The Great Confusion: Part 1

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Tower of Babel. Image courtesy http://www.biblestudytools.com/

It is not difficult to understand the societies we live in when we look at the actions of individuals as stemming from the human heart or soul. All our actions stem from the desires of the human heart, both good and evil. A group of individuals is what makes up our villages, our towns, our cities, our provinces or states, and our nations. It is the corporate thoughts and desires of a group of individuals that also determines whether something good or evil will come out in our actions.

Continue reading “The Great Confusion: Part 1”

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Overcoming Fear…

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If there is one thing I understand unequivocally, it is fear. I am not talking about the boogie man hiding underneath our bed as children. I am referring to the fears that we all experience when we face the numerous challenges of life and living. It is so much easier to remain in our respective comfort zones than to tackle the challenges of personal change and adaptation to a rapidly changing society.

For some of us, our inward fears did indeed begin in childhood and became hardwired within us according to psychologists. Our childhood experiences of  hunger, pain, violence, neglect, abuse, belittlement, and ridicule set in motion mistrust and fears that can be enormous obstacles to overcome as adults.

Modern society offers all kinds of self-help books and tutorials, the services of counselling professionals, and a plethora of psychotropic drugs to either assist adults in facing and overcoming their fears or dulling our emotions and taking the edge off our experience of reality. These are all of some help and should not be dismissed haphazardly, but in my experience, human methodology and assistance alone can be likened to putting a bandaid on a deep and festering wound and hoping it will just heal itself. Unless we get to the root of our fears, and the wounds are cleaned out and truly healed, we tend to pass on those fears to our children and our children’s children.

It is almost incomprehensible to me now that we can continue to go through life thinking and acting like we are all alone in our fears and that it is safer to stay within the confines of our neatly created reality.

We were never created to be fearful, but the episode in the Garden of Eden, changed that for all of humankind. It is interesting that one of the first responses of the Biblical characters of Adam and Eve, after their disobedience, was an attempt to hide from God out of fear. A once perfect creation was now experiencing the most deadly of all human thought and emotion – FEAR.

As a new follower of Christ one of the first biblical verses I committed to memory was this:

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1 Timothy 1:7 ESV

I had learned very quickly, on the basis of this verse, that God was very present in my life and heart via the Holy Spirit. But to experience the power of God, His unfathomable love, and enablement to live a life of self-control was a moment by moment, day by day,  and year by year walk with God, as I understood Him, each step along the way.

Slowly, over the span of some 37 years, I am still learning to trust God to help me to overcome my fears and to be healed of all of life’s harsh moments day in and day out. Addressing and overcoming our fears, both large and small, begins with our relationship with God as we understand Him. The scripture is there to lead us and guide us through the maze we call life, hopefully avoiding the traps and entanglements that tear us down and produce unreasonable fears in all of us.

To be healed inwardly of even the deepest fears is to experience the love of God in a way that is almost indescribable with mere words. I am so thankful for this journey of life and the many kind-hearted and like-minded people who have helped me along the way.

God with skin on…I like that!

The War of Loves – From Gay Rights Activism to Knowing Jesus Christ

An interesting story of a young man’s struggle with his own sexuality, discovering the Love of Jesus Christ, and his willingness to share the good news of God’s agape love for humankind.

Daily Roll - Reflections

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“Aim at Heaven and you get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.” — C.S. Lewis

The sound of the band next door filled the room. The small bar served cocktails named after different literary figures and the usual party drinks. All of Sydney’s literati, fine arts students, and writers were there. I remembered some of the faces from political meetings on campus. One of them was an artist I had dated who obligingly avoided eye contact. Everyone’s eccentric outfits blended with the music and people started dancing. This was Oxford Street, the central strip of the Sydney gay scene and I was at one of the alternative clubs. I used to carry a small journal with me for occasions like these. I would write a philosophical question in the journal and then pass it around to everyone to collect answers. I had my Charlie Chaplin pen…

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Healing for the Brokenhearted

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The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 NLT

This post is dedicated to the Caregiver – life would be cruel without you.

In another post, I began my journey of writing about the most difficult experience I have gone through in my life. The crisis was two years long and we, as a family, waited over ten years for my wife to be finally pronounced as “healed” by the numerous medical doctors involved.

I wanted to write openly about how I felt as a long-term caregiver to my spouse, as she lay there dying in the hospital. The stress that my three girls and myself went through was unbearable and almost unspeakable, I could only but imagine what my beautiful wife was going through.

After discussing some of the details of my intended post with my beloved sidekick, I agreed with her that I would respect her privacy and “leave things in the past where they lay“. That alone was a difficult agreement for me to make. But, because I love her deeply, I will respect her wishes.

I can say this though, sometimes the trials and tribulations that we go through, especially if they are chronic and long term in nature, can take a big chunk out of our hearts and lives. We are never the same afterwards. Granted, one discovers who their true friends and family members really are. We become intimately acquainted with suffering and learn the important elements of patience, persistence, long-suffering, hope, faith, and so forth. We draw close to God, and He draws close to us in a very real and tangible way.

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:8a NLT

Yet, our heart still cries out in agonizing pain over the tragedy we are experiencing. We need someone to pour our heart out to, but nobody is really listening or even appears to care. We need “God with skin on“. A healing balm of tender human companionship and a listening ear. Tears continue to well up as I write this…

As a male in North American society, it is often implicitly expected, at least culturally, that we be strong and silent when we face the aforementioned. Taking care of business, trying to be emotionally detached or compartmentalized until the necessary job is finished. When the crisis extends over a multiple year period, we simply get worn out.

A part of us is gone now, perhaps never to return.

It is with this in mind that I want to extend my friendship and a listening ear to all those who have literally carried the weight of being a caregiver over the long-term. I deeply respect your commitment and your heart felt love to care for someone you cherish.

If I can be of any help to you, through my many life experiences, both good and not-so-good, please feel free to contact me. You are an intelligent person – you will figure out how to do that.

God bless, and thank you for your understanding 🙂

Loneliness is not a disease…

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Courtesy Mario Zucca for the Boston Globe.

Loneliness is not something most of us want to talk about. After all, there is often social stigma attached to a lonely person with few or any friends for that matter. In a world of social media, where one is often measured by the number of friends they have on Facebook or the number of kudos and/or comments they receive on WordPress, to be lonely is the equivalent to being a loser, a social outcast or leper.

Continue reading “Loneliness is not a disease…”

A Conservative Majority: US Supreme Court

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The US Supreme Court

In case you missed it…Trump’s pick of conservative judge, Neil Gorsuch, for the supreme court is the reason why so many Catholics, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and other conservative evangelical groups voted Republican.

A conservative dominated supreme court in the US will change the moral and ethical landscape of the nation.

For too long, the imbalance in the US supreme court has made for some very questionable bench decisions that pushed liberal values – values that are rooted in relative truth and situational ethics.

Secular humanism and its socialistic underpinnings is not the answer for a troubled US. As a Canadian with conservative values, I am convinced that secularism and socialism is slowly destroying our society from the inside out.

Socialism and its extreme counterpart, Communism, has failed all over the world in the 20th century.

Socialism and Communism in the two-thirds world, like Cuba, has set them back at least 50 years. If Castro was such a glorious comrade and leader (he wasn’t – he was a mass murderer) why have so many Cubans fled to the United States since the 1950’s? To witness former Cuban refugees in Miami, now American citizens, celebrate Castro as a hero smells rotten to me – from hero to zero in 60 seconds.

#SpeakOut

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A letter to a young Catholic friend…

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Our journey towards God, as we understand Him, is like a long voyage at sea. We are not completely certain of the time of arrival at our destination, but we love, forgive and accept along the way.

I am encouraged to hear of your struggles in your daily walk with God. As you know, without that tension of faith and reason, and doubt, there is no true personal growth in Christ. As you eloquently stated, the Church is us – we are the reflection of God’s love for our world. To move from a quiet, personal faith in God to being open, active, and genuine as a follower of Christ is what our respective societies desperately yearn for. Gen X and the Millennials crave for the genuine, and search eagerly for new answers to age old problems. Nothing new under the sun, just a different way of doing Church. Run with it!

Postscriptum

beautybeyondbones is a young, vivacious, and intelligent woman who has learned to love through personal crisis and the difficulties and hardships of this life. Her struggles towards being a genuine follower of Christ are open and endearing to the reader. I highly recommend her blog on WordPress. Encourage her as I have been encouraged.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.