Monday, September 25, 2017

Serious Times


I am an activist at heart; I am always pulling for the ‘underdog’, as a rule. As we look around the world today, especially in America, we can see quite a few ‘underdogs’, in the form of DACA, Black male police brutality and continued financial discrimination against women in the work place. However, today I do not advocate for equality or justice. Today, I am advocating for prayer and intercession.

In the last 30 days, the world has witnessed incredible ‘natural disasters’ in numerous places. We look at Bangladesh, its flooding and loss of life, for over 1,200 people. Then there was hurricane Harvey that left Houston and its residents, in the worst flooding disaster since hurricane Katrina.

In Mexico, there have been two major earthquakes in less than two weeks, with thousands of people trapped in buildings and continued aftershocks. Hurricane Irma has devastated Puerto Rico, nearly destroyed St. Croix, St. Marten and the Virgin Islands; along with vast damage to the eastern shores of the U.S. A.

In the western states of America, i.e. Montana, California, Washington and others, the fires are running amuck, leaving yet more devastation in the land. Truly the earth is groaning and crying out for relief, just like its millions of inhabitants, who have fallen victim to these calamities.

Therefore, today I intercede and advocate for those who have been directly affected by these destructions, by asking you to earnestly pray for all people, regardless of age, sex, gender bias, social status, etc. Pray for their deliverance, their patience, their attitudes, their courage and sanity. Pray that despite their circumstances that their faith will not fail; that their hope will remain alive and that each one will seek to help someone else and thereby, be the better for doing so.

Lastly, pray for the ‘first responders’, the volunteers and the political leaders, who are to advocate for their individual communities. Then, if you can, after you have prayed for all of the above, make a donation or become a volunteer. However, if you are unable to do either of the latter, then just pray! Earnest prayer will do far more than many of us can even think about doing.

Until next time; keep the faith; keep looking up and keep learning your little life lessons.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Determination

I certainly hope that you enjoyed watching the video, “What the Health”. It was filled with a plethora of vitally good information. Also, I wish to thank those of you who shared the post.

This week, I’m in the midst of another battle. It is obvious to each of us that picking the right battles to fight are of the utmost importance, because there is no way that anyone can or should win every battle, in which he or she engages. However, when you earnestly believe that you are on the side of right, the only thing that makes sense to me is to never give up the struggle.

Therefore, in light of my philosophy regarding conflict, I’m posting a poem of encouragement to those of you who might be facing the same thing. The title of the poem is Don’t Quit. There is controversy about who the real author might be, so I won’t list a name. However, please enjoy the sentiments of this reading.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Keep the faith my friends; until I check in again with you next week, please take the time to re-visit my webpage. I’ve updated a few things.




Monday, September 4, 2017

Eye-Opener

I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey with Christ. My attitude improved; my relationships improved; my faith grew and my diet took a turn.

Overall, I became a new person. Well, I guess that was supposed to happen, since Paul says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”  II Corinthians 5:17

Among the many changes I underwent, after I became a Christian was to adopt a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. Over the years, it has completely graduated into a near vegan diet; I still use eggs occasionally. However, I recently watched a video, which has convinced me to yield eggs, as well.

One of the things that I learned from the video was that our Federal government, the American Diabetes Association, the American Medical Association, the Cancer Foundation and others has joined hands together with the pharmaceutical industry, the dairy association and the meat industry to create a health crisis in America, for the sake of financial gain.

Rather than try to explain the whole of this conglomeration, I am attaching a link to the video – What the Health. It will be to your advantage to watch the presentation for yourself, rather than to have me try and explain it; it would take far too long. Therefore, I humbly ask that you watch it and then share it with others.  It truly is a life and death matter. If it were not, I would not put myself out this way and call out the names of these organizations and our government, if it were not.

“Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” I Thessalonians 5:21


Until next time: watch “What the Health”. Click on the link below. 


Monday, August 28, 2017

Changes

So, let’s catch up from last week’s blog, on August 21, 2017. I joined the church, as an adolescent; I was given no instructions, as to how I was to live my life; because I believed that there was to be a lifestyle change, I began to devise my own rules and regulations, so that I could be acceptable to God.
Now, remember that my sister and I went to the movies, after worship services each Sunday. But because I believed that Sunday was the Sabbath, “I” elected to no longer attend the movies on Sunday, so as not to be in violation of this day and began going on Monday’s instead; mind you, I didn’t stop the activity, just when I did it (tsk, tsk, tsk).

Similarly, with Herb Kent, “The Cool Gent”, disc jockey, I stopped listening to him on Sunday and dancing to his funky beats and elected to engage in other activities. However, on Monday, I was right back at it! I had no real idea of what it was that I was supposed to be doing. However, because no one taught me what the Word of God actually said, I figured that making these changes would show Him that I was a true believer and consequently, would be good enough to go to heaven.

About 6-7 years passed, before someone opened the Word of God to me and pointed out the following Scripture:
“…That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus; for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:7-9

Wow! All the efforts I had put forth, to save myself; to be good; to be acceptable to God; to earn my way to heaven had not been worth a hill of beans! Jesus had done everything that I needed to be done, in order for me to be saved and had given it to me as a “gift”. Can you imagine the relief that came over me? It was electrifying! I still had to be obedient, but it wasn’t to “earn” salvation. Obedience to God’s commandments was now a joy, in which to engage, out of love for what He had done. Hallelujah!

I have since learned a great deal about the Word of God; the Ten Commandments, which are still binding; the marvelous grace of God and soooo much more. Therefore, now I go to the “Word” for answers, instead of devising my own homemade theories about salvation. It is so much easier and a lot more accurate!

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Remembering

After reading the quote that I listed in last week’s blog, on August 14, 2017, I decided to go to the book from which the quote was taken and read the entire chapter, since I do have the book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, by Ellen White. The very opening lines of the chapter – Not Judging but Doing – blew me away! She was describing me; check this out.

“The effort to earn salvation by one’s own works inevitably leads men to pile up human exactions as a barrier against sin. For, seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey.”  - MB 123.1

I remember when I was about 11 or 12 years old, I joined the church. I really believed that I had been converted to Christ and was willing to follow Him anywhere. However, there were no “baptismal classes”, no “new believer classes” or any type of structured religious training introduced to me, after I was baptized.

I was old enough to realize that there was to be a lifestyle change, but I was clueless as to where I should start! Therefore, just like it is stated in the quotation, I began to devise my own rules and regulations, so that I might properly follow the Lord and keep His commandments.

It was our custom that every Sunday, after we had returned from worship and eaten, my sister and I would attend the movie theater, in the adjoining town; however, we had to be sure to first attend worship services or we were not allowed to go to the movies.

Additionally, I was one of the biggest fans of Herb Kent, the cool gent, radio disc jockey. I listened to him daily and allowed no one to get into my way. He played the greatest dance music and I loved to do that, as well.


Therefore, as I contemplated my new agenda – Christianity – I knew some changes must be made. We’ll talk about those changes, in my blog, next week. Until then, keep on hopping with us at:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Reaching The Heart

I received the following quote from a dear friend of mine the other day, which really captured my attention. Actually, its sentiments tie into my last blog, posted August 7, 2017.

“Not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self-dignity, and even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother, have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother. Then you can approach him and touch his heart”. - MB 128.3

This quotation strikes at the very heart of judgmentalism, which I define as a belief in being critical and/or, of having a condemning attitude.  

If you are not willing to walk alongside a person, get to know his or her story, in order to bring about, what you believe is more positive change in his or her life then you should keep your mouth shut and mind your own business.

However, if you are willing to sacrifice your own “self-dignity”, in an effort to raise the hopes and lifestyle of a fellow human being, then by doing so, you will win the confidence of that person and positively impact his or her life.

I am learning that humility and true concern are the keys to uplifting humanity. It’s the way to go, for sure!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Will We Ever Learn?

Flawed, frail, fractional, insignificant – feelings that plague many of us, who have realized that WE ARE NOT “all of that and a bag of chips”; sometimes, some of us look upon others, whom we believe to be less sophisticated, less cultured, less informed – just less – and in turn sit in judgment of them.

It is true that sometimes people don’t always make the “best calls”, they don’t always “say the right things” given a particular set of circumstances, but does that give any of us the “right” to look upon them disparagingly?  

Who has set any of us in a place, whereby we believe that “only if it is done, ‘my’ way” is it the “right way”? Too often criticisms slip from our lips regarding others, who only mean us well. The ‘criminalized’ individual has often made great sacrifices to aid or assist an individual, only for that selfsame individual to ‘look down’ their proverbial noses at the other person. It can be gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and extremely difficult for the recipient to receive or for others to watch.

Even if the recipient has made blunders, spoken out of turn, or made some really poor decision, before condemning, speaking negatively or disparaging of the individual, the “judger” should look at the other’s heart and ask themselves, whether there was any ill-intent toward him or her, before levying any kind of condemnation or judgment.

So many of us are guilty of this; I know that I am; so let’s own it! Then after we own it, let each of us repent of our own frail and flawed characters and start over again. In our starting over again, let us give the next person the benefit of the doubt and pray for improvement on all accounts.

I have learned that there is so much hurt and pain in the world. I personally carry a great deal of emotional pain – pain that will go with me to my grave.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming; at these times I find myself reaching out to God for comfort, direction and courage to keep moving forward. Thankfully, God has always been gracious and given me strength for the day. Little by little, I am learning to “lighten up” on others, because, God knows that I need others to “lighten up” on me. Once we learn this vital lesson, all relationships will be greatly improved. Hallelujah!