The Cost of Living

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It takes the same energy to run to life as it does to run from death. I say this because I have often heard people say, “It doesn’t take all of that,” in regards to living spiritually. On the other hand, I have seen the results of living carnally: baby mama drama, divorce, stress, poor health, financial duress, being bound to destructive cycles, and I have had the same thought…jeeez, it doesn’t take all of that! It is better to run to life without the stress of death snapping at your heels. The majority of people don’t develop a zeal for life until the reality of death cast a cloud on their horizon. Hardship is just a part of our sojourn here on earth. It can be hardships experienced in climbing against earth’s gravity toward new horizons or it can be hardships experienced in giving in to earth’s gravity and tumbling towards darkness. Living spiritually is the climb, while living carnally is the fall. Either way, it will involve some struggle and hardship. The rewards of climbing are eternal while the rewards giving in to the downward pull are temporal. In climbing, living spiritually, there is the tendency to lift others up as well. In falling, living carnally, there is the tendency to pull others down as well.

Thing is, the cost of living spiritually is a lot less than the cost of living carnally when you look at the total cost in the end. Carnal living is like the deception of a deferred payment plan where the high interest starts immediately on what you owe. When the bill arrives later, the debt is more than you can pay, then more debt is created by an act to cover the debt at hand and eventually every thing becomes due with no more extensions. Spiritual living is about paying the cost up front, as more of an investment in your life, with dividends that start showing up before you expect it and a great return in the end.

Through the light of Yeshua, I am sharing some principles of life that I hope will motivate you either to begin or to continue a struggle towards Life. The beauty of the journey to life is that Life actually loves you. Life calls to us through the person of Yeshua the Messiah who himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Yeshua has shortened the distance we need to travel because He ascended from Heaven to earth and brought Life within our reach. The distance we have remaining is the short distance to our knees where we surrender our efforts to sustain our own lives to the one who created life in the first place. Christ pays our debts and invites us to get rid of our struggles through exchanging our death for His life. That is a deal no one should pass up!

The Great Value of Woman

Recently, I attended a Men’s bible study where there were several men that had wives, mothers, and sisters that had battled or were in battle with breast cancer. I was moved by their testimonies as they shared their experiences.
One guy was asked if he was ready to nurture his wife with love as she prepared for her first round of “chemo” because she was known to be physically attractive with long blonde hair and some physical changes could be on the horizon. Another guy described his mother after she had loss several pounds and all of her hair; how frail and different she appeared, yet the essence of her was untouched.  Lastly, there was a brother there that had two sisters that ended up battling cancer at the same time and he remarked how they would often talk about how “Fly” they looked in their expensive wigs.
In this world of carnality, so much emphasis is put on physical appearance that the pressure for women to be physically attractive has to be almost unbearable at times. I would imagine that this kind of pressure further exacerbates a cancer experience. This social dynamic often distorts a women’s view of her own value. In my lifetime I have found few women that understood there true virtue and value. Unfortunately, many women use a mirror to assess their value or the reaction of others to their physical appearance. Well, one of the greatest discoveries I have found in my adulthood is that this world does a horrible job of reflecting true value. I consider this a great discovery because it led me to finding a truer and more stable standard from which all people should gauge there value; the Creator.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to affirm the great value of women worldwide.
Your beauty and strength lies in how you love. Your love is divinely sacrificial and nurturing; you spark life. If you looked at love as a river from which all mankind drinks, the greatest tributary would be women. Woman, your sensitivity to the issues of the heart and your faith has stirred the heart of Yahweh to bestow great mercy, grace, and favor upon you. Look at how Yeshua the Messiah lifted up His daughter who had the alabaster box of oil in Luke chapter 7. This woman expressed love so lavish that the Savior said, ” Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Mark 14:9) Look also at the woman that had an issue of blood for twelve years that was able to “touch the heart” of the Savior with her faith, trust, and hope. The power to embody all of that through a simple touch speaks to the sensitivity of woman that is nothing short of a gifting.
In each case, Yeshua the Messiah told each woman that their faith had saved them. Woman, your faith and love has caused you to be blessed and has been a source of light and inspiration for generations. Thanks for letting your love endure through all that you endure!

Graduating

Graduate is taking from the word “gradual”. Gradual means to progress by a degree or a level. Many of my friends and relatives are graduating this spring from colleges and high schools. Once you have met specific qualification through a rigor of study in college, you are said to have earned a degree. The earned gradual increase is celebrated with a graduation ceremony. The significance of a graduation or the earning of a degree can mean different things to different people. In almost every case it represents an accomplishment and a transition to a new level in life.

The obtaining of knowledge always carries with it the transitive powers to move you to a different level and to change your life. Though we may not always be enrolled in a college or school, we should find life to be an institution of learning. We should be allowing the lessons of life to transition us to better ways of living, and new perspectives, graduating us all the time. Class is always in session. We should always be adorned for graduation. The cap on our head should be the mindset of always seeking knowledge and wisdom, to better ourselves and those around us. Our gown should be a covering of humility in acknowledgement that we still have more to learn and we are teachable. Our tassel should move back and forward like a windshield wiper continually clearing our vision as the acquisition of knowledge increases our light and clarity. The highest learning is gaining knowledge of truth, truth about ourselves, truth about God and truth about the purpose for the life He has given us. So let’s elevate our learning, to elevate our living and enjoy the pump and circumstances.