Secure Your Life By Securing Your Heart

 

Heart-shaped_lockThe kind of life you live is determined by what you value. Your values are determined by what you treasure. The scripture says in Matt 6:21,

“Where a man’s treasure is there his heart will be also.”

A man will set his aspirations, his affections, and his focus around that which he treasures. Your heart becomes filled with what you focus on and that consequently affects everything that comes out of it. Proverbs 4:23 says keep your heart with all diligence, because out it flows the issues of life. What this looks like lived out is making every effort to ensure that the things you set your heart on add “real” value to your life.

Would you agree that having peace of mind and good health adds extra value to anything you can experience in life? I think so. Peace of mind comes from living harmoniously with the one that governs all things. This means seeking the knowledge of GOD to understand your purpose, the provisions He has made for you to live, and what He expects of you, as well as what you can expect from Him. Here is what Proverbs 8:11 says about the wisdom of GOD:

“For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”

This knowledge should be your treasure and primary focus. The book of Matthew chapter 6 speaks to this when it concludes that we should seek the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness first and foremost and everything else we need will flow into our lives.

If we will make our treasure the knowledge and wisdom of GOD, then our hearts will be focused on that which is truly valuable. This heavenly focus will enable our hearts to produce many blessings in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

For all of this to make since, we first have to realize that we are living souls placed in vessels of flesh. Just as these physical vessels have needs, so does our eternal souls. Most people live focused on the needs of the flesh while their eternal soul languishes. Since the true longing of the soul isn’t satisfied through carnal pleasures, the tendency is to seek carnal pleasures even more intensely. This disconnect from understanding the source of the true longing causes many to treasure the physical things of the world more than the spiritual things. The strongest and deepest longings come from the thirst of the soul. The soul has an innate thirst for righteousness, peace, and joy. This thirst can only be filled by the love of GOD.

So keeping our hearts with all diligence means making sure our focus and values stay aligned with the kingdom of GOD instead of being subverted to the things of this world. The treasures of this world tend to be temporal, unstable, corruptible, and destructible. If your heart is set on worldly things, consequently you will have little peace in your life and unstable rest. There will always be the nagging feeling of there has to be more.

Yeshua speaks to the dissatisfied and weary soul in Matthew 11:27-29:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Don’t become enslaved to this by the deceitfulness of riches. Follow the guidance of Yeshua in John 10:10 and live well.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

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Hoping Empathy Will Rise

Daybreak New

2017 has been a year full of events that have caused people to reconsider actually how far America has progressed toward a more civil society. You don’t have to journey far pass the fog of sports and entertainment to see the challenges we face as a society with violence, inequality, and social misconduct. My prayer for this nation is that its citizens would learn to practice more EMPATHY.

One of Webster’s definitions of empathy does a good job describing what it looks like in operation. Empathy is defined as, “the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it.” What this looks like socially is projecting yourself into someone else’s situation through consideration, until you feel to some degree what they may be feeling, and from that place you’ll find you can relate better to them toward unification.

The “imaginative projection of a subjective state” sounds deep but it is just entering into someone’s words as they speak; really listening to what someone else has to say about their experience. Empathy will only come when we are humble and unselfish enough to hear a voice other than our own. Wishing everyone love, compassion, and more empathy this holiday season and throughout 2018!

Learning to Bask In the Light

basking in light

In my office I have a Christian sister that shared a testimony with me recently. She had been praying that GOD would bring healing to a lot of people she knows. The answer to her prayer came in the form of a river of knowledge dealing with how to get healthy. She was exposed to a lot of knowledge dealing with good nutrition, natural supplements, and other cures for a host of ailments, from diabetes to cancer and has been sharing this information with those she feels compelled too. The information wasn’t mystical, just good information shared from sources like YouTube and websites.

From her testimony and my own experience, I have come to see a pattern in how Yahweh often chooses to answer prayers. It is line with Hosea chapter 4 where it is written, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Often when people pray, they are looking for a full manifestation of what they requested. Our Heavenly Father, as a good parent, takes advantage of every opportunity to help us reach fulfillment. So often when we pray, He gives us the knowledge and power to acquire what is needed. The process of acquisition will in some way stretch us beyond our comfort zones and challenge us to grow in our knowledge of ourselves and the Father. The journey is equally as important as the destination. The journey is what prepares us to get the most out of the destination.

Don’t forsake or resent knowledge when it comes and nudges you from your comfort zone. It is often answered prayer coming to provide passage to your blessing. Salvation for the world came as the Word manifest in the flesh; the manifest knowledge of GOD. I have come to understand that true maturity is living your knowledge. The scripture tells us not to be merely hearers of the Word but doers also. In the season that knowledge comes to you, have the faith that your Heavenly Father has given you the power to perform it as well. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 2:12-14:

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Reflecting On Thanksgiving

wampanoag

In 1863, President Lincoln made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday to be observed on the last Thursday of November. The focus of the holiday was to reflect on the travesties of the Civil War and to mourn the humongous loss of life. It was a day to pray GOD’s healing for the nation.

In 1939, President Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week to boost the economy during the Great Depression. After fervent opposition to the change, the holiday was moved back to the last Thursday two years later. Four Square, a corporation that provides statistics on consumer foot traffic to merchandisers, reported that businesses that open on Thanksgiving day are at a greater advantage to profit over the “Black Friday” shopping weekend. If stores open, the shoppers will show up. It appears there has been a shift in how Americans value the holiday.

Thanksgiving, like many other holidays, seems to take on its own meaning with different families and communities. The first national observance was over one hundred and fifty years ago. America is still in need of much healing as a result of racism and inequality. Just as in the early 1900’s, the contender for reflection and focus toward national healing is making a buck.

The facts of history tell us that the first colonist would not have survived if not for the assistance of Native Americans. At the center of any government observance of Thanksgiving there should be an extravagant display of gratitude to the Native Americans. Thanks to the countless unsung contributors and heroes that have helped to bring the United States the success it enjoys today.

Parenting for Life

Trinty of the motherland

It is estimated that there are over seven billion people on earth. Of these seven billion, all of them can be potential friends, with the exception of two. The two out of seven billion are your parents. Parents are meant to be parents, not friends. The role of a parent should never be confused with the role of a friend. The first commandment with the promise of a reward does not say, “Honor your friend, that your life may be long.” It says, “Honor your mother and your father that your life may be long.” Parents are ordained of the Creator as the first guardians of your life. In their role as guardians, they will have commandments and guidelines that should be respectfully heeded unto the preservation of your life. I know that there are circumstances where parents are abusive or negligent, and that is an awful perversion of purpose which often calls for others to step in and fulfill the role.

If parents have a GOD complex, it is only because they serve by design as archetypes of the Most High. Parents and their children create a model of the relationship that will be later replicated with the Heavenly Father. When parents speak to their children with definitive and absolute authority, they are rightfully representing GOD in the children’s life. If the children do not learn to submit to this parental authority, they will inevitably rebel against GOD’s authority as well.

Parents, I encourage you to stand uncompromisingly in the place of authority you have been given by GOD, that you may save the lives of your children in the long run. Do not relinquish your authoritative role as parents for a less confrontational role as friend to pacify your child or to try to maintain a “feel good” relationship. Resist the compromising influence that comes from a world that disregards the preeminent authority of the Creator to its own destruction. Mankind has created many unsustainable structures, both socially and physically, due stiff-necked irreverence to the authority of the Creator.

In the most natural sense, a man and a woman must become one before they can become parents. Through the unity of the act of marriage, parents become one and represent one authority; the authority of THE Creator. GOD gave authority to mankind, which consist of families (father-mother-children), to subdue and rule the earth. This is symbolic of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Yeshua ruling all creation. The physical is an example of the spiritual and the hidden things of GOD can clearly be seen through the things He has made. The perversion and destruction of natural order and other constructs of GOD by the wicked one are meant to hinder our ability to perceive and understand divine principles. The fallen angel, called Lucifer, wants mankind to be alienated from the Truth so that his lies may have power. Yeshua came to earth as Truth and Light to make the way of life clear. Salvation has been brought to the world in the context of a loving family. We see a relationship between an obedient and beloved Son and a faithful, loving Father. Love personified through a family displaying order and harmony in selflessness.

(Pictured called “The Trinity of the Motherland” artist unknown to me)

Sweet Somethings

bubble

Sweet nothings are like heart-shaped bubbles that float from your heart through the air and pops on your lover’s nose, releasing a fragrant aroma,

They are ebbs that cascade over the cup of your heart from love yearning to be expressed,

They can be shared verbal kisses and caresses which sustain lovers that hunger for one another,

Sweet nothings are like little star stickers that lovers exchange that say, “I think you are fantastic”,

Sweet nothings can really make you feel special,

You know….Sweet nothings really are something!

I believe as love matures, instead of becoming more practical and toned down, it should increase in brilliance, impact, and expression. This doesn’t necessarily mean a huge display, but just the right thing at the right time or something totally unexpected but that hits the heart right were it was needed. I feel in my life at times, the Lord has often blessed me with sweet somethings right when I needed it, in a way that I knew it was only from Him and personal. I could give some examples, but it’s kind of private..you know…between lovers. Yeshua is the greatest Lover of all times. I believe that is what scriptures speak to when it says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. ”Psalm34:8. When scriptures profess, “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”. Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV).

I know I started this post talking about lovers sharing sweet nothings, and I ended up talking about the goodness of GOD. It is because nothing or no one frees the heart to love like knowing that you are loved by GOD. The weights and cares of this life tend to smother the flame of love that is meant to warm one another’s heart, but the Love of GOD has a way of lifting those cares so that the flame can get air and burn fervently.

Just like the many sunsets, sunrises, butterflies, and song birds that can go unnoticed by burdened and busy hearts, so can the sweet somethings from your loved ones if you have not given all your cares to GOD. The scriptures say, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV),

Opening the Gift of the Present

The GIft

Today as I ate my lunch, I decided to do a little research regarding, “How to increase focus and concentration” and I found some nuggets to add to my treasure chest. In my search, I found that what resonated with me more was actually some information on what to focus and concentrate on more so than how to increase focus and concentration.

These days I find it increasingly rare to have someone’s undivided attention. Once upon a time it was considered rude to engage someone without stopping what you were doing to make eye contact. When someone looks directly at you it is a sign that you have their attention. These days you are often forced to share someone’s attention with personal electronics like mobile phones, laptops, and other multimedia devices. There are times when multi-tasking is the best way to be productive and then there are times when giving less than your undivided attention results in time thwarted. Sometimes when you are not fully engaged in something that is occurring, you miss cues and subtleties that give important information causing that time to be less fruitful.

We have been given life by a GOD that is detailed to an infinitesimal degree. He packs so much into every moment we live. The secret to abundant life is learning to be fully aware in every moment we are blessed to live, in order to be mindful of the present goodness. Be sure the things you focus on are worthy of your time, and if anything is worthy of your time, you should make sure you get everything you can out of it. Prudence is one of the truest markers of maturity and enlightenment.

Enjoy these exerts from an article I read from a website called “The Art of Manliness” :

“Modernity has given us a lot of comforts and conveniences, but it has also unleashed a torrent of stimuli competing for our attention. To live a truly flourishing life amidst this cacophony of distractions, mastering your attention is key. At the end of your life, who you’ve become, what you’ve learned and accomplished, and who’s there at the end with you will be the sum total of what you chose to pay attention to each year, day, and hour of your life. Will a series of cat videos flash before your eyes? Or will you look back on the deep conversations you had with your family and friends, the books that changed your life, and the little details you discovered in all the places you visited?”

“Practice attentive listening. Focus isn’t just useful for intellectual endeavors. It’s also an essential interpersonal skill. The ability to be present with a loved one or friend builds your rapport, intimacy, and trust with them. At the same time, making an effort to focus all your energy on someone else strengthens your concentration muscles overall. It’s win-win. So next the time you’re talking with your main squeeze, put away your phone and listen as attentively as possible.”

Practice mindfulness:

“Mindfulness is simply focusing completely on what you’re doing, slowing down, and observing all of the physical and emotional sensations you are experiencing in that moment.”

All the life you have is happening right now, everything beyond this present moment is a matter of faith.