Listen Up

Busyness can be devastating to our God Loving Heart.

Quote by Don Cousins:
“God won’t compete for your attention, nor will He shout to get it. He’s calling you to a relationship with Himself, a relationship based on communication—talking and listening. He wants to help guide you in all of life, but He can’t if you don’t stop to listen for direction.”
Prayer is an amazing thing, however, I often leave out the listening part.  I wonder if they make cochlear implants for spiritual ears?  I recently realized, it is not fair to accuse God of not answering prayer when I forget that listening for his voice is the main purpose of prayer.
The sad part is, sometimes I purposely choose not to listen.  Why?  Because, I fear God may ask me to loose something I am not ready to let go of. 

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God and Sugar

This morning I actually have evidence that I am crazy. What is the evidence? Well, it seems all I can think about is “God and sugar.” I know, I know, crazy right? The other day I told someone “isn’t it funny how many times companies have tried to make a substitute for sugar.” First, there was “Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low). Then along came “Aspartame (Nutra Sweet). Next there was Splenda, and now Stevia. So, why the vigorous manhunt for a sugar substitute. Some say it is because sugar is bad for you. Some say it is because sugar is so expensive. I say, “It is because of guilt.” We, myself included, want to discover a way in which we can consume super sweet pleasurable substances without having to face the consequences. I know this, because removing common sense consequences that come from over eating sugar is a multi-billion dollar industry. So, the search is on and has been on for many years, however, like Bono (lead singer for the band U2) said, “we still haven’t found what we’re looking for.”

To me the problem is not really, sugar. The problem stems from sugar’s sweetness. We (humans) enjoy sugar, immensely. Sugar’s overwhelming sweetness produces desire, and desire drives pleasure. The real issue is Man’s drive for sugar’s sweet pleasure. In all actuality sugar did not become bad for us, until we tried to synthesize and concentrate it to provide us (humans) with a higher level of sweetness.

The real issue here is not really about sugar, it’s about truth. Sugar, at its original source, equals truth. Natural Sugar was created, it is not manipulated by man. Where does natural sugar come from? It comes from created life. True sugar comes from miraculously created fruit and milk. Milk, straight from the cow and fruit straight off the tree. Actually, sugar in its true from is something we (as miraculously created beings) need. What has been said about True (natural) sugar? Doctors from Cancer Treatment Centers across America say, “Natural sugars are found in fruit as fructose and in dairy products, such as milk and cheese, as lactose. Foods with natural sugar have an important role in the diet of cancer patients and anyone trying to prevent cancer because they provide essential nutrients that keep the body healthy and help prevent disease.”

Again, the problem isn’t with True sugar, it is with us (humans). Since the Garden of Eden we (humans) have been trying to manipulate God’s creation to assuage our guilt. As long as we are on this earth we will never be able to visit the Garden of Eden. However, we can make better choices.

Have you ever tasted anything that compares to the sweetness and satisfaction of true sugar? Me, neither. The truth is, no matter how much we manipulate the truth, and no matter how many sugar substitutes we develop, we never will.

You choose; locust and honey or stevia and locust!

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A Road Map To Lasting Contentment

Can you honestly say you are “content” both, inside and out?

What is “Contentment”?

Where do we find contentment?

Should fleeting environmental circumstances affect our contentment?

Should we rely on personal pleasures or perishable possessions to fuel our contentment?

Apostle Paul seems to share the answers to these questions in Chapter 4 of his letter to the congregation at Philippi.

The secret to un-wavering contentment can be found in Paul’s statement:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

The key word in this scripture is: ALWAYS. Here the word always is used to mean “completely and infinitely rely upon” the LORD (Jesus).

Just as we all made the decision to have faith in and believe upon our Lord (Jesus), we must also remember to rejoice (or find our Joy) in Him at all times. No matter the environmental or emotional circumstances that happen often and inconveniently in this earthly life.

Rejoicing (to have joy or be joyful) is not a right nor a privilege; it is a choice. I think my personal relationship with Christ is what allows me to be joyful in all circumstances; pain, and suffering included.

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The Desire to Fix Human Beings

I remember when I used to pray, “God, fix this person or that person.” Thank God, I no longer do this. Why? Well, I have come to understand that this prayer is a waste of time. In most cases, when I prayed this prayer it was me who needed “fixin” not the other person. Oh how I became a master at projecting my expectations on others.

I’ve learned that humanity minus all the trappings of material possessions and personal wealth, is equal. We arrive in this world because of the miracle of birth, we are granted the privilege to live past birth by God and we all will one day pass form this life into the next. See, basic equality; nothing to do with political preference, race, color, creed, or religion.

What makes one human being believe they can fix another?

For a person, equal to the other to assume they can fix another is sanctimonious. True, we can use our faith, knowledge, wealth, and possessions to assist others. We can provide grace, love, security, and comfort to others. However, we must never forget, our purpose or mission in this life does not provide the means or authority to fix another human being.

Go ahead, walk with others, talk with others, and hangout with others. Just do not try to fix others. If you do, the best you will get is superficiality.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped focusing on fixing others? What if we used what God gave us to provide and environment of grace, love, security, and comfort; you know, the place where “true love” comes from? The choice to change will always be in the heart of the “Fixee” not the “Fixer.”

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Who Said We Weren’t Connected

I often read reputable sources that claim “We are more connected” than we have ever been. If this is the case then why do I often hear he or she or they or we are not connected?

What does our connectedness depend on?

Does it mean we must like the same thing as another to be connected?

Does it mean we must look similar or dress alike to be connected?

Does it mean we must have either an electronic link or a chemical attraction?

What really is connectedness?

Could our perceived connectedness be a facade?

What if, how we are connected wasn’t through cyberspace? Would we be the most connected generation then? I mean, is cyberspace a real place or is it a place, a perception, to where we assume we can run to escape seemingly unfair judgements? Or is it a place to hide? Or a place to be whatever we want to be without fear of rejection?

If you reach out in the night, after a bad dream, will your smartphone be there to caress you and command the demons to flee?

What if our connectedness depended solely on being human; not just good, not just evil, not just loving or hateful – but all the above? Without people in this world we are void of two never changing inherently human issues. One is love, and the other is hate. And just like good can’t exist without evil; love can’t exist without hate. Love is the water which fills the vessel, and hate is the divining rod which points us toward love’s living water.

No matter how connected or disconnected we become, no matter how far we run, no matter how hard we wish all the human pain, problems, issues or concerns would disappear we will never live in a perfect world. Why, because the world contains free thinking people. People will never be perfect; they will just be people. We can fight against them, we can hate them, or we can reject them. But maybe, just maybe connected or not we can learn to accept them – flaws and all.

Connectedness was founded on an “Image” many many years ago. No matter the human who looks into the looking glass, the reflection will always be the same. Connectedness is found in the human image, not human behavior.  Human Behavior is another issue for another time.

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Click to learn about Christ-Like Relationships

Mighty Men Recon Day – Yuma 10-22-16

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Sifting Through Social Media Opinions

When I was a kid, I often watched my Mom bake bread. One part of the process I really thought was neat was when she dumped the clean pure bleached flour through a sifter.  I asked her, Mom, if the flour is already clean pure and bleached then why do you need to put it through the sifter? She said, “It makes the flour lighter and it blends better.  Plus, it removes any potential non-palatable hunks, chunks, or impurities.  When it comes to baking a “Great” loaf of bread, I never assume the machinery that spits out the finished product is flawless.”

Wow! What a lesson. Today, I think about social media and how it has the potential to produce non-palatable hunks, chunks, and impurities.  Now, I am not attacking it (Social Media); I use it.  At first, I despised social media, I somehow thought I was subject to every opinion I read. News Flash:  I am not and neither are you.

What is an opinion?

Opinion Definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

How many opinions do you think you sift through on a daily basis?

How many of those opinions do you understand to be truthful?

Does the act of opinion sifting cause you unnecessary stress, depression, worry, anxiety, and/or fear?

I asked myself these questions as well. And, because I was truthful with myself I discovered just how much the opinions of others, if I let them, attempted to mar my identity.  I then thought about my Mother’s flour sifter. I wondered, how can I sift through the junk, hunks, chunks, and other impurities found in social media?  Then all of a sudden it hit me:

  1. I have the power to question any and all opinions before I accept them as truth.
  2. I have the ability to educate myself on the truth of the matter before I consider absorbing what I have just read or witnessed.
  3. I have the strength to bypass those opinions or comments that in no way uplifts me or any other human being.

Oh yeah! And because I am Christian I can recall the words of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:8-9):

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

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