Book sample 2 chapters: A Loving Deception. Unedited version.

A Loving Deception

By Eugene Coghill

 

CHAPTER 1

The black and white tabby cat, named Sylvester, was licking its paws when he heard Wanda’s approaching footsteps.  He lifted his head and quickly scampered out into the hallway, knocking over the bowl of milk.  Wanda was startled to see him run by her so quickly, as he had seemed very lethargic over the past several weeks.  Upon entering the kitchen and seeing the milk on the floor, she wondered why he didn’t bother to clean up his own mess.  “I don’t know who you think you are but I’m not a maid to humans or animals in this house! You better learn to clean up and take out your own litter box!”  She chuckled at the idea of her talking to a cat, as if he really understood what she was saying.  It was early in the morning and her most favorite time of the day, when she could carve out some precious moments of solitude.  It was at this hour that she could collect her thoughts and reflect on what she had to do for the day.

Rarely could she devote more than twenty minutes sitting down to a cup of coffee and savor the time for herself.  She envied other housewives who would make mention of the special morning ritual and routines that made for a very tight bond in their families.  That certainly was not the case for Wanda Evans and John, her husband of five years.

She glanced up at the refrigerator to see the art drawing she had saved and cherished from her seven-year-old daughter Jasmine, who was killed in a tragic accident several years ago.  Even though the years had passed, she had always felt love from her daughter and at this moment, as she stared at the drawing, she smiled with contentment.  Even though she had her for a short while, the memories of her had become the solid rock in her life and she knew even if only for a brief time, what unconditional love felt like.

The vivid memories of Jasmine were the one part of the union that made it all worthwhile.  Jasmine was very energetic and seemed to have an endless curiosity about the world around her.  Even though Wanda loved the fact her daughter was possessed with the gift of energy, she wanted it to be harnessed from time to time, especially when out in public or while in the company of a stranger.  Wanda smiled, wondering just how many miles she had ran chasing Jasmine up and down the Walmart aisles when she first learned to walk, or rather run.  Sadly, it was the same enthusiasm for life that eventually caused her death.

The years of heartbreak over losing her child was a turning point that would forever define her.  After many months of depression, she knew she needed to rebound into life and begin to live again.  She carried the memory of Jasmine and slowly with each passing day, she embraced them as an extension of her soul.

Even now at the age of thirty-five, Wanda was highly attractive.  As she sat there in her pink bathrobe it revealed flawless skin underneath.  The years had been very kind to her, and she didn’t need the makeup cream that she applied to her face religiously every morning. It was only in her mind did the crow’s feet appear.  And the laugh lines that she thought were a permanent blemish served to make her even more youthful-looking.  Her daily routine of yoga, stretching and walking had kept her girlish figure for all these years.  She felt like the queen of the prom when men would whistle at her from afar and send flirtatious comments her way.  She loved the attention, as it reassured her that she still had what men wanted.  She didn’t want to admit that occasionally she had lingering doubts and that her self-esteem sometimes was lacking.  This was mostly because she longed for the attention and affection from her husband, which had somehow vanished with the passing of time.  She wondered if that was the norm for married couples until hanging out with a few of her married girlfriends seemed to prove otherwise.  She didn’t know what to do anymore to capture his eyes and lustful attention to her.  The credit card bills certainly showed that she had tried everything, to include Brazilian waxing, and hair and nail makeovers.  The closet and drawers were overflowing with sexy dresses and the drawers enclosed skimpy lingerie that would make any man pant with excitement.  Of course, any normal man would, except John.  Five years into her marriage with him and she was starting to feel like a widow.  Funny how she let her mind drift to the thought of being a widow, thinking that perhaps it would be more comforting than being in the same bed with a man who had died emotionally a very long time ago.

It was not only that John was becoming disconnected from her, but things had gotten very intense over the past six months.  First, it was very subtle with him coming home later and later, and seemingly in a constant bad mood.  Whenever she would ask about his day and what was wrong, she got the same sharp answer.  “Nothing, and why do you always insist that something is wrong with me?  Can’t a guy just get some peace and quiet and be left alone?  For heavens sakes, Wanda, you are getting to the point of annoying.”

It was a couple of days later when he came home with alcohol on his breath and an unfamiliar perfume on his collar that Wanda blew up at him about his behavior.

“Where in the hell have you been and why did you not think enough of me to call?”

“Wanda, please do not go there. Trust me I am not in the mood.” He said.

“In the mood? I bet you were in the mood after drinking so you could be with some bitch that left that perfume on you!  Who is she, John?”

“What are you talking about?  There is no who!”  John was feeling a bit nervous, and quickly he thought of what loose ends he had left untied.

“I am not stupid John. Do not play me for a fool.  I can smell the alcohol and the perfume all over you.  Now look me in the eye and tell me you have not been with some woman today.”  She stared at him hoping she was not right but knowing her instincts had not let her down before, she braced for the worst.

“Wanda, I have not been with another woman as you’re thinking.  The reason that you smell perfume is this. While I was at a stop in Gaithersburg, a lady was eagerly expecting a package from her son who is over in Iraq.  And when I delivered it to her she was overjoyed and gave me a big hug.  And as for the alcohol, yeah, I stopped and had a beer at Uno’s to unwind a bit.  It was a rough day and I needed to get in a light mood.  There’s no harm in that, OK?”

“Yeah, right.”  Wanda was amazed at just how good he was at lying.

The large crystal chandelier swayed and chimed from the breeze that came through the open kitchen window.  Wanda loved the fresh morning air. She stood up and inhaled deeply while stretching as far as she could reach to the ceiling.  She loved all the sounds that indicated the start of a brand-new day.  She walked over to the window and leaned close and put her nose on the screen and searched for the birds that were chirping a loud chorus.  A dog barked off in the distance, and the sound seemed to echo throughout the entire quiet neighborhood.

The house was small but still warm and cozy and it had served more than the basic need of shelter.  It was her idea to move into a starter home shortly before she got married.  John, however, had bigger things in mind for his new bride.  He never made outrageous promises to Wanda but wanted her to know that she was worthy of comfort and security.  He always felt it was his responsibility to provide for her needs first and her wants second.  He was happy to know that Wanda was good at managing household finances, and that he could depend on her to keep things running smoothly.  That was just the way he liked it.  All he wanted to do was to be able to focus on his job as a professional driver for a major trucking company.

He was well along in his career and living his dream.  It still amazed him after all these years that he was actually paid to drive, which was something that not only he enjoyed, but regarded as a passion more than work.  The seed of freedom and the call of the open road began for John even as a small boy.  During the very hot summer days while his foster mother kept him inside not allowing him to play with other kids, he would escape his misery by pretending he was driving all over the country.

He was very intense with his imagination and, even as a child, he knew that the road meant freedom from all that he was feeling and enduring.  It was his only focus to hide all the pain and loneliness that came at the hands of a foster mother that inflicted countless hours of both emotional and physical abuse.

Wanda went back to the bedroom and saw the evidence of the restless night she had, tossing and turning.  The bed was a display of tossed pillows and entangled sheets and blankets that more closely represented the place where a fight took place rather than sleep.  It was another night of endless thinking about her current situation.  She was in her mid-thirties and in a very unhappy marriage, with no idea of how to change it or having the courage to get out of it.  Very few people knew of the loneliness that she felt inside and least of all, her husband.  The chill in the air seemed to make the nights even longer.  She wondered as she looked at the unmade bed if other women were enduring the same turmoil or was, she the only one to have this misery at this moment.

Her life had not played out like the soap operas she had seen on TV.  She longed for the day that John would come through the door with a surprise gift in his hand, selected especially for her, something that would show his adoration and appreciation for her and her love.  A bouquet of flowers, a card, a small trinket of jewelry, or even a ticket to get away for the weekend just the two of them.  It had not always been like this or this bad.  Somewhere in the passing months and years the emotional separation and loneliness grew wider and stronger.  She had difficulty remembering when she was very passionate about their love. But somehow she coped,  rationalizing that she had a roof over her head and some security for her.  Her heart still ached at the emptiness of the house without her daughter, Jasmine.  It just did not seem to be the home it once was.

She had listened to some of her girlfriends and endless struggle of making it on their own without a man.  And she thought that her plight was much better than that.  As she went about her domestic duties, it was becoming more and more evident that her life was revealing the emptiness within.  She looked in the mirror while brushing her hair, and the woman who stared back showed very little signs of aging from the outside, but she felt very old on the inside.  She knew it was vanity to think that beauty would last forever.  She also knew that there were a lot of younger women who could turn John’s head, and maybe even his heart.  She focused on the comments from women who had mistaken her for much younger.  And yes, all the men noticed her curves that seemed to fall in all the right places.  This gave her some confidence.

It didn’t bother her that the men wanted one thing and one thing only.  As long as she got their attention, that was all that mattered.  Attention from another man, even for a brief few moments for all the wrong reasons, was more attention than she was getting from John these days.  She tried not to entertain the thoughts of any activity outside of their marriage, because she was first and far most a Christian and enduring a bad marriage was liken to the devotion of the Christian life. The inner voice inside her head played loudly as a cruel taskmaster to keep her enduring the growing misery. “I knew the road was going to be difficult at times, you do not quit just because of a little adversity.”  The mantra would get her through the long cold and lonely nights, while tears soaked her pillow.

Returning to the kitchen she stopped and looked out the window and daydreamed for several minutes.  She remembered the time she and John went on a cruise to the Caribbean, with a five-night stay in the Bahamas.  It was one of the best times the two of them shared, and the only time when she actually felt loved by him.  One morning they both woke up in the resort hotel and decided not to do anything other than spend the day with each other in the room and make love, off and on all day. She was amazed that he could make love the entire day and be so ready for more, even later that night.  Perhaps he had a deep well of passion in him that she was tapping into for the first time.  John was very handsome and he kept himself in really good shape.  There was no evidence that he was approaching middle age.  His days of glory were long behind him but had plenty of credentials to show just how fine-tuned his body was in the days of his youth.  She loved to listen to him tell the stories of the many road races he ran and how being a distance runner gave him the endurance he needed in the bedroom.  She smiled when he recalled a couple of marathons he ran, and she thought how many women would love a man to go the distance under the sheets.

She had always wanted a medium-sized house.  However, the small house that was more like a cottage on the outskirts of Baltimore, would have to do.  In spite of their differences and problems, she knew that John wanted her to do well and he was willing to sacrifice to make sure she had what she needed.  But, more than a lavish lifestyle, she wanted to know that she was loved unconditionally by him.  She would trade in her lifestyle for love.  She knew plenty of women who were gold diggers and did not want love as much as a glamorous life.  Wanda, however, thought that love would be the ticket to a great life.  She thought that if you win a man’s heart, then you also have his bank account.

She never asked too much of John, other than he be faithful and true.  Her biggest fear was that in her greatest time of need he would desert her.  Even though she was in great health, a hidden fear was getting the news from a doctor that she had breast cancer or some other terminal illness.  She knew this was irrational thinking, but more than once she was surprised about the sudden illness that had befallen one of her friends in her age group.  It reminded her that she was still mortal and that death does not discriminate.  She tried to push the thoughts back about whether or not John would stay with her if a life changing event such as cancer invaded her world.

After getting dressed and buttoning up her navy-blue pin striped jumpsuit, she quickly sat down at the computer to check her email, make notes from her calendar, and go over her to-do list.  While scanning through the subject lines of the emails, she noticed one in particular that had no subject line and the sender’s name was Stacey.  She clicked it and read the following:  Hello John, it was such a pleasure to meet you the other night.  You made me laugh and feel alive again.  I was really impressed with your dancing and I want to thank you once again for sharing moments of comfort.  We must meet again.  I have your number and I will call as soon as I can.  Please keep in touch.  Fondly Stacey.

Wanda sat there staring at the screen in disbelief, wishing that she didn’t read what she just read.  She quickly read it again and in disgust deleted it.  Had this confirmed what she had thought all along?  Or perhaps she would give him the benefit of the doubt and let him explain himself.  She was determined not to let her discovery ruin her mood or foul up her day. A few minutes later she picked up her pocketbook and headed out the door, careful to set the code on the house alarm.

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

John always enjoyed his early morning routine before clocking into work.  His daily stop at the local Starbucks to browse and read USA Today was the only time he had to be reflective.  It was there that he would prepare himself mentally for the day ahead.  His job as a route driver for a printing company caused him to tour the greater metro tri-state area of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.  The job paid just barely enough to be respectable, but the high cost of the Greater Washington metro area would soon overcome his hourly wage.  He hated the traffic but loved driving.  Often, he wondered why he had not persevered and gotten a degree in criminal justice.  He wanted to hone the investigation skills that he learned while working as a corporate investigator for K-Mart.  His five years with the company had proven to be very rewarding, but he slacked just enough to get fired.  His untimely termination is what thrust him into looking for a new job.  Driving was something that came easily to him and there were plenty of driving jobs in the metro area.  His first job after K-Mart, was as an independent courier.  During his time as a courier, he learned to navigate all over the greater metro area with efficiency and ease.  He was commended on several occasions about his quickness and willingness to go anywhere and make a delivery regardless of the extra effort involved.  It was his commitment and attention to detail along with superb customer service that got the attention of a customer that would routinely ask for him by name to make their deliveries. John was blushing a bit when the manager of Corporate Graphics kept badgering him about signing on as a company employee for their company.  John at first resisted the idea of working for someone else and treasured the idea of being independent with choices of when he wanted to work.  However, knowing that he did not have any benefits, John reasoned that the security that comes from a company-sponsored benefits package would be highly desirable for his wife.  So he accepted the job, a uniform, and a boss.

He pulled onto I-95 and quickly accelerated up to highway speed and flow of traffic, which was well above the posted 55mph.  The white Ford Econovan had a powerful engine that was just perfect for the demands of delivering many boxes of books and documents that Corporate Graphics produced for the vast customer base in the tri-state area.  It was not unusual for some of his runs to take him as far south as Richmond Virginia and as far north as Pennsylvania.  While making his way to his stop, his mind drifted to other thoughts that had consumed him, mostly the pretty young lady he befriended on the second floor of the Bally’s health club in Alexandria.

It was nothing that he had planned or even hoped for, but with the many visits he made to the club to work out, he found the very fit dirty blonde to have an undeniable attraction he couldn’t easily shake.  He was mostly shy and very awkward with women, so he found it quite surprising that this fitness instructor would see beyond his many stumbling moments and find him rather attractive also.  Across the room glances and flirting conversations, they would send each other any time he was there was so obvious that even some of the patrons voiced their discontent.  John did have a cover that he used to continue to have contact with her.  He happened to sell a nutritional line that he wanted to promote at the club.  And of course, getting the opinion of a fitness instructor as dedicated as Vicky was very valuable to him.  So any time he stopped by the club he made a point to have some products on hand that he could promote to the other club members and, of course, to engage in long conversations with Vicky.  On one such occasion, he was flirting with Vicky to the point that she was uncomfortable and she made her point known.

“John, listen it is not very professional as a company representative to flirt with your clients.  People will get a very wrong impression, so why not cool it in here, OK?”  She was firm, blunt and gave him a very serious look.

“You’re right Vicky. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.  I can assure you it won’t happen again.  But listen, why don’t you let me make it up to you over lunch or dinner sometime, outside of the club?”  He had a small grin on his face that caused her to smile back.  Vicky gave him a very long look and then said, “You are very sweet and I might take you up on that offer if you promise me to behave yourself in here.”

“Consider it done.”  He thanked her for the time they spent together and set up his next appointment for personal training.

He sat in the van outside the club in the parking lot and reclined the seat back for a few minutes to reflect over his next move with Vicky.  He didn’t have the confidence to date anyone these days and it still bothered him to know that he was even contemplating having an affair.  Wanda was good to him, very loyal, and it made him feel guilty to hurt her with an affair with another woman.  Should he just face up to the reality of what he was feeling inside and tell her that he just did not think the marriage could continue to go on?  Or let the devastating knowledge of his affair come as a shock, which would force her to abruptly end the marriage.  No, Wanda deserved a lot better than that, and he thought that God would most certainly hold him accountable for the way he treated her.  With that thought in mind, he wondered just how did he let it get this far.  Was there still time for him to turn the direction of his life around?  Could he look at himself with confidence knowing that he had planned and carried out an affair with the sole purpose of breaking up their marriage?  Well, something had to be done and he had better think of something quick because tension and the silence between him and Wanda was growing.

It had been several months since they made love and often he would stay up long after she went to bed and fell asleep to ensure he did not have to share any intimacy with her.  Her complaints still ringing in his ears of the fact that she did not like to have to always be the one to initiate sexual contact.  It was not that the sex wasn’t good, she just hated the fact that she didn’t feel as if she was wanted.  She knew she had some flaws in her body that could not easily be overlooked, but she could feel the passion of him every time they made love.  And he never seemed disgusted with her body.  Yes, he told himself on several occasions that perhaps he could seek another woman a bit more appealing and who had much more chemistry, but he also had grown used to the comfort of this woman who kept a great home and was the role model of the domestic lifestyle.  He wanted to someday settle down and have a comfortable home that Wanda provided.  It made sense to be practical and stop chasing everything that had a short skirt and pretty smile.  Still, his sense of adventure kept calling him to seek more and find out if he had what it took to charm the ladies that were so far out of his league.  Vicky was his latest quest.  So just how far would he go before his better judgment kicked in and he controlled the urges within him that should only be for Wanda his wife?

He quickly pushed the thoughts out of his mind as he got back on the road and headed to the University of Maryland campus for his next delivery.  Within a few miles, his mind drifted back to Vicky.  He knew that something would have to be done before he went too far.  He never regarded himself as a person who would cheat on his wife and was startled at this very moment that even the thought was in his mind.  How could he hurt her like that?  And besides did he not forget what he read in the Bible about accountability for such actions.  ‘God will not tolerate hypocrites regardless of who they are.’ he reminded himself.

He wondered what had happened over the years to get him to this point.  Was it inevitable in spite of his best efforts?  He had a lot of questions about himself as a real husband now that cheating was a part of thoughts and fantasies he was not supposed to allow himself to have.

John could not bear the thought of living a lie and being very good at it.  He had a conscious that would hound him with every sin he committed and a holy spirit that would most certainly remind him of his errors.

To the outside world John seemed to have it all together, yet on the inside his coping skills were breaking down more and more each day.  His fast-paced schedule seemed to be closing in on him with every passing moment.  His gym membership at Bally’s had served as a distraction and an outlet to vent his frustrations of life.  However these days he craved something more to suppress the deep guilt that was consuming him.  He was not known for reckless living, however, every now and then he would push the envelope and live on the wild side.  As a man who still had vast amounts of energy and youth, he sought to do things that would give him an adrenaline rush.  Wanda was very mild and tame. John had often spoke of doing something reckless just for the fun of it.  She, however was not only cautious, but her desire to see him in a more docile state meant that he would not be risking his life in some skydiving accident and thereby jeopardizing her security.

By late that afternoon, John had completed most of his stops and deliveries.  He had always planned his route so that he could take advantage of the HOV a lane that ran from Washington DC to Triangle, Va.  It was the fastest way to Virginia around the three o’clock hour.  John needed to be in Virginia by late afternoon at least twice a week, however not for business purposes.  He had managed overtime to find a habit that required lots of cash to fulfill. He had always told himself that it was just a little pick me up to help him get through the stress of the day.  And, to be honest, that is just how it started on the day he met a pretty well dressed blonde at a Dunkin Donut’s shop in Dumfries.  Cindy Adams was the one pretty girl who flirted just enough with her southern accent and dazzling smile to get him to stop there every time he was in the Dumfries area.  As a matter of fact, he would even make excuses to be in that area just to spend some time with her.  Cindy was an office manager at the professional building that was home to lawyers and doctors and one accountant.  She often took her lunch break at the Dunkin Donuts because of the close proximity to her work. Her budget only allowed for frugal fixings at Dunkin Donuts.  John offered to buy her lunch every time he was in the area, as a thank you for her shared company.  It was during these breaks that Cindy revealed a lot about her life and how at times she felt so overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the office.  She told him that her energy sometimes lagged far behind and even the heaping cups of black coffee was not enough.

On one such visit John asked, “How do you do it Cindy?  A girl like you needs her beauty rest. And you know you cannot keep up this pace for long.”

She looked at him and smiled.  Then she gently touched his arm and said, “Well I have a friend of mine who gives me a little something to get me through the rough spots.”  She grinned and then continued, “It is also responsible for my charming personality at this time of the day, when otherwise I would be ready to strangle everybody in my building.”

John looked at her intensely and then smiled and said,  “Ok there, cute one, what is it exactly that makes you so endearing?”

“Well, if I tell you, I need you to promise me not to tell anyone.  And it maybe something that could help you out on your route.  I bet it will keep you calm enough so you will not run over anybody.”

“I’ll have you know that I am a professional driver and I don’t run over people.” He smiled and began to be even more curious.  “But OK, I promise and I might consider your offer.”

Cindy reached into her small burgundy pocket book, took out a notepad, wrote down a phone number and then handed it to John.  “Take this, call this number and tell the person who answers the phone that you are picking up for Chalice. They’ll give you directions to get this order for Chalice.”

“Something tells me I should not ask who Chalice is or what exactly I am picking up.” He was a bit nervous but thought that he could trust this beautiful woman that had charmed him so much over the past several weeks.

“You’ll be fine.  It’s around the corner, about two minutes from here, down that road.”  Cindy pointed out the large window where the road went across the large intersection and disappeared into a residential area.  “Just come back here as soon as you can and we can take a drive and talk some more.” Cindy smiled and flashed her eyes and slung her head back so that her long blonde hair brushed past John’s face, and he could smell the sweet fragrance that made him long for her in that very instance.

“OK, anything for you darling.”  And with that John got in his vehicle and dialed the number.

The voice on the other end of the line was very rough and unfriendly.  John was polite in carrying out Cindy’s instructions.  The voice told John to come to the location and someone would come out to meet him and complete the transaction.  Seven minutes later, John pulled up in front of the apartment building and waited.  He was careful to be mindful of his surroundings and took note of the young men who were staring at him from the sidewalk and stairs that lead up to the apartment building.  It was rather obvious they had not seen this vehicle here before and knew there was a need to check it out and be sure that John was not a cop.

After about twenty minutes of trying to calm his nerves, the cell phone rang and John was instructed to drive around to the back side of the apartment building.  He went to the other side of the building and parked, even more unsure of why he was there.

The back door of the apartment building swung open and out came a man walking quickly toward the van.  John kept looking at him closely as he approached the vehicle.  He motioned for John to roll the window down.  “Yeah,” John kept his comments short needing to know what this guy was up to.

“What’s up, man?  I was told to come meet with you and you want to do some business.  Is that correct?”

“I believe so, this is for Chalice.”  John still was not sure of who he was.  But he did not want to let this intimidating figure sense any hint of fear.

“Ok let me in and let’s get this done.  I got other customers to take care of and this is a freebie from the boss for Chalice.”  He went to the other side and quickly sat down in the front seat.  He seemed a bit nervous also.  “Just take this and leave a different way than you came in here.  There is a small dirt road on the other side of the basketball court.  Take that road and be sure no one is following you.  Do not stop. You have never seen this place and I do not exist.  Clear?” He looked at John with ice cold eyes that indicated that he would end this conversation by any means necessary.

John’s instincts told him not to say another word and just follow the instructions.  He took the small package that was handed to him and put it in his pocket.  The man quickly got out of the van, did not say anything but merely pointed in the direction of the basketball court.

John drove the van out of the complex as directed.  Within a few minutes he was in a neighborhood that made him even more uncomfortable than the apartment building.  Knowing that a delivery van would normally not be in this neighborhood, he thought it best to quickly get out of the area and back to Dunkin Donuts to see if Cindy was still there.  Upon pulling into  Dunkin Donuts parking lot, he was saddened to see that she had left.

Knowing that his shift would be over in less than an hour, he decided that it was time to start making his way back to the dispatch office.  He felt relieved as he got back on I-95 heading north toward Maryland.  He kept thinking about the small package that was in his pants pocket and wondered exactly what it was.  Of course, he had his suspicions that it probably was something he shouldn’t hang onto very long.

At the Dale City rest area, John pulled in and parked his van far away from other visitors.  He reached in his pocket and unwrapped the brown handkerchief to find two small vials of white powder and a vial of tiny little crystals that looked like small ice or glass chips.  John felt his heart beat getting stronger and faster at the thought of using or carrying illegal drugs.  What was Cindy doing with friends and connections like the man he met at the residential complex?  Did she have a drug habit?  Why would she introduce this to him?  The questions kept coming as he stared at the contents of the vials.  He heard what these drugs can do, and yet his curiosity wanted to know more.

While he was looking at the drug package, he failed to recognize the movements of the men closing in on his van with weapons drawn.  In the most shocking manner he was introduced to them.

“Step out of the vehicle and put your hands on top of your head! Do it now!” The sounds coming from several police officers was quite intimidating and happened so fast that John didn’t have time to process the reality of what was happening to him.

John’s emotions quickly changed to sadness as he complied with the officers’ orders.  In less than four minutes John was handcuffed, read his rights and placed in the police car.  His thoughts were erratic, and he felt like his world had just caved in.  How would he explain all of this to his wife?  The flashing blue lights snapped him back into the reality of the moment.  How he wished he were dreaming, but clearly, he was awake and in the middle of a nightmare.  As the police car sped off to the Prince William County Detention Center, John began to feel deep remorse.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

A Birthday Journal Entry. A Testimony August 28, 2020

Birthday personal journal entry:

I originated as only a thought in the creative mind of God.

Then he decided to transfer my spirit from eternity to time and prepared a body custom made just for me in the womb of a lady named Sylvia Coghill. 

He entrusted my development and care to her with foreknowledge that she would not abort me.

He chose to bring me forth into his created world on August 28, 1959 @ 0747 AM.

He caused me to be born to parents I have never seen, however his purpose for my arrival has never been in doubt.

Over the years he has orchestrated the times, seasons and events of my life.

The journey has been interesting, filled with joys and laughter, as well as the painful lessons of disobedience and discipline.

The struggles have led to some course corrections as needed.

It just so happens that as long as I am focused on his calling and my purpose that the trip seems a little smoother and decisions made by seeking his wisdom first are a lot clearer.

As I near the end of this fascinating journey with life delivering it’s share of uncertainty, I am reminded that he who started this work has promised to complete it.

I still sometimes struggle with trusting him to finish the job of transforming this awful sinner into a vessel of righteousness.

Yet that is exactly what he has promised to do because I made a covenant contract with him many years ago when I was a wild youth.

Through a series of orchestrated events when I was in the Marines, I found myself at the edge of despair and in deep trouble, both legally and most certainly spiritually.

During a time of self reflection and soul searching I grew tired of the collision course I was on. 

A course of deception, lies and manipulation put my very freedom at risk.  Yes as in possible prison time. 

Most don’t know that small segment of my life because people act as judge and jury to propel and advance their own self righteousness by comparison to guys like me. 

It’s ok, I’m telling this, not for therapy but to assure others that all souls are redeemable, even the worst of us. Even those who we don’t want God to redeem.

The gripping reality of no more places to run or hide, and facing the certainty of possible incarceration, I surrendered my soul to God, and admitted to him openly that I didn’t deserve to be saved from the horrors of my own making.

I was resigned to accept whatever punishment he deemed appropriate for my sins. What I asked for in return was a total life altering course correction.

I recall sitting on my bunk in the Marine barracks in Okinawa Japan with tears streaming down my face. A soft voice whispered, ‘Eugene are you willing to go down the road I have prepared for you?’

A couple minutes of silence went by as I contemplated my response or even if I had heard a voice.

I reasoned that I was in so much trouble with nothing left to lose, that I cared about. I looked out of the large window where blue skies and bright sunshine dominated the atmosphere.

However I could only feel the cold dark heaviness of my soul in that moment. I remembered that clear voice from minutes earlier and I whispered back, ‘yes’ and let the tears flow shamelessly down my face.

Fortunately only about three other Marines were in the barracks doing something on the far end, and they were spared from witnessing my come to Jesus moment.

Literally from that moment on I didn’t know that all of Heaven was applauding my decision.

Nor could I have guessed that by the unexpected intervention of God changing the hearts and minds of Officers and the military police that I would maintain my physical freedom and finish my 13 year career.

To be honest, I have deviated countless times and back slidden even more, with unspeakable sin shame and hurt to other people, but just as his spoken word brought all of creation and me into existence, that same word was sealed and spoken into the covenant contract I made with him on a sunny day in Okinawa.

As I look back over my life through the eyes of wisdom I am amazed at the different times he has honored his word to me in spite of my sinful behavior at the time.

Shocking that he covered my ignorance with love, grace and mercy.

I am writing my autobiography of my life that will detail all the twists and turns that have led to this moment.

It’s half way written I hope I will get the chance to finish it, not for my ego but to perhaps give hope to another soul who has doubts about their own journey.

I guess I’m getting nostalgic in my maturing years.

I am very thankful for 61 trips around the sun, with the Son. And as we prepare for the final few laps, very few laps, it is my desire and hope to inspire and encourage other weary, confused or struggling travelers to trust him to finish what he started.

After all when it’s all said and done and we find ourselves taken out of time and placed back into eternity, we will not be able to brag about our achievements or accomplishments.

Because the truth is that all of our lives and the events of it all fit together in the tapestry of his story.

Because all of eternity to include the few years of our lives is indeed HIStory!

There will come a time when history books will not be opened on earth but rather the history books of our individual lives opened at his court.

The thing is however we have total freedom to fill in the pages of that history book.  It will be our story from start to finish.

There will be no ghost writers.  Our name will be in the book. It will be our personal legacy.

Trust me, I am not thrilled about a day of reckoning and accountability but it has been promised to each one of us.  It is not optional.

However there’s some good news, some great news. You and I have access to the only person who can defend us on judgement day. Jesus Christ Best Lawyer Ever! He has never lost a case where the defendant gave him full control to strategize and do what he asked.

I am talking about a future time when court and sentencing will be handed down.  Need to concentrate on the here and now.

Trust me if he can defend and save a great sinner like me, there’s hope for all of us.

A Woman of Virtue, A Man’s Quest

Finding God’s Best For You

 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

It has been said that a woman plays a significant part and impact on the success and destiny of a man.  The bible clearly states that upon finding a wife, he has obtained favor from the Lord.

Of all the important decisions that a man will make in his life, very few are as important as the wife he will choose. History is filled with stories of the rise and fall of men who have been directly influenced by the women bound to their hearts.

The significance of a good wife cannot be overstated.  My foster mother told me a long time ago, that there are somethings that are far worse than being lonely.  Through a lot of trial and error, I have learned the full meaning of that statement.

Since finding a good wife is such an important decision, it should not be taken lightly.  As a matter of fact, all care should be taken to ensure that Christian men are diligent in their search for a woman of God and recognizing those qualities that should be prominent in her life.

Our culture has an unrealistic and shallow view of the qualities of a woman.  The Christian man is called to a higher standard, and therefore the traits we are to look for in a woman must be in alignment with godly principles.  This is for our protection and help in the fulfilment of our role as a husband, father and spiritual leader of the family.

It is vitally important that the man, especially Christian men take heed to godly counsel.

We are advised to: To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:  Proverbs 1: 2-5 KJV

How many times have we said, “If I only knew back then, the things I know now, I would have done things differently?”

The following traits to look for in a godly woman will serve as a guide to help you make a wise decision and avoid some of the pitfalls that other men have encountered.

Character Is Important

 Much too often men overlook the character of a woman, in exchange for the outer appearance.  Physical beauty indeed plays a part in the overall attractiveness of a woman, but even greater qualities on the inside is what truly makes a woman of God stand out from the rest.

Many who date do not look beyond the surface.  Often, we hear people cite the things that they have in common.  Such as: “We like the same activities and enjoy the same music.”  “We agree on everything!”

However, the secret traits and character of the heart is truly what identifies a person. It is just as important to know what you do not agree on and especially how the person reacts to those differences.

How does she respond to conflict?  Does she get extremely angry or have fits of rage and abusive language?  Does out bursts of anger and bad language come in line with the character of a person described in Colossians 3:8?  “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:8  KJV

Is she a woman of God?

 As a Christian man it is important that you see a character that is influenced by God, and obedience to his word.

Some men may not appreciate the value of a genuine Christian woman until they have experienced life with a woman who is not a Christian.

The book of Proverbs tells us something about the character of the woman of God. “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 KJV

These qualities include being a woman of gentle spirit, generous and tenderhearted towards others. Is she obedient to the word of God regarding marriage and relationships?  Does she see the Godly design of marriage as a ministry to her husband in accordance with 1Peter 3:1-5?

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1Peter3:1-5 KJV

Confident In Faith

 A man can feel more secure in a woman, knowing that her faith in God is solid and based on the unchanging principles of God’s word.  Life can be tough, and there will be times when her faith will be needed for the moments of doubt that can creep into both your personal and married life.  Does she voice her confidence in God and can it be seen by her actions?  Does she read the bible for her own spiritual growth and well-being?  Does she pray?  “Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” Psalms 119:66

This is even more important in the family setting.  If you have children together, both will be tasked with teaching them the spiritual things of God.  Is she up to the task? Are you?

Part of our confidence in God can best be described as walking by faith and not by sight.  “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2Corinthians 5:7

This vote of confidence in God’s sovereignty can sustain you both as you tackle the many uncertainties of life. A Christian woman leads by example, so that she never needs to tell anyone that she is a Christian, because her faith shines through every action she takes.

Settling For Mrs. Good Enough

 Currently there are 7.8 billion people on planet earth, and more men than women, according to the 2017 United Nations statistics and the World Atlas.  However, men cannot use the excuse of there being too few women as a reason for them settling for less than the kind of love they deserve.  There have been countless studies and reasons for men choosing women who are less than ideal for them.

What exactly does settling for less look like?

 A quick fix solution. Settling for less in a relationship means that you are choosing someone who is available at the moment.  It may not be what you want but you settle for them, nevertheless.  You may be lonely, and the person sitting across from you in the restaurant seems to be the answer to your loneliness.  Quick fixes do not work, especially in marriage.  I know some people who spend more time planning their Christmas shopping than picking a lifetime partner. Due diligence should be taken to ensure that you are not making emotional based decisions.  Do not make a permanent decision on temporary emotions.

 You are under pressure. Being under pressure can make you settle for less, especially if it is combined with the fear of hurting the other person or losing them.  Pressure from your friends and family can cause you to settle.  I mean how many times do you want to have to answer the question, “When are you getting married?”  It is always a good idea to step back and be objective about your decisions.  Getting good sound advice from other Christian men, along with prayer and

 You are misinformed. Some men and women settle because they do not have the right information about marriage. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and it requires an abundance of information for anyone to make a well-informed decision.  It is always a good idea to talk with other successful married couples to get insight into what lies ahead.  A wealth of advice can be obtained from other Christian men who are married and well respected.  Be sure to talk with them about the challenges of marriage and how to apply godly principles, that is pleasing to God.

 Low self esteem. This is a silent problem that some men never talk about, but it comes out in every aspect of their lives and especially in their relationships.  If you feel you don’t have enough education, don’t make enough money or that you are not good looking enough you may settle for the next woman who gives you attention and seems to accept you as you are.  Here is where you need to be careful.  Marriage and healthy relationships entail a lot more than that.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage in open honest communication about your reasons for marriage.  What are your expectations for the woman?  What are your expectations from yourself?  You will need to take a self-examination of who you truly are.  Are there areas that need to be addressed to give you more self-confidence and growth?

Fear Fear is a big one, and it is just as potent in men as it is in women.Men may be a little bit better at disguising it, but it shows up in other ways.  That fear only increases with age, and can drive you to make an emotionally based decision instead of a rational one.  As Christians we are not to let fear dictate our lives. “For he has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

 I think it is equally important to know the kind of person we should not settle for, as it will bring a better decision and choice for a mate into better focus.

Someone you are not attracted to. On the surface it sounds harsh to pass on a potentially good person that you are not physically attracted to.  However, the long-term implications are worth giving this some serious consideration. Being attracted to someone you plan to be with for a lifetime is very important.  While you may be able to fake it for a while, sooner or later your lack of attraction for your partner will come out, and when you partner finds out she will be deeply hurt.  Also being attracted to your partner, can lessen the temptation to violate God’s law of adultery, which is a devastating relationship destroyer, between you and your wife and God. You cannot justify adultery because of your desire to be with a more attractive partner.  It is best to ensure the attraction is established in the first place.

Someone who lacks character. It should be very important to look for a woman who has good character that is based on godly principles. It is more than possible to find a woman who is attractive and also has a good heart.  The best of both worlds is when her heart is as beautiful as her appearance.

Someone who is a flirt. Most people want partners who are loyal and that they don’t have to worry about the possibility of them going astray.  As Christians both partners are held to the same godly standards, and this should bring a sense of peace and security.  The last thing you want is to be lying in bed awake, wondering what man she is thinking about.

 

Loving your Wife is your personal ministry, and Christ’s vision.

 The most amazing demonstration of Christ’s love for us, his bride, can be found in his devotion and single purpose to fulfill his mission on earth.As husbands the exact same love and unwavering devotion is required and demanded of us.  The mandate is clear that as a man of God, your mission is to convey the love of God to your wife in the same way that Christ has loved the church.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—Ephesians 5:25-29

It comes with enormous responsibility that has eternal rewards.  The impact of your relationship with your wife can set the tone for her spiritual life. Consider the parallels of the love and devotion that Christ has for us and how it is expected that your love will have a loving impact on the woman.

Going The Distance, Staying The Course

There will be tough times, even in the best of marriages.  Knowing the vision that God has for your role in the marriage can strengthen you to stay the course and gently guide, encourage and teach with your loving example of unwavering love for your wife.

When Jesus Christ was heading toward Jerusalem, knowing what waited for him there, his love for you and I became his passion to finish the mission God had gave him.  So, it is with us to  stay the course in loving our wives.

33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”  Mark 10: 33-34

If at any moment Christ would have wavered at his mission, what would have become of you and I? All hope would be lost, and we would be bound for a certain eternity of God’s wrath.

However, because his love for you and I was so strong, he was able to endure even the cross and pay the ultimate price and make the ultimate sacrifice for us. Your mission as a loving husband is to demonstrate the same love towards your wife so that she can be drawn to the love of God that dwells in you.

It is hoped that you may never have to actually sacrifice your very life for your wife, but there are countless stories of men who have.  Even though you may not be asked to give your life for her, are you equally as prepared to give of yourself, your love, your time, your heart to her?

Will your patience be tempered with love for the goal of her well-being both physically and spiritually?  The stakes are high and the rewards eternal.

Values are a reflection of you and God.  What values are being reflected in your prospective spouse?

 The following is worth repeating: Some men may not appreciate the value of a genuine Christian woman until they have experienced life with a woman who is not a Christian.The lifelong regret of being married to a person who does not share your Christian values, cannot be overstated.

There are plenty of reasons for not compromising on Christian values when searching for a godly woman. Not compromising requires an unswerving devotion to God and obedience to his word, regardless of what the surrounding culture is doing or promoting.

There will be times when you will have to make a stand to be obedient even when your prospective spouse suggests otherwise.  This is especially true in the area regarding premarital sex.

Let’s take a look at what the word of God says that can protect you from compromise.

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119: 9-11

God has our best interest in mind and his principles are designed to protect us from unnecessary hardship by obeying him.  He is equally concerned with the lasting happiness that you will enjoy by carefully evaluating the values and character of your lifelong partner.  It is also important to keep in mind that your relationship with your partner is a ministry to the world of the goodness of God.  Your values and that of your partner’s must reflect his character and love, so that others will be drawn to him.

Biography:

Eugene Coghill is the creator of Kingdom Living, a Christian based inspirational blog.  His achievements have included two published novels, Love Is A Fishnet (2008) and most recently, A Loving Deception (February 2020).  His is in pursuit of a freelance copywriting career and is a member of the Professional Writer’s Alliance.

His past careers have included the United States Marine Corps, law enforcement, corporate investigator, and is currently a professional driver (tractor trailer) for Walmart.

Inspirational speaking, especially to troubled youths is his growing passion to share his story of overcoming a very abusive and challenging childhood.

 

 

 

 

 

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Diary Entry: To The Unknown Father

Journal Entry/ personal Diary.   Father’s Day June 21, 2020.  

60 years and still have not laid my eyes on him or her.  I don’t even have a picture to see what either of them look like.

Yes, I have experienced 60 of these days of special celebration for the Fathers of the world.

To ANY dad out there who just might recall having a son born on August 28, 1959 at 0747 AM 60 years ago, please let it be known that your child is still around, and still have not seen you in all this time.

He is doing well and all of the many years of heartache, tears and loneliness has transitioned into blind ambition and sheer determination  and a sense of self validation, that is borderline extremism. 

He has no emotional bonding of mother or father because they do not exist in his life.  Nonetheless he did not use that as an excuse for failure.  As a matter of fact the very fear of failure is what has made him a very driven man.

Occasionally he looks on the a map to find the tiny country of Liberia located in south west Africa where his roots are from a father who may be there.

He no longer questions the circumstances of why you are not a part of his life.  He has come to except it as a part of God’s bigger plan and purpose.

And while he did not like the process of living 60 years with the loneliness of not having a father, he absolutely loves the end results.

He absolutely loves the person he has become through all the trials, pain heartache and unspeakable loneliness.  He was pleasantly surprised at just how much strength he has.

He did not want to become a statistic as a fatherless child.  The statistics say he should be dead, on drugs, incarcerrated, homeless and doing horrible with a life that is a disaster and completely out of control.  He is none of the above.

Instead, he is driven by a relentless fear of failure and the need for self validation.  It’s the only way he knows.

Also, perhaps you may want to reach out to his mother who he has never seen also because time is growing short for all three of us.  Time is NOT on our side.

Death will soon seal our fate, if it hasn’t done so already.

I’m still here, I’m still waiting, I’m still living, somehow I am still breathing.

The heart and soul that used too long for you, is now numb.  It has been numb for many years.

As I recall it went numb the day I graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp when I was standing all alone with special honor and no one there to see me graduate or give any accolades.

At that moment, my numb heart was replaced with the raging fires of ambition.

You might be glad to know that I am not a career criminal, alcoholic, drug user, or a menace to society.

Let’s just say that life has been interesting so far.  If you could see the movie of my life, I think you would smile, be amazed and mystified all at the same time.

I had had many careers, and currently I chase white lines down the highway in a tractor trailer.  A couple of side interests and passions of mine are writing and cycling.  Done a few things to see what I am made of such as two 50 mile ultra marathons, and a host of other things too numerous to speak of.

I have written and published two books, with three more projects half written and hope to publish in the next year or two.

And for what it’s worth if you are in contact at all with the woman who gave birth to me, tell her thank you very much and I appreciate the greatest gift she could have given me.

I will forever be grateful to her for giving me this opportunity to get to the starting line of the race called life.  I know she had a choice and I am certainly glad she chose to let me run this race called life.

Even though I may not ever see you or her, I want to thank you to both.  Thousands, if not millions of children never even had the chance to get to the starting line.

And to be honest, I will never hold it against you, but there are a ton of things I wish I could have gotten some guidance and wisdom from you about.  I have made some of the same mistakes over and over, but there is nothing I can do about that, so I have had to learn some lessons the hard way.

I guess it’s a good thing that the Bible says that God himself is a father to the fatherless. I have found that to be true.  So just know that I am in good hands.  He has done a wonderful job of taking care of me for all these 60 years.

He is going to call me home soon, probably in twenty five years or less, and if you and my mother are there with him then maybe we can all meet each other for the first time.

If not, it will be OK, because God has it all under control and I trust him with the results even if I don’t understand the process.

Band Aids vs Surgery

I am often amazed at just how good we are at portraying the best version of ourselves, based on our assessment of ourselves.

Of course, it’s a natural thing to do as we all want to be well like and accepted by others.  It’s a great feeling to be validated by others and necessary for good emotional and mental health.

When I was a young boy, one of my crazy fascinations was to stand in front of a mirror and get up close so I could see my eye pupils.  I was mesmerized at how they would contract and widen and adjust to the amount of light exposure.

Sometimes I would get a flashlight and aim the bright light directly into the pupil in a vain effort to see what was inside.  Over the years, I have come to know that is not a best practice!

It has been said that the “eyes are the windows to the soul.”  When you see a person who has captivating, beautiful eyes, are you seeing the entire person?

Would you be shocked or surprised by your assessment profile from someone who knows you far better than you know yourself?  To be honest I was, as this assessment also applies to me.  Yes, me.  The guy who thinks that for the most part I am a really good guy.  The guy who puts on his best version of himself for the world to see.

By contrast the assessment of me by my creator is a bit different.  Listen to his words regarding the core nature of mankind.

Genesis 6:5  “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Now ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very strong indictment against the human race.  And yet not one of us would fill out a resume and define our character as “evil continually.” Nor would we go on a first date and loudly proclaim that “all my thoughts are evil.”

I will not go into all the dynamics of the creation regarding how or why we were created in such a way to even allow for the flaw of sin to corrupt the perfect original.  That most certainly is fascinating.

And as if the first assessment wasn’t bad enough, God reiterates again after the global flood with all of the eight remaining humans left to repopulate planet earth.

Genesis 8:21. “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth: neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.”

Recent events in our country has highlighted some troubling things that have existed in the heart of man for a very long time.  While we would like to relabel some of our worst behavior, there is one word that is all encompassing and a very accurate description of what lies at the core of our problems

SIN It’s not a pretty word we like to see or talk about, because it brings us face to face with the very assessment that God gave us, early after creation.

As a matter of fact some of us, myself included, have over the years done everything in our power to dilute it, cover it up, nullify it, or manage it, and of course rename it.

Interesting enough, the symptoms of sin show up daily in our lives.  The last two weeks in America all of the symptoms were on full display for all the world to see.

I find it fascinating that while the talk show experts and gurus of human behavior give us sound bites of sure fire methods that will change, solve or turn the tide of events we have seen in the past two weeks, they remain blind to the fact that all of our best efforts is only putting band aids on a problem that requires heart surgery.

If your doctor diagnoses you with a severe heart condition that will require stints or bypass surgery, do you really want him or her to put large band aids on your chest over your heart?

Do you honestly believe that an outside display of doing something, even if it is totally ineffective will lessen the pain or prolong the inevitable?

Yet, we as the human race do this exact same thing daily when it comes to matters of the heart that need correcting.  Racism, police brutality or a host of other things this country faces will not be solved with money, new laws, policies, a president, or more guns and bullets.

The problems we have witnessed the past two weeks, started in the hearts and mind of people.  We will continue to see the symptoms of a sick heart, and there are many.  From, drug use, to fornication, to hatred, murder, mass shootings, rioting, any number of problems we see in our culture.

To be honest, even though I am a Christian, I am stunned at some of the things that originate in my own heart and mind.

Fortunately the good news is I am currently undergoing heart surgery by my creator. It’s been a very long surgery!

Will we continue to deceive ourselves by treating the symptoms of our heart problem with band aids, or will we allow the doctor to fix the root of the problem within us once and for all with, you guessed it, heart surgery? How about you?

Eugene Coghill

 

 

 

 

Fear Should Not Be The Norm, But Our Comfort Lies In Faith

 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. NKJV

It seems obvious to me that fear does not originate with God.  Yes we do experience it and it is a natural condition of the mind and emotional reaction to the unknown.  It takes a supernatural response to not be overcome with fear to our circumstances.

So how do we go from overcoming our natural response to a supernatural response of faith and belief that will lead to “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding?”  Phillipians 4:7

To be honest we must first realize who the peace originates with.  It does not originate with us but rather with God.  That is important to know because we know that we can trust him.  His peace if far more effective for what we face, and it is not just a blind hope, but based on his faithfulness to his word, and by his character, and by his actions of the past.

First we can trust his faithfulness to his word by knowing that his word is true and that it does not change, and it is powerful and effective and is guaranteed to accomplish it’s purpose.

However to have faith and trust in his word, we actually have to know what his word is and what it says.  You actually have to have his word in your soul and mind, so that with the help of the Holy Spirit, it will remind you of God’s love and faithfulness. “This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.” Psalms 119: 49

Secondly, he is faithful to his character.  He does not change.  The same God who spoke all of creation into existence, is the same God who, delivered the children of Israel from slavery through the Red Sea, who delivered a man from a lions den, who rescued three men who were thrown alive into a fiery furnace, who woke up a man named Lazarus who was dead for three days!  So tell me, what can’t he do?  “For I am the Lord, I do not change;” Malachi 3:6

He has a very faithful track record.  So with that assurance that he has your best interest at heart, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

So whatever may come our way, we are in good hands, because even if it is his will that we sleep in the grave, fear not because he has even overcome that and has promised  us victory over the same.

Eugene Coghill

 

Surviving Our Daily Storms With Peace of Mind

The alarm clock on my iPhone jolts me from a deep sleep at 0230 in the morning at the beginning of my work week.  It is the very tangible thing that tells me ready or not I have committed myself to the day ahead.  In a few hours, I will behind the wheel of a tractor trailer, sitting in the madness of Boston area rush hour traffic, trying to find a way to balance the focus it takes to get the job done safely and keeping my sanity and emotions on an even keel.

And as I sit on the side of the bed for a few minutes, it is during this time that I am keenly aware of just how many times I have traveled around the sun.  Even though people tell me all the time that you do not look “that old”.  Well, that may be true but the body along with all of its working parts are screaming something much different.

As I grow older I find a fascinating thing happening.  It appears that my inner spirit seems to have a more relaxed calm and peacefulness that allows me to navigate this ever-growing complexity of life.  That, of course, is a very good thing.

On the other hand, however, I seem to not want to tolerate the stupidity of others that I so easily tolerated many years ago.  Which means that I am supposed to show the maturity and wisdom that I have acquired over the years to respond a lot better than before.  I think for the most part I am doing pretty well in that area.

I imagine that this happens to us all as we go through different life stages. I would think that the sooner we accept that we are constantly changing, the easier the impact of the change will be.

One of the things that I have noticed also is that we can easily get distracted from our life goal projects with all the daily mundane that consumes a lot of our time.  And our challenge is to balance our pursuit of life goals with the responsibilities of daily living.

I think some of the real frustrations that we feel comes from the struggle to balance these necessities.  Countless time management books and strategies have emerged to help us to keep a sense of sanity in our lives as we navigate our overscheduled lifestyles.  Let’s be honest for a moment.  Have you found a sure fire way that the gurus promise to bring sanity back into your life?  I dare to say if all of the methods that have been proposed and tried was working for the masses, then they would be out of business.

I find it interesting that God, in fact, addresses this very topic in the Bible. I am always amazed that he knows the emotional ups and downs and worries that plague our lives from time to time.  He gives pretty specific instructions about how to cope with this wave of emotions that we experience.  Consider what wisdom we get from Phillippians 4:6 NKJV:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Incredible that God wishes us not to be anxious.  As a matter of fact, this verse makes it pretty clear that we are to be anxious for nothing. Really? Nothing? Can you name some things that you and I are anxious about?  Rent, Mortgage,  relationships, money, college or school performance, car problems, high gas prices?  Any number of things can make us anxious. World tensions, crime, relentless evil, and the list is long of things that can steal our peace and joy.

It seems that the antidote according to the scripture is to first address our anxieties with prayer.  That is simply telling God what is on our hearts and minds.  Yes, he knows in advance what we are dealing with, but the conversation is a way of talking to someone who understands in a way that no one else does.  Therefore you can tell him all of your fears regarding the things that trouble you.  You cannot overwhelm him with your worries.  As a matter of fact, he actually wants to hear it all.

The attitude of gratitude seems to play a big role in lessening our anxieties.  I think most of us have said from time to time, that perspective can make your problems seem less than perhaps what someone else is going through.  For example, you may be complaining about aggravating knee pain, until you pass a man on the street in a wheelchair who has a leg amputation above the knee!

So being thankful for our current condition even though it may seem counterintuitive, will lessen the intensity of what we are feeling.  With the mindset of thankfulness to God, we can then have confidence that he cares enough and that he has proven it over and over.  We acknowledge what he has already done on our behalf.  It is from this point that we can then ask or rather make our requests be known to him.

Now the interesting part here is that the emotional calm and peace that is to come is not generated from within ourselves.  Who knows how to give you and I the exact peace to calm our minds and hearts?  Yes, of course, God. The peace originates with him so that it goes beyond our understanding of how we can feel calm even in the middle of a storm.  Jesus Christ who also has the title of Prince of Peace is the one who will guard our hearts and minds.

Jesus gave us a unique example of just how to have peace in the middle of a storm literally.  In the gospels, it is noted that a severe storm came upon the lake as Jesus and his disciples were crossing to the other side.  Jesus was sound asleep in the stern of the boat while the waves roared about so much that the experienced seamen were fearful for their lives.  They woke him up wondering if he even cared about the peril they were enduring.  They were no doubt anxious, even more so they were worried and afraid.

But the Prince of Peace simply wakes up and says to the storm, “Peace be still.”  Listen to the gospel account.

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

While I cannot fault those in the boat with feeling the fear, because in each of our lives we are confronted with storms that will shake us to the core.  It is in these times that we need to be reminded of our faith in Jesus Christ, who can easily calm the storms in our heart just as easily as he calmed the actual storm on the seas.

 

 

 

 

Special message from me to you.

To friends, fans and acquaintances: Merry Christmas.  A big thank you to all who read a blog, purchased a book or attended a book signing.  I am deeply honored.

And a special shout out to my cycling friends who have encouraged me to go deeper into the cycling obsession.  But to be honest, maybe I am not as obsessed as those who still put on three layers and ride in 30 degree weather!  Have you seen a bundled up Gargoyle on a bike?

Besides I have to justify my $10 per month Planet Fitness membership by showing up during the cold weather season, although I would rather be setting PR’s (personal record) on a stretch of black top that is 90 degrees or above.  But because I love dancing on the elliptical or indoor bike, I show up more frequently.  I tolerate the image of a middle age guy gerbil racing on the treadmill next to a good looking 30 something lady that I cannot keep up with, just to find out that she is 50 something!  Ughh.  Therapy is needed for my bruised ego.  LOL

Well, enough of me, I hope you all spend some quality time with friends and family, and if God is willing we shall meet again in 2018!

Love Always,

Eugene

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, at this very moment of 0424 in the morning, I wanted to let you know that I have all of you, my friends on my mind.  I don’t always convey that you cross my mind daily because in truth, you do not.  As the busy things of life consume most of daily and survival demands that we focus on job one.

However, I love those times we I can slow down and reflect on the things and people that matter.  Now I will not name you all, but trust me YOU are someone that matters, especially if you are taking the time to read this.

You know those short messages and greetings from people on facebook that say just enough to let you know how much they care?  I wish I could express all of the feelings in my heart contained in just a small paragraph!  My heart is a deep ocean of thoughts when it comes to you.  But I will spare you the necessity to taking a whole DAY away from shopping to read the novel of things I could say about you and what it means to be blessed with a few meaningful friends.

So I will convey the following:  (Why does this sound like a condemned man with final words?)  Anyway, because I have not reached out on a personal level like I want to, I will be making a special effort to call you if I have your number, and I would also encourage you to do the same for your friends as well.

And

 

Journal Entry March 3, 2016

March 13, 2016

I am heading up the road north on I-95 toward Lewiston Maine. It is a pretty nice day and very spring like with the sun out shining brightly. As always I have a few things on my mind this Sunday morning that pertain to life and things eternal, and all things God. Unfortunately this week my beloveds stepdad Peter died this week. And even though it was not a surprise because he had cancer and other ailments, still it was not pleasant to hear even though it was expected. But even still when death has set it’s sight on a person, and the end is near and everybody can clearly see it within weeks to come, it brings a whole lot of feelings and emotions that we have not dealth with in a very long time, and we do not like to deal with at all.

But because death is the great equalizer and reminds us all of the way we shall go it is sobering none the less. So because of that God has kind of put in my heart to address these subjects, and to get more clarification, first to me, and then to anyone else who would be willing to listen.

As I visited this guy Peter in the hospital, I immediately thought of his soul state, whether salvation had been granted to him. And to be honest I had this sense of fear that he was not in a good state spiritually with God. Having understood that, and knowing that he may not know what lies ahead on the other side, and that there is a day of reckoning for us all, a day of judgement. I felt compelled toward letting him know that before he leaves this earth he needs to make his peace with God. And while I do not think I was forceful enough in doing so, I did manage to pray with him briefly that God would bring to his remembrance his loving kindness, his saving grace, his mercy and love, and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation. Jesus being the only way to have sin dealt with to escape the punishment and wrath of God that he has set forth for unrepentant people.

And so with that, I never approached the subject again, knowing that it is each of our responsibility to make amends with God. And I know that he has had the opportunity in his lifetime to make amends with God. Anyway for the rest of us who look at that situation and see dread and fear. Debbie was crying, and I have a understanding of that because she has known him for a very long time, as a matter of fact she was responsible for putting Peter and Janet his wife together. And I come into this situation with a base knowledge of God and life and death issues. I come from a point where I am emotionally grounded, in these types of events. So much so that I have to take a step back and realize that I am living with and dealing with people who are not, emotionally or spiritually grounded, in these areas.

And because of that I was very grateful to God that he orchestrated some events in my life, and got me thinking about my own immortality, and he knows I have had a longing to learn a lot about that. And I have read God’s word and seen what that has to say, but more importantly with the revelation of the Holy Spirit, about what life and death has, God has also been teaching me through other people and divine teaching. See for me it got down to me wanting to know a lot of general answers to things in life. I mean big questions that a lot of people have in their hearts and minds, but it only comes up every now and then in general conversation. But I had a whole lot of questions that I needed answers for. And like TD Jakes has said, the things that I went searching for, I only found it in one area that had the answers to the questions that I had.

What kind of questions did I have? Things like, me, starting with me. How did I get here? Why am I here? How is it that I never thought of God in my early childhood to the degree that I do now? How come I have these tendencies to want to know about life on the other side, after I die. I had questions about death itself. Why does anyone have to die? These are questions that plagued me for a very long time.

Some other questions that I needed answers for as I looked at the human race and the human condition, were. Why do people kill, why do people murder, and rape? Why are people vile? Why do people use vulgar language? Why do people choose to become homosexuals and engage in same sex marriage? Why do people choose to hate others and behave the way that they do? These were the questions that I needed answers to.

And the more I read and the more I dug into God’s word, not only did I get the answers, but it was the only answers that made any sense to this whole puzzle called life. So I got my answers. But more importantly I got my answers from the one person who knows everything. The person who has the answers. I did not get it from a president, or a college, I did not get them from a text book. They do not have nearly enough information. They do not have enough wisdom or insight to give me the answers that my heart was searching for. Because now that I have these answers, I can see the big picture now when I look about me in the world. I can see things falling into place like a puzzle. And as such, I am not easily moved emotionally by everything that I see around me. Because I know the answer maker and he has everything under control.

So getting back to a question I had about spirituality, and how does my spirit operate in this body? I find it very interesting that the Bible speaks about being born again. Now to be born again, suggests that you have to be born at least one time prior. Here is the mystery, our body is only one third of all that we are. There are three parts of us, we are the physical body, we are a spirit, and we are a soul, ie the conscious emotions.

And I find it very interesting that when I was born on this planet, my body came onto this planet it was joined up with a spirit, the conscious part of me that exists now. But there is another part of me that did not have a relationship with God at all. That part of my spirit was dead. So much so that I was literally born with a body that is dying, and born spiritually dead to the things of God. Meaning that I had no relationship, no cognizance of my heavenly father God.

Here, let me make it pretty simple for you. You know if you have a child, or you are in a close relationship with someone, husband wife, girlfriend boyfriend, or family member, brings about the fact that you think about them on a regular basis, because you have an ongoing relationship with them, and you are alive to the union and bond that you share with that other person. Therefore they will be on your mind quite often if not all of the time.

Well when it comes to our spiritual relationship with God, if we are born spiritually dead, we are born with no relationship to him at all, and thereby our mind cannot have thoughts ongoing toward him. Now we can thank our good friends Adam and Eve for that. You see it was not always like this. For back in the garden when they decided to introduce sin into this world, the moment that they took of the fruit so to speak, and partook of the knowledge of good and evil, that was the moment that they severed their relationship with God. Not only did they severe it for them, but for everybody else who would be born after them. As a result everybody born after them would enter the world with no spiritual relationship to God and no capacity or inclination to think of God. Their inner spirit was to be literally born dead. And as a result, well here we are.

We come on this planet with no knowledge of God, no inclination to want to know anything about God and in some of the more extreme cases, not having the ability to acknowledge the very existence of God. At this state when person is born, God is foreign to the person and in some cases the person can even become hostile to the notion of something called God.

Think about how many times during the day, that you think about God. That is probably in direct proportion to your relationship to him. So if several days to several weeks goes by and anything about God has not crossed your mind, you might want to consider if you have any inclination toward him. If you have no relationship with something or someone you do not think about it. It never crosses your mind, for example. Say right now in Brazil there may be someone there who is a distant cousin to someone, but because I have no direct relationship to them, I do not know anything about them, as a matter of fact I do not know that they exist. Therefore their name never crosses my mind. None of their impact in this world crosses my mind., and yet they still exist. I have no direct knowledge of this, and somebody can tell me that they exist, I may not want to believe that this person does exist. But yet they could be there in the flesh. So it is with our relationship in the spirit world with God. We come on this planet spiritually dead, and as a result we are spiritually dead to the attributes and the characteristics of God.

Some notable characteristics of God are, love, joy, peace, long suffering and all the good things that make up God. We come on this planet born, without that spiritual character in us, and so we cannot experience that. All we can produce and operate in is the natural state of mind that we have. We can produce hate, anger, evil, lying, murder, immorality, these things we produce naturally and without any effort, because it is our natural state when we are born. We do not have to be taught these things. You do not have to go to school to learn the dark side of our human state. You never have to take a kid, take him to the third grade and teach him how to steal. You don’t have to take a child put him in a class room and teach him how to lie, curse, hit others.

You do not have to tell little Johnny how to disobey the ten commandments or how to sin. No you do not have to teach any of us how to sin, because that comes naturally. It’s natural to us just like breathing air. Has anyone ever taught you how to sin properly? Has anyone ever instructed you on how to tell a lie? Has anyone ever instructed you on how to curse? How about how to be mean to someone?

Now let’s take a look at the other and more difficult side of our humaness. Do we have to be taught how to love, how to be kind, and how to be forgiving? Yes it seems that it has to be learned.

So let me explain about the answers that I got. I come to find out, and there is much biblical scripture to back up what I am about to say, that when we physically die, the body dies, at that moment what is happening is a separation from the spirit and the body. The conscious man is still very much aware of everything that is going on around him. The physical body is dead, as it has no pain or feelings of any kind. But the conscious part is still very much aware of feelings and emotions. At the moment of death that spirit is separated from the body and is whisked away to the presence of God for those who are born again, or for those who have not been born again, then that spirit will go into a literal temporary holding place called hell. And there it will remain until God raises up the entire world again, meaning that every person on the planet who has ever lived will be raised up again, the actual physical body raised, and those spirits will be rejoined into a resurrected body, to stand before almighty God in what is known as the great white throne judgement.

Which means that he is literally going to judge everybody. Every man, woman and child, will have a day of judgement before him. And there you will be, very much conscious, very much aware, in a resurrected body, waiting for sentencing.

Personal Diary and Journal Entry May 11, 2018

I have wanted this blog to give you some insight into who I am as a person and what swirls around in my head.  As such from time to time I will be posting some personal opinion and introspect from my personal diary.  The following is a collection of thoughts over the past week or so. Feel free to comment respectfully.

May 11, 2018

Some of my personal thoughts of recent days.
There is a heavenly war on the battleground of the earth. Every one of us on this planet has both friends and enemies in high places. They dwell in the realm that we can see as well as in the vast world that we cannot see.

As human beings, I am amazed that we can be so smart, so intelligent and still lack wisdom. I am also equally amazed at the amount of hardship that we bring upon ourselves due to our own decisions and choices. Ask me how I know! My life is full of bad decisions that have had unintended consequences and some consequences that I will have to live with for the foreseeable future if not for the rest of my life.

Think about this. Yes, life is difficult in and of itself, but how much more difficulty do we bring upon ourselves, with the things we do and the choices we make. When wisdom is not heeded, hardship is guaranteed. The DNA of sin that has been passed down from Adam through the ages to you and me, is a remarkable thing when you think about it. What other trait has a global impact on EVERY living soul? God was very clear when he said that the soul that sins shall die.

So far that has been very accurate and true from Adam right down to you and I. Now what I find fascinating about that is that he said the soul that “sins” shall die. So by the natural reasoning of the opposite end of the spectrum in that statement, would be that the soul that does not sin shall not die or perhaps even cannot die.

Jesus Christ was indeed the example of a soul that did not sin and as such could not die by default of sinful DNA. Jesus also referenced that fact when he told his followers that nobody can take his life, but rather he willingly and voluntarily gave it up. In other words, he literally had to surrender his life in death, because death could not take him. Now while the curse of death is upon us all, and there is nothing that we can do to change the course of history regarding that, I am fascinated by the possibility of the same sinless DNA that was inside of Jesus Christ that caused him to live a sinless life inside of a physical human body just like yours and mine, can be made available to us.

I do not believe that living a sin free life is a matter of self-will. I think it is way beyond that. Our best intentions and good will, even though well meaning has failed us miserably. Now, first of all, let me be very clean and transparent regarding sin, especially my own. Because much to your surprise and mine, I am certainly not perfect! (Ok you can laugh now.)

The bottom line is that my sins are quite large in number. One thing about sin is that it makes us All equal as humans because while we may grade on the curve or on a scale, God does not. Murder and a small lie both are sins to God, even though we see them in varying degrees.

Compared to a Holy God where the standard is sinless, all of our infractions miss the mark. I liken it to being a little bit pregnant or somewhat dead! Either you are or you’re not.

When it comes to my own sins I am ashamed of them, but not ashamed to inform you of them. Let’s just say that if I were to list them all alphabetically I would need all 26 letters of the English alphabets! Yes, all 26 letters!

Again God does not grade on a curve or on a scale and he is totally just and fair in how he judges our sin. We are dealing with a holy God and because we don’t fully grasp the standard of holiness it makes it a lot easier for us to see our sins and the sins of others on a scale or curve.

Think about it, there is the unintentional sin, there is the blatant sin, there is the sin of the flesh, and sin of the mind or thought, that nobody can see or have knowledge of other than God.

Consider this for a moment. Ask yourself this question: If there was a way that I (insert your name here) could live 100 percent sin free both in thought and deed over the next 30 days would I do it?

Of course, you could give yourself a list of the many benefits of living that way. Now to live sin free you would obviously want a listing of the sins that you are to avoid. Now here is a fascinating bit of info you can cite at your next party or with a lawyer that you know.
I find it interesting that there are over 40 thousand laws on the books just to enforce Ten Commandments!

As of January 1st 2010 there were 40,627 new laws on the books for the USA, it’s territories and protected lands.

Now here is a scenario for your consideration: What if Jesus Christ himself appeared to you for a one on one conversation and made the following proposal? “If I can give you the exact same DNA of the Holy Spirit that is in me that allowed me to live a sinless life in a human body on this earth, would you take me up on that offer? And would you like to experience it risk-free for the next 30 days?”

In other words, Jesus would be telling you, “If you like the 30 day trial of a sin free life, you can keep the DNA and Holy Spirit and live the rest of your days as such. And if not, if you are not happy with a sinless life at the end of 30 days just let me know and I will remove it from you and you can go back to the original sinful life you had with no questions asked. Do we have a deal? What say you?”

Now the reason I put that scenario like that is that is exactly the deal God has given us regarding the regeneration work of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives. The process is called being “born again”. That is an offer he has made for us already.  But instead of just a 30 day trial, it comes with a lifetime guarantee that gets upgraded to an eternal guarantee upon death.

It goes like this: “Let’s make an exchange. I will take your sins and your sinful nature out of you and I will put my Holy nature as in the Holy Spirit inside of you. What a deal. Meaning that if you surrender your sins and all the bad stuff that is in you to me, I will remove it and in exchange I will give you all of my goodness and my Holy Spirit which will regenerate your mind and thought process and will eventually carry over to your body to be Holy just like I am.”

Would you take him up on that deal? OK, so let’s narrow this down a bit. Let’s say that you did not want a lifetime deal but rather only a ten-year deal. Would you take him up on an offer of living Holy for ten years? One year? One day?

The reason I mention this exchange is to emphasize the great deal we are getting versus what he received in return from us.

The bible mentions that when Jesus was on the cross and the wrath of God was being poured out on him it was for no other reason than the fact that he became the sin of the entire world which God judged in him.

The Bible states it perfectly: 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
“For He (God) made Him(Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Now imagine if you will if it is the opposite for us. Meaning that “we who do not know Holiness became Holy so that our sins are transferred to Him.”

And it does not matter what your sin is, He (Jesus Christ) became it. He became every sin known to mankind. Think about the burden of being all those horrible things that mankind is capable of. He became a murderer, rapist, adulterer, fornicator, pedophile, homosexual, drug addict, alcoholic, liar, cheater, a racist, robber and on and on. Whatever sin you can think of and those that you can’t, He became it.  And as an added bonus for us he also became our sickness and diseases so that in him we have healing and health.

So regardless of who you are or whatever you are capable of doing regarding sin, he can cover it, and in fact, has covered it. Because he has already become it. That is exactly why none of us can look down on another or judge another regarding their sin. I mean the guy who is a rapist cannot look down on the murderer and say “your sin is worse than mine.”

The liar or cheater cannot look down on an adulterer and say his sin is worse. The reason we cannot judge and have no right to judge one another regarding sin is because all of our sins both yours and mine has already been judged and condemned by God himself. That is the highest court from which there is no appeal. You have heard of the saying, “the kettle calling the pot black.” The rapist is not in any better standing than the racist.

I think it is interesting that we grade and judge each other on a scale and on the curve. And yet our scales are not just. Our scales are not right and out of balance.

Because what we are giving up in exchange for the goodness and righteousness of God is a whole different ballgame. We are giving up eternal death in exchange for eternal life. It’s not even a fair trade when you think about it. And yet that is the deal God has made with us.

Also, I find it rather unique that we seem to do our sins in secret, but Jesus Christ took on our sins and became sin in public. He was hanging on a cross butt naked for the whole world to see. He bore our shame all in public view. All of our hidden sins that he took on, suddenly was exposed for the whole world to see. And I think that may be why we are to confess to him our sins. Why? Because we think we are keeping it a secret and he has already exposed it to the world when he was on the cross. So our confession is an acknowledgment of the sin that he has exposed. In other words, we can point to the very sin hanging on the cross with him. I mean I can imagine Jesus saying, “Hey, you think you are keeping your sin a secret. I have already exposed it for what it is on the cross, publicly. All I need you to do is to agree and acknowledge it with me.”

That is why when we acknowledge our sin before him, that the guilt and shame is lifted away because it is already on him. It was transferred to him on the cross. You are acknowledging that you don’t have to carry it and point to the proper place where it is and belongs, on the cross with him.

Isn’t that a great deal? Our public shame and guilt we don’t have to wear anymore because he has already worn it for us in public.  With that knowledge, you and I can breathe and live freely.

 

 

 

Book Title: A Loving Deception, Sample Chapters

My current book, Obedient To Love, is a work of contemporary relationship drama.  It comes about as a unique story with the intent of showcasing how even the worse of us and the worst of our sins can be redeemed and covered by the grace and love of God. Synopsis follows below:

How do you get confirmation of God’s love, grace, and mercy for the hypocrites and the worst among us?  You exploit it through a story of massive deception, uncontrollable sins of passion, careless disregard of forgiveness and neatly disguise it as the things that are common in today’s Christian marriage.

Such is the case of Wanda and John, a hypocritical couple whose lives slowly become unraveled as they both embark on different but equally destructive paths of sin and deception.  Their marriage was the perfect cover for the out of control rollercoaster ride that would plunge them both separately into the depths of hell while professing to be on the road to Heaven.

A few bad decisions were the catalyst that set things in motion that neither could stop. By the time they both realized they were in over their heads, instead of trying to get out of hot water, they dove deeper with unforeseeable consequences.

A closet Christian couple, allows their inner demons to surface in their lives and get in the driver’s seat and take them down separate roads that will exploit their soul and leave them adrift in a sea of deception. As they move closer to going over the brink of total destruction, the unforeseen circumstances that they find themselves in, serve as the orchestrated hand of God who actually has other plans.

 

A Loving Deception

By Eugene Coghill

 

CHAPTER 1

The black and white tabby cat, named Sylvester, was licking its paws when he heard Wanda’s approaching footsteps.  He lifted his head and quickly scampered out into the hallway, knocking over the bowl of milk.  Wanda was startled to see him run by her so quickly, as he had seemed very lethargic over the past several weeks.  Upon entering the kitchen and seeing the milk on the floor, she wondered why he didn’t bother to clean up his own mess.  “I don’t know who you think you are but I’m not a maid to humans or animals in this house! You better learn to clean up and take out your own litter box!”  She chuckled at the idea of her talking to a cat as if he really understood what she was saying.  It was early in the morning and her most favorite time of the day when she could carve out some precious moments of solitude.  It was at this hour that she could collect her thoughts and reflect on what she had to do for the day.

Rarely could she devote more than twenty minutes sitting down to a cup of coffee and savor the time for herself.  She envied other housewives who would make mention of the special morning ritual and routines that made for a very tight bond in their families.  That certainly was not the case for Wanda Evans and John, her husband of five years.

She glanced up at the refrigerator to see the art drawing she had saved and cherished from her seven-year-old daughter Jasmine, who was killed in a tragic accident several years ago.  Even though the years had passed, she had always felt love from her daughter and at this moment, as she stared at the drawing, she smiled with contentment.  Even though she had her for a short while, the memories of her had become the solid rock in her life and she knew even if only for a brief time, what unconditional love felt like.

The vivid memories of Jasmine were the one part of the union that made it all worthwhile.  Jasmine was very energetic and seemed to have an endless curiosity about the world around her.  Even though Wanda loved the fact her daughter was possessed with the gift of energy, she wanted it to be harnessed from time to time, especially when out in public or while in the company of a stranger.  Wanda smiled, wondering just how many miles she had ran chasing Jasmine up and down the Walmart aisles when she first learned to walk, or rather run.  Sadly, it was the same enthusiasm for life that eventually caused her death.

The years of heartbreak over losing her child was a turning point that would forever define her.  After many months of depression, she knew she needed to rebound into life and begin to live again.  She carried the memory of Jasmine and slowly with each passing day, she embraced them as an extension of her soul.

Even now at the age of thirty-five, Wanda was highly attractive.  As she sat there in her pink bathrobe it revealed flawless skin underneath.  The years had been very kind to her, and she didn’t need the makeup cream that she applied to her face religiously every morning. It was only in her mind did the crow’s feet appear.  And the laugh lines that she thought were a permanent blemish served to make her even more youthful-looking.  Her daily routine of yoga, stretching and walking had kept her girlish figure for all these years.  She felt like the queen of the prom when men would whistle at her from afar and send flirtatious comments her way.  She loved the attention, as it reassured her that she still had what men wanted.  She didn’t want to admit that occasionally she had lingering doubts and that her self-esteem sometimes was lacking.  This was mostly because she longed for the attention and affection from her husband, which had somehow vanished with the passing of time.  She wondered if that was the norm for married couples until hanging out with a few of her married girlfriends seemed to prove otherwise.  She didn’t know what to do anymore to capture his eyes and lustful attention to her.  The credit card bills certainly showed that she had tried everything, to include Brazilian waxing, and hair and nail makeovers.  The closet and drawers were overflowing with sexy dresses and the drawers enclosed skimpy lingerie that would make any man pant with excitement.  Of course, any normal man would, except John.  Five years into her marriage with him and she was starting to feel like a widow.  Funny how she let her mind drift to the thought of being a widow, thinking that perhaps it would be more comforting than being in the same bed with a man who had died emotionally a very long time ago.

It was not only that John was becoming disconnected from her, but things had gotten very intense over the past six months.  First, it was very subtle with him coming home later and later, and seemingly in a constant bad mood.  Whenever she would ask about his day and what was wrong, she got the same sharp answer.  “Nothing, and why do you always insist that something is wrong with me?  Can’t a guy just get some peace and quiet and be left alone?  For heavens sakes, Wanda, you are getting to the point of annoying.”

It was a couple of days later when he came home with alcohol on his breath and an unfamiliar perfume on his collar that Wanda blew up at him about his behavior.

“Where in the hell have you been and why did you not think enough of me to call?”

“Wanda, please do not go there. Trust me I am not in the mood.” He said.

“In the mood? I bet you were in the mood after drinking so you could be with some bitch that left that perfume on you!  Who is she, John?”

“What are you talking about?  There is no who!”  John was feeling a bit nervous, and quickly he thought of what loose ends he had left untied.

“I am not stupid John. Do not play me for a fool.  I can smell the alcohol and the perfume all over you.  Now look me in the eye and tell me you have not been with some woman today.”  She stared at him hoping she was not right but knowing her instincts had not let her down before, she braced for the worst.

“Wanda, I have not been with another woman as you’re thinking.  The reason that you smell perfume is this. While I was at a stop in Gaithersburg, a lady was eagerly expecting a package from her son who is over in Iraq.  And when I delivered it to her she was overjoyed and gave me a big hug.  And as for the alcohol, yeah, I stopped and had a beer at Uno’s to unwind a bit.  It was a rough day and I needed to get in a light mood.  There’s no harm in that, OK?”

“Yeah, right.”  Wanda was amazed at just how good he was at lying.

The large crystal chandelier swayed and chimed from the breeze that came through the open kitchen window.  Wanda loved the fresh morning air. She stood up and inhaled deeply while stretching as far as she could reach to the ceiling.  She loved all the sounds that indicated the start of a brand new day.  She walked over to the window and leaned close and put her nose on the screen and searched for the birds that were chirping a loud chorus.  A dog barked off in the distance, and the sound seemed to echo throughout the entire quiet neighborhood.

The house was small but still warm and cozy and it had served more than the basic need of shelter.  It was her idea to move into a starter home shortly before she got married.  John, however, had bigger things in mind for his new bride.  He never made outrageous promises to Wanda but wanted her to know that she was worthy of comfort and security.  He always felt it was his responsibility to provide for her needs first and she wants second.  He was happy to know that Wanda was good at managing household finances and that he could depend on her to keep things running smoothly.  That was just the way he liked it.  All he wanted to do was to be able to focus on his job as a professional driver for a major trucking company.

He was well along in his career and living his dream.  It still amazed him after all these years that he was actually paid to drive, which was something that not only he enjoyed, but regarded as a passion more than work.  The seed of freedom and the call of the open road began for John even as a small boy.  During the very hot summer days while his foster mother kept him inside not allowing him to play with other kids, he would escape his misery by pretending he was driving all over the country.

He was very intense with his imagination and, even as a child, he knew that the road meant freedom from all that he was feeling and enduring.  It was his only focus to hide all the pain and loneliness that came at the hands of a foster mother that inflicted countless hours of both emotional and physical abuse.

Wanda went back to the bedroom and saw the evidence of the restless night she had, tossing and turning.  The bed was a display of tossed pillows and entangled sheets and blankets that more closely represented the place where a fight took place rather than sleep.  It was another night of endless thinking about her current situation.  She was in her mid-thirties and in a very unhappy marriage, with no idea of how to change it or have the courage to get out of it.  Very few people knew of the loneliness that she felt inside and least of all, her husband.  The chill in the air seemed to make the nights even longer.  She wondered as she looked at the unmade bed if other women were enduring the same turmoil. Or was she the only one to have this misery at this moment?

Her life had not played out like the soap operas she had seen on TV.  She longed for the day that John would come through the door with a surprise gift in his hand, selected especially for her, something that would show his adoration and appreciation for her and her love.  A bouquet of flowers, a card, a small trinket of jewelry or even a ticket to get away for the weekend just the two of them.  It had not always been like this or this bad. Somewhere in the passing months and years the emotional separation and loneliness grew wider and stronger.  She had difficulty remembering when she was very passionate about their love. But somehow she coped,  rationalizing that she had a roof over her head and some security for her.  Her heart still ached at the emptiness of the house without her daughter, Jasmine.  It just did not seem to be the home it once was.

She had listened to some of her girlfriends and endless struggle of making it on their own without a man.  And she thought that her plight was much better than that.  As she went about her domestic duties, it was becoming more and more evident that her life was revealing the emptiness within. She looked in the mirror while brushing her hair, and the woman who stared back showed very little signs of aging from the outside, but she felt very old on the inside.  She knew it was vanity to think that beauty would last forever. She also knew that there were a lot of younger women who could turn John’s head, and maybe even his heart. She focused on the comments from women who had mistaken her for much younger.  And yes, all the men noticed her curves that seemed to fall in all the right places.  This gave her some confidence.

It didn’t bother her that the men wanted one thing and one thing only.  As long as she got their attention, that was all that mattered.  Attention from another man, even for a brief few moments for all the wrong reasons, was more attention than she was getting from John these days.  She tried not to entertain the thoughts of any activity outside of their marriage, because she was first and far most a Christian and enduring a bad marriage was liken to the devotion of the Christian life. The inner voice inside her head played loudly as a cruel taskmaster to keep her enduring the growing misery. “I knew the road was going to be difficult at times, you do not quit just because of a little adversity.”  The mantra would get her through the long cold and lonely nights, while tears soaked her pillow.

Returning to the kitchen she stopped and looked out the window and daydreamed for several minutes.  She remembered the time her and John went on a cruise to the Caribbean, with a five-night stay in the Bahamas.  It was one of the best times the two of them shared, and the only time when she actually felt loved by him.  One morning they both woke up in the resort hotel and decided not to do anything other than spend the day with each other in the room and make love, off and on all day. She was amazed that he could make love the entire day and be so ready for more, even later that night.  Perhaps he had a deep well of passion in him that she was tapping into for the first time. John was very handsome and he kept himself in really good shape.  There was no evidence that he was approaching middle age.  His days of glory were long behind him but had plenty of credentials to show just how fine-tuned his body was in the days of his youth.  She loved to listen to him tell the stories of the many road races he ran and how being a distance runner gave him the endurance he needed in the bedroom.  She smiled when he recalled a couple of marathons he ran, and she thought how many women would love a man to go the distance under the sheets.

She had always wanted a medium-sized house.  However, the small house that was more like a cottage on the outskirts of Baltimore, would have to do.  In spite of their differences and problems, she knew that John wanted her to do well and he was willing to sacrifice to make sure she had what she needed.  But, more than a lavish lifestyle, she wanted to know that she was loved unconditionally by him.  She would trade in her lifestyle for love.  She knew plenty of women who were gold diggers and did not want love as much as a glamorous life.  Wanda, however, thought that love would be the ticket to a great life.  She thought that if you win a man’s heart, then you also have his bank account.

She never asked too much of John, other than he be faithful and true.  Her biggest fear was that in her greatest time of need he would desert her.  Even though she was in great health, a hidden fear was getting the news from a doctor that she had breast cancer or some other terminal illness.  She knew this was irrational thinking, but more than once she was surprised about the sudden illness that had befallen one of her friends in her age group.  It reminded her that she was still mortal and that death does not discriminate.  She tried to push the thoughts back about whether or not John would stay with her if a life-changing event such as cancer invaded her world.

After getting dressed and buttoning up her navy-blue pin-striped jumpsuit, she quickly sat down at the computer to check her email, make notes from her calendar, and go over her to-do list.  While scanning through the subject lines of the emails, she noticed one in particular that had no subject line and the sender’s name was Stacey.  She clicked it and read the following:  Hello John, it was such a pleasure to meet you the other night.  You made me laugh and feel alive again.  I was really impressed with your dancing and I want to thank you once again for sharing moments of comfort.  We must meet again.  I have your number and I will call as soon as I can.  Please keep in touch.  Fondly Stacey.

Wanda sat there staring at the screen in disbelief, wishing that she didn’t read what she just read.  She quickly read it again and in disgust deleted it.  Had this confirmed what she had thought all along?  Or perhaps she would give him the benefit of the doubt and let him explain himself.  She was determined not to let her discovery ruin her mood or foul up her day. A few minutes later she picked up her pocketbook and headed out the door, careful to set the code on the house alarm.

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

John always enjoyed his early morning routine before clocking into work.  His daily stop at the local Starbucks to browse and read USA Today was the only time he had to be reflective.  It was there that he would prepare himself mentally for the day ahead.  His job as a route driver for a printing company caused him to tour the greater metro tri-state area of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.  The job paid just barely enough to be respectable, but the high cost of the Greater Washington metro area would soon overcome his hourly wage.  He hated the traffic but loved driving.  Often, he pondered why he had not persevered and gotten a degree in criminal justice.  He wanted to hone his investigation skills that he learned while working as a corporate investigator for K-Mart.  His five years with the company had proven to be very rewarding, but he slacked just enough to get fired.  His untimely termination is what thrust him into looking for a new job.  Driving was something that came easily to him and there were plenty of driving jobs in the metro area.  His first job after K-Mart was as an independent courier.  During his time as a courier, he learned to navigate all over the greater metro area with efficiency and ease.  He was commended on several occasions about his quickness and willingness to go anywhere and make a delivery regardless of the extra effort involved.  It was his commitment and attention to detail along with superb customer service that got the attention of a customer that would routinely ask for him by name to make their deliveries. John was blushing a bit when the manager of Corporate Graphics kept badgering him about signing on as a company employee for their company. John at first resisted the idea of working for someone else and treasured the idea of being independent with choices of when he wanted to work.  However, knowing that he did not have any benefits, John reasoned that the security that comes from a company-sponsored benefits package would be highly desirable for his wife.  So he accepted the job, a uniform, and a boss.

He pulled onto I-95 and quickly accelerated up to highway speed and flow of traffic, which was well above the posted 55mph.  The white Ford Econovan had a powerful engine that was just perfect for the demands of delivering many boxes of books and documents that Corporate Graphics produced for the vast customer base in the tri-state area.  It was not unusual for some of his runs to take him as far south as Richmond Virginia and as far north as Pennsylvania.  While making his way to his stop, his mind drifted to other thoughts that had consumed him, mostly the pretty young lady he befriended on the second floor of the Bally’s health club in Alexandria.

It was nothing that he had planned or even hoped for, but with the many visits he made to the club to work out, he found the very fit dirty blonde to have an undeniable attraction he couldn’t easily shake.  He was mostly shy and very awkward with women, so he found it quite surprising that this fitness instructor would see beyond his many stumbling moments and find him rather attractive also.  Across the room glances and flirting conversations, they would send each other any time he was there was so obvious that even some of the patrons voiced their discontent.  John did have a cover that he used to continue to have contact with her. He happened to sell a nutritional line that he wanted to promote at the club.  And of course, getting the opinion of a fitness instructor as dedicated as Vicky was very valuable to him.  So any time he stopped by the club he made a point to have some products on hand that he could promote to the other club members and, of course, to engage in long conversations with Vicky.  On one such occasion, he was flirting with Vicky to the point that she was uncomfortable and she made her point known.

“John, listen, it is not very professional as a company representative to flirt with your clients.  People will get a very wrong impression, so why not cool it in here, OK?”  She was firm, blunt and gave him a very serious look.

“You’re right Vicky. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.  I can assure you it won’t happen again.  But listen, why don’t you let me make it up to you over lunch or dinner sometime, outside of the club?”  He had a small grin on his face that caused her to smile back.  Vicky gave him a very long look and then said, “You are very sweet and I might take you up on that offer if you promise me to behave yourself in here.”

“Consider it done.”  He thanked her for the time they spent together and set up his next appointment for personal training.

He sat in the van outside the club in the parking lot and reclined the seat back for a few minutes to reflect over his next move with Vicky.  He didn’t have the confidence to date anyone these days and it still bothered him to know that he was even contemplating having an affair.  Wanda was good to him, very loyal, and it made him feel guilty to hurt her with an affair with another woman.  Should he just face up to the reality of what he was feeling inside and tell her that he just did not think the marriage could continue to go on?  Or let the devastating knowledge of his affair come as a shock, which would force her to abruptly end the marriage.  No, Wanda deserved a lot better than that, and he thought that God would most certainly hold him accountable for the way he treated her.  With that thought in mind, he wondered just how did he let it get this far.  Was there still time for him to turn the direction of his life around?  Could he look at himself with confidence knowing that he had planned and carried out an affair with the sole purpose of breaking up their marriage?  Well, something had to be done and he had better think of something quick because tension and the silence between him and Wanda was growing.

It had been several months since they made love and often he would stay up long after she went to bed and fell asleep to ensure he did not have to share any intimacy with her.  Her complaints still ringing in his ears of the fact that she did not like to have to always be the one to initiate sexual contact.  It was not that the sex wasn’t good, she just hated the fact that she didn’t feel as if she was wanted.  She knew she had some flaws in her body that could not easily be overlooked, but she could feel the passion of him every time they made love.  And he never seemed disgusted with her body. Yes, he told himself on several occasions that perhaps he could seek another woman a bit more appealing and who had much more chemistry, but he also had grown used to the comfort of this woman who kept a great home and was the role model of the domestic lifestyle.  He wanted to someday settle down and have a comfortable home that Wanda provided.  It made sense to be practical and stop chasing everything that had a short skirt and pretty smile.  Still, his sense of adventure kept calling him to seek more and find out if he had what it took to charm the ladies that were so far out of his league.  Vicky was his latest quest.  So just how far would he go before his better judgment kicked in and he controlled the urges within him that should only be for Wanda his wife?

He quickly pushed the thoughts out of his mind as he got back on the road and headed to the University of Maryland campus for his next delivery.  Within a few miles, his mind drifted back to Vicky.  He knew that something would have to be done before he went too far.  He never regarded himself as a person who would cheat on his wife and was startled at this very moment that even the thought was in his mind.  How could he hurt her like that?  And besides did he not forget what he read in the Bible about accountability for such actions.  ‘God will not tolerate hypocrites regardless of who they are.’ he reminded himself.

He wondered what had happened over the years to get him to this point.  Was it inevitable in spite of his best efforts?  He had a lot of questions about himself as a real husband now that cheating was a part of thoughts and fantasies he was not supposed to allow himself to have.

John could not bear the thought of living a lie and being very good at it.  He had a conscious that would hound him with every sin he committed and a holy spirit that would most certainly remind him of his errors.

To the outside world John seemed to have it all together, yet on the inside his coping skills were breaking down more and more each day.  His fast-paced schedule seemed to be closing in on him with every passing moment.  His gym membership at Bally’s had served as a distraction and an outlet to vent his frustrations of life.  However these days he craved something more to suppress the deep guilt that was consuming him.  He was not known for reckless living, however, every now and then he would push the envelope and live on the wild side.  As a man who still had vast amounts of energy and youth, he sought to do things that would give him an adrenaline rush.  Wanda was very mild and tame. John had often spoken of doing something reckless just for the fun of it.  She, however, was not only cautious, but her desire to see him in a more docile state meant that he would not be risking his life in some skydiving accident and thereby jeopardizing her security.

By late that afternoon, John had completed most of his stops and deliveries.  He had always planned his route so that he could take advantage of the HOV

lane that ran from Washington DC to Triangle, Va.  It was the fastest way to Virginia around the three o’clock hour.  John needed to be in Virginia by late afternoon at least twice a week, however not for business purposes.  He had managed overtime to find a habit that required lots of cash to fulfill. He had always told himself that it was just a little pick me up to help him get through the stress of the day.  And, to be honest, that is just how it started on the day he met a pretty well dressed blonde at a Dunkin Donut’s shop in Dumfries.  Cindy Adams was the one pretty girl who flirted just enough with her southern accent and dazzling smile to get him to stop there every time he was in the Dumfries area.  As a matter of fact, he would even make excuses to be in that area just to spend some time with her.  Cindy was an office manager at the professional building that was home to lawyers and doctors and one accountant.  She often took her lunch break at the Dunkin Donuts because of the close proximity to her work. Her budget only allowed for frugal fixings at Dunkin Donuts.  John offered to buy her lunch every time he was in the area, as a thank you for her shared company.  It was during these breaks that Cindy revealed a lot about her life and how at times she felt so overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the office.  She told him that her energy sometimes lagged far behind and even the heaping cups of black coffee was not enough.

On one such visit, John asked, “How do you do it, Cindy?  A girl like you needs her beauty rest. And you know you cannot keep up this pace for long.”

She looked at him and smiled.  Then she gently touched his arm and said, “Well I have a friend of mine who gives me a little something to get me through the rough spots.”  She grinned and then continued, “It is also responsible for my charming personality at this time of the day when otherwise I would be ready to strangle everybody in my building.”

John looked at her intensely and then smiled and said, “Ok there, cute one, what is it exactly that makes you so endearing?”

“Well, if I tell you, I need you to promise me not to tell anyone.  And it may be something that could help you out on your route.  I bet it will keep you calm enough so you will not run over anybody.”

“I’ll have you know that I am a professional driver and I don’t run over people.” He smiled and began to be even more curious.  “But OK, I promise and I might consider your offer.”

Cindy reached into her small burgundy pocketbook, took out a notepad, wrote down a phone number and then handed it to John.  “Take this, call this number and tell the person who answers the phone that you are picking up for Chalice. They’ll give you directions to get this order for Chalice.”

“Something tells me I should not ask who Chalice is or what exactly I am picking up.” He was a bit nervous but thought that he could trust this beautiful woman that had charmed him so much over the past several weeks.

“You’ll be fine.  It’s around the corner, about two minutes from here, down that road.” Cindy pointed out the large window where the road went across the large intersection and disappeared into a residential area.  “Just come back here as soon as you can and we can take a drive and talk some more.” Cindy smiled and flashed her eyes and slung her head back so that her long blonde hair brushed past John’s face, and he could smell the sweet fragrance that made him long for her in that very instance.

“OK, anything for you darling.”  And with that John got in his vehicle and dialed the number.

The voice on the other end of the line was very rough and unfriendly.  John was polite in carrying out Cindy’s instructions.  The voice told John to come to the location and someone would come out to meet him and complete the transaction.  Seven minutes later, John pulled up in front of the apartment building and waited.  He was careful to be mindful of his surroundings and took note of the young men who were staring at him from the sidewalk and stairs that lead up to the apartment building.  It was rather obvious they had not seen this vehicle here before and knew there was a need to check it out and be sure that John was not a cop.

After about twenty minutes of trying to calm his nerves, the cell phone rang and John was instructed to drive around to the back side of the apartment building.  He went to the other side of the building and parked, even more, unsure of why he was there.

The back door of the apartment building swung open and out came a man walking quickly toward the van.  John kept looking at him closely as he approached the vehicle.  He motioned for John to roll the window down. “Yeah,” John kept his comments short needing to know what this guy was up to.

“What’s up, man?  I was told to come meet with you and you want to do some business.  Is that correct?”

“I believe so, this is for Chalice.”  John still was not sure of who he was.  But he did not want to let this intimidating figure sense any hint of fear.

“Ok let me in and let’s get this done.  I got other customers to take care of and this is a freebie from the boss for Chalice.”  He went to the other side and quickly sat down in the front seat.  He seemed a bit nervous also.  “Just take this and leave a different way than you came in here.  There is a small dirt road on the other side of the basketball court.  Take that road and be sure no one is following you.  Do not stop. You have never seen this place and I do not exist.  Clear?” He looked at John with ice-cold eyes that indicated that he would end this conversation by any means necessary.

John’s instincts told him not to say another word and just follow the instructions.  He took the small package that was handed to him and put it in his pocket.  The man quickly got out of the van, did not say anything but merely pointed in the direction of the basketball court.

John drove the van out of the complex as directed. Within a few minutes, he was in a neighborhood that made him even more uncomfortable than the apartment building.  Knowing that a delivery van would normally not be in this neighborhood, he thought it best to quickly get out of the area and back to Dunkin Donuts to see if Cindy was still there.  Upon pulling into  Dunkin Donuts parking lot, he was saddened to see that she had left.

Knowing that his shift would be over in less than an hour, he decided that it was time to start making his way back to the dispatch office. He felt relieved as he got back on I-95 heading north toward Maryland.  He kept thinking about the small package that was in his pants pocket and wondered exactly what it was.  Of course, he had his suspicions that it probably was something he shouldn’t hang onto very long.

At the Dale City rest area, John pulled in and parked his van far away from other visitors.  He reached in his pocket and unwrapped the brown handkerchief to find two small vials of white powder and a vial of tiny little crystals that looked like small ice or glass chips.  John felt his heartbeat getting stronger and faster at the thought of using or carrying illegal drugs.  What was Cindy doing with friends and connections like the man he met at the residential complex?  Did she have a drug habit?  Why would she introduce this to him?  The questions kept coming as he stared at the contents of the vials.  He heard what these drugs can do, and yet his curiosity wanted to know more.

While he was looking at the drug package, he failed to recognize the movements of the men closing in on his van with weapons drawn. In the most shocking manner, he was introduced to them.

“Step out of the vehicle and put your hands on top of your head! Do it now!” The sounds coming from several police officers was quite intimidating and happened so fast that John didn’t have time to process the reality of what was happening to him.

John’s emotions quickly changed to sadness as he complied with the officers’ orders.  In less than four minutes John was handcuffed, read his rights and placed in the police car.  His thoughts were erratic, and he felt like his world had just caved in.  How would he explain all of this to his wife?  The flashing blue lights snapped him back into the reality of the moment.  How he wished he was dreaming, but clearly, he was awake and in the middle of a nightmare. As the police car sped off to the Prince William County Detention Center, John began to feel deep remorse.

 

 

 

 

Obedience vs Disobedience, Both Have Generational Impact

Recently I was engaged in a conversation with someone who was adamant about the current trend in our country to not only disagree with our national leaders but to defiantly oppose them by any means necessary.

While listening to their opinion, I wondered how they would respond to the counsel of the Bible on the subject of how to handle our governing authorities.

I find it interesting that God took the time to deal with how we are to interact with those governing over us.  I can imagine it was most important during the time of Jesus in Jerusalem, because of the turmoil of the Jewish people living under the rule of the Roman Empire.

While the Jewish people wanted to be free of the oppression of Rome, their ideas of how that would happen was radically different from what the new young Jewish leader of the emerging movement that would take over the world was teaching.

Consider what the Bible says about our response and attitude to those who govern over us and compare it to what is currently in the American culture:

Romans 13 vs 1-7  Submit to Government
13″ Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.

6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.

7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

Some may think that blind obedience when a questionable governing power is causing chaos, is the cowardly thing to do.  This does not mean that you cannot take an active role in silently engaging on behalf of the governing authorities.  Praying for our leadership to have the wisdom to lead and to submit to Godly principles for leadership is a very active sign of engaging.  It not only petitions the leadership before God, but it also allows the submission of your heart to God so that you are not buffeted by the emotions that will come when you see leadership acting contrary to Godly principles.  You will be able to rest in knowing that all leadership has to answer to God, because by his authority alone are they established.  Romans 13 verse 1

When I referenced this teaching and attitude about submission to government and obedience thereof to the person I was speaking with, they immediately were highly offended by the notion of obedience.

Admittedly obedience does not come naturally to us.  Just ask any mom or dad.

Furthermore, when it comes to obedience, all I have to say about that is, it was disobedience that got this whole world messed up in the first place.  If disobedience to God is what got our country and the entire world in the bad state we now find ourselves, why do we think that continued disobedience will correct it?

First, it was disobedience by Lucifer in his disobedience to God which led to his heart being changed to the point that he felt the need to rise up against God.  Does that now sound like what we are seeing in the news lately with the attitude of rising up, protesting and the call for the ouster of our current leaders?

In my conversation, this person was most highly offended as a result of their education and intellect, and they indicated that we Christians should  “think for ourselves and not allow brainwashing to guide us into  inaction.”

I can most certainly sympathize with their point of view, however, there are larger implications regarding our obedience or disobedience.  Consider the following:

There was disobedience by Adam and Eve who were so “intelligent” so “educated” and were duped into thinking they were wiser than God, by the cunning deceiver, Satan.  We can clearly see to this day that their disobedience did not work out in their favor, and their disobedience has long-lasting consequences for every generation and human to come after them.

Thinking for themselves without wisdom was a major mistake as it is today with our culture and society.

However, the good news is that just as disobedience has long-lasting consequences, obedience has long-lasting benefits and blessings, not only to the individual but also to generations of people as well.

Consider these examples:  Noah, Abraham, Moses, Paul, and Jesus Christ.  Without the obedience of these key figures in history, well there would be no history.  Consider the long-lasting impact of their obedience to God’s principles and his direct orders.

So while it may be natural for us to look at the world with human eyes and feel the need to disobey for the sake of advocating our own agenda, the example of Jesus shows a level of obedience that has far-reaching benefits that will not only benefit you as the individual, but countless lives of those around you and those to come after you.

Is it always easy?  Absolutely not, because of our natural tendencies toward disobedience.  But slowly if you can understand that God has put in place areas of obedience into our lives for our growth, benefit, and protection, then you will begin to see that truly his way is best.

Currently, we have God’s word as the cornerstone of our obedience.  It will be the measuring stick of our spiritual growth in this life, and the absolute authority of our judgment in the next.

Just imagine if we could have added both Adam and Eve to the list of obedient warriors!  What about you and I?  Shall we perhaps incline our ways toward obedience so as not to inherit the negative consequences that we have seen duplicated in the lives of others?

Gun control or something to control the heart? You decide.

Yet again we find ourselves in the grip of delivering the grim news of a mass shooting by a gunman in our country. And yet again the same mantra from all sides of the issue are on parade on the airways and in social media. Some are screaming loudly for more as if there is even more, gun control, and others are screaming loudly for more mental health reform, and equally as loud, the chants of “good guy stops bad guy with a gun”.

I find it interesting that we are so confident that we will stop other countries or prevent other countries from conducting terrorism or using a nuclear device, when we cannot prevent or even minimize one person from using a gun on our citizens.

Especially when we have hundreds of single shootings daily with handguns by criminals and gangs and drug dealers.

Then about three to six times a year we have mass shootings, and again our confidence soars about what we are doing to stop or prevent mayhem around the world.

In the meantime our next volley of homicides is currently underway in Chicago, LA, New York, Boston etc. And a few weeks from right NOW the cameras will show us yet another mass shooting with little interest in it’s prevention.

Gun laws or any law does not effect the human heart. Only people who WILLINGLY choose to obey their conscience will comply with any law. Just drive on any highway and you will see a demonstration of human will versus man made laws.

How we act when nobody but God is watching is a good indicator of our WILLFUL obedience to law.

So what does a good guy with a gun look like, or what does a bad guy with a gun look like? And what gun control law or current gun law enforcement will prevent someone with a FREE WILL from going rogue?

Take a look in the mirror, you and I are the only people who can CHOOSE obedience to a good conscience and heart.

We equally have the right and freedom of CHOICE to go rogue.

None of your best intended laws and gun measures can overcome that.

We stubbornly refuse to even mitigate the impact of gun violence on our society. We refuse to make the hard and unpopular decisions that will impact us all.

We are not committed enough to do what it would take to eradicate this problem. We need to admit that.

Foolishly, in my opinion we think that with the stroke of a pen on capital hill with either gun law reform or mental health innovation, will absolve us of our individual responsiblity to examine our hearts that houses the sin that drives such evil.

A Flag of Freedom Flies Over Prisoners

A flag that represents freedom flies high above over a nation of 360 million prisoners to sin. Yet our freedom is just a whispered prayer and a surrendered heartbeat to the obedience of the only One who has the key that will set us all free.

Regardless of who we are or what we have done, there is a path to reconciliation.

For the powerful men currently with sexual allegations levied against you, with your acknowledgment of the wrong way to treat women, the key to freedom turns and unlocks your heart to purity, honor and respect.

To the ones who mind has been cast into the darkness of mental illness, the brightness of the Son, can illuminate your way to see and think clearly again the way it was supposed to be from the beginning.

For those who are held tight to the addictions of drugs, alcohol, porn or sexual deviant behavior such as gay or lesbianism, freedom belongs to you also.

To anyone who is held prisoner of hatred, resentment, racism, a cold and bitter heart due to unspeakable hurts and mistreatment, your heart has a get out of jail pass, bought and paid in full by Jesus Christ.

To the mistaken loves and bad marriage choices that have made life utterly miserable and unbearable, I can hear the voice of renewed love and faith that will bring either freedom or reconciliation, at the right time.

To the destitute, prostitute and the homeless, you can have freedom within, regardless of what the world sees on the outside.

And to anyone who doesn’t believe or has doubts, your confirmation of His presence and existence is just a sentence away, with “Lord help me with my unbelief.” “Make it real to my hardened heart, and penetrate all the layers till my doubts burn with the proven reality of your love for me.”

A flag flies over a country of prisoners begging to get out. Some are still held captive by old political systems and a document that promised freedom to all.

A new system of governance not originated by human intellect has the power to do what our current system cannot do. It will and can operate through people who will allow it to transform them and their way of thinking. It has the power to change their way of thinking about people, love and sin.

It can only be effective when each one of us free our hearts from what is not working, to make room and allow our freed hearts to beat with the love and power from Him who had one mission and one objective here on earth.

He boldly told us the heartbeat of his desire in the following:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, . .”

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

by Eugene Coghill

Personal Journal Entry/ Personal Opinions on life topics. 9/20/17

Recently I was telling someone that I often write a personal journal or diary and that I write to my dog as my exclusive audience.  They thought I was crazy for doing so.  I told them that I actually do because the dog is non judgemental and I do not fear his reactions or opinions.  So I promised them that my next journal entry that I would post it in my blog site so they could see that indeed I do converse with my dog in written form.  Some of my deepest thoughts literally goes to the dogs!  LOL

September 20,2017

While I know this is a personal journal entry, I think I will find myself speaking to a larger audience than my beautiful Yorkie named Albie. You see using him as an audience helps me speak to thousands, if not millions. OK, OK, I know I should not be so full of myself, but I have always been told to dream big. So, “my fellow Americans . . .” oh wait, I got off track again.

I am relaxing very comfortably in a tee shirt and pajama bottoms. The pajama bottoms are way out of the norm for me. But lets not go into the reasons why. Anyway, it is a cloudy and stormy day here in New England due in part to a guy named Jose. Jose just happens to be a tropical storm that is lurking out in the Atlantic ocean about 120 from Cape Cod, MA. More importantly Jose, is just one of three hurricane systems that has an impact on the Carribbean and the United States. Hurricane Irma and Harvey has left its mark on the United States, as well as an emotional impact on our citizens.

Oh, my, my little dog is looking at me very perplexed at what I am thinking or doing, just as I am about him. He is literally staring at me as if to say “I am reading your mind”. So forgive me if I start a lengthy conversation with my dog. We have not chatted for a long time, so here goes.

A lot of things are on my mind Albie, some of which you may not clearly understand but it is important that you are made aware. We live in some very troubling times and the society and cultural chaos that we see on a global scale seems to have caught the world by surprise, but I can assure you this is not a new thing. As a matter of fact it has been in play for a long time, with the building climax just ahead for all the world to see.

We are on a collision course with all the events that have been accurately described in the Word of God, mainly the Bible. But it is not just the Bible that cites these events, as what I find most fascinating that our various sciences and other academic disciplines have also begin to verify and even confirm the growing convergence of these things.

For me, you may wonder how I feel about all that is going to be happening and the increasing drama that will unfold. Well I am glad you asked. The first thing I want to say is that it was most important to me to get an overview of this crazy thing called life and the world that I live in. A long time ago I had heard the so called mysteries of life was the one thing that troubled people the most. And imagine that we spend 80 years here and for all of that time, some of us if not most are so in the dark about the overview of life. I for one did not want to know hearsay or educated opinions, so I thought what is the most credible source that would have a lot to say in explaining the various answers to the many questions of life.

I also wanted to have an open mind and know that all of my questions would not be answered and that I would have to concede that the creator of it all was infinitely smarter and wiser than I or any other person in the world and that his ability to do things would operate outside of my realm of human logic. So with that understanding I began to read the Bible. I decided to read it from cover to cover to get the entire big picture point of view on life.

Now keep in mind I was not religious and did not read it with the hope or notion of coming to a religious decision. I just wanted to know a basis for all that I was seeing around me with people and the world in general. And I thought also it would be great to see if the things that were going on around me would line up with clarity with the reasons cited in the Bible. And after all these years I can most certainly say a definitively yes.

What I don’t do and I still see it as pointless is to question the need for God or the concept of a supreme being, or where he came from or who created him. I suppose my critics would say that I blindly accept God as real, as is and that I am operating on a “don’t ask questions” policy. I cannot say they are wrong to be critical in that regard. Me however I reserve and honestly believe that those questions will be answered to my satisfaction when I meet HIM. And I am OK with that.

I am not sure if you can feel it, because you being a dog may not be in tune with the spiritual consciousness of life like we humans are. But there is no doubt in my mind that the world is feeling a growing since of anxiety as a large scale but not quite known event looms over the horizon. For me, I wanted to know if in fact that the best way to emotionally distance myself from the anxiety was to find out exactly what God has in store for this planet and the people on it. So it was with that understanding and quest that I decided to look deeper into the who, what, and why of life and death.

Now the hardcore atheist and critics will say that there is no God to even contemplate so that then all the rest of my quest and answers obtained are nonsense and meaningless. I personally disagree but must relent to their right to their opinion.

For me the history of the world has been the most fascinating teaching tool for what is taking place with people both now and what will happen in the future. The word history as I sometimes emphasis is indeed HIStory. Meaning that since the creator started the clock, and began the tapestry of life, anything that is written on the canvas of time truly is HIS story. For no body else has the ability to frame time, though I suppose in our human arrogance we like to think so.

I have often wondered not so much as to why we as humans got off to a bad start, but more importantly what those implications would mean to me and you and the rest of creation. The Bible seems to be the only thing that gives a clear answer that is accurate and has not been in error since. I mean one of my early questions was “why do people who were originally designed as a life giving spirits, have to succumb to a physical death of their bodies?”

I find it interesting that the medical field still seems to be a bit perplexed as to why the human body reaches a certain point and then the life sustaining cells stop that process so that the body will eventually die. Even more fascinating is that there have been countless people who have literally dropped dead in the prime of their life, with no health issues that would facilitate their death. They were literally walking alive with a beating heart and breathing air and the next moment they are laying on the ground with all life functions halted. And after a detailed autopsy no identifiable cause of death could be associated.

Equally as fascinating is that this death sequence is repeated daily on thousands of people all over the world from various backgrounds and circumstances. So I asked the obvious question, “why do people die?” For me I got an answer from the one who is solely in charge of life and death, mainly God, as communicated in his word. Now it is not important whether or not I like the answer that I found, but it is an answer nonetheless, and it is up to me to either accept it or reject it. Even if I reject it, there is no rational sense in denying that ALL humans die, and that all humans WILL die.  The current fatality rate is 100 percent, and it has been at that level ever since the first two humans walked the earth.  This rate has remained unchanged despite all of our best technological and medical advances.

And Albie, while I am at it let me say, that I am truly sorry that because of the curse of death that the entire earth is under, you, yes even you must also die. I am sorry and I know it does not seem fair, and I wish it were not so. Some would say it is not just and fair, and to some degree I am in that camp, but I must defer to the the creator with his plans, purpose and reasons.  It pisses me off that you have to pay the price for two idiots who decided to not take God at his word.  Or for the character who lied to Eve causing her to doubt what God had said.  I will cover that at another time.

The death sentence for us all came directly from God himself as cited here in fragmented passages: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Also again here he states: “The soul that sins shall die.” I find it fascinating that he did not say might die or could die. So then for me I needed to find out about this thing called sin that would cause me and every other human to die, along with the curse that was placed on the earth as a result of the planet being surrendered to sin.

I will go into my findings a bit later but this is all that I have time to write about for now, and I don’t want to bore you Albie as you seem like you would rather sleep than listen to me. OK, I get the point, you would rather do dog stuff, whatever that is! We shall chat more later this week.  Thanks for listening.

What Would You Dare To Accomplish If You Could Not Fail?

What would you dare to accomplish, if you knew you could not fail? That question has the most potential to transform your life once you fully understand the power thereof.  Countless generations of people have propelled themselves to greatness far beyond the boundaries of mediocre minds.  That is a very bold statement and can seem intimidating to the uninformed.  But let’s dig a little deeper, shall we, to see the seeds of accomplishments grow to yield and produce results that are only limited to your imagination.

To get a full understanding of your untapped potential, we need to look at what you and I are made of by design from our creator.  The laws and principles that have produced every product ever made, every  human endeavor and all that is still yet unrealized was set in motion and established at the moment of creation.  In fact, it actually predated creation as an eternal law of the creator.

Consider this, all that you and I see and experience in the physical realm was the direct expression of the thoughts of God.  Those thoughts were spoken by him and the principles and laws brought it to pass just as you see it now.  How cool is that?  Perhaps you have heard the expression of “what the mind can conceive and believe, can be achieved.”  The creation is the greatest expression of “As a man thinks, so is he”.

What I have discovered to be fascinating over the years is that the law is very precise and exact, and it works in direct proportion to our thought process.  I did not know it at the time, but as I look back over my life I can clearly see that I am a living example of the thoughts that consumed me and pushed me to some accomplishments, that on the surface seemed unachievable.

I was just naive enough not to understand failure, and nobody had brainwashed me otherwise, therefore my mind was free to dare to do what it had conceived.

My early childhood and teenage years were extremely challenging as I maneuvered and endured the harsh reality of an abusive foster home and teenage group home.  During the many years of physical and mental abuse, my imagination was the only solace of refuge from the environment around me.  Little did I know that my mind was forging a foundation that would be instrumental in transforming my life from juvenile crime, anger and self destructive behavior, to focused efforts and various career paths with personal goals and accomplishments.

It’s funny how circumstances of life are set in motion by the power of the mind in the form of a creative thought.  I recall that on very hot summer days in Virginia, my foster mother would not allow me outside to play.  I was relegated to sitting on the closed in porch in a chair with very little to do or watch.  Imagine a life with no internet, smartphones or HD tv!  How did I ever survive! So in my effort to mentally disassociate from my private misery, I would pretend that I was driving. Yes, you heard me correctly, driving.  Directly across the street, a neighbor had an old broken down 55 Chevy, the kind with the shifting mechanism on the steering column.  It was known as a “three on a tree”, due to the three gears needed to drive it.

Every now and then, foster mom would send me across the street to run an errand or tell the neighbor something.  Trust me when I tell you, I was glad to do so.  Every time I went on that errand, I always seemed to take way too long, as the 55 Chevy and me took countless trips all across the United States!  I would sit in the car and put my hands on the wheel and make all the engine sounds and even taught myself how to clutch.  I had seen other people drive and I was always watching the hand and feet coordination.

Driving that old car in my mind was the greatest escape I had ever experienced up to that time, until I saw something even greater, a Tractor Trailer!  While going all over the tri-state area with my foster father who was a church deacon, every Sunday was a trip to somewhere.  And because I was still a child, I could not opt out, so I piled into the car and would stare out the window waiting to see these big trucks rolling down the road.  I could not keep my eyes off of them and I always wondered where could they be going.  I dreaded coming off the Interstate, knowing that there were untold miles of undiscovered highway that those truck would find.

It was on one such ride that I put the thought in my head that I wanted to find out where all those interstate roads went to.  And just how do you do that?  Become a long haul over the road truck driver!  I was about eight years old when the first seed was planted for my driving career that would not materialize until I was 37. Various career paths came and went, to include the Marine Corps, law enforcement and corporate investigator, but the seeds of seeing myself behind the wheel of a big rig was growing in my subconscious.

Tonight as I write this I can tell you that I have had an amazing 18 year career driving behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler with over 1.5 million accident free miles.  When I first walked into the terminal of my first company that hired me, I saw a driver Hall of Fame board for drivers who had driven over 1 million accident free miles.  There were only a handful of names from a company that had over seven thousand drivers!  I stared at that board for a few minutes and visualized my name on a plaque there, and told myself that achieving that was the only definition of my personal success.

With a lot of hard work and a safety conscious effort, in October 2010 I was honored by the American Trucking Association as a million mile safe driver, and in 2013 voted as Driver of The Year for my current company.  The seed of completing that accomplishment all began as a small visual in the mind of an eight year old boy.

 

That same format of placing the thought and visualizing the outcome has propelled me to run and complete two 50 mile ultra marathons as a teenager with limited training gained on the high school track and cross country team.  It is virtually unheard of to run and complete that distance while never having ran over 10 miles at any given time.  I did not know failure, and I literally thought that all runners did that.

You and I, have amazing potential and it is easily accessed with the thoughts we conceive.  I dare you to experiment with your own thought life and do something unconventional.  You were created unique, and destined to put your individual stamp on life.  Why be normal, when you were created to be different?

Go, be bold, be brave and make an impact that only you can make.  It all begins with a small internal voice, that boldly shouts: “Nobody can do my life the way I do!”

Eugene Coghill is a professional driver for a major trucking company, and a published author of a novel, Love Is A Fishnet.  Side interests include blogging for Kingdom Living, and helping others create a second income by showing them the simple advantages of the World’s #1 Affiliate program.

 

Personal Opinion, God Ruled or Man Ruled Government

Most recently our country has endured an amazing election with a fascinating candidate who surprised most people and won the job of President of The United States.

With his election comes a lot of turmoil and divide in our country about what he will do and his ability to govern our country and by extension the free world.

While it is not my intent to get bogged down with the political war that is currently happening in our country as a result of Donald Trump winning the presidency, I do want to cite by personal OPINION and perhaps show contrasts between the best efforts of a man ruled government versus a God ruled government

You can decide for yourself which you would prefer and which has the potential to be the most effective at accomplishing the lofty goals we aspire to see the world achieve.

I hope the president does a great job and asks for God’s wisdom to lead. Having read the Bible I also think people are forgetting that the president is not going to be the one to solve our problems, in my opinion only Jesus Christ can restore creation and have a righteous government that helps ALL people.

I don’t put faith in the ability of man, but in the only one who truly has ALL of us in mind. Someone who has wisdom to govern and almighty power to back it up.

Consider climate change for example. Which would you prefer, A man who signs papers to regulate the climate or an actual God who can literally change the climate on a moment’s notice.

Food supply, men who sit around a table and try to come up with a distribution network or God who can produce abundant crops world wide?

Crime and gun violence, our ideas of more guns in the hands of sinful humans or Gods idea of beating swords into plowshares?

The peace, safety and security of our country and globally will only come about under the government of Jesus Christ.

Now I know some don’t believe that, and you are entitled to your opinion. However looking back over the thousands of years of our existence it seems to me that man’s ideas have been ineffective, and yet we continue to put our faith in the same.

We have to return to God on his terms instead of ours. The fact is God’s principles do not change and he will not bless sin. If we strongly believe we are a Christian nation then the formula for change that we all want, God has clearly told us how to achieve it.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Here are a few reasons for having Jesus Christ as leader of the free world. He has a good understanding of healthcare, he has a track record for healing people and raising the dead. Of course the pharmacy companies would be very upset with him for healing people, in that they would not need drugs, and put them totally out of business.

His economic and tax plan has been unchanged for the last several thousand years which is simply 10%. And no other brackets.  I firmly believe that if every man and woman who works contributed 10 percent then all government responsible needs would be met.

He has the ability and power to deal with crime and terrorism that is far better than our current justice system. He has a track record in this area. Ask Goliath, Pharoah, two teenagers who taunted a preacher, Cities of Jericho, or the Assyrian Army.

He has the ability to change world hunger, his track record includes feeding multitudes of people with very few ingredients, only a fish and few loaves of bread.  He has literally changed water to wine!

He has dealt with money laundering and corruption, just ask Ananias and his wife!

He has a same-sex marriage, homosexual policy in place, that has not changed over the years.  May I reference for you Sodom and Gomorrah?

He has a very good understanding of global warming and climate change with the ability to actually change it. His track record includes stopping the earth rotation for a full day to accomplish his purposes. Raining down hailstones, major earthquakes with one that is yet to come that will literally split Jerusalem in half. He has brought darkness upon the entire globe in one day, he has also saturated the entire globe with water for 40 days in the worldwide flood, and caused it to subside.

There are countless other things he has accomplished and even more yet to accomplish. However the bottom line for me is that he is someone who has wisdom, understanding, love, justice, power and is is more than qualified to lead this country, and indeed the entire world.

Sadly there are some in our country who would rather have what we have right now instead of anything better or different.  There are some  who cling to a document called the Constitution which most certainly has a rightful purpose, but may not be the best ideal for the changing world we live in, especially if our goals are to aspire to something far greater than we though was humanly possible.  Because the truth of the matter is, under our own strength and wisdom we shall fail miserably.

“But with God, all things are possible!”

Personal Opinion On The Death Penalty

There has been a lot of discussion over the last year regarding the death penalty. Several states have halted executions for various reasons, including their unwillingness to carry out what some would suggest as a barbaric practice. Others still have had difficulties with the actual implementation while using the various drugs that are used in the procedure.

On social media there is a growing firestorm around the debate of whether the death penalty should be used in an evermore increasing manner to serve as a deterrent to future horrendous crimes of murder, rape, ect.

Many have called for public executions as a way to shock the masses and thereby associate the deterrent that witnessing an execution should or would bring.

The following is my personal take on the matter:

If the death penalty could prevent murder, all murder would end.

Trust me, on the day a man is executed, hundreds of other murders will be committed.

While I am fully aware of the various calls of harsh punishment for evil doers as stated in the Old Testament, such as “eye for and eye”, I am also equally aware of the call for mercy in the New Testiment, “but I say to you to love your enemies,”. Furthermore I have read where God still has the sovereign authority of vengeance and life and death. “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.”

I find it interesting that man’s attempt at vengeance falls pitifully short of the desired effect that the human mind can conjure up.

Vengeance is temporary, the judgement of God is eternal.

When will humans learn that the death penalty does not prevent the next person from being killed. An execution daily or the same hour somebody somewhere will be killing someone. Furthermore, as with some of our fellow humans from Muslim countries, death is not the most feared thing in the world. And being executed is a welcomed entry to martydom instead of a dreaded deterrent.
Look at the mass shootings in this country or family murders where the gunman kills himself. Do you think the death penalty is effective in preventing those who are willing to die to carry out their crime?
The death penalty is ALWAYS applied after the fact. It does not prevent the person who was murdered from being murdered. And sadly in our country there are those who will justify executing an innocent person or persons to eventually get the guilty. We absolutely know that there have been at least two innocent executions, not to mention the people who have been totally exonerated from death row and prison.
Of course those who advocate a swift kill would just gloss right over the fact that sometimes the justice system gets it wrong by mistake or by willful neglect, such as lying witnesses, dirty cops or prosecutors, and a local political system that will not admit some foul play that would expose a corrupt official.

That is not the case for most, and most people on death row have gotten a fair trial and their guilt is not in doubt, but do we really want to live with the known death of an innocent person just to say we got the right one, maybe months or years later?
Hey, we can always turn the key and let someone out of prison if the findings justify it, but so far no one has self resurrected other than Jesus Christ. Since we cannot give the life of a person back, in my opinion we should not take it. That principle alone elevates the life of the victim as sacred, so sacred that no other human should dare repeat the act of killing in the name of the victim.
And the death penalty is not even close the type of revenge that most people advocate for. I mean think about it, the most we can do is kill a person, very much like putting a person to sleep. That is not vengeance. “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord God.” Trust me the wrath that God can unleash on a person pales in comparison to the puny death penalty we impose on people. Our little minds cannot dream up or imagine the horrors that an almight God can inflict on a person.
You are kidding yourself if you think capital punishment is going to stop me from killing someone if I decide that is what I want to do with my free will. I can choose to kill someone and know and be willing to get the death penalty.
How can you defend against a person who does not mind dying? Have you noticed that some folks are going on mass killing sprees and choose to take themselves out after the aftermath. They execute themselves, so how will the death penalty stop a situation like that?
Furthermore, aren’t we all on Death Row? Think about it. All of us who are alive today are sentenced to death. So regardless if we have killed someone or just told a white lie, we still have a death sentence waiting for us. That means we get the same penalty as the serial murderer, so I think we are all on death row and waiting our execution from God.
The baby infant being born this moment will be dead in less than 120 years so what difference does it make to kill another human being? It is stupid when all you have to do is wait it out and his death and our death is guaranteed.
“The soul that sinneth shall die.” That was spoken by God himself and he has a flawless record to date. Currently there is a 100 percent fatality rate for the human race. Nobody gets off of the planet alive.

The victim’s family wants their loved one back alive, that is their justice! Killing the perpetrator does not give them that.
And just how ironic would it be that the condemned man on death row outlives some of those who put him there, like the prosecutor, judge, or family members of the victim.
Now I could see the death penalty as being a harsher punishment if we were not also subject to death. The method of death does not really matter if we all come to the same fate. The preacher, the janitor, the CEO, the prosititute, the blacks, the whites, and others, come to the same fate of death. So while the murderer will perhaps die first, those who follow cannot claim to be so good that they are exempt from the same fate.

Hey, I would totally agree with you if the human race was not subject to death. But as it stands now. God wins, so let him execute and deal out wrath as he sees fit. If we were perfect and HOLY, then yes by all means let us decide life and death. But since we also have a death date, I think it is pointless to kill, just to prove that killing is wrong. This is my respectful opinion and I equally respect yours as well.

 

 

God Will Do What We Cannot

This is really just a simple prayer and reminder that even though we live in a world that is very chaotic and the fabric of society is unraveling right before our eyes, fear not, take hope for God will succeed where we have failed.

In the new kingdom that Jesus Christ will establish and govern, the very things we have tried to accomplish for the world will get done. All of our feeble attempts will seem foolish in light of the wisdom that he will bring to planet earth.

Our current attempts to feed the hungry, help the poor, abolish crime, and stop war will give way to the policies and governing of the master of the universe. The one who has used his wisdom to bring our planet into existence with perfect harmony and has all power at his disposal to carry out his plans for the new kingdom, which will include a new heaven and new earth.

With all of mankinds great achievements and inventions, I think we sometimes forget that we are indeed only human and have limited intellect, wisdom and power. The complexities of the problems that our planet and culture faces are beyond our capacity to solve in a meaningful and lasting way.

Is it unreasonable to seek help and advice from someone who has better answers than we do? Surely we go to specialists to get advice on a specific problem or to have the specialist perform a task on our behalf, such as a dentist.

Would you believe that Jesus Christ is indeed a specialist at the many problems our world faces today? Not only is he a specialist, but he has a track record for demonstrating wisdom and power to perform to get world changing results.

The Bible has numerous examples of complex problems not unlike our own. I would encourage you to read the fascinating stories of the people of that era. Quickly you will see that the things we face today were also experienced in almost the same fashion then.

The wisdom of God reaches down through the ages and touches every generation. It will continue to do so until it is abundant and thriving with power in the new kingdom to come. It will be on display and mankind will gladly acknowledge and accept that the ideas and solutions that his government will have, is the only thing that will be effective and bring about the real change that this planet has been seeking for generations.

There is more good news to come, and I promise you the best days of a world with no war, crime, poverty and the abundance of peace, will be established with the solutions from the the mind of God himself. I can assure you my friend, that he cannot and will not fail.  Isn’t that cool?

Do You Feel Instability In The World?

qtq80-NJM8rAAs I go about my daily travels and having conversations with people, I get a sense that some folks are feeling very uneasy about the world we currently live in.

With all of the news headlines and the spotlight placed on those things that are mostly negative, it is no wonder that the spirit in some people is far removed from hope, joy and peace.

People everywhere are feeling the growing tension and pressure of everyday life as well as those large events that invade our lives without warning.

As I look back on my own life, I have to laugh when I think about just how naive I was to believe that life was easy. I totally was oblivious to the constant build up and pressure of day to day survival. I guess you could say that I was in denial.

I think I was in denial as a defensive mechanism for not having the ability to cope with the reality I was actually living. Such is the case with a lot of people I would imagine.

It took me a while to realize that the instability that I was feeling was mostly coming from within. Yes, there were plenty of outside influences, but the way I processed the things going on around me dictated how I felt inside. Even to this day that is still mostly true of not only me but all of us.

Fortunately however, we are not without hope. Yes, even in the middle of the chaotic world we live in, you and I can access peace, joy and a serene inner spirit that will allow us to cope and not become emotionally unglued.

It begins with having a big picture outlook on the world we live in and life itself. So where do you and I get this big picture outlook? You get it from someone who knows the world and life itself on the most intimate level. You get it from the one who created it.

Many years ago I took great comfort in knowing that my most nagging questions about the world we live in and life itself had already been addressed by God in the Bible. Indeed after having read it from cover to cover, I got a better understanding of myself, and those around me.

It addressed my hidden fears, why I act the way I do as well as what to expect of others I may encounter. Furthermore and probably most importantly it addressed the current world culture and influences as well as the long term impact and the final results that not only can be expected but will in fact be revealed, right down to the minute details.

So with a detailed knowledge of the world I live in and knowing what to expect and actually seeing it play out in exacting detail, a lot of my fears and anxieties subsided. It became more and more clear that things were going according to plan and that regardless of whether or not I liked all that I was seeing, that the end results would come exactly as outlined in God’s word.

I don’t know about you, but I take great comfort in knowing that a God who can see further down the road in this life than I can, took the time to reveal to us the previews of what lies ahead. He also gave some pretty clear and fascinating instructions on how to cope with the worlds current and future events.

I would invite and encourage you to just think for a moment if perhaps the God who created it all, is still in complete control. Has anything caught him by surprise? Is he dismayed at our current culture? Is he shocked at the unknown future as we are?

I find it amazing and interesting to see cultural shifts in attitudes and behavior that coincide exactly as outlined in God’s word. The good news is that while even though things are going to get worse, make no mistake about it, that when it is all said and done, things are also going to get better. A whole lot better!

Instead of feeling anxiety and instability, it is my hope that after carefully getting God’s perspective on the world you and I live in, that we can calmly proclaim, “It is well, with my soul!”

Are we losing our civil respect for others?

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SONY DSC

Our country is in the middle of choosing the next president, and over the next year a lot of advertising and speeches and debates will flood the airwaves to influence the public’s choice of who should be in the oval office.

The job of being President of the United States, is by nature a very prestigious job and it inherently comes with a high level of respect.

Amazingly, over the years our society and culture is engaging in behavior that chips away at respect for each other. You do not have to listen for very long to hear people from all backgrounds engage in very bad language and disrespect for others.

Sadly this has also saturated our political system with leaders slinging slurs and other unacceptable behavior and verbal abuse at each other.

As Christians, are we called to act differently from the rest of the world? Is our behavior and conversation to be like that of all the folks around us or are we called to stand out and distinguish ourselves because we behave with a character that is more in line with Jesus Christ?

People are easily recognized for exceptional behavior whether good or bad. Do we not try to teach children to model good behavior and show respect for other people. Are we setting the example by our own behavior? If not, how can that be changed?

Changing behavior is not easy, it never has been or will be. But it is not impossible to reintroduce new habits of better character.

The Bible is a great resource to remind all people of the proper behavior that sets you apart from the rest of the world. I find that the book of Proverbs teaches great wisdom of behavior for both adults and children. And the New Testament highlights exceptional behavior to others and especially other christians. The world desperately wants and needs to see better examples of behavior.

As individuals don’t we appreciate when someone seemingly goes out of their way to be nice and show extraordinary kindness? You see the thing is that what we see as extraordinary should be the norm.

I recall a time when thank you and please were common in our speech, and rude remarks were easily criticized. Our world has changed on such a drastic level that rudeness is seen as the new norm and even expected in some situations.

Our children are seeing some of the adults in our society behave in ways that we would not otherwise want them to duplicate. As adults we still have the mentor role to play in modeling good behavior to any child.

It has been said that it takes a “village to raise a child”, and I am a firm believer that some children do not have the great role model in the home and the only shining example of good behavior will come from outside of the home.

So, as a culture we can all vow to improve and work on our own behavior to reflect the model we want to see our kids become.

Furthermore, I think it is great to stand out above the crowded cesspool of low grade behavior that permeates all levels of our culture. We should take pride in being better than expected of the low standards that seem to be the new norm of our society. We can do much better and our children deserve to see the greatness of elevated behavior and speech in our culture.

I’m all in. How about you?

Excerpt from personal dairy July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016

It is with great sadness that I must report that yet another tragedy has taken place in our country. Seven police officers were shot with three that were killed in the line of duty. It is without a doubt the shot across the bow in the opening salvo of a civil or racial war in our country. Police officers are being targeted and that is just awful. I do not know how this will all unfold, but it is quite obvious that all of our previous methods of securing the peace in our country has failed. I am amazed that people do not see that the events and the conditions of the end times is exactly as stated in the bible. But since man is conditioned with a blinded mind and hardened heart, they are not capable of understanding and clearly seeing the events for what they really are.

I do not like what has happened to our country and to be honest it is only going to get far worse. There is no stopping or even slowing down the events and conditions of the world that are coming. Most people do not have a clue of what is right around the corner and they will not accept anyone telling them something contrary to what they want to hear. Even while the blood runs in the streets, they will be in denial of anything out of the ordinary. Satan has done an amazing job of blinding the masses and deceiving us all. But I can assure you his days are numbered, just as our days here on this planet are numbered.

I am tired and weary but still we have to press on and see how God will unfold his word that has been spoken in heaven and settled in eternity. It is a real shame and pity that because of the hardened hearts that we have as a culture, that only extreme pain and suffering is in our future. Because of our sinful ways that we boast in the name of freedom, there is a price to pay and a day of reckoning.

Funny how our country seems to think that our issues facing us is as simple as gun control, or so called police brutality, or a host of other things that we put labels on, but the truth of the matter that it is a far more insidious infection that is taking over the world we live in. It is so subtle and so absolute that we are blinded the whole time we are dying from it.

To be honest it has a 100 percent fatality rate, and nobody escapes. It has been called by a host of different names to soften the blow and make it more appealing to the masses, and make it more marketable in the media. But make no mistake about it, the name can be changed but the consequences cannot be changed, nor can the endless and relentless methods it employs to deceive us all.

Excerpt from personal journal on July 9, 2016

OK, I know this post is going to draw a lot of criticism, and I accept that because this is the free country that allows freedom of speech. I would hope that the replies are respectful but I must say after reading some other posts that civil communication may not be the goal of some. But here goes:

It has been my experience that most even more than most officers are great public servants who do a terrific job at serving the public even at the risk of their own lives. I still think that is the goal in the heart of most officers who wear the badge and uniform. However let us not forget that these officers are only human beings, with sins and shortcomings that we all have as a flawed species. Nobody on planet earth is perfect all of the time, and that includes officers.

They have the unique task of going into situations that have developed long before they got on the scene. What I mean is some attitudes have been formed and established by our culture, and it is on display in subtle and blatant ways. We cannot help but be human and have some bias both good and bad about our country, our president, our citizens, and the world at large.

While I do not like the idea of singleing out an ethnic group the following I think needs to be said to the “so called black community”. Personally I think we should drop all references to ethnicity and simple tag us all as the human race. But that is just me.

That being said I hope this will resonate with some in the so called “Black Community”.

Listen up, while our history and early beginnings in this country are different from the whites and the indians, make no mistake about it, we are not all that special in the grand scheme of things. I can assure you that history testifies of other people being mistreated on a scale that would make us look like we have been getting luxury massages at the Ritz Carlton, for the last 400 plus years.

Our so called injustices pale in comparison to other people. Furthermore, we are spending way too much time and energy trying to seek something called justice that will never occur in this life for any of us! Justice belongs to God and to God alone. The justice of God is eternal, the revenge of man is temporary. It seems to me that as a people we have been spending time trying to seek revenge that is only temporary.

Ok, so we were slaves, so was the Israelites and a host of others. OK, so the courts do not always rule in your favor, remember you are seeking justice from flawed people. When you get perfect people you will get perfect justice, you will get perfect police officers, you will get non racist people on and on. But until then, realize that you need to operate and live your life above the standards of the flawed people that surround us every day. Don’t forget that we also are flawed sinful human beings. Make allowances for others and they should for us, and if they don’t so what! Don’t you be like them. You love them even if they hate.

It would help greatly if you educated yourselves or ourselves in what the PERSON who can administer Justice says we should be doing in the mean time. (This is where the hate mail begins) Here goes:

HE mentions the following: Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.
But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Definately not popular with the revenge advocates!LOL)

But I say to you love your enemies. And there are a host of other things Jesus says about being mistreated and they all involve putting out and giving more love than revenge. He states to let God be the one to deliver justice on your behalf or our behalf.

That means that when someone does something that seems very wrong your response should be a testament to your ability to trust God for the justice. Your response should not be to riot in the streets, burn cop cars, break out windows, burn buildings, loot businesses, hold protest marches and sing songs that have nothing to do with justice. How about praying that God will forgive the wrong doer and that you trust HIS judgement to handle the matter on your behalf?

Again your response should not be to curse out your fellow citizens when they disagree with you. Keep in mind that to be viewed as a good citizen you must ACT and actually BE a good citizen. Some of your actions causes some white folks to buy into the very stereotype that you are trying to avoid. When they see you respond with violence, they begin to think that surely they must be violent. When they see your lifestyle of drug addiction, welfare, joblessness, they begin to think that yes they are lazy, drug addicts who just sit around and complain and wait for a hand out and fuss over the way their ancestors were treated.

Some of your actions reflect very badly on those of us who have spent a lifetime of intense stuggle to stay above the chaos. Some of us have succeeded with tremendous odds against us, went through horrible childhoods and did not use it as an excuse for failure, or to become an alcoholic, drug addict, serial murderer or rapist, etc.

So you had a hard life or upbringing, get over it so did every other person on this planet. We all have a struggle in this this life thanks to our disobedient parents, Adam and Eve. How about trying to over come your circumstances. Yes in a flawed society and culture like ours you will have to work twice as hard to get the same recognition or results. Yes, you may get looked over for a promotion and a less qualified person may get it, so what. What are you made of?

I recall when I was in the Marine Corps that early on I received some unfair treatment, and it was not going to stop just because I complained about it. Instead I developed a new attitude realizing that obviously I was made of the right stuff to handle the injustice. I pressed on and complained not, and in due time other people began to recognize my unique quiet strength under pressure and they began to speak on my behalf until the injustice stopped and I was elevated.

Listen people, we do not have any so called right to complain about anything in this country regarding unfair treatment to blacks. Not today in 2016. Black on black crime is a disgrace to anyone. We have no business telling any white person to treat us with respect or to be kind toward us, when we traumatize our neighborhoods with violence day in and day out.

How about educating ourselves out of poverty and into the job market? We should not be the default color of welfare. How about policing ourselves and governing ourselves so the so called “white man” won’t have to do it for you. How about reading to your children and setting the example in the home for education, and how to treat women. Black men, how about being a father to your children instead of leaving the entire burden to the woman. And if you don’t want to be a father, then make a wise choice that I did and do not have children. There is no shame in not having a child because of your lack of fathering skills, but don’t you dare abort what you started or bring a child into the world and abandon it, as I was!

And think about this, we have more going for us than any other generation before us and sometimes we are doing less. Free public schools that actually let us sit beside other white children with no repercussions. Yet some of us will not make sure that our child goes to school. We get the same education that white people get and do nothing with it.

Other people come here from other countries and take the resources we have and accelerate themselves and their families, while we sit around and complain about the “system”. They took the same “system” and made it work. They did not complain, about unfair treatment, no hand outs etc. Some of them work like slaves in poor paying jobs that we are too proud to do. Really?

We have easy ways to save money, easy ways to communicate globally and we will not talk to our own families at the dinner table. Listen black folks, we do NOT have a hard life here, not in 2016. Yes, I have had to struggle and pay my dues to get where I am now in life, and if I lost it all tomorrow I would have to pay them again to get to the same point. Life is not fair people, and the sooner you realize that the better. It is what it is, get over it and get on with making your life and community and if I must say it “our race” better.

When we act better as a “so called race” then the doubts and fears that some white people have about us might subside, and even if it doesn’t, God sees all and his justice is the only thing that counts. And how about taking the time parents to teach your children some respect for authority. Respect begins in the home, so that you won’t have to come to a police station and see it being taught there.

It would be preferred to have limited contacts with police. When you are stopped, use some respect for the man or woman in uniform. They are a government representative, their inial goal and thoughts toward you is not to do you harm, but to assess the situation, get information from you and guide you through the entire process. Guide means that you follow their instructions. If you did something wrong, man up, that is what being a man or woman is all about. I have been stopped for speeding when I was younger, even stopped for having a suspended liscence, I told the officer. I mean he was going to run the plates and find out anyway. Yes it was embarrassing, yes I was nervous, as I should have been for doing something wrong. Being a man means not running like a 5 year old.

Yes, it’s not fair that some blacks have been wrongly convicted because of bias and prejudices, and it’s not fair that some have been to prison and two executed who were innocent. But listen, don’t foget that Jesus Christ was wrongly accused and wrongly jailed and executed also. You don’t hear him complaining because while he was on the cross he said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” And because he trusted God as his father to dispense justice he also said, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Now he was innocent and did not complain, so what is our excuse? The so called Justice system was built by flawed humans. It is as good as it is going to get with imperfect people.

And for those of you blacks who think being militant and exacting revenge with your small tiny guns is going to change things. Let me inform you that Jesus Christ never commanded an army, (even though he had angels at his instant command), never picked up a weapon, never fired a shot, and yet his network of people loving people has been on the move and changing lives every since. He said it this way. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
He also said, “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

So while you may think guns and retaliation to every injustice is the answer, I think you will find love to be more effective. You or we can start with loving the people in our community regardless of color. Show acts of kindness and mercy even when we have been treated wrong. Love will win even if you lose your very life in the process. That my friend is what we are called to do. Is it easy? NO!! But we can get help from the one who got it done!

And please stop acting like there is something wrong with “so called white people”, there is nothing wrong, even if someone shoots or behaves badly toward you, they are acting exactly the way flawed sinners are supposed to act. Yes that includes me and you, we are acting the way sinners act until we get a change of heart and become “born again”. So until we have a planet full of born again people, do not be shocked at the way we are treated by people who have natural flaws from our fallen sinful nature. They and we cannot help ourselves, and that is why we need to allow God to change what we cannot change ourselves.

Do You And I See The Need For A Change Of Heart?

In light of recent events I wanted to take a few minutes to speak from the heart. I had thought of posting this on Facebook, however it is rather long and the internet and social media is saturated with the emotions of the day. If you are anything like me you might be feeling emotionally drained and psychologically damaged from the events of this week.

I have never felt fear in my own country until now. I have never feared for my own life or the life of police officers until now.

I was a little boy in the 1960’s and I remember vividly the riots, the burning buildings, the burning crosses, from Washington DC. I was in a foster home in Virginia and the violence cam to our small town with people getting dragged from houses and beaten by both cops and civilians.

That violence did not change the hearts and mind of the perpetrators. The same violent evil heart that caused Cain to kill his brother Able, resides in people today.

I will say again over and over, that changed hearts of individuals from hate to love is more powerful than any weapon.

Are we the United States? We have no unity, as we see each other through the lens of black and white, us and them, democratic and republican, gay and straight, the list goes on and on. We are afraid to see ourselves for who we truly are. We are self righteous when we compare ourselves to ourselves or to other countries.

How do we explain to children the events of the past couple years? As adults are we to lead and teach the next generation? Are we to show leadership by discipline and example? When our children repeat what they have learned from us, such as stereotyping, texting and driving, racism, violence, cursing, war, on and on, we have handed them a future without the skills to correct it. We are duplicating the future and the sins of our fathers that was handed to us.

We have proven our inability to govern ourselves or to discipline ourselves. In my opinion, that is why a LEADER who does not share our corrupt inner nature is needed to show us THE WAY to transform our hearts and minds back to the way it was before sin took us and made us all prisoners. Funny how we claim to live in the land of the free and that we exert total freedom over ourselves, and yet we manage to give in to and be controlled by impulses that we do not seem to command. Rather our flawed nature causes us to think thoughts that eventually lead us to actions that we are not in control of.

When our anger turns to rage, are we in control or is the rage in control? When rage combined with irrational thinking regarding other people and stereotypes, our hidden biases come to the front. At that moment, are we in control?

I am of the opinion that we, me included need to take a long hard look at the person in the mirror and ask if the heart inside needs to be changed and be willing to turn to the only effect source of changing hearts. Our great institutions of learning have not changed, nor do they have the capacity to change a heart. Yes they can influence the mind to a small degree. True transformation that is lasting can only take place in the heart, and it will not happen by repeating a bumper sticker slogan.

As you may recall the first murder occurred with a limited population, with no ongoing relentless national issues stressing the masses. Truly it originated in the heart, and the in the heart is the only place where our pressing issues that plague our country and indeed the world can be solved.

Am I Making A Difference?

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I was recently compelled to ask myself that very question after listening to the latest sermon from our pastor. He had been teaching a series called Making A Difference over the past several weeks, and it covered some heart wrenching ideas to challenge me about my impact on the world.

As Christians we are mandated to make a difference in the lives of those around us for the specific purpose of pointing the way to a forgiving savior and God who loves them.

Believe it or not all of our actions and words, tell a story to everyone who interacts with us. As christians we have to be mindful of the impact we are having on others. The message of our life is to demonstrate the love of God to others so that they will be drawn to him.

Life is challenging and requires more understanding than what we get in traditional education. For most of us it does not take long to realize that life does not fit into the class room version of what we may have learned in grade school.

It took me a while, after a lot of heartaches and needless pain, to realize that I was not best suited to manage my life with my own knowledge and limited wisdom. It is a very humbling moment when you realize that all of your traditional education does not equip you for the complexities of life.

In grade school, while it may teach you your ABC’s and 123’s, it does nothing to prepare you to deal with the different personality types, or the many challenging situations that will involve conflict with others. Those lessons often come with trial and error.

But what if there was information readily available to help you with the challenges you will face in life? What if that information was tried and proven by others, who have experienced the same challenges of life that you have faced or will face?

When it comes to making a difference in the lives of others, it occurred to me that people need to know that you actually care about them and have some experience with the issues that they face. In this world of superficial people, it is refreshing to see people who really care on a level that you can feel.

Jesus Christ without a doubt was the undisputed example of compassion and loving engagement with others. He interacted with people from all backgrounds, and surprised the people of his day by his open willingness to treat people with value, even though some were rejected by the culture and society.

In our world, we can make a huge difference, by showing people we care and take the time to listen. You never know what people are going through and realize that every one of us need to feel cared for, and that we matter to someone.

All of us have something that we can share with another that will help inspire or encourage. The life lessons we learn from others and their experiences are more valuable than any other type of learning. It can save us from huge mistakes, and thereby saving us needless pain and misery.

So I would encourage you that when you are with people, take the time to get to know what problem they may be facing and then see if there is something you can share with them to help them with new insight.

You would be surprised at just how much of a difference, a genuine heart felt moment can make in the life of another. Will you make the difference in the life of another today?

Eugene Coghill

All Lives Matter

In light of the recent incident at a Colorado abortion clinic, I wanted to take a few minutes to emphasize the importance of human life. I find it very ironic that the suspect actually took three lives to make a statement about saving unborn lives.

In our over complicated world and culture that we live in, somehow we have lost sight of the fact that human life is still the most valuable thing on the planet. Unfortunately a lot of conditioning has diluted human life way down the chain of valuables. I was a bit naive a long time ago, in thinking that surely no one would actually believe that money is more valuable than a human life. But I have since been proven wrong many times over.

There are those among us that truly see no value at all to the human life, and therefore it is very easy to deem it as expendable. It is easy to get numb to the loss of human life, especially when you see or hear about it happening daily. Sadly, occasionally I have thought of the senseless murders, accidents ect as routine and normal. But there is nothing normal about the loss of a valuable creation of God.

Let us not forget that we are each uniquely made and there will only be one of you and I. No duplicates, not even twins. As a priceless work of art, we have more value to God than anything else in the universe. Lately I have been making a conscience effort to see people, even those not in my immediate circle as the individuals that they are.

So I challenge you to think of people and regard them as the special person that they are and I believe the more you practice, the more you will treat people with the utmost respect. Mostly because regardless if they earn your respect or not, the God that made them has placed special value on them that is to be recognized by all.

When the next tragic headline informs you of the loss of life, pause for a moment and reflect on the person that can never be replaced. It was a once in an eternity creation and highly valued life, that had a special moment in time to be shared with us.

Eugene Coghill

The Invisible Prison

It has been said that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . .” There are countless studies that support this, however the best evidence comes from God himself as he was the first person to ever use words to produce life. The creation is the masterpiece of God’s thoughts turned into spoken words.

Every time I read the creation story in the book of Genesis I am utterly amazed that simple words were powerful enough to bring about the vastness of creation, complete with all the details, so intriguing that the great scientific minds of our time still cannot comprehend.

Because God is the one behind the thought process of spoken creation, it is no wonder that he gives sound advice and caution regarding our own thoughts, words and the impact it can have on our lives.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

For some people it may be difficult to accept the fact that their current circumstances and direction in life is the direct result of their thoughts, feelings and actions. I for one have struggled from time to time recognizing this universal law that God has built into creation.

It was an eye opening moment after reading a book called As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. It is a classic book that goes into detail the impact of the human thought process, and how it impacts our ability to achieve.

However even though I have had the experience of reading books and the counsel of the bible on this topic, it was not until I began to put the law to practice in my own life did I experience first hand the results of my own thoughts. Let me cite a few examples:

Having been born an orphan and not knowing either of my biological parents, my life was set on a God directed course of both hardship and struggle as well as some modest victories and successes. From a very early age at an extremely abusive foster home I was indoctrinated with negative, self esteem destroying words and thoughts. Such as: “You will never amount to anything”, “You are too black, slow and no wonder your parents did not want you!” “You are going to wind up in prison.”etc I could go on and on. Those words and many other like them played over and over in my mind like a tape recording for years.

As time went on especially in high school my self confidence was lacking and fear of failure was all that consumed me. I began to think with every set back or failed test or disappointing grade that maybe my foster parents were right. I had no reason to believe otherwise.

Fortunately, after being placed into a juvenile home for several years, a few of the counselors on the campus took notice of me and began to see potential that I did not see in myself. They, unlike my foster parents began encouraging me to see what I could become and that I was not a failure and that my future could be redirected from a life of crime, drugs or incarceration.

After completing high school, and upon graduating from Marine Corps boot camp, it was at that moment that I realized that, I did not have to allow the negative thoughts of the pass to dictate my future. After all I was standing proof in my Marine Corps uniform that I had achieved what others could not. I began to believe and tell myself that I was capable of doing what I thought was impossible because of the prison of my mind. That was the beginning of major reform steps into the life I now have.

Perhaps you are struggling with your own self defeating thoughts. Let me encourage you to begin to tell yourself different things. Speak life into your mind and spirit, and you can free yourself from the invisible prison that holds so many people from a life of freedom. God says it best: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Your thoughts dictate your mood and feelings and eventually your actions. I have seen this put to work in my life time and time again, mostly in the area of sin, especially before becoming a christian.

While thoughts have the power to lead to feelings and actions we do not want to do, we now also have the ability to use our thoughts to change feelings and produce actions that glorify God and bring the fruits of the spirit into our lives and those around us. It is not always easy because of the enemy we contend with daily, but we have help, in that we “can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” Philemon 4:13

There are times when I catch myself taking a moment to pause before speaking. I am sure the person on the other end appreciates that as well! Because I am a writer I have a tendency to want to spew out any and everything that comes across my mind as fast as possible so that I will not forget what I am saying. I would imagine the forgetting part has a lot to do with a whole lot of trips around the sun! Just saying.

However I am more than grateful for the times of reflection that allowed me to speak, grace, comfort and a kind gently word instead of the unfiltered torrent of thought that would have made another person feel unloved. Easy? Not always. Worth the effort? Most definately.

Eugene Coghill

Morning Thoughts Of Jesus

IMG_1260Your life long caretaker would like to share the following:

I like watching you sleep. I will wake you up and show you a beautiful day I created just for you. You will be on my mind all day, and I hope you think of me too. I would love to chat.

Yes I know there will be some things thrown at you today you think you cannot handle, but don’t worry you can just give me your load, worries and insecurities. I have legions of angels at my command, to protect you until my father tells me to bring you home. I have peace to give you in the midst of the world’s turmoil. I have strength you know nothing about, and I will give it to you upon request and when you need it the most.

Do not worry about the material things in this life. Hey, I promise you I will make daily arrangements for you to eat and have shelter and clothing, just like I care for my animals. Your life will be a lot simpler if you trust me with that.

And yes you will lose loved ones, it breaks my heart also. Because of the disobedience of man, the earth is cursed with death. But you know what, my Father and I have a plan to fix that and restore things back to the way we intended it to be. As a matter of fact “I AM” the plan.

Believe me, trust me and allow me to manage your life, and when you die I promise to wake you up and bring you home to be with me. You will never die again, or feel hurt or sorrow, not even shed a tear. Things are different here. You will love it. I invite you to read my story in the Bible. It’s pretty cool!

I have been in a human body just like yours, and I do feel your aches and pains and I know weariness. And let me tell you just how loneliness and despair feels, as I have been there 2015 years ago. I had 12 of my best buddies and closest friends desert me in my greatest time of need. And because of that experience I promise you regardless of how bad things look, I will never desert you, or abandon you.

The bottom line is I love you and would be willing to die for you again, even if you were the only one. So you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep checking off things on your to do list, and know that I am aware of your chore list. I know about the screaming baby, the boyfriend, the husband who hurt you, the in-laws
and family members who do not understand you. I know about the bad economy and how the world is falling apart as my Father and I prepare for the end game. But I want you to know that we still have everything under control and we have not overlooked anything, or turned a blind eye or deaf ear to the troubles that you and the world face.

With me and my father you are on the winning team. We already know how it all ends, and we look forward to the eternal celebration with you!

Today it is just you and me against the world, and remember I have already overcome the world. It is going to be alright. Let’s walk and talk.

Sincerely,
Jesus

What is really important on our last day?
People on their death bed don’t ask for material things or money. They only want people who care and love them. Make lifetime friends while you can.

Eugene Coghill

Can Your Hear God’s Voice?

Have you often wondered as I have just what exactly is “hearing God’s voice”? God in his wisdom knows that we as humans ponder that question at different times in our lives. As a matter of fact it has been at the focal point of all creation and especially when Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden.

I find it very interesting that during the creation God actually spoke to his creation and commanded it and the creatures there in to do his will. NIV Genesis 1 20-25 Do you think that creation had a choice in not listening to God’s voice as you and I do today?

What a unique privilege it must have been as it is today to literally hear the sound of God’s voice. He gave clear instructions and specific commands to them on exactly what he wanted and expected. Genesis 1 28-30
How can you know for sure that you’ve heard Him correctly?

Is it consistent with the Word of God? God will not communicate anything that is contrary to his word the bible. If you are in fact reading the bible and seeking his voice the Holy Spirit will bring the word of God to remembrance or direct you to it, and it will be spot on for the current situation you are facing.

Do I have genuine peace about it? The Holy Spirit is wonderful at confirming God’s word in our hearts. You can trust God’s word for any and everything in your life, regardless of the circumstances. You have the advantage of knowing that billions of other people on the planet have experienced and been challenged with the same things you are going through, and that the same word of God was the answer for them. It always has been and always will be. NKJV 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Is this consistent with God’s overall will and plan for my life? If you are expecting
God to say something that is not consistent for his plan in your life of character
development and spiritual growth and making you more like his son Jesus, then you
need to go back to the drawing board and realign your priorities, wants and desires
with his desires for your life.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work
together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
purpose.

Yes, I will admit this is mostly easier said than done. Even I have difficulty at times holding it all together when life stresses press upon me. I recall as recent as last week that I was emotionally overwhelmed by the hurtful behavior of other people toward me. But after the emotional torrent calmed down in my soul, I was gently reminded of the behavior that I could expect from people who have not had the born again experience. I was reminded how my old behavior was in keeping with my old nature before the born again experience.

We all need reminding from time to time, and I am glad that God will bring us back to emotional balance if we are willing to listen to his gentle voice.

Eugene Coghill

The Greatest Gift

Gift: Webster’s dictionary defines a gift as
1 a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present: a Christmas gift | [ as modifier ] : a gift shop.
• an act of giving something as a present: his mother’s gift of a pen.
• informal a very easy task or unmissable opportunity: that touchdown was an absolute gift.
2 a natural ability or talent: he has a gift for comedy.

Here we are now at the largest gift giving time of the year, Christmas. Untold amounts of money will be spent buying gifts for our family, friends and loved ones. Some thought and care goes into selecting the gift based on the person who will receive the gift.

I would imagine most of us at one time or another in our lives have been pleasantly surprised by a gift from someone for no apparent reason. Meaning that the other person was clearly thinking of you in such as way to provoke them to take action and show their love for you with the kindness of a gift.

Think back a moment to the time you received a surprise gift. What did it feel like? Was there joy, deep appreciation and gratitude? Most likely. How did it make you feel about the person who gave the gift? Were you awed by their generosity, kindness and unspoken thoughtfulness toward you? Probably.

When we receive something special like that, most of us are compelled to speak of the loving kindness of the one who gave the gift. Imagine the woman who recalls the surprise tiny box with something shiny in it from her boyfriend or husband! Not long after, the phone is in her hand and she is calling her girlfriend, to tell her what a wonderful man he is! Or in the case of the modern social media types, she takes a photo of the shiny thing and uploads it to face book!

I have heard countless expressions of happiness from people who have received earthly gifts from ordinary people. The excitement cannot be easily contained and we want to share both the gift and the gift giver with others. And that is why for me at this special time of the year, I get overjoyed at telling people about the greatest gift ever given and the one who gave it.

The gift and the giver is summed up in the following familiar verse: NIV John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son, [Or his only begotten Son] that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The gift is eternal and priceless, Jesus Christ. The giver is God. Receiving the gift, ‘whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” is in itself an eternal reward.

The entire sum total of all the gifts that has ever been given to people will not compare in value to the one solitary gift that was given to us from God. God thought of you and I, and prepared the only gift that we need for our lives. The gift is complete and flawless and all we have to do is be willing to receive it, and be ever grateful to the giver. Have you ever had the experience of making a great effort or sacrifice to get or make a special gift for someone, and upon giving it to them, they seem put off by it or even worse reject it? How did it make you feel to know that the person you cared so deeply for showed little or no gratitude and thankfulness?

So this season while you exclaim utter surprise and joy from the gifts you receive from your loved ones, do take the time to thank the giver and give praise to him for the priceless gift that he has given to all of us freely. One way we can show our gratitude is to freely open our hearts and receive the gift. Do not neglect such a great gift that has eternal value to you.

Eugene Coghill