“Questioning Their Standard”

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Speaking from a position of making a general observation I am plagued by a question. Because of what I hear and see among people across the country I am assuming that they are coming from the presupposition that God does not exist or that Christians believe in a desert fairy tale; how is it that they have a position on the moral high ground as they would like everyone to believe? They act as if only they understand the motives and reasons behind school shootings, crime, poverty, bad immigration practices, etc., yet, they are perfectly fine killing babies in or outside of the womb and push for legalizing the killing of the disabled or elderly. All the while comfortable taking rights away from law-abiding citizens…

So, another question must be asked of those who deny God; what is the standard for “Bad” and what is the standard for “Good”? Before any discussion or debate can be had those two things require an answer. If they cannot be defined, then by default there is no answer to a moral presupposition contrary to God’s. Even Atheist debaters struggle with this question and will divert the discussion to avoid answering it or ignore it altogether leaving themselves and their followers without a foundation to stand on.

In my mind their presupposition is simply death to those who stand in their way. They have no problem telling others how they should live, yet when confronted with the truth of their own immoral or unethical ways they point fingers and make groundless accusations. Just as the Sadducees and Pharisees did when condemning Jesus because they knew they were exposed and not able to confront the truth since they were unable to defend themselves against it.

Every day the violence we see is a product of homes without God and children without parents who put God first in their lives. Without God there is no moral presupposition. The argument that a society can rule itself under its own self-determined morality is lying to itself at best and its current state provides proof daily of its failure to determine a standard of morality on its own.

I believe we have come to a turning point in our country where people must decide which side they are on; God’s morals or humanity’s absurd notion of morals. Many will try to argue my points and that is fine, but in the end if a person is unwilling to drill down into the root cause of evil or good and how they are measured, the argument will die dismally in front of God and His Laws.

To say that God does not exist or to say that Christians are naïve is a statement nullified by the words of the Bible.

ROMANS 1: 18 – 32 (ESV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

 

 

Food for thought or fodder; pick your freedom or your poison…

The Koifish Christian

“Child Birth; God’s Miracle – Our Gift”

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For some the scientific term “Parturition” makes the whole idea for the birth of a child a dreary and unimaginative visualization for the next Sci-Fi novel or textbook; either way neither are not my choice on this subject.

Generally speaking many claim that the Christian Bible of 66 Books is a drab and boring read; and in some ways I can agree speaking from a fleshly perspective.  However, I believe the Bible speaks to the birth of a child in a way that brings respect to the very thing God has gifted to us; life.  Some will contest that childbirth is a negative thing, so I am choosing the positive here.

John 16:21 says – “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”

As a man I am not able to speak to the pain endured by women during childbirth so I will not attempt to say that I understand, but what I do know is the joy felt after the baby is born; that I can certainly share with the mother!

When God created woman he created a miracle inside and out.  Their bodies go through so much change when a baby is first formed in their womb at the moment of conception.  The small miracles begin to happen a thousand fold each and every day as the baby grows, but the woman’s body also changes with the growth of that child.  Even though the baby itself is not the same body as the woman, it is the woman who goes through the changes to accommodate the new wonderful passenger inside of her.

As the baby grows it will start to react to the environment outside of its womb; sounds, pressure from sitting / standing / lying down, etc.  As far as the topic of sound goes this is something I myself had an experience with.

Since I was adopted at birth I never knew my birth mother until I was 46 years of age.  However, the first time I had ever talked to her I kept getting this feeling that her voice was very familiar to me.  What I later found out was that while I was still in the womb she would sing to me because at the time she was a professional singer, so I would have been exposed to her voice through singing many times over.

For the woman in this experience up to the point of birth there will be trials, but there will also be joy.  Getting things ready for the new arrival is usually a big one on everyone’s list and eventually the “Nesting” will happen, which I always found entertaining.  To me this was an instinct God gave women to prepare for what was coming soon and it is just another miracle to observe during this experience.

There will be a “Baby Shower” and gifts, but none of those will compare to the little fingers, toes, eyes, lips, ears and nose of that baby the mother is about to meet.  It is a person with the spark of life given by God that we are to enjoy and cherish as long as we live.  The memories will begin to stack up as the baby grows and each one should be placed in a treasure box for the mother to use when her heart needs to be reminded of that warm and wonderful feeling.

To put things into a greater perspective than ourselves, God used the birth of one child to change the world –

Matthew 1:23Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”  (Which means, God with us.)

So for the new “Soon-to-Be” mothers out there, remember that this is your time to participate in God’s miracle of life.  Cherish it for as long as your heart and mind allow; never take what you are capable of for granted and know by this experience you are following God’s plan for both of you.

Here is a poem I wrote to my new found mother in 2013.

Sing to My Mother

Hearing you sing before I saw light,

It was your voice that gave me hope,

Stirring my spirit to prepare for flight.

Singing, singing, always your song.

 

As my time here on earth stood before me,

I had always known that I was yours,

Even though they said that it would not be.

Singing, singing, a strange new song.

 

Following your heart was not a choice,

Because your blood was also mine,

You chose to give me life and a voice.

Singing, singing, my own song.

 

The pain I know for you was real,

For I too felt the emptiness in my soul,

Hoping for time to just please heal.

Singing, singing, a sad, sad song.

 

As the years passed I swear you were often near,

Did you think of me as I had dreamt of you?

We had figured out new ways to hide a tear.

Singing, singing, a lonesome song.

 

A simple birthdate is not what it seems,

They are numbers that hold our heart,

Containing love, anguish, hope and dreams.

Singing, singing, tomorrow’s song.

 

After so many years our time has come to unite,

Dreams of the past are our only gifts,

Tears and Joy show what has always been right.

Singing, singing, to the world our song.

 

It is this that you must know first and last,

My love has always belonged to you,

Regardless of what was and is the past.

Singing, singing, finally to My Mother a song.

 

“I pray that every mother is able to experience the joy of a newborn, but if that newborn child is not something you are willing to care for at this time – please put the child up for adoption as it is a human life worthy of a future…just like you were offered at your birth.”  – The Koifish Christian

 

 

 

 

“Thinking About You on Mother’s Day”

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Because you choose to see the best in me,

Regardless of life’s pitfalls or my pride,

A smiling nod to be creative and free,

Your gentle hands are always my guide.

Thinking About You on Mother’s Day

In your heart you carry each memory,

Each a snapshot into a time and place,

As diamonds each is stored affectionately,

All are wrapped by your love and grace.

Thinking About You on Mother’s Day

Through all the years your love has not waned,

Instinctively putting others well before yourself,

Your love never lost and most certainly ordained,

Caring was never a choice as it was your wealth.

Thinking About You on Mother’s Day

Poised to give learned and loving advice,

Lending my ear to your pearls of life,

Given freely and never with a price,

I hear how to avoid trouble and strife.

Thinking About You on Mother’s Day

Words can never say what my heart truly feels,

A unending gratefulness I share with God each day,

It is with tears of joy that my heart eagerly kneels,

For others to have a Mother like you is what I pray.

Wishing You a Happy Mother’s Day

D.E. Jones

 

For all the Mothers out there on your special day I pray for you to be surrounded by the family you love and care for so much.  Getting spoiled a bit wouldn’t hurt either…

The Koifish Christian

“The Evening Dance”

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Outside the snow gently falls and glistens,

A small breeze will lead the snow in a dance,

Performing their art with a simple joy,

Music can be heard if one truly listens.

 

Lighted trees give off new colors for this dance,

Bright hues give their stage a magical glimmer,

Swirling and twirling the dancers move quickly,

A chaotic symphony never performed by chance.

 

An unseen conductor picks up the tempo,

Up into the air the dancers are thrown,

Coming down gracefully from their flight,

All land gracefully spinning to and fro.

 

As if by the conductor’s unseen hand,

The graceful show seems to end,

Although it is over for the moment,

The next dance will be just as grand.

 

Staying in place and not to be missed,

Waiting for their conductor to begin,

The dancers know of only one thing,

Tis for the next Evening Dance they exist.

 

 

D.E. Jones

“Do You Carpe Diem?”

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Throughout our lives we encounter the subject of death in varying circumstances. Sometimes it hits close to home, sometimes it is just far enough away that we brush it off as “…so glad it wasn’t someone in our family”. Either way I don’t think we take the time to appreciate the life we all have in front of us. I understand that some may take offense to that last statement and if you do; good! This means you take every day on as a gift and treat it as such.

For those who are mourning the loss of someone close there is no magic answer for making the pain of loss go away. However, there is peace found with God and the Son Jesus Christ. It is He who listens to our every groaning regardless of the severity or complexity. The hardest part of turning to God with our grieving is the “trusting” part. Simply trust as a child trusts their parent and you will see God begin working in your life. The first sign to look for is a friend or family member asking to be at your side through your mourning; just say “yes”.

By saying yes to that friend or family member who wants to mourn with you, it could very well be their prayer to be a blessing to you and God is simply answering their prayer to answer yours. Don’t deny them their prayer as it might also be a prayer about being more obedient, caring, loving, or simply trying to not be selfish. We may never know the “Why”, but that is okay, just roll with God’s plan.

Was there a time you told someone “No” and you later regretted it?

Something to try during a time of mourning might be to turn your mourning into energy for helping or reaching out to someone else. The truth is this; no matter how much we mourn it cannot bring that person back. However, we can honor that person by giving, loving and sharing more with those around us who just might need you to be a blessing for them. Simply put, don’t dig yourself into the hole of mourning and never come out.

God’s promise of life after death is also something we should take the time to think more about as it should make us appreciate the life we have now and know that we should not waste it by living like we will never die. This is a selfish way to live and not one of the directives God has given us. The first directive from Christ was to worship God only and the second, love your neighbor as you do yourself. You can’t do either if you let mourning take over.

How have do you feel inside after helping others?

God places every person in our path for a reason and if we are simply mulling through life day to day without realizing that someday those around us will not be here, we are doomed to a life full of regret. This is not at all how God wants us to live! If you think about it, the phrase; “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day) is more than just a quote that looks cool on a coffee cup. It should be how we approach life every minute of every day as God intended.

How have you handled the hard days? Did you trust God, or did you try to just trust in yourself?

It is okay to mourn the loss of a loved one, but don’t let it take over your life. This life is the only one you have so treat it like the gift it is. God never promises an easy life here on earth, but He does promise that in the end you will be free from the burdens that you had while here. Through Jesus Christ you can accomplish all that God has planned for you so don’t waste another day. Use this day and every day after as an opportunity to simply be a blessing to others, just as they were for you when you were in your time of need.

Are you ready to “Carpe Diem”?

 

The Koifish Christian

“Walking Amongst Shadows”

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As I walk through soft green grass I make no sound,

I wonder at the sun’s beauty as birds sing and flutter,

Below my feet shadows are revealed on the ground.

A soft breeze awakens their voice to be heard,

Their voices carry me quickly to the past,

It is through their stories my heart is stirred.

Standing proud the shapes are never alone,

Their shadows touch each other as if a friend,

They will never leave the other as time has shown.

Their line is disciplined, just as once in the past,

All in their finest since the day they were formed,

A simple stone tells their story and forever will it last.

With my eyes now open, I can painfully see,

I am among my fallen brothers and sisters,

Their silence begs me to pass on their story.

They have given all to take away a nation’s fears,

The only words I am able to utter, are “Thank You”,

As I walk through the shadows and wipe away my tears.

D.E. Jones

Never should the sacrifices of those who gave all be forgotten.

“Nudging the World One Person at a Time”

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According to the Merriam – Webster Dictionary, the word “Nudge” is defined in a couple of ways depending on how you want to use the word. In one sense of the word it indicates a touch or gentle push and in the other version one can prod lightly or urge into some sort of action.

As I read these definitions I realize that God uses both when he wants us to move within His plan. Since one option is physical and the other might be verbal, I would even go as far as a spiritual urging. As a Christian I believe that it is very important for us to be aware of the signs God places in front of us to draw our attention back to Him. Going day to day with the belief that “God works in mysterious ways” is in my opinion not a good way to get to know God.

Do you believe God works in mysterious ways?

For a non-Christian this might simply be boiled down to an intuition based on past experiences that would cause one to be aware of little nudges in our thoughts that might cause one to choose a new or different course. I even think that some Christians would agree with this.

On this point I am going to say that God’s creation (humans) are not robots and yes, God would give us the ability to recall from memory the things that help us make decisions. What I am going for here are the nudges that come out of nowhere and are not relative to the situation we are in at that moment. I for one do not believe in the concept of “Chance, matter and motion” and the rest of what Evolutionists believe, so for the concept of the “Nudge” I am referring to, this would not work.

The “Nudges” as I like to call them, can come in many forms and are not regulated to any particular box. They can be a thought, a comment heard in passing, the actions of another person, a visual cue or symbol, or just a “feeling”. Yes, I know what inspiration means…good question though.

Not only do we get a nudge, we also get the burning feeling or thought that won’t go away. This is God’s way of letting you that He is serious about what He wants you to do, whether you are praying for it or not. Have you ever ran with that feeling or thought and realized that you had no idea how to go about it, but knew that you just had to do it? If you have, then you are being given an opportunity by God. It is an opportunity because it will either make your grow or open doors for you. However, since it is God’s plan you may not benefit other than being a blessing to someone or glorifying God. If we say we are Christian, this should not be a problem.

If you did not follow through with the thought or feeling, did you regret it later?

What we need to understand is that these nudges might not be given to benefit someone other than ourselves, why? Because we are straying away from the fold and need a little redirection. This is where the pride thing comes in and is probably one of the most difficult to contend with. Even when our closest family gives us nudges of love to get back to what is important we will still stray on our own, not even realizing that we are.

Even Jesus talks about this in Acts 9:5-6 (KJV) when He says; “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks“. These are long sticks used to herd goats / sheep, so think about how those might be used in our own lives. Some of us require more poking and prodding than others, whereas some only need a “Nudge”.

What can we as Christians take from this? What can a non-Christian take from it?

So be aware and just wait for the “Nudge”, it will come when you least expect it and when you get one – swim hard and fast!

Praise God for the Nudges and I thank Him for you.

Have a wonderful day in your pond!

 

 

The Koifish Christian

“Will This Snow Ever Melt?”

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The sun comes out, the snow melts and the birds sing. For those who live with the four seasons, this is considered a normal refreshing perspective that indicates that summer is on the way.

And then there is the Upper Midwest with snow storms in mid-April. For many this is very depressing and can negatively affect their attitude. Myself having lived in the deep south for a few years, find the snow welcoming. I personally do not like it very hot, nor the humidity. I also detest the snakes, cockroaches, scorpions, spiders of every kind and super noisy Cicadas. Again, this is my personal preference, so I will take shoveling snow over all those things I just listed!

For those who complain about the snow, let me try another perspective on you to see if this helps with the whole attitude thing.

When we get snow, it is a slow way for the soil to pull in much needed moisture for the crops that sustain life. When it rains the top soil tends to run off into lower elevations that might not be able to be planted or harvested. As I am not a farmer I can’t speak to the science of it, but practical sense tells me that the snow is better than the rain to prepare fields for planting. Spring rains can keep farmers out of the field for planting so I would assume that this is not an easy task for farmers to contend with.

I am aware that blowing snow can also carry top soil away from a field so this idea is not exempt from waste in the process. I am aware that farmers have ways to compensate for this natural process and those who choose not to, then that is a choice they must work with in the spring.

So, after my lack-luster attempt to explain how the snow helps farmers, I would rather turn to what I know and believe to be true. I do believe all of this is a work given by the hand of God. It is God who created the miracle of snow and the positive things that come with it. Ultimately, it does bring life and yes, it does bring challenges.

As far as the challenges of snow go, I think even if you have not dealt with it much, you know that it is not always fun to deal with when you must move it. However, those challenges do make us a stronger and hearty people who know what hard work means.

Think of it this way, it is just another way God prepares us for life and the hard work it takes to survive. In bible studies I have often heard about how God tempers us through His work, and since snow is a creation of God, it is God’s work to contend with winter. How many times have we seen people helping people when the snow hits? Stuck vehicles, shoveling sidewalks, walking with someone across an icy parking lot, sharing food, working at homeless shelters, caring for those who are without during Christmas, on and on.

Since the snow will be gone soon, I thought it appropriate to give thanks to God for the blessings He has given during this winter season. Ultimately, it is life that God gave us and it is for his miracle of creation, we give our thanks.

Here is a poem I wrote to hopefully lighten your mood about this longer than expected winter.

 

“Wayward Friends”

 Shapes of wonder carried on high

Not one the same, but all alike,

Fall where they may or destined to fly.

 

Enjoyed by some or loathed by a few

Pushed or pulled it matters not,

Man has labored since the first one flew.

 

Some will venture far to escape their number

For their pull is strong and not forgotten,

We dream of childhood memories as we slumber.

 

Like old friends who visit unannounced

Ready or not they will knock on your door,

They will bring gifts for everyone measured by the ounce.

 

Reminding all of that special time

Bringing us together to love and share,

Giving away our coins when we hear the chime.

 

Some have sadly never known them as a girl or boy

Angelic and portly creations are the order of the day,

Giggles and smiles they bring, turning sadness into joy.

 

Friends forever and a gift, they will always be to me

Visiting each year right on time,

I am happy to know them, even though they are heavy.

 

D.E. Jones

“Say Amen!”

     As we sit in our pew next to a friend or even a stranger, we listen to the message from the pastor hoping to glean a nugget of knowledge, hope or a simple reminder of God’s love.  While we listen and learn there are points in the message that may bring a rise in our emotion that feels like our soul wants to shout from the rooftops the Truth we know in Christ.

     In the upper Midwest there seems to be a tradition of remaining silent and stone-like during the Sunday Service in Christian Churches.  I personally do not know why this is, but in all the churches I have attended it is like this.  Since I am only speaking of this phenomena in general terms, please don’t wear this shoe if it doesn’t fit.

     Myself having attended a Baptist church for a few years while living in Oklahoma have experienced the other side of this coin.  In that church we were encouraged to say “Amen!” when the preacher said something that supported the Truth of Jesus Christ or encouragement for all to take in.  It is also a great way to give the preacher encouragement that his message is accurate and well received.

     In 2 Corinthians 1: 20 Paul makes a statement about “Amen” that I find refreshing to my soul as to why saying it is so important.  20. “For all the promises of God find their yes in him.  That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”  When we say “Amen” we are saying that God’s will is the final answer and it shall be so.

     I believe “Amen” for a Christian is the seal for God’s promise through Jesus Christ.  Each time we say it at the end of our prayers, we are sealing our prayer with the belief and confidence that God in His time will answer it.  “Amen” can also be said when we affirm the Truth when it is preached.

     In my humble opinion saying “Amen” during the preacher’s message should be considered the norm rather than the “thing we don’t do here”.  As Christians it seems to me that it is our role to be heard and not silent when the Truth is spoken or if we need to share the Gospel to the lost.  So then the question begs to be asked; are we following the traditions of men or are we following what God is urging us to do; to whom does the glory belong?

“Does God Work Through Our Pets?”

I know that there are differing beliefs on whether animals have a soul or just run on basic instinct, but there is something I believe 100%. God puts animals on our path just as He does with people. These animals are usually otherwise known as “pets”.

I have experienced as well as witnessed how we learn to live and communicate with these pets. Sometimes I question whether they belong to our “pack” or whether we belong to theirs. Over time our pets also learn to communicate with us in ways that many of us don’t always understand, but it might be possible to at least understand at a basic level what they are trying to show us.

With my own dogs, I can just tell by the way they look at me that they want a treat or want to go outside. They don’t need to bark, whimper or jump around; just a look with their eyes tells me. No, I am not a dog whisperer, but I think most people understand a little body language. You can count on one thing for certain; our pets rely on it almost 100% when trying to understand what we need or want.

If there is anything we can learn from our pets it is that they will always show us affection the best way they know how; excluding some animals that are just plain mean regardless of how they were raised. I personally think a great example of loyalty is with Service Animals. These animals take their job as one of caring for a member of their pack; at least it appears this way on the surface. I simply call it as I see it.

So how does God come into all of this. Well, if you are a pet owner and have seen or felt the affection given by that animal to you when you most needed it, you are a recipient of that love. Or how many of us have simply encountered a very friendly dog, cat or other pet that simply made your day after spending a couple of minutes with it. Even if a person doesn’t like animals, I would be willing to bet that they have experienced this at one point in their life. If you have not, you are missing out on a joyful experience. God in my belief can work through any of His creations, so to limit Him to just working through humans is a shallow and vain way of looking at God’s capabilities.

For those of us who have pets, we can give many examples of when they have simply made us smile or given us comfort just by snuggling up to our feet. Or that time when they laid their head on your lap and looked up at you with “those eyes” and made your heart melt. In my own experience, I have had bad days I am certain that by my body language my dogs knew it. Their actions told me so, since the first thing they did was greet me with wagging tails and running small circles in the kitchen or whimpering for a pet. They also told me they knew by just sitting next to me as I sat down; almost like they wanted to be ready to help if they could.

I am not a cat owner, but have heard how some cats make it known that you are supposed to give them attention because you might need it more than they do. The cat owners or cat human owners I do know, love them dearly and are content many times just by their presence. I also know that cats seem somewhat aloof to what is going on with humans, but I have personally witnessed them come up to someone at the opportune time to ease their tension.

Regardless of my experiences, I am quite certain that God puts these animals in our paths for a reason and that reason is many times very well-known to us if we are honest with ourselves. Whether we accept the animal as a gift from God really doesn’t matter, what matters is if we are willing to accept the gift the animal is trying give us. Since these animals live much shorter lives that we do, it seems that most of them give all the love they have whenever possible because of this.

Wonder why we as humans don’t do the same to each other?

If you have a pet story to share, please feel free to share your story in the comments.

 

 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

The Koifish Christian