29 June 2019

Together!

Can we ever really know what our ancestors felt?
The past is another country. Things were different.
The time past is gone forever and we can't go back.
We can never understand what drove them on.
What they said to each other, what they thought.
It is all but lost in the memories of the dead.
Nor can we know the destiny of our progeny,
For their future has not yet been revealed.
The only thing that we have is the "now."
Each time Mother Earth turns away from the Sun,
Our days are diminished by one. Time is a flowing river
That brings things to us and takes them away again.
Wasting time is a sin. The moon is our witness.
Prepare yourself for loving. Stretch out your hands to God.
This is the day the Lord hath made for all of us.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Let us be of one heart.
Let us be happy in the Lord...Together!

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19 June 2019

Truth or Consequences

The Truth

Every lie incurs a debt to the truth and sooner or later that debt must be paid. The truth is always there waiting to be revealed whether you see it or not.

La Verdad

Cada mentira incurre en una deuda con la verdad y, tarde o temprano, esa deuda debe pagarse. La verdad siempre está allí esperando ser revelada, ya sea que la veas o no.

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16 June 2019

Where will you go Fearless Leader?

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain.
(Isaiah 10:1-4 NIV)

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07 May 2019

Praise to the Lord

The phrase "Praise the Lord" occurs at either the beginning or the end of at least fifteen different Psalms in the Old Testament Bible. In Hebrew, the expression is "Hallelujah." The Greek form of the phrase is "Alleluia" which occurs only once in the New Testament Book of Revelation. "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God. (Revelation 19:1 KJV).

There is a very popular Christian hymn that begins with the same phrase, the lyrics of which were written in 1680 by a young man named Joachim Neander just before he died. The text paraphrases Psalm 103 and Psalm 150. Here is the first verse and surely many people will recognize it:

"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to the altar draw near;
Join in profound adoration."

There is a side story to this hymn and its author, Joachim Neander. He was German pastor, poet and hymn writer, who in 1674 became a teacher in a Latin school in Dusseldorf while he was studying to become a minister. While living there, he liked to go to the nearby valley (or "thal" in German) known as das Gesteins (“The Rocks”). He sometimes held gatherings and services in the valley for his little flock of friends, at which he gave sermons. In 1680, at the age of thirty, he died of tuberculosis. The valley was renamed "Neanderthal" (Neander's Valley) in his honor, and it became famous in 1856 when the remains of the Neanderthal Man were found there.

Our sins are no secret in the eyes of God.
We will bring our lives to an end with a sigh,
And our spirit will fly to the place of God's choice.
Make your heart the dwelling place of the Lord
So that one day, you too, can shout Alleluia!

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26 April 2019

On Loving Kindness

I just finished reading a truly wonderful book called "A Guide for the Perplexed" by Moses Maimonides who was one of the foremost intellectuals of medieval Judaism. Through the "Guide for the Perplexed"  Maimonides exerted a very important influence on the Scholastic philosophers, especially on Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus. His book ends with a word about loving-kindness:

"The perfection, in which man can truly glory, is attained by him when he has acquired, as far as this is possible for man, the knowledge of God, the knowledge of His Providence, and of the manner in which it influences His creatures in their production and continued existence. Having acquired this knowledge he will then be determined always to seek loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, and thus to imitate the ways of God.

God is near to all who call Him, if they call Him in truth, and turn to Him. He is found by every one who seeks Him, if he always goes towards Him, and never goes astray."

The same evening I was watching a three part series by the BBC on the similarities of three ancient Philosophers; Socrates, Buddha, and Confucius who were all born within one hundred years of one another. The program contained a quote from Buddha and when I checked it out I discovered Buddha's beautiful words on loving kindness. Needless to say I feel blessed. They sound like words right out of the Gospel and from the Rabbi Maimonides, even though they come from a non-Deist. It shows that regardless of the time and place of our birth, all human beings are connected through the Creator, whether one believes in Him, or not.

Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-kindness

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

"Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-kindness" (Khp 9), translated from the Pali by The Amaravati Sangha. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 2 November 2013,
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/khp/khp.9.amar.html

25 April 2019

The Uncertainty of Democracy

Democracy is always coming. In your mind's eye you can see it shimmering on the horizon like the dark spot on the road ahead on a hot sunny day where the blacktop meets the sky. Like that mystery spot on the road, true democracy never seems to arrive. It is just always out there on the tip of our tongue and our eyeballs. Democracy is such a fragile thing that is hard to put into words and practice because anyone can use the word "democracy" and some even use it as a disguise for tyranny. If someday true democracy is ever attained it will still confront an uncertainty...the same uncertainty that haunts everything that is deemed "certain." It seems to me that at this point in history, our democracy is just as uncertain as ever.

08 April 2019

Perhaps it is time...

Seek the Lord while He may be found
And call upon Him while He is near.
If we believe in Him and we repent
He will pardon us and bless us.
There is a deep hunger within us
That bread and meat cannot satisfy.
Our souls hunger more than our bodies.
The Lord's table overflows with grace
And as for His mercy, it knows no end.
Man does not live by bread alone, but
By every word that proceeds from God.
Why do you spend money and labor on
Useless things that do not satisfy?
Perhaps it is time to make a decision
To call on God that He may answer you
And show you many and great things.

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30 March 2019

The last thing to die...

To fear God is to turn away from evil.
To sin is to curse God in your heart.
Earthly good and evil are intertwined.
You can't have one without the other.
If it weren't so, then what is Justice?
In order that there be free will,
This is the best of all possible worlds.
It rains on the just and the unjust alike.
The difference is in the hearts of men.
Those who truly love God are of one heart.
Those who don't, love only themselves.
I rejoice in the Hope and Glory of God.
For hope is the last thing to die.
Prepare your heart and soul for loving,
Raise your sights to your Heavenly Father
Lest you be persuaded by evil to turn away.
God speaks to all who wish to listen.
Listen, and be of one heart with the Lord.

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16 March 2019

A Candle of Understanding


Oh Lord, light a candle of understanding in my heart
That I might truly know Thy ways. Father, if it be Thy will,
I shall subdue my earthly desires and reform my sinful heart,
That after my time here I can receive Thy mercy and eternal life.
People can deny it if they want, but those who live in the Spirit
Hear the Word of God from beyond the notion of time and space.
To those who walk in the sun there is no lack of light.
It is only those that go astray who walk in darkness.
Heaven is within our grasp. Where else is there to run?
Why do people look for peace through some other door?
The unbelievers trouble me not for they will die in disbelief.
They have polluted the earth with their wickedness and will suffer.
Let not the sinner say that he has not sinned for God will burn
Coals of fire upon the head of those who say such things.
I will not be afraid nor will I let my sins weigh me down,
For I have sincerely repented and have been forgiven.
The Word that carries you and I and all things, is carried
In our hearts to share the Good News with other people.
The whole world groans as it waits for redemption.
O Lord, I pray for all those who have no one to pray for them.
I also pray for those who will not pray. Lord have mercy. Amen!

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06 March 2019

To Think or To See?

The past preaches to the present and the arrow 
Points to dreams of the yet unveiled future. 
Every remedy is desperate and every cure miraculous.
The poet tries to get his head around heaven and
The philosopher tries to get heaven into his head. 
To change from one to the other, one door must be shut
And another door opened with a bold push.
Which will it be, to think or to see?
Nothing is quite as good as it seems to be
All things are best at the beginning.
We tire of things, they fall apart, the sunlight fades,
We wander the earth searching for meaning
To find a mirror of truth in the drop of dew that 
Clings so lovingly to the cheek of a red, red, rose.
Look up at the sky through the largest window,
Do you see any borders? No? I didn't think so.
The sky is not the limit, we are.
Pain follows sin as a plow follows the ox. 
Choose well and the momentum will lift you up. 
When the heart weeps for lost desires 
The spirit rejoices for the peace it has found.
Prayer is communion between people and God.
If we forgive others we will be forgiven,
And we will be done unto as we do.
The night grows cold, the party is almost over,
And then this too shall pass away.
There is nothing good in the world besides 
Goodwill toward others and this comes from the heart 
And the peace it holds at the center of ones being.

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About Me

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.