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Religion and Spirituality

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

When Is A Compliment Is Not A Compliment? When Is Criticism Not Productive?

rp_7276688008_157c6001e4_m.jpgCriticism disguised as a compliment can be deadly as well as just plain mean and “snarky”.   Many a fainting flower has sub combed to the projected hatred of others even when he or she doesn’t deserve it.  One way is when a “put down” is disguised as a compliment.  Such an act can permanently damage one’s life.  How many people have stopped going to church when this is done by a “well-meaning?” individual?  “My, that is such a nice outfit.  Do you dress like this every day?”

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

Churches are supposed to be places where well-meaning individuals want to bring more individuals to Christ.  Or are they?  Some people in churches like to think that they are God’s chosen “elite” where only those properly initiated into the ways of the church are allowed to belong.  Membership seems to be by invitation only for those who will appreciate the selectiveness of their invitations and will protect and obey their canons.  If looks could kill, some people could die when they enter churches like this.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgSome church people feel that their criticism of others is well- meaning and will make others better Christians and they are only being helpful; but often there is an underlying current of hatefulness,  righteous anger, and  severe judgmentalism.  When this is coupled with a victim’s underlying current of self-condemnation and guilt, it can be extremely damaging and make him or her feel unworthy of being a Christian and keep the person from ever going to that church or sometimes any church again.

 

Some Beliefs That Keep You Down

  1. control freak That you have to control others or they will control you.
  2. . That others can make you feel bad.
  3.   That many people in this society (including you) are of little value.
  4.    That only a dope gives to others not expecting to get anything in return.
  5.   That you have to be what you have been conditioned to be from birth.
  6.  That what  you see, hear, or perceive in any way must be the same as everybody else.
  7.  That the theories about life and the universe that others have are the only ways to view them.
  8. Sheep go where they are told to go, eat what is provided for them to eat, and ultimately give their lives so that somebody else doesn’t have to.
  9. That you are destined to be alone and you are lucky if you capture anybody’s attention, no matter how little and no matter how long.
  10. That those who think that they are supposed to control us, know more than we do.

The Right To Celebrate The Holiday Of Your Choice

rp_5187344980_c232d0aae8_m.jpgI have just as much right to put the “Merry” in Christmas and keep the Christ in Christmas as you have to take it out.  You can say, “Happy Holidays”, instead or call it the Xmas season.

Freedom of speech is a two-way street.  It does not protect just one kind of belief.  It was ordained to protect the rights for all Americans, not just the Politically Correct (PC) ones.  Have we forgotten that?

rp_3380860520_1b0dca5ab0_m.jpgThe American  Civil Liberties Union has a strong bias in terms of what freedoms they will protect and they often protect one group’s freedoms and take away the freedoms of another group with an opposite or opposing point of view.

It seems like the American Civil Liberties Union is operating like the PC police and many people who are afraid of being taken to court by them will not say anything although it needs to be said.

beingjudgmentalWhen it becomes a war on Christmas, it takes all the merriment, fun, and joy out of celebrating it.  I am noticing that stores are not decorating for Christmas as usual.  I miss it.  Yet, the stores still want people to buy Christmas gifts and decorations, religious or not.

There is a lot of paranoia about celebrating Christmas the old-fashioned way.  It is a tradition in the United States of America.  Now it seems like people are bending over backwards to facilitate celebrating the religious holidays of other religions.

rp_1360757052_a551272cf9_m.jpgThere are a lot of Muslim converts in prisons forcing prisons to make changes (for example) in the diets of prisoners who are not Muslim.  I don’t know if they purchase Kosher food and have special kitchens in which to prepare it for Orthodox Jews.  Seventh Day Adventists also have diet restrictions which are part of their belief systems.

Now in our society, I can’t tell certain jokes either.  We are not supposed to make fun of people who are different from us even though they might laugh too if they heard what we said.  I make fun of myself and have a good sense of humor.  I tell jokes about being disabled, being a “Red Neck,” and being just plain stupid sometimes.

What about all the silly Christmas songs?  Will the American Civil Liberties Union come after them too.

Freedom Your Responsibility

Road Rage As An Example

Road Rage As An Example

With every freedom comes responsibilities.  What were or are your responsibilities when you get your driver’s license as a teenager? Who gets into accidents and gets traffic tickets if they don’t drive carefully?  You did and still do.

People make a big deal about not getting to exercise their basic rights anyway they want to.  Should they be able to kill innocent people because freedom of religion is their basic right and it is their religious belief that people who do not believe as they do should be killed?

What happened to freedom of speech?  It has gotten to the point that the American flag can be flagrantly desecrated, but sometimes not allowed to be displayed even on private property.  What about the recent disputes about what most people think is the Confederate flag.  Can I still display one on my property and I will if I want to.

Which one religious group has been attacked to the point that they don’t have freedom of expression anymore.  Christianity appears to be being phased out of the country while other religions such as Muslims and atheists are being allowed to promote themselves publicly and force their religious beliefs on others who do not believe as they do.  So what is the major religion or some version of it or non-religion that are apparently becoming the national beliefs of America?  And whose freedom of expression should not be limited by anybody even those whose beliefs do not agree with theirs?

What about some Jewish people who eat Kosher food.  Are other people forced to shop or work in their Kosher butcher shops or eat in their Kosher restaurants?  Do they eat or work in places that do not have Kosher food?  No; but some Muslims who do not believe in eating pork want to force butcher shops and restaurants serving pork to not serve pork so they can eat or work there.  These Jewish people obey their consciences and this limits where they can work or eat.  Why not the Muslims?

With rights come responsibilities and if you don’t become responsible for how you express your rights, then you still have to accept the consequences.  People can have weapons and use them to defend themselves within certain limits; does that allow people to use them anytime  or anyway they want.  NO!

Coming:  The PC Police And Who It Effects.

 

Theresa Caputo–The Truth And Nothing But The Truth

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo  (the Long Island Medium) is not a phony.  She is very real.  And why is she so real?  She tells the truth and nothing but the truth.  I went to her presentation at a local center (Ford Center in Evansville IN) with two friends,  We were also mesmerized by her presence and the type of audience her presentation attracted.

We got to see the real her: longer hair, a bright blue attractive dress, and sparkly heels.  (I wondered how she negotiated moving around on the floor in them?).  She told us exactly what she would do and not do and how she utilized her fan club.  She was very honest and straight forward and I hung on her every word which I could do because cameras (only used for the presentation and then erased) and microphones followed her around and we could see her facial expressions and the reactions of those that she read.

Spirit seemed to pick the most urgent cases.  Those which would have left the theater in a turmoil with no feelings re leaved from a sudden tragic death or deaths and guilt not resolved.  Although, I did not receive a reading,  I got some insight into deaths I have suffered and about my own metaphysical gifts.

She is what she is.  She is not fake and even excused herself from reading for people who had messages or pictures that could be seen on camera because if she had read these people she might have been be accused of  getting information from these things and not spirit.

It was a very intense situation and she had a very intentive and polite audience.  (Also please note that there were people there some from Ford Center and some from her own staff to help out and they did so without distracting or impeding what was going on. )

Theresa was gracious and even invited two randomly chosen audience members behind stage after the show.   There was no press of people to get her attention and autographs after the show nor were any books sold; but when she was in the auditorium, she moved freely among the members of the audience.

It was obvious to me that she was “on” the entire time and that there was nothing “canned” nor  was there material that was used as  “filler.”  You came to see Theresa and there was no “staff” between her and the audience.  I just had to say, “Thank God.”  She was very honest about her beliefs and the most surprising one was that she believes that there is no hell.

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Stoke The Fire And Watch The Blaze

rp_2793302319_fb8e5d72d7_m.jpgHow come we leave the most important jobs to chance and neglect providing any preparation for them in the aim of providing people the chance to put their mark on something very important or  to ignore it .  Do we have the inalienable right to mess up somebody’s life before the person even has a chance to live it?  Is reproduction a right or a privilege?  Could we mess up another person’s life this drastically if we weren’t allowed to exert this influence until their were of a majority?  Does ownership apply only to property and not to people?  Sometimes you would think so but it is not true.  Do we have the right to mess up a person’s life just because we took part in the conception of him or her?  Environmentalists want to restrict people’s rights to use their property but we don’t want to restrict a family’s rights to shape their offspring’s development and future contributions to society and to stunt or restrict a child’s future potential?

 

rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpgPeople who get parenting classes early enough either before they have children or before it is too late to help their children find it benefits both themselves and their offspring.  In terms of protecting people’s rights to promote have their own set of values we may prevent some people from having any values at all or from being exposed to any set of values.  Are or are not values useful?  Do values help guide people to acqiring goals in life and acquiring respect for other people having their own maybe different sets of values.  Not having values and therefore not teaching them often leads to only protecting the right to not having any values.  Also the value of human life either after conception or after birth often has no value and results in killing and enslaving other humans.

Love often gets left out of the equation when values get left out of the equation.  Babies placed in orphanages in the past to be raised without mothers (or fathers) failed to thrive and did not live to grow up.  Some people get more upset about the abuse and neglect of animals than they do about that of children and babies born and unborn..  Some animals if given tne chance become emotionally attached to other animals or humans if given the chance.  Do humans have the right to be given this chance.  We talk about pets who give their masters unconditional love and how people who are alone and maybe also ill do better if they have access to pets.  What is unconditional love.  It is love given without the expectation of it being returned.  It is recognition of the innate worth of life.  It is something that innately benefits the giver as much as it benefits the recipient.rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpg

Love is giving without expecting it to be returned.  Modern day business people might think that a person would be crazy to do this.   Forced giving does not assuredly generate trust nor reciprocation.  Stoke the fire and watch the blaze.  Each person has something to give.  Love is the core of values.  Caring for other forms of life reinforces the value we have for life.  Often we give up caring about something because we feel it won’t help.  Evil (the absence of values) is facilitated by those who have been encouraged to have no hope that they will to be able to make a difference.

Look up the words, “power” and “force.”  We are often encouraged to think that we don’t have the strength to be able to make something to happen.  This is the core belief behind wars.  That is that we have to exert force and go against somebody’s will in order to make them do something they don’t want to do but what we want them to do anyway.  “Power” is the strength inherent in wanting really to do good.  It is stronger than “force.”  Good people often don’t use it because they don’t think that the have it and /or that it will work against the force of evil.  However, consider Gandhi and Martin Luther King as examples of “power” in action.  “Love” and “good” are  the strength behind power.

rp_2793302319_fb8e5d72d7_m.jpgStoke the fire of “good” and watch the blaze.  Giving unconditional love is the way to do this.  We are not “powerless” as other people who have no values, who want other people to have no values, and who would use “force” to generate evil would like us to think.

Happiness Is Contagious

The lilt in your voice, the smile in your eyes are contagious.  Happiness is the most contagious with little kids.  It is easy to improve their mood by doing this.happiness-is-contagious-wx-70842

We often look without seeing, hear without listening.  We miss so much precious information when we are in too much of a hurry to go somewhere or do something to spend the time to process it.  It is surprising to discover that the smiles of children sparkle; their voices tinkle with a tune.  Little children spread happiness and it is contagious.

Usually if we can’t accept what we are hearing or seeing, we just deny it.  Psychically other people can be an open book if we are reading their expressions to get more information about them so we can understand them better and help them.

English: A Swedish box of chocolates called &q...

English: A Swedish box of chocolates called “Aladdin” (top layer, identical to the bottom layer). Svenska: Den svenska chokladasken “Aladdin” (övre lagret, identiskt med undre lagret). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spread the word.  Life can be a bowl or cherries or a box of chocolates if you want it to be.  Ever start the day by getting out on the wrong side of the bed?  That has serious repercussions.  Pay attention to how you start the day and do it in a different way for your own sake.

 

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Maybe, You Are Where You Are Supposed To Be

you-are-exactly-who-you-are-suppose-to-be

See this post at www.mutualspiritualaffinity.com.