Friday, November 21, 2014

God Sun poem

This poem is inspired by a friend of mine who made this really good analogy about the "light of truth" and keeping ones eyes shut. He explained that the light of truth shines whether we open our eyes or not, but if we choose to stay in the dark, it is our choice, not reality -- reality is the light of truth whether we like it or not, thanks Jis, for that analogy, here is a poem I wrote along that same thinking.


God is like the Sun -
you can keep your eyes closed
and stay in the dark.

But that doesn't get rid of the Sun
or its warmth.

You can stay in the dark if you choose,
but don't tell everyone it is night,
because whether you like it or not,
you can't get rid of the Sun or its Light.

God be with and bless everyone,
Kozy

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Card Dealer

This is probably really cliche and I know there are variations out there, so this is NOT original, but I was thinking more today about God the card dealer.

We've all heard the phrase: "Life is like poker, God deals you your hand, and you've got to play your cards."

Seems true and fair enough, but I think there is an idea in that phrase that is often left out.

If you're a good poker player (and I am not, I really suck actually ... but that's beside the point), you CAN play a BAD HAND well ... and if you're a BAD POKER player, you can REALLY mess up a GOOD HAND.

So the hand you get is a piece of the equation, BUT BIGGER, is HOW YOU PLAY what you're dealt.

You can "bluff" (for non poker players, bluffing is pretending you have a good hand when you don't) your way to a fortune, but also you can have a royal flush (the best hand in poker ... I think?) and totally blow it by HOW YOU PLAY IT.

So I guess to some it up, what your dealt does matter .... but what matters THE MOST is HOW you play WHATEVER you've been dealt .... because even the worst hand can win the biggest fortunes, if played by the right player :)

God be with and bless everyone,
Kozy

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A fresh breath of an old friend

I bumped into an old friend, Kevin -- (I will spare his last name for anonymity's sake, but he knows who he is) -- a very ambitious, bright, and good man.

He gave me wisdom today -- he was a "fresh breath."

What do I mean by that?

In the Bible it says: "EVERYONE'S life is a breath." (Psalm 39:5)

What does it mean to be a breath? It means that life is brief, and you have to make the most of it.

And it also means you have to decide what type of breath you're going to be -- are you going to be a "breath of fresh air" a "breath of life" -- or a breath of sorrow and pain to other's in your life?

That is the choice of ALL of our lives, and every INDIVIDUAL must decide -- are you going to be a "breath of life" or a "breath of death" to other people -- you choose.

We will all live and we will all die ....... what matters is if we die for truth or we die for a lie.

Most men of truth .... get killed for it: Socrates, Jesus, Peter, Paul, Shams of Tabriz, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Ghandi .... all assassinated -- killed for truth.

Your choice is:

(1) You can live and speak for truth, and die "before your time" in this life, but live FOREVER in the TRUTHS of life leaving behind a legacy and a STAND for justice, compassion, and above all LOVE for others.

OR

(2) You can live and speak for a lie, and "live long and prosper in this life",
but suffer the consequences in all your lies and those you hurt in your lies and pay for your lies in the full when you stand before God, like we all will, to give account for what we did with the lives He has given us all.

We're all a breath ...  we are all MORE white wolf or a black wolf depending on which one we feed more .... what kind of breath are you going to be, a breath of life -- or a breath of death to those God put's in your path .... we all have a white wolf and a black wolf, which one are you going to feed more .... which one will you become .... you decide.

Thanks Kevin, for being a breath of fresh air my brother -- God be with and bless you always.

God be with and bless everyone else too,
Kozy

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Unanswered Prayer

I have been thinking about this a lot recently, and to be honest with you it stems from something or parts of something I heard from Rick Warren (a sermon/talk) a few months back.

You know God is a miraculous God -- His greatest miracle is the fact that the universe even exists AT ALL. 

The creation of the universe and everything that has come after can be summed up in three words from my estimation: "Grace of God." Grace -- it's all a gift, that did not have to have been at all -- but IS because God decided the risk of love for humanity was worth any pain that may result from the rejection of that love by humanity.

But I'm digressing already ... prayer. 

We should pray for miracles, we should believe in a God of miracles, because -- as already established -- He has already performed the greatest miracle of all which is the creation of the universe in the 1st place!

But what about when God doesn't answer prayer? What do we do when that happens -- when this God who can do anything -- doesn't provide a miraculous financial solution to losing a house -- doesn't stop the murdering of children against other children in poverty stricken demographics -- doesn't see us through to that dream job we think should be ours -- doesn't stop rape or domestic abuse -- doesn't cure the one's we love from illnesses -- what then?

I think as in all things, the only answer to me is to look to Yeshua. Lord Yeshua -- God in the flesh. 

Jesus Christ had the biggest unanswered prayer in history -- that's RIGHT!

God the Son who has the most intimate, reciprocating, satisfying relationship with the Father and Spirit as ONE God -- had the BIGGEST unanswered prayer in history.

If you remember, as accounted in the Gospel of John -- and for the purposes of this blog Rick Warren's sermon as well -- Jesus prayed RIGHT before He got arrested that "this cup" (the "cup" of being crucified for humanity) would pass from Him.

He prayed that He wouldn't have to be crucified for the sins of the world. NOT because He was scared of physical death (Jesus says elsewhere the "flesh counts for nothing, but only the Spirit matters" --  doesn't sound like a guy who would be scared of physical death to me), but because He would have to imbibe and consume and MORALLY BURDEN ALL THE SINS EVER FOR ALL HUMANITY  .... I don't know about you, but I know how hard it is for me to swallow the cup of guilt for my own shortcomings, sins and faults ..... looking at this prayer that way, can you really blame Jesus for not wanting to "drink this cup of sin"? (i.e. I wouldn't want to do it -- would you?)

He asked the Father, if there is ANY WAY I can not drink this cup (not have to go through this) PLEASE may it pass from me.  During that same account Jesus tells his disciples that "I am troubled with sorrow even to the point of death" -- He sweated blood, which I forget the name of the condition, but medically has been discovered to actually be a legitimate (rare of course) bio-physiological reaction to extreme stress.

It sounds like Jesus is a death row inmate, begging to not have to take the chair!

But though Jesus 1st asks to have this pass from Him -- He ultimately submits to God's will saying: "YET - Your will be done, not mine."

Rick Warren lays out this formula for prayer in our own lives:

(1) Acknowledging that God is sovereign and that He can do anything
(2) Asking for LEGITIMATE pain to be TAKEN AWAY from us (God is big enough to take our anger, frustration, and desire to be delivered from pain)
(3) But ultimately submitting to God's will whether we understand it or not.

Rick Warren calls this the "Gethsemane Prayer".

It's interesting that God in the flesh, has the BIGGEST unanswered prayer in history.

You know, there's a St. Francis prayer (of Sales NOT Assisi) that I read on my Aunt and Uncle's fridge when I was over (who are saints my own eyes in many ways) there last time -- and towards the end of that prayer it says in so many words:

 "God -- we know that you will either DELIVER us FROM this suffering OR if you DO NOT deliver us from this suffering then YOU WILL give us the STRENGTH to ENDURE IT."

So with that in mind going back to Jesus's prayer: Jesus asked for the pain to be taken away ("let this cup pass") but Jesus knew it wasn't going to -- so He submitted -- and WHEN He TRULY submitted -- God the Father, gave the Son the strength to endure the Cross ... and you know what if Jesus's prayer had been answered -- if Jesus hadn't taken the cross -- there would be no redemption, and no hope of heaven for anyone. 

It's only the belief in the historical event of the resurrection that anyone, of any religion, has any tangible hope of heaven in human history.

Jesus's UNANSWERED PRAYER resulted in the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN HUMAN HISTORY .... the Creator's ETERNAL RECONNNECTION with the creation (i.e. us).

So think about your own life: is it wrong to pray for miraculous healing? For an end to world hunger, or AIDS? To pray for the safety of loved ones?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Pray for the release of as much pain and as many blessings as your heart desires.

It is fine and God WANTS you to pray for everything.

 "Fear nothing, pray for everything" -- and HE DOES perform miracles all the time, all over the world for people BUT--

MOST OF THE TIME: God gives us what we TRULY need, and what is TRULY best for others through unanswered prayer -- Just like He did through Jesus .... through Jesus's unanswered prayer God reconciled, redeemed, and brought back into perfect union with Himself all of creation.

It takes a submissive will and open heart though, which is hard -- it's REALLY hard.

But have you ever thought of how God may want to bless the world through YOU and YOUR unanswered prayers?

We all pray for what WE THINK is best, what WE THINK we want .... BUT .... whether we like to believe it or not .... God KNOWS what's best -- even if it takes us a lifetime to finally figure it out.

Don't get me wrong -- Jesus's unanswered prayer resulted in HORRIFIC, INDESCRIBABLE, AND TOTALLY UNDESERVED TORTURE, SUFFERING AND BRUTALITY -- but IT BLESSED HUMANITY FOREVER AND ETERNALLY WITH THE GREATEST BLESSING: UNION WITH GOD THROUGH LOVING EACH OTHER.

So I am not diminishing anyone's pain -- I -- like everyone have unanswered prayers and pains in my own life, and I'm no stronger than anyone else -- I'm probably the weakest person I know in so many areas of my life and have asked for deliverance from my own pain .... but ultimately I look to Jesus ... who IS my strength ... who IS ALL of our Strength ... because He is GOD IN US ... and just like Jesus -- even though I don't want my loved ones and the world to endure the pain, and illness and death in the world ....... I know what God can do through unanswered prayer ..... if we will stick with Him and trust Him -- despite all the odds, knowing that only He has all the answers ..... we can trust that God KNOWS AND SEES what's best.

We know that through Jesus's unanswered prayer -- and in a mysterious way our own -- that if we stick with God, and submit to His will, that:

 If He will NOT deliver us from evil, He WILL GIVE US the STRENGTH to ENDURE IT ..... and probably, through our unanswered prayers, just like Jesus's unanswered prayer .... God is looking for more ways to bless and UNIFY Himself to ALL OF US in complete love and mercy not only with Himself, but with all other people too ("we are many parts, but all one body".)

Just remember folks, when it's all said and done, we're ALL in the same boat .... just trying to sail Home.

God be with and bless, as He always is and does,
And all my love,
Kozy

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Humanity

There are two aspects of humanity that must be accepted to respect and value every person as the true image of God they are.

The first is that we all differences.

In small ways and big, physically and not, we all have differences.

But that despite our differences, we are all ultimately human.

So that's it, we have to acknowledge and appreciate those differences, but never lose sight that despite all our differences we're ALL human beings ... and it is the choice of every individual heart which is going to be more important to them when it comes to other people.

Are the differences we have going to be what is most important and emphasized and divide us, or is our humanity being human beings, made in the image of God going to unite us DESPITE our differences.

That's the choice of humanity, the individual person first, and the society at large second ... the way the individual goes, the way society goes.

Heaven unites, hell divides.  And the only thing that will unite people is highlighting the value in ALL human beings AS human beings, despite our differences.

That truth applies anywhere you apply it.

God be with and bless everyone,
Matt

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stay in your headlights .... from my Dad

Who knows if Dad gleaned this from another source, but if so, he definitely personalized it in his own words, and it's good advice for everybody, but I know I especially needed it. Hope it encourages someone else like it did me -- thank you again Dad, my manna in the desert :)

"Matthew my son,
As I've said before, remember that a car's headlights only shine a few hundred feet. But you can travel a journey of hundreds of miles in the dark, always just being able to see only as far as your headlights shine ahead of you. And if you stay inside your headlights, following the light only as far as you can see, the light travels with you, illuminating the darkness as you go, only showing you what you need to see at that time, the path directly in front of you, until finally you reach your destination, safely and in good time. Do not fret what is in the darkness outside the light of your headlights; it is not for you to know, it is for God to know, and for Him to reveal to you as He sees fit, in His time. Leave the darkness to God; stay inside your headlights, the light as God gives you the light to see in the present time; and you will know peace and serenity along the journey, and you will arrive, safely, at your destination, wherever that is, that God leads you. And God - and I - will always be traveling with you. Peace and Love eternal, your father, Dad." [FRED KOZAK]

Monday, August 25, 2014

INTERIOR CASTLE -- St. Teresa of Avila quotes

As mentioned in the title, these excerpts are all quotes of St. Teresa of Avila in her book INTERIOR CASTLE, God be with and bless...


*FOOTNOTE* the reason she addresses the reader as "sister" throughout her writing is that, she initially was recording all these writings for her Nun Order ... but it can (and for the purposes of this post) be applied to all Christians in my opinion ... all my love:
















"True perfection consists in love of God and of neighbor, and the more nearly perfect is our observance of these two commandments, the nearer to perfection we shall be."


"If then you sometimes fall, do not lose heart, or cease striving to make progress, for even out of your fall God will bring good."


"Although we get few or no comforts here, we shall be making a great mistake if we worry over our health, especially as it will not be improved by our anxiety about it--that I well know.  I know, too, that our progress has nothing to do with the body, which is the thing that matters least.  What the journey which I am referring to demands is great humility, and it is the lack of this, I think, if you see what I mean, which prevents us from making progress."


"Let us look at our own shortcomings and leave other people's alone; for those who live carefully ordered lives are apt to be shocked at everything and we might well learn very important lessons from the persons who shock us.  Our outward comportment and behavior may be better than theirs, but this, though good, is not the most important thing:  there is no reason why we should expect everyone else to travel by our own road, and we should not attempt to point them to the spiritual path when perhaps we do not know what it is.  Even with these desires that God gives us to help others, sisters, we may make many mistakes, and thus it is better to attempt to do what our Rule tells us - to try to live ever in silence and in hope, and the Lord will take care of His own.  If, when we beseech this of His Majesty, we do not become negligent ourselves, we shall be able, with His help, to be of great profit to them.  May He be for ever blessed."


"The important thing is not to think much, but to love much; do, then, whatever most arouses you to love.  Perhaps we do not know what love i: it would not surprise me a great deal to learn this, for love consists, not in the extent of our happiness, but in the firmness of our determination to try to please God in everything, and to endeavor in all possible ways not to offend Him, and to pray Him ever to advance the honor and glory of His Son."


"O My Lord and My God! How wondrous is Thy greatness! And we creatures go about like silly little shepherd-boys, thinking we are learning to know something of Thee when the very most we can know amounts to nothing at all, for even in ourselves there are deep secrets which we cannot fathom.  When I say 'amounts to nothing at all' I mean because Thou art so surpassingly great, not because the signs of greatness that we see in Thy works are not very wonderful, even considering how very little we can learn to know of them."


"But here the Lord asks only 2 things of us: love for His Majesty and love for our neighbor.  It is for these 2 virtues that we must strive, and if we attain them perfectly we are doing His will and so shall be united with Him.  But, as I have said, how far we are from doing these two things in the way we ought for a God Who is so great!  May His Majesty be pleased to give us grace so that we may deserve to reach this state, as it is in our power to do if we wish.
      The surest sign that we are keeping these two commandments is, I think, that we should really be loving our neighbor; for we cannot be sure if we are loving  God, although we may have good reasons for believing that we are, but we can know quite well if we are loving our neighbor.  And be certain that, the farther advanced you find you are in this, the greater the love you will have for God; for so dearly does His Majesty love us that He will reward our love for our neighbor by increasing the love which we bear to Himself, and that in a thousand ways: this I cannot doubt."


"When I see people very diligently trying to discover what kind of prayer they are experiencing and so completely wrapt up in their prayers that they seem afraid to stir, or to indulge in a moment's thought, lest they should lose the slightest degree of the tenderness and devotion which they have been feeling, I realize how little they understand of the road to the attainment of union.  They think that the whole thing consists in this.  But no, sisters, no; what the Lord desires is works.  If you see a sick woman to whom you can give some help, never be affected by the fear that your devotion will suffer, but take pity on her; if she is in pain, you should feel pain too; if necessary, fast so that she may have your food, not so much for her sake as because you know it to be your Lord's will..  That is true union with His will."


"The thing is inexpressible, for this distress and oppression are spiritual troubles and cannot be given a name.  The best medicine-is to occupy oneself with external affairs and works of charity and hope in God's mercy, which never fails those who hope in Him. May He be bless for ever. Amen"


"Oh, let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we are doing anything whatever by merely putting up with insults!  Let us endure everything, and be glad to do so, and love those who do us wrong; for, greatly as we have offended this great God, He has not ceased loving us, and so He has very good reason for desiring us all to forgive those who have wronged us."


"I was wondering once why Our Lord so dearly loved this virtue of humility; and all of a sudden -- without, I believe, my having previously though of it--the following reason came into my mind: that it is because God is Sovereign Truth and to be humble is to walk in truth, for it is absolutely true to say that we have no good thing in ourselves, but only misery and nothingness; and anyone who fails to understand this is walking in falsehood.  He who best understands it is most pleasing to Sovereign Truth because he is walking in truth.  May it please God, sisters, to grant us grace never to fail to have this knowledge ourselves. Amen."


 "Fix your eyes on the Crucified and nothing else will be of much importance to you.  If His Majesty revealed His love to us by doing and suffering such amazing things, how can you expect to please Him by words alone?  Do you know when people really become spiritual?  It is when they become the slaves of God and are branded with His sign, which is the sign of the Cross, in token that they have given them their freedom.  Then He can sell them as slaves to the whole world, as He Himself was sold, and if He does this He will be doing them no wrong but showing them no slight favor.  Unless they resolve to do this, they need not expect to make great progress.  For the foundation of this whole edifice, as I have said, is humility, and, if you have not true humility, the Lord will not wish it to reach any great height: in fact, it is for your own good that it should not; if it did, it would fall to the ground. Therefore sisters, if you wish to lay good foundations, each of you must try to be the least of all, and the slave of God, and must seek a way and means to please and serve your companions.  If you do that, it will be of more value to you than to them and your foundation will be so firmly laid that your Castle will not fall."


"In a word my sisters, I will end by saying that we must not build towers without foundations, and that the Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do as at the love with which we do it.  If we accomplish what we can, His Majesty  will see to it that we become able to do more each day.  We must not begin by growing weary; but during the whole of this short life, which for any one of you may be shorter than you think, we must offer the Lord whatever interior and exterior sacrifice we are able to give Him, and His Majesty will unite it with that which He offered to the Father for us upon the Cross, so that it may have the value won for it by our will, even though our actions in themselves may be trivial."