A Father’s Tribute

For Moo

We love you April and will always stand behind you, lifting you up in prayer, cheering you on, supporting you in every way we can.  You are a gift from God to us and this world.

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Pushing It Out

Pain

Pushing It Out

Dealing with pain is easy for some people but not for others.  Common sense I think yes?  Everyone deals with pain differently right?  But does this mean that there is no effect for some people and demonstrative effects in others?  I mean, if someone says that pain isn’t a problem for them, i.e. they are able to push through the pain to achieve whatever goal was set before them, is that really true?  Is it a problem that they just don’t see?

It may be true that someone can achieve a given goal despite being in great pain, but I question whether this effort doesn’t cost them in some way.  What spills out once the goal is achieved, the mark met, the door closed or the race is done?  What after effect does pain bring to the one who bore it?  Pain exists and is a part of human physiology for a reason.  The nervous system is designed as it is to help us live and survive in the world.  Pain actually helps us stay alive; it warns us of those things that hold a potential risk to harm us.  Several studies have been completed on pain and the various coping methods that people use (See IASP for more).

So if we ignore it by pushing it out once too often, what is the consequence?  If we grow numb to its’ clarion calls of warning, what real harm could we be doing to ourselves?  One might say that there are times when the goal is so important, so critical, and so vital to the health and well-being of others that pain cannot be allowed to become a barrier.  We take on suffering for the betterment of others.  But, should this be an everyday or common theme in our lives?

Does ignored pain leave scars?  I think it does (See Nursing Times for more).  Pain can actually reshape how we move, breath, and think.  Our bodies change to adapt pain.  We carry our wounded parts differently.  We take care with injured limbs.  We cradle carefully whatever of our anatomy hurts.  We do whatever we have to in order to safeguard what’s damage in us.  We wall off the broken pieces in order to give it time and space to heal.  In truth, I think we actually create new muscle memory in those areas of our bodies that surround damaged parts.

Ignoring pain, even if the cause is just, can cause us to cradle wounds psychically or emotionally over time.  Ignoring pain is really a cognitive process.  We ignore the pain mentally.  We literally push it out.  We push it out of our thoughts so that we can focus on the task at hand.  This doesn’t mean the pain is gone, it just means that our active attention to its warning is diverted.  So whatever damaging is being done continues while we push through it.  All the psychic energy being amassed by the nervous system in response to the pain centers in the brain when we ignore pain sits, and sits, and sits, and then something gives.  The dam breaks.  A reaction to all the pent up energy manifests.

How or when this occurs varies in each of us.  I think in some people the result of this dam breaking is spread out over time and space.  These people manage to find someone to talk to or an activity to indulge in and they get to expend all the pent up energy created by the pain they ignored at different points in their past.  I believe this is the preferred method and this is why it’s important to have a trusted confidant or spouse in your life. 

Others, however, see very different outcomes from the release of this pent up energy.  Some of these outcomes are devastating.  Some of these outcomes result in suicide or harm to others.  Makes you wonder whether some violent crimes or suicides could have been prevented had the victim or perpetrator had some way to constructively let out all the pent up energy from past wounds and scars be they physical or emotional?  How much would that cost anyway?  How much does it cost to listen to someone or to talk to someone that has been hurt or is hurting?

There is a significant body of research regarding how we cope with chronic pain (see this Review of the Literature).

Government Gone Mad

Mourners after Syria chemical attack

Government Gone Mad

Today I turn to the sad topic of the civil war in Syria.  I know the latest incident is being broadcast all over the news networks.  CNN and others (Washington Post, NY Times) have reported that the Syrian government shelled and killed more than 1,300 people using chemical weapons in some instances.  The reports have stated that there is no direct evidence as to the use of chemical weapons in the attacks but video footage provided by rebel forces is emotionally wrenching and compelling.  The Syrian government has denied the use of chemical weapons.

When I heard this news report this morning, I was at a loss for words.  My reaction was neutral at first because well, because it seems like these kinds of reports are becoming common when it comes to the Middle East.  After hearing more and more about these reports, I started to ask myself the question, what kind of government does that to its own people, especially if they’re trying to regain popular support??  Has the Government Gone Mad? Doesn’t an attack like this play right into the hands of the opposition?  If the Syrian government wants to portray the factious opposition groups as the real enemies of peace and stability in Syria, how is their argument aided by such a blatant human rights violation as the use of chemical weapons on unarmed civilians?!  If true, does this uncover the true face of the Syrian government and its leaders?  I think it would, sadly.

SYRIA-CONFLICT

But what if this isn’t the case?  What if no chemical weapons were used and the whole thing were staged for the world?  After all, information is still being gathered, the United Nations has no teams on site and most of the reporting is coming from anti-regime activist groups (as reported by CNN).  What would the benefit be if such a dramatic event were staged by the groups opposed to the Syrian government?  Increased aid perhaps, more weapons and sympathy for starters.  What’s the downside for such a gambit?  Opposition groups would lose credibility, future aid, and the Syrian government would gain support and no longer be viewed as a Government Gone Mad.

Government Gone Mad 2

The only winner here would be the rebels if this report turns out to be true.

So why am I really blogging about this?  I just think it’s so very sad.  I think that it’s horrifying that a national government would rather shell and bomb its own people with chemical weapons than sit down with them to discuss possible solutions.  I also think that it’s disheartening that those in Syria who oppose the government of Bashar al-Assad would rather inflict great emotional trauma on the country by staging something so horrifying than seeking redress through whatever legal channels are available.

Ok, I just slapped myself.  That last paragraph made no sense what so ever (smile).  The Syrian government’s opposition is out gunned in nearly every way and there are no legal channels for redress.  What tools do they, the opposition groups, have at their disposal?  It seems to me that it is very unlikely that Syrian opposition groups would stage such an attack.  Without any on-the-ground evidence, it just seems illogical that the chemical attack would be staged.  Maybe the number killed is inaccurate but it is more likely that chemical weapons were involved.

So in my final analysis, it seems more likely that a government struggling to hold on to power by whatever means necessary would launch a chemical attack against its own citizens.  I agree, it makes no sense at all but given the history of the Bashar government I believe it more than plausible that such an attack scenario took place.  And, if true I am disquieted by what this conveys about that man and those in power with him.  In these last days, and with respect to that area of the world, one might want to dust off the book of Revelations and revisit its pages for a little perspective.  I get chills just thinking about it.

Assisted Suicide: A Right or a Wrong?

Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide: A Right or a Wrong?

“Matthew Donnelly loved life. But Matthew Donnelly wanted to die. For the past thirty years, Matthew had conducted research on the use of X-rays. Now, skin cancer riddled his tortured body. He had lost his nose, his left hand, two fingers on his right hand, and part of his jaw. He was left blind and was slowly deteriorating. The pain was unrelenting. Doctors estimated that he had a year to live. Lying in bed with teeth clenched from the excruciating pain, he pleaded to be put out of his misery. Matthew wanted to die now. His pleas went unanswered. Then, one day, Matthew’s brother Harold, unable to ignore Matthew’s repeated cry, removed a .30 caliber pistol from his dresser drawer, walked to the hospital, and shot and killed his brother. Harold was tried for murder.” – by Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez

The title of the paragraph cited above is Assisted Suicide: A Right or a Wrong?  It was retrieved from Santa Clara University, The Jesuit University in Silicon Valley, website published in the fall of 1987.  This article was published 26 years ago.  Do you think an answer was ever found? For some perhaps, but to others I doubt it.  What struck me was the actual question.

It wasn’t the question being asked in the first place that caught my attention.  No, it was how the question was phrased.  Is assisted suicide a Right as in a civil or human right?  Or, is assisted suicide a Wrong as in an offense or injustice?  What the question didn’t as was, is it right or wrong to assist someone in taking their life?  The presumption here may be that this moral question was already settled in the mind of the authors; therefore, the only question remaining was whether such action was protected under the constitution or prosecutable.

For me, the moral question is settled.  I harbor no confusion over whether suicide is right or wrong, and I have peace with my position.  I have often commented to friends and family that when my body quits working please don’t let machines take over the work my heart and brain should be doing.  I am hopeful that my decision reflects my hope and faith that someone other than the man in the mirror holds the reins over my life.

But what about assisting someone else to terminate their life?  Each of us will have to stand before the judgment seat of the Almighty (my belief and opinion) and answer for the decisions and actions we took in this life.  So if I take my life, I have to deal with that at some point.  But does this change the nature of the judgment I may face in the after-life when I have to answer for taking someone else’s life?  At first blush I want to say yes, my judgment should be harsher since I am acting in the place of God and ending someone else’s life.  I am taking that decision away from the Righteous One; however, is this any different if I take my own life?  Am I not taking that life and death decision out of His hands, or rather aren’t I taking the time and place and means of my termination out of His hands??

You might say an Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient God cannot have any decision taken or usurped from Him.  But free will undercuts this argument because each of us has a free will.  So while our decision to terminate as well as the when and how are already known by God, the right to execute our will is still reserved for us.  Given this then, it would appear that the final judgment we will face might be ever the more frightening since such a decision reflects the antithesis of faith, trust, and hope in Him as our Sovereign Lord.  Free will it seems is the problem.  It was in garden during the most critical decision making dilemma in human history and it will be at the end of life.

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Reading the article paragraph provided in this post again, one can readily hear the pain and anguish such a decision caused both Matthew and Harold.  Is Assisted Suicide a Right or a Wrong?  Matthew’s pain should not be discounted nor that of his family.  I have no doubt that there are hundreds of situations just like this that occur across the nation all the time.  How could anyone look Matthew, or anyone else in a similar circumstance, in the eye and tell him/her/them that they need to finish out their life course regardless of how much suffering they experience?  Isn’t doing so putting us in the position of God, dictating how the person in suffering is to live and for how long?

Someone might argue why is it humane to end the suffering of a dog mashed in the street, or a cat that’s been burned beyond recognition or a horse that broke its leg making money for a human master but not the suffering of a fellow human being?  How can Assisted Suicide be wrong?

A counter to this argument might be that it is the master to whom this right is reserved.  We human beings have dominion over all the earth.  We do with the creatures whatsoever we will because we are their master.  The artist has every right to mold the work of his hands as he sees fit, to build a monument with beauty or purpose or neither.  Perhaps then this is our answer.  We have a Master and to Him is reserved the right to do whatsoever He wills with us.  As we are the clay and He is the Potter, who are we to say to Him, yes or no or maybe?  If the clay is to be discarded or re-made, let it be He would did first mold us make that decision and not we ourselves.

If neither argument is suitable, how then is the question, “Assisted Suicide: A Right or a Wrong”, to be answered? 

The Storm’s Debris

Storm3

The Storm’s Debris

I was just sitting at my desk and I’ve been pondering something I thought I’d share here.  I have a very good friend that is battling something now.  It’s pretty heavy and very emotional.  They shared with me some of what they are facing and at first glance it’s very heart breaking…at first glance or from the outside of faith looking in that is.

While I was sitting here I was thinking of how I could apply what I’ve been learning and sharing on this blog about the Law of Faith.  I spent some time with this individual sharing some of the dynamic thought changing ideas embraced by Law of Faith thinking and a spiritual posture.  It dawned on me that what my friend is going through is an example of how the 4th dimension works.

I shared a few keys from Dr. Cho’s book as well as a few verses from the bible with my friend but they were not positively receptive to them.  I didn’t go into great detail because it’s just too much to share in one setting, especially when the receiver is emotionally distraught.  I was listening for any leading from the Holy Spirit and He showed me what was going on with my friend.  They were in crisis and that storm had their full and complete attention!  All the debris being tossed to and fro by that storm totally blinded my friend to some of what I was saying to them.  It was very heavy, the amount of baggage and “stuff” hanging around their neck was daunting.  I began to see why my words weren’t taking root.

Remember, the realm of spirits (lower case) or 4th dimension is not just about the activity of the Almighty.  There is good and bad in the 4th dimension and the key to remember is that the 3rd dimension can be directly impacted by the 4th; therefore, if I speak negatively about my health and see only death in my future guess what?  I am ushering in death.  I am causing effects in my 3rd dimension body because of what my words are creating in the 4th dimension!!!!

Storm

This is what my friend was doing.  These emotions were allowing all kinds of negative words and thoughts to manifest…and my friend didn’t even realize it!  I could see it in their eyes.  The tears were flowing and those tears were acting as a lubricant, further sliding their vision into a very dark, hopeless place!

The bible says that without a vision the people perish (Prov 29:18).  But if you only see the negative and the dark side of things, you will experience the same result as if you had no vision!  I just can’t say this enough, it is essential that the words of our mouths match the vision we seek!  I told my friend to focus on seeing a different outcome than the darkness they were focusing on.  I told them to start affirming a new vision for a positive outcome, to speak it, and do it regularly.  I am firmly convinced that God wants us to speak in the affirmative, to tap the power of His presence and in thereby doing we give Him glory!

I am going to focus, affirm and meditate on the complete and total restoration of my friend’s health, both emotional and physical.  Let these words I type be acceptable in your sight, “O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).

Operationalize Your Faith

Operationalize Your Faith

With so much potential available and virtually untapped by most people of faith, myself included, what kind of changes can I make to utilize what I am learning about the power of the law of faith or the law of attraction?  Just how does one go about operationalizing their faith?

I went through a seminar a few months back called REBOOT.  It was a transition prep seminar for separating military members.  It was one of the best three weeks of the year for me!  I learned so much during that seminar I couldn’t begin to share what I learned here.  I would need a book.  Not only did I learn about the law of attraction during this seminar, but I also learned how important daily affirmations can be.  I’m not talking about mantras or chants or stuff like that.  Affirmations, when written down and made a part of your daily habit, become a means of declaring and speaking into the 4th dimension!  Affirmations are one way to operationalize your faith.

There is actually a method or template for writing out the affirmation and it’s very powerful.  If you speak the affirmation after you write it down you are engaging the speech center of your brain and according to Dr. Cho, the speech center controls the nervous system.  The nervous system is what carries signals throughout the body, signals that help make changes in how the body’s physiology responds to outside circumstances.  The speech center has control over how we think and act!!!!  As a man thinketh, so is he… (I love it).  Remember the words found in James 3:1-11.  The tongue is such a small member of the body yet it boasts great things and can affect the whole body (paraphrased).  Our words carry allot of weight and control so many things internally and externally.

Anyway, you can change your attitude and posture by what you say.  Your body will obey the words of your mouth.  So then when you speak into the 4th dimension in faith and in Jesus name, you can create effects you seek in the 3rd dimension.

Daily affirmations help focus your thoughts and engage the speech center which prepares the body to conform to what has been spoken.  This is also a great way to renew your mind each day.  Your mind will conform to the things you say.  Remember the speech center is housed in the brain, connected to how you think and feel.  Want to feel better, then speak better!  Operationalize your faith every day!

 So what I am going to do is develop a daily ritual involving my morning prayer and meditation and the drafting of my affirmations.  This is where I have been slack because I know what I want to accomplish but I forget to operationalize my faith like this!!  Now there is a flashback word for you military types.  Operationalize your faith, speak the word and create the environment you want to live and prosper in.

See Your Prosperity

Prosperity 2

Can You See Prosperity

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend.  Monday was…well, Monday but otherwise I am feeling like a complete success.  I’m putting my plan in action and my new campaign is under development!  I cannot emphasize enough how much you need to get Dr Cho’s book the 4th Dimension.  I almost want to guarantee that if you buy it don’t love it, I will buy it back from you…I did say almost (smile).  I feel that confident in the book’s value though.

I have started envisioning 1000 new leads for the month of August.  All I need to do now is think about what that might look like and then meditate on that one thing until I get the assurance that it’s going to happen, that it is happening, that it has happened! I won’t try to evangelize you here but I will say that with all the things you can put your faith in, why not try God?  Why not put your hope and trust in what He has purposed for you?  What do you have to lose?  I believe that ultimately your success and prosperity is what God is after.  He really wants you to succeed and He has created a system to help you achieve it.  Dr. Cho calls it the power of the 4th dimension, the realm of the spirit world.

The 4th dimension has dominion over the 3rd which is the earth.  We live, breath and move within the 3rd dimension.  We are three dimensional creatures and we live in a three dimensional world.  Everything is a matter of authority and power.  The 3rd dimension has dominion over the second (a plane) and the second dimension has power over the 1st (a line).

If you draw a line, that line can only influence the molecules that are in its line space.  But if you stack multiple lines on top of each other you then have a plane and all lines in the plane are subject to that plane!  The ruled lines on notebook paper is always subject to whatever that paper is doing or being made to do by forces in the 3rd dimension.  This same principle goes with the 4th or spiritual dimension power over the 3rd.

It may sound crazy and a bit whacky, but it’s not.  It actually follows the general principles of physics.  More convincing to me are the examples given in the bible concerning how this spiritual realm works.  What Dr. Cho makes very clear in his work is that the 4th dimension is and can be used for both good and evil…now that should give you pause and to me, it explains some of the phenomenon that mankind has witnessed throughout time.

Prosperity 5

If you’re willing, try Seeing Prosperity in your future.  Forget about the doom and gloom.  Don’t even speak negative language because language shapes the world you live in. Instead, speak of your success and see your prosperity.  Live in that space.

Any-who, I said all that to say that I intend to utilize the creative power of the Holy Spirit to create success for my business and my personal life.  I will speak positively about what I want to happen in my business endeavors and in my personal life.  I am going to meditate on increase.  I am going to see it in my mind’s eye, praise God for it, and wait on His assurance that it shall be.  I am going to walk in prosperity and speak it over the lives of all those connected to me.

So here is my recap:

  • 1000 leads a month for http://instantpaydaynetwork.com/jcraig63
  • Promotion to GS-13 at my present job
  • 500 new sales a month with http://www.empowernetwork.com/jcraig63/
  • A new job for my daughter at a prestige’s salon in California
  • A great, economic, and reliable car for my daughter to travel back and forth to work in
  • A new job for my wife in the banking industry that is very close to home.
  • Unrivalled prosperity for every reader of this blog.

In my prayers and meditations I intend to be much more descriptive about these things per the Word of God and the teachings presented in Dr. Cho’s book.  As I have said before, check back here and see what I have to testify about when the leads start pouring in and the things I have spoken out loud…err, typed, come to pass.

Law of Faith & The Law of Attraction

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The Law of Faith & The Law of Attraction

As business owners and entrepreneurs, there is probably many variables that are very common to us all.  Or at least it should be.  We all have drive, hunger to succeed, energy, family or community support, etc, etc.  What should also be on that list of common denominators is Vision!  In fact, Vision should be at the top of any list of desirable character traits followed closely by passion.

When I say vision, however, I am not talking about a statement of direction you may have for your business.  I am talking about something intimately connected to what Dr. David Cho calls the Law of Faith.  He expounds extremely well on this in his first volume of the 4th Dimension.  By the way, if you don’t have this book, stop everything you’re doing and order it through Amazon or Barnes & Noble right now!  It is a must have for any business entrepreneur.  I just ordered volume two!

My statement on Vision is also closely connected to what Rhonda Byrne wrote about in her book The Secret.  The movie is available on Netflix and it’s really worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet.

Both Dr. Cho and Rhonda Byrne, in my opinion, base their work on a very simple but core biblical principle found in Proverbs 23:7.  As a man thinks of himself, so is he!  In sum, we have the power to create and this comes from God (my opinion).  We were made in His image and likeness so why shouldn’t the power of creation lie within us.  If indeed God is in us, as we are born again, then doesn’t it also follow that God’s creative element also lies within us.  I know, I know, I’m preaching here but consider this.  The bible also tells us that to every man is given a measure of faith…to every man regardless of whether you walk in the light or not!  So to each of us is given the ability to believe and some do and some do not, but to those who do believe…imagine what becomes possible.  If you believe and that belief or faith is proportionate in size to that of a mere mustard seed…mountains can be moved!

This then is what I speak of when I talk of Vision.  Do you, can you see the thing that you want to accomplish or become?  Is it real in your mind’s eye, so real that you can act as though you have already achieved it or experienced it?  If you embark on starting a new business, how do you see that business growing?  How much revenue do you see or envision coming into that business?  How successful can you envision yourself?  I tell you, if you practice the Law of Faith, you can really conceive of the very thing that you see!  I highly recommend Dr. Cho’s book, both of them lol, and I suggest that you peep out Rhonda’s movie on Netflix, The Secret.  Don’t brush these works off as hoaxes or shams.  I have practiced some of the things suggested in The Secret and saw them accomplished.  I have also walk by faith and practiced some of the things Dr. Cho shared in his book and I can say with equivacation that it works! (Where did that word come from hahaha).

I am going to take this a step further.  I am going to actively set in motion the Law of Faith concerning my business venture on Empower Network and ISDN.  I am going to believe for 1000 leads a month with a 30% conversion on those leads.  On August 31st I will report back here to testify to my success (smile).  You realize that this will mean that for the month of August I will have made $6000.00 dollars.  This is the number I am going to envision for my business.  I’ve just taken the first step towards bringing my Vision to pass.  What will you envision for your business? Your life? Your family?

You Are Not Alone

You AreYou Are Not Alone Not Alone

I received a phone call just the other day from a very dear friend. She was very distraught, hurt, and I could hear the fear in her voice as she shared with me the issue troubling her. Of course I will hold private the content of our conversation but I will share with you the one element I cannot get out of my mind. She was afraid.

She wasn’t afraid for her physical safety or anything like that, but she was scared for her future. She was hurting on the inside and the tears crowded our conversation from time to time. It was very difficult to listen to because I have a very close connection to her. We’ve been friends for a very long time. She’s a good hearted person and hearing her heart being wrenched into pieces was very hard. I wanted to reach through the phone and hug her.

We prayed together and I offered what words of comfort I could but it got me to thinking later after the phone call. What is it that people, people of faith, actually fear or worry about? Sure, there are a myriad of things under the sun that can happen and create fear in someone’s heart… but should it? Should we have fear in our hearts? My question has nothing to do with whether we can be scared or frightened by something. I’m a motorcycle rider and believe me I get scared from time to time when I’m out on those California highways!!! I think fear is a very human emotion. If you live and breathe I doubt you can escape it over the course of your life. No, what I’m talking about is what happens when one peers into the future. There is a difference I think between the fear you have when you think you hear a sound outside in the dark of night and what you might feel when you realize that your nest egg is gone. The difference isn’t just one of time either. One seems to go deeper. My friend’s fear was centered on what she thought or believed she was going to lose. It was a fear that was digging into the morrow of her spirit and soul. I could hear this very clearly.

If you are a Christian, then you have most likely heard the verse in Psalms 34:17-20 which says,

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Very comforting in my mind are these words…but then again, this appeal will vary from person to person. In my friend’s case, she wasn’t focusing on the promises spoken in this passage of scripture. What she was focusing on was a void, a pending tragedy that she had no control over. She was forgetting about what her faith taught her. The turmoil she was going through was, in my opinion, designed to do just that and prevent her from accessing the resources set before her. This happens to us all in some respect or to some degree. The difference is what we actually believe about ourselves and Him who called us to victory and prosperity.

I believe the key to staying positioned in such a way as to NOT lose sight of God’s promises to us is attitude and relationship. We must believe what He has said to us. This is attitude. We can improve our attitude by fostering our relationship with Him and other like- minded individuals. The stronger our relationship the more unshakeable our attitude will be. If you have the mind that is unshakeable, then you will always recall passages such as Psalms 34:17-20 when the noise of life attempts to distract you from your purpose. This is what I am praying for with my dear friend. I am reminding her of who she is and who our Father is. I am also reminding you my dear reader that you are not alone. No matter what you face in this life, you are not alone. Let that thought comfort you and help you seek clarity during the rainy season.

I am also going to eat a large helping of this for myself! I have been sitting on the fence with respect to the Empower Network. There are other products available in the network that I can sell as an affiliate but I have been dragging my feet unsure about what ramifications await me lol. I have been looking down the road and feeling a bit fearful about failure! So now it’s time to practice what I preach, pray, and dive in. We will keep you posted!