Fear of Truth

Psalm 27:2-3

When evildoers assail me, uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

zipped mouth

There are times when I am asked, “John, as a small business owner in a small town, aren’t you afraid of posting your religious and political views on social media? Don’t you know that people will use that against you and your business?” My answer is always the same, “I am not afraid to speak the truth.” Why am I not afraid? I think the aforementioned Psalm says it all; in a nutshell, God has my back.

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Why are so many “Christians” afraid to speak the truth? In a previous post I talked about Christian Passivity but I think it goes deeper than that. There is a certain fear that keeps people from speaking the truth. Fear of being labeled a bigot, a racist, a hypocrite, etc… If someone is placing a label on you and you know that it is not true, then why be afraid to speak the truth?

FearisALiar

Fear is not of God; fear is a lie and comes from the father of all lies, the devil. 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” Don’t quote me but I believe the phrase “be not afraid” or others like it are mentioned 365 times in the Bible. That’s 365 instances of God letting you know that he has your back, be not afraid. Testify!

fulton sheen take sides

“The issue is now clear. It is between light and darkness and everyone must choose his side.” – G.K. Chesterton. Right is right and wrong is wrong, it’s that simple. When you are afraid to speak the truth, you allow the darkness to creep into the world that much more. Be not afraid, speak the truth boldly with fire and conviction.

Until next time, buen camino.

Catholic Vote: You Can’t Just Vote Based on Abortion. Want to Bet?

vote pro life

 

You would figure by now that most “Catholics” would really have some clue about their faith right? Wrong! I don’t place all the blame on them, although it is “our” responsibility to know our faith or learn more about it but,  when the majority of our ordained don’t talk about the evils of abortion or they downplay it as not being that important, how is the flock supposed to know the severity of it?

FCFC-slider

The USCCB came out with their own (in my opinion) weak version of helping parishioners know how to vote called: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. I’m going, to put it bluntly here. Most “Catholics” fall under what I refer to as “nominal” and they are not going to take the time to read a 42-page booklet informing them how to vote. Why? Well besides the fact that most are lazy when it comes to their faith and don’t want to know more, they instead depend on their priests or deacons to tell them what is right and wrong. The problem is when you have priest and deacons who are liberal, uneducated in Church teachings themselves, that don’t want to piss off the high dollar donating parishioners of their church, and/or are weak and timid and afraid of their flock, the message never hits the ears of the parishioners.

pope francis

It all starts from the top though with Pope Francis, our Cardinals and Bishops. I personally feel that Pope Francis has placed more emphasis on the plight of migrants and ecological issues than that of the unborn although recently he and the bishops of the USCCB have stated the importance of abortion being the “preeminent priority” for Catholics when it comes to voting.

usccb

When it comes to the USCCB, we don’t have enough Cardinals or Bishops who go out publicly emphasizing how important the issue of abortion is when it comes to voting. There are however a few good men that do; men such as Arch Bishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the USCCB’s committee on pro-life activities. [1]The American bishops and Pope Francis both affirm that the “preeminent priority” for Catholics when voting is the protection of the child in the womb, said Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his homily for Thursday’s vigil Mass for the March for Life. And while Catholics must consider “many important societal issues with great moral significance,” such as immigration reform, care for refugees and the poor, health care, religious liberty, and the “care for creation,” the bishops “affirmed that the protection of the unborn remains the preeminent priority,” Naumann said.

He also cited Pope St. John Paul II’s “landmark and prophetic” encyclical The Gospel of Life, issued 25 years ago this March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. The sainted pontiff noted that the “vast array of threats to human life” included poverty, the arms trade, drugs, and the promotion of “certain forms of sexual activity,” but “spoke clearly that special attention should be given to the issues of abortion and euthanasia,” Naumann observed.

Bishop Naumann went on to say that Since 1973, 61 million unborn children have been killed by abortion and each had a father and mother “who’ve been starved by the death of their child.”

Naumann also related that when he and bishops from Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska met with Pope Francis one week ago for their ad limina visit, “I told him that we received some criticism, even being accused of insulting the pope.”

The pope “appeared stunned,” and asked why.

“And I said because we called the protection of the unborn a ‘preeminent priority,’ and his immediate response was, ‘It is a preeminent priority’. Pope Francis said if we do not defend life, no other rights matter,” Naumann said.

“God and 14 other bishops are my witnesses that Pope Francis was passionate in the support of the Church’s pro-life efforts. My friends, the successor of Peter has our backs,” added the archbishop.

CCC

So there now you’ve heard it, straight from the horse’s mouth, well…sort of. For some of you all out there, I know that if you don’t hear it straight from Christ himself, it means nothing to you. For those of you who do think that way, quit being idiots! This is deeper than Republican and Democrat and if you can’t get that through your head then you better drop on your knees and ask God for forgiveness for the sin that you will commit when you vote for the Democratic presidential nominee. If you don’t think it’s a sin, let me drop a little bit of knowledge on you.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1868

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
– by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
– by orderingadvisingpraising, or approving them;
– by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
– by protecting evil-doers.

sheep-and-the-goats

I want to finish off with scripture and something else to think about. The Judgement of the Nations – Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

When your day comes to be judged and you are in front of the King of Kings saying; “when you were hungry I fed you, you were thirsty and I gave you drink, a stranger and I welcomed you, naked and I clothed you.” And you hear the reply, “When I was conceived and in the womb, you did not fight for me, you did not stand up and defend my rights, you voted for those who oppose the sanctity of life-based on pro-choice, and you allowed me to be killed.”

When you die, do you want to hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” or do you want to hear “’Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

 

Until next time, God bless and buen camino.

 

 

[1] Abortion is the top priority at the ballot box, U.S. Bishop tells March for Life by lifesitenews.com Fri Jan 24, 2020 – 7:49 am EST

 

Passive Christianity

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Today is the 47th annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Let that sink in for a bit. 47 years of people marching for the dignity of life and, this is the first time in 47 years that the President will address the attendees in person! Yet, people still claim that President Trump holds no Christian values.

Trump praying

For a man who supposedly doesn’t have any Christian beliefs, then I suppose it is purely coincidental that he uses the words; “Jesus Christ, Christian, Christian beliefs, and Religious rights” so much. The man is not just a talker. He is not a passive Christian.

He has put his money where his mouth is and everyone hates him for it. No matter what good he does, those who appose him will always be critical of him and his actions. I’ve already seen people on social media saying, “Instead of addressing the people at the March for Life, he should be leading the march.” Good is never good in their eyes or never good enough.

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Do you know why those who hate and appose President Trump do so? Because they are told to do so by the mainstream media. These are people who can’t think for themselves. Don’t believe me, go online and look at some of the interviews that are conducted with these individuals when asked why they dislike our POTUS. Most can not come up with a coherent answer. It’s sad, disgusting and troublesome at the same time. When provided with factual information, they tend to get irate and immediately take to personal attacks on him and those of us who support him. But by all means, those of you who appose President Trump, keep following and listening to the media on how to live your life. Nobody will have the boldness to confront you. Why? Because they are passive Christians.

hell fall

The path to heaven is narrow and full of twists, turns, and obstacles; while the road to hell is wide and open. 47 years of marching and what have we learned? Instead of this country getting better we see Sodom and Gomorrah being revisited again. Why? Because we’ve allowed it to happen; passive Christianity. Nobody seems to have the fortitude to stand up and say “ENOUGH!”

Think about this; the LGBTQ movement. Within the past 10 years if not more, they have taken to the streets and demanded that their voices be heard. They’ve protested against the way they’ve been treated by telling some truths and some lies. 20 years ago before this movement we knew who were and weren’t homosexual and, it really didn’t matter to us. They were treated the same as any other person, equal. I personally have never seen a homosexual treated any differently in any Church that I’ve attended yet, there are all these claims on how the Catholic Church does not recognize the dignity of the homosexual person and how nondenominational Churches persecute homosexuals. LIES! Now, it’s thrown in our faces, demanding us to bow down to them and their way of life. Why? Because of passive Christians.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham wearing the “pink ***** hat.”

How about another example of idiocy in our country. Let’s take a look at the “me too” movement or the “women right” movement. First off, it’s hard to take a person seriously who is wearing a pink ****** hat and yelling obscenities such as “My vagina my rights.” Once again, displays of incoherent ramblings by those seeking attention…AND IT WORKS! Why? You guessed it, because of passive Christians.

Now how about the women who are screaming, “Oh I was a victim of his sexual advances” such as those allegations made by actresses like Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan. Now I’m not saying that those men are innocent of their behaviors, they are sexual predators, but, why didn’t these women just say no? Because it would affect their acting careers that’s why. So in essence, their careers where more important to them, at the time, than their dignity and self-worth. And I’m supposed to feel bad for them because they were taken advantage of? I’m supposed to feel bad for these women who went on to make movies with nudity on their part…I don’t think so! But, like everything that is wrong with the world today, people will feel sorry for them, people will support them as they have and, nobody will hold them accountable for their actions. Why? Because of passive Christians.

christian vs secular

For far too long we, the Christian community, have stood back and watched as our nation falls to shambles. If we continue to do so, we will see our religious freedoms disappear. As in the picture above, we are always portrayed as the angry looking evil Christian when in fact, the picture should be one of a man, cowering in the fetal position, hiding behind his bible. Look at what is taking place in the Methodist Church. Look at the problems that we have with the “Lavender Mafia” in the Catholic Church.

What will it take? What else has to happen before Christians stand up and start to shout themselves that ENOUGH is ENOUGH and we will not tolerate our religious beliefs being trampled on as they have been? Hit your knees hard friends and pray. Pray for courage. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and give you the words to defend your faith.

In closing, quit being passive Christians. Take a look at Jesus Christ on the cross. Does that look like a passive man? I think not. That is one thing that I’ve always taken pride in when asked why I wear a Crucifix when I do. It is because it is a symbol, a reminder of the courage, the perseverance, and the love that Jesus Christ has for us.

Until next time, buen camino friends.

 

52 Years

 

peaceful

I’ve spent 52 years on this earth and my life has been…less than. I really don’t know how to explain it but let’s just say that recent events that have happened in my life throw light upon why I have not been happy.

happyball

I’ve been saying it for some time now; “I’m sure that I don’t have 52 years left in me, so the time that I do have, I want to be happy.” I don’t want to spend the rest of my days wishing that I was a happier or better person, I want to be that person.

I believe that there are three key components to making this a reality.

  1. Spiritual Health – Getting my prayer life back in order. Realizing that I don’t have full control of my life as much as I’d like to think I do. Placing God back at the center of my life. Remembering to thank God for the blessings in my life. Working with other men to help each other in our journeys and hold each other accountable. Being the leader, protector, and provider of my family; being the priest of my household and setting that example.
  2. Mental Health – Continuing with my therapy and doing the exercises that my therapist has asked me to do. Remind myself daily that I am not the same person that I was as a child, teen, or young adult. And the hardest part for me, forgiving myself.
  3. Physical Health – This is an area that I desperately need to address. I need to find that motivation to get out, get up and be active for a bit instead of getting home, kicking off my shoes, changing into my comfortable clothes and laying down. No matter how much I wish it, fat won’t come off by wishing it away.

goodplandrawing

This is my plan for now. Why for now? Because like any good plan, you have to allow room for adjustments. For those of you who are going through something similar, you can do it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Know that I will be praying for you and I ask you all to pray for me as well.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

 

Filter Mania

There is an epidemic going around the world; a vanity epidemic! It is filter mania and it’s not just women who are doing it anymore. Please understand that I am not talking about makeup or makeovers. I am speaking about social media photo filters.  I used myself as an example above. The picture on the left is filtered. The one on the right is the real me. I’d like to start this post with a little story from a long time ago.

God world

God created the earth and everything that dwells upon it. It took him six days to do all of this and after each creation, he claimed that it was good. But there was a special day, that sixth day when God created mankind and all the living creatures of the earth, and as he looked it over, he saw that it was “very” good. Genesis 1&2

adam eve

The Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east and in the garden he placed man and woman.  The man and his wife were both naked but felt no shame. The snake entered the garden and tricked the woman into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The man and woman felt shame and hid. The Lord God called to the man and asked him, Where are you? The man answered, I heard you in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid. Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat? The man blamed the woman and the woman blamed the snake. Genesis 3:1-24.

1 devil whisper

And here you are today; listening to the snake again. But if you take the time to prayerfully read the story of creation along with the story of Eden, you will hear God speaking to you: “Who told you that you are ugly?” Somewhere in your life was or is a snake that has convinced you that you need to use filters to make yourself look like someone you once were or someone you never were. Stop listening to that snake and start listening to God. He created you in His own image and when he did so, he looked down and said “very good!”

wrinkled hands

Growing old is just a fact of life and in the journey of life that God has given us we will encounter a few obstacles that get in our way, some that will create scars; physically and mentally, and they will show our age. These are the things that we try to cover up with filters. I have features that I don’t like; some that I can control, such as my weight, and some that have happened through time, like wrinkles. But in those wrinkles, scars, and grey hairs, there are stories that go along with each one, stories about my life and some of the lessons that I’ve learned. We all have stories to tell and sometimes it’s those outer characteristics that tell part of our stories.

fake

Another reason that I would encourage you not to use filters is that it is giving the people who view it false information. Let’s face it, some people are all about looks and that is what they are looking for, a good looking male or female, and when you post a picture that makes you look flawless and when people see you in person and realize that your social media pictures are completely different from what you look like in person, it can lead to insults, heckling, mocking, and possibly violence. It can be embarrassing for you and the party involved. Be honest, be proud, for you are a child of God and he didn’t make junk. Those types of people who are looking for others based on looks only will eventually find out that looks aren’t everything.

be yourself

So the next time that you take a nice selfie, post it; don’t filter it. Show the world that beautiful person that you are and don’t attach a “tag” to it like “unfiltered.” Just post the real picture and let the world get to know the real you.

Until next time, buen camino!

Memories from the Past: Part 2

Hello everyone and Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! Yes, the Christmas season is still upon us so Merry Christmas, Christ is born! I’ve been thinking about how I was going to write this post. With that being said, it is going to be a pretty short post.

Let me start by saying that I will not be sharing that other story that I talked about in part 1. The things that have happened to me in my past are things that I would not wish upon my worst enemy, and they explain a lot about how and why I acted and reacted in certain ways.

I’ve been going to therapy for almost a year now and I thank God that I have such an amazing therapist who has been and continues to help me cross these bridges as they arise. She is helping me to create the person who I want to be, not the person who I thought I was.

In closing I would say this:

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek out help for past wounds, especially you men out there. You’d be surprised to see that you aren’t the only one to go through what you’ve been through.
  2. If you are seeing a therapist and feel as though you are not getting the help you need, find another therapist. This is your mental health we are talking about so find the professional who is going to help you best.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. I am blessed to have my bride by my side throughout this journey. She always knows the right things to say to me during these times especially when I am overwhelmed with the flood of emotions from these memories.

May God always be by your side and may he guide you get the help that you are looking for and never forget to ask him as well, for he is the eternal physician and he wants you to be the child that he created you to be. Until next time, buen camino.

Memories From the Past: Part 1

 

*** WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE ***

This past weekend was a rough one for me. It started on Thursday; before my bride came to pick me up for lunch, I sat down to watch the video above with Corey Taylor talking to a therapist. I thought to myself, “wow, this should be interesting.” Little did I know how intense his story would be and that it would drag out some memories of my own. I only made it a little more than halfway through the video when the memories came out; one that was hidden, suppressed, buried in the catacombs of my mind and the other was one that I’ve been trying to bury for the better part of 40 years.

depressed

I sat in my chair for a while and attempted to deal with this sudden flood of emotions that came along with these memories. I was hurt and I was pissed off! Why the fuck did these memories have to come up now! Don’t I have enough shit to deal with in my life? And such perfect timing too since I can’t see my therapist until January! GREAT! REALLY FUCKING GREAT!

Once I calmed down a bit, which was not much, but it was enough time for me to call the therapists office and ask if there was any way that I could see her for an emergency session. They said that they would give her the message but that if it was an emergency, I could come in right now and see someone else. I thanked them and hung up the phone. I thought to myself, “See someone else? SEE SOMEONE ELSE! I finally found a therapist that I trust and you want me to see someone else!” Thank God she called me within 10 minutes and said that she would see me right away if I could get there immediately.

Here is a bit of history with me and therapists. During the early years of my marriage, I didn’t think I needed to see one. I thought that I was fine and the rest of the world was jacked up. As the years passed though, I started to see what it was my bride was talking about and I reluctantly tried to get therapy. Most of the early therapists didn’t work though and I’m sure it was mostly due to me not cooperating or wanting the help. But in the later years when I desperately wanted and needed the help, I just kept striking out with the therapists that I saw. I was looking for someone who would listen, take my faith into consideration when providing feedback or solutions, hold me accountable, and one that had the knowledge to find out what was going on and come up with a concrete solution to help me move forward. That is the kind of therapist that I have now.

crying

I told her about the first memory, the suppressed one. I sat there crying, feeling lost, alone and angry, kind of like I did as a child during that time. She told me to let it out, ride with it, allow it to come out. As I sat in my chair and described every detail to her, I could feel my nails clawing into the handles of the chair as I sat there shaking and crying in anger. With my right foot tapping at a rapid pace, I continued to tell my story and when I finally got to the end of it, a tsunami of tears rushed my eyes and I yelled into my hands which were cupped over my face. “WHY! Why did he have to do that!” It was a memory of an older boy from my childhood that everyone looked up to and thought he was just the grandest kid of all. That mother fucker. I won’t go into detail with you all, but I will say that it was a sexual assault of sorts.

My therapist continued to help me go through this as I sat there pounding my fist into the handle of the chair. She got me to the end of that memory and there was a bit of calm. As I let out a sigh of relief, the fear hit me again, because I knew that I was going to share my other memory with her in a minute or two and I knew that this last ride I just went through was going to be a walk in the park compared to the next memory I shared with her.

To be continued. Until next time, Buen Camino.