Why…

23 Mar

Why…

I am oftened asked why I write what I write and where my ideas come from. Most of my writings reflect the life I have lived and how I grew up. Lessons from my Grandfather along with life lessons make up a lot of my essays. As for the ideas, most come to me in the middle of the night in dreams or thoughts. These are messages from God asking me to write about a particular subject. He also won’t let me publish them until I have it just as He wants it.

All my posts are written to be conversation starters with the hope that you, the reader, will ask questions or offer your feelings on the subject. I use these thoughts, comments and feelings to write new posts.

With that in mind, three posts have gotten a lot of comments and feelings. The Cup, How Do We Measure Love and A Talk With The Father. Interesting though is they all share a common thread – Why.

Why didn’t God remove evil from the world when He sent Jesus here? How can a loving God allow people to starve to death? Why, if there is only one God, does He allow a religion to exist that wants to murder Christians? Why should we measure love and how does it really measure us?

All are valid questions with really the same answer – Faith. The real question is do we really have Faith? You don’t overcome darkness by focusing on the darkness. You overcome the darkness by focusing on the light, and you don’t overcome sin by focusing on sin. You overcome sin by dwelling not on sin but on God. You overcome emptiness by dwelling on His presence. You solve your problem, not by dwelling on the problem, but by dwelling on the answer, by being filled up with the answer. You overcome sorrow by the presence of joy and hate by the presence of love and evil by the presence of good.

As Christians we firmly believe the Bible is the word of God. We also believe firmly in John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We also believe, through the bible, that God created all men in His image.

So with so many religions in the world how can there only be one God and how can He allow one religion decide to murder another? For that matter why does He allow murder at all? The answer is freewill. So why did He give us freewill?

Without freewill there would be no love because we wouldn’t have anything to compare it with. Love overcomes hate as light overcomes dark. It’s the contrast that makes it real. It’s our Faith in God that shines the reality of this.

As to the question of measuring love and how it measures us let us consider His commandment in Matthew 22: 34-40 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

This is our measure of love and to how love measures us.

Matthew 25 says it best:

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

I will close with this thought: You can’t know, with Faith you can only believe—or not.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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Life On The Reservation

3 Mar

Life On The Reservation….

Over the years I’ve received several comments and questions on my posts about growing up on the reservation. Although most of them were general in nature, some of them showed me just how ignorant our Country is about how one lives on an Indian Reservation. I’ve tried in my posts to illustrate how life was, yet I get the feeling that most really don’t understand how basic life is.

I was once asked how does an Indian find salvation? The other day I was visiting a friend’s house and was introduced as a friend who grew up on an Indian Reservation, but he didn’t know what kind of heathen religion I was raised on because my Grandfather was a spiritual leader. I was not offended, but it did show just how people see the Indian life. Most see Indians as uneducated heathens with no real goals in life. So I decided to write about life as I grew up.

Let’s start by saying what you saw in the cowboy movies growing up is not representative of how the Indian lives. The Trail of Tears actually did happen and the Government did move tribes across the country and place them on reservations. Most reservations were placed on the most inhabital lands where no one else wanted to live. However, the Indian is accustomed to a hard life and has learned to make the best of every situation. They irrigated the lands to grow crops, took the best of what they had and made do. When I said I lived a simple life I grew up in a simple land where life was what you made of it.

As for religion, all the reservations have Jesuit churches on them, as the Catholic church was the only one brave enough to venture in. But as time went by more and more of the tribe visited other churches. In the 1940s and 50s, when I was on the reservation we had Christian and Catholic churches we could attend. Grandfather, our spiritual leader, was a born again Christian. He taught me from the bible everyday. Spiritual life is the center of life on the reservation.

However, there is more to life than religion. Grandfather used the bible to teach me nature, animal life, and the different seasons. We lived a simple life, learning the ways of nature and the animals. This taught us how to survive the harse nature of life on the reservation. I learned how to grow plants where some would never expect a plant to survive. I learned the importance of God in my life, for it is He who sustains us.

I once wrote to live a simple life is simply to live. I think that simple statement went over the heads of most of my readers. Life is as hard or simple as one chooses to make it. A life of love and joy is much simpler than one of hate and contempt. Positive is always easier than negative to live with and living in the light is so much easier than searching in the darkness. God is love and its His love that enables us to love others. It’s that simple and that’s the life I live with God at the center.

Life on the reservation is a simple life because we don’t take anything for granted and cherish every blessing God gives us. I wonder how many of you can truly say you do.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Between Heaven And Earth

24 Feb

Between Heaven And Earth…

Grandfather was one who always had the answer to my questions, no matter how trivial they were. I remember one time I asked what is between heaven and earth, what holds us together?

He looked at me and pondered on how to answer the question, then opened up and started talking.

LOVE is what holds earth to heaven and it is our job to keep LOVE alive and well so there will always be a connection between the two! Then he sat back, smiled and waited for me to respond.

Ok I said, I know our greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves but I never gave it any thought that love is what holds us to heaven. Then I sat back and thought more about what he said for a few minutes then smiled at him and added. It is the fulfillment of the law and overcomes all other laws.

Romans 13:8-10 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Grandfather sat back, smiled at me then said you have found your answer. Without love we fail His law for He is love. Without Him we don’t exist. As Christians we are to keep LOVE alive and shine our lights to lead others to Him. That love is the connection between heaven and earth.

Now, I have to admit Grandfather always challenged me to think and his answer did catch me off guard, but it also forced me to think about the lessons he has taught me over the years. Many times we, as Christians, fail to realize the commitment we made to God when we accepted Jesus as our savior.

We committed to live by His laws and to share His love with our neighbors. As hard that it is, He has promised to be there with us along the way. He is patient and caring, forgiving us when we falter, always guiding us back on the correct path. He asks so little, why is it so hard for us to love each other? Why is it so easy to find fault with others rather than to see the good?

The answer just could be it is easier to see the faults of other than it is to admit we have some, if not all the same faults. It’s easier to turn our backs than it is to offer a hand up. It’s easier because we, as Christians, chose to take the easy way rather than step up and set the example. We, as a whole, have become lazy and complacent!

The time has come for each and everyone of us to wake up and see what we have done and how we have failed God. It takes no more energy to smile and say hello to someone than it does to turn your head and pretend you didn’t see them. It takes love to reach out and help someone, but that love is returned many times more.

Are you fulfilling your obligation as a Christian? If not why? Get up and shine your light!!!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Dreams – Should We Follow or Chase Them

18 Feb

Dreams – follow or chase…

How many times have you asked yourself if I had done things differently years ago where would I be today? Have you ever felt your life just hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would?

I would guess we all have made some decisions in our life that today we wish would have done differently. If you could go back and redo it, would you?

I often wonder what if I did this instead, then look at my chosen path and say God led me here, why am I questioning it? When it comes right down to it, our life is opening up exactly as it should and we chose the path we took with our Faith in God to protect us as we ventured down that path. I did without reservation.

Do I question where would I be if I went another direction? Of course I have, then I remember the blessings I have received, the people I have been able to help and those who helped me. It is then I realize that I chose the right path and have no need to look back at my life. God has lead me here for a reason and that reason is being opened to me everyday of my life.

Now, to the question, do you follow your dreams or chase them. I, personally, say you follow them because you will make fewer mistakes. By that is my opinion, you may think you need to chase them so you can get more out of life. I guess it’s a personal decision, but I know this for sure, if you are following the path God has laid out for you and have Faith that he is going to walk beside you, your life will turn out just fine.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Best We Can Expect

17 Feb

The Best We Can Expect…

I received several comments on my post My World, Your World and the World We Live In but one stood out so much I felt the need to write about it.

The reader commented “You are right on. It is very hard to accept this world. Best we can expect is to walk through it and stay true to the word.

It made me wonder what do we, as Christians expect in this world we live in? Of even, for that matter, what do we expect for ourself?

Remember we each live in our own world that expands as we grow and share our world with each other.

Grandfather would tell me that you only get out of life what you are willing to put into it. If you pour love out, love pours back in and many times much more than you pour out.

Over the years I’ve found that to be very true. Most everything you give in your life comes back in a much stronger way.

I did respond to the reader as promised.

“The bright side of living in today’s world is that I know He has my back and will guide me through the maze. I don’t have to worry about what’s waiting around the bend because He is already there marking my path.

It’s not that we expect to walk through it and stay true to the word, it’s the knowledge that He has promised to be with us each and every step. I have no worries because He has never broken a promise.”

So, for me, my Faith in God carries me through this world and the knowledge that He is always with me just strengthens my Faith. To me it’s a win win solution to the problem so many in our world seem to be facing.

Is it a problem of too little Faith or just lack of understanding the love of God?

What are your thoughts on this?

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Cup

27 Jan

The Cup…

One evening while sitting by the campfire, along with a group of others, Grandfather was holding a cup. An empty cup, he said, how do you get rid of its emptiness? There’s only one way, you fill it.

He then went over to the well and filled the cup with water. We have successfully removed the emptiness, he said with a slight smile, not by focusing on the emptiness or by concentrating on removing it. We removed the emptiness simply by fulling the cup with water. A Simple solution, yet profound, even revolutionary when you apply it to life.

How did God accomplish salvation? By removing evil from the world? No, by His presence, by coming into the world, by becoming God with us, Immanuel.

By pouring water into the cup, I said.

Exactly, He didn’t take away our problems or remove them from the world. He did something better, He gave us the answer. He poured the answer into the world. You see, salvation is not the absence of sin. It’s the presence of God. Salvation is not the removing of the world’s darkness. It’s the shining of God’s light into the darkness. And by the light, the dark was is driven away. Salvation is the incarnation of God. It’s His presence. It’s the Immanuel solution. So what does it reveal?

You don’t overcome darkness by focusing on the darkness. You overcome the darkness by focusing on the light, I replied.

Correct, and you don’t overcome sin by focusing on sin. You overcome sin by dwelling not on sin but on God. You overcome emptiness by dwelling on His presence. You solve your problem, not by dwelling on the problem, but by dwelling on the answer, by being filled up with the answer.

You overcome sorrow by the presence of joy and hate by the presence of love and evil by the presence of good. Try this secret and it will change your life. Overcome the absence by the presence of its opposite. It is as simple and as deep as pouring water into the cup, the Immanuel solution.

Apply this to your everyday life. Overcome the problem with the Answer, the bitterness with Forgivness, hate with Love and evil with the Good.

How will you fill your cup?

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Colors Of Heaven

26 Jan

The Colors Of Heaven…

It was a sunny afternoon when Grandfather led me into one of the most beautiful gardens just outside the school. It was a garden filled with every variety of flowers and of every color. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of colored glass. He handed it to me and said now look at the garden and tell how many colors you see.

Just one, I replied, everything is red.

That’s right, Grandfather said, the glass filtered out every ray of light except the red. Even though the garden is full of colors all you can through the glass is red.

The world, like this garden, is also a mix of colors. What God created is good, but the creation has fallen and is now a mix of good and evil. It will be your glass that will determine what you see and what you receive of the world. The things you take for granted will become the filter of your glass.

If you live requiring or expecting to get from this world heaven or perfection, as one who deserves to be blessed, and thus taking the blessings for granted, you’ll blind yourself from seeing those blessings.

I would have thought the opposite I replied.

Grandfather said, No, what you take for granted is that which you blind yourself from seeing, and that which you will end up losing. If you take the good for granted, you will lose or filter out the good. The only thing you will see is all that is not good, the wrong, the imperfect and the dark. To require heaven of this life is to filter out the heavenly.

Then he handed me a second glass. When I lifted it to my eyes, I saw all the other colors, everything except the red.

This, he said, is your lesson in life. If instead of taking heaven for granted, you take hell for granted. In other words, that you deserve judgement, but have been given grace instead and that no blessing is deserved and no good thing is taken for granted what then will happen? The opposite.

Your Heart will see only the good and every blessing. Everything will become a gift from God, and every moment His Grace. You see, compared to hell, life is heaven. So learn to see your life through the second glass and you will filter out hell.

What will remain? Heaven and a heavenly life. Then you will see your life in heavenly colors.

Take judgement and hell for granted and the fact that you’re saved from it, and every other blessing in your life as total undeserved grace and by this live a heavenly life.

I was blessed to have Grandfather as my mentor and best friend. He taught me many life lessons. I feel he is watching over me yet today and smiling at how I am sharing his words and lessons.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed