I Believe

I believe that most people are good

I believe that most people are kind

I believe that most people care

I believe that mainstream media has an agenda

I believe that mainstream media works towards keeping us divided

I believe that mainstream media wants to keep everyone scared

I believe that social media molds individuals into puppets

I believe that social media also strives for division

I believe that social media is not so social anymore

I believe in God and look to him for strength

I believe that most people believe in a higher power

I believe that most people live by the “golden rule.”

I believe that people will wake up one day and realize that we need to become more dependent on each other, instead of depending on politicians who care about power and money instead of the people they serve.

I believe that we can come together and mend the brokenness of this country, only if we don’t listen to the haters, dividers, and non-believers.

I believe that we can make the United States of America great again, but not through any political party or any politicians, but through our own hard work, determination, and God’s grace.

God help us.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

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!

Come Together

Good vs Evil

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

The time has come, to set differences aside and come together as Christians for the betterment of our nation. No petty bickering of “He’s a Catholic and they….” Or “Well they are Mormons and they…..” There is a war going on in our country, a spiritual war of pure unadulterated evil, and we are called to fight!

If you profess Christ as your savior and you do your best to live out a life like his daily then you are a Christian! There are more “Christian by name” people in the United States than there are Christians. It isn’t only our job to make sure that we get to heaven but we have to try to lead our family and others to Christ as well. The more Christian brothers and sisters that we have in this war, the more we will succeed in setting things straight again.

Off Balance: Mom & kids on one side, the Father on the other.

Our country is off balance and we need to start fixing it. In my opinion, one of the reasons that it is off balance is due to the fact that the “nuclear family” model is no longer applicable in today’s society. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Black Lives Matter website and look under “What we believe”, you will read the following: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” Did you notice that not only do they admit to disrupting the nuclear family structure but, they fail to mention “fathers” in their statement!

BLM, ANTIFA, NFAC, KKK, etc, these are all racist, hateful, and evil organizations that have set themselves apart, by choice, from the rest of society. They want their own version of what the United States should look like. Are we going to just stand there and allow this to happen? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

So here is my challenge to all of you who profess to be Christians. Gather a group of Christians together at your Local Park or square, and come together for a day of prayer for our country. Go from church to church advertising what day you will do this and then, do it! There are power in numbers and we have God on our side. Whom should we fear?

Go out there brothers and sisters and educate your fellow Christians especially now before the elections take place. Do they want to continue to live in a country where unborn babies are killed by the hundreds of thousands, where rioting and looting is allowed, where anarchy is looked to as normal, and where law enforcement is being defunded due to pressures from racist organizations? This is not the nation that I want to live in and I’m sure many of you don’t want to either. If the Democratic Party wins, this is what we have to look forward to and possibly a new civil war.

Pray that God the Father gives you the will to fight. Pray that Jesus Christ the Son gives you the strength to fight. And pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge to encourage others to fight.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

30 Day Retreat

Picture yourself driving down a highway during the summer and it is early morning, the sun is beginning to rise. As you are driving you hear or see the splat of a bug hitting your windshield. If you’re quick enough you rinse the remains of the bug off. After driving for an hour you pull off into a rest area. You notice that your windshield is a mess. Bugs and remnants of them have left their mark on your windshield. You get back in your vehicle and start to drive away noticing the mess on the windshield. You can still see the road but it’s not as clear. You get to a crossroad and make a turn, the wrong turn because you could not see clearly.

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Sometimes we allow things to get in the way of our journey with Christ. People, material objects, vices, places, situations, they all can create a blurred vision of the path that leads us home to him. That is when we need to stop, clear our vision, and get back on track.

 

I am at one of those times in my life where I need to clear my vision. I need to get away from the world as best as I can, and clean my inner windshield. A friend and Catholic brother of mine introduced me to a program, “Freedom Through Christ” created by a Catholic Deliverance Ministry.

I saw the changes that he went through and although I know that I may not experience those same changes, I know that changes need to be taken in order for me to continue my journey with Christ. This is my time to reconnect with God in a deeper more intimate way than what I’ve ever done before.

Tomorrow July 16, 2020, I begin my retreat. I will be off the grid per se for at least 30 days, maybe more, I have no idea how this will go or where God will lead me during this time.

I’d like to ask you all to pray for me during this time. Pray that God will deliver me from whatever it is that is holding me back. Pray that his will be done in my life. I will pray for all of you and your intentions during this time and when I return, I pray that I am a better man than who I am today.

Thank you, God bless you, Buen Camino, and I’ll see you all later.

Red, White, and Yellow: The American Conservative

Does liberal America really have the power?

The left do have the power and they know how to use it. They have most if not all social media platforms, and they know how to use it against those of us with differing opinions. They gather together, putting their differences aside, to rally for their cause. They make the most noise and Get the most attention so that change is made in their favor.

I blame us, the conservative Americans. We don’t rally together like they do to make our voices heard. Instead, we make up reasons for why we can’t; “I would go to the protest but I have to work. I’ll be there in spirit though.” Very comforting words but that’s all they are, words.

We don’t have protests in our streets like they do, we sign fictitious online petitions that go nowhere but make us feel as though we’ve stood up for our rights and they forward it to all their friends on social media and like a bunch of lemmings, they comply.

We don’t make any noise like them. We complain about it to our little inner circle of friends instead.

If we want change, then we, the American conservatives have to change. We can longer cower like children afraid of the boogeyman.

How do we start? Organization

When given the opportunity to protest, do it. Plan it out, organize it, gather as many people as you can to commit to the cause (power in numbers), set aside any petty differences, and put your plan into action. I’ll give you an example of how we fail at protests.

In the small town where I live, there are multiple “pro-life” rallies held throughout the year. Some have 10, 20, 40 people etc. which is small. Why is that? Because they are held by separate churches or organizations. Instead of coming together for the same cause, they bicker about petty differences. Is it any wonder we are looked at as fools.

The left sees this too and they use it towards their advantage. They work to not only keep us separated from them, but also ourselves. They are in our work places, our stores, and our churches and they whisper in our ear, like the devil, words of division.

American conservatives sit on their rumps talking about “What I’ll do if…” How about instead of waiting for that”if” to happen, you go out and do something before it happens? What are you afraid of? Losing your job, your business, your status within the community? The left doesn’t care about any of that and that is why they have managed to change this country in their favor!

So in closing, don’t just say you are going to do something, Do It! Stand up for your rights! It’s not rocket science, it is as simple as turning your words into action. That is what the liberal American does. Why can’t you?

Most Americans conservatives are Christians and hold those values to heart. With that being said, I offer this prayer for us:

God, most powerful and Almighty Father forgive us. Not only for how we have sinned against you, but for the things that we should have done but we’re afraid to do. Forgive us for standing by and allowing our country to fall deeper into sin. We ask you Lord, to give us the courage, strength, and wisdom to stand up against the evils of this world, to boldly go out and make our voices heard, and to place you back, not only in the center of our lives, but the center of our Nation. Amen.

May we say “One Nation under God” and truly mean it.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

Four Things I Learned From Last Week

If last week were a test for our country from God, then we utterly failed as a nation. Here are 4 things that I learned about our country based off the actions of the past week.

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Division

We are still more divided in this country than we think we are and it’s not all about race. Yes there is still racism in our country but it’s not as bad as what mainstream media wants you to believe it is. Right before the murder of George Floyd, Americans were divided about wearing a mask due to the Coronavirus. People with mask were being disrespectful to those without and vice versa. When people are arguing about something as petty as wearing a mask and being driven towards division over it, there is a problem.

With the murder of George Floyd, it has fueled that “us against them” mentality among many individuals, which leads to my next topic, hate.

 

 

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Hate

We all know the opposite of hate is love. Love builds, love cares, and love strives for the betterment of mankind. God is love. Hate destroys, period! Hate is Satan. Satan has been roaming the world destroying everything in his path. As the bible says, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. The devil has set his sight on the ruin of families, creating division along the way and instilling hate in individuals that they just can’t shake on their own.

Hate driven rioters have taken to the streets of America burning and looting along the way. Fueled by a false sense of fear within them, they listen to what is being fed to them on TV and this fuels the hate towards “X” whatever X may be. “I hate him because X!”  Hate is a feeling; Love is an Action.

Resist him (the devil), be firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:9

 

 

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Mainstream Media Still Rules

No matter how many people like myself try to educate others to think for themselves instead of being told how, what, and when to think by Mainstream Media, the proof is still there that Mainstream Media continues to dictate the path of far too many Americans. I still would like to encourage these individuals to shut off their televisions or whatever news sources they are using and take a step back, clear the emotions from your head so that you will have an unobscured vision of the truth, then look at what is really going on in America. You will be able to see who the people are that are pulling the strings of society and then you will be able to make better choices in how you receive your news and you will sever the ties that bind you to Mainstream Media.

 

 

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Lack of Dignity of Life

Just like everyone else that saw the video of the detainment of George Floyd, I was sickened to see him slowly being murdered by a law enforcement officer, someone who is supposed to be there to protect and serve their community. I was angry, but I wasn’t shocked. I’ll explain that later. It is what I do with that anger that will determine what type of person I am. Will I be self-serving and use it like the looters and rioters or will I use it for positive change in a negative situation. I’ve chosen to write this today and share my thoughts. Maybe it will make somebody think along the way and change their outlook on mankind, maybe?

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Every year approximately one million unborn children are murdered in America. There are very few protests, there is no rioting or looting done because of their deaths. They are the voiceless individuals that far too many people forget about or speak up for. So if we don’t have respect for the dignity of the unborn, we shouldn’t be shocked at the actions of that officer who murdered George Floyd. That is why I mentioned earlier that I was angry, but not shocked.

In my opinion and based on observations in my life, there are far too many people who don’t care about the dignity of life. Be it humans or animals, these people have the mentality that “some” of these; humans, animals, are expendable or are not needed. As a society, if we don’t care for the lesser of these, what makes you think that we will care for the greater of them? We need hearts to be changed. We need to respect the dignity of life.

 

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So what now?

All these things that I mentioned can be fixed but it takes a change of heart and, in my opinion, it takes God to be in the center of your lives.

I am Roman Catholic and I stand firm in my faith. My job is not to convince you to become a Roman Catholic. My job is not to convince you that God does exist. My job is to be the best version of who God created me to be and to share his message with others, to share my experiences about him with others and this is what I try to do on a daily basis, this is what I try to do with my blog.

Do I always have God at the center of my life? No. Sometimes he gets pushed to the side but he never gets pushed out of my life. I’m a sinner, and I know my sins, but it doesn’t make me quit, it makes me strive harder to be that better person that God created me to be.

I’ve shared this once and I’ll share it again now. Jesus gave us one commandment and that was to “love others as I have loved you.” John 15:12

Be that version that God created you to be. Love one another as he has loved us. Be that better person.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

Food for Thought


foodforthought

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.

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.

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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?

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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!

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“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.