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.

Express “yourself.” Leave your comments, share or spread the word click on Stumble Upon button below. Subscribe (above) or come back often to visit.

 

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!

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…

It’s God’s Will

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I’m a firm believer in the expression, “God helps those that help themselves.”

I’m not a big fan of the expression, “It’s God’s will.” Everyone needs to make important decisions every day that affect their own well being. Often you make decisions for others, to a lesser or greater degree, depending on your circle of influence.

Your circle of influence may be considerable, but there are those of us whose circle of influence can be much smaller and still have a much greater impact. Someone else’s decisions can be far reaching, worldwide, but ineffective. You and I can influence a family, maybe friends or a small business. If someone screws up worldwide, it’s up to you and I to win life’s battles… one at a time. That’s the way life should be.

Every day things happen unexpectedly, often uncontrollably, that affect you and me. Some good and bad things happen because we want them to happen. Some people can eat anything, get no exercise and never suffer the consequences. Someone can eat right and get plenty of exercise and never truly see the benefit. Sooner or later someone very close to you will be in a crisis. It may be emotional and or physical. It may be a divorce, an illness, or a death of a family member or friend.

I have a sister, Kay who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s my “littlest” sister. I have two other “little” sisters, Diane and Beth and two brothers. I love them all dearly.

Kay is very close to God and her family. I have it under advisement, that I am only one of hundreds that pray for her, which is a really good thing. Kay and I, we live far apart in so many ways. Oddly enough, we think alike in many ways. If I were to be reincarnated, I think I would be a lot like Kay, obviously an upgraded version due to our combined skill sets (ha-ha) and without the same plumbing, of course. Being a guy is so easy. My boys are much safer than her girls. You know what I mean…

If you know me, you know I don’t look or act like a guy that prays. Surprise! I pray for my family and my friends. I pray for Kay. Maybe this makes no sense to you, but I pray for me first.

That’s right. You’re second. I have tried to convince myself, the reason I have adopted this indulgence is; if I don’t take care of me first, I can’t take care of you. So I pray for you second. This might explain why some of you are so miserable (ha-ha). Get over it! We all have a cross to bear. That’s life. Marcus Aurelius, a way…way… long time along said it best, “Life is what your thoughts make it.”

Then there’s this…if I pray for you, does it really matter? Is God really listening to me? If you are in my prayers, you should pray God is listening, because I don’t pray enough. When I do, I want to make sure it’s important. So get in line! God’s a busy guy (excuse me… but PC would be to say…entity). There are a lot of people out there that need His or Her help a lot more than you or I do.

So why am I not a big fan of the expression, “It’s God’s will?” Well, I’ve heard that expression all too often. When I hear it from someone that I’m trying to help, it leaves me little room to offer my own advice, council; or an alternative. I’m competing with the best. God. So all I can do is pray for you?

Maybe God’s will is a blessing for those who are totally helpless, but if I have one ounce of strength left in my being, I’m going to be looking out for “numero uno” and I pray someone’s got my back. If you know me; if you and I are family or friends, I have your back!

What I love about Kay is she does not hide her love for God and her faith in God, but from my seat at the table, she is totally into the expression, “God helps those that help themselves.”

Kay has explored all her options in terms of her treatment, surgical, chemo and radiation, for her type of cancer. She has consulted with all the resources available to her and recognized all of her opportunities and risks. Once Kay made a decision, she was all in. I love and admire her for that. Most of all, I love her courage, to strike out on her own. Of course, all of you and I have her back.

Kay isn’t looking for someone to blame. She isn’t looking for someone to make it all better… She is all in. Now it is up to you and I to support her. We’re all in. Maybe that’s God’s will?

May you live every day of your life. Jonathon Swift

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