What You Are…

21 Oct

Grandfather once told me: Your theology is what you are when the talking stops and the action starts.

We’ve all known people who talk a lot but never follow through and maybe we have been guilty of it ourselves. It’s really nothing but being human, or is it?

Grandfather would say otherwise and he would be very pointed about how he stated it: You are only as good as you follow through with what you promise or more to the point your actions speak louder than your words.

There lies the problem, people seem to separate their everyday life from their spiritual life as if they are two separate lives. In reality they are the same and we are being watched by everyone we cross paths with. Our spiritual life and daily life are one and the same.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in business, a everyday worker, a minister or, like me, just an old retired person the life you live reflects your spiritual values along with your personal values. So face it, you can’t be one person on Sunday and another person the rest of the week. It just doesn’t fly.

We talk about Faith, Hope and Love in respect to God, but then forget these same values extend to everyone in our daily life. Grandfather used to talk a lot about the many faces of God, reminding me daily that all people are created in His image then added a simple message:

God resides in our hearts so remember when you look at yourself in a mirror and then look at everyone you pass, you are looking at the face of God. So live your life accordingly because when people look at you they are seeng God at work. Don’t make Him look bad!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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On Faith Part 3

17 Oct

After writing about Faith several times, many comments have come in asking for a more defined meaning and explanation of what it really is and how do we utilize it.

This could present a problem since I, at first, offered Faith as something individual to all of us. It is this and so much more.

Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Over the years, I have found, faith to be a personal thing and that almost everyone has their own way of defining and measuring it. To have faith is to defy logic. It takes faith to think positively. It takes faith to believe that there is a loving God who cares deeply about our pain. To believe in life, the universe, or yourself after numerous failures is to have courage. Faith is an act of courage. It is choosing to get up in the morning and face our fears and believe that God will help us. Faith is choosing to believe that even though we may have failed one hundred times before that we can succeed the next time. At the same time I’ve discovered that Faith should also unite us not divide us.

Watching what is happening to our nation and some of.our churches, I wonder just where our Faith is taking us. Some churches are teaching the doctrine that their way is the only way and our politicians are doing everything to keep the country divided. Needless to say this is not the message Jesus gave us.

If we follow God’s word, Faith, Hope, Love and Charity should be forefront in our daily life, with love your neighbor and yourself and as I have loved you.

I am going to answer the question as to what Faith really is this way:

Faith is Love, just as God is Love and it is intended to unite us all, regardless of who you are or what you believe!

We, as humans, tend to forget not everyone is the same, believes the same, looks the same or even acts the same.. but be assured each and everyone of us is made in the image of God, by God and He loves us all. Why can’t you?

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Heartbeat Of The Miracle

6 Oct

One morning in early fall Grandfather and I took a walk in the canyon. After a while we sat down on two large rocks to rest. He then reached down and picked up a small rock and handed it to me saying “What do you feel?”

“A rock” I responded,”nothing else.” He then instructed me to put my hand on my neck and asked me if I felt anything else. “My heartbeat” I responded.

He then said “But the rock had no heartbeat.”

“Of course not” I responded.

Here is your lesson for today:

The rock exists as a rock with no heartbeat. It retains is shape, it’s size, it’s consistency with no need of a heartbeat. But you have a heartbeat. Every moment of your existence hangs on a heartbeat. The moment it stops, your existence is over. That’s the difference between a rock and your life. God ordained it! Rocks just exist. But life never just exists. Life must strive to exist, fight to exist. Your heart must keep beating every moment of your life.

Even if you do nothing, your heart beats. Even when you sleep, it keeps beating every moment so that you can remain alive. If you waste your moments on earth, it still beats that you can waste your time. When you sin, when you gossip, when you covet and hate, it still beats while you do so. When you weep, when you give up hope, still it beats so that even in your despair, it still fights for you to live and to be able to cry.

The difference between your existence and that of a rock is your life doesn’t just exist, it strives to exist. Your life is a miracle. Your every moment is a miracle. Your joy is a miracle. Even your tears are a miracle. Your life is a gift from God. Every moment is sustained by Him. Every moment is a miracle.

So one must ask how does one apply this?

You cease taking your life for granted. You stop wasting it, mistreating it, treating it as something less than the miracle it is. You cease to allow your life to be given to sin and what is less than God’s will. You treasure the existence with which you were entrusted. You stop throwing away your moments. You treat your life and time on earth as a treasure. You treat your every moment as if there was heart beating behind it, striving for that moment to exist.

In short …you live a life worthy …of every heartbeat.

Life is a miracle, live it as one and shine your light everywhere you go just to show others the miracle we have been given.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Reflections

8 Sep

One day Grandfather walked me to the side of the pond and we sat down and prayed. Then he said lean over and smile into the water so I did. He asked what did you see? I saw myself smiling I responded. Make an angry face he then said and tell me what you see. I see myself making an angry face I responded. Hold your hand out as if giving the water a gift. Then hold your hand out as if taking something. Now what did you see? Well I said when I offered my hand, it showed a hand offering back and when I took it showed taking back.

Very good Grandfather said and what did that teach you? I responded it showed what ever I did as a reflection. That is correct Grandfather responded and that is your lesson for today.

When you smile and are happy, He is happy. When you are unhappy, He is unhappy. He wants you happy to share His love with others. When you offered your hand, He offered His, yet when you took from Him, He took back. What does that mean? I looked a little confused and responded I’m really not sure. He then said life is meant to share with others and as you share, you also receive. When you close your hand and don’t share, He doesn’t share with you. What you give, you also receive and what you withhold is withheld from you.

Put simply if you bless others, you will be blessed. If you withhold blessings, your blessings will be withheld. If you live by taking, in the end it will be taken from you. If you live a life of giving, it will, in the end be given to you. Condemn others and you will be condemned. Forgive others and you will be forgiven. Live with a closed hand and His hand will be closed to you. What you give will be given back. What you take will be taken back. Therefore, live a life of love, of giving, of blessing, of compassion, of an open hand and heart. Whatever you do, remember what you saw here. Live your life in view of the face in the waters.

What is it that you seek from life and others? Today, make it your goal to give to others the very thing you seek.

Proverbs 27:19 ; Luke 6:37-38 ; Galatians 6:7-10

When Darkness Comes

7 Sep

When The Darkness Comes…

We all have times in our life when it seems there is nothing going right. It is at these dark times in our life that we begin to really understand the light that shines within us.

For even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

Basically, it comes down to this, we need dark to measure light and light to measure dark. Without one we would never know the existence of the other. Darkness is the absence of light, but how many of us have ever seen total darkness? I don’t think I have ever been in total darkness for God has always been the light at the end of the tunnel. He has always been there to show me the way.

When I realized that I am never alone, I began to understand that for every instance and bump in the road, there is a lesson there for me to learn and a story for me to share. It is then that I learned people are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. God has blessed us with His glory and asked that we share it with others so that they also can show their light.

We have a choice about how we take what happens to us in our life and whether or not we allow it to turn us. We can become consumed by the darkness, or we can regain our humanity somehow, and come to terms with things and learn something about ourselves. Then we can take that lesson and teach it to others by showing them the light that shines brightly from within, even in the darkest of times.

Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed by a situation – when you’re in the darkest of darkness – that’s when your priorities are reordered. When I fell and busted my hip, I thought it was the end of the world for me as I knew it. The doctors were saying I would be on crutches for up to six months and I wondered what God had planned for me with this little hardship. Well, I met some of the sweetest people and was able to share the light with many of them. I was blessed to share my story with them and to show them the strength that God has given me to overcome the rocks that were placed in my path. In turn I was blessed to share their stories of His love and grace.

It is times like this when I remember that: When the darkness comes…the stars come out.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Hurricanes

7 Jul

— What does the Sahara Desert in Africa have to do with hurricanes in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific Ocean? You might think this sounds a little crazy because hurricanes are very wet and deserts are very dry, but if it weren’t for this huge, hot, dry region in North Africa, we would see far fewer hurricanes in the United States. The Sahara Desert is massive, covering 10 percent of the continent of Africa. It would be the largest desert on Earth, but based strictly on rainfall amounts, the continent of Antarctica qualifies as a desert and is even larger. Still, rainfall in the Sahara is very infrequent; some areas may not get rain for years and the average total rainfall is less than three inches per year. While not the largest or driest of the deserts, the Sahara has a major influence on weather across the Western Hemisphere.

How a Tropical Storm Starts A-Brewin’

The role the Sahara Desert plays in hurricane development is related to the easterly winds (coming from the east) generated from the differences between the hot, dry desert in north Africa and the cooler, wetter, and forested coastal environment directly south and surrounding the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa. The result is a strong area of high altitude winds commonly called the African Easterly Jet. If these winds were constant, we would also experience fewer hurricanes. However, the African Easterly Jet is unstable, resulting in undulations in a north-south direction, often forming a corresponding north to south trough, or wave, that moves westward off the West African Coast. When these waves of air have enough moisture, lift, and instability, they readily form clusters of thunderstorms, sometimes becoming correlated with a center of air circulation. When this happens, a tropical cyclone may form as the areas of disturbed weather move westward across the Atlantic. Throughout most of the year, these waves typically form every two to three days in a region near Cape Verde (due west of Africa), but it is the summer to early fall when conditions can become favorable for tropical cyclone development. Not all hurricanes that form in the Atlantic originate near Cape Verde, but this has been the case for most of the major hurricanes that have impacted the continental United States.

Map of North America with historical tracks of hurricanes in North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific Oceans.

All North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific hurricanes
(at least Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale). Note how many originate at the edge of Africa’s West Coast, where the desert meets the green forests to the south. (NOAA)
Wave of the Future (Weather)

In fact, just such a tropical wave formed off Cape Verde in mid-August of 1992. Up to that point, there had not been any significant tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic that year. However, the wave did intensify into a hurricane, and on August 24 Andrew came ashore in south Florida as a Category 5 hurricane, becoming one of the most costly and destructive natural disasters in U.S. history … until Sandy. Hurricane Sandy, which eventually struck the U.S. east coast as a post-tropical cyclone, also began as a similar tropical wave that formed off the coast of west Africa in October of 2012. Some of these “waves” drift all the way to the Pacific Ocean by crossing Mexico and Central America. Many of the Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones originate, at least in part, from tropical waves coming off Cape Verde in Africa. Many of these waves traverse the entire Atlantic Ocean without generating storm development until after crossing Central America and entering the warm Eastern Pacific waters. Then, if the conditions are right, tropical cyclone formation is possible there. Hurricane Iselle, which hit the Big Island of Hawaii on August 8, 2014, was likely part of a wave that formed more than 8,000 miles away off of the West Coast of Africa and an example of the far-reaching influence the Sahara Desert has on our planet’s weather. While these waves with origins in the Sahara Desert might generate numerous thunderstorms and a pattern with the potential for developing into a tropical cyclone, often the conditions are not quite right. Hurricane Cristobal formed from a classic Cape Verde wave last week and currently is churning Atlantic waters, but is not expected to be a threat to the United States. The formation of these disturbances off the West Coast of Africa will remain a potential source of tropical storms through the end of Atlantic hurricane season in late November. Each wave is investigated by the NOAA National Hurricane Center and you can view these active disturbances on their website.

The Sahara Desert and You

When it comes to hurricanes and hurricane preparedness, it’s interesting to know how a desert half a world away can influence the formation of severe weather on our coasts—and even parts of the Pacific Ocean. And no matter where you live, the old rule of planning for the worst and hoping for the best remains the surest way to stay safe.

Heat Index

30 Jun

Just what is heat index?

The heat index tells you how hot it feels at a given humidity. Moist air feels hotter than dry air because it makes sweating less efficient. On a hot, dry day, your sweat will evaporate quickly and cool your skin; under humid conditions, sweat evaporates more slowly and doesn’t do as much. Just as the wind chill attempts to measure how cold it feels under certain wind conditions, the heat index tries to measure how hot it feels given the humidity.

The formula for heat index is based on work completed in the late 1970s. R. G. Steadman wrote a paper called “The assessment of sultriness,” in which he used a list of 20 factors to compute how hot you might feel on a given day. These factors included the rate at which you sweat, the type of clothes you’re wearing, the surface area of your body, and what you happen to be doing.

To isolate the effects of temperature and humidity on the perception of heat, Steadman invented a typical situation: A person who’s 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 147 pounds walks at about 3.1 miles per hour in a light breeze, wearing long pants and a short-sleeved shirt. Then Steadman filled out his 20 variables with information from this scenario and figured out how hot his fictional person would feel at different outside temperatures and levels of humidity. He put the results in a table: Higher humidity would make his exemplar feel hotter, while drier conditions would make him feel cooler than it really is. For any given temperature, there is a percent humidity at which the weather “feels” exactly as hot as the thermometer indicates.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service used Steadman’s table to derive a simpler formula for heat index by creating a function that approximates its values (to within 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) using only two variables—temperature and percent humidity. Since the formula incorporates all of Steadman’s assumptions, how hot you feel may differ from the heat index reported on the evening news. For example, weather reports say that today’s heat index in Shreveport is 106, and that the wind is blowing at 11 miles per hour. But the formula for heat index assumes that the wind is blowing at only 5.8 miles per hour—so the added breeze might make it feel cooler than what’s been reported. (Unless it were really hot out—when it gets up into the high 90s, the wind actually makes you hotter.) Likewise, the further your dimensions are from 5 feet 7 inches and 147 pounds, the less likely you are to feel like it’s 106 degrees.

Needless to say summer is here, so lets be smart! Stay hydrated and take cool off breaks.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed