Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wicked Hearts

This is why we stay close to God and learn to love the world as He loves. For it is not the action of man but the heart of man that needs the grace of God.

Wayward wanton warlords
Calmly board the planes
To demonstrate a ritual
And prove their true disdain.

Treacherous, troubled tyrant
Slipped calmly into school
Fired anger into children
Uncivilized and cool.

Maleficent, malicious mother
Captured children, one by one,
And held them under water
Until each life was done.

Repellant, reprobate raper
Chased the woman as she ran,
Grabbed her by the collar,
Left her dead upon the sand

“Something wicked this way comes”
A falling from the grace
Tattered holy weave of man’s nature,
Void, the heart debased.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Women rule the world in whispers

All politics aside, women rule the world. It is not a rule of dominance or dominion over men but a leadership of concepts and lifestyle that starts at the cradle. The formative years of childhood are spent in the arms of a mother. The mother imparts values to her child, a wisdom that ingrains itself and forms the man or woman the child becomes.

The word ‘rule’ can ruffle feathers. However, to rule means to have a directive, to lead, to manage, and reach a decision. I feel compelled to clarify that when women rule, it is in the social sense, the most powerful element. Powerful because social norms determine how men and women relate and respect others. Historically, societies were not ‘civilized’ until the female voice of reason took the lead.

Women have the ability to change how society views women, men, equality, justice, fairness, respect, education, and much more. When individual women realize their potential to bring about social change, social change will begin. Women can raise their sons to respect women as they respect themselves. Woman can raise their daughters to respect themselves. Women can enable social equality with just a whisper.

When I see the horrific pictures on the internet showing veiled women in chains, or veiled woman being buried, I understand that women do not understand how powerful they are.

I read the values of the International Woman’s Day: Justice, Dignity, Hope, Equality, Collaboration, Tenacity, Appreciation, Respect, Empathy, and Forgiveness. These are the lullabies of women who move society forward.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Wounds that bind us

There is no wound so deep it can’t be mended
No relationship so shattered it cannot be restored
The real devastation comes when embers
Are selfishly discarded and ignored.
The fires of life grow dim within each season
Prayerful tending now and then required.
God has placed our hearts in careful motion
Chosen for us parent, friend and child.
The body we are bound to fills a nation
But we are bound by borders less than these
To sharpen and refine our very nature
To build the Body up upon our knees. 

So always we are free and we are fastened
To God and family, blood born, others found.
The choices that we make have lasting etchings
That only time reveals and heaven resounds
No one can separate us from God’s loving
And only we can leave His holy ground
So we are free to roam and chose our own path
But that does not disturb that we are bound.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Follow your heart without fear

To follow your heart means to trust your instincts. The heart is the choicest, the essential and most vital part of an idea or experience. To have heart is to have the courage to follow your convictions. When a person follows the heart, the way is sometimes contrary to what is expected. Others may say he is a fool, or he is chasing a pipe dream. However, when you have a dream, and pursue it, you are following our heart.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears however measured and far away." (Henry David Thoreau)

There is an expression "the heart wants what the heart wants." This is true, but the phrase is often only associated with the emotions. Emotions are strong feelings, sometimes driven by love, and sometimes by intense anger. When we follow our emotions, we do not always follow our heart. Sometimes the feelings we have for another person pull us away from our dreams. Important people in our lives may not understand, or have the patience to support us while the dream becomes reality. They may argue with us, berate us or insist that it is them or the dream.

When faced with decisions, there are often times of confusion and doubts. We look at the pros and cons, weighing rewards and consequences. No matter how we turn the decision or the situation, if we have no peace, we are not following the heart. When we have no peace, it’s best to be silent. In the solitude of self, the heart will whisper the right choice. It is important not to allow emotion or desire to silence the truth our heart is telling us.

"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are one, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on'. " (Rudyard Kipling)

So how do we know the difference?

If your emotions are leading you to give up your dreams, you aren’t following your heart.

If your motives are to please those you love, you aren’t following your heart.

If you are taking the easy way, you may not be following your heart.

Following your heart takes courage and conviction. You may have to walk away from people who are important to you. You may have to confront your shortcomings, and determine in your heart to press on. Following your heart is not always easy, but the reward at the end is worth it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Who is the holiest in God’s kingdom

Who is the holiest in God’s kingdom? Is holiness what we do or is it where the heart lies? Salvation is a free gift from God, and all He requires is our belief and submission. It is as simple as walking through an open door, and as difficult as trying to get the locked door open. During the average lifetime, everyday living bruises us, and causes us to lock down our hearts. Education introduces alternative thoughts on reality. Society promotes self fulfillment and moral freedom. The truth is housed in shades of gray.

My understanding of salvation is a level playing field. We enter into God’s kingdom by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. God’s love was always with us, and didn’t increase because we are now His child. The faith we have was already measured out by God, and now becomes active. In God’s eyes when we are saved we are as holy as we will ever be.

I have been in the Kingdom for more than 30 years. I have observed many ‘movements’ within the body: the faith movements (name it and claim it), the prosperity movement (honoring those who are well off more than those who are not), and the judgment movement (those who have trouble and illness must be secretly sinning). While faith is the substance of following Christ, prosperity, or righteousness is the strength of Christ in us, and judgment exists within our personal relationship with Jesus, God is in control, and these movements have passed away because they were man-made.

Yet within the individual groups of believers, some of these ideas still exist. I met one woman who vehemently opposed Joyce Meyer, call her a prosperity teacher. I tried to explain that the Word refers to prosperity as righteousness. And this left me wondering: Why is it so hard for people to believe that God wants us to prosper?

I have an illness called positional vertigo. I can get very sick at times, and have to limit my movements. Why am I sharing this? Because I met a woman in a denomination who walked up to me and asked me if I had aids because she heard I was ill. I had never really spoken with her, and only known her a short time. I thought, off all the illnesses a person can have, why did she leap to this one? I honestly can’t look her in the eye. Not because of her question, but because of the heart if sprang from. Who thinks these things? How can a person go immediately to one of the worst conditions in America just because another person has an illness?

I have met believers who have many rules: don’t wear makeup, don’t go to movies, don’t play cards, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t fellowship with unbelievers (now that one blows me away, after all, are we only suppose to shine the light on each other?).

I had a conversation with a young woman who had accepted Jesus as Lord. She was thinking of turning back because she couldn’t conquer all the ‘don’ts’ she was being told to do. I shared with her my own salvation experience. I was told by a woman I couldn’t be saved because I was a hippie. I thought about the statement, but knew in my innermost being that Jesus was real and that I decided to follow Him. I didn’t change overnight; it was years of praying, listening, and being cooked in the silver pot, all the dross skimmed off, then being cooked again.

Who is the holiest in heaven? God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. No matter what we do as Christians during our journey on earth, we cannot earn a higher place in heaven. We can draw closer to God always by learning to let our nature, our thoughts, our judgment, and our hearts, give way to what God is doing in our lives.

For me, that is deflecting my pride, keeping my tongue, being submissive to the rules at work, doing good wherever I see to do it, and handing my tendency for melancholy over to God every time I find it swimming in my soul. It is remembering that we live in an imperfect world, shrouded in darkness, and it is my ‘job’ to shine a lot in this darkness. My light is kindness (even when I don’t feel kind), consistency in my actions and reactions (even when I want to slap someone), smiling, and listening for the opportunity to encourage, provide, and perform a good deed for someone. And I do this for unbelievers. Imagine that?