Sunday, July 31, 2016

Poetry Sunday ~ The Voice Of A People

Jer. 17:23 “But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.”

The Voice of a People

We are a divided nation separated by complexion
Giving different people their own little section
We’ve taken blood and changed the dominant hue
To suit what’s befitting in all that we do.

Changing the prism that reflects joyous light   
Cannot be undone because day turns to night
Believers are the ones who bear this burden
To stand as one as all people are hurting

Sharing the Word through love can we change
the hearts of men for hatred we’ll exchange
Caring for people as we plan to take action
The light we emit gives strength to our traction

As your soul grieves, God shoulders the pain
For nations, for men, the living, the slain.
Go into the world, be the difference, the spark
Bring light to a people that dwells in the dark.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Quotation Saturday ~ Nurture the Soul


Jonah 2:5 "The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head."

WEEDS

“Jesus said the weeds would grow with the wheat until the Judgement," Dietrich answered, "so one finds both good men and bad in the Church. By our fruits we will be known, not by what name we have called ourselves. I have come to believe that there is more grace in becoming wheat than there is in pulling weeds.” 
― Michael Flynn

“Don't let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden.” 
― Steve Maraboli

“A man of words and not of deeds, 
Is like a garden full of weeds.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

“The strongest and most mysterious weeds often have things to teach us.” 
― F.T. McKinstry

ROOT

“The general root of superstition : namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.” 
― Francis Bacon

“If we are the trees, words are our roots; and we grow as we write” 
― Munia Khan

“Spiritual counselling is helping people find the deep root of stillness in themselves, which is also a connection to everything else.” 
― Jay Woodman

“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.

Their leaves are telling secrets. Their bark sings songs of olden days as it grows around the trunks. And their roots give names to all things.

Their language has been lost.

But not the gestures.” 
― Vera Nazarian

NURTURE

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” 
― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation:

It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” 
― Mark Z. Danielewski

“Anthropocentric as [the gardener] may be, he recognizes that he is dependent for his health and survival on many other forms of life, so he is careful to take their interests into account in whatever he does. He is in fact a wilderness advocate of a certain kind. It is when he respects and nurtures the wilderness of his soil and his plants that his garden seems to flourish most. Wildness, he has found, resides not only out there, but right here: in his soil, in his plants, even in himself...
But wildness is more a quality than a place, and though humans can't manufacture it, they can nourish and husband it...
The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery.” 
― Michael Pollan

“By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.” 
― Vernon Howard

NOURISH

“Suffering is imposed on us time and again so that one day we would become brave wise masters. That is, a strong being who is confidently aware of their intended direction in life, and fearlessly adding value to the world and their future.” 
― Suzy Kassem

“In many ways, life is about managing your delusions; keeping the ones that nourish and eliminating the ones that poison.” 
― Steve Maraboli

“I believe that all things are connected; that we’re interdependent on one another. I just like feeling the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, and the earth under my feet. It all nourishes me; my soul anyway.” 
― J.M. Northup

“Don't forget to pause and nourish yourself a bit along the way. When you're born to help others sometimes you forget to help yourself.” 
― Paula Heller Garland

SOUL

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing 
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” 
― Rumi

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.” 
― Daniel Defoe

“Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed. ” 
― Leo Tolstoy

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” 
― Marcus Aurelius


Friday, July 29, 2016

Abandoning The Seed Within

Jer. 2:21 “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?”

Have you ever felt like just giving up on God, tossing your faith and all that you’ve built with your faith right out the door? You know, because of all the pain he allows you to go through doesn’t seem worth the trials that you have to endure on a daily basis? Yeah, me neither.

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was a young teen and life has never been the same, it’s been a roller coaster ride, going up and down ever since. There have been times when I thought (briefly) that this fight just wasn’t worth the suffering. The time, the dedication, the daily nurturing; accepting the Lord felt more like having a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, just like having a child.

What? Accepting the Lord felt like having a child? Yes! What, do you think, you just get to utter words like ‘I accept you Lord’ and everything goes smoothly from there on out? I’m sorry friends, but if you think that then no wonder your life is all fun and games, no worries, no commitment, just playtime all the time. Be honest, that isn’t your life at all is it?

If you want Jesus in your life there is a commitment just like having a child, which you don’t get to toss away whenever you feel like. Just like when you find out your pregnant (or your wife), you make a commitment to taking on the responsibility of that child, raising him or her in an upright manner, feeding his soul and nurturing his spirit or just toss the life away via an abortion. With free will, the CHOICE is yours. If you’ve never married or know what having a child is like, the seed of God is in you also. He doesn’t abandon anyone for anything just because He feels like it and doesn’t have the time for you.

Many parents take on the responsibility of keeping the child, whether planned or unplanned but many are not seriously ready for the time and commitment that it takes to raise a child. That’s why so many births are met with abandonment after the baby is born, left in dumpsters, thrown off bridges, just disposed of because they were too hard to take care of and didn’t realize that this one time of lustful pleasure was going to turn out to be a lifetime commitment. Note: Pleasures cost.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

The God cell is inside you at birth, a seed that you dispose of or tend and allow to grow through nurturing. Some people feel the seed and know it is there, others don’t know what the origin festering inside is and don’t want to know so they try and abort the kernel by putting chemicals in their body that will destroy the tiny bud or they ignore the seed completely allowing the weeds to smother the grain as it grows. We all know what happens when a weed grows, right? It takes a long time people to annihilate the seed that God planted in you at birth. You can try to rid yourself of the essence burning inside but the root is never dead.

When you accept God, it is like having a child, an embryo within you. You recognize the spirit that God planted as a blooming cluster of flowers not the false covering of weeds. You nurture the seedling with the Word of God until the foundation, with time, endurance, patience and love has become rooted, and slowly painstakingly allowed to climb the vine to flourish into a blossoming stem that grows along the Vine of the Lord. We were all meant to be flowers in the garden of life. Some allowed the weeds (satan) to strangle our beautiful bud but know this, the flower is still inside of you waiting to grow and become the beauty you see in a botanical garden. You can never abandon the seed within.

Luke 22:18 “For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.”

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rose In The Rubble


Deut. 22:9 “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.”

The Rose in the Rubble

The world has become stone-faced in the face of crime, disaster, death and destruction. Nothing is shocking anymore and so many choose to look away. They’re more concerned with the clothes they wear or the shoes that will carry them but they turn a blind eye to all that is wrong in the world, finding it easier to overlook the rubble so all they see is the rose.

Imagine God during creation with a handful of seeds that he released to the earth. Let’s say the seeds were human beings. He fertilized by just breathing His word on the brown gritty earthy soil, stirred the land so we would be well planted, watered us and watched us grow.  
Some of the seeds that were scattered fell between the rocks, never really taking root by being nurtured by Him. Some fell on the sand again not being rooted in the strength He gave them. Others grew on the fertile soil, these are the upstanding righteous few who walk ROOTED in His Son. 

Do you see where I’m going here? 

Matt. 13:3-9 (KJV) “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Satan is a deceiver and a distracter. When all you can taste is bitter political vengeance on your tongue, when you keep your eye on what ISIS is destroying or maiming on any given day, when all that you hold in your hand is sand that slips through your fingers, you are being led by the one and only dark one. He has his eyes on you and is feeding you. He is reaping what he’s sown and you are planted right where he wants you, amid the rubble.

When I think of my son and how he has turned away from the church all I can think of is what I did wrong but then again I think of all that satan has done right. He led him,  along with an all too willing society, away from God. And no it isn’t just my son who was easily led away; he just wasn’t rooted right. There are many and I mean many who have been led away all because of society and the media’s choice of what is front and center and more important, the ‘ME Generation’. Some who are rooted on much stronger soil is fully aware of the lure of satan but as for me and my house, we serve the Lord. (My house meaning my body, my temple).

Take note, that just because you are led away does not make you a bad person destined for hell. I know too often people tell me that that is the very reason they were led away because the Christians made them feel they were destined for hell no matter what they did right. Hey, even Christians can distort the truth just like the media. I know I’ll catch backlash for that one but it is true, think Westboro Baptist church versus Billy Graham Ministries. 

The so-called Christians aren’t so perfect and made for heaven either, can you imagine if every single so-called Christian acted like God himself was sitting next to them as they posted on their wall on facebook? Would you see so many lies and mistruths then? No, all I see is satan’s hand guiding the posts on facebook, unless of course if you’re posting my blog. [wink wink]

Before judging me on my poor parenting skills and telling me what I have to do to make my son ‘right in your eyes’, why not look in the mirror, better yet, look at the last years posts on facebook and tell me that YOU are any better than anyone else. Satan has many of us deceived.

I don’t proclaim to have all of the answers to what is wrong with society but I DO have eyes to see (too many weeds) and ears to hear (not enough singing His praise) and I know that satan is pulling on the minutely detailed reins and you’re following just like a puppy needing a place to fit into a family. Don’t hide behind Christianity as if it is some form of agenda for you to fit into society. Look for the rose in the rubble, but be aware, the rubble is there for a reason.

Isaiah 26:8-9 (NIV) “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seeing Good In The Bad

2 Sam. 14:17 “Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.”

Seeing Good in the Bad

I knew today was going to be a different day when I woke while it was still dark outside, put the beloved coffee on, and made my way to let my dog go out back to do her morning business. The ground was wet so I knew we had gotten the much-needed rain overnight.

Sassy had made her way around to the front door so I turned to go in, after seeing a small toad off to the right of the steps, I greeted him with a good morning and proceeded to come in the house. I heard a noise in the darkness.

I had to turn on the light to see what I was encountering hoping beyond all hope it wasn’t the huge snake we’ve seen out in the garden. With the mudroom lit, I see movement on the shoes that are left on the floor. More movement, then an appearance. We have a really big toad, I call Flipit, making his home out in the garden and this morning, he made his way into the house but now he’s stuck behind the shoes. I got a broom and graciously led him to the door to hop back into the garden. To the left of his exit and plopped right there on the top step was the little toad I had previously seen to my right. Maybe big toad was the momma to little toad? No camera in hand so no pics available.

I like to greet the cool outside morning air with a prayer. This morning was no different but I got a treat with the visit of the toad family. I came in the house, poured a cup of coffee and shuffled my way to the computer where I would begin my writing day. 

I’m always leery of opening the internet because of the news I might find glaring at me from behind the screen, begging me to read. Day after day it seems killings, slaughter, murder and death are usually right up front ahead of the headlines. The political garbage gets passed over, just like on facebook if you post political crud, your words fall on deaf ears because I ‘HIDE THIS POST’ and see less and less of what garbage is being spewed out from an angry nation.

I am not pained by the atrocities of the daily news so much so I ignore it. I can’t, I will not allow the shock value to scare me from doing nothing and if you dare say prayer is nothing I will boldly slap you upside the head with the TRUTH about prayer. 

I’ve heard people say that God is ignoring us and this is the farthest thing from the truth. We live in a country founded on God and we the people work to remove Him from the land but it is impossible. Why is it impossible; because God HEARS OUR PRAYER that’s why. 

If we look back in history, we see that our founding fathers loved God. They brought God to this new country and built a land full of believers. So what happened? Well, greed and corruption leaked in and grew, no different than a seed that is planted, it grew and blossomed but the end result wasn’t a beautiful rose, it was a weed of ugliness.

To the non-believer, they would say that that’s all hokey but if they read the Bible they would know from the very first chapter IN the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation the Word states that this is the very thing that would happen. Amid all of the beauty created, weeds of greed and corruption would defile the very beautiful creation and it has to the point of almost total destruction. Have you ever tried to kill the weeds in a garden, only for them to come back full of livelihood and take over? You can try and try but the weeds will pop up somewhere and try to destroy all the beauty.

It’s fact! It’s truth! God tried to give us a moral compass and we planted weeds in that fertile place of mind growth, THAT is why the world is the way it is, we are slowly destroying the beauty. 

Back to the morning news, I was greeted with a small prism of shining beauty in my own neck of the woods in the state of Nebraska. A couple from Texas had purchased a two thousand dollar RV from the corrupted Craigslist only to arrive in Omaha, Nebraska to find they were swindled. I don’t know all that went down but a couple purchased an RV for them, filled it with groceries and all sorts of hospitable products. Cash donations are also pouring in for the couple. 

THIS is the kind of news I like to wake and read. This is what the world is supposed to be about. This is the reason I believe in the Power of Prayer! Yes, in my morning prayer I asked to be greeted by the good in the world through all of the bad. My days are shaped by the good I see, not the bad. I will not, CANNOT ignore the good in the bad. 

Alleluia AMEN! All Glory to God.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Grateful To Be ALIVE!

Tears from Heaven

Matt. 16:3  “And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”

I’m Alive!

After last week’s heat wave with the heat index topping off at 108 and my body deciding to have a meltdown both physically and mentally, I’m alive, I made it through the week. This week promises to be a little cooler with the eighties and lower nineties across the grid. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

I woke to find in my news more nightclub shootings, more death and destruction, more disagreements over politics and more friends wanting to bail out of facebook over the political hysteria running rampant there.

My prayer list has grown to the length of my arm (maybe longer) when I go to facebook. Friends that are sick, friends in the hospital, people who need prayer for their loved ones because of illness or death in the family and the list goes on. I can’t complain or gripe about my petty disability when so much is going on around me; no, I’m grateful to be alive so I can lend my heart and soul to prayer for all of those in need.

I have to pray for all those lost souls who think they’re doing the right thing yet you see them wandering aimlessly with hands groping in the dark and you have to pray that they find a peace and stop with all the hate. They’ll get around to seeing the light, one day, maybe not soon, but one day. I pray.

A lot of the problem is that people are ungrateful. They’re angry that they’re not getting their way and they take it out on an already unstable society. Condemnation – a nation enraged, rising to condemn his fellow man. When we have adult politicians acting like children themselves, how are we suppose to have hope in their leadership? I see people condemn the right, hang the left, hate the sinner, love the sin, despise the Muslim, degrade the Christian, on and on and on, the world lacks gratitude.

The republicans hate their pick of a leader, the democrats hate their pick of a leader and America is surprised by the rise of mass killings under the present politician? We are a selfish nation and we only think and pray for what will benefit us. I see prayers for France, prayers for countries struck by a disaster, prayers for whoever you pick and choose, but forget the innocent victims and families because… why? Are they not of your religion or faith? Shame on you!

Job 8:13 “So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish:”

We are no longer grateful to be alive! We’re not happy that we can use a bathroom to take a hot or cold shower. We don’t appreciate water or the fact that we can go to our freezer and get ice for our warming drinks. We certainly are not grateful for our delicious food choices here in the free country. 

No, none of those things are free and many work long hard hours just to obtain water, food, gas and electricity but that does not stop man from hating his fellow man. Even though they boast ‘hey, look at me, I go to church’ you seriously have to wonder what church is doing for a person so full of hate and a person who lacks a sincere compassionate heart?

Job 17:8 “Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.”

A dear friend said something like “…if the last your loved one sees or hears from you be your rant, is that really what you want . . .” 

I was already writing this post before she wrote that (great minds think alike and all that) but that was exactly what I was thinking when I began this post, do people even care if their rant hurts ANYone, even their family? Their mother possibly, or again, do they not CARE who their rants hurt or affect?

I am disheartened this morning. There was a mass killing in Japan at a handicap facility and this morning I woke with not one single meme exclaiming PRAYERS FOR JAPAN! What is wrong with this picture? Ask the so-called Christian why he can pray for America and France fatalities but not for Japanese or Muslim fatalities. Are the Muslim victims killed by ISIS any different than a Japanese victim stabbed by a disgruntled worker? They, my friends, are MAN! The fellow man you are called to pray for. Go ahead, ruffle your feathers to feel better about yourself.

I am grateful to be alive! If I am only being kept alive to wake and pray for my fellow HUMAN BEING, then I am grateful for the chance. My fellow man needs me. 
Praise be to God!

Matt. 6:5 “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Poetry Sunday~ Illusion

Ecc. 5:8 “If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.”



I tried so hard to simply take
A picture that’s real or is it fake?




Cheap camera in hand, I took a shot
The sunshine is real, the horse is not









Here they stand stellar in pose
Like riddles amid well-worded prose








Life sometimes is simply abstract
When digging among lie or fact














A political year wrought with lies
Manifested with a camera’s eyes.











Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quotation Saturday ~ Love



LOVE

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” 
~ Mother Teresa

“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.” 
~ Paulo Coelho

“When I look in the mirror, I know I’m looking at someone who isn’t sure she deserves to be loved at all.” 
~ Nicholas Sparks

“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all.” 
~ Rita Mae Brown

“Was it hard?" I ask.
Letting go?"

Not as hard as holding on to something that wasn't real.” 
~ Lisa Schroeder

HAPPINESS

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” 
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred, and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever.” 
~ Wil Zeus

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.” 
~ Leo Tolstoy

“Happiness does not come from without, it comes from within” 
~ Helen Keller

WANTS

“The life of less, one bent on simplicity, and not needing or wanting anything other than what God has deemed good for you turns out to be all you could ever need or want.” 
~ Hayley and Michael DiMarco

“What we all want, really, is to be loved. That craving drives our worst behavior.” 
~ Jodi Picoult

“What do I want? What kind of question is that? I want what everybody wants. I want someone who has my back. I want someone's name to put in the space after "in an emergecy please call." I want someone who will drink the other half of the bottle of wine so I don't. And someone to make it worth sitting down at an actual table to eat. I want someone who's dying to get home after a long day because I'm going to be there.” 
~ Claire Cook

“Sometimes, I think we're afraid to admit we want certain things. Especially things that contradict the image we have of ourselves.” 
~ Debbie Macomber

NEEDS

“If Christ has been given us, if we are called to his discipleship we are given all things, literally _all_ things. He will see to it that they are added unto us. If we follow Jesus and look only to His righteousness, we are in his hands and under the protection of Him and His Father. And if we are in communion with the Father, nought can harm us. God will help us in the hour of need, and He knows our needs.” 
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“When I save, I lay something aside for future need. If I sense God's leading, I will give it away to meet greater needs. When I hoard, I'm unwilling to part with what I've saved to meet others' needs, because my possible future needs outweigh their actual present needs. I fail to love my neighbor as myself.” 
~ Randy Alcorn

“You won't discover God is all you need until God is all you have.” 
~ Reverend Claude Nicholas

“First you find out what you have, Dad would say. Then you figure out how to make it work for what you need, 'cause you don't get what you want. You get just what you have and no more. ” 
~ Lilith Saintcrow

Quotation Saturday ~ Faith

Deut. 32:20 “And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.”

FAITH

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” 
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.” 
~ Elbert Hubbard

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” 
~ Max Lucado, He Still Moves Stones

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” 
~ Søren Kierkegaard

“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” 
~ J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird

GRATITUDE

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” 
~ Seneca

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” 
~ Epicurus

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” 
~ Maya Angelou

THANKFULNESS

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” 
~ Holy Bible: King James Version

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” 
~ Henry Ward Beecher

“The gift was not large as money goes, and my need was not great, but the spirit of the gift is beyond price and leaves me blessed and in debt.” 
~ Robert Fulghum

“I've started to look at life differently. When you're thanking God for every little you - every meal, every time you wake up, every time you take a sip of water - you can't help but be more thankful for life itself, for the unlikely and miraculous fact that you exist at all.” 
~ A.J. Jacobs

May every day you sit down together as a family be a day of thanksgiving. Don’t allow one day a year to define your THANKFULNESS. 
~ Joni Zipp


Beauty
I’m not made up in mechanical curls 
my hair is long and straight
I don’t wear heels that reach the sky
My shoes are flat as is my gait.

My pants don’t hug my every dimple
I respect my body enough
My temple I treat with utmost respect
I’m made with all the right stuff.
~joni

Friday, July 22, 2016

Feeling Hopeful Through the Pain

1 John 4:18 (NIV) “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

*Hopeful*

Well, it’s been a pretty exhausting week for me. No, I haven’t been working myself too hard and I learned something really early in this disability and that is to 'know my limits'!!!

I go out early in the cool morning hours and water my garden and fill my birdbath. I pull any weeds I can without hurting my back and then I come inside to do the inside chores of washing clothes, ironing hubby’s work shirts, planning the meal for dinner (preferably not one that consists of the use of the oven) more times than not, in the summer months I use my slow cooker or make a nice refreshing pasta salad, or a tossed salad and some turkey wraps. 

After my chores, I start my writing, usually an inspirational blog post or something of that nature. Today is a hopeful day. I was so encouraged by my friends I woke yesterday feeling hopeful in my future of writing, blogging and just being alive. I got out early to water my plants, was enjoying the breeze so much I decided to wash my car, then when I finished I went inside to wash two loads of laundry. Hubby had gone food shopping at seven a.m to beat the heat, then he came home and sprayed for weeds, and as I washed the car, he whacked the weeds with a weed-whacker! He was on a weed killing mission, I can tell you that much. 

I came inside as it started to heat up outside washed some clothes and then began the afternoon by writing in the nicely air-conditioned house. I would every once in a while peek my head outside just to see how hot it was and by 5:30 it was 99 degrees with a heat index of 108!!! Wow, after living in Texas for six years you think I’d be used to the heat but this is an airless hot where you try to breathe and are reminded of what hell potentially feels like. 

I made a mistake in the midst of my euphoria and that was to try and get a fly off the back of my right leg using my pained left leg, not a good idea! I lifted my left leg backwards and used my foot to swat the blood-sucking varmint. It rendered me practically immobile when my left leg dropped by the inability to place any weight on my left foot and I was forced to stagger painstakingly inside to the heating pad. Yeah, how exciting is that to have to sit on a heating pad when you’re trying to get cool? And amid such a good day!

I often wonder why. Why me? Those thoughts often discourage me and my friend told me recently that it’s to bring you closer to God. You see, the people out there that just soar through life with nary a problem turn to God when they NEED Him and some people find that they don’t need him at all, they have their egos and they’re good with their not-a-care-in-the-world- life, but us who are always seeking God and want to be so close to Him that we fall asleep at night in His arms are usually the ones with the heaviest load to carry.

My daily pain brings me that much closer to God himself. No deed, no selfless act, no not-committing-all-ten of the commandments is going to bring me closer to God than my pain. 

When you’re suffering, the first thing you do, and yes even atheist have been known to do, is cry out dear God help me please, or dear sweet Jesus. Only because in some sense we know, that is the only comfort we’re going to get.

Now a lot of people have turned away from Christ because either they really don’t care if He exists, need PROOF that He exists, or don’t like the non-answer they get from Him. Allow me to tell you this, He has always answered me! Maybe not in the way I expected him to but yes, He has always answered me. Sometimes he tells me to be patient and wait, sometimes he says how about this instead? Yes, He always gives ME an answer.

So as I sit here literally crying in pain that my leg renders me, and asking God why? He gently nods – because you need me. Ahh… that was sweet. 

Jer. 15:18 “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” < I question
He answers >Jer. 15:20 “And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD.”

PRAISE BE TO GOD!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Encouragement Through Discouragement

Col. 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Encouragement through Discouragement

Ever wake up and feel discouraged only to find encouragement along your day? Yesterday I woke up, second-guessing my wanting to get back into writing fiction. I spend so much time writing nonfiction and posts for my blog the recent pull back into fiction writing was a welcome surprise. 

Here’s the problem, in my blog posts, I don’t seek out hits or ask for critique, that’s with all my nonfiction, if I want a crit I’ll be vocal enough to ask for it. When I ask for a critique on my fiction writing and don’t get anything, it discourages me and makes me wonder if fiction is REALLY what I’m being called to do. 

Here lately, I’ll admit, I’ve been down, not too peppy these days and I lost the bounce in my step. As warbled and limply as my steps are, it makes me feel insufficient. I can’t do this, I can’t do that, blah blah blah, wah wah wah. Yup, that’s me crying myself a river.

I have dear friends who will see to it that I don’t go down that bumpy road of darkness I like to deem as ‘depression alley’. Oh, I could wallow in that dark cave for days at a time and as our first heat wave of the summer smacks us upside the head out here in the middle of nowhere and no air conditioning in my car, I’m pretty much stuck out here like flies to honey.

Speaking of flies, they are horrendous this year. We had a problem last year because of all of the unused turkey sheds and the piles of mill seed that went unattended except for the flies, but the owner took care of that and we thought it would help with the pesky peasants this year but no, they’re just as bad. That is saddening in and of itself. The little buggers are out for blood! They land on you and sit and bite until you bleed! Yes, the red dots on my legs are from THEM blood-sucking varmints!

Back to my discouragement post, you didn’t think I’d forgotten, did you? Well, posting my fiction made me feel vulnerable, like an open wound not yet stitched up. I was apprehensive because something in the back of my mind was saying no don’t do it and something else was saying oh, what the heck. I was being encouraged to post my writing because after all, I had done some nitting myself so, okay, I’ll post, get some nits and send the work out.

I’m thinking of taking it off the forum but I’ll wait, I’m patient, it’s summer and times are slow but I really just want to get it sent out before I talk myself into not submitting the story. A lot of the times they [the magazines] don’t like it viewable online anywhere, even in a private forum setting. I did get one good crit and that made me feel good, encouraged even. 

I need to learn to not be discouraged. With 100-degree+ temperatures, it’s real easy to fall into the pit if discouragement hence the reason for my post on facebook yesterday:

“Have you ever been discouraged to the point of giving up (writing) and you fight tooth-and-nail to get back in the game only to be discouraged AGAIN? Yeah, that's what I'm up against. This thing called 'writing' a tough job but hey, somebody ELSE needs to be beat up, why not a writer.”  *deep sigh*

My friends came out of the woodwork to encourage me to NOT be discouraged. They offered kindhearted words to lift me up and told me how often that I had been their light to lift THEM up. I had not realized what an impact my writing, or my words had on people (keep in mind not all the comments were from my writing friends from the ‘private’ writing site.)

I had over 17 comments on that post, ALL encouraging and uplifting!

VJ wrote: “Know that your impact and reach extend further than you can see. You were one of the first people to encourage me to write. You have a tremendous amount of skill and talent. Don't despair...opportunities abound when you are least expecting them!”

Miss DonnaM wrote: “Your writings are reflected with grace ...
Do not be discouraged because I got good news for you ...
It is no secret what God can do...
What he’s done for others he can do for you ...”

These are just two of the many. I love my friends. Is that weird? To love people you’ve never met but inspire you more than they even know and you just want to hug them so tight and all you can do is thank them with words? 

I wonder if they knew that this would wind up being a blog post? Probably not, they DO have a life but you know what? They took time out of their day to encourage ME! How cool is that??? Refreshing on a hot day, I can tell you that. 

I will continue to work through the discouragement I feel on the encouraging words of some of the most amazing friends that really give me hope out here in this world. There are caring people who see when people are down, know it all too well, and go out of their way to lift that person off of their battered feet! 

Thank you, my dear friends! I truly do love and respect your open and honest hearts of gold! You ARE the encouragement through discouragement that I needed!

 God bless you all!!! 


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Poetry Sunday: God Is Crying


Isa. 22:5  "For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains."

God is Crying

God is crying once again
The ground is wet with shame
Man can’t see the pain God’s in
Your senseless acts to blame.

God is crying can you hear
The rumbling sounds that stir.
Heaven shakes as tears roll down
The earth to Him’s a blur.

God is crying can you see
The echoes mount the sky
Signs that leak from the clouds
But man dare not ask why.

God is crying do you know
More souls ascend, He bleeds
Fear tears down our only hope
Of fruit within his seeds.

God is crying can you taste
Corroded corpses embers
Here among the righteous 
Godly earthbound members.

God is crying can you feel 
The trembling of His feet
Earth erupts in quaking stance
To rhythmic tapping beat.

God is crying feel his grief
For man has left Him lonely.
I alone will take a stand
To hug Him once if only.

© Joni Zipp

posted on:July 15, 2016
repost 7 17 16

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Well Is Dry

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 
– Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The Well is Dry

After writing yesterday, I prayed about what I wrote and the reason behind why on earth would I share such a pity party post? Well, I know why, because even I have my bad days. People think because I laugh and make them smile that there is nothing wrong in Joni’s world, well let me tell you, there are things wrong in my world! 

Is it possible to focus too much on the Lord, therefore alienating yourself from the rest of the world? Am I to blame for all the angst in my life? I sometimes think I am. 

I’m trying to get back into writing and my well is dry. I woke this morning with a renewed faith when cool air kissed my cheek in the middle of summer. It was 6o degrees and a storm was about to erupt when all of a sudden, a poem came to my mind. The rain began falling, the thunder cheered with lightning displayed across the sky.

Was this God cheering me on? Was He letting me know He was right there and hasn’t left my side? It is as if He was filling my well with water to drink and words to write. The poem I wrote was, God is Crying. I normally write a poem, let it rest a day, then come back to the poem and fix anything that doesn’t work for me. Through the thundering morning and cool rain showers egging me on, I felt the need to post the words right away, so if you see something wrong with the poem, take it up with Him.

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

I sometimes wrongfully think I’m in control of my life when I know full well God is in complete control. When I whine of the pain I’m in and cry about the reasons my disability hinders me from doing what *I* want to do, I have to remember who it is I work for first and foremost. If anyone remembers (you have to go back to my posts from 2011-12) my disability hit me after my hubby got his sight back after being blind for two and a half years. The many hours behind the wheel driving to and from Omaha, sometimes two times a week, (6-8 hour trips) took its toll on the lumbar portion of my back.

Had this happened while he was blind, I would have never been able to do the work that I felt God had called me to do and that was to take care of my man. Yes, that was basically the job I signed up for when I met my beau but it was so much more than that. God had His hands in the stew the entire time and he decided to whip it up a bit to see how I handled the situation. 

I’m allowed a day or two to feel sorry for myself, by dagnammit, no one else will or does for that matter so I feel I have to have my bad days or I’ll never rise up and be more than the pain that defines me.

It’s weird how me having a bad day warrants hits on my blog out the gazoo! My happy, joyful posts might get 13-20 hits but my woeful, pained posts near the hundred and over hit mark, how odd is that? When I began this blog, it was all about the writing craft and when I decided to make it about God, I no longer wrote for other people, the hits or the followers, I took on the challenge to write what God wanted me to write and what I felt that He spoke to my heart to say to the world.

I no longer write to satisfy everyone else, I never LIVE to satisfy others; I only live for God, pain and all. I realize that God has me this way because my heavy lifting, hours upon hours of driving, snow shoveling and overworking myself days are over. I would have never stopped so God made sure I stopped, maybe so I wouldn’t further damage myself, after all, He did see ahead of the steps I take, this is His plan and not one of my own selfish making.

Sure I would love to be able to walk normally again, to dance while dusting, to skip while vacuuming, to meditate while mowing the lawn but that is not God’s plan for me. His plan is for me to rest. Maybe he has something big planned or maybe not, maybe the walk in the cornfields is His plan for me. Nah, I know that is not His plan, He told me so. Now you’ll have to tolerate me a little longer!

I’ll end this post on a happy note. While my husband is complaining that the 61 degrees and rain is too cold for the month of July (he LIKES the 100 degree days), I am relishing the dampness of an eight-hour rainfall accompanied by a dark overcast sky with stormy weather erupting every half hour or so. I have washed clothes, dried clothes, and folded them all because my back loves cooler temps and affords me more mobility than normal. Praise be to God.

I have written two blog posts today and all is right with the world…for today. May you look at God’s plan as the master plan for your life and your own plans as selfish fodder. Life is already too short to be giving up when YOU are done, always remember it will last until God is done!

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” 
– Mother Theresa

God Is Crying

Isa. 22:5  "For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains."


God is Crying

God is crying once again
The ground is wet with shame
Man can’t see the pain God’s in
Your senseless acts to blame

God is crying can you hear
The rumbling sounds that stir
Heaven shakes as tears roll down
The earth to Him’s a blur

God is crying can you see
The echoes mount the sky
Signs that leak from the clouds
But man dare not ask why.

God is crying do you know
More souls ascend, He bleeds
Fear tears down our only hope
Of fruit within his seeds.

God is crying can you taste
Corroded corpses embers
Here among the righteous 
Godly earthbound members.

God is crying can you feel 
The trembling of His feet
Earth erupts in quaking stance
To a rhythmic tapping beat.

God is crying feel his grief
For man has left Him lonely.
I alone will take a stand
To hug Him once if only.

© Joni Zipp

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I Had a Bad Day...

Job 33:19 “He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:”

I had a bad day…

If you’re looking for a happy-go-lucky post click a button that tells you to go to the next blog, this might not be worth reading for you today.

Yesterday I had a bad day. A good day to me is where I wake and can move without pain, that makes me happy. Tuesday I woke up and could move so I thought yay it’s going to be a good day. I always try to stay optimistic but here lately, I’ve lost all hope in optimism. With the world, with people, even with writing.

My body reacts to the extremely hot weather so much so my knees feel like balloons and if I try to do any outside activity they reach the bursting point and I have to return to the house and find solace sitting in front of the screen resting my knees but not my fingers. 

If you were one of those curious people who would ask a disabled person what is wrong with them, then I’d have to be honest and say, I don’t know. All of my vitality was sucked out of me as a Hoover vacuum went over my body and took most of the life out of me. Now I’m a barely walking zombie of sorts.

I live out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the cornfields surrounding me in all directions. The only communication to the outside world is from my online friends and a daily call to my mother (twice on weekends). I can no longer drive because of my blurred vision so when my husband asked if I wanted to go to the mall Tuesday, I got excited, sure why not. (I often forget my disability and move full steam ahead without thinking, just ask my kneecap I cracked on the wall last week.)

I often feel like taking a walk into the cornfield until my legs buckle and just lie down and let the bugs eat me and wait for harvesting time when the big harvester of crops finishes off what is left of my body. Or walking through the woods and waiting for nightfall for the coyotes to come and devour me or maybe a mountain lion (who has been spotted in my area) would find me to be a good meal. No, I chose to go to the mall instead.

We get to the mall and no shopping carts, that make walking easier on me, are available at the mall. I made my way to the JCPenny door. Wow, I made it, now to make it allllllllll the way to the back of the store to the tiny shoe department. We must’ve gone up and down the two aisles of men shoes five times before it was declared, “I don’t see anything.” I know I’m a woman and should love to shop but I despise the event, even if it is online, I DON’T like shopping!

Let’s go to Shoe Express he says. He had seen the shoes he wanted online but here in the mall is the same store so they should be here, right? No, no they were not after hobbling all the way to the other side of the mall. We leave there without a purchase and pass another shoe store so we go in there. By this time the mall was slowly filling up with the bored-to-be-home-from-school-with-nothing-to-do people. Did you know people stare too long at imperfect people? Long glaring stares as if to say, “Is she faking or is she really wobbling, is she crippled, what?”

Another shoe store another no sale. I start making a beeline to the exit but we have to go through JCPenny because the truck was parked outside the entrance that we had come through. Great! The pain by this time was unbearable and my eyes started to water. No, wait, it wasn’t water, I made it to the truck, breathed a sigh of relief and began bawling my eyes out.

Now I’m throwing myself a pity party. I’m done, I’m just done watching the world go ‘round as I sit crippled unable to get help, for the pain, for a cure, for my life back. I wasn’t done living. I didn’t ask for it to be taken away and here I am hearing people complain because their pool water is too warm, that their A.C. is too cool, that their vacation wasn’t long enough, or that they’re tired from working too hard. The next step is a wheelchair, no other option for me but a wheelchair. (No the cane doesn't work for long walks.)

I sit here and stare out the window and watch the corn get taller and think to myself, maybe God will take me today, maybe I AM done. As the tears continue to roll down my cheek I realize, I made it home. I think I’ll wash clothes. No matter how making it through a day pains me, I’ll go on… God will be calling soon and I have to be ready to answer.

Pity party over...

Rev. 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Monday, July 11, 2016

Peace Through War?

2 Timothy 3: 1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Can we find peace in war?

A simple meme with a child in an Army hat on facebook draws out the roaring crowd; the words anything war can do, peace can do better. Yeah, memes feed my writing these days. The ones I agree with and ones I disagree with.

“Anything war can do, peace can do better.”

Full names hidden to protect the innocent.
Comment from James: “Si vis pacem, para bellum is a Latin adage translated as, "If you want peace, prepare for war". What this means is war is inevitable and peace will never last. So no matter how good peace sounds, sadly there will always be war.”

Comment from Hannu: “It's more like a question about constructive or destructive thinking. I guess war is a good business for some ...but how much good does it really do? Revenge leads to another revenge...it's endless...
Building bridges is better than building walls.
Utopia ? 
So what is it worth to win a battle if the war still gets harder and harder? That's what is happening now...nobody wins...”

Glenda wrote: “If only that statement were true. Wonderful young men & women who have served in our military who have lost their arms & legs. Lost their lives. To protect Americans & their freedoms against those who kill Americans. This post is irresponsible.”

John wrote a well thought out comment: Whenever I see discussions on-line promoting peace in the world, the path to peace is nearly always expressed in ways that indicate that peace must begin with us, and then the world will of course, become peaceful overall. This “peacefulness” as a practice frequently is promoted as a process of Spiritual Passivity, like that observed by practicing Buddhists.

Some 5 or 6 years ago as a result of this topic continually coming up in a discussion group that I facilitate I wrote a (somewhat long) article named: “An Argument Against the Development of Passivity as a Spiritual Practice”, that some might want to check out.

About a third of the way down in the article I state:

“The fact that we must be aware of is that the overwhelming majority of our fellow inhabitants of this planet neither understand, nor are much interested in understanding, our interest in developing a sense of detachment. As a result, they can misinterpret one of the aspects that manifest in an individual as they develop a sense of Detachment through Denial”…

…“The appearance of “outward passivity” has become a prominent goal in many of the Westernized Yogic and New Age Philosophies. It has been promoted as a character trait to be prized and developed on its own, rather than recognized as an outer manifestation of an inner development.” 

“The snag is that Passivity developed as a personality trait alone can actually draw conflict.”

Wow. There are some intelligent comments when you scan facebook but a lot of the times the people are so filled with rage you begin to see why we don’t live in a world where peace is an option.

Last night we watched a movie called The Giver. I’m not into sci-fi but this one had a Tomorrowland feel to it and since I liked that one so much, I gave The Giver a shot. It was not a bad premise. The world had been changed and taken over, minds were erased and there was no hate, war, jealousy, anger, you name the emotion. People-bots floated around in a pristine controlled-life living and raising only children who were worthy. 

Also gone was love. The feeling of love. One person was to receive the memories taken and stored with the Giver and wouldn’t you know it, the chosen one was a rebel going to defy the leader of the new world.

By the end of the movie, I realized something and it might only make sense to me but with everything going on in the world today it struck me as ironic. Without love, you can’t feel hate and with hate gone, you can’t know love. We watched the movie World Trade Center the other night and I believe the end words were:

John McLoughlin: [Narrating] "9/11 showed us what human beings are capable of. The evil, yeah, sure. But it also brought out the goodness we forgot could exist. People taking care of each other for no other reason than it was the right thing to do. It's important for us to talk about that good, to remember. 'Cause I saw all of it that day."

That says it all. While the darkness tries to smother you, while hate tries to take over the world love and compassion will rear its head and you’ll feel what all the angst is for, for us to find LOVE!

Rev. 19:14 “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Tomorrowland

The Giver

World Trade Center




Saturday, July 09, 2016

Quotation Saturday ~ War, Peace

Dallas, Texas
Dealey Plaza

Pss. 28:3  “Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.”

 DIVISION

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” 
― Winston S. Churchill

“We need to eliminate the concept of division by class, skills, race, income, religion, and nationality. Every human requires food and water to survive and every human has a heart that bleeds, loves, and grieves.” 
― Suzy Kassem

“Faults are thick where love is thin.” 
― English Proverb

“Americans claimed to be following a higher law, even when this higher law only turned out to be a personal preference.” 
― Mark A. Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis

HATE

“If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” 
― James Baldwin

“Hate hurts the hater more'n the hated.” 
― Madeleine L'Engle

“To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.” 
― Robert G. Ingersolln 

RACE

“When you hate a person because of their race or religion, it is then you realize in the depths of yourself, you really hate YOU.”
~ Joni Zipp

“We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don't share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice.” 
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“It is when we think we can act like God, that all respect is lost, and I think this is the downfall of peace. We lie if we say we do not see color and culture and difference. We fool ourselves and cheat ourselves when we say that all of us are the same. We should not want to be the same as others and we should not want others to be the same as us. Rather, we ought to glory and shine in all of our differences, flaunting them fabulously for all to see! It is never a conformity that we need! We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors!” 
― C. JoyBell C.

WAR

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” 
― Plato

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

“All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.” 
― John Steinbeck

“There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.” 
― Neil Gaiman

PEACE

“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

- I shall not fear anyone on Earth. 
- I shall fear only God. 
- I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. 
- I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. 
- I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

“If man thinks war is a means to peace, that man is delusional.”
~ Joni Zipp

“It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” 
― Chuck Palahniuk

“Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?” 
― Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995: An Exhibition Catalogue

Pss. 29:11 “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

Fort McHenry
Baltimore, Maryland

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Ten Things Money Can't Buy

Pss.40:4 “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”

Manners - We live in a nation where please and thank you have gone way to “yeah, text me sometime.” We’ve lost all sense of politeness and maybe if the new generation teaches kids manners the world would change but parents today would rather a machine like a tablet, iPod, phone, computer, and television raise their kids so they won’t have to.

Morals – You don’t have to be a religious person to teach your kids morals. If YOU have morals then this would flow from you to your children but if you don’t care if your children have a moral compass more times than not you’ll raise a self-centered child that feels life owes THEM and not the other way around; grateful for the very food on their plate! They NEED to know right from wrong from the very beginning.

Respect – People today don’t have the respect for their elders the way in older times. I’m not THAT old but I know respect and taught my child to respect ALL people, not just one race. I never once heard my dad call his wife his ‘old lady’ but kids today call their girlfriends their old lady before they’re even married. It is a derogatory word meaning he/she is chained to this person but wishes they weren’t. THAT is not respect, that is entitlement when kids are raised with no moral compass!

Common sense – Kids today definitely don’t have the sense God gave them, take God out of the equation and kids still don’t have the sense their parents gave them. Their common sense is flushed in a sewer somewhere and they’re happy just sitting behind a screen. Children today don’t want or NEED common sense in their minds because they have no aspirations for anything other than ‘just living’.

Character – And I don’t mean Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse as a character either. Character is defined by the way you think, feel and BEHAVE. Even adults today lack this aspect of their personality and I don’t know why. They were raised in a generation where they were taught respect but when a child grows and forms his own character, sometimes their moral compass does not sway the character they need. They allow their character to build off of the hate they have for people and the world and thus lose any sense of a personality with character. They and they alone have deformed their character thus giving them a false personality.

Class – This is right up there with respect. A person with class doesn’t need to be rich or hold their tea in a proper way, class can be defined with the way you treat people. If you treat all people the same as you would say, your mother, you have class. It’s respecting ALL people in the same manner as you would treat the most respected person in your life. Example? When you’re with a bunch of the guys, you curse like a sailor, but would you speak that way in front of your mother? You lack class. 

Integrity – The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Honesty is one of the hardest things to live by. Too many choose the route of a fib or a ‘little white lie’ but this my friends defines your character. If you can lie about something ‘simple’ it makes it easier to lie about something big and more times than not you’ll choose the fib over the truth because the lie makes you look better, where the truth might allow people to see the ‘real’ you.

Trust – Remember I just mentioned honesty? Well, trust goes hand-in-hand with honesty. People trust you to tell them the truth but when you’re caught in a lie, it chips away at your trustworthiness.

Patience – Patience is the ability to wait. We live in a world now where everyone wants what he or she wants and they want it NOW! There is no patience in waiting for the right time, the right way or the right purpose. This is obvious when you’re driving down the road, doing the speed limit of 60 (or 75 for that matter) and someone comes up behind you, rides your tail and waits for an opportunity to SPEEEED around you! Mind you, you both wind up at the same intersection or red light, but sometimes you can see the speed-demon in a ditch because they lacked patience!

LOVE! – The world has lost the interpretation of love. They say they love but know, these people only love their mother and have no room to love anyone or anything else. They say they love God, but you can see in their actions that love is just a term they use again, to make themselves look good, feel good and like they have good character. 

The entire post I deliberately left God out of the equation you know why, to show you that it is morality that is lacking in the world. People decry, it is the lack of God but I’m here to show you these ten FREE things on a moral compass are lacking and thus, there goes the world. WORLD! Not just our country.

Bonus, the God factor
Faith – The ability to believe in things unseen. 
Hope – That all things are built trustfully and honestly on this thing called faith. 
and Charity – Matt. 7:12 (NIV) says it all: 
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”