Thursday, April 12, 2012

What will your legacy be told as?

What Will People Say about you when your gone, should you die today? How will you be remembered? Would they set around at a table or at the funeral and be quiet or be laughing and greeting each other? And what about when they come by the casket and look down at you, even with the lid closed, and pass with a gentle smile as a tear rolls slowly down? Or would they pass by and make an empty but respectful comment to the friends and family with a fake tear and appropriately words for listening ears? What mark and impression have you made in this world with what may sound like a long time yet passes in a short season? I know we're told that we are not of this world and the things that are in it. But people are not things and love, kindness, wisdom, and the likes are not of this world. So the question to yourself remains about you, to you... and God.

    Will they say you were a good business person or good financial wizard?  Maybe perhaps discuss your work skills, business practices,athletic skills, achievements, yet not the person. Maybe it will be what you collected or what you owned, yet not the person. Will they say more of what you believe about things, rather than talk about your faith. Even the head of massive corporations with their picture pasted in a frame on the wall and founders of great companies are forgotten in less time than they walked this earth by new employees coming in. In schools today the trophies and names and perhaps even a picture of the team has no meaning or recognition or bonding with the ones just a generation apart, and less as time goes along. The plaques and awards at your home, will the meaning be lost within less time than you were here. In a blink of an eye even corporations named after their founders holds no meaning other than a name by which the business is called. You are technically forgotten. These are things of this world. So again the same question presents itself. Even the richest of people, the most powerful of people, the most feared people, fade in usually less time than they were here on earth.   

  There are things of you though that do matter, to both you and your Maker. While it is things that will still keep your memory alive forever in this world, spoken all the same, but with respect. Things fondly remembered and passed down and even if the next generation never met you, they speak with conviction and respect and a longing to know that person. Maybe even a desire to be like that person, or at least take up their legacy they left behind. To me that is what I think Jesus meant when He said to take up your cross and follow Him. Not in the burden sense as some suggest, nor the pain sense as some suggest, or the perfect sense as some would say, but His actions and His essence. What if He meant He has shown us the way, now carry on like He did. Walking on water is an impossible task yet so is living a good clean life in this world, an increasingly harder and harder to do thing. Feeding a multitude with what He had can't be done by regular people yet using what you have wisely and seeing that you help others when you can with what you have. Maybe you have extra food, money, clothes... but maybe what you have is time or even just listening. It could even be just a smile or a kind word, a careful glance. Thing is, you make the most of what you got and see that people are all cared for who come your way. So maybe you can't raise the dead or heal the sick, but you can visit the sick and comfort those who are dying. What if that was what He meant?

  Clearly we rely on Grace to enter the kingdom of Heaven yet Grace is here and now. We seem to have the belief that Grace kicks in when our lives are through being lived. Like Grace is something we use only when we die. We seem to forget that Grace is getting what you don't deserve, and we use that every day, every hour, every minute, every second of every day. It is by Grace that your next breathe comes and it is by Grace the ones you love gather their next breathe... and by Grace the terminally ill do not take their next breathe. We all use Grace every day in addition to Mercy, not getting what we deserve. How is it we know we use mercy every day yet fail to know we are given grace just as much. I guess though that is in line with how we can see others follies yet fail to see our own. It matters not that other people remember you living by grace and mercy of yourself but if you extended that which was given you freely to those in who you met with, even in just passing by. What will people say when you are gone? What will your legacy be told as?         

Monday, April 9, 2012


   I sat with some people this weekend and as we sat around and talked I noticed quiet a lot of resentment. It's hard to meet with others when that feel is in the air yet for my wife I did. The room was evenly split though, 50/50 as to that feeling, some were friendly and some not so friendly, though a false friendly was maintained. It was bound to happen sooner or later the topic of religion, briefly preceded by politics, two things best not brought up. On politics we agreed on about half way and on religion one would have thought we'd be in agreement, but we weren't. Both of us claiming Christianity and even down to the type, Baptist. We were a whole world apart. That is the kind of thing one expects when it comes to two different beliefs or opposite beliefs, but the same down to the letter. Unbelievable.

  I don't care what one writes, who wrote it, or what it is about. It can be spun. Think Tanks are paid big money to do just that, lawyers make big money to do that, industries are paid to do that. We call it P.R. work these days and in a lot of cases we see it every day in the form of media. Radio, TV, advertisements, and unfortunately... religion. I've often wished that the TV and radio would go dead for a month then come back on. I think we'd feel mighty foolish at the crap we're fed each day, day in and day out. One that studies the past wonders why if people before the flood were so smart then where did that knowledge go. I think if I were Noah I'd let all that crap go too. Now before you say just look at all the advances, how many real life advances are there that actually improve life? There have been a few but with about 95% of the Scientist focusing on war (and I do believe that is lower than I remember hearing) not many, but that is a whole musing on it's own. So back to the focus.

  The topic somehow jumped from politics to religion in one statement. It started with a mention of Jehovah's Witnesses and how dedicated they are to going door to door and how if Baptist went had that much dedication... yada, yada, yada... I have some friends that are Jehovah's Witnesses and though we differ in some areas, their hearts are good and the differences I respect. Same with Catholic and I really don't know there is much of a difference with other denominations. I have friends that are Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and some that are Atheist, Agnostic, and Pagan. I'd rather focus on the similarities than differences. Ask them if they're right and they will tell you they are. Ask me if I'm right and I'll tell you I am. I base my friendship on their heart and it isn't my job to judge them, and I'm not talking about letting murders and rapists run free, I'm saying to judge their heart.

  Then tonight I sat down to read a "religious material", I have no idea what division other than it was suppose to be Christian. He quotes James in a single quote and I read about the first two and a half pages and nothing positive. It was all negative and all but that one passage, what "he thought" it meant. It was concerning charity. Usually it's Paul who is often times misquoted and the first time I've seen James, either way I'm thinking newsflash, it's suppose to be Jesus, which is who the religion of Christianity was founded on. Usually I quote my sources but this time I'll not, just as I usually look up that scripture someone has used to see what it was in context, but it just wasn't worth the effort. Clearly when he said the words "I think", the ship was sinking. He based his views on what he knew about times back then, yet he is also the type that will say to never look outside the Bible for the past. I know what he said isn't listed in the Bible on how things were run back then. So I'm thinking why is he allowed to look back at other records to study history and we're not? Am I to believe that I am to have faith in this man?

  I've said this many times and I still will stand behind it. I can stand in a barn and moo. But that don't make me a cow and I'll probably not give milk, God willing, not have to eat hay either. Just as going to an church and screaming I'm a Christian, placing a symbol, and wearing a necklace don't make me a Christian either. If you lost your voice and all the possessions you have right now, would people know you are a Christian? Everybody loves the book of Revelations yet most skip the first part which addresses the churches. Oops, too close to home I guess. If Jesus was alive today, which one would you be in, the crowd that wanted to see Him punished or the crowd that followed Him? Sadly today I think most churches and members would be against the One they are suppose to be following. Just as it was back then. Back then it was the religious institutions that killed Him along with the rich, the money changers (bankers), the marketeers, the ones who profited for the system, the war mongers, and indirectly some of the ones that followed Him at a distance. The Romans carried out the sentence, not that they were the good guys either. 

  I wondered many years ago why a copy of the New Testament only was given out and later I found out why. Check the word New. Except for some prophecies and background, plus 10 Laws, we could skip the Old Testament It helps to know what Jesus, The Disciples, and Paul were talking about, but then again some of what was referenced isn't in the standard Bible but in books taken out when it was complied, then shortened again. What it boils down to is highlighted pretty clear and plain. Love. It ain't easy to be a Christian and many times I fall short, thus I rely on Grace. I try and right my wrongs because I have Faith, not in myself but in Jesus the Christ. So the question at hand today is this, and I don't want an answer, answer that to yourself first, then to God. If an event happened, say a Tornado (but use whatever), and it took everything you had and in the process you lost your ability to speak or sign, would anybody know you are a Christian?  Would your actions show it? And now another question. Do the ones who believe differently respect and like you? (Different than fear).

  So I'll end this now with a few quotes. Not from someone else, but Jesus. I urge you to read for yourself and research for yourself.Is this the Man you follow, or are you following someone else that is easier. Please don't answer to me, that is between you and God just as mine is between me and God.  


Matthew 5:

King James Version (KJV)

 3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
 5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
 7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
 8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
 9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 
 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
 43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 6

 1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
 2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
 4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
 5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
 7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
 8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Matthew 7

 1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Matthew 7

 13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 

 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 Matthew 26:52
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

 Luke 17:3
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

 Matthew 6:15
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 Mark 11:25
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

 Mark 11:26
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

You get the idea now. Peace...

How to do it:

 Matthew 6:
 7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
 8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
 9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11Give us this day our daily bread.
 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
 14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sometimes an ear

  Me and Denise went to Easy In to get some food tonight, she wasn't sure what all their Deli had. She had worked hard and didn't want to cook and she hates when I cook since I'm messy. There were several people there, some getting fuel, some a drink and candy bar, and a few getting food. Everything was pretty typical all in all. A man came in and was waiting as a lady was counting her change to pay for her stuff, hoping she had enough she had saved up. The guy was greasy and dirty, then again, so was I. He paced from foot to foot, briefly looking over at us while we waited for our food to be prepared. He noticed Denise in her nursing uniform and said "My wife just lost her job at the hospital. She is a CNA I think they call it." Denise looked at said it was terrible. I asked which hospital and he told me, still pacing foot to foot. Then he said UT had hired her and he might need to find a job close to there because of the drive she would have to do.

  He stood still for a minute then said, "It's been 17 years since I've had a drink." He turned and looked me in the eye, his eyes were crossed but in those eyes was real pain, real fear, and real kindness, though he tried to act tough. "My sister just died of cancer about 2 months ago, I watched her slowly die", he said then looked around to see who was where. "My dad's dying of cancer in the hospital. I want to bring him home where I can care for him. I've stayed dry for 17 years and then in all this I caved". I gave my condolences on his wife and dad. He said everybody had been fussing about his drinking again and he is trying to stop, but people keep on judging him. Now in the morning I can barely speak and by evening I slowly fade away, even at my best I sound like Wolfman Jack. He began to talk. He told me how much he gets paid an hour, where he works, where he was from, and who he married. Then he asked where I was from and if I knew her. The first round didn't take, he couldn't hear or understand me. So I apologized and told him I had a lot of damage from the radiation from having Throat Cancer. He looked so shocked and asked how it was. I told him hopefully it is gone. Pacing back and forth slowed to a stop. I asked where his dad's cancer was, he placed his hand and softly beat his chest two or three times, "The lungs. He is dying. Hes too far gone, But I can take care of him." he said, looking me over. No hair grows in the radiation area, my beard just stops. Without warning he stepped over and hugged me and told me he loves me. I told him I love him too and that everything will be ok. I could smell alcohol on him then. He must have hugged me three or four times, each time telling me he loved me, the  he pumped gas and waved as we left the station, his wife looking on from the car.

  As we rode home Denise smiled and said, "Only you." This happens to me a lot when I'm out and Denise is use to it. I still am not use to it. People have told me things I would never tell anybody if it were me. Small kids run up and either talk to me or just smile and stare. I told her before Gerald (uncle that helped raise me) I looked at people that had a drinking problem or drug problem, with a judgmental look, usually puffing on a cigarette and saying I didn't understand how someone could be addicted. Even before my heart attack I had learned to stop doing that, after Gerald became an alcoholic. Joe (oldest son) was murdered and less than eight months later Annie (his mother) died in his arms. He began to drink to kill the pain, perhaps as this man tonight did. I say I wouldn't do it that way, but it is only by God's Grace and Mercy that I hopefully will never have to see.
  I stood there and only said Its gonna be ok. Its gonna be fine. And that I am sorry. That is I felt compelled to say. I could have told him how great it is being with God, but I didn't feel I was suppose to say that. Right or wrong, I felt I was only suppose to listen and listen without judgement. He latched into to me tight and held me for a while and just kept saying he loved me, and I said it back. I think sometimes we need to be still and let someone get things off their chest, hold them if they offer, and tell them you love them if they say it. No judgement, no superiority, no words of wisdom. I learned as a child to look into the eyes, for the eyes are the mirror to the soul. I don't do that in crowds after the heart attack for not only can I read that part, but I feel it as well. One would be surprised just how many are out there that are hurting inside, lonely, scared, sad.

  I have said time and time again, I would not have chosen to have a Lymes, heart attack, NDE, or two cancers... let alone rip my body apart. Yet it is the worse best things that have ever happened to me. I reluctantly am part of a few clubs, and members talk differently to members. No  matter if God allowed or caused these things to happen to me, they happened. Either way, I pray I use it for good. This is what life is suppose to be about, someone else being more important to me than I am to me. I think sometimes we are called to silently comfort and sometimes to testify, but always to love without condition. I pray for him that he finds peace and that God has someone else lined up to help him see tomorrow as bright as it can be. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


   I'll be 52 this year, if God allows, and that age changes things. OK 30 changed a lot, 40 even more. I notice things and look upon the world a lot differently now. It's ok too, I think it is suppose to be this way. Most teens, twenties, and even thirties can't understand me as I go onto the golden years. Many shows that we watch has people regressing into their childhood, or portray older people as senile, just like we once did, seems like yesterday.

  I went from rags to riches to rags... all in a blink of an eye. Younger, that was my aspiration, to be rich. I almost made it too. I wanted the latest craze in electronic toys, so I bought them. I wanted a new car every so often. Done that too. Designer clothes. Got them. When we did go to church we were in the latest style, the latest great vehicle, with all the latest toys. We even had debt to prove it, but we didn't show that part. I had become a god in my own mind, I just never said it. Then at times I must have been God's favorite one because He had allowed me to do well.

   Now it's funny but none of  those brought about a happiness that lasted. To be that happy, where was the content?  Someone always had just a little better, so I'd work had to pay the monthly bills for it. It was just too hard to save and buy it. Old people, ones that wanted to keep the race afloat done that and it was why they were behind. The older they got the fewer that wanted to compete. It just didn't make sense. These were the people driving an old car doing 35mph in a 55mph lane... and they seemed to be going where you go. Every time you caught a straight-a-way of road they sped up too! The Farmer Browns you would get behind and cuss.  They weren't even in style.

  So now that I will be 52, I reflect back while I annualized the feeling of another year. Some churches even sought after me to come, knowing I had money, but now poor again, I hear few requests to go these days, not much profit in a poor man. I drive an older truck and my wife's SUV is getting there too. We still see no room for trading in and having payments. I've now become that old man that gets cussed for going too slow. I dress however is comfortable. So I go there slower knowing if it is meant I will have it abd if I don't get it, it was meant I not have something. .I'm over attempting to impress strangers. I got good clothes but I feel restricted in them.

  I've leaned that stuff dad want to teach me how to do. I done so under protest though. Imagine my surprise at 44 that I wasn't a god and never would be. Shocked that my dialect wasn't as good as those who are on movies and TV because it wasn't suppose to be. I'll bet most of their isn't either. I became the guy who suddenly figured out that I did not have everything figured out, and dad was not behind but was ahead, way ahead of what I had figured. I finally worked myself back into this understanding. I had remnants of the past collections, even had most of the junk I collected, but that is what it turned out to be... junk.

  With receding hair, dentures, and the age spread... my looks were gone. Where I once ran I now walked, sometimes having to take breaks along the way. I watch on as some of my friends try and recapture their youth. They look silly and at times, just plain dumb.   All that dye on their hair and collect bills in the mailbox. Keeping the dream alive. Really? Annnnd contentment comes in handy there?  

  But I have resolved to be that senile old man who doesn't care what is in style, clothes or cars. I'm also the old man that pisses people off going too slow  in front. I'm the one who knows a lot of what the younger generation now calls useless information, but they will be learning it soon. I've found out two things so far. 1 that I don't know enough on anything. 2 That I'm too young to be this old. :) Rather than try and regain my childhood years, or glory days, I think I'd rather be me. Poor but glad to be here. Just a middle aged man with a middle aged wife, dad to my girls and Papaw to my grandkids. I finally got smart enough to figure out  that when I thought I was rich I wasn't. I placed my faith in myself rather than God, so I wasn't that smart. I've accumulated too many things that are for moth and rust, when I could have accumulated this of true wealth. Family and friends. Being this way I found that I am happy with no needs for other things, for the first time in my life... I am content. I am at peace. This is a peace that only God can give and open your eyes to see it. Sure does beat the hunt.