Special Prayer of Healing: For Sedonia

45 “Then Jesus asked, ‘Who touched me?’” ~ Luke 8:45 (NRSV)

People need Jesus, people instinctually know that Jesus can heal them of their discomfort, pain, and diseases. Normally the healing is intentional, but Luke tells us that Jesus heals through faith and if you have faith then it is your faith that heals you! This is best illustrated when the women confessed to Jesus that it was she who indeed had touched him. Knowing that she had been immediately healed Jesus said to her;

48 “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” ~ Luke 8:48 (NRSV)

So, today I called upon all of you; my brothers and sisters in faith, to extend your hand and reach out to Jesus and collectively ask for the healing, the faith inspired, all encompassing healing powers of God to be directed to a very good friend of mine who is suffering from a sudden loss of vision as her retina is coming detached and was rushed into surgery this morning here in Los Angeles. Extend your prayers of healing and make it such a powerful request that Jesus once again asks, “Who touched me?” 

So altogether let us pray for Sedonia so she does not become physically blind.

Prayer of Physical Healing

Dear Lord, God in Heaven hear my voice, feel my heart tremble, look upon my face and know I come to you with the uncertainty of this world, but still I am filled with faith that is placed in you, my God. For it was your words My Lord which spoke:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” ~ Matthew 7:7-8. Here I stand Oh Lord of all the Universe, 

Here I ask for healing of Sedonia who is in surgery, I seek your healing hand to extend down to her and take all fear and uncertainty away from her, and I beg of you; my God that the door of your blessings is opened and pours down upon Sedonia in your loving grace. 

St. Lucia {Lucy} of Sicily, patron Saint of eyes

Dear Lord, My King of Kings, my Lord of Lord, my God of Gods, hear my plea as I call out your name in the faith which has been made strong by your love. For again it was you who taught me that it is through unshakable faith that makes us well. So we, the Listening Faithfully Community converge today in faith asking that you heal our dearest of friends and sister in faith Sedonia from every sickness, disease, illness, and the medical problems facing her today and to the end of all time. Lord your hand I know shall be upon her as she faces her fears and endures the pain within her retnia. I also know we receive our healing through faith in you. Therefore, it is right and just to ask these things on behalf of your daughter Sedonia, who I know loves you with all her heart and soul, as we who listen faithfully love you and believe in you through faith alone.

Through your Son Jesus Christ do we pray these things.

Amen

Dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray this prayer for our sister in Christ Jesus, Sedonia today at least three times and continue praying this week and next. For it through the collective prayer can we see the heart of God be moved and to heal as a result of our display of unshakable faith.

Ways to Communicate

As always, I humbly invite you to stay connected by sending me a message at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com, or by visiting Listening Faithfully Facebook page.

Don’t forget to become part of this awesome community by signing up at Listening Faithfully Community Page. In addition, I have started a new page where you can also visit me at fb.me/listeninfaith and send me messages at m.me/listeninfaith.

Finally, another means of direct communication os by sending me a tweet on Twitter at Brian Keith@Listeninfaith, or become a part of our spiritual group: Friends who Like Listening Faithfully…. “Let’s grow together as children of God” 

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Orlando Shooting – Let Us Pray!

6 “For wisdom is a kindly spirit, but will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words;
because God is witness of their inmost feelings, and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues.” ~ The Wisdom of Solomon 1:6 (NSRV)

Message to the LGBT Community

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On Sunday, June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen walked into Pulse Night Club and shot and killed 49 people. He did this because they were different from him, they  embraced a different lifestyle than him, they believed in something different than he.  In many ways if we search hard enough all of us could find differences in each other that we completely disagree with, the management of those difference is found in one word, tolerance.  The problem with Omar and anyone else who would kill another person because of differences in belief or lifestyle is found in the innermost place within their soul which has been taken over by hatred, perhaps even by Satan himself.  Their actions can be in some instances a cry for help, but the in the end these actions show a lack of humanity.  I write this though I disagree with the LGBT or GLBT community and the political movement they have been pursuing to change the idea and legal definition of marriage from its biblical roots, though I would never campaign against them, slander them, or take a gun and or harm any member of that community.  We are all people, we all have the right to voice our disagreements and to disagree in a humane manner.  So, instead of focusing on the evil act, let us turn this negative into a positive and allow God to be the supreme judge for everyone who harbor ill thoughts and beliefs within the innermost places of their soul, and let God judge us all based upon are words we speak to each other as well the messages those words relay to the community of mankind. For the reaction of this killing is as important and carries as much if not more meaning than the act itself. True wisdom begins with love and ends with love and on this point, I join hands with the LGBT community in prayer for those lost in such a brutal way… Let Us All Pray.

Prayer of Love

Dear Lord, my supreme savior hear my voice and the voices of the families of the Pulse shooting of which so many you have called home. Dear Lord, I humble myself in the

Dear Lord, I humble myself in your presence as I call upon you to fill my heart with love, love which takes away the pain, love which takes away the heartache of those who have suffered because of this one selfish act.

Dear Lord, my creator I boldly stand against those who believe they have the right to murder for the sake of murder, to take away what you have given, but I do so with my words which you shall be the judge.

Dear Lord, let those who have lost, mourn within the comfort of your love, let them feel your love, let them know your love.

Dear Lord, it is in these things I pray through your son Jesus Christ our savior who died and was raised from the dead and who did these things out of a perfect love.

Please pray these words every night until the United States Government actually takes meaningful action on Gun Control.

Amen,

My brothers and sisters, I humbly invite you to contact me directly at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com. Let’s open a dialog and share the good news with each other.

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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)
  3. To send your prayers please Click Here (Listening Faithfully Community Facebook Page)
  4. To Join Listening Faithfully Community please Click Here _________________________________________________________________________________________________

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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Days of Triumph

9 “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ~ Zachariah 9:9

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When I think of Jesus Christ as King it sets a warm loving fire to my imagination for God’s mercy is endless and that is something of a wonder in my heart, mind, and soul. In that I wonder what life for Jesus was really like? I often ask myself the question, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to travel back into time to have seen Jesus, to have witnessed His birth, Baptismal, His anointment by Mary, His Ministry… especially when He picked the twelve disciples, His temptations by Satan.’ The moments that matter most in most Christian’s hearts is celebrated with as much religious ferber now as it was then, and that is Holy Week; the seven days preceding his crucifixion and resurrection. I feel closest to God in this time frame as do most Christians because it is here we begin to see Jesus rule over His people, sacrifice everything for His people, and ultimately demonstrate God’s perfect love for His people, all of His people which in this context is everyone alive then to now and that will ever live in sin; for His love saved all of us with His blood. We celebrate Jesus’s arrive into Jerusalem as a victory, a triumph, and His ride into the Holy City marks the beginning of the Kingdom of God.

Many scholars argue about the meaning of the colt, donkey, or foal. They try and find purpose behind the acts of Christ by the connections they can make to the gospel. But it is not what Jesus rode or whether or not it was really palm branches that was used to herald His arrival, but the fact our King came in the first place and that He loved us so much that He was willing to enter into the city that He knew was ultimately going to judge then put Him to death for crimes He did not commit. In this way we can begin to see life as Jesus saw it, experience His last week on earth as a mortal man, the Son of God.

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” ~ Matthew 21:10-11

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To have seen Jesus riding into Jerusalem first hand must have been something, or at least for those who where in the know of what was happening. The fact is most people during this period of time were clueless to the real event that was going on because they where blinded by what they thought was happening. To explain this further I have to add that in life we all see events one way when they are happening to us, then see them completely different many years later. But rarely do we ever see the underpinning facts of the event which caused it to happen in the first place in the moment, and if we could see the “WHY” that is driving the event we could have the chance, (the choice), to do something completely different. Again, few people in this period of time understood what was really happening as they could plainly see the “WHY” of Jesus, His mission and ministry, they saw first hand within the moment His ultimate goal and stood by Him until His arrest. Jesus on several occasions revealed this secret to His disciples, and all but one rebuked the idea and questioned the “Why” of His death. They say it was love they felt for Him that made them not want to see Him killed. But Jesus saw this in a completely different way. Judas Iscariot understood it and put the plan into action, as he was the only one strong enough to do so.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:33

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To write this in this fashion is controversial to say the least, but what drives me to this conclusion is found in the many different texts that had been buried, forgotten, that in their own time was outlawed and destroyed. For in the traditional Bible we have but a sliver of the true history of the events we celebrate. Therefore, we see with clouded eyes, we believe in traditions that come from completely different origins, and we collectively call it Christianity. In part I think that is what drives the truth seekers within the various faiths and sciences to conduct such magnificent research to find the truth in our Biblical history. This journey of seeking, documenting, and exploring is one that even the Catholic Church is involved in today. It is not wrong to try and peace together the truth of Christ, but it is wrong to celebrate and declare that we know things that in reality we truly do not know. In faith we believe that Jesus is the messiah, the King of Heaven and of Earth, but until we find factual evidence will truly know. In this we all are like Thomas who needed to put his finger in the side of Christ, touch his hands and see the wounds. Thomas is every man living today and it is this need to see before we believe that makes our faith stronger and more relevant. I say to you all never ask ‘Who is this?” but rather, ‘I know him who came and saved me.’ For truly God did send His son, and His blood needs no proof, His love needs not the “Thomas Factor” nor does His authority over all of His children need to be proven. It is good to know the facts, but it is better to celebrate the man, savior, son of God who came. Seek first the Kingdom of God that is rooted deep into your hearts, and reserve your questions until you meet Him face to face.

Amen

If you enjoyed, “Days of Triumph”, then I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this post below.

 

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Reflection 3: Family of God – Kingdom of God

3 “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ 3 Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” ~ John 3:1-3

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Metaphorically speaking;  every time I look down into one of my students eyes I see the Kingdom of God.  I see in their happiness the love of God, the promise and mercy of God. I can hear their hearts rejoicing and I can feel this joy they share every time they say hello, or reach out to slap may hand in the traditional “high five” as they walk by.  In some of them there is the Kingdom of God, as there was once this kingdom within all of us before we grew up.  So, this message is more for us adults than for our children, but all are welcome for let this stand as a message you keep long into your life even when you are old for it will serve you well to remember it.  Jesus Christ brought with Him a peace of the Kingdom when he came, he reveled it to some and purposefully hide it from others. He stood in the face of evil and commanded the demons and Satan himself all with the power and majesty  of the Kingdom of God backing him up.  Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God as if it was a real place you could touch and see with mortal eyes, and some who heard this message became confused as some of us today are confused.  I often wondered what this Kingdom would be like as a child, I imagined great golden gates, with angels standing as guards and God sitting upon a mighty thrown proclaiming the laws of His Kingdom.  But the older I got the more I started to understand that this Kingdom is not one mortals can see, hear, smell, or touch but rather is that place known only to God that our immortal souls dwelled before we became mortals, and is the same place we will return after our death providing that we have prepared ourselves for it as Jesus had instructed us too.  Found in John,  Jesus is speaking to one of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a man who knew Jesus was the Son of God and a man who knew the hearts of men and of the denial Jesus would undergo.

 It is not by accident that this Pharisee came to Jesus asking this question; “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”  and it was by design that Jesus responded in the manner that He did,  “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” For Jesus was telling Nicodemus that his faith in what he had admitted about the sovereignty of Jesus, that he has thus seen the Kingdom within Jesus himself.  I say this because there was at this time a burning question that few dared to acknowledge let alone answer.  That question was, “Who is Jesus? Where did he come from?” The majority of the Pharisees wanted to put the flesh and blood man on trial, but others saw more than flesh and blood in Jesus, and indeed how do you put a spirit on trial here on planet Earth, let alone the very spirit of God?  This created a controversy within the hearts and minds of everyone who wanted to use logic and their earthly senses to come to some sort of a conclusion before they could allow themselves to believe.  Yet it was foretold of the Jesus’s coming and still most did not believe even though he presented to them the path to believe, reassurance, and the over all picture of their final destination so that everyone would believe; sadly few did.  

3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)” ~ Ephesians 5: 3-9

It was this light of God Nicodemus was responding too and it was this light that he saw in Jesus.  Therefore, his words reflected his belief and his willingness to follow Jesus.  It sounds simple, but when putting this into practice it is one of the hardest things any human-being will ever do because it goes against the very laws of our earthly nature, our very sense of being, and no one wants to deny themselves for something they can not see nor touch.  Thus, when Nicodemus confronted Jesus our Lord saw the qualities of a believer and it was those qualities the real Kingdom of God would be built upon.   So the real Kingdom of Heaven is in each one of us, but we are blind to it unless we have allowed ourselves to believe in God, to believe in Jesus, and to be willing to be born again. 

4 “Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” ~John 3:4-7

The doorway to the Kingdom of God is clearly through the spiritual cleansing, the making ready of you heart, mind, and soul.  It is found within the denying of the body, the wants of the impure heart, and sins of the flesh.  Our hearts must be focused on God, our minds must be focused on Heaven, and our spirit must be ready to accept Jesus Christ as our our Lord and savior. Again the Jews conducted ritual bathing, but what Jesus proposed was that of Baptism just as John the Baptist had conducted in the Jordan many years before.  Therefore, it was no accident or something which happened by happen-stance, but rather by design.   Nicodemus’s conversion was no different than anyone of our own conversions today as the Kingdom of God is a real place, it was built for you and me, and it had a creator who intelligently designed it’s exits and entrances just as a builder builds a house with a front door and a back door, complete with windows, a kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.  God has left nothing to chance and he alone has provided for our every need all the time forever.  The only difference between our house and God’s Kingdom is that he wants us to live up to a higher ideal, to be pure, and we in our own houses fail to act as we should thinking no one else will be the wiser.  But the old adage is true; what we do in private is what our actions and words reflect in public.  In all reality Nicodemus wanted his house to be supported by Jesus, and so should everyone of us aspire to the same ideal, but first we bust ask and answer those hard questions the Jewish leadership ran away from,  “Who is Jesus? Where did he come from?”

13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” ~ Colossians 1:13-14

In reflection I think every person must ask the question,  “Who is Jesus?”, so that we will begin to search, so we will begin to read the Bible.  No one reads the Bible for entertainment, though it is very entertaining.  The people which lived in those times which are found in the Bible are just as dysfunctional as we are today, nothing has changed in that regard.  They needed salvation then as much as we do today.  Their sins are no worse than our sins today, for all sin was invented by Satan and no human could ever re-invent what the Lord of Darkness has made perfectly evil.  Therefore, it is up to each person to look for, to knock on the door, to step through the doorway, to open up one’s own heart and to try and imagine a world filled with love, because it’s real, it does exist, and it’s worth the effort.  I have always thought that if Satan could expend such energy in finding ways to condemn us, and Jesus over through that with His love then wouldn’t it be logical we reciprocate by some effort of our own.

I also think it proper that after we have begun searching that we question what we read and seek more answers never forgetting what we have found, but rather accumulating a wealth of knowledge so that we can use all the evidence found to formulate the basis of our answer and belief in God.  For I do not believe God would be insulted if we, his creations, asked and search for the truth.  In my many years of reading, listening, and following the lessons in the scripture I have always felt God  in the background urging me to continue even though at times I had become frustrated, angry, and tired.  God has always been their in my life working miracles that are not written in scripture but where just for me.  So I believe He does the same thing for everyone who searches for evidence of God in their own life.   I also believe it is through this journey of Baptism do we find God, will we then be able to answer the first and the second question and do we really become convinced of where Jesus came from, who He is, and why He saved mankind from damnation.  To me there is no other definition of family I could ever possibly hope to find that fills the void as completely as to confess that I am a believer, and a member of the family of God.  I can think of no other assurance that will allow my soul to rest within peace as to admit that God will uphold His promises and take those who identify themselves as His beloved children, (family), with Him and share with them all that the Kingdom of God has to offer forever and ever.

Amen,

* For more research on this topic, “Kingdom of God”, please click: Got Questions ?.org   And from the Berean Bible Society on this topic click here.

If you liked this Special Reflection on The Kingdom of God please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

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God Bless,

Brian Keith

P.S. NEVER GIVE UP!

Reflection 2: Family of God – Broken Home, Broken Child

6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6

The responsibility given to all parents is to train up your children, if done they will be productive citizens, they will have a shot at happiness, they will be fruitful and happy.  But we all know this, or at least that is what is professed and yet ironically this is rarely done.  Why? I think to answer this question we must first understand what God intended for every person on earth, from every parent, and the responsibilities He places upon our children.  We also must understand that at every turn there is temptation and it affects our children just as profoundly if not more so than adults, their parents whom they look up too.  So what did God intend? 

3 “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'” ~ Jeremiah 31:3

God loved us even before He created us, hence the words “with an everlasting love.” God gave Adam life, he gave him dominion over the animals and a perfect garden to live in filled with everything Adam would ever need. God even gave unto Adam his wife Eve so that he would not be lonely and all of this God did out of everlasting love. Therefore, it’s not to big of a stretch to imagine that from God’s love He wanted man and women to be happy. If you take the total sum of all of God’s gifts to man they can all be traced back to love. God so loved mankind that He gave us free will, He gave us emotions so we could experience things far beyond that of mere animals. He gave us power and great responsibility, in that He also  gave us the power to create and to destroy.  Clearly God has not enslaved us but yet wanted every man to be free and happy. God also wanted us to be part of His divine family; enter His son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins so we could be part of that glorious family in heaven, again this comes back to love and happiness. God wanted us to experience His love, because love fills our hearts with happiness. So in truth God intended mankind to love and be happy and to be fruitful abiding in His love forever and ever. All of this is self-evident in our children who are naturally happy until we saddle them down with our sinful world. Moreover, along with all the responsibilities God gave to mankind, (many we have failed to uphold),  he endowed man to educate the children in His divine ways.

18 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” ~ Deuteronomy 11:18-19

The truth and mercy of God was to be taught to our children so they too could have hope, and become part of God’s family, and again we seem to forget this simple fact as is evident in our own laws which stifle and confuse the parental role, and tie our teachers, parents, and guardians hands behind our backs.  Mankind seems to want to force suffering upon ourselves and our children with all the horrors that the hell which we have been exposed at every twist and turn. Mankind seemingly sees ‘s fit to crush love and happiness through our actions, setting a disastrous precedent for our children who are watching every word and move we make. It is like God wants us to be happy but we are saying through our actions and word, “Leave me to my misery, “ just as Job had once said to God.

“Let me alone, for my days are but a breath. What is man that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment?” ~ Job 7:16-18

Did Job have it right, is man worthy of such love and happiness, or should God leave us all alone in our misery? Job calls out to God, that His days, (our days), are but a breath to God and so how insignificant we are in comparison. Who are we that God should test us day and night? To take this inquiry further, why should God even care after our many failures and broken promises? I know it is hard to imagine that God would love us so much and that He would go to such lengths as to save us, exalt us, and be so proud of us and then to show us mercy over and over again. There are some moments in my life where I am just astonished at God, I am so taken with His never-give-in attitude and deep down inside I know that is the kind of attitude He wants all of us to exhibit towards one-another.  In thinking long and hard about this miracle called God, I feel so inferior, so unworthy, so flawed and because He has seen fit to forgive me I am able to forgive myself. His forgiveness extends to everyone around me, (oh how He calls to me to just forgive)! I must admit it is always a work in process, but the end result as God so promised is happiness within my heart and soul. It’s crazy but I can feel God smile down upon me in those moments. For it, all, in the end, leads to overwhelming happiness.

14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:14-15

None of the above would be possible without faith in Christ, thus happiness comes from faith through God and His everlasting love. Our salvation is hinged upon this and the ability to teach Gods message is how this message survives from age to age. With this being the will of God, why then have we, (modern man), been so resentful, so rebellious in teaching Gods divine word to our children? Why is it that we, (modern man), create roadblocks that prevent the message of God from taking root in our children? Simply put only moronic fools would be so rebellious and be so vengeful in their prosecution of such evil defiance of God, does this also sound oddly familiar? Satan is the real mastermind in getting modern man to rebel, to create the roadblocks, (laws), which prevent the teaching of God to take place as God himself had instructed for man of all ages to do with and for their children. But we also carry some blame, and will ultimately pay the final consequence for such evil doings.

15 “But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts,‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. 16 ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?'” ~ Matthew 21:15-16

Jesus the son of God calls His praise from the voices of the children, and it is through our children His kingdom shall reign.  With this the responsibility is ever present and for parents it is one we cannot ignore.  As teachers of the message of God must be the center focus within every lesson and for all adults, our burden is none the lesser as the message of God must be written within our hearts.  But, and this is a big “BUT”, we must realize that for every law we make that is supposed to protect our children we also have empowered a system that has no natural connection to them and this system grows more powerful and takes from us more rights as parents, thus creating roadblocks to this specific teaching.  There are many people who say we need to protect our children from all kinds of sinful morally inept criminals and this is true, but for every law with good intentions, there are a million unintended usages that will be exploited by crafty lawyers and kangaroo courts!  Laws at every level and in every department of our justice system which is supposed to protect our children and give them rights there are a million drawbacks that could rob you of your children!  In our liberal world we have put blinders on and seem to think by empowering our children to become more powerful than the criminal, we forget that this could be taken also to become more powerful than their own parents.  Litigation is a twisted mess for grownups let alone for our children and yet if one crafty parent gained the upper-hand and wanted to legally separate the child from the other parent it is all too easy in our Family Courts to make happen!  Consider this,  a seemingly harmless provision which allowed a move-away, could become the final tool to destroy and disenfranchise the target parent and if the child was old enough and prompted by that parent which held the legal advantage they could, (child caught in the middle),  indirectly, (without knowing it), chop of the head of the target parent in court with as little effort as a sword slicing off the head of a criminal in mid-evil times.  The end result, of course, is one parent dominates all the child’s time and dictates what they like, how they like, when they like. This goes against God’s most basic plan and divine law of a two-parent family.  Believe me, when I say, God does not want men and women taking personal problems to court no more than He wants children involved within the courts’ nasty triangle.  With God there is mercy, with His divine laws there is mercy, but with our Justice System there is no mercy for the family and in its bowels, nothing can survive that resembles the plan of God.  For within this liberal, legal, and cesspool of man’s own making the only outcome is a broken home and broken child.  This is far and above what Matthew wrote and what Jesus Himself said,have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?” I say again, there is no praise in court, there is no praise in destroying families, and there is no praise in using your children as lethal weapons sent to assassinate a parent they love!  We must rethink our laws and make every parent important and vital to the parenting process and “move-away” orders do not make that happen; they do the exact opposite!  Any parent with a specific goal of separation and is willing to expend considerable effort toward achieving it, then is no parent at all but rather nothing more than a selfish thug acting outside of God.  On the other hand, any parent with a specific goal of unity and is willing to expend considerable effort toward achieving it is, in fact, acting within God’s framework of a two-parent family scenario. As of yet, the courts have no measure in which they can discern the difference between the two vastly different types of parents and because they don’t they destroy rather than build.

127 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” ~ Psalm 127: 1-5

Every child is a heritage given to us by God. They are not weapons of mass destruction, nor are they to be used as such! They are not tools to be used for selfish reasons, nor did God give them to you for such an activity!  No, God gave to us children to be raised with His word burned into their hearts and they are to be taught in such a manner.  God made every human being responsible for the care of all of His children thus they are to be raised by both parents, grandparents, and extended family members. Good is to be taught unto them, and evil is to be shunned by every family member as an example for the child.  Love an honor is to be instilled and there is no difference or distinction of which parent to respect more, or which elder to be heard more, rather every member is important. I have yet to find a law that states this with conviction and which a lawyer will uphold it or a judge will rule by it. The fact remains that children are not more powerful than their parents, but our legal system, enabled by the voters have made this a reality through ignorance. Can a baby feed its self? Can a child teach it’s self-things which they do not know? Can a teen exhibit enough wisdom as to not need guidance? Before you answer know this,  our American wisdom has now made the obvious answer that once was “NO”, and has made it an emphatic “YES”.  Either we have so much faith in our child’s abilities to raise themselves or we are so selfish we would rather nature do all the heavy lifting, really I can’t tell which it is.  But our psychobabble is incoherent and is notwithstanding God’s gift of children. Children need love, forgiveness, kindness, discipline, they need role-models, and above all, they need parents, not one… but two parents (i.e. father and a mother). Anything short of that the child is not whole, they become rebellious and broken adults. They have children without a clue of how to raise them, and their children become broken and disillusioned, and they too grow up and have children and the cycle continues.  Our children then embrace ungodly teachings of the world and they could not even if it was before them, could they see the light of God, could they see the truth of God, could they see the love of God.  Indeed there are many people who are in this predicament today, they come from fractured homes, they experienced evil at every turn, and by and large, they are ultimately lost.

The following is the statistic of children who come from broken homes:

Found online at; http://m.timesdispatch.com/mechlocal/opinion/letters/stats-of-effects-in-broken-homes/article_ba88da2c-6af8-11e2-9f38-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=jqm)

Did you know that more than 3 in 10 children grow up in broken homes and children from broken homes account for:

  • 70 percent of those in juvenile detention.
  • 57 percent of all prison inmates.
  • 63 percent of teen suicides.
  • 71 percent of teen pregnancies.
  • 90 percent of homeless juveniles and runaways.
  • 71 percent of high school dropouts.
  • 75 percent of all drug users.
  • 85 percent of behavioral disorders.

From the FATHERLESS GENERATION, the follow stats are found;

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

A nation that destroys its families will crumble, crime will rise, unhappiness reigns and our children will suffer outside of God’s Family, for there is nothing but a broken home, broken child without God.

Become a better parent by investing in yourself and in the message of God;  

Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, by Dr. Joel Beeke – Get Your Copy today! Click Here

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Amen,

If you liked this Posting on Broken Home, Broken Child please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

Your invited to stay in contact with me!

EMAIL: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

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God Bless,

Brian Keith

P.S. NEVER GIVE UP!

Special Reflection: Fathers & Men of God

1 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you and your sons and your grandsons, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:1-2

Arguably the first of all commandments pertaining to fathers is to obey the Lord your God. This was handed down to Moses, the father of Israel, the man of God responsible for thousands of people and who lead them faithfully to the promise land. As a parent and as a father I can not emphasize this point any more, other than to say that God passed to man fatherhood and meant for there to be greater responsibility to fathers for the upbringing and moral teaching to their children. We are held to a sacred oath which states that we are to obey the Lord our God, to emulate His love, grace, understanding, devotion, morality, and faithfulness of our Father who is in Heaven, in teaching our children to do the same. This specific act of obedience is given to fathers solely and is a directive from God Himself.

Interestingly, mans law as it relates to U.S. Family Law is in direct violation to God’s law, as the courts in our country often deny, subvert, alienate, disenfranchise, and falsely empower children of 13 and over, all which destroys the bonds of family which the Family Code in all 50 States are sworn to protect. Because God has been eradicated from the equation in terms of rearing children the reality is frightful, as fathers are forced to flee a potential hostile situation within their own homes perpetrated by their wives, and to date the courts have done nothing to stop it. In addition, because our justice system has in and of its self renounced God our nation is becoming fatherless. This I tell you is the greatest sin any nation on Earth can commit, and it is without doubt the workings of Satan himself. The question I know every father faces who is in this situation is a mind numbing simple one, “If God gave to man this commandment to be obedient and faithful in teaching morality to his children, then why isn’t this right protected under mans law? Doesn’t it benefit everyone in our society for fathers to teach to their children morality?” The answer is just as frustratingly simple, “Because man has renounced God in his own laws!” This attack on the christian faith penetrates every aspect of our belief and practices in worshiping God. In saying this I will also reveal that in each action to suppress the moral teachings of God and the fathers inherent duty to teach his children to also obey God, all of  which is biblically supported and sound legally, then it also must be noted that anything other than following Gods commandments is inherently wrong and unholy. It also further destroys the moral fabric of our nation as a whole, and thus there is a price for this arrogance of our legal system which is currently serving the interests of economic wealth, which destroys our families and our nation as a whole, thus serving Satan!

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5“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hands, and bind them on your foreheads. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”~ Deuteronomy 6:5-9

The greatest of commandment for fathers is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. God intended His children to love him, to worship Him alone, to be obedient to His perfect will. Fathers are commanded to emulate this to his family and to his children. This is the bonds which binds fathers to their offspring, that which supports the family structure, and that imparts to his children the morality within their character. God also commands fathers to teach these things “diligently”, giving examples of each teaching of the Gospels within every aspect of his day leaving no room for misunderstanding by describing of how it is to be done within by using the following words, “when you sit, walk, lie down, and when you rise up.” If that wasn’t clear enough God goes even further by stating, “to bind them as a sign on your hands and foreheads. To write them on the doorposts and gates to your house!” Men of God are commanded to teach the children about faith, about love, about mercy, about kindness and respect, and we are commanded to instruct our children in all the ways of God. This is the biblical duty given to fathers, and without it our children suffer greatly.

6” Train up a child in the way he should go,  and when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6

According to God the Father, we fathers here on Earth are to spend time with our children. Ironically, I have personally been told that this issue of time spend is less important than the quality of time spent. I tell you now the truth of the matter as God sees it, Fathers are to spend both quality and quantity of time with their children, how else is there to be any morality taught? Yes, there will be hard lessons, ones which the children would rather flee from, and would rather ignore or rebuke, but the lessons need to be taught regardless, and must be protected as a solemn right and duty of the father to teach his children. This can not be done without time given to the father to teach these things, the children can not learn if this instruction is subverted by outsiders, which include everyone other than the father and his children. It is no accident that single mothers complain about their children’s godlessness and lack of respect to them. It is no accident our society is seeing an increase of teenage pregnancies, abortions, drug use, High School drop outs, depression, suicides, and the over all degradation of our spiritual world and belief system. The division of duties given to each parent by God, is holy and both parents need to respect these differences as God has divided them. In no manner of speech have I indicated that fathers are superior to mothers, or that mothers are superior to fathers, as to teach this would be false teaching, instead God has given each sex specific rights as it relates to parenting, for each duty is equal to developing a healthy and well adjusted child in the eyes of God. Again, ironically our Family Law bioses are in conflict to Gods Laws, as women are thought of as the only parent the child needs within our societal indoctrination within the 1970’s Women’s Liberation Movement which left a destructive imprint on the hearts and minds of our legal system which teaches a false ideology, one that dictates, “Fathers are optional.” and “I don’t need a man.” philosophy as it relates to the modern family structure. This false doctrine is not supported by God, or any biblical teaching found in the bible and yet it has such a devastating impact on our courts, families, and has single handily help to destroy the role of fathers in our country today.

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1 ” Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” ~Ephesians 6: 1-4

The Lord God commands our children to accept the training given by both mother and father, and for fathers not to provoke thy children to anger, but rather teach them about God. Again over and over God commands the father to teach morality, respect, honor, imparting traits of a good and holy character to their children. More to the point however, again their is this dark force within our country which is trying to subvert the role of fathers, so as to clarify what is the role of the modern father and that of men of God the following is a list which can be found online at http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/06/15/mom-and-dad-kids-need-both/

  • “The father, as the male parent, brings unique contributions to the job of parenting that a mother cannot.  Psychology Today explains, “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.”
  • Boys who grow up with dads have their masculinity affirmed and learn from their fathers how to channel their strength in positive ways. Fathers help children understand proper male sexuality, hygiene, and behavior in age appropriate ways.  Fathers help connect their children, (especially boys) to job markets as they enter adulthood. This is because fathers, more than mothers, are likely to have the kinds of diverse community connections needed to help young adults get their first jobs. They are also more likely to have the motivation to make sure their children make these connections.
  • Girls with involved, married fathers are more likely to have healthier relationships with boys in adolescence and men in adulthood because they learn from their fathers how proper men act toward women. They have a healthy familiarity with the world of men, and know which behaviors are inappropriate. This knowledge builds emotional security, and helps to safeguard them from the exploitation of predatory males.
  • Studies have shown that the presence of a father strongly correlates to children avoiding incarceration.  The absence of the father as an authority figure can contribute to a child’s disregarding laws and rules.  “70% of juveniles in state reform institutions grew up in single or no-parent situations.”

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God our father in Heaven knows best for us, he always has and to do anything other than what is commanded is unholy, and does not come from God, rather from Satan. God created fatherhood to be non-optional, non-negotiable, and intrinsically important to the rearing of children. God knew that men of faith, fathers and leaders of their households play a decisive role in the upbringing of their sons and daughters, a role that which cannot be filled by anyone else including the mother. Fathers sacred duty to their daughters helps to insure and prepare them in having healthy relationships with men in their life, in this daughters become more secure and are able to be a better parent and wife herself. Men make for a better disciplinarian and when anchored in moral discipline all children have a better chance at becoming well adjusted adults. To hold a healthy fear of God is biblical, and this also is an attribute all fathers are commanded to hold.

Upon this fathers day I hope the world can see and express and be enriched by the many blessings of God, in both his moral teachings and in its real world applications. Cherish your Earthly fathers, for they have a sacred obligation which needs to be celebrated.

Amen

May God be with you always, may his hand be upon you, and may your life be blessed with the fullness of our Lord.

Please do not forget to make a donation to Fathers Rights as Listening Faithfully gives each donation to help fund struggling fathers meet their legal obligations. Currently we are accepting donations of any size, but if you find that you have been moved by this message and can afford to give in the $100.00 range, then know your gift will be part of our strategic $8000.00 pledge to fight for Fathers Rights in America, and men nation wide will be grateful to your generosity. To meet this target we only need 80 such donations of $100.00 each and for each donation a Prayer Card with your name will be given to each father we help. In addition your name will be listed here on our site, along with a special, “I SUPPORT FATHERS RIGHTS” T’shirt with your name on the back will be mailed back to you as a special donor. So please do not hesitate today to give so our fathers can be that Godly father Our Lord has commanded all of us to be to our children. 
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Special Thanksgiving Message 2010: The Gospel of Giving

“If a woman has ten silver coins, what will she do if she loses one? She’ll light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully. When she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Let’s celebrate! I’ve found the coin that was lost” (The Lost Gospel Q, Q72, Pp. 107).

This morning when I awoke, I took a drive early in the morning. I saw the streets where empty and few cars on the road. It was as if everyone was still asleep and or already at their relatives houses where they were to spend this most special of days we call Thanksgiving. As I drove I remembered how I used to get up early and would make my way into the kitchen, letting my noise lead the way. Upon arriving there I would find my mother and grandma preparing the day’s feast. Their warm smiles as they looked down at me filled my heart with love. I remember being greeted with a tight, good-morning hug and wonderful smells of delicious foods. My grandmother would offer me some of her prized rolls she had just finished cooking and they were piping hot and the heat would instantly melt the butter she would spread on top of them. For most Americans Thanksgiving is about delicious foods, carefully prepared, served with love. But most of all Thanksgiving boils down to time spent with one’s family. Spending time with those whom we hold most dear. In the years following as I grew older and family either moved, or went to meet God, Thanksgiving was never really the same. As time passed I guess I have been searching for a place, a smell, and hug, even the warmth I had felt when I was a boy. In the many Thanksgivings since, I have spent many of them alone, far away from family, at first because I was serving my country in the United States Navy, then because I was married and lived to far away to be present with my parents and sisters. Then in the many years after my divorce I would spent time with my daughter and never had much money to make Thanksgiving as special for her as it had been for me. In this past year and a half of strife with my ex-wife the time with my daughter became nonexistent, which was all very unnecessary. I allow you to see my life through a window, not to gain sympathy, but rather to illustrate my search, this journey I put myself on, one which left me longing for that one most basic of human needs throughout the holidays. A search which has left me more alone than words can express. It was as if I had ten silver coins and had lost one.

Human nature drives us to look more closely at what we are missing than to be thankful for what we have. As hard as it is to admit my lonely holidays where spent searching for the love I still had, but I was more concerned about the physical celebration of that which I perceived I was missing out on. In truth I have become spiritually blind to the presents of God in my life during the holidays. I put way to much importance on this notion that the room was empty, the morning smells of food being prepared was not there anymore. My house was devoid of laughter and good cheer, when in fact God was calling my name, to which I never responded, partly out of anger for God allowing me to be so alone at such a joyous time of the year. I now can see how mistaken I was.

I write this because I know there are many people who are not going to spend the holidays with their loved ones, for a myriad of different reasons. I know your pain; I know what you are thinking and what you are feeling. Know I have been there, to that dark place of emptiness and despair. So the first part of this message is for you. God is calling you, he is reaching out to you, and it does not matter where in the world that you are, God loves you, cares for you, and wants to comfort you. Don’t make my mistake and reject his call this Thanksgiving or holiday season. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that great temptation that everyone should be together before you feel that holiday spirit. Because in truth no matter who is with you, be them friend, co-worker, or stranger, lift up your head as if you found that missing silver coin. Celebrate and rejoice in what you have, and God will fill your spirit, he will lift you up and give you that warmth you crave.

“Give, and there will be gifts for you. A full measure of grain, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back” (Lost Gospel Q, Q18, Pp. 51).

As I drove this morning another thought came to me, one of the history of Thanksgiving. Each year I take great joy in teaching this to the student at my school. I love showing them websites and videos that illustrate the giving spirit that allowed enemies to become vast allies. In truth, as I say to my many students, “The American Indians did not have to take pity upon the pilgrims.  They did not have to show them any kind of mercy what so ever. After all it was the pilgrims that was invading their land, there sacred space, but the natives did anyway.” I think in the back of my mind for as educated as the pilgrims thought they were they had no clue how to survive in the wild places of the Earth. They left Europe because of religious principals, but when their stomachs grew hungry, the many diseases set in, and the chill of the long winter nights began to claim lives, it was the Indians who showed more christian attributes than did the pilgrims. How strange I think for a native people who had never been thought the word of God, to be more christianly than those who fleet their own country because they felt others were not being christianly towards them. But it was through the hardship, God worked out a wonderful miracle, for as one people reached out to another a bond was formed and a nation grew out of that bond. God truly blessed it, and Thanksgiving is that great celebration we all hold dear in remembrance of that bond of charity. It is very true, what you give to others in need you will be given back a thousand fold.

If you are a follower of Listening Faithfully you know I normally don’t endorse websites, or ask for money or donations. I try very hard to stay away from that on this site. However, in the spirit of this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday I would like everyone to simply go to a new blog I am writing, one that is very much in the spirit of giving to those who have not or less than. This new blog is called, The Gospel of Giving, and can be found @ http://gospelofgiving.wordpress.com/. This blog is dedicated to raising money for special causes and I pray that these are shared with everyone whom you know, and that if there is something extra you can give you take the time and give in remembrance of these two special sayings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I also simply ask that if you have a cause that will greatly impact the lives of children, the elderly, or any persons who are in need of relief from tyranny or abuse to please feel free to email me @ listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com. Also stay in touch with Listening Faithfully and The Gospel of Giving through Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Listeninfaith.

Happy Thanksgiving to all whom have been present in my life over the years and to my daughter to which I love and miss greatly. I want to take special note and thank those at my College whom have held my hand through all my strife and misfortune. Thank you for never giving up, never wavering, even for a moment. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the many words of encouragement and for constantly finding radical new was to support me throughout my journey through the vast world of Higher Education. I also want to thank all those whom are already giving to the private elementary school in which I have so faithfully served for over four years of my life. I think you all know that we serve through good times and bad not for the monetary reward, but for the many tiny blessings bestowed upon us each time one of our children smiles in recognition of the lessons we spend so much time in trying so desperately to teach them.  A special blessing goes out to all those teachers whom I have worked so closely with over my entire professional career in education in all three elementary schools to which I have poured out my heart for. Last but not least, to my mother, father, sisters and nieces and nephew, and to my most special new found love and her family, there is no greater joy than to see each one of you, to hear your laugh, to see your smiles, and to feel your love through each warm embrace. You all have helped to shape me into the man I am today, and I thank you for all the time it took. I also want to call attention to my closed of friends whom are within my inner most circle that which has bestowed upon me great joy, I thank you for being there through thick and thin, for making me smile when I was sad, for being taught with me when I wanted nothing more than to give up. It is these bonds which I cherish more than any of you shall ever know. I also want to thank each and every follower of this blog, I put so much time and energy into it, and hope you gain from my labor of love. We all have many things to be thankful for in this life, but mainly for having each other.

May God bless you all and keep you safe this holiday season.

Amen