Saturday, November 1, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
I am lying on the top of an old beat up Beetle.
I am staring at the sky as the stars begin to appear.
I have left the house and slipped out without being noticed.
I am tired of the people, tired of the crying and tired of everyone talking about my dad.
I just want my dad back again.
My brother is not around, he is three years older than me and he can fend for himself.
My mom is inside the house being consoled by all the people who have showed up.
I don’t remember having this many people at our house before.
As I look at the stars through my tears, I think of a life without my dad.
He will never see me graduate from school.
He will never see me get married.
He will never see his grandchildren.
I will never laugh again.
My dad was the one who made me laugh.
He always had a joke.
He never failed to see the funny side of things.
How can I ever laugh again?
Why did I want to go swimming so badly?
Why didn’t I just jump in the canal and make him happy?
Why did he want so badly to see me happy that he took that dangerous risk?
How can a boy live without a dad?
The only home I have ever known is surrounded by his things.
It sits adjacent to the salvage yard he often worked in.
It’s right next to the wrecker company he drove for, and often took us with him on calls.
There are oil and paint stains on the concrete driveway that are like medals pinned to his chest.
I am lying next to the fence that I crashed into when he taught me to ride a bike.
The desert that surrounds us will always remind me of his sand buggies and motor bikes.
His life is woven into mine with memories that are now haunting.
How will my mom take care of us?
How can she provide the things dad worked three jobs to provide for us?
Where is God?
I suddenly realize, I am no longer a kid.
This horrible tragedy has aged me and I can never go back.
I don’t want to play with toys ever again.
I don’t want to act like a child.
I just want my dad back.
I don’t remember going to bed that night.
I don’t remember how I even got to sleep.
My memories stop at that moment, on the roof of that car and do not start again until his funeral.
Now I have been given the answers to most of my questions.
I did graduate. I got married. I am father to a wonderful son. I know where my Heavenly Father is and He takes care of me…
but I will always have these memories.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The downward spiral of mankind's spiritual state ultimately results in an animalistic existence. The evidence is all around us, people living like some kinda zombie. Not thinking, not interacting and not living just going through life in a fog.
We see these type of people in the story of the good Samaritan. Humans unable to act in the way the Creator made them to be. People held captive by their self inflicted chains, not able to think about what's around them or interact with others basically they are spiritually dead.
Animals live their lives to eat, drink, procreate, relieve themselves and sleep. Anything that prohibits them from doing these things throws the animal into survival mode. A weasel doesn't wake up one day and say to himself, "I'm gonna go down to the creek and wait till that rabbit shows up and kick his butt" or "I better rush over to the porcupine's house and help him fix his roof." Although some animals show levels of compassion and interaction some times, more often than not these traits are human.
Without a connection to our Creator through prayer and meditation we digress into these subpar animal like creatures. A place where killing or injuring others requires no conscious decision, just action; a state where being a sexual predator is deemed normal or okay.
To ascend into the higher levels of relationship with YHWH, you MUST seek Him. The minute you stop seeking you are descending into this lower existence. Break the chains by making decisions that lead to life and rejecting choices that bring on death.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Recently, I was giving this some meditation time and wanted to share my thoughts on this topic.
All my life I have been a forward thinker.
I like to plan everything out and know what I am going to be doing at all times. I have never liked surprises and detest surprise parties thrown in my honor. When driving I am always looking ahead and calculating all of the possible scenarios ahead of me, as I feel this makes me a safer driver because I have a plan “just in case.” In fact, I do this in every situation so I am very seldom caught off guard. In the past people have seen me thrown into seemingly surprising situations and yet I didn’t act surprised; because I wasn’t.
During my years in sales/customer service I used this technique before and during client interaction. Running through every possible scenario before the interaction and trying to move the conversation like a chess game (or in my case, a checkers game). Once you have played out every conceivable action/reaction scenario you can communicate smoothly and avoid dialogue pitfalls.
Growing up in the Pentecostal church is probably where I developed these techniques initially.
As a child, starting around 4 years old, my mother had my older brother and me singing in a trio with her at church services. For those of you with no apostolic Pentecostal background let me explain, this meant at any given service at any given time you could be called up in front of a packed house to sing. As a little guy, I began to consider the possibilities every time we arrived at church that way I didn’t accidently embarrass me or my mother.
Later in life, I was being used to lead song service and then emcee the complete service and eventually became a preacher. The phrase “be instant in and out of season” was used too much and incorrectly, too often.
As a young man of nineteen years, I tackled a psychotic job of selling Rainbow vacuum cleaners door to door.
It was during those improvisational situations at a stranger’s door, that these skills were again honed to perfection. For the rest of my career to date, including door to door insurance sales and car sales among many other things, I have always thought in this manner.
Now you might be thinking that I am saying, as a self proclaimed “forward thinker”, that “backward thinkers” aren’t as good or can’t operate/functional as well. Let me explain to you how I really see this.
The Heavenly Father, in His infinite kindness and wisdom blessed me with a “backward thinker.” That might sound strange after my over hyping the “forward thinkers” technique above, but here’s the truth.
Backward thinkers are reflective and spend a lot of time reminiscing. They seldom rush at their work and will check and recheck the job. They often rehash conversations and sometimes develop unfounded fears after reconsidering what they have said and done. They generally compare EVERYTHING to something else that is already familiar to their lives. That makes it difficult for them to make new friends because if the newcomer resembles, talks like, looks like or even smells like someone unfavorable from their past, the newcomer is unknowingly off on the wrong foot already. If they hear new music or see a new movie, they quickly do a mental scan of their memory data bank and find something of like kind to attach this new experience to, then, and only then, they can relax and enjoy the new thing.
These might not sound like a kind assessment overall, but here is why I love “backward thinkers.” All of the traits that a backward thinker possesses counteract or compliment a forward thinking person. The hard part, as a forward thinker, was finally realizing that I needed to tap the resources given to me and quit messing things up with the “my way or the highway” attitude.
For you see, when a forward thinker rushes in were fools often fear to tread, the backward thinker says, “Let’s think this through.” If I had listened to my backward thinker more the first twenty years or so, I would have more friends, a better looking resume, be healthier, have fewer scars and could sleep better at night. Because I am always fifteen steps past the present, my beautiful backward thinker is always ready to pull on me so hard that I get back to the present.
So, I am what I am and I don’t believe Abba made me defective; I am learning to partner with my backward thinker and in doing so, I hope to be a better me.
(I love you Margaret)
Thursday, December 27, 2012
I typically don’t feel I have anything all that important to say. I try to post as my Heavenly Father leads me, and occasionally post pics or family updates. I have been guilty of airing my laundry from time to time, even though those who constantly do so irritate me.
I don’t have an agenda or a personal ministry to promote. I do not think the world needs my two cents worth to make everything all right. There are already a plethora of people who post teachings and having one more doesn’t really accomplish anything.
I have a ministry. My ministry is my family, my neighbors and my clients I serve 5 days a week.
I have a wife and son who look to me as the spiritual leader of my home. So I try and focus on leading them and encouraging and building them up on a daily basis. That is a very awesome and rewarding full time job.
In addition, I try and help those around me in the non-cyber world, who I have real face time with on a regular basis. My son and I daily feed around 40 senior citizens in our county during the week. These wonderful people are oft times needing someone to listen to them, encourage them and do small things for them as we stop by their homes. This has been an extreme blessing to Zac and I for five years. The pay is pathetic and the hours scarce; but I am at peace. I continue to search for a better paying, full time job all the while knowing that when Abba is done with me in this assignment, He will move me on. So I am at peace with where I am at this time.
It has taken me quite a while to reach this point in life, but I can finally say that I am content. I am happy and grateful for the MANY wonderful things I have been blessed with in life. I spent a large portion of my life dreaming of becoming wealthy, or sad to say, popular on some level. Today I have reached that status in a way I never imagined. The love of my family and friends is a great wealth beyond all I ever dreamed. In addition, a large number of sweet elderly people know my son and I and appreciate what we do for them.
Recently, I was at a Sabbath service with a fairly large sized crowd. A good friend, who is like a younger brother to me, was there and was seated a few rows in front of me. He was going to be teaching later in the service and was going through the mental and internal preparations that only someone who has spoken publically has experienced. At one point in during the worship service, I looked over at him and saw something that flooded my heart with joy. His loving wife was standing next to him as they praised YHWH together and her support and love for her husband was strong and obvious. This is a treasure that cannot be compared to monetary gain.
I have had this type of wife for 25 years and to know that my friend has been blessed in the same manner was better than any lottery payoff or financial gain. I didn’t appreciate or even realize what I had for a great number of years. This ignorance caused me to seek a lie instead of enjoying the true wealth I already had been blessed with.
Having said these things, I must tell you what matters most to me in this life:
I love my Father YHWH with my whole heart. I have a relationship with Him based on two principals.
1. I fear/respect YHWH
2. I keep/guard His commandments.
These two foundational stones have allowed me to know Him in a way I never imagined for 35+ years. If you do not know or understand these principals, dig into the WORD and see how abundant they are throughout Scripture. In embracing these concepts and seeking him with your whole heart, you will develop a love affair with your Creator that will launch you into the Kingdom.
I love my family and desire to serve them daily.
I spent a large portion of my early married life seeing myself as the capstone on a family pyramid. I was absolutely right; I just had it upside down. When I realized that I wasn’t the crown, but the support, my life began to change. My family depends on me as a stabilizing force to hold them up and support them. This means becoming a servant. I don’t seek personal fulfillment, I only want them to be provided for, cared for and loved. This means that Scripture study, prayer and conversation comes before my personal wants. By striving to do this, I am being the man I wa created to be.
I have an awesome ministry.
I am more concerned with having a hands on ministry, that helps others in a real way, than trying to impress fellow believers with my knowledge of Scripture interpretation and the Hebrew language. Doing something for someone and showing them Y’shua is SO much more beneficial than impressing the masses with my vocabulary.
We all pursue and seek our Creator in the way we choose. If we continue to chase after Him, He will lead us to the place we need to be. Keep your eyes on YHWH, do not look to man. If we follow man, they will always lead you into the ditch. Let Abba be your Guide and He will lead you in the Path of Righteousness for His Name’s sake.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
This will be a long post and not easy to write, but I promise to make it interesting and you won’t regret reading it.
Twenty-five years ago I looked into the most beautiful eyes YHWH has ever created and made a vow before Him and around 150 people.
I didn’t really know how to keep a vow or the seriousness of the vow I was pledging, but I was young and in love, so I was all in. I have a few things to confess here and this isn’t easy. I was a lousy husband from the beginning. I was selfish and hateful with a smart aleck mouth. I wouldn’t be surprised if Margaret didn’t look at me while I was sleeping sometimes and contemplate me demise.
It’s not that I didn’t love Margaret, it’s just that I didn’t know how to love and certainly didn’t know how to treat a wife. You see I hadn’t ever paid attention to married couples and therefore I wasn’t following any examples that may or may not have been available.
For many years Margaret put up with my issues and she still loved me. I was immature and irresponsible so I couldn’t be relied upon to keep a job or make anything of myself. I flew through jobs like they grew on trees. My career instability created a financial nightmare, but Margaret still loved me.
I was always faithful to Margaret, but being faithful alone isn’t enough to cover up the lack of compassion and kindness I was displaying. I was quick to insult and belittle Margaret, be it in private or publically. I am surprised someone didn’t confront me about these issues, or maybe they did and I just ignored them.
We moved around a lot, which allowed Margaret to see parts of the United States she hadn’t seen before, but women prefer to have a nest to settle in and I couldn’t even pick a tree. Through all of this, Margaret still loved me.
Margaret had a real tough couple of years at the end of the 90’s. In 1996 Margaret’s dad, Robert Sabo came down with cancer. In just a few months he was gone. Then exactly 10 months later she lost her mother, Sue Sabo to a stroke. During this time, Margaret stayed by both of their sides and was a caring and loving daughter. It pains me to say that I was not the loving and caring husband. I was so selfish that during this time I took every opportunity to remind Margaret of my father’s passing in 1976 and how much worse that was on me. I should have held her more and supported her better but I was too self centered to think of her, but Margaret still loved me.
In 1997 Margaret and I made another vow. We typed up a contract (covenant) between us and God that we would follow Him we ever he led us and we wouldn’t question or doubt His leading. We signed it, prayed over it and filed it away. Again, I didn’t know how to keep a vow and how serious this promise was to YHWH.
YHWH did lead us and we did follow, but I seemed to always have my selfish motives to everything I did. We ended up in Rawlins, WY. Neither one of us had ever been in Wyoming and this was quite a shock. I went into the move thinking that I would go to Wyoming and get those people straightened out. Well the best made plans of mice and men…
By 1998 Margaret and I had given up on the notion of ever having children. We already had been told by three doctors that Margaret would never have children, so those dreams had crashed and burned. Honestly, the problem was probably that I would have been a terrible dad with all of my emotional baggage.
Wyoming did several things to/for our marriage. We had been married almost twelve years and except for just a couple short years, we had always been poor. Wyoming made the previous years look like w were wealthy, it broke us and crushed our finances to dust. We both worked double jobs and still didn’t have a dime. We went so deep in debt, there was no hope of seeing daylight. Physically, I crashed and burned growing obese and unhealthy.
In the midst of this and many other issues too numerous to list, YHWH began to do a work for our marriage. In 1999, Margaret found out she was carrying our son. I will never forget the profound changes that began the day I heard Zachry’s heartbeat and realized how selfish I had been. Holding my miracle son in my arms was awesome and scary all at the same times. We both shed a lot of tears during this time.
In early 2000 we packed up what we had left and came to Texas to try and find reliable work. I was making some effort to be a better husband and knew I had to work hard at being a good dad. With the help of some dear family friends, I located a good job and within a short time we were getting back on track.
Around 2003, I hit bottom physically. I ended up in the hospital with extremely high sugar readings. cholesterol counts and setting at 275 lbs. Once again a made a vow. I had started to understand the spiritual significance of vows and knew I had to keep my end. I vowed that at 35 years old, I would be in better shape at 55 than I was currently. I can thankfully say today that I weigh 192 lbs. and am well on my way to keeping that vow. Through these physical trials and diet nightmares, Margaret still loved me.
Around 2004 I was asked to attend a MIA (Messianic Israel Alliance) conference in Nashville. by John Robinson. He wanted to make the trip in late December but was graciously willing to help me with the expense if I would ride along. At the conference two teachings changed my life. The guys from FFOZ (First Fruits of Zion) www.ffoz.org taught on “The Psalms 15 Man” and Frank Houtz http://www.drybonesrestorationcompany.com/ taught on the importance of echad (oneness) in a marriage. Both of these teachings shook me to the core. All the way back from Nashville to Seagoville, TX., I wept and confessed to John. He was probably thankful when he finally put me out at my house. On that ride home, I made another vow, I would become the husband and father YHWH expected me to be. I would change my attitude, my conversation and the way I treated my family. Thankfully I did begin to change and probably just in time to save my marriage.
Now you may be asking, what the is point of all this confession? Why have I shared these 1157 words with you? You may feel uncomfortable with the things I have shares. If that is the case, please forgive me, but I have a reason for sharing.
After 25 years of being loved and supported by my beautiful and intelligent best friend, today I make a new vow.
The next 25+ years, I will do everything in my power to repay Margaret Ann Cagle for all of the things listed above and the innumerable things I chose not to mention that she has been through. I will treat her the way she wants to be treated and show her complete unselfish love. I will take joy in making her happy and loved. I fully understand that I cannot undo the things I have done but I am confident that I can enough right things to make the wrong a distant and far away memory.
I love you Margaret and thank YHWH everyday that he blessed me with you.
November 21, 1987
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
For thousands of years, about 6,000 to be exact, mankind has struggled with making the correct decisions. In fact, from the beginning that was the issue with Adam and Chavah (Eve), making the wrong decision. We all have seen the drawing I have posted above in some form of comic or cartoon, someone trying to make a decision while an angel (or good decision) sits on one shoulder and a demon (bad decision) sits on the other. Where does this concept come from and could this comedic image be based upon truth from Scripture? If this is a real and serious issue, why don’t we see and hear more about it from our teachers and/or preachers?
In Hebraic thinking among Judaism this concept is called yetzer יצר. It is referred to as yetzer tov and yetzer hara, in English we would say good imagination or inclination and evil imagination or inclination. Are there any Scripture verses that talk about a good or evil imagination?
A principle that works in the Hebrew (Old Testament) Scriptures is to find the first time a word or phrase is used and let it define the usage going forward. So this phrase is probably found in Proverbs or Psalms first, right?
Genesis (Bereshit)6:5 And יהוה saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination (yetzer) of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Wow, it took just six (6) chapters or barely 1,000 years, before יהוה discovers than mankind has become a creature that thinks of wicked things all of the time or as Bereshit says, has an evil inclination. An inability to control their thoughts has led people to have wicked hearts or an evil will. But to be honest with you, didn’t we make the decision at the WRONG Tree to become that way? We chose knowledge of tov/good and hara/the evil, over Life from the onset. Today the same insanity continues among mankind, yes the same choice is available and we are still choosing the power to make our own choices over Life.
But isn’t that what יהוה wants is for us to make choices and not be robots? יהוה certainly didn’t create humans so they could walk around as robots or perfect little clones, right?
Absolutely not what יהוה is looking for from His creation! יהוה wants us to have the power of choice and without us choosing we are not any different than any other living thing He created. Think about that for a minute. All animals have a preset list of functions they do and can only choose from those listed. Animals don’t wake up one day and decide to do a thing that isn’t part of their day to day existence. No dog that I know of has made the sudden decision to leave home and go to obedience school on their own.
So if יהוה wants us to have the power of choice, why is it so bad that we have this power? It can seem somewhat conflicting to want us to have choice but want us to control that power to choose at the same time.
Why is it that we consistently choose Death/Sin/Sickness over Life/Torah/Health? Are we not smart enough to make these decisions on our own? NO! Our pursuit of earthly knowledge instead of Life from יהוה, has made us into creatures who operate as if we cannot make intelligent decisions on our own. Let’s see what Paul/Shaul said about that issue.
Rom 7:15 For I do not know what I do. For I do not do the thing that I want; But I do the thing which I hate, this is what I do.
Rom 7:16 But if I do what I do not wish to, I agree with the Torah, that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then, it is not I who do it, but the sin which dominates in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that it does not fully dominate me, (that is in my flesh) but as far as good is concerned, the choice is easy for me to make, but to do it is difficult for me.
Rom 7:19 For it is not the good that I desire to do, that I do. But it is the evil that I do not desire, that I do.
Rom 7:20 But if I do what I do not desire, it is no longer I who do it, but the sin which dominates me.
Rom 7:21 I find therefore that the Torah agrees with my conscience, when I desire to do good, but evil is always near, distracting me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the Torah of יהוה according to the inward man;
Rom 7:23 but I see another law in my members having warred against the law of my mind, and taking me captive by the law of sin being in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this mortal body?
Rom 7:25 I thank יהוה through Y’shua Messiah our Master! So then I myself with the mind truly serve the Torah of יהוה and with the flesh the law of sin.
WOW! Does that passage make more sense now in light of what we have been discussing? Shaul is saying that his flesh wants to do sin, but his mind or conscience wants to do good. Evil is lying at the door, waiting to dominate, but he has to take dominion over it and choose to do good (Torah), even when his body doesn’t want to do what’s right. How long has this condition been around?
Genesis (Bereshit) 4:7 If thou (Cain) doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
יהוה lets Cain know that he has the power to choose good or evil and that Cain can rule over his evil inclination (yetzer hara) if he chooses to do so.
So from the beginning (bereshit) we have had the power to choose good thoughts and actions over evil. We have had the power or authority over evil imaginations all along. But what about the theory that we all or going to choose sin from time to time even after we have came to the saving knowledge of Y’shua? Doesn’t verse go against this theory and all it stands for, and is it possible to NOT choose sin?
Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 26:3 “The one steadfast of mind (yetzer) You guard in perfect peace, for he trusts in You.
Isa 26:4 “Trust in יהוה forever, for in Yah, יהוה, is a rock of ages.
The person who has their mind/inclination established or steadfast upon יהוה will be kept in shalom shalom (perfect peace). Trust, rely upon or make our refuge in יהוה, and He guards us in perfect peace or complete wholeness. The opposite of a complete or peaceful mind is a chaotic or unstable mind. So if one would have an unstable mind it would be a result of their mind (yetzer) not being established upon יהוה. Is their any Scriptural evidence of someone becoming unstable by trying to listen to both good and evil?
James (Yacob)1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it shall be given to him.
Jas 1:6 But he should ask in belief, not doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
Jas 1:7 For that man should not think that he shall receive whatever from the Master –
Jas 1:8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
So belief is considered as thinking on good (yetzer tov) and doubting is seen as thinking on evil (yetzer hara). Are we not encouraged to think on good things? Trying to think on good and evil at the same time creates chaos, making us unstable. In this state we are unable to make the correct decisions, so we struggle with good and evil. One who has their mind stayed or fixed upon יהוה makes the right decisions, because יהוה gives that person wisdom.
Shaul clearly establishes in the passage from Roman posted above, that the mind (yetzer) can control the body when the yetzer is submitted to Y’shua (Torah).
This is the spiritual battle we fight on a daily basis, warring against an evil mind that wants to serve sin and pleasure. When we choose to serve יהוה and shomer (guard) His Torah, we bring into captivity all thoughts that tries to lift itself above יהוה
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through Elohim to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Elohim, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Moshiach;
Do you see that the issue is submitting our mind (yetzer) to יהוה so that our very thoughts are on good things only? When we let our minds rule us we are slaves to the evil mind. By placing our yetzer into submission unto יהוה we are free to serve Him and not be slaves to the flesh.
Over the years I have seen many people on social media outlets who claim to follow יהוה , but consistently post statements that show they are slaves to their netzer hara. When we are slaves to earthly desires and fleshly needs, we are submitted to that evil inclination.
Not all earthly desires are evil. We all desire a comfortable bed and even though we can live without that desire, there is nothing inherently evil in desiring a better place to sleep. When someone becomes captivated with constant earthly desires that is when the netzer hara has become master.
Training our mind (netzer) to choose good is the way to win this battle. Dwelling on the Torah, putting on the mind of Y’shua is the way we prepare our minds for this battle. If we consistently choose the wrong thoughts and do not wash our minds in the Word, neglecting to put on the helmet of Salvation (Y’shua), we loose these battles that eventually result in a lost war.
So you still believe it doesn’t matter what you think about? What you read, listen too or watch is insignificant? Are you constantly striving to fill desires and wants to no avail? Does everything you acquire leave you unfulfilled and wanting more?
Turn around and go back to יהוה Lay your inclinations/thoughts/imaginations at His feet. When you become His bond servant, you will no longer be a slave to sin. You can walk in newness of life, with a mind that chooses Life.