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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Another Look at Forgiveness

When we hold grudges and grievances against ourselves or others, it does not matter against whom, guess what happens? We suffer! Our minds suffer from the pain, sorrow and confusion. Our bodies suffer from the added stress and the extra chemicals running through them as a result of the anger and fear. Our spiritual life suffers because we cannot think of and experience God that is love simultaneously with our anger. Love and anger cannot coexist in the same thought. We waste a precious moment that will never come again when we indulge in the opposite of God’s Love. We lose out on so much life when we do not forgive.               --- Marlene Oaks, "The Key- Forgiveness and Beyond"

Preparing for my sermon April 7th, I decided to reread my book on forgiveness so as to bring to the forefront of my mind the things I wrote. that so many have said helped them. I have become an expert regarding forgiveness, as I've done so much of it, out of necessity really.

One of the salient points is that by not forgiving, we are the person who gets hurt, as per my excerpt above.

Ask yourself the Jesus question "Do you wish to be healed?" Are you willing to live the life of a healed person? You might be surprised at the people who have told me no. They didn't want to be that person, to give up their story, to take on adult responsibilities.

I have come to know this earthly life is a school for souls. So we can use the Socratic method of questions on ourselves. Such as: What am I to learn from this? What are other ways to look at this? (Think of as many ways as you can, brainstorm with yourself) 

Counsel yourself. Use affirmations such as: It's not going on right now. I'm all right right now. Thank you for teaching/testing me. I bless and release this person/situation to God. I forgive you and release you. I forgive and release myself.

Pray heartfeltly, sincerely, turning your pain over to God to grant grace and resurrection power.

Read my book. 😍

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Make Room

I just read a simple, yet profound, thought. 

The Ground of Being can only be known by those who make room for God.

The human mind, the unique energy that we are, can be used, let's say, in a positive or negative way. It can be used as a psychopath like Hitler, or as inspired beings like the saints, great poets and artists. It can come up with portable flame throwers, bigger more destructive weapons or Quantum physics. It can be focused on the silly and trivial, or on meaningful reading and conversation.  It can focus on the cult of culture, or on God and seeking that which is the very Truth of our being, our Ground of Being.

Where our focus is, there goes our life. Change our focus, re-aim our energies, and we go to a different life.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Christ of the Gospels or Christ of Religion?

Christ of the Gospels is a preacher and not a dispenser of sacraments or performer of rites; he speaks against vain repetitions; he insists on the supreme importance of private worship; he has no use for sacrifices and not much use for the Temple. But this did not prevent historic Christianity from going its own, all too human, way. 
       --- Aldous Huxley

Such a telling comment. It didn't take long until the teaching and message of Jesus Christ began to morph into various other directions, away from his message. I suppose this is the way it goes for many great inspirations. People want to put their two cents worth in; ego raises its ugly head; power struggles and control dramas ensue. The original is obscured.

It's a shame. Maybe shame on us for participating in the sham. Shame on us for not bothering to flush it all out.

I am convinced that if we took the teachings in the earliest Gospels more seriously, we could create peace and plenty and goodwill for all. Maybe even just focus for awhile on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6 & 7, say spend a month or more reading, rereading, contemplating and living with it. Set aside what you think you know, what you've been told, and come open and teachable to the feet of the Master. Let the understanding unfold itself in you. Come fresh and open. Allow your soul to begin to be fed. Let your hungry soul soak up the spiritual food.

If you do this, I guarantee you will never be the same.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Conundrum

 I wrestle currently with the New Testament. I wonder which part is true or close to truth, as it contradicts itself quite remarkably.

The first 3 are called "synoptic" because they have similar stories or versions of similar stories. Mark was written first and Matthew and Luke used most of Mark, but added to and put their own twist on the stories. But the main point I want to make today is that they tell the story of the life and teachings of Yeshua/Jesus. They primarily tell how he wants us to live to find God and to be ethical people. Let your light shine, love one another, forgive, pray to God in private not making a show of it, etc. It's empowering.

But then we come to John and letters by Paul. Now it's a different story. It's not how you live. There is nothing you can do to get right with God. You have to believe certain things that Yeshua/Jesus didn't require in the synoptic gospels or in James's writing, the brother of Yeshua/Jesus. The most important thing is to believe in the death and resurrection of Yeshua/Jesus.

What??? Both can't be true.

Instead of a son of God, a great prophet, an avatar, someone so close to God that we knew with every fiber of our being that what he spoke and did was a result of his profound connection to God, someone who called us to do greater things, who pointed the way to God - now he became an idol to worship, unattainable, totally other.  In this scenario, we are powerless. Only someone else can save us and only by believing what these guys say we have to believe.


I wrestle with the conundrum, greatly because of what it does to people's lives. You can guess that I am closer to the synoptics in understanding, even though there are discrepancies there. I do understand they were written 40-80 years after the earthly life of Yeshua/Jesus in various areas of the Mediterranean by men who did not know him. Still, they heard stories, a variety of stories, and pieced together what they had. Their conclusions were strikingly different from whoever wrote John and from Paul.

Check for yourself. Read Mark, Matthew and Luke and ponder what they say. After a time, then read John and the 7 authenticated letters of Paul. Ponder what they say.

Since these writings have had the single most impact on civilization for 2,000 years, both for good and evil, it might be important to consider them anew. They have been used for slavery and to cease slavery. They have been used by maniacs like Hitler and Stalin, and by those who stopped them. They have been used by witch hunters and Inquisition torturers, and on and on.

 Sadly, they have been, and are being used, in order to manipulate for good and for evil.

Let us seek out the good and gird ourselves against the evil.