Sunday, September 24, 2017

Chicago Day 1973

2017 The Destination is There!

Where is my destination?
September 7, 2017
Ravenswood, Chicago IL

My September Bible Verse and Theme.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

September 23, 2017. Day 1973 in Chicago. Eric failing deletions. End of the world? Do not be anxious. 1973 was the year I was born. Anxiety was my September theme. Hello all, this year has been a very ominous one to say the least with a lot going on spiritually and emotionally. In this stage of my life, this has hit me hardest in the heart this Summer. In fact, if this blog reads a devotional, then I'm hoping I did this right! There have been a lot of struggles and it makes me think about the New Year's Theme I used last year, A Letter From The Front, which was a song by Mylon and Broken Heart. That song was about fighting and struggling "in a time of war" which could be a spiritual war. This year I've been really battling and struggling with faith and anxiety...especially more this Summer, and it has given me an idea for my New Year's Theme of 2018, The Battleground is in the Heart. That battle has intensified this Summer especially after my parents came to visit me in July. I think the main reason I chose The Destination is There last December  for my 2017 theme was, not only because of the song by Carman, but because of going back to church and getting back into faith and God's Grace. Last August 2016, I was looking for a home church with my friend Michael Lawrence and the first hit on Google gave me "Destination Church" in Chicago. The problem with that is I procrastinated on attending, which brings me to August 2017 and being "nudged" I think. The last blog I wrote was "Wake up Number 47," and in Chicago now, there have been 50 sightings of this Mothman creature in the city. In fact, I visited my Mom and Dad for Labor Day weekend this month and it was the first time I paid attention to driving out of Chicago which can only be described as a "weight lifting off my shoulders and a veil coming off" with all the anger, anxiety and chaos. So, I don't know what's in Chicago's future, but it's probably a good idea to pray for our city here.

• 2017 Goal: Build my faith stronger and filled with the Spirit. Accountability. Destination Church in Wrigleyville. Thank you, Michael K. Lawrence II.

This blog will have a different tone to it I believe and I've put off once again finishing my Summer blog. Next month I celebrate a birthday and I'll be in England that week with my camera...Life Altering Decision ahead! In case no one's figured out but "Eric failing deletions" is an anagram for "Life Altering Decision," an anagram I came up with in 2011.

A new slant!
September 22, 2017
Chicago River Walk

The Destination is There!

It is Summall. These past months have been filled with a lot of anxiety with "world problems." The opening to this blog sums up what I should be doing from God's Word. This year has been an anxious one. I came to the verses above from prayer and reading God's Word. In my previous blog, "Wake up number 47," I eluded the the uneasy feeling I've had all summer since May. That feeling has not "released" since then. I would say that it's reached a culmination last month on August 4, 2017. Yeah, I remember the day plainly because that Friday night, I had a very fearful dream. It was so fearful that I e-mailed myself the dream when I woke up.

The death dream. The Destination is Destination Church. As you all know, I chose this as my New Year's Theme. I believe it hit its real meaning and climax on August 5, 2017, when I was "scared back into church." It was Sunday morning and I attended my first church service here in Chicago at "Destination Church" in Boystown, not far from Wrigley Field. I hate to say it that way but I think that's what happened that Saturday morning, August 4. In that dream it can only be described as three intense feelings: Abandoned, unworthy and condemned.
-------- Original message --------
From: "Eric R. Chatham" <>
Date: 8/5/17 07:14 (GMT-06:00)
To: Eric Chatham <>
Subject: Death Dream

Was in Living room in house from Maple Heights. Mom and Dad there. I was praying to Jesus for forgiveness. It was the final hour before judgment. I think Dad was there. Mom was sitting on couch and I was on the floor. Cheri was in dream too. I'm calling this dream the final hour.
I prayed when I woke up. I was scared in my dream and was praying for forgiveness. I was relieved when I woke up. That couldn't be a good thing. Should feel joy you'd think meeting Jesus if you're a believer.

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
In the dream, I was in the living room of the childhood house I grew up in Maple Heights OH. I was kneeling and it felt so real. My Mom and Dad were there (at least it felt like my Dad was there only because he would've been sitting behind me in his chair). Mom was sitting on the couch next to me. It was the final hour before Judgement Day, the last hour before we would give account of our lives. It was a very intense moment and it felt so real. We were each waiting our turn to go before the throne. Oddly, our waiting spot was the living room of my house in Maple Heights OH. My brothers weren't there so I'm not sure why it was like that. Parents only. I was kneeling on the floor asking God for forgiveness of my sins. Anyhow, that dream felt so real and when I woke up Saturday morning, I hate to say I was relieved but I was. In fact after e-mailing myself the dream, I asked myself a few questions in a "reply all." I also forwarded the dream to my friend Jeff and Rich.

Am I ready to meet Jesus?
Am I permitted into His kingdom?
Have I asked for forgiveness? He went to the cross and died for my sins. 
Do I believe and His Word and its truth?

Am I ashamed?

That Sunday, August 6, I was back in church with believers. I finally made to Destination Church. The pastor was preaching about Judgement Day as part of his message too, which further made me think about the dream from the night before. I talked to the Pastor afterwards and we prayed about it, and I would later pray and learn about the dream in August. The prayer with the Pastor after the service didn't bring me any comfort immediately but as I mentioned, I later would do some soul searching on my own...

Anxiety is a spiritual problem indicating lack of faith.

Going to church does not make me a believer; however, it's a place where believers fellowship and worship the Lord together. Being a believer is a personal relationship between God and me. That comes with faith, prayer and studying God's word. I would later do soul searching on my own...

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." II Corinthians 10:5

In fact, my friend Jeff Korhorn replied to my e-mail afterwards about "...taking every thought into the obedience of Christ" from II Corinthians. I read the verses and prayed about it. Actually he was referring to the "Revelation 12 sign, September 23" hysteria we discussed previously but I thought about the dream I had on August 5, that scared me back into church. The dream happened, but the feelings I had in the dream were my own. I thought back to that Friday night before bed. It was a busy day at work and we were upgrading our phone system that night. Things weren't working to how we wanted them to and we were all working on the problem well into the night before my Boss said "let's pick it up in the morning." So, we all went to bed that night not knowing [at least me] if it would be fixed and the issue was still broken. Then, I had that dream! So, praying about that and bringing the "...thoughts into the obedience of Christ" helped later. Those feelings were not from God. They were mine; probably because of all the stress from Friday. Regardless, when I woke up Saturday, I was "scared back into church." It could've been God allowing the dream to happen because I was putting off my faith and sinning. Maybe he thought, "Enough is enough! Get back to worshiping me!" Church and fellowship would be a good start to that destination! The Destination is There!

Moody Skies over the Mart
June 20, 2017
Merchandise Mart Rooftop

A Crisis of Faith

I waited for the Lord on High. I waited and He heard my Cry.  As I mentioned, August and September laid heavy on my heart and it started after my parent's visit and the dream I had on August 5. I have learned a lot though and as a start, I downloaded Bible Gateway and Daily Bread onto my mobile devices. What better way to load a useful app on my new Android Samsung Galaxy 8 but by downloading these useful apps. Soul searching began throughout August and I started reading the Bible on Brown Line morning commute to work each day.

A foundation in Grace? What better way but to start with the Gospels and learn about the life of Jesus, Truth in bodily form.

I picked the Gospels as a starting point because I think it's important to understand the object of faith and God's Grace. Reading in the mornings before work helped a bit. The soul searching was still underway though and my sin became an issue. In evenings, when you're alone by yourself, that's when it matters the most I think. A lot of those evenings before bed were spent on my knees before God. I'm not boasting or showing off here! Don't get me wrong but God does bring us to our knees many times and it's nothing to be ashamed about. He is so far above us, almighty, all-knowing and everywhere at once. One day I wrote this poem:

Each night…

The back of my eyelids belong to you O Lord. They see what is not seen. Closed to the world around me but opened up to your throne above the heavenly realms. You wash them with my tears, constantly streaming and renewing my sight before you. They don’t see what is seen; They see what I don’t see by faith. My eyes say, “Fear not, eyelids, veil the world before me, so that I see the grace of Christ, his throne, and the world of the heavenly realms. It is the only way.”

The balls of my knee caps belong to you O Lord. They rest upon the rocky, hard ground before you and they remain unmoved by my spirit and my soul as I seek you on your throne. Though they bear the weight of my being, as I kneel, they proclaim the awesome and the almighty God you are, in which my feet cannot understand. They say, “Fear not, feet, know the power of God, and how awesome He is. You may stand in pride, but we only know the humility from God on knees.”

The clasp of my hands belong to you O Lord. My fingers intertwine and seal the bond I share with you in prayer in the spiritual realms with Christ. They touch the heavenly realms and not things of this world. Clasped together, my hands reach out for your forgiveness, grace and acceptance. For your wrists bear the wounds of my salvation, and my own hands can’t comprehend what that means, but they only beg for good works which you provided ahead of time for them. My wrists say, “Fingers, come together. Fear not, and tighten your grip. God has brought you together by the grace of Jesus Christ.”

My dirtied forehead belongs to you O Lord. For it lays heavily on the ground before you, burdened by the world and its empty promises, weighed down by guilt and sin; you lift of my countenance. Laying heavily upon the ground, you lift it up, and it rests in you and is wiped clean by your love and truth. My brow says, “Fear not, lay your burdens down on God. Rest your forehead in Him. He will give you rest. He sees the dirt on your forehead and washes it away with his love.”

The beating of my heart belongs to you O Lord. It beats out life in communion with you, but it fails me. It beats, but it fails me. You cleanse my heart and you renew it. You put joy in there with hope and promise. It maintains my own blood but it is reminded of the blood you shed for me and how your blood washed me clean of all my iniquity. “Fear not heart, beat to God’s love. Beat to him. Blood flows through you, but receive the beat of God’s heart and allow his blood to flow through you.”

His blood. It washed the back of my eyelids. It washed my dirtied forehead. It purified my clasped hands. It renewed the strength of my knee caps. That is why I can lie prostrate to your throne O Lord.

I think it relates to how I felt on a few of those nights. One thing I really wrestle with in prayer is my heart! We say the things we say to God in prayer, but he searches the heart. Many times, I just find myself saying, "I don't know my heart now and I don't know how to pray." Jesus didn't come to earth with a military. Remember that. He targets the heart; its issues and sickness. So often times, I pray that God quiets my soul so I can "look to Him" and try to understand what's on my heart. I fear many times it's lip service and I struggle and battle for God to know my heart and that it's true before Him, especially when talking to Him. September was a month of anxiety, but I'm hoping the week of September 24th to start meeting up with Destination Church Small Groups.  I signed up for two of them, so I'm looking forward to them and being with other believers. I AM EXCITED!!!!

Tuesday nights: The book of Romans is an expansive resource for what the church should look like. Paul tackles issues of the Christian life and we will be taking an in-depth look at what he has to say.

Wednesday nights: In his bestseller “The Meaning of Marriage” NYC Pastor Tim Keller says that "single people cannot live their lives well as singles without a balanced, informed view of marriage." So, join us as we discuss what the Bible says about marriage and what that should mean for our lives now.

Total Eclipse of the Mart
August 21, 2017
Merchandise Mart Rooftop

Revelation 12, The Woman clothed with the Sun...

In the month of the Eclipse I came across an article about September 23rd being the end of the world or about something bad happening. Immediately, I reacted with anxiety but, with soul searching, God already has stated in His word that we don't know the day or the hour. What caught my attention more was the fact that September 23rd is my 1,973rd day in Chicago. 1973 is the year I was born. I don't know what it means but with some soul searching and prayer, it's not numbers that matter! God speaks to me through His WORD and His WORD alone! In the article a numerologist uses the number 33 and the alignment of stars with Virgo to give "prediction" in Revelation 12. David Meade (whoever this guy is, God only knows) has predicted the world's end on September 23, but as of now today Sunday, September 24th, he retracted that and now is saying in October it will start [with the tribulation period]. My friend, Cheri Foster, shared this article with me, and in fact I told her if that be the case, we need to watch out for a guy who the world worships and says "peace and safety." That would be a bad sign for everyone!

Man who said the world is ending Saturday changed his mind. It isn't actually ending

I replied to Cheri with these words:
I will share my thoughts on the Revelation 12 thing. When I read the Bible, I read it in context meaning I don't just take a couple verses out and make it gospel truth (no pun intended). Instead, Revelation 12 is a prologue. The first few verses talk about the birth of Christ (woman clothed with the sun and moon at her feet, travailing in birth), Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt to avoid Herod (the dragon waited for the birth; woman fled to the wilderness). The next verse talk about the war in heaven between God and Satan (the dragon flung a third of the stars to the earth with his tail). Satan took a third of the angels with him and currently is pursuing the offspring of Christ. So, where it gets into the future stuff is actually in chapter 13. Beast of the earth and beast of the sea. This is what I was going to put in my blog and apparently this particular star alignment has occurred a few times since the birth of Christ. I prayed about this and after I read the WHOLE chapter in its context it makes more sense. Plus, the inspired writers of the Bible did not write chronologically. They were wrote as they were inspired to write. Genesis 1, verse 1 and 2 are similar to this. In verse 1 God created the heavens and earth, but suddenly in verse 2 the earth is formless and a void. Verse 2 doesn't contradict verse 1. Verse 1 was an introduction to the chapter. Just my thoughts. 
Oddly, I read this chapter out loud when I had prayed about it because I wanted to understand it too with all the hype this dude was putting on the celestial alignments. Also I was talking to a friend about it (right Jeff Korhorn) and read it out loud. It read exactly like a prologue. One tenant that people forget is that the Lord said we don't know the day or the hour of his coming. We're to be ready for whatever that day might be. The other thing I really prayed about is the NUMBER thing even today being 1973rd day in Chicago. God speaks to us through his WORD. Not through numbers or signs. His WORD only. So if we want to know what God says about something, we look in his Word, not David Meade. I also have since frowned on the astrological portrayal here too since again God only uses his Word to speak to us. Not stars, or numbers or signs. His Word only. Hope that helps. 
The End Times officially started after Christ ascended to Heaven and the Holy Spirit came. It didn't just start in this century. Our timeline is not God's timeline.
So, now in the news we are left with the devastation of multiple hurricanes, earthquakes and two men that can't understand that "Joshua can't win Tic-Tac-Toe." I'm referring to the movie Wargames, which starred Matthew Broderick, but applying this to our President and that of N. Korea; two people I'm very uncomfortable with this month. The devastation of Puerto Rico and Mexico this month has been catastrophic and cataclysmic and a source of anxiety for EVERYONE in the world. The world issues prompted the anxiety theme for this month. These articles were read last August about debunking the September 23 Planet-X end of the world prophecy. These articles may be helpful for anyone in the months ahead as well.

Answers in Genesis: What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?
Escape All these Things: What The September, 2017 Revelation 12 Sign Tells Us

I will share the same thing I shared with others and after praying about it this month. In fact, when some yahoo sets a day, you can best bet it's NOT the day. As of today Sunday September 24, this dude is changing his "prophecies" about the ending of the world and the appearance of Nibiru, and the reports are not consistent. He wrote a few books so I think he feels entitled to continue the lie he had published in his books about September 23.

1. We don't know the day or hour of the Lord's coming. He warned us to be ready because we don't know. This is date setting.

2. I don't think a planet is going to collide. It doesn't fit with the Bible nor does it fit scientifically. We should be able to see this now with the naked eye in the sky. There have been claims that people have seen it by the sun but I haven't see it.

3. The star alignment thing. Virgo is one constellation. So Leo is her crown? Who says we can use stars of another constellation? Also, there are more than 9 stars in Leo. One thing I've learned is people see what they want to see. Jupiter orbits the sun every 12 years. So it spends 1 year in each sign of the zodiac.

4. Jupiter is the "messiah." This is astrology! Also, they are saying that Virgo gives birth to Jupiter on 9/23. How do we know this? Virgo is a constellation made up of various stars. How can we tell what or where her womb really is.

5. Could something happen that day? Ok so here is the unsettling news. Yes. I believe something can and I am unsettled about it. Man can use this day to do something bad, commit an act of terrorism, etc. It could start something bad. So, yeah, if anything, that's what I'm unsettled about. Man can use this day in a terrifying way to promote evil to its meaning.

6. I don't get the Giza and Pyramid mention in this and what that has to do with that. People need to be careful about date setting especially Christians. Remember Harold Camping a couple years ago? The blood moons? The Sun lines up with the equator each Spring and Fall. That's why we have something called Chicagohenge here in Chicago.

7. I believe the Luke verses represent the Great Tribulation. We've had signs in the skies, sun, "churning of seas," moon and stars since Christ's time. It should be interesting to note here the Greek word for Heaven in those words is Ouranos or where we get the word Uranium.

8. Revelation 12. From my own reading of the chapter in its CONTEXT, meditation and prayer, it's a prologue! It introduces the birth of the Messiah during the time of Herod and how the Messiah fled to Egypt at the time of His birth because Herod intended on killing him. Much like Genesis 1 and even John 1, Revelation 12 is prologue. Revelation isn't just future prophecy, it also is past and present prophecy viz revelation.

9. The truth is, none of us are guaranteed another day, whatever that day may be; today, tomorrow, September 23, next year, 10 years from now, whenever. We are called to repent and accept Christ's grace and forgiveness. Since this is a "Bible prophecy" in question here, this is the rebuttal to this.

Alright, I'll share a prophecy about the End of World. Ready???

This is the LAST SIGN, the FINAL SIGN, the GREATEST SIGN before the end of all things. Wait for it...

Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14.

It's not my prophecy. Jesus said the Gospel would be preached in the whole world FIRST before the end comes. This is the sign we should [especially believers] pay attention to not David Meade! Only God knows where the Gospel still needs preached right now. There still may be untouched parts of our world which have not yet heard the Good News of the Gospel and about God's Grace. IF that's the case, it's NOT THE END YET!

"...For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." Matthew 24:27.

A Solstice Sunset over the Sears Tower
June 21, 2017
Museum Campus Shedd

Fa'afetai, Eric.

I was watching the "My Name is Earl" TV series on Netflix and I got up to Season three where Earl is in a coma. It sometimes becomes quick how distant from God we can get just from watching TV; however, one thing really touched me in the episode, “No heads and a duffel bag.”

Earl’s Dad leans over him in a coma and whispers in his ears:

Fa'afetai, Earl.

Oh, and one more thing.
I never gave up on you, son, and I never will.

That's God our Father after we've been adopted into his family! On a more personal level as it was seen in the TV episode, that's God speaking to me [in a sense], and that's how I related that scene with Earl and his Dad It makes me think of the verse "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6. In fact, I don't remember why I added this Bible Verse to my YouTube Video about Chicago, and I really don't remember my heart attitude at that time, but I do remember the tearful prayers on the night of November 15, 2011 in Cross Creek Apartments of Brunswick OH. "Remember that day 15 years ago, don't botch it up this time." I think those words mean NOW! I included the Philippians 1:6 verse at the end of this video.

Where are you going?

"Today! It's Sunday September 24, Day 1974, Eric!"

Read Psalm 95 and Hebrews 4 first. "...Today, if only you would hear his voice, 'Do not harden your hearts...' They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’" I had intended watching the movie "Son of God" on Netflix today, but I believe I was inspired to read Psalm 95 beforehand. "Do not harden your hearts." I didn't know what the Psalm was about. God knows his Word, the books, chapters and verses; so, I went into reading it without remembering what that Psalm was about. 

I prayed about this after I read it and showed concern with God for the Psalm. My spirit was troubled. It starts off with praising, worshipping and thankfulness then talks about "...hearts going astray..." and to those God said "...shall not enter my rest." It led me to read Hebrews 4 as well. I prayed, being convicted of the Psalm's message and falling into the category of a "...heart going astray." I only pray that God uses me and knows my heart. Actually, instead of reading the Bible on my phone app, I picked up my old NKJV Bible and read from there instead. I was truly convicted here...

Now, you can watch Son of God. After having prayed about the Psalm, I then watched "Son of God" on Netflix. A bit disappointed how it played out, I think the scene which hit me the most was Peter forsaking Christ at his trial and the crucifixion of Christ. "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Immediately, I thought of Psalm 95. "Today, if only you would hear his voice..." Again, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do. It is finished." I won't detail how I felt or reacted. Honestly, that is between God and myself! I will just say this:

God is speaking now and tells us to seek him and find him. He goes to prepare a place for us. God spoke through Jesus.

So, I only pray that whomever is reading this understands and God's glory and forgiveness. Look at the life of Christ and know God! Today, I give him PRAISE in this blog for the things he showed me [and you reading]! I am proud to praise the name of  the Lord, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob!

God's Word remains True and stands the test of the Ages.

We have Truth in God's Word and it will live forever and ever: "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

I haven't witnessed the Resurrection with my own eyes, but like the Lord blessing Thomas, who doubted it, Jesus said, "...blessed are those that have not seen but yet believe." That's where Faith comes in TODAY and NOW! This mediation led up to October's theme, CALM THE STORMS, LORD! With the storms we've had this month, what about the storms in our own lives? Anxiety, worries, cares, doubts, finances, life, the heart! They're all storms.

October's life theme: "Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence! He commanded. “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm. Why are you so afraid?” He asked. “Do you still have no faith?" Mark 4:39.

The Last Day of Summer
September 22, 2017
LaSalle Street Bridge

2018 The Battleground is in the Heart!

This is going to my theme for 2018 if it be God's Will. Jesus did not come with a military of a charge of angels. That in fact is what the nation of Israel expected on Palm Sunday when he paraded into Jerusalem; no, in the same manner today, Jesus does not come with a military. He targets the HEART! He was after HEART ISSUES even today in our world, His message is the same! The problem with people starts in the HEART. So, that gave me the idea for the 2018 theme. I felt it was necessary to post this with this blog because I've never been the one that has fit in or been a part of the crowd. In fact, many times, I'm hurt and wonder what's wrong with me. Praying this week about the Small Groups at Destination Church, I still feel this way among people that are believers. So, I'm hoping God will help me to connect to people at church with fellowship. I'm 43 years old and I can't believe I still have to "worry" about making friends [at my age].

Is the worth of what we post measured in our Facebook likes? Did that noise catch your attention? Then, you probably should keep reading. 

I posted this on my Facebook page, because many times, I question if anyone pays attention. Does a post go unliked, if you scroll past and it is unread? Does a tree make a sound when it falls in a forest and there is no one there to hear it? Think about this. We all seem to measure the worth of our posting in likes. We all have a lot to say and a lot to share here. Consider what you say here and you can usually see the trend setting in your status updates or likes. How many times do we all put our heart and soul into a post or something you share, but feel ignored? Does a tree make a sound when it falls in a forest and there is no one there to hear it? I ask myself that anytime I share or post something here. My comment/liking trending on my friends' page honestly reflects on me and what my morals, standards and who (or what) else is presented in the content of the post (and most times the ties that other friend may have).

I express myself in my words. I'm not the best expressing myself verbally.

Any time I've taken the MBTI test whether by a trained psychologist or online, I always get INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging), but even INFJ is a complex personality trait I'm learning. Everyone of them is different. I have always expressed myself in being honest, kind, considerate, selfless, meek and fair. Yes, I've had my bitter moments and if I seem distant with you at first, it's usually because I'm doing research on you and using the N, F and J in my personality type.

Be yourself, right? One year, some dude told me to my face that I have to be more extroverted. Actually he said this, "you need to talk more and be loud and rowdy like a normal guy of your size." That really pissed me off, that someone would tell me how to live my life and be someone I wasn't. Not only did he stereotype me, but he told me to be something I was not. I've never been the loud, party-goer type. I have HOWEVER stepped outside my Introverted comfort zone and done meetups here in Chicago. Is it uncomfortable? YES! BUT, I go away each time feeling good that I did something with my day and that challenged me to a good end. I'm actually agoraphobic (fear of large crowds). Look where I live? Chicago! In a big city! I get out! I do things -- against my fear of large crowds. Trust me, this is NOT easy many times. Actually, this year, I dropped out of the leadership position of Meetup and my regular attendance has diminished this year except for a few like the "Windy City Wine Festival" and a couple others this year.

So, why are you seeing (or not seeing) this? Be true to yourself. If you're ignored or treated like a doormat, don't let that stop you for being the person God made you to be. Most times, when we are ignored or treated unfairly, we are the strongest, the ones that exhibit the most kindness, humility and meekness, the very qualities God likes to see in us as human beings, qualities lost in this world. 

"The meek shall inherit the Earth."

I primarily say this, because one, when I left my last job, it was like a tree falling in the forest and no one was there to hear it. No one cared or wished me well. There are those few that do miss me and truly people I can call FRIEND. Two, I put my heart and soul into my friendships. It hurts ME when I see one of MY OWN friends hurting and I can't do anything to help. As I said, I'm up at 6am on a Saturday morning. Take these words with you. I will too. The Man who spoke these words has the Title Deed of our planet and the scars to prove it.

Lawrence Avenue Life
Lawrence and Drake
June 20, 2017
Albany Park, Chicago IL

Matthew 5
The Beatitudes
Jesus said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Where do I go from here? What is my Destination for October? "Be still! Why are you so afraid? Do you still have little faith?" The Lord is speaking. Study. He speaks through his word to me; not in numbers, not in good deeds [although that is fruit of the Spirit], not in signs! HE SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD AND HIS WORD ALONE! Read it! I pray and intend to keep my study in the Gospels and I believe I'm being led to read Colossians too. Pray. I am also praying how I can serve Him; he calls me to be a SERVANT! Serve. I love photography; I love writing; I still have several letters I wrote to inmates from the Gospel House in my storage unit. Maybe I need to take a trip over there and get those for reading. Forgiveness. 2 years ago, I cut someone loose out of my life and I couldn't be happier about it. She was one reason I moved back to Chicago. She was also the same person who said I would fail and move back to Cleveland within 2 years. Yeah, thank you for your vote of confidence. I'd like to just point out but I've lived in Chicago for 5 years now. Each new day is a challenge and new step in my journey. I'm not doing this to prove a point; I'm doing it for a happier life without you in it! I need to pray and forgive.

My earthly father. I never got to share my Father's Day YouTube video. Happy Father's Day, Dad! A midsummer delight. This video is a tribute to my Dad, who taught me love of photography. I compiled the collection in June. I was going to include this in my Summer blog, but it looks like I might be scrapping that one now lol.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

The Destination is England. Next month I am planning a trip to England so I'm really excited about that. I must admit though, that right hand turn has me concerned HA! I'll be crossing over traffic! Lol. I am nervous about the driving and the flying the most though. Hopefully, I will be able to share more next month if I do another blog.

My England Trip 10/13/2917

Chicagohenge. Each equinox in Chicago, the city's grid system aligns with the sun. So, on any East/West street downtown, photographers love to capture the moment of the setting or rising sun between the buildings. Keep Alignment with God. Just as September 23 marked the first day of Autumn and the equinox, God wishes to keep our hearts and souls aligned with Him. A special praise to God for being blessed on September 23. He used the year I was born 1973 for the amount of days I was in Chicago and to coincide with a day that many would falsely proclaimed as the end of the world. PRAISE HIM! Only he [God] could be so perfect to make the days line up the way they did on September 23! He deserves the praise and attention for this!!!! Look to Him! I praise Him for this blessing. Truly. I thought about it afterwards! Thank you Lord for that blessing!!! 1973! My birth year! It's a blessing! Not something to be anxious about! This points to His Awesomeness that goes beyond all understanding or comprehension! I pray this helps others. Why? Because I admit I was very anxious about this day to begin with but it turned into a blessing afterwards! I've had that timer running on my website since I moved [back] to Chicago. A true testament to God and how He works. Help me to keep my eyes on YOU, the Resurrected One!

"Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?" Psalm 8

Day 1975! We're not supposed to ask for signs in our life, and I hope I've never asked for one, because I certainly didn't expect September 23rd, Chicago Day 1973, the way it happened. The Pharisees in Jesus' time asked for signs. God calls us to Faith. This section here is looking hindsight now on September 23. This day was a blessing for me not a sign, not even a warning! Many heralded that day as the end of the world [and yes I was anxious about it]. It's truly amazing how GOD works. He used the amount of days I was in Chicago to line up as the year I was born! BORN not END! 1973. This is a true testament to Him! Only He could be so perfect to line those days up like that. It's not an accident. I've had that timer on my website ever since I moved [back] here. Count your blessings from HIM; This was mine. He knows what we EACH need. PRAISE HIM! It made me think of Psalm 139. And this thankful post is to point you all TO HIM btw! It took a train ride home today to come to that realization about the date thing and recognize how great God truly is and makes us turn our attention to Him [well it did for me]. Lol. I thought about the November 15, 2011 tearful prayer -- November 15 is my Chicago-versary btw. I also thought how April 29, 2012 fit so well into His plans. I'm truly just awed right now! TRULY! This is NOT about me! By no means! After making the connection like this. It's about HIM. God used this to point my attention to Him and Him alone. Oh Lord, How majestic is Your Name in all the Earth!

Psalm 139: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

September 23, 2017
Jackson and Michigan Avenue.

Toodles for now...

Connect to me elsewhere at your own risk.

My Life starts at the Chicago Water Tower!
Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last 0 is for the time parameter
Keeping a train of thought and keeping on track.