An Eternal Flame

I wake in deep thought… dear God, save me as my life is riddled with missing parts. An eternal flame burns for my father whose life was cut short, fifty-five years ago today, by carelessness. Though I am a product of divorced parents, no one can take the place of your biological Father.

I think of all those special moments in life I wasn’t afforded the luxury of my father. We couldn’t build a model together, fly a kite, or throw a ball. He couldn’t teach me to hunt or fish. He never taught me to drive, yet it I became the chauffeur to his own loving mom and dad. My dad never experienced my graduation day, though I pray he looked down upon me from heaven. He didn’t meet my important first date. Late at night, I cried myself to sleep for the many times I missed his love.

The void I tried to fill was grander than a canyon. Nothing can fill the shoes left behind of my six-foot-two, father. This morning, an eternal flame still burns inside me, and I memorialize the father, I did without, in my entire life.

Image of Jean Bicks owned by Bicks Books LLC

Seeking God, I know it is He that connects the bridges of all the days of our lives. My time on earth is limited, too, as I look at my own son and ask God to watch over him. Someday, maybe, he will understand the meaning of picking up the phone and giving his dad a ring. Our moments are too short to waste on regrets.

I listen to the busy world as it is getting underway, but I feel the warmth from the Son shining down from heaven. It is God who has saved me in all my lonely days. Many children grow up in a happy home, and I, too, wish I could claim the same.

The sun is now covered by a swirling storm system. Still, an eternal flame for my father will forever endure whatever weather arrives today. I pray God grants me the moment I can stand by my Father again someday. I’ll give him a hug, he so richly deserves, for making me the son I became in his honor.

It was once said, “You can’t miss something you never had.” I strongly disagree! You can’t imagine what it’s like to walk a mile carrying your own father’s shoes. Yet here I am… throughout my life, without him here, beside me.

“God, my Father, I so pray Your holy hands will guide me all the rest of my weary days alone. Never lead me astray. I pray that not another child will experience the pain I’ve suffered and endured by the loss of my Father. Lord, let me be an example of Your love to other children who has had a parent pass to be with You. Hear my thoughts, on this day of memorial, and tell my father I said hello.”

I love you, Pop. May you rest in peace till the day we will walk in God’s light together.

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The Inevitable Destiny of Mankind

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Last weekend the world suffered an incredible loss of talent. As Kobe Bryant’s helicopter lay smoldering at the foothills of the mountains, people gasped in disbelief and choked back tears. Social media and our television sets covered the headlines to report on the death of nine great lives. It will forever change the surviving families as the Lord anoints them with hope and peace.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

A Facebook posting caught my attention about this tragedy, and it sparked me to write today’s message. The posting spoke of the horror Kobe must have felt in those last seconds when he recognized they would all die.

Death is the inevitable destiny of mankind. It’s not a pretty sight or an engaging act for those left behind to pick up the pieces. Most people never want to think about this unpleasant topic until faced with a funeral or a deadly illness. Yes, it’s scary to think only Jesus could conquer death as He rose from the dead. Our loved ones submit to their fate, and we are assured their body will never walk on this land again, unlike Jesus… yet the irony is incredibly sad.

I’m not sure of the other passenger’s backgrounds on the helicopter, but I know Kobe Bryant was an active Catholic. He attended mass and Holy Communion hours before the crash, at an Orange County church. Much of his tumultuous past was shaded in gray. Marital discord and loss of sponsorships plagued him for many years. But, just like of all of us, he had sins to conquer before the Lord. He knew only God could forgive him, so in 2003 he turned to the church for consolation and hope.

His love for the welfare of mankind surpassed all dignity. In December, he witnessed a horrible car crash in Newport Beach, California. Videos captured the moment he ran to the cars and pulled everyone to safety. He stayed by their side, speaking comforting words of love until paramedics arrived at the scene.

Kobe supported seven charities and fourteen causes. His dedication to children and their future was always at the front seat of his life. There is a lesson to be learned from Kobe about compassion and spreading God’s love!

Good practicing Christians should always be ready for their inevitable destiny. If I were a betting man, I’d place a wager Kobe prayed, like never before, in those last few seconds of his life. God heard his prayers because He, too, grieved the unjust execution of His Son, Jesus. He understands our pain. But, the Lord is rich in mercy, and He opened His arms to all those passengers on the helicopter.

Death is part of living – it is our fate set in stone by Adam and Eve. In my opinion, though, nothing is sadder than the death of an adult who never accepted Christ into their life before their mortality. As Jesus taught us, we are to confess our sins, pray for forgiveness, and never return to them. If we commit these deeds, we are assured of living with our Father in heaven. Christians should rejoice in knowing God has lovingly addressed our need for forgiveness. It clears the way for those we leave behind, and they can celebrate our eternal life with Christ.

Seek comfort in knowing God is the one in full control of our lives. He pre-planned our birth and death. Nothing and no one on earth can change our fate. It is futile to place blame for a person’s death because it was our destiny from the very beginning of life. Take solace in knowing physical death is just the start of our spiritual journey with Jesus Christ. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a good Christian’s life!

May the surviving families of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli, Payton and Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan rest in peace in the arms of our Lord.


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Life After death

Don’t be the greatest fool ever;
The greatest fool
Who ever lived;
And anyone who lives
Ohnly for now
And cares less about eternity;
How foolish is such a one!
To say there is no eternity
Because you don’t understand
Is foolishness of the top rank;
Who knew there was
A world like ours
Before they came to live here?
You found yourself here;
And you will find yourself leaving at a time you least expected;
Or desired;
My friend,
Be wise and accept
What millions have believed
Down the centuries:
That there is life after death;
Maybe you died in one world
Before you were born
Into this world;
What stops you
From being born
Into another world
When you die and leave
This world?
There’s life after life.
Or should I say
I believe in life after death?

Life’s calendar

Every life has its calendar;
One you do not master;
Neither do you control;
Illnes is not death;
Don’t pity someone
Who is ill,
And believe they will die
Before you,
Because they are ill,
And you are well and strong;
It doesn’t matter
How critically ill they may be;
Someone may be very ill;
And another not;
There is no certainty
Who will die
Before the other;
Life and death
Both come from God;
And their secret,
He alone knows;
He alone determines
The calendar of our lives;
He determibes when we are born;
And when we die.
We have to leave all
In his almighty hands.
As his decision is final,
And the best that can ever
be taken.

Life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth. Do you believe this ??

Life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth

It’s 2.7 minute read.

Life is a beautiful lie:

I can give many examples but a few suffice.

1. Lies are loved and truths are hated.

2. Ugly looking person suffers at every stage.

3. God is remembered only when problems are faced.

4. Every one has a dark secret.

5. Men look at women in ‘sex angle’ irrespective of age or relation.younger the woman better.

6.Money overtakes health,family,friendship and ultimately happiness.

7. Remember people only like you for what you have ,and not for what you are.The more rich you are,greater respect you command.

8. It’s impossible for you to meet your soulmate.twin flame or kindred spirit.All humbug.Each soul is unique,The theories are good for reading and for some one to enact.

9. Appetite grows with wealth.Regarding the nature of appetite ….I leave it to you.

10. Nobody cares for anything until it happens to them.

11. Menstrual cycle ( bleeding ) every month for almost 40 yrs is truly harsh.

12. Life is unfair right from birth,some are born disabled,some born rich,some born poor.

13. You have to live with the constant judgement by others of you .

14.The world is a cruel place.

15. Social media killing people.

16. The person you love most, hurts you a lot.

17. You can’t make every one happy.

18. All good things have to end.

19. People change.Friendship changes.Nothing is permanent.

20. You get what you get ,not what you deserve.

21. Life hurts a lot more than death.

22. Humans are amazing in that their sex is not limited to the same species.

23. The one certainty in life is uncertainty,

24. You only live once, so enjoy the life is rubbish and not possible.

25. Life is fundamentally sad,but with tinges of happiness.

Death is a painful truth:

Life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth

1Whether people be of high or low birth,rich or poor,old or young ,enlightened or confused,they are all alike in that the will one day die. Yamamoto Tsunetomo

2. No body cares to remember you forever after you die.

3. Death is the last intimate thing we ever do. Laurel K Hamilton

4. You can’t prevent death.

5. Death is not painful.But fear of death is painful.

Remember Woody Allen’s famous quote ?

“I am not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

Thank you.

Philosophy Through Photography

If you can add more, please feel to express in comments

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Spiritual Happiness

Much is written about joy in the Bible. Jesus spoke of being joyful unto His Father, later transcribed to, “Be joyful unto the Lord.” As we face disillusions and fears, of either, we endure many hardships. I, too, have these familiar symptoms, but God always remains constant in my mind. These words resonate in my mind, “Bring Me your woes and do not worry for I will help you with your inspirational battles.”

Unforeseen problems arise in the worldly pressures and obligations that meet us, not greet us, at every doorstep. Life, sometimes, can appear to be short-lived… unless your faith asks God for a special blessing and miracle. Some have experienced God at His best as unfortunate events end with a silver lining.

I often write of my sordid past life, but I glance back at those times and realize God intervened in my life. Today’s blog, however, is not about me, but the one I’m closest to, my wife. This young, vibrant, and outgoing woman, plagued with a virtue of grief and sadness in the past few months, almost lost her life in a car accident twenty-five years ago. The doctors just diagnosed her with heart failure as a repercussion of the injuries.

In disbelief, we took part in many tests and things seemed questionable, but nevertheless, okay… until the last test screening. It confirmed her life might be terminal. I can’t say how one prepares to die, except to “live life like there’s no tomorrow”… and so we did, in apprehension. With no other choice, I fought for the spiritual happiness of both of us. I walked on pins and needles, often hearing the crunch of eggshells. I was too frightened to speak much, so I stayed in constant prayer. Following my blog called Faith for Two, I knew only God would see us through this dilemma.

Matthew 6:25-27

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

The day arrived for her medical procedure, and hopefully, it would not become an open-heart decision. I watched the love of my life that morning, and I observed her quietly whispering, “Goodbye, mommy loves you” to her favorite parrot of twenty-seven years. I read her last words, “No food or drink after midnight,” as she prepared herself for a procedure which could end her life. It would have been easier to move a mountain than to keep her spirits positive. I maintained my strong convictions and stayed where I knew God wanted me to be – in prayer. Only my Lord Jesus could restore that which would destroy her many years ago.

In the lobby, in front of the doors to the operating room, I kissed her goodbye. Keeping up our spiritual happiness, I told her,” I’ll see you for lunch.” With tears in her eyes, we prayed it was not our last forever kiss. I needed to go to God! Father bless her and keep her in your arms, my dear Lord.

The wait seemed like an eternity. I took a seat beside a minister, and we shared our own hearts. The door at last opened, and a doctor in scrubs called out my name, “BICKS.” He took me into a quiet room and invited me to sit beside him on the couch. I had my faith until the moment he elected to move closer to me.

“She’s all clear, Mr. Bicks,” he said. “We found no blockages, and she’s as good as new.” My sweet love, who worried for five months of dying, was born again to the likeness of the sweet, little girl I remembered thirty-two years ago. She will live! Thank You, Jesus!

A curious thought crossed my mind. Two weeks ago, the cardiologist saw the blockage in a scan, and now it doesn’t exist!? Was this one of God’s miracles? You decide…

It has been six days now, and I see a glow where worry over-shadowed her face. A renewed life called spiritual happiness far exceeds a biblical joy. Saved by grace, quite literally, His miracle child is born again. There is no greater gift than the gift of life; and when death comes calling, defying Satan’s force is a miracle!

Living in a spiritual realm of happiness, where no pressure or problems exist, can be conquered when we reach out in faith. A great example of this in the bible was the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people on five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:15-21 and Luke 9:12-17). It is called the marvel of God’s healing hands, just as He did to my wife.

We read the miraculous stories of defying doctors’ diagnoses, but until it happens to you, we shun it with some other explanation. The Lord’s greatest feat was saving my wife’s life, and not once but twice; she put her heart and soul close enough for Him to heal her with His touch.

May I suggest we armor ourselves in prayer each morning to maintain spiritual happiness? Don’t identify with suffering, loss, or sickness. Remain steadfast in our Lord’s word, and He will calm every facet of your life. Today, my wife and I wake with a smile and a good-morning kiss, for God came to bless us with another anointed day. Our spiritual happiness is more than we ever asked for, and it is all because we serve our Almighty Savior.


NOTE FROM ANNE BICKS:

I would like to sincerely thank everyone for your cards, love, and support through this difficult time. Your kindness means the world to me! God bless you all!


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My heart bleeds

A man just died:
I wish it had not happened;
It was not a natural death,
As we know natural death
To be;
We call it untimely death;
A cruel death;
A sad situation Indeed;
A flying spear
Injected death into the man’s head;
On the spot, he died.
Many hearts were torn apart;
Anger was rife;
Yet, that is just one
Of many who are dying;
Innocently they are dying;
Cruelly they are dying;
Dying before their time.
My heart bleeds indeed.
I am in tears.

Quote (Death)

“A mistake many of us make is we often think only other people can die suddenly through an accident or heart attack; that we are exempted from such unexpected death. This is wrong. Death can come to anybody at any time. This is true for all human beings on earth including you. You may not die the next minute but you could also die. Hence, you must always be ready.” (Romilia Quote)

Love is not complicated, people are

Love is not complicated People are

These days…Relationship means…                                                                                                     Any where without you is better than any where with you

How individual lives are changing ,relationships are thrown into the dust bin,people forgetting the meaning and value & sacredness of ‘LOVE’,

Thanks to addiction to social media & smart phones !

Relationships are harder now!

“Conversations became texting,

Arguments became phone calls,

Feelings became subliminal messages,

Sex became easy,

The word ‘love’ is used out of context.,

Insecurities became a way of thinking,

Getting jealous became a habit,

Trust is hard to come by,

Being hurt became natural.

Leaving became the only option,

Sad but true,

So if you have something…that is worth it,..don’t take it for granted,

Fight for it,don’t let it go”       pinterest

Summary –

Be selfish,thanks to the inventions. indulge in your likings,Drink till you drop dead,fight without any reason,Ego is your life,jealousy is your partner, Greedy is your nature,Killing innocent is your taste,care not anybody,you owe the happiness you deserve,forget about dieting & exercises which are all money-making machines,,cheating is your mantra,money is everything and enjoy dying your own death,you owe nothing to anybody!

Is this the lesson modern-day life style teaching us ? Is this the meaning of advancement in human life ? Is this what all about relationships ?

And what about ethics,values,respect,responsibilities ,family relationship ?

Please share your thoughts.

Thank you.

Philosophy Through Photography

IS Pixabay

Religious Persecution

Religious persecution is a never-ending battle. Innocent Christians are crucified every day in the name of God for believing in a higher way of life. On our home turf, distance protects us; yet examples around the world appear in our own living room. If only everyone would come to terms with God’s peace! My heart remains in remorse over the wrong direction we are heading today. But, amongst these times of terror, the steadfast still walk with Jesus to praise and spread the Lord’s words of hope. Blessed be the faithful!

Some may not be aware my wife did missionary work in Guinea, West Africa for the International Mission Board. Her humanitarian efforts served the Susu tribes where they dug wells for fresh water. She also held a Vacation Bible School for pre-school children in the capital city of Conakry. Her living arrangement was in a compound enclosed with a fifteen-foot cement wall and broken bottles placed on top for safety. Two security guards stood guard twenty-four hours a day. Amidst the 110 degree weather, lack of fresh running water, recurring power outages, illness from vaccine shots, and contaminated foods, she and her group forged onward; it was necessary for the Islamists to know God loves everyone.

Missionary meeting a woman with AIDS in Susu tribes
My wife and aides meeting town people of Conakry
Teaching Susu tribes how to use their new wells

But, months of pre-planning and training was mandatory before she could enter Africa. The World Mission Boards warns missionaries to be careful who you speak to, not to look militants in the eye, and to dress in public as one of the crowd. They could not take for granted the deep commitment the Soussou had to their own religion. Not everyone finds peace in the spirit of Christian voodoo where God is the last word. Amid the incomprehension of entering a Third World country, she boarded an airplane with a round-trip ticket and the church’s prayer for her safe return. God bless our missionaries!

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)

By God’s mercy, my wife was one of the lucky few to serve and leave Africa without incident. The internet is filled with stories of those murdered in the hands of the Peace Corps and other religious affiliations. It is obvious Christians still walk, today, in the suffering Christ paid for our sins. China and Pakistan, for example, recently suffered mass genocides and burnings of their churches. Bangladesh murders secular activists and Christians, more or less with impunity. Statistics reveal North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Iraq, and Syria persecute Christians more than any other faith group. Making matters worse, governments in the West and the UN do not offer emergency help to victims.

With the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants and other foreigners into the United States, the religious tide is shifting dramatically here too. Bibles, crosses, and our churches are burned; they ban even Christmas trees and greeting cards in some areas. I wonder what Jesus would think if He walked our world today?

In biblical days, Jesus also suffered much religious persecution. He toured a radius of forty miles around Nazareth preaching His Father’s word and often hid in different lands for His protection. Unlike my wife, who stayed behind a cement wall, His temporary home was in a cave or the middle of a desert. But as in today’s times, very few people believed He was the Messiah, only those who witnessed His miracles. What words or actions does one need to see to prove God really exists? It’s not about color or creed, but receiving the grand prize – eternal life in heaven!

To the families who lost loved ones in the oppression of trusting in God’s greatness, have faith knowing persecution and true Christianity are inseparable. Jesus died on the cross for our sins – even for those who denounced His existence. Missionaries and all other Christians must realize God warns His righteous saints they will be persecuted for believing in Him.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

Have solace for your loved ones, and others who served the Lord, and believe in His name because they will be forever in His presence. If I had to lose my life for someone, let it be for Jesus! It would not be in vain for mercy reigns over ignorance! For two thousand years, believers have fought the war of standing up for God. Many procrastinate changing their life’s sins for the anticipation of the return of Christ Jesus. With the love the Lord placed in my heart, I bleed for those who choose not to concede before they die. Fathers, mothers, sisters and sons, Christ sent you a personal invitation to live in heaven with Him. What are you waiting for? It’s in you! Open your eyes and listen to your soul. Let the books of the Gospel lead your spirit for they are not fiction but the genealogy of your life.

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