If and when financial blessings come, one comes into danger of straying after mammon. Mammon has a way of creating and whetting the appetite for more. More accurately, it has a way of rousing the carnal nature with what is already there.
I began to be dissatisfied with what my money was doing in the bank at terrible interest rates, thinking I was a coward or a poor steward by not working the money to get better returns. I ended up in the stock market. Fear and Greed, two robust bullies, caught me in the back alley on my way to the bank and beat me severely. I lost two years of peace with my family and God knows how much more. My faith was greatly battered. One cannot play with fire and not get burned. A bitter lesson indeed. My boy had been such a joy to me and I missed him for a part of our lives. If you value life, flee mammon; don’t rationalize; don’t compromise; don’t even think it…flee to God for your life.
I wrote this during a fast a couple of years later, when I was expected to die.
I’ve missed my boy since ’93;
Money was all that I could see;
Even robbed him of maternity;
Without my boy since ’93.
Hung a plaque up on the wall
The words of which would say it all
And failed my duty to heed that call
Now all I can do is bawl and bawl.
Son, don’t ever cry, the fault’s not yours;
I’m persuaded the Lord will even scores.
How does He do it? by the blood He pours,
Reuniting us on better shores.
Mom, please don’t spoil our little boy.
Like me, he’ll miss both peace and joy,
Himself and others he’ll annoy
And we won’t have our little boy.
But do us both a favor, please,
See he minds all q’s and p’s,
Gains knowledge in all he does and sees
So that in the end, the Lord he’ll please.
Moon River Estates, Jan. 1993
Our Lord's final stage of suffering began and His social freedom ended with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him "Master." Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy and betrayal. Such a pleasant face! What a wonderful disposition! What do you want from me? Or is it just that you have nothing to lose? How easy it is to be pleasant And helpful and polite; How easy it is to show one self noble And virtuous, even saintly When there is something to be gained, And the one with whom you are friendly has it. Here, take what it is you are after. I am so happy to give it to such A pleasant fellow as you... As long as you'll promise me To keep your end of the bargain. I expect you'll be as congenial as you are now, When once you have what you seek from me. You tell me you are honest; You tell me you are reasonable and deserving And just and upstanding and unselfish. Fair enough! Here it is! I could not have given it to a better man. But sir, what about your promise? What promise!? A misunderstanding?! I was mistaken? But you said..! I'm trying to get blood out of a stone you say? Unreasonable?! But it's broken! You guaranteed it worked! "As is" you say? "Buyer beware" you say? Why is your face clouded? Why are you suddenly so harsh and haughty? Where are the meekness, the gentleness, The politeness, the smiles? Where...
Spanish – English So very much of our conversation belies our true nature and convictions. We say we love God, we speak of thanking and praising Him when we “are in church” or in a religious setting trying to impress others but let the guard down and listen to the words of our mouths and our hearts. Now these hearts are supposed to be the new ones we received in our “new birth.” With one set of words we proclaim we are new creatures, thankful to God in all things. With another set, we let others know where we really stand. Often, the arm raised in praise has a clenched fist and the lips of thanksgiving conceal gnashing teeth. Because conditions are never perfect, the spirit of complaint can never be stilled or appeased. Our ceasing to complain cannot hinge therefore on a change in conditions but must come solely by change in spirit and attitude. The source or cause of complaint is never the circumstances but always the subject in same. At any given time our lives can view from either of two perspectives, positive or negative, like two sides to a coin. Each side truly exists and we are right either way but we become what we behold. Therefore must we decide what to behold. Isn’t it awful? Isn’t it hot out? It’s enough to fry one’s brains! It’s so dry and dusty…. If only we had a little rain. You want rain? Plan a picnic! Where did all these terrible flies come from? Sure it’s raining…just washed my car! If it doesn’t rain, it pours! Is it ever muggy out! ...
This was written at a time when we lived in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey to the city of God must pass. This writing was also prophetic of events that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct. 9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in the Way of Life. The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and thirsty; We two have been matched as partners in this stretch of our history. The sun’s scorching face is forceful enough; from it I can find no escape, No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my soul in its wearisome journey. Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know where it began… It started with greenery, then greenery and sand, and now it is sand upon sand. Yet after some miles I’ve trodden and feel I can go no farther, A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined for that very hour. With leanness of soul and hungering for life, not a soul for months have I seen, And all my possessions have slowly been lost, ’til much lighter my journey has been. It’s strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter the life becomes; The easier the life filled with comforts, the more ...