Archive for January, 2014

Hey Sis,

I noticed the other day you appeared to be distraught after talking on the phone. In fact, I notice this to be a regular occurrence. What has been making you feel so bad? Have there been a lot of deaths recently? Are your friends having serious problems? Health issues? What could it be?

letters to my teenage sister | does he ever make you cryI trust that this is not the result of any one person. You would not put up with anyone being mean to you, right? You deserve much better than that. But then, you are doing a pretty bad job of hiding those tears. And I gotta think that if the reason for sadness was a death or illness, you would be open about it.

This leads me to think that there is a guy in your life causing these tears. This is unacceptable.

If he EVER makes you cry now, what makes you think he will ever stop later? There is no reason to be regularly mean enough to someone to drive them to tears. Especially you, my sister.

This is the time he is supposed to be courting and showing you the best he has to offer. If the best he has to offer is, to regularly make you feel like shit, then that is a huge problem. It’s a problem you can  and must fix.

If the man in your life ever makes you cry, Get rid of him immediately. If he belittles you, talks down to you, is mean, threatening, unappreciative, overly-argumentative, etc. You MUST move on. It will not get better. He won’t just change because you wish him to change. He is toxic.

I know you want to be married someday. So understand that any dating you do now is an investment of your time and energy towards marriage. He is giving you a preview of what your life will be like, if you so choose to spend it with him.

Follow me on this part, sis. We have seen society sneer at and undermine the nuclear family. But the nuclear family itself actually provides the foundation for a strong society and culture. A great marriage will feature the husband and wife working in unison to create a masterful symphony. The wife will need to be submissive and subordinate to her husband. And the husband will need to love his wife, treat her like his queen, and avoid ANY bitterness towards her. This only works if both parties fulfill their obligation to each other and to themselves.

I know you just want to be loved. But don’t accept mistreatment from a guy, just because you are in love with the IDEA of ‘having’ a guy. He is not holding up his end of the deal, so neither should you. You deserve better, so expect better, and don’t put up with anything less. Period.

If you don’t fix that last part now, you will find yourself unable to escape a marriage in which you are mistreated. You will be imprisoned by the fact that you are in love with the very idea of marriage, but not to your actual husband.

Sis, now and in the future, I hope that you remove any guy in your life that does not treat you with utmost respect. But also realize that it’s up to you to earn that respect. If you accept being a doormat, then a doormat is what you be regarded.

Instead, I pray that you become part of one of the greatest symphonies in our age.

Love,

Your brother Travis

 

Letters to My Teenage Sister

Letters to My Teenage Sister – 1 – Does He EVER Make You Cry?

Letters to My Teenage Sister – 2 – Leggings (and Yoga Pants)

Sin and Salvation | Thursday Thought

January 16th, 2014 by Vigilo

This week’s Thursday Thought is about sin and salvation. Many people would much rather ignore that such things even exist. But if sin and salvation exist, what constitutes one from the other? What are the ramifications of each?

Before getting into it, let’s first define sin and salvation.

Sin – the separation from God

Salvation – the reunification with God

If you believe in God, then you very likely believe in another realm. And most believers anticipate leaving this Earthly life, to be reunited with their Creator in that realm. So if we want to be honest about it, EVERYTHING we do on Earth is in preparation for that FINAL destination.

And so these definitions of sin and salvation become agonizing. Why? Because in every decision and action we take, we need to be in a constant Q & A with ourselves asking….”Is this action going to separate me from God, or unify me with God?”

It’s a really difficult question to ask so many times….simple….but very difficult, because the answer is almost never one we want to hear. But through addressing uncomfortable topics, hopefully we can grow, in this case spiritually.

 

Walking into Sin

Obviously, not EVERYTHING we do will bring us closer to God. So we have to be aware of this on a deed by deed basis. Watching Toy Story probably won’t bring you closer to God, but at the same time, it probably won’t separate you all that much from God either.

But there are movies that contain elements that DO separate us from God. When the answer is obvious that a deed, or time spent, will separate us from God, then it’s best to avoid that certain occurrence.

walk into Sin and Salvation | Thursday ThoughtYou may have heard it said that you ‘fall’ into sin, but that’s not exactly how it works. Instead, it’s more like we WALK into sin. Sin is very much progressive, and more often than not, you will have many opportunities to turn around from the direction you are heading. However, for some reason, once we start walking away, we just keep going.

It’s not like sin is a sinkhole that just appears, and we fall into it. But there is actually a road we must travel down to put ourselves in the position to sin. Sin doesn’t sneak up on you and say, “Boo! I caught you!” No, we open ourselves up to it and are drawn to it. All along the way, we have ample opportunities to turn around.

It’s like seeing an uninhabited building on fire, sure people can try to put out the flames from a safe distance, but would you run into the building to save it? What purpose would that serve? It’s just suicide if there is nobody there to save…spiritual suicide. What else can we expect but for the building to collapse in on us.

So we voluntarily put ourselves in the position to sin.

 

Sin and Salvation GAS GAUGE

gas gauge | Sin and Salvation | Thursday ThoughtAnother way to look at Sin and Salvation is as a gas gauge. “E” represents being really far from God, “F” represents being really close to God. Throughout the day, our spirit is pummeled with impure thoughts, temptations, venial sins, etc. All these things aid in taking gas out of our spiritual tank. The further we are from God, the weaker our defenses and spirit will be to the onslaught.

So going back to the example above, Toy Story will only drain a drop or two of gas. But a porno movie will use up almost all of your tank, leaving your soul in peril. And in this state, you will be susceptible to other mortal sins.

Luckily, we are able to fill the tank back up as much as we want.

As a Catholic, I take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After confessing sins, I literally feel my tank being refilled and immediately feel closer to God..

That’s why during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we ask for God’s grace in AVOIDING THE NEAR OCCASIONS OF SIN. It’s always near, but it’s up to us to actually make an effort to walk towards it, or not.

Another way to come closer to salvation is through our interactions with the lowest and least fortunate among us. Really, we should be thanking groups like homeless people, the needy, and even our enemies. The manner in which we positively treat them can provide us simple steps in walking back to God. Focusing on bettering ourselves in this area will help in setting our path in the correct direction, and refilling the tank.

Sin and Salvation aren’t necessarily permanent, but the tank is in constant fluctuation. The goal is to be mindful of keeping it as full as possible, for as often as possible. Always remain cognizant of the fact that less harmful venial sins can lead us to soul jeopardizing mortal sins.

 

What to do?

walking  Sin and Salvation | Thursday ThoughtIf you find yourself on the wrong path, you aren’t automatically damned for all eternity. Take the STEPS towards refilling your tank.

When you are walking down the wrong path…..stop…..ask for guidance from God…turn around…..and walk the other direction. It’s not all that easy, but it really is that simple.

Whichever stage we find ourselves in life, we are preparing to be something else or go somewhere else. Whether an elder on the deathbed, or a babe in the womb…. the short term destination may differ, but ultimately, we all strive for the same final place.

Recognizing sin and salvation in everyday life will aid us in reaching that destination.

 

With God’s Will

T

Since we are now in the thick of Christmas, I wanted to share a piece of Nativity music that I find spiritually fulfilling. But before continuing, I know some readers may be confused, thinking…”Huh? Wasn’t Christmas, like, 2 weeks ago?”

Though the popular thought is that Christmas ends at midnight at the start of December 26th, as we see with most other modern conventional wisdom, this is NOT true. In reality, the SEASON of Christ’s Mass extends much longer. It is STILL Christmas Season.

 

Still Christmas Season

Yes, it is Still Christmas Season. In the Western Church, the actual season runs until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, celebrated January 12 this year. Though some even regard it as Christmas Season until Candlemas on Feb. 2. In addition to that, some Christians don’t even celebrate the Nativity until January 6 or 7 (December 25 on the Julian calendar).

epiphany three kings | It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here's Some Real MusicOriginally, the Nativity,  Three Kings (magi), Baptism, and First Miracle were all celebrated as one. And even now, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Nativity along with Theophany. But over time. the celebrations were eventually separated out by the Catholic Church and each event given it’s own day. So while many Eastern Churches still celebrate Theophany as part of Epiphany, the Catholics celebrate each event separately.

Epiphany for the Western Church focuses more on the story of the Three Kings, and the following week, they focus on the Baptism of the Lord. In the Eastern Church, Epiphany and Theophany are the same with more focus on the Baptism. The name Theophany is derived because of the revelation of God in three persons at the Baptism…God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

nativity | It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here's Some Real MusicToday, January 6, 2014, is the Epiphany in the Western Church (celebrated on nearest Sunday, yesterday). Yet for the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Nativity is celebrated. And for most of the rest of the Eastern Church, it is Christmas Eve.

Note: Some may wonder why I used ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ church instead of ‘Catholic’ and ‘Orthodox’. Really, they could be interchangeable. But I found that some Orthodox churches in the west used the Gregorian calendar, and some Catholic churches in the middle east used the Julian calendar. So it’s not definitive one way or the other.

Sorry if I confused you even more. I’ll include a list below to give an idea of the Christian Christ’s Mass calendar, but hopefully we are at least on the same page as far as it is STILL Christmas Season. So on to the music.

Sister Marie Keyrouz – Kathisma of the Office of the Nativity

sister marie keyrouz | It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here's Some Real Music

I wanted to share Sister Marie Keyrouz performing ‘Kathisma of the Office of the Nativity‘. Her music has been featured on this site before, and it’s well deserving. I find it unparalleled in ancient sacred music and I hope your soul can find strength in it. Enjoy…

Blessings to you and your family in this (continuing) Season of Christ’s Mass.

T

 

Christmas Schedule using Gregorian perspective

  • December 24th Christmas Eve (west)
  • December 25th Christmas Day (west)
  • January 1st Solemnity of the Mother of God (west)
  • January 5th Epiphany observed (west)
  • January 6th Christmas Day and Theophany (Armenian Apostolic Church)
  • January 6th Christmas Eve (east)
  • January 6th Epiphany (west) (celebration moved to Sunday Jan 5)
  • January 7th Christmas Day (east)
  • January 12th Baptism of the Lord, Christmas Season Concludes (west)
  • January 19th Theophany/Epiphany  (east)

For the Eastern Orthodox churches using the Gregorian or UPDATED Julian calendar, their celebrations will coincide with those labelled at ‘west’

The Stock Market Top will occur on……..

January 3rd, 2014 by Vigilo

Ahhhh (a relaxing ahhh), the STOCK MARKET TOP. It has always done quite a commendable job in making jackasses out of wanna-be-prophets, shills-on-TV, doomsayers, etc. But for one to gain immortal status in the prestigious “remember that time I called the stock market top” group, they only have to get it right once.

Calling the stock market top will give license to be wrong indefinitely, yet still get paid for an opinion. That is so modern American, eh?

Stock Market Top

I don’t pretend to know the ‘exact’ date of the stock market top. In fact, I’ve run a Crash 2013 series since August 2013. And guess what? No crash yet!

But like all other ‘prophets’, we gotta justify predictions and skew the timelines. For example, the distribution phase started in May 2013, which is technically the beginning of the crash, right? But you see….with Quantitative Easing, stimulus packages, antitrust evasions, debt ceiling, Obamacare, government shutdown, bank bailouts, bail-ins, free money, Illuminati, aliens, comets, Santa Claus,  n’at……it’s tough being a prophet nowadays.

Though I will cut myself some slack. If you go back to the Crash 2013 launch, it was specifically said that 2013 was to include the Year of the Snake.  ‘Crash 2013’ was used for SEO purposes, because really, how many people would do a Google search for “Crash in the Year of the Snake”? (while there are many variations, that exact phrase appears twice in internetdom)

So now that you know there will be no humble pie here until Jan 31st (if at all)……when exactly is the Stock Market Top?

1929analogV2 | The Stock Market Top will occur on........Well according to McClellan Financial Publications…..really freaking soon! Like January 14 soon! Though in the article, the difficulties determining such a number are addressed. So we will say Jan 14, 2014, plus/minus  5 days.

Hey, that works for me. The Crash 2013 series would be validated, and I could at least associate with the “remember that time I called the stock market top” group. But enough rambling. Below is the article in it’s entirety. Take a trip over to their site and see what else McClellan has to offer. As for me, I’ll soon be preparing for Crash 2013 update #7…. yes, even though it’s January 2014.

With God’s Will.

T

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