God Because I Choose

I Believe in God Because.jpg

 Remember that they must come to choose the faith, Christian faith because of the wonders of the Holy Trinity, Love of Christ for Humanity, Love of the Father in the Triune Relationship.  The world will do all it can to destroy that, and yes we should share the faith with the children in the family, conservative values for those of us who are, but the journey to a full and rich union, unity with the Trinity, deep love and appreciation for the gift of Christ and what He did for us.  All of that must come from within, so pray for a stirring, beautiful, gentle, consisting stirring of the spirit that gets them there.  It has to be their choice.  Let them know, there are not always clean cut answers, that’s okay!

Amen

Context In Faith Matters

Radiant Light

https://www.smp.org/dynamicmedia/files/403be70573b2c3b4525f97c2ad6d5c85/TX002208-1-content-Catholic_Biblical_Interpretation.pdf

I have also looked into http://www.gordonconwell.edu/  You can take the courses for your own personal development, or take the quizes and receive a certificate.

I was on twitter and got into discussion with atheists, we started discussing America’s heritage, I pointed stuff out, our history, national anthem, last stanza what it says, and then the Bible came up and the thing with it condones slavery, other stuff.  I had to explain context.  I had to explain that you have to look at scripture in the context of that culture, and distinguish between whether they were referring to slaves  brought over on ships or another category of people working in the household.  Also I pointed out that Paul admonishes care and kindness for all who work in the household, one of the servants who returns to the Master, even changes him and then gains his freedom if memory serves. They were not commissioned to overthrow the government or the status quo of the government and if they had created a situation of the house workers etc… rebelling that could have put those very people in grave danger.  Remember there were no civil right groups back then.  They likely felt it was more wise to try to change the sin behavior, is often the wise course, and let the change happen due to change in behavior, in emotions, in mindset through Christ, and power of the Holy Spirit.  There is a whole host of contextual stuff you have to, should at least glance at when looking to know the Bible, historical, cultural, then there is eschatology, Christology etc… To read the Bible is great, but one should have a study to understand proper fundamentals, after all it is the Word of the Creator. Just saying.

Shalom and Amen

Know What You’re Walking Away From

Catholics Basics.jpg

Often Catholics, even yours truly will get caught up in the trap of not really knowing about the faith, now knowing the core truths of it, the biblical basis for these truths, the exegesis, the deductive and inductive reasoning of the Church Fathers in regards to the faith and will fall into the trap of Sola Scriptura, walk away from the faith.  They will get caught up in the emotional preaching of Evangelicals and I do think Catholicism does need to do a better job connecting the teaching to the all aspects of the self, heart, spirit and soul, and also in evangelization, not in your face evangelization, but evangelization.  I myself need to get back a strong fundamental understanding of the faith because to leave behind something that you don’t even truly deeply understand, well doesn’t make a lot of sense when it comes to spirituality and the spiritual life, though the one path I hope no one ever tries to understand is Satanism, ever, or any such path, please. 

Amen

Music and Prayer, One and The Same

Music Gives Wings

I attended a prayer service yesterday at Life Center church in my neighborhood for the first time.  What was different about it that will have me going back? What did it make me realize?

The first thing was that it was a place that was not distracting, it was a place where when we were hearing the praise music from the artist who also at one point offered her intercessory prayer, and when the pastor’s wife did the same, and another member of the church, we really were focused on that, on Christ.  There was also because of this, a sense of egalitarianism where I felt that I could at some point perhaps also offer an intercessory moment such as prayer for the nation, our POTUS, for parents to be guided to do right in their parenting.  Then there was the fact that we were combining worship music with prayer, both in harmony, in compliment and synergy.  I had my eyes closed most of the time, really letting the music soak into me, the words, and the prayer intercessions, really communicating with all my heart, spirit and soul with God.  I realized that this is why perhaps there is a moving toward the evangelical because while they do offer teaching, and God willing sound biblical teaching, they also understand the power of music as prayer, as part of prayer.  I realize for me that is crucial to my faith, my faith life etc…, that communication of truth, and biblical truth through music, the arts.  If that truth offends, not because of the truth itself, but rather because the truth has hit home and is truth, one that that person does not want to accept.  

I will be going back and hopefully contribute also to the music and prayer, and I hope also to let people know about it, bring people to participate, pray with prayer and music. 

Amen

Getting Creative and Bonding

Holiday Decor You Can Easily Create

The holidays can be a time of stress, of running around and shopping for gifts It can really lose the significance of the season. Think about it.  It is supposed to be about Christ, about bonding with those we care about, sharing love and light with those we care about.  Somehow, Advent preparing for the season of light and love, and redemption has gotten lost in the commercial, in the craziness of activities of running around.  What if instead of all of that we came together to create decorations with the family, with friends?  What if we all agreed homemade gifts instead of fancy store bought gifts, just for this year?  What if?  Here are some ideas for that. 

What A Warped Society We Weave

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https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/gage-cohen/kids-can-know-theyre-transgender-two-years-old-univ-calif-mental-health-director

https://www.yahoo.com/news/catholic-school-statue-covered-being-074924831.html

The first story should make us all gag and do a exorcist like full head spin, going “WTH?!!!!!”  Imagine what a field day NAMBLA will have with this one and other pedophile groups! How the hell does kids playing with toys or play around mean they are gay, transgender etc..? How the hell do kids understand they are anything about sexuality as two year olds or even eight year olds? If they are molested over time and that is the sexual relation they are exposed to or have traumatic experiences with the opposite sex or antagonistic ones why might that not be why they are leaning a certain direction?  From a spiritual and physical world existing understanding, dark entity oppression and influence?  In our warped society, many would see no perversity in the first article, in the first worldview.  Yet, a statue of a man with a kind heart giving a hungry child a loaf of bread, that is deemed lewd etc..?  Drag queen TV that’s fine, teaching all kinds of LGBT lifestyle stuff to young, very young children, that’s progress, but teaching about solid boundaries of behavior, about traditional family, strong family, a strong community of faith, a creator of all things etc.., that’s being Nazi.  Debating all ideas in college, having a range of opinions expressed including Christian, can’t have that.  Someone like me, I would be enemy number one on college campus as a professor or a student because I would be open about my faith, my conservatism, my capitalism, make no apologies, even if it literally cost me my job and my degree.  I have to be true to self and He who created me, who gave me life and to a orderly and right order society.   These two articles are just one example of many contrasts I could give.

Amen

Beyond Denomination, Yet Anchor Firm

Christ Consciousness

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As the holidays near, I find myself thinking about home, where is home, where is home spiritually, emotionally?  What label to I wear, and what is my anchor, what is my spiritual identity? 

It has truly been like going through a labyrinth, a maze of twists and turns my whole life.  I guess the anchor, the firm anchor of belief is Christ, and also the Trinity, in a sense the Apostles Creed.  When it comes to the church itself, I see not any denomination, I see the rock as the truth, not a denomination that Jesus was talking about.  When He told Peter that upon this rock he would build the church, he meant that revelation of Him as the Christ, of Him as Messiah, and also of that faith that would carry the church through, even if those in it had moments of crisis.  As i look at myself, my life I realize that has been my anchor, my own story, that no matter what the crisis, even moments of spiritual drought, my anchor for getting through life’s dark times, was Christ, faith in His completed work at the Cross and beyond.   What about church, where is home?  As I think about it, I have a sense of the type of church I envision and this is what I envision.

The church I see myself being a part of is one where there is a strong support for Israel, one where there is firm Christ and Gospel centered church life and it’s not about climate change, so called modern day social just, warped feminism,  or any of that malarkey.  It’s a place where there is plenty of prayer and where artists, worship artists, where true artists of faith can thrive, can grow.  It’s a place that has small group bible study, connect groups and people live out the bible and conservative principles in their politics and their lives.  They seek to share the Gospel, even when people don’t feel comfy with it, and partner with other groups of solid conservatives to share the Gospel, really provide a range of services to those in the church and community.  They are not about denomination, not interested in the church conforming to the world, but conforming the world to the Gospel and Gospel Truth.  That is what I am seeking, and hopefully find it this holiday.  I still respect my heritage, and it will always be a part of my history, nothing will every change that, nothing.

Amen

 

 

 

Overcoming Faith with Fear

Christ Consciousness

In traditional homes, our children have been taught to fear the unknown. While the adults have been trying to prepare the children for world problems, they have been unintentionally performing a negative programming. I don’t speak this for everyone; however, some of us know what it is like! We have been continuously taught to fear the unknown. We have made ourselves nervous of what might happen or how worse the things may get. While some may argue that it is this approach that prepares us to handle the unknown easily. What if I told you this is the approach that makes us afraid of change? What if that change is spiritual or positive? Then without doubt, this fear of unknown is what is stopping us from experiencing what God has planned for us.

A thought may occur in your mind. Isn’t being afraid nowadays a good habit actually? The fear lets us prepare for worse which lets us avoid it. And who can argue right?! I mean look at this crazy times. Political upheaval, natural disasters, diseases breakouts, economic crisis etc. just to name a few… It is very easy to be shaken all the times. It seems very impractical to be not worried. I support you. However, you also must know the adverse medical effects of depression which is sole consequence of fear. Bible suggests that in Christ we live unshakable. It didn’t say wrong.

Note that I am not asking you to give up worries. They let you prepare beforehand for disasters. However, what I am suggesting is that you must let go of fear of unknown. Fear of unknown is impractical. You must fight your fear with faith of everything happening in best manner. Belief helps! It lets you put your hope in future. We have greatest gift of present which we can utilize by living in moment. How can we live in moment when fear of future prevents us from doing so? Faith helps in this obstacle.

The battle against fear is a something which we can only win through our faith. What we want to accomplish in life can never be won through constant worries and fear. As the scripture suggested, “Fight a good fight of faith”. This is achieved by knowing the fact that we are spiritual beings having temporary existence on earth. Our Lord loves us. He sent us here for a reason. He sent us so that we could live up to our fullest potential. He has sent us so that we could fulfill ourselves spiritually and physically, thus ascending to our higher selves. By acknowledging that every cloud has a silver lining, every trouble comes with opportunity in disguise, we can get through this. I know some of us have lost relatives; some of us have suffered heavy losses, and how is there a silver lining in this? Well, trust me. God loves you more than your own mother. If something was taken from you, it was only for purpose of letting you grow. Over the time, you will get something even better. It is coming despite of your attitude; you just have to prepare yourself to receive its fullest by practicing faith.

Whose Responsibility, Risk and Reward?

Garden

Two schools of thought, ideologies etc…Socialism and Capitalism.     This chart gives the differences in a very concise manner.  http://keydifferences.com/difference-between-capitalism-and-socialism.html

There are key differences, important ones being responsibility, spirituality, risk, reward ration, full realization of self, the basis or even incentive for that.  True capitalism, not crony, which is what we have had much of, but true capitalism and private community and faith based charity create an amazing society, world, but for that to happen some key elements have to be present at all levels of society.  First thing is a natural love of law and order, personal development, and of development of one’s talents, gifts, discovering what they are, a supportive law abiding community, and natural order family unit of great integrity to also show you that path and help you discover that.  A true capitalist society understands the value of individual, as well as collective contributions of gifts, talents whatever they are and even when life circumstances change, new or perhaps never before explored gifts are encouraged for continued self reliance etc… There is also in the USA, used to be a strong faith component that kicked you in the tukkus to strive for integrity etc…, not to say we are perfect and achieve it perfectly, but it was there, strongly, it mattered.  The government in a capitalist society, the education system is not the parent, is not the primary educator and shaper of worldview, rather the family and local community is.  When that is strong, solid with solid ethics, integrity, morals and thriving through true capitalism, when there is no crony capitalism, no corporate welfare, rather full range of risk and reward, everyone knowing there is no bailout, so make it work, do it right, no one is going to save your tukkus, stuff gets accomplished, innovation happens.  When government takes on a role of parent, nanny everything under the sun, and has constant bailouts for everyone, no one learns any lessons, no one develops thick skin, no one seeks to innovate.  Does that mean that government shouldn’t have some laws to keep law and order, all that jazz?  No, of course it should, but not to point of suffocating, stifling innovation.  A big part of life is this equation, not a comfortable one, but a necessary one, “risk and suck up risk if you want reward, potential reward, realize “buyer beware, if anything seems to awesome to be true, triple check it, likely is”  Life is about discovering what you and your gifts are made of, which means risk, reward, and potentially disappointment and heartache here and there.  That is what builds character.  It also forces you to learn to make decisions, to think through things critically not with emotions, or seeing boogeymen everywhere, but it teaches you to figure out how to discern things in life.  When government says “we will take care of everything, decide everything for you, guide every aspect of your life”, you are in serious trouble, for many generations to come. 

For there to be true freedom, you can’t have snowflakes in a society, a society full of them, the government micromanaging lives or society.  Human beings can not, must not be micromanaged.  Nations must as true to capitalism as possible, full risk and reward, yet community, locally and individually we should be able to constructively help those in need and those who did risk and lost in that process to rebuild.  That is true capitalism and a strong society, nation.

Culture Matters, Very Much So

Most PRecious Blood

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As I listen to  anglican hymns and am moved, and even as I watch the images of Mass and procession of the San Gennaro feast, and at the same time come across stories on FB about young academia tweeting about dead cops and so much other crap, I realize why the faith and culture of my ancestors matters, why the Italian-American, Christian faith matters.

It matters because it has taught me respect for family, God, and Country.  Does that mean that I don’t have my arguments with God, tweet my very sometimes undiplomatic thoughts to church hierarchy including the Pope, or politicos? No, of course I do.  Does that mean I suffer fools, wither liberal progressive or fanatic conservative evangelical? No, let them have it to, not diplomatic about it either, no sugar coating there.  However, whatever faults any individual might have within the family, faith institution or government, I still respect the unit and institution of family, faith and country, federalist, constitutional etc…system  of my country to the best of my ability, expect others to as well.  There is a core identity of which I spoke in a previous post, core beliefs that can never be taken from me, including gifts of the Holy Spirit and each of us has different ones.  They are the core of who I am and I also have a clear sense of honor for the Hebraic roots of the faith of my ancestors, for Israel, and my Italian heritage.  Am I fanatic about any of it, will I stand in front of let’s say an abortion clinic with kids along with me, graphic pictures, yelling screaming in women’s faces words like murderer, NO.  Do I think disciplinary action has to be taken against any military chaplain or persons who says that tolerance of atheism, or Islam or Christianity, any faith in the military is prohibited, makes anyone feel scared to pray, or not to pray anything like that? Yes.  Jesus whose face was on the coin and then said to render on to Caesar his due.  If the government violates strict Constitutional rights, that is different, not okay or overtaxes stuff that is egregious.   Then the people have a right to react as peacefully as possible.  The problem with today’s society is that there is not anchor, nothing to anchor in identity, respect, in boundaries, in anything.  That is very dangerous, as is an identity that is so rigid, there is no room for anyone to have any identity other than the one you say they ought to have and only your way or the highway as is the case with ISIS.  Standards, particular standards, boundaries, clear identity of faith and culture matter, bring a sense of self I realize, and that sense of self is important, even if people within the group can sometimes frustrate the heck out of you.  Still, it matters, matters very much.

Amen