Resisting Temptation

Driven into the Wilderness

Lenten Season Yr. B

First Sunday of Lent

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels waited on him. Mark 1:12-15 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

I want to begin this Sunday’s reflection with a thought, ‘What would it have been like to be tempted by Satan as Jesus was?’  This goes without saying because we are tempted by Satan every day, but not in the same way.  I saw that because Jesus was being tempted in a very particular way, in fact, His temptation was centered on His life as a human being and on His divinity all in one go.  Satan sought to over through our Lord right out of the gate! Here is an analogy I used to tell my students in elementary school. We as human beings are like a raw metal that is filled with impurities. God seeks through our lives and experience to drive those impurities out through a series of lessons that burn away those impurities only to give us cooling down periods which serves to toughen us up. From the purification fires to the cooling down faith forming waters over and over we follow this cycle all the days of our life.

However, Jesus was born without sin, He was already pure. So why did He need to be tested by Satan? (Let me know your thoughts on Facebook)

Possible Answer: Satan saw an opening and tried to take advantage of it. Because Jesus was both man and God there were two sides of the same coin, on weaker than the other. Guess which one was weaker – the human side right? Satan, therefore, sought to tempt Jesus’s humanity and appeal to his human desires. It is here where Jesus was most vulnerable as forty -days lingered on. Think of the world today if Satan had gotten Jesus through His mortal hunger to make the stones before him into loaves of bread? What would this world be like if Jesus allowed His humanity to stumble as we often do? But Jesus instead chooses to answer Satan with a quote from Deuteronomy, 8:3;

4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

Reflection Question: ‘What example does this set for our lives today?’

The temptations of Christ was intended to test every facet of what would become His ministry all the way to His final passion.  Jesus would overcome Satan on both sides of that coin. Satan most certainly knew that Jesus in whatever form He chose was stronger and could destroy his hold on humanity, Satan knew that Jesus was that one High Preist that would intercede on man’s behalf gaining the favor of God as it relates to our sins. The very sin’s that condemned humanity from the very first day in the Garden. Satan’s temporary victory would be shattered for all time! Satan finally knew that Jesus through the very act of humbling Himself in becoming human would be able to relate to humanity, feeling every sorted feeling, every physical pain, every tempting thought to rebel against God. Jesus being driven into the desert was to clear His doubts about His final three years on earth, His desire to live over the plan of salvation; so Satan tempted Him. Each day Jesus walked the earth as a man was another day closer humanity could relate to God in a new and exciting way. All of which would topple Satans stranglehold on all of mankind for eternity. Jesus’ s very public announcement that kickstarted His ministry after His baptism was one that most certainly drove Satan to defend all that he had done in his rage against God, the lion looking pounced upon Jesus and our Lord took the brunt of His rath for all of us through those forty days of His divine temptation.

Let Us Pray

Let all Creatures Praise the Lord

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

And from the throne came a voice saying,

‘Praise our God, all you his servants, and all who fear him, small and great.’ Revelations 19:5 (NRSVA)

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

57 ‘Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
58 Bless the Lord, you heavens;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
59 Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
60 Bless the Lord, all you waters above the heavens;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
61 Bless the Lord, all you powers of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
62 Bless the Lord, sun, and moon;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
63 Bless the Lord, stars of heaven;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

64 ‘Bless the Lord, all rain, and dew;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
65 Bless the Lord, all you winds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
66 Bless the Lord, fire, and heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
67 Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
68 Bless the Lord, dews and falling snow;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
69 Bless the Lord, ice, and cold;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
70 Bless the Lord, frosts, and snows;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
71 Bless the Lord, nights and days;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
72 Bless the Lord, light, and darkness;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
73 Bless the Lord, lightning and clouds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

74 ‘Let the earth bless the Lord;
    let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
75 Bless the Lord, mountains, and hills;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
76 Bless the Lord, all that grows in the ground;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
77 Bless the Lord, you springs;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
78 Bless the Lord, seas, and rivers;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
79 Bless the Lord, you whales and all that swim in the waters;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
80 Bless the Lord, all birds of the air;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
81 Bless the Lord, all wild animals, and cattle;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

82 ‘Bless the Lord, all people on earth;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
83 Bless the Lord, O Israel;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
84 Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
85 Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
86 Bless the Lord, spirits, and souls of the righteous;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
87 Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

88 ‘Bless the Lord, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. For he has rescued us from Hades and saved us from the power of death, and delivered us from the midst of the burning fiery furnace; from the midst of the fire, he has delivered us.

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

Let us bless and exalt Him above all forever. Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of Heaven. Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

ant. Lent, 1st Sunday: Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all forever. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Amen, Alleluia

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

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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The Will of God!

The Great Surrender

5 ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

The will of God is not a mystery as some would have you believe.  God is not far away on vacation, nor is His blind eye turned to us.  Rather the very opposite! God is with us, He is all around us, He is in your heart and from time to time God makes His will known whether we want to hear it or not.  The Bible is filled with dysfunctional people who God has saved but their walk to salvation did not truly start until they handed all their troubles and surrendered it to God.  I call this, “The Great Surrender”, because in every facet of your life God is present and has a plan for you that if you listen close enough you can hear Him guiding you step by step.  It’s not an easy thing to give over all facets of your life to God, it’s not a simple thing to trust in what we cannot see, in fact for most people this great surrendering is like hitting the bottom rung on the latter of life, you have only one way to go and that is up.  In this desperation people often times experience a panic, a depression, and go through a crisis that marks their journey and often times results in a complete self confession where everything is revealed, where all that we thought we knew and believed was wrong.  This confession generally follows a release and an out pouring of emotion that allows God to show you things you would otherwise not able to see.  I know this because I went through this exact surrendering process.  My “Great Surrender”, came in a time when I was emotionally led astray by the one person whom I had given everything up for and that was my ex-wife.  It came to me the realization that I had put all my hopes and dreams into a person who didn’t or could not return this out pour of love and in the process I had inadvertently alienated myself from those in my life who loved me the most.  I did so because I want to make my marriage work and I wanted to be a father to my only child who I loved with all my heart and soul; and who I still do.  I knew if I did not move away from my parents and family I would never see my daughter and she would never know who I was.  In that moment I opened my heart and cried out to God, I begged for relief or a reprieve something to end this pain and suffering that I felt in my heart and that is when I heard God speak to me.  The most interesting thing is that it wasn’t like I had never prayed before, nor was it that I had never heard God before, but this time I heard His voice so loudly that it shook me to my core and in that experience I instantly saw my error, my failings, misconceptions, and what shook me the most is how wrong I was in everything I had done for my sins sat in the seat next to me in the truck as I drove all I owned from Missouri to California in the summer of 1995.

Walking With God

17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

To walk with God is the most honest walk you will ever have for as long as you live.  From the moment you accept God into your life you begin the process that will lead you to, “The Great Surrender”.  Each step is like a small act of trust you hand over to God and each time a hardship happens your heart is moved closer to the solution.  As your conversation with God increases your mind and belief system is changed to see what before was invisible and a world of possibilities comes into view.  God’s will slowly becomes your only real concern as your life is transformed.  It is this which I call, “Becoming New”, as the actions you would have taken before are made straight and are different from the actions you take now.  God is the constant which moves your heart as life experiences leave questions that bring you back to God time after time. Becoming new in Christ is a belief which is the absolute power a person can actually see grow incrementally over time.  In my own life experience I have seen many years where Satan challenged my ever decision and God was always standing right beside me helping me, guiding me, and consoling me. There were many years I was left alone with my own thoughts and time after time God was talking to me through my pain and heartache the world seemed to always lay at my front door step.  When I say this, it sounds crazy, but God has never let me down and He is the only constant in my life. Though I am not perfect I have the confidence to know that God is there helping me through the troubled times I face constantly molding me into a better version of me!  God wants to do this for every human being on earth both past and present. For He is the only constant in the universe.

Amen

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 Special Note

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 As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

Support the Boy’s & Girl’s Tech Team Click Here for more details and to show your support.

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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Special Reflection: 2014 Educational Enrichment Program (EEP)

17 “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” ~ Proverbs 19:17

I want to start out today’s reflection expressing in great detail of why I am so grateful to our Lord.  As you read all I ask is for you to think of all the way you are also grateful to the Lord.  Then put yourself in the shoes of my 5th grade students who are underprivileged living in the heart of Los Angeles and many of them do not see their parents very often because they are working to makes ends meet. In a few instances some of my student’s parents have been or are in jail for various reasons, not withstanding there are also a few parents who are present and make time for their children; but needless to say those parents are very few and far between.  So when I tell you these children need every advantage I am not lying to you nor am I making any of these things up, rather I am being forthright with you and need your help this Christmas Season.  Please visit our website and buy your T’Shirt Today!  https://www.booster.com/listeningfaithfully

God Is Our Constant Companion

God has been so gracious to me personally this year, because there has been so many trials and tribulations Satan has put me through.  The first trial has been living without seeing my daughters face or hearing my daughters voice for over a year as my ex-wife won a move-away and took my daughter 800 miles north to San Francisco.  There has been no communication because my daughter and I largely because my ex-wife prohibits my daughter from making contact, so all I get is one text every holiday from my daughters iPhone.  Technically, I get visitation but have no money to travel to see my daughter, even though that was precisely the thing my ex-wife promised the judge that she would make happen by buying a monthly flight for my daughter to Los Angles to see me: as she makes 4 times the income I make as a teacher.  In addition to these things my ex-wife after 16 1/2 years filed for child support after she and I agreed to wave it back in 2003, not to mention she also stole $645.00 dollars from my Chase Bank account in 2012 which forced me to be late on rent and later because of that was forced to move from my apartment after 7 years of being on time.  It is no lie I have had to file for Bank Bankruptcy as the bills I incurred fighting for my parental rights in court which ended with the judge refusing to obey the law and order  my ex-wife to pay legal fees; end result I had no other recourse no other options available to me.  I have also suffered massive car troubles after ten years of owning my truck it finally needed over $3500.00 worth of repairs.  But through all of these things God has been with me, He has helped me endure the long cold lonely nights, and He alone files my heart with such love that my heart over flows with it and I have to write and share it in every way I can using the gifts He has bestowed upon me.  It would be easy to sit here and write and complain about these trials I have faced, but I tell you they have made me stronger, wiser, more capable, more crafty, more in-love with God, because through it all this year has been about adapting and overcoming.  God has given me the strength to know the things I can change and the wisdom to know the things I can not change, He has granted me mercy with reuniting me with a friend lost in those horrible struggles with my ex-wife which stretched from 1996-2013.  I have regained a friendship that I thought was forever gone and which I so desperately needed.  God has put angels in my path that have helped me over come those struggles with my ex-wife, my daughter, my friendships, family, contributors, and now lastly my  truck. God has given me eagles wings to sore high above all these troubles and to be able to look past the darkness of these events and move past them.  God has given me angels who have provided ways to maintain some level of lively-hood despite 1/2 of  my income now goes to my ex-wife out of her shear hatred and spite for me, which is not in our daughters best interest.  God has given to me a mother who has almost died three times within the past four years, and He has given her the strength to keep going even though her lungs no-longer produce the oxygen she needs as she struggles with COPD.  God has given to me a father who is deaf, but who finds ways to bring a smile to my face by building me various wooden objects he has pored his love into with me in his thoughts.  God has given me a sister who every day of her life has used it to help young men who are incarcerated to find their way and become a success in our unforgiving society.  God has also given unto our family a new baby who is filled with all the love a child can hold and her smiles and voice remind me of better days I had with my own daughter, and better days I will yet have. So “Yes”, God has been my constant companion! It would be easy to sit and moan about my many losses that I have suffered through this past year, but for every loss I have suffered God has opened the door  and has given unto me a magnificent victory within His love, mercy, and kindness by allowing the many angels to intercede and lift me up when Satan has knocked me down. Please visit our website and buy your T’Shirt Today!  https://www.booster.com/listeningfaithfully

25 “A generous person will prosper;  whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” ~ Proverbs 11:25

Just as I have been lifted up most of my time is spent with children who I fight for, who I love with all my heart, and who on my own I could never give them the resources they so desperately need.  My school does not have the money to purchase new Hardcover English textbooks or new work-books for the students to write in and learn from which supports the new curriculum’s the State and Federal Governments are now enforcing.  As a school we have now begun cutting back on printing out worksheets and the purchasing of ink for our various printers.  The economic times we are now facing has hit private schools extremely hard and all the families they serve, and it is our children who suffer the consequence for the few greedy people who seem to ignore this growing divide between rich and poor.  This economy is a man-made problem, and Pope Frances had it right when he, “attacked unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny’, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.” ~ Holland, Joshua, (Nov. 26, 2013), The Poverty Line: Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘Tyranny’,  http://billmoyers.com. Pope Frances sees what is a sin against mankind, he has stated very clearly the problem, and the injustice of not fixing something we have created that forces millions into a different kind of slavery, that born of our own sinful economic greed!   So it is that I am reaching out with a heavy heart, but one also filled with love and hope to you today and  ask that you may find it with in your heart to become a supporter of Listening Faithfully by purchasing one T’Shirt that will show your pride in both this website, but also your support for education.  My students need their little angels this holiday season helping them just as I have been so blessed with in my own personal struggles.  Please visit our website and buy your T’Shirt Today! https://www.booster.com/listeningfaithfully

 2014 Educational Enrichment Program!:

42 “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” ~ Matthew 5:42

You click the following link below and purchase one T’Shirt, or as many as you would like. The money raised then goes to purchase the Sadlier; Level Blue;  Vocabulary Workshop paper-covered work books for my students.  Within two weeks of the ending of this Christmas and News Years campaign you will receive the T’Shirt and can call yourselves an official supporter of Listening Faithfully and of Education. I will also have a private page here on this website just for you as I am kicking off the Sin Serious 2014 Revisited ~ An invaluable resource that highlights the Seven Deadly Sins as they apply to us in our modern day lives.  Below is scanned copies of Unit 2 From the Sadlier Workbook that  will be purchase for the students with your help.  Again I ask you to please visit our website and buy your T’Shirt Today!https://www.booster.com/listeningfaithfully

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Extra Special Request: 

I have a friend, his name is Joseph. He lives in San Diego and his ex-wife seven weeks ago stole his daughter and fled the country. He asks a simple question that I would like our Justice System to answer: “What would you do if your one and only child was taken from you, without prior notice, and whisked away to a foreign country?” I would like our judges held accountable for giving one parent more rights than another based on sex or money! This false notion that children need their  mothers more than their fathers is archaic at best and  if you read the Bible at all you will find that God gave to Fathers and Mothers different but equal responsibilities to their children. I repeat…. FATHERS ARE NOT NATURES BANK! Our justice system is sick and in need of repair – reform; whatever you want to call it! But that won’t happen until every American…. every parent and non-parent stands up and forces our Federal and States Governments to stop Alienation of Affection of a Minor Child! In the mean time I ask you to help my friend Joseph by visiting his website and giving whatever you can afford. Let’s bring his daughter Dani back home!

Click Here to help our brother Joseph!

Amen and God Bless,

If you liked this Special Reflection on The 2014 Educational Enrichment Program! … please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

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Reflection 2: God's Mindset…

God and His Mindset

“Happy are you who are hungry now, you shall be satisfied. Fortunate are you who weep, for you shall laugh.” ~ Q10, Lost Gospel Q.

Mindset is everything.  Simple but true.  God’s mind is sharp and focused on one thing, that would be you, me, and all of humanity.  This is evident from the first page of Genesis of the Bible to the last page in Revelations, all 66 books of the standard Christian version and all 81 books of the Catholic Bible, not to mention all 82 scriptures of His son’s teaching which were recorded and passed down to us in the form of The Lost Gospel Q.  God chose to make us in His likeness, He chose to make a place that would support our every need and gave us dominion over the Earth, He chose to love us no matter the cost, and God chose to forgive us and to ultimately save us.  Since these decisions every action God has taken has been to support those specific promises all of which He was so confident in that He had it written so everyone could see for all time His devotion to us.  Because God’s mindset is so focused on us it affects our personal lives and relationship with Him.  It is the primary reason why God also stresses the need for every person to be focused upon Him and His word.  God’s heart is set upon a real lasting personal relationship with you and everyone around you spiraling out to encompass the entire planet.  God wants a relationship so as to build you up and to make you strong.  His grace is focused on your sin and the forgiveness of those sins in such a way that it makes each and everyone of us sinners worthy of God when on our own we could never be truly worthy.  God’s mindset is one of hope and love, you could say that God is the creator and chief among the optimists always seeing to good in everyone and thing always seeing the opportunities through the calamities we face.   God’s mindset is to be there with us through those calamities holding our hand, giving us the strength to make it through to the finish line.  God’s mind sees what we cannot and His spirit is eternally seeking the path that will mould us into a more perfect version of ourselves, individualized personal development plans if you will that only ends with our absolute purification of our heart, mind, and soul.   God’s mindset is set upon giving us the length of years to see the truth, to testify to it, to live by it,  to live a Godly life, and yes to ultimately return to Him and to live with Him in Heaven forever.  So it is that when we are hungry He gives us food, both to nourish our bodies and our spirit. So it is when we cry He wipes away our tears and gives us a reason to smile and laugh.  God’s miracles support His love for us, His words have never been broken, and His mind is filled with thoughts of your eternal happiness.

God’s Mindset vs Our Mindset

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

First and foremost there is no comparison between God’s ability to continue to see the positive through the pain and heartache when times get hard verse our ability which is infinitesimally less than, so much so in fact we don’t even rate on the universal scale of positive thinkers or believers.  This was made completely evident in the willingness for God to send Jesus, His only son with one mission and for that mission to have only one out come, Jesus’s death!   For that to even be on the table so to speak was far and beyond anything we humans or even Satan himself could ever comprehend let alone pull off.  With that said,  I can only testify that  it is this one singular thought that converted me as a child and has played a major role in my life ever since.  How could a god, a perfect being, an entity so powerful and magnificent need and love our drama? How could God need our ungratefulness, our sneakiness, our filth of mind and soul, our lack of courage and willpower to always do the right things in life regardless the outcome, and our pride and selfishness which is the root cause to so much chaos in our world?  The short answer is that He does not need us, but rather we need Him.  When a person first realizes this one point it is a transformational thought because what happens is for the first time we become aware of our own mortality and sin.  It brings to mind our unworthiness, it makes us responsible for our sins, and it also reinforces in every-way possible of how blessed we are to have a God who loves us anyway.  Then there is the small idea that comes next, the door opens and we see how many times in our life we have given-up on God, not God giving-up on us.  Millions of years have gone by and yet every action and promise of God has been to make our life and world better day by day, hour by hour,  minute by minute, and it is us who do not have the time to notice or even to say thank you in return.  It is mankind who has often given-up on God, and still our Lord is there loving us and providing for us – despite us.  This makes God’s words real and tangible,  ever lasting,  and never changing,  because they are perfect in every application in every manner and interpretation for God has made known what and who is on His mind, the what and the why that is in His heart, and more importantly the how we fit into His master plan.  For when we apply Gods teachings into our lives we do the right things and in turn those actions glorify God, when we love others it glorifies Him, when we forgive our enemies it glorifies Him, and when we reach out to God it glorifies Him.   God made us, He alone protects us, and provides for us.  It is God who chooses to remember us and to honor us by His grace.  Because these are the truths about God then we as Christians need to filter everything in our lives and thinking through his Holy filter and through His holy words and promises.  Because there is so much immorality in our world due to our imperfect nature we need to cling to the mercy and grace of our loving all powerful God.

 God’s Mindset Equals Strength

“Look at the lilies that grow wild in the fields. They don’t weave clothes for themselves. But I tell you, even King Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed as beautifully as these flowers. If that is how God clothes the grasses, which are green today and burned in the sun tomorrow, how much more will God provide for you. How little faith you have!” ~ Q52, Lost Gospel Q.

Faith in God is at the core of our personal strength in life.  Faith is the bedrock of our actions we take, what we think, how we feel, and how we apply our new and old knowledge no matter the source.  This is proved true every time you debate others, to the side you defend, and to the manner and tone you use when debating.  If a person has no faith in God then their arguments tend to be in the negative excepting modern teachings which are contrary to the Bible and to the will of God thus their personal beliefs tend to be based upon false teachings.  Therefore,  when we compromise on the truth of God, the Bible, and the teachings of Jesus and all his disciples who uniquely owned the moral authority to preach the word of God which has been written down and spread across the world, we fall into the worlds trap of acceptance of unholy beliefs and compromise ourselves in the most unholy of ways.  In this trap we find ideas that degrade our bodies, our minds, and our soul. Within this trap we hear unholy music, unholy words, unholy sounds that invade our personal space and warp our perceptions of the very word of God.  To this end what we allow in unfiltered by the teachings of the Bible, (which are the very words of God), and unfiltered by His moral principals do we then assign ourselves to the notion that it is us who have to become accepting of the world, instead of the world changing to accept God.  The side-affect of this is seen in our societies as we assimilate these false teachings into our beliefs and thus begin to comprise the teachings of God.  It always starts very innocently with a song, or a joke, or a law passed by a government or constitutions written and then changed by governments and like a computer virus working in the background unchecked it begins to change our vocabulary and it warps the very meanings of words we once held as holy and changes them to mean something completely different and unholy.  Thereby the words that you use to placate others so as to fit in or to not offend them, which would have been against your personal beliefs and suddenly now do not reflect God in your words, then you in deed compromised  God, compromised your faith in God, and fallen short and have missed the opportunity to share as a witness for God.  Therefore, faith is a mindset you burn into your every action, into your every words, and within that you share God’s holy message in order to help inspire others to become followers, and eventually for them as they study the Bible to become the children of God as He had intended.  Faith is God’s mindset!

Take this as proof, God created Adam and the garden of Eden so as Adam would be taken care of with more than enough to eat and drink and to be happy. God loved Adam so much that He gave to Adam all the wild animals and plants of the garden so as to fill Adams mind with the love of God expressed through all he saw and heard.  God then created Eve so Adam would not be lonely and feel unloved, thus with each embrace of Eve, Adam felt alive and could feel the love of God in the most holy of ways.  Eve too shared in this experience and was Adams equal sharing in all the fruits and rewards of a life given by God.  These two people knew God in a way we could never experience,  they saw God in a way we can never replicate, and they heard the very voice of God in a manner our ears will never in this life hear.  Though they were not perfect, and made mistakes and fell from grace, God in his punishment of them never stopped loving them and never stopped believing in them nor has He ever stopped believing in us.  God’s Mindset has never attempted to placate Satan, He has never changed His beliefs to become more popular, God is not guilty of adopting a superficial life style that is more in tune with the world and modern dogma.  God did not become more  accepting to sinful acts and more willing to negotiate on holy principals, nor has God  changed the meanings of words to make them mean something completely contrary to their original meanings to suit a new belief so as to entrap us further within our sin.  God has not stopped spreading His divine message nor has He changed the facts or purposes of the events of our history so as to be more easy on our conscience.  God didn’t send Jesus to save humanity and then half way through changed His mind because it was too hard or would hurt to much. Nor did God abandon Job when Satan destroyed His life, or when King David fell to lust and had Bathsheba’s husband killed.   Therefore, we need to adopt God’s mindset and allow Him full access so that our faith in Him will grow and our spirit can bathe in the full glory of the Holy Spirit.  God so wants to dress us up with faith, with love, and arm us with the knowledge of truth so as to protect us  for ever and ever.  The world is very much like grass which is green today and burns in the sun tomorrow, but God’s mindset never changes, never tires, and never turns away or forgets His promises.  For God’s mindset is perfect, strong, and equals strength and wisdom, character, devotion, purpose, courage, and love if you accept God and adopt His word as the truth, the life, the pure and only source for all eternity.

Amen,

If you liked this Reflection on God’s Mindset… please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

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Reflection 1- What God's Love is…

7 “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.” ~ Deuteronomy 7:7-10

This Holiday Season I felt it only proper to call on history and revive some posts written last year and in years prior about love because God is love and he is our God. Let us all make God our center focus in this Holiday season especially on All Souls Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Let this season be one of deep reflection; reflecting on all of Gods goodness which will bring our attention back to God in the Highest. I invite everyone who would like to reflect with me on any post found here at Listening Faithfully Blog. Be sure to send your reflections to me via email at  listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com, and I promise to post your thoughts during this holiday season of 2013 in upcoming posts within the this new series of reflections: What God Is… Let’s make this a happy and fruitful holiday season!  

God Is

 God’s love is… pure, absolute, unchanging, unyielding, it does not see color of ones skin, it does not distinguish between people of different beliefs or cultures, it is always at our disposal, for God Himself is always moving among us as is His agape love.  For God’s perfect self-sacrificing love is agape love; “Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself.” ~ http://www.gotquestions.org/agape-love.html.  God loved the Jews so much that He made oaths and convents, He alone made good on all those things which He so promised the Jews.  On a wider scale these promises fulfilled serve as many shinning examples to all of mankind that God loves us so much that He alone made it possible for all of His children to spend the remainder of eternity with Him.  God through Jesus concurred Death, defeated Satan, cast out all the evils in Heaven, destroyed the enemies of His chosen elect, and still from start to finish God moves all around us, protecting us, guiding us, helping us, and – “Yes” – loving us despite our selfishness and sin.  God has never abandoned us, and He is a God of many chances.  Though it is important to point out, God gives back to you what you willing gave to others, be that good or ill, for God is not slow to punish the wicked and all things happen within His chosen time and of His mighty choosing.  Therefore, God never backs down, He never runs away, He never shrinks in the face of evil, and because God is and does all this if you love Him with all your heart and soul, neither should you shrink, run, give up, nor back down to any challenge God saw fit to place before you.  Remember life is a challenge, it is a race that everyone of us who believe can not only finish, but also win.

 Those Who Do Not Know God

8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ~ 1 John 4:8

I have known a lot of people from all over the world, I could not pick out those who did not believe from those who did just by first meeting them, nor in the second or third meetings, but I could tell where their priorities were based upon how they dressed and what they surrounded themselves with. Likewise, when the conversation came to religion then did it become crystal clear to whom I was dealing with depending on what they had said to me. I think it is very important to understand that God knows before you are even born, He see’s you as you are and what you could become if you allow Him to mould you into that more perfect version of yourself.  God can tell if you are in doubt, and if you have questions, and He see’s if you are not open minded enough to allow your heart to believe things which are both seen and unseen.  Faith in God is the requirement, it is the singular step everyone who ever saw God had to take.  But if you allow your heart to remain empty and devoid of love then how are you ever going to be able to choose God?  How could you ever see what God has for you in your life if you fill your heart with hate?  Many people have used the words of God to rally the crowd but inside their heart they hate God, they inwardly hate His just and perfect words, and they hate His message; for it is those I pray, I pray for their salvation, I pray that they someday see the light of the most high God. I do so because without God in their life they live their life without purpose or meaning and are truly the living damned, the true walking dead. They do not know God because they choose not to know God, they fear that giving up their hatred would leave them vulnerable and exposed. They live in fear because of fear, they are the eternally fearful, thus they lash-out in anger and in hatred.  We see this very thing played out in our world politics as the worlds politicians seek selfish resolutions, (many of whom are practiced lairs), we see this played out in the Justice System who is crippled and pledged with selfish people seeking selfish judgments while disguising their arguments as being the exact opposite of what they truly are, and we see this played out in our world through our economics which has enslaved the world to living from paycheck – to – paycheck never having enough to be truly free and never seeing an end to the enslavement which lasts a lifetime.  These things are exceptional sin in the eyes of God, for it breaks the first of all commandments:  2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.” ~ Exodus 20:2-3.  In other-words putting wealth before God is a sin, it means your heart is focused on money and it replaces God as it is the only thing which you choose to warship and think about day and night.  Jesus instructed us that; “No one can serve two masters. You will either hate the first and love the second or treat one with respect and the other with scorn. You can not serve God and money.” ~ Q73, Lost Gospel Q.  Mankind has found a million ways to replace God and to warship other things, things of this world and it is to those people who also share in their fruits as being eternally damned, for Jesus also instructed us that; 15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” ~ 1 John 2: 15-17. Therefore, It is a choice we all have to make, to choose God or to choose not to believe in God. For those who choose not to believe they have signed their soul to Satan, to everlasting damnation, everlasting torment, they will never know happiness, forgiveness, mercy, nor shall they ever receive the grace of God for those who hate God praise themselves and Jesus instructed us; “Those who praise themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be praised.” Q67, Lost Gospel Q.  

The Simple Test of Humility

The simple test I love to give is to ask those who have hurt me or offended me in some way, or have hurt my feelings, to simply apologize for their action.  After all it should be the simplest thing in the world to do right, to apologize?  But on the contrary,  you would be surprised to how many people refuse to do so because they believe they did nothing wrong.  When in-fact apologizing is not omission of guilt but rather an act of grace and is viewed in the eyes of God as the main method, or tool of healing a damaged relationship because of the actions taken that caused the damage, whether it be intentional or not. To not apologize is to basically say, “Your relationship with me is worthless and therefore I do not need to fix the damage.”  This statement is one which does not come from God, but rather Satan. To prove this simply ask, “How can I know my actions have offended someone else?” The answer is you may not know until you are confronted, and this confrontation should be done in private, and – “Yes” – some people make it a public seen which is also a sin against God, but this does not negate the responsibility to apologize for the the first offense, nor to hold hostage the apology for the second offense to be dealt with first for; “Jesus explained to His disciples, “If a companion does something wrong to you, go to the person and point this out. But do it privately. If your friend listens and says, ‘I’m sorry,’ forgive and your bond will be strengthened.” “But how often must I forgive the same person?” asked one of his disciples. “Seven Times?” Jesus answered, “Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times.” ~ Q77, Lost Gospel Q.  To not to apologize or to forgive is also a sin against God because it goes against His moral teaching.  Thus not only has the apology not been given out of pride, (the first original sin which is manifest solely by Satan), but you are also unrepentant sinning not just once but three times before God by simply not acknowledging  your transgression against your fellow man, be it your mother, father, brother, sister, wife, husband, offspring, grandparents, neighbors, work mates, who ever it might have been.  In reality what you have done is far worse on a deeply personal and spiritual level as pride takes hold, you take a moral stance and act as if your morally right to not apologize becomes these are the main thoughts which your mind is beginning to believe to be the truth when in-fact you have begun to believe in your own lies.  To those people I ask, “How can you be morally right if you have been instructed by God to apologize, to build not destroy, to forgive, to love, to honor your fellow man, to treat others as you would have them treat you? Where is your justification before God?”  In this we teach others how to treat us, and in that viewpoint it never stops to amaze me how many people become shocked when the other person refuses to talk, or to play nice, or is unwilling to carry on the relationship at any level.  In reality by not apologizing we have destroyed not created, we have sinned not ask for forgiveness, we have become filled with pride and vanity, not bowing on our knees in humility and obedient to the will of God, rather we have done the exact opposite and try to defend an indefensible argument, because we are blinded by self-righteousness and indignation!  “Treat people as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you do good only to those who do good to you, what merit is there in that? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what rewards is there in that? Even sinners lend to sinners. Instead, love your enemies and do good, expecting nothing in return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on the bad and the good. He sends rain to fall on both the just and the unjust.” ~ Q16, Lost Gospel Q.  Indeed, the living dead will never apologize, they will never humble themselves, they will never accept responsibility  nor will they ever see the light of God in the Highest when Jesus returns for the final judgement. Thus, God is the Alpha and Omega, he is the creator with the divine right and sole privileges to be the perfect judge. 

Fruits of God

“What is your price?”

For in every situation there is a price to be paid, there is a positive or negative reputation to every action, to every decision you make, for there is a price to be exacted from you and everyone around you based upon what you think, feel, and what you do because of your emotional responses to those things you experience in this life.  No one escapes without being hurt, humiliated, made fun of, destroyed in some way, and it is very much like how  planet Earth renews itself from the violence of each natural disaster that happens in nature.  For God is also of nature, he is spiritual and natural in every sense of the word.  There is nothing which you cannot see that God first did not have His fingers in the creation of, this would include every human-being ever born, to every animal that ever lived. God is a creator first and foremost, for He is both the most tame and most wild, He is in every thing from the dirt of the Earth to the air we breath, God is everywhere and is in everything.  Thus, His love is the fuel which invented us, His love is the fire that moulded our bodies, mind, heart, and soul; His love gave to us everything in creation and everything in our wildest imagination, for it is the power-planet we use to solve problems or create them for ourselves.  For there is no limit to His divine and holy love, which also saved us.  God is indeed a creator and within that He is very passionate about His creations. For God alone built our world and loved all His creations within it as His first thoughts and actions, we where on His mind before the creation and will be on His mind for the rest of eternity.  God was willing to pay a heavy price for our redemption and if you think about it long enough the question we all ask as we look out into the precipice and magnitude that is the mystery of God that price we have to pay becomes so minuet in the face of His promises, and fruits, so small are we in comparison to Him and yet our price we have to pay is nothing in-comparison to the price God paid to love us, to be with us, and to have a relationship with us.  

“So what price would you pay to be with God?”

 In closer examination of this , God’s wages for sin is death, but on the other hand He also promised His children ever lasting life in His Kingdom. Death then is really nothing to God for He is both life and death, He has power over every aspect of these two opposite and equal states of being, so therefore we die but are reborn if we first believe.  So the real price we have to pay is found with the word, “belief.”  Taking this one step farther, if you believe that God has the power to resurrect or restore your soul and to forgive your sin, and in the face of this awesome creation of planet earth, the universe it sits within as a part of a wider creation that mankind cannot yet completely comprehend, I simply ask, “Is death such a small price to pay for ever lasting life and eternal life with God?”   

 “What is your price you would level against God in order to allow Him access to your heart?”

In retrospect many of us do not see God in this grand scale, we do not connect the dots so to speak nor do some of us even ask any of these questions. For it is far better to be blissfully ignorant of our sinful nature and ignore the wrong doings both we create for others and for ourselves. We are convinced, that this sin [willful ignorance] alone causes the loss of more souls than all the other sins together, because he who is ignorant does not realize the harm he does by his sin, nor the great good he thus forfeits.” ~ St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  Thus, it is far better to blame other people for our bad fortune and or level the blame on God, and in doing so we exact an unfair price for God to have to pay, far and above the price He has already paid through His son Jesus Christ.  The repercussion of-course to this action is a life without the fruits of God. So what are these fruits of God anyway… you might ask?  According to Mother Theresa,Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, spirit of prayer, and sacrifice, by an intense inner life.” ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Love is the first of many fruits God gives to every person on earth.  Without love we have nothing, we are as stated above dead in spirit.  Joy is another fruit coming from God, for in joy we find happiness of mind, body, and soul, we find relaxation and rest in the spirit of God. Joy as a fruit is best described as, For one pain endured with joy, we shall love the good God more forever.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux.  Yet another fruit coming from God is peace, for it is the desire of our soul and is the reward for doing good always, thus, “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors.” -St. Therese of Lisieux. Long-suffering is a fruit deriving from God for, “As iron is fashioned by fire and on the anvil, so in the fire of suffering and under the weight of trials, our souls receive that form which our Lord desires them to have.’ ~ St. Madeline Sophie Barat.  Kindness tops the list of fruits from God, as it from kindness all other goodness is made possible.  Kindness tops the list of fruits from God, as it is from kindness all other goodness is made possible, and, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”~  Aesop Greece, (c. 620 BC – c. 560 BC)To this collection of fruits we are given again for such a small price of belief, and this belief in God there is no higher rewards in this life and the next.

22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22

Amen,

 

If you liked this Reflection on What God Is… 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

Facebook 

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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

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 – Prayer for Syria

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”~ Matthew 5:21-22

This weeks post is not at all the one I wanted to write and it also was nowhere near the topic I had in mind. Originally I wanted to write a special posting on the American Holiday, “Labor Day”, which was more of a response and shrewd political deal that lead to it’s being enacted, largely due to the late 1800’s “Pullman Strike”, which had such wide-ranging implications that less than a week after it ended, then-President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law. As Americans we sometimes forget the political events that created many of our holidays, Labor Day being just one of them. Many of our rights also came from years of struggle and political unrest and what better way to bring the most resent struggle facing our country and many other nations around the world than to preface the peaceful ways man has ended strife without the unlawful use of violence. I also have never and will never us this blog platform which is religious in nature and in all its materials to preach politics or push a given political agenda, so with the ground rules set  I ask that first as a faith community we all pray for all the families and the victims of the Siren Gassing which took place in Syria which took more than 1,400 men, women and children on August 21, 2013.

War in Syria as well in other places in the Middle East and the world has been going on for thousands of years none stop and is likely not to stop anytime soon. Many of the reasons for man’s strife date back to the dawn of time and is firmly rooted in the Bible.  What we see today is no different than the senseless killing of tens of thousands of innocent people who died in what can only be described as mind boggling events which lead to their suffering and dying as the select few make all the decisions, make all the wealth, and allow their people to be left with virtually nothing.  These cruel dictators operate more like the common (Mafia) within a autocratic system;  rather than a democracy  of real Presidents, Prime Ministers, or Heads of State and in the annals of history they will only be remembered by the horror they unleashed on mankind rather than the ideals they may have tried to bring into our collective reality.  This drama has not changed because those in power refuse to allow it to change, they grasp onto power as if it where a drug; they will and have done anything to keep it. Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad is after all just a man and is subject to all the same grotesque temptations as every other man and women and he is no different than other brutal dictators who disguise their brutality with a deceiving title of the people and demeanor which is anything but one of a mass murder.  The very same tactics have been used before, more recently by such men as Adolf Hitler – (Died April 30, 1945 in Berlin, Germany),  Benito Mussolini – (Died April 28, 1945 in Giulino, Mezzegra, Italy),   Joseph Stolen – (Died March 5, 1953 in Kuntsevo Dach, Soviet Union), Saddam Hussein – (Hanged to Death on December 30, 2006 in Kadhimiya, Iraq),  Kim Jong-il – (Died December 17, 2011 in Pyongyang, North Korea), Hugo Chavez (Died March 5, 2013 in Caracas, Venezuela), and the late Prime Minister of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi; (Died October 20, 2011 in Sirte, Libya after being beaten and stabbed in the anus, causing serious injuries; the events were filmed on a cell phone. Pulled onto the front of a pick-up truck, he fell off as it drove away. His semi-naked, lifeless body was then placed into an ambulance and taken to Misrata; upon arrival, he was found to be dead.)  All these men lived by the sword, all of these men have murdered, all of these men also had intense anger in their hearts in order for them to have been able to say and do some of the horrible things they did. Some of these men brought peace to their counties for a while, but most came to power out of brutality and force on the backs of many of their citizens.  Such a man was Adolf Hitler who authorized the systematic extermination of millions of Jews, he authorized the use of horrific experiments which lead to countless Jews, civilians – men, women, and children to die in the most inhuman of ways possible. It was this that moved the allies after World War II to create the United Nations to keep such acts of violence from ever happening again.  Yet, some 68 years later here we are, chimerical weapons being used on civilians as they slept unaware of the impending dangers which would end their lives in the most inhuman of ways.  Another leader on this list named Saddam Hussein also used brute force through his arsenal of chemical weapons killing thousands of his own people on March 16, 1988, whereby he authorized the use of chemical weapons on the Kurds.  From morning til night  the Iraqis rained down volley after volley of bombs filled with a deadly mixture of mustard gas and nerve agents on Halabja.  Approximately 5,000 women, men, and children died within days of the attacks. Long-term effects included permanent blindness, cancer, and birth defects. An estimated 10,000 lived, but live daily with the disfigurement and sicknesses from the chemical weapons. Like Hitler, Hussein thumbed his nose at the world as he rained down illegal weapons on all who apposed him, war crimes in the view of the world court and yet from all we have seen and experienced there are many more dictators who are able and willing to continue where these great dinosaurs of terror have left off;  that to me is mind boggling. However, the justice for such atrocities we as mortals will never see as the true punishment is as described in Matthew 5:21-22.

A Warning for a Dictator / President

7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.” ~ Ezekiel 33:7-9

It is not that I judge you and your mind and heart, but rather appeal to your humanity and the love you feel for those you hold in your personal lives. Hold fast to the love which God Himself has granted unto you and turn from the the wicked path which you now sew. Know that your sins have been made public and the eyes of the world now gaze in your direction, do not be tempted by this attention instead read fast the words of God’s servants who have come to warn you of impending sin just as God gave to King David a prophet of the Lord, Nathan.  I as a brother in Christ beg of you to do the moral and righteous things God would have you do, ignoring the evil impulses of Satan.  Do the right things God would have you do, ignoring the depravity of Satan. Make peace with your enemies and know your time as ruler may end, ignoring the temptations of power placed before you by Satan. Trust in God alone and your many sins shall be forgiven by our Father in heaven. There is nothing to be gained by war, by senseless killing, by destroying the children under your watch. Walk away and give them peace for you shall not be able to give them back which you have taken from them.  Know your heart and mind and know your soul longs for God, even though your mind is blind to this fact, give into the good within you and allow God to mold you into the person he has wanted you to become from birth, discarding the shell of Satan forever.  Heed the warning from God and seek peace or God alone shall exact His perfect judgement.

So I urge everyone to both remember and pray for all these people who have gone before those in Syria, pray for all the millions of our brothers and sisters who suffered and died from such senseless blood shed as their place is now in the Kingdom of God. I ask that you pray for the children who have suffered and who died this past August needlessly. I know the following set of pictures though may be graphic but we need to know why we pray and why we should never take such innocents from this world.  Every human-being needs to know why the death of these innocent children is such a sin in the eyes of God, and thus we also need to pray for those in power who both allowed it and who are now brave enough to stand up and take action to prevent it from ever happening again.

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Survivors of suspected gas attack in Syria describe horrors they say will haunt them forever!

By Associated Press, August 28, 2013

BEIRUT — The early-morning barrage against rebel-held areas around the Syrian capital immediately seemed different this time: The rockets made a strange, whistling noise.

Seconds after one hit near his home west of Damascus, Qusai Zakarya says, he couldn’t breathe, and he desperately punched himself in the chest to get air.

Meanwhile, in rebel-held areas east of Damascus, hundreds of suffocating, twitching victims were flooding into makeshift hospitals following a similar rocket barrage. Others were later found dead in their homes, towels still on their faces from their last moments trying to protect themselves. (Read More)

End the Syrian Civil War Now! End the Killing! The world has had enough!

Amen,

If you liked this Special Reflection on SYRIA 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

Facebook 

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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,

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Brian Keith

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God Bless,

Brian Keith

P.S. NEVER GIVE UP!