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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


"YOLO" is the word of the day.  You Only Live Once.  Evokes a simple, exciting freedom doesn't it?  You Only Live Once.  I suppose it is the follow on to "If it feels good, do it."

You Only Live Once, and it lasts forever.  Wait, what?

Yes, your everlasting life or everlasting death have already begun.  You see, life and death have nothing to do with the body.  Life is eternity with God, Death is eternity without God.

It is not coincidence that the point of Adam's obedience in the Garden was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  That tree was Adam's tithe; his point of obedience.

We call it tithe, an Old English word meaning one tenth, from Abram's giving "tithes of all" to Melchizadek after the battle of the kings.  Leviticus prescribes tithing to the Temple for the children of Israel.  So we see tithing has both an amount and a purpose.  It is a matter of obedience.  Your obedience then gives God license to work in your life.

God needs a license to work in my life, you ask? Yes. He must have your cooperation. You have a free will.  You choose life or death (Deut. 30:15-20).  Jesus tells us to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's (Matt. 22:21).

With every choice we make we are choosing life or death, blessing or cursing.  Every decision we make on earth is an indication of whether we will follow God or not; whether we will be obedient.  The choice is yours.  You choose who you serve, Life or Death.  They are both everlasting.

Choose Life.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Closer to home ,,,

Reflecting on the past couple of years, I now realize what a journey this has been.  Not just the physical health stuff, but the mental and spiritual as well.  PTSD is an insidious bastard.  You don't have to be involved in big life altering events, direct combat, or direct physical abuse.  The more treacherous is the slow wearing away of your sense of self in order to deal with the heightened awareness needed to survive.  You lose your place.  And then they send you home.

It mostly looks the same as when we left.  Our people gather around; friends, family, community.  They ask us questions, we tell them stories. even explaining "No, I didn't see direct combat.  Some joker fired a few rockets in our general direction but my job was in the headquarters.  If I was out in the field there would be nobody to do my job. I didn't get out much." Yet, you knew there were Taliban and Al Qaeda cleaning your office, emptying the toilets, delivering the water.  You just didn't know WHO were Taliban or Al Qaeda.  You're careful with your weapon, your ammunition, your information.  You keep your eyes open. All day.  Every day. Every day.  It may be home, but we're not home yet.

It's not the signs, the parades, the speeches. It's not getting back to your routine.  It's when you can walk down the street and not concerned about where an IED may be hidden or attack vectors.  It's when you can take your kids to the mall and maintain a leisurely pace without serpentine patterns.  It's when you can step aside and say "Excuse me" to someone crowding you rather than take them to the floor while reaching for zip cuffs.  It's not completely freaking out when you reach for your weapon and find it's not there.  It's when you realize it's not supposed to be there.  It's when you finally don't reach for it at all.  It's when we finally realize we don't need it.  It's when we forget it.  Then we're rendered safe, then we've found our place. Then we're home.  Baby steps.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Time for an update

I've just spent this his past year focused on my physical rehabilitation.  It wasn't any one big event that sent me to The Endurance Athlete Center, even though I've had a few.  It was a series of smaller events over time, bad advice, and poor habits.  Twenty years in the National Guard, with most of that on active duty in the U.S. Army, wore me down.  When my body started failing me; shoulders, hips, and legs in particular, I retired from the Guard.  At first I just attributed it to age and the athleticism of working through natural disasters and combat zones.  I thought rest from the stress and strain was all I needed.  Then pain become constant, weakness prevalent, and as I worked to get myself back into shape I realized rest wasn't enough and I didn't know how to recuperate.  I sought help.

This is an unsolicited testimonial for The Endurance Athlete Center.  Liz, my physical therapist, helped me find the weaknesses, the causes of the weaknesses, and then put me on the path to recovery.  She then handed me off to Graeme, my trainer, who taught, coached, and mentored me to find my way back to strength and health.  We started working at my pace, now we're working at his so that by the end of the session I'm nothing but a puddle of mud.  Rebecca has shown me how to maximize the effect of the work I'm putting forth through proper nutrition.  I've made great strides and I'm not done yet.

I cannot thank them enough.  If you're in Northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland, I highly recommend before you start a physical training program, see your doctor, and then call The Endurance Athlete Center.  Proper training is the difference between success and failure.  If you're an athlete and want to improve your performance, call The Endurance Athlete Center.  If you've sustained an injury and your doctor prescribes physical therapy and rehabilitation, call The Endurance Athlete Center.  They know what they're doing

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Miracle at Cana

I've often contemplated what is the mystery of the miracle of the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-11).  This morning, while meditating on this mystery in the Rosary, the Lord revealed to me a new aspect of this teaching.

We are both Priest and Prophet on the earth.  The Priest has the authority to call on the Lord and the Prophet the responsibility to carry it out.  Mary is the figure from which the church is modeled; Mary is to God as the Church is to Christ.  The servants are the messengers delivering the result.  Mary tells them "do whatever He tells you."  In this scene, Mary is directing the ministry of Jesus and the servants are carrying it out.  Mary has authority to call on Jesus, the servants the responsibility to do what he tells them and deliver the results to the others.

Remember, this is on the other side of the Cross where priest and prophet were separate.  Moses and Aaron, David and Nathaniel, the Law and Elijah and Elisha. This side of the Cross, we are both priest and prophet.  We have the authority to call on the Lord and also the responsibility to carry out what He tells us.  Practice listening.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Should we be led by faith?

That is the title of an article in today's Washington Post yet most of the article speaks to and about religion. Be not deceived. Faith and religion are not the same thing. We all have faith in something. It is that "thing" that gets us out of bed in the morning. It is that "thing" that motivates us to do the common, ordinary things of life. In reality, that "thing" is your god. So what is that "thing" for you?

Monday, February 6, 2012

thoughts on sin and living in the world

Hebrews 10:1-2 "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins." 

We have been purged of sin, in Christ by the Blood of Jesus. We should have no more consciousness of sin because our Father has is not conscience of sin. Does that mean we live without sin? Romans 6:2 "For he this is dead is freed from sin." Romans 6:3 "Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life." 

We are not capable of a sacrifice for sin. Jesus has done that. Once. For all. We can only accept His death in order to receive His life. Is this a sin-less life? No. Jesus sacrificed His sin-less life so that we may receive from Him a sin-free life. Sin is in the world and as long as we are in the world we must deal with sin. As Jesus said, John 16:33, "In the world you shall have tribulation ..." We are "in" the world, we are no longer "of" the world. 

Eph 2:12 "That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) but now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ." Phil 2:15 "That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." Col 2:20 "Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances after the commandments and doctrines of men?"

Does that mean we are no longer subject to the law? Yes. And No. The laws of society have a purpose. So that people may live peaceably. And as Paul tells us, Romans 12:18, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." But more importantly, if you live in the love of God and walk in his word and Spirit you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16) and will live within the boundaries of the laws of the land and free from the prosecution of the law as well as live free from the  persecution of sin. 

Sin is around us. We will find times when we slip or aren't listening to the Spirit as closely as we ought. We will not be without sin, but we are free from its condemnation.  John tells us, 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  We won't be sin-less, but we are sin-free.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Having Faith

To believe is a decision. Faith is the corresponding action. In my last post I mentioned that decisions are points where honesty, truth, and listening converge. It is at these convergences that what you believe shows in the actions you take. Actions, truly, speak louder than words ...