Going Back to Basics (saying it with music -David Dunn)

Ever try to go back and look at the old house you grew up in or your old school? 

I recall going back to look at things, landmarks and such, and they have either changed, seem smaller than I recall or they are completely gone.

We can’t expect things to be the same as they were when we were kids. As we mature and age everything changes, including us; however, one thing we can be sure of is that God is the same today as yesterday and will remain the same forever.

His Word will never die either. Grass withers and flowers fade and fail but His Word endures forever. 

If we ever feel like God just isn’t as close to us as He was when we were younger  we’ve got to realize that it is us who stepped away from God, not Him distancing Himself from us.

It’s not too late to get that relationship back but it will require us to make amends on our end.

In Christ, Beetle 

Watch “David Dunn – I Wanna Go Back (Official Music Video)” on YouTube

Extra 

The Man in Mark 5

They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. 

No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones. When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then bellowed in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”) Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.” He replied, 

“My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.”

 Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country. A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man. Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. At first they were in awe—and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back.

 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him.

 Jesus said, 

“Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” 

The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.
Mark 5:1‭-‬20 MSG

http://bible.com/97/mrk.5.1-20.MSG

Puzzles & Puzzle Solving (Tie into short stories)

God ’s Message: “Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight. 

He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. 

He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows. 

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God , the woman who sticks with God . They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God , search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” 

_____________________________________

God , pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise! 

Listen to how they talk about me: “So where’s this ‘Word of God ’? We’d like to see something happen!” But it wasn’t my idea to call for Doomsday. I never wanted trouble. You know what I’ve said. It’s all out in the open before you. Don’t add to my troubles. Give me some relief! Let those who harass me be harassed, not me. Let them be disgraced, not me. Bring down upon them the day of doom. Lower the boom. Boom!
Jeremiah 17:5‭-‬10‭, ‬14‭-‬18 MSG

http://bible.com/97/jer.17.5-18.MSG

`’Short stories’  using the Bible reference above.

The Chief Physician 4 short stories combined that are allegorical illustrations and metaphorical in nature.

Fair Science — a short story of a weird, crazy but brilliant scientist who invites three children into his mansion and his mind.

The Soul of Dr. Rooosha –The main character from the story, “FAIR SCIENCE” goes soul searching with his friends and employees.

Novel length-

Season of Jail 

And the sequel 

Season of Prison 

(Those last two are about how a Romans 12 Christian man applies his lifestyle even while in Jail and then in prison)

Assumptions Vs. Assurance 

He Set Things Right 👈is a post listing verses about how we couldn’t & still can’t overcome sin but God can. He did and still does.

This morning I read Romans 3 & 4. God reminds us we are saved,  redeemed, not because of our race or deeds but because of what He does.

So what difference does it make who’s a Jew and who isn’t, who has been trained in God’s ways and who hasn’t? As it turns out, it makes a lot of difference—but not the difference so many have assumed

First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy Scriptures. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some of those Jews abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them

Do you think their faithlessness cancels out His faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps His word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. 

Scripture says the same: Your words stand fast and true; Rejection doesn’t faze you. But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s rightdoing, shouldn’t we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don’t even make a dent in his good words, isn’t it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. 

The answer to such questions is no , a most emphatic No! 

How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening

It’s simply perverse to say, “If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favor.” Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, “The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!” That’s pure slander, as I’m sure you’ll agree. So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. 

Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. No one’s living right; I can’t find a single one. Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mudslides. Every word they speak is tinged with poison. They open their mouths and pollute the air. They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year, litter the land with heartbreak and ruin, Don’t know the first thing about living with others. 

They never give God the time of day. 

This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? 

Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin

But in our time something new has been added.

 What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened

The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. 

And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. 

For there is no difference between us and them in this. 

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. 

God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. 

Having faith in him sets us in the clear. 

God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured.

 This is not only clear, but it’s now —this is current history! 

God sets things right. 

He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness. 

So where does that leave our proud Jewish insider claims and counterclaims? Canceled? Yes, canceled. What we’ve learned is this: 

God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. 

We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade

And where does that leave our proud Jewish claim of having a corner on God? Also canceled

God is the God of outsider non-Jews as well as insider Jews. 

How could it be otherwise since there is only one God? God sets right all who welcome his action and enter into it, both those who follow our religious system and those who have never heard of our religion. 

But by shifting our focus from what we do to what God does, don’t we cancel out all our careful keeping of the rules and ways God commanded? Not at all

What happens, in fact, is that by putting that entire way of life in its proper place, we confirm it.

Romans 3:1‭-‬2‭, ‬2‭-‬31 MSG

http://bible.com/97/rom.3.1-31.MSG

So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things?

If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story

What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.” 

If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust HIM to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—

well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. 

David confirms this way of looking at it, saying that the one who trusts God to do the putting-everything-right without insisting on having a say in it is one fortunate man: Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate. Fortunate the person against whom the Lord does not keep score. 

Do you think for a minute that this blessing is only pronounced over those of us who keep our religious ways and are circumcised? Or do you think it possible that the blessing could be given to those who never even heard of our ways, who were never brought up in the disciplines of God? We all agree, don’t we, that it was by embracing what God did for him that Abraham was declared fit before God?

 Now think : Was that declaration made before or after he was marked by the covenant rite of circumcision? That’s right, before he was marked. That means that he underwent circumcision as evidence and confirmation of what God had done long before to bring him into this acceptable standing with himself, an act of God he had embraced with his whole life. And it means further that Abraham is father of all people who embrace what God does for them while they are still on the “outs” with God, as yet unidentified as God’s, in an “uncircumcised” condition.

 It is precisely these people in this condition who are called “set right by God and with God”! Abraham is also, of course, father of those who have undergone the religious rite of circumcision not just because of the ritual but because they were willing to live in the risky faith-embrace of God’s action for them, the way Abraham lived long before he was marked by circumcision. 

That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed.

 If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract ! 

That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal. 

A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. 

But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise —and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it. 

This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does

God’s promise arrives as pure gift. 

That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. 

For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father

We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. 

Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do

And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. 

He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. 

That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” 

But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. 

The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God .

Romans 4:1‭-‬25 MSG

http://bible.com/97/rom.4.1-25.MSG

In Christ, Beetle 

Story – The Soul of Dr. Rooosha  (entire story/ final editing needed)

“The Soul of Dr. Rooosha” -The whimsical character is back and this time he is soul searching.

This story or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.

This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or businesses in practice, are purely coincidental. The views expressed here are my own, as are whatever factual errors exist in the text.

My deepest thanks to my wife Rhonda for nurturing me, mentality, spiritually and physically during the many hours of writing.
Also to all of my children Abbey, Madi, Olivia, Alexx, Kyri, Christopher and Carol-Ann, as well as, my whole family and friends for all their inspiration, love, care, prayers and support.

The Soul of Dr. Rooosha

Perhaps you’ve read about Dr. Raymond Rooosha before, in the story “Fair Science” – a short story of a weird, crazy but brilliant scientist who invites three children into his mansion and his mind. That’s Dr. Rooosha.

So much can be said about him. The man’s brain came up with amazing ideas. However strange, funny…down right goofy he was, there is still no denying his unique brilliance, wisdom and sincerity. Although he had a certain amount of intelligence he was able to share what he knew in a down to earth way with the people around him. It was those people, those he surrounded himself with and hung out with, that grounded him. They made his dreams become a reality.

Sometimes it took years for some people to get on the same page. Other times they could see and understand what he wanted to happen but knew the rest of the world wasn’t ready to buy into his next great thing. When I say, “buy into” I don’t mean that the doctor was doing late night infomercials trying to convince people of a product that they just couldn’t live without. Dr. Rooosha hated those and couldn’t believe that people had forgotten our basic needs of food, water, shelter and love. So many products invented, or as some claimed “created”, were interesting & captivating but lacked the ability to meet an actual need. Then again, the windshield whippers for sunglasses…Dr. Rooosha ordered a crate load, he had to see them to believe it.

This story is about one very special day when Dr. Rooosha called for a meeting. Everyone from his dog walker, and dishwasher, to his attorneys and CPAs, found a seat at a variety of weird but very comfortable shaped chairs around a huge. And he began, “Suppose we took our five senses and combined them.” He began to randomly assign people. Mark, you be the eyes, Judy the ears, John the nose, because yours is… well it is rather…ah, SMALL, compared to…some.” They all chuckled as the doctor went on, “And I, I will be the mouth, all the better to speak to you with my dear.” His youngest advisor, Tony said, “What about touch?” “Oh yes Tony you, you’re so touching. Thank you. How handy! Tony? Will you be touchy today, touchy Tony. Yes and Tony, represent touch?” The doctor didn’t wait for an answer he just assumed Tony would play the part. “Let’s all grab hands in a circle and sing ‘Cuumm By Yaaa My Lord.’ Laaa, laaa, laaaaaaa.”, He tuned up his voice. No one was sure if he was serious. The room grew silent again. Then he continued, “Now, with all those senses we still, as humans, have more sense and senses.” His dishwasher yelled out, “A sense of humor!” “Gooooood…” Rooosha replied, “And…”, he waited. His head housekeeper spoke with a beautiful strong Spanish accent as she exclaimed, “A sense of taste, like the taste and what kind of choose I want to wear today.” Dr. Rooosha loved her accent and replied, “Did you choose your shoes, high heels or flats. What ‘choose’ are on your feet today Maria?” They all smiled. She smiled as well, then clarified, “Not choose ssshhhoes, like you weaaar on jour feet.” “Shhh…oooh yessss. Evenone listen…”, Dr. Rooosha whisper. Then shouted, “YEAH, MARIA YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD, the toenail I guess, what I mean is you, Maria, just kicked a field goal. Our ‘six cents’ add up to our sixth sense. Our the ability to choose, choice, our will, our soul or how would you say our… I don’t know what?!! THERE ARE MORE THAN JUST 5 SENSES YA KNOW? I’d like for us to examine & exxxxploooore all of our senses. We all sense things other than just from our eyes, our ears, our nose, our mounts or fingertips. We ALL have a certain guide or sense that comes from the inside out… Our conscience or soul.” Tony spoke up, “Our guts!” Judy asked, “You want to invent a soul?” Rooosha smiled, “Judy we can’t reinvent the wheel. We all have a wheel soul that is already working. I’m asking, how can we enhance what we already really, or should I say ‘wheelly’ have?” Dr. Rooosha leaned forward and touched his hands to his toes folding himself in half. Then rose up slowly reaching his hands toward the ceiling. He took a deep breath and lower them to his side then said, “Here is a hint… Think of the hamster on his exercise wheel. He goes on that thing for fun and because it’s there. He, or she doesn’t go on it just to exercise in order to lose weight so that the other hamsters will stop calling him FATTY!” He patted his tummy then continued, “If we can find a way for people to jump into their soul, and use it, it could bring great enhancement to our personal relationships and even more peace to the world. Maria?!”, Dr. Rooosha called out. she rose to her feet. He asked, “Do ‘choose’, I mean, do shoes have a soul? Ha, ha!!” He laughed. Maria smiled and came back just as witty, “See, I mean, jess, I MEEAN, YYYes, and it has eyes and a tongue and of course it’s heels too.” “It heals to?!” He said back with a grin. Dr. Rooosha’s very presence brought great joy. He carried around with him something that seemed to lack in other people. The man shined, and although misunderstood by those with no sense of humor, he was still, nevertheless, respected by the greatest scientists, philosophers, teachers, leaders and let’s not forget how all children loved his quirky and mysterious ways. After all, he did invent a basketball that had nitro in it instead of air. That thing would bounce so high and fast you could grab it and nearly float to the basket. He mixed chemical compounds and made them into extraordinary and useful functions and features that added spice to life. On this day Rooosha wanted to do more that evaluate how various elements react with one another. Today he desired to explore how to come in contact with your soul. He was about to try various antics, some seemed silly, others were so simple that even a child was able to grasp it. His mission today was to point out how even little kid know right from wrong and are able to make decisions, life decisions, based on something from deep within. He got his friends, many who were also employees, to take note of all their differences and yet what they all had in common, a sense somewhere buried down inside them, their soul. There were about 30 of them gathered today. Everyone was eager to participate. Some of them who were normally quite were ready to speak up and some who usually talked too much were ready to listen. As I write about this I will try to include everything that happened and all that was said but I’m honestly not sure I can capture here how awesome, fun and informative this day was. As you read it maybe you’ll discover somethings about yourself too.

Here are a few of the things he did that day to stimulate & encourage his closest friends to look at their hearts a little deeper.

First, he pulled a deck of playing cards out of his pocket. He riffled or fanned through the cards, showing everyone that it looked just like a regular deck of cards. He asked Mark, the one he asked to be the “eyes”, to watch closely and tap Judy, the ears, when he thinks the deck should stop. “Judy you then tap me, the mouth, when to yell STOP!.”, were his final instructions.
They did so and then he had Tony, representing touch, take out the card Dr. Rooosha stopped at. He had them all look at it but not show him. Dr. Rooosha smiled and said, “Okay Tony, put it back in the deck where you took it from.” After Tony obliged the doctor layed down the deck of cards and made a few laps around the table they were all sitting at. He began by slowly walking & he picked up speed until he was running as fast as he could. They were becoming a little dizzy but kept their eyes on him to make sure he couldn’t fool them. He finally stopped, tapping the person closes to him on the head yelling, “DUCK!” It was Tony & he responded by literally ducking. They never knew when to take Dr. Rooosha serious, literally, or not. The doctor smiled then tapped John, “GOOSE!” Rooosha ran as if John would give chase but he didn’t. Dr. Rooosha gained his composure and said, “Thank you for not chasing me John.” John smiled a bit then said with a smerk, “Yep, no problem.” After a few years of knowing Ray Rooosha, then working for and with him, John knew he didn’t always have to play along. Rooosha returned to the head of the table, caught his breath saying, “Walking around all of you, trying to read your minds is very, very hard. I thought that the faster I moved the faster I would think and be able to gather your collective thoughts. You were thinking about the card you saw, weren’t you?” Maria said, “IwHass still thiiinkin’ of Choes!” Jill, a girl who worked in the kitchen said, “Now I’m thinking of the game, duck, duck goose!” Mr. Miff, the head Butler reminded everyone, “John is it!” Dr. Rooosha looked at his silly, yet usually restrained, old friend and said, “Miff, your always my Silly Old Goose.” Rooosha was still catching his breath letting out a, “WHEW, how will I ever guess what that card was? Hmmmm.” He scratched his head and suggested, “Let’s all take a drink from the cups in front of us. A toast to all of us.” He raised his cup and they all did the same. One by one they began to notice that on the bottom of every cup there was something written, including Rooosha’s cup. They all read, “King of hearts”, the very card that was picked. “Ha, ha…Do it again!”, cheered several of them. “OKAY, but this time let’s make it appear a little more interesting…” He flipped through the cards again. This time he fanned John with them. John yelled, “Stop there!” “John, you are the nose.” Dr. Rooosha reminded them. John replied, “No now I am the goose.” John made the nasally sound of a goose, “HOOONK. STHOP THHAAR!” They all laughed, especially Rooosha, as he tried to speak, “HeeyHHou’ve beeHeen praHActicHEHeing HA, HAAAAAA!” Rooosha then said, “Okay, Jill! Give Tony a hand and pull out a card from where I stopped.” She did so and showed everyone as Rooosha turned his back. He loved hearing their amusement. “OH KAY DOE KAY DONKEY.” John yelled, “GOOSE NOSE!” “Yes, sorry. Johnose, put it back in the deck.” Rooosha reached for a piece of fruit the kitchen staff had placed out on the table. He asked, “Mr. Miff did you inspect all the fruit that was put out today?” Miff took his job very serious and replied, “Of course sire. It is all from our ‘all nature all’ garden.” “Only the best.”, confirmed Rooosha as he held one of the oranges up to the light & eyeballed it. “Mark, you are the eyes, check this out.” The doctor tossed it to him. Mark examined it, “Yep, looks good.” Rooosha held up a hand gesturing Mark to toss it back then asked them all to grab an orange and slice their’s open. As they did the room erupted with their amazment. Everyone one of their oranges had a card inside, the king of hearts. Rooosha flipped the top card in the original deck over, it too was the king of hearts. He gave it a tapped, picked up the whole deck and riffle through it showing how the whole deck was now all the king of hearts card. They all gasped as he said, “How could I go wrong in guessing it was the king of hearts again when the whole deck is the King of hearts?” They were boggled because they saw the deck was not all the same king of hearts just a few minutes ago. Rooosha took a slice of orange and bit into it as he explained, “This orange was made to eat. You’d have a hard time using fruits & vegetables as a deck of cards. They are not made for it. Although, I guess it is possible…” He paused to ponder that as he looked up and to the right, then the left as if he was checking both hemispheres of his brain. Tony said, “You could use them like poker chips!” John wanted to remind Mark he owed him 50 peanuts from their last game. Dr. Rooosha continued, “Yes, yes, like we do when literally playing for peanuts.” His eyes met John’s eyes as they smerked and both looked toward Mark who was staring down at his orange, peeling off a wedge to eat. Rooosha decided to stay on topic, “So, a good poker player, I mean magician, never tells how they did their trick, however, I’m not really a good magician. How was I able to be sure the one you picked was always the king of hearts?” Mr. Miff knew the answer but waited. He wanted them to think about it. Jill naturally looked at Miff. She couldn’t read minds but read his nonverbal que. She suggested, “IT IS THE DECK?!”, she blurted out the answer loud, paying no attention to the shy filter that normally kept her from sharing. Tony chimed in, “IF the whole deck is king of hearts yeah, but…” Dr. Rooosha picked up the deck, using his index finger and thumb he fanned through them again. As they watched the riffle they all blinked twice as they saw the deck had changed back again to a normal deck with all the suit. Dr. Rooosha explained, “Because this deck it ‘created special’ with all King of hearts how could you not pick the King of hearts right?” Jill shouted again, shocking everyone there, “IT CHANGED BACK AGAIN.” “Freaky!”, replied John. Tony asked, “Dr. Rooosha, don’t show us exactly how you knew we’d always pick the king of hearts or how in the world there was one in every orange but…ugh, seriously….HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!” Miff and Rooosha exchanged looks as the doctor said, “Okay, I won’t reveal the whole trick but, only with this deck can that trick be done. It is a special deck, made with the ability to…fool you. It was created to do just that. You couldn’t even play a normal game of ‘Go Fish’ with this deck. If I showed you how it is made you would all see that it is not some type of strange mystical ability I, nor the cards have. If I showed you how to use this deck you would all be able to do the same thing.” “With practice and a little help.”, added Mr. Miff. Rooosha smiled big saying, “Yep! I hope that this will drive home, or deal out another point.” Dr. Rooosha then began to deal out the cards as he asked, “If all of us were just one of fifty two cards or if we only had one attribute, trait or characteristic like, if we owned a dimond…” John said, “Or 10 dimonds.”, as he held up the card he got. Judy said, “I got 1 spade!” The gardening crew laughed. Rooosha welcomed their participation as he said, “Yes, if you were all just defined by what you do, or own, or some lable assigned to us…” John added, “I’d be the 10 of gooses, geese!” Tony said, “I’d have 4 clovers!” Rooosha was pleased that they were grasping this and confirmed, “Yes, you are more and possess more than just some good luck charm or limited trait.” Maria said, “I am a queen.” She smiled and her eyes met with Lafayette’s who replied, “You are more than a queen Maria.” Dr. Rooosha drove home the kicker, “You see, you are all playing with a full deck. You all have qualities in you that are worth so much. Although, we are all limited in some areas or another, we are all human. Within each of us, regardless of our skin color, heritage, race, sex, makeup, we are still made up with one very common bond, we all have a soul. How can you and I be sure we have a soul, a spiritual side? Because we are human.”

Just as Dr. Paul Levi, a medical doctor Dr. Rooosha’s had on his staff, was about to express his own strick religious beliefs he heard Rooosha say, “Regardless of your religion or religious up bringing, we all have a soul. We are not here to provide anyone with answers on what to do with your soul or tell each other what we personally believe is the proper responsible of us humans once we get in touch with our souls. I just want us to get in touch with it. If you feel, at some point or another, like sharing your personal belief, that is fine just don’t insist that we conform to the same exact philosophy and shove it down our throats or I promise you we’ll collectively throw up all over you. I’m sure that would be the very response you were trying to avoid. I know that some of you believe we were created by God. Some of you believe we were formed from the sea. Some believe both God and evolution. We are not here to form a belief of what happened before we were created or decide what we believe happens to us after we die but to investigate, search and discover what is inside us here and now. John thought about how doctor Rooosha was the first Christian that he worked for who didn’t try to get him to accept Christ as his savior. It was obvious that doctor Rooosha believed Christ was real and he tried to live as Jesus did but he never pushed, forced or tried to make John feel uncomfortable for expressing that he did not believe. He loved being around a strong man of faith who didn’t try to strong arm everyone around him who believed differently. Dr. Rooosha was accepting yet faithful to what he personally believed. As John was deep in thought he heard Rooosha say, My intentions are not to convert, convince or condemn. I just want all of us to have a heart to heart discussion and go on a quest to seek, find, and show that side of us that is beyond our skin.” He grabbed his face & pulled out his cheeks then patted his belly again. “Beyond this shell or earth suit is something more. You won’t see it with your eyeballs but you will see the true person by how they act. You can not see spirits, just like you can’t see the wind. You can see the effects of the wind but you can’t see the wind. You can’t see someone’s breath, YOU CAN SMELL IT, but you can not see it. Each of us, who we really are, comes from deep within. A tribe in Africa uses the term, Kidney. Another group in India call it, their Liver. We sometimes call it our heart, a major organ.” Mr. Miff spoke up, “I love you with all my Kidney Dr. Rooosha.” He replied, “And I love you with all my Liver.” John thought about how his Liver hated liquor because of the damage he allowed it to cause years ago. There were several faiths & religions represented at the table. Some didn’t believe anything in particular or just weren’t sure. There was no denying that Dr. Rooosha not only had heart but he was truly a soul searching individual. He loved when he saw someone with a deep passion for something. He was also well aware that some people, like the over zealous nuts who picketed out in front of his house took it upon themselves to be the final judge and jury on any progress being made. Sadly, some people, outside, were so close minded that they allowed no room for freewill. He was well aware that many people let their minds control their souls rather than the other way around. Inside his home, on this day, at this table, Dr. Rooosha was pleased to be with friends who, although they had different convictions, theologies and practices from one another they all respected each other. They were free and encouraged to all practice their own faiths without judging those who choose to believe differently or not believe at all. He exercised free choice, freewill and allowed room for those whose faith was even based on superstitions. He was confident in his own faith and belief in a God & creator who was truly sovereign to accept all people who had not come to put their faith in Him. Dr. Rooosha was convinced that it was God’s job to reveal Himself to others. Rooosha was a willing vessel but didn’t try to play the role of the saving source. He lived out what was revealed to him and let others decide for themselves. He knew that even if a person chose not to decide anything, they still had made a choice. Dr. Rooosha reiterated, “Nature is a wonderful thing and it is natural for us to either look into exploring the condition of our souls or neglected doing it at all. Most of the time many, not all, don’t do it until they meet up with some type of crisis or catastrophic situation. As you all know I normally explore nature but I’d like for all of you to help me explore things that come naturally to us. Let’s look into common sense and discover or at least unveil some of the mysteries we haven’t tapped into that are in us naturally. Some of you have already discovered a supernatural power outside of yourselves that helps you. Some believe that all the power comes from within yourselves and others believe that there are several gods that aid all human, while others believe there is no one God let alone several and if there is, he or she doesn’t care. Regardless of all that, which you can all seek on your own time, I want us to solely look at our own insides, like a spiritual x-ray. The only way to see bones is with a physical x-ray machine. I want us to put on some type of spirit glasses, not the sunglasses with windshield whippers, and see our own spirit and the spirit of others.” Then he sang a cheer and clapped his hands like a cheerleader, “I got spirit, yes I do, I got spirit, how ’bout you?” A few people sang it back in the same manner. He asked, “What makes a full grown man paint his face & belly with team colors and brave the freezing cold to cheer on his favorite football team?” The same few called out, “TEAM SPIRIT!” Those who were not participating began to catch on that this time together, let alone everyday working together was a participation sport. He asked, “What drives people to accomplish a task for the greater good?” Everyone said, “TEAM SPIRIT!” He smiled at their vigor and joked a little, “Okay, okay. Calm down. Don’t get too excited we don’t want a mob mentality. Don’t go starting a cult or something, there are too many of those already.” As he spoke he began to move around and stretch his legs. He thought, ‘I bet they could all use some fresh air too.’ So he asked them, “Please, follow me out here.” As he approached his huge floor to ceiling windows and opened the sliding glass door and stepped out. “This balcony is very well buit, Right Phil?!” His contractor assured him, “It will hold all of us! Have some faith.” They stepped out into the cool fresh air that was balanced out perfectly with the warmth of the sun as Dr. Rooosha said, “If this mansion, let alone huge balcony was built incorrectly or on sand the foundation would collapse and we’d all be in danger.” Then he shared a story about a Mr. John T. Hanson, “He was a brilliant engineer and had figured out how to, not only make a robot that functioned like a human, rather than just a single small android he build a monstrous, enormous amusement park that functioned as much like a human being as possible. Perhaps you heard about The Forever Happy Amusement Park?” Many had heard rumors and a few had researched facts. Some didn’t know the name of the guy but knew the name of the park. Dr. Rooosha went on, “So, if you have not heard, Mr. Hanson’s biggest challenge was that The Park was was not fully human even though the way it functioned was very much like a human. It breathed, it could talk & reply. It was able to move connected parts, however, it was still not human because it lacked a soul. He was able to reproduce everything but…a heart or conscience. It was still just another man made machine, an amazing high technical one, but still just a machine not a woman or man, not HUman.” They all pondered for themselves for a few moments in silent thought then he broke the silence with, “Let’s eat, more than fruit. We’ll consider more after lunch or ‘flip the crap’ after we eat.” As they moved back inside to eat Jill, from the kitchen staff, asked Bill, the head chef, “What does he mean by flip the crab?” Bill reminded her how they cook the soft shell crab, “Remember I yell, ‘FLIP THE CRAB!’ when it’s time to cook the other side?” “Yeah?” “It is just an expression that we’ll be cooking up the other side of the conversation later.” Jill replied, “Oh.”, even though she still wasn’t sure if she got it.

As they ate they not only shared food they shared their hearts. Somethings they discussed had nothing to do with the reason they gathered this day, to search for the human soul, however, they also discussed that main topic. Dr. Paul Levi, was a devoted Jew and Bill provided kosher meals for him and anyone else of the Jewish faith. There were a few Muslims who sometimes required an alternative meal, as well as, others who were various degrees of vegetarians and people with restricted diets. Just as the food they took in was different, so also was their personal belief systems, however, no of that mattered when it came to gaining more understanding of the human soul. Dr. Levi shared that he had heard of a scientist who weighed the human body after death and documented that there was a difference in weight, “It was lighter.” Dr. Rooosha said, “Yes, I’ve read a few studies on that as well.” John asked, “So, you think our soul has some weight to it & it leaves our body when we die?” Maria claimed, “Oh I hope so.” Maybel, better known as May, who worked in the flower gardens expressed her hopes, “I hope my soul weighs considerably less than I do and if I get a new body it is thinner than I am now.” John and Joan agreed with that for themselves. They all began to realize that there was so much they didn’t know. Some had not given any thought to it before while others were established in their faith of what happens to their soul when they die while still others were still developing a faith regarding their soul. Dr. Rooosha said, “I hope you all enjoy this today and consider not only of what happens to the human soul when we die but really focus on the here and now. Get in touch, grasp and grip your souls while you are alive.” Tony expressed to Judy how fast the time working here goes. He had only been on staff for a few months. Judy had worked for Dr. Rooosha for years and she was still very happy. She said, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” Mark offered a corny joke, “You know what Kirmit The Frog says, ‘Times fun when you’re having flies’!” Judy moaned at his humor, “Ugh, ok, ok, not while we are eating, Mark.” Marked nodded, “Okay, after.” She rolled her eyes & moaned again as other began to awe at the lunch in front of them.

AFTER LUNCH

“Now, let’s flip the crab.”, said Bill. After they enjoyed a great lunch Dr. Rooosha asked, “Are you all ready to do a few more things that may help all of us soul surf? Tony asked, “You mean soul search?” “THAT TOO!”, replied the doctor as he pulled a cotton ball out of his pocket saying, I want this cotton ball to represent a cob webs we find in our minds and all over our spiritual life. We all look in the mirror and try to fix our hair, except Bill because….he wears a hat.” Bill always wore a chef hat but he was also bald. “We all try to make sure our outsides look okay, physically, but we don’t always open up and check on the condition of our souls, what shape we are in spiritually.” Bill realized he still had his chef’s hat on so he took it off asking, “How does my hair look?” There was a great response. John who would occasionally light heartedly joke with Bill said, “Glad you wear a hat to keep hair out of the food you’re cooking. I’m glad you took it off too. No more hiding that big beautiful bare naked truth.” That brought on a lot of laughs but even more laughed as Bill replied, “We ALL have skeletons in our closets. We all have dust and dirt in our spiritual lives. We try to clean things up and…shave off the extra things that weight us down so we can think clearer. I’m bald so that is one less thing I have to think about.” Mark asked Dr. Rooosha if he could take a second to tell a quick joke. Dr. Rooosha knew he’d still get his point across and welcomed all participation, even slightly side trails off the main topic. “Let’s hear it!”, encouraged Dr. Rooosha. Mark glanced at Judy. She smiled and Mark stated, “Ya know if a man is bald in the front he is a good lover and if the man is bald just in the back of his head he is a good thinker but if he is completely bald all over he just thinks he’s a good lover!” They all cheered as Rooosha said, “As long as Bill keeps being a good chef I don’t care how and what he thinks or how good of lover he is.” They all agreed. Rooosha also used this time to thank Bill & his staff, not only for the great lunch today but, for all their hard work all the time. He then went back to the inspirational illustrations. Dr. Rooosha had no trouble getting back to the subject, “Bill shaves his outter head. It is clean & smooooth, but inside our heads we sometimes find cobwebs and confusion no one can see. We can try to ignore them but eventually we find that we need to knock down the cob webs and make them disappear.” As he said that he placed the cotton ball in his right hand but when he opened it, it was gone. Most of them saw Dr. Rooosha play around with slight of hand illusions before so they weren’t too surprized. Tony, who was the youngest and newest didn’t know Rooosha was so good at it. Everyone watched as he then reached his empty hand up to his ear saying, “But…there always seem to be more cobwebs.” He pulled another cotton ball out of his ear. “So, we knock those down too!”, he said as he made that one disappear too. “But… everyone has them!” He pulled a new one out of John’s ear. “We see others have them too.”, Rooosha said as he pointed at Bill, who had one sitting on top of his bald head. Rooosha said, “Then we notice we have some we didn’t even know about! Pick up your hat, Bill.” Bill picked up his chef hat and it was filled with cotton balls. The Dr. went on, “But…one day we start to discover them more and more.” He pull one out of his shoe. “EVERYONE, CHECK YOUR SHOES!”, he cried out as if it were an emergency. To this day no one knows how he got a cotton ball in every shoe. They figured Bill was in on the ‘Hat trick’ but when each of them found one in their own shoe they were genuinely surprised. After they clamored over that Rooosha said, “So we try to do a real thorough clearing. We try to clean them up and THROW THEM OFF!” As he said that he flung his arm as if he was throwing a baseball. He remained starring toward the oversized windows. Then showed a face of frustration. “It is then that we realize there are other rooms in our soul we didn’t even know about or think about and when we look…look…look outside the window…see?” There was a cotton ball on the side ledge of the window. It was now outside on the balcony just as he said. “It is then that we wonder if we are ever going to get rid of the cob webs. The problem is not the cobwebs, we can knock them down. Our cleaning staff is the best and we all pickup after ourselves but cobweds will always come back… BECAUSE, the problem is not the cob webs. The problem is… the spider.”, he said as he opened his hand revealing a spider. “We must get rid of the spider!” Judy shouted, “OKAY, THAT IS A SPIDER!” Rooosha placed a class over it containing it. He went a little deeper by asking, “What is the spider?” John, a recovering alcohilic said, “Could be Drugs or Alcohol, I know it messed up any clear thinking I had.” Lafayette said, “It could be another person. A toxic relationship.” Patrick said, “The world wide web!” Rooosha waited a few seconds for more to answer. The chef spoke up, “Could be what we eat!” Dr. Rooosha said, “Nothing you cook.” Bill confirmed, “No of course not. I mean what we eat mentally. What we put in our minds and what we…take to heart. What we take in from around us.” Jill said, “Garbage in garbage out.” Dr. Levi (Paul) said, “Bad philosophy can cause a foggy head.” Dr. Rooosha agreed with all of them and offered a leading question, “What or who really determine how many webs are up there in our head?” Tony said, “The Spider!” Rooosha said, “…and who let THE SPIDER in, ignores it or kills it?” Mark did a Smokey The Bear impression, “Only you can prevent forest fires!” Rooosha’s face lit up & his eyes sparkled as he said, “YEP! Really the spider is your soul and until THAT is changed you’ll continue to have cob webs. We may allow ‘things’ to effect us but people and situations can only drive you nuts if you hand them the keys.” Rooosha always spoke not just with his lips but with his whole body. As he said that last line he produced a set of keys, as if pulling them out of thin air. He set them on the table cloth in front of him, grasped the cloth and pulled it extremely hard and fast. The whole table cloth didn’t come out, just a little small one, the size of a washcloth. With amusement he announced, “AAAND NOOOW…Time for our next representation, presentation and inspiration. I introduce you to…”, he cupped his hands around his mouth to project his voice, “WILLY THE MAGNIFICENT!”

Dr. Rooosha’s mansion had all kinds of hidden rooms and passages, they made full use of them by allowing WILLY THE MAGNIFICENT to entered the room from above. They all cheered. Willy was a simple street performer Rooosha had met a few years ago. He continued with his intro., “Maybe you’ve seen Willy before. He is in no way related to The Everlasting Wonka or Charlie Buckets but he does love candy and is an amazing magician. Please give him you attention.” Rooosha sat down to enjoy the presentation too. Willy’s words captivated their interest as he explained, “I brought with me today 3 tins.” He opened the cans/tins so they could see two were empty and one was full of mints. He asked, “How many have played the game of shells where someone moves around a shell and you try to pick the one with something under it?” Several hands went up. John said, “I not only played it I’ve won money doing it!” “Perfect!”, Willy proclaimed, “So, I’ll be that someone & move these tins around and YOU, your name?” “John the magnificent.” John boasted. Willy loved it, “Okay John…” John persisted, “…The magnificent” Willy said, “Yes, maybe we are related!” “Bother from another mother!” Mark added. Tony said, “Same middle name too, THE!” Willy loved their enthusiasm, “Yes, we share that with Frosty, Kermit and…” Jill added, “Smokey THE bear.” “GREAT!”, Willy continued with instructions, “So, John THE Magnificent goose, I heard about you…You, KEEP your EYE ON THE FULL ONE!” He closed all the tins then slide them around. Everyone’s eyes were following the one they knew was full. Willy stopped the shuffle and looked up. “Everybody got it? Trust John to pick the full one.” John pointed to the middle one that was on the left before Willy moved them all around trying to confuse them. Willy asked, “Are you sure?” They all agreed, “YES!” Willy picked up the one on the left. They all heard the mints rattle around as he shook it vigorously. “Okay, let’s try it again.”, challenged Willy. “He shook it again and reminded them, “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE FULL ONE!” He slide the three tins around and stopped as he called, “READY? John what do you think?” John said, “The middle one again.” He looked around. All heads nodded yes. Once again Willy picked up the left one & shook it. Again, they heard its fullness. Willy suggested, “How about we just do it with two tins?” It didn’t seem fair for Willy but they figured they were bound to get it right with only two to keep an eye on. Willy reminded them, “Just watch the one you KNOW IS FULL.” He shook it again so they’d know. He moved the two tins around as if that would fool them. Jill shouted, “STOP.” Willy froze. She laughed, “Hee hee, can I pick?” John said, “Sure, I was going to pick the opposite of what I know if the full one.” Jill confidently said, “No, it is this one!”, as she pointed to the one she had kept her eye on. Willy Slid forward the one Jill insisted on. He asked,“What makes this one different from the other two?”, he picked it up and gave it a loud shake. Several spoke over the rattle, “IT IS FULL!”, they agreed. Young Jill was so proud as she smiled at John then looked around to see if anyone acknowledged her correct guess. Willy tapped the top of tin as he asked, “ARE YOU SUUUURE? You think you got it right?” Jill replied, “We all did.” He opened it, revealing it was empty after all. He slid the chosen one back then closed it and claimed, “Maybe it is empty cause the mints are in an unexpected place…like…ah…under that bowl of fruit in the center of the table.” Dr. Rooosha suggested, “Or inside the oranges!” Willy exclaimed, “THAT would be cool!” Bill picked up the bowl, there was a pile of mints. While they were looking Willy slid one of the two tins forward as he asked again, “So, what makes this one different from the other two?” No one was sure if they should answer, “It is empty, or it is full?” So, to remove all doubt he opened it, revealing that it was full again. They gave him a standing ovation. However, he wasn’t done, “Why did you believe it was empty or full? Cause I told you, because you saw it? Why? BECAUSE OF WHAT YOUR EYES TOLD YOU OR WHAT YOUR EARS TOLD YOU?” John had lots of street smarts and said, “Because of what we HEARD!” “I use to herd sheep!” Mark attempted his dry humor again. He was trying to get Judy to roll her eyes again. It worked. Several people at the table began to realize that Willy had shaken the tin they picked each time but he had not shown them by opening it. Tony had that same theory but wasn’t sure. Maria said, “But…we saw da mins! Den day were gone. I like this gaaame!” John admitted, “You are good! You could make a fortune on the streets!” Willy smerked, “It’s illegal to gamble on the streets.” Dr. Rooosha said, “A fortune in tips he means. Haahaa.” Willy nodded then asked, “Would you all mind if I share a little more about the personal meaning behind this trick for me?” Dr. Rooosha asked them, “Well, what do you all say?” They began to clap again so Willy shared, “Okay, so, I was in a Detox Center when I started working on this trick. I took a few things I saw, some of the great illusionist like Penn & Teller and combined it with a few ideas I had. You see, some people had lost their patience with me and they were convinced that I was empty, like the empty tins. If you start to believe that and maybe even tell yourself, ‘You are empty!’ after a while you’ll buy into that myth. You may have a hard time finding your own heart and knowing where it is, where you stand spiritually as a person but you do have a soul. People may tell you, ‘Your full of mints!’ or, ‘Your full of… something else’, and it ain’t sweet smelling mints. But ladies & gentlemen I am so glad Dr. Rooosha invited me here today to share with all of you. What is important is what you know about your own life and what is really in your heart regardless of what others say. May you all fill your hearts with good things. People may tell you you’re worthless and empty, but you are valuable. Thank you.” With that being said he threw something on the ground that created a thick cloud of smoke and in the magicians’ classic manner he disappeared from site. They loved it and hoped that wherever he was he could hear their cheers and applause.

Dr. Rooosha was thrilled that it all went even better than he could have imagined. He stood to his feet and said, “Looks can be deceiving huh?” Maria said, “When you introduced Willy…” several people shouted, “THE MAGNIFICENT!” She smiled and said, “I was going to add that! When he came in I wasn’t sure if he was a tattoo artist or a musician or magician or…I didn’t know what to think.” John added, “He was really good!” Judy said, “I didn’t like all his tattoos and those…”, she motioned toward her face, grabbed at her earlobes, tugged on her lip then pinched her nostal as she referred to his body piercings. John said, “Hey, at least he didn’t have… like 25 necklaces holding his neck & head up.” “Like a rap artist ya mean?”, asked Tony. “John clarified, “No, I mean like in some African tribes they have tight necklaces going vertically up their neck, ya know.” Bill said, “Some put sized plates in their lips.” Dr. Rooosha said, “Yes, I saw a National Geographic special where one of the young girls said, ‘I don’t care if I never get a husband, I’ll never do that as a sign of my beauty and acceptance.’ Different from our culture huh?” Maria said, “That is the opposite of American culture.” “Yes it is. To feel accepted by some communities you have to even alter your looks.” Dr. Rooosha said. “Like some gangs.”, John added. “In America?”, Maria asked shockingly. Mark confirmed, “Not just American, all over major hardcore cities there are groups of people, gangs, who require branding or sometimes self-mutilation.” Jill spoke up, “I heard some gangs require you hurt or even kill an innocent person randomly. Someone you don’t even know.” Maria blurted out, “Shheesh, and we thought the meHiCo mob was bad.” Judy asked, “What do you mean by branding?” Mark explained, “You know, like a farmer brands their cattle with a red hot poker, leaving their ranch symbol, logo or initials.” Judy’s face scuntched up as she tried to joke a little, “Remind me to never join a gang!” That brought some good laughes. Mark said, “Wearing a pant suit or dress coat and tie is a lot less painful but if you’re a business woman or man you’d be laughed out of a job if you didn’t.” John said, “I went for one of my court hearing in shorts and they kicked me out of the courtroom.” Bill said, “Many high end restaurants require you wear a jacket, a suit coat.” Dr. Rooosha mentioned, “Years ago almost everyone wore hats, men & women. That hat had to be removed when indoors or it was disrespectful.” “CHINA!”, LaFayette said louder than he intended to. Everyone looked at him. He said, “Hah! Sorry, that was louder MUCH LOUDER than I mean it to be hee hee” Dr. Rooosha encouraged him to continue with his thoughts. He did so by saying, “In CHINA, they sometimes, in some parts, some of them force their women to walk several feet behind the men and from when girls are really really young they force their feet into extremely small shoes to keep their feet really small.” Mr. Miff said, “A lot of cultures use to, some still do, treat women inferior.” Dr. Levi added, “Some cultures require their women to cover their faces.” Muhammad, one of the Muslims there said, “That is for the keeping of tradition and the women are not forced to. They do it out of respect for themselves. There is nothing wrong with that!” Dr. Rooosha clarified, “He is not saying that it is wrong.” Dr. Levi offered his apologies, “No, no, not wrong just different, a different culture. Look at orthodox Jews, they dress a certain way and they don’t cut their facial hair and, get this, even if they are bald, some even wear a hat with their original side locks, ah…what some call, side burns, sewed into the sides of their hats. They are trying to stick strictly and literally with levitical law ‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.’ from Leviticus 19:27. People who are Orthodox Jews would not even share a meal in the same presence of anyone who is not Jewish.” Jill said, “My mom was Jewish. I remember her telling me that.” “Yeah, not a wrong or right practise or custom, just different. I am Jewish but don’t agree with that, not that I say that they are wrong, I just don’t agree and abide by that rule.” John asked, “But you still consider yourself as Jewish right? I notice you have the…the ah, hat. I hope that’s not offensive to call it a hat.” Dr. Levi laughed, “We call it a Kippa.” Jill said, “I thought was called a Yamaka?” Dr. Levi clarified, “Yes, depending on your pronunciation it is a Yarmulke. Some call it a Kippah or Kippa. In yiddish, ah…our more modern Jewish language I guess you’d call it, as compared to the traditional Hebrew, we’d call it Koppel. Again, it is worn to fulfill the customary requirement held by orthodox halachic authorities that the head be covered.” Muhammad said, “Nothing wrong with that.” The two men of different faiths smiled at each other. Dr. Rooosha was glad they respected each other and wished that all Muslims, all Jews, all humans could get along like this. He spoke softy, “Thank you gentlemen and ladies. We could talk all day about what people do according to customs, traditions, their faith and why they do them but I’d like to just say one more thing on this subject, specifically regarding the Jewish race if I may Paul, ah, Doctor Levi?” Dr. Levi gracious replied, “Of course…this is your home.” Rooosha asked, “Correct me if I am wrong but to this day, mainly just in Israel, there are priests who wear big tall hats with a small box built into it. They wear that because they are observing their literal translation that they are to have God’s word not figuratively inside their thoughts or on their minds but literally on their…”, Rooosha held his hand up to his forehead, “…literally on their mind.” Dr. Paul Levi confirmed, “Yes, you got it pretty right. Not bad for a gentile…ha HAA! Like you said we could talk all day, probably just about Jewish heritage, let alone other cultures, creeds, religions and races. The Jews alone have all kinds of levels or degrees or sects of practicing the faith. There are the traditional, the modern Orthodox, the ultra orthodox, the secular and what we wear, especially hats, tell everyone what we want them to know about us. It doesn’t always accurately describe what they believe in their hearts or how they act but it should. Some strongly believe and say, ‘Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel and they say peaceful coexistence for Israel and an independent Palestinian state is not possible.’ I don’t agree.” Muhammad said, “And some people think Muslims are the bad guys.” Dr. Rooosha reminded everyone, “Every different race of humans have…humans and as humans you’ll find that some are trashy, some are rude, some are clean living, some polite, some even think their race should be exclusive and the only ones to live. We are a mess as a human race, the human soul is dark; however, we are also beautiful.” Jill asked, “I know you want to talk about…like more other things and stuff but like, doesn’t the Catholic Pope wears…like a, like, um, Yamaka hat too?” Dr. Rooosha addressed Jill, “That’s okay Jill, good point. To be accurate the Pope does not wear a yarmulke or kippah, but a zucchetto, a name which comes from the Italian expression little gourd, as for the vegetable zucchini, since the hat resembles a small pumpkin cut in half.” Maria said, “What? No, I trust you Doctor Rooosha but I know you joke a lot too! Is that reeeealy true?” He laughed, “Honest. I know it sounds funny or silly…” Judy commented, “It almost sound sacrilegious.” Dr. Rooosha solemnly vowed, “I am being totally, completely, seriously, honest. The zucchetto’s official Latin name for the Pope’s cap is Pileolus. It is also called Soli Deo, Latin for God alone, to denote that those wearing such a hat have consecrated their lives to the Lord. According to Catholic hierarchy, different color pileolus denote different status within the Catholic clergy, thus the Pope wears a white zuccheto, cardinals wear red ones…” John shouted, “GO CARDINALS, the baseball team and the…Catholic…guys!” Rooosha smerked and finished with, “Bishops wear purple and priests wear black zucchetos.” Mr. Miff said, “Often what people wear is an indication of their religion, political status or lifestyle of choice.” Rooosha drove home the point, “If I walked around in board short or a swimsuit and flip flops what might that say about me.” John said, “That you are one chill dude!” Jill felt like she had the answer and raised her hand anxious to answer, as if she was in a college class. “Jill, ya gotta pee?” asked Rooosha. “No. Why?” He just said, “You want to add something?” She was glad no one else gave the correct answer before she got a chance to, “You’d be a surfer!” Jill wasn’t always the smartest person in the room but no one treated her dumb. “YES! YOU GOT IT!” She was so proud of herself. Dr. Rooosha continued, “Outward appearances are important, don’t get me wrong, but they can be deceiving. Also, all too frequently people will make a judgment call on another person on their looks alone. Our bodies are just a shell. Our real worth & true character is inside.” This whole time Dr. Rooosha had his hands behind his back. He brought his hands around to in front of him revealing a brick. He held it up and unexpectedly threw it at Mr. Miff who caught it and threw it across the table at John. John threw it at Tony. Tony almost jumped out of the way but did manage to catch it. He was shocked that it wasn’t like any brick he had held before. Dr. Rooosha clapped his hands and called Tony to throw it to Mark. He did. Mark couldn’t wait to toss it at Judy. Judy’s eyes were telling him, “Don’t you dare.” He did anyway and she realized that the apparent danger was nonexistent so she threw it at Maria who the threw it at Lafayette. Lafayette asked Dr. Rooosha if he could throw it at the huge windows. Those who had not had a chance to touch and experience it being thrown at or to them didn’t understand what the fascination was and how they were able to catch it with such ease. Dr. Rooosha granted permission, “CHUCK IT!” Lafayette threw it full force at the floor to ceiling windows. The head housekeeper yelled, “NO!” The brick hit the window and bounced off. That is when Dr. Rooosha revealed the mystery of why this brick didn’t break the window. He picked it up and said, “It looks like a brick don’t it?” He tossed it to those who had not held it yet. It was made out of foam! The outside had the shape, textures, as well as, color of a brick but on the inside it was completely soft. Rooosha explained how some people have a harsh exterior but a soft heart. This is another illustration I absolutely love.” He pulled a GlowStick out of his pocket. “This is simple, short and sweet, althought, I wouldn’t recommend tasting it. As you can see, it is not glowing yet but as I snap it and the connection between the chemicals inside are made it is activated and only then does it glow.” Jill said, “I had a ball that only lit up when you bounce it! It looked like a normal ball but not when it hit a surface.” Rooosha said, “Yes! Perfect example.” Mark said, “That reminds me of a story!” Rooosha asked him to share it. Mark said, “Okay, it applies…on a plane ride this guy decides to put good leftover food in bag. The only bag he could find was the little bag in the seat pouch in front of him.” John said, “The barf bag?!” Mark said, “Yep. And as he was walking off the plane the airline attendant offered to take it from him and throw it away, but he said, ‘No I am saving this to eat later.’ HaHa!” Judy asked, “How does that apply here?” Dr. Rooosha said, “The value was on the inside.” Mr. Miff said, “Not just another barf bag.” John said, “The value was known only to him.” “You got it!”, said Rooosha, “How about this…” He asked as he pulled a Surgical glove out of another pocket and placed it over his head and began to blow it up. As it filled with air it kept growing in size around the top of his head. It was very funny looking. Then, just before it busted he let it go and it flew through the air. He explained why he did it, “You can’t see the air I put into that but you can see effects. That glove on the hand of a medical doctor can do some amazing things. I filled it with just hot air but a surgeon would fill a glove like that with skillful hands and provide lifesaving surgery. Remember I mentioned earlier today that the only way to tell what is wrong with your bones was to take an x-ray and that I’d like for all of us to try to have spiritual x-ray vision today in order to look in on our souls? I’ve got one more thing to maybe help us do that today.”

For the next bit of inspiration Dr. Rooosha slid his hand into his pocket and pulled his closed fist back out. Then he gave them the riddle,

“What is in my hand??? I’ll give some clues.

You may try to guess but must follow the rules.

No peeking, poking or x-ray vision.

See if you know before the revelation.

Now… here are some clues, You’ve never seen it, NO ONE has ever seen it.” Judy guessed, “Is it air?” Rooosha said, “Nope.” Maria asked, “Is it light?” Dr. Rooosha said, “Nope, and it has never seen light of day.” John asked for another hint. The doctor peeked in his hand then said, “Okay, another HINT…once you see it you will only see it for a few seconds and then it will be gone forever, never to be seen again.” They were puzzled. Lafayette asked if it was alive. Dr. Rooosha peeked in his closed hand again, made a sad face then said, with remorse, “It…it was once alive.” Jill asked if it was a hamster. Much to her relief he replied, “No.” Dr. Levi asked, “Is it a Yamaka made of wool?” Rooosha smiled, “No, sorry.” Mable asked, “Can it come back to life?” Dr. Rooosha answered, “No, I’m sorry. It cannot.” Bill jokingly asked, “Can I cook it?!” Rooosha smiled, “You can cook anything Chef Bill!”, then gave one final hint, “I’ve been referred to in this way.” That really stumped them. Tony asked, “Can you give us the clues again?” Rooosha said, “Sure. I could, but I won’t. Just kidding. Here they are, the main clues:

  • You’ve never seen it.
  • NO ONE has ever seen it.
  • It has never seen the light of day.
  • Once you see it you will only see it for a few seconds and then it will be gone forever, never to be seen again.
  • It was once alive.
  • It can not come back to life.
  • Bill, you can cook anything.
  • I’ve been referred to in this way.”

John guessed, “Is it…a soul?” Rooosha replied, “No, it is an actual object in my hand. Something you can actually see, a physical object…. Wanna see?” They were all very eager to see. He opened his hand…it was a peanut! Then he cracked open the shell saying, “Nooooo one has ever seen THIS peanut, it was always in a shell…” Then he popped it in his mouth, chewed & swallowed it. “And you’ll never see it again, TAAADAAA!” They cheered as Dr. Rooosha drove home the point, “You can’t see your soul. Our body is a shell around it.” Maria added, “My shell is extra thick.” Lafayette said, “But it fits you and you’re comfortable in it! Besides, I believe it is your soul that really matters and I love you.” She smiled and blushed a little, “And I love you, like a son Lafayette.” He responded, “I’ll accept that.” Rooosha continued, “Now, let me ask you, what must a Peanut have or need to develop, form & grow?” Jill shouted, “WATER!” Mable said, “Sunshine.” Mr. Miff offered, “Soil?” The doctor said, “YES! YES AND YES! YOU are all right, however, it you had just water, would it grow?” Jill replied, “Maybe…a lil’? No not much if at all.” Rooosha asked, “What about just sun light?”, as he brought out a bag of peanuts from under the table, opened it an threw them in the air. The snack showered down on them. Mable replied, “No, it needs soil!” Dr. Rooosha said, “YEP! Now, think of your soul, your spirit as soil. When seeds of spiritual knowledge, spiritual food, spiritual healing, spiritual growth comes…what kind of soil does it land in?” Then he shouted, “WILLY, THE MAGNIFICENT? PLEASE WEEEELCOMEBAAAAACK, WILLY THE MAGNIFICENT!” Willy lowered from the ceiling again but this time he had flat trays with dirt in them. They all clapped welcoming him back. As their cheers died down he said, “Here are 4 types of soil.” He layed them on the floor around him. He then pulled a packet of seeds out of thin air. They loved his slight of hand magic. He tossed some of the seeds toward a rectangular tin tray that actually just looked like a slab of black top with a little dry dirt sprinkled on top of it. “This soil is a sample of the path way you have leading you through your beautiful garden.” The seed landed on it. “But it is trampled on.”, he said as he stepped on it, “AAAND…” He reached into his suit coat and pulled out a morning dove, “…and birds are able to eat it before it gets a chance to get into the soil. It doesn’t even start to grow.” He released the bird and it went to his feet and feasted on the seeds in the tray. He made another packet of seeds appear as he stepped away from the hard soil & bird and stepped up to the next tray, “This patch of soil is not as hard BUT, IT IS… shallow and rocky soil.” He picked up some gravel then a few of the larger rocks, which he made vanish. “With the rocks in there, and because it is sooo shallow, the seeds may sprout up but will have no roots to go down into the soil. There is just not enough soil to sustain grown, then it dries up and dies.” The bird flew over to the rocky soil but then back to the very hard soil to continue feeding. He stepped over to the next tray, “This soil comes with weeds, thorns and some small brush.” He sprinkled some seed over it, “WATCH CLOSELY…” They couldn’t believe their eyes as some tiny flowers began to poke up. He encouraged them, “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THOSE LITTLE FLOWERS.” The flowers grew but then the weeds wrapped around them on top of the soil and chocked them out. Willy said, “The roots of the weeds also grab at the roots of the flowers, just like or worry, fear, other desires… things around us, toxic people & relationships destroy us, choke us out.” He moved over to the last tray. It was a little deeper and filled with dark rich topsoil. He picked some up in his hand, “This looks good enough to eat. There may even be some worms in there. But, I prefer what is grown in the soil more than just the soil. He reached into the air above him and instantly performed the illusion of a packet of seeds appearing. He opened it and dropped a few seeds then knelt down and pushed them just about a quarter of an inch into the good soil as he looked over his shoulder at the bird, which came flying over to him and landed on his shoulder. This soil is deep, it has been turned and plowed or tilled. The rocks removed, weeds removed ‘by the roots’. It has been cleared out. It has an acceptance for the seed that lands on it and the seed is able to grow and BLOOM.” He snapped his finger. The bird flew out of the room and a few flowers pushed up through the soil & opened up revealing colorful candy inside of them. He took the candy & distributed it. Then there was a puff of smoke like earlier and when it cleared, once again he was gone. They cheered again then Dr. Rooosha asked, “What kind of soil is your soul,your Spiritual life? Do you find that you are hard hearted?” John commented, “I am hard headed. I think that the 12 inche slide between my head and heart is broken.” Dr. Levi said, “If that is true, at least you are aware and if it is broken it can be fixed.” Tony said, “I think there are some rocks in my soil. I can be very shallow at times.” Mr. Miff said, “Turn the soil. Dig deep, find em’ and get them out.” John spoke again, “Alcohol was my bolder!” Judy said, “I can identify with the weeds. Sometimes my ‘greed’ is like a weed. Working her has taught me that there are more important things than how much money I make, save and spend.” “I am a combination of those different soils.”, admitted Mable. “Sometimes I am harsh and close minded & nothing gets in. Other times I come across a rock or bolder, like John said. There are definitely weeds but I like to think there is good soil and that when I come across good seeds it goes deep into my soul and I’m able to produce some good fruit, maybe even a little sweetness.” Dr. Rooosha agreed, “I see those good fruits in you!” They all pondered things for a while then Dr. Rooosha asked if they wanted to see Willy The Magnificent just one more time. It had not grown old with them so they cheered. This time Willy sprang up out of the floor.

He thanked them then introduced his next trick, “I call this the ‘Coin In Cup’ and I am going to show you how I do this one.” He pulled out a small, fairly shallow glass cup then reached toward Rooosha’s ear and pulled out a coin. “I will now put this coin in the cup by tapping it on the bottom of the glass.” He stretched his arms our revealing to them that there was nothing up his sleeves. They watched closely as he held the coin in his open palm and brought it up to the bottom of the glass cup, tapping it 3 times. “READY?”, he asked. They bellowed, “YEAH!” On the fourth hit they heard the coin tinkling inside the bottom of the glass cup. He asked, “Did it look like somehow I made it go through the solid bottom and into the glass?” “YOU DID!”, shouted Jill. Willy thanked her but said, “It just looks like I am passing the coin through the solid glass bottom.” Jill said, “Yeah, that is impossible. It must be a fake bottom.” “I’ll show you how I do what seems impossible.” Willy pretended to be in slow motion. He even spoke in slow motion, “NOOOW wwwwwaaatCH clooowslyyy…” He counted as he tapped the bottom with the coin again, “OOOOoone, twwooo, thhhhree…”, on the fourth hit they watched as he slowly changed the position of the coin ever so slightly. It hit the hand holding the small glass container and ended up going up & over the edge of the container and dropped into the glass. Earlier it really did look like it was going thru the bottom. He spoke normal speed again and asked, “You see in slow motion how I create the illusion? To do the trick you have to change the position of the coin to get it in glass. Insanity has been defined by doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” John said, “If i change the way I handle my money alone, things would be a lot different for me.” “Yep!”, agreed Willy, “You really are magnificent, John.” Willy sat down. John smiled and asked, “What, no smoke exit this time?” Willy laughed, “I ran out!”

“Now I’d like to tell you a true story about my grand children.”, announced Dr. Rooosha. Maria exclaimed, “Your child had children?!” Rooosha smiled and replied, “Oh, that is confusing isn’t it? My children are grand so, no..no ‘grandchildren’ yet from my grand children. I meant a story about my children, who are grand.” Jill was a little confused but most everyone else got it. He continued, “The first time I took them into a public rest room that didn’t have automatic sinks I laughed as they waved their hands under the facet trying to turn the water on. They figured it was broken. So, I turned the knobs and they got their hands wet. Then they put their hands under the soap dispenser & moved them around trying to set off the electric eye to trigger it. I pushed the button for them and soap squinted out. Then after they washed their hands they went over to get paper towels…you guessed it…they were frantically gyrating their arms and hands under the paper towel dispenser because they were so use to all those things being automatic. I had to turn knobs for them. We are all grown up now and know, no one is going to turn knobs for us. We have to figure it all out on our own and we can…not just wave hands around but put them into full use to accomplish the cleaning. That is where we stand today. So, let me ask you all. What are some things some of you do to feed your soul. What seeds are being planted, if any, and what do you do to help good things to grow in your soul?” Dr. Paul Levi said, “I wear an invisible chain mail.” Tony said, “Like a chain letter?” Paul laughed, then he realized that Tony misunderstood so he explained, “No, chain mail is the metal chain-linked armor Knights use to wear in battle. I wear and invisable one around my heart, my soul. I guard my heart.” Dr. Rooosha said, “Like what christians would call, ‘the armour of God.’ Elements you practice in your faith help you fight spiritual battles.” John said, “I have to insist on a personal prohibition of alcohol. I can’t even allow myself one drink and there are some activities I no longer participate in cause it triggers me to want a drink.” Maybel said, “I use Meditation to keep from loosing my marbles.” Judy spoke up, “Yeah I have quiet time.” As the reaponses started moving around the table in a natural flow of order each one of the 30 people there gave an answer. Mark replied, “I like to take walks in the woods.” Several people let out a gratifying sigh expressing how they enjoyed that too. Maria said, “I like to beach walk, all alone at sunrise.” Lafayette said, “Same with me but at sunset.” Mr. Miff said, “I like to read but when I am not reading I silently pray & go over some positive mantras, mottos and famous quotes. Sometimes I even do it while here at work and no one is aware because it is all going on in the link between my head & my heart.” “12 inches!” John smiled and measured out with his hands from his head to his chest.” Muhammad said, “According to my custom I kneel & pray facing east.” Rob, who was pretty silent all day said, “Art. I feel like art helps me.” Chaketta’s answer was, “Church.” LA Laquanda answered, “Prayer.” Bill said, “For me mealtimes, my mealtimes, not when I am serving others, but wait…actually when I prep, cook and serve all those things are a way I help my soul grow. I love it all, but when I stop to eat my own meal, that is when I feel like I am truly able to reflect and my soul is fed too.” Jill said, “I like to keep a diary.” Nate, Missy, James and Tosha said they journaled, some more than others. Judy spoke up again and said, “My mom had a prayer closet. She literally went into a small room that at one point was a walk in closet & at another point it was my sister’s nursery. She’d close the door and spend time alone, talking to God.” Willy said, “I read, do art, practice illusions and perform. As you’ve seen. I feel like when I am active, that is when my soul grows but also being around great people like ya’ll and yeah, time alone too helps me. What do you do Dr. Rooosha? How you get your armor on?”, asked Willy. Rooosha said, “All the above are great and each of us are so different so there will be various ways but for me music plays a big part and my personal focus is always on asking God to fill me with the Spirit that possessed Jesus Christ. As most of you know I personally believe He is the only way to eternity but I don’t condemn any of you in your own soul searching & building exercises. I lead a chat room online one time called, ‘A belief beyond belief.’ I would ask people, strangers really, to share what they believed and why. I love that, in America especially, people have freedom of religion and they can express their freewill, choose, make their own choice and not be forced to worship any particular way, person, place or thing. The government doesn’t restrict anyone, unless it comes down to harming themselves or others. The main thing today was to get in touch with our souls. I do personally believe the After life is determined by what you do or allow for your soul while alive but that wasn’t the subject & topic for us today. Today was just about the human soul, while we are alive. I know we all believe something different and we all have our reasons why but how great it has been to come together and consider, not what makes us tick scientifically, physically, religiously, politically but spiritually. I appreciate each one of you, you are good natured people and your willingness to talk about your soul searching and soul growth has been most rewarding. I’d like to close with a verse:

‘The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God , search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.’ (Jeremiah 17:9‭-‬10 MSG). May those of you who have traveled here today be safe on your way home and may you continue to search, find and feed your souls.”

~THE END~

This story or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.

This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or businesses in practice, are purely coincidental. The views expressed here are my own, as are whatever factual errors exist in the text.

My deepest thanks to my wife Rhonda for sticking with me through the many hours of putting up with me talking about what I wanted to write, talking about it while I write it and talking about it after it was written.
Also to all of my children Abbey, Madi, Olivia, Alexx, Kyri, Christopher and Carol-Ann, as well as, my whole family and friends for all their inspiration, love, care, prayers and support.

🎬💿🎥EXTRAS🎥💿🎬

If you enjoyed this story you’ll also enjoy “Fair Science” – a short story of a weird, crazy but brilliant scientist who invites three children into his mansion and his mind. (Dr. Raymond Rooosha)

Online publication of “Fair Science”: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/the-story-fair-science/

For YouTube recordings of some on my other stories go to: STORY TIME: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnjQOVtw61eiFv27rv2rhA3-8U8EyDXya

For a list of other stories go to: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/stories-poems-and-art/

For detailed explanation of how the illusions in this story are performed in real life & how I’ve applied them go to:👉 Illustrative Illusions

If you wanna think about all this a little more go to 👉 Soul Searching (free shoe give away).

Thanks for reading, Beetle

Slow Dance

I am personally not big on chain letters that are passed along with promises of a blessing or luck if you forward it along also or a curse or bad luck if you break the chain by not sending it out to all your contacts; however,  this poem is worth reading & consideration…

Slow Dance 

    This is a poem written

 by a teenager with cancer.

      She wants to see how 

         many people get her

                   poem.

           It is quite a poem, 

          please pass it on. 

      This poem was written 

            by a terminally ill 

              young girl in a

           New York Hospital.

It was sent by a medical doctor Make sure to read what is in the closing statement 

         AFTER THE POEM.

             SLOW DANCE

       Have you ever watched 

     kids on a merry-go-round?

       Or listened to the rain 

     slapping on the ground?

     Ever followed a butterfly’s            

            erratic flight?

    Or gazed at the sun into 

         the fading night?

       You better slow down.

          Don’t dance so fast.

              Time is short.

          The music won’t last.

           Do you run through 

           each day on the fly?

               When you ask, 

               “How are you?”

         Do you hear the reply?

        When the day is done, 

        do you lie in your bed,

       with the next hundred        

     chores running through

               your head?

    You’d better slow down

      Don’t dance so fast.

          Time is short

      The music won’t last.

         Ever told your child, 

       We’ll do it tomorrow?

           And in your haste,

         Not see his sorrow?

             Ever lost touch, 

        let a good friendship die 

       Cause you never had time 

           To call and say,’Hi’

        You’d better slow down.

         Don’t dance so fast.

            Time is short.

       The music won’t last..

        When you run so fast

           to get somewhere,

          You miss half the fun

              of getting there.

           When you worry and            

        hurry through your day,

      It is like an unopened gift….

              Thrown away.

            Life is not a race.

            Do take it slower

             Hear the music

       Before the song is over.

       FORWARDED E-MAILS 

    ARE TRACKED TO OBTAIN          

          THE TOTAL COUNT.

                    Dear All: 

         PLEASE pass this mail 

       on to everyone you know – 

    even to those you don’t know!

          It is the request of a

                    special girl,      

         who will soon leave this    

           world due to cancer.

      This young girl has 6      

        months left to live,             

      and as her dying wish, 

    she wanted to send a letter       

            telling everyone to 

       live their life to the fullest,   

           since she never will. 

    She’ll never make it to prom,      

     graduate from high school, 

            or get married and 

      have a family of her own.

      By you sending this to as      

       many people as possible,      

          you can give her and 

         her family a little hope,       

      because with every name 

        that this is sent to, 

   the American Cancer Society      

   will donate 3 cents per name 

          to her treatment and      

                recovery plan.  

      One guy sent this to 500          

                   people! 

     So I know that we can at      

         least send it to 5 or 6.

 

       It’s not even your money, 

             just your time! 

         Please read and forward … 

_______________________________________

Beetle’s personal note:

Again,  I don’t know if this is a true source of just based on a true scenario. Many of us get crazy emails, chain letters, sent to us an some are so outrageous they tell us that if we don’t pass it on we’ll be cursed with bad luck or even face certain death. We are also promised that if we do pass it on we’ll be blessed. I don’t agree with any of that, however,  I share this poem, because regardless of it’s true origin of source I find it very helpful, meaningful and worth consideration.

I hope you do to.

In Christ, Beetle 

EXTRA –

Never Abuse The Name

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10 NIV

Does God’s name still hold value? Do we treat it with value?

Who is the most precious and important person in your life? A child, a spouse, parent – have you got it? Now, imagine someone dragging the name of that person through the mud – untrue statements, unfair criticism, crude, off-color jokes. How would that make you feel? Ever wonder how God must feel when we misuse His name? In this message, Chip takes a candid look at why taking the Lord’s name in vain is such serious business with God.

PLAY AUDIO 

Never Abuse My Name

Part 3


God’s Boundaries

July 14, 2017

Introduction: A study in contrasts – “Then”… and “Now”

The Command:

You shall not misuse (literally – “take up… in vain”) the name of the Lord your God…”—Exodus 20:7a (NIV)

The Consequences:

“…for the Lord will not leave him unpunished (hold him guiltless) who misuses (takes in vain) His name.”—Exodus 20:7b (NIV)

What’s in a name anyway?

• Name: Synonymous with one’s characterreputation, and authority.

• God’s name reveals His essence.

• Summary: We are to take God !

• Axiom: Our use of God’s name in word, in thought, or deed will reflect our view of God and our relationship to Him.

In what ways do we use God’s name in vain?

• In taking oaths we do not keep – .

Do not make a promise in My name if you do not intend to keep it; that brings disgrace on My name. I am the Lord your God.—Leviticus 19:12 (GNT)

• In our attempts to use God for personal gain – .

These people say they are Mine. They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.—Isaiah 29:13 (NIV)

• In our everyday irreverent conversation – .

36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.—Matthew 12:36-37 (NASB)

Levels of Profanity:

I. Casualness with God’s name

II. Contempt for God’s name

III. Cursing God’s name

… I, the Lord your God, will punish anyone who misuses My name.—Exodus 20:7b (GNT)

Why do otherwise intelligent people profane God’s name?

• They are spiritually uninformed

• They are spiritually undisciplined

• They are spiritually dead

Discussion Questions:

1.) Who is the most precious and important human being in your life? What comes to your mind when you say their name?

2.) How would you feel about others dragging the name you wrote above through the mud? Untrue statements, unfair criticism, being the butt of coarse jesting?

3.) Why does God put such a high priority on the use of His name? What’s behind how we talk, think, and act with regard to God’s name?

4.) Where do you need to “shore up” how you use God’s name? How will this likely impact your relationship with Him?

CLEAR EMAIL

http://bible.com/111/pro.18.10.NIV

PLAY 2ND PART OF AUDIO 

No worship but true worship (part 2)

This is a continuation of the audio from Chip Ingram and living on the edge ministies. For all parts go to livingontheedge.org under the series, God’s Boundaries. For part 1 of audio and notes below go to that site or my post 👉True Worship

Consider what idols we make as Christians. Could our very church (organization) be an idol?

Now, simply PLAY AUDIO and enjoy feeding your soul God’s Word as Chip shares an in depth look at the 10 commandments.

Here are the fill-in notes.

No Worship But True Worship

Part 2


God’s Boundaries

July 12, 2017

Introduction: The little boy who “wants the bike,” in all of us…

Review – The focus of the First Command:    

Preview – The focus of the Second Command:    

4“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 
5“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.—Exodus 20:4-6 (NASB)

Understanding the Second Command: Historical Background

The Command restated: Exodus 20:4-5a

• No man-made “idols” are to be used as a means of worshipping the living God (YHWH). 
— Exodus 20:4a

Summary:

1.) God demands we worship Him in 

• No man-made “likenesses” (images – real, or imagined, pictorial representations of God) are to be used as a means of worshipping the living God (YHWH). 
— Exodus 20:4b

2.) God demands we worship Him in 

• No man-made idols or images (real, or imagined) are to be worshipped or served. 
— Exodus 20:5a

The Reasons identified: Exodus 20:5b-6

• God’s character of “zealous love” demands it.

• Our future, and our children’s children, requires it.

Conclusion:

God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.—John 4:24 (NIV & NASB)

Discussion Questions:

1.) What is the difference between the First and Second Commandments?

2.) In what way does each of these “Boundaries” protect our best interests?

3.) Why does God so strongly abhor idols and images? How do they distort or reduce His character?

4.) What does worshipping idols do to God’s people?

5.) How do we, as 21st century Christians, make idols in our day? How would God want this message to impact your life?

CLEAR EMAIL

 

TRUE WORSHIP

These are the fill-in Notes. For the audio click 👉 PLAY AUDIO 👈.

For part one go to: God’s Boundaries 

No Worship But True Worship

Part 2


God’s Boundaries

July 12, 2017

Introduction: The little boy who “wants the bike,” in all of us…

Review – The focus of the First Command:    

Preview – The focus of the Second Command:    

4“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 
5“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.—Exodus 20:4-6 (NASB)

Understanding the Second Command: Historical Background

The Command restated: Exodus 20:4-5a

• No man-made “idols” are to be used as a means of worshipping the living God (YHWH). 
— Exodus 20:4a

Summary:

1.) God demands we worship Him in 

• No man-made “likenesses” (images – real, or imagined, pictorial representations of God) are to be used as a means of worshipping the living God (YHWH). 
— Exodus 20:4b

2.) God demands we worship Him in 

• No man-made idols or images (real, or imagined) are to be worshipped or served. 
— Exodus 20:5a

The Reasons identified: Exodus 20:5b-6

• God’s character of “zealous love” demands it.

• Our future, and our children’s children, requires it.

Conclusion:

God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.—John 4:24 (NIV & NASB)

Discussion Questions:

1.) What is the difference between the First and Second Commandments?

2.) In what way does each of these “Boundaries” protect our best interests?

3.) Why does God so strongly abhor idols and images? How do they distort or reduce His character?

(They belittle God and make Him small. Also, He is jealous for us).

4.) What does worshipping idols do to God’s people?

(Causes spiritual adultery) 

5.) How do we, as 21st century Christians, make idols in our day? How would God want this message to impact your life?

For all parts go to livingontheedge.org 

For my post & audio of  part 2 go to No Worship But True Worship