Friday, September 23, 2016

Love made perfect

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said in a speech to the American people during one of the darkest days in this country's history —
 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
We are living in some dark days in America and the world right now. Where are the bold, calming and optimistic voices of reason? Where are the voices of elected leaders on the issues that concern us all? 
In many ways, the silence has only added to the fear—fear of outsiders, fear of terrorists, fear of each other. Fear has replaced reason. 
Fear is causing some people to act or react in ways that they might not otherwise if fear where not a factor in their decisions. And, too often the consequences have proven deadly. Innocent lives destroyed, lives torn apart all because of someone else's fear. "Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified fear," as Roosevelt noted, has a paralyzing effect that blocks any effort to find a solution. But how can we conquer fear?
The only thing that can conquer fear is love. And the only way to know love, in its purest form, is to know God.

But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see?The commandment that God has given us is: “Love God and love each other!"1 John 4: 20-21
 God is love. To find out more about God, click on this link, peacewithgod

Monday, July 11, 2016

The day a broken wheel fixed a broken life

This feel good story is about a chance encounter over a broken wheel—
I was rushing to down 7th Avenue in New York City early that morning to catch the train to Canada when suddenly a wheel fell off my luggage. There I was in the middle of the sidewalk, people busily rushing past me on their way to work, and I'm standing there with this wheel in my hand. I start complaining aloud: "God, look what happened. I never would have chosen to bring this bag if you had not put the thought in my mind to go back in the house and swap the one I had picked for this one. Now what do I do? I can't go to Canada like this."
Getty Photo

As I'm standing there perplexed, I look up from the wheel in my hand to see this woman. I notice her because she looks out of place among the rush hour crowd. She's walking slowly in my direction, gazing in store windows and pulling a tattered looking suitcase behind her. I take a long look at her and surmise from her appearance that she's been wandering the street for some time. She looks weary and sad. She's not dirty but her clothes don't look fresh either. And she didn't seem in any hurry to go anywhere.

Just at that moment, I felt myself move toward the woman as if compelled to speak to her. Showing her the wheel in my hand, I remember saying: "See this wheel in my hand. It came off my luggage. Sometimes the wheels of life fall off and leave us stranded with no place to go. But we can't let it defeat us; we mustn't give up. We have to continue moving forward. Our destiny lies ahead of us. God has a better plan for your life but you'll never know what that is if you quit now..."

This woman's face lit up as I was speaking to her. I had her full attention. I don't even remember all of what I said to her. I just remember her expression. And honestly, it was like an out of body experience for me. So unexpected. I asked her to take one of the Gospel to Go cards from the lanyard around my neck because I still had my luggage and the wheel in both hands. She did as I asked, and we parted ways.

When I reached Amtrak train station, I was surprised to see a Kmart next door; and even more surprised that it was open at 8:00 am in the morning! So I went in, purchased a screw and washer set to re-attach the wheel knowing that it had accomplished its purpose that day.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Where is Prince now

 The untimely death of Prince Rogers Nelson aka Prince shocked the world. Fans, friends, fellow entertainers, and even a president paid tribute to The Artist who touched so many lives in innumerable ways. Clearly, Prince was beloved by many. In the aftermath of his death, those who knew him talked about his genius and generosity, humility and compassion. No doubt Prince would be amused, and perhaps a bit embarrassed by all the attention. Prince enjoyed celebrity, but also cherished privacy. Surely, his death enhances one, and makes the other much more difficult.
When someone dies, whether famous or not, it hits close to home because it reinforces the inevitability of our own death at some point, or that of someone close to us. It's natural to try to ease the pain death causes by imagining the deceased person peacefully resting in a perpetual state.
She’s an angel now or God needed another angel in heaven. He’s in a better place or resting in peace (R.I.P.).—
Those who mourn Prince's passing are wishing the same things for him. Naturally, we  have no way of knowing if our assumptions about his other worldly whereabouts are true, unless we know what Prince himself believed. This is what we do know. As a child, Prince was raised by his grandmother in the Seventh Day Adventist tradition. Adventist Christians believe in what the bible says about death
Death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord.
Growing up as an Adventist meant that Prince was exposed to teachings that life after death, and a peaceful rest are certainties for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior.
In 2001, the adult Prince converted to Jehovah's Witnesses after being recruited by fellow musician and friend Larry Graham. Prince took his new faith seriously, and often spoke about its influence on his beliefs, and his life.
You've gotta have belief, It's the only way to make it through this maze. And God is here, he's everywhere, he ain't dead, contrary to popular opinion. And he will come again and it will be the most beautiful, powerful, electric moment, the sky's gonna go all purple and red.—Prince
The Jehovah's Witnesses doctrine that Prince embraced later in life also shaped his beliefs about heaven and hell, Jesus Christ, salvation and life after death. What Jehovah Witnesses believe about death is very different from Prince's former Christian upbringing.
Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that man has a soul or spirit that has conscious existence after death. To Jehovah’s Witnesses, the word “soul” is interchangeable with the word “human.” They don’t believe that humans possess souls which are separate and distinct from the body; rather, they maintain that humans are souls. This explains why Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that a person ceases to exist after they die.—Hank Hanegraaff
In contrast, Christians believe death is a stepping stone to eternal life for anyone who believes in God's son, Jesus Christ. And that everyone gets the opportunity to decide where they'll spend eternity before they die.
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. John 3:16 CEV
I believe Prince knew he was dying as he lay on that elevator floor. Based on having seen others nearing death, I also believe that Prince wasn't alone in the natural sense when he died. I believe before his last breath, Prince was given one final chance to choose where he would spend his eternity. One can only hope that he made the one and only choice that would assure him of true rest and peace with God.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Put this in writing. From now on, the Lord will bless everyone who has faith in him when they die...they will rest from their hard work, and they will be rewarded for what they have done.”—Revelation 14:13 CEV