The gift of darkness…

I had an interesting experience yesterday. I was deer hunting. In Missouri that means I am sitting in a tree stand waiting for a deer to walk very near to me. Since the worst way to end a good deer hunt is to kill something, I have yet to take one of the deer that have wandered close enough to me. But as I sat in the woods, I was looking all around me for movement, or a different structure in the woods than had been there before.  I had become very familiar with the woods, as I had been there for about 3 hours.  I was completely surrounded by trees.  As the day light faded, my ability to clearly see the things around me got less and less acute.  As it got darker with dusk, I noticed a light coming through the trees from my distant home in the country that I hadn’t seen before. As it got darker the light got brighter. I looked in my binoculars, and recognized my garage window. The light inside was left on, and I could clearly see the window. But just minutes earlier when it was still bright outside, I couldn’t discern the light of that window, even with my binoculars. The coming darkness dramatized the light to the point that it was immanently discernible.

So, is the world today, as the darkness descends, the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be more and more visible, and those who have an appetite for light and truth, will be drawn to it. A candle set on a hill is noticed by few, until it is dark outside.

When we desire light, it is often necessary for a little darkness to descend upon us in our lives for us to seek toward and then notice the light and the source of the light.

Darkness, or difficulty, trial, tribulation, pain, illness, relational stress, a sick child, a broken heart, a difficult employment situation, a poor self image can each bring us to a level of darkness, that if we will, can enable us to begin to see the “candle set on a hill”.

If we will honestly seek toward the light, darkness can serve us for good.  If we only want the darkness to dissipate, the woods in our life will only get more lonesome, solitary and frightening.

We get to choose…


Law of the Harvest, principle #3

The Law of the Harvest: Part 3.

The third aspect of the Law of the Harvest is the power of choice.  We always carry this power with us.  We can always choose.  No one can take that power away from us.  We can give it away, but it cannot be taken away.  Viktor Frankl shared this in a powerful way in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning: “The last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

No matter what our circumstance, we choose how we perceive it.

One of my mentors used to say that “nothing has any meaning but the meaning you give it.”

Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ said it this way: “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” (Philippians 4:11).

In other words, no matter what your circumstance, you can choose to be happy, content, humble, in love, in faith, patient, and peaceful.  It is always a choice.  Always.  It is not always an easy choice, but it is always an available choice.  It doesn’t matter what the other person does or does not do.  It doesn’t matter what the other person did or might do.  You have power to choose.  This power will release you from any and all negative consequences of any interaction.

I once heard a presentation by a lady who had been kidnapped, raped repeatedly, and then survived her captor’s two attempts to kill her.  She escaped, but with permanent facial disfigurements.  A person in the audience asked her, “How does this event effect your daily life?”  She said (according to my memory), “I am not going to give another moment of my life to that man.  He had as much of my life as I am willing to give.  I have let him go and it go.  I am grateful for my life as it is.”

Jesus Christ, in the midst of his crucifixion, the most painful way to die ever devised by man, had the capacity to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

With the idea of choice firmly planted, the opposite of being willing to choose a grateful mindset is the choice to be “a victim.”  This choice, to be a victim, is a very common mindset, and in some parts of society, it is considered a treasured and celebrated “right.”  But as soon as we decide to take on the role of “victim,” we accept a limited field of options in our lives. If we believe ourselves to be victims, we also believe that the only way to escape our negative circumstances is to get others to behave in the way we think they should, to fix the way we feel.  Anytime we give others the power to determine how we feel about something, we surrender to voluntary slavery.  I know that ‘slavery’ is a charged word, but it accurately describes the choice to be a victim: the pain that comes from voluntary slavery is just as real as that which came from the type of slavery that used to exist in our society and still exists in some.

The problem is that voluntary slavery, or victimhood, is a self-imposed trap resulting from the way we view our circumstances, and we can only be released from that bondage by our own permission.  We have to recognize again our immense power to choose, and the influence that that power has in our life experience, one way or the other—for freedom or for victimhood.

The Bible teaches that “All things work together for good….”  If we believe that, then there is never a cause for letting ourselves be a victim.


The outcome of every answer to a prayer is a soul expanded, and a more pure perspective on life. Prayer is not designed to give us what we want, but to help us want what God knows is best for us.


“Why be so certain that you comprehend the things of God, when all things with you are so uncertain.” STPJS 320

Law number Two: The Law of the Harvest

The Law of the Harvest:  We sow what we reap.  I remember in college a young man who lived in the same apartment building that I did, one day was talking about his wild activities of drinking and such. He excused it by saying, “Oh, you have to sow your wild oats sometimes.”  “Yes”, I said, “but you have to eat what you sow eventually.  They can be very bitter.”  He paused, looked very contemplative, and said , “You are right.  I never looked at it that way.”


If you sow corn, you harvest corn.  If you sow tomato seeds, you harvest tomatoes.  We must look at life and decide what it is we really want, and plant the seeds that will grow that end result, and then care for those seeds properly.   


As a man soweth, so shall he reap, in this life and in the life to come. 


There is also a time and a season when seeds should be planted and when they will grow and flourish the best to give the best result.  When I garden, I plant seeds at various times, so when the plants come to full growth, I can harvest and enjoy at various times, instead of all of the crops coming to ripeness all at once.   


There are some things that I taught you, or tried to teach you that you wouldn’t receive.  Those lessons are time tested truths that if not followed will result in hurt, sorrow and pain.  I tried to teach you to spare you those effects. 


The Law of Chastity is a vital law.  God has given us just four great powers:  The right to choose, the right to create life, the right to take life and the power to give eternal life.  We will be judged by how we use these four powers.  The power to create life, or the power of procreation is a very precious power.  The world has degraded it and called it sex, and categorized it as an appetite that we have the right to satisfy however and when ever we want.  It has told us it is for us to feel good, or it is a way to capture an individual we want to be close to us.  In truth, it is a power of God; the very power to create life.  The misuse of this power is a grave choice.  The consequences are lasting and serious.  If we choose to use this God given power to our own ends, we will need to answer to Him for our selfish use of His power.  The fact you have chosen as you have has been a great cause for heartache for me.  The fact that you do well in so many other areas of  your life, although much appreciated, looses power quickly in the grand scheme of things.  You have used your body to your own selfish ends.  You are enjoying the blessing of this body, and you are taking of its virtue and using it in a vain way.  The answer to this situation is to realize that you have made choices that are sinful, and hurtful to God, and repent.  You can be made clean again.  You cannot undo some of the harm, but you can be made clean again in Heavenly Fathers eyes.  He loves you, as you know I do.  He wants you in His kingdom, and so do I.  But, you don’t get to serve what ever master you want and then go to His Kingdom later. 


I implore you to give attention to your eternal life.  Pray, read the scriptures, attend church, ask God to be with you.  Pray for forgiveness.  Let him work in you.  Let me help.  You know I would do anything for your well being. 

Law of Life number one…

Law number one:  What you serve you love. Whatever you give yourself to, you will love.  With this idea in mind, we should be very wise in the things place effort and attention in.  What ever we serve we love.  The prolem in life is that not all things are worthy of our love.  Love is good, but misplaced love is empty.   And to be sure, we are a servants.  We are serving something all the time.   


If you give yourself to basketball, you will love basketball.  If you give yourself in service to Justin Bieber, you will love JB.  If you give yourself to money, you will love money.  The same is true of things like a job, a house, clothes, a car, or people, friends, family, or God.  If we don’t love God, it is because we have not given ourselves to God in service.  If we fall out of love with someone, it is because we have stopped giving ourselves to them in service.


If we want to love something or someone, serve them, and you will love them.   If you wonder at someone else’s focus in life, or why they seem to attach themselves to something, it is because they have served that thing.


Not all things in life give back the same when we serve them.  If you give yourself in service to Justin B., the likelihood is you are never going to get back any enduring rewards or gifts from that service.  You won’t grow to be a better person.  You are not going to be a pillar of strength in your community or in your family from that service.  In other words, some Masters are worthy of the service and some are not.  


The central focus of this principle is that Christ taught that a man can’t serve two masters.  In other words, everything in life fits under one of two catefories:  God, or Satan.  If you spend your life serving what you want, it is going to serve Satan.  If you focus that service on God, it serves everything and everyone to the greatest effect, now and in eternity.  When all is said and done, if we have chosen anything else to serve than Christ, in the end it won’t really matter what else we have chosen.


 lack of contentedness in life.  The remedy is to get out of your own sites and aim for someone else.  Do everything in your power to make their life better at every touch, thought and action.  Suddenly, you will feel better about yourself.  What you serve you love.  


The other aspect of this law is that if we don’t step out of our comfort zone and serve something beyond that which we love, we will not grow.  Life is constantly pressing us to stretch, extend, reach for more and to become better.  The only way to do this is to step out of our comfort zone and serve that which we don’t love, but that is worthy of our love. 


Martin Luther King, Jr. “As a young man,” he said, “with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”


To review: We are a servant. 

We will serve God or we will serve that which is not God, or called Satan. 

What and whom we serve we will love.

Happiness in this life and in the life to come, develops from choosing wisely that which we serve.

The scriptures teach that we are to: Love God with all our heart, mind and strength. And we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.  This is a truth, and as we go through life we will see that it must be in that order, or we will eventually hit a place of pain that won’t go always until we change our focus as a servant.

I have been pon…

I have been pondering and praying for months before I decided it was time to share these thoughts.  I do so with a great sense of love for you and a great belief in your goodness.  I know you feel no inclination at this time to pursue a spiritual course in life.  Even so I have need to teach correct principles, and maybe one day they will serve you in a good way. 


We are spiritual beings.   We are having a mortal experience, but we are first and foremost of a spiritual nature.  We were formed in the image and likeness of God.  Many have questioned what could have been God’s motive in such a course?  Why would God make us in God’s image and likeness?  Why place us on this earth to live?  Why do so many suffer?  It seems such a strange fate to come to this life, live, find love, build a house, have a couple of dogs, maybe a child as we choose, grow older, try to retire, grow feeble, frail, forgetful and then what?  And then why?  What the heck was that all about?  

We have a house, establish ourselves in our career, maybe even strike it big financially and get lot’s of toys and accoutrements of life; but why?  When we die, we can’t take them with us.  Is that the focus of life, or is it a distraction from what the real focus of life should be?  How can we know?  Do we care?  What is the value in knowing?  What is the value in caring?


So what is this great big joke we call life all about?  Is it about getting ahead?  Ahead of whom? What good does it do to get ahead?  What is ahead?  Having more stuff than someone else?  Having what we want?  Having time?  Having freedom?  What is getting ahead? 


Does life have a meaning?  Does it have a bigger purpose?  At the point in life I am at, I have seen the error of my ways in so many ways.  I would love to save you some of the pain that I have had.  I would like to rid my conscience of the guilt of not teaching you what I know to be true and of grandest importance in life.  


But before we address us, we should address our creator.  Who is God?  Why is God?  Is there a God?  If there is, what is God really interested in?  Does God just want us to be nice to each other?  Are we suppose to learn more than to get what we want without putting our boot prints on someone else’s face or dreams?  Is that why God made all of this?  It would seem strange to me if that’s all that God intended.  Have you ever wondered? 


What is God interested in?  Does God care about you?  Does God think you are important?  Does God love you?  If God does care and love you, what does that look like?  What is God really interested in?  Giving you what you want?  Or is God interested in giving you what you need? What if what you need isn’t what you want?  What if what you want isn’t what you need?  Does God have a plan for you?  Is it just a self-serving plan, or is it in your best interest?  What does God hope for you?  Does God’s hope for you matter to you?  Are you interested in this journey or not?