Category: Religion

Two Poems

“A Woman’s Heart”
by L.H. Gracy

We move together, and I love your
venerable countenance.
Shining a breath, passing, yet never
will I forget.–

The glowing austere of holiness, or,
the way my mind was lit

aflame: sudden bursts of transcendence,
angel light, nether worlds–destroyed

shattered in Beauty’s eminence. Love

now restored.

All speculation will not slay this

One:
that is,
the glory underneath,
the Greater than the Sun.

A woman’s heart shews forth, and
dispels deceptive will.

A partial, yet complete act
of God’s aesthetic fill.

“Memories that Wander”
by L.H. Gracy

Recalling a melodious pitch,
or forms of movement, thus
Swarms of creatures the mind adventures,
the swooning of the thrush

And while I beckon hitherto,
ineffable thoughts I ponder:
the motive of a person’s word of deed
when that one says, what’s wrong dear?

Further, have I not known
the brilliance of mind on earth–
the one that makes me move in glory,
and relinquish undue search?

If not, will I declare
I must continue onward
And love that which is from above–
those objects and things we ponder.

Memories that wander
stay of place in some sweet nexus
A taste of pondering eminence
a taste of Nature’s Sexes
And while I sit, I wait 
for Heaven’s inspiration
to be greater than the vile amorous
to rejoice in my long sation.

Memories that wander
stay of place in some sweet nexus.

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The Great Temptation

Life can be immensely difficult. It can be even more difficult when you are alone.

In the book of Genesis, Adam finds himself in a similar situation.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou latest thereof thou shalt surely die”
(Genesis 2:16-17).

The Law, if you will, was handed to Adam to be understood and to be carried out. Later, in the next verse, we see the introduction of Woman into the mixture:

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).

Adam is given a responsibility. He is given the job of protecting the woman, Eve, from temptation. Because Adam was initially told the Law by God Himself, Adam has a huge responsibility placed upon him! Not only is he responsible for protecting Eve, but he is also responsible for himself not following after Eve if she were to sin!

A theologian once remarked, “Adam was not deceived by the serpent. Adam sinned because he was unwilling to disassociate himself from the only companion he had.” This hits home for many of us. Christ, being God, willingly gave His life so that the world may be reconciled to Him. It certainly appears that God has given man the authority to die for His wife- but should we say this is the best decision? It does not seem so.

“Jonah, I beseech thee…”

Jonah
The prophet Jonah is often described as the “runaway prophet”. God called Jonah to preach a message to the city of Nineveh, but instead Jonah transversed across the known world in order to get away from the calling on his life. The book of Jonah ends in a poetic and inspiring manner:

Jonah preaches to Nineveh (3:3); Nineveh repents of its wickedness (3:5); Jonah becomes angry and upset with God because he did precisely what Jonah thought he would do by sparing the city (4:1): Jonah becomes suicidal, telling God “[he] is angry to the point of death…[saying] it is better to die than to live…” (4:8); then concluding with God’s thoughts on the whole matter, “And should I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also as much cattle?” (4:11).

How often have you come across a situation like Jonah’s? Has God called you to a great task? Perhaps God is calling you to repentance? Is not God calling you to repentance…?

I have dealt exhaustingly on the subject of “calling” and “career”. It is a subject of unbelief for many, just like it was with Jonah. Jonah indeed had a grand calling, but he allowed his unbelief to detour him from such a calling. Often times, it appears unbelief causes many to shy away from the amazing calling God has placed in our hearts. The Bible says, “God has placed eternity into the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) so are you fulfilling that eternal call? What are you doing (or not doing) that is in regards to that eternal call?

Just as the “runaway prophet” struggled to obey God in a grand matter, so do we often disobey God in our grand matters! If we do disobey God in such grand callings, how much more do we disobey God in the smaller callings?

The answer I believe is illustrated by an account of the great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Spurgeon is said to have most sincerely come to the point of conversion when he was fifteen years old because of a simple message in Isaiah 45:

Look to the Lord and be saved

The Gospel, my friends, is not complicated but it is indeed a narrow passage due to the resistance of the natural man’s heart. All we must do is simply look to Christ, confess, believe, and be saved.

The Blessing of Forgiveness

blessing-prayer

This post is written in truth, from a place within the soul and spirit of this writer; grounded within the contextual freedom of the Word of God. The topic of the message comes from a personal experience of the forsaking nature of sin, and of the deceptive nature of the heart. It explores questions such as, what is a blessing?; what truly is forgiveness?; why is forgiveness a blessing with so much weight and power it can bring you to your knees in humility before God Almighty? As I write, the Spirit of God has moved me to unleash a Word to you, a Word that will enable you to RUN RELENTLESSLY into the arms of Jesus Christ. Lord, in the name of Jesus, release your people from the bondages of condemnation, oppression, offense and self-pity! Amen.

A blessing is defined as God’s favor and protection. (Psalm 5:12) It is not about consecration, which involves the process of setting apart oneself from evil, but rather it is the active walk of righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ and the blessing of God to continue to do so! Forgiveness is the incredulous ability to see past the misgivings of a person; to see past their inadequacies and their inability to do good– and love them still. (Colossians 3:13) However, love is not a “face” we put on in an attempt to “be ok” with someone. From that spawns actions that are not wholesome, and words that are filled with corruption; But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Matthew 15:18). How does one prevent this corruption of speech? One major aspect is the proper alignment of the person. Man is body, soul, and spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) When the soul of a person, heart, conscience, mind and emotions is standing in place of the Spirit of a person- then there is misalignment. A person whom relies on their soul as the operator of their lives is out of alignment with the design of the Creator- who desires the soul be placed either underneath or behind the Spirit-man.

Forgiveness, is the ability to recognize the complete brokenness of a person, and still love them with the fire of Christ. The blessing of forgiveness is the protection God gives to you through the wonderful gift of forgiveness.

What then, is the point? The point my friends, is in the unbridled passion of God in giving YOU complete forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) When you pray and seek the face of God in the REALITY of Himself, the Holy Spirit will open your mind to receive these truths, which will humble you before God! Humility is obedience to God’s commands, not self-denial. Along with forgiveness he gave you righteousness, but that I believe is for another post (sermon, message, blog) you name it!

There is much more to be said, I am afraid however that I would never stop writing. Let me leave you with an exhortation from the Word of God:

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, (Ephesians 4:17-21)

God bless your family. More to come!

-LG

Persecution.

persecution-jani-freimann

Per-se-cute vb -cut-ed; -cut-ing : to pursue in such a way as to injure or afflict, especially to cause to suffer because of belief — persecution. (Merriam- Webster)

The story of Socrates illustrates persecution in an interesting display,

“Thus he had passed his life as a sort of missionary in detecting the pretended wisdom of mankind; and this occupation had quite absorbed him and taken him away both from public and private affairs…And hence bitter enmities had arisen; the professors of knowledge had revenged themselves by calling him a villainous corrupter of youth, and by repeating the commonplaces about atheism and materialism and sophistry, which are the stock-accusations against all philosophers when there is nothing else to be said of them.” (Apology)

Socrates was killed for “corrupting the youthful minds of Athens”, a considerable accusation that begs the question- who is really doing the corrupting? The educational system is presently under a series of relentless attacks for the minds of humanity as a whole.

Every apostle, aside from Judas, (those that witnessed Christ risen from the grave) was killed for professing the truth of the Gospel. Every single one. With so much blatant mockery of Christ, it is no surprise why many Christians do not see a need to take a firm, bold stance on the Gospel. It should be noted, Paul writes that the Gospel is foolishness to those whom are perishing. Since scripture tells us that the world will think it’s foolishness (making Christians appear to be fools) why would anyone want to risk being made fun of? It is an honest question that should be addressed- especially with so much disdain for the truth of God’s Word.

Many in academia consider it “academic suicide” to believe in Creationism, Intelligent Design, moral objectiveness, etc. In a relativistic society, why should we believe in something that is absolutely true? This will be a list of a few important points as to why it is important to hold to the foundational truth of God’s Word, as well as how to deal with persecution. The first two will deal with evangelism with the last two dealing with persecution. Note: the whole concept of persecution is not understood in the Western world as, necessarily, a physical persecution in the form of torture or systematic killing. I believe the examples listed provide guidance for whatever “form” of persecution you may think.

1. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14 KJV)

It is easy to think of oneself when confronted with difficult circumstances. Jesus did not have his mind occupied on himself and his trials, he was torpedoed by love for humanity. He told others the truth, never saying to himself, “geez I look like an idiot”. This is the difference between being “fleshly-minded” and “eternally-minded”. Jesus asks us to be focused on the Kingdom of Heaven, and not on what will pass away.

2. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)

The apostles devoted themselves to preaching the message of the Gospel. Now, this is in regards to those whom are not mature in Christ- the unbelievers. It is also noted here that in teaching those whom are unbelievers we use all wisdom; godly wisdom and human wisdom. As II Peter tells us to give an “apologia” or a “reason for the faith that is within us”, we must be prepared to answer various worldviews with the truth of God’s Word.

3. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

There is no denying that those whom are in the world will hate you for the message of the Gospel. It is considered foolishness to them, and that is simply how the carnal mind will perceive it. This verse is used to display the truth of persecution, and the next verse will be used to declare the reward and confident hope we have in salvation when we are persecuted:

4. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matthew 5:11 KJV)

This should not be confused with simply doing something wrong! Again, Jesus was motivated by love not by the concept of martyrdom. Martyrdom is a result of living a life lead by the love of the truth of God.

If you find yourself in a position where you constantly have to defend your faith, BE ENCOURAGED! Do not blame God when you have to carry your cross, rejoice! Hone your ability to intelligently give a reason for the faith that is within, and form relationships with those whom persecute you! Pray without ceasing for those whom persecute you! Do not give up on those whom persecute you! Most importantly love your enemy and do not compromise the Gospel because of fear of what man will say! 

The Problem with Religion

catholicism

Karl Marx once said, “Philosophers hitherto have only discussed ideas of the world. The point is to change it.

How do we make a lasting impact on the world? Can one really believe that he/she can truly make a difference?

I currently attend a Catholic University where I am studying Philosophy and Religion. Now, to some the word “Catholic” implies a variety of meanings: priestly, immoral, devout, disciplined, historical [insert meaning here]. Lately, however, this word has taken on a different concept for me: religion. I’ve heard religion described as “man’s attempt to reach God”, which is a fair description. The apostle Paul described religion as “dung” (Philippians 3:8) and I think ultimately I agree with him. Many people hear the word religion and automatically associate it with wrong-doing, and I no longer blame them for it! Many injustices have been done in the name of religion. Religion is not intended to be the salvation for mankind, but rather a means of service. God did not come to earth for mankind to serve him in the spirit of religion, but instead he came that we may serve him in love as he is motivated by love to serve us.

We make an impact on the world but demonstrating the love of God to others. When we are motivated by love only then do we find fulfillment in serving others. As Jesus echoed from Hosea, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6). The problem with religion is that it is puffed-up, self-seeking, and overall just NOT FUN. Everyone will tell you that following a set of “yes’s and no’s” is laborious and boring. The beauty of the Gospel is not that it is the “sorta good news”! The beauty of the Gospel is that it is the GOOD NEWS! The greatest news to mankind that has ever been professed! Why do so many not believe that?

In other news, I’m finding it overwhelming that most of my lectures hit on Darwinian evolution at some point… it gets exhausting being the only one who will take a stance on it in my classes (I boast not in myself, everything I am capable of doing is to the Lord’s credit). More on that to follow though…

So to end with a quote that sums up the general attitude of this post,

“People don’t want to hear the truth, only because it will shatter their illusions.” -Nietzsche

Blessings to you and your family!

-LG

Getting Started!

intelligence

Welcome to my blog!

The purpose of this blog will be to present the truth.

No regrets.

No reservations.

The word erudite is defined as “having or showing great knowledge or learning.” This is precisely the method in which we will approach the truth. In a manner that is scholarlyobjective, and sincere. 

So to introduce myself…

I am a 24 year old male who recently retired from active duty in the Marine Corps. I am finishing my bachelor degree in Philosophy and Religion (dual major), and am the founder of an apologetics ministry at the University of the Incarnate Word. I am a proud husband and currently a father to a loyal German Shepherd named Dennis. I enjoy playing music, and enjoy learning. First and foremost I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not here to compromise the validity of my faith, but rather desire to persuade others to see the world through the lens of faith in Jesus Christ.

Having said that…The introductions may persist throughout the course of this endeavor.

Now, let’s begin.

-LG