Jesus, thank You for this day! Thank You for my family, my friends, and for my job. Thank You for my mind, thank You for conversations, books, thoughts, and like-minded individuals as well as those with opposing ideas and beliefs to my own. I believe You have placed everything and everyone along my path to assist me with gaining a better understanding of life here on earth. Thank You for teaching me to love all, especially those I would have previously labeled as my enemies. While I am not perfected in loving all yet, I thank You for waking me up from sleepwalking through life and making me aware and conscious of who I am supposed to strive to become while here on earth. Even though I will not reach a state of perfection here on earth, I can strive to be better today than I was yesterday. I can look back at my life even just 3 years ago and while I’m not the person I want to be or know that I should be, I thank God, that I am not the same person I used to be. Thank You, Jesus! Praise You, Lord! Bless You, Lord Jesus! I dedicate this day to You and I thank You for always giving me the words to say to those You put in front of me. I ask You this day for my daily bread, for everything that I need today, I trust that You will supply my every need, as You always have and I give You any worries that I have for tomorrow. In Your mighty, holy, and precious Name, Amen.
Is this life what we think it is? Is this real? If a physical law can be proven, does that make it real? What is real? If we all agree that an illusion is real because we don’t know it’s an illusion, does that make it real? Is it possible that there have been many small changes over time to steer humanity as a whole from what is true and what is real to believe that only what can be experienced by one of the 5 senses is what is real. Do we have more than 5 senses? Is it possible? Have we been dumbed down as a society to not have a conscious awareness that anything else is or could be real? I know I’m using a lot of generalities and that is on purpose. This online journal isn’t for me to tell you what I think the truth is, as I’ve said before, I do not claim any authority in knowing the truth, or what is real for that matter. This is more or less a platform to share with you my journey of asking myself questions, a lot of questions. The first series of questions I ask myself now when I run head first into what feels like a brick wall, something that challenges my cognitive dissonance is “do I really believe, whatever it is that believe because I really believe it? Do I know why I believe it? Or do I believe it because it’s the way I’ve been taught or programmed to think about the subject?” Please don’t misunderstand me, this online journal is not meant to cause doubt either, but rather to make one stronger in their faith by knowing why one believes whatever it is that they believe. I feel like while we certainly have sheltered our daughters from the world, we have tried to have age-appropriate conversations as questions arise and they will because even though we don’t watch much t.v. nor many movies, they do read and they read often and we can’t always filter every book they read. I’m thankful that they can and do come to me and my wife with questions. We had a discussion just the other day where I explained to my oldest daughter that there are certain things we believe. We believe that there are right ways and wrong ways for us to live. The goal of knowing what is right and wrong is to help us live in the world, but not of the world. At the same time, it is not for us to judge what someone else thinks is right or wrong. We are to love all and while I don’t think we’re supposed to put ourselves directly in the way of harm, we can pray for those that have been labeled as our enemies. This is not how I used to live my life, I could judge others like my life depended on it. I was especially good at judging myself. I’ve learned that I have to let that all go, it is not my job to judge, but to love and it had to start with myself. I had to realize that I was worth loving to be able to share the love I’ve been given. Some of us are so hard on ourselves, thinking that’s what’s going to make us a better person, but I believe that is a trick of our enemy to cause us to focus on how bad we are and can be. I try to love like Jesus, based on the stories I’ve read in the Bible and when I don’t do as good as I hoped I would, I try to acknowledge that I fell short of my goal and contemplate ways I can improve going forward. I have learned to forgive myself, because if I’ve been forgiven by God, who am I to withhold forgiveness from myself? If you, the reader of this online journal, have something you’ve never forgiven yourself for, I hope and pray that you will be given the strength to acknowledge where you fell short and contemplate ways you can do better going forward. Forgive yourself, as you’ve already had the shackles unlocked, yet you continue to wear them around, maybe for the same reason I did, thinking that without them you won’t remember to try and get better. I think I can offer some assurance, these are not the last set of shackles you will wear. I believe that the key is how long you end up wearing them each time will get progressively shorter until you realize it is only you that is keeping yourself in shackles. Once you have learned this for yourself and have a realization, an awareness, and are concious that there is another way to live, you will want everyone to experience the freedom you’ve been rewarded with. This is not to say I have anything figured out, but I do believe I’ve been given a teacher and that teacher continues to lead me to and through the Bible, as well as many other sources. Through this journey, I am learning that the words of Jesus can free our minds if we can learn ways to understand and apply his teachings from the Bible in our everyday life. I hope and pray you will find freedom if you haven’t already, and if you have or when you do, that you will share with others that there is another way to live. Whether they choose to believe there’s another way or not is their choice, but I pray that they’ll be able to see that you’ve found freedom in the way that you live, and the way that you treat yourself and others. -A humble warrior in God’s army
“Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.'” -Matthew 18-21-22 ESV
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name! Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give me today my daily bread and forgive me my sins as I forgive those that sin against me. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen. -The Lord’s prayer (paraphrased)