Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

wisdom

Are Churches Ice-o-lating (Not Just Isolating) New members?

  1. rp_7276688008_157c6001e4_m.jpg Do liturgies, choirs, scripture readings, professional musicians, limit those who get to participate and how they get to participate in the worship service? and also what makes the worship service meaningful?
  2. Can members pray and talk about their needs and the world’s needs and their own religious experiences?  Many churches still have all male elders.  Sometimes they have limits on who can speak in church and what they can speak about such as only doctrinal and Bible-related subjects?  Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit encouraged and even demonstrated in front of the congregation.rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpg
  3. Is individual spiritual growth encouraged and supported not just in the church and Bible study groups?
  4. Are potential new members and visitors encouraged and welcomed when they come?chinese-grandparents-sitting-grandchildren-26098101
  5. Have you observed how members interact and welcome people to the church?  Are their welcomes warm and inviting or do new people feel ignored, frozen out, and rejected?
  6. Do church members gather in little groups and ignore others who also have something to talk about?  Are children, the lifeblood of the church, not only not welcomed by the church members, but also their parents are sternly disciplined for not keeping them still, quiet, and also maybe even invisible?
  7. rp_9709182109_5fd0b7fbaa_n.jpgWorship and fellowship should be a warm, welcoming experience for all members and possible new members.  Membership in the church should not be kept to the special few who believe the right way, worship the right way and think that they are potentially free of sin, not only now, but also in the past and future.
  8. Cold shoulders by longtime parishioners are not only not welcomed by nonmembers and but also by current members in the church such behaviour fails to spread the Word and Love of God.  Church members should not be critical of others while excusing themselves.judge-not-discernment
  9. Everyone’s sins should be potentially forgivable.  Prostitutes and tax collectors were accepted and blessed by Jesus.
  10. Worship should not be an ordeal but energy producing, love enriching, faith renewing, inspiring and making one ready to go out into the world and follow Christ’s footsteps.
  11. Attending church should be an inspiring and happy experience where one feels welcome and accepted.  Where visitors and potential new members are not considered a problem; but a potential resource for the church and providing a chance for the church to see and meet their needs.beingjudgmental
  12. Is this what atheists see in the church?  If so, aren’t they right?  What kind of an example of Bible-loving Christians are we giving to them?  Hate or love.  Acceptance or rejection?  Solemnity or joyousness?
  13. Thanks to Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer for her inspiration and also thanks to the groups in which I’ve had loving and joyful experiences.

The Little PEOPLE

happyoldercoupleEvery time I think that the Little PEOPLE are getting ahead, I realise they aren’t.  I was very happy with the recent election because I felt that the new administration was supporting the middle class that was no longer the middle class under the current, soon past administration.

grandparent-and-grandchildWhat I have recently realised is that I have joined the lower class (once working class or even middle class in many situations).  We are squeaking by on social security and disability payments (which have been borrowed from to pay other government expenses)  and have to seek help like free food from The Master’s Hand locally.  Also in this area, if you have farm income (that counts against you as it is considered income before farming expenses are taken out) in terms of getting any extra government help.farmgrandchild

Most of us would contribute something to the economy if there was a way we could.  Most of us would like to have a voice in the new administration.  For example, most of Illinois voted for the new administration except for the heavily populated urban areas.  But where is our voice?  No one campaigned in our areas and we feel that no one has listened to our concerns.  What do you think?  Are there other areas of our country in the same shape?

Expert-Full-NYC-3Also who is the voice of the forgotten little people?  On the network that supported the election of the new administration, we are not represented.  They are again relying on experts who have no real life experience or it is so far in the remote past that they don’t remember it or so far removed from it, it doesn’t matter anymore.

rp_362536218_150_150.jpgAlso, there is pressure on these experts, especially women, to conform to certain standards not representative of the men and/or do not reflect what ordinary people look like.  It is nice for some of us to remain “young” and look youthful but is not the way most people look and it is easier to see the standards for men are less stringent than for women.rp_376403644_150_150.jpg

For example, most woman experts on this network look like they are ready to go to a cocktail party instead of a business occasion.  Yes, the men are nicely and appropriately dressed but they don’t have to struggle as much as women do to appear appropriately presentable, youthful and beautiful.rp_374315433_150_150.jpg

When are the Little PEOPLE going to be represented?  The overall wearing, wearing second-hand clothing, or in “high style” Wal-Mart,  but often foreign made, clothing?  We have a lot to say and we don’t have a lot we can do about our situations but suffer.  Welfare often misses us and as our social security or retirement checks do not raise, but inflation and the cost of living does and as things cost more and more, we have to get by on less and less with little or no representation in or help from society or the government!empty pockets

The Little PEOPLE do have something to say!  We have learned something through experience.  We do have “philosophical” discussions.  We can see things others more fortunate and potentially more powerful don’t.rp_228552603_150_150.jpg

Certainly how Little PEOPLE experience life has something to say about the type of life we are promoting for all!  Often as people do better and better economically, they tend to put people down who haven’t and consider their opinions useless and their motivations feckless!  Also other people who have done well often think the same way and might make fun of those who don’t.  How many Little People do you see in certain churches or certain social groups like the Elks?  Nuff said.rp_AVaP8ps9-q4L3Kdb3ETm_150_150.jpg

I Am Free Of Judging Myself By Others

rp_374315433_150_150.jpgI just discovered in my old age (where I have found that insights blossom) I am no longer bound by what others think.  I don’t have to judge myself by people who are successful in my field or in any other field.  I am free to be me finally.  Instead of withering on the vine, I am growing again in new and different directions.  I grant that I have had difficulty with the judgments  of me made by others.  I may not be the world’s expert on a subject, but more than likely they aren’t either.

Be on your guard as you may be greeted by the anger of others if you do assert yourself.  Attacking what is the most defended by others may reach the highest rewards.  Who am I?  Am I what I want to be and can be if I only let go of others’ past influences?  Make way for ME!  I am discovering things that were lost or discarded as not achievable.  Now can I trust my own judgment?

rp_362536218_150_150.jpgWould you, if you were a man, wear a suit that was tailored to fit some other man.  I had a husband who was very particular about collar sizes and sleeve lengths in his shirts.  I have discovered I only like music that is sung a certain way and any other versions almost offend me.  Am I right or wrong?  Or have I discovered music for myself?

Failures do not always define you.  Whose judgment are you relying on?  Come home to the person you should know ( yourself) and glorify that.  This is not permission to clobber other people so you can have your own way, but you might make some people unhappy because they can no longer control you.  We all do not have the same tastes!

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgYou probably can no longer be the peacemaker just giving in because someone with a louder voice is used to making a group’s decisions.  For example, such a person then picks the restaurant for a group to eat at which then decides what you can have to eat.  Avoiding conflict does keep the level of the drama down but at what price to you?

I am becoming well-defined as I age and have lumps and bumps that may not please others or that may interfere with what they (not I) want.  Who am I actually?  Do I have undiscovered talents and interests that I can use to shape “my world”?

Life Doesn’t Come With An Instruction Manual!

rp_375649339_150_150.jpgLife doesn’t come with an instruction manual even though you deserve one.  You have to write your own!

Criticism is the little voice in your head that holds you back and hinders your performance.  Even though others say it is for your own good,  sometimes it isn’t.

rp_363849983_150_150.jpgReality is not always what you think it is or what you were told it is. You can miss seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing some things because someone told you that you just were imagining things.

Sometimes as people get older they don’t get wiser, they just get more set in their ways.  Sometimes a strongly held theory or opinion becomes a person’s life jacket when he or she is drowning in new information.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgHow hard is it for a person to change his or her mind?  This may be why people are told not to bring up religion or politics at the dinner table.  Maybe this is a good reason to think outside the box.  Many inventions were created this way.

Remember people are natural born originals and can’t be easily shaped into something that they are not.  Gemstones have to be cut into shapes that work with their natural structures.  What about individuals who are being shaped into contributing citizens?rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg

 

 

Who Are You Really? The Journey To Finding Yourself

archsedonaTwo years ago in November I went to Sedona, Arizona, to find myself; but I did not want to take any old trip or stay in any hotel or spa.  I wanted it to be a form of a retreat.  I went to find myself and for that reason, I wanted to go alone.  I found the site for Sedona Soul Adventures which offered an individualized retreat with three days of personally designed spiritual retreat with appointments with local practitioners of meditation, massage, and other types of personalized spiritual experiences.

(If you call Soul Adventures and set up a retreat, mention that you found them on this website.)

dscn3233I wound up staying in a Yoga house in Sedona and I had my own room and the offering of vegan meals for a set affordable price.  I was also directed to a local agency to rent a practical older car in good shape.  I set up two experiences on my own:   a visit to a power vortex with my own guide and a one-day bus trip to the Grand Canyon

rp_696548439_4a98411eeb_n.jpgIt was a wonderful experience and it was all part of my goal to establish who am I really?  Do you know who you really are?  Even before birth, various experiences shape you and determine who you are going to be.  Are you thinking right now, “Wait a minute, I know who I am.”  But do you know how you got to be that way?    

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Do You Respect Yourself As Much As You Respect Other people?

rp_300px-Grad_Students.jpgWhen  someone is rude inappropriate or disrespectful to you, are you too embarrassed to speak up for yourself or are you afraid that the other person might get angry at you?  Some people count on you doing this so they can keep on doing what upsets you either to you or others.  Sometimes we feel “we got it wrong” and if we said something we might be made to look foolish.

From the female point of view, some men think that they can grope a woman or cop a feel and the women won’t act like anything is wrong.  Somehow taking the blame on themselves, not putting it on the offender.  The offender sometimes says, “You liked it.  I can tell.”  They believe women somehow are inviting them to do this and they are just doing what the women want them to do but are afraid to say.

rp_8779146668_6e5def7ac9_n.jpgShould I list the men who have done this to me?  Also, some sexual talk, pictures, videos, and movies are off-putting to some women rather than arousing.  But we don’t want to rain on a man’s parade and let him do it and even watch, I would say sometimes uneasily,  ourselves.

Has woman’s lib gone too far?  Are women thinking that under the new era, that women should be more sexually active and cooperative when they are not comfortable doing it?  Is groping by your male seatmate in the back seat of a car while another couple makes out in the front seat satisfying or uncomfortable and maybe even embarrassing?

rp_5307249644_41b9ef6f0f_m.jpgThe woman’s idea of a sexual relationship is that it involves at least mutual affection, mutual sexual attraction, comfort, and privacy.  Some women up the amp even more and want the penthouse suite so to speak, etc.

Women can be very cautious about expressing their wants and desires sexually and it may be something they have not had practice doing.  Men like to express their dominance in a sexual relationship for bragging rights to other men (that’s a no-no) and the secure feeling that they are right about what their opinions are about what makes for great sex (for him) and they won’t take no for an answer.

Another true story, I had a professor like that and it was difficult for my office manager friend to keep him in secretaries he was so disgusting and predatory.  Yet, the rest of the office (mainly men) thought he was a great guy.  He was actually inconsiderate and self-engrossed.

emotional-abuse-disney-princess-16471851-496-479Did he try something on me, yes, and I did not consider him attractive or available (he was married and had a family) even though I was divorced at the time.  During that time there, I met a much younger man with whom I was comfortable with and who was attractive in a cozy comfortable way.  I wasn’t a cold fish, the professor was not my cup of tea and he was nasty to women and I didn’t like him or like to be around him.

True story, I was in a small crowded attic room with this professor and other students.  Several students and this professor were smoking.  My eyes started to water.  I am not a smoker.  He told me to take my contact lens out if the smoke was bothering me and that day, I was wearing glasses.  I said nothing.

11478115084_52613dd791_zHow much is allowed to go on; because we don’t speak up.  I once told my guiding pastor that it did not seem polite to start a ruckus in church but some people deserved ton be confronted.  I was not denying them Jesus but doing what Jesus did with his disciples when they were not doing the right thing,  They were ordinary men who sometimes got off in the wrong direction and Jesus knew what they were doing or were going to do and told them that.

What have I got to lose if I do this (speak up in public), maybe just self-respect.  Don’t let others “buffalo” you into accepting something from that them that you feel is wrong and should be stopped because somebody is or will or could be hurt.  We even though we are innocent bystanders sometimes have to confront the problem we see happening in front of our eyes even if it doesn’t involve us directly.

Once a man (I’ll call him a young man because he has a lot of growing up to do, was “high” in front and was very self-satisfied about how he was when he was high and even proud of himself.  I do like and love the guy but he can be exasperating sometimes.  I confronted him about being high (he thinks I am a nerd and don”t notice when he is high) and his “false” self-confidence and narcissistic attitude was really phony and annoying.

 

Judge Not That Ye May Not Be Judged, Condemn Not That Ye Not Be Condemned (From The Bible)

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgThe Bible warns against condemning others, but it also tells you not to condemn yourself.  We create so many problems when we start having so many expectations for ourselves, things that we have to live up too.  Do we bully ourselves?  Do we criticize ourselves before somebody else, including God, does it to us?  Then when we err we don’t give ourselves any slack. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.  We judge ourselves before somebody else can judge us.  Of what use is self-condemnation and judgments from others?

rp_300px-Emotions.GIFSometimes our conscience is too well-developed.  We do this to avoid judgments from others.  Maybe we stop and look in the mirror before we go out so that no one can surprise us with an unfavorable remark.  Compliments are often few and far between even those they may be deserved.  Sometimes when someone says nothing it is as close to a compliment as we can get.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesWe need warm fuzzies, not cold pricklies.  I guess the latter at least reassure us we have been noticed.  Have you ever felt that you might be invisible when everybody in the room at a party are busy talking to each other and they don’t seem to notice that you are there?

Be Careful Around Those With A History Of Sexual Abuse

(Here is the place to put a graphic picture of sexual abuse; but that might be considered child pornography.)

I am talking about the abuser, not the victim.  The chances are extremely high they will offend again and probably had committed other offenses before they got caught.  Also offenses tend to escalate over time as it takes more and more of a thrill to “get off”.  Some people protect and support offenders because they think they deserve a chance and they would like to believe that the offenders have reformed.

It takes extreme vigilance to protect potential victims from these offenders.  You and any other responsible adult who know about the offender should attempt to shadow the offender and keep them from being alone with potential victims.  To do this, you have to think like an offender.

The sexual abuse often reflects the offenders’ full time commitment to getting access to potential victims and to collect information that would help them do this.  A sexual offender never says to a responsible caretaker I will watch your child for you while you go to the grocery store and while you are there, I will get your child to undress and play a “fun” game with me from which I will get sexual  pleasure.

Should you believe me? Yes!  I have conducted interviews with many victims of sexual abuse, often by play therapy and by using drawings,  One thing I have been careful not to do is implant an idea in a child’s mind where one didn’t exist and to try not to commit further trauma.  The child may be frightened and somehow feel guilty.  These are ways that the abuser knows to keep the victim from talking about the abuse with anyone.

When abuse occurs, children do many things in an attempt to help them handle it.  They may learn not to trust their feelings and/or intuition.  They might put a lot of it out of their mind as it is too hot to handle.  But the unconscious usually retains the memories of sexual abuse somewhere and also the feelings associated with it.  It is like a splinter.  It may hurt a little if you leave it alone but it might hurt a lot when you take it out.  Then the pain can go away.

Possible consequences of sexual abuse are confusion about sexual identity, decreased or even absent libido, and a sense of inferiority that never goes away.  Don’t wait for someone else to do something about it!  The sexual abuser counts on this.

 

Who Are You?

How do you define yourself?  By what others tell you?  By what you think you should be? By what you really are?

Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given?  Thus we may never learn who we really are!  Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are!  Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgWho are you?  In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are.  We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.

Even identical twins are not entirely identical.  In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.

Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with.  Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.

Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so.  My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.

rp_374391220_666c62562e_m.jpgI ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology.  I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!

Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog.  I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense.  That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy.  I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

So who are YOU really?