Looking Ahead, Not Behind!

Looking Ahead, Not Behind!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. Philippians 3:12-17 NIV

Sometimes, we tend to allow our pasts–when we spend too much time thinking about them–to get in the way of our future. Lately, my thoughts keep going backward as I consider facing the microscopic scrutiny I know I’ll be subjected to in my quest to make a run for the White House and because of my imperfections–doubt tends to creep in. So, this morning, as I read what Paul has to say, I am determined to not allow those thoughts to deter me. I am focused and looking forward to the experience of daring to make a big difference in our country.

Will I get where I want to be? Who knows?

I know I am qualified to be president of the United States (per the constitutional requirements) and now I must determine a path that will make me “electable” since that factor is more important than others.

With that insight, I know what I have to do–appeal to the masses and find those who–eventually–are great at fundraising–since that is not one of my strengths.

In the end, only those who believe in me–believe what they hear God speak to their hearts about me–will truly determine my electability.

In the interim–I’m going full steam ahead with research on issues that concern Everyday Americans and in finding viable solutions. I’ve written letters to “experts” in the field and waiting to hear from them. And while I wait–they’re all pretty busy–I’m doing what I do best–writing and promoting my name.

Sooner or later–the name will be known and hopefully, the masses will know I’m on the side of the Everyday Americans, but I know I can govern for all Americans.

name recognition

Where Are We?

Where Are We?

The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him. Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle. “He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time. “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. Daniel 11:16-29, 32-36 NIV  (Read the entire book of Daniel)

The Word of The Lord, Our God!

The Way We Were!

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:3-5 NIV)

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
And if we had the chance to do it all again
Just tell me, tell me, would we, would we?
Could we, could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
So many memories too painful to remember
The way we were

When Barbara Streisand sang this song, it ignited thoughts of returning to a past time, understanding the good and the painful; however, when aligned with this passage of scripture, we are reminded that all of us indeed have a past, and some of it was not too pretty, and yet–we tend to criticize others for traveling the same path, we once took.
Why are we so critical of those who not have yet been introduced to Jesus Christ and certainly have not had time to develop a relationship with Him? It is easier to understand those living in sin who do not know Him more than it is acceptable for those who proclaim to know Him.  The saddest situation that one can see is for born-again Christians to support and promote a lifestyle contrary to God’s Word. It would appear that they are more interested in returning to “the way they were” before knowledge of Christ and in keeping others in a position to know God’s wrath, rather than His grace.
When Paul talks about our being dead in our transgressions–He references a point in our lives when we were spiritually dead before becoming spiritually alive--ready to receive what Holy Spirit has for us. Unfortunately, for some–being spiritually dead also lead to physical death caused by addictions and rebelliousness and a refusal to do what is right.
We see people on a daily basis whose countenances are bereft of hope and joy. They are simply going through the motions–not really enjoying life, and barely making it to see another day, with the same attitude. If we are truthful with ourselves, we recognize us–in some of those people we see–but thanks to someone who was praying for us or even noticing our bleakness–someone who cared enough to talk to us about Jesus, we are now living with hope and joy and we can smile for no reason, laugh out loud with a heartiness that is infectious and love people–no matter who they are. Thank God we are no longer the way we were, but we have been saturated with the grace of God, without regard to our former ways and we know who has redeemed us and saved us from ourselves.
Today, let’s take the time and remember the way we were–before grace--and determine within ourselves to share God’s love with others so they, too can know salvation through His Grace and have their spirits quickened through Holy Spirit. If we remember our journey to grace; our desire should be for everyone to make it to receive God’s grace for themselves before He returns. That’s love!

Don’t Look Back!

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26 NIV).

Looking backwards—at the things we did in our past can have dire consequences. Even though we should always remember past mistakes so we won’t repeat them, we have to also remember that dwelling in the past can cause us to “drop anchor” and we never move from the past.

Remember the circumstances of Lot’s wife when the angel told them not to look backwards (Genesis 19:17)—she disobeyed and turned into a pillar of salt. Now, many scholars have theorized why she looked back. Some say she was reluctant to give up her status, some say she didn’t want to give up what she had, some say it was simply a matter of sadness. The bottom line is—she looked back and never got a chance to move forward—to see what God had in store for her.

That is exactly what we do when we become mired in the past. When we remember those who got in our way or the things we did that stunted our growth and maturity or the way we treated others and we cannot move from it—we get tangled in it and cannot move forward. In order to move forward, we must lift anchor and allow our relationship with God to steer us in the right direction—in position to receive all He has for us.

But it is not just us as individuals who drop anchor and refuse to budge. Collectively, we as an organized body of society find it difficult to release those we have traditionally done, year after year. We do some things without even know why we do it. The way we do education is out of tradition more than necessity. If we understood the necessity to change the way we do education, our children would not be illiterate as are so many adults. If the way we did parenting would include common sense and wisdom from God, we would not have the issues we have with children disrespecting adults and their parents. If the churches would learn to move forward and not just hold onto belief systems that hinder more than promote understanding, churches would be filled.

How much good does it do anyone to look back on failed relationships and wonder—“if I had to do it all over again, would anything change?”

How much good does it do for anyone to dwell on mistakes that cost promotion or opportunity?

How much good does it do for anyone to beat themselves up over decisions made when there was simply not sufficient information at-hand when the decision was made?

How much good does it do for anyone to keep doing the same thing, in the same way, expecting different result?

We have to learn to look at “our now” and deal with the present with the information we have and the ability to seek more. There is no excuse for anyone to be anchored to their past, unless that is where they want to be. When we become wise enough to understand that we cannot change the past and must exist in the present, we will more likely achieve those things that once appeared to elude us.

 

The Last Dance

Sometimes, as we get older we tend to look backwards and reminisce about the things we used to do.

 

Remembering when we…had our first kiss, our first real jewelry, our first everything and that first dance with the love of our lives. Remembering the place, the song, the mood-we take a quick journey back in time. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the past we forget about the here-and-now which causes problems for our future. Sometimes, we look backwards and begin to have thoughts of regret. Sometimes, in our backward glance, we discover we didn’t really like ourselves at all. And sometimes, we wish we could have changed much sooner than we did. Sometimes.

 

Sometimes, even when we reach that “golden time” in our lives where some would just give up on dreams, some of us–reach out even further into the future. We look ahead, not behind. We seek to accomplish every dream or goal ever set. We understand better than ever that time is not to be wasted, thinking about things that cannot be changed, but thinking about how we change what we can to make our tomorrow even better. It’s okay to remember the first dance, but it’s better to look forward to the last dance.

Always Thinking and Writing: The Last Dance

Always Thinking and Writing: The Last Dance.