Sketch of My Blog

Our Journey in Life is more than we allow it to be.
We must all Be Ourselves to really enjoy what's all around us.
Take hold and learn from Life and Others.

I Follow the Way of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Writing Exercise

Why exactly am I doing this?  'Cause I need to develop my writing and it's a good...Wait a minute! Did you say develop?  What are we developing?  I meant to say grow.  Now what are we growing?  This sounds very suspicious!  Okay, let's just say that it's a writing exercise.  Wait how can we exercise our writing?  It's not like a muscle or something is it?  I thought that it was just words put on paper or in this case words put to a screen?  Besides, who writes anymore?  Isn't it all just regurgitate words over again?  Nothing original, just someone else's thoughts, rehashed?

No, that's not what I'm saying at all.  Look it's even in the title of this post "Writing Exercise"!  How do you explain that?  Listen, calm down and let me do what needs to be done.  All this bickering is getting us nowhere and we are going there faster than I care to go.  How can we go nowhere fast when nowhere is actually nowhere, so technically it's impossible to get there and we can't get there any faster at any point in time? Okay, okay.  I concede.  Your questions have hounded me enough to throw in the towel and surrender.  It's a writing exercise to see what's in my head and to put it to words to see what comes of it.  Maybe I will find a novel in all this mess that runs around in my head or maybe I won't.  That's for me to find out and for you to just let me get there on my on.  Can you be satisfied with that explanation and just leave me alone for now? Sure that sounds acceptable.  No guarantee I won't come back to visit sometime later on, though.  That will just suit me fine, as long as you can let me be right now so I can see what's rolling around in my head.  Now that we have that out of the way, let's see where we go from here.

There was a time....No that's not how to start.  It was a dark and stormy night....too cliche.  Where do I about in the beginning and then go from there?  In the beginning has been done before, too.  Just saying.

I'm going back to "There was a time" and start with that.

There was a time.  Maybe in the future or maybe in the past, it all depends on when you are reading this.  So there was a time that a man appeared.  He showed up on top of a rock that was on top of a very tall deciduous (pine or cedar can't make it out from here) tree that was on the edge of a forest that happened to be on a very tall cliff over looking the sea.  Which sea, we don't know from this vantage point either, but if you've seen one sea you've seen them all.  It's all salt water anyway.  Now we aren't sure where this man came from either since our view is a little obstructed and there are a lot of trees in a forest.  Also we don't exactly know how the boulder came to be on top of the tree either.  There's a lot to be taken at face value for right now until we can get some better information.  We shall see if we can get any better information shortly, but since this is all we know this is all you get for know.  Stay tuned for updates.  In the mean time, what I can tell you is that this gentleman, well let's call him a person since we don't know his general disposition, is staring out to sea at two things, okay maybe three things.  One is the sun either rising or setting.  We don't know which since we just got here ourselves, only moments ahead of you the reader.  Two is a ship on the water. Can't tell what kind, 'cause it's too far away.  Three is some very nasty storm clouds near the ship.  Don't know if they are coming or going either.  You know for a narrator/writer you certainly don't know a lot about this event, or scene or moment, do you?  Well do you?  No.  Okay then, don't quibble with me right now, it's not helpful.  For now, just know that this is what we have to work with and more will be coming.  I still need to track down this persons' origin and place of residence.  Since we need more information we will leave it here for know and come back to fill in more blanks as soon as we can.

Jesus vs. Christ

This might seem odd, but I feel that society/satan/the world are trying to minimize Jesus.  If you really think about it we know for a fact that his name is Jesus.  J-E-S-U-S!  It's not Christ, which is his title, and His last name is not Christ.  We honor Jesus at this time of the year by taking an old pagan holiday and Christianizing it and calling it Christmas.  Mass for the Christ.  It's a mass for the only Savior (Christ), Messiah of the world.  It's His title, not a part of His name.  It would be like calling me Marc Network Administrator.  Or calling me Network Administrator.  We do give people honorary titles, do show respect sometimes, like boss, chief, chef, mother, father, pastor, brother, sister, friend, but why do we not call them by their title all the time.  We have names and sometimes we take the time to not use people's names so much to the point that we forget their real name.

We are slowly replacing Jesus with Christ in a lot of our speech.  We say "come to know Christ", "Christ came to set us free", "the only way to heaven is through Christ", and many other ways.  It just feels like we are trying to cover up Jesus with a title so we don't say His name any more.  The only way it's said no a ways is with irreverence or as a curse or in a derogatory way.  We can't seem to keep Jesus in Christmas, because we are to busy trying to keep "Christ" in Christmas.  Jesus is the reason for the season, not Christ.  We took Jesus out of Christmas before we got into trying to take "Christ" out of Christmas and wishing everyone a Happy Holiday.  You can keep Christ out of Christmas for all I care.  I want to keep Jesus in Christmas and keep it that way.  I will continue to say Merry Christmas, because this is the reason we have Dec. 25th.   It's not about Boxing day or Kwanzaa, both are not as old as Christmas which dates back to 336AD.  We are talking about the opportunity to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World and we bicker about His title more than what the day is about.  Atheists want to remove it from the calendar along with Easter.  What are they so afraid of?  That's it right and they are wrong?  You can't remove the celebrations to fix your feelings.  It will always be there no matter what and it will always be the only way to be free and live.  Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.  There is no other way.  The sooner you learn that and live by it the better.

My point is just this.  Jesus is the person to worship.  The one who is part of the great Three In One of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Not His title of Savior, Messiah or Christ.  We are here to show the Love of Jesus, not Christ.  We are Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, Children of the Living God.  Why can't we use his name with respect instead of degradation?  It's with respect that we call others by their name.  We need to do the same with Jesus and not keep using His title.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves

This is from Chapter 1 of "The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus", by Brennan Manning.

"Religion is a matter not of learning how to think about God, but of actually encountering Him."
"Don't Put God in a Box"

To encounter God we must strip off all allusions of God that have been purported onto us.  We can't grasp the infinite that is God with our human finite minds.  God is the one and only God.  He is Love and so much more.  When we think about God we need to think outside our boxes.  Outside the box we try to put Him in.  We need to think big.  We need to know that our ideas aren't anything that God is, but He is so much more and bigger.

Look at the parable of the farmer and the workers.  It's in Matthew chapter 20.  Their is a crazy farmer hiring workers and it doesn't matter what time of day they start working for him, they all got the same wage.  All got a full days pay, it was "divine generosity".  Do we grumble when others get a break?  Why do we say "it's not fair" or someone "got a lucky break" when something good happens?

What about the parable of the prodigal son?  It's about a reckless, spendthrift who is a wasteful person.  Those are definitions of the word prodigal.  Yet the Father is also a prodigal.  Instead of treating the returning son the way we expect him to be treated, the father acts as a prodigal and is wasteful, reckless and a spendthrift in welcoming a disgraceful son back.  I think a more appropriate title would be "The Wayward Son and the Prodigal Father".

This is how our image of ourselves and of God need to change.  God is that farmer giving everyone the same pay and He is the father of the prodigal, welcoming home the wayward son.  We are that wayward child and we are the workers for the farmer.  We are getting what God wants us to have regardless of our lives or our actions as long as we come to God, He will take care of the rest.

Our images of God and ourselves change when we see Him as merciful, caring and more importantly loving.  Then we can we see ourselves as worth God's time and in need of His Salvation.  Try to look at things a little different.  You might surprise yourself.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Living Sacrifice - 11-03-2013

A Living Sacrifice

Good Morning everyone, my name is Marc Araujo.  I’m here to talk with you about being a Living Sacrifice.  What do you think of when you hear the words sacrificing yourself?  It makes me think about, giving bits of myself to God.  Like my time, my skills, my abilities.  I have to admit that I struggle with giving all of myself and all that it entails.  I want to give God my all, but there are certain parts that I don’t want to give up.  Certain areas that are either personal to me or just sensitive or even embarrassing.

Imagine you have a house and it has rooms and it has closets and chairs and other bits of furniture.  Each room has a purpose and each piece of furniture has a reason.  Now one day, a glorious day, you ask Jesus into your house.  He comes in willingly and looks around, and walks around.  After a little bit you say let’s sit down for dinner.  You offer Him your food your drink and He enjoys a meal with you.  Now there are some things that need adjusting, like the book on the coffee table.  It’s not appropriate and Jesus asks you to get rid of it.  You think that’s fine and do so willingly.  Jesus is in your house and you are so excited that you do it without a second thought.  Each day something new needs to be removed or taken down.  A picture here, a line of words on a poster over there, slowly your house is getting “cleaned up”.  Voluntarily you are helping Jesus put your house in order as you surrender more of your house to Him.  These are minor changes, nothing major just little things that Jesus asks you to change.  Then one day Jesus starts working on the Basement rooms and the Upstairs rooms.  But maybe there are sections in your house you are hoping He will overlook.  I’m sure each one of us has something that we don’t want to give up, some areas of our life that we don’t want others to know about, let alone Jesus.  Guess what, Jesus already knows about all those parts of your life.  He wants to help you, not judge you.

See, you invited Him in.  You asked Him to change your house.  Jesus is willing, but when he gets to those rooms that are, in our terms, “off limits”, that’s a whole other story.  See this is where the sacrifice comes in.  Are you willing to give your entire life to Jesus?  Every room in your heart, even the ones you don’t want Him to enter?  That is what being a Follower of Jesus is all about.  It’s about giving your time, your skills, your family, your everything.  Not living with the world, but living in the world as Jesus wants us to Live.  Setting our sights on God’s standard of Living and Being, instead of our own.  Living for Jesus instead of ourselves.  Trust in God above all else and you will Live a Sacrificial Life.

Paul talked about living a sacrificial life in Romans Chapter 12 verses 1-3  1 I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical "Temple worship" for you. 2 In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the 'olam hazeh (this present world). Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. 3 For I am telling every single one of you, through the grace that has been given to me, not to have exaggerated ideas about your own importance. Instead, develop a sober estimate of yourself based on the standard which God has given to each of you, namely, trust.”  When you take the time to Live a Sacrificial Life you actually start to live for others instead of yourself.  This is what Jesus demands us to do.  Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, your Soul and your Mind.  And then Love your neighbor as yourself. 

When I was much younger I used to volunteer with my grandmother at Folt’s Home a retirement and assisted living facility in Herkimer.  She would help out with the Coffee Hour and so would I.  I would sneak cookies and I would help people on and off the elevators and get them from their rooms and even set them up so I could snag a glass of juice too.  After everyone was seated and ready, I would go and visit with those that didn’t want to come down or couldn’t for one reason or another.  I would sit with them and listen to the most interesting stories they had to share.  It was fascinating and enjoyable.  What I was doing was, loving my neighbor.  I already loved God, so now I was going a step further.

Another way of looking at it would be “Turning Your Chair Toward Another”.  Turning your chair toward someone is a term that’s used to suggest something people have a hard time doing these days.  Loving our neighbor or being a Living sacrifice.  So since we are talking about a retirement home, let’s keep with that theme.  Imagine if you will, a Retirement home in Florida.  This is actually a true story that I’m retelling.  At the home there is a deck going round half of the building.  On that deck are rocking chairs all facing out at a ninety degree angle from the building.  Now imagine if you will all these seniors sitting in the chairs and just facing out, rocking.  Not looking at their neighbor in the seat beside them or talking to them or anything.  Just sitting there and rocking.  No other movement.  Now I don’t know about you, but I would want to start dancing or jumping or doing something, you know to get their attention, be a little entertaining, anything to see more movement then just rocking.

Now imagine if you will that those chairs are now turned toward each other.  So that each chair is facing another chair, two by two you might say.  With that setup, each person would be facing another person.  They would actually have the opportunity to talk to each other.  Look into the eyes of the other person.  Be engaging and have a personal conversation.  They will be able to take the time to talk to each other, sacrificing a little bit of their day to make a difference in someone’s life.  That’s being a neighbor.  That’s being a Living Sacrifice.  That’s what we do when we Love God above all else.  We Live as God wants us to.  It’s not Rocket Science.  It’s God’s command.  It’s Basic.  It’s Simple.  How can you be a Living Sacrifice?  By Loving God so much that you allow Him to show you how to Love others.  Take the time to invest your Life in God and the dividends, the returns and the benefits will far exceed what you put in.  A Living Sacrifice is giving your all to God so He can direct you to give to others.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Pioneers Life

I started reading a book that I received for Christmas.  I think that the book was only fitting to receive at Christmas since it's about Jesus and that's the whole reason for the season.  It is called "The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus" by Brennan Manning.  I have only gotten to the third chapter so far.  Not that it's a long book or a difficult book, it's just full of a lot of information.  Each chapter is packed full of ideas that make me think that the life I'm leading isn't necessarily the one that God wants me to lead.

pioneer covered wagonFor instance, I shouldn't be leading my life, I should be letting God lead and I should follow.  Also that I should be more of the Pioneer type and not the Settler type.  Settlers live by the law and their works alone and keeping in line with all the town dictates.  Whereas Pioneers adventure out into the wilderness and the wild and forge new paths on the way to the Kingdom, the final stop.

I want to be that type of person.  The pioneer who lives in the covered wagon, follows the Jesus (the Scout), eats what the Holy Spirit (the Buffalo Hunter) provides to the the Clergyman (the Cook), all while keeping my Covered Wagon (the Church) with me where ever I go, while I follow God (the Trail Boss) to a future and a hope and a life worth leading, living and participating with my Family and for my Father God.  That is the life I want.  I don't want to settle for any thing and I don't want to settle on the rules and regulations, I want to live and just just survive.  That is the life that God wants for each of us and I want it too.

I'm going to try and post about my readings in this book and what I get from it.  My different feelings and also just in general what it means and hopefully how it can help any one who is interested.  This will be my Pioneer year into the future that God wants me to live.  I want to see what God wants of me.  How I can be a blessing to others and how I can learn more about loving God.  My life is not my own any more.  It belongs to God and I want to live it that way.  One step at a time.  One day at a time.  One hour at a time and sometimes each second that is available to me.

Dear Father in Heaven,
     I wish to know you more and the love you have for me.  I want to take each day and allow you to lead me through it.  Take and be your follower and not a fan.  Give you the permission and the rights to my life and allow you to show me what you want me to do.  To follow your guidance and direction and be a Pioneer on the trail that you lead and establish.


Let the Adventure Begin and let it Begin with me and Begin Here!