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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Take a Quantum Leap with me…

                                … back to the year 30 AD

Yes – we’re talking time travel!  The thing of science fiction, Hollywood and nerd  scientists.  Between H. G. Wells and Albert Einstein scientists and fiction writers opened our minds and consciousness simulating our imaginations, releasing scores of dreams and visions.Time-Travel-JeanLucThe speed of light – the laws of space and time – the theory of relativity – quantum physics – Casimir energy – Einstein-Rosen bridges – black holes – phantom Energy – Kerr Rings – wormholes – cosmic strings – Alcubierre drives – quantum foam… lions and tigers and bears – oh my!  lions-tigers-bears

And we haven’t even thought about the ‘time-travel’ paradoxes yet!

“Paradox,” you say. “What a ‘time-travel’ paradox?”

Nothing much – just think about a time traveler going back in time to kill himself as an infant. If he were to do so, he never would have grown up to go back in time to kill himself as an infant, so how could he….  But, that can’t happen you say. I know…I know.

Oh yes – our imaginations are soaring (as well as national aspirin sales).aspirin_6

Believe it or not, it’s easy to travel in time – going forward. You see, travelling at or near the speed of light transports you into the future!  Oh yes – it’s pure physics.

So, to travel in time – all one has to do is travel fast – very, very fast!

The fastest manned vehicle in history was Apollo 10 which traveled at speeds of 25,000 miles per hour.saturn-v-first-launch   article-2121828-126088A3000005DC-106_634x639 To travel forward in time you only have to go 2000 times faster than that. Go any slower and you’ll be sucked into a black hole.black_hole

This is due to a strange fact about the universe. There’s a cosmic speed limit, 186,000 miles per second, also known as the speed of light. Nothing can exceed that speed. It’s one of the best established principles in science.

Ok – so what’s the problem?   Well – to travel backwards in time – now that’s a different story…

If you think about it, we’re all constantly engaged in the act of time travel. At its most basic level, time is the rate of change in the universe — and like it or not, we are constantly undergoing change. The planets move around the sun, the sun moves in the galaxy, you and I age – things change.

We measure the passage of time in seconds, minutes, hours and years, but this doesn’t mean time flows at that nice convenient, constant rate. Just as the water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative.

So time travel comes down to the relationship between time and space. Human beings exist in three spatial dimensions of length, width and depth. Time joins the party as that most crucial fourth dimension. Time can’t exist without space, and space can’t exist without time. The two exist as one: the space-time continuum. Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time.

Just think about this: The Milky Way galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years wide, so light from its more distant stars can take thousands upon thousands of years to reach Earth. So, seeing that light is essentially looking back in time. When astronomers measure the cosmic microwave background radiation, they are staring back more than all of known time into a primordial cosmic age. Yes – that’s time travel – my friend – time travel.

While there’s nothing in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that precludes time travel, it’s not as simple as turning a dial on some shaking contraction time_machine_04      or stepping into a ‘wardrobe’. Further, once the science is addressed and overcome (yeah- right!), the very premise of pushing a button and going back to yesterday violates the law of causality, better known as cause and effect.

You know ‘cause and effect’ – the idea that when an event happens in our universe, it leads to yet another event in an endless one-way string of events. Here’s the law: In every instance, the cause occurs before the effect – at least in our universe it does. Think not?Just try to imagine a different reality, say, in which a murder victim dies of his or her gunshot wound before being shot. It violates reality as we know it; thus, many scientists dismiss time travel into the past as an impossibility.

But – is that the end of the story?  ….Or is it just the beginning….

A clay tablet dating from the 1st Century in ancient Israel is uncovered.

 There is writing on it – a name – in English – from the 21st Century!!!

      Solving the mystery of the Pyramids…

“David…what do you know about the pyramids?” Alex asked.

“Not much, about what most people know, I guess.”

“And what would that be?”

“Well, let’s see, they’re in Egypt; built by the pharaohs thousands of years ago, as their burial tombs.”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah, I guess it is,” he said. “Oh, they were built by slaves, and Charleston Heston set them free. You know, “let my people go.”

Alex failed to see the humor, “Yes, it makes good theater, seeing hundreds of slaves pulling a massive block of stone up a ramp on the side of a pyramid—but it’s all rubbish…”

Alex shook his head in disgust, “The world has been fed a diet of lies and deception about the pyramids and has swallowed it hook, line and sinker. It’s insulting to the ingenuity of these great structures, the lack of respect they receive.” Pushing back from the table, he stood, “it’s all there, in front of our eyes, the ancient ones left it all in place for us to see and we refuse to. The pyramids have stood as open scrape books of their civilization, and we reject their existence.” He paused, looking directly at David, “do you realize there is no modern engineering feat that comes close to the pyramids?”

“…Because the pyramids look like a pile of rocks, people tend to dismiss them. There are over 2 million blocks in the Great Pyramid of Giza alone, some weighting upwards of 70 tons. That pyramid stood 481 feet high with each side measuring 756 feet with a maximum deviation of less than 1 inch. The sides are curved in to match the curvature of the earth and rise at a precise angle of 51⁰ 52’ with a deviation of less than five-hundreds of one percent of degree. Amazing, since people didn’t even believe the earth was round until thousands of years later…

“…I could go on with more facts about the construction of each of the three major pyramids in Egypt that would confound your modern engineering mind, but their construction is only the tip of the iceberg, just the beginning of the marvel. There is a much greater mystery to them. How the pyramids were built is a question that’s asked repeatedly, but it’s the wrong question. A better question is: ‘Why were they built?’ Why are they scattered randomly across the middle of open desert? Such a massive construction effort…why?”

“I can tell you for certain why they weren’t built. They weren’t built to be tombs. Not only have no mummies ever been found in them, but they wouldn’t go to so much detail, precision and work to build a tomb in the desert. And, it’s my opinion; they never contemplated such a thing because…they never planned on dying. They intended to live forever.”                (except from “Beneath the Turbulence”)

        …the code of the Zodiac Constellations…

“To understand the pyramids David, we need to put aside the material marvel they are and look at the cosmic marvel they are, something Allen showed me.”

“…The Great Pyramid was aligned, by its architects, to be exactly one-third the distance between the equator and the North Pole and is an exact mathematical relationship of the dimensions of the earth. This is truly remarkable for people who didn’t know the earth was round, much less the true size and shape of it! Its north-south axis is aligned to within three-sixtieths of a single degree of true north. David, that’s more accurate than the Greenwich Observatory in London! To position a structure that covers over 53,000 square meters to that precision is not possible today; so how was it done then? The pyramids are a precise mathematical model of the earth. Again, it begs the questions, not only how, but why? Why be so precise for a mausoleum sitting in the middle of the desert? A tomb? Calling the Great Pyramid a tomb is like calling the Buckingham Palace an outhouse. I could spend the next week with scores of facts that would prove false any contention that they were built as tombs by the Pharaohs of Egypt. We haven’t the time for that, and it’s not necessary to show you what they’re not built for—I’d rather show you what they were built for…”

“…The Sphinx had the body of a lion and the head of a man, crouching there, for thousands of years. Why David? What’s it doing? What’s it for? Why was it built? It’s not placed randomly but is precisely aligned with the rising horizon to the east. Precisely David, not close—but exact. Again it begs the questions, ‘Why bother? Why use such unwieldy sizes and materials? Why such precision? Why such meticulous design? Why?”                                                         (except from “Beneath the Turbulence”)

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…and a unique form of gold found on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission…

All come together in a travel corridor—a corridor that goes back 2000 years to                   the year 30AD – to the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

“So, if I’m not a time traveler, and didn’t write those tablets—then who did?”

“But David, who said you didn’t write them?” He was surprised it was Allen who spoke.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Your interrogation proved I didn’t do it.”

Allen answered meticulously, measuring every word as if listing the factors of a     mathematical equation, “That’s correct…it proved…you… didn’t do it…yet.”

David was stunned, “Yet? What’s that mean? You still think I did it?”

“No…we think you…will do it.”

“But, you said you believed me that I don’t have a time machine.”

“That’s true; we believe you have no such device.”

“Yet, you think somehow I came here from 2000 years ago?”

“No, we believe you came here from now, but you’re going to go back to 2000 years ago.”

…David looked around at the group, “You guys have built a time machine, haven’t you? That’s what this is all about, isn’t it?”

“No, we haven’t built a time machine, and I don’t believe such a machine can be built,” Allen answered, “but we may have found a time machine, and have figured out how to use it and how such travel was done.”   (except from “Beneath the Turbulence”)

Is this for real?  Is this a hoax?  Or a ruse – hiding a terrorist cell planning massive mayhem and destruction?

A determined group of scientists wants to know. An avowed atheist, also want to reluctantly know…and the Department of Homeland Security wants to know.

Travel with this dysfunctional team as they journey through this time corridor to 1st Century Israel, dodging Egyptian warriors, Roman legionnaires and a country in turmoil, to find the evidence of who the man called Jesus really was. Was he a crazed man with his own agenda? A deluded prophet? A liar and fraud? Or was he actually who he claimed to be – the Son of God?

An uninvited traveler journeys with them, bent on a private mission of revenge and personal glory. If they can make the return journey back to the 21st Century, what they discover and reveal will not only impact the world but will change each of their lives for eternity.  

“Beneath the Turbulence” an exciting, simulating and invigorating story of time-travel and history is presented in two volumes, both volumes are included in the book. Scan_Pic0004

Volume One: “The Journey describes the science driving the journey back in time, coupled with the suspense of evading the Department of Homeland Security, who considers them potential terrorists. ,

Volume Two: “The Journal” chronicles the trials and adventures encountered while seeking the truth of Jesus traveling in First Century Egypt and Israel under Roman rule.

Click on the cover to get your copy today.

header 3      Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

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A Roman Tribune plays the role of Columbo in the most famous game of “CLUE” known to the world, called – “Where’s the body?”

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We all know the story of the empty tomb – the excited women – the missing “Messiah”. That is – we all know it from that side of the tomb.

But, what was it like from the other side? The Roman side of an empty grave? The tomb that was sealed with the Roman Governor’s seal and guarded with Roman soldiers?

‘RISEN’ has taken up the challenge in resolving the mystery.

“I’m yet sticky with filth.”  

Thus said the Tribune Clavius when summoned to Pontius Pilate. And thus sets our understanding of Clavius’s soul – ‘yet sticky with filth’.

Clavius, a role portrayed with depth and sensitivity by Joseph Fiennes, is accustomed to brutality, bloody combat and death, but not without a price. He is drained, depleted, battle weary and emotionally dead. In the opening battle scene, he brutally kills a Jewish rebel leader, named Barabbas.  (“Barabbas”? Is that coincidental or is that God’s way of evening up the score?) The constant gore and butchery of quelling those pesky Jewish insurrections in a remote, desolate land far from the ‘action’ of Rome, has taken its toll, robbing him of hope and peace, leaving him numb and yearning for nothing more than…

“…a day without death.”  

Upon returning to the Antonio Fortress, (interestingly placed below the old city of Jerusalem), his day isn’t quite over yet.  He is summoned by the Governor, something that happens all too often. It seems Pilate “has a situation and he needs Clavius to tidy up the loose ends. Those “raving Jews wanted a man named Yeshua, who claimed to be the “messiah” disposed of.

“I had to crucify him,” Pilate says almost regrettably, (a sentiment one finds hard to accept knowing the history of this brutal dictator who crucified and slaughtered thousands).

Clavius ensures that Yeshua is dead and securely buried in a sealed tomb with Roman guards posted.

End of story – right?

No – of course not – it’s only the beginning. The inevitable happens – the body doesn’t remain in the tomb.

Let the games begin – after all – we can’t have dead people walking about – can we?

56c5f51411ca7.image“We must find the body,” Pilate raves. Find the corpse of this cursed Yeshua before it rots.”

Exploded frayed ropes – two anemic looking drunken guards – discarded, bloody grave clothes – a stone tossed aside – lies and bribes from the Sanhedrin – all lead to …nothing…no body.

Does Clavius ever find his missing body?   Oh yes – with a little twisting of the arm and a bag of coins, Yeshua’s disciples are found. And they did, in fact, have the body with them.

Only – the body isn’t dead, but is very much alive, and in a scene straight out of The Twilight Zone, this hardened Roman warrior melts into the stone wall as he encounters the true power of God in the flesh. This moment just happens to coincide with the arrival of ‘doubting’ Thomas. While he probes the wounds in the wrists and side of the Messiah, the eyes of a smiling Yeshua probe deep into the soul of the Tribune.

What do you do when you encounter the impossible? He does the only thing he can do – he follows the walking dead man. In this case it means following the followers of Yeshua, like a stray, lost dog; finding acceptance among them, and ultimately – friendship.

When finally he is alone with the murdered, living man, Yeshua asks him what he seeks in life, and then answers his own question: 

“A day with no death?”

Clavius leaves all behind – to travel a new road – to places we know not of – but with a new found peace, after witnessing the ascension of Jesus and hearing His great commission.

We are set up for a sequel – as we know not where Clavius is going or what roads lie ahead for him.

‘Risen’ is excellent historical fiction that intertwines Biblical scripture with “what might have been”.  The historical is historical and the fiction is fiction – and in those scenes where the two intermix, the purity of the Scriptures was not compromised. One area where liberties were taken, was the reference to Mary Magdalene being a quite popular “woman of the streets”.  This was based on church tradition and finds no merit in Scripture.

file_607174_risen-trailerThe battle scene, Roman soldier dress, weapons and warfare was as realistic as ever shown, and Jewish culture along with Sanhedrin attire and demeanors were portrayed as accurately as history tells us.

The portrayal of crucifixions reflected the known information of such executions.

Jesus is shown smiling, laughing and gracious. He is a miracle worker and His disciples love Him as their father and leader. When Bartholomew (who would have fit right in on a California beach as a surfer dude) is threatened with crucifixion himself, he spreads open his arms and laughingly replies: “I would happily submit”.

Clavius sums it all up by leaving his life behind, saying “I believe. I can never be the same.”

‘Risen’ does something the previous stories of Jesus failed to do: it makes the non-believer pause and think about the resurrection from an outsider perspective. It’s not the usual scenes of blinding lights and rolling thunder with the women running about in alarm. No, rather it presents a barren, empty tomb and proceeds to answer the question that Pontius Pilate asked:

“How could he follow a Hebrew?”

Watching Clavius undergo a life-altering transformation, leads us to one answer – the one that Lucius, Clavius’s protégé, hesitantly offers to Pilate:

“Perhaps it is true.”

Amen – brother – Amen.

header 3                            Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

 

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In September of 2013, I published a post entitled  “Let us be Redwoods” . Please take a moment to click on it and then come on back, ok?  I’ll wait here for you….

….Okay – ready?   Thanks.

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scientists-redwood-nichols_52779_990x742Last week, 2 1/2 years after the original post, I reposted it? Why you may ask?

Good question – it’s one  I asked myself while doing it without really knowing the answer.

“Why am I resending this?”

For some reason I felt a strong pull inside telling me to repost it. It literally, popped into my head to do it. Weird.

In addition to that, for the last few weeks the ‘Shema‘ has been on my mind.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up…”  Deuteronomy 6:4-8

Yesterday, I think I heard the answer.

“ONE” was the message spoken by my pastor this morning. He quoted the opening of the ‘Shema’ and also these words prayed by Jesus:

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  John 20:20-21

Th mighty oak is a strong and powerful tree. It’s roots burrow deep into the ground – 30, 40 even 50 feet down in the earth, grabbing firm in a death-defying life grip. When the storms come, with the turbulence, the assault and the violence, they bend, twist, crack and snap in the raging, swirling winds.

Tree_Oak

And though they are mighty and stong, the tree can break free from its grip on the earth, and slowly, steadedly pull up and away from the deep roots, tearing up the ground, cracking, ripping, smashing –  crashing  to the forest floor in a hunderous explosion of  brokenness, destruction and death.

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Do you know how high 300 feet is straight up?  It’s a football field stood on end.

The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet high.

Statue_of_Liberty

How high is The Leaning Tower of Pisa?                        The Capitol Building?                    The Tower of Big Ben?

Redwood trees grows to heights greater than 300 feet – exceeding 360 and 370. Imagine a single tree towering over our Lady of Liberty!  Here – take a look…

fall14-redwoods-i1

If we were to design such a tree, our ‘educated’, logical, scientific brains would think that we drive the roots of the Redwood down into the bowels of the earth itself in order to keep it standing during the storms (storms? just sheer weight and gravity should make it topple over like a top!).  But, as we know – that is not the case. Their roots are only two to three feet deep!  Can you imagine a 370 foot tree being supported and held up by 3 feet of roots? It defies logic – science and engineering. Think if the Leaning Tower of Pisa only had a two foot foundation!

The Redwood Tree is not only an amazing example of God’s creative genius and power, but it’s the revealed answer to God’s riddle of “ONE”!

“No way” – you say. In the forest there are many redwood trees and each are individual, stand alone trees. “Ain’t no riddle there mister, sorry  don’t see the connection  fella.

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Oh, but our eyes only see on the surface – it’s under the surface that we find the answer to the Redwood’s success – and it’s there where we find the  “ONE”.

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Yes – there are many Redwood trees – that’s the beauty of it – they survive.  Many trees – and each is an individual – each tall, straight and strong. Each having its own root system. It’s shallow, to be sure – only digging 2 to 3 feet into the earth – but those roots spread out – interwine – connect – even fuse with the roots of its neighbor – forming – you guessed it –  “ONE”  unified, solid community foundation where “ONE” supports “ALL” and “ALL” supports “ONE”.

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When the storm rages against any single tree – it’s raging against the community – against a unified mat that withstands and defeats any and all storms. God’s love is the sap that fuses the roots together!

And here’s another thought to chew on:   High above – overhead in the sky – the redwoods form a protective canopy – a covering – that shelters the oak, the pine, the hemlock and the beech tree – providing them cover from the storm. Think of those trees with the deep roots – that are looked to for their fruit – (our pastors and leaders) – they have refuge and shelter under the canopy of the shallow rooted redwoods (the flock)!

Scripture tells us to be “rooted” in the word and to “love” one another with the “love of God”. That “love” is the ‘sap’ that flows through the roots, fusing and joining together all the community of God.

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What a marvelous mystery God has given us!

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Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

 

 

 

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 It’s the time of Thanksgiving! 

and 

 We are THANKFUL

Thanksgiving should be a special event, one of the most special events of our year.

But for many it’s been reduced to eating turkey, watching football games  and ‘black’ Friday (or is it Thursday and Wednesday or the entire month now?)

Thanksgiving should be much more than food, football and shopping. But  then, that was how it started – right?
A legal day of food, football and shopping by an act of Congress –  wasn’t it?

Everyone knows the story of the 1st Thanksgiving…the Pilgrims…starvation… the Native Americans… salvation.

Today it’s popular to belittle that event – that time – and those extraordinary   times and people. Some would like to claim it never happened.

 But there was a man who believed it did happen.

October 3, 1789 was an especially cold day, when the country’s newly elected  President, a man by the name of George Washington, stood in the new nation’s  capital of New York City, and issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving.

    

I wonder how many Americans have ever read it.

Have you? Want to?
Here – take a look…

He proclaimed a national day of food – football and shopping for everyone to applaud their good fortune and self-indulgence of material things…

…not.

Actually, it says some pretty amazing things, like:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of  Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly   to implore his protection and favor…” 
And
“… to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and  prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many  signal favors of Almighty God…”
And
“… I assign Thursday the 26th. Day of November next to be devoted by  the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious  Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or  that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our   sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country…”
And
“…And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our                 prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations              and beseech him to pardon our national and other                       transgressions…”

Wow! So much for separation of church and state. I wonder how  many schools teach this.

Almost a hundred years later, in 1864, another President thought that having a day set aside for food, football and shopping was so  important he made it into an annual National Holiday.
Take a look at what Abraham Lincoln said about it:

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year,  defending us with His guardian care…”
And
“…It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens  in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the  rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to  use new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards…”
And
“…Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do  hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day  which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may  then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the                             beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe…”
And – here where the shopping cart comes in…
“… And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on  that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”

These are the words of our Presidents – Our Leaders! It would do us well today to listen.

Now – am I some kind of miserable, scrooge – being negative and having somekind of hatred against football – shopping and ‘black Friday’?

No No No

Let it not be said!

I love football (yes I’m a Buffalo Bills fan)

Shopping is good – Greed is bad.

Do you know what’s the unspoken secret of  Thankfulness?

Thankfulness is not one-directional. It’s not only a ‘giving’ event –    it’s as much if not more of a receiving event. It’s a benefit to those  who are thankful. 

Giving thanks transforms us. By nature we like to complain.            Whining and griping comes naturally – but are unproductive and         unattractive. Expressing gratitude is attractive and productive. Giving  thanks transforms us from complainers into people of                gratitude. 

Giving thanks changes our perspective about the Creator-creature relationship. It causes us to acknowledge that God is the source of every  good thing. When we thank God, we have to realize that our health, our  family, our food, our shelter, our job, our talents – any abundance we  may have – come from Him.

Giving thanks teaches us grace. It’s human nature to take credit for  our accomplishments. Thankfulness teaches us that we have not earned  anything – all we do is by the Lord’s grace. Each gift, whether it’s a job  or a friend or family, or place to live or a freedom we enjoy or a spiritual  blessing we have received, shows the grace of God.

Giving thanks humbles us. We walk through life selfish and self-absorbed.   We are proud and self-centered. We think we deserve a lot. The world owes  us. When we are truly thankful, we see we have much more than we  deserve.  Pride fades when we understand that every good thing comes  from God. Thankful people are humble people – for they know they can  do nothing on their own.

It’s easy to give thanks when things are going well.It’s harder when  things are not going so well. We want to come to the place where we  can give thanks for all things.

After suffering numerous “bad” things – Joseph said                            “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”

Paul said, all things work together for good for those who love God.

I am “Thankful” to the Pilgrims – and to President George       Washington and to President Abraham Lincoln –  thankful for the ‘commitment’ they made.

There is so so much we have to be thankful for – I’m not even going to attempt to start naming them – the list is way, way too long.

Actually, Thanksgiving should be a time of commitment renewal and  strengthening.

Thanksgiving should be an occasion to remind us of our commitments  and to strengthen those commitments. Lacking that – it’s little more than spending time with family and shopping.

“Commitment.” you say?  “Commitment to what?”

Commitment to those things for which we’re thankful.

Things like life – liberty – family – food in our stomachs – a roof over our heads – a pillow – a bed – friends and loved ones.

I am thankful.

Thankful to God for His Goodness and Blessings.

Thankful for the ‘Light’ He brought into the darkness. 

And no matter what happens in this world – I will always be thankful that God remains in control.

Always giving thanks for all  things (Ephesians 5:20).

Let us never forget those who simply have nothing – to be thankful for.

Those millions upon millions of helpless victims of darkness and inhuman treatment by their fellow man.

Those countless children born into misery – born into death – having no hope for joy in life.

We must never forget them –   for they only have –                           those who remember.

It is only through our compassion and love that we bring joy to others and also find that inner joy that comes with bringing joy to others.

                                       Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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I don’t write about politics – it’s not my thing and basically I don’t really like it or politicians.

But, this time I can’t sit back and bite my lip – my teeth are grinding on one another!

Last night, I watched on the news as the world “rejoiced” that a great “never before” – “first-time” negotiations had concluded with a “deal” with Iran.

Hmmmm- let’s see if I have this right:

Iran will “halt” “part” of its nuclear development program and in exchange we’ll lift our sanctions against it and provide humanitarian relief.

Now, the press can goggle and salivatate all they want over this, but does anyone honestly believe Iran is going to halt development of their nuclear program? They have continually and openly defied the world on this subject from day one – and lying about it is right out of their playbook. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows better. Iran has openly and blatently worked with North Korea on this and our own intelligence has reported what their true aim is. But we hide our heads in the sand and pretend.

But – that’s not my issue with this.

There is an innocent American citizen who has been held prisoner in the worse Iranian prison for over a year. They want to keep him there for another 7 years.

I said “AN AMERICAN CITIZEN”!!

He has been tortured, beat, deprived of medical help and medicine, and treated less than an animal – and for no other reason than that he refuses to denounce his faith – Christianity. That’s it! No – he wasn’t preaching on the street corners – he wasn’t out defying their government. In fact, he was there supporting their orphanages. You know – the children suffering from their abusive beliefs and hatreds!

Yes – the same people we know agreed to send “humanitarian” aid to!

Hundreds of thousands of people have written and requested Iran to release him. Their response? They moved  him to a worse prison that has a legacy of death and coming out in a box.

I have two questions for both – the politicians who “negotiated” this earth-shattering deal and for the press that slobbers all over it and over those politicians:

First – WHY WASN’T THE RELEASE OF PASTOR SAEED ABEDINI EITHER A PRECONDITION TO SITTING DOWN WITH THEM OR AT LEAST A PART OF THE AGREEMENT?

Second – WHY IS THE UNITED STATES SITTING AT A TABLE TO NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS THAT ARE HOLDING AMERICAN CITIZENS IN A TORTUROUS PRISON?

It is unconsciousable that our government held these negotiations without demanding the release of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen! Why wasn’t his release a precondition for us to even sit down with them to negotiate?

Instead – we’re going to relax sanctions and providing humanitarian relief.

“Humanitarian relief”!

Are we living in Disneyland?

Have the politicians and the press forgotten that Iran has been in a state of armed conflict against the U.S. for decades? It is common knowledge – stated by these same politicians and reporters – that Iran has killed Americans directly and supported every terrorist group, country and cause against America and is the main supplier of arms to jihadist terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They kill Americans.

They want all Americans dead. That’s not me saying that – they say it themselves – with a smile on their face.

They hold American citizens in hell-hole prisons for no reason other than they don’t agree with them. And we negotiate with them – give them aid – and “humanitarian relief”! Tell me – how do we make a deal with people who are torturing our citizens?

Yes Virginia – there is a Santa Claus.

He lives in the White House and he negotiates with terrorists, but he doesn’t give gifts of freedom to all equally.

One man – a husband – a father – a pastor – sits in prison – won’t see Christmas – or his family – or his country. He’s held captive by the Grinch who Stole his Christmas – while the world applauds the Grinch and takes pictures of the Grinch shaking Santa’s hand.

Strange – how this President can care so much about certain Americans and so little about other Americans. I’ve seen a number of presidents in my time and I don’t recall them being so selective about who they champion or not.

Stranger still – is how the American press can so totally work the country into a frenzy about some isolated criminal incident and so totally ignore Americans being killed, tortured and forsaken by the same people we honor and heap “humanitarian relief” on.

We all need to pray for Pastor Saeed – because our prayers are the only support he’s getting.

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It’s the time of Thanksgiving! 

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The harvest is full – creation is vibrant, overflowing with a bounty of blessings. The scent of crisp apples – fills the air while field after field of corn, soybean, cabbage and potatoes  – fill the silos…  

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Large, orange pumpkins are magically being transformed into spicy, sweet pies…

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Turkeys run in fear – knowing their time is short…

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And we rejoice in the richness of blessings our God has provided for us.

Yes – it’s Thanksgiving and we have much to be thankful for, and from all of us at

Original FAWN logo – we extend our sincerest wish that you and yours have a…

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Joyful – Enriching – and Happy Thanksgiving 2013.

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And while we are thankful –  let us never forget those who are hurting…

…those among us who have suffered setbacks and huge financial and personal losses from fires, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, mud-slides and natural disasters of all sorts and types creating tragedies, loss of property and most of all – loss of loved ones.

Our hearts go out to you and we feel your sorrow and your pain – but we also feel your strength.

And let us not forget that… 

Monday – November 11th is Veterans Day –

No – it’s not a bargain shopping day – it’s a day for us to show honor – appreciation and to give thanks for those who, across the years, from one war zone to another, heard and answered the call – paying the price – for the freedoms we hold, enjoy and cherish so dearly. Freedom doesn’t come without a price. To those who fought the fight yesterday and to those who continue to fight the fight today – across the oceans – on foreign soil…to those who returned home whole and well – and to those who returned home not well in body or mind, and…lastly…to those who didn’t return home….

…we honor you!            

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Thank you veterans – you men and women who heard the call – who felt the need and who said:

 

“Here am I – send me.”

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May God bestow a special blessing upon you and your families.

And we must not forget, in our prayers and in our hearts, those who are persecuted…

 locked up against their will, away from their families, who will see no Thanksgiving dinner – no pumpkin pie – feel no hugs or kisses. Those who are beaten, abused and left in a dark, disease ridden hole – those who are tortured, gunned down and murdered for nothing more than what they think, believe and hold dear.

Each of us must always stand against tyranny and against those who work to destroy the human mind, seeking to kill that human spirit that thirsts after truth. Whether it’s our own belief or others – we must never allow the freewill to be stomped on. God gave us that gift and once we step over onto that slippery slope – then there is no belief that is safe.

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And let us never forget those who simply have nothing to be thankful for – and never have had.

Those millions upon millions of helpless victims of AIDS, starvation, malnutrition and inhuman treatment by their fellow man. Those countless children born into misery – born into death – having no hope for joy in life.

We must never forget them – for they only have – those who remember them.

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It is only through our compassion and love for our fellow men and women that we can bring joy to others but also find that inner peace that comes with finding our own purpose and happiness.

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When the final rolls are called – we must be found vigilant and working diligently for those who cannot do so for themselves…

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…until that day when all will rejoice!

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 Yes – we are thankful at FAWN for what we have and who we are.

We are thankful we are able to respond to our fellow man.

And we are thankful for you.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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It was a chilly Wednesday in October – the day before Halloween.

Overcast – gloomy – breezy – leaves drifting in the wind and pumpkins flickering from within. Just the kind of day you’d want for those ghosts and creatures of darkness to begin gathering on the streets dancing to the annual “Trick or Treat” beat. Meanwhile, FAWN

…went to college!

Oh – what a time it was!

We were running to and foe, spreading – the good news of the secret of FAWN. Yes, the secret. You know – the one about how good it makes you feel inside when you reach out and help someone in need!

Yes – that’s the secret of FAWN.

Actually, that’s the definition of FAWN!

“And where,” you ask, “were you having all this fun?”

Why – at Wayne State University of course!

FAWN (Fighting AIDS With Nutrition) was invited to participate at the Wayne State University’s (WSU), Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (in college lingo they call that the EACPHSCommunity Apple Days Career Fair.  Collaborating with the FAWN student auxiliary, located on campus, we set up an entire room for display and presentation and were visited by a steady parade of faculty and students alike stopping by to learn what FAWN is all about.

DSCN1308(The WSU, student FAWN group (FAWN shirts donated by Geri Smith). From left we have Jeremy Kelm, Ahmad Reslan, Dana Masri, Ruffa Villota, Libin Philip (Group Leader) and Omar Jadallah.)

EACPHS, under the guidance of Professor Geralynn B. Smith (Geri), formed the campus group three years ago. Geri has since retired from WSU (although in between bouts of Florida’s warm sunshine and soothing surf, she continues to work hard as a board member of FAWN) and we’re happy to report that the group has continued to be active and strong with plans to continue so far into the future. In fact, we discussed plans with them of spreading out into other campuses and locations.

Despite being assigned a difficult location, around the corner at the far end of the presentation floor, DSCN1321

we reached out to a large number of people, spreading the good news of FAWN. Although I was getting nervous, when Reverend Frank Julian, founder and CEO of FAWN, was scheduled to address the group, and there was only a single person in the room. But you can’t hide a good ‘secret’ under a bushel and…by the end of his presentation – the room was full.

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It was especially exciting when some high school students wanted to know how they could become involved with FAWN.

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(Stefan Carter, Libin Philips (FAWN student leader) Rev. Julian)

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Rev. Julian reviewed the history of FAWN, explaining how he was touched when he saw all the graves of the victims of AIDS during a missionary trip to South Africa in 2001.

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He simply asked, “What can we do to help?

They simply answered, “Give us nutrition.”

Starting with a single can of nutritional ENSURE, and growing to the latest shipment distributed just this past month, FAWN has gathered together and sent off 30 shipments of the life-sustaining liquid nutrition, distributing over 150,000 pounds of hope to the people of Sub-Saharan and Botswana, Africa ,

While FAWN is proud of that accomplishment, and thankful to all its supporters and contributors, we know it’s a mere drop in the bucket of what’s needed, and FAWN is moving to increase its impact and stretch its outreach to a higher, more sustainable level. Rev. Julian stated the goal of FAWN is to provide quarterly shipments that are consistent and which the people of Africa can depend upon.

While, on the surface, a can of ENSURE or BOOST may seem insignificant, in reality it’s literally ‘liquid life‘ to the victims of AIDS. Malnutrition and starvation are just as pervasive and devastating as the AIDS virus itself is…

…in combination with AIDS – they’re deadly.

The people of Sub-Saharan and Botswana, Africa are now receiving antiretroviral medication, but when they are in a malnourished state, the medicine doesn’t work well, and can actually be harmful to the victim. Research, conducted by the United Nations and various scientific studies, have definitively concluded that nourishment is an essential component of the overall treatment for AIDS.

Simply stated, victims of AIDS, live longer, with a higher quality of life when nourished. Unfortunately, the governments are not supplying nourishment along with the medicine.

And that’s where FAWN comes in.

Not only does FAWN send shipments of the “miracle cans” to Africa, but we make numerous trips along with the shipments where we teach and educate the people on how to fertilize the ground and grow vegetables themselves for sustained nourishment. Our latest team, headed by Pastor John Esper, just returned in October.

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We thank WSU and especially Mary K. Clark, Ph.D., and Lloyd Y. Young, PharmD for the invitation to attend this community event where we got to mingle amongst some of the leading pharmacy and medicine faculty and students found anywhere in the United States.

Fairs, shows and events such as this one provided by the WSU Community Apple Days Fair, are opportunities that FAWN welcomes with open arms. Our mission is to spread the word of FAWN and to share the ‘secret’ of FAWN to the world.

We want everyone to feel the warmth and joy that comes from “giving”.

Giving a little time – a little money – giving a lot of hope and life! Tell me – what could be better?

If you are planning an event and would like FAWN to come, contact us – and we’ll be there. Depending on what the venue is- we can display, present, speak or just be present – whatever you desire – FAWN is eager to participate. You can contact us via email at efawn@fightingaids.org or call us at 313-215-2724.   Also, you can “Like” us on Facebook at FAWN-fighting Aids with Nutrition and “Friend” us on Twitter at @eFawnduane Subscribe to our newspaper at http://paper.li/EfawnDuane/1380987399 and stay abreast and on top of all the latest developments, not only in FAWN but in the world of AIDS research and treatment.

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AIDS is a horrible, devastating disease that millions upon millions of innocent people suffer from and die. In addition, millions of children are left without family – homeless – destined to rummage for food – child slavery – or the horrors of the sex trade – and ultimately – death.

But – it is a  battle in which YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE  – one can at a time.

Join with us – and share in the “secret of FAWN”. It’s there for the taking. Call us – or hit the “DONATE” button on this page.

Give some hope to those who have none – and receive the gift of giving.

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When everything is said and done – isn’t that what life is really about – giving a little compassion and love to those who need it?

 

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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