What Were They REALLY Thinking?

….those famous ol’ founding fathers of ours. 

So many times I hear people say “Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if……..” and then fill in the blank, but after the research and reading I did recently, I think you’re all wrong. At least all the things I normally see people use that are wrong. 

The founders came here for one main reason, and they proclaimed it in everything they did and it wasn’t to make sure we all had guns (Although I am totally pro guns), or to create some constitution to base this new country on, which btw, this country was NOT based on The Constitution. They certainly were not in favor of any separation of Religion & State, at least not how that term is so misused today 

Let their own words give you some real insight into how it was. 

Constitution Of The New England Confederation – 1643“Whereas we all came to these parts of America with the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kindgome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to injoy the liberties of the Gospell thereof with purities and peace, and for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospell.” 

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Original Delaware Constitution, Article 22Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, if conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath, to wit: 

” I, A B. will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its constitution and laws, and do no act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced.” 

And also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: 

” I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.” 

And all officers shall also take an oath of office. 

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“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls; of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system” Samuel Adams 1790

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“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. 

Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.”  Benjamin Rush 1799

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“Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Northwest Ordinance of 1987 

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“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. In this institution it is of more importance, as the pupils will be orphans, and may be destitute of parental instruction.

 

No truth is more evident to my rnind, than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” Noah Webster 1838 

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 “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.

 

 And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” George Washington’s Farewell Address 

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 “The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government – but that which is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words, damnation.” John Adams The Wall Builder Report

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 “The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” Benjamin Rush Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic 

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“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, & insures to the good eternal happiness are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.” Charles Carroll – Signer Of The Declaration Of Independance

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 “Religion and morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness” Samuel Adams

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 “The great pillars of all government and of social life . . . [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.” Patrick Henry 

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“Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country. 

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom. The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other. Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts-the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe, than by styling it a democratic and republican religion” Alexis de Tocqueville 

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“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin 

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 “The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation. . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. 

 

It is alleged by men of loose principles or defective views of the subject that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men “who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.” Noah Webster 

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“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”  John Adams 

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“To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.” Daniel Webster 

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“How has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? 

 

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel 

 

We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. 

 

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service” Benjamin Franklin 

 

I see our current state and look to our future and then I read from people who have said: 

 

“More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. 

 

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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 “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” Abraham Lincoln – Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day 

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“If the enemy can destroy the Christian’s passion for America, then he has won the major battle for the soul of this nation.” Hudson Taylor 

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Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:5

 

From January 19, 2013

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Incarcerated!

Arrested
 Without going into details of everything that happened, and it happened quickly, I can say that what actually transpired in court last Friday during the modification of my child support hearing, is still a mystery to me. In short, although I was forthcoming on everything, provided proof of everything, and told every detail of my story, I was charged with Direct Contempt of Court for basically not checking my bank account for a month. It has become apparent that this judge hates me. In 2 court dates, I’ve been accused of being violent, aggressive, a liar, a schemer, manipulative and, oddly, very intelligent. 

I did nothing illegal or immoral, but yet, to my horror, the judge proclaimed “Bailiff, I’m going to need a deputy in here, now!” and delivered a sentence of 5 days in Peoria County Jail, leaving me shocked and mortified! 

I was cuffed and taken into a holding room off to the side of the courtroom and as the door closed, I looked at the deputy, whom I knew very casually, and told him that I had never been arrested before and had no idea of what I was in for. 

Nervously, I offered no resistance as he went through my pockets and and he reassured me that it was not going to be that bad, but he agreed that what was happening was definitely mysterious and uncalled for. I asked him at what point I could make a phone call as I surrendered to the inevitable, and he replied that as soon as I got to “county”, I could have access to a phone. It dawned on me that I don’t know any actual phone numbers anymore, so he allowed me to use my cell phone to call a friend and arrange for him to come and get my keys and take my car home. 

I waited about 30 minutes,  during which I prayed to God that the time would go easy, was led to a police van, full of prisoners who had obviously been through this many times, and off we went. Men on one side, women on the other, separated by a steel divider,  I kept quiet while the rest of the people yelled back and forth to the women on the other side. We arrived a few minutes later and I was kept behind while the prisoners were led into the building. I focused on being humble and calm. 

10 minutes passed and I was led inside, asked to remove my shoes and socks, walked through a metal detector, then given a lunch tray, my first encounter with jail food, and taken to a holding cell where 3 others were already waiting. Purple Bologna on semi-hard bread, some yellow looking juice, and some fruit, and a few other things I didn’t want anything to do with, I opted to pass on lunch.Within minutes, 2 were led out and the one who remained, I learned his name was Phil, and I started talking. We had a lot in common, both small business owners – Phil owns a towing company with a fleet of trucks – and we got along well. I told him this was my first arrest and he assured me it wasn’t that bad and that I, like him, in for a DUI and a 3rd time visitor to the jail, would be in a pods with others that were just doing a very short stay. Several hours later, I was brought a dinner tray. Purple ham steak, hard bread,  cold, sticky macaroni & cheese and peas that tasted like paste. Purple seemed to be the prevailing color for all the lunch meat I had in there. 

Booked
 After about 2 hours, I was taken to booking, had my prints and mug shot taken – why do they always make you look like you’re a serial killer in those? – and was interviewed. The booking officer was shocked that he couldn’t find me in the system,  until I told him I had never been in police handcuffs before. So far, everyone I spoke to, I did so like I would anyone, respectfully, and I was shown the same in return, something that carried over my entire stay with all the personnel at the jail whom I encountered. Then I was led back to the holding cell where I sat until almost 9:30 that evening. During my time, I prayed that God, who I acknowledged had put me here for a reason, would show me how he wanted me to respond to this event in my life. I would find out his purpose on Sunday. 

A young guard finally came to take me to the back. We went to a locker room area where I was given a striped jump suit, which I quickly changed into, then to a supply room to choose a blanket, sleeping pad, a sheet, and towel. We made small talk about this being my first incarceration, and he told me that it would be pretty easy time and handed me an extra amount of soap bars, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Something that came in handy while in the pod. Then he led me to where I would be staying. 

SP-6
 SP-6 is a smaller pod with and open area with 3 stainless steel tables, 3 cells on the lower “tier” and a shower and toilet to the right. Stairs went up the middle to an upper tier with 4 more cells. The guard told me to find a spot on the floor to put my things, and quickly he was gone, leaving me in a room full of about 20 prisoners. I found a spot by a wall and dropped my gear and looked around then heard someone calling “Hey you!” Looking up at a man sitting at the top of the stairs who was calling for me to come up, so I climbed the stairs and said hello. He asked me how long I was going to be there, and I told him 5 days and his shoulders slumped. Sitting next to him was a kid they call Tattoo due to the large number of tattoos he has from the neck down. Scott told me that this was his “Celly” who was leaving Monday and he was looking for a new Celly, but since I was only there a few days, I wasn’t gonna work out for him. Scott and I became pretty good friends while I was there. He was someone that had respect amongst the other men. He looked very familiar and I mentioned that he said the same was true for me, then advised me to move my things under the stairs, saying that was the best spot. We talked for a few minutes and then I went down to make up my spot and sat down looking around. Few people really paid attention to me, but I realized that I recognized a lot of them as people that came into the Circle K, where I used to work. 

A few minutes later, an older guy, named Rob, asked me if I played Spades, which I do, very well, and I was invited into a game with him and 2 others, Sheff, a former Peoria Pirates Arena League Football player and a guy named George. As I answered the inevitable question “Why are you here”, I offered my hand and introduced myself. It was obvious, this was rare to these guys. We played a few games and got along great, then the call was made for lockdown, meaning the TV was off and the guys who had cells had to be locked in. There were about 6 of us who were “On the floor”, and we sat close and talked for a while. So far, everyone I met was actually pretty cool. And none were there for criminal acts, but for violations, drinking or drugs. Eventually, I laid down on the hard floor and under way too much light, I prayed a bit and then I fell asleep. 

Saturday
 Saturday started off with a  6:30 wake up and a line of towels appeared at the shower, so I added mine and sat down and started talking to some other people, while the mop bucket and cleaning supplies that had mysteriously appeared in the door was used by people to clean out their cells. Again, everyone was pretty friendly. So far, this was not so bad, and nothing like I imagined. After a shower, breakfast arrived. Snotty oat meal, purple juice, rancid looking blueberries, I barely ate but saw how the trade game worked as people bartered for items on each other’s trays. This was my last meal that I didn’t eat. To be honest, the rest of the time, the food was pretty decent. Coffee, beef stew, ham and beans, goulash, etc…. Not so bad. Other men I hadn’t seen the night before appeared out of their cells and a few of us got to know each other. 

The day was basically spent playing cards watching TV and the arrival of my biggest annoyance began to set in; the echo. Being in the pod is like being in an empty, indoor swimming pool. That echo never goes away and by the end of my stay, I was pretty tormented by it and how the battle between the volume of people talking and the volume of the TV, which distorted horribly, the louder it got, went on endlessly.

By the end of the day, I was pretty well settled in and had gotten great news. My 5 days was going to be more like 4 days. Friday was considered a day served and instead of leaving Wednesday, I would be out Tuesday at 5AM 

Sunday
 I didn’t sleep well as the floor is really uncomfortable and cold and guards come in and out during the night for counts and other various reasons, so Sunday morning, I was up early and got on the list for Church. Afterwards, I could see that I had some really good friendships starting and had fallen into a sort’ve clique. Scott, for one, Mike, a hippy from Chillicothe – a bunch of guys were from Chillicothe, – ‘Drew, nice enough guy from the ‘hood who had been in and out a few times, Nick, a smart kid who was there for a DUI and who we later threatened to hunt down if he ever had to come back, another guy whose name I never learned that cheated at cards, some really odd dude that reminded people of a young Jim Carey and amongst a few others, a kid named Jeremy. 

Jeremy was in for the first time and was depressed that he might not get out in time to see his first kid born. He was really upset about being there, and worried about his girlfriend. We really connected and talked a lot, as he kept to himself, for the most part. This was it. I knew right away, God was at work here. By the end of the day, Jeremy confided in me that he was disappointed in himself and was committed to putting gang banging, drugs, negative influences and bad habits behind him and focusing on being a good father to his daughter and a good man to his girl. I told him I’d get a message to his family when I got out, reassuring them that he was OK, promised I’d be there to pick him up when he got out, and be there for him if he needed any help on the outside. We talked about God, my faith, and as the conversation ended, he asked me to pray for him. I told him I’d been praying for him since the day I got there. 

I walked away, thanking God for giving me this opportunity to be a part of Jeremy’s new found love and dependence on God and accepting Jesus. Later that night, he showed me a rap he wrote about putting his past behind him and allowing God to lead his life. God is so great. 

That night, I had more fun than I had in a long time. The pod was like a big party. Groups of people talking and laughing, card playing with a lot of joking around, and other than the echo that was becoming more and more of an issue with me, it was pretty fun night. One of the things that people do is pace. Walking back and forth from end to end, alone or in groups, talking. It’s weird, but a real part of passing time in jail. Eventually, lockdown time came, and those of us on the floor sat up awhile talking, joking around, passing time. 

Tattoo
 Tattoo was probably the most jail seasoned kid there. He wasn’t very big, but he was the guy that ran the trades between our pod and the one next door, getting food, tobacco, which was rolled in toilet paper, devised a way to light it with pencil lead and an electrical outlet – Jail innovation is pretty cool – and had a lot of respect from the other inmates. I never talked to him much, until Sunday night, when we ended up as partners in a game of Spades. I asked him how old he was, 23, how long he had been there, 30 days and he told me he had done 2 prison stints and was looking at 12 years when he got out. I said that he didn’t have to live life like that and could change it, but he replied that he had been in institutions since he was 10. I asked him if he wanted to change that pattern and he informed me he was a heroin addict, and that when he got out in the morning, he had some waiting for him and would be high before he got off the property. I felt bad for him. His life had been rough and he was comfortable with it. 

Monday night, ‘Drew called his grandmother to see how he was doing. That shot of Heroin he had waiting for him, it killed him…. 

I’m still pretty broken up about it, as was the entire pod, and I’ll be going to his wake this Friday to pray for his soul and give my respects. All the laughing and joking was underscored by the truth of the rough life these people live. 

Monday Night
 I spent the last few hours making plans to get together with some of them after they get out, traded phone number, Facebook pages, and talked to Scott about hiring him to come work for me, hoping I can help keep him off the Heroin that landed him there. Leaving with me in the morning, Nick and talked a lot of smack, but in the end, neither of us slept well. I was anxious to get out, but I felt, and still feel that I left something behind that I wish I could go back and revisit. People that I wish I could play Spades with and tell jokes and just make sure that they’re all doing easy time. I can see how profound jail time is on a man, as I feel the effect from just a few days behind bars, and I hope that the lessons I learned never leave me. I thank God for the opportunity I had. With God, everything is an opportunity to develop character and prepare yourself for a future in his kingdom, if you can identify where he is working and join him in that work. 

Freedom
 I was already awake when the guard came to lead Nick and I out. Turning in my gear, getting dressed, out processing, all of that was a blur, and with bus pass in hand, I walked out into the cool morning air to hear a horn and see the lights come on from my car. Kevin was unexpectedly there to pick me up!

 

From October 17, 2012

God Intervenes

Although I truly feel God’s presence in my life at all times, I sometimes am a bit insolent and I let myself get into situations that could be troublesome for me. 

Three times this week, God boldly intervened in my life to save me from what would -not could- but would have been bad situations. 

The first started on Sunday, when Pastor John told a story of a couple with marital problems he had counselled. When all seemed hopeless, the wife, who had been cheated on and abandoned, called an emergency meeting and in that meeting, proceeded to apologize to her husband for all the ways she had wronged him. In the end, that couple is happily together today. 

Now, that story is definitely profound, but until Tuesday, it didn’t have much of an affect on me, until God intervened. As the day went on, that story tugged at me and by the days end, it was actually causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. When I went to pick the kids up after work, I felt the urge to ask their mother to come out so I could talk to her and when she did, I began to apologize for the things I had dome terribly wrong. Specifically, I wanted to, needed to apologize for allowing a situation to occur that resulted in her leaving me. Now, I didn’t get to go through the entire list before she began to tear me up one side and down the other, but I stood there and let her, knowing it was an opportunity to let it out and to humble myself in her presence (and anyone else within ear-shot). 

Wednesday, I had an occasion to do something that night that would have been bad. Nothing Illegal, but lets just say beautiful Female, 22 yrs old and married. I struggled all day with what I was planing to do, and my conscience ate at me, which I knew was God saying loudly, “don’t go.” I could have and should have listened to that voice, but as the day wore down and she texted me to make sure we were still on, I apologized and admitted that I was just going to do what I wanted. At 8pm, an hour before we were going to meet up, just as I got in the shower, I got a text; “Something came up, have to cancel”. I thank God immediately for saving me from what would have certainly been a HUGE negative act. 

Friday, the sales people got out of work at 11AM. My boss does not believe in letting the rest of us go when the  sales people get off. Being a holiday weekend, we really felt this wan’t fair and it’s a pattern that’s repeated often. We work hard and diligently in admin to get our jobs done, yet the reward is not there for us. At lunch time, I left to cash my check with the plan to not come back. I can’t go into details, but something very good and profound happened to me that made me realize that a very bad thing would have happened if I didn’t return and let me know that I am indeed appreciated by my bosses. 

I wish I could say that I’ll never let myself get into these tangles again, but I’m a human being, a sinner, but God does look out for us, if we open ourselves up to him.

 

From May 27, 2012

The Thorn

The Thorn 

The voice on the other end of the phone, a few weeks ago, said to me “you’re Peter.” 

I really have no idea of how I came to this place in my life. I mean, I know HOW I got here, but I don’t at the same time. 

Three weeks ago, I had never heard of The Thorn. I had only considered acting as a half-hearted fanciful idea, but one thing I have learned is that God does wonderous things. 

In the beginning of this journey, I prayed that God would reveal himself to me, which he did in a most profound way. After a few weeks, I prayed that he would stay close and apparent to me, so that I would know that I this was real, and he did, by leading to me some people that I have come to love and respect and admire. People that I never would have seen myself associating with, previously, have become incredible friends. 

As I’ve become more aware of the fact that I am living in God’s reality, I have prayed that God would use me as an example to others, proving that this is not a dream or a fairytale. That people would see that someone who lived a dark and desolate existence could be filled with the Holy Spirit and transformed into a creature of hope. 

Growing up in a Church, I had heard the story of how Peter had Betrayed Jesus 

When I had volunteered to help with the Easter presentation at Riverside, I was thinking production, not performing, but our incredible director, Audrey didn’t ask, but told me, I will be Peter and a few days later, I had a copy of my script. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks, but it all came together this weekend as we presented our version of The Thorn. I was not prepared for the impact of this event in my life. 

Even at rehearsals, I wasn’t completely ready for what happened in this Church that I love so much. Friday night, I watched the Passion of The Christ and seeing, really, not on the screen but in my heart, the agony and suffering that Jesus endured, willingly, knowingly, to provide this opportunity that I’ve been given and to each and every person that come after him was just overwhelming and for the first time, I understood… really understood, what Easter meant. And I felt completely unworthy and undeserving of any of this and all I could do, was clutch my Bible, fall to my knees and thank God for this precious gift. 

Last night, opening night if you will, as the band played I was really in awe of how beautiful this whole thing is. As my turn to walk out on stage and deliver my lines came, I wasn’t at all nervous, but just… really happy that I was here. As I came towards the end of my lines, applause rang out, catching me off guard, but bringing a smile to my face. Afterwards, in the concourse, the reality began to show itself as people approached me to tell me that I had inspired them, or touched them, or brought them to tears. What an amazing compliment to see in their eyes that they had been moved…. by me! Praise God! 

The Prodigal Son who came home

The early show this morning, I was restless and a little worried that I couldn’t connect like I had last night but as the show started and the band played, I stood in the eaves of Stage Left and cried at the raw beauty of what we were doing. I was overcome. If anyone on that stage had looked to the left, they would have certainly seen the tears streaming down my cheeks and the smile as I sang out with them, thanking God, Thanking Jesus with hands held high. The Spirit of God was with me this morning. I truly believe, as my scene arrived, that I was still shaken up and my delivery was, to me, less than convincing but afterwards, the same type of replies from the people I met outside. God is so great! 

The final show, was where it all came together. The audience was very much alive for this show, right form the start and all of us backstage could feel it.  As each scene went by, I felt like this was going to be special. Just before the lights went down, I was in front of the stage, and I heard my name. Turning, I saw an old friend of mine, Shane, who is ironically an actor, and as I found out, in the same place I was. Ascending from the hell he had been in for some years. I was blown away and moved at the same time. I found out recently that Shane is coming to work at my company soon and here he was, in the flesh. The guy I mentioned to my fellow cast-mates, telling me that he had seen my testimonial and was, himself, walking the same road as me. 

I was close to Jesus.

The band, again, had me in it’s grip as I was taken away and filled with raw emotion. The show went by fast and as I walked out on stage, I was captured for a moment by the other actors and how the light shown on them and the sheer beauty of that moment, and as I started to speak, I could feel the audience tuned in to me. Every word came out in a way I could have only hoped for and as I said the line about the Prodigal Son coming home, I heard someone say “thank You God”, and someone else said “Amen”, and the people watching broke into enthusiastic applause. I think I blushed. 

I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do with me next.

As I turned and walked off stage to more hands clapping, I passed Pastor John King and winked. I was home and this one moment in time, I prayed would never end.

 Happy Easter

Jesus has risen!!

 

From April 8, 2012

God

I was recently asked if I would still believe in God if Science could prove there wasn’t one. Here was my reply: 

Science can’t prove the existence of, nor the non-existence of God.  

God isn’t a singular being, object, theory, line of thought, hypothesis or idea.  

I’ll tell you my definition of God, which will be inefficient in the way I describe it as to the reality, but to me, God is the voice in my head telling me when something is right or wrong. It’s the feeling in my heart when I see something that brings on an emotional response. It’s the effect we have on every single person we meet and every single person we don’t meet. It’s when a baby is born in two separate places and they grow up to meet and create something, whether a life changing idea or their own child that grows up to have his or her own effect on the world.  

It’s the entire journey of our lives, the decisions we make, the experiences we have and how they all form to shape our character.  

It’s also the chance encounters that happen at just the right place, at just the right time. It’s every single thing that ever happened and how it all ties together with every single thing that will ever happen. And how every single person has an affect on every single person that is alive and will ever be alive. It’s how every thing works and fits together.  

And learning how to follow simple teachings that help open your mind and your heart to that incredible power makes you a concious part of it, and it a part of you, all flowing together in synchronicity, creating a momentum for ourselves within that indescribable “Heaven”, all part of something so great, it can’t be described accurately by anyone.  

It’s how we love each other, because God IS Love.. When we make sacrifices to help each other, without thought. When we express our feelings to each other.  

And it’s not just on Earth. It’s everything, everywhere. It’s not Mother Nature; It’s Father God.  

It’s more than the stories, & the words written in the Bible. You have to look past those words and see what lessons are being taught. It’s like looking at a stereogram. At first, you just see lines and shapes and colors, but when you look past that, and change your perspective, the way you look at it that you can see the picture inside.  

It’s something so big, and so complex that most people could never fully understand it. And most people who DO understand it, don’t completely get what God is, but we get it enough to know that we can be a part of it.  

Jesus may not have ever actually, physically walked on water. He may have never physically fed thousands of people with a few loafs of baked bread. But Jesus got it. He understood. He saw it and he fed millions, billions of people with the “bread” he “baked” through his teachings. He changed people’s ways of thinking and opened their eyes to the way everything works and how people can see beyond their own personal world and be a part of God, and that is a miracle. As miraculous as being able to walk on water.  

And I’m sure not one person reading this will understand what I’m saying, because I barely do, but I just know it’s real. I always have, even when I was denying it, I could feel myself going “against the current”.  

Resisting it, alienating yourself from it, denying it exists, even though you ARE a part of it, we all are, is like going against the current. It’ll get you no where but sucked under.

 

From February 16, 2012

The War

You know, being a Christian, especially a new Christian, seems like to some it’s a simple as saying “I Believe” and then living a life as outlined in the Bible, and just like that you’re saved.  

Like it’s pouring powder in a glass of milk, taking a drink and boom! you’re a Christian.  

It’s not that easy. It’s actually quite difficult. Just to make this simple, you can equate God to whatever symbolically works for you. You can do the same with Satan.  

For me, God is all there is; all there has ever been, all that there will be. God embodies all that is good. God is love.  

Satan also embodies all that there has ever been. All that there is. Quite possibly all there will be for a very long time, but Satan is the darkness. Satan is hate.  

Christ is the way. Christ is the beacon that leads you to God.  

Let me tell you what happens, not when you decide to be a Christian, but when God makes himself known to you. When he opens your eyes, and fills your heart and hits you head on. From the moment you’re touched, your life turns upside down. Everything you’ve kept yourself wrapped up in is torn away. Your entire world is changed.  

Oh, sure, it’s nice to hear all the other Christians congratulate you, and smile as they welcome you into the “family.” But in a way, it’s nice like that unfamiliar relative that you never saw before who wraps her arms around you and tells you how wonderful it is to see you. It’s uncomfortable.  

Knowing you have to bare yourself and not just say you’re sorry, but to actually feel repentance in your heart is one of the hardest things for a new Christian to do.  

It’s uncomfortable because Satan has had you in his grip for a long time, and life in Satan’s hands is comfortable, even in it’s ugliness and/or is false sense of security, because Satan WANTS you to be comfortable and to be dependent on that familiarity.  

As soon as you open your eyes and your heart to God, the struggle begins. The fight for your soul wages. Satan doesn’t want to lose you. He doesn’t just let go. 

 

In your head, you know what you’re suppose to do, but Satan whispers in your ear, and tugs at your heart. That’s the temptation, because as much as we may strive to listen to our conciousness, it’s following our hearts that is the hardest to resist. And it is DAMN hard. All those old habits flash behind your eyes. Everything that made you feel good, or that you found an escape in, which turned you away from God even more, dances in your mind and beguiles you to take one more look, one more taste, one more dance. Temptation looks so sweet.  

Temptation is a bitch. It’ll keep you awake at night.  

This is why it’s imperative that you read scripture and that you find leaders that have fought that war that you can lean on, even though Satan never, ever stops whispering in your ear. Not for one minute.  

Knowing you’re choosing to make a transformation in every aspect of your life can be terrifying. Believe me, I’m terrified every waking moment. I can feel the darkness I pulled myself out of, right at my heels. I can taste it.  

For me now, the war is at it’s peak. Sunday, I’m getting Baptized. After that, it’s all in or all out. Satan knows this, too, and he’s upping the ante, big time. This is the test. I’m willing to bet that many of you couldn’t pass it, at this point in your lives. I’m quite sure at some point, you won’t have a choice.

 

From February 6, 2012

The Journey

It’s always been difficult for me to remain humble. The slightest compliment was a perfect excuse to politely brush it off, then turn it around into a self-delivered, bold, pat on the back. 

I’m finding it hard to not be humble over the course of the last month. People have been so quick to tell me how proud they are of me, and how my stories have inspired them, or touched them and as I politely say thank you, inside, I can feel the self-conscious blush and the overwhelming humility I feel as I wonder,  “why me”?

How can someone so small and so insignificant be an inspiration to anyone? 

But the more I learn, the more I experience in my new Journey with Christ, the more I am assured that my experience is real. That… it’s not some self induced sense of being moved by great sermons -and they are great- but that the hand of God reached down and touched me. A life-changing touch more brief than the woman who touched Jesus cloak and was healed of her 12 years of bleeding, yet, like her, I was healed of a miserable lifetime of doubt and sin and living a self-serving life. 

I am truly honored to know that even a little person like me can be welcomed into the Kingdom of God and stand beside his servants. 

Tonight, Pastor King told me that I have blessed his heart. Me! I though I was invisible to the world, but I’m reminded over and over that I’m not invisible to the God that I turned my back on for most of my life, and to know that the same God I turned from has a place for me… Nothing else could be so great. 

Lord, I am humiliated and ashamed of how I’ve lived my life,  and at how I’ve neglected you and turned away from you. I truly believe that I do not deserve your mercy or your grace, and I pray that you can continue to use me, not just as an example, but in anyway that you see fit. I serve you, my Lord, and by the grace of your beloved son, Jesus, I pray that you will continue to guide my life, which I put in your hands. 

Amen

 

From February 1, 2012