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Religion and Spirituality

The Devil Made Me Do It

Haven’t you heard that before?  Is it really the devil or are there self-defeating thought patterns that cause you to make a mistake, a big mistake.

Then when you are fired, have a traffic accident for which you are considered to be a fault, or blow it somehow and lose a relationship, you are initially entirely mystified as to how you could have fallen into that predicament and until the shock wears off, you are thinking, “Hey, what did I get into?  How did that happen?  Who, me?”

When the initial blankness wears off, next you face the consequences which can be overwhelming.  “Me, how did I get pregnant?”  “How will it change my life?”  “What happened to my car?”  “Is anyone hurt besides possibly me?  Will I lose my license?  How will I ever find another job with this on my record?”

Decisions may also have to be made at the moment which you might or might not regret later.  You can possibly become defensive and whatever the consequences of your decisions you can and will defend them.  You can then can become “Mr. or Ms. Neverever Wrong” and this too can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

You may also have to come to some conclusions which you may regret later.  Did you intend to do it or did the devil make you do it?  You don’t have to be Christian to think this, but it helps.  You may say that you won’t have any regrets because whatever happened, it wasn’t your fault and get yourself lost in denial even if it is not what actually is found to have happened.  Sometimes reality can become really, really hazy when this happens.

You can see how your self-concept can keep you from seeing or acknowledging your mistakes and how valuable life lessons can be lost this way.  Recently I had a conflict with a friend and lost my relationship with her.  I didn’t know it at the time that the heat was getting to her worse than I knew and I was more concerned about my own ability to handle it.  I learned, as much as I didn’t like it, that I was not acknowledging the signs she was giving me about her own deteriorating physical wellbeing.

I  had had a long-ago lesson ( that pertains to the above situation) where an aunt of my husband’s who was helping me get my baby to the doctor in a far away city didn’t really want to do it and I learned that she really wanted me to read her mind when she said, “Yes” and she really meant, “No”.  I was hurt when I found out that she felt I had taken advantage of her and was mad about it.

My husband’s aunt got really mad at me like my friend was when she had heat prostration.  I learned that I had to read minds and therefore read between the lines when I was in certain situations even when I was not told something.  It initially exasperated me, but I eventually got the hint.  It was a very expensive lesson when I also learned that my friend and also a close friend of hers were very mad at me and did not want to communicate with me.  Again they felt that I had taken advantage of her and was insensitive.

I certainly was part of the problem; but what if I considered that the devil made me do it.  I am sure he would be happy creating conflict among people and making them behave less like a Christian.  In the Lord’s prayer is the line,”and lead us not into temptation”.  We need to keep on our guard as hurt feelings and confusion are a potentially bad mix.  It has caused me a lot of grief.  Can you conceive of the devil enjoying this?.  I can think that is what God meant when he gave Christians this part of the Lord’s Prayer.

For a long time I was very rational about this part of the Lord’s Prayer and I didn’t think I needed pray it because I always knew what I was doing; but then sometime’s I made some dumb mistakes. For example, one was making a left-turn onto a four lane highway holding my fast food that I had just bought in one hand.  I totaled my new car and wound up driving a used Cadillac. I always wanted a Cadillac but not that way.  Who was at fault? me? God? or the Devil?

Also sometimes I have been very dense and as a result get caught in the same situation over and over.  Was it my fault or the devil’s fault?  I felt very strongly that I had to solve my own problems and often was confused in certain situations when I did not catch onto to what others’ wanted of me.  I knew I was not meeting their standard’s but I did not know why.  I was not getting their hints; but it was not malice on my part.

I have a little true story about me that illustrates this that I might have used in some other of my posts.  My lady supervisor at a clinic told me that I had an odor problem.  This was confusing to me because I was a regular bath taker, used deodorant, frequently changed my clothes, and washed those that needed it or sent them to the cleaners.  Needless to say, I immediately either washed all my clothes or had them cleaned; but the odor persisted.  It was very embarrassing and the staff felt  like that I had some kind of problem that I wouldn’t admit like to being homeless or living in a dive and had no plumbing.  Later I figured out that it was a perfume that I was wearing that didn’t mix well with my body chemistry.  I stopped wearing it. Problem solved.  But that never did connect with what the staff was thinking.

As a Christian, I latter learned to call on God especially for problems that I couldn’t solve and not to entirely depend on myself and view it was some kind of a test that I might fail.  I felt that the devil always won in these cases.  I had failed some kind of a test.  I did in an indirect way (I didn’t ask for help); but I think I either had some kind of lesson to learn or I was inadvertently making the devil happy.  Often it is the little things that bring us down.  I don’t think the devil likes us to be happy, without serious worries, and confident that we are okay.  What do you think?

“GOOD” VS. “EVIL”

  •  “GOOD” allows people to make choices and encourages them to do this.  With the “GOOD” side, you have the right to make your own decisions (i.e. Mahatma Gandhi).   The “EVIL”  side does not encourage making choices.  There is only one choice and that is the one that “EVIL” supports.  They ignore or hide any information that does not support their side.
  • “Let me see here,”

    “GOOD” encourages acquiring knowledge about both “GOOD” and “EVIL” and everything in-between (which should mean it encourages debates) and wisdom is frequently the result.

    “EVIL” does not encourage acquiring new knowledge that conflicts with any of the “EVIL’s” doctrines.  “Evil”  usually wants people to wear blinders just like horses used to do.“GOOD” wants everyone to know all the truth and broadcasts it across the earth for everyone to know.

  • The People Of The Lie Are Excellent Manipulators Because they Have No Consciences

    “EVIL” maintains there is only one truth, it’s truth.  They often portray themselves as exclusive societies (Scientology for example?).   When their real goal may be to take over the earth and eliminate or subjugate those who don’t believe as they do and/or those they deem as inferior and incapable of absorbing and comprehending their beliefs.

     “EVIL” often maintains secrecy and feels that they have something which enables them to have powers others don’t have.
    Whose weapon is “doubt”  “GOOD” or “EVIL”‘s?  When “EVIL” competes with “GOOD” they try to encourage them to become doubters.  “GOOD” wants the “Good News” to be broadcast to everyone and everywhere.  “EVIL” often presents itself as an exclusive society.Now can you tell the difference between “GOOD” and “EVIL”? Or do you want to or do you even care?Which one, “GOOD” or “EVIL”, does not want you to be able to tell the difference between them and often presents itself in disguise as the opposite one?

Devilish Behavior And The Las Vegas Shooting – A Hypothesis

There has been a lot of people looking for a motive for the shooter in the Las Vegas shooting.  They haven’t found any accomplices and the shooter was a known moderately (by Vegas standards) successful gambler and he had openly lived that life before the shooting.  He had gone on 12 or 13 cruises in the last year.  He had several homes. It apparently took a lot of planning, the acquiring of specific knowledge, and the scoping out of other possible locations and events where he could have carried the same type of atrocity.  He knew how to aim his semi-automatic weapons standing upon special platforms and he had made calculations to be sure he would aim the rifles in such a way as to enable him to kill or wound the most people.

Now you might not believe in the devil and/or in demon possession as described in the Bible but it seems to fit here.  Could a bargain have been made with the devil which allowed him to live the successful life he did even though he started his life with a very low-level job?  Also, his girlfriend said that he would struggle and thrash in bed (was he fighting with a demon or dealing with demon possession?).  It also accounts for the extensive planning that he did, the knowledge that he acquired, and possibly the targets.  Surely the devil would like to have him choose a target which would include a lot of lovers of country music which are often Christians?  Maybe he didn’t need an accomplice if he already was involved in a pact with the devil or had opened himself to demon possession.  As I present this hypothesis, I am calling upon the name of Jesus to rebuke the devil and his accomplices and to protect me from the devil.

The possibility of mental illness has been proposed, but it usually is not possible for a mentally ill person to be so successful in doing something that involved so much knowledge and preparation.  Was he a narcissistic sociopath? a paranoid schizophrenic?  Often mental illness leads to confusion and unrealistic ideas of special powers and also unrealistic ideas of how to carry out distorted ideas.  Yes, they can desire to kill people.  Maybe he had it in for Christians; but if he did, he told no one about it.  There has so far been any evidence of any delusions.  He was not the type of guy who stood out in any crowd and he was known as a frequent successful gambler but he did not cause any problems.   He was not known to associate with anybody but his girlfriend and, if not her,  prostitutes.

 

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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