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“X Marks the Spot”

Written on 10/07/21

I am amazed everyday with our LORD God! His timing and his grace and his plan and his love and his patience and his forgiveness and his words are just so ETHEREAL. It’s hard not to be emotional sometimes and it’s okay to cry, to shed those tears, no matter your position, gender, or ethnicity, let it out. Sell those obsessive possessions!


To follow my post Hall Pass, I packed my backpack with water, my Bible, highlighters, and phone to take photos. Turned out to be a beautiful day indeed. I parked the car, walked up to the park entrance posts, stretched my legs, two women were finishing their walk and I caught one quote as they passed. “It’s really a microscope thing and living the example because they're watching us.” I happened to chuckle and said out loud, “It really is. It really, really is.”


Our youth are watching, observing, paying attention to our actions, listening to our words, noticing the good works and the bad works too. Our youth is also getting external influence at an unprecedented rate with technology, movies, music, games, and social media. What kinds of conversations are we having with our kids when we're no longer the primary role model setting the standards? Are we aware that we're no longer the primary role model setting the standard? I'm asking because for generations kids have been abandoned by elders in all walks of life, but regardless even if it’s direct descendants or not, they are watching us and I want to be a parent and I'm seeking answers.


I loved hearing other women being aware of their actions and their words and communicating about it to one another as I hopped on the good foot to get up to the bench where I’m supposed to be. Naturally, I get lost. I go up, go left, go up further, take a turn, now I’m going down, “Όχι και Ναι θα ήθελα το καρότο.” Practicing Greek all the way as I get lost looking for this particular bench. Finally, I come to the conclusion that he wants me to be at a picnic table just by the Ridge. X Marks the Spot, let’s read some Mark.


I pull out my Bible and pick up where I left off in Mark. I left the book on 9/13/21 and wrote Cracked Code or Code Cracked. At this specific moment I realized I should map out an exact timeline of what I’m reading and when. I picked up today on Chapter 9 and the second verse makes my eyes bulge, mind you I haven’t read this before, as I sit on top of a mountain hill picnic bench.


2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transfigured in front of them,


Am I going to see Jesus?!! I look up and around the area just in case. Here’s the drill for newcomers, Read Mark and then review my notes. I read chapters 9 and 10. Below are my notes bullet pointed to the verses at first look.


9:11-13 - Timing is Everything

9:19 - To Believe is to Conquer and then…

9:21 - Break free from Childhood Fears

9:23 - So True!

9:24 - Contradiction Statement so I question if the father (not THE father, but A father) was a hypocrite? What do you think?

9:25 - It’s all in our Heads

9:29 - To walk Hand in Hand is the key to Revival


You know after reading 9:30-32 and especially after finishing the book of Esther last week, I wonder if fasting for three days is the way to conquer stuff. Like die to self and overcome whatever your demons are: insecurities, doubts, worries, fears, pressure, coveting, lust, the urge to cheat, swear, steal, and lie you know like Michael Peterson’s country hit song? I mean his own disciples didn’t question him because they were afraid to ask (9:32) so it doesn’t elaborate exactly and we automatically assume it’s just about Jesus. But Jesus wasn’t prideful so why would it be?


Note: In Esther, she requests that the Jewish people fast, no food or drink, for three days. Why would she ask the whole community to do that just so she could work up the courage to ask the lowercase king to show mercy on her people? Here’s my mental equation: So the world is handed over to unbelieving mankind and faith becomes betrayed so Fast + Prayer = 0 Fear air-go: Conquer to Move Mountains… the mustard seed.


9:35-37 - Focus on the teachings like the youth are watching. Not specifying we make them choke on churches like that’s already been done, but live by the literal example of people. Equation: Welcome Children = Jesus, but Welcome Jesus = LORD God. Almost like he’s giving a literal example of balance between follower and pharisee. I have a ton of notes for chapter 10 so I’m going to leave this post with my final thoughts on 9.


Mark 9:49-50 says,


For everyone will be salted with fire.* 50 Salt is good, but if the salt should lose its flavor, how can you season it? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”


Seeing my call to attention name in bold, I think EEK fire! But in the footnotes I have a marker that says it’s translated to *every sacrifice will be salted with salt. That changes it a bit now doesn’t it? Growing up, one of our rotating pastors used fear tactics assuming that was the way to belief. Unfortunately, it does quite the opposite. Why would I believe in a God who sends people to hell? Well, he doesn’t send people to hell, we choose it for ourselves… salty.


For example, I had a minor porn addiction and I’m lying, it was every night. The warning is to gouge out my eyes so I won’t prey victim to my folly because better just a body part in hell then my soul. Please don’t gouge anything out, reader, just breathe. Keys to the Kingdom, one of them is Forgiveness, worked into the fabric just for us. However, if Pride is the Mark of the Beast, then can we discipline ourselves over our prideful nature that we deserve porn over peace?


I can’t even remember the last time I watched a clip thanks to YAHWEH. I’m guessing June because I started reading the Bible to my Aunt in June. That’s all it took. One page, one seed, one habit conquered.


9:23 “If you can? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”


I’m proof it’s possible so...


9:29 And he told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.”


Reach out to me and I will pray with you!

 

Blogger's Note 7/1/23


It's been nearly two years since I wrote this entry and I have to say it's hard to read. I was so full of wonder and treasure that it's hard to make sense of it. Where was my mind? Where is my heart going? The constant quest for spiritual awareness is Olympic. This is one moment in time. One day. One bench. One blink. I hope you keep reading to see how the Lord Jesus got me here. Today. Still alive. Still sober. Still abstinent. Still loving his story and his reasons why.


I encourage you to get your own map (bible) and take the journey to Eldorado (kingdom of heaven on earth). Let his X mark the spot.

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Christopher Castillo
Christopher Castillo
31 Ιουλ 2023

Hey It's Christopher Castillo. (Beautiful) I haven't forgotten about you and would like to come and say hi. Maybe we can get together and get some coffee?

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