A Heavy, Heavy Heart

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“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!  How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations!  She who was a queen among the provinces has now become a slave.”  Lamentations 1: 1 (NIV).

With the 2016 Presidential election upon us, this is exactly how I feel.  Though our population is busting at the seams, there are once great cities of commerce who are nothing more than ghost towns full of crime.  More and more, the vision I saw of a faded American flag whose stars and stripes were totally bleached out is coming to pass!  She is but a mirror of what she once was.  At one time, the United States was The Lady of all nations to admire.  She has now turned into a nation that others loathe and ridicule.  Even our adored Constitution has been used against the citizens of America and so, we have become a slave to our government and to other nations whose battles we fight solely for backdoor deals intended for monetary gain!  Like a harlot, there is nothing this United States government won’t do to make a quick profit.

The word slavery gives a picture of laborious work, slavery in the United States embodies that of entertainment (sex), laziness (handouts), and money (lawlessness).  The very things we are enslaved to, is also what has become our god!  As long as our lives are not inconvenienced, the whole world can go to hell, right?!  While we have supported every want in our lives, we’ve neglected the most important requirement FOR life, spiritual food.  Meantime, the world holds up protesting signs for “Black Lives Matter”, “Police Lives Matters” and “All Lives Matters”, what about ALL SOULS MATTER?  This country has totally removed The One basic need to life which is a relationship with GOD.  Therefore, it is no surprise that the “queen among provinces” has traded her crown in for a new title, The Whore of Babylon.  The United States once a lover of God, has committed adultery against Him by mixing pagan religions and practices, and tolerating our Constitution to be re-directed to fit the many who are of a secular ideology.  This persuasion has allowed Christians to become lukewarm if not completely cold to The Great Commission.  The Constitution was structured by our forefathers to protect and keep a Republic nation.  Today, our “law makers” are removing God from public buildings and state laws, allowing the Constitution to be exploited to fit their own twisted agendas.  America is about to repeat the discrimination against Christendom as our European ancestors did to their Protestant citizens.  God help us!

With a very heavy heart, I look at this 2016 presidential election and I have to wonder, are we being punished?  Look who we have for the presidential election, a felon (money, lawlessness, sex) and a womanizer (sex, money).  For those who can SEE, our country mocks God; God mocks us!  Money and sex are what runs this country, and God is rubbing our face in it.  Does anyone else feel repulsed and ashamed that we have allowed the shining light on the hill to be extinguished?

A Moment of Thanksgiving

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As we Americans across this land gather together with our loved-ones to celebrate our heritage, Thanksgiving, what should we be thankful for?  Most times while we break bread, we are focused on what God has done for us through “blessings”.  Unfortunately in America, blessings are oft times measured by ones’ prosperity; however, is that the real blessing?  Is having a cornucopia on our dinner tables or a houseful of family and guests indicative of our blessings?  Shouldn’t the blessing focus on The Giver of those “blessings”?  The blessing comes in the moment of His presence for which we exist, and who without The Giver, we would cease to be!

 Consider to Psalm 30:

“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You; and You healed me.  O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You?  Will it declare Your truth? 10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (NKJV).

 What happens when we become absorbed in our prosperities as our blessings rather than on The Giver of those “blessings”?  Looking at verses 6 and 7, David speaks of his prosperity.  The pronouns are “my” and “I”.  The focal point becomes about David (or us) rather than God.  Looking at the praising verses 1-5, we see “God” and “Lord” mentioned several times, and“His holy name”.  The focus of thanksgiving becomes about God, as it should be. 

We are never promised but the moment for which we are at this very instant. That moment is for, and from God, who IS the blessing.

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

A New Season

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On the beginning of a new season, Mother Earth stretched sleepily, yawning as she looked up into Father Sun’s bright features, feeling a hint of warmth on her countenance.  As Father Sun quietly rose higher in the sky, he asked his sister the wind, to blow a warm west wind on the new prairie grass. “Surely, the rustling noise will rally Mother Earth to awaken,” Father Sun chuckled out loud.

With a smile of confidence, Sister Wind puffed up her cheeks, and softly made the prairie grass dance.  “Oh come on husband”, complained Mother Earth, “can’t you see I’m carrying such a heavy burden; for life is moving restlessly inside of me.” With that, Father Sun and Mother Earth heard echoing screeches from “The Maker of All Life”.  As they both looked up, they saw Tunkashila (Lakota, for “Great Mystery”, God), flying around in circles and encouraging Mother Earth to bring forth that which had been growing inside of her all Winter.  With each screeching cry, He demanded Mother Earth to give birth to new life for Spring had arrived.

Lazily, Mother Earth closed one eye as she impatiently looked up at The Conductor of Life and sighed, “Do you not know how painful it is to give up a part of yourself to bring forth new life?” This innocent query prompted the regal white bird to swoop down with such considerable velocity, that a strong wind caused Mother Earth to shut her eyes, while Father Sun was grateful for a passing cloud to shield his bright face!  A massive shadow created by the sovereign eagle’s wings grew larger as He glided effortlessly across Mother Earth’s face, reminding her of the greatest sacrifice of all, when He, Tunkashila, gave up His only son, Morning Star, for the forgiveness of all mankind’s transgressions.

With much remorse, Mother Earth closed her eyes and grieved at the thought of having forgotten such a great sacrifice for Father and Son!  Swiftly, dark clouds gathered and tears of repentance began to flow.  This brought the first Spring rain. From deep within her innermost being sprung forth beautiful flowers, and butterflies with still wet wings, flew heavily above the grass, and still hundreds of newborn animals stood upon wobbly legs crying in protest for having their quiet little world interrupted by the sudden noise of life and bright sunlight.  After Mother Earth delivered the last new creature, Father Sun shone brightly with pleasure upon his new children.  All of nature sang out their praises to Tunkashila for creating them and giving them life.

To The Reader: I am a Christian but I also carry American Indian blood in me.  It’s through my heritage that sometimes, I will write with symbolism.  Nowhere in my story telling, should anyone confuse it with belonging to the “New Age” religion. Always look to the bible for all your answers.  “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar…” Psalm 96:11   Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I tell you,” he replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:40

You see, nature is unable to rationalize like man but it still KNOWS and recognizes God’s purpose for them, and OBEYS! Nature speaks praises to God just through their existence and says, “God is REAL, and He MUST be honored through our life.” Next time you step outside, LISTEN.  You will hear the birds singing praises, squirrels chattering as they play among their brothers’ branches, and if you’re lucking enough to live near the ocean, the crashing sound of waves as the moon’s gravity influences the oceans’ tides.  In the evening breeze as she gently caresses your face, ponder in that moment of freedom, thanking God for all He has given.  God is good.

~Aho!

The Sweetest Breath

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Out of darkness into the light
Turning left, then turning right.
Pushing forward and compressed within
This babe was born without kith or kin.
Expressing his right to being alive
With his first breath
He let out a cry.
 
Holding this newborn close to her breast
This new mother knew the world had been blessed.
Rocking her son and humming a song
She knew there would be no days long.
Capturing the moment content with his skin of silk
As her son’s breath
Smelled of sweet milk.
 
Now a strapping young man of youth
From his mouth he spoke the truth.
Already knowing his life’s ambition
From him would come the Christian.
In the temple Jesus spoke hours
Enlightening with his breath
Revealing his Father’s powers.
 
Rabbi was what he was called
Crowds were captivatingly enthralled.
As men learned of their offenses
Rushing came indignant defenses.
Tired grew Jesus of men’s heart
A sighing breath
The Son of Man did impart.
 
Raised fists condemning a man to die
Man’s salvation rapidly approaching nigh.
Mocking and beating this man into dross
All that remained was nailing him to the cross.
Arms outstretched mercilessly impaled
The sweetest breath leaving
Where forgiveness prevailed.

Christians in Social Media

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I have stated before in my blog how cruel social-media can be; also, if you have a heart for Christ, God will reveal himself to you in everyday living by teaching you and helping you live out the gospel.  Unfortunately, living the gospel isn’t always pleasant and can actually cause suffering.

Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10: 32, 33 (NIV).  Now, you may wonder what these two bible verses have to do with social-media, specifically because it is the most popular one right now, Facebook.  Most of us have at some time in our lives experienced being intentionally ignored by another.  How did it make you feel?  Jesus though God himself, he took on flesh and bone and became a human being.  As humans, we own emotions.  Who gave us those emotions?  Those emotions were imparted to us by God.  God made us in His image, therefore, we can definitely say God also has feelings.  When there is a genuine kinship among friends, it goes beyond what is seen into what is unseen, the HEART of the relationship.  God says, “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7 (NIV).  In a genuine friendship there is reciprocity.  So when Jesus said, “whoever disowns me before men,” he is speaking about those whom are embarrassed to be associated with him.  How can there possibly be an authentic friendship if you only express that relationship away from the public eye?  How can you expect a blessing from God if you do not even admit a relationship with his Son?  The same could be said regarding Facebook “friends”.  If the only time a person acknowledges their friendship is in private, via emailing or texting, you can bet the relationship is not based on honesty (heart issues) but noticeably, a friendship of convenience.

While Jesus was on earth, there were some individuals who followed him around not because they particularly liked him but rather, they were wanting to see what he was going to do next or they just needed something from him.  Ostracizing, whether through social-medias or face-to-face, it still stings!  While connecting on Facebook or other social-medias, if a person is a true friend, they will express to you if they do or don’t appreciate your comments.  Through deleting comments, filtering an individual’s name so they are unable to leave a comment or blocking them from your timeline yells out that you do not consider that individual as a friend, and you are embarrassed to acknowledge them as such.  You are censoring their comments therefore, censoring their feelings because they do not match your own opinions.  They are unacceptable to you.  So before you decide to “friend” someone, make sure they truly are a friend rather than trying to rack up numbers to prove ones’ importance.

Father to the Fatherless (Part 2)

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If you have read part one of “Father to the Fatherless” and you’re now reading this one, thank you, and I pray it’s because the first spoke to your heart and that you believe what I wrote.  If you’re reading this one to see what ‘crazy claims’ this author wrote, knock yourself out.  The events I have written are factual.  My reason for sharing?  As the world intentionally continues to turn a blind eye to God, life is increasingly becoming more evil and chaotic. There is goodness in the world and it’s not material things.  No, goodness in the world comes from people who were made in God’s image.  Every day, miracles still do happen.  The fact that I didn’t become a statistic in my youth is a BIG miracle and I have Jesus to thank for that.

As I mentioned in part one, when I was in second grade, Jesus first approached me while I was grounded to my bedroom and has made himself known throughout my life.  Moving forward two years later, I was now in fourth grade. As children of my generation, we road in the back beds of pickup trucks, no seat belts in cars and yes, we even rode our bicycles without helmets! Although, the latter would have saved my parents and me a world of heartaches!  It was early spring and my friend Kim and I were riding our bicycles down a very steep paved road.  Today, it doesn’t seem so steep but back then, it was a mountain top! As we are riding down this hill, I’m in the lead.  Feeling “with one” on my bike, I started weaving my bike from side to side, getting caught up in the gliding and free feeling; I felt like I had wings until my freedom came to an abrupt halt!  To this day, I don’t remember what happened.  One second flying, the next, laying on the street!  I remember my hearing was muffled and I could barely hear Kim asking me if I was alright.  She sounded so far away.  I told her I was fine and said I wanted go to home.  I don’t remember whether she followed me home or not.  My eye sight kept coming and going.  Each time my vision returned, the duration was shorter!  Jesus had to have been watching over me because I made it home without further harming myself!  The last I saw that day while riding up into my driveway was my sister standing in the driveway and I had to ask her to open the garage door because my vision was completely gone and I couldn’t find the handle to open the garage door!  Once in the house, I called for my mother and she answered that she was in her bathroom.  I don’t know how I managed to get from the kitchen to her bathroom without walking into something! …Well, I KNOW how but it amazes me still to this day how the Lord was taking care of me! …A true friend, Jesus is!  I remember being very sleepy and I kept falling asleep.  Fearing I would go into a coma, Mom wouldn’t allow me to fall asleep.  Let me tell you, when you have a concussion, the urge to sleep is very strong!  On the way to the hospital, my mother had my brother slap me gently in the face to keep me awake.  I’m sure my brother enjoyed that!  HA!  I stayed in the hospital I think it was three days, I don’t remember.  Within twenty four hours, I regained my eyesight.  Thank you Jesus! However, it seemed every year my glasses’ prescription would get stronger, and by the time I was a junior in high school, though I could see with corrective lenses, I was still considered “legally blind”.  It was apparent to me even as a child going through this, Jesus was carrying me through this challenging time in my life.

It’s important to understand that the events I have shared thus far are true and I’m not sharing these events to bring attention to myself but to God.  I can brag about him all day!  I’m not anyone of significance or of some special station in life other than I belong to Jesus, and he said he would not let go of those whom belong to him.  There were two such cases where my Lord was literal in that he wouldn’t let go of me!  The first occurred when I was in fifth or six grade.  Every month, my mother would receive Oral Robert’s “Prayer Tower” magazines and I used to love to read them.  To this day, I can still remember what the article was about because what occurred!  I was sitting at the kitchen table by myself, reading this article in the “Prayer Tower” about letting Jesus be the co-pilot.  The article was a real life event that was written about this pilot who should have lost his life in a plane crash but Jesus had other plans.  As I’m reading about letting Jesus be my co-pilot, a very warm heavy hand rested on my right shoulder.  The weight of this hand made my shoulder go down and I could feel it was a right hand.  I thought it was my mom looking to see what I was reading but when I turned to speak to her, there was no one there! …Jesus, how I love you, when I think I’m alone, I’m not!

The second time, again, Jesus literally touched me, I was in seventh grade.  This day was like any other day at school except as I’m finishing up my last class of the day, Language Arts, I was feeling very sick to my stomach.  It was like stomach flu pains. Walking home was three miles.  Luckily, I had my gal pals with me!  I kept blacking out.  My face would get cold and feel like needles were pricking it, following with my vision looking like I was seeing through a negative.  It was scary!  We’re not even off school premises yet and I decided to sit down on the sidewalk because I could not stand for very long. I told my friends to call my mother to come and get me.  My friends walked me to the front of the school. <Sigh>, Let me just say, I don’t think I have ever had better friends than I did in junior high!  Anyway, they waited with me until mom picked me up.  As soon as I got in the back seat, I immediately noticed my mother was displeased with me.  I asked her why she was mad and she said I was wanting to stay out of school because one of my other siblings stayed home from school that day.  I told mom that if that was the case, why I would go all day to school.  She didn’t answer me.  I always felt guilty when I was sick, that was how my mother made me feel.  The moment I got home, I made a b-line to the bathroom because I’m now feeling like I’m going to toss my cookies. I’m sitting on the side of the bathtub because every time I would stand, I would black out.  I don’t know why my mother was so angry at me; I was never one to fake being sick….I knew better than that!  Mom was leaning against the bathroom door with her arms crossed, looking very irritated with me.  I asked her why she was angry and she told me to get up from the side of the tub.  I told her I felt like I was going to pass out when I stood.  She insisted that I get up, then turned and left the bathroom.  Feeling guilty and wanting to obey my mother, I got up from off the side of the bathtub.  The way our bathroom was laid out was if you were to stand at the bathroom door, the sink was directly in front of you, with the toilet to the sink’s right, and the bathtub to the right of the toilet. It was a small bathroom. When I stood up, again, my face started feeling that strange cold and prickling sensation.  I walked around the toilet to get the face cloth from off of the towel rack which was located above the toilet.  I was going to wet the cloth and put it on my face.  At that point, I was standing between the sink and the toilet holding onto the towel rack because I knew I was going to pass out and no one was there to help me.  As my vision is going, I prayed, “Jesus, help me.”  Right after that short prayer, I passed out.  I felt myself falling backwards but not really even caring.  I felt my head land on SOMEONES’ right shoulder and neck….I FELT IT! I felt like I was floating but I wasn’t alarmed at all.  I could just feel myself floating like maybe I was dreaming but I couldn’t see.  It seemed like an eternity.  I came to, when I heard and felt the left side of my head lightly tap against the bathroom wall that was directly across from the toilet. I felt someone standing behind me, holding me up under my arms!!  I’m now parallel to the toilet and sink!  My feet are near the opened bathroom door!  I open my eyes to see my mother and sister standing at the bathroom door looking down at me.  Then my arms dropped heavily like someone had let them go!  I remember looking up at mom and saying, “I thought you caught me, someone was holding me.” Mom said it looked like someone was holding me under my arms!

See, Jesus loves us all, and he’s not a myth as some would claim.  He’s very much alive and he is waiting for you and me to invite him into our hearts.  Jesus is the Son of God who took on flesh and bone to become human.  He came on this earth to show us how to live.  Jesus was sinless, still, he took on all the sins of the world, even the sins that hadn’t yet been committed!  Jesus filled the void that separated us from God.  This was done so that we would be forgiven by God and have eternal life. Once we choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior, his father becomes our father for all eternity!  All we must do is repent of our sins; ask Jesus to come into our hearts and forgive our sins, then out of obedience, be baptized into the family of God. No special prayers needed, just an earnest heart.  We will forever belong to Jesus!  Jesus will not let us go nor forget us as the world cruelly does.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand, My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30 (NIV).  

The Winnowing Has Begun

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Chaff are the husks that cover over corn, wheat and other seeds.  Even trees have chaff.  In the spring before leaves on trees come to bud, they are encased in chaff.  As the days become warmer and the leaves are formed, the chaff either falls away because the leaf has matured enough to throw off the chaff or a nice gust of wind will do the job.  Once that chaff falls, it just accumulates on the ground pretty much making a mess out of everything.  This is how a nation becomes that falls away from God’s teachings.  Words and ways of sinful men become like chaff concealing the truth and the light that only God can reveal through his Christian family.  The United States was founded upon God’s name which is his word.  Our judgment will be worse than those of nations who have never heard of Jesus Christ!  As Christians, we are to be disciplined enough to throw off the chaff (influences) of the secular world.  If we don’t throw off the chaff, how are others to see the light of God?  How will others know about salvation through a repentant heart and the blood of Jesus Christ?

I spoke of two ways that chaff falls away from seeds.  The first was mentioned in the above paragraph.  The second way chaff falls away is through the blowing of the wind.  Who is the wind? That wind is the spirit of God.  This very moment, many saints are being persecuted, imprisoned and murdered in the name of Jesus Christ.  The winnowing of chaff has begun!  As the Holy Spirit moves upon and into new hearts speaking to the last of the nations, the thresher (Jesus) is readying his winnowing fork for his final harvest!

“His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17 (NIV)