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As I sit here in my recliner, front door open, cool evening air blowing inside, 11:30 PM, my mind went back to Ft. Stockton, TX 1979, cool summer evening just like tonight but back then, you could sleep with your front door open. Man have times changed.

I miss the simpler times in life. I didn’t have the best life growing up but I did have some good memories here and there. It’s those memories, those times and places that I miss during times like these.

And here I am now, just turned 53 this month, living a life that I would’ve never imagined, in what some people are calling a “COVID world.” Well, I don’t want to live in a “COVID world.” What does that mean? I don’t know. What I do know is that for some, this virus has made them look at themselves and they are trying to become better humans. And then there are others, who just like demons, look for any opportunity to make others lives miserable. I try to be that first type of person but there are times that I fail.

I’ve kept this picture up as my Facebook cover as a reminder to just live. Some days I’m like Keith Richards and other days I’m like the other guys but the one thing that I strive for daily is to do what they are doing in the picture, smiling and laughing. Even with the masks on, you can see the smiles, the laughter, and the happiness on their faces.

Will our world ever get back to normal? I don’t know. For now, I will live my life the best way I know how, and I will laugh and smile along the way. Until next time, buen camino & God bless.

Food for Thought


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This is from a post that I shared with my friends on Facebook this morning.

Good Morning Everyone.

Food for thought. Is there more to the COVID-19 virus than we know? Our economy is the worst that it’s been in a long time. Americans are being told what to do and when to do it and, they are being compliant or at least most are. Small businesses are going out of business yet they are told that there are “funds” to help them when there really aren’t. My bride and I own a small business of just her and me and although we have been able to remain open as an “essential” business, we may not survive the economic impact at the end. We’ve seen so many local small businesses opening up “Go Fund Me” pages just to help them survive! The supposed small business relief goes to businesses that have 500 or fewer. If that is the case, we need to re-evaluate how they measure “small businesses” and maybe come up with a better classification of businesses like ours and many around here; maybe call us “micro-businesses” because most of us have less than 30 employees.

Depression, frustration, anger, and anxiety are taking their tolls on most Americans out there but who is taking care of them? I hope that this has taught us to go back to grassroots and start looking out for each other cause the government isn’t going to do it. They might send you a “Stimulus Check” here and there to keep you happy but that’s it.

I’m not a conspiracy theorists nor am I a “the sky is falling” type of person. I am an observer of my surroundings and so far what I’ve seen is a lot of governmental control with its aim of heading the country in another direction that will give us fewer and fewer rights. I hope that I’m wrong but these are things that I’ve noticed.

I’m not saying that the virus is fake because I know that it’s not. Right now in the United States we stand at 41K deaths attributed to COVID-19. Last year we had approximately 60K deaths (CDC numbers) attributed to influenza. Does this mean that this will be the new norm every flu season, shut down the world and keep everyone apart from each other? Does it mean more government control?

The only thing that has helped to keep me going through all this is my faith. If there is one thing that I know for sure it is that God is bigger than all of this. Some people are calling this a chastisement from God. I’m not saying that it is or isn’t but I know for certain that God is trying to get our attention, but most people are not listening.

As Christians, we just celebrated the resurrection of the Lord with the passing of Easter Sunday, yet a day later, everyone goes back to being themselves, forgetting about others, acting like uncivilized heathens on social media and such. As a Catholic, we just finished celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday yesterday yet how many of us show that mercy to others? When was the last time that you prayed for that person who hurt you, your enemy? That is mercy. Jesus Christ gave us one just one commandment and that was to love each other as he has loved us! Who knows, maybe this is a chastisement for a world whose become so selfish, greedy and thoughtless about and towards each other.

I was thinking about all the different politicians that have been voted into their positions over the years and if you stop and really look at them, take away their party designation and look at what they do or what they’ve done and you will see a person whose biggest interest is their own, not yours, not ours. It reminds me of a story from scripture where Israel demands a new King (1 Samuel 8) and the words that God told Samuel; “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds which they have done to me, from the day I brought them out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods.”

If what’s going on around the world doesn’t scare you, then the words of God should. We’ve voted these people in because we thought they were the best candidate, because they are the “lesser of two evils”, or because they are a local homeboy who cares about our city, but do they? Look at their actions and then ask yourself, do they really care, do they really see the big picture? And in regards to the “lesser of two evils”, who said that you should vote for evil anyhow if that’s how you feel?

Now more than ever, we need God in our lives. He’s always been there. It is not he who turned from us but we who turned from him. Even Jesus pleaded with God the Father on his last day; “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If this isn’t a chastisement, brace yourselves then, because if we continue to be the people we were before this virus, and we go back to being “those people”, then it is only a matter of time before God truly shows his hand. Repent.

Chastisement or Not?

 

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Now that we are a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, more serious discussions are arising within the Christian community on whether or not this virus is a chastisement from God. I can’t say yes or no for sure but I tend to lean towards the “yes” side. I do see this as a wake up call though for the entire world. The question is, are we listening?

We hear things all around us but do we ever listen to what it is we here? Our lives are surrounded by so much noise, both audible and visual; TV, radio, computers, cell phones, traffic, etc. somewhere out there within all that noise is the voice of God. He is trying to talk to us but we don’t seem to have the time. We are too busy at work and at home. And others would rather listen to what the mainstream media is selling them as the truth. Psalms 101:7 “No one who practices deceit can remain in my house. No one who speaks falsely can last in my presence.”

Romans 13:11-14 “And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of flesh.

“It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.” It is time for you to pull your head out of wherever it is and recognize what is going on around us; listen to what God is saying; “for our salvation in nearer now.” In other words, times is running short.

“Throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” What is the darkness that has encapsulated your life? Is it lust? Lust for flesh, money, food, recognition? Now is the time to sit down and take a good hard honest look at yourself and see what it is that is keeping you away from the grace of God. Cast it aside and repent. If you are able to in these times, go to the sacrament of reconciliation. If you are unable to, pray a sincere act of contrition and pray that God will show you mercy if you were to pass away right now.

“Let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day.” Conduct yourselves as you would while at work or while at Church. Don’t be one person during those times and another person while at home.

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” Now is the time for you to let Jesus Christ into your life. Now is the time to get to know Jesus Christ intimately. Now is the time for you to rid yourselves of desires of the flesh, of the world. As I mentioned before, take a good look at yourself and find what it is that keeps you from putting on Jesus Christ. The desires of the flesh are things that will not get us to heaven and they keep our us distracted with their noise so that our attention is diverted away from Christ.

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During the past few weeks I’ve had plenty of time to read articles and watch videos by priests who I feel are brave and honest and they are trying their hardest to lead their flocks to the kingdom of God. They are trying to help us to “listen” to what it is God is saying. They are not conspiracy theorists. They provide scripture, Church history, and many have talked about the most recent Marian Apparitions (Fatima, Akita, Garabandal) and the messages associated with them. They are not crazy nor are they trying to scare us. They are being shepherds, they are doing their jobs, they are being priests. Let us pray for Pope Francis, all our Cardinals and Bishops, and all of the clergy that they will listen and do the will of God. 

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So is this the end of the world? Is this a Chastisement from God? I don’t know, I am not God. Unlike in the days of young Samuel when the word of the Lord was scarce and vision infrequent, God is trying to get our attention, he is calling each of us by name. Let us answer the Lord as young Samuel did; “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

 

Until next time, buen camino and God bless.



What Have We Learned So Far?

We are now weeks into this epidemic and what have we learned from all of what’s going on with the coronavirus in the United States?

We’ve learned that when push comes to shove, Americans are still strong. Our hospitals, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and rescue personnel are placing themselves in harms way for the health and safety of their communities first. They deserve our thanks and prayers for their health, safety, and for them to continue their work.

We should also thank and pray for our truckers who are working to bring supplies to those in need. Thank and pray for the American worker, who’s job has been deemed “essential” and are still doing their part to keep the country going.

Pray for and look after those who’ve lost their jobs and businesses. During times like these, stress, anxiety, and depression can hit home hard leading to drinking, drug use, and sometimes suicide. Be kind to and look out for each other. Help your fellow man.

The biggest thing that I’ve noticed throughout this whole ordeal, in my opinion, is the fact that we to place God back in the center of our lives. I honestly feel that he’s been warning us over these past few decades and instead of getting better, as a whole, we are getting worse. Disobeying his laws, making a mockery out of the sacrament of marriage, the continued murdering of the unborn, and countless other acts that snub our noses at God. God is a loving God, but he is also a just God.

What have I learned about myself during this time? A lot! I’ve noticed where the lack of God is in my life. I’ve learned that although I’ve come to grips with certain areas in my life, more work is needed to attain the peace that I’ve desperately searched for. Day by day and with the grace of God, I will achieve my goals too.

God bless you all, be safe, and Buen Camino.