A single year

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January 12, 1988
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth!
In the beginning, when God created the universe...
What was there in the beginning? I don't know how exactly I know this, that is, what I am about to write. But like everything else I have written I truly believe God has provided and will provide the right words.
You see God had no beginning. No creator created God. There was nothing before God. That is also to say at the same time that there never was nothing, for God always has existed. God always was and what God always was, is now and always will be, is love. In the beginning nothing existed that was not love. In the very first beginning there was only God. God was the all and everything. God was all that ever was needed and all that would ever be needed. God did not need. God did not want. God was, is, and always will be love. Love was the total of everything in the beginning.
This love had then and has now no limits. No limits in its reach, its power, its scope. Indeed this love was then and is now and always will be all powerful and unlimited. The Lord God is the Lord God of unlimited and unlimiting and all powerful love.
Love is never silent. Love is always reaching. Love exploded into more love and by and from and with this love life, as we both know it and have yet to discover came into being.
The life that first came from this was so full of love and so much like its loving Lord creator that the life that was created was indeed created in-the very image of God. Nothing was then or is created now or will ever be created that does not come from, by, and with this love. Everything that has been created or ever will be created is by, from, and a part of God. God is the center of everything. Love is the essential part of all creation.
The loving Lord Creator God gave man the right to reject man's creator. True love is creating out of love and then allowing out of the same love that which has been created to choose its own path. True love is staying the essential part of man which you have created from yourself and being there in the fullness of your love always for that man, even when that man has rejected you over and over and may never accept your love. True love is still loving and being the essential part of that man no matter what that man chooses to do. True love is constantly giving that man the option to choose to accept your love and its unlimited power from the time of that man's beginning forever. This is the love that we are created with. This is the love that we constantly have with and within us. This is the love that allows us to overcome the history of our ancestors who rejected this same love over and over and over. This is the love of our creator God. This is the love of God. This is God. God is love. Love is God. Love is!
The things that affect man today that would seem to have no love in or a part of them are still from God and contain God's love. God has not withdrawn his love. Man has ignored, set aside, stomped on, indeed, tried to stomp out God's love. Man creates evil. God could not and never has created evil. Evil is a free will choice of man.
Man seems to find it hard to live in love. To love each other would require that we treat every person with the respect and love we show to our creator God. God is in every life that exists. God is every life that exists. Now that would require that we love all life.
It seems too hard to love all life. All life doesn't love me back. I'm not going to love you if you don't love me. If you hurt me, I have no choice but to hurt you. How sad. How very sad that man chooses to live this way. There just doesn't seem to be any other way. This is the reality of the world we live in, isn't it?
Love is not demanding. Love is . I have to live my life. I cannot live your life for you. I cannot make you love me. I can only choose to love you.
How do you live your life? Is it even important to you? Should it be?
In the beginning there was God. In the beginning there was love. You came from this beginning. All of us came from the same beginning. All of us have the same choice. Rich or poor, intelligent, retarded, haves and have nots, we all share the same beginning. We all were created by hand from and with love. Love resides in the same amount in the same way in each of us. God is indeed in each of us. When was the last time you were in touch with that part of you that came from God? Have you ever been in touch with yourself? Really? Have you ever been in touch with the God part of you? Maybe it is time to seek that part of you out and really get in touch with God and yourself at the same time. Maybe!

January 13, 1988
"These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me. It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach man made rules as though they were my laws." Matthew 15:8-9
Is that you or me? Do you praise your God with word while your mind and possibly your heart is far away. Well the answer is no. Sure I am as guilty as the next person. In fact, because I know better, and I know of the love of my God, I am even more guilty. But the answer is still no. You see it is impossible for a person to give praise to God with words while the mind is elsewhere.
What about it? Are you going to tell me your mind has never wondered when you are praising God? Ok, so it's happened to you too. Probably it wasn't a deliberate thing on your part, I mean who would deliberately set out to offend God by on the one hand telling him you praised him while at the same time trying to figure out next week's lotto numbers? But you know how often you have entered into praising God without really considering what you were about to do? I think there is more than enough guilt there for all of us.
Where is your heart when you are worshiping God? Do you understand what it means to worship God? For so long I just resented the heck out of anyone who tried to suggest I didn't know how to worship God. Who did they think they were? So go ahead and think that about me. It's fine because I've been there.
When you praise God, you don't ask for anything. When you praise God you give your love to God. It's not ok just to praise God with words. It's not ok just to tell God you love him. I mean come on, if I say I love you God and I praise you ten times today, man I've got my praise in for the week. Right? Not so my friend.
If you really want to praise God you have to do something about it, and that's the rub. I mean, I just don't have time for anything but a quickie. Sounds like a sex act, doesn't it? My friend, God is a lot more than a quickie. You've got to decide if you really want to love God. Yeah, if you want to love God, guess what? You'll find the time and the ways in which you will praise him. In fact, you will not even have to look. In fact, you'll find you end up praising God every second of your life or at least trying. I agree. It can be a pain, I mean who wants to spend their whole life praising God? I do!
Words of praise are nothing without actions to accompany them. Now for the sake of argument, let's say you have decided you really do love this God we're talking about. You know, the one who from his unlimited love, gave you life. The second part of the Matthew verses I quoted talks about the fact that some would teach man made rules as though they were God's laws. So how do you know what is God's law? In fact the best way to praise God is to live by God's laws. What belongs to God and what is man made? Seems like a fair question to me. After all if you don't know God's laws, maybe you should learn them.
There are two laws that come from God. They are simple to learn and yet it would seem the most difficult to live by. All commandments, all rules, all church laws, all government rules, everything is subject to these two laws. There are no other laws than these two, so let's have them. Oh what's that? You say you know them and you're upset because you thought I was going to teach something brand new. Maybe what I am teaching is new. Maybe if you really understand what I am saying , just maybe, you will find the will to start now living your life in a new way.
Love the Lord God with all your thoughts, word, deeds, and being. Love every person on earth as you love yourself and your God.
Simple for sure. Now check out just how simple it is. Were you loving your neighbor as yourself when you put that two for one sticker on the item that wasn't on sale. Hey, I know the store will never know. I'm not going to tell , shucks I might want to steal from them myself sometime. Right? Check it out. Do you live by those two simple laws? I don't. At least I am aware of the laws and I can truthfully say I am trying to live by those two laws. I make a genuine effort to live by the laws of God. It ain't easy! I screw up all too often. I pick myself up and try harder the next time. I'm going to keep on trying until I get it right.
In all honesty friend, we both know that it takes effort to love and praise God. I make the effort because I have no other choice. You see, I have accepted God's love for me. I have accepted that I am precious to God. I have accepted that I am special to God. I cannot live my life the way I once did. I will not go back to being the person I was before I accepted God's love. The strange thing is that although my life has become much more difficult, I am finally somewhat at peace. I am even coming to like who I am, even though I have no material goods to speak of and I once had much, I am a rich man. I know, strange but true.
I cannot tell you what is right for you. I have told you that God loves you and I will tell you this, God is there for you. God loves you just as much as God loves me. You know that I love you for I have not only said it, but I have written of it and I am there for you.
In the love I have just spoken of, there is strength. The strength you will need to praise God is easy. You just have to decide if you really believe there is a God, and if you really love that God. While no one will make you do this, you should be aware that it is something you will want to decide as soon as you can. You are either missing out on the most wonderful of all wonderful ways of life or it is a big lie. You have to decide. Whatever you decide, know this: God is real. God is love. Where there is love, there is God. If you have ever felt, known, or thought you knew love, you have been close to God!
Choose to love God. Choose to praise God. Get serious and determined about it. Do it now!

January 14, 1988
What is truth? Is truth that which you want to hear? Are there some things that are true no matter what you think or want?
If I am living in a certain place I certainly am a resident of that place. Where I lived yesterday, I was also a resident. Where I live tomorrow I will be a resident. That certainly is true. Legally, according to the laws of a state, the above probably isn't true. So if you fill out a form asking for your state of residence you might truly put down the state you reside in; especially if that is the state you plan to reside in for the foreseeable future. You certainly would be telling the truth. On the other hand, you might well be breaking the law.
Is truth not always the truth?
Maybe truth is a state of mind. If you believe and have no discernable reason to doubt what it is that you are saying, then you are telling the truth. Which one of us stops and thinks about each and every statement we make before we make it. Which one of us stops to consider what it is we are saying before saying it? Which one of us deliberately attempts to discern if there is any reason not to say something before saying it? Of course none of us.
Perhaps though we should consider what we are saying at least once in a while. Perhaps we should consider how what we are saying or about to say will be understood by anyone listening to us.
Maybe if we considered what we meant by truth, we would be a little less likely to speak without thinking.
Some things are absolute, at least they would seem to be. The color black most of us would agree is a color without light. Have you ever seen a black man that really was black? Have you ever seen a white man that was really white? Most of us would say that it is absolutely true that a man without any previous training or background could not land an airplane; yet, it certainly has happened and happens fairly often. I think we have to be much more careful about what we say is true or untrue. Even when we would seem to be absolutely sure, maybe we should do a double take and reconsider.
Now I don't want to leave you thinking that I don't think anything is true because nothing could be further from the truth. It is just that I have thought , actually even known that so many things were true, and then they turned out to be less true or even untrue. I'll tell you what you can count on to be true in all cases under all circumstances. Here goes. You realize that what I am about to do is pretty risky business, defining truth for all mankind. Ok and you know what, you've heard me say it over and over.
There are only two absolute truths for everyone. God's love is unlimited and is for you always no matter what you do. That my friend is the absolute truth! And you know what? It doesn't even matter what you believe about it. It is true no matter your belief. Now that is truth.
I know God is, was, and always will be. That is fact. Again it is a fact no matter who believes it. It is also absolutely true.
Now there are other things that I hold as absolute truth. For me, there can be no doubt that indeed those things are absolute and true. Even if I tried to deny them they still would be true. I am not sure that those truths that are absolute for me are really absolutely true for you. I don't know that they need to be absolutely true for you. I may desire them to be absolute and true for you as they are for me. That doesn't make them so. I think at times this realization that what is absolutely true for me may not be absolutely true for you, is among the most difficult of things for any man to comprehend.
So how do you go about not speaking with a forked tongue to speak? Well the first thing is to consider just how important speaking truly is to you. The next thing is what I have the most difficulty with, that is, thinking before I speak. I almost think that stopping to think before speaking is an absolute necessity if one wants to speak the truth. The problem with that is that sometimes that doesn't even help, at least for some of us, oh well.
Truth is sometimes for the moment, sometimes truth is forever. Sometimes truth is anything but what you say or think. Seldom is truth the easiest or most pleasant of things. I guess when truth is most pleasing is when it benefits the situation.
If you always seek out the truth, it is said you will surely be better for it. I wish that were absolutely true. It is said that inside every one of us, deep down, we really know what is true and what isn't. Most of the time I agree. I wish it were absolutely true. It just isn't.
I don't know, I think the truth is that each of us who is concerned with speaking the truth and being true persons try very hard not to tell or be untrue. No guarantees. We just do the best we can. We are conscious of who we are, the situation we face, and the impact of what we are doing or saying, at least some of the time. We all wish we were more truthful. All we can do is try. When was the last time you thought about being truthful? Maybe it is time you should now.

January 15, 1988
When you are so depressed that you just can't move, you go to bed at 11 pm and you get up at 7 and take your daughter to school, and then you return home and sleep away the morning. This depression will kill you. I know. I do understand that it doesn't matter what job you seek, you are not going to be acceptable. I know that everything you try, have tried, and want to try has turned out impossible"
People just don't understand. They say they do, but the truth is they don't. It doesn't not matter what qualifications you have or wish you had. Even if you had them what difference would it make. The chances are you did not cause what has happened to you to happen. The chances are your contribution to all this was minor if any at all. Once things started happening, there was no other way to go. I mean everything closed. You are in a world with no windows, no doors, no air, and the more you struggled the faster the world closed in on you. Now you don't fight it so hard, now you just accept it and know there is nothing you can do. Your life is being controlled by a force much greater than you, so you've eased back. You are trying to conserve your energy. Sleep passes time away. Sleep is warm and sometimes it just gets you through the day. If you dream something that you feel guilty about, or just makes you uncomfortable, well; you wake up, eat, play some inane game, it's time then to pick up your child. You love her and rejoice in her for a few hours, eat and sleep again. Another day you've made it through.
What is the point of hope? You get up out of this deep and dark and endless depression and hope and try and get blasted away one more time.
You cling to your belief in a loving creator God and beg that God for any kind of help; and maybe, you are so tired that even if he has offered help, you don't know it. You would not know what to do with it even if you did recognize it as help.
You know that God helps those that try to help themselves. So once more you gather your strength and try. Once more you fail. You have gotten up so many times and been knocked down so many times that even if success came, you probably wouldn't know how to handle it. But O God would you give anything for the chance. O God would you give anything to go back to being the viable human being that you know you are.
Is there a way out of this depression? I hope so. I just know there is. I have to believe there is for I will not give up. I just can't! There is so much life in me that I know I am worthwhile, I know this at times insane ability to not give up must come from someone's love for me. Not even my wife could have that kind of love for me. This is an inner strength that will not allow me to quit trying, to quit altogether. I have gone from knowing I was ok, from believing in myself, to having such little confidence in who I am that sleep is my only recourse. Depression has given way to deadly sleep, to inertia. There seems to be no way out. I almost believe I am a total failure. Yet an inner strength will not allow me to give in to these untrue and morbid feelings.
I know and I know it beyond a doubt there is a God and this God loves me. This God sees my distress and knows of my unending belief in his love for me. This is where the strength to fight this windowless and wall closing world is coming from, there is nothing else that would be strong enough to combat this dark depressed state I am in. It must mean God is still with me. As long as God stays with me I will not quit! As long as God loves me I will not give up! God is my strength. With God's love I can be strong. In God's love for me I can make it. If I can make it, so can you. There is no place you have been that I have not also journeyed. I am making it. Not as well mind you as I would like, but, I am making it. God love me and I love God and God is the life that dwells within me. It is his life that will not give up. It is his life that will not quit. It is his life that will not remain in this depressed way.
My friend, God lives in you too. God loves you just as much as he loves me. It is all I have to offer you and it is enough. I give you God's eternal all powerful love for you. Hang in there!
God's love is real and unending and God has not deserted you or me. God knows of our worthfulness for God created us. God does not have the power to create anything that does not have worth. God is love and love is always worthwhile. You and I were created from this worthiness from this love we were created from and by this love. This love is within each of us no matter how deep the world has buried it. No matter how dark everything is, and I said is, not how it seems but is; God's love is real and inside of us. It is only in that love that we can survive. I know you are ready to give up on God's love. I know you think God has deserted you. God has not. God has not gone away. God is with you. This, my friend is the ultimate test for you. Has the world so dominated and used and mistreated you that you can turn away and reject even the love that you were created from, the love of your God that came to you at the moment of your conception and remains with you forever, even now? No I do not think so. I cannot and if I cannot then neither can you. We are alike, you and me, we know that God is real. We know that God is alive inside of us and we know we can be better than we are.
So I try once more and I urge you to join me in trying. We need each other's support. You are not in this thing alone. I thought I was for the longest time. Now I know you are in this thing too. Lean on me. Together as brothers in Christ Jesus, leaning on each other, believing in the love of our God for us, we will make it!

January 16, 1988
What is an illegal alien? Sometimes I think all humans are illegal aliens. Sometimes I think an illegal alien is not a human being. They must not be one because we don't treat them like they are humans, do we?
I guess an alien is someone who is inside the limits of any country that he or she was not born in. You know I always thought of an alien as being some kind of life form from outer space. Looks like I was wrong. But you know the kind of alien I was thinking about was someone or something that was strange in appearance and had come into my world to do me harm. "It" wanted to hurt earth people usually. Sometimes "it" was big and green and sometimes "it" was slimy and always at the very least "it" wanted to take over the world. I never thought of an alien as a human being. I guess I was pretty warped in my thinking. Well, all those TV shows, old movies, you remember. The ones we used to go to get a good scare. The ones where we did not have to try to get too close to our girl or boy friends because with sometimes very little urging, they'd get a lot closer to us. Some how we were never really terrified in all those situations. In fact I kinda liked them because afterwards, after the earth was saved, well, I felt pretty good. Everyone really knew that the earth man could really take care of aliens.
I never thought about real people being aliens. I mean, people who came from foreign lands were always welcomed in the United States I lived in. I remember living with my parents in Oklahoma City and having students at the city college over for Sunday dinner. So what? Well they, it turns out, were aliens. I mean they were from the Philippines. That wasn't in the United States much less Oklahoma. But you know they were really nice humans. I'm almost sure they were humans, but now I know they were aliens, they sure were nice. They were not big and green or slimy. I remember them just being happy at having a home cooked meal.
In 1957 through 1960 when my air force dad was stationed in Japan and I lived with him there, I remember being treated as though I was an honored guest. Gosh , maybe they didn't know I was an alien. Shucks, I didn't know I was an alien.
Now an illegal alien is a human being who is in a country where she or he was not born, and does not have permission to be there. You know I've been in one or two places where I didn't have permission to be. I'm sure glad nobody wanted to kill me. What does that mean? Do I think we want to kill somebody who is in our country just because they are here without my (excuse me, our) permission. Well, let's just say when we send someone someplace where we think that there is a reasonable possibility that they will be killed when they get there, well, what do you think?
You know not too many of us here in the good ole USA can trace our own history back without having at least one ancestor that came here from somewhere else. You know, it used to be, the USA was the place in the world where you could go and be welcomed. If you had a need, maybe just to start over, maybe to escape going to prison, maybe just to be free; well, this country was where it was at.
Remember that law of God about loving each other, loving our neighbor. Well maybe it really means we should love everybody so long as they don't come here without my saying it's ok. Sure that's what God meant. Heck God better not show up without my permission. See it's getting it down.
And for sure no one gets in that has a need. I have trouble taking care of myself much less some needy person that I don't know and probably will not like! The INS put out a proposal, now maybe it was somebody else, but it did make the airwaves. It was a great idea. Our military pilots would get practice on real live targets and we'd cut down on dopers. You know the proposal, yeah that's the one. Let them shoot down planes that did not identify themselves properly or to their satisfaction. So what if we lose a few civilians. We got too many of them anyway and probably some of them are aliens. You know the border patrol could have machine guns along the Rio Grande and we could really cut down on some illegal aliens. I can just see the bodies flying. Then the navy could have submarines along the coast. Can you imagine a boat load of helpless aliens facing a torpedo? Wow! What fun!
This is anything but funny. How do we say I love you God and treat our fellow humans as we do? How do we look ourselves in the face each day and call ourselves Christians? I think maybe the word Christian is a lot like the word alien to us. I mean most of us did not think of our fellow human brothers and sisters as aliens until we were forced to learn that was what they are. Maybe most of us have forgotten what the word Christian means. Let me help you.
A Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ. A Christian is one who believes that Christ is the son of God become man.
A Christian is one who follows the teaching of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ said there were only two laws: love God and love each other. I'm trying to be a Christian. As long as I try with all that I am, I can call myself a Christian. I don't know any humans that are aliens, legal or otherwise.
What do you call yourself? A Christian? I hope so.
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