The Wall Won’t Move, but, I Understand


“If you are self-aware of what you are going through, you would be in a better position to understand others, and affect people around you.” ― Oscar Auliq-Ice


Yesterday I learned about a young man, who lives two rows over from me, had to have surgery on his hands. He was being treated for “boxer’s hands”. I knew him as a young pre-teen and he had a terrible temper. When asked about his hands it came to the light that he in a fit of anger punched the wall. In doing so he hit a wall stud. Apparently this was not the first time. Now he has his hands in bandages from surgery and cannot work.

I grew up around that type of anger, anger in which you never knew what would ignite it. Being around those with that type of anger you would walk gingerly and would filter your words carefully. I learned which words could cause a volcano of anger. Politics, racial discussions, and yes, sometimes religion. To this very day I begin to shake and tremble when I see someone’s anger level rising.


Now, onto what I was thinking when I saw the quote I inserted at the top of this post.

If someone mentions the word “migraine” they would recognize it as some type of headache. My thought is this, would they identify with the pain and discomfort a migraine can cause to a person. For myself I have to lay down in a dark room and try to fall asleep. There are times that Gravol is necessary for an upset stomach. So, when I hear someone talk about a migraine I can have empathy for them and what they are going through.

I have had a bad back for as long as I can remember. Being sent flying through the air, while being a passenger on a motorcycle, I landed butt first and totally damaged the back. Last year I found some relief with cortisone shots. I received two treatments in my back and for the time being my back has not been in severe pain. If you have a bad back and suffer with pain, I understand how it limits your range of motion.

A doctor could put up a power point presentation about nerve endings that run through your spinal cord. He probably would be speaking to a medical versed audience. For everyone else his words would go straight over our heads.

When it comes to depression the subject is very broad and very deep. One thousand people could be asked about their depression and for the greater percentage everyone would have a different experience. Yes, there may be parts of their journey I could understand, but, there would also be parts that I would have no knowledge or understanding about it.

So dear reader, I use my own experiences as a launching board for most of my posts. Sometimes, it may seem like I am repeating myself, it is probably true. When I write I do it with understanding that maybe those who are reading will also be able to relate to my experiences.

Molded, Bended, Incomplete, Identity, Gender, Adequate

“Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.”- Jay Z

I guess have wandered for most of my life, fifty-nine years, who am I. I take out my wallet when asked for identification, my birth certificate states my full name, the date of my birth, and where I was born, for me that was the province of Ontario, Canada.

But I still ask the question, who am I? Is it the color of my eyes, my gender, my faith, or even my anatomically body. Is it define by the ones I have chosen to love, those who I have decided to let into my circle of friends.

This question of identity was brought home that one sunny day when I found myself in a hospital ward that deals with people who are suffering and challenged with mental health issues. Even in there I hid a part of me, a part that I thought, and maybe still think, is hideous.

I started this blog because it piqued my interest, the wanna be journalist inside me, and maybe a wanna be novelist. I am the first one to admit that my strength is not writing. I probably make grammatical errors after time I publish a post.

I chose what I knew the most, it was my faith and my knowledge and understanding of the Bible. My posts didn’t move the needle. Oh, every once in awhile someone would take note of what I had written. Yet, there wasn’t a fire in me, a fire that said, that urged me to sit at the computer and write posts. My writing then was spotty with my thoughts rambling from post to post.

Feeling like I belong, I have it all together, and nothing to worry about, these descriptions speaks of someone of who I wish I was. I entered high school weighing less than ninety-nine pounds. My muscle tone was in hiding, so at the height of six foot one inch I looked like something of a half made coat tree.

I relate to others who are belittled, treaded upon, and pushed to the sides of the ride by those who are maybe smarter, are at the top of their game. I still do not have it all together, but, I have learned ways to mask those feelings of inadequacies, those feeling of inferiority. It may answer why I watched cartoons and TV shows with super heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Batman.

I would watch shows, see posts of, men who had a six pack for ribs, and there muscle tone ripple from their shoulder down to their forearm. Honestly, I still have feelings of inadequacies when I see some guy who looks like he has spent all of his extra time in a gym somewhere to give himself that buffed look.

Maybe, my writings, my posts brings across of a guy who has it all together. A guy who knows who he really is. I am far from that, I am not that super guy like the one you would see on an Harlequin romance novel. No, let me assure you, I am not some six foot, a body with ripped muscles from my head down to my feet. No, I am not that man who could pick up a lady and whisk her out from the gangs while held by my arms as I swing her to the ledge of a window.

However, my identity, the person that knows itself when he closes his eyes at bedtime, that person is under there somewhere, somewhere beyond the words written together, the being behind those words that create paragraphs, that speaks about those things I have faced in this body, one person who needs medication to keep me stable, one medication to help start my day, an another one that is meant to keep me stable. Then at the end of the day a pill to give me a calm, and a peaceful night’s sleep. All those medications are taken, that have their purpose to keep this bi-polar man walking up-right.

So dear reader, who am I, who is this person that wakes up day after day, places two feet on the floor, and does his best to be the best human I can project in this world that I am travelling through.

So, I am the sum total of a man, who has a function, a man who is working through this life being the person I am meant to be. To learn, love, belong, engage, to listen, learn from others that I encounter along this path, a path at it’s very best, a road map, from beings of all different sizes, shapes, and colors.

So, hear me, listen to me, engage with me, and help me in my path of who I am on this journey. I am not complete, I still am learning, still encountering along this journey those things that are helping to make the best man I can be. For I am more that I was yesterday, still being shaped and molded into what I hope and pray will be the best, just me, the best me.!

The Interview With Big General

When I contacted Big General I didn’t have any foreknowledge of who he was or what he was liked.

The interview started days before I wrote the post “Calling All Minds” . So, for those who submitted questions for me to use in future interviews, I was not able to make use of the questions.

Big General I believe is by far the youngest person I have interviewed. His answers are written with thoughtfulness.

Here is his interview:

  1. In a couple of paragraphs please tell the readers about yourself.

I’m a 23-year-old male who was born in Zimbabwe but moved to the United Kingdom from the age of 10 till now. I’m in my second year studying Sports science in university. I am a sports fan who enjoys watching and playing football(soccer). My favorite football team is Manchester City football club. I speak two languages English and Shona (Zimbabwean language). In my spare time I blog on WordPress.

2. I looked for your bio but could not find one. Please tell the readers why not?

That’s a great question. The reason why I have nothing on my blog bio is because I wanted to make a blog that just provided content without the audience truly knowing who I was leaving it to be a mystery. It made it easier for me to get into blogging without a bio because it allowed me to do it with no pressure of how I was going to tell people about myself in the blog bio. I am naturally an introvert, so I always shy away from letting people know things about myself. Not having a bio gave me the courage and freedom to just express myself with no one knowing who was behind the blog when they read my bio.

3. There are many human values, which value do you consider to be the one that guides you?

I think love guides me the most because “love conquers all”.

4. Why did you start to use WordPress?

I started to use Word Press around October 2019 for the purpose to blog about match analyses for football games as a hobby since I loved learning about football tactics and game plans I thought it would be a great platform to use. I chose WordPress after searching so many blogging platforms because it was free and easy to use compared to other platforms plus it was ranked in the top 3 best blogging platforms for anyone to use. With the free set up it was easy for me to start out blogging because WordPress could set everything up all I had to do was just pick a basic theme then get straight to writing without worrying about things to add.

5. Is there a main goal that you want to reach within the WordPress community?

My main goal in the WordPress community is to provide positive content that can make people feel good, help, laugh and learn things that can help them in their lives in some shape or form.

6. Do you have challenges within your mental health?  If so, please tell the readers of what it is?

The two biggest challenges within my mental health I battle with are depression and addiction.

7. Following the above question, how do you handle the challenges?  Also, how do you handle stress?

With depression I try to use exercise to battle it by going to the gym or doing any form of hard physical exercise nearly every day. With addiction I try to keep myself active by carrying out busy working schedule of consistently having to do things to keep my mind preoccupied. With stress I try to change scenery by going outside more and avoid staying in because it just makes it worse the more time I sit at home.

8. If you were given the ability to speak to your younger self, what would you say?

I love that question I would not say much to my younger self but tell him to be positive. It would not be meant to change anything but to make him understand that there is no answer to life all he can do is stay positive because anything else will not that important because life has more control than my young self would have. That is mostly what I would say to my younger self.

9. Let us reverse the above question. What would you say to an older self?

To my older self I would say you do more meaningful things that have nothing to do with myself such as help the world in any type of form whether helping people, donating money to charities, aid and assist in any ways I can with no return. Lastly, I would say work on self-improvement in all aspects of my life.

10. Are you a reader, and if so what is your favorite genre?  Do you have a favorite author?

I’m not much of a reader so it’s hard for me to name a genre or an author.

11. What is your favorite music genre?

My favorite genre is any music with singing such as soul music, reggae, pop etc. If it has a meaning or message I’m down to listen.

12. Do you have heroes?  Who are they and why?

I have many heroes to name but one that comes to mind is Muhamad Ali. What made him my hero is for so many things. Firstly, his determination in the ring was so phenomenal he had a no quit attitude that was so crazy that he would literally risk dying in the ring to not surrender by just taking a beating while he was leaning on the ropes with his hands up. It fascinates me how the mind is so powerful if you have belief you can overcome any obstacle which looks impossible.

Besides boxing he was into philanthropy, humanitarianism and politics at a time where most black athletes would not even think of stepping outside their sport to help others. His love for all humanity was so amazing that people from all different races would even call him “the world’s greatest”. He inspires me in all types of ways.

13. Finally, what advice would you give to a person who is thinking about blogging?

My advice for anyone thinking about blogging is simple just follow your heart it is always right everything else will come as long as you follow your heart.

Dealing With Mental Blocks

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“Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks.”
― Dr Roopleen,Words to inspire the winner in YOU

I have sat in front of my laptop over the last several days with the task of writing in mind.  I would start a post only to find myself half way through hitting the delete button.  I just couldn’t keep my train of thought focused, found myself wandering in my thoughts.

I am realizing that I am not alone in this way, mental blocks, writer’s block are very common even for the best authors.



Mental Block –  

… [I]t can also be an inability to continue or complete a train of thought, as in the case of writer’s block. In the case of writer’s block, many find it helpful to take a break and revisit their topic. [source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_block]



I found on Google some suggestions in tackling these mental blocks.  Here is what I found:

7 Unexpected Ways to Get Around Mental Blocks
  1. Freewrite. When you are feeling stuck, open up a new Word doc, and start writing about whatever is on your mind. …
  2. Tackle smaller tasks first. …
  3. Change your environment. …
  4. Learn something new. …
  5. Revisit past experiences. …
  6. See what your friends are up to. …
  7. Analyze other people’s ideas.

[source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250509]

So dear reader I thought I would share with you something I am sure many have experienced. I am going to try some of the ways mention to overcome mental blocks.

Mens Mental Health – Myths

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A real man ain’t a coward, he stands by what he says, admits his faults, and corrects his mistakes.    

Kiki Strack

Starting with this post I will be exploring Mens Mental Health from time to time.  For this post I want to take a look at myths about men.

Myths:

  • Big boys don’t cry – I read somewhere that crying is a release of our pent up frustrations. It is a release of all thing toxic.  Maybe if men would allow themselves to cry there wouldn’t be outbursts of rage.
  • Men Don’t Show Emotions – God forbid if a man was to place a hand on the shoulder of someone hurting, or if they were to hug a man who is in need of comforting.  I cannot recall one instance where my father ever showed a compassionate side towards me. Never once spoke the words to me, “I Love you”. I say that every time I talk to my daughter, grandchildren, and other.  The only emotion that they are comfortable showing is anger.
  • Men don’t talk to their sons about sex. Instead they have the attitude of “let them learn it like I did, on the streets.  Could it be that maybe what their sons are learning on the streets is the cause for many of them to become abusive emotionally and physically to women. Men you need to talk openly and honestly about sex, what it is and what it is not. My father never once talked to me concerning puberty, sex, etc.,

There are probably many more myths about what a real man is. But, the myths must be taken down, stripped away, to allow real men to step forward.

So dear reader if you know of a myth about real men please bring it to my attention using the comment section.

Use To Your Own Detriment!

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“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”
― Coretta Scott King

I have a relative that must take baths in hate.  A grievance collector that never forgets who did what, who said what.  Revenge is something that this person give constant thought of how to go about it.


“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Mark Twain


It is my understanding that the person suffers from other ailments, digestion being the major one.

I have another relative that was having stomach troubles, had to get a prescription to stop the pain after eating. The relative went to see a specialist, the first thing he asked, “what is eating you”? Notice he did not want to know what they were eating.  It was true that the person was harboring ill feelings towards someone who had wronged them.

I learned a long time ago that it does nothing to hold extreme hatred or anger over what someone has done to them.  When I have been wronged I just move on.  Now do not misunderstand, I do get angry sometimes, but I do not give it free space within my mind.


“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”
― Shannon L. Alder


My father and I were never close, I really do not have any fond memories about him with me.  He had anger issues and when triggered it could get physical, usually I ended up being the punching bag.

In around 1980 I had just started travelling with the evangelist, we were in a Christian TV studio holding a crusade in Detroit, Michigan.  One afternoon my father showed up to a meeting. 

After the meeting he asked if we could go for coffee.  I agreed hoping that maybe something new would happen between us.  We ended up in a mall walking around and talking.  I spotted a Music store that had pianos, organs, etc.,. I told my father, “Watch this“.  I walked over to a digital piano that was on display outside of the store door.  I turned it on and started to play it.  A crowd started to gather, so with glee I continued for awhile.  The store didn’t mind me doing so. I guess they figured that maybe they would end up with some sales.  We then walked away and my dad asked me, “when did you learn to play like that”?  I just smiled on the inside even though I wanted to give a snide remark. 

I have not seen my dad since the late eighties for my own mental health stability.  I do not wish him any harm, nor do I hold any ill feelings towards him.

My way of working through anger may not fit you, the reader.  It is a personal thing that each individual has to wrestle with it in their own way.

So dear reader I hope that maybe something I wrote on this post will give you some ideas on how to manage anger!

For All The Great Mothers In The World

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“If I had a single flower for every time I think of you, I could walk forever in my garden.” – Claudia Ghandi

For this Mother’s Day I am dedicating this post to three wonderful women.

  1. My Mother – 1942 – 2000
  2. Grandmother – ? – 2004
  3. Last but not least, my daughter, 1985 –

For my mother and grandmother, I miss you every day. I miss calling you when I needed advice, recipes, and your wonderful nurturing love.

Mom, you were called home way too soon.  Please be standing near the gate and be one of the first ones that I meet.

Granny, I miss being able to go to your house where I always felt that I mattered.  Always knew there would be no questions asked.  Just how you welcomed all that crossed your door place!

Dear daughter I stand amazed about how you have grown into a wonderful woman, mother.  I cannot say how much I admire you raising three of some of the greatest children on earth.  Of course, I am probably a bit bias, I am just a proud grandfather!



I hope everyone whose Mother is living that you tell her how much you care for her.  How thankful you are for all the things she has done for you through the years.

My late grandmother told her children to give her her roses while she was alive.  So that she could enjoy them.

Please, let me offer some advice, give your mother her roses while she can enjoy them.  Do not take it for granted that she will always be there.  You never know just when God will call her home to take her place among the angelic choir.  Remember, she is the only mother you will ever have in this life.  The one that carried you in her womb for at least nine months.  Nurtured you from an infant all the way to the day you left for college to start your grand adventure called “life”.

So, I raise my virtual glass and give a toast to every mother who is, who was, on this big blue marble we call home, the earth!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I Will Not Panic, That’s My Final Answer!

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“Being under stress is like being stranded in a body of water. If you panic, it will cause you to flail around so that the water rushes into your lungs and creates further distress. Yet, by calmly collecting yourself and using controlled breathing you remain afloat with ease.”
― Alaric Hutchinson,Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life

I know, it is easy and almost a cop-out to tell someone “Don’t Panic”.  For something that this writer doesn’t understand but by telling a person that it seems to heighten their panic.

Along with panic there is a close relative emotion that tags along, frustration.  It is almost unavoidable these days not to feel frustration, not to panic realizing that the rent is due this week.

Now mix in insomnia and you have a disaster looking for a place to happen.  Trying to force yourself to go to sleep in the meanwhile images of all the bills that need to be paid but the bank account tells you that you are overdrawn.

No matter who you speak with you can definitely hear the frustration and panic in their voice.  A neighbor is somewhat like me, not going out in hesitation worrying about covid-19.  

Yet, I need to go grocery shopping this week so that the cupboards do not start looking bare.  At least if I go to the big “W” I can go during the first hour that is reserved for seniors, or those who have compromised immune systems. I won’t decide until the very last minute whether I go or have my best friend do my shopping.

So, I all can do in this time and space is to tell myself “Don’t Panic”!

Christmas Eve Guest Post – Dr. Linda Vogt Turner

Today I have the honor of introducing Dr. Linda Vogt Turner the author of the following post.

Bio

Dr. LindaDr. Linda Vogt Turner is a lay theologian, writer and faith based speaker living in Vancouver Canada where she was born and educated. Linda has written extensively on faith and justice themes. She received the Doctor of Humane Arts degree for The Ecumenical Affair in recognition for excellent written communication as related to palliative care reflecting Heartalk® –mediated Pilate Syndrome™. As of November 1, 2019, Dr. Turner is an appointed Professor of Practice in Creative Writing for the INTERCONTINENTAL OPEN UNIVERSITY. http://www.iou.edu.gr



O Holy Night – Nine Lessons

O Holy Night -pictureOn this Christmas Eve 2019, is your hope at an all-time low? Does peace seem an impossible dream? Has divisive political rivalry come like a thief in the night and stolen the love, joy, peace and hope of Christmas?

I remember a time when the faithful would go to church on Christmas Eve or make sure they were home to celebrate the gift and wonder of God’s LOVE coming down out of the midnight sky. Many people would go to church on Christmas Eve and children would re-enact Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, the city where David was from.

At the midnight service, people would gather at 11 o’clock to hear the Nine Lessons of Christmas read from the Bible and sing Carols such as O Holy Night.

THE FIRST LESSON

Genesis 3: 8-19

Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day, and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

So the LORD God called out to the man, “Where are you? I heard Your voice in the garden,” he replied, “and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

“Who told you that you were naked?” asked the LORD God. “Have you eaten of the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?

And the man answered, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied, “and I ate.”

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! …”

To the woman He said: “I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. You will desire your husband, and he will rule over you.”

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you…”

Wow! The LORD God sounds angry. I wonder. Is disobedience the primary cause? Or is “hiding themselves”?

THE SECOND LESSON

Genesis 22: 15-18

And the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, saying, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will multiply your descendants like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies. And through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Did you catch that? The LORD says “Myself I have sworn…I will bless you because you have obeyed My voice!” So “obedience” appears to be one key to being in relationship with God and “Not withholding or not hiding” what God values” is another key. For as in the beginning, hiding oneself and the truth…withholding something God values from God would bring curses, not blessings.

THE THIRD LESSON

Isaiah Chapter 9:2; 6-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.…

WOW! a great light…a mega torch to shine for people in the dark. Did you know that the Greek name Helenē…means bright torch? And did you know that the Hebrew name David means “beloved”. Did you notice how the words a child and a son are wedded together in the phrase “for a child has been born for us, a son given to us”?

I wonder if the name Magdalene later given to Mary centuries later was originally a combining form of the Latin word “magna” meaning great and the Greek name “Helenē” meaning torch? MAGNA Helenē, does sound like Magda Helenē. I also wonder if the name Jo Seph is also a combining form of the two names Jo and Cephas that many people overlook?

I wonder. Is the Light shining in the Dark, The Divine Female?

LESSON FOUR

Isaiah 11: 1–3a; 4a; 6–9

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

With righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Careful now. Why would the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, and the spirit of the Lord’s knowledge and fear bring this “branch” delight in the fear of the LORD?

Imagine…a world where a feared lion would starve himself to save a lamb and where a lamb would offer her very body to save a feared lion from starving.

Is this 4-fold Spirit SACRIFICIAL LOVE?

LESSON FIVE

Luke 1: 26–35; 38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. “Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” “The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

The Angel’s message perplexes Mary. She says how can this be? I am a virgin.

What is she really saying? Listen closely…bring her into your heart. Hear what she is saying.

“Joseph was born to be my Cephas…my Rock and my Lord. He and I were betrothed ages ago. He is the STAG of the Hebrew Song of Songs. I know this in my heart. Yet…I am a virgin to him. When I greet him with glad tidings and a hug, his woody branch remains flaccid? Why is he withholding his love and desire, his hunger for me? Is he afraid?

LESSON SIX

Luke 2: 1; 3-7

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

This is a faith story. Think about what kind of child Mary conceived of and delivered?

Let the EVERLASTING LOVE Mary has conceived in her heart and in the womb of her soul bring you closer to God. See her LOVE for her Jo Cephas come alive and see how her love and faith in God and neighbour transforms Jo Cephas into a Saviour full of love and desire who redeems Mary in the fullness of time to bring her delight and Great Joy to the World.

LESSON SEVEN

Luke 2: 8-16

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

The Angel of the Lord stands among the shepherds and they see the Glory of the Lord. Their terror and fear subside as a multitude of heavenly host praise God and they see the child lying in the manger, wrapped in bands of cloth for themselves.

LESSON EIGHT

Matthew 2: 1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Herod is the King and he is not about to pay homage to the birth of Mary’s divine conception. Kings in those days did not marry for love. Their marriages were all about preserving the King’s male blood line. So the wise men were afraid Herod would kill this Divine Couple and the newly born child the Angel and the Prophets predicted they would raise as God’s SON—before HE was of age and could speak for Himself.

Do you see the newborn ONE? Or has Herod and his cohorts killed HIM and convinced you this newborn ONE is a single male? Do you see what the angels and the shepherds see?

Do you see the glory of the Lord, the Don, the long-expected Bridegroom with his Glory…the Bride, the Madonna…come to life as CHRIST the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counsellor and the welcoming Innkeeper and his Wife as the Prince of Peace?

Do you see the ETERNAL LOVE growing stronger within and between this couple witnessed and testified to by their neighbor with each breath, each kiss and communique they share?

LESSON NINE

John 1: 1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

The name John means the Grace of God. John takes this name and gives his main characters names to reinforce his testimony. These names are like grace notes. They embellish the story and lead you to the heartbeat of the story. John also alludes to other well-known stories. This is the tradition of story-telling. So listen carefully. Each name John chooses is to help you hear and feel the heartbeat.

Don’t let Herod and his cohorts convince you Jesus Christ is a single male!

The WORD comes alive. The Spirit that hovered over the waters at the beginning of time is inside Mother Mary’s heart, body, soul and mind. As Mary speaks the very Word that caused the universe to come alive comes to John.

As John’s testimony unfolds in the following chapters, his followers learn how he loses his head, spends the night with the Spirit and how he becomes born again.

John’s disciples call him Lord Jesus and Rabbi and indeed his Testimony makes him the Son of Christ and the Son of God.

John and his beloved wife worship and adore the Mother of God and they receive Christ, the Bride and Bridegroom as the Mother and Father of God—and shelter them in a room set apart, yet attached to their INN. It is a very dark night. The couple need time to themselves. The Bridegroom has lost faith in himself and questions the Bride’s love for him. He does not feel godly or eternal. He has lost faith in humanity and kings. Racism, and humanity’s inhumanity to humanity has convinced the Bridegroom to hate kings and his life. He denies even knowing John with whom he has shared bread and wine.

When Mary is charged with blasphemy, Cephas mocks the idea of Mary being the Woman Jesus and him being the Christ. He sees himself as Mary’s male escort, not her intended. Doubt and fear grip Mary’s heart. John, his wife and the staff at the INN are afraid too and a pall of deep silence falls over them and the Inn.

As Christians discover with the conclusion of John’s Gospel, the darkness does not extinguish the light. Love brings a new and glorious morning. The Bridegroom reinstates himself and John and his beloved wife become the first reborn Son of God and give everyone who receives John and his gracious wife’s testimony, the power to become children of God and to live together in peace and harmony as ONE HOLY SON

Thus John says in Lesson Nine of the Christmas Eve Reading. “[W]e have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”

We, my beloved wife and I have seen Christ’s glory. We have seen the glory of Christ the Everlasting Father and the Wonderful Counsellor embracing each other in LOVE, becoming one Flesh and giving birth to their ETERNAL SELF and to my gracious wife, to me, and to ALL LIFE.

The FALL blinded and crippled us that day when we all ate from the tree of good and evil. In the dark, we became enemies of our godly selves and our neighbours. We lost our divinity. We were afraid to let the Truth, the LIGHT, come out. We were afraid confessing the Truth would reveal our nakedness and show us to be unworthy of love.

Reversing the FALL—let us repent and confess the Truth. We are God’s human family. Let us quit blaming and condemning one another. Let us put our divisive and contemptable ways of believing in ourselves, each other and our neighbours behind us. Let our love for one another show and when the night gets dark, remember how John the Innkeeper and his wife found a room away from the crowds for Mary and Joseph so that they could work things out and give birth to the ETERNAL LOVE and Peace planted in their hearts. When the night is dark, it’s easy to get caught up in blasphemy…denying, or doubting the promise and expectations of God.
Remember the Nine Lessons of Christmas Eve. As the Christmas story unfolds in your heart this year. Feel the heartbeat of God. Receive Christ as a Divine couple giving birth to their Eternal Love for each other and the Prince of Peace—John and his gracious wife. Let John and his wife’s hospitality and testimony fill you with the hope, peace, joy and love of God. So be it this Holy Night—Emmanuel. Let there be peace on earth!