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Sunday, December 11, 2016

"Stink...Stank...Stunk."

"Stink...Stank...Stunk."

In regards to K.K's letter to the Editor:

You speak of the myths and man made fictions of Christmas, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and more  making reference to their idolatry. Tell me, do you use a calendar? Do you speak of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or the Precious Sabbath 'Sun'day, the day to worship the Sun, not the 'Son'. Each of those days have been titled after "pagan" non-Christian ideas. Hope you don't call those days by name. How about the months of the year? Should we go there. No, there is not much point as it seems you have already made up your mind. So glad that your belief is somehow not a myth, that somehow all the others are just crazy ideas made up by man but not yours. I mean by the sounds of it your God sounds totally legit. No mythology involved with that myth.
Speaking of Myths. I never did believe in the Grinch who stole Christmas, but after reading your letter to the editor, I now do believe. It seems the Grinch has taken residence here with plans of stealing away Christmas spirit by means of writing cheerless letters to the editor. Fear not as I have heard that the Grinch has yet to grow a heart. Hopefully sometime soon, before the Christmas Spirit is gone.

In the spirit of Dr. Suess;
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gentle...Me?



I awake from my nights slumber. Another day begins. The sun begins its drowsy ascension in the east. It has work to do. What will this day entail? What will be it's outcome? The answers to these questions, no one can discern. For all that we have is the time that has been given to us. The here. The now. 
How often do I ponder how to live out my day? Not what I will accomplish. Not where I might end up being. Rather, it is in the how that I must place my attention. How might I accomplish? How might I arrive? How might I be. I am not considering a process of steps as though life can be accomplished through the following of a play by play guide. No, I am considering the How, as important as considering the Now. How might I love or not love? How might I play or not play?. How might I work or not work? I must ask myself "What would I be?" and as Epictetus encourages, I must then do what I have to do. 

I would like to be gentle this day. 

Gentle: Mild in temperament or behaviour, kind or tender. 
Kind, Tender, Sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, good-natured, humane, lenient, merciful, clement, mild, placid, serene, sweet-tempered 
"His manner was gentle."

I am a passionate person. It can be a difficult thing being gentle when so much of me wants to either explode with rage, love, sorrow or joy. There is, of course, times for these but there is always time to be gentle. I imagine that in all things gentleness should be the base of all emotion. Gentleness should be the master of all feeling and action. It is good to rage from time to time, but to do so gently. It is good to love but better to do it in gentleness. To be gentle is to stop and consider. The gentle person decides what they should do after examining the current situation through the lens of what they are, gentle. The answer of the gentle is well received whether the answer is agreed upon or not. On the other hand, an answer from the uncontrolled is often disregarded and the giver of the answer held in contempt. 

I want to be gentle. Now I must do what I can in order to be so.



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Letting Go Of The Dead While Still Holding On.


I lurk now in the shadows in attempts to avoid the noise and the questions I so dread. I dreamt of mom again the night before last making yesterday a tougher day to deal with the questions of well meaning people. Mom was with me but this time she looked confused, lost almost, she wanted to stay by my side but was being pulled away by some unseen force. While I understood that she was not supposed to be here she did not know why she could not remain. I gently told her that she had to go, but she looked lost, scared and hurt that I was telling her this. 

"Where am I going?"
she asked as she looked into my eyes. 

With tears streaming down my cheeks I replied,
"I do not know mom, I do not know." 

I awoke to my own sobs.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Learned Free: The Heritage Podcast

It has been said that the learned are free, but is the learning ever free? Well at "The Heritage Podcast" it is. The following is a brief excerpt from "The Heritage Podcast" website. I strongly recommend you check it out at http://heritagepodcast.com/ My family, co-workers and I all love listening to these podcasts and are forever now enlightened. You too can become enlightened and you can do it for free! ;)

_______________________________________


History, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, the Classics, Arts, & Sciences

Bayeux-Tapestry-banner

Welcome to the Heritage Podcast

A Complete Liberal Arts Education (in Podcast Form).


          What are the liberal arts? Simply put, they are the education of free individuals, and they entail the study of things eternally worthwhile. A liberal education develops the minds and tempers the hearts of students by drawing on the entire history of human thought and experience: history, literature, philosophy, religion, the classics, the arts, and the sciences. Through such an education, students rise to the challenge of living as free and moral agents, equipped for self-government as citizens of a republic. The liberal arts are our “heritage”; an inheritance forged by the thousands of lives of thinkers, authors, and leaders from the past to today.


          The plan for this podcast is to offer an entire liberal arts education to anyone, anywhere, free of charge. The end result of this podcast should in some ways amount to a rigorous bachelor’s degree program from a small liberal arts college. This is an ambitious goal of which we will probably fall short! But by striving to embrace the entire sweeping epic of human thought, we hope to refine our intellects, furnish our understandings, and confer upon ourselves the abilities and wisdom necessary to lead full, humane lives.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Most Christians Don't Believe

(The following post was written by blog author Sabio Lantz. I received permission from Sabio to copy and paste his post here. If you would like to check out the authors blog you can do so at this link Sabio Lantz. I strongly recommend doing so. :))


Fortunately, most Christians I know, are not believers. They are belongers, of course, but not ‘real’ believers.  See what you think.  The following are just some of the things most of my Christian friends and acquaintances don’t believe that tell me they are not true Bible believers and not true followers of Jesus:

  • The Bible is the Best Book: If the Bible is the only book written by God (the almighty creator of the universe and judge of our eternal state), why don’t believers read it carefully, over-and-over. Instead, most Christians don’t read the Bible hardly at all.  Or the ones that have, have only read small portions which are fed to them in church — and even then, they are half-listening.
    Now it is not because these Christians aren’t readers because many voraciously read popular fiction.  It is because they really don’t believe the book was written by God or even inspired by God — though they may parrot these words.  You can tell by their actions they really don’t believe it.  Their confessions are not confession of truth but signals — banners waving in the wind.
  • Give Away All Your Possessions:  Jesus mistakenly believed the endtimes were there so money and possessions would no longer be needed.  He even encourage his believers to prove their faith by giving it all away.  Right!
  • Christianity is the Only Way to Heaven: If Christianity is the only true way to live in heaven, why aren’t they more diligently spreading the word. If Jesus’ teachings are so important, why don’t they give away their money and avoid marriage and children (as both Jesus and Paul taught).
  • Hating & Leaving Family:  Jesus encourages followers to leave their families and hate their relatives — even theory own children if they hold them back from following him. So if your kids try and stop you from giving away the family money and house, you should hate them and throw them in a ditch.  Right!
  • Trusting Prayers for Healing or Prosperity: If God can heal, why don’t they really trust that and know that prayer is enough.
  • Pray for Real Wisdom: If real wisdom is only available by praying to God, why don’t Christians pray more (most I know never really pray except for meals and at church).  Because they don’t believe some invisible guy is going to really talk to them if they squint their eyes hard enough, chant enough “In-Jesus’-Name”s and ask for deep wisdom.  They know they are only talking to themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad my Christian friends don’t believe these, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be their friend. Religious Specialists (preachers, ministers, pastors and the like) have a vested interest in getting their customers to feel little guilty about not “really” believing — it helps them keep their jobs.  You see, for many, religion is not about belief. It is about belonging, identity, social signaling (“see, I’m good”), conformity and much more.
Having lived with Hindu, Sikh, Shinto, Buddhist and Muslim families, and lived in those communities, I have seen this phenomena everywhere.  So it isn’t just Christians who are not true followers of their faith.  Now certainly, there are the radical believers who decide whatever is really true about their religion and try to live it fully (in a horrible, or sometimes even good ways, perhaps), but I am not talking about those folks.  I am talking about the majority of folks I meet.  Thank God they don’t believe.:-)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Does Your God Love You Just As You Are?


I was looking through my library this morning with a cup of freshly brewed coffee in one hand and the other carefully searching through the magical things we call books, looking for something to pop right out at me. I was, of course, in the section of the library where all the books are written for the lost heathen, rebellion is worse than witchcraft, woo unto me for I shall perish because I once was saved but now I am lost, and, last but not least, I am the devil leading others astray individual. I have a marvellous library, really you should check it out. It be breed'n all dat der satanic learn'n stuff. Dem read'n folk can't be trusted wit all dem big ol' words an stuff. [Now that I am done all that.] Well, something did pop out. Literally it popped right out, and landed on my foot, you know the sensitive bone part of your foot just before the toes, the spine of the book landed with the combined fury of all furies right on that spot. If I was ever to get angry at books it might have been at this moment. But I am quick to forgive, for who could remain angry at a book, unless of course that book so happens to be any one, or the collective, in the 'Left Behind' series. (Enough, jabbering.) I picked up the book, turned to its cover, and saw that it was a children's book that we used to read to our children a long time ago. The book's title, 'God Loves You'. (Now! Now! Hold on just a minute! I know what it is your thinking, your wondering if that book wasn't divinely made to pop out in order to fall on my foot as some sort of divine message to me or at the very least be a divine irony. Let me put your mind at ease, this was no conversion experience, my guess is that 'shit happens' and 'gravity's a bitch'.)

I began reading the book(you know, for ol' times sake) and found the message to be quite a beautiful little message. It was a simple and child like message. A message free of all the grown up theological bullshit(I can say that word because the apostle Paul said it first). It is a message I can get behind, one that doesn't even require someone to believe in a deity to see the importance of being and loving ones own self. 

So here it is. Enjoy! 

God Loves You
Kathleen Long Bostrom

You can be silly or you can be sad.
You can be merry or you can be mad.
You can be grumpy or you can be glad.

God loves you just as you are.

You can be short or you can be tall. 
You can be big or you can be small. 
Your size and your shape don't matter at all. 

God loves you just as you are.

You can be messy or you can be neat.
You can be poky or fast on your feet.
March with the others or to your own beat.

God loves you just as you are.

You can be dark or you can be light.
You can be shades of the day or the night.
Whatever your colour, it suits you just right. 

God loves you  just as you are.

God made each part from your head to your toe. 
Day in and day out he is helping you grow.
God made you special and that's how you know:

God loves you just as you are.  


My question to you is this, 

Does your God love you just as you are?


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sober In The Presence Of Inebriated Believers


(*Please note that I have many relationships with professing Christians that are incredible and marvellous. I would not be the same without these. That being said the difference between these relationships and that of those of the Christians of whom I challenge is that the relations that are close to me are based on the human experience not theological doctrines. Those of whom I love relate to personal humanness, they are real, they are what they are and pretend nothing else. Incredibly they are happy to be human, happy to be on this earth, happy to strive to enrich themselves all the while never changing who they are. They are present, and I LOVE that about them. I may challenge them as they challenge me but we always see the other above philosophies, theologies and doctrines.*)

While I am not saying I am an atheist, the above drawing resonated with me. 

Do you ever feel like you are the only sober one in the room? Would you, being sober, dare to enter a vehicle driven by a drunk and filled with passengers that are drunk. Imagine yourself sitting in the middle of the back seat surrounded by drunks while the drunk driver swerves to the left and then to the right. At this point even you as the sober one are getting ready to vomit while being filled with fear of when the likely crash will occur. You offered to drive but they refused you. You are forced in the back seat and told to quit oppressing them by your safety awareness. 

Well, this is what it feels like being the odd one out, believing differently and living out ones own life. When the majority believes one thing and you hold to a minority view you become the sober one. You often feel like the sober one amongst a car full of drunk believers. The driver swerves here and there with a logic somehow deemed logical, the drivers vision so impaired by the consuming of the 'Spirit' that innocent pedestrians are being ran over by a doctrine that tells that the sober victim is to pay for the crime of the drunk driver. Meanwhile you are bombarded by the spewing of theological vomit by the drunk passengers. God this, God that and God wills it. Retch this, Gag that and Regurgitate. You begin to wonder, why are you here with the likes of these?. Can you escape? How? will you survive this journey? Well the crash comes, all goes blank for a time until you find yourself  awakening knowing that somehow you have survived. You see your fellow passengers and see they too have survived but are yet still heavy into the drink of their beliefs. It is now you make your decision, you are done with this, done with the beliefs, done with the abuse, done with the death threats. You are free from their burden but now you are alone, hurting from the crash, hurting from the abuse. You are not alone. There are others who are sober, others who know your pain, others who have travelled a similar journey such as the one you are on. 

There comes a point where you cease to enter that vehicle, cease to be a part of that church and cease to be part of that faith. Cease to be part of that abuse. 

Jesus does not want to take your wheel nor does he want any other to take your wheel. He wants you to drive. Be who you are. Be real. And for the love of 'god' DON'T drink and drive under the influence of theology. ;)

If you must have a co-pilot, then by all means....



Saturday, April 16, 2016

I Am Not a Christian.


I was raised in a Christian family. I had repented of my sins, understood my need for a saviour and excepted the Lord into my heart at the age of five and then at least a dozen or more times into my late teens(As though once was not enough). However, as I became an adult I began to question the faith I had grown up with. This God became to break apart. The theologies I had once accepted and even proclaimed became no more than the attempts of humankind to make sense of the world that surrounds them. I am not saying there is no possibility of a god, but rather that even if there is a god there really is no way that one could comprehend god, at least in the way that many Christians do. What I am trying to say is better put into words by the philosopher Bertrand Russell,


“I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.”

I am continually reminded of my reasonings for leaving this faith as I live in a Christian community that constantly brings up god. I hear time and time again that we are not worthy as human beings. We are lowly, terrible sinners that are deserving of an eternal damnation in hell. Is this any way to think. What positive is in this belief. Oh Christians will find pleasure in this as they have acquired their place in an eternal heaven all the while more than willing to leave behind those unbelievers. They spout forgiveness, all the while spouting a doctrine of eternal torture. They speak of peace yet all the while terrorize the young and old mentally abusing them with fear. They speak of love yet it remains conditional. This is a religion that puts an unprovable idea, an unprovable belief ahead of humankind. This is supposedly a religion of love,

“I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.”

“When you hear people in church, debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings."


Religions push and fight against one another. Christianity pushes and fights within itself. This is an insult to humanity, to deny our humanness for the sake of divinity. We are all human and human we shall remain. 

“A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.” 

Undoubtedly the religious will take offence, unless they are of the special and rare breed of those that can actually discourse. But consider it pure joy to be persecuted, although this is hardly what I call persecution when compared to the constant bombardment of religious talk that the unbelievers put up with. I mean really, I have seen sore losers lose better than many Christians who wail and gnash their teeth when you even ask, "maybe there is no god". Oh I am sorry did I offend you by my question? I mean I won't agree with what you claim, but at least I am not threatening you with an eternal damnation. Talk about persecution. I mean it is so hard to be a Christian these days with all the freedom they have to worship, preach and witness. Must be tough. What were those early Christians ever complaining about? But hey Christians should be thanking those that question them because they are then being "persecuted" and we all know what happens to those that are persecuted, they are blessed. So you are welcome. Give me a good word to the big Man/Woman/Individual upstairs, downstairs or in the closet. 

So, what am I? Oh, wouldn't you like to know.




Friday, April 15, 2016

A Simple Question.


It is a simple question, but a loaded one at that. The question begs the reader to think long and hard about the answer. It requires understanding of history(Yes, there is a history outside of Christianity. I know, crazy right?), a knowledge of other religions and/or cultures.

So what is the question, well here it is......

Can you name a single genuinely new or original thing Jesus said or did?

It is a loaded question. I know of some things that Jesus said and did that had previously been done before him, but I am wondering if you could give me some examples that you can come up with where what Jesus said or did was indeed new or original. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This Is Your Fate.


Fate is that which is but is not. It is because it is, but is not because it is not. That is fate. Fate does not control you, no, you simply are and so there too is fate. Fate is not like God, it does not guide nor predetermine, it just is. Fate is you and you are fate. We may have grand ideas of what we might become believing it is our fate, but on our way to it we collide with the fate destination of another and that than becomes our fate. Fate is what is, it is you. It is fate that you are reading this. It is fate that you are either angry by this, happy or merely entertained by my ramblings. So as Nietzsche encourages us to do "Love your Fate..." for that is what you are. Those who love their fate can live without regret, treasure the now and aim towards possibility. 

You must both lose yourself in fate as well as be your fate.

"My formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be other than it is, not in the future, not in the past, not in all eternity." - Nietzsche 





Monday, April 11, 2016

Death and the Human Experience


Possibly the hardest thing during this time of grieving is to think of all that never will be. My children will have no Grammy to witness so many of their firsts. I will never experience another warm cup of coffee with my mom, no warm embrace, no warm laughter, no more "shut up you little freak!". Mom is gone and there is nothing that I can do about that. I can, however, hold my wife and my children close and love them as a husband and father should. They are my priority. They are what I live for. For I am human and so are they. I will live the human experience and one day die the human experience, but which ever one I am doing I will do it well. 


Friday, January 1, 2016

Alpha Book of 2016: Let the Reading Begin.


Well it is 2016 and the first book of the year that I am reading is "A Hidden Wholeness" written by Parker Palmer. I am fortunate to have received many books over the holidays but I felt that this book was one that I wanted to begin the new year with(Plus I quickly finished one of the books I had received before the new year and I am glad to say that it remains in 2015.). 

Books our wonderful. They are the oasis along life's sometimes all to draining journey. They are the places of contemplation and inspiration. From rest to resistance, from great sorrow to great joy, books can make a difference in ones life that no other thing can. So yes, I love books. Books are my bible and the bible is my books. Sacrilege? No, book(s) is what bible literally means. But now I am diverting away from why I began this post in the first place (I have a.d.d.).


Back to the first book of 2016, Parker Palmer and "A Hidden Wholeness".


As I previously stated, I thought this book would be a great book to begin 2016 and so far it has not disappointed. The call to become the undivided self is a call I hope everyone heads. Palmer often mentions living "divided no more" where we cease to be that of what we believe others think we should be, including ourselves, and actually just be who we are. Now the tricky part, at least it was and is for me, is discovering who we are. This is no easy task, as Palmer will point out, because for so long we have been avoiding our true selves, that since the vulnerability of our childhood we have learned that vulnerability can lead to much hurt and so in order to avoid that hurt as we grew older we began to get lost in the disguise of false self.  Now we must discover our true-selves, the undivided self and that is no easy task to undertake. We must journey through the past examining it and filtering out the moments of falsity from the moments of trueness. This is strenuous for if we are truly honest with ourselves we are still afraid of that vulnerability and we continue to fear hurt, even the potentiality of it. This can be a process that either begins to set you free or a process that sends you ever deeper into the lie. As Lady Galadriel says to the remaining fellowship of the ring as they take rest in the woods of Lothlorien, "...your quest stands upon the edge of a knife...." so too does ours.


I am excited as I continue to read this book. I find great value in the discovery of oneself, for how can we be of benefit to others if we are of no benefit to ourselves. All this to say I wish you all a Happy New Year and a year that is filled with many wondrous books.

What book begins your 2016?