and gray area topics. I think this is a reflection of my creative energy being low. I don’t talk about my low creative energy because people always say, “Oh, I’ve been through that.” No, they haven’t. Not in this way. I always have creative ideas going through this whacked out mind of mine, I just can’t physically do anything about it at times.

But I’m taking steps to get back there to where I belong. Baby steps, if you will. Today I wanted to talk about my faith. That’s what my Sunday Thoughts is supposed to be. Hang with me here as I talk about it.

return-focus

I’ve been watching a lot of interviews on youtube of various types. For one, I used to be a huge wrestling fan, professional wrestling. I go back to the days of the old Memphis wrestling with Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee. Don’t worry, this article isn’t about wrestling.

Watching these interviews of wrestlers telling the truth of how things were led me to two things. One was the wrestler Sting’s movie Moment of Truth about where at the height of his popularity and with his personal life in shambles he turned to God and became a Christian. The other thing I discovered was how incidents and even people are viewed so differently depending on the person telling the story and that you have to be careful of who you listen to for the truth because the most convincing ones can turn out to be the ones with the worst views and personal agendas in the telling.

Being led through all the chaos of professional wrestling to a Christianity movie was interesting. I knew Sting was a Christian. I also knew one thing, with the same information, can be interpreted two or more different ways depending on the interpreter. Somewhat confirming in many ways and refocusing for me.

I’ve been wondering about the purpose of my blog. I know it is to share my thoughts and creative output but we each have something about us we want to share. I tend to share everything. But it’s how we share that makes each of us different.

When I speak about being a Christian I can sense the wincing of some, the flinch here or there, and the shutting of doors in others. And I actually understand all of that. If I didn’t know me and had to go on most of the in-the-spotlight-Christians, I might do the same.

But my goal here in sharing my faith and how I present myself, although I don’t do it intentionally, is to show people what a Christian can be. Just another person who is like everyone else. A person with problems. A person who is not perfect, and doesn’t claim to be. A person who has ups and downs and way way lows.

A person who can lose focus and find it again. Also a person who sees people as people and nice people as people to be friends with, regardless of beliefs, locations, or lifestyles. A person who says here I am, here is what I believe, take it or leave it, but I’m not forcing myself or my beliefs on you. Be my friend if you like, just the way you are.

Not everyone understands a Christian can be like that. That in fact a Christian isn’t supposed to be a judger of others or a forcer of beliefs. In fact we are the last ones to be judgers and forcers if we follow the teachings of Jesus. Too bad not enough Christians do that.

But I get the extremist Christians’ point of view at times in feeling they have to get out and cause some noise. Every movement or cause does that. For some reason when it comes to Christians it’s seen as some vile hate thing. Okay, maybe it’s because some of those, okay one of those churches out there that likes to call itself a church protests funerals and goes against everything God says about Christian behavior.

Great way to get people to turn to God!

Notice I don’t mention their name. I don’t want to give their church site any traffic or have there name pop up on searches because of me anymore than they already do.

As you visit my site, I hope you find a person that is fair, friendly, welcoming, and loving to all who are nice to him. Be mean to me and I’ll ignore you. I’ve decided to refuse to waste the little physical and mental energy I have on mean people. I’m focusing on the positives of life. I think if we do that and build more and more positives, that some day we will overcome and overpower the negatives.

Emotionally, mentally you will get what you focus on. If you expect negatives you will see the negatives and ignore any positives. Focus on the positives that happen in your life. You will find the negative people in your life will find your positivity repulsive and slowly drift away. Then you will discover even less negative things are happening around you.

Well, that’s it for today. Returning my focus where it belongs. Now to see what comes out of that.

Mush Respect

Ronovan

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My Sunday Thought: The Irish Vote.

I wrote about the vote in Ireland and same sex marriage for my Sunday Thought today and how I don’t agree with it. I let a friend read it and the question was put to me, “Will they read all of it to see what your point is?”

Let’s see what the answer is.

 

What to write about today? I think I want to talk about what happened in Ireland and their recent vote.

I don’t agree with it.

But why?

Uh oh. People gonna make assumptions. I see it coming already.

If that were here in the US and there was to be a Constitutional Amendment about marriage, I would definitely be against it.

But again, why?

Because I don’t think marriage should be a government thing at all.

Just blew some peoples assumptions.

The government controlling marriage of any kind simply gives them money here and taxation rights and a say over our lives and what is right or wrong. Honestly, I would be going after the businesses instead of after a marriage amendment. Oh wait, the insurance companies are the ones that really make ‘marriage’ an issue.

They dictate who can receive benefits and that depends on who is considered married. You know, the insurance companies could make that simpler. And really, governments should have no say over who is married or not.

You see, if the US wanted to have a marriage amendment for marriage being just man to woman, I wouldn’t vote for it either.

Some say they wouldn’t be voting for gay marriage but for civil rights. I guess some would say it is their civil right to be against same sex marriage. Would a person then vote for that person to have that right without calling them homophobic?

Some people say marriage is based from religion, some say it is from some governmental thing way back when. All based on point of view.

There are a lot of things that the government gets involved in that I think they should stay out of. Then there are the things they should get involved in they seem to ignore totally.

Here in the US each state has the right to have the people vote on marriage. It’s down to the people in the area and not people of other states determining what people thousands of miles away will have to live by. Even then I would still vote against any kind of state amendment regarding any type of marriage.

I’m a Christian. Duh, right? Well, I mean most of you know that already. That means I don’t force anything I believe on anyone. I can tell you about it, but if you don’t like it, that’s fine. I don’t want to pass a law that says everyone has to believe in God as I know Him. Or pass a law that says everyone should use the same translation of the Bible I use. Sorry KJ people, but I need to study in modern English to understand at times.

Oh, and if you run across a person that claims they are a Christian and says you have to believe as they do, don’t take them as an example of a follower of Jesus. Jesus said, as I have mentioned here before, shake the dust of that town off your feet and move on. Meaning, they believe what they want to believe.

Do I have a different solution to the government control over marriage? Sort of, but I need to work on it a little. But even then the government would get involved somehow.

I hope you read this all the way through and see I’m not homophobic. I think I am governmentophobic.

Jesus said give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. In many aspects of life that is how I look at things. Sorry, but I nor marriage is Caesar’s.

Oh, and if you noticed earlier I said. If that were here in the US and there was to be a Constitutional Amendment about marriage, I would definitely be against it. I didn’t say same sex marriage, I said marriage. I wonder how many of you caught that.

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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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Make an impact in a person’s life for life.

Feeling awful is awful. I wasn’t doing a Sunday Thought today because of that reason. I’ve been feeling awfuler the past few days and progressively awfuler as the days pass. Yes, I know it’s not a word. It’s my writer’s prerogative angst at the moment. Bare with me. Yes, I said bare. You don’t want to know. And yes I am ignoring the people telling me to put my pants on. I have a blanket. I’m good.

What have you done that people will remember you for? Other than blogging without pants. Do you attempt to make an impression? Should you attempt to make a good impression? Does that mean you might do something that would make a bad impression?

You could carry this out with question after question, and sometime in the future I might do that in order to show you how my mad mind works. Today, I stopped with that question, although I can feel at least three more questions floating in that empty space up there, begging to seep out onto the page.

If you look at the Bible, we really aren’t to worry about making impressions, not ones to make ourselves look good. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”~2 Philippians 2:3.

You can look at the world today and see the people doing things for themselves. They want to get people to like them. Sometimes they want the wrong people to like them. These people may be celebrities or your best friend.

What is the impression you get from them? I would dare say a negative impression, annoyed, a sense of queasiness at times at even the mention of their name. Some will say, “At least you know me.” “Bad press is better than no press at all.” I think we’ve all heard some variation of that. Let’s look at the rest of that sentence from Philippians. I just love how that guy cut a sentence up to make verses. “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”~Philippians 2:4 Here, we see it’s not about us, but about others. Don’t mistake this for sticking your nose into another person’s business. I think too many Christians look at it that way.

As we mature, age, we are asked who are the positive influences on our lives. In our younger days they might be musicians, actors, or athletes. As we get older we turn to authors, poets, activists, spiritual leaders, historical figures. We turn to people that hold up over time.

If you ask me who is an influence in my life and I say Jesus, many of you would laugh or roll your eyes. But take a moment to think about this. When looking at the teachings of Jesus, the historical evidence of his existence and death, and lack of negative remarks against him in the historical record, you find a man who holds up like none other. Even if you don’t believe he was God here on earth, he was a man who held up as a man who walked the walk that he talked.

His followers fail every day but he didn’t. Ignore me, ignore Billy Graham, ignore the Pope, ignore all the religious, spiritual, world leaders and think about the teachings of a man who spoke about what so many people like to harp on about as universal truths and beliefs.

Don’t try to make a good impression. Try to be a good person, live right, don’t be selfish, be kind and concerned for the well being of others. That’s how to make an impression. And how to really do it, is by not even knowing you are doing it.

Am I kind and caring? I like to think I am at times. I don’t set out to do it. It’s not my purpose. I wake up and I just do what I do. My intent each day is not to do bad things. Perhaps that’s it. My focus each morning, during my quiet time as I focus my thoughts and my world, is to do good, to focus on good, and to move away from bad. I fail each day in some way, but I keep trying.

I’ll leave you with this passage from Philippians, without the verse numbers, I believe they detract from the understanding at times.

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Bold emphasis mine.

Every knee will bow to a servant. Next time you are in a restaurant, kneel down in the aisle and bow to the one who serves you your food. Kneel down to the person who cleans the toilets in your workplace.

Jesus fed us the Spirit and cleaned up all our junk for us. All we need do is bow to him and acknowledge the truth. You don’t want to accept him? At least read and follow his teachings. Look at the Sermon on the Mount beginning in Matthew Chapter 5. As well as the rest of his actual words in the First four books of the New Testament. These are great words to live by.

The inspiration for this post came after I received a request from a former student for my address to send a high school graduation invitation to me. She is one of the loveliest young ladies you could ever know. That invitation came at just the right moment. As I had made an impression on her, so too had she on me, and through that, things work out for those “just the right moment” moments. I was about to give up on the A to Z blogging challenge, letting everything going on in my life get in the way and get me down. I was done with it, sick, tired. But I am going to try and push through another week and see what happens. A simple message and things change.

So this post is dedicated to that young lady. MB won’t be reading this but she’s out there somewhere, praising God right now in church.  At least as I write this.

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Testify (A Poem)

I have no shame, to have my name as a follower of the man of greatest fame.
He didn’t have to do it. He could’ve left us. But no way, uh uh, the Man upstairs chose not to throw off.
We’re complete sinners, turn out to be winners, I count myself among the great final enders.
Do you suppose, He knows, I chose to give my woes up over His foes?

He knows all, He’s seen it happen, gives us a shot, but we keep back slappin’.
It’s not what we’ve done, it’s because of His Son, the soul of a sinner is won.
I stood up, I stepped out, I walked the aisle, saw what its’ all about.
Can I get a witness? Can I get an Amen? Can I, Can I, come on, come on, testify.

 

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Merry Easter and Happy New Life.

I was thinking that a lot of people in the world like to argue about what day Jesus died.

I’ll basically give it to you straight. I don’t care what day it was, or how the days are counted or by what tradition. The point of the matter is, it happened. That’s my belief. The arguments will continue on until the end. Either our end or the real end.

Recently I’ve gone through some troubles. I’ve shared a bit about the recent health issue. It’s been a week since I got out of the hospital. I at least look better than before.

ron-now-bwAlthough I look better than in the hospital, which I would hope anyone would, things are going to take several weeks, at least, to recover. Perhaps months. But I’m good. I’m accustomed to illnesses. I did almost give up on the A to Z Challenge but, here I am still writing. and doing my Sunday Thought. Which I need to get back to.

I guess all I really have to say about Easter is, it’s the reason Christmas came about. You know there really isn’t a known date for when Jesus was born. I sometimes wonder if it was around this time of year. The way God works, it wouldn’t surprise me. And if you think about it, what’s really the important day to remember? The birth or the resurrection? I like to go with Easter myself. That’s the whole reason Jesus showed up.

Whether you believe in Jesus or not, or God or not, just know there are things we all share. Beliefs. You may not realize it but we do. Jesus taught about those. It’s nice to have them written down to remind us every now and then. I always like to tell people even if you don’t believe, following what Jesus said can’t lead you wrong.

Everyone have a happy Easter. Eat some eggs. I have to hide some. “B” always makes me hide them as hard as I can. I have to take pictures to know where I put them. We lost a couple two years ago. I think a squirrel got ’em.

One last thing before I go. I’ve told this story before. but with Easter here ham is apparently part of the whole thing. Well a old pastor friend of mine liked to preach on this:

Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed Men

Matthew 8:28-34

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

My old pastor and friend told the story from the Bible and was very serious as he looked out over the congregation in church that Sunday and followed it up with  “And that is the first known record of Deviled Ham in history.

 

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It came to pass. (A Poem)

And it came to pass,

Ill control over the world,

Put to rest that day.

Racist Bigot or Another Human People Disagree With?

go-your-way

Loving America. That seems to be a question or hashtag trend or reason to go on a hater-fest of someone.

A former very prominent political figure came out this past week and spoke against President Obama. You may google and discover what was said and then do research before jumping to conclusions.

Conclusion jumping has led to follow-up interviews and hashtag trends that divide people even further. Maybe if we all got along or agreed there were more than one possible thought on a subject things would just be too boring and we would have to read books or something instead of Tweet about some dumb carp stuff like who had the best dunk of the night in the NBA. I know my night is not peaceful until that is trending somewhere.

At first I was going to delve into the whole Racist Bigot situation, actually I wrote a whole article on it and after getting that out of my system I came up with the real article for the day.

Ever wonder why one person is a Racist Bigot and another person is an Activist? Hmm. I get confused.

Oh, I got it. If you like the person they are an Activist and if you don’t then they are a Racist Bigot.

Wonder what happens when you run in to someone who simply says it’s cool to be you so be you and let me be me and then we good?

Ever met someone like that?

I mean met someone truly like that?

Hello, my names Ronovan. Nice to meet you. Just be you, I’ll be me, and we’ll get along naturally.

Hey, and all those things we see in the news and the back and forths? Just use them as a way to learn about the truths of things by doing research. They lead you to learn a lot more than about the stupid thing you first start reading about. Sometimes there are some really great things to discover.

Of course this wouldn’t be a Sunday if I didn’t mention where I get my direction from. You know, Jesus was a good guy, even if a lot of people that have used his name for their own purposes have not been. His example is a good one for anyone to follow. Jesus let you do think what you wanted to think. Okay, he got a bit angry when he went in to the temple and found all the bad stuff going on, but you know, I’d do the same if I went in to my house and found bad stuff like that going on as well. And yes, the temple was his house. He got ticked. One thing about Jesus that you had to just like was that he said basically you know, this is how it is and you believe what you want to. I’m not going to force anything on you and if I’m right then oops you gonna be in a world of hurt. He didn’t force anything on people. “Oh, but scaring people with Hell is the same thing as forcing them.” Um, well if they believe in Hell then most likely they believe in Heaven then most like they believe in God then most likely they believe in Jesus soooo, I’m not seeing the scaring part going on, just the part of the Bible says this.”

I think I rambled. I sort of lost my way there in the middle. It’s been one of those weekends already. Well, that’s it this week. Have a good one this week. What one you have good of is up to you.

 

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Tolerance or Support, What do people really Want?

tolerance-support

Tolerance. One of the most misunderstood words in language, or at least in the English language.

You can have a tolerance for pain. Your body can tolerate medications more than they once did and thus the medications become less effective. You can tolerate someone’s behavior.

I personally have less tolerance for things than I once did. Some reasons are medical reasons. There are other things that I finally decided that I was simply tired of tolerating and therefore no reason I must tolerate.

Or should I say, not tolerate in the way the world has come to define the word. Tolerance these days is  defined as acceptance and supporting.

Before anyone begins to jump on some high horse and think I am talking about certain social issues, get over yourself and put your assumptions back in your back pocket close to where it belongs.

I had a very long post written but I decided to make this as short as I can. First of all I have two polarizing examples that will make my point clear.

  • Example: The death penalty is a law in some states in the U.S. of A.. Does that mean I have to SUPPORT it or Tolerate it? I’ll keep using the death penalty here. If you believe it should be a law in my state and you live in my state as well and there is a vote coming up, do I have to SUPPORT it just because you want me to? And if it does become a law do I have to SUPPORT it or Tolerate it?
  • If you want to go another more controversial law you can consider abortion. It’s a law. Do you SUPPORT it or Tolerate it?

So what I want to talk about today is having to tolerate what other people say about Christianity, Jesus, and God. A great many in the public eye like to speak out against Christianity while praising or supporting other faiths or even no God at all. And if someone calls them on it then the person doing the calling is called a bigot or intolerant.

If you are of another faith or don’t believe in God, that’s your deal. It has nothing to do with me. I have friends here in the blogs that believe in other faiths or no God at all. We get along just fine. So before you start calling me a bigot as I continue, I’m about the least bigoted person you will find. I figure God gave us free will. I’m not the one to take that away from anyone.

I don’t SUPPORT what people say about Christianity. I take that back. I don’t support ALL of the generalizations and negativity aimed at Christianity. Some things said may be true, about some Christians. If a specific person is being discussed and the things mentioned are true then they are true.

But if I were to get on a news program and say that I don’t like what someone says about the negative generalities I can almost guarantee you that I would end up with hate messages in various places. Why? Because I am supposed to ACCEPT and SUPPORT  the hate at me but no one is supposed to TOLERATE or PUT UP WITH my defending my faith, my beliefs.

I can hear the thoughts of some now. “Ronovan, you can’t be serious. You Christians think you have it so bad. You rule the world. You have it so easy. You can get away with anything. You are in control of everything.” Let me read my Bible at lunch in a local school, alone, in my classroom, and see what happens.

I read blogs, opinions of people, and remain friends. I don’t always support what people say but I don’t have to. I can still be friends with someone and not support every single thing they support. And I don’t go out and yell and scream about not supporting something.

Is it Tolerance the world wants from Christians or is it SUPPORT they want? There is a difference. Let’s turn it around. I want you to SUPPORT what I believe. You know, Tolerating would be good but no, I am saying now as an example, I want you to SUPPORT what I believe about something and make it a law. Do you think you can do that? The answer is no. You can’t. You want to say yes. You may comment yes, but the honesty in you should say no.

A society says they kill the first born child if it is male. It is legal in that society. Do you SUPPORT that? You are now thinking, “Ronovan, that’s not even close to what we are talking about.” Actually by saying I can’t freely act like a Christian, that I can’t fulfill my faith as a Christian as the Bible says to do so, you are saying to put my faith to death.

I tell you Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the Cross for our sins, was resurrected so we could be saved. That I believe what Jesus said in the Bible about his being the only way to the Father.  I’m done. You can take it or leave it.

For some reason there are people that don’t like that. They think it’s forcing something on them. They think it is some form of I don’t know what. But they just can’t handle it. It’s up to you to believe me or not. I’m not going to beg, or repeat it over and over to you. I’m moving on and going to Wendy’s for a burger and fries.  And yes they are fries, not chips. Chips are thicker and not like the thin strips like American fries.

If you had questions after I said that about Christianity I would answer them, but that would be to you. No megaphone shouting in your car from me. And I wouldn’t even say that up there about Jesus being the only way unless there was some reason that came up in a conversation.

All my faith says to do is share it with others. Not force it. Some try to do that and they are wrong. I will tell you that now. If you are a Christian and reading this then you need to look what Jesus said; If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet~Matthew 10:14. No mention of yell or cram it down someone’s throat until they run you out of town.

I’ll tolerate things. I’ll put up with things. But just as I  don’t intend to force you to support things that you may not believe, don’t try and force me to support things I don’t believe in and use tolerance as a front to do it. It won’t work with me.  Make a law out of something all you want, but it doesn’t mean it will be supported by people.

As I’ve written this I am sure there are various things that have come to peoples’ minds. What issues could Ronovan be thinking of. Don’t try to guess because you would be surprised at how wrong you might be.

Are there things you are tired of people forcing you to SUPPORT by telling you to Tolerate? Share it below in the comments. Or fill out the form below if you don’t want it to appear in the comments. I may use the results in a future post, without names and contact information included.

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