Trustworthiness – A CASE FOR GOD!

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” ~ Exodus 15:2, NIV Bible

Trustworthiness – The Want

The word ‘trustworthiness’ is first a want; everyone wants their name to be associated with it. People want others to view them as being ‘trustworthy’ and in that if this word does not appear on the personal description of friends and family then people genuinely get their feelings hurt. Mostly it is indirect comments through general conversation that this word is implied in the good or negative and because of its meaning that we associate with it the word, ‘trustworthiness’ it has the power to build a person up in the eyes of others or assign them to a lowly level on mankind’s social latter. Here is a question I want one needs to think very carefully about; “How many times have you heard your teacher in primary school talk about the importance of being trustworthy?” If you are anything like me you will have heard comments made about this word at least a million times by numerous teachers throughout grade, middle, and upper level school. “Why… I ask?”  Because as kids we do not see this word in all it’s glory, but when becoming an adult it becomes everything. It is how we are judged as caring human beings whether anyone wants to say it or not. So here is another question we need to ponder, “From where did we get this idea about trustworthiness? How did it ever become so important?”

Trustworthiness – The Bible

16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV Bible

When researching the word, ‘trustworthiness’ I found roughly 40 different bible verses which are talking about the meaning of the word whether the word itself was mentioned or not including those used in this post. Trustworthiness first and for most is a descriptor word; meaning that we as people unknowingly through the basic function of the need to survive place people we meet into two different categories. Therefore, because we see others as being trustworthy, (which equates to becoming an ally) or not being trustworthy, (which equates to being a foe), we first search for certain qualities in strangers we meet and or continue to probe for the same qualities in our family members and friends. In the days before religion man needed to know who to trust and who not to trust for the simple sake of survival; pick the wrong person and it could lead to disastrous consequences. In that trustworthiness is the first human assessment ever devised. Likewise, these characteristics bleeds into our numerous religious beliefs as time went on because again the more complex man becomes the more complex this word also becomes and the more descriptions of what it means grows as does it’s importance in our daily lives.

Quick Self Assessment Question: “How many times have you felt someone let you down?” 

If you are human then you will have felt others may have let you down almost ever single day you live. Before the bible this led people to disown family members that had made a single mistake in judgment and did something that was considered a taboo, to groups of people being outcast from society because they had a disease, to and including people being murdered for the act of cheating on a spouse. This led man to create societal rules that could be easily followed and maintained. The Bible when first being developed was in fact not a singular book of wisdom, but rather a host of singular writings from a plethora of different authors who wrote about trustworthiness and in most instances of the Bible you will find it is either a command from God to trust Him and His divine judgement or a tool to judge others by. From this humanity also found a way to test everything in nature including God Himself. Therefore, the teaching of the Bible follows the theme of the root word of trustworthiness which is trust, (which equates to trust in God.) It was easier to trust in something that was more powerful, something that could be viewed as responsible for the unexplainable which scared the hell out us. With each new description mankind either adopted the teachings or rejected them always keeping in mind; can one trust what is being taught and be viewed as being accurate? This fight still rages on today in our modern society. We need to trust in something that cannot be proven right or wrong because that is the very foundation of faith, and faith allows man to jump past the fear of the unknown element we face in nature and in ourselves. Thus the Holy Bible and other religious texts from the many different faiths around the world serve this most basic of human needs, the need to trust others, the need to believe in something more powerful, and the need to examine both our relationships and ourselves within those relationships.

Quick Self Assessment Question: “How many times have you felt that you let someone down?”

Again, if your human then you will feel this way almost ever single day of your life. In some way we let others we care about down, we make decisions that let events happen that affect negatively someone we care about, and in this process we generally put ourselves first which again satisfies the need to be either trustworthy to a group or to ourselves. In this way also does the Holy Bible help us feel better about our actions through the process of justifying our actions to both the larger group we associate with and in the singular – to ourselves. Our moral conscience or compass in the end only needs to be justified in our own mind before we can be satisfied with any outcomes of those action we took. The link to religion in this way is best illustrated when we pray for forgiveness because this act helps us to make the jump past our guilt of letting others down. Because God is primarily responsible for forgiving our sins and because we never see Him in the physical it is easier to say that we are forgiven because we felt God say so. But for the hardened sceptic religion also has the work around for the absence of God by endowing a person namely a Priest or Pastor that can also forgive our sins which reinforces the presence of God and in other religions idols sever as this reinforcement. How many times have you heard someone else say this? “I prayed so therefore I am forgiven.”

At this point I want to put in this disclaimer: In no way shape or form and I saying or advocating that God is not real or does not exist, rather I am saying we as human beings us the very idea of God as a tool within our own minds to push down negative emotions we are faced with. In this post the topic is ‘Trustworthiness’, but this same line of logic can be applied to almost ever other human emotion.

God is… in every single way necessary and important to human survival. We need to believe in something greater than ourselves because mankind is flawed. We are not in any way perfect, but in every single way in the eyes of God we can find hope, mercy, love, and forgiveness; all the things we need to be healthy and whole. God fills our spirit with the strength to deal with life and all its happenings. Though we no longer need to prove trustworthiness as our ancestors had too, being trustworthy is no less important. God is the connector and we need His grace and wisdom to help navigate our complicated and complex world. God is the justification when we cannot explain events or cannot see the full plan, especially when we fall from the path we set ourselves on. Because we are taught that we first can trust in God, we can view the world with wonder and excitement because even though bad things will happen we have the confidence that we are not alone and more importantly when others let us down we have a place to run too and be consoled. When we let others down god is ready to take us in and forgive us our sins against our brothers as well because God is love.

Trustworthiness – The Moral Guide

5 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.'” ~ Jeremiah 17:5 NIV Bible

To have your name associated with this word, ‘Trustworthy’ doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect in all things. Because that is completely missing the point of life in general. We are not perfect because we have free will, we make our own choices and suffer the consequences of those choices we have made. So therefore my brothers and sisters I say to you;  “Be true to your heart, listen to God who lives in your heart, and know your not perfect but that is also no excuse for seeking to be better, to be worthy, to be trusted by others namely your family and friends, and most importantly to be trusted by God.” I have found in this life the best way to become trustworthy is by saying what you mean – then doing what you say. There is no stronger example than by standing for your own beliefs and openly practicing those beliefs. But this takes character and a strong understanding of your inner person. So it would not be far for me to tell you to do something without giving you the tools to do it. So beyond simply having faith in God, which many people struggle daily with, I am going to give you a blessing I found while visiting a special friend in Thailand.

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Blessings

Not to associate with fools.

To associate with the wise.

To pay respects where they are due.

This is the highest blessing.

To reside in a suitable location.

To have previously done meritorious deeds.

To have set oneself on the right path (to emancipation).

This is the highest blessing.

To have much learning.

To be skilled and knowledgeable.

To be restrained by a moral code.

To have beautiful speech.

This is the highest blessing.

To support one’s parents.

To cherish wife and children.

To earn one’s livelihood without difficulty.

This is the highest blessing.

To be generous.

To live in accord with the Dhamma.

To assist one’s relatives.

To do blameless actions.

This is the highest blessing.

To cease and abstain from evil.

To refrain from intoxicants.

Not to be heedless of the Dhamma.

This is the highest blessing.

To be respectful. To be humble.

To be content. To have gratitude.

To hear the Dhamma at the right time.

This is the highest blessing.

To have patience.

To be easy to admonish.

Associating with monks.

To discuss the Dhamma at a suitable time.

This is the highest blessing.

To practice austerities.

To lead the Holy Life.

Seeing the Noble Truths.

The realization of Nibbanā.

This is the highest blessing.

A mind unshaken by contact with the world.

Sorrowlessness, stainlessness and secure.

This is the highest blessing.

Having accomplished this one is always unconquered,

one goes everywhere in peace.

These are the supreme blessings.

~Maṅgala Sutta, Sutta Nipāta 2.4

THAI DESIGN

Though these blessings are Theravāda Buddhism published in a book called Without and Within and can be downloaded @ www.bia.or.th ; which explains the basics of the faith, all of the ideas have something in common to the basic Christian tradition. Both are teachings of moral qualities a person should desire to have. I believe these teachings are a contributor to how soft-spoken and welcoming the Thai people are in general. These specific blessings will help build ‘trustworthiness’ and personal character and if you seek to make all these things come to fruition that are found within these blessings then in your life I will guarantee that people will see you as a trustworthy person. Side note to following moral code is that people will begin to notice your faith and practice of your faith grow and this will also exude trust naturally, people will want to follow you and learn from you, and if you take on that responsiblity and treat it with the respect it deserves then the true benefits are unspeakable and indescribable for in this you will have attained the blessings above.

I could have easily stated that trustworthiness is simply being trusted by others, but in doing that it would not have expressed the importance of being a person who is worthy of another person’s trust. In this it is hard for me to simply place my trust in a person without first seeing some evidence, but in God I need no explanation nor evidence. I trust in God above all others in my life because simply put people have let me down. How I deal with it and how you my brothers and sisters should deal with it is by first praying to God, asking Him for guidance, understanding, and grace.  Then fall back onto your moral teachings as described above in the first set of blessings which are also found in the Holy Bible, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” ~ Proverbs 13:20, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Proverbs 13:7, all of which is a shared belief by most people world-wide. I tell you the truth practice grace and understanding and seek commonalities then there will be peace given to you in all aspects of your life, for that my brothers and sisters is the true goal, peace and harmony in your daily life.

Amen

If you enjoyed “Trustworthiness – A CASE FOR GOD!”, I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this posting below.

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Closing Reminder to Pray

Scott Spinks

Please do not stop praying for our brother Scott Spinks who is recovering from a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body while he was visiting his step-daughter who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. He is feeling much better and is now awaiting to be discharged from the hospital. This is the first time I have been able to meet a person whose relative have asked me to publish a Prayer Request on Listening Faithfully Blog. To Art I just wanted to say it was and is my great pleasure to post on your step-fathers behalf. It is my sincere privilege to have been able to visit you and your family as well this opening week of April 2015 – till we meet again.  I urge everyone to remember the power of collective prayer and to remember to pray for our brother in Christ – Scott Spinks. May the Lord be with him and his family throughout his recovery.

  1. To visit the original Prayer Request Click Here
  2. To stay connected and updated with Scott’s Condition Click Here (My Personal Facebook Page)
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THE PILGRIM SHEPARD

A very honored friend and Catholic Priest; Father Thomas Welbers is going on another Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Below is the general announcement that he published on his blog; The Pilgrim Shepard.

To sign up for this journey with Fr. Welbers please click on the link: SIGN ME UP! 

Meet Fr. Tom!

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Why We Reject God!

14 “For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” ~ Psalm 94:14 New International Version (NIV)

Rejection

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We reject God for many reasons, most if not all of those reasons are selfish and immature! Most of our reasons are shortsighted; the result of decisions made out of some sort of emotional response to something or someone else that has hurt or embarrassed us. It is our ego which stokes the fires of rebellion against God and this unwarranted knee jerk reaction always goes awry and never in our favor! But most notably we reject God out of fear, disappointment, and because sometimes we are too busy playing the blame game. As imperfect beings we do not see the Godly picture; rather we view events within a single solitary moment that is focused so tightly the connections with all other events is out of focus and lost to us. Therefore, there is always this lingering question that we ask that invariably starts with, “WHY”!

Blame

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We blame God when things in our life go wrong, we blame God when something bad happens. We say to ourselves inwardly, “How could this possibly be happening to me?” Within that statement we proclaim ourselves innocent so that we are justified when we finally come around to lay the final blame on God! After all we reason that it is God because He has all the power so why didn’t He prevent it from happening in the first place? We take our anger out on God because I think sometimes our own personal pain is too hard to bear. We humans come up with a thousand reasons to blame God for our own torment. We are an inventive lot in our blaming and in our rejection of others and in our rejection of God. But I tell you that God does not reject us, so this rejecting of God is strictly a one way street!

The Truth About Rejection

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The truth is we all have experienced rejection of some sort and that we all reject not just God but also our fellow man. Tragic as it is we stop using logic when Satan introduces a personal pain intermixed with the rejection. Rather than to see it for what it is we reject those who have rejected us many times out of hand! In doing so we fall to Satan’s master plan of destruction through division! As unforgivable as that is it becomes even more so when we turn that pain into anger only to focus it squarely on our Lord and Savior. Within that action we reject His divine words, His promises, His miracles, His love, and in doing so we are rejecting our own inheritance! We are bullied out of it because rejection is something that we all fear, because no one wants to be rejected.

What It Means To Be Rejected

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I think that when we are rejected it makes us feel hurt because of what it means to be rejected.

So what does it really mean when someone rejects you or when we reject God?

Definition of Reject:

1.) Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste.
2.) Fail to show due affection or concern for (someone):

Synonyms: rebuff, spurn, shun, snub, repudiate, cast off/aside, discard, abandon, desert, turn one’s back on, have nothing (more) to do with, wash one’s hands of;

So why did Jesus say he must be rejected by this generation?

Perhaps so that he could live again, so that he could be our savior, so that Jesus could take on fully our sins and so He alone could wash us all clean.

My mother used to say this to me when I was a little kid, ‘Nothing worth fighting for comes easy.’

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So if we apply this to God then; God being rejected really meant that He in His divine wisdom was fighting for our souls. In our rejection of Him do we really find his eternal acceptance of us?

So in reality God rebuffed our sins, He refused to snub us, cast us off as a failure, an experiment gone wrong. God refused to discard us, abandon, or desert us. God did not turn His back on us nor did He wash His mighty hands clean of us. Rather He washed us clean with His blood, with His sacrifice, and with His perfect Love!

None of this was easy and it was only God who could have conceivedthis plan and then pulled it off!

Amen,

If you liked, “Why We Reject God!”, then I invite you to stay in contact with me via the following ways;

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Prayer of Strength

ImageEach day you get out of bed pray this simple prayer, I promise it will fill you with the holy spirit: “Dear Lord, in Jesus’s name I pray; I ask you to give me the strength I need to do your will, I ask you for the words from your loving heart to spread to those who would do me wrong, and to uplift those who need it the most. Lord, God in heaven I beg you to fill my heart with your wisdom so my actions reflect your divine purpose, and Lord I humbly require the courage to make all this a reality in this day and every day for the remainder of my life. Lord I surrender completely to you. Amen”

Special Posting: Irreplaceable

” 13 I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion. Which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

People have fights, they argue, get upset, we say things we don’t mean. Sometimes we say hurtful things we don’t mean, we do things out of anger which is destructive to our relationships and without God we keep on hurting those we love. Without love we keep on hurting those who are the closest to us. In the heat of battle people can be so cruel and we sort of go into this evil zone of blocking the pain we inflict to others and to ourselves. When the armies collide all fear goes away as the instinct to survive takes over, but even in this intense moment God is ever present, and is willing to take us from this place of grief and into his arms, His irreplaceable forgiveness which is so protective that nothing can shatter it, break it, move it, or keep you from it. 

A very wise person told me once that, “We can have an argument and be mad or upset with one another. We can even hate each other for a time. But, I still love you and that means I am never willing to throw you to the wolves.”

My mother could make me feel like I was a king and she could also make me feel two feet tall. She can come up with such marvelous words both in her anger and in moments of sorrow and regret. I asked her in my anger,

“Why not throw me to the wolves, then you will have one less person to worry about?” 

We had had a fight about money, our life being poor, her worries, and not having enough. During that conversation I had said something I deeply regretted which started a round of comments at the end of which I got my feeling hurt. As a man now I look back and I see my error in ever starting that argument. I can see how much pain I caused my mother by saying what I had said. I also see now her regret in losing her temper with me. As a boy however, it was going to take a lot of time for me to get over it before I could apologize, but my mom dig in with her response.

“I could never throw you to the wolves Brian, because you are my child, and because I love you. That makes you irreplaceable to me.”

When my mother said that to me, I felt such peace in my heart, I could see God standing in front of me telling me that I was irreplaceable to Him as well. Call it what you will, but I had an epiphany within that moment, euphoria engulfed me, and in the following seconds I turned around and I screamed at the top of my lounges, “I love you too mom!” as tears rolled down my cheeks I murmured over and over as my tears soaked her shoulder, “I am so sorry.”

My mother in that moment had become irreplaceable to me. In fact my entire family had become irreplaceable to me within the blink of an eye, and our problems suddenly no longer where just my parents problem, but the entire families problems. In a blink of an eye I found God, my family, and myself. I learned that you don’t abandon  your family, you do not forsake them, and you never leave them behind. This was the lesson I learned as a boy, this was a feeling I have only had one other time in my life, and that was when my beautiful daughter was born. Let me also take this moment and just say, my daughter is and always has been irreplaceable to me, and as her father I have spent a lifetime trying to protect her and make her feel just as my mother had once made me feel long ago.

God is irreplaceable, his love is enough to stop wars, to heal all wounds, his words work miracles, and we do not have to be thrown to the wolves, because Jesus did that for us already through His undying love and sacrifice on the cross.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus before time became the king of our world, He delivered us from bondage, He paid the terrible debt, and without Him we all would be lost. We would be like those people who fight and fight and have done so for so long they have forgotten why they fight, and their eyes and hearts are absent of Gods love. To some people faith is a joke, God is a joke, they refuse to believe and they disown Him and in doing so they throw Him to the wolves over and over. But soldiers in P.O.W. camps they have nothing but their faith, it their pocket bibles that are issued to each service member which becomes the life line and helps them to survive in situations which would have otherwise killed them. It is faith in God which people in Communistic countries cling too even at the point of their own death. It is faith in God which helped millions of people in the German death camps during WWII, and the list is endless. God is irreplaceable and He looks at each one of us as if we are also irreplaceable to Him. 

Amen

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May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life. Amen

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Bureden of Proof

“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

If there is one lesson that I have learned in this life it would have to be that we stack up proof of our character, of our nature, and of what we stand for and love most. With each action we testify to God, to ourselves, and to others who know us for the people that we truly are. We stack up our sin debt and we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that everything will be ok after the next sin, after the next lie. Sometimes, its other people who convince us to sin against God, sometimes those people are the people we love the most. The burden of proof has already been calculated, examined, weighted, and forgiven if only we believe in the miracle of truth. For we do not need the trappings of our life, we do not need the glamour and fame. The truth is we will survive without a house, a car, money, and of all those things which make us collect more sin debt. For the only thing we truly need is the grace of God, his love, his protection, his truth, because it is only He who can forgive the sin and wipe clean the slate, and forget the burden of proof He has against all of us. Therefore, it is true when you hear it said, the truth can set you free and wipe away all your burdens if only you give it to God.

Amen

As a special thanks to all my readers, supporters, and followers I offer this new free resource to become closer to God in your personal journey and at the behest of my daughter who I love with all my heart and soul who suggested I use Tumblr for this new resource I proudly present to you; I-AM-SENT-ME. This new blog will be updates throughout the month with new and different insides to the nature of God as they are exposed and inspired by God based completely upon the Holy Bible. I hope you enjoy these short readings and meditations I personally use in my own walk with God.

If you have been moved by this posting then I urge you to leave a comment letting us here at Listening Faithfully know:  YOUR THOUGHTS. May God be with you all the days of your life: Go now in peace and spread the Word of God to all you know and love.

Special Request: I ask that you also become a subscriber and that you continue to come back and read and follow the word of God and grow in Spirit and Faith as you walk hand in hand with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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God Bless,

Brian Keith, Founder of Listening Faithfully Blog

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Special Announcement

2 MONTHS TO GO! YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!

From Listening Faithfully Founder Brian Keith

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest public school system in the United States just behind New York City Unified School District and has an operating budget of about $1.7 million. In comparison the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Schools who operates independently from the Church maintain a fiscal budgets of about $840,000 per year, give or take the schools location and number of students. Short falls in the State Budget in 2011-12 have forced Public Elementary Schools to no longer offer badly needed programs like summer school and Pre-K classes.

This is where Listening Faithfully Blog steps up to help support a number of the private Christian schools in our inner city communities. We understand that these schools relay heavily on donations that are collected from outside entities like Listening Faithfully. We understand that advertising is not evil but there simply is no place for it on our website. I believe Listening Faithfully Blog is something special and provides free content for the sole purpose of bringing people closer to God while allowing everyone the opportunity to be active in their faith by helping to support God’s children.

When I founded Listening Faithfully Blog I had no idea to the volume of christians who was looking for a none intrusive way of connecting to God while learning more about the bible as well as Gods words and promises. Many of my monthly readers and followers find Listening Faithfully Blog very educational. Ironically, it is through technology Listening Faithfully Blog exists and is able to reach out to the world sharing God’s message, it is also through technology and computer literacy many of our displaced children are finding little to no access to technology and thus falling behind. Therefore, as an educator it is Listening Faithfully Blog’s secondary mission to helping our children achieve a quality education and to become technology literate. Though it takes little to run and upkeep Listening Faithfully Blog; the educational processes of evangelization a long with the many hours of research and lesson planning does cost money, especially while the LAUSD is closing schools and programs our inner city students so badly need, that the private schools are trying to make up for.

With this said, the work I personally do within the private schools allows me the unique understanding of how faith community’s operate as well as their importance and impact on our underprivileged communities. Each year I see the disparity between the rich and poor grow wider and wider and it is our children who are made to suffer for our short falls.

In short, if every one of my readers and followers donated $10.00 we would only have to fundraise for six months each year. But not everyone can or will donate, and that’s fine. Currently we have two causes we are collecting money for and badly need your support, the first being the funding of the Technology Team: (see the following link: http://ascensiontechnews.wordpress.com/ ), and the other goes to help fund Listening Faithfully.com and now Listening Faithfully.org sites to grow and expand as we strive to keep our sites free of charge, (see the link following link: http://listeningfaithfullyblog.com/donations/ ).

This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect, sustain, and provide for the education of all God’s Children.

Sincerely Yours,

Brian Keith

Listening Faithfully Blog Founder

Morality Goal # 3:

Who Am I…”not” to forgive others of their transgressions against me, when God himself has commanded it to be so? (Matthew 18:15-17). Even if those same people hold on to their perceived complaints about me. Who Am I…”NOT” TO FORGIVE? (Matthew 18:32-35) For as a christian I am commanded by God to love my enemies, to clothe them if they go naked, to feed them if they are wanting for food, to love them as I love God…for the same God loves them equally as He loves and forgives me. (John 13:34-35) In the light of this truth, Why should I “not” forgive? Who Am I to deny others what God Himself will not withhold?

Morality Goal 2

It should be woven into the fabric of your life, so as all your deeds reflect it, and that all your words proclaim it, that you should love and forgive everyone whom is your enemy as you do your friends. For grievances are earthly and have no place in your heart as all earthly things shall pass away, so too shall your grievance. But your love and forgiveness is forever as is God, from which your love comes.

Reflections 2: The Source of Happiness pt.2

” 1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on”(Luke 21:1-4, NIV). 

It is the attitude of most people who when told to give money they ask, “Why?” or they ask, “What is it going to be used for?”  Some ask blantelty, “What do I get out of it?” Then again others may say, “But I only have a dollar… sorry.” If this sounds familiar then odds are you too have said or felt like saying these words. It is so tempting to ignore our real responsibilities to God. But Jesus found the perfect way of making this same point without making it adversarial in how he chose to reveal the differences between giving freely of yourself, which is indicative of giving over everything you have without any motives guiding your actions, and that of giving because you are comfortable, having more than you could ever need. In truth, this kind of giving is done not because you need to give back to God because God gives to you, but out of a matter of statues and for the ability to brag among the movers and shakers the powerful and elite. This story harkins back to last weeks posting in-which I laid out the fine line of what makes a person truly happy verse what does not. How to begin that journey and some of the pitfalls one needs to look out for. Truly I say to you money is not the instrument that makes people happy, nor can it buy Gods loyalties, love, and forgiveness. So to continue with this great lesson of happiness I want to make this point perfectly clear, what makes a person happy as it relates to money should be found in the vast amounts of giving to those who do not have any, helping those who can not help themselves, and to give back to God because he has so blessed you. Putting God first in your life is where it  begins and where it will end, everything in between is on you, whether or not you listen faithfully to God or not.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you”(Hebrews 13:5, NIV). 

True contentment is found in the knowledge that God has so blessed us by choosing to giving us life. His most important of miracles is that of the miracle of man.  Life is what needs to be prized above all things and is what we do not have the authority to take from anyone. Again, money can not buy life, as created by God, for only God can make it, grant it, and thus take it away. Only God can destroy your immortal soul. Again, no amount of money or material wealth will save you, and all the efforts by man to do so will be cast down and be in-vain. God does not want money or material things, he wants a real relationship with you. Perhaps the most important relationship we will ever have will be that personal relationship with God Our Father.

So am I advocating that money is evil? That rich people are evil? Or the rich are inherently damned because they are wealthy? Absolutely not, for there have been many rich people who have been the most holy of persons. In doing research on this topic I was surprised to find out that a number of the Catholic Church’s Saints where wealthy, some coming from noble families. They however knew that their money or statues was not the thing which really mattered rather they used their resources to spread the word and blessing of God, money or statues just made it happen faster. What really mattered was the contentment in their heart by the act of their charitable giving and the intrinsic rewards given back to them by God. Through these means where they enabled to share with the disadvantaged, with people who needed their most basic of needs to be met, and the most noble of acts the construction of churches and cathedrals which became the instruments in bring millions of lost souls closer to God.

I have personally known people who where very wealthy, well connected, popular, and or people who on the outside would have been perceived to be snobbish or prudish. But for as much as they seemed this way their heart was made of pure gold, and the blessing of God where all about them. The power of God’s love, mercy, and grace was within everything they did and in one case  in particular a true friend of mine had gone through much of the same ordeals as I have and she overcame it all by showing her love, mercy, and understanding. She used the love of God to give her strength in the hardest of days, and her beautiful smile and most enigmatic support she freely gave to others was both unselfish but also refreshing to say the least. She once was rich and now she is poor, (monetarily speaking), she is still rich with the love of God. What I find to be truly inspiring is in the way she over came a grave illness and not once but three times within this past year and a half almost died. When others counted her out she over came it. When her voice was robbed from her because of her illness she found other, very creative ways,  to communicate always very loving and nurturing. The power of God is so strong in her nature she shines with happiness and love every-time I would look upon her, it was so strong in her it was infectious. Her poor health robbed her of her job, her savings, and still she shined with the blessings of God. She lost her apartment and her hair, but it seemed not to matter at all. She once was a star, a true talent in her time, but because God is centered in her life nothing but the fruits of Our Lord is what really matters. My mother always says, “Life can take almost anything away from you, but you can not loose sight of who you are as a person and within that you must hold onto your faith because without this you have nothing and are in real trouble.” (This message I truly want to dedicate to Johnie who true is a real source of inspiration. May God continue to bless you all the days of your life.)

“Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God”(Ecclesiastes 5:19, NIV). 

Therefore, the need to see your blessing from God is where you find your happiness, each time you see the gifts set before you, there you will find your riches, and each time you wonder what to do with it all, he is there urging you to share your wealth with those people you know and love, and also those you don’t. Because in reality everything belongs to God, your money, your home, your wife and children, even your family belong to God, but most of all your soul was created and given freely to you by God. Thus there is no real reason on this Earth that we should be depressed and blind to our blessings, there is no reason why we should abandon our faith and live in darkness absent of God, for Our Father has promised to always be with you, to helping you, to love you, and to guiding you every step of the way. So run the race, never stop, never give in, run the race straight to Him who is in heaven waiting for you and for me and all people under the sun with his arms loving outstretched. Living your life this way will bring you absolute, miraculous, fabulous, outlandish  happiness….

Amen

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A HEALING CHANT

Sing this softly / hardly making a sound exhaling with each individual breath emptying your lungs of air, letting it penetrate your heart.

“To you my Lord in heaven this I pray… I want to learn how to love you to the end of my days…I want to embrace you fu-l-ly. I need to learn how to be m-or-e like you. I need your un-de-nia-ble peace. I want to know you so that my sins are washed clean… I want to walk with you in your king-dom.”

Close your eyes singing… for the Lord relies

“Take my hand that I offer to you…Take the fruit of my sp-i-r-it too. Ask for forgiveness so shall it be done. Healing your heart…renewing your soul. For I accept you just you are. Take my hand that I extend now to you…take now my blood of sal-va-tion too. I will love you to the end of all time…I will embrace you because now you are mine. I will love you un-con-di-tion-al-l-y…My peace is in you and shall never de-part. I will walk with you giving you a-l-l of my str-en-gth. I will love you to the end of all days…I will embrace you because you sing my praise. Your body now is clean…for I have also washed your face…all because you have a-s-k me. For I am with you now and always.”