Trusting A Friend –

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”
Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

 

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Sunshine friends, there when the sun shines but when the weather changes for the worst, they leave. Good friends are there no matter what, they stick around, they support you, they give advice that may or may not be what you want to hear. Never giving up, the strength of their arms is there for whatever you need. I know one who meets these criteria whom I’ll call Big Daddy and who others call by many names, especially – “God”. I won’t give my trust to someone until I’ve seen them in action when the crap hits the fan. If I want to trust Big Daddy, by my own definition, I should wait to see him in action. In other words, how can I know God’s a provider unless I’m in a place of lack. How can I know God’s a protector unless I need to be defended. How can I know God’s a healer unless I need healing. These things I’ve described: lack, vulnerability, and sickness were initially viewed as such severe acts that I shouldn’t have to go through them, but if that were so, how can I ever trust, especially one who I cannot see?

Trouble in our lives is necessary if we’re to know the personality of God. Here’s where I’ve seen Big Daddy work in my life. When I was molested, he saved me from death. The rapist and the molester could have killed me. As for the mental scars, which are severe, God helps me to recover with patience and love during my midnight breakdowns. When I was attacked and feared for my life from both spiritual and physical situations, God intervened time and again and let me recover from physical and psychological pain. When I was heartbroken by lost love and betrayal of friends, God stepped in to provide direction and comfort. When I was destitute, by my own hand and by the hand of circumstances, Big Daddy provided food, clothing, and housing. How did all this occur? Some instances of His help are beyond explanation, and some came by the hands of others around me.
Why did he use other people instead of just stepping in and making this or that appear out of thin air? Because in the turmoil of life my heart will harden to loathe people and hate their company. This is contrary to the family life that God wants for us. He used other people to overcome the tendency to harden myself, isolate myself, and hurt people who had nothing to do with the original problem. It’s human nature to want vengeance and exact it however we see fit. It’s God’s nature to promote family and unity both with each other and with ourselves. The end of the thing is this, in my life I’ve experienced great pain and terror and this is my testimony: Big Daddy was always there, in the deepest, darkest, lowest depths to reach out and give me love, hope, and help. Let this be your experience as well, call on Him and He will help you. The help doesn’t always appear like you may think, but it works out for your best.
First Published in Opinions of Eye
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Thou shalt not – Yes you should! –

“I get up and pace the room, as if I can leave my guilt behind me. But it tracks me as I walk, an ugly shadow made by myself.” – Rosamund Lupton, Sister
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Damn the guilt

Thou shalt not. When I went to church, that’s what I heard. Being a young man and given to many troubles, I struggled with my love for God while bearing the guilt of “thou shalt not”. Looking at the rigorous laws imposed on me by religion, I saw a weakness in their application.

Thou shalt not Lie. Really? I’ll lie till my tongue twists in my head to save you from harm. A man breaks into your house, your wife and kids hide, he asks you, “Where are they?”. OK religious man, you who impose on me your guilt ridden laws, speak up! Tell that man where your family is so he can kill them, or do worse. I laugh at your law now, you should lie!
Thou shalt not kill. Really? Do you know that your freedom to worship rests on the blood of many honorable and/or religious men who laid their lives on the line and killed to give you the choice to intellectually subject me to your guilt ridden standards. You should kill to protect your family, your nation, your freedom. I can go on and show that for every “thou shalt not” there is a circumstance in life that dictates you should.
 
Double standard? No, I see a higher standard. Wisdom is skillfully applied knowledge, knowing the rule isn’t good enough for practice of the same. Obviously we shouldn’t live on lies, killing people at whim. Here is wisdom, for every spiritual principle, “thou shalt not lie”, “thou shalt not kill”, there lies a spiritual application. If you maintain your hardened religious attitude and refuse to consider that every application of knowledge requires wisdom, guilt and confusion will be your companions for life. Taking the general principles of honesty and respect for life, I spiritually apply them. Im at a loss for the answers to this dilemma, however, know that I’ll lie to keep you safe, and I’ll kill to protect my friends, family, and nation. Understand the inherent weakness of rules and consider the full course of your beliefs before imposing them on me.

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How Right Is Your Right?

“The answer is that there is no good answer. So as parents, as doctors, as judges, and as a society, we fumble through and make decisions that allow us to sleep at night–because morals are more important than ethics, and love is more important than law.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper 
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Walking the fine line, what makes a criminal? There are things done to survive, like stealing to provide food, and things done for protection like killing to defend my family and nation. Many times the law’s broken for the sake of greater good, but there’s an intrinsic law we carry in our nature, a line that’ll become apparent hopefully before it’s crossed. There are some of us that are meant to be lawbreakers, by nature rebellious, and those are necessary. Many good things are accomplished by those who’re not afraid to break away from the current understanding of right and wrong. So at what point are the actions considered criminal, not in the sense of law, but in the sense of conscience? At this breaking of the deeper, shall I say, spiritual law, a path’s entered that if continued on will lead to a seared conscience, a point which the wrong that’s done is so severe that conviction of the wrong’s never felt again.

This aborted morality leads us to a higher authority in which to compare our decisions. Many points of contention rise in response to this directive of a higher power. Haven’t hugely deviant and violent actions been inspired by “spiritual directive”? Yes, and still they will, but the perversion of the truth does not negate the validity of the same. A spiritual directive is out there and needs to be sought after to guide our unsure moral crawl to a full stride of right choices. There are things that’ll obscure this path and those things should be avoided at all costs, especially the habit of them. Beware of things which lower inhibitions and subvert the will. Many things beside the obvious will hypnotize the unwary. Drugs, alcohol are cliches in this respect but there’re more cunning enemies, beware as you grow to understand and be consistent to follow those things which you learn, and most of all, keep seeking to be free of a seared conscience.

Contentment In Success – Making Time For Others

 “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery  
 

Contrary to popular opinion, getting what I need by ignoring the needs of those around me is a sure path to unhappiness. There’s a spiritual principal that determines my happiness is dependent on giving time, energy, or provision to those around me. When I focus on helping others along the way, I’m equipped to be happier and more content then ever possible. This isn’t so that my happiness and goals are dependent on other people but it’s to consider the needs of others along the way to my goals. When I lay down my plans to assist someone along my way, when I give place to compassion, I discover a key to all success (with success being defined not only as an increase, but as contentment in that increase). Take time today to look outside your world, look beside your path, and find those that need help. As you help them, you are helping yourself to find the best life possible and be content in your success.

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Nemesis – Stalked From My Youth –

This poem depicts the spiritual entity that from my childhood, stalks me. I know him, he knows me, and the battle continues. I have one refuge, that of prayer. Wouldn’t you pray after seeing that the enemy’s power is far greater than your own? 


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Prowling, eyes alert, glowing red’s the sign 

That what stalks me, is a spiritual kind

All it’s attentions, frothing tongue a tell
 
With growls preaching, at me from hell
 
When it comes, the dark is it’s lair,
 
No matter where I go, it finds me there
 
Words of religion, it does completely despise
 
I’m never away, from those deep red eyes.

Related Post: Hour of the Wolf – Wrestling With 3 A.M.
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Narco Faith

“You don’t look fake when you unconsciously pretend.” – Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

The pill went down easy. Within minutes I felt the effects crawl over my soul. My desire assuaged, the direction became clear. Get more of this drug, get more, get more. Addiction’s voice is haunting and nagging, worse than an old wife on the rag. In my gut, I feel a recurring emptiness and my mind is filled with noisy clutter. They dance in an unsettled pattern that revolves around like the moon, the gravity of seriousness holding both of them close. I filled my bottle up with pretty little pills, the things that give me solace in the routine of restless seeking. Shaking the bottle, I looked again at the prescription, in bold letters, FAITH, and in small script below it, “can cause mindless ambling to churches and Tourette’s like expressions of religious clichés.” Damn this Faith, it’s a drug that allows me to feel good, putting icing on the cake of my rebellion, easing my conscience as I continue to act like the devils who I keep company with. I laugh as I sit in church, reporting weekly like I’m on paper and dutifully pissing for a spiritual U.A..  Someday I’ll lay down my bottle and actually commit to a changed lifestyle, instead of a mimicked mockery of a spiritual man.

Wisdom’s Seven Pillars – Pillar #1 Humility

“Wisdom has built her house, she has carved out her seven pillars:” Proverbs 9:1. The aim of this series is to present a non-cliche, non-religious point of view of wisdom. I do subscribe to some religious interpretations of the subjects addressed, but wish to here, only point out the common understanding of the principles. 
Pillar #1 – Humility

“Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Humility is an attitude that understands others are just as important as myself. An attitude that looks to provide the needs of those around me by my hand. This pertains not only to a physical provision but to an emotional, mental, and spiritual provision. To be humble is to know I’m a servant to those around me, and gladly submit to that service, not as a slave, but as my brother’s keeper. It’s to joyfully give what’s mine to another to assist them, knowing that but for fortunate circumstance, I’d be the recipient; understanding that others have helped me get to this place and the willingness to carry on the tradition of sacrifice. 

Also published in Broowaha Magazine 

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