Thursday, October 17, 2019

Alcoholism




Alcoholism

 “I am more afraid of alcohol than of all the bullets of the enemy.”
 Stonewall Jackson (1824–1863), Confederate General of the American Civil War   

 “Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.”
 Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), English writer and lexicographer  

“Alcohol has caused numerous problems in the lives of people.  Some however were able to have their addiction treated, while others were unable to do so.  Writers have described the impact of alcohol abuse on the American economy.  A brand of liquor was even named after the renowned Indian chief Oglala Sioux, but several states banned this alcoholic drink.
Erwin K. Thomas, Interfaith author

“Higher Power was the result of a personal experience: a friend of mine who went through the process of addiction and recovery.  It’s a very tough thing - very easy to become addicted and very, very hard to become a recovering addict.”
Tom Scholz (b. 1947), rock musician and engineer      


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Acts of Love




Acts of Love

Acts of love bring us joy.  While performing such acts people are blessed by God’s grace.  These gifts become apparent when we love others.  God’s love that flows from heaven sustains souls, and causes the unification with the Holy Spirit. For the good news of the Gospel is that with faith people will find security.  Tullian Tchividjian (b. 1972), a professor of Theology and pastor said, “Believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better.  If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.”  What great news this is for those who have fallen short of God’s promises! 

Sowing

People must love their neighbors as themselves by sharing warmth and tenderness in their relationships.  It’s Christ’s love that makes hope blossom, but such a revelation has to be nurtured. By doing good deeds people come to know divine beauty.  This wondrous love is beyond comparison because it’s found deep within our hearts.  It’s revealed through Christ’s promises.  An author and aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh (19062001) wrote, “For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”  How wonderful God’s security is in believers’ lives!  Billy Graham (b. 1918), an evangelical preacher said, “God proved His love on the Cross.  When Christ hung, and bled, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”

People must always put love into practice while serving mankind.  This calls for having humble hearts and a positive outlook.  Such care must be meaningful and authentic.  This is often demonstrated in the Eucharistic celebration of the supper of the Lamb when Christ is adored.  And all are welcomed at his feast.  Through participation believers put into practice their faith.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (19291968), a Baptist minister and civil rights leader said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”  People’s failure to sow love, and making themselves heard are surely the sort of tragedy to which King was alluding.

Service

Desmond Tutu (b. 1931), a South African retired Anglican bishop wrote, “You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”  Such love is universal.  At the sublime level it’s one of connection.  People promote this truth when they come forward to do their part in the communities where they live.  This service is created, recreated, nurtured, and blossoms into amazing realities.  It’s holy and expresses the eternal blessings of our Creator. 

Love is a true gift for all living souls.  Albert Camus (19131960), a French author and philosopher captured this best when he said, “Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.  This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.”  Cycles of creative forces keep moving us forward to tap into a newer and better world.  This is through the recognition of the Holy Spirit working in our midst. 

      

Friday, October 11, 2019

Spiritual Acts




Spiritual Acts

“Believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better.  If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.”   
Tullian Tchividjian (b. 1972), professor of Theology and pastor  

 “For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”
 Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001), author and aviator     

 “God proved His love on the Cross.  When Christ hung, and bled, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
Billy Graham (1918-2018), evangelical preacher

 “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), Baptist minister and leader of the civil rights movement    

 “You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
Desmond Tutu (b. 1931), South African retired Anglican bishop    . 

 “Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.  This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.”
 Albert Camus (1913–1960), French author and philosopher   
      

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Harvest of Blessings



Harvest of Blessings

Jesus told the Jews to believe in the works which he did and they will know who he is.  These gifts were from the Father, for he was the Son of God.  In Isaiah 35:5 God promised the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.   Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego were bound and thrown into a burning furnace, but they were seen walking in the midst of flames that didn’t harm them.  Hezekiah was sick, and about to die, when Isaiah the prophet was told by God to let him know he has heard his prayers.  God added some fifteen more years to his life.  Living abundantly in the Lord, leads to a harvest of blessings.

Joel Osteen (b. 1963), a televangelist and senior pastor of Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas, said: “When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.”  By not being self-centered and reaching out to others Christians freely share these blessings.  The more they honor people the more they are blessed by God. 

When offering blessings we mustn’t distinguish between the rich and poor.  We’re all God’s children.  President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”  Roosevelt was cognizant that the poor has a special place in the eyes of God.

God’s Gifts

Abundance might not come only with material wealth.  Some might have these comforts and be miserable.  The founder of Simple Abundance Charitable Fund, Sarah Breathnach (b. 1947) wrote, “Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”  No doubt, we have to be in the right frame of mind to accept such gifts.  Are your hearts open to God?

People might make distinctions concerning their prayers.  Often we pray when faced with setbacks and challenges.  Khalil Gibran (1883–1931), a Lebanese-born artist and writer captured this phenomenon by saying, “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”   In being blessed with the gifts from God’s bounty we ought to thank him.  Christians doing so will surely receive more blessings.

Love What You Do

You must love what you do.  By so doing you’ll be happy when you spread your blessings with others.  A self-help author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) wrote, “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”  You don’t have to wonder about those things about which you have no interest.  Do the tasks that bring you joy, happiness, and peace of mind.  All believers are blessed with at least one gift.

In our society there are some who are blessed with material gifts.  A Spanish priest and theologian Saint Ignatius (14911556) said, “If God has given you the world’s goods in abundance, it is to help you gain those of Heaven and be a good example of sound teaching to your sons, servants, and relatives.”  In short, it depends on how you use your treasure.  For Saint Ignatius these gifts have to be instruments for blessing people.  This is the way to live with wealth.     

Monday, October 7, 2019

A Christian Allegiance




A Christian Allegiance

Dan Quayle (b. 1947), vice president of the United States declared, “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty for all who believe.”  Quayle certainly made his pledge against sin, fallacies, idolatrous pride, and fear.  Like Christians he could now approach God and seek his friendship, for he knows that obeying his laws are of paramount importance.  He accepts God’s freedom and privileges.  Christians like Quayle are continuing to do good deeds.  They are spreading good seeds even after the storms of life. 

Mankind is born with the proclivity to sin.  Our lives have marks of evil, pride, display of personal power, and we aren’t humble.  But it’s right to change our behavior to a childlike trust in the supreme being of Jesus Christ.  It’s beneficial to participate in communal prayer and listen to the tick-tock of our consciences.  In word and action we must be contemplatives.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (19291968), a Baptist minister and Civil Rights leader said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.  He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”  By prayer and the working of the Holy Spirit, believers should pursue higher goals in their lives.

Transformation of Hearts

William Gaddis, Jr. (19221998), a novelist remarked, “Power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power.”  That’s why leaders and followers alike ought to turn away from the corrupting nature of their hearts that are evil. It was sin which led to the first humans’ downfall when their actions betrayed their trust of God.  Let us reform our hearts by daily prayer and not be blind to the truth of the Word.  Further, accept Christ’s expiation of our sins and feed on his teachings.  On our journey toward heaven it’s inevitable we’ll face tests.  You should embrace setbacks boldly and let your faith grow.  Do away with the desire to live sensually and be steadfast in your Christian walk.

The Bible says our hearts are filled with lustful desires.  These conditions eat away at the good in us.  In reading Scripture we’re distracted by fallen angels, transgressions, and evil that doesn’t enthrone God.  To counter these defects let us be athletes of the living God.  Let us dedicate ourselves to the faith and persevere in the race.  Be Christian models in our churches.  It’s wise to remember that almost everything we’re bound to make errors in judgment.  Jacob Bronowski (19081974), a Polish-Jewish and British author wrote, “No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.”  Bronowski held a different perspective of power than Gaddis.  But an important way of thinking about power is that, leaders who wield it, have to be wise about how it’s used.            

Our goals in life must be what Quayle said earlier.  It’s about allegiance to Jesus Christ – not just any allegiance, but a holy one.  This hope for our life could only be found through the Cross of Calvary.  With such beliefs lie redemption from sin and salvation. It’s therefore right to rid ourselves of our sinful natures and put on righteousness.  For with God, we’ve to be pure, and free from sin, to enter his Heavenly Kingdom.   

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

In Memory of Joy Lynette Thomas (1960-2019)




In Memory of Joy Lynette Thomas (1960–2019)

Joy Lynette Thomas faced her terminal illness of cancer with dignity and died on Saturday, September 28, 2019.  Though she lived in many ways a simple and unassuming life she was very special.  And her family and friends living in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, and America will surely miss her.  So too will her children Richard and Nicole, who lost their mother at the tender age of 59.

“God who is all in all, predictable and unpredictable, the existence of a mystery, and always greater than conceived” would surely receive her soul.  Included is my last email to Joy, my youngest sister, and her reply.


Sep 2 at 7:19 AM

Joy,

I was thinking about you and all the things you are going through.  Just hope that in these trying times you will find time to talk with Nicole, Richard, and other members of the family.  Please know that you can always ask us for help when you need it.  We are here to make you feel as comfortable as possible in your ordeal.  We will continue to lift you up in our thoughts and prayers.  God bless!

With Love,

Kenny & Mary 

ErwinKThomas, Ph.D.


Sep 3 at 8:18 AM

Kenny,

I do appreciate you taking the time to communicate with me your sentiments. I do appreciate all prayers you and Mary have said.  It’s comforting knowing your family care and concern. God Bless 🙏

Love,

Joy

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Understanding God



"God is all in all, predictable and unpredictable, the existence of a mystery, and always greater than conceived."

Erwin K. Thomas, Interfaith Author