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.

My First True Love

I was reminiscing today about my first true love. I was only a child when it happened, but I remember her well. The moment I heard her, I was swept off my feet.

She would say, “let’s go on an adventure” and I wouldn’t hesitate. She would grab me and take me away, to places that I never knew existed.

When I was with her, it was like floating in space. Time stood still when I was with her.

As I grew older, my love for her grew deeper. The way that she could stir up every emotion inside of me was remarkable.

I still love her. Sometimes I listen to her past and other times she reveals something new. But it’s never dull, never boring, She draws me in, like only she knows how.

My first true love was music. And even though I love my bride, my children, my family and friends, she will always hold a special place in my heart, my first true love.

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!

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.

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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.

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.

To Blog or Not to Blog

I'm sorry

For those of you who still follow this blog, I’m shocked; I’m also sorry for not being consistent with my posts. I’m hoping to change that going forward and try to post at least once a month at a minimum.

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So why the hiatus? I guess you can say it’s been multiple reasons; some good, some bad, but still, there were enough to keep me distracted from my blog. 2019 like any other year, has been a year of ups and downs; mostly downs though.

Earlier in the year, I dropped out of the deacon formation program and that sent me off on a tailspin. I never wanted to drop out however, due to circumstances beyond my control, it was in my best interest and that of my family, to get out. The healing from that continues though. A few months later, one of our fellow diaconate brothers who left the program last summer took his own life. It didn’t make sense then, it still doesn’t make sense and it probably never will. The healing also continues from that event. A couple months after that, our business loses our biggest client. Another situation that was beyond my control but, it still impacts us. There have been a few other business-related matters that have risen in which we will have to wait and see what happens going forward.

therapy

Needless to say, I started therapy earlier in the year. As it has progressed and times have gotten tougher throughout the year, my therapist and doctors have been a blessing. I believe that my diagnosis is spot on and there is a plan that we’ve implemented to help me address my issues and move forward to a more normal life. Baby steps. Please, don’t ever make fun of people who are seeking help. I used to be that asshole that did that and look at me now. This world can be pretty messed up to put it lightly and there are many of us who have grown up in non-typical environments that have left us bruised, wounded and scarred. Instead of making fun of us, take the time to get to know us and listen to us, if we are willing to talk.

faith

My faith means a lot to me. Let me rephrase that, my Catholic faith means a lot to me. Ever since coming back to the Church in 2012, my faith journey has been a roller coaster of a ride, to say the least. This year really tested that faith, especially during that first half of the year. But I trust in Jesus Christ, my God, to get me through all of this as he has done before. Even if the outcome is not how I wanted it to be, I trust that it was His will that was done and not mine and that it was for the best.

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Cast No Stones

So was it all bad this year? Absolutely not. I started playing with a couple of men back in March of this year just for rest and relaxation and it turned into a group. The name of our band is Cast No Stones and if you get a chance, check us out on Facebook. We played our first show in October to a packed house at the Little Toad Creek Brewery in Silver City, NM and it was a fun night. Our next show will be a private party at the Elks Club on New Year’s Eve. Playing in the band has been a form of therapy for me as well.

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Dream Theater – Distance Over Time Tour October 26, 2019

I also went with a good friend of mine and saw Dream Theater for the first time in October and I was blown away. Definitely, the best show that I’ve ever been to.

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I had lunch with that friend of mine that I went to the concert with and we’ve decided to launch another Catholic men’s group for our area. We have a few men who are interested in joining to see what it’s all about. We truly believe that there are many men out there in the world who are hungering for something. They are trying to fill that hunger with other things in life and finding out that they are still hungry at the end of the day. We want to lead these men and ourselves to the living bread, Jesus Christ. As scripture says, “As iron sharpens irons, so one man sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17

So I take the bad with the good and I thank God for the blessings and lessons that he has bestowed upon me this year. I had to take time to sit back and think about what I was going to say and then I remembered; mi viaje – my journey, that is what my blog is about, my life and my journey and how I wanted to share it with the world. Please keep me in your prayers and know that I’m praying for you. Until next time, buen camino.

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.

baggage

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.

forgiveness

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.

Noise

When was the last time you lived? Sounds crazy because you are alive right now if you are reading this right? But what I’m talking about is living your life, when was the last time?

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We have so much noise in this world, the noise that keeps us away from experiencing and living our lives to the fullest potential that God created us to live it. Most of the noise is not audible noise at all but just distractions that keep us from living our lives and from listening to God. Our phones, computers, tablets, etc… God forbid we don’t see what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other social media platforms. What about the noise inside our heads? We are a people of worry, doubt, skepticism, just to name a few. We go about our day planning the next step, the next project, the next hour, minute and second.

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Instead of picking up our phones to check social media, instead of worrying about what’s in store for today, we should be picking up our bibles and reflecting on what it is God wants to tell us. “The human heart plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.” Proverbs 16:9

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Allow God to direct your steps, he knows exactly where he needs you. Trust in his will to be done instead of yours. Yes, go through your day but know and trust in God that he is in control. Also, take time to put social media aside and look and listen to what’s going on around you. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? Is it a mountain full of trees where you hear the wind blowing through the branches or is it the sound of the city waking up and coming to life?

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When you get a chance today, set aside all distractions and spend some time looking at your surroundings. Take some time to listen to all the sounds that are around you. And, take some time to just sit there with God, don’t say anything, just sit there and be with him.

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Enjoy the journey and may God continue to bless you and all that you do for his kingdom.

Negative Influences

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This is the day. This is the day that I say “NO” to negativity! This is the day that I stop falling for the nonsense that enters into my life. This is the day that I stand by Jesus Christ and ask him to help me be a better man.

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This journey with Christ has not been an easy one but then again, nobody ever said it would be. As a matter of fact, some of the most influential people that I have met so far in my journey with Christ have told me how hard it is and how much harder it will get for me. One of my earlier spiritual directors told me, “The closer you get to God, the harder Satan will try to trip you up.” Some days the devil can’t trip me up for nothing, and others days, it’s not even a challenge for him. So what is a person to do?

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Ugh. There he goes again

There are some people in my life who I dearly love but at times, they can be a negative influence on me. I fall into their trap and end up acting the fool. I know the problems that have been plaguing me lately. Listening to gossip or doing it myself, feeding into negative actions such as cursing and being inconsiderate towards others feelings or being spurned onto these actions by friends and family. It’s as though I can hear my guardian angel say, “Hey look out there’s a ….. never mind, too late” and I fall again. This is the day that it ends. As my bride likes to say, “one can not walk with the Lord while holding hands with the devil.”

 

sin kills

Sin kills. When we give into what the devil is feeding us, we die. Sin kills, plain and simple. Have you ever payed attention to your sinful patterns? One little venial sin here, another one there, and another and another and another until there is this big pile of venial sins. When there is no more room for venial sins we end up giving into mortal sins, sins that separate us from or push us away from Christ. The more we give into venial sin, the easier it is to fall into the trap of mortal sin. Sin is the thing that keeps me away from the peace, the peace of Christ that I am looking for. That quiet, peace. Only through the grace of God will I be able to turn over a new leaf. And although I have calmed down quite a bit compared to my old self, that “old self” likes to try and sneak in from time to time to cause havoc.

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I want that peace of Christ and I want it now. In a world full of noise, sometimes noise that I create myself, I want peace. I’m tired of the negativity. It’s like carrying a heavy load and I don’t want to carry it any longer. So, to my family & friends who are having issues in their lives, I’m sorry you are going through what you are going through and I pray that you get through it soon, but your negativity is not helping me so I will take a step back, I will pray for you, and I will be there when you need to talk. If I want to find peace in myself, I need to look for it through and with Christ. You are always welcomed to join us.