Category Archives: Freedom
Today many people try to make Jesus out to be this hippy type of person who spoke softly and walked around with a smile on his face and a daisy in his hands. You know they type, the “Jesus Loves You” type. Sure, yes I know that Jesus loves me and I know that Jesus was a kind person, and spoke with compassion. But I also know Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple, I also know he told Peter to get behind him because he was acting like satin and He told the young rich man to go away because he was unable to give up what he had to follow Jesus. So Jesus didn’t always have a smile on His face and he didn’t always carry a daisy in his hands. Sometimes Jesus was upset, sometimes he was happy and at other times, he was passionate.
We often fail to remember that Jesus was fully human, not just partly, not only on some days at certain times, but 100% human 100% of the time. His humanity is important, it is because of his humanity that Calvary has any meaning at all. If Jesus was not 100% human, than offering up his life would have no meaning at all, for how miraculous would it be for a God to offer up His life, but for a man, a human, this is something. Jesus had to be human to take on humanity’s sins; sure, God could have just taken away our sins with a wave of his hands, but what good is in that? The act would have been forced upon us; we would have had no choice in it. That is not love, that is not freedom that is dictatorship that is forced compliance. God is not about force, God is about Choice. Freewill is what God offers us; we are free to say yes or to say no. This is our great Fiat, our chance to say YES to the Lord, Yes to God and to the Holy Spirit. God wants us, but he does not want to force us, he wants us to walk into his open arms under our own freewill.
Gods greatest gift you and me is the gift of freewill, our ability to say yes, to offer up that great Amen, or to say no, to resist the love of our Lord. This gift is the gift of love, the gift of true freedom. It is a gift the challenges our ego daily. Our fallen nature condemns us to our ego, for it was the ego that committed the first sin, the sin of pride. Our first parents, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, their pride covered their eyes and they could not see that they already were with God, walking in the garden, they already had God with in them, but pride overshadowed this, covered it with vanity and covetousness , and the gift of freewill proved to be our downfall and not our salvation. The freedom to accept God or to reject God is the ultimate gift God gave us. Adam and Eve rejected that gift in the moment they ate the fruit of the Tree. It would not be until Jesus was sacrificed upon a Tree that Humanity would once again be united with God.
Jesus, being both Human and Devine, offers us His life, took upon himself our sins and gave us his Mother, yet that was not all He did. In his life Jesus showed us how to live, how to pray and how to act. Through His parables, teachings and His own actions He has provided for us a road map to His Kingdom. Yet one of the most powerful lessons He gave us came at the end of His earthly life, lifted upon that cross, the new Tree in the center of the garden, he spoke words of love and tenderness, His final words he offers to us as man.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”
Gospel of Luke 23:46
Into your hands, I run, into your hands I collapse, into your hands I surrender… It is the Father that we offer ourselves; it is the Father that we seek for our comforts. Jesus, upon the cross, spoke these words, upon the cross He offers them to us. For each and every utterance Jesus spoke upon that cross brought Him one step closer to death, so each and every word, every letter, had a deep and profound meaning. He did not just say words He thought would sound nice, or words He thought would comfort His mother. No the words upon that cross were meant as final instructions. This was Jesus Great Fiat, His final Amen. Yet they are ours as well, for Jesus spoke them not for Himself, nor for God, for God already knows what is on mans mind, how much more He knew his only son. No the words from the cross were spoken for us, for you and me.
Jesus is telling us, that we, to truly be free from sin, must commend our spirits into Gods loving and open hands. That we must, of our own Freewill, offer ourselves to God. This and this alone, offers us our salvation. The Letting go of the ego and the acceptance of the loving arms of God is the true path to salvation. Jesus was stretched out upon that cross, His arms wide open to accept us, but He could not force us, He could not grab us, for his hands have been confined with the nail of sin, He cannot walk to us, for His feet have been bound by the nail of pride and he could not force us, for His earthly body had been scourged by the whip of humanity. Jesus could only offer open arms to receive us, if we chose to come to Him, to His beaten and bloodied body, to His Divine Humanity hung upon that cross.
This Lent reflect upon the words of Jesus from the Tree of salvation, eat of its fruits and look upon its limbs and see the face of salvation, the face of Jesus, the face of God.
Into your Arms I run, Into your Arms I collapse, Into your Arms I offer up my spirit.
God Bless & Happy Lent
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With the Christmas Session upon us, I thought I would take a moment to bring something up. Have you noticed that there seems to be less Christmas decorations up in your neighborhood? I was walking my dog, Ted, the other night and noticed that very few homes were decorated on the outside, no lights, no Santa’s, nothing. The other thing I noticed was the fact that if the house was decorated, they had plenty of Santa’s and poo bears but no nativity. I think I could count on one hand, with fingers left over at the number of nativities I saw. Contrast that to Halloween and all the decorations I saw.
What is going on? Why the lack of decorations?
Well it can’t be that Americans are not religious, over 78% of Americans call themselves religious. It’s not the economy, because if that was the case the same people would not decorate for Halloween. So what is it….?
Political correctness… I think this explains it. People are too scared to offend, many say Happy Holidays out of respect for others views, I say they say it because they are scared of being called a bigot or intolerant. I say, so what, Christmas is a religious holiday, so I say Merry Christmas and God Bless us, one and all! Political correctness can also be blamed for the lack of Nativity‘s I see… It is a shame…
I, for one, find this all to be a tad bit silly… I mean come on, next thing you know we will not call the national Christmas Tree a Christmas Tree, but a Holiday Tree… Oops to late…
How come only the concerns of nonChristians are taken into account, no one seems to be concerned with my views or feelings… As a white, middle class, catholic male, my views seem to carry less weight than my dogs. Yes one person out of many cries “Political Incorrect” and the government and media seem to step in and take action. Is that what we call tolerance? Give me a break!
I think its time us Christians started to fight back… To demand that our rights be respected, and to make others understand that out traditions are as important as there’s and that we have a right to celebrate in the town square, the same right they have by the way. To me, if they wanted to publicly celebrate their Holy days, I say go for it. I would love to see the decorations, to learn their traditions and to take part as best I could.
Being tolerant does not mean giving up your own belief, it means allowing others to believe as they wish. Being tolerant does not mean that I can not celebrate my Holy Days it does not mean that I should feel guilty or uncomfortable in doing so, and no one has the right to force me to suppress my faith.
So once again, Merry Christmas to one and all, and God Bless us, every one!
Harvard University did a study on the effects of children attending a 4th of July celebrations. Yep, you read it right, the effects of the 4th of July celebrations on children. The results, simply put, children who attend some sort for 4th of July celebration will more than likely turn out to be…. Republicans…
• Fourth of July celebrations have a significant impact upon people’s political preferences;
• Attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent. (The press release)
So for me, I say if that is the case, than every child should attend a BBQ or parade on the 4th of July. Maybe our nation will than have a chance to survive.
But the better questions is why does 4th of July celebrations turn kids in to Republicans, and not Democrats? My simple answer, Republicans love America, Democrats despise her, so they wont show up at a 4th of July celebration anyway.
A Brief History of Fourth of July
On July 3, 1776, John Adams, the second president of the United States wrote “[Fourth of July]
ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and
parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this
continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore” (Adams, 1776, p. 3).9 In the years that followed, Fourth of July was the only national holiday, marking the date of the nation’s existence and serving as a display of national unity. The latter function of Independence Day was particularly important in helping the scattered citizens of 13 states view themselves as part of a single nation (Waldstreicher, 1995; Travers, 1997; Heintze, 2007). Celebrations in the early republic included militia drills, processions, readings of the Declaration, dinners, and fireworks. 10 Present-day festivities took form in the late 19th and early 20th century, being part of the Progressive Movement’s effort to revive civic ceremonies on Fourth of July. Appelbaum (1989) describes how the tastes of the progressive reformers ran towards “patriotic pageants, patriotic music, parades with patriotic floats, marching units patriotically costumed in period dress, and tableaux vivants depicting patriotic scenes in American history” (Appelbaum, 1989, p. 141). Through campaigns such as “Safe and Sane July Fourth”, the reformers sought to convince local civic officials to make the public holiday resemble a playground festival, in which children performed dramatic skits and dances (Smilor, 1980; Glassberg, 1987). In documenting Fourth of July celebrations in Minnesota in the early and mid 20th century, Nemanic (2007) writes “Independence Day programs featured events for the entire family, with particular emphasis placed on children…festivities would begin with a noisy wakeup ritual followed by a patriotic parade. Afterwards, a formal ceremony might be held that included orations and readings from the Declaration of Independence. The afternoon offered an array of contests, concerts, and sporting events. In the evening,…a torch light parade might be held…Fireworks ended most celebrations” (Nemanic, 2007, p. 121).
Celebrations in the first half of the 20th century were political events. Local politicians were
involved in planning for the occasion, as well as providing financial support to the Fourth of July
festivities. They also participated actively in the parades and presented orations during the formal ceremonies. Many used the holiday to campaign or to gain visibility between campaigns by giving political speeches. In the cities, civic groups and political parties organized separate events to further their particular cause (Appelbaum, 1989; Nemanic, 2007).
Fourth of July in the 1950’s and the 1960’s included beauty contests, auto races, regattas, dog
shows, and parachute-jumping contests, as well as traditional parades and orations (Appelbaum, 1989). The holiday became increasingly commercialized as businesses took over the Fourth of July program sponsorship from town volunteer committees and the political parties (Nemanic, 2007). Also, the backyard barbecue was institutionalized during this period, making Fourth of July a more private tradition among friends as opposed to a community festival. As a consequence of the holiday’s changed character, the event became depoliticized. While Fourth of July celebrations in the last 40 years have kept much of the private features introduced in the 1950’s and 1960’s, some of the patriotic practices from the beginning of the 20th century were reintroduced. Contemporary festivities can be full-day affairs, with parades and speeches in the morning followed by afternoon barbecues, tailgating, and evening fireworks (Heintze, 2007).
9John Adams’ letter to his wife, Abigail, actually spoke of July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved, but from the outset, Americans celebrated independence on Fourth of July, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence (Appelbaum, 1989).
10Historic accounts further document how newspapers played a vital role in spreading common Fourth of July practices across the country (Waldstreicher, 1995; Newman, 1999).
I pray that everyone has a blessed, fun and safe 4th of July celebration, and God Bless America!
"Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic." — General Logan – May 5, 1868
"If it is considered a holiday, why is it so? I consider it to be a national day of mourning. This is how we observe this day in our home. Because of what that day represents the rest of the days of the year are our holidays." — F L Lloyd West Chester, Pa USA – February 26, 2000
"In 1999 I laid flowers at the grave of a young U.S. fighter pilot who was KIA in my village in 1945. In the Netherlands I know of schools ‘adopting’ graves of Allied servicemen, keeping those graves in excellent condition! Does anybody know of adopting graves in the U.S. by schools?
Castricum, The Netherlands – Tue May 15 04:50:29 2001"
With Memorial Day upon us, let is all stop and take a second to honor our vets, fallen and alive. Let us stand and salute them for there valiant efforts. Let us lay a flower at the grave of a fallen American hero and say a silent prayer of thanksgiving. Let us take sometime to stop and reflect upon what they and there families have sacrificed for us all. Fly the flag with pride and thank God that you live in America, where freedom lives.
Sure, have your BBQ and beer, eat a hot dog and enjoy, but before you eat, bow your hear and give thanks for the freedom you enjoy. God has blessed America with brave young men and woman, God has granted us freedom and courage and has guided our nation to prosperity. Now let us take a moment to thank Him and the brave members of our military.