All Things Become The Teacher

Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the weight of thousands of miles traveled, but I nearly cried when I saw Spam Fried Rice on the menu. The overwhelming sense of nostalgia came with that one uniquely Guam dish.

Even though it had been 25 years since I was last on Guam, the place felt the same. The individuals, the business names, and the political players changed. Roads have widened and beaches narrowed. Yet the essence that is undeniably Micronesia is perhaps stronger than before.

My trip to Guam in September of 2019 was a lesson in synchronicity and serendipity. For the 10 days that I was there, I only had one activity planned: the book launch on Wednesday, September 18. I went with an open heart and mind to let the journey unfold as it would and trusted a Higher Power to guide each step of the way.

The reason for the trip? Back in 1992, while attending the University of Guam, I was part of an Anthropology field school on Ulithi Atoll. Fast forward 20-some years, the professor retired and finally had time to compile a book about Ulithi. Papers myself and fellow students wrote as a result of the field school were part of the volume, Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia: Recalling the Past, Reaffirming the Future, along with more recent research from the 21st century.

Less than a month before the formal book launch, I was contacted by one of the book’s editors to inform me about the existence of this book. That was just one of a cascading volume of “coincidences” that were part of my Guam experience.

My former professor had tried to track me down me before. When time was running out, she asked the other editor to try. If this person had tried a week or two earlier, she would not have established contact.

The only reason she was able to reach me was that, merely a week prior, I had added the URL for this blog onto my Facebook page. If I hadn’t done that, I would have completely ignored the friend request and I would have absolutely no knowledge that this book existed, and hence, I would not have journeyed to Guam. As it was, she conveyed a message through the comments section on my blog, which comes straight to my inbox.

Guam is an island of connections. It seemed that everywhere I went and everything I did wove tiny threads of synchronism linking events, people, the past, and the future into a cohesive whole. I had such an overwhelming sense that I was exactly where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.

The day I arrived, a two-day conference ended about decolonizing Guam. This is a topic I was actively learning about to inform the novel I’m writing. Turns out, a former classmate who I had been looking to reconnect with was very involved with the issue. When we met for dinner, it was as if no time had passed and we talked and talked, much to the annoyance of people waiting to be seated at the restaurant.

Another motivation for returning to Guam was to get more information about the Suruhana, the traditional healers on Guam. This was also to inform my writing. ‘Coincidentally,’ my friend was familiar with a number of Suruhana and an avid supporter of helping the tradition survive in the 21st century.

Oh, and so many more parallels. When I had been on Guam in the 80s and 90s, I knew my friend had grown up on-island. Little did I realize that she had gone to high school in Medford, Oregon, a rather small, rural town. At that point, I had never been to Oregon. After moving away from the island I had happened to go through Medford shortly after my husband and I married in 1995. We fell in love with the area and have lived there ever since. So, my friend and I also had Medford in common.

There were too many other coincidences and parallels to mention. I’ll just say that every conversation confirmed that I had needed to be on Guam at that moment, to have that conversation, to gain that insight.

Overall, a strong sense of “it is time” pervaded my consciousness. It was time to act. Time to show up in the world. Time to let my voice be heard. Time to move beyond fear and fulfill my purpose. Heady stuff? Yes. Yet all it really means is that I must trust myself and do what is in front of me.

I can’t help but believe that my meditation practice allowed my mind to be clear and to fully discover the joy and meaning of each moment. In Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s words, “As we grow accustomed to looking at the clear surface of our minds, we can see through all the gossip about who and what we think we are, and recognize the shining essence of our true nature.” (The Joy of Living, p. 132).

I believe that you can come to know your true nature through many different religions and paths. As my husband recently heard, when the student is ready, all things become the teacher. So whether you’re in a 12-step program, a devout follower of a religion or anything in between, my wish for you is that you come to know how amazing you truly are and can follow your passion to your ultimate fulfillment.

Reprinted fromI Am Many Things

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All The World’s A Stage

All The World’s A Stage

By William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

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Changes

Don’t scare of change.

Life is all about change.

You’ll change.

Everybody will change.

Everything will change.

Look around you, you’ll always find changes.

You can’t stop the medium of change.

Nobody can stop it either.

Change is the universal law.

This is the truth of life.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

Failure

Failure is important in your life.

Without relishing the bitter taste of your failure, You’ll never get the sweet taste of your success.

Failure doesn’t break you down, But failure makes you stronger and solid.

Don’t scare of your failure. Make your failure as the stepping stone of your great success.

Discover the new ways of your grand success and glory on the path of your greatest failures.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

The Halo of Life

The thought of newly transplanted foliage thriving in the winter’s cold air enticed me to pray for God’s help. I raised the living room shades, and our tree was gleaming in His morning rays. It began in February as lifeless vegetation, a root ball almost too heavy for my wife and I to plant in the ground. We gently slid it into a wheelbarrow and positioned this poor sapling in front of the window. With high hopes and lots of prayers, we asked God to bless our achievement and to nourish this impressive little ten-foot red Dogwood tree.

I’m sure most of my readers heard or read all the versions of “Legend of the Dogwood Tree.” Our Dogwood, though, became special when a supernatural event occurred within a week of planting it in the yard. Amongst the dead winter sod, and obvious to the naked eye, an indisputable halo of green grass sprouted around its base. I showed my wife and a neighbor, in disbelief, and we sat to praise God. In all my years of landscaping, I never witnessed something so mystical! Halos mean the Kingdom of light, and that which dons them has spiritual power and life. Was this tree put in my hands for a reason?

A halo of green grass…image by Bicks Books LLC.

Last night, a short month after its birth to our home, the cold rains blew; this morning we opened the blinds only to discover God’s magnificent gift. Our most prized possession, the red Dogwood tree, blossomed with brilliant crimson blooms and just in time for Easter. Our hard-earned efforts yielded God’s acknowledgment of thanks for giving life to this little dogwood tree, now a sanctuary standing ever tall.

Maybe this halo occurrence is quirky to some but we’ve planted many trees and bushes in our yard, and nothing appears abnormal about them. But the little red Dogwood brightens our day, blooming blood-stained petals in the shape of a cross, along with its own halo. The Lord, no doubt, is very much in control of His creations, and perhaps He anoints them with His messages… just like this tree.

Jesus donned a crown of thorns and was crucified on a wooden cross for our sins. Whether it was a dogwood He hung from (as legend claims), or another type of wood is of scant importance. Living in the consciousness of Christ is the most essential part of being a Christian. Be aware of God’s signs – they are all around you, even in nature. Let’s understand everything good originates from Him, and He wants us to protect the halo of life.

God bless you as we prepare for the Easter season.

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Cosmology or God?

Today, my blog explains controversies and theories, ignited by one of my readers. Please allow me to clarify I am not an astronomer, scientist, or a qualified professional of the world’s atmosphere; so, I wish only to suggest comments based on biblical evidence. My wife and I spent the better portion of this week doing extensive research on all the topics. We base our conclusions on Bible verses, and that which God spoke is the correct answer for Christians. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, and we encourage you to say them freely at the bottom of our Blogging 2 Believers video, this website, or by email.

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Let’s verbally discuss “Cosmology or God” on Blogging 2 Believers by clicking the following link –https://youtu.be/i0J7YRoer2A

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My reader’s question was, “What is your stance on biblical cosmology?”

BIBLICAL COSMOLOGY

Honestly, I never heard of biblical cosmology until the reader raised the question last week. The basic meaning is to describe and explain the creation of the universe based on scriptural evidence; in particular, from the book of Genesis. At first glance, I found biblical cosmology very intriguing and thought-provoking. My first instinct is to describe every detail of this theory, but my blog would be ten pages long. So allow me to write just a summation.

Cosmology did not exist before 500 B.C., just mythology. As time passed, though, many scholars of the Bible, such as the Three Wise Men, composed passages about the stars, earth, and cosmic events. They were famous astronomers of their time who analyzed the universe consisted of a flat disc-shaped earth floating on water, heaven above, with an underworld below the earth.

However, God wrote the opening Book of Genesis describing the creation of His world called earth. Cosmology attempts to decipher the meaning behind each of His words. For example, on day one, Genesis 1:1, God wrote, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This seems simple enough, but biblical cosmology analyzes why the word heaven is in a plural form. Are they saying there must be more than one heaven or perhaps many layers of stars? In either case, God didn’t create the stars, moon, and sun until day four.

ANCIENT GREEK COSMOLOGY

As cosmology continues they review the 3rd century B.C. theory of the ancient Greeks who alleged the universe was eternal. The world didn’t begin from nothing alluding to the fact many gods created it. The problem with this belief was most of these theories conceptualized the gods who existed then were neither transcendent nor capable of creation. Unlike our God who is always and forever, not biological, these gods had lifespans, living and dying. This was unquestionably inconsistent with the Bible.

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2).

Ancient Greek cosmology chart courtesy of www.webpages.vidaho.edu

PLATO’S COSMOLOGY IN 400 B.C.

The Greek philosopher, Plato, believed the world just came into existence. Along with the earth “just being,” water, fire, and air came into existence as a mathematical equation by a Higher source. So, God used a calculator to create the earth?

Based on Genesis 1, God simply used His creative powers to make the earth, which by the way, was originally a body of water.

2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

Plato’s cosmology image courtesy of zebu.uoregon.edu

DANTE’S COSMOLOGY

As you will observe in the picture below, Dante had some strange features to the formation of the earth. His most peculiar was naming different types of purgatory. Each of his spheres was one of nine heavens. A soul was mounted to Paradise and hell was placed the farthest from God’s light. The Mount of Purgatory was placed on the underside of the world, and he believed it consisted of water. He implied sin came as orderly progress.

The Bible never mentions Purgatory. In fact, Jesus claimed there are only two options after this life. He bases the choice of heaven or hell on us following His words on earth.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

and

“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

COSMOLOGY OF THE BIG BANG THEORY

In 1859, Charles Darwin introduced, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” publication, better known as the theory of evolution. Let me begin by saying scientists have never proven this model a fact and is instead ridicules in nature. Darwin’s concept is based on the universe beginning in a state of pure randomness. As time moves on, it produces natural processes or evolving organisms over long periods of time.

Once again I ask, how can something come from nothing? It takes blind faith to believe it, don’t you think? Scientists can’t explain how life started by natural processes alone nor is there any evidence to prove it. When we speak of man evolving from an ape, mutations of species are very harmful; in humans, the medical field classifies them as birth defects. Examples today of this is Down’s Syndrome and Sickle Cell Anemia. Scientists have never discovered fossil records to prove species are evolving to higher levels. So, how can the theory of evolution be possible if it cannot explain the origin of life?

Regarding the formation of the world, the Big Bang Theory alleges some twenty billion years ago all matter was packed into a microscopic egg or an atom’s basic particles. It assumes some earlier universe exploded and collapsed upon itself forming matter. But, where did these particles come from initially – there had to be a creator? This theory also believes the sun and stars developed long before the earth. Apparently, the Big Bang cannot go back to the very beginning of time and space.

I strongly suggest a Christian cannot believe in evolution, and God too, for the concept is against everything written in the Bible.

God created man and woman since the beginning of time:

Day 6:

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)

Genealogical records of the Lord’s ancestry goes back to Adam, God’s first creation. This dates humans back to only a few thousand years before Christ. Though time varied from our current twenty-four-hours a day, I surely cannot justify the humanity being twenty billion years old. There are some two thousand years spanning today back to Jesus Christ and another two thousand years back to Abraham. There are only twenty generations between Abraham and Adam. How do scientists explain the earth being twenty billion years old?

Accordingly, the sun and stars were formed after the earth:

Day 4:

Need I say more about the Big Bang theory?

CONCLUSIONS

To answer the reader’s question above, my stance on biblical cosmology is I am a man blessed with the ability to write God’s messages. The Lord’s words are written in the Bible for everyone to read, comprehend, and follow. It is not open to interpretation. Today’s society is filled with atheists, and they are the people who attach themselves to such conspiracy theories. If we have to question the Bible, there is no faith. I believe God created the world with His mysterious power–one which science will never explain. Cosmology, as a whole, is against everything the Bible teaches us:

Deuteronomy 4:19

And when your eyes are lifted up to heaven, and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the army of heaven, do not let yourselves be moved to give them worship, or become the servants of what the Lord has given equally to all peoples under heaven.

Let me clarify this Bible passage more by saying God doesn’t want us to stop learning about His world, but it is not acceptable to draw conclusions and influence others of such non-factual knowledge. The point is the origins of life, and the universe is outside the parameters of man’s conception. Cosmology is interesting but based on very few facts; therefore it can’t be classified as a legitimate science.

As a Christian, I hope to discover, one day, all of God’s mysteries of the universe. Until then, I choose to remain in faith that the Bible is accurate in God’s divine inspiration. We must live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). My beloved readers, it is up to you – cosmology or God?

www.danabicksauthor.com

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God Howls

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God howls calling all His children to come sit and comprehend His words. But, most of the younger generation pays little attention. The innocent become caught up in a triangle of apprehension while trying to cope with the ways of the world. Do they not know the Ten Commandments are a guideline for spiritual development – a oneness in God? This is an age of crime, adultery, hatred, and dishonesty; yet I want to share a positive story about a loved one who, amid his surroundings, God silently spoke to him.

This young man, bless his heart, lived a hard life. He fought his way through the damnation of a city’s streets. Along the road of hard knocks, he trudged a lost path of following the wrong crowd and perhaps engaging in activities less than moral. As a result, many disrespected him along with the family and friends who once comforted him. It’s a sad state of affairs but a prevalent trend for most youngsters today. One day, though, his situation changed in a matter of minutes.

Now married and struggling to support a household, he worked a blue-collar job. He observed stealing and lying by employees in his workplace, and a few even planned to frame him for the theft. Soon God spoke to this young man’s heart. Stealing was not only illegal and a dead-end street, but against the seventh Commandment which addresses honesty and truthfulness.

The changed man, (it is not essential to reveal his name), resolved himself to approach management about the situation. Kids will be kids, but God touched this one. His world made a huge turn after the pivotal moment of telling the truth to his company. It’s been two years since this incident, and with God’s continued blessings, he will continue his course up the corporate ladder!

See, God has a way of creeping into our lives when we least suspect it. He plants seeds in our soul and they whisper messages to our subconscious minds. Oddly enough, I don’t think this child has put two-and-two together yet for he still struggles mentally with past mistakes. Someday, however, he will connect the dots and realize it was God who saved him from an ultimate disaster and even prison.

Today, it is my greatest pleasure to watch this young man blossom into a person with great character, while holding God’s hand. He is one of God’s chosen children, selected to be an example to many others who walk a crooked line looking for their next tragic fix. When faith is lost, so too, are God’s blessings.

How can we turn this around? The first step is to become a believer again by reading the Scriptures and becoming re-familiarized with God’s Word. It requires obedience and repentance through prayer. Absorb the Ten Commandments all over again. Parents must pray for their child to discern God’s voice.

This generation must understand their wicked ways has a ring leader named Satan. They should realize the confusion and feelings of anger stem from Satan’s presence.  If only they would listen to their inner voice when they know something doesn’t feel right because it is the Holy Spirit speaking in their ear. God howls to them through the blackness for he hates the evil penetrating their being.

Let us pray today for our younger generations –


BEGINNING FEBRUARY 3RD! More information coming soon –

A Thousand Words

The picture above is such an appropriate scene for many of my followers today! I took this snapshot five years ago (sorry, it’s not the best of quality). Complacent as it is though, my thoughts run deeper. I never realized, until this morning, how much it says about life. The heavens were so blue and tranquil. Yet the beauty of the landscape hid a time when my spirit was riddled with frustration and hope. In all the luster and calmness of the frozen and packed ice, I traveled the road with determination. Living in a house of selfish people who cared more of fulfilling their own desires, I only had God on my side. He knew the truth of my anointing to be His messenger. I was headed home to a world full of doubts and far from harmonious. Slippery promises of change, like drifts in the snow, laid heavily in my mind.

But, in this photo, there is another obstacle not readily observed by the naked eye – faith. You must succumb to life’s icy patches to make sure you’re qualified for God’s blessings which He has in store for you. I was never really alone on the treacherous road. You see, faith is tested more during times of trials and tribulations. Things may not always appear to be as you wish, but pray for strength and guidance, and God will protect you. Reminiscing those scary road conditions, it’s obvious He watched over me. He made sure nothing obstructed His view of me. Our Father never deserts His children!

I learned many family members doubted me because not one soul witnessed me being touched by God. But I didn’t care who believed or disbelieved me. My decision to be a writer of our Lord’s messages would honor Him. I trusted God implicitly to guide me through my passages of a thousand words, and He has never failed me.

This morning, over breakfast, I told my wife, “Thanks, honey, for believing in me.” She, to this day, has a hard time comprehending she is the first person to believe God touched me. As our miracles continue to mount, there is little doubt. Even the picture above mysteriously appeared while writing this blog – a clear sign He acknowledges this message to you.

It is important to remember this… when life hands you an icy road to drive, don’t stop looking up to the heavens! You may not understand immediately the “why,” but one thing is for sure, God wants to use your hardship to draw you closer to Him. Stay connected in prayer for He is testing your obedience. Our Father will always be with you on those snowy back roads of life!  

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Beginning February 3rd! Stay tuned for more information….

Do You Know if You’re in God’s Grace?

An unknown truck pulled up in front of my home, and I wondered about their intention. A young man stepped out, introduced himself and said, “I’m here to mark the ground for electrical lines, do you mind?” Our conversation quickly moved from generic to personal all in the same sentence. One thing led to another, so I invited him inside to meet my wife. Marking the yard was the least important topic to talk about at that moment. We found significance in our impending dialog because he saw we were new to the area. He knew nothing about me but he still kindly invited us to join him at his church along with his family members.

Our conversation deepened as he told us about his father who spent time in India doing God’s work for seven years. He and my wife swapped mission stories as she, too, served in Africa. You see, when you’re in God’s grace, things just seem to generate for the best. He places people in your path, shining His grace and approval.

I ponder now about Moses in the book of Exodus of the Old Testament. He was an arrogant and stubborn man who murdered another person. He constantly doubted God’s word. Though Moses failed to trust God by not speaking to a rock, the Lord nevertheless guided him. How gracious was this? God’s grace is perpetual, even to the unaware.

Do you know if you’re in God’s grace? I can describe grace, in a biblical sense, as God’s unmerited favor – a blessing we don’t deserve because we are sinners. To be in His grace is a gift.

Like Moses, grace is redemptive. How many of us follow our own path in life, ignoring God’s requests? Do you drink, experiment with drugs, have sexual taboos, gamble, or struggle with eating disorders? Because some choose the wrong path doesn’t mean God isn’t willing to take your hand and lead you to a better way; but you must allow Him to do so. He will do this through His personal love and grace for you. But remember, God’s grace is conditional so we should pray often but also refrain from repeating our immoralities. The Bible contains repeated warnings against using grace as a pass to continue in sin.

If you are in our Lord’s grace, take a sigh of relief for you are right where you should be in His eyes. Realize life is truer than fiction. Just as this young man’s visit to our home, you will feel God’s love showering down on you. We serve an amazing God. Sometimes, standing still is all that is warranted to receive His guiding messages and ultimately His gifts. God is ready to extend His grace to those who are called to follow Him in the name of Jesus.


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