You Can Act Like a Man – Wrath

One of the most dangerous sins for men is the sin of wrath. It has fueled war, hatred, and violence towards their fellow man. Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines wrath as 1: strong vengeful anger or indignation. 2: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement

The wrath that men most commonly experience is the one described in the first definition; strong vengeful anger or indignation. How many times have you ever said “I really hate that….?” I’m not just talking about words, but a real deep hatred that boils up within you towards another person.

This type of anger can lead to domestic violence. Recovery from domestic violence takes a long time to heal; both for the victim and the offender, if the offender has sought help. This can take years to recover from, sometimes decades. Most of the time domestic violence is a learned behavior, more than likely stemming from a mans childhood.

If you are a man who’s abusing his significant other, Stop! There is help. If you are a man and are the victim of abuse, Stop! There is help. use the information above.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Talking from experience, letting go of anger and hatred towards individuals will bring you a peace within that you’ve never known. I used to harbor it, hold onto it like an obsession. It did nothing for me except create damage to my soul and create a heaviness that was at times unbearable. Now, I do my best to let it go and give it to God. I remind myself that I’m not God, so why am I allowing this individual, this circumstance to get the better of me? God will handle it, if we allow him.

The Devil knows our weaknesses, and he uses them against us. Be strong, resist, fight back. Prayer is a powerful weapon against anger. When you find yourself getting angry, say one decade of the rosary, especially before you go to sleep. Do not let the sun set while you are still angry.

Next Friday I will talk about the most deadliest sin to men today (in my opinion), the sin of lust. Until then, Buen Camino.

You Can Act Like A Man – Greed

Today we are going to talk about the din of greed.

When you hear the word “greed”, you probably think of money, or someone who’s rich, but it is much more than that. Greed – is an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.

Remember Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? She wanted everything, and she wanted it right away! Does it remind you of anybody you know, possibly yourself at times?

We live in an age of instant gratification. “I want it, and I want it now” or “I deserve it.” I know that I’ve been that person in my life, more times than I’d like to admit. As a matter of fact, I think it is my generations fault, Generation X, that we live in the era of instant gratification. Many of us didn’t have the discipline or skills to just say NO! Others had the notion of not raising their children in the manner that they were ere brought up; they’d be kinder, gentler, more understanding. And in time, we’ve raised a generation of slothful greedy brats.

Change isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s necessary, and other times it’s forced upon us. Either way, you become a stronger person after it’s done.

Through the grace of God, you can change your greedy behavior. Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

I’m not insisting that we become a Socialist Government. If we have, and if we can, we should give to those in need. But they in turn should do their part as well, for the Bible also says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.

It’s all about balance. Give to much, you become an enabler; give to little and you become a miser.

I pray that this has helped you to think about the sin of greed in a different light than before. Next Friday I’ll talk about the sin of wrath.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

You Can Act Like a Man!

I firmly believe that if men would focus on becoming who it was God created them to be, then we wouldn’t be in half the mess that we are.

Remember when the snake came into the Garden of Eden and Adam rose up, picked up a stone, and bashed the snaked to death? Neither do I, because that’s not what happened.

Adam was given the task to ‘abad and shamar, to till and keep the land. He was not vigilant and the snake was able to slither in and disrupt paradise.

The big 7. These will be the topics for the next few posts. In the meantime, ask yourself this question, how can I be a better man?

Until next time, Buen Camino.

Finding God…again.

I’m on a new journey in search of God. Now I know that God is everywhere and, he is within us. However, over the past two years, I’ve allowed the secular world to cloud my vision. So what happened?

First was leaving Deacon Formation in early 2019. It was something that needed to happen but, it was still a hard pill to swallow. The hardest part for me back then, and still is today, is how can God allow evil into his Church? In the Catholic Church we have less than desirable clergy members who appear to be more concerned about their own agendas than with the Gospel. I know (now) that there’s nothing that I can do to change that or them, but I still wonder why God allows it. So why is there so much conflict within me?

2020 brought in depression and anger. Not just for me, but for many people that I know. It was the year of the COVID 19 pandemic that was hyper politicized and continued to divide Americans. I turned to music to escape but in doing so, I placed God on the shelf. It was another question; how could God allow people to be so evil with each other? I know that it’s free will but I know there is more to it. I love music. I love playing live or on Facebook. But I love God too, not like before but, I am trying to find my way back to God.

The longer I’m away from God, the easier it is to fall into sin. Sin is not a good place to be; it’s like wallowing around in your own feces, surrounded by demons.

Thankful

Every year around this time, people start to look inward and share what they are thankful for. Some do it in person and many do it through social media. It’s that time where the year is coming to an end and we look back on all the things that have taken place in the world, our country, and our lives.

This year has been a rough one to say the least. The majority of our country has been shut down since Early 2020 due to COVID-19 and that has impacted millions of Americans in one way or another. People have lost jobs, businesses, hope, and there are those who’ve died from the virus or underlying conditions with the virus added to them.

Add to that a presidential election that brought out the ugliness in many people on both sides of the aisle. Friendships ended and family feuds started or escalated all because people have forgotten how to disagree and move on.

What are your thoughts at this point of this year? Are you hopeful? Are you scared?

I think that 2020 gave us an opportunity to take a step back and be thankful for the smallest things in life, like waking up this morning. Sadly, many people have missed that message because they were too caught up in the election, or being told what to think from mainstream or social media.

Since the start of this virus, I’ve managed to keep a positive attitude, even in the face of losing our business, I remained optimistic. Months later with a new job and new challenges, I still remain optimistic. Why? For me, it’s keeping my eyes on Christ. I can’t do it all alone but as Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

What or who is it that strengthens you? Is it working? Are you content with the way your life is going?

This year, like every other year, I’m thankful for my beautiful bride, my wonderful children, family and friends. I’m also thankful for my new job and new opportunities but most of all, I’m thankful for having Jesus Christ at the center of my life because without him, none of this is possible.

May you be blessed, safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

On the Topic of Pro-Life and the Hatred Towards President Trump

When discussing pro life issues, stating that we should be concerned about the dignity of all lives is an imbecilic thing to say. We should always be taking care of our fellow man. We should always have in mind the dignity of our fellow man, be it the poor, the elderly, the immigrant, etc. By saying that the dignity of all lives matters is using it as a scapegoat to justify voting for a party who supports the murder of the unborn.

Once again I say, if we do not stress the importance of the dignity of life from the beginning, nothing else matters.

Mark 14:7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you will, you can do good to them.

Matthew 25:35 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.

The aforementioned scripture verses are examples of how we should always be taking care of our fellow man.

Now let’s look at a couple of other examples of scripture that refer to the laws of man and God.

Exodus 20:13 You shall not kill.

1 Timothy 1:9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient.

There are many “Christians” out there who absolutely, undeniably, and abhorrently hate President Donald Trump. To them I pose this question; how can you hate someone that you do not know?

What does scripture say about hate?

1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Hate comes from fear. Fear comes from the devil. Ask yourselves who you serve?

I know hate. I know the evil of hate and how it can consume a person and blind them from the truth.

Anyone that I’ve ever “hated” in my life was a lie that was constantly being fed to me by the evil one. How could I hate someone I didn’t know? I couldn’t. The truth was I didn’t like the action(s) of the person and instead of saying that, I went beyond the dislike of an action to hatred for the person.

If someone brings up the name Donald Trump, and you cannot have a rational conversation with that person without allowing your feelings to get involved, pray. Pray that God will give you clarity. I had to because I was allowing my feelings to get involved while defending the President. Now, I point out what he has done to help our nation to try to become great again. Let’s face it, other countries used to look up to us or looked at us with envy and jealousy. Now they laugh at us and that was long before President Trump.

Do we take a chance and vote in a party who wants socialism to be the new norm? Or do we vote for the man who has his own “personal” faults that are between he and God, not he and me. The same man who has brought Christianity back into the vocabulary of politics. The same man who defends the dignity of the unborn and is not ashamed to say so.

Remember, 95% of what we say and do is based on feelings. Use that untapped 5% when it come time to vote. Open your eyes and your hearts. Do not trust your feelings when you vote but vote on the issues at hand.

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.



The Obstacles of Forgiveness

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More so than not, I find that the road to forgiveness is a long one for me, filled with many obstacles and hurdles to overcome. When someone does me wrong, and I mean really wrong, it takes some time for me to get over the hurt, the distrust and the circumstances surrounding the reason. I know it’s not healthy for me mentally or spiritually to hold onto the transgressions against me so I’ve taken steps to help me forgive the people who have wronged me so that I may get past the transgressions and onto freedom from them.

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We all have baggage that we carry with us, whether it be from our childhood, adulthood or both, somewhere along our journeys, somebody has caused some form of grief in our lives that we have a hard time letting go of. Some people are able to forgive the people who have done them wrong and move forward, while some of us have a harder time doing so. Holding onto this baggage, these transgressions against us, will take its toll on us, weigh us down, and in time will hinder us more and more unless we get rid of the baggage.

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Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is an action. We will always remember the situation that happened and that in itself will create feelings of hurt, pain, anger, etc… from within. When we forgive, it doesn’t mean that we forget, nor does it mean that we have automatically reconciled with the people we have forgiven. We don’t have to return to the same relationship or accept the same bad behaviors from those who have hurt us.

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Even if you are seeking professional counseling like I am, we must turn to God and ask him to help us with forgiveness and turn to scripture to guide us as well. Here are a few scriptures that may help you along your way:

Colossians 3:12-13 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

Ephesians 4:31-32 All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Luke 17: 3-4 Be on your guard!* If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

Matthew 6:14-15 If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

Until next time, buen camino & God bless.

I Like to Smile

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Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

I don’t smile a lot or at least I never used to smile a lot. Lately though, I’ve been finding quite a few times when I just smile. When I smile, I feel happy, I feel like I’m at peace. Coming off of our last diaconate formation where we had a one day retreat, I was smiling and truly happy. I was at peace. I then went on to the Long Ride Home shoot and the smiling continued and the peace grew. And then, I returned home and started to notice the things that were stealing my peace.

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John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Sometimes peace isn’t the easiest thing to find. Most of the time it is because we have to find that peace within ourselves. In such a fast paced world we tend to be stressed out with all of the things going on in our lives and what peace we have within us tends to dissipate without us even knowing. A lot of times, it is the things of the world that distract us from the true happiness and that true happiness is in Jesus Christ. For a person with depression, it’s even harder. I have bouts of depression just like most people but I’m talking about those who suffer with it daily. I know some of these people and I see the struggles that they go though. To those people I say this, “Jesus loves you! I may not know what you are feeling or understand completely but Jesus does and He loves you. Let him just hold you, embrace you and love you.” Know that I and many others are praying for you all.

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In my business I get to see a lot of people daily. Some of them I see multiple times in a year because of my business. Most of them are really nice people but there are some that no matter what, they never smile. I have one in particular who I had recently and this person just doesn’t smile at all. I knew who this person even before I started my business and even then, no smile. I used to think, “man that must suck to have a life that bad that you can’t smile, say thank you, respond to have a nice day, etc, etc…..” but now I think, “how sad.” Maybe he has a good reason not to smile and be grouchy all the time but I really don’t understand how a person could go through life that way. To me, that’s no life at all.

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Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.

At some point in your life, I’m sure you too have discovered that “grumpy” person. Don’t allow that person to take away your peace or set your mood. You continue to smile and go about your day as nothing is wrong.  If you are the person walking around always grumpy, then you need to make a self evaluation of why you are this way. I know because I had to do that and I still have to do it every once in a while. I’m in the middle of doing one of those self evaluations right now and I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will guide me in the right direction.

May God continue to bless you all and all that you do for His Kingdom! Viva Cristo Rey!

Courtesy….What Happened To It?

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As a kid, I wouldn’t say that I was a PIA but I did tend to push my limits. However, I still had respect for my elders and for most other people as well…keyword, most lol. I’m not trying to excuse my behavior either but you expect that out of a punk kid, an adolescent. In a couple of days I will be turning 50 and even though that is not old, I’ve seen a lot of changes in this world and from my point of view, they haven’t been for the best, especially here in the United States.

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As you look around our country today, you see this “entitlement” generation, most of them in their late teens up to their late twenties. They all want the “big money” but don’t want to work for it. Once again, I expect that out of young people. I don’t like it or approve of it but it doesn’t surprise me when I see it from this generation. Lately though, it seems to be like a virus that is infecting the older generation, people from the ages of 30 to 70 and it’s actually worse when it comes to them. They tend to have this “I don’t give a ****!” mentality and they don’t care who gets in the way.

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Example: I live in a small town in southwest NM. On a busy day you can still make it from one side of town to the other in about 20 minutes. Yesterday as I was telling my bride how an older man in his brand new truck almost ran me off the road the other day just because he “needed” to be in the right lane, and then bam! It happens right before our eyes again but this person decides to cut across three lanes just to turn off to go to the bowling alley. Then about 5 minutes later, here comes Ricky Bobby cutting off people left and right like if his car was on fire!

Is it any wonder why some people go all William Foster. But I digress.

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Life is short. Even if we live to be 120 years old, our lives are but a micron of what our eternal lives will be. The hard part for a lot of us is praying for that person that cuts us off instead of cussing them. Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. God gave us the gift of free will. We can choose heaven or hell, it’s up to us. I’m not sure about you but, I think I’d rather go to heaven if you know what I mean.

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How about starting today, let’s make that conscious decision to go out and be courteous to one another. Let’s use words like please and thank you. Let’s open doors for each other and let that other person go ahead of you in line at the supermarket. When all else fails, ask yourself this one question, “What would Jesus do?”

May God continue to bless you in all that you do for his Kingdom folks. Viva Cristo Rey!