Archive for July, 2016

Will You Be There???

Posted: July 13, 2016 in World On The Edge
By Taliespin, MorgueFile.com

By Taliespin, MorgueFile.com

In each of our lives, there are a few people we can count on. For some of us, it’s our spouse, or children. For others, it’s a good friend.

What is it that causes us to set those people apart from others?

Isn’t it that we are certain they have our best interests at heart? That at a given time, they put us ahead of their own self-interests?

Some people are users; they like us because they need something from us. Mostly, we’re able to see that, but sometimes, not. Sometimes, we’re fooled—and often disappointed. These are people who will “tickle our ears” with what they think we want to hear; but they are not people who will stand by us, come thick or thin. Let the first wind come–a wind that requires them to step forward and actually stand up for us–and they are nowhere to be seen.

Now, turn it around. Do we hang around some people only because we need/want something from them?

Who we are as human beings, our character, is expressed in action. Loving someone is action. Not words.

Who will you always be there for?

Who will always be there for you?

Is Your Eye Sound???

Posted: July 12, 2016 in World On The Edge
By DeduloPhotos, 2015, MorgueFile.com

By DeduloPhotos, 2015, MorgueFile.com

The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.
–Matthew 6:22

Is your eye sound? What does that even mean?

Since all us humans have free will, we determine what we do with our eyes, body, and mind. We’re not programed as robots by God. He gave us choices–choices that have a great deal to do with our lives today and our eternal life. It’s all up to us. But are we doing our best with our gift of choice? And if we’re trying to make good choices based on Truth, are there some who’d like to hide Truth from us to suit their own ends?

Are our eyes seeing the real Truths in our world? Are our leaders??

OR……

Are our eyes, minds, and bodies taking in lies created by others to form our opinions for us? Are we being stroked with persuasions that go against Truth. Yes. Of course. Undeniably!

Persuasion is powerful. If it wasn’t, no advertising could cause us to buy what we don’t need. One of the most used persuasions in advertising is appealing to human compassion, because most of us are compassionate people. We don’t want others to hurt. But we can also be fed a false compassion. This is called propaganda. Propaganda is defined as information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. And propaganda is not necessarily true.

But oh, is it happening today! Half-truths and cover-ups, right under our noses, on our television screens, and our social media.

From Focus on the Family: “In a society where ultimate truth is treated like a fairy tale, an outdated idea or even an insult to human intelligence, the motto of the day becomes, “WHATEVER!” Believe whatever you want. Do whatever seems best to you. Live for whatever brings you pleasure, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. And of course, be tolerant. Don’t try to tell anyone that their whatever is wrong. But where does that leave us? If we have ultimate truth, it gives us both a way to explain the world around us and a basis for making decisions. Without it, we’re alone. We’re just 6 billion organisms running around, bumping into each other with nothing unifying to work for or believe in. It’s every man for himself. And we’re without a purpose; if there’s no true story of where we came from and why we’re here, then there’s nothing that really gives our lives meaning. Sounds a little depressing, huh? And maybe frightening.”–Lindy Keffer

We have to be informed. Especially today, we have to have courage.
It takes courage to go forward when we live a life based on Truth while many around us do not. It takes commitment when many trash genuine Truth.

And it also takes acceptance–the realization that we may be burned because of the absolute truths we believe in, and stand up for.

mirrored face None of us asked to be here. We had no choice in our making. In fact, no one on earth has ever had that choice, not even our parents who provided the means of our birth. Yet we are here. Don’t you wonder why?

I don’t think that question, “Why?” is asked enough today, yet it is core to our lives and the lives of others.

Why we are here necessarily means, “What is our purpose?” For that question, we have an answer, though we often resist it. Our purpose is to change the world.

From the time we are born, each and every one of us will change the world in some way. There’s no getting around that remarkable fact. We will change the world. The world of our parents, the world of our friends, the world of strangers.

Will the change we make be positive or negative? What do we show when we interact with others? Kindness, indifference, meanness?

Most all of us are aware of how important the parent/child relationship is; that our children see themselves as we see them. But what about other people we meet in daily life?

Other people, even those we don’t know that well, can be changed in a constructive or destructive way by one simple action, or statement, from us. Amazing, but true.

And of course, isn’t the reverse true as well? How many times have we been lifted up, or let down, by words or actions coming fLove saves Livesrom another?

We have the ability, the power to change someone’s world. Let’s remember it the next time we interact with others.

Got A Silver Tongue???

Posted: July 8, 2016 in World On The Edge

silver tonguesIf we don’t want to hear the truth about ourselves or our actions, we become defensive. We ask “What is truth?” when we’re looking it right in the face. We come to the conclusion that truth is what I say it is because “I think for myself.”

And then we attack the messenger. We go down the road of ME, where truth is relative, where no one else is as important as I am, and no one else’s needs are as vital as my own. And we tell the messenger of truth that he is wrong.

But we’re deceiving ourselves with our own silver tongues.

We deceive ourselves as Pontius Pilate did. We use clever words. We wash our hands, so we won’t be blamed, and we allow truth to be hung on a cross.

Sadly, we barely notice the hanging.

Today is a time of mass deception because we are asleep at the wheel, asleep to truth. The general population seems more concerned with the newest electronic device, or the latest reality show, while the ethics, morality, and honesty of our leaders are in decay. We do not even acknowledge radical Islamic Terrorism by  name. Instead, we react to all the decay, and the killing of human beings, as well, like G.K Chesterton’s analogy of dead fish floating with the current.

Even if we do notice, it’s never our fault, is it? We may be first to point a finger, but often, we’re the last to lift a hand.

We use all sorts of clever ‘talking tools’ to make our way seem correct. And some of us—-especially in politics and the entertainment industry–have the shiniest of silver tongues. But how many use those tongues to uncover the real Truth?

And if we don’t try to uncover it, aren’t we in danger of even our own demise?

 

 

What is the difference between an active and passive faith?

A passive faith is rote: a mechanical repetition of something so that it is remembered, but often without real understanding of its meaning or significance.

A passive faith is when we only think about God in church on Sunday.

Some of us Catholics go to Mass and Communion on Sunday, but forget the absolute miracle we have received in the Eucharist as soon as we walk out of the church door.

And on Monday, other ‘more pressing’ things take over and Sunday is forgotten.

We may throw out a few prayers the rest of the week. We may read a little scripture, but literally, many of us sleep through being in tune with Jesus.

AN ACTIVE FAITH IS ONE YOU CAN’T SLEEP THROUGH.

Act and God will act, work and He will work.” —Joan of Arc

There have been thousands of books and movies about Joan of Arc and her faith. All of them stir questions. Why would God even want to save France? How could an eighteen year old lead an army, defeat a world power and crown a king in a matter of six months? How could she face the awful entourage of Bishop Cauchon– who was professor and a pompous academic as well as a Bishop– and still trust in God and her visions? Yet she did all this, and she did it for her God.

Yes, there were moments when she doubted, when Satan whispered in her ear as he does with us. “Look where you are. See? God doesn’t love you. You’re not that good. You will fail,” and on and on. At times, haven’t you heard the same whispering voice? I know I have.

Still, in the end, Joan of Arc kept her Trust in God.

And so can we. We can get to that place of total Trust.

First, we have to realize how much God loves each one of us individually–no matter who we are, or what we’ve done,God is madly in love with us. An active faith begins with that realization.

Secondly, if we know that God loves us, we are able to surrender our lives to Him. Then, we will act, and God will act. We will work, and God will work. We will see that God influences and directs human affairs in this world that He created. And because we have His divine life within us, we will participate with Him.

There will be no way to passively sleep through His love in our own lives.

confidence-farzana-featured

There are times when we’re young that we are also confident. Someone will ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And we can give a quick answer. But as we grow, things are not so clear as when we were children. Life gets complicated because we have more and more responsibility–for our own lives, and the lives of those in our care.

We may feel lost. We may not be sure where we’re going anymore. We may not even have a direction in mind. We look around and think we see everyone else in a situation we’d like to be in, too; but we’re just not there–and don’t know if we’ll ever be.

We can feel pretty depressed in times like these. We can feel very alone and unimportant.

Then something happens.

No, we don’t win the lottery.

The something that happens may not seem profitable at the time. It may not be fun. In fact, we may want to avoid suffering through it.

But we do suffer through it. And afterwards, it’s possible that we find some good in it. We may find our true self in it, too.

When this something happens, we are changed by it. We may be so changed that we begin to live for someone else. And in the process we find our true self–the person we were meant to be.

New Orleans 041Recently, on a late afternoon walking through the French Quarter in New Orleans, I considered that the place was like a microcosm of our world. Teeming with people of every nationality, speaking different languages, dressed in different ways; all against the backdrop of a destination that had appealed to them, one they had chosen.

It wasn’t yet Mardi Gras, but the regal purple, green and gold colors of the carnival marked nearly shop and restaurant. There was the spirit of ‘celebration’ in the air, along with the smells of food mixed with stale whiskey and garbage cans that hadn’t yet been emptied.

In the middle of it all, was St. Louis Cathedral, rising above the rest of the nostalgic iron work of lovely, old buildings. The church. A symbol of God on Earth.

As the shadows lengthened, and afternoon faded into night, more and more people appeared, walking the sidewalks of Bourbon Street; not after the shops, but the after-hours pleasure; a time when women hold onto their purses, and men gape into the strip-club doors to catch a glimpse of skin, and people pass the dark corners where those, often called grace-less, crouch like discarded, broken dolls. These broken, imperfect people, I pass by. I do not let my eyes meet theirs. I give them no notice at all—-out of fear? Or out of a smug superiority?

These are the people in the corners of life who, when they were born, may have been held in loving hands, or not. These are the people who may be prostitutes, drunks, drug-addicts, or thieves. These are the sort of people, these sinners, that Jesus called friends. They were created, as we all are, by a God who loved, and still loves, them. Yet they are here, huddled in the sometimes dim shadow of His church. (more…)

Fighting for Freedom In the words of my father, who was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star in WWII— some people in today’s news are walking on the fightin’ side of me.

…Because I was taught to love America, not to bad-mouth her.

…Because I was taught, and daily declared at school, The Pledge of Allegiance to The United States of America.

…Because I was taught respect for America’s Flag.

…Because I was taught that I was blessed to be an American.

…Because I was taught the history of my country, (in Fourth Grade) and how she courageously fought for her freedom, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, particularly its second sentence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The key words in the above statements are: I was taught. As were many of you. So what’s happened?

Are today’s children–our children and grandchildren– really taught the correct history of America? Are they being given positive, or negative, impressions of the wonderful country in which they live? Which rights will have been taken away from them by the time they reach adulthood?

No, America isn’t perfect, but if she doesn’t always live up to the principles created for her, then it’s no one’s fault but ours—each one of us. Freedom is everybody’s job. We simply cannot leave it to others to trample on. And this is what is happening today when it comes to :

Religious Freedom (which is being usurped by our own government)

Economic Freedom ( we’ve lost 200 years of ranking as the most prosperous country in the world to not even being the top ten today)

Freedom of Speech (think IRS targeting)

Freedom from tyranny (The Framers of the Constitution created a federal government of limited and enumerated powers – leaving everything else to the states and “the people.”

And on and on.

Check out your rights, and think about what is happening to some of them:
http://www.americanusconstitution.com/billofrights.html

The thing is, we have to KNOW what’s going on. We just can’t get too busy and ignore it, or one day we’ll look up from our busyness and wonder what happened to our America and our rights as Americans.

Do Something!

Posted: July 3, 2016 in World On The Edge

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Translating a World on the Edge

just-do-something-370229_960_720

We are all great complainers. We like to point fingers. We like to see something wrong in a person we disagree with, even if he/she’s trying to solve a problem that could beneficially affect us. We can’t admit that there may be a benefit to us, because we have personal agendas, too. We have a set of behaviors we don’t want anyone to fool with. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if our agenda is right or wrong. It matters only if we think it’s right or wrong. And we love to talk about it.

This is usual human behavior. But is it intelligent human behavior to only talk, point, and criticize?
Shouldn’t we do something?

And shouldn’t we, also, put study into a situation before we decide what we are going to do, or who we’re going to put our faith in?

To do something means to act on our…

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Uriah Heep, antagonist in Charles Dicken's, David Copperfield

Uriah Heep, antagonist in Charles Dicken’s, David Copperfield

Uriah Heep, from David Copperfield, is one of Charles Dickens’s most wicked characters, definitely a villain; a greedy clerk and money-lender, who fawns his way through David Copperfield and blackmails his way to success. The character has as little pigment in his body as he does decency, though he makes frequent references to his own “‘umbleness.” Heep is an evil character, a blackmailer, with no empathy for others. To read about him is to make your skin crawl!

We know from the outset he’s going to be evil. “[He] had hardly any eyebrows,” says the boy, David, “and no eyelashes, and eyes of a red-brown, so unsheltered and unshaded, that I remember wondering how he went to sleep.” Uriah has a pale face, red eyes , and “a long, lank, skeleton hand, which particularly attracted my attention”

The cold, long, white hands of Uriah Heep stand in for the inhumanity of the rest of him: he is like a dead thing, totally immune to any kind of human warmth or sympathy. David is only 11 at this point, but even he is wise enough to see that Uriah Heep isn’t trustworthy.

In real life, there are certainly real life villains–particular villains in each of our lives. Are we wise enough to know who they are? How do we recognize someone who would do us wrong, or put us in danger? Most of the time, they don’t look like Uriah Heep, but like everyone else we know.

Well, why is that? Why does an evil person look like the rest of us?

Because he is like the rest of us–and sometimes he/she is US.

So, can we recognize evil in ourselves as easily as we can in others? Can we honestly look at ourselves? Of course, not; at least not easily. And that is what often makes us smug Christians, even hypocritical Christians.

This is why we must open ourselves to God through prayer, asking that He allow us to see and stay away from those who would lead us astray—and most importantly, that He will allow us to see ourselves as we really are, too often the villain, too often the problem in our own lives. The wonderful thing is, He will give us the grace we need to change ourselves, if we ask for it.