Tuesday, August 02, 2016

God's Day

God put this prayer in my heart and brain a few years ago.  A good friend needed it today, so here it is.


Your Day


Almighty God:

Thank You for Your sunrise; in it, I find:
   -Your glory calling me into a new day,
   -The promise of a chance to do what I should do,
   -The hope of things not yet seen,
   -A blank canvas on which I can paint praise to You.

Thank You for Your daylight; in it, I find:
   -Your presence and glory in all things, if only I will look,
   -Your hand guiding me, if only I will take it,
   -Your voice teaching me, if only I will listen,
   -Your people, needing and providing help, if only I will join them.

Thank You for Your sunset; in it, I find:
   -The stunning beauty that only You can create,
   -A chance to reflect on and learn from the day now behind me,
   -Proof that endings can be as miraculous as beginnings,
   -No dread or fear of the coming night, because You are with me.

 All day, I find reasons to always give thanks to You for Your great glory and for all things.

In Jesus’ holy name,

Amen.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Today, We Remember...

Sometimes, words just fail.  

Once a person wraps their brain around the idea of so many hundreds of thousands of individual PERSONS gave the last measure of devotion in service...

~~ "Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden." 
--Ronald Reagan ~~

Once a person really gets that... then nothing else really needs to be said.




















God bless all who have served.

-kmg

Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Is Risen!

"...suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 

'Why do you look for the living among the dead? 

'He is not here; he has risen!'"






"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter People and Hallelujah is our song."  --Pope St. John Paul II

Happy Easter to all!

-kmg




Sunday, March 06, 2016

Nancy Reagan, RIP

Farewell to a classy woman who elevated the position of First Lady.

She is reunited with Ronaldus Magnus in the arms of the Lord.  He was 93, she was 94.  Theirs is an endangered kind.

Thanks, Mrs. Reagan for all you did for our country.  Not the least of which was taking such good care of one of our greatest Presidents.

The official statement on her passing is HERE.

God bless and rest her soul.




-

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Podcast??

Well, we did it.

My eldest daughter and I finally decided to document some of the epic conversations we always seem to find ourselves in.

We now have one of those fancy new podcast thingies.  If nothing else, we can look back on it when we're old and say... "Wow- we talked a lot!"

We discuss most everything under the sun (and lots of stuff not under the sun).  So far, we're covered some religion stuff, American exceptionalism ('Merica!), animals in the afterlife, truth in art, GUNS, and much more. We're averaging about one episode every two weeks... and we're keeping them at or under an hour.

It's called "Pop 'n' Jay" (my kids call me "Pop" and she is Jessica)... so give it a try!

http://www.buzzsprout.com/49278

(P.S. - Look at the logo Jessica made for us... those who know us will get it right away.)


Pop 'n' Jay Podcast Artwork Image



Monday, December 07, 2015

74 Years Ago

Pearl Harbor... we can't forget.

Although not the highest "body count," it was one of the most heinous acts ever committed and pulled us into the world war.

My uncles went down to enlist the next morning... as did so many.  Do we see similar "pulling together" today when such things hit our country?  Sadly... no.

Anyway, I choose to remember Pearl Harbor and to honor those who died and those who went on to serve.













Tuesday, November 10, 2015

240

"Back  in Seventeen-Seventy Five...
 My Marine Corps came alive..."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL MARINES EVERYWHERE!!

Semper Fidelis!!






Sunday, April 05, 2015

Have You Heard The Good News?




Happy Easter and God bless!

-kmg

Friday, April 03, 2015

THE Friday

Redemptive suffering.





"Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name."  --Philippians 2:8-9





He did it.  For me... and you.  He suffered so much...

What can you do?  Offer your own suffering up to Him.  When you hurt, give it to Him... for the good of someone else.  Join your pain to His.

It works.








She had to watch.  She suffered and had her heart pierced.

When you suffer, think of her.






"But he was pierced for our sins,
crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
by his wounds we were healed."
--Isaiah 53:5

God bless!

-kmg



Monday, February 16, 2015

Witness

To be or not to be... or perhaps just to pretend to be... a Christian...?

There is a very old saying from Cicero in ancient Rome: "Esse quam videri."  It means: "To be, rather than to seem."  That's a good place to begin, since we are all looking to actually BE what we want (and ought) to be, right?  We appear to the world one way, but on the inside... that is not so much really who we are.  So, how can we actually do it?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I've cracked the code, and I want to share with you my big discovery of finding true happiness and fulfillment (spoiler alert: it is definitely about God).  Full disclosure: my discovery is hardly novel.  Many others have made this discovery in their own way, but I was too obtuse to learn from them and had to get there the hard way.

I've been working on a lot of personal things for quite a while now-- well, for virtually my entire life, I suppose.  So many concepts and ideas have come and gone.  So much thought and discussion put into it all.  Now, I'm putting many of these things together (like puzzle pieces that finally fit) and I'm seeing progress like never before.

The past two years or so have been some of the most momentous of my life-- both on a personal and professional level.  It really began in earnest when I made a dramatic change in my career (see here for details); and then it took off like a turbo-charged rocket from there.

I put my faith in God and moved forward in the manner I believed He wanted me to.  I prayed more often and with more intensity than I ever had before - and I tried very hard to listen for answers... and I actually heard (and saw) some.  The main lessons?  Live today.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.  Trust in the Lord.  Love.  Love.  Love.

        "There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.
         Listen, my son, and be wise,
    and set your heart on the right path."  
        
   --Proverbs 23:18-19

Without trying to sound overly dramatic, I see now that God has brought me out of the wilderness and shown me, finally, that right path.  I've been on the path before, but I wasn't sure of it, and I continually stepped off of it and got tangled up in the trees.  Now it's a matter of knowing how to get to where I am going.  It doesn't guarantee that I will get there, and it doesn't mean that I don't still have a long way to go.  It just means I know how... and that means everything to a weary traveler who has finally seen the real way home.

I've learned that His promises are real, and that He will always be there for me, if only I trust and do my part.  The tricky part of trying to live the old saying "God helps those who help themselves" is how exactly is one to properly "help" oneself?  The answer is deceptively simple: always pray on it and listen to your conscience (aka, God's voice within you).  Always.  Without exception.

The tangible/physical results are important, but not nearly so much as the intangible/spiritual results. My mood and demeanor are more stable than ever.  My mental serenity is at record levels, even as many things go wrong around me.  My focus on the really important things is keener than ever.  For example, I can still enjoy relatively meaningless things like football without becoming lost and in a funk for days when my team loses.  (Yes, it hurt for a bit when my beloved Broncos flamed out in the playoffs-- but only a short while.  That scenario would have had the "old me" in a dark rage for days- if not weeks.)  I am still FAR from anything remotely resembling "perfect," but I am a vastly improved version of myself that now knows how to get even better.

So, on to the meat of it.  While the next moment is certainly important to consider, it must be kept in its proper place in relation to this moment.  Now is what we have.  Now is all that is given to any of us.  Now is all that matters.  Now is where yesterday and tomorrow are linked.  This is true because Now is where God truly is.

~~  "He who lives in the present lives in eternity."  --Ludwig Wittgenstein  ~~

If you have read my writings before, you probably know that I am obsessed with time in general-- and lately, with NOW in specific.  (Here is a post from two years ago that illustrates my fascination as well as anything.)

For years, I talked the talk about trusting in God and living today-- but now I have actually started doing it... and it works.  Cicero was 100 percent correct; it is far, far better to be than to seem.  It feels very good to know that I am really being a Christian.  Not that I wasn't before, but it was a much different feeling on the inside.  All it took was actually trying to do the things I had been professing for years; i.e., doing what I ought to do.  Yep- it turns out that we are truly happiest when we are doing what we should be doing.

~~  "Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected."  --George Washington  ~~

By the way, another huge part of this whole thing is that I have managed to really get a handle on exactly what this "Love" thing truly is (and is not).  That came about by lots and lots of prayer, and two (or maybe three) careful readings of C.S. Lewis' absolutely delightful short book, "The Four Loves."

Also very important to note: not everyone gets to be "intoxicated" by God's presence.  In fact, most of us will never really get to that state.  The best we can do is continue on, seeking Him and trying to do His will as we find Him here and there in our daily life.  We can often go through darkness and long periods of spiritual "emptiness," and it is in those times that we have to keep our Faith light shining the brightest.  The single best example of this is in the fact that  Mother Teresa's "dark night" lasted almost 50 years.  Yeah.

~~  "Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." ("Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.")  
--Saint Augustine  ~~

I'll try to sum up here with a quick formula:
  • Get close to Him by reading good things (lectio divina), saying good things, and doing good things.  Don't just take it from me:  "Draw near to God and God will draw near to you."  --James 4:8
  • Remember that "ex nilhilo nihil fit" (nothing comes from nothing).  You came from something and from Someone.  If you do nothing for your own spirit, then that is likely the return you will get.  
  • Be aware that good begets more good, and bad begets more bad.  Choose your actions, words, and thoughts carefully.  Emerson said it best: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
  • Bottom line: everything tastes better when you are really hungry- so be hungry for God's Word and will.  The amazing paradox with this hunger metaphor in relation to God is that the more you partake, the hungrier you get, and the more satisfaction there is in even a single morsel.
Let's close with this verse from Isaiah.  It begins with the eternal question: why does God let us stray from Him?  The age old "free will" question.  The verse then shows that God is hidden from us while we are not doing His will... and it ends with the obvious (and awesome) statement that we are His creations and things just don't go right when we forget that and behave accordingly (no matter how super-important and amazing we think we are on our own).


Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7

You, LORD, are our father,
our redeemer you are named forever.
Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?

Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you,
while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,
such as they had not heard of from of old.

No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.

Would that you might meet us doing right,
that we were mindful of you in our ways!

Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;
all of us have become like unclean people,
all our good deeds are like polluted rags;
we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.

There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.

Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.

Amen and AMEN!

God bless y'all!

-kmg

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Not Just a Cat

The mighty Butter is gone, but he is not forgotten-- nor will he ever be.




We lost him only yesterday.  His time had come... but it was such a jolt.  He deteriorated so damn fast.  So hard to see the toughest feline in the world suffer such a fate.  Cancer had grown on his face and in his throat.  He couldn't eat... couldn't move his bowels.  Ultimately, he found peace at the hands of a kind and gentle veterinarian, for whom we are very grateful.

This brief post is simply a way for me to salute The Butter.  Allow me a moment to tell you about this special being whom I held in the highest regard.  As anyone who knows me can attest to, I'm not a "cat person."  I prefer dogs.  The Butter was not just a cat, though.  He was a presence.

He did not ask for respect from the people and other animals in the house; he commanded it.  He did not walk; he sauntered.  He did not jump; he leapt.  He did not eat; he consumed.  In short, The Butter lived a very large and powerful life (that means more to me than I can say here).

He was, in a very real way, larger than life.  If you needed a cat to build an adventure story on, The Butter was your guy.  He hated the "soft" life; always trying to escape and find things to kill and conquer.  He was just that damn cool.

By the way, he fully merited being called "The" Butter.  It simply felt right.  Just like "The Batman."  People say it that way because there is only one of them.  One Batman.  One Butter.

I always felt from The Butter a sense of dignity that I don't really perceive in other cats.  I tried to honor that by never patronizing him in the way so many people do with felines ("here, kitty-kitty-kitty," etc.).  He and I had an arrangement: no disrespect either way and no one gets hurt.

Maybe it makes me something of a "girly man," but I cried my damn eyes out for The Butter as and after he died.  He had been suffering for a long time... and it was just not fair.  He bore it well, though... his mighty spirit showed through even in the darkest times.  We can all learn from that.

In any case, my life is diminished now that he is gone.  He mattered.

Rest in peace, my friend.  I know for certain that God has a place for you in His kingdom.





-kmg


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