Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Riding The Storm Out

There is a blizzard here in Missouri as I type this. During our life, we will go through many storms. It reminded me of a story someone emailed me awhile back.

One day a young lady was driving along with her father. They came upon a storm, and the young lady asked her father, "What should I do?" He said "keep driving". Cars began to pull over to the side, the storm was getting worse. "What should I do." The young lady asked? "Keep driving," her father replied.

On up a few feet, she noticed that eighteen wheelers were also pulling over. She told her dad, "I must pull over, I can barely see ahead. It is terrible, and everyone is pulling over!" Her father told her, "Don't give up, just keep driving!"

Now the storm was terrible, but she never stopped driving, and soon she could see a little more clearly. After a couple of miles she was again on dry land, and the sun came out. Her father said, "Now you can pull over and get out."

She said "But why now?" He said "When you get out, look back at all the people that gave up and are still in the storm, because you never gave up your storm is now over."

This is a testimony for anyone who is going through "hard times." Just because everyone else, even the strongest, gives up. You don't have to...if you keep going, soon your storm will be over and the sun will shine upon your face again.

Jesus Calms The Storm

A good companion scripture for the above story can be found in Matthew Chapter 8:

Matthew 8:23-27: Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”


Just remember, after every bad storm, there is usually a Rainbow. It is God's promise that he will never destroy us and the earth again. Genesis 9:11

In troubled periods of your life, have faith and trust in God.


"Don't miss all the colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold."

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox

Thursday, January 13, 2011


One of the fruits of the spirit is peace. We spend a lifetime in pursuit of joy and happiness. I am sure that most of us have been guilty at one time or another of placing too much emphasis in finding our happiness in things of the world. I know in my youth, I placed a lot of emphasis on material possessions, sports, hobbies and achievements in search of happiness. These things did bring temporary happiness.

But with any created, worldly thing, if you try to make it your god and the focal point of your life, the happiness these things bring eventually fade and/or you will reach burn out. Then you will be moving on to trying to find the next "god" and that may lead to a mid-life crisis and depression.

God has to come first in your life. His love is the only thing that is proven to stand the test of time. Jobs come and go, children leave the nest, family members, friends and spouses unfortunately pass away, sometimes tragically at the most unexpected times. The only thing we are assured of is God's love and his promise of eternal life.

If you desire peace, you have to have the right order in life and if you are married, it should be: God, Spouse, Family and Career. Your spouse is the one who you've made a lifetime covenant to and they hopefully will be the last person left in your home when you get older and retire. Your spouse should be more than a lifetime companion, they should also help you keep strong in faith so that you reach the final destination of heaven and eternal life. Marriage and staying together is a true testament of your faith because it requires you to be Christlike and forgiving, over and over, in order to succeed.

If you have children, it is your responsibility to teach and guide them to be prepared for the world when they become adults.

Your job is important for providing for your family.

  • 1 Timothy 5:8: But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

However, it is not God's desire to for you to sacrifice necessary time with your spouse, children and God Himself, to earn more materialistic things in life. And you don't go to heaven by "Keepin' up with the Jones," or due to your career accomplishments. God cares nothing about your career accomplishments or possessions, He only wants your love and to honor him as an obedient child.

Peace and being at peace with yourself is where true happiness comes and the source and summit of love and true sustained happiness is in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ never said, "Happiness to you" or "I leave my joy to you."

When Jesus healed 0r forgave someone, he usually told them that their faith has healed them and to "Go in peace."

The night before Jesus was arrested, he said this to his apostles:

  • John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    When the Risen Jesus came back from the tomb and saw the apostles, how did he greet them?

    • John 20:21: Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

    Joy comes through the Holy Spirit and being at peace with oneself.

    Inner Peace

    We all go through life, sin and make mistakes. How we deal with these sins and mistakes determines our overall happiness and self-esteem. The degree to which we have Inner Peace determines how well we deal with stress and anxieties in everyday life.

    Inner Peace is defined as: the state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress.

    The spirit of people who have not rectified their past and turned it over to God will be continually haunted by it and this will adversely affect their inner peace. This is where sacrament of confession can become very powerful, to release the baggage that we carry around with us from our past and the shackles that keeps bogging us down from being the true light of the world that we are called to be and a calm, happy spirit on a day-to-day basis.


    Reconciling your sins and forgiveness is essential in retaining the Holy Spirit and being at peace with oneself. You will be forgiven to the extent you forgive. I wrote a blog on our daily battle as Christians and forgiveness that goes into better depth HERE.


    Jesus left this world being an instrument of peace but when he entered this world, he said:

    • Luke 12:51: "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division."

    But Jesus was trying to divide the world from the "eye-for-an-eye" Old Covenant and leave the world with a New Covenant of Love and Forgiveness. Satan is the master at dividing with anger, pride, revenge and hard-heartedness. Christ came into the world to show us love and forgiveness to unite the whole world in peace.

    Peace be with you,

    © Michael J. Cox

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    I Remember

    Things I remember:

    I remember flunking my Freshman Chemistry class at mid-term and my college chemistry professor telling me that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a pharmacist, that he wanted to be a physicist but he couldn't get past Freshman Physics. Well, I retook his class and got straight A's in Chemistry 1 and 2. I graduated from pharmacy school 6 years later and have been a pharmacist ever since for 22+ years.

    An old saying: "Quitters never win, winners never quit."

    I remember my cousin Daniel who was a cute kid growing up and had a smile that would light up any room he entered. At a children's Christmas play this past December, an elderly lady was struggling to find a seat and Daniel saw her and helped her sit down next to him. Daniel said something like, "Don't you go to such-and-such church that my mother goes to?" She did. Sadly, just 11 days later, Daniel needlessly took his own life over a relationship squabble with his girlfriend. Ironically, the older lady who Daniel helped to her seat, was a choir singer and sang a beautiful version of "Ave Maria" for his funeral.

    A Gracie Allen quote that seems fitting here:

    "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."

    I remember happy, young marriages of family or friends being destroyed by affairs and hard-heartedness. I remember women I loved and/or tried to help, only for the relationships to end painfully due to pride, the blame game or an absence of love.

    Another old saying: "Faith makes all things possible. Love makes them easy."

    They say that nobody remembers the team who lost in the Super Bowl, that they only remember the Super Bowl champion.

    It is true with anything in life, it is not how you start, but how you finish that everyone will remember.

    And no matter how well or poor you start off, it is also important to remember what Jesus told us:

    • Luke 18:27: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

    My parish priest, Father Taranto, brought up the fact in his homily this Sunday that he has had requests from people who have fallen away from God ask to be re-baptized. But only one baptism is necessary as scripture tells us (Ephesians 4:5). It is just a start and it is up to us to carry out our baptismal promise from that day forward.

    And this proves a point. Many of us all start off well and good-intentioned in our intiation into Christian life at the time of our baptism. But that is the day-to-day challenge to remain Christlike and not fall off.

    Remember our savior?

    • John 19:29-30: A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

    When Jesus said "It is finished" shortly before he gave up his spirit on The Cross, He left a legacy of unsurpassed love so that sins could be forgiven. All the while, going through humiliation, ridicule, pain and suffering so that he could understand anything we may go through in life.

    Who remembers Jesus Christ well?

    Those closest to Him and those He touched. And even one, Peter, who He loved but denied him three times.

    So remember this in your everyday life. The most important people in our life will not remember us by how many material things we possess, how much money we made, how many degrees we earned, how successful we were in our career or by any of our career accomplishments.

    We will be most remembered by those closest to us for the love and forgiveness we leave behind. We will be remembered how we finish, not how we start.

    A famous quote:

    “For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.” --John Greenleaf Whittier

    I also remember the Tennessee Titans came within one yard of the end zone on the final play of the 2000 Super Bowl against the St Louis Rams. A touchdown would have made the Titans Super Bowl champions. I am sure that the Titans look back and wonder if they could have done one or two minor things differently and won the game.

    As with the more important things in life, whether it be parenting, your marriage and with your salvation, don't live a life that you'll regret later, just try as hard as you can every day to love and live as Christ did.

    Peace be with you,

    © Michael J. Cox