Eyes wide open… Reflections

Cody Bear

Cody Bear

In the darkest hours of the night, when sleep should prevail, without prejudice, without mercy, questions pour into my head.  I lie awake and I wonder…

Have I lived well enough to make many friends and fewer enemies?

Do I have the courage to cherish my friends and to vanquish my enemies?

Have I spread enough smiles?

Have I shared enough hugs?

Have I planted enough kisses? 

Have I caused enough laughter to earn reciprocity?

Have I studied enough history? 

Have I been engaged enough in current affairs? 

Have I earned a degree in knowledge?

Is knowledge a benefit? 

Is knowledge the revelation of truths, or is knowledge the realizations of falsehoods?

Have I learned from every victory and every folly? 

If so, am I a benefactor; more important, am I a teacher?

Today, in this world that reports the past in real-time; in time to worry for our future; and I only see and images of life, albeit in real-time, can I relate? 

Have I focused long enough on the anguished faces, I cannot truly see?

Have I listened hard enough to the desperate voices, I truly cannot hear? 

Have I seen enough of their pain, I truly cannot feel? 

Have I felt their hunger, I cannot feed? 

Have I shared in their grief, I cannot quell? 

Have I touched enough people?

Has cuddling become a lost art?

If you learn my darkest secret, will you forgive me? 

Will I forgive myself?

Did I stop smoking soon enough to live forever? 

How much double churned ice cream is too much? 

Will I die and when? 

Will it be too soon!  Of course! 

Would I fight for my life to the very end?  

Out of fear?  

Out of courage; for you? 

Will I let go? 

Can I fall away?

Will you miss me if I’m gone? 

Will you miss me when you are alone? 

Will you miss me when you are amongst friends. 

Will you still be laughing and smiling? 

And for how long?  Don’t tell me.

My dog is asleep at my feet. 

He has all the answers. 

He won’t say, but I finally get it.

It’s not about me. 

So now, I can close my eyes…

Getting Religion…

Stating the obvious, we know that wearing religion on your sleeve can be dangerous.  Which brings me to one cogent expression from this one young man’s video below; he professes that “people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook.”  

I have experienced their religion first-hand.  If you’re running late and you think finding a seat on a Southwest flight is difficult, try getting to a religious service late.  If you have ever been slow to leave after services, you have been run over by the stampede leaving church or cutoff leaving the parking lot.   

I guess it’s still better than being in the Middle East where you could be blown up by a suicide bomber or a roadside bomb.  Thank God no one has been nuked lately. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Many who profess their faith in God are truly genuine.  That is why many of us have become instant fans of the Denver Broncos…well Tim Tebow, anyway.  In fact, there does seem to be the hand of God in some of his touchdown throws.  God help the rest of us!  

To my point, Christians and Muslims have killed millions in the name of God or Allah, but as Jesus was our Savior, He never meant for any of this to happen.  He wasn’t a “Christian” in religious man-made terms.  He was the first Christian,  He was a true gift from God , the Son of God.  His words were meant to heal not to divide.  He sacrificed himself and died on the cross for all humankind. 

I’m not a heretic.  I’m not preaching.  If I was, I’d be preaching to the choir.  This is a lesson.  This is a lesson from the heart.  We need to listen. —> Getting Religion

He says, “Just because you call somebody blind doesn’t mean you have vision.”

We have been warned.  The experts say our next great threat is ourselves, right here in America. It’s now about you and me.  It’s now more important than ever to follow the true meaning of Christ.

We already know we live shoulder to shoulder, possibly arm in arm, with the next domestic terrorist.  Whether he or she is on the side of one religious sect or another, it matters far less than the lives that will be lost.  We just need to stop, listen and learn from Him.

The Greatest Commandment: Love God and Your Neighbor

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Be a Servant to Others

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

So when you’re on the internet, which is a miracle in itself, to think Al Gore invented it; and you come across an amazing YouTube video, it’s no wonder you will find someone you can relate to and another who says, “hmmm.” 

I hope you have labored with me up to this point because if you haven’t seen and heard it, this young man’s poem and video, YouTube Video —->Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word, it has great insight on man-made religion vs. the true love of God.

In his own words, A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion. In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair.  Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel “not good enough” for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!”  Jefferson Bethke

Let’s see if this young man can keep his perspective, like Tebow, without becoming carried away with his newfound man-made worship and adoration. 

Regardless, his message is compelling.  I have watched and listened to this video several times, not because I am in danger of being left without a seat on a plane or I fear getting run over in a stampede.  I have watched and listened because it has struck a chord… 

Maybe there’s hope for our young people.  Maybe they will navigate their way out of this dust storm they have inherited from us.  Maybe those of us older and portended to be wiser, set in our ways; maybe, just maybe, we will follow.

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They Never Asked to be Our Heroes

I’ll be on a plane tomorrow on 9-11-2011.  After enduring 10 years of security screenings do you think for one moment I would hesitate to travel on 9-11-2011?

 God bless those who sacrificed their lives on 9-11, to their families and their friends on 9-11-and all of those who remain committed to protecting our freedom.  Below a tribute to all our heroes, then and now.  Thank you!

They Never Asked to be Our Heroes

God help those less fortunate. 
Pray their souls find peace and harmony.
There seems no end to those who suffer
There seems no end to their misery
God in all your wisdom
Find them redemption and salvation, too.
 
Those who died, left undiscovered,
Those who died for our sins past.
They never asked to be our heroes,
They never asked for their fate cast.
They only lived to be our friends and lovers,
They only lived to be our fathers and mothers,
They only lived as God’s children do.
 
There is no will to look away. 
There is no way to escape from the view. 
What’s left is to look to each other, 
For the answers we already knew. 
For our moment of truth is our salvation.
 
by idea capitalist – 10-21-2001
 

What is Romance?

Romance makes it easy to turn “labor into love.”My heart still beats for passion, Still quickens for romance.

Romance! You are the one!

You are the one who has shared my many moments of silence.

You have endured, lovingly.

If I have conquered,

You have laid victory at my feet.

If I have raised my glass to success,

I have tasted your lips.

And you have raised me from defeat.

You are the knowing eyes that lay me to sleep.

You are the million dollar smile that awakens me.

You are my love. I miss you now!

Romance, you are the only one.

Always!

Broken Hearted

Recently, a dear friend’s mother passed away at 93 years of age.  More than a lifetime, yet only a moment in time.  Where do we go from here?  When the light goes out and the smile fades away of another loved one?

Aged and revered.  Adored and adulated.  Respected and to whatever degree possible, emulated.  You have to wonder how you can replace a legacy, an individual with such an enormous history; with another, a light so bright, here today, gone tomorrow.

In years past, there was the love and dedication to one another that reaches far beyond what has become practice today.  Our sovereign past was punctuated with marriages that endured 30, 40, 50 years and more.  When I say endured, I mean marriages suffered financial hardships far greater than we face today, unborn children, children suffering physical and mental handicaps and many other maladies we no longer face today.

Today, marriage is commonplace if not convenient.  The slightest hiccup is grounds for divorce.

Today, whether by a barrage of socio-economic altered DNA or as I would prefer to define it, our progeny are spoiled, people no longer live for one another, unless it is better suited (in our best interest) to do so.

There is a commitment to convenience.  Principles are defined by rule of law and politics as opposed to personal ethics and spirituality.

Formal education today has schooled us in cynicism and prejudice against a society built on “sweat equity” and capitalist ideals.  Today our future is in hands unsoiled by the earth and unscathed by the tools that built our rails, roads and bridges that made our country great.  God help us.

In the book Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, a story unfolds about a man, Louis Zamperini, a WWII hero who endured (there’s that word again), along with thousands of WWII prisoners of war and victims of Japanese imposed terror, torture and genocide, unspeakable crimes against human nature and survived to become a true American hero.  If you read his story you will come to realize, the use of the term “hero” today is used at a whole different level.

The book is a best seller.  People marvel over the fortitude and unrelenting willfulness of a man to do what’s right in the face of sheer evil.  Louis Zamperini and hundreds of thousands of Americans of his era were doing what they thought was the right thing to do.  Let’s hope that spirit of America doesn’t die!

I don’t wish to diminish simple acts of bravery, or people doing the right thing when faced with a choice.  My problem is it has become unexpected and uncommon to do what’s morally and ethically responsible in the face of popular alternative.  And God forbid you’ll get sued!

Now it’s time to get off my soapbox and on my knees.  It’s time to give thanks to God for the bright lights and great minds that will outlive the memories of most.  God rest your soul.

When it rains, it pours!

About 1 1/2 years ago, oddly after a terrific summer with Cody in the Summit Valley of Colorado at over 10,000 feet and hiking together, Cody started to gain weight, shed profusely and lose mobility.  I’ve always called him my Cody Bear.  Like me, he is just a load… an Irish/German mish-mash of blood and guts.

Now he’s the brunt of many yucks… he’s even been called a manatee. Have you heard the joke about the dog who needs to lose weight just so he can lick his privates?

I took him into several vets and after a series of tests, he’s been diagnosed with “atypical Cushing’s Disease.”  Not to alarm anyone.  Cushing’s disease is treatable and Cody is getting the best of care.

So what has me bugged?  It just seems like all the great dogs I have known, almost exclusively Labs and Golden’s, are dying early and almost all of whom are dying from the big “C” cancer.  Why is that?

Why are small “yappy” dogs living longer?  Are we researching the increase in mortality, specifically due to cancer, in large dogs, most commonly Golden’s and Labs?  Tongue in cheek, maybe we should?

If you are layed back and loveable you’re gonna die before your disagreeable brethren?

I think the research would be surprising.  If you are a small yappy dog, you’ll live next to forever in doggy years and if you are a big ol’ Cody bear of a dog expect to die too early in my estimation… Can we equate the same to humans?

Eyes wide open… Reflections

picasabackgroundEyes wide open… Reflections
In the darkest hours of the night, when sleep should prevail, without prejudice, without mercy, questions pour into my head.
I lie awake and I wonder…
Have I lived well enough to make many friends and fewer enemies?
Do I have the courage to cherish my friends and to vanquish my enemies?
Have I spread enough smiles?
Have I shared enough hugs?
Have I planted enough kisses?
Have I caused enough laughter to earn reciprocity?
Have I studied enough history?
Have I been engaged enough in current affairs?
Have I earned a degree in knowledge?
Is knowledge a benefit?
Is knowledge the revelation of truths, or is knowledge the realizations of falsehoods?
Have I learned from every victory and every folly?
If so, am I a benefactor; more important, am I a teacher?
Today, in this world that reports the past in real time;
I see images of life, in real time, how can I relate?
In time to worry for our future.
Have I focused long enough on the anguished faces, I cannot truly see?
Have I listened hard enough to the desperate voices, I truly cannot hear?
Have I seen enough of their pain, I truly cannot feel?
Have I felt their hunger, I cannot feed?
Have I shared in their grief, I cannot quell?
Have I touched enough people?
Has cuddling become a lost art?
If you learn my darkest secret, will you forgive me?
Will I forgive myself?
Did I stop smoking soon enough to live forever?
How much double churned ice cream is too much?
Will I die and when?
Will it be too soon!  Of course!
Would I fight for my life to the very end?
Out of fear?
Out of courage; for you?
Will I let go?
Can I fall away?
Will you miss me if I’m gone?
Will you miss me when you are alone?
Will you miss me when you are amongst friends.
Will you still be laughing and smiling?
And for how long?
Don’t tell me.
My dog is asleep at my feet.
He has all the answers.
He won’t say, but I finally get it.
It’s not about me.
So now, I can close my eyes…

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