Does Friendship Exist Without Politics, Religion Or Money!

Are there any topics more likely to erupt in heated disagreement than the unholy three? What is it that is so threatening about those particular topics of discussion? In considering my own reaction, the first thought is fear and insecurity.

In terms of religion it’s a safe bet the number of those professing to be of the Evangelical persuasion may relate. That particular verses such as John 3:16 are well known for many reasons. However, the words of “A senseless man does not know,

and a fool does not understand this. When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all those involved in vice flourish, it is so they may be destroyed forever.” would have the greater majority scratching their head. Why? Because most have never read the Bible from cover to cover.

Someone with just a bit more knowledge poses a threat. When someone is threatened and insecure, what happens? A strong defense is mounted and no amount of reason will prevail. This applies to politics and money as well.

Most are just as adamant and narrow minded when it comes to a sports team. The reasons are different, but the mindset is closely related. At least where sports is concerned it has more to do with vicarious satisfaction. The same with music. This list could go on and on. The point is we tend to be just as fervent in our defense of anything we strongly relate with.  There’s no regard as to deep personal experience, knowledge or education on the subject. As soon as the lack in any area is felt…BOOM! The battle is engaged.

Politics could be that topic for me. I know what I know, and what I don’t know the best effort is made to research and educate myself. It is unfortunate there is such an unbelievable chasm between left and right. It is hard to accept that any logical person could believe aborting a human fetus is acceptable, much less one who claims any belief in a God.

That marriage could be anything but that between a male and female, man and woman, with the ability to procreate. That it’s ok to create laws against discrimination of groups of people contrary to the majority beliefs in our country, yet discriminate against the majority. How twisted is that!

That it’s ok to throw away all that this country has stood for during the last 240 years. Of it’s sovereignty, uniqueness, power, under God, to become something without identity, unity or focus. A “swamp” full of the rot and decay of moral values, lawlessness and national pride.

As someone has stepped up to make changes back to that way of life, the opposition is remindful of those biblical characters who also resisted the virtues mentioned above, and what became of that people. It seems we are facing a true decay in our society. Has it gone too far? Are we on that downward slippery slope of so many empires of the past? The Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, Persians, and others. In each and everyone moral decay from within was the greater enemy. The enemy was never truly without. Power, money, greed and lust have always been the earmarks. If the USA were to be measured against those four yardsticks, how would we shape up?

It’s hard to know what is true any more. There has been so much deception to further along agenda’s. With government assistance and coverups even by those agencies charged with protecting the public. Trust no longer exists. Each day is looked at with a greater or lessor degree of anguish. To such a point it seems normal and not the contrary.

So again the question. Can friendship exist with politics, religion and money as topics of discussion? Even when two people may be bonded by relationship, long term friendship, similar values? If those are missing what are the chances? There is the question. What are your thoughts?

Think I’ll go experience a Ginger Shot!

Do You Take Time To Take Time?

9-miles-around-lake-cuicocha
9 miles around Lake Cuicocha w/guide Luis 2016

Take time to take time. Reading a few posts today by Face Book friends, some schoolmates not seen in 50 years. Sharing memories of present and past. I know that may sound a bit strange thinking of present memories. An oxymoron? Not really considering a memory can be just seconds ago, not decades. Recalling what was good about those memories is nearly always pleasant.

I find myself many times contrasting the past with the future. Wondering how things will change? At this stage of the game an end is much more in the cards than 50 years ago. Or so it seemed. That I would loose my Dad just days after returning from Vietnam never entered my mind, but it happened. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Being in harms way, in the thick of pitched battle as a grenadier made me a prime target. Yet I came home physically, and mentally intact with a few new scars.

There’s no end to the memories. Even though some want to be buried deep into the past. Good times nearly always come rushing to the present for those fleeting moments. Never as exact as the actual instance. Tidbits have to be added by others as some nuggets tend to escape. Then corrections are in order as the sequence of things can get out of whack.

What would I do without the ability to recall? Alzheimer’s comes to mind for those stricken. Desperate to recall what was once familiar. Now happening as brand new, threatening, strange, searching for a reality that escapes in an instance. A dream wide awake full of the unfamiliar. Words attempting to describe what only the mind that’s left, wants to make sense of. But can’t.

Have you ever had amnesia? Was there a moment in time where your mind tried to recall something but came up with a complete blank? Did you panic? Was it just a bit frightening not being able to recall something that should and was completely familiar? You bet it was! Been there…done that, and it’s no fun. Seems to happen a little more frequently these days. I nearly always remember after going through some mental exercises like review of the alphabet when it comes to names.

Still, there is that nagging doubt. Is there a forewarning of what’s to come? Am I loosing it, my memory that is? Or is this just what happens when the memory banks in my grey matter get overloaded? Is that even possible? Probably not, but the thought that it might is at least momentarily reassuring.

There are many exercises I have discovered, supposedly geared to challenge and help aging memory. There are some games that claim to stimulate the mind and memory. While they are somewhat challenging, it is debatable as to effectiveness. How do you measure that?

Other resources claim writing, reading, drinking coffee or wine, eating foods that are healthy which does not include red meat or processed foods. Now I just took a test online that is supposed to help determine if there is any cause for worry or concern. I’m not worried or concerned but I thought it would be interesting to take anyway. Scored a “1”. From 1 to 4 there apparently is no cause for concern of onset of dementia or the dreaded Alzheimers. Here’s a link to that test, in case you’re interested for yourself or your significant other. If you remember who they are! That’s a joke…just in case.

My greatest concern may be trying to figure out why as I write, so many times the “i” doesn’t get capitalized? Of why the first letter of the word that begins a new sentence doesn’t get capitalized? Or recently I think my keyboard has developed dyslexia! Letters on a regular basis get interchanged in the word. It just happened as I was  writing regular. The “u” and “l” got switched. Typing too fast could be blamed, or a key that doesn’t respond fast enough to my touch. That seems to happen frequently to the “!” and “1”.

I was never too good in typing class in High School as far as visualizing the keys so as not to have to look at them. Since my speed was fast enough at around 60 WPM, I figured it was good enough. Now it seems to be a cross between looking and visualizing.

Taking time to be social. Since a great deal of my time is right in front of the monitor and fingers on the keyboard, socializing is not high on my list. Sometimes it almost seems as though the articles I review for information, videos previewed, or books read are as much socialization as I need. Couple that with the short 30 minutes at school to pick up my spouse interacting with teachers, administrative staff and occasional students is adequate.

So here I go to the bottom line. Taking time, and enough of it may never hit perfection. However it does seem there is enough to keep me on the right side of healthy. But that’s for me. What about you? Are you taking time to take time? Check out some of the things that can make life more enjoyable beside stuffing the mouth! Yeah, don’t we all once into retirement find any excuse for coffee and a piece of pie? Or whatever your favorite drink and dessert may be, it’s used as a reason to meet with others. The result? Not being able to stand up straight and see unimpeded to your toes!

It seems many have reached that place where if you have to exert yourself, it means you’re not retired. You sweat only because the air conditioner isn’t working or you’re on the beach somewhere. No more hiking, exercise beyond lifting a fork, working in the garden, chopping wood for the fireplace, camping without an RV, and the list could go on. There’s no suggestion these activities have to take place on a weekly basis. The suggestion is to do them. You know, that “just do it!” thing.

To conclusion is if you take time to take time there will be more time to take time. Get the hint? We already know none of us are gettin’ out alive. May as well make the most of now! Being in a physical state to do that will depend on taking time. And you though you were just going to sit around, reading novels or watching endless sports on cable.

I don’t know about the rest, but I have my sights set on reaching triple digits and beyond. Granted there’s never any guarantees save one, but why shorten the race by not taking time. Would you be jealous if I reach 120 years old still walking on my two feet, completely cognizant, able to walk two miles in  40 minutes, still writing, with no medications? That would be 50 years from now. Maybe I should strive for three miles in an hour, but I’ve already done that. Another trip for skydiving, maybe to break a record as the oldest. That would be a corker!

I’ve got that bucket list, and it will probably take time to complete it. Like maybe 50 years?

So right now I’m gonna take time to have a cup of coffee with a piece of fresh baked bread.

Discovering The Truth While Exposing The Lie!

expose-truth-in-love
Expose truth in love

How do you expose liars and do it with love? Being impartial is not one of my attributes. As a result I speak, and write, as much as anything from my emotions rather than from an objective point of view. There is no pretense, as I see no middle ground. Trying to straddle a fence is pointless and can be painful.

I can remember years ago in the Army, one of those in my platoon was pointing out his philosophy as it related to layers of feces. You know he used the four letter version of that material so I cleaned it up for those who might be offended. At any rate, he claimed he never bothered to take the middle ground about anything. This came about from a discussion of God.

His belief was there was no God. For him, this signified a layer that was not clogging up his life. He believed that most go through life allowing these layers to build up, until they were basically strangled to death. In other words being so full of indecision that it killed them.

It was not long after that our entire Division shipped out for Vietnam. We were separated before that and I never saw him again to see how his philosophy worked out. But he had a good point, which is how ridiculous it is to put aside any issue with indecision.

Many times it is simply an unwillingness to do what instinctively we know is right. Maybe I should reserve that thought for myself as it assumes others struggle with the same scenario.

I read and post a great deal on Face Book. There are constant posts that are outright false. It is quite an irritant that people are so ready and willing to post the next inflammatory, sensationalistic, too good to be true or real, negative stuff without ever bothering to check it out for truthfulness. It shows a somewhat sadistic bent to continue the “manure” rather than the truth.

At times I feel like I have become the Face Book “truth” police. Worse yet are the repeat offenders who blindly post something from their “friends.” The common thought is that a friend would never send or post something that is false. Or so it seems, since I see it time and again. This even after alerting said repeat poster with links clearly showing it’s incorrect.

I’m not sure if this just makes me cynical or a cynic. Experience has taught me to be suspect of comments and statements that are slanderous, inflammatory, sensationalist, or simply too wild or good to be true. What used to pass for journalism has caved to this type of writing. Why? The reason is obvious. It seems human nature is insatiable for this type of information…or lie.

There are those with “fake news sites” that claim this is just entertainment, and the “market’ is growing at an unbelievable pace. Worse yet it is fueled by advertisers willing to pay substantial bucks because of the growing traffic resulting in income. It seems that this has proliferated greatly during the last  four years, and exponentially during the run-up to the 2016 election.

Worse yet, these sleazy fake sites were employed to write their trash directly pointed at the opposition. In most cases this was at candidate Trump. All bets were off, and any item was taken and distorted in any and every way possible. There was nothing sacred, too indecent or slanderous to say. Since these were fake news sites and many were identified as such. Even though it was hard to find among all the glaring headlines and inflammatory claims. The trash overshadowed the disclaimers, which was the only item saving most from prosecution.

So the original question was how do you expose this with love? Can it be addressed without anger, disgust, or emotions at the outrage over the garbage so may indulge in? The part of me that comes to the surface is a desire to expose the lies, and call out those who are the perpetrators. It isn’t about me rather something much deeper. It seems if there are those so ready, willing and able to promote the ugly and negative, another should step in to expose truth.

It’s no different than how a single light defeats the darkness. It only takes one willing to start something positive. I think what I’m doing is positive, in pointing out those things that are not true or misrepresentative of facts. It has been pointed out to me on several occasions that what I think is not always on the money. Retractions in those moments are made, and fortunately rare.

Some may not agree, but it’s hard to argue with truth. Then again truth is relative to the mindset of every individual. No one can force what to believe on another. The results can prove fatal. Being an expert has never been claimed, as that would seem to imply being near perfect in some category. Knowing more about some subject just means a greater amount of information has been gathered. Some would claim that as expertise, when it is more relative to ego. That has proven to be the greatest enemy of all.

So how to expose in love? I guess the first hurdle to get over is remembering that love is not just some warm, fuzzy thing. It also covers the spectrum as a pendulum swings. It can be painful to see those who over time have been friendly, buy into the untruth so rampant on the internet. Ideologies were not so divisive and or rigid in our youth. They become so like the brittle bones of age. The lines of what was once so clear become blurred like wrinkles of time on the skin. Blind spots are reflected in our age spots. Somehow we, I, believe wisdom has been discovered through it all. Has it?

Does love lash out? If the cross is any example then it does not. If the moneychangers in the Temple being whipped are the example, then maybe. Truth is not supposed to set you free, it does set you free. Often being painful in the process. It seems to be a question of wanting to provide truth in a setting that is not antagonistic, rather one of kindness. No matter how much I may think I have learned, it is far from complete. My human nature simply needs to continue having the rough edges ground off. Truth need not suffer, nor be used as a battering ram. If love exists, it will find a way. This seems to be another beginning. One of many. Surely not the last.

Kool-Aid Quiz/ Do You Really Think Cuts Equal Eliminate?

time-to-man-or-woman-up
Time to man (or woman) up!

There is not a chance that any of the proposed budget cuts are going to really offset the bloated budgets each one of these departments has in the first place!

If each one were gone through with a fine tooth comb by a genuine auditor, the reductions could probably be more. The traditional actions of every one of these departments is to make certain every cent of an annual budget is used up, so that an increase for a new budget can be justified.

As such, money is spent on frivolous items or out and out wasted. Worse yet, there is no oversight on how it is spent, unless the attention of the GAO is ignited! We have an example of how well that works by the increased amount of the National Debt from the last eight years.

So the hue and cry of the Dems is just noise, like that one child in the family constantly crying and complaining, creating chaos just to get attention. They can’t understand why all their insults, delays, obstructionism, rumors, exaggerations, personal degradations, unfounded accusations, desire to be despots, globalists, lawless society, abortionist desires, exploitation of women by claiming freedom, elitist attitude towards working class, is so not accepted by more than half our population.

And don’t kid yourself, that the full result of the popular vote reflects the true feeling of those numbers! When there are more than 11 M illegal immigrants, many of which are encouraged to vote, given I.D.s and voter registrations in MANY states, plus Green Card holders that have done the same, only a stupid person would fall for “there’s no evidence!” That or Dems who don’t want to know the truth.

So keep on crying and complaining. That will really solve everything. It’s apparent how well the tactics of the last administration worked. They didn’t! That’s why you’re still crying, and most likely will be for the next 8 years.

It should be clear by now that those in line with the GOP want our country back! We’re not ready to hand it over to those who are not citizens of the United States of America. We’re not going to let other factions in the world bent on terror defeat or rule us. We welcome with open arms those willing to come to this country in the same way many of our ancestors arrived. Legally!

Going through the process. Making the sacrifices necessary. Not stealing our generosity, robbing, killing, raping, and abusing everything like the thugs, and undesirables they are. No, amnesty for those is totally unwarranted. Even to those millions who may not fit that description. To them amnesty is still unfair to all the others who do not need it. Illegal entry to this country should not be rewarded. Period!

It makes one wonder how it’s possible for those who want to give all that up? Millions have died to defend our right as a nation to exist. Yet there is this element bent on destroying that. Even after seeing the failure of “Open Borders” in Europe, and the terror that came as a result. How could any sane person believe that would work in the United States?

This all started out about budget cuts, and strangely enough it’s all connected. It’s bureaucrats and those who have gone through some sort of brainwashing or personal agenda, wanting to act it out at the expense of the rest of us.

They know no rules, and really have no allegiance to the country they swore to serve. Many believe themselves absolved from accountability. So the traitorous actions, played out in so many different ways, are done with the idea they are isolated from any persecution for such treachery. Justice comes to all in due time.

These budget cuts are just the first step in rectifying the bloated budgets presented falsely over the years. The same will result in personnel filling needless and pointless positions, simply to fulfill perceived or worse, committed obligations to constituents.

 

Secret Truth To Discovery Of Happiness!

When was the last time you decided to be happy? No, really! Can you think of one? Take just a moment and try to recall an instance where you made that choice.

Now, by the same token when was the last time you made a decision to be mad? Bet it wasn’t hard at all. Maybe five minutes ago, or earlier this morning when you lost an hour of sleep because of the time change. Did you get irritated when the egg yolk broke while frying? Notice how much easier those instances came to mind. Was it as easy to think of the happy ones? Bet it wasn’t.

Of course the question, why is that? It seems that nearly all are habitually programed to know how to be mad. The same can not be said for happy. Do you ever remember hearing, “If you don’t stop that crying I’ll give you something to cry about!” Hearing that command sort of has the implication that you should be happy. In spite of circumstances not to your liking. In other words it’s not a choice. Well, in the famous words of a well known psychologist, Dr. Phil, how’s that workin’ for ya?

The world at large still looks for that elusive happiness. No matter how often you hear, “It’s an inside job!”, that falls pretty much on deaf ears. Why? For one it doesn’t satisfy the drive for instantaneous satisfaction. It clearly puts the weight on you. Not whatever it is you’re attempting to use to make yourself happy. What are you feeling right this minute? Irritation? Frustration? Resistance?

Remember that phrase about truth? Truth will set you free! So if it’s a fact that happiness is an inside job and it’s true, do you resist that? Then answer this question. Have you succeeded finding it in any of the external places you’ve looked? The truth will set you free, and it will hurt in the process. Answering the previous question is about to prove that.

Relationships, sports, extreme adventures, personal challenges, defeating negative habits, are all awesome endeavors. Each and everyone can create that momentary euphoria when accomplished. Euphoria is not happiness. Let’s define what it is.

A simple definition is; the state of being happy. Synonyms: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment; exuberance, exhilaration, elation, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, bliss, blissfulness, euphoria, transports of delight.

Now a synonym is: a phrase or word that means exactly or nearly the same as another word. Remember that euphoria is not happiness? In short it is a temporary feeling of intense excitement. Many relate that to happiness. The contention is that there must be an event or action to cause that momentary feeling. In other words it is not sustainable.

So does all this suggest that happiness is impossible?  That feelings and emotions don’t necessarily relate to happiness? To the contrary. They are a part of it, but do not define it. Does this suggest that happiness is sustainable? Yup! Now you’re on the right track. Does that come as a shock? That’s not surprising at all.

So let’s go back to happiness being a choice. How in the world does that work. Surprising to most, anger is just as much a choice as happiness. What? You think that’s crazy! Hang in there and it will make more sense. Believe it or not, no one, nothing, can make you mad or happy. Oh now it’s certain you think this is going off the deep end! So just consider this. It’s already been said that happiness is a choice. So is anger. Both are an inside job!

Whoa! You’re not sure you want to keep on reading, because this begins to sound like too much to take in. Wanna be happy? Then  keep reading.

Contrary to popular belief, no one can make you mad. It’s only when things aren’t to your liking. Or you have a fearful reaction to anything that manifests itself as anger, that you relate whatever that is to being mad. At the nano-second you decided whatever it is you disagree with, or fear of anything that goes against your ingrained, subconscious beliefs, it is equated with being mad. It is easy to cast your focus onto that “thing” or “event” as being the cause or culprit. It’s not. However the learned reaction is a habit to blame.

You have been well educated by examples all around you. Your entire life this attitude has been acted out hundreds of thousands of times. By you every single day. At this very moment as you examine yourself, you know it’s true. It may be a grudging admission. Being honest about something it was so easy to ignore up until this very moment is not easy. So where’s the benefit of this deep confession in your life?

You know of a few people in you circle who always seem to be “up!” You know the ones, who seem to almost refuse to be mad or negative. Yup. You know they are. There tends to be a genuine smile on their face. Even in their countenance. You’re usually glad to be around them, because you simply feel more positive. They make you feel good about you. In fact it feels good to be you.

It’s because they have learned how to tap into that happiness. No, they didn’t win the Lotto, or marry the Prom Queen. They aren’t the star quarterback or Olympic Gold Medalist. They really are just like you, with that one exception. They found happiness! They know, it is a conscious decision to find it, and it lives inside each and every one of us.

The greatest lie so many buy into, is you can find happiness in all the external things life has to offer. You know that isn’t so, because up to now all that stuff hasn’t worked. So here is the option you have before you. It won’t be easy, as nothing worthwhile ever is. Changing a habit requires determination, discipline, honesty, and a refusal to never quit. What is this habit? Being truthful with yourself about where and how to find happiness.

It is a choice. Plain and simple. In the beginning it is like any change you have ever made in life. Really it’s no different than learning to drive a car.

In the beginning everything is new, and it requires a tremendous focus just to get it right. Both hands at the 10 and 2 position. If you’re lucky it’s an automatic transmission. Otherwise it’s learning how to coordinate shifting gears, the clutch and acceleration. Signaling turns, merging into traffic on the Interstate, knowing to come to a complete stop.

Learning how to parallel park without hitting the curb or cars in front or back. Paying attention to cars in front to avoid shoving your nose into the steering wheel on sudden stops. How to drive in rain and snow. The list goes on.

The same applies to making a choice to be happy. Recognizing the triggers, those preprogramed events, that set you off towards being mad. If you break your favorite coffee mug, there is the choice of shouting obscenities at the top of your lungs in anger, or realizing it’s just a coffee mug. This is also referred to as recognizing the “ego.”

When someone disagrees with you on any topic, say your favorite sports team. The tendency is to defend, ultimately shifting to anger. In reality it is your choice. Do you defend, or simply let the other be entitled to their opinion. Consider that what they think, is really none of your business. Does it change your thoughts? Is that team in any way going to suffer because of what they think? For that matter are they any better off because of what you think?

Anytime there is a competitive action, it can only survive as long as there is an equal and opposite reaction. You’ve heard the expression about putting fuel on the fire. Take it away and what happens? Choice acts the same way. If you choose not to argue, there is no argument. If you choose not to be mad, it can only leave you in the exact opposite arena of happiness.

Now, you can be sure there are those who thrive on debate. It is also a habit. The need to compete mentally, intellectually. It is as addictive as any drug. Verbal bullies in many cases. They don’t even have to use obscene or vulgar vocabulary to be cruel. Are they happy? Can you answer that question after reading to this point?

So what’s your challenge? Is it to be happy, or mad? Here’s a thought as you consider all of this. It’s easy to change. It’s just easier not too. How much do you REALLY want to be happy? Is it too much work? Will it be too hard? Only if you make it so. Just remember. The secret truth to the discovery of happiness, is choice. What’s yours?

I’m gonna be happy eatin’ some homemade peanut butter!

Alan “happily”eating peanut butter!

What Is This Attack On The Shack?

I just read a rather interesting article concerning the book and movie, The Shack. I have read this book several times and will eventually see the movie as well. The multitude of commentary about the book, it’s supposed “message,” lack of correct theology, Christian doctrine, along with all the insight of so many who feel qualified, is significant. Is it correct?

I fully understand who God is, the message of salvation, Christ on the cross, and my relation to all of it. I also understand how over the years, the Church has put itself in place of God. None would ever admit that, holding the various religious institutions as above such a possibility. Yet when challenged to demonstrate their dependence of God, they fall miserably short. 

One single example would be building programs. The entire congregation is put into debt to finance a bigger and more ostentatious building. God is charged with providing the finances to pay for it. So much for dependence on God to provide the finances BEFORE building. That’s the same as making a choice about anything and then telling God to bless it!

The Church is no more perfect than the humankind it serves. Perfection does not exist in our world at any juncture. There may be the exception of birth and a new life. I would be hard to argue the perfection of that. However, the conception is all in God’s hand. 

While God and Jesus determined we are redeemable, it comes at a cost. Mainly that of belief, of knowing that God does not live in a box, or have a human form. For multitudes, myself included, smashing that “God Box” is one of the greatest challenges on the road to unlimited belief.

Over the years we have seen many stories created with the intent to bring us into a closer understanding of our mortality. Frank Peretti, Jerry Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, C.S. Lewis, among 100’s of others. This must necessarily include Lynn Vincent and Todd Burpo, Dr. Eben Alexander, Anita Moorjani. Just a few of those who have had life after death experiences, that so many are ready to disavow as not matching up to what look like Biblical standards. What is more believable than an account of verifiable, clinical death, where life has come back into the body? Accounts of being in the presence of a bright light, immeasurable peace, and not wanting to return.

Akiane Kramarik is a gifted painter that at an extraordinarily  young age of eight years old, painted a four foot tall oil of Jesus titled, “Prince of Peace.” Young Colton Burpo, of “Heaven Is For Real,” who claims to have been in the presence of Jesus during an emergency appendectomy, claims Akiane’s painting is the Jesus he saw. Who dares to argue?

So to assail Paul Young and his story as being so non-theological, reverent, right down to heretical, is absurd. It is a fictional story, the same as Left Behind, This Present Darkness, or Dominion.

It is not the Bible, nor does it pretend to follow the Bible. What this book does is make one think. Plain and simple. It goes against all that we have been raised to believe, which is perfect. As mentioned earlier, most live with a “God Box.” It is this physical image of God who most would have a hard time relating to otherwise. So see God without an image, that He exist in everywhere and everything, is part of what this book will cause readers to do. The reader cannot maintain the concept of who or what God and the Trinity are as they read through the chapters. They will be challenged to let go of preconceived concepts, and perhaps for the first time consider who God really is.

The beauty of Young’s book and story is it also allows those of us who have no problem with who God is or what He is, and can easily see God throughout this story. For those who only want to pick it apart Biblically, well have at it. You are the loser in the process, as you can only see through blinders.

The Rock Opera, Jesus Christ Super Star, was responsible for leading me to discovery of the truth of salvation. How has that musical been condemned throughout the years. If I am the only one who ever found salvation because of that, it served it’s purpose. No one person, critic, theologian, pastor, learned scholar, can claim to know the mind of God. In the same sense none know in what strange and beautiful ways He works.

Just as many were impacted by the movies Left Behind, Heaven Is For Real, and now The Shack. None know what lives have been impacted for eternity. The same can be said for The Passion of Christ, Spartacus, or The Robe. I’m no movie critic. Knowing what I like and why is what matters. Just thoughts.

Think I’m gonna go watch Wizard of Oz again!

  

Have You Lost Your Path To Peace?

the-look-of-now
The Look Of Now!

Have you had enough? A stomach can get full to overflowing. Clothes will soon follow suit. Eyes can see things they would rather not. Ears endure what is considered noise in many different settings. All of those things you have control over. In reality it’s simply called discipline. You can eat less, better, healthier, avoiding what we know to be detrimental.

Determining what’s best for your eyes avoiding what isn’t. Responsibly choosing what we listen too…but wait! Can you really shut out noise?

You live in this electronic, digital society. Sound bites invade everything around you. News Headlines on tabloids, print magazines scream at you through the ether. There is no silence as cell phones chirp, bleat, clang, whistle and buzz. Clocks relentlessly advance those digital numbers or hands as a constant warning to your senses that you’re late for something.

Eyes are assaulted with visions of the most tantalizing foods literally sending taste buds into orbit. Displays in windows and on the screens of monitors, iPads, tablets, grab your materialistic and consumer senses for the latest stuff. There is a frenzied movement all around you at every level of your consciousness and unconsciousness.

Again the question, have you had enough? The greater may be how do you escape? No matter where you turn it’s there to ambush. Escape seems possible only in some remote area devoid of all possibilities from communication. There’s just one problem. How do you shut off the mind? The subconscious, that is forever talking, moving, jumping from one thought to another relentlessly. Much can be said for meditation that teaches how to shut it out. You’re not there. Now what?

You find yourself drawn back to all the current political unrest. All the clamor is beyond stressful. No matter what view you have it’s under attack. What most want to see is just peaceful progress, a stable environment, and protected borders. The noise in your life has been going full blast it seems for the last decade. Volume of life has been full blast causing tension that does not relax. You desire relief that is evasive.

You realize being one in a nation desperate for the same thing. Has it arrived? Can you trust that sensation seeming to say relax? Other times have been traitorous making trust difficult. After all, when was the last time life could be trusted? Part of living is dealing with all the unexpected.

A deep breath, slow expulsion, allowing nerves and stress the chance to give in to at least a moment. Ready to stiffen in a nano-second. Putting on a shell to ward off the onslaught of the unexpected. Guaranteed to come unannounced when least alert. To stretch, unprotected, vulnerable and exposed. Ahh…it’s been so long since the last time you had this feeling.

Feeling recharged with just those few moments is exhilarating. Bordering on an intoxicating moment that draws you in to that instance of lowering your guard. Suddenly you feel as though there were crosshairs centered on you. In the blink of an eye the wall attempts to reassert itself. You’re ready, determined to resist and enjoy this euphoric sensation of freedom from all that intends to oppress. You have gained precious moments of complete freedom with expectation of falling back into the past. Having tasted, resistance to a return is not an option. The battle is on, just a different one. The answer is no, that you have not had enough! Of peace.

Who Is The Most Notorious Snollygoster

A what? Obviously if this word is unfamiliar to you, then the Bill O’Riley Hour on FOX News is not on your list of programs to watch. Had you been tuned in today, you would know.

Ok, it is not a familiar term, but it should be. In fact it seems it was just re-introduced as an acceptable word into the dictionary. Get the reference to re-introduced, as apparently at some point it was in the dictionary, and then taken out. Today, the news is about the admission once again.

Now no doubt the mystery has been milked for as much as possible. What is a “snollygoster?” According to Your Dictionary, here’s the definition: snollygoster. snol·ly·gos·ter. noun. Slang. One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.

Anybody in government come to mind? Over time history has recorded many other terms to refer to such politicians. Words that first had to be drug through the muck, mud and manure to lend the necessary smell, filth and revulsion of one who stoops to such low levels.

A shrewd unprincipled person

Merriam Webster defines it as: a shrewd, unprincipled person. Again, isn’t this what most of us voted to get rid of in Washington D. C.? Dictionary.com adds this: a clever, unscrupulous person. Clever usually is attributed to a well meaning person, and used in conjunction with unscrupulous seems like and oxymoron. Now Wiktionary notes the origin of this word is “Possibly from snallygaster, a mythical beast that preys on poultry and children.” Then goes on to add, “A shrewd person not guided by principles, especially a politician.”

Earliest reference dates back over 122 years ago, but it appears it’s just as relevant today as then. The times have changed, our world has changed, but it would appear politics has done it’s best to remain the same. Current antics in the present administration would bear that out.

The most notorious snollygoster…may be Sen. Charles Schumer

As to the most notorious singular snollygoster presently, that title may be best given to Sen. Charles Schumer, since he leads a dedicated group of snollygosters, who united, clearly demonstrate the succinct definition of this term. None of the words need be repeated as they are very clear in their meaning.

Bill O’Riley must be given credit for perhaps reviving this word, and it was aired on his program, which piqued my curiosity to the extent of looking it up. There simply was no more perfect, usable, conversationally acceptable term that fit the “obstruction yucktion” (my word) that could so perfectly paint each of those thumb suckers the color yellow, wallowing in their tears, beers and fears of what they’re in for.

Any way they can make our President look bad

As President Trump, Sean Hannity and others have so clearly put it, that miserable bunch is playing games with my life, that of my family and grandchildren, along with millions of others. However, based on the information discovered as to the intent of the Democratic machine, any way they can make our president look bad is worth the cost, and it’s a fair bet it’s as long as it doesn’t touch them.

All the prognosticators, analysts, consultants, and experts freely offer their sage words of wisdom as to where this is headed. What seems to be overlooked is that famous “Pogoism.” “We have found the enemy and he is us!” While all this distraction takes place, it diverts attention from the others who would do us real harm.

Getting sold down the river by the previous administration and the attempt to undo the pressure of that currents pull, struggling desperately to drag us further into loosing all semblance of who and what our nation is can’t be ignored. We elected the right man for the job. In spite of what the opponent has thrown in his path, we believe he is able to rise above. None of us can afford not to be involved with the effort in some fashion.

Some of us write and post in prominent places, while others are involved with volunteer projects, looking, listening, teaching and educating. Our voices won’t stop being heard just at the ballot box, but right along to elections in 2018 and beyond.

Perhaps in the same way warring nations eventually lay down differences and arms, a healing can take place in this country. Not all wounds will be healed, as some will be to heart, soul and spirit. Like all conflicts, there are the victims with permanent wounds, that time, compassion and love will often heal. Others will be beyond help.

All you snollygosters may wonder what that rumble is…

This writer has used some strong terms and words aimed at those creating an obstruction to our President and the confirmation of his cabinet members. That is only a small part of a much bigger picture of the harm they are attempting. These words are those thousands of others echo, and have been snatched out of the ether to publish in digital format. All you snollygosters may wonder what that rumble is you’re hearing. Rest assured it’s coming after you. Get on board and be part of amazing the world, or not.

What Would You Do If I sang Out Of Tune

That’s a fair question for someone who can’t sing, and that IS NOT me! Vocalizing, harmonizing, are things I still do and quite well. Of course the idea was to get your attention, because I’ve no intention to sing to you, or at least musically.

What I do intend is to write. That can be music to the mind for some, and for others it may be the beginning of discovering writing in a new way. When you think about it, words have to be written for a song, and then it generally gets set to music. There are occasions where a tune is heard in a musicians mind, and the words come later. It’s the words that lend meaning, and the music enters the heart and spirit of the listener to create that something special. It’s strange, but that “something special” can’t always be described with words!

At awordmerchant.com you will find a free-wheeling collection of posts about a kaleidoscope of themes, or in other words thoughts and experiences that reflect life. Mostly mine. So welcome, and jump in to see what’s cookin’!

Is It Your Idea Or Someone Else’s?

A light bulb moment! The one that we always use to refer to that great, million dollar idea. It seems like it came out of nowhere. Just a flash of inspiration and it’s like it was all there. In detail.

images

Sure, you had been thinking about this for some time, most recently with a little more intensity. Then boom! There it was, like the blueprint was magically handed to you, just waiting for you to make it.

Let’s say you actually put action to the idea and make it. Then rush to get a patent to protect your brainchild. Then comes the shocking surprise, that someone has already filed a patent. How could this be? The surprise is almost too much to bear. What is the explanation?

Scientific studies, in one instance from MIT, would claim that brainwaves are too weak to travel far, and could never compete with radio waves for example. Another article* dealing with the “ether” and “speed of thought” offers sufficient material for consideration to the contrary.

Many studies have been done during the last 30 years that continue to offer substantial proof of the power of thought. One of the best sources I have found citing many different experiences over many years can be found here.

So what is the point? Thoughts, ideas, travel, and not just in circles inside your head. They are not just weak signals as compared to radio waves, but are received both consciously and unconsciously at great distances. While current experiments have been done using computers to help translate the message to the brain of participants from India to France, those using no such mechanical means are some of the most interesting.

So what is the possibility of picking up random thoughts of another, never realizing they were not 100 percent your own? Consider the conscious effort involved thinking intently about a particular project, idea, or challenge. Is it possible the more concentrated those efforts are they could attract similar thoughts?

Many experiments have been done with telepathy, transmitting thoughts from one person to another over short distances with success. Mind reading has normally been relegated to parlor tricks, so is not seriously considered in truly transmitting thoughts from one person to another.

Some will have a hard time relating thoughts to prayer or anything spiritual. For many a prayer is a conversation with God. No special words or phrases were ever necessary, and in fact Jesus clearly stated that those who did nothing more than call on his name would be given an eternal life with him.

So it seems all this could be boiled down to intent. In whatever mode it is intended, through prayer, a spiritual effort, a sincere desire, shamanic rituals, as an old saying goes, it’s the thought that counts.

There will always be the “naysayers” who refuse to accept anything that doesn’t have some logical explanation. These surely are the distant offspring of those who claimed the world was flat, of those who poisoned such as Socrates for bringing about change.

Go ahead and laugh, shake your head, but be careful what you’re thinking because you never know where it could end up. Whoever coined the phrase, “A penny for your thoughts.” was trying to get off cheap! At least in some cases where there was actual value involved.

Since it has also been proven that most hide out in thoughts of past history, which being in the past are as dead as the doornail, thoughts of value are in the big minority. So it can be said that the possibility of capturing that million dollar thought may have odds of say…a billion to one?

I’ve got some serious thinkin’ to do.

*Resources:

Article link to sped of thought