The Bible – The Ultimate Road Map

In life and in taking any adventure or journey there is a path to follow or certain direction to take or way to go. In taking such path or direction on one’s journey there are times to make or chart one’s course to set out on for his or her adventure and journey. There are chances to make choices as to which way to take or which direction to go in on one’s journey. In one’s journey one may consider going right or left. It could be considered to head north, south, west or east on ones journey. A person chose a shorter path that might be smother or easier terrain to travel. Someone could chose to take a path that is longer and more rough and challenging to travel.There can be endless reasons for which direction or course a person choosing to take on his or her adventure and journey. It could be taking into account factors such as the speed, time aspects, terrain, weather, climate, level of skill set or ability or it could be their personal preference of what type of adventure they may like or enjoy. There are countless reasons and factors that go into one’s decision as to which direction they take in their own journeying and adventuring. There is another significant question and aspect involved in adventuring and traveling on one’s journey that is what will be the tools used to assist, guide and help one make the decisions as to the directions they take in their adventure and journey.

In previous chapters it has been discussed the topic and idea of which road should we as individuals and as a culture take, chose and travel. In consideration of ones choice of which path to travel and in making this choice one must also consider the question what will be used to guide and help one on his or her own adventure and journey. Much thought should be given to what tools should be consider to use and find useful while on his or her own adventure and journey. A traveler or adventurer may use or take on his or her journey, deepening on the type of adventure being taken, camping gear, water, food, clothes, sleeping bags, hunting gear, medical kit among other needed items or supples. In times gone by many have used compasses and maps to help guide them on his or here adventures and journeys they travel. If one wishes to go even further back in time and history nature has been used to guide people as they adventure and travel their adventures such as the direction of the sun, or the moon or position of the stars and landmarks of the terrain. These all seem archaic or antiquated in this day and age of modern time with modern technology such as GPS systems and google maps and the ability to ask Alexa or Sieery find me or get the directions to wherever you may be going. For us who have chosen the road less taken or traveled which tools will pack to take to use to guide our choices in the path we follow and the directions we go in our own journey of faith.

When one makes the choice to take the road less traveled and pursue his or her journey of faith there are certain tools at our disposal as believers and followers oaf Christ. For one thing we always and forever have our 24/4 lifeline of a calling home to our Lord and Savior and Father anytime, anywhere no matter where we are through prayer and constant and continual conversation with our ultimate Guide in life on this journey our Father. Secondly we can look to our pastors and ministers for counsel and guidance. A third tool and source of guidance, support and assistance as we travel our faith journey is through our fellow adventurers and travelers, our sisters and brothers in Christ, on this journey of faith. We can learn form each other and help, support, encourage, assist and love each other as we travel our own and collective journeys together whether we are traveling in valleys and in the caves of struggle, trails, tribulation, seasons and times of sorrow, grief, challenges and hardships and climbing the mountains or standing on the mountaintops of victory, triumph and success on our own journeys of faith

A fourth tool that we can use along our adventures and journeys of faith and that we can implement to assist and keeping us on and true to our course is map found in the Bible. In God’s word we find truth that is a light for our feet as we travel along our path of faith. We find our instructions and directions to helps find our way to our destination. The words of the Bible, the rules, principles, precepts,, commands and the letters in red which are the words of Christ are likened to coordinates of longitude and latitude on a map or signs one would find on the road they follow in their adventure and journey. Another way of seeing how the God’s word the Bible is a tool to be used and directs us on our path and journey is that when we each come to a crossroad or fork in our journey and have to figure out, decide and make a choice as to which way to continue to travel along this path of faith God’s words give us answers to the question of which way to go now on our journey. The words of the Bible may say go north, east, south, west or on this road for so far or for the foreseeable future until otherwise instructed or directed. God’s words could guide us to now go left, go right, recalculate or redirect so we can get back on track and stay our course.

The map found in God’s word is our road map for our journey of faith and it lays out for us the directions to be followed as we travel forward. These biblical geographical instructions and coordinates always point us to our Father. The words in the Bible are like signs to follow on a road that we are to follow. God’s word is likened to a spiritual GPS it will always points in the direction of and lead us on our journey, helps us to stay true to our charted course and lead us to our ultimate destination. The signs, coordinates, instructions found in Scripture and God’s word for our journey will never mislead us, lead us astray, or fail us as we follow Him and travel awn our journey of faith. Gods’s word and scripture will never be returned or found void and is always constant yesterday, today and tomorrow it is to be found and will always be found correct, accurate and to be true.

As believers and followers Christ not only can we use such tools in our own journey of faith but we can also use these tools to guide, assist, lead, support, and help our culture to collectively chose the road less traveled. We can help to steer our culture in the direction of God and Scripture and help our culture stay true to and on this charted course that leads to the destination of one’s, the collective culture salvation and journey of faith. We can as believers and followers of the Jesus and of the true road map laid out in Scriptures can show our culture and the world the true and only way and shed light along their own path to travel on their journey of faith. May we as followers and believers in Christ go forward in our journey of faith always striving to follow and stay true to the words, signs, instructions and directions laid out by the true and ultimate road map of the Bible. May we always use all our tools of prayer, community and fellowship, and the ultimate Biblical, scriptural and spiritual GPS to always to stay true to the our course and be pointed to our ultimate destination as travel on our journey of faith.

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The Road is paid with good intentions

There is an expression that is used in our culture that has much truth to it and the expression rings true. Have you heard it said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The idea and what is meant by this expression is that the way to hell or the path traveled to hell it is often done so with good intending of seeing through actions with no result. Another way of thinking of it is understanding the definition of intent which is the act or fact of intending or meaning to do something or with purpose but with no result. This is with anything that one means to do and sets out to do but has no follow or sees it through and achieves what one set out to do. Example of this can be in the most simple and small things or the big things intended like sending a card, text, message or call someone to check on them and reaching out or staying connected and forgetting. Taking something to someone in a time of need and not getting to it. Another example would be to tell or offering to help someone and cancel or not fulfilling the commitment to that person. There are endless examples of such intentions that are good but not completed or seen through and are useless doing no one any good. I know I’m guilty of such and we have been all there for we all make mistakes. We learn that such big or little things could have ramifications. There is a great parallel of to his idea and concept to one’s faith and the path to salvation.

People and culture have often been under the impression or of the belief that one can travel any path to his or her salvation. It has been believed by many that any and eery road will lead them to their salvation. Furthermore it has been believed that one can pick the path of their own choosing to lead them and travel to salvation. There have been many people who have believed and feel that they can achieve and have their salvation through other means and paths that lie outside of Jesus Christ. People often feel, think and believe that they make pick, choose, create their own unique way of achieving salvation. The path and journey to ones true faith and salvation is not a situation that allows for walking or following the beating of one’s own drum and music.

There has been the idea of family /Christian heritage as if one’s faith is passed down through the generation as if it was DNA, genetics or a birth right. This is not to say that there is much to be said for the legacy of family or heritage of faith and Christianity and the influence that can have on an individual or a the whole family through the generations. However this is not the same for an individual to say or believe well my family have the faith and believe so that covers me and thus I’m good. Because of my family has the faith and salvation I’m good and don’t need to come to my own faith journey to salvation. This is may be well intended with much good intent but couldn’t be further from the truth. We are all have to make to choice to have faith , to follow and believe in Christ. No one can make that decision for us or no else’s one choice is our get out faith or belief card because by default of that other person’s we are covered. We are each have to face our God and Creator and have the responsibly to make the choice for ourselves and own lives. Nothing short of our own personal belief, acceptance of Jesus Christ and faith in Him will we each be saved and given our salvation.

Some other ideas or beliefs that people have as to what will save them or lead them to salvation insoles the letter of the law/ legalism, good deeds or works or one’s own personal good choices and morality. These are similar and relevant things in that all three of these ideas and beliefs relate to something we can do, an act we do or don’t do or our ability as individuals. The idea of the letter of the law or legalism is defined as strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence to law or prescription particularly to the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit of the law. Following a strict following or adherence to the law and abiding in all aspects of every law is a impossible task for us as imperfect and sinful beings that we are as humans. Yes we were given the law, yes we should follow and obey the law and yes Jesus came to fulfill the law and not abolish. For imperfect, sinful beings this is something we can’t and never will obtain or achieve it is out of our reach and grasp. It may be well intended and with good intentions to say as an individual I will always and forever every day, every moment follow every aspect of the entire law without faulted or failure but its a foolish and invasion thing to say and to strive for. Even though as humans we may be fools and foolish but this s a fool’s errands for sure that can be completed or done.

Another idea or belief is that be being a strict follower of the law or by my good deeds or works whether related to following the law or not just simply a good act or deed I will be saved and find my salvation. Its as if one believes that I in my lifetime if I do enough good deeds or works that I can be saved or work my way towards one’s salvation. If this is the path to be raveled to one’s true faith and salvation then doesn’t that open a religious can of worms on salvation. I mean who does one know what each good deed or work is worth. How does any of us know how many good works or deed it takes to earn our salvation. How do we know the price of our salvation thus knowing how many good deeds and works would have to be done to equate to the price or cost of one’s salvation to be able to pay the cost and earn one’s salvation. When would we know enough is enough to tip the scale of salvation with the good deeds and woks that would allow for any of us to earn our salvation.

If we ask these questions in this can of religious worms by tour good deeds and works we are saved we must also consider the other side for in life there is always two sides and balance. If way to earn our salvation is through one’s good works and deeds then what would happen to our scale when we do something that is a mistake, a sin or an act or deed that is not a good deed or work. Would this now infraction and blemish of this not good deed or work cause our scale of salvation to be tipped to the other side. Another way to consider this is we have a bank account of spirituality when we do good deeds or works we have a deposit of favor put into our spiritual account that works towards our end investment of our salvation. Then again when we commit a sin, make a mistake or have an infraction we have a withdrawal taken from our spiritual account and works against our positive balance in our spiritual account and our end investment of our salvation. If you follow this logic and argument through it will eventually lead to the question of the how secure and or what security doe we have in our salvation. Just as in an actual banking checking or saving account if to many withdrawals are taken one will draw down their account balance and a have a strong chance of bouncing their account balance into the negative and their account not being in good standing. Then would this be the case and true also of our own personal spiritual account we have at the bank of Letter of the law. If so the only logical spiritual conclusion that one can come to is that the infractions, mistakes and sins that cause continual withdraws from one’s account will eventually lead to one’s bouncing of one account and lost of the ultimate investment of one’s salvation.

This equally is relevant to the third idea of belief that will lead to and ensure one’s salvation of well I’m a good and moral person so that counts and is enough right. This belief and idea is still working on the spiritual account system of deposits of favors or withdrawals. The implication of this logic is that my actions and deeds or work are sufficient, enough and have merit on their own to carry me and earn what I need to be saved. In any of these ideas or beliefs could be more further from the truth. The inherent problem with these ideas and beliefs is the underlying and all encompassing basis of these ideas and beliefs is that one’s salvation can be worked for, work towards or earned. We can not earn or have merit in our own acts, works or deeds. Nothing we can do in our own right or of our own merit could ever be enough to earn salvation. Even more salvation is a gift and gift are given and not earned. Moreover even if we could do enough in acts, deeds or works it is would be fruitless and futile because by the very nature of salvation being a gift it is not erasable. One must think of salvation as if a non returnable check is cut and written to you with your name on it for the solo purpose of deposit into your spiritual account to invest in you and your salvation. There is no expectation of paying this check back or work to be rendered for it. It is completely freely given to you for you and all that you have do is to deposit it into our account. The act of making the deposit is your spiritual account is your acceptance, belief and having faith in this gift that you have been given. Not you now are forever covered and secure in your now found investment of your salvation in and through Christ Jesus and have started your journey of faith and life in Jesus Christ.

Do you wish for your or my salvation to be based on this spiritual banking system of earning and losing for if one has earned one can lose just as easily and quickly as it was earned. Should we have to watch our spiritual accounts daily or hourly to know where we stand as to check our monetary banking accounts balance to see what we have don’t have or earned or lost. What would it be to never know where you stand or to always be uncertain or in doubt of your account standing. What would it be to always have questions of what do we still have to do and earn and maintain our account’s good standing. As believers and followers of Christ we do not have to deal with this messy, unattainable, impossible spiritual can of worms. This is why our faith and salvation as believers and followers of Christ is not work based but faith based and alone by our faith in Christ are we saved. We don’t have to endlessly strive to tip the scales, check or maintain a balance that will ensure our investment of our salvation. Christ has written the check for our salvation and has back it we can take it to the bank and know it’s secure. His backing is more than the FDIC could ever do or promise When we invest by our faith in Christ there is no more deposits or withdrawals to be done. The check has been written, cleared and covered and once those who deposit Christ check they will be saved and secure in that it is by faith alone in Jesus Christ and He is the way and only way to the Father and salvation. May we not as individuals and as a culture choose the imperfect, fallible, impossible spiritual banking system of good deeds or works, one’s morality and legalism but may we chose the true and only way of salvation which is through Jesus Christ Lord and Savior.

 

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The Ultimate Golden Lottery Ticket

One of my new favorite shows on HGTV is My Lottery Dream Home. I think most people have at least once or from time to time wondered or dreamed what it would be like to when the Lottery. Its fun to think or imagine what one would do with all that money. For me its the typical pay bills, buy a home, take some trips or vacations. I would also save some, invest and help family and friends and finally I would give most to the church or charity. This is what I dream of when I think of the Lottery. In reality most aren’t sitting on the winning lottery ticker or win the lottery. I think for most the reason this is such so appealing and such a amazing falsity is that most feel or think when the lottery will solve all their problems.

Just as it’s said the the money makes the world go round and is the great motivator. It is also what most think will be end all be all to solving their problems. Often times we see that in our world our culture and people are consumed with the idea of pursing money and things that can be bought with money. People are obsessed with all material things and greed. They think their pursuit of happiness can be achieved through the pursuit of and having money. Which is inserting to me because there is an equal of number of people who give evidence to the reality of having money doesn’t make or equal happiness. There are plenty of people who have more money than they could have ever imagined or dreamed of and are no happier with it then they were without it.

This to me proves one thing that there is no such things in this life as golden ticket that can be both to ensure one’s ultimate happiness in this life. There is no amount of traveling or adventures taken that guarantee one’s ultimate and eternal happiness. There is no amount of money, assets, wealth or material things that can ensure one’s permeant happens in this life. Moreover the fact of the matter is that once we leave this earth we can’t take it with us. There is no amount of work that gives us the golden ticket of happiness. There is no amount of knowledge that can give us endless happiness. There is no amount of good health, fortune, wealth or prosperity that can permanently ensure any of our eternal happiness and joy.

The only true knowledge that ensures our eternal joy is the priceless and precious knowledge of the truth of the message of love in power band of salvation and the good news of hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. It is through Him and Him alone that He is the way to the Father and our salvation. It is only Jesus and Jesus alone we are given the ultimate golden lottery ticket of forgiveness, redemption, mercy, grace, purification, sanctification, and justification. This is truly the ultimate golden lottery ticket that is given and what we have in and through Christ. This is not a two way street and the door doesn’t swing both ways. It is a one way door that lead to salvation that comes form Jesus alone and is our path to the Father. There are no other ways or paths to the Father that we can take.

Don’t sit on your get out of jail free card or the ultimate golden ticket that pays the price of your admission and entrance through the door that opens up to your and our salvation. There is no other lottery ticket in life that can solve all your problems. There is no jackpot on earth that can pay for or buy all that which Christ paid for with His sacrifice on the cross that we may be saved. There is no other ticket that has the ability to give you all you seek in life. It is only the true and ultimate golden ticket of salvation through Jesus Christ that we, our culture and our world can find freedom from sin, forgiveness, mercy, grace, redemption, life enteral, love, hope and true and lasting joy. It is a free gift given to us, our culture and the world through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ may we all accept and go on our new journey of faith in Jesus Christ. For those of us who have started and traveled our own journey of faith and salvation may we continue going forward showing and sharing the true colors (black, red, blue, white, green and yellow) of the message of love, the gospel of good news and hope and of salvation to our culture an world.

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True Colors of our faith

True Colors  of our faith

And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
I see your true colors
Shining through (true colors)
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful (they’re beautiful)
Like a rainbow
Oh oh…

There was a great song, and it has been covered and remade by a variety of people through the years, from the 80’s done by Cyndi Lauper called ‘True Colors’. This song for me personally has had much significance and meaning for me and my life for a long time and for many reasons and still does. I have used this song and the idea of my true colors in my other writings about my journey through my own motherhood. I feel like the lyrics of this song particularly the chorus can have many applications in life in a number of ares. You might be wondering how this can be relevant to one’s journey of faith. Once we have as individuals have chosen the road less traveled there are true colors that we see, follow and will show to our culture for them to hopefully to chose to see and follow as well. In showing these true colors of the message of love and Gospel of hope and salvation to our salvation we are showing the world the path to travel and follow as believers in Jesus Christ. I remember when I was growing up as a kid and in VBS we had for would make a power band as a tool for sharing the message of good news of salvation with people. It was a leather band and we would put six colored beads on which were black, red, blue, white, green and yellow. Each bead had a particular meaning and significant relevant to the plan of salvation.

 

The first color bead on the band of salvation is black. This color represents the idea of Sin, that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Also symbolized by black is the darkness of sin in our lives and the world. Moreover blackness because in our sin it’s impossible to have a relationship with God. The second component is the belief that without salvation we are dead in our sin and have no life apart from, in and through Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23) The second bead is red and this color represents the sacrificial death and redemptive blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins. This action and sacrifice of and price paid by Jesus is essential and mandatory for our salvation (Romans 5:8) There is absolutely no salvation without the blood of Christ being shed for the forgiveness our sins. This belief of Jesus atoning for our and the world sins is what is meant by John 14:6. It is through Jesus and Jesus alone that we have a way to the Father and to be forgiven of our sins and that we can have a relationship with God.

The third color bead and part of the message of salvation represented on the power band is the color of white. This color represents purity. This also symbolizes that once we are saved by putting our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior our sins are forgiven and we are now made pure cleans from all of our sins in and through Jesus Christ. This is where the theology and doctrine of our purification and sanctification comes from. This is the idea that we are made holy, set apart, made pure and set free from our sin because of the redemptive blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (I John 3:5) Blue is the fourth bead and color on the power band of salvation. This represents the act and sacrament of Baptism. The belief that is being baptized is that the water has washed away our sines and we now have a new life in and through Christ. The idea of being baptized is to show and give an outwardly expression and representation to the world of our choice to be a believer and follower of Christ. Also it symbolizes the inner change that has happened inside of us after choosing to follow Christ as our Lord and Savior. (Acts 2:41)

The next bead is the fifth bead and it is the color of green. Green symbolizes our new found life eternal in and because of Jesus Christ. Also represented by green is the idea of our growth and continual growth in Christ and in our faith. This is the beginning of our journey of faith we now travel as believers and followers of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). The sixth and final, although not least, bead and color on the power band of salvation is of gold or yellow. Represented by this color is the idea of heaven. This symbolized the belief of life after death and our true home being prepared for us with God and Jesus for life eternal. As beliers we look to and should long for the day when we are home with God and Jesus in heaven (John14: 2- 3). It is in and through these true colors of salvation that we show our culture and the world and share with theme the message of love and the gospel of hope through the good news of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we

These are the true colors of our faith as individual believers and as collectively as the body of Christ and for our culture and for the world for whom may believe in Christ Jesus. To mean while these true colors make total sense for the message end Gospel of Christ I have always found these choice in colors of the power band of salvation most interesting. Stay with me a minute another thing I have always found interesting the colors in the Olympic flag. I have always loved the olympic games and enjoy watching them. I think the reason why I have always loved and enjoyed Olympic games that it’s the representation of and the idea of the for a certain time the world comes together regardless of color, race, nationality and ethnicity. For a short while the worlds stops and all falls by the wayside and comes together united for a common goal, in harmony and peace.

I remember noticing one time as a kid when watching I noticed the flag and the color of the rings in the flag. What I find interesting is that the flag and the power band of salvation have the exact same colors in them black, red, blue, white, green and yellow. I have wondered if that is a coincidence or just because so many flags of the world have similar colors in them that comprise of these six colors. Then could it be there is significance and meaning in all things in life that point back to the the true colors that represent and point back to the message of love and Gospel of hope of Salvation that comes from Jesus Christ that is for all mankind and the whole world. Moreover that its this message that Jesus Christ alone can we as mankind and the world truly find peace, harmony and be united through message of love and the Gospel of hope only found in Jesus Christ. Its these colors that have and represent the most true meaning of love and hope through Jesus for all, you, me, our culture and the whole world. May we as believers strive to always show and shine the meaning of the true colors of message of love, the gospel of hope and the good news of salvations of Jesus Christ to the world as we journey forward in our faith.

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All the Cultural Roads that lead too…

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father expect through me.
John 14: 6

In the previous chapters we have considered the idea of roads traveled in life by the individual and ultimately by our culture. There are many doors a person or culture can choose to walk through this life. In life and in school we are exposed to a myriad of philosophies and belief systems for our consideration as to which one we will follow in our own life and journey. Furthermore as we chose which road to take and travel in our life’s journey what priorities will influence our choice as to with path will we travel. Often times one’s choice of philosophy and belief system is rooted in one’s priorities. As we as individuals and in turn collectively as a culture which priories will influence the decision to choice to take for our culture. Just as in a all you can eat buffet restaurant your a given a smorgasbord of options of food to put on your plate for your meal so what shall we chose for our spiritual plates from this religious smorgasbord of a belief system buffet. Shall we consider the ideas of Heindi, Buddhism, Islam or sceientology, athestism, Shall we seek out the ideas of universalism, trandenalism, new age, or eastern thought. Should one contemplate paganism, statanism, or Wicca. In today’s age shold one consider a more materialistic path that focuses on materialism and the love of self. There are so many endless doors through one can walk through and chose to travel the path that comes form that door they have chosen to walk trough.

In considering one’s chose as to what door to walk through on one’s journey and choice of belief system, religion and faith to follow one must understand the earmarks and fundamental cornerstones of any faith or belief system before choosing one for one’s own life journey. While there is not enough time or space to explore all these potential choices to walk through in this book for this is not the appropriate opportunity or platform for such a extensive in depth exploratory discussion. The bottom line and end result of any discussion or debate on exploring all these options and more is that none of these leads an individual, a culture and this world to the right path and road to travel to journey this life. None of these lead you or I, our culture or our world to the only true truth. The truth that it is only through Jesus Christ alone that I, us , our culture and world can find the truth, the true answer, true path or road to follow and travel through this life. It it is only in Jesus Christ that you or I, our culture and world can find the answers we seek for the questions we ask and have what we year for as we travel through this life. No other religion, faith, philosophy or belief system one may chose to follow will give you what you seek, answer your questions and quench your thirst or bring truth and light to your life, our culture and world.

Ask yourself individually and collectedly as a culture and world which philosophy, religion, faith, or belief system basket do you and we want to put our eggs in. Do you or we and as a culture or world want to put our eggs in the religious and philosophical basket that is void of life and truth and has no answers. Do we wish as individuals and collectively as a culture wish to invest our eggs in the basket that leaves us to thirst and hunger for things that are never to be found in these false gospels, deceitful and untruthfulness paths that will leads down roads of darkness and death. Or as individuals and collectedly as a culture shall we choose to walk through door that leads to the road less traveled and that is a path that leads our thirst and hunger being quenched with ruth, life and answers that only come form the true and saving gospel of Jesus Christ. When going through life’s religious buffet may you, I and we as a culture pick the religious option to put on our spiritual plate of truth and life that only comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ alone and from no others. In choosing this door may we then be able to share the one true answer, life, light and salt and that comes from message of Jesus Christ in our culture and world to quiche their hunger and thirst for truth, life and love as we journey though our faith in this life.

 

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The Road Less Traveled

The Road less traveled

The Road Not Taken

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

In college I was a English minor and I have always loved literature, the classics and also I have a love of poetry. One of my all time favorites is Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”. This poem discusses there being more than one road and that we are face with a choice as to which road to travel in life. In life we often face with such a decision but it can be decision made between multiple paths or roads to choose to travel. Life is never in short supply of choices and things to choose from. I have always loved this poem for its simplicity, beauty and truth that rings through it. While the choices we make in our life may be simple yet important and profound but the process of making such choices often feels very complicated. There is no way out of making choices one must chose and hope to choose well. For not choosing a road to travel is a choice in and of itself. As we all start out in life on our own individual life journey we all must chose the path we will travel and which direction will be the course of our life’s homey.

In immense consideration of one’s multiple profound choices to take in his or her life’s journey in the midst of this overwhelming process and choices one can feel a sense of lostness and confusion. It is often in life when considering what to choose one must have a method for choosing and weighting one’s options. It seems to me from my life’s experience that one’s priorities in life will influence which decision he or she makes. Moreover those decision influenced by one’s priorities will influence which road they indeed pick to travel or not travel. In the poem by Robert Frost one’s priorities would determine if they chose to take the road that is most traveled or to take the road that is not taken by most. Another thing that might go into ones process of deciding which path for their lives they which to travel is to understand and know what it would require or to be to walk and travel a particular road or not.

As a traveler through this life should we as individuals consider making choices that are in the direct opposite of Scripture, should we not consider what Jesus would do. In seeking to make our individual decisions do we chose what is not pure, what is not godly, what is not good, and what is not true. In making decisions should we seek what is unjust, to hate mercy and to be prideful. When making our choices do we not seek to choose what is put forth in the BeAttitudes, and to ignore the Great Commandments (Matt 22: 37 – 40 or Ten Commandments (Ex 20) and the Great Commission (Matt 28: 18 – 20). In making our own choices in life and that will influence the course of our own path and the road we will travel should we instead seek to choice what is pure, what is good, what is just, what is noble, what is true, and what is lovely (Phil 4: 8). In making decisions should we seek to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Should when making our choices that seek to choose what is put forth in the BeAttitudes (Matthew 5:3 – 11, and to follow the Great Commandments (Matt 22: 37 – 40 and Ten Commandments (Ex 20) and the Great Commission (Matt 28: 18 – 20). May we always in choices consider ‘What Would Jesus Do’ to help to guide us to the rights choices that will move our feet to travel the path that Godly and righteous as we travel our Fatih journey. If choosing the later then we are choosing the path that is less traveled by individuals.

In our reflection on the choices we make that contribute and influence the course our path will take that we travel we need to understand what it means when we choose a certain path to travel. We must choose for ourselves which path to travel for we are given free will. We and we alone can make this choice for ourselves and life and faith journey. If we choose the later path we need to know what it means to chose such a path. We need to underhand and know how to count the cost that comes with making such a decision to follow and travel the later path. In chasing what is less traveled that decision and path is often less popular and not easy road to travel or journey. It often comes with many hardships but let this not be counted for not for it is a worthwhile journey to travel. What choices will you choose and thus influence what path you will travel and road you will travel and journey in your life and faith. May we as individuals understand the meaning of each road that we can chose and may we count the cost or our choices. When we are the two roads and have to chose may we seek to choose, travel and stay true to the road less traveled. May we always travel the road we are called to as individual followers and believers of our Lord Jesse Christ and Savior as we travel on our own faith journey.

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Spirituality, Scriptures and our Culture

In looking at one’s faith and journey with God there is much for one to consider. We as individuals who are influenced by a wide and diversity of factors. Moreover our culture which is collectively made up by individuals is equally influenced by a large, diverse myriad of things. Some tings that influence us on our micro level and then collector influence our culture on a much larger macro scale can be one’s upbringing, childhood, family background and dynamics, economics, race, ethicenity, gender, and political views. Moreover often times these things are influenced by one’s own ideals, morals, principles, philosophies and beliefs which are often found or impacted by one’s faith and religion. These influential factors and components often times define us as individual and our identity. We individuals who are apart of our culture we each take our influential factors out into the world and our culture. Our culture is influenced by the collective influential factors of the group. In giving consideration to the places such influences have on us as individuals and on the collective culture there are a few questions that must be reflective upon. Where does spirituality and scripture fit into our culture? Where does our culture fit into Scripture and one’s spirituality? How do we as believers influence our culture and allow our culture to influence our own spirituality and journey of our faith.

These questions seem to be the crux and a large part of being a believer in this day and age in the world we live in. This issues and question of what place and influence of one’s culture a believer’s allow in his or her life and to what extent a believer will influence and have impact on his or her culture is at the core of one’s life and faith journey. For me I have debated this numerous times through out my own life and faith journey. I have come to different conclusions and understanding as I have journeyed forward in my life and faith. I have come to realize that this can be a most delicate and difficult balancing act for us as believers. It can be a constant battle and struggle to keep the balance of the scales of what and how we allow our culture to influence our life and to extent or to how we are able to be and influence and impact on our culture. These questions and considerations can be in the smallest to the largest ways and issues.

At times it seems that these issues and questions are most complicated. Some would say that we can have no part of this world and we most be totally separate to be able to set the example. Others would may argue and make the case no we have be in this world if we wish to influence it for how can we influence something if we are not in it. Some would argue middle ground and seek much balance. In seeking the balance some would look to the guidance and measure of cause not your brother to stumble in your choices and actions (get scripture). Then some voices would express the idea of the potential slippery slope and let not oneself be unbalance and be weighed down on the side of the scale that culture is influenced to the point of you no longer have a revealing and useful influential salt to the world.

In considering the matters of one’s faith one may ask how do I go about achieving this balanced scale between being in the world and not of the world. How do I influence my culture but yet not be swept away by the ways and influence of my culture. These are most relevant and valid considerations and questions worth reflecting upon and answering. I’m not an all knowing, don’t have all the answers or not perfect there are things in my life that I’m quite sure some would say is to much of the world influence in me. I can only present my observations and reflections upon the matters in which I present in this book. I can only speak for myself. That being said in my own life and faith journey this is the conclusion I have come to for me and my life.

For me there are several answers to these questions. First I think in all things, but revenant to this specifically, we can look to Jesus and His ultimate example. He was in this world on earth for 33 years but at no time or point was of or from this world. I and we can gain much from that in all things and matters of life and our faith journey. Another part of the answer for is that yes we are given this black and white command of being in this world but not of this world meaning we are to always point to others to God and, Jesus and the love and salvation of Jesus. However there is much gray in how we each go about that. When I say gray I do not mean to every be wavering in one’s beliefs or to comprise on truth and God’s word. What I do mean by the gray in this black and white of this command is that we are all unique, special and different individuals and so how we are able to be salt, light and have influence on our culture is going to be unique and different from persons to to person either because of one’s gifts, talents and beliefs. The other part of this is one must know his or hew own limits and stumbling blocks. If you know you have a certain area that is not good, healthy, positive or brings towards God then you may have to say this tipping the scale to the more worldly. What this is for one believer will not be the same for the another and vice versa. Then again what one believer can do and is comfortable with that cause him or her to stumble and not hinder his or her ability to be light and salt and have influence will equally not be the same form one to another. I know personally for me there have been a few things areas that I have changed my position on in my life and faith journey.

These are the areas of grayness, subjectivity and relatively that I meant that follows with in the common of being in the world but not of the world and of the question of are we influencing our culture or is our culture influencing us as believers. We must know ourselves, our limits, our own stumbling blocks and hinderances. As long as we are holding to the bottom lines and core components of our faith of John 3:16, the Christian Creed, the greatest and ten commands, things that are black and white with no room to debate then the rest is up to our own personal discernision and understanding of God and the influence of His word on our lives and journey of faith. For me these are the answers to these questions of being in the world but not of the world and to determine if i’m having impact on my culture or if our culture is influencing me. I look to these things to help me measure and wight my life, the influence of the world or me on the world and it’s place it has in my life and my journey of faith and how the scales of these matters are tipping in my life. May I always be mindful and watchful for the how the scales are tipping in my life and faith journey. May I always seek and strive to keep the right balance between being in this world and not of this world in my own life and my faith journey. May I always seek to be salt and light in this world and have influence on my culture. May we as believers all seek and strive to be the light and salt and have much influence on our culture through what we believe in Scripture and because of our spirituality and faith and that we point our culture and world to the sources of our salt and light God and Jesus Christ are Lord and Savior.

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